Monday, 31 March 2014

March Challenge Update

For those of you celebrating Mothers day yesterday I hope you all had a fantastic and relaxing day. Here"s my end of the month challenge update.

Imitation of Life was my film for the month of March 

Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck was my return to school read

Five more little hats have been knitted bringing the total to 30
4 more poppies crocheted bringing the total to 16.

Product Details
Number 7

Number 8
Product Details
Number 9

and a further three books from my bookshelf of yet to be read books.

Just another four to go and I will have completed my challenge.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your week one and all


Sunday, 30 March 2014


Here in the UK it is Mothers Day.  Mabel will be celebrating as well again this year with her new clutch of chicks in the Honeysuckle. 

A beautiful present from number 3 this morning.

A new clock for the garden so I'll always know the time 

A beautiful flower basket. I'm hoping I'll be able to re-use the basket in my den to stash some more wool once the flowers are finished.

I also spotted the first Peacock butterfly visitor to the garden.

And the boys have been enjoying the sunshine just as much as we do.

I hope you are all having a lovely Mother's Day.


Thursday, 27 March 2014

R & R

I have had a fantastic week as number two has been on R & R from Afghanistan.  The downside to all this is that he returns to Scotland tomorrow in order to fly back out to Afghanistan  to complete the remainder of his tour.  As you can imagine as a family we are very proud of him. I think he has definitely matured in his time away even giving his old mum a hug or two during his stay. He has had a hectic two weeks trying to catch up with friends and family alike, but I was pleased that he managed to visit number one and have some quality time with his brother and today he's off to visit his sister at Uni.  Number 3 of course has loved having his  big brother back as he has been very worried about him being over in Afghanistan.  My own family were never very close and I always hoped that my own children would have that sibling bond that I never had.  That certainly seems to be the case and I am immensely proud of the young adults that the older 3 have become. 

Of course he still doesn't know about his Afghan as it's been hiding away whilst he has been home although I did get it out again once or twice whilst he was out so that I could continue joining up the squares of which there are now over 150. 

He had a bit of a surprise when he arrived as I had told him about Buster's arrival and sent out a couple of photo's but he had no idea that Rufus had since joined us. Rufus took an instant liking and spent much of his time having cuddles. 

He will have one month left of his tour on his return to active duty, only 30 days for 58 Squadron  to  stay safe before coming home to their love ones. 

It has felt like the longest 6 months of my life but I have had fantastic support from both family and friends and I cannot thank you all enough for the kind comments and support received from my new found blogland friends.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Spring has sprung

I love white roses and tulips. This photo doesn't do justice to the tulips unfortunately. They are the deepest purple but with the light of the window and the flash of my camera they look a lot lighter than they actually are.

We had some glorious weather over the weekend and certainly Rufus was make best use of the sunshine. He has slotted right in with the rest of the pack.

Ever get the feeling you're being watched?

We've had a bit of an overhaul in the garden this last week 

and as a surprise D has had my Dragons Den treated with preserver in Cuprinols Pale Jasmine on the windows and Wild Thyme on the main building.  My next door neighbour tells me she is very jealous as it's now the colour she would of loved to have put on her summer house but her husband always does it in the same old dirty brown colour as she calls it. 

We lost a fair bit during the stormy weather but the daffs are still in bloom around the garden.

Whilst enjoying sitting in the garden  I also managed to get to grips with my school read revisited challenge.  So many of you had mentioned Of Mice and Men which was a book I didn't read at school but all three of my big kids did, so I thought that I should have this as my  school read for March.  As there are only 122 pages I was able to sit and have a good read whilst enjoying a glass of wine and soon managed to work my way through it across the weekend.  I can see why so many of you enjoyed reading this one and wish it had been on the curriculum at the time I was sitting my exams. 

Whilst driving into the office I suddenly spotted little wagging tales in the fields.  I always feel that Spring has arrived when I see the lambs, again photo's not brilliant as only had my mobile with me at the time and I'm still getting to grips with the camera on it. 

But then best of all I spotted a pair of  buzzards gliding high above the tree tops. I absolutely love them but don't normally get the opportunity to stop and watch them or get any photo's.  

I really need to be a bit more proactive at taking my camera out with me and hopefully I will get some better shots to show you.  Of course I probably won't spot them again for months.  I had to tear myself away in the end or I would of been late for work I could of stayed there for hours just watching them.  

Hope you're all having a good day.


Friday, 14 March 2014

Film of the Month - March 2014 - Imitation of Life

This has to be one of my all time favourite films.  I waited years for it to be released on DVD.  There are actually two versions of this story this one released in 1934 starring Claudette Colbert & Louise Beavers and a second version released in 1957 starring Lana Turner.  I prefer the 1934 version as it stays true to the original novel by Fannie Hurst. 

White widow Bea Pullman and her daughter Jessie take in a black housekeeper Deliah Johnson and her daughter Peola exchanging room and board for work. The two women and their daughters soon become like family to one another. Deliah's pancakes made from her grandmothers recipe are a hit with the Pullman family. Bea's husband had his own business selling maple syrup and with Deliah's pancakes and her maple syrup she comes up with an idea to open a pancake house, which proves to be a success so much so that they come up with idea of selling the flour to make the pancakes which they call the  Pancake Flour Cooporation. As a result Bea becomes a successful business women. Fifteen years on and the two girls now grown and problems occur when Bea's daughter thinks she is in love with her mothers boyfriend Steve who is totally oblivious to this young girls feelings. 

Meanwhile light complexioned, Peola ashamed of her African-American heritage, attempts to live her life as white, breaking her mothers heart. Peola eventually runs away from home.

While she is away, Deliah falls ill and dies. Through all their business success Deliah would not take a partnership with Bea which could of made her a wealthy women in her own right.  All she asks is that she has a grand funeral, which Bea provides for her friend, complete with marching band and horse drawn hearse. Just as the procession begins a remorseful Peola appears begging her mothers forgiveness. 

Be warned should you take up the challenge to watch this film a large box of tissues will be required.


Monday, 10 March 2014

Mabel & Earl are back

It has been a hive of activity in the garden this weekend with the arrival
of our little blackbirds Earl & Mabel as we like to call them.

This is there fourth year of nesting in the Honeysuckle.  The Honeysuckle has grown so big and bushy that I could only just about see her sitting in there.

No babies yet but judging by the amount of time she was sat on the nest while Earl scurried about I think they must have a clutch of eggs waiting to hatch. 

I always feel Spring has arrived when this pair return to the garden. 

Elsewhere in the garden I spotted our first Ladybird of the year.

The Hellebores are in full bloom 

and whilst out walking the four paws I spotted this little chap. A bit early I thought but then the winter months have been fairly mild this year.

Hope you are having a good day one and all whatever you may be doing.


Friday, 7 March 2014

New Project

I don't know about anyone else but sometimes I can start a project and part way through it's just not grabbing me.  At the beginning of the year I started another Afghan with no clear decision as to who it was going to be for.  Two months down the line and I'm still not sure.  The colours are good colours that go well together maybe it's because I don't have a clear pattern in mind that I now find I'm struggling,  but as I have now made around 40 squares I will persevere. Partly I think it's because I have a very stressful job with a lot of responsibility and my crafting is my tonic and keeps me sane.  It has been especially stressful of late and I think this may be the reason why I cannot seem to get a clear direction with this particular project.

In the meanwhile my Coming Home From Afghanistan Afghan continues to grow and today marks 137 days that my son has been on tour so I now have 137 squares.  I am glad that with your help I came to a decision early on as to what the pattern should be and I have been slowly joining them together as I go along for the past month. The next round is ready to be joined this weekend.  Number two will leave Afghanistan for his two weeks R & R in 10 days time and by the end of his leave he will only have another 4 - 6 weeks till his tour is completed and therefore my Afghan will be completed too.

So why the title to this post? Well 2015 will mark my daughter's 21st birthday. She really likes my Autumn Leaves Afghan and has hinted more than once that it would really be nice on her bed at Uni.

I had bought this gorgeous Sublime wool but hadn't quite made up my mind what to do with it.
I had long been an  admirer of this Afghan made by Wightwitch on Ravelry but had no idea what the pattern was called.  I had been totting up points on my Waterstones Card and whilst in  my local store last weekend I spotted this lovely book of 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton. and guess what I had enough points to be able to treat myself BONUS.....

Up until I made the Poppy's last year I had never followed a crochet pattern before but was presently surprised by the clearly written instructions for each block, which also includes an indicator as to whether it is suitable for a novis, intermediate or experienced hooker (that sounds so wrong for which I apologise but you all know what I mean).

So far I have had a little practice with these three blocks 

Willow is my favourite so far

But it is the Circle in a Square that I have chosen for my new project as I think this is the pattern used by Wightwitch in her Afghan. 

This is my practice block using Sirdar Sublime Eskimo 0342 unfortunately this photo doesn't show you the colour at it's best.

At last I feel as though I have my mojo back and hopefully getting this project off the ground will inspire me again to get moving on my others.  

Happy crafting one & all.