Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

28/11/2012

Sshh but it's nearly ******** time

I find that, at this time of the year, when I am crafting like a whirling dervish - that I am unable to show and share what I've been making!

I take pictures of their stages of growth and the hiccups of my various goodies only to have to file them under 'November -crafting' for a later date.

Hmm. So, to satisfy my need to intrigue, tease and take photos - here are a couple snippets, think will keep the others a little more under wraps.



Oh ho - only two and a half weeks before I start my new job - oooh errr saying that has just awoken the butterflies :)

Excuse me better go, some one small and hairy keeps patting my leg and asking for a game.

26/11/2012

Quiet thoughts

The seasons are definitely turning.

 It has taken some mental training and persistence for me to finally accept that winter is not the end
but the beginning. 

I have had to learn to accept the change in the weather and enjoy what each season brings. 

Even small delights can be found during the dankest of grey days. 
They are often not easy to spot but when they appear they seem to shine out.


Our bleary eyed school run has been blessed with some glorious colour recently. 

The sky seems alive



It has been a quiet introspective weekend, the weather didn't invite walking. So, the four of us worked through homework, de-cluttering and tidying up. The boys struggled to find any pleasure in these (mind you, so did we) but a steady supply of tea and some home baking seemed to help ease the grind. Eldest made some delicious bread for lunch and I made a HUGE pizza - it wasn't meant to be as big as a cart wheel but the dough just grew and grew and GREW!
It was, I have to report, all eaten.



The boys (and I include all three of them) are getting in training to eat chrimbly mince pies. We were the lucky recipients of some rather yummy home made mince meat and Himself lost no time rolling out pastry and having the oven going.


As I say, a quiet weekend, and you?
What did you get up to?
What gems have you found that brighten your day?
Did you do any baking?

Share, I love to hear what you do too x

Have a lovely Monday and try not to get too wet here in the UK 

with love hawthorn  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx



23/11/2012

lessons learnt

Erhm...

When using the knitting machine, there are certain actions that should not  EVER be considered an option. They should be deemed as FORBIDDEN. However, these are only my thoughts, but be guided and warned by my words.


  • Do not, I repeat, DO NOT ever let the cat purrrsuade you that sitting on your lap is a good thing when you are setting up the knitting machine. Should you not heed these words - be it on your own head....

  • Do not, what ever you do, drop stitches mid pattern, at night, when you don't have your glasses easily to hand. Not unless you have a long suffering husband willing to hold a mega wattage hunting style lamp to help see the stitches conveniently hiding at the back as they gently but determinedly unravel themselves.



  • And talking of hands - unless you have at least eight arms - forget using a knitting machine when trialling out a new pattern.

  • Oh, and this one is almost as bad at having a cat *help*, try at ALL COSTS to avoid a rather over-enthusiastic and persistent 12 year old or his older tutting and sighing 14 year old brother get involved. EVER! and I mean EVER!



  • Also, slightly less dire - try not have a cat rearrange your carefully placed balls of yarn. She may have a good eye for colour and decoration but her style of knitting will not be anything ANYTHING like your style. Besides, when she is 'knitting' she is very reluctant to return the yarn she has helped herself to out of MY PILE.


Just sayin' - you know....




22/11/2012

Things new.

A little while ago, our knit and natter group were invited to take a stall at our village chrimbly fayre. We gleefully signed up and got stuck into creating. We were not all of us.. Oh no.

Some of us were a little umm - distracted with day to day normality. Then that particular person (not naming names but.....) suddenly realised that in about 3 weeks she was to have some goodies to go on to the craft table. Talk about getting a panic-on. 


So, she begged to borrow her mom's old knitting machine (thanks Jak) then dug through her stash to find some 2 ply hand spun and dyed wools. 


Much scratching of head and drinking of tea whilst trying to 'design' patterns on graph paper resulted in this......

 Greatly impressed with the end consequences made her grab some more wools of equally skinny ply and try this...



 Definitely feeling chuffed to the gunnels (and momentarily forgetting how many times the knitting would fly off the hooks as she zipped the handset across to create a new row) she kept having to take photos of her little creations and wondered how she could turn these items into something useful....

Meet the
Woollen pin cushion 


Various stages of crafting, some waiting to be stitched,
others waiting to be stuffed and have their labels added
All a bit wonky and a lot hand made but....

Happy?
 You bet she is!



Also on the knitting front - remember this.....



In my previous guise as 11am I was lucky enough to win 3 balls of skinny yarn - to give it's proper ply and name - it is Rico Design - Fashion Romance,  25gm of mohair, wool and acrylic, 2 ply, in 'ice blue'.

Well, I've playing very nicely thank you,
looky looky...

 a lovely silvery blue


with a whispy fluffy feel
a light a delicate scarf in the making



And to make the whole scarf lighter and even more airy
I have added random rows of 
2ply white






And I am loving it!



Go on, what has got your creative juices flowing? 
What have you been making or doing different this week?
What has inspired you to get out and make something or do something out of your comfort zone?

I have done four really 'leap of faith' things this last week.

I've just shown you two of them, my new blog and my knitting adventure ....but, what of the other two I hear you say?


Well, 
1. Resigned and got a myself shiny new job
2. Bought myself a shiny new car to get me to that shiny new job
ooh err!

Thank you all so so much for taking that leap across to this new blog, I am absolutely delighted how many of you lovely bloggers contacted me day after day to get details - thank you thank you thank you!

Natural Surburbia

Linking to Natural Surburbia's Creative Friday


20/11/2012

....and... ACTION!

Part 2....

Well, as they say, the story continues....

Now where was I? Oh yes, are you sitting comfortably?

Having given you the background details about the in-laws natural disasters and the involvement of the television, I'll waffle about our involvement.

As I mentioned previously, Himself's step-brother had rung to arrange for us to be part of the 'rent-a-mob' so we had smarted ourselves up (coz we were going to be on tv!) and set off.

We arrived on time and as we congregated at the kitchen door, tired and harassed looking workmen were rushing in and out with an artificial chrimbly tree and decorations as well as removing the last bits of wood and left overs, screws, boxes and tools. We'd momentarily forgotten this programme was to be a festive special and decided that the house had obviously been decorated to look all chrimbly-licious.

We shivered and chatted and waited in the cold afternoon air.

Then a rather pretty young man swanned in with his artfully torn jeans, his spotlessly clean canvas shoes, rolled up jacket and nautical style boat necked T shirt. He sported a casually-slung-around-his neck-in-a-carefully-look-at-me-way chunky knit scarf. He also wore the HUGEST oversized fashion sunglasses and fashionably spiked up hair. He smoozed his way through us rent-a-mob without making eye contact and slipped into the kitchen slamming the door in our faces.
We all looked at each other - who was he? Should we have known who he was? Was he a star? or a wanna-be star?
He was very quickly forgotten as almost immediately behind came first John Craven and then Linda Barker. My normally quiet and gently reserved brother in-law almost turned lobster red as she looked at him as she had walked by. He became all flustered and pink which amused us all.

We were all given our 'roles', we were told when we could cheer and when we had to be quiet. We were all told to turn off our mobile phones and were told expressly and repeatedly not to stare in to the camera. The stars and the kitchen builders were all looking very tired and slumped. Then as if some one had flicked on a switch, they all stood up, looked bright and vivacious and ready to meet the guests of the show.

My in-laws were then brought around the house and we all started to cheer and look pleased when.....

stop stop stop - don't cheer so loudly came the instructions, my poor inlaws were marched back around and told to walk around again and to look surprised again....
The arrow and dotted line show how high the mud reached.
Linda Barker on the right


We then cheered more mutedly and the sound man and the producer huddled together and muttered things, then
Sorry people, can we do that again, ......phones off.......don't look at the camera... and ready?

My in-laws were marched off again and made to return..... (this happened several times.....)



Then finally they were allowed to meet Linda Barker, who shook their hands enthusiastically and welcomed them and exclaimed cheerfully how very hard the kitchen company and the stylist (the glossy sun-glassed young man) had worked over the last three hectic days when....
Stop - sorry, sorry, the sun is in the wrong place can we move everyone please?

In-laws were removed from the scene, Linda Barker,  the tired kitchen men and glossy stylist all resumed their slumped postures. Lots of muttering and pointing at the sun and at the backgrounds. We by now were all rather cold and probably could all do with a warm drink.

Ok, ok, every one, can we do it again please.




John Craven, who had been escorting the in-laws back and forth for each take seemed to be gently taking all this stop start stuff in his stride while the others appeared to have to physically switch on the charm and look glittery and gorgeous only to revert to their tired postures and fed up faces as soon as the cameras were turned off.



This continued...and continued and continued from 1.30 pm til 6 pm.


The filming of the surprise and delighted faces had to be done again and again. We had to cheer or be silent, or cheer quietly or cheer enthusiastically or just shut up.....

We were exhausted and we only had to do it for the afternoon, my poor in-laws had had this for the last three days! My father in-law confided to me that he had been miked up so much he was concerned that if he popped off to the loo that he might still be connected to the microphone!

When we left, my in-laws were collapsed on the new settee looking dazed and shattered but relieved to be home after all the excitement. The remaining television crew were packing up to return to London as they were off to do their next job the following day.

Later, much later, I texted my father-in-law to see they had recovered. No, was the reply, he suspected that it would take quite a few days to get back to normal.

I had to admit to being quite surprised at the 'artificialness' of it all. At the number of takes that had to be done, how normal folk were encouraged to be even more surprised or delighted or shocked and how often they were made to repeat it. I was also amazed at how quickly the celebs were able to turn on AND off the charm.

Despite all that, my in-laws have now a beautiful new kitchen and lounge but boy - did they have to earn it!

Ok, that was a long post, but this was only a portion of all the stuff going on - I won't bore you with any more :)

Nope, got knitting news next, but that can wait til next time xxxx

Speak soon, with love hawthorn xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


19/11/2012

Should I curtsey ?

Part 1....

Last Thursday I received a phone call from my brother in law and in hushed and hurried tones he explained that we were needed over at the in-laws on Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours as they were being filmed.
As I was at work it was a bit difficult to get more details and brother in law sounded very harried, so I promised I'd get Himself to ring back in the evening and discuss a bit better.

It turns out that there is a chrimbly tv programme called All Star Christmas Presents in which deserving people who have had a bit of a rough time are surprised by an all expense paid trip away with lots of outings and treats. They are then brought home happy, fully expecting the experience to have finished only to find that something else wonderful has happened while they were away.

Let me explain.

In my in-laws case they had been flooded out twice over summer and then during autumn a huge fast moving mudslide poured off the hill side and filled their ground floor kitchen to a height of 1 metre.  They hadn't really recovered from the first flooding which had completely destroyed their kitchen and were temporarily cooking and eating in their lounge while they waited for the building to dry out before any repairs and decorating could begin when they were flooded out again.

Once again they had to deal with the mess and the damage and the insurance men tutting as they added up costs. Then, when everything seemed dry and ready to proceed the mud slide happened.  There had been a heavy thunderstorm high up in the hills which were completely saturated already. This caused tonnes and tonnes of thick stinking mud to rush down the hill, cross over the road and completely fill the back gardens and cellars, kitchens, sheds, garages and ruin cars, motor bikes and my father in-law's beloved caravan.

The story so far of one natural disaster after another was really getting to my mother in law, although a strong Yorkshire lass of a grandma - she was feeling the strain.

The council came round to assess the depth of the mud and the fire brigade arrived to try and wash away the mud. However, this thick black stinking stuff had blocked drains, closed roads, filled the ground floor of the in-laws and their neighbours to a depth too great to just 'wash away'.

Now, this is where the kindness of the human race comes through. Due to so many folk suffering during these floods in Hebden Bridge, there was a genuine shortage of manpower to do the physical donkey work of shifting the mud. Then one morning, when my mother in law opened the curtains to find dozens and dozens of cars parked everywhere and loads of folk jumping out. They had driven down from Edinburgh to help. They were all employees of a bank (I wish I remembered which one it was because they certainly need congratulating) who sign up an agreement that should any one need help they would go and do just that  - help.

These wonderful folk dug and shifted tonnes and tonnes of sloppy mud for hours and hours. Then the fire brigade where then able to wash the remaining mud away and clear out the mud packed drains.

Once again the insurance men came round and raised their collected eyebrows and pursed their collective tight lips and worked over calculators. Then my in-laws waited and waited and waited. They agreed that they could no longer have their kitchen on the ground floor, my despairing mother-in-law wondered how they were going to afford to convert their lounge to cope with a kitchen at one end, dining table in the middle and the lounge squashed at the other end.

Once again, the kindness of people came into play here. My in-laws were nominated by one of their neighbours (who'd also suffered during the floods and the mud slide - damaging their cars and laundry room) to receive a surprise visit as part of the television programme.

A well known tv presenter would arrive unannounced and offer to whisk them away on a three day trip of a life time. Their every move would be filmed and then shown on television as a chrimbly-time show.

Then, once out of the way enjoying the high life down in London, their kitchen and lounge would be completely redesigned and built in three days. After the break away, the in-laws would then be filmed 'meeting' their new kitchen and lounge as well as all the designers, stylists, builders, camera crew and any one else involved with the programme.

Now, this is where we come in.  The programme requires a rent-a-mob to cheer and congratulate on cue. We duly turned up ready to do what we were bidded. We were not allowed in to the house as this would ruin the surprise so we were locked out! It was freeeeeezing!! The camera crew relented and let us stand in the now destroyed kitchen which had been used as a dumping ground for the damaged furniture and white goods.


We, plus other members of the family - 12 or so folk, were chatting away, catching up and talking about all the activity when.....ONLY JOHN CRAVEN WALKED THROUGH US hur hur hur hur - JOHN CRAVEN!!!! I almost felt the need to curtsey but controlled myself at the last moment, but I did jump up and down like a five year old and squeaked a lot!! My children were almost mortified.


















PS for non UK folk he is a TV presenter that has been a 'national treasure' for about 40 years and, I can now completely confirm, is a real gentleman.


Well, that's enough for now.....there is more - I've got to get ready for work...see you tomorrow!

PPS
I am overwhelmed by all your responses and requests for the blog address - thank you so so very much!



17/11/2012

Back in business!

Hello hello hello,
how wonderful so many of you are quite happy to leap the divide with me!

Welcome Jak, Lovely Lady, Andria, Angela, Sarah, Alison not forgetting Grammy B, Amanda in the Med (please send us sunshine!) Sharon - *hugs* back, gz (all the way from New Zealand), Cat and Sarah.  Several readers came through on my email address - welcome too :)

So - back to business.

What to chat about first?

Will it be about fairisle knitting?

Or drinking champers with John Craven and Linda Barker? Hmmmm

Then there is always - oh - ssssh might be keeping that secret !

And there is - oops, thats a chrimbly pressie FO....

Hhmmmm - Oh I know! there is the up and coming Hand Made Christmas Show that we (the knit and natter group) have been invited to - oh the excitement and the creativity that is coming as a result of that event!

Then there is the festive wreath making thingy we do every year.....

So - go on, what would you like to hear about first??

Oh, one of the above stories includes a ride on the orient express, a fake chrimbly tree and two foot thick fast moving mud.

Go - you choose!

New beginnings - in more ways than one

f you are reading this, then welcome, if you are not - err umm, no that's not right.

Let me try again - if you are reading this - you found me! 

For reasons I will not go into, I have chosen to change access to my blog .

Which explains why at 4.40am on a Saturday morning I am tapping away at the keyboard rather than sleeping. 

Fingers crossed! 


Some how she slept through it all....

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