Monday, 27 July 2009

Seaside swap

Some people are very organised - unlike me, who, while I have been gathering things for weeks now, still need to finish the handmade bit of my seaside swap BEFORE Wednesday (eek!).

One of these very organised people is the lovely Rachel who organised the seaside swap and who sent me her swap package two whole weeks before the deadline!

There were lots of lovely goodies inside:

A very seasidey card

...yummy chocolate (didn't last long!)..

... a lovely handmade purse..

..a very apt sign..! (though I guess it would be raining there too)

.. a deliciously scented candle..

..some really cute embroidery patches...

..body milk (just the thing if the sun decides to shine!)..

.. and the best bit. This wonderful seasidey mini quilt....

Thank you Rachel, for organising the swap, and for my fantastic package of goodies! I will finish yours on time - honest!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Tea anyone?

Remember this?

Well, I was asked to make another for the mother of a friend. So, not for a 3 year old this time, but a 73 year old!

Apparently, she loves it.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Catching up....

Oh dear - it's been well over a week since I last wrote anything. I do have a good excuse, honest - two cases of suspected swine flu (one of them me) and 4 children at home for the summer holidays have meant that my time and energy levels have been somewhat depleted. It does mean that my posting may well be on the sporadic side for the coming six weeks, so please bear with me!

So, what have I been doing? Well, the visit from my 'in-laws' was lovely, as usual. We had a great time and I wished they could have stayed longer. I'm really looking forward to next year when we move back to The Netherlands so that we can see them more often. I'm not looking forward to the move itself though, nor the packing that that will entail!. Ah well, plenty of time yet.

While they were here, we spent some time in London, taking in a few sights. It's silly, we live less than an hour away, but rarely make the journey. Should do it more often...

We saw dinosaurs at the Natural History museum, and also paid a quick visit to the V&A. Ladybug and Miss Chatterbox were particularly taken with the jewellery exhibition, and Ladybug wants to be the Queen so that she 'can wear jewels and crowns (tiaras) like that....'

We also said 'hello' to the Queen, who was 'having a cup of tea' (Miss Chatterbox) and then went to see Big Ben as the girls had just done a project about it at school. The Engineer was noticeably absent for our little trip, spending instead the weekend under canvas, on his very first Cub camp without grown ups !

There's lots more to tell, lots of crafty makes and knitting progress, but I'll keep that for the next post! I need to finish my seaside swap first as the deadline is nearly upon me and I'm not finished yet - eek! I'll be sharing the lovely goodies I received from my swap partner next time too....

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

New Patterns...

I was lucky enough to be asked to test another pattern by Amanda at Kitschy Coo. This time it was her new 'Mod Dress'.

So I set to.....

Once again a very clear and easy to follow pattern...

...which resulted in this:

which was loved by Little Pickle.

Unfortunately she didn't like the thought of posing for pictures quite so much -

hence all the 'action shots'!

The pattern will be available to buy soon. Pop on over to the shop or have a look at Kitschy Coo's blog for more great patterns and ready made clothing!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Spreading the word....

A few weeks ago, I was having coffee with my usual group of friends when one of them asked me if I could teach her to knit. The others thought this was a great idea and somehow it ended up with all of them wanting to join in! Last Wednesday was our first 'lesson', I had three non-knitters (two left handed) , one who did knitting when she was a child, but not since and one who could knit, but wanted me to teach her how to crochet!

I was a bit daunted at the thought of teaching them all, but fortified by a glass of wine and a slice of cake, I began!. We had so much fun and laughed most of the evening! They wouldn't let me take any photographs as all of their tongues were sticking out as they tried to concentrate, and they all chose totally unsuitable wool from my stash - but would they listen?.... nooooo! Could I get them to do a sample square?..... nooooo! They wanted to be off and away right from the beginning. I'm going to try and get them to do a sort of sample scarf with blocks of different patterns on it, but we'll see....

Last week was casting on and the knit stitch, this week we'll try purling - if they've done their homework.....!

It really was a great night. We had originally planned to meet once a month, but at the end of the evening they asked if we could do it again next week and so we're meeting again tomorrow. This time I will take my camera and try to get some pictures - if not of them, of the work they've done.

I'm really looking forward to it, and tonight I was stopped in the playground by one of the school mums who asked if I would maybe start another group up in the daytime. Who knows where this will lead, but it will be interesting to find out!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Comings and goings!

Sorry for the absence, things have been a tad busy around here! (What's new? I hear you ask!) This last week, we have had one of my oldest friends staying here with us for a while. We don't get to see each other very often - usually only for a week or so at Christmas when she makes her annual visit back from South Africa to the UK, so it has been wonderful to have this 'bonus week'! Ems has worked as a volunteer for the past five years, setting up and pioneering work with Aids victims in Africa. She is an amazing woman who has done things neither she nor I would have dreamed of before she went! It's not easy for her, the work is draining, and being a single woman, it's often lonely and hard without someone to unburden to at the end of the day, but she is so inspiring and just keeps finding the strength and determination from somewhere! This visit was a wonderful surprise extra, and meant that we got to see her twice this year - hooray! We've had a fab time together, but I'm feeling a bit sad now that she's gone....

I also had the very strange (but very lovely!) experience of meeting someone who knew me only through my blog for the first time! It was a bit scary - I hoped that the real me wasn't too much a disappointment from the 'blog me'! It was so lovely to meet though, and so wonderful to talk about wool and fabric and sewing and lots of other things without the other person's eyes glazing over after the first sentence. We had so much in common and it's such a shame that we didn't have longer to get to know each other. I don't know if we'll ever meet again either - as she too lives in South Africa. Nadine - it was fantastic to meet you - I just wish we lived closer!

This is a picture of one of her amazing cakes - wow! I wish I could do this......

Daddy Long Leg's parents are over on Friday for a week, so I'm not sure how much time I'll have to blog. I'm really fortunate to have great 'in-laws' and am really looking forward to them coming.

I love having visitors!