Welcome to my blog.
I live in England and my name is Diana, I have been married 41 yrs with one son and two granddaughters age 10 & 6, all of whom I adore.
I love many different crafts and have a wonderful Happy Room to use for my craft work. Please come in and take a look around.
I've made it easier to leave me a comment as I love to hear from you.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Shirley gets out the crochet hooks!

What a fun IAM day. Clare was not well so Pauline made up the numbers of the IAM group.
Shirley had promised a crochet lesson for those who wanted to learn and quickly the hooks were out and the first chains were made.  It has never been so quiet as everyone was concentrating hard.
Then the laughter started as the chains grew longer and longer! The idea was to make a granny square and I think most of the beginners actually managed to make one, or at least part of one.
Ann and I already knew how to crochet so we decided to have a go at the flower pattern Shirley gave us. You could cut the tension with a knife.... who said crochet was relaxing?

A stop for lunch was followed by show and tell, always a delight.. Among the items were my machine embroidered train, three Linus quilts, a quilt ready for hand quilting, a 70th birthday card, a hand made star, a knitted waistcoat, machine embroidered cushions, a crochet lap blanket etc etc.. I have probably forgotten something so apologies..

Brilliant day full of fun and laughter and learning something new, not to mention the great dessert.
Pauline's quilt in progress

Shirley's latest lap blanket

Getting "hooked"

We all love this.

My attempt at a flower in a granny square

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Redecorating the kitchen

Delayed by a week due to Chris not being well, the kitchen redecorating has started.

First everything had to be moved into the dining room!
Considering the kitchen and cooking are not my favourite hobbies, where on earth did everything come from and why do I have it! Plus we did not empty any of the cupboards so all this "stuff" came off worktops and shelves.
It is now a nightmare trying to find anything, even making a cuppa is a problem.

this was once my tidy dining area
With the kitchen empty Chris tackled the cleaning and resealing the window and generally getting ready for the paint work. The kitchen certainly looks bigger without anything on the worktops.
the yellow has to go!

We both worked hard all day, as I have been tackling my Happy Room having a de-clutter session and moving things around. The Charity shop is in for a car full next week. I will also be listing a number of items on Ebay later today. Mostly games and lace items.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Cyclamen

I am hopeless with house plants and they never last long in this house.
A few weeks before Christmas I was  given a cyclamen plant that is still going strong. It seems to like where it lives on the windowsill above a radiator so I dare not move it.
Although while we were away in Spain the friend looking after the house kept it alive by taking it home as our boiler packed up and the house was too cold for it.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Nine more blocks

I managed to make NINE more blocks for my Black and White with a dash of Red quilt on Thursday at Poppy Patch.
Twice a month I attend a Sit-n-Sew day at Poppy Patch Gt Doddington near Wellingborough. The same group of people have been meeting there the ages, and it is so nice catching up on all the news, and getting inspiration from each other.
It was the first time I had met the new owners, Sam and Mary, they have lots of new workshops on offer and have made a few changes to the shop but the atmosphere remains the same, happy and friendly.

Had a surprise visit from two members of church in the evening. They had heard I had not been well in Spain and just called to see I was OK or if there was anything they could do. I am feeling fine now, but it was really nice of them to call.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Linus quilt #2 2015

A week ago I made five machine embroidery blocks at BSK Bedford.  Having been in rather a slump as far as sewing crocheting or in fact doing any other craft work I decided to make the five blocks into a Linus quilt to get me back "in the mood". It worked I really enjoyed making this little quilt, using fabric from my stash for the alternate blocks and border, plus wadding and backing also from my stash. Hopefully a child somewhere will get pleasure and comfort from this Koala bear quilt.
Linus quilt #2 of the 4 I have promised myself to make this year.

IAM group 15th Anniversary

15 years ago five of us started meeting once a month to make lace, sew quilts and generally do craft work. We are now up to eight with lots of different crafts taking place and often small workshops.
To celebrate our 15 years together I organised a day out.
Made 16th July 2013!
I made eight bags from a sari to give to everyone.

We started by meeting at Threads and Patches in Fenny Stratford, Milton Keynes, where Sally the owner was kind enough to arrange for us to have drink and cake, plus a nice discount on anything we bought. It was fun looking around all the different rooms and trying not to buy too much!
Threads & Patches Tea room

Cake and a cuppa!
Our next stop was Tudor Rose at Oakley, Bedfordshire where lunch had been pre-ordered in the "O for Coffee" cafe. We all agreed it was delicious. The shop had offered us a small discount that most of took advantage of.

Lunch at the O for Coffee cake
Tudor Rose
A drive back to home where I had arranged a celebration cake, funny how even after all the food we had eaten we could all still manage to slice of cake. We then had a show and tell of the things we had bought in the different shops, plus Shirley had brought along a finished quilted bed cover that had us all gasping! She has offered to teach the members of the group that do not crochet, how to crochet, next week at our regular monthly meeting.

Maureen, Clare, Dorn, Jenny, Penny, Shirley, Ann and me behind the camera.

Saturday, 21 February 2015


Oh what joy to be back in the old routine and feeling better.
8.30am saw me picking up friend Penny for our drive to Bedford
Every month six of us spend the day at BSK Bedford "playing" on their embroidery machines.

I decided to make a set of five Koala blocks that I thought would make a nice child or Linus quilt.
It was very restful and just the sort of day I needed to get back into the swing of sewing after all the events in Spain recently. Penny also choose an easy project.

Christine and Clare chose to make bags and they seemed quite frazzled with all the small pieces of fabric and instructions, but the final bags looked really nice. Glad I did not chose to make one.

Jackie was working on a cushion cover and Carol was absent.

Arriving home I was tired but Chris, my Knight in shining armour,  had prepared dinner which was really nice.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Teddy Money Bank

The girls came for the day on Wednesday and it was decided it was time to empty the Teddy.

Whenever we have spare coins they are put into a mug which is then emptied by the girls when they visit into an old Teddy, I think it held Leggo type bricks originally.
The Teddy was so heavy we had to get Grandad to bring it downstairs.

Having emptied it onto the dining room table the girls loaded the money into bags they could carry and the rest went into a bag for Grandad to carry.

Off to the bank with a machine that counts the money for them, great fun emptying all the bags into the chute and watching the totals tick up on the display, just over £82 to share.

After all this exercise we went for lunch at the Toby Inn, the girls restaurant choice. Then back home for a game of French Monopoly. I used to collect monopoly boards from our overseas travels so it was fun playing in French!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Home Sweet Home

What can I say about our month in Spain... the first two weeks were great, lots of sunshine and meeting old friends.. the second two weeks not so great as Chris had his wallet stolen and the hastle of cancelling credit cards, notifying the police, who were most unhelpful, replacing his driving licence and store cards etc was a real headache. Also I was taken ill and spent a day in hospital where the fact I could not speak Spanish was very scary plus the cost of prescription medicines! and feeling really poorly with Bronchitis.
Valentines day we came home, luckily I did not feel too bad and returning the hire car, catching our flight and arriving in England went very smoothly. It was then we realised the ticket to get our car back from Meet and Greet was in the stolen wallet, the EMA airport staff were great and by producing my passport let me have my car back.

Today [Tuesday 17th] is a new day, the sun is shining and for the first time I have been into the garden to see all the new shoots appearing and even the Camellia showing its first flower. There are lots of snowdrops and Spring must be just around the corner.
The unpacking is finished, the insurance claim has been sorted, a new driving licence and credit cards etc. applied for and I am in my Happy Room again.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

From bad to worse

Over the weekend Chris took for a little drive along the coast, I had been going stir crazy in the house.

We drove to Torre de la Horadada where the coast road runs along the top of the cliff. There is a pretty yacht club at the end of the coast road.

Then things took a turn for the worse and Monday saw us at San Javier Hospital built only 4 years ago.

My coughing was so bad I was really worried as my chest now hurt. Arriving at 11.20 am we left at 7.30pm. The results of blood tests and X-Rays showed I had Bonquitis aguda. I was given oxygen treatment, a paracetamol drip and injection of something ( anti-biotic I think ) it was all very scary not speaking any of the language and being left alone not really knowing what was happening.

On dismissal I was given a prescription for three items that cost me €77 (I'll never say anything about the NHS in England again! Where at my age all prescriptions are free). To make sure I understood the instructions for taking the stuff I had been given, which of course we're all in Spanish, I googled them when we got home. Three cheers for the Internet.

It is now Tuesday morning and I had a sleepless night, mostly due to living the ordeal in a foreign land not speaking their language, but I feel a bit better and hope to meet friends for a late lunch.


Saturday, 7 February 2015

Where have I been?

Where have I been since my last post a week ago?

The answer is mostly in bed or asleep. The flu bug that seems to be going around decided it would like me for dinner! Two days I had a terrible high temperature and thought I was on fire. Chris managed to get me medicine from the pharmacy, not easy when you do not speak the language, but a phase book helped.

The one containing paracetamol, and goodness knows what else seemed to work on the temperature but it tastes vile, the cough medicine is sticky and I hope helping.

I am still feeling weak and have a chesty cough but have decided I am going to live!


Saturday, 31 January 2015

The sun is shining

Tuesday afternoon we visited The Oasis at the Arches, Alcazare for an afternoon of entertainment. The offer was chicken and chips with three hours of music for €5 each. It was a great afternoon, with singer Terry J performing many songs from the 60 / 70's plus some opera, a real mixed bag of music. The food was good so we have all decided to get tickets for the next show in two weeks time.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent lazing around doing a little shopping and walking along the sea front.

Yesterday was a fun day, looked like it was not going to be so hot, boy were we wrong! It reached 78 in the shade and was baking hot in the sun, while pictures of home showed snow in Northampton.

We started the day with a visit to a market where all the local charity shops go and sell everything once a month, especially clothes. I bought a padded waistcoat, blouse and brand new shirt for €1 each, plus a great long cardigan for €3.

Next was a quick visit to Zenia, a large shopping Mall. I was wearing black trousers (it was suppose to be a cooler day) and T shirt with socks and trainers. I managed to buy two pairs of lightweight trousers, pink and blue, and a thin pink blouse. Went into the loos and changed before we met up with Pauline and Brian for fish and chips.

We found a house to rent near where they stay and have made arrangements to use it next Jan/Feb. It will get more sun than where we are now and it will be nice to explore a different area. Plus it has lemons growing in the garden.

The four of us sat on Shaun's deck enjoying the peace and quiet overlooking the pool. It got hotter and hotter, so the sun cream came out and hats were worn. Had to use the Aircon on the way home in the car. This is the life.





Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Some you win... Some you loose

We decided to buy tickets for a chicken and chips with live music yesterday, for a show today, our friends said they would like to come to so Chris paid the €20 for the four tickets. We were glad they still had four seats left.

Having been here a week without going to a local market we thought we would visit the market at San Pedro. It is always nice to mix with the locals and see all the different things for sale. I liked a set of kitchen knives so Chris bought them for me €20 only.

The sun was shining and we felt good.

One minute later Chris had his wallet stolen from a pocket that had a Velcro flap holding it down! Gone were cash, credit cards, driving licence and store cards. We found the police who said to report it to the Guardia Station. The officer at the Police station was most unhelpful and just said come back with an interpreter!

Luckily we know a number of people that live in the same house block and Mark offered his help and also called a Spanish friend who offered to come as interpreter. I stayed home and they were gone about 2 hours! Chris returned with a wad of legal documents, so the credit cards were cancelled (luckily I had brought a spare or we would be in a real mess) the travel insurance company has been notified. Plus the police said to keep the paper work with us so Chris could prove why he has no driving licence.

We were both shattered by the events so threw two pizzas in the oven for dinner and watched movies all evening. Today is a new day and we are off with our friends for an afternoon of entertainment.


Monday, 26 January 2015

Happy Sunday

I started the day with a visit to the nearest Church of Latter Day Saints at Torrevieja (3/4 of an hour away) for the Sacrement meeting. I was greeted like an old friend, even though I had only been there once before.

It is amazing how small the world is, one lady had a son living in Lumbertubs, another had a brother in Duston and a third knew someone in my home ward. All only a mile or so from where I live!

On the drive to Torrevieja I saw dozens of cyclists and the organisers were obviously putting up barriers and finishing posts for a big race, so I thought I was quite daring coming home a different way. Three cheers for Sean, my TomTom.

A lazy afternoon was followed by face book time with Abigail and the family back in England. An email earlier in the day said Abigail had been chosen to dance at The Royal Albert Hall in London did we want to go.... Try stopping us! So something to really look forward to at Easter.

It's now Monday morning and one load of washing is on the roof top line with another about to finish in the washing machine, then we will be all clean again for another week. Hard to remember the last time I put washing out at home and it dried, but here the wind and sun soon dry everything.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

The sun has come out

A quick visit to a charity shop, where I managed to buy two skirts and a blouse that I am really pleased with. Then to Mercadona to top up the groceries.

Back to the villa and the sun is really hot and the wind has died down so sun chairs on the balcony, feet up and a good book by John Paterson to read... This is the life!


Fish and Chips Friday

Friday we visited Pauline and Brian who are staying at their sons holiday home a few miles away. Our friend Pat came with us.

It was really nice looking around Sean's new home in Spain.

After the house tour we went to a local Fish and Chip resturant for dinner, yummy... The fish batter was really light just how I like it.

Later in the evening I decided to try sitting out on the bedroom balcony in the sun, it is quite sheltered and was very pleasant. Opposite the house are some very tall trees that unfortunately block out most of the sun on the ground floor ( did think that if we came again at this time of year instead of bringing an electric blanket we would bring a chain saw!) .



Friday, 23 January 2015

A day of Pilgrimage

Yesterday we decided to make a trip to Calasparra to see the sights there and visit the Sanctuary.

What an interesting place and there were only two other cars in the car park meaning we had the place to ourselves.

In 1786 the legend goes that a shepherd came across a cave and inside was a small wooden statue of the Virgin Mary. The local villagers decided to move the statue into one of the towns churches but when they came to move it they found it was very heavy and they could not force it out of the cave. A decision was made to make a chapel around the statue. The Virgin de Esperanza now resides in all her glory in the cave.

The sheer crumbling rock face above the chapel looks like it will fall at any minute even though it is encased in a 'hair net' of wire mesh.

Slightly off putting for such a sacred place was a machine to turn a coin into a medal and the swings and slides for children! The gift shop sold a lot of tat, but I did buy a nice Nativity to add to my collection.

This area of Calasparra is also famous for its rice growing which is especially good for paella. It was interesting looking at the paddy fields from a high viewing area.