WonderWool Wales 2017

I can’t believe it’s a month already since Wales’ premier woolly event, the Wonderwool Wales show!   Me & Cy packed up our cameras & tardis-like shopping bags, raided the cashpoint and donned our best me-made crochet wearables, landing at the Royal Welsh showground in Builth around 10.30am.  THREE giant halls packed with all kinds of displays and GORGEOUS STUFF awaited us!

Some of the local Guild Group’s work We saw plenty of real ones too but only this sheep was up for a photo opportunity with Cy Felt fish!  I loved this rug-making technique using scraps of wool fabric rolled up like swiss rolls, although I couldn’t quite work out how all the sections were joined together!This amazing piece is a hand-knitted map of Llandysul, home to the National Wool Museum.  (Spot the me-made crochet jumper No. 2, finally finished just in time for summer, oh well…) I loved all the tiny little details, SO much work has gone into this beautiful pieceThere didn’t seem to be so much crochet on display as I would have liked, although to be honest we didn’t get round the whole thing so I may well have just missed it.  My fave was the vibrant colours and varied textures of Jane Crowfoot’s ‘Sunshine and Showers’ blanket Since we are now both totally hooked on needle felting we had a field day rummaging through piles of beautiful wool tops and I came home with a bulging bag full, as well as some gorgeous yarn for next winter’s first jumper project.  All in all a Grand Day Out – the sun shone, we met up with friends, had a yummy Polish Cuisine lunch and talked about crafts all day long!  Perfect… Already dreaming of next year’s…

Wishing you all a Wonderful Weekend 🙂

 

May Daze

BluebellTastic

May is one of my favourite months!  I love the energy of this time of year, all the trees coming into leaf and flowers opening, the feeling that everything is gushing with life. The gorgeous scents of bluebells and tree blossom! Going out without a coat!  Warm enough for picnics but not yet for hayfever!  Plus, it’s my birthday month, what’s not to love??  (Apart from being reminded about getting older, that is!)

To celebrate Beltane (Mayday), and in defiance of said ageing, I decided it was time to lop my long locks.  I’ve not had a major re-style for many years and I felt like a change.  Wow, did I feel LIGHTER when I walked out of the salon!  I’m still getting used to it but I think I like it.  In fact I might go even shorter next time…hairbefore&after

…earlier in the month, some friends very kindly came and rotovated the last bit of the garden for me, so that I could get on with making the ‘potager’ beds for the main section of the kitchen garden.  Here it is, freshly rotovated (and pre-compost bin)…rotovation...and here it is last week, just before my back gave out on me…postrotovator

…on what was probably the hottest day of the year so far, two of my lovely friends from the Dyfi Valley came for a visit and we spent a gorgeous afternoon picnicking in nearby Hergest Croft arboretum and walking in the bluebell woods…BluebellTastic2

…I also went to a plant fair, where I met the folk from Broomy Hill Enchanted Gardens.  Annette makes living sculptures out of plants (mostly native, organically grown), natural materials and found objects, called ‘Emplantments’.  These photos don’t do justice to this magical piece, and I’m looking forward to visiting the gardens later in the summer to see some more …emplantment1emplantment2…and then there was my birthday!  I actually came down with a coldy/virus thing that week, so I was feeling a bit flat and didn’t get to go away camping as hoped.  But I was so thoroughly spoiled with cards, pressies, and general loved-up-ness that I ended up having a very good day indeed…birthday...so what with lurgie-recovery and back pain, it’s been a quiet end to the month for me.  I did manage to get out for a short walk before the rain set in though, and in the fields behind our town I came across this sweet little duck pond, although the ducks were not impressed by my presence and declined to be photographed…duckpondAnd finally, this month marks a whole YEAR of picture round-ups!  I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them as much as I’ve enjoyed doing them, it’s a lovely way to remind yourself of your best days and achievements in a month, and I thoroughly recommend it as a practice.  Thanks to everyone, as always, for reading, and for your lovely comments and emails.  I do appreciate it very much!

Here’s looking forward to a long and dreamy summer! 🙂

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!) 😉

 

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 🙂

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! 🙂

 

Notes from November

NovemberfromthebarnIt’s been a month of farewell to autumn and settling in for winter here in Magical Mid-Wales!  As the month’s worn on it’s turned cold enough to need a fire every night.  We’ve had some lovely frosty mornings and bright clear days – great for walking! – and there’s a feeling of everything slowing down and getting ready for the holiday season…

…my Christmas Cactus, that I’ve had for around 10 years, decided to flower early and is looking spectacular on my bedroom windowsill…xmascactus

…catching up with my friend Ursula on a break from her epic OneWomanWalksWales hike for Target Ovarian Cancer/Penny Brohn (go HERE to find out more & make a donation), and helping to take down the Tir Heddwch yurt for winter (and eat lunch!) in between rain showers…UrsulaAfterTheRain…FINALLY putting the finishing touches on the summer beach bag I started waaaay back in June!  A full ‘WhooHoo’ post on this one shortly…bagfinishing…late afternoon sunshine on the walk down from Llyn Barfog as I stop to rest halfway…halfwayhawthorns…lots more crochet for the craft stall!  I’ve been happily hooking these colourful mandala-like circles and stitching them together into little purses, inspired by Vendula Maderska’s colourful designs on Flickr…pursecircles2…and crossing the little footbridge on my favourite walk, noticing that all the leaves are pretty much gone off the trees and it’s proper winter now…Llyfnantbridge

…here’s to a magical December, with just the right amount of snow (ie the ‘wow-it-looks-like-a-Christmas-card’ kind, not the dangerous-to-drive-home-in kind) and lots of festive happenings to look forward to!

Wishing you all a very lovely week and month ahead! 🙂