Saturday, 28 July 2012

My kind of beautiful

Painted by Alice on the beach

So, we went, we camped, swam in the sea, had BBQ's, played games, picked flowers, cycled along country lanes and down to the seaside, ate ice-cream, read books, had friends over for meals,basked in the sun,had afternoon snoozes and sundowners (an alcoholic drink or two as we watched the sun set)and talked a lot and caught up with each other's hopes and dreams.

Camping is in my blood, I grew up camping just about every summer holiday in South Africa. Most of my Christmas's were either spent at my Grandparent's home on the way to our camp site in Plettenberg Bay or in our caravan and tent at the camp site. I wanted Alice to have a similar experience as she grew up despite not living in a super hot country like South Africa. This week, didn't disappoint with the incredible sunshine we had. Wow, how incredibly fortunate and blessed we felt.

As you may have guessed from the two photo's above our sea side time definitely lent itself to me not only reading this book and going for lovely long swims, but a little hooky business needed to be had.

Have you ever visited  Resurrection Fern's blog ? If not, do find a moment to browse through her amazing posts, I am always drawn to her 'covered stones' posts as they are my kind of beautiful. I  actually used one of Margaret's tutorials from the Purl Bee blog for my urchin covered sea side stones and free styled a little along the way.

And so they grew

And grew

I used some DMC perle embroidery cotton bought from a local haberdashery and got crocheting.

I cannot tell you how easy and relaxing this crochet was and how gorgeous the pebbles feel once you've covered them .

My favourite bit was doing the 'closing up' bit of crochet which completed the pebble 'hug' and after stitching in the cut off thread it was complete, ready for joyful admiration :o)

Time to take some photos....

I got the autumn Cath Kidston catalogue in the post, not that I purchase much from her range (I prefer the real vintage bits and bobs), but I thought it was fun to decorate some pages with my pebble treasures.

Carried on playing...

I want to sew a cool cotton shirt like this one below

All in all, it was a glorious week and now I have the weekend to chill a little more before work on Monday morning. 

Thanks so much for all your comments, I love them I do!

Welcome also to the three new followers; Sharon, Alison and Dragonchick19crochet, hope you all enjoy popping in.

Happy weekend everyone

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Living is easy

Last week was manic to say the least and I am very relieved that I have the next week off at the start of the School holidays. We had booked to go camping a few months ago and we came very close to cancelling our trip a couple of weeks ago given the awful rainy summer we have had so far. However, last week we started hearing stories of warmer, sunnier skies and so this weekend has been an absolute testament to that and we are smiling (only a little bit smugly!) that we have a happy and mostly sunny week ahead for our camping trip.

Alice had a swimming leavers party to go to for Saturday afternoon and Andy was watching the Tour de France, so I decided to get on my bike to cycle along the new route they have created between Bexhill-on-Sea and Hastings. I had to stop and admire scenery and take photos of course.

I really do feel very blessed to live by the sea side and try to embrace it's beauty as much as I can. The air was so salty and yet fresh, it felt good to get out and have the wind through my hair. 

Cycling is my "go to" exercise, I am not particularly sporty and don't believe in doing exercise you don't enjoy, but a lovely cycle always sorts out my head and when the sun has got his hat on, it's almost always my choice to cycle along the coast.

So many people were out and about enjoying the weather, swimming in the sea, eating ice-creams, having coffee in cafes, playing with their children on the shore, it really lifted me and truly felt like real summer time when living should be lighter, easy and breezy.

I do hope that wherever you are, the weather has been kind to you and that you have also had relaxing moments this weekend?

I bumped into a couple of my friends and joined them for a coffee whilst watching the sailing boats float by. It was unplanned and perfect.

 Today, the sky was perfectly clear and we went down to the beach for a lunch time bbq with scrummy food and books to read and games to play. It really has felt like my week long holiday break has started in true style.

We went for a walk along our town's promenade past the de la warr pavilion which I thought was looking quite grand today.

Admired some of the pebble sea side plants and captured some shapes formed by the sometimes controversial modern shelters on the west parade.

It was just great to get my toes wet again and my goal this week is to have a good old paddle in the sea. We often camp close to home especially when we only book one week off work at a time. I don't fancy driving for 10 hours only for it to pour down and for us to camp in damp and wet conditions, it's happened too many times over the years, so we tend to stay in East Sussex and find that as soon as we have the tent up we could be anywhere in the world as long as that sun keeps shining :o) 

What about you? Do you like camping? Have you got any plans this week to get away or are you just planning on stopping and enjoying the art of doing nothing? Well, you can bet your bottom dollar I will be. I also hope to catch up and comment as much as I can on all of your lovely blogs. Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings. I also hope to get some simple crochet done this week, maybe crochet over a beach pebble or two, we'll see.

Cheerio and happy week to you all

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

It's that time of the year

Ok, so I'm not going to complain about the hideous wet weather we have had most of this week because yesterday when the Olympic torch came to town, the sun shone in and out of the clouds so everyone, in true community spirit came along the route that was run and a real sense of excitement was in the air. 

Alice has art after school on Tuesdays at the other end of town, so she and her gorgeous art Teacher together with a couple of other kids put their paint brushes down to go and see the torch enter Bexhill-on-Sea. They came right up and personal with the chap holding the torch who then offered to let all the kids hold it!!! How cool is that, my girly was best pleased about being part of this Olympic history. 

We, on the other side of town saw Eddie Izzard carry the torch past the de la Warr Pavillion which was a real treat. I like that Eddie Izzard is from Bexhill-on-Sea and a keen Patron of our local arts. Here is Andy's great photo of him with the Italian Job movie exhibition bus leaning off the roof.

Pretty nifty I thought! I never thought I'd ever come close to an Olympic torch in my life time.For those of you living in the UK, have you managed to catch site of it passing near where you live?

So, as my title suggests, it is that time of the year when Alice gets to say good bye and thank you to her special Teachers and we always try to give something handmade and a little personal. I bit like we did at Christmas time(here)last year for her two Teachers.

We decided that we wanted to make something simple, colourful and hopefully effective. So, we designed and hand printed some tea towels last night. Here's how we did it.... 

1. Buy some 100% cotton tea towels or use some old vintage cotton fabric and sew into a tea towel if you fancy. I bought these for £2 each as I am not sure if Alice's teachers are into vintage design, so I played safe with these new ones.

2. Bought some fabric medium from our local art shop, to mix with acrylic paint to make it work like fabric paint. 

3. Bought a sheet of foam rubber to cut out our designs for printing.

4. Gathered our very small collection of 3 acrylic paints we have at home.

We then cut out some flowers from the foam rubber

This photo was taken after we had used them, hence the grubbiness

We then applied paint to the different shapes and printed away...

We liked that the prints didn't come out perfect, a little bit more with our own artistic design, a little wonky really just how we like it.

And finally, ta dah...

and the final blue flower on the left hand side of the above tea towel.

I am planning to add a few more colours to our acrylic paint collection and making some more vintage fabric tea towels for future presents. I do hope Alice's teachers enjoy these and that they bring some extra colour to their lives.

Thanks for popping in,
wishing you a fab rest of the week and
see you all soon

Monday, 16 July 2012

Raspberry cardigan

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend, ours was rather busy but a happy one filled with friends, good food and a little wine.

We started off with Alice's end of the Year 6 Variety Show, followed by most of Saturday in Janie, Alice's art teacher's garden whilst she had an open studio day and sold loads of plants she had potted from her beautiful country garden for raising funds for an elephant rescue charity she supports in Thailand. I had to capture some of the natural beauty...

On Saturday evening I decided to use a window of free time to add the button to the little cardigan I knitted for my friends two year old daughter, Bethan as mentioned here.

This is the third time I have knitted this sweet cardigan and have loved knitting each and every stitch of it. I do hope Bethan likes the raspberry pink yarn and the little strawberry button.

Unfortunately, these are not great photos but two of the better photographs that I took given the most awful blustery, wet, grey day we have had. I took these at about 6pm when I got home determined to do a post about our weekend and to motivate me to wrap this cardy up and give it to Bethan this week.

Wishing you all a great week ahead....despite the what the weather brings. 
We are hoping to catch the Olympic flame passing through our sea side town tomorrow and in the meantime I'm getting on with my first ever granny stripe crochet blanket which I started on the weekend. The chill in the air is definitely making me want to cosy on up on the couch with my hook and yarn!
See you all very soon

Thursday, 12 July 2012


Alice pendant made by my special friend Bronwen

Beautiful Alice

May I never dare to forget what joy I feel when your smile emerges with the deepest of dimples,

Your immense imagination and creativity and sparkle of glitter you imprint on those whom you love and care for,

The huge hurt you see through your 11 year old eyes at the world's injustices,

Your whimsical and magical dreaming of what you will one day become, yet remembering to embrace playfulness and childhood,

The wisdom and strange maturity you apply to your sweet life, yet still remain innocent
The great sensitivity of you...leaves me astounded with swollen heart

You came home today, final junior year school report in hand and all my emotions twisted into a glorious grateful praise for what a blessing we have in you 
our girly.

Fly high sweet birdy and 
Sing the song you were born to sing.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Oh Joy

Dearest Blog

I am back! Hoooorrrrraaaay is all I can say as I have found myself rather oddly lost without being able to post my bits and bobs on you over the past two weeks. How oddly dependent I have become on you and the virtual friendships, chatter, inspiration and joy you give me. Oh yes, also the place for me to log snippets of my life and creativity too. 

So while you were away I actually found myself being able to focus more on the physical rather than the virtual.I've been busy doing this and that and making and thinking and reading and playing. It's been fun and I feel that I will have a more balanced approach to the amount of time I spend blogging, blog hopping and inter-netting.

So, here are some photo's of tiny snippets of what's been giving me joy recently.

Eventually getting round to hanging my flying ducks I found in a local charity shop as shown on this post here

Going on wet, soggy summer time? walks with Alice

Adoring Beth's amazing English Country Garden (whilst sipping on some wine mind you)

Remembering how much I adore this mustard yellow colour

And this happy blue space with copious chatting, knitting and cups of tea

Watching Alice getting 'gunged' at her last junior school fete (it has been a personal mission of her's to get gunged!)

Some blue sky day dreaming and cloud shape guessing

Seeing double rainbows whilst cycling back home through our local park (can you see the very faint second rainbow in the top left hand corner?)

Spotting retro coaches outside the de la warr pavilion

Cycling along the coast most evenings before the sun sets

Being the EXTREMELY fortunate winner of this beauty from Fee at her fabulous blog Chipper Nelly.

How very much I love this beautifully crafted wooden box filled with wonderland vintage covered blocks. Thank you Fee, it was the highlight of my week x

Spotting some diamond jubilee art work on our beach

Knitting, knitting, knitting a very sweet cardigan for Bethan much like the one I knitted for her last year which I will pop on my blog once I have blocked it and added the finishing touches.

Watching Alice muck about with acrylic colours

Pottering in charity shops, junk yard sales and a more upmarket restored Georgian shop

And last but not least the photo with me thinking "Hmm I think I can make one of those for 1/10th of the price" !

It's good to be back
I'm looking forward to catching up with your blogs
Thanks for visiting