Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Reading the small print!

What a week this is shaping up to be.

Monday was spent in the gardens of a local 'big house' recently on TV.  The kids were in their element, rolling down banks and running around in the great expanses of lawn.  Various homeade jams and chutneys on the parish stall, birds of prey, dog showing, bouncy castle, bbq.  The sun was shining, there was food (!!), there was a tour of the house...........just perfect!

Tuesday was friends to play, baking and crafting with kids, polished off with a trip to the pictures.

Today is a picnic with more friends in the park..........friends and food, what could be better?  You can see I am driven by food can't you!!

I have been pondering the blogger award, thinking about my lame efforts to award 15 other bloggers as the rules of the award called for, and I wanted to put it right.  I have to also mention, that I have this week been given the award again, one time by goodpurlgonebad and the other from Louise at tea at weasels.  I am very grateful on both counts as both blogs are brilliant and inspiring to read.

I smiled to myself when I re-read my last list of interesting facts, as I had written that I had the most appaling memory and then proved it by totalling forgetting the seven facts needed and writing out ten instead!!

Anyway, as I said, I clearly disregarded the rules and I am about to put it right.  I have only been blogging a few weeks, but in that time, I have read some lovely blogs and been encouraged by some really talented people.  I know so many of the blogs I read, have already been given awards, so there a probably some bloggers who are currently trying to find space on their bowing shelves......anyway here goes..........are you counting?

1.  goodpurlgonebad a fellow member of the Year of Projects, clever crocheter undertaking the most beautiful babette in rainbow colours.
2.  annabooshouse home of the very cute korknisse people, a lovely blog packed with lots of crafty cleverness!
3.  beberouge lovely crochet and embroidery and also part of the bunting swap I have recently joined.
4.  Aurora blythe a really pretty blog, full of crochet and vintage inspiration.
5.  Rosie hearts beautiful sewn goods and fabric, her sewing is amazing.
6.  Crafts from the cwtch I first came across Ravelry's Year of projects on Sarah's blog and she inspired me to join too.  This blog is packed with lovely crochet and knitting, all too clever.
7.  Chaos, kids, crochet and cake a lovely blog of crochet and family and cake, just the perfect combination!
8.  With needles and wool  Ruth is another Year of Projects fellow blogger who creates lovely dishcloths, scarves and beautiful headscarves.
9.  Unravelled Emily has a blog filled with lovely colourful crochet and great family stories, just lovely!
10.  Hand 2 heart africa another colourful crocheting blog from the year of projects.
11.  It started with Ruby another inspiring year of projects blogger with beautiful knitting and yarn pictures.
12. Squiggly rainbow my new blogging friend who has just organised a bunting swap.....brilliant!
13.  Crafty Clare super talented in both knitting and crocheting, check out the genevieve sweater she has just shown.
14. Page after page another fellow year of projects blogger with lovely knitting projects and colourful pics.
 and breathe.......
15. Knitspiringodyssey another blog I have started to read with the year of projects, lots of interesting things and lovely knitting.

I can now (hopefully) sleep tonight, knowing that I have read the small print and done things right.  I will not bore you with another set of random facts about me, once in one week is probably enough!!  I am struck by what a friendly bunch you all are in the blogging world.  The encouragement and advice already in my early days is just such a surprise.  Anyway, thank you again for the awards I am honoured!

Onto more pressing matters.........blankets!!

I have done it.........I have joined gingerbread girl's one-a-day challenge on Ravelry to make a Sunnyspread blanket.  I have this in mind for a christmas present, so figured I would try out one square and see how it went.  I am loving this colour (which isn't quite as orangey in real life) but my hubbie thinks it is all wrong.  I am guessing as a gift it may be a love it/hate it sort of colour, so I will probably go with a safer option, but definitely all one colour and in cotton as I think it is soooo pretty.

And......even more exciting.....I have bought myself some swirly balls of yarn..........very excited, I see everyone 'talking yarn' and showing pics of these twisty balls and I had yet to have some of my very own.  So these are they, intended to be made into socks, although I am rather scared in advance, not having attempted doing good 'expensive yarn' socks before...........wish me luck!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Year of Projects (Wk2)

Well, week two has whipped around pretty quickly and I am back on Sunday update again!  A few weeks ago I was on a bit of a lull with my crochet, unsure which direction to take and uninspired by my current projects. Joining the Year of Projects blog-along  was the good prod that I needed to get going again.  A good crocheting friend (she is both a good friend and a good crocheter!!) refers to losing her crojo (her crocheting mojo) and I definitely feel like I have mine back.  Mind, before you get too comfortable thinking you are in for a few hours worth of photos and wonderful prose, I will bring you back down to earth with a bump and say despite finding my aforementioned crojo, I've done very little ;-)

I came home from a lovely day out on Thursday, to discover that the postman had brought my granny stripe yarn.  This was fantastic, however, as I was going out that evening, I was unable to do anything.  The anticipation during Friday was just about bearable and once the kids were in bed, out came the parcel.

Granny striping at random turned out to be quite scary, I did the first two colours and instantly regretted my choices.  I wouldn't say I am a great planner, I tend to plough on in and hope for the best and I was beginning to think this was not the way to go.  After much angst, I was pretty sure random was a bad idea, but by the time I got to colour seven, I was beginning to go with the flow a bit more.  I have so far completed 12 of the 17 colours (Lucy Attic 24 Stylecraft pack) and feel that it is balancing out a bit better.  I am really enjoying it as it so simple and very quick...........the fact I am feeding my blanket addiction can not be overlooked either!

Sticking with the granny theme, I have also started a cushion out of some Wendy cotton.  I love working in cotton as I like to see the definition in the stitch.  The back of the cushion is completed but I have yet to sew the ends in.  The front I want to make out of small squares using the same four colours.

What I would like to do, but haven't tried yet, is to do another round but offset it, so it will be like a diamond within a square.....does that make sense?  I also think I will do a join-as-you-go method to work all the little squares together.

So really, not a lot to show, but I feel like I am back with the crocheting world!!  I was reading gingerbread girl's blog yesterday and was really caught up with her idea of a 'one-a-day' blanket.  I know I have a million and one things I want to do, but then could one innocent little block a day hurt?  And there would be another blanket at the end of it...............

Friday, 26 August 2011

Friday fun!

I can't believe the school hols are nearly at an end and sorry to say it, autumn is just around the corner.  The boys and I have been out with a few of our friends today for a teddy bear's picnic in the woods.  It rained heavily, there was mud-a-plenty and much fun was had by all.  It was my boys' idea of paradise as they waded through streams, slid down banks, splashed in puddles and landed in mud.  After enjoying a proper picnic sitting on wet logs, we were well and truly caught by a heavy downpour so play was called off.  We've been to the same woods before (although it has to be said, in better weather previously) and it always strikes me that times like these, with good friends are what life should be like.....simple, inexpensive, adventurous and ..........muddy(?)

This morning while nosing around a few other's blogs, I saw a brilliant idea which has had me thinking a lot today.  Over on squiggly rainbow she has had the inspired idea of a bunting swap, which I think is huuugely exciting and have immediately signed up.  Can you imagine getting bits of bunting from all over the world to make your own bespoke bunting?  As ever hubby was not 'getting' it.............but hey-ho, I am loving it!

A few days ago the very lovely Liz at yarnberry passed on the Versatile Blogger award to me, which I was really pleased about.  What a lovely surprise from someone who has such a lovely blog themselves, check out the beautiful new shawl she has just finshed today, it is absolutely gorgeous.  Thankyou very much Liz!

Anyway, with this award (as you all will already know) comes the dubious task of having to tell you all,seven things about me think.................

  1. I am teaching myself to play the Uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes, think Riverdance (also think ghastly sound when played by me!))
  2. I have a Blue Peter badge for being in a book that they published many centuries ago.
  3. I love sparkly things.
  4. I am a little scared of birds/bats/moths actually anything that flaps and could get caught in my hair (now that makes me sound like I have massive hair!!)
  5. I love christmas.......infact, I have even started dreaming about it already.
  6. I would love to go on Come Dine With Me.
  7. I like wearing stripes.
  8. I love icecream.
  9. I have the worst memory in the world.
  10. I am a total foody!

Well, the last part of the giving of an award is to pass it previous times the award has been passed on to 15 other bloggers, but to be honest this would be a major task, as soooo many of the clever bloggers I like to read have already been given this.  So I am going to pass this on to one other new blogger, who started blogging around the same time as me.  I pass the award on to Louise from Tea at Weasel's whos blog I am loving reading, lots of crocheting, sewing, colour....its all there and somehow this amazing lady manages to do this on top of looking after her brood of lovely boys.........I take my hat off to you Louise!

Well, that just about finshes off my post for today, apart from to say how excited I am to have started a new crochet project which is just as exciting in these early stages as I hoped it would be!  Pictures to follow on my Year of Projects post on sunday.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Such a perfect day........

Don't you just love feeling like you've had a good deal? 

A couple of weeks ago my sharp-witted 91 year old Gran noticed a voucher in a national paper for free childrens' admission to National Trust houses and gardens, never one to miss a trick she was on the phone to let us know and today we took the boys to Colby Gardens in South Wales.

Big open spaces, trees, flowers, sunshine and great food................what more could you ask?

Places to explore, adventures to be found and no need to keep being told to 'quieten down'.........

Wild animals in their natural environment...............

All things to make a person very happy indeed. 

And to top it all off?

Coming home to find the postman came with my long awaited, this time...........can you guess what it is yet?

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Year of projects (wk1)

Well, having signed up for Ravelry's  blog-a-long year of projects just a few days ago, this is my first post about my progress (if I had thought about it more carefully I could have joined on a saturday and given myself even less time to complete very little!)  Anyway, progress is progress, even if it is just becoming better organised and more 'workish'!

On my 'Year of projects' page I have listed a number of things I want to do in a year (up until June 30th) this included to make some realistic birds........well I soon dropped the realistic and just stuck with birds!

I know what you are thinking, that robin looks mighty fat, he hasn't ruffed up his feathers because he is the facts of the matter are, that I actually made another bird too, but he ate it.........who would have thunk it eh?!

Fly away, fly away
After enjoying my new feathered friends for a day, I decided it was somewhat cruel to keep them captive, so this morning I went out side and released them, after some emotional goodbyes they were gone, sad and even now I'm finding it hard to contain myself, but I know it was better for them to be in their natural environment.  Maybe in years to come they will come back and visit us again.

On a lighter note, a couple of days ago I ordered the yarn to make my granny stripe, I have such a burning desire to own one that I could not control the urge any longer.  Hopefully it will be here at the beginning of the week.

So here it is, back out of the bottom of my project bag, the boring blanket. I have done about 10 hexagons.  Not much I agree, but it all makes a difference, and is certainly more than the none I have done for the past three months.
I know it will be lovely when it is finished, but in the meantime it is so......<yawn>.......boring

So there we are, progress I think, although maybe not on a monumental scale.  Not sure what I will do next week........crochet's a fly by the seat of your pants sort of hobby isn't it ;-)

Until next time, enjoy your Sundays.............

Friday, 19 August 2011

Chocolate, balloons and crochet

Today has been a day of many dimensions.  My middle monkey had a hospital appointment and by way of a treat, we stopped in the local bakery and chose some yummy cakes for everyone for lunch.  Everyone got rather sticky, but the littlest monkey certainly took the biscuit.....or should I say the whole cake........

The boys finally finished their 'Hot Boons' (so called by little) after much sticking, painting, glueing, cutting, weaving, glitter glue, pom-poms, feathers and sequins.  They are now proudly displayed in their bedrooms, with all of them finding a small teddy to go in each.

Which just left me............I've been in a bit of a lull with my crochet, there are so many things I want to do, I have flapped and done none of them.  Well............finding three boys engaged in crafting.........I did wonder why I wasn't doing any myself, so I hopped upstairs grabbed a few odds and ends and started...........any guesses? 

Monday, 15 August 2011

Food for thought

Serious talks with the headteacher of our boys' school. Sorting through 300 ewes and 450 lambs with the hinderance help of three bouncy boys.  All getting wet down to our underwear while sorting aforementioned sheep..............all in a days work............

Made better when I saw the perfectly timed pressie from my mum today.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The vicar's chicken

Today has been a day for tying up loose ends (and sewing them in.)  This is the vicar's chicken, promised at the school Christmas fayre last year, when I sold out.  It was made that very weekend, but remained unstuffed and lifeless until today.  The vicar wasn't in when I called, so I left it on her hubbie thought it was all rather sinister!

While I was in the mood for sewing, I figured I would put together another gift I made a couple of months ago.  This is for a poppy loving friend of my mother's.  Again, another thing started and then put to one side, I am nothing but consistent!!

I took a leaf out of Lucy at Attic24's book, and used a thrifted jumper to make the back of the cushion, as Lucy explains to do here.

Of course, doing these two bits of work could make one rather smug, but my smugness was short lived because on uncovering all these half-finished jobs, I also discovered 'the boring blanket' which lies mockingly in my work bag.  The thing is, I do like it, but it is going to take me ages to do and there are things I would rather be doing.  The first time I worked out how many hexagons I needed, I worked it out to be about 800, after sitting down to settle my nerves I calculated it again, and now figure it is more like 450.  I have done 80-ish, but it is not the granny stripe blanket of my dreams, and therefore it remains in my bag.........

Friday, 12 August 2011

What a diference a day makes.

It's amazing how things can change in just a day isn't it? 

 I've been keeping an eye on my plum tree, knowing that if I didn't, I would miss my chance.  The plums have been plentiful this year, actually, I'm not sure I remember any that actually ripened last year.  So a couple of nights ago, when watering the greenhouse, I took a wonder around the garden......I know maybe I make it sound like it is mammoth, but its funny how you can be out there but not see anything properly.  Anyway, seemingly overnight, the plums had ripened and were ready to be picked.

 So out I went yesterday fighting off the wasps (which had also been keeping an eye on my plums and felt they were just right too) and made a good harvest.

The thought of turning them into a pudding seemed very frivolous (and it would have been huge pudding!) so jam they became. 

I am feeling very smug and squirrel like to have made 8 pots of jam, all sitting happily on the shelf ready for winter.
Well.......actually winter maybe pushing it, as a large dollop went straight into a cakes, that don't last five minutes in this house with four hungry boys.

I haven't let on yet. 

I have endured large scale paper mache with three sticky boys and a beach party in the drizzle this afternoon.

I have to go and make supper shortly............. but in the meantime................. I am sitting with my cake and a cup of tea quietly typing that is frivolous!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


So here it is, in my mind long awaited, my first attempt at a blog entry. I don't normally have problems chatting, but somehow starting this is a little weird. I'm almost waiting to hear the echo of my voice coming back

"Is there anybody out there?"

I have so enjoyed hearing what everyone else gets on with in their blogs, that I wanted to be a part of it all too.
Gathering In

A little about myself, I live with my husband and three boys in Wales on a sheep and beef farm. I dabble in lots of different makey things, I paint landscapes and animals, I play a plethora of different instruments and I love to cook. I am unfortunately so busy doing those things, I find I hard to fit the mundane things (like housework) in! 

I started crocheting just over a year ago, and just can't get it out of my system.  If you can crochet one in an hour, I probably have.  I'm not great at long-term projects, but have discovered that if I do some little things at the same time, then somehow it will all come together.  I fear I may have a blanket addiction, and have a burning desire to make a granny stripe, which hasn't happened yet, as I won't allow myself until I finish the boring blanket I started in March.  I was young and foolish then and went with the first idea I there it is......make your bed and sleep in it!  In the meantime I can only dream about what my life will be like with a huge granny stripe blanket.

Well, if there is just one person I may have met today, it has been lovely to meet you, I look forward to hopefully meeting you again. Faith x