Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Hello - again!

Hi there one and all!

First off I want to say thank you again so much for your kind replies and e-mails on my last but one post.  I am afraid that I gave up replying to the comments, but I did read and appreciate them all so very much.  Your kindness is wonderful.

Since my post letting you know about stopping the podcast further events have happened and Man is now in hospital and isn't looking too good.  I am not going to go into great detail at the request of my husband, but Man has had a stroke.  He is speaking, but otherwise not so good.  We have no idea right now of what the future holds as it is too soon to tell - this only happened a couple of days ago.

Just to clarify Man isn't my husband he is my husband's relative - his father.

Basically he is holding his own.  If the hospital or anyone else tells me he is "fine" again though I might scream because clearly he isn't "fine"!!!

Hubby and I are as "fine" (said with irony!) as we can be, trying to bear in mind your and our other wonderful friends and families advice to remember to take care of ourselves, although as I know some of you also know, that is easier said than done!

I don't know what if anything else I will mention about this and certainly will not be writing more about it here on my blog for now.  Not because I don't want you to know but because I don't want my blog to become all about that.  This is my happy place after all.

What I also wanted to tell you is that I am not sure what I am going to do about blogging.  I have a whole load of posts written in the first two weeks of August that I planned to share in September about the crafting etc that I have done, but I have just saved them all as drafts for now.  I will share them at some point and may just drip feed them through one or two a week or something.  When we know more I will have a better idea of what I am doing.

My etsy shop is also closed for the foreseeable future, but the patterns are still available as I don't need to do anything as they are just automatic downloads.  I am also not really online anywhere right now, although I am just about to see if I can pop over and do some blog reading to relax before bedtime.  So sorry if you don't see me on blogs or IG.  That too is also on hold for now.

As for Five On Friday I am keen to keep it up and I know that Hubby really wants me to do that because it will be a little bit of normal and will keep my blog ticking over even if I don't manage to do anything else.

So my plan is to put up the link every week starting next Friday - 2nd September - even if I don't write a post myself.  Whether or not I will get to visit everyone is debatable, but I will see what I can do.

I know that you will all understand and be very kind and I thank you for that.  My friends have been so supportive and kind and so have Hubby's and we really are thankful to you all.

Sorry to be a downer!

Hope you are all OK.

Amy xx

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Thank you

Thank you everyone for your kindness and understanding on my last post.  Your comments were all so very kind and I really appreciate all that you said, your good thoughts and suggestions and everything else.

I am replying slowly to each of the comments, but I am taking my time, so more still to go!  I will finish it in the next few days.

We have a doctors appointment for Man next week so we will see what that holds and until then we are rather in limbo so things are still up in the air.

As for blogging I am still on my break, although I have posts lined up for most of September sharing what I have been up to during August.  I am not sure what I will do about blogging before September or once the posts I have scheduled have all been shared we will see!  It all depends on what the doctor says I guess.

Anyway, I just wanted to update you and more importantly to say thank you, thank you for your kindness and thank you too for your comments about the podcast, I am glad that you liked it and I totally get what you said about the length.  I really did try not to make them too too long and they were way shorter than some, but I like the suggestions of some short and sweet videos so perhaps that will be something for the future.

I will let you know what occurs as and when.

Comments are off on this post because I think we have all said enough about this for now!

Thank you!  Hugs to you all!

Amy xx

Tuesday, 16 August 2016


Sorry, I pressed the wrong button!  No post today!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Podcasting and stuff

It was my intention to return to Podcasting in September when I return back to blogging again.  However, having mulled it over, and for lots of reasons which I will explain some of in  moment, I have decided that I am going to take a break from Podcasting for the foreseeable future.

I am so sorry to be taking this decision, for you and for me and for the reasons that I have come to this decision.

The final thing that has made me decide this is something that I haven't mentioned on the Podcast before, but which I have mentioned on the blog before.

We are once again dealing with new and further issues with Man.  If you don't know, Man is a relative who we have to care for and we care for him willingly, but it takes up a lot of time, physically and mentally as I expect that some of you also know.

What has happened is a further, but rather more dramatic, decline in his capabilities and this will lead to the need to spend ever more time with him.  This isn't a problem, and as I said we are glad to do it, but......  Although some of you say that you don't know how I do it, and I do do a lot of things, there are limits to even what I can achieve and this is my limit!

I am sure that the issues with Man can and will be worked around, but until we work out the new issues and how to handle them things will be up in the air and time will be short once again.

Before that though I had, if I am honest, felt a little disheartened that there were not more people interested in the Podcast and interacting back and forth.  One of the reasons I keep blogging is the interaction, and I think that I would rather concentrate my efforts in fewer places more successfully than spread myself too thin and not give blogging and/or podcasting all that it deserves.

I feel that the unsuccessful interaction is down to me perhaps not interacting enough.  I don't know if I am not entertaining enough, or interesting enough!  Perhaps I say um or so too much.  I have tried getting in touch with other podcasters, and apart from some kind words from one person I haven't had any feedback or interest or interaction really.

That is all OK, really, it hasn't taken off for whatever reason, and with time being limited again now I need to focus on the successful and interesting things rather than those which give me less pleasure and which I feel give you less pleasure too.

Podcasting is also difficult for me because I have limited physical space and it takes the best part of the day to move everything around, record and then put everything back again.  Then it takes a whole day to upload to you tube.  If I then want to improve the Podcast by doing some editing - which I suspect is what it needs - that will probably take a further day.

The time issue was really what got me thinking about this as since I have been on a blog and Podcast break I have had so much more time.  With the issue with Man coming up again and knowing that time was already tight and will get tighter something that takes a day a week has to come to a stop for now at least.

I am sad that I will not be Podcasting as I think that I was starting to get less nervous finally and I have lots of lovely things to share with you.  I will share those here on the blog in September and perhaps later in August instead and when/if I return to Podcasting I will just share whatever I am working on then.  What will definitely still be doing is watching others Podcasts as and when I have time.

So that is it really.  Sad in lots of ways because of the unsuccessful venture and because of the decline for Man but it is what it is and just because one door closes doesn't mean it will not open again - as my friend Gina will tell you - or that some other door will not open either.

I will continue with the blog and with Instagram, I will also continue to design and sell my patterns and my Etsy shop will remain open, although I don't know if I will restock it because I am struggling to generate sales there too and again I think I would prefer to concentrate on patterns.

Perhaps I have run before I could walk, perhaps I have taken on too much, in my darker moments I imagine perhaps I am just not popular for some reason.  Whatever the reasons it doesn't really matter because I really believe two things.  That if you don't try you won't know, and I have tried and know I know.  The other is that I never have regrets.  I might not do the same thing again - there are loads of things I have done that I will never do or certainly will try never to do again - but that doesn't mean that the thing I did was bad.  I don't regret it, I will just change things going forward.

So onwards, upwards, positive and stronger I go.

Can you perhaps do something for me?  If you do hear mention of my podcast can you let me know and can you let the person who mentions it know that I am on a break.  I would like to know what if any feedback I could get because as I said, if I do return I obviously need to do things differently, but I need to know what has to change.

Thank you for watching and for your support!

To continue to follow me along read the blog!  You can subscribe in the sidebar via Google or Bloglovin.

See you soon!


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Pond ering

Earlier in the week I mentioned that we had made a pond in our garden.  Perhaps a pondette would be a better description...

It might not be the sort of pond that you are thinking of.  In fact, I am 100% sure that this isn't the sort of pond that you are imagining.  It is more of a duck pond than a wildlife pond.

First of all let me tell you that I was contending with these skies when taking the photos which caused me some difficulties that I will explain a just a moment.

This, ta dah!, is the pond!!

See what I mean.  A duck pond.  A plastic duck pond.

Mr Duck actually came as an afterthought from a drawer in the bathroom.  He is much happier outside on the water than he was in a drawer.

It is actually meant to be a water feature more than a pond.  That was the original intention.  Somewhere to have a fountain or something similar to make a watery noise in the garden to perhaps distract from some of the other background noise.

To make the pond Hubby put a bolt with a big washer on it in the hole in the bottom of the pot - which is glazed around the outside as you can see - and then tightened up a nut onto the bolt to hold the washer in place.  Then he put big blob of silicone sealant over the washer/bolt.  When it was dry the pot was filled with water and some gravel put in the bottom to hide the hole filling silicone mess.

The fountain is the other thing you can see floating.  It is solar powered and just floats on the water.  It does also do tricks in that you can add little spouts to the top to make the water come out in pretty patterns.  We soon discovered though that the fountain would soon empty the pot by spurting the water over the sides.  So now it is just bubbling away to itself.

I had two difficulties taking these photos.  The first being that Mr Duck didn't want to pose for photos and kept turning his back on me.  The other was to do with that first cloudy photo I showed you.  The solar panels on the fountain only work when the sun is shining directly on them.  So I had to hang around in the garden for quite a while waiting for the sun to hit the spot so I could get some photos of the fountain in action.

Here is a little video.  Unfortunately you can hear more of that background noise we wanted to disguise than you can of the water itself!

So that is our duck pond.  I don't think it will attract much wildlife, but it is here for now.  If we find we cannot hear the fountain we can always empty it out and use it as a plant pot so we haven't lost much.  Although Mr Duck might lose his home.


Monday, 8 August 2016

How to make your own time - or your own clock

It has been just over a week since my blog break started and the observant among you will notice that I am here again and that I have in fact not stopped blogging at all.  Just like The Reduced Shakespeare Company though, my blogging is reduced!

Today I made my own time.  Literally!  Yes, you can make time.  Unfortunately it takes time to make time so it isn't really a practical way of making time but there you go.  Shall I stop wasting time and tell you what I really mean?

Ta Dah!  My own time!

Lovely Jo from Three Stories High held a giveaway a little while ago for a make your own clock kit.  I was lucky enough to be one of the winners of the giveaway.  You can read all about Jo's experience making her own clock - or time! - here.

The clock kit comes in a box like the one below from and includes all that you need to make your own clock, you just have to provide what you want for the face of the clock.

Jo made the face of her clock with fabric and I chose to do the same.  I had grand ideas of sewing together 12 wedges of fabric for each of the hours.  I soon came to my senses and just decided to go with one flat piece of fabric.

It is really easy to make your time clock, you stick a circle of clever sticky plasticy stuff to the fabric, stick tape to a metal ring, stick that to the circle, tuck in the edges and add the clock mechanism and hands and voila, one clock!  Well, it takes a little bit more than that, but not much.  It is vey simple and you could turn all kinds of things into a clock.  Wallpaper or a childs drawing perhaps?

I tried my clock in a couple of places and it is now hanging here in my office  and when I am in my new podcasting location in September I will be able to see it to keep an eye on how long I am talking for!!

Thank you Jo for the giveaway and clock and the inspiration, I love it!

As for the blogging thing?  Well I really have had loads more time over the last week, I have done four - yes, four! - small embroideries, a small and fiendishly difficult cross stitch, loads of work on a blanket and am well through hand patchworking a cover for my swift - a yarn winding device.  So pretty darn busy hey! 

Not too shabby overall and proof of how much time I spend blogging as I can get loads done when I don't blog.  I have still been reading your blogs though! 

I have also cleared through all of my outstanding magazines, I only have September's Country Living to read - which arrived maddeningly in July, why do they do that! - and I have cut out all of the crochet patterns I want to keep from my crochet magazines and then tossed all of the read and cut up magazines into the recycling so that I don't get tempted to keep them.

Yarn and fabric have been sorted and tidied, I made a new blog header and a new Five On Friday badge.  This week I have plans to actually do the ironing, and the dusting, get the swift cover finished.  I also have some things to photograph and film for the podcast and then put away.  A shawl to block, pattern to write up, another small pattern to write and more blog sorting out work to do.

That should keep me busy for the next seven days or so....

Oh, and we built a pond in our garden on Saturday.  I will show you that soon too.

Good job that I have made some extra time and that I am on a blog break isn't it!!

I hope that all is well with you and that you are enjoying yourselves.  I missed you all on Friday!


p.s. this isn't a sponsored post, I just wanted to share Jo's generosity with you because she is lovely and because it is a great kit.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

New Five On Friday Badge

This not blogging in August isn't going well is it!

This is my second post already and I have scheduled three for September....  Oh well.

This is just to say that I have created a new badge for Five On Friday so if you would like to use the new badge you can too.  You can still use the old one, I just thought I wanted to have a bit of a refresh.

To use the badge copy all of the code that is in the box underneath the badge - below! - then you can paste this as HTML into a blog post or into your blog sidebar to show the blog there.  For Blogger blogs go to Layout and then add a gadget, choose HTML/Java Script.  Paste the code into the box and then save it and the badge will appear in your sidebar, it will then link direct to the Five On Friday posts on my blog!

I have left comments open below for questions.

I hope that all is well with you!

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

Monday, 1 August 2016


It isn't really the first day of summer, but it is the first day of my summer break that I have decided to take!

No podcasting.

No blogging.

No commenting.

No Five On Friday.

No Twitter.

No Facebook.

Yes blog reading.

Yes IG.

Yes shop is still open.

Yes podcast watching.

Yes I might do some making.

Yes I will then have loads to share in September - watch out!

Yes I might break all of this and do some blogging or some podcasting.  I have that right. Right?

Yes of course crocheting.

Yes designing.

Yes reading.

Yes gardening.

Yes days out.

Yes doing nothing.

Yes housework - well, you know, just to keep things decent!

Yes gathering ideas.

Yes to what I want to yes to and No to what I don't!

Thank you for the support and encouragement.

See you in September!!

Have a great August everyone, whatever you are doing!!

I love ya more than my luggage!! *


* as said by Clairee Belcher in Steel Magnolias although I recently said it was Ouiser Boudreaux and reminded to me recently by Leanne from Todays Stuff.  But Leanne will not be reading this because she is on a break too!  I am in great company in that way!!

p.s. comments are closed, that way neither of us needs to feel that we have to say anything!