Friday, 29 March 2013

Felling the need to bring spring into the house this week as there is no sign of it outside in this freezing cold weather.  It has been trying so hard to snow the last couple of days with the tiniest of snowflakes drifting down for only a few minutes at a time.  We were all disappointed that no snow stayed on the ground.  Unlike everybody else we got no snow this year and we were quite willing to take the burden from other places to enjoy it here for a while.  We seem to be stuck between seasons at the moment.  Feeling wintery still but spring not ready to be sprung.  So we decided to buy some beautiful bright primroses and plant them in an old orange box.  It definitely brightens up the window sill for Easter. The house is full of daffodils and tulips. The Easter tree is now dominating the kitchen table, it's branches laden with chocolate eggs and furry little chics.  The kids had a great time decorating it but I think that they will probably have more fun slowly picking away at those chocolate burdens!!

 Happy Easter to everybody!  I hope that the weather is good for all going egg hunting.  And for those that don't need to hunt for their eggs, don't forget that there is no such thing as 'too much chocolate' at Easter!!

Rosie xx

PS. Thank you to everybody that have become followers.  I get so excited when I see a new follower on my list and visiting all your blogs.  Even more exciting is when I get comments from you all.  It's so great to see that there is somebody out there reading my little blog.  Thank you all so much again.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Old Olympian

The most vivid memory that I have of my Dad when I was young is when he was sitting down at the table in the front room tapping away at the letters of this old Olympia typewriter.  Every week he would sit down and type all of his correspondence on beautiful headed paper, none of which have survived today unfortunately.  I think that he typed everything because if I'm honest his handwriting was illegible to everybody, even himself at times.  Sorry Dad if you're reading this from up above!

Maybe it's because I associate this typewriter with my father but somehow it has always felt manly to me.  The buttons, so strong and sturdy, moved with ease as letter after letter was produced.  Each knowing what it's job was and what it was made to do. Never failing its duty.  There was rare occasions when I was allowed to play office on it and I loved how the shiny square buttons felt as my fingers moved them down and how gently they would glide back into place.  I loved how it smelled of rolls of ink tape and good quality paper.  Even now this smell still lingers.

The letters lined up in regimental fashion facing the blank page are ever ready to fill it with its inky words.  The black ink still remains from some of those old rolls of tape.
To me this is a true Olympian. Strong, beautiful and still as good today as it was on the first day that my father bought it and opened up it's hard cream shell with maroon leather handle.

Do you have anything at home that you treasure and instantly provokes memories?
Rosie xx

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Nearing An End

Last weekend was Paddy's weekend here in Ireland but unfortunately I was not out celebrating like a wild thing.  Instead I headed down to my Mum's house with a roaring temperature and a very bad kidney infection for a little bit of mothering.  After all that's been happening here over the last few weeks with my son being in and out of hospital, I craved the comfort of being with my mother.  I needed somebody to wrap me up in a duvet and make me water bottle while I drank hot cups of tea.  I was a sad sight, cocooned in a duvet on her couch while sweat dripped from my forehead.
But my Mum being my Mum made me feel better in no time at all.  And I soon had the energy to sit on the floor and do the lay out for my toddlers blanket.  All the squares are now finished and it will easily cover a single bed.  So it should do the little man in question a while yet.

There are 35 squares in total with varying shades of green, blue and pink.  With the base colours of white and grey.  I hope that they work out as well as I hope.  We were both happy with the lay out when we tried.

I used only three types of blocks. One square spinner, a plain granny and a mixed colour granny.

Now is the hard part.  I think that I'm going to crochet the blocks together instead of sewing, to make it more robust for a toddler.  And then on to weaving in all of those millions of ends!!!  I think that a sit down with an audio book for a few evening will do the trick.  I'm in a hurry for this blanket to be finished now because my friend B is coming home from Oz next week with her Hubby and little man.  I can't wait to see her as it's been at least seven years since we've last met.  I'm getting excited just thinking about it.

Wish me luck with the finishing off and I'll chat you all soon.
Rosie xx

PS Thanks for your comments on my last cry for help about bloglovin on my phone.  I've still not had any joy with that but I've sent and email to the help board and am awaiting an answer.

Monday, 18 March 2013

I'm so confused!!!

I have tried Google Reader, bloglovin and feedly on my phone but I still cannot post any comments on my favourite blogs. And it won't let me leave a comment under my blog name. This is so frustrating for me because I read most posts when I have a few minutes to myself, like when I'm waiting outside the school for the kids. Even the Blogger App is no help with this. Can anybody help me please??
Rosie xx

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Vintage Knitting

I was in our local yarn shop yesterday and I spotted a little basket tucked away at the back of one of the lower shelves.  I was delighted to see that it contained plenty of vintage knitting patterns.  Most of them were hideous 1980's patterns with big shoulder pads and gory bright colours.  But some were just so cute that I just couldn't bring myself to leave without them.

Don't you just love the hair do's in this one.  So elegant even after all this time.

This one has obviously well used and loved.  I think that it would be very easy to convert to a more modern pattern.

The kids patterns are ideal for knitting school uniform jumpers.  Just how sweet are those baby cardi's?

Yoked jumpers are very fashionable at the moment.  The lace stitch is just gorgeous.  The cardi may look a little dated but with some new yarn, I think that this would just look fantastic.  Plus I really love to knit with fingering weight yarn.  Any excuse!!

Finally, pardon the creases on this vintage tablecloth that I found in the local thrift shop.  It is so fresh and brightens up the kitchen no end.

Lucky vintage shopping lately.  I hope that this carries on.  There is something very satisfying about not only finding a great bargain but also finding things that were well loved by their previous owners.  
Do you get the same feeling when thrift shopping??

Rosie xx

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


First of all, I would like to thank everybody for their kind and caring comments about my sons illness.  They were truly welcome and helped to cheer me up no end to know that I have good bloggy friends out there.  Patrick is doing so much better now and even though he is still getting some headaches, he has been able to return to school and even played a GAA match for the school team on Sunday!  He scored a goal and he was smiling from ear to ear for a whole day after.

Just as I needed something to cheer me up after the stressful previous week the postman arrived with a neat little package from my Bobo Bun Swap partner, Ethel from Eco Ethel.

It contained four lovely pressies, all wrapped up in music sheets.  i loved the wrapping so much that I tried my best not to tear when opening them.  For colour there was a lovely "cake" badge, that is now sitting happily on my rucksack.
Vintage was a beautiful pink table mat with applique flowers.
For handmade Ethel sent me a sweet little button necklace, purple in colour.  And handy enough I had just bought a new jumper and I was looking for a necklace to go with it.  This one just suits the bill.
And finally my favourite, for handmade there were two Dandy comic buntings.  I just loved comics as a child and if I'm honest I still do.  So this was a perfect swap idea.
Thanks Ethel.  Your pressies cheered me up no end and it arrived just at the perfect time for me.

This is what I sent to Ethel:

For colour I made an apple and pear pinny.

For handmade I knitted a chunky handbag.  Perfect for carrying knitting WIPs.

Vintage was a small little coin purse.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the childhood pressie.  I thought that a wooden cup and ball toy would keep Ethel entertained.
For a first swap, I must say that I enjoyed it most thoroughly.  I will definitely do it again.

Do you enjoy swaps?  Did you get anything nice?
Rosie xx

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Inseparable Friends

These are two of my sons favourite teddies, Sizzle and Blue Monkey.  As you can see they are well worn from all the cuddles and hugs that they get.  Blue Monkey was the first teddy that I ever knitted and I was very pleased with how he turned out.  Unlike the second monkey that I made him which in my mind looks more like an Easter Island Head than a monkey.  But he loves them all the same and they go everywhere that he does.
Unfortunately last week he had to bring them to the hospital.  I had to rush him in on Monday afternoon because he was having very bad headaches that were stopping him from going to school.  But he was deemed well enough by Tuesday morning to go home and off we were sent with no explanations to what was happening.
By Friday morning he had grown even worse.  My heart was very heavy watching him crying with the pain and vomiting continually.  So off we headed again back to the hospital with the two monkeys in tow.  The nurses in A&E recognised the monkeys before us as my son clung to them with all of his strength.  Luckily we were hurried straight in to the treatment room so that he could lie down and rest.  That afternoon the monkeys kept us company through test after test and even a CT scan. 
By supper time we were admitted into our room and finally Patrick could rest with his two little friends.  We were there for the whole weekend waiting for the doctors to decide on a prognosis and begin treatment. It was finally thought to be acute migraine and he had to start on new medication.  But it was the monkeys that got the most attention.  As nurses that came and went from the room, they all stopped to look at these two knitted friends.  One even took a picture of them to show her kids.
It was a long, tedious week.  And I felt so guilty that all that I could do to help my son was hold his hand when he was awake and crying or sit alongside him quietly stitching while he slept. 
But slowly we could see the bright gleam of mischievousness once more appear in his big blue eyes.  And it wasn't long until he was no longer able to hold back his big bright smile. As soon as he began joking with the nurses and putting on plays with the monkeys, we knew that everything was getting better.  We are all back home now and Patrick although sad at having to leave his monkey friends sleeping in bed, is now back at school.

On our return I received a parcel from my Four Things Swap from my swap partner, Eco Ethel.  It was so well timed and it cheered me up immensely. Especially the bunting. Thank you so much Ethel.  I haven't had a chance to take photos of them yet but I will do soon and post them.

Rosie xx  

Friday, 1 March 2013

Family Members Of The Furry Kind

Here in our family we love our furry family members every bit as much as we love each other.  It took a long time for us to add some animals to our family as my son was allergic to all things furry.  But when two little kittens wandered into our garden, all of that changed.  They were lonely as their owner had cancer and had to be away a lot of the time and they needed a bit of love.  The more exposure that Patrick had to these cats, the less severe the reaction.  One of these kittens, Slippers, still comes and sleeps in our house at night but sadly the other got hit by a car and even now we still talk about her fondly and miss her lots.
All our pets are rescue cases in one form or another.  It may have taken a bit of time for them to settle in but once they did, their true personalities came to light.  And loveable they are, each in their own right and for different reasons.  Let me introduce them to you all;

This is Nina.  We call here the Lady of the house.  She is the most gentle, loving cat that I have ever known.  When she isn't sitting in the log basket beside the fire, she likes to sit on the top of the sofa behind me and stroke my hair with her paw.  She is not demanding in any way and waits patiently until the others have had their fill before she eats herself.
We got her from the ISPCA with her sister Moe.  They were found in a sealed box in the middle of the bog and left to die.  It is just beyond my understanding how people can be so cruel. When they were found, they were brought to the rescue centre and lived there for a full year before because it's the kittens that are in demand but fully grown cats find it more difficult to get a home.  I feel in love with Nina the minute that I saw her and I knew that I just had to bring her home.  And then when I met Moe there was no way on earth that I could separate the two sisters and leave Moe there on her own.
On the day that we brought them home, the poor little things were so scared and uneasy that they hid behind the sofa and didn't come out for two whole weeks.  I had to feed them there and leave a litter tray out for them.
Nina is still a little shy and doesn't like strangers in the house.  But now she loves to be stroked and never objects to a great big cuddle from anybody.
She is also a brilliant alarm clock and this is no exaggeration!  Eight o'clock every morning she climbs up on the extension roof and sits outside my daughter's bedroom window.  She will cry as loudly as she can until somebody lets her in, usually me or my son.  Now my daughter loves her bed on a school morning (she gets up earlier at the weekend with no problems what so ever!), and somehow Nina seems to sense this because she will sit at the end of Lucy's bed and cry like a really annoying alarm clock until she gets up.  Nina will not come down the stairs for anybody but Lucy and then it is only when Lucy is dressed and ready for school!!  How mad is that.

And this is Moe.  She may be a small cat but she is still the boss of all the pets.  That is my small sewing box that she is sitting on in the picture.  It just shows how petite this little lady is.
She would not think twice about giving Slippers, one of the big boy cats, a box in the jaw if her attempts to give her a kiss on the nose, which is quite often.  He must like strong women!
She wants to be fed first and she controls the cat flap.  She will sit at the flap and not move to let the others in until she is ready to.  And the strays are absolutely terrified of her and won't try to come near the house to steal food if Moe is around.  She will just give them her most evil glare and they run a mile.  She always stands her ground and would never come out of a fight with marks or scratches.
But saying all that, she is such an affectionate cat.  She loves to sit on my lap and be stroked or brushed, purring all the while.  She follows me everywhere with the dog in tow and the only time she leaves the garden is when I go out into the playground with the dog.  Then she only sits on the fence post and watches and waits for our return.

Let me introduce you to Tabby.  Apologies for the poor quality of this photo but he just doesn't stay around for long enough to get a proper one.
All I can say about Tabby is that he is a loveable rogue.  He is the very gentle and loves affection.  So much so that one home just isn't enough and currently has about three!
He first came to us when he was thrown out of a moving car on the road near our house.  We took him in straight away and he soon became a valued family member.  But he was always restless and loved to roam at night.  Unfortunately this resulted in two terrible road accidents where both of his back legs were crushed.  But he is a little fighter and the vet repaired them the best he could and it wasn't long before he was running, albeit a little on the wonky side, up and down the garden like a kitten with the kids.  We sometimes call him the Terminator.  Definitely a cat with nine lives!
He since has taken to an old farmer neighbour and has adopted him as his owner and only visits us every so often.  It's like a royal visit when he does arrive because we all get so excited to seeing him and there  generally is a queue to pet him and say hello.

And you've met Molly before.  A better friend I could never have asked for. She is fun, energetic and always entertaining.  And she would cheer me up on even the most difficult of days.  She gets very upset when the kids are crying and also loves to be in the thick of it when there is fun to be had.
Like Moe, Molly likes to follow me everywhere.  She is at my side no matter what I am doing or where I go.  Sometimes she even tries to come into the bathroom when I'm on the toilet!  Cheeky pup.
If I leave her for more than a couple of hours, she cries like a baby when I return, even if she is with the rest of the family.  She jumps up on me to try and knock me down so that she can lick my ear which is her idea of a kiss.  Gross I know!!
She cuddles into me on the sofa and couldn't lie any closer if she tried. She will jump up beside me when somebody moves to make a little space, even if it's only a tiny bit of room, she will make sure that she fits in somehow.  The only thing that will move her off the sofa again, is if somebody lets a fart (never me of course, I'm far too ladylike for that).  She will look at the offending person in disgust and run back to her bed.
Molly has such a strong character and more personality than I thought it possible for a dog to have.  She loves to put on what we call the fragrant Chanel No. Poo but then gets annoyed when we call her a smelly dog while she has a cold wash in the garden with the hose.
I don't know how but she instinctively knows when it's time to pick up the kids from school and sits at the front door waiting for us to go.  She sits in the car just like a person with one paw on the door and the other on her belly.  So very funny to see.  And sometimes she will sit in the kid's booster seats in the back and then refuse to move when the kids come!!
When we go for some exercise, she would prefer to swim rather than walk so we always pick a place that runs along a river, canal or lake.
She gets on brilliantly with Nina but is terrified of Moe.  She will not pass through the kitchen door if Moe is around unless I am standing beside her. We call her the chicken dog...she is even afraid of the dark!!  It is very funny to see her playing with Nina.  She will run towards her like a lightening bolt hoping that a chase will ensue but Nina just looks at her and sits still.  Molly puts on the brakes as fast as she can to stop her from crashing into Nina.  And when she reaches the cat, Nina just gently licks Molly on the nose and rubs her face affectionately into her neck.  It's just so sweet to see.

Our last pet is Slippers.  Unfortunately we don't have any pictures of him as he is very camera shy and runs a mile when he sees us coming with one.  He is a lovely big, fluffy tortoise shell cat but unfortunately not a very affectionate one.  He never bothers or would try to scratch anybody.  He just lazily potters along at his own pace, wanting to do his own thing.  Sometimes when he sees me on my own, he will roll on the ground at my feet as if to say, "rub my belly please".  Then when he has had enough after about 30 seconds, he just gets up and walks away.  "That's enough thank you.  You're services in belly rubbing are no longer required".

Well if you're still here, that was my intro to the furry members of our family.  But there's always room for more...
Do you have a pet?  Do they have some funny habits?  I'd love to know.
Rosie x