Monday, 29 August 2011

Apple dapple

Don't faint, but I have actually sewn something!! The inspiration came from picking the first of our apples on Friday. I don't know why, but it made me want to do some sewing. Perhaps it's the idea of Autumn kicking in.

I went on the Internet and found this new, free pattern on the Bustle and Sew website. I had absolutely everything I needed to make it in my stash.

I added gingham borders to accommodate the cushion pad I had in hand, and used gingham on the back to edge the envelope opening. I also adopted a slightly more random approach to placement of stalks and leaves. I really like the country-style result, and it seems very seasonal.

Now, what to do with the actual apples? I rather fancy making this apple dapple cake. If I do, I'll be sure to post about it on this blog.

Friday, 19 August 2011

A day out by tram

Here I am with another what-I-did-in-the-summer-holidays blog post. This week, we spent a day at the National Tramway Museum at Crich.

The picture below was taken whilst we rode on the open top deck of a 1903 tram originally from Southampton. There are trams from all over Europe and beyond, all carefully restored.

There is a village area with an old-fashioned sweet shop and ice cream kiosk. The ambience was enhanced by many vintage constructions, such as this old Police Box. Ds was excited to see a TARDIS as featured on Dr Who. I believe this one is just the regular size inside, though! 

When not riding on the trams, we enjoyed a walk and picnic in the woodland park, and saw some lovely Derbyshire views, like this one over the Derwent Valley:

I'm back at work on Monday, so the tourist-board posts are most likely at an end for a while.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Lazy holiday

The school summer holidays have a very negative effect on my crafting life, ie. this week, I haven't done any! It's not down to lack of time, more to do with disrupted routines and because the kids are lounging around doing very little, laziness also overtakes me. Instead, I turn to playing board games with the kids, punctuated by occasional outings.

Today we went to Twin Lakes theme park near Melton Mowbray - at about 40 minutes' drive from us, it's the nearest such place. This summer, they've added an unashamedly warm-weather attraction:

It's a fabulous collection of water slides, with added water sprays, and the periodic emptying of a large bucket all over the attraction and its users. Ds and friend thought it was wonderful.

There were also dry slides, once the cold water lost its appeal:

We had a lovely time. But if you're going there, I recommend taking your own food - we always pack up our lunch, as the on-site catering is not up to much. You can get nice ice-creams though. And if you forget to put your child in socks, which are required for hygiene reasons in the indoor play zones, you can buy a cheap pair in the cafe in the Labyrinth building.

Tomorrow the plan is to see Arrietty at the cinema. Another favourite book of mine, and the film is from the same studio that made Howl's Moving Castle, so obviously there is a lot to live up to.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Coin purse

I'm a bit more cheerful than when I wrote my last blog post. Dh will be home at the weekend; the ortho appointment is made for a new retainer, and ds is my best friend once again.

Here's something pretty in keeping with my improved mood:

I made this little coin purse to go with my watermelon handbag. It was an accompanying pattern in the same book, Easy Crocheted Bags. I used a 4mm hook and the same Rico essential cotton dk yarn. The seeds are sewn on, using Rowan handknit cotton dk as that was what I had that was black.

Nice little pattern; I like the finished result. I'm going to get one of those little keychain holders and clip it on to my bag as a finishing touch.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Bad week

I'm not having a great week.

Dh is away with work, half way around the world in Japan. He's been away since last weekend, and a reliable landline connection has only been achieved once so far - all other call attempts lasted maybe 3-4 seconds. His mobile phone does not work there, which is not a surprise as it's so old, but I'm rather staggered that the ipad will not connect either as that is current technology.

I did some housework, and collected all the empty cups and glasses from dd's room. Her orthodontic retainer is clear plastic and hence difficult to see (you know where this is going, don't you?!). Found the retainer in the bottom of the dishwasher this a.m. These devices are not supposed to be put in hot water as they can be warped or melted. A replacement will cost about ninety quid. The ortho office is shut till Monday so dd is having to wear the old one in the interim and hope for the best. At least it's clean....

There was also a bad-tempered exchange between me and ds today, regarding the downloading of Wii channels (not allowed without advance permission, as some are not really suitable for someone who is only eight).

Hopefully equilibrium will be restored soon. Although I'll still be in sole charge next week, and working the usual hours, my parents are coming down to help out, so I won't have to rush to and from holiday daycare every day.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A bed of roses

Practising my new enhanced crochet skills, I made these rose-based granny squares. One red one:

and one white one:

When I made them, I was thinking about Grimm's fairytale Snow White and Rose Red. I love that story, especially when the mother carries the rose trees to the palace, so she can be reminded of the happy time when her girls were small and "the sweetest and best children in the world".

After I'd finished these two squares, I idly remarked to dh that if I made lots more and sewed them together, I'd have a bed of roses. But right now, I lack the energy to start another big project. Maybe one day.

If you like these, you can find the free pattern at Fiona Kelly's blog.