Saturday, 26 December 2015

Project Progress #12 Alphabet Completion 61%!

How did I get here?
Thursday saw me laid up with such a bad migraine that yesterday (Friday) was a total blur. Tired was an understatement. It honestly was a really foggy day, and not sure what I did apart from spend the entire day in bed. 

Thankfully today I'm much better. Still got the usual post migraine fatigue, but being able to think is a big plus so I'm not complaining (much. Managed to get a few things done, would have liked more as per usual but that's life.) I've watched some anime, and done a whole load of craft while catching up with a few episodes of Oxford Street Revealed on BBC IPlayer, which I find fascinating as it deals with every aspect of life on one of the busiest shopping streets in the world and then some. I haven't yet seen a craft shop there, but they have John Lewis which I know sells yarn and other haberdashery goods. Anyway, I guess you'd like to have to take a peek at what I've been getting on with craft wise. It is...
This is a cute arctic animals baby sampler! As you can see I've done most of the alphabet now. I wanted to do them first so I have a structure to work with, rather than completing all stitches in the area for each later before moving onto the next. Due to the reason that it's counted cross stitch, there are a few letters which I'll leave for now, as the greater the squares that I have to count away from, the higher the probability I could make a mistake.  

Other than a a few blogging bits today is mostly for resting - hope to get some reading in later, and some more anime. I hope you're having a great start to the weekend! 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Book Review #1 One-Skein Wonders for Babies by Judith Durant

This was originally post on my other blog Nayu's Reading Corner yesterday, but I thought you'd like to see it as it's a knitting and crochet book! 

 September 2015, Storey Publishing, 288 pages, Ebook, Review copy 

Summary from Storey Publishing
This irresistible collection offers 101 original knitting projects for babies and toddlers — each using just a single skein of yarn! From mittens and hats to tees, sweaters, hoodies, pants, dresses, socks, and bootees, you’ll find the perfect wearable for every child and every occasion. You’ll also discover beautiful bibs, blankets, and sleep sacks, plus adorable stuffed toys, blanket buddies, and more. These beautiful projects were contributed by designers and crafters around the world, and each comes with complete step-by-step instructions and a photograph of the finished piece.

Nayu's thoughts
Sometimes knitters have an odd ball of yarn which isn't enough to make a big project, but a smaller one is needed. That's where this book is useful! The range of projects is extensive, including accessories, clothes, blankets, and of course baby items which as a smaller product suit using 1 skein.
Here's what I did, a cute baby bootie! I didn't note down the pattern name because I thought I'd still be able to access it when I wrote the review. Unfortunately I've gone into the program and unlike novels apparently there was an expiry date so I no longer have this wonderful book. I will look to buy it in the future! 

The instructions are easy to use with large pictures so I had a good idea of what the finished product looked like. The ribbed effect meant I knitted the equivalent of two socks in one, so it took a fair amount of time to do. I'm not sure I'd use this particular pattern again, but I would look at some of the more complex patterns in the future.  

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #95 What I Did On My Mini-Break!

 I'm back! Had an enjoyable mini-break from blogging, including 6 hours of writing yesterday. It was a bit too much in one go, but I hope to do many more long writing sessions over the next few weeks - just got 9 pages left to edit of my novel! It will soon be with friends, and I'll be editing the next one in line.

Colouring Mulan is fun! Tried to give her royal colours ^o^
I did have a lot of fun doing craft bits. I got a few pictures coloured in in my Disney Princess Art Therapy book.H
Since I watched Disney's The Little Mermaid this weekend it was appropriate that I finished colouring these pages!

Still got some tiaras to colour but over halfway finished now!

My family adores this white chocolate fudge in bite sized pieces!
I made some chocolate fudge - a white chocolate batch and a milk chocolate batch. I can't remember
making chocolate fudge, and it is so easy to do, quicker than my vanilla fudge!

It guarantees super smooth fudge (unlike my vanilla version which is a bit grainy so I call it rustic!), which is yummy and I'm going to experiment with flavours next year.
I have to use a lot of chocolate, and use a mix of chocolate slab & chocolate drops!

So cute!
I've made a start on my next sewing project: I've got a friend having a baby soon, so this will be whenever I complete it. It's a cute alphabet sampler in blues and greens, with the thread going light and dark which is a nice effect.

Tonight I'm going to do some more sewing, as well as some reading. Winter nights make me want to snuggle up with some craft and relax! Would love to hear about what you are working on craft wise at the moment! 
Here's the framed result of the cross stitch owl project I've worked on this year - the recipient loves it! Due to frame size a few stitches are covered, but I couldn't do anything about that.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Have a good Sunday!

I'm still away, but thought I'd share a reflective saying today ^o^  Should be back tomorow - details in this post.

Friday, 18 December 2015

On holiday until next week!

Happy Friday until I'm back from my mini-break! - see yesterday's post for details.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #94 Time for a mini-break!

I'm kicking back & relaxing! Picture source.
It's been quiet here on the blog, not because I'm doing nothing but because of the opposite! It's my final week of having something every other day. Turns out I'd underestimated how much recovery time I need between full on (for me) days - oops! Body is rather tired and lacking in energy, so I'm taking a mini break until Monday or Tuesday. Probably Monday for this blog, and Tuesday for Nayu's Reading Corner, my book blog which involves a lot more work than this does. I'm hoping after that I a) will factor in more rest days b) not choose such a crazy schedule and c) not have my tablet run out of battery when I want to email across photos to use in posts! 

I've got photos of yummy lemon vegan shortbread, gluten free white chocolate cookies whose texture went interesting once they cooled but are sweet and tasty so I don't really care about them. I'm having lunch with two friends tomorrow - one is vegan, and one is gluten free. I've never baked to any particular food needs, so it's a fun new experience for me. 

I have been doing craft too, but like with my baking photos will wait for another post. 

Have a super weekend, and I'll catch up with you next week! Oh, there will be cute posts up each day to keep you going until one with sentences arrives ^o^

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #93 The Truth About Making Chocolate + Disney Life Membership

This morning's work! actually don't want to eat too many. Seriously. After a few hours of truffle making (including a lot of preparation and cleaning away plus the chocolate melting then dipping), I look at all the chocolate and think 'I'm giving it away to friends soon!' ^o^ 

I love chocolate, and I'm saving the leftovers for hot chocolate made the original way by melting chocolate into hot milk (& cream when I make more truffles later this week). Other than that I'm not really keeping any for myself. Friends and family are having them! 

Then there's the fudge, which appears to have multiplied in the freezer without me knowing. Maybe they are the opposite of gremlins, which I think you feed, keep warm, water and do something else to make them multiply & become evil. Only fudge is sweet, not evil, I haven't fed it, and I keep it cold. Either way I have more fudge than I thought - least condensed milk doesn't exactly go out of date in the cupboard! 

In theory I was going to do some crochet today, but with laundry needing doing (all the hanging up isn't so good for my weak arms on top of truffle making) I'm going to be watching anime first. And at least one Disney movie because...

...I've joined a free trial of Disney Life! 
A lot of you will have heard of Netflix, an online movie/TV low cost monthly subscription. Disney Life is like that - you can watch a lot of Disney movies (both what I call human drama and animation), but that's not it. You can listen to Disney music. You can read Disney books. You can play Disney games! 
At least you can if you aren't me. For some reason Disney Life app isn't supported on my Kindle Fire, or my tablets (both the same make). Thankfully I can access the movies on my laptop, just nothing else. Since I'm only joining for the free trial, having a month of watching Disney, then cancelling, that suits me fine. 

* mumbles about the evil that is Apple which can probably almost certainly access everything else, but since it will be a push to watch all I want to watch without adding in reading books and playing games it's possibly no bad thing I can only get the movies. * 

Some of the Disney movies will be ones I do craft to, only because there are parts I don't like so will need to stay preoccupied. Thankfully almost all the movies I want to see are on there - yay! Including Frozen Fever which I've heard about but not yet seen. 
So that's me sorted for movies over the next 29 or so days! Movies that I like but not love are great to do craft to because I don't mind not seeing all of the film (eyes do need to be on my project quite a bit). This afternoon I'm going to watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, which I'm not sure if I like yet but I'm giving it a go. It's been at least 2 decades since I last saw it, so other than dwarves song I can't remember anything! 

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend, and let me know if you delve into chocolate making and Disney Life! To find out more check out the Disney Life website.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #92 Sweet Treat Mania!

Feels like a week since I last wrote what I call a 'proper' post here! I wish I could say I was doing exciting things, but I was dealing with several nights of poor sleep, which is never good at the best of times. 

I then had my annual heart check in London involving train delays and mercifully short taxi rides to a new to me hospital since The Heart Hospital has transferred to a mega heart centre in St Barts hospital (King George IV wing to be precise. Or is it V? A King George!). The usual pre-appointment anxiety struck, not entirely helped by dealing with high-tech check-in and being told where to go by a TV screen. Everyone was very helpful, and the whole thing took 1 hour 20 minutes, compared to The Heart Hospital which took far longer as often the consultant wasn't seen until the afternoon. My heart is all fine! My condition affects muscles, and since the heart is rather an important muscle the specialist team like to keep an eye on it. 

I rested Tuesday, then yesterday it was more routine hospital appointments - having them all in a space of 3 days is a bit frustrating. I prefer them spread out. 
Life is making me dizzy!

 Since I've been a tad busy, I've not done all that much other than some reading and a lot of anime watching. Craft wise I'll show you tomorrow what I've been working on. Food wise I've made some more fudge
It should look like this, although a bit lighter since I used white rather than soft brown sugar
and in the process of making some more truffles!
Instead of butterflies the latest batch of truffles with have snowflakes!
I really wish teleportation was invented so you could try some as they are delicious. Word of advise: don't use use a white chocolate with a filling to make a truffle base at it comes out too soft. Tastes amazing, but mega soft! Time to go race on with blog work then hopefully some writing and more craft! Yay! 
I've so been doing this!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #91 Been busy resting...

Thought of the day!

...haven't been sleeping well the past few days plus had long trip to a London hospital yesterday (all ok!) so resting lots & doing minimal blog work today.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #90 Useful Apps Part 1

Haven't had many frosty days, but they are starting to happen! Picture source.
I hope you're managing to stay warm if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, as it's slowly getting colder. Brrr! My cat likes me using my heated overblanket (originally I typed hated, which is the opposite of how I feel about this blanket!). She gets such a warm tummy from lying over my legs, and gets annoyed when I have to get up (& thus make her get up). 
Belle in my lap on the beloved heated blanket. Does she love me or the blanket more? Who knows!
Yesterday I went out for lunch with my family, and then did groceries, two high energy activities so sadly craft was off the agenda. However, I do have something to share with you today which isn't what I've done but what I use. 

So many of us use these! Picture source.
I don't use a lot of apps. Although I have a phone which can be a smartphone, I only use it for texting and the occasional call. I've had touchscreen smartphones in the past, and while I love my tablets, I prefer using keypads for texting, hence getting a qwerty phone. I never go online though. I've been able to in the past, but I like my off time. Phones are for text & calls! 

While I have tablets of the electrical kind, not the medicine kind which I also have, and sometimes play games on them, I barely use any apps. In comparison to the rest of my family, which includes some who used to be frightened about turning a computer on but use a zillion apps, I'm the odd one out. I'm just not into them all that much. 
Traditional and reliable! Picture source.
For writing notes I tend to use a paper notepad and pen, or write stuff as draft messages in my phone (I don't use the simple notepad app on it). I don't have an online calendar - I have a paper one, when I remember to put stuff on it! 

There are plenty of other apps I don't use, but today I want to chat about one app which I'm trying to use more often. It's an app which made me realise a few years ago that it might be better for my health if I can work less and rest more. I tried a wide range, but this was the simplist to use while still being cute & functional. The app is...

Zoo Zoo Planner! 

It's a bit like a calendar, but only has 7 days shown as a clock face. 

This is a sample online, not an example of my day. Picture source.
You can  have a more boring table view, which is without the various cute animal 'faces' and 'ears' which make the app so appealing.
Again this is from online, not my schedule, and it's in a different language (Korean? Don't think it's Japanese...) Picture source.
 It's not originally English, which is why some of the spellings are a bit different. You can jot down your schedule for the day ahead, and once a week has gone you can delete the days if you need to to start again. 

I'm not sure if you can delete a single schedule - I haven't needed to as I use this a bit differently to a calendar. Instead of recording my planned activities, I record what I actually do. Similar tasks get given similar colours - I have set colours for active activities, relaxing activities, sleep (kind of essential), and daily activities like lunch etc. 

My life is rarely this balanced! Picture source.
By recording my day I get an idea of how balanced or unbalanced my day is in relation to working and resting. This heavily depends on how I feel on the day, so some days will be light in activity, while others can be a bit activity heavy, which is when I know I need to get more anime watching in! 

There is a lite version of Zoo Zoo Planner, so you can try it before you buy it in whichever app store you use. It's not that expensive, and I bought it so I could change the type of animal I have on the clock face. It works for me, and helps attempt to get a more balanced life. 

I'd love to hear which apps you use! This is a part 1 just in case I end up using more apps in the future. 
I may not use heaps of apps, but I do love the technology I use!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #89 Away & Not Idle

Hi all! Feels like forever since my post. I'd expected to have 1-2 days of not blogging since I had my uber strong prescribed pain medicine ketamine on Saturday, which puts me out of commission. It used to make me super hyper, but now it makes me super sleepy. I'd expected to be blogging from yesterday, but I was feel fairly rough so stayed offline minus a few social media updates done comfortably on my laptop. As you can see although I was away from the blog I haven't been idle. I created a larger than normal dishcloth for a family member. I may add this size to current range of dishcloths (a few can be found on Etsy), but for now I'll stick with the usual 2 per ball ^o^ 
I had to balance the button to take the picture! (I didn't have the smaller needle for sewing with thread rather than yarn with me when I made it)
I've been getting on with baby booties! These two are the same pattern, just in very different sizes. The smaller of the two is made using smaller than the recommended size of knitting needles. 

This has a darker yellow rim around it.
The larger is made using the suggested needle size. I'm going to measure them up, check out a baby booties sizing chart like the one below and figure out what sizes I've created.
A handy measuring tool. Picture source.

This is the first pattern I haven't had a major issue with, which in itself is cause for celebration. I intend to make some plain ones, some with contrasting colours, some with buttons, some without, some with cross stitch on. It's an easy and fairly quick pattern for me to start my collection with! 

That's what I've been up to - hopefully more craft will happen later on today, but since I'm still recovering I can't say how much will get done. After my lunch time rest involving anime I intend to have an editing session on my children's fairy novel then do craft and read.
^o^ This says it all!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #88 Craft & chocolate mania

Can you guess what this is?
Ta-da! It's my secret project!
Whew, what a week! It was crazy busy in the lead up to Sunday's birthday event. The strawberry cross stitch tablecloth went down well...

Milk chocolate truffles with chocolate outer layer and sprinkles did the various chocolate treats! 
These milk chocolate truffles with chocolate shell and cute butterfly fluttered into open mouths
I crashed out Monday and Tuesday, strictly only watching DVDs and reading. I ventured back into craft yesterday with knitted baby booties. I thought I was going to finish one, but the technique required was super hard, and time consuming. Since I'm trying to use patterns that are fairly simple to make I gave up and started trying a different pattern. So far, so good! 

Today I was busy writing up reviews for Nayu's Reading Corner - I hope to be on top of them by next Wednesday. Tonight I'm watching anime with no craft as I've ended up being busy all day so need to rest before bed. 

Tomorrow is a bit busy with getting ready to meet up with a friend on Saturday (we meet once a year), more on that tomorrow ^o^

Friday, 20 November 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #87 A Yummy Raspberry Eclair!

Super yummy!

This week I treated myself to a delicious raspberry eclair from Sainsbury's - highly recommend them! The combination of slightly sharp raspberries with fluffy cream and pastry is wonderful. Prefer it to the standard chocolate eclair.
I still like the chocolate kind! Now, have I made you want to eat one?

Life is a still a bit busy, so I haven't yet done anything crafty to show you. It's a bit frustrating, but hopefully by the middle of next week I'll be back to some kind of schedule. Will keep giving a peek into my life though!

I am & I do! Are you & do you?