Sunday 31 January 2021

It's the little things!

Isn't it funny that sometimes it is the little things that bring back the best memories?  This little piece of ceramic, just over an inch high, brings back some lovely summer memories for me.  I keep it on my kitchen shelf so that I can see it every day.

It reminds me of a happy summer day with my husband and grandsons.  Walking along the beach, looking for "treasure" and paddling in the salty water.  Building sandcastles and making channels for the sea water to make a moat.  Having a picnic with those two happy, excited little boys - and finding this among the rocks on the beach.  Such a wonderful day.  I didn't take any photographs, but I don't need them - I have this tiny piece of ceramic "treasure" which brings it all back to me.  Such a wonderful day.

I think it is probably a fragment of a Holloway's Ointment jar.  I found an advertisement for Holloway's ointment in an old newspaper.  Sounds like wonderful stuff, doesn't it!  Thomas Holloway was a really interesting man and you can read a great article about him at Chertsey Museum's website here.  

Hope you have some little bits and pieces that bring back happy memories for you too.

Love, Liz

Friday 29 January 2021

Spring houses

I'm working on this gorgeous cross stitch pattern - Spring Houses by Waxing Moon Designs.  (You can purchase and download their wonderful patterns from their website by clicking the link above.)  I've just about finished the first of the three houses in this set.

I'm going to stitch all three in a row - like a little avenue of pretty, bright houses.  Hope I get my spacing right!

Using all DMC threads - just love the bright, cheery colours.  They make me happy to think that spring is just around the corner.

Hope everyone is doing well and coping with whatever social restrictions are in place where you live.  I really miss having coffee and chats with friends.  But I'm very lucky to have you - my lovely bloggy friends to interact with and I love reading what you've been up to in these trying times.  Stay safe and well and keep blogging!

Love, Liz

Wednesday 27 January 2021

Nearly finished

I've been getting on well with my new crochet blanket.  I love making all the granny squares and just adding random colours together.  It doesn't seem to matter - personally I think they look great together.

I'm just sewing in the last few squares and then I'll do a border around the whole thing.  Hopefully I'll have it finished by the end of the month.

I just love adding a bit of colour to what, weather wise, is a very dull week here in Greenock.

Stay well, stay safe and keep crafting and blogging my friends!

Love, Liz

Monday 25 January 2021

Burns Night

Tonight in Scotland and across the world Burns Night will be celebrated.  Robert Burns (1759-1796) is Scotland's national poet.  Perhaps one of his most famous works is "Auld Lang Syne" traditionally sung at the new year.  Last year I stitched a quote from this song and finally got around to making it into a little pillow.  (It was a free chart from Beth Twist of Heartstring Samplery here.)

My hometown of Greenock has a particular connection to Robert Burns.  He was due to leave from here to take up a job as an overseer on a plantation in Jamaica.  His sweetheart Mary Campbell, or Highland Mary as she is now known was to travel with him.  Unfortunately her brother was unwell so she stopped off in Greenock to look after him.  He recovered, but Mary died and was buried in Greenock.  There is a monument to her in Greenock Cemetery.  You can read more about her in a post in my local history blog - The Greenockian (click on link).

I'm sure there will be lots of virtual Burns Suppers taking place over the next few weeks.  These suppers follow a very traditional pattern of food and entertainment.  You can read more about them here.

Love, Liz

Friday 22 January 2021

Keeping track

I don't know about you, but the days just seem to be flying by, even although we are in strict lockdown! With all the days being mostly the same - no meet ups with friends, days out or other events to mark the passing of time, I'm having trouble remember what day it is, nevermind what the date is!  So when I saw this - The Needlework Enthusiast's 2021 Book of Days by Needlework Press last year, I thought that it would be just the thing for me to keep track of the days and what stitching I've been doing.

It is a beautiful book.  Each month is spread across two pages and there's lots of room for filling in what's been accomplished each day.  I decided that I would include my crochet and knitting along with my cross stitch in the book.

I've decorated January with some pretty washi tape, stickers and stamps - got this idea from fellow stitchers on Instagram and Facebook.  Just makes it look pretty.  For each month there are also some lovely old drawings and some sayings from old needlework samplers - so inspiring.

I got my book in December on a pre-order from Patchwork Rabbit.  I checked recently and it seems to be out of stock there at the moment.  (But go visit and check out their cross stitch patterns, threads and fabrics!)

So - hopefully, I'll be better organised (haaa - highly unlikely!) and able to see what projects I've need to work on.  By the way - the background crochet is my progress on my new granny square blanket.  Thank you all so much for the lovely comments and encouraging words on my last post.  I don't have any friends who craft, so it is great to "talk" to others who enjoy crafting as much as I do.  Thank you!

Stay well, stay safe and keep blogging, my friends!

Love, Liz

Sunday 17 January 2021

Colourful crochet comfort

Ok, I admit - I find it difficult to throw away even the smallest piece of yarn!  Well. you never know when you might need it - right?  I think that time might have come around!

I've really missed my crochet since I finished the autumnal blanket, and I wanted to start another. I found crochet really calming and relaxing last week.  Only problem is that I have lots and lots of small amounts of yarn and not an awful lot of big balls!  So what to do?

I was wondering if I should wait until yarn shops open again here in my part of Scotland, but can't wait to start crocheting again!  So, here's my plan!  I've set aside the blue yarn that I have loads of - that will do for the surrounds.  All the other little bits and pieces can then be used to make the middle of the granny squares.

What do you think?  Should I wait until I can get more supplies and make it a more "structured" blanket using just five or seven colours, or should I just go ahead with what I've got - even if it means that every colour under the sun will be in this blanket?  Will it look too messy?

Anyway, desperate times call for desperate measures!  Right?  Hope you are keeping safe and well.  Keep crafting and keep blogging!

Love, Liz

Friday 15 January 2021

Beautiful books

Before Christmas and the subsequent lockdown, I was lucky enough to nab two beautiful books in local charity shops.

The first is The Illustrated Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee (ISBN 0091872839).  The cover didn't look too promising, but inside are some wonderful illustrations and photographs which complement the text.  It is a lovely book.  I'm sure many of you will be familiar with the novel, but I think that having the illustrations really adds to the enjoyment of the story.  This cost me just £1!

My second great find was Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden (ISBN 0-7181-1581-3).  I remember in the late 1970s when this was quite a sensation.  I'm sure many grannies and aunties got this for Christmas when it was first published.  Once again the illustrations are just lovely - I certainly would not have appreciated them in the 70s - after all, I was a mere baby (ahem)!!!  But for £1.99 I'm loving them now.  

Hope you are keeping safe and well.  

Love, Liz

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Gold and browns

I've finished the crochet blanket I started last week and I absolutely love it!  It's difficult to get the colours to show up properly in the available light - it's a dreich day here in Greenock!

I really enjoyed making this - I find crochet so relaxing.  It's a nice change from cross stitch.

I sewed in the yarn ends as I finished each square, so that I didn't have too much to do at the end.  Also stitched the squares together as I made them.  So much easier - as long as you don't have a plan in mind!

Once I'd finished, there was hardly any yarn left, so it was a great feeling to be using up my stash.

The vintage book - the Golden Picture Book of Puppies - is one of my favourites from childhood which you can read about it by clicking on the title.  Hope you are keeping safe and well.

Joining with Let's Add Sprinkles - Keep in Touch.

Love, Liz

Sunday 10 January 2021

Vintage and loved dresser

Finally decided what I wanted on my dresser!

Just changed a few things around.  Added some of my lovely vintage floral plates.

Then arranged some of my favourite things around the shelves.

I'm very happy with the result!

Even made a new blog header from one of the photographs.

Take care, stay safe and keep blogging!

Love, Liz

Saturday 9 January 2021

My favourite apron

My favourite apron is actually the name of a cross stitch design by Barbara Ana.  When I started I did wonder if I had bitten off more than I could chew with this one, but I actually enjoyed stitching it.

I changed a lot of the colours to ones that I liked and I think it has turned out ok.

The wording reads - I cannot count my day complete till needle, thread and fabric meet.  So true!

If you look closely at the apron you can see all the letters of the alphabet.  I have no idea what I want to do with this work.  I don't think framing it would be the right thing.  Perhaps a wall hanging?  Any other ideas?

I actually do wear an apron when I'm cooking or baking.  My real favourite apron is one that I found brand new in a charity shop years ago.  Read about it here.

Take care, stay safe and keep blogging!

Love, Liz

Friday 8 January 2021

You might need sunglasses!

My latest knitting project is a bit  bright!  

It's sort of bubblegum pink and yellow.  Anyone remember what that bubblegum from the 60s was called - this colour reminds me of it!

Of course it is a tea cosy - wonder if anyone will want it?  Too gaudy?  It will certainly bright up a kitchen!

My crochet blanket is coming along - love how these colours are mixing.

Love, Liz

Thursday 7 January 2021

Dresser change-over

I decided that it was high time that I changed over the bits and pieces in my dresser as I was getting a bit fed up looking at the same old stuff day after day!  So I emptied the shelves to give it a bit of a clean up.  (If you want to see what it looked like before then click here.  Although it has changed a few times since then.)

Left a few vintage plates in situ - I'll arrange other bits and pieces around them.  Of course the fairy lights are essential!

Love rose quartz - that's going back, somewhere.

Blast from the past - goodness only knows how long ago I stitched these.  The little wooden herb thingies were made by my husband - probably in the 1990s.  I just painted them and added fabric tops.

Unfortunately I didn't get it finished with the dresser - the lure of stitching and crochet called me (I got overwhelmed by the task!) and I left the rearranging for another day.  That's one of the good things about lockdown - you can leave stuff lying about because it is highly unlikely that you are going to get unexpected visitors and no one can see what a bad housekeeper you are!

I'll post some pictures when I get my dresser rearranged to my satisfaction ... could take a few days! Take care and stay safe and well.

Love, Liz

Tuesday 5 January 2021

Crochet time

 I was really in the mood to start some crochet yesterday.  So, inspired by the colours in my latest cross stitch I gathered together all my odds and ends of wool in autumnal colours and got started.

There's something very calming and satisfying about crochet - that's what I find anyway.  The only bit I dislike is sewing in all the little ends of wool!  Here's one of my previous crochet blankets.

I don't need to concentrate too much on this, so it is perfect to keep me occupied when I am only half-watching tv.  (Not that there's much on to watch at the moment!)

Got out for a walk today in the lovely sunshine and the views of the snowy hills across the River Clyde were spectacular!  I am so lucky to live here.  Hope everyone is well and coping with the latest lockdown rules.  Let's keep crafting for our sanity!!!!

Love, Liz