Saturday, 22 February 2020

January February

Happy New ish Year. 
Only 2 months late. Where does the time go? 

I thought I’d force myself on to the 30 days sketchbook challenge. It started well. 

Spots and dots was the first prompt , easy peasy and fun. 
But I’m sorry to say I only lasted twelve days. I didn’t have enough time to devote to it.
Here are a couple I did ..

Garden tools. 

Musical instruments. 
How could I not do the ever present concertina?

Then it was Brian’s birthday. 
My Mum seems to be enjoying herself doesn’t she? 

Bittersweet end to January though as his brother’s wife died after a 6 year battle with Cancer. Fortunately we were able to see her  and say our goodbyes but she didn’t know we were there. 
His birthday card, posted  two days  before, had her name on it .

Then came the 31st and the most stupid, most pointless, most shameful thing happened. 

We pulled up the drawbridge and became Little Britain for no good reason. I know many will disagree with me but I make no apology for my opinion. 

I’ve been very busy with the U3 A a splendid organisation with a new branch in our area. 
We were fortunate to be given the opportunity to work with Olivia Keith for three
‘Hedgerow weaving’ sessions. I’ll admit to being a bit baffled by it but I signed up because it sounded interesting. And so it was. 
The first session produced this a shallow ‘ bowl’ made using Olivias materials. Then we had to forage for our own 

And two weeks later we made these.. 

And during the final session I made an obelisk, wigwam, plant support. 

Keep trying to find a good place to photograph it as outside is wild and woolly. 

But I’m sure you get the picture. 
 I also joined the new handbell ringing group. I’m not a bit musical 
and my biggest contribution so far is sewing 20 calico bags with drawstrings to protect the bells. Everyone is a lot more impressed by them that they ought to be! 
It makes you realise how many people don’t sew. 

Now talking of sewing.....
Yay! I got inspired again. 
It happened this way

A lovely lady in America liked some old things from my Etsy shop and asked if I could make her similar. So I had a go. 
The result!

So after a brief obsession and many sales of these silly fish, someone else suggested two fish together. 

And my obsession was also doubled. I’ve made and sold about 6 of these and am just revving up to go in my sewing room and make more. 

At the moment I have a very bad cold and am desperate not to give it to my OH as we are soon to be crossing the Irish sea for the Annual concertina class. 
It would be a shame if he was ill for it. 

I’ll leave you with a picture of a new visiting member of our textile group. 
Meet Chester. The dearest, darlingest little mini Schnauzer,

Except for Hetty of course. 

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Random Scenes from 2019 before it’s too late

Back home from Vienna this is how every day starts for me. 

I had to prepare for Woolfest with much making. 

Here’s my stand. 
Woolfest is a super event which I’ve done four times now. I’d decided that this would be my last time and I think it was a good decision. 
It was very,  did I say, very hot. I didn’t do as well as usual with my wares , but I still enjoyed it. I met up with lovely Aileen Clarke and her family for a meal , and I stayed in the usual gorgeous B& B in Cockermouth. 

I worked on the garden and it did its thing. 

Towards the middle of the month we visited my dear and very close  cousin who had just discovered she was ill.  
My Mum and I visited her and had a lovely afternoon. I took lunch, which she said was all her favourite things. 

 Despite the sad news we had a lovely day.
She gave me a Birthday Present but also gave me a little Flower Fairy fridge magnet of the Sweet Pea fairies, which she said reminded her of the two of us when we played together as children.
For my Birthday I received from various people, an obelisk , a passionflower plant and a large pot to put it in with a mini obelisk to support it.

I re planted my alpine bed which flourished later.

At the end of the month we went to stay in the Cockermouth B&B that I’d been in for Woolfest.
It was so nice I wanted to go with B .
We stopped in Ravenglass en route and had a ride on Ratty the little train.
I pointed out to B that many people have romantic wedding anniversaries in The Seychelles or Paris, and we were on a little steam train in the Lakes. 
But we both agreed we were really enjoying ourselves even when the heavens opened and we had to dive for cover at the station in Dalegarth, and then make sure we got into a covered carriage for the journey back. 
During the stay we ate at the beautiful Kirkstile Inn, and the fabulous Asparva, Turkish Restaurant in Cockermouth. We visited Lanercost Priory where I lit a candle for my cousin and wrote her name in the prayer book. 

We went to fabric factory shop near Carlisle and took the scenic route back, 

And came across these beauties in the middle of the road. Suckling calf  just visible.

On the way home we called into Grasmere where a friend of Bs was giving a little pre- concert concert with the new ground ‘Stir Ye Girls’, in the Storyteller’s garden.

There’s Taffy Thomas, the storyteller on the bench. The sun beat down, the music played, people walked by, some popped in for while. 

At the beginning of August my cousins Grandson got married and my Mum was invited. 
I got her suited and booted, and made sure someone would keep and eye on her all day, and took her to the wedding. 

As we arrived the close family was having a huge group photo in the garden. 

She was quickly gathered in and scooped up 

We picked her up several hours later and she’d had a lovely time. 

In the thick of it. 
My cousin was able to enjoy the wedding, Fortunately.
Two weeks later I was able to visit her at home for the last times to say goodbye, although she didn’t hear, and she died on the day we set off for our holiday to Lyme Regis. 
She had the most perfect death, in her own beautiful home, with her daughters and husband around her. In my life she was my role model, as she was in her death. 

So we had a bittersweet Summer Holiday but I needed it. My Mum was grieving alone and I felt guilty, but my son visited her and I phoned every day , as I do. 

Our view

remains of a cream tea 

lovely Lyme

Fossils on the beach

Evening on the esplanade

A beautiful house. 

More fossils. 

Our apartment was once stayed in by Jane Austen . This would have been the same view. 
Lovely lovely Lyme Regis. 
I felt refreshed and able to brace myself for the funeral which in the end was beautiful. 
As deaths always do, it provoked the looking at many old photos, so I’ll end August with this beautiful picture of my Mum on her wedding day with my cousin as her littlest bridesmaid in 1950 

Thankfully I didn’t have too much work to do for Yarndale as I’d made far too much for Woolfest and had plenty left. 
So I had time to have another go at sourdough..with better results. 

I stitched a bit of Autumn Glory.  

 We had a trip to Conway to take my Mum to visit my other cousin, her brother. 

 It was a scorching day and we walked the walks and had a lovely time while she was visiting. 
Also in September our new U3 A started and I joined the walking group, the drawing and the table tennis . I’m hooked on table tennis! 
I saw this on the first of the walks. Summer on the floor. 

Then came Yarndale. A great success but still my last one! 
All the knitted teddies

My stand

I made a brooch into a hairslide

This lovely lady had dyed, spun and woven this amazing wrap. 

New haircut, and colour.
It’s longer now!

The month of my Mums Birthday and my Dads anniversary.
We had renunion of Bs university friends in Alnwick
Northumberland sunset

Can you tell what it yet?
Beach at Low Newton

Alnwick tree house

Alnwick tree house
We had to shoot back home for my Mums 92 birthday and take her for lunch. 
Family birthday lunch.

Mums actual Birthday. 

Last few from the garden.

I did a little felt class for U3 A

The I tootled over to Halifax in

to do a class at Anne Brookes super Shed 76 1/2
I got very excited about her floorboards! 

And the ‘shed’ is lovely. 
It was a super day and the class was delightful. 

The rest of the winter months passed by in a blur of buying Christmas presents..for my Mum to give. She gets so worried about it and nothing anyone can say or do will stop her. I did my best. 

This year I’ve read  27 and a half books, made about 300 brooches, and taken up table tennis. 
I’ve lost my lovely cousin, who could have predicted that? 
I’ve gained many new friends via the U3A. 
Some good, some bad. 
Here’s to 2020. 

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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