Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Ornament Swap, a Scarf and a Blanket

I've been catching up on blog reading this morning and drooling over all the Christmas trees, decorations and the beautiful stitched ornament finishes you all have.  I'm afraid the only decorating that has been going on in this house is the wallpaper hanging kind.  
Stevie will be home on Christmas eve and we are frantically trying to get everything done so she can wake up on Christmas morning in a proper bedroom rather than the store room it has been for weeks. The furniture was ordered yesterday and will be delivered next Tuesday, Mark has put up the paintable paper, so my task this week while he is away will be to paint that so that he can hang the "pretty" paper next weekend.  I went on another shopping spree yesterday for new bedding, pillows and a quilt, so hopefully it will all come together by the time she comes home.

There are some lovely ornament finishes out there and i'm disappointed with myself that i really didn't manage to stitch much this year, the only ornament i managed to stitch and finish was one for the Christmas ornament exchange on the Needlecraft Haven forum.  Christine organizes this exchange every year and I was to send to Casey, (no blog).   I knew what i wanted to stitch because I've been wanting to stitch this for ages, it has all the elements I love, alphabet, snowman and red :-) I was hoping that Casey would love it too, thankfully she too likes snowmen so I think she was happy with what I chose.

Winter Sampler "Snowman" free design by Marika Belfiori.

I was the lucky recipient of Christine's ornament, this is what she made for me.

The design is by Olde Colonial Designs and from this year's JCS Ornament Edition.

Isn't it lovely?  Thank you so much Christine.

Whenever I've had time to sit down I've been knitting away on a scarf for Stevie.  When we were in Worcester a few weeks ago she saw this scarf in White Stuff, it had a ridiculous price tag so I said I would knit her one and took a photo to remind me of the stitch.

Below is the Moss stitch scarf from White Stuff

And this is my re-creation of it.

Worked in double moss stitch with a request for the band to be in purple.
I'm using Woolcraft double crepe yarn held double.
Double crepe should withstand even student washing! and it is lovely and soft and won't be scratchy to wear. 

There has been a little bit more progress on the Granny Stripe blanket, it's growing, all be it slowly. 

I'm still loving the colours :-)

We are still lacking a Christmas tree, that will not happen until the weekend now, it's the first year in many that my decorations haven't gone up on December 1st, so just to add a little bit of Christmas cheer around the place I've hung some of my stitched ornaments on the metal tree, (which didn't make it into the loft and was still in the garage after the move).

Once we have the tree down from the loft they will be hanging on there, for now this will have to do.

Hopefully I will get another blog post in over Christmas when the madness has settled down.

Have a good week whatever you are doing :-)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Bonny Scotland

Wow, December already! Where has this year gone?  The months have whizzed by so fast this year, Is it only me that finds it hard to keep up with everything? or do you feel the same?  I need more hours in the day, more day's in the week and more weeks in the year, lol.

At least I had a break from work this past week, well, all told, including weekends I had 8 days, it was lovely, no early mornings, no alarm calling me to get up, bliss.  I'm really not a morning person, I prefer to come around slowly, a couple cups of tea and then I might be sociable, until then I prefer to be quiet.  So when my co-worker asked if i would swap and work her afternoon today of course I said Yes! Yayyy, one more lie-in, lol.

I really needed this past week to re-charge my batteries but we still have 2 more bedrooms to get ready before Christmas, so it didn't look as though there would be much rest!

First though a little bit of R&R was called for, so our soon-to-be son in law was left in charge of hanging wallpaper in the spare room while I swanned off to Ayr in Scotland to spend a long weekend with DH.  I caught the train on the Friday morning, it was 2 trains and about 5 1/2 hours, so plenty of time to work on my blanket both getting to and travelling back home.

  I can't remember the last time I sat for so long, it made a pleasant change to just crochet and not to have interruptions.

On the Saturday we had a leisurely  browse around the town and I managed to get another couple of Christmas presents then we had some lunch in a pub that was in an old church, the alter was even still there, it felt very strange!, I should have remembered to take photos.  On the Sunday we decided to go to Robert Burns house and museum as it wasn't too far.brig

The house where Robbie Burns was born

Entrance to the Robbie Burns Monument 

Robbie Burns Monument

Brig O'Doon was just over the road from the monument

Such a lovely bridge, now just a foot bridge still with the original cobbles

Monday came around all too quickly, but it was nice to get away for a few days, can you believe this was my first ever visit to Scotland?  I would love to go again sometime, the people were extremely friendly everywhere we went and the scenery was amazing.
I took these from the train window on the way back so they are not the best, but you can get the idea.

Except for one shopping outing to Worcester, (where DD#3 did a bit of damage to my bank card), most of the rest of my week off was either spent painting, or collecting pretty things from Ikea and Dunelm, at least the end is in sight for the finish of another bedroom, we're getting there, slowly. How I wish we could wave a magic wand and it would be all done, either that or win the lottery and go away somewhere while someone else did all the work, lol.

Apologies if this post is a bit disjointed, I've been trying to publish it since yesterday but my internet connection was playing up, hopefully it will publish now.
Until next time

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Granny's China Cabinet

I only ever knew one of my Grandparents, my Granny Cox, dad's mum.  I have a very vague recollection of my Granddad Cox, sitting on his chair in the corner of the kitchen, but can't remember any more of him than that. 

My Granny's name was Cissie and when I was young I spent lots of time with her, I always spent the weekend with her, not because I had to but because I wanted to.   She let me help her around the house and do little jobs for her and she was always patient and very appreciative, telling me I'd done a wonderful job.  If ever I didn't turn up at home after school mum knew that I'd be at Grans. 

In the afternoon she always went for a lie down and sometimes I would sneak in and lay the table with tea and cake, (there was always fruit cake in a tin in the pantry), then go and wake her and tell her I'd laid the table for tea.  I never felt in the way or that I was doing something I shouldn't or doing it wrong, I hope I was never too much of a hindrance.

When you're young you just don't appreciate how hard it was back in the day, but  as I've got older I realise how awful it must have been for her.  She had 3 sons, my dad was the youngest, Uncle Jack, who's real name was Elijah John was the oldest and Uncle Ralph in the middle.  Both my uncles fought in WWII, Uncle Ralph was in the Middle East, Uncle Jack was in Singapore when it was taken, and was captured and was put on one of the so called Hell Ships as a prisoner. He was a Japanese Prisoner for the rest of the War, working in (we think the salt mines.  I have a few details of the camp he was in and his release papers).  There was a time during the war when my Granny and  Granddad didn't know if their two sons were dead or alive, like thousands of other parents.  

My dad was in a reserved occupation but wanted to enlist never the less, but, he had an overlapping toe and none of the forces would take him except for the Navy but he must have his overlapping toe amputated first.  The legal age for anything then was 21, and as he was under-age had to have his parents consent, which my Gran refused, saying that she didn't know where two of her sons were and she wasn't going to sign for my dad to go as well.

Both my Uncles came back from the War but it had already done it's damage.  Uncle Jack who was well over six feet tall came back weighing a mere 6 stone, he married and had a son but he died aged just 34.  Uncle Ralph also married but divorced, there were no children, sadly he to died in his early 50's .  This is not the way things should happen, my Gran must have carried that heartache around with her every day, yet she was never angry, not outwardly anyway.

I was around 13 when my Gran died, she had a stroke one Saturday night while we were watching TV.  I'm glad I was there and that she was not alone.

So, Granny's China Cabinet.  It always sat in the same spot in her living room with various bits and bobs in, including a china tea set of course, in those days people didn't swap and change furniture all the time, they looked after what they had, and the cabinet was polished and loved.  
After Gran died my eldest sister had a lot of her things, the cabinet being one of them, but for the past, oh, I don't know how many years the cabinet has been sitting in her garage and when she had a recent clear-out she was going to throw it away.

Considering how old it is it wasn't in bad condition really.

The back board was a different matter, this had definitely seen better days

 I couldn't let it be thrown away, so took it back home and gave it a new lease of life.

It's now in my bedroom with my treasures inside.

Sitting in the corner looking like it has always belonged there.

 And I've got something to remind me of my Gran, who just wasn't around long enough.

Thank you for letting me share a little of my Granny's story and, If you are watching Gran, I hope you like what I've done :-)


ps. For those who are interested  the cabinet is painted by me using Annie Slone chalk paint, waxed and then distressed.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Park Life

I'm feeling much better after my little vent last weekend.  The decorating continues but after lots of ticking things off lists this week  I feel back in control and less overwhelmed.
We have been having some very unseasonal weather, almost the beginning of November and still we are ok without the heating on, although according to the weathermen that will change very soon and we are in for the coldest winter for 100 years......again :-)

As I had Oliver today we made the most of the mild weather and went for a walk to the park, It's a lovely park, lovely open space, lots of trees and a lovely old building which is now used by the council but which Oliver calls a castle.  But I didn't take any photos of that today because I was so excited to find these....

This one was huge, and so perfect

I have absolutely no idea what they are called, I told Oliver it was a fairy glen :-)

Close up it looks like icing blobbed on a cake :-)

They were such an unexpected find, I wish I'd had my camera with me, as it was I had to make do with my phone.

As we made our way to the swings we saw a few squirrels feasting themselves on nuts, unfortunately they were to quick for me to photograph especially when Oliver saw them and kept shouting squirrel, squirrel, they made a hasty retreat up the nearest tree, lol 

Our garden is still looking ok at the moment but I don't suppose we are going get too many days like this now so we will have to make the most of them.

The Hydrangeas are looking very pretty still, they were blue but have turned a lovely muted colour.  Can these be dried? I don't know,but  It would be nice if they could be kept a little longer 

(All the pictures should be clickable to view better)

That's it for now,
thank you for visiting me today, your thoughts and comments are always appreciated.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Early Morning Ramblings

It's almost 5am on a Sunday morning, I decided to get up instead of keep tossing and turning, first I'm hot then I'm cold, can't get comfortable, these hormones have a lot to answer for. 
We started to hang the wallpaper in our bedroom yesterday, it was late afternoon we were both tired so we ended up having a few choice words to say to each other about how things should be done.  I hate all the mess that decorating brings with it, Mark hates decorating, things were bound to get fraught.  In the end we found a system that worked, me finding the match on the paper and cutting, him pasting and hanging, it worked, we managed a whole wall before we called it a day at around 8.30pm.  
I admit I'm finding it hard adjusting to living here, I love the area, I like the garden,  but the rest of it is taking some getting used to.  Ok, number one thing, (these are probably going to sound like silly things to some people, to me they're not, we all have our niggles of what and how we like things).
I miss the kitchen in my old house, and my cooker, I really miss my cooker.  That might sound silly but I spent a year thinking and planning that kitchen and it worked, all of it, it was easy to work in.  This one, nothing makes sense, no thought has gone into where things are, and the cooker, well less said about the the better.  I cook in batches when I can and freeze, that way I'm spending less time with it.  
No dishwasher...I didn't think this would bother me too much, after all most of the week there is just me and just the two of us at weekends, but it does, It's not the washing up, it's the stuff on the draining board after and the stainless steel sink taking up too much space and being being wet, I hate it, I'm forever cleaning it.
No built in microwave...Free standing one on the worktop, taking up space, enough said.
Fridge...In the wrong place, or perhaps the fridge is in the right place and the kettle is in the wrong place, but the kettle can't go by the sink and above the fridge because there is no plug socket there. 
The door...Really, really awkward, when it's open it takes up a lot of space.

The cat's litter tray has to be in the kitchen too, no where else for it to go, not ideal but nothing else for it at the moment, the washing machine, again has to be in the kitchen glaring at me from under the worktop, (I don't like appliances on show).  I know these things can be changed, and they will, eventually.  I'm just feeling so overwhelmed with all the things that have to be done, It's not just the kitchen, there are other rooms I'm not happy with, and when it's all done will I be satisfied, or will I still not feel settled here. 
I think we did the right thing in moving, it's just taking time to get used to less space and getting things how we want them.  Maybe it's more to do with me and how I'm feeling than the house, I went to the local shopping centre yesterday, I only had to go to one store but had to walk through a large part of the mall to get to it.  It was a Saturday so there were lots of people and I was so irritated with all these people just ambling along, and the noise, I started to panic a bit, I just wanted to get to the store, get what I wanted and get out of there and back home, I'd no patience for people strolling with nothing  better to do than wander aimlessly round a shopping centre.  I do feel like that quite a bit lately, I want to shut myself away, not bother with anyone, haven't got the patience with people.  
I'm not depressed, just overwhelmed and irritated, very easily irritated sometimes, that's the only way I can describe it.
Day two of paperhanging will be happening today, lets hope we can get through it without swearing and any mishaps.

If you've read my ramblings, thank you, and If you made it this far, a BIG thank you.  I am turning off the comments though, this is not an 'Oh woe is me please feel sorry for me post'   I wanted to get some things out, and now they are, I might feel better for it, or I might feel just as frustrated tomorrow, who knows, either way I'll get on with it, I always do.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Birthday Celebrations

On Friday we celebrated a special day,  my beautiful Grandson turned 2.

I can hardly believe how these two years have flow by.  I've been remembering that long night with Jenny and James at the hospital, I was Jenny's 2nd birthing partner, but after an endless night I didn't see this special person make his appearance into the world, Jenny was so tired and it was decided that she needed help and was taken to another room where only one other person was allowed, of course that other person just had to be daddy.
I waited and waited for news and after about 45 minutes James came back and told me i had a Grandson, that he was already looking around him and had big feet!  
Of course I was over the moon, and so proud of them both, but especially Jenny, she was disappointed about not doing it herself, but honestly, she was a trooper.

I let her make the phone call to the new Grandad who was working in London at the time, and who promptly broke down in tears when he was told he had a Grandson.  He might act tough but the girls know their dad is a really softy inside.

I love this little boy so, so much, we all do, he is amazing, funny and clever.  If you are a grandparent you will know exactly what I mean, every Grandparent feels the same.

Helping Grandad fix it

He is growing up way to fast, we have to make the most of these precious days when they are small, and I can tell you that I make sure that I appreciate and make the most of all the hours I spend with him.

Happy Birthday Little Dude

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

A Crochet Finish :-)

We are back home again after a lovely week away in Cyprus, when we went away the weather here was still on the warm side in the UK, but what a change when we got back! The plane landed and the pilot told us it was 5 degrees outside, brrr, what a shock to the system!

Just before we jetted off I managed to finish the blanket I was crocheting for my great nephew.  I don't get to see him all that often and had to leave the blanket at my sisters for his mum to collect, she messaged me on Facebook that he loved it and had wrapped it around himself to go to sleep in bed that night and wanted to take it to school with him the next day :-)

She sent me this cute photo of him.

I'm pleased to have had a crafty finish and that it's gone to a good home.

I hope you will indulge me with a few sunshine photos to end with.  We have been to Cyprus many, many times so I didn't take too many this time, just a few reminders.

An area called See Caves, you can see why

The ground around the edge didn't look too safe, so we made sure we stayed well back

This was our little hire car, lol

Looking towards Coral Bay

We just managed to catch a glimpse of the sunset before we set off for home

So there you go, told you there weren't too many :-)
There is going to be a lot of decorating activity over the coming weeks, we are having new windows fitted on Thursday so once that's done we can at last start to make the place ours.  I'm both dreading it and looking forward to it at the same time, the upheaval that decorating causes drives me mad but it will be lovely to have wallpaper on my bedroom wall, lol.

Until next time

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