Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday 29 February

For February the theme for the Popular Craft's swap was hearts. Ah, that's an easy one! Actually, it was quite hard to choose what to make as there are so many nice heart things out there. I think everything looks pretty with a little heart on it. My swap partner was the lovely Mandie, who really needs to start a blog (dropping a subtle hint!). We exchanged a few emails, exchanged a few more and found we had quite a lot in common. And so in the end it wasn't too hard to choose something to make for her.

I bought some pink coloured soap in Lyme Regis to go with it, wrapped it all up with pink ribbon and suddenly I had a pink theme too. Good job she likes pink!

And yesterday Mandie's parcel to me arrived in the post:

A gorgeous bag for my knitting - the bag looks much nicer in real life than on the photo, it is very soft, pinwale corduroy with a lovely lining. Plus a glass heart which is going to hang in my front window to replace the snowflakes I'd made for decorations during Winter, and 5 blue stitch markers - so happy with those as I'm always using odd strands of wool to mark my place in my knitting (or worse, don't even bother to mark my place - not a good idea!).

It's been a great swap, with best of all making a new friend. My only regret is that she doesn't live a bit closer!

PS On a totally different note, I had some good news yesterday: my car is repairable. Together with Mandie's parcel in the post, it probably goes without saying I had a happy day yesterday!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday 25 February

Since Thursday I've not been sleeping very well. I fall asleep just fine, but wake up early and keep going through the car crash over and over again, trying to change it so it didn't happen. This morning I gave up trying to get back to sleep and got up at 7 to make a cup of tea and potter about on the computer for distraction. Amazing that something that in the grand scheme of things, is really quite insignificant, can have such an impact.

A while ago I signed up to a swap that the magazine Popular Crafts organises every month. To be honest, I'd not heard of the magazine before until they started following me on Twitter, and so far I've yet to find somewhere that stocks it! I am planning to have a look in our WH Smith's this morning as they have quite a large range of craft magazines. Every month the swap has a theme, and you have several weeks to send a handmade item plus a small gift by the end of the following month. For January/February the theme was 'owl' and I swapped with Maxine from Studio 23. Coming up with something to make for Maxine wasn't very hard, as owls are so popular right now. My creation for her was made in Lyme Regis and finished off when we came back:

I had great fun making him, but hoped he wasn't too childish - it is o so easy to fall for a cuddly toy with this sort of theme. Maxine let me know he is living in her studio and she has named him Swoop - which I think really suits him!

And in return this is what I received from Maxine earlier this week:

 As Maxine is a textile artist, I wasn't sure what she'd make for me and this was totally unexpected, but I love it. There is so much to explore, I love the little flowers on one of the pockets. She had sneakily hidden the present in one of the pockets... and even the card was handmade.
Although I intend to keep it for myself, I suspect 12yo might pinch it to use for herself. I had intended to use it as an apron although don't want to get it dirty, but 12yo could get away with wearing it as a garment - her legs are just, well, younger and more suitable for being on show ;-)
Thank you again Maxine, it's been a great swap!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday 23 February

It's been an odd week and today has been the worst day so far. B. and I have had separate holidays for years and it's not a problem, but normally we go away at the same time. This year he left a few hours after I came back, which means I haven't seen him for 2 weeks now. He's back this weekend but today I could really have done with his company or at the very least his voice. This morning I bumped my car into the car in front of me. Rather badly. My car had to be towed away as I couldn't drive it anymore. I am fine, and that is the main thing, and thank goodness the kids weren't there and nobody else got hurt either, but it was my own fault. I feel cross with myself because it was a situation B. had warned me about before (and I've learnt so much from him about driving), and I'm sad because I love my car and I don't even know if it will be repairable. There was no point in ringing him - he is skiing and there wasn't anything he could do. I speak to him every night so I'll tell him tonight what's happened and that will be soon enough. But I could really do with a big hug and someone to make me a cup of tea and say that everything will be alright.
Having said that, everybody else around me has been very supportive. I got a cup of coffee and a tissue and a hug as soon as I got to work (it has been an odd week at work as well, with one of my colleagues fainting off her chair - and our department already has a reputation for being weird...), and another colleague offering to drive me home when she has a long trip home already. My mechanic sorted me out with a hire car so I can get around for the time being, and last but not least dad rallied around, did a bit of virtual hand holding, told me it was a stupid thing to do but I learnt my lesson, albeit the hard way. I'm so grateful to have so many people around who will help me out when I need them.

There has been something though that has made me happy this week.

I came home from Lyme Regis to find these on my doorstep. In the seven years I've known him, he's never EVER bought me flowers. And although he is very good at buying presents I like and I've always told him that I prefer the practical things he buys me, it is actually really nice to be given some flowers sometimes. And although I'm happy to leave this week behind and start afresh next week, seeing these flowers unfurl made me think that it's not all bad.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday 20 February

As usual we spent half term in Lyme Regis. We came back last Friday and despite the house being back to normal, Mount Laundry having been (partially) conquered and the children having gone back to school this morning, I'm still pining slightly for the lazy relaxing days we had there and am reluctant to be drawn back to our everyday routine. Fortunately I have several photos to relive the memories - and happy memories they are too.

I don't think I'll ever get bored of Lyme Regis.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday 6 February


This country gets a bit excited when there is snow. This year, for a change, the country didn't grind to a halt. And the excitement has worn off for most now - we would quite like things back to normal thank you very much. (not me - quite enjoying it!)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday 3 February

I failed miserably last week on posting a photo of what made me happy. Maybe I set myself a few too many New Year's resolutions. I'm managing to stick to the other ones reasonably well, but this one just slipped my mind until earlier this week. Ah well, one for this week then!

This photo made me happy for two reasons. Last weekend B. replaced my camera - yes, the DSLR he bought me for my birthday back in December. I was slowly getting to grips with it but found out a few weeks ago that it wasn't a 'proper' DSLR. We got a few recommendations for another one, he started looking on eBay and before I knew it he was bidding on a much more professional looking one (a Nikon D90). It arrived last weekend and I've been having fun with it ever since. It does seem a lot easier to use and takes nicer photos. I think I'll be enjoying it for a long time to come.
This photo is one of the first I took and I'm sure it's not up to professional standards, but I'm happy with it. Plus it's a lovely picture of 12yo - this is just as she is - growing up fast and loving modelling, but this is her natural pose. My big girl.

Happy that it is weekend. No big plans - 12yo and 9yo are with me tomorrow so we'll brave the cold to pop to the market after riding lessons, have some lunch in the cafe at M&S, and B. and I will have mussels for our supper. We have snow predicted for Saturday night, I'm hoping that I don't get snowed in in Norfolk so I can still get home on Sunday afternoon, but secretly hoping that school will be closed on Monday...!

O and that hat she's wearing? Not really hers... I knitted it for B. who years ago managed to lose a hat I'd knitted for him out of merino and silk yarn (the first item I'd knitted him too!). I found this pattern on Ravelry and it was called Honey I lost my hat. I couldn't not knit it could I. But it's so comfortable that everybody's been wearing it - so now one's on the needles for 9yo and I hope to get one made for 12yo next week too.