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Welcome to my NEW blog!

By Hanna Niven, May 19 2014 05:18PM

What starts as a seed of an idea wiggles and jiggles about in my head until I just can't resist and have to reach for a hook and a ball of wool............this one was no different!

This did however take a little longer as though I knew in my mind what I wanted to do I'd never done and/or seen the stitch worked before (if you have do let me know as maybe it already exists and I just didn't find it!). Thus began the trying stage of this project (trying in every aspect of the word I tell you!!) but after lots of frogging and pattern making - huzzah – the little purses finally came to life!!

I'd seen the 'Cascade 220' yarn before and had drooled many a time over all the beautiful colours....but never seeing a reason to buy it I'd resisted like the very good girl that I am!! So naturally when this idea came along I jumped on the 'Casade 220' wagon with relish, bought a rainbow selection and waited excitedly for Mr Postie to drop off the yarn. It arrived in skeins and the colours were even more beautiful in reality than they were on the tinternet!! I spent a number of happy evenings winding the yarn into balls on my great grandmother's yarn umbrella thingy (still don't know the actual name for those things!) and then the fun began!

I've made purses before, rainbow purses,, but I've never lined them, this time I decided I would and have picked some super duper contrasting colours to go alongside the purses in keeping with my love of everything bright!!

Now those of you who know me well know that maths are I aren't so close, numbers just get all muddled up in my head, and so with the help of my trusty calculator and good old newspaper (that's how my mum used to make all her patterns!) I worked out the dimensions, cut the pattern (anyone else get slightly nervous making that first snip into a freshly bought bit of fabric?) and started sewing!

Before adding the lining I attached a matching coloured zip to the crochet part of the purse and then with delicate little stitches that even the Tailor of Gloucester would be proud of I fitted the lining.

I decided to use natural wood for the zip pull for the purses and I really like the contrast of the two different materials. For the next week or so as I wandered about the fields with Muxu I looked along the hedgerows for perfect branches and twigs. I cut them into 'zip pull sized bits,' sanded the edges, drilled a hole for the leather cord and then rubbed them with coconut oil (I just happened to have some lying around and thought it would add a lovely smell!) I experimented with different coloured leather cord but I think the black works best and really sets off the wood against the yarn!

Et Voila.............a rainbow purse is born!!!

I'm really pleased with how they have worked, it's always so satisfying when something comes out your mind and actually looks like how you hoped it would!!

Now that the collection is growing I just love seeing the colours of the fabrics and yarns together!

I can quite easily see me finding excuses to buy more of this yarn now............ and well if I do that I'll just have to buy more fabric too!! Oh the hardships!!

I'm thinking washbags next - what do you think? x

By Hanna Niven, May 19 2014 03:16PM

It's funny because though it's been a very quiet weekend here at Rose Cottage but I've managed to snap happily away and take a whole load of photos!!!

Hubby's away in China (a fact I forgot when I rang him to say hello at 4:30 in the morning - ops!!) but Muxu-moo and I have been keeping out of mischief........

I've dug for England and banished a very promiscuous bamboo plant from ever returning to these fenced walls (god I hope so anyway!!) and I now have a beautiful bare patch of soil to create something new and wonderful in the garden - Muxu however thinks it's the best ever digging patch just for her!!!

Whilst digging I unearthed the coolest root that I have now named 'One eyed Robert the root.' I've munched salad from the garden, seen Elderflower in bloom (yeay it's flower juice time again!!) in the fields on my walks and the sunflower competition is now underway - though a blooming slug ate one on the first night - meany slug!!

Hope you had a lovely weekend too - cor it was a scorcher x

By Hanna Niven, Apr 29 2014 05:13PM

Oh dear it's Tuesday before I finally put this on here - ops!!!

I've been away and/or had guests for the past two weeks and it's totally knocked me out of my pattern!!!

Have had a lovely quiet weekend here though; I've loved having guests and all the chaos that it ensues, and being away for Easter was really special too but a few days of just Muxu et moi was just what the doctor ordered!!

We've had rainy/sunny walks - it was a total gamble as to which one it would be, very muddy feet whatever the weather!! (do you like our foot selfie?!!) and I've been creating a new idea - well actually it's an old-ish idea but one that I've now perfected and will put up for sale in my shop very soon - just waiting on a wonderful new stash of fabric to arrive so that I can finish them off!! Am making up a little 'what I've been up to' post that I'll pop on here tomorrow!!

I'm also very aware that I started a little thing called 'Ten things about me' and hqave been reeeeally terrible and finishing, my studio has been embarrassingly un-photogenic of late and once it's ship-shape (ish!!!) again I'll invite you in and show you around. Till then here's a different type of 'Ten things about me.'

1) It's got to be green tea in the morning!

2) I've three older brothers and I love it – they’re all fab!!

3) Turquoise is officially the best stone and colour in the world.

4) I love to write poetry, when I'm walking verses bubble up from inside, I can remember most for when I get home and then I scribble them on the first thing I find, usually envelopes, but at other times thank god for the note app on my phone!!

5) My spoken French is almost there (god the grammar is tough though) and it’s most certainly helped with a glass of wine in my hand!

6) It might already be obvious but I love to bake!! I’ve such happy memories of baking (or making a mess more likely!!) with my mum when I was little and I guess it just stuck!

7) If I don’t get out for a walk each day I literally get itchy feet!

8) I love using natural products, for a year or so I’ve made my own face washes and just the other day I made some for a couple of friends in the village!

9) Early mornings in the kitchen on the sofa with my book when everyone else is still asleep = perfection!!

10) I can sometimes be really quite messy (hence no photos of my studio yet!!) but then at other times I can be oddly into perfection – I mean one’s toothbrush must always face forward don’t you know!!


By Hanna Niven, Apr 9 2014 09:51AM

So it was an 'inside' sort of weekend here at Rose Cottage. But still a lovely one!!

I'd had a very busy week and you know when you feel so sleepy tired you can almost feel it in your bones? Well that was me........... so I really chilled out, slept in a little longer than normal (but I just can't lie in!!!) and ate good home cooked food; 'no knead bread' that I flavoured with sundried tomatoes, the recipe is over at Attic24 and Spring Green and Butter Bean soup (seriously yummy by the way - if you fancy a go I'll be writing another post about it)

I am also now the owner of a wonderful new collection of buttons - I just LOVE buttons!! I was out shopping on Saturday with my aunt and saw these wonderful packs of buttons, I just loved every colour combination and just couldn't decide so I splurged and bought all three - ops!!! Once home I decided the only way the sun was going to shine was if I made one out of buttons so that's exactly what I did!!

Though the sun was awol most of the weekend it almost felt like it was shining as I wandered about the golden rape fields with really is beautiful out there right now - though a tad squelchy under foot! She just loves running through the crop - naughty I know, sorry Mr farmer!! - her flapping ears the only things visible. I think it was Friday when she was sniffing her way around a field, happily minding her own business and suddenly a deer that had been minding his own business too suddenly sprang up out of the rape about 2 meters from where we were standing and shot off across the field. I don't know who jumped the highest - the deer, Muxu or me!!!! Was lovely to watch it prance off across the field - with Muxu vainly in pursuit I might add but she gives up after about 5 seconds as there's no chance she'll ever catch up with one of them!

So what did you get up to? I hope you all had lovely weekends too!!! Yes I'm aware I've been very naughty and that it's Wednesday already, Monday and Tuesday sneaked past waaaay to quickly - cheeky cheeky!!

Oooooh I was also crocheting up a new idea in Sunday morning............have you seen the Owl and Pussy-cat over on my Facebook page yet!!? Pop over and have a snoop :) xx

By Hanna Niven, Mar 31 2014 08:50AM

Blooming heck how quickly did that weekend go!!!?

Had such a happy and busy one though (hope you did too!).......full of crochet classes, writing crochet tutorials (tis waaay harder than you think!), gardening and first lawn cut of the year (should probably have done it earlier but hey ho didn't happen!), yummy breakfast munching (good me!) followed by serious brownie consumption and beer in pub gardens (very naughty me!).

Scrolling through the pictures on my phone earlier I can't believe how many flower ones there are - I'm just loving how nature is literally growing before our eyes at the moment - though it's still rather squelchy under foot in the old wellies!

The bottom right picture were flowers the were rather squished after some repositioning of large wooden planks in the garden - I just couldn't throw them away. They might be a bit battered but there's still a few days of 'pretty' in them!! This vase is one of my most favourite ones as I helped make it, well my huffing and puffing did, all the technical bits were done by someone else, naturally it's in turquoise - you might spot a theme on here - I'm kinda in love with that colour!

Happy Mondays xx

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Ramblings from Rose Cottage and beyond...

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I'm taking part in a lovely little project where you photograph  and post something that makes you happy every day for 100 days.

Follow my progress here...

I'm Hanna (that's me above, in my favourite rainbow hat, when I was in Nepal in 2009!!). I live in Oxfordshire with my lovely hubby, Muxu the dog and Gilbert the guinea-pig, in a little cottage called 'Rose Cottage', though I'm still trying o grow the roses outside to make our little dwelling deserved of such a name!!


I'm a lover of walks whatever the weather with my four legged friend, an avid thinker, (pretty good proceastinator!) reasonable baker and crochet maker and generally very good at babbling!!  

Blogs I follow:


Luschiously Loopy




Julia Crossland Art