Well It’s Like This …….. Don’t Laugh!

Saturday proved a total write off as we here in the UK with our temperate climate that produces some of the world’s most unique weather patterns (and we know this), had a storm. Not a huge one, a bit unexpected -ish lasted all of 10 minutes here in our part of Bedfordshire. Super lashing rain, awesome bright pink fork lightening and some super winds that had trees VERY near by that are hundreds of years old bending near to breaking point. Then it was gone, the sky blue and a hint of sun BUT we lost our electricity for hours!!! Crazy madness given we know this about our beautiful island, we are NEVER ready for our weather, ever. Rain, wind, snow, heat you name it we are not geared up for any of it…… bit embarrassing really. SO, sitting by candle light, no chance of a cup of tea (no gas in our village) I was quite a happy bunny (not). I did do an excellent impression of Vicor Meldrew (character in an old UK sitcom, he was a right old moaner).

By the time we had light again all I could think of was my cup of tea and the one Saturday TV show I watch so all creativity abandoned me.

Sunday dawned, mood a little lighter I had a more detailed look at my new 300 stitch crochet book to discover it’s in English!!!! By that I mean I crochet in American 🙂  I have no idea why my Mum taught me in American but she did. I am sort of bi-lingual in crochet so spent a bit of time doing a translation for popcorn stitch.  At this point Dear Reader I ask you to remember I am very new to crochet and my hooking extends to basics hence my choice of popcorn as it is described as a basic stitch.

They lied!

My osteoarthritis really doesn’t help but I have always tried to get past my limitations and pretty successfully I think. Not this time. I can safely say my one small test row of popcorn is a right old dogs dinner! It took quite a while and I am sure any one of you pro’s out there would have laughed your tail feathers off at my truly awful attempt. That all said, I did give it a go direct from the book. I will do a YouTube search and see a real crocheter doing it so I can see how badly I fouled up the technique 😉

I submit, for your amusement 2 pictures of my weak effort and beg your indulgence. ximage image

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Uh Oh ….. Blame Dellis

If my new-found addiction to crochet wasn’t quite all-consuming it will be now! My darling Dellis sent me a book. 300 Crochet Stitches.

Who knew there were so many?

Well quite obviously with my obsessive tendencies I am going to have to try every single one ….. so here begineth the start of a lifelong journey 😉

Wish me luck…. no strike that WISH YOU luck as you read me LOL! xxx

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Hands Up ……

image…. if it’s time for a bit of change.

I finally today completed a task that has weighed me down since my Dad passed. Getting his apartment completely clear and ready to receive tenants. I can hardly believe it is done. Exhausted both physically and emotionally but it seems like a great time to keep the thrust forward with change.

You will know from my previous post that I am on a journey that currently has the wind behind me creating momentum 🙂

So I thought a little change with my blog theme as well 😉

I think I like it, may take a bit of getting used to but hey ho, out with the old (cranky, mad me) and in with the new (not so cranky and not so mad).

Time will tell 🙂 x

More Than You Can Shake A Stick At !!!!

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The sewing has taken a back seat (bad girl) as the crochet bug has bitten BIG STYLIE!

I have a crochet, coffee and chats morning coming up with some lovely ladies who attended my Absolute Beginners sewing workshop last summer, so in the interest of being sure my proposed beginners crochet project is suitable I have trialled many yarns and as a result I have had several projects on the go at once! In fact we have here photographic evidence that I crochet anywhere …. DD2 had a hospital appointment and I expected a bit of a wait so I sat there crocheting. Some of the looks I got did make us chuckle as some of the faces had the look of ‘ oh gosh, it’s witchcraft’ 😉 image

imageWell I had better make the most of it as the time is rapidly approaching when I will have to rejoin the workforce and time will not be so readily available to me (Boooooooo!)

I have however after all this trialling settled on a fantastic acrylic yarn by James Brett called Marble Chunky and the great thing is it comes in a 200g ball so this will be sufficient for the task in hand, no yarn changes to break the spirit of my new learners 🙂

Additionally I have continued with my exposure therapy and have been out LOADS, even on my own. It really is beginning to work as I feel less and less unwell when I am out now. To the point that DD2 and I are gadding off to France on the Eurostar next week for a day trip. We did intend to go to Amsterdam on a budget airline but for some reason the flights are pretty costly at the moment so we’ve decided to drive to Folkestone and do the 35 minutes on the train under the English Channel. Trying not to think on that, a bit scary 😦  

Part of my ‘getting my act together’ has been reverting to a good old-fashioned hand written diary  that I am keeping copious notes and lists in. Although I don’t tend to get everything done, I do find I get a lot more done and my head doesn’t seem to have the never ending chatter that just increases my anxiety. All in all going quite well

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1 ball of 200g down, 1  more to go

1 ball of 200g down, 1 more to go

almost finished, just one more edge to shell stitch and done. I LOVE the colours in this James Brett

almost finished, just one more edge to shell stitch and done. I LOVE the colours in this James Brett

Weekend Plans

Moon rise over bedfordshire

Moon rise over bedfordshire

pretty beau

weekend project fabric .... LUSH!

weekend project fabric …. LUSH!

beautiful Beau

beautiful Beau

HH took this yesterday, how can you not love rainbows?

HH took this yesterday, how can you not love rainbows?

I have a couple of crafty tasks set for the weekend and I have also been busy with that camera I bought for HH at Christmas….. by gum that was a good buy, I’m really enjoying learning to use a grown up camera.

A hotch potch of photos attached today, follow me if you can! Any other creatives will totally get how so many things can go through your head and in a strange sort of way join up and make sense 🙂

Having really tested myself this week with some exposure therapy …. going out on short planned jaunts has proven quite successful. If you had asked me earlier in the week I would have said it was heinous as the side effect of agoraphobia is waaay too much adrenalin so when I got home after my first controlled jaunt (which didn’t turn out quite so controlled) I felt wretched. I did however stick with it and each day the effects have been slightly less, so all going in the right direction.

Anyway, I digress AGAIN!

The camera. We had a lovely moon rise 2 evenings ago and I wondered if I could get a good shot. What do you think? I was pretty chuffed.

Then today I was chatting away to our lovely old dog Beaudi, she is a 12 year old lurcher who has an identity problem…. she thinks she is part feline and part human. Either way, I think she is the most wonderful hound ever. These darling pets that we take into our lives, they comfort us through tough times, just sit and let you stroke them, hug them, kiss them and cry on them. In good times they are happy for you. On boring days they make you laugh and all in all are just absolute treasures.

Beaudi is rather camera shy, so the fan dangled, super duper fast shooting camera got whipped out. I felt like a bit of a quick drawing gun slinger only with my HH camera. Sum result a couple of lush pictures of my baby.

buoyed up with my growing camera confidence I have taken shed loads of pictures of some of my fabric stash that simply MUST be sold as I am unlikely to use some of these bits and the room is needed for another Walthamstow run 😉 While rummaging, yet again attractively with my rear in the air I came across some lovely fabric that my dear friend sent over from USA a while ago now. They are smallish remnants that are just lovely designs SO I am thinking I will make something this weekend. Have something in mind but won’t commit myself here, gives me room to change my mind. Woman’s prerogative!!

Additionally, the crochet-a-thon I have found myself on in recent weeks has grown to obsessive levels and I expect to take delivery of some yarn tomorrow. Hoping to make a start on a baby blanket with that.

As you can see, rather a lot going on in this noddle of mine 🙂

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so let’s see if I get either of my craft projects off the ground as planned or will I digress just by way of a change?

Have a poptastic weekend lovely blogland readers x

Definately Miscellaneous

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A hugely random post but hey ho 😉

I bought HH a poptastic professional camera for Christmas and lo and behold it has found its way into my sticky mitts!

Here where we live in Bedfordshire, England we do enjoy pretty spectacular skies as we have an uninterupted view across the rolling Chilterns (lucky us, I know). For this reason we are all a bit sky crazy and I thought I would like to test the camera. It has so many doobries, ooger-ma-flips and thingumy bobs, didn’t have a clue so rather than do the grown up bit and read the destructions I just went for it, twisting buttons and I was pretty pleased with my first attempts.

I must read the destructions though….. this super duper camera would be perfect for me to make some video tutorials for sewing …. that’s something I do know how to do 🙂

Aim: How to attach camera to tripod, how to video, make video tutorial on my very favourite to start with, French Seams. If that goes ok then I may branch out to other sewing techniques. Before all of that I need to let my nails grow again. Spent entire day clearing my late Dad’s apartment and have successfully broken every nail and now have man hands (short, square little things) eeeeew!

Hope you like the pictures AND keep watching for my video tutorial debut coming here very soon.

xx

Blood Donors Seek A Helping Hand

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a baby blood droplet for a good cause

a baby blood droplet for a good cause

evidence that crochet hooks are taking over my life and living room!

evidence that crochet hooks are taking over my life and living room!

and I was happy to oblige having read the previous blog on my page that I felt compelled to reblog.  Who knows if and when we may need this vital service, please God never BUT you never know.

Both of my in laws were very regular donors, both gave something like 40 pints or more, they were getting award medals frequently so I know it was A LOT! I felt that I should do my little bit and have made a baby blood droplet and am sure a couple more will get made this coming week. Thanks to the easy to follow pattern on Loopsan.com

Maybe you too have a bit of red yarn lurking about and a spare hour to make the baby?

Can’t wait to see what they do with all the crocheted and knitted droplets in February but whatever they do it will be great to have been part of it.

2014 number 7 – Crochet for a good cause

Awesome idea, digging out red yarn immediately, I know i have some in my stash!

UK Crochet Patterns

Lovely Loopsan tweeted this to us: a call for more blood donors. One day, you might be grateful for their help so perhaps think about donating to help someone else?

The NHS are running a campaign to raise awareness of blood donation and are asking knitters and crocheters to crochet drops of blood! But how cute are they?! Apparently something is happening with these crocheted drops in February …

Visit loopsan for more info and three free patterns!

Please share too!

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She Was MY Mum……

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I do hope you are able to allow me a little self indulgence today, I promise there is a link to sewing!

11.01.10 at 11.10am the girl who grew up at 110 Queens Avenue left, it was just her and I at her parting. Just as it had been in the beginning as the midwife had left the room when she delivered me. So it was me and my Mum at my beginning and me and my Mum at her passing. Just as it should be, a painful 4 year old memory now but I still believe something greater was at play.

An only child to utterly devoted parents, my Mum and I were inseperable. She had been abandoned at the age of 2 so had no Mother figure to mould herself on, the sum result was a bit of an odd relationship for the onlooker. Normal to me of course. Yet her ending was a cruel one with just 8 weeks notice, this left me reeling and suprisingly angry. My anger only subsided 23 months later when my darling Dad had to go. He was a class act my Dad. He waited until he felt I was coping a bit better then he just popped off at just 48 hours notice. The hospital said ‘come see him one last time but be warned he will be asleep, the morphine’. Well they didn’t know my Dad. We (me, HH, DD1 & DD2) arrived and we had one PERFECT hour with the man I am proud to call MY Dad. He woke up and nattered away to us all, we laughed, hugged, told each other of our love for one another and as we left he said “love you my darling, see you later”. I knew it would be much later.

If we , prior to our birth draw cards for our parents then I drew the King and Queen of Hearts.

My Dad was a calm, gentle, loving, forgiving, kind and funny man. He set the bar pretty darn high for any potential Husbands yet I lucked out and did marry a man with so many of my Dad’s qualities.

As for my Mum she was my guide, confident, my spirit, my enemy as well as my friend. This sparky, firey artistic woman was born as WW2 started but she would have done better to be born 20 years later as the world would have had a place for her. She never did fit the 1950’s housewife mould.  She worked in computers in the 1970’s when computers took up whole buildings, she was a trail blazer but she would have benefited from more relaxed views for young woman had she been born a bit later.

That said she did inherit the wonderous skills that women of that era possess in spades. Thrifty, creative, talented at EVERYTHING!

Mum’s particular love was for sewing. Hence, my love for sewing. She started me young, age 4 on a pencil case. By 8 or 9 I could easily make a zipped skirt with waistband and a full hand finish to hem, inner waistband and lining! Pretty cool huh? Of course I didn’t realise what a gift she was giving me. In truth only since she has gone have I really started sewing with any level of passion again. Now I am on the back foot as I MUST teach my daughters, her grand daughters. It would be utterly remiss of me to allow this gift to die with me.

I have taken photo’s of some of my old photo’s to share here with you. Every sewn garment my Mum is wearing she made. I had an enviable wardrobe too as she only had me to deal with, she channeled all her efforts into some fantastics clothes. I clearly remember she made me and my childhood best friend a bomber jacket each. It was a polyester with a small repeat graphic of a 1920’s lady, shoulders up with her wonderous head piece. We thought we were the dogs dangly bits in our very fashionable yet unique bomber jackets. Wish I could find a picture.

The art has carried me through my life even when I don’t realise it. I have tended to take for granted the skill set I possess courtesy of the wonderful woman who was/is my Mum.

My wedding day is littered with me and Mum. We made all the dresses, hats, muffs, table flowers, wedding cake. Then my daughters were Christened in the gown I was Christened in, which was made from my Mum’s wedding dress. God willing my grandchildren will be Christened in it too.

For those of you who like a bit of retro I hope you enjoy the pictures, Mum modelling her own creations (she was just 19 when she married Dad), Dad rocking the look….. even in sandles with socks!! Right through to my wedding in February 1990.

I am proud to be my Mothers daughter and thank her for the gifts she so generously bestowed upon me. Now I am learning to remember her without tears everytime it has been lovely to sit here and share a little of MY Mum with you. The woman who taught me to sew. x

Just A Quickie ….

…tried out my new hooks. REALLY happy  with them.

I found a free pattern for a baby hat on Ravelry.com and being the in for a penny, in for a pound type-a-gal I went full steam at this wee bonnet with a stitch I have never done before. FPHD, a quick YouTube lesson and I had a go.

Not 100% happy, think the pattern wandered a bit while I was trying to master the stitch with some stash yarn. As the law of sod murphy would have it, didn’t have enough to complete the shell trim so backside thrust in the air I have a darn good rummage for something, anything suitable to trim with.

Again not ideal but the cream and gold yarn was the only one that didn’t completely fight with the main colour. In fact the more I look at it, the more I like it. Reminds me of Spring for some reason!!??

So new hooks = WIN

New hat = NEUTRAL for the time being 😉

its like a purple bluebell :)

its like a purple bluebell 🙂

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