About Me

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United Kingdom
Hi there & welcome to Annie's Place. A place inspired by and named after my late Grandmother Annie. Somewhere I can be creative, and share my love for all things handmade. I like nothing better than sitting with hook & yarn, crafting something home spun & completely unique, or rustling up some yummy baked goodies. I live in a town with a beautiful embankment, situated on the River Great Ouse. You may know me as CosyKitty on Ravelry. Why not stop a while.....?!!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Sunburst Flower Crochet and the Sky Garden

Hey there my lovelies, today there's been a hint of Spring in the air and as a consequence I'm feeling a little less lethargic. Had a lovely couple of hours at the Albero Lounge on the Riverside in Bedford this morning. There's a knit & natter on a Wednesday between 10am and midday. It's a lovely way to spend a couple of chilled out hours with like minded ladies. 

I confess we spend a fair amount of that two hours chatting, giggling, and supping on refreshments,  interspersed with a few rows of knitting and rounds of crochet. We're a friendly lot so if you're local and want to join us please do. It would be lovely to see you.

The motif you see above is an adaptation of a pattern in a book I bought many moons ago; 201 crochet motifs, blocks, projects and ideas. It's called the Sunburst Flower by Melody Griffiths. I thought it would make a good base for a pretty vase of flowers, but used my cuppa just to demonstrate the finished size for you. The pattern looks complex, but once you wrap the old grey matter around it and get into a rhythm it's fairly straightforward. 

In other news I've had many trips into the Capital recently, and whenever I go into the City I make sure to book a FREE visit to the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street. To spend an hour taking in the spectacular views over the London Skyline is a must do if you're visiting this area for any reason.

I planned my visit to ensure I would have the opportunity to see the Sunset, and believe me I was not disappointed. The light was incredible, and I was mesmerised by the golden hue enveloping the cityscape. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it felt quite magical. I found a strange kind of peace being high up there, despite the throng of people all gathered on the viewing deck with me. I felt blessed to be able to capture that moment with my loved ones, who joined me that day. Little moments in time like that should be savoured. 

I'm grateful for the simple pleasures so much more now I know the fragility of life. And with that in mind I'd like to end this post by acknowledging a life well lived. That of Professor Stephen Hawking. What an extraordinary man, scientist and all round visionary. May he rest in eternal paradise, free from the disease that he never allowed to hinder his capabilities. 

What an inspiration.......

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Crochet Bag production and reflections....

Is there ever enough hours in the day? Seems not. I don't know whether it's because I'm juggling quite a few balls in the air, but time just evaporates at the moment. I've been here there and everywhere, and not necessarily in the physical sense. My mind has been full to bursting with STUFF, mostly creative ideas and I'm finding it quite draining. The adrenaline is definitely pumping and I'm finding it hard to switch off. I'm not complaining though as I've been super busy and distracted and that's only a good thing where I'm concerned. 'Miss Ants In Your Pants 1974' hehehehehe...

My little bag production line is moving along, and I took the opportunity to photograph a few of them earlier today. I was intrigued to find out how many essential items would fit into them. You know ladies?! purse, phone, keys, notebook, powder compact, lip-gloss etc!

I was pleasantly surprised I have to say. They are plenty big enough for all those items, at roughly 12 in x 12 in. The handles are solid wood but light and comfortable to hold. Ideal for those days when you want something cute to put all your bits and bobs in. 

The light was atrocious so apologies for the pants pictures. Still I think you get the idea. More to demonstrate the size of the space available in each bag more than anything else.


I appreciate we're well and truly into the New Year now, but as I never shared much with you over the festive period I thought I'd throw in a selection of snaps I took on two trips I had into 'The Big Smoke'. I spent Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve in London, and it was wonderful. Just me and my better half.

We wrapped up warm to wander around the festive markets. We munched on street food, under the shadow of Tower Bridge. We marvelled at the views over the capital from the Sky Garden. We just generally mooched about and it was fantastic.

It was hard of course, as I regressed into thoughts of Mum. How much I miss her, and would've loved her to be right there with me. But I smiled and knew she was there in spirit. It's impossible to enjoy anything without a little regret when someone you love has died.

It's natural to feel empty, and to wish things were different. But I think it's really important to honour their memory by taking every opportunity to live in the moment. It's ok to laugh, and feel joy. You're not disrespecting or diminishing the grief by being happy for the simple things. 

As we approach the latter part of January, I do hope you're all settling in to the rhythm of a New Year. That whatever's going on in your life, you find the strength to cope with it. This time last year I was in the depths of despair. It was hard. But I survived, and you can too. I know some of you reading this may be going through your own turmoil. If my little contribution here can distract you for a few moments, I'm grateful.

Love Always

Tuesday, 9 January 2018


 Padraigin on Facebook

Up and running on Facebook
Would LOVE you to join me over there!
Just click on the image above,
see you there,


Friday, 5 January 2018

Craft Cruise on the River Great Ouse - Bedford

Happy New Year to all,

I do hope the start of 2018 has been kind to you! I am settling in quite nicely I have to say, and feeling very optimistic for the year ahead. I've managed to swerve the germs that seem to be sweeping the nation at the minute. A nasty strain of cold and flu is currently doing the rounds, and I'm happy to report I've dodged it so far.  Not to tempt fate, I will be dosing myself up with plenty of fresh fruit & fluids, keeping warm and avoiding anyone remotely sniffling, sneezing or coughing.  How realistic that is is another thing......

Interspersed between the festive frivolity over recent weeks, I've been trying to wrap my head around setting up accounts on some of the other popular social media platforms. As I said last time I am in the midst of crocheting up some stock to eventually sell in my own little online shop. Things are moving in the right direction, but I appreciate there's much to do in preparation of that so I'm trying to be as methodical as I can be without procrastinating too much. I've only ever had this little ole blog to look after, so it's quite daunting to be honest.

I did set myself a little challenge though. One that has excited and frightened me in equal measure. I thought it was high time I tried my hand at planning a local event that would bring like-minded yarn addicted souls together in one place. Something that I thought would appeal to a lot of the local crafty folk in and around my home town of Bedford. It seemed to be perfect timing as our local Community Boat 'The John Bunyan' was just organising it's itinerary for the new season of excursions on the River Great Ouse when I made my initial enquiry.

Needless to say I thought it would be easy to secure a Saturday in June this early in the year, but it wasn't as straightforward as that. It's a very popular vessel, and you really do have to get in early to avoid disappointment. Nonetheless with a little tweaking I've managed to book a charter for a 4 hour cruise travelling downstream from the Priory Marina in Bedford towards Willington & return. I've organised a Cream Tea at no extra cost too! What better way to spend an afternoon?! Craft, Cream Tea, and a leisurely Cruise along the River Ouse. 

If this sounds like something you would like to do with me, then please do consider coming along. I would love to meet you all. It's my first foray into hosting this type of event so fingers crossed it proves popular. If you click on the flyer in my side bar it will take you straight to the booking site. Alternatively I am now on Facebook, and there is the option to book tickets securely and directly from the Events Page there. 

Friday, 15 December 2017

A new beginning - Pádraigín Handmade

Hello friends, as you may have noticed things have been a little bit quiet here at Annie's Place of late. Not because I've intentionally distanced myself from the blog; more that I've not really felt I had much to say. I'm facing my first Christmas without Mum and it's all a bit overwhelming if I'm honest. 

I've had lots of time to think, and mull over my future, and one thing my Mum taught me over the course of her illness is that you have to seize the day and take risks sometimes. I have her melodic Irish brogue ringing loud in my ears 'stop talking about it Sharron, and do it!'

The upshot is we had lots of chats those last few precious months of her life and she made it clear she wanted me to live the best version of myself, and not to allow anything to get in the way of that.  Since she's been gone I've kept to my pledge to take each breath with purpose and to see the positive in every day. 

It's hard of course, as real life throws up all sorts of challenges that can derail that philosophy at any given moment. The difference is now I really appreciate the freedom that has been bestowed upon me since Mum so selflessly left this world. Being an unpaid Carer for someone you love is so dreadfully difficult, and until you're in that situation you really don't understand how isolating it can be.

I would of course give anything to have Mum back, but not for a second with the suffering she endured in the last 9 months of her life. If you're a Carer or have cared for someone then you'll know what I mean. 

I understand I'm beginning to waffle a little, so I'll get to the point of this post. I just wanted to introduce you to something that I've been working on in the background in the hope you will perhaps support me in this new endeavour. I've decided to start crocheting bags to eventually sell online. I'm just in the fledgling stages of this idea, and envision getting things off the ground in earnest in the new year. 

In Mum's memory I have named this new endeavour Pádraigín handmade (pronounced paw-dri-geen). Translated it is my Mother's name Patricia in the Irish language. I thought it would be a fitting tribute to brand my handmade items with her name. What do you think? I do hope you agree it's a nice way to remember her through my creativity.

As a start I've very recently joined Instagram, and hope to have a Facebook Page up and running very soon. All new to me, as Annie's Place has only ever been a blog. I would of course love it if you would join me on Instagram to keep up to date with all my crafty goings on. Just click on the Brand Logo in my side bar to be taken there. 

If any of you would be interested in owning a bag made by my own fair hand, do let me know by emailing padraigin.handmade@gmail.com.  I also have a few other things in the planning for next year that I'm excited about, but will share that as soon as I have dotted the i's and crossed the t's as it were! Your continued support would be much appreciated as I embark on this new chapter.

In the mean time I would like to wish you all the very best over the festive season. Whether you celebrate or not it's a time to reflect on the year gone by. Personally 2017 has proven to be one of the hardest thus far, but I am optimistic for 2018 and that's what counts.

Love to all

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Cosy Crochet & Country Living in the City

Hello hello, anybody out there.....?

It's the middle of November! How did that happen? The last 3 months have been a bit of a blur if I'm honest. I've been keeping out of trouble, staying busy & taking any opportunity I can to distract myself from the emptiness I feel since losing Mum. I'm doing well (I think) and have plenty to be thankful for.

It also happens to be my favourite time of year. I welcome Autumn with open arms. Shall we say I've made a conscious effort to have an abundance of Hygge filling my world. Take that Strala pendant lamp from IKEA for example. I bought that on a whim a few weeks ago, and just seeing it hang in my window fills me with joy. 

I'm pleased to report I still have my crochet mojo. I'm currently immersed in a few projects. I have adopted the approach that having a little production line of squares going on in different colours and patterns will keep my interest. Rather than just focusing on one thing.  I'm using a mix of Rowan (discontinued line), Stylecraft and Drops Yarns. The affordability factor influences my purchases at the moment. 

Sunday gone, I took myself into London for the final day of the Country Living Christmas Fair. It was at the BDC (Business Design Centre) in Islington. I really fancied a mooch around, to eye up some potential gifts for Santa to bring me in a few weeks. Not that my family are privy to this of course...

I made sure I had my comfy shoes on this time (after learning my lesson at previous exhibitions attended) as I knew it would be vast. I wasn't wrong. 

There was plenty to tempt me, but sadly it was more window shop than buy on this occasion. You might say what's the point in going all that way if you haven't got a stash of cash to flash? But to be honest, I get just as much enjoyment out of the visuals, being able to see things, and touch things. Finding out about new product lines. Picking up business cards along the way, so I can always go back to the online shop and purchase when funds allow.  I'm all for supporting small businesses. 

I also like that I can 'meet the makers'. I had the opportunity to speak to many of the designers at the show, and it was wonderful to hear their stories. To know the provenance of the items being sold makes them worth so much more. 

One person that stood out for me was the lady you can see pictured (above left) with her wonderful array of handmade textiles; Sian O'Doherty. Her collection really caught my eye, and I have to say I covet her exquisite knitted lampshades.


Do you want a giggle?

If you're easily offended look away now....

Well what can I say? I was in fits at this stall....
and yes I did make a purchase hehehe....

There was just enough time to take a wander along Camden Passage, after the fair had finished. More window shopping ensued. There were some gorgeously scented reed diffusers in that shop HAYGEN. The two shop assistants probably thought I was a bit mad the way I was oohing and aahing over them. 

There are lots of lovely independent retailers along this stretch. Not to mention the aptly named ANNIE'S vintage store on the corner. Oh and of course LOOP. Yarn lovers look away now.......!!

It was such a lovely way to spend an afternoon. I'm heading back into London next week for the Ideal Home Show Christmas with some friends. So no doubt I'll be back to tell you all about it. Until then I'll leave some links to some of the traders from the show that took my eye.....*

Till next time
x x x

Sian O'Doherty             
Aura Que                                     

Sofia Ceramics             


*this is NOT a sponsored post
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