A village walk Sunlit Sunday 4

February 7th

Let me take you on a little walk in my surrounding area.  Wrap up warm, the sun maybe out but it's still quite chilly.  Ready?  Let's go...

Holly in my front garden, you can just
see our house chimneys in the background

The centre of our village

Blossom is out!

The difference between the blue and the green was so striking

I just love looking up too

As I only had my hone with me I was
not able to grab a great capture
of the red kites up above

Traditional British post box in the sun

The sun allowed for the reflections to be striking

Everywhere now the daffodils are out

The catkins are budding

I couldn't help but bring a few catkins home

Whilst in my garden I noticed next to the snowdrops
the narcissi were out in bloom and the
hyacinth will not be long now

After a sunlit walk I brought the catkins indoors

Pop back in a day or two and I will share with you my latest walk following in the trail of Agatha Christie and where she used to live...

Now I must get back to knitting that jumper... 

Joining in with   Karen looking for those sunlit moments in the week
which make these grey wet days just that much more manageable. 

   Hope the week brings you many sunlit moments   ♥

National Wear Red Day

British Heart Foundation Wear it Red day
February 5th   ♥

Today in much of the world it is a national wear red day today.  Why?  To highlight the big killer that is heart disease. Wear red day is today, organised by the British Heart foundation ( UK )   and I am going  to be wearing red.   

Many die of this every year and look at the photo, 12 babies in the UK alone are born with heart defeats every day  and 400 people a day die from it!  That's a huge number. 

All over the world heart disease is a problem and many countries are wearing red today.  In America it is in its 13th year.  ( USA and Canada )  And I notice Australia are also involved but their wear it red day is a tad later on Feb 26th, so you have some time to get organised. ( Australia )

Had a search through my wardrobe and decided my red poncho would not be enough and it needed sprucing up.  I often wear red so nobody would think it 'different', but they might now don't you think?

Hoping people will now ask
me why I am wearing all these hearts

Keeping on the theme of red and perhaps not quite so healthy after writing about heart disease but I could not resist sharing these cookies.  I cannot vouch for there taste as have not yet tried them and I suspect they could be a bit of a faff to make, but Oh my goodness they look divine.  My daughter and I are going to give them a try, hopefully this week end...  Heart cookies

Perfect for Valentines, or other shapes
at different times of the year perhaps.

Crocheted napkins holders
And just look at this knitted goodness of health!  If I had smaller children I would definitely be badgering the talented Jules (formally of the blog The Hidden Jem) for the pattern to these vegetables.  How wonderful for the children to have these in their play kitchen.  Jules you ARE very talented and thank you for sharing your photo with us.  Have you ever knitted or crocheted food?  So many people have, I am yet to jump on that band wagon, although thinking about it now I did crochet some rather lovely serviette holders last summer, ummm, where have they gone?!?!?

The carrots are perfection, such fun

As for me I have so many thoughts running through my head that I am not productive at all.  I keep thinking ooh I'll try that and then begin but get distracted by something else.  This really is no good and I am off after posting this to have a very stern talking to myself to buck my ideas up.  Do you ever suffer from this problem?  The one thing that is constant and that I do keep returning to well I do not have a choice as there is a birthday dead line to meet. Is the surprise jumper for my husband.  Main body is completed up to sleeve level, the new dpn arrived so I can continue with the sleeves themselves and soon it will be time to add in the pattern and knit it fairisle style!  Yeah! 

The jumper so far...

Simply knitting free pattern

Lastly, I need your help.  My husband has asked for a Shaun the sheep hat.  I have tracked down a great 'free' pattern from Simply Knitting of the sheep I would like to use, but their link does not seem to be working!  I have emailed the magazine but I suspect I am low down on their priority list to respond to.  Normally I would not dream of asking anyone to share a pattern with me due to copyright etc but I'm thinking as they offer it for free... does anyone have the below pattern?  It's not specifically for a hat, I will use my own hat pattern for it, just want the chart for the sheep.  If not I will have to resort to charting one up for myself, but would rather not.  Can anyone help?  If so please email me at eclectichomeandlife(at)gmail(dot)com The link that I could not get to work is here:  Shaun the sheep Simply Knitting pattern

The above has had to be struck out as in finding the link to share with you all, the chart popped out this time!!! As this was my 5th thing to share with you, I've kept it in although I now no longer need your able assistance, but thanks for the offer in any case...
Joining in today with   Amy sharing my five with you on this
Wear it Red Day for the British Heart Foundation.
♥  Wearing lots of red today  

Sunlit Sunday 3

January 31st

Some weeks are easier than others to search for and find the sunlight in your own life.  This has been one of those weeks for me.  I am being totally self centred and all my problems are first world ones and so really I should just shut up and put up but sometimes it's hard.  Do you know what I mean?  I continue to be grateful for Sunlit Sundays because despite the way my week panned out it made me really search for and look for the brightness and lightness around me, and even when feeling blue, it worked and it began to cheer me up.

On Tuesday I had a mad idea that I missed nature too much and so I dashed outside in the dark to find a couple of leaves and to play with them along with some yarn.  In my enthusiasm I slipped over the very wet grass, it has rained here for weeks on end and ended up hurting myself quite badly.  Not to be beaten I did start to crochet around the leaf but my heart wasn't in it by then and it was harder than I expected. Nature and yarn did not want to play with me either. 

Nature and crochet?!?!?
In searching for happiness and 'sunlit' thoughts and ideas, in a twisted way these old 'should have been thrown away before' tulips actually made me smile.  You see I am not my normal self this week. I love the shadows that the dried opened out petals created below though... 

Modern art in flower form?

But truly I found my one and only 'sunlit' moment on Thursday.  When after having three quite disastrous things happen to me, the sun came out in all it's glory.  It was still cold, but there was no rain, there was however lots of cold wind but it didn't deter me.  I donned on my down filled jacket, made my lunch and moved the chair and table onto the middle of the lawn and sat eating peacefully all alone in the sunshine.  It was sheer heaven.  I may have been a tad cold but my face raised itself up to that elusive yellow ball in the sky and I drank in the vitamin D.  This was the best I felt all week and thank goodness for it. 
I found my sunlit moment. 

The sun created such crisp shadows

Joining in with Karen for Sunlit Sunday. Pop over and see what others are sharing: http://mylittlehomeandgarden.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/sunlit-sunday-week-3.html?m=1

        ❤️ Hoping the sun shines for you            
           wherever  you are this week  ❤️

Heart review

January 29th

With Valentines Day only two weeks away my mind has been full of hearts so I decided to share with you some of what I have found 'out there' on the big wide web.  Where I can I have given each pattern a test and have showed you my results, not all are completed...

Crocheting in the round like armigurumi
This you tube video has over a million views with only (at last look) 210 dislikes, that's pretty good, so I decided to watch and crochet at the same time.  The lady in question crocheted a little faster than I did as I was using different yarn, splitty cotton so I cursed a bit here and there and had to put her on pause to sort myself out and have a good talking to the yarn to behave.  But all in all, this is a simple pattern to follow in real time and produces a quick puffy 3D heart in no time at all. I will use this pattern again.  Crochet 3D small heart As you can see this is still to be completed, I've not had the week I was expecting, but will update the post when it is finished! 

A fiddly beginning but soon began to look like a heart

I thought I should test out a 3D knitted heart too and came across this 12 minute you tube video.  As long as you can increase stiches on the front and back of a single stitch and SSK, you should have no trouble at all.  There is the Kitchener stitch at the head of the heart but she shows you how to do this very well that I think even if you have not attempted this before or have previously been put off, you will be fine here.  I did find her gentle voice a little annoying at first I must admit, but soon forgot about that as I become more involved in the knitting.  Give this a go, the end result is so sweet.  If time permits I hope to make lots of these and hang them on bare twig branches as a centre piece for the dining table on Valentines day.  3D knitted hearts

These hearts could rapidly become addicitive

I am imagining bare twigs full of these knitted
hearts as a centre piece on the table for Valentines day
Quickly the shape begins to form

For a 2D brilliant knitted pattern you couldn't do better than this easy to follow knitted heart.  It's so quick to knit up that you can make several in an evening.  This will definitely be a pattern I shall be returning to again and again.  Watching it grow so quickly was fun and the instructions are super clear and easy to follow.  2D super quick knitted heart pattern  You should pop over to Julie's blog to see what other lovely knitted goodies she has.  At the moment she has lots of knitted square patterns with animals on too, just adorable.  And I can vouch that she is very approachable and replies to communication very quickly, always a bonus, thanks Julie for this wonderful knitted heart pattern.  These hearts can be used for a variety of things and Julie recommends them as coasters,
what a neat idea.

Perfect for my glass of red at the end of the day...

A few have commented that this
could be the beginning of a mini bra,
but keep with it, the heart
will reveal itself soon enough

Ta-dah! Lovely heart in super quick time

And another one...

A pair of hearts...

And a third, they
just keep multiplying

And in no time at all there was a whole lot of love flying around

A great slouchy heart hat is also to be found on the web and I admit to falling just a little bit in love with this pattern too.  Using chunky yarn it makes up in no time at all.  Saying that I am not completed as I only began making it last night, two hours later and it is almost finished, but not quite in time for this post!  I will add in the finished hat as soon as it is!
This pattern is just a click away, designed by the clever Bethany, I shall be visiting her blog again to see what other treats she has to share.  Heart slouchy hat pattern

Crochet the band as a narrow strip and
then slip stitch together, very effective

Testing out for size

Such a clever crochet pattern

Almost done!

And finally the fifth heart I share with you is made by the sweet Monica and is perhaps one of my favourites.  I made these heart pillows and mini hearts a couple of years ago now and we still love them to this day.  Again another pretty quick make so there is still time before Valentine to make them...  Crochet heart pillows Monica has stopped blogging which is a huge shame but her blog is still up and patterns are still available. 

I'm joining in with  Amy  sharing my 5 heart patterns that I like with you today. 
Pop over and see what others are sharing too.
   Hope you week is filled full of hearts   ♥

It's all knitting to me

January 27th

Cuff number 2 for the sleeves on my first
knitted jumper in over 20 years!
Suddenly I'm all about knitting and crochet has firmly taken a back seat.  This is a first.  Truly, I never thought I would see the day nor horror of horrors when  picking up a crochet hook last night to test a pattern I was all fingers and thumbs!  Can you relate?
I have so many ideas floating in my head at the moment that I'm like a useless excitable thing and not actually achieving very much.  Time to take a deep breath, slow down and focus.  Maybe I should join the bandwagon and colour in for some mindfulness and peace...

This week I have been continuing on with the surprise 50th birthday jumper for my husband, but all has now come to a standstill as I had not the right size of needles for the next stage, am therefore awaiting delivery of more knitting goodness in the form of wooden colourful dpn.

Not wanting to be idle I have been testing out a few patterns ready to review and share with you all on Friday as the jumper was forcibly on hold, want a sneak peak...

Can you see what it will be?

An almost complete knitted heart

It's been an interesting week so far.  Starting on Sunday, does your week begin on a Sunday or a Monday?  Which camp do you fall into?  Usually I'm a Monday girl but for the sake of this post and what I am about to share with you, it has to be a Sunday.

Sunday I literally began to crack up, I mean literally.  I broke a tooth.  Tears were shed, the family kept their distance and all was not well in our household.  Monday saw  an emergency appointment for a temporary solution with the dentist.  Tuesday in my eagerness to bring an idea to fruition I dashed outside in the dark and slipped on the very wet grass, thus hurting my hip and ankle.  The crochet inspired idea did not work well, so I hurt myself for nothing.  Wednesday (having already cancelled a meet up with Phil from the Twisted Yarn) I returned to the dentist and a splitting headache ensued could have had something to do with the mention of the cost for solution to my broken tooth meaning I had to cancel afternoon work and my glass class.  The week can only get better right...

  Keep knitting and keep calm
will be my motto for the rest of the week 

Sunlit Sunday 2

January 24th

Fundraising again
Those that follow the blog may remember that my 15 year old daughter travelled to Kenya last year to help in an orphanage for 10 days. Kenya experience at 15 Along with 11 others they had to raise the money for the 12 months leading up to their visit to fund their travel, accommodation AND any charitable projects they wanted to help out with.  Every week for a year there was some form of fundraising and they managed to raise over twenty thousand pounds.  It was hard work and the youngsters learnt much about themselves, each other, working alone and in teams.  They began to realise the value of money and once they travelled to Africa, began to realise how privileged they are.  This is of course just scratching at the surface about what they learnt, did and experienced and how it changed, I think all of them, from youngsters to young people.  The next generation. 

Why mention it again?  This group of exceptional characters, I am of course biased, are the first group that this ten year old charity have led, have decided collectively as a group to return to Africa. To continue fundraising and to help as much as they can.  I am immensely proud and tearful about it all. Many who have been return as individuals, but not one group has returned in it's entirety.  These young people are now not led by a teacher or mentor.  They are now not reminded about deadlines for fundraising or helped to think of ideas, but as a group of now 16 year olds they are organising everything from flights, dates and money raising.  They have worked out how much each individual has to raise a month and how much as a group on top of that they need to raise a month to reach the dead line of returning in the summer of 2017.  Fundraising has begun again in earnest and they are in conversation with the charity about which projects they will undertake this time. 

My daughter as her monthly individual fundraising is offering to paint people's nail with gel polish and needs to make sure that every  month she has a minimum of five 'clients'.  So far she is on track having also painted several teachers nails, friends and family.  One lovely teacher posted a picture of her nails on Instagram recommending her and from this she has a few more orders.  All the money will go directly into the fundraising pot.  This may not be the 'norm' for a sunlit post, but it warms my heart that there are so many more 'good' people in the world than not and I just need reminding of that sometimes. 

Elsewhere in life it's the small things that cheer me.  We've had a mixed bag of weather this past week from crisp clear blue skies to -8 degrees and deep frost, that's not so usual for us.  Each brings it's own beauty.  It's looking out for these small things that help my well being, are you the same?  They are so easy to miss, but Sunlit Sunday posts really focus me in.  Below I share with you my photos from out and about and at home that have warmed my soul for one reason or another.  I hope they do the same for you...

Saved some of the daffodils from
 the garden before the heavy frost

Tulips are now in the shops, I love these flowers

The sun streaming in through the windows

Crisp cold clear blue winter skies
The snowdrops are out in abundance and Snowdrop
walks with afternoon tea are advertised everywhere around
here, a great Sunday afternoon treat
Amazing colours in the sunset and the days
 are slowly becoming noticeably longer!

This week at school we gathered all the children into the hall and watched the 'live' space walk. It brought back memories of my childhood being marched into the hall in anticipation of big world events to watch on the screen.  Memory making moments.   It's so magical and frightening at the same time to think that someone is up there on that beautiful moon.  It generated much talk amongst the children all week. 
This week saw the first UK space walk by Tim Peake, but
let's not forget Helen Sharman the first UK
person in space in 1991 though
And then the cold came in and we lit the fire... although I may just have
put on a log slightly too big for the study fire place, oops!
...and just yesterday I noticed the first buds of blossoming opening up.  I have mixed feelings about this though, on the one hand it means Spring really isn't far away but on the other it is far too early and nature really has been confused by the mainly mild winter we are having...

The blossom is bursting out

Joining in with Karen for another sunlit post. Pop over and see what everyone is sharing to brighten up the winter months:  Karen
   Until next Sunday, have a very 'sunny' week