Sunday, 13 April 2014

Ladybird Book nostalgia - part one

Good morning everyone, looks like Spring has arrived finally, sunny, blue skies, but still quite a chilly breeze.

As I get older I find that I become more nostalgic about times gone by - pretty normal I guess for everyone.  One thing I used to absolutely love was the Ladybird Book series - they were published in my home town, which we were very proud about.  We didn't have a TV when I was little, so I started reading at a very young age - well before I started school.  And Ladybird books were a key part of that process.  The quality was excellent, and the price affordable - crucial as we didn't have much money.  But my Darling Mum always found enough to buy me books on a regular basis.

She has all my collection of Ladybird books, but I rather fancied having a few of my key favourites here at my house.  So I started trawling the local charity shops, no luck.  So then onto Amazon, and, amazingly I found my two most favourite titles, at 1p and 60p (ok so there was £2.80 postage but even so...).  So after a few clicks, these two were winging (sorry about the pun!) their way to me.

And here they are:


Both were written by E L Grant Watson, and illustrated by C F Tunnicliffe, RA.  The Winter title was published in 1959, and the Autumn title in 1960 (when I was born, giving my age away now!!) Both titles sold for the princely sum of 2s6d, 12.5p in today's money.  How I loved both of these titles, my love of Autumn and Winter has been with me as long as I can remember.  I would read and re-read these books, to this day I can remember passages from them.  Many facts about nature that I still recall now came from the texts of these little books.

So I thought it would be nice to share a few of my favourite illustrations from each book - would you like to see?

Today I will share illustrations from What to look for in Winter.

This is the finely detailed pen and ink drawing on the title page.  We are very lucky here, there is a lot of mistletoe growing around the town, you see it on trees when driving along the ring road...


This is first colour illustration.  A time-honoured way of hedgelaying, good to see this craft is seeing something of a resurgence in our local countryside...


I always loved this picture because of the fungi in the foreground and because it reminds me of our local outwoods..


This reminds me so much of a local lake, I wonder if the artist actually took his inspiration from it...


A lovely, frosty, wintery morning, just look at the detail on the cobwebs, so finely observed...


Fieldfares and redwings, we only get to see them if the weather is extremely cold, I didn't see any this winter...


Watch out bunnies!


Just love the colours of the sky, I was lucky enough to see a fantastic display of starlings in formation this winter...


And finally, this closely observed illustration, I think of it each time we have late winter snow...


I really hope you enjoyed looking through some of my favourite illustrations from this lovely old book, back soon hopefully with What to look for in Autumn.

Have a lovely Sunday, Helen

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Autumnal April

Hello everyone, April is flying by!  A very busy time at home and work, but all good.

Last week the UK was affected by a rather unusual weather pattern, which resulted in a lot of pollution finding it's way here from the continent.  This meant that instead of having warm spring sunshine and blue skies we ended up with grey days, mist and fog.  As Autumn is my most favourite season, I have to confess that I rather enjoyed this (apologies to anyone out there whose health was affected by the weather).  A little bit of Autumn in the Spring...

In my job I have to travel around quite a bit, and one morning had to make a phone call to one of my centres.  Now, I can answer calls on the hands-free, but seem incapable of dialing out.  So, I pulled over, switched off the car, and made the call.  After finishing the call, I took a few seconds to really look around me.  And decided to take these photos...

 Dark and grey...

Skeletal trees...

Old iron railings...



Looking across the lake....


A little bit of spring peeking through the autumn mists...


 Of course all this autumnal weather meant that crocheting more squares for my blanket challenge (weeks 14 and 15) was the order of the day...


 Now at this point, dear readers, I do have a teeny little confession to make...this                                  yarn is not from my stash...I was in a tiny little yarn store in one of our local villages, and noticed that they were selling Stylecraft DK.  Now I have read lots and lots of favourable comments on a lot of your blogs, but I have never used this brand before.  I loved this colour, and thought it would add a touch of lightness to the colours I already have for my blanket challenge.  So I bought 2 100g balls.  And I am loving this yarn, it is a dream to work with, no splitting, and it is so snuggly soft and smooth.


 It cost 60p more than my usual acrylic brand I buy from our local market, but I have to say it is worth that little bit extra.  I can get 10 squares from a 100g ball so that is quite reasonable.  The shop had a decent selection of colours, so I think I might pop back there next week and get three more balls so that I can make some potholders - I need to make some little gifts to send to relatives overseas, something small and light.  Potholders will fit the bill nicely, and make a nice little project for the Easter weekend methinks.

Well, must away, quite a few errands to run today.  But hopefully there will be some hooky time later.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Helenxx

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

April begins...

Good evening everyone - what a lovely Spring day it has been, a lovely way to welcome in the month of April...

(Image courtesy of Google)

No showers to report here, although it seemed more like Autumn early this morning, very damp and misty.  But the sun soon burned all the dampness away, leaving us with blue skies and fluffy blue clouds.

So here we are, week 13 of the Crochet Blanket Challenge - these four squares have been completed and added to the collection...


This is still proving to be a happy project, something that can be picked up and put down, carried around, little moments of crochet often snatched in the 10 minutes waiting for dinner to cook.  Ideal for my often frantic schedule.

I thought I would leave you with a photo of the cake my Darling Daughter made for me for Mothers Day, none left now of course...


Hope you are enjoying these early Spring days!

Helenxx

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mothers Day Treats

Hello everyone, and to all of my readers who are Mums, a very Happy Mothers Day!

I have received some lovely cards and flowers from my 4 children...


Such lovely colours, really cheerful...




...and also received a bouquet of these from DH...


here are both bunches together, really brightening up my fireplace (I do love flowers)


I also received this lovely sampler box of Yankee Candle votives in my favourite scents from my lot, yes, they are Christmas scents but these are my favourite from the range, I love the cinnamon, vanilla and spicy fragrances so much)


Apparently something else is due to arrive from Amazon tomorrow, so the fun will be spread over an extra day!  They have really spoiled me I have to say.

I popped round to visit my Darling Mum this morning, she is coming along to our house later for dinner.  Dearest Daughter is making a cake for us both for dessert, with caramel flavours and a filling of Lotus Biscuit Cream (have you tried those biscuits, they are often served along with a coffee in cafes, hence in this house we call them "complimentary biscuits".  They are so yummy, full of caramel flavour).

I didn't have a lie-in this morning as we were all up early to watch the Malaysian Grand Prix - sadly our favourite driver had a pretty poor day, due to someone running into the back of his car (cue lots of booing and hissing from the Moonstruck crew) but still a lot of fun to watch.

Well, off to have another cuppa and perhaps a bit of crochet- I could really get used to this being spoiled lark!

Helenxx

Sunday, 23 March 2014

On a clear day...

...you can see forever...


Last weekend we went out for a walk in our local countryside.  The sky was so blue...


And sometimes you can see reasonably familiar farmyard friends...


But other creatures might hail from somewhere a little more exotic...



They guard the sheep apparently...



Wonder who lives in this wonderful house...


Such a lovely early Spring day, ideal for a walk with DH, who enjoys climbing hills, so our local Beacon Hill was just the thing.  And I always take my camera so that I can stop and have a breather take photos for my blog...and DH even treated me to a coffee half way around our 8 mile route.  No photo of that I'm afraid I drank it rather quickly!

On arrival home another pot of sunny daffodils cheered me on with the washing up...


Hope you are making the most of an early Spring weekend!

Helenxx

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Crochet Blanket Challenge Update - Week 12

Good morning, and Happy Springtime to you all!  True to form, here in my part of the UK so far the Spring has brought some high winds and heavy rain showers, but still some sunshine in between so no complaints.

Anyhow, I thought it due time to post an update on my progress with the Crochet Blanket Challenge.  During the Christmas holidays I had bought into the idea that I could make one Granny Square each week, with the aim to have a decent sized blanket by the end of 2014.  You may have thought "oh, she has gone a bit quiet on her blog about this, probably given up, oh well, it was a big project..." but, dear readers, I have been crocheting squares when and where I can.  I am now on week 12 of of this project (3 months in, oh my where has that time gone?!).  Here are my efforts of recent weeks:


Lovely to take some photos in natural, sunny light...



Here are all my squares tucked into their little bag for safe keeping, there are actually 48 of them in total....


You may have noticed that the pink squares are all huddled together, I am now not so sure I want to include them - do they go with the washed out wintry Scandi shades...what do you think?  Should they stay or should they go? (Will now have the Clash song running through my head for the rest of the day). If they go I can certainly make something with them, perhaps a cushion for my DD...

All this crochet is certainly making me feel quite chirpy.  Other cheerful things this week include this super bargain picked up during the weekly shop at Aldi for the princely sum of £2.99:


loads of lovely blanket patterns (yes, I think I have caught the blanket bug well and truly) and for half the price of a magazine.  What's not to like?

Also, my second eldest celebrated leaving his teenage years behind by turning 20 years old.  DD made this brilliant cake for him (he loves Chocolate Oranges)


Well, must away, a busy day awaits.  Have a lovely weekend!

Helenxx