Monday, 29 April 2013


Just a quick post of a few pictures from today's walk and from my garden. I think I did quite well with the pictures from the dog walk as it's been very windy here today and everything was blowing about as I tried to take them! Very inconvenient! It's also been bright and sunny one minute and overcast the next, almost as though it was going to rain, though thankfully it didn't.

This is from a couple of weeks ago.

This was the same path today! What a difference! I need to take the same view in summer, autumn and winter I think.

My dog thought he'd get in on this one :-)

Lovely white cherry blossom.

Love the colours on these new shoots.

Lovely blue sky but the clouds kept scudding over the sun.

I love this lime green moss!

This is from my garden, the Pieris top and bottom right and the Spirea on the left you may remember from this post here. The middle right is a patch of Lungwort.

As always thanks for dropping by, see you soon :-)

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Face Cloths, Disasters and Other Things

 Hi everyone, hope you are all OK out there in Blogland, I have had a traumatic couple of weeks! I've been about on 'tinterweb, but not for a significant enough amount of time to be able to do a blog post!

I warn you this is a bit of a rambling post and if you only come here to see crochet whizz down to the bottom now! However, if you have time, make a coffee and have a read, it will make your week seem a lot better :-)

Right, where shall I start? Errrrrmm let me see.

Well, lets start at the very beginning, I've heard it's a very good place to start!

The cold tap in my kitchen started to drip and then to trickle. No problem I thought, I am not stupid and can change a tap washer. Under the sink I go to turn off the stopcock, it refused to turn no matter how hard I tried, but I moved on to plan B, the outside stopcock! Opened the little flappy thing (I never said I was good on technical terms!) no stopcock just a hole full of mud! I managed to get rid of some of the mud but still no stopcock! Time to phone a friend, I thought!
Along comes G a male friend since our kids were small and purely platonic! G tries the stopcock in the kitchen but doesn't want to force it, then proceeds to go down the outside hole as far as his arm can reach, still no stopcock! He turned the tap in the kitchen so it didn't drip, which meant I couldn't use it so had to go upstairs to fill up jugs!

I rang the plumber who said he could come in a couple of days!

Meanwhile upstairs, my boiler (obviously hearing that the plumber was coming and wanting a bit of the attention) began to leak and soaked or made damp ALL the towels in my airing cupboard :-( As it is a combination boiler it also meant I had no hot water for showers etc so it meant boiling a kettle, which was OK as the plumber was coming. I rang him and told him about the boiler so all was well. Hahahahaha! They say things come in threes;

"What's that wet patch on the kitchen ceiling Mum?"
"What wet patch on ................ *&%$*& !!!!!!!!"

Off I dash upstairs to the bathroom and discover that the toilet (obviously hearing about the plumber and wanting in on the action had decided to leak too!) Fortunately I was able to turn the little screwy thing that let water into the cistern, mop up the floor and instruct the children to use the other toilet. Then I rang the plumber!
"No problem" he said, obviously adding up pounds in his head and booking a holiday!

So all was well, we got jugs of water from upstairs, to fill the kettle for hot water to wash, after all the plumber was coming.

The plumber came, he had to order a part for the boiler but did a temporary fix so I had hot water, he fixed the leaking pipe to the toilet cistern, he attempted to turn off the stopcock in the kitchen ..... it wouldn't budge! He went outside and lifted the flappy thing and looked down the hole.
" Hmmm I can't see it either, not to worry I have a gadget that goes a long way down and turns off the stopcock, it's on my son's van though so if you can manage I'll bring it when I come with the boiler part in a couple of days"

So off he went, that was the Friday. I'd had my three events, two were fixed or almost fixed all was under control!

Are you still with me or have you dozed off?

On Sunday the toilet started filling up when we flushed!!!! I lifted the manhole cover in the back garden, the drains were backed up (sorry), I rang the plumber and said could he come Monday and not wait till boiler part came, yes he said, upgrading his holiday!

That was four disasters now, that was my fair share, surely!

But oh no! Let's hit a woman when she's down! Younger son who had been away for the weekend came back with raging toothache, I dosed him up with painkillers and on Monday morning got him an emergency dental appointment .......... on the Tuesday!!! Stupid dentist how is that an emergency appointment? But not having a car, I was a bit stuck.

The plumber arrived on Monday, unblocked the drains, brought the long gadgety thing, broggled about down the hole and managed to turn the stopcock off, hooray!!!!
He fixed the tap in the kitchen so all was well (apart from the new part for the boiler that came later and was fitted). So now I had a fixed boiler, toilet and tap and my drains were back to normal. Just the toothache and we'd be good to go!

Off we trotted to the dentist on Tuesday morning, no cavities but a gum infection!!! So antibiotics were prescribed, along with mouth wash and painkillers and a strict lecture from both the dentist and myself on brushing teeth and the perils of not doing do. The week progressed, so did the pain!! We went back to the dentist got more antibiotics and eventually he was back to normal.

By this point in the week I was a quivering wreck, still fitting work in and a first aid course and doing other motherly things. Crochet just hasn't happened this week neither has posting :-( but hopefully that is my share of disasters for a while and things can get back to normal.

If anyone is still with me at this point, well done, better things to come, keep reading!

Firstly crocheted face cloths!

 To be honest I was a bit doubtful about crocheted face cloths, make that very doubtful. The words crochet and face cloth or flannel, didn't seem to go together at all! But having seen them in Simply Crochet and elsewhere I started to wonder. Then I saw the Stylecraft Classique Cotton and decided to have a go.
I bought a ball of Ivory and one of Sky Blue and got cracking. The Stylecraft was much less 'splitty' than the RICO cotton yarn I have used before, which I was pleased about as I found I couldn't get a rhythm going with the RICO. In fact I really liked working with the Stylecraft it was 'easy on the hook' if you get what I mean.
The cloths were very quick to make and I whipped up these three in an evening. I don't think I'll do a stripy one again though because of all the ends!

When I'd finished and taken the photographs I did a 'wet' test. I mean what is the point of a face cloth if its not good when its wet! I thought they may be quite bulky compared to a commercial towelling face cloth but I was pleasantly surprised, they felt lovely. Also after it had dried I found that it was softer than ever and felt lovely on my skin. This could be the way to go in the beauty regime department!

I'm also loving my new app Diptic which lets me do all of these fancy dancy photo layouts! I was told about it by Ada at Vintage Sheet Addict (thanks Ada), she said it was easy and it is, it has to be for a techy challenged person like myself! So, I've been playing a bit. There are a few areas I'm not sure about, like making the text larger. Not sure if its me or if you just can't do it!

Ooh I like this!

From my garden this morning.

 The above was from my dog walking, look at that cheeky frog top right, looking at me and posing! The pond was full of frogs looking for someone to get friendly with.

And lastly a bit of Crofter square progress but it's quite damp and dismal here today so the light isn't very good for taking photographs. There will be better ones soon and hopefully I will be able to take one of the wiggly worm crochet project, that isn't a worm at all!

If you made it to the end of this post, Well Done! If you just read the crochet bits I hope you like them.

Please feel free to comment, I know there are a lot of lurkers out there and it does make my day when someone visits and leaves a few words. Oh and please let me know if you like the new banner. I really appreciate all the people that do leave comments, thanks very much and see you next time :-)

PS I figured out how to make text larger on Diptic ......... it was so simple doh!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

More Squares and a Purchase or Two!

Hi everyone, I'm back at work now so have less time on my hands but I have been beavering away at my Crofter squares and have two more colours to show you.

 Fairisle is mainly shades of green from palest mint to deep jade with a bit of grey in the mix.

On this Magilly I was quite nicely surprised at some of the colours that emerged. I was expecting mostly blue and turquoise when looking at the ball and thought it may be a bit brash against the other colours. But when I started working it up that was not the case at all.

So far I'm enjoying all of the colours and love to see how each square turns out so differently. More squares to come soon.

The yarn is lovely to work with, it is soft and flowing and the squares seem to almost make themselves. The composition is 60% acrylic, 25% cotton and 15% wool.

So far I haven't got a favourite, but I haven't used the Seagrass yet!

The squares have taken a bit of a back seat at the moment while I make a dog blanket for a friend.

Now the purchases;

A sea glass marble for my collection.

Fabric to make some little hearts, took this at Easter and forgot to post it!

Cotton yarn for face cloths.

Some yarn with Merino to edge the Billy Blanket squares, see here

A pot of hyacinths

A little charity shop find.

That looks lovely with some white chrysanthemums.

I can't wait till the weekend so I can get cracking on some bits! I am still adding to my Ripple and to the wiggly worm project that isn't a wiggly worm at all now, but something looking quite good! Something I am very, very pleased with and will show you soon.

Well, I have to go and be a mum now as both children are back from the library and tea is the next job. They both wanted Pepperoni omelette and salad tonight so that's an easy one, got some crusty bread too, must dash.

 A little glass bowl full of ends from my squares :-)

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Big Clearout!

Hello from the house of mess, dust and piles of boxes!

I have been putting off clearing out my loft/attic/roof space for quite a while now, but its got to the stage of worrying in case the ceiling caves in and lands on our heads! Also I want more insulation so I have to remove everything.
The plan was to get it down, sort it, throw as much as possible, and put as little back as possible. As I can't manage on my own and am a well known and sentimental hoarder, older son has been over for a few days to help and 'encourage' me to be ruthless.
I think we may need more than one session as there is around twenty five years of accumulated precious items rubbish up there. When I start to say 'Oh look I can't throw this' older son says 'its been up there for years have you ever needed it?' And to be honest the answer is usually 'no' ......... followed by a sigh!
There have been some rediscovered gems that I will keep, such as items that belonged to my late mother, one of them a suitcase of hand embroidered tablecloths and tray cloths etc. But on the whole I am wondering why I kept things such as boxes for every electrical item I've ever bought!!!!! This may be a slight exaggeration, but I think you may get the picture!
My bedroom, and landing were slowly covered with various boxes and bags which we sorted for either charity, the tip, school (sons old Duplo) or to keep. Then up we went again for the next load of boxes to begin all over again.

Gosh it was fun!!!

Loads of things I had kept because 'they might come in handy' (they haven't done so far mum, chuck it), things I kept for 'sentimental reasons'  ( why have you still got the pram/babybath/terry towelling nappies?) the list goes on. I have come to the conclusion that my loft is like Dr Who's tardis!!!!!!

Some treasures were definitely keepers like this old cookbook of my mothers, Batchelor's Pudding anyone?

 A sweet little tin that bore the words 'stamp hinges' and miraculously contained the same.

A leaflet about women's National Insurance Contributions and the manual to a very old camera!!

 My mother's folder from when she was at Teacher Training College, my folders for pattern cutting, dressmaking and History of Fashion from when I was at college. In some ways it was quite entertaining rediscovering all these forgotten items. In others quite emotional because of my mum's things. They have been in the loft for about two years now and I was glad older son was there to help me sort them.

He took her set of fish knives and forks as he entertains more than I do, so they will get used instead of being packed away.

He made three trips to the tip and two to the charity shop with the car packed, and I mean packed!!!! He could just about squeeze in to drive safely after a few adjustments so that he could see out of the back window, which is always an advantage.

PS It is now the morning after the two days before and I can hardly move! My shoulders hurt from lifting boxes up and down, my knee and balls of my feet hurt from standing on the ladder and going up and down the ladder, my back hurts from lifting and bending over boxes! In short I'm a bit of a wreck today! But ............ there is actually space in my roof space whoop, whoop!

PPS Huge thanks to older son for all the work he did, including the three trips to the tip and two to the charity shop, couldn't have done it without you A xxx

PPPS I will be back with some crochet progress soon and a couple of yarn purchases :-)

Some spring sunshine, Celandines from my walk with the dogs this morning.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Sea Fever

Sea Fever
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
From SALT-WATER POEMS AND BALLADS, by John Masefield, published by the Maxmillan Co., NY, © 1913, p. 55; the poem was first published in SALT-WATER BALLADS, © 1902.

 The above poem was one of my mum's favourites, and consequently one of mine. She often used to quote the first two lines when we were walking on the beach, so it has very strong memories of her attached to it.
What better way to start off a post that contains beachy pictures.

In the winter months, roughly October till March, the beach belongs to the locals. Most of the holiday makers have gone and the beaches are quiet once more. The first busy weekend of the year is Easter, then a few weeks of quiet until May Bank Holiday and after that the town is bustling again. Gradually more people head for the beach until on a hot day in mid summer there is not much space at all. 

Early season and the beach is deserted.

The beach is flat and sandy, no rocks, but there can be areas of shallow water left behind when the tide goes out.

Flotsam and jetsam along the tide line.

Lots of shells, dried seaweed and pebbles, but no sea glass AT ALL! No holiday makers either!

Little sand sculptures made by the wind.
I found these little sculptures on the promenade, a bit of leftover sand from the high winds we had earlier this year. They look like little houses to me. Almost like a Bethlehem skyline on a Christmas card.

A cautionary sign, the beach is not all fun.

A lovely calm sea.

Part of the sea defences.
These rocks are now covered by layers of sand! They have been put there as an extra defense against the tide coming over, which it does in the winter months when there is an incoming tide and the wind is off the sea. The rocks supposedly break up the force of the tide.

You can tell this is a different day, very cold and grey.

The bottom picture was taken on a different day, and can't you tell! 

Lastly two pictures that aren't the beach but part of one of the local foreshore gardens.

This was taken crouched down at the end of the waterfall, I like to take photographs from different angles. I don't profess to be a photographer at all I just like to take pictures.

I love living by the sea.