Saturday, 31 October 2009

Hearts and Roses.

"The Shape of My Heart!"

I am so enjoying creating this Blog. It is so easy to remember a Brand New Diary arriving at Christmas and always having every intention of keeping it full every day of the coming year. As a teenager the pages became filled with angst and cryptic words that only you and your best friend could decipher.Then as the days passed other things became more important the remaining pages became blank and another year passed.

My dear Uncle Stephen who would now be 100 religiously kept a diary when he lived with my Mum in Ogwell and I still have them. Tiny entries squashed between lines recording the minutae of days, weeks and months.

I often think life is like a pendulum that gently swings regardless of what you are actually doing and although it is so important to make the most of every minute it is also important to make travelling companions of your memories and also your dreams and aspirations.

Yesterday here in Spain we were waiting for our youngest daughter to arrive. A lovely feeling of anticipation and the joy of being able to spend real quality time together.Of course the love of families makes it so easy to reflect on the years when you waited with excitement for the arrival of their birth and now a fully grown young woman is visiting.-- Where did those years go, but how exciting to think about the ones coming.

So reflecting yesterday about the people we love made me think of love,hearts and flowers and I was amazed how many images I have captured with the camera without realising it

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Palms, Prickles and Pomegranates !!!

" A sunshining Day!!"

Every Tuesday morning we go to a very dear friends house near our home in Spain and we arrive in time for coffee and then actually do some work for a few hours!
Today it was the turn of the magnificent palms which thrive hereabouts and grow incredibly high. They need a very severe pruning to keep this growth in check and make it safe to move around the garden.

Over the last 3 years our respect for these palms has grown and grown. Near the trunk of the tree they have vicious thorns which pierce your skin if they just brush against you. So armed with very long ,very thick gloves the job begins with a sharp saw and some determination.

The fruits look beautiful and weigh so much!!

A close up of the thorns. It becomes a game to see if you can manage to avoid being speared. We have never won yet!!

The end result makes it all worth while. The garden looks lighter, brighter and you can see the mountains again.

After struggling with the palms a much sweeter occupation. Ever since we have been children we have loved Pomegranates. I remember they seemed so exotic as a child and armed with a pin many a happy Autumn evening was spent getting the juicy pips out of the skins. Now they are used everywhere and chefs use them in so many ways. When we return to Spain we have so far missed another great favourite of mine the fig but the pomegranates are so beautiful and hang off the trees like Christmas Decorations!

The birds love them but there are some left often especially wrapped in paper bags for us on our return. They are enormous ,juicy and bring back such happy memories !

I must just say our work is rewarded by the most delicious lunch prepared by the most special chef in the whole of Andalucia! Thelma who at 88 is one of the most remarkable women I have ever met !

Sunday, 25 October 2009

A sunshining Day in Andalucia !

"Ridin along on a

Pushbike Honey!"

In 1972 my Mum arrived in Weymouth with a bicycle for me to ride to College as I was in digs a long up the Dorchester Road. I loved that bike and it served me well. So did a certain Welsh Rugby player who used to take it at every opportunity and one late night after a typical Rugby session my poor bike ended up in the bottom of the harbour in Weymouth. I have never either forgotten or forgiven that man !!

Over the years fashions have changed and I have tried various other types of bikes and always hated every one. But this summer after doing 2 days supply I treated myself to another "sit up and beg" Dutch type bike and the love affair can begin all over again!
Best of all at the beach near us in Spain there is a lovely long flat paseo where I can ride it and enjoy the sunshine and the days.
So here it is -- it even has a proper bell and only 3 gears which even I should be able to manage!

A gorgeous October day in the Sunshine. We miss all our friends and family when we are in Spain for the winter but these beautiful days have such a wonderful impact we hold on tightly to the fact that we have the best of all worlds.

And we did swim!
 The second time this week.
 The rains a few weeks back have certainly cooled the water temperatures down and we are wimps but as always it was lovely once you were in !! Positively tropical compared to Cornwall !!

The beaches here are gloriously empty especially after the Summer Season has ended!

A view from the paseo.

Just us and the blue sky.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Something sweet and very moreish !!

"Sweets for My Sweet !"

Well Masterchef 2009 has finished and I think the Best Chef won but I am going to miss my evening dose of cooking.
So inspired by cookery books, programmes, friends and memories and a lovely lot of cooking going on in other peoples lovely blogs here are some gorgeous sweet treats. 

Carrot cake and Millionaires Shortbread inspired by 

I think the answer is when you go to the trouble of cooking try and make sure the results are memorable and generosity with the gorgeous toffee filling certainly helps!

Doilies always make me think of my Mum and Grandma and Sunday Teatime. Now that does make happy memories easy to remember.

They were seriously scrummy and soon polished off.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A little bit of Maths and a lot of "hooking!!"

Since renewing my love affair with Granny Squares I have wanted to create a lapacuddlyghan with a mathematical slant ---- very unlike me !!

So lets look at the process and see if we like the result.---- I started with the idea of a repeating patterns  in 
sets of nine. Choosing three colours and then repeating the colourways we could eventually create a blanket which looks seriously huggable but based on a simple design

Here is one of those sets of nine placed very carefully because the pattern has to be repeated.

So. here we have all the repeated sets of nine ready to be stitched to make a rectangular lapacuddlyghan instead of the usual square variety.Now we need to add two rounds of beige to each set of nine and then add some pale blue for good measure.

Nearly there !!

Ok the  latest version of a lapacuddlygahn !!

Monday, 19 October 2009

A little bit of Spain !

"These are a few of my Favourite Things !"

We have been away from our little Spanish house for a long time this year and it was lovely to return and just look with a fresh eye at some of the things we have chosen to have in our home. As with all choices they are reminders of people, loved ones. places we have visited and wonderful things friends have made for us.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Images of a Ferry Journey !

Posted by Picasa

Long Journey to Spain !


 Looking back at Plymouth from the ferry as we start 
  our journey to Santander.


  A very grey day as we leave the UK.

Underway with the miles already passing.

Lovely images from the stern of the ferry.

Happy Snapping
This blog means  the camera 
is at the ready !

The Pilot Boat coming out to meet us from Santander,

Glimpses of Santander . The grey skies and rain had travelled with us !

Beautiful beaches in Santander. A surf school nearby!

We have never really got the knack of travelling light ! And its not all wool or Card Crafting things!

The Sunshine Bus ready to go !

The antidote to boredom on a 36 hour journey. "Rippling"and "hooking." It was not a good idea to be travelling on a National Holiday in Spain !! Every man and his dog were visiting Madrid. The Sunshine Bus did not like being in a queue,on a hill for nearly three hours !!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Decision made! A Baby Blanket.

"A Whiter Shade Of Pale!"
After much thinking about the  little baby due in November I decided on a pure white blanket. It is going to be the first born to a lovely couple and somehow white still seems so right for brand new babies. 

Perhaps the teddy should have one blue ear and one pink ear as a surprise is on its way!

Just right for cuddling and swaddling on cold November days.

It measures approx 50" square.

Here is a close up of the pattern. A lovely combination of trebles to make a basket weave appearance.
Now all we have to do is wait patiently whilst the final touches are perfected - on the baby I mean !
It is hard for anyone not to be moved by the sight of perfect eyelashes, fingernails, toes and lips of a brand new baby.

Thank you so much for your lovely comments about this blanket
I have got a copy of the pattern but am  sorry I can't do a link because the page has expired - 
We are off to Spain in the morning for the first part of our winter break but as soon as we arrive and get the computer out I will post the pattern here for you to share

NB -- Here is the pattern but I used treble crochet instead of double crochet and for my trim for ease I simply worked 3 rows of treble crochet in each space and finished the complete blanket with 3 rows of single crochet to form a neat border

I use a 4.00 hook and double knitting wool. I am not sure how much because I always keep white in my stash but I am sure 300gs would be plenty.(the instructions quote 21 ozs)

Row 1- Ch 126, sc in 2nd chain from hook and across.
Row 2- Ch 1 and turn, (sc, ch3,3 dc) in 1st  sc,* Skip 3 sc (sc, ch3, 3 dc ) in next sc. Repeat* across to last 4 sc. skip next 3 sc, sc in last sc. 31 Shells complete across.
Row 3 - Ch 3 and turn. 3 dc in first sc ( sc, ch3, 3 dc ) in each chain space across ending with a sc in last space.

Working in rounds

Round1.- Ch1 turn, 3sc in 1st sc [* sc in each sc repeat * across, 3 sc in last sc* ( 3 sc  in each chain space, sc in sc) repeat * across. working in free loops of beginning chain, 3 sc in 1st chain, sc in each chain across]3 sc in last . Rep* around, last round rep between []sl st to 1st sc, { You could change colour here if desired}

Round 2 & 3 Chain1 , sc around with 3 sc in corners, sl st.

Round 4 - Chain 2, do not turn, * skip sc, sc, ch2, rep* around in sl st in 1st sc

Abbreviations --- ch - chain
                            sc - single crochet
                            dc- double crochet
                            rep- repeat
                            sl st - slip stitch

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Images of Lapacuddlyghans

Images to remind me of lovely hours spent "hooking!"

Posted by Picasa

Lapacuddlyghans for Autumn Days

"Forever Autumn! "
Walking near us it is so easy to see that Autumn is upon us and winter is on its way. We love to walk and Buster loves the river. 
This walk from the village to town was the focus of Dame Edna Everidges' bridesmaid Madge. She used to do the walk in her mind to keep her from laughing.
( I read this years ago and I hope its true !! )

Over the years we have played "Pooh Sticks " on this bridge with our children and only last week we so enjoyed taking some little ones down to the river and playing all over again.

Being brought up in a very draughty Victorian house with many holes in the roof and buckets on the landing has always made me appreciate cuddly things. Memories of a bathroom with a paraffin heater with P.J's warming on the top and the mad dash to the bedroom where a stone hot water bottle was waiting in bed is still so clear and dear to me. 
My Grandma was always knitting or crocheting, usually with wool unpicked from old jumpers and we all had a blanket to cuddle.
My children had wonderful crochet and knitted clothes as babies--- maybe some reading this will remember the very talented Auntie Kathleen.
The shawls have been cuddled to death over the years and this Autumn I have so enjoyed revisiting these lovely memmories and making some new blankets

To begin with I thought I would love to think about the wonderful colours Lucy loves in Attic24
and then I started and my memories of my Grandma came flooding back and I have so enjoyed thinking about her as I have made them.
As always I love to arrange things. The big teddy used to come supply teaching with me and the two vintage ones are well over fifty years old

These Lapghans measure  48" across. The middle has 25 Granny Squares and the border has 8 rows of treble crochet, the border is 2 rows of Double Crochet

So many choices of colour combinations make beautiful,cosy blankets.

4 Completed blankets.

I love this idea, borrowed from other lovely blogs but it so clearly shows the lovely colour combinations in the blankets.

A few more lovely Autumn Images.

The most delicious Damsons and Apples from the Churchyard all tucked into a Crumble with Custard.