Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Yarn Blanket Club Update

 I think you can be forgiven if you don't remember that I am taking part in another crochet along. Well, actually, it's called a blanket club but I think it can be thought of as a crochet along to. I first mentioned it when I made my return to the blogging world back in February. The lovely Lisa set up a year long club. She sends us out scrummy yarn each month with a pattern crochet square pattern (as well as other goodies). It's now six months down the line and I have maybe mentioned it twice.

My mum and I are were doing this together and she was actually ahead of me before she was too tired and ill to carry on. Thanks to my good friend Lisa I have been keeping up with it. So here are all 6 months of my mum's squares.

Alas, that doesn't mean that I kept up with my own. I was over 3 months behind. Still on the green squares and only half way through them. Yesterday I was proud of myself for finishing month six of my mum's blanket. Then I get a hint that month seven is on its way out. So today I hunted out my squares and got to work.

I am now only 3 months behind (or just a little over 2). I finished the green and have made a start on the blue (which is my favourite colour so far - no surprises there).

I have been working on other things too but they have all taken a back seat to getting these little squares up to date. If you follow me on instagram you will probably have a better idea of what I've been up to. For everyone else, I promise that blog updates will still take place. Meanwhile I am about to put the kettle on for a much needed coffee and get back to those blue squares.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Paper Planting!

 Last week I was having a rare night in to myself. I got the wine opened and I brought out about three months of magazines that hadn't been touched. All craft magazines. It was a happy night and I logged a few projects that I plan on doing. I especially love it when I come across something I have never heard of never mind never done before. That's what happened when I read this months Mollie Makes.

In it's pages was an advert for papers shaped like custard creams. Those papers contain wildflower seeds. All you have to do is plant them. Since I have been looking after my mum's garden I decided to order some. I think my mum would have been curious about this too. I got them from a website called What You Sow. Meanwhile I did my nosey on Not On The High Street (I love that page) and it turns out planting paper containing seeds isn't a new thing. They had quite a few sellers who stocked them.

 July is a little late to be planting but I decided to do it anyway. The marigolds needed pulling up and so I had space for them in the treasure chest. I put two in there then soaked them with water as instructed. Once soaked I then covered them with a thin layer of soil.

I did the same with the space where the fern and tree had been. I had said that I would leave the area to rest but the wildflowers don't last long and I didn't think it would do any harm.

We are supposed to see results in two or three days so watch this space and I will keep you updated.

On another note I have decided to start a page with some of the online places I have shopped in. I will always link those pages on the blog post they are featured but I think a page is a good way of keeping them together. Saves myself and others searching.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Thank You For Your Kindness!

 My last post was a dedication to my mum. This one is sort of a dedication to my mum but really a huge thank you to everyone who showed kindness to my mum over her short illness. First of all a huge thank you to the knitting group who made this quilt for my mum. I know I already posted on this but this blanket meant so much to my mum. All the nurses who visited her often commented on it and it now has pride of place over her chair in her room.

The matching cushions were a nice surprise that came later, also from the group. I think this was mainly the work of our Izzi who orchestrated the making of the blanket. My mum appreciated the kindness and the work that went into this.

A thank you to the lovely Lisa from For the Love of Yarn. My mum signed up with the blanket club back in December. This was something we were doing together. When she felt up to it these wonderful colours distracted my mum. Lisa even wound the yarn for her to make it easier. I've been working on the remaining squares and the lovely Lisa has made it possible for me to finish this blanket in honour of my wee mum.

More gifts from the knitting group came when my mum was unable to go away to Gartmore. A trip my mum always looked forward to. Helen came along with cake from the weekend and face scrubs. My mum was grateful that people were thinking of her and loved the scents.

The lovely Magdalena behind Stitching a Rainbow came to see us one day with pretty tulips, this lovely crochet angel and these lovely heart shaped cookies. Thank you so much. The tulips and the cookies are long gone but I kept the little angel safe.

My mum also received countless gifts from friends from her work. She was overwhelmed by all these gifts which included a box filled with red, cosmetics, baking and flowers. She also received a lavender tree (one of mum's favourites). It survived me looking after it and mum loved it's smell. Now it is even starting to flower. In the box filled with red items there was a potted plant with red flowers. The flowers are gone but the plant is still going strong and I think we will see the flowers again next year. Thank you to all of you. Clearly you knew my mum very well.

 A huge thank you to the lovely Elena. She came to our knitting group to learn to get help with her crochet. She based her degree show round crochet and made this lovely dedication to my mum. Sadly I didn't get to see her work but you can see it here as a few of the ladies from the group managed to see it. I know my mum would have been there.

A huge thank you to all the countless flowers my mum received. She loved her flowers and the site cheered her up. I would also like to say a huge thank you to all the flowers we received in the weeks since my mum passed. A huge thank you to all the messages of support sent to my mum and ourselves. A huge thank you to those who donated to Marie Curie and the Beatson on behalf of my mum. A thank you to my mum's work who raised £753 for Marie Curie on behalf of my mum. A huge thank you to the knitting group who plan to walk to raise money for the Beatson (not just on behalf of my mum as there are a number from the group affected by cancer) and who have raised almost £500 so far.

Thank you everyone. My mum was overwhelmed by your kindness and we are too.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Tribute To a Talented Lady!

It was with great sadness that my family said goodbye to this beautiful lady, my mum. We were all just coming to terms with her illness when she was taken from us far too soon. I'm not going to dwell on that though. She wouldn't want me to and this is a tribute to her talent not to our grief and loss.

My mum was my inspiration growing up. She taught my sister and I to indulge in our creativity. She taught us to knit. We often helped her bake and we would design our own gardens on paper while my mum dreamed of having one of her own. There was more to her than that of course. She loved a glass of red wine, she like a night out with family, she loved to read and she loved her disaster movies. I could spend all day writing about her and I probably would still only touch the surface but this is about her creativity.

Growing up my mum always had a pair of knitting needles in her hands. She always had a project on the go. I remember many visits to the wool shop as a child. When we grew up and refused to wear knitted clothes (as young teenagers would) she was able to knit for herself. Quite often she enjoyed knitting these summery tops and jumpers and became quite famous for knitting them each year.

In fact her first large project  was a jumper for herself. She was in primary school and had taken it in for what was her version of show and tell. Her teacher accused her of having my gran make it and pass it off as her own. My gran had to pay a wee visit to the school to assure the teacher she had made it entirely herself.

My mum of course wasn't just famous for her summery tops but for her favourite colour, red. She was often teased for it although it wasn't a colour she often knitted with. This cable jumper is one of the few times she knitted with it.

My mum also had great Christmas spirit. She often would start her Christmas projects very early on. This usually involved making Christmas cards but in the last few years she loved to knit toys. Encouraged of course by myself and my sister. Not just Christmas toys but Halloween or anything cute that we happened to see in magazines. My mum could often be persuaded to knit something cute for us and sometimes she would even do the same for herself.

When my gran passed away I picked up a couple of cross stitch kits. My mum and I had never tried it before and decided that it would be a good way to distract ourselves. This was the first craft that we both learned together. We both became quickly addicted and we would often spend afternoons together stitching or reading and swapping magazines. As a result everyone in our family has received a stitched card from my mum. These were always my favourites and I have kept every single one of them.

My mum's stitching has even won her prizes. The first time was the first challenge event held by our knitting group. The theme was Scotland. My mum decided to stitch the Scottish snowman. It would add to her growing collection of Christmas cross stitch pictures. She added the little logo at the bottom which got a few laughs.

There were even times when she combined some of her favourite things. In this case cross stitch, red and Dr Who.

When we started up the knitting group I dragged my mum along. Back when we were growing up she would often have knitting sessions with my gran and aunt. It had been a long time since that had happened and I think she took to the knitting group partly because it took her back to that. She looked forward to it every week and it was something we enjoyed doing together. I don't think she quite expected it to grow as it did. I also don't think she expected it to be a way to learn new skills. For example, she learned to crochet and this Christmas blanket was her first crochet project. She was so proud of it and it was brought out every Christmas.

She also learned to knit socks. One of the first pairs she knitted were these red ones. Quite often she would wear knitted socks and she was proud when she got to wear a pair that she had made herself.

 My mum used to embroider when I was little. She has a few table clothes that she embroidered but hadn't done anything in a long time. So she enjoyed learning to do Sashiko embroidery at the knitting group. This coaster was considered too nice to use.

She took part in other classes at the knitting group which involved using a sewing machine. Something she said she had never been able to do. Yet she managed to make her own knitting bag thanks to some classes.

Baking was another craft that my mum excelled at. She never had a failure and we often encouraged her to make her scones. They never lasted long in our house. I have many happy memories of my sister and I helping her with them (although I am sure we were more hindrance than help).

Last but not least, her pride and joy was her garden. My mum had dreamed of having her own garden for as long as I remember. Even when we lived in a flat she would watch every gardening show on television. Then 15 years ago we moved and my mum got her dream. Her garden has always looked beautiful. Every summer we all liked to sit out and admire it. Her plants were her babies (her words) and she loved to pick up new ones and try new colours. Her favourites were roses and her Hosta's. In the spring she loved her daffodils and tulips. All colours, not just red.

This post doesn't even touch on her talent. She didn't just craft with me and our knitting group. She would have crafting sessions with my sister. My sister taught her printmaking, jewellery making and felting. I think my sister and I can both thank our creativity to her.