Yes, my beautiful girl is back for a couple of weeks, before she heads back to NZ. Here she is having a cuddle with baby Alex, her friend Kimmi’s little boy. She is busy trying to catch-up with everyone, and is getting through the whole body -clock reversal slowly. She has slipped straight back into the routine of ‘borrowing’ (ahem- stealing!) my stuff. Something that I don’t have to deal with these days, living in a houseful of boys! It is lovely to have her around, even if it is only for a little while. Time to start saving for my trip across the world, I think.
I am VERY pleased that February has arrived, with a flurry of new friendships, fun and a little bit of sunshine. Last week was good for a few reasons.
On Monday I held my third Stitch n’ Bitch, and it was a case of quality over quantity really, as only two ladies came, but we all got on so well and it lifted my spirits no end. Thank you Phillippa and Gina. Work went well this week too. I feel that I am getting a grip on the whole thing now. I settled in straight away as the people there are so lovely, but the role felt overwhelming (big expectations+ a short amount of time= gulp!). With the help of my wonderful (and very wise) line-manager I now have some structure, order, and a little less work, phew!
On Friday I was invited to join a group of ladies to celebrate a birthday at a local Indian restaurant. I was a little unsure as I only knew one of them, but figured “what the hell”. The result was more fun, lots of laughter (sorry, other diners!) and more friends. Hoorah!
I have asked about our wedding plans a couple of times this week. Aaarrrrggghh, I confess, none have been made, and we are intending to marry in the autumn! Obviously, the most important arrangements are clothes and a hen-do, right? ‘Of course’ I hear you reply. So when I saw this article in this months copy of Simply Homemade I thought it might work. From what I can gather, Bristol seems to be fast becoming the craft capital of the South West. It is about an hour from here (need to move!), and I think that this knicker making party (for the hen-do, I mean, not for me to wear on the day!) sounds like fun. They do lots of other things at Flo-Jo’s Boutique too. One of the conversations that we had on Monday evening was about setting up our own little craft co-operative type group where we shared skills, and I would love to have something like Flo-Jo’s in Tewkesbury. We already have The Paint Pot that does pottery painting and arty type things- which is great, and The Button Draw for haberdashery and woolly type activities. But I think there is room for something else too. Mmmmmm……. thinking-caps on!
Our little rescue cat has sadly passed away. We were asked to give her a home by the Cat Protection League last year, as because she was blind, deaf and getting on a bit no-one wanted her. We soon found out that she had an incredibly loud meow, which probably didn’t endear her to people! But we loved her, and she grew used to being handled, and the dog, and our other naughty cats, and we feel privileged to have made the last year of her life happy and cosy for her.
Kirstie Alsop has a lot to answer for. Mostly in a good way, I think. My friend Lucy, she of the tea-cosy commission, watched the episode of ‘Kirstie’s Vintage Home’ where she learnt how to crochet a jellyfish, along with a few other ‘yummy mummies’ (probably on an afternoon while the nanny had the toddlers, just before collecting from school in their Espace 4×4’s, wearing Boden, Mulberry handbags with little boxes of raisins in…….. etc, etc. Sorry, that’s all by the by! Now, Lucy was TERRIBLY excited by the thought of having some crochet jellyfish, because she is that type of girl. So I said that I would make her some, because I am that type of girl! The link on Kirstie’s Scrapbook website led to a rather exclusive designers page (she was the lady on the programme teaching the Yummies. Turns out that crocheting Jellyfish was just a little ‘getting on TV’ sideline for her super-expensive craft emporium, would you believe!). No matter, good old Google to the rescue, where I found this pattern. I wanted a gorgeous thick yarn in amazing colours, which I found on Ebay at a bargain price of £1.59 per ball (enough for one jellyfish). Using a thick hook, and by making the body circle a little larger, I came up with this. I found some textured yarn in my cupboard to make some of the tendrils, and ‘viola’, Bob is your uncle! I have six more to make for Lucy’s required rainbow of jellyfish, after which you will get a very colourful ‘Ta-da’ show and tell. I bet you can’t wait! 🙂
As you know, my Sunburst Granny blankets have gone viral (well, I have been asked to make three!). I really enjoy making them, and could probably make those squares in my sleep. However, maybe it’s time to put something different out there. Here are some examples of gorgeousness collected on Pinterest. The first picture is very similar to the sunburst pattern that I use now, but I like the colours and the frilled edge. I love the variations of squares in the third picture, and just adore the colour scheme in the last picture. As usual, I am wishing for more (crafty) hours in the day.
Not a speech impediment, just a fact, as looking out of my window everything is covered with snow and is, indeed, all white. My garden has never looked better! It has been a strange kind of week. Take this weekend, for instance. I was supposed to be in the Forest Of Dean with several of my young people. I have spent all week stewing and sweating over the tons of paperwork involved in taking a group away for one night. I haven’t been in this job for a long as many of you know, so all of this is new to me. I can’t help thinking that it is no coincidence the rain forests have reduced in size significantly since our paranoia over risk assessments has heightened! Masses of forms, thinking of every possible unfortunate scenario that could occur over the space of thirty six hours. Then submitting it to my manager, who corrected it, and handed it back for me to amend. At least she used a black biro, not red! Even when I amended it, we thought of more, which I added by hand (good old-fashioned writing!). Oh boy. Then…….. the snow fell, and it was all cancelled! So, instead of trudging around the forest, team-building and what-not, I have spent the time making some inroads into my orders. The picture shows some of my current WIP’s. Two Granny Sunburst blankets (I LOVE the blue one, not sure how I am going to cope with posting that off), fingerless mitts, and in the bag a heart garland. Trouble is my poor hands ache after hours and hours of hooking, but I don’t want to stop!