:: All is calm… All is bright::

Merry Christmas everyone… as the good song says!

It's been a little busy leading up to the Christmas break, and now Christmas day is over, I'll be having a well deserved and longed for rest. Christmas cake turned out well – I use Mary Berry's Aga recipe and it always works wonderfully well.

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Busy making and crocheting Christmas decorations, presents and organising all of the food, housey things and family timetables(after a very intense end of term at school) almost drove me over the edge of tiredness into can't be bothered ville! However, family, sleep, food, sleep and family all rallied around to make christmas special, warm, cosy, and filled me up with good old fashioned family love and warmth. Aaaaaahhhhhhh…. (sigh of contentment.)

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(Got to love my youngest son's sense of humour – handmade cards!!)

Enjoy your Christmas and New Year, and I hope that the coming new season brings everything you need for a happy, healthy and homely life.

 

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A selection of other Mixtures!!

::Autumn wreath – Ta-Dah!!!::
::Ta-Dah!! Meet little Owl::

::Summer Holiday part 1• Cambridge Folk Festival::

It's a very long time since I've been to a music festival, and I've never been to a folk one, so wasn't sure what to expect at The Cambridge Folk festival! Arrived at Cambridge , at the campsite at Coldham's Common with our friends D and K with Little Em and their lovely campervan Dora. Camp was made, boundaries and territory set, then the beer was opened! 


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You may remember I was starting my Festival Granny Stripe blanket here and it came out of the packing quite quickly!


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There were such an abundance of flags to mark out where each camp was, so that they could be found in the dark, later when either walking back from the festival, or in the night with our torch wandering back from the toilet facilities!!


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The organisation for the event is fantastic, buses running from the campsite to the actual Arena area at Cherry Hinton Hall. Catering for kiddiwinkles (play areas, storytellers, foody bits, creche, activities galore), adults (music, food, beer, cider, music, food, beer, cider!) and even retail therapy with an abundance of incense, kaftan''s, musical instruments, and many other clothing and jewelry stalls.

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Impromptu musicians playing… such a happy sunny feeling about it all.


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It was lovely to wander around on Thursday, when it wasn't quite so busy, and OH BOY, did it get busy!


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We set camp at the arena near the main stage (see above), with our chairs, and blanket and sat in the blistering sunshine, chatting, relaxing, listening to music and drinking cider, ginger beer and beer. Quite a lot of falafal was consumed too!


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And let the crochet begin…


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We had an amazing frst night Lucy Rose was beautiful, lovely and amazingly shy! Her music is so new and interesting and I loved being in my own little world singing along in the stage 2 arena. A lovely way to end our first day, before snuggling into my sleeping bag and dreaming of bacon butties!! Yum. 


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Day two, had a similar feel: lots of crochet, Crabbies, falafel and greek wraps which were lush! I had a lovely quiet interval in the afternoon listening to some amazing storytellers in the duck pond area of the site, Little Em and I munched on marshmallows and absorbed the wonderment of the children's faces as they listened to tales of dragon's, princesses, princes, evil witches and good kings. Amazingly they are all oral stories and well acted out some of them, many drama students do a turn here and I was amazed how intriguing they were, in story and how animated they made the captivating stories. No chance of falling asleep…. I wanted to know the endings!

However E, (who by the way I was loving spending mum and grown up boy time with) had obviously enjoyed his ciders, having tried a number of the varieties on offer!


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 The levellers were my favourite act to see and I wasn't dissappointed AT ALL!! Took me back to my sixth form days and days of being 17 again! Aaaahhhhhhhh…


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and of course more of Festival Blanket completed during the day…


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I did get many admiring glances and comments, when packing up at the end of the day, the guy in the next 'camp' asked me if I'd finished it yet, when I replied no, he did say it looked complicated!! I'm loving making this blanket, it grows quickly and I love how the colours are rainbow-like but not in a rainbow.

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They compliment each other so well. Anyway, sleeping bag beckoned once more…

On day three the weather forecast was ominous: having had 100% sunshine, very, very, hot sunshine, we were promised some rain later! 


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And it rained and rained … just when we were waiting for my other highlight K.T. Tunstall. I only got a bit of "Suddenly I see.." sung and the heavens opened…


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and of course you do what every self respecting festival or open air concert-goer does…. yes you put on a large coloured carrier bag type thingy poncho!!!  Tres attractive!!

End of day three, but this time hot chocolate, marshmallows and brownies in the tent were calling. The whole family and our good friends enjoyed the rainy, wet, squelchy ride and wlak back to the camp, knowing that something warm, chocolatey and friendly was waiting.

Finally….. on the last day we had another gloriously sunny day, The Mavericks on Headline and more storytellers, magic shows, duck pond adventures and crocheting. The festival was great, the entertainment fabulous and overall the weather did us proud, us Brits!!

I'd like to go again next year, it' the 50th anniversary, so I think there'll be some amazingly awesome music, sights, sounds and stories. 


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The thought of camping in a field, sitting in a field and being around soooo many crowds and people for the whole festival, had I must admit seemed daunting and I wasn't sure how I would feel. Smelly, grubby, tired and in big need of a hairwash? OH YES!!! but content, happy and so lucky to have the amazing family ad friends to share the experience with…. as that bank card company say… PRICELESS!!

Part 2 of our little family holiday coming soon… Roman Holiday… see you soon.:o)xx

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•Lovely – Sunny Festival Granny stripe blanket!•

It is a bit of a marker point for me this blanket, sunny, gorgeous colours, lovely, festival feeling, rainbow hues and super soft DK yarn. But it will be the rainbow colours that will remind me of the sunshine and rain of being a parent. My big boy will be leaving home for University this year, and I'm feeling … well… I don't know really!

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I've chosen the pallette for my next project Sunny Festival Granny Stripe Blanket, which is the stash I have left from my lovely Sunshine Granny Square Blanket.  I'll be getting on with whilst away at The Cambridge Folk Festival this week. I'm soooooooooooo excited about going to a music festival and staying in •BIG• tent with J, E and little J. D, K and little E kiddiwinkles are looking forwards to their trip in Dora the campervan and it'll be an amazing start to our holiday. •RoMe• and •PoMpEiI• trips booked too. Uncontainable lovely glee at the thought of travelling. 

A tinge of sadness at leaving E in England doing his own thing for the summer after Cambridge – well he is 18 now and it's great for him to be so independent – can't help feeling sad that he will not holiday with us for the first time this year on our Roman Holiday trip.

So another blanket I shall make, to keep my mummy mind busy and distracted from the inevitablity of my eldest son leaving for university after this summer break. I cannot tell you how much I am so incredibly proud of him. xoxoxoxox soooo much love!!

So the blanket…


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Right, the beginning… I used yarn markers to mark out every 50 chains in my foundation chain, all 210 of them. I did take a peak at Lucy's blog for her Granny Stripe blanket over on Attic24, and followed her very good, sound advice about checking and rechecking. And guess what? No cussing or bothering, happily I got it right first time!! 

And boy, does it grow! Once you're past the tricky first couple of rows…


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…and you keep triple clustering into the third spaces, it really does begin to take on it's own personality!! Such a happy blanket, and incredibly satisfying.


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It's growing rapidly and although it's just another blanket, it will be the one I do at The Festival with E and the family, and therefore it will always remind me of this time. My last summer holiday with my boys all together for the next few years. There will be family times, but our rhythm of life for the last 18 years will change…. and that's ok!!

I realise this could all sound a bit mawdling, as my Granny would say, but really truly I'm not. I have a wonderful, happy new relationship waiting for me to blossom with my soon-to-venture-off-son, and I'm going to embrace the changes.

 Sooooo, many happy good times ahead this week with very close friends and family with changes to our little life as we have known it. But, it's all good, just keep hooking and life will go on as normal. A new normal. ;-) 

 

Happy thoughts :o)

Night. Night.

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•A happy ending•

And breathe……….

It has been so helpful and cathartic to share my thoughts and feelings over the last few weeks, especially with it being so difficult at work. The end of the school year is always a tricky time; teachers moving classes, children moving classes and taking down the colourful work that makes each classroom so unique. However this year I have had the additional emotions go year 6's who are leaving our happy school, after 7 long and fruitful years. They were understandably upset, and I was sad to see them go.

What a wonderful bunch of children they are too; so many gloroious presents from them (we teachers in y6 paid for them to go bowling – we all had a wonderful happy time). What an incredibly lucky teacher I am, they have all been so generous, thoughful and personal in their choices.

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Handmade key rings too, in all my favourite colours. ;-)


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I feel very lucky, appreciated and happy to have made such a lovely impression on those children's lives. I know they will go on to be successful if they want to. Teachers get such a bad press, and many many of them are truly dedicated to their work and do it very well. When you consider that people entrust their children to us for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, we have a huge responsibility to fulfil in teaching them the nuts and bolts of the curriculum. But, we also need to ensure they enjoy learning and become learners for life, not just the content parts, but the interaction, social and emotinal aspects of life. I'lll get off my soap box now – I am just so passsionate about being a teacher and a learner myself.


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My friend and colleague S, got me a fantastically inspirational book, Chicken Soup for the soul which has some wonderfully uplifting stories and thoughts on life and love. I enjoyed starting it and dipping in, whilst having my •super delish• version of my salad for lunch on Saturday, in the glorious hot weather again.


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This made me cry – Thank you for helping me grow!! I love my job. 

Now time to recharge those batteries and get next years topics planned (no 6 weeks holidays for me – or any other teacher!)

I might squeeze in a little trip to Rome with Big J and LIttle J whilst E is busy doing work things to earn money for College in September.

See you later! xx

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Little S blanket

Well since my brother and his partner announced they were having a little boy, who is scheduled to make an appearance in September, I decided I just had to make a baby boy blanket. Well it would be rude not to!

So I set about hunting out lovely soft baby yarn and found loads in the attic left over from my knitting and making for my Little Men.


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I crocheted 56, 4 round granny squares all with a cream edge, and then joined them all using a chain stitch join in cream also. Here I'm just beginning to join the rows before doing the crooss-over joins.

It's gorgeous Debbie Bliss cashmerino yarn (you can get it at The Wool Warehouse) which crochets beautifully and feels super soft for my soon-to-arrive nephew.

Well here it is finished.

Ta-Dah!



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Hope they like it!

 

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