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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.
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.
Well Autumn is definitely here in the Colne Valley.
The last of the tents is drying out on the line ready to be packed away until next season and the air has turned colder.
I am often sad at the end of the season as I so love camping and re-enacting but am really looked forward to my second Autumn here.
Being so much more rural I can really see all of the changing colours of the seasons all around me and the other day I had a lovely walk along the canal to pick blackberries and took these pictures for you.
I also popped into the local charity shop (to donate) but came away with this beautiful tray cloth.
I am thinking of maybe framing some of these pieces as I now have far too many just to make things from them and think these might go very nicely in the kitchen.
The designs remind me very much of some of Kelly Fletcher from Materialistic- a very talented embroidery designer from South Africa who has some beautiful freebies on her Craftsy shop - look for the Bloomin’ Marvellous designs.
She also has some gorgeous designs for sale – really inspirational stuff!
I now have the ultimate luxury of a Sunday to do whatever I want to Jake has gone back to University (not that he was any trouble while he was here!) but I am home alone with only myself to please.
Shall it be Christmas ornaments, knitting more dresses for bunnies, stitching? Maybe all three! I am making a start on my autumn exchange piece today and have chosen some beautiful brown silks for the piece.
Or a walk on the hills? it is beautiful and sunny today so I might just don the walking boots and get out there
I hope that you are having a lovely day whatever you have decided to do.
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 and a very special welcome to all my new followers, I have been getting lots of notifications recently about people now following me and am very honoured, hope you enjoy all the future posts.
I have just got back from a brilliant trip to Florence and am sorting out my many pictures of medieval art and churches for a mega post.
I have had a lovely day today so I thought that I would share some of it with you – when I first moved here I promise to post pictures of my lovely surroundings in all seasons so here we have the early summer collection.
I love walking round here and particularly the walks up the valley with the reservoirs but the scenery has just got better as the rhododendrons are now in bloom! I love rhododendrons and they have only just started to come out so the walks will be even better for the next couple of months!
I am so lucky – all this is just about half an hour walk from my house! And there were baby geese on the reservoir today, have not seen them before.
Got back from holiday to find this very lovely Spring Exchange piece from Stephanie at Blue Star Stitcher, my latest partner in the Seasonal Exchange blog. This is a Prairie Schooler piece in an egg-shaped finish with really lovely beading. The backing fabric is really pretty as well. Thanks Stephanie it goes really well in my kitchen where I am currently displaying all my Spring exchange ornies.
Will be back soon with the Florence pics.
Thanks for visiting.
Hope you have had a lovely week, I have had a really nice half term holiday as I have been on leave all week.
So there have been lots of lovely walks, crafting and socialising culminating in a trip to the next village in the valley for the Moonraker celebration yesterday.
I have spent the week making a small quilt for one of Ellen’s friends who has just had a baby.
I designed the pattern myself based on the motifs from the Sweet Treats fabric that I bought in Worcester at Ellen’s graduation.
I added fabric from my Simply Solids monthly delivery and some of the fabric that my Mum bought me for Christmas.
I made the quilt reversible and it is Moses basket or pram sized.
Here are a few pictures from the walk my sister-in-law Amanda and I did earlier this week up to a local reservoir.
It was beautiful weather really warm with such blue skies, very rare in Yorkshire in Feb!
Yesterday I went with my friends Taru and Bob and their daughter Leah along to the next village in the valley, Slaithwaite, where they hold the Moonraker festival.
We used to go to this every year when the kids were young but I have not been for about 8 years as I am usually in Spain at this time of year.
The festival celebrates a local legend about some smugglers who were trying to get some contraband that had fallen from a boat into the river.
When the Excise men caught them they denied any wrongdoing saying they were trying to ‘rake the moon’.
The festival is a parade of willow lanterns that are made throughout the week at workshops. The parade also involves lots of bands and culminates in brilliant fire sculptures and fireworks.
Each year the festival has a theme – this year it was time so Bob and Leah made a giant pocket watch.
There was also a Tardis and a White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland along with lots of Big Ben clocks, egg timers and watches of all shapes and sizes.
Today I walked along the canal to the village again, it was a beautiful sunny day and I saw geese and the first signs of Spring, these lovely daffodils outside one of the canalside cottages.
My village is notorious for having sheep roam the streets (and eating the contents of people’s gardens!) When I got back from my walk today there were this little group at the bottom of my road.
I am off to China on Thursday to teach for 3 weeks – going to Beijing this time so will not be blogging for a few weeks but expect some pictures of famous things when I get back – might even get to see the Great Wall!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Well I have finally got my stall at Standedge Loft Space and my membership as a designer maker. Am very pleased as I have wanted to sell things for a while and also it is a great way of supporting a local craft centre. My little stall looks very cute and I have got some nice feedback already.
It is a lovely space and I am looking forward to being able to spend more time there, especially over the summer.
There was a craft market this weekend and I bought this lovely fabric from my new friend Helen from my local knitting group. I am making a quilt for a friend’s baby and have used some of this fabric to add to my stash for that.
She and her friend Lucy run a fabric store called Material Goods in the next village – here is their card and link to their online store.
I have also been out for a few walks over the weekend – there is still a bit of snow up on the hills and lots of sheep!
I got my Winter Exchange this week from Kathy - isn’t it lovely – as soon as my partner has got hers I can post the stitching that I have done.
I am planning lots of lovely walks this week as I am on holiday! There will be lots of crafting too and some nice nights out catching up with friends. Ellie has been here for all of last week and Jake is here this week so I am being very social!
Thanks very much for visiting.
Hope you are all well and happy, thank you for your lovely comments on my new things.
I have been busy this weekend adding to the stock as I have made a couple of new items, these are phone covers. The top one I am going to keep as I made a bit of an error with the lining ;-(
The crochet on that one is from a large piece which contains about 30 of these flower motifs – I used some of a similar design and different colour last year to make a handbag which I blogged about here. So I have plenty more to make other items.
The other phone case used one of the smaller motifs from the tablecloth that I have used for the hearts and the Kindle cover I made. I think I have got about 6 items out of that tablecloth already and still have loads of motifs left.
I acquired a new tablecloth this weekend, this one is cross stitched so I am looking forward to making some bigger items from that – I am thinking maybe toilet bags.
I am feeling very well at the moment – touch wood my dodgy back is behaving itself and I went on a really lovely strenuous walk yesterday literally to the top of my little world. It was a glorious day, very blustery and still icy as you can see from the foliage pictures below.
It was wonderful to be up so high looking down on the reservoirs.My house is just at the bottom right of this view.
I have just finished a stitch for the Winter Exchange - more will be revealed when it has reached its destination and nearly finished another version of the variegated wool hat. Have so many lovely projects I would like to do next don’t know where to start
Right am off and now for a wander and when I come back more crafting – what a lovely life!
Thanks for visiting.
Hope you didn’t suffer too much disruption because of snow last week, here in the UK we had a massive snowfall and there was the usual chaos and complaints about how badly we manage snow!
I got into work ok (the joys of being a non car driver) but this was the front of the house last Monday!
I have been working on my lastest range of upcycled things for my craft stall at Standedge. These are the full set of hearts – I found this very cute cake stand in Cardiff over Xmas and thought it would be perfect for displaying my stock.
I have been making Kindle / e-book covers out of the charity fabric and vintage embroidery and some old clothing.
I am really pleased with the way that they have turned out, especially with my machine applique. I did want to get better at machine work and am pleased that I have managed to be neat in the stitching round the hearts.
This coming weekend I will be working on some phone covers.
My lovely friend Kerry came to stay this weekend – we had a very nice trip to Oakwell Hall where there was still very deep snow on Saturday but heavy rainfall overnight meant that our walk on Sunday along the valley was full of flooded rivers and rushing water under bridges.
It was amazing to see especially compared to the last time I went there a couple of months ago which you can see in this post.
The second photo on that previous post was taken at the same spot as this one below.
We had a lovely time and are looking forward to doing the same walk when it is drier and we can cross the streams to get further up the valley.
Hope that you are not suffering too much from the weather, take care and thanks for visiting.
Hello and welcome, I hope you are all warm and snug and wrapped up well in this very chilly weather.
I have had a very lovely day today, starting with making a very delicious beef stew in my slow cooker which meant I could leave it gently simmering away while I went for a walk in the snowy hills – wearing my newly finished walking hat of course!
I hurt my back earlier this week by falling down my stairs so just went for a very gentle walk round the reservoir on the flat path. There were some wonderful frosty views and some beautiful icicles, some of them looked like weird sea creatures.Lots of people were sledging on the slops of the reservoir – looked great fun!
I have been getting on well with my upcycled hearts and other designs from my charity shop stash, these are to be taken to The Loft Craft Centre at Standedge next week along with a few Kindle cases that I have been making out of the same fabric.Will post pics of the cases next week.
Here is my production so far, I really love the embroidered hearts which came from a tablecloth and the broderie anglaise and denim ones which are from a charity shop skirt and one of Ellie’s old skirts for the stripey backing and the denim.
The first four pics show front and back of the different hearts and the last one shows both front and back of the embroidered one.
Have a lovely week ahead – there is more snow forecast here so don’t know what is going to happen work wise. Thanks for visiting.