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Scrap Happy January-2020

So I have been wet felting paper, as you do, from scraps of mulberry paper,proper name Joomchi. I was doing this for the Stitchbook challenge and this piece didn’t make the pages.

And it is very pretty, so I did some stitching

added a button and backed it with more mulberry paper, and made a card

for Mr E, for you know what! Linking with Kate for Scrap Happy Day. Do pop over to see lots of super ways to use your scraps.


Onto my blog, the first finish of the year.

what a handsome chap

Pattern  and yarn by Deramores, actually he’s supposed to be a girl called Susie, but I think he’s a Boy called Sue!


Yarn Along, 2020

Not quite sure what has happened to the usual Yarn Along link up , but I thought I would share the book and the knitting I began the year with.

The Binding by Bridget Collins- young man becomes apprentice to a book binder, but not like any book binder I have thought of. Finding it a bit but muddly.

Now the knitting.

I have been knitting intarsia many many times (two or more colours, using small balls). I usually just wound small balls of yarn which eventually ended in a tangle. For some quite strange for me reason, I googled intarsia and found out via You Tube how to wind balls which don’t end in a tangle- i.e. you wind a butterfly shaped ball. Easy peasy. Sometimes I wonder why I make life so hard.

Now the big question is what do you think I am knitting? And the simply terrific and spiffing thing is I have had this pipeline in the Not Yet Started heap in the wardrobe for several years according to the receipt I found in the pack! Oh yes pack, there is more than one project in the bag.

And , and it is only a small project, I may have a finish soon, if only I can keep my nose out of a book and focused on the knitting.

As I mentioned previously the number of books I read last year was pretty big- 74 in total, and many more than 2018 Conversely the amount of yarn I used has gone down considerably. 2018 I used 5200 grams, 2019 it was down to 1875 grams. The numbers speak for themselves.

I wonder what you are knitting/ crocheting / reading at the moment. Do share, as bloggers tell me about the best books.

First walk of the year

I went to post a letter and just kept going.

down our little road, and I wondered which was the tree I could see from our lounge window, the one that has featured in many of my sunset pictures. There are lots of lovely trees, but which one can I see? Somewhere over this field.

I think it’s this one, is it a beech, don’t know. I shall have to wait till Spring. Letter posted I keep walking out of town.

Ah, sheep on a chilly day. “What are you doing, Missus?” Down a lane and head back to town.

with the sun going down already

Keld Head, where we used to collect frogs spawn as children to take to school for the Nature Table.

Time to go home for the nice cup of tea. Thoroughly enjoyed my first walk of the year. Wondered if everyone else has had their first walk of the year , and if so where did you venture?

To Goal or not to Goal

that is the question that one or two people have raised this year. I didn’t set any goals last year, so focused on (not) moving house, there didn’t seem any point. Consequently I spent far too long on my screen or with my nose in a book , just hanging around waiting for something to happen, like the perfect house to fall from the skies. It didn’t, oh we nearly bought two houses, one was a compromise and the other transpired to have structural issues, and Mr E’s health is such that no way could either of us project manage builders.

Anyway, I digress. I’m setting some goals this year, something to turn too, whilst I wait. I’m going for 20 to match the year, but not 20 for 20 as I did last time I set goals when it was 17 for 17, just too many. So here in no particular order except for the one I had when thinking of them, are my 20.

It’s more like a To Do List I think.

1 Read my way across Europe- I will almost certainly need some recomendations to help me choose books from European authors. Suggestions welcome. I rather fancy Colette for France. I know I said less reading, but at least this will be reading with focus.

2 Visit the Eden Project- I have been saying for many years I’d like to go, but saying doesn’t actually get me there.

3 Knit a scarecrow- I have the pattern and it has been on my to knit list for more years than I care to think.

4 Knit mice- again I have a lovely pattern for some Dickensian mice, why have I not done it?

5 Knit socks- have yarn and patterns- again why has this not been done?

6 Unspecified wildlfe project- maybe volunteer somewhere.

7 Make a junk journal- or get over fear of constructing one.

8 Make that football quilt for grandson H- have found a flag with an Oxford United ox on it, no excuses left.

9 Finish rail fence quilt

It has progressed a little since it last made an appearance on the blog, but not much. I mean really ..

10 Complete the stitchbook project- I am keeping up to date with this and really enjoying it, coming out of my comfort zone and learning new techniques. I write about it on my other blog https://avoicethroughstitch.wordpress.com

11 Complete any other UFO- no shortage of things to go at. Taking a leaf from Kate whose word this year is FINISH.

12 Make a piece of art…. mmm

13 Visit an art gallery

14 Visit Filey- we go to Scarborough or Whitby, and I can’t recall the last time I went to Filey, maybe 1974 to have an outfit altered.

15 Do a walk over five miles- getting a bit lazy in my old age.

16 Go to see a movie- think the last one I saw in the cinema was A Walk in the Woods- sheer idleness

17 Go to see a play- don’t think we went to the theatre at all last year, too much waiting for the phone call

18 Pick strawberries- I mean really, I didn’t even get to the  pick your own fruit farm last year.

19 Start to write up family history- I don’t mean the dry stuff, but the stories of my parents and brother, it’s the least I can do for the family. I have a notebook, I do prefer pen and paper.

This lot need to know  who they are..

20- Do the Big Garden Bird count- no didn’t even do that in 2019. That’s this month. Can’t really believe I didn’t do it last year.

So not what you’d call an impossible list. Full of things I used to do without too much thought and things from the Gonna list.

A gonna list you ask. One of the surveyors who surveyed our house( there were three, and very informative they were too). I told him the purchaser had said he might knock through the kitchen to the dining room. “Oh” said the surveyor “what we call a Gonna. Gonna do this and gonna do that , and when they sell the house and we go back haven’t done any of them!”

I don’t want to be a gonna this year! So I’ll report back from time to time!

Have you set any goals or have a To Do List for 2020? Love to hear those plans. And what is on your Gonna list?



Best books from 2019.

I try to round of my reading year with picking my five favourite book.  This year as I spent so much time escaping from life through reading I consumed more books than usual. 2018 I read 60 books, 2019 it was 74!

So here are my favourite eight books , in no particular order from 2019, all of which have made onto my top 100 list, which now stands at 56 books chosen.

Mary Prince- The History of Mary Prince- The story of a slave in the 1830s in her own words- a harrowing book of mans inhumanity to man.

Nella Last’s War- or Housewife 49, as Victoria Wood called her TV drama based on the diaires. Brilliant.

Markus Zusak- The Book Thief- really very good indeed. Liesel is taken to live with foster parents in Munich by her mother when he Dad is arrested for being a communist. She comes to love her new Mama and Papa especially her Papa, and the little boy next door, Rudy who becomes her best friend. Max the son of a Jewish friend of Papa’s is sheltered in the basement. Liesel finds and sometimes steals books and her Papa and Max teach her to read. An interesting perspective on the second world war from the viewpoint of those who did not wave the flag for Hitler.

Amor Towels- A Gentleman in Moscow- Count Rostov is put under house arrest in the Hotel Metropol. Free to mingle with staff and guests, he does, eventually becoming an employee and unofficially adopting a daughter. Just wonderful.

Betty Smith- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn- 1914-1917, Brooklyn, the story of the Nolan family living in extreme poverty. Johnie the father, a singing waiter and alcoholic, usually out of work. Katie the mother, a cleaner, who provides the money and struggles to produce meals, Francie and Neeley the children.Themes of pverty, love, education and hope. Semi auto-biographical and so full of great detail. Brilliant novel.

Heather Morris- The Tattooist of Auschwitz- the real story of Lale Sokolov and how he survived Auschwitz, marrying the young woman whose arm he tattooed. Well written and very moving. ( nb I have since heard conflicting opinions of this book- that it fudged too much).

Tracy Chevalier- Remarkable Creatures- based on the true story of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, fossil hunters and extremely knowledgeable  women   set in 1800’s  Lyme Regis, and a reminder of how inferior women were regarded at that tm and their limited life opportunities. A good read, and soon to be a film.

Sally Magnusson- The Sealwoman’s Gift- Olafur and Asta, three of their children and 395 other Icelanders are taken by pirates in 1627 and sold into slavery in Algiers. Heartbreaking and very very good indeed.

Have you read any of these? What were your favourite books that you read in 2019?

The year just departing

Some years you are just glad to see gone, and for me 2019 is one of them.

Three people in this photo passed. The lady far right died in January, she played host to our shared Guy Fawkes Bonfire nights in my childhood. My Mum, fiesty and totally irreplaceable died on 30 December 2017 , her funeral was also in January. ( in the middle, cardigan over her shoulder).Both ladies had long and good lives and , were in their 90s. Not so the final departure, so painful I couldn’t write about it till now. My little brother curly mop top , near my Dad, bottom left with our dalmatian dog, died in June after a short battle with cancer. Only 63 and taken far too soon. Missed so much.

We have also spent the entire year trying and failing to move house, somewhere ,anywhere south of the M4 corridor so we are closer to our sons and their families. Twice we sold the house, twice we found somewhere to buy , and twice it all went very wrong. Not quite sure if we have the energy to try again in 2020.

So the year now departing can jolly well push off.

Happiness has been grabbed in both hands when the chance arose. Learning to appreciate the little things in life.

The first snowdrops of the year, at the end of January 2019.

Sending a crochet blanket to a homeless charity.

A Winter’s walk in February.

Walking with friends in March.

Making my first proper grown up quilt with no botching In April.

Buttercups in May.

Wedding of the year , youngest son Mr B and the new Mrs G, in June.

Bolton Abbey in July for Mr E’s birthday.

Knitting for grandchildren, August.

Getting up high and loving the moors- September. Life in perspective.

Book bingo- October. I managed to complete two rows. Escapism sometimes is the only way.

Appreciating the lovely coast, Whitby.

And the unexpected, December, Pickering Market Place.

So here’s to us and all that life chucks at us.

Be brave,


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