Friday, 31 January 2014

Kung Hei Fat Choi

Happy Chinese New Year - 2014 is the Year of the Horse.
image courtesy of Google
I hope that this incessant rain stops before the new year celebrations in London.

Well, I had a busy time at work this week, trying to catch up on last week's jobs!  My desk looks a mess, but I did manage to create another display.
After work I needed to do some grocery shopping and I also managed to pop into the charity shop for a spot of thrifting.  The treasure I found this time was this matching Royal Stafford sugar bowl and cream jug.
They are in perfect condition - I'm not sure that they have ever been used!
 The sugar bowl has now been used - as a "hat" from which to draw out the winning name of my 6th Blogiversary Giveaway.
 and the winner is ...
... Tracy of Mad About Bags.
Congratulations Tracy, I will be in touch.  Thank you to Shari, Joy, Tracy, Gill, Amanda and WW for taking part.
Best wishes, Pj x

Monday, 27 January 2014

Made in England

I've not been well for the past week, hence why it has been all quiet on my Blog.  I've had the lurgy, but I was back to work today.  Luckily, before I was unwell I had competed the tea tray doily for my 6th Blogiversary Giveaway.  Ta-dah!  I hope you like it.
 I also have a couple of other small items to send with it.  There are still a few days left to enter; just follow this link and leave a comment.
 With Valentine's Day fast approaching I also made this doily for myself.  I have made some other items, but they are for Valentine Swaps, so no photos yet!
Once I started to feel better I managed a short trip to the local supermarket for a few essentials and at the same time I popped into the charity shop.  This vintage cake/sandwich plate came home with me.  On the reverse it is stamped Made in England.
I also picked up this card of yarn with Made in Great Britain on the bottom.
 Finding Made in England or Made in Great Britain on an item is so evocative of a time when most items were manufactured in the country that they were sold in, so very different to today.

My final purchase was this hyacinth bulb which I have potted up in an old sugar bowl ... with guess what on its base!? :)
It smells wonderful!
Best wishes, Pj x

Friday, 17 January 2014

The Day Without Photos!

Wednesday I met my BF in London for a girls' only day shopping.  The evening beforehand I decided I needed some boot cuffs to wear, so out came the crochet hook and some Stylecraft DK in black that was left over from a previous project.  The reason I wanted these cuffs was that the zip tops on my boots often snag my tights and boot cuffs stop this, in addition to looking decorative.  A quick search on-line found this pattern which I adapted to suit my DK yarn.
 So all set with my new boot cuffs I caught the train to London.  This was the first time we had ditched the husbands and gone on our own.  I took my camera, but it never came out of my bag!  That must be a first for me!!  We headed to Oxford Street and talked and laughed our way through the day.  L's daughter joined us late afternoon for a final spot of shopping.  After an evening meal we headed home in separate directions, determined to do this more often.
The sales were still on in many shops and I bought this Mint Velvet top.  I love this brand!
 I made a beeline to the haberdashery department in John Lewis
 and scored some half price Louisa Harding Hand Beaded Grace yarn in India
 and Reflection.
 Also in Cream, Champagne and Russet!
L also bought some - I'm a bad influence! :)
I'm looking forward to knitting with this yarn, but need to finish off some WIP's first, including the doily for my giveaway which is still open - to enter just click on the picture in the side bar, or here and leave a comment.  I'm also taking part in two Valentine swaps.  One is being organised by Tracy of Mad About Bags and another is a Secret Sender style swap.  So I am busy making for those as well.  That should keep me out of mischief for a little while! ;)
Best wishes, Pj x

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Best Part of the Day

My Dad has always been an early riser and says that the best part of the day is first thing in the morning when no one is around and all is quiet.  I grew up waking to the sound of his spade digging the earth in the vegetable garden.  It is a childhood memory that I cherish and it always crosses my mind when I am up and out early in the morning.  Not that that happens too often! :)
First thing this Sunday morning the sun was shining and the frost was twinkling, so I had a quick coffee and grabbed my camera for a short walk.  I didn't go far, before I started clicking away ...

All too soon the sky clouded over, so I returned home for more coffee ... and maybe a biscuit or two! ;)
Best wishes, Pj x

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Winter Sunshine

Today I  am enjoying the winter sunshine.  It is so warm sitting here in the sunlight.
Outdoors ... the violas are glowing in their pots,
the ferns are casting pretty shadows on the house wall
and the birds are chirping in the trees.
Indoors ... my narcissus bulbs have produced their first flower
and Maurice has been soaking up the rays. :)
Such a pleasant change from all the rain we have had recently.
Best wishes, Pj x

Friday, 10 January 2014

Happy 6th Blogiversary Giveaway

Today The Snail Garden is 6 years old.
Time to celebrate with tea and cake set out on a tray.
Only, something is missing ... a crocheted doily for the tray.
You can see where I am going with this can't you! ;)  So out came the hook and thread and a pattern was found on the internet.
This first doily I would like to giveaway to one of you out there in Blogland.  If you are interested in helping me celebrate and would like to receive this doily, please leave a comment and a link to your blog so that I can contact you easily.  It doesn't matter if you are not a follower or don't usually leave a comment, please feel free to take part.  I will leave the giveaway open until the last day of January - that should give me time to finish the crocheting! :)
 Thank you to all those of you that visit me, your interest is greatly appreciated and to all you bloggers out there that make Blogland such an interesting place to visit.
Best wishes, Pj x

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Happy New Year

Post Christmas:-
"Where's he gone!?" Maurice looking for Jay - the next best thing was his laptop as he knew Jay would be back for it!
 My "Baby Boy" and I went for a muddy walk in our favourite woodlands - a feeble attempt at burning a few calories! :)
And I finished crocheting my Rudolph.
 New Year's Eve:-
I really know how to party ... after Fay beating us yet again at Monopoly, I got out my crochet hook and made the final two squares I needed for my second SIBOL blanket! :)

 I saw 2014 in, sitting on the floor joining all the squares together whilst listening to Jooles Holland's Hootenanny on the television.
 New Year's Day:-
2014 had a soggy beginning ... here we are driving past Windsor Castle, but you wouldn't know it!  We were travelling to Norfolk to stay with my Mum and Dad for a few days.
 The next day was beautifully sunny, so we headed into Norwich.  The main objective was to purchase a new coat for Fay, but I also managed to get my Husband to purchase a trendy cardi-style jacket and a new jumper to replace his old fleece. 
 It turned dark late afternoon and we wandered through the city looking at the pretty lights

 and drooled over this shop display.

 Norwich has many fine buildings
 and lots of churches.  This was the view of the cathedral spire from the car park.  Norwich was once said to have a church for every week of the year and a pub for every day of the year!  From this vantage point I could see four of those churches.
This is my Mum and Dad's Christmas tree - full of vintage baubles that I love.
 Friday lunchtime we went out for a meal.  My Son kept messing around when I tried to photograph him!
We finally managed to get him to behave. :)
That evening I finished the border on this blanket, just in time to deliver on our long trip from Norfolk to drop off Fay and Jay at their respective universities yesterday, before driving back home to our kitties.
I woke up to this fantastic sky.  I am packing away the Christmas decorations today and giving the house a good clean, ready to start the new year at home.
Best wishes, Pj x