Tuesday, 22 November 2016

..and sew on....

Last year, about the middle of November, I decided I was going to make a 'skirt' for our Christmas tree, I had a pretty good idea, how I wanted it to look, so being the highly experienced sewer that I am (hhhhmmmm....) I bought lots of bits of pretty fabrics and started hacking  cutting and sewing.  I soon realised that although I had applied some maths to my pattern, I really had no idea what I was doing and within a few days my enthusiasm was nil and the skirt was in a project bag underneath lots of things that had suddenly become more appealing!

I'm not entirely sure that I approached the project this year with any better knowledge, or even a pattern, but somehow, grim stubbornness has allowed me to make something that is getting there (not without a few small tantrums and big headaches).   I have no clue what I will do next...but even if it's just straightening up the edges, throwing it under the tree and piling the presents on top, it feels like going forward 😉

I've finished off the second baby mini-blanket, I do like lots of bright colours, especially as it's been rather grey around here....we've had our fair share of rain over the past few days, it always seems to me,  that I'm a day behind on my choice of clothing for dog walking, yesterday was a perfect example...and then today's choice was way off!

Thanks for the good wishes for the job interview, I haven't heard back and I'm not sure I interviewed that well really, there is being relaxed about the outcome and appearing unprepared, I fear I may have come across as the latter....ah, well...as I said I'm incredibly blessed and happy with what I have.....

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

New Things

There have been lots of new things recently... I definitely feel a bit like I'm reflecting more....good or bad I'm not sure!  

This afternoon, I will be going to an interview for a Library assistant.  I haven't worked in this sort of environment for 13 years, although I realised when I came to put my CV together, I've actually done a lot of things which are definitely relevant.  I feel sure that if it is the right thing, it will all work out, otherwise I will not stress about it.

On the crochet front, I've been doing ripples, this one for a brand new baby boy (and I have a more girlified one on the hook as well)  These have been my go-tos when the boys have had various things to be at.

I've been going along to a running group on a Wednesday night, I'm pretty much the slowest there, but I smile all the way home (not so much when I'm actually running!)

This last weekend, I did a 10k with the running hubby and middle boy (I whined all the way around as it was hilly, muddy and puddly and I found it sooo hard!) but I did it and was smiling at the end!

(there was a huge hill at the end, which I had already decided at the beginning I was going to walk!)

At Christmas, I did a painting of the daughter of a  friend, taken from a photograph of her when she was working for a charity in Durban, South Africa.  Then a few weeks ago, I heard about a colouring book being produced by a children's charity in Kenya to raise funds, this painting immediately came to mind and I thought I'd see how it worked.

A few days later, I heard back that they liked the picture and hopefully will use it in their book.  I am so pleased, as it seemed so right to me.  The charity is called Rafiki Mwema (Loyal Friend in Swahili) and they look after both boys and girls who have had unimaginable experiences, supporting them and helping them to rebuild lives....an amazing work!

Lastly...not leastly...some knitting.  These (there is a pair, but impossible to photograph without another pair of hands) are a pair of wrist warmers made for a Christmas gift swap.  So quick to make and lovely yarn that I hadn't used before.  The yarn is Louisa Harding and I bought the ball when we were on holiday in the Cotswolds.

I discovered a lovely yarn shop (it's a knack you know!) in Chipping Norton, The Fibreworks, small but perfectly formed, offering lots of beautiful yarns and crafting classes to boot.  The lovely lady on the desk even allowed me to sign-into her wifi so that I could open my ravelry account and find out what I needed (I needed everything of course, but restrained myself to one ball!)

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Birthday walk

So...a few photos from my big birthday day out.  I had a lovely birthday, the boys were in school so hubby and I planned a nice long walk along the coast path and a picnic.  The sky was blue and the day was just perfect.  

We walked a section that we haven't been to before, the coast path here spans 186 miles...all beautiful.  We are truly blessed!  

The real treat was stopping above one of the small coves which can't be reached by foot and seeing seals and their pups sheltering there.  The noise of the seals calling was quite something....really loud, in fact it stopped me in my tracks to see what it was.

Chester spent the day with us to...he is more keen than the boys to go for long walks!  It was a really wonderful day, over too quickly of course, but memorable and just the right way to mark a birthday in my opinion!

We've definitely been getting out in the mild dry autumn days.  During the school holidays we visited the Cotswolds in our caravan.  We've not been there before and it was a lovely introduction to an area that definitely needs more discovering.  The trees were what took my breath away, but the little chocolate-box villages were beautiful too...(I even found a lovely wool shop...bonus!)

It was lovely to go somewhere new and potter around.  Our caravan holidays always turn out to be super-relaxed, lots of sitting, reading, eating and chatting.  We did do a bit of walking, but honestly it was more about relaxing and not having to be anywhere else....just what we all needed!

I actually have lots of pictures and news to put on here....but it will have to wait...there's been reading, crocheting, knitting, drawing, running....gosh, it has been a busy few weeks!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Coldplay - come to my house for tea?

So today is the day before my big birthday....I know that I've been somewhat more reflective over the past few weeks and I'm sure it is no coincidence!

I rather thought I should have announced a big list of things that I was going to do before this birthday, but maybe it makes sense to look forward to all the things I am going to do, now I've reached this age :-)

I've always been one for dreaming big and have  talked about it here before.  I'm actually of the opinion that there is probably not many things that you can't dream for.  For instance, I love to bake and cook and I've always thought I'd quite like to have Coldplay come and stay at our house for a weekend, kick back, relax and enjoy some good welsh cooking :-)  I'm a huge Coldplay fan and this year finally managed to get tickets to one of their arena gigs.

It was by far and above the best thing ever!  In fact, I'm incredibly blessed as we've tried to get tickets for some years previously and never had any luck, but now this summer we went and my wonderful hubby has bought us tickets for next year too!

Call me delusional but I think there is no good reason for me not to believe that one day Coldplay may actually come around to my house, play my piano, eat at my supper table and go for a walk to the beach just behind our house..... ( I don't think that I am a 'scary' fan ;-) )... I just think 'Why Not?'

(Of course, I should go on to say, that if this should ever happen, I wouldn't tell y'all, as Coldplay would probably never come back to tea at my house again, which would be really disappointing ;-) )

My dreams for this coming year are going to be bigger and better

First dream....then dream a bit bigger, I'm telling you that you will do more, see more, achieve more when you dream big....

Thursday, 29 September 2016


See this bag....rather empty hey?  Well....I decided to be honest with myself and pull out all my unfinished projects....hhhhmmmm......dangerous ground.

So first one out is this ten-stitch twist....reason it's in the bag is that I've forgotten how to do it....simple problem easily solved I guess...

Second one....a pair of two at a time socks, put down and not picked up again.....

Last Dance on the Beach CAL.....I have done over half of this ....possibly even 2/3s

This is a re-entry....you may be able to just spot the issue....its a beautiful blanket, but the side has unravelled and I need to remember how to do the stitch so I can fix it again.....so simple, but again, enough to stop me getting on with it.  (Actually, I see that there a lot of areas along the side that look dangerously like they will unravel in time, so I'm actually wondering about sewing a border onto it and catching it all up with the machine, I think the yarn is quite smooth and therefore is slipping out where its been sewn in....ggggrrrrrr!)

This hat has never been near my head, as I could probably fit three heads in it...I was so gutted I just put it away...but brave I must be and unravel....maybe I should choose a different hat pattern altogether now....

Dream Stripes shawl...put down, never picked up again....

Another crocheted shawl which is just s-l-o-w, I like it, but I can see me putting it in the bag as it needs to be about ten times longer!

Another light weight wrap thing....I found the joining method on this so difficult to understand that although I got it right twice with some help, I can't remember how....(notice a theme here?)

A 'made-up as I went along' shawl which is really pretty, but it's a bit small and I need to add some more on to make it more wearable.

A started baby blanket, which stopped when I ran out of the multi-coloured yarn and couldn't find it again...so frustrating...

A Christmas table runner....no idea where the pattern is....

A shawl which I gave up on because the pattern was difficult to follow, although I wonder on looking at it now why exactly as there seems so little detail for so much effort....no idea where the pattern was from.....ooooopppppsss!

My first ever crochet project, stopped as I ran out of one of the reds....if I hadn't already sewn so much together I would add another colour in....rookie mistake...no idea what to do with this....its fairly wide so far, but pretty narrow.

Oooohhh....I had totally forgotten about this one, my temperature blanket with a square for each day showing the lows and highs of  temperature....I think I've done two months....

A last minute whim Christmas pattern which I just could not get my head around....

The cable beginning of wrist warmers....this really was the most fiddly part of the pattern, all they need is the sides putting on and sewing up.....

So that is all the projects neatly folded and sorted back into my big bag.

I've seen a few people referring to unfinished projects and I've always been slightly in fear over what was actually in my big bag....it isn't as bad as I thought somehow...in fact, I wouldn't even feel guilty if I started something new ;-)

But seriously, first port of call is the CAL blanket, as it is pretty close to finish, then I need to bite the bullet and unravel some of the things which I put down as I really didn't like them and then oooohhh, I can start planning some more unfinished projects :-)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Small steps - kleine Schritte

This week feels like a satisfying week...not only one finished project, but two.... (I won't mention that one also started this week, so wasn't strictly an 'unfinished project')...am I on a roll do you think? 

 This first one, is Shifting Afghan by Grace Akhrem which I found in an edition of Interweave Knits.  It's a really effective pattern although really simple.

The yarn is Sirdar Escape which I bought three (?) years ago....see although it looks like I have a huge stash, it's just waiting for the perfect project to come along and the pattern on these mitered squares, sets off the range of colours brilliantly.

The next finish was Crafts from the Cwtch's Fittleworth cowl this was a really quick simple knit...so not strictly part of my huge bundle of projects I need to get to, but hey.....small Steps!  I made the cowl with a Rico Creative Micro dk which was beautifully coloured and has a great drape, plus it's so soft against your skin....my only complaint was that as it has such a high sheen, the ball just kept unravelling itself which was pretty frustrating.  The finished cowl is beautiful though, worth the yarn-niggles

So this week, I may have a look in the dreaded project bags....I also have half a Last Dance on the Beach blanket to do....hhhmmmmm.....I've also emailed a running group with the idea of joining, I'm a bit nervous as I don't know anyone there and I'm pretty slow....well I could think of lots of reasons not to go, which is probably why I should! And I have some German to catch up on too....it's going to be a busy week!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


I find myself reflecting....now this could be down to a number of things....

It's September and while school was a long time ago for me, I am still caught in the whirl with three school-aged boys.

I've changed my plans a little this year as for the past three years, I've been doing some language study with the Open University....but this year, I'm taking a small break to consolidate a little....and maybe to realise my options....(who am I kidding what spare time?)

I'm going to be forty very soon and although I'm not one to really worry about age, it has made me take stock a little.

I've made a bit of a list, with all sorts of random challenges, I won't get to them all, but then I'm a firm believer in 'Dreaming Big'...My time is nearly always a little on the lean side and even though I'm not studying to a plan this year, the time that I thought I might have will somehow disappear....  the more I think about what I want to do.... the more things I can add to my list.

I have two huge bags of crochet and knitting projects, half done....some I've forgotten how to do, so they seem like a massive undertaking...others I have most likely just forgotten about...

So what has my reflecting achieved....haha, well, I realise that I've been rather tough on myself in all sorts of areas in the past and that's a nice thing to acknowledge....it's allowed me a little perspective...hhmmmmm.....and it also makes me think about my priorities....all that from a bunch of old photos and a big birthday looming! :-)

Monday, 25 April 2016

Crochet comeback

Oh, how I've missed this...all the usual excuses...well you know how it goes...the thing is I have probably gone into procrastination over the really pressing things, such as the big German exam I have next month, so what am I doing ....anything but revision!

This small baby blanket above was a total re-make after beginning a very similar blanket  and finding I didn't have enough yarn to finish and then frustratingly, being unable to find the same yarn again.  Baby blanket #2   

We had two nights away in our little caravan, the sun shone on us and our day-out was simply 'wunderbar'!  Llansteffan Castle and beach, Carmarthenshire.

The latest project....guess what I'm making?  It will always be a blanket.  I'm pleased to be taking part in the 'Last dance on the Beach' CAL 

(As many of you know, this CAL was designed by the late Marinke Slump ( aka : Wink) from www.acreativebeing.com and was the final design she was working on at the time of her passing. In accordance with the wishes of Marinke’s family, 12 of her online friends and bloggers have completed her unfinished design to present this beautiful and sensitive CAL in Marinke’s memory and as a tribute to her work.)

I am here....I am still crocheting, knitting and sewing...although admittedly, a little less.  I'm beginning to be bored with my less-productive self....I'm getting fed-up of thinking about projects, but not actually doing them....so I'm doing something about it! (although I am by no means promising to finish off the hundreds of unfinished projects lurking!)

Saturday, 23 January 2016


Well 2016 so far has been pretty much me thinking and not really doing!  I'm definitely in a reflective mood.  

I think that probably every blogger has a whole host of things that they should be doing....things that that they want to do....and its probably not worth adding the things that you'd like to have a go at!

It turns out I have rather less time than I thought I had and even then, its probably less than that.

My crafty endeavours, German learning and running come way down the list of things that are part of my everyday, and yet they are important, as they probably make the essential things possible.  If I didn't do some of the 'me' stuff, I would soon not be me.

Last weekend I should probably have been catching up on my German (I have fallen behind in my studying) but we all did a Parkrun instead....and do you know what it was exactly the right thing to do.  I had a clear head, I felt more balanced and not quite so panicky that I wasn't ticking everything  off the 'to-do' list.

So the big list didn't shrink any really, but I was happier.

I would like to be blogging again....I would like to know the method of making all the new German  vocabulary, I look up everyday, actually stick so that when I go to use the word, it is still there (where does it go?)

I would love to know what on earth the coloured ball of acrylic that I was mixing in, with the pale pink, in the above baby blanket was..........I have been back to the shop, I have picked up what I thought it was twice and come back to realise it is nowhere near.....that's a small frustration in the scheme of things, but hey its not asking much!

I would like to be able to combine all the things I want to do into one activity...so I can listen to German TV while I run, but can I blog and knit at the same time?  Maybe I could find a group of German runners who are also part of a knit and natter group....maybe I should start the group....I would.... but I have no free time ;-)

Monday, 4 January 2016

Zwischen 2015 und 2016

So for another year, all the sparkly decorations have been packed away.  Christmas 2015 has been lovely......relaxed, good company, good food and happiness.  It has been pretty difficult to 'snap out of it' to be honest.  The run up to Christmas with school age children (in three different schools) is busy to say the least.  We picked up the children from school on the last day of school and took off to Cardiff for the night.  It was such a big treat for us 'countryfolk'!  Hotel, meal out and shops....a welcome break from the same four walls and routine.

Away has gone my advent calendar that I made some years ago.  Despite the lack of chocolate the children still seem  keen to see what will come out next.

New to our family traditions is a big portion of  Sue's Caramel Popcorn (recipe from  Mrs. Micawber blog)  Along with the batch of Ruth's coconut mince pies.

(These are not the only favourite things from other bloggers....one can't blog and not be affected!  )

I've rattled through a few makes, some of which were presents.  The christmas tree hat was for a friend who runs a food and basics bank and at Christmas also manages to give out presents to children who would otherwise have nothing in our county.  Anyway after promising a  hat, this was my offering

This shawl was a happy skein of yarn from Mothy and the Squid and the pattern was 

The painting above was a commissioned gift for a young lady who has been doing charity work in Durban, South Africa with young mums and children.

This is a painting  of Chester our beagle for a competition, unfortunately I did not place, but I enjoyed the process!

We've enjoyed some lovely walks in the past week or so, despite the dreadful British weather at the moment.  We have somehow got out of the habit of doing longer family walks, we must get back to it.

Apart from more of the above, I hope that 2016 is filled with  a few more challenges.  I somehow managed to pull off my first race, which was a 10k in September....I ran the whole lot, which I was fairly smug about....not bad for a lazy girl.  I am hoping that this year might hold a half marathon.....although I am realistic that I may not have the time to train.

I am still pressing on with my German (with far too many major wobbles just recently)  I have never found anything more difficult or nerve wracking.  I am supposed to travel to Jena, Germany next month and the idea of it makes me feel pretty queasy!  If I have an hour to work out what I want to say and a notebook I'm ok.....but conversations don't generally work like that!!

Anyway....if I can do these things then so can anyone....

All the very best for you and yours in 2016!!