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Friday, 15 November 2019

Wet and wild

Yesterday was just awful, I don't think it stopped raining all day and the temperature only reach 3° all day.  There are flood warnings in many places throughout the UK, thank goodness we are not in one of those areas, it must be just terrible for the people who are though, my thoughts go out to them.

I took this photo through the kitchen door yesterday, the grass is just covered in leaves but with it being so wet we haven't had chance to get out there to clean them up.  Mark swept all the path last weekend but it was just too soggy to attempt to clear them off the grass. 


Marlene, when I see the grass covered in leaves like this I think of you saying that you don't like to see leaves on your garden, I think my garden would drive you nuts at the moment, lol



You can't see from the photos but the boarders are full of water up to and at some points, extending onto the grass.  It's going to take a while for that to dry out!

There are still plenty of leaves still to fall, I just hope that by the time we can get out we won't be knee deep in them, lol

I do love both Autumn and Winter, I don't even mind cold mornings, but rain, ugh! hate it.

There were a couple of days last week when it didn't rain so when I finished work at lunch time I went for a walk around the local park.

When I think of Autumn, this is what I want to see, beautiful colours :-)

Beautiful gates to Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge





I've been taking along some bread to feed the ducks and geese on the pond while i'm there, they swim alongside as you walk, I felt like the Pied Piper, lol.  You can help yourself to food (for a very small donation) to feed them but I recently saw a post on FB that said that ducks were starving because people were no longer feeding them bread because they had been told it was bad for them.  I suppose it's better for them to have bread than nothing at all, especially in the Winter.

It's felt like a very long week this week, three afternoons looking after Oliver and Bonnie after work and not getting home until after 6.30, make for very long days when i'm out of the house at 8am.  Joanne will be on maternity leave in a couple of weeks so at least I will only have Oliver to collect from school then.  
Not sure what's going to happen when this new baby comes.  

Don't get me wrong, I do love having them and I'm glad I'm able to help out, and I know I'm lucky that they all live close by and I can see them regularly, but I'm not going to lie, it's hard work, especially all the toing and frowing and In and out the car with two of them. 

There is a reason why Mother nature stops you having children when you are older, they tire you out, lol

Tonight I'm going to the cinema with my girls to see 'Last Christmas'  and on Sunday we are going to the Christmas Gift Fair at the NEC in Birmingham.   I've persuaded Mark to come with us this year, he is the original Bah Humbug when it comes to Christmas, so that should be interesting,  but I've told him there is free cheese and wine so he might just survive it :-)

I'll be back soon with a couple of stitching finishes, once I can get enough daylight to take photos.

See you soon
-X-

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Secret

That's a misleading post title as it's not really a secret, and I haven't intentionally avoided saying it in a blog post, but as time is marching along so quickly I should tell you that I am soon to become a Nanna again :-)

Grandchild number 4 (I know, 4!!!) is due to arrive very early in January.

Bonnie will have a baby brother to fuss over, she is a proper little girl and loves anything to do with babies so I'm sure Joanne will have plenty of "help"

Joanne posted this on Instagram a while ago now to announce the happy news, Bonnie looks in shock, lol but she is already talking about her baby brother and I know she will be a wonderfully kind big sister.


So next years stitching will be much the same as the last few years, lol.  Another 'baby's first Christmas' ornament, another birth sampler and another Shepherd's Bush stocking, (did you wonder why I bought another shepherd's Bush stocking chart last weekend?? :-)

I haven't done a lot of knitting this time round because Joanne still has lots of little cardigans that I made for Bonnie, and Jenny has passed on the ones I knit for Arthur. 
I have made a new  crochet blanket though.

The first photo is probably more true to the colours



I wanted to use up some Stylecraft Special DK from my stash so came up with this rather than a granny square.

I think it came out ok, and it's different to the other blankets I made for her last time.

I also made a little cowl this week.  This was a kit I bought from The Cotton Pod at Yarndale last year


I'm not sure I will get much use out of it though, I don't really like the way cowls sit, but it might be ok under a coat.  It worked up really quickly after sitting there waiting to be done for over a year, lol.

Can you believe we are in November?  This year has really flown by, they do say that the older you get the faster time goes, and I think that's so true.  Christmas is just around the corner, again, I have already made a good start on present buying, I would like to have it all done by the end of the month so that I can enjoy a stress free December.
I always aim for this every year but it hardly ever happens, but we'll see.

Hope you all have a good crafty week

See you soon
-X-

Sunday, 27 October 2019

And then the sun came out

I doubt today's sun would be enough to dry up all the rain, but what a complete contrast to yesterday's weather, blue sky's all round :-)

I got to take my walk along the canal, well, part of it, and how beautiful it was!
I walked in the direction of the Horseshoe Falls, which you can see in the last photo.









Thoroughly enjoyed my walk, I wish I had such a pleasant place to take walks back home.

I was ready for some lunch after a two hour walk so found a nice little bistro in the high street that did a lovely Sunday roast.


Then I spent a quiet afternoon with Suzannah again.
She now has an arm, which looks quite out of proportion to the rest of her body, lol


It's back home tomorrow, I've really enjoyed my little weekend break, it's nice to jump off the hamster wheel and press the reset button occasionally, I think we all feel better after a little 'me' time don't we?

I hope that you have been able to spend some time doing what makes you happy this weekend too :-)

See you soon
-X-

Saturday, 26 October 2019

We all made it through the rain and floods

The rain continued this morning making for some scary moments on the roads leading to the Nimble Thimble.  The main roads were fine but once you got onto the lanes there were some pretty big floods to negotiate.  
Wales is a series of hills and valleys and so when it rains to the extent that we have had over the last couple of days of course the water runs down the hills and fields faster than the drains can cope with and there is no where for it to go, so you end up with these mini lakes in the roads.


I had to turn around at one coming back this afternoon (not this one) because is was just too deep to drive through.  It must be terrible for the people who live near to where it floods like this, it must take weeks to drain off, especially this time of year.

Thankfully everyone managed to get to and from the meet up without any mishaps.

I've probably shown these same photos before from previous meet-ups so I apologise for the sameness.

Chris always decorates the shop for Halloween



She specializes in American charts and also stocks a lot of Shepherds Bush and The Drawn Thread.
As I have bought quite a few charts recently I went with the intention of buying threads to kit up a few charts that are already in my stash, but of course, it's inevitable that you will come across at least a couple of charts that will just have to come home with you :-)




Isn't that snowman cute!?  He was a last minute find (by Mouse), just as I was going to pay for my things, well I couldn't leave him could I? :-)

My selection of over-dyed threads

Suzannah, by Carriage House Samplings came on the outing with me today, she hasn't seen the light of day in quite a few months.  I got some more done on her right arm and started on her skirt.


When I got back to the hotel the rain had cleared so I went for a walk, I needed to stretch my legs seeing as I'd been sat on my bum all day :-)   The river drew me again, I think I've said before that although water, as in rivers and the sea scare me I am fascinated to watch it, from a safe distance.

I don't think I would fancy living in that white house with the river like it is at the moment!  It's up quite a few feet to what it usually is


I wanted to show you how fast the river was running so made this little video, if you look closely at the beginning you can just make out the heron hiding in the trees on the far side.

This is my first attempt at a video, it's not brilliant but you get the idea

You can view the video on here, but is better if you click to watch it on You Tube.


I've got another day here tomorrow, hopefully the rain will keep off long enough for me to go for a walk along the canal.

See you soon
-X-

Friday, 25 October 2019

Rain stopped play

I had planned on having a nice walk along the canal when I got to Llangollen this afternoon, but the weather was horrible, I stopped off in Oswestry en route, it's a nice market town with some shops that we don't have local to us anymore so I always like to have a look to see if anything takes my fancy.  I got rather wet today though, the rain hasn't stopped all day!

I got to the hotel about 3.30pm, dumped my stuff and just had a quick walk up the high street and then ducked into a café for an early tea, mushroom soup and a sandwich, and a pot of Earl Grey, very nice it was too.


The river looked very rough, and scary! 





My room is on the top floor of the hotel and looks out onto the river Dee which in this section is very fast flowing, you can hear the noise from it when I open the window.


I've had a nice quiet evening and done a little bit of stitching on Merry Christmas by Brenda Gervais.

I'm close to finishing this one, just that section with the trees and snow to stitch, there are some snowflakes scattered around the piece but I'm not sure I will do those yet.

I will try and post again tomorrow and tell you all about or stitching day at the Nimble Thimble, there is going to be  quite a few of us this time.  
I'm off to make a hot chocolate and have a chocolate malted milk biscuit (or two) before I turn in :-)

See you soon
-X-

Monday, 21 October 2019

Busy, but not with crafting

I haven't got a lot of spare time for crafting at the moment.  I only work part time but in addition to that I do look after two of the three grandchildren at least three afternoons a week and also take Oliver to his swimming lesson on a Monday evening to help Jenny out.   On the afternoons I have them, by the time I get home and have tea and a shower and sort the cats out I'm ready for bed If I'm honest!

Most of my stitching is done at the weekends when I can sit down for a longer period of time, I hate getting my stitching out if all I can spare is an hour, I like a good chunk of time if i'm going to stitch.  I suppose I could pick up some knitting but I haven't been feeling the knitting lately, although I have got a Wool Warehouse order coming this week to start a jumper which I'm hoping to cast on this weekend.

So not really a lot to show, except this project bag I made a few weeks ago.  
I used a pattern by Ellie of Crafthouse Magic, she has it for sale in her etsy shop, it was fairly easy to follow, even for someone like me with limited sewing skills, lol.  


I used a couple of fat quarters that have been waiting to be made into something useful for a few years and, I'm quite happy with it :-)  The drawstring cording has to be changed when I can get some more, (it started to unravel when I was threading it through) and the wadding is a little bit thick but that was all I had to work with at the time.   I will definitely make some more using Ellie's pattern when I have the time.

My reading has slowed down too of late, but I took Bonnie to the Library last week and went for a browse myself, this was on the 'quick reads' section.


I had seen it doing the rounds but I tend not to read books when it seems like everyone is reading the same book, don't ask me why,  I't's just one of my weird traits, lol.  

I haven't read this author before and I'm really enjoying it.  I like his writing style and it's good to be reading a British crime novel for a change.  As it's a quick read I only get it on loan for a week so I'ts got to be returned tomorrow,  I'm already well over half way through so i'm sure I will be able to finish it by then.

I don't often read biographies but this one caught my eye while I was there

How could I resist :-)  I have this one on loan for longer but I think it will be the next book on my list.

I've been enjoying watching some podcasters doing Vlogtober this month, love watching Gaynor of  Tales From Cuckoo Land podcast and Alli from Little Drops of Wonderful, I've recently been watching Sherri from Olli and Bella too, I don't know how they manage to fit in recording bits of their lives throughout the day, edit and upload  but I'm so glad they do, it's nice to share other peoples everyday things rather than a staged podcast sometimes.   It seems that if you are a true podcaster you make granola, lol.  I would never have thought of making granola myself until I saw Gaynor and Rachel, (from Sew Ray me podcast) showing how they made theirs, I had a go and now i'm hooked! 

This is about the forth time I've made it now and it is truly much better than shop bought.


I do like a good selection of nuts and seeds in mine, this time it's hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, I use good quality oats, some maple syrup, a sprinkling of salt and a good sprinkling of cinnamon over the top and a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil.   Once it's cooked I add the raisins and dried cranberries.  I've been having it with Greek yogurt and fruit for breakfast, even Mark, who is definitely not normally a granola eating man has said how nice it is :-)

This tray made up a large and a small jar.


This weekend is our annual Halloween stitching meet-up at the Nimble Thimble, I'm staying over Friday to Monday and really looking forward to a day of stitching, chatting and eating yummy cake :-)  I will also be enjoying some much needed 'me' time :-)

I will try and post some photos while I'm away over those few days and share what I've been up to.

Have a lovely week, see you soon.

-X-

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Yarndale escapades of two numptys

It was our second year visiting Yanrdale and again we made a long weekend of it. 
In normal conditions it would take around 3 hours to drive to Skipton but the weather on Friday was just horrendous, the traffic on the motorway was not heavy but because of the torrential rain it was just crawling along.

Joanne was driving, I took these photos while we were on the motorway, around lunchtime, so you can see just how bad the weather was!



When we set off Joanne asked me for the postcode because she didn't have the paperwork for where we were staying at hand, I googled it and because I didn't have my glasses on showed her my phone, she put in the postcode and off we went.

About an hour into the journey Joanne questioned our arrival time and the postcode, it was then realization dawned, we had been travelling for an hour in the WRONG direction!!

You just couldn't make this up could you, lol  Luckily when we discovered our stupid mistake we were able to get off the motorway we were on and right onto a motorway that was heading in the right direction.  
It still didn't alter the fact that we had added unnecessary time to our journey, which, (taking into account food and toilet breaks) took us around 7 hours!!

What a pair of numptys 

The stupidity didn't end there though,  yours truly did not pack a towel, deodorant or face wash!
Luckily Joanne had packed two towels and the other things I could buy.  
Thankfully the rest of the weekend went without a hitch :-)

I think it must have rained all Friday night and Saturday morning the rain was horizontal, honestly, I've never seen so much rain!, It looked like getting wet!  
I said to Joanne, "oh look Noah is coming across the field to collect us"

It seems that one of us had still got our numpty head on, because she came to the window and looked🤣🤣

So dramas aside we had a good weekend, the weather could have been better, although the biblical rain on Saturday morning had passed by the time we got there and the day ended up sunny and bright.  The rain did return on Sunday however and it more or less rained all day, I think it put some people off  visiting as the Sunday was really quiet, nice to walk round and look though.  I did feel sorry for some of the stall holders though as some of the overnight rain had seeped in, one stall in particular had very soggy samples. 

Last year I got a bit carried away with buying things, this year I went with purpose and thought about what I was buying, I don't want to end up with lots of pretty yarn sitting there not being used, I haven't got the space for it, and to be honest It overwhelms me when there is lots of 'stuff'.  
So, I bought just three skeins of yarn this year :-)

One from West Green Loft Yarns and two skeins of  un-dyed yarn, unfortunately I've misplaced the card with the name of which stall I got the two un-dyed skeins from at the moment.


I keep being drawn to un-dyed yarn at the moment, this one will be hats for Bonnie and Arthur and at £5 a skein it was a bargain buy.  It's a Falkland yarn with merino so it's beautifully soft.

I did buy some other things of course, a couple of  Christmas presents for Joanne, and Joanne might have bought me a couple of Christmas presents on behalf of Stevie and Jenny too :-) .  I bought some needles in sizes I hadn't got but the other things that came home with me were in kit form, so I will share what those are as I get round to making them.

I'll leave you will a couple of photos from the day, although I didn't take many because I kept forgetting!


The obligatory Yarndale bunting photo :-)


Teddies knitted for the Mercy Ships, this years charity


Bonnie lost in amongst the teddies, doing a really dodgy smile, lol


See you soon

-X-