Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Spring is in the air

Gillian chapman felts folksy
Inspiration from a lady who really inspires me, Gillian Chapman (

You know what? I swear I saw a few flakes of snow this afternoon. I checked carefully to make sure they weren't cherry blossom, and they weren't. However, until more are evident I shall be ignoring this and pretending spring has well and truly sprung.

I'm a bit tired this afternoon, I've had a long and very emotional session with Susanna, my therapist. I treated myself to a dirty McDonalds on the way home though, to cheer myself up! Now I could just sleep. Yesterday I was reading how a smoothy made of Kale is very refreshing in the afternoon. Hmph. It doesn't sound as nice as a dirty Maccy's does it?

It's been a busy few weeks craft wise - I have been getting involved with all sorts of knitted and felted projects. I've been sorting out the Lady Shed too, and it's almost done. I hope to make some curtains tomorrow, and then get some pictures to show you. Quite frankly, I am ashamed of how much stuff I have. Apparently, I have a real talent for keeping bits of stash in different bags all over the house. Sometimes there are bags within bags. This is the first time I have got it all together and, even though it looks ace, I can't shy away from the scale of my addiction. My stash has to have it's own room <wail>

On the subject of pictures, isn't the heart brooch above to die for? I love the colours and the stitching, the beading and, well everything. It really makes me gushy. I really like how the stripes of radiating stitches give the piece a 3D feel. I would love to be able to make something that looks like this.

I am trying to 'firm up' a wreath at the moment. I crocheted the wreath bit, double thickness, and then sewed wire to strengthen. However, now the felted flowers are on, it droops a bit. I have applied spray starch and, although it's still drying, it looks a bit droopy. Any suggestions?

At the moment I am working on the Strangling Vines Scarf by Nicole Hindes. I'm doing it in Kidsilk Haze, a very fine mohair. It's hard going because the yarn is so skinny. It's also lighter than air, so it really does feel as though you're knitting  a spider's web.

Strangling vine scarf 

I'm off to have a go now. What are you working on at the moment?

See you tomorrow. Lots of love

Claire x

Monday, 12 April 2010

Busy Busy Busy!

Whitby April 10

Well, it's the last day of the Easter holiday for the boys, and the first day back at work for Dom. To ease the shock (and my guilt) I have made some homemade bread and lamb tagine for dinner tonight. I am feeling guilty because I took Charlie to school on a teacher training day. Oh my! Black mark in the good mothering chart, again.

I hope you are well and it's lovely to see you again. Isn't the spring weather lovely? This morning I was singing 'my favourite things' in my head and pondered upon the line 'silver white winters that melt into spring'. We sure had a silver white winter this year, but not much melting. January was snowy, February was cold and grey and damp, and then in March it was like someone turned the dial to 'spring'. One day of lovely sunshine and we never looked back.

We had a fun Easter - I had a go at making my own chocolate eggs (fun) but left it until Easter Sunday morning before the kids got up (stressful). Will I never learn?! In my defence, Dom and I had had some horrible virus, but really I should have done better. I did, however, bake a trio of cakes (Bakewell cake, simnel cake and passion cake), make lemon curd, and freshly bake a plaited easter loaf so that our families all got an "afternoon tea" hamper as a gift. Domestic goddess reputation restored then ;o) Sadly I did not take any photos as I crawled into bed to feel poorly and sorry for myself not long after.

We had a fab day at Whitby with our friends Andy and Lucy and their daughter Lauren. Andy has an iPhone and Lucy is six months pregnant and I am not sure which I was more jealous of! The broody bat has stayed away, but I do have the realisation that I don't have many years left to make the choice, and now would be a good time career wise. However, I have been so ill over the last year, and I am enjoying my crafting so much .... And so the dilemma goes on. The boys had a marvellous time. They especially enjoyed searching for fossils and were sure they came home with some dinosaur poo. Riiiight.


Charlie, who has recently been obsessed with broken limbs, was sure he had broken both of his ankles when we returned. I did get a bit worried about him as he refused to walk all day. However, the next day, he leapt into our bedroom and shouted "taa-daa! I can walk!" So we experienced a little miracle of our own. I put it down to aching muscles - boy we walked up some big hills. I nearly died, but had to pretend I was really very fit (which I am absolutely, completely and utterly, not). Less cake, methinks.


Whitby is about an hour and a half's drive from our house. Three if you get stuck behind a tractor. There aren't any motorways, so it's pretty coastal roads and 'A' roads all the way which I love, and reminds me of Sunday School Outings and old fashioned days out.

Funnily enough, Whitby feels quite exotic compared to our usual seasides. Locally, they are pretty quiet with just the odd purveyor of buckets and spades and fish and chips. Bridlington is good, but a bit, ummm, scruffy. A bit too much of the chips and amusement arcades for my liking.

Scarborough is really lovely, but I have only been once. Filey I have never been to. I aim to rectify that this year.

Charlie was amused by the donkeys on the beach at Whitby, with their bright painted harnesses and big cow bells. He was desperate for a go, but we didn't get round to it and the donkeys packed up before we realised. Also, there are various boat rides including, as you see above, the pirate ship. It's definitely something I want to do this year too. I love this picture because of it's quirkiness; how I long for a decent macro lens...

Anyway, there are jobs to be done so I will hop off. See you tomorrow.

Claire x