Friday 28 February 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

I think I may get an extreme rambling award for this week's Friday Chat Day!
Let the chatter begin...

Firstly, have you got snow?
We were threatened with some, it was certainly chilly at my coach commuter stop
yesterday but all we got was 'snowy rain' –
yes that is how my Amazon Echo described it, I'm pretty certain snowy rain is sleet?
I'm fortunate in that where I wait for my commuter coach it is fairly sheltered,
and the coach itself has started off a mile or so away so it is like a little oven once I board.
I then attempt to distract myself by listening to music or an audio book
(truthfully people watching).
I try not to acknowledge that we are doing only 5mph along the A2 and
approaching the Blackwall Tunnel.
You would think I would be used to the commute having worked in London
and commuted for 30+ years. is the view from the coach stop, my weekly photo for Instagram.

Grombre – have you heard of it?  
Just in case you don't know (like I didn't until recently) -  
it is women dedicated to celebrating the 
natural phenomenon of grey/silver/white hair.  
In other words – ditching the dye and going grey.  

I've been colouring my hair for quite some time and find it an absolute chore 
but am I brave enough to stop?   
My family say no, it will 'age me' but I see so many women 
with beautiful grey hair.  
And there's also that period of time when you are growing out the colour – 
how do you deal with that?  
Putting it out there for a discussion so please comment, 
I'm rather intrigued by this. 

In other news...
this week brought about a spring clean in Elliott's bedroom 
I actually called it a fumigation. 
Honestly boys/men are not the cleanest and tidiest in their rooms! 
For quite a few years I've tried to step back and not enter their rooms, 
just hand them clean bedding on a regular basis but 
when I realised he couldn't see out of his window, action had to be taken.  
My mother instincts kicked in along with a bottle of Elbow Grease and a can of Pledge!

With the fumigation complete I realised we would need to do a trip to Ikea…
on a Sunday!!  
[Sharp intake of breath please].   
I swore to never go on a Sunday but storage units were needed to finish 
off his room and, with him working all week, we had little choice.  
I've never got through that tunnel, around Ikea and over the bridge back home so quickly, 
I was determined – I really don't like crowds!  
Thankfully Mitchell is a dab hand at putting together flat packs so by 
Sunday night his room was complete and sparkly clean.  
He was very pleased but drew the line when I suggested a 
few wax melts and a nice lavender reed diffuser – oh well, I can but try!  

Crochet – 
This week I was kindly tagged on Facebook by a few charities 
that organise hand knitted/crocheted items for baby units within hospitals.   
(If you are interested, please check out Warm Baby Project on Facebook).
Well this was music to my ears.
When I first foraged into the world of crochet I rushed out and bought yarn…
lots of yarn…
yarn type...I am now questioning why!  
Just like starting out in papercraft, you get caught up in the 
initial wave of enthusiasm and feel an absolute need to buy 
peel offs, wooden stamps and stickers that you find in a drawer ten years later.  
I digress.  
Enthused with this opportunity to use up yarn and donate, 
I'm now making many plain double crochet incubator blankets.  
Oh this is such good telly crochet!

 [Yarn pictured is Poundland Rainbow DK - 3 for 2].

Also this week I've been in my cabin putting the finishing touches to the March Charity Kit. 
Excited about this one as it uses a Spellbinders Kit of the Month die,
not readily available in the UK so a chance for you all to try something new.
Please look out on Sunday for the blog post.  I'll also pop it on Facebook. 
Each month I've been making more kits as the demand has increased, 
so delighted by this. 
For March the chosen charity is British Heart Foundation.  

And finally it wouldn't be a chatty blog post if I didn't mention the pooch.
Bella after a day at Nanny and Grandad's house.

Take care friends, have a super weekend, keep warm and
please stop by on Sunday.

Friday 21 February 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Welcome to another Friday Chat Day.
All good with you?
Hope your week is treating you well.

I've had my own little film festival this week,
two trips to the cinema.
Rather rare but suddenly I realised that films I wanted to see
were due to leave the cinema soon.
I then discovered it was half term so we battled through the 
little ones queuing to see Dolittle!

Tuesday, taking Mum to see Emma:

Pure escapism into a time of eloquence and impeccable manners.
Beautiful costumes and super curly ringlets.

Wednesday, taking Dad to see 1917:

Gritty, emotional, thought provoking, breath-taking cinematography 
and definitely not a ringlet in sight!
Certain films are so worthy of seeing on a big screen and this is 
one of them and I resisted popcorn - win win!

Also this week I've been in my cabin working on the Charity Kit for March.
I'm really looking forward to this one as I'm using a set of 
Spellbinders Kit dies.
These are not readily available in the UK so
hopefully bringing you something new. 
The nominated charity for March is British Heart Foundation.
Kits go on sale first Sunday of the month - which is actually 1st March.

Writing - I've finally knuckled down and made a reasonable start.
As mentioned a few weeks back I'm working on a few
ideas including 'cosy crime'.

Overheard in my house whilst drafting/researching a plot:
"how do you think it feels to be hit over the head with a bottle?" 
Good job my boys know what I'm doing.

In light of my film fest and writing I've done very little crochet this week -
I managed to do a few rows of my Hydrangea Blanket -
a kit from Attic 24.
It has reached the size of keeping both Bella and my lap warm.

This 'look' happens each time I turn it over to start a new row,
she really likes being snuggled under it.
According to my Instagram I started crocheting last April,
that's been quite a lot of blankets!

Weekend - hopefully no more storms - Dennis revealed
a leak in my lounge wall which is nothing compared to what
some people are having to endure.
Those in other counties are really having a tough time and truly bad news
for crops.  I noticed on my potato packaging this week that the 
potatoes were misshapen, 'ugly spuds'.

Tesco are thankfully applying these blue stickers to encourage shoppers
to buy - this will assist the farmers who have been hit by floods not just this year 
but previously. To be honest I'm happy with ugly fruit and veg any time,
who needs a perfectly formed Maris Piper? 

My garden is a little battered but paving is still looking a lot cleaner.
Bulbs are sprouting which is lovely, itching to get out there and smarten 
things up ready for Spring. 

Oh yes, just a reminder birdhouses still available for your
feathered friends - they are all looking for new homes right now.
The birdhouse on the side of my cabin has had lots of viewings.
I think they must be negotiating who is taking up residency. 
Please take a peek on Etsy here.

 And I think that wraps up my week.
Take care friends - 
hope you all have a very enjoyable weekend.

Friday 14 February 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Happy Friday and Happy Valentine's Day! 
Hope you all survived the storm and did not suffer any damage.
We were very lucky, just a little bit of trellis that came adrift
but I feel for those badly affected.
And the snow up north - brhhhh.

So...Valentine's Day -
previous years have seen me making many cards to 
celebrate the day of love but over the last couple of weeks 
my phone has been buzzing with Pinterest notifications and 
it appears this one is the most popular.
Made by die cutting and sanding foil card it was actually
a pretty quick make.

I'll let you into a little secret, each time I look at it this card
I feel there should be an extra cog near the top right,
funny how we can be critical of our own work.

And talking of being critical of work...
I've started a little project, a cosy crochet jumper for Bella.
As you can see, she's very impressed with first fitting! 

The crochet addiction continues and this week I took part in a CAL -
(Crochet Along) run by a lady on Instagram to make this snood/cowl.
Possibly the fastest bit of crochet I've done to date.

It consists of 18 squares and previously I wasn't keen on squares
but they are growing on me and it is a great way to use up yarn.
I showed the boys and they appreciated it wasn't a blanket for a change.

All in all a bit of a quiet week this week.
I've been catching up with friends and when asked what I'm doing
my reply, albeit a contradiciton in terms, is:
'I'm in a happy rut'.
And that truly sums it up.
Whilst the weather is bad but the telly is terrific
I'm enjoying home-time.
 I'm not sitting on my bum crocheting all the time,
I've been trying a time allocation method, you set a fixed amount
of time for certain chores. It sort of works -
only allowing fifteen minutes to scrub the oven is more than enough!

Instead of saying I need to clean all the windows,
you set say, twenty minutes for window cleaning and do one each day.
It is suiting me but I can appreciate it may not work for everyone.

And I'm still trekking up to London - it has been pretty dark and grey
on commuter days but thankfully lighter mornings ahead.
Another snap from my commuter coach stop,
if you follow me on Instagram I take a photo
every Thursday morning from the same spot.
Had an idea of putting them in a collage to track the seasons -
must allocate time to that!

Terrific Telly?
Lastest viewing:
White House Farm - ITV
The Stranger - Netflix

Both gripping - the crochet hook had sparks coming off it!

Wishing you all a lovely Friday and a super weekend.
Thanks for stopping by, I realise my blog is quite different
nowadays compared to card marking.

Take care friends.

Friday 7 February 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Welcome to Friday Chat Day and hope you are well.
Last Sunday was Charity Kit Day and it was a speedy 
sell out again - thank you to all those who purchased.
I had made extra, looks like I'll be increasing that number 
again for the March kit. I'm so pleased they are popular and we
are all doing our bit for our various chosen charities.

The pillow box included in this month kit is now available
in multi-packs, listed under 'Boxes' at the top of the blog.
With just a little decoration they can look very smart.

As a family we've done a few trips to London this week.
We celebrated Mitchell's birthday with a nice lunch in Covent Garden -
the waiter surprised him with a cake and candle.
That look says 'don't you dare sing Happy Birthday!' -
he's quite a shy lad! 

A wander around Chinatown.
I captured this photo of my boys chatting together or
as Elliott pointed out, walking away from me!

Our trip to Chinatown was specifically for fish cakes.
Not the breaded ones from the chippy but these...

They are sweet with fillings but most popular are the ones filled
with a custard.  You can see them being made all around
Chinatown, shops with their window open displaying the clever machine.

Best served: warm and eaten from a paper bag - truly scrumptious.

A second trip to London on Wednesday.
The weather was a perfect Winter's day - bright and cold.
Trafalgar Square. 

I've never stepped foot inside this pub but adore its Tudor-ism.

And this is why we were back in London...

Elliott and I are huge Harry Potter fans,
the films and books got us through many difficult years when
Elliott was unwell.  We've been waiting to see this theatre production
for a long time and finally many months ago 
I was able to get some very cheap tickets. 

(If you are not HP fans you may want to skip the next few paragraphs!)

The production is in two parts so we were there for the matinee and 
returning in the evening for part 2.
The seats were up in the gods but that was what we expected (cheap seats).
We set off for the day, had a lovely lunch and settled down
for the first part of the performance although slightly fearing if we leaned 
forward it would be like falling off the north face of the Eiger.
But... something we wasn't prepared for, we didn't like it!  

At the first interval we looked at each other incredulously.
We were stunned at how badly the characters were portrayed,
if you love Harry - you would hate him after watching this.
We think the Director told everyone to scream and whine their lines,
it truly hurt your ears.
The story is poor and involves time travel - a tricky thing to pull off and sadly
it doesn't. For two HP addicts we just kept shaking our heads.

There was magic and some of it cleverly done, but on the 
whole there was an awful lot of cloak swishing and pointless dancing.
The props were mainly suitcases and two staircases 
continuously wheeled around the stage and don't even get me started on the 
Sorting Hat!

So you can probably tell we were not happy so we decided we wouldn't
waste our time and go back for the second part in the evening.
We were on the train and back home to Bella.
Never in a million years did we think that would happen
and we are very relieved that we hadn't paid a lot for our tickets.
Theatre review over! 

Now an update you've all been waiting for...(ha ha)
did Patio Magic work?
Oh my goodness YES it did! 
Just days after spraying this paved area (and after a good downpour)
it is so much cleaner.
I've sprayed the paving at the front of my house now
and Mum and Dad have been convinced too.
I feel a bit silly getting excited about this but it is so satisfying 
to find products that actually do what they promise.

And finally a little memory to share.
This was the Hope and Chances' shop 6 years ago today.
Made me smile to see Grand Caliburs.

And that's it for this week.
I've got a quiet weekend planned, some crochet will be done I'm sure.
Next week - in the cabin, working on writing and the March Charity Kit.

Have a lovely weekend and let's hope for just a smidgen of rain 
to help clean those patios! 

Take care friends.

Sunday 2 February 2020

Charity Kit - February 2020

Hello friends

Happy Sunday, happy February and
happy Charity Kit Day!
In light of how fast the kits sold in January I've made some extra this month,
that said I still recommend some speedy clicking :)

I received some fantastic feedback from the kits last month.
The kits have proved popular to take along to craft groups, 
giving to friends who are just starting out in craft
as well as those who are craft veterans.

Each month a donation will be made to a different charity,
and this month truly delighted to be supporting Wires
An amazing charity based in New South Wales
that is working tirelessly to help rescue and care for the animals in 
the recent fires.

To keep track of charities there's the tab at the top of blog 
here with lots more kit info.

Now how about this month's kit...
I've gone for a project this month and it is a sticky note holder,
perfect for your desk, by the phone, as a gift.

What's included in your kit:

Ivory hammered die cuts - Note Holder, flowers x 7 and leaves x 2
Patterned paper (please note pattern may vary, all Anna Griffin designs)
A pack of sticky notes
Full instructions
Bonus items: 
Another set of die cuts to make an additional Note Holder in purple/lilac,
(I thought it would be nice to have two)
Pillow Box die cuts

This month's bonus gift box is Pillow Box.
You can, if you wish, match this to the project or keep for later.
It is also possible to purchase more gift boxes - please see Boxes tab at top of blog.

The kits are packed in a cello bag and in a 'do not bend' envelope so they
arrive in pristine condition.
To make up the kits you just need a basic craft kit including 
adhesives, scissors, inks/pens, pearls and gems.
Everything else is pre-cut and included.

The kit cost is £6.25 - a very slight increase this month
due to a pack of sticky notes being included.

Payment is via the PayPal link below and it is inclusive of 
UK postage and packing.
If you wish to purchase but would prefer not to use PayPal, 
please email me:  
I'm happy to help with alternative payment arrangements.

Here's the link and it is possible to purchase multiple kits,
there's an option for that too.


Also, printed instructions are included with each kit but
if you would like a copy to download as a PDF to view/print at home
please click here.

It remains for me to say lots of thanks for your support
and I hope you like this month's kit.

Take care friends, have a super Sunday.

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