Northumbrian joys

We had a very lovely, if a little damp at the start, break in Northumberland. Beamish was once again beautiful, even in the rain and with all of the inside areas still closed, we really enjoyed the visit. We especially enjoyed seeing the steam train operating from the colliery and visiting the sweet shop where they were still making the boiled sweets by hand. These sweet moulds were fascinating to see. We will look forward to going back next year when the 1950s are is complete and the houses are open.

Our cabin on the coast was a 15 minute walk from where we parked in Alnmouth and by the time we got there it was lashing down with the most stinging, freezing rain, so we were soaked to the skin by the time we had walked along the cliff path.

The lovely host brought all our bags for us in his off road truck so we didn’t have to carry them, and we quickly had a roaring fire going in the log burner, so we soon dried off. We then had a lovely evening watching the weather from the cabin.

It had mostly cleared up by the evening so we were able to admire the view. I could very happily live there, even with it being so far from the road and loved watching the clouds, sun and sea change all the time.

Sadly our boat trip to see the seals had to be cancelled as there were very high winds on the following day but we spent a lovely morning in Alnwick. There were lots of fabulous charity shops, and a wool shop, and chocolate shop, so we had a very good time putting some money into the local economy. I will share what we got in a later post but we did very well and it was great to be able to shop again, I have really missed my charity shop visits.

We did have an unexpected visit to Warkworth Castle, which was very impressive, and then on to Amble for a blowy walk along the harbour to get a closer view of the island we had seen from our hut, which is a nature reserve for birds.

By the time we got back to Alnmouth the weather was beautiful and we were able to enjoy the walk back to the huts and onto the beach below.

One of the books in the hut was all about pebbles, with some gorgeous illustrations and it was very interesting reading. We saw some great examples of all of the different types of pebbles on the shore, as well as the rock pools and formations of Marden Rocks, which are just below the huts.

Again, a brilliant time in Northumberland, and cabin was just gorgeous. I have long wanted to go and stay in one of the Canopy and Stars‘ properties and was not disappointed. It was so beautiful and I was very reluctant to leave.

We did have a further day visiting Alnwick Gardens, Durham, and the stunning Fountains Abbey, so will post about that later. I feel very lucky to be able to have another holiday, and it was a very good way to celebrate all of the nice things that have happened to the family recently.

The weekend has been quiet and I have been enjoying my Luna and Little Cotton Rabbits crafting again. I will have some finishes to show you next time, as well as the new purchases.

Until then hope you are having fun. Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

It is all happening here!

Well dear readers, there has been much excitement since I last posted. I have been very busy with work, done the final, final, final bits of decorating, the estate agent has been and taken all the pictures, I have had two driving lessons…and I found out last week that I have passed my doctorate!

To say I am pleased is very much an understatement, I only resubmitted on the 9th April so was not expecting to hear back so soon but it was all sorted very quickly. It is such a relief to have that all completed (after a mere 8 and a half years!) and to be able to get on with all my other plans.

I did treat myself to some lovely fabric for Luna dresses and the other two Luna books as a reward for submitting and have been busy making two very cute little dresses. I have some work in progress pictures but will show you the finished garments when Ellen brings the Luna I made back this weekend so that I can model them.

I have a lot of Liberty for Luna ears but needed larger quantities for the clothes so I bought some beautiful Rose and Hubble fabrics from two new suppliers on Ebay, Pastel Rose and Pretti Fabrics .They have so many gorgeous designs I am sure that I will use them again.

The books contain some beautiful outfits. I am have made this two piece set in this Liberty print and some of the braid we bought recently from The Range.

I am just finishing off a version of the T – Shirt dress. I decided to go with a lace bow, rather than a fabric one. The instructions are very clear and even if if it is a little fiddly at times fitting tiny sleeves you know how much I love sewing in miniature.

I really want to make some of the other designs as well, I think that this dress would look adorable in either the dark blue or turquoise print and I did plan to make either a nightdress or pyjamas from the lilac fabric.

I also ordered some of the lace from Bertie’s Bows that Ellen had for her pyjamas and also got some other edged lace and flowered bias binding. They have an amazing selection of all sorts of bias in different fabrics so that is a really good find. I love the packaging as well, so cute.

I need to think about which fabric I can use for this beautiful coat. I really do not enjoy working with velvet but have some lovely silk in my doll stash so will see if I can use some of that.

My last purchase is some more lace from Feathers Creations on Ebay as I used up all of the previous lace from The Range on the other two dresses. They are a perfect match for my new fabric.

After all this excitement in my life I am looking forward to a lovely calm rest of the week and weekend. I am planning more Luna making at the weekend, as well as putting together the knitted animals.

Ellen are I are going away to Northumberland for a few days next week in a beautiful cabin overlooking the sea. We booked it back in September, not thinking that there would be any restrictions at this point but luckily we can still go. It will be a lovely celebration of all of the good things that are happening in my life. I feel very blessed and very lucky.

I hope you are all well and happy and are enjoying spring if you are in the UK, we have had some lovely sunny days and my flowers look wonderful and that makes me happy as well.

Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Up hill and down Dales

We were very lucky with the weather on our trip this week. Despite a cold forecast there were blue skies every day and it was beautifully sunny. I think I have even come back with a sunburnt nose πŸ˜‰ We did a very commendable 18 km of walking over the three days, and most of it was very much up hill so we we were very impressed with ourselves. Jacky had a major operation just before Christmas and three months ago she could hardly walk outside, and I have been very immobile this winter, so we were really pleased to be able to tackle such walks.

We stayed at the very lovely Dalesbridge campsite near Settle, which was beautifully laid out with great facilities. Due to the restrictions there were only camper vans there the first few days but as the toilet blocks were able to open there were some tents at the end of the week. It was great to see people out enjoying themselves and we had the first BBQ and campfire of the year.

On the first day we just did a short 3 km walk in the afternoon through the Ingleborough nature trail, past the lake and the gorgeous houses of the village of Clapham. It was a beautiful day we saw lots of birds and wildflowers.

On day two we went on the Ingelton Waterfalls Walk, Jacky is a big fan of waterfalls and this trail with 6 in total did not disappoint. There were also amazing views at the top when we crossed open land with a view of Ingleborough, one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

The last day was our longest trip, 8 km starting at the Ingleborough lake and going up through Trow Gill, all the way to Gaping Gill, a large pothole which has a stream running into it. This was our most impressive walk, the scenery was amazing and we had some steep climbs out of Trow Gill. We stopped mid – way for a little paddle in the stream near the cave as well. The stone formations are wonderful and of course there were lots of very friendly Dales sheep.

This may not look very steep from this angle, but it was, not so bad going up but a challenge coming down with my dodgy knees!

A really brilliant adventure, this is our third trip to the Dales in the campervan, and although there are so many other places we want to visit, we will definitely be back at some point. It is wonderful to have people that you can do lovely things with. Jacky and I really love walking and being outdoors and I am so lucky to be able to spend time with her doing all this.

I am having a quiet weekend after all that adventure, just finishing off some last bits in the house before I ring the estate agent and it goes on the market. Exciting times! I also had my first driving lesson on Monday, I didn’t bump into anything and really enjoyed it, so am looking forward to the next one. Fingers crossed my plans are all coming together.

I hope that you have a nice weekend, whatever you are doing. The sun is still shining here and it is all very lovely.Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

The joy of sunshine

Even though we appear to be having a very wintery Spring with a quite heavy snowfall on Saturday night, there have been some glorious days. It is so uplifting to feel the sun on your face and to be able to go out and really enjoy the outdoors. I love this time of year, it seems full of possibilities and I missed that last year. Rather than it being a relaxing time, looking forward to the end of term and more time in the craft room, it was an endless series of meetings and worries, both personally and professionally.

Therefore, I am doubly grateful for Spring this year, I have people I can spend time with and a beautiful place to be. Last weekend Ellen and I went over to the other valley, only about 20 minutes from me, where there are a number of other beautiful reservoirs and walks. Although this area does meet the moors, it is more sheltered with lots of pine forests and so provides a very different type of walk.

We met quite a few other walkers as it was such a beautiful day, and came across some motorbike scramblers and mountain bikers. We also had a heart stopping few minutes watching four Landrovers negotiate this very rocky track with large holes. We were sure one of them was going to topple over, it was such bad terrain.

The views from the top were stunning, we are so lucky to live here and what we have is equally as beautiful as the Dales of the Lake District, albeit that our water areas have all been artificially created.

We really enjoy looking at all the engineering that goes into the reservoirs with the spillways and overflow structures. Most of these were built in the late Victorian era to provide water to the growing textile industry and there are lots of mills still in the area, few are still in production now though.

Our route took us past two reservoirs, through some woodland and down to the bottom of the valley, before climbing back up and across to the other side of the reservoir. It was quite a long way, we were out for about 2 and a half hours and on the way back even managed to get a takeaway ice cream in the nearby village!

I will be back next weekend hopefully with some lovely pictures of the Dales for you, maybe even the Dales in snow. The forecast is quite cold but dry so fingers crossed we will be able to go on some good adventures. I am so looking forward to more time spent outside, and getting my mobility back, this last few months has involved far too much being indoors!

Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Luna Lapin love

Ellen and I had a brilliant Easter weekend and I am now officially addicted to Luna (and friends). I will, of course always love my Little Cotton Rabbits and will continue making those in the evenings but I am so enjoying this new crafting adventure. Not only are there all the cute animals, there are so many clothes to make as well. There is also a Facebook group for even more inspiration that can be found here.

I may just have had to order some new fabric for the clothes πŸ˜‰ although I have lots of Liberty for the rabbits’ ears and feet, the clothes need a lot more fabric than the fat 8ths I have. I have treated myself to some lovely Rose and Hubble fabric for more dresses. I will show you that in a later post along with my first completed outfit.

Ellen had already cut out the pieces for two rabbits, I only had one prepared out of linen so she was working on one from some recycled denim and one from a gorgeous brushed cotton that she has had in her stash for about 9 years. It was at one time going to be a baby quilt but it has made the most gorgeous soft rabbit and a pair of pyjamas for another rabbit. She has given me the supplier details for the beautiful lace trimmed bias here so I have ordered some of that as well.

She finished her rabbit in time for us to have a little photo shoot in the sun. The weather was so much better than forecast last weekend so we went for a walk on Sunday, but it has been snowing on and off this week, including this morning. Thankfully it has not settled.

The rabbits are not complex to make, and there are very good instructions in the book, but it did take me about 7 hours to complete. That was with cutting out and zig zagging all of the pieces previously and making the ears. I did have to re-do several things as I put the legs on back to front the first time and then had the re-do the base several times. Next time I will be much faster.

The three of them look very cute together and I am very pleased with what we accomplished. It was such a lovely weekend, with no decorating or household tasks to do and so nice to just relax and celebrate.

We were not only celebrating Easter but also the brilliant news that she has got a new job. She was made redundant last year from the National Trust and has been doing some part-time work and volunteering since Oct. She was working part-time with the Bassetlaw Foodbank from Jan and I am very, very pleased to tell you that she has now been appointed as their full-time Assistant Manager. I am so very proud of her, it has been a very challenging year for her, as for many people, and she has coped really well with all of it. She is so enthusiastic about her new career and will be able to use many of her mentoring and volunteer management skills from her work with the Trust.

I am also very pleased to say that Jake is staying at the same primary school in Tokyo with the same children, who are now in Year 2, but will also be teaching older children in Year 3 as well. He has also coped with all the disruption of the last year really well, and I am so very proud of him for that. He has not had the same restrictions as us in the UK but his life has still been disrupted and he has done brilliantly and stayed positive throughout. Fingers crossed the rest of 2021 will be full of equally good news for everyone as we move back to normality.

I have had a good week as well, I have submitted the second revision of my doctorate. Hopefully this will be the last one, I leave in a couple of months so doubt I would have time to do anything further anyway. I am feeling very relieved and looking forward to next week when Jacky and I are going to the Dales again for a few days in her campervan. It will be so nice to see her again, the last time was in October, and we are looking forward to some great waterfall exploring.

I am having a quiet weekend after all the excitement of the last couple of weeks. I have just bought the other two Luna books as a treat for me for submitting my doctorate, so I am going to be cutting out more clothes and finishing knitting a Little Cotton Rabbits bear.

I hope that you have had a good week and have a lovely weekend and week ahead. Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Looking forward to a little linen and Liberty time!

Before I begin a new project I usually like to look at other people’s creations for inspiration, usually courtesy of Pinterest. Ellen is coming up for Sunday and Monday and as we have no decorating to do πŸ™‚ the time is all ours!

In the fine weather this week I have painted the garden fence, the shed, and the windowsills, cleaned and replanted all of the pots, front and back, and emptied, cleaned and sorted the shed, phew! After all that hard work it will be lovely to be able to just chill. We are hoping for a little trip out on Sunday for a walk but Monday is forecast to be 5 degrees and snowing so we will be having a Luna Lapin creating session.

My copy of the book arrived this week so I am going to get a headstart on cutting out the fabric today and tomorrow so that it is all ready. I will be using linen for my rabbit body as I have lots in stash, rather than wool felt, and some lovely Liberty for the ears and clothing.

I have found so many lovely creations so I thought I would share these with you, I have also found some more knitting patterns for shawls as well. I am hoping that the Little Cotton Rabbits clothes might fit the animals as well. I am nearly at the end of my three animals for friends’ grandchildren so will be able to move on to other knitting projects as well.

This, and two other shawl patterns, can be found at Cool Crafting, who have a whole section of the website devoted to Luna (photo from website). It is a while since I have done any lace knitting but have always really enjoyed doing it. They also have the most gorgeous little jumpers for the rams.

I found a large selection of beautiful outfits on Bit of Tea and Honey, including some very cute felt shoes and this beautiful embroidered cape. I think these were done with machine embroidery, which I do have on my sewing machine, but could also be hand embroidered. Photos from her blog.

I also come across this adorable rabbit in a Liberty dress on one of my favourite blogs, Thimbleanna’s . I am in awe of the very neat topstitching here. Photos from her blog.

This beautiful coat and dress combination is also from Pinterest, made by Knitonestitchone.

We were doing some household shopping last week in a shop called The Range, which has a very nice crating section. We treated ourselves to some cute lace edging so I am going to definitely add that to one of the dresses as Tracy Daniels has done in this outfit here. I love the combination of colours and the cute crochet rucksack. Finally learning to crochet is also a retirement project.

I am so looking forward to a new project and the time to do it. All of my spare time for the last few months has been taken up decorating, which I do actually enjoy, even if it is just repainting things the same colour and nothing more creative. I do find it quite therapeutic, although I won’t be doing any more any time soon πŸ™‚ Time now for some adventures (hopefully) and lots and lots of lovely crafting time.

I hope that you have a good Easter weekend if you are celebrating. I will hopefully be back next week with a completed rabbit to show you. Take care, stay safe, have fun and thanks for visiting.

Easter Bunnies.. the fabric kind

Ellen has just left after another very busy weekend of decorating and decluttering. Thankfully that is everything inside the house done so the next time she visits we can just have fun! We did spend part of this morning buying supplies for her latest crafting project. It is her birthday on Tuesday and as she has been making these adorable Luna Lapin rabbits and clothes I bought her some more Liberty fabric and some new books.

She already has the original book Luna Lapin by Sarah Peel and has made this adorable rabbit and clothes for her. Look at the wonderful detail on the dress with its little lace cardigan and the so cute winter dress and red coat!

For her birthday I bought her Sewing Luna’s Friends. I have just ordered one of these for me as well as an end of term, add to stash gift πŸ™‚ I have always loved making fabric dolls so am looking forward to making these and the little clothes as some point. I love all the detail in the outfits with the lace and pintucks.

This outfit is one of my favourites, partly because of the little Liberty quilt.

I also ordered her the other Luna Making New Friends book as well, look at the cuteness of the squirrel and reindeer here!

She needed some felt to make the squirrel, fox and badger so we found some excellent supplies here at Billow Fabrics on Ebay, who I have used before for lovely Liberty supplies.

I am very much looking forward to the next three weeks, the last teaching (ever!) has been done and I am going to have a busy but enjoyable time. Hopefully the weather will be nice as I have outdoor painting and planting to do, and am praying that the sheep don’t come and eat my just about to bloom tulips before the house goes on the market πŸ™‚ There may well be some crafting time as well, and the final, final re-write of the doctorate!

Here’s hoping and praying that the transition to more normal life goes smoothly as well. It has been a very good week for the family, with my finishing teaching, and Jacob having his contract renewed for another year in Japan, so fingers crossed our good luck will continue.

Hope that things are going well wherever you are and that you have a good week ahead. Take care, stay safe, have fun and thanks for visiting.

The value of reflection

As a teacher, and a teacher trainer for 15 years, I use and teach about reflection and its value, and have always enjoyed learning from my experiences. Like many other people, I have been thinking a lot about the last year as we come up to the first anniversary of the UK lockdown.

One of the reasons why I love having a blog is that it allows me to look back on my past makes, trips and life in general. One of the practical advantages is that I can always find where I sourced things from, but also it serves as a reminder of all of happy times. Unlike a diary, this blog is not about everything that happens, but the public facing positive things in my life

I have been reminded of the value of reflecting this week twice, once by my very good friend Sarah, whose blog I read this morning. She has written about her year here, and many of the things that she says I can very much relate to. She writes about her appreciation of living here in Marsden, with the beautiful countryside on our doorstep, and the advantages of not having to commute to work.

I am eagerly awaiting lambing time so I can go and see the little cuties like this one last year. Hopefully the weather will be beautiful again so we can go for lots more walks as well.

Like me Sarah’s life has changed a lot. She works at a university, in addition to being a GP, so she too has been working from home a lot. We have shared the frustrations of not being able to talk to colleagues easily, and missing the things we took for granted a year ago, like going to conferences and just spending time with people.

She has also completed far less projects than she thought she would this past year, and I can share that feeling as well, where did all that extra time go? I think for me, a lot of it went into thinking, and into connecting with others. I have certainly spent for more time talking to relatives and friends this year, on the phone and video calls, just reassuring each other that it would be ok in the end.

Early on in the lockdown I started taking part in a research project, I can’t actually remember how I found about this, maybe through an Instagram or blog post? It was run by Naomi Clarke, someone who I previously had come across as a crafter as she is an avid paper piecer. The project was called Crafting During Coronavirus and the involvement was to keep a diary for a number of weeks, recording what I was doing and how I was feeling. This is part of her PhD work on why people sew.

I really enjoyed being involved in this, I have kept diaries many times before, and being a diary, and only for Naomi to read it was good to be able to write about some of my frustrations of that time. I re-read them recently and we were all trying to get to grips with online teaching over the summer and feeling totally out of our depths. I have become quite adept at it all now, not that I want it to continue but feel very proud that I managed to get my head round all that complex stuff that was introduced last summer.

Naomi contacted me again this week, with another part of the project, which is to create a postcard to my past self. It is to be a crafted postcard so I think I should definitely make it using Liberty. One of my little lockdown treats has been spending what would have been travel to work money on more beautiful fabric like these from Duck Egg Threads.

I think it will have to be hexagons as well as you know how I love them. Not that I have done much paper piecing this year at all, that is one of the things that has not been achieved, overtaken by Barbie couture and Little Cotton Rabbits knitting! These are some of my favourite hexagon creations, made some years ago for Yarndale, so I think the postcard will have to be linen and Liberty.

She has asked us to think about what we would say to our past selves, from our current selves, knowing what we know now. Being a huge fan of any time travel time type stories I have been thinking a lot about what to write. Almost a year ago on the 21st March I wrote a blog post about the start of lockdown. I titled it ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’

I think that what I wrote then still is very true today, but even more so. I consider myself so lucky to have all of my wonderful friends and family, who have been so supportive over the past year. There have been some lovely times, like going to Whitby and Northumberland with Ellen, and Aysgarth with her and Jacky. I will put that in the postcard, along with the power of positive thought and prayer.

My focus in that post, then as now, was on crafting. The immense comfort that I have had from knitting, sewing and embroidering over the past year cannot be underestimated. I know others feel the same, judging by the amount of knitted animals that have been created in the last year on the Little Cotton Rabbits Facebook page. This Egbert, who I finished last July, wearing the first set of striped jumper and dungarees. I am now on my third jumper so have really got to grips with top down knitting.

My stressful meetings, complex concerns about the job and the students, and worrying about my family, don’t completely go away when I craft but it makes it all so much easier to bear. The blog also serves as a useful reminder that I have failed so far to use any of the fabric that I bought on that trip that I posted about last March for Barbie dresses. I have made lots, as you know, including these two made at the very start of lockdown, but just not with that fabric. Oh well, at least it doesn’t go off, does it!

My plans for this weekend are to finish another striped jumper for a little animal and to create the fabric postcard. I also have lots of little DIY tasks to do, Ellen will be up again next week the last weekend of decorating, then it will only be a couple of weeks of finishing touches before the house goes on the market. Exciting times πŸ™‚ What is even more exciting is the Easter holidays, I am not promising much in the way of crafting, due to the house prep, but you never know.

I hope that you are having a nice weekend and that things continue to be positive in the weeks ahead as well. It is strange to think that we may be on the way to a more normal life. I was sat in a friend’s garden this week, in the sun, having a cup of tea. Over a year ago that would be commonplace but I was so grateful just to be able to be there and have a chat with her. It is, as always, the little things that make a difference.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Back to life, back to reality…

I have been lucky enough to have the first of my vaccines, so far no ill effects at all. Here in the UK the vaccine rollout is going well and we are all hoping that it really can be a case of getting back to normal life really soon. Our plans for Easter still look like they will go ahead and we are starting to see more confirmation of other possible events later in the year.

I am also very near the end of my teaching, only two more sessions and that will be it, nearly 35 years of teaching over. In a way that will mean I can go back to having a more realistic life as well, I have really not enjoyed sitting in front of a computer all day, spending a lot of time in virtual sessions with no interaction. Teaching has always been a very social job and I have loved the human side of getting to know my students. I am looking forward to having a life where I am not staring at a screen all of the time and spending more time with actual humans!

We have been doing yet more decorating (nearly finished) and are getting down to the final touches before the house goes on the market! Exciting yet slightly scary times! I have no idea what the rest of the year is going to hold, or where I am going to be so it is all a big adventure. I am finally able to start driving lessons in April so that is the first step to freedom and adventure. Hopefully I will get over to Spain at some point as well so I shan’t be completely homeless πŸ˜‰ Although I am quite looking forward to a bit of a van life adventure of my own, after so many years watching vlogs of other people’s.

There has been a bit of progress on both the Barbie wardrobe and the knitting, this dress below is another for my great-niece and is made to fit my gorgeous curvy Alexa. The skirt is from an charity shop shirt that has been in my stash for some time. Such pretty fabric and as you can see I had fun with embellishment!

I made this one a wrap around back so that I could use velcro to fasten it. This makes it a little off centre but I thought it might be easier for little hands.

I deliberately set aside the whole of the weekend as a sofa and TV watching one, various friends who have had their vaccine have felt very ill so I planned to do nothing at all. I have therefore had a lovely time so far, reading, watching old TV series (Space 1999) and working on another top down jumper from Little Cotton Rabbits.

The first one of these I knitted a while ago totally confused me, I could not see how such a long straight row of knitting could ever become a jumper but it is, as one of the Facebook group described, ‘marvellous engineering’, and once you start on the sleeves it all becomes clear. They are seamed underneath which forms the sides of the body, making it a lot easier to put together. This will go with a lime green pair of dungarees and green and orange trainers for a bunny for a friend’s grandchild.

I want to make a cute cardigan next, I have been inspired by all the gorgeous Easter bunnies that are being knitted on the Facebook group at the moment, look at these by Heather Harrison, adorable!

I really need to get out and do some gardening, Ellen and I bought some lovely plants for the hanging baskets last weekend but it has been dreadful weather all week, hail and sleet, and today is not much better. Oh well. nothing else for it but to stay under the fleece on the sofa and carry on knitting. I discovered a new series on Netflix last night, ‘The One’, which is very gripping so will continue with that and hopefully finish the jumper today.

I hope that you are all having a good weekend wherever you are and have a very good week ahead. Mine will no doubt go very fast, time seems to be whizzing by at the moment. Take care, stay safe, have fun and thanks for visiting.

My daughter, the creative genius

Ellen has been here a lot recently, helping me decorate. Not only is that wonderful of her, but it is also brilliant to have actual human company so often! We bought some plants and various things for the bathroom refurbishment last week, and as it was very sunny this week I have emptied all the old pots and done some re-planting so everything is starting to look lovely and Spring like. Along with the latest announcements about easing of restrictions things are starting to look a lot more positive.

Ellen usually brings some sewing with her and recently brought up the project she has been working on for the last few months. I posted about quiet books a long time ago, and have still not made one yet but she has made this amazing book for her friend’s little boy. He is just two and so she has made him some pages that he can play with now, and is intending to add to the book as he grows.

She is so talented, she did not use a pattern for any of this and has made the cutest bears and crayons as well as this adorable lion with a ribbon mane. The farmyard animals are all finger puppets so he can play with them.

I love it and so did the recipient. She has made so many wonderful things over the years, the Worth dress out of curtains, the flower fairy costume as well as many wonderful Steampunk outfits and everyday clothes. I am so proud of her and so glad that she enjoys crafting, not just because we can share fabric and help each other with fittings!

Due to all the decorating I have not done much creative work myself. I have finished all of the knitted trainers so when they are made up will take some pictures for you. The pattern was very easy to follow as always and I am excited to finish the animals. I did have a little bit of leave last week so had a small amount of craft room time, making this dress for Barbie. This is a combination of patterns, one from the tutorial here and the skirt pattern I drafted myself.

My oldest great-niece, Ava, had Barbies for her fourth birthday so I am making some outfits for them. She had two of the new, more diverse range with larger bodies and one has a prosthetic leg so I have been checking sizing carefully as I discovered over summer that even the standard Barbies vary in waist size quite a bit. I have still kept one of my diversity Barbies, Alexa in the picture below, for fitting purposes (and because she is gorgeous and I love her hair) so still have four from my original collection of ten.

I have some more clothes cut out from the silk and satin scraps from the Steampunk jacket I made last year and some pink cotton from an old shirt so hopefully will spend some time tomorrow sewing those up. We are decorating again next weekend so I am makig most of this one.

I am going out for a walk this afternoon with an old friend from my Polytechnic days, 37 years ago. We made contact again a few years ago and have been meaning to meet up for so long but with current restrictions we have not been able to arrange anything yet so thought at least a walk would be lovely. It is a sunny day so I am really lookin forward to that.

My sister has been spending time refurbishing her camper van, she has been off work after a major operation and has spent the time adding to the storage and moving furniture. It looks fantastic now (these photos are from her Facebook) and I can’t wait to see it. Hopefully we are going to be able to go away for a few nights after Easter to the Dales.

So lots of lovely things to look foward to and I am feeling very positive at the moment. Fingers crossed we can do some nice things later in the summer and I only have another four weeks of teaching to go! I will be at work until the end of June as I have tutorials and marking to do until then but only another 124 days until freedom πŸ™‚

I hope that you are having a nice weekend, have fun, take care and stay safe. Thanks for visiting.