Thursday, 16 July 2015

April ~ Pretty Me Challenge: Ta Dah!!!

Just a quick pop by to say "Hello" and to share with you the progress that I have made on my Pretty Me project for April.  This was a quick and easy makeover actually.  All that was required were some wooden struts cut to the right length to create a base (to hold the mattress) and a paint job on the frame itself - to help breathe new life back into it.

I used Annie Sloan paint leftover from the makeover of my Kitchen Dresser.  After a couple of coats of paint and a quick brush over with wax (to create a protective seal over the paint) the project was complete.  I ordered a new queen size sheet and simple used the double duvet cover Little Lady already used on her previous bed (my girl likes a snugly bed!)

So without further delay....

Ta Dah!

I am happy to report that the bed has resulted in more fondness for her bedroom and more importantly vastly improved sleep!  Hooray!  

I kept all the other furniture and the Hubby simply moved the desk (from the before picture on the left) to the opposite wall and her IKEA chest of drawers (on the right of the bed in the before picture) now sits next to her bed (serving as a bedside table).

Her bookcase has relocated under the eaves (returning to its original place) although my childhood dolls house has been squeezed in on a tiny coffee table between that and the foot of the bed!

We need to have a big de-clutter of the kids bedrooms over the summer holidays but I am really happy with the makeover of this vintage bed frame.  I'm even more content that Little Lady will grow with this bed.  Even though she needs less sleep than I do (she takes after her father in this respect) at least she has a comfortable space to enjoy, read and rest.

My planned Make Me project (a part crochet, part applique cushion) has taken a back seat as I've not been well enough to sit and use the sewing machine.  However, the crochet element has been completed and is simply awaiting an improvement in my health so that I can finish the planned cushions off.  I'm looking forward to completing these but have relaxed on the time frame element!!!  Needs must.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed seeing this beautiful vintage bed frame being given a new lease of life.  I'm delighted how a couple coats of off white paint have softened its look.  I think it's gorgeous and gladly Little Lady is very happy with it too.  

I have so many things to share at present.  I also have a giveaway planned for this month as it's come round to my blog-iversary again!!!  I will be posting again soon I promise!

Take care until next time,
J9 x

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Five on Friday ~ A Girls trip to Wells

Hello Bloggy Folks!  I hope you are well and enjoying some relaxing time in the sunshine.

My week has been consumed with visits to Doctors, blood tests, visits to hospital, steroid injections and lots of bed rest so I thought I would share with you a few photos that I took during a visit to Wells with Little Lady a couple of weeks ago.

Amongst my favourite moments were:

#1  Quaint Stone Houses

There are various quaint stone, terraced cottages leading in to the centre of this city.  They are so cute with low front doors and smaller than average sash windows.  There are no straight lines and in my view this adds to their charm.  There are a number of Alms Houses too that remain simply stunning now.

According to the Wells Tourist Information:

"The history of Wells goes right back to Roman times when we know that there was a settlement, probably because of the springs that bubble up here. Wells gets its name from these springs which can today be found in the gardens of the Bishop's Palace".

Such English heritage in these walls.., if only they could speak and tell us their stories.

#2  This Wall did speak to me

As my daughter voiced her frustration "Please Mummy; can you just stop taking photos now?"  I noticed this stone laid into the masonry of a corner store.  I love that historically being a dealer in 'Pepper and Snuff' was important enough to be flagged on a stone plaque.  A moment in history captured.

#3  St.Cuthberts Church


Apparently, this is the largest parish church building in Somerset.  As we passed on the Sunday morning, the choir and congregation were singing and could be heard from the street.  It was so lovely and uplifting.  The stone work in this church is very detailed and the original building dates from the 13th century.  It states in the information leaflet that the church often gets confused as Wells Cathedral by tourists because it is so decorative and ornate - a real visual treat.  

#4  This Door!

I fell in love with this wonderful little original door with its stone carved frame and carefully shaped oak front.  I tried to get Little Lady to stand in the doorway for scale but due to the aforementioned comment and the whole fact that Mummy's can be soooo embarrassing with their cameras... I failed.

However, the door reminded me of a Hobbit home.  So cute and short in stature.  Even myself at 5ft 2 would have to stoop to get through (another reason to love it from my perspective!)

Wells Cathedral and Castle are enormous in stature and very impressive!  In the fore ground you can see a traffic warden - he had already given two cars tickets when we arrived.  This is normally the marketplace for the city and usually bustles with thriving stalls and people.  I was surprised but secretly happy that many of the shops were closed on a Sunday.  Many are small independent shops which remained closed - only larger chain stores were open.  Whilst there is a discussion ongoing in England concerning longer opening hours on a Sunday I was happy to see that most of these independent stores had their day of rest.

Whilst we didn't explore the Cathedral and Castle on this occasion, they dominate the skyline of the main street.  Wells is "the smallest city in England with about 12,000 inhabitants. It can call itself a city because of the famous 13th century Cathedral".  It has a lovely market town feel - not at all like the larger cities I've visited and was perfect for some quality chatty time with Little Lady.

We have one week left of school here before the Summer holidays start.  We are all on count down and simply cannot wait for this valuable time to come!  I have another course of 3 weeks of steroids so am hopeful that my health will be at its optimum for managing this time too.  I do so hope you are all enjoying whatever makes you happy!!!  

Today I'm delighted to be joining in with Amy's Five on Friday Linky party!

Take care until next time, 
J9 x

Thursday, 9 July 2015

An English Country Garden in June

Earlier this month we visited with family.  It is always a pleasure to tour the in-laws garden.  Grandpa is a very keen gardener and volunteers for the National Trust at Waddesdon Manor.  His garden is a huge passion and this is evident in his visual display.

He has an efficient, functional yet pretty allotment area...

Beautiful cottage borders...

...intermixed with willow sculptures...

...and sheltered seating...

The pond is delightful and you can pass many happy moments just staring into space, watching the fish or just crocheting in the sunshine...

The wisteria was in full floral display and was absolutely stunning.

Set against the backdrop of the weathered wood it looked glorious - a complete contrast.

I really enjoy spending time in this garden as do the children.  They think it is enormous and THE best place to play hide and seek.  On this visit they also enjoyed making birds homes - weaving reeds and eucalyptus leaves into circular shapes before adding a few seeds and nuts for the birds to encourage them to visit their birdie hotels.  I've written a post previously about this lovely garden so please do check this out if you're interested.

Happy times indeed.  And this was where I sat for most of one day, relaxing, crocheting, chatting and taking in the general splendour.

I have so many bloggy updates to share - I always seem to run behind at this time of year but I do so hope to catch up with a few soon.  I have my Coastal Target Square Ta Dah post, April Pretty Me challenge Ta Dah plus the sand sculpture festival to share and so much more so please do watch this space during my endeavour to catch up before the Summer Holidays strike (I can't wait!!!)

Health wise things are a bit tough at present.  I'm back on the steroids (having only managed two weeks off them).  My Lupus is really active at present and the Sjrogren's Syndrome has been affecting my sight which has been quite frightening.  I had a steroid injection into my left shoulder joint yesterday and am restricted to bed again today.  I confess the downturn so quickly after a slight improvement has me feeling a little downcast.  However, it's nearly the weekend and after a good 10 days not logging on to my cronky laptop I'm looking forward to catching up on some of your lovely Blogs!!!  I apologise if I'm a silent reader at present.  I take such pleasure from sharing snippets of your world and crafty endeavours so thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind comments of support here and for your warm posts on your bit of Cyberland.

Take care for now, 
J9 x 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Look Up - A Mantra I Live By

I find it fascinating to people watch, to wonder where people are rushing to or what they are doing.  I also find it fascinating to look skyward.  Whether it be the colours in the sky, the shape of clouds, wildlife fluttering by or even architectural interest... it all inspires me.  Ever since childhood I've enjoyed a good view and historical shapes in buildings.

Increasingly, largely due to portable technology the mantra of "Looking Up" applies ever more in all situations.  I find this spoken word by Gary Turk so powerful - if you haven't heard it before, please do have a listen...

Whilst I was observing a whole number of things in London, I noticed how much people were looking down.  Especially from a wheelchair this was a real issue - people walking would only notice that they were about to walk into me in the chair once they were literally on top of me - largely because they wore earphones and were looking at devices whilst walking down a busy London pavement!  

Whilst we were looking up though we could enjoy the amazingly beautiful architecture on the fronts of many of the shop facades.  Glorious.

One thing I would like to encourage in my children as they grow is the joy to be found in Looking Up.  To appreciate all the beauty in the world and engage with our environment.  Having experienced post natal depression and pain related anxiety, I have become more mindful of what helps to have a positive impact on my mental health.  Looking up, being grateful & appreciating the simple things and crafting to find that 'flow' state of mind are the most powerful lessons I have learnt.  Do you have any lessons you have learnt to help with your happiness?  What do you want your lasting message to your children or loved ones to be?  Please share - I'm always happy to learn more!

Take care until next time,
J9 x

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

May Half Term Round Up

During the week long break, we took the opportunity to holiday in London for 3 nights.  This took a bit of meticulous planning on my front, as I can assure you that traversing London Underground in a wheelchair is extremely challenging.  In fact, I came to learn that doing most things in London in a wheelchair was challenging.

We stayed this Premier Inn in Kensington, which worked really well.  We had a lovely big room, fantastic breakfasts - wonderfully friendly staff and a quiet space - which meant we all slept really well despite being in a shared room.

We had a few must do's on the list:
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Experience the Underground
  • Natural History Museum
  • Science Museum
  • Harrods, and a
  • Touristy Bus Tour
We had been visiting family in Buckinghamshire so we travelled from Milton Keynes to Euston on a fast track virgin train - which the children absolutely LoVED!!!  It was so fast it literally tilted on the rails and got us there in 25mins another exciting experience for the Littlie's.

When we arrived we headed straight for the hotel to leave our luggage and then headed straight back out to the Natural History Museum.

This is my favourite museum in London.  It was a different experience in a wheelchair again... and it was less busy because the sun was shining and the Queen was opening up the new Government and so many tourists were lining the streets elsewhere to catch sight of her.

After this we moved on to the Science Museum.  I have to say this suited my children so well - interactive displays, experiments to complete and lots of large scale exhibitions on view.

They absolutely loved it.  So much so that we returned on our last day instead of going to Hamleys!!!  Now that must mean success on the Science front.

For the second day I had booked a Hop on Hop off Bus Tour by Golden Tours.

This worked well for us with the wheelchair - although on occasion we double backed a few times on different routes, but we were sat down so it didn't really matter.  This was a fab way to see all the top tourist spots in London if you are unable to walk.  We could see it all from a great vantage point and I'd really encourage you to book one if you were doing this for the first time with children.

We had a GrEAT time and on quite a small budget.  I had booked the room as a deal months in advance, booked the Bus Tour and we were given a complimentary extra day free and a boat cruise, the kids ate for free at breakfast if one adult had a full English and we gathered for 'floor picnics' in the room from the local Wagamama each evening whilst watching the Britains Got Talent Finals. The days were tiring and full; the children's bedtime was a little later and our bedtime came a bit earlier so we all went to sleep at the same time.

We really felt like we weren't scrimping despite the London prices.  I had packed a load of snacks and drinks... The last day I really wanted the Littlie's to experience a bit of Harrods (we went to go and have tea in a cafe and found out that a slice of cake was £9 each!) So we settled for purchasing some cookies from the food hall and eating them in the picnic area of the Science Museum!!

All in all we had a wonderful experience during our few days in London.   I'm super glad that we did it and that the children got to witness our capital city.  We feel so remote from the city life that an insight into it can be really positive.  The Littlie's loved it... the memories are banked and a good holiday was had.

We came back happy but exhausted and had a really lazy weekend before the return to school and work on the Monday...

Due to my inflammatory flare this post has taken ages for me to write but even though we are about to say goodbye to June I've enjoyed looking back at our end of May!!!  I hope you have too.
Take care until next time,
J9 x

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Five on Friday

Just a quick post from me today.  I thought I'd share five happy moments from the last 24 hours and join in with Amy's Five on Friday party...

#1  Weston Sand Sculpture Festival

This years Sand Sculpture Festival is based upon a theme of celebrating the sculptures of the last 10 years.  I had purchased a Groupon pass for us and it was a great value experience.  I will post about this visit more fully next week and share some more of these sculptures - we did really enjoy the Festival.  I have to say, in my opinion, the sculptures weren't as intricate as they have been in previous years and I do prefer a specific theme to the creativity.  However, as a family day out the sculptures were enjoyable and fascinating none the less!!!

#2  Weston Air Festival

This annual festival takes place this weekend and we decided to coincide our visit to the Sand Sculpture Festival with the event to make the most of the experience.  The Red Arrows unfortunately were cancelled today as the clouds descended but they are due to fly tomorrow.  The above photo is from the display of kit planes who are self funded and had only been doing displays within the last year.  They were of a great standard considering they were over 50% kit planes!!!

#3  Brother & Sister time

Bickering has been in full flow over the past couple of weeks between these two.  Nothing serious just little annoyances being aired - largely I think due to tiredness and readjusting to being back at school after the half term holiday.  I find they always need a bit of time to readjust once they are not with each other 24:7.

This photograph captures a lovely moment from earlier today though.  They were sat laughing, chatting, picking grass seeds and throwing them in the air whilst also watching the different air displays overlooking the sea front.  It's good to remember these moments during those times of readjustment when my patience is tested!

#4  Tree Climbing

Little Lady's places of choice seem to be a) in a homemade den and / or b) up a tree.  These don't seem to change.  Either place is a happy place for her and she physically seeks them out.

#5  Park Play

We had parked a little way off the sea front - so as to avoid the volume of traffic and people.  After leaving the hub bub of the main arena we decided to sit and enjoy one of the town parks that we were walking back through towards the car.  The boys played football and Little Lady climbed trees.  I sat happily on a park bench watching the activity - sometimes watching them and sometimes casting my eyes skywards to the various planes and helicopters in flight.  A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

So those are my Five things.  Simple enough but they made me very happy.  I do hope you have a wonderful Father's Day for those celebrating tomorrow.  The boys are off to a football tournament and Little Lady and I are planning to peruse the lovely shops in Wells (where the tournament is taking place).  We've then been invited to a BBQ with friends so fingers crossed the weather stays dry.

Enjoy your day whatever you are doing.  Take care until next time,

J9 x

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Pretty Me & Make Me Challenge ~ April

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have committed to stop my procrastination and commit to a 'Pretty Me' project and a 'Make Me' challenge each month.  I've been working on these in between managing my health and it has been good to give me a little direction and to feel that I am being a little productive - even if I am still a couple months behind my target challenge!  I'm not pushing myself to overdo things even creatively but it is working for me and so I'll keep setting myself the challenge and sharing them with you here!

Pretty Me

Little Lady has been experiencing headaches, poor sleep and general fatigue for a good few months... behind the scenes she's had lots of blood tests, an MRI of her brain and a special tonic.  During this time we've tried to be proactive in eliminating any obvious sources; she's been prescribed iron due to being anaemic (brought on by a bought of illness and growth spurt), medicine to help relieve migraine, and we now practice many relaxation and meditation techniques together - but thankfully nothing more serious has been found.

Obviously, as a mother if your child is generally not 100% you want to do all that you can to help.  So, what else could I do? For the past few weeks I've been researching small double (4ft) beds. Little Lady had a 2ft 6 bed - approaching 9 and above average height I felt a bigger bed may well aid the much desired sleep process. I had a strict budget of £150 all in (bed, mattress, delivery etc) and mistakenly I thought this would get me what I had in mind. How wrong was I?!!  Over time I searched ebay and surprisingly found that I could get a vintage bed for the same price - if not less than a new 'less solid' model.

After two months searching, early one Sunday morning I won the auction on a black, cast iron bed. It was all dismantled so I have no pictures to share as a before. Sooo exciting; this bed is cast iron and the frame was in the family I bought if from since at least the 1930's!! The mattress was unused and both were sat in a guest room.  The couple had decided to reluctantly sell it as it was just not getting used!  I had found a similar bed painted cream on another site for hundreds of pounds... way outside of my budget. Oh yes, I have a plan.

I have to purchase some slats to support the mattress as it literally is the outer frame only so will need to build a slatted base.  I also want to soften its look with a paint job and so can't wait to complete this promising project!  This image gives you an idea of how it looks pre makeover.


Make Me

I've mentioned in a couple of posts (here and here) about the progress on my Coastal Target Squares Blanket.  I'm working on the border now and the completion of this blanket will be my April Make Me Challenge.  This is a big blanket and has been a joy to work on.  I really love the colours and can't wait to share the completed project with you.  I'm really enjoying the border making process too - it's the first time I've properly tried, frogged and reworked different crochet stitches and colours to try to get the look that I have in my mind and that compliments the squares themselves, rather than follow someone else's pattern.

I think both of these projects are going to be really rewarding to complete.  Both are focused on a desire to nurture my family and I am super positive about the outcome of each of these!

I look forward to sharing the finished items with you later this month.  I hope you are having a wonderful week.  

Thankfully my health is starting to improve gradually.  I've been taking steroids for just over a week and these are dampening my immune system and associated inflammation.  I have two more weeks of the course to take and hope that the relief will continue to come.  THaNK YOU all for your wonderful messages of support on my recent posts - I can't tell you how much your comments help to lift my mood and ease my negative thinking.  I really appreciate all of your Bloggy friendships - I truly do.  So much so that next week I'm planning a little giveaway!  So please do pop back to this little space to see what goodies you could win.  

Take care until next time,

J9 x

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Five on Friday ~ Thankful through Challenging Times

Hello Lovely People!
How are you all doing? Good I do so hope.

As for myself, I've kind of lost my Bloggy mojo.  I had no idea what to share today and so I just started writing some thoughts down.  Mainly along the Project Gratitude line... plus the lovely Amy's linky Five on Friday party gave me some structure.  I'm going to use archived photos too just to ease me back in to the process.

I really felt I had nothing to share or anything interesting to say.  Perhaps I don't... but I've come back to write this intro to collate these thoughts all together and I'm glad I have created this post.  So, thank you for stopping by.  Normal jolly service will resume I'm sure.  In the meantime, here are some things I've given thanks for this past few days:

# 1 ~   Family Firsts

Well, half term absolutely flew by. We had a fab time staying away with friends and family for the first few days.  Then we spent a few days in London doing all the touristy things with the children for the first time, which they completely LoVED. I will write a separate post about this as a journal of this Family First.  It was also the first time I've done London in a wheelchair and needless to say it was very, very challenging.  A great experience for the children and I am completely delighted to have shared it with them... But my goodness it was hard.

Please don't ever underestimate the wonder of legs that work and the joy of movement without pain.

# 2 ~  My Mum

My mum came to stay on Sunday for this past week.  She instinctively helps with so many of the everyday things, getting breakfast, the school runs etc while I am confined to my bed. I am so very thankful for her love and support.  Perhaps I am even more thankful for her relationship with my children.  It is magical and born from helping me and my children long term as occasionally I've had to divert energy in order to overcome physical challenges.  Hours of care, play, love and reassuringly 'being' have made their mark on their hearts.

She has her own health issues but is a generous soul who will help whenever she can.  A day does not pass where I do not feel enormously grateful for her impact on our life.

# 3 ~  A Lucky Escape

Image result for bicycle quotes
Also on Sunday morning, the Hubby called to say he'd had another puncture (the third in as many bike rides) and was stuck somewhere on Cheddar Gorge.  This is his new exercise having had to stop running since his achilles rupture.  A learning path I guess.  I loaded the kids in the car and left a note for my mum who was supposed to arrive any moment... myself moaning about however were we to get the bike, him and the kids in the car with myself so unwell.

As we drove up through the Gorge, we found him by the side of the road... as our eyes met, I knew more had happened than a simple puncture.  He had not wanted to worry me over the phone but had underestimated a sharp bend in the road and crashed (and come off) his bike.  Having missed the bend he shot over the the other side of the road and way up onto the verge of a parking area.  Either a car coming the opposite way, or cars parked in the layby would have led to more serious injury.  He was clearly rattled over an hour after it had happened and even though masking it from the children... I knew immediately we were fortunate that he was not seriously physically hurt.  It was a wake up call for us both.  Myself for my fuss at a 'puncture' and him as a speed warning.  I am so thankful that we have these lessons reaffirmed and our eyes refocused on what matters most.

# 4 ~  Medicine

On Tuesday I saw the Rheumatologist again, had a whole number of additional tests and have started another course of steroids (not in the photo which is of my normal routine nightly meds). Relief from my inflammatory flare and lack of pacing will come in a couple weeks if this follows the pattern of previous flares.  So thankful for this medication and the hope that the Doctors have in trying to manage my symptoms more effectively in future.  Hope is powerful in itself.

# 5 ~ Journalling

Thankful that I have different options to brain dump!  Due to the trauma of my original accident, my central nervous system is highly sensitized.  It is ill and this affects so many things; messages to my body from my brain are confused, during flares my brain function is very slow and my clarity of thought is not at it's best.  I have a journal recording my health daily as a tool in managing symptoms.  I have many different options for putting thoughts and ideas down and I am especially happy to have this space to reflect on. To record them seems to make sense of it all in my mind and enables me to reassess the importance of some things and the insignificance of others.

I am quite an introverted, reflective personality and since my accident this trait has become more extreme.  I am aware that I have gone into myself this week.  Into survival mode - just getting through.  I can get anxious leaving the house.  I try to force myself though as otherwise the barriers increase and I'd become increasingly isolated if I didn't make the extra effort.

I hadn't wanted to blog today. I haven't written a post for a while and I was beginning to feel that if I didn't write soon, I may have lost my voice.  I expect this is simply an example of the mental place I'm in.  But I'm glad I have written this. It has calmed my mind and helped me process some negative thinking and on reflection, writing has highlighted the need to value these challenges... providing perspective and changing the way I look at events.

Whilst this isn't perhaps the happiest post I have ever written it does bring contentment to recognise and give thanks for the everyday moments in life - not just the perfect bits.  I've struggled through a painful and physically hard week but I am still grateful.  The weekend is here and relief shall come.

Increasingly, I realise that happiness does not come from having or always being happy. For me it can come as the storm clouds pass and the first glimmer of sun breaks through.  This is the metaphor for my happy moments these past two weeks.  Nothing life changing or particularly eventful.  For now, I'm resting my body and have a new peace of mind.

The sun will shine... but sometimes we need a few clouds to really appreciate it when it does break through.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Five on Friday

The past week has been a tough one for me physically.  I'm not going to dwell on it though.  For my Five Things this week I've chosen to share five of the little things which have made me happy and for which I am ever so grateful:

#1  Morris Men

A quintessentially British tradition of men dancing together with hankies in their hands and bells round their knees.  It can't fail to make you smile.

#2  Stupendously beautiful and aromatic stocks

A delightful 'whoopsie' purchase made in the supermarket whilst I was perusing the "Free From" section.  I often buy reduced flowers partly for budgetary reasons and partly because they are in flower and harder to walk past!!!  These were already in flower and continue to make the whole kitchen smell beautiful!

#3  Kitchen Dresser

I've mainly stayed in the house this week but instead of focusing on what I couldn't do I chose to find something that I could do.  I wanted something that I could come to and leave, which could be split down into smaller parts to make up a whole job over the course of a day and that would provide happiness to me.  Rearranging the display of china on my kitchen dresser always does this.  Part of the joy is in deciding what colours, which plates and items to select and part comes from seeing those pretty things each day on entering the kitchen.  Oh, I do so love a flowery, vintage plate!

#4  A Special Treat

When I saw what Jooles of the lovely blog Sew Sweet Violet shared some pictures of her recent Liberty fabric butterfly makes I completely adored them.  They really are my kind of thing and are so exquisitely sewn.  I felt that a naughty treat was just what I needed during a physically difficult week and it's true that the anticipation of a beautifully wrapped purple package winging it's way to my house was part of the joy!  I completely love this canvas and can't wait to hang it in my lounge once it is decorated.  Watch this space!

#5  Sports Day 

It seems that both of my children are Queen and King of the traditional "Egg & Spoon" race! (Both of my little winners are on the left of the photos in caps).  The school is divided into tribes named after different tribes in Kenya (Maasai, Luo, Kikuyu & Kamba) and each wear their tribe colours.  My children are part of the Kamba Tribe and so were wearing blue T Shirts.  These connections are made throughout the education within the primary school as it is twinned and contributes to schooling with one in Dabaso, Kenya hence the names of the school teams.  We fundraise through school events throughout the year and connect with some of the students attending the school in Kenya so this is a fun, educational and inspirational thing to be part of.

Last year the school sports day was rearranged 3 times due to weather issues meaning it had to be postponed on each previous occasion.  This year the first date was a beautiful sunny day - the days either side of it were torrential rain and wind!!  On the day in question though, the weather couldn't have been more wonderful and it meant that the end of next term won't be quite so manic with celebratory summer term activities.  My lovely Mum was up staying too and so she was able to watch the little ones race.  My children are very outdoorsy and athletic and competed with gusto on the day. The occasion provided so many things to be grateful for.

I hope too that there have been many Simple Things which you too have been grateful for this week.

I won't be around in this space much over the next couple of weeks.  We have half term next week here and we are away visiting family and enjoying a special visit to London too!  This will be the Little Ones' first visit to the 'Big Smoke' and they are very excited!  Of course I'll share some pictures on our return!  I know that this will impact me physically and so am just going to take the following week to help recover.  I've started instagram though - my brick sadly had to go to phone heaven and so I have succumbed to the android smart phone generation!  If you would like to see some pictures whilst I'm away I am @j9shappiness I am finding out that the camera on it is fairly pants but I'm enjoying seeing what some of you lovely people are doing in such an accessible way.  The laptop which I use for blogging is quite old and slow now and I tend to binge read on blogs a couple times a week as a result.  I love this little bloggy community though so after my little break I shall be back!  There are a few things on the hook at present and I can't wait to share!!!  
Enjoy the weeks ahead... until next time!

Today I'm delighted to be joining in with Amy for her Five on Friday linky party.

Happy Weekend Folks!!!
J9 x

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Five on Friday

I thought I'd share some of the crafty things I've been enjoying over the past couple weeks.

#1  Coastal Target Square Blanket

This blanket journey is nearing it's end.  I have been off my legs this week and have spent some of this time sewing squares together.  I'm sure there is a more efficient way of doing this than the process I've adopted!!  I think the border will have the mid shades of blue in to pull it all together.  I'm looking forward to completing this one and giving it a full Ta Dah moment!!

#2  Crochet & Embroidery Cushion

I've completed the crochet elements of these cushions and simply need to transfer the image in my mind to the linen I've selected.  Easier said than done I think and as I have been bed-bound for large parts of the day this week I haven't been able to start the embroidery / applique bit.  It will come though...

#3  Crochet Cushion Gift

I needed a simple and repetitive pattern to work on this week at various points when my brain was just too foggy.  I had this project in my mind.  I plan to gift it to my friend's darling boy for his first birthday.  I have started it with plenty of time to complete it with yarn from my stash.  I hadn't crocheted a circle for a while and so refreshed my memory using Attic24's flat circle tutorial.  Once started it was surprisingly quick and easy to work up.  The fun bit of creating its face and putting it all together is yet to come!!!

#4  Square cutting for Quilts

(No pictures as yet but as soon as there is something worth photographing I promise I will share!!!)
At the start of this year I set myself the target to make as many birthday gifts as I was able.  I have three boys birthdays looming in the next month and have decided to make them a single quilt each.  I'll have to do this on days when I am well enough to sit at the sewing machine but I plan to create them in a mini production line style!!!  I have some fabric stashed and also I saved many of the Little Man's shirts over the years which I plan to cut up and use.  This will be time rich but a thoughtful and thrifty gift I think.  I'm looking forward to using the sewing machine again.  It has been a while since I've used it creatively.

#5  A Project to Makeover

This is another skip type rescue - I actually was walking Milo and as the gent was about to put it in I asked politely if it could come home with me!  These parts actually make up a vintage sewing box.  I really love the shape of it and it shouldn't take too much to bring it back to life.  This little makeover will be my May Pretty Me project and I'm yet to make a start on it.  I have it in mind though, waiting for me to bring it to life again.

I hope you are enjoying this fine day.  I am completely shattered at present.  The slow release steroids have ended plus I'm fighting a viral infection which has all my glands reacting and swollen.  I have glands swollen where I didn't know I had them - I think that's the lupus!  This shall pass... and I'm due to have a review at the Rheumotology clinic in early June so I should get some more steroids then... so positivity to come.  

I hope you have a joyful weekend and have many happy moments in the week ahead.

J9 x

Today I'm delighted to be joining in with Amy and her wonderful linky party