Monday, September 01, 2014

Last of the Summer…

Warmth? Sun? Holidays? Any of those words could sum up this post! I debated about splitting this post into two halves as it is so picture heavy, but I think the pictures together sum up our final holiday for the season so perfectly that it would be a shame to leave you in suspense.

In August I shared pictures from our trip to the New Forest, where it was HOT HOT HOT...now I’m sharing pictures from our second getaway which was the complete polar opposite... “polar” giving you a BIG clue!   Well…I guess it’s not too much of a surprise as we we did decided to visit North Wales.. Any of you that have been reading since 2009 might remember what happened the last time we were there….

Set within the Snowdonia National Park and only a 10 minute walk from Bala, our campsite (seen on the edge of the map below) was “home” for 10 days.  The owners were lovely and always around to give extra local information and guidance while at the same time running a super site that was immaculately clean.  Even though the site was almost full for much of our stay we never queued for toilets or showers..and that’s always a plus in my book! :o)

Along with a wonderfully clean site there were also a few tucked away surprises like these glamping caravans…

…and some stunning wood carvings by Simon O’Rourke.

The weather forecast for the week was never going to be that great, but just the same we still managed to find the dry patches just when we needed them.  One of our first day trips took us to the coast to Barmouth which gave us the true taste of “sand”wiches as the wind gusts came across the expanse of sand.  That haze in the picture below is sand! 

The winds carried on for the first day or so and then came a bit of calm but cold, always with a mix of rain, so we were geared up with our waterproofs that were bought 3 years ago for our trip to Scotland (which if you recall was scorching hot!).  We have been so lucky with the weather for the past few years that the tags were still on the waterproof trousers…but no more.  DD2 was permanently in her blue coat, which as you can see from the pictures became a bit of a feature.

Along with dodging raindrops, we visited Harlech Castle which provided stunning views.  The town itself is very quaint with little shops.  The beach was deserted, but we still went and stood for awhile, until another cloud of rain threated to soak us.

Of course, a trip to that area isn’t complete without a trip to Snowdon.  Honestly the pictures just don’t do it justice as you just can’t capture the scale, but rain or no rain it was stunning…

After hiking wandering around on Snowdon we were ready for a cup of tea, so we travelled on to Beddgelert.  The sun was trying to peek through the clouds, which gave us an excuse to stop at the ice cream shop too…I know really naughty having a cream tea and ice cream, but we had been hiking wandering on Snowdon after all.

The rest of the week was much the same…up a mountain (or a hill depending on your point of view) down a mountain, dodging raindrops and bundling up warm…

We discovered our little caravan does a really good job of keeping us dry…

…and that it is possible to bbq and keep warm in the rain…over…

…and over…

…and over… again!

One bonus to rain is that I did go prepared and managed a bit of hand-sewing.  I’ve been working on class samples and I’m really excited about the new program I’m teaching.  I hope there will be something for everyone.  My plan is to share some of what we do along the way here too, so I’ve been taking pictures and planning some tutorials.  Should be good!

Until next time...♥

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More Pictures from the New Forest…

When I was going through some pictures the other day I realized I had forgotten to share some more pictures from out recent trip.  I hope you enjoy them…many are animal pictures so bear with me :o)



One of our days out took us to the New Forest Wildlife Park.  Because we were there before the local children were on summer break, it was quiet and easy to see all the animals without any hustle and bustle.



This little harvest mouse was adorable…only the size of a wine bottle cork.



This is my attempt at an arty tree picture…I’ve seen various on Pinterest before now and thought it was an interesting angle :o)



A local cat in Lyndhurst…



My best deer picture taken in the New Forest…I’m so proud of this one and also very grateful for the man behind me that had a very loud laugh that made this deer look up!  Perfect timing!



This was also at the wildlife park…this deer was so tame and patient with the children :o)



Until next time...♥

Sunday, August 10, 2014

In Need of Colour…

If you are in the U.K. today you only need to look out the window to understand the title of my post…it’s so dark and grey today, so to cheer myself and you up how about a colourful post.  First up a picture that my DD2 wanted me to share with you.  Like many children her age she is in full bloom loom band making mode.  She has made 13 bracelets, several little creatures and a dragon with over 300 bands alone… A great fad that seems to have taken kids by storm that not only has got them off the computer but got them creating.  I love it!

I have also been sewing up a storm getting things ready for the upcoming school year.  With DD2 heading to high school and needing to carry a lot more stationery I figured a new and improved pencil case was in order.  So I dug out the old patterns and settled on the Sew Together Bag.  When I made mine last year, my poor sewing machine grumbled at the final thick seam, but this time I had Sookie to help me out and she breezed through without so much as a grumble or a pop.

DD2 picked her own colours and I followed along and you know what?  Her colours are FAB together.  I love the pinks and the use of greens (what a combo) and the colour coordinated pockets.  With such a great system she should stay very organized.

Until next time...♥

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Summer Pics…

We're part way through the summer holidays and I have a few summery pictures to share…All were taken on our week away in the New Forest where we experienced really warm weather…honestly I could have pretended I was camping in Canada!! These are just some of the moments we had…more to follow when I get a chance :o)  Enjoy!!

Until next time...♥

Friday, July 18, 2014

Teacher’s Gifts…

It's that time of the school year again where we say good-bye for the summer.  It is particularly hard this time as DD2 is leaving her primary school and friends.  The chats at the school gate for me are coming to an end and the community that has seen me through ups and downs and thick and thin (waistline) will disperse as our children start a new journey in September at high school.

The last few years have been fabulous for my daughter at her school and this year was just the same.  Her 2 teachers worked so well as a team and always seem to know what was going on even though it was a job share.  As you can imagine I couldn’t let the year end without doing something special for those ladies who made the last year of primary so special.  So out came the patterns and the fabric and I made them each a Bento Lunch Bag and Dumpling Pouch which was then filled with goodies.  To add to the enjoyment of making them I dug out the hand crank Singer sewing machine and sat on the patio to sew them.  I loved every minute of it…even though it took a bit of ambidextrous coordination to hold the fabric and turn the crank with my right hand :o)

Inside each bag I included a mug, some tea, chocolates, biscuits and some sweets.  I hope they enjoy them.

Until next time...♥

Monday, July 14, 2014

Kaffe-o-licious

Two weeks ago I put DD2 on the bus with school for a 4 day residential trip to Castleton while at the same time prepared for a retreat to Bath for myself and the DH.  You may think that this sounds terribly romantic and delightful…but the reality didn’t quite work out that way.  On day 2, I came down with an almighty cold which got progressively worse over the course of the week.  If that wasn’t enough to contend with, every evening we had a teary call from DD2 who was suffering from terrible homesickness.  So even though in body I was in Bath, my head was definitely somewhere else.  A shame really, but just the same I did my best to enjoy my time there.

The weather was warm and dry and the sights around Bath breathtaking, but the one place that was on my must-see list…cold or no cold was the American Museum

Upon our arrival I knew something extra special was going on as I spied this yarn bombed lamp post.  It was, of course, the introduction to the Kaffe Fassett exhibition that is going until November.

Every where you looked there was yarn and knitting and crochet…a complete feast for the eyes :o)

Then just outside the exhibition hall was a HUGE tree decorated from top to tail in pom-poms and Kaffe fabric lampshades.

The lampshades I think were upside down buckets and the impact of colour was enough to brighten one’s day (even with a cold!!)

Inside the exhibition were several classic examples of Kaffe’s work from embroidery to knitting and quilts.

Inside the main building there was more of the show stopping work and drawings showing the design process of his unique fabric.

The American Museum also have an extensive collection of antique quilts on huge racks (much like the racks they use for displaying posters only bigger).  It was lovely to flip through the different ones and talk to the other visitors who were ooohing and ahhing along with me.  Even the DH stood nearby nodding his head and appreciating the quilts and tolerated my waffle as I told him about each style or technique.

After such an inspiring day, we returned to the campsite and enjoyed a spectacular summer’s evening.  Several hot air balloons floated overhead, landing in the next field over… 

…while DH and I enjoyed a glass of wine before retiring to bed. 

We had another day in Bristol visiting the SS Great Britain, but my cold was very much taking over at that point and the day was cut short.  We returned home in time to collect DD2 who despite all the tears and the onset of her own nasty cold seemed to have a blast.  (why? oh why do we worry so much!!?)

Until next time...♥