Poppy

Poppy passed away on Saturday. She had a brain tumour & in the end, mum had to say the thing that Poppy couldn’t. That’s the deal when we have a dog. They give us their hearts unconditionally & one day, even though it breaks ours, we tell them it’s OK to go on without us.

Run on ahead, Pop, we’ll catch up one day.

FB_20170518_11_54_38_Saved_Picture

A full on 4 days!

I cant believe its been four days since I’ve posted. My humblest apologies, readers.

It’s been busy, busy in this house. I’m not making excuses, but everyone’s been coming & going since Friday, its been chaotic On Friday the 21st, my youngest turned 14. I still can’t get over how my cute, chubby wee baby has grown into the intelligent, athletic & beautiful young woman that is our Niamh.

Alas, we had no time to celebrate, as the kids were heading to Uist to visit family with their Dad. As he lives in Glasgow, he had a major amount of driving to do over the last weekend. But he was outside our house at 9 on the dot & off the adventurers went. I had an hour of quality puppy time and then headed down to pick up Poppy.

If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know that the dogs did cuddle up on the sofa. Once. What really happened was that Poppy fell asleep and Jax sneaked up & snuggled in inch by inch so he wouldn’t wake her! Also, he moved before she woke up, so she may be completely unaware he sneaked a cuddle. I’m glad I got a photo, as I might not have believed it myself.

 

InstagramCapture_9e3678a8-8c3e-45a1-a816-66159d818753
The rest of the time they were playing, chasing each other, hitting each other with toys (I didn’t know dogs did that!) As Poppy is a, shall we say, lady of a certain age, our walking schedule was tweaked to include a lot more breaks to sniff. We still had a wander round the golf course & our favourite saunter along Cow Road, it just took a little longer.

Although Pop normally sleeps in mums livingrooom, she didn’t settle in ours, crying & crying til we took here upstairs with us.
DID YOU KNOW- a Labrador & a Jack Russell breathing in their sleep sounds EXACTLY like an axe welding serial killer. Neither did I, til 3am Saturday morning 😦

We had a lovely 2 days, just my other half & I, with a big dog & a little dog, having nice relaxing walks in the sun.

Needless to say, I’ve been too busy playing taking care of the dogs to do any crocheting.

Poppy went home teatime Sunday. I suspect both dogs were happy to have time alone by this point, she was asleep soon after getting home & Jax was out like a light for a change, even sleeping through the kids walking in the door. He’s a really rubbish guard dog, lol.

The kids got back late Sunday night, full of stories of the Islands. They had an amazing time and were exhausted. It was over 400 miles 🙂 I’m full of admiration for their uncle & his family. I found it hard leaving a city to live in a small town like Berwick, so I can’t imagine adapting to Uist, although both girls did say they could understand how people could live that far from the mainland. Lots & lots of photos were taken!!

It was really late by the time I chased them to bed, they were knackered. So much so that we all slept in this morning & they ended up with an extra day off school(oops!)

Now everyone’s back where they should be, we’ll be back in our normal routine tomorrow. Fingers crossed x

A night out with my fledgling.

Tonight my daughter & I attended the local theatre to see “Heaven Eyes”.

I admit, I was only going to keep her company. It had been a busy day & I was looking forward to sitting down for a while.

The show was spectacular! Funny & touching, thought provoking & dark, we were swept into a world of make believe for an hour & a half.

Afterwards we were able to chat about our favourite parts. My daughter, E, explained to me that there was a monologue that she liked and was going to learn. It was something that I’d never thought about. As an actor, she sees the world differently from others, even other creative people. Where I was watching a performance, she was deconstructing & learning.

My children are going growing so quickly. They are on the cusp of flying out into the world. A new era has started in our home & it makes the time we spend together even more precious.

Whether it’s as a family, or individually, I’m learning more about these young adults as time passes & seeing glimpses of the adults they will be.

The sciences, medicine & the arts are equally followed & studied in our house. There’s always something being discussed & on the go!

The future is certainly going to be interesting 🙂

My Crochet World

I crochet pretty much everywhere. For the longest time, I’d have only one project on the go. It lurked in a bag & followed me around from room to room as I went about my day. I’d crochet as I ran the kids baths, as I waited for dinner to be ready, before I went to sleep. The hook would zoom through the yarn til the project was done & then the next one would be started. Now, I crochet smarter!

Currently, I’m the only crocheter in the family,at least locally. My great aunt crochets as well, but she lives back in Glasgow. So, when something fun & cute is trending on Facebook or Instagram, there’s a good chance I’ll be asked to make it!

There’s a stack of African flowers living in my handbag & keeping my hands busy when I’m travelling. A different colour scheme each month stops it getting too monotonous. My hands pretty much remember the pattern by now.

In the drawer, under the bed is a mish mash of yarn & bits & pieces. Usually there’s a mermaid blanket getting done. Something bulky & easy to pick up & put down again. The bedroom crochet has to be big enough to distract me when hubby decides to watch something with zombies in it. They’re not my cup of tea.

In the livingroom though, that’s where the hard core crocheting happens. A project bag lives on the table 99% of the time & I have an old sewing box that’s full of..guess what? YARN!

One of the current WIP’s, the Iron man blanket, hangs behind the livingroom door. Every time I catch a glimpse if it, I think its someone hiding. One of these days Iron mans going to give me a heart attack.

There’s a running joke that crocheters can watch a complete box set without knowing what any of the characters look like.  It’s not really a joke 😉

I’ve watched Spectre at least 5 times,  with no idea what James Bonds latest squeeze looks like.

I sometimes listen to podcasts when I’m crocheting but if they’re good, I get distracted & forget where I am in the pattern. Now, I mainly listen to audio books. My playlist right now consists of Terry Pratchett, Anne Rice and Derek Landy.

My favourite time to crochet is late afternoon. The light is great (usually) & the dog isn’t acting too mischievous. I can taken the inspiration from the day, colours & shapes that have caught my eye & work it into something solid. I’ll sit at the dining table and work away til its time for dinner. But truth be told………………..I’ll crochet anywhere 😉

Where do you crochet?

Amigurumi – gotta hug them all!

There’s something really cute about a crochet critter. Throw in a huge pair of eyes and perhaps tiny arms and legs and you’re onto a winner.

The first toy I ever crocheted was a wee teddy called snuggles. I made one, then another, and another then low and behold I was hooked (pardon the pun!) My daughters both had a few, their friends had some, we chose speckled yarn for one and it looked like it had chicken pox. I must have made loads that summer. I know at one point I simply refused to make more, I was so scunnered with it all.

Jump forward a decade or so and now I’m infatuated with Lalylala and Heidibears. I’ve been down the Totoro path and got my hands on a few Pokemon. There’s a posse of Melvin the misunderstood monsters living somewhere in the house. At night, I’m sure I can hear them singing 🙂

131321875631217294

Out of all the things we crocheters can make, there’s nothing that beats amigurumi. Suitable for all ages, easily modified, great stash busters, and terribly, terribly cute (even the ugly ones) They make folk want to hug them.

Perhaps that’s why we like them so much. They remind us of our earliest friends, our childhood toys, the one’s who got hugged tightly and told secrets. The ones who listened to stories and came on adventures, the ones who watched over us while we slept. Even as I type this there’s the face of a long lost bear in my mind, I bet there’s one in yours too.

We get to bring them back, not in person, but in memory, for all the ‘adults’ that we crochet amigurumi for. We get to bring friends back, even for a little while.  For children, we get to bring them new friends, loyal and immortal, to see them through childhood.

That’s not a bad achievement for a ball of yarn and a hook!

Pattern links

Totoro – free pattern from Ravelry

Melvin – so cute, highly recommend. Free pattern

Lalylala and Heidibears patterns can be found on Ravelry Here Both are paid patterns and worth every penny.

There’s tons of Pokemon patterns online but I found these by aphid777 to be the best and easiest to follow. The pictures are amazing and they’re free!

 

The day the snow came.

Finally, it would appear that winter has landed. We were just driving over the border into Scotland when the first few flakes fell. That sounds overly dramatic, especially since we live a mere 4 miles from said border, but I love wintry weather and I’m allowed to be dramatic! In fact, we were going to Haddington, a lovely wee place with a decent wool shop and, importantly, an orthodontist. My middle child was due a check up after getting her braces off, so we were off a merry jaunt. Half way there it dawned on me that being in the habit of crocheting as a passenger might not be a good thing. I have a full drivers licence, the reason I don’t drive everywhere is because I like walking (and getting the train, crocheting again!) But sooner or later I’ll need to do my share of the driving, so I’d better get into the habit of paying attention.

A brief visit to Haddington and we were on our way home again, the snow had stopped and we came home to daughter number 2  feeling poorly after getting a vaccine at school yesterday. We had veggie fingers for tea, while my son had fish fingers and other half had beef curry. Did I yearn for meat? nope. I have to confess, I didn’t think this whole vegan thing would be this easy. A lot of my success is down to the girls doing it too, to keep me company. They’re the best cheerleaders ever.  After tea, we took the dog to the beach, in the dark. It was really quite nice. I’m not fond of wandering around in the dark, but once my eyes adjusted, everything was kinda a bluey grey with the occasional small speckling of snow to remind us that the winter’s not finished with us yet. It also smelt strongly of seaweed, which the dog loves, he’s not worked out how to roll in things yet. I admit, having a pitch black dog is definitely an advantage when walking in the dark.

It’s been the kind of day I like, a quick trip out of town, but back in time to relax, have a wander and appreciate living in a small coastal town. Nothing massive happened, no major setbacks (if you’ve ever been stuck on the A1, you know how lucky I’m feeling), just my growing family going about their day. As my kids grow and go out into the world, I’m starting to cherish these days more and more.

xxx

 

 

Day 6, travelling.

As I was travelling to Newcastle today I played a game of guess the craft. It’s a lot of fun people watching and trying to pair folk up with different things. There was a hectic young mum who had the most elegant hands, I decided she made flies for fly fishermen, in the kitchen, while the wee one slept. A man on the metro crocheted (taught by his grandpa, who learned during the war) & the hip teen who made decoupage super hero pictures for sick kids in hospital. I don’t know if any of these people had even heard of the crafts I ‘gave’ them but it was a lot of fun!

I’m back in my hotel room, I lasted longer than I expected at the party. I’m not a drinker and much prefer the quiet life, so I think I done well. It was great to meet some of my brother’s friends and future in-laws.
I’ve got my crochet to go with me and might get a cheeky wee trip to a yarn store or two before I head home in the morning.
Night all x

Get ready..

Hi everyone, how has 2017 been for you all so far?
We’ve been busy bees here. Mammy bear has moved house, I’m nearly back to 100% fitness after going a few rounds with pneumonia least year. The girls and I are taking part in #veganuary so we’ve been animal product free for 28 days and counting.
I turn 40 this year so I’ve been looking at a few areas of life that I want to change or tweak. My health is high up the list, as is my crocheting. I’ve decided that this year is my year 🙂
To hit the ground running, so it speak, I’ve decided to do 100 posts in 100 days. I figure since I have so many mad plans popping up in my imagination, I can use the blog as a sounding board, share my ideas & my fails 😉
So stay tuned for some out of the box, insane, amazing stuff……and it all kicks off tomorrow x

In the nick of time.

I’ve been poorly the past few weeks so feel like I’ve lost a month. Normally this would result in a few “hmmm” moments, but when it happens in December……….oh,boy!
I went Christmas shopping this morning. In between frantic people rushing around was little old me, sauntering along and trying not to cough on everyone.
My vision of a handmade Christmas suffered the most. One thing got completed (there’s about six that are half made) – mums blanket. I was literally trimming off yarn ends as she was walking up to the house, it was nerve wracking.
Now I’ve left Christmas to the last minute before, I’m famous for it (among family &  friends are least) but this year, knowing I couldn’t get prepared for the celebrations, was devastating. What if I didn’t have enough things in for the kids? What if my nephew doesn’t like his gift? And what on earth do you buy for the man who had everything? There’ll be no 15 seater Christmas dinner at my house this year.  The kids will be ‘learning’ how to cook for Christmas & I’ll be staying in my jammies supervising.

But do you know what? There’s been days in the last few weeks where I just wanted to breathe properly, and one or two where I didn’t think I’d see Christmas. No amount of presents or food or telly can make up for those feelings. Nothing can take away those memories. Now that I’m better, I’m just glad the worst is over. I’m not worried about gifts or the lack of deccies in the house, I’m just glad we’re all together and all ok. When I go to Mass later with the kids & mum, I’ll be thinking of the people who weren’t as fortunate as me; those who didn’t get better, who don’t have the luxury of buying gifts for others and especially those who cant celebrate their faith.
I doubt I’ll take such things for granted again.

Happy Holiday!

Well, it’s been all go here! No sooner had the schools finished when it was time for camp and my youngest is off being a cadet. I’ve still got my eldest at home, although at 19 he’s rarely seen outside his room. That’s not really fair on him, as he is an illustrator and I know he’s sitting up there drawing comics, but subtle hints that he might want to spend more time downstairs with the family are politely ignored.My eldest daughter has been a great help in the last fortnight, there’s a lot of organising to do because………………….WE’RE GETTING A PUPPY!

I’m definitely the most excited, and it took a while to decide between puppy or rescue dog. It wasn’t an easy choice but in the end we decided a puppy would be best for our family, and after searching found a breeder with a great reputation and a litter available.  Our new arrival is coming home tomorrow. Today is really dragging. It’s such a strange experience, akin to waiting on a baby’s arrival. I keep finding things in the house that could be dangerous, suddenly I feel like we’ve been living in a death trap (we don’t, honestly 🙂 ) Puppy proofing the house takes a lot longer than I thought it would. I’m considering de-snailing the garden, as my sister Chihuahua keeps finding them and bringing them into house to ‘play’ with. There’s wires and spaces and houseplants and…hundreds of stuff :-/

There’s also been quite a few mermaid blankets made, wrapped in plastic and put away safely so they don’t get dog hair on them! I’d never thought about it before but dog hair is sneaky.

I was raised in a family of rescue dogs. All our dogs ‘chose’ us, and we had mongrels of one sort or another. I always said when I got a dog of my own I’d get a staffy. I grew up with one and know what loving and comical dogs they are. But my other half hasn’t ever lived with a staffy, let alone a rescue dog. Between us we have 5 teenagers, which I thought would be perfect for a robust, energetic dog, especially now the kids are getting into Pokemon go! With one away, there’s still ongoing talk about who is coming with us to pick up the pup*

After lots (& lots &lots&lots) of discussions I realised it would be cruel to bring a dog into the house that wasn’t wanted 110% by everyone in the house. We decided to get a Labrador puppy instead (my kids haven’t shared a home with a dog for longer than a few days).  Until the day I can give a staffy a home, I’ll keep crocheting blankets for shelters.

This is the first pic of our newest agent, Jax  He’ll be 9 weeks on friday 🙂

WP_20160731_10_29_53_Pro

*cadet daughter knows all about the puppy and knows he will be here when she gets home, I’m not going to ‘surprise’ her with him. I don’t think that’s a good idea, and have been brought up to know that Pets aren’t Presents. (am I the only one that remembers that campaign in the 80’s?) She has even left a sleep t-shirt for him to smell until she returns so he recognises her scent! Good thinking for a 13 year old.