Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm Still Alive - Catch Up

Kitty, August 2011.

Hello everyone. Yes, I'm still here and feeling guilty as usual for my lack of posts. I still spend as much time as I can outside but as the days become shorter I should be able to be more reliable in my blogging efforts.


Every Thursday morning I go to a group in Tuamgraney called 'Woollygathering'. We sit and knit and chat and I really enjoy it. We had a sock making workshop a couple of Saturdays ago, but it wasn't long enough so we're going to have another two. I'd love to make a proper pair of socks. My current project is a jumper for Jim - a Jimmy Jumper! I've done the back and about half the front. Photos when it's completed (2012)?


In the same group, in November, we are having 6 weeks of crochet. I'm very excited about this as it's one of the crafts I've never tried. It's about time I learnt.


I seem to have made thousands of beads! I will put them for sale on Etsy soon. If they don't sell, I'll have to string them up around the house as Christmas decorations! I've also made quite a few keyrings. I've hung various things from a single ring. They can be hung on a bag, your phone, anywhere really. Just a bit of fun.


Sam, Jack and Kitty came over in August and we had a great time. The weather wasn't wonderful but it could have been worse. We did manage to go to the lake and have a bit of a splash around on their first day. They loved it.

L - R, Jack, me, Kitty and Sam. A distance shot to show the lake and lovely surroundings. The children are far too photogenic so it's hard to pick individual shots. Here's one of Kitty in her lovely 'wet suit'.

She is just adorable.

We went to Galway and nearly got blown away!! Jack, Sam, Me and Kitty in the pushchair.

The children enjoying helping Grandad Jim dig up, wash and dry potatoes. Look - sunshine!

We went to a family day in a local wood. Jack learnt all about his senses. Here, grandad talks Jack, blindfolded, through an obstacle course. They were very good at this.

We visited Clumber Park and sat on about every rock we could find!

I took this rather splendid photo of Jim:

That hat is rather chewed as Jim ran over it with the lawnmower!!

We walked to Lough Graney - Buster came too. More sunshine!

On the last day we made camps in the sunroom, made and ate cheese straws and generally played indoors. It was a super visit - come back soon!

New Arrival

Jim's daughter Ali had a baby boy, Tom, a brother for the lovely Poppy. Jim and I have both been to visit.

Here I am in Worthing having a cuddle.

Enough in one go I think! Today it's very windy and a bit drizzly. The Summer has been pretty awful here this year. Our outside vegetables have struggled but Jim produced lots of goodies from inside the polytunnel.

Blogging = must try harder.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Gort Show,7th August 2011

Gosh, how quickly has The Gort Show come around again? Jim is on the committee and has been attending meetings all year so it's been on my mind getting things ready for entry into the crafts section. I only entered 5 photographs too as I had decided to have a bead stall at the show.

I didn't do quite as well as usual but still managed to make a profit. Jim did very well in the flowers section too. Between us we seemed to have a fistful of winning tickets.

Here the judges are examining my rag doll Jessica. It's clear they preferred the knitted dolls best as she came 3rd. Archie, my male doll, received a 'Highly Commended'. I'll enter a knitted one next year!

There was one section for 'any crafts not entered in another section' and it was clear that the judges didn't have an understanding of the more modern crafts. A friend of mine entered a Nuno felted scarf which was absolutely beautiful. It took about a week of hard work to make but didn't get placed at all. Time for some new, younger judges I think.

Here are some of Jim's entries. His winning sweet peas on the left. His winning potatoes on the right and below at the bottom, his winning plate of pansies. Didn't he do well? The photos taken inside are rather 'yellow' but that's the lighting in the hall.

I hardly took any photos as I was busy on my stall outside. I have been making beads from paper/old magazines/old cards etc. I made some up into jewellery - bracelets and necklaces - and had a lot on display in an old printer's drawer.

Here I am serving a young lady who wanted to make a bracelet for her mum. She loved it and it was a pleasure to fulfil her wish. I made some beads while I was there and people were fascinated by the process. Most people thought the beads were bought when they first saw them. I missed not being about to look around the show but really enjoyed the day.

Here is a bracelet and earring set that I made - it came 3rd in the jewellery section:

I made the beads out of an old valentine's card from Jim!

And a couple of bracelets:

The weather was pretty good until about 4pm when the heavens opened! Jim got some good shots of soggy people:

I love this photo of a clown running one way and the child running the other! We waited for a while for the rain to stop, but when it wasn't happening, packed away and went inside the hall. At least I managed to get a look at all the exhibits.

Look at those puddles.

Jim managed a quick look around and watched this heavy horse pulling his master around:

Unfortunately there were a few rumbles of thunder and the horse became too spooked to continue.

I took this shot of a collie dog on his way home - I wonder if it won a prize?

The next day, Jim went back to the show hall to help clear up. He took a few photos there too. This is the best one of 3 of the stewards rolling the blue tack off the photo display boards!

They were all rewarded for their efforts with lunch at the Lady Gregory Hotel.

I'm still sorting out the beads and equipment at home.

Work in Progress in the Cottage

Jim has been very busy making a staircase at one end of the cottage. We did have a roof ladder leading up to the little room upstairs in the roof space but it wasn't very easy to use. He is also building a storage cupboard at the bottom - just opposite the door to my study. I'll see if I can find a photo of it:

It has progressed further than this. The banister is now finished and he has clad the end wall of the cupboard with tongue and groove pine. On the left you can see the entrance to my study. The upstairs room can be a spare bedroom or Jim may use it for his office while he attacks the final room to be 'done up' at the exact opposite end of the cottage. Currently this is used as Jim's office.

Forthcoming Visit

On 18th of this month, my daughter in law Sam and the grandchildren Jack and Kitty are coming to stay for a few days. I'm quite excited at the prospect but do hope the weather is kind to us. It's absolutely tipping it down today.

Here are a couple of photos from my last trip to Suffolk to visit them:

Gorgeous Kitty - how she has grown! This was entered in as 'portrait of a child' but didn't come anywhere!

What a grown up young man Jack has become. He is now 6. Here he was getting ready to go to the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds for his first public performance. He belongs to a drama group and performed incredibly well. I was very proud of him. He played a chef and had to wear one of Daddy's ties.


He's still with us. He still goes off wandering with is friend Max the labrador but has so far returned.

I think that's enough for today. I'm sorry I've been absent for so long. Thanks to all those who keep visiting. xxx

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2 Month Catch Up. Crafting Photos.

Gosh, 2 months and I haven't done a blog post. What a failure. The trouble is that it's light until about 10.30pm so I'm often in the garden until then which doesn't leave much time for much else.


I have also started attending various workshops in Tuamgraney. We met for a few weeks each Thursday to do knitting. I learnt how to cable and made a 'Dressage Vest', which I am very pleased with I must say. Here is a photo of me knitting it:

And wearing it:

Then at the same place I did a 'nuno felting' course. Nuno felting is felting wool onto another material. It was great fun and my final project was supposed to be a wall hanging but it hasn't made it to the wall yet!

This is the wall hanging before I had worked on it and shrunk the wool a lot. It then pulls in and the material goes crinkly! Here we all are at the end of the course with our efforts:

It's a wonderful atmosphere at the workshops and I'd recommend them to anyone in the vicinity. Next we are doing a few weeks of crochet. This will be a great adventure for me as I've never done any. I can't wait. Here is a link to their blog: There are a few more photos of the nuno felting on there. I have since made a blue wall hanging and various other pieces for fun.

I have made a wall hanging out of my stash of material which is for the sun room:

I also made a felt scarf but it's too itchy so it's become a wall hanging in the bathroom!

I quite like it in there! It has some sequins and stars sewn on here and there.

A felt experiment with a chiffon scarf:

Finally, a small mat made from wool and felted, then I backed it with chiffon and net and added buttons too.

My step Granddaughter Liane had her baby Coco on June 9th and she asked for a 'Jessica' doll from me, which I duly made, this time with dark hair:

Here is Coco with Jessica:

They were about the same size and as you can see, Coco has almost as much dark hair as Jessica! She's growing fast, as they do of course.

I have also been making beads and a pair of curtains for the patio doors in the sun room. Phew, no wonder I haven't had much blogging time and I still haven't got onto the garden work we've done. I think that'll have to wait for another day - or week - or month!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Another Wedding? Kirsty and Kerry, May 7th 2011

The Wedding

It was the wedding of my Granddaughter Kirsty to her partner Kerry on May 7th - a truly wonderful day for us all. Here is Kirsty looking stunning in her amazing dress, with my daughter K walking her to Kerry.

And here's me, Jim and Jack and Kitty, big son Jason's 2.

The Bridesmaids. 3 of Kirsty's friends plus Lina, Kirsty's young sister, looking far older than her 13 years! She's the one looking directly at the camera.

This is my favourite photo of Kirsty and Kerry. Kirsty is just so photogenic. Yes, Kerry is a woman in case you're wondering.

Kirsty showing her 'something blue'. Proper 'Sex and The City' shoes. Aren't they fabulous?

The 'Best Person' on the far left was Luisa. I'm sure many of you remember that she almost died last year after an operation that went wrong. Wow - look at her now! Then lots of ushers, including my son Ben, who came over from Spain for the occasion. Ben's third in from the right and next to him is my Grandson Tony (Kirsty's brother).

A kiss for Gran from Kitty. She's just adorable.

It was lovely to see Ben again and get lots of hugs from him!

More hugs from Big son Jason and his lovely family, Sam, Kitty and Jack.

Of course we all took hundreds of photos! If anyone wants to see them all they're on Facebook and here is the link to the album:

I warn you, there are about 140! It was a fabulous day in all respects and Kirsty and Kerry loved every moment.

Jim and I had stayed for a couple of days in our Worthing house with Jim's daughter Jenny, husband Matt and gorgeous son Sonny. We hired a car and drove up to the wedding then drove back down again after a night in the hotel where the wedding was held, then breakfast with those who stayed.

We took a leisurely drive to Worthing on the Sunday 8th, visiting the house and gardens of Audley End en route. We have been there before but only viewed the gardens, but this time we toured the house too. It's a lovely place with sweeping gardens designed by Capability Brown.

We spent ages photographing a coot and its babies on the river! They must have been only a few hours old as you could still see eggs in the nest when Mum got up and turned round.

They were so cute!

Back at Worthing, Jim went to the park with Jenny and Sonny. He loved the swings.

On the Monday we visited Ali, Joe and Poppy. It was a very full visit!

Jim pushing Ali and Poppy on one of the park rides. Since then, Ali and Poppy have been over to Ireland to visit us - more of that on the next post.

As Monday wore on, I didn't feel at all well and in fact I had a bad stomach for a week! It seems several people at the wedding were also poorly so maybe we all picked up a bug. Here I am at home again on the Tuesday, sleeping on the couch with Buster!!

We have been working hard in the garden and have lots of photos - for another day I think.