Monday, 5 January 2015

Apologies!

I've accidentally deleted / rejected a comment one of you lovely people left on my last post!! That'll teach me to try and do things without my glasses. Sorry to whoever that was, I did get to read it and thank you all.
Have a great week��

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! Ours was quiet and  reflective (for my family in particular as it was the first without my mum) but reassuringly familiar in the rituals and customs we tend to keep.
Thanks to everyone who left comments, I do appreciate them. Dad was adamant that he didn't want to spend Christmas away from the home he had shared with mum so we took Christmas to him. We made sure that he had visitors from early morning to early evening and he very nearly ended up with 3 Christmas lunches (remember the episode of Vicar of Dibley where Geraldine had several dinners with parishoners? Well, had dad not phoned my brother Paul and myself at 9 am to tell us some old friends had plated him up a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, he would have been in a similar situation!). He chose not to put a tree up nor any of the decorations mum loved but he got through it as did we.
2015 is a year to look forward. We are making plans. We have a cottage booked in May for the beautiful East Coast of Yorkshire and in December are hoping to visit New York for the 100th birthday anniversary of Frank Sinatra, (regular readers of my blog will know why this is important to us both!!!!). I am thankful that we are both in work and can afford to save for such things.I also know that as retirement beckons in the next few years we may not have the money (nor indeed the good health) to do such things. My mum always said she didn't regret spending the money they had on lovely holidays while they were able to enjoy them.

I promised last time to bring you up to date with what we had been doing since I posted in September/October time.
On a beautifully sunny autumn day ,Tony and I met up with Susan and her husband Keith( from Granny Smith's Quilting blog who were over from Australia visiting relatives nearby) and Jo (from Through the Keyhole blog) and her hubby Mick at Temple Newsam where we had a lovely morning, chatting over a cuppa and walking through the lovely grounds.I have always admired Susan's beautiful quilting and she brought me over everything I need to make a lap quilt. I have made a start on it but need to set aside some time to finish it off.  Jo and I need to get our heads together to arrange another meet up as Susan kindly sent us a voucher for Bettys tea rooms so that we and our other halves can have a cuppa and cake on her. How lovely is that? Thank you Susan.Just a great shame you and Keith can't be there to join us.
 We booked a last minute break in Robin Hood's bay in October in a gorgeous little cottage with the most amazing views. Sadly I forgot my camera so no photos! October was also a time of celebration, my nephew got married on Halloween and we had a ball. I decorated the house for my grandchildren (at least that's what I tell myself, I actually enjoyed decorating my kitchen shelves with ghosties, ghouls and pumpkin paraphernalia)
The day after my nephew's wedding we drove over to Staithes on the East Yorkshire coast to meet up with another blog friend, lovely Julie and her husband Wendell .They were visiting from Canada and we all got on so well it felt as if we had known each other all our lives. Its amazing to think that you can make such friendships through the media of blogging! If all goes to plan we may all meet up again later in the year in New York, fingers crossed!

I have been busy knitting. There are lots of babies at the moment, either a few weeks old or still 'being cooked'. I do love to knit baby garments, they are so quick to knit up and I don't lose interest so quickly as I do with larger garments.Do you remember when Prince George was spotted wearing a Cath Kidston tank top featuring soldiers, how it sold out within minutes? Well, a newspaper printed a pattern for a similar child's top so I have adapted it to put on a baby boy's jumper. Its still a WIP but here is the front- what do you think?

Only one sleeve to go.
Just before Christmas I bought an old printers tray off Ebay. I have fancied one for ages but it was only when we stayed in the B&B in Staithes when we met up with Julie and Wendell and I saw one they had on display on their dining room wall, that I thought I'd like to try and do a similar thing.
And here is mine...Ta Dah....


As you may have gathered I love beachcombing and I suppose I am a bit of a magpie, I save all sorts of seasidey things in a variety of containers but this gives me the opportunity to have my favourite pieces on display.
I used a spray paint as it was so difficult trying to get an even finish. It took several coats but I'm pleased with the results and it's now ready to go up when I have finished this......
As if I don't have enough on my plate I have decided to decorate the top bathroom. It's staying the same colour scheme so its just a matter of freshening it up. Well, at least while I am keeping myself busy I am not thinking about food! Yes, I am (along with half the country no doubt) trying to lose the few extra pounds I put on over the festive period.

I try to spend as much time with my dad as I can. It's not easy when I'm still working full time but I try and get up a couple of times a week and ring every day. He is lonely, I know that. Thank goodness he has my late brother's dog to keep him company. She keeps him active in that he walks her several times a day. They are good for each other. He has amazed me at the way he has adapted and is coping. From someone who rarely cooked when my mum was alive and well, he is whipping up roast dinners and lasagne from scratch. At 87 I think he is doing really well and long may it continue.

That's more or less brought you all up to date. A long post I know, you will probably all have switched off by now!
Hope you have a fab week!!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Happy Christmas!

I know it's been a long time since I last posted anything but it's only time stopping me at the moment. I am on Instagram where I have caught up with a lot of you there, but for those of you not able to access IG, I just wanted to pop by and wish all my blog friends and the wider blogging community a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year. I hope I'll be able to bring you all up to date with what I have been up to (not very exciting I'm afraid, just work and supporting my dad who is facing his first Christmas alone after 62 years with my late Mum).
Thank you to everyone who has sent lovely emails, cards and even text messages.Hopefully I will be back to blogging soon.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Hoarding and sorting

I've been up at dad's house today sorting out the kitchen cupboards, going through them shelf by shelf, cleaning and dividing up into various piles. Charity shop, things that I am able to use myself (lots of mum's cookery things), stuff for the bin and 'treasures' that have had to go back in the cupboards. 'Treasures' being items that were collected over the years but that neither mum nor dad could bear to part with as they acquired new. My dad is convinced that my brothers and myself will be forced to decide by fisticuffs who will eventually become new owners of these treasures! Since we all have our own homes furnished and equipped to our own tastes I hadn't the heart to tell him that most probably they will end up in some 'vintage style' emporium.
Mum had a large collection of Hornsea pottery, Fleur design.....most of which was bought in the 1980's when they had a caravan at the seaside.
Apologies for the quality of the photo, I couldn't upload one from my iphone so this is courtesy of the internet.
And this Arcopal pyrex dinner service (again sourced from internet, I really must learn how to upload photos from my iphone!), my dad reckons he got a piece each time he filled up with petrol in the 70's or 80's. I have no reason to doubt him and do remember him acquiring it proudly although it was never used.
Not only does he have 8 place settings but there are four large storage jars too.
It did bring back lovely memories though, all the leg pulling we did over the years about its origins!

My mum taught herself 'tatting' and I have found some lovely things she worked.This particular one is my favourite. I think it's really Christmassy so it might find it's way onto our christmas table this year.

Can there be a mother or grandmother in the land who isn't sentimental about their children's/grandchildren's own handmade presents and cards? I know I am and have kept lots of my boys early 'works of art' but I was really touched to find this in the bottom of mum's drawer. It has to be over 25 years old since it was done by my eldest son who is 33.
I couldn't bear to throw it in the bin so naturally it had to come home with me.

Dad is a hoarder by nature but I think he has come to realise that it is better to go through things methodically while he is still with us.He and mum had obviously never heard the old saying attributed to William Morris, 'have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful'. Come to think of it how many of us actually do?

Possessions mean nothing in the scheme of things really. Collections of objects are fun to source but once we have them what then?  When he goes, Tony wants his Sinatra memorabilia collection to go, lock, stock and barrel to the Hoboken Historical Museum in  New Jersey, the town where Frank was born. Since it's rather a large collection we are probably going to have to leave a fortune to our kids just to ship it over there!! And my stuff? Since I spend so much time browsing in Charity Shops I guess they can just take everything back there!!
Well, I've had a busy few hours so I think I deserve a nice cuppa while I catch up on a bit of blog reading.
What are your plans for the weekend?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Our weekend

Well, it's been a busy weekend here so far.
There has been a lot of  socialising,some crafting and a bit of housework thrown into the mix too. The socialising aspect has left me feeling a bit piggy though if I'm being honest and somewhere deep inside me is a voice screaming 'Weight Watchers'. I am a little over my target weight so I know I should try and tighten the reins a little especially as we have 3 upcoming weddings and my outfit which I thought would do for all 3 (well there will be different people at each one!)was bought to fit perfectly earlier in the year (could be time to get the 'fat pants' out!!!!). Friday night was a pizza and pasta night with some of the girls I work with and of course it would have been rude (not to mention impossible when faced with such delights) not to have tucked in.Last night was a couples get together, we meet up for curry several times a year and put the world to rights. Oh, and while I am confessing to being a little overindulgent, I'd better tell you we went out for lunch yesterday too! And I suppose I ought to mention we have been invited to Sunday lunch (at teatime since Tony is working today) ........Ah well, there's always tomorrow to start the WW plan.

A friend told me about a place that she said would be 'just up your street-you'd love it!' (and yes I did Moira, thank you very much, you know me so well! It was about 15 miles from where we live in a little village called Hepworth, not far from Last of the Summer Wine country. Anyway,it was part of an old mill, which has been converted and now houses various retail and leisure facilities called 'The Carding Shed'.
Let me show you the photos which give you a flavour of it all.There were vintage cars on display and a variety of motoring memorabilia. Some lovely shops and a lovely cafe called The Oil Can, which serves up lovely food and drink on delicate mismatched china.


The toilets had lots of vintage mirrors everywhere

This part new/part vintage shop was fascinating and some things were very reasonable.

All these knitting accessories were in a box and sold for £2. I paid 99p a pair for needles in charity shops before now.

And this Mabel Lucie Attwell figurine was £2 too.It's entitled 'When I grow up I want to be a teacher'
I thought it was so cute.

I've started a Halloween wreath based on much the same principle as the Autumn Wreath I showed last week. Here it is....
It just needs a few knitted spiders now.....
And speaking of spiders, I have noticed lots of them about outside. As yet though, none inside.I'm hoping it's because of this.....
made from conker oil which spiders are supposed to hate. You spray it round your doors and windows and any other potential entry points to your home every 2 weeks or so and it supposedly deters them. So far, so good.
I'm avoiding spending much time in the garden for now, even though it could do with a good tidy up, simply because of these 8 legged critters.I know we are all God's creatures but why did He make me so scared of them?!!
Well, that's all for now folks, I'm off to pop by and say hello. What have you got planned for the week ahead?

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Recent crafty makes

Thank you everyone who left comments on my last post, as usual I am rubbish at replying but I do read them all and appreciate them. I have been really busy this week so haven't been reading many of your blog posts either. I expect I will get into some sort of routine again soon.
I thought I would do a quick post and show you some of the crafty things I have been working on.Some are still in progress and lots of things are in the pipeline but more of those as and when they are completed.
I am really pleased with this Attic 24 inspired Autumn Wreath which I found on Lucy's fabulous blog. I do love her crocheting and acknowledge my crocheting is pretty basic, but her tutorials are fab.(I have bought her a coffee via paypal--cheers Lucy!).
I treated myself to a copy of this book as she recommended it.....
and found a lot of inspiration.I used a mix of knitted and crocheted flowers and leaves for my wreath and it was great for using up odds and ends of wool.
Please excuse the door handle! (not its final place)



I enjoyed doing every last leaf, acorn and toadstool, time consuming though it was! It did originally have a hedgehog critter and a mouse on it but my granddaughter E fell in love with them and I ended up giving her them.

I've also been busy knitting baby things.In particular I love this gorgeous heart pattern, which is easy to do but looks really pretty.

I enjoyed it so much I did a jumper and a cardigan!
And I am busy with another crocheted blanket....
I have found knitting and crochet very therapeutic and relaxing. My mum was the one who taught me both from a young age, maybe 7 or 8 and I am so pleased she did. The only thing I was never interested in was learning tatting in later life. I came across her tatting shuttle and an instruction book when we were going through some of her things. Maybe I will just give it a go myself, mum was self taught and made some lovely things.
I'm off now to pop by a few of you and say hello! What have you been knitting/sewing/crocheting recently?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Big Thank You!

Hello everyone. It's been a while hasn't it? I'd like to thank you all for taking the time and trouble to leave such lovely comments on my last post and to those who sent cards through the post.Special thanks to Julie whose lovely words and prayers continue to be a comfort.
When you lose someone close, it's hard to put into words how you feel.Losing your mum, when you have had a close relationship is beyond words. I take comfort from the fact she is no longer suffering and is at peace and the surety I feel that we will eventually be together again one day.
Life still goes on and I am sure my mum would want us to carry on as we always did, to be thankful that she lived and gave us life but not to be too sad she is no longer with us.

Tony and I managed to get away for a week's break in a beautiful little cottage in Kent that we had booked earlier in the year. It was a lovely week, with glorious sunshine and warm temperatures and it was a time for reflection and remembering.
Our cottage was originally a stable and hayloft and apart from the owners house next door, was the only property for a mile or two.

These photos are courtesy of the internet since I forgot my camera and don't know how to upload photos from my iphone.
There was no light pollution and for several nights Tony and I sat out on the patio marvelling at the wonderful navy blue sky dotted with a million sparkling stars. I had only once before seen the Milky Way but it was so clear and we were treated to the most amazing show of shooting stars from the Perseid Meteor shower.
We could hear owls and other nocturnal creatures and one of the highlights of my week was looking out of our bedroom window to see a hare yards from our door just peering up at me.
It's a wonderful world out there and I'm going to try and stop and appreciate things more.

We managed to have several day trips out, to Canterbury (including the stunning cathedral), Whitstable, Broadstairs, Rye, Tenterden and Camber Sands.Sadly no piccies but we enjoyed it all.
I took plenty of wool and inspired by Lucy's blog decided my evenings would be about making an Autumn Wreath.I will show you that at a later date.

Since we got back I have been busy finishing off the practicalities with my dad and am now back at work. I am still enjoying Instagram as it is so easy.Snap a photo, click a couple of times and bob's your uncle!! If you can get on it you can see more of what I am up to (still at Marmalade and catmint) if you want to of course!
That's it for now folks, I just wanted to pop by and say hello for now, I'm back!!