Friday, 25 March 2016

Lampshade Ta-Dah!

Happy Good Friday everyone. It's a beautiful sunny one here, although I have to admit to feeling a wee bit sorry for myself as L and I are full of a cold and E sounds as if she's about to come down with it. R has had several stinkers over the course of the winter and, until this week, I had managed to avoid catching them. Then, just as I was congratulating myself on my wonderful immune system, I succumbed. 

Never mind, there have been lots of things to make me smile this week. The first was finally getting round to making a lampshade for my second hand standard lamp. The lamp base was bought recently for the princely sum of £14 from the antiques fair at the racecourse. The owner had already painted it a sage green and until I got it home, my plan was to repaint it. In situ, however, the green grew on me, so I decided to stick with it and just make a shade. The kit was bought online, there was a quick trip to Cath Kidston for fabric and I was ready to go. I'm rather pleased with the results, even though I'm sure the whole process would have been much easier without the head cold! 
What do you think?
Also this week:
 I FINALLY got around to cleaning out the greenhouse and sowing my seeds:
 My favourite were the beans - they're so pretty:
It looks a lot tidier than it did last week - I was too embarrassed to take a before shot! I had a little peek this morning and the radishes are just starting to germinate:
Having worked up an appetite, there was leftover pad thai and mexican black bean and tomato soup for lunch. Both contained large quantities of garlic but it apparently had no effect on the viruses!
Mo the moorhen has been coming to the back door to be fed recently. On any given day, we have multiple ducks, a pheasant and now a moorhen waiting somewhat impatiently for food. The girls spotted Mo with a friend this morning, so we're hoping for mini-mos before too long.
 I finished my Folk Art Stitching. Now I just need to hang it:
The girls had some little sachets in their Christmas stockings that produce coloured flames, so last weekend when it was a bit nippy, we lit the stove and threw one on. The colours lasted for ages and were quite mesmerizing:

There's been some crochet going on too - little squares to use up the tiny scraps of yarn that are too small for anything else. I have a cushion cover in mind, but I've worked out that I need 225 squares, so I've a way to go yet!
 My new supermarket flower:
Having seen a lovely stitch holder recently on Josie Kitten's wonderful blog (see here), I decided that it seemed like a great idea. I couldn't find one similar, but Amazon yielded these:
 Here they are on my Blue Tit socks:
Finally, look what I found at Oxfam this week. It looks a bit Kidstonesque don't you think? I love it and now use it as my library book bag. It hangs in the hall and I add the finished books to it as I go along.
Well, that's all for this week. There's a cup of lemon and ginger tea waiting with my name on it and I'm off to dig out another box of balm tissues!

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter.
Toodle Pip for now. x

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

This week ......

Good morning. I hope you are all well on this fine (dare I say it?) spring day. Apologies in advance for a rather photo heavy post, it's been 2 weeks (I think) since my last one and the pictures have accumulated somewhat.

So, this week I have been:

Enjoying :: Playing with my Mothers' Day present. Can you guess what it is?
It's a tulip tea infuser:
and it floats around in my cup looking as cute as can be:
There were flowers too:
.... and choccies (which didn't last long!)
and, best of all, a home made card:

Listening to :: L playing the piano:

Watching :: The morning mist slowly disappearing from the garden to be replaced by sunshine - yes, we've had sun, people! Please excuse the compost around the pots - something (not sure what) has been digging.

Visiting :: The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon. E received an adopted donkey for her birthday and, as she had a couple of days off school this week following her mocks, we thought we'd visit.
It was a lovely place, complete with sea view, and we were able to see her donkeys. She actually has 2 - Teddy (a blind donkey) was her initial adoptee but he became ill and was removed from the programme, so she was given Zena instead. Teddy appears to have rallied though, so we were able to visit both of them.

Watching :: E and Hamish having a cuddle in a patch of sun:

Exploring :: Bristol. E is currently deciding the order of her uni choices, so we did a return trip at the weekend.

Eating :: Mexican food at Bristol's Wahaca. It was amazing and I'm still dreaming about plantain and black bean tacos!

Smelling :: the spring flowers by the front door.

Reading :: my new library book.

This was Ira Levin's first novel, written at the age of 23 (makes you want to spit doesn't it?!). He went on to write 'Rosemary's Baby', 'Stepford Wives' and 'Boys from Brazil' but I'd never heard of this one before. I had a couple of hours to kill waiting for E to rehearse for a concert and I devoured it in one sitting whilst nursing a latte in Costa. I'd definitely recommend it.

Well, that's been my week. Well done for making it through the photos. I'm hoping to pop along and catch up with a few of your lovely blogs later.
Toodle Pip for now. x

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Sock Ta-Dah!

Morning all. I'm so excited about this post as, after nearly a year of procrastination, I have actually managed to knit a pair of socks - yes, all by myself and everything!
I bought the yarn and a set of bamboo DPNs from a shop in Oxford sometime last year and what with one craft project and another (you know how it is), along with a dose of sock knitting anxiety, the yarn sat there looking at me reproachfully for the next 12 months.
I finally finished E's Dorset Blankie and rather than immediately starting another project to use up the leftover yarn, I decided to dust off my DPNs and give some socks a whirl.
Well, let me tell you that I am thrilled skinny to have finished them. They are by no means perfect but, for my first pair, they're not too shabby.
The pattern I followed was a free one that came with the yarn, along with a sock making book and a few internet sites to show me photos when I needed to visualize something a little better.
Anyway, enough of the wittering, here they are:

 I found sock yarn to be quite brilliant: the way you just knit away and these amazing stripes appear as if by magic.The yarn was a 'British Birds yarn'  and this particular one was 'Pheasant'. Here's Fergus posing in the garden, showing off his colours. What do you think? Does it look similar?
I hope so, because the next ones up (I've got the sock bug now!) are 'Blue Tit' socks!
 Other happies this week:
The view from the kitchen window - believe it or not, it was actually snowing at the time but it doesn't really show up; it just looks like any other rainy day in the UK, but the ducks and I got excited anyway:
The start of my Folk Art wall hanging:

.... and one extra bit of news this week: E resat her driving test. She is full of a cold at the moment and hadn't slept much the night before, so off she went  ill and exhausted to take her test. Apparently, it worked in her favour because she felt so awful that she just wanted it to be over and wasn't at all nervous ..... and she passed! We were so pleased.  So, no more lessons - Hurrah!

That's all for this week. Can I wish all the mummies out there a very happy Mothers' Day - I still don't know if that's Mother's singular or Mothers' collective, but have a happy one anyway!

Toodle Pip for now. x