Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Things from the internet

These shots of the workshop of machine knitting company Uimi run by Feeona Baalham and her husband Troy, are absolutely gorgeous. I'd love to have the space to be able to display all my yarn like that. Their finished prducts are pretty beautiful too.

I found this article about historical figures who had disabilities interesting. So many important people, especially military leaders would have had injuries and permanent disabilities such as blindness yet we don't commonly think of them as disabled.

 This piece of embroidery has a huge impact.

 I really love this video. Lots of people have posted it on facebook recently so you might have seen it. If you don't watch the final few seconds you wouldn't see its an advert either.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Cage, Lyme Park

I've written before about Lyme Park. This stately home and park land was used as Pemberly in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice in the 1990s and has been a place I played in often as achild and now regulalrly go for walks in. It was also where I saw this stag.
This tower stands in the park, not far from the house. Apparently it was originally a hunting lodge or folly where the family and guests would retire for drinks or lunch after a morning's hunting. It was also used as a lock up for poachers who were caught stealing local livestock.

 This ridge runs from the house which was behind me when I took the picture, up to the cage. It is always windy here so when I was small we'd often go and fly kites here and always ended up in a big tangle.

It a fairly daunting looking place. I wouldn't want to be looked in there for a night!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Operation Christmas Child part 1

One of my favourite things in the lead up to Christmas is collecting for and filling up my shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.This is a huge undertaking by a charity called Samaritan's Purse to organise shoeboxes full of toys, stationary, toiletries and woolly things from groups or individuals in the UK to be distributed to children throughout the world who would not otherwise receive gifts.
For me, going shopping with the goal to get as much lovely stuff for some of the world's poorest children is something I enjoy. Even though I am buying 7 tubes of toothpaste or a bumper bag of pens and there is nothing intrinsically exciting about that, I think about the children who will receive these boxes and how happy they will be.
For the past few years, instead of filling a box by myself, I've been part of group efforts to fill many boxes. With my church when I lived in Bradford we devoted a whole Sunday service to filling boxes, children had to partner an adult, adults were not allowed by themselves! As I'm no longer there I joined my mum's women's fellowship group with there efforts.
Sending a shoe box is pretty easy to do
 First you need to wrap the box in Christmas paper. Often the boxes will be very special to the child who receives it so I try to use paper that is quite strong.

 If you're filling a lot of boxes I think its best to put out all the stuff that goes in them divided into categories; notepads, pens, cuddly toys, toothpaste, soap etc.
 Then the fun bit! fill your box. You choose whether you fill your box for a boy or girl and what age range they are and then pop it in your box. Operation Christmas Child suggest putting in toys, educational and stationary items, hygiene kit, sweets and woolly things like hats, gloves, scarves. I always try to put a small cuddly toy in and a ball and make sure each box has toothpaste, toothbrush and soap.
 Then you can write a Christmas card or letter to the child who will receive the box and include a photo of yourself  if you like
This is my filled up box, ready to go to the warehouse to be sorted.
Last week I went to the warehouse for all the boxes locally to help sort those, I'll write about that in another post though as this is already pretty long.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Things from the internet

Love this super duper biscuit bag from Caitlin Shearer

 I was a guide all the way from Rainbows at age 5 through Brownies, Guides and helping at Rainbows until I left home to go to Uni at 19. I did all sorts of fun things like camping and canoeing , putting on shows, hosting international guests, planning our own weekend away and lots and lots of singing. This article questions whether its a feminist organisation. (I think so)

 Sometimes you need a calming manatee.

 In case you've ever wondered, yes there have been Siamese Siamese cats.

I'm pretty much in love with this rainbow crocheted blanket. I'm wondering if I can do something a bit similar with some left over yarns?

This is epic! Epic Neil!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Autumn colours

I've already posted one rather picture heavy autumn leaves post this season but I'm afraid this is another one.
I'm still completely enamoured with the way that bright leaves can make that surrounding countryside look so bright even on a grey and cloudy day.

On Saturday I went walking with a friend and the rambling group she's joined. At one point we went through a small patch of quite densely packed woodland in which the light was low, this was combined with a sudden downpour meaning it was rather dark. The effect the of bright orange leaves against dark wood was stunning even through the dim light.
We've only really had a couple of properly cold days so far this year so I've really been enjoying getting outside every day and experiencing this season.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Fancy Finger nails!

This is the first time I've painted my nails in anyway apart from one single colour and I'm quite pleased as to how they turned out. I used model's own brand colours in Peach Puff and Gold Digger.I painted the peach colour then when that had dried I put sticky tape on diagonally and painted gold on top. Fancy!


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Close encounter with a stag

 On Tuesday I went for a walk in the grounds of a local manor house, on my way back home again I encountered this magnificent fellow. I turned round a bend in the round and there he was, standing before me, the most be-antlered creature I have ever seen.
 I wasn't entirely sure what to do, deer are fairly peaceful but those antlers are enormous and I didn't want to frighten him, at the same time he was right in the middle of my path and I needed to get past him. I was approaching slowly when a runner came past me, the deer was obviously used to this sort of disturbance and crossed the path in front of me and sauntered off back the way I'd come.
I'd seen deer in the park before but never at such close range. It was a very special moment.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Things from the internet

Love these dreamy prints from Esther from the Sticks on etsy, so full of play and imagination.

Has society changed much in the past 2 thousand years? This article shows similar characteristics of class divide in Roman times.  I think Mary Beard is pretty fantastic and a rather good role model for girls.

I'd love a jumper like this, think it might be quite easy to make a DIY version?

It didn't get much publicity but a couple of weeks ago a group of protesters  shut down a power station here in the UK. This is why they did it.

Zayn Malik out of One Direction, is from my old neighbourhood, I know his mum and sisters. As the only non-white member of a boyband, the way he is portrayed as being the "bad boy" makes me feel rather cross. This article encapsulates my feelings very well

What a nice guy! and a lovely song

Monday, 12 November 2012

This weekend

 This weekend has been a bit of a staying in doors keeping cosy sort of time. On Saturday we had a rather crafty day and made lots of Christmas cards. It is far to early to be feeling Christmassy but it was nice, we lit the fire, listened to Christmas music and finished off the day by watching Love actually, it felt a bit like a one day holiday to the middle of December. I'm quite happy to return to November though.

1. Lighting a fire. I love having a fire, this was the first one I'd made this year. Fun Fact; I have my Girl Guiding fire lighter badge level 4!
2. Making my bed. This is my favourite duvet cover and a blanket I crocheted for myself last year. So cosy
3. Purple orchid in a green room.
4. New crochet project, not particularly secret Christmas present. Love this yarn.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Dark and cosy

The dark nights have been drawing in
I feel a little surprised by the dark, suddenly 5pm is the middle of the night and I see daylight for a few brief hours each day.
The past few weeks have seemed to rush past, filled with important events, Eid followed by Halloween then Diwali and this week Bonfire Night.
Though I have not particularly celebrated any of these, just knowing that they are passing has seemed to add extra pace to the days.
I'm much less inclined to explore and have adventures when the weather is cold, damp and dark, and much more likely to sit on my bed and surround myself with cushions and blankets and slowly create and dream.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Things from the internet

Here are a few things I've been looking at and thinking about from all over the internet this week

This essay by the author of wreck this journal. Keri Smith explains her path through education. As I'm a  teacher who is not entirely convinced by a lot of current education policies and trends this was food for thought.
 My lovely cousin Elizabeth was named as Guardian Student Reporter of the year! So Proud!! I thought it likely she would get it as it was her second year to be nominated but I don't really know much about it and its a huge achievement.

 Really like this fun picture of Nelly being Nessie

I've been having the sort of week where self medicating with cake has been necessary. This plate would have been hugely welcome.

Not being American but being interested in politics, peace and political systems, this was an interesting round up of some quite bizarre election moments.

Here is a beautiful and heart warming video

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Painted tea pot and mugs

A few weeks I wrote about my friend Hannah's hen party and that I'd got some pots for us to paint. We had a rather nice, slightly silly time decorating them. I took them back to the shop where I'd bought them and they glazed and fired them. I picked them up a week later and I think they look fantastic!
Hannah got married yesterday and I brought them to her celebration meal today where we got them all out to show her family, now we've all seen them I thought I'd share them on here.

 Hannah's sister Eleanor, whom I've known nearly as long as I've known Hannah (well over 20 years!) has a rather daft sense of humour and evidently a very steady hand, painted this logo on the bottom of one of the mugs. The ladies in the pottery shop were very amused!
I really like how professional and fancy they now look, this is definitely something I'd do again for a special occasion or as the pottery shop also has a coffee shop maybe we'll just pop in for coffee and a spot of painting.