About Me

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Hi there & welcome to Annie's Place. A place inspired by and named after my late Grandmother Annie. Somewhere I can be creative, and share my love for all things hand made. I like nothing better than sitting with hook & yarn, crafting something home spun & completely unique, or rustling up some yummy baked goodies. I live in a town with a beautiful embankment, situated on the River Great Ouse. You may know me as 'Colour-Heaven' on Flickr or 'CosyKitty' on Ravelry. Why not stop a while.....?!!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Hello February : Crafty & Cosmic Pursuits

Happy February All. It sure has come around quick! I'm pleased to say the sun is shining today, and with the days lasting that little bit longer I feel energised and positive for the month ahead. A great big thank you is in order for all the wonderful feedback you left for my granny square blanket. I love to hear from you, so do make yourself known. Yes that means YOU! sitting there unsure whether to comment........I don't bite, promise xx 

To mix things up a bit I've been dipping in and out of a few projects. I bought some new yarn at the back end of last year from a local craft supplies store. The soft snuggliness of it and the subdued colour palette won me over. It's Jarol Shetland Mist DK, an 80% Acrylic/20% Wool mix available in 100g balls.

I'm just playing around with it at the moment, experimenting with a simple 5 round circle in a square pattern. Changing colours the first 3 rounds, with the same colour for the squaring off part, and using a join as you go technique. It's been very relaxing.

The scarf I started last year has been resurrected, with a determination to have it finished whilst there's still a need for it. Famous last words! I made a bit of an error in judgement with this one. I had the bright idea that I'd like something with horizontal stripes, but didn't factor in the hundreds of rows it would take to create something remotely big enough to sufficiently wrap around my neck. It's got to be warm right? otherwise what's the point? Not to mention the hundreds of yarn tails to painstakingly sew in, grrrrr......

This is the moment when I think I should've just gone to Primark and paid a couple of quid for a mass-produced factory made scarf. Is this effort really all worth it? Yes of course it is Sharron I hear you cry, and I agree but boy does it take some patience.

I know there's nothing like handmade and that is what drives me on, but I HATE HATE HATE tidying yarn tails. And yes you guessed it, I left them until I was some 120 rows in before deciding I really should do something about them. When will I ever learn? Like letting the air out of a big balloon, my passion for this project began to seriously wane.

But now the bulk of those pesky ends have disappeared and I have a renewed enthusiasm for it! So watch this space for the end product, it should be all done and dusted sometime soon.

Next up I'd like to try out some cross stitch from the lovely book pictured above 'Storyland Cross Stitch' by Sophie Simpson (aka Delilah). I was super lucky to find it in my local branch of 'The Works' for only £3 (RRP UK £14.99). It's such a pretty book, beautifully put together.


Before I leave you I just wanted to mention something that's had me gripped over the last couple of months. Some of you will already be aware of this but for those that don't know, Major Tim Peake, a British Astronaut currently living and working aboard the ISS (International Space Station) took his first space walk recently. The significance of which was massive, as it's the first time a Brit has ever walked in space.

I have followed Tim's journey, and felt privileged to watch the whole space walk live from start to finish on NASA TV which was amazing, if not a tad scary. It has ignited a real fascination in me about space, and I've been keeping up with Tim's day to day via his awesome Instagram feed.

The reason I'm mentioning this here is because last night I went out to spot the ISS as it passed overhead during one of it's 16 orbits per day. I drove out into the countryside to get the best possible viewpoint, where light pollution is at a minimum. Fortunately there was a clear sky, and I could see a multitude of stars, so I felt confident I would spot the ISS with little trouble. 

Sure enough at 6:47pm there or thereabouts I saw a bright light moving swiftly across the night sky. Quite incredible to think Tim and his colleagues were up there, flying past at over 17,000 miles per hour. Within a couple of minutes it was gone. I admit to waving though not too sure they'd have seen me, lol......

Anyway, if you'd like to see the ISS with your own eyes then you can check out when it will be flying over your part of the world here

Until next time
x x x 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Contemporary Crochet Granny Square Blanket Reveal

I am really rather pleased with myself you know. It took a lot of restraint for me not to dive head first into a brand new project for the new year. I very nearly let the temptation of some new yarn distract me from all the unfinished projects I have piling up (literally).

This blanket has been hibernating for so long it's actually embarrassing. Every time my parents visit my father will ask 'have you finished that blanket yet?'. My sheepish response 'urm, no Dad not yet'. However, I shall not dwell on my tardiness, for I know I am not alone. Many of you have the same affliction, so I shall find solace in that. 

The main thing is it is now all neatly finished, every last tiresome end sewn in, border complete and ready to find it's permanent place on the sofa. Now the weather has changed and Winter has finally descended upon us, it's the perfect thing to snuggle under. It's 4ft square, so ideal for one or a very cosy two. 

The blocks are made up of a mixture of different yarns, worked into 6 round traditional granny squares on a 4mm hook. I joined them all (JAYG method) with Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton in a grey colourway known as Logwood.

The border is #93 from the book Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman. Also crocheted in Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton (Logwood). I think it's the perfect edging for this type of blanket project. I am super happy with the lacy finish.

I've got a nice little collection of crochet cushions that compliment this blanket, so I'll be able to swap and change them around as the mood takes me. Nobody can complain that there's a shortage of cushions in this home. 

The guilt and shame of having multiple UFO's (unfinished objects) has now given way to euphoria as I sit and admire my handiwork. 

I did it, 
I finished the poor neglected blanket!!!!

I hope you like it too? 
x x x

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Handmade Christmas

Season's greetings friends, I do hope you are enjoying the holiday! Just a quickie post from me to show you the cushion I made for my Sister as a Christmas gift. I was working on it right up until the last minute on Christmas Eve, but it was all worth it!

Thanks go to Haafner for the inspiration and fantastically brilliant free pattern for the popcorn square. Also thanks to the hugely talented Vanessa at Coco Rose Diaries for posting about her super gorgeous blanket project, (also inspired by Haafner) that had me salivating, and ultimately led to the creation of this gift.

Like Vanessa, I used WI premium Acrylic on a 4mm hook. Four squares worked up and crocheted together for the front, and again for the reverse. I used an 18" square cushion pad. This pattern creates the most fantastic textured panel. I absolutely LOVE it and plan on making some new sofa cushions in the same. 

Hope you like it too??? 
My Sister was pleased, and that's the main thing!
This is my last make of the year, 
so I will sign off with a 

See you on the other side lovely people.....xxx

Monday, 14 December 2015

Hometown Tourist

Hello you lovely lot! I'm taking a moment out of the festive madness to connect with you here today. I'm sure you're all super busy with one thing or another, so I thank you in advance for taking a little time to visit with me. 

As I explained in an earlier post I'm working on a Crochet Christmas Gift, which is taking up most of my spare time. Of course I cannot share this with you now as it would completely spoil the surprise for the recipient. But pics will follow after the big day, promise. 

In the meantime I thought I'd take you on another walkabout through Bedford, my hometown. So with appropriate attire befitting the weather, I strolled into the centre of town. The arcade was my first port of call. The Christmas garlands are up and give the place a lovely festive feel, just as I knew they would. 

I then headed onto the Castle Road area of town. There's lots to love about this place and I like nothing better than wandering the streets having a good nose in the many independent shops, passing by some of the loveliest homes. Many of which I covet. It has a lovely village feel. Tree lined streets criss cross this area, housing rows of cute terraces and huge Victorian mansions, and being only a short hop, skip and jump from the glorious Embankment it's a sought after area to live in.

Take a look at this apartment currently on sale right opposite the River. It wouldn't look out of place in many Central London locations, but for a fraction of the price. 

The Embankment is my favourite part of Bedford. Oh how I LOVE this place. No matter what time of year, this really is a stunning location. I started at the Butterfly Bridge, stopping off for a chat with the ducks and swans that always gather looking for tasty titbits. I rested a while on one of the many benches that line this stretch of riverside. Most of which have plaques, with loving tributes on them dedicated to people who have passed.

It was then onwards past the rowing club, over the boatslide bridge. The water gushing and rushing underneath. Creating quite the torrent of deafening sound. It's the strangest thing how once over the bridge the noise miraculously dissipates.

There are many lovely vantage points along the banks of the Ouse in Bedford. One of the best is the Webster Suspension Bridge. It's a great spot to really see the majesty of the river stretching out in front of you.

I wish I'd taken some pics of the carpet of leaves that were at least a few inches deep here in Autumn. Spectacular is an understatement. Now the trees are completely bare, but still have a certain stark beauty. Come to think of it you can see a selection of lovely shots on this Flickr page.

Once I'd exhausted myself by the riverside, I took the route past the Higgin's Gallery and Pantry back into town. The annual Christmas Fair and Market was on so as the light faded it was lovely to see all the attractions and stalls lit up.

After a bit of Christmas Shopping, I wanted to head back over to the Riverside for one last photo opportunity. The Swan Hotel comes into it's own this time of year. Lots of Christmas parties in full swing, people all dressed in their best bib and tucker. The lights that line the Embankment are lovely, and set the scene perfectly.

You may be wondering if I'm working on behalf of Bedford Tourism with this here post, lol......nope. Just my take on where I call home. I'm a Bedfordshire girl, but Bedford has only been my home for the last six years. I love it here, and choose to only see the positives.

I'd like to leave you with this scene from my all time favourite Christmas flick It's A Wonderful Life. Whenever I have walked the Embankment in Bedford, especially after a covering of snow I think of this moment. How apt that George Bailey is running through Bedford Falls. So many similarities to mention!


I received some very sad news yesterday that a childhood friend has lost her father very suddenly last week.  Makes you stop and think about all the people that are suffering grief, and in general the fragility of life.  I am very grateful for all that I have, and this has just served to remind me to make the most of every day.

The world doesn't stop turning, as much as we might like it to at times.  I know my friend's family have a very strong faith, so I find consolation in knowing that they are comforted by that.  My thoughts will be firmly with my friend and her family over the coming weeks and months.

Appreciate one another

x x x x

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Crochet Cushion Collection 2 & London Lights

Poor natural light had threatened to scupper my plans of photographing the second batch of crochet cushions. Undeterred I hastily piled them up whilst there was a glimmer of sun in the Autumn sky, and here are the results. Not great, but the best I could do.

I've crocheted up 14 cushions in total over the last 5 or so years, along with a bunch of other projects. I have SO many unfinished makes it's a joke. I just don't have the patience for long haul projects like blankets. Hence why I've only attempted a few, and as much as I LOVE crocheting, I couldn't sit all day doing it. Maybe it's because I am so slow, I don't know?!

Though I do feel a certain amount of pride when I see them all together like this. Knowing I am self-taught and still after all this time feel like a novice. Silly really. The best bit for me is receiving messages from people telling me they have been inspired to pick up a crochet hook because of something they've seen here. I LOVE that! 


In other news, I can't quite believe it's the last week of November! We have our local Christmas Lights Switch On tomorrow, which should be good fun. There's always a fantastic fireworks finale to welcome in the festive season.

I made a very last minute decision to head into the capital last Sunday for a mooch around the West End. I walked from The Houses of Parliament, up Whitehall, through Trafalgar Square to Picadilly Circus. Then onto the Haymarket, passed Her Majesty's Theatre where the Phantom Of The Opera has been staged for the last 26 years! Quite a run....

Then up Regent Street, breaking off for a wander through Carnaby Street where the lights were spectacular. I then hotfooted it onto Great Marlborough Street, and the famous Liberty department store. 

Onwards to Oxford Circus, and along Oxford Street, before turning around for the walk back. Phew, my little legs were given a workout that day!

Apologies for the poor quality pictures, but you get the idea I hope?!

Until next time
x x x x

Monday, 16 November 2015

Crochet Cushion Collection : Brights

The countdown to Christmas has begun. Halloween and Bonfire Night but a distant memory. I've witnessed some lovely fireworks displays over this last fortnight, first with Guy Fawkes then followed by Diwali celebrations. 

I have a head full of cold at the moment, and I'm feeling a bit bleurghh so I thought I'd cheer myself up by doing an impromptu photo-shoot of my colourful crochet cushions. I know many of you will have seen this little lot before, but hey any excuse to showcase them all together. For my own self-gratification of course, lol.....

I will do this in two parts, brights first :)

I have been desperate for a colour fix as the weather's been so very damp and dreary. Thankfully I have my Cable & Cotton string lights to brighten up the place. I'm also working on a Christmas gift behind the scenes that is monochrome, which is taking up most of my spare time. The yarn I'm using is dark and it can be a bit draining, but it'll all be worth it in the end. I'm quite excited to see what the recipient thinks of it. Only 5 and a bit weeks to wait.

I've also felt very depressed by everything that's going on in France. Utterly devastating! Why is there such evil in this world?

Crocheting is such a welcome distraction, and I am so thankful that I can escape every now and then into a basket of soft snuggly yarn.

If I can bring just a little ray of sunshine through sharing my colourful crochet makes, I'm happy.

I'll leave you with my favourite Christmas Ad of the moment, 
hope it makes you smile as much as it does me!

x x x x
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