About Me

My photo
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.

Monday, 6 October 2014

An explanation

Today I felt was the right time to explain where I have been, and couldn't believe it when I saw that the last post I'd written was in memory of our poor black labrador who we lost last year.
My sudden departure from blogland was due to the fact that my Mum got taken into hospital on 19th August and basically I was there 24/7 until she sadly passed away on 3rd September.
All I'm doing today is letting you all know that I'm still here and will be back shortly with crafting makes to show you, but today I am sharing with you the beautiful flowers we chose for her funeral.
I was wanting to match as closely as possible the colour of Mum's wedding dress and the Gerbera fitted the bill perfectly according to my cousin who was about 10 at the time.

Friday, 15 August 2014

One Year Ago Today...

Hope you're having fun in doggy heaven, x

Wedding Bells

Congratulations to our eldest son who has proposed to his girlfriend whilst on holiday in Turkey.

Off to re-evaluate the diet, x

Thursday, 14 August 2014

On Safari in Delamere and a yummy treat

Well I never did. I have never seen anything quite like this beauty. Climbing up the outside of our wall. Hubby is holding a 50p coin to give you an idea of its size. Notice the bulbous markings near the top (see the reference below)

This is the larva (caterpillar) of the Elephant Hawkmoth.
 Even Joss had to come for a look. The quizical look on her face says it all.
 Courtesy of Wikipedia here is a picture of the adult Elephant Hawkmoth (Deilephila elpenor)
Image result for elephant hawk moth

The following information I've extracted from the SAGA site:-

The caterpillar should technically be referred to as a larva since it is the offspring of a moth rather than a butterfly and this is a big one!
The moth in question is called an 'elephant hawkmoth'.  Hawkmoths are large moths with a fast and strong flight; there are nine species resident in Britain and probably a further eight which occur as migrants.
The elephant hawkmoth gets its name from the appearance of its larva, not because it is big but because it has a long, trunk-like nose.
Elephant hawkmoth caterpillar larva by David ChapmanHowever when the larva senses danger it can withdraw its trunk creating a slightly more bulbous head shape; this is when the large eye-like markings on either side of its head can give the impression of a much more imposing creature to scare off potential predators.
During August we are probably more likely to see the larva than the adult form of the elephant hawkmoth but it is worth looking around any outside lights for one of these colourful insects.  The adult is about 4 cm long and its markings are a combination of olive green and pink!

So, after all that creepy crawly stuff here is a photo of a yummy dessert I made for our recent visitors. I decided to make the meringue myself rather than rely on a shop bought one being intact.

Filled with 0% Greek Yogurt flavoured with a little vanilla and sweetener and then loaded with kiwi, nectarines, raspberries and pomegranate seeds.

It went down a treat.

We had a brilliant day at Chester Zoo on Monday which I will share with you next time, x

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Another 'So this is what I made'

Here is the second of those WIP's from my July posting. This time it's a cute little cardigan for my beautiful God-Daughter who will be 2 next week. I've made this cardi before and each time vowed 'never again'. This time there will be no chance of a repeat as I've binned the pattern.
Here's a close-up of the border edging.

You will have to wait a bit longer for the third (crochet) item, as its becoming a labour of love.

I'll be missing for a few days as we have visitors coming for an extended weekend. Hopefully I'll have some photos to share with you next week of what we get up to...weather permitting.

Have a good weekend, x

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

My first quilting lesson

Ta Da!!! This is the result of my first 'proper' quilting lesson. OK so its not quilted but I got some more formal instruction on measuring, cutting and stitching. This is called the Prairie Queen Block.
 Chuffed to bits with the result and even managed to complete an envelope closure to the back.
Here it is in its intended place. I couldn't believe how well I'd matched the colours to our little bedroom.

I shall go again in a fortnight and am thinking about starting a quilt for when our new grandee is able to go into her cot.

Next up....another finished item, x

Monday, 4 August 2014

This is the Good Life

Meant to share these first couple of photos with you last week but somehow time just ran away.
The radishes above were looking a bit past their best, and they were, so to the compost heap they went.
 This was the first of the broad beans (above).
This weekend we managed a bumper harvest as you can see above and below....courgettes, broad beans, mange tout, turnips, carrots and beetroot.
Some very weird shapes to some of our carrots too, lol.

Also hubby managed to collect some wild blackberries while he was out dog walking. This will supplement our small crop this year (first proper year for our blackberry bushes).

Hope this hasn't made you hungry.

Tomorrow I'm off to my first quilting class so hopefully I'll be able to report some success next time I'm in blogland, x

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Another playmat for baby

Well, according to Sewmag this playmat could be achieved in an evening......

I don't think so. Several evenings more like. But then I am a beginnner. I just wanted to challenge myself to making a round playmat and this looked rather cute in the magazine. Me thinks I'll stick to the square ones in future.
In some of the petals I put a piece of scrunchy bag. You know the sort that contains your breakfast cereal inside the box. It makes a fab noise when you squeeze the petals. All the petals had some toy filling in to puff them out. The inside of the circle had a circular piece of approx 1/4" batting.
I then backed it with an old cotton sheet that I'm slowly demolishing.

Really pleased with the end result, but as I say, I'll stick to square ones in future. I already have fabric to make another.

Hope you like it, x

Saturday, 26 July 2014

So, this is what I made

Do you remember my post from 16th July 'So what am I making with these?'
Well, this is the first finished item, from the sewing machine. I'd originally bought the fabric for another project which is not going according to plan. So having placed that on the back burner for now, I proceeded with another childrens' project.
I tied the batting through the layers so that it doesn't wriggle about in the wash, and let the ends show on the reverse of the item. I'm really quite chuffed with how its turned out.
A baby's playmat. It will be for our new little grandee, due in December. Not sure if Mummy and Daddy will keep this one or will prefer the other one which is under construction. Either way, they will keep one and we will keep the other.

The needles and hook are still in action so no 'show and tell' on those yet.

Must stock up on PINK yarn.........

'til next time, enjoy the lovely weather and have a good weekend, x

Friday, 25 July 2014

How neglectful am I ???

Neglectful but also resourceful. Neglectful in that I fully intended to share with you the fruits of our labours....or should I say hubby's hard digging.

Our crop of potatoes has been amazing, yet again. Second year in the same area, although it was well manured and composted first. I will rest this area next year. In fact we have plans for some fruit trees instead.

The last of the strawberries which has been a bumper crop again. I'm just sorry I forgot to share them with you.

Lastly, the mange tout. Just a small picking yesterday, but we've had loads of fresh helpings on our plates and there is an ever expanding bag in the freezer.

Visitors and neighbours have all been benefitting from our garden.

We've also had goodness knows how many radishes, and there's plenty more growing. Turnips, beetroot and turnip have been good again, and the carrots are excelling themselves.

New this year are parsnips and cauliflowers. I will report on their yumminess as soon as the time is right.

Next up some crafting to share. Til then, x

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Another Grandma moment

Look what Little Lady made at the weekend.

It was a kit from a crafting magazine, a while ago, and she dutifully sat and stitched this. I did the cutting out and helped with a little of the sewing but mainly she did it all by herself.

Really proud of her, x

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Oldies but Goodies

 Happy Birthday to #1 Son, 31 today. Which can't be correct as I'm only 21......
 Here he is with his younger brother in their matching outfits. Why do us Mums do that???
And here is his Mummy. How times change....no hats, facemasks and starched pinnies now.

Hope you're all enjoying this fabulous weather, x

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Proud Grandma

Just had to share this fab photo of our little English grand-daughter. This was her after receiving her first gold medal for her first rhythmic gymnastics competition.

So proud of her, x

:: I say 'English' grand-daughter as we have 2 Scottish ones alongside our 2 Scottish grandsons

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

So what am I making with these???

You may recall that I like to have several projects on the go at a time. Usually one on the sewing machine (above), one on the needles (below) and...
 one on the hook.....
I realised I hadn't blogged for a week, and in keeping with my resolution to try and blog regularly I was hunting around for something to show you. So I'm afraid its a tease of a post but I fully anticipate that at least 2 of these will be finished within the week.....now which 2??? You'll have to wait and see.

Now, if I had remembered my camera yesterday I could have shared many photos of a lovely day out with Neet (Hickydorums) and her other half. They had already discovered Blakemere Craft and Antique Centre a few weeks ago, so I met them there and after coffee we browsed the various buildings.

Back to ours for lunch where Cinderella (my hubby) had been slaving away all morning, and dog-sitting, and then back out (this time with Cinderella) so that I could introduce them to Lady Heyes, another craft and antique place. Part of my plan was to take Neet to Crab Apple Crafts, a card-making/scrapbooking shop. What a muppet!!! So busy starting at the opposite end of the place that by the time we reached the shop it had closed....it was 5pm!!! Where did that afternoon go?

Only one thing for it......    they will have to come over again and this time we'll start at Crab Apple Crafts. I should say that I did lead Neet into temptation by taking her into the quilting/fabric shop....nuff said.

Today's a lazy day as I have to balance a day of activity with a day of rest and this evening we're out to watch our beautiful grand-daughter in her first rhythmic gymnastics competition.

Enjoy your day, x

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A Rat and Some Chicks

OK, so its supposed to be a mouse, but with those 'elephant' ears and large snout and long tail it looks more like a rat, so I've christened her Rosie. A pain in the backside to make and assemble so she's a one off.
Here's more of those cute little chicks, but this time I've 'clipped' their wings in the hope they won't keep flying off and reproducing, lol. The one on the right was knitted on straight needles, hence the garter stitch. Far easier to knit in the round so I went back to that method for the next two.

Let's see if their clipped wings keeps the reproduction rates down.....I doubt it.

See you soon, x

Monday, 7 July 2014

Boyzone in The Forest

OK. So I know I'm a lady over a certain age and therefore shouldn't get excited about 'boy' bands but I wasn't the only older lady there. In fact there was a real mix of ages from babies in prams to people older than myself.
Phwoar.....hot or what??? Sorry...getting carried away. It was a brill concert but I wish they had spent more time singing than chatting. Having said that their vocals were spot on and they certainly know how to play the audience.
As we were queueing to get in 2 helicopters flew over, which appeared to land very nearby, so I expect that was their mode of transport.
The weather stayed fine and the picnickers were out in full force. Becky (#1 Son's partner) and myself opted for fish and chips from one of the food wagons, and very nice it was too.
Kian from Westlife was their supporting act and he was amazing. He did far more singing, including a couple of new hits from his first solo album. Absolutely brilliant.

The Forestry Commission had made changes to the parking set up this year which seemed far improved from last years, including a traffic light system for leaving the Forest. Much better than the grumpy police from last year.

All in all a good evening but I'm paying for it today. Still in my PJ's...

Friday, 4 July 2014

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken, lay a little egg for me

Taken from Lucinda Ganderton's article in a Sew Magazine I created this chicken doorstop by upcycling a ladies trouser suit (a bargain at £4) purchased from a local charity shop.
 The wings, chest and rear end were created from fat quarter scraps. So all in all a cheap little project.
Hope you like it, x

BTW....Happy 4th July to everyone across the pond

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A Trip to the Movies and some Rubber Stamping

OK. So Hubby and I decided that we would go to the cinema this afternoon to see Mrs Brown D-Movie.
Tuesday's are good at our nearby cinema as they have a super cheap rate and for people over a certain age (hubby) this includes a hot drink....no dear she didn't offer whisky!!! The last time we went on a Tuesday I also got a complimentary hot drink....not today:((  I chose a low calorie soft drink and look what it came in....hilarious. It made me feel good though that she thought I was about 12....
As for the movie.....wait for it to come on the TV. It was amusing but if you usually follow the TV series then I think you will be disappointed.

Also, at long last I have a little bit of rubber stamping to share. This was a framey type card which was shown to us by the uber talented Pat Chesterton aka Chezzie at our last Viccy Stampers workshop. I finally got it finished and its now waiting collection by #1 Step-daughter for her birthday next month.

'til next time, x

Friday, 27 June 2014

Coffee in Delamere and 50 Shades of Grey!!!

Good afternoon peeps and what a cold and miserable day it is. It started off with a trace of promise but soon deteriorated into a cold and damp Friday:((
This is another owl doorstop I've made, adapted from a cushion pattern, but this time on the needles rather than the hook.
This morning my I went with one of my neighbours' to the Community Centre for coffee. There is a coffee morning and book swap held on the last Friday of the month, and having moved to a village environment over 20 months ago my hubby and I are keen to try and support whatever local activities we can, on the basis that if you don't use it you lose it. I first popped in on one of these mornings in April and was made so welcome that last month, and again today, I dragged one of my neighbours with me. My first visit coincided with a trip to our visiting Post Office (2 mornings weekly a 'satellite' PO sets up at the Community Centre) which was put in place after they closed the local sub Post Office!!!
Anyway, this morning, more people introduced themselves to Janet and myself and we were discussing, amongst other things, how important it was to maintain the community links as our village is not like your traditional village. Its quite sprawling, with no real centre, and with little mini communities within it. We don't have a church, a pub or a school as such, although they are very close by. We do have a little shop which supports the community well. So the hub of the village, if you like, is the Community Centre. The area is also largely populated by more elderly people and another subject for discussion is the recent introduction of local volunteer befrienders, especially in the winter months, to ensure people are safe within their homes and feel supported.
Some of the other interesting things we learned about from our new 'friends' was the voluntary work being done in the Romanian Orphanages, and the day the area near the old Roman Road was bombed during the war leaving a huge crater. I also met a fellow Southerner....we get everywhere....

Finally....50 Shades of Grey!!!....yep, you've guessed it.....it was on the table for the book swap...hilarious!

Have a good weekend folks, x

Sunday, 22 June 2014

A beautiful day

What a beautiful Sunday its turned out to be, and hubby and  I are stuck indoors:((
Before I bore you with the details here's another one of those 'fancy' scarves I rustled up for the Little Lady....apparently she doesn't have enough!!! I thought the pretty colours would be great in the summer evenings when she just needed a little something to keep out the chill. Her response....lovely Grandma but are you making me one for the winter too???
So, why are we stuck indoors on this glorious day? Well poor hubby has been battling food poisoning since Wednesday evening following a meal out with friends...thankfully I wasn't there. He's actually considering trying some toast this evening which will be a vast improvement on water and dioralyte.

#2 Son came to stay on Friday for the weekend, planning on going home tomorrow. This was an absolute blessing as he was able to help with dog walking and other heavy 'man' type jobs that I'm still not able to do, thanks to this wretched disease I've got. Then to scupper that I had to join hubby and have been up all night with stomach cramps and vomiting....lovely! So #1 Son to the rescue came over this morning to take #2 Son home as we couldn't envisage how to get him back tomorrow and #1 Son would be working.

The biggest down-side of all of this is we missed out on the 'Beach Party' being held at my Mum's Nursing Home, and I was so hoping to share some wonderful photos of the residents in deckchairs, feet in paddling pools, sandpits in use and the obligatory ice-cream van. So pleased they've had a beautiful day for it though.

So whilst it would appear I've come out in sympathy with hubby I've told him I'm not sharing my disease with him....it's all mine and not for sharing.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their Sunday and basking in some beautiful sunshine, x