Monday 31 May 2010

Back from our Holidays...

We've been away on holiday for a week. I see I've collected quite a few new followers over that time, perhaps fellow african flower enthusiasts - I'll be round to check out everyone's blogs soon. In the meantime I've been felled by a dose of tonsillitis - I spent most of yesterday in my bed which is very unusual for me. The horrible flu-like shivers and sweats seem to be over, still feeling quite yucky though, even to the extent that I don't feel up to crocheting!

Thank you for all the comments on my last post, it was a pleasant surprise to log onto my blog after a week away to find so many had visited and taken the time to comment. It's much appreciated.

Here's hoping I'll be back to normal soon...

Thursday 20 May 2010

African Flower Cultivation

I've been having another busy week though I'm still finding time to churn out crocheted African flowers, usually late at night when I should really have gone to bed long ago.

These really are addictive!

A last glimpse for this year of the cherry trees in flower in the park. The blossom has lately been falling, there's little left now but it was glorious while it lasted.

Back to the crochet! I'm joining as I go, definitely the way to do it.

It's the beginning of my first crochet blanket...

...and it just keeps on growing...

...and growing.

Much of yesterday and today has been spent mooching about Paisley while the car has been in Kwik Fit for new rear brakes. Paisley isn't a bad place to have to spend time, so long as it's not raining (which it wasn't). We toured the charity shops though without finding any treasures. I bought 8 x 100g balls of wool in the pound shop to feed my blanket. I also discovered a real wool shop and bought another 3 balls of blanket fodder (rather more pricey than the pound shop!).

And then we visited the abbey. A enjoyed it, N wasn't so keen as he was getting tired by now. Also on the list of free things to do was a visit to the library and to the museum but as the car was going to take so long we decided to get the bus home so A could go to nursery and N could get his nap. We returned at teatime to collect it, I'm so glad we have quite a decent bus service here.

And still the blanket grows. I should have more time to work on it next week, can't wait!

Thursday 13 May 2010

Out and About

The week's whizzing by, I've a little ctaching up to do...

Back to last weekend and on Saturday we visited a local agricultural show. We cycled there along the cycle path which involves a bit of doubling back and adds on a few extra miles, but it's worth it to avoid going on the roads with the trailer & tag-along. So it was ten miles there, ten miles back (towing N who's big for his age!), and my ride earlier in the day was about 20 miles, so no typo, it was about 40 miles altogether, but not all at once. I don't consider myself particularly fit - I still get puffed out just carrying N up the stairs! I suppose I've just been cycling for years and have built up the necessary muscles over time.

Anyway, straight after arriving at the show hubby took A for a shot on the bouncy castle (we thought it best to get it over and done with and that it might stop the pestering, some hope!)...

...while N and I watched the vintage tractor display. N was delighted, off to a good start!

Next we visited the alpacas. This kept both A & N amused for quite a while. They are indeed rather cute.

After a burger and hotdog (next time we'd take a picnic!), the industrial tent was open for inspection. I was looking forward to this part but had to zoom round as N didn't enjoy it at all and didn't hesitate in letting everyone know. I took a few hasty photos not just for my blog but also so I could inspect them for myself later.

First of all we have a floral arrangement in a shoe (who on earth thinks up the categories!)

Next the usual vegetable animals. The melon critter won 1st prize and he does indeed stand out, but what is he? To me he at first looks like a hedgehog but with big spots instead of prickles, hmmm.

And finally, the miniature gardens. These look quite fun to do. I think it's for under 12's only so sadly I wouldn't be able to enter(!).

And that's all from the tent, unfortunately.

Back outside and we have a highland dance competition. The oufits required are quite expensive, the socks alone cost a fortune (well, about £70 which is not cheap for a pair of socks!) as they are all hand knitted. Perhaps a business opportunity for all you sock knitters out there?

N finally cheers up when he gets a shot on one of the tractors.

So not really a very relaxing day out. N is often quite a grumpy little boy though I don't usually mention it here. Probably teething or something, I'm sure he'll grow out of it, hopefully soon!

Now to Tuesday. It was our sponsored toddle - an annual fundraising event for the local toddler group.

Ever since I've been doing it we've always been blessed with good weather. This year being no exception (good weather here being any weather which does not invlove rain - despite the sunny skies it's still cold).

The cherry blossom at the steeple is in bloom, I take a couple of photos coming back up through the village after the toddle on my way to collect A from nursery.

And finally to yesterday, Wednesday. On impulse we set off to try and find a bluebell wood.

We're still a little too early. Perhaps we'll try again next week.

A pause back at the car park before going home. N was grumpy again on this trip and I spent most of the time carrying him on my shoulders. We did walk quite far though and A did really well. Next time we'll take the pram for N as the paths in the woods were wide enough.

And today we had rain! It hasn't rained here for ages it actually seems unusual! So now it's not just cold but wet too. However, I've just checked the forecast and the rain isn't to last long plus it should start to warm up a little next week. Hurrah! Even to 17C on Wed afternoon, that may be a little hot, need to make sure we've got some ice cream in the freezer...

Saturday 8 May 2010

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

I'm up early to quieten N who's squawking loudly to let us know that Makka Pakka has escaped from the cot. I take a peek out the window, see what a gorgeous morning it is so after a quick breakfast (a butter & honey sandwich, yum) I'm on the bike for 7am!

I head down through the village this morning then climb the long hill up to the braes.

Jumbly farm buildings and lambs.

The air is clear and pure and the view of the hills to the north is breathtaking. There is no sound other than the skylarks warbling away.

The beginning of this ride is the reverse of the end of this one which I did in March and when we still had quite a bit of snow lying around. It was also the ride when I spotted the spooky dolls, and, I regret to report, they're still there! I didn't photograph them this time round though as they're looking rather the worse for wear now.

The tree avenue is now in leaf.

Love their ears!

Clipped hedges and neatly rolled fields line this road.

Blackthorn in bloom.

This poor little fellow has a broken wing. I think it may be a grey wagtail but I'm not certain.

Coconut perfumed gorse and blue skies.

Funky ferns.

The road home.

When hubby, A & N return from swimming lessons we head off on the bikes again to spend the rest of the day at a nearby agricultural show. Photos to follow...

I've cycled about 40 miles today, the farthest I've done for a long while. My knees and bum ache a little!

Friday 7 May 2010

Giveaway Winners

Thank you to all who entered my first giveaway draw. As well as being rather fun it was a good way of getting feedback on my two tealight holder designs.

I decided to have two winners.

There were 9 entries for the boat, 12 for the robin and 3 undecided. I therefore put the undecideds in with the boat entries.

The draw was made using A's sun hat (shown with all the entries in it before I decided to split the draw in two).

And the winners are...

Robin: Cathy @ One Pink Goose
Sailboat: Diane @ HeartShaped

I'll post you both a message on your blogs to let you know you are winners, please email me your addresses (to and once I have some of the promised chocolate (it's not safe with me in the house!) I'll send the prizes out to you.

Harking back to yesterday's post...

I told you these were addictive! I made up a few more last night whilst watching the early election results come in.

Today, after setting them out in a lovely colourful row I had to be pretty quick taking the photo.

Got them!

I'm playing playing in yet another concert tonight. However, it's quite close by and won't be a late one, I think I'll manage at least one more African flower when I get home...

Thursday 6 May 2010

My Next Crochet Project/Obsession...

And here we have...

... my first attempt at an African Flower. Made yesterday afternoon during N's nap.

That evening I then made another one. I also realised I'd made a mistake in the first one which I then frogged & fixed.

And this morning I made another two while encouraging A & N to watch Cbeebies (I'm going to join as you go, hence why I've not made the last round).

I got the pattern from Flickr via Elizabeth Cat's blog (which I discovered via The Garden Bell). As Elizabeth says, they're quite addictive. Up until the 4th round they just look like fairly ordinary crocheted hexagons. It's not till the 5th round (the final one on the photos above) that they become a little bit special.

There is a group on Flickr devoted to the African Flower with many examples of other peoples work made using this pattern. I love how different people using the same crochet pattern can produce such a variety of unique projects. I especially enjoying mixing up my colour combinations, I think that's why they become so addictive. Eventually I will make mine into a blanket.

In the meantime I will try and finish N's cushion.

I've only another six rounds to do though I think a few more African flowers will appear before I complete the cushion cover! N won't mind if it's delayed, he's not even 2 yet and is oblivious to it all, I tried showing him the flowers but he pushed them out the way as they were obscuring his Noddy book. Ah well.

We've finally had a couple of warm sunny days, Special Teddy got a well deserved wash.

My garden dragon fly has been sparkling in the sun. May is quite an exciting month in the garden, I've lots more garden photos to select from to make up another garden post soon.

On Sunday, A & N were at a birthday party at a nearby farm. From his parents the birthday boy was given these...

Duckings (can't remember which breed), so cute!

Just a reminder: my giveaway closes for entries at midnight tonight. I hadn't realised at the time that my giveaway draw would coincide with the General Election. I voted earlier this afternoon after dropping A off at Nursery. Now to wait and see what happens...


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