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Well it is nearly time for my second houseaversary - we will be away at the Caldicot Castle  event next week and I will have a drink with friends to celebrate.

Am still so happy here, can’t believe what a difference being here has made to my life. I am still having a really lovely time and one of the best things is the countryside around me which is purple for quite a lot of the year. I do love that colour!

The rhododendrons have all gone now but instead the hills are covered in heather and it makes them look very beautiful. I borrowed a friend’s dog, Ted, the other day for a walk as she was working and we went for a little tootle up to my favourite reservoir (which is now refilled) and back past all the beautiful purple bushes.

Marsden heather

Marsden heather 2

Here is a very pretty cow we met on the way.

Marsden heather 3

Marsden heather 4

Marsden heather 5

Marsden heather 6

And Ted wanting to go up a bit more and not stop for pictures ;-)

Marsden heather 7

I was also lucky enough to get this shot of a butterfly on a Buddleia.

Marsden heather 8

Marsden heather 9

What a gorgeous cottage near my friend’s house. Such a cute name as well, like a house in an Enid Blyton story.

Marsden heather 10

Marsden heather 11

As well as walks I am spending lots of time with hexagons (which may be my new addiction!). Have cut out pieces for many more ornaments and this week decided to use the hexis to make an apron for a friend’s little girl.

Marsden heather 12

Marsden heather 13

I made her big sister an apron for a birthday present this year and as she is just about to start Nursery where she will be having cookery sessions I thought she needed one of her own. Have had all of this fabric in my stash for a while, nice to be using some rather than buying anything new (which I am not allowed to do till I have used up a lot more!)

The apron pattern comes from this free tutorial at Aesthetic Nest’s blog.

The cute teddy braid on the pocket is some from my local haberdasher that I have had in the stash for a while just waiting for a project like this.

It is a Bank Holiday here in the UK so am planning to spend tomorrow doing more stitching (surprise, surprise) – am thinking of using some of my vintage embroidery with hexis to create something, probably Christmas presents as I like to be prepared!

Have a lovely couple of weeks and I will be back soon. Thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone

Hope you are having fun and that the weather is being kind to you where you live. We have had an excellent weekend and week so far – today there was washing drying on the line :-)

I went out for a long walk this weekend and then afterwards came home, got the garden furniture out of storage, cleaned out the barbecue and planted more bulbs!

I took some pictures of the joys of Spring while walking – I sadly missed a photo of a jay having a little bath in the canal (he was too quick for me) and so was a kingfisher near the local mill-pond but these are some of the beautiful sights from Sunday. The crocuses are mine from the back rockery.

Spring walk March crocus

Spring walk March

Spring walk March daffodils

As I said to a friend at work this week I am surrounded by 360 degrees of excellent walking so this weekend went along the canal passing weirs and old bridges and then up the side of the hill on a footpath I had not used before, through the woods beside a waterfall then back the same way ending up passing the church where this last picture was taken.

Spring walk March bridge

Spring walk March canal 1

Spring walk March weir

Spring walk March canal 2

Spring walk March churchyard

I last did this canal towpath walk the same time last year and blogged about it here and remember meeting a little flock of sheep on my way back then.

Well they had obviously visited us again as they have eaten most of my poor neighbours beautiful crocuses (they couldn’t reach mine as they are too high up on the rockery) and attempted to eat one of my new primulas – for some reason only the yellow one was tasty :-)

Naughty little things but it is great when the lambs come down off the hills so I suppose a few flowers isn’t much of a sacrifice.

Have got some new storage this week so am planning a weekend of craft room transformation – finally all those piles of fabric will be sorted and I can get on with all the things I have to make. Will share end results of the makeover!

Have a good rest of the week and thanks for visiting.

Hello again everyone

Hope you have been surviving the weather ok – especially if you live in one of the flooded bits of the UK.

Luckily we are high up so while we have been freezing cold and very wet have not suffered too much. It has been a very weird week weather wise, snow on Tuesday, howling gales on Weds and thankfully sunshine today so I made the most of it on a very long walk :-)

I have not been out on the hills for ages and neither have any done much crafting, too much work including working the last 2 Saturdays and some very slow projects mean I have nothing to show you.

So we will look at pretty pictures of moors and cottages then!

Marsden Walk Feb 4

Marsden Walk Feb 5

I thought you might like to see some of the houses round here, there are lots of cute little cottages like this one below. The narrow windows were to let in lots of light for the weavers to work by as even before the textile mills were built there was lots of woollen cloth made here.

Marsden Walk Feb

This is a lovely farmhouse in a similar style, what really interested me about this one was all the lovely candlesticks in the windows!

Marsden Walk Feb candlesticks house

Marsden Walk Feb candlesticks 1

Marsden Walk Feb candlesticks 2

Also came across this jam being sold outside another farmhouse – pity I didn’t have my purse with me.

Marsden Walk Feb jam

There was some beautiful sunshine but some good atmospheric cloud, this one I particularly like going up to the brow of the hill.

Marsden Walk Feb 2

And I saw some cute Highland cattle as well.

Marsden Walk Feb 3

As it has been raining so much all the moorland streams were draining making very pretty sparkly displays all along the roads.

Marsden Walk Feb 6

And I finished up as usual at my lovely reservoir :-)

Marsden Walk Feb 7

Now in for a perfect evening of excellent TV (Stella recorded from Fri night, Call the Midwife and Mr Selfridge) accompanied by some simple knitting – what a perfect day!

Hope that you are having a lovely time as well, thanks for visiting.

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.

Spain Nov flowers and ice cream

Spain Nov flowers 2

Spain Nov ice cream

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.

Xmas mini stockings

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.

Nov walk on Pule

Hope that you have been having a good time whatever you have been doing and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone

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.

Bread book

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.

Bridesmaid bunny

Bridesmaid bunny 2

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.

Sept walk 3 -donkeys

Cottage garden

Cottage garden 2

Cottage garden 3

Cottage garden 4

Sept walk

Sept walk 2

Also went to my favourite reservoir, they have partly drained it as they are doing some work so went right down to the water.

Sept walk 4 - Butterley

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.

Autumn colours 2

Autumn colours 3

Autumn colours 4

Autumn colours 5

Autumn colours 6

I also popped into the local charity shop (to donate) but came away with this beautiful tray cloth.

Flower cloth

Flower cloth 3

Flower cloth 4

Flower cloth 5

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.

Hello everyone

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.

Houseaversary - sofa

I sit here looking out of the window at my neighbours’ lovely flowers.

Houseaversary - neighbours

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.

Houseaversary - lily

Houseaversary - heather

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.

Houseaversary

The snow and sledging with the kids – fantastic fun.

Houseaversary - snow 1

Houseaversary - snow 2

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!

Houseaversary - sheep 1

Houseaversary - sheep 2

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.

Houseaversary - wine pic

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.

Emily Bunny dress 2 - shoes

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.

Rhod walk June

Rhod walk June 2

Rhod walk June 3

Rhod walk June 4

Rhod walk June 5

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.

Spring Exchange rec'd

Spring Exchange rec'd 2

Will be back soon with the Florence pics.

Thanks for visiting.

Hello there

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.

Sweet treats quilt

Sweet treats quilt 2

Sweet treats quilt 3

Sweet treats quilt 4

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!

March Haigh walk

March Haigh 2

March Haigh 3

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.

Moonraker Leah and Bob's lantern

Moonraker tardis

Moonraker rabbit

Moonraker parade

Moonraker 2013

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.

Slawit walk - lock

Slawit walk - geese

Slawit walk

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.

Slawit walk - sheep

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.

Hello there

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 ;-(

Phone cover 3

Phone cover 2

Phone cover 1

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.

Cross stitch table cloth Feb 1

Cross stitch table cloth Feb 2

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.

Binn Moor walk 1

Binn Moor walk 2

Binn Moor walk 3

Binn Moor walk 4

Binn Moor walk 5

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.

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