Well the title says it all – where do I begin?
My long absence from the blogging world has simply been down to lack of time.
We did manage a couple of days away to North Wales where I took these pictures. We love to visit Bodnant Garden and they have two beautiful lily ponds.
Last year went by so quickly – after my last blog entry things went from bad to worse in some ways.
My husband finished his treatment in August and then went on to have extremely painful kidney stones with the necessary hospital admission.
Prior to this his mum was admitted to an Edinburgh hospital for two months and we had to drive there most days. I felt we spent most days driving there and back and in between that we had to deal with her home situation which took so much time and energy.
In the middle of this Poppy decided to add to our woes and developed very worrying symptoms.
After countless visits to our vet and some laser acupuncture, she was referred to the Glasgow Vet School.
She was seen there in September and spent two days being thoroughly assessed – much to her dismay. The news was good in that she didn’t have a serious spinal issue as first thought but she did have some joint issues. We had to rest her for a month and that alongside medication made a big difference.
We then had to look at why this happened so that we could avoid any future occurrences – one of the main problems was that she loved to jump down from the kitchen boiler and wall units.
We took the decision to go ahead and change the kitchen completely and also our main bathroom and additional upstairs toilet.
This took time to choose and plan and then most of December was spent with tradesmen here doing the work.
Here are some photos of the kitchen and bathroom – both are more or less finished apart from some little tweaks here and there.
It was a lot of hassle at the time in the lead up to Christmas but it was as good a time as any really to have it all done.
On a crafty note I’ve not had time to stitch and little time to knit but I have managed a few little bunnies etc. I only took photos of one of my finishes which my mum decided she would like to have. By the way she turned 91 just over a week ago.
I’m hopeful that this year might bring me a little more time to do some of the things I enjoy such as visiting all your lovely blogs again.
Thanks for stopping by, take care and stay warm (unless it’s summer with you).
I must be drawn to the colour purple as I noticed that I chose a purple flower for my last blog entry as well.
I was determined to blog before we reached the end of June, the months surely do fly by these days. It doesn’t feel like summer here in Scotland as June has been a very cold month with temperatures averaging around thirteen degrees.
This has meant that everything in the garden is much later in blooming this year – we’ve even got magnolias out just now and our roses are just making an appearance.
I found this little fellow in the house recently and I noticed that instead of spots it had stripes – it is in fact a striped ladybird.
I’ve not stitched at all this last month, the mood just hasn’t taken me but I can feel myself being drawn back to it again – I don’t know why I am going round in this circle at the moment.
I did, however, buy myself a new sewing box which I’m enjoying immensely. It’s proved to be a good choice which I can’t always say about my accessory choices.
I’ve still been knitting some bits and pieces and finished this little fellow last night. I think my son has laid claim already.
I’m currently knitting a different style of monkey from the last one I knitted and a little doll. I would really like to knit a neat little frog but it’s hard to find a workable pattern that I like. I started a few but have given up as they’re not what I want.
I’ll finish today with the photos that relate to the blog title – “mission accomplished” – since Poppy joined our family she has desperately wanted to join Brandy on his bed. From day one, he has refused to allow this to happen and will growl at her to let her know that she’s not welcome…………..
As you can see, he finally relented and let her join him for around ten minutes one evening recently. I have a feeling it was a moment of weakness that won’t happen again!
Thanks for stopping by today, I’m off to enjoy some Wimbledon. Take care wherever you are.
PS I’ve added a little filter question in my comments section as I was receiving so many spam comments every day. Please let me know if you have any problems leaving a comment.
Today’s post is a mix of the subject heading. I’ll start with the “Trivia”.
Several weeks ago Vickie chose me as a recipient of One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you Vickie.
I’m not going to choose any blogs to keep it moving forward as I know so many blogs have been included but I will do the seven facts about myself (hence the Trivia in the title).
1. I was a primary school teacher for almost twenty years and gave up when I had my son.
2. I have lived in the same area of Scotland all my life, it’s around twenty miles from Edinburgh.
3. I once taught a class of eleven year olds to cross stitch.
4. My current job is a complete change for me, I work as a part time receptionist in a very busy health centre.
5. I don’t like flying at all.
6. Animal welfare is important to me.
7. Tea is my favourite drink – I never drink coffee.
Now onto the “Trials” – We’ve just spent around three weeks going back and forth to the vet with both Poppy and Rosa and then Brandy. The girls both ended up being hospitalised at one point but they’re fine now and Brandy’s issues are really just age related problems.
Finally the “Teapot”. I recently bought a new teapot which I couldn’t resist. The only reason I’m mentioning it here, is that the design by Wedgwood called Mythical Creatures is based on old textile patterns – hopefully you can see the detail that looks like stitching.
I’ve been knitting quite a bit and also stitching. I’ve put the LK design to the side while I work on a Mosey n Me design for my husband. I stitched this pattern over ten years ago as a gift and when he saw it framed he loved it. I recently stumbled on it in my stash and decided to stitch it for him.
It’s very much a fun design to work on and I’m only going to make a couple of small changes from the original. I hope he likes it as much as he did the first one.
(He’s currently on cycle five and is doing better now that his treatment has been reduced). Thanks to everyone for the continued good wishes and prayers.
I’ll finish today with a word about a theme I’ve noticed when visiting blogs. Quite a few bloggers have mentioned that they are thinking of stopping blogging. I feel quite sad about this (even though I don’t blog very often) as I think blogging offers something that other media platforms don’t.
I’ve “met” so many lovely stitchers and knitters through blogging and I’m frequently inspired by the varied craft work that I see.
I hope all is well in your part of the world and that the weather is a bit warmer than it is here in Scotland. Take care and thanks for dropping by.
Thanks for your lovely comments on my last blog post. I am one of those bloggers who keeps meaning to sit down to post and never seems to find the time to do it.
Spring has finally arrived here in Scotland, we’re always several weeks behind the south of England. Our magnolias are getting there – one stellata is out and another is just about to blossom but one of our bigger types isn’t nearly ready to open out yet.
Don’t fall over when I say that I have actually picked up stitching again. I started a couple of small designs but they weren’t inspiring me so I switched back to a design I started a while back. I’ve not made a lot of progress but I’m trying to take it easy.
I’ve also continued on with my knitting and this time round tried a new pattern that was fun to knit but I don’t think I would repeat it. I enjoy knitting some toy patterns over and over but this wasn’t one of them. The same designer has a turtle pattern that I think is really cute so I’m going to work on that shortly.
I bought the pattern from The Twins knitting shop via Ravelry – they have a lovely selection of toy patterns to choose from. I can’t decide on a name for this little one.
Recently Brigitte from At Brigitte’s Place was really kind and sent me a lovely surprise package – she had the delightful contents wrapped inside the fabric you can see in the photo.
Thank you again Brigitte……………
I know it’s a little while since the needlework market but I thought I’d show a small kit that I bought (I did buy quite a few other things too) as I’ve not really seen it pop up in many places.
I’ve not started it yet but the design idea appealed to me.
Thanks to all of you who have sent such good thoughts and prayers to me for my husband – we both really appreciate it. The whole process is very much a roller coaster ride for us and people’s kind words and thoughts along the way make a huge difference.
Since my last blog entry I have also been in hospital having a repeat procedure done. I’m now back at work and it’s good to get back into a routine again.
I’ll leave you today with a photo of the “girls”. Poppy is such a lady and Rosa is such a free spirit:-)
I hope the sun is shining on you today, thanks for stopping by.
How did we reach March so quickly – each year races on more quickly than the last. My mum used to say it was a sign of old age to think this – I hope not.
Life has continued to be busy with hospital visits for both my husband and myself. His treatment has started and then stopped due to issues. It will most likely begin again next week. One thing I’ve learned is to expect the unexpected – life is like that for everyone really.
I’ve still found time to knit as you can see and although I’ve stitched a tiny amount, I’ve not enjoyed it. I can’t seem to settle to anything stitch related, I see all these lovely designs that I want to stitch and then when I sit down to work on them, I lose interest.
I’ve started to knit a doll for a change, it’s by an Australian designer and her patterns are very different. It’s been fun to work on so far but the deciding factor is how it looks when finished.
I ordered this strawberry emery after I saw a similar one on Margaret’s blog (Days of a Sampler Lover). I must say I love it. Little things make me happy and this takes me to my blog title for today’s post.
Someone going through a rough patch recently made a comment to me about looking for happiness and it got me thinking.
Personally, I never think about looking for happiness – even when things are tough it’s important to be happy in little things each day. I think this quote sums it up……
“The place to be happy is here,
The time to be happy is now,
The way to be happy
is to make others so.” Robert Ingersoll
This pair make me smile every day…………….
I’m not usually a fan of black and white photos but this snowdrop image looked more dramatic when shown without colour.
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope the weather improves for you if you live in one of the many areas hit with so much snow.
At least Spring is just around the corner for many of us. Take care and thanks again for your lovely comments.
Thank you all so much for the kind comments and thoughts after my last blog entry. I passed on all your good wishes to my husband.
He had major surgery two weeks ago and is making steady progress. It takes time but he’s getting there.
We found out, today, that next month he moves onto the next stage of this journey which will be follow up treatment.
On the day of his operation I knew I would be home all day so decided to make my mum a necklace for her 90th birthday.
The style of necklace has to be fairly simple as she can’t work a clasp by herself so it has to be able to go over her head. She wears plain round neck jumpers all the time so a necklace of this style sits nicely on her.
This photo is my mum on her 90th which was last Saturday……………..
I’ve done a little stitching but nothing worth photographing. I’ve been knitting a bit too and finished this little bear – “pseudo Rupert” I call him…………..
I’m not all that happy with the way he turned out – I love the knitting part but not the sewing up – I can turn a decent piece of knitting into an untidy mess in the blink of an eye.
I’m gradually getting the desire to stitch back and I’ve enjoyed the little that I’ve done. I’m hoping that if things settle down and hospital visits are reduced then I might manage a bit more.
You’ll see from the above photo that we’ve had a bit of snow, fortunately not too much but January has been a very stormy month and also very cold. Poppy was mesmerised by the snow falling.
Today we’ve had sunshine so I thought I’d post a photo of her enjoying a sunbeam.
I hope all is well in your part of the world and that January isn’t being too harsh.
Once again thanks for your lovely comments and for stopping by.
I’m sorry that I’ve been absent from my blog and also from commenting on other blogs. Life has a way of taking a turn that you don’t expect and that’s what happened.
It all started on Halloween when I had to rush my husband to hospital with appendicitis. His appendix perforated and the surgery wasn’t straightforward. He had multiple emergency admissions with subsequent infections. This took up most of November so you can imagine that little crafting or blogging took place.
We spent most of December going to hospital whilst he underwent more tests as they found some issues during the surgery.
I won’t go into too many details but things were found to be not as straightforward as we hoped once the infection was cleared and he’s having to have major surgery this coming week. It’s been a very stressful time for all of us and I wasn’t sure how much to share here but wanted to let you know why I have suddenly disappeared.
I’m hoping to get back to a little blogging and crafting very soon as I’ve missed it so much. I did take some knitting with me each time he was in hospital and found it quite therapeutic as it gave me something to focus on.
We had a relaxing and quiet Christmas – I really just wanted time to catch up on some rest and relaxation – I took the chance to tidy some needlework and knitting. I have stitched a tiny amount of a frog just for fun but not enough to share.
I hope this coming year brings good things for everyone – thanks for stopping by.
This month has brought autumn with a blast to where I live. Today it’s pretty windy and the leaves are literally everywhere. These words sum it up……….
“I love the fitful gust that shakes
The casement all the day,
And from the glossy elm tree takes
The faded leaves away,
Twirling them by the window pane
With thousand others down the lane” John Clare
Our two cats are fascinated by them twirling about outside every window.
The last two photos made me smile, I couldn’t quite think of an appropriate caption for them.
Since my last post I’ve been under the weather twice with viruses and busy in my role of caring for my mum.
I have managed some knitting, crochet and ….. wait for it…..some stitching – at last!
I’ve not finished any toys but Fred and Mabel did find a home together. I’m trying some new things out which takes a lot of time but it’s fun to do.
On the stitching front I’ve bought quite a few new designs and also quite a few older ones. I’ve made a start on two but don’t have enough to show a photo. One of them is Miss Isabelle ……… I couldn’t resist her.
The other is a Norah Corbett design which is a total change of style for me. It made me think of Jeremy the Crow from The Secret of NIMH who loves “sparklies” – I must be in the mood for some sparkle and colour and this design just drew me to it with all the beads and treasures included.
So much so that I bought this one as well………
I’ve also bought a couple of kits to make up a pin cushion and the lid insert of the new Liberty Hill box. I have the Berries and Pyn box from years ago which is the same shape and size so couldn’t resist the new one.
I’ll leave you today with a photo of Brandy who tells me that he doesn’t get nearly enough “air time” on this blog.
I hope all is well in your part of the world, take care and thanks for stopping by.
Saturday was a beautiful, warm and sunny day with us so we decided to take a drive.
We stopped first in Stirling where I took some photos of a dahlia garden that I had seen a couple of weeks ago………
We had morning coffee in Stirling…………
….but not at the castle.
We then moved onto Callander…………
…..which is a popular place with tourists. It was busy on Saturday with it being a warm day and holiday weekend.
We then drove out of Callander past Loch Lubnaig and onto Lochearnhead where we stopped and had a walk………………
This little wagtail followed us around for a while. We left there and moved onto Killin where we stopped at the Falls of Dochart………..
It was a lovely day that reminded me of how easy it is to find beautiful countryside without going too far from home.
I’m currently on annual leave for a couple of days and after I see the physio again this afternoon I’m tackling a major reorganisation of all my crafting bits and pieces before I have a new unit delivered tomorrow. The bunny in my last post now has his head – although if Rosa had anything to do with it he would lose it again very quickly……
I had to quickly rescue “Wilbur” before she ran off with him.
I’ll leave you with a photo of both Poppy and Rosa relaxing last week. Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to leave a comment.
PS It’s a momentous week for Scotland which culminates on Thursday with the historic independence vote. I don’t want to use my blog to state any political views but I feel that I have to say that I am proud to be British.
Once again time has flown by in the last month or so. June at Butterfly Wings was just mentioning that this year has been so quick and I agree with her whole heartedly.
I’ve not done a single stitch since my last blog entry and have not knitted or crocheted much either. This is due to a combination of time constraints and to neck and shoulder issues once more.
I’m currently seeing a physiotherapist once a week to see if we can settle things down a little so that I can do a little more crafting.
Last week I was on annual leave and we took a little time to get out and about when the weather was dry.
One of the things I wanted to do was visit the Kelpies which is a recent visitor attraction very close to where I live. We’ve passed it frequently on the motorway when we drive to Stirling but hadn’t taken time to stop and walk round.
I’ve still been trying to knit some little bunnies and I’ve also made a start on a scarf using a lovely new yarn made of fine merino wool, cashmere and royal alpaca. It should be very soft to wear. I’m using black all the way through and doing blocks of colour starting with the red.
The small amount of crochet I have done is this very simple lap blanket. It’s very relaxing to sit for a short time and do part of a row. I do enjoy a little crochet but knitting is most definitely my comfort zone.
It’s a lovely day here with us and I popped out to my front garden to take this photo………..
…………….and to the back to take this photo……………
We drove to Perth one day recently and I snapped these shots from the car.
It’s a lovely city to visit. We’re very lucky in that we live within easy drive of four cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Perth. Edinburgh is the closest and also my favourite.
I’ll leave you today with a couple of photos that I’ve just taken of Poppy …. she often joins me when I’m here at my desk.
I hope all is well in your part of the world, thanks for stopping by. Take care.