Friday 29 November 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

How are you? Webbed feet yet? 
There's been so much rain here and I think everywhere else has had bucketfuls too.

I've got bits and bobs to share with you this week.
At first I didn't think that I had had a very productive week
but actually I dabbled in quite a few things.

First off, the garland.  Amazing what some fake ivy can achieve,
and not even great fake ivy! 
Purchased on eBay and of course it looked way better in the picture.
It arrived all scrunched in an envelope but flattened out 
it began to look more promising.
I wrapped it around the cord tucking it under the decorations.
(Of course it occurred to me at this point that it would be so much 
easier if the ivy had gone on first!  But I'm impatient and 
I've been adding things when they arrive). 

It has definitely added fullness, I've still got more items to add, pine cones
and more ribbon.  At this rate we may need something more sturdy 
than drawing pins to hold it up!

Also this week...
in an attempt to make my birthday a 4 day event (!) 
Elliott took me out for lunch.
This rather fancy drink is his, he doesn't drink alcohol so orders
fruit based drinks and they often come served cocktail-like.
I think his face says it all.

We then did a little bit of shopping and this was a frivolous purchase
because it made me laugh.
A dog pretending to be a reindeer?
Possibly an Anteater? 
Whatever - he/she still makes me laugh each time I look at it.

And now for that dog...
meet Gummy Bear (formerly known as Bella!)
She has done amazing since having 24 teeth out.
You could have knocked me over when the vet informed me that 
instead of the anticipated 5 he actually removed 24!
Dogs have 42 teeth so she's had over half her quota removed.
I queried whether I had fed her the wrong foods, lack of cleaning etc
but apparently it is very common in terrier breeds.
She is recovering really well and enjoying even more fuss.
It has changed the shape of her face and this is a common look now!

Out and about...
how about this for a lovely Autumnal view?


This is where Elliott works, a business park in Dartford!
They have made it truly beautiful with a lake and restaurants.
I cannot help but think this is conducive to working, 
looking out on a view like this (or possibly distracting in my case).

It is also a perfect spot to walk toothless dogs.
It has been nice to drop Elliott at work and take a stroll round the lake.  
There's swans, ducks and moor hens always on the lookout for food
so workers take their lives into their own hands eating al fresco.

Crochet update.
I've started the border on the Tranquil Waters Blanket.
The next step is white bobbles but I'm having a bit of a bobble meltdown!
I was achieving them one evening and next day I did a few more
and they looked completely different.
So I've put it to one side and going to focus properly this weekend.

And now to share a beautiful early Christmas gift that I've received.
It is a Modern Japanese Rice Pouch, perfectly made by Kathy.
Kathy is the owner of an Alpaca farm (Cherwell Leys) and each year has kindly
sent a gift for myself, Bella and the cats - incredibly kind and generous
and I couldn't wait to open it.

Each side is quilted/appliqued in a different design.
After my little foray into quilting earlier this year,
I can truly appreciate how much work has gone into this.

I am so thrilled with this gift, thank you so much again Kathy.
To see more of Kathy's amazing work, follow her on Instagram here.
I'm using it for crochet projects, including Bella's scarves -
she has a few in the making with leftover yarn.  

Today is actually Black Friday (you wouldn't actually know
it as Black Friday seems to have extended into a week or two everywhere!)
I will have a website offer going out via email for subscribers
and sharing on Facebook. 
Please look out for that as guaranteed it will be a nice offer.

UPDATE: the offer is 50% off Amazing Paper Grace dies and
Glimmer plates!
Please use code BECCA50 at checkout and expires midnight Sunday.
You can take a peek at the items here. Very limited stock.

We are really getting to the end of stock now, 
the cabin stock room is looking quite bare.  

As for my plans 2020, I've been making notes/thinking hard and
I've made some little decisions so I'll be announcing those soon.

So that wraps up this week's chatter.
Hoping this weekend to put the Christmas tree up,
that'll be the rose gold/pink themed one that 
the boys are still not happy about. 
Not sure I'll get any human help...

Wishing you all a lovely weekend,
hope you are doing something fun/creative/relaxing.

Take care friends and I look forward to you joining me next week.

Friday 22 November 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Happy Friday.
I'm discombobulated this week as I've taken yesterday
and today off from my city job so I'm constantly checking
to see what day it is! 
My time off was to celebrate my birthday.
In true tradition it was freezing cold, never barbecue weather!
I spent the day at Waddeston Manor with my friends 
and it was lovely and very Christmassy.

We go each year and do a little tour of the house.
Each room has a different tree and my favourite was sheep themed!
I've already induced horror into the boys with having a pink-ish tree planned
for this year, I dare not mention sheep for next!


We also indulged in afternoon tea and a glass of Prosecco,
photo taken before the Prosecco - oh dear! 

It is a beautiful place to visit, a Christmas market too with quite a lot of free
samples of cider, gin, liqueurs - well it would be rude not to try!
So I feel quite festive now, perfect time to work on my garland.
This week I went back to Poundland and bought these present decorations.
The leaves and mini pinecones are perfect and 
I've kept the red berries to add to my original garland.

And here's the risk of ordering stuff online.
Wired holly leaves it said...look how tiny they are!!
I'm still going to use them - waste not...

A few more bits added including baubles, bells and ribbon.
I promise it is going to look way better when finished.
I've ordered some ivy and larger holly leaves which will help fill it out.

In other news it wasn't the nicest of weeks for Bella.
She went along for her dental work and instead of just 5 teeth removed
it's pretty much her whole top jaw.
She's on medication and back at the vets for a check up tomorrow,
pleased to say she is looking brighter now and is eating fine - soft food though!

I hope you are all having a good week and you are keeping warm.
I recalled the 'November' poem recently by Thomas Hood.
For those of you who may not have come across it, sharing it below, 
it is fairly accurate. 

No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day -
No sky - no earthly view -
No distance looking blue -
No road - no street - no 't'other side the way' -
No end to any Row -
No indications where the Crescents go -
No top to any steeple -
No recognition of familiar people -
No courtesies for showing 'em -
No knowing 'em -
No travelling at all - no locomotion,
No inkling of the way - no notion -
'No go' - by land or ocean -
No mail - no post -
No news from any foreign coast -
No Park - no Ring - no afternoon gentility -
No company - no nobility -
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, -

Crochet ...

I've been working on the Tranquil Waters Blanket.
This is a kit from Knitting Network and it is panels of colour
with a very pretty border.

I've put all the details up on the Yarn tab.

Today I will be posting another website offer,
stock is reducing, down to just a few shelves in my cabin.
Please look out for that if you want to grab some bargains,
I post on Facebook and also send out an email for website subscribers.

I think that's it for this week, I don't know where the days 
are going, everything feels on fast forward.
Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by,
next week more garland! 

Friday 15 November 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

There's extra waffle this week, pop the kettle on!
Friday again, they come around so quickly, we are definitely hurtling
towards Christmas!
It's time for those Christmas TV ads and I absolutely love the
John Lewis one with the little dragon.
If you haven't seen it click on the image below.

I hope you have had a good week so far. 
Mine has been a mix of things - some work, some crochet,
some festive planning, some birdhouse planning and a trip to the vets!

Crochet - I'll be uploading some more photos and details to my Yarn tab
later today and over the weekend in case you fancy checking those out.

Christmas planning - a new garland is on my to-do list to match
my change of colour decorations this year.
(The boys are still very disapproving of this decision!)
Each year I have this red garland which is festooned with 
pinecones, berries, baubles, holly and more.

I love it but the it's just not rose gold so I've been shopping.
I thought I would share my garland-make with you
as I go leading up to Christmas.
I'm keeping the price as low as possible by shopping around.
The baubles are from Asda, pinecones from Wilkos,
bells from Poundland, braid and ribbon from Amazon. 

I then discovered these in Poundland - Garland Ties.
They are just wired strips of foliage, I never knew they existed.

I set out the braid and calculated how may foliage strips,
no exact measuring, that would take too long!

I cut each one in half and twisted them around.

Admittedly it looks pretty bare and odd right now but plenty more
items will be added.  I'll be keeping you posted.

Birdhouse planning

Many of you will know that my lovely Dad makes birdhouses.
He had a little break but he is back at it and now has
an Instagram account here and an Etsy shop!
It's called Made by Brian and here's one that has just been listed.
Lots more in the pipeline, he's covered head to toe in sawdust lately!

It was of course Remembrance Sunday, I shared this a year or two
ago, a little bit of family history. 

This is a letter written home from my Great Uncle Walter,
also known as Sapper Walter Woodward No.14539513
He wrote this letter home to his Mum whilst on active service,
28 June 1945.  We don't know for sure where he was when he wrote this
but he does state seven thousand miles from good old England.

Impressive handwriting but for ease I have typed a transcript of the letter below.

My Dear Mother.  

Just a few lines hoping this letter will find you all in the best of health
as it leaves me the same at present.  Well Mother the weather is not too bad here 
but we keep on getting showers of rain.  
Well Mum my Dolly told me about Bill having fourteen days,
all I hope he does not come out here,it is not so good out here as people paint it.
Well I expect my brother Len is still in Holland, please remember me to him when you 
write to him.  Well Mother, my mate and I went to town on Wednesday June 27 and
we did have a good feed, what do you think we had? A leg of chicken and two 
eggs for dinner and the same for tea so we did not do so bad did we.
Well how is little Brian getting on? I bet he is just as saucy as ever.
Well Mother, I expect your little garden begins to look nice now.  
Please will you give my love to all at home.
Well Mother, I will be glad when I can come home again and see you all once
more like I used to do.  Nobody knows what it is like to be right away
from home, seven thousand miles from good old England.
All I can say is it is a shame that men like me should come out here 
while there is tens of thousands of young men in England.
Well Mother, do not worry about me as I am OK so now I must say 
good afternoon and God bless you all from your loving Son 

I've read this letter many times, it moves me how the language is fairly formal 
but also there is a true sense of sadness and genuine home sickness.
Some of the references: 
Dolly (Dorothy is his wife) they married and were both together till very old age.
He refers at one point to ' how is little Brian getting on', that's my Dad,
he's all grown up now!

A snippet of history written many years ago by a very young man,
in a strange place wishing he was at home.
Who could possibly know that one day his letter would be shared via technology 
that would be way beyond his wildest imagination.

And finally - a trip to the vets:

This is me explaining to Bella that on Monday she is having five
teeth removed!  It also includes her front ones so she's going to be
a little gummy!

She's over 8 years old now and apparently it is quite common 
with smaller dogs for their teeth to deteriorate.
She's so good natured that she does allow me to clean her teeth
but I guess it just wasn't enough.
I'm not looking forward to dropping her off at the vets 
but needs must and I'm sure she'll feel a lot better afterwards.

So that wraps up another Friday Chat Day,
this weekend I'm hoping to do quite a bit of house admin,
those niggly jobs that have needed doing for months
and adding to my garland.

Take care friends, hope you have a lovely weekend,
a good week and look forward to you stopping by next Friday.

Friday 8 November 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

It's Friday Chat (waffle waffle) Day! 

Lots of thanks for the comments last week
and for your understanding when it comes to the 
oddities of social media.
Jackie - hugely impressed that you've been running your 
craft club for 17 years! 

In answer to the questions regarding my crochet/knitting
projects I've decided to add a new tab at the top of my blog 
headed rather unimaginatively ...
I'm going to add my projects there with links to the patterns where possible, 
what yarn I used, easy/difficult etc.
I've uploaded the Big and Mustard Throw project
but keep an eye as adding more.
Hope that helps and it should prove useful for me too.

And talking of projects - she's not too happy!

My first two attempts at crocheting a dog jumper both turned out
too small, this is version two, part way through and still a snug fit.
Back to the drawing board on this one, I think Bella's face says
"Don't bother Mum!"

But what do we have here?
A much happier Bella, well maybe a surprised Bella.
I rustled up a little cowl for her which is a tiny version of 
The Infinity Scarf - a YouTube video by Bella Coco Crochet.
Not a lot of measuring for this so achieved in an hour.

I hope to get back to human projects over the weekend.

Last weekend a trip to theatreland to see Mary Poppins.
My humble review: very good, well worth a visit but ...
 a couple of scenes deviated from the 
original film and they were honestly very weird.
A toy box that came to life and a huge Punch and Judy,
I was more scared than the eight year old in front of me! 
It was still foot tapping and who can resist singing along to
Step in Time and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?

This week's purchases.
Apologies in advance, I have entered Christmas mode!
For the first time in years I've decided on a change of colour theme 
for my decorations this year.
Much to the boys' disgust I'm going for rose gold/blush pink/
bronze/pale silver.  Our cat Lilly isn't wholly convinced either.

This was a little haul from a trip to Home Bargains, Asda 
and Amazon.  Very reasonable prices too - approx £2.50 a box.
I then realised that I will need to make a new garland.
You may remember that I have a red garland that started out as a piece
 of corded rope/string and I add items to it each year.
Well, a new crafty project is soon to be underway, I'll be sure to keep
you posted.

This week's viewing - I started His Dark Materials on BBC1.

Very excited about this as enjoyed the film many years ago.
If you've read the books and/or seen the film you'll know about the Dæmons.
(If not....they are the external physical manifestation of a person's 
'inner-self' that takes the form of an animal).
I cannot be the only person contemplating what my Dæmon would be?
How disappointing if I ended up with a hamster when others are 
waltzing around with impressive wild cats/eagles! 
It stars James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson who were both suitably moody and marvellous in the first episode.

Well I think that wraps up my week.
I've got a quiet weekend ahead so that will give me a chance to 
add more details to that Yarn! tab.

As per usual please look out for the website offers,
the stock is depleting nicely. 
I've received some amazing cards with kind words from customers,
you are all such lovely people - thank you.

Have a super weekend or should that be... 
It's an ear worm! 

Take care friends, same place for a chat next week.

Friday 1 November 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Happy Friday to you and did you get through Halloween unscathed?
I'm not a fan of Halloween although I do think it is very cute
to see the little ones dressed up and the amazing creativity with pumpkins.

It's November! 
I feel we are officially allowed to think about Christmas,
it is only 7 more Friday Chat Days until the big day.
Time to dig out those hats and mittens too.

I am a big fan of Autumn and the changing colours and this week
I met my sister and her rescue dog Bear at the park,
Bella came too! 

It was a beautiful day, bit muddy but that didn't matter.
We stopped for a little sit down on a bench and the dogs
seemed happy for the rest too.

And this is Bella on her journey home in her new car seat.
I have been looking for a seat where she is able to 
look out the car window.  This one from Amazon is elevated and 
secures with lots of straps 
around the headrest and seat, also clips into the seat belt.
A choice of fixing it to front or back seat 
(she's obviously riding up front with me so she can hear me sing!)
Bella is also harnessed in so all in all she's very safe.
I'm voting this as a success.

Okay that is quite enough of that pooch!

I have finally finished another big and mustard throw and instantly 
ordered some grey yarn to make another one - I'm addicted! 

Also in the making is a Bella jumper but that is being undone as
turned out too small and considered it too cruel to put her on a diet.  
I did also crochet a cowl this week,
they are nice speedy projects (not the dog jumper, that's taking too long!)

I've become slightly obsessed with Etsy.
I blame my commute to work as often I get stuck on a coach for hours
and start browsing.
This week's purchase is a handmade project bag 
from the lovely Gilly Makes. 
Perfect for transporting WIPs or even as a lunch bag.
I asked her if she had any fabric with hares and she instantly obliged.  
You can find her Etsy page here.


So what else has been happening?
Still winding up the website, every week there's an offer so please
look out on Facebook for that or subscribe to the newsletter.
Also lots of pre-loved still being added. 

And now for something else.
Ummed and ahhed about talking about this but decided yes, here goes.

I haven't been on Facebook very much recently as I've been somewhat 
bombarded with messages demanding to know what I'm doing.
Yes demanding. 

It is a funny business nowadays with this social media malarkey
and especially in the craft industry.
I guess once you've put yourself in the public eye, share certain areas of your life
people feel they have rights to know what you are doing.  
Anyone else had this experience?

I'm just little ol' me with zero claim to fame and yet it has felt 
very intense over the last month or so.  I feel very sorry for famous people.

Just some of the comments/messages I've received - they state I need to be 'transparent',
I 'owe it to them' and top message this week was from someone saying that 
by my not responding, I am impacting upon their mental health!! 
(Yes, deserves two exclamation marks).

I cannot help but think these people are on a fishing expedition,
they will run back and post details on various Facebook pages and/or
forums because they thrive on gossip. I cannot believe I'm actually 
gossip worthy! 

What I am certain of is that 'these people' expect instant responses so they 
probably won't be reading this.  They will have had to make the effort
of getting through the Bella news and crochet! 

But for you, my friends who take the time to visit and read all my waffle,
I'm happy to tell you the following - I'm up to very little and loving it! 
I'm still working at my city job 2 days a week.
Hope and Chances is closing at the end of the year
(and not reopening as another business - I've been accused of that). 
I am still with Spellbinders, I am not moving to another craft company,
(someone has actually messaged me with details of a company I am moving to!
Total fantasy. 

I'm taking time out, I am enjoying activities with my 
family, seeing friends, trying out new hobbies, 
getting round to all those jobs that have been on hold for years.
And writing this weekly blog post which is a bit of fun,
a diary for me and hopefully a nice chat.

So there you go, it has all been a bit of a kerfuffle
and hoping it will go quiet soon.

This weekend - I'm heading up to London to see
the theatre production of Mary Poppins - very excited about that.
I'll share a review next week.  As for TV - finished Outlander on Prime. 
I was thinking it was the last season only to discover there's another 
one next year.
A bit more 'wee' and 'sasannach' - I think I'll cope! 

Take care friends and hope you can stop by next week.
Have a super weekend.

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