Doing the mezzaluna

As promised here are some pics of the new Jamie at Home items. Some of these are from the party I attended a while ago but there are also some of my new purchases that arrived yesterday, also got lots of lovely things for people for Xmas which shall remain hidden! 

Jamie at Home 2
My lovely storage jars in various sizes

I couldn’t resist these – ceramic topped versions of the traditional Kilner jars which I thought were very cute and very good value – tiny ones £2.50 and largest ones only £6 each. 

Jamie at Home 1
My mezzaluna, platters and terracotta

And here is my mezzaluna! I have wanted one of these for years – I bought my brother one for Xmas a long time ago but no-one has returned the favour so had to get myself one. It is a device for chopping herbs etc with a shallow bowl and double handled blade. 

Underneath that is a round wooden plate and I also bought the long bread and dip server and an assortment of terracotta bowls for tapas. Am planning to do lots of entertaining in this glorious summer we are going to be having! 

Well it has been lovely weather here – last night I got home late and so when I had finished tea sat outside with my free Jamie magazine and a couple of glasses of wine and just enjoyed the garden and the birdsong. Today I also sat out after tea for another hour or so – I really do love this time of year! Am planning the first BBQ of the season tomorrow – wish me luck! 

I also had a lovely piece of stitching in the post – my Spring Ornament from Terry  through ASOE  arrived. 

Spring ornie
Beautiful flowers

It is now hanging on the patio doors to complement all the lovely flowers I can see in the garden. I really like the beaded hanging string – I often get stuck when trying to match stitching colours to braid for hangings and had not thought of doing that before. 

Hopefully my piece for her will arrive soon so that I can show you pics of that.

Hope that you all have a lovely sunny weekend – thanks for visiting.

Everything in the garden is lovely

I have had a very nice weekend – a combination of social time, peaceful relaxing and garden pottering and some lovely knitting and sewing. I have finally finished all the clearing up, replacing dead things and generally detritus removing so as the post title says I can now relax and just keep on top of the weekly maintenance. I do love gardening I just hate that time of year when you seem to have so much boring stuff to do and this year there was so much frost damage it has taken about 2 months to get straight. But the clematis is in bloom and the lilies are just about to be so all is well with the world! 

I had some people round for my own Jamie at Home party on Friday – it went very well and everyone enjoyed it. You may remember I went to my friend Cheryl’s party a while ago and bought some very nice stuff and decided to have my own party. As  a party host you get commission in the form of free goods and so I have lots of lovely new cooking stuff coming soon that I will post pics of! Also ordered some Xmas pressies for people -never too early you know – it creeps up on you! 

My lovely friend Kerry came round for a sewing day – she is doing some more goldwork – got no pics to show as we did more chatting than actual sewing but I got four more pairs of brais cut out for some of the guys in the medieval group. Just need to sew them up this weekend in time for the next show on the next Bank Holiday. 

In between gardening and sewing we went to see Robin Hood with Russell Crowe which I thought was very good. My friend Darren was in it as one of the swordsmen (think I did spot him in a couple of scenes but it all was a bit fast and furious at times!). Costumes were very good – obviously Robin spends most of his time looking a bit grungy but King John  was dressed very wonderfully – I got very excited at one point as the gown he wears  in one of his  early scenes is made of exactly the same material that I have in my stash – bought at one of our medieval markets a while ago. I couldn’t find any pics of that one but the pic below shows an equally lovely outfit. Will have to buy the film on DVD so that I can pause frames and study things in more detail!

King John
King John - I know he was horrible (and played very well by Oscar Isaac) but he has fab clothes!

So that this is not an entirely craft pic free post I will show you some of my good friend Barbara’s work – I have been meaning to post these for a while. Barbara (no blog) does the most beautiful tea cosies and these are some of her works – in the style of Poppy Treffry

Barbara's cosies 1
The front of the cosies
Barbara's cosies 2
And the back with very cute cupcakes!

Will also share with you some more pics of lovely Ellie and her social life (which involves far more dressing up and far less knitting than mine!). 

Here she is on a friend’s birthday celebration as  a Star Trek babe – ‘phasers to stun’ seems a very appropriate caption as she really does look stunning in the little red dress. 

Ellie - Star Trek
Self portrait with phaser (which was courtesy of Ebay)

She has now finished her first year at Uni (!) so went to the Summer Ball this weekend in a fab vintage gown that she bought last year in Spain. It is green taffeta  with gorgeous beaded shoulder straps. 

Ellen at Summer Ball 2
Ellen and Gemma at the ball

I am very proud of her once again as she has settled in so well – made loads of friends, is doing really well with her work and has organised a house for the next two years all by herself. She has also got two jobs – one doing voluntary work for the National Trust which will be fab for her CV and some paid work as a student ambassador where she will be involved in Open Days and Uni events such as September’s Freshers’ Week where she will be a very savvy second year! And she has managed to stay in budget all year and save money for her forthcoming holiday to Spain which is wonderful. 

Jake has just started his GCSE exams – he came home today with writer’s cramp from his RE exam. Only a few weeks to go and it will all be over. We are going out on Sat to organise his suit for the Prom – limo all sorted and he is looking for a top hat on Ebay as we speak – I knew that giving them a dressing up box when they were little would be a good idea! 

Hope you have a lovely week ahead – thanks for visiting.

Baby Knits R Us

Hello there

I hope that you have  had a good and very productive week. I have got loads done despite being really busy again at work. This week has gone very quickly due I suspect to it being 4 days rather than 5 – wouldn’t it be lovely if every week could have a day off – rather than a Bank Holiday we could all have a Hobby Holiday every week.

I’m sure it would make sense economically as production would remain the same – even be higher as people would be more relaxed, happier (especially if you read all those studies about craft activities lowering the blood pressure and releasing endorphins). All we need is a political party that believes in that kind of policy and problem solved – we wouldn’t have had a hung parliament!

Anyway I digress. I have decided that in the same way that I love doing small items of stitching I also love doing small items of knitting. I really enjoyed the teddy and all her outfits and am going really well on the baby cardi I started last weekend.

baby cardi 3
The back and left and right front pieces

So much so that I have bought some more Sublime wool (this time in the gorgeous turquoise colour) to knit another cardi for the other baby in the family.

It is a great pattern and knits up really quickly and the Sublime wool is very lovely to knit with – it is very soft and silky.

The stitching has been coming along very well and I have finished the ornie for my Spring exchange – can’t show you pics yet but I am very pleased with the end result. It would have been winging its way to the USA as we speak had I not inadvertently deleted the e-mail with my exchange partner’s address in (doh) so am waiting for her to mail that to me again.

I have finished the stitching for my scissor keep for Tracy from Cupcakes at Home’s  raffle to raise money for her rare breed sheep. Please go and visit her site if you haven’t yet and do buy some tickets. All I need to do now is sew it together and add the braid.

scissor keep
The completed Quaker motif from The Workbasket site

After the cardi is finished I need to cast on for some Forget me Knot flowers. Our knitting group are making some to give away in exchange for donations at our Knit in Public event day in June.

Stitching wise I have a WIP with my JWB designs cockerel to finish (only done a tiny bit on this start) then I think I had better get cracking on some Xmas ornies – it is May after all and as I have about 12 to do it really is about time.

Will leave you with a further pic of the lovely flowers that my students bought me last week as the lilies have come into flower. They are so lovely – it always amazes me that this perfection and wonderful use of colour comes from Nature every one just as perfect as the other with no intervention. I love lilies and have loads in my garden just coming through. The clematis is nearly in flower as well and looks to be fab this year so will post some pics of that soon.

Flowers 2
Beautiful lilies!

Bye for now – thanks for visiting.

A lovely time of year

The very nice thing about teaching is that I always get two periods of the year which are about new things and feeling optimistic about the time ahead. 

This time of year is one of my favourite – from a work point of view things are getting quieter, my lovely garden is starting to look beautiful again with lots of new things blooming every day. The camping and re-enactment season has started (hurrah!) and hopefully I will feel much better in time for the next event. 

September is also a lovely time as that is when all of the new students start and that is again a very optimistic time – for me and for them so I really look forward to that, This September will be very special for us as Jake will be starting sixth form and Ellie will be starting her second (!) year of Uni. 

We have also got some new beginnings in our family as my cousin Joanne  had a baby girl yesterday so I would like to send big, big hugs to her, Tom (the proud dad) and Elan (the proud big brother). 

The baby has not got a name yet but will have a cardigan soon as I cast on last night for the little wrap cardi I have been waiting to knit for her, the yarn is Debbie Bliss Sublime again and the pattern comes from this book Cool Knits for Kids  by Kate Gunn and Robyn Macdonald which I got as a nearly freebie from my Let’s Knit magazine a little while ago (just had to pay for postage). 

Cool Knits book
Lots of lovely knits in here for birth to 7 years old - should keep me busy for the new babies for a while!

This is the cardi pattern …. 

baby cardi 1
Pic from book - not pic of actual new baby in cardi!
baby cardi 2
Look lace again - I can do this now!

I took the above pic this morning and have already finished the back so it should be a quick knit though work will stop play once we finish having the lovely Bank Holiday weekend! 

I am planning to make these bootees as well to go with it. 

baby shoes
Am going to do the cardi border and the shoes in the same Debbie Bliss purple that I used for the scarf

I have finished the lacy scarf and am about half way through the Quaker piece for the raffle so the crafty weekend is going very well. 

Quaker design 1
The original design

The design is called Quaker Flower and is freebie from The Workbasket site. I am modifying it as it is going to be a scissor keep so am only stitching the top motif on my favourite sparkly evenweave with Silk Mill  lilac thread. 

Quaker design 2
WIP on the scissor keep

Hope you are having an equally lovely time. 

Thanks for visiting.