Sunday, 30 August 2009

Perfect picnic

Can you spot the picture I didn't take? Yep the gorgeous one of St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury which is where we were yesterday for a Kent bloggers picnic. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday lunch time, I have met Nifty and Mr Nifty a couple of times before- and of course they are Makey-doers- so I knew that we would have an ace time but the icing on the cake was meeting Pomona, princess bunchy and Sequin Girlie. I'm not sure many of my non-blogger friends would comprehend meeting up with people you haven't met before to share a picnic, it sounds a bit like a friendship blind date. I had mentioned to someone at work that I blogged and he expressed his concern over blogging, saying that it prevented real relationships being formed, that it could be all consuming, that you can't beat face-to-face contact, that on-line people can choose to be whatever they like and that the reality could be quite different. I actually agree with him a little, but I feel that blogging is just another means of communication and how you use it can make all the difference. The people I met today are just as they seem on their blog. Many friendships are based on a common interest so why not meet with fellow makers, bloggers, Kent inhabitants and hang out. Actually hang out sounds far too serene- we actually made huge bubbles-Princess Bunchy even managed to pull off the bubble within a bubble trick, Mr Nifty set up a mini geo-cache for the children, much to their and Simons' delight, Pomona and Nifty both knitted. (Nifty's creation of a new Meerkat is like some kind of alchemy to watch) Pomona was even sweet enough to surprise me with a gorgeous needle case she had made, as a thank you for a book give away here. So here's a big thank you to all of you for making yesterday such fun.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


I have twelve projects on the go, that I can think of, off the top of my head. I have a list of things I am planning to make which is fifteen items long, at the moment, but hey give it ten minutes and it will double. You know that advert for loo cleaner where they go on about germs multiplying to millions over night and then being released into the atmosphere in a huge cloud to do their evil work....that's what happens in my head to projects. Short of squirting Domestos in my ear-holes each evening I find the only way to control the monsters is with lists. I have named and shamed all my half finished creations and am working to bring them to life on the marble slab. (dining room table!) My problem is of course a total lack of will power and when I saw this fantastic swap idea on Sams blog I just HAD to sign up. There is still time of you fancy getting involved, you know, if you've nothing else on at the moment. (If you really do have nothing else on I am currently looking for an Egor to my Frankenstein, I do think 'staff' might be the way to go!)
Thanks to all of you who have been so enthusiastic about the picnic. I am really looking forward to Sunday, and have discovered so many new and gorgeous local blogs, which is really very very exciting.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Back once again with the renegade master...

I am back from York, and we had a brilliant time- lots of playing with these monkeys, (plus one more who was too tiny to appear here- just two weeks!) two are mine and there are two more sets of siblings, a two and a three, can you guess who belongs together? We are at Newby hall here, which is brilliant, I balked at the ticket price but it was so worth it. There was even a sculpture exhibition with hammer, goggles and chisels for the children to have a go- we got a good half hour of relative peace whilst they bashed away! Our hosts were good enough to offer to have our children one day so that Simon and I could browse in York and they even gave us some birthday sending money! First stop was Bettys, before the rush began.I had a delicious china tea with rose petals which was very special, and a fat rascal- a huge warm cross between a scone and rock cake. It was lovely as always. We did a bit more mooching, I shopped at Craft Basics which is my favourite of the York craft shops, then on to Borders, we were lucky enough to visit on a day with 25% off with a voucher from the Guardian. I sat on the floor with a stack of lovely crochet books but settled on this Nicky Epstein one, I could see so many brilliant ideas here and can't wait to have a little play. It was great to celebrate Simon's birthday in York and I settled on a tree stump cake- mainly because it could be made from Marks and Spencer Swiss rolls which everyone knows are the best shop ought cake in the world for the money. Simon's sister and I descended into hysterical giggles putting this together, but it was delicious- and unusually for me required no green butter icing!

So we are back home for the last couple of weeks of the holiday- I am making the final push on the secret project, I've packaged up my P-I-F parcel and really feel like I'm really making progress. I also was lucky enough to receive a give away package from Wanda. Look at this cute little bird charm, and I love the buttons and lace- thanks so much for another sweet parcel Wanda, you are very generous. I have also had some more thoughts on the Kent crafters picnic- so if you fancy meeting here on Sunday 30th at 11am, do please come along and bring your picnic. I will dedicate the next post to the picnic wit some more details and hopefully a little roll call of those coming along. See you soon!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Flying visit

We've been away, come home, and are off again tomorrow so this is a picture-packed flying visit post just to say 'Hi'. We ended up lasting three nights camping before bailing out and house sitting for Mum and Dad. The New Forest was gorgeous as ever but this was our first proper go at a camping holiday and we learnt A LOT! Dorset was much more relaxed and the children were much easier to entertain in a house with a garden and a little shop just up the road, and toilets they could take themselves to and frankly add to that the bonus of not having your flapjacks pinched by the wildlife and you can see why we opted for a two centre break! I returned home to find three parcel cards from the post office and was sooooo excited to see that one was from the U.S. My seaside swap has arrived from Wanda and it is brilliant. The children 'helped' to unpack it (please excuse Wills' lack of clothing!) and have really enjoyed sampling the American chocolate. I was thrilled to see so much lovely yarn, the cute strawberry bag, the stitch markers, knitting needles, charm chain, kits, much loveliness! Thanks to Wanda and to Contented for hosting. The other parcels were from Search Press. They have added me to a book reviewer mailing list which is just ace. I received three recent releases and will be reading them and giving you all my honest opinion and showing you what I make from them. There is one on making a kind of crazy patchwork using water soluble stabiliser- which may be useful for creating something for an exciting new watery project which I am musing upon. The other two are on ribbon embroidery and are very beautiful. I am really interested in exploring the techniques described and seeing where that goes. Once reviewed I can use the books for giveaways here so as far as I can see every one's a winner!
Finally I have something to show crochet! I took a brilliant book on fabric jewelery four hooks and two balls of wool away with me and practised my chain stitch whilst camping. With better light at Mum and Dads I managed some flowers. I really enjoyed the rhythm and made sure I'd spent some time learning how to hold the wool to get the tension even. We passed through a boot fair in Dorchester on Sunday and there was a pocket guide to crochet for just 20p! I made a bigger flower from this and then raided Mums wool stash for some ribbon yarn to make a choker. I am hoping to pick up some matching beads and some gold coloured findings to hang from the choker while we are in York- which is our next stop.