Tag Archives: Friends

Good year!

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This was the week that I closed up my caravan for the winter. I could have stayed until January start but Criccieth closes almost completely at the end of October. It always seems like the town that time forgot but that is what I like about it. A sleepy old fashioned town on the coast at the top of the Llyn Peninsula. What more could you ask for?

Reasons to be grateful: beautiful coast, historical backdrop, beach combing, stormy promenade walking, Snowdonia views and happy times.

Roll on the Spring to return to my little piece of heaven. Not to wish my life away but by then we will have had Christmas, I will have been to India and maybe be a little older ( and hopefully not any fatter!!)

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Cruise Crafts Silk Ties

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Hi lovely readers! I have talked a lot about the destinations on my recent,wonderful cruise but not about the crafts! The very reason for me being on the cruise in the first place is that I was actually teaching crafts! And what a great time we had!

One of the very popular crafts that we made was silk purses. We used silk ties to make these simple colourful make up pouches. I did start buying ties from charity shops but was not very happy. Silk ties in charity shops are quite expensive. They are often not too clean! They do not wash very well ( my Mother was right) I ended up buying lots of silk ties from China. These are sold as wedding ties and are colourful, good quality and nice to work with.

The purses are quite simple to make and the only other requirement is a zip. If you place the tie longways and use the zip as a measure, you can wind the tie round and round until the length is used. Pin and then slip stitch as you go. Slip stitch the base and insert the zip. Job done!

These are a small collection of the finished purses that were in our final Exhibition of Crafts. Didn’t we do well?

Cruise Crafts Malta

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Hello from Valletta Malta. The best thing about cruising is that it feels like a “day out” in different countries. You get more or less a day to explore before moving on to the next destination. This presents the idea if you want to return for a longer holiday. I like 🇲🇹 Malta.

Of course I am teaching crafts on board and really having a ball with a great group of ladies . I will tell you more about the crafts in another blog.

In the meantime I’m currently enjoying my second coffee stop in this lovely city. I’m in the local Marks and Spencer’s as I can guarantee free WIFI nice toilets and good coffee!

Malta is quite rightly proud of its history. It is immediately obvious how it’s walls protected the people, troops and refugees during WW2. It is also a moment to reflect on those who lost their lives for us.

Now it feels a happy, sunny 😎 free place to live

Gratitude

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Gratitude is a bit of a buzz word at the moment but don’t knock it! This dawn I am grateful to be away with good friends.I am grateful that we have been friends for more than twenty years. I am more than happy that the group contains natural organisers so I let them! There are natural wash uppers, so I let them!

I am grateful to share gifts, laughs and maybe tears with these “girls” I am grateful to grow old together.

I am grateful to wake in this lovely place and enjoy the quiet.

So grateful is perhaps an overused word but don’t knock it! Just be grateful and enjoy it!IMG_1429

Dawn in the woods.

IMG_1426Ok don’t type “yes” I know that you agree.

Christmas comes Early

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IMG_1419It’s been a tradition for many years that I go away with a group of girl friends and enjoy an early Christmas. This year we chose a log cabin in the Forest of Dean. A beautiful location, reasonable weather and brilliant company.

Our pop up Christmas tree was safely transported and Father Christmas payed a “surprise” visit.

IMG_1424There was a resident Robin but I didn’t get a picture so I took one of the resident “duck”.

Knitting moan.

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I’m still “dust busting” It’s amazing how having friends to dinner can motivate you to clean your house! That and the dusty remains of a new boiler installation. But even better news! I’ve finally got back to working on my own projects! Maybe I will even finish something.

IMG_1326I was traumatised to find an error on my Miriam pattern from Quince and co. It was only when I reached all the way to the sleeve insertion that I realised the error. The pattern instructions shape at the “sides” as this is knit in one piece. However whilst it does state 4 sts dec’d the instructions only decrease by 2 stitches. When I enquired I was just informed that I must be using an earlier edition of the pattern and subsequent editions had been amended. Well I don’t think that is good enough. Patterns should be fully tested before publishing. I have had to pull back hours of work which is so demoralising. Still lesson learned….. don’t buy un checked patterns from the Internet!

Cushions Galore

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I have mentioned my Monday craft group many times. The wonderful thing about it is the people ( of course) and the diversity of crafts that we have. There are spinners, knitters, crocheters, knitters, lace makers, knitters, embroiderers, sewers, knitters,and weavers. When we meet there is also a huge amount of chatter and laughter.

I recently commissioned one of the weavers, who happens to be the only guy, to make cushions. I wanted one for myself and one for my daughter. I must confess that he was very patient as I wanted mine to be woven in red. But not too red. With white but not too white. He was spot on with my request!

imageI also asked him to make a “purplish” cushion for my daughter. Again it was perfect.

20170221_090712Trevor also weaves the most beautiful scarfs which are soft and warm.

It didnt occur to me until I purchased these cushions that there is no need for a zip or fasten. Just use a polyester filled cushion pad and carefully wash cover and pad in one go when necessary! Easy!

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Madeira

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Ive just spent a great week end in Madeira with four girl friends. We chose Madeira to celebrate our twenty years of friendship. We go away twice a year for a long weekend but we usually have destination UK. This particular weekend was special so we went to a 5* Hotel called The Vine. My room was very modern, very chic with a stunning wet room and the best toy of all- remote controlled blinds. I am easily impressed!

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We didn’t know when we booked, but it was Carnival time. On Saturday night there was an amazing carnival parade through the streets of Funchal. We thought that we would eat street food and then catch the Carnival at 9pm. Little did we know that the viewing points would be full to bursting the whole length of the parade. The crowds were six deep every part of the way. In fact we were forced to watch the whole parade as we couldn’t cross the road to our hotel anywhere!

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The parade contained floats, lights, scantily clad young women with impossibly long legs and neat bottoms, and very load music. A happy time, cheerful crowds and piped music everywhere completed the late night. We collapsed onto our high thread count sheets in our hotel room, with glass bathrooms and rainforest showers. Joy!!

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These photos are not the best and I’m sorry that there are no scantily clad ladies!

Snow Boots and Glad Rags

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One of the great things about cruising is getting dressed up for dinner. On our recent Fred Olsen cruise to Norway there was a choice of casual or smart dining. Mostly I chose dressing for dinner, just to make eating an occasion. The problem with this cruise was the need to take so many warm clothes! Sweaters, thermals and woolly hats don’t blend well with cocktail dresses and high heeled shoes ( In fact I mainly wore snow boots!!). Anyhow a great time was had.

We arrived In Alta, Norway our most Northerly port of call. It was very cloudy and mild (ish) so not too bad underfoot for a walk around the town. The cathedral was the first place that I visited. It was small, modern and peaceful.

In this beautiful building in the photograph above right, I lit a candle for a small person that I had lost and sat for some thoughtful moments in the peaceful pews.

I explored the town. All of the shops are located in “malls”and from the outside don’t look very interesting. Inside I found many shops and coffee places and FREE WIFI!  I felt very clever when I used Google maps for the first time ever. This directed me to what is reputed to be Norway’s largest craft and wool store.

I had been warned of the high prices in Norway. Apparently a beer cost £9 but I didn’t try that! A coffee and cake cost £5 and I did try that! As money was no object(ha ha!) I gave in and purchased some Aida fabric and an embroidery hoop. Hopefully not destined to become another UFO.

img_0989It was interesting to get back onto the ship and compare craft finds with my new crafty friends!

Llangollen Birthday

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I am spending the weekend in a log cabin at Llangollen

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It is middle child’s 40th birthday. How the heck have I got a child aged 40? Any how I digress. A few friends and family are away for the weekend in lovely Llangollen. The log cabins are really nice and fully equipped with a hot tub. There are squirrels, ducks and birds enjoying the winter landscape.

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Toby dog (one of the family) is slightly obsessed with the scenery as Cyril the squirrel keeps coming to the window to say hello.

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The hot tub is being well used.