Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Greatest Gift

Hello Lovelies!
Thank you all for the comments on my last post and also for all of the very useful suggestions on how I could improve on my angel. You've all given me a lot to think about and inspired me not to give up on perfecting this festive project. 

I mentioned last post that I only had 4 days left at work before I fly home to England! Well... now I only have 2!! The count down is well and truly underway and the anticipation of seeing all of my family is verging on being too much for me! 

Earlier in the week,  I received my first Christmas card of the year. What a special card it was,
full of Christmas cheer. It warmed my heart!

Now those of you that have read my previous posts and followed me for a while will know that 90% of the time I stick to blogging about my projects, but every now and then I get a little sentimental and a little personal. This is one of those personal occasions, so I'd stop reading now if you don't want to hear any of my sentiments. 

This Christmas card was extra special because it featured two little penguins sharing a kiss. Two boy penguins! Special, because it was blatant acknowledgment of the relationship that I have with Dennis. 

Here's the card in full:
Isn't it sweet!!

So here's why the card means so much to me!
Firstly it's the first gay Christmas card I have ever received!
Secondly it's from my Mum and Dad.
I hope my parents don't mind me telling you this ... but when I first came out to my Mum as being gay, she had an extremely hard time coming to terms with it.
A few years have passed since then and I can honestly say that both of my parents are totally cool with their gay son. In fact they couldn't care a less.
They see how happy I am with Dennis, they realise that with Dennis, they have gained an extra member to their (already) wonderful family! How could that be a bad thing!
They have gone full circle and fully embrace Dennis and I. For that I am grateful and extremely proud of my Mum and Dad!

Finally to top it off, This year I finally plucked up the courage to tell my Nan and my Grandma that I am gay. Enough was enough, I was tired of lying to them that, telling them the reason I didn't have a girlfriend was because my career was my priority. (yeah right!)
They were missing out on a huge part of my life and I was saddened by that. They now know about Dennis and were totally unfazed by my "coming out",  in fact, they didn't care.
They told me that it only mattered that I lead a happy life! true. Happiness is the key!
So this year I go home for Christmas and  for the first time Dennis.
My grandparents will meet him (finally) as my boyfriend and we will all celebrate Christmas together.
Happy with no secrets.
This card is a symbol of that and that's greatest gifts I could ever have imagined to receive! Thanks Mum and Dad for the perfect card!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Christmas Angel

Hello Lovelies!
How are you all doing? I hope that your preparations for the holiday season are going well?
I'm jolly excited that I just have 4 more days left at work before I fly home to England to spend the first Christmas in 7 years with my family! EXCITED is actually an understatement!!

I've been rather organised this year with buying all of my Christmas presents for the family, and I'm extremely proud to say that I'm done.......nothing left to buy or organise. This is a rather nice feeling, especially when I head into the city and see how manic it is with everybody rushing around. I feel like I can relax a little and I'm gearing up to fully enjoy this Christmas.

Even though I'm not actually spending Christmas day here in Stuttgart, it was still important for me to buy a tree and decorate the apartment. The build up to the big day is important to me, it creates excitement and focus throughout the dreary, dark and cold months. I for one, am grateful for that focus throughout the Winter.
As part of my christmas decorating, I (of course) wanted to crochet some little Christmassy projects! I had the idea to crochet an angel, maybe to sit on the top of the Christmas tree? I worked for weeks on this little project trying my best to perfect it.

I started with forming a simple crocheted head, that moved down to the angels shoulders and on to her white dress. I formed the dress around a toilet roll tube for extra stability and to help in maintaining a nice cylinder shape.

I increased my stitches as I worked further and further down the dress and finished off my rounds with a simple picot edging.

I made her some skinny little arms that extended into bell shaped sleeves, which concealed her dainty little hands.

I fashioned her a cape, to keep her warm throughout the Winter. Adding golden edging and some shiny diamonds for an extra special touch.

Of course she needed some hair! Golden hair seemed most angelic, so I went with a cute blond bob.

At this stage I was SOOOOOO pleased with how angelic she was looking. She looked very regal and for a crocheted angel, she was simple yet sophisticated!

It happens from time to time with a project that you just can't reproduce what you have in your head. Sometimes the outcome turns out better than you could have imagined and sometimes...well...lets just say it doesn't quit go to plan. It was the latter for this project.

I struggled to finish this little angel off. I played around with her facial features trying out different eyes and mouths, but honestly wasn't over the moon with any of them.

The same for her wings....
I designed many types of wing, experimenting with a circular based wing:

And trying a more triangular shaped wing:

I finally settled upon her features and decided to go with an already existing angel wing pattern by Michelle Kovach. This wings turned out perfect and I'm very happy with how they look!
I still think that angels facial features are not quite right. She doesn't quite look how I wanted. I feel like she is verging on Postman Pat in drag, which is not quite look I was going for!

I wrote down the pattern as I went along, with the hope of sharing it with you all. 
However, I'm going to hold off on publishing the pattern until I am totally happy with her. I want to be proud of my finished pattern and be able to say she is truly how I want her to look and at this stage, I'm just not there. I know I'm being dramatic, but I know when something can be better. So.... hopefully for next year I'll deliver you a rather charming Christmassy Angel pattern, at least that gives me some time to fully figure her out. 

Despite not being quite the finished project I was hoping for! She is fun and definitely has Christmas spirit. She's homemade and from the heart, which I think are important characteristics for anything, especially at this time of year. So even though she's not quite what I wanted, she's still sitting proud and happy along with all of my other decorations!