Tuesday, 25 November 2014

This and That

Once more I've become remiss with my blog writing, things have gone a bit manic again so I haven't been keeping up with anyone else either much - I am going to try and have a marathon catch up session later with a glass of wine!

November has gone so quickly it's unbelievable. I've attempted to create some sort of twig construction to hang snowflakes and the like off, it has proven impossible to get a decent photo of but looks better in real life I promise! The bird is from Bunny Mummy's pattern which is wonderful - I'm going to make some for friends and family, time permitting.

Then I've started making some face cloths for Xmas presents, I'm going to find some nice handmade soap to go with them for female relatives. We went for a lovely weekend walk at Rutland Water and revisited the wonderful church in the water at Normanton. This week also saw the return of the panettone. This is a tradition in our house now, when we bought our house almost exactly 3 years ago we had some redecorating to do and lived in the rented house for a month while we did it. We bought one of Lidl's panettone to have on hand at the new house in case we got peckish, a really huge one, and by the time we'd finished the panettone had gone. A slice of panettone reminds me of steaming horrid orange wallpaper off the walls, tearing up carpet and painting like maniacs. All worth it in the end of course.

I'm incredibly honoured to have been nominated for the Liebster Blog award by two of my favourite blogs, Geraldine from Wool and Cats and Anne and Michelle from Crochet Between Worlds, thank you very much :) I took part in this back in May, and would like to invite any of my lovely readers to join in - there are so many amazing blogs around!

1. What is the name of your blog? And what does the name mean?

My blog is 'woollybluebells', to be honest I want to change it at some point but not sure how! When I was trying to start a blog I was trying all sorts of combinations but they'd already gone! Very frustrated I tried this and noone had it... Woolly because I thought it would mostly be craft related, bluebells because they are my most favourite flower. They remind me of Spring, my birthday and walking in the woods with my parents as a child.

2. How many blogs do you follow?

According to Blogloving over 300, but a lot are inactive now! Realistically more likely to be around 40

3. Do you have a creative soul? 

I think so, although I can't draw and am quite clumsy! I love colours and day-dreaming and making things, and dreaming about making things of course

4. At what age did you learn to crochet or knit?

I learnt to knit at about 7 but forgot soon after, I want to try and pick it up again someday, crochet at 26, a late starter!

5. What are your future projects?

Some wedding gifts I feel... One of my bridesmaids is marrying in July and I would love to make her a wedding blanket, or cross stitch sampler.

6. Why do you blog?

I started off following other peoples' blogs and just enjoyed it so much I wanted to join in! I'm always amazed that people read my ramblings and am very touched by the comments I get. I also love looking back at what I've been up to - it's a wonderful way to document life. I've always tried writing diaries but never succeeded long term.

7. What will your Christmas look like this year?

A bit hectic! C and I are spending it with my parents or brother, either at their house or ours, but it also needs to include a visit to my grandmother who is 3 hours away. The logistics are still being worked out. Needless to say this is going to be a very special Christmas as it's our first married Christmas, we have only spent one Christmas together before and that was in Australia so we are looking forward to an English one together :) 

8. What are your plans for 2015?

Finish PhD. I can't see beyond that at the moment!!

9. If you could travel anywhere, which 3 places would you visit and why? 

New York - I have always wanted to go and experience the wonderful city
New Zealand - I want to see the wonderful landscapes
Canada - Again, the landscapes :)

10.What made you smile today?

C was really cute and grumpy this morning. Smiling at him didn't better his mood so I had to hide it ;)

11. What do you do on a rainy Sunday?

Curl up on the sofa with C/cats/crochet/wine/tea all of the above and watch a film

Wishing you all a lovely last week of November,

Until next time

Helen x

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Checking In: November

Making : Christmas Owls: I'm using the now iconic pattern from Bunny Mummy and am in absolute awe at how clear the instructions are and how wonderful the finished object is! The little chap in the picture is perched on my desk and cheering me up as I tackle some much needed editing of thesis.

Drinking : Peppermint tea, trying to become less caffeine-dependent ;)

Reading: This question always depresses me.... 'Homemade Men in Postwar Austrian Cinema' by Maria Fritsche. I long for the days when I will be able to read for pleasure :)

Wanting: Well, to read for pleasure now...

Looking: forward to Christmas (sorry!)

Wishing: There were more hours in the day

Enjoying: The fact that the weekends in the foreseeable future will be spent at home sweet home

Wondering: Where I'll be this time next year

Loving: How my crochet hot water bottle cover is turning out so far

Watching: The TV series 'Damages' starring Glenn Close. We'd never heard of it before but it was recommended on Netflix, and it really is very watchable!

Hoping: That I will meet my chapter deadline on Friday before friends visit for the weekend.

Marvelling: This beautiful blanket pattern on Betsy Makes 

Needing: Some more time with my friends

Wearing: My UGG boots. These were a lovely present from family friends in Australia last year, despite them being exceedingly popular during my years as an undergraduate I'd never bought any. I'm not really a follower of fashion and I think they make some people waddle like ducks. But then I put my pair on and it was a moment of revelation. Feet covered in cotton wool sensations, and oh so toasty. Quack. 

Noticing: How the pretty autumn leaves are now rather sludgy following all the rain

Feeling: Balanced

Sorting: out all of my accumulated crafty belongings... I have no idea where they're all coming from!

Buying: Felt for some decorations.... yes, that is where they are coming from, the internet...

Snacking: Banana Bread, normally I can never make this as my monkey husband eats all the bananas. But I hid some *evil wife grin*

Coveting: Some stylecraft yarn to make Attic 24's new blanket pattern... but, I still have two other blankets to finish, and really not much space...

Helping: myself to banana bread :)

Hearing: Classic FM, my favourite Sunday afternoon music option

Friday, 14 November 2014

Getting a wee bit festive...

Yesterday I went with my wonderful friend to visit Chatsworth Christmas market. We didn't go in the famous house, as we had both been previously, but had a lovely few hours wandering around the market, topped off with some grub and gluehwein.

I thought I'd share a few snap shots, I'm afraid I don't like taking lots of pictures of stalls as there are always lots of people milling around, and a lot of stall holders don't seem to like it, instead I thought I'd share some festive decor :)

I have finished my first crafty Christmas present! here is Dad's scarf - he is always looking for a red scarf, but never seems to find one, this year I could happily make him one. I am going to make my brother a scarf as well and insist the whole family wear their 'Helen' Scarves on Christmas Day! So egotistical...

I have also stitched together the front of Mum's hot water bottle cover, just the next one to do and then I shall try and fudge the assembly.

How are your Christmas crafty plans coming? Do tell :)

Until next time x

Monday, 10 November 2014

The One with a Chocolate Fish: York

Hello everybody, I hope you are all well wherever you may be. Today I would like to share a lovely weekend spent in York with hubbie, and our two old neighbours who we lived next to in Nottingham.

Now I'm sure that the vast majority of the world (at least 99.9999999%) associate the wonderful city of York with the magnificent Minster, the narrow cobbled shopping streets of the Shambles or maybe even the stunning city walls. Or the poor unfortunate monarch Richard III and the vast history of unrest and civil war in medieval England.

For me however, York is the city of chocolate fish.....

 Nearly five years ago C and I went to York for a day trip and he bought me a chocolate fish, it was one of the first things he bought me at the beginning of our relationship (ever the romantic ;)) Ever since then we've wanted to head back to York as it was so wonderful, and I always said he would have to recreate the Chocolate Fish Moment - he did! (I got some pretty weird looks while I took those photos)

The Saturday was pretty miserable, grey skies and lots of rain but it didn't stop us admiring the Minster and partaking of the Shambles....

The shot of the Shambles was right outside a lovely wool shop which of course I had to stick my head into. I may have come out with a ball of wool.... more on that in the future as I intend to make it into a York souvenir!

The next day was a complete contrast, blue skies and a crisp Autumn morning, we seized the opportunity and wandered the walls, looking over at the Minster in the hazy sunshine as we walked between two of the historic gates.

 And then we headed to another highlight of York - The National Railway Museum. Now I like a nice train journey, but I'm not particularly into 'trainy things' - I loved the experience nevertheless! I found myself being quite nostalgic about an era that I never experienced. The exhibition was very well done, you could wander around these huge majestic trains which were contextualised with artefacts from different eras. I loved the old railway posters especially, icons of a time gone by...

Isn't it interesting that even back then they used images of women on the beach to lure people to the seaside?! A slightly more modest image than nowadays I do concede :)

All in all a wonderful weekend. Thank you for all your lovely comments on the last post, I really was very touched. My Nana is starting to pick up a bit now, they are looking at getting her back on the rehabilitation wagon, so we will just have to see. And as for the PhD thesis.... still a big stone around my neck but I'm still swimming ;)

I've started making a Christmas garland for my parents, our theme is always red and green...

 They need blocking, but it will be a lovely star garland. I got the pattern from here, it's so quick and very effective :)

Have  a lovely week, a very hearty welcome to my new readers and a big hello to the usual crowd!

Until Next Time,

Helen x