Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Blood, Sweat and Tears... Ta Dah!

At last!  I can reveal my latest blanket which has been a labour of love, hardship, frustration and unbelievable unpicking.  Yes, I have felt that I have shed blood, sweat and tears when completing this one.  While writing the words to this post, I look outside and the heavy clouds mock me.  Today of all days I need it to be sun shiny and tikety boo so that I can show you the work I have put into this project.

The Janie Crow Lily Pond Blanket was her CAL from last year, but when I saw it after finishing the Painted Roses Blanket from Cherry Heart, I thought it would be a good progression to learn new stitches and to push myself.  That I most certainly did!

Yes I was going to throw in the towel and just call it a WiP, but no, I continued, weaving my hook in and out of the different colours and hook sizes, and then it all started to come together.

So, I am writing this on a Sunday morning and then hopefully by the end of the day there will be some sun shiny shots for you to enjoy and appreciate the work that I have been doing for the last three months.

Hubby's reaction... "it looks like a pond".  Well done that man!

I'm going to miss making this blanket now that it has been completed as it has been something I can vent at.  But I need to have some calmness restored in my life, some nice easy lines, some nice easy squares, some nice comforting colours.  Well, I've already received this gorgeous box of woolly scrumptiousness after looking for my next project to get me through the summer months.  

Some of you know how much I love to walk in the rain and my love of the autumn and winter.  It's my happy time, and when I feel most alive.  The camera helps me capture those different moments that are more interesting than sun, sun and, oh yes, sun.  The water droplets captured on a rose, the dew on a spider's web, the reflection of a building from a puddle, the happy faces on children in welly boots being allowed to splash, the frost enveloping anything that it can hug.  Well, this project is going to be a happy one.

This is a CAL that has already started - Sheepjes CAL 2016.  The main one is Last Dance on the Beach, but I have gone for the comforting colours reflected in Dance in the Rain which just sings to my heart.  The CAL was designed by the late Marinke Slump (A Creative Being) who was designing this project when she sadly passed away.  Twelve of her online friends and bloggers completed the design and the CAL is in Marinke's memory and as a tribute to her work.  Please click on her link in this paragraph to understand why so many people are doing this in her memory.

It's only fitting that I am seeing this as a happy blanket and one that I am going to enjoy and think about the good things in life and what makes me who I am and what I want to achieve.

Right, post written, now where's that elusive sun??!!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Five on Friday - Moments Captured

We've been walking back on the Fen again this week which has been a wonderful way to end each working/school day.  With GCSE's in full swing for Miss Teen it's been stressful so with each ending of the day just to walk along the quiet pathways, pass the time of day with friendly walkers and just listen to the wildlife surrounding us is sheer heaven.  The colourful crops sway in the breeze, not minding the winged birds and insects, enjoying their dance as the wind blows gently through the once neat rows where they now rebel against the uniformity of their prepared beds.

Wednesday night brought on a whole different conversation as we happily walked along one of our favourite pathways.  The air was still, geese flew low above our heads and then... we saw this...

It was an interesting conversation.  We were in the middle of the Fen next to water filled ditches and a copse of trees with a funnel cloud above us.  If the funnel touched the ground, things would be a lot different and a tad bit uncomfortable for us.  Mr Teen said he would go into the ditch but me and Miss Teen opted to try our luck in the copse of trees.  Thankfully within a few minutes the funnel slowed and the cloud separated scribbling  thin clouds in that part of the sky.  Phew!

Looking at the sparse trees around, the weather leaves its scars to make the normal look more interesting.

Sneeze makers surround us in abundance, but surprisingly the only sneezes come from our lovely Tia who is getting used to the night routine again of a longer walk in the light.

At the end of the walks we have our treat (to boost our energy of course!).  Chocolate and long quiet walks - a perfect end to the day!

 Sharing with the lovely Amy at Love Made My Home's Five on Friday.  Go along and see some lovely blogs sharing their five.

Have a great weekend lovely readers.

Sharing with:

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Springtime in Oxford

Well summer came and paid us a visit last weekend.  Soaring temperatures and blue skies were welcomed so gratefully especially with another little trip planned.  So without further ado, here we go again, boil up the kettle and grab yourself a cup of rosy lee and a cupcake and let me take you around Oxford, one of our University Cities.

We started in Balliol College, one of the constituent colleges of Oxford and established in 1263.  The perfect gardens, wisteria climbing the stonework and the carefully placed rusty gate.  Music to my eyes!

What is it with me and windows?  Especially stone ones!  The chandelier through the window took my eye and the more I looked the more I loved.

And aren't these fun...

Of course, we all know someone who does this...

Wisteria and stone in the sunshine, such a beautiful combination.  The oak door welcoming scholars inside.  What a wonderful environment and can you imagine the book lined rooms that lay beyond this?  Yes, my longing for that particular room made another appearance in my mind!

Being a University City, every nook and cranny had students either studying, socialising or working.  This student was capturing the building on her canvas just as I like to with my camera.

It was also degree day (well, it certainly was with the degrees of heat!!), and gowns and mortarboards were seen everywhere.

Because of the celebrations, there was a lot of this going on (a tad disappointing!)...

... and lots of party preparation...

We were a little disappointed that we couldn't get into places, but we could still see the amazing architecture so my finger was poised over the shutter button to keep on capturing the day.

Hertford Bridge that joins two areas of the Hertford College but also known as The Bridge of Sighs...

I just love little streets such as this one.  I lose myself in space and time when I see such quaintness.

Colourful houses lined some of the streets, each pastel shade complementing its neighbour.

Eclectic mixes of different eras of architecture.

Hidden windows behind thick stone walls.

Stone walls providing the steady protection for hundreds of bicycles.

We made our way to the Bodleian Library which opened in 1602 and has been a library legal deposit for 400 years and has over 12 million documents.

We would have loved to have gone in but all tours were sold out and at the time of us visiting it was, you guessed it, closed to visitors!  Grrrrr!!!

Remember how proud I was when walking around London a few weeks ago?  Well, maybe I was a little too confident when walking around Oxford and by this time I was feeling it.  For those who have been reading my ramblings, especially since last December, they will already know that my feet have been on one hell of a health journey after an operation on both.  I have been walking very nicely especially five miles in London recently, but Oxford... apparently 11367 steps according to my phone and now my face couldn't hide the pain anymore.  So a slow walk back was in order with frequent stops along the way.

Pretty benches to take the WEIGHT off my feet.

Pretty flowers to take my MIND off my feet!

Of course, we would have loved to have gone punting but that will have to wait for another day.

As you can see, the weather was changing and the sky was getting darker.  It wasn't long before the rain set in, so the slow walk back to the transport taking us home was very welcome indeed.

Back on the coach, my shoes eventually came off with some prompting and pain killers were taken.  I'm glad to say that the following day, all was well, but I now know my limits!!

Have a wonderful weekend and week ahead everyone.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Sweet Simple Romance

Sometimes I look through my camera card and come across a simple scene that makes me smile on a rainy day.  This simple Bed and Breakfast in Oxford is so quintessentially British with its pansies in window boxes and the bicycle leaning against the gorgeous windows.  I may have to return to see what the interior looks like.

Enjoy the rest of the week dear readers, I hope it is sweet and simple for you.

Just 'googled' the place and found the website for this fascinating place (here)

Sunday, 8 May 2016

A Touch of Victorian

Sshhh, don't say it too loud, but I do believe summer has arrived in this neck of the woods.  Temperatures are soaring and the sandals are out!  I am sitting outside while I put this post together after putting all the summer garden furniture around and about.  Those who have been reading my little corner or blogland for a while will know that this is not my favourite season, but while the wasps and flies keep away, I will enjoy these warm breezes.  BUT, let's go back a bit and put you out of your misery with mine and Mumsy's trip to The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, Birmingham.  It has been difficult to choose which images to put on my blog post to you, but I hope you'll all enjoy the look around this museum which showcases my favourite era, the Victorians.   So, in true style, grab yourself a chocolate Bourbon and a strong cup of breakfast tea and come along with me on a particularly heavy picture post of times gone by...

I think we may have come at the wrong time as the people who dress up and take us through the ages were particularly thin on the ground (and so our comparisons with the Beamish Museum began!).  Along the pathways were various bus stops that gave a very short bus ride to the next stop or up to the exit.  The buses were the bone rattling type and very solid but to see them trundling down the road was a joy to see, especially with the Victorian surroundings.

The slate in the primary school ready to be used by little hands experiencing their Great Grandparents' school days.

And the hard benches - no home comforts here!

Down one of the roads a skipping rope was tied to a lamp post with the invitation of stretching this across the road and reliving childhood memories.  Those days are long gone with the excess number of cars now, but it was surprising with the amount of different generations that were trying this, each one with huge smiles and laughter.

But let's just have a visual tour now of the Museum with less commentary...

Now let's go inside the buildings...

How about some decorating? ...

The hanging on the wall was right up my street... I do love my nuts and bolts!

Now, our other comparison with the Beamish Museum was that the houses here at the Black Country Museum seemed less inspiring.  There weren't stairs that led you up to bedrooms so that you could feel yourself going back in time however, the attention to detail as you would have seen above was very good.

Now, hungry?  We certainly were, and what could be better than fish and chips cooked in beef dripping!  Oh dear, the diet suffered here!!

Next came the canal boat ride into the cavern mines.  "It will only take five minutes" we were told before.  So, Mumsy showing her stiff upper lip, climbed onto the boat with me and on we went!  Five minutes was really 55 minutes, with deep dark caverns, spiders and a guide who took great pleasure in telling us about the amount of people who died while carving out the routes and those parts that had caved in.  Oh, not to mention the light show and loud music when you get into the depths (not one for migraine sufferers!!).  However, here are just a couple of shots for you to prove that we went in!!

Back in the day a couple of lads would walk the boat through.  Now, I was going to volunteer, really I was!  Just to see how my new feet would cope, but Mumsy by this time who has a fear of spiders, dark places, being underground and water, was just about to explode.

There was just one more thing to do... a toilet stop and then get home to calm her nerves!!

Of course, I am joking!  There are more modern and clean versions also available.

So, to sum up, I would say that if you have a day in this area it is really worth visiting.  If you have two or more days to spare, definitely the Beamish Museum (my posts are here and here).

Thanks so much for your comments again last week, I am truly sorry that I haven't got back to your blogs, I'll get back to normal soon (I hope!).

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day to all those who are celebrating today overseas.  Have a great day!!

And a special mention to my own Mumsy who has just celebrated her birthday, please wish her a good one!!

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