Saturday 27 February 2021

Turned out nice again

It was half term last week and we had Oliver for a few days while Jenny was at work, I think he just wanted a change of scenery, and nanny provides nice food and snacks 😊

It was a decent day on the Thursday, quite windy but at least the sun was out so we went a walk over the fields and up onto Wychbury Hill.  As you can see the field was very muddy, good job we had wellies.

Once over the field the walk takes you up through a small wooded area, which again was very muddy. Someone decided it would be a good idea to walk in a particularly wet, sticky muddy puddle and got his wellie stuck!  Off came his boot and he landed in the mud, luckily he didn't fall in, but his one foot was submerged in mud so his sock had to come off before putting his boot back on, always fun and games with kids isn't it.

Once through the mud and at the top the view is fantastic, it was very very windy up there though.
 I didn't take any photos of the monument this time, it was far too windy to hold the camera steady.  Iv'e shared photos of Wychbury Hill and the Monument before though, last June, they are on this blog post if you want to read about it.  

We decided to keep going forward rather than re-trace our steps so we headed for that mound you can see in the middle distance.

Looking back, there's the monument in the distance, we are about halfway to the mound now

We saw some crows (at least I think they were), they seem to have found something to take away, wonder what it is?

We're at the top on the mound now and I recently found out that there is an Iron age hill fort within those trees beyond, something to explore another time.

Oliver needed a sit down and wasn't in the least bit interested in the fantastic views

It looked like we might be caught out by the rain on the way back, but luckily it held off.

Now we have to head down to those trees and into the field beyond to make our way back out onto the road and home

We are so lucky to have this lovely green space and quite a few public footpaths on our doorstep, I  know we really should make more time to enjoy them.

And in case you are feeling down because of all the restrictions still going on, I'll leave you with the reminder that was posted at the bottom of the hill.

See you soon

Sunday 21 February 2021

Short and sweet today

This week was half term, Arty was still at nursery when Jenny went to work but we had Oliver for a few days, and tomorrow is a Bonnie day, so not much rest here!  

I haven't done much of anything since Thursday except prepare food, snacks and play games.  Kids take up so much time and energy!  They don't say it's a young mans game for nothing, I'm shattered!

We enjoyed it though and today we managed to get all the housework done by 1pm so I've been able to have some time on the sofa this afternoon and finish a stitched piece.

Some Bunny Loves You by Cottage Garden Samplings

Stitched on 32 count, one over one with the recommended DMC threads


Started: 1st February 2021 - Finished:  21st February 2021

Ohmygoodness, I absolutely LOVE it!

I found the frame in The Range for £1.99 and I think it's perfect for this piece.

I laced the stitching onto some card which I had put wadding on and mounted it in the frame, without the glass. 

Mark very rarely comments on anything I stitch or knit but even he said this is a perfect match😁

Because I finished this project I now get to start something new next week πŸ˜‰

That's it from me today, like I said, not a lot of crafting gone on this week, I did manage a lovely walk with Oliver on Thursday, (we haven't had a good weather day since then), but I'll save those photos for another post.

See you soon

PS:  Someone asked in the comments from my previous post if dunking my Elizabeth Jackson piece in tea and coffee had altered the colour of the threads.  I'm happy to say that it did not, I stitched her in DMC so I don't know if that's the reason why it didn't.

Sunday 14 February 2021

Remember Elizabeth Jackson?

 Nine years ago this month, probably almost to the day, I started stitching on Elisabeth Jackson.

(Two photos from my blog post in February & March 2012)

The photo above shows how much stitching I'd done and was the last time I worked on her, March 2012.

Fast forward a good few years and I joined a group on fb where people posted their unfinished projects and asked if anyone would either finish it for them and send it back or alternatively you can put you unfinished project up for adoption.

I still had some affection for Elizabeth and didn't feel I wanted to put her up for adoption, so, I asked if anyone would be willing to finish her for me.  Lo and behold a lovely lady called Nadia said she would do it for me.  We didn't know each other so it was a bit of a leap of faith for me to pack Elizabeth up and send her to someone else to stitch on, but pack her up I did.

That was back around the end of July last year.  Nadia messaged me a couple of times letting me know how she was getting on but the last time I heard from her was around October/November and then with Christmas and New year to be honest I forgot about poor Elizabeth until Nadia messaged me to say she's done!

I received her back in the post last Wednesday, do you want to see?

Elizabeth Jackson 1824 by Samplers Revisited

Nadia did an absolutely brilliant job, she's a stitching angel!  The back is as neat as the front, you would never know that two different people had stitched on this, I'm so happy 😁

The lighting in the photos is not brilliant its making the fabric look slightly different in all of them, I would say the last photo is more true to colour now.   To tell you the truth, I didn't really like the colour of the fabric, never did, it had a yellow tinge, and that was probably one of the reasons she got put to one side.  So, when she arrived back I gave her a bath in tea and coffee, and put her in the oven to dry 😨

But it's ok, don't panic, she came out fine.  I'm still not totally in love with the fabric colour but it's toned down the yellow-ness and given her an aged look.  I like it.

 As soon as lockdown is over i'll take her to be framed.

I now only have one very long term WIP left, I won't be asking anyone to finish that one though as I know once I force myself to pick it up I will like working on it.

What's the longest WIP you have hidden away?


Wednesday 10 February 2021

Wednesday walk and book talk

 It was far too cold to take Bonnie out for a walk on Monday, It kept trying to snow all day but never settled, the wind made it feel even colder.  We had planned on going to a local National Trust property, most have lovely grounds to walk in, although at the moment none of the houses or cafe's are open.   There was a smattering of snow yesterday morning and still very cold but the wind had dropped and the sun came out for a while.  I only went on a local walk, to the church at the bottom of road, back up and around the outskirts of the estate.  I like walking when the weather is like this, cold and crisp with a bit of Winter sunshine, in fact, I prefer walking in this kind of weather than in the Summer.  I always think when it's cold, you can wrap up against it and get warm and cosy, whereas when it's hot there is no way to get away from it.  That's my logic anyway :-)

I finished my latest audio book while walking, The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

I almost changed my mind about choosing this one but I'm so glad I didn't, it was an excellent listen, the narration was by Julia Whelon and she did a brilliant job of bringing the story to life, I could picture everything so well.  

Here's the blurb, (copied from Amazon)

Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she’d yearned for. A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds.

Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life. Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Loreda and Ant, west to California in search of a better life. Will it be the land of milk and honey? Or will their experience challenge every ounce of strength they possess?

From the overriding love of a mother for her child, the value of female friendship and the ability to love again – against all odds, Elsa’s incredible journey is a story of survival, hope and what we do for the ones we love.

My knowledge of American history is near to none existent and I had certainly never heard of The Dust Bowl, I had to go in search of more information.  
The sign of a good book for me is when it makes you want to find out more, and this did, I love that. 

I gave this book 5 stars, and I don't do that very often.

My bedtime reading was another one from Matt Haig, The Humans.
If you have read anything from Matt Haig you will know that his books are all different, he must have the most vivid imagination and insight to come up with his subjects.

(The blurb from Amazon)

After an 'incident' one wet Friday night where he is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, Professor Andrew Martin is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst an alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he's a dog.

Who is he really? And what could make someone change their mind about the human race . . . ?

This one might not be everyone's' cup of tea but I really enjoyed it, there was a lot of truth about humans in those pages.

I keep a list of everything I'm reading and listening to on Goodreads, there is a link in the sidebar.

See you soon, stay safe and warm


Sunday 7 February 2021

New knitting

The second pattern in the Year of Dishcloths was released on February 1st, this is the Amour dishcloth.  I had just enough pink cotton to knit this one

This one came out slightly bigger than the first one, but that could just be because of the different cotton I used.
I'm not going to use these this year, I've got a drawer full of knitted dishcloths and I like to choose a fresh one to put out each night.  I'm going to knit these throughout the year and have a nice little pile of new dishcloths for use next year

I've had this Stylecraft special DK in my stash for almost three years.  I bought it when I went away with Joanne and Bonnie to Great Yarmouth in 2018.  I ended up buying a new pattern because those I have are only for babies, I was able to buy a downloadable pattern on Deramores instead of waiting for it to come in the post.  The back is all done but I found all that knitting time made my tennis elbow pain flair up so I've put it down to rest my arm for a few day's

Yesterday the rain kept off all day, there was even a bit of sunshine so I decided to take the short drive to Haden Hill Park for a walk.  Everywhere is still muddy after the snow followed by all the rain but Haden Hill has tarmac pathways so there was no need for wellies.

There were lots of people walking about but it's quite a big space so it was ok, I spent a good couple of hours walking and listening to my audio book, it was nice to get out on my own for a while.

Take care

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Tuesday, the new Sunday

 Monday always used to be my cleaning day but since I've been looking after Bonnie on a Monday Sunday is now the day I throw the house inside out, as we say here.

Sunday's used to be my day off, my day for sitting and stitching in the afternoons once dinner was over, now I play house all day and do everything that needs doing, of course, it also means that Mark is at home too so I can enlist his help with things like cleaning windows and changing the bed, neither of which is my favourite job ;-)  I find doing it like this gives me more free time, it's then just a matter of keeping on top of the daily things, plus I usually add one other job a day in, like cleaning a cupboard out or ironing, although there is not a lot of ironing now there is just the two of us.  I find this way of doing things works for me, my mind can't cope with untidiness, I feel calmer when things are in their place and I'm lucky that Mark is the same, he is not untidy around the house, I don't think I have ever had to pick up his clothes, or a wet towel off the bathroom floor.

He came ready trained in those things πŸ˜† 

With all the jobs done that leaves Monday free for me to just concentrate on being with Bonnie.  When she comes, just before 8am, we usually go out and feed the birds, she then has her breakfast and looks out the kitchen window to see what birds come.  We will then decide what we are going to do for the day and where we are going to go for a walk.  When we go out we take a hot chocolate and a water bottle to warm us up when we get back to the car.  We also have to take some nuts for the squirrels and bird food, when we are walking she likes to leave food out for them under the bushes and trees.  The day usually involves making cakes or biscuits, she is getting really good at weighing, mixing and rolling.  In the afternoon we will play a game and for the last hour or so before tea she likes to watch Bing or if I can persuade her, we put a film on, (being a nanna gives you an excuse to watch all the Disney films again πŸ˜)

I love my Monday's with Bonnie, she's no trouble at all and very entertaining, three is such a great age, don't you think? and I hope when she is older she will remember all these little things we do.  

As much as I like my day with Bonnie I do look forward to Tuesday's off too.  Yesterday all the daily things and the extra job (sweeping off the drive) were done by 10am so once I'd been for my walk I sat down to start a new project.

This is Somebunny Loves you by Cottage Garden Samplings 

Amazing what you can get done without interruptions.  

While stitching I finished listening to my audio book,  All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle.

Here's what Amazon say's 

 Hubert Bird is not alone in being alone.
He just needs to realise it.

In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship and fulfilment.

But Hubert Bird is lying.

The truth is day after day drags by without him seeing a single soul.

Until, that is, he receives some good news - good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on.

Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out.
Along the way Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . .

Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows will he ever get to live the life he's pretended to have for so long?

This is my 5th book of the year.  I gave it 3 stars but only because of some of the dodgy accents the narrator used, I loved all the characters, especially Hubert.

While I was stitching and listening Mark worked on our jigsaw.  Well I say our jigsaw, but I've only worked on it once with him, I did the robins.

He did quite a lot on the bottom right after I took this photo, it will probably take a good while more as there is lots of white!

The next two days I'll be picking Oliver up from school, we have different sorts of chats on the way home which usually include Minecraft or Pokemon, lol.   Other than that it will be more of the same for the rest of the week.

I hope you are all having a good week and filling some of your time with something you love doing.

See you soon