Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A road trip

Here I am again. It's this new fangled Blogsy thing. It's making life in the blogosphere a whole lot easier I must say.

Last week was half-term, we had a full few days indeed. Usually we like to take it slow and cosy, with a family day out or two. This time I made sure the girls and I were busy seeing friends.

At the end of the week we went on a little road trip. Just us three. All the way down to Sussex for lunch at the De La Warr pavilion in Bexhill to meet two special friends. Penelopemakes I met through blogging and Rainandroses and I met through Vanessa Cabban years back. Over time, many emails and chats later we now just chat on the phone as friends do, but who hadn't actually met up.

In the finest tradition of meeting bloggers, giving gifts is what you do.
These were opened later as we were very busy chatting and eating lunch.

Afterwards we all visited the Ladybird exhibition downstairs.

It was wonderful seeing the original artwork and then at the end all of the books together (this is just a third of them).

Impossible to pick a favourite, but here's one you might recognise from Shopping with Mother.

As it was the greyest rainy day I've cheated and grabbed a blue sky picture to show you this amazing building.

After a few lovely hours Penny had to leave us and so Karen came with us to Hastings. I wanted to show the girls all the places that were special in my life, all visited while I was pregnant with Rosey and living in Brighton.

We walked the streets at dusk in the rain, intrepid explorers that we are. Once we found Mr Foyle's house we made the next stop a cosy cafe for hot choc and cake.

The only cafe that was still open and with two large red sofas couldn't have been more perfect.

Afterwards we drove Karen home and then ambled onwards to Polegate to get lost in the dark and rain trying to find our travelodge. Thank heavens for mobile phones.

The next day we met Karen on the train to mooch around Lewes and have cake and a lazy lunch too.

We found lots to see and swoon over.

All too soon our day came to an end. We took the train back having our sadness at saying goodbye overshadowed by a Masonic wife and then a very chatty, loud but friendly lady sitting next to us.

Later we had a party tea in our room, played cards and laughed at Gogglebox. A rare treat tv in bed to fall asleep to.
The next day we drove on to Surrey through the snow covered Ashdown forest looking out for Winnie the Pooh and friends. We spent a lovely day with old friends catching up on gossip while the girls were hijacked by their youngest daughter, thrilled to see big girls after two brothers.
The last leg of our journey was hairy. The automatic gearbox failed and so it was all in second gear from Ipswich. Fun! But we made it back wishing we could have those days back again.
The next day I soothed my racing mind by tidying and clearing.

Now for some other catch up news. I bought a Nell brooch from my talented friend Lou. You can find her on Instagram as @nooandnell. My other brooch was a kind gift from lovely Erin @coffeekisses.

These are the squares for the Do you mind if I knit blanket? starting to mix up together. I've nearly received them all now.

Fabulously talented Laetitia of the bloggings of mrs bertimus machine stitched this beautiful square to add to the blanket. She's my mate through this world too you know. She's funny, warm, full of joy and creates amazing stitcheries and paintings you know.

Well that brings me up to date in terms of all the good stuff.

Thank you thank you so very much each and everyone of you sending your words of wisdom and support. I really do need them you know. Still having to live together and keep sane can be hard at times. My girls are an amazing pair to have. Thank goodness they're older and so we talk and laugh, occasionally we swear in the car for therapy.

I'm still waiting for my creative inspiration to come back and I know it will, it's just biding it's time for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Happy Hooker

When you write a blog you sometimes get asked to review stuff. Ive been sent things over the years that just haven't grabbed my interest or wouldn't be right for what I chat about.
A few weeks back I was asked to review a crochet book by Michelle, Sylvie and Cecile Delprat, printed by David & Charles.
I immediately loved the fresh style of the book and it looked a lot of fun. Some books are just too fussy or full of stuff I wouldn't want to make ever never.
Hooked is stylish and has motifs to make for the grown-up you and the kiddy inside you.

The white backgrounds and great colour choices really appealed to me too.
A few bloggers have and will write about this book too as we're part of a blog hop to review it.
If you press here you can go and find out just who they are.
I was supposed to make something from the book you know, that makes sense really if I'm reviewing it doesn't it. Well I did and I didn't.

I used the flower pattern in the book to send a few tutorial pictures to Adabea who was struggling with making flowery things. She then solved my how to blog on your ipad dilemma by telling me about the blogsy app. I'm still learning (this is my first time with it) .

Back to Hooked book.

I thought about making a ring as I love to wear a big ring.

Then I thought I might make a cupcake and turn it into a brooch.
I had quite a few ideas, but with all that's been happening in my life nothing has been made I'm afraid

That aside, I know I'll be making all sorts of things once my creative mind comes back properly.

One of my favourites is this bow garland. It makes me think of sweeties all in a row. I know my girls would love this one.

Now something very exciting for you lovely lot is that there's a chance to win a copy of the book and a bundle of crochet goodies.

Follow this link to find out more.

 

Now I've reviewed Hooked, I'd like to say how touched I was by your thoughtful comments. They made me feel very comforted I must say. As always I'd love to reply to each of you, but now even more than usual I'm finding it hard to get everything done that I plan. This post is later than I was supposed to write it. Life feels calmer, a new understanding has been reached, my girls are happy and I am too in so many ways.

I've been blown away by those of you here and on Instagram who talk of me inspiring you. That builds me up no end you know, but to be truthful I'm not sure how, but I believe you all the same. For the little girl who felt her face didn't fit to the woman who stopped caring if it did or didn't and just became me I feel so uplifted when I hear that I make some sort of a difference. So thankyou, it really does mean a lot.

Right I'm off to press send and hope I worked out how to do the links properly.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Where Am I?

One evening after school we were in Waitrose. Our food was paid for and we were chatting away, heading for the car. 
A lady came up to me and said hello, I read your blog. 
Sometimes people do this and it's lovely to see the people who read the words I write, who look at the pictures I share of our world.  All the happiness in my life is for the most part what I want to focus on, celebrate and share. That's what a creative life is to me.

Well this lady then asked why I haven't blogged so much. I gave her an honest answer and I will give you one too.

I told her my marriage had just ended and so I hadn't found much I wanted to write about.


The next few months will be hard, there's a lot of change that has to come about from all of this.
Some will be good of course, some is scary and some completely unwanted. All the same, we've got one choice my girls and I, and that's to make the best of it.

With that big news spoken aloud, I'd like to get on with the talk of creative whatnots to be honest. Ive not felt like making anything these past few weeks, but I've still been busy hatching plans and continuing with projects.

Some of you might recognise these pictures from Vanessa's blog do you mind if I knit?

Well an idea grew after I set up the online memorial to her. A few people on Instagram asked if there was a way of raising money to go towards mental health, as Vanessa suffered from this as so many people sadly do. 

A conversation grew and the idea of a collective blanket that would then be raffled off came about.

Colours were discussed with my friend Penny of PlanetPenny after I'd come up with the design based on a scarf of Vanessa's. We wanted to keep to her palette of colours so a lot of thought was given to them being as near a match as possible. Then I got in touch with my mate Jane at teawagontales to create an id badge for this project.


Colours were then releaased with details on Instagram, it's such an immediate format almost like being on the phone with everyone at the same time. From Saturday to Monday all the squares had been taken and I'd had to increase the size twice to allow everyone who wanted to take part join in.

The squares have been popping through my door every day lately, the next step will be sewing them all up and then selling the raffle tickets. That's the plan you see, to give everyone the chance to win the Do You Mind if I Knit? blanket and raise much needed funds for MIND.

It's brought a lot of people together to share and chat while they hook their squares.
My apologies for not bringing it into the blogosphere but it would have been so much harder to organise, especially with my world falling around my ears.


In the middle of all this I had a week off work with exhaustion. 
Turns out I'm very anaemic, not surprising for a veggie who misses loads of meals out. 

I sat on the sofa every day, after all the school running back and forth. I watched endless films and found a project to keep me busy.


I'd seen a pattern for a floral heart on Lucy's blog Attic24 that seemed a perfect sofa days make.


I changed the colours to suit me and worked the centres in white instead of adding buttons as Lucy had.


To make it easier to sew the hearts on, I covered the pipe cleaners in a strip of fabric.


I was really pleased with how this turned out..

It's been the last thing I've made for a while, I do feel the urge to get my creative head working again.

First thing I've got to make is something from a beautiful new crochet book Ive been asked to review. 
The book is soon to be released and so I've been asked, along with a few other bloggers to take part in the blog hop. That means there will be links to win goodies too for my readers. 

I'm booked to write that post on the 16th February, so if I'm not back before then, then I will definitely see you then.