Thursday, 29 March 2012

The sun has got his hat on!

Wow, what a week it has been!

The sun has shone its little socks off and we have made the most of it!

As chicken pox still lingered, biggest's family tea party, became the non-event of the century, so I had a quick re-think and we went for a family picnic with my folks, the only ones willing to mix with us 'unclean' people!

Do you was absolutely perfect...good food...good company and teddies too!

This is the birthday boy who was nine yesterday....he is just about to munch a raspberry trifle cupcake (from 'Cake Days' Humming Bakery recipe book) which disappeared very quickly.... I would highly recommend them!

I have to say that picnic food is just about my favourite thing.....

After eating until we were full to the gunnels, we stretched our legs.

(I would like it to be noted, that even the biggest boy of them all had a stick to sword fight with.)

Sunday was another glorious afternoon so we took the dogs for a walk while the tide was right out.

The boys had a whale of a time getting wet and beachy.

I saw these beautiful swans (there were 17 in total) all serenely sitting in the shallows with their faces in the sunshine (can a bird have a face?)

(check out Chester's ears, he looks like hes about to take off!)

The dogs bombed about, meeting other walkers and doggy friends......the boys collected I've already said, we were all truly spoilt.

The week has been a busy one as biggest's birthday celebrations seem to have continued (rather like the queen)  we have the last birthday 'event' on Saturday night, with bowling and food all round for a handful of boys and girls....I do hope they won't actually be a handful though!

Biggest and littlest are still spot-free and I am hoping they will remain so until Saturday night is done....fingers crossed........

Hope you are having a lovely week....and enjoying the sun too!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Year of projects 25.03.12

What a gorgeous weekend it is turning out to be, here in sunny Wales.  The hour has gone forward this morning........ the day is stretching out ahead with the promise of a walk on the beach later........ the sun is streaming through the windows......woweeee!

As for my year of projects, I am at a bit of a lull at the moment, as I have a few 'off topic' projects, so I am paddling around in blanket world!

One of my cousins has had her first baby, a little boy and I figured I would make a blanket for know me, any excuse to make a blanket.

I've seen these 'waffle' style blankets around and thought they looked lovely, but for some reason, probably choice (or lack of choice) of colours, it just looks all wrong.  My stylecraft stash needs renewing, as I have little more than 'girly' colours left.

The 'wrong' side of this pattern, looks a lot better, but still, I know its not right for the job.

I started to also think, that being her first baby, she would probably prefer something more pastel (trust me to hit the colours!)  Anyway, I searched for something that took my fancy and found a pattern on a french blog and thought I would give it a whirl by following the simple chart.

Its not very 'me' but I have a feeling it may be better received.  The baby yarn was in my stash and a colour I would be unlikely to use otherwise, so I reckon I have given it a worthwhile home.

I am also doing a little spot of knitting too, after picking up a lovely knitted toys book from the library.  I am currently making a cat, but may go onto making the owl that goes with it ....and maybe even the boat....

This yarn is sublime....the colour and texture....I am truly gutted I don't have enough to make a jumper from it and try as I have, there  seems to be no more available......I am  not in mind for scarves etc.....but maybe when the end of the year comes around again, I will be more inclined to have a re-think.....if I haven't made loads of owls and pussycats out of it!

Anyway, I really should be doing something 'houseworky'....uuuggghhhh, I know, but if I don't, I can hardly be swanning about on the beach this afternoon now can I?

To catch up with other year of project work, see the ravelry page here.

I will hopefully have time to catch up on all your lovely blogs, later this evening when little boys are in the land of nod!  Thanks for your weekly encouragements, you really are a lovely lot!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Best laid plans

As always..... I did have a plan....but somewhere between then and now, it did a runner.....I must remember to lock the cat flap at night.....

I've stopped and started, arrived and left, ticked boxes and buried my head in the sand!

After being a solo cheer leading squad on the sidelines of biggest boy's football match on Saturday (does anyone else get the urge to break onto the pitch in an under 9's match) I came home with crafting in mind, to finish up mother's day presents and cards.

It is fairly normal for me to make things and it is, I suppose, fairly normal for me to be doing it at the eleventh hour.

I spent a lovely couple of hours sewing, threading beads and rediscovering all the lovely things in my hoard of clutter.

It isn't often I get a chance to dabble during the day, so it was a special treat indeed.

The free-hand sewing was/is a first...hhhmmmmm...obvious I know, but I think I may be missing something. I just dropped the feed-dogs and lifted the foot, but surely there is a special foot instead for my machine, as the tension was all over the shop and I nervously laughed throughout the whole ordeal...I must look into this further, because it seems like fun, if it wasn't quite so out of control!

My own mothers day was lovely, a walk with dogs, some baking and then eating a picnic tea in the lounge watching telly, which is a thing we never do....such a treat.

I made a bacon and egg pie, the type where you break the eggs in whole.  There's something very comforting and picnicy about the yellow yolks and the salty bacon.

I also made cheese muffins from a recipe that Nattie from the lovely blog, Florence and Rose devised...highly recommended they were scrummy....these and a few crisps, cakes and pizza and it was a feast fit for a king....or  my hungry family!

So last week was finished well and in to the new week we began....maybe this is where it all went a bit pear shaped...

Biggest boy is on a school camp this week, what an excited boy with horse riding, karting, swimming, archery, dry-slope skiing all on the rota. We were planning on finishing the week tomorrow with a family tea-party (I know, more food) to mark his ninth birthday, which is next week.....

Sounds like a plan?

Middle boy got sent home from school on Tuesday with a headache...which actually, as it turns chicken pox.....everyone, bar my mum and dad have cancelled coming over to the tea party, so we are 17 people down. I am dreading telling my son when he arrives home, it will be another thing his middle brother 'has done wrong!'

I also can't help but think we may now have six weeks of spots, but then if we're going to do it, let's not do it by halves!


I've done some useful stuff this week like dead-head lots of shrubs, mow the lawn, tackle 'the cupboard'(which you can now walk into again).

I've picked up this put it down and begin a blanket for my cousin's first baby.

All in a days work!

So here's hoping that your weeks have been slightly better organised, less spotty and more peaceful than mine!

Before I should all pop over to Jooles' lovely blog Sew Sweet Violet where she is having the most lovely giveaway for her blogiversary, you can win a pretty patchwork needle case, or the lovely bird pocket bunting good is that!

Have a great weekend.x

Friday, 16 March 2012

A stitch in time......

As I mentioned last week, I've been doing a fair bit of sewing of fact, I think I have started a bit of a love affair with it all, as I have not only done some pretty things, but I have finally got around to some nagging jobs too.......trousers now fit little bottoms (alas.....not mine....... it could never be classed as little) and joy of joys, those massive sofa cushions that I saved about three years ago, meaning to give  a new lease of life, have had just that.....I am a little smug as I was told I was probably not the best person for the job, but some checked material later ( I sew along the lines...super easy!) and the boys have some floor cushions.

Anyway, along with that, I also finished the birthday present cushion.....

So here is how it went.....

I did buy one of those washable-offable pens, which the bigger boys used, but it wasn't as good as it said on the tin, so littlest ended up just using a pencil.

Much sewing later........

A time piece I think, designed by the fair hands of my three boys and sewn by me.

I didn't end up using all those lovely bits and bobs from The Crafty Fish, as the cushion kind of spoke for itself....but there will always be other projects.........

As we head in to the weekend, hope you all have sunny cheerful days where ever you are.x

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Year of projects 11.03.12

Well as March is zooming on by, the weather is slowly becoming warmer and the light intensity is changing.  My walks this week with the dogs, have been a guilty pleasure not a chore. 

We've just got back from a lovely Sunday afternoon run on the beach and I took loads of lovely photos of the boys and the dogs.....but this one just about sums my family up........

My hubby was saying why is it we can't go to the beach without one of the three boys getting sopping.  This is my oldest boy pulling the littlest out of a rock pool which ended up coming up to his waist.....wellies are a waste of time in my boys' world!

Our walk was lovely and I was toasty warm..............guess why..........I've finished, its not a masterpiece but it is done and comfortable.

I have completed my first was initially too short despite lengthening the pattern, so I ended up knitting two panels and stitching them to the bottom, it isn't invisible but it makes a unwearable jumper wearable. 

If I keep up my walking over the next couple of months, I feel it will probably fit me a little poor son had a hard job to take photos where I am saying try not to get my double chin in.....try not to get my tummy in...etc...etc....  I was being a very difficult model!

So there you have it, another project ticked off the list......having just completed something knitty I feel I have the bit between my teeth and I'm itching to try something else, which is interesting as I came in to this, to crochet.  I don't think I am getting ahead of myself, but I do fancy pushing a little more.

Well.......time for herding children and dogs me thinks......catch up with other Year of Projects work here.  I know I will be later on. 

Thanks for all the moral support and holding of hands during my first big knitting project, much in all speeches....'I could not have done this without you!'

I will leave you with another pic of all the sandy ones........

Thursday, 8 March 2012

This week I have mostly been.......


I am making a cushion for my sister-in-law, a little bit of machine sewing and some free hand sewing from the children's own designs.

Mattress stitching my jumper seams together........slowly, slowly.......only to doesn't fit......too short!  Other ravelers had commented that the pattern came out too short, so I lengthened it, but obviously not enough.  I am however, practising damage control by making another couple of panels to hopefully invisibly (hhhmmmm, I know, who am I trying to kid!) stitch onto the this space.....

I have had two exciting packages........

Last week I was lucky enough to win  a giveaway on Rosie Hearts.  Isn't that just gorgeous.  Gina, is incredibly talented and has sooooo many lovely designs in her  'Not on the highstreet' shop, check out her Brit inspired things all set for this year's Olympics.  The kindle cover is so carefully and creatively made....aren't I lucky!

I also ordered myself some bits and bobs from That Crafty Fish's etsy shops.....have a look at my haul!

All ready to put the finishing touches on the inspiring.........

So.......I am definitely pushing my luck this time of night, sitting at the computer and not making the supper....... so must away.....on the subject of food, a number of people mentioned that they would like the welsh cake recipe.....I'm sure my mother would have an age old traditional recipe, but I must admit to being a die hard Nigella fan and used her recipe from 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' but found a similar one online here.

Hope you are all having a cheery and sunny week.....x

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Year of projects 04.03.12

I've just spent a minute or so deliberating the date, if it's wrong, I apologise, but gosh aren't the weeks whizzing by?

Sometime mid-week, I thought to myself, 'hope the weather is good on the weekend, as I will be able to wear my new jumper and take some pictures of it.' 

Well, you'll be pleased to know the weather has been glorious today.....only problem.....I haven't finished my jumper!

I've done a little more since taking the picture, and only have the cap of both sleeves to do and then sew it up.  It feels really soft and warm and I'm soooo looking forward to trying it on (and hopefully it fitting!).  The yarn is Life Chunky by Stylecraft.  It is a wool acrylic mix and is called Nutmeg Marl, a kind of grey/blue/mushroom colour......are you picturing it?   This yarn is super soft and really reasonable.  There is also something to be said for the fact it is machine washable so won't spend months sitting at the bottom of the wash basket waiting to be hand washed.

This has been a great project, just the right amount of sitting on the edge of my seat, learning new skills, 3 needle bind off, picking up new stitches, wrap and turn....and even the knitting itself, as I have done the whole thing continental style.  I have the sewing to go and will use mattress stitch as everyone rates it so highly.

I take it I should join the sleeves to the body and then sew the sides and the sleeves there an order to do things? 

Anyway, despite not having a jumper to wear, we have been to the beach this afternoon for a blow around.  It was extremely cold and windy.  Just look at this clever bloke on his surfy-kite thing.

I am looking forward to supper, bathed and sleeping children and sitting down with my cup of tea to check out all the other projects.  If you want to see other Year of Project work, check the ravelry page here.

Thanks as ever for all your helpful advice.  I have blocked the body of my jumper and it is behaving a lot better now.........just have to get on with the last stretch and the sewing up!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Happy St. David's Day!

Happy St. David's Day!

In Wales, we celebrate our patron saint, St. David, on the first of March....

The children dress up in their Welsh costumes, traditionally the boys used to wear little suits, but now it tends to be Welsh rugby shirts and little girls dress up in traditional welsh costumes, with shawls and black bonnets with lace trim.

I have busied myself like a good Welsh lady making welsh cakes for tea....yum!

And on request, I crocheted a leek for biggest boy (after a few attempts on trying to work out what exactly a crocheted leek would look like if I saw one) and a couple of daffodils for the other two,  middle said that it was far to girly, so I wore his to the school Eisteddfod (pronounced eye-stethe-fod) this afternoon. 

An eisteddfod is normally a performance of music and dance, where people show off their talents....and what a talented bunch of children there were today at middle's school....a real delight.

So, I know what you're thinking, what would the model Welsh family being having for their supper this evening?......well, curry of course!