Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Crochet holly decorations

I can't quite believe it's only a week until Christmas, I hardly feel like December has started and I'm only just getting around to writing my Christmas cards. However I have been admiring lots of the natural beauty outside.
These holly leaves are so perfect and shin, they almost don't look real, but I assure you they were and growing abundantly in a local park.

 I've been making more of these attic24 holly leaves. I'd made a whole bunch and then foolishly left them on a train and despite emailing the train company they seem to completely disappeared so unfortunately these two that I made (and photographed) last year are the only two survivors, I'll have to have a look through my stash for another suitable green yarn because I really like making them

Friday, 13 December 2013

My favourite Christmas songs

Though I've already been in a big Christmas concert with gospel choir and wrapped and sent plenty of presents and Amnesty International, Write for Rights cards, I'm not feeling super Christmassy yet. However I love listening to Christmas music when I'm wrapping presents and writing all my Christmas cards. I have a couple of favourite albums that I always return to and I wanted to share some of the medleys we sing at gospel choir too.

This is from our 2012 Christmas concert at Manchester Academy

This one is from this year's concert at the Royal Nothern College of music. The tree is scenery for an opera that was starting in the theatre the day after our performance, it's pretty spectacular!

As I've mentioned (several times) I love Hanson. In 1997 they recorded a whole Christmas album called Snowed In but this song is from 2011, I love it a lot!

What Christmas songs do you like listening to?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Crocheted baby orange hat with leaves

 I've just finished off and posted this very sweet baby hat. I think it's the sweetest and most smartly finished thing I've ever made, so I'm pretty pleased with it! It is currently on it's way to Sweden as a present for a the baby of a friend I lived with at university. I think I've reached the age where a lot of my friends have started having babies now. This means I get to crochet some very sweet, tiny things like this hat!
The pattern is from "crocheted gifts; Irresistible projects to make & give" by Kim Werker. This is the first time I've followed a pattern from a book rather than on line somewhere. I found it was a more reliable way of carrying the instructions around with me than hoping for signal on my phone when I need to check something, but there were several acronyms that weren't in the glossary and fewer pictures than there are on sites like attic24, so sometimes I had to guess a bit. I've had this book out of the library for several months now and there are other things I want to make from it so maybe I need to buy a copy instead of paying lots more fines!
The hat was supposed to be made in red to look like a berry but I had this nice, bright orange that I thought would be nice. I think it looks a little bit like a clementine which is quite festive, I hope it doesn't look too much like a pumpkin though.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Manchester Christmas Markets

 I've loved visiting the Christmas markets in Manchester recently. They're a really big deal here and cover several streets and squares. Every time I've been they're really busy so I've just been visiting in short bursts, seeing what was available in different areas. Last week I went with a couple of friends and wore a long kilt that I inherited from my Granny with a red coat and felt very festive.

I'm looking forward to visiting again and having gluhwein in a special mug while finishing up my Christmas shopping.
Do you have special Christmas markets to visit?

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Fun flash mob

On Monday the choir I'm part of made an impromptu performance at the students union in Manchester. I wasn't singing as I've got a really croaky voice at the moment and I'm trying to save some of my voice for our big Christmas concert coming up this Saturday. If you're in Manchester and fancy an evening of fun, dancing and singing, please come along. We're performing at the Royal Northern College of Music from 7:30pm.
I really love singing with gospel choir. There's a real freedom to enjoy the music and make a fantastic sound without it being a pressurised atmosphere

Monday, 2 December 2013

Sky on fire

I took these pictures on Saturday night, when, for few brief minutes the whole sky looked to be on fire. It was amazing to see.
I think it made up for all the dark mornings and afternoons, when I have to leave the house before the sun has risen and then travel home again in the dark. This splendid light was worth it.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

In flight

This flock of seagulls where wheeling and diving at my local park last week, it's funny to see o many so far in land. I tried to capture them in flight, out of the hundred or so pictures, these three were the best!
I've been conciously getting my camera out and using my different lenses recently. I'm by no means proficient at what I'm doing nor do I always capture what I'm aiming for but I have really been enjoying getting to know my camera and practising new skills.