Category Archives: Family

Happy Anniversary To Me . . . and Postal Votes!

I had a notice from WordPress today and, apparently, it’s been 4 years today, since I started Blogging on here.

It actually amazes me that I’m still doing it 4 years on, especially when I think of all the times when I just wasn’t well enough to come on here and whitter away, as is my habit!

The irony that today is the anniversary hit me when I saw it as, apart from checking my emails, I’ve been avoiding any kind of media today that I can, as I can’t bear the suspense with all the general election furore going on. Not because I don’t care, but because I care too much, and the results mean far too much to me, and many thousands of other disabled people.

Talking of which, I spoke to my daughter on the phone earlier on. She lives in Bristol, and we live in west Wales, and so we spend a lot of time either on the phone, or chatting through Facebook, especially when she works abroad.

Anyway, she was telling me of the hoopla she had to go through today, in order to vote – and that she was very nearly tempted not to do so, but for her strong sense of fair play, and even stronger stubborness of character – which she insists she inherited from me – as if!

My daughter works all over the place as a fire performer, and she also helps to manage and direct other stage performances, with other performers, too, and so she travels a huge amount, all over the UK, and the EU, with the occasional trip to the USA and, as she wasn’t sure where she’d be at the time of voting, she had applied for a postal vote. She was accepted for this, but her voting pack hadn’t turned up by the time she had to go off to another festival, and so she assumed this meant that she wouldn”t be able to vote that way.

As as it happened, she ended up back in Bristol a couple of days ago and so, after catching up on everything, and everyone, she needed to, she decided to stroll down to her local voting station, with plenty of ID to prove who she was, to ask if she could do her vote that way.

She arrived, and spoke to one of the helpers, who checked her ID, then checked for her name on the list, and was told she couldn’t vote, because she had a postal vote. My daughter explained that she hadn’t received it in the time needed before she had left for her work at a festival, and that it still hadn’t been there when she checked her post on returning home. She also had to explain that she hadn’t been informed by anyone that this precluded her from voting in person. The lady asked her to wait while she found out what my daughter needed to do to be able to vote.

A few minutes later, she was told that, in order to do be able to vote today, she would have to travel right across Bristol, opposite to her present location, and go to a particular building, and register to vote with them. As it happens, my daughter had a friend with her, who had a car, and her friend offered to take her to the place – an hour and a half away by foot, 30-40 minutes by public transport, or 20-30 minutes by taxi – always supposing she had the money spare for a taxi, of course.

They managed to find the building, and my daughter went to the office she was supposed to, then explained the situation to the people working there, who were puzzled that she was sent there in the first place, as it was the wrong building, and also puzzled that nobody had rung them up to check with them, before my daughter started out to them. They then told my daughter where she should actually have been sent – and it was, once again, right across the other side of Bristol!

My daughter’s friend offered to take her there, too as, by now, even she was angry at the runaround my daughter was being given, and was determined she’d be able to have her vote, and so they set off again, and eventually got to the proper place where, once again, my daughter had to explain why she was there.

Fortunately for everyone, this was the correct place at last, but my daughter then had to fill in all the same forms she had filled in when she first applied for a postal vote then, once they were signed, she was handed a printed-out postal voter’s form, which they then asked her to fill in, fold, and put into the sealed envelope, and then to place in the ballot box.

All-in-all, what had started out as her idea to take a leisurely walk down to her local polling station to vote, actually took her over 3 hours, a lot of petrol and miles, and a couple of arguements – in fact, the final lady to speak to her, thanked her for persevering in the face of everything being put in her way to trying to vote!

If my daughter wasn’t the determined woman she is, she might have given up in the face of all these obstacles in her way and, as we chatted on the phone, and I congratulated her for her perseverance, she was sat in a cafe, having something desperately needed to eat and drink, as she’d had nothing since her morning toast, and we both wondered how many more people were put off voting today,ย  by the same kinds of things happening to them?

To be fair, it probably was just a concatination of events, totally out of everyone’s control but, with so many postal votes not turning up where they should be in this election, we did have to wonder whether my daugher’s postal vote was one of these, or not?

Neither of us knows who it is, in charge of the postal voting system, nor how partisan they may be with one party or another but, for people like me, who are disabled and unable to leave the house to vote, or people like my daughter, who work all over the place, and can’t guarantee getting to their local polling stations, that postal vote is a necessary thing for us to be able to express our decision on who we want to represent us in Government, so to have it being abused, or even just not being correctly used, is an attack on our very democracy!

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Filed under Anniversaries, Changes, Choices, Daughters, Democracy, Disability Issues, Family, Ideology, Politics, Postal Voting, Proportional Representation, Self-interest, Travelling

A Few More of My Crocheted Pieces

It’s been a while since I posted about my crochet, probably because I’ve been so busy either trying to finish Crochet-a-longs, or CALs as they’re known as in the crochet world, and also because I’ve been desperately trying to learn what I could about British Politics – I’m not sure whether to laugh, or cry, that I’ve become involved right at this time, but I’m going to persevere, which means doing an awful lot of reading!

Fortunately, there are some wonderful Bloggers around, that lay out what’s happening, and what it means for us all, so I’m now slowly begining to understand where the UK stands politically – and, boy, it’s frighteneing!

Anyhoo, I thought I’d get away from that for one evening, and continue showing you all the things I’ve been crocheting over the last year or so – I believe my last post about it was on May 3rd – here’s a link: A Few More of My Offerings

The last project I showed you wasย  two shrugs I’d made for the daughter of a friend but, after that, I went through another awful patch of ill health, and so couldn’t do any crocheting ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


The next project I finished, was a Wrap, designed by a wonderful crochet designer called Annelies Baes. You can get the pattern free at this link: Flight of Fancy.

The CAL was called Scheepjes Flight of Fancy Wrap, and it was done in weekly increments. I started the project on 10th June, and finished it on 1st September.

I was really taken with the wonderful yarn used here, by a company called Scheepjeswol . With this CAL, I was using one of their yarns, called Scheepjes Linen Soft , which comprised of 47% Cotton, 27% Linen, and 26% Acrylic, which made for a strong, and durable, yarn to use.

Here’s the Project page I created on Ravelry, which gives you the details: My Flights of Fancy Wrap The colours used were gorgeous, and reminded me of peacock feather, which I love ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s my finished project, which I gifted to a dear friend:

2015-09-01 - Scheepjes Flight of Fancy Wrap CAL - Start-10th June


The next project I made, was finished on 19th September, and was something that I made for my daughter to give to a friend. Her friend loved kooky presents, especially if they had something to do with the body, so I crocheted her two seperately coloured, and sized, eyes – including the optic nerves, too ๐Ÿ™‚

I had come across the pattern by chance, at this link: Crocheted Eyeball by crochetninja, and just loved the idea of it – and making it was fun, too ๐Ÿ™‚

I used various yarns from my stash for this, mainly acrylics, if I remember true ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-09-17 -The Eyes Have It

I’m told the recipient loved them ๐Ÿ™‚


My next project took me a bit of time, as my health was becoming quite dicey again, and I was still working on another CAL, too.

A friend was making up a package to send over to her grandchildren, a young girl and boy, and I offered to make them something. I showed my friend some of my patterns, and she found the one she wanted among one of my favourite Amigurumi Designers – Moji Moji Design or Janine Holmes, using her real name ๐Ÿ™‚

Janine had recently released a new design, called Katie the Caterpillar – so how could I resist? Lol

I started making the two caterpillars, and managed to finish them by October 12th, just in time for them to be shipped to their new owners in the USA ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-10-12 - Suzanne's Caterpillars
I used acrylic yarn from my stash again, and I think a lot of it was Red Heart yarn, as I had so much of it in my stash. I used the same colours in both, but just used them in opposite ways, as you can see in the pic. That way, we hoped the children wouldn’t fight over which one owned which caterpillar ๐Ÿ™‚

————————————————————————-

My next project, was the CAL I had started on August 2nd. I didn’t actually finish this until October 31st. This was another Scheepjswol CAL, designed by another amazing Designer that I love: Julie Yeager.

The design was called: Summer Mosaic Afghan, and you can buy the pattern from Ravelry, using the link provided ๐Ÿ™‚

This time, the yarn used was Scheepjes Stonewashed XL, a wonderfully soft, but strong, mixture of 70% Cotton, 30% Acrylic.

Here’s the link to my Ravelry Project Page, and the colours and amounts used for it:ย My Summer Mosaic Afghan.

This was a pattern I loved, with a yarn I fell in love with, too. I made this CAL for Mr Night Owl, and it was fun and games trying to crochet it, where, and when, he wouldn’t see it all, as I wanted it to be a surprise for him, for our wedding anniversary that year. It was a couple of weeks late, but he forgave me when he saw it ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-10-31 - Summer Mosaic Afghan


I have to admit to being totally exhausted by the time I finished the Afghan, and it wasn’t until almost mid-November before I took up my crochet hooks again, and that was because I had received my first box, from a company called Little Box of Crochet.

I’d come across them via my monthly crochet magazine, and the story behind their starting caught my attention, so I decided to subscribe for 6 months, to see whether I would enjoy it.

The first Box came with everything needed to make my first Little Box Project, and this was 3 different types of toadstools:

  • The first was Aminita Muscaria, or Fly Agaric. I finished this on November 10th.
  • The second wasย Stropharia Aeruginosa, or Verdigris Agaric. I finished this on December 12th.
  • The third wasย Hygrocybe Persistens, or Wax Cap. I finished this on January 15th, 2016.

ย 

2016-01-15 - LBC - Fly Agaric, Verdigris Agaric & Wax Cap

These were designed by Kate Bruning, of Greedy for Colour, and were made using Scheepjes Stonewashed, with a small amount of silver yarn to give them a christmassy feel – and enough to make them into tree decorations if I’d wanted to ๐Ÿ™‚



My next project was one I made for fun. My husband, and a good friend of his, have a running joke about Wood Nymphs – and, no, I’m not getting into that, as it would take an entire new post of it’s own! Lol

Anyway, we had been invited over to his house for a meal and, as a joke, I decided to make him a Wood Nymph hat, and this was the result:

2015-11-18 - Wood Nymph Hat!

I had found some Red Heart Camouflage yarn in my stash, and so added some flowers and bells to it, then made it a caveat that he had to wear the hat whenever he went hunting! ๐Ÿ™‚
I don’t know why, but he tells me he hasn’t been hunting ever since! Lol


On the 19th of November, my Dad died.

I was devastated, as I was too ill to travel the 360-odd miles needed, to get back to my family home, to attend his funeral.

I really didn’t know what to do with myself, and felt helpless that I couldn’t say my goodbyes to him, nor comfort my Mum the way I wanted to. I spoke a lot to Mum on the phone and, wonderful woman that she is, a few days after Dad’s death, she suggested that I crochet something that reminds me of him, and send it to her, so she could put it in the coffin with him, and so that I knew there was something of mine with Dad in his rest.

My first thoughts were of his being Irish, and that special humour he had, that every Irish person I’ve met seems to be born with, and so I decided to crochet symbols of his Irishness – one for me, one for Mr Night Owl, and one for our daughter.

I looked through all my thousands of patterns, and settled on a combination Shamrock/Four-leaved Clover for myself, a Leprechaun for hubby, as he’s as mischeivous as one himself, and a Pot-o-gold, with rainbow, for our daughter, as she has always been our symbol of wealth, happiness and joy.

A week had gone by this time, and I worried about getting them done in time for the funeral, but I managed toย  finish them, one each day, by the 29th, where I then quickly packed them up, and a friend sent them, post-haste, to my Mum. Fortunately, they got there in time, and that’s where they lay now, keeping my Dad, that funny, chronic, joker company.



I have to admit to finding it hard to concentrate after that but, in early December my Little Box of Crochet, for that month, arrived. Purely for distraction, I decided to give it a try, and the design came from Heather Collins, whose Blog, Pink Milk, was one of the favourites of the Little Box team, and was something that caught my fancy, too, and so I thought I’d give it a go.

The pattern, this time, was for a wonderful pair of Wristers, made with Debbie Bliss’ Baby Cashmerino. As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew I had to make these for my daughter ๐Ÿ™‚

Fortunately, we have the same size hands, so I was able to make them to fit her easily. I also made her a second pair, but this time with yarn from my stash, in Black and White, as she loves monochrome, too, but more to my own design ๐Ÿ™‚

I finished making them on the 5th and 6th of December ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll tell you about the rest in another blog ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Filed under Crochet, Daughters, Death, Disasters, Family, Friendship, Health Issues, Humour, Memories, Politics

Shana Rae’s Challenge

I was looking at Shana Rae’s Blog earlier on:ย Shana Rae’s Books, and she wrote a challenge to her readers: To look at two pictures, and see what we could come up with from them.
I normally get my inspiration by just typing whatever comes into my mind – a sort-of stream-of-conscience writing, where odd ideas will pop into my mind as I write, but I have occasionally used pictures, mostly when I write poetry, so I thought I’d give it a go to write a very short story ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Room 02

A breath of wind stirred the layers of dust as the door reluctantly opened. The squeal ofย  the hinges showed the years of neglect, and it seemed to Laura as if there were a miasma of gloom darkening a room that, in other circumstances, and long ago, had once been bright with lights and merriment.

As she looked around the ruins of her past, she sighed in despair, not knowing where to start first. The once loved glass-fronted cupboards, that had held the history of her family, were now gaping wide, some of them bereft of glass, and all of them covered with the neglect of ages. It seemed that people had sheltered in the house, and they had cared nothing for what the room had once been. She saw that some of the frames had been broken to use as kindling in the large stone fireplace that, in wintertime, had constantly held the warmth and light needed to chase away the cold.

Laura slowly walked into the room, and gingerly perched on a chair left abandoned in the middle of the room. It sat besides a round table, that held a few of the books that had been taken from the cupboards – at least these hadn’t been used for keeping a fire going, nor left strewn across the floor like the detritus of the ages!

Laura looked at the books, and realised that they were actually some of her favourite ones from childhood. The fairy tales written in them had been read to her by her parents at bedtime – a much-loved action that immediately brought back to her the sound of their voices, the laughter as her father deliberately changed the stories to suit them to her own wishes. She remembered those times, when her little family had spent long winter eveningsย  in front of the fire and, at Christmas, when the tree glittered with decorations, and piles of presents sat expectantly under it, just waiting for Christmas morning when they would all open just one present each, until her grandparents arrived for dinner. She remembered how even her grandparents would pile into the presents, excited as children themselves…….

Room 01

But those times were dead and gone, and Laura knew they would never come back again. She put down the book she had been holding while her memories played back to her, and sighed a weary sigh. She knew she had a lot to sort out if the house was to be made saleable, and sitting, thinking of a past long dead and buried, wasn’t helping it get done.

Brushing the dust from the book from her hands, Laura stood up again, and with a determined stride, she walked out of the room, ready to get the cleaning things needed to sort out those dusty old memories.

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Filed under Celebrations, Childhood, Choices, Family, History, Memories, Short Story

And so the wanderer returns . . .

It’s been an age – again – since I blogged anything, as I’d promised to in the new year, so, as I’m actually feeling almost human today, I decided to use what energy I’ve got to make good on that promise ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been keeping all the pictures of my crochet projects in 2 folders – one folder being of the things I’ve already posted on here, and the other folder, of the things I’ve yet to post.

I had a look at the latter earlier, and couldn’t believe just how much stuff there is in there!

I’ve got nearly 50 items I’ve made since 2014 – including some large projects – and it amazed me just how much I’ve been able to do, despite my health problems getting worse.

Because of the time since I made them – and not noting down all of those impportant details for everything – I can only give you the details I can recall, so do please forgive me?

To start, I want to show you a picture of a shawl I made for a dear friend – I think the pattern I used was ‘Coraline in the Wine Country’, which I found on the Simply Collectible site, here: Wine Country Shawl-Wrap Crochet Pattern
I used Red Heart Unforgettable in Stained Glass – one of my absolute favourites ๐Ÿ™‚
I made this in 2014, sometime in the late summer, I think, although I forgot to put a date on it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

2014 - Helen's Shawl

The next thing I made, was still in 2014 – a little hat & Jacket set for a friend’s doll – I’d made other outfits for her in the past, so this was no problem. I don’t remember what yarn I used, as it was a remnant from my scraps, and I made the outfit without using a pattern, so I can’t help there – I wish I’d written it down as I went along, but my memory failed me again ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
I used tiny pearl beads as the buttons on this – I think they really set it off nicely ๐Ÿ™‚

2014-12-27 - Hat & Shrug for Gill's Muriel Doll

My next project, was a headband for my daughter – with her wild and long dreadlocks, she uses headbands a lot to keep her hair away from her face, and I just love making diferent ones for her ๐Ÿ™‚
For this I used a gorgeous DK yarn, a silvery-grey shimmer yarn, though I don’t remember the make of it – and have none left to have a look at the label. For the decoration, I used a lovely button/brooch thingy I bought from eBay – I got 10 of them as, although I didn’t have a project in mind when I bought them, I knew they’d look great on something – and I was right ๐Ÿ™‚
2015-01-26 - Headband for Brex

I’m not 100% sure, but I believe it was the following pattern I used: Turban Knot Headband

My next project was for my hubby. This was now November, 2014 and, being winter time, it was really cold out, and he didn’t have a really cosy jumper to wear while out fishing, so I looked among my patterns, and came across one from the Red Heart site, called the Father Pullover. I’d only tried to make a jumper for hubby once before, and that was many years ago, when we first moved to Wales. I used to knit then, and I made him a jumper with the arms slightly longer than usual – hubby has long arms – but what I’d forgotten, was that the pattern was for a drop sleeve – so the jumper turned out suitable for an Orangutan! Lol
Anyway, I had some lovely Red Heart yarn, in just the shade of green that hubby loves, so I had a go – and I was very happy with the result ๐Ÿ™‚ Hubby still wears this, and loves how warm it keeps him. It’s also hard-wearing, and washes well (much needed after a fishing trip), so we’re both happy ๐Ÿ™‚
2015-01-27 - Bob's Jumper  (front)

The pattern can be found here: Fishing Pullover

The next thing I made was a summery chemise top for my daughter (I like to get things ready for the warmer season for her). I made a headband to match, using the same stitches as the top – unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the pattern and, although I’ve searched high and low, haven’t found it, as yet. I hope I can find it again, as I remember enjoying making this – I think I had only recently learned how to make the popcorn stitch that was used in the pattern, and was having fun making them ๐Ÿ™‚
I’ve got hundreds of patterns just for tops alone, so I’ve given up looking for the moment – but if I do find it again, and I remember, I’ll let you know what the pattern’s called ๐Ÿ™‚
I also can’t remember the yarn I used – this was another DK shimmery one in a light silver colour, as you can see ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-01-27 - Chemise Top & Headband for Brex

At the same time of making the chemise top, I also made a circular shrug for my daughter, too. This was from a pattern by Rachel Choi, that I got from Crochet Spot while I was still a member. I adapted the pattern, as I didn’t have quite enough of that lovely shimmery yarn to make the arms, but it turned out okay, and my daughter loved it ๐Ÿ™‚
The fastening I used was one I found in my sewing box – I think it’s a cloak fastener, but it did the trick in keeping the two edges fastened ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-01-27 - Circular Shrug for Brex

The pattern can be bought from here: Circular Shrug by Rachel Choi

The next thing I made, was a gift for a friend who loves Geckoes. I found a pattern to use on Ravelry, by a designer called Ellie Skene. Her pattern was free, and was easy for me to make, so I was very happy with it – as was my friend when she received it a little while later ๐Ÿ™‚
There’s one thing I can see looking back on it now, and that is I’ve overfilled it, so the filling shows through the stitches ๐Ÿ˜ฆย  I know better now ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-01-27 - Gecko for Gill - top
2015-01-27 - Gecko for Gill - sideHere’s the link to the pattern: Gecko by Ellie Skene

My daughter’s boyfriend was complaining of the cold, so I then went on to make him some fingerless mitts. I used scraps from my yarn stash – probably red heart, as I’ve always got that in stock – and I used a pattern by HappyBerry to make the half-fingerless gloves he wanted.2015-01-27 - Fingerless Gloves for Eloy

 

The link to the pattern is here: Half-fingerless Gloves

This next project was, once again, for my daughter. I’d come across a wonderful pattern by Rachel Choi, on Crochet Spot, and I had a lavender DK yarn, Supersoft Baby Shimmer, that seemed perfect for the job, and just calling out to be used. I’d not made anything like this before, and was determined to give it a try. I was pleased with the result, and my daughter loved it. too ๐Ÿ™‚
2015-02-09 - Lilac Cross Top for Brex

Here’s the link for the pattern: Diamond Eyelet Wrap by Rachel Choi

In March, 2015, I came across an amazing crochet pattern, that I knew I had to make for my daughter. She is pirate mad, and it was if the designer had her in mind when she made it ๐Ÿ™‚
I got the pattern free, in an ebooklet with 10 other patterns, by Interweave. The Pattern was designed by Amy J. Shimel, and she called it Dread Pirate Sam (but, of course, it’s actually Captain Jack Sparrow by any other name!)
I had a lot of fun making this, and my daughter absolutely loves him ๐Ÿ™‚
2015-03-17 - Captain Jack for Brex

Brex @ Kelburn Garden Party, July, 2014

Captain Jack, eat your heart out! Lol

Here’s a link to the free pattern ebooklet: Pattern #2: The Dread Pirate Sam by Amy J. Shimel

Well, I think that’s about enough for now – but I do promise to come back and show you some more of my projects ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you all have a great time with your crochet ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Crochet, Daughters, Family, Memories

. . . and The Night Owl is back again!

I’m ashamed to say that the last Crafting post I did was way back, on September 11th!


I hasten to say that this doesn’t mean that I’ve haven’t done any crochet work – it just means I’ve been so overwhelmed with health problems, that writing about anything I managed to make was just too much – plus, there was also the restraint that a lot of the things I was working on were presents, and I didn’t want the recipients seeing them all before the right time ๐Ÿ™‚

In my last crafting post, I mentioned that I’d had the privilege of testing a pattern for a wonderful designer, Dedri Uys, who’s Blog is called:ย Look At What I Madeย (she can be found here:

http://www.lookatwhatimade.net).ย 

She wanted people of all levels of skill to test out a cute bonnet pattern, using the Crocodile Stitch – something I’d not come across until then – and she bravely allowed me to give it a try ๐Ÿ™‚

This is what I made:


Unfortunately, the only yarn I had available, in the weight that she wanted used, was some Red Heart Super Saver, in Pumpkin, so that’s what I had to use. Now,ย don’tย get me wrong, I actually love the colour – it’s just that, with myย abysmal photographic skills, I couldn’t show exactly how lovely the colour really is – but you can definitely see the crocodile stitches! I’m quite fond of this little bonnet, as it was my very first item made with the crocodile stitch, and there had been quite an amount of frogging involved before I caught the knack of using it ๐Ÿ™‚

I think that’s one of the main aspects of crochet work that I love most – there’s such an infinite variety of ways it can be brought together to make so many things, that I’ll never get bored with it ๐Ÿ™‚

I also tested a pattern for another lovely designer – Candace Glabas, who’s Facebook Page, Crochet Dans L’air and The Grey Lady, is full of wonderful craft work:


Candace had asked me to test out a pattern, which involved using another new stitch for me, the Half Double Knit Stitch – which is actually a crochet stitch, and can be found here:


Candi’s pattern was for a Laptop case and, as it happened, I had need of one, so I was happy to attempt yet another new stitch, and have something useful at the end of it – and here’s the result:


Because I didn’t have the appropriate yarn to use, and was alreadyย 
waiting on an order of my favourite Red Heart Yarns, sent from the USA, I made it up to the thickness needed, using three strands of DK yarn I had in my yarn stash – a dark purple, a lavender, and a white. I used 2 buttons from my button stash as a closure, and I’m very pleased with the result – as was Candi, thank heavens ๐Ÿ™‚


Since then, I’ve made quite a few items – including some bunting in various leaf patterns for a friend’s craft stall – which I forgot to take a pic of! But I’m hoping that she will take one of it in use and, if so, I’ll show you on another post ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been quite busy making winter outfits (hats, scarves and gloves), for my parents, as it’s their 58th wedding anniversary on 27th December and, as they both use scooters to get around now, I figured they’d keep a little warmer with some snuggly winter wear ๐Ÿ™‚

I was given some gorgeous cream-coloured Aran Yarn, flecked with tiny spots of green and brown, which was, unfortunately for me, 25% real wool, and so was a total trial to use – but I was determined to make a really warm set for my Dad,ย and so I made him a lovely warm Hat, a scarf to match, and some Glittens – or fingerless mittens – that I’d got as a Premium pattern from Crochet Spot, which can be found here:


– I managed it in the end, after having very frequent breaks to ease my hands (it’s a pain figuratively, as well as physically, to be allergic to real wool!), to get them finished – along with a set of house slippers that I lovingly crocheted with the same yarn, too – butย my Dad is wellย ย worth the pain of using the wool-blend yarn! ๐Ÿ™‚
For my Mum, I was very fortunate to be given a wonderful pattern called, Lady Victoria’s Winter Warmers, a set of Hat, Neckwarmer/Cowl, and a combination of fingerless gloves, with a Mitten cap, to keep fingers toasty while not using them for anything intricate ๐Ÿ™‚

The set was designed by a lovely lady, called Sue Pendleton and, if you like these, then you should go onto Ravelry, where she has a load of free patterns to be used – you can find her patterns here:ย 

My mum loves blue and green and, while I didn’t have any suitable blues, I did have just the right amount of greens available – Red Heart Super Saver Solids – in Tea Leaf, andย Honeydew, and I alsoย used a tiny amount of theย Hunter Green for leaves,ย along with some vintage buttons I had just purchased, and so I was able to make the set for her ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

The Hat and Cowl part of the set ๐Ÿ™‚

See the vintage button in the flower? ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are the gloves/mittens ๐Ÿ™‚

ย By the time I’d finished making the set, there was plenty of the accent colour (the Tea Leaf) left, and so I decided to make Mum an extra gift of some Leg Warmers to keep her legs snug on her scooter – and a pair of light house slippers to wear indoors ๐Ÿ™‚

I used the Alicia Leg Warmer pattern, designed by Leah Addis, which can be found here:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/alicia-legwarmersย 

I followed the pattern, except that I left off the frilled edge and buttons down the length ๐Ÿ™‚


These house slippers, minus the contrasting, frilled, edging, were from a free pattern on Jay’s Boutique Blog, to be found here:

Two other items I made – which were posted all the way over to Canada, were a couple of amigurumi sea creatures, to be placed on display in a Crochet-arium, organised by Michael Sellick, of The Crochet Crowd fame:


Thisย took place on October 13th, at the Creativ Festival in Canada, where each item was sold on behalf of Crafting for A Cure, a charity project, which also covers North America. I don’t know what my two sea creatures went for, but I just hope that they helped a child somewhere ๐Ÿ™‚

I made a Narwhal, and an Octopus – unfortunately, I can’t find the photos I took of the Octopus, but there’s a nice photo here (even if Mikey did get the place I lived wrong – it’s Wales, Mikey, not England! Lol), along with my Narwhal:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeyssmail/9836843594/in/set-72157635299722849/
I did make a collage pic of the Narwhal, so here it is:



I’ve made quite a few other bits and pieces but, until they are given to their recipients, I can’t show them on here, in case they see them before time ๐Ÿ™‚

I do hope this has made up for my silence for so long? ๐Ÿ™‚

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10 Things of Thankful . . .

ย . . . . are sometimes very hard to find, let alone think about.
When life starts handing you the pits, instead of the cherries, all the stuff that can weigh you down can get in front of what’s still good in your life.ย 

But, if you just take a few minutes, and try to think of the pluses, instead of the minuses, it’s amazing how many things you can come up with.
So here are my cherries:

I’m thankful that God had such a sense of humour that he made me. Iย know he has a sense of humour, because I do, too, under all the pits ๐Ÿ™‚

Start as you mean to go on? ๐Ÿ™‚



I’m thankful that I was given the gift of carrying a child for 9 months under my heart. Having been told I’d never have children, this was such a gift for me that I still thank God every day for my beautiful, amazing girl ๐Ÿ™‚

Hubby, & Brex at 1 hour old ๐Ÿ™‚



I’m thankful for a husband who is so unselfish that he always puts myself and our child before himself. My hubby is an amazing man, and we will be married for 30 years in October – and I love him even more than I did at the beginning and, even better, he loves me like that, too ๐Ÿ™‚

True Love ๐Ÿ™‚



I’m thankful for a warm, dry house. We lived in so many places that were falling down around our ears – houses that weren’t that old, but so badly built that we had to battle mould or drafts all the time. We now live in a 300 year old house that is as warm, and snug, as we need, and wanted ๐Ÿ™‚

Fred, guarding the house ๐Ÿ™‚



I’m thankful for the gift of love that our dog, a Jackย Russellย Terrier called Fred Barker, gives unstintingly to us. He will be 19 next march. He is as deaf as a post, and is so arthritic he has a job stepping over the tiny lip on his bed but, the minute he sees either of us, his tail wags, and he gives us that amazing doggy smile we fell in love with when we first rescued him 18 years ago.ย 

Fred, aged 10.



I’m thankful for our cat, Kushka, who was rescued as a tiny kitten. We took her into our home, and our hearts, when she was barely 6 weeks old, and had to keep feeding her replacement milk for a month as she had been in such a bad way. She’ll be 5 next birthday, and she is my constant companion, lying as close beside me as she can – she has always seemed to be aware that sitting on me would only bring pain. She purrs like an engine when pain takes me over, as if she is trying her best to soothe me, and she has always been there for me, no matter what.

Kushka, breaking in the new cover I crocheted ๐Ÿ™‚


I’m thankful for the gift of crochet. I hadn’t crocheted before I started to learn last July, and had got into a bad place in my head when I’d had to give up knitting and cross-stitch, as my hands couldn’t cope with either any more, so to find that I was able to hold a crochet hook enough to use it, was a fantastic thing to happen to me ๐Ÿ™‚

My Spring Fling cushion cover.


I’m thankful for the internet, as it took me out of myself, and brought a world full of the most amazing people into my life, and into my heart. After I got housebound, the world became a very drab place, as I had come from a large family, so was used to company, and noise, and all the other things that come with family life. I had always loved visiting all of our many friends homes, and going places and seeing people whenever I chose to, so to be housebound was a kind of torture for me but, once I had the internet in my home, it opened up a world ofย possibilitiesย I couldn’t have imagined – and also enabled me to keep in touch with my daughter, wherever in the world she goes ๐Ÿ™‚

Brex, in an Amazonian village, in Peru ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m thankful for the bounty of things that surround me, for internet shopping, for a free health system that is very much needed for me now, for the chance to be able to do what I can to stay focussed on the future, so that I can stay true to myself, and true to God.

Me, on our 29th wedding anniversary ๐Ÿ™‚



I’m thankful for the chance to have lived this life that I have – whether good or bad! To have been born in a time, and a place, where women are able to make whatever life they dream of, and for the chance to be able to have my voice heard all around the world.

 

Ten Things of Thankful

ย 

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Filed under Crochet, Daughters, Disability Issues, Faith, Family, Travelling, TToT

Ragga Rory Goes To Boomtown

I’m not sure whether it’s good for a small lion to be going hither and thither only a few weeks from birth but, apparently, when Brex told him she was headed to Boomtown to do a stint withย Slamboree, and then make her maiden performance with her own group,ย The Gutterstars Collective, Ragga Rory told her that, if she didn’t take him, he would hitch-hike by himself, until he got there, too!

Brex wasn’t too pleased at having such a young lion threaten to go out into the world on his own, so she told him he could come – provided he didn’t misbehave the way he had at the previous festival!

Ragga Rory had the grace to look slightly ashamed at that, though Brex still wasn’t sure whether he also had a guilty look, either. After all, she hadn’t heard yet whether Australian piggy had been seen since ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But, after promising to be as well behaved as he could be, Brex took Ragga Rory along with her. She was going to Boomtown early, as her group had to rehearse on the stage where they were doing their maiden gig, as they’d been rehearsing in all sorts of warehouses, or places where they could use fire. So Brex and Ragga Rory set off to join the rest of her crew, and her Slamboree pals.

Brex had warned Ragga Rory that she was going to be particularly busy over the next few days as, rehearsing with two separate crews, with one of them her total responsibility, wasn’t going to be easy for her. But Ragga Rory promised he would behave himself, and stay in their tent being a good little lion.

On the journey to Boomtown, Ragga Rory had been really pleased to make a new friend – a chimp called Gabba Babba – who kept him entertained throughout the journey with all his tales of the festivals he had already been to.

Image

Ragga Rory really enjoyed the tales, and hoped that he could behave himself this time, so that Brex would keep taking him with her wherever she went. Gabba Babba was really up on all the latest music, so he spent a lot of his time while they travelled, bringing Ragga Rory up to date, though Gabba Babba found that Ragga Rory was a little tone deaf – but he figured it wouldn’t notice with all the crowds that would be at the festival.

After a while on the journey, Gabba Babba felt tired, and went to sleep, so Ragga Rory asked if he could come forward, so he had a better view of the countryside around them as they travelled.

Much to his horror, everyone insisted that he wear a sun hat, as the sun was quite strong at the front of the van, so Ragga Rory reluctantly put on the strange garment they came up with.

Image

He wasn’t sure why there were so many muffled giggles, and got a bit upset that nobody would share whatever joke was going around but, very soon, all the road signs indicated that they were nearly there at Boomtown, so Ragga Rory forgot everything else, and looked forward to whatever was going to happen in the week ahead . . .

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August 11, 2013 · 4:24 pm