Thursday, 21 July 2011

A Short Goodbye :o)

Hello lovely people :o)

This is just a quick post to say that I won't be about for a few weeks.
**Campanula under the apple tree**

One reason is because we are changing our broadband service to Sky, and between them and BT, they have seriously cocked up on our order! 

**All the apple tree is like this this year :o)**

So from tomorrow, we will not have any internet service for at least two weeks :o(

**One of our roses.**

And we are also hoping to get away for a few days holiday :o)

So just to let you all know that I won't be around, and I'm not ignoring you :o)

I don't know how I will get along without my blog reading though! 
I don't watch hardly any TV, but I do like my lovely bloggy peoples blogs ;o)

I might have to sneak to the library a couple of times to use their internet service if I can ;o)

Anyway, you all have a fantastic few weeks won't you!
The good thing about having no internet is I get to catch up on lot's of reading when I get back :o)

Take care everyone, and be good :o)

Love Donna xxx 

Monday, 18 July 2011

Huge Hook ...

Well.  Thankyou kindly for all your comments on my last post about work experience.
It was really interesting to read all your thoughts and experiences to do with the subject.

I also had a couple of emails and comments on my large crochet hook and using all the yarns, so i just really wanted to do this little post to show you all how easy it is to make your own big hook, and hook away all your favourite odd balls of yarn.

Both the hooks below I made.

The smaller of the two is 12mm wide. It was made from a wooden knitting needle out of the charity shop.
It's my most favourite hook :o)
I use it for my rag crochet mainly, but also for when I make what I call my 'tweeded' crochet with about six different yarns.

Below is my 12mm favourite, a 15mm shop bought plastic jobby, and in the middle is the beginings of my new 25mm large hook.

I've cut the 9" section off of one of the poles of our beach windbreaks :o)
Then got the stanley knife (a blade like a craft knife/scalpel, only stronger and sturdier for 'sharpening' the stick! -for my lovely  readers outside the UK)

See how they all measure up?

Then see, this is the begining where I mark the stick cross ways where my pokey bit of hook is going to be, and where I'm going to wittle the throat.

So you sharpen the pokey bit first (I know all part s of the crochet hook have got names, but I forget!)
You cut crossways, then scrape the wood away to the cut notch..

And you just keep doing that till you get to the size of the actual hook you want.

See above is the basic shape.
Then you get the sandpaper out.
As rough as you can handle it to begin with.
To shape the 'hook' part, you wrap the sandpaper round a kebab skewer, or a knitting needle and sand away.
Then you cut a bit, then sand a bit...See...

See the difference the sand paper makes?

And Voila!  See, a beautifully sanded crochet hook, just the size you need to make a nice fat yarn rug/pad.

I wax my hooks with a candle at the end, and rub the wax in really well with my warm hands to get a nice smooth edge to my hook.

You don't have to do this, but I think it makes the hook nicer.
And if you use a scented candle like my ginger and orange one above (the green thing -don't ask me why ginger and orange is green......) it makes it smell lovely too.

Oh, and the wax doesn't come off on the yarn if you rub it in well and leave about 24 hrs before use. :o)

Above is the little practice rug I made with my new hook, just to see how many yarns I could get on and how fat and cosy it would be.

Let me tell you now, IT IS SUMPTUOUS!

I used 18 yarns all at once on the hook.
And if you pop them all in one of those supermarket big 'green' bags, they don't get tangled up together.
(Well knot much anyway ;o)  )

But you will want to make loads of things once you see and feel how lovely it is.
Believe me, you won't be leaving all those odd balls of mohair and strange yarns in the bottom of the basket at the charity/thrift shops anymore once you see what you can make!  ;o)

Have fun lovely people.
Hope you all have a fantastic week.
And please, please, stop the rain dancing ladies ;o)

Take care everyone,
Love Donna x

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The experience of work experience! :o)

Well, this year I had plans to try and blog a couple of times a week, but I've failed miserably at that one. LOL

But still, we all have tugs n' pulls on our time.
It's just nice that we can get on here and share bits of our lives and cheer each other on :o)

Thankyou lovely people for all your kind thoughts for my eldest daughters work experience last week.
After the first day, she had a good week seizure wise, and thoroughly enjoyed her time working in a hotel.

Some of the other children on their work experience didn't have such a nice time :(
It appears that there are a lot of stressed 'adults' about in various work places who took their grief out on children.
To be honest I was slightly shocked that children on work experience could be sworn at and bullied.
I honestly would have had a fit had my child been sworn at and bullied, and quite frankly can't understand it. I mean why let the children go there in the first place.
Is this really 'work experience'?
It's been a while since I was 'out' in the workplace. Is this how people treat each other now?
I would genuinely like to know if this is as rife as I have been led to believe over the past couple of weeks.
I have three children who will be out in the work place in a few years, and this has all left me slightly worried to be honest.

I would have maybe thought a couple of children could have been exaggerating.
But about 30 (!) children left their work places due to one reason or another.
They're not having work experience at our childrens school next year now :o(

Anyway, if you have any stories/ opinions, good or bad, please share :o)

Well any way on to nicer things :o)

This is the view from the road by the hotel where my daughter worked...

I really wouldn't mind staying there I can tell you!

This is my daughter doing one of her 'jobs' of setting the tables...

She even made all the napkins into their shapes!

I feel lucky that she had such a good experience, and couldn't thank the hotel enough for giving her the chance to experience the work place at first hand.

Well, I've picked the first of my cherry tomatoes.

Mine are on the left. They were tiny, but they are absolutely delicious!
The ones on the right are shop bought cherry toms as we didn't have enough of our own yet. lol :o)

These are our runners...

And here is the first (and probably only)harvest of rhubarb which we made a crumble with (and some cooking apples!)

This is our first ripe apple picked this year (today actually).  They've ripened much earlier than last year.
I'd say by about a month! 
Just shows you what a month of sun in April does!

This is my 'extreme crochet' LOL
I made a new hook out of a wind break pole (!) Did I show you that a few weeks ago? I can't remember now.
Well, the hook is 25mm wide and about 9" long.
I used 18 different odd balls of yarn. You know, all the ones that you don't know what to use them for on their own!
And it crocheted up the most cosiest little pad.
In fact my bottom is perched on it as I type this :o)

I loved all the colurs together too. It looks very 'jewel like' :o)

The buddlia has come out this week (butterfly bush). but the weather hasn't been very nice for butterflies!

And this lovely little rosebush decided to bloom beautifully too.
To be honest I'd written this bush off earlier in the year.
As I moved it from another place where it wasn't doing very well at all, then it 'died' on me.
So I gave it gallons of water, kept talking to it and telling it that life really wasn't so bad,
and it's presented us with four gorgeous blooms :o) (As well as a bit of black spot ) lol.

Well, that's about it for this time people.
Hope you're all fine n' dandy and having a great week.
Take care now.

Love Donna xxx

Monday, 4 July 2011

Sewing times and Thrifty finds :o)

Good evening people :o)
I hope this post finds you all fine and dandy on this 4th July :o)

Happy Independence Day to my lovely bloggy American friends :o)

D'you like my lovely old Singer Sewing machine? (above)
She's a beauty isn't she?  
I've had her now for about 9 years.  And we've done quite a bit of sewing together.

I adore the gold printing on her, and the grape vine front plate..

It's so pretty isn't it?  but old things generally are aren't they?

Well, I've made a start on my daughters quilt.
Below are the first fabrics that I cut.

They were my first 6" squares.
And below is my first 'block'


I've decided to make her a seperate Dolphin cushion.
I'm quilting the dolphin panel (for the front) by hand.
And it's so enjoyable. Trouble is it's so s...l...o...w.... too! LOL

But the actual quilting has come up even better than I imagined.
If you look at the big dolphin above, you can see it just starting to show in the 3d  around the nose that quilting does...
That part of it always amazes me.
It's so simple, yet so effective ;o)

I've been slowly sewing it when my eldest daughter isn't going to catch me.
I took it to do today when she had her first days work experience. But unfortunately her work experience didn't happen :(
We got there early, but almost as soon as we were at the hotel (she's working there for the week) she started to have a humungous seizure, so I had to give her her emergency medication and bring her home :o(
But we don't give up easily! We're going back tomorrow to try again :o)
So wish us luck!

And look what came in the post for me!

How spoiled am I?

I've lusted after this bag for ages and ages now, and it was finally in the sale at Cath Kidston.
reduced to £35.00

Oooo, I so love it, and I know a certain Rosey bloggy friend will love it too!
Trouble is, there appears to be lots of imitation Cath Kidston about at the moment.
It makes me want to stick a big label on my bag stating that it's a real one LOL ;o)

I finally started picking our runner beans yesterday.
Only a few, mixed with some of the french beans, but steamed over the new potates they were delicious :o)

This is our first hibiscus flower this year. isn't it gorgeous?
It was positioned there in the sun just like that.
Waiting for it's five minutes of fame on my blog ;o)

Other lovely flowers in the garden...
Above is my first courgette flower, although it does have a courgette on it too.

Our tomatoes are all reddening up.
This photo was taken last week, and I've now got 14 cherry ones going red, and about 7 big ones, and 4 plum ones.

Here's some of our blueberries this year.
last year we only had 4 berries on them:(
This year we have loads (theres another plant too not in the photo )

Yummy water melon (no, I didn't grow this :o)

And here's the little courgette growing below the flower that's now out
(sorry, i should have put these in order shouldn't I ? )

And here's my most bestest thrifty find of the year.
40 vintage sewing patterns for £10.00!

Yep, 40!

I was so excited when I saw these in the charity shop I can tell you!

Once I've finished my daughters quilt I'm gonna make a start on one of these little beauties.
I'll show it when the time comes.
Some of them I don't like/wrong size and I'm going to try them in my Etsy shop -which I have sadly neglected all through June :o(

But once this work experience is over I'm going to be listing and sorting it out.  I have to park and stay near the hotel where my daughter is in case of/when she has seizures so I can administer her emergency medication.
It's classed as an 'unlicensed' medication, so only me/dad or medical people can administer it, not her teaching assistants who are with her on her work experience and at school.

So fingers crossed she'll be having some work experience tomorrow, and I'll be doing some more sewing :o)

That's it for me tonight folks.
Oh, did anyone else have internet connection problems at the end of last week?
Half of our town and a couple of others around had no internet connection. Did that happen to any of you?
Just thought I'd ask, as you know how nosey I am, and so far no one (not even the service provider) has any answer! 

Anyway, you all take care now, and have a fabulous sunny (fingers crossed) week.

Love Donna xx