Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Golden Autumn Swap

Good evening everyone, hope your week is going well.

A couple of months or so ago, the wonderful Blueberry Heart organised her annual Autumn swap, and I was so lucky to be partnered by the lovely Linda.  I was so, so delighted as Linda was my first ever swap partner way back in my first year of blogging - you can read all about it here.

After a hard day at work, weather not particularly inspiring either, imagine my excitement when arriving home to find the postie had been - I ripped open the envelope in great excitement!  Would you like to see inside?

First up is a lovely, autumnal card with a sweet message from Linda inside...


Then some cute hand warmers, will be lovely on my winter walks...


hot chocolate, will have this later, we are planning a movie evening watching Sleepy Hollow...


Vintage buttons - love these...


A fabulous felted brooch, this will be finding its way onto my jacket tomorrow morning...


A pretty autumnal bracelet modelled by my darling daughter (yes dear, I will have it back now thank you!!)


A beautiful heart - hung up in my living room...


Funky tray, I needed a nice new one as my current ones are looking rather sad and worn...


A lovely transfer sheet of an autumnal country scene...


And a very stylish bag, this is going to look so much nicer than my usual Asda bags when carrying my things in and out of school (on teacher training they never warn you about how much stuff you will need to carry around on a daily basis!!)


And here is everything together:


Linda, you have been, once again, a truly brilliant swap partner.  Thank you so, so much for everything, you have really spoiled me.  And with everything that has been going on recently, this has been a real pick-me-up.  Bloggers are the best!!

Have a lovely evening, Helenxx

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Crochet on the last Saturday in October

The last Saturday in October?  How did that happen so fast?  This last week I have had a few days off from work as it is half term in our part of the UK.  I really did need a break it has to be said.  However, my body clock still insists that I get up early... this morning I lit one of my scented candles when I came downstairs...


it is actually one of the new Yankee Candle Christmas fragrances, Candy Cane Lane, it is fast becoming one of my favourites!

I completed another autumnal cushion this week, this time in deep russet colours...




Here it is nestled against the first cushion I completed this month...



That chair is feeling so cosy now!  I love how the colours match the leather of my chair so well.  However, I am trying to tear myself away from autumn colours for a while to complete another, much bigger project.  Just look at all these off-cuts of yarn...


yep, a lot of sewing in ends going on - hopefully I will have a WIP report soon.  So far, so good.  This will be a very cosy project once finished, and I would like it out of the way before I start on more gift projects.  Crochet is so calming, with all the worry of my Darling Mum being poorly recently it has been such a blessing to be able to relax with some hook and yarn, even if only for a few snatched moments here and there. 

Well, must away, the sun is shining, the household is stirring and errands beckon.  But hopefully I can return to hook and yarn this evening for a couple of hours when everything is done and I can sit and daydream once more.


Have a lovely Saturday, Helenxx

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Autumnal day trip to Derbyshire

Hello again everyone.  I finally managed to pack away my work for the rest of this half-term week and yesterday took off with DD to Derbyshire for a girls day out.

We set off bright and early from home, and, before we knew it, arrived at Darley Dale at this lovely little shop...


don't you just love the yarn-bombed bicycle?  Not sure if this one had had a guest appearance at Yarndale or if it was used as part of the Tour de France Grande Depart celebrations but we both thought it was a lot of fun!  Inside the store is a fantastic array of all things embroidery, and the young girl who served us was so friendly and helpful.  We love coming here to buy supplies. 

Next up we went to Rowsley to visit another favourite stopping-off place for us, Cauldwell's Mill.  We love to mooch around the old out buildings...



Quite a bit of autumn colour in evidence...



On a distant hill, a farmer was sorting out a tree that had probably been blown down the day before when we had a lot of high winds and stormy weather...


Back at the mill is a lovely gift shop...


...this little fellow was waiting patiently for his owner..


The sky was absolutely stunning...


We then jumped back in the car and drove another ten minutes up the A6 to the beautiful town of Bakewell, where we had a good rummage around the charity shops and found some super bargains, including a brand new handbag for me and a brand new hat for DD.  We went in some other shops and bought a few gifts for Christmas, but these will have to remain a secret for now!

It then started to spot with rain, and, as our tummies were rumbling we went to the Thorntons Coffee shop for a lovely lunch...



The service and the food in this little café is second to none, do try it if you are ever in Bakewell.  The cakes looked very tempting, so we decided on these two, we cut them up and had half each...



It was such a treat to be sitting having a lovely chat with DD, we have spent a lot of time together this week which has been absolutely fantastic.  We both have very similar tastes, we are both heavily into the Scandinavian vibe at the moment!  She also shares my love of autumn, and is doing an autumnal themed project for her Art Textiles A Level at the moment.  As we sat chatting I couldn't resist taking a photo through the café window as we watched the world go by...


 With our tummies full, we had another wander around the town and came upon this superb display at the little greengrocers shop...
 


This is probably the nearest we will get to a pumpkin patch (DD and I would LOVE to go to a proper pumpkin patch in New England...)  and we loved this funny little face...


DD took a lot of time to pick an ideal pumpkin for us.  Hopefully I will be able to do it justice on the 31st!!

On the way home we popped in to see my Darling Mum, whose health is still very up and down, but it was lovely to have a chat with her and tell her what we had been up to.  Three girls together!!  I can't wait for her to be up and about again so that she can come to my house for dinner, we always have such a good time.

Back home, we found that the vegetable soup I had put on in the slow cooker before going out had cooked nicely.  After dinner, by means of a "thank you" DD made me a lovely hot chocolate...


can you spot the little gingerbread men she made? 

Hope you are all having a lovely week, thanks again so much for all your recent kind comments, very much appreciated.

Helenxx

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Treats and Tricks!

Hello everyone, hope that this stormy weather isn't having any adverse effects for you. Very blustery and heavy showers here with spells of bright sunshine - but could be a lot worse.

Thank you so, so much for all your kind comments about my Darling Mum, she seems quite a bit improved today when I visited her earlier so hopefully that will continue as the days go by.

I have spent today (even though it is half term) working on reports and referrals, but now I can say that I am officially on holiday as I have ticked off all the items on my to-do list!!  Hip-hip-hooray!! I firmly believe in that old trick of a to-do list, keeps me on track and I find it so, so satisfying when I eventually tick everything off!

Yesterday I worked in the morning, then took my DD out and about to our local villages on a tea and gift shop tour.  We love to do this when we can, there are so many lovely places and little shops, all so different from the usual High Street fare.  First of all we visited a little tea shop and treated ourselves to a very yummy hot chocolate...after all, it had been a long, hard morning of work...


I love the idea of popping a mini-gingerbread man in amongst the cream and chocolate flake, but a close up made it look quite creepy and Halloween-like, almost like a mummy emerging from its tomb...would be a great drink to serve up on the 31st...


After investigating more local village shops, including a newsagent that sells everything and 2 gift shops we went to the local garden centre, always a treat at any time of year, but they had really gone to town with the Halloween theme...




Onto another village, where my kids have attended school (and DD still attends there). I also attended school there "back in the day".  I loved the autumn colours on this tree.  The old building in the background was a fully-operational mill in my young day, but is now converted into upmarket apartments...


It was so lovely to spend time with DD, we share so many interests, we didn't stop chatting the whole time we were out!

Hope you have a lovely and cosy evening, Helenxx

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Colourful October

This week has been quite trying.  My Darling Mum has been poorly, which has been a big worry, but thankfully she is slowly improving.  Usual stresses at work.  But trying to find little glimmers of colour along the way - after all, this is quite possibly my favourite month of the year.

A couple of weeks ago I finished this crochet cushion in October Oranges -




I always associate October with these shades of orange.  Here is the completed article lounging on my armchair...


it is so squishy and comfy!  Just the thing to cosy up to on these darker evenings.  I am almost finished making another Autumnal cushion, same yarn but different shades - this time rusty reds.  All to be revealed soon I hope!

On with the October Orange theme, I have decorated my mantel with lots of suitable candle holders. 


Cue a few close-ups of my collection...




Rocking the pumpkin loveliness!!

And just to show that there are sometimes colours other than orange in October, here is a sunset from last week...


The whole neighbourhood was lit up with pink for about 5 minutes, then it was gone. 

Hope you have a lovely, and colour-filled Sunday!

Helenxx