Sunday, 29 March 2015

A lack of photos!


Yes, the title says it all, I am suffering from a severe lack of photos this week.
 I do admire those bloggers who manage to capture so many of their moments
 throughout the week. My excuse is that this week has been particularly busy, this time
with work, a bit stressful too with trying to finish a report. As a result, little has been
done other than me sitting at this desk in the corner, surrounded by papers, two computer
 screens, a cup of tea and a few empty cups!
Daughter has been in the Peak District this weekend for her Duke of Edinburgh practice
silver expedition - the weather has been awful, especially today - which isn't so
bad if it's the last day of the hike, it's bearable knowing you will be home later today
with warm dry clothes, a warm, dry bed and a hot meal cooked for you.

UPDATE: daughter home, every item of clothing and bedding WET!
This is a photo I took of the rain pelting down here earlier today, and my poor soggy
washing hanging limp!

I'm still catching up on all the washing sons brought back from University.
A little bit of crafting has occurred this week, mainly last night.
Younger son was a bit put out that I'd cross stitched a little ornament for his
brother, posted here, but nothing for him.... this is what I have cross stitched for him which I will make into yet another hanging ornament.
 I have had this cowboy pattern for years, and I probably cross stitched it as a birthday card for
 one of the boys at some time. These little patterns are a great way of using up odd scraps of thread.
Today I got some of my Easter decorations out - it can't be a year since I last got them out, can it??
This is a little house which you may have seen on my blog before, based on a pattern
 by the talented Helen Phillips, here is a link to her blog.

And here is another one of my ornaments....

And these are two very cute tins that I bought from John Lewis a couple of years ago which I
always get out at Easter, but looking at them again I don't think they have to be just for Easter.
The illustrations are by Racey Helps - you can find out more about him here.

 I have several postcards of illustrations by Racey Helps and also a couple of books -
 I just love the detail and the pictures are just so cute!
Well, that's it for now - not much to report as you can see.

Wishing you all a great week!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Richard III and my 3 day weekend


I was lucky enough to enjoy a three day weekend this weekend - and it has been a pretty busy one, a complete contrast to last weekend! And what a contrast of activities too!

On Friday a friend and I went to the NEC to the Hobbycrafts, Sewing and Knitting Show.
 I had never been to a show like this before and my goodness, there was a whole array of
 very tempting goodies to buy - and a fair number of people even had shopping trolleys with
 them to carry their purchases!

 I thought I was very restrained buying two DMC cross stitch kits

 and two other small craft kits. 

Oh, and a light complete with a magnifying glass and large clip to hold an embroidery hoop. I can't believe I haven't bought one of these before, considering the time I have spent sewing/knitting 
over the years, and sadly (and I hate to admit this!) my eyesight isn't as good as it used to be!

I'm hoping this new light will last me many years. 

On Saturday, daughter and I tried out an orienteering course, not very far from us. It was in a
 beautiful location, that I didn't know existed. 

Daughter has recently started orienteering in an endeavour to maintain her interest in cross country running; and she has a big race coming up so needs all the practice she can get. The course took us 1 hour 45 minutes. I can see the  growing attraction to orienteering - fresh air, exercise, discovering new places, and relying on your map reading skills to work out where you are - not easy in dense woodland. 

Saturday afternoon we picked up both boys from University - so the poor washing machine is on
 over drive at the moment - and plenty more washes to go too!

Daughter had football this morning...

and Richard III grabbed our attention this afternoon. 

 Elder son and I drove to a village to watch the procession of Richard III's remains from Market Bosworth to Leicester. I was surprised by how many had come to watch. 
We only had a fairly quick glimpse of the cortège as it passed, but it did feel like we were
 observing an incredible piece of history. 

 And I thought I would finally finish with a photo of the view from my office window, taken one
 day this week. It's not a particularly inspiring view but that glimpse of blue sky every so often, 
during a working day lifts my spirits no-end!

Hope you had a great weekend and I wish you a good week, whatever your plans!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Bulging Brains...yarn along!


Here I am joining in with Ginny's yarn along. I haven't joined in for weeks so 
it feels good to be back. 

Now, dare I admit that I'm currently reading a book from the Horrible Science series
 "Bulging Brains". For those of you who may not know, these books are written for children
 in a humourous style. There is also a series called Horrible Histories. We have just a few of
 these but as the children are, well, hardly children any more, I've decided it is time these
 books found a new home so I am reading them and then taking them to the charity shop. 

I'm still knitting my Snowflake table runner - I say still has progressed little
 recently because I've been cross stitching little ornaments instead like this one and these.
But I do feel a growing urge to finish this table runner!

Happy knitting and reading

Sunday, 15 March 2015

"This and that"


This is going to be a bit of a "this and that" post today - nothing very substantial, nothing
 particularly exciting to report but that is how life has been the last couple of weeks - it's 
been a case of catching up on work and home life.  

So there has been very little crafting, quite a bit of reading and this weekend, a lot of 
lazing around and a long-ish lie in until 9.30 am today which is very unlike me. We have 
had a weekend with no children, still a relatively rare event thankfully despite 2 now being 
at university, and pretty bad timing considering that today is Mother's Day, but husband 
and I enjoyed a very nice meal out yesterday and a light lunch out today and all my plans 
for exercise (walking and cycling) wandered off into thin air!

We didn't even have a football match to attend today, although as husband and I drove past 
a match this lunchtime between 2 teams of teenage boys I did find myself looking 
longingly at the game!

Anyway, "This and that number 1": reading

This week I read 'The Miniaturist' by Jessie Burton in about 5 days - this is pretty good
 going for me but it meant very little else got done, and definitely no crafting.

I enjoyed this book, it wasn't particularly cleverly written but the story was a bit
 different and held my attention. I would recommend it. 

"This and that number 2": smoothie makers!

Daughter loves smoothies and up to now has made them in my food processor, but it does
 create a lot of washing up. She had started to talk about smoothie makers where you make the 
smoothie in the bottle you also drink from, thereby reducing the amount of washing up. And so 
I treated daughter/the family to a smoothie maker and it's great! So easy to use and so little 
washing up - always a winning argument for me!

"This and that number 3": cross stitching

Yes, I said I'd done little crafting this week and this is a sort of cheat because I actually finished
 this little item last weekend, but haven't yet posted a photo so slipped him in here. 

This is another one of my little hanging cross stitch decorations - and I have stitched this
 little sheep before, here

However, this one was for elder son to take back to his room at University as I thought it
 looked bare the last time I was there. My sons are very accommodating and humour me 
with my crafts. Son did say he would hang it up - I finished this in a slightly different way to 
the one I made for home, hopefully to make it a little more masculine - I did check that he was
 happy for me to use spotty ribbon and the twig was an integral part of the design too!

"This and that number 4": magazine treats

I don't buy huge numbers of magazines and have never had a subscription to one, but I do
 like to browse the shelves of craft and home style magazines. And for me, a magazine is a
 relatively inexpensive treat (I very rarely pay more than £5 for a magazine, any more and I
 think it's a bit of a rip-off!)

So two treats in the last couple of weeks - firstly an old favourite CrossStitcher. I never
 have time to make many ideas from this magazine but enjoy browsing the photos and I
 like the free gifts - this month a keyring kit in the style of a house. 

The cottage reminds me of a little decoration that I made and posted about here 
taken from Helen Philipp's book Home Sweet Home.

I love this tablet cover in the latest CrossStitcher. 

My second purchase was 'Prima makes'. Now this magazine has a whole host of different 
crafts and I doubt I will make many from it at all, but I am really enjoying browsing through it
 and some fairly quick craft ideas caught my attention. 

I love these simple Easter felt decorations. 

And these decorations made from air-drying clay - these would be so simple to
 make and so much fun!

 I always love heart sachets - and I like the relatively plain, tactile material used here.  

These little containers for bits and pieces are pretty - I could imagine these on my dressing
 table holding cotton wool. 

 And one of my favourite projects has to be this cute bunny knitted in baby cashmerino
 - he would be so soft and snuggly!

Well, that is the end of my "this and that". 
I hope you have all had an enjoyable Mother's Day and wish you all a good week.

I'm off to the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC, Birmingham on Friday - it includes
 knitting too. I shall have to be very restrained with my purchases!