Monday, 31 October 2011

end of october

The last week of October was our half term school holiday.  We didn't go away this time but had some lovely days out and about.

The weather was wonderfully autumnal.

We had a windy walk around Williamson Park in Lancaster.

with all it's pathways


and flowers



 and mosaics



and the Butterfly House

and the Williamson Memorial

Monday, 24 October 2011

summer hols

Well no foreign climes for us this summer. We spent a wonderful week in sunny Scotland and had a thoroughly relaxing and rejuvenating time.

We hired a fantastic cottage that was well and truly 'away from it all'.



 The nearest village was called Strontian in western Lochaber (I think The Proclaimers sang a song about Lochaber didn't they?). Anyway... Strontian village is located on the shore of beautiful Loch Sunart, a sea-loch which cuts deep into the mainland from the Sound of Mull.

The cottage was reached by a mile-long single-track road.  One of us had to jump out of the car and open and close the deer gates along the track.  We didn't see any deers near the cottage but we did have very close encounters with a family of pine martens!  They came to our cottage for supper each evening - we put peanut butter sandwiches out along the windowsills and they came right up to the window to feed.  Unfortunately we didn't get any good photos because of the reflection on the glass.
There were some wonderful walks, views and sandy beaches.  If you haven't been before then I highly recommend a holiday there. 






As always one of the problems of taking a holiday is that we always return home wishing that we could live somewhere else and the whole house-hunting lark starts again!  Do you ever feel like that?  Do you think it's just a case of 'grass is always greener'?  Or is it that you feel relaxed on your hols and wish that feeling could stay with you all year round?!?

craft fair

After a fretful week visiting our poorly Mum in hospital, my sister and I took ourselves off to visit a local Craft Fair and boy oh boy did we enjoy ourselves!  It wasn't at all as I had expected.  I recently went to a Craft Fair to find I was the only member of the public there - I really felt for the stall-holders and really hope that it got busier later in the day!  

Anyway this one was a thrive of activity - the place was packed with stalls and stalls of wonderful crafty things and lots of people taking the opportunity to start their Christmas shopping!  Of course, seeing so many beautiful things that had been lovingly made by hand I just had to treat myself to a few little lovelies...

I have a thing about throws and blankets.  My Grandfather worked in a woolen mill and the smell and feel of a wool blanket takes me back to the days when we visited him at the mill.
I think I'm going to make the blanket into cushion covers for my living room.  I feel bad cutting it up but I'm sure the finished results will ease my conscience.  I so wish I had bought a green one too.

The lady that made this picture had the best stall of all.  She had lots of wonderful things - I could have taken one of each item!  She made the appliqued pictures using both machine and hand sewing and her husband made the oak frames.  A very talented team!

I just happened to be looking for an 'owl' related birthday gift for a friend (she's  really into owls for some reason) so this cute little owl tea-light was perfect.


and I couldn't resist this little ceramic button for myself.  I'm going to make a felt flower corsage and use this button as the centre

I also started my Christmas shopping.  I won't name the recipient of each gift just in case they happen to read this blog!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

end of september

Well September has been and gone!

We returned from our summer holiday on 3rd September which just happens to be our eldest sons birthday.  Our first 'little bundle of joy' has just turned 19!   And after passing his A'levels this summer he has just started a three year degree course in Computer Games Art at Uni. Exciting times for him but mixed feelings for me - I'm so going to miss him.

On 25th Sept we packed up the car with all his art equipment, laptop, suitcases, bedding and kitchen paraphernalia and set off on our two hour journey. Our first stop was at the Uni to formally enroll.  The place was absolutely buzzing with students and it felt quite exiting - a new and exciting beginning for him.  He can't wait to get started on his course and is really looking forward to his first project.  After enrolling on his course and signing up for the doctor, dentist, insurance etc we picked up the keys for his digs and went to see where he will be living for the next year!  He was understandably anxious though about his accommodation and who he would be sharing with. It's one thing leaving home to live with friends or girlfriend but quite another to move into a house with two strangers! As it happens it has worked out really well and the two lads he is in with are both good guys and they seem to get on.

My other two 'little ones' started back at school on 7th September.  MissG has just started her options for her GCSE's and is particularly enjoying doing her art and textile lessons.  She is getting much more homework this year which is fine if it's art and textiles but quite another thing if it's maths or world history!  I'm afraid I'm not much help to her as history is one of my weakest subjects.  Guy has just started in sixth form and his subject choices sound really interesting. He is doing psychology and sociology and he comes home with lots of interesting facts. I'm probably going to learn a thing or two over the coming year!

The last week of September was amazing. We had a whole week of really hot, summery weather and we had to dig our sandals out again! On the Saturday night we managed to cut the grass and sit out on the patio for an evening barbecue before the rain and wind came on Sunday.