Made from scrap

Made from scrap
All's well


Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

July Photo Collage

"Fairest of the months! 
Ripe summer's queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear."
-  R. Combe Miller

Monday, 30 July 2012

Living Off The Fat 'O' The Land!

Today has not been a typical July 30th.  I know this because it is my Mom's 'Happy To You'.  Amazingly she is 21 again and when the children ask her age she says 'I am as old as my tongue and a little bit older than my teeth'.  It has been a mixed day weather wise, heavy showers and warm sunshine.  My Mom was apparently born at night in a thunder storm.  We went to see her for lunch and Euan presented her with chocolates and Henry presented her with beautiful Yellow Roses.  I got her a Peg Loom and will have to help her to warp it asap.  I also collected my Aunt and her little dog, Daisy to come and have lunch.  It was a nice little get together.
               In the afternoon I finally got to work in the garden.  Weeding.  Forget everything I said in This Post when I was singing the praises of nettles.  When they are strangling my peas and beans they become the enemy!  Common all garden 'Stingers'.  Not a nice job weeding them out of the one raised bed they are determined to take over.  I donned gloves and had nasty thoughts.  I was rewarded for my nasty thoughts by pulling a large nettle and it flew out of the ground into my face, stinging me on the end of my nose and my cheek!  Youch!  War on all nettles from now on!!!  I thought there was nothing to harvest from the garden yet but I had some accidental finds.  I pulled a whole pea plant by mistake, that was disappointing.  I found the first 'runner' beans and some nice round courgettes.  Oh I nearly forgot I pulled this little potato by accident too.  Oh yes...we have rich pickings here.  The fruits of my labour.  High living indeed.
                I am trying hard to be less wasteful with food.  I have a nice little stash of eggs so I decided to make a famous Weight Watcher's Crustless Quiche (or two).  Pre Weight Watchers a Quiche had a nice crisp, buttery, pastry crust, now I am destined to be eating quiche of the 'crustless' variety for the forseable.  (Tut, 'crustless' I ask ya)!
Quiche also used to be packed with cheese if the nice full fat, cheddary kind.  Now it has 'Low Fat Cottage Cheese'.  I suppose cheese is cheese and a gal has to be grateful!  I finely chopped all of my Bountiful Harvest, adding onions and a red pepper, frying them gently in a tsp of Olive oil.  A teaspoon of Olive Oil!  I remember the good old days when Olive Oil was used in glugs too.  They I beat six eggs with 300g of Cottage Cheese and poured it into 'Victoria Sandwich' tins, with the vegetables.  Then I baked in a medium/hot oven until they looked like this.  They are good cold and keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.  Now I have no excuse, they are ready made 'Low Fat' lunches!
This photograph proves it slices like a 'Quiche'.
This photograph also proves it slices like a 'Quiche' and it gives me the chance to show you my favourite plate in the whole world.
I bought it for Euan when he was a baby.  Now he is a 'big' boy, I have inherited it.  Hoorah!
This range of 'Baby' items were sold by Sainsbury's and they were created using original designs drawn by John Lennon for his son Sean.   There is something so simple and happy about these little pictures.  Euan had several items and a cuddly elephant but somehow the plate is all we have left.  I love the birdies.
If they made 'John Lennon' wall paper I would get decorating my living room!  I could live with Happy Elephants and puzzled Birdies everywhere.  Yep, in all, today has been another day in Paradise!  xxx

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Post Holibob Post

Wow, blue sky.  After the deluge of rain this Summer our journey to Somerset 'Land of the Summer People' culminated in the discovery of blue sky and hot sunshine.  Our destination was Dunster Beach.  It was a journey of nostalgia and familiarity for me.  Every year my family had a tradition of going to Dunster Beach for their annual holiday.  Long before I was even thought of.  My grandparents and Aunts and Uncles would have 'chalets' each and holiday together.  Then as a child every year it was the destination of our annual one week Summer Holiday.  Every year I would be so excited to get there and the three hour journey seemed like an eternity.  The week meant freedom, fresh air, the seaside and making holiday friends.  One year eleven members of my family booked the same week and then three more came to join us.  They were happy times.  Digging sand castles, flying kites, collecting shells, skimming stones, playing 'French Cricket on the beach, games on the putting green and lots of other activities.  I was always very sad to be going home and would often sob in the back seat of the car.  I have taken my boys on some crazy 'adventures' but never to Dunster Beach.  This year it had to be done.  We were blessed with glorious Summer weather for the entire week.
It made one dog very happy.  She made it her mission to clear the beach of 'Birdies', she enjoyed chasing the gulls and water waders.
It also made two boys very happy (for most of the time)!  They enjoyed the sea and sand.
Every year 'hole' digging took up a large proportion of our time as children.  It had to be done this year.  One morning at about 7.30am, Euan and I set to work on our 'Fort'.  I still have the blister to show for it!  He went and got his brother out of bed at about 8.30 to come and join us.  We had a fort with a moat and were all ready to do battle and defend our fort when the tide came in.  Ahem, their was just one problem. . .we waited and waited and shrieked and shouted as the tide got closer and closer.  It filled a channel that lead to our moat and then. . . epic fail on my behalf. . . the tide turned and went out again!  Doh!  It came so near yet so far to our fort!  I needed my brother who is the 'Dunster Beach Hole Digging Expert'.
This was the view out of the back of our chalet.  I am a little disappointed in myself for not taking more photographs, but I have had bad experiences with sand and cameras in the past so I did not carry my camera with me much.  Just over the fence is a lovely lake and we had ducks, coots and geese parading past our chalet daily and providing much entertainment for myself.  Coots are hilarious and quite like chickens in their manner.  The lake is teeming with fish, carp and trout.  There are some ancient whoppers and hundreds of young fish.  Fish feeding and duck feeding has always been a big part of my 'Dunster' holidays.  I was worried I would drop my camera in the lake so I didn't take the camera fish feeding either.  My parents had a chalet too, far enough away to get some respite from us!  One evening me and my Mom were fish feeding while my Dad was with the boys, we were lucky enough to spot a Kingfisher twice.  That was a treat.
Also right outside the chalet were clumps of 'Evening Primrose'.  They stay closed during the day and open up at night.  I was up early every morning thanks to my 'sofa bed' so I managed to snap these before they closed.  The boys slept in bunk beds as the chalets are rather small, Henry had the top bunk that had a dodgey broken ladder. . . he offered to swap beds with me to relieve me of my solid sofa bed, very chivalrous of him but I have more chance of moving a mountain than mounting a top bunk with a dodgey ladder.  After camping and Yurting I found a chalet pretty luxurious, we had running water, electricity, a cooker and a loo!  There was even a TV which I had to switch off and police to insist the boys went and found other things to do.  Now I hate to complain. . .but. . . it was awfully bloomin hot!  Every day it was boiling and us redheads do not fair well in scorching sun, even with our factor 50 suncream.  There was nothing to be done but give in during the day and just chill out around the beach and chalet, it was much too hot for day trips with a large black dog.  It would have been dreadful to travel with her in the car.  She is a good dog and likes the car but not in the heat.  It was a relaxing, non eventful week of mucking about.  I did take the boys to the 'Arcades' a couple of times and Euan has to be the luckiest, jammiest person in arcades.

He actually wins and comes out with more than he went in with.  Henry takes after his mother and blows his money and has nothing to show for it!

I had forgotten how much fun 'Air Hockey' is and when playing my sixteen year old I am actually pretty competitive!  He won though!
              I am dreading Weight Watchers weigh in.  I had to have Cream Teas, yep plural, I had to have fish and chips's, yep plural, I had a delicious 'Ploughman's Lunch' with pickles and huge chunks of Somerset cheese and bread. . .in fact I am thinking of retraining as a Ploughman just for the lunches!  I also had to have an ice cream. . . yep I was good I had just the one!   I had a fantabulous time, so much so I want to book again and pay my deposit for next year!
               The chickens were delighted to see me.  They were two eggs each day that I was away.  Then on my return there has been three eggs a day again!  My partner also had to have the TV on for the old Budgie while we were away as he was quiet and lonely.  He kept trying to talk to my partner in the evening but I know my partner would not have chatted back as much as I do!   Maybe I should consider a 'travel cage' for next time and the budgie can come on his holibobs too?  The garden is in need of much attention and today I noticed that our large freezer had somehow got turned off while we were away.  It was full and everything was ruined!  Gah!  Never mind I will have to get creative and get it full again.  I did manage some crochet while we were away but it is not very worthy of a show and tell just yet.  I am glad to be back, with the washing machine on overtime, the internet. . . Blogland. . . my bed. . . and my feathered buddies.  Home Sweet Home!   

Friday, 20 July 2012

Oh I do Like to be...

I am missing my chickens already and I have not left yet!  They have stopped laying twice when I have gone away in the past.  Poor girlies, I am top of the pecking order, their 'Chicken Moma'.  But 'I do like to be beside the seaside'!  See you soon xxx

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Magic Wands

I have blogged about 'Lavender Wands' before and also included a tutorial   Here:    'Lavender Wands - The Scent of The Summer'.  My Grandmother used to make 'Lavender Wands' and donate them for church fundraising sales.  She also used to find me pretty cotton fabric and lace to make little 'Lavender Bags'.  We have always had lavender growing in the garden, but never enough of it in my opinion.  Lavender Oil is a staple in our house, we use lots of it.  It is lovely at bedtime, I like it sprinkled onto my pillow, Euan likes it rubbed on his feet at bedtime.  A few drops is also very relaxing sprinkled into the bath.  The old Lavender Bush, that broke my fall the other night is a cutting I took from my Grandmother's house.  My grandmother lived in the house for 52 years.  They bought a house in Birmingham but then there was the War.  They got bombed out and could never afford to buy a house again, they had to rent.  When my Grandmother got ill and was hospitalised we had to give up her tenancy on the house.   I applied for tenancy with my brother and my then husband and we got it.  We moved in and it felt like truly being 'home'.  A couple of times I was able to bring my Grandmother to the house and and make her favourite lunch...'Grilled Trout Stuffed with Prawns'.  She found it quite emotional and tiring to be at the house but she was delighted it was still in our family.  There were so many happy, family memories there.  When she passed in 1997 the funeral left from the house and it felt right to everyone.
             The house was owned by a church.  In 2003, after we had lived there for about eight years I was given three months notice that the house was going to be sold.  Previously I was told by the Landlords it would never be sold and I could stay as long as I wanted.  So it came as quite a shock.  Now I have learned 'Never say never'.  We went to the auction and between us raised a lot of 'readies'...we lost it at auction for £1000 more than we could afford to bid!  It was tragic!  I shed many a tear.  I made a vow there and then to move out as soon as possible as I did not want to pay the new owners a penny!  I got my wish and we moved here, to the house we are in now.  The old house was empty for a good few months.  My grandmother would say 'it is not the bricks and mortar that make a is the people in it!'  She actually would probably be more specific and say it was the 'Mother's job to make the home'!  I was sad about leaving the garden but managed to bring some of the most loved plants with me.  The Lavender struggled but after two or three years it took and now thrives. . . albeit in an awkward place!  It has totally obscured our garden path . . . lucky for me though, as it broke my fall the other night giving off a burst of Lavender scent as I squished it!   My other 'rescued' flowers thrive too.  They are a couple of weeks away from full bloom.  You see there is a lot of 'Magic' woven in to these wands.  I like to make some each year. 

Monday, 16 July 2012

Tour De Fleece Update

I did get a little bit left behind in 'The Tour' but I have tried and I am back in the saddle.  I am not quite 'Yellow Jersey' material but I am still having fun sticking along for the ride.  I have finished spinning and plying  'Mars - The Red Planet'.  It was yucky experimentally dyed Merino.  It was orrible to spin.  I was glad to get to the end of it.  It will eventually be crocheted into a planet the size of a golf ball and I am sure it will crunch on the hook!  Yuk! The uneven spin should add some texture to the surface of the planet.  Eh, eh, how about that for textile artiste's 'Poetic Licence'?   My 'mistakes are passed off as intentional creativity!  This young man was very interested in my wheel and 'Navajo Ply':
I carried on regardless, as it is not easy to 'stop' Navajo Plying...mid spin.  This handsome, hairy beast gave me a few kisses of encouragement.  Full smackers on my face!  Beautiful.  My own dog, 'The Lovely Lacey' seemed to get the sulks when Gandalf arrived yesterday.  They are great buddies but they do not engage in any crazy play or displays of affection. . . they are happy to ignore each other.  Lacey loves my spinning wheel and will sleep with her head on the base of it while I spin, she also knows how to deliberately stop the wheel if she has something important to 'say' or she wants some attention.  She is also good at nudging my crochet hook or knitting needles to get attention.  My favourite skeins seem to be her favourite skeins too and we find them in the kitchen in her bed, untangled in the hall or sometimes in the garden!  She loves Alpaca and raw stinky fleece is a big treat.  The joys of pets.  I have just been to put the chickens to bed but they have given me the run around too, I think it is their way of telling me it is not quite bedtime.  Usually they waddle up to bed dutifully like reluctant children.
                Now I have finished 'Mars'  I really needed a treat to spin.  Here is my latest on the Bobbin:
I thought about blending the Silk with Merino, but then decided to spin 100% silk.  It is rather lovely but quite different to spinning fleece.  I have to make sure my hands are kept nice a smooth with hand lotion for this to work.  Tussah silk is silk made by wild silk worms as opposed to Mulberry Silk.  Mulberry silk is from worms fed exclusively on Mulberry leaves and it produces the whitest silk.  I like this 'off' white Tussah silk. . . I think it will make a very good 'Moon'.  Silk has a cellular structure made up of prisms, which is why it has a wonderful iridescent sheen, perfect for moonlight.  It feels very luxurious, especially after 'Mars'.
                  Five more sleeps before I pack my tiny car to the gunnels with two stroppy kids and one large dog to drive down the Motorway for 3 hours to get on our holibobs!  Ooooh I can't wait!  It will be great when we get there, it is just getting there that is the problem.  At least we are not camping as the weather is still shocking.  Henry wants to take his guitar and I want to take my wheel!  Something is going to have to give!  I have offered to buy Henry a Ukulele!  I may have to pack my Spindle!  My spindle and I do not see 'eye to eye'.  My favourite 'Spinning Shop' just happens to be 'en route', about two hours into the journey and only five minutes from the Motorway.  I do not know if I dare get off the Motorway though as it will be very busy on Saturday as it is the start of the 'Summer Hols' for most of the country and everyone seems to want to head south for the last week of July and the first week of August.  I am planning to leave at the crack of dawn!   Poor Euan has to travel in the back seat with the dog and he also usually has to sit on mounds of stuff, I also pack things around him at the last minute!   You get the picture, I do not travel light!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Little Dogs and Birthday Boy

Here is the cake!  It was very smokey after the candles were blown out with one puff!

Here is the lovely 'Mr G'. I am his Auntie Luce.  This is Gandalf and he really is incredibly cute, even though he is so big he could wear a saddle.  He is a Deer Hound.

He likes his Nanny to get him a biscuit when he arrives.  My boys love him.

Here is the Birthday boy, we enjoyed a Sunday Lunch at my Mom's where she cooked the 'Lamb Chops' he requested.  He is having a happy day!  

Saturday, 14 July 2012

St Swithin's Day - Birthday Boy

This has to be my favourite photograph of my St Swithin's Day boy.  Bless him.  I have seen that cheeky look a million times.  This photograph was taken at Roll Right Stones we used to go there a lot.  I must try to go again this summer.  There is an ancient stone circle and two lots of standing stones.  We love the energy up there, very mysterious.  I am sorry for the quality of the picture here, I tried hard to get it to go nice but it wouldn't!  
              15th July, St Swithins Day is Henry's Birthday, tomorrow he will be sixteen.  I really do not know where the time has gone, but really this child has been a pleasure (most of the time).  He is great and feels like a soul mate to me.  He is a very special boy.  Sadly I miscarried my first 'baby' on the 15th July 1995, I was between 12-15 weeks pregnant.  It is a very sad time for any family.  This little man arrived a year to the day later and went a long way to taking the heartache and sadness away.  I see him and his timely arrival as a gift from the universe.  A very special coincidence to be born on that day.  
              Tomorrow we will be going to my parents for lunch, Henry has already requested what he would like his Nan to cook, then one of his buddies will come round in the evening.  We do not go crazy for big celebrations really.  Henry's needs are fairly simple, Marvel Zombie Books and X box games and he is happy.  Henry was 5 days from being 8 years old when his brother was born, so he had been an only child for years.  He told me one night he looked out of his bedroom window and he wished upon a star for a brother.  He believes his wish was granted.  Many a time he has said to me 'Mom, why did I wish on that star?'  'I should never have wished on that star!'  In reality though even with the age gap, Henry and Euan are the best of buddies, real partners in crime.  Brotherly love.  Often Euan is the more sensible of the two and he keeps Henry in line! 
                My Dad has suggested we have had St Swithin's Day Rain before St Swithin's Day this year, because legend has it if it rains tomorrow it will rain for forty days!  Please. . . no more. . . we have had quite enough rain already.  The garden is like a wet sponge.  I found out when I was running down the garden last night in a storm, I had to put three silly chickens to bed. . . I slipped right over onto my butt, I got very muddy but the old Lavender bush broke my fall.  There is a long muddy skid on the lawn as evidence of my accident and the poor Lavender is looking a little squished!  Please no more rain!  
You can read about St Swithin's Day at this link  here.

St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin's day (15 July) if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Aqua Zumba - The Verdict is Still Out

Well, well, well. . . the results of Aqua Zumba were . . .  it was actually quite fun.  Almost.  In a strange sort of way.  I am left today with an ache between my shoulder blades probably from trying to hard to do something or other.  Jogging around a pool with thirty others creates quite a strong current. . . I thought it was hilarious when my friend almost disappeared. . . it was not quite as funny when I almost disappeared on the next round though.  We used 'Swimming Woggles' and 'paddles' to help with nifty little exercises.  Half the class was Cardio and half was body toning.  We had to jog, run, sprint on the spot while punching with our paddles.  The woggles were used as resistance 'weights' and they were also used to float with while you did moves that would normally be done on the floor.   Some of the exercises I just did not get the hang of, thank goodness we were underwater and nobody could see!  The verdict is still out on Aqua Zumba for me. . . I think I might have to try it again though!  

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Oh Lordy - Wish Me Luck...

Well I am not a natural born Weight Watcher that is for sure!  0.5lb off today.  Not bad as I have indulged in 'Birthday Cake' and chocolates, oh and wine and a Chinese Take Away!  For some unknown reason I have agreed to go to an 'Aqua Zumba' class tonight with my friend.  I would rather have someone stamp on my toe!  I am going as a form of self punishment as I have eaten too much chocolate.  Running has been postponed, I aint  exactly Forest Gump!  Swimming has also dwindled.  The last time I went I was minding my own business doing breast stroke when I was suddenly mounted from behind by a large lady wearing a menacing looking noseclip.  It was much too close for comfort and now I know how whales feel in the mating season!  There is always a bigger fish.
                I am not a dancer and it is very hard for me to find my groove!  I tried Zumba at the weekend with a DVD my neighbour has lent me.  I was five minutes in to trying to co-oridinate wiggling my hips and flinging my arms around when my partner walked in!!!!  Eeeek!  I quickly turned the dvd off and stood by the kitchen sink with a red face, puffing and panting and looking generally hot and sweaty...I tried to just act normal and not look guilty of anything!  Me and exercise just don't seem to be gelling!
                 In less than an hour I will be off to Aqua Zumba.  I am really concerned I am going to make a complete spectacle of myself.  I have always been prone to uncontrollable, childish fits of the giggles...well more like loud hearty cackles that come from my ample belly!  Seriously I am out of my comfort zone and anxious.  I will of course return and let you know how it went!   Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

An Idea is Born

Poor old dusty crib!  I will do something about it!  The crib was my Mom's dolly crib when she was a child, the doll is mine that I showered with love when I was a child.  I really really loved this dolly (actually I still do)!  She doesn't really have a name.  I think she might have been Rosie or Victoria...whichever floated my boat at the time.  She is a 'Teeny Tiny Tears'.  She has survived the years.  She spent a long time in the loft and I was overjoyed to see her again so she now lives in my wardrobe!  She used to have lots and lots of clothes and blankets, bonnets and booties, lacy dresses and winter woollies.  I also had a lovely dolls pram and she would go for walks.  My Grandmother kept her supplied with pretty knitted outfits.  My favourite outfit was the 'Rompa Suit' she is wearing.  It is very practical for a busy baby doll.  She still has her original dummy and somewhere I have her bottle.  The best thing about her is you can give her a bottle of water then she cries real tears if you lift her arm and she does real 'wees' if you squeeze her tummy.  Tonight she has come into her own again and she is very happy to be making her debut in Blogland!  She is modelling my first 'Premature Baby Hat'.   I read all your lovely comments about yesterdays post (it seems a lot of us had 'tiny babies' some were not so tiny).  Thank you for all of your comments.  Euan is still coughing his head off but has gone to bed exhausted after having a lovely birthday.  He has had a great day.  Henry has been the best big brother and played with him all day.  Strangely today Euan did not want his photograph taken.  Not to worry.
               Today is a rest day in 'The Tour De Fleece' so I decided to put thought into action and as a tribute to the birth of my 'early bird' make my first item for premature babies.  Oh yes, what with baby doll and pretty little hats this broody hen is starting to cluck!  I just have to keep reminding myself that babies = hard work and less crafting time!  I would also need to find a 'new man' as my existing one would have a fit if we ever found out we were expecting again!
                  Teresa Kasner (my lovely Blog Buddy) left a comment suggesting an 'In the sky' style call to arms and an 'Idea was born'.  I would be truly delighted if you would join me in this idea.  If you would make and share photographs of items to donate to your local hospital for premature babies, or I would be 'over the moon happy' to receive any items and deliver them on your behalf to 'The Worcester Royal Hospital' where Euan was born and I will dedicate a page for the 'Gallery' and it would be fantastic to review this on July 10th next year.  I wonder how much we could achieve together in twelve months?  I appreciate many of you are prolific 'Charity Crafters already, if you don't have time to join me, just keep up your good work!  xxx
                    I will build a Blog Page with links to patterns too.  There seem to be far more knitting patterns for premature babies than crochet patterns.  If you have any favourite, tried and tested crochet/knitting patterns please share.
This tiny hat took no time at all.  It is a prototype so I will work on it and get the pattern written up.  I pinched the idea for the 'Daisy' from Chalky's World where Linda has written a really easy to follow tutorial for this pretty little flower.  I know hospitals prefer not to have cotton or wool garments for premature babies and have a preference for acrylic.  It is warm and washable.
               I have one more favour to ask of you on this fine July 10th.  This 'project' could do with a name.  All suggestions would be gratefully received.
Thank you.  xxx

Monday, 9 July 2012

My July 10th Baby

This is my little July 10th Baby!  Not bad as my due date was September the 4th.  Yes this little fella was in a rush to come in to the world and he has not stopped since, 8yrs old!  Where does the time go?  His early arrival was quite a shock but somehow we were ready for him.  I can remember my partner telling me something particularly funny (I can't remember what) I laughed so hard my waters broke!   Then it suddenly was not funny anymore!  I was 'blue lighted' in the back of an ambulance to a hospital 20 miles away.  It takes me about half an hour to drive there, it took the ambulance crew about 10 minutes.  Euan's birth was about as pleasant and trouble free as birth can be.  He spent three days in 'Special Care'.  He was 5lb 2oz.  Quite a good size for a prem baby.  I will always be incredibly grateful for the 'charity knits' that were available at the hospital, tiny hats and woolly cardigans that looked like they were made for garden gnomes.  That is another debt I really should repay.  I must knit some tiny baby things to donate to the hospital.  Trouble is I will get broodier than my hens and we don't want that do we?  Babies seriously interfere with crafting time!
            It is very tricky dressing a tiny baby, nothing fits them.  Early babies have trouble maintaining their temperature so woollies are essential.   He was tube fed for a couple of days until he was strong enough to suck his bottle.  Then boy oh boy did he love his bottle.  At six days old he was taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital to have a Plaster cast for his 'Club Foot' this was from his toes to his thigh.  This again was a challenge.  His Dad and my brother had to take him to hospital as I got rushed back in to hospital with a 'Pulmonary Embolism'.  His Dad had to take care of the new tiny baby and my parents had Henry while I was hospitalised for a week.  I then had three months of blood tests and blood thinning treatment!  Euan needed his plaster cast changed each week.  We had to soak it and remove it at home and then drive to Birmingham to get a new one put on.  I don't know how we did it.  It was very stressful at the time.  It all seems like a very long time ago thankfully.   It is amazing what you can cope with if you have to.  He had casts and boots on a bar until he was four.   At the Children's Hospital I would often think if all the parents could put there troubles in a heap, I would happily take my own troubles back, they were slight compared to most.   He had his first Op at 10 weeks old.  I will have to sort out some photographs and tell the story of his foot, I like to think telling the story might help somebody somewhere.  He has had three or four operations to date and spent his 6th Birthday in Hospital as his last operation (to literally move muscles and tendons) was the day before his birthday.  Credit to the Nursing staff, Euan remembers the whole things as a great experience.  He had fun.  He is now one of the youngest in his class at school but one of the biggest.  He has caught up well.  The foot is also all good for now.
              His older brother has his Birthday on the 15th of July and when I was expecting he kept asking 'Will his birthday be after mine?  His birthday will be after mine won't it?'  He has not quite forgiven him for getting in there first.  We gave Henry the chance to pick a 'Middle' name for his brother, he wanted to choose 'God', 'Cool Boy' or 'Ganesh' needless to say Euan has no middle name!  Sadly Euan is off school with a horrible cough.  (He was determined to get out of 'Sports Day' somehow, even if it meant getting ill)!  His Daddy has the day of work tomorrow so it will be a 'lads' day.  I am hoping to see Euan open presents before I go to work. . . I will be sad if I miss him!    I know there are plans for a manly, cooked breakfast.  My parents will come for tea when I get home from work.  There will be Birthday cake and balloons.  
               Now on with 'The Tour De Fleece', Euan and I have been drum carding tonight to make batts of Merino.  He loves drum carding with a passion and behaves like he is my boss telling me what to do and what not to do.  I used some scrap fibre and some Merino that was a dye experiment that went wrong.  You can read about my Adventures in Dyeing Here.

Thanks for reading and most of all thanks for coming back again!  
Lucy xxx

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Tour De Fleece Day 9

Well, poor old Andy Murray, he must be suffering a bit of Tennis elbow!  I am suffering 'Spinners Kneecap'!  Nah, not really, I am not suffering at all but today I spun my little heart out.  Rumpelstiltskin himself would be proud of me!  I was at my parents spinning away while the Tennis was on.  I just don't get tennis, I was amazed Henry seems to understand it!  Apparently he still owes the school £4.00 for three tennis balls that got stuck on the school roof!
            The Bluefaced Leicester fibre seemed to go on for miles and miles.  It is a lovely fleece to spin with though and I would definitely like to spin more of it.
I do think Bluefaced Leicester's are particularly handsome sheep.  They are rather strong and noble looking sheep, don't you think?  They are lovely and the fleece is lovely too.  I really should have been a farmers wife. . . or maybe just a farmer.
           I chose to Navajo ply / chain ply this yarn as I wanted to keep the blocks of colour for when I crochet 'Jupiter'.  If I plied two bobbins together of variegated yarns the colours would be blended, marled or resemble a Barbers Pole!  I am not keen on the Barbers Pole effect.  Plying a single thread enables you to keep some blocks of solid colour.   Navajo plying is plying from a single thread, you make a large/ long slip knot and ply it together with the thread, catching and making chain stitches/slip knots as you go.  It is hard to explain but there are videos on Youtube.  That is how I learned to Navajo ply. . .yeah for Youtube!  The resulting yarn is three ply, as in three strands twisted together.   If I want a finer yarn I spin two bobbins and ply the two threads together.   I spin clockwise and ply anti - clockwise.  The correct terms are 'S' twist and 'Z' twist but my little brain gets into a muddle and I get all muxed up as to which one is which way...I generally spin 'towards the door' and 'away from the door', I can cope with that because that is the kind of girl I am.  I still cannot say 'Ah right I will spin a nice fine yarn'.  I just get what I get, with all it's irregularities and uniqueness.  I am yet to be anything other than delighted with whatever I spin.  I don't know what I am going to spin tomorrow but I will have to hurry up and think about it.  Oh yes probably 'Mars'.  I am still troubled by one thing and it makes me snigger like a naughty school kid (which I was).  What colour is Uranus?  

Saturday, 7 July 2012

A bit of this and a bit of that. . .

The swans on the local pond have had two cygnets.  They are very cute and fuzzy.  When I drop Euan off at school they are usually close to the car park about 200 metres from the pond.  The Daddy swan has a bit of a thing about the cars and waddles right up to them and he continually pecks at the wing mirrors!  I took this photograph in the pouring rain and it was as close as I was prepared to get to adult swans that are feeling mighty protective of their young.
I was not prepared to get beaten up by an angry swan, not even for a Blog scoop!  The Mom is already eyeing me up look!
The Dad knew I was there too and he looked ready to rumble if you ask me.  I have, as all good mothers should, passed on a healthy fear of swans to Euan, he was stood well back and ready to run as I gathered photographs to support my bloggy journalism!
             In the afternoon we went to his school Summer Fete, which was a terrible washout and organised chaos.  Euan won a bottle of Bubble bath, bought a book and two dubious looking cup cakes, (buttercream and humidity have never gone well together) then he wanted to leave.  It was very busy and crowded so I was more than happy to oblige.
             We did not go swimming this week as we have quite frankly seen enough water.  The roads have been pretty bad and some of them closed due to flooding.  When we do see sunshine or have a dry couple of hours the kids all rush out to play.  Some Summer so far, but I am not giving up hope.
              It is Day Eight of 'The Tour De Fleece' and I have plied my bright yellow yarn.  I am waiting for a warm day so I can wash the skeins and hang them to dry to set the twist.

                 I have struggled a bit on the Weight Watcher front this week.  Yesterday I could have gnawed my own legs off!  I ate too much during the day and had to make sure I ate a really healthy evening meal.
I have been Grilling Kebabs on wooden skewers, I have tried Vegetable Kebabs, Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs, Prawn and Vegetable Kebabs and these were 'Swordfish, King Prawn and Vegetable Kebabs, with a Hot and Spicy Guava Dipping Sauce.  These were a healthy hit with the boys!
              I have a had a funny couple of days of nothingness really, you know when you get those sort of days?  I just give in to them really, another day in Paradise and all that!  I picked some raspberries today in between the rain and I had a chicken friend jump on my back and have a piggy back for the duration.  I knew it was 'Rosie' even though I couldn't see her, she is the only chicken peculiar enough to do that!  She climbed right up my back and chatted to me while she pecked at my hair!  Them chickens do make me chuckle.  I have given their coop a thorough clean so they are all nice and tidy for bed tonight, all three came to help and cluck their orders and approval.  They help to the point of me tripping over them!  They are like toddlers or puppies.
               I can't believe somebody has only three more sleeps until they are eight years old, he is very excited.  Then Henry is sixteen five days later.  Two Birthday Boys in one week.  
              I hope you have managed to keep up with my very random blog post today. . . you will need to go and have a lie down after reading this!  
Love Lucy X

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Jupiter As Seen From Voyager 1

I am still spinning away for the Tour De Fleece 2012.  I am now working on 'Jupiter'.
I had this 'Acid Dyed, Blue Face Leicester fibre in my stash already.  I bought it at a Guild sale.  I think it is perfect for 'Jupiter'.
It may have something to do with a sudden craving for a juicy ripe peach too.  I am now in need of a shower, it was a real juice down your chin, wrists and elbows T shirt needs a wash too, it was a delicious peach though!
At Weight Watchers today I have hit my 10% Goal, I have now lost 10% of my total body weight.  I must keep going though, I still have a long way to go.  Juicy peaches are acceptable.  I have been baking for Euan's School Summer Fete tomorrow, Cherry Flapjacks and Iced Buns.  I managed to resist all but a small nibble of the Cherry Flapjacks but the Iced Buns proved too much temptation.
I nearly forgot to photograph them to show you, I took the flapjacks this morning and forgot to photograph those.
Euan provided a quality control service after school and the Iced Buns got the thumbs up.  Thursdays are busy days for him, he has a school Swimming lesson, then after school he enjoys 'Dodgeball Club'.  He does look hot and bothered in this picture.  He should have had his Annual Sports Day on Monday (which he hates), he was delighted it was cancelled due to the torrential rain, however. . . they say be careful what you wish for. . . it has been rescheduled for his birthday on Tuesday.  XXX

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

'Sunshine Spinning' Day 4 Tour De Fleece

Naughty Blogger!  I tried to post my Sunshine spinning yesterday but Blogger did not let me!  I have forgot what real sunshine looks like!  :) x

Monday, 2 July 2012

Tour De Fleece Day 3 - This is Planet Earth

This is Planet Earth. . . next for the Sun.  I have to make my own this year!  It is official it was been the wettest and dullest June for over a Century here in the UK.  My tomatoes will never ripen in this.  More wet weather today. . .the chickens are beginning to think they are ducks.  xxx

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Random Raspberries and Other Stories . . .

What a lovely 1st of July.  Not only did we have the excitement of the Olympic Torch.  I have had the excitement of picking the first of this years raspberries from the garden.  Yum.  Three Little Red Hens cluck enthusiastically for their share.  They love raspberries and for the next few weeks they will provide a daily treat.  I try to put the raspberries to good use, making jam and Homemade Raspberry Liqueurs.  Tonight I made a scrummy and speedy pud using ready made Meringue Nests, Homemade soft cheese and homegrown raspberries.  Very pleased with myself I was too.
I just filled the Meringue Nests with the Soft Cheese and popped the raspberries on top.  Delicious.  The raspberries grow in the 'Chickens half of the garden'.  I had until today assumed the majority of the fruit was safe as although a hungry chicken can do a fairly high standing jump most of the berries are to high to reach.  Now this evening I have discovered there has been some cunning going on.  I found three chickens pecking all the berries off this fallen raspberry cane.
I did not see the deed but I suspect the three worked together and jumped on the cane until it fell!  I hope they are not going to make a habit of it.
Innocent until proven guilty. . . unless you are a chicken.  You can see they have been playing 'Foghorn Leghorn' with corn on the cobs. . . they love that too.  Good job I love them.  The cheeky girls!
Finally. . . Oh yes. . .
Pinch Punch First of The Month!   xxx