Friday 29 March 2013

The Return of Coombe Cottage Crafts

When T and E were small, a few times a year cousin B and cousin M would come for a weekend of crafting and hilarity - Coombe Cottage Craft weekends. Although B, M, T and E are all grown up now, we had a mini reunion - a CCC day!

It was difficult to fit everything in! Everyone worked on their own projects. Inspired by seeing people's slippers at the Lovely Lyme weekend, A decided she needed a pair of her own. Repurposing one of her dad's old jumpers, it started out like this -

Nice to use up these old things - particularly as it was something she knitted herself. She still has a great deal of work to go, but definitely looking promising. A WIP that we will update you on.

M used an old jumper of J's that had been felted, and produced the only finished item of the day, a couple of oven gloves -

Pretty impressive for about half a day's work!

J and E started a collaborative project. Both being fairly proficient knitters, there is be thing that neither have done yet - socks on double pointed needles! This seemed the perfect time to try. E bought a sock knitting kit from Get Knitted with Opal sock yarn. A success so far! - but a very long way to go. And, with J and E each knitting one sock, only time will tell whether their tension is similar enough to make a matching pair of socks...

Big B decided to do an Easter project and went for making a chicken using this pattern from Landscaping Magazine. Another WIP from J's old jumper, but definitely looking promising.

(at the back - big B's chicken and M's completed oven gloves; underneath - beginnings of little B's hot water bottle cover; E's sock on the needles; front - A's slippers in the making)

And little B went for making a hot water bottle cover - this time from a different felted jumper. She was more distracted with packing up, but you can see it begin to take shape...

Apart from the crafting, it was a nice short day. An Easter tree was made with blossom from the garden, and M also insisted on a short constitutional after (a very successful! - recipes to follow in another post) lunch. It was cold, but the woods were full of promise - daffodils poking up everywhere and the wild garlic beginning to emerge.

 (the Easter tree in all its blossom-y glory! The little bird is a present from big B last weekend in Lyme - very nice)

Sad to see them all go. Just A, J and E at home for the weekend - continuing with the crafting projects, watching a film, snuggling in front of the fire, perhaps visiting Lyme. A lovely reunion.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

A delayed Spring

It's weird to realise that this time last year the cows were out grazing green fields across the road and I'd already planted onions and beetroot in the spaces between the forget me nots in the veg patch. This year the seeds are still in the joe-built conservatory either in dormant packets or cold seed trays, although some are transformed to slightly leggy seedlings with the low light of this grey and cold non-Spring
I do love the new greenness and expectancy of just sprung plants. These lovely little ladies will be sea-shell edged pink cosmos in August...

Monday 25 March 2013

And an update on spring crafting

I didn't manage to photograph some of the card making from the 16th when E was home and B with us ... This was my design for a spring celebration - buttons and those particular yellows and greens that come with new shoots. I liked the way the 'stalks' all went criss crossy.

An update on home life

So whilst we were lovely-lyming the tadpoles at home were growing.

We have a small tank on our family room table which had in it some donated jellied spawn from T and M's pond in Bridgwater. I have been photographing them daily since they arrived on the 10th march and since the mega death associated with hatching things have been pretty photogenic. I understand that there is something about a hatched tadpole that halts the development of the other eggs so although we started with several 100s of eggs it's not neglect on our part that has resulted in 'only' 30 or so possible frogs. They are very sweet but don't worry family people I haven't named them so no huge emotional attachment to traumatise myself with yet.

This is them today

Sunday 24 March 2013

And back

That was a very good weekend. Thirteen lovely people. And what makes them so? Thoughtfulness, liberal attitudes, good sense of humour and willingness to laugh, caring. Is caring the same as thoughtfulness? Closely related, certainly.

So what happened after I last wrote? More walks, more meals, more chatting, a visit to Uplyme Quaker meeting, and more entertaining of D-J. This was very easy, as she was content to be in the company of attentive people in a warm room, and didn't seem bothered whether she was following the conversation or not. M was especially good at stopping periodically to update her on what the conversation was about, but actually she didn't mind. I'm sure she appreciated the attempt.

Quite a lot of belongings were left, to be found and brought home by the last to leave. I left my coat, which had the new tiny camera in the pocket, so my Lyme photos will have to wait to get added.

And there are the photos. As you can see, I don't know how to rotate photos on the iPad. It's probably very obvious. Look how cold those poor pigeons are!

Saturday 23 March 2013

Coombe Cottages away

Lyme Regis, Queen of the coast! And I often say that the sun shines more in LR than anywhere else. This weekend that's not so. I gather that it's snowing in many other places in the UK today, while here it's just dreech: cold east wind, not quite drizzling, heavy grey sky.

And wonderful! As I looked out of the east facing window at 730 this morning, to note that the cliffs above Charmouth were wreathed in fog, it wasn't possible to tell what colour Black Venn was, and Golden Cap was invisible, a flock of gulls greeted the spring (they could tell) wheeling about the town, interweaving a dense pack of pigeons.

Our group are making full use of the town, cake and coffee shops, walking along the beach, picking up Victorian debris in the landslip, and best of all, the reliable Town Mill Bakery. This supplied our breakfast croissants, and six of us went back there for lunch. It has trestle tables, so groups mix and jostle, and the mugs are hung from planks suspended above the middle of each table. Stand and reach for a mug, and eight people along the bench all go up and down by as much as several inches. Once you're used to it it becomes more fun than alarming.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Hungry deer in the early morning

Recent books we have read

Have you read The Song of Achilles? Very good, with a perfect line trod between creating believable characters whose lives I wanted to know about, whose actions I believed in, and who, in the case of Achilles himself, I could understand was perhaps supernatural, and also thoroughly human.

- Posted by Joe

Sunday 17 March 2013

Spring Crafting - New Beginnings



Welcome to 2 Coombe Cottages! It's one of a pair of semi-detatched cottages, nestled in the foot of the Mendip hills in the Southwest. We are blessed with beautiful things: huge trees, murmurations of starlings on the Somerset levels, swathes of daffodils, hedges laden with fruit, cows to watch, hills to climb. We've always loved to create, and we hope you enjoy our records of the things we do.

Card-Making on a Rainy Friday


On Friday, inspired by some sunny spells on Thursday and thinking forward to Spring and Easter, hoping the persistant grey would shift, we collected together our little boxes of buttons, paper scraps and threads, as well as the big drawer of card-making supplies (and don't forget a saucerful of PVA - it sticks the world together, don't you know?).

A liked the buttons, and played about with greens and yellow to feel springy.

E was drawn to some yellow corrugated card and bird images.

B went for purple, and Easter eggs!

All in all, a satisfying little craft project: sitting around our Laura Ashley table cloth adorned table, paper and glue crowding for space with our tank of frogspawn turning into tadpoles (another post to come!), a rather folorn looking stephanotis and a still-growing-strong windowful of Mother's Day blooms - gyp, carnations and statis. A reminder of all the crafts we used to do together as children - nice to converge and connect.