Monday, 15 December 2014

Let the miracles begin....

So here we are on count down to when the craziness will begin.

Here at The Willows the tree is up,  the cards are written and posted and all the parcels  are wrapped.

Isn't he just the cutest

The four paws have all been to the groomers to have their pre Christmas shampoo and set.

Finished knitting the cowls for the colleagues at work 
but  I forgot in my eagerness to get them finished and wrapped  to take any photo's (Ooops)

I finish work this Friday and not back until 5th January and I can't wait.
 Obviously I have told my Consultants that I am devastated at the prospect of not seeing them for two whole weeks and I think I got away with it. 


The big clean will take place this weekend prior to family arriving next week and just in case the Queen decides to pay a visit on route to Sandringham (Well you never know if someone has the need for a wee stop)

and of course the inevitable food shop where we buy enough food to feed the village because the Supermarkets are closed for 24hrs

 and before you know it the whole thing will be over and another year will have commenced. 

Each year we put ourselves through this vowing each year that next year we won't go to all this trouble knowing full well that this time next year we will be doing exactly the same all over again. 

How are your preparations going?
Are you still feeling this side of sane?


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Mr Postman

Just recently there have been one or two (OK may be more) little deliveries to The Willows with my name on it. I have been very excited about them (not hard to please).

It started because I wanted to make a blanket like this by Heather at Little Tin Bird. I managed to get some of the colours locally but then the rest I ordered from Wool Warehouse which many of you have mentioned here in blogland but who I had never ordered from before.  

Their presentation is fantastic.  I love the organza bags that they use to keep your wool safe on it's journey to you and of course you can use them again and again

I have been making cowls for Christmas presents using Drops Andes which knits or crochets to a super chunky pattern and is 65% wool and 35% Alpaca.

and Drops Polaris which is 100% wool

I  have also discovered Garnstudio's some time ago where you can find lots of wonderful patterns that are free to download to use with your Drops Wool.

I am also a little in love with Drops Big Delight which is 100% wool,  Aran weight and I have a very special project in mind for this.

At the beginning of the month I went off to Cornwall for a friends special birthday and as you know I made the Mind, Body & Spirit blanket for her to help her on her road to recovery from breast cancer.

I'm surprised she managed to get it as her sister had quite taken a fancy to it and I did think we would have to check her car before we left Cornwall to make sure it hadn't accidentally got mixed up with her things when she was packing her car. 

D had taken a liking for it and as he's just in the process of kitting out a new office he rather thought it would look good on a sofa he's bought to go in there. Instead he ordered some more Woodlander wool from Neil the Knit  and that has also arrived. 

Looks like I will be busy during my time off over the festive season. 

  I have also be sorting out my winter reads and as you can see I have quite a collection to get through

especially as the latest Amanda Prowse novel has also dropped through the letterbox this week never mind all those I have stored on my Kindle and the temptation every time I go to the supermarket.  

So what of that first blanket I wanted to make???

Well here it is

This is for a baby girl due in the New Year and will be a first grandchild for my old school friend. 
How did we get old enough to be having grandchildren.  

The wool used is Stylecraft Special DK using a 3.25 hook 
1003 Aster
1019 Cloud Blue
1034 Sherbert
1084 Magenta
1422 Aspen
1188 Lavender
1068 Turqoise

It too one ball of each accept for Sherbert and it took two as this was the colour I used to join the squares and to finish off the edging.

Well that's it from me 

Have a good week one & all


Tuesday, 11 November 2014


I am very thankful that my son returned home from Afghanistan earlier this year.
 Today makes me think about the 453 service personnel who have lost their lives during this conflict.

It also reminds us of all those who have gone before and given their lives in order for us to live the lives we do. 

As you all know this year I made and sold crochet poppies with the hope of raising £100.
Through the generosity of the work colleagues and the general public I have managed to far exceed this expectation by raising the grand sum of


This year the money will be going to the Royal British Legion's 

Who carryout fantastic work in helping injured service personnel from all three services.


Monday, 3 November 2014

A wonderful weekend in conwall & my Mind, Body & Spirit Blanket

Earlier this year a close family friend had some terrible news when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

In the ensuing months she has undergone chemotherapy and is now undergoing radiotherapy treatment.

So far her prognosis is good and I have everything crossed that this will continue.

This weekend was a weekend of celebration when she celebrated her 50th Birthday with a surprise party organised by her partner and family.
This was no mean fete but they managed to pull it off although by next weekend I think they would tripped themselves up and let the cat out of the bag so it's just as well it was this Saturday.  

This beautiful cake was made by her niece and having tasted it, not only was it beautiful to look at but it tasted gorgeous too.

So what do you give as a gift to a lady who has had what can only be described as annus horribilis 

Back in April we went to Scotland and whilst there I found this lovely Woodlander wool which I also included in my Sunflower Anniversary giveaway won by Jo at Through the Keyhole

I had started making up my granny squares 

and had reached the blocking out stage, when I found out about the surprise party.

I knew immediately what I had to do.

Finish my latest project

Which I then named 'The Mind, Body & Spirit' blanket.

It has been made with lots of love and will hopefully aid her recovery.

As she and her partner told me yesterday they are looking forward to snuggling up on the settee watching TV over the coming winter months. 

I just loved this wool it was lovely to work with and is a wool I will definitely use again. You can't see properly in this photograph but the wool is all beautiful earthy tones almost like the elements, full of all the healing properties that she is going to need to get her well again.

It was a whistle stop trip

but I had to go and see the sea

and fill my lungs with good Cornish sea air

before returning home

I have many happy memories of Cornish holidays with the children and have photographs of them sitting in the ruin of this tin mine.

It was always a dream of mine to one day live in a little cottage down in Cornwall. 
Well I have the cottage just not in Cornwall.  
Unfortunately I think this will always remain a dream but a lovely dream to have don't you think and a good excuse to have to go back.

Hope you all have a great week.


Sunday, 26 October 2014

When the clocks go back

So did you all remember to put your clocks back?

With the clocks going back last night I won't be sights like this for a while.

It will not only will it be dark when I leave home of a morning it will now be dark when I return home of an evening.

Over the weekend I made the most of the dryer autumn weather and took the four paws out for a walk on the wild side.

Having popped into town I also used the trip as an opportunity to drop my 55 little hats for Innocent Big Knit 2014 into our local branch of Age Uk 

Earlier in the year I had read the book Cider with Rosie as one of my return to school reads. When Jo at Through the Keyhole showed an interest in reading it I was more than happy to pop it in the post.


When I got home from work on Thursday evening I had little parcel waiting for me from Jo. When I saw it I thought I don't remember the book being that big....

When I opened it up I had a lovely surprise.  Not only had Jo sent me my book back but had also enclosed a second book The list of my desires that she thought I might like to read and a beautiful card with two beautiful Cavaliers on the front as a thank you which I thought was a lovely thing to do. 

I have been busy working my way through my October reads as part of  Year in Books Project  and as we approach the end of October I will soon be revealing my November reads.

For some of us this next week is a school holiday so.
I hope you all have a great week.


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The LAFTAS 2014

Here in Lincolnshire we have an annual event for schools called The LAFTAS  The LAFTAS Film Awards showcases and celebrates the work of pupils in Lincolnshire who have been involved in the art of film making in school. 

The  patron of the LAFTAS just happens to be Jim Broadbent who I best remember as Mr. Clock in the Borrowers but has more recently been in the Harry Potter films. The LAFTAS have been going for seven years now and each year Jim Broadbent gives up his valuable time to sift through all the films submitted of which there were some 200 for 2014. 

Each year number 3's previous school would make short films which would be shown to us parents at the summer concert and each year the films would then be submitted to the LAFTAS. This summer before  number 3 left to start his new school he and his classmates had made a short film entitled 'Looking for the BFG' and guess what they made it through to the final three in the 'Special schools and nurture' category. This was a first for his school so as you can imagine the children and teachers and especially the Head were extremely excited about it all. 

So last night we had to don our best bib and tucker which meant a new dress for moi new suits for D and number 3 and we did look very smart even if I do say so myself.  Didn't get a chance to take family pic so you will just have to trust me on this one.  Having never been to this event before we weren't quite sure what to expect but I have to say it was a truly brilliant night.  

Now I would like to say we had arrived in style in this stretch limo but then that would be a big fat fib.

We were however greeted by several Storm Troopers 

and Batman

Number 3 got a cuddle off an Ewok (who I have to say has a striking resemblance to me when I'm not dressed in my best and I'm having a bad hair day) and there were two other characters who apparently were from Resident Evil but I wouldn't have known that had I not asked them. 

LAFTAs 2014 - Gallery

The entertainment was provided by the Boston Youth Jazz Orchestra who were fantastic.  The music and the voices of those kids was amazing. 

Everything was set out just as it would be at the BAFTAS with all the nominees sitting at round tables in front of the stage.  The only downside being that due to the noise number 3 and a couple of his peers had to spend the entire evening with ear defenders on.  Note to the organizers not a good idea to put autistic kids on the table right in front of the band......still they had a brilliant night and felt very grown up sitting with their teachers at the big tables whilst all us mums and dads had seats at the back.  As you can imagine there was a lot of clapping and cheering involved and I'm sure I am not the only one with sore hands and a little hoarse today.

Number 3's school came runner up in his category  but as he said himself to be in the last three was an amazing achievement in itself.  Which we thought was very mature of a child with ASD to think especially as it is very true.  But I still think their submission was the better one not that I'm at all biased you understand.  But in truth all the films submitted were brilliant and it just goes to show the amount of talent out there in  Lincolnshire. So far number 3's new school have not taken part in the LAFTAS but since hearing that GHS had got through this year has certainly given number 3's new teacher something to think about.  So maybe we will be back to the LAFTAS again before too long and maybe we should re-name number 3 Steven Spielberg.....

Hope you're all coping with the windy weather that seems to be upon us at the moment.  I think Autumn has definitely arrived now even if my garden still thinks otherwise.

Have a good week one and all


Monday, 13 October 2014


Having raised £85 last year which I donated to Help for Heroes I  set myself a challenge for this year to make 40 poppies to sell with all the proceeds again going to charity.

Over the weekend I did a craft fair and I took a long my prepared poppies in the hopes that I may sell at least 10 of them.

I have to say I was amazed at the response and I am pleased to be able to tell you that I managed 
to sell a staggering 


I ask for a minimum donation of £2.50 and so far I have raised 


As I have another craft fair in two weeks and was hoping to take some poppies to this fair as well it now means that I am beavering away making some more, but I am not complaining by any means I am just so taken aback at how fast they have all gone. 
 I actually thought making and expecting to sell all 40 was a little optimistic but I will know better for the future won't I, especially as colleagues at work are also asking whether I will be making them to sell again this year. 

A busy time a head I feel.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Number 26 come on down

Did your favourite win?


So GBBO has finished for another year.


What will we do with our Wednesday evenings now without Paul & Mary on our screens.

More crafting maybe???

But more about that later......

for now I am continuing with my autumn reads 


Educating Rita: Novel (A Star book): Peter Chepstow, Willy Russell

My return to school read for October. 
 I first read Educating Rita some 30+ years ago and then number 1 son read it for his GCSE and I got to read it again I really enjoyed it where he wasn't so keen.
So did I still enjoy it this time around.


But meanwhile whilst having my usual cuddles with my furry boys 

 and my Saturday morning cuppa 

I did get to finish number 26 off my bookshelf
  'The Bay of Secrets' by Rosanna Ley.

Now I would like to say that this means I could go wild in the isles and buy more books but of course I have already gone a little wild buying lots of books on my Kindle and a few to replenish the  bookshelf ready for my winter reads.