Monday, 20 February 2017

Final reduction clearance prices all change!

You know how it goes, you have an idea, you try it, it goes well, but then life happens and you need a change, it is time for something different.  Well, I need to change - I am changing! - I have found a walking group to go and investigate very soon by the way, thank you for all of those who suggested it!  As part of that change I am moving on from my Etsy shop.  So everything is being sold at massively reduced prices. 

I want to concentrate on designing and patterns.  This is for two reasons, one because I love designing things and making things for my shop takes away my designing time and the other - purely practical reason - is that it takes me so long to do the accounts for things I sell in the shop and again, this takes away from designing time!  So the designs have it!  This means all must go!

So click the photo in the top right of the sidebar (or here) and you will go to the price reduction post.  E-mail me or get in touch to know you want to buy something and I will send you a paypal invoice - you must give me an e-mail address to do this.  Some items also for sale in my Etsy shop, same prices but no multibuy discount.

Thank you for helping me to clear out and move on!  It seems sad, but it isn't it is a new start and that is all good!  Thank you to everyone who has bought things from me in the past, I hope that you have loved them, I certainly loved making them, it is just time for something new!

Thank you. 

Amy

Friday, 17 February 2017

Five On Friday Linkup Post 11

Hello!  Welcome to Five On Friday.

This is the link up post.  Please read the below if you want to join in.

My post is the one before this one on my blog, and will be linked below later today - you can go and read it now though before I have linked it!

Thank you for visiting and joining in.

Amy

********************




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

********************

Five On Friday

Hello Friday!  Hello blog readers too!

I hope that you have all had a good week and that the weather has been kind to you wherever you are.  It has been odd here lately, last weekend we had snow, although it didn't last long and it was so cold that I didn't rush out to photograph it I am afraid.  Then this week it has been warmer again.  Very odd!

This week my five follow on from the chatter, so first up with the chatter, and then the five - because it will not make sense otherwise!

Last week I missed Five On Friday because we had had my father in laws funeral and although I had some other posts ready to go last week and for this week I didn't have the wherewithal for Five On Friday.  I hope you understand - I am sure you do.  I did still stop by and read your posts though.  That is also why comments have been thin on the ground.  I am sorry I have been absent, but I know that you understand.  Sometimes you just need to go and hide don't you!

It has been a tough time as you know and I don't want to go on about it, because that will not help anyone, least of all me, but the funeral wasn't particularly pleasant - not that they ever are - and I am struggling to deal with the issues that arose, although some wonderful friends and family have really helped.  I am grateful to be so blessed.

Anyway, the thing is that it has been a rubbish time - to end all of the other rubbish times that we have been dealing with.

I know that things will get better and, trust me, for me to know that is a big thing.  So I am good with that.  I know we will come out of the way that we - I! - feel right now.  The thing is right now I am stuck with this oddness, and not knowing what to do with myself.  For the first time in a long time, I am still problem rich, but also with lots of time on my hand.  Usually I am problem rich and time poor so I don't have time to think.  It isn't good having problems and yet time to think about them.

Speaking to two different people I realised two things.  I don't know what I do "normally" because it has been so long since anything in my life was "normal" or "what I used to do".  Speaking to another person I realised that it was probably 10 years ago that my life was "normal" so now I don't have any "normal" or any idea what that might be.

The world is suddenly my oyster, I have no one to take care, no responsibility other than for myself and Hubby, I can do anything, but I have no idea where to begin.  I need busy, I need things to do.  Yes, I totally get that I need to take some time to work things out, to grieve and all of those things, but I know myself and I also need things to do.  What I really do not need is time to sit and think - over and over and over and, well, you get the point!  It does nothing good for my mental health.

The thing is that I am stuck with where to start.  What shall I do?  I have a friend looking into one thing for me, we used to work together at a charity and although I don't want to go back to what I was doing, she is seeing if there are other opportunities.  I have looked around for some - non aerobics! - exercise classes, but at £10.00 a week that is not a goer right now so I need to keep looking.  Yes, I have my yarn, but I need people and I need to be out of the house.

All of this long waffle brings me back to my five things.  This week I have five questions for you.  Can you make some suggestions, classes I could look at, things I could do, things that Hubby and I could do together with our time and with each other more importantly.  What ideas do you have?  Tell me everything you can think of, don't hold back, you never know, it might be just what I am looking for - or what someone else is looking for.

Can you help  me to figure out how to fill that gaping hole of time to stop my brain aching so hard!!!

I think that I had better round it up there and call this post to the end.  My five things!

1. Suggestions for exercise - what do you do?  I don't want to do aerobics classes - do they still exist in any case, I am not sure I could take lycra and legwarmers!

2.  Suggestions for volunteering - again, what do you do and why do you like it?  Inspire me!

3.  Suggestions for other group activities to look for to join and why.

4.  Suggestions for things that Hubby and I can do together at the weekend/evenings - just us as a couple.

5.  Suggestions for things that Hubby and I could do with other people - so that we can both meet some new people and try new things with other people.

6.  Suggestions for any other out of the house things that I could do.

If you have websites, details of specific organisations that would be wonderful.

Thank you all so much for your help!

Thank you all for listening, I am sorry about the glooms, I really am.

I do hope you are all well and happy, I will see you again soon.

Have a great weekend, love each other and be just a little kinder than you need to.

Amy

p.s. I am of course linking to Five On Friday, see the posts here or via the links in my sidebar.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Valentines Day

We all know Valentines Day.  Some of us think of it as something romantic, a day to tell our dearest loved on just how much they mean to us.  We can go over the top with bunches of roses, wine and chocolates and a dinner out for two.  Or you can send a simple card.  Or just tell them, I love you.  Some find it a little over commercialised and I understand that, but I still choose to enjoy the day without joining in the commercial aspects of it.


As well as telling your nearest and dearest loved one that you love them today - I do love you an awful lot you know dear Hubby! - you can also share with others around you that you love them, love what they do for you, who they are and what you do for them.


So I want to send you all some love today on Valentines Day!  Know that whether you have that romantic love with a special someone, whether there isn't a special person in your life right now, or if that person is no longer with you, there are people out there who love you and what you bring to their lives!  You are loved an awful lot you know!


Happy Valentines Day Everyone!  Thank you for all that you bring and all that you give and do and share!  Love to you all!

Amy

Monday, 13 February 2017

Reading My Books - Three Act Tragedy

Once again an Agatha Christy novel featuring Hercule Poirot that famous Belgian - and don't mistake him for French! - detective.

I remember seeing the television version of this one - Three Act Tragedy - and, amazingly for me, "who dunnit" so reading this was interesting because I was looking out for the clues which would lead us to who the murderer was.  Normally I don't remember who the perpetrator of the crime is, so I am trying to solve the murder rather than looking out for the specific clues.  It was a different but good way to follow the story.



The story starts with a mysterious death, very suddenly when a group of friends are gathered together.  Although it is sudden there is no suspicion of foul play and life goes on.  As other things start to unfold some things become clearer and others less so.  Could it actually have been murder.  Who could the murderer be, where have people disappeared and what on earth is going on.  Then, there seems be another horrible twist in the tale, but is it real or not?

Once the three acts of the tragedy are complete surely we can reach a conclusion, have all three parts really happened though.  What if they haven't, what does that mean.

You are kept guessing - unless like me you already know the answer! - right until the end.  There was one thing that I remember not understanding in the television programme though and this was cleared up for me in the book.  I was glad about that!

I enjoyed reading this book a lot.  The story was a good one, well told.  Enough action to keep you guessing, different parts told by different characters and all together a lot of interest in the story.  It is a good one and I recommend it.

You will see from the picture of this book that it is a very old edition indeed.  It came as part of a large number of books that were given to me.  You can tell this one is old because of the state of the book - the whole of the back of the book is missing in fact! - and the price 3'6 on the bottom right of the front cover.  That means three shillings and six pence.  That means this book was published before 1971 when the UK switched to using decimal currency.

I love to look at the prices on books, it is interesting to see how prices have changed over the years.  Looking online I see that to buy this book now would cost £7.03.  Comparing prices, that would have equated to 38 pence in 1965.  To give a further comparison, in 1965 - pre decimalisation - a pound of butter would have cost about three shillings, now it would cost about £2.80.  It seems that books have gone up considerably more in price than butter has!

So after that little financial history lesson - don't you find these things fascinating? -  what happens to this book?  Well, I am once again in a quandary, that keeps happening with me lately.  This book is so tatty that I fear that if I send it to the charity shop they will send it for pulping.  I don't have anyone to pass it to as one of the people I usually pass books to gave this one to me and I don't think the other one likes Agatha Christy books - if I remember correctly, she will let me know if I am wrong.  If anyone would like it and will read it let me know and I will pop it in the post to you.  UK only though otherwise it will cost too much to send.

Do you find little "extra" things about reading books interesting?  Do they ever send you off in different directions looking at things.  I would love to know!

You can find my other book reviews here or by clicking the Reading My Books page at the to right of the sidebar.

Happy reading!

Amy

Friday, 10 February 2017

Five On Friday Linkup Post 10

Welcome to Five On Friday

This is the post for links only, usually my post will be linked later in the day, or you can look back at my posts, as it will be the post before this one.

That said I don't have a post for you today, I will be back again next week though.

Have a great weekend.  Love each other and be just a little kinder than you need to.

Amy




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

**********


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Crochet Hats

I have crocheted a couple of hats in my time.  One of which didn't really work at all, and the other, made more recently which has worked very well and which I have enjoyed wearing - I will share it in another post coming up.

So when the call went out from Teresa for baby hats for a charitable cause I thought I would have a go.  I have never made a baby hat before, and never having had a baby, I wasn't really sure what size they needed to be and the ones I made to Teresa's pattern didn't seem to be totally right for my tension so I did a couple of those and then varied them in my own way!

This is what I ended up with.  I hope they will be of use and that at least some of them will be the right size for someone.


There were several good things about these hats.  Quite a few good things actually. 

Really fast to make up - it almost seemed as though it took longer to sew the ends in than to crochet them.  They are for a really good cause.  I got to use up more odds and ends of yarn - still lots left even after making my Happy Scrappy Squares Blanket.  A good quick "win" for getting something completed.  Fun to learn a new skill and a new make as I tried out some new to me stitches for the edges of the blue hats.  That is a lot of good from a few hats isn't it. 

Most of all though I really do hope they are of benefit to the recipients, I crocheted in a lot of good thoughts when I was making them so I hope that is received by whoever wears them.  That is what is important.


There are actually six hats, but I have a couple of photos of some of them to try and give a different view.  My vase didn't make a very good hat model though!


I thought the stripes made this one fancy enough!  No need for any special edges here.


This one looks as though it has a flat edge and is slightly odd when flat, but you can see that when it is hat shaped the border looks very nice.  I think this is called Sedge Stitch, I learned it from fellow lovely crocheter Jo at Three Stories High.  Thank you for that Jo!  She used the stitch to edge a cowl.




I love this little pink one, I just hope that it is big enough for someones head!



This little one is tiny too.  I have asked Teresa to pass them on for any preemie babies if they are not suitable for what she is collecting hats for.


This little blue one is edged in Crab Stitch which I also learned recently from Jacquie at Bunny Mummy where she used it to edge a blanket.


If you are interested in learning more of these new stitches - as I was! - let me know and I will try and do some photo tutorials to share with you what I did.  It is so nice to be able to edge something in a pretty way and it definitely makes a difference to the finished item.

I cannot share the basic hat pattern as that is Teresa's, but I can share the edges!


So that is it!  Lots of little hats, off to keep babies and children warm - I hope! - and a great way to try something new and to give back a little to others.  This year I really want to try and do more for others, it is nice to be thinking outside the box for once and I want to do more of that!


Happy hat making everyone and I hope you will enjoy whatever you are making.

Amy

Monday, 6 February 2017

Reading My Books - This Year It Will Be Different

The title of this book is very apt for what I am going to start off by saying in this post, although I didn't realise it until I wrote the title for the post.  Sometimes I amaze myself with my ability to not see what is right in front of me!!

What I wanted to really start off by saying was that although this blog appears to have changed quite quickly into a book review blog - the fifth one so far this year I think - it is in fact not really turning into a book blog it is just that I am reading a lot right now.

My book pile - actually stacked and poked onto and into a bookcase - is ever growing and never reducing so this year I really want to tackle it.  I calculated that if I read 40 pages a day I can read about 14,600 pages in a year and that if a book is an average of 300 pages long that means I can read about 48 books in a year.  Or 4 a month.  So I am on track for that right now, I just have to keep going!!!

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about all sorts of things, our home, my life, my blog, working, travel all kinds of things.  Me - never a fun thing to reflect on oneself is it.  This thinking will continue although I hope that I will managed to be a little less introspective as time passes.  What it has led to is a decision that this year will be different, hence we come round to the title of the book!

The changes are something that I will write more about in another post, but it is funny how it fitted with this book, and more importantly the contents, which was one of the things I have been contemplating on.

This Year Will be Different is written by Maeve Binchy.  It seems that I have quite a few of her books to read.  I take them down from the shelf half a dozen at a time and there is another of hers in my pile in fact.


The book is a collection of short stories, some just a few pages long, some a little longer.  There are 22 in fact, I just counted them.  The stories are all set at or around Christmas and tell the tales of different individuals or families who are having their own troubles, how they overcome them and why, this Christmas will be different for them.

Of course this is just fiction, but the stories are real enough in that they are things that happen to all of us and we can all relate to them.  Indeed there were several which reflected circumstances which I have found myself in at Christmas, some more than once, and which I have, because that is what I do, felt that I was unable to do anything/wrong/doing something I shouldn't and so on.  Reading these little stories though sort of from the other side, I could see that I would totally find "for" the characters and the difficulties they had, so perhaps I should be easier on myself and realise that I wasn't "wrong" I was just in a difficult situation.  In future I will try and cut myself some more slack!!

As I said, there are a lot of stories so I cannot tell you all about them, this post would take forever and I have already said a lot.  Suffice to say, they are short, sweet, interesting and a jolly good read!  Ideal for reading if you are travelling as you can easily finish one or two and not have to remember all that you were reading, or just for reading one before bed at night.

I really enjoyed this book, and have realised just how much I like the "short story" genre of writing, right now it really appeals to me and is very easy for me to read.

So, to summarise, would I recommend it.  Yes.  What am I doing with my copy.  Well, for the first time I am swithering about this one.  I could easily pass it on to someone I think would enjoy it, but I could easily pick this one up and read it again.  However, I am trying to clear down those shelves and make some space so keeping things when I have loads of other books to read....  Not sure what to do.  I must just leave this one to marinate on the bookcase for a while and see what happens!

Usually I end these posts with a question of some sort based on the book, but today I have two for you!  Firstly do you like short stories and why and secondly what situations have you found yourself in at Christmas that you have made or wanted to make different?  Do share if you feel able to, that is what makes blogging fun!

Happy reading everyone!

Amy

p.s. you can find all of my other book review posts here or by clicking the Reading My Books link at the top right of the sidebar.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Five On Friday Linkup Number 9

Welcome to Five On Friday

This is the post for links only, my post will be linked later today, or you can look back, it will be the post before this one.




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

**********


Five On Friday

My posts for Five On Friday, and possibly my other posts, will be brief for the next couple of weeks, I will update you about the reasons in a few weeks time.  Nothing thrilling, I am not going away or anything, just busy!

Today, in the interests of brevity I have Five quotes from The Book of Hygge that I wrote about here.

One

"A Dane will tend to consider any other person as neither better or less than himself, while acknowledging, for example, that the other person may incidentally have more money or a lower status."

Judith Friedman Hansen

Two

"We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love."

Mother Teresa

Three

"Less is more."

Robert Browning

Four

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."

Annie Dillard

Five

"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet."

Emily Dickinson

I don't really have any news to update you with at the moment, as I said, in a couple of weeks I will do an update of some sort if/as and when I feel up to it/want to.  Basically I have just been busy so nothing really to share.

If you didn't read my post on Wednesday this week about Agnes, please do go and have a look here, and if you can include a link to Agnes in one of your posts, please do, it would be lovely if you could.

I was so glad that some of you left me comments saying this had come at just the right time for you or that you would pass it on to someone you knew it would be useful to, that is so great.  Thank you, and I know that Sam and Charlotte thank you too - because they told me!

Thank you.

I hope that you all have a great weekend and a great couple of weeks ahead if I don't see you so much.

Love each other and be just a little kinder than you need to.

Amy

p.s. of course you I am linking to Five On Friday and you can find the other posts here, via the badge in my sidebar or the post after this one which is where you can link your post.


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Agnes

I am sure that the title of this post will have you all flummoxed.  I will explain, but first I want to give a shout out to bloggers!

Yay for bloggers!  Yay for online friendships - the kind with nice lovely people!  Yay for spreading goodness, kindness and nice things!

You know that I think that blogland is a wonderful place.  For every downside there are at least 10 upsides and 10 nice people to every less than nice one.  So I think that bloggers deserve support in what they are doing on their blogs and in their lives, especially when what they are doing is to support someone else.

You have all supported me, and now it is my turn to support someone else.  I began January with a request for help for my family, and it gives me great pleasure to now be able to return that favour by asking you to help me again with something, but not for me, for someone else.

That brings me round to AgnesAgnes is not a blogger, as far as I know she isn't a person at all.

Agnes is the brainchild of Sam from the blog A Coastal Plot and her friend Charlotte.  They have set up a wonderful website and resource for teenage girls - and probably pre teen's too.  You can read more about how Sam came to set it up at A Coastal Plot.  You can find the Agnes website here.

The idea is to give a safe place where teenagers can read lots of great information to help them find their way around the difficult teenage years.  I don't know about you, but I remember that mine were not easy and having somewhere that I knew was reliable and safe to find things out would have been wonderful for me, and I suspect that it would be wonderful for mothers too to read it themselves, but more importantly to have somewhere the point their daughters to for some independent advice and information.

The website covers all sorts of things from puberty and taking care of yourself as a teen and financial information through to fun things like cooking and crafting - there is a crochet page! - with a whole lot of other very useful and sensible information in between.  While the website is aimed at girls, I suspect that the information would be just as useful for boys too so don't exclude them!  Boys need to learn about girls too sometimes, just as we girls need to learn about boys.

To give you some idea, the subtitle for the website is "The Life Guide for Teenage Girls" that sounds like a good thing doesn't it.  I wonder if there is a life guide for my age group......

If you have a look around you will see that there really is a wide breadth of information and many subjects are covered, as I said, crochet to a basic guide to how the world works, what to do if you are offered a compliment, how to write a thank you letter, advice on make up, exercise, health, relationships.  All kinds of things.

The advice is very good and is, quite frankly something that many adults could do with learning about - present company excepted of course!

I wanted to tell you about all of this for two reasons, firstly it is a great resource and Sam and Charlotte have done a wonderful thing setting this up - I can only imagine the amount of work it has taken them! - and I thought you might like to know about it so that you can send your own teens there for a look.

The second reason is this, which brings me back around to the "how great bloggers are" bit.  We all know that these days to be or do anything you have to get the right rankings on the search engines - mentioning no names, but I am looking at you the one who begins with G! - and to get the right ranking you have to get lots of page views, but also good quality links from other places.  Links mean you are trusted and a good website - apparently!  Not so much points mean prizes, but links mean prizes.

In order to really get this website noticed and get people to come and read it - which is the point of it! - then it needs to get the right page rankings and to get noticed.

So, knowing that you are all wonderful!  I wonder if you could please slip a link into one of your posts sometime referring back to the Agnes website - which you can find here.  If you could I would think you so lovely. 

This isn't Sam or Charlotte asking, it is me asking - although Sam does know that I am asking.  They haven't asked me to ask, I just think it is something that would be a good thing for us to do to support their work, to support women - I know a lot of you are very keen on showing your support for women right now! - and for a fellow blogger.  It is a way of giving back to someone else, and that is why I am asking.

To add a link is really easy, just click on the website - you can find it here! - then go to the navigation bar at the top of your web browser and click with the left button of your mouse to highlight the address, then right click and click copy.  Go to your blog post and find wherever it says to add a link.  Click that, and where the box appears to add the link right click in the box and press paste.  The website address for Agnes will appear.  You will need to add a word or some way of saying this is a link into your post so that the address has somewhere to be linked to and so that people can see it.  So you could type Agnes for example.  Then you can write around that in your post, or you could just add a link at the end of a post with the word and leave it there mysteriously for others to find!  For example, I typed this post, and then went back and added the links to Sam's blog - where I have written either A Coastal Plot or Sam - and to Agnes where I have written Agnes or the words website or here.  Of course you don't need to do as many links, I just don't want you to have any excuse not to find it and was showing how easy it is to include lots of links in a post if you want to.  Please excuse me going overboard!  I am sure most of you know how to do this anyway, but it is always worth sharing just in case isn't it.

Thank you all for being wonderful bloggers, thank you for caring about women and thank you for supporting each other.  At the moment a lot of us are wondering "what can we do" about a lot of things in life, but this is something you can do, that is really easy and could make a big difference to someone else.  It costs nothing, you don't have to leave home and you will probably be writing or sharing a post anyway!

Oh, and (Sam will correct me if I am wrong!) as far as I know neither ladies are earning anything from this and their website is advertising free, so they will not be making money out of your help if you can offer it.

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this post and to add a link - or two! - little things add up to big things and can make a big difference.

Be just a little kinder than you need to!

Amy