Archive for November, 2010

This Is England

A notebook commissioned as a gift for a chap who’s a big fan of this television series (I’ve never seen it, so was very much guided by the lady who commissioned the book – my job was merely to put it together!).


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As regular readers (do I have any?!) will know, I started making some blanket squares in an attempt to use up the odds and ends of yarn I had kicking around the house.

The original post can be viewed by clicking here.

My dad took quite a shine to the squares, and said they looked like signal flags, so I thought I would give it to him when it was finished.  Of course, I’ve used up all the spare yarn I had, which left me in a bit of a quandry.  I was tempted to buy more yarn to finish the blanket with, but that seemed to defeat the point of it (and my dad would be cross if he knew I’d bought more yarn just for him).  So I asked on the LLL forum if anyone had any yarn to spare.

Several very kind people said that they had some bits and bobs that they would send me, and the first two parcels have arrived.

The first parcel was received yesterday, it’s from the lovely Selina and look how colourful it is!

The second package arrived today, from the amazing Jackie – who has so much yarn in her wool room that she said “I am almost 60 and if I live to be 100 I shan’t get through this lot” – and here’s the contents of her parcel:

A massive thanks to both Jackie and Selina.  I’m incredibly grateful to you.  In light of the prognosis we were given on Thursday by dad’s oncologist it’s clear that I need to get cracking on this blanket as soon as possible, and I will be making a start on your yarn this weekend.

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A notebook commissioned as a gift.  This beautiful paper seemed perfect once the client had described the recipient to me:

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Weekword: November

This week’s Weekword is ‘November’ – and it was chosen by Carola.  Go and visit her blog to find out who else is taking part this week.

November starts well for me, as 1st November is my partner’s birthday.  After that it goes downhill.  November is, I’m afraid, mainly about expense.  Dull but true!  November is the month when I have to renew my van insurance, roadside cover, and parking permit – all of which leave an enormous great hole in my finances.

So it’s a pretty grey month in that respect, and it’s probably a good job I don’t live in the US because I’d find it nigh on impossible to celebrate Thanksgiving with that lot on my plate!

On the whole though, expenses aside, I quite like November.  For me it’s the time when the last of the autumn leaves are finally coming down and can be cleared away.  Yes, they look beautiful when they’re covering the trees in shades of brown and amber, but as I’m a gardener by trade I’m thoroughly sick of them by the end of November.  On Wednesday I spent six solid hours raking and sweeping leaves up – which is a hell of a work out (and boy did I feel it the next day, and the next…).

November is also the time when work starts slowing down for the winter.  It can be frustrating, because the increasingly poor weather often means having to reschedule jobs and it can get ridiculous (you run out of days to move people to!), but it means that the winter lull is in sight – which is brilliant.  I love gardening, but I also want to spend quality time in my studio: and that, my friends, is what the winter is for.

This has been a pretty meandering post, but in essence I think of November as just another turn of the wheel of the year.  Just another step in the natural order of things.  It has highs and it has lows, but that’s the same as any other month.  It may be grey, but it’s never dull.

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Wonderful wool!

It’s been a rainy, blustery, and pretty depressing day here in London.  Utterly rubbish weather, and more grim news from dad’s oncologist.

So, to brighten up the day and lift my mood a bit I’m going to tell you about a potential new project.  A little while ago I treated myself to a needle felting kit.  It came with needles, a sponge pad, and a wonderfully vibrant selection of wool.

Gorgeous, isn’t it?

I haven’t a clue what I’m going to make yet, but as it’s so dreary here at the moment I think I may try and have a play with it tomorrow.  Watch this space!

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Tina of Adorn Me Jewelry has very kindly featured one of my newest notebooks (Lost & Found #3) in her Treasury.  The theme is world travel, and there are some great items there – go and take a peek!


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Weekword: Abundance

This week’s Weekword is abundance, and it was chosen by Christine over at Silver Linings.  If you go and visit her blog you’ll be able to see what she’s written, as well as a list of the other participants (and then you can visit their blogs – see how this works?).

Part of Speech: noun
Definition: great amount or supply
Synonyms: affluence, ampleness, bounty, copiousness, fortune, myriad, opulence, plenitude, plenty, plethora, profusion, prosperity, prosperousness, riches, thriving, wealth
Antonyms: dearth, deficiency, inadequacy, lack

What do I have an abundance of at the moment?  Stress, worries, grief… but those aren’t the most cheerful of subjects, and frankly if I wanted to be depressed I’d read a newspaper – I certainly wouldn’t want to visit a blog to have my mood blackened.  Life can be cruel, but there is always a silver lining, and although it’s trite I think that when things are grim one of the best things you can do is count your blessings.

So I did; I counted my blessings, and and it turns out that I have an abundance of them.  Family and friends that I love, and who love me.  A wonderful partner.  Good health.  A job that I love.  Two jobs that I love, in fact, bearing in mind what I do at my studio.  My studio is an absolute blessing, a safe place to which I can retreat.  The kindness of strangers – which has been a surprise blessing many times over the past month.

An abundance of things to be happy about, and grateful for; things which help balance out the bad, and make life not only bearable but a pleasure.  So the next time you think you have only a plethora of woes, stop and count the good things – there may be more than you realise, and despite your first instinct they may even outweigh your woes.

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