Saturday, 19 April 2014

Good Friday

Hello Lovelies,
Yesterday I finally got round to putting up some Easter decorations. Each year when  Mr BM trims our Silver Birch tree I choose a branch to bring indoors. Usually it's a bare branch , or one with a few catkins. HERE is my first ever version.

This year Easter is quite late and my branch has leaves.......I LOVE it :0)


My home made MILK BOTTLE makes a perfect container so I can keep it watered and stop the leaves from wilting..........


I've added fewer decorations than usual, but I couldn't leave out last years make ...my MINI CROCHET BIRDS............


After the "tree" was decorated I was keen to go out somewhere as the weather was lovely and hubby was off work.
In the week I had mentioned the possibility of another National Trust adventure to my boys only to be met with objections.........sigh..........it's a tricky time these teen/tween years. I don't want them to resent our outings and I know they generally find it quite interesting once they are there. But they were not to be cajoled.

On this occasion I decided what would make me happiest was to see them outside somewhere. Balancing the screen time with some green time. Getting some exercise and not missing out on the natural beauty that is so abundant at the moment.
So we ended up at our local park.....somewhere they are usually happy to go, thank goodness...not quite the adventure I had hoped for but lovely all the same.

The tiny Speedwell looked pretty in the sunshine..........

Such a gorgeous blue.

And the open areas were a mass of Daisies and Dandelions.........


I walked with eldest while the other two played ball with their Dad. It was warm out of the wind and once again I spotted really lovely woodwork that I hadn't noticed before............


These trees were looking wonderful with their pale green leaves just opening up. I'm sure some of you lovelies will know what sort of tree this is............


We fed the Ducks and I loved the warm afternoon light............



It made all the ripples so defined and the water looked wonderfully clear...........



Then in the early evening we got a call from my niece.........would we like to meet them at the pub? It was a beautiful evening, we were happy to say yes.

The pub is about one and a half miles from home and we decided to walk the footpath way. I've brought you lovelies here before, but it was so nice seeing it in the evening light..........


And walking as a group of five..........

Thought I can only see four shadows here.

The crops are already getting tall..........


We climbed stiles..........


And wandered through this quiet glade, the Willow Trees are already looking lovely...........


I loved our unplanned and spontaneous adventure........sometimes they are the best sort..........


And at the end of it was a refreshing drink :0)




The beer garden had some new play equipment and the boys and their cousins had a great time. I lined them up for a group photo ....as I usually do. My how they have grown. Once again I felt surprised that our children are changing so quickly.

We walked home the road way as dusk fell. It was chilly



 but a  lovely end to what turned out to be a really good Friday.
Happy Easter Lovelies
Jacquie x

Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter Holidays :: Part 5

Hello Lovelies,
we have enjoyed such gorgeous weather this week, it's been a wonderful treat.
On Monday there was time for some alfresco crochet......I'm finally on the edge of my latest blanket.........


The sunny weather also prompted me to get stuck into a bit of spring cleaning. My " Celebrating Home" posts have been sadly lacking lately haven't they. I still struggle to keep on top of all the housework and really ought to have a better routine.

 Oh well, at least I get the urge to have a blitz every now and then. On Monday I washed all the sofa coverings, cushions and crochet blankets. Oh, and all the hats and mittens before packing them away till Autumn. I washed down woodwork and moved lots of furniture to thoroughly vacuum and dust.

It's great having easy care blankets that can simply be popped in the washing machine and line dried. The sight of them on the  line made me smile..........


I loved the sun illuminating them from behind, making the colours glow.........


Tuesday was another gorgeous day and I was keen to go out and make the most of it. Somehow I managed to convince my boys that a walk would be fun ( not easy these days)

We headed off to a favourite place of mine Beacon Hill Country Park
A wide path led us through trees that were just coming into leaf..........



I loved the frothy appearance of the Silver Birch leaves.......


And the still open views made it easy to spot some exciting bird life.  This bird of prey was a long way away, we thought it was an owl , but now I look at this zoomed in photo I can see it's not..........

It was big and I'm guessing it could be a Buzzard ?

Soon the gentle incline gets much steeper, the trees thin out..............


And rocky outcrops appear.........


On such a perfect day you can see for miles..........


Oh look, it's Old John Tower.....a place I drew last year HERE


Did I mention how much I love high places  :0)


There were plenty of folk around who obviously feel the same...........


I think it's great that there is also a car park near the top of the hill and a smooth path to allow access for the less mobile...........


This is The Old Man of Beacon Hill, a  face in the rock face :0) ...........


As we descend the hill again I love the zesty green of the Mountain ash leaves...........



And the towering trees.........


The Bluebells are not quite flowering, and the ferns are just beginning to uncurl.........


We go and investigate the pond ..........


And find loads of tadpoles..........



Just by the car park there is a bird feeding area ( can you see the feeders strung between the trees)......


I loved watching the birds darting around and saw a sweet little Nuthatch that was too quick for me to photograph.

I did mange to get some nice clear shots of these colourful Goldfinches...........


and a Chaffinch .........


Having a little compact camera with a good zoom has been wonderful for improving my bird knowledge. Any that I see , but am unsure about I can research at home.....as I did for these cuties.

That day we also enjoyed a beautiful sunset.........


and the next day I spent some happy time playing with colourful mish-mash of fabric from my stash....I do love patchwork


simple, happy times....I feel blessed.
Jacquie x


Thursday, 17 April 2014

My New Bag

Hello Lovelies, it's me again :0)

I'm so enjoying this week's holiday with my boys, plenty of time to do stuff together and write blog posts.

This post is about a handmade item I purchased from a talented blogger last week. 

Following a comment left one one of my posts by Julie I came across her lovely blog. THIS post really caught my attention.
I loved the Seagull themed makes.....especially the shopping bag. I had a bad case of the wanties :0)
Happily Julie makes things to sell so I e.mailed her and asked if she would kindly make one for me. In less than a week a parcel arrived. 
Eeeek, I love getting this sort of post don't you. Inside the outer wrap I found a pretty tissue paper package........



And inside was my new bag, complete with a cute label......


It's beautifully sewn and has a lovely crisp white lining with a sweet name tape......


And here is my personalised version ( I chose red and floral bunting ). It's a little creased in these pictures, but isn't it wonderful. I love everything about this bag. The sturdy striped "ticking" fabric, the bunting and the wonderful machine embroidery.........


Julie wants me to make it clear that the seagull design is not hew own, it's by a super talented designer called  Helen who writes THIS blog .

  HERE is the original post about her design. If you want to get your hands on this pattern it's part of Helen's  e.magazine.....THIS issue, which you can look at a preview of.....it looks wonderful.
 I love all the sweet little touches Helen has thought of....like this cute verse to print............


There are so many aspects of this project I'm sure I would struggle with ( I've never tried free motion machine embroidery for one ) so I was more than happy to purchase a ready made version :0)

I do have a love of seaside themed things and especially seagulls. My new bag goes perfectly with my little crochet tin that's often featured here........


And it's the perfect size to hold a crochet WIP. Probably one that is a bit smaller than my almost completed blanket. I'm thinking a few balls of yarn and some treats to take to the beach.........


Yes, I can't wait to take my bag to the seaside where it will look right at home.......


If you would like your own version ( or something different ) you can contact Julie via her site HERE. In fact if it's a gift Julie is happy to send it to the lucky recipient with a card.
This bag is £15 including U.K. postage and Julie is very efficient.....I'm sure she will be able to give you an accurate costing depending on postage costs to your location if you are outside the U.K.


It feels good to be able to spread a bit of handmade love this Easter and support talented makers. Both those who design and those who produce such gorgeous things.
Jacquie x
P.S. just in case you were wondering....this is not a sponsored post, I bought my bag and loved it so much that I wanted to share it with you lovelies.