Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Coffee and craft and fundraising for Kiwoko

Our craft sessions have been quieter over the winter session but things are heating up.our Lampeter chef event was very successful with Kellie as our chef. It was a fun morning with African gifts as well as culinary tools and lots to earn. 

We raised just over £100 and each month we have an average of £50 from donations so a big thankyou to all who contribute.
Kellie ensured all who wanted to participate got the opportunity.
I have had to take some time out with my art as so much going on but all being well I will be back in April.

 I have became very enthusiastic with crochet again and it has taken up most of my craft mornings and patchwork jun the evenings as I aim to make a throw for my bed.
Sian's cushions

I ran out of natural yarn on the last round so the completed photo will look a bit different in the next blog.

Life as Smudge sees it

The last few months have been crazy with bags being placed and unpacked and I can't figure out who is going or staying. As it happens I wasn't going anywhere until thus month when I got o gave a holiday with my friend Minnie.
I was no sooner back home when my friend TJ came for a sleep over.

He was a bit excitable at first but U showed him who was boss and we got on well from there and even had a few outings to one if my favourite places-Mountstewart.
Spring is coming not that I see too much evidence other than my visit to the groomers which has left me shivering. A good excuse for more cuddles and I think my mom is crocheting me a new blanket.
The house is as busy as ever with people coming and going but I don't mind so long as they know what I say goes and it was nice to have my granny and granda visit as that meant lots more cuddles

Trinity College Dublin

Of all the times I have been in Dublin I have just walked past the college but this time I decided I wanted to see the book of Kells. It was very busy mostly with French students completing workbooks on the subject.the colours were amazing to have lasted all these years and I found it all very interesting and also to realise how little I know of our own history.
I loved the library in the long room. It looked like something out of Harry Potter. They had a small exhibition on illustrations used in children's books throughout the eras. I loved all the busts though as these are what I love to sketch, not that there would be room to sketch here.
All in all well worth a visit

Time out in Dublin- just the two of us

Such a relaxing time just the two of us knowing Smudge was being well cared for with her friend Minnie.we stayed in the Best Western Academy plus just off O'Connell street and we couldn't recommend it highly enough. Weaid half of what we thought we might have to pay and although graded at 4* would certainly be eligible for 5*
We ate somewhere different every meal and never once came across an Irish person they were all Eastern European I felt we had got off at the wrong airport.
We went on the gravediggers ghost tour and it was a hilarious evening. There were folk from Dublin, New York and Canada. The story tellers were witty and most of the stories were based on fact. A lot of the stories based around the time of the plague. We visited old sites around Dublin such as a grave yard and prison. Many yarns told about the body snatchers and a ghoulish drink from a pub that dates back to 1800s and still run by the same family.
We did a lot of walking around St Stephens green and Merrion Square. On the square is a Georgian House museum. It was very cheap and very interesting audio visual before you do the self guided tour. I am not a shopper as many of you know but we took an afternoon to Kildare village. I enjoyed the Cath Kidston shop and we got a Jamie Oliver milk pan but the other designer shops were way above our budget even with the major discount. 
The museums are all free. We took a quick walk around the Natural History museum which hasn't changed in about 200yrs.the upper parts were closed so took us less than an hour. We spent a little longer in the archaeological museum but didn't make it to the art galleries much to Jonathan's delight.

Dublin Zoo

It was approximately 20 years since we were here and lots have changed. In fact the guy in the ticket booth stated it covered entirely different ground with a different entrance. 
It was good to see how much more space the animals had and also how well it mimicked their native lands. A lot of signs pointed out how they were actually part of breeding programmes to prevent extinction of many of the animals seen
The area the animals had also included opportunity for them to take themselves off out of the public eye which maybe disappointing for the visitor but ideal for a normal life for the animal
The restaurants were not all open and what was available was very poor, mostly junk food. However just at the entrance of Phoenix park was Phoenix park tea rooms. This was a small hexagonal wooden building, very quaint, with seating inside and outdoors. The food was home made and the soups and cakes amazing also considering those with dietary requirements such as dairy and gluten free. I would go back just to eat there.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Having fun with crochet

It didn't take me long to settle back into the weather and culture. Work is as busy as ever but plenty of time for coffee, craft, cake and crochet. Crochet has really taken off recently but for many years it was an impossibility for me. I honk being a knitter first affected my notions on how to crochet.  
My grandmother tried to show me as a child but my tension was so tight I only managed hats for my Cindy dolls. A friend of my other grand mother had no further success with me and at that point I tried every other craft avoiding crochet. It had also become a bit dated so not a necessity I felt. As an adult my friend Shirley who was very accomplished, a skill she gained from her grand mother tried to teach me but again no success.

I suppose it's like everything else in life if you really want to do it you will. When I met Hilary I was amazed at the crochet work she had done and much prettier and fashionable than what I had seen as a child. I was determined to learn so I got on to u tube and was pleasantly surprised how easy I found it....what on earth was my problem before.i did and still do get a bit confused with USA and English stitches but Hilary keeps me right. It was her interlocking crochet that I was determined to do. Nothing like starting off simply!!! I did two cot blankets for gifts and was hooked,literally.Tanis galiks book is amazing and I highly recommend. The diagrams are so easy to follow even for a beginner like me.
I spotted this pattern for an owl obsession baby blanket and after having the wool in USA posted to my aunts for me to collect in my trip at thanksgiving I was ready to go. The pattern wasn't clear at first. I think it over simplified the directions so much it confused me with the different wording but Hilary interpret ate for me and I was in a role. Very interesting as plenty of different stitches to keep my attention, not needing to do two things at once which is my norm.

Some of my original pieces are below
This ripple blanket for Smudge was my first ever attempt. The edges are far from straight and it is made up of scraps of wool and acrylic but Smudge loves it. I have a cam and white ripple in progress at the moment.
Made for a friend going through chemo
Hats and blankets to raise funds for Kiwoko
My second interlocking crochet blanket