Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Car boot heaven

Big sis and I were up way, way too early for a Sunday morning but we'd decided to head to car boot pastures new - Whitby.  It was well worth it.  With the promise of a heat wave ahead of us we thought we have better get cracking so we could enjoy the rest of the day in the garden but as we headed over the moor the clouds were gathering and it looked decidedly stormy.  Over the other side of the moor things were different and the sea was glistening in the distance.

There were lots and lots of sellers and buyers from far and wide - overheard one couple setting up with the dear lady wife saying to her long suffering husband 'now if it's not priced, DON"T GUESS' and another lady complaining at length about all the 'foreigners' (not from Whitby) 'coming here, telling us what to do and what we should be asking, throwing their weight around willy-nilly.....' and on and on she went much to our amusement.

Buying got off to a slow start as the first stall we came to had some lovely things for sale but no owner in sight.  We hovered, and waited, took off further down the field, looking back to check on the seller's whereabouts and when she finally appeared she declared the lovely cloth that Anne wanted to buy as not being for sale!

It was really warm and we were starting to flag when I thought Anne was going to pass out with delight at the sight of this beauty

Now even I might be persuaded to take to camping if this was my mode of transportation.

Among my purchases were this lovely blue glass dish to replace the one that broke the day before

this very delicate set of 1950s Poole Pottery cups and saucers which reminded me of gulls eggs

I loved the colours of this old dish 

and despite having more buttons than some haberdashers I couldn't resist adding to my collection with this assortment of old buttons

So after all that shopping 
Anne with her bargains and 20p shopping basket
and an early start we felt that this breakfast was very well deserved

It was so hot that I just had to spend the rest of the day in the garden reading and not doing very much at all.  Too hot even to crochet!


Friday, 24 June 2011

Random Acts of Crochet

I've been making 9 round granny squares for some time and finally had enough to put together as a blanket.  It's funny though, isn't it, no matter how random or how 'matchy' I try to be - moving squares round and round, over and over again yet the finished article rarely looks exactly as I imagined or hoped.  Same applies to my patchwork.

I do love the cheerfulness and depth of this blanket but looking at it now in the photograph I think I should still have made a few more changes before crocheting it together.  Not sure if it's my eyes or the photo which is a bit fuzzy - maybe both - but jetlag is abating now so I'll put it down to my crappy photography skills!

I didn't expect to be able to do much work on a blanket in 'the Summer' but it's been so nippy these evenings it's been rather nice having it piled on my lap as I worked my way round and round the edge (three rounds of trebles to balance out the 9 rounds in the squares).  My eldest, Ben will be home in July - better hide this blanket from him - he already thinks I have a serious addiction to fabric and crochet and I'd hate to see him rolling his eyes in dismay!

Now to finish some crochet bar stool covers I've been working on as a very belated present for Jan and her African themed bar.  Woman after my own heart - the home bar, not the African theme :)

TTFN, wishing you a great weekend wherever you may be.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

While the cat's away...

...the mice - or in my case, the garden goes bonkers.  I left Will in charge of watering all my cuttings and pots but it seems he watered the whole garden whenever it wasn't raining - my complaints from pervious trips has finally paid off, sort of.  The grass hadn't been cut for over two weeks - too much rain apparently so it wasn't a case of one man went to mow a meadow, more one woman.  I felt a bit guilty as the lawn was mostly clover and the bees where having a lovely time.

The veg garden seems to be competing as the venue for the next 'I'm a celebrity, get me out of here' jungle setting: the chard was attempting to masquerade as rhubarb and who knew that spinach could be a small shrub?

The peas and potatoes are coming on nicely though!

I had to pull all the spinach and chard out but at least the compost should be nitrogen rich.  Despite all the rain the raised veg beds were still very dry so whilst trying to find my courgette plants I unearthed the first harvest of the year like dipping into the bran tub at the school fete - lovely first earlies and then I pulled some rhubarb to have for pud.

I've been struggling with jet lag all week but haven't been idle after all the washing, ironing, unpacking and working.  I'll show more later and in case Julie is reading, I haven't forgotten about the lovely award you bestowed on me - I'm just trying to get my brain together to give it my best. 

So much to post, so little time at the moment!  
Hope you are having a good week and keeping dry if you are in the UK and especially at Glastonbury.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Honey, I'm home...

Feels like I've been gone ages when it's only been two weeks.  It was hot, hot, hot over there in the old US of A.  North Carolina was very hot and humid but the office, hotel and most shops were pretty chilly,  You know you're on the other side of the pond (but not sure in which era) when you see one of these in the hotel car park

I'm often at a bit of a loose end when my trips span a weekend but I went on line and quite by accident found a little gem.  I'm both thrilled and disappointed that in all the time I lived near Asheville and all the weekends spent in search of treasure I never knew that behind this unassuming little store front

lay this!

It is no mis-noma either, take a look at this ....  Loop was good but not this good.

Ladies on hand to help, give advice, sit and knit with..

I confess that I did buy several skeins of wool for various Christmas projects I have in mind and the very nice lady even wound it for me while I toddled off to do some other shopping (Foam & Fabric but that's another story).

After my later than planned arrival I had 8 days of meetings, training and more meetings to get through and then I headed home, stopping for a flying visit with my dear friend of 28 years, Nancy and her family in Philadelphia.  It was even hotter there - almost not worth bothering to have a shower as five minutes later you needed another one.  We talked, we shopped, we drank, sitting on the patio late into the night putting the world to rights and reminiscing. It's rarely peaceful or restful at Nancy's but I always come away feeling recharged somehow.  It's easy to be with good friends.

On the spur of the moment we - Nancy, her eldest daughter Maureen and I went for pedicures while the second pitcher of margaritas was chilling.  We spent the next few hours admiring our spiffy toes and super soft feet.  A mini holiday all in itself.

Just time for a Gelati for me and a Slenderita for Nancy  (she's sooo slim these days I almost want to hate her but she looks amazing) at Rita's, THE best place for water ice and frozen custard, before heading out for a quick dinner and then the airport.

Am I sorry I'm missing this event?

I don't think so!

I didn't have much time or energy for much time with Mr Hook but am happily ensconced on the sofa now and about to fight off the jet lag with a bit of me time with my hook and blanket.  I'll catch up with blogland tomorrow when I have a few more of my wits about me.


Friday, 10 June 2011

The glamorous jet-set life....

.... I think not.  As I have posted about different places I visit with work some of you have commented on how lovely it must be and how envious you are.  Well, whilst I do appreciate that I am lucky to travel to some interesting places and sometimes I do get some down time so it's not all work and no play but let me just share this week's journey as this is more like the reality....

Got up at 5.30am on Monday, taxi picked my up at 6am (me having been in bed for just 5 hours as I had to wash, iron and pack after being away at the weekend - but I confess that I am always a last minute packer anyway).  Got to Manchester airport to find the longest queue ever in the departure hall.  Unbeknownst to me the Sunday flight to Philadelphia had been cancelled so all the poor people delayed from Sunday were checking back in as well.  Seeing that the on-line queue was much shorter I asked a colleague to check me in on line which he duly did, bless him.  After an hour and a half I finally checked in only to be told that the flight scheduled at 11.15am would be delayed until 5pm.  No worries, I had some crochet with me but the connection to Charlotte looked very unlikely.  5pm came and went and we boarded the plane at 7pm.  Sat on the plane for some time, taxied to the runway, hobbled back to the stand as a warning light had come on and we had to wait for something to be fixed (I thought I heard the pilot say something had to be wired shut but I was trying very hard not to think about that and remain in my happy place).  We took off at about 8.30 I think (I was struggling to keep my eyes open to be honest). 

When we landed at Philadelphia about 50% of the flight had missed their connections so were being put up in hotels courtesy of the airline.  I had been chatting with another lady on the flight who was in the same boat as me so once we had our voucher and new boarding passes off we trotted to await the hotel shuttle bus.  Half an hour later we were checked in to the hotel, agreed to have a bite to eat and then get to bed.  I'm just about to step into the shower when the phone rings and it's the front desk calling to say we were checked into the wrong hotel and had to leave.  Dawn (my travel companion) rang me to see if I had received the same phone call, exclaiming that she was in her pjs and this couldn't be happening.  Well, it was so we got dressed, checked out, got back on the shuttle bus feeling very Cinderalla-ish as the clock struck midnight, toddled off to the correct hotel which in fact, we could have walked to from the airport if we had been a bit more with it when we'd landed!  We were both verging on hysteria by this point - you had to laugh otherwise you'd have wept!   So, finally, into bed but knowing we had to be up again in 2 hours. I spent the first hour checking the clock to make sure I hadn't overslept. 

I knocked on Dawn's door and we made our way bleary-eyed to check back in, hoping and praying that the flight would get away on time (5.30 am).  It did, we went our separate ways - Dawn to meet her new boss (I told her he'd have to be impressed that she had endured such a trip and still looked bright-eyed and bushy-tailed) - me to pick up a car so that I could drive the remaining 2 hours to Asheville.  I got to the office at 10.30am a day late and managed to conduct a whole work day sounding like I knew what I was talking about!  Checked into my hotel at 7pm on Tuesday.

So there you have it, a typical day in the life of me but I must confess that I am fairly laid back when it comes to waiting in airports and such - there's just no point in getting annoyed or stressed - it doesn't get you there any faster.  Thank goodness for crochet.... keeps me busy and is usually a talking point.  The quality of my workmanship gets a bit dodgy the longer the trip though!!

It's Friday already and I have tomorrow to look forward to - going to Yarn Paradise at Biltmore Village (never been before so am hoping it will be worth it) and also a few hours spent at Foam & Fabric - well, I think I 'need' to christen my newly renovated shelf unit with something pretty from the USA... don't you agree?

Have a great weekend, I know I will!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Just a quickie..

It's been a bit of a whirlwind here of late and although I have been busy crafting I just haven't had time to photograph and upload everything!  I've been away this weekend to see Michael's graphic design degree show in Kingston Upon Thames.  It was fabulous and so nice to be amongst such vibrant and talented young folk - made me feel more than a tad envious and even more old!

I shall share more with you on that in a later post as I've just come back from seeing Elton John in concert at Scarborough's open air theatre (yep, it was a little chilly but worth it) and now I have to pack for my trip to the States tomorrow.... it's all go!

I've just time to share a little project I've had on the go.  A little bit of a pick me up for this charity shop find:

aw, poor little thing...

that's better

I couldn't decide what colour to paint it and white seemed a bit boring so I used four of the many tester pots I seem to have accumulated to paint each shelf.  Then I waxed them to make the emulsion a little more hard wearing.  It will soon house some of my fabric bundles...

Until I return I wish you all a happy, healthy, sunny and creative time.