Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A To Z

I've always heard lots about A to Z challenges but to be honest I have never found enough interesting facts about myself to be able to be bothered.  Courtesy of one of my facebook friends I found a different A to Z challenge for the new year that I actually want to do.   Each letter gets two weeks of your time to make as much use out of things beginning with it as possible ie books/food/films etc. I am rubbish at explaining things so why not hop on over to Nicole's blog where she explains her idea perfectly.  If you are interested in joining in then she has set up a community to discuss/share ideas for each letter.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Snowy Christmas

A merry christmas to everybody - stay safe on those icy roads.

We had snow last night and went to the park this morning. Daisy loved it and my 5 year old and his dad managed a snowman. We had to use dog biscuits for it's eyes and mouth and an empty doggie bag for the mouth. Oh and dad's hat. One of the biscuits magically disappeared when Daisy went past it.

Finally since it is almost Friday here is Skywatch Friday taken last night.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Last Minute Essentials & A WOW Forecast

Last minute christmas essentials such as fresh veg and salad, bread etc can only be realistically bought a couple of days before and I usually end up doing a christmas eve dash. I decided this year that it would be different and I would be prepared so walked up the hill to Asda for our sprout tree and other bits and pieces. I say walked but slid would be a better word for it. Elsewhere in the country seems to have had lots of snow. We had a couple of centimetres (not even an inch for gods sake) that very quickly turned to icy slippery conditions. Considering the number of empty spaces in the supermarket car park it would have been easier to take the car but it's done now and we got some exercise in the process.

See those gold things - they are mirror ball tree decorations. They were reduced to £1.50 and I couldn't resist. Maybe I might think again when they blind us as the sun comes through the window.

I just checked out the forecast for the next week and WOW looks like we might actually get a bit of snow after all. It would be lovely if it comes on christmas day but I am not willing to put money on it as weather forecasters are notoriously unreliable.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Center Parcs

It's been a week since we got back home from our weekend away at Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest so better late than never are some piccies.
This was the Woodland Lodge type villa we stayed in.
It was supposed to be recently madeover by some interior designer and whilst it was very nice on the eye, when you looked closely the finish wasn't what you would expect from somewhere so expensive. Things like paint splashes on the tiles and around the doors are only little things but very noticable. If I had as much money as the owner of Center Parcs then I think I would have made sure I used professional tradesmen who are capable of painting a door and not getting it on the wall. Maybe that is why he has so much dosh.
Anyway that is only a little thing and it is only a bit of paint and not the end of the world. It is my only criticism of the accommodation.
This was the light over the dining table. I could have done so much more than this shot had I thought about it properly.
There were lots and lots of illuminated trees and little scenes like the reindeer below.
I caught this one at sunset.
I always thought squirrels hibernated at this time of year but there were plenty of them around. Maybe because there is a plentiful supply of food from the visitors.

This family of swans came carol singing one evening. Actually they were pretty much outside the patio door most of the time pecking on the window.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Snowy Doggie

We haven't had a great deal of snow but what bit we have had has now turned mostly into packed ice which isn't very pleasant to walk on. Some bits have melted where the sun has reached them.

I wasn't brave enough to take the dogs out yesterday so they had to make do with a run around in the frozen yard. Today I figured it would be best to just get on with it and take them out. One at a time though because otherwise I would be on my backside more times than upright.

I dared to venture into the park with Daisy. Thankfully somebody had gritted the slope up into it and it was almost melted on the grass. I did manage a couple of photos with my phone.

As for Charlie - well he isn't very good off his lead and is going back to dog training in the new year so he just had a street walk which was scary to say the least. My wellies have quite a bit of grip but not when a dog is pulling with all his might. Anybody watching would have been laughing their ass off.
Next time - our holiday last weekend to Center Parcs at Sherwood Forest. Not got enough time to tell you about it now so maybe on monday or tuesday.
Oh and before I go - the challenge on my shop blog is running until 31st December and has a prize of 5 packets of white flowers. Also running in the shop is the Christmas Countdown half price offer. Everyday there will be a different item running at half price. Today it is Rainbow Pearls & Crystals which are so versatile and the colours are fabulous.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Snowy Skywatch Friday

We had a sprinkling of snow last night and again this morning. This picture was taken this morning for Skywatch Friday.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Scrapbook Drought

I've had a little bit of a drought just lately but today I thought since it was a week since I set the December challenge over on the shop blog then I really ought to get my rear end into gear and do an example.

It is very rushed and certainly not one of my better pieces of work but it is a layout for a change.

I did a bit of a spring clean of my scrapbook stash last week - or maybe that should be autumn clean since we are still in the autumn equinox for another week or so. I found a few bits and pieces of christmassy paper and this 12x12 album so I scrapped straight onto the page and hope to do quite a few of the prompts from the Holidays In Hand course.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Frosty Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch is a photo I took earlier this week on a dog walk when it was frosty. The sun was out and the frost was just starting to melt so you can't see much of it but yeehah another blue sky. I even managed to get myself in it lol. That wasn't intentional.

Edited To Add:
Somebody just commented that it looks really peaceful. Anybody who knows where this picture is will agree with me and say that it is anything but peaceful. Directly behind me on the shot is Asda and a very busy main road. I love how we can create an atmosphere through a photograph.

Yes I know it is December and no we don't have anything remotely festive up yet although my son is sat at the kitchen table writing christmas cards as I type this. Bugs have hit big time this week with 4 out of the 6 of us down with a 24 hour sicky thing so maybe I might have a christmas tree picture to show you sometime next week provided I don't get it too.

Instead I have given my blog a christmassy makeover.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Miss Marple Solves The Mystery

Miss Marple actually was the name of the November mystery sock in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group over on Ravelry. The clues were released over the space of 4 weeks and I must say that I really enjoyed this one.

It's very rare I knit anything with more than one colour of yarn. If I don't want plain socks then I use a yarn that has a few colours in it. The method of knitting for this pattern was mosaic which is really easy once you get the hang of it. Instead of hauling both colours around the round of the sock with you lots of slip stitches are used and you just one one colour per row so you don't get that awful pulling or holes when you are going between colours. It's definitely a technique I will try again.

In answer to Carmen who asked a question about the wooden foot shape and whether I knit on it. No I don't. It is called a sock blocker and is used for shaping the sock after knitting it but it is also a good way of photographing my socks without putting them on and getting into odd unnatural positions to get the same sort of shot.

The new challenge is up over on the shop blog so if you want to win some flowers hop on over there to find out how.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Want To Win This?

This week my shop is sponsoring the Crafty catz Challenge blog. To be in with a chance of winning the above prize then fairies and angel cards are what you need to produce and then hop over to their blog with your entry. The prize is 2 packets of Pearls & Crystals (garnet & ice) and some flowers in wink and blooming retro

Tis Friday so a skywatch photo is called for. I am cheating with this one because it isn't taken by me but it was a bit of an excitement to add to the week and it does have our local sky on it. It is an embarassing photo and I must be mad putting it on here but this is the story behind it.

I went to the park with Daisy earlier in the week. First thing I saw was the dog warden's van parked across the path and two police officers with a photographer. One of the police officers started walking towards me and my instant thought was 'oh god there has been a horrible dog attack and she is telling me to keep away'. How wrong I was. She asked if I would allow them to take some pictures as part of a campaign they are doing to combat the huge problem we have with people not picking up after their dogs.

I was given a poop bag and told to pretend to pick up some doggie doo, make Daisy sit and they would do the rest. I am so so so glad that my head is down and my hair is obscuring my face.

The photo appeared on the local police website the next day and apparently it may be used in the local newspaper and other advertising for the campaign. They took another photograph showing the dog warden giving me a pretend ticket. She actually has a machine a bit like a traffic warden and can issue an on the spot fine of £50 to anybody not picking up after their dog. I had no idea they could do that.

I must admit I was anxious about Daisy doing her business during the photo shoot because sometimes it can be a bit difficult to pick it all up. I swear I could do with a jet wash strapped to my back at time with her. OK that was far too much information and I'm sorry.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


.......well kind of. Just some scrapbook layouts I haven't shared yet that I made a couple of weeks ago. Apart from one more I haven't done anything else for a while. I blame last week.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

New Moon

Last week was just one of those weeks - illness, visit to A&E, torture that was the physio which also happens again this week, doctors appointments, screaming kids, misbehaving dogs......the list goes on.

Anyway on a more positive note NEW MOON. Any fan won't need me to elaborate but the second film in the Twilight saga certainly didn't disappoint. I've always felt sorry for Jacob when reading the books and actually wanted them to end up together. I think New Moon will have brought Taylor Lautner lots of new fans. He reminds me of a young Anthony Keidis but obviously without the drugs etc.

and whilst browsing the net I found a link to the actor who will be playing Seth Clearwater in Eclipse - cute little kid.

I don't think I would choose to be in the cinema with the same crowd of people. The 20ish woman sat next to me was obviously drunk, kept laughing at inappropriate moments and didn't have a clue about some of the characters but tried to make out she did. The rest of the audience wasn't too bad but there was a lot of talking during the showing which I am assuming is people discussing certain events in comparison to the book. What surprised me is how young some of the people were. One lady had a young boy with her who was probably around 8 or 9. My guess is that she wanted to see it desperately but couldn't get a babysitter. There were also crowds of girls who I would estimate at around 11 or 12. Personally having read all the books I wouldn't think it suitable for under 13s maybe even older. It gets a bit deep at times especially in Breaking Dawn.

Got lots of catching up to do with lots of things. One in particular is the Holidays In Hand class by Jessica Sprague. I signed up on the very first day but it is now day 8 and I haven't done anything other than looked at the first two days.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Skywatch Friday

Today's skywatch friday is a cheat I took on tuesday when we made a visit to the club store for some gloves although to be honest it has been pretty much similar since then apart from a couple of showers which is very unusual considering most of the UK has had very bad rain.
I'm not complaining though.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Miss Marple

Remember the Miss Marple sock in blue and green from a few days ago?

Well so far we are onto the 3rd clue which is the heel and gusset. I finished the clue on one sock one so thought I would share the progress

If you can spare a moment my little man Max would appreciate your vote in the Next competion. The picture should take you straight to his voting page.

Take a look at this giveaway from Prima. Fabulous or what >>>>>>click the piccie to find out how to win all this gorgeousness.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Flippin' Eck It's A Blue One

First time I have been able to say this since I've been doing Skywatch Friday but we actually have a blue sky today.

I took this photograph early this morning thinking OK that cloud bank is going to turn into a huge amount of cloud and it will be a normal dull friday........

but just now it has turned into this

I am impressed with mother nature - she is kind today so far. She wasn't yesterday. Torrential rain that just seemed as if was never going to stop last night. It flooded the bottom of our yard which made for great fun for the dogs to have a paddle. Not so much fun for the wet paw police.
Regular readers might have noticed a change to my blog. I found this site yesterday and have used one of her designs. I'm not completely happy with the title but I think there is an option to alter it that I will look into.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Work In Progress

A constant work in progress is being a mummy to these two. Just when you think you have got somewhere with the training they pinch a sock or have their face in the rubbish eating soggy bits of tissue or decide that they can no longer hold their bodily functions in the middle of the night and need to go outside. Not nice in the dark and cold at 3am!

We took them for a long walk at the weekend to a place where not many people are around so they could let off a bit of energy and Daisy could work off a bit of the chunkiness.

Needless to say they slept for most of the day after that.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Next Directory Competition

I came across a competition on the internet run by Next and entered my little man so if anybody feels inclined to vote for him I (and he) would be very grateful

This is the picture I entered. It had to not have any branding other than Next. Considering he practically lives in his Leeds United coat with Macron advertising all over it I struggled until I came to this one.

Saturday, 7 November 2009


We went to a bonfire and fireworks display last night to celebrate bonfire night (OK so it was a day late but what the hell).

I found that our cheap camera has nighttime landscape and fireworks settings so was determined to test them out. I am a rubbish photographer as I found out but I thought this one was kind of arty farty.

and I tried to get a night landscape but it went all weird.

I just used the normal setting for these pics which because it was dark the flash triggered and that is never a good thing when you have a kid with specs.

After taking the flash off I got a blurry pic with the bonfire reflecting in my little man's glasses.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

To Hat Or Not To Hat

that is the question!!!!

This morning was the first time I felt like I needed to get the winter gear out but in my case that just means gloves and scarf.

I have been debating whether to either make or buy a hat. I can't remember the last time I wore one but pretty hats seem to be all the rage right now. Whether they are the right thing for a 30 something mum of 4 is something I need to decide. I need to ask myself - am I a hat person? Will it just look like something plonked on my head that looks ridiculous? Are hats just for the trendy people among us which I am not?

So many different types but one thing is for sure I will never ever be seen in a baseball cap. I hate them despite being married to somebody who lives in his when outside.

Having done a quickie lookie on Etsy I have found one or two I kind of like

or this flower one

or maybe I could go all out for this pink number

or even this for the doggies

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

5 Knitting Places

On the Blogging For Scrapbookers course today we have been asked to do a list of 5 favourites. I am in knitting mode at the moment so here are my favourite 5 knitting places:

Ravelry - knitting chatter

Shut Up And Knit - one very talented lady in both knitting and talking but shhhh she doesn't like visitors.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts - gorgeous sock yarn

Woolgirl - she does the most amazing kits which I have still to try

Angels & Elephants - gorgeous variegated yarn

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Knitting Update

Despite saying the other day that I would NOT be knitting a blood red sock there is still the matter of the socks I was knitting with the yarn I dyed with beetroot that went wrong and ended up being dyed with food colouring.

This picture shows the first one finished. Second one is still in progress - that progress being still on the ball of yarn and not started yet.

Also on the picture is my attempt at the Through The Loops mystery sock using King Kole Zig Zag yarn. A mystery sock is one where a different clue ie piece of pattern is given each week over a period of time - usually a month. This one was for October so I am a bit behind. When I do a mystery sock I generally use two circular needles and do the clue for that particular week for each sock - one sock per needle. It works well for me or rather it did until this sock. My second sock was being completed on a bamboo circular needle and after the leg one end of the needle snapped so once the first one is finished I will have to go back to the second. I also need to buy another needle (not bamboo this time!!)

Another mystery sock started on sunday over on Ravelry and it is slip stitch mosaic knitting. The yarns are some I had from when I was part of the Sockamania sock club that I never used. The original pattern for these yarns was called Bluebell Wood so they are a lovely shade of blue and green. The mystery pattern is called Miss Marple.

Just look at this lazy fat dog - up on the furniture where she is only allowed by invitation and she was not invited.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Holidays Are Coming...........

I hear the red cups are back in Starbucks this week and yesterday I spotted this on the side of a Coke can.

My favourite television advert of all time has to be this one

It always puts me in the christmas mood.

Today sees the start of the blogging class by Shimelle so I'm hoping to provide a more interesting blog from today.

Hop over to my shop blog for details of how you can win some sparkly flower centers.

Here is a layout I did on saturday as an example for the challenge.

and last but not least the dogs at the park this morning. They got into a real tangle with their leads.