Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Foggy Fuzzy Funky


This was the view from my garden this morning - What a foggy day you could barely see across the canal and could see absolutely nothing of the church and buildings behind the trees on the other side. The fog stayed here all day so didn't venture out too far. I like the fog though (as long as I'm not driving in it). I love the way it blurs the edges like looking through misted glasses and colours the world in muted shades of grey, very very dreamy.

Not so muted in our house though.
This is a not very good photo of my first ever crocheted project - a big stripy blanket in my usual bright clashing colours. I love this blanket - it was the first time I had ever crocheted and started off as just a couple of stripes of spare wool while I taught myself by following videos on Utube about a year ago. Because I enjoyed it so much I just kept going using more and more balls of my mums wool. Anyway it grew to be this big and I really love it as it is soooo snuggly and warm and I'm just dead chuffed cos despite the odd mistake I made something useful and pretty.
My mum was a fantastic Knitter when I was growing up but she can't knit anymore because of rheumatism it's so sad because I never appreciated all the knitted jumpers etc at the time as I would have far rather have been able to buy the latest tops from Chelsea Girl (does anyone remember them?? Now I would love to have just some of the wonderful tops she made me.
Anyway, as a sort of thank you I've decided that I am going to crochet a blanket for her out of granny squares some plain ones and some with flowers. It's her birthday at Easter this year so hopefully it will be finished by then - I find I am much more disciplined about finishing things I've started when I give myself a deadline (maybe that's the office worker in me who knows....)

I thought I'd end today with this picture of Dilly my very very much loved teddy bear. As you can see he is extemely thread bare and has had a number of repairs made to him - mostly by me when I was little. Dilly was given to my brother when he was born and when he was 7 and I was born he decided he was too grown up for a bear and gave him to me. 42 years later and Dilly still sits on my bed each and every night. sad??? me???? never!!! - well maybe just a little bit!!! well ok extremely sad but hey ho I never said I was sensible did I??????.

Have fun it'll soon be the weekend.




Sunday, 25 January 2009

Tah Dah!!!!

A quick post just to show that lots and lots of felt circles each blanket stitched together finally equals:

One very bright Penny Rug ready for hanging.

I've really enjoyed sewing this wall hanging all the bright colours making me smile with each set of happy cheerful colours different from the rest. Part of me is sad now it's finished, I just hope the people it's for like it.

Tomorrow is Monday and I am having a card making day. I've been asked by some of the people I work with to make a 60th birthday card for one of our team and I've been given a list of other cards to make for other friends too. So I'm hoping to have a mammoth card making day tomorrow and then be able to move on to the things I've been planning for the last month or so.

It's our 10th wedding anniversary next weekend, and looking back we have had some great times and seen some great places together. We have a lot of bare walls in our house and for a long time now I've wanted to fill those walls with lots of bright happy pictures and collages to remind us of those things. I've got a few ideas and sketched out some ideas but that's as far as it's got but hopefully over this year a few things will materialize and end up on our walls. Watch this space.
I hope you all have had a great weekend.
take care

Monday, 19 January 2009


I hope you have all had a great weekend. We've had a very lazy weekend this time. Lots of lovely family time just enjoying being at home. We've had magazines - I finally got this months Country Living magazine and was able to read, daydream and soak up the lovely pictures and articles and am definately inspired to make some marmalade. I really must subscrible to this magazine I buy it every month anyway so at least I would get to enjoy it sooner in the month. We've played games - battleships and Panic Button (that's a great general knowledge quiz game which is really good for families as it has questions to suit all ages we've found) and we've watched DVD's - well we've watched Prince Caspian for the gazillionth time....
I'm not really a morning person but this year I've been really trying to set my alarm earlier and have a less rushed morning. It's been working too and the other morning - before the school and work run I even managed to take the photo at the start of this post of the morning view from our garden. I love it as the light is so different to what I usually see. Even the swans came over to ourside of the canal for breakfast it was lovely.
Outside the shoots of the forsythia are happily growing and the crocus bulbs have still survived so all is well in the world (if a little damp but then this is Preston I supose - have I mentioned before that it rains - alot - in Preston??)
Inside we are bright and happy too and I bought this lovely bunch of daffodils to replace the past it tulips for my favourite vase yesterday. They were all still in tight buds last night when I went to bed and this morning look - the flower fairy has been and the buds are all magically opening to share their beautiful yellow cheery faces.

I'm going to carry on with the cheerful theme today as well and get on with the penny rug. I've done 37 of the circle pennies so just another 28 to go.

Hope you can all have a cheeful day too.



Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Work in Progress cont...


Just a quick update on the penny rug to show that ok yes I am back at work for another week but I'm still getting on with more enjoyable things once I'm home.

So far, I've pinned the pennies together - I do hope you like my colour choices.

Then I blanket stitch around each circle, navy blue for the smallest and outer circle and pale blue for the middle one.

And here are some of the 'pennies' I've done so far. 12 down another 53 to go.
It's quite relaxing doing this and whilst I'm sewing I can think about what to do next.
At the moment I'm thinking about joining the local 'stitch and bitch' in Preston. It's on a Thursday evening at the local Starbucks. Until recently I was busy on a Thursday evening but as part of our 'do more of what we enjoy' plan for the New Year I'ts now a free for me evening and I think I might give it a go - Who could want more - an evening of crocheting combined with a starbucks coffee certainly worth a try I think.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Work In Progress

Yea!!!!!!!!!! It's the weekend.

It's Freezing cold and windy here in Preston here in Preston today. The canal was frozen again this morning and the Ducks were wondering across the ice ready for their breakfast when I went down to feed them. I wonder if ducks have cold feet walking on the ice all winter??? It's grey here today - Preston grey we call it in our house, no bright blue sky to go with the freezing weather. No today is grey, grey, grey. So to add some colour to brighten up the grey I've sorted out my felt for the Penny rug I'm making.

After that I started to cut out the 'pennies' - big, medium and small circles - the templates made very scientifically - ie I drew round some glasses onto cardboard then used the cardboard to cut around the felt - very technical!!!

These are the pennies ready to be joined together and sewn. I'm hoping to randomly pin them all together tonight so that I can start sewing them later. It's quite relaxing making these and I love the cheerfulness of the colours. There are 65 sets of 'pennies' to stich before I have to sew them onto the background material but I'll keep posting photos on here at various stages until I get to do a Lucy (Attic 24) style 'Ta Dah' moment of my own.
As it's cold weather and Neil is at work today I've been very housewifey for a change and made dinner - well it's still in the oven. Neil normally does the cooking in this house mainly because he's a better cook than me and loves to cook. But today I've got out my favourite bright orange casserole dish. I'm making beef casserole which I have to say is smelling really good - just the thing for a cold day, although, this dish is much bigger than it looks in the photo and there is loads so I think we might be eating this for a few days to come.

Anyway, hope you have a good weekend.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

A green and pleasant land

Today I'm thinking in GREEN

Thankfully I'm not feeling blue anymore(although I have been cold allll day at work). I've almost got back into the swing of being at work and actually managed to sit through an all morning meeting today without doodling too many granny squares and flowers. I wonder whether my end of year report might just resemble my old school reports by saying 'Janette has the intelligence necessary to do a good job but could do so much better if only she didn't spend so much of her time daydreaming' It's just part of me I suppose. I'm actually very conscientious at work and I do try my job well but if I am really honest I have to admit that my day dreams are never far away.

Quite often I'll find I've been drafting some report or other only to realise that I'm not really sure how because my mind has been elsewhere. It's not something I'd admit to anyone I work with but on here I feel I can share this with you - I'm actually a little bit worried about the onset of schizophrenia. I'm sure this didn't happen nearly so much before I was 40. See I'm wandering off already and haven't even mentioned anything about being green!!!

Anyway when I was sorting out my photos the other day into colours I noticed that so many of them were green, some by accident from when I dropped my camera a few months ago but mostly because we live in such a green country. I don't think I really noticed when the photos were in a random order but by sorting them into colours I had hundreds that were, well GREEN - see what I mean:

We spent a weekend in October at Rydal Hall in Cumbria and had a bimble round the grounds where we came to this road. Wouldn't you just love to wander down here and take a peak at the other side of the gate?

I wonder what is down there? Is the grass even greener on the other side? Shall we see what was through the gate?

Well, through the gate we went and on the other side was this amazing site. I have no idea what sort of trees these were but I thought they were wonderful. In the centre was the perfect shelter from the rain, just the place for a little break to take in the peace and tranquility around us. Then it was back to our lovely green house for some hot chocolates and out of our wet shoes.

As a family we love camping - well Neil and Jamie love it the most and would camp every holiday if they could. Personally I'm a short term camper, I don't mind a long weekend and can even last a week but a bit more and I start to yearn for a normal bed (see another sign of being over 40 because I don't remember being bothered by a campbed before either ).

Anyway that was just a quick look at some green memories of last year but I couldn't go without showing you one of my favourite photos which is living proof that there is such a thing as little green men (ok I admit possibly not from Mars and also not that little)

Have fun


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Today is a blue day ....

It's a Blue Blue Blue Blue World........

I'm feeling a bit blue today as I went back to work this morning after a lovely 3 week break. I did not want to go back - although I work with some lovely people I really wish I could stay at home - I have so many things I would rather be doing and none of them resemble compiling monthly performance reports. But needs must and one day who knows - but for the time being an office worker from Tuesday to Friday am I.

I decided to do a blue post today to show that blue days do not have to be bad days. I sorted out some of my photos this evening and decided to put them into colour categories and see what I came up with. These are some photos taken over the last eighteen months and show just a few of my favourite blue days.

This is the Plaza de Espana in Seville, we went here for my 40th birthday nearly two years ago. It was my first (and so far only) trip to Spain and I loved it. Also it was warm - not bad for February. We went to this plaza as Jamie was at the time obsessed with Star Wars and here was the setting for Queen Padme's palace. This will of course mean nothing to those of you who are not clued up with Star Wars but trust me, down to my son's coaching at the time I could have taken star wars as my specialist subject at Mastermind.

This is the luxurious (not) Hotel Start in Krakow. We stayed here on our bargain bucket weekend last Feb. It's a converted lunatic asylum and still had padded walls and doors in some of the rooms - thank fully not ours. If you check out Annas blog on 'all things lovely' - on the side bar - I'm not techie enough to have worked out yet how to put a link in a post. Anyway if you look at Anna's blog she tells you all about the converted mal maison prison hotel in Oxford which looks like a lovely romantic place to stay - well that is probably everything that the Hotel Start is not!! But we did have an amazing weekend while we were away and although I may never visit the hotel again you cannot deny it fits the bill for something blue.

This is Neil and Jamie looking out to sea at Lands end last summer. The weather was soooo hot and the sea and sky seemed to merge into one. We go down to Cornwall most summers as I am half cornish on my dad's side and most of his side of the family still live there. It's a great excuse to travel down there and we really love spending as much time as possible just bimbleing about enjoying exploring the county. Definately my favourite place in the UK - so far....

Finally my last blue picture for today. The Serpentine Lake in London. I grew up about an hour and a bit from London and spent many weekends in the City seeing the sights and wandering around the parks. I moved north when I was in my teens and since then have only been back to London a handfull of times. We took Jamie for the first time in November and he loved his day seeing the sights and visiting the Natural History Museum. My brother lives in Essex less than an hours drive from the centre of London and his partner is a true born and bred cockney and both love going into London to the museums, parks or a general stumble around so we have now promised Jamie that we will go there at least once a year so that he gets to see more.

Well I hope you've enjoyed this trip into my blue world. Pop around again sometime and perhaps we can share another journey into perhaps a different coloured corner of the world. Till then, take care.


Monday, 5 January 2009

Happy things

hello again,

I really have got tons to do and shouldn't really be sat at the computer at all but here I am. I'm back at work tomorrow but last night despite being sooooo tired I slept really fit fully and ended up awake half the night. I suppose it was all to do with making sure we were all up in time to get ready for Jamie and Neil. It is Jamies first day back at school and he has gone in armed with his trombone, PE Kit, book bag and numerous favourite bits from Christmas for show and tell - talk about loaded up to the max - he could hardly carry it all. Also today is his first day back wearing his glasses so I spiked his hair for him this morning so that he could look (in his words) supercool - anything to give him confidence as he was quite nervous. After doing the school run I decided to nip into town to the market as I need to buy some felt to make a wall hanging like the one I wrote about the other day. I've been asked to make one for a birthday pressent for a friend so I'm feeling a bit pressured as I want it to look the same but different and better than the original. Anyway after a bit of material shopping I nipped into one of the local charity shops and bagged a real bargain.....

This lovely tall and cheerful vase really fits well in our dining room and I think looks so pretty full of the gorgous tulips my friend brought round at the weekend. The colours look really cheerful and are just perfect for keeping the room bright now that it's time for the Christmas tree to leave the building. The best bit of all was the price - a whole £1.75 !! I am feeling very pleased with my bargain.

In such a good mood I thought I'd tackle the supermarket for some food - I hate supermarket shopping and try to stick to local small shops but needs must today I'm afraid. Anyway the good things kept on coming because down the medicine isle - lemsip, tissues, calpol and ibuprofen duly purchased was this little gem - pink vaseline for lips. How could I have never seen this before?? Has perhaps my snobbery of avoiding big shops meant I've deprived myself of this?? Well no longer, I now have just slightly chapped lips but at least they are pink and rosy and incredibly girly - I feel about 12.

Just one more happy thing around today and that is my favourite ever mug. I love drinking coffee (I cannot stand tea - sorry to all the tea addicts out there) out of this mug and when I am at home I never use any other mug - I dread the day it breaks as it surely will although I will then have to learn mosaic because I just could never get rid of it. My mug has magic mum on it and bright sunflowers - I defy anyone not to smile when seeing such a mug but more importantly it was bought for me by my lovely brother and sister in law on the day Jamie was born and as such is just the best mug in the world. I may be ever so slightly obsessed with it but who cares at least I'm obsessed and happy I suppose.

Well thats all for today I really must get on with things and it's almost time for the return leg of the school run - just enough time to have a lovely coffee before facing the cold. Hope you enjoy your day too. have fun xx

Sunday, 4 January 2009

The Last Day...


well it's bright and sunny and freezing here today and also it's the last day today, the last day of the holidays with both N and J back at work and school tomorrow. I get a days grace because I don't work Mondays. Tomorrow I plan to take the decorations off the tree and packed away again till next Christmas, and I suppose I should try to get the house looking sort of normal again (I'm not really a housework person so I'm not really looking forward to a day of tidying) before I go back to work on Tuesday. We've a great Christmas break this time, I don't work during the school holidays so me and J have had pleanty of time together but this time for the first time in 10 years N managed to have the whole holidays off too. Usually he has to go into work at least couple of times between Christmas and New Year but this year he was off from the 23rd till tomorrow. We've had a really relaxing holiday spending some nice days with good friends and family but in the main it's just been us three and it's been fab.

Yesterday we went to the World Museum in Liverpool, we've never been before but will definately go again. It was really good. The bonus being that it is free to get in and there is 5 floors with loads to see and lots of 'hands on' stuff making it really interesting for little 8 year olds too. The fact that we spent 6 and a half hours there without once being urged on to hurry up and the word bored never even mentioned and still not seeing everything has got to be a good sign. Personally I thought the planetarium was the best, N loved the eqyptian gallery and J loved the bugs bit - the more creapy crawly and horrible the better. There's a picnic area on one of the floors so you can take packed lunches which is a good idea - or would have been if I'd realised, but even so we bought some sandwiches and drinks from the museum cafe and the price wasn't that extorinate (cheaper than 'costa' coffee anyway) and were ok. Anyway it was a really good day out and I would definately recommend it for something to do. One thing though was the NCP car park near the museum is expensive ie £10 for 7 hours so next time will do a bit more research and find somewhere cheaper.

Today we are having a very chilled out day, J got Narnia on DVD for Christmas and as you can see from the photo below - Narnia is being re enacted with the help of lego and toy soldiers, N is reading and I am going to have a go at crocheting some granny squares in a minute I think. So all is well at home, shame its back to usual from tomorrow.

take care xx

Thursday, 1 January 2009

HAPPY 2009


Happy New Year, I hope you had a lovely eve and hope 2009 brings us all the good wishes we hope for.

We stayed in last night with my brother and sister in law spending the evening with us. This is a bit of a tradition now where we have a family meal, Jools Hollands on the TV in the background and usually a game or 3 of cards (we are nomination whist adicts when we are together - very competative and me and my brother going instantly into childhood brother and sister mode whenever we play - but it is all in good fun and is a really good laugh to play in a group of people).
We celebrated being together with homemade lasagne courtesy of Neil (he is a fantastic cook - I may have mentioned that before) and lots of wine - far too much wine actually but I am feeling remarkably well considering. We are very lucky where we live as we are on a bit of a hill and not too far in the distance is the river ribble. Although we can't actually see the river from where we live we do have a fantastic vantage point to see all the fireworks that are let off at midnight along it. It's great really because loads of the pubs of Preston seem to have a New Years Eve firework display and we get to see a fantastic show for free from our garden - as long as you can brave the cold. We may have to apologise to our neighbours today though as J was allowed to stay up this year and helped see in the New Year playing his trombone!! This is a child who has been learning to play for only 6 weeks so we are not exactly talking Glen Miller just yet. Also and most endearing I find is that he can so far only play a few notes and can't play a complete scale yet as his arms are not long enough to move the slider bit far enough. But hey we all had fun.
As promised in my last post here are photos of the cushions I've made for my God daughters. Sorry the photos aren't the best but my camera is playing up so I've used J's instead and can't get used to it yet. But I am quite pleased with the cushions, especially for a first attempt.

Anyway, today is a chill out day in our house today, we are wrapped in blankets cos it's a bit chilly and watching Doctor Who, and I'm about to roast some Chestnuts - we have the maldon sea salt ready. We may get round to a bit of crafting later, J has a paper aeroplane book he's dying to try out so that should keep me and him busy. Tomorow I'm going to try to find time to go on a bit of a felt hunt as I've been asked to make a penny rug similar to the one photographed the other day. Yippee a chance to buy some nice bright felt without feeling guilty. I do so love guilt free shopping.
Take care and enjoy the holidays