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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Mocha Blanket

Hi,

I have been busy off and on creating a simple blanket for myself for the winter nights that will soon be upon us.  On a recent caravan trip we stayed at the Chapel Lane Caravan Club site just off Junction 3 off the M42 at Wythall.



We love this site as it is close to home but far enough away to make us feel like we are 'on holiday'.  It is a very peaceful site and the wardens are really friendly and helpful there.  There is a smashing Farm shop just a short walk from the site called Bennetts which we always visit during a stay there.  On one of our visits to the shop I discovered these fantastic flavoured coffees.  


There are a range of flavours including French Vanilla, Hazelnut, Chocolate and Orange, Maple Walnut and Chocolate Caramel which are my favourites so far. I am a real coffee lover and must say a mug of coffee is never far away when I am busy crocheting.


Hence, the name for my newest creation "Mocha Blanket".  I have loved making this.  It has simply been row after row of daisy stitch in a tweed effect aran.  


I finished it off with a contrasting brown double knit wool to create a scalloped border.


Then 'Ta-da!' All complete!  Really pleased with it and I have already made use of it during these cooler Autumn evenings.


Need to look at my next project now!  I have something in mind but will fill you in at a later date....

Bye for now

Von xx

Monday, 21 September 2015

Birthday celebrations

Children are back to school and the first few weeks have been hectic trying to get back into the weekly routine but we are getting there.

It was Yvonne's birthday on Sunday and my little brother also turned 30 last week so we all got together to celebrate.  Our mum and dad treated us all to a lovely meal out at Christopher's restaurant in Tamworth.   Would highly recommend a visit, lovely food and a great company made for a fantastic evening.

I made a cake to celebrate.   I managed to get the icing smoother on this attempt so I was feeling very pleased with myself because this is something that I always struggle with.   Here is a photo of the finished result ( I didn't set this photo up very well so excuse the cooker that is also featured!!!)......





It will soon be time to be thinking of other birthdays on the run up to Christmas and then of course there is the traditional Christmas cake to decorate so there will be plenty more opportunities for me to practice with the icing

See you soon

Julie

X


Saturday, 12 September 2015

Windsor Castle

Hi,

During our recent stay in Henley on Thames in our caravan we had a visit for the day to Windsor and Windsor Castle.  We parked at Legoland Windsor and use the Park and Ride in to Windsor which was very easy and definitely stopped any stress with parking!


When we arrived we had managed to time it perfectly to see the changing of the Guard and watched this as queued to enter the castle.



We had to queue for quite a while but it was very well organised by the Castle staff and as it was such a lovely day with the weather we did not mind the wait.  I did notice people with pre-booked tickets did get through much quicker so if you are planning a visit this may be worthwhile doing beforehand.


We had a packed lunch in the grounds and then explored the state rooms inside the Castle.  No photographs are permitted inside the castle.  It was very busy but we were able to get round the rooms well enough to look at everything we wanted to.


The moat gardens were beautiful and were well worth a visit.  To visit these you will need to pay a little extra.



We walked down from the castle to St. George's Chapel and explored the many tombs and graves within the chapel.   It was lovely to visit these and see the monuments of the famous royals of the past.  It was very touching to visit the Queen's parents and sister's tomb.



We really enjoyed our visit and we had a lovely stroll through the town of Windsor exploring the shops following our tour of the Castle.

Bye for now

Von xxx

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Christmas Tags

Hi,

I have been thinking about getting myself organised for Christmas.  It always seems to creep up on me and before you know it everything is a rush.  I have often thought of making my own Christmas tags but not really got round to it before but to be honest they are so quick and easy I don't know why I haven't.



I created two types of tags.  The first I used my circular punch and cut out circles of a pale blue card. Then I found a stash of glittery parcel toppers which I attached with some good old double sided tape!  As a finishing touch I used a mini heart punch and tied some red and white candy striped string through it.  Quite pleased with the outcome!


Next I found out my Christmas Tree shaped punch and some green card to have a go at a different style of tag.  I cut the card 10cm x 4.5cm and then punched the tree at one end.   After that, I folded these over and used some scraps of Christmas themed paper from my paper stash and sandwiched this between to create a Christmas Tree window.


Finally, I used a single hole punch to punch a hole in the top corner and tied some of the red and white candy striped string through this to complete the tags.


This has been a great way to used up those small pieces of card and paper that I often have left over so will definitely be keeping these in future for making other tags.  Have a go with your own left overs and share your creations too,

Bye for now

Von xxx

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Hampton Court Palace

Hi,

I thought I would share some of the photos from our recent visit to Hampton Court Palace.  When we were staying in our caravan at Henley on Thames we made a trip over to Hampton to visit the palace.
We went quite late in the morning and this was a mistake due to the parking once we arrived!  We managed to park on a side road and walked up to the palace but I would definitely recommend an early arrival if you are driving.


I have always been interested in the Tudor period and have read widely in this area particularly historical novels by one of my favourite authors Phillippa Gregory.  Therefore, I was very excited about this visit.  One of the key parts of the visit that really struck me was the extent of the kitchens.  I had never really thought about the mechanics of feeding a Tudor court before and I must say I was overwhelmed by the extent of the these rooms within the palace.


The photos really do not do justice to all the organisation and facilities that were evident at the palace to feed Henry VIII and his court.  I found the audio guide for this section of the palace extremely informative and interesting.


The Great Hall was another highlight and the tapestries in there were absolutely amazing and it was easy to imagine how magnificent they would have been in their original colours in the Tudor era.





Loving my crafts as I do, I stood for ages just looking at these and imagining the hours of work that had been put into these.  You can most certainly see glimpses of what the original colours must have looked like but they must have been exceptional.  My family were very patient with me in the Great Hall whilst I was desperately trying to find one of the sets of initials of H and A that had been carved in the wood work during Henry VIII's relationship with Anne Boleyn.  I did have to admit defeat in the end and ask a guide to help me.


The stained glass windows in the Great Hall were another highlight and were beautiful to look at. Again, I don't think photos can do these justice.
We then went on to look at the newer part of the Palace which had been renovated during the reign of

The wall and ceiling painting were very extravagant and captured a lot of interest as we were walking through this area of the Palace.




The Palace was much larger than I had imagined and it took us ages to get around the whole of the building(especially with my time in the Great Hall).  It was definitely worth the money and I would happily visit again.  We managed to spend some time in the gardens but did not explore these as much as I would have liked.



During our visit we had our lunch in the cafe, which was quite reasonable.  I would definitely recommend a visit to Hampton Court Palace especially if you are intrigued by the Tudor period of history.  I will definitely be returning there in the future.

Bye for now

Von xxx