Saturday, 13 September 2014

FINISHED PROJECTS AND NEW CHALLENGES!

My two models, one of them being rather a wriggler, love their new dresses. I have to say a huge thank you to my friend Diane who was so patient with me and helped me all along the way from cutting out  the fabric to finishing.
I'm very pleased with them and I am now feeling much more confident using my sewing machine.
 Jolly good job really because I have new projects to make in the pipe line.


I've also finished this baby blanket this week. It's been sitting there waiting for the border to be crocheted for quite a few days. I think this was because I really wasn't sure if the off white border would look right but now I've done it, I really like it.


I hope the new parents like it too!


I do try to have fresh flowers in the house throughout the year but since the beginning of summer have resisted buying any as I've been picking my own sweet peas and dahlias.
Last Friday I was tempted by some lovely asters in M&S that filled 2 vases.
Then on Saturday my son in law gave me a lovely bunch of flowers as a thank you for darning two jumpers. 
(I know, I'm becoming a sewing geek!)
All of these flowers are still looking good today!

So on Tuesday when there was a knock on the door I couldn't believe it, more beautiful flowers.
A re shuffle of vases was a necessity!


This lovely arrangement was sent to us because my husband has been at work for 40 years.
Unbelievable!
Sorry for the cliche, but where has all that time gone!

Also this week, having been reading Heldasland's blog I decided to have a play at making a collage for a new banner for my blog. For me, doing something like this is a time consuming event. I start off having a little dabble here and a little dabble there and then before I know it an hour or two has passed and I have a revamped blog with a partially completed banner and then a mad rush to get out of the house to go and do the food shopping.
I shall leave it as it is for a while, I do quite like it.


Now to reveal my new challenge. I have been patiently waiting for this yarn delivery
but today it has finally arrived.


I'm joining the chevron craze, can't wait to start.
I'm making a new blanket for Kate's soon to be decorated lounge.
She wants it finished by tomorrow but we've had a compromise and agreed I'll finish it by christmas.
I shall be getting underway later today after I've done some tidying in the garden, my sweet peas sadly have finally stopped flowering!

Have a great weekend everyone!











Thursday, 4 September 2014

IT ALL STARTED IN SEPTEMBER 1963

I can remember it all so well, my first day at school. 
When I was 5 going to any pre-school, nursery or playgroup was unheard of.
On that day when my mum waved goodbye at the classroom door, it was a very new bewildering experience for me and it was on that very day that I found my first friend.


Throughout all of my primary education Gaye and I were inseparable. Sometimes we loved each other and other times we fell out big time. I remember once when we both had to go to the headmaster's office because we'd been fighting in the playground for something or other.
We were both horrified as by this time we'd made up again and so were quite distraught when he gave us 50 lines each, saying how sorry we were and we would not fight again.
Unfortunately for me I didn't have my listening ears with me and couldn't remember what I had to write so I wrote 50 lines saying - I'm sorry I fighted with my friend.
That got me into even more trouble and more lines, oh when I look back, it does make me laugh!

When I was 11 my family moved away and my friendship with Gaye continued through our teenage years but sadly since then we have just kept in contact on birthdays and at christmas.

So fast forwarding all those years until today, another day in September.

Venue RHS Hyde

The gardens looked stunning!


Some of the newer beds and borders looked amazing


the different shades of green and


the late flowering sedums and the grasses were at their best.


Lunch was long and lingering.
The conversation, non stop.

Two friends, who met one September


enjoyed such a perfect day.

I don't know what you fink but I fink my spelling has really come on over the years!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

A VERY OK KIND OF DAY!

 Today has been a very OK kind of day.

 My friend Diane came over this morning and she showed me how to insert the zips into the dresses I'm making for Charlotte & Jessica.


I'm really pleased that I managed to do both zips OK and now I just have a few finishing touches to make. If the summer sunshine is kind enough to return to us for September then the girls will  have something new to wear.
Even later in the year I know the girls will wear these with those little cardigans I made for them at Easter.


Dresses nearly ready for the girls and a new pair of socks for baby Jack that I finished last night.
I made these with some Drops Fabel yarn left over from the baby blanket (I still haven't crocheted the border!) and I think they've turned out slightly better than OK.
I'm really pleased with them!


Today also a parcel arrived, a gift from me to my husband.
What can it be, you may wonder?
It was very well wrapped, precious cargo!


Well my husband likes one and only one specific brown sauce with his Sunday breakfast.
Difficult to obtain from any normal retailer, since Sainsbury's stopped selling it, I would think at least 20 years ago if not more.

Since then Harrods used to sell it and I used to go there or have it sent in the post. Even friends would drop in there and bring him a bottle home on their day trips to London. More recently  a shop in Colchester  was our supplier but unfortunately they haven't been able to get it for a while either.

Then one night last week as I was perusing the iPad, I found it on this website.

Well, I thought best order in a supply that'll keep him going for a year or two (or three!).


Anyone else remember this one?

Colmans OK Sauce.

The way to my heart is generally some lovely flowers (or some beautiful sock yarn!)
the way to my husband's
Some very OK sauce!

Friday, 22 August 2014

THE TIGER THAT CAME TO TEA!

Firstly I must thank everyone for the lovely comments re my stay home vacation!

My tale for this week.

Last summer we had a ladies and little ladies trip to London to see We're Going on a Bear Hunt and because we enjoyed it so much we decided to go again this year.  
This time to see


The children were bubbling with excitement and we all had a spring in our step when we got off the tube train at Oxford Circus and set off down Regent Street.

It was only about 11am, and not overly busy. It was quite pleasant looking in the shop windows.

When we got to Hamleys, well, then we did have to deviate inside but as luck would have it, it was fairly quiet.  Charlotte and Jessica had a great time looking around and when we left none of us were overheated and gasping for fresh air. On our visits in the past the shop has been crowded and so busy.
We took Kate and Robert in there once when they were little and poor Kate became really hot and bothered and by the time we had reached the very top floor, she felt so sick. Though we rushed to get her outside we  didn't quite make it to the exit, in time.

I can guarantee every visit since, this memory always provokes a comment when we enter the shop and on this occasion, it was no different.

This time, it was Kate who said, " Do you remember when.......?"

Leaving Hamleys, with new colouring pens for Charlotte, those silly little wind up toys that do little tricks and make you laugh until they break, for Jessica and a Hamleys bear for Jack we headed to Piccadilly for our lunch in Jamies Italian.


The food there was pretty good and enjoyed by us all!


The Tiger Who Came to Tea at the Lyric Theatre was really good fun. It's only a little show, just on for an hour but as we found last year, such a great way of introducing young children to the theatre without them getting fidgety and bored.

Back outside for some fresh air we decided to go and see the poppies at the Tower of London. 


Charlotte and Jessica have been learning about the First World War and had taken part in our local parade with the brownies to mark its centenery. 
The poppies are amazing.
  

We couldn't start our journey home until we'd been re-energised with cups of tea and cake but finally we headed back to the train station having had, we all agreed, a wonderful day!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

OUR STAY HOME VACATION PART 2

So our stay home vacation moved on through the week and on Wednesday we enjoyed a lovely lunch with my parents and later in the day and on Thursday morning as boat building resumed I caught up with some knitting.


A baby blanket that now just need it's crocheted border


and a pair of socks that I've started knitting for my Aunt who is in hospital and suffers with cold feet.
I found the yarn in my stash (Drops Delight) and the pattern is, as Drops patterns are at first, hard going on the mind.


Thursday afternoon saw us popping out for tea and cake but a trip to RHS Hyde Hall was more of a swim, tea and cake adventure. Especially when some kind soul picked up our large umbrella in the cafe and took it on a jaunt around the gardens leaving us to run back down to the entrance in the rain!
Did get it back though eventually, husband tracked down the people and swopped it for a Hyde Hall umbrella.


On Thursday evening our son's dog Simba arrived for a couple of days.
We thought it was going to take him a while to settle as
he took one look at our kitchen floor and decided, "I'm not walking on that!"
and took equal dislike to the hall flooring as well, deciding to perch on the stairs.


Eventually Michael managed to coax him out of the front door, around to the back garden, through the patio doors and into the lounge.
At bedtime we had to do everything in reverse and he slept on the landing 'till morning when, he followed me down the stairs, along the hallway, through the kitchen and out of the back door!!!

On Friday, as we had Simba with us we thought we'd go out on one of our favourite walks


along the sea wall to Goldhanger.


We did get caught in the rain but luckily we weren't too far from our destination and managed to get to the pub and enjoy our lunch on a table outside with the biggest umbrella we could find to shelter us.


Walking back home later, the sun shone and the tide was in.


Simba ran virtually all the way home and loved swimming in the river.


Nearing home, it was good to see this family of swans swimming down the river.

Simba went home to his own house yesterday and today the weather is being quite kind.
I've been sitting in the garden which is fairly sheltered from the breeze and taking in some sunshine.
I've finally got to grasp with this new sock pattern I'm knitting and I'm making some slow progress.
In another hour or so our son and daughter in law and grandchildren will be joining us for dinner.
Perfect!

Our stay home vacation has been different but enjoyed by us both.

Back to normal next week!


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

OUR STAY HOME VACATION PART 1

Michael has decided to take holiday this week to get some jobs done at home and to make progress with his new venture.

Behind this door there is


the makings of a new boat.When it's finished it will be a Stony Lake rowing boat.
(That's one of his other boats, sitting underneath!)


His intention is to divide his time, between garage and boat, jobs around the house and spending time with his wife, thats me!

On Sunday we ignored the wet weather and set off for Harwich. Eventually the rain did stop and we spent a very blustery afternoon taking a short walk along the seafront before having a very nice late lunch in here.



Considering the remnants of hurricane Bertha were bearing down on us over the weekend, I was quite surprised to find that this dove was nesting in the very top branches of a tree in our garden. 


She sat tight as the wind bent the branch as it swooshed around in the wind and on Monday morning, I was quite surprised to find the bird and its nest still clinging on in the tree.


As Michael was sawing and planing in the garage on Monday, I tidied the garden and mowed the lawn. I thought it looked really nice when I'd finished.

On Tuesday morning,there was much activity in the garage, more planing, more sawing.
(we have very understanding neighbours)
and then in the afternoon we set off to have our supper by the sea.


For those of you who know this area, can you guess where we where?


Well, here is the view from our virtual table!


Here is our scrummy dinner!


Here is someone who wanted to join our table, not so likely,


and as we strolled along the seafront walking off some of those delicious chips we spied this rainbow in the distance.
Yes, we were in Aldeburgh!

Part 2 will follow shortly!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

WILDFLOWERS AND BUTTERFLIES AT THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

We really like to take the grandchildren into London when they're on their school holidays but sometimes we do try to do too much  in a day.

On Thursday we planned it differently. Kate and I decided to take Charlotte and Jessica to the Natural History Museum. As it was so hot we decided to drive up to Westfield Stratford where it's so easy to park and then just take the 30 minute journey on the tube to South Kensington.

We arrived at the museum at about 11 o'clock and went straight into the dinosaur gallery, which was busy and quite warm. We had a quick visit to the dinosaur shop afterwards where we bought a dinosaur for baby Jack and then headed outside to find somewhere cool to eat out picnic.

After we'd eaten we then took a stroll around the wildflower garden which we all really enjoyed. 
Staff were on hand to show the children and adults what species live in the pond and we all spent quite a while looking through magnifying glasses at the pond life they had collected earlier.

The garden was such a quiet, peaceful place!


At 1.45pm we had tickets to go into the butterfly house.
The children were really looking forward to this and they weren't disappointed.
It was obviously really hot in there but because we had tickets for an allocated time slot, it wasn't too crowded.

There were so many butterflies to see and some managed to settle long enough so I could take some photos.
The children, loved taking a closer look at the beautiful colours with their magnifying glasses.






We all left the butterfly house warm but happy. Another trip, this time to the butterfly shop, a well deserved ice-cream devoured in the shade and then back to the underground  station for our return journey on a very hot tube train.

Leaving stratford, in our air conditioned car, as the children dozed, Kate and I agreed that we'd done just enough and we'd all had a perfect day.