Oh the excitement…

We are all on our way !

We are all on our way !

On our way to the airport on Wednesday night. Not a very clear shot from a shaky hand, in the passenger seat of a fast moving car. At dusk. The tiny white light above the sign board with the yellow signage is the plane we were planning to meet almost ready to touchdown on the runway.

We made it in plenty of time, to meet & chat with a few more of my siblings while our precious but exhausted visitors were transferred to baggage reclaim to collect their bags.

I had a message at 20:50 on Tuesday that they were on board the plane, and two flights plus twenty fours later they landed in Dublin.

A day to catch up on sleep, a day of gentle relaxed fun today, so on Saturday…

Let the partying begin!

Where to begin…

Two weeks home from a wonderful week in London and I have not written one word about it.

Why?

Was it a failure?

NO WAY was it a failure!

It was so fantastic that I am struggling to come back down to earth once more. The days, the people, the places and the fun & laughter and of course Toyboys… they still swirl around in my head.

 

With Barbara my niece

With Barbara my niece, photo taken by my grand niece Rebekah

I had/have several crochet projects going on that had time limits, so my fingers were kept busy during the swirling, twirling kaleidoscopic aftermath of my adventures.

There were also other reasons .

  • I am playing my part in the preparations for a family gathering. For me that task is baking.
  • Over the past few months I noticed that I was finding it more difficult to spend time reading or working at my computer. I was blaming my eyes, they would become tired quickly and the screen, the print or photographs seemed dull. An added difficulty was having a ‘Shiny’ screen that acted like a mirror in bright light ( no. I did not appreciate seeing my ould ragged face every time I opened my laptop). Poor Tobias Laptop has been limping for a long time, but on Thursday just as I found some time and inspiration to post on my blog, he gave up the ghost. Died. Dead as a door nail.

I do have so much to share, the holiday and the craft work of the past months. I also have wonderful photos on a USB key, and only managed to add one for the moment.

It might be next week, but I promise details.. some of them anyway… a girl needs her secrets! 😉

What were you doing on Friday?

I went for a drive, in a freshly washed, hoovered and dusted car.

We are old friends now, the car and I. Sixteen years we have spent together, tootling over hill and dale.

I spoke gently to her on the way.

Be a good girl and do all the things the nice man asks you to do.

She did and here is the evidence:

My car sitting aloft

My car sitting aloft

Twenty five minutes later we back on the road smiling like two Cheshire cats! Adventure here we come!!

What will I wear today?

I have spent a good half hour trying to decide what to wear today. Nothing fancy as the day will be spent cooking, preparing food for a party, ironing, cleaning windows and dancing with the vacuum & duster. All these activities will be interspersed with resting periods of crochet.

So I am looking for something suitable to don and flounce about in while I work. You know, work clothes. Fresh & clean, not worried about little spillages, yet smart enough if an unexpected Toyboy should land on my doorstep! No way do I want to spoil my image!!

I have so little to choose from these days and it is all my own fault:

Hanger sculpture

Hanger sculpture

This hanger sculpture is actual evidence of a recent brutal clear out of my wardrobes. All sorted, cleaned and gone to charity or for recycling. The only problem is that I forgot to keep an outfit or two for mucky housework!

I suppose if I am stuck, I could always wear my pyjamas turned inside out!!

 

Can you hand me a towel, please.

How many times have you asked that question?

You know, your hands are wet and the towel is not on the hook where it normally resides.

‘SOMEBODY’ moved it. Grrrr!

Often the answer absently wings its way back to you: Which one?

Let it be beige, blue, pink or yellow but never bring a white one with the yellow stripe.

A pair of white towels with a deep egg yolk yellow stripe loving lives in the airing cupboard and are only for looking at. They are delicate and have a long story. History.

Towels from Cawnpore, India

Towels from Cawnpore, India

Now, to you they might look like old rags. No. They are ‘Anti –queues’ and not faded!

Really.

As I said in a previous post about shapely legs… ‘They were purchased as a gift before I was even a gleam in my father’s eye. A gift for a woman. A woman I never had the opportunity to meet. The fact that she loved, used and cared for them, was enough for me. They may be my treasure at the moment, but I am really a temporary guardian until the day when I pass them on to the next generation.’

The next generation in this case is my Elly.

I have used them many years ago.

After Elly’s first dip in the baby bath, I loving wrapped her in one of these towels and handed her to her dad. It was long before the days of instant cameras & mobile phones with the option of delivering photos round the world as soon as you click. Never mind, I have the memory stored in my head… just as well, my Elly is way to big for wrapping in one of those towels these days. 😉

Muir Mills Logo

Muir Mills Logo

Jack bought the towels in India, when he was serving there in World War 2 and posted them home to his mother. It was before being moved on to Burma and the injury that ended his war.

Right, it is your turn now. What everyday object or item in your house has a long history or story behind it?

Art with my needle ~ A scarf.

I fell in love with the colour of some yarn, looking longingly at it week after week in Parlour yarns. I lifted it down to enjoy it more closely… the feel of the yarn told me it was just created to keep my neck warm in the winter.

It was randomly hand dyed by Lindsay from Dye Candy in Randalstown, County Antrim. The jade green really sold it to me. I have not kept the ball band, and for the life of me cannot remember the details of weight, colour and needle size. I suppose it might be because I am not necessarily a strict pattern follower. I break the rules, changing the needle size to suit my mood and stitch pattern that invades my mind at any particular time.

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One skein was enough to complete the scarf in ladder stitch, working crosswise.

Ladder stitch scarf

Ladder stitch scarf

Sorry that photo looks a little blurry, not sure if my hand was shaky or my eyes are tired.

Uhoh! I spy the t-shirt that I spent a full day searching the house for last week. I have a feeling the missing pink bra might be hidden underneath it.

Phew! I am not going mad after all.

What a difference a day makes

A collection of views of ‘My Sky’ taken from my back door

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What a difference a day makes!

They are not all from this year or from the same time of the day.

I have often said that if I had to stand at my sink all day, I could not complain: The view was always changing with the movement of the sun and clouds lighting or casting shadows on the landscape

Official Swiper

In the last couple of weeks I had a letter from my bank. It was not to discuss my tuppence of assets in their grip.

No it was to insure I had easy access to reduce and spend it.

A spanking brand new piece of plastic was attached to the letter, a month before the old one expired. At least this new plastic did not necessitate a page of questions about my financial health and a tour of the land!!!!

This spanking brand new piece of plastic brought me up to date with the world of swiping. Making small purchases up to the value of £30, I can swipe my card on the card reader without the effort of inserting my pin number.

Just like the new shoes or sandals bought for me as a child, I loved to walk out of the shop wearing them. I was anxious to try this spanking brand new piece of plastic.

On my next visit to the local branch of Asda, I discovered they do not have the facility for the use of Swipe cards. I discovered it was the same story in other Supermarkets – Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Lidl does have the facility, so when I have run out of almonds for baking, or feel like a crusty roll for my lunch, I know where I’ll be swiping!

Now on the mention of food and lunch, I discovered this video recently and thought it was perfect for anyone wanting to lose those winter pounds:

Craft with my needle ~ Odds and sods of my yarn stash.

 

My favourite seat for several weeks (while building up my energy levels)  was in a comfortable armchair near the window for the light and surrounded by the largest crochet project for some time – a corner to corner shrug/blanket/Afghan. Worked in random yarns to use up all the odd skeins, half used balls and odd scraps of yarn lingering at the base of my stash.

Oddments of yarn

A sample of oddments

Most of the yarn I was using had come from leftovers of garments I have made, or yarn that was gifted to me from:

  • Brighid, in California
  • Brogen, to use in memory of her late mother Emma Sharma Hayes
  • Ello in Dublin.
  • Margaret, my now late friend who gifted me some of her stash when it became too difficult to knit.
C2C Blanket - Day 1

C2C Blanket – Day 1

So not alone was I reducing the yarn stash, I was actually creating a Memory Blanket that each time I looked at it or spread it across my knees, I re-lived the making or wearing of an item I had made with a particular yarn.

The people listed above were almost in the room with me as I added their colours and textures to my work.

The original idea was to leave it in the car for emergency use, but the colours were bright & cosy and I felt I wanted  to see it on a daily basis. It is large enough to cover the surface of my double bed. But it lives on the couch so I can snuggle under it for a rest, or pull it over my knees and feet to keep my extremities warn as I work on the next new project.

I do have enough for another C2C and will make one for the car in the autumn.

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My Memory Blanket surrounds me with warm hugs from all the friends who gifted me their yarn, each time I use it.

Many Thanks and love to all of you.

A short post for my crafting friends

After my very enjoyable morning at Parlour Yarns, I drove the short distance to Craftwoman Fabrics at Kilroot, Carrickfergus.

Elly had contacted me from Israel to ask if I could watch out for something she needed and it was also a nudge for me to bring my sewing box down on my next visit. I found what she needed with no bother and then came across this little beauty:

Thread & yarn cutter

Thread & yarn cutter

Ideal for travelling especially by air the flower has a rotary blade between the petals. I tried it on sewing thread, crochet cotton and a thick yarn. It cut cleanly on all three. A small needle threader slides out of the handle and the lanyard is detachable. I can see myself using this for many years to come.