Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Crafts at last!

Hello there
If you keep calling by to see the latest - Thank you.. I'm rubbish at updating, aren't I? lol
If you've only arrived here for the first time - Welcome.

Anyway, this time I have actually been crafting... I know, right! Amazing! A few of us at work have met up a couple of times, because a colleague does "felting" and offered to show us how to do the basics. So we met up up.. and Wow! I'm loving it... This is the first thing I made:

Case for my Kobo
Yeah! And? I can hear you saying... :-D Well.... The case itself was made by Wet Felting. Gosh Zumba has nothing on wet felting.... lol It's hard work, but so satisfying as you watch that fleece being turn into a piece of fabric. Susan then showed me how to do needle felting, and I started it during the session. When I got home I carried on and completed the poppies, still unsure what I was going to do with it - it was just a piece of felting with some poppies at this stage. I sat and looked at it for 3 weeks, trying to decide if it would look good in a frame or not. And then suddenly I knew.... I made it into a pocket and it was the perfect size for my Kobo. If I had to price it up, I guess the materials cost me about 50p at the very most - probably far less than that!

By now I realised that I was loving the needle felting, and had some ideas for Christmas presents (still in the pipeline, so not giving anything away - sorry) and needed to practice. So my very first project was this:

I know... his ears of very big, but for a first project I think he's gorgeous!!! :-D I'm so pleased with him. And the "girls" that did the felting with me have been making some very rude comments about how I must be fibbing about having done this before.... I haven't, honestly! Susan was very kind and said that some people are just naturals, and I am one of those... bless her!!! :-)

And then.... Well! Hubby said "Make an Alphie"... Yes dear!!! lol. Never one to pass up a challenge - no matter how daunting it seems, I thought I could at least try.

So here is the beginnings of Alphie. I'm plucking up courage to add his outer coat - he's long haired, as (fairly) regular readers will have seen. I have the perfect coloured fleece, it's just getting going! 

I have a video of the puppy "eating" water, but I don't know if it's going to work... If it doesn't can anyone tell me how to load it onto blogger?

And then.... when I was leaving Los Angeles, Elizabeth said "Can you make me some socks"? No problems, said I... Oh! How I laughed when I tried..... not! I am now on attempt number 3... This is what it looks like..... ;-)

Although to be fair, it is bigger now... I get as far as the heel and then lose what I'm supposed to be doing! lol. I'm now trying a pattern for beginners, which really is an Idiots Guide to making a sock, so fingers crossed this works! hahaha

And finally. The canal was "de-weeded" before it got too bad this year (although the recent heatwave has ruined all the good work!) and I thought you'd like the see the "Killer teeth" that clears the water...

You see the little boat at the back? They use that to push and pull along the Killer-teeth boat, which doesn't have an engine to power it. Now see where it is on the first photo? I closed the lock gates (because once in the lock, these guys realised they weren't able to do the gates themselves because they couldn't get out of the boats... :-) I raised the paddles to let water in......... now look at the second photo and see the boat at the back now?

Yep!!! It was about to turn over in the lock... It had got caught up on some over-hanging bricks inside the lock, and the guy didn't realise at first... It was a close call. Mostly because I couldn't close the flippin' paddle because it is so stiff, but with a bit of rocking, the boat came loose. The guy at the front is the boss, and while not at all happy, he did take the time it took to bail the boat out, to have a cuppa I made, and a smoke-break!!! :-) And the canal was weed-free at last! The water colour is NOT because it's polluted as some visitors come to tell us, but because it had rained heavily and a lot of mud and silt had been washing down from the river. 

So that's what I've been up to. Thanks for calling by. Hope you are having a good summer? Enjoy the rest of it. I'll be back when I have some more to show you.


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

So what have I been doing?

I've been to Los Angeles... :-) Very photo heavy.............
My lovely boy finally got his Visa through, and he was off like a shot. Don't blame him really, but I am certainly missing him. We took him down to Heathrow and I didn't cry.... honest..... Well, maybe a little bit when he turned just as he went through to Departures and had tears in his eyes.... OK! I cried quite a bit then! But he's been my life for 26 years because of his Aspergers, and suddenly he wasn't going to be there any more.... No wonder I cried!

Anyway! That meant the wedding was all set to go..... Panic stations because DH hasn't worked since Christmas because there's been nothing around. I have 3 wonderful children (and a [then] soon-to-be-daughter in law) who clubbed together and paid for my ticket. How lucky am I? Well - I cried again when they emailed me the ticket....
So off I went to Heathrow.. Got myself on the right plane. Panicked 2 hours into the flight when I realised there was still 9 hours to go, but calmed down again, read lots, slept some, watched Skyfall and tipped orange juice down myself! :-) ... don't ask... lol.
Two photos about half an hour out from Los Angeles......

About half an hour before landing at LAX

Just to prove I was on the flight! :-) 
Wow! Security and customs at LAX are so friendly - Not!!! I felt guilty, even though I wasn't taking anything in that I shouldn't.... lol So rude.... Oh well.... I got through and there was my lovely boy and girl waiting. P. jumped under the barrier when he saw me... :-D
Drove to Elizabeth's (Steph's Mom) house where I was gong to be staying while I was there, to be greeted with a lovely hug from her. I had been a bit worried about staying there - I'd never met her but she made me feel totally at home.
Jet lag took 2 or 3 days to recover from. The heat about 5 days. But I had such a great time. P and S took me sight seeing every day. We went into Pasadena:

This is the Gamble House - built in the Arts and Crafts style (although i do think it's as much Japanese influenced) for Mr and Mrs Gamble (Proctor and Gamble) it is a beautiful house:

My lovely boy! :-)

Apparently the family used to sleep out on the balconies in the hotter summer months.

Remember "Back to the Future"?
Presenting........Doc's garage! :-)

Pasadena Town:

Pasadena Library

Pasadena Superior Court House

Then it was off to the Huntington Library... Gardens, Galleries and Library.

A carpet  of yellow Cosmos

Terrapins - so tame they came right up to us.

Entrance to the Chinese Garden

Then The Arboretum where they were going to be married... Beautiful gardens. There were quite a few Peacocks, Humming Birds, Bird of Paradise flowers; so much! :-)

Beautiful flowers on this tree

Bamboo Copse - apparently according to Philip, a lot of the Jurassic Park films were made here.... 

Bird of Paradise flowers - these were growing everywhere....

Dragon or Damsel? No idea, but what gorgeous colours.... took me 5 minutes to wait for it to sit still long enough to photograph it.

Peacock!!!! Flippin' noisy birds! :-)

Then The California Science Centre...

I'd flown 5500 miles for this day! :-D (Thats what I told Steph and Phil and they were OK about that...)

Even Astronauts need to go to the loo!
These tyres have been into space and back.... several times! You are encouraged to touch - so I did of course!

And what I went all that way to see? When we walked into the Hall where it was exhibited I felt like I was 10 again, watching the Moon Landing with my Dad and Brother. Dad would have loved this.... I stood staring with my mouth open, jumping up and down!!!! :-D :-D :-D Oh we so need us one of these in the UK! If only...... Here she is:

Endevour. Awesome. Totally. Truly. Awesome!

And then we moved onto the Griffith Observatory.
This was my second choice of places I wanted to go. Philip and Steph got officially engaged here. We went in the early evening because Steph wanted me to see the sun setting.

And then the wedding. The ceremony took place at the Arcadia Arboretum in the Rose Garden. The weather was perfect. My lovely new girl had organised everything perfectly and everything went without a hitch - except the Flower Girl who had a right 'strop' as we were about to start the ceremony. Luckily we all laughed and took photo's and she stopped and "played" Flower Girl as quickly as her tantrum had started. A friend got himself registered as a Celebrant in order to conduct the service. I was very proud and had a lump in my throat but didn't cry as I thought I would. It was a beautiful perfect day. I'll leave you with some photos... (none of me of course - I was there on my own and it's a bit difficult taking photos of yourself! :-)

They walked down the aisle together

Photobombed by the delicious Flower girl! :-)

So that's what I was up to in May. It's still odd for him not to be here at home. His room is now my room.... ( ;-) ) but I can't help calling it "Phils room". I'm going to have to paint it, I think before it's no longer his. I should probably have done it before I moved in a room full of shelving, desk, tables, crafting stuff, sewing stuff... you get the idea! LOL!

R started a permanent job today. I saw a Kingfisher for the first time ever today. Life is finally beginning  to come together. :-D
Thanks for reading and getting this far. :-) Back whenever. :-)