As you may, or may not know, I love my crochet. I have a stash that is way too big already but when I heard that Deramores were doing a Christmas CAL, how could I not get involved. The patterns are devised by Deramores in collaboration with Zoë Potrac and don’t you think they are super Christmassy?
You can buy what you need right now and the Christmas CAL starts on October 22nd. Each Tuesday for four weeks a pattern with be available for free on the special Facebook group. Will you be joining me? Deramores have even been kind enough to offer a 12% off code which is available until the end of the year, just use NOW12 at the checkout.
What Will We Be Making in the Christmas CAL?
These cute reindeer and robin baubles will look great on the tree. They are 9cm in diameter and like all the patterns in the CAL (Crochet Along) they are suitable for beginners. Use your own eyes and stuffing or buy a kit including everything you need.
Need some coasters and placemats for your Christmas table, or how about making these as a cool Christmas gift? Nothing says Christmas more than red and green..and the word Noel! The coasters are 10cm by 10cm and the Placemats are 25cm by 25cm.
This Christmas cushion cover is my favourite and I’ll definitely be making more than one of these. It measures 40cm by 40cm and if you buy the full pack you’ll get the cushion to go with it.
Finally, there is the Christmas Stocking and I’m sorry I don’t have an individual photo of that just yet. The lovely red, green and white stocking is 50cm tall and 25 cm wide.
All these lovely goodies are crocheted using Deramores Studio DK and you can get the wool separately or buy the packs, one with just the wool and the other with the wool, cushion, toy stuffing and eyes.
The wool pack is £16.74 and the wool pack with the cushion, stuffing and eyes is £24.60 and you can buy them from Deramores here. Don’t forget your discount code NOW12
So what do you think? Will you be joining me? I hope to see you on the Facebook group.
I’ve not been around much lately, I’ve been on holiday to Cornwall and it was a much needed break. However, when you are generally housebound and relient on a wheelchair, going on holiday can be a daunting experience.
The first time I went on holiday in a wheelchair was back in 2016, not long after getting ill. We had a holiday booked and I didn’t want to dissapoint the kids. The holiday park we’d chosen was very hilly but a quick call to Haven and they changed parks for us. We ended up going to Blackpool where it was flatter.
The second issue came when we had no car. I was the only driver in the house at the time and without the use of my feet I couldn’t drive our car so we had to let it go. We ended up travelling by train to Blackpool with three kids, all our luggage and a wheelchair. It wasn’t the most enjoyable of journies but at least I’d learned beforehand that I had to book for assistance on each train.
I’m normally a shy, independent person, so having to accept help all the time was so difficult for me to get used to. I really didn’t enjoy the holiday. The kids had a great time but I was still getting used to my chair and not being able to do anything for myself.
This year we headed all the way to Cornwall for our holiday, generally a three to four hour car journey for us. I’d not been to Cornwall for 15 years and I really wanted to go again. Plus I wanted the kids to enjoy somewhere beautiful and relaxing rather than the hustle and bustle of busy sea fronts with crowded shops, restaurants and arcades.
Before the holiday I felt myself feeling stressed. I so wanted to go, but the journey was long and I was scared that I couldn’t cope. We decided to take it nice and easy, with a couple of stops on the way. The traffic was kind and we arrived in around four hours. We booked into the caravan, unpacked and went to get food. When I got into bed that night I just wanted to cry. I was in so much pain because of being cramped up in the car, I’d already bumped into almost every surface in the caravan because I wasn’t used to it. And then I had to sleep in an unfamiliar bed which was awkward to get into because of lack of space.
It Wasn’t So Bad
The next day, the kids woke up and made their own breakfast before I awoke. Then we all got ready and went to nearby St Ives. At first it was quite awful, the pavements were cobbled with high kerbs and people were walking in the road while cars were trying to get past…and it was hilly!
I managed to get from a parking place we were lucky to find, down to the sea front which was flatter and less crowded. It was much more relaxing. There is so much to think about while in a wheelchair, particularly an electric one. I can’t get up or down kerbs, uneven pavements are a nightmare, and I have to watch my battery power like a hawk.
We had lunch and the kids played on the beach while I watched from the promenade. It hurts that I can’t go down on the beach and play with them, but I’ve got used to that over the years.
A Beach Wheelchair.
The next day we went to a different beach where I knew they had beach wheelchairs. I was so excited to be able to get on the beach it didn’t seem to matter that it was dull and overcast, and very blustery. The beach wheelchair was so comfortable! My husband had to push me but it rolled across the sand pretty easy. I even went right down to the water’s edge. Hubby pushed me into the sea without warning…he could have at least given me the chance to take my shoes off!
Beach wheelchairs are amazing. In most places they are provided by charities so you don’t have to pay for them. All they ask is that you make a donation of what you can afford. The downside is, you have no independence in them. Once my husband had left me to go and explore I was well and truly stranded. I couldn’t even turn the chair around. They are also difficult to get out of! I did manage to get out and transfer myself to a nearby bench so I could get a different view.
Quiet places are the best when you are in a wheelchair, you don’t have to deal with other people, in particular those that are not looking where they are going, or walk in front of you thinking that you can stop instantly. Well, I can, but my reflexes are not so quick, so I run you over, I’m sorry but I can’t help it.
The park we chose in Cornwall was very quiet. I could even manouver around the shop without hitting anyone. The club house was good too, and we even managed to get a table to sit at each time we went. (In previous Haven camps we have had to venture out as soon as the club opened to get a spot.) I loved being able to get around withou running people over constantly.
Even when we were out and about there didn’t seem anywhere in Cornwall that was truly packed like other holiday destinations. Maybe it was because the weather wasn’t brilliant, but it wasn’t exactly awful either. (And it was great for surfing and body boarding if that’s your thing, like it was ours 15 years ago.)
Issues with the Wheelchair
The clubhouse and outdoor cafe where upstairs and the lift didn’t work! We had to catch someone to go and open the fire exit, then I had to drive my chair uphill to get in. The door even had a small step which I got stuck on a couple of times. Everyone was really helpful though and over the years I’ve learned to accept help more graciously. (not that I was rude before, just moody that I had to ask in the first place.)
The other issue was battery life. We charged my battery every night in the caravan and it did very well. Then we had a lovely day at Paradise Park which we all loved so much. The problem was we spent a lot of time there and I ended up running out my battery completely. My husband had to push me back to the exit and the kids were upset because they thought we were leaving. My chair is not made for pushing as there are no handles, so it’s a big strain on my husband’s back. When we got to the exit, however, we were told that they had electric scooters and I could have had one from the start!! Why do we forget to ask?
So my husband pushed the dead and empty wheelchair back to the car after I’d transferred into a lovely big scooter. It meant we could spend another hour in the park and got to see another fabulous bird show in the sunshine.
After the first night I felt so much better. I managed to work my way around the caravan without bumping into things. Even the bed was really quite comfortable once I’d actually got into it.
The kids were happy and the whole week was taken at a relaxed pace. There is something about Cornwall that makes you slow down and everywhere is so beautiful.
I didn’t get much pain, I think it was a mixture of the relaxed pace and lack of walking. I walk too much around my home. The kitchen is a couple of metres down the hallway from the living room. And I can only make one trip without having a rest. My kitchen itself is pretty big and I struggle to walk from one end to the other. Thankfully I have my chairs to sit on. Then I have to get up to walk down the hall to the toilet, or the door. At bedtime I have to pull myself up the stairs. I may spend a lot of time sitting around, but I do a lot of short bursts of walking too. And it’s hurting me. I’ve hurt so much since getting home. Maybe I need to go and live in a caravan?
Or maybe I need to face facts that my walking is not going to improve and get myself a wheelchair to use indoors.
The journey back was much harder. It took over an hour longer to get back because of traffic. About halfway back my right leg spasmed and gave me pain for the rest of the journey.
I loved going to Cornwall, but I don’t love long journies.
Today I want to tell you about Winnie’s Picks. A few years ago adult colouring books became very popular. I have a few myself and they are great for a little time for yourself. They are a good way of practicing mindfulness and letting out your creativity.
Now, I’m pretty good at colouring in, even if I do say so myself. But, I’ve never been good at painting. Then I heard of a new site, Winnie’s Picks and found that you can do paint by numbers. Going back many years I can remember my Mum used to love paint by numbers, but the pictures available at the time were all very similar.
At Winnie’s picks you have a plethora of pictures to choose from to paint, and everything is included in the kit. You can see their bestelling collection here.
What I Like About Winnie’s Picks
Not only are there so many pictures to choose from, and everything you need to paint them, I also love that you can send them a photograph to be turned into a paint by numbers. You can make it really personal. I love that you can customise your painting in this way.
I also like the pricing, you can buy from around £16 and even the most expensive pictures won’t break the bank. They would make fantastic gifts. Imagine sending someone a painting to do of their pet.
I’m planning on getting one of these for myself very soon. I’ll let you know how I get on. Then I’m pretty sure I know a couple of people who will be getting one as a Christmas present. Grandma will get one of her beloved dog, and my Sister-in-law one of her precious daughters. Not only will it give them something to do, they will have something precious to keep afterwards.
What do you think? Would you like to have a go at paint by numbers?
First of all you would need to become a Prime Member. I am already a member and I pay monthly at £7.99. It saves me a ton of money each year, but if you wanted to save some more during Prime Day you can switch your membership to yearly for just £59 instead of £79. You can even do this if you are already a member and paying monthly.
Prime Day has already started, it’s on 15th and 16th July, so be quick to grab the bargains.
Here are some tips:
On Prime Day you will get a preview of many deals. If you see something you like then you can click the watch button. If you have the Amazon App on your phone you will get a push message when the deal goes live.
Check for specific deals by searching for what you want on Amazon and seeing if it has a Prime Day Deal Badge on it.
For example, this Garmin Forerunner Watch has a special offer for Amazon Prime members
Check for Prime Day Launches with special deals just for Prime Members
I love making blankets and I was thrilled to hear my niece was expecting a new baby. So of course I got out my hook and made her a baby blanket. I found the pattern in a booklet from Simply Crochet Magazine.
The pattern was worked in squares which were then attached to each other without the need for sewing it all together. It’s a really simple and effective pattern. The original baby blanket pattern was in rainbow colours but I chose to do it all in blue because my niece is having a baby boy.
I also bought my niece some baby books as it’s never too early to read to your child.
What I’m Making now
I recently joined KnitCrate and have received some lovely yarn and patterns. In the first box I had this gorgeous summary orange yarn which came with a pattern for socks. I didn’t want to make the socks so I found a pattern for a summer shawl and I think it’s coming along lovely. I really like the colours.
In my second box I have my favourite colour yarn, shades of purple. I’m going to make the scarf pattern that comes in the box.
It also came with a fabric covered tape measure which will come in handy. Although if I’m honest, I own about 12 tape measures already, I bought a batch from Ebay with the hope of crocheting some cover for them. I did make a Jammy Dodger biscuit cover. I’ll need to check out a few more.
I’m a huge fan of Cadbury’s Chocolate, it might have something to do with living just five minutes away from the original Cadbury Factory in Bournville. As it’s nearly Father’s Day Cadbury’s are offering you the chance to win a personalised 850g bar of Dairy Milk just by filling in this form.
Here are a few of my favourite Cadbury Gifts for Father’s Day
A great Father’s Day chocolate gift with our Father’s Day Toblerone and Cadbury chocolates. Dairy Milk Bar with No1. Dad sleeve and a Milk Toblerone Bar with special ‘To My Hero’ sleeve. A great combination of large Dairy Milk Bar, Eclairs, Wine Gums, Cadbury Boost Bag and Cadbury Twirl Bites in a Cadbury Gift Box! Surprise your Dad with their favourite BIG chocolate in a Cadbury gift box.
Limited edition Dairy Milk Corgi vehicles and delicious Dairy Milk and Bournville chocolate in a Cadbury gift box. A Dairy Milk bar with a NO.1 Dad cardboard gift sleeve alongside a Corgi Dairy Milk Tanker and a classic Dairy Milk Mini. A great gift for any Cadbury fan who collects Corgi – special edition die cast models.
Send a fantastic gift of Hambleton’s Ales award winning micro brewery beer with a variety of the nation’s favourite Cadbury Dairy Milk bars. Cadbury Dairy Milk’s top chocolate bars with British brewed beer.
Green & Black’s Organic Connoisseur Collection – A selection of unique Green & Black’s bars. Taste is at the heart of everything we do, but don’t just take our word for it. We are proud that our organic collection has won multiple awards at the Academy of Chocolate and Great Taste Awards. We are proud to be the chocolate of choice for many celebrity chefs, the Organic collection is perfect for those who enjoy intense flavours in their chocolate. The chocolate box includes the Tasting Wheel to help you get the perfect pairing with your food and drink. This impressive collection of Green & Black’s chocolate will make a beautiful gift.
Maynards Bassett’s Liquorice Allsorts in a handy 400g carton makes a wonderful gift for friends and family alike. Filled with Maynards Bassett’s Liquorice Allsorts sweets. One too many, and you might turn Bertie….
I’ve not tried to crochet an item of clothing before but I thought this jumper looked fun and easy to make. It’s a nice baggy style which is how I like my jumpers and I loved the wool chosen. It was Stylecraft Life dK in Silver Nepp. It has lovely flecks of colours throughout. I did find it came up a bit big, probably my fault with tension. I’m still not good on measuring tension and I tend to come up big. I chose the size 16-18 as I’m a 16, but I wished I’d gone a bit smaller now. But no worries, I’ll be wearing once the winter arrives, I’ll be able to layer up and keep warm.
For my first attempt at a jumper, or even any item of clothing, I think I did quite well. It’s wearable anyway. The sleeves seem a little long and they are baggy. but if you look at the model wearing it in the magazine you will see it is actually supposed to be like that.
I really enjoyed the pattern, especially the bobbles, they are so easy and fun to make.
To do a bobble stitch you simply keep working the trebles into the same stitch. On the sleeve and the bottom of the jumper I worked 5 trebles into one stitch, on the motif I did slightly bigger bobbles by working 7 trebles into one stitch.
To make the motif I had to follow a chart. I have done this before with my Spring blanket and it’s really quite easy to do, it’s all about counting!
I really love my crochet, it relaxes me and takes my mind off other things. It’s also incredibly satisfying to see a project come together.
My children love tactile things like slime or squishies. We have spent many an hour destroying having fun in the kitchen making our own slime. But when the disasters became too unbearable we went on to buying stuff instead.
Now you may think this is an easy task, most stores sell some sort of slime or Squishies, just take a look in The Card Factory or The Works. They probably even sell it in the supermarket. But, we are a fussy lot and we like ours to be particularly squishy, or squidgy or smell just right.
We love Etsy for this, it’s a risk buying online because you don’t get to smell or squidge before hand. But then most products sold in the shop come in sealed containers so you don’t know what you are getting until you open them anyway. We have come to love a few Etsy sellers that have not let us down and we would like to share them with you.
Kristi from Slime Marshmallows is our ultimate favourite seller for slime. She always contacts us after an order to make sure it’s sent out at the right time if it’s for a special occasion. Slime does have a ‘shelf life’ but if I’m honest, we still have some fabulous slime from her that has lasted for ages.
All slime orders come with: borax powder, a small bag of extras, a personalised note and a care sheet. You can generally choose whether you want a basic pot or a stronger one. The stronger one is more expensive but your slime will last longer in it.
The orders are always a delight to receive and they often come with extras which can include either: glitter, foam balls, fimo slices or beads!
Her shop items change regularly but I’ll show you some of the favourites we’ve tried or wanted to try.
I bet you never thought slime looked so good! It also smells and feels amazing. (oh, okay, I admit, I like it too!)
The thing about squishies is; they are fabulous while they last. Sadly, as they are meant to be squished and squashed they do tend to fall apart. So, don’t expect them to last forever…unless you don’t squish them which defeats the object.
They also come in many shapes and sizes. Some like them hand size so you can just squish away while doing other stuff like watching tv or homework. Some like them bigger for that stress busting squish experience. I think they are cute so I like to have one on my key ring. Big or small, it’s so nice to give them a little squish every now or then.
Squishes can be really soft or a little firmer, some squish and come back into shape immediately and some are slow rising. Everyone seems to have a preference.
Here are a selection I’ve found to share with you.
Some Squishies look yummy but don’t eat them!
(my son found half a doughnut under my daughters desk in her bedroom and told her she was disgusting for leaving food in her room…I went to see and found out it was a squishy doughnut!)
I’d like to finish off with this fabulous party kit I’ve found. We have had all sorts of crafting parties for birthday’s in the past. Last year, Boo went to a birthday slime making party which she loved. However, this is a squishy party kit with everything included for 10 children to design their own squishes. All you need is a table with a disposable table cloth and the kids will have a wild time. So tempted to try this myself for Boo’s birthday this year.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my squishy, slimy post 🙂 I have included affiliate links which if you click and go on to buy something you will help me earn a few pennies at no extra cost to yourself. So thank you x
This post contains my affiliate links for Wayfair, they will cost you nothing to click through but may earn me a few pennies if you decide to buy anything while on the site. So, thank you for your support.
I love Wayfair and I was excited to hear that they were having a super 36 hour sale starting on April 10th. They are also offering Free Uk Delivery on everything!
I thought I’d take a look and give you a some of my picks.
I love Easter. It’s in the spring time, the kids have two whole weeks off school and there is lots of chocolate! What’s not to love. You don’t even have to be religious to enjoy Easter, but if you are then you’ll know how uplifting the Church Service can be on Easter Sunday.
I’m going to visit some of my favourite Easter related things in this post. I may contain links to other sites and even affiliate links, just thought I’d let you know.
My Children are too old for Easter Bonnets now, but here’s some we made earlier.
Easter really is the time for treats, I know, I know, chocolate is a treat, but we’ll come to that later. Good things come to those that wait. First of all, how about Easter Cakes. I am a big fan of the Simnel Cake. I just adore marzipan (probably more than chocolate!)
We made some yummy Easter Chocolate bark way back in 2013, It was fun and easy to make but my photography is not so good.
Do you have an Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday? We do one at home but a couple of years ago we went to a local National Trust Property to do one. We may just do it again this year. You can find out if there is a hunt near you by clicking here.
Finally, here is a pick of a few of my favourite eggs from Cadburys!
Newsflash!! Use the code EGGHUNT at the checkout for 15% off, ends 5th April, so hurry