::This week so far…::

WOOOHOOOOO it's the half term holiday!

Lots of jobs and bits and bobs to tick off my list!

Well half term in my house generally involves lots of sleeping (me), eating (me) and catching up on housey type jobs (everyone) that I either can't be bothered to do or haven't time for in term time. These include (in no particular order):  pulling out the sofa for hoovering, refolding the towels in the airing cupboard so that they all fit in again, putting back the increasing pile of shoes, boots, scarves, hats and gloves that pile up on the hall settle, moving winter clothes out of storage and summer ones back into for another year!

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The half term week started for me in Edinburgh!! Yes, I went with a couple of work friends and we ran the Race for life twilight around Arthur's Seat.


EdinburghIt was amazing and we LOVED it. I have done many runs but not one in the dark- the atmosphere and the twinkly lights were fabulous. But we did get VERY wet. 
Really enjoyed the weekend and pootling around Edinburgh on Sunday morning – christmas shopping in Jenners is always a treat.

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I went into school at the beginning of the week to get a few bits and pieces done, and it's so much easier when there are no children around – although they are kind of the point of it all anyway!!! You know what I mean!

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That done, time to concentrate on recharging my batteries and doing some family things.

With all of those jobs done and dusted (yes I did that too), time to snuggle down and get on with some crochet. The weather has been very hit and miss- in fact more miss than hit!


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Lovely coffee ( a Starbucks Christmas blend – I'm testing it out you see!!), walnut whip (oh how I love a walnut whip from M and S), candles, a warm glow, gorgeous yarn and lots of ideas to get on with!! Heavenly!


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and with a few more leaves and a marigold…


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Tick! Tick!

Then the task of cooking and making and with an Aga that decided to get hotter and hotter yesterday – lots of cooking, baking and making was needed to cool it down and regulate the temperature again.

So here you go, as you can see the oven was very hot as a couple of the next items got a little 'flashed' as Mary Berry says in the Aga cookbook!!


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 Yorkshire puddings LOVE a hot oven, but it was even a bit hot for these little guys! Still they'll freeze well enough.


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The choclate cake will get icing, and a chocolatey top in time for tea! Also made HUGE pans of chilli, soup and a very large ginger parkin ready for bonfire night.

Tick! Tick! Tick! Lots of jobs done there then!

My favourite though is the cherry, gluten and diary free flapjack- Yes I can actually eat it!


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The recipe is here if you would like to make a gluten free and diary free person VERY happy!

350g (12oz) sunflower margarine

3 generous tbsp golden syrup

175g (6oz) light soft brown sugar

1tsp valilla extract

75g (3oz) Doves farm plain flour

375g (13oz) Gluten free oats

Mix marg, syrup, sugars together in a pan and melt until smotth, add vanilla. Add to the flour, oats and stir to mix. Pop into a lined swiss roll tin, 25x38cm and into the oven for about 20 -25 minutes. Cut into squares, fingers or triangles – what ever you fancy whilst it's still warm and allow to cool completely on a wiire rack. I add 100g of natural glace cherries into mine but you can add 100g of banana, sultanas, chocolate chips. Anything at all!! 

Enjoy with a lovely cuppa!


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Oooooh forgot to tell you, my new book arrived. I've been following Arne and Carlos for a while and their book came out in English!!


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So what's next for the rest of the half term week.

Well we've booked a lovley hotel in Shipley, you can have a peak here. We're going to visit E in Leeds and I've wanted to go to the lovely and exciting sounding Salts Mill for AgEs and so we're heading there on Friday together. E will get the train over from Leeds and meet us there, we'll have food, look at the exhibition, hopefully have a wander around and genrally relax! Phewwww. Deep breath! There is an exhibition of Rock and Roll music etc that will appeal to my two big boys VERY well, and even to J too.

There are the Hockney paintings which will appeal to me VERY much and lots of things to pootle about at. I'm really looking forward to going.

Then we will be visiting my Brother's new little family and Baby M before we travel home and back to the prospect of getting back to school. 


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Hopefully as ell as ticking off lots of jobs and things off my list, I'll feel refreshed and ready to take on the run up toChristmas in school – that's no mean feat I can tell you!

So, that's my week ahead and so far. What about you?

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::Autumn walk inspiration::

WoW what a windy ol' week it's been! Up here in the Northern Lake District it has been howling and whirling and all of those lovely brown, red and orange leaves have been flying about, not really having chance to show themselves off in their beautiful autumny gloriousness.

But… this week I've been out for a lovely Autumn walk with J looking for  inspiration for my Autumn wreath.


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As we climbed higher and higher up the hill round the back of the house we could see Crifell over in Dumfrieshire – can you see it over there in the distance?

Then the taking of woodland autumny goodness pictures and finding of inspirational objects!


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Found some fabulous little funghi arranged like a miniature city perched on the side of a cliff!

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The light was fantastic and the colours just beautiful. It makes me feel so warm and happy.


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It was a little wet, but there were plenty of leaves to play in.


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Rusty, red, rose hips, ripe and ready to fed those happy, little, hungry birds through the winter. When I was a girl, my brother and I would happily pick rosehips for my Mum's wine making exploits! We would get scratched and dirty but had loads of fun picking from the hedgerows and if we were lucky we would have handfuls of blackberries too, if the birds hadn't eaten them. The horrid bit was the itchy powder inside, which of course always appealed to my mischevious younger brother! he would split open the hips and do nasty awful things to get the powder on you. Little brothers!

They do look beautifully tempting don't they?


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Gloriously statuesque and architectural!


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It has been so incredibly wet!


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Elderberries, gorgeously purply, black waving around in the autumn sunlight!


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And here is my lovely collection of beautiful autumn treasures…


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Super cute little acorns all smart and attentive with their little hats on.


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An abundance of leaves, different shapes, sizes and colours so varied – a painter's pallette.

So after a long lovely autumn walk, J and I settled down to a lovely hot chocolate (I also had my porridge) and I got on with some wool winding so that I could start my leaves, flowers and acorns for my Autumn wreath project! So I'm all ready… with my new wool bowl and my favourite Emma Bridgewater mug and a few bits and pieces from my stash.


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I've been using one of my favourite little books, 100 Flowers to knit and crochet, you can get it here. There are so many lovely little flowers, leaves and even acorns!!! Autumn Wreath blog post will be coming soon, but here's a sneaky preview at some of the little bits and pieces I've got finished so far… Look aren't they adorable?


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I'm so incredibly pleased with the way these little leaves and acorns have turned out. Enjoy your autumn adventures and happy hooking!!

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::Ta-Dah!!!!! Flower Burst cushion ::

Ta-Dah!!!!


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Front and back views…


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I have been working on this cushion for only a couple of weeks – B.Y. (before Yarndale) – and it has come together so quickly and satisfyingly!

In the beginning…

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I purchased a lovely feather filled cushion, and some violet and purple shades of yarn, Stylecraft and King Cole that I originally thought I'd work for a tonal look!

But that changed…

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 I found a little bit of help from Lucy at Attic24


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and I just kept frilling and hooking…


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 See what I mean about the colours? A bit of green crept in and then…


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 Some yellow, some blue and some orange and then it grew, and it grew and it grew until… 


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(yes there were more not-purple colours added) it was the right size! It really did blossom and burst, and it feels amazing!! All those ripples, ruffles and pretty petals. GoRgEoUs!


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So then to do the back! Start with the chain and DC stitches just like Lucy says…


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 The back worked up really quickly, increasing 5 stitches every alternate row, just like the front. I finished it with a pretty red coloured ruffle of petals around the edge. I completed this at my stitching group this month and it was a lovely, relaxing feeling getting to the end of this lovely cushion. I was alomost sad that the creative and organic approach I took with this project was coming to an end.

Eventually I attached the two together. I actually stitched the pad into it, I'm sure it won't need to come out very often!

And so here it is… Ta-Dah!!! In it's lovely place in the longe all cosy, colourful and eyecatching. I'm pleased I changed my colour ideas, and I love the variety of it. Happy happy! :o)xx


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Hope youlike it! Now to finish my granny square cushion, that has been on the back burner for a couple of months! Will post pictures soon. :o)

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::Yarndale 2013 – There and Back again…::

So off to Yarndale!!

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Day one::

Having booked a lovely little spot for my friend Fi and I to stay near Skipton so that we got the full two day experience, we set off early on Saturday morning and headed for Skipton. Lots of chatter and discussion, in the car and in no time at all we arrived at…. a traffic jam.

SOoooooo many people arriving in Skipton for a yarn festival!!

What a beautiful sight would greet them, the gorgeous Yorkshire Dales, lulling them into a false sense of security with SuNsHiNe!!! (I think it rains here nearly as much as Cumbria!)


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The arrival along the walkways was amazingly intriguing, the walk through the decorated pathway, meeting the bunting…


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and then just in case we weren't sure if we were close…


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 and then…

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WOW!!! The weather was amazing, beautiful blue skies, warm sunshine and an amazing backdrop for lovely crafty balls and knitted balls making a lovely mobile!!

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But then nothing could prepare us for this…

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What a glorious welcome!! The bunting looked colourful, stunning and spectacular and I got a warm fuzzy feeling looking for and finding my bunting triangles. What a wonderful testiment to global unity… so many triangles from so many places. Fantastic!!

There were so many exhibitors and as Saturday was ridiculously busy we didn't get to see too much really, I don't think our elbows were sharp enough! We popped into Skipton on the fun and funky Yarndale bus…

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We had a delicious lunch at Wild Oats Cafe in Skipton, where we were amongst other tired and hungry Yarndalers having a quick bite to eat, before returning on the reliable bus, or walking through the yarnbombed and bedecked park to the Auction Mart and Yarndale. 

Later, after a quick drink in the pub, we had an evening walk around the town…


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and off exhaustedly we went to out accomodation. Great food, comfy and stylish room, a little bit of hooking on Flower burst cushion, Fi made one of her little motifs…


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I managed a little MixTur43 Facebook updating and off to sleep to gather as much energy as possible for day two- and getting those elbows sharpened for a bit of poking and prodding. :o)

Day two::

Phew!!! So much quieter, although busy, you could actually see things. Had a lovely chat with a Lady in the Knit and Natter lounge…


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Talked to Lucy from Attic24 about all things Drops Paris yarn, sore fingers and how amazingly successful Yarndale was in her beautiful, fun and accessible yarndale space…


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Lucy was soooo so kind, generous, friendly, and chilled, the amount of people she must have talked to in those two days, well!! All I can say is she must have been overwhelmed too… for some it was like a pilgrimage… She was patience itself and I although I really wanted to meet her, like everyone else, I did feel a little bad that she had been almost mobbed!!


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I have to admit, my photo was seriously full of moving people so I've borrowed this one from Marmalade Rose , it was such a lovely space, very Lucy, the colours, patterns and feel of it were all so Attic24.

In fact when I looked more carefully at Marmalade Rose's Blog post about Yarndale there I was… with Fi talking to Lucy, not once but twice…


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Dark hair, stripy top and short red hair, dark and light blue top… here… look…admiring the Japanese flower scarf Lucy is talking to us about.


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Very strange but fab!!

Anyway, then off to our workshop, proddy and hooky rugmaking.


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Fantastic workshop… look what I made…


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 and here nearly finished… (sorry he's a bit blurred!)


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We even got ideas for raggy brooches, aren't they beautiful?


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So many things to look at, but this one really appealed The Natural Dye Studio…


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Gorgeous colours…


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I even bought the book and some yarn.

Amazing embroideries…


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 and I bought this one…


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We decided to have a last little jaunt into Skipton, find The Studio, have a spot of lunch and then had off home. And that is exactly what we did.

We found Coopers Bistro…


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and I had a platter (including Gluten Free bread!!)…


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The buttons were a purchase from Toft at Yarndale, and just happened to be out of my bag at that very moment!

We then took a sneaky peak in The Studio and had a quick word with Tracey, and Lucy's babysitter for the day about clours and yarns (her crochet looked beautiful) before we decided to leave Skipton behind us.

And so having gone on our way through the lovely Dales and Yorkshire countryside to get to Skipton and Yarndale, we returned through the lovely Lake District and Cumbrian Fells back home…


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So what did I treat myself to?


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A yarn bowl, glittery yarn (for a friends christmas present – once it's made), blanket yarn and matching beads, a crochet rabbit toy kit, a crochet bowl kit, my proddy rug project and books full of ideas and other projects.


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A very handy felted bag, I bought the large buttons to add a fastening to it.


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Beautiful soft yarn to crochet another baby blanket for my beautiful nephew M.

What a long post that was, thanks for sticking with it!! Tired out now, will have to spell check, organise my posts and then I'm off to mak a rather yummy ham and prawn risotto for supper. Might let you have the recipe…

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings about Yarndale, would love to go again next year and meet other bloggers – Lucy has had the genious idea of having a Bloggers lounge! Great!!

Take care and happy hooking….

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::It’s great to have a catch up…::

Hi there, haven't had a chat in ages!! It's so good to get the time to catch up and tell you all my news and the things I've been up to in the last month or so. I can't believe it's so long, where does time go?

It is a bit like greeting an old friend and in some aspects feels just like yesterday that I was writing my last blog!

So Hooky wise catch up:

I started a Flower burst cushion using Lucy's blog and tutorial to help me.

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and it's coming along beautifully (I'll post my Ta-dah! for this cushion very, very soon.)


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Parenting wise catch up:

I've been back and forth to Leeds to firstly settle him, move him into his flat, he ahs a great view

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and then to catch up and fill the cupboards!! It takes about 2 hours 45 minutes to travel there and so we've stayed over the last twice. In fact the last time, last weekend, was on my birthdayand the grand age of forty four, so we stayed at the beautifully boutique-ified Malmaison hotel in Leeds as a treat! 


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It had the most beautiful stairs…


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I had such a lovely birthday, seeing my big boy, sharing food and then seeing my lovely brand new baby nephew too! Yum, yum, baby cuddles, with his new baby blanket.


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I added some edging to it at the last minute and I think it really finishes it off.


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I do miss Big grown up E, but he's settled, happy and beginning to mingle in the student musical world that he now inhabits so at least he's getting himself out and about, and he can cook all manner of things now!!  He has even got to grips with the laundrette, so all is good. Phew!!!

Yarn wise catch up:

Well of course I went to Yarndale with my friend Fi and we stayed overnight in a lovely Inn called The New Inn at Clapham near Skipton. They served delicious food: here was my small desert, chocolate brownie…


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It was deliciously HUGE!!! and I ate every bit :o)

We had a lovely evening and two days at Yarndale, despite the triple booking of the town over the weekend and the hoards and masses of hooky, yarny, crafty, knitty minded people descending on the little dales town! I have completed my special Yarndale post which you can see here! 

School wise catch up:

I have survived and recovered from my trip to London with my Year 6 children and the staff, however I did return quite sick (literally) and needed a weekend to recover. It was incredibly tiring and I didn't get any hooking done but I did see lots of inspiring sights, and have bonded and gelled well with my team, and the kiddiwinkles. It was amazing. A yarn bombed cab anyone!!


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How are things with you then, here's me chattering on about myself! Would be great to know what you've been up to as well. Drop me a line and let me know!

So now for more blogging and writing. Was great to see you and  have a natter. Must not leave it so long next time!! Take care xx

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