Tuesday, 29 October 2013

It's been a funny old day ..........................

As Arkwright would say it's been a funny old day starting with the little Medilink bus not turning up that takes me from the car park up to the hospital where I work.  There had been an accident and the buses were unable to get through.  Having stood around for 40 minutes before this information filtered through myself and another lady decided we would walk.  Now don't get me wrong I am not opposed to walking, well you can't be when you have three dogs, and as the children would tell you we walked everywhere when they were little if the sun was out.  But as I keep telling them I was in my mid 20's to 30's then and not in my 50's as I am now.  I was surprised that it only took us about 20 minutes thus proving that I am not quite as unfit as I thought.  But I was certainly ready for a cup of tea by the time I got through the office door.   

Whenever we've had a lot of rain we 
always seem to get a lot of toadstools around the garden.  I have to say I love them. I used to tell my children that they were the pixie and fairy houses when they were small. These little beauties were all over my next door neighbours front lawn.   

We don't always get a good mobile signal in the cottage and I always tell people that I have to go down to the bottom of the garden with fairies in order to get a signal. . 

I hope you all managed to get through the storm unscathed yesterday.  It seemed to hit mainly the south of the country.  We had been forewarned that it would be coming our way as we are on the Lincolnshire/Norfolk border and although the wind was whipping around the cottage at around 4.30am and it lashed down with rain it was nothing we haven't experienced before so I think all told we got off pretty likely, having seen the news last night. When the big storm of 87 happened I was expecting my eldest son and I had slept through the whole thing and was quite surprised when I switched on the news the following morning.   

We've had some pretty impressive rainbows about recently, usually when I haven't got my camera to hand, I missed an absolute beauty that was a complete rainbow so I was really quite cross with myself.  I have been making a baby blanket for a colleague who is expecting her first baby and has chosen not to know whether it is a boy or girl, which is lovely but makes choosing a colour a little challenging unless you go for the traditional, white, cream, lemon or green.  This photo doesn't show the colours off very well but it is all the colours of the rainbow and therefore will befit a little prince or princess when they arrive.  I made it with Jarol New Arrival Random 100% Acrylic produced by Woolcraft and the colour is  305 Angelica.  

As you will know from my previous post I have a son who is now out in Afghanistan and I wanted to do something to mark the time he will be out on tour.  I couldn't see me keeping up with marking days off a calender so having seen mentioned on other blogs about a square a day I decided that I would make a 

'Coming Home from Afghanistan Afghan'.  

I am working with three colours using Faircroft Junior 500G DK again produced by Woolcraft and the colours are 030 White, 7134 Airforce Blue and 132 Cardinal to represent the colurs of the RAF.  I took this photograph on Sunday when we were at Day 13 I have now completed Day 15 this morning.  By the time he finishes his tour he will have been away some 200+ days so still quite a long way to go.  It may well  be big enough to cover a single bed by then. I am still considering what combination to go with but I quite like the one above but I still have time to decide. 

In the meantime I am still making my poppies, I have made 5 so far and my target is 10.  
When I'm not making squares for my Coming Home blanket I am still making my Autumn Leaves squares.

On the reading front I am just about to finish Siri Hustvedt's 

The Sorrow of an American 

It's been a funny little book but I will tell you more about it when I have finished it.

Meanwhile I hope you all have a good & productive crafty week.

M x


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Charity Fundraiser Poppy

If you are looking for a crochet poppy pattern that takes no time at all to make you'll find one here.  Created by Wendy Poole to be used for personal use or to be sold  as long as the proceeds go to charity.  

Having never followed a crochet pattern before I found it really easy. These three plus any others I and several colleagues  manage to make before the 10th November will be on sale in aid of Help for Heroes at a Charity event being held after the Remembrance Day Service at Wiltshire Barracks. Some of the service personnel  have just returned from Afghanistan and as my son is currently out there I wanted to support such a great cause. 

Till the next time


Monday, 21 October 2013

And then there were three

This last week has been one filled with mixed emotions.  It started with number 2 leaving for his first tour of Afghanistan with his regiment.  We have known for months he would be going but as you can imagine when that day finally comes it fills you with both trepidation and pride.   I am immensely proud of all my children and the adults they are slowing turning into but I am especially proud of  number 2 at this moment.  I am not sure I could have endured the training and of course it goes without saying that as his mum I will be worried about his safety and won't be happy until he and the rest of 58 squadron are back on British soil safe and sound.. He has been able to send me messages every couple of days which is very reassuring but I suspect this will become less frequent once they get in to a routine over there.  This will be the first time he will not be around for Christmas or his birthday and I think that will be difficult.

Now this next bit is mainly for Jo over at  Through the Keyhole who like me has a love for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  We've had Monty our Blenheim Cavie since he was 14 weeks and he is 5 years old now then last year we took on Romeo our Black & Tan at 10 months when his owner could no longer look after him and he will be 2 in December.  Now for most sane people 2 dogs would be enough but then we're not most people and it possibly questionable as to whether we are sane.  So just over a week ago now in our madness we have now taken on this young man.  This is Buster and he is a Tri Colour Cavalier King Charles and he will be 3 in April. His family found they could no longer afford to keep him and decided it would be fairer to Buster if he were to be re-homed.  I sometimes wonder if we have a little star shining above The Willows for little dogs that need our help to follow. As anyone who has a knowledge of Spaniel breeds they have very furry ears that need regular grooming otherwise they become matted.  This was the case for our poor Buster.  In the first photo although you can't see his ears too clearly they are very matted and extremely heavy poor little chap so the bottom photo shows him after he had been to the dog groomers and had his ears shaved so that the hair will grow back properly.  It also became apparent then that he was suffering an ear infection which then meant a trip to see nice Mr. Nigel at the vets and a course of antibiotics..

Then a quick update on the Autumn Leaves Afghan my 100 circles have now transformed into squares and I'm now in the process of putting the edging to them Once all 100 have their edges then I will decide what sequence they will go in to form the Afghan and decide how to best finish it off.  This may take some time as I have two baby blankets to complete for colleagues at work having babies who are due to finish soon so I need to get a wriggle on to get them finished. I have also started another project but I will reveal more about that next time.

Till then

Hope you all have a lovely week whatever you are getting up to.


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Autumn Leaves

Having been confined to barracks all last week I have discovered in that time that not only is it just getting light when I leave for work in the morning but it is dark before I get home most nights.  This is a clear sign that Autumn is well and truly with us.

I felt I had to get out to enjoy the  fresh air and to take in all the beauty that Autumn has to offer. The colours of the leaves are wonderful.

Not to  mention all the fruits appearing in readiness to help our wild life as the season changes from Autumn to Winter.

With this in mind I got an idea for another project and immediately set off to the wool department in Oldrids Downtown in Grantham.  The Sales Assistants, Angie and Julie and their colleagues, are always happy to help and always inquisitive as to what my next project is going to be.

And this time it is going to be an Autumn Afghan inspired of course by all the colours in our woodland and surrounding countryside at the moment. As I have mentioned before I am still very much a novice at Crochet and having mastered a basic granny square some time ago I decided I wanted to move onto something a little more technical.. This has been made possible by Heather at Little Tin Bird  with her free tutorials.  So thanks Heather I will keep you all updated as to how the project is going.  So far 100 multicoloured circles have been made and now it is on to phase two. Going from a circle to a square. 

On the reading front I have just completed Susan Elliott Wright's 'The Things We Never Said' and you can find out what I thought about it here

And lastly the slow cooker is out again today as daughter will be home for the weekend and tonight's creation is Cornbeef Hash. This was one of the children's favourites when they were growing up especially on the nights they had been to gymnastics or swimming and were as always starving when they got home.  They may not do the gymnastics or the swimming anymore but it seems they are always still hungry when they come home. 

So a slightly more productive week than the previous two.

Hope you all have a good week and enjoy the remains of the sunshine.


PS - I should tell you that the only problem with knowing what lovely deliciousness you have awaiting you when you get home is that you cannot  think about anything else all day and boy does that make you feel hungry....... 

Monday, 7 October 2013

The road to recovery

Last week I was poorly with a flu type virus that completely knocked me off my feet and put me to bed for 3 days.  Unfortunately it meant not much crafting or reading took place.

Now thankfully I appear to be on the mend and have been able to return to work and 100+ emails.  Towards the end of the week/end I did manage to finish off the second of my Pebbles cushions.

As the weather was still very mild over the weekend I also managed to tackle another project that has been waiting in the wings.  The garden chairs are about 10 years old now and were in desperate need of rejuvenation.  So I took one old chair and rubbed it down getting any old bits of preserver off as well as any cobwebs and their inhabitants. Applied two coats of Cuprinol  Shades (in this case Counttry Cream) and hey presto one recycled spruced up chair.  I think it especially looked nice with the addition of the Pebble cushions.  I have since rubbed down a further three and given them their first coats another in the Country Cream and the other two in Cuprinol Shades Wild Thyme.  I am really pleased with how well they have come up and hopefully now they will last another 10 years.

Have a good week one and all.


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

News from the poorly house

No blog last week as we were the poorly house. Poor number 3 was sent home from school last Thursday with a sore throat and temperature and spent the next few days in his bed.  We'd had a lovely visit with number 2 who has been home on leave from the RAF prior to going on his first tour of Afghanistan. Come Saturday having said a tearful farewell to number 2 I had spent the day tidying around the garden only to wake up on Sunday morning feeling cold and shivery, sore throat and thumping headache.  I have since spent the next four days in bed and this morning is the first day I've felt well enough to get out of bed. Unfortunately it is now raining outside and is dark and grey in The Willows garden.

So I thought I would show you some of the photo's I took on Saturday before the lergy struck.  The plants are still trying their best to show off their blooms whilst we've been enjoying the mild weather.  Although I think the garden will be glad of the rain today. Hopefully we will continue to have mild weather for a little while longer.

Mr. Snuggles the dragon has enjoyed the sunshine this summer.  He's been residing in our garden for the last 10 years. His current position is perched on top of the wall in amongst the Cat Mint. It was also nice to see that the butterflies are still enjoying the garden.

So although I had managed to finish my second Pebbles cushion not much in the way of crafting or reading over the last few days but hopefully I am on the road to recovery now. 

Have a good week whatever you have planned.