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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Twins turn eight

What do you do when it's to be your birthday party and you like cats and climbing? Well you have a climbing cats party :)

Our twin granddaughters turn eight tomorrow, I just can't believe that eight years has gone by since these sweet little girls were born. Primrose Noel (in the black skirt) was born first and weighed in at seven and a half pounds and then came Magnoloia Boo who weighed nearly eight pounds...yes nearly fifteen pounds of baby without counting all the extra 'stuff' that comes with them! Our daughter who is not very tall, was well and truly ready for these little ones to arrive.

We went down to Devon to stay in our caravan last weekend so we could be around to help with the preparations, take the children out while mummy baked and shopped and then to be there to join in the fun. Our daughter is a great party planner and makes the best craft decorations and baking.

I had the job of baking the chocolate sponge cake, cupcakes and meringue kisses before we left home and Amy did all the icing and decorating. The cake was a mountain with marzipan cats climbing up it :)


Cupcakes iced as cat paws and faces, I got to do the pink icing on the mountain cookies and Amy drew little mountaineers on them, I got to cut the strawberries and she made them into little mice. I just recently learnt how to make meringue kisses with stripes down them, I used natural gel food colouring


These cat cookies were made by Amy and look great

Giant origami cats decorated the room

The party goers had cats faces painted on as they arrived at the climbing wall, the twins are half way up the climbing wall wearing blue hats, they manage to climb to the top easily. Gilby goes on the lower wall but is equally as confident. All the children enjoyed the activity even though none of the guests had been to the wall before :) After the wall we returned to the house for tea
We had a great few days in Devon, albeit a little tiring and very stormy weather for a caravan, but nice and snug and cosy at the same time :)

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Today Joseph is 10, he is our first grandchild. I can't really express the absolute delight we experienced when you became just that. We waited with bated breath for the first photo to arrive on our computer and we could see you with our own eyes, we laughed with sheer joy at your little face and just a few weeks later you all flew home so we could meet you. Joe we love you and thank God for His gift to us, He had His hand on your life from before you were made and He knew you would be part of our family. You are amazing and we are blessed beyond all imagination to have you as our grandson. I want to hold you every day, talk with you, read to you, build lego with you and run with you but thats not possible and God has His purposes planned out for your and your family just where you are. Enjoy your tenth birthday and I pray that it wont be so long before we see you again.  

Monday, 7 September 2015

Refugees in South Africa

With lots on the news recently regarding refugees I thought I would share what my daughter, her husband and neighbours have been up to in South Africa. As you may know they work as missionaries, they have adopted two little Zulu boys and are hoping to adopt a third little boy who they have been caring for the last eighteen months. 
They are living in Kwa Zulu Natal and just recently in the Durban area, xenophobic attacks broke out on people from other African countries who are living in SA with refugee status. Many of these people have had to leave their homelands due to war and other traumatic experiences. 

To cut a long story short, many of the refugees have been found homes in other places, away from these attacks but there were about 150 people, mostly from Burundi or the Congo who were without anywhere to live, my daughters  neighbours (and close friends) have a farm and decided to take these people onto their land as their guests. Together Martin and Vashti and their neighbours have collected tents and other donations from others in the area to enable these refugees to set up home on their farm land. 
For now these people are safe, but due to laws in this area it would appear that they can't stay on this land indefinitely and so those caring for them together with sympathetic lawyers, new homelands are being sought for them  to move to.

I thought I would share some photos with you

Along with adults there are of course children, as well as homeschooling their own children Vashti and their friends are helping to set up classes for these beautiful refugee children

The top left photo shows teenagers from Vashti's church youth group teaching the refugee teenagers some dance moves :) top right shows the children enjoying a TV show and the bottom photos show Martin and their neighbour having fun with the children

Top left shows a meeting with lawyers, knitting at the same time :) Vashti has loved watching these people cooking outdoors

Vashti on the left together with a church friend who came along to visit the refugees

In order to find new homelands for these people, Martin has been taking down their stories to establish their backgrounds and what brought them to SA in the first place. The stories are harrowing, these people have gone through such trauma in their lives, please pray that God will continue to heal their hearts and their bodies.

Friday, 28 August 2015

summer outfits

Some time back I posted these little smocked tops that I made for my twin granddaughters, using a purl bee pattern. 
I had plenty of fabric left over, I had found the vintage seer sucker in a charity shop, so I made a pair of shorts each for a pattern I bought from ellegarrettdesigns on etsy. 

Both the tops and shorts were nice easy patterns and the fabric beautiful to sew with.

Today I received the bottom photo from my daughter of the twins modelling their little outfits :)

The sun is shining today, summer here in the UK hasn't been great so I'm hoping this bank holiday weekend will be good. We are heading into London tomorrow to take care of little Eugene for the day while our son and daughter in law attend a wedding. This is the first time we have looked after Eugene on our own and are really looking forward to spending time with him. We are blessed! 

Have a great weekend! 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

flying geese quilt

I've been wanting to make a flying geese quilt for some time and decided on these beautiful plain fabrics. I'm happy with how it's turned out so far, I have put the layers together and plan on handquilting with fine crochet thread. 

For now, that will have to wait until I have finished all the knitting projects that I have in the go but will be a great project for those chilly evenings which I know just up ahead! 

I hope you've all had a great weekend :) 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Welsh Textiles

With having Welsh ancestry and the love of textiles, I've been thoroughly enjoying exploring the neighbourhood around our little Welsh cottage (#dovecottageonwye on instagram)
Lampeter is a sweet town about 35 mins drive from Dove Cottage and is home to The Welsh Quilt Centre

On our last visit to DC we were joined for the last three nights by great friends of ours from the SW of England. Linda also has a love of quilts and many years ago when we lived in the SW we began our quilting journey by attending courses together.
The Welsh Quilt Centre didn't let us down, the quilts were amazing, all old and beautifully hand quilted. We were told that the exhibition upstairs changes regularly so a return visit will be required :)
Downstairs is a shop selling lots of great textiles, books etc.
I took a few photos, but of course they dont do the quilts justice. The quilts were mainly 'whole cloth' with some pieced work too

'Wholecloth quilt was the mark of an artist - the fabric a mere canvas on which to express the quilters fine needlework skills and creative flair. It is a quilt that dates back to the twelfth century, and has been created by European and American artisans alike. A wholecloth quilt is not necessarily made from a single piece of fabric, but from a few very large pieces of cloth, and it is intricately stitched to produce a highly textured, tactile design.'
Cassandra Ellis - A World of Quilts

I have a whole cloth quilt that my grandmother made, probably about 100 years ago. Cassandra Ellis goes on to say 'Both Welsh and County Durham Wholecloth quilts are highly regarded and extraordinarily beautiful' My grandmother was born in Durham and after marrying a Welshman, went to live in Wales before returning to Durham after his death and all her children had married. 
The quilt that I have is old and not in great condition, I covered it many years ago to protect it but may just uncover it one day to take another look :)

The photos below are taken of Welsh blankets, another passion of mine, the top picture taken at the Welsh Quilt Centre and the other three taken in antique shops

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

summer holiday 2015

We have just returned from a lovely two weeks holiday. We went down to Devon for the first week to stay in the caravan we have situated near where our daughter and her family live. The grandchildren had been waiting since we bought the caravan in April to be able to come and sleep over for a couple of nights. They were so excited (as were we) We had a lovely few days with them, off to the beach for picnics, fun in the sea and building sand castles. All while mummy and daddy went off to Cornwall on their own for a weekend of camping.

We spent a couple of days down in Cornwall. The above photos are of Porthcurnick beach which is where the Hidden Hut is situated. a great cafe to visit if you are down that way
 We bought lunch, sat on the beach and I took a quick dip :)

Portscatho is the next beach on from Porthcurnick, a lovely little village and harbour

We stayed over night with friends in Cornwall, the next day rained but as we only had a day and half rain in two weeks we really can't complain. We had a stroll around Mevagissy harbour, a place we always visit as we both have lovely memories of when we were both young and also since we have been married. When I was young I would visit the harbour with my Dad on a Sunday afternoon and buy macarel straight from the fishing boats and take them home for tea.

We had lots of fun with the grandchildren while we were in Devon and then travelled up to our cottage in Wales for our second week. We have only had the cottage for 15 months and so are still exploring the areas, on most of our visits we are busy working on the cottage but decided this visit would be mainly for holiday and so did very little work. We took picnics out and walked around the reservoirs and into the mountains. 

We discovered these lovely tea rooms, top left photo, and so when the family came to stay over on route to their camp site we took them there. The children loved the fancy bone china tea set and cakes. This was their first visit to the cottage so very exciting for all of us. Molly was delighted to share her other home with her favourite people. I made up the bed with my favourite W
Each blanket ready for our daughter and SIL :)

My sister lives about 40 mins from our cottage, her and her husband are Welsh speaking and know the country well, they had planned a lovely day out with us, we packed up picnics and drove up into the mountains.

Some friends from Devon joined us for three days at the end of our holiday, it was their first visit to Dove Cottage too so we had fun showing them the neighbourhood.

We are so blessed to have places to stay in the South West and Wales, the countryside in both areas is amazingly beautiful and we are in awe of Gods amazing creation.