Wednesday, 23 December 2009

He's Gone .

My Darling Bobby is gone , he passed away quietly early yesterday afternoon. He had pneumonia and didn't respond to treatment . He leaves behind a vast hole in my life .
Rest In Peace Dear Brother .
01-05-1937     22-12-2009

I will blog again in the New Year until then I hope you all have a Happy and Peaceful Christmas .

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Dressers and Good Friends

I've got two nice things to write about today :0) This lunch time I met up with my good friend Jean . We have been friends for quite a few years now and used to work on the same craft cicuit . Me with my crafts and she with her fabulous handmade cards . We have remained friends even though we don't do the shows anymore . We try to meet up at least once a year , mostly around Christmas time . Usually at Oswaldtwistle Mills , which is half way for both of us . We had a lovely lunch and caught up with all our news . As I had been rather stressed out all week with getting the new car it was a nice change to relax . When we'd had our lunch we went for a stroll round to see if there were any goodies. I couldn't believe my eyes when we went into the kitchenware department for there on a stand was something I had been on the look out for .I''l start at the begining. I've always wanted a dresser and the other week we went into our favourite charity furniture shop and saw

This , an American colonial dresser .I simply had to have it .It was perfect for the dining room .

And you can just see on the shelves what caught my eye in the kitchenware department .

The most perfect crockery to go on my dresser . American folk art cups and plates .

All with farm animals .

The cutest sheep .
I got big dinner plates to match but they are to big for the shelves so I have used them to place the two matching fruit bowls that I bought , on .

And to finish it all off I got this felt garland to got round the top .
It all looks gorgeous and I'm very pleased with the look .
I've always loved the American Folk Art style and used a lot of these fabrics when I was making patchwork quilts . I'm going to have to make some more now to match the dresser ;0)

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Grassington Dickensian Festival .

The alarm clock went off at 5-00am and strangly enough we'd both slept through. This is somewhat of a phenomenon as when we do Grassington neither of us sleeps well for fear of not hearing the alarm .

It wasn't as busy as past years but trade was steady all day . This is DH at the back of the stall .

As promised a pic of my new costume . The long term stall holders still dress up in Dickensian costume but unfortunately the newcomers don't ,which is sad as I think it adds to the atmosphere . It wouldn't have happened in Mrs Freebury's day . She was the lady who took charge of the Craft Market and was very firm about dress code .

Here's a full length . Sorry the pics are a bit dark , i'll try for better ones next week .
All in all it's been a good few days . We did well at Grassington , I had a customer call on Sunday who bought loads of yarn , two decent orders from my Blogshop and yesterday I picked up my new car .

There has been a down side though . My brother Bobby is not well . He has been moved down to the medical ward , which in my opinion is where he should have been sent in the first place . At last he is being seen by a doctor every day and I'm hopeful he will start to improve again. I really do miss him . I felt it when I went to pick my car up , as usually when I get a new car he is the first person I go and see to show off . I drove past his hospital window though just to show him :0)
The weather here is still miserable but the weather forcast says better days by the end of the week . I hope we get some good bright frosty days then we can have a good long walk , instead of short , shower dodging ones .

Friday, 4 December 2009

Grassington Dickensian Festival .

Well folks it's that time of year again and Grassington is upon us once more .
So tomorrow we will be getting up at rediculouso'clock to go

Here ,to the little village of Grassington in Yorkshire { it's ok I've had all my jabs he he !:0) }
The festival has been going for over twenty years and i've been doing it for the past sixteen . I stongly recommend a visit if you can . It's a lovely Christmas day out . If you decide to go, me and DH will be up in the Devonshire Institute ,at the top of the village, please say hello .
Now I have a bit of an announcement businesswise. A couple of weeks ago I attended the Manchester Yarn Day , organised by the Manchester Yarn Collective.I had a brilliant day and have taken up their invitation to join them . It is a collective of small Independent Dyers of Yarn and Fibre and after the success of the yarn day we are starting a Sock Yarn Club between us , called Northern Soles . You can get all the details on the website here .  There are six of us dyeing yarn , one for each of the six months sign up and I will be dying the yarn in March . So if you were thinking of joining a sock yarn club why not take a look .
Well that's enough natter got looooooaads to do .

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

It's December Yeh!!!!!!!

From the title it would be sujested that I'm glad we are in December . To damn right i am . As I've said I HATE November . To me it is the worst month of the year and this one has been no exception . It 's been wet and depressing all the way through . This past week I have suffered the worst case of Novemberitis for a good few years . I got up on Sunday morning to go to Samlesbury Hall for the Craft Fair when all I wanted to do was stay under the duvet till Dec 1st .

Well December is here . Yesterday we got our first frost and the Sun shone , as is it doing today .
So dear readers you can understand my spirits are now lifting .

Last night was full Moon and it was clear to see early evening .
We have two Moons this month which is unusual .The next will be on the 31st and will be a Blue Moon hence the saying " Once in a Blue Moon " as they don't occur very often . It's a very magical and powerful time between the two .
We are gearing up for the weekend when we do our first Grassington of the Season. I've sorted out a new costume that just needs tweeking then I'll post pics .I've not had much to make as I am selling off a lot of my stock to make way for new and exciting things , which I will showcase on here .
Next week I take delivery of my new " Granny's Bus " . I'm afriad the Galaxy has hed her day and is being pensioned of  . Again pics to come .

Rolf Harris .
This guy was on Paul O'Grady's Show last night talking about his new Christmas single . It's FABULOUS !!! Anyway don't take my word for it go see it here on You Tube . I bet you'll be humming the tune for the rest of the day :0) Hopefully it will stop this years XFactor winner getting to number one and we'll have a decent . good old fashioned Chritmas tune at the top of the charts in the same ilk as Wizard and Slade .

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Cumbrian Floods

 As most of you will know Cumbria has been devastated by the worst floods ever . I have no pics but if you go here  you will see just what the damage is .The weather was bad when we were up there in the Summer but this just pales into insignificance now . Cockermouth and Keswick , two of my favourite places have been hit the worst . Cockermouth is especially close to my heart because of the Woolfest .
I hope that the waters receded quickly and the clean up can begin . I know the good folk of Cumbria will rise up and stoically carry on . If you would like to contribute to the flood funds you can donate here .
Please give generously to these lovely people .
I should have been going up to Cumbria today for Spinning Guild but I am heeding police advise and not travelling up there, as there is more rain to come and high winds . The thought of driving over Shap in the wind and rain doesn't bear thinking about.

As I am not going to Guild . Ambermoggie and Mr Mog are coming here for a Spin-in and a roast lunch . I will post pics later of our day :0)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Ta Dah !!!

It's all finished . Doesn't it look fab . I am thrilled to bits with it .

Wild flowers , roses . toadstools and snails .

Butterflies have been important in my life since I had a bad breakdown 25 years ago . Some one gave me a card with the inscription .
"True happiness is like a Butterfly
Chase after it and it will fly away .
Wait patiently
And it will land in your hand "
For years I wore a silver butterfly around my neck till it fell apart .

This butterfly is very special . Readers of this blog will know of my dog, Skipper , who is no longer with us . I got her in 1990 again I had ,had a bad breakdown and she pulled me out of it . Well she was named after the Grizzled Skipper butterfly and DH remembered and painted this little hommage to her .
I am going to take the wheel to Spinning Guild on Saturday . You never know DH might get some commisions :0)

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Transformation Progresses :0)

A few ladybirds and bees are added to the bars .

Close up of a bee . You can see how rich the wood looks after it's waxing .

The Artist at work .

Can't wait till it's finished . I'm hoping it will be ready for Saturday when I go up to Mungrisdale for Spinning Guild .

Monday, 16 November 2009

Dull November gets a little Brightener :0)

My dull November is getting a Brightener . My darling DH is personalising my Traddie spinning wheel .

I got a new sliding hook flyer this morning and a tin of Ashford wax polish . After DH had waxed the flyer he went on to clean and rewax my Ashford Traditional .
Then he got his paints out and whoah hoo . These are the pics so far .

A close up of the flowers .

Ain't they purdy .

And a Jacobs sheep on the mother of all base . The wood has been transformed with the waxing and looks absolutly fabulous . Ain't I a lucky spinner . It's certainly cheered me up :0)
I'll post pics of the transformation . Watch this space .

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Bloody November

In the words of Billy Eckstine " I Apologise " first for bad language in the title and second not posting for a fortnight . As the title of this post suggests I don't like November . It's cold , wet ,miserable and worst of all dark . It seems to be a family trait , as when I visited my Cousin the Mechanic on Monday he to was feeling low and morose . But fear not dear readers I have been busy in my gloom .

I have been reducing the Patons Jet Mountain in my wool room . I've made these simple mitts .
In various colours for the stall .

I've also made matching cowls . All to warm and brighten the dull November days :0)

I've also been very busy at my wheel and it's been a joy .

This is the finest I have ever spun and I'm so pleased . 420yds 100grms of Corriedale fibre .
These will end up as nice warm socks I think .

I've been having a play at doing art yarns as well . Spinning thick creamy Merino fibre then plying it with rayon machine embroidery thread .

I did this one with glitter but the pic hasn't come out very well .

A nice selection of natural coloured spun fibres and coloured Merino /Silks
I'm afraid the pics aren't good quality , see November again no bloody pardon , no blinking light .
The Winter shows began last weekend . I was at the Manchester Yarn Day and it was brill . I only booked 10 days before as well . This Sunday we will be at The Dalmeney Hotel St Annes . Then a short break next weekend before we head into Grassington for the 15th year .

Now for an update on Bobby . I've not put anything on my Blog for a few weeks mostly because I've been to upset to write about it . He was moved a few weeks ago to another hospital for rehabilitation and not to put to fine a point on it they cocked up bigtime . I won't go into to much detail but suffice to say his progress has been put back at least a month . I'm really angry ,as the day before he was transferred I'd been to see him and he was looking more like the old Bobby instead of looking like my Dad did before he died .
Anyway I went to see him last Monday and thank the Gods he's starting to look better agin and we even manged to get a couple of chuckles out of him and a definate " NO " when I asked him if he liked Johnny Ray ( a 1950's singer )  Lets hope this continues .
BTW did you know that six weeks today it will all be over ( Christmas that is ) :0)

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Samhain / Halloween Greetings

Samhain / Halloween Greetings and Blessings to all .
As usual my hearth is decked out to represent the season , hope you like it . As you can see Papa Bear has installed a door for the Faeries to come and go as they please now, it saves leaving the bathroom window open for them :0) If you want to read more about them visit his Blog .
I've been to busy to blog this week as we have had visitors from the South eldest DS and Co and to put it mildly I'm shattered and was glad to see their train pulling out of the station on Thursday night .
I am going to have a relaxing weekend spinning and trying to wind down so I'll catch up with you all on Monday .

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Sunday Afternoon

I had an hour in the kitchen this afternoon.
I took some dark brown sugar and best butter
and a whole lot of mixed fruit .

Plain flour , ground almonds , spices and fresh eggs .
Can you guess what it is yet ? :0)
Mixed it all together.
Put it in a cake tin ( well it's not tin actually it's like rubber , very modern )
And baked for three hours on regulo 2 .
It will now go into the cupboard wrapped in foil and be taken out every week till Christmas and "fed "with copious ammounts of alcohol and then it will be decorated with marzipan , nuts and glace fruits just like the pic above of last years cake .
It was the first time I'd decorated my Christmas Cake that way and it went down a treat , so I thought I'd do it again:0)
The house smells lovely .

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The Moon and I .

Medium Advent Calander
£15-00 plus £2-00 postage
5 in stock
Large Advent Calendar £18-00 plus £2-00 postage
9 in Stock

For some time now I've thought that my energies were ruled by the Moon's phases . I am now convinced that I am. The first two weeks of the September Moon , as She was waxing I was full of energy . As you saw on the blog I was knitting ,spinning , making jams and pickles . But once the Moon started to wane my energy levels plummeted .
Sunday saw the the beginning of the New Moon and guess what :0) my energies have returned .
I've been up in my workroom all day making these delightful Advent Calendars .
They are for sale and should you like to purchase one you can email me at
info(at)laalbear(dot)co(dot)uk { Replacing the words with symbols } I take cheques or Paypal .They are made from 100% pure cotton and can be used again and again .You can fill the pockets with sweets or small toys for your little ones ( or even big ones ) .

I am going to make use of this return of my energy and get on with my sewing projects .

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Away Day

Yesterday I had an Awayday. It's the first i've had for a few years.
Let me explain. Some of you readers know my DH suffers from Epilepsy and a few years ago it wasn't as well controlled as it is now. When I wanted a day to myself , as you do , I used to take him to his Mum's then take off some where for the day . At the time British Rail were advertising special day tickets for trips out called Awaydays so that's where i got the name from. Anyway she died and I had no one else to leave him with . My children don't live close and all work . I've had a couple of hours away to go to town but the chance came for me to have a whole day away and I grabbed it with both hands . When your with somebody 24 / 7 it can get very tedious so i was eager to go . This is where i went . To the Eden Valley Spinners Dyers and Weavers Guild . I had a lovely day with like minded people . I also had a nice surprise , the lady who taught me to spin , Therese , was there as well . She was very pleased to see me and I her. I showed her my latest spinning and she was very pleased and showed it off to some of the newbie spinners and told them how proud she was of me . I was very touched as in all my life no one has ever uttered the words " I'm proud of you " to me .Suffice to say thet after such a great day I have joined the Guild . It's a bit of a treck to get there , an hour and a half , but it worth it .

On the way home I had intened to visit Ernest and Ruth at Askew Rigg farm , where we stay in Cumbria but Sod's Law they'd gone away that morning.
As I wasn't in any rush to get home I decided to drive home through the Lakes instead of the motorway . Some thing I hadn't done in ages . It was a joy driving on my own the Sun was shining and the landscape was dressed in it's Autumn colours . I couldn't take any pics of Thirlmere as there is nowhere to park but I did manage to get a few on my way down .

This is Dunmail Raise but if you look at the top the rock formation looks like a man playing an organ . But .......
when you get round the other side it looks like a lion laying down with a lamb .
Mother Nature has been busy with her paint box on these trees .
Grasmere village is in the distance . I managed to take these pics in betwen cars passing :0)

I wanted to take some pics of Grasmere and was chunnering to myself that yet again there was nowhere to park when as I got round a corner the traffic was stopped at some traffic lights for roadworks so i quickly wound the window down and took this

before the traffic started to move again . What a stroke of luck .

A similar thing happened in Ambleside and I was able to snap The Bridge House as I was passing

I carried on down to Windermere where I called in at Lakeland Ltd . When I was trying to get out through the traffic I had a very strange occurance . I was nudging my way into the line of cars and a mini bus when out of the corner of my eye I saw a women frantically waving to me from the bus . When I looked closer I saw that it was my sister , how strange was that . But it gets better she had bumped into our other brother in Grasmere that morning . So we were all up in the Lake District at the same time and didn't know .
All in all it was a brilliant day and well worth waiting for :0)