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Feeling Sheepish…

How are you all out there in Blogsville? Yes I’ve been quiet. Life is all. Been busy getting on with it and I have neglected you!

Mr ONoodles retired in August and Son no.2 graduated. Two turning points of great magnitude. We have enjoyed a couple of trips out to Copenhagen to visit son no.1 which included a most interesting road trip over to Sweden in search of Wallander on account of being Scandi Noir addicts!

In Ystad we followed in his fictional footsteps to the street where he lives, the square, the bank and down to Mossbystrand where he contemplates cases. We visited the cafe and the bookshop and ate at one of the restaurants. And yes, I bought some yarn – but that’s not a Wallander thing, that’s an ONoodles thing! We also called into Malmo and saw the city by bike seeking out sites from ‘The Bridge’ and topped it all off by driving back to Copenhagen over the Oresund.

In Copenhagen we went native and hired bikes and had a wonderful time with our tour guides- Joe and Maria , being shown the sites and sharing some wonderful moments with them. I’m not sure I have mentioned before how much we love cycling around cities. We took in bistros, cafes and a continental market. Also the biggest cycling thrill ride of the Bicycle Snake- if you are ever on a bike in Copenhagen go and ride it! Click the pic to take you to info about the Cycle Snake…

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Copenhagen

So here are one or two pics

 We also went to Amsterdam over Christmas

I have also been crafting and this was at Winter Woolies back in November of which I will tell you more another timeFB_IMG_1448218493601

See you again soon!

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From a pier to a shawl…

With all the hype about the World Cup, BT have brought out a new range of television adverts  promoting their sport channel and broadband packages. One of them features a Welsh footballer Gareth Bale who is seen honing his skills on a beautiful pier that has recently been given a facelift. I instantly recognised the pier and had to look it up on the net (yes infact I googled it) and here it is if you are interested in either football,  Gareth Bale or the scenery…(click the pic)
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The day we visited it was very cold and windy and the pavillion covered in scaffolding but I was still enchanted by the railings

I had recently acquired some gorgeous 100% mulberry silk yarn from Babylonglegs  (go and drool over her lovely yarns and luscious colours- treat yourself why don’t you?!) and had talked about how it needed to be made into something that would show off the colour and drape.  Having not worked with fine silk thread before I searched for a simle pattern for the main part of the shawl. You can read my original post here https://onoodlesstitchcraft.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/crochet-lace-shawl/

Here are a few pictures to remind you of the finished item and now you can really see the link. There is also a picture of the Penarth Shawlette which was a commission made in a fine merino and I adapted the pattern but still the same basic design.


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The Black Rat of Doom!

Well hello there. I have been absent from my blog for many reasons- mainly because I have been busy and enjoying myself. I’ve made alot and done alot and don’t quite know where to start?

A couple of weeks ago ONOODLES made her first public outing for a long time. The Fabulous Finds fair was well organised, a lovely hall and great facilities but really poor footfall… Still, all was not lost as I had the company of the lovely Eggy B, (sorry Jen!) and we met Connie of Funkie Doodles Arts and Crafts. We  chatted and laughed and laughed some more and even had a dance along to the entertainment (we had to provide some light relief from the lack of  custom).  I have to say, if you need a singer you can’t go far wrong with Pete Wayre- he serenaded us with some fabulous old swing numbers, Farnk Sinatra, Dean Martin (old crooners) to Cliff Richard and songs from the shows.

At home  exhausted as I was, and mellow from a large glass of wine, I reflected on the day and my life just now… it goes without saying that I wish I didn’t have Lupus but boy oh boy has it made me appreciate  what I have. So having tearfully told husband that he and the boys are the most precious things things in my life, I waxed on about how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends and family.

Over Easter we visited Son no.1 in Stockholm and had a wonderful stay, visiting some new and revisiting some old places. The Vasamuseet was one highlight for me; the amazing tale of a w arship from 1628 (I think!) that didn’t even make it out of the harbor before it sank on it’s maiden voyage! I lay there until 1961 when it was removed from the water almost 90% preserved. The museum is built around the recreated ship. Apparently it survived as it was not in saltwater. The worms that destroy timber do not live in fresh water. The ship builders were aware of the design problems that the ship had- requested by the King and designed by a Dutchman, so the intention was to sail the ship round the corner into the Naval base to make the vessel seaworthy. It never got there! And everyone blamed the Dutchman since he was dead by then so no living person took the blame!

 

I took photographs but light levels are low in the museum.

Anyway if you click on the pic it will take you to the website for a better view.

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I was amused by some of the items for sale in the  shop…the black rat of DOOM!

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Heres a little slideshow of some of our other Swedish experiences which include-

  • a giant pizza
  • lots of food
  • sunny days
  • boat trips
  • family time
  • trolls!
  • trams
  • the grave of  Olof Palme
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Since our visit Son no.2 has been out to visit his brother as well! Just wish we had all been out there together.

 

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So what has ONOODLES been upto. Did the one fair as mentioned and am booked to do 2 school fetes. That’s enough for the summer if I am to remain in control of my health.  Another set of photos to let you see some of the things that have been coming off the needles recently…

Still lots more to update you on having been quiet for so long but that will wait for another day.

Be back soon,

Jill x


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Hats From The Hall

How lucky am I? Yesterday I spent a fabulous day on a course to make a hat at the brilliant Hats From The Hall which is about a five minute walk from home. I was bought this experience as a gift and was so looking forward to the chance to try felting again but on this occasion to make something useful.

The day includes Danish pastries on arrival, buffet lunch and scones with  jam and cream for afternoon tea with free access to hot and cold drinks. With catering taken care of let me tell you about the venue. Mountsorrel Hall, a magnificent Georgian building, is now a domestic residence ie the beautiful home of Louise and family who also hold the millinery courses there.

From the minute you walk in the door you are given a warm welcome by both Louse and Vicky who guide you through each step of the process. On my day the choice was a cloche hat with felt flower detail or a fascinator. The felt flowers can be wet felted from scratch or cut outs to your own design from the hat felt, both of which can be embellished using fabulous beads, buttons and trims. My fingers were soon itching!

First step was to try on a range of hats to get an idea of style and fit which was duly noted by Vicky so that the hats forms could be prepared and allocated. Next we chose our colour- I can’t remember what the base felt piece was called but it resembled a large round topped cone which, if worn covered your complete head! These had to be wet and steamed so that they were pliable enough for us to fit and ease to the shape of the form which we then pinned underneath, fastened with a string around the crown and taken to the drying room ready for the next step. This is quite a strenuous process and you need asbestos hands to handle the hot ,wet felt.

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Meanwhile we were able to work on our choice of decoration.

When choosing the colour for our hats we chose the materials for our decoration which included roving for the felt with additional silks and the petersham for the waist and edging (if desired) for the hat.

Splitting into two groups we set about the next step. If only I had moisturised my hands better, the fleece was sticking to my hands like velcro but as the process went on and I added the water and soap this was no longer a problem. Each stage of felt making has a therapeutic quality to it as there is much massaging and rubbing to be done. I love the way you take the raw materials and change them through manipulation into a rich and beautiful fabric. There is something very honest about the whole process, almost spiritual; but also quite comedic as we looked at the expressions on each other’s faces! With wet and soapy hands I didn’t break off to take photos during this process but the end result is this…

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I chose the rich pinky/red for my base colour with some purple to tone in with the hat, then used the silk in bronze, gold and a hint of white for depth and richness. The beads were threaded onto a wire to make application easier (lazy way) and I was delighted to find the large  ‘tiger eye’ like bead for the centre and some added *bling*!

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Treasure!!!

All that was left to do was to apply the petersham and add the flower. Most of us opted for the talented Louise to machine sew the petersham to the edge but managed the hand sewing needed to secure the ‘waist’ to the hat. Last job was fixing a clip to the flower with the glue gun and hey presto- what was the result- 12 women eating scones with jam and cream, sipping tea and wearing hats!!! Here are a few more pics from the day

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Some of the fabulous hand created hats by Louise at Hats From The Hall

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Me and my “titfer”!

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Waiting in the petersham queue

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I just adore the mannequins

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If you ever have the opportunity then I highly recommend a day out at Hats From The Hall. It was a brilliant experience and I am now the owner of one unique felt hat, made by me. Thank you to my dear friend Helen, the Trusty Gardener for the wonderful gift of the day.


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Bob

I have been neglecting my blog for the last few weeks having been busy with ‘other stuff’…

Took a week out on holiday in Northumberland with Chris, visited family, hospital visiting, been doing my new voluntary job and fell over a couple of times… rode my bike a bit, went walking, and have been making things for the next stall coming up this weekend! I am exhausted!

So here is a little montage from holiday-

Fabulous weather and beautiful scenery= good for the soul

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DUCKS

Stall prep involves  ducks of many colours and sizes

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Just three parents, three beaks and over 34 sets of eyes to go…

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FANCY YARN

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If you click on the pic it will take you to @Babylonglegs where you will find all manner of lovely yarns

This little pouch is the second thing I have made with this wonderful yarn. I have used a shell stitch and made two soft beads to finish off the tie ends. Yes, I know what some of you will be thinking and so I will be naming this pouch ‘Bob’ after the great Mr Marley.

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click to play!

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Friends Welcome, weeds by appointment!

Weather conditions mean that everything has been growing like topsy in the garden. It may only be a couple of weeks since I invited you in to walk around but as the summer takes hold (I am not prepared to be dragged down by the miserable British preoccupation of moaning about it) the picture is changing as some plants finish flowering and others appear. See what you can spot as you wander with me. I have been particularly enamoured by the ceonothus which has attracted the bees in profusion and am very happy to see the yellow spires of the golden rod reaching up and out of the perennial geranium that has started to take over. See the delicate pale pink flowers with beautiful deeper veining on the paper like petals. Come with me!


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Good Food, Giggles and Gardeners World

Absolutely exhausted today with swollen feet, sore knees and pains here, there and everywhere. I am not complaining though because I had a brilliant day out with the Trusty Gardener, my friend Helen S.

Every year at the NEC in Birmingham in the month of June the Gardeners World and Good Food Show hits the stands. It is the one Gardening Show I have ever been to although I dream of Chelsea and Hampton Court one of these years. So this year I was umming and aaahing about spending the money on the tickets when Laura shared a post on Facebook that said Oak FM (local radio) had a competition for pairs of tickets. I entered and the following day was delighted * squealing with * to find that I was a winner! So no problems with the expense.

As usual, the pictures tell the tale better than any words I can write so come and take a look before I tell you about the giggles…

See if you can pick out some of my favourites-

  • A brightly coloured VW van
  • A dianthus (sweet william) called Sooty
  • Many wonderful spherical flowers of different aliums
  • A delish digitalis (foxglove) in an apricot colour that almost glows
  • The awesome flower of a proteus that is almost alien
  • Some wonderful insect attracting planting and a pretty white beehive
  • Some blousey begonias and statuesque delphiniums
  • The Lady of Shallot
  • Soaring spires of Eremerus (think that’s the one)
  • Some abundant astrantia in a dreamy grey/blue
  • Borage, white not blue
  • Stunning orchids
  • Ladybird poppies

Lots of inspiration  for some creative crochet and knitting!

 The hilarity was caused by this-

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It is an extremely chunky and wonderfully well designed folding wheel barrow called

Portax 150 Garden cart

made by Wolfgarten, a German company specializing in garden tools/equipment. As Helen bought it (only available at the gardening shows in the UK or else an expensive import) we then had the problem challenge of getting it from the stand to the car at the end of the day. To say we became a sideshow act is something of a euphemism! Call us ‘Little and Large’, ‘Laurel and Hardy’ or  ‘The Chuckle Brothers’- what a sight we made with our barrow in a box (almost as big as Helen) and assorted goody bags of  gardening and foody paraphenalia. The stall holders comment that the shuttle bus stop was just outside the door opposite his stand was somewhat innaccurate. I can tell you now that we conducted an experiment of the comparative frictional properties of a 12kg box on heavy duty nylon carpet versus hard flooring and concrete. The hard flooring was the smoothest and therefore the easiest to push it on! This experiment covered an Olympic distance of about 400 m.

Next challenge was the boarding of and alighting from the shuttle bus to car park E4 where I parked Helen and the box in the lay by whilst I carried on to pay for the parking, find the car, exit the car park and collect Helen and her new toy. By this time I was somewhat sweaty and in fits of giggles. The pay kiosk was closed and one of the attendants said to pay at the barrier on exit. Next job, find the car…(I’m not good at this bit and have been known to ‘lose’ my car in car parks before) luckily it was directly in front of me but I was unable to identify it initially much to the amusement of the attendant! At the barrier I tried to thrust my £10 payment at him but he smiled and waved me on.

By the time I pulled in to pick up Helen and her ‘Portax garden cart’ I could hardly speak.  Have you worked it out yet? Not only did we have complimentary tickets for the show, we didn’t pay for the parking either! Nice to enjoy some GOOD LUCK for a change! And having made it a mission to see what ‘samples’ we could enjoy in the Good Food show, all in all we had a pretty economical day out.