About Me

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My name's Alison but for reasons too long to go into I'm known as Cockney Blonde or CB for short. I've been rubber stamping for several years but now spend most of my time either knitting or crocheting. However, with the advent of a New Year I have bitten the bullet and am tackling my usually hated pastime of sewing. I've even bought 'Sewing for Dummies' to guide me on my way. I've been with my hubby Dave for 24 years and between us we have 4 kids and 5 grandkids. We also have 2 cats and a dog, the latter features as my 'photo' image. I used to be able to blog daily but these days I struggle to blog weekly. Hopefully now we are settled into our new home in the country, I can get back to a daily (well almost) update from the room I now have to share with hubby. No more personal crafting space for me!!! Thanks to all the blogs and sites I follow for all your brilliant inspiration, and thank you to everyone who finds the time to comment on my blog.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

52 weeks of happy - 8/52

Good Evening and apologies for being a little late with this week's 'happy' post.

As you know, if you've been following my blog, I've had rather a hectic week and although I took photos and have seen/experienced lots of happy things, it is this little beauty that I have decided is worth all 4 of my 'happy' things for this week. This photo was taken when she was only a few weeks old so I'm sure Mummy and Daddy won't mind it being on my blog.

She is now 6 months old but this week her Mummy and Daddy asked me to be her Godmother. I can't tell you how chuffed I am. The request just blew me away and my flabber was truly gasted.

I did wrestle with the thought that maybe I was a bit too old for the role seeing as I have grandchildren, but I'm sure there are plenty of years in me to see this little lady reach adulthood.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

So, where have I been???

You best put your feet up and grab a cuppa before you read this as I promise you will be seriously exhausted.

Bearing in mind we live at Delamere Forest in Cheshire, this is how our few days panned out...

Delamere - Llanychaer - Fishguard - Strumbles Head - Newport - Cardigan - Llanychaer - Milford Haven - Cardigan - Llanboidy - Haverfordwest - Pembroke Dock - Pembroke - Llanychaer - Tufton - Tenby - Saundersfoot - Pembroke - Pembroke Dock - Milford Haven - St. Davids - Clynderwen - Narbeth - Llanychaer - Haverfordwest - St. Davids - Aberystwyth - Delamere.

PHEW !!!

Told you you'd be worn out.

The beauty of all that travelling is that we got to see things like this young lamb trying to keep up with Mum (Bambi springs to mind) while the traffic was being brought to a standstill. Isn't he just the cutest.

We only had a very short time in Tenby and Saundersfoot so I left hubby with the camera while I went off and did my work and then went back for him. A little while later I asked him how many photos he'd taken......

'Oh, I forgot I had the camera!'

What can I say, we will have to go back. In fact we're already considering a holiday down there as we were totally taken aback at how beautiful the area is and how clean the sea and sands were.

BTW, the photo at the top was taken yesterday, a really warm day, at Newgale, just outside St. Davids. The surfers were loving it as were other beach lovers and walkers too. Pity I had to work.

Saw more Red Kites today on our way home and I forgot to say we also saw them at Newport near the beach on Sunday. We also had an owl fly in front of the car Monday evening, saw a Siskin and heard a Woodpecker this morning.

Back home now, 2 more full days of work and then a weekend of hopefully getting some crafting done.

Bye for now, x

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Today's Adventures

 Good Afternoon Everyone. Is the sun still shining where you are too?

We've had a relaxing few hours, driving, walking, sitting and watching, and then some eating.

First we went mooching round a few of the coves and beaches. The beach at Newport (Newport on the North Pembrokeshire coastline, not the other one near Cardiff), was just beautiful. Loads of dogs having lots of fun in the sea. We wouldn't let our two have a play because of the Lab's joints, so she is now in a huff, lol. Anyhow, this is the view from further up the hill. Just beautiful.

After a fab Sunday dinner in a local pub we took a trip to a pub near to our cottage which we were told was worth the experience. Well!!! I'm not going to show the photo for fear of upsetting anyone, but an experience it was. Its been run by the same family for many, many years and still has the original 1950's decor, with beer served from a jug. I had a vision of coffee and cake but was greeted with "I don't sell no coffee 'ere". This was after we'd tapped on a glass sliding window (like a serving hatch) to attract the bar person's attention. I wasn't sure if it was a spoof and wanted to laugh so I let DH order his pint and then suggested we sat outside where I couldn't cause offence. Royston Vasey springs to mind.

Anyhow, this was the cute view from across the lane. Not sure what caused the 'stampede' but the sheep on the left had rushed to join the sheep on the right of the group.
As hubby rightly said, we get our laughs.

Will be back soon, x

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Our Pembrokeshire Cottage

 Evening Peeps. Having spent all evening trying to get a signal for the WiFi I can finally show you our cute little cottage in a village about 3 miles outside Fishguard. Its just the right size for hubby and I and our 2 doggies.

The owners were on hand to greet us and were really warm and friendly. There are 3 cottages in total and loads of land to explore, so once we had unpacked and had a cuppa we took a walk up the fields for the girls to stretch their legs. On the way back, as the sun was setting, I was able to take these couple of snaps to share with you. That's our cottage on the right in the  piccie below.

I'll try and blog each day but I know I may be just too tired after all the work I have to cover. However, just to make you jealous, we had a fabulous drive down with the sun shining in all its glory and just got to the right place at the right time to see the Red Kites flying over at feed time. There is a Red Kite Centre near Aberystwyth. What a glorious site.

Once I've edited the photos there may just be one good enough to share.

Fingers crossed tomorrow we are going to spot some seals and porpoises, x

Friday, 15 February 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - 7/52

Good Evening Everyone, I hope you're all looking forward to your weekend. This week's 'happy' things are sadly lacking in photos. Number 1 Happy is my first sale of one of my handbag organisers. Literally within 10 minutes of it being in my Folksy shop it had sold. Click on the link in my side bar to see 2 more in my Folksy Shop.
Number 2 - The most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen and in real close up. Unfortunately I was driving on one of those pesky country lanes with nowhere to pull over and take a photo.

Number 3 - Was a last minute overnight visit from an old work colleague. He lives in France but was over here for a funeral and spent the night with us on his way back South.

Number 4 - This is a Tena Lady moment.... My beautiful grand-daughter (aka little lady) gave me a card (well an A4 sheet of paper folded in half) and said she had made it for me. When I pointed out to her that it said 'to Barbara' she said 'yes, but she didn't want it so you can have it'. She then proceeded to write To grandma, with my pen!!!! Priceless.

Hubby and I are off to Pembrokeshire tomorrow for a few days as I have work down there. Hopefully, lots of photo opportunities.

So if not before then I will see you later next week, x

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

What's on My Needles and that Biscuit Recipe

Hello Bloggers. Well in answer to a couple of questions posed by fellow bloggers here is a piccie of what's currently on my needles. Yep! Another cardi for the little lady. Same pattern, same yarn, different colour and also half a size bigger needles for the main body of the knitting. Even though the measurements matched the pattern I still felt it needed to be a little looser. So far the slight change in needles seems to be having the desired effect.
Now for the second posed question. Those yummy biscuits. Well this is the cover of my old (very) cookery book. I think it was the first cookery book I ever bought. It is old fashioned, out of date, tatty, stained, but it is one of those books that has loads of interesting information.
 Here's the 'stained' recipe which I have changed very slightly from experience of baking them. So here goes:-
Cream together 4oz margerine and 4oz castor sugar (sorry its all imperial) until soft and light (I use an electric mixer)
Into this mixture sieve 8oz plain flour and a generous helping of cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well.
Mix into this 5oz dried fruit and then knead thoroughly.
Now here the recipe calls for 1 egg to bind but I usually find the dough only requires a drop of milk to bind. The choice is yours.
Roll out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch on a floured board and cut into shapes.
Bake for 15 minutes in the centre of a moderate oven (325-350 F; 170/180 C; Gas Mark 3-4) until golden brown
** remember to reduce the temperature a little for a fan assisted oven.

Cool on the baking tray, store in an airtight tin.

Finally, make a well deserved cuppa and enjoy, x

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Purple Cardi for Little Lady

Finally, my last post of the day. Its been such a busy 'work' week that today has been the only real chance I've had to catch up on blogland. Anyhows, here is my latest cardi for our little grandee. The last photo is a more accurate representation of the colour. It's knitted in a beautiful aran yarn - Hayfield Bonus Aran Tweed, a 20% wool blend. I don't usually knit with wool as it irritates my skin but this was beautifully soft and knitted up really quickly.
Here is a close up of the collar.  I knitted the band separately rather than pick up  the stitches as I find this neater to do. I already have a pink version ready to start but I will omit the fold over collar this time and opt for a plain button band.

Here's a closeup of the finished item on little lady. Amazing the difference in colour in a different light environment.

I think she must be quite long in the body as I would have preferred the cardi a little longer. This time I've measured her (I know, stable door and all that) and will add an extra inch or two to the pink one. 

Also the instructions call for blocking after sewing but I will block before I sew up next time.

Hope you like it.

Off now to start eating the vast amount of food hubby and I have prepared this weekend (he's been on the savouries), finish off some sewing projects and get those needles clicking again.


My First Ever Quilt

Well here it is. My first ever attempt at making a quilt. I won't go so far as to say quilting.....

It was easier than I thought but even so I made a few errors which I don't think affect the finished item but I will need to remember not to repeat them. I even went so far as to apply bias binding to the edges.
Here is a close-up of the centre panel. Aw....isn't it cute. Peter Rabbit and friends having fun. I hope this quilt will be as popular with a little boy as with a little girl. Should mention that it is being donated to Jozarty as part of her LilyBo campaign to collect handmade quilts for children with cancer.

Not being a needlewoman I am hopeless at buying material. My plan was to make the front using the Peter Rabbit material and back it with the green check..... Nah! Firstly the Peter Rabbit piece was too long in the wrong direction and secondly not big enough anyway. Then the green check wasn't as big as I thought...duh! So I used all the green check for the front with half the PR material as a centre piece and then backed it with some cream linen (I think) from handmade curtains that were never used. Whatever it is it's lovely and cosy.

I hope it receives lots of cuddles and helps to make a hospital stay more bearable for a little person.

Jo, I'll be in touch about getting this to you, x

52 Weeks of Happy - 6/52

Happy Sunday everyone even if it has been piddling down all day today.
I was struggling to limit my 'happy' photos to just 4 this week as I have some finished projects to show you, but they will wait for a separate post.

1. My first vase of gorgeous daffs. I do love these. They brighten the house and at only £1 in the supermarkets they don't damage the wallet too much.

2. My finished crochet blanket adorning the armchair in our lounge. I am chuffed with this and it is so warm to snuggle under.

 3. This fantastic bird table was made for us by our 81 yr old neighbour. He is a little gem and loves tinkering in his shed with bits of wood. Just needs hubby to give the roof a paint/varnish/stain and then its fit to use.
4. Finally, I thought I'd share my plate of 'Easter' biscuits. They are a firm favourite here in the hobbit house (one of many nicknames for our little home). They are so yummy and I've got into a routine of baking a batch every Sunday which surprisingly last the week. 

I had a mega baking session today with the usual bread, 2 ginger cakes and 2 huge cheesecakes. 
Note to self: Next time halve the mixture.....

Off to write my next posting, x

Saturday, 2 February 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - 5/52

I have an unusual job but what is good about it is the variety in every day. I've gone from travelling around the inner cities of Bradford and Leeds to covering North and West Wales and Anglesey. So much for working locally in Cheshire. However, it does mean that I get to see some fantastic views. I'm finding it far more tiring as I drive between 200-300 miles a day but oh my goodness its worth it, as you can see from my 'happy' photos this week.

These first two photos were taken near Aberfraw. Basically I was going to see someone who 'lived on the beach'. So from the top of the hill I caught this fantastic view of a little church on a little island. So I carried on driving and whoops!!!

I ended up on the beach. Oh I laughed my socks off. No house and no reception on my mobile but loads of huge crashing waves. Nothing for it but to drive back up the hill, get a reception on my phone and find out where I'd gone wrong.

Photo number 3 was the sight that greeted me as I was looking for someone else's property. I guess they were the security section.

Finally, these two little beauties were bursting to have their picture taken. Unfortunately they were difficult to keep still for any length of time. Its a good job they were spoken for or they'd have ended up in my car.

So now I've trained myself to carry my camera with me all the time I should have lots of opportunities for 'happy' shots. Pity it wasn't last week or I could have snapped a newly born calf, ah!!!

Back very soon to share some crafting. Enjoy your weekend, x