Saturday, 23 May 2015

More May

Its so gorgeous today I must make a record of it. 
We had to get up early for a delivery and its amazing what you can get done when you get up early!
I am an owl. I love my bed except when I have to get into it. Getting out is a different matter. However at the ungodly hour of 7.30 am I was out of it. 

Our two new kitchen worktops have arrived and are very heavy indeed. They are oak, replacing two pine ones which are past their best. We're having new taps and a new base cabinet to replace the one which has almost dissolved due to a dripping tap. Dripping and eventually running. And then guess what? My husband fixed it. 
If he'd done it a year ago we could have saved the expense. And I love my antique taps. I don't really want new chrome ones but I suppose they'll work properly. I gave the copper and brass one last polish today for old times' sake while my husband coated the oak with some oil ready for installation on Thursday.
Anyway its a gorgeous day and we are sitting with the French windows open, with the sun pouring in and the birds singing, and the sound of the cricket match just up the road.
I've spent the afternoon gardening at the front. I thought I'd put these pictures to remind myself how nice it can look.
Its a good time when the clematis is in full bloom, and the azaleas are blazing.

The window on the right is next doors.
The bush I couldn't identify last year I now know to euonymous.
Its getting a bit big for the front.
The garden is in a bit of shade at this time of day from the silver birch which probably needs a trim back. It makes the alliums a bit leggy.

Once a long time ago when I was imprisoned in a classroom, I was planning my escape and staring out of the window and saw a garden I loved, with tulips, forget-me-nots and wallflowers together, and after all these years I did it. 

We have an area under the front hedge where nothing much grows and Brian was mowing and I said 'oh just treat it like grass until it becomes part of the lawn.' He didn't hear me and continued to do it anyway and turned to me and said 'We've got a ha-ha'


So talking of growing..I did this.
Makes me think of a clump of rushes by the river.
It was just a bit of a play with big bold shapes. I didn't like all of it so I cut the bits I did like.

My sewing machine is in the hospital so hand stitch is all I can do. I have a number of prepared pieces ready for the needle!
I wish every day was as lovely as this.

Sunday, 17 May 2015


This is rather early for me in May so you never know I MAY even do another. (see what I did there?)
Its because I have stuff to blog about although my photographs are now spread around various 'devices' and I'm not so good at syncing them so it gets more difficult.

We had an afternoon out on Bank Holiday Monday to Glasson Dock and saw this lovely sight on the Lancaster Canal.

My big news is that I have made myself a lovely new website.
I am ridiculously excited about it.

I've waited for my web developer son to make me something beautiful for years but you know how the 'cobblers children have no shoes'  well the techie geeks mum has no website. UNTIL SHE MAKES IT HERSELF.. oh YES!

Well actually with the help of 'weebly' and I must say the techie geek has indeed done the complex stuff about linking the domain with the builder site, which consisted of 'pointing' things at other things. Well that baffled me but he did it for me in a matter of minutes.

So you can see a lot of my work in one place at

Still, the website works and I do like it. I had visions of things like animated needles stitching onto the next page etc., but as it is, it does the job, clearly and concisely. I've linked to this blog on it but I would have liked to have the blog on the website. There is an option to write a blog but I'm rather fond of this one and don't want to move it.

Last weekend I had a stand at the newly relocated 'Art in the Garden'. If you search this blog for 'Art and Garden' you'll see how lovely it was and I did it for about 13 years. Two years ago it came to an end and I was quite ready for the break. Having to work hard for an event in Mid June meant I never really did any gardening at the most important time.

However it has been re-born in a garden quite a bit further away from me, and in May.  Last year I didn't do it. But when I went to look around everyone was saying how they missed me and I should do it so this year I did.

It was a wet wet saturday. It had been raining but the rain stopped. The ground was sodden. It was very cold and I wondered why was I bothering. I hardly sold anything on Saturday. However Sunday was nicer weather, more people came and in the end I didn't do badly. But the main thing is that I had a really fun weekend. Such a laugh with the people I was with in the marquee. People asked if it was the beer tent! They could hear us from a distance.
Here's Pam with Mika.
Our view from the tent. It must have been saturday as there are no people in it!

 This stern chap is a first cast , from China, of a terra cotta warrior. He's well secured!

 A view towards the tea and cake tent. (Gorgeous cake by the way, especially the Cow Ark Cake)
In the flowers is a beautiful ceramic globe by Amy Daniels who also had a stand there.

There were lovely little touches about here and there . My photos are from the phone so not as good as my camera.

The garden is beautiful but the plants were late so it wasn't. as had been expected. in full flower. Some of the steeper areas had to be avoided due to the slippery ground. But still we had fun.

Now I'm working for Woolfest in Cockermouth on 26th and 27th June. ( Please note, Friday and Saturday, not Sunday) I'm so excited.
Its a big event.
I must work harder!

Oh by the way.....
In the last post you may have read about our trip to Grasmere.
We had parked in a 'Park with ease' carpark, where there is a number recognition camera. When you leave, you put your car number in and it tells you how much you have to pay. However we only had £3.69 and it was £3.70 so when we saw 'Pay Online' thats what we did.
I did it as soon as I got home.
But we couldn't find the amount so I had to choose £3.75, duly used paypal and forgot about it.

Then last week we had a letter to say we had to pay a £50 fine.
So I had to appeal. I was hopping mad.

The Assertiveness module of the NHS wellbeing workshop course came in handy.

I said I didn't expect to wait the usual 28 days for a reply as I had done nothing wrong.
I had a reply that night.
But its turns out I HAD done something wrong. I'd had the temerity to put in a o instead of a 0. An oh instead of a zero. So it hadn't recognised the number. But 'on this occasion' they would cancel the fine. Like we'd done it before.

So, do be careful if you have a circular character in your car number, choose the right one on a park with ease site.

More assertiveness happened yesterday. Our newish neighbours have been very drastic in their hedge trimming. We can now see right into their garden after having had 30 years of privacy. I worried about how to deal with it. My husband was saying we should put a big trellis up but then I didn't hink we should really have the expense.
Then I decided that I would be politely assertive, putting my point of view.
So I asked them if they'd pop round and when I showed them what its like for us now, it was agreed that it was not good. They are very nice people and fortunately we seem to be agreed now. So they are 'mulling it over' and she has promised to work out a solution.

That made me feel a lot better. Instead of getting all worked up and resentful I sorted it with new found assertiveness. Not bossiness. I probably spoiled it by telling her I'd been on an assertiveness course but worked.

In other news..Hetty had another op on her eyes to stop them watering. She had her tearducts flushed, but during this process they found more eyelashes inside her eyelids and removed them. F.O.C.
I asked what that meant..its free of charge. And our vets is not noted for its generosity. I even had to pay for the bit of bandage that holds the buster collar on! I wouldn't mind but we are building up a large collection of buster collars for dogs and cats. I never think to take one with me.

Now. Do you remember me talking about my African inspired piece for the Australian Magazine, 'Embellish'?
I thought they'd hated it. I was embarrassed because I didn't hear anything more from them.
Well its only the main picture on the bloomin' cover!!!
I'm thrilled to bits. Its out in June.
Once its out I think I'll be able to share a detailed picture on here.

So there we are. As the self-esteem module of my wellbeing course said:
'Don't make assumptions'

Bye for now.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Last day of the Month.

Well it seems my blog has become a monthly event. So once more I'm just in time for the month. I almost forgot that April has only 30 days.

Sadly some of those days saw the demise of these trees.

 The Methodist church is (are?) hoping to build an extension and after showing everyone the plans,  and in answer to everyone's questions "Are you chopping the trees down?, they said 'some'. However they took the lot away. Half of them were already down when I took this photo.

And here's what its like now. I suppose we have a better view of the moors now, and the only blots on the landscape are the two garish signs, also belonging to the church.

Opinion around and about is divided, with some people 'Thrilled to bits' because they won't have to sweep the leaves and others (mainly me) horrified. 
Oh Hetty is non-committal and just liked looking out to see all the activity. Can you see her in the window?

I had a long and heated discussion with the Methodist minister who said 'You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to tell him I don't mind going without the omelette. I'm sure the extension will be a big advantage to them, of course, but perhaps not the 'asset for the whole village' they might imagine.

As a result of the discussion there are now signs plastered onto the front of the church calling it 'tree replacement' because they are planting more they say.

Anyway I'm over it.
I have to be.

Earlier in the month, on Easter saturday, we saw the 'Chorley Grand Prix'. We all stood outside and watched a huge number of very serious cyclists hurtle up the hill...

....five times! They did 5 circuits of some very steep hilly places.
Notice the trees?

At the back of the house we had exciting goings-on with a blackbirds nest, and all was going swimmingly with two little comedy beaks sticking out, and much to-ing and fro-ing, when the evil thing happened in the form of our horrible cat who brought in one of the babies. They must have fledged and hung around on the path. Poor thing. Hopefully there's still one baby around somewhere.

I'm also forcing myself to be 'over' that . But it did make me sad.

At the start of April we had a trip out for number two son's birthday. We picked him up in Manchester where there was a superb city sunset..I missed the actual sun in this photo!

He lives in this super duper environmentally friendly block. They have a huge curved lounge window and I don't think they ever need to put their heating on.

When teh sun shone last Saturday we had a lovely late lunch at Wilfs cafe in Stavely and then on to Grasmere, for a beautiful walk all around the lake. 
There's a lovely wooded riverside walk before the lake, with bridges, 

and then we walked back along the road and back through the woods, where, by this time, there were whole families having barbecues on the river bank.
It was a lovely day.

Closer to fact actually at home of course..I've been making. I made some felt in palest seashell inspired colours and I've made some seashell-inspired brooches. I'm testing a few of them on  Etsy at the moment.

I've also made more pieces for wallhangings.


Just in time
My April blog post just minutes before midnight!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Marching on

Where has March gone? 
On the last day of February we travelled again to Ballyvaughan for the Concertina school.
While my husband was learning we 'wags' (haha!) were having some creative fun in our little cottage.
I first took some felt making stuff last year and all enjoyed it so this year we made flowers. Now some the actual musicians want to skip class next year and join us! 

 Here are the flowers ....

 and here they are when we remembered to remove the wine bottle!

 As far as the weather..this was the very worst week we've had. My friend and I didn't do much walking. We sat around and ate and did a bit of shopping.. well as much as you can in a tiny Irish village! Look out of that window at the hail.

Thats the bedroom in our little rented house. Its home from home and we always have the same one.

 However the Sunday at the end of the week was glorious

 We made our annual visit to the stunning Polnabroune Dolmen a couple of miles above Ballyvaughan.

 We travelled  along the coast. Look at this stunning way to make an unoccupied house look quite smart.

 The sea at Doolin was spectacular.

 These pictures are not in any particular order. I took this one to show what a wonderful place the Whisky bar is. Tea, Guinness, whiskey, wine and cake all readily available.

 My friend and I did the stunning walk along Rine (Rynn) point where a long sandbar seems to go on forever.

 My footprints

 and the curved beach at the very end. I'd love to be there in summer and maybe swim.

 On our return we were delighted to see an otter running across the sand and I was even more delighted that I had my camera in my hand.

  It was a long way off so I've cropped the picture and its quite blurry but still.....

It was a lovely week catching up with old friends . One had his birthday while we were there so we had cake and a candle. Not quite in the right proportions but its the thought that counts.

We discovered that the gravel path along the Flaggy Shore has been tarmac-ed after the terrible floods last year when most of it got washed away.

On the way back on Sunday evening we stopped by this inlet and I got out to listen to the silence.It was just going dark and the water was like mercury and much lighter than the sky.

As usual our Ferry was cancelled due to the bad weather so instead of sailing at 12 we had to wait until 9pm for the slow boat, so we tok a circuitous route to Dublin via Athlone, Roscommon, and Mullingar stopping by Lough Ree on the way .

 Someone was glad to see us when we got home! Happy to resume their positions!

I took this piece of work with me but didn't do much to it until I got back. 
I had a commission for a magazine article which I can't talk about and it was worrying me all week becasue what i did was awful.

I kept having those anxiety dreams where I'm committed to doing a terms primary teaching and I can't stop know? 

Oh its just me then is it?

I couldn't do anything else until I'd addressed it. I've finished and sent it but the response has been deafening silence since so I 'm wondering if its not passed muster.

This is not it.

This is a piece that has been re-jigged and I'm quite pleased with it.

Once I finished the magazine piece I got going with brooches again. 

I had a lovely evening at Wirral branch of the Embroiderers guild last week  despite getting lost on the way here and the way back. It always happens when I think I know the way.However once there I was treated like royalty and the lovely ladies bought most of the above brooches from me.

I've just been playing since...

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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