Monday, 26 July 2021

Monday 26th July 2021

There's not much happening here at the moment, which in some ways is quite nice. We talked about driving to Skipton today but couldn't decide and by the time we'd reached that conclusion it was too late to go anyway. That meant there was no excuse not to tackle some housework. It was a productive couple of hours and everything feels nice and fresh now. 

We started watching Baptiste last night. I was convinced we'd already seen it but I'd got mixed up with The Missing and the spin off which is Baptiste. The storyline has a 14 month 'now and then' time line and even though the 2 main characters look very different at each point in time, it took us a while to get to grips with it. 

I'm loving the never-ending colourful little posies of sweetpeas on the mantel and the stocks are still going strong. To freshen them up I just gently tap them against my palm and all the dead petals drop off.

The first morning glory has flowered and the honeysuckle is having a second bloom. 

The tomato plants are thriving and I can't wait for them to ripen so I can roast some on the vine. I bought 3 varieties but unless I can find the labels I couldn't tell you what they are. 

Crochet wise I've made 2 little bags and I'm in the middle of another alien.

And really that's about it. I need to go and pick a few bits of shopping up tomorrow and for the first time in a while I'll be going on my own. Mark has been tagging along recently and although he comes in very handy for carrying things, he doesn't like browsing whereas sometimes I like to have a good look round even if I'm not planning to buy anything. 

Tuesday is the day I miss Mum most, which might sound odd but that's when we used to go out together. It was our day to do some shopping, a bit of bargain hunting and catch up over coffee. Now things are slowly getting back to normal again with our new 'freedoms' I'm beginning to feel her absence on shopping day. It is what it is though.

Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Wednesday 21st July 2021

I've had to buy a new phone this week. I'd held out for as long as I could but the keyboard was slowly giving up. I've not been able to type the letter 'P' for weeks, (thank goodness for predictive text), and the numbers completely went last week. I've no interest in anything technical and only use it for calls, texts and the odd google so didn't want anything OTT plus I struggle to hold a big phone. Anyway I've now upgraded from my much loved i-phone 5 to a 7. Hand on heart, the best part was being able to choose a cover for it. Luckily these shades of purple are acceptable to me :)

We all went to Manchester yesterday. I wasn't overly keen because it was so hot but Tom looked desperate to get out of the house, so the four of us took the train into town. Amy treated us to lunch and then she took Tom to a virtual reality game thing. Me and Mark had a little wander around but it was so hot that after a short while we headed to a cafe for a sit down and a drink. 

I passed a shoe shop and had to take a photo. I'm sure we'd all feel much more cheerful if we were brave enough to wear such colourful footwear. 

My choice would definitely be the cherries.

The only thing I bought was a drainer. Mark's been wanting one of these for a while so he can scoop poached eggs out of the pan easily. He put it to the test this morning and gives it 5*. 

I gave the poached egg he made the same rating. 


The shopping came today but the freezers had broken so no frozen food was delivered. It's not too much of an inconvenience as I'm going for the BBQ food on Friday so I'll get what I need then. The weather forecast has changed and it looks like it'll be dry and a lot cooler, which is great because in this heat it's just too hot to be outside for any length of time.

At the moment Mark only takes Wendy out for her walk first thing in the morning and last thing at night when it's cooler and he says people are putting bowls of water out for dogs so they can have a drink on their way round, which is a really nice thing to do. 

I've done a bit of weeding in the garden. It's looking very colourful and the tomatoes are coming on nicely. I've not had any fuschia for a while but they're so pretty I'll be making a point of buying more. 

Hope you've all had a good day. x

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Saturday 17th July 2021

We went to the supermarket this morning to buy the drinks for the BBQ. There's only one girl who drinks beer, the rest, including the lads drink vodka, gin, prosecco and wine. Mark's eyebrows did a little dance when I told him this lol. In his day he was a few pints and a whisky or two for the road type of man. 

While I was there I picked up some stocks which smell divine.

And some strawberries and melon - I find it so much easier to eat healthy when it's warm. 

I also bought some asparagus to go with a lasagne I'd made. Nobody wanted wedges or garlic bread but I like to put something on the plate as a side and if it's green and healthy, even better.

Then we popped to Argos to pick up a cheap gazebo. Two trains of thought here, it will give a bit of shade if it's sunny and a bit of shelter if there are showers. After messing with awnings for the past few years, putting it up was a doddle and only took about 20 mins and that was on a 'go slow'. I'll be able to hang some decorations from it as well which is an added bonus.

We bought one of these years ago when Thomas was christened. After the service we came back to the house for a drink and a buffet which turned into a full on party. Nobody would go home and we'd eaten everything so we ended up ordering Indian takeaway for everybody. I used to love a party so I look back on that day with a smile. All our family, friends and neighbours were there and when I think about it, it's hard to believe how many people have passed away since then. Anyway, the day after we went away and left the gazebo up. When we got home it was in pieces in the back garden. Apparently, a gust of wind had lifted it over the fence and into the neighbours garden and Tom had been called to retrieve it. This time we'll have to make sure we peg it down properly. 

And that's about all we've done today because it's really been far too hot to do much more. 

Hope you're all enjoying the weather. 

Friday, 16 July 2021

Friday 16th July 2021

Tom finished school at lunchtime and is off for 7 weeks. In true Tom style, he got in the car and nonchalantly asked where we were going on holiday and when! Erm, that would be nowhere this year. I'll plan a few day trips though. A change of scene will do us all good and I think after 3 isolation periods in 2 months he's suffering from cabin fever. Normally 7 weeks at home doing nothing would appeal to him.

I've picked more sweet peas and also the peas. I think I've left them too long though as they don't taste as sweet as they did last week. Growing them was fun so I'm not going to worry about it. I'll probably mix them in with the bird seed. I'm sure Mildred will love the extra treat.

Project of the week has been tidying the wardrobe again. It's a never ending battle because of all the crafting stuff that's in there. I found a fair amount of things I've started but not got round to finishing so I've completed 4 teddy puppets and an alien puppet I'd forgotten about. There are still 4 comforters, 2 blankets, several pencil cases, the doll sleeping bags and the Melody dolls that all need finishing and I've got another shelf to tidy so there could be even more things lurking in there. 

Another use for the press studs :)

The weather forecast is looking good all next week then seems to change at the weekend, which typically will be just in time for Amy's BBQ. Nothing to be done about it though. In the grand scheme of things considering the flooding in Europe it'll be a minor inconvenience and nothing more. I've ordered a cheap gazebo which we can put up and if it's too bad to BBQ I'll just cook indoors. I'm sure after a couple of drinks they won't mind whether they're inside or outside. In fact, knowing them, they'll probably happily sit out in the rain with their brollies up.

Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx


Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Tuesday 13th July 2021

I was very happy to see some pink sweet peas flowering so I cut a few stems for the house. There's literally half a dozen but the scent from them is amazing. 

I've put the sewing machine away for the time being. After a few days it gets on my nerves looking at all the mess so I like to clear the decks. I've sewn another 4 dolls but I'm running out of space in the wardrobe so I won't stuff them yet.

You'd think I was past making rookie mistakes like forgetting to add the arms wouldn't you! Mind you, in my defence nobody talks to me until I start sewing or crocheting and then for some reason I become a quiz show contestant with the amount of questions I'm asked. 

I've had a good tidy up in the house today. When I'm crafting I'm never on top of other things as much so a bit of clearing away was needed. It only took an hour but it feels much better. I've also given the kitchen a good going over. I usually wipe down with method but I like to get the bleach out as well. I like the smell of it when I'm doing a 'proper' clean. 

I've been buying bits for Amy's BBQ over the past couple of weeks and already Thomas has tracked down and eaten 3 packs of  marshmallows. I actually hide food from him, but he's onto me and just opens every drawer and cupboard until he finds something that appeals to him. Suffice to say the fruit, veg and salad are always safe!

I'm just going to tidy a few more things away in the bedroom then I'm having a brew and a flick through my magazine that arrived this morning. Maybe I'll pick up some BBQ tips. 

Hope you're all having a lovely day. xx


Monday, 12 July 2021

Monday 12th July 2021

I've been working on the doll over the weekend and have finally made one that I like and is easy to sew. The felt arms didn't work which was frustrating as the idea was good, but they were just too floppy. I think it's because I used wool felt. The cheaper crafting felt I've used for the legs and hair is firmer and much better. 

I was determined the only part of the doll being stuffed was the head and body, so after giving it some thought I made sleeves and put felt inside to make them a little more sturdy.

Amy loves naming things so these are now Melody Dolls. They're definitely not a traditional doll but I like that. I wanted to make them as cheerful and bright as possible which is why there are a lot of colours going on. I'm just hoping whoever finds a Melody doll inside her shoebox thinks she's cute enough to love.


She measures 9" x 4.5" from top of head to bottom of body but you could make them any size. I have 9 more to finish off but now I know what I'm doing they'll be easy to make. 

The England result was disappointing but personally, I don't think Italy have anything to be proud of. Several tackles which were bad enough to warrant yellow cards is nothing to celebrate in my book. Mind you, what can you expect from a team when their captain did what he did.  

Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx


Friday, 9 July 2021

Friday 9th July 2021

Well, England won the semi-finals and I won my bet - sort of. I went for 2-1 but didn't win a penny because it was an own goal and the second goal was scored in extra time. I'm not in the least bit bothered, I'm just happy England are through to the final. I bet the country will come to more of a standstill on Sunday than at any point during LD. We'll be watching the final here because Matthew has booked a table in Manchester with his friends. Under normal circumstances we may have gone down and joined them but not while we're still dealing with Covid. 

Amy has conjunctivitis so I popped to Middleton this morning to pick up some drops. While I was there I bought some felt and fat quarters. Sewing the doll, or rather not being able to sew the doll, became a challenge so I googled to see if I could find something easier. I might not have the perseverance to keep trying to do something as fiddly as making arms and legs but I don't like being totally defeated. 

After having a good look at what people have made I've started again with a different design. I've combined a couple of ideas, the best one being to simply use felt for arms and legs. They won't be a traditional shaped doll and have a bit of a quirky look so pink hair is fine.  

Today's mission was to cut all the pieces out for 10 dolls, then sew 5 of them together, add buttons, eyes and a hair accessory. This is where my press studs came in very handy.

I need flesh coloured felt to be able to finish them off so I might ask Mark to drive me over to Bury tomorrow, but I'm not sure. I'm on church cleaning duty in the morning so it depends what time I get home and whether I feel like going out again.

Tom has finally managed a full week in school. I think it's the first since he returned after May half term. Let's hope we get a repeat next week. 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. xx


Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Wednesday 7th July 2021

I got the sewing machine out today and started on the doll. The head and body were easy enough to do but the arms and legs are fiddly and I wasn't in the mood. I don't seem to have as much patience or perseverance as I used to.

I like sewing though, so I changed project and made pencil cases instead. They're really simple to do. Just fold a piece of A4 foam, sew up the 2 sides, add the press stud and stickers and you're done. 

I bought the studs off Ebay last year. There's a male and female part and they come with a tool that pinches them together. The added bonus is I can use them as eyes for dolls/teddies/puppets etc. At £10 for the box and tool you can't go wrong. They'll last me a lifetime.  

The weather has been awful the past few days. Wet, grey, dark and miserable. Today has been a little brighter though so I did a bit of weeding. The tomatoes are coming along nicely.

The size of the leaves and the way the morning glory wrap themselves around the obelisk clinging on for dear life remind me of Jack and the Beanstalk. 

So far a lot of the sweet peas are purple which is a little disappointing as it's not one of my favourite colours. There's lots of buds though so hopefully some lighter pastel shades will bloom soon.

Amy's enjoying her placement although she's not been in one class this week because the ones she should be in are all at home being taught on line. She's using the time to look through the syllabus, read a couple of books and getting to know the staff so all is not lost. Tom informed me yesterday I've got the date of his last day wrong. He's finishing next Friday, not the week after. It really feels like he's not been in school at all this year. 

We're on our way over to Matthews soon to watch the match. I've bet we win 2-1 and Harry Maguire will score a goal. I bet on him to score on Saturday and won £55 but told Matthew to re-bet it for me and he chose a score of 5-0 so I ended up with nothing. We weren't far off though. 

Hope you've all had a good day. xx


Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Tuesday 6th July 2021

Some semblance of normality has returned this week with Tom back in school and Amy out of the house on her placement. Hopefully it will stay like this for the next 3 weeks before the summer holidays start but I'm not holding my breath.

My 17 year old niece tested positive for Covid last week and has been quite ill with it. Her Mum describes it as really bad flu with a terrible headache. Thankfully she seems to be on the mend now but it goes to show how the younger generation are definitely being affected.

If Mark goes out tomorrow I'm going to get the sewing machine out to make a Josephine doll. I've not done any sewing for ages and fancy having a go at making one. I've cut out the pieces so that's a start. They're quite small so I hope they're not too fiddly to sew and stuff.

I'm not overly skilled, but I'm glad I can turn my hand to crochet, knitting or sewing. It's nice to have a choice of what to do when the mood takes me. Add to that reading, jigsaws and a bit of faffing around I do every now and then and it's not hard to keep myself occupied. 

One of the faffing things I've made recently are bendy bead people. I saw them on the 'crafting for shoeboxes' page and had everything I needed so gave it a go. Nice for little hands to fiddle with. Not too little though! These will only go in the older children's boxes. 

The weather is driving me potty today. It keeps lulling me into a false sense of security and I've pegged the washing out 3 times only to have to bring it in again because of heavy showers. I've given up now. It's on the airer and the heating is on to give it a boost.

Had to laugh when I looked out of the window the other day. Mildred has definitely claimed the garden as her very own stomping ground. She eats all the seed I put out and seems to have also claimed the bird bath as her own personal pool, sitting right in it.

Hope you've all had a good day. xx

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Sunday 4th July 2021

Mark said he'd drive me to Bury so we went on Thursday. Before Covid we'd go on Wednesday's but it was always really busy because it was market day. It was a good call as it was really quiet. Sad to see several shops have shut down since we were last there. I made the most of the trip and bought a new coat, some ribbon and bows and some partyware for a belated 21st BBQ we're having in a couple of weeks for Amy.

I also picked up some books. I read a Lynda La Plante while I was at my sisters which I really enjoyed but I think they go in order so need to look into that a bit more. For the time being I'll try these and see if they hit the spot.

I was also on the look out for a graduation gift for Amy. She can be a tricky customer to buy for at times but she loves earrings and I was lucky enough to spot some dreamcatchers. I thought they'd be perfect for her especially as she has certain things she's aiming for in the next few years now she's got her degree. She thought so too and went off to school, or should I say work, wearing them. Being a staff member her earrings can be as dangly as she wants them to be now and she can also wear make-up and nail polish. All these things are strictly forbidden if you're a pupil and woe betide anybody caught breaking the rules. To be honest I like rules in school. Everybody knows where they stand and what's expected of them.

I've crocheted all the bases of the sleeping bags and just have the tops to do now. I think the ribbon and bows are a nice finishing touch.

We'd named the weekend at my sisters, 'Craft & Contemplation' and while not much crafting and even less contemplating took place, one of the things we did do was make candles. The kit would have made 4 good sized candles, but there were 6 of us so my sister ordered some extra tins. They're tiny but cute.  

Talking of candles leads me nicely on to the visit we all made to church to light a candle for Mum and Dad. This chapel was empty so we sat there quite a while listening to choir practise which definitely added to the atmosphere. 

We went to Matthew and Sophie's last night to watch the match. Sienna was allowed to stay up a bit later than usual and football match or not, made sure she was still going to be the centre of attention lol. 

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend. xx