Tuesday, 31 December 2013


           Dear friends
Here's wishing you all a very blessed, gentle and healthy new year.
Thank you for your lovely friendships throughout 2013 and for all the great conversations we have had. I do hope that your wishes for 2014 become true for you.
With love from
See you on the other side!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

52 weeks of Happy 52/52

Well, this is it! I still can't quite believe that this year has flown by with all it's ups and downs and happy times and then sad ones. Thank you all so very much for coming along on this weekly journey of mine. Part of me is relieved not to have these posts pestering me at the back of my head as the weeks have gone by and then the other part of me is kind of sad to let them go. It has made me more attentative to blogging and being aware of all the sweet things that my life is made up of, all the little things really.

So here goes with week 52...

Alice has been our chief wrapper upper. She loved wrapping anything and everything (except her own presents of course). She has decided that it would be good fun to be employed by Liberty or Harrods as a Christmas wrapper upper when she is 16 (he he).

There have been candles galore and long walks when the rain stopped with enjoying Winter trees and some picking of twigs and berries.

Christmas day was at my Sister-in-law's home. It was relaxed, gentle, full of laughter and joyful moments. She is expecting her second baby in early February and her and her husband loved the blanket I made for them as seen here. I also managed to finish the cardigan for little Connie on Christmas eve would you believe it, unfortunately I didn't have a chance to photograph it. Hopefully her mum will send me a photo when she is wearing it.

I helped a friend out a few weeks back and as a thank you she gave me this pot with some muscari bulbs which have really started to grow with all the heating we have had on. As you can see it's been very grey here with mad stormy weather most days. My heart goes out to all those folk who have been flooded out of their homes and who have not had electricity for the past few days.

There has been some library visits and some serious book giving in this past week and many cosy moments curled up reading late into the night. I always have about 3 books on the go at the same time and grab whichever one I fancy depending on my mood. I am loving the Donna Tartt one at the moment and can't wait for her latest book The Goldfinch to come out in paperback. I don't like reading fiction in hardback. Donna Tartt takes 10 years to write each book and they really are page turners. I love all of Mary Roach's books too. I am particularly enjoying Gulp at the moment.

There hasn't been much in the way of knitting or crochet this past week, other than me casting on for my first sock last night. I have been working this past week, but have 5 days off at the end of next week after new years day to do some knitting and general chilling out, maybe a bit of Winter cleaning too. I fear my home has become one big dust ball which I can no longer neglect!

I do hope you have had a special Christmas and want to thank you all for visiting and saying hello and coming along on this funny old blogging journey with me. I am sorry if I haven't been very attentative to visiting your blogs, but hope to correct this in the new year when I get my very own ipad (oh my goodness I cannot wait, all my saving and waiting for the sales has eventually paid off)

Take good care and see you soon

Saturday, 21 December 2013

52 weeks of Happy 51/52

Ok, so this has been a busy week like the rest of you I have been doing bits and bobs before the festivities begin. I have been working this past week and have found myself juggling allsorts. Fortunately I have Monday off to complete all that needs doing, I am working Christmas eve which I quite like to do, there is always a lovely atmosphere of good cheer at work and coming home in the dark to the Christmas tree and my family makes me happy.

So here are quite a few photos of my last week of little happy moments...

We eventually put our tree up last weekend when Alice was feeling so much better. It was really lovely looking at all the eclectic and meaningful, memory filled decorations we have bought and made over the years. We decided not to put tinsel on the tree this year, instead filled it with all our favourite decorations.

I found an old earing box and covered it with some music paper for my little crocheted strawberry for my friend Janie. I will tie a bow with the left over reindeer ribbon I have from making Alice's stocking.

I enjoyed seeing some local yarn bombing outside Hastings Art Forum last Sunday afternoon. Really cheered up the greyness of the afternoon.

I really enjoyed making little sparkly yarn bows for clips for Alice to give to her friends. The pattern was so easy and can be found on Slugs on the Refrigerator. Alice clipped them onto a card from last year that she cut up which I thought looked quite sweet.

Oh my goodness the best thing was seeing this rainbow on Thursday after the rain. Such beauty in such hope.

I also thought it was time to put my little homemade wreath on the door. I didn't have time to decorate it much this year, just some plastic holly and berries for 10p a pop in charity shops to make it look a little festive. The actually ring was made by a friend for me from her Wisteria which she was cutting back a few years ago. I love it.

Last but not least I wanted to wish you and all your family a very joyous Christmas wherever you are
Have  wonderful, magical day
(my little mouse was hooked up this week using Planet Penny cotton and mouse pattern) 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Alice's Stocking

Hooray, I finished Alice's surprise Christmas stocking in time for Christmas eve! A few weeks ago she asked me if I could make her a new stocking as she felt she had outgrown her first one we bought from Oxfam for her all those years ago. She said "something bigger and wider" please mum...um I think I might know why I replied...maybe to fit more goodies in? "No" she replied, "just something special that you have made". Ok, that was that the challenge was on.

I decided to use this sweet little tree decoration pattern that I used here for a Christmas blog swap with Marianne of Ladybird Diaries. Only, it had to be a bigger version for Alice's actual stocking.

So I got crocheting and experimenting with sizes and here's what it turned out to look like.

I think it turned out rather sweet and most definitely wide as per the recipients request! She did ask for the traditional red, green and white Christmas colours, but I just couldn't bring myself to using them, I love pink and red together and so I chose these vibrant colours together with some grey to tone it down a bit. I am sure she won't be disappointed.

As you can see I bought some reindeer ribbon and sewed that round the edge and the best bit for me was the addition of pom poms which I made last night whilst watching Borgen.

All in all this was a bit of an experiment which I can gladly say I am happy how it turned out and I know that Alice will be surprised when Christmas morning arrives even if she doesn't believe in Santa any more :o)

Thanks for visiting and see you soon

Saturday, 14 December 2013

52 weeks of Happy 50/52

I haven't had a chance to think about all the sweet happy things that have happened this week as it has been a bit of a blur with Alice being so unwell. Can I say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for all your well wishes and kindness in my last post. Alice is so much better and has even asked if she can go to her ballet this afternoon as she is feeling so much stronger. Hooray for antibiotics!

I did manage to buy a sprig of mistletoe which I adore. This was one of my little happies from the past week. I haven't managed to get round and read many of your blogs for a while, I hope to catch up with you all soon.

Have a wonderful weekend and see you all soon

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Oh dear

Oh dear, Alice is rotten to the core with fevers, and a viral body ache, earache, hideously sore throat and headaches and general feeling like a very poorly girly. I have been working from home these past two days and feel a bit like a zombie myself. I am taking her to the GP this afternoon as it may be tonsillitis because she can't even swallow Calpol at the moment.

I have been working on a presentation I am giving to the local Prostate Cancer Support Group on Thursday evening and felt like taking a few photos to depict our "Oh dear" time so far this week in my lunch break. I feel like I have been living in a blur of tiredness and worry since the early hours of Saturday morning and hope that our GP will be able to help.

Oh dear, I have just about run out of yarn having about 28 rows to go on my niece's cardigan for Christmas. I hope I can still find the same dye lot in the yarn shop this Saturday.

Alice simply NEEDED to put up her little pink Christmas tree in her room on 1/12/13 and she has had her fairy lights and the fairy at the top of her tree that she made last year to keep her spirits up.

I finished crocheting this little Christmas surprise for Alice over a week ago, but just haven't had the energy or inclination to finish it off. I hope it comes in the next week or two.

Andy has been playing a lot of his old records lately, he has very specific tastes in funk, soul, 70's music and loads of Brazillian & African music and jazz. Seeing this record reminded me of him choosing Alice's name after Alice Coltrane (John Coltrane's wife)when she was born.

Thank goodness for Roald Dahl cd story collection my mum and dad gave Alice many years ago, she always loves listening to these when she is unwell. Oh and there is the good old over the counter medicines which provide temporary relief too.

Having had to stop my cardigan knitting, I've been staring at this skein of wool that I wound last week. What will I do with you?

I have been uuummg and aahhing about what to put in my printers tray, in the mean time I've been adding funny little bits and bobs to it. I like the idea of a woodland or seaside collection. We'll see.

Sending you and your families happy healthy well wishes this week
Edit: 16h55 confirmed tonsillitis, now on penicillin and extra pain relief and plenty of jelly and ice-cream. Great relief that we know what's wrong, it's been a bit scary. Should turn the corner after double doses tonight. Alice is now tucked up on the sofa watching one of her favourite festive movies "The Santa Clause".Thanks for listening.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

52 weeks of Happy 49/52

What a week! I wasn't even sure that I was going to do my weekly blog post of happy moments this week after hearing about the death of Nelson Mandela, but as they say life must go on and my goodness I have been reading a book of quotes that I have had for ages quoting this great man and it's really inspired me to try and just make small differences in my life which will have a positive benefit on others lives. May he rest in peace.

So here are some photos from my last week...

Sunsets along our coast and from my window at work (taken on my phone, not doing them real justice). I love the rapidly changing colours of oranges and pinks in the Winter sky.

I went up to a work related meeting in London on Tuesday and got there half an hour early so went for a 20 minute wander and took some more photos on my phone.

I love the proteas in the picture above and could have got lost in amongst all those flowers and colours.

I have casted on a new cardigan for my niece for Christmas with some Debbie Bliss Aran. Gorgeous to knit with.

Our lovely Alice has been making paper decorations for the house.

And last, but not least I wore my Mandela skirt to work on Friday.

Hope you all have a great week ahead. We are planning to put our tree up mid-week hopefully. Thank you always for visiting and your kind comments.

See you soon

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Rest in peace Madiba 5/12/13

"I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to see realised. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

 Nelson Mandela, defence statement during the Rivonia Trial, 1964. Also repeated during the closing of his speech delivered in Cape Town on the day he was released from prison 27 years later, on 11 February 1990.
I have no wise words to describe how I feel having heard the sad news tonight. I was there, 20 years old when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. I felt a real sense of optimism about our country and it was a proud day when he became president in 1994.
I can only hope and pray that this incredible man's ideals will remain strong in the hearts of all South Africans as we bow our heads in respect to him.
Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas swapping

A while back the lovely Marianne of Ladybird Diaries set up a wee Christmas decoration swap for anyone interested in doing a crafty handmade swap. I loved the idea and promptly added my name to the list, only to find that Marianne herself had ended up being my swap partner.

So, I got busy thinking about what I wanted to make and eventually ended up finding this sweet little pattern which I couldn't resist. I had some of my left over Planet Penny cotton to use up and so I got hooking.

I love how they turned out, all a little different and really easy to make. I pinned a little vintage image badge and sewed a holly button embellishment on each of them to add to their character.
I know that they are not traditional Christmas colours, but I kind of like that sometimes.

They are the perfect little size to pop one of these into...

Since we haven't put our tree up yet (um, actually Alice did put her pink one up on Sunday) I took these little stockings outside for a location shot and to get some better Winter light on them.

When I got home after my conference at the end of last week a lovely parcel arrived from Marianne on Saturday morning. Such a nice treat to get after a hard weeks work.

I got thoroughly spoilt by Marianne, a candle, chocolate, mulled wine infusion, hand made tag, a card and 3 sweet festive handmade felt houses. Thank you so very much Marianne. I shall love adding these to our tree of meaningful and eclectic made and collected decorations over the years.

It really has kick started my festive mood. Great idea for the swap and thank you once again for organising it.

Last, but not least I'll leave you with a photo of the card I bought for Marianne from one of my favourite local artists, Claire Fletcher who lives in Hastings. I could not resist this beautiful image of a girl, a rabbit and a mole on a Christmas reindeer. How gorgeous!

Hooray for blog swapping and the friendships that are made.
Thank you for visiting and see you all soon