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Sunday Sevens #169

Only a day late, but trying to get back into the swing of things with another Sunday Sevens.

1. No.3 Son and his dance partner gained medals in their latest Latin and Ballroom competition – 2nd and 4th places in Waltz and Jive respectively.

2. It’s Somerset Art Weeks at the moment and I spent a day visiting some of the exhibitions with my sister and mother. This particular exhibition was in a converted barn on a farm where there were hungry piglets feeding.

3. My sister and I asked the artist to pose for a picture in front of some of her sketches.

4. Back home we’re still getting bookings for b+b guests well into October, so I’m kept very busy with laundry/cleaning/cooking.

5. I keep expecting business to die out for the season, but if more guests give us a bottle of bubbly from their own village in Italy as a ‘Thank you”, then I don’t mind!

6. Jumper weather isn’t here just yet, but I resurrected this make from a couple of years ago which has never been worn because I wasn’t happy with the way the seams were finished – so I unpicked them all.

7. Ready to be put back together with a better method of joining this time.

8. Following on from last week’s Christmas present make of a jumper, I cast on again.

9. This will be a really striking and unusual asymmetric poncho, also destined to be a Christmas present. And if they don’t like it – I do! This one will be hard to give away.

10. I cast on another present as well, in these two colours.

12. Progress as of Sunday night is looking good.

13. I finally wrapped up and sent off The Wedding Blanket to its new owners, who have since received it and sent their thanks.

I’m really focused on Christmas presents now and feel like I’ve made some good progress this last couple of weeks – how are you getting on with yours?


Sunday Sevens #140

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing seven(ish) photos of your week outside the blog. Anyone can join in at any time.

1. Half term started well, with lazy mornings allowing plenty of time for a leisurely cooked breakfast every day.

2. My mother and sister came to visit for a couple of days, one of which was spent doing art and craft type things. We visited Ilminster Arts Centre and enjoyed a couple of hours at the current exhibition, together with tea and cake in the café and some time browsing in the shop.

3. I gave in to temptation and bought some handmade ceramic buttons. I don’t have a plan for them as yet, but they’re sure to be the perfect finishing touch to a future make.

4. On the way back home we made a short detour so we could try this Railway Carriage Café, as recommended by a friend a while back.

5. It was lovely inside, full of original character and a great choice of gluten free options on the menu.

6. Later that evening, my mum and sister both got their sketching pencils and paints out and had fun with a squash.

7. Next day, The Boys had two brothers around to play for the day whilst their mother went to work. No technology allowed (my rules!) so they were all worn out by the end of the day with ‘real’ playing.

8. To wind down after their friends had gone, I let The Boys watch a film. They loved it and were totally engrossed, as you can see from this photo. The film?

9. Snow White, the original animation from 1937!

10. Christmas has taken over our local garden centre and the singing reindeer were back for a second year.

11. A family friend came to stay for the weekend and we went to Bath for the day, starting off with breakfast. You can just see the trio in the background who played some wonderful classical music whilst we ate.

12. A few hours later and we stopped to eat again, this time at Yo! Sushi, The Boy’s favourite treat.

13. Crafty things still happened over the course of the week. Progress is good on my Eastern Jewels blanket.

14. I’ve included my new labels on a couple of things I’ve made for this year’s Stitching Santa parcel.

15. Yes, yet more made from the leftover lilac faux sheepskin – it’s the fabric that just keeps giving! I will reveal all in a future blog post.

No.2 Son is at home for a second week of half term, but his little brother goes back to school tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to some time together before he goes back to boarding school. I hope your half term is going well, too!


Sunday Sevens #130

This week’s sum-up is actually two – and comes from sunny Spain again. Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins who invented the original Sunday Sevens.

1. A whole week of glorious weather meant several consecutive days of dog-walking involving both a hat AND sunglasses – a rare combination in good old Blighty!

2. If you look carefully in the shadows, you can just about make out Fifi and Tess wondering why I suddenly stopped. I thought I’d take a few photos of our usual five-mile route, beginning with open fields and country lanes which are always traffic-free apart from the odd farm vehicle or post van.

3. We passed some cattle grazing under the welcome shade of trees. They soon came trotting over when they spotted the dogs.

4. This farmhouse features regularly in my Sevens, most recently whilst wearing the most glorious covering of Wisteria which is now over.

5. The point at which we turn around and head back towards home – the church at Blackford, our destination village.

6. The Dogs were relieved to find a stream to cool down in and immediately jumped down for a drink.

Both dogs were exhausted and Fifi spent the rest of the day snoring!

7. I managed to find some see-through wellies at last and ordered a couple of pairs to be gifted together with the hand knitted socks for Christmas.

8. Work on the decking has started! It will eventually wrap around the back and side of the house.

9. “Teachers’ gifts” are a new concept to me since my last batch of children were at school, so imagine my surprise when a student presented me with this tote that she’d printed by hand for me!

10. End of term barbecue at school, accompanied by a steady stream of drizzle. Well, it wouldn’t be a barbecue without rain, would it?!

11. Places you can crochet: in the car whilst No.3 Son is at football training.

12. Progress on said blanket.

13. We popped in to a café which we had passed numerous times but had never actually been in. They were shooting some promotional photos and asked us to pose. Looks like we’re going to feature in their advertising!

14. Mr H-L erected a new chicken coop and run for the hens. We just couldn’t get rid of the mites that infested the old one and decided that the best thing to do was to burn it.

15. Here it is in its final resting place at the top of the garden. The Girls are already happily laying in the nest box again, after eschewing the coop in favour of laying in the hedge in an effort to avoid the pesky mites.

16. We were able to squeeze in lunch at our favourite place, Holbrook House.

17. Fifteen of us met in a pub for a family meal.

18. Happy 69th Birthday Mum!

19. No.2 Son’s last day at Primary School.

20. I was gifted FIVE boxes of embroidery threads, all carefully catalogued and beautifully organised! 

21. Schools broke up for the Summer holidays later than most countries, on 21st July. Three days later we flew back to my Auntie’s in Spain for ten days, joined by my sister this time.

22. Mr H-L was working the whole time – here he is taking a ‘phone call on the roof terrace above the ‘casita’, his office for the duration. Nice work if you can get it!

23. Everyone needs a lunch break, though, so popping out for tapas was a must.

24. And, of course, long, hot evenings were all enjoyed together.

25. I’ll leave you pondering over one of our more adventurous tapas.

Yes, it is EXACTLY what it appears to be!!!


Sunday Sevens #115

Linking up with Nat from Threads & Bobbins for this week’s Sunday Sevens – sevenish photos of your week showing what your life looks like outside of the blog.

1. The Mollie Makes Comic Relief magazine arrived in the post earlier in the week. I plan on hosting another fundraising ‘Crafternoon’ again this year, as the last one was a huge success (and great fun). Everyone is welcome – it will be 11-3pm on Friday 24th March at my home in North Cheriton, Somerset.

2. One of my students forgot to buy fabric for her next project so I had to improvise with some felt scraps I had to hand. She made this cute little flower brooch in her hour long class.

3. Mr H-L and I went out for lunch to The Grosvenor Arms hotel in Shaftesbury, because sometimes a pub lunch just doesn’t cut it.

4. I just love this little shaker-style egg collecting basket that No.2 Daughter gave to Mr H-L for Christmas. Far too aesthetically pleasing to be hidden away in a cupboard, it sits proudly on display on the dresser.

5. A corner of our house that has never been shown on the blog as yet, for obvious reasons – a neglected shell of a cupboard which is soon to be transformed into a downstairs cloakroom. The builders plan to start in a couple of weeks and hopefully it won’t take too long. I know it’s just a loo, but I want to give it a distinctive look. I just haven’t decided what, yet.

6. The ‘Yoga Jumper’ has been completely finished, ends woven in and everything. It is currently being reshaped .whilst damp. How exactly DO you block a hood, anyway?

7. No.3 Son picked up his abandoned knitting and enthusiastically worked on a few rows before noticing he’d gone wrong. I frogged it back to the mistake and then he lost interest again. I don’t mind – it’s all about encouraging them when they’re in the mood, isn’t it?

8. A gift for a little girl in the family in the making. It’s going to be a fold up, portable doll’s house – a ‘travel doll’s house’, if you like.

That’s it for this week folks!


Sunday Sevens #113

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series started by Nat at Threads & Bobbins to show seven(ish) photos of your week outside the blog.

1. A really cold start to the week with heavy frost and lots of fog. I wish I’d taken pictures of the stunning Hoar Frost, but I only though of it after it had thawed.

2. Some friends were visiting from Australia where they emigrated to six years ago and we went to Stourhead for the day. These two photos were taken before and after the house tour, just an hour apart!

3. A friendly little Robin hopped close enough for a quick snapshot on the ‘phone.

4. Mister’s boxer shorts turned out so well that I’ve made several pairs. (On the blog soon)

5. I ordered a pack of extra labels for that ‘designer’ touch. They came within a week all the way from Canada, which I thought was pretty good going.

6. I cut out another Coco, with another Art Gallery fabric called “Moon Stories Spark”. I love their fabrics with a passion but can only buy plain jerseys from our local shops. Thank goodness for online shopping!

7. This is why Mr H-L likes working from home:)

8. We thought the hens had stopped laying for the Winter – until we discovered this hoard of 46 eggs! It makes we wonder why we went to the trouble of providing them with a warm, dry, cosy hen house and nest box!

9. We went for lunch with a dear friend mid week. The photo I took of him was much better than the one he took of me. Do you think he likes to see his face on my blog, by any chance??

10. Impulse purchase – two lovely books to work through with The Boys. They might even come in handy in the sewing lessons.

11. Below zero temperatures have given way to cold, wet weather. Fifi has spent most of the week here, either in front of the fire or on the actual hearth. She sits there every morning and barks at us until we light it.

I’m hunkering down this afternoon while The Boys are at football. It’s cold, wet and windy outside and they’ve just presented me with a pot of Kusmi before they go. 

That’ll be me on the sofa, feet up with some knitting, while I try to make some headway into the 30-odd episodes of ‘Escape To The Country’ that are currently clogging up the storage on our Sky box.

Life is tough:)


Sunday Sevens #103

Sunday Sevens is on time this week, with only eight photos, too, largely due to not having a phone to take snaps when out and about, but let’s not drag all THAT up again…….!

Visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins to find out more and how you can join in.

1. The daisies are now all starched and holding their shape beautifully, so just the chain to finish now before I can hang it on the dresser.

2. I was watching Phil Spencer’s Secret Agent programme in the week and the ‘before’ picture showed the exact same Axminster carpet that we have as a rug in our lounge! They were advised to rip it up because it looks like a pub carpet, but it works as a rug on our oak floor. Isn’t it funny how the same carpet can present so differently according to how you decorate?

3. This little girl finished her pyjamas on Thursday and has worn them every night since – she even went home in them after posing for this photo!

4. I couldn’t resist these cute Robin fat quarters. As you might have guessed by now, I LOVE Robins and these will make something Christmassy. 

5. It’s impossible to get a decent photo of your dog enthusiastically tearing open her birthday present, but here is Tess on her third birthday with Fifi looking on enviously in the background.

6. My favourite kind of parcel! A bag arrived from Wool Warehouse with yarn for my next commission. I WILL finish the shawl first – only 55 more pattern repeats out of 120 to go.

7. I have a new phone! Exactly the same as the ‘old’ one and Mr H-L is now banned from touching it. Hopefully, there will be some photos outside of the house next week now I have a phone again.

8. While I’ve been writing this post, I managed to burn the cake that was in the oven – oops!

A reminder that Stitching Santa 2016 is now open for sign up until 30th October – click on this link to find out more.


Sunday Sevens #92

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series whereby you share seven photos of your week outside the blog. Invented by Nat at Threads & Bobbins, follow the link to find out more.

1. A member of the family was hosting an Open Garden at her farm. Typically, it poured down all day but didn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment – over £1200 was raised for a local hospice!

2. A farmyard twist on planting!

3. This old GWR sign has found a new home on the door to the outside toilet.

4. I was given a posy of flowers to take home which are still brightening my mantelpiece a week later.

5. Spurred on by fellow Instagrammers, I had a clear out of my wardrobe. I decided to donate a recent make (the keyhole top from Love Sewing) due to its immodest cleavage reveal!

6. A crochet blanket was started. Just a simple granny square one this time.

7. No.3 Son was part of a team that won the Gold medal at an inter schools championship mid-week.

8. The following day, they went on to win Silver in the area finals. District finals at Millfield School are next!

9. The owners of this field very kindly mowed a wide path through the middle of the field for dog walkers. It would appear that, instead of cattle grazing, they are encouraging a wildflower meadow to grow.

10. After a midnight emergency trip to the vet, Fifi had a tumour removed and is NOT happy that she has to wear the Cone Of Shame for ten days.

11. More crochet, this time a flat flower to embellish the centre of the aforementioned blanket.

12. After being quoted £5,200 to fit out the other end of our kitchen, I sought a cheaper alternative. This solid oak dresser cost just £96 on eBay and will be painted later in the week. Sacrilege, some might say, but there is more than enough wood in our kitchen, so Bleu Clair by Autentico has been ordered to add a splash of colour.

A quieter week than last, I had chance to catch my breath and relax a bit before family came for the weekend. They’ve just begun the journey home – right in the middle of the Glastonbury traffic, so it’s anyone’s guess as to how long it will take them!


Sunday Sevens #91

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series thought up by Nat at Threads & Bobbins – click on the link to find out more and how YOU can join in.

1. Back from Spain in the early hours of Wednesday morning (7th June – I’m still catching up), I had to get organised pretty instantly. The school fair was in four days time and I still had loads to do as, not only was I making things for the school,  but was also having a stand for The Stitch Academy AND running a fashion show for my students. 

I started by making samples for the Summer workshops which I would be advertising on my stand – Pyjamas and Sleep Mask, and an Owl Cushion/PJ Case.

2. Next, I made the Miette skirt by Tilly and the Buttons, also a future workshop or maybe weekly lessons. Raspberry coloured linen which hangs really well for this style.

3. The woman who loved my cross-body bags but wanted one in grey with a star on it had her wish granted! Luckily, she turned up at the fair wearing a grey T-shirt with a star on the front and snapped this bag up straight away.

4. The Elderflower cordial that had been brewing while we were on holiday was bottled and labelled. Here they are on the stall at the back on the far left. They all sold. Two one-litre bottles at £4 each and four 75cl bottles at £3 each, for anyone who is wondering how to price things at a school fair. It cost £2.74 for the sugar and lemons (the bottles were old lemonade ones) and sold for £20 – a nice little profit for their funds and SO easy to make.

The bunting I made for our wedding is hanging at the back of the tent:)

5. Mr. H-L actually made the marmalade this year as I was busy sewing. They’re the jars on the tray with the blue fabric ‘hats’. Ten small jars (half normal size) all sold for £1.50 each. They cost about £3 in total make and, again, the jars were recycled.

I also made forty scones on the morning of the fair so they were nice and fresh.

6. Oh, I almost forgot – after making the scones, I quickly traced off and made a Coco top as the fair wasn’t until one o’clock!!

7. My stand at the fair which was a huge success, enrolling more students and premiering my new adult classes to the villagers. A Tilly and the Buttons Margot Pyjamas workshop is almost booked up! (Thurs 14th July if anyone is interested).

8. A dozen of my students took part in a fashion show at the fair which they absolutely loved, showing off the things they had made over the past nine months since The Stitch Academy started.

9. No.3 Son stole the show with his antics!

10. He certainly made the most of his moment in the spotlight!

11. In other news….this cardboard city is a window display in a boarded up solicitor’s premises. Random, but brilliant.

13. N0.3 Son wanted to make the butter this time.

Here he is squeezing out all that lovely buttermilk which made some scones later in the day.

14. My Victorian butter paddles do their job nicely.

15. There, finished!

16. Perfect spread thickly on some Date and Walnut bread still warm from the oven!

17. ‘Chalky’, our Chalkhill Blue hen, laid her first blue egg!

18. The next day she laid her second, both of which were massive for such a small hen and this is the reason why – both were double yolkers!

19. Teaching pattern drafting to a student, this week, a basic trouser block.

20. I had almost finished a cardigan as a Christmas present from leftover yarn (thrifty, as ever) but ran out only to discover that it had been discontinued – oh s**t! 

I ended up unravelling four inches of a scarf in order to scavenge enough yarn to complete the cardigan. Luckily, the scarf was a) for me and b) REALLY long in the first place so no harm was done.

21. I got out all the components of my July make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network – but never got around to starting it. Next week, maybe.

22. Three homemade cards amongst those sent from our six (between us) children to Mr H-L on Father’s Day.

23. A pair of Star Wars flip flops, bottle of malt whisky, a coffee cake, homemade brandy truffles and, from his girls in Brighton, a dozen rock oysters!

24. What a great end to a hectic week!


Sunday Sevens #83

Another Sunday – another Sunday Sevens; a weekly blog series organised by Nat at Threads & Bobbins to show a glimpse of your life outside of the blog in about seven photos. It’s 83 weeks since my first Sunday Sevens post – where did that time go? Anyway, onto this week’s photos.

1. As my boy students make a backpack for their first project (unlike the girls who make a drawstring sewing bag), one little boy was using a plastic carrier bag to store his current WIP. I asked him if he’d like me to make him a sewing bag from the fabric he had leftover from making his PJs, and this is what I made for him


2. Very few villages around here have their own Post Office nowadays, the majority having reverted to residential use during the last couple of decades and renamed “The Old Post Office”, however we DO have a mobile Post Office that comes to the next village every week. It was a lovely day, warm and sunny, and the clerk was sat outside having a cup of tea in the sunshine. He was happy to pose for a photo.


3. I bought these vintage candlesticks in our local charity shop, one of two pairs for sale. I went back the next day and bought the other pair, too:)


4. No pub this week, but it was warm enough to sit in the café garden at Divine Wines.

5. This is my April make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network.


6. I decided that the windows were just crying out for some added detail, so added my own embellishments to the pattern.  

7. That’s all I’m showing you for now – the full blog post will be out on Wednesday!

8. This dog’s water bowl lives on top of the wall of a villager who doesn’t even have her own dog. She fills it with fresh water for anyone to use. That’s one of the many nice bits about village life:)  


9. Our White Leghorn, “Snow White”, is turning out to have quite a character. She followed Mr H-L’s every move with the spade in the hope that he would dig up a tasty morsel.

10. The hens loved the newly turned ground and spent a good couple of hours dust bathing in it.


11. We stayed in London on Friday night after the memorial service for my father in law, and spent the night in his flat. Having cancelled the TV licence after he moved into a nursing home, we could only watch a DVD, so I worked on my lacy cardigan whilst The Boys watched “The Bridge at Remagen”.  

12. A cheeky bit of Sunday shopping in TKMaxx – a rare occurrence indeed. A bistro set was on the list, initially for the terrace at the flat to look good in the estate agent’s photos, but afterwards for the balcony outside our bedroom at home. I didn’t find anything I liked enough to buy, but this one was quite cute.


So that was my week – I managed to crowbar quite a bit of sewing and knitting in inbetween the other things we had going on and more is planned for next week, hopefully, so a few blog posts should follow:)