I’m Back and Needing to Pick your Brains! 

I feel as though I’ve really neglected this little space lately, I have good intentions of weekly posts but they just don’t happen. ☹️ I love the friendliness here and I always feel bad when I neglect you all. So here I am. 

Last time I spoke about my next knitting project which I plan to take on holiday in the summer. I know it’s ages away but I’m kind of excited now we have our tent 😀.  I had a request for some sets of seven coordinating skeins for ‘find your fade’ shawls so while I was experimenting I chose a set to keep for myself. What do you think? 


These are the other colourways I created. This one…

And then this one with skeins that are more shaded than variegated. 


Then another variegated set in earth tones 


And finally a rainbow set but I only have a photo of this dying atm! 


These sets were such fun to create! 

I hope you’re all enjoying some beautiful spring/autumn weather. We’ve had some gorgeous days here recently, just like a cool summer day! 


Thanks for all your encouragement for Abi in her new role at work. This is where I need to pick your brains! She’s hoping to hold a garden party in the summer and she was wondering if you had any ideas of things she could do? She’s needing ideas of things she can make with the residents (all with some form of dementia so they can’t be complicated ideas) and then she hopes to sell these at the garden party. She’s also looking for ideas of what else to have at the party, again things with minimal outlay. Any funds raised she then gets to use in the future to fund activities with the residents. 

Abi’s loving her new role by the way. She gets the best of both worlds, caring and using her creativity! Both of the owners have separately complimented her when they’ve been in and apparently they never complimen , so that’s been a huge encouragement to her. She’s done all sorts of crafts, baking, gardening, music etc. She’s also hoping to get volunteers in the local community to come in and do things with the residents such as playing instruments, the local school children to visit etc. Again, any ideas most welcome😀

I hope that all of you in England have a wonderful bank holiday weekend and I wish everyone else a beautiful weekend too. Happy crafting! 

Sharon xx

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Am I Crazy? 

Right now I’m sitting here with my crochet and Tilly on my lap and a porta potty that has been delivered sitting on the lounge floor debating my sanity! Why? We have bought a tent and hope to start camping. 

Maybe that doesn’t sound too crazy to you but some of you will know that I have systemic lupus and fibromyalgia among other chronic illnesses,which between them, considerably restrict my mobility. I also have raynauds and poor circulation, so I really feel the cold. Now are you starting see the craziness? 

For the last couple of years we haven’t been able to afford a holiday away and Hubby and Josh have wanted to camp for a while but I’ve always thrown a damper on the idea saying I just couldn’t do it. Finally in February I caved and agreed that if they did all the work, I  had a comfortable bed off the floor, a comfy chair and a heater I’d do it. Well Hubs has gone one better and bought me a camping electric blanket. (We’re not so serious about camping as to not have electricity and besides I need to charge my mobility scooter :D). So, anyway, we took the plunge, borrowed some money and have got a really good tent that we’re hoping will last us through Josh’s ten years

I don’t know what you think when you think of camping negatives but to me, apart from lack of comfort and being cold, it’s scrabbling around crouched over in the tent, all cramped up and on top of one another. With Hubs being over six foot tall and not liking being crowded I really did start to feel slightly (or totally) crazy. 

Oh yes, another problem would be putting it up as Abi being older won’t always be with us and me trying to help with my stick in one hand and rubbish balance would have been, well, let’s say, very amusing for the other campers! 

But… when we started looking, it’s just incredible what you can buy.  So we purchased a nine man inflatable display tent. Inflatable!!! Ok, so I’m wondering how many of you are thinking bouncy castle right now 😉

What it is, instead of having poles you have inflatable tubes, about six inch diameter which blow up rigid like a bike tyre. So to erect the tent you just peg out the base and inflate the six tubes then peg out the guy ropes. The man at the shop said Josh would even be able to do it on his own. (Crack open the wine Howard ;-))

We’ve gone big, BIG. Hubs can stand up in it, it has three bedrooms and an extra pod for a fourth although, where they would put two in a room and three in the main bedroom we would only have one in the smaller rooms as it would be rather like playing sardines otherwise!. (Did you ever play that as kids? We loved it.) 

So after all that waffle, what does it  look like? 

Here it is all set up at Camping Works in Horsham. The first window is the awning section, the second and third the living area and the back section without windows, the bedrooms. 

Front view, it looks as though Hubby may just have to duck his head to get in the doorway. 

And two of the three bedrooms across the back of the tent with storage pockets between the rooms.

And looking back from the bedrooms to the entrance.


Yes, it really is a biggy! In fact it has a 4.4 metre by 8 metre footprint. 

So, have we booked anywhere? Yes, and we’re so looking forward to it. We hope to do a trial run in May to Chichester and then two weeks in August to East Runton in Norfolk. And, what is really fun, Howard put out a message on his family What’s app group asking if anyone fancied joining us camping in August not really expecting anyone to come but they’ve all decided to come for at least a couple of days. One of his sister’s is borrowing her in-laws caravan and coming for the two weeks, his brother, camping for a week (three little kids and no electric, proper camping!) and his other sister for four days and his parents have booked a b and b for two days. We should all be together for those two days except Abi and Paul as they’ll have to be back before the last of them arrive. And get this… We are all within four pitches of each other. I’m thinking there will be a lot of laughter as time with Hubby’ s family is always such fun. 

Now, I was also going to talk about what project I have planned for the May break but I’ve waffled for way too long so I’ll be back soon to chat about that. I’ll just say that it involved lots of dyeing experimentation. 

Have an amazing and creative week friends, 

Sharon xx

Enjoying the Summer and Tilly! 

We’re a week and a half into puppy ownership and already Tilly feels like part of the family.  Some say it’s like having another baby or worse. So how has she changed our lives?  

Nights – After some whining the first 4 nights she now sleeps through,  or at least,  we don’t hear anything from her until we go down in the morning when we are greeted by a wriggling, licking,  bundle of excitement.  I have never had such an enthusiastic morning greeting in my life as the ones Tilly gives.  

Creativity – For the first few days creativity was zero as we adjusted to the little hurricane that had entered our lives. She naps a lot but that time was spent catching up as we felt we had to be near her every waking moment to prevent accidents and destruction.  Then out came the box of ribbons and cord to create a ‘chewy, taggy’ blanket. Tilly has learnt very quickly what no means but that doesn’t stop sneaky attacks on clothes, shoes, furniture etc, especially when she first wakes up from a nap and is in an extremely playful and energetic mood. 

Thankfully 10 minutes of play soon calms her down and she’s happy to potter about.  The blanket was made by sew ribbons and cord between 2 layers of fleece fabric.  All 4 sides were quadruple stitched. 

After a few days I got my crochet out when she was in a quiet mood and surprisingly she ignored my yarn and I’ve been able to do short bursts of crochet on my cardigan, usually done with a sleepy observer and slight handicap. 

Play – Play involves Tilly tearing about after balls, attacking teddy,

 tug of war with sock toys we’ve also made for her to chew and attacking her squeaky toy by pouncing on it, growling and barking before backing away again to prepare for the next attack.  This is the only thing that makes her bark and she’s really not sure whether it’s friend or foe.


Socialising – Going out has been limited to 2 hours at a time so Tilly’s not left alone too long.  Mostly we have stayed in but we haven’t been lovely as so many people want to come and see Tilly, especially those with children.  This has been great as Josh has had plenty of other children to play with as well as Tilly having the opportunity to get used to up to 9 children at a time! 

Chill out – Thankfully,  like babies,  Tilly does sleep a lot and this is my opportunity to get on with jobs with Tilly under my feet and Josh’s opportunity to relax and read or for a bit of screen time, often with Tilly cuddled up on his lap. 

She loves sleeping in the most uncomfortable looking positions!  

Training – Training is generally proving a lot easier than anticipated.  Tilly learnt to sit and come within a couple of days. She also goes to the towel by the back door and ‘wipes’ her feet, scrabbling with her feet on the towel after coming in from outside. This one has continued since a very rainy day, when we found out that she hates getting wet!  She is also learning lie down, fetch and drop (usually someone’s shoe laces Or some other non toy she’s found lying about). 

She also knows now that she mustn’t scrabble our legs to be picked up but to sit by us. If we don’t notice we now get a little pat on the leg with a little paw and beseeching brown puppy eyes looking up at us.  

House training has been similar to having a toddler but easier.  Anticipate when she needs to go outside and go out with her until she’s fine what needs doing!  She’ll mostly whine or scratch at the door for bigger jobs but puddles are a bit more hit and miss. Thankfully it’s mostly a case of when she wakes up and after meals and with the gorgeous weather we’ve been able to be outside with her a lot of the time anyway.  At first she wouldn’t go out alone but now she will potter in and out and doesn’t have to be under our feet all the time.  We do just have to keep an eye on the Herring Gulls that are nesting nearby in case they decided she’s a threat and come down to attack. They’re quite vocal so we usually have plenty of warning when they’re about and mostly they come to the neighbours who feeds them and not into our garden.  

Lead training is a different matter.  We struggled to find a collar or harness small enough.  We finally found one in Poundland but it doesn’t stay on the tighter setting and she manages to get it with her mouth and keep worrying it. We also have to sneak out on while she’s sleeping! We’re hoping that over the next week she’ll grow enough for her to fit into a better one and we can accustom her to it before she starts to go out for walks after her next injections. 

That’s about it I think on the dog front (congrats if you’ve stuck around through all that waffle,  you can breathe a such of relief now!!)  

So the verdict on having a puppy.  Easier than I thought but still time consuming.  Only like having a baby in the sense that she naps a lot,  when she’s awake is more like having a potty training toddler with a slightly mischievous streak. Fun and great company already.  In Josh’s words, hard work but fun and like having a friend round all the time.  

Hubby has the coming two weeks off work. He’s hoping to get some jobs done around the house and then once Tilly can go out we’ll hopefully get some time out and about too. I’ll try and pop by with some pictures at least.  

Enjoy the rest of your week and Happy Crafting.

Sharon xx

Half Term Fun.

Well the half-term week has come and gone with a quite a lot of evidence yet to be tidied away!!

It was good to see Josh getting his playmobil out again, it’s been a while, it’s sad seeing him gradually grow out of his toys.  Dry days are okay, he loves being outside but the rainy days are getting harder to find things to occupy him so I was grateful for a mostly dry week!  There is some serious tidying to be done now!

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The main outdoor activity involved a lot of digging!  It started with a hole dug as a hunt for clay to make pots with, resulting in rather a lot of muddy bowls and buckets left in the garden.  Actually, this is Josh’s version of tidying, they were right outside the back door!  Hmmm, a few more lessons needed here!

 

A few days later a bit LOT more digging took place as Josh dug deeper and wider to make an army trench!!  This then had to be photographed to make an ‘army’ card for his cousin who has just started chemo for Lymphoma.  (He is 14 and we would really appreciate your thoughts and prayers for him.)

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The following day the hole was dug even more and Josh had an amazing game with 2 of his cousins in there.  In the evening Josh proudly showed his Dad for the first time, you should have seen his face!!!  (The hole is over 1 metre/yard deep).

Poor ole Hubby, he had just started to think that the garden could be kept a bit nicer as Josh grows up, but he was very good and didn’t voice what I could plainly see on his face until he came indoors!! It took my mind back to this post and what is really important in a garden!

Some days we spent quietly, pottering, crochet for me, playing for Josh.  Then we went to stay with the in-laws for the weekend.  It was my Sister-in-law’s 40th (it doesn’t seem possible that its nearly a year since I wrote about my 40th and here!!).  Her Husband, Matt, had arranged for a meal at the Shuttleworth Collection.  We had the conservatory to ourselves which was lovely .

The tables all had little packets of love hearts.

After a lovely meal it was time for the cake.

Matt lit the 40 sparklers,

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but the flowers on the top were silk and soon the cake was on fire!!

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after various attempts to extinguish the fire Matt carried it outside to burn itself out.

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Thankfully only the top layer was affected.

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Next we were all given tickets for the Swiss gardens which even in winter were beautiful

with little houses and huts tucked here and there,

one with an amazing ceiling crafted from pine cones,

a little greenhouse with stained glass windows, a domed roof and rocky entrance and exit,

bridges and windy paths,

and a rather camera shy peacock!

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I managed to get some lovely pics of Abi and her boyfriend.

Then we were taken on a tour of the collection.

It was mostly old planes, some looking far too dangerous to fly and yet all except two out of 6 large hangers are still flown!!

There were also a few cars and bikes, a bus and a charabanc (an open topped bus)!

It was just lovely to have time to spend to together especially as it is their boy who has the cancer.

A cheery pic to finish with, spring really is on the way!

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I hope you are all having a lovely and creative week.

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

 

 

Enjoying the Hols and a Calmer Sea!

We are halfway through the half-term holiday already!  It has been a lovely week so far. Lots of chilling out, a bit of creativity and a trip to the sea.

It started as a trip to Eastbourne to try to find some glasses that Josh would like enough to wear, yes, at 11 years old he is starting to get incredibly fussy, I think having an older Sister doesn’t help!

After that ordeal we headed for the ‘old fashioned sweet shop’ where out of all these gorgeous colours

Abi and Josh bought themselves some candy floss.

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Having said that, I did snaffle a little bit 🙂

After getting a couple of other bits we needed we headed for the beach, this time was quite a contrast to the storms of the previous week.

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We sat for a while then Abi and Josh headed down to the sand and enjoyed themselves there

while I took rather a lot of photos!

Oh and I couldn’t leave out these Gull footprints!!

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As we headed home Abi decided to take a detour and go up and over Beachy Head and then on to Birling Gap.  We saw the old Bell Tout lighthouse

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that is once again precariously near the cliff edge after having been moved back some years ago.

We passed some horses grazing on the cliff top

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and then reached Birling Gap where we stopped again and Abi and Josh went down to the beach below while I again too photos.  There we could see the ‘seven sisters’ to the right

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and to the left the old coastguard Cottages that are gradually disappearing into the sea.

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If you look at this link you can see when nearly two years ago they had to demolish some of the cottages and to the bottom right of the picture below you can see the remains of these cottages.

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The colours were amazing, I love the blues,greys, greens and browns of these photos.

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After some time we had to head back home back looking back over the town as we descended.

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I love simple unexpected trips like this, it was a day to treasure up in my memory.

Are there simple things that give you a lot of pleasure?

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the week and Happy Crafting!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x