Sunday, 28 September 2008

Crazy Life!

I love this peaceful shot in the Autumn sunshine. It's a far cry from this past week which has been crazy to say the least but I knew it was going to be just looking at the diary. Trips to London for various meetings and then hosting the conference and all that goes with this - welcoming, lots of talking, introducing speakers etc etc. It was a successful time with over 35 new people coming along so we were pleased. Then back into London the following day for meetings, after which I had to scour Oxford Street for a birthday gift for hubby! You might have thought it was easy to find a wash bag for a man in central London but if you did, I can tell you that it definitely isn't!!! John Lewis only have one to offer you and it costs £40 because it is leather!!! Well, this I didn't want so ended up finding something locally in Debenhams. But at the end of this long day and long week, I decided it was time for a little treat and took myself off to All the Fun of the Fair which is a tiny shop just off Carnaby Street selling wool and haberdashery items - the home of knitted cup cakes and the like. If you are in London and want to visit the yarn stores then John Lewis, Liberty, Loop and this little place make fun visits.

I met a lovely lady in there and we chatted about 'the need to find some time in each day just to knit or sew, a bit like an addiction but much less harmful!!' I instantly felt rejuvenated and fuelled to make the next visit which was to the Apple store to talk about a new laptop! I had some questions I needed to find out answers to and wanted to talk to someone rather than use the internet. That said, it was a fairly brief conversation in the end because as far as the chap I spoke to was concerned it was easy 'why should anyone NOT want to go the Mac route and why did I even think I might still want to use Windows?!!!' I am still pondering but this week will see me make a choice as the need is great as this little computer has passed its sell-by date.

So yesterday was hubby's birthday and we had a special celebration meal (his favourite) and all the girls came home for it and we watched a movie together which was fun. There was enough leftovers today for dinner so we hopped out into the country and sat in the glorious sunshine, reading and enjoying these last warm days, before getting back and mowing the lawn and having some tea and toast!

So hopefully, normal service will be resumed this week with a post or two before Thoughtful Friday. I hope you have had a good weekend and the sun was shining where you are.

Sunday, 21 September 2008


There have been lots of views like these over the last few weeks with all my train travel but it wasn't SO bad as I did get to listen to more podcasts! If you are a quilter you will be interested in Annie's Quilting Stash a podcast all about quilting with interviews and news. On Friday evening on the way back from Manchester I listened to a fun podcast with Annie interviewing two sisters in law both with the same name (Elizabeth Hawkins!) who have a quilting business in the US - Lizziebcre8ive. Do check them out.
A great way to get back home full of inspiration! But I had already decided that I had had enough HR over the last week and needed a little more inspiration(!) so took myself off early on Saturday morning to the Creative Stitch and Craft show at Sandown. To be honest I was disappointed. I had been there some years ago in January and it was brimming with fabric and yarn stands but this time it was only on one level and a real mix with some people selling walnut crackers - yes! and hoovers - yes! but one stand I wanted to visit was that of Blooming felt .
Sarah had a beautiful stand with gorgeous felt balls and the most delightful buttons all in glass jars looking more like a sweet shop where you just had to have a pick and mix! I was keen to buy a little something that would help me get to grips with felting so I bought a little penguin whom I hope you will meet soon! Do check out Sarah's website. I am sure you will be tempted by all her lovely things.

Sometimes you just need those creative bursts - opportunities to get out and see what others are doing or to just walk around a lot of beautiful things. I didn't stay too long as I was tired and I knew the housework was calling me!!! But with renewed energy on my return home I was able to clean the bathroom, hoover upstairs and downstairs and clean the kitchen floor.
I rewarded that time and energy with a creative burst of my own for a dear friend's birthday this week and made up a patchwork cushion and card.

The card hasn't come out too clearly on here but has a variety of add-ons like lace, brads and some ribbon words which say, create, inspire, believe. I hope she likes it!

Today has been such wonderful sunshine, hubby and I took some time out to go and lay in the grass in a big open field surrounded by trees. I forgot to take my camera! I actually took the empty camera case!! He has some big decisions to make jobwise in the next week or so which means we have been talking this through whenever we are alone - it's quite a stress but I find the best way to deal with it all is to get my knitting or sewing out and get those hands busy busy.

Then it was back home to do the laundry, change the bed and tidy up a bit with a fun tea for all of us - American Pancakes

I'm pretty sure I have posted recipe for these before but I don't know how to link to it so that is something I will have to put on my to do list to find out. They are oatmeal and we have them with maple syrup or golden syrup - very yummy!
Some major things happening this week: daughter no.1 takes her driving test; daughter no.4 needs to find accommodation as she starts Uni a week tomorrow!!; I need a new computer and need to make a decision regarding whether it is a Mac or a PC - any views on this welcome; and I am running a conference for 80 people on Thursday! I think that is all for now.
I hope you have all have a great week.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Thoughtful Friday 16

"If I were to trade away all the things I have for all the things I want I would be bankrupt. All I need has already been given. All I want I can't get without all I have already."
Neil G. White

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

It's been a while....

since I last posted on my blog but I knew life would be very busy in September when I returned from holiday and it certainly is. Today there is just a tiny window so I thought I would celebrate September! So what do I like about September?Changing leaves, especially those that turn such a gorgeous shade of red!
I love walking in the woods and seeing all the different leaves turning their different colours and hearing the crunching underfoot
collecting leaves to bring home and look at for a few days as a little bit of 'fall' decorating

I love late Clematis in the garden
and my first ever home grown pumpkin!
and the wonderful colours of the crocheted Afghan I am making

There are lots of other things I would love to share but this will need to suffice. Tomorrow I head up North for two days (could be the last of my travelling for a bit!) so Thoughtful Friday will be a little late by the time I get back on Friday evening. Enjoy September - we are already half-way through, can you believe it?

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Thoughtful Friday 15

"Let us, then, be up and doing
with a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, 5 September 2008

Thoughtful Friday 14

"An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth."

Bonnie Friedman

Monday, 1 September 2008

100th post!

I can't believe I have actually got to 100 posts but I started this little blog in September last year not knowing where it would lead or what I might end up doing. I have really enjoyed reading so many other crafty blogs and interesting websites as a result and have had some very lovely comments. Thank you to all of you who have taken time to read and stopped by to say hi. So to celebrate here is a little bundle of goodies that I would like to giveaway. Some soap from France, a secret package from France (see how beautifully they wrap everything!) and a 50g ball of Louisa Harding mohair and silk wool in a delightful colour of deep pink. If you would like to have a chance of winning this bundle then do please leave me a comment telling me what your favourite craft website is and I will draw a winner on 10th of September.

Lakes and Mountains

Time to come back to reality! What a wonderful time we had though with such magnificent scenery. We stayed for the most part at this little chalet in the mountains:
where we had our breakfast and dinner provided true country french style with typical dishes from the region. Dinner was late - around 8 or 9pm and this meant that really we didn't need any other food all day!! Life is so much slower in France and there is so much space. Here is a picture of the view from Le Chalet:
Imagine waking up to that every day of your life? And everywhere was strewn with flowers:
And the markets were fulll of good, wholesome food,
the shops with lots of heart-shaped and vintage style creations,

and there were glacial streams everywhere
and cows with 'clochettes' ringing throughout the hillsides (this one kindly posed for me, knowing you would all be very interested in how they wore their bells!)

There is much more of course that I could tell but time does not allow. This month is crazy workwise and I am off up to Middlesborough this week and Leeds next week for meetings plus we have family birthdays looming and daughters 3 and 4 coming back from their travels.
However I can't resist letting you have a little peak at Mont Blanc. I was so excited when I saw it as we turned the corner. It is truly a fantastic sight if you like mountains as I do - just so spectactular and certainly not something I see on a regular basis anywhere near where I live.
Isn't it terrific? We spent one day at Chamoix and took the train and cable car up to La Mer de Glace. You can go up nearer to Mont Blanc but it was very expensive so we kept things simple as we did for all the holiday really. It was very refreshing being in the mountain air and the sun shone all week for which we were really grateful. But I must stop because this is the 100th post and I want to do another post telling you about a giveaway!