Tuesday, 31 December 2013

December Days

Doesn't December fly by?  There's always so much to do.  

Very little time for blogging - here's a quick December summary!

I enjoyed a quiet moment with a mug of tea before the mayhem began..

I made a few Christmas cards, and wrote a few Christmas cards and posted a few Christmas cards and delivered a few Christmas cards!

I stopped for refreshments - a tasty snack while out Christmas shopping

I admired the Christmas lights in Carlisle

and the  spectacular sunset on the way home

I decorated the house - decorations everywhere

I hung up my cards - I love to receive cards but never know how to display them

I made this advent calendar - with pockets for sweet treats

I gave my dresser some Christmas treatment too

I draped fairy lights

I decorated the tree - I'm definitely going to have a real tree next year

I collected these pine cones in the park while out walking the dog

I made a Christmas wreath 

I wrapped lots of presents

all ready to open

I think MissG was very happy on Christmas morning

and I was too - didn't I do well?

I (as usual) left the cooking of the Christmas meal to MrG - he made a fabulous feast

I cleared the table - it's at times like this that you wish you'd asked Santa for a dishwasher!

I surveyed the Christmas bottles of booze

I chose a cheeky wee Babycham - did you know that you can still buy Babycham?  I didn't!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

♥ 52 Weeks of Happy (44/52) ♥

Snapshots of the week

Ben (aka Son1) phoned home from Uni this week.  Just for a chat.  Nothing unusual about that you might think.  Well it was unusual.  It was a very welcomed surprise as I hadn't spoken to him since Friday 20th September. I've been trying to give him 'some space' so haven't phoned him and I really wondered how long it would be before I heard from him!  He's in his final year at Uni and says he has been snowed under with work - he thinks he's crammed more work in the last month than over the last year - it's probably (and hopefully) not the case but it can feel like that when you've got your head to the drawing board.

Guy (aka Son2) has had a busy week this week too.  He has been for an interview (and been called back for a second - fingers crossed) and he has... big drum roll please... passed his driving test.  Fantastique.  Both he and his driving instructor walked towards me looking glum and his instructor said "never mind he'll do it next time" but when I turned to Guy he couldn't keep a straight face and he said "of course I passed".  I am really chuffed for him.

I enjoyed the silence for 20 minutes.  I sat in the car and read my book while Guy was in his interview. The view from the car window was stunning too...

MissG was off school this week so we went down to Kendal to do some shopping while waiting for Guy to have a driving lesson and take his test.  We also had a lovely lunch in Farrer's olde-worlde Cafe.

MissG went to her first party with friends from her new school, another sign that she's settling in.

She spent ages crafting this pumpkin.  It looks nothing until lit up in the dark.

Our dog, Alfie, was up to mischief too this week.  Look what he did to my newly crocheted granny squares!

I have made loads and loads of granny squares this week.  A total of 64.  I'm deliberating how to join them as I can't decide whether to edge each one with a double crochet in dark grey or make a final round with the dark grey before joining them.  Decisions, decisions.

I have also started a little foxy broach from the Mollie Makes magazine.  I find it hard to sit and watch TV without something to do with my hands.

I started this while watching Strictly Come Dancing. I must admit I'm not enjoying the programme as much this season.  I love the dancing but think the presenters (yes both Bruce and Tess) should move on - I usually turn the sound down when they're waffling on as they make me cringe! Is it only me? 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

♥ 52 Weeks of Happy (43/52) ♥

My happy moments this week include:

We came home on Wednesday afternoon to find we have new neighbours.  We have some herdwick sheep in the field next to our house - they have cute little faces.

I bought some wool for a new crochet project.  I treated myself to some Rowan Pure Wool - it's the first time that I have spent so much on wool but I'm hoping to make something stunning!

I made a start with some granny squares.  I'm loving the colours.

This week I also made my first ever quiche.  Well I probably made one at school in the '70s but haven't made one since so I count this as a first.  Salmon and broccoli quiche - yum. The photo makes it look quite burnt but it wasn't really!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

♥ 52 Weeks of Happy (42/52) ♥

Oh boy what a week.  I feel shattered.  I have been feeling as if I have a cold coming on over this last week and I've had a sore throat, headaches, achy neck and shoulders.

Apart from going in to the office a couple of days I have tried to stay cosy in the house all week.  I have been keeping myself busy with some craft projects though.

It only took a couple of evenings to make myself this hot water bottle cover and I am so pleased with it that I may attempt to make a couple of colourful covers for Christmas presents.  I have threatened my family that they will all receive a crocheted item for Christmas!

I also had a go at making Christmas cards - they are so home-made looking that I may not actually send them!  The thing is I love cards and I'm sure to see some that I just have to send instead.

On Friday I had to go out to attend a course.  *Big Confession *  I had to attend a speed awareness course after being caught speeding.  Naughty me!  I have no excuses for doing 34 in a 30 zone but I would just like to say that I was on a straight open road approaching the village and hadn't reached the houses where I would of course have slowed right down.  I am such a cautious driver and have driven for 30 years without any offences so I was quite upset.  My son, who hasn't passed is test but is currently taking driving lessons said there are no excuses and said "it's 30 for a reason", which is true of course.  Slapped wrist for me.

It just so happens that the hotel where I attended the course was right next door to Hobby Craft so I met my sister and we enjoyed some retail therapy.  Today, she came round with her felt and we made the Needle-felt Robin from Kirstie Allsopps Craft book.  I am really, really pleased with my little Robin.

On my drive too and from work I pass a lady's house that has a little stall at the roadside with plants, cut flowers, jams and chutneys for sale.  Last week I pulled over for the first time to take a look.  It was the bright orange lanterns (Physalis) that caught my eye.  A bargain I think at £2.50 so I popped the coins into her honesty box and came home to play with them.  I say play because I spent quite some time deciding what to do with them.  I tried hanging them along the beam in my dining room, then I tried arranging them in 3 different shaped vases until I finally found one to keep them upright.  They have been in my kitchen/dining room for over a week and I have enjoyed the bright cheery colour.  Today I decided to have another play with them and arranged the lanterns around a hoop and made this wreath for my front door.  

Sunday, 13 October 2013

♥ 52 Weeks of Happy (40-41/52) ♥

I am almost up to date with my blogging backlog.  Here's a quick summary of weeks 40 and 41 of my 52 weeks of happiness...

I don't know if you remember but I attended an interview back at the beginning of July, before we had even moved house.  You may remember that it was my first interview in over 20 years.  Well surprise, surprise (as Cilla would say) after not hearing a word for 3 months I received a phone call to offer me the post.   I'm pleased and anxious in equal measure at the moment but I'm sure everything will be fine! Doesn't everyone feel apprehensive when starting something new?

MissG has coped really well with her first few weeks at her new school.  I'm really proud of her as I know it's been hard for her.  We had our first parents evening and her teachers said some very positive things about/to her.  She is taking A'levels in Media, Art, Sociology and English language.

Another first for us was having our chimney swept!  We had a gas fire at our old house and always wanted to replace it with a wood burning stove but we never got round to it - maybe it was the cost!  So we love the fact that we have one here in our new home.  We thought we'd be sensible though and have it swept before lighting it.  And look... isn't it lovely.

And another first.  This cushion.  Now look at it closely.  Isn't it lovely?  Well I know to you it's just a pink cushion but... well to me it's a major achievement.  It is my very first attempt to do two things - making piping and inserting a zip.  Woohoo I did it.  I am chuffed to bits with it - it looks so much more professional than my other hand made cushions.

I should also point out that this chair, this gorgeous chair, is my long awaited make-over chair.  This project has been on the go for months and months.  In fact I mentioned it here in May when I bought this chair and matching stool on ebay for just £53.  Since then my chair (and stool) has had a make-over by the fabric fairy - well, no not the fabric fairy but Trish at Trish Hart.  She has made a fantastic job and I am delighted with it.  It stands pride of place in the dining room and is mine, all mine - permission must be granted to sit on it!

Monday, 30 September 2013

♥ 52 Weeks of Happy (36-39/52) ♥

A quick summary of September

Birthdays come around very quickly once you're in your forties!

I was totally spoilt and received some lovely presents - but unfortunately didn't photograph them all!

New starts - New 6th form for MissG

I know Santa's in September!  I dropped MissG at school on the first day and popped in to the shop for some groceries and these were adorning the shelf - unbelievable.

New College for Son2

He has just started a Horticulture course so needed steel toe capped boots!

Back to Uni for Son1

He happened to turn 21 this month too.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

August Anniversary

MrG and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary with a trip to Cheshire.  We headed down that way to see the Decorative Home & Salvage Fair at the Cheshire Showground.

It wasn't at all like August weather - it was cold, grey and blustery.  I think the weather must have put the crowds off because it wasn't nearly as busy as I expected, which was quite good for us as it meant we could get into the tents and up to the stalls to see everything.  I didn't take many photos as I thought.

We decided to make the most of our trip away and so we stayed for the weekend at the Pickmere Country Guest House

We popped into Knutsford and had THE most fantastic Chinese meal at ManZen

The weather was much warmer and brighter on the Sunday so we headed to Arley Hall and Gardens. I took looaads of photos...

As we didn't have a summer holiday this year due to the house move we really did appreciate this short break.  I'd love to try to squeeze in another soon.