Tag Archives: friends

Catching up


Autumn has definately arrived here in the UK. The days are feeling much colder and I have spent every day this week with a scarf firmly wrapped around my neck. I’m quite an odd person as I really don’t like being too cold, but I love autumn! It’s my favourite season – I love watching the trees change to glorious reds and yellows, I love the golden glow of the morning sun, and I love getting wrapped up in scarves and gloves. My favourite days of all are those when it’s really cold, but when the sun is brightly lighting up all the wonderful colours of the trees. 

The lakeside Pantheon at the National Trust’s Stourhead House near Warminster.

Of course, we’re not quite at that stage yet (and knowing what our crazy weather is like, we may yet have another mini summer before we enter the full glory of autumn) but I’m looking forward to crunching through fallen leaves and getting wafts of sweet, smoky air as the neighbours light their fires.

Autumn also makes me want to knit. I sort of dabble all year round (although this year my focus has mainly been on crochet) but the colder months seem much more suited to knitting than when it’s warmer. As I seem to have so little time in the evenings to just sit and be creative I’ve come up with another solution – I’ve taken my knitting to school! I usually spend the first part of my lunch break in the classroom, tidying up from the morning, getting ahead with some marking or setting up for the afternoon. But I try to make sure I have at least half an hour in the staff room, and after I’ve eaten lunch I normally have at least 10-15 mins of just chatting before the bell goes. So that chatting time has now become knitting time. I’m only making a scarf, so I don’t really need to concentrate, meaning that I can still be sociable. But it’s a lovely relaxing end to the lunch hour before doing battle with an art or science lesson.

Photo: Had such a fab evening learning to crochet! Laura Dimon and Emma Higgs what great teachers u guys r! Thank u so much, am well proud of my coaster... That may be going to grow into a hat, or a bag, or a purse, or a table mat... Ah just endless possibilities = one WAAAY too excited Helen!! Lol!! <3

Helen’s first ever crochet circle – so much better than my first circle was!

I’ve also taken Debbi’s advice (see her comment here) and set aside Tuesday evenings as my craft time. This week that involved teaching a crochet class! That actually makes it sound grander than it was – a few friends and friends of friends gathered together and I attempted to show them how to get started on crochet. I was expecting it to be really stressful (I’ve only ever tried to teach crochet to one person at a time before, not a whole group) but thanks to my friend Emma (who’s far more professional than I am!) who lent a helping hand, it was a really fun evening.

Helen’s second circle – she started this at home with no help from anyone. What a star pupil!

One thing Emma and I both learnt was that there is often more than one way of doing something in crochet. Pretty much everything I do one way, she does another way! We tried to make it as simple as possible for people, so hopefully they weren’t too confused! I saw one of our ‘students’ yesterady – she came bounding up to me asking when the next crochet evening would be! This is someone who claims she doesn’t have a crafty bone in her body, so I was so excited that she’d enjoyed it enough to want to do it again. And she’s been practising at home too!

As well as teaching others, I’ve also managed to add a few more rounds to the granny blanket I’m making for a friend (she’s going to give it to her Nan for Christmas).

I’ve also enjoyed flicking through a couple of mags – I’m already getting very excited about all the Christmas stuff and am planning out some projects. I think that realistically I won’t have time to make them all, but I can dream!

And finally – I was recently nominated for a couple of awards. Rainbow Junkie passed on the beautiful blogger award

…and the wonderful team member readership award!

Thank you so much for your generosity in nominating me for two awards! I really feel like I don’t deserve them as I’m hardly posting anything these days, but thanks for your encouragement! I’m not going to pass them on at the moment, but may do at some point in the future.

Now I’m off to catch up on some blog reading – I have about 120 new blogs sitting in my inbox demanding my attention! Enjoy your evening, and I’ll maybe see you in another couple of weeks 🙂

Holiday snaps


I’m back! I had a fantastic week away (even the rain and mud didn’t spoil the fun) but was pretty happy to sleep in a real bed again on Saturday 🙂 Here’s just a little of what we got up to…

We experienced a whole range of weather conditions, often having sun and rain within a space of a few minutes.

Some of the rain showers were truly spectacular.

They only lasted a few minutes, but were incredibly powerful.

Rain that powerful is always fun when you’re living in a tent! Thankfully the part we were in didn’t get flooded, but some people did. During one particularly heavy (and long) rain storm, I had all the kids huddled around me in our dining tent (a very flimsy marquee that looked like it would fly away many times during the week, but miraculously stayed put) for story time. These kids have always enjoyed my made up stories, but I found that they were getting a bit repetitive. So last year I came up with a solution – story cards! The children pick cards at random to give a place, characters and a problem.

They got a little soggy, as the rain started dripping through the roof, but the rain couldn’t dampen our fun. The kids just loved being part of the creative process of storytelling, and came up with some great additions.

Anyway, the result of so much rain (and the fact that I still wore flip flops for most of the week) meant that I had pretty muddy feet!

On some nights the clouds cleared and we got some beautiful views of the moon. The picture really doesn’t do it justice – it was just so incredibly bright and beautiful.

In a few quiet moments I managed to attach a few more squares to my blanket. But those quiet moments didn’t usually last long before I was surrounded by children.

The oldest girl of the group was desperate to learn to crochet, so one afternoon I gave her a lesson in working a chain. She found it really tricky to hold the yarn as well as move the hook, so I ended up holding the yarn for her.

She managed to make a great long chain which she turned into a bracelet.

In other brief moments of quiet I enjoyed cuddles with my friend’s 6 week old daughter and a little reading.

We also celebrated a birthday with some yummy chocolate cake. We had so much cake – everyone had been busy baking and I think most of us ended up bringing some home again!

We had great weather as we were packing up at the end of the week – just right for getting the tents dried out and packed up.

There was also a bit of drama on our last day – a family near us were pulling up tent pegs when water started gushing up. It turned out that their tent peg had been in a water pipe all week long, and pulling it out resulted in a bit of a flood! So there was all sorts of excitement watching engineers come along to dig it up and repair it.

All in all it was a brilliant week. But now real life has kicked in again and I still have another couple of loads of washing to do.

Craft with friends


Last night was a lot of fun. There were eight of us around the table (although it took more than half an hour of chatting in the kitchen to even reach the table!) We enjoyed some lovely, chocolatey nibbles, generously supplied by those who came. We drank tea, chatted and laughed our way through the evening.

Books were flicked through in search for inspiration.

Templates were made.

Fabric was rummaged through.

We had a range of crafts around the table – three sewers, making Mother’s day gifts, two knitters making blanket squares and a cardigan, a card maker and a cross stitcher. 

And I did….well, really very little! I was not feeling inspired at all. My mind flitted from one idea to the next without being satisfied by any of them. So I had a little rummage through my rather messy fabric box, hoping that something would just jump out at me. It didn’t. But I did find an abandoned project!

 I started making this as a cover for my journal sometime last year. I don’t know if something went wrong and I got frustrated, if I lost interest in it, or if I just put it down and forgot about it, but there it’s been, crumpled up in amongst all my fabric for all this time.

I didn’t do anything with it (too much talking and not enough concentration!) but at least it’s out of the box and may have a chance of being finished at some point 🙂

And talking of unfinished work, I still haven’t made any more progress with the jumper back of the cushion cover. Maybe tomorrow?


Anyway, today has been quite productive – I’ve made a curry and a cake for a birthday meal tomorrow and started making a present for a friend who’s expecting a baby. I’ve not got very far with it so far, but will post pictures soon.

And just to finish, one of the plants that was looking very sorry for itself at the beginning of the week is thriving by the garden doors, and even has some new leaves growing! (The other one is still looking pretty dead, poor thing)