Saturday, 27 August 2016

Cornwall 2016 :: part one

Hello Lovelies,
sorry it's been quiet around here. I hope you are all keeping well.
A couple of weeks ago we enjoyed a long awaited week by the sea. This  year mum came with us and I drove her car down to Cornwall so she could do her own thing sometimes while we were there.
Road closures, roadworks and heavy traffic turned that journey into a 9 hour marathon.
What a relief it was to finally arrive at our destination. How beautiful is this view!......


We regrouped with the rest of the family and headed down to the beach........


I loved the lighthouse off  Gwithian beach



We had travelled though heavy cloud all the way, so to see blue skies appear shortly after our arrival was wonderful. The light in Cornwall always seems special on a sunny day.........


Oh look, a plane flying over with a banner. Another common sight in these parts :0).....


"♥LISA♥MARRY ME"........

Wonder if Lisa said yes?

The boys and their cousins were soon heading into the surf for a quick dip........


 I was happy with a paddle .....


Beautiful St Ives bay..........


after an hour or so it was time to go and find our accommodation. We walked back up to the car park,


And I found Mum on the clifftops......


As always she had been painting..........


I love how this little watercolour sketch turned out.......


Back Soon with part two.
Jacquie x

Sunday, 24 July 2016

A Little Woolly Sheep

Hello Lovelies,
I imagine almost all, if not all of you, know of the crochet guru and all round lovely lady Lucy and her blog Attic 24.
Lucy is one of the organisers of a yearly yarn festival in Yorkshire called Yarndale.

One of the things that makes this event so special is that the organisers always invite yarny types to join in with the fun and create a little something that will be displayed on the weekend. 
In the past I have made the Bunting, and a Mandala

This year they have come up with a cute Knitted or Crochet sheep. It's such an adorable pattern, I just had to have a go at the crochet version.
The pattern called for Double Knitting weight yarn...which should preferably be wool. Hummmm...wool. It's not a thing I have much of, being a big fan of Stylecraft Special acrylic yarn, for it's economy, wash-ability and softness.

Then I remembered I had some thrifted tapestry wool in my stash...would that do?.....


I had a fancy to make a black sheep, but the nearest colour in the bag was this steely grey, well that could work......



Normally I'm happy to sit by my desktop and work at my desk, but on Saturday it was just so hot I was very glad of the printable PDF which made it easy to work in the garden......



As with all Lucy's patterns it was very well written and easy to follow. Soon I had a nose....



 Then a whole head...love those wonky ears....



It quickly became apparent though, that there is not much yardage on a tapestry wool skein and crocheting uses it up at an alarming rate. I had two skeins of the grey, but still needed to make sheepy's body in a contrasting colour to end up with 4 grey legs.........


This is my messy outdoor creating space. Oh I had so much fun. I had clean forgotten the joy of a quick, decorative bit of crochet ......


Here is my completed sheep. She's a very rare breed..a banded midland. You only see them in gardens with giant toadstools :0)..........

 I was really pleased with how the stiff tapestry wool and the 3.5mm hook made her firm and her little legs stood her up easily.

These Yarndale sheep have clothes too...how sweet. So now it was time to choose a colour for her coat. Or a few colours so I did not run out.....

 Pretty pinks and a soft peach.

The coat, like the sheep's body, was simply made in rows. Then sewn together at either end... and a neat single crochet trim added to the bottom......


Next it was time to add a little embellishment. Yikes. My embroidery skills are bad, but I managed a (rather wonky) lazy daisy flower and a french knot....go me :0)


Then I popped on her coat and added a flower from some trim I had in my sewing box....Ta-Dah...


With her legs disappearing into the grass she reminded me of Dougal from a favourite childhood T.V. programme of mine. The Magic Roundabout.

Oh, don't listen Sheepy, I know you have lovely legs and are much cuter :0)......


I'm sure there will be a huge flock of these sheep at Yarndale, and won't they look sweet all together

To make this project even better they will be auctioned off to raise money for a very worthy cause at the end of the weekend

You have till the 9th of September if you fancy joining in Lovelies. All the details and Patterns are HERE .
I think I will have to make another to keep for myself too :0)

Jacquie x

Saturday, 23 July 2016

The Hidden Footpath :: July

 Hello Lovelies,
I have myself a nice little midweek routine. Between my work days there is a day to go out with mum and another to go out with my beloved walking group.
Well, that is when my boys are at school. This week they were all at home and the eldest two had arranged to go out on a bike ride with friends. I was a little disappointed but I knew I needed to be on hand in case of any mishaps....not an hour away by car and possibly two hours or more from said car on a footpath somewhere.

I was feeling a little frustrated nevertheless and knew I needed to get out. So I made a plan ...simply to get up early and go for my own walk locally. And that's exactly what I did.

I said goodbye to a sleepy teenager and told him when I would be back, Then locked the door and headed out.

Just down the road this field of hay caught my eye.....


I soon reached the first stile of the day........


and by 7.45 am I had my boots on grass......


It was thankfully quiet cool compared with the stifling heat we had endured earlier in the week, and the sunlight made for pretty dappled shade.....


I walked through the horse paddock ........


and passed a field of these miniature Dexter cattle.......


Here is where the title of this post comes from. I've been blogging about this walk for a few years now, but in case you didn't already know the footpath is hidden in this line of fencing...a door in between the third and fourth panel on the right :0)


On the other side is a pathway between houses and gardens, where the honeysuckle looked pretty.....


and the apples were ripening.......


I was looking forward to seeing the hidden valley at the end of this section, but this time the view was a little underwhelming and I did feel a bit deflated.
There was a game bird just in view, can you see it at the edge of the scruffy looking Rape crop nearest to me.......


I zoomed in my camera and snapped it before it hurried away. I do love having this ability, something my phone camera cannot do successfully. It's better than a pair of binoculars to me.

I was surprised to see how coulrful this bird was, and having the photo it was easy to look it up. It's a Red Legged Partridge.......


In the bottom of the valley the footpath had all but vanished........


I did manage to get through to the little bridge which was strewn with Nettles....oh the joys of summer walking.......


a little further along there were more obstructions.......


And the wildflowers seemed in short supply. Though I did like this attractive sort of Bugle.......


and the hog-weed seed heads are eye-catching.....


The only butterflies I could see where little brown Ringlets .........


I was feeling a little down on the route and the passing of spring ( for it is my most favourite time of year) at this point.

But over the hill things started to look up. This is a favourite view too, and this one was looking rather splendid, with a neat golden wheat crop in the foreground, and sheep grazing near the grange......



That was something to smile about.....



 Next comes a short section of road walking, where the conkers were ripening. And the poor Horse chestnut tree was showing signs of Leaf Blotch. Unsightly but happily not serious......


This cottage garden always catches my eye. I love the combination of bright red Crocosmia Lucifer and yellow Achillia .........


I wandered through the churchyard.......


and this small woodland, not long now.....


Till breakfast :0)........


One of the many things I love about my walking group is the chance to eat a picnic every week. So to avoid missing out on this I decided to have a picnic breakfast. I brought the milk separately to the muesli...if you were wondering.

Oh look, it's 9am and I have walked 2.25 miles ( well probably a bit more as my step counter tends to underestimate) ........


Happily my breakfast spot ...(Rosie's  Bench ) was quiet, and not a soul passed a strange lady munching cereal from a tupperwear.

 Time to get going again. Thankfully the paths were much less overgrown on this leg......



and my new boots ( which are exactly the same model as my old boots) were not too uncomfortable.......


I loved these cute Alpaca grazing peacefully as I passed by......

 Loads more conkers in this photo too :0)

And here I finally found a pretty meadow, with loads of Birds-foot trefoil......


And Knapweed........


There's something lovely about a freshly ploughed field too, don't you think?


Pretty Rose-bay-willow-herb......


 Around the corner I spotted a little bird on the muck heap......



Time to zoom in again......

A juvenile Pied Wagtail

And here's the adult........

Looking at this photo you can see why the birds hang out here....so many tiny flies...yummy :0)

The owner of this land seems to really care for wildlife. There's a strip of field planted with bird friendly plants in the foreground........


I was aware I needed to get back home before the boys could go out on their cycling adventure. Not too far now.......


 I still had time to take pictures of pretty clover.....


and leading lines through the wheat field :0)


I passed through this gate.......


and out onto the bridleway......


More zooming to spot the rabbits.....


and Macro to snap the Bramble flowers.......


This was a zoomed shot. Small Tortoiseshell. My favourite butterfly...I was very happy to see one......


More zoomed landscape...I love the way it adds depth and picks out details......


 I always admire this cottage in it's quiet setting. It's the one with a bench left out for walkers...can you see it on the left?


There's a stables here and always a trailer full of mucking out. I think the organic fertiliser must suit these self sewn Hollyhocks :0)


Along the street this cute little row of cottages always catches my eye.....


and this wonderful old barn with it's oak timbers and herringbone bricks.......


Oh look, it's almost 10am...I better head straight home now........


It was such a beautiful morning to be out and I was happy to stay home for the rest of the day, knowing I had walked five miles towards my challenge to walk 1000 miles in 2016.

I hope you enjoyed joining me lovelies.
Jacquie x

p.s The boys had a great time on their 26 mile bike ride too :0)