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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 #111

As with all of you, I’m sure, these last few weeks have been hectic and I’ve been offline for a large portion of that time. I hope to find time this evening to catch up on some blog reading and see what you’ve all been up to but, in the meantime, here’s my Sunday Sevens.

1. I found this great book in TKMaxx and bought it based on the cover photo!


2. I’m still at the stage where I want to keep my car spotless. Not sure how long that will last.


3. Managed to squeeze in lunch and a bit of shopping with my sister. Tambourine Village in Street again – lush!


4. Our new sofa arrived from Laura Ashley! It’s cranberry crushed velvet and so much cosier than the old leather ones.


5. It sits opposite the one we got off eBay a few weeks ago. I know, I know – I don’t do minimalism:)


6. Our village Christmas supper went down very well as usual. Even though I came off the committee in March, I still seem to get roped in to organise things as before as I just can’t say no to people!


7. We took a ‘plane to Scotland……

8. …..and went to see a pantomime in King’s Theatre in Glasgow.

9. We stayed in a hotel overnight before getting up at 4am to catch another ‘plane to Lapland to meet the real Father Christmas! A separate blog post will follow – eventually:)

10. Back in Blighty a few days later, they opened their new pyjamas. New PJs are a bit of a tradition now at Christmas.

11. For some reason a selfie is a mirror image on my ‘phone, hence the text being back to front, but it’s a pattern review I did for Sewing World magazine.

12. Another Christmas present finished, to be blogged about on Wednesday for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network.

13. More yarn – I have to make another one for her little sister for Christmas. I foresee a VERY late night or two….

14. Friends joined us for an impromptu evening playing Christmas ‘Hangman’. Cheese and drinks aplenty were consumed.

15. Both of my Stitching Santa parcels arrived! Mine are both posted now, too, so I can relax a tiny bit as another deadline has been reached by the skin of my teeth.

I’m loving seeing all your Stitching Santa updates on blogs and Instagram – keep them coming!


Sunday Sevens #105

Extra hour in bed? Who’re they kidding? I woke up at the usual time and couldn’t get back to sleep so decided to get up anyway and get more done, starting with this week’s Sunday Sevens. Visit Nat over at Threads & Bobbins to find out more.

1. The knitted baby shawl is finished and I’ve started to sew it all together which is a loooong job.

2. See the proximity of the goal? I’ve decided that, if I make The Boys clean off the zillion football imprints on the French Windows, they might be more careful about where they kick it.

3. The Boys have been brilliantly behaved this half term, so I treated them to a pub lunch. They played with their Match Attax whilst waiting for their meals. Just look at that expression when faced with defeat!

4. No.1 Son was working from home on Thursday when my sister came down for the day, so we snuck out on our own for an hour and had coffee in Divine Wines. This is the front of the shop and there are several tiny rooms out the back where you can sit to eat and drink. It’s really lovely.

5. Without a doubt, the highlight of my week was Date Night, when Mr H-L surprised me with tickets to see a talk by one of my heroes, Architectural Historian, Dan Cruickshank, in Sturminster Newton. He signed both books and was more than happy to pose for a photograph. What an incredibly charming man, such a gentleman and exactly as he appears on TV.

6. Arghh, what a mess! We decided to bite the bullet and clear out the office which has become a bit of a dumping ground. I say ‘we’, but Mr H-L actually suggested that he mowed the lawn whilst I did the office, thinking it would take us each an hour.

Nine hours later and we weren’t even half way through! Guess what we’ll be doing again all day today?

7. Before you ask, no, I didn’t take this photo, but it serves to illustrate the beautifully haunting call of a Tawny Owl that woke me up at 2am this morning. It was so loud outside our open bedroom window, that I think it must have been perched on the ridge of our stone shed just a few feet away.

Finally, just a quick reminder that midnight tomorrow on 31st October is the last chance to sign up for this year’s Stitching Santa, so if you haven’t sent me your details yet, you’d better be quick!

That’s it for this week folks – hope you all have a great weekend!


Sunday Sevens #100

Sunday Sevens is here again and guess what – I’ve kept it to seven photos for the first time in forever! Not that we haven’t done loads, just that I keep forgetting to take photos. No pub pics either this week; we had a lovely walk to the pub yesterday in the sunshine, but I forgot to take the mobile with me.

If you want to find out more and how you can join in, visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins.

1. This gorgeous, faded roses fabric was on sale at £5 per metre, down from £16. It is 2.5m wide, too, so I bought all of it – 3m for £15! It’s curtain weight fabric and is destined for the redecoration of the smallest bedroom, which hasn’t been decorated in ten years and needs a facelift.

2. As part of our ‘get the house ready for sale’ effort, we had a clear out of the wall-to-wall bookshelves in our lounge. I offered this lot to the school for their Christmas fair as it’s all in good condition, but they don’t seem to want it as no one has got back to me. Oh well – charity shop it is then.

3. I forgot to show you this book that I couldn’t resist buying last week. It’s just lovely – and there’s more space on the bookshelves now, so there was no reason not to buy it:)

4. Can you believe this? Spotted in a pub in Sherborne on 5th SEPTEMBER!

5. Hmm, not very picturesque perhaps, but an important part of our week. We had a heavy downpour and rain was pouring through the light fitting in the not yet finished sun room. A quick inspection of the single storey roof revealed two broken tiles. Easily fixed before any damage was done, thank goodness.

6. Progress so far on the quilt-as-you-go squares. Each square will be quilted the same, but the design doesn’t show up as clearly on the patterned fabrics as it does on this spotty one.

7. A sweet pic of the dogs to finish with. Wow, they do need a haircut. Time to get the scissors out again….


Sunday Sevens #97

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series to give a glimpse of life outside the blog. To find out more, visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins.

1. Spotted this lovely filet crochet window dressing in a village local to us. I nearly got killed standing in the middle of the road determined to get close enough for a decent photo.

2. Remember this cushion that a student made with me?

3. She won ‘Best In Section’ at her village fete!

4. Love this photo of The Boys with their cousins at Stourton, Wiltshire.

5. A friend asked if I could lend her some vintage China – I didn’t realise I had so much and this isn’t all of it!

6. Another painting project – this is going to be transformed into a sink unit for our en suite.

7. We met up with some friends who were camping on Exmoor. It was 12 degrees at 1pm on 11th August so those crocheted blankets came in handy as we huddled around the fire!

8. The kids still went swimming in the freezing river though!

9. Glorious Exmoor. We will run a b+b there one day.

10. Our camping trip is coming up and my old hoodie has had it, so a new one is under construction. I loathe hoodies for their lack of any aesthetically appealing features, but they are a necessary evil if you want to stay warm when camping.

See what you think – I’ll blog about it later in the week.

11. I made a top for a little girls American Girl doll with the scraps, which led to a whole wardrobe of clothes being created. More photos to follow.

12. Gave hubby a much needed haircut.

That’s it for this week!


Sunday Sevens #93

Better late than never, here is this week’s Sunday Sevens!

1. Is Summer ever going to come to England? Eleven degrees centigrade and it felt chilly enough to light the fire. I haven’t abandoned the flip flops just yet though.

2. Working on prototypes for a commercial commission and my table looks like this. Why can’t I be a tidy sewer?

3. We walked to the pub in the rain – again.

4. This gorgeous yarn arrived from the USA.

5. It’s going to be a laceweight, circular baby shawl – if I can ever work it out. I’ve frogged it twice already.

6. A nightshirt and pyjamas were completed in classes this week.

7. Remember the shop window with the cardboard city from a couple of weeks ago? Cardboard bird boxes have replaced them, complete with Astro turf and garden birds helping themselves to the top of the milk.

9. I started making some crochet daisies. Just because.

10. No.3 Son won Manager’s Player of the Year for his outstanding goalkeeping this season.

11. No.3 Son posing for a photo at Hauser and Wirth Gallery in Bruton.

14. At the bar inside, I just HAD to try their homemade Dill Gin.

15. My daughter in her new car. It suits her, don’t you think?

If you fancy joining in Sunday Sevens, visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins where you can find out how to take part. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be on a Sunday or seven photos…..


Sunday Sevens #90

This week’s Sunday Sevens comes from Spain again, although we are actually back in Luke warm and soggy England once more now which means…….

1. ……no more cups of hot water and lemon on the roof terrace overlooking the pool and this mountain view.

2. Lemons freshly picked off a tree in the garden.

3. The entrance to the weekly market in Albox.

4. A relaxed way of displaying lengths of fabric for sale.

5. I bought a couple of linen shirts from this stall.

6. I couldn’t resist joining The Boys on their second hack through the mountains – no broken ribs this year, thankfully!

7. We took The Boys for a day out to Mini Hollywood, way out in the desert region of Southern Spain, where the spaghetti westerns were filmed.

8. Twice daily live mini westerns are put on for visitors and, although The Boys have been here before and watched it several times, they still loved it!

9. The actors were very friendly (despite the dead pan expressions put on for the photos!) and encouraged visitors to join them on the wagons or horses for a photo.

10. We all loved the Can Can dancers in the Saloon.

11. Mr H-L didn’t need to be asked twice to pose for a photo with one of the dancers after the show had finished.

12. After a few hours in the blistering heat, The Boys were desperate to get to the swimming pool which was also part of Mini Hollywood.

13. A good hour was spent on the water slides.

14. It was a bit weird to see all this water in such a dry region.

15. A welcome beer on the porch outside the Saloon Bar.

16. The Boys went riding again the next day, while Mr H-L and I explored Partaloa village.

17. Two very hungry boys were more than happy to go for tapas after riding.

18. This little lot didn’t last long!

19. Back ‘home’ for an afternoon relaxing and I managed to block all four panels of my lace cardigan. They dried in no time in the dappled shade.

20. The world famous Desert Springs was our destination the next day.

21. A leisurely family lunch was enjoyed in the welcome shade of the porch dining area.

22. View from the dining complex over the golf course – the only places in Southern Spain to have real grass!

23. Back at the villa, The Boys played in the pool whilst we downed Summer wine by the jug full.

24. I started joining the cardigan panels together but, even though I finished all the knitting before our holiday, I still hadn’t stitched it together by the end of the fortnight!

25. The Boys climbed onto the plane tired but happy at 9.30pm. They crawled into bed at 1.30am UK time…..and we had to wake them up for school at 8.30 the following morning, poor things!

Thanks to Nat at Threads & Bobbins for organising Sunday Sevens; a weekly blog series in photo format.


Sunday Sevens #82

 Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series to show a snapshot of your life outside the blog. Visit Nat over at Threads & Bobbins to see how you can join in.

1. Mr H-L brought me up breakfast in bed complete with a ‘vase’ (whisky bottle) of flowers. Fifi is still curled up at the end of the bed. She is spoilt and has always slept on our bed – Tess sleeps downstairs and sulks every night at bedtime.


2. N0.3 Son bounded in mid-breakfast and proudly showed me what he was making downstairs.

3. My sister came to stay and we ended up in the pub after a nice walk. At the time we were the same age, but it was her birthday yesterday and she is now a year older than me:)


4. My favourite hen, Amber, was weak and not her usual confident self and all the hens were bullying her again, so we brought her into the house to live whilst she regained her strength.

5. Unfortunately, she didn’t recover and died peacefully one evening. She had such a great personality and has featured in many a blog post. We miss her dreadfully already.
 6. I held a Bunting workshop – here are the kids enjoying a half time treat.  

7. A couple of photos of what was achieved in the four hour class – pretty impressive for eight year olds, don’t you think?  
8. This little girl made her bunting for her little sister’s birthday present – how sweet?

 9. These patchwork squares came free with a magazine – any ideas as to what I could do with them?   
10. Yet another charity shop bargain – two brand new tea towels for 50p each. Not sure what I’ll make with them, but they were too pretty to leave there.

 So that was my week – The Boys are back to school on Monday so I might actually be able to get some sewing done as it feels like ages since I’ve done a ‘proper’ blog post!


Sunday Sevens #52 – 1st Anniversary

Wow – a whole year of Sunday Sevens! Although I’ve joined in from the very beginning, I haven’t managed to post every week, in fact I think Nat at Threads & Bobbins is the only one who has.  Hop over to her blog to find out about how to add your own Sunday Sevens to the mix – and to enter a fab giveaway too!

So, without further ado, here are my Sunday Sevens 1st Anniversary pictures: –

  1. Took The Boys to the Natural History Museum in London. What a brilliant place! Headed straight for the dinosaur exhibition first, obviously.


2. Nice photo of me with The Boys enjoying the sunshine.


3. The Boys feeding the Lorikeets at Bristol Zoo – such a great experience, we do it every time we go.


4. The Boys played in the fields while we put up some new fencing for my mother. They had a little bit too much fun and Gran had to literally hose them down in the garden!


5. How is it even possible to sleep like that??


6. There are no words.

Bristol zoo

7. I judge the Crafts and the Photographic entries in the local show every year – this was the lovely box of chocolates that I was given as a thank you.


8. A cheeky extra photo to show you these little beauties. Guess what we’ll be making this afternoon…..?