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I have been having a lovely time just recently, my visit to Spain was very nice, hot and sunny and very relaxing.
These are just a couple of the lovely little things from there, pretty flowers on one of my walks and delicious ice cream by the sea.
I have also been doing lots of knitting here and in Spain and am very proud to show you these very lovely little Xmas mini stockings that I have made.
They are from the very talented Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits ( they are one of her free patterns here) and I remember seeing them a few years ago and thinking that I would love to be able to knit them but did not have the skills at the time.
Well I am very pleased to have been able to make them now I have learnt how to do Fair Isle while knitting the bunny dresses.
I have also had a lovely little walk today, would have been longer but I slipped and fell in a large pile of mud so had to cut it short! This was the view of my favourite reservoir from the other side of the valley.
Hope that you have been having a good time whatever you have been doing and thanks for visiting.
Have spent a lovely weekend catching up, on sleep, on time with old friends and today I will be catching up with the crafting I need to have finished for my Autumn Exchange.
It has been lovely to see my friend Anita, she showed me some of her amazing machine quilting pictures while she was here and I was very excited to learn that she has met Ricky Tims (from the Quilt Show) and knows Melly (from the Melly and me blog) and has quilted an item for her latest book!
We all met up on Friday and spent lots of time looking at old pictures of the kids when they were babies, we have 21 kids between us so lots and lots of memories of good times
I have also been busy with the latest bunny, in between stitching and here are a couple of cute little dresses that I have made.
I also thought I would show you the latest in my Xmas stitching, these are still to be buttoned and backed but here are some of my fave designs from JBW that I am stitching for relatives this year.
And I have been experimenting with my bread book, had Anita and friends round for dinner so this was an adaptation of the Stilton and Bacon Rolls recipe with seeds, apologies for the quality of the photo, light not good in the kitchen!
I will be off to Spain next Saturday (where my mother tells me the temperature has dropped to only 28 degrees) so am planning lots more catching up on sleeping, crafting and reading – the terrace is calling!
Have a nice time whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.
Well I am having a lovely autumn here, am not going to be going to China anytime soon now so I am making the most of the season in the UK with some more lovely walks, practising being a domestic goddess and still more bunny knitting
Have been busy baking cakes and crumbles, cooking stews and soups and have just taken possession of a new cookbook, Paul Hollywood’s Bread – inspired by watching The Great British Bake Off. Today I made some delicious Stilton and bacon rolls from this recipe and have lots more great ideas for the coming weeks.
You will notice I also have a pumpkin all ready for the now obligatory pumpkin soup with melting cheese - yum, yum.
I have just sent off another bunny, this one is a very special one as it is a present for one of my daughter’s very good friends.
Ellie is being a bridesmaid this weekend for her school friend Charlotte and the bunny is a present for Charlotte’s daughter Elizabeth. I was asked to make the dress in the same colours as the bridesmaids will be wearing and added a little hairband as well.
Here are some photos of a beautiful cottage garden from a walk on the hills above my house a couple of weeks ago. There were some donkeys in the field next to the house as well, looking very cute.
Also went to my favourite reservoir, they have partly drained it as they are doing some work so went right down to the water.
It is the Marsden Jazz Festival this coming weekend so I will be manning the Box Office all weekend. Looking forward to it and hoping for very good weather, we have had beautiful sunshine just lately
Hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.
I am celebrating as one year ago today I moved into my little house here in Marsden.
I have had a brilliant year here, I have never been happier living anywhere and I am so glad I made the move (and that it finally happened after all the delays last summer!)
I have made so many new friends including all the lovely people at my new knitting group, have really great,friendly neighbours and permanently feel like I am on holiday!
I have had a very nice quiet summer unlike the previous two where I was getting the house ready to put it on the market, then packing up and finally moving so I have really, really appreciated the lack of stress.
I have spent most of my free time when not away at events in my favourite place in the house, my crafting sofa with all the photos of my friends from re-enactment.
I sit here looking out of the window at my neighbours’ lovely flowers.
I have also been admiring my new planting like this gorgeous lily just blooming and looking up at the hills that I can see from the back of my house. The heather is turning purple at the moment so it all looks fantastic.
These are a few of my best Marsden memories from the first year here.
Lots of walks to the reservoirs in the sunshine, am looking forward to many more of these in the off-season.
The snow and sledging with the kids – fantastic fun.
The sheep, even though they do occasionally eat my flowers I love seeing them, these pics were taken in the Spring on my way home from work – what a lovely sight at the end of the day!
A few years ago I wanted to make a major change to be able to spend less time working and more doing the things I love, wishing to set up my own sewing business.
Sadly that wasn’t possible as life intervened but I now feel that I do have most of what I wanted back then, even though in a different place and under different circumstances.
If I had done that I would have missed out on living here and going to teach in China which has been one of the most fantastic experiences of my life so I am very happy at the way that things have turned out.
This print is in my kitchen, it was a house-warming present to myself and I would add that you can’t buy happiness but living in a beautiful home in a beautiful place with lovely people does really help.
I am spending my houseaversary doing all things domestic, have just baked apple cake for Jake and will be spending most of the day knitting bunnies while watching my new favourite addiction.
I have become a big fan of The Great British Bake Off. Series 4 has just started and while I have been unable to find previous series online I have found the Australian version which is just as exciting (if you like baking!). Am going to pick up new bread recipes for Autumn when I start soup making again.
Oh and one more little bunny update – I added some lace to Emily’s socks – what do you think, cute or what? They remind me of the socks Ellie had when she was little.
Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks for visiting.
Hello everyone, hope you in the UK had a very good Bank Holiday weekend.We had a lovely time, a long car journey (well four in total!) gave me lots of chance for knitting and I took my latest rabbit Emily with me so here she is in her new dress at Ludlow Castle this weekend.
Emily really enjoyed her day – as well as the castle she got to look at some of the weapons close up – here she is on my friend Paul’s weapons rack.
We were going to see some friends at the Battle of the Nations Team UK tournament at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire, intending only to visit on Sunday dressed in kit but watch and not take part.
However within 10 minutes of getting there were in the arena helping give water and sort armour. We had so much fun we decided to go back again on Monday (despite having a 3 hour drive each way – thanks to lovely Kerry for that!).
It was very warm on Monday and the water, cold flannels and jelly babies were much appreciated by the combatants.
Battle of the Nations is a new venture in the UK where teams compete in full contact tournaments, it is amazing to watch with everything from one-to-one timed combat with points scored for hits to large melees with huge numbers where it is literally last man standing who wins.
It is very fast and furious fighting and we loved being part of it and hope to join them at events again next season. Go and visit their website and Facebook page for more info including videos and photos.
Here are a few more pictures of the castle and of the lovely buildings in the town, it is a really pretty place and I would like to go back for a visit to look at things in more detail sometime.
As well as Ludlow I got to spend the day in Chesterfield with Ellie and we had a look round the famous church with the twisted spire – will post some pictures of that in a later post.
We also visited all of the fabric, haberdashery and wool shops in the town (well it would be rude not too!) and as well as the wonderful fabric stall on the market enjoyed the button selection at Fred’s Haberdashery where I picked up these little cuties, perfect for bunny dresses!
Am looking forward to a quiet weekend at home making medieval kit and have an urge to start on my Xmas ornie stock as well ready for the craft fairs in Nov – never too soon for a bit of Christmas crafting!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Am still having great fun with the bunny knitting-I have knitted another dress for the first gift bunny and have also ordered some new buttons to use for the shoes and dress decorations.
These are my lovely new buttons, I will use the red hearts for my Xmas ornies this year and the tiny buttons for bunny shoes as in the picture below. The pretty mixed bag are for fastening the bunny dresses.
These buttons are all mail order from Gregory Knopp, a fantastic site with so many wonderful buttons and free delivery! Go and have a look.
Here is my latest bunny dress, this is my first attempt at one of the more complex Fair Isle patterns, bit messy on the back but I am very pleased with it.
I have also acquired some vintage crochet – this will be added to my stash to be used creatively at some point!
Have another event this coming weekend and then a quiet week ahead so am looking forward to more crafting – some bunny knitting and making some medieval kit.
Thanks for visiting.
I have found a new addiction, I think I am just going to keep on knitting these bunnies as they are such fun to do.
I have long admired Julie’s (Little Cotton Rabbits) work and was very excited when she released the bunny pattern on Ravelry a while ago.
Do go and look at all the ones she has made on her blog, I have got lots of inspiration from looking at the colours she uses and have got some different ideas for my next few.
My first bunny and 2 dresses are finished and I have cast on for the second one.
Julie’s original pattern has stripy legs and body so it looks like the bunny is wearing tights – I left that out of the first version to make it easier but am confident I know what I am doing now so will add underwear to the next ones!
Luckily I have lots of people to give bunnies to as we have lots of young children in the family now as well as friends with little ones so I will have homes for my bunnies to go to!
What I love about this is how quickly you can do it- am not a fan of large projects and the parts of the bunny are so quick even for a slow knitter like me.
As well as the basic pattern I bought the pattern for the extra dresses again from Ravelry, the spotty sleeveless dress pattern comes included with the bunny and the other dress is an adaptation of the cap sleeved lace hem dress. I also added the white border to the spotty dress as the original one was a bit short.
I made the lace hem dress looser by doing another repeat of the lace pattern, made it a lot longer by adding rows to the skirt, added a white band at the waist when I gathered it in by using decreases and used bigger needles to knit the top to make it looser.
I am now feeling a lot more confident about how patterns ‘work’ so know how to do these simple changes.
I have left the back of both dresses open as the bunny is a present for a small child and that makes it easier to undress.
Julie’s patterns are brilliantly written with lots of step by step pics on every detail including the stuffing so even the bits that look tricky, like the shoes, aren’t at all.
I am going to try some of the other designs for my next dress – the spotty one was my first go at colourwork and despite the back looking at bit messy it came out ok.
I am going to have a lovely time for the rest of the summer!
I have also been doing quite a lot of garden fettling – forgot to take a before pic but at the back of the house there was a very overgrown rockery with two foot high dandelions and nettles which now looks like this.
I have planted some clematis and jasmine at the back so hopefully next Spring I will have some lovely climbers up the wall. I don’t miss having my old garden at all but do miss my clematis.
The hanging baskets back and front are looking lovely – due to inclement weather we haven’t made much use of the new table and chairs but I’m hoping it will stop raining soon
I do love my new little house so much – just the right amount of gardening to do, planting nice things and a bit of weeding and watering and no hedges or lawns!
Right am off to do more knitting – thanks for visiting.
Just back from a fabulous weekend at Ashby de la Zouche Castle with the Swords of Mercia.
A brilliant two days of shows and thanks to all the lovely people who came to see us, our biggest crowd yet – about 1,000 people in total over the weekend and we got very lovely feedback from them.
The weather was most peculiar, we British do talk about the weather an awful lot but there again we have a lot more weather to talk about!
Not for us the endless days of the same stuff, we can have two or three season’s worth in a day!
This weekend started with boiling hot for Saturday (spent most of day giving water to the guys) followed by a disaster movie type storm all evening. I have never seen so much lightning in my life.
Ashby is always an event of extremes, we used to do two shows a year there and one was hot and one very wet – as we are now only doing one a year this year the weather combined.
Thankfully it was beautiful for both shows and for packing up all the tents – always a relief!
I had my lovely little medieval tent to sleep in this weekend, here it is in the sunshine before packing up tonight. Have not used for a couple of years due to not having a car but my lovely friend Shane brought it for me this weekend.
And this is the view from outside the tent – beautiful!
Here are a few other pics from the show – thanks to Ellie and Wendy for these.
The group pic shows us at the end of the show today, I am in the nun’s costume as usual. We had some new members with us this weekend so welcome to Jamie, Sam, Richard and Alex, you were fab!
And here is lovely Ellie in a dress she has not worn for a while, looking beautiful in the late afternoon sun.
Thank you to all my lovely friends in the group, this was our last show together for this year though we have some other shows that just me, Kerry and Ellie are doing.
You have been a second family to me for nearly 11 years now and your friendship and support has meant so much to me.They do say laughter is the best medicine, well we will always be very healthy with the fun we have together
I have a lovely quiet week coming up so am planning lots of crafting. I have just started knitting my first ever bunny from Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits and am loving it!
Hoping to get it finished soon but meanwhile here is what I hope it will look like.
If you would like to have the pattern go to Ravelry – fab knitting site with loads of free patterns as well and buy Julie’s wonderful pattern.
Thanks for visiting and see you again soon.
Hope that you are all well and happy.
Seems longer than week ago that I was in Spain with those lovely blue skis
My Mum had surprise day trip planned for me, I thought that it was going to be a new museum of religious art or a fab church but it turned out to be this amazing art deco house in a little town called Novelda, about an hour away from where she lives in the mountains. She discovered it in a DK book that my brother and sister-in-law bought her and first went to visit it last October.
Spain has a lot of Art Deco and Modernist art and I have seen many very lovely things, mainly fabulous doors and ironwork but this was really special.
If you didn’t know it was there you would not really notice the house, the facade is lovely but it is tucked away in a little street in the centre of the town and from the front it looks to be quite a small property but it stretches back a long way and like many Spanish houses it has a Moorish influenced courtyard garden inside the house.
The wonderful thing about the house is that most of the rooms are furnished with original Art Deco furniture and it looks so lived in.
The house is called Casa Modernista and was built between 1900 and 1903 – the DK travel web site has info on location and times info . It is well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in the area.
After lunch (tapas at a lovely little cafe round the corner) we had a little wander around the town and the market and then set off to find a church, St Mary Magdelene’s Sanctury and castle that we could see from the town and that Mum went to on her last trip there. After a few false starts and lots of communing with the locals we found it and it was really beautiful.
As far as we could work out it was built in the early 1900s and reminded me very much of Gaudi’s Sagrada Famila that I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago in Barcelona – on a much smaller scale. A very interesting church and look at those wonderful blue skies! These pictures were taken on the 4th of January!
So back to reality this week, a busy week at work but I had knitting group and a lovely relaxing weekend crafting and cooking so it was not all bad
I have been working hard at creating new stock to take the craft centre, have some new heart ornaments made from recycled charity shop finds that I am just finishing off so will post them next weekend.
I have finished my hat – in beautiful James Brett variegated wool, this was an adaptation of a pattern that I had as a freebie booklet from a knitting mag. I changed the stocking stitch with Fair Isle main part for moss stitch with a stocking stitch crown when I realised how hard it was going it be to do the decreases for the crown shaping in moss stitch.
I am very pleased that it turned out so well and that I now have the confidence to play around with patterns like this. It is very warm and lovely and I just cast on for another one in the purple version of this wool.
This will be followed by matching scarves and possibly wristwarmers in both colourways , at some point in between everything else I want to do. I have still not managed to win the lottery so unfortunately crafting is still subsidiary to my day job – is just lucky I really enjoy what I do!
Exciting job related news – my next trip to China has been confirmed. I will be leaving for Beijing at the end of Feb for two weeks of teaching followed by a few days of exploring the city.I am so lucky, life is wonderful at the moment and I am so enjoying myself.
Like most of the rest of the UK it has been snowing overnight – not as much as I expected but here is the view from my window this morning.Hopefully it will last until the weekend when I can go for a walk on the snowy moors!
Hope that you have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting.
As you know I love history, spend much of my non-working life immersed in it one way or another but today like many other people in my town I got to be part of it.
The Olympic Torch relay came through just near where I live. At the end of my road was this coach loaded up with some special torches in a very snazzy holder along with lots of very nervous looking torch bearers!
About half an hour later the procession arrived with various vans from the sponsoring organisations. There were lots of flags waving as you can imagine and then the runners appeared.
By this point I was too far back in the crowd to get a good pic of the actual torch but I got a lovely pic of some of the ladies from my local yarn shop who were there with their knitted patriotic Olympic rings! Isn’t that brilliant.
Hope you have all had a lovely week, I have been very busy at work, the weather has been pretty wet here and I am so looking forward to next weekend when I will be camping! For my birthday – in my new little one person tent for the first time (the kids are busy so I am camping alone) at the beautiful Harewood House.
Will let you know how it went (and whether the new tent is waterproof!)
Take care and thanks for visiting.