2014 – review of the year

I’ve been looking back over this year and all the photos I’ve taken

In the garden

image

Crochet – 2 unfinished projects and some test squares below but they look lovely and colourful. I haven’t always had time to pick up my hook but I still love it when I do. I don’t make resolutions but I do intend to make more time for hooking in 2015!

image

 

The view from the top of the hill over the last 12 months and 4 seasons

image

Miss Tara,  lovely happy bundle of fun, a delightful companion ❤

image

Cakes and baking, food and produce from the garden

image

Places I visited; clockwise from top left, Inverness, Liverpool, Skipton, Liverpool (the interior of the Central Library), West Kirby on the Wirral and Belfast.

image

Family feasts, a big birthday and some music making which I was proud to be part of

image

Good times!

Let’s hope 2015 will bring lots of goodness to all, Happy New Year!

 

Advertisements

Handmade Christmas 3

It’s nice to make a few edibles for Christmas. I didn’t make a cake this year, because I don’t really like Christmas cake, if I’m honest. But I did make mince pies-these are a new recipe with a frangipane topping full of ground almonds

imageThey were delicious! This is the recipe I used

I also made my own mincemeat – it has rhubarb and vanilla in it and is very good (a tried, tested and loved Nigella Lawson recipe which I tweak by adding cherries and omitting currants)

image image

This went into the aforementioned mince pies!

I made my own fruit liqueur, a variation on sloe or damson gin. I made raspberry flavoured gin. It’s very easy to do, just wash and dry your fruit, put it into sterilised jars with sugar, fill the jar with gin(or vodka), pop the lid on and put in a dark place for about a month, giving the jar a shake for the first few days to dissolve the sugar. Then strain it through a sieve lined with kitchen paper(as in the second photo below and pour into sterilised bottles, seal and then enjoy at your leisure. Nice in a shot glass or diluted with lemonade or soda water!

image image image

A grand day out to Yarndale

Last Sunday, I drove a 380 mile round trip to go and look at yarn. No, I haven’t taken leave of my senses, this wasn’t just any old yarn, but a big, beautiful yarn festival in the Yorkshire Dales, hence the descriptive moniker, Yarndale. I’ll try and describe it for those who haven’t heard of it.  Imagine being in glorious quintessential English countryside; green fields, heather covered hills, a bustling market town surrounded by farming country and having the idea of transforming an agricultural livestock mart into a yarn, fabric and craft market for a creative and colourful weekend. This is the ethos behind Yarndale, and the team behind it have worked magic to bring about its great success.

I decided to nip down for the day on Sunday, with my mum.  A lovely, autumnal drive down on quiet roads, 3.5 hours and we were there for the afternoon. Despite reports via Twitter of long queues to get in and hoards of people crowding  round stalls, I need not have worried, it was just fine. Busy enough for there to be a bustling,excited atmosphere but in a relaxed and friendly way.  The venue was so big that it made it easy to wander and browse, and chat to the vendors. Lots of places to sit and rest awhile too which was a big bonus once the feet started to ache!

image

There was some colourful yarn bombing outside in the park and in the entrance area to the mart, including this fantastic crochet bunting

image

And these mandalas which decorated the railings above the ground floor

image

I couldn’t fit them all in, there were almost 1200 of these! A feast for the eyes! All the work of Lucy at Attic 24 and her blog readers, it looked amazing and added such colour and vitality to the venue. Lucy is one of the team behind Yarndale and she was in the building, surrounded by fans. I couldn’t get near to say hello! Probably just as well, she must have been exhausted after 2 days non-stop talking.  Maybe next year?

What else did I see?

Alpacas!

image

Sheep!

image

I didn’t take many more photos because a) my phone’s battery died and b) really I was there to look at the wonderful and many goodies on offer,  to get some inspiration, to chat to other yarn and craft lovers and to spend some cash! All of which I did……

image

My haul of goodies, lovely yarn from Gam Farm Rare Breeds (those are their sheep in the photo above), Teeswater Wools, Ripplescrafts, Littleowlcrafts and Strathearn Fleece and Fibre, buttons from Skybluepink Designs, a case for bits and bobs (I can’t remember who I bought this from, sorry:-( ) and some gorgeous cards and a picture from H-anne-Made.

image

 

It was a real treat to see so many exhibitors under one roof selling so many beautiful and high quality items. I could have spent even more than I did! It was also lovely to chat to all those exhibitors who I bought from and other visitors to Yarndale. There was a warm and happy atmosphere and my mum and I left feeling it was so worth the long trip as we’d had such a great experience.

A grand day out indeed 😉

image

March review

imageI can’t quite believe another month has flown by, it only seems like last week that I wrote my February review! But March is already over, a hectic month for me with lots of work and not much play at all, the weather played tricks with blue sky and sun in the middle of the month and then returned to grey, foggy and cold. Here in the UK, it was Mothers Day and  the clocks went forward during the last weekend of March, so at last, we have longer days and there was a bit of partying and making a fuss of my mum. Every day in March there were more and more things growing in the garden, bringing beautiful splashes of colour to the post-winter landscape and I managed to find a few welcome moments to crochet. It’s been tiring and busy, in a good, fulfilling way, but I’m glad March is over and a new month with a more relaxed feel is underway!

 

January review

It’s good to look back over the month just passed and reflect on what has happened. January was busy but full of good friends, food and laughter. It was my birthday, Tara made herself at home and seems very happy here, the garden has had a little attention between the many bouts of rain, there’s been lots of music and I even had time for some crochet too.

1-Desktop99

Good times!

2013 review: Crochet

This year has been a little sporadic on the crafty front. I was so busy with work for the first part of the year, and then lovely hot summer + yarn + sick cat do not go together well, then more of being busy, so I didn’t think I’d have much to review. But I did make all of these things this year, so perhaps it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought!

1-Desktop89

28: Remember

Art imitates life, real life, today. A poem for a lovely lady who died yesterday, who I was happy to have known, and who will be missed by all whose lives she touched.

Remember

by Christina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
   Gone far away into the silent land;
   When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
   You tell me of our future that you planned:
   Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
   And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
   For if the darkness and corruption leave
   A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
   Than that you should remember and be sad.