Category Archives: Chat


This post is titled Five today. Just Five. ‘Cause, once again, I’m too late for Five on Friday. {Sigh}. I’m almost too late for Five on Saturday. I have a good excuse though — there’s been major cleaning going on around here and it’s a lot of work. Anyway, here are a few things for your weekend:

1. Last weekend I went to see SweetiePie and we ventured off to Ikea. Here’s a tip — don’t go to Ikea on a Saturday that’s remotely close to Christmas. It was worth it though, look at the cute wrapping paper we found!

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

2. We’ve been having a big clean out at work. We’re soon going to be squishing from 4 big buildings into 2, so there’s a big purge in the works. (Happily I’m not going to go into my “Who in the *&(% came up with the honeycomb cubicle concept that’s causing 70% of American companies to follow each other over the cliff?” rant. Because there IS a rant and it’s a BIG one.) There’s a community book table for the clean out, and one day, this old Kaffe knitting book showed up. I nabbed it, but I already have a copy, so I thought one of you might like it. It’s free if you’re willing to pay the postage. Just leave a comment telling me you want it. It looks like it could be sent as media mail for around $4.00 in the states.

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

3. Not much to report on the Aunts’ Quilt this week. I’m still making fabric choices for month 2. In the meantime, check out the great tutorial that Meredithe has posted for a no waste method of creating the flying geese pieces that we need for the pieced blocks.  Thanks Meredithe!

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

4. The weather in parts of the states last week was awful! I like winter, so I don’t usually complain about the cold, but, according to the weather channel,  “These 20 U.S. Cities Are Allowed To Complain About The Cold”. We came in at number 10 which is really surprising to me. Surely there are much colder cities north of us? We even beat out Detroit and Cleveland.  And we’re only one rank lower than Buffalo — What???  That’s pretty impressive — we’re in the top 10.  I’ll try not to take advantage of our new found privilege this winter, but at least you know, if i do complain … it’s well deserved!  (Also, if you are my children, please note:  There IS more that one skyscraper in your po-dunkey hometown!)

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff

5. On that note, the Scruffster would like to tell you to stay warm and get some rest. Especially if you’re an American preparing for Thanksgiving this week!

Thimbleanna: The Random Stuff


Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

The lovely people at Stitch Craft Create are having a Handmade Christmas Decorations blog hop and they very kindly asked me if I’d like to participate. There are four fun Christmas books in the blog hop — we were each allowed to choose one special book that we’d like to review. I think it’s funny that most of us, so far have chosen this beautiful book, Handmade Scandinavian Christmas by Hege Barnholt.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

Handmade Scandinavian Christmas has over 120 projects in more than 150 pages.  My favorite thing about this book is that it is full of ideas for a simple holiday season, and many of the projects are meant to be done with children and other family members — and that’s what the holiday season is all about, isn’t it?

There are so many topics in this book, it’s hard to even know where to start to tell you about it.  The author has thought of everything for your holidays — here’s a list of some of the chapter titles:  Preparing for Christmas, For the Birds, Perfect Presents, For Little Hands, Almost Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Tasty Presents, Sweet Christmas, Wrapped with Love, The Scent of Christmas and Cakes Galore.

Some of my favorite ideas are all of the paper and nature crafts,

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

the many food gift ideas,

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

lots of gift wrap ideas (eeek!  a yoyo!),

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

and a whole section of advent calendars, just to name a few.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

And then, there are super simple ideas that you don’t really even need instructions for, but you need the book to give you the cool idea.  Look, a snow heart.  I love it.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

The photography in the book is beautiful.  Snow.  (Snow!)  Children.  It makes you even feel like you’re in Scandinavia.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

Probably my favorite section in the book is the section on gifts to make (’cause you know,  I like to make things.)  There are lots of projects with great instructions.  I decided to try out the instructions for a knitted hot pad.

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

This was a simple, quick project and you can change it up a little and make it your own. I chose to add the little bake tag. I think these hotpads would make really cute Christmas gifts. (Oh, and just so you aren’t confused by the scale of the hotpad, those aren’t full-size utensils there. But, it is a generous sized hot pad!)

Thimbleanna: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

To see more clips from this book and three other fun holiday craft books, go check out all the other posts in the blog hop — details and a list of the the other bloggers taking part can be found here. If you’re interested in this book you can find it here in the Handmade Christmas Shop. If you sign up to the Stitch Craft & Create newsletter you can also download a selection of free ebooks.
If you’re a new customer you can click here and use the code SCC525 to get a £5 discount on your first order over £25.

£5 Off £25 at Stitch Craft Create with Offer Code SCC525

It’s been fun to see what books and projects the other bloggers have selected this month — and we’re only halfway through the blog hop!


Jet Lagged

Holy Cow Kids — I’m Tired!!! DIDYAMISSME LOL???

This jet lag is killing me. I’ve been home now for 6 days and I’m still pooped and waking up a lot in the middle of the night. Going to somewhere as close as Europe is jet lag child’s play compared to this. According to Wikipedia, you’re supposed to allow one day per time zone difference for recovery. Since I’m pretty sure I traveled through 500 time zones, it might take awhile. Actually, according to their calculations, it should take me 10 days, so, maybe I’ll be alive by next weekend.

I had a great trip and I’m planning to tell you about it, but I’m still weeding out pictures. In the meantime, I have a few housekeeping items that need to be tackled. (Not counting the shambles of the real house — SOMEone needs a maid!)

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

First up — I brought The Aunts’ Quilt pattern back from Australia! I really want to get the quiltalong going by the middle of this month, so these patterns need to get mailed. If you expressed an interest (via blog comment) in joining the quiltalong, you should have received an email from me about your pattern. If you sent me an email, I’m sorry, but it’s been eaten, and you need to let me know again that you’d like a pattern. I didn’t bring very many patterns back with me and I’ve put the extras in my little etsy shop. First come, first served until they’re gone. More patterns can be ordered from AU, but international postage will have to be paid. And if any of the reserved patterns aren’t claimed by the end of the week, I’ll put those in the etsy shop too.

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

In case you’re still trying to decide whether to join us, here’s a picture of the fabric requirements. This quilt is a fun combination of applique and piecing and I think it’s perfect for someone who is new to applique. We’ll plan on doing one pieced block and one applique block (or more half blocks) per month until we’re done — I’m estimating it will take about a year.

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

I’ve started to pull a few fabrics, but this is just the surface. I know I’ll be adding and subtracting and generally indecisive as we go along. That’s the fun of it!

Thimbleanna: Aunts' Quilt

I’m really excited about this quilt — I hope you’ll join us — it should be fun!

Also, it’s way past Oct. 1st and we need to have a winner for the Faux Taxidermy Knits book that I blogged about a month ago, right?

Thimbleanna: Faux Taxidermy Knits

MARSHA, Miss Cute Stuff Inside, Come On Down!!! Send me your address so you can claim your prize. And if you make that fox scarf in pink, you KNOW we want to see it!!!

Ok — off to try to avoid taking a nap!

Dear Burglars,

If you’ve been searching the net for people who’ve mentioned that they’re going on vacation,  my last post may have directed your search engines here.  But I’m not worried about you because I’m leaving the house in good hands.

Thimbleanna: Kitties

We have Watch Cats.  They know everything that goes on around here.  Trust me, you don’t want to disturb these two.  That one on the left, in particular, will nail you if you whizz him off.  He sleeps a lot, which is the problem — if you enter the house uninvited, you’ll wake him up, and that makes him very grumpy.

Thimbleanna: Kitties

And don’t worry — if the Watch Cats aren’t a deterrent, you should know that TheManoftheHouse will still be here.  He going to stay home and hold down the fort — and take care of the Kitties.  So, don’t get any big ideas.  Besides, there’s nothing of any real value here – unless you’re into fabric, but the little shop will be locked up tight and you won’t be able to find anything.

Oh, and not that it’s any of your burgling business, but you might be wondering where I’m going.  I’m Off to See the Wizard.  This One:

Thimbleanna: Kitties

And her trusty assistant there with the camera. And I’m beside myself with excitement.

So. Nothing worthwhile for you here. Move along to the next vacationing blogger and maybe you’ll have more luck.

G’day Mate.

Faux Taxidermy Knits (& a Giveaway)

I’m very excited today because the super nice people at Stitch Craft Create have invited me to review Louise Walker’s new book Faux Taxidermy Knits. (Thank You super nice Stitch Craft Create people!)

Thimbleanna: Faux Taxidermy Knits

Now, I’ll admit, the initial invitation was a surprise to me, as my first thought was “Hmmm, I’m not really the type to hang animal heads on the wall.” (You might recognize Louise Walker as the creator of some really fun faux animal heads for Boden ). But, my apprehension dissipated as soon as I took a look at the patterns in this cute, upcoming book. Taxidermy isn’t just for hanging animal heads on your wall anymore LOL!

Faux Taxidermy Knits contains 15 patterns divided into two sections – fun stuff to wear and fun stuff for your home. I thought I’d give you a little peek for yourself – here are a few of my favorites:

A Tiger Rug – wouldn’t this be cute in baby’s room with a wild animal theme?

Thimbleanna: Tiger

Baby Bear Coasters (or mug rugs, if you prefer).

Thimbleanna:  Baby Bears

Hedgehog Slippers – you know how I love me some slippers and these look super cozy!

Thimbleanna: HedgeHog

An Owl Tea Cozy.

Thimbleanna: Owls

I’ve tested out one of the patterns for you, just so I could check out the instructions. Unfortunately, I was limited on time, so I had to choose the quickest project in the book. Do you remember those little rabbit’s foot keychains we used to carry around as kids? (Ewwww. Really? Were those real rabbit’s feet? What were we thinking?) This little rabbit’s foot is the kind I can handle.

Thimbleanna: Rabbit Foot

The instructions were clear and easy and it probably took me a whopping 45 minutes to make this little foot – an hour if you count the hardware. The picture doesn’t come close to doing this little rabbit’s foot justice – it’s really cute and it feels so soft in my hands. I’m thinking I’d like to make another one and hide one of those GPS things in it, so that I can find my keys when I lose them (which is all the time thankyouverymuch).

If you’re a knitter (or even if you’re not), this is a really fun little book to add to your library. But, don’t just take my word for it – check out these other reviews on the September blog hop:

Mon 1st – Louise Walker

Tue 2nd – iMake

Wed 3rd – Knit Happens

Thu 4th – SCC

Fri 5th – Thimbleanna

Mon 8th – Yarn Demon

Tue 9th – Greedy for Colour

Wed 10th – Knits and Crosses

Thu 11th – The Yarniad

Fri 12th – Crafts from the Cwtch

Mon 15th – The Creations of Crazy Dazy

Tue 16th – Knitted Bliss

Fri 19th – Lapdog Creations

Mon 22nd – Slugs On the Refrigerator

Here’s a little bonus for you – those super nice people at Stitch Craft Create  are offering a hard copy of this book to one of you. Just leave a comment on this post and I’ll draw a winner sometime around October 1st.

And if you don’t win, don’t despair – the book is available HERE (oooh, and while you’re there, check out this PAGE for some other fun knitting books!)

But WAIT, there’s more (haha)! I forgot to show you one of my very favorite projects in the whole book.


Mr Wolf.

Thimbleanna: Wolf

How fantastic would Mr. Wolf be for the costume in a Little Red Riding Hood play? Three Little Pigs anyone??? Or, how fun would it be to have the big bad wolf accompany your cute Little Red Riding Hood while Trick-or-Treating??? Bring On Halloween!!!

Ok — remember to leave a comment if you want to enter to win a free copy of Faux Taxidermy Knits.

Good Luck!