And the snow comes tumbling down…

Finally winter comes to Zurich!

And the snow comes tumbling down

So post Christmas and New Year I am full of optisims, change, challenge, bright things!

So much to share with you, possibly my biggest revelations is i’ve discovered instagram… how you ask has it taken me so long? Who knows! Anyway i’ve already found some really cool people to follow in Zurich so loads of ideas for cool places to eat/ drink/ shop 🙂

Find me at crafting_a_London_balcony, Jennie Holden xxx

I’ve got a few crafts on the go at the moment, crochet and some lino cutting for cards.

I’ve loved discorvering you can create cables with crochet so i’ve been putting it to good use making winter headbands thanks to this lovely pattern… Cable stitch headband

We popped over the board into Germay yesterday (i say popped, it was a 1 3/4hr train journey). Therefore perfect opportunity to get cableing!

Train craftKonstanz was lovely!! Gorgeous old town made all the nicer by the snow.

Konstanz Old Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway the headband will be finished soon and can be added to the collecttion; ripple and bow!

Bow headband

Abigail Abbotoy’s Ravelry Store – Ribbed headband

Ripple stitch headband

Bow headband - People websRipple stitch head bandRibbed headband

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also time to restock my shelf at Lys Boutique – out with Christmas stock and in with some new bright lino cuts for spring!

My Shelf!

My Shelf!

I’ve really enjoyed getting back into carving after a break over the festive period. It took a while to get my hand back in but i came up with this little guy 🙂

FoxyHope you’ve all had restful sundays xxx

Hanging crochet basket

Once again i’m in my fav local cafe, Laveli Bakery. Decaf skinny flat white. Almond croissant. Undoes any good of the skinny or the decaf. Note to self – must find out how they take the caffeine out of coffee and tea. Anyone know?

IMG_1467[1]

So me and one of bestest buds, Claire, have a little birthday present packed. We always make each other something. I met Claire whilst  we were both doing our Design and Technology PCGEs, my focus on Food Tech and hers on Textiles. We both went to work in our respective fields in secondary schools, however Claire is now off to join the world of Further Education and teach in a college! Fashion and retail, no more pre pubescent tweenies! Any way she’s a very clever lady and works part time doing sewing classes at the fabulous haberdashery shop Guthrie & Ghani, http://www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk/, yes owned and run by the ever so lovely Lauren Guthrie, Great British Sewing Bee Finalist! It’s a fab shop, and fantastic for the Birmingham area, we so needed one (yes I do live in London now, but I love a trip back to the homeland and every time me and mum make a little visit there, soooo lovely to look and imagine projects!).

So Claire’s birthday was July just gone. Hawaiian themed party at Cherry Reds in Birmingham city centre, http://www.cherryreds.com/index.html. It was pretty close to the wedding so I needed it to something relatively easy and quick, but that still had impact.

For ages on Pinterest I had been coveting a hanging crochet basket and stretchy, chunky, jersey yarn. (Find me at www.pinterest.com/jenniewren1983)

hanging crochet basket

I’d also seen the same idea on  blog I dip in and out of, Lutter Idyl, it might not be in English be I love her style, so simple and effective, not over done or over the top. http://www.lutteridyl.dk/

After a bit of searching I managed to find the pattern for the above basket, http://www.bekkibjarnoll.com/2012/09/hngekurv-opskrift.html, however Google translate i’m afraid is not that good. More work was needed.Good old Pinterest lead me to an English translation, http://dwellerinalittlehollow.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/the-infamous-hanging-basket-crochet-pattern-in-english/.

I found the basket worked up really quickly, I used a Hooked Zpagetti yarn  which I brought from Wool Warehouse (http://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/hoooked-zpagetti-dark-green-10-darkgreen10-1000g) with a size 10 hook. It was quite heavy work, definitely made my fingers ache! And to be honest i’m not great at patterns that spiral up, it requires keeping count, I really need to start using some safety pins to mark my first stitch. Anyway it turned out okish, I wasn’t too please with the round joins, but thats due to work needed on my part, and I couldn’t quite grasp how to do the handle as per the photo…. As you can see from my  poor photo it looked ok…

IMG_1008IMG_1009

But I have to say once Claire had done her effortless styling on it and ‘stuffed’ a load of scarves in it looked great 🙂 I even now have one on order 🙂

IMG_1147

Happy weekend everyone x

Next Sunday – The Handmade Fair….. http://www.thehandmadefair.com/

Brazilian adventures #2

So many weeks have pasted since my first two posts, excuses…. Life…! I need to update about Brazil!

We’ll it was a very interesting trip. As you know I went to ‘help’ a family cook while on holiday. So there house was amazing, such a gorgeous view…

20140608-204255-74575603.jpg

There’s the large White House!

My day started about 7.30 every day, making pancakes for the kids and fresh fruit, the oldies surfaced a bit later for spicy scrambled eggs (red onion, fresh tomatoes, fresh coriander, dry coriander and cumin) or soufflé omelette.

Shopping then needed to be done, the local supermarket or down to the fish market (earlier the better) to buy lobster, cray fish, some large white fish (?) with my non existent Brazilian! The main meal of the day tended to be around 3pm as the heat started to go out of the sun. I taught the nanny some Asian recipies; prawn Thai green curry, butter chicken, chicken masala curry, potato tikis, tandoori lobster, hari chutney, beef satay….

20140608-205147-75107255.jpg

The fish was superb, if only I new what it was… Made an amazing ceviche dish from a recipe I found in The Times before I went by Gaston Acurio, yum.

20140608-205417-75257929.jpg

The evenings were pretty quite, so of course time for crochet and caipirinhas! I’ve started making a baby blanket for my good friend Beth who is due in September. I’ve used a granny square pattern from Lavender and Wild Rose blog spot: http://www.lavenderwildrose.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/vintage-flower-bag.html

It’s a really lovely blog with some gorgeous crochet and musings 🙂

We’ll the blanket is coming along….

20140608-210028-75628444.jpg

I also made a start on the flowers for my bridesmaids coat hangers that will hold their kimono dressing gowns for the morning 🙂

20140608-210139-75699134.jpg

Well after fresh coconuts on the beach, a couple of hours on Cococabana Beach and a gaze up at ‘the Christ’ it was time to come home to a Jon waiting with flowers and hit cross buns, I love that boy 🙂

20140608-210502-75902040.jpg

20140608-210513-75913372.jpg

Wedding craft updates soon x

Brazilian adventures #1

So the journey began last night… Send off glass or 2 with Jon at The Swan.

20140410-103531.jpg

This morning though I feel I may have had one too many, not great to start an 11hr flight dehydrated!

So where am I going? Brazil!!!! 10 days with a UK family teaching them how to make the most of the amazing fresh fruits, veg and seafood/ fish that’s available over there.

It’s all a bit surreal, met this lady at one of my Saturday classes – Thai green curry – and it’s spiralled from there, ending up in an invite to Brazil to help them cook. God I hope I’m up to it.
The last 4 weeks have been cooking central in our flat, practice practice practise. Bless Jon, he’s been amazing, so supportive and encouraging. Especially when I’d had a full on day at school and the thought of trying out new recipe was really not appealing! What was lovely is one day we got out first balcony meal of the year, a defo sign the weather is turning! Anyway feel I’m going with a bank of recipes I feel confident with, some extra ingredients packed up in my luggage (chaat masala, tamarind paste) and then there is the internet. What more could I need?!

Crochet is of course packed, baby blanket on the cards and will keep an update of how I’m getting on!

Currently making the most of every aspect of the journey, I love flying! Got to the airport in plenty of time. Had a good mooch around duty free and enjoying a grande, decaf, skinny cap with sugar free hazelnut syrup ( was there any point!)

20140410-104837.jpg

Go jennie!