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 ūüėČ

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

At Last!

Ever since we moved back down to the south coast I have been longing each spring to go the bluebell woods at Arlington. ¬†It’s something we did as children and I love re-living childhood memories! ¬†Well, last week we finally made it. ¬†Abi had a day off and the sun was shining in the middle of what was proving to be a week of very random weather patterns.

All I can say is that it was amazing! ¬†Abz took these photos and did a great job ¬†but you still can’t capture the depth of those bluebells that just seemed to continue on and on. ¬†The bluebells are in one of the few areas of ancient woodland left in the country that is carefully coppiced to preserve and encourage both trees and bluebells. ¬†It was just so beautiful but I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.¬†DSCF5389

If Abi sees this one I’ll be in trouble!!

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It was just so awe inspiring.   We made it back to the car just in time for the sun to disappear and a sleet shower to add to the random weather!

I hope you enjoyed the photos and that you all enjoy the rest of your week and Happy Crafting!

Sharon xx

All Sorts!

Firstly for those of you who may be wondering, our water came back on Monday late afternoon.  Josh was pleased to get a day off school. Two days without water soon makes you appreciate being able to just turn a tap or flush the toilet!

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I had meant to show you our blossom but somehow it just didn’t happen. ¬†It was beautiful while it lasted.

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Josh has recently started to walk home from school on his own.  He has wanted to for sometime but we have skirted the issue for a while.  It is hard letting go, giving him that first little bit of complete independence!  To me, he is still my baby, the little one we prayed for for seven years, that little brother for Abi.

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I think the extra responsibility has made him feel more grown up. ¬†He has been extra¬†thoughtful and helpful at home. ¬†The first Tuesday he made me want to cry. ¬†He asked if he could take some money to school on Wednesday as he wanted to buy something on the way home. ¬†I groaned inwardly thinking ‘here we go, sweet shop trips already!!’ ¬†I asked him what for and he replied ‘there is a man selling plants from his garden on the way home and I wanted to buy one for you!’ ¬†Next morning as he said goodbye he reminded me, ‘don’t forget that I might be a bit late home this afternoon, you will remember won’t you, I don’t want you to get worried’. ¬†He came home with these. ūüôā

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Then Thursday afternoon he arrived home with some runner bean plants for Daddy!

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He was complaining this morning that he hasn’t yet walked in the rain, well, with tomorrow’s forecast being for wet weather we shall see if he enjoys it as much as he thinks he will. ¬†He always has been one to want to play out in the rain so maybe he really will enjoy it.

With my spinning, I have finished my 2 colours and plyed them together. ¬†Then of course I couldn’t wait to use it so I hope to have a tada post soon ūüôā

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I have also been up-cycling and re-purposing and hopefully next week I shall be able to show you that too.  I am really pleased so far.

I have finished my monthly challenge make for Josh and I love it.  It used up some scraps which is always good.  More about that at the end of the month.

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Abi finishes her textile coursework at the end of the week so I am looking forward to her having a bit more free time for some girly crafting sessions (and also getting the dining table back).

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The garden is really springing to life. ¬†Hubby thinned out the radishes and there were several big enough to eat ūüôā

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Josh’s gourds were growing like crazy indoors, so they are now outside.

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We are really hopeful that we will get some fruit on them so that we can make things with them.  We will need some patience though as from what I have read I think they will need to dry out for several months.  Maybe this time next year if all goes well.

The blue tits are busy backwards and forwards with food for their babies.

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You can just see one on the left.

We have also had a Mummy and Daddy blackbird, first collecting twigs, then worms and now they bring their babies into the garden and feed them. (You can just see them on the playhouse roof.)

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Yesterday evening when Hubby was outside the Daddy blackbird was kicking up a din and the gulls and crows were circling. ¬†A while later a sparrowhawk dive bombed Hubby. ¬†Later the gulls, rooks and crows were all circling it and trying to see him off. ¬†The tits are still feeding today and the Daddy blackbird has been in feeding the babies but no sign of Mummy so we are hoping she wasn’t caught. ¬†I know the sparrowhawk probably has its own babies to feed but I don’t like to think of it taking ‘our’ birds!

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Also along the ‘nature’ lines, Josh has used his pocket money to buy a live mouse trap. ¬†We regularly get mice in the garden. ¬†He set it last night and caught a very cute little mouse. ¬†He has made a temporary home for it in his old stick insect vivarium. ¬†He is going to study it for a day before setting it free somewhere else.

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I was just about to hit publish when Abi came home – wet through!! ¬†She had had to go¬†to Eastbourne and had decided to have a swim in the sea while she was there, fully clothed. ¬†She had even got her hair wet!! The madness of youth ūüôā

Hopefully I shall be back soon with my latest crafting makes.

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

Down Memory Lane!

February was a strange month, short and busy but it also involved a lot of looking back. Time after time something took me back to my childhood. I am 40 now so as everyone keeps telling me I am old now, so why not reminisce?!!!

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It actually started in January with this post by woolpickle about french knitting. ¬†I loved french knitting as a child. ¬†When I was about 5 my Uncle came to stay with us for several weeks. ¬†One day he came back with a ‘Knitting Nancy’ each for my sister and I, I was immediately hooked. ¬†I have hunted and hunted but can’t find mine but I did come across the one I bought Abi years ago and so I am hoping to have a play soon!!

The next trip down memory lane was from another post here, ¬†again it is by woolpickle (there seems to be a pattern here, maybe I’m not the only one looking back!) where we ended up having conversations about geometric pattern colouring books, magic painting etc! ¬†Well, when Josh tidied out his room yesterday he found his geometric colouring book.

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I used to love doing these, so at lunch time out came the felt tips and I started to colour it in.  I found it quite relaxing until I went wrong (can you spot  the mistake?) That was the point at which I gave up!

Somehow this got me thinking about Matey bubble bath, we had this every year for Christmas for a long time. ¬†Did you know you can still get it? I put some in Josh’s stocking this year. ¬†How I love all these memories, they make me feel all cosy inside!!

This is what it looked like Then…..

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and Now…..

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Then came my 40th birthday.  My Sister-in-law gave me a personalised mug and inside were these!!

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I just loved dip dabs as a girl.  In fact I liked all the fizzy sweets!! And the candy sticks, I seem to remember then being called sweet cigarettes in our day and some makes had red tips too! And the popping candy, I can picture myself now, walking back from the local shops with my cousin and eating popping candy.  It was a really hot day and if you threw a piece on the floor it would crack quite loudly!  I think the packet is still the same too!!

Then there were the paper dolls. ¬†You know the ones?¬† You have a cardboard doll and you cut paper clothes with little tabs on out of a book to dress her with. I’m not quite sure how I got to this one but I loved them so much. ¬†My sister and I spent hours playing with them. ¬†I can still picture them in my head! I used to design lots of new outfits for them too.

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I have found this image of these paper dolls.  They were actually my favourites.  I had the two one the right and my sister the one on the left and one other.  They came in a box and had a pop up scene to go with them.  The middle doll Katie had an ice cream parlour  and Becky (right) had a pretty bedroom.

The other memories have been special but difficult too. Sadly last July my dear Dad had a massive stroke and passed away the next day. ¬†He was only 66 and we had no warning at all. ¬†He hadn’t been ill for years, in fact I can never remember him having more than a cold. ¬†It was so sudden that most of the time I have felt numb and it just hasn’t seemed real. ¬†I was such a Daddy’s girl and loved him dearly. ¬†This month though it seems to have been sinking in a bit more. ¬†It has been tough but also special to remember the special little things about us. I wanted to share a couple. ¬†One of my most special memories and items is my ‘secret box’.

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I must have been reading famous five at the time because I desperately wanted a box with a false bottom!!  Well, one afternoon Dad said he would help me make one.  We made it together.  I can remember being in the garden and Dad showing me how to use the saw!

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It now holds some of my childhood treasures including…

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A little knitted bunny I used to hold in chapel, my first watch and also the box which now contains all my baby teeth (yuk)!! A manicure set my grandma gave me, I was so pleased with that.  A fabric book I loved as a baby, my prefect badge, A tiny photo frame with a picture of Hubby just after we started courting, he would have been 16, the impressions for my brace (okay, not sure why all these teethy things were saved!!!).  A couple of favourite ornaments, my name badges from my first main job, and going back to the french knitting, a little mat I knitted and stitched together in a coil!!  The children love to see all these bits and to be honest so do I.

My last special memory I have to share is this ring.

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Dad made it for me one Christmas. I must have been 5 or 6 years old.  My Mum and sister had one too.  I have worn it nearly all the time since.  It has just changed finger and been stretched a couple times over the years.

The box and the ring both mean so much to me now because Dad put his time and love into them both.  Do you have any special treasures people have made for you?  I think this is partly why I am now trying to make as many gifts as I can, I feel there is so much more to a gift that you have put your time and love into.

Happy Memories and Happy Crafting!!

Sharon xx

(Some images from google)

A Couple of Bargains and WIP’s Progress…

I nearly didn’t go to the local market this morning, it was so dull and damp but I was glad that I did. ¬†The first stall I arrived at was full of spring potted plants. ¬†There was a rack of rather sad looking primulas to clear at only 10 pence each. ¬†Pot bound and a bit shabby but with a bit of trimming they will be a lovely colourful addition to the house and garden on these dull days.

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I also found this stack of 3 Christmas tins for 50 pence which make perfect little pot holders for the three plants I hope to keep indoors. ¬†I’m thinking some nice little crochet pot covers would finish them¬†off nicely!

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My WIP’s are coming on nicely now and I am really enjoying it, thanks especially to some encouragement from Jodiebodie at Lupeyloops.!

The last time I posted I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the things I need to make with a deadline within the next week. Then Jodiebodie commented saying ¬†‘May you enjoy your projects despite your time pressures. Have fun.’ ¬†It made so much difference because the fun was ¬†going out of it. ¬†I decided to relax and enjoy each project¬†because¬†they wouldn’t get made¬†any faster for stressing about them. ¬†So thanks very much for that encouragement Jodiebodie and for everyone’s kind messages.

So, the progress I have made… ¬†The shawl I haven’t touched as I am still waiting for the extra yarn to arrive. ¬†The necklace is making progress, a simple beaded spiral which is really relaxing to do, I have enjoyed getting my beads out again, it’s been a while. ¬†I’m also thinking of making a second to go inside the purse!

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The socks are just still a’ longing to get on with them’ in the back of my mind … and the purse …

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has turned into two purses. ¬†The first one I made using Hayfield Bonus Buzz¬†mingle dk yarn but I wasn’t sure about it and Abi and I decided it was a bit young for the niece it was intended for, so that one goes into the pressie box.

For the second one I used another multi coloured dk yarn but this time it was Sirdar Crofters fairisle effect.

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They worked up quicker than I had anticipated, the fiddliest bit being attaching the clasp.  For the first one I crocheted a traditional granny square to just a little bigger than the size of the clasp when opened out and then continued in circles, without increasing, to create the sides.  Then I just attached the clasp by sewing it on.

For the second one I created a flat circular base until just a little bigger than the opened clasp before working up the sides.  I worked trebles into the spaces rather than the stitches of the previous row and also added some bobbles.  I decided to glue the clasp this time before sewing it on.  This made it a lot easier to sew but it did mean a rather sticky needle!!

I must go now and get on with the rest of my WIP’s ¬†and leave you with a lovely, rather fuzzy¬†(I had to zoom right in) ¬†reminder, from our garden, that spring is really on its way!!!

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Happy Crafting!

Sharon xx

A Close Shave!

I had a bit of a scare on the school run this afternoon. ¬†Thankfully I was driving really slowly when¬†a todder ran out in front of me. ¬†I was able to stop but the mother was completely unaware. ¬†I had to beep the horn to get her attention and then point to her little boy running up a driveway on the other side of the road. ¬†She rushed over and¬†shouted at him which made me feel really sad, he wasn’t old enough to understand the danger. ¬†He didn’t even look to be 2 years old. ¬†¬†Maybe it was just her relief that made her shout. ¬†Whatever happened to holding Mummy’s hand or even reins and wrist straps? These little ones¬†are just too precious to risk not holding their hand. IMG_7656 I was glad to get home where my vase of tulips cheered me up, reminding me that spring will soon be here. ¬†I bought them reduced nearly a week ago and they are still doing well, I think being in the cooler temperature of the conservatory helps. ¬†They are standing on the shoe cupboard that Hubby made and in the background is the candle arbor that his Grandad made. IMG_7956349 I just wanted to show you this pic too, ¬†there was such a lovely moon yesterday¬†evening. I’ve been busy finishing a birthday present for my neice so hopefully I will share that with you soon. Bye for now and Happy Crafting! x

A Sunny Winter ‘Walk’!

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I love reading about all of your walks, I particularly enjoy Jacquie’s¬†¬†group walk posts. ¬†My health doesn’t allow me to walk far and my scooter just won’t do the local South Downs or muddy fields so I love seeing the hillside and country walks the rest of you enjoy, I can almost imagine myself there!

Yesterday I did get a ‘walk’. ¬†It was a gorgeous sunny day, so welcome after many dull and wet days. ¬†I have had a rough week but was feeling a bit better too so I decided to ‘walk’ the afternoon school run on my mobility scooter. ¬†It has been some time since I last used it for a school run, I think the yucky weather has made me a bit lazy, plus as I don’t have a¬†cover on the scooter I get really cold and wet and then it is just miserable! The air was crisp but not too cold as I trundled along on the way there. ¬†It was so peaceful and I was able to just use the time to just think and pray. ¬†I’ve really missed that part of ‘walking’ to school.!

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On the way home I get to hear all about Josh’s day in between him dashing ahead on his scooter! ¬†It was just so lovely.

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On the way home we passed this tree ( РI always enjoy seeing the twisted bare branches against the winter sky).

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We passed the bramble patch where we pick blackberries in the summer. (Josh eats as many as he can before we move  on).

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And then through the twitten to our Close.

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The sunlight was catching this bush making it feel springlike,

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but immediately after there were these interesting branches reminding me it really is still winter!

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Past a pile of dead leaves…

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…and then home to where the violas outside the front door are still bravely trying to hold their heads up against the cold weather bringing another reminder of spring.

I really love the winter but the little reminders of spring really did make me long for a bit more colour!!

(Sorry about the quality of the Photos, they were taken on my phone!)

Happy Walking!!