No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday flower power

Hurray! It's Friday! Don't you just love Fridays! Just a quick one today as I rush out the door to work. Saw this on my way home yesterday and thought you might like it.
Isn't it just the business?
More tomorrow. Have a lovely weekend everyone. C.x

Monday, September 26, 2011

Six words: what would yours be?

Hello everybody,

A wordy post today (with an Etsy or two at the end).

First day back at work today.  Sigh.  My back is okay.  Still not right, but better.  Acupucture helps.

While I was at home, I came across this book:

Available here
 According to NPR, legend has it that when Ernest Hemmingway was asked to write a story in 6 words, he responded: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."  How sad is that?  Fabulous, but sad.

There are others:

"Love me or leave me alone."

""Waching quietly from every doorframe." (Doesn't that make you want to go and stand beside this person?)

"A sake Mom, not soccer Mom." (tee hee)

"Extremely responsible.  Secretly longed for sponteneity."

"Almost a victim of my family." (Ouch.)

"The psychic said I'd be richer."

More here and here and here.

I've had lots of fun with mine.

"I can't wait to stop moving."
"Finally getting what this is about."
"Serious person, serious job.  No thanks."  would definitely figure (today of all days).
"I finally wrote that novel.  Hurray!" (wishful thinking)
"Held out for the right man."  Soppy, but true :)

So, I was wondering what yours might be?  I'd looooove to read some. 

Okay, and if you've made it this far, then here's the Etsy of the day:

Not usually into things like this but he's adorable.
He's from RutaFelt.

Or this rather elegant sewing machine (if that's not a contradiction) from Moxie Doll

Anyway, think that's enough words for today.  Put your thinking caps on and send me your six words.  Would love to read them.


Saturday, September 24, 2011


I don't know about you, but I store up random odds and ends to tell you as I go through my day, and then something happens and I never get to post about them.  But going through my pictures today, there are a few things that I just knew you'd like, even if they come across as a bit random.

1. My sister asked me to buy an iPad which we delivered the last time we were home a few weeks back.  We spent a little time fiddling with it and generally revealing that we are not part of the tech generation (or whatever letter that is - we had generation X some time ago now...)  While we were distracted with something else, my niece got hold of it and drew a self portrait:

Isn't she lovely?  She is eight.  (If she could send along a picture of her brother, I would love to show you that too.)

I gave my sister this:

2.  We had a lovely day out in Brighton.  After pootling around furniture shops all morning, we had lunch at a cafe with this in the window:

Bonkers.  Lovely, but bonkers.

3.   I read here that vertical gardens are very much the thing at the moment.  But have you seen the one in Trafalgar Square?

Apparently, it's inspired by A Wheatfield With Cypresses by Van Gogh.  How lovely is that?

4. If you are ever near the National Portrait Gallery, then make your way to the fifth floor.  The bar offers such a beautiful view over London, even on a grim grey day.

5. Isn't the ship in a bottle on the Plinth just lovely?

6. I never did tell you that awhile back, Mr. P and I went to hear Edna O'Brien read from Saints and Sinners, her new collection of short stories.  Of course, I went for the stories, which are beautiful.  It didn't hurt that she was being interviewed by Gabriel Byrne.

Dodgy photo taken with my iPhone - sorry

We will draw a dignified veil over my failed attempts not to drool...

So, there you are.  Random things that I felt you needed to know.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shiny Happy People

Hurray! Today is my 100th post. Who knew I had so much to say about things I know nothing about?! I had no idea when I started whether I'd last more than a week in Blogland (who would read me anyway?Would anyone comment? Would everyone laugh? In a good way?) Anyway, what's kept me going is all of you. You are lovely people and I am very grateful to have met you. Thank you.

Can't remember the last time I listened to REM, but I used to listen to this all the time, oh, lots of years ago. Go on, have a bop. You know you want to.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


So, I had a very definite idea as to the way I wanted the ripple scarf to look.  And I thought Karin Bole's pattern would be just the ticket.  The pattern called for US6 (4mm) needles.  But I only had US8 (5mm) ones.  And not just any old US 8 needles.  THESE knitting needles:

Bought from a nice Australian shop called Coffee and a Yarn.  I mean, who wouldn't want to knit on these, right?  And what's a millimetre between friends?  So I cast on and did a few rows.  

And it was all ripply and everything.  But somehow, well, it wasn't quite right.

The thing is, I really didn't want a ridge between the changes of colour and the pattern called for a knit row after the ripple row.  But because I am so clever (sic), I knew that all I needed to do was purl that row instead.  

So, I ripped it all and started again.

And then I decided that I wasn't happy with just a couple of ripples per row.  So, I figured out that by adding 18 stitches and repeating the ripple row repeat three times instead of two, I would achieve what I wanted.  Are you with me?  So, I ripped it and started again.

And then I figured out the reason the pattern called for US 6 rather than US8 needles - the larger size left larger holes in the ripple.  And I didn't like it.  So, I ripped it and started again.  This time with the right needles. (Sensible ones without the toadstool tops.  Sniff.)

And that's when the fun started.  I have already mentioned here that I am a Serious Person with a Serious Job.  I went to school for a long time and everything.  So, somewhere along the way you would think I might have acquired the capacity to count to six.  That's basically what the pattern requires.  But no.  I have lost track of how many times I have lost track of where I am in the ripple row.  It's not difficult.  You just need to concentrate every third row in four.  And even then, and allowing for the extra 18 stitches, they are not long rows.  56 stitches.  C'mon.

Okay, so there's a definite ripple.  And that's a good thing.  And there are no ridges between the rows, so my cunning plan worked.  But the middle ripple sort of wavers there in the first few rows until I got a grip and settled into it.  And by then I'd ripped it so many times that I hadn't the heart to start yet again.

So, here it is.  The beginnings of a wavery ripple.

And no-one could ever accuse it of being shop bought...

I have to say that, despite looking a bit more hairy than I expected, the wool is lovely to knit with and it feels soooo soft.  I think when I finish it, somewhere around 2045, I'm going to love it. That's if I don't rip it and start again.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And the winner is...

Thanks so much for all your thoughts on where you'd like to live.  How lovely to read about your daydreams.  The winner, chosen scientifically after much eeny meeny miney mo, is...  The Girl.   The Girl decided that she'd like to live in a tardis, which I think is a very sensible idea.  She is also about to move house, so I think maybe the cushion cover might come in handy to spruce up (sic) her new home.  All I need is an address.  I now imagine The Girl is overcome with excitement in a breathy Kate Winslet sort of way...

More later on my knitting.  It has met with mixed success.  Nothing like thinking you know better than a pattern to humble you in the end.  Now, if only I'd had the bowl, it would have been entirely different...

And because I am not really going out this week, I do not need this rather lovely knitting bag from here.

(Do you like me posting my Etsy finds?  If it annoys you, I'll stop. )

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thank you - and last chance for the giveaway

Hello everybody,

First a HUGE thank you for all your good wishes.  How lovely are you?  Such lovely lovely people I've met here, and knowing you're all sending positive thoughts my way makes me feel so much better.

I have an extra-special thank you to say to Pomona of Little Cottage Comforts.  I am the lucky winner of her amazing giveaway of Organic Places to Stay, the book of Organic Holidays set up by the amazing Linda Moss whose inspirational story you can read about on Pomona's post here.  For anyone contemplating a change of direction, for anyone who's having doubts about whether their good idea will get them somewhere, or even for anyone feeling a bit crap or in a funk, Linda's story is required reading.  And given that I'm about to make such huge changes in my own life, this couldn't have come at a better time.  So, thank you, Pomona.  You have given me so much more than a book.

il_fullxfull.171974867.jpg (1500×1125)
Today's Etsy offering from here

And what better way to say thank you myself than to give back.  So, if you'd like to win the owl cushion cover I made, just click on the button to the right and leave a comment on that post.   It may not be a polished performance on the sewing front, but it was made with lots of love.  Good luck!

Off to do some knitting now.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Do or die

Warning: whinge alert

Today is not a good day.  I have a major muscle spasm in the muscles around my pelvic joint and the joint is inflamed.  And the doctor thinks I may have early stage arthritis in my hip.  I am 41.  These symptoms and this age do not go together.  Most of the time, I am busy ignoring my body, pretending that it's fine, but right now it's not and I need to just stop and rest awhile.  The doctor has told me to stay at home for a week.  Normally,  this would be the best present anyone could think to give me.  A work-free week in New York when we only have so many weeks left would be bliss in different circumstances.  But I know that I won't be able to make much of it.  And frankly, I am hacked off to the nth degree about that.  I should be out gallivanting and instead I am stuck at home.  Even the weather is not cooperating.  It is that beautiful time of year in New York when the air is clear and fresh but it's not cold.  And I am looking out at it feeling exceedingly sorry for myself.  Sniff.

So, I am faced with a choice.  I can either consume my way out of the debt crisis on Etsy/eBay/[insert favourite online shop here] or I can produce.

I choose produce.  (It's not as though I haven't done my bit for the economy already...)

So, what to do?

Well, you may remember that I stropped and sulked about the poor service I got at a wool shop back in February when I was in Australia, and which I wrote about here and here.  Never one to let go of a strop easily, this lovely wool has been consigned to a cupboard ever since. 

What a shame.  But no more.  I am finally going to have a go at making my own version of this lovely thing:

I had thought to crochet it.  But today, I dipped my toe in the waters of Ravelry and found what I think might be a knitted ripple scarf by Karin Boles here.  The pattern says its for a 'confident beginner'.   And I figure what I lack in confidence, I make up for in cussed determination. I've checked how to do YO, K1 on youtube, and it looks pretty straightforward.  We'll see. Wish me luck.

And if I need a change from that, there are always my granny squares to be getting on with...

Yes, it's been awhile since these put in an appearance.  (And you have been too nice to enquire as to why, thank you.)  You will remember that I made a rash promise here that I'd be sewing in the ends as I went along.  Well, that of course meant that I got a bit paralysed and didn't make another square.  (Is it only me that puts such obstacles in my way?).  Well, I've binned that idea in favour of just getting on with it.  I haven't made that many, but I figure if I'm at home for the week I might just see whether I can't churn out a square or two.  (Nothing if not ambitious...)

So, there you are.  Productivity as the cure for consumption.  Who knew?

PS: and no I do not need this lovely thing from here to do any of the above... :)

il_fullxfull.246648574.jpg (1004×1500)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Only a matter of time

Hello everybody,

Mr. P and I have come to a tacit understanding about my recent flea market purchase, which involves him pretending he doesn't know about my mad woman's basket, and me pretending that I haven't noticed the new golf bag that has appeared in the house.  Besides, I now have my excuses at the ready.  It's a packing case, after all...  And if all else fails, I have "Oh, that old thing...  I've had it for aaaaaages," to fall back on.

Anyway, the House of NKK has moved on from all that.  We are now on Etsy.  Oh, yes.

Ta dah!  My first ever Etsy purchase.  Isn't he fabulous?

At 5"x5", he's petite.  But of course, quite leggy...

I'm thinking a box frame so that all his hairy loveliness doesn't get squashed behind glass.

He came from a very nice lady called Liza at Felted Fuzzies.

So, what was your first Etsy purchase?  Would love to see.

Before I go, please can someone buy these cups from here:
il_fullxfull.263742152.jpg (1024×901)

and come back and let me know.  They are absolutely adorable.  I would buy them myself, but as you all know, I have my limits...


PS - I have no affiliation with the shops.  I just like stuff.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This is not a picture

First, a reminder about my giveaway.  I'm loving your responses so far.  Still time to win the cushion with the slightly bonkers looking owl.  Every home should have one :)  All you need to do is click here or on the button to the right and leave me a comment on that post.

Second, thank you for all your support with my recent addiction to Etsy.  I see I am in good company....

Lots of photos today, and a bit of a story....

Two weekends ago, I bought a couple of pictures at the local flea market.  I haven't photographed them yet because they have been consigned to the back of a cupboard for now.  (I loved them, Mr. P did not.  Nuff said.)

Every Saturday morning, I take the bus to my writing class.  The bus stops just outside the flea market.

This is a Dangerous Thing.

This week, Mr. P has been busy getting quotations from removal companies.  (I tell you, whatever business you're in, close up shop immediately and open up a removal company in Manhattan.)

So, last Saturday, before I set off for my writing class, Mr. P and I had a Serious Discussion about how every cubic foot would cost $10 to ship.  We agreed that there was to be no more buying of fripperies until we arrived at our house by the sea.

The last words from Mr. P before I left the flat were: "No more pictures."

"Right," I said.  "Got it," I said.

When I arrived at my stop, I had ten minutes to spare before my class.  Just a couple of stalls, I told myself.  Not even the stalls further in where I've found stuff before...  How much harm can it be to just kill time before I spend the morning studying?

And then I found this:

Totally mad.  And I had to have it.  You will understand, I'm sure.

I mean, really, it has houses on and everything.

Surely a basket to move house with?

Okay, so it's a bit battered.  But it's quite nicely made.

I did dither a bit over it.  Mr. P's voice was rumbling away somewhere in my head.

But the thing that clinched it was this:

The year I was born...  (It's a sign!)

And there you have it.  I was true to my word.  This is not a picture.

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