Tuesday, 26 April 2011

New Project, New Addition . . .

Hope everyone had a fabulous Easter weekend, wasn't the weather absolutely gorgeous?! We had a lovely time, albeit very busy.

Last week I mentioned that I had started a new crochet project. It's a new Granny Square blanket and it only took two days to make. I used left over wool from my Dream Blanket and alternated with cream (hope I've left enough to finish the border on my Dream Blanket!!). I chose purples and pinks to make it girly. Can you guess who it is for?

I'm hoping you are not jumping to the wrong conclusions - I am far too old for all that baby malarkey! Here's another clue - have you got it yet?

Ta-dah - introducing Chloe, our 8 week old black Labrador. She's such a cutie and she knows it!

We collected her from the breeder on Saturday afternoon and our life has changed so much since. Whilst she is adorable, she is quite a lot of hard work. Everything has had to be moved out of her way, she wants to sleep on us all the time (bad habit I know), and we are having sleepless nights because she doesn't like going in her cage. It's so hard being firm with her when she gives us her cute look.

We are so in love with her, she's such a pretty girl. It's funny though, because I always said I would never have a dog. I'm much more of a cat person. But obviously circumstances change and here we are. Watch this space for further updates - although I'll try not become obsessed!

Have a great day, we are off to the vets for her first set of jabs and micro chipping.

M x

Thursday, 21 April 2011

CK Love

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I had the pleasure of going into my first Cath Kidston shop whilst we were in Winchester at the weekend. I have to say, I don't love all things Cath. I'm not too much of a fan of the very floral designs, but I do have a thing about spots. I was really taken with these gorgeous egg cups. The ones we have are a boring grey marble type of thing, which I have never particularly liked. These, however, really caught my eye.

I also fell in love with these really cute glasses. I could only buy two, as the pennies wouldn't stretch, but I will certainly be adding to them. In fact I love the whole dinner service, but I know I won't be able to get everything I want, so I'm going to set myself a realistic goal of owning a breakfast set of this design. What a wonderful cheery way to start your day!

Hope you are all enjoying your day. I am crocheting like a thing possessed at the moment, desperate to get my current project finished. My hands will never be the same again!!

M x

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Weekend Break in Wiltshire - Day 2

Another glorious day for our time away. We headed off to Stourhead, a beautiful National Trust property about an hour's drive from where we were staying in Swindon. I had heard so much about it because my parents love to go there. Well, we weren't disappointed.

We didn't go into the house because we really wanted to see the beautiful gardens and walk round the lake. We'll save the house for a return visit.

It was hard to edit the photos because I loved them all - so here goes!!

Stunning isn't it. It would make a beautiful setting for a wedding.

I've been having a totally self indulgent week. The children have gone to stay at my parent's house for the week. I've been catching up on TV programmes and films, doing some crochet and a little (very little!) bit of card making.

My plan is to get the border finished on my Dream Blanket - I haven't touched it for weeks and weeks. The border is so boring to do and the blanket is really heavy now. Well the end is in sight, but today I got sidetracked by starting a new project which I will share with you soon, and hopefully the Dream Blanket too.

I've had a Twilight Fest today and watched all three films back to back - Emily thinks I'm mad, but I was in heaven!!

I will also have something very exciting to share with you over the weekend. I'm still slightly disbelieving that I have agreed to it. Can you guess what it is?

Hope you are having a great week, enjoying the sunshine.

M x

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Weekend Break in Wiltshire - Day 1

We have just had a lovely weekend away in Wiltshire and the weather was glorious. It was wonderful to be able to walk around with no jackets on, we were very lucky.

Our first stop was Avebury Stone Circle. The last time I went there was over ten years ago, it was a bitter January day and I had raging earache - ended up in Swindon Casualty, ear infection! So not such happy memories. However, our experience on Saturday soon put pay to that! The sun was shining, the children were happy and I had no ear pain!

After an ice-cream, we headed off to Winchester. I've never been there before, even though I used to live in Salisbury and it is not so far away. We really enjoyed it, great shops, particularly this one! Edward spotted it way before I did, and it would have been rude not to pay a visit! I've never been in a CK store before so it was definitely a must. I did make a couple of small purchases which I will share another time.

The Council Offices and The Great Hall - beautiful buildings. Edward enjoyed seeing the Round Table.

Winchester Cathedral. Very nice, but not as impressive as Salisbury (although I am a bit biased!!).

Then after a quick bite of lunch, we headed off to Stonehenge. I had been here a couple of times. Mark has seen it and so has Emily (on the way back from her Year 6 trip to Torquay), but Edward had never been and was keen to go. It was, of course, heaving! But we still managed to be able to take lots of photos. It never fails to impress me, although from the road side it is not as imposing as you think. A different story close up.

We had a lovely day, and were pretty pooped by the time we got back to our hotel. After a short rest we headed out to Pizza Express for yummy meal. And then an early night.

M x

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

New Design

As you know, I have been making quite a few cards for significant birthdays this year, and I have been getting a bit bored with the same old design. I thought it was about time I tried out my new Paula Pascual Simple Flowers stamps - and I just love them! I used Marvy Matchables ink pads in Violet, Orchid and Caribbean Blue and then highlighted some areas with a Sakura Gelly Roll pen to give a little bit of shimmer. The numbers are the usual Craftwork Cards chipboard and Martha Stewart glitter. The cards were very quick to make, but very effective I think. I think there will be lots of cards appearing soon using these stamps, they are so versatile. I can't recommend them enough.

Have a great day.

M x

P.S. Don't know what's the matter with blogger. My last couple of posts have not appeared as I have laid them out - peculiar!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Highgate Cemetery When we were first going out, Mark took me on a date to Highgate Cemetery which caused much mickey taking at work at the time. However, it was one of the most romantic dates we went on. The weather wasn't very kind to us, in fact it was raining, but sharing a large golfing umbrella with Mark whilst on a tour round such a beautiful setting was a day I've never forgotten. We took the children there on Saturday afternoon, different weather this time, it was glorious sunshine. About 20 years have passed since Mark and I first went there together. The one thing that I noticed was different was that the Friends of Highgate Cemetery had done a lot of work clearing the area so that more of the graves were visible. The pity of this I feel is that it changed the feel of the place. I liked the overhanging trees, the dark canopy - I liked the feeling of decay. It's a fine line I guess between letting the place rot away and sympathetic restoration. Maybe I just viewed it from rose tinted glasses. Still, I really enjoyed the return visit, and the children were impressed by the beauty of the place. See for yourself.

I really recommend a visit if your are in the area. The guided tour last about an hour and costs £7 each, but you can go in the public side for £3 per person. Next door is Waterlowe Park - a gorgeous place to sit in the sun whilst the children play, and there is a rather nice cafe which is not too outrageously priced.

Hope you are all enjoying the sunshine. I'm having quite a relaxed first day of the Easter holidays (apart from getting Emily to do her GCSE coursework, but that was never going to be easy!!). Hope you are having a good one too.

M x

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Stuff I hope everyone had a relaxing Mothers' Day on Sunday. I can't say my weekend was relaxing in the slightest - we had so much to pack in that we were absolutely exhausted by the time Sunday evening came along. Having said that, it was quite a nice weekend, but I am looking forward to this one, which will hopefully be quieter. My children bought me a beauty voucher (Emily's idea, bless her), some Promarkers and a box of chocolates, so I felt very spoilt. I also had a cup of coffee and a biscuit brought to me in bed. This is the card I made for my mum. It's the first time I have had a go at an easel card (don't think it's clear from the photo), and I really enjoyed it, although it took me a long time to get it right. All the materials are from Craftwork Cards - you know I am such a big fan. It was good for me to have a go at something new, as I have been feeling that my card making has been stagnating of late. I have been making the same design, just in different colourways - it's all those 50th and 80th cards I've been making recently, I just went for the easy option. I'm feeling happy with my reading choices at the moment. Fiona Walker has released her new book in paperback and I snapped it up in Tesco on Saturday evening and am a good way through it already. The trouble is that I would rather read it than go to work, so am feeling a bit resentful at the moment - roll on Friday at 2pm when we finish for the Easter Holidays!

I love her books, particularly the ones about horses, eventing etc (even though I'm not horsey at all!!). They are a bit racy and make me laugh - pure escapism.

Well three more days to go. Parents' evening at Edward's school tomorrow - our first one at his secondary school. I've also got to make some chocolate cornflake nest cakes for the children in my class, for Easter, so there's no time to relax just yet!

Enjoy the rest of the week.

M x