31 May 2015

A thank you and some new books

Firstly  I'd like the thank everyone who left comments on the blog and on Facebook for their kind messages of support regards our break in.  Its lovely to know that you all care.  We are beefing up the security which can only be a good thing.

Now some lovely new books have happened my way, so many great patterns, lots of lovely shawls and scarves.  I'm itching to get started but must finish Miss J's cardigan!

I have a couple of these Debbie Bliss patterns and have made the cover jacket, which is very cute and such a quick knit

Today has seen a flurry of activity as we have been selling off some of the components of the wedding, tables and gazebos have literally flown out the door.  Honeycomb balls, left the building so fast and candle holders were going within minutes of us posting onto Facebook.  Its great to see the inside of my sitting room again!!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday

30 May 2015

Down to earth with a huge bump

This time last week we were enjoying a wedding.  Today however we feel violated.

We awoke this morning to find that our barn/garden room had been broken into.  At first we weren't sure what we were looking at, furniture moved, throws, logs, muddy marks on the floor, had we left the door unlocked and it had blown open and an animal got in?  Then suddenly the penny dropped, where were my copper pans, the brass coal scuttle, the pokers and fire implements, the brass hunting horn, wicker log basket, the more we looked the more we saw empty spaces.   All the lovely items we collected in France last year gone.  All the old pub paraphernalia that had belonged to Peter's grandparents gone. Our old metal signs and a tray gone. We felt sick.

We quickly dressed and I called the police. Went to the neighbour only to find out that they too had been broken into as had their neighbour, power tools and more metal items stolen.  We found that they had broken down a fence and worked their way across the gardens.  The police duly arrived checked over everything including one of the metal signs (my favourite) that Stuart had found abandoned in a border, conclusion was they wore gloves, forced the doors with a garden implement, the foot prints weren't complete so no help.

Neighbourhood Watch were on the ball announcing all three crimes locally and also saying a wheelbarrow had been found left in one of the side roads - presumably used to carry away the goods.

I have no doubt that we will never see our items again, its a sad fact of life that there are those amongst us that feel its their god given right to take whats not theirs, I just hope they enjoy them as much as we did!!!!!

27 May 2015

The DIY Wedding

More wedding.... it consumed our lives in a good way for the last few months so I thought I'd share with you what we made and did.  You have already seen the bouquet and an overview of the day.

What did we do?

Firstly, we purchased from the local pub when it changed hands, some of the furniture - 8 tables and 18 chairs. Those chairs had to be rubbed down and painted, along with 4 spares Rachel had, plus whilst we were doing it, we painted 4 for her house too. We just love painting chairs!!

We didn't bother doing the tables as these would be covered with cloths.

End result....

Next on the agenda was the bar which started life as wooden palettes.  Stu and Peter made this over the Easter weekend and Rachel and I painted it - cost nothing as we had leftover paint

End result....
by Cara Clements
If you are wondering why Carpenters Arms - Stu is a carpenter and its a good pub name

The bar has now been moved to the end of the garden, been roofed with corrugated steel and is doing duty as a shed for the grandchildren's ride-on tractors, waste not want not!

Then the various bunting - on the bar, knitted hearts on a crochet chain, the pattern was Be Mine Heart Garland, I also made another which actually didn't get used, these were made using the pattern Heart Card again sewn onto a crochet chain. Most yarn came from stash

Next up were pom pom garlands - Rachel spent many an evening producing pom poms in various sizes, you can see some of them here, they were also used on the children's' gazebo too but I don't seem to have a photo of those.

Next up were the signs, we spent an enjoyable Sunday afternoon doing these - wood and paint, slate and chalk pen, these were dotted around the property directing guests where necessary. Only cost was the chalk pen, as the slates were leftover from when we had the stable re-roofed.


There were also signs on all the drinks, cakes and snacks

What next? Oh yes, the ring cushion and hair piece.  Rufus was the ring bearer and decided that he wanted his cushion to be red (it could well have been orange).  Well it was to be a bright and colourful wedding so why not.  I couldn't find a pattern for a cushion that I liked so I used dishcloth pattern - Heart Dishcloth and knitted a moss stitch back.  I lined the underside of the front and stuff it.  I think it worked fine. Yarn from stash

Then the knitted hair piece not the best photograph - the pattern was Birdcage Veil which I found in an old Simply Knitting magazine.  I used some ribbon as Rachel didn't want a veil. Yarn also from stash

You can see it in her hair here

by Gemma Powell
She also wore the Holden Shawl but I don't have any photographs of her wearing it.

There were the favours, which Rebecca made - flower seeds.  She got a stamp made up and decorated small white envelopes with the stamp and washi tape, she then hung them on ribbon using little pegs, to the sign that Rachel made for them

As previously mentioned Rebecca did all the flowers.  We all baked cakes for the dessert table, and we had contributions from Gemma and Jan (Stu's mum) too, all delicious.

Of course during all this there was still the garden to be kept on top of.  We changed the vegetable garden making a play area for the kids and a smaller veg patch and then Peter built a fence to keep the chicken off the main garden when they come out of their enclosure.  This still needs to be painted and a gate to be hung but we ran out of time.  The fence was again made from palettes and cost nothing. Laid a patio area with some free slabs I got from the garden makeover at work. Dug and planted a new border, filled and planted up my tubs and pots..... phew I feel exhausted just reading all this.

As weddings go, this was low on cost, but it meant doing lots ourselves, but it was a great achievement, very personal and we were all more than happy with the end result.  Lots of the items we purchased we plan to sell on, anyone want any tables and chairs?

26 May 2015

Knitting - The bridal bouquet

I have been completely overwhelmed by the response to my bridal bouquet on my Granny's World page on Facebook.  I shared it among some of the knitting groups I belong to on there and it has gone crazy.

I have been asked to share how I made it, so here we go.

Rachel had wanted a knitted bouquet and spent ages on Pinterest until she found the inspiration for her bouquet.  Unfortunately, I don't crochet but thought that I could do it justice with knitted flowers using the same principle.

I did actually learn to do some simple crocheted flower using a tutorial on Attic24's website - Lucy makes it very easy.  Most of the flowers were made using free patterns found on the net or on Ravelry, there are so many out there, just chose what you fancy.

So how did I do it?

We firstly went to Hobbycraft and purchased a foam ball and a cone in a size that Rachel felt fitted her hand ok. We cut the foam ball in half using a bread knife.  This is a bit messy as all the little bit flake out.  I sprayed the cut side with a touch of glue just to stop the mess.  I then covered the half ball and cone in lace, using hot glue to fix (tip here - the glue showed through the lace on the cone join so you may want to rethink this.  I did solve the issue, more on that later).  Using a couple of wooden kebab skewers I poked these down the cone leaving enough to fit the half ball onto the cone without poking through the top.  Then hot glue gunned them together.

Once set, I then went on to make my flowers. This was the fun bit, no yarn was purchased just all oddments from my stash.  I'm not sure how many I made, but vary the sizes for variety.  I also made an assortment of leaves too.  With all the flowers and leaves ready I turn my thoughts to how I would fix them on.  Maize used pearl headed pins but the only ones I could find seemed a bit on the small side.  Problem solved, we popped over to Spoiled Rotten Beads and saw Lynne (a former colleague) and she helped us decide what we needed.  We used Swarovski pearl beads in 8mm and 6mm sizes and these were mounted on flat headed pins (0.7mm x 50mm).  The only criticism of these were they were a touch soft and did bend a bit but otherwise did the job.

I can't tell you how many times I repositioned the flowers! I had the base sat in a vase which kept it stable until I was happy.  I then pinned (using normal pins) the leaves to the underside of the ball to make the base look tidy.

Now onto the glue issue on the cone, it was driving me crazy, I knew you couldn't see it once it was held but it stuck out like a sore thumb.  I then hit on the idea of pinning wide ivory ribbon around the cone pushing the pins in really well and overlapping the ribbon to cover them, then finishing off the a ribbon bow.  I then stood and gave the whole thing a vigorous shake to make sure nothing fell off - nothing did... phew!

So there you have it one beautiful (if I say so myself) colourful, unique bouquet which cost at most £15.00 and she gets to keep it forever.

photo by Claire Taylor
If you go on to make one be sure to share on my Granny's World Page please. For more about the wedding check out here

25 May 2015

It was such a perfect day

I am sitting here reflecting on the past few days.  A warm glow inside at a job well done.  A perfect day from end to end.

To achieve that perfect day has been weeks (months) in the planning and lots hard work by me and Rachel, to get everything ready and looking just how she wanted it to be and for us to provide the perfect backdrop to what was a low key, relaxed wedding.  Rachel wanted colourful, whimsical, fun,  she and her sister spent hours on Pinterest looking up ideas, not that it was a chore for them!  I think we more than achieved the look she wanted.  There will of course be more blog posts to show you how we have been spending our recent weeks of preparation.

I warn you now it will be a long picture heavy post.......

We started setting up on Thursday evening, dry and fine after a turbulent week of rain and hail. With the help of Rebecca, Rachel and Stuart we got up all the gazebos and positioned all the lights and the beer in place for it to settle.

Friday, Rebecca and Peter went into town to collect the flowers, whilst Rachel and I washed all the glassware.  Rebecca had kindly offered to do all the flower displays (with the help of me in the end).  She had ordered from Adam of Stevens of Boston on Cambridge Market, here she is hard at work conditioning the blooms?!

The whole day was spent making everywhere look beautiful, it was a fun day, very relaxed, and not a cross word.  I think it helped that we had everything to hand rather than at a venue miles away, if we needed something it was just pop back into the house, we kept Peter and Stu busy running around.  The weather was great and in fact just a touch too warm at times. No time to cook so we enjoyed a fish and chip supper and bags of sweets for pudding, and sat around a discussed our day.

The finished flowers
Saturday dawned dull, but dry which was fine by us, so we dressed the tables and added the final touches in between getting our hair and makeup done by Lucy Ridley, she did a wonderful job on us all.  Disco equipment arrived, thank you to Charlie from Pro-Event and to Tim for organising it.  Gareth from Crucial Cuisine popped by just to checked in before setup whilst we were at the registry office.


and so I expect you want to see the bride? Here she is.........

The bridal bouquet was knitted by me at Rachel's request it has been a labour of love and I am more than happy with the result.  I will do a blog post soon with how I made it.

Pictures of the happy couple, most of the following photos have been culled from her friends pages on Facebook, so I will attribute them where necessary.  My hands were full with Miss J.

The bride and groom went for a photo shoot around Cambridge before the reception here are some of Phil's photographs

Some links were broken so have been removed

Meanwhile back at the ranch Rebecca and I added the final touches

great grandparents keeping the kids amused
Naked Wedding Cake by Stu's aunt Becky (it was yummy)
and then the party started....

After they all went home.......

I could go on and on.  We are so looking forward to seeing the rest of the photographs from Caroline - Caroline Loves Photography and Phil  - Lusam Photography , you guys make a great team.

A big thank you to everyone involved in the day - to our grandchildren for being so good, the guests for making it such a special time and for all the compliments on the garden, to our daughter Rebecca - Really Pretty Useful for her creativity and help, to Tim for keeping the boys away til the last moment and helping with the clear up, to Wendy at Shades of White St Ives for the dress and shoes, and to all those already mentioned throughout the blog post. To Peter for doing so much to help me over the last few months and for putting up with my demands. To the weather for giving us such a perfect afternoon. And finally to Rachel and Stuart, you make such a beautiful couple, wishing you a long and happy life together. I give you the bride and groom