Thursday 28 February 2008

Not a Tummy Bug!

Quick post -
After posting Monday evening I spent the rest of the night sitting up with Jacob while his condition gradually worsened. We ended up in A & E on Tuesday morning while my very poorly boy drifted in and out of consciousness attached to numerous drips. He has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It's been a very long three days and a steep learning curve of blood testing, insulin injections and dietry advice but he has been amazingly brave despite feeling absolutely awful. We have weeks of monitoring and clinics ahead of us and Jacob has a lifetime of managing his condition but at least we are home this evening and hope to resume some form of normality soon.
Now to sleep... zzzzz!

PS My Mum and Dad took the puppy!

Monday 25 February 2008

Puppies and Mojitos!

More images from Cuba - El Patio cafe, a former Palacio in the Plaza de la Catedral. It also had a beautiful inner courtyard. We spent a lovely morning here watching people in the square, drinking mojitos...

and listening to this band.

This is outside the Capitolio - a building similar to the Capitol in Washington DC but even taller.

Where there was yet another old Buick.

Back at our hotel we had a wonderful evening both listening to and then later dancing to the
Buena Vista Social Club... brilliant!

And Jacob getting into holiday mood with a cocktail!
I take no responsibility for his choice of reading matter (nor for his under age drinking - can't you tell what a responsible mother I am!!!) but am rather concerned that his hair style is starting to resemble Russell Brand's!

I have to say that although I enjoy travelling and seeing new places it is always lovely to come home and this time was no exception. The older boys had looked after everything beautifully - the house was tidy and there was even food in the fridge and a dinner made for us. I also discovered I'd won a prize in Monkee Maker's raffle which was very exciting and best of all I got my first Opus module results... and I've passed! There is no break down of marks at this stage just a pass or fail so now I'm ready to move on to my next module which is "Stitch Methodologies." There is a lot of work to get through but it does look very exciting.

However I've not made a start yet due to one or two hiccups. First of all Jacob has been (and still is) really poorly with a nasty tummy bug since coming home (NO!... it wasn't the cocktails!) And secondly we've got a little visitor for a couple of weeks as we are puppy sitting while my brother is on holiday... which isn't proving quite as straightforward as I imagined due to some housetraining problems. After the third puddle on the kitchen floor she was banned to the garden this evening! Although I think she just sat by the back door looking sorry for herself and she's still not managed a wee outside! And poor Barley isn't at all sure why he had to go out too!

In fact, I think he's quite worn out by her while she is still full of energy. This could be a long two weeks!

So what I really could do with tonight is another one of these...


Friday 22 February 2008

I'm Back!

We arrived home this morning a little tired and weary from an overnight flight but having had the most amazing holiday. Havana was fantastic and unlike any other city I've visited - like stepping back in time. This was our hotel in Havana - The Nacional, which felt like something from a 1930s movie set. Very elegant and glamourous and set right on the waterfront promenade, The Malecon.

Not all the buildings are as well maintained as The Nacional, but even the crumbling old colonial style buildings that line so many of the streets have their own beauty and style.

The city is also full of the most amazing old American cars that pre-date the revolution in 1959. It really is incredible that so many of them are still running (although not very environmental friendly!)

Everywhere we went in the City, we were met with warmth, friendship and contant music and dancing! This band were in the Bodeguita del Medio, a tiny bustling restaurant serving traditional Creole food and fabulous Mojito cocktails - a favourite haunt of Ernest Hemingway. The walls are covered with graffiti and the signatures of many visitors, including people like Hemingway and Nat King Cole.

I'll post more pictures of Havana and the rest of our trip later this week when I finally get around to sorting them all out. I have to say it was a bit of a shock to the system walking the dog this afternoon... not quite the 82 deg F we've been used to over the past couple of weeks... but still good to be home! And luckily I didn't spend my entire holiday lazing in the sun and drinking cocktails but also managed to finish off some cosy socks which have been very welcome today!

These are thicker than I usually make, knitted from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino (very soft!) from a pattern in "Debbie Bliss Home". They were extremely quick to knit and have a simple cable up the sides to stop them being too plain... It's also an excuse to show off the fact that my legs are not their usual pearly white but are a pale shade of beige instead!!! (For me this constitutes a tan)

Now I'm off to catch up with all the blogs I've been missing while I was away. Thank you to everyone who has left comments while I was gone - it's been lovely to see some new visitors too and I will try to catch up with everyone soon. Have a good weekend wherever you are and whatever you may be doing!

Friday 8 February 2008

Will Miss you!

Another lovely surprise in the post this week as yesterday this beautiful embellished and stitched ATC arrived from Susan Lenz as part of the Cyber Fyber ATC and postcard swap. The photograph isn't great and it is much more intricate and detailed than it appears with a trace of sparkle over the surface.

And this is the card that I've sent in return to Susan - also done on the embellisher with both hand and machine stitch on the surface.

But I digress from the subject of this post...
I'm going to miss you all as I shall be away for a couple of weeks. But I'm also very, very excited because we're off for some winter sun. My passport is already packed in it's lovely new holder from Sarah. (It's about the only thing that is packed!)

I'm especially excited because I've never been on a holiday like this at this time of year before - there have been weeks on windswept beaches in Cornwall in the past but it's not quite the same as cocktails by the pool.. because this is where we are heading...

Stewart, Jacob and myself are heading off for four nights in Havana... guess that's the architechture and museums bit, and then seven nights at a beach resort... for the rum and scuba diving! The two eldest boys are staying home looking after house and dog, which I'm trying not to worry about... but in the words of my mother this morning... "Well, you are insured, dear!" A comforting thought?
So I really ought to get on with the packing as we leave at 5 am on Sunday and I'm working up in Derby tomorrow. I really will miss you all but will be back with photos and tales to tell! Au Revoir!

Wednesday 6 February 2008

A Minxy Fairy!

Today I've ignored the housework etc so that I could work on my embroidery of Minx's fairy... and here she is.. an appliqued and free machined fairy ! I was really happy with the way this turned out, even though initially I thought I would like to work in hand stitching (which I still might do!) I like the way that there is something about a machined line of stitches that resembles a pencil line. This will be the front of a bag but I haven't finished it because I didn't have the right fabric to use as a lining - but I've found what I need and it has been ordered!

One of the reasons it works well has to be because the original drawing is so gorgeous! A very talented Miss Minx!

Today's other creative offering was more muffins (look away Lucy!) - sticky toffee flavour, which though I say so myself were pretty muffinlicious!

Finally... totally unrelated to anything else... some daffodils! My Mum brought me some potted daffs last week and they've all bloomed. So here they are... just because they look so cheerful!

Tuesday 5 February 2008

Exciting things in the post!

What an exciting day for post today! My Valentine Swap parcel arrived from Sarah - with so many goodies I didn't know what to open first...

The biggest package of course... which had this beautiful button decoration on the front.

Inside was this gorgeous wallet... front view!

And back view!

And even more lovely goodies inside - a notepad, pencil, notecards and a bookmark.

The next parcel had this fabulous passport cover and a set of Sarah's handmade cards. The passport cover will be very useful later this week (more about that another time!)

A third parcel had this pretty felt heart plus a net bag with some wooden heart cutouts

Even more... this funky ice cube tray!

And last but not least a key tag and some lovely looking chocolates
which so far I've managed to resist (though not for long I fear!)

THANK YOU so much Sarah. Every little thing is very much appreciated and all will be used right down to the pink foil on the choclates and the beautiful red hand made wrapping paper. Your parcel is on its way! Of course no photos of what I've made for Sarah because that would spoil the surprise... and besides I forgot to take any before I wrapped up the parcel!

Also in the post today came this card from my friend Jude. She had written on the envelope "I saw this... and I didn't just think of you, I collapsed with hysterical laughter." I have to confess I laughed hysterically too (fortunately I was alone in the house at the time!) I fear this is meant to be me knitting socks!

And my last lovely thing in the post today (email post!) were three beautiful drawings from Lesley's daughter Minx. Lesley and Lucy have set a challenge to make something with children's drawings embroidered on them. I happened to say I would like to join in but didn't have any little children who made drawings anymore and Lesley offered to send me some from Minx. Thank you Lesley and Minx - this one is my favourite and I've already got plans for it!

Monday 4 February 2008

And the winner is....

I would like to thank Kitty for the following award. I can only agree with everything she has already said about the wonderful blogging network of kind, intellegent, hilariously funny and supportive women and so like Kitty - if your name appears on my side bar consider this passed onto you! I think you are all wonderful.

Talking of wonderful kind bloggers, if you've not already done so, do go and have a look at what Monkee Maker is doing today to help raise funds for Ellenor Wiseman. There's a bit of a raffle going on with some rather super prizes.

It's been a busy weekend with two parties on Saturday. First our Mucky Book Club got together for a birthday lunch for one of our members, Christine, who recently celebrated a big birthday (lets just say I'm not the only one who is fifty now!) Fabulous food and lots of laughs but no photo because I forgot to take my camera! Then I whizzed off to my cousin's for an 80th birthday tea for my uncle Bert. Lovely to see lots of family I hadn't seen for a while... but again no photo because I forgot my camera again!

Sunday morning was spent finally getting my Cambridge Open Studio participation forms filled in and delivered. It also meant getting together images on CD to be used for publicity etc so I thought I would be very brave and share my new publicity shot with you! I'm the one in the middle.

"Cambridge Open Studios exists for the purposes of promoting the making of original works of art and craft and to provide an opportunity for the public to become involved in the arts by meeting artists in their studios, seeing their work and how it is produced." I've participated for the past three years and it has become an enjoyable highlight of my year each July - and a wonderful incentive to clean up my house knowing members of the public will be trawling through! I'll try to post a bit more about this in coming weeks, hopefully with some links to other artists.

I'm sure there was something else I had to mention.....

Oh yes... the giveaway for my 100th post birthday!

As promised all names were copied out.

Cut up and folded and put into the trusty top hat...

And the winner is...

Well done Annica, who also just happened to be the first person to have left a comment on my 100th post. I still have an address from our ATC swap Annica, but if you email me to confirm, I will get the bag in the post to you tomorrow. Sorry to the rest of you who didn't win - I would love to be able to send everyone something but don't think that would be very sensible given that I find it difficult enough to get on with boring necessary stuff as it is. Speaking of which... time to get the dinner on. Two sons have already appeared enquiring what we might be eating tonight!

Friday 1 February 2008


I've finished Stewart's socks that I started a couple of weeks ago. The quickest pair I've ever made - obviously been watching too much TV!

And here they are, modeled by the man himself! We had lots of fun getting this shot because the dog thought it was some sort of new game to have Stewart standing in the middle of the living room with his trousers rolled up!

And while talking of finishing I also finished this. I never really did get to like the style - bit too chick lit for my taste. I thought some of the characters were a little stereotypical and it was all too cliche. However that said, I did still enjoy it, read it very quickly for me and even cryed at the end so it couldn't have been that bad! And it has really made me want to knit more. But I mustn't start anything new until I've finished off the several (and I mean several) unfinished knitting projects I've already got on the go)

And who couldn't love a book that has a recipe for muffins at the end... had to try them of course! Here they are - Dakota's Oatmeal, Blueberry and Orange Muffins. Now you're going to have to read the book! Very different from my usual muffin recipe - a lot more ingredients, but well received by the men here.

And the second food offering from me tonight - a Pea and Prawn risotto (Jamie Oliver - Return of the Naked Chef). Although I do have to mention Stewart stirred it!

Well, that's it from me tonight because it's Friday... and that means wine! : )
Enjoy your weekend.