Sunday, 30 April 2017

Five on Friday - Late!

I am rather late to the party with Five on Friday or should that be Five on Sunday? It has been an odd week when my 'get up and go' seems to have 'got up and gone' leaving me tired and trying to catch up all the time. April has gone by so quickly, it is difficult to comprehend that May is upon us. So a little last minute I am joining with Tricky and Carly at Fastblog for the Friday round up.

Earlier this week I suddenly realised the workshop I was attending at the end of the month was actually this Saturday. Mild panic as I was not even sure where the venue was and if I had all the requirements necessary. Fortunately the tutor Nicola Jarvis brought packs for all the students and all we needed was an embroidery hoop, a sharp pair of scissors and lunch. Easily do-able so panic over and after pouring over Google maps I worked out my route to the Community Centre where the workshop was held. I do not have a Sat-Nav but I'm seriously thinking about getting one. The workshop was great, creating one of Nicola's Bijou Bird designs in hand stitch. It is such a luxury to sit and sew for a day and not think about all the domestic tasks that would be trying to take priority at home. You can see more of Nicola's beautiful work here
Here is a peek at my progress so far. There is still a lot to do but I am looking forward to finishing it and I shall write a separate post about the day later.

There has been some other stitching this week too as I have been creating some new Project books for a my Etsy shop and prizes for other projects. More about those later.

My poor sewing machine is looking rather dusty in this close up. I do clean it before every sewing session, honest, but working with a felt base does throw a lot of fibres up.

The rainbow blanket I shared last week is continuing to grow slowly although is in competition with a new CAL that I could not resist. It is the Hotel of Bees CAL organised by Sandra at Cherryheart and Sam at BetsyMakes. The pattern is by Christina Hadderingh at a Spoonful of Yarn. It is a lovely pattern that is very addictive, although requires some concentration. There has been some ripping back when I have been too busy looking a the TV instead of my crochet.

I am on the third and final section and will reveal all when it is complete.

The garden is looking lush despite having very little rain for many weeks now. I cannot remember such a dry April in a long time. It has been cold too this week and not conducive to pottering in the garden.

The blossom has been beautiful and the miniature apple tree is still wreathed in pretty flowers despite the cold and a few frosty nights. 

Well, reading through I seem to have promised three future posts so had better get myself organised, projects completed and writing done. Perhaps having a target will help me focus.

I hope you have all had a good week and are enjoying the long weekend if you live here in the UK.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Catching Up

It had been my intention to catch up with blogging and recent projects before Five on Friday came round again but here we are and Friday is upon us. Slowly, slowly I am becoming more familiar with the new laptop but much slower than I would wish. However, here a few projects I have been getting on with recently - happy distractions from technology.

1. Happy Scrappy Patches

Back in March I shared the Spring patch here using a Jessie Chorley screen printed patch. It was so enjoyable doing some simple stitch that I decide to create patches for the rest of the seasons in a similar style. Eventually they will be made into a wall hanging.

2.  New Pattern
Baby Kimono Jacket

This little baby kimono jacket was made from a Joji Locatelli pattern on Ravelry and was completed just in time for the arrival of the latest member of the family. My niece and her husband had a beautiful baby boy at the end of March. They are all well and very happy.

3. Old Pattern
Cardigan and Hat

This is an old family favourite pattern and has been made dozens of times over the years. My mother knitted it for me *!#*# years ago and every family member since. I changed the lacy panel to a cable pattern as I thought it was more suited to a boy. The hat is a very basic one given to me by a friend and again knitted numerous times. 

4. Sock Knitting

There is generally always a pair of socks on the go as they are so useful to take to appointments to while away the time if there are delays. This is a child's pair using up the leftovers from my last pair of long socks. Progress is slow but that is okay as it is useful to have something to pick up and go. 

5. Rainbow Blanket

The Rainbow blanket is growing, although again progress is quite slow. It is lovely and relaxing to do a few rows in the evening when I am tired and not in a mind for stitching or anything else that taxes the brain. The coloured stripes are completely random with no master plan, just bits and pieces of Stylecraft Special DK left over from other projects. There will be a lot of ends to stitch in and I keep thinking it would be sensible to do a few as I go along but it hasn't happened yet! 

Joining with Tricky and Carly at FASTblog for Five on Friday.
Click on the link to find out what others have been doing.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Technology Aaaaaaggggghhhhh

Hello, it is good to be back after a few technological hiccups. Thank you everyone who commented on my last post, I really enjoyed reading your comments but apologies for not replying. There has been quite a lot of frustration and gnashing of teeth going on trying to sort out the laptop. Before sharing these problems I will share some relaxing pictures of the garden, which has kept me sane.

1. Blossom

Last weekend brought glorious sunshine and the cherry tree blossom looked wonderful against the blue sky.

2. Viburnum

The viburnum has been covered in blossom this year and the scent is wonderful. Perfect for sitting by with a restorative drink.


The primroses love the dappled shade at the back of the garden and are increasing in number year after year. I think a primrose must have crossed with a garden centre primula to create the pink one. It is such a pretty delicate colour. Nature is very clever!

4. Clematis and Honeysuckle

On the fence the clematis and honeysuckle have burst back into life. The alpine clematis always flowers first and as it fades the honeysuckle starts to open. I cut the honeysuckle back quite severely last year as it was beginning to invade my neighbours garden but I am pleased to see there are flowers forming.

5. Groundcover

A couple of years ago I planted some periwinkle at the side of the garden that borders the Parks Trust open ground beyond my fence to try and blanket out the weeds that were constantly coming through. When I first moved into the bungalow the open ground was beautifully kept and managed but with years of cut backs the lovely plants that were there have been taken over by weeds and brambles, which I am always battling to keep out. The periwinkle has done a great job and is a nice thick mat with lots of flowers this year. The grape hyacinths have not been put off and are still flowering and the forget-me-nots provide there own ground cover - all over the garden.

After looking through the garden photos from last weekend I feel much more relaxed so will keep the saga of the laptop short. After spending days backing up the laptop, (it took ages because it kept closing down on me for no reason rather than there being lots to save) I took it to a local repair shop that had been recommended to me. They mend, update, sell reconditioned models as well as new ones so I asked for their advice what would be most appropriate considering my needs. The laptop was left with them and they promised to telephone with advice after they had a look at it. I was very surprised to get a call 5 days later telling me it was fixed. Wires must have got crossed somewhere because that had not been the original plan. Yes, the laptop no longer closed down on me and the touch pad no longer jumped but the processor was still too old and slow to achieve what I wanted. Big sigh and rethink.

Not having any savvy teenagers or a technically minded partner it is difficult to know where to go for advice. Friends were helpful but are not much more knowledgeable than me - i.e. "umm don't know"! None of the family are technologically minded and live too far away to be any practical help. I decided  a new laptop was to be the best option and with a bit of research, decided on my basic requirements. All I needed now was the confidence to do some laptop shopping. Is it just me or do others find technology stores daunting? The first one I went in, which will remain nameless, the gentleman 'helping' me was much more interested in selling me multiple add ons rather than showing me the couple of laptops I expressed an interest in. Needless to say I walked out. 

Eventually I ended up at a well known department store where I know they offer good after sales service. I had put off going in there as it is usually populated with earnest men asking lots of technical questions, which makes me feel totally out of place and inadequate. Fortunately a young women came to help and advise and did not try to sell me the most expensive item in the shop. So I am now the owner of a new laptop and slowly, slowly trying to get to grips with the set up and all it's features. I know it is going to take time, practice and patience but the reality is I would much rather be sewing, knitting or crocheting. Well, at least I have not wanted to throw this one out of the window - just yet.

Apologies, as this shortened version is still rather rambling. 
Thank goodness there is escape in the garden. 
Joining with Tricky and Carly at FAST blog for Five on Friday.