Hello there I do hope that you are all well and have not been too rained on this week.

I have been very busy with planning just lately. As a teacher I do a lot of planning, autumn is always the time for a good review and sorting out what I will be doing for the rest of the academic year. I have just met my other new group of students and they are very lovely so am looking forward to a good year.

I am very keen on planning but in recent years have had to train myself to be a bit more relaxed when my carefully arranged ‘what I think I will be doing for the rest of my life’ stuff has been interrupted by real life. As a result I am very much more mellow and actually enjoy not having my future all planned out.Who knows what lovely things will happen to surprise me?

However I have been having a very nice weekend doing planning of another sort, meeting up today with friends from my medieval group Swords of Mercia to plan our events for next season over a lovely pub lunch and planning my craft room!

This second bit is going to take a while as I appear to have quite a lot of fabric (ahem) and keep running out of storage boxes and having to go and buy more.

At least I have unearthed all the stash now and have marvelled at all the lovely things that I had totally forgotten I had. Some of this stuff  has not seen the light of day for about 6 years! I am determined to use more of it though and will have the sewing machine busy during the off-season making kit for the boys in the group.

Here are some shots of my work in progress, it looks a bit bare but I have a dedicated work table for my machine which is great.

Craft room 1

I still have  a way to go in filling up my quilting fabric shelves (especially since most of this is Ellie’s fabric) but the rest of it is looking ok.

Craft room 2

Craft room 4

These boxes hold my Xmas fabric and ribbons which will all soon be having an outing as I can feel an ornie session coming on.

Craft room 3

And to finish a little shot from the bus on my way out of the valley today for those people who have commented on the views – Yorkshire is still very lovely even in the rain!

Marsden view Sept

I do hope you have a good week ahead, this is my last full week before I go to China for a month which I am getting very excited about!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Home alone – no pumpkins yet!

Some years ago in 2009 I did a post entitled ‘Home alone ……. with a pumpkin’  as both the kids were away and I was making pumpkin soup. In that post I wrote about how Jake would be leaving home so I was practising then for the time when I would be home alone for good.

Well this is it and Jake has left for University. We took him and all his belongings (and there were a lot of them when piled into my sister-in-law Amanda’s car!) all the way up north to Teesside University where he is happily settling in to his student hall.

Here is the outside of the halls of residence , not the most glamorous of buildings but Jake chose it as it has very large student rooms and good communal facilities and is very near campus.

Jake Uni 1

Here he is – with top hat of course – moving into his room.He says he has space for a grand piano but don’t think he will be able to afford that on a student budget! It looks a good room for parties though as it is twice as big as the space shown in this pic.

Jake Uni 2

It doesn’t seem two minutes since we dropping Ellie off at her halls of residence – you can see her at her first day at her halls in this post .

Hope Jake has a fab time, we are very proud of him

And of course now I get to start sorting out the new craft room, did a little bit last night but I have a lot of stuff to move – am hoping to be able to show you pics at the end of the week.

Still have not really decided on a decorating theme, was going to do a vintage/Cath Kidston look but most of my fabric is either Xams stuff or medieval so don’t know what would look best. Maybe I should just go for a Santa’s grotto theme and then I could have all my ornies out year round, that would be pretty 😉

Am going to my new knitting group in the village tomorrow, Wool and W(h)ine, held at one of the local pubs (what a good idea) so am taking a simple pattern as don’t think I will be able to concentrate on anything much.

I was out partying this weekend and met a couple of the knitting group who are very lovely. One of them is an ex   re – enactor who has just set up an online fabric store which I will get the details of and post here! How exciting, I knew I was so right to move here.

I have had a wonderful week, on Monday I went to see the Mikron Theatre Company’s  latest production at one of our local pubs – a wonderfully funny play called ‘Losing the Plot’ about an allotment. The info for the company is at the link above – do go and see them if you get a chance, brilliant unique theatre.

Since I now have no one to look after or feed I thought I would do my bit for the local wildlife so have bought a lovely new bird feeding station for my front garden. I was ignored for the first 24 hours but then got some lovely visitors, starlings, crows, two finches and two robins. Was difficult to get good pics but this one is lovely.

Bird feeder

And as for the pumpkin it is nearly time to buy one for my favourite soup – Delia Smith’s Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Melting Cheese  – yum yum!

A busy week ahead but hopefully will have some crafting time. Thanks for visiting.

The needlepoint cats in their new home

Hello there

I hope that you are all well and happy.I have had a very enjoyable week, term has started and I have met my lovely new group. I have also spent a wonderful weekend putting the final touches to my new house. All the pictures are up and it is really feeling like home! One of the things that I have had great pleasure in putting up is my stitching, including the oldest pieces, my needlepoint cats.

Before I found cross stitch (courtesy of my sister) I mainly stiched needlepoint which I enjoyed but was very time consuming. However it was very good therapy with small children and I completed a number of pieces. These cats are from a book called Needlepoint Cats by Martin Leman  and are now on the wall in my kitchen.

Needlepoint cats 1

 Needlepoint cats 2

Needlepoint cats 3

I took time out from house sorting yesterday to enjoy the beautiful weather and my lovely new home’s location on the edge of the Peak District National Park.I went for a walk up the hill, I am very lucky as 10 minutes from my house is this wonderfully scenery. This is Butterley Reservoir in the late afternoon sun.

Butterley 1

This is the view from the road up to the reservoir and the picture below is the view back down the valley. The old mill chimney you can see down in the valley is right next to my house.

Butterley 4

Butterley 2

And this of course is one of the most important things about Marsden and the symbol of our Jazz Festival  – a local sheep, famous for invading people’s gardens and eating their flowers!

Butterley 3 - sheep

Am looking forward to many more walks – have got the loan of a couple of friends’ dogs if needed and am hoping to take my bike out soon, maybe tomorrow if I get time.Am feeling so happy now everything is settled and sorted, it is all such a relief!

Take care and thanks again for visiting.

Caldicot 2012

Well we had such a fantastic weekend at our last show of the year, the weather was brilliant, the beer tent great fun, the company excellent and the castle is just the most beautiful place to be – I am so lucky to be able to camp in places like this.

We arrived early on Friday as we were helping organise the event – here are the other two members of the Sisters of Mercia , Kerry and Ellie , (the water carrying branch of our Swords of Mercia group) relaxing on gate duty on a sunny Friday evening.

Caldicot - sisters on gate

Although Kerry has been on the battlefield before it was her first time wearing her own helmet! Here she is with Andy modelling it before the battle.

Caldicot - Kerry and Andy 1

I took lots of pics of the tents inside the castle, there were some beautiful banners so have taken some close up pics of the applique for you.

Caldicot - camp eve

Caldicot - camp - Clive's tent

Caldicot - camp - banner 5

Caldicot - camp - banner 4

Caldicot - camp - banner 4 detail

Caldicot - camp - banner 3

Caldicot - camp - banner 3 detail

Caldicot - camp - banner 2

Caldicot - camp - banner 1jpg

Caldicot - camp 5

Caldicot - camp 4 loom

Caldicot - camp 3

Caldicot - camp 1

Caldicot - camp 2 lamp

A brilliant time and thanks to all my lovely friends for helping me celebrate my house move (and to Ellie for not pushing me in the moat for spending all weekend saying how happy I was!)

Term has started and my new group are here so it is very hectic – am hoping for a nice weekend of finishing off bits in the house before chaos descends again next week! Ellie is visiting the new house tomorrow for the first time (and taking some of her stuff back with her!) so that will be lovely.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Green door what’s that secret you’re keepin’?

You may remember the Shakin’ Stevens song of the same name. Well I have a secret to share with you all – do you want to know what is behind this green door?

new house - green door

It is my very lovely new house!!! I have been planning this move for two years and been trying to actually make it happen for almost a year since I put my old house up for sale.

All seemed to be going well until June when I was expecting to move but a major delay with the chain set us back 2 months. I have been all packed up ready to go since then and have been sitting surrounded by boxes trying to keep myself cheerful but dreading it all going wrong.

But it hasn’t and we moved in two days ago. I didn’t want to post anything until it had actually happened as did not want to jinx things. I have moved to a lovely little house in the country, in the beautiful village of Marsden.This is where I am, the views up and down my street.

new house - street view 1

new house - street view 2

You may remember that I have posted about the village before. 2 years ago I started helping as a volunteer with the local Marsden Jazz Festival  as a way of getting involved in the community. I have really enjoyed doing this and made lots of new friends here.

The village is fantastic, surrounded by wonderful moorland and reservoirs with lots of cute shops (including a new craft and wool shop – they knew I was coming!) and lots of very practical things like a train station and supermarket. Also a knitting group, book club, Zumba and belly dancing as well as theatre, live music etc so I will not be lonely once Jake leaves for Uni.

The old house was lovely but far too big for just little old me so I have decluttered and decluttered (not that the removal men believed me when they saw the amount of stuff) and thankfully it all fits in here.

And after two frantic days, with help from my wonderful friends Taru and Bob (who organised lunch and dinner on Fri and humped boxes and ran us around to estate agents) and Kerry (who took me shopping for house essentials and gave me her interior design advice on my lounge while unpacking my endless collection of embroidery books!) we are about 80 % unpacked and I am relaxing on the sofa with the candles lit.

All is very well with the world and I am beyond happy!

Would you like to see a few pics of the house? If you are anything like me you love seeing other people’s houses . If so carry on and I will show you the finished bits. When Jake goes I will move all of the boxed things in the guest room into my new craft room (aka his bedroom) and we will be sorted.

One of the reasons I love the village is the countryside and this is the view from my bedroom window. I am looking forward to lazy Sunday mornings with cups of tea and a good book looking at the hills.

new house - bed view 1

new house - bed view 2

Here is Jake all set up with his computer in his new room (the most important thing for him of course), making the most of home comforts as he leaves in 3 weeks.

new house - jake

This is my lovely kitchen, this really sold the house to me. I have the most beautiful door knobs on the units , I forgot to take a close up picture before it got dark but they are so pretty.

new house - kitchen

And my bathroom. Another great thing about the house is all my things fit so well with the existing colour scheme here, no redecorating and no need to buy new things!

new house - bathroom

This is my lounge with my lovely stitching sofa and an ‘in situ’ picture of the other sofa with the quilted throw that I am working on, not finished yet but it will be a lovely housewarming gift to myself!

new house - old sofa

new house - sofa quilt

Can’t wait to be able to show you the craft room when it is done – so excited!!!

Hope that you have a good week ahead, I am on leave for the next few days to finish sorting and then it is off to our last show of the season at Caldicot Castle in South Wales. Really looking forward to that as Ellie is coming as well. A beautiful venue and it is a very special show being the final one of such a wonderful year for me.

Take care and thanks for visiting.