Camping crochet cushion 

Do you remember my little camping crochet project? The last time you saw it, it was looking like this…


Once we’d got home, unpacked and I’d started the mission of post camping washing, I was itching to continue this project. I started by framing each circle with white to make it into a square. It was actually a lot quicker than I thought.


I really love the effect of the different shades of the same colour. I can see me doing something like this in the future. Hmmm, lots of ideas flying around. Once they were all done, I needed to block them as they’d gone a bit curly.


I was thoroughly enjoying this. Now to join.


This is the difference between blocked and unblocked. What a difference a bit of steam makes. I measured each side up against my cushion pad but it was not quite big enough yet. I decided to add some rows of trebles.


I joined the two sides around the pad and debated whether or not to put a fancy border on it. I decided not, thought it best to keep it simple. So here it is…


And on its final resting place 


I think the colours are a perfect match.

There was no set pattern I followed for this cushion.  I combined two patterns to get the circle how I wanted it, then part of another pattern to do the framing. The rest I just made up as I went. I’m pretty pleased with it.

I think along with the blooming flower I’m already making, I may just have to do one more cushion for here. After all, you can never have too many cushions can you?

Happy campers – part two

There was lots to do where we stayed in Gatehouse of Fleet, near Castle Douglas. Although it was tricky finding things that we could take the dog to as well. Everywhere we went there were signs for castles, but we didn’t visit any as to certain members of our family, that would be a fate worse than death! We did find a perfect place for the older kids though and it was just a twenty minute drive.


This place was brilliant. You could book the kids in to a workshop where they learn how to make their own chocolate. I thought it was great value. For £14.00 each they got their own apron and hairnet, they made a big slab of chocolate, a chocolate animal in a reusable mould and a marvellous creation with marshmallows. All to take home with them. 


There was also a huge indoor soft play area and a massive outdoor play area with a dinosaur that was about 30ft high. Sadly, Jude had fallen asleep in the car so he missed out. We waited in the car while the kids were in chocolate heaven, but luckily I’d brought my yarn along.


It looks like an advertisement for Cath Kidston doesn’t it? This project is very mobile so it’s really easy to just do a little bit as and when I can. On the way back to the site, we stopped to say hello to some cows. 


I’ve never seen so many cows than in Scotland. Every field was full of them, and sheep. There were animals everywhere. The campsite was surrounded by rabbits. It was like a scene straight out of Watership Down. It was lovely but the poor things were so scared that they ran off if you got within 20 metres. So no photographs, although I did try my hardest.

The next day we took the kids to a local activity centre. There were some very brave souls there trying some very scary things. Ours stuck to grass sledging, lots safer!


While they were busy I took Jude to the huge sandpit to play. He thought this was the best thing ever and didn’t want to leave.

The following day we planned a lovely day  in the Scottish mountains. Otters Pool had been recommended to us by a friend. On the drive up there my hubby kept pulling over for me to take photos. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking.


We passed Loch Dee just further on from here.


After a bit of an unplanned detour down a never ending dirt track through the wilderness, we found Otters Pool. We sat and ate our picnic lunch with the water to one side of us and woodland to the other. It was such a beautiful place, so peaceful.


Flip flops on and towels at the ready, we headed into the water for a paddle with the best view ever.


The scenery was just stunning. It’s like you’re in a whole other world just for a short while. Everyone had such a nice time. Real good, honest, wholesome family time. 


Pepper loved it too, she’s always enjoyed a paddle. I spotted these toadstools in amongst the trees and just had to take a picture. They looked so magical, like they’re from an enchanted forest or fairy glen.


We were nearing the end of our holiday and I’d say it was a very successful one. Many happy memories made. Although we all love going abroad on holiday and living in a bit of luxury, there’s something really special about holidaying closer to home and closer to nature. We have some absolutely beautiful places in the UK that we often overlook. Especially on our doorstep. Perhaps we all need to pretend we’re tourists in our own towns occasionally and go see all the lovely places around us.  

As for my holiday crochet, I’m pretty pleased with what I achieved.


I wasn’t expecting to get this far. I’m looking forward to showing you the finished product cos I haven’t been able to put this down since we got home.

Vicki xx

Happy campers – part one

For this years camping holiday, we decided to try somewhere new that none of us had tried before. We usually go to Wales which is lovely, but for a change, we chose Scotland. It was a little bit further afield but it was a whole new adventure for us. After losing our lovely dog Amber just the week before, we couldn’t bear to put Pepper into kennels as planned. She’s really missing her sister and would’ve been so sad and lonely on her own. The campsite is dog friendly so we squished her in the footwell of the car along with our ever growing collection of camping gear.


We don’t travel light when it comes to camping. We like to have quite a few little   gadgets to make life that bit easier. Things like electric hook-up, a fridge, kettle, toaster and fan heater. Not quite glamping but not too far off!

The weather was awful when we set off. I was driving along the motorway gripping onto the steering wheel so hard my knuckles were white. We stopped half way to change drivers and the weather was still grey but improving. By the time we reached the campsite it was all blue skies and sunshine. Perfect conditions for pitching a tent.


It was a lovely location, we pitched right at the far end of the field so we didn’t have people walking past us constantly. The site was surprisingly quiet, I kept wondering what the catch was. We discovered what it was on the first night. The main road runs alongside the field and at nighttime, just as soon as your head hits your inflatable pillow, about a thousand lorries it seemed, come thundering past heading for the docks. We’d seen comments about road noise on the reviews before we booked, but had kind of hoped they were exaggerating. Sadly they weren’t. It was quite loud but you kind of got used to it. That was really the only negative though. It was a very carefree site, you pitched up where you liked and were just left to get on with your holiday with no interference. 

The first evening, we treated ourselves to fish & chips from an award winning chippy in nearby Castle Douglas. It was really yummy and the sweet girl who served us insisted on buying Pepper a sausage out of her own money. She’d been off her food for a bit but she managed to woof it down with no trouble. The next morning, we awoke to rain and grey skies which had been forecast for the majority of our stay. I’d packed for the chilly weather too. We spent the day in the tent mostly being lazy campers. Which gave me the perfect excuse to crack out my camping crochet. I’d dithered over what to bring with me. I didn’t want to bring too many balls of yarn so that ruled out my blooming flower cushion. I’m loving the colours in it so much though that I decided to make a second cushion to go with it. I picked just 6 of the colours to bring. 


These looked better than I’d imagined, and quick to do too. A perfect holiday project.

The following morning, we awoke to glorious sunshine. This was our view from the tent…


I couldn’t resist pulling my wellies on with my pyjamas and going for a little wander.


There was an abundance of blackberry bushes around so I decided to pick my own breakfast.

 
Lovely! We went for a little explore around the site later on. It’s a very well kept site. Just a five minute walk from our field you’ll find the entertainment areas. There’s a bar, bistro, swimming pool, gym and of course arcades. They were a hit with the big kids. Well actually Jude loved it there too, he discovered the 2p machines and demanded a constant supply of ‘pennies’. While they were all in the arcades, I sneaked off to take a few photos of the beautiful coastline that we were lucky enough to call home for a few days.



The sunsets here were pretty amazing too.

There’s something about being close to natural beauty that leaves you feeling very calm and content with the world. Sights like this were not made by any man, they’ve always been there and always will. Nothing can ever spoil it. It’s very good for the soul to take a few moments every now and again to appreciate these little things in life.

Another thing I appreciate in life is being cooked for. Camping cooking usually falls to the hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed having a break from having to prepare the meals. He’s also an excellent cook so win win! My job was to lay the table and in true Vicki style, I gathered some pretty flowers from the hedgerows to dress it.

I think I’ll leave it there for part one.  Back in a couple of days with the second half. Xxx


The unidentified blanket 

If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while, you’ll remember that I took some crochet on holiday with me in the summer when we went camping in Wales. I needed something easy to do that didn’t require carrying loads of yarn around. My stepdaughter picked out some pink and purple sparkly yarn months ago for me to make her a blanket. I’ve really been struggling with the design for it. I tried one idea a while back but it just wasn’t going to work so I ended up undoing it. Just before we went away I decided I’d keep it really simple and just do a load of granny squares in the two colours.

  
Well since we came back, I hadn’t touched it, had no interest in it. But after I’d finished my happy blanket, I needed to be crocheting something. I know I still have my flower blanket which I haven’t picked up since I last blogged about it back in July, but I need to concentrate quite hard on that. I just wanted something quick and easy. I have another blanket planned for my hubby’s nan for Christmas, but I had to order some new yarn for that. Watch this space….

I looked at what I had already made and needed just one more purple square to complete the centre of the blanket.

   

The photos don’t really show the glitter very well but it’s quite nice.  I think the fact that there’s only the two colours may well have contributed to my difficulties in finding a design. You really need more colours I think.

These are the squares laid out.

  
Ahead of me lay the dreaded task of joining the squares, urgh…

   
   
That was a whole evening of solitude work in my dining room. I do enjoy the peace and quiet of the dining room, especially when I remember to put some good music on. It’s surprising how music can make you feel. I have a very varied taste in music so it very much depends on my mood as to what I listen to.

  
Once I’d joined them all, I did a round of treble crochet clusters all around then thought, what now? I had no clue! This blanket has no plan, no future, no identity. I didn’t want it to all be the same all the way around so I did a full row of treble crochet.

  
It took AGES!! I was kind of stuck what to do next. So I just ended up doing the same again in pink, which didn’t take anywhere near as long as the previous round. And that’s where I’ve left it for now. I will pick it back up again soon, when I have some clue what to do with it next.

If anyone has any inspiration for me, please get in touch! Xxx

Tales from Wales: part three

So, our last full day is upon us, and it’s beautiful and sunny, yay! We’re all a little sunburnt after yesterday afternoons surprise weather but today we’re armed with factor 30 so bring it on! A nice day out is planned to a coastal animal park in Cardigan, just over an hour away. Everywhere you go in Wales is via little country roads and through pretty picturesque villages. It made a nice drive to our destination. Once we got there, we paid and made our way to see the animals. The location was just gorgeous.

   
 
Lots of wildflowers around, they make such an impact en masse. The animals were very friendly, I couldn’t really get many good photos of them but there were cows, chickens, emu, goats, llamas, kune kune pigs (especially cute), sheep, Shetland ponies, a donkey and seals (wild in the sea).   

    
   
As you follow the trail around the animals, it leads you right along the edge of the country looking over to cardigan island. It was so breathtakingly beautiful, I couldn’t stop taking photos. Luckily for you, I’ve condensed them right down and picked the best of the bunch!

   
    
    
   
This spot here was where we saw the seals. We saw one just chilling as if he was lying on his back being carried along by the rapids in centre parcs! He didn’t stay around for long and no one else got to see him so we were really lucky. We stopped here and ate our picnic, a yummy selection from the delicatessen at morrisons. After we were stuffed full, we took a slow walk back towards the beginning. There was a fantastic park here for the kids..

  
Baby J loved the slide, in fact he pretty much owned it for the duration of our stay.

  
  
We stopped here for a drink in the cafe, I was really impressed with their facilities. They had a huge building containing the reception/gift shop, a large cafe seating area and exceptionally clean toilets. In one corner was a fenced off area with giant building blocks, there was also a ride on tractor and giant connect 4. To the side of this was a table set up full of wooden puzzles and educational magazines, and around the room was racks with children’s books. It was so well thought out, I’d highly recommend it. There’s actually camping available on the site, which includes unlimited free entry to the park which is amazing. Perhaps a future holiday destination ?? We finished the perfect day with fish and chips eaten from the paper looking out to sea, then back to the tent to start packing up.

Next morning, we woke early to get ready to leave. It was another lovely day, and on my way to the toilet blocks, there was some low cloud hovering, at what seemed like eye-level. 

   
   
We got ourselves sorted without any delays and by ten, we were saying farewell to our temporary home. We’d had a really nice time, definitely got the camping bug again. We wouldn’t come back to this campsite again, we’ve been to lots nicer in the past, but the location was beautiful.

We stopped off half way at Bala lake for a bite to eat.

  
  
Wales is such a beautiful place to visit. I always imagine if you were to look at it from above, it would look like a huge patchwork blanket made out of the most lush, green shades, bordered by a frilly blue sea. We are so incredibly lucky to have this so close to us, we will be back there soon I’m sure.

  

Tales from Wales: part two

  
I did lots and lots of walking while we were in Wales. This was largely to try and get Baby J to sleep. Not being at home in our usual routine really threw his sleep out the window. There was a coastal walk leading right from our campsite, so one morning I decided to give it a go.

  
I love to explore new areas, especially when they’re in a beautiful setting like this.  In an ideal world I’d have just kept going but pushing a buggy uphill, over rough terrain and on the edge of a very steep cliff edge put a stop to that. In fact within a few minutes of being rocked about and up and down, he was asleep! I’d got far enough to see the most stunning heather.

   
 
It was quite a drop down there, but I couldn’t resist getting a picture. 

Later that day we all ventured into the local town of Aberystwyth. It’s a lovely little place with some gorgeous architecture. Lots of windy little streets full of colourful painted buildings. There are plenty of independent shops too which I always like to see. The men and kids went to the arcades so I decided to have a stroll along the front.

   
   
It’s funny how memories come flooding back when you visit somewhere you’ve been years before. We visited all these same places six years ago and nothing much has really changed.

   
    
    
    
 
On the Thursday morning, the weather was horrendous. The rain was hammering down on the tent. We were running out of indoor, rainy day things to do. We’d already been to the indoor pool twice. We pottered about in the tent for a while, then by late morning the weather had changed completely into the most glorious sunshine! Very bizarre indeed. The boys headed over to the field to play some football and I popped baby J in his buggy and went for a “get him to sleep walkies “. I came to the entrance of a long, long path that leads to Aberystwyth. I thought, how many times can I walk around and around the campsite? I decided to just walk a little way up the path to get him to sleep and see where it lead. 

  
Every time I got a bit further, I said to myself, I’ll just go up to the next bend. Curiosity was getting the better of me, I just kept going and going. It turned into the most wonderful walk. Baby J had drifted off to dreamland and although I was huffing and puffing pushing him uphill, I was loving every minute. I stopped regularly for breath and of course photos! It was the most picturesque view, I felt like I was on the edge of a Mediterranean island. The sun was beating down and glistening on the sea.

  
Finally, I reached the very top of the cliff. The view was breathtaking.

   
 I stopped for a few moments to take in the scenery and soak up all that blue sea. I was amazed to know I’d walked that far. I could see the pier in Aberystwyth where we’d just been. I was also aware that the others would soon be wondering where I’d got to, so I started to make my way back to the campsite. The walk back was far quicker than the way there. I’d worked up quite an appetite and was craving Pringles and dip & a nice glass of wine in the sun. And that’s exactly what I had when I reached the tent . It was so nice, what a difference the weather can make. I sat and actually got my yarn out, something I didn’t get much opportunity to do.

  
Back with part 3 soon xxx

Tales from Wales: part one

Last week, we packed up the car, squeezed ourselves in like sardines and headed off to Aberystwyth in Wales for our camping trip. We hadn’t been camping for four whole years! I’m not sure why it’d been that long but we were all very excited. We were going with friends too which was really nice. After about a three hour journey, with a stop off for a travel sickness incident , we arrived. It was a lovely spot, right on the coast.

  
It was open to the elements though and putting up tents in gale force winds was quite a task!

  
We got there eventually and were very grateful for no rain too. So, here’s our home for the next week…

  
Yes, I made bunting for the tent! A little sad/extreme/weird I know, but I like it!

I took a wander later to get a few photos…

   
    
 
It really is a beautiful place, I do love being by the sea & close to nature.  Just breathing deep and filling my lungs with that fresh sea air, it’s so relaxing and all your cares just drift away.

After a terrible first nights sleep, we awoke and had the best cooked breakfast, courtesy of the hubby. Just what was needed to set us up for a dreary day. The weather forecast had said our first and last day would be warm & sunny, but the rest would be chilly & rainy. We piled into the cars and set off for a lovely butterfly house not too far away. It’s in a very scenic location, right by a massive lake and overlooked by a huge hillside of vegetation. We were lucky enough to be there just as a steam train chuffed along the hillside. We went on that very train six years ago and it was an amazing journey which takes you to the devils waterfalls.

The butterfly house was so warm & humid, it was hard to stay in there for long. We saw some stunning butterflies from all over the world. It’s hard to get good photos as they’re constantly moving but here’s just a couple I managed.

   
 
We finished off the evening with mugs of hot chocolate and marshmallows, and a game of monopoly. 

 It’s rather nice being all cosy in your tent and hearing the rain lashing down.

I’ll leave it there for now, but I’ll be back soon with part two. Thanks for stopping by ❤️