Milestones and Alpaca Cake…

I have had such a fabulous week.   

Not only have we celebrated Easter and had  a whole week away from work; I have had a birthday and a graduation! 

What’s more I had a beautiful alpaca birthday cake!!! 

I’m feeling so blessed.

xxxxx

Gratitude…

Day 18 of

#yarnlovechallenge 

and it’s still not too late join in. 

The theme for today is ‘gratitude’.

yarnpom
yarnpom

A yarnpom

the perfect way to express gratitude!

xxxxx

January…

With life now returning to a more normal ebb and flow following the festive jollity, I feel like I am back on the treadmill!

So I am being very careful to make sure life at home is given the highest priority.  Which of course means in part getting out and walking with the boys and Mr R and of course the dogs.

Special Happy Birthday to Old Alf who was 11 at the beginning of the month xx
Special Happy Birthday to Old Alf who was 11 at the beginning of the month xx
Wellies are my favourite type of footwear!
Wellies are my favourite type of footwear!

Now the photo’s I am going to share with you may seem some what gloomy, particularly if you happen to live in a warmer part of the world.  But, I have taken great comfort from pulling on my wellies and feeling the sometimes quite squelchy ground, and at other times the cold and frozen ground under my soles.

Jack Frost has painted this leaf...
Jack Frost has painted this leaf…
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A little spiders home sweet home.

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There was much fuss made in the media about the UK being hit by a polar storm, we were quite excited at the prospect of maybe being snowed in for a while…

The polar storm
The polar storm was a little underwhelming…

You will be relieved to know that I survived the polar storm of 2017 and even managed to get into work!!!!!

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I think I have enjoyed the walks just before dusk the most, when the mist clings to everything and envelops all…

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because lurking just underneath the ground is the promise of spring.  I can feel it when I’m out in the countryside.  The biting cold is soon to be replaced with a milder air, a warmer breeze and a brighter light. 

But, until then I am happy to stomp around in my wellies, looking at the footprints of what has stomped before me,

wp_20170108_14_40_01_proand exploring trails I have not been down before.

wp_20170108_14_56_16_proGetting cold and breathing in that damp air, because it means coming home is all the more cosy…

crochet by the fireside.
crochet by the fireside.
crochet in bed.
crochet in bed.

Don’t you think?

xxxxx

2016 Montage

I love this time of year; for me it’s a real time of reflection, a time to look back in wonder at the year gone by. 

And what a year it has proven to be, both personally and here at the Nest too.  This year I have created a montage of my favourite memories, both hooky and the not so hooky!

January 2016

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Started with a lovely little trip to the worlds smallest library…in a phone box and finished with felt flowers.

February 2016

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Was filled with my Flower Fiesta installation and saw the release of a yarny little leaf pattern…on the house of course!

March 2016

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Maybe one of my favourite months this year as it was full of hookiness, creativity and some much needed soul restoration . Some much needed time away from studying for a PGdip, juggling placements, family, home and a whole heap of essays!  There was the Robins Nest Square pattern release, followed by a tutorial for joining with a double crochet and a BIG thank you.

 April 2016

april-2016Well, April really did whizz by under a heavy cloud of essay pressure, but I did find time to look for some lovliness and learn a new yarny skill despite a Woolly dilemma.

May 2016

may-2016

Was permeated with bluebells, al fresco dining and a woolly win.

June 2016

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Left me feeling chuft!

July 2016

july-2016

 was celebrated with a yarny give -a-way and a growing pile of PHD’s

August 2016

august-2016

Brimmed with crochet goodness; hooking al fresco, completing the very V blanket and tutorial and not forgetting the graffiti robin.

September 2016

sept-2016Saw the calm before the storm, a quilting Ouch! and the launch of The Grandma Collection.

October 2016

oct-2016Oh my days!

October held the secret of happiness…alpaca walking!  Enough excitement for one month you might think, but there was also the release of The Grandma Mary Tea Cosy pattern.  Too much!

November 2016

nov-2016Was bleak to be honest, but there was a WOW and a fond farewell

December 2016

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Ahh December and homemade damson gin, hooking virus style (post coming soon) and planning for project 2017 (launching in the New Year!!).  And there you have it…a whistle stop tour of my 2016.

I do have one more special thing to add before I sign off for 2016 and that is to you…Thank you so much for journeying with me, I love having you along.  I am always amazed by folk dropping in and reading what I write, it humbles me to my core.  I hope in return you have enjoyed and been inspired, encouraged and been blessed. 

Here’s to a very yarny 2017!

xxxxx

Farewell Autumn…

Alpaca Walking…yes honestly!!!

I have been so looking forward to writing this post; you see I have been on the most amazing adventure.  However, this post should really come with a warning, so here it is…

This post will make you fall in love; quite a bold claim I realise, so it might be advisable to get yourself a cuppa (or a glass of something bubbly!) depending on what hour of the day it is that you are reading this…and if you are sitting reading this and you are in England then oh my, I take no responsibility!

So warning done, now for the adventure. 

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A road trip

It started a month or so a go when the lovely Mr. R booked an anniversary trip of a different kind (don’t worry, this is ‘U’ rated honestly!).  So on Saturday, after counting down the days, we got up early with the boys and headed on a short road trip.  Destination…

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To say I was excited was an understatement, it took every ounce of control I had not to burst through the gates looking insane.  You will be pleased to know that I think I managed to appear fairly normal!

We were greeted and welcomed into the most amazing farm house by Trish, Zoe and Helen

wp_20161015_14_41_13_proWe were made to feel so welcome and were provided with as much coffee, tea and squash as we desired.  The girls allowed us to relax and take in the view as they chatted and answered all of our questions that we could think of about alpacas; whilst Pip and Tavish the farm dogs snuggled up to us for a bit of fuss.

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After a laid back cup of coffee or two we pulled on our boots and headed outside to be greeted by these lot

wp_20161015_11_37_57_proRight to left

Teddy, Zeus, Tex, Arnie and Brownlee…

all adorable and all ours for the next two and half hours, well not quite, I think Trish had sussed that I was verging on gaagaa over them!!

Arnie chose me to be his walking buddy, he led the pack and was well behaved; gentle and funny.  His top lip got all jittery when he stopped to have a scratch.

wp_20161015_11_49_24_proInquisitive and cautious he constantly surveyed the path ahead, peering his neck around corners to check it was safe to continue; his ears a constant twitch.

We wandered and explored and all the time Trish and the girls guided and chatted and generally put us at ease.  The countryside was just glorious…(Mr R. had ordered the sunshine) and walking with these beautiful creatures filled me with an incredible peace.

wp_20161015_12_33_36_pro-1We paused for a long while next to a babbling stream, drank more juice and paddled, whilst these guys watched us.  We had time to take photo’s too

wp_20161015_12_33_50_proand Yarny and Arnie bonded a little more…

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(Did you know that alpacas have the most delicious smell; a bit like popcorn). 

Eventually we wound our way back through orchards and fields back to the homestead, where I tried to put Arnie in the car without Trish noticing.  Alas, this did not work and I had to settle for one more photoshoot in the glorious sunshine.

img-20161017-wa0003Before we were treated to more luxurious hospitality, in the form of mince pies and hot cross buns…we had a little chuckle at the clash of Easter and Christmas nibbles, I don’t think I have ever come across that combination before.

 

wp_20161015_13_51_54_proAt the end of this unique experience,

 I felt like I had partaken in a little peice of heaven and I can’t wait til I can return to  Temevale alpacas   to get up close and personal again with these adorable creatures. 

xxxxx

A lovely week

Well put out the crochet bunting….I’ve qualified!…a long hard slog, but it is done. 

So of course celebrations have been ongoing (both alcoholic and non alcoholic), but my favourite (and the one I am going to share with you) was a blissful week at home, pretty much to myself.  Doing this sort of thing…

wet Jess
Bathing Jess…
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she looks so cute once she gets a blow dry…
drinking coffee from my special mug
drinking coffee …
working on a new tea cosy pattern
working on a new tea cosy pattern…
Enjoying suprise gifts left by a neighbour
Enjoying suprise gifts left by a neighbour…
planting out my winter window boxes
planting out my winter window boxes…

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and hiding daffodill bulbs under the ground
and hiding daffodill bulbs under the ground.
Enjoying a fish and chip picnic
Enjoying a fish and chip picnic
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and contemplating what to do with these bag handles??????
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Enjoying the cosiness of home with friends…
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Yes…a lovely week indeed…Now, the hard work really begins! xxx

 

A quilting OUCH?

Oh deep joy!!!

The lost hours deep cleaning the back of beyond in my teenagers wardrobe has resulted in screams of delight followed by screams of pain as I fell off the ladder!!…but, I have finally found the long lost quilts….and sprained my ankle.  That aside look, look at these…

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My bravery in summoning up the courage to venture into the teens room was rewarded well, when on tip toe I stood on one foot, precariously balanced on the handle of the step ladder, which of course was not tall enough.  It was also painful to stand on for longer than a second and peering my head into the deep dark recess of the cupboard I could see what looked like a familiar old sewing bag.  And so I grabbed a pillow and placed it over the handle of the step ladders (as in the style of an episode of Casualty*); where the impending injury is starkly apparent to all but the poor human it is about to befall.  I gave a large tug at the bag, screamed with delight as I cast my eye upon my long lost quilts and then drew in sharp breath as my foot slid of the handle of the step ladders and I plummeted to the floor with the quilts in hot pursuit. I will spare you a picture of my bruises!

  It was worth it though.

636089393114987629This is a beautiful single quilt patched from a jellyroll…I made it whilst recovering from surgery some years ago.  I have part hand quilted the main section and will have to ponder about how I finish the rest.

636089395575201470This is a lap quilt I began making years ago, before I learnt to crochet.  It is a Tilda pattern and I remember the roses around the little cottages took a long time to hand sew.  I really must get this quilted before this winter. Alas my PHD mountain has just grown some more!

xxxxx

*Casualty – a BBC drama about an accident and emergency dept