April Delights

HergestGateAloha everyone, and welcome to my picture round-up for April.  And what a GLORIOUS month it’s been here in the Marches!  It’s honestly been the most beautiful spring I can remember for years.  My little house and (not-so-little!) garden have been giving me so much to smile about this month, but the warm weather has also seen me out and about visiting some of my favourite places and people…

…A million years ago when I lived here in my 20s/early30s and my friend Arainn & I used to work as volunteers for Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, we spent a lot of time at the (then) newly-acquired nature reserve Burfa Bog, making stock-proof fences, coppicing overgrown trees and clearing brambles.  I went back there on Easter weekend, and was delighted to find that one of our toughest bramble-infested areas is now covered in wild primrose…burfa1

…on another glorious day, I went out for a lovely local walk and came across THE most idyllic cottage-spot!  These are definitely my favourites so far…KnillCottages…as mentioned in yesterday’s post, there’s not been a lot of sewing or crochet going on this month, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy…ColdFrameSeedlings

…one of the best things about living back here is being able to pop round to visit old mates and see what’s happening at their places.  About 12 years ago, I helped plant some trees on some friends’ land, including this one that I grew from a conker that had sprouted.  As you can see, it’s very happy in its hillside home!…RowansTree

…I also went back up to the Dyfi Valley for the annual SeedSwap event at Bro Dyfi Gardens.  It was great to catch up with friends there, and to have a look around the beautiful gardens created by volunteers on the site.  And buy some plants, of course…BroDyfiWoodlandFaces…so, hmm, yes: I do seem to have gone a bit garden-crazy this month!  The sunshine has definitely seen my health improving a bit, and it has been so lovely to spend time outdoors, soaking up the spring energy.  And just in case you were thinking this post was a bit short on colour, I will leave you with these amazing plants that grow all through the ponds and streams in our local Park Wood… they’re called Skunk Cabbage, can you guess why??skunkcabbageWishing you all a very colourful holiday weekend, and a magical month of May! 🙂

March from The Marches

HaywoodLambsHello!  Well here we are at Easter, and I don’t know about you but I’m very glad to think that spring is just around the corner.  It’s been a mixed month, the house move certainly took its toll on my health and energy levels, and together with getting things liveable, there hasn’t been a lot going on creatively.  But being here is lovely, and in between the last wintery days there have been little pockets of spring promise!

…it was a WARM sunshiney day when I went back to the Dyfi Valley to visit Tir Heddwch, and we were able to sit outside and eat lunch with a glorious view up the mountain…TirHeddwch…and on the next sunny day, I visited one of my favourite places in Wales, now just half an hour’s drive from my house!  Points if you recognise where it is…PwllYWrach…but it was a rainy day when I sat by the window with some yarn scraps, glue, and card-making things to make a crochet card.  I had great fun with this, have more planned, and will do a full post soon….CardBits…a brilliantly sunny morning for the SOLAR ECLIPSE!  I sat in my garden and had a spectacular view of it all happening, it was amazing to see.  Turns out however that you can’t photograph eclipses by pointing your camera straight at the sun.  Who knew…?

spottheeclipse…and speaking of gardens, I’ve been re-acquainting myself with that favourite old winter/early spring pastime: browsing seed catalogues and seed-swaps with friends!  Not that I’ve had any to swap myself this year, but I’ve been given so many by my lovely friends that I should be a seedionairre by the end of the season!  Thank you so much Jas, Graeme, Mary, Annie, and Helen… seedy…it’s been a wet and windy week so far, but no Spring in the Marches would be complete without going out to say hello to these little cuties, now would it??Ewe&lambs

Wishing you all a very happy Easter and Full Moon weekend, I shall refrain from  making any baaaaad puns (oops, sorry!) 😉

 

SO not sewing…

SoNotSewingHello!  Remember how, last post, I was all full of the joys of spring, and ‘hey look at me I’ve found my sewing machine’?  Ah, happy days!  Not so, this week.  This week I have been laying carpet tiles in my main room.  It’s been a nightmare!  Not the tiles, which are lovely, but the chaos of not having anywhere to put the stuff from the room except, er, in the room!  Can you spot the sewing machine in the above picture? – Nope, neither can I…

Not to worry.  It’s pretty much done now and next week I can FINALLY start unpacking and finding homes for things.  And finding things again, hopefully!

Wishing you all a sparkly Sunday, 🙂

 

February Farewells

NewHome

Well Hello and happy St David’s Day!  Now I know it’s a short month, but how quickly did February flash by?!  Even so, it was a full-on February for me (sorry I can’t seem to stop with the crazy alliterations), mainly taken up by my house move…

…I spent a bit of time at the beginning of the month saying ‘farewell’ to some of my most treasured Dyfi Valley places, like my favourite walk at Glaspwll…GlaspwllTrees

…and beautiful Tir Heddwch, where I got to have a go at helping weave a new willow screen…Willow Weaving…but then it was time to pack everything into the van, with much help from friends and family…VanMan&Woman…and say farewell to my Coach House flat, that has been my home for the last 3 years…Farewell CoachHouse…and head on down to The Marches, to my new house.  Which is in total chaos still, so I’ve got no pics to show you til next month!   But in amongst all the unpacking and sorting out and general exhaustion that comes with moving, I taught my brother to crochet!!  How cool is his first ‘happy-enough-not-to-unravel-it’ granny square??  Come on, how many of us did this well in our first week? – Not me, for sure! Robs1stGrannySquare… I don’t know about you, but for me, doing something creative is like going to a calm place when everything else gets too much.  Since all my sewing stuff was packed, I had a go at crocheting this snoodie-neck-warmer pattern with a lovely, unusual yarn that my friends Helen & Alison brought me back from Yarndale last year.  It’s made from corn fibre – yay, no allergies! – so I thought it would be nice to make this as I could wear it close to my face, unlike a lot of fibres.  It feels a bit like a cotton-acrylic mix and works up really nicely.  But it took me ages to get the hang of the pattern and although I like the effect, I’m not too happy with the size and shape it turned out.  I may well unravel it and just make a nice headwrap in this stitch instead…Popcorn Yarn Headwrap…so that was February, and here I am with a houseful of boxes, completely frazzled, and with so much still to be sorted out!  But it feels great to have done it, at last, and I love this area so much and am very pleased to be here…Hergest AfternoonI hope you all had a fabulous February: now here’s to clocks changing, daffodils opening, and all kinds of Springy Goodness in March!

🙂

A Journey through January

TanyYCoedSnowAfter all the fun and good times of Xmas and New Year, January has been COLD and wet and dark and did I mention COLD, and the month I find the very hardest to get through!  It’s been a bit different this year though, for exciting reasons which I’ll share with you in a minute.  But first here’s some of the things that cheered my days during this dreary month…

…a beautiful bright full moon rising over the Dyfi Vally early in the month, taken from the woods near my houseDyfiValleyMoonrise…the successful completeion of the Blue Sheet muslin, enabling me to get cracking on my first Stashbusting Sewalong dress!  Auntie Janis & I are particularly pleased with the pockets…Sheet3…a magical snowy walk in my favourite woodland, with views of the Cambrians in the distance.  Armed with my trusty flask, of course!…TanYCoedSnowPicnic2…my gorgeous Purple Waves blanket has kept me company all month and is almost done.  Just one more round of edging to do and there will be a big WhooHoo!…blanketborder

…and here is the armchair where I’ve sat crocheting for quite a lot of this month, opposite the blazing fire or enjoying a rare bit of winter sunshine…ColourfulChair

…HOWEVER, my fireside armchair, and everything else, will shortly be getting packed up because in a couple of weeks I will be leaving the Lovey Dovey valley and moving house!  I’ve been planning to move for a while, and unexpectedly found the perfect place whilst visiting friends back home in Radnorshire over the hols.  So it might be a bit quiet here on the blog for a couple of weeks whilst I get relocated (and wait for BT to connect my phone & internet!), but rest assured, I will be BACK with plenty of colourful crafts very soon!

Thank you so much for reading, wishing you a wonderful week and a VERY Funky February 🙂

2014: Makes and Moments

Ah, it’s that time here in the Blogosphere, when the hols are over, the New Year has arrived, and we look back fondly (or not so!) over our favourite stuff from the past twelve months.  I’m not much of one for making resolutions (apart from resolving to hibernate during January!), but I do enjoy reading the ‘annual reviews’ on people’s blogs so I thought I’d do one of my own, with just my favourite Makes and Moments from each month…

All in all I’d say it was a pretty colourful year!  And despite the ups and downs of my health, I still managed to do a lot of making and get out and about a fair bit, and share a lot of laughs with good friends and family.  And I’ve loved posting here, sharing all the highs and lows of my year’s creative adventures with all of you!

Thank you so much for reading – here’s to a Big Fat Funky 2015! 🙂

 

December Days

The last month of the year has come & gone already!  Don’t know about all of you, but the holidays always seem to be upon me before I’ve really gotten into my December groove, sitting by the fire working on my Purple Waves blanket… then, just when I’m really beginning to get the hang of this whole Visiting/Doing Nothing/Eating a Lot business, it’s all over!  But it’s been a lovely month, full of friends and family and lots of crafty goodness…

…kicking off with manic making in time for the Machynlleth Craft Fair on the first weekend.  Just look at all that funky stuff!  Our stall may not have been the most profitable, but it was definitely one of the most colourful…craftstallside.…I also got to play with my printing block again this month, making a hand-printed lining for my best ever yet crochet bag, which – hurray! – I did finally manage to photograph as I went along, so that much-promised tutorial is underway at last…blockprinting…then things got a bit frantic as I tried to finish making gifts in time for the last Xmas posting date!  These are mini versions of the cute owls I made last year, using Bunny Mummy’s brilliant tutorial (which you can find HERE).  I put little muslin bags of incense inside these and they smell gorgeous…Xmasowls

…and so, finally, the food and pressies were loaded into the car and my friend Ursula (of One Woman Walks Wales fame) and I shared the drive across Wales and on into England to visit our respective folks.  We waved goodbye at the motorway services and normal life ended for a couple of weeks as the holidays began…ursulawaving

...I hope you all had a wonderful end to 2014 and are feeling relaxed and ready for a colourful New Year!   🙂

 

Happy Winter Solstice!

taliesinsunsetHurray, the shortest day is done!  From now on it’s sun, sun, sun…

Well, OK, it’s grey skies, rain, howling winds and floods here at the moment but I just thought I’d cheer you up!  It was in fact too dark and drizzly to take ANY pictures at the lovely Solstice (indoor) picnic up at Tir Heddwch today, so I thought I’d share a pic of the sunset over our bay from a couple of solstices ago instead.

I’m taking a short break for the hols now, so here’s wishing you all a very happy holiday season, full of much merriment!  I’ll be back at the end of the month with a festive round-up and a look back at some of my best makes & moments of 2014.

Have fun everyone! 🙂