Outdoorsy things

This week has been full of outdoorsy stuff with the warm weather. The weather has kind of annoyed me actually. Not because it’s been nice, but because it said it was going to be rubbish, then wasn’t, so I didn’t plan accordingly. So frustrating when you miss out on a few precious laundry drying hours. Anyway, we’ve been pottering in the garden quite a bit. I had a good weed and sweep underneath our table, it always gets forgotten about.

I also tended to this area.

The bamboos are stunning but they do make a mess, shedding all year round it feels like. It is quite a therapeutic task though.  Lovely when the sun is shining especially. I tend to find the little tucked away spaces in the garden my favourite, like my hidden bench.

We’ve done lots of dining outdoors, morning and night.

There’s lots of lovely colour and growth still going on, even though many have finished now. It’s amazing how quickly the garden evolves in just a few weeks.

I love the different stages of growth here in the hydrangea, those creamy green shades with the pinky tips, full of promise to bloom into the most beautiful, vibrant pink flowers.

One of my favourite stages of a flower blooming is when they’re still practically a bud with a teensy bit of colour showing. Just popping their pretty heads out to say hello.

This little corner here always looks like autumn no matter what season it is.

The muted colours are gorgeous, very calming and gentle. It’s like a teeny tiny woodland corner. There used to be a little fairy door at the bottom of the tree but it’s magically vanished. The hubster was never a big fan, hmmm. There is evidence of fairies at the bottom of the garden though, look, fairy wings! Well, according to my step daughter they are anyway.

Yesterday we took a little trip out for our annual strawberry picking, something I’m keen to keep up every summer. Make it one our family traditions that Jude will remember about his childhood. It’s such a wholesome, feel good activity.

We got to ride on the tractor which made Jude’s day.

The sky looked very dark indeed but it was so warm still.

My little helper was good carrying the punnet. He only dropped the lot once. And he only ate one strawberry on the way round.

And our little bounty. The smell is so sweet and the taste even sweeter. Our very own blueberries in our garden will be ready for picking soon too.

In the afternoon we went across the border into the lush, green land of Wales. We’re members of the National Trust so took the opportunity, while the weather was good to visit Chirk castle.

I kind of feel it deserves its own post though so will leave that for another day. 
I did say I was going to bring you a crafty post but with all this outdoorsy stuff happening I haven’t had much chance. Next one, I promise xx

Six, sand and sunshine 

We’re having a mini heatwave here in the UK at the moment. I’m not expecting it to last long but it is ridiculously hot right now. I had the heating on and ugg boots last week, why can’t Great Britain sort it’s weather out? Anyway, we’ve been getting out and following the herds to our gorgeous beaches. We are so very lucky to have a huge choice of lovely places to visit.

On Sunday afternoon the sun just surprised us so we didn’t want to waste it sitting indoors. We grabbed our beach bag and headed to Hoylake. If you’re not from these parts then you may still have heard of it as they sometimes hold the golf open there. It becomes a hive of excitement, the schools close early and people even rent their homes out for a small fortune to accommodate the thousands of fans.

They must have known I was coming as they’d hung yards and yards of bunting up! I was expecting it to be really busy but there was hardly anyone. I left the lads playing football in one of the pitches you can see above. The rest of us headed along the prom.

It looks like a desert here. I love the fact that there’s still lush greenery growing in the sand.

We found ourselves a lovely little spot on the golden, soft sand. A bucket and spade and Jude was in his element. Which meant I could snap a few photos of the beautiful surroundings.

We were only here for about an hour but it’s all you need to feel like you’ve been at one with nature.

Jude had a great time, he didn’t want to leave.

That evening the hubster and I went out to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary. We had a lovely meal at our new favourite tapas restaurant, Lunya. The food was amazing along with the service and surroundings. We finished the evening off with a drink in The Cavern Club. It’s a brilliant atmosphere in there, especially when there’s a Beatles band playing.

More date nights are definitely in order, it’s the only time we get to spend together alone as a couple. It’s nice to escape the house and kids occasionally, reminds me I’m not just a mother and housewife.

Back soon with some hooky happenings. Stay cool xx

Skittles rainbow blanket 

Just ten short days ago I embarked upon a new project. I’d been getting urges to make something in bright sunny rainbow colours. So I searched through my stash and selected these. They’re all stylecraft special dk. There’s something about a basket stuffed full of yarn that’s rather exciting don’t you think? The possibilities are endless.

I wanted to make this into a blanket but had no one specific to make it for, so I decided I’d make it to sell. I always said I wasn’t ever going to make stuff to sell as there’s no money to be made. By the time you’ve bought yarn then spend the untold hours crocheting your little heart out, it would cost a fortune. But I thought, what the hell. I love making things so I’m just going to give it a try. Even if it means my hourly rate is about 50p.

So it began. I decided upon a large granny square as I was so eager to see it grow fast. There’s something very comforting about working up a lovely granny square. And with these wonderful colours, well it just made me so excited to start on the next colour. With every new colour added I loved it even more. It felt like it was really coming together quickly.

This was it after the first full set of colours. My hubby kept looking over at it while I was hooking away. After about the fourth colour, he finally said, “what you making this time? There’s some mad shit colours in there!” Ha ha, it did make me giggle!

Every chance I got I was working away on this. On a rare dry day, I got to do a bit in the garden. It was a perfect half hour when Jude was asleep. Bliss.

I was cutting it a bit fine with the yarn. In fact I ran out of white with the final side to go. But my lovely friend came to the rescue again, she has enough yarn to open her own shop and always seems to have the right shade. I’m so lucky she’s just down the road, I was on a roll and really didn’t want to stop. The border was in sight.

That’s it finished, yay! Now for more rainbows. I planned to do a row of each colour round once more without the white this time and in a simple double crochet stitch to finish it off nicely. I was really pleased with how this turned out, better than I’d hoped actually.

Again I was cutting it fine with the yarn, phew!

I took it into the garden and sat at my little hidden bench to finish it off. I’ve spent so much time indoors lately with this rubbish weather so whenever it’s dry, I’m rushing outside to enjoy every moment.

It’s a lovely peaceful spot to sit and make, well until you get found anyway. He wanted to copy me but his little legs wouldn’t reach.

He’s taken quite a shine to this blanket, every time it’s on my lap he comes and rests his cute little head on it. Well it is very soft.

So, now it’s properly finished, ends dealt with and it’s had a wash. I was so nervous putting it in the washing machine. I’d convinced myself that it would all unravel and become a big rainbow mess. But no, it was absolutely fine. The colours remind me of skittles so that’s where the name came from. That and for photographic purposes only of course, I had to go and buy some skittles. And eat them, cos that would be wasteful to leave them sitting in the cupboard going off.

Apologies for the unnecessary amount of photos,but you know how carried away I can get. And I do love this one very much, I even think I’ve convinced my hubby that ‘mad shit’ colours are the way forward. 

So this is my first ever ‘For Sale’ blanket. I’ll pop it on my Facebook page and see what happens. I’ve not looked into the whole Etsy thing yet, maybe in the future. I’ve already got more blankety plans flying round in my head.

I have got another project that’s been sitting waiting for me and I keep putting it off. It’s my very first amigurumi and I’m dreading it. I really should do it before I start on another blanket. Hmm, we’ll see.

Rose garden 

We don’t have roses in our garden and I’ve just this year begun to take a liking to them. It’s okay though, as just a short walk from our house is The Arno. 

It has, as you can see from the sign, been around for quite some time. Here’s a really old picture of it.

But this is it today..

It’s really pretty, especially in the warm sunshine that surprised us today. I’ve probably come a little late as some of the flowers are just finishing. But I did manage to get a few photos of some rosy loveliness.

The smell is just beautiful, so delicate. 

These aren’t roses but they take me back to my childhood. I always remember seeing these and I seem to recall they were Victoria Plums favourite flower. Maybe I’m making that bit up, but that’s what they remind me of anyway!

The Arno has a Green Flag Award too. Although it’s a council maintained area, it still needs a lot of looking after and regularly needs volunteers to come along and help out. They formed a group called The Friends of The Arno who do a fantastic job. We’re very lucky to have people who care about where we live.

So, what else has been happening this week? Not much really. Quite a few trips with the little man to the park.

We spent a lovely hour by the sea the other morning. 

And as for crafting, well I’ve been working on a new project, completely unplanned. Sometimes I think those work out the best.

And it’s almost finished too so I’ll show you properly very soon.

Have a crafty weekend all xx