Saturday, 29 October 2011

Happy Half Term moments

This was Hobby craft a week before half term because I didn't wish to start this post with CAKE!!!
This is a bracelet Miss Y was going to crochet from a book I had from the library and we were looking at cotton yarns in Hobbycraft Aylesbury.
SEE? I thought this was a great pink colour, by the way I'm wearing my newly crocheted pure cashmere scarf: blisserenity!!!
Ah yes, back to CAKE! Miss Y kindly baked this for the friends coming to play-day as by then the family had eaten all the chocolate brownies and choccie- flake thingummies I'd purchased for the occasion.
Spot the divine new tablecloth we treated ourselves to 2 weeks ago....
Thurday while baking and playing was going on with JJ in the far north of Scotland or the day I was working from home doing an online computer course on Word 2007.
Voila, I will take a better picture soon, the scarf above and Salice the back completed below.
Thursday night I was very ill again and slept in to the afternoon to compensate. Girls did too so the London trip was amended for a late afternoon escape into Oxford as JJ had meetings in our kitchen. We arrived in Oxford centre at 18:05 and still found the perfect BOOTS for both girls at Clarks. RESULT! We had also been to TKMAXX- nowt worth trying on and then got stuck in traffic since 5pm.
After Clarks we had a superb dinner at the Mitre and before that lots of giggly fun playing ''I SPY'' in traffic jams and then on the Park'n Ride bus.
We had ribs, paprika chicken and salmon each but the ribs were the HOT favourite. Bottomless chips were very anti- Public Health?

PS Miss Y wearing the cream mohair scarf I crocheted for her.
This was today's treat or one of many as it happens. Stollen, as inhaled by Miss E.

And I made the Christmas Puddings today, would have been 2 days ago but ''someone'' ATE the entire white bread loaf I had bought to make the pudding breadcrumbs with.......We NEVER have white bread so it came as no surprise. Here we add the grated apple to the soaked alcoholic fruits. This year I used pear cider, courvoisier and sloe gin as we had no beer or stout and no rum or brandy.
The flowers from 2 weeks ago: my first beginners crochet class are lasting very well and are a daily joy.
Miss E found an excellent drawing book in Thame library when she cycled in today, lovely sunny day.

Adding the infamous fluffy fresh white breadcrumbs!
AND OH JOY OF JOYS: the first open fire of the season. On the last day of British Summertime.
And JJ cooked a marvellous steak and sauce supper and treated us all to these choccies, I bags the lovely stripey box.

And finally these are one of the 2 new pairs of boots. I was up at 10 am in the garden in my PJs spraying them with protector spray. ( both pairs are suede: let's pray and hope for a dry winter?)
I've also done a minicrib for next Friday's dance and amended a dress so it's suitable to wear, so quite a bit of sewing done. Still a long ''to do'' list for tomorrow though.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Marvellous Moments

This is Burford yesterday when Miss E and I rushed over to go inspect a pair of white figure skates advertised at the Oxford Ice rink on Monday....
We ARE having a lovely half term with many marvellous moments, but with all of us now suffering with coughs, splutters,sniffles and sore throats it's a wee battle with ''the bug'' as well.
Monday after a nice lie in, we went ice skating- to be exact Miss E and Y went skating while JJ and I watched, he on his laptop and me huddled in many layers of knitwear. They had such fun it was lovely to see but I did soooo want to join in as I love skating too. Afterwards we had a great time watching the new 3 Musketeers film in 3d in Oxford, such action! D'Artagnan wasn't as handsome as in previous incarnations but the airships and Buttercup as well as Monsieur Planchet made up for this slight defect.
Totally happy after such a lovely family time we came home to springclean/tidy for friends' visits planned for Tuesday. These were changed to Thursday at the last minute but the girls had a gorgeous giggly time with our new Dance 3 WII game, which had us all in stitches trying to outscore and outdance each other. For some reason even a sweet and sour simple meal was the funniest ever with both daughters in top form joke and giggle-wise.
Wednesday was mostly work and an early evening drive to Burford. We now are the proud owners of white leather ice skates, size 5.
In the past month we have had to say a few goodbyes- one to our trusty Renault megane which has faithfully ferried the girls around from baby-hood to teen and pre-teen. 13 years of service.
She has changed role for now: storage solution for office papers overflow for both JJ's and my study/ studio/office.
This fabulously large and comfortable HABITAT sofa too has now done duty since about 1996 and after so very much washing of it's blue covers has worn them through on the seat cushions.
Goodbye to the blue and hello to new covers - soon to be completed by yours truly.
Miss Y has made the most scrumptious WW strawberry sponge finger layer cake!!!!
Pippa has been sulking, waiting for walks . Yesterday when I was working and both girls at home, she didn't get a walk until 7pm when JJ took her out.
Part of the W.I.P. of the back cover to the sofa... Yes I HAVE been really really busy lately.
One arm almost completed, I have added the piping as it's so much smarter, and the hem is a ''to do'' item at this stage.
Beginning to look good???? It also involved a trip to IKEA in MK to buy the fabric- can you believe I had to measure and cut 12 m of fabric all by myslef while the shop assistant just looked on? UNBELIEVABLE! I ended up with 13m just to be on the safe side...
Ah yes, the strawberry cake before it was cut to reveal those yummy layers.
A few samples of crochet, OLYMPIA in tweed stitch , sorry the photo turned clockwise but when uploaded turned back somehow. This looks lovely with nice blues fading to lilacy purples, but it's not a soft yarn so may become a bag but not a garment.
This was another wee invention of mone, crocheted while on that Leominster weekend.
Trying out King Cole mohair, bought in York the other day.I like the effect but again it's not all that soft? Could be crochet flowers , hat or a scarf/snood?
SALICE the jacket I made in Blue in the summer, is now in progress in white in Double Top cotton from Texere. Just finished the back and 2 pockets last night. It's taken the entire first cone though, which I hadn't expected.
Today JJ is in the far north of Scotland- by plane- and Miss E is having a friend over. Miss Y is full of cold and didn't invite her friend for fear of giving her the bug, aaaah so sweet.
It's cold, wet and grey outside so we'll be playing WII games, baking and staying warm inside.
Talking of warm: the boiler has been replaced and we have thermostat thingummies on all our radiators now. The boiler was from 1988 and a dear friend even if it did make a lot of banging noises lately. Another goodbye.
Other news: I have given my first LOCAL beginners crochet class and been to the Oxfordshire RSCDS annual ball- the latter was such fun! Even with my cold, I managed quite a few dances and the supper was delicious, everyone had excelled themselves for the deserts!!!
The week before : 15th, I attended a dayschool with 5.5 hrs of dance practice run by London RSCDS branch and this too was wonderful fun all day and evening.
At last JJ may be wrming to the idea of giving it a try too? Here's hoping: fingers and toes all crossed! Got to go do some computer online raining now.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Metal gorilla and crochet brown bear

A gorilla made entirely from metal coat-hangers is at the entrance to the ''making as a creative process'' exhibition at the V&A , it has a different title which escapes me.
I went to see this crocheted bear or crochetdermi as it's called by Shauna Richardson, the creator. The exhibition was quite good but at the same time dissappointing as it's all crammed into one small room. There's no-body sitting making anything, there are a few videos showing clips of processes but not anything from beginning to end. They forbid any photos so the bear ones I have taken from a postcard I purchased. The bear was in a glass cabinet, so you couldn't get a good enough look anyway.
I adore the stitch work, though: all double crochet stitches in different directions. The only other crochet item was a pair of knickers(!) from Poland, shame! There were some amazing pieces like an intricate paper sculpture but the overall impression was not what I had imagined or hoped for.
It was more of a celebration of the death and demise of manual creativity rather than the promotion and education to ensure it's enduring continuity. The small room was hot and crowded and too many exhibits were crammed into high ceiling spaces so you could not see properly and got uncomfortable trying to see. Only 2 tiny seats were provided for anyone who's like to sit and look a while.
Went to see mum in early October.
And the view from the viewpoint on the 272 which I think- but may be wrong- is called Cheesehead point was as below....

The mystery location was a view over Portsmouth from the Ports -down-hill- road for one way and over the hills and dales of Hampshire from Fort Southwick for the other directional views.
This fort lies between Fort Nelson and Fort Widley. In one of the final - blurry- close ups the Spinnaker Tower gives the identifying clue?