Wednesday 27 November 2013


It's finished, it's finished, it's actually finished!

And if you have no idea what I'm wittering on about, then let me refresh your memory.

It started with this

Then I took some inspiration from this

And it's turned from this

Into this!

My first ever crochet scarf!  I used Cygnet DK wool which is a snip at £1.95 for a 100g ball.   I used three balls for this scarf and could easily make another with the remaining wool - though actually it's destined to become a cushion cover for Agatha!, good looking and functional - what's not to love?! (Infact, it was so quick and easy to do that I went and bought some more wool to make another as a Christmas gift)!  And if you need a reminder of where to find the pattern for this, visit my friend Kath over at Inverleith as it's all her work!

Happy hooking!

G x

Oh, and if you haven't noticed yet, I've got another blog now for my book reviews - you can find it here  If you could follow, or recommend to someone who's interested in good books,  I'd appreciate your support in this new venture x

Sunday 24 November 2013

A new blog!

I've started something new!

No, it's not another w.i.p though there's enough of them going on at the moment!

It's a new blog!

I've been thinking about it for a while, and whilst I want to continue to show what books I'm reviewing at the moment, I don't know if here is the right place to do it, so I've set up a new blog dedicated only to books!

I do hope that some of you will follow me over there too - it's called Miss Chapter's Reviews and you can find it here.

I look forward to seeing you over there!

G x

Thursday 21 November 2013

Crocheting a scarf!

It's been a funny crafting week.  I started on a high with my alpaca blend mittens/wristwarmers from my Erika Knight book. 

And then I got to the thumb shaping part and I must be going crazy because for the life of me, I can't work out the pattern - so it's either wrong or I'm stooopid.  Anyway I've had to stop them for now until I can work out what to do next!

So that led to a bit of frustration as I wanted to make something - only not any of the projects I've already got on the go (those rabbits hats will never be finished in time for Christmas as this rate)!

That got me thinking.....and a challenge was what was needed.  Now I've only been crocheting since this year and I don't have much confidence in doing anything too exciting but I love the scarf that M made on her Ladybird Diaries blog.  Gorgeous isn't it (and hopefully she won't mind me posting her picture on her)?!

So I headed on over to my friend Kath's blog at Inverleith cause it's her pattern.  Could I make this with the wool that I'd originally bought to make a cushion cover with?

You see, I've never crocheted in a line before - I'm a granny square maker so I was a bit unsure if I could manage a straight line or not!  The first attempt went a bit wrong, in that as I was going along all 240 stitches doing 1tr I kept thinking to myself  "I'm sure this isn't right", but instead of checking the pattern, I continued to the end (what?!) and then rechecked it.  Yes, sure enough, Kath quite clearly says 3tr!!!!!  So I undid it all!

Now I'm on a roll and loving it.  I'm only using three colours instead of six but it's looking good.  Even the 7 year old has stated an interest in possibly learning to crochet, and the 5 year old has asked for her own scarf!  If you fancy, you can join in with the Ladybird Diaries Bloomin Crochet-A-Long with her and Chrissie over on their blogs.

I'm off to Lottie's on Monday for a sewing day - we are planning on making an item of clothing.  As to what it will be, well we haven't decided yet but I'll show and tell just as soon as I do!

I'm off to stroke my new book from the lovely author at Soulemama blog.  A bargainous £2.99 from The Works - what's not to love?!

Hope you're all okay.  Our boiler finally got installed this week after 4 years without one.  We currently have one warm room - it feels amazing!

G x

Thursday 14 November 2013

Sing a song of sixpence

A Sixpenny Song by Jennifer Johnston
Published by Tinder Press
31st October 2013

Not every death is a tragedy.  Note every silver lining is intact.

Annie’s father is dead.  She isn’t sorry.  A rich and domineering man, his chief passion was money and, long ago, when his lovely, fragile wife died suddenly, he sent Annie to school in England, and tried to ensure that her mother was never mentioned again.

But at last his tyranny is over.  And so Annie leaves her London life and goes back to Dublin, to the family house she hates, and discovers that now, just when she thought she was free of her father, he has left her the house and intends her to live as he would have wished.  Does she dare to defy him one more time?  And who can she trust to tell her the truth about her mother’s life and death?

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing;
Wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?

She hadn’t really liked him very much, Dada (he preferred it if she called him Father; to him Dada was an untidy name for a man of his standing).

The king was in his counting house,
Counting out his money…

From the tip of his head, black hair slightly streaked with silver the last time she had seen him, which she would have to admit was ten years ago, to the toes of his highly polished shoes he looked immaculate, handsome, a man of class and wealth.  Which, of course, he was.  He liked things to go his way; his word was law, and always what he thought was the best for you.
     ‘I only want what is best for you.’
     How many times had she heard those unanswerable words?
     And now he was dead.  She wondered if he had ordered his death as he had ordered everything else in his life.
     She hadn’t been back here for over ten years.
     She had been barely eighteen when she had left Dublin.  She had just thrown some stuff in a suitcase and set off as so many others had done down the years and indeed still
do for their various reasons.  Her reason had been freedom, her destination London.  From London it had appeared to her she could survey the world; she would be able to make decisions, her own decisions, not her father’s.  Dada had a scheme mapped out for her.  He had wanted her to follow him into the money world.  He wanted her to move with grace and confidence among the wheelers and dealers and eventually marry one of them and consolidate their assets, their two worlds.  He had sent her to school in England a couple of years after her mother had died, when she was barely twelve years old and too young to fight her corner. ‘I only want what is best for you,’ he had said, when he had dropped the bombshell. ‘Your mother and I have only ever wanted the best.’

Booker-shortlisted author Jennifer Johnston has a number of acclaimed novels under her belt, and I feel that A Sixpenny Song should be no different.  Annie’s estranged father has died, and as the only child, she has to return to Dublin for the funeral and to settle his assets, as well as deal with ‘wife number two’.  Annie hasn’t been home for ten years, she hasn’t had a reason to.  She’s very happy with her life in London, working in a bookshop, which is a far cry from her father’s dreams of the life in finance that he set out for her.

Annie’s beautiful, but fragile mother, Jude, died when she was ten years old.  Annie doesn’t remember that much about her, or her death.  Returning home, she meets gardener cum handyman Kevin, and his aunt Miss Dundas.  Both of them knew her mother, though in very different ways, and through them, Annie starts to learn more about her mother and the tragic events surrounding her life.

But can Annie make a new life for herself in Dublin or will the ghosts of her past continue to haunt her?  This may only a short novel, but it is beautifully written and captivated me instantly.  Perfect for reading on a winter’s evening.

G x

Monday 11 November 2013

Lucky, lucky me!

Thank you for all of your lovely birthday wishes, I have had a lovely time - meals out, a fireworks party, flowers and more pressies than I could have dreamed of!

Would you like to see some of my treasures?

Well, aside from two caravans, a puppy and a mobile phone(!) I also got:

Beautiful silver bangles

Bracelet made from vintage Agatha Christie books!

And lots, and lots of craft books!

Fairy wings - enough said!

A crochet challenge!

I can finally return that copy to the library!

I forgot to tell hubby I'd already bought this - naughty!

I also had lots and lots of pennies to go shopping with - but what to buy?!  I did pre-order this last night

And to top it all off, the beautfiul Sam Eades over at Headline sent me this:

I may have squealed at this!

I think I can safely say, that so far, I'm loving being 40!

G x

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Nearly 40!

Tomorrow I am 40! Not planning on doing much - work in the afternoon and zumba in the evening, but the rest of the time being spent with my family.

I almost didnt make 40. A car crash when I was 20 almost put paid to that, and whilst, luckily there's no lasting damage, apart from a scar behind my ear where they sewed it back on, I haven't forgotten it.

I may not voice it, but I'm thankful for every day since, and for my wonderful family. Life can sometimes be too short.

Here's to being 40!

G x

Monday 4 November 2013

The History Girls

We've just had half-term here, and for once, didn't spend it at home.  This wasn't by choice, no siree-bob but because the hubby decided this would be an ideal week to remove the walls and ceilings in our teeny tiny bungalow as part of the ongoing plans to make it into a bigger house.  So, hubby stayed in Enid and battled his way through bricks and dust for a week, and I headed down south to stay with my parents.

I wasn't sure what to do with our time, so had a bit of an internet search and decided to indulge in my love of history to do something both fun and educational with the girlies.

Firstly we went to the museum in Towcester.  My former home town was originally of Roman origin and lots of artifacts have been found of late to build up a picture of what it would have been like when it was Lactodorum.  We had lots of fun finding the artifacts hidden on our finder-sheets and the girlies even got a rubber each as a prize - what's not to like?!  They also dressed up as Romans!

For our second trip out, we headed down the road to Bletchley to the home of the code-breaking site of Bletchley Park.  I can't believe we have never been before, but for £15 I get a year's admission and the girlies go for free.  On Wednesday they had a family fun day, full of code-breaking activities.  We all had a fantastic day out and will definitely be going back.

I didn't get much time for crafting - I only managed another two squares for my cushion, but I have completed one side, I just need to sew it all together.  Am now trying to decide whether to do the same for the back, or use fabric.  Any suggestions?

I read lots though and got through 3 books in the week which was pretty impressive.  They were all review titles so you'll be able to find out more on here soon.  I totalled up my review books to date, I have 15 more to do!  That's a lot of reading!

Speaking of reading, look what I found in the supermarket today!  I haven't heard anything about this title at all but had to get it.  Hope it's fabulous.

Beautiful magazine - anyone else got it?

I also picked this up from the library this week, gorgeous things in it.  I wish my girlies were younger, they would have loved the pull-along elephant and the busy book.  I think I'll make the hopscotch though - a great idea for indoors.

An indoors outdoors blanket

Bella Boo puppy is settling in well - apparently she is an extra birthday present!  I also go the most gorgeous flowers from my parents as an early gift as I won't be seeing them until after the big day.  I cried!

Megan and Bella

Tis all for now.  Am off to try to beat the showers on the school run.

G x