Friday, 21 October 2016

A random selection

Time for Five On Friday again, as usual I am linking with Amy from Love Made My Home to bring you this post. Even though I thought I hadn't done a lot this week I was determined to get here and post after failing miserably last week to a) find time and b) get inspiration on what to post.

So what have I been up to in the last week:-

1.  Card Party: On Saturday I helped my friend Janice from Crafty Castle blog with a card party that she was holding at another friend's house. We had a wonderful bacon sandwich breakfast and then had a fun time packaging and pricing up all the cards and other bits and pieces before heading to the party which I am happy to say was a great success.

2.  My Birthday: Sunday was my birthday and I was thoroughly spoilt by my family and friends. The highlight of the day was being taken out for lunch by my DH and eldest son, we chose a location (The Hatchet at Lower Chute) that was recommended by a friend and we will definitely be visiting again. I was also taken out for another lunch by my youngest son on Monday as he was busy playing football on the Sunday - not sure how I managed to maintain at Slimming World this week!

3.  Cot Blanket: I was asked by a work colleague to make her a cot blanket for her baby son who is due in December. She chose the colours but left the design up to me - here it is finished and packaged up ready to gift. I am pleased to say she was delighted with it.

4. Next on my hook: I have just started work on my next charity blanket for the Sunshine International Blankets of Love. This is number 11 of 12 that I aim to complete and give to the residents in a local residential care home at Christmas. I am making this using the Harlequin stitch which I haven't used before but am quite pleased with how it is working out.

5.  Autumn colours: I couldn't think what to use for my 5th entry this week but suddenly thought about the beautiful trees on the corner of our close so quickly walked up the road this morning to snap them. I love this time of the year and these trees are always a delight.

Well that is it for this week, I hope you all have a great weekend and for those of you that have children or work in schools have a wonderful half term holiday.

Please do go and pay Amy a visit where you will find link ups to more Five On Friday posts.

Friday, 7 October 2016

A mixed bag

Another week that has whizzed by and it is time for Five On Friday again. As usual I am linking with Amy from Love Made My Home.

This week has mainly consisted of me working - I swapped my work days around this week and worked on Monday instead of my usual Thursday. It is surprising how just doing that throws out my routine. 

1.  However the swap was for a good reason, it was to allow us to go to the theatre in Southampton yesterday to see Mamma Mia. What a fantastic time we had, the show is absolutely brilliant - this was such a feel good production and the music arrangements were spot on and so like the original Abba versions.

2.  So, what has been happening on the crafting front this week?  Well the answer is not a lot. Some sock knitting and crocheting a jellyfish is about it.

Here is the progress on my sock:

I have just finished the gusset and am now starting on the foot. However I will have to put this on one side for a bit as I have a crochet cot blanket to complete in the next couple of weeks for a work colleague so I need to crack on with that. 

Unfortunately I didn't get to take a photo of the crochet jellyfish I made - also for a work colleague. It was the same design as the one shown below but in cloud blue and royal blue.

3.  I have started using a planner to try and be more organised and make the most of my days. These seem to be big at the moment and people seem to decorate them in the most elaborate ways. At the moment I just have a few stickers and some washi tape and my lovely fine liner pens to use and this is very early days on my planning journey. I really just want to keep track of what I am doing with my days, what books I have read, what craft projects I am working on/completed etc. We will see how this goes.

4.  Reading: I have just finished an excellent book this week. It is The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley. This is the second in the Seven Sister's series and I am eagerly awaiting the third which is due out in November. This was a long book but one where you really get swept along by the storytelling. This book was mainly set in Norway which is a country I have visited and somehow that seemed to give the book extra meaning for me. Below you will find an extract written by the author as to how she came to be inspired to write this series.

I was originally inspired to write the series in 2013, as I looked up at the Pleiades star cluster one night, at home here in North Norfolk. Known as the Seven Sisters, I was intrigued by the mythology behind the stars and decided to bring these sisters into our modern world. If you look up at the night sky, the Seven Sisters can be seen from virtually anywhere in the world; they shine from dusk until dawn and their stories have been told by countless different cultures for millennia. You’ll notice that you might only see six stars, as the seventh star is the famous lost Pleaid 

The series begins as Maia D’Apli├Ęse and her five sisters gather in their childhood home of Atlantis – a beautiful castle on the shores of Lake Geneva – after the death of their adoptive father, the elusive billionaire they call Pa Salt. Discovering that he has mysteriously already been buried at sea, each sister is handed a tantalising clue about her true heritage. 

This clue takes Maia on a journey to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she begins to piece together the truth about her ancestry, and learns about the passionate Izabela Bonifacio, who lived during Rio’s Belle Epoque, 1927. 

The Seven Sisters continues with Ally’s story, ‘The Storm Sister’. Her journey will lead her to the magnificent fjords and stunning scenery of Norway, accompanied by the haunting music of Edvard Grieg

I have just moved on to read The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. Early days yet but it looks promising.

5.  Walking: We don't seem to be fitting in as many walks as I would like, partly because when we have time the weather doesn't seem to co-operate and life seems to have been very busy just lately. We did manage to fit in a walk last Friday so I will show you a few photos from that. This was the Longparish Riverdance walk which we have done several times but the scenery does change with the seasons, there are signs of Autumn everywhere now and it won't be long before we get the glorious Autumn colours which I love. This walk criss-crosses the River Test and its tributaries many times and there is always something interesting to see - it was good to see the Red Admiral butterfly still around this late in the year. We also saw a Comma butterfly but he/she wasn't hanging around to have a camera lens pointed at it!

Well that is my five for this week. I hope you have enjoyed them. Please do go and visit Amy's blog where you will find links to lots more 'five' posts.

Love Made My Home

Friday, 30 September 2016

Five On Friday - Yarndale

Not sure how it has got around to being Friday again already which means it is time for Five On Friday and I am once again linking with Amy at Love Made My Home to bring you this post.

This time last week I was up in North Yorkshire eagerly anticipating Yarndale which took place at Skipton Auction Mart on the Saturday and Sunday. Yarndale is described as being a festival of creativity, celebrating all things woolly and wonderful! It certainly lived up to that description with over 180 stands to look around and peruse over.

So no surprise here - I am going to show you five photos from Yarndale, I wish I had taken photos of some of the stands which were a feast of gorgeous colours and not sure why I didn't do this - I guess I was too busy spending money.

First of all I have made this collage of some of the yarn bombing that greeted us on arrival at the Auction Mart.

A lot of time and effort went into creating these but they were much appreciated by the queues of people waiting for the doors to open. Which one is your favourite? For me it has to be the bee hive, I was blown away by that.

This crochet bunting is always such a cheerful sight as you walk through the Yarndale Hub - for the first Yarndale event four years ago people were asked to make a bunting triangle to be displayed and this is the result of all the hundreds of triangles that were sent in. These are now displayed every year.

The project for the following year was making mandalas, some of these were on display in the cafe area this year.

So what did I buy, well here is my stash - plenty to keep me busy. I really should be crocheting my blankets but couldn't resist making a start on the bag pack that you see in the photo above - this is a new product that was launched at Yarndale and is by Lucy from Attic24, it was great to meet up with Lucy again this year and have a chat in the Knit and Natter Lounge - I also managed to pop into view her studio in Skipton briefly on the Friday which was lovely.

And here is the completed bag, I had only intended doing a small piece to see how the colours looked together but just couldn't put it down and completed it the same day as I started.

As you can see from my stash photo I also purchased some sock wool. I have knitted socks before but was inspired to have another go by meeting Christine (Winwick Mum) in the Knit and Natter Lounge who is the author of Super Socks. This book explains the process in easy steps with lots of photos to guide you. Naughty me - I have made a start on these, I will get back to my blankets soon but find it hard to resist trying out some of my new stash.

As you can probably tell I really enjoyed my day although by 2.00 pm I had to leave, it was very crowded and it was a battle fighting the crowds and had become very claustrophobic - I know when I have had enough and I think I had probably spent enough by then anyway!

Have a great weekend and please go and visit Amy's blog to find more Five On Friday posts.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Five On Friday - Bolton Abbey

Welcome to my Five On Friday from Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire. As usual I am linking with Amy from Love Made My Home to bring you this post.   I am hoping it all works out ok because I am blogging on my ipad which I am not used to using for blogging.    We decided to revisit Bolton Abbey today (hence the late post) as it is somewhere we visited last year and enjoyed and there was so much more to explore. It really is a stunning place to visit and we have walked miles today amidst spectacular scenery finishing by visiting Tea Cottage for a Yorkshire afternoon tea (fruit cake with Wensleydale cheese) - well when in Yorkshire.......   I will leave you with five photos of our day (although it is difficult choosing just five out of all the ones I took today). I hope you all have a lovely weekend - I am off to Yarndale tomorrow - excited muchly! Please go and pay Amy a visit where you will find links to more 'five' posts.  
Oops, this could be number six, sorry couldn't leave this one out!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Quick post

This is just a quick post as I am experimenting with a new blogging app on my ipad and just seeing if I can get it to do what I want it to. I will be in Yorkshire from tomorrow until Sunday which will include a visit to Yarndale on Saturday and I would like to be able to blog from there - hence this quick post. I will show you a photo of my latest blanket - this is another sunshine (SIBOL) blanket.  
I will be working on a ripple blanket while I am in Yorkshire - this will become a cot blanket for a work colleague who is expecting a baby boy in December - photos soon.   Fingers crossed this will load correctly and then I will be able to post over the weekend.    

Friday, 16 September 2016

Five On Friday - colour combo's

Wow - where has this week gone to? Cannot believe it is a week since the last Five On Friday. Once again I am linking with Amy at Love Made My Home - please do go and visit Amy where you will find links to many more 'Five' posts.

This week I am going to show you my colour selections for my next five charity blankets. I like to think ahead!!!

I have made these yarn pegs to help me plan my colour schemes for the blankets that I make so thought I would show you the schemes I have come up with, it is always possible that I might change my mind when it comes to the actual project but I like to have everything planned to ensure I have enough of the correct colours in stock (what better excuse do I need to purchase yet more wool)!

I use Stylecraft Special DK for my charity blankets, this yarn is inexpensive but lovely and soft to crochet with, it is also machine washable and can be tumble dried which I think is a big consideration when they are going to be used for the elderly in care homes. As you can see from the above photo it also comes in a wide range of colours.

Number 1

I have a completely new design in mind to use these colours with so watch this space to see what I create, I have a cot blanket to make for a work colleague first but then this one will be coming off my hook.

Number 2

This colour scheme is going to be used to create the cozy stripe blanket designed by Lucy at Attic24. As Autumn is rapidly approaching I have chosen autumnal colours that remind me of fields of sunflowers. 

Number 3

The square for my next blanket is designed by Sandra from Cherry Heart. I have put together my own colours to crochet this blanket and I hope they work well together.

Number 4

I have been looking forward to creating a blanket using this square for a long time but as it is a snowflake design I decided to leave this one until the end of the year. I do like to reflect the current season as I am crocheting so hence this one will probably be the one I work on during December. I am still a bit unsure about the colour scheme for this one but for the moment I am liking these colours together. Initially I had thought to do it in just two colours but then thought it might be a bit boring but you will have to watch this space as to which colours I end up using on this blanket. I might even change this square into a hexagon shape with six points to the snowflake to make it a true snowflake shape instead of the eight sided one in the photo below.

Number 5

This blanket will definitely be a next year project and I have tried to choose bright colours as I think that after all the Christmas festivities are out of the way it will be good to work on something vibrant and cheerful during January. I came across this square on Facebook and it is designed by Nana's Crochet Creations.

My plan at the start of this year was to produce twelve blankets to donate to a local residential care home at Christmas. I am just about to finish the edging on blanket number ten so if all goes to plan I might be able to deliver more than twelve blankets to the residents. I have so many more ideas and blankets I want to make so will be continuing to make more next year for this worthwhile cause.

Have a great weekend and see you next week for another 'five'.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Crafty Get-together

Saturday was a day I had been looking forward to for some time. As regular readers will know a group of us (like-minded crafters) meet once a month for a craft day. These days are always great fun but the one on Saturday was extra special. This time we had some additions to the usual gang - Maria all the way from Canada, Essie from The Netherlands, Hayley from Sheffield and Sarah from Derby joined us for a truly fun-packed day of crafting, laughter and the usual eating and coffee drinking! We all used to belong to an online stitching forum which is where we originally got to know one another and although I have met all of these ladies in person before it has been awhile. I last met Maria over ten years ago before she emigrated to Canada so it was great to meet up again.

As you can see from the photos below a fun time was had by all!

Photo shoot in Colly's garden (front row l-r Sarah G, Tammy, Me, Colly, Hayley and Maria, back Essie, Sarah S)

Playing with the panoramic setting on the iPad!

Jazz hands - acting silly! Quite normal when we are all together.

Our lovely bracelets made for us by Maria's seven year old granddaughter in Canada

Showing off our gorgeous cushions made for each of us by the very talented Colly

My cushion - Colly knows us all so well, each cushion was made in our favourite colours

Hayley, Maria and Essie 

A lovely goody bag for each of us from Maria - there was also some Hershey's kisses chocolate but that has already been eaten! 

Colly and Sarah S

And just to prove we did do some crafting here is Hayley with some Hardanger she is working on

This is what I was working on but I forgot to take a photo on Saturday - another charity blanket

I cannot believe how quickly the day flew by, I hope we can all meet up again soon. Fun and laughter with friends is the very best tonic!