Wednesday, 29 April 2015

A Melting Grandma

Currently I keep melting everytime I see this new photograph of the twins.  I've got no other excuse in writing this blog other than to show you this gorgeous photograph!

I must see them soon, I just want to eat them and hug them! So adorable. I also have a short video of them feeding yoghurt to each other - can't post that sadly.

Then I am also getting a daily melting from my other grandchildren. As you may remember they are away in Northumberland and daily getting new pictures of them.

Rowan's first time on a train to Edinburgh from Berwick.

Golly I'm only a 20 month old grandma and already I've become besotted with my grandchildren. This beats having pictures in your handbag to show people - I can show the whole world my adorable grandchildren.

Love Melting Grandma.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Happy Times In The Nicemurderknitter Home.

This last weekend has been one of those times when it was filled with lots of happy things. It started late Friday evening with No 3 and family arriving to stay the night. They were on their way north from Bristol to Northumberland - a loooooong drive! But for us it was an opportunity to see the grandchildren. I have to say Rowan was lovely. It would have been expected for him to be grumpy arriving so late, well past his bedtime, but instead he was full of the joys of spring.

Here he is managing to eat chocolate cake at 9.30pm! Of course Poppy (the dog) is never far away when there is food about!

Then it was time to familiarise himself with the toys. He particularly likes this one as it involves dropping balls through the top and watching them reach the bottom. It should have a frog face on top but for some reason  he would not have it there and kept pulling the frog off! The train is a hit because it makes lots of noises!

Time for his favourite book and then we had to persuade him that bedtime was needed - he wasn't in agreement and it took a while to settle him. It bought back memories of when our four children were small - easy to get them to bed on time but once they were over tired it became rather difficult. In fact it was easier to sneek them to bed earlier rather than later. Meanwhile Ayla has been topped up with milk and has fallen asleep on her daddy's lap.

Now her daddy is what I'd call the swaddling king. I can remember when Rowan was born how he'd swaddle him. Daddy learnt this within days of Rowan's birth. I think the babies look like caterpillars ready to turn into a beautiful butterfly.

If you look carefully at the picture you can just see one of Ayla's fingers sticking through the blanket!
The next morning I prepared a cooked breakfast and bade them farewell as they headed to Leeds next for a visit with No 2 and family.

I would have loved to have been there and seen all four grandchildren playing together.

This looks to me as if one of the twins, along with Poppy are pretending to play dead!

Think they all must have gone out for lunch but couldn't resist putting one of the twins in!

Ok back in Leicester once Mr P and I had finished the massive washing up session and tided up the toys it was time to relax and get my play toys out! Well I started and then decided that as the sun was shining I ought to go outside and so I popped to the local garden centre. I got two tomato plants - it says on the label that they do not grow tall,  do not need any canes and can grow indoors! Well lets see. Plant one.....

Plant two.......

Will keep you updated with their progress. Note I deliberately took the  picture with them insitu so that we could compare them with the teapots etc hanging.
I got some rocket seeds to put in my raised bed along with some thyme and another plant that has pretty edible leaves.

The blossom on the apple tree was looking gorgeous this weekend.

Ok enough time outside - time to make Mrs A part of her birthday presie. I remember her saying once that someone else had a v shaped pillow and she didn't have one so I chose that and decided to make a pillowcase to go along with a plain white one. Discovered as I used the plain case as a pattern how poorly it was constructed! Not saying mine was much better but I wasn't charging a silly amount of money for it!

After constructing the case I then went onto doing blanket stitch around the edge - which killed my fingers getting the large wool needle through the fabric and then the fun of crocheting the edge.

Sunday I cooked us a yummy cottage pie along with a blackberry and cake pudding. Of course then the beauty is come Monday teatime we can have leftovers, or as I call it YMCA - yesterdays meal come again!

Oops a day later and I forgot to post this blog last night! Spent the WHOLE night looking for somewhere to stay at the end of May as Mr P and I are having a weekend away. The reason it took all night was because I was busy reading up on all the available places with this site called Canopy and Stars. I prepared a list with places I really liked and then presented them to Mr P to choose. Guess what he picked out my favourite. Whooppeee! He then booked it and I did a little dance! Can't wait for our romantic, quiet hideaway. So I'm not telling you which one we booked! You'll have to wait and see! Bye for now, must get ready for work.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Quietness In The Home

Last week Mr P was away in Northumberland, at our home. So all has been very quiet here with me going to work, doing the usual household chores etc etc. So basically I'm a bit of a bore! Saturday I met up with my dad and we spent some hours in Dobbies. Drinking lots of tea and lunch, mooching around the plants. There were masses of people as they were having a special 20% off all things day! So the place was buzzing. Later on that day Mr P returned home on his new motorbike. At long last he has found one that he really likes.

He's called her Bromwyn because he purchased her from Wales and she is a BMW - BroMWyn, very clever! So pleased for him that he has found a new love! Looks like he took this photograph whilst he was away on the causeway on Holy Island. Now this shot is also used on the television programme Vera. The cameramen show Vera driving in her vehicle off the causeway and then within minutes she's in Newcastle. Ha ha ha. Impossible - it is at least an hours drive! But it seems that the producers love this image and several episodes have the exact same footage, with Vera arriving at some impossible destination within minutes!
Sunday I made another dress, gradually improving the design and choosing different options until I am completely happy with the design. Sorry have worn the dress yesterday and it is in the wash - so no pictures! This time I tried the puff sleeves and added an extra inch in length to hide my chubby arms. That turned out well and I like this sleeve better than the previous sleeves. Also I added an extra inch onto the length of the dress - to hide my footballers knees!

Ok sorry to be a bore but sometimes life is just a bit run of the mill BUT I will show you a few pictures of the grandchildren.

Ayla does not like dummies but has found her thumb instead! Just noticed that's a new crochet blanket - not mine! Someone else has been busy!

Rowan busy helping in the kitchen! Apparently he has now decided it is time to think about talking and has started to say some words!

The girlies looking sooo cute - I love those flowery tights.

They make me laugh soo much with their legs - always seem to be up in the air, or behind their ears! Oh to be sooo flexible! Hopefully in the next few weeks I will get to see the grandchildren - missing them.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

What Have I Been Up To? - Sewing, Knitting, Crocheting.

It's been a busy weekend in my craft room. You may remember in the distant past I had a go at trying to make a dress but it turned out more like a nightie. Then I tried another one and again a second nightie! What with the Great British Sewing Bee - television programme - it really inspired me to have yet a third try at making a dress. You may also remember a few weeks ago I bought some material and a pattern from the NEC - time to use it. Time to put my demons to bed and have another try. So I decided I was not going to use my really lovely expensive material first, but rather try on some rather daringly bright cheap fabric. Here is the pattern:

Now using the cheap material first was a good move. I made the dress once and it was way too big! So  unpicked it all and started again with a smaller size (sorry do not know what I've done to the font!) Having made a second dress with the same fabric it was still a little smocky. But here is a photograph of dress number one. Maybe I can wear it whilst camping in hot France - sorry avert your eyes if it is too bright!

Should say the dresses look better on than off! I added the buttons to try and hide the smockiness. Then I had a brain wave - you know one of those moments when the penny drops. I thought the three dresses on the pattern were all the same other than the the different sleeves. I remembered seeing something on the pattern for the front....

Do you see it says "Centre front fold version 1" and "Centre front version 2 & 3". Aha I can make the dress less smockey by folding it in at version 1! Eureka!

So determined not to give up trying to make a dress off to Fabric Guild to get some more material. Dress number two was made by Sunday afternoon. It's okay you do not need to wear sunglasses for this one!

Those of you who are looking at this picture will see some creases as I wore it to work yesterday! I really like the colour. The fabric is Indigo by Moda. Mrs A and I went to choose the fabric and you would have laughed at us as we were standing in the shop draping fabric across each other determined to decide whether the fabric would not make me look like I'm wearing another nightie or look like a pair of curtains! Hopefully you'll agree that it was a safe choice. Then as I'm phoning Mrs A to say I've made it and saying another day I'll use the second fabric when I'm realising as I'm saying it I'm going to do it then and there! Golly aren't we complicated people! Why do I say I'm not going to start another dress and then have the power to change my mind in the middle of saying it? I need a psychiatrist! OK dress number three. I had a problem with the neck band with number two and ended up having to put in a little gathering of fabric at the neckline. So for number three I cut out a longer neckband but this has made it a little lose on the neck so I have been thinking about that and hopefully I have got it right in my mind for the next dress!

Now this fabric was a bargain at £3 a yard - Amy Butler - Gypsy Caravan for Rowan. I was not too sure about the design but when I realised it was Amy Butler I though it should be safe. So there you go three dresses in a weekend. Not sure about number one but maybe camping will be ok. So that means I ought to try and make it again with the fabric that I bought at the NEC show next.

Looking forward to doing this next dress - hopefully will have everything correct.

Meanwhile I have also been busy putting all my granny squares together to make a blanket. The wool is rather significant. It is made up with leftover wool from the baby grandchildrens' blankets and a blanket I made for my daughter in Northern Ireland. The squares have all been connected and I am now in the middle of crocheting an edging. So just a small glimpse of this blanket until it is finished.

Also started knitting yet another small shawl.

This is the last time I can make one of these shawls as the Noro wool I use is no longer being imported into the UK as it is getting too expensive for the wool shops to buy - oh sad days :(

Finally using up some bits of oddments - more dish cloths! How exciting to have a new dish cloth to use when washing up?! Definitely need a psychiatrist! Ooops can I hear the the van pulling up with the men in nice coats to take me away. Bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Easter 2015 - Hanbury Hall, Foxton Locks, Upton House.

Mr P and I did not go away as he has to work - busy time of year for a minister of religion. So we opted to celebrate Easter by having day trips out to various places.

Good Friday dad came and we had a mooch around the local shops and enjoyed a yummy dinner together. He did tell me that he and a friend went out for a meal and this was the bill after 25% discount!

Don't think I'll be going there!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday we headed off to Hanbury Hall. The weather was a little gloomy but not raining. I gather if I was living in Wales the weather was glorious.

 As we went around the house and gardens it became apparent that previous owners had been very unhappy here. They had either died early, divorced or bitterness had got in the way. Only one family managed to live here. But on this day the place was buzzing with children searching for clues for their Easter egg hunt. The national trust have done much to improve the atmosphere and today it is a very happy place.

 Afterwards we visited the parish church which is placed high up on the hillside overlooking Evesham. Apparently this is the church that in The Archers - BBC radio programme. Hanbury's St Mary the Virgin is often used as a stand-in for Ambridge's parish chruch, St Stephen's.

Back home I finally managed to decorate some pussy willows with my spring decorations.

Easter Sunday off course was a wonderful morning celebrating my faith. Then after Mr P had had a nap we went for a walk along the canal at Foxton Locks. Golly we haven't been there for ages.

 As we started the walk this pig came racing along the field to see us. We were not so keen to stroke it especially once we saw how large her teeth were!

Then home in time to watch a new series of Vera.  We particularly like to watch  it as it is filmed in Northumberland and we spend ages debating where things have been filmed.

Bank Holiday Monday and another trip out this time to Upton House. Now we thought we had not been to this National Trust property before but as we walked around the gardens it became apparent we had been before. Golly we  must be getting old - memory failing!

I think the confusion came about as the trust has themed the house - "Banking for Victory". They've done a marvellous job of setting the house up as it must have looked like in the 1940's. The owners who were bankers moved the staff from London to the safety of Upton to work. One room was laid out as an office and there were many typewriters to try out. I guess for the children they had never really seen them before and parents could be heard saying "one key at a time". I could also see older adults reliving their past and trying to type fast like they had many years ago.

One of the great things about the house was that it has been set up for the public to touch as much as possible! Great place to take children. Then I saw something that people were saying I can remember this from childhood and to my horror I wa thinking but I still see this at church!

The gardens were enjoyable and there is a south facing terrace that reminded me of gardens in southern France.

In this huge pond were either frogs or toads not sure which. But as we stood gazing we could hear their cry. It was amazing. Tried to take a picture of some in the water.

Well Mr P and I have had a really nice weekend, especially managing to have lots of time together. OK back to work tomorrow, but a shorter week - wahay!