Who I am and why I blog

I have decided to take up the Blogging101 challenge currently being run by The Daily Post. The first challenge is to write about yourself and let others know what you are about and why they should grab a cup of tea and start reading your blog.

So… is the kettle on? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

By way of an introduction – these are a few of my favourite things (please feel free to sing along):

My favourite things

Knitting and yarn shops and books full of patterns
Casting on projects and seeing what happens
Sunshine and friends, cats, cake and wine
Getting hooked on a TV show, forgetting the time
Holidays in Greece or exploring a new place
Benefit make-up to decorate my face
Writing, guitars and trying to sing
These are a few of my favourite things!

And why do I blog? I set up my blog about a year ago, mainly to write about knitting and to connect with like minded, creative people. I enjoy seeing what other people get up to and marveling at some amazing creations that fellow bloggers have made!

My page name is Jem Arrowsmith Designs as I am starting out in the world of writing knitting patterns. So far I have self published 4 patterns  on Ravelry, with another waiting to be written up and a new one on the needles. It’s a slow process for me as I work full time but I flippin’ love it!

Do stop by and say hello!


Day 3 – Central Park

Day 3, our final day in New York, started with a walk through Hells Kitchen. It was once one of the most violent and dangerous neighbourhoods in the City (Herbert Asbury wrote The Gangs of New York in 1927 inspired by the area) however today it is lined with a mix of restaurants and residential buildings.

There are many theories as to how the area got it’s name but the one I like is the story of 2 police officers watching a fight in the area. One turned to the other and said ‘man, it’s hotter than Hell here’, to which the other replied ‘hell is cool compared to this, this is Hell’s Kitchen!’

Our walk brought us out by Pier 86 and to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space museum. The museum is on board the Intrepid itself, a 900 foot long aircraft carrier and houses vintage air and sea craft such as the A-12 Blackbird, the worlds fastest spy plane.

You can also take a tour of the missile submarine the USS Growler and see a retired Concorde and the Space Shuttle Enterprise.


There was an exhibition there on camouflage which looked at how things in the natural world are designed to blend in with their surroundings. My favourite were these butterflies with their wing markings mimicking owls eyes.


From here we took a rickshaw to B&H Photo-Video on 34th Street, a massive electronics shop spanning the length of one entire block, it has to be seen to be believed!

The afternoon was spent in Central Park. We have been so lucky with the weather during our stay, it was a lovely afternoon strolling through the park and sitting under a blossom tree with a hotdog and a giant pretzel!

We went for a little row on the boating lake too and stopped at the boathouse for a couple of drinks and watched the world go by.


No prizes for guessing where we went next. I had to have one!


We found ourselves back in Times Square for dinner and stumbled upon a great Indian restaurant Utsav. The food was great, albeit a little pricey, but it was a lovely dinner to end our stay in New York.

Today we drive up to Boston!

Art, Travel

Day 2 in the Big Apple

Today we started our journey at Discovery in Times Square at the Body Worlds exhibition. It is an exhibition of the work undertaken by Gunther von Hagen, the inventor of plastination which is used to preserve the human body. The subjects are all donors who agreed for their bodies to be preserved and displayed for scientific research. The exhibition focused on health and wellbeing and how the stresses and challenges of everyday life can affect the body. My husband was a lot keener to see the exhibition than I was, but I’m glad I saw it. It’s a real eye opener and definitely makes you look at and appreciate your body in a whole new light!

Next stop was the Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA. The museum houses masterpieces of modern and contemporary art by artists such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Miro, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Monet, Matisse, Ernst…. The list goes on!

Here is one of my all time favourites, The Starry Night by Van Gogh.


And Andy Warhols cow wallpaper, I love this!


The MoMA is a truly inspirational place – there is also a sculpture garden where you can grab a coffee and sit and take it all in.

From here we took a wander down Fifth Avenue to visit some iconic shops such as Tiffany’s, FAO Schwarz (the toy shop in the film Big, and you can have a go on the piano too!) and the Apple store.

After dinner we headed over to the Rockefeller ‘Top of the Rock’ viewing observatory to see phenomenal views of the city in lights.



New York, New York

So here we are in New York, day 1 done and so far so amazing!

Our hotel is a stones throw away from Times Square do yesterday we walked through and down to the Grand Central station for breakfast.


There was an exhibition on of quilted panels to mark the anniversary of the station last year.


From here we went to the Empire State Building. The views were breathtaking!



We then took a tube down to ground zero which was a very humbling experience. It’s so hard to comprehend the devastation that took place there. The memorial site is beautiful though, they are still developing the site and it should be opening fully in the next few weeks including an artefact museum which will house some of the original steel structures from the twin towers. I imagine it will be a very moving place to visit.

We walked from Ground Zero to Battery Park and caught a water taxi up the east of Manhattan. It took is right up close to the Statue of Liberty so we were able to get some amazing photo’s.


We alighted the water taxi at Greenwich Village and found a little bar in the area for a quick drink and a cookie.

Our plans for the evening were already in place as I had managed to get tickets to see Suzanne Vega at the City Winery. The venue was amazing, I will have to wait until I get back to post some pics but it was a brilliant night. The support act was Ari Hest who I only discovered when I booked the tickets but he is totally up my street, gorgeous songs with a voice to die for. Check out his song ‘something to look forward to’ and I guarantee you will fall in love!

And the best part of the night? I only got to meet Ari Hest AND Suzanne Vega herself!!! I have been a fan for over 20 years so it was such an honour to meet her and say hello. And she even signed my book 🙂


Today we have another full agenda of things to do and see so I had best get a wriggle on!