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Sunday, 10 December 2017

If only the snow had waited another 2 weeks we could have had a white Christmas!

We've had a lovely weekend visiting Lincoln Christmas market. 
On Friday morning we woke up to quite a bit of snow and we thought it would take us longer than the estimated 2 hours to get there but when we reached the other side of Birmingham there was no snow to be seen, so we made good time and got to the hotel just after 2pm.  We dropped our bags and drove into town and managed to park the car on the retail park a short walk from the centre.

The hotel was further from the city centre than Booking.com had said (!) so on Saturday morning we caught the bus there and got a taxi back in the evening as we thought it would be busier than the day before.  We browsed the shops in the day and after a late lunch we made our way up to the Christmas market again.  The market is mainly centred around the area of the Cathedral and you make your way up via lovely pretty cobbled streets, very steep streets, in fact one of the streets is called Steep Hill.

I wish I had taken my camera on the Friday as on Saturday there were so many people it was impossible to get any decent photos at all, and also very hard to look at any of the stalls.  If you ever think you might like to visit Lincoln's Christmas Market take my advice and go on the Friday, it's much less stressful.







The wonderful Cathedral



This morning we woke to snow in Lincoln too, so we set off for home as soon as we could, again expecting delays.  The traffic was quite light so we got home safe and sound by just after lunchtime.

The conditions got worse the closer we go to home



I couldn't resist taking some photos as we were near home, everything looked so pretty!



Turning into our estate


And then our road

Then seeing our garden turned into a lovely white wonderland :-)


Looking over the garden fence


 (Below) Two doors away, part of their garden transformed into a magical scene


One of the first things I did once we had got the bags in was make sure the birds had some food.

My little Robin was soon back once he knew there was something :-)


Along with our other regular visitors


Sorry, I do seems to have posted a lot of photos again!

I have tomorrow off work so I'm going try and make the most of it and have a rest after all that walking.

See you soon
-X-

Monday, 4 December 2017

Who doesn't love a pompom or a snowman

All the decorations are up, Alexa was playing Christmas songs for me while I was doing it so i'm officially in the Christmas spirit, how about you, is your tree up? or do you wait a little longer?

Ours will stay up for a month, on New Years Eve I will get up early and all the decorations will be got down, packed away and I will give everywhere a good clean again ready for a fresh start on New Years day.  It makes me feel good to start the new year off with a clean house free of Christmas clutter.

Oliver took his new ornament home last week ready to hang on his tree, he got a snowman this year, Mark says he has scary eyes, what do you think?


I suppose he does, sort of, Oliver thought he was cute anyway.
I've been making Bonnie's ornament up tonight so can't show you that yet, it's currently sitting under a pile of books so that the glue will stick properly to the back and front pieces, I will put the cording on tomorrow.  These ornaments take as long to put together as they do to stitch!

I did finally finished my pompom wreath though,  and i'm just so chuffed with it!


It's big, and I LOVE it!

I have no idea how many pompoms I made in the end, I've been making them on and off for months but I still had to make more when I finally came to attach them.

I used the extra large Clover pompom maker and tried to keep them a bit fluffy so they looked more like snowflakes.

I didn't want to hang it on the front door, I wanted to put it where I can look at it, so it's got centre stage on the TV sitting room fireplace.


You can see better on this photo how big it is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Birthday Celebrations

Saturday was Joanne's 30th birthday.  She is a bit of a sweet fiend so I made her this cake



I think she liked it :-)


We also went for afternoon tea on Sunday, my treat to Joanne and Jenny, (who also has a birthday later in the month)


We came away quite stuffed!

Before I go I wanted to show you something I made earlier in the year, It's a chalkboard made out of an old painting I bought at a charity shop.  I thought of hanging it in the kitchen but it was just left in the garage until I came across it when we were clearing it out in preparation for converting part of the garage into a shower room, (more about that another time, it's almost finished now)

Anyway, I was never very good at drawing but I thought I'd give it a go, this is my second seasonal attempt , and it appears that although my art work wouldn't stand up to close inspection, I can search google and copy a passable image, and it really doesn't matter if it's not perfect, it's supposed to be quirky and fun :-)

So here's my snowman for December


Looking at it now I think maybe I need to add a couple of little houses on those hills.

Below was a joint first attempt by me and Stevie, I did the lettering, leaves and roots, she did the pumpkin.


We are going away on Friday to  visit Lincoln for their Christmas Market.  We are making a weekend of it, the hotel is a couple of miles form Lincoln itself  so close enough to walk if the weather's not bad, if it is we will get a taxi to save hunting for a parking space.  Hopefully I can share lots of Christmassy photos from there in another post.

Until next time

-X-

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Working on the WIP's, and cake, there always has to be cake!

Hello! it's been a few weeks hasn't it.

I wanted to make an effort to finish the WIP's that were starting to multiply and make me feel overwhelmed, and I really don't want to start the new year with a lot of old projects.

So, here are a few things that I managed to get off the needles for Bonnie.




I also finished Oliver's scarf but he took it home before i could get a photo of it.

The WIP basket still has a blanket for the new Grand-baby and the baby nest I was knitting for Bonnie,  I still want to finish this but it's such a lot of moss stitch, I have to be in the mood.

I've also been busy getting ready for Christmas, I've done the majority of my Christmas shopping :-)  I know! how organised am I, lol  Nothing has been wrapped yet but I do want to make a start on that this week, I don't enjoy the wrapping part so I will do a few each evening perhaps while watching a Christmas film :-)

And I opened one of my saving jars at the weekend.  I was a bit reluctant to break it really because it's a pretty jar, but there is no option if you want to get to what is inside, and I was excited to see how much I'd got :-)

Ever since the start of the year I have only shopped for food with cash, not debit card, It really does make you shop better, and cheaper too.  I put £60 in my purse each week on a Friday and whatever was left in there on the following Thursday went into this jar. 


Wow, a nice haul!


Doesn't look quite so impressive in little piles

But, there was £412.50.....I'm very happy with that!

I will take some out to give Jenny and Joanne as they both have birthdays coming up and being close to Christmas they now have money so they can treat themselves.  I haven't really got any plans for the rest as yet.

I'm definitely going to get another jar and do this again next year :-)


Last night was the last meeting of the year for our stitching group and I made a Baileys and malteser  cheesecake and some Christmas spiced cupcakes.

(please excuse the blob of chocolate in the middle, it did not affect the taste!)



Unfortunately the stitching ladies didn't seem to like Baileys or Christmas spiced cupcakes too much :-( 
I've taken what was left into the office and the lads are currently trying to decide what is an appropriate time to dig in, lol

Being December 1st tomorrow our Christmas decorations will come down from the loft so I will have a busy (but nice) afternoon.  Saturday I have some stitching finishing to do, and it is also Joanne's 30th birthday.  Sunday I'm going for afternoon tea with the girls, my treat to celebrate both their birthdays, (Jenny's is on December 22nd), so a busy weekend with a busy week to follow too as I have a few more things going on.

I do want to try and pop back before next weekend and share some Christmas stitching I've been doing, but for now I hope you are all having a lovely time and getting into the Christmas spirit :-)

-X-

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Oh baby, Books!

Where did October go! 

We just seem to be hurtling towards Christmas at an alarming rate don't we, it's really scary how as you get older the months seem to fly by faster.  Remember when you were small, and the year stretched ahead of you and it seemed like forever until Father Christmas would visit, or until your next birthday?  Ha Ha Ha, the joys of getting old(er).

We had two birthday celebrations in October, Oliver turned five, five!!  (those five years went by far to fast!!), and Mark's birthday was last weekend, which we celebrated in London, as we have done for the past couple of years.

I've read / listened to quite a few books in October.  Mark bought me the new Kindle Fire 8, the one with Alexa, a few weeks ago, the sound had gone on my other Kindle Fire, and to be honest I do prefer the feel of a real book in my hands, but seeing as I'd got a new gadget I took advantage of the free months trial of Audible and Kindle Unlimited, and I have to say that I've become a bit addicted to listening to audio books.  
I do have to wear headphones otherwise I find I get distracted, and the narration on some is not the best, (accents and female voices are sometimes particularly bad!) But on the whole i'm enjoying it, I don't watch a lot of TV so this is keeping me entertained while i'm knitting, or whatever.

I know there was a bit of hype when this one came out which I didn't get to be honest, it was ok but had I been reading rather than listening I don't think I would have finished it


Mark Edwards writes a good psychological thriller.  I enjoyed this one, (although the narration, 
by Napoleon Ryan was a bit strange in places, his female voice and Leeds accent were awful!)

Mark Edwards also wrote The Magpies, which is really good

I've read a couple of Amanda Prowse, they usually jog along quite well.

This one was read by Amanda Prowse herself,  I have to say she did a terrible job, (sorry Amanda) her voice was quite depressing and made the main character come across as weak and pathetic, but, again, I did enjoy the book despite that.

I should imagine it's quite hard work narrating a book, so perhaps i'm being a little too judgmental, and they are just my opinions, you may feel differently.


The next two books I 'borrowed' from Kindle Unlimited

I've never read any Paul Pilkington before, but this was good.

Matt is trying to rebuild his life following the breakdown of a long-term relationship. The most important thing to him now is to be with his son, Charlie. But when Matt gets a sinister warning from a mysterious stranger, it sends chills up his spine. Then Charlie vanishes during a trip to the local pool, and it suddenly becomes clear that something is terribly wrong.
Desperate to protect his loved ones, Matt goes looking for answers. Who’s after them? And why? Matt finds himself caught up in a web of lies that leaves him questioning everything he once trusted.
Can he get to the truth before it’s too late?  (Blurb taken from Amazon)


The Mangle Street Murders (The Gower Street Detective Series) is the first of a series of  4 books (so far as I can see).   
If you like Sherlock Holmes you might enjoy these, or if you are a really huge Sherlock fan they might annoy you, lol, they are sort of a poor mans Sherlock I suppose, Sidney playing Sherlock and his side kick is his ward, March.  I'm almost at the end of this one have downloaded the others via Kindle Unlimited 


I'm tempted to keep Kindle Unlimited, well, for another month or so at least because a lot of the books have the option to switch between reading and narration, it's £7.99 a month, so the price of a book really, I'd be interested to hear if you have tried it and what you thought, did you think it was worth it?

To finish the month of October off nicely I'm going to our annual Halloween meet -up at the Nimble Thimble this weekend.  Really looking forward to seeing everyone again and a day of stitching and perhaps a few new purchases ;-)  
I'm making a weekend of it, so also looking forward to a little 'me' time too :-)

Tonight Is our monthly stitching get together, and I actually have some stitching to take with me this month, (shock horror), It's a Christmas gift for someone small and cute and I'll show you more next time.

Talking of small cuteness, my eldest daughter, Jenny is expecting again, so Oliver will be getting a new little brother or sister in early April and we are so happy to be welcoming another Grandbaby :-)

So my knitting needles are still clacking away, lol and I'll show more of that next time too.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your October
Until next time

-X-

Sunday, 1 October 2017

A bit of stitching has been happening, Halloween Ornament Exchange

A bunch of us who meet up at the Nimble Thimble for stitching days have a small FB group and Tracy recently organised a Halloween ornament exchange.  We were to stitch an ornament and include a chart and some sweets/chocolate in our parcel too.

My recipient was Michelle, aka Mouse :-) 

I found a designer, Good Flora Stitchwort on etsy, (she has some lovely charts, go take a look),
I chose Bubble Bubble and finished it as a little wall hanging.


I found a little pack of Halloween buttons perfect for holding the hanging ribbon


Here's the whole exchange I sent, luckily Michelle didn't already have the chart I included


My package came from Chris, (I don't think Chris has a blog)

A cute little pumpkin ornie.  My grandson, Oliver is mad about Halloween things and wanted to claim it for his Halloween tree, lol


Love the chart she included too


This weekend has been quite a busy one, It was my book club meeting on Saturday morning and later I went with Joanne to have high tea at a local garden centre.  It was a lovely treat, lovely to just sit and take our time.  Today was the annual Scarecrow festival in Belbroughton and I went with the girls again.  We started the day with breakfast at another garden centre before going into Belbroughton.  The weather was quite dull and dreary today but at least the rain kept off until we were ready to make our way home.

There didn't seem to be as much effort put in by the residents this year, in fact it was quite
disappointing to be honest, the theme was Fables and Fairy Tales, plenty of choice as to what to
make, you would think, but we counted at least 3 Humpty Dumpty's, 3 Tortoise and The Hare,
and about 4 Little Red Riding Hood .

I thought these were the best efforts


This one was brilliant, a lot of work has gone into making these


And this giant Gingerbread Man :-)


I've been flitting between various WIP's this week, nothing finished except for this little pair of shoes


I came across the pattern on line and just had to knit them right away :-) 

They worked up really quickly, I knit both of them in a couple of hours

I do need to get a move on and finish some of the things I've got on the go at the moment, because I want to make a start on Bonnie's birth sampler this month  so that It can be finished and framed ready for Christmas.

So many lovely things to make, so little time, lol

I hope you all have a lovely crafty time till next week

-X-

Friday, 22 September 2017

A London Weekend, Kensington and Brick Lane

I'm back with a long overdue post of our London weekend, I have no idea where the time went in between then and now, only that I have been busy with one thing and another and the opportunity to blog seemed to keep passing me by.

The weekend was fabulous, we saw and did lots of things that were new to us including a walk through Hyde Park, the Serpentine, a walk through Kensington Park and the Diana Fountain, (not what I expected), but as you will see the weather was beautiful and there were lots of people making the most of the sunshine and children splashing about in the water so it was all good.

Unfortunately the people who organise the walking tours had cancelled the one the girls bought us which was a shame, we were both looking forward to it, the reason they gave was the recent events in London, (the incidents on Westminster bridge and the one outside Parliament).  The tour would have taken in much of this area so for this year at least they made the decision to cancel that particular tour.  Hopefully we will be able to transfer the voucher to another tour at a future date.

As we had now got more time on the Sunday we decided to visit Brick Lane again.  We have already been several times to Brick Lane and absolutely love it.  The atmosphere is fantastic, as is the food :-)  It is also a great place to pick up vintage things, clothes, records and things for the home, which Mark calls tat , but I love :-)  Even if you don't buy anything it's still worth going just for the atmosphere alone.

I'll stop rabbiting on now and leave you with some, (ok, a lot) of photos from our weekend, I hope you enjoy looking :-)
















Princess Diana fountain 



The Serpentine, Hyde Park





Street art








See you soon
-X-