Just flew in from the Windy City…

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that this blog has been exceptionally quiet for a few months even by my standards and that the shop has been on holiday for a bit. This has all been because I’ve been working furiously on the PhD and getting a paper ready to present at the American Political Science Association annual meeting in Chicago. Paper has been presented, managed not to fall over or do anything else embarrassing (pretty much my main aim for the presentation…I set my expectations low!), had a little holiday afterwards and now I’m back at home and just trying to get my head in gear for planning the rest of the year!

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The weather was gloriously hot and sunny in Chicago and so coming back to rainy, Autumnal Manchester has been a bit of a shock to the system. Still it’s always nice to come back home and I always like September with its associations with new stationery and making lists! And the dog was very pleased to see us so have been enjoying lots of furry snuggling 🙂

I have been working on some new products over the summer and the first of them is now ready to go. I really love bunting and wanted to try and translate it into knitting and voila… personalized knitted baby bunting!

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I’m really pleased on how this has turned out and hope that you will all like it too! It’s available in the shop now in two colour palettes either brights or neutrals and costs £25 + p&p for up to 6 letters (Longer names can be made too obviously!). Each item is made from scratch so if there are any colours you do/don’t want, you can specify this when you order. Also, if you want to give this gift in advance before the baby has a name, I can arrange for this to be sent in the form of a voucher to the parents so they can order the bunting themselves.

You can find the bunting here: http://folksy.com/items/4453178-Personalized-hand-knitted-baby-bunting I’d love to hear what you think!

The language of flowers

Brrr, cold isn’t it? I’ve been staying inside a lot recently partly because of the annoying cold that WILL NOT GO and partly because it’s been bitterly chilly and I feel the cold like a granny. I’ve been trying to put some time aside to read more for fun as it is easily my favourite thing in the world to do (well, apart from knitting obviously!). Even when I was very small I was quite obsessed with books and reading anything that I came across. My Dad loves to tell the story of when I was about 6 and must have been visiting my stepmum’s parents for the first time and they found me at the kitchen table reading the newspaper. They thought I couldn’t actually read it so were humouring me until I launched into a conversation about what I was reading (aah, so that’s where my ranting about current affairs and setting the world to rights started!!). I suspect this must have either been very cute or quite tedious, let’s hope it fell on the cute side!

My lovely friend Lizzy bought me an awesome bag for Christmas with this Louisa May Alcott quote on:

Too true!

Too true!

When I was looking for a picture of it, I came across a lovely shop on Etsy called Bookity, (whose brooch that is a pic of) and she sells gorgeous things like brooches, earrings and decorations recycled from unwanted books. Definitely worth a look!

Because I have to read so much heavy stuff for my PhD, there’s often not a lot of time or brain left over for pleasure reading. But I feel very wrong without at least one book on the go and so have been making the most of my local library’s ordering service to stock up on some books I wanted to get my mitts on but that the pennies wouldn’t stretch to. One of the first books I ordered was called The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

Purple Irises are one of my favourite flowers too :)

Purple Irises are one of my favourite flowers too 🙂

I had seen lots of posters for it a while ago but had assumed it wouldn’t be my sort of thing but it’s actually quite a touching and hard-hitting story of a girl who has grown up in and out of the care system and who tries to make a life for herself using her knowledge of the Victorian language of flowers, whereby people used to believe that particular flowers had certain meanings and so bunches of flowers would be picked very carefully for the messages they were trying to convey. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a book to read.

Speaking of flowers, I hope all of you that were hoping for flowers for Valentine’s Day the other week got them and just a little early reminder that if you’re in the UK, Mothers Day is on Sunday 10th March so not long away at all! I’m in the middle of giving the shop a bit of a spring clean but there are some nice handwarmers and hats in there at the moment which would make a perfect Mother’s Day gift and I’ll be adding some more as well as some flower brooches over the next few days.

Work in progress!

Work in progress

 

Keep your eyes peeled for shop updates! x