Monday, 13 July 2009

Things have happened

Like me forgetting to post pictures of Cumbria to go with my Woolfest photos. Ooops. Next post then but there are other things that I wanted to share in this post that will be much quicker (I am at work at trying to get this done in the last ten minutes of my lunch break...). My things are share are also 'reasons to be proud'. I'm not very good at singing my own praises or maintaining that good of an opinion of myself so in an effort to stop this habit here are some things that have made me happy recently. Yes they are simple things but sometimes just getting the simple things right is what can lead to the greatest happiness and contentment, especially when they are focused around the home.

1) I made gooseberry jam. This is the first time I have ever made jam and it came out really well. I had to have a bit of a scrounge round for jars and I didn't do anything sensible like check I had enough sugar before starting (just- we were left with enough for four cups of tea). The gooseberries were a gift from a work colleague who grows them in his back garden so it is all round wholesome jam- plus its really yummy. I got 5 jars in the end, two of which I am going to gift. The rest I shall hoard and keep all for me :D

2) My orchids have been doing really well recently. I get a great deal of pleasure from growing them and seeing them flower. More than I would have thought possible. I recently got given some Interflora vouchers with which I purchased the orchid below. It's huge and completes my purple set (I now have 3 of varying sizes and colour patterns) which occupy my bedroom window. They look fantastic together. I still have some vouchers left so I will be getting another orchid at some point once I decided what colour I want. I think I have about 10 orchids at the moment but I'm not sure what colour they all are (some were gifted to me and they have yet to flower) so I'm going to wait for a bit. I told the DH that I was worried about being too geeky over them and he told me that I had passed that point ages ago...

3) I got my first harvest of potatoes last week. I found some time to get out and do some work in the garden when it wasn't roastingly hot and it was really fun. Harvesting my first home grown potatoes was immensely satisfying- as was eating them later that day with a home made steak pie.
And here's the difference six weeks has made to my vegetable patch:

This is my garden in May after we had planted every thing out

And here it is about six weeks later

Notice that not only have all the plants grown but the fence has too! The man next door finally got around to putting it up. It's not finished but it's enough to give us some privacy.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Shiny things

My mum has been suffering from the 'creative bug' recently and has made a ton of pretty things for me. She sent about 8 pairs of earrings and two necklaces to me in the post (yay, I love getting post)- all of which are wonderful. I know she doesn't read my blog. In fact I would be very surprised if she even knew I have a blog but I just wanted to thank her publicly anyway as it was very sweet of her to make all these things for me. Each set is just lovely and you can tell that mum knows her market as they are 'nature' or 'natural world' themed. I only have shots of the first few unfortunately and I'm not sure that I can remember all the others that she sent but as well as the earrings below I know that there was also some dragonflies, lizards and butterflies.

The other necklace has a big silver dragonfly charm on it and the chain part is made of purple ribbons. The one below however is probably my favourite piece out of everything- it's made of purple beads and fish vertebrae. Yeah, bone necklace :D

Monday, 6 July 2009

Woolfest 2009

I only got a few photos of the event itself. Hopefully no one will mind if I have accidentally taken a picture of them. It was quite hard not to get peoples faces- in retrospect what I should have done was gotten the DH to run down the far end of the aisles and make some kind of scene so that everyone was looking away from me but I didn't think of that at the time.
The shots I did get are of the animal pens that were situated in the far right aisle of the humongous storage shed we were in. I didn't want to take any of the stalls that were there as some people had signs up asking that no photos be taken but that's okay, as this area was full of cuteness.
Far end of the pen area. I was standing next to these fuzzy wuzzy things when I took the shot. I probably took more photos of the alpacas than anything else actually. One day I'll own one- I will, I promise!

Other end of the aisle where they had the fleece sale and lots of fun things for spinning:

My favourite sheep from the show is below. They had pens with different breeds in but these ones made me laugh the most- boucle straight from the sheep :)

This is a Wensleydale sheep- after clocking the name I laughed twice as hard as 'wensleydale' just makes me think of Wallace and Gromit and I have a terrible urge to just shout 'Cheese!' all the time.
What you can't see- well, you can just in the very left hand side of the first photo, is the stall with the angora bunnies on which I must have visited at least 5 times. They had two bunnies with them- I want one soooooo badly at the moment. My mum used to breed them as pets when I was a kid and I loved them. Obviously I had no idea at the time that I should have been collecting all the fur up. I can remember my mum cutting their fur back when there was a really hot summer and just chucking it in to the bin! Oh, the shock and horror when I think of that now.
The day at the show was great- it wasn't quite the same without the best friend in tow though the DH did a good job of looking interested. He even managed to make a pertinent comment or two and lasted about 4 hours before demanding that we leave (which is an all time record). Next year if I go again I think that I will try and take knitters with me though it is a bit of trek from Oxford so I'd need at least one other person to share the driving with me. Unless I actually took time off of work and made it into a great big road trip- that might work.
Anyways, I guess you want to see what it was that I bought... :D
I was relatively restrained and only bought 4 skeins of yarn, one of which is a swap gift so I am not going to post it here just in case it gets spotted. I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise after all. For me though I got a couple of things from The Yarn Yard which was a new shop to me. It may prove to be a fatal move as they had some beautiful yarns AND they are organised and proactive enough to have got everything onto Ravelry- yay!
For a real treat I bought myself a skein of lace weight cashmere:

I could only afford to get 470ms of this (that's the one skein) but I plan on making something small and pretty from the soft fuzz.
I let the DH pick out some sock yarn for himself from the same place:

Who would have thought that he would go for a Boston Red Soxs colourway?
I also stopped at the Wild Fire Fibres stall where I picked up some shiny sock yarn- it's 50% tencel and 50% merino and has a wonderful shimmer to it. In truth I didn't need anymore sock yarn- and had in fact promised myself that I wouldn't buy anymore but I just couldn't resist.

And that's it other than the mystery skein as far as yarn buying goes. I did pick up a little gift for the person who was house sitting all the animals for me and a little treat for the best friend (hah, I taunt her with the knowledge that there is a gift but shall say no more...) as well as some roving for myself. I have never been tempted by roving before but the best friend taught me a bit more about spindling the last time I saw her and I enjoyed it much more. I figured that as it was an incredibly cheap price it wouldn't matter if I bogged it up completely but that the long fibres might be slightly easier to learn with than the stuff I had been previously using- oh, who am I kidding? It was pretty and soft. THAT'S why I bought it :D