Sunday 28 October 2012

The Winner Takes It All

My blog giveaway ended today, and the name drawn out of the hat was Emma from The Log Cabin. Congratulations, Emma. Can you please email me your address and I'll get the goodies sent off to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered, I'm only sorry that I can't send a little something out to each of you.

I'd just like to thank everyone again for all the comments you've left on my last two posts. Archie is feeling much better, he's wagging his tail again and making lots of noise. He's got to take his tablets for another week yet, and is due to see the vet again on Friday, but he seems to be doing well. Thank you again.

Friday 26 October 2012

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

I'm such a great believer in positive thinking, so thank you to everyone who has sent positive thoughts Archie's way. We've done it!

Archie isn't great at taking tablets, so I have to push it to the back of his throat and hope for the best. This morning didn't go my way. He bit in to his antibiotic, causing the powder inside the capsule to spill all over the floor.

It's important to finish the whole course of antibiotics, so I had to ring the vet and ask for another tablet in order to complete the course. I thought that as I would be visiting the surgery anyway, she could take a look at Archie and let me know how he's going on.

I'm absolutely delighted to tell you that it isn't a tumour. It's a really, really bad infection. So bad in fact that he needs an extra week on antibiotics and anti inflammatories, but we can live with that rather than the alternative.

I can't tell you all how much I appreciate the comments, emails, prayers and positive thoughts which have been winging our way this week. I truly believe that every thought sent our way has helped, so thank you all so very, very much.

Archie has been a really poorly doggy all week, but he seems to have turned the corner today. He's been a cheeky chappy, 90% back to what he's usually like, wanting lots of love, kisses and of course, food! We're on the road to recovery.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Please Spare A Thought For Archie

Please send lots of positive thoughts for Archie, he's the one with the mucky face.

I took him to the vets yesterday as he was in a lot of pain after we had been for a walk. At first, I didn't know what was wrong with him, he was crying and looked as though he was trying to reach for his back legs. It was only after a while that I realised that it was his bottom that he was trying to get to.

I rang the vet straight away and got him an appointment. To cut a long story short, he's got a huge lump in one of his anal glands. It could be a really bad infection, or it could be a tumour. The vet gave him an antibiotic injection and an anti inflammatory injection, and he's got to take two tablets each day for the next week, after which, I have to take him back. If the lump has gone down, all well and good, but if not, it will have to be investigated further.

We're all really upset, but trying to remain positive. My dad always tells me not to worry about things until I know for sure that there's something to worry about, but it's very hard as Archie is one of the family and is loved very much. As you can imagine, he's getting lots of cuddles and kisses, and he's being more than a little bit spoilt.

After having Cancer myself, I'm a true believer in positive thinking, so I would ask that you all please send some positive thoughts for Archie.

Sunday 21 October 2012

A Belated Giveaway

It was my second blog anniversary back on the 1st of September. I like to have a giveaway to celebrate my blog birthdays and as a little thank you to everyone who visits, but I'm rarely organised enough for it to happen on the day. I've now got some prizes together so without further ado, it's giveaway time.

First up are two spotty fat quarters, one pink, one orange. Also, half a dozen Hand Made charms to be sewn in to hand made items.

A Kanzashi Flower Making Kit with which to make a brooch. I picked this up from the craft fair I attended at Elsecar Heritage Centre, and it has everything needed, including instructions, to make a brooch. The fabric is different to that shown in the photo.

A skating penguin cross stitch kit. How cute is he?

All ready for sowing next year, a Sunflower collection. This pack contains the seeds of five different sunflower varieties, from the towering Tall Single, to the dwarf Irish Eyes, there's a variety for everyone.

Candy Jewellery Kit. I loved these sweetie jewels when I was a child, and now you can make your own.

I don't usually have any rules for my giveaways, other than to leave a comment on the post, but this time I'm going to ask that as well as leaving the comment, you're a follower of my blog. New and old followers are very welcome to enter, and I'm happy to post worldwide. If you'd like to increase your chances of winning, mention my giveaway on your blog and I'll enter your name in the hat twice.

The giveaway will close at twelve noon on Sunday the 28th of October 2012, and I'll announce the winner soon after.

Good luck.

Friday 19 October 2012

Who's Your Mr.Darcy?

Eleanor wasn't feeling well when she went to school on Wednesday. It was only 9.15am when I got the call from school asking me to go in and pick her up as she'd been sick all over the floor in reception. At least she'd managed to get out of the hall where all her year group were seated. It's not very often that Eleanor's off school, she goes in when she's feeling ill as she hates missing even a day. Both Eleanor and Daniel had 100% attendance last year, and Daniel had 100% attendance the year before that too.

We thought that Eleanor would be fit to return to school yesterday, but she was still throwing up in the early hours so that was ruled out. Luckily, today was a teacher training day so she hasn't missed too many lessons.

So what to do when your gorgeous girl is feeling under the weather. Snuggle up on the sofa under a crochet blanket and put Pride and Prejudice in the DVD player.

Eleanor is currently studying Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet in English, and she's having to make comparisons between the two, so I thought it quite educational to indulge. But I have two adaptations so which to watch.

Who's your Mr.Darcy? I have to say that Matthew Macfadyen was my favourite ever character in Spooks, but for me, Colin Firth will always be my Mr.Darcy. We watched the DVD over three days, and I loved it. At the wedding scene, Eleanor commented that Darcy's face hadn't yet cracked a smile. I replied that he was handsome and smouldering. Moody and irritating was her reply.

Hmmm, she'll learn.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

A Sunday Morning Stroll

I'm not a lover of autumn. I hate the cooler days, especially those which are dark and damp like today. I don't like the shorter daylight hours and I really don't like the fact that it lets us know that winter is on it's way. If we had more days like we had on Sunday though, I could learn to love autumn.

It was a bright, crisp, sunny Sunday, so we decided to leave Daniel and Eleanor in bed and head off to Temple Newsam before breakfast. Lots of people had the same idea as we did, there were plenty of families and dog walkers there too.

The blue sky cheered me up no end. Such a difference to the drizzly days we often get at this time of year.

It was a slow walk as Archie has had a couple of visits to the vets recently. He's had a bit of a limp for quite a few weeks and has been given anti inflammatory tablets and told to rest, not easy when you're a dog. He's only had very short walks during this period, so we didn't want to over do things. The limp is still there, but doesn't seem quite so bad at the moment so we'll just have to wait and see how things go.

We decided to have a wander to a different area than that where we usually go when we're at Temple Newsam.

There were lots of families in Pegasus Wood looking for conkers, but I think they'll have been disappointed, all the ones we came across were still very immature. They must be late this year.

After our amble, we headed home for breakfast. Mick always makes a cooked breakfast for us all on a Sunday. I had bacon, egg, sausage, tomatoes, beans, mushrooms, fried bread, toast, and very unusual for me, a cup of tea. It's very rare that I have a hot drink.

As you can tell, I'm still not on the straight and narrow concerning my healthy eating challenge. I think it's going to get even harder now that winter is on it's way, all I want to eat at this time of year is comfort food.

Sunday 14 October 2012

Just In Time For Winter

Do you remember the Patons Pompero which I bought from Kemps back in July? This is what's become of it.

It so lovely and soft and will be great to keep the chills away whilst walking Archie now that the cooler days are here. It's a nice length too. The pattern I followed advised to cast off when the scarf measured 150cm or 60 inches but I carried on for a little longer. I like plenty of scarf to wrap around.

It's an easy eight row pattern repeat, but I had to keep the pattern handy as I found I couldn't memorise it. I think the brain cells are going now that I'm getting older.

There's tassels on one end and a fringe on the other. I've never done either before, all the scarves I've knit previously have had a plain end, so it was nice to learn something new.

I'm doing well with my challenge of having a finished item each month. This is September's.

It's back to crochet for October's item, though it's so chilly now that I'm tempted to cast on a pair of socks. It's a while since I've knit any and I do love my hand knitted socks.

Thursday 11 October 2012

Stitch By Stitch

I've been meaning to tell you about this book for some time now. I bought it months back, not really knowing much about it, but I'm so pleased that I did. It's called Stitch By Stitch and it's by Jane Bull. I think the book is aimed primarily at children, but it's got the subheading A Beginner's Guide To Needlecraft, and that's really what it is.

It's a Dorling Kindersley book, so as you can imagine, the illustrations are wonderful and so clear.

The book goes through all aspects of needlecraft, embroidery, needlepoint, patchwork, applique, knitting and crochet. It starts right at the beginning with the very basics, teaches lots of different stitches and gives instructions for some wonderful projects. It tells you what you'll need for each individual project, and gives lots of handy tips along the way.

I thought I'd show you a few of my favourite things from the book.

Pretty Birdies. This is in the embroidery section.

Squares And Triangles. This is in the patchwork section.

Mmm ... Doughnuts. This is in the applique section.

The Lollipop Dolls. This is in the knitting section.

Crowls. This is in the crochet section.

Bags Of Stripes. This is in the crochet section.

This is only a small selection of projects which are in the book, there's many, many more.

Eleanor has been trying to learn to knit for such a long time. She managed the basic knit stitch, but could never keep the right number of stitches on the needle, either dropping a few on each row, or else picking up ones which weren't there. With the help of this book, she's managed to follow one of the patterns, and even though she went wrong on one of the rows, she had the confidence to take it back herself and sort it out. She's also taught herself to crochet using the instructions from this book, in fact she knows more crochet stitches than I do now.

I'd definitely recommend the book. It would make a lovely Christmas present for a young child just starting out on their needlecrafting journey, or for an older child, like Eleanor, who knows the very basics but wants to learn a little more and have some fun projects to make. It would even make a great gift to yourself. I fully intend to make some of the projects in the book, they're so fun and cute.

Monday 8 October 2012

The Secret Life Of Bees

I've been wanting to read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd for some time now, so I was pleased when I came across it in one of the charity shops. I buy most of the books I read from charity shops now, but I'm often amazed at some of the prices they charge. This book was bought from a local hospice charity shop and cost me 59p, but I've seen shops wanting to charge only a pound less than I could buy the same book for new.

I read In The Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith last month.

At the moment, I'm continuing with The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series with Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith.

I'm pleased that I set myself a reading challenge at the start of the year, it's going very well so far. I'm managing to read at least one book each month, and now I'm back in the habit of picking up a book, I'm sure I'll continue to read regularly.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Signs Of Autumn

I've been trying to hold on to summer for as long as I can this year, I'm just not ready to slip in to autumn yet after the cold, wet year we've had. There's no denying it any longer now that the trees are changing colour though.

These photos were taken on our walk in the grounds of Temple Newsam on Sunday. Such gorgeous colours, but it does confirm that autumn's definitely here.

Another giveaway that autumn's here is the fungi. It seems to be growing everywhere at the moment, I've even got it popping up in my lawn. These photos were also taken on our walk.

I'm fascinated with fungi, but don't know very much about it so can't tell you what kind it is, though it looks kind of like a large brain.

It won't be long now until there's crunchy leaves underfoot and the trees are bare. I do hope we're not in for a harsh winter this year.

Monday 1 October 2012

A Pink Bouquet

I'm not ready for Autumn, though it seems to have hit with a gust, it's been so windy over the weekend. I thought I would hang on to summer just a little bit longer with this lovely pink mixed bunch, £3.00 from the local supermarket.

I've popped them in the vase which I got as a present from Daniel for my birthday at the beginning of September.

He bought it when we visited the craft fair at Elsecar Heritage Centre. Being hand painted, he knew I'd love it, and he was right.

I did my usual prowl of the reduced section a few weeks ago and came home with this mixed bunch for £1.85. Very similar flowers to those included in my vase at the moment, but in a different colour scheme.

My best bargain of the month were these gladioli. They're not a colour I'd ordinarily choose but I couldn't leave them in the shop when they were only 30p, and I quite liked the colour once they were in full bloom.

I just need to come across a few more bargains like that, though I don't do bad really.