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My Cancer treatment

Glittery Jewelled Soap DIY

Earlier in December I was sent a Stephenson Personal Care soap making kit through a promotion on the AO blog. It was originally for a competition, but the kits were posted with quite a short deadline so I had to send my apologies as I knew there was no way I'd be able to make the deadline of a few days the week I had 4 Christmas 'dos'. (The soap making competition was however won by the lovely Laura of The Mrs Makes with some amazing sounding soaps.) 

I did want to get round to making the soaps as I thought they'd be perfect prezzies and I managed to squeeze in a crafting session before it was time to hand out my Christmas gifts. 
The kit that arrived contained a 'Melt and Pour' soap base, which is really as easy as it sounds. At the simplest end of soap making, you quite literally melt the blocks of soap and pour it into a mould for setting. But as it is such a basic set, there are loads of ways that you can enhance it. I decided as these would be gifts for Christmas I'd make them a bit sparkly and special and I knew exactly what to do. I set about raiding my cupboard for baking supplies - food colouring gel and edible glitter were required. As was the super cute ice cube tray that makes jewel shaped cubes. Whilst on the hunt I also found a little bottle of frangipani essence too. Making the soap was far easier than I imagined it might be. I started early one morning and had it all done ready to package before Jim woke from his hangover.  
What I used; 

  • 1/2 Melt and Pour soap base kit
  • Gel food colourings in all the colours you fancy
  • Edible glitter
  • Ice cube tray/mould. 
  • Essence for a fancy smell. 

How to make your soap; 

  1. Cut the soap base into little bits and roughly put them into your mould to gauge how much you'll need to use. I was using 4 different colours of colouring so did it four times over. 
  2. You can melt your soap in a microwave, but we don't have one so I had to melt them on the hob. I used a trick I've used before for melting wax - I popped the soap base into jam jars and melted it in that. This way it was separate for the colouring stage and I could just throw the jars away after. My laziness knows no bounds sometimes! 
  3. Add small amounts of the food colouring. I used the end of a wooden skewer to add the colouring bit by bit and mix the soap (again fully disposable). Once I was happy with the colour, I waited for all the soap to melt. Food gel is so much stronger than liquid colouring so I have learnt to be quite sparing with it. 
  4. Now add your fragrance. Go slowly as you can't take it out again - I added a few drops to each jar. 
  5. Whilst waiting for the soap to fully melt I lined the ice cube tray with glitter so the outsides of the soap glimmered. 
  6. Once all the soap was melted I carefully poured the soap into the based and popped it in the fridge to set. 
I repeated this with the four different colours, melting the soaps whilst the previous lot was setting in the fridge. As they were quite small, it didn't take long and they just popped right out of the moulds too. 

I think for my next go I might make some actually skin nourishing ones like Laura's, but for now we're rocking the girlie smell and glitter. 

One Little Word - 2014

At the end of 2012, I chose my 'one little word' for 2013. I was TRY. Which was a great word to keep with me in 2013. I have really pushed myself to try new things, to try and be nicer, to try harder. And I've really enjoyed having it there with me. 
With Christmas over and the new year looming, it felt like the time to finalise my word for 2014. 

I don't quite know when it decided to be my word for the year, but it seems like an obvious one. In many ways. Having started the clean eating regime towards the end of this year, and having lost a bit of weight, I really feel the need to start physically moving more to carry on with it. And if we don't move out of this bloody house this year I might go crazy. And there are some friendships that maybe I need to move on from too. So, there we have it, my 'one little word' for 2014. 

Do you take part in one little word too? If so, what is your word? 

Puppy Presents - Lust List

Everyone knows that Flash rules to roost in our house. He's officially top dog. Which means he's also a bit of a spoilt puppy at Christmas too. I haven't really done gift guides for this festive season as there are some awesome ones already out there, but given I have been over pinning beautiful pooch presents in abundance I thought I'd share a few with you. 

1. Woodland walking pouch - Yes, I know, this isn't really for Flash, but hey, I want a stylish way of carrying his poo bags and he knows that, so he'd be ok with it I think. 2. Nina Ottosson Tornado toy - Flash is pretty clever and needs a lot of brain training so we're hoping this interactive toy might keep him occupied for a while. 3. Octopus toy - Plush toys don't last long in our house, but ropes ones are perfect for us, and I love the look of this little cutie. 4.  Diamond Plate Ball - Balls are another thing that we seem to power through. The green fluff gets stuck in Flash's teeth and the rubber insides of tennis balls get EVERYWHERE. This one is minty fresh and fairly hefty. 5. Free People Fairisle Sweater - how cute is this jumper? What dog wouldn't need it to add to his growing list of wardrobe items? And look at that face - can I have the puppy too?

I know I am not the only crazy person wrapping their pets up presents for Christmas......What are you buying yours? 

Feeling Festive

When Jim left for India he is only instruction for me was to make the house a bit festive for his return. I don't think that I've done a bad job. Do you?

(Almost diet friendly) Coconut Macaroons

I've been trying to stick to our diet whilst Jim has been away but it is tough when there is no-one to guilt you into staying healthy. I have no will power. It's official. I crave sweet things and my advent calendar chocolate is not getting me through these cravings.

When we first started the eating plan I popped to see the friend who put us onto it and she was eating coconut macaroons. I wasn't allowed them at that stage (we were in our 2 weeks of cutting out EVERYTHING) but as soon as I started craving snacks remembered she was eating them and went about adapting some recipes. So here are my pretty much healthy (even paleo - if you leave out the chocolate - can you eat chocolate as a paleo person? I have no idea!) coconut macaroons. I've made a batch up for Jims return from India this week and I'm hoping he likes them, although I know his complaint will be that they don't contain cherries! 
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup (instead of sugar or honey as we're not eating either)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate to cover - I used about 50grams of chocolate we had left in the cupboard to add something a bit extra for the guys at work who aren't on this plan but if you are really dieting they taste great without the chocolate too. 

What you need to do; 
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and the agave syrup until they are quite frothy. 
  4. Quickly add in the vanilla, don't mix too much. 
  5. Stir in the coconut and mix with a spoon until it's all coated. 
  6. Place mound shaped spoons of the mixture on to the baking sheet. They don't spread so you can place them quite close together. I used my tablespoon measurement to get the little domes although they were a little hard to get out sometimes, but you could just roll them into balls with your hand I guess. 
  7. Bake for about 15 until they are starting to go golden. 
  8. Once cooked, put the baking sheet on a cake rack and allow to cool slightly. 
  9. If you are covering them in chocolate, whilst the macaroons are baking, melt the chocolate. We don't have a microwave so I bain marie it, but if you are using a microwave, make sure you don't burn the chocolate. 
  10. When the chocolate is melted, using a fork, drizzle chocolate over the coconut macaroons and leave until set. 
  11. Try not to eat 5 in one go as that probably isn't diet friendly!
This makes about 24 of the little spoon measures which are just the right size for a sweet fix.

Thorntons Christmas Hero

Picture from Global Gathering a few years ago! Yes we rocked those palm tree shades long into the night!
Not too long ago Thorntons got in touch and asked me if I had a friend I’d like to surprise with a box of chocolates as my Thorntons Christmas Hero. This seemed like the perfect blogging offer because it meant I could do something lovely for a friend rather than me getting the treat. After a little thought about the person I’d most like to give the chocolates to, I figured my friend Katie would be a most worthy recipient.

Katie and I have been friends since we were in primary school. We attended dancing classes together, Wednesday night club (*ahem* Guides), we went to 6th form together, we snowboarded together. We discovered NYSushi together. We fancied the same boys (and didn't that cause some arguments). But we've been friends for, well, forever. 

She now lives in Southampton (a looooong way away from Sheffield) and is working hard as a Dr down there, and well, I am a rubbish friend, so we hardly ever see each other anymore which really sucks. But I did get to spend a couple of awesome days at Wilderness festival with her this summer and I’m crossing my fingers she will be home to see her dad at some point this Christmas. On my list of things to do next year will be ‘see Katie more’ - for one, she lives by the sea and I love the sea. Plus Katie has been working hard this year to raise money for Coppafeel - an amazing breast cancer charity. She ran the Bath half marathon for them this year wearing a giant boob! Yes, that's right, a boob! And last summer she went out to Nepal to help in hospitals there. So she seemed like a worthy recipient to me, don't you think?

But hopefully, sending her a surprise box of chocolates let her know that I thinks she’s lovely and I miss her and was a little pick me up for her hard working doctoring life. 

Who would you send a surprise box of chocolates to if you had the chance? 

A Christmas DIY Round-up

When your friends know your blog URL it means there are some things you just can't blog about, which includes the Christmas gifts that you are making them, which when you like bloggging about your DIY's kind of sucks a bit.  
But in the spirit of the festive season I've rounded up some of the Christmas gifts that I've made for my friends in recent years for you, in case you need any inspiration; 

DIY Baubles (made as a gift for my brothers Christmas wedding)
Christmas cookie pots
Hot chocolates on a stick
DIY bath bars
Vanilla essence (if you start making this now you'll just about have time to give it as a gift)
Limoncello (again, you'll need to get started pretty sharpish)
Amaretto truffles

Are you making Christmas gifts this year? If so, can you share what you're making or will it give the game away?

The Alchemical Larder

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Harvey Nichols to see if I might fancy trying one of their foodie Christmas gifts. Of course I said yes, I mean what fool wouldn't. Living in Leeds, the Harvey Nichols food hall was the best place to get gift inspiration for hard to buy for friends (and pick up some fun treats for myself too). I always swooned at the beautiful hampers so when I was given the chance to pick an item from their Christmas hamper range I jumped at it. 
I bypassed the delicious chocolates because with Jim away I didn't think he'd be happy with me sitting and eating a whole box of them to myself and not saving him any, which I wouldn't. So to avoid any arguments, I chose the stunning Easy Tasty Magic Alchemical LarderFrom the start the package didn't disappoint. Everything from Harvey Nichols is presented wonderfully. It makes you feel special before you've even got to your purchase. And then to open it up and find this box of jewel coloured jars. Well, what more could a girl want?

The little jars contain a collection of spices and treats by Laura Santtini, including Persian rose petals, Mediterranean Lavender, Carnal Sin, White Mischief, Nutmeg, devil's penis chilli, grains of paradise, saffron, salt of the earth, smoked paprika, cacao nibs, bitter orange, renaissance stardust, bay rose peppercorns, furikake and sumac. 
I have gathered and milled the stars of you; And danced them to your lips; Eat Slowly, lest you should swallow me whole and forget to spit out the pips!
I definitely have my favourites - the rose petals are so delicate and pretty, the bitter orange smells divine and the cacao nibs are just so decadent. I know that when Jim gets his hands on it he will too - quite possibly the devils penis chilli. Not only for the name but because I hate spicy food and he loves it! 
I'll be back soon with a recipe post using some of the ingredients from the Alchemical Larder, but until then I'll just be looking at the pretty jars on my kitchen counter. 

This is a sponsored post for Harvey Nichols. I didn't receive payment for this post but I was sent the Easy Tasty Magic set to keep. 

Country Baskets Festive Face Off

I had a lovely email from Country Baskets asking if I'd like to take part in their Festive Face Off with some other wonderful crafty bloggers. The challenge - to create a Christmas decoration for the home or garden using the contents of a Country Baskets craft hamper (and your own supplies too) to be in with the chance of winning Country Basket vouchers and importantly having all the decorations made given to a charity of your choice, along with a cash donation. As we support ‘Roundabout’ through my WI, I immediately thought that if I won, they would be my charity of choice!

Unfortunately my hamper of supplies went missing so instead of having 2 weeks to complete my crafting challenge, I only had 3 days, well, as I have been pretty busy this week it was actually only one evening really, so it might not be quite as impressive as I had hoped but I am still pretty happy with what I've made given the timescales. (Forgive some of the pictures though, I know they are super dark or flash laden as I am not home during daylight hours in the week and the deadline for posting this was today.)

As soon as I opened the hamper and saw the supplies I was drawn to the giant bauble – I’ve long been a fan of the smaller versions of these and my brain started working double time to think what I might be able to make with it. Delving deeper I came across some sheets of wood bark, some beautiful snowflakes and some branches of silvery berries and a few pine cones. So after some serious thinking I decided to try and create a woodland scene inside the bauble because I hear woodland is all the rage this Christmas. 

Firstly I took the bark and drew round the shape of a squirrel, twice, on the back of it, (facing in opposite directions so that I could stick the two together and just have the bark on the outside) I glue gunned these together and waited for it to dry. Once it was all dry, I glue gunned my squirrel to one half of my bauble. 
On the other side of the bauble I stuck a once fibre optic Christmas tree that I had in my midst, as close to the join as I could. 
Around the ‘floor’ of the bauble, at the feet of the tree and the squirrel I hot glued some of the silvery berries I had pulled off the branches they came on and some small pine cones, to create a woodland look, and from the ‘sky’ I hung, with fishing wire, some of the pretty snowflakes that were included too. Lastly I threw in a little ‘magic snow’ picked up from the £1 shop for a slightly snow globe approach to it all.
There were also some really pretty wood and glitter leaves that I wanted to incorporate too but I ran out of space in the bauble. I’d have liked to have found a little plastic deer and maybe a toadstool to add in too but as timing was an issue, I didn’t quite manage that. 
So, what do you think? Not bad for an evenings work right? 

BEDN - The Great Outdoors

Having Flash in our lives means that we spend a lot more time outside. His favourite place is our local skuzzy park but that's mostly because all that is involved there is him chasing chasing chasing the ball and he loves that more than anything. 
I prefer taking him to the General Cemetery or to the woods. The cemetery, as I have mentioned before, is stunning. It closed in the 60's to new graves and everything is old and worn and overgrown. It is 10 minutes from our house. There are monuments for steel tycoons and the rich Sheffield folk of the 19th and early 20th century at every turn. There is an Eygptian gate house. There are also sometimes creepy men doing pelvic thrusts on the steps of the mausoleum too but lets ignore that shall we. There are rumours that there are crypts full of cholera victims. There is a beautiful and bricked up church. There are plenty of places for Flash to pick up the oldest, mankiest sticks known to man. 
But more importantly, if you time it just right, with your phone in hand, there is an abundance of stunning shots, with beautifully lit trees to stumble upon. 

BEDN - Yes Moments and a Sewing Machine Giveaway

When I got my first sewing machine for my 30th birthday I was completely out of my comfort zone. The last time I had used a machine was as a teenager customising my old jeans and turning them into skirts (it was the late 90's OK). So it was a massive learning curve. But I started reading sewing blogs and buying up all the fabrics and I started pushing myself. 
I think some of my greatest 'Yes moments' of late have been sewing related (but some of my most sweary moments have been through sewing too).
I am sure Jim thinks I am absolutely crazy when I cheer about achievements - lined, zipper, handbags that take every single bit of my concentration, tops that I can actually wear and working zip enclosures. But they are all little 'Yes moments' that make me so so happy. 

And so to help you with some yes moments (and maybe a few sweary ones too) I have a wonderful giveaway for all you wannabe sew-ers out there. Hobbycraft have kindly offered a Janome Sew Mini 140M sewing machine to one lucky winner. It looks like the perfect starter machine for anyone who is wanting to start sewing, much like the machine that I started on a few years ago. And the best part is you should have it by Christmas for any of those last minute gifts you might want to whip up. 

All you have to do is let me know what your finest 'Yes moment', whilst crafting or not, has been in the comments below, and pop your details through Rafflecopter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T's & C's
  1. This competition is only open to people in the UK. Sorry international friends.
  2. The prize is the Janome Sew Mini 140M sewing machine and is not swappable.
  3. You must leave a comment and enter your details through Rafflecopter to be in with a chance of winning.
  4. Extra entries are available through Rafflecopter, but are not compulsory.
I wasn't paid for this post, but Hobbycraft did supply the sewing machine as a giveaway prize. 


Lust List - Lounging

We've finally found a house we like, had our offer accepted and touch wood everything will go smoothly and some time, early-ish next year we'll have a new house. Admittedly a new house that needs a LOT of cosmetic work (think pink dining room, yellow hallway and orange bathroom). But finally there is a real reason to my excessive pinning, even if it might be a while until I can realise my decorating dreams. 

One of the rooms I can't wait to get started on is the living room. Our current room, even though I painted it, isn't really very me - its cream and purple. I did it to match the purple sofas that were here when I moved in. They certainly will not be coming to our new place and I can't wait to go sofa shopping. So, here are just a few thoughts on our new living room. 

1. This sofa is just stunning. Sometimes I worry that I like the colour grey too much and then I see things like the Alston Zurich sofa from Rodgers of York and I realise that my love is justified - they do a version with wooden feet that makes my heart sing a little bit. In fact there are loads of dreamy sofas on the site and I like I might need a bed from them too.
2. I am pretty much sure that every room in the new house will have something from Southwood Stores, and this Memphis cushion is the perfect amount of turquoise. 
3. What is a room without a beautiful smelling candle
4. How cute is this little side table from Loaf? Greys and wood go perfectly too. 
5. And how could you not want, need, love this little puppy lamp from John Lewis?

Jim thinks I am crazy to be thinking of designing a room around a sofa, but it's perfectly normal, right? Just look at my grey sofa dreams; 
All Pins are from my 'Home' Pinterest board.

This is a sponsored post from Rodgers of York.

BEDN - 'Til Christmas we have Share Advent

I'm only slightly freaked out that there is only a month until Christmas, especially as my making is ever so massively running behind and I still have LOADS to do. Thank goodness I don't have a crazily busy few weeks ahead of me* and can just sit back and relax. 
But never mind, because it's almost time to get thinking about Share Advent, the wonderful idea thought up by Anna of Skin and Blister Blog. What could be better than taking part in some festive activities all the way to the big day? 

How great does this list look? I can't wait to get all festive with this list. 

*massive lies. I'm not freaking out about the busy-ness of the next few weeks at all! Honest.

Learning to live with it.....

The prompt for #BEDN today is date night, but date nights are impossible right now as Jim is in India so I am ignoring it and talking about our sporadically long distance relationship. He's been in India 2 1/2 weeks already and we have another 3 weeks ahead of us apart. Whilst this might not seem like a long time, the frequency he's away gets pretty annoying some times. Well, not annoying, more disorientating. I grew up with a dad who lived in Paris in the week and came home at weekends, and Jim's been going to India since a few months after we met, so it's not all alien, but it's still not entirely normal.

The worst bit, beyond the missing him, is the getting used to it. You know how it takes a bit of time to learn to live with someone and get out of the habit of living alone? Yeah, you remember that? Well, I have to learn to live alone and then learn to live together again. We have 3, 4, 5 sometimes nearly 6 weeks apart and I get used to it being just me here. Just my mess. Just my food. Just me and Flash. Sometimes though I'll get 2 weeks in to his trip and realise that I've not used a 'big' plate since he left, or that I've only had an actual conversation with Flash for 2 days sometimes. 

And then when Jim comes home, once the happiness of his return has abated, I find myself getting annoyed with his mess and  the football and ALL the washing up he creates. But on the plus side he does cook me some awesome meals on his return. And we have to learn to live together again. 

Does anyone have any tips for living apart like this?

BEDN - Leaving on Jet Plane

We've been planning a bit of an epic trip for quite a while. It's something we've been dreaming of for such a long time but things just keep coming  up (this winter it's buying a house - that has to be a good excuse doesn't it!) 

The plan would be to fly out to Vancouver (A) and to spend a few days there visiting friends. Vancouver is a city that I've been wanting to visit for the longest time. I have 2 different friend living there too, so I really ought to. Then we'd head to Whistler (B) for a week on the slopes and in the amazing Canadian snow. And then back to Vancover for another few days. 

Next we'd get our hands on a car and make the journey over the border into America, to Seattle (C) for some serious eating. Jim watches a lot of the food network, so he's got a lot a list of places he wants to try. And I want to check out Portland (D). I read too many blogs and own too many pairs of Converse you see ;) 

The journey, if we could have the time off work, would continue down the coast to California. I've been to Cali a few times but I love it and Jim's never been so it'd be an ace journey - if we can make it that far. Our plan then would be to head a little in land to Mammoth (G) - I spent a winter living in Mammoth so it would be amazing to go back and see how much it's changed, even for a day. The route would then wind us down to L.A (I) for the flight out, but not before we've hit up San Francisco (E), again, we have a list of restaurants to try and sights to see, Monterey (F) and Big Sur (H) for some literary reliving of Cannery Row and all the Jack Kerouak novels. 

So, what do you think? An amazing trip, no?

BEDN - It's only fashion baby

This morning on the walk to work every little bit of me was freezing. I don't understand it being this cold if it's not going to snow. But it has me thinking about winter woolies. What I wouldn't give for a few bits like these. 
1 - Beanies are a must for the winter and Burton beanies are always perfect. 2. I love a good fairisle sweater. Doesn't everyone? 3. Winter socks are a must in my life. As soon as November hits the thick snowboarding socks come out. These little Boden numbers look toasty warm. 4. Snoods have long been a favourite of mine, how cute does this one from Jack Wills look?

BEDN - Relax

Relaxing isn't something that I do all that often, there is always something else to do. Yesterday however, with Jim in India, and a long puppy walk under our belt I thought that I'd sit down and relax and do nothing. And, well, I did 2 lots of washing, cleaned the bedroom, made and ordered our Christmas cards and I still felt guilty about not doing anything. I am such a loser sometimes. One day I might learn to just do nothing.....unless that's not what relaxing is about.

How do you relax?

BEDN - Hobbies

So, hobbies. That's one thing I don't have a shortage of. I have this blog. And I love making stuff. And sewing stuff. Just creating things - as a child I loved making things. Fimo was my all time favourite, so I suppose the making has always been in my heart. And then I have been snowboarding since I was 15. Sailing for as long as I can remember.

And sometimes I wonder if I have too many hobbies sometimes, but then people with no hobbies really confuse me. What do people who do nothing do with their days?

BEDN - Favourite Folk

This month marks the 10 year anniversary of my friendship with some of the most wonderful people. We met working at Quiksilver in Meadowhall, in November 2003 and i can't think of a time since that they haven't been in my life. Even though we all live in different places and don't see each other as much as we should, when we get together it's like nothing has changed, we're still the idiots that met 10 years ago. Only the hangovers are slightly worse! 

BEDN - Workspace

My workspace is just a little office, that houses myself and 2 other people - our events manager and our designer. Its small and a bit cramped and not awfully interesting as offices go really. We have charts on the walls to help organise us, and  marketing collateral EVERYWHERE. But the real winning thing about my office is the view - looking out over the green next to our building. We get beautiful skies, and at the moment autumnal trees but it is the people who make it 'special' we get all manner of crazy people hanging out on the grass. On a Wednesday there is a university frisbee team practising there, we get the occasional smack head, we had ladies dressed as peacocks the other day. 

What is the view out of your office window like? 

Needle Felting with Atelier Crafts and a Giveaway.

Last weekend I spent a morning at the cutest studio on the beautiful Welbeck Estate in Worksop for a Needle Felting course with the lovely Georgina from Atelier Crafts. I've always fancied giving needle felting a go but I'll be honest, it looked like it might be a bit complicated so a workshop seemed the best solution.  
Georgina greeted us with drinks and we had the chance to look round her super cute workshop. It's full of beautiful things - bookcases full of handmade goodies and walls covered in art. It's a makers dream. 

Once the class was assembled. Georgina sat us down ready to get going with the felting. She explained to us the basics of needle felting (the needle aggravates the felt causing it to meld together) and the important business of keeping our fingers away from the needle (which, stupidly, I did not take an awful lot of notice of - serious ouch.) And then showed us the basics of felting - which if you're even slightly annoyed will work wonders - it's all about the stabbing you see. I decided on making a little 3D fox, taking the idea from some of images she's brought along. My companions decided to make a flat landscape and a flower brooch, so we were all trying a different technique. 
I picked my wool. I listened intently to my instructions and then, I'll be honest, I started this like I start most crafting projects, a little gung ho. I figured it would be easy and just started stabbing my balled up felt. Unfortunately I ended up with a slightly misshapen, squaring, ginger ball of wool and had to cry for help Georgina who reassured me that with a little more stabbing and by paying attention to it, I'd finish up with the little egg shape I was aiming for (that or if I really messed up we could take scissors to it). And she was right, not too much longer later and little foxy was starting to take shape. 
Once I was happy with his body, I moved on to his ears. The amazing thing about needle felting is that you can layer the colours up, and almost weld the fabrics together, just through the stabbing (this sounds awfully violent doesn't it) so the little flat ears were made, and his little white tummy added, with eyes and a nose. My favourite part though is the tail. By leaving the strands of wool unfelted I was able to keep it bushy!
And as the class was a few hours long, I managed to make mr fox here and get started on a sea green flat number too. I may have gotten a little over excited and bought myself a little kit from the workshop too so I have finished the sea greens brooch I was making and made a little penguin for one of my friends too. Be warned friends, your Christmas gifts may be felt like. 

On another note. The Welbeck Estate is well worth a visit. Not only is it set in stunning grounds but it's full of some wonderfully crafty people, an artisan food school, a butchers, gallery and garden centre. I'm hoping I can get back later this month for their open weekend (22nd-24th Nov) for the crafts and also because I hear they have some fantastic cheese stalls. 


Georgina from Atelier Crafts has kindly offered me a space on one of her crafting workshops to give away to a lucky one of you. All you have to do is head over to her website and have a peek at the upcoming courses and leave a comment here to tell us which course you'd like to win. Extra entries are available through the rafflecopter widget too. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


BEDN - Remembrance

My Granddad was one of my all time favourite people. My mum tells stories of how, as a little girl, if I hurt myself when my granddad was there I wouldn't want my parents, only him. He died 6 years ago last month and I miss him every day still but days like today I think of him all the more.

I used to love sitting with him and listening to the stories he told me right from being little, through to him laying in the bed on the Macmillan ward towards the end. 

He served in the KOYLI during WWII. He enlisted at 17, lying about his age like so many people did then. During the war, he served for a long time in Egypt. The stories and photos depicted the men in the dessert, in tents and the dust, smiling. That was where he learnt to drive. He never took his test. Just drove jeeps round Africa then carried on driving when he came back. He'd tell me about their regiment cook who refused to cook one of their chickens and kept is as a pet. He told me about bumping into one of his brothers he'd not seen in 3 years in a port in South Africa. He told us about finding a cellar full of booze in Germany after years of war. He told me about the camaraderie. He never told us the bad things. Well, once he told me he had to jump in an open grave to avoid gun fire, but that was as bad as it got. I wish I'd pushed him more for the details. Just so now I could fill in the blanks a bit. But he never spoke about the bad. He wanted to forget it all. So much so he didn't even claim his medals.
After he died I realised just how little he'd told us. A friend of his from the war came to his funeral and told us stories and gave us photographs. It made me want to know more. So, with a little deception we got my nan to sign the paperwork to release his army papers and to apply for his medals as a surprise for her and my mum. They arrived a few months later, with his medals, and made interesting reading. We read where he’s been stationed, we learned what he was temporarily demoted for a fight, we learned what his seniors thought of him and we learned he was sent in 1943, SOS, to Germany (an unknown destination on the forms) on business that he never spoke about to me or my mum.
I wish I knew more about it. I wish I’d asked more. I wish that he’d wanted to share more. Maybe now, with his records, I can find out a little more.

If anyone has done any digging from army records, please can they shed some light on how to go about it. Thank you.