Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas Holidays 2010

On Tuesday we went to London, it was a wet and gloomy day but we had a lovely time, we visited Trafalger Square and saw the ship in a bottle on the fourth plinth which I later found out is a replica of Nelsons ship The Victory which he sailed in for the battle of Trafalger. If you click on the link (ship in a bottle above) it takes you to a website with lots of photos of the ship in sunlight and if you click here you can read up more information about the artist who made the sculpture. We went to Leicester square where almost everything was boarded up and the swiss clock had gone! still it might just have gone for a service/repair as the flag stand was still there. We went to Wong Kei's for lunch and had Won tun noodle soup and Beef chow ho fun with chilli and black bean sauce, all washed down with Jasmine Tea. After lunch we walked through China town and wandered around the shops. Later we crossed Charing Cross Road and walked up to Seven Dials. we found lots of lovely shops along the way. We took a Taxi to St Pancras station and saw a Christmas Tree made of champagne bottles. Finally we caught the tube back to Victoria Station then a train home.
On Thursday we went to Brighton and browsed the shops in the North Lanes, fabric, shoes, boots, clothes, T-shirts, fancy dress, guitars, jewellery, secondhand, modern, bags, toys, home goods, stationers, CD's & records, health foods, cafes, bars, and restaurants all catering for every taste imaginable. It was amazing and I could have spent a fortune! Tomorrow is New Years Eve, I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year 2011 from me and the rest of the family at Crafty conundrum. Jane x

Monday, 20 December 2010


Another month has disappeared with alarming speed, it started with Ali's Graduation on the 30th November. Sadly I don't have photos as my camera decided to play up! Thankfully my parents took theirs so I'm hoping for a chance to copy the photos over Christmas. Travelling back from Graduation on the following morning, I arrived at Clapham Junction Station expecting to catch a train back to Sussex having come up from Dorset on the 5.18am. After a half hours wait we were told all trains had been suspended to the south coast! five hours later I caught a train. This photo is the village church in the snow. Since then I've been busy with Rangers doing their end of term show, which was brilliant. Stitching a special gift for my friend Debs and another gift for another friend which is yet to be given. Debs Loved her NOEL hanger and is so delighted with it that she facebooked it too. Finally the snow came back to Sussex not quite as deep and crisp and even as last time, but just a disruptive to the flights, Eurostar and roads. this photo is of the village pond and the poor frozen ducks.
Knitting, stitching etc has been suspended as
I have over done it recently and the osteopath has recomended a rest so my back and hand have a chance to recover, worse yet I have try to retrain my brain and left hand to use the mouse on the computer as I've bruised the bone in my right hand! Ouch! see you soon. J x

Sunday, 28 November 2010


This is the best way to portray my month! Em's PG Monkey is attempting to climb the hill.
We began the month with a packed and busy calender and our feet haven't touched the ground since. Evening of climbing, Remembrance Day service, end of term show practice! which has filled up several evenings. Pennies for Pudsey/Children in Need activity evening, Tony's birthday, making paper decorations for the Rangers Tree at the first ever Christmas tree festival. district meeting, afterschool clubs, dentist, cross stich and knitting.
Coming up - tree decorating, Ali's Graduation, mum's birthday, christmas shopping etc.
The snow hasn't reached us yet and I'm praying that it waits until after Ali's graduation.
Hopefully back soon. Jane x

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeen

Saturday afternoon we drove to Slindon which is well known locally for its displays and sale of pumpkins. It had rained all morning so when the rain stopped in the afternoon, the crowds came out and the village was very busy. There were ornamental gourds, patty pans, a mountain of the traditional orange pumpkins and the display of a traction engine, which was as eye-catching as always. If you click on the word display it takes you to a gallery of pictures from the pottery and pumpkin man. We purchased a medium orange pumpkin and then a small orange pumpkin and fridge magnet from the pottery.

On our way home I took a photo looking across the valley from Amberley, the sun was peeping through the clouds and just picking up a group of autumn colours on the opposite hill. You can see it better if you click on the picture to enlarge it.
This afternoon Em carved the pumpkin with a little help/interference from me! well I couldn't let her have all the fun - and it was the first time we had ever carved a pumpkin. Em was delighted with the finished face which we had found on the internet - it is her favourite character Jack from the movie The Nightmare before Christmas. Happy Halloween, Jane, Tony & Em

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Half Term

This week is half term for us, so we've been to Dorset and visited my family. We walked around the village stopping so Em could do bark rubbings and photograph natural forms for her art homework. We visited Charmouth in the quest for some fossils, but Uncle Tom Cobley and all were there and the fossils were hiding although we found some possibilities.
We've been up to London to visit the Docklands museum for the 100 Years of Guiding exhibition which was brilliant, but if you want to go you'll have to be quick because tomorrow is the last day! If you do go don't forget to ask for your free badge if you are a member of Girlguiding.
We went to the Sea Life Centre in Brighton yesterday; as its a few years since our last visit we noticed lots of changes to the displays. It was very good and we loved the trip on the glass bottomed boat, the turtles were amazing. Em was delighted to be able to collect a piece of Broccoli to throw to the turtles. Today we are hoping to visit the Pumpkin Farm at Slindon so I will post some pictures later. Jane

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

We've been busy changing the main home computer. Our old one died two weeks ago and we have been learning our way around a Mac. It is a re-furbished G5 hopefully more reliable than the last machine. Very pretty in appearance but at times a touch frustrating whilst we re-acquaint ourselves with new ways of doing things. We've had a Mac before but it was an older model and although we still have it and it still works it has a tiny memory and can't be upgraded.
Autumn is showing in our little garden, the spiders have been busily spinning their webs across the paths and doorways. The Pyracantha or firethorn is laden with berries and the mini Asters are edging the border with beautiful mauve flowers.
Cross stitching has ceased on the Christmas sampler, but there is a little halloween stitching on the go instead.
Rangers spent last Wednesday having an American evening and inventing their own line dance to Cotton Eye Joe, which they performed for the Guides at the end of the evening and had a lot of giggles and laughter along the way. Hope you have a good week. Jane x

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Too Long Gone!

The last few weeks have passed in a blur of work, Rangers, family visit and a picnic with the Rangers which was great fun. My parents came up to Sussex for a long weekend as they had a special dinner/function to attend. On Sunday we went to the beach for lunch at the cafe and then walked along towards Ferring in what felt like the teeth of a gale. They had a lovely evening out with friends before returning to Dorset.
Last weekend Em and I went to a picnic which the Rangers had arranged at the local beauty spot. The weather was beautiful and sunny, we sat on our picnic blankets and lunched on mini pasties, crisps, corn chips and salsa dip and finished off with donuts and chocolate fingers washed down with pepsi or water! Then they played rounders, ran up and down the hills and burned it all off. Our Centenary duck Gertie accompanied us and was delighted that some of her friends had also come to the picnic, Ranger Bear x 2 and snowy the polar bear.

Meanwhile last wednesday we spent the evening scrapbooking, the Rangers made a scrapbook and then began to fill it with photos from our centenary year. We used the template I found on a scrapbooking site the Maze Scrapbook. The original pattern is for 12" x 12" scrapbook paper/card but being on a badget and unable to find plain 12 x 12 I adapted the measurements to 28cm x 28cm which can be cut out of A3 paper. the lines for marking were then placed at 7, 14 and 21cm the resulting scrapbooks were well recieved. The one most useful tip I would make is watch your folding lines - be very accurate.

On the crafting front I have been knitting as the cross stitch mojo has temporarily deserted me, a key hole/ Miss Marple scarf in blue which is a gift for a friend. I have also started a feather and fan scarf in some self patterning sock yarn which looks good too.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Time flies again

Again time has flown and my blog has been neglected. My excuse? well the end of the summer holidays passed in a blur of illness so my break in Dorset with the family was spent mostly in bed ill - yuck!
Though we did manage a day out in Swanage which was perfect. We caught the steam train from Norden just north of the village of Corfe, and chuffed sedately down the line to Swanage. Then at a leisurely pace we explored the town stopping to visit the wool shop. We had lunch at a lovely cafe on the seafront and then a wander along the promenade, stopping to watch Punch and Judy. At the end of the day we retraced our steps to the station for another steam ride back to Norden. (big silly smile,) I love steam trains, Tony prefers diesels that fill up the canopy with clouds of thick black smoke and their engine sounds so unique.

Friday 3rd was back to school, the shock of a 6am alarm, dark mornings, Em in year 10. Oh my goodness! We have heaps of admin work, lunch breaks have become a distant dream, hopefully things will settle down soon.

Home life is a lovely contrast though, I have completed another cross stitch picure, this beautiful poppy from last years Crossstitcher magazine.

Rangers started again on Wednesday with a visit to our local museum to see the 100 years of Girlguiding exhibition with a slide show after of photos of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell. Which most of the girls seemed to enjoy.

Saturday was our Autumn Fair, sadly the weather wasn't kind and it poured on and off all day. The Rangers ran the cake stall and did quite well, there were lots of delicious cakes for sale as well as a tombola, bouncy castle, raffle, coconut shy etc. typical then that Sunday was glorious weather!
I'm just off to make a cup of tea now and do a bit of stitching, my new project is Quaker Christmas.
Its stitched in a very dark (almost black) green, gold and red.
I hope you have a lovely week, Jane x

Saturday, 21 August 2010


Last week we visited Paris, T's cousin had a liver transplant and is slowly recovering as things didn't quite go according to plan. We also managed a little sightseeing during the days, we went up the Tour Montparnasse and marvelled at the views of Paris. We walked around the shops close to the Notre Damme and St Michaels fountain, along the way we found the church of St Severin and marvelled at the beautiful old stained glass windows although there are some new ones as well. we tried to visit the Chateau Versailles but the queues were so long we would have been waiting for nearly 4-5 hours so we went to find St Germain-En-Laye and walked around the village. This week has been spent going out with friends to the pictures and a local

museum. I have managed to find some time for my cross stitch and I have finished my Mary Wigham which was a pattern available from Needleprint. I started last summer and worked away at a great speed loving every stitch, but then I had to stop for samplers to be made for friends leaving/christmas stitching/knitting etc I have picked it up and done little bits during the year, but I managed to finish Mary Wigham this morning. I am delighted with the finished piece, I just need to decide how I want to display it, framed, or backed and on a dowel. Here is the before in October and the finished piece today.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

150th Post Celebrating Our Centenary Camp

Just dropping by dear friends to say hello, we have been at Girlguiding Centenary Camp all of last week in Cudham, Kent. Our two centenary ducks came with us - Barry (yellow) belongs to the Guides and Gertie (blue) belongs to the Rangers. They feature in many of the photos wearing our unit necker, they are substituting for the girls. On the Sunday evening we had the opening ceremony and then the Take That Experience which was brilliant. We had a wonderful time during the week filled with lots of activities; On Monday we went to Downe House, former home of Charles Darwin. In the afternoon we walked to Downe Activity centre where the girls got the chance to do lots of physical activities: aerial walk way, climbing, zip wire, shooting, grass sledding and Go-Karts. On Tuesday we had bungee trampolining and rock wall climbing with faith and guiding history in the afternoon. In the evening we had a talent show for our sub-camp. On Wednesday we had a day trip to Brownsea Island which was just fantastic despite getting thoroughly soaked in a downpour. Our centenary ducks enjoyed planning their route around the island and got really excited when we got off the coach as they spotted a statue of Lord Baden-Powell and wanted to have a photo taken (so did the girls). We then got on two yellow ferries which took us across to the Island. We had challenges to complete so we spent the day finding various places on the island, e.g. The public hide, the church - were we sheltered from the rain, The memorial stone - where two of our girls made their promise as Rangers and then as a group we re-made our promise. We visited the trading post and found some lovely things to buy! We walked on down to the crabbing, and sand art on the beach. Then it was time to catch the yellow ferries, and eat fish and chips on the coach coming back. On Thursday we learnt about making knots and lashings, camping gadgets, wood fires and cooking on fires, In the afternoon after our picnic lunch we did crafting - making bracelets, mosaic tile, iris folding, an Ocarina and a photoframe. Each girl had the chance to do three crafts all predetermined by ticket. On Friday we watched a display by the Metropolitan Police Dog Team then the finals of the tent pitching and rounders. After lunch we had a fete to raise money for the Kent Air Ambulance, we had a pick a card table, every go wins a prize and did very well. Our final evening had arrived and it was time to say good bye. We had the final of Cudhams Got Talent and then the closing ceremony and finally an Abba tribute band. Saturday morning we packed everything up and went home, exhausted but happy as we had a wonderful week . We made lots of friends and swapped badges, we also left a couple of badges to go onto the giant necker for the campsite.