Thursday, 30 April 2015

Lazy day

Today is our last day here in the Peak District and the black clouds have been rolling over all day after a very wet start. We decided after all the excitement of yesterday we would just take it easy.

I have been busy with my crochet lily Pond blanket CAL, completing the first block (4 times) and the second block (2 of the 4 needed) plus making one block that was issued in a magazine and will be CAL edition #7.

It has all been a big learning curve as many of the stitches I have never tried before.

Two items have really helped me with the arthritis in my thumb and hand and enabled me to complete these items. Weleda, an Arnica Massage Balm, and my fingerless glove that I wear inside out to stop the seams pressing into my hand.


A sea of rocks

Wednesday started off not too bad weather wise, but very overcast, so we decided to wait until mid morning before setting off on another Off Road course.

Starting at Monsal Dale, a very scenic view over the countryside, we travelled through very narrow lanes, where you could touch the high stone walls on either side of the car. These lanes give way to wonderful views that very few ever see, but also some very scary moments when the lane starts off with partial Tarmac that turns into cobbles and then becomes a roller coaster of scree and boulders. The occasional hail storm hit us as we travelled along but then the weak sun would come out.

The route we were taking took us within 50 yards of our holiday home, so we decided to stop and have our pack-ups in comfort.

Resuming our trip every now and then it would snow, followed by hail and then again the sun would try to appear. Such a mixed bag of weather. We passed through quite a few gates that I got out to open and close and the cold wind took my breath away.

The remains of a Lead works.

We passed farmers, cyclists, dog walkers, hikers and every time they waved and spoke to us. There is room in this amazing land for everyone to enjoy the countryside if they keep to the paths and lanes.

The final lane was one never to be forgotten, (Blurry photo proof of trying to hang on) a steep twisty descent over large boulders and steep side banks where the car was thrown from side to side. It was described on the route as 'A sea of rocks dropping off the edge of the hill, this is a proper rock crawl'. It was really scary and even when I tried closing my eyes the fact I was either pressed against the door or trying not to fall onto Chris did not help.

One thing we were quite impressed with were the signs everywhere, including notices saying the once rough lanes had been adopted by the local councils as BOATs. An upgrade for 4x4 use.



Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The 'neigh'bour

It is so peaceful here and amazing how often the view changes with the weather.

In fact it's amazing how often the weather changes. We started yesterday morning with snow showers, which went on most of the morning sometimes causing a complete white-out on the hills in front of us. By lunch time the sun was doing its best to come out and we decided to take a trip into Calver where we had spotted a shoe factory shop. Having tried on a few I gave up and we left empty handed, this may be a first for me when shoe shopping!

We were not far from Bakewell so continued our afternoon shopping there. A visit to a wool shop was not as I expected, all the wool was upstairs (which I didn't think I could manage with my old knees) and on the ground level was everything but wool! So no money spent there either.

There are a number of nice charity shops in Bakewell so a mooch in the Air Ambulance shop and I came away with a new dress, it still had the shop tabs on it, and a blouse £9.50. In the Age Concern shop I bought another dress and two pairs of trousers, both trousers were brand new £10.

I do not like trying clothes on in the confines of these shops and just look at my purchases as a donation to the charities and hope they fit. I could not be more pleased when back 'home' I tried everything on and everything fits and I am really pleased with my bargains. Five new items of clothes for less than £20.

Did you get the neigh-bour funny? Our only neighbour looking out our front window is a horse in the field.



Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Snow, snow and more snow!

Awoke this morning to everywhere covered in snow! My guess is this will be a day in the holiday home, eating, crocheting and watching TV!


Yesterday we went on our first Off Road course that Chris had taken from a magazine. Although some of the lanes were pretty rough it was nothing until we reached one that was horrific. The lane started ok, the usual bumps and swaying of the LR with high stone walls about three inches from each side of the vehicle, then... It was the worse we had every come across and although Chris took three of four goes at it he could not get up the road and had to back down the narrow lane. I was very impressed with his excellent driving ability backwards. We both took a deep breath when we reached a normal road.

The course then took us through the Chatsworth estate and into Eyam, where during the plague they cut the village off to save the disease spreading.

Back at the holiday home, which is on an equestrian farm in Wheston near Tideswell we enjoyed a nice meal and settled in for the evening. We were quite surprised that they took all the horses into stables for the night, they left them out the night before, guess they knew the snow was coming.


A week in the Peak District

Sunday we left home in the Land Rover for a week in the Peak District, Derbyshire.

On the way Chris dropped me at the Uttoxeter quilt show, while he went to a Land Rover show at Castle Donington.

The show is quite small but big enough for me, as I find walking far too difficult. The traders had everything you could possibly want and the competition entries were very nice. My favourite part of the show was in one of the Racetrack buildings where the most wonderful display of quilts and journal mini quilts were on display. Definitely a venue to mark on my calendar.

Some of my favourites.

Loved the quilting idea in Pearl threads


Love the colours and combination of geometric and appliqué

Wow.. I need to work on my wholecloth (in my dreams)


So many ways to make crazy patchwork hexagons

My absolute favourite

Reminds me of a visit to Yellowstone.
Such incredible workmanship


Friday, 24 April 2015

UK v China postal service

On April 15th I ordered a set of bamboo crochet hooks from China [via EBay] and on the same day ordered a crochet hook holder [ the hook slots into the gadget and the grommet fixes it there] from a company in England UK.   Both arrived on the 22nd April. WHY can I get something from China as quick as from the UK?
Ten bamboo hooks from China £5.13 free postage
A hook holder from the UK £5.35 inc postage.

The reason for my trying these different hooks and the hook gadget is the awful arthritis in my hand and thumb. Although someone on facebook told me about Weleda Oil and it has really helped.

The Acers over the pond

I have a number of Acers in my garden and these are looking particularly nice as they just come into leaf.  We have had some really nice sunny weather that seems to have brought everything out in the garden.

The Lily Pond CAL

I continue to work on my Lily Pond CAL [crochet along]. The second instalment of instructions came out on Tuesday and although I thought I would save it to start on next weeks holiday I could not resist and managed to make one block [ this has to be repeated three more times].

The first block issued is still in the process of being made, I have two of the four completed.  This is the first time I have worked a crochet CAL and I am really enjoying the challenge.
Block #2 [ 3 more to make]

Two of Block #1 [2 more to make]

Stylecraft  issues a section to work every two weeks until 5th June for free
This is just a corner of the complete blanket.

The Summer House

My little Summer house continues to undergo a makeover.
New roofing felt has been added to the roof and then Chris painted the ceiling and walls and put a coat of preservative on the floor boards before I replaced the carpet tiles.

I had a length of new curtaining that a friend had given me so I cut off enough to put at the windows but it just looking 'wrong' it was far too white.

Having never tea dyed anything I thought I would have a go to change the net curtain colour. I boiled up ten tea bags in a large saucepan and then threw the curtains in for two and half hours. Seemed to remember hearing you should "set" the colour with salt so wrung them out and then put them in a tub of cold salted water... brilliant they are just the right colour now. [Goodness knows what tea does to your insides when you can use it to dye things! Thank goodness I do not drink it.]

The curtains are now a pale 'tea' colour and I found a quilt I had forgotten I had with garden scenes and sayings on it, that looks good hanging on the wall. I would still like to sort out the furniture and Chris still has to paint the outside of the building but we are getting there.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Finish up Saturday

I started my Saturday with a list of things I wanted to accomplish, most involving finishing things I have already started..

Another block for Abigail's quilt went together well.

Back to my Lily Pond crochet, hope to crack on with it now my hand is feeling slightly better.

Thursday I attended my usual monthly workshop at BSK Bedford and machine embroidered a pretty white on white cushion cover, so that was near the top of the list and I'm pleased to say it is finished.
Hard to photograph white on white, but there are pretty butterflies around the edge.

Friday I took myself off to Colemans Warehouse to attend another workshop. This was the first time I had been to this venue for a workshop. My trusty Pfaff was my choice of sewing machine for the day. Every time I use the Pfaff, which is now about 15 years old, I wonder why I do not use it more, it is such a good workhorse.
Introductions were made and the teacher Trish gave us all our fabric and extras. The workshop was 10am to 1.30pm and boy did it go quickly! Suddenly it was time to leave and I had almost completed the project. It is now finished.
I so enjoyed this workshop and venue I signed up for another workshop in May!

Difficult to find anywhere to hang it for the photo.

Summer House makeover

My little summer house has been rather neglected for the past year or so. Time for a makeover.
Starting with the roof Chris is re-felting it and replacing the broken wood surround.

It needs a coat of paint both inside and out, I have chosen a Seagrass colour for the insides and the outside will be dark brown to match his shed.

I am thinking of putting net curtains at the windows instead of fabric curtains. I already have a large quantity of new nets that someone gave me.

The carpet has been refitted and as I had a few spare carpet tiles I have replaced the worn and faded ones. I would have liked to replace them all but my budget will not run to it.

At the next BSK machine embroidery day I have chosen to make green cushions covered in different butterflies that I think will look nice on my summer house chairs.

All we need now is lots of nice sunny days this summer, and some time to get everything done would also help!
Chris fixing new felt to the roof.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Lily Pond crochet along [CAL]

I have at last started my Stylecraft Crochet Along, Lily Pond designed by Jane Crowfoot.
Block One was released on April 7th and will be every two weeks until July 14th. This is a free design so feel free to join me.

The first block calls for 6 different balls of wool, as I have no imagination when it comes to choosing wool and colours I am using the recommended items.
So that I do not forget which colour is which I have wound some wool around a peg and put it's name on it. I think I first saw this idea on Attic 24 or Moogly website.
Keeping a check on the wool colours

Progress so far [it is level on the right hand side... turned under when  I got the camera out!]
Since starting to crochet again after 50+ years of not doing any, my thumb and hand have been really playing me up with arthritis. I have used Tiger Balm to help the pain but as I am still struggling have ordered two sets of ergonomic crochet hooks to see if they help.
 If anyone has any ideas to help please leave a comment.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

A trip around the garden

Before the granddaughters arrived we were very busy in the garden.
Ten new fish, hopefully not Heron food.. he visited us last week but I don't think he managed to get a fish.

A new fence as the old one blew down in the strong winds recently

New herbs in the little herb garden outside the back door.

The back lawn has suddenly been filled with violets,I did not plant them and have never seen them in the lawn before!

Chris worked hard building a retaining wooden wall at the front of the house.
We have planted six Cotoneaster plants through weed suppressor mesh to cover the area

Cleaned out and relined the hanging baskets to add colour to the front of the house

Chris covering the mesh with blue slate to match the blue slate at the side of the drive.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

BBQ weather

Last day of the girls being here and the weather is glorious. The vote went up for a "silly hat BBQ"
which meant Grandad had to clean off the BBQ that had not been used in over a year!
The summer house was organised, luckily I had cleaned it out  before Easter so we did not have to eat with the over wintering spiders !
The girls again made cheezy filled jacket potatoes to go with the beefburgers and hotdogs with mushrooms Grandad was cooking.
We all found silly hats and had a really fun time eating outside in the sunshine.
Grandad at the BBQ

Feeding the fish

Silly hat parade

After the fun outside we all moved indoors and the girls decided to wreck the lounge by opening up a post office, shop, zoo and goodness knows what else. I moved into my Happy room and worked on my crochet, and Grandad disappeared somewhere [ probably his shed!]
Shop fun
It has been a wonderful four days with the grandaughters.
Awoke this morning to pouring rain and a very quite house miss them already.

Biopsy, bruises and a block finish

Thursday I went into hospital at 10.30 for my lung biopsy, the staff could not have been nicer and put me at ease. The procedure meant lying...