Review of the Year: 2014

Hello 2015! (Yes I know I’m a couple of days late but I’ve been busy dammit)

This year has been crazy in a good way. Holidays and gigs and time with family and time to myself. Which pretty much sums up some of my resolutions for last year. So to review last years resolutions:-

1. Keep this Blog going. Yes. Well it’s still here. Not really successfully by still here. This may turn into a “try again this year” resolution.

2. Lose the Cheese weight Well this was a fail. But not a complete fail because whilst I’ve not lost weight at least I’ve not had a gain. I’m also no any healthier which was another part of this goal but I can also file this again under “try again this year”.

In another part of my mind I have a little voice saying “Eat the Cheese”

3. Read More! Erm, no. The only book I read last year was “The Last Days of Richard III and the Fate of his DNA” by John Ashdown-Hill. It was a great read but the honest truth is I don’t fell like I have time to read everything I want to read anymore with the time I spend on other things I wasn’t to do. The other option is to timetable in time to read but then it just feels like a chore. This resolution may be missing from this years list.

4Refresh my language courses Another No. I think this one may end up not only been given up but the actual books been given to the charity shop.

5. Enjoy my university course Meh, enjoy may have been optimistic. I am working on it and looking forward to the end result but hard work is hard work and it’s very rarely fun.

6. Go to More Gigs I’ve definitely managed this one. The complete list is:- Rizzle Kicks, The Eagles, Manic Street Preachers, The Beautiful South, The Searchers and Katy Perry. I also went to the theatre quite a lot; Avenue Q, The Perfect Murder, Evita, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Beyond The Barricade, Les Miserables and Mamma Mia. This year should be just as busy I hope with one trip to the theatre and one gig already booked. (I also realise I still have reviews to do for some of these)

7. Make the hubby a jumper Well I started one, does that get me half a point?

8. Actually make something for me! I did!

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Ok it did end up been for a fancy dress but it is still completed and the warmest jumper in the world. Thanks again to Mrs Moon for the inspiration.

I also have my Fair Isle jumper which is complete but that baby deserves its own post.

9. Have more nights out I really did, and the best was most certainly Halloween, which the above jumper was made for. Whilst I’m not going to keep this resolution exactly the same I want to have just as many awesome nights out this year.

10. Learn a new skill Erm, no again. I may just pretend this doesn’t exist.

11. Continue with my crafty time I most certainly did, crafty time is the only thing that stops me from going crazy! It also gave me some lovely end results.

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12. Stop biting my Nails Well yes and no.

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My nails can look like this. However I do still bite them. And sometimes they look…well disgusting. So more consistency in my nails is next years resolution.

13. Complete Tut No. However he did get more time than the last year so I’m counting this as a success.

14 Make time for me Yes. And I plan to carry this on as well.

And for this year, well carrying on from last year I will have 15 resolutions:

1. Keep the Blog Going.
2. Stay Healthy.
3. Keep going on CLC and do the best I can.
4. Go to as many Gigs as possible.
5. Go to the theatre as much as possible.
6. Finish the Husbands jumper.
7. Complete more things for me.
8. Keep my social life busy.
9. Keep my nails healthy.
10. Complete Tut.
11. Spend more time with my sewing machine.
12. Spend more time baking.
13. Travel more, even if it’s just in the UK.
14. Discover new music.
15. Keep time for me.

All in all, last year was amazing, but I have a feeling this year is going to be even better.

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WIP Wednesday: Halloween, Bonfire and Christmas, Oh My!

Oh my giddy Aunt! Where has the time gone? I did actually write a blog all about Halloween but somehow it got eaten by my phone before it was posted.

The only reason I’m getting round to writing this is because I’ve ended up on a detour on my way home and have no knitting/crochet/craft of any description! Disaster! However it does give me time to blog.

So Halloween. The jumper I made was finished. Yes I was making it on October 30th but it was finished by Halloween. I wore it pretty much all day at work and most of the time on my night out. Want to see a picture? Well unfortunately WordPress is not been my friend today so I will have to paint you a word picture. It was the brightest Orange, with large puffy sleeves and a snuggle polo neck. Tonight Matthew I’m going to be Velma from Scooby Doo! (If you don’t get that reference go google old episodes of Stars in Their Eyes. It will be he best thing you do all week. I occasionally watch the old episodes on the channel Challenge, it makes me thankful I avoided most of the 80’s, that went off topic quickly….) Edit: WordPress is my friend again and is letting me post pictures but the chat about Stars in Their Eyes was too good to be edited out

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So yeah Velma! It was awesome I think I lost a stone in sweat One of the best nights out ever how I did not pass out I do not know My jumper got a million lovely comment bloody hope so too the effort I put into it However as great as the night out was its unlikely I will wear this jumper on a day to day basis, it was just too warm! You know those jumpers you wear on days at home when it’s cold and a little drizzly? Well it’s become my stay at home jumper.

Then it’s the husbands birthday and Bonfire Night! And almost on schedule I got a horrible chest infection and end up on a nebuliser. This is both horrible and good. Bad; I don’t like been ill and off work; Good; I get to knit more!

I even managed to complete a couple of small projects. I made some very bright, rainbow coloured socks for the newest member of the family. She is uber adorable and her mum, my cousin, was ecstatic for something not pink! Gender colours are something that is actually mentioned quite a lot at KNN on Thursday and while I think it’s occasionally nice to see a girl in a pretty pink dress the sheer amount of pink that I was confronted with when I went to buy an outfit for new member of family was overwhelming. Eventually I found a little denim dress with a yellow t shirt and tights but it was very difficult. And from the excitement of my cousin when she finally received something not pink I’m going to try and not stick to gender colours for any new arrivals.

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I have also almost finished my hearts and flowers top. The shoulders have been seamed and buttons bought. However at this late stage I don’t want to show half a seamed top so the next photos will be of it finished and on my and Bernadette (yes my dummy is going to wear it as well)

So for the husbands birthday (and before the terrible Chest Infection of 2014) we went to the theatre to see a musical performance, a full review will happen at some point in a Fun Friday post. We have also managed another musical performance and a gig since I posted so they will be getting posts soon as well, as well as the long overdue reviews for The Eagles and The Perfect Murder.

And now, well it’s only 4 weeks til Christmas you lucky, lucky people. Is Santa bringing you fruit or coal this year? I think he is bringing me yarn. Well I’m hoping for yarn. He also brought me an early Christmas present in the form of the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show. I didn’t actually spend that much, my biggest purchase been MillaMia Country Escape Booklet and the yarn for the striped pattern. I also treated my Toyota sewing machine to a cosy new bag.

The husband was my partner in crime for my day in Harrogate and convinced me to buy this pattern and the yarn for the adult jumpers. He’s hoping I will have at least one done by Christmas!

I’ve also been neglecting my sewing for the longest time so treated myself to some fabrics to make my sister an apron for Christmas (the chances of her reading this and finding out are minimal so I can reveal all on here) and a Gorguss cross stitch, which I was so eager for I’ve actually started work on it last Sunday during a film marathon (it was the Tinkerbell films, I’m both ashamed and not ashamed by that fact)

I also treated myself to a workshop, Make a Vintage Clutch Bag. Whilst I do have a bag it is not photo worthy. In the slightest. Maybe one day I will pluck up the courage to show the world but that day is not today. I did really enjoy my time on the sewing machine and it gave me another pattern to work with that I know I will be confident to do, just needing a little more than two hours to complete it in.

And that just about brings me up to date. Work is mental again at the moment as half the staff are on holiday (again, we always seem to plan our holidays together) but next week so am I. Hopefully by then WordPress will be my friend again and I will be able to update with lots of pictures and blogs of my adventures.

Stitching Sunday: Updates, WIPs and Yarndale!

Good Morning!

It was the end of which most people would class as an extra hour in bed but due to a horrible nights sleep I spent more time of the sofa and not really asleep. Oh well.

Onto the updates!

The that I posted about on Monday not looks like as a jumper.

I hoping this will be finished by Friday because it is going to form part of my Halloween costume. No I’m not going to be a pumpkin. If I get everything sorted I’m going to post pictures on Friday.

The jumper was actually a Yarndale purchase. Which believe it or not was actually 4 weeks ago. Doesn’t time fly when you’re working ridiculous hours having fun!

In fact when I saw the jumper it was a moment of pure love. I spotted it across the pens, a deep orange exactly like one I had been searching for, not knowing if it actually existed. And then when I held it, oh my giddy aunt, it was just so, so soft. was a shop I had never heard of before Yarndale but now I can’t recommend them enough. Even after spending about 15 minutes trying to make the payment I was still excited about the wool. Yarndale in general makes me happy but I felt like was walking on air by this point.

I also got several other Yarndale purchases;

Wool from Susan Crawford (possibly a knit for NaKniSwaMo, its only 5 days away people. She also reconised me from last year due to my awesome Lady and The Tramp jumper. Did I mention that she is my favourite designer??

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Cascade Jumper

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More badges.

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Wool from Baa Ram Ewe (my LYS)

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Toft (For a Giraffe! And other animals.)

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Originally I wasn’t going to get anything from Toft but then just three days before Yarndale Edward’s Menagerie landed on my doorstep and I just had to get started on it. And it was another case on when I felt the wool I fell in love. ITS SO FLUFFY!

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Totally what I act like.

Sparkleduck wool AND A DUCK!

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With some knick nacks.

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And so far I have been really good and only cast on the orange jumper because I wanted to make that for Halloween.

Last year Yarndale had some teething issues but they honestly seemed to be all ironed out this year. Yes you still had to queue to get in or to use the toilets but the cafes were much better and there was more choice in terms of stalls. Bring on an even bigger and better Yarndale 2015! If next year is more awesome I may combust from my squealing just so you are all aware.

Well as for my other WIPs I finally made a decision on the neck of the little boys jumper I’m making.

As I had enough yarn to make them with the hood and wouldn’t have had a clue what I would have made with the leftover wool (at the time, I’ve found a perfect stash buster) I decided to go with the hood. And I’m very impressed with the way they are looking. When I was having a bit of a blog tidy up I also realised that I never tracked the day of when I bought this yarn.

It was on Knit In Public Day and to celebrate a few of us from KNN made a journey to the next town over and made a visit to Texere. T was a great day out, I think we ended up spending about 2 hours there is the vast warehouse of a shop.

The yarn used to make the jumper was heavily discounted and I bought the two colour ways I am using for the jumper along with another two colour ways for other projects. One is for a Cardie for the goddaughter and the other I bought just because it was adorable and I couldn’t leave be last two balls looking sad and alone in the basket, so I bought them. Tell me honestly could you leave this all alone in a basket?

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So ok I had no idea what to make with it but then I’ve had a lot of friends announce they are pregnant and decided to have a bit of an experiment. And for a change it worked!

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Teeny Tiny Baby Socks! And my first successfully pair of sock (we are not talking about the socks in this post) In the future I can quickly see these becoming my go to project for quick, simple present and to use small leftover bits of yarn. Best of all it’s a free pattern of Ravelry.

Talking about patterns take a look at these I also got at Texere.

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And the large amount of yarn.

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I have also started to work on some of the poor neglected WIPs. Take George the bear. I don’t like sewing up. So I left him my needle bag for many months in many pieces but yesterday for no reason Ok that’s a lie I was fed up of the orange monster I decided to work on sewing him up.

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So he’s still not finished but he is looking more like a bear.

I also had to pause briefly on my Fair Isle top. As much as I wanted this to be completed by September I had an accident on the train that resulted in the needle been snapped. Now I’m not completely blaming to woman who rammed into me as the cause of the snapping but I totally am. Whilst it would be classed as murder it is definitely manslaughter! For an equally disastrous needle story read my friends blog here.

Finally had any one been watching the celebrity version of Great British Sewing Bee!? I think it has been marvellous and of course it is all in aid of a great charity. I think I am most certainly adding Pam Ferris to my list of people I would like to have a tea and Craft afternoon with, even if she did scare me half to death as Miss Trunchbill in Matilda when I was little (Shotput, Javelin, Hammerthrow)

Congratulations if you got to the end of his post, you also deserve a tea and craft afternoon.

Stitching Sunday: Updates!

Look updates!

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This is the sleeve of a jumper I started on holiday. I’m actually going to be making two nearly identical versions of this for two little boys in my family. So far I have one back, two sleeves and the beginning of a front. I have a bit of a dilemma of which version I want to do though, with or without a hood. As the only changes have to be made to the front neck to decide with or without a good I still have time to decide but it’s not really good to make a decision as knitting as I have discovered in the past. I think I have asked everyone in real life that I know which they prefer and most have informed me it’s my decision to make. NO! I can’t make this decision. Anyone want to help me?

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Also next look, pretty fair isle! This is the back of the nearly never ending jumper. I have just another 2cm of the plain stocking stitch in the dusky pink to go on the front before I start the fair isle on that. Whilst this project feels like it has been going forever I apparently only started it sometime in March. Hopefully at this rate it will be ready for autumn.

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Whilst the Fair Isle jumper may feel like it’s taken forever this really is taking forever. What you see is actually all I have done on it. This is the back panel of what I call Aran for Aaron. It’s a silly word play but makes me smile. I don’t think this will be completed in time for this winter.

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I also got round I washing the fabric I bought for some summer dresses. Yes summer may be coming to an end but I may get to wear something I make before the end of September. However I have learnt that drying several meters of fabric in a tiny flat is not very practical. My sudden interest in trying to get back on the dressmaking wagon is four fold:-

1. I have so much fabric I should really use some of it soon.

2. My wardrobe really needs updating. I can count on one hand the amount of outfits I own that fit, are fashionable and suitable for work on one hand. Then again I can probably do the same for my out of work clothes too.

3. I have a new sewing machine that needs to be used for more than cushion covers.

4. Look at my new friend…

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She is just begging to be draped in fabric even if she does look amazing in the nude, so to speak.

She is another of my charity shops finds. I saw her standing in the window and had to look at her in more detail. It was only when I got into the shop I realised she was for sale. As it was a case of love at first sight I didn’t care what her price was I just had to buy her. Turns out she didn’t break the bank balance at £20! In fact I think she was a bargain. Yes she has a little bit of damage around her base and she is old enough to be called vintage but to me is perfect. I’m hoping we have many happy hours together.

WIP Wednesday: I WANT TO START A NEW PROJECT!

And the bad thing is I don’t even know where all my current projects are.

Off the top of my head I have Vine Cardie, Aaron’s Hayfield jumper, Feathers McGraw, My Hearts and Flowers Jumper, Dennis the Menance Socks, lacy shawl, the Baa Ram Ewe Cowl, the extra tiny leg warmers, poor old Tut’, Art of Crochet blanket, a couple of other cross stitch (Cleo and a wedding sampler), beaded bag and…..no wait that’s it. I think. Maybe.

And yet I want to start something new.

Maybe it’s because my plan on Monday was to have a wool, craft, fun day! Yes it went a bit awry but I did buy some goodies. I bought some Scrumptious 4 ply by Fyberspates that at the moment is just for stroking. Seriously I’m say here petting it like a silky little animal.

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Plus it matches my nails at the moment.

I also found mountains of white wool in the charity shops in Headingly and decided to try kool aid dying again. Except I forgot the bit about only animal fibres. Now I know why they say animal fibres only. Luckily I only used a small amount so I still have yards and yards of white wool in various weights just itching to be used. More for me to cast on. More temptation.

So, I have decided I should finish at least one thing before anymore is cast on. Also my limited needle supply demands this happens. But what to finish? Well I’ve mostly been working on Little Vine (with the silly slippery needle), Heart and Flowers (Just starting Fair Isle section so not practical as a travel piece anymore) and Feathers McGraw (Stupid toy in a thousand pieces, on tiny needles, it’s a good job the friend I’m making it for is such a very good friend because I’ve been tempted to throw it in the bin at points). So these are going slow because I’m grumpy. As to where the others are I have no ideas.

On the other hand I did a bit of mathematics yesterday during a quiet 5 minutes at work. According to my library on Ravelry I have 1,155 patterns. So if I was to retire at 65 but wanted to knit everything in my library before then what would be the time scales? Well I would have about 2 weeks per project and I would complete them all before my 65 birthday, just. I think this proves I need to add more projects, I mean I need to plan retirement pieces as well.

EDIT: I went hunting. Tut is behind the chair, and I’m thinking he might be unfinished forever more. The small leg warmers are in the ottoman. Aaron’s jumper is in a bag on the door handle in the small bedroom/craft room/ study. The socks were in my blue satchel. The Vine Cardie was in my black satchel that I had taken to work today. The Dennis socks and shawl were under the small bedroom bed, but the pattern is lost for the shawl. This may mean I may have to frog the shale if the pattern is not found. The Art of Crochet blanket is in the pink box by the computer in the living room. Feathers McGraw is under the side table in the living room. The random cross stitch and beaded bad are in the really useful boxes in the storage cupboard. I have no idea where the Baa Ram Ewe cowl is. I’ve searched hard and it’s not in any of the usual places. However the husband may have a point when he says my craft stuff takes over the house. Makes me more determined to finish off some projects and give them a good home.

Mini Monday: What is normal?

I’m been serious here. What is normal? It’s currently 10pm-ish and I’m sat by myself, drinking an alcoholic beverage, doing a bit of knitting with Craft and Create TV on in the background. Is this normal? I think it may just be the Monday-ness talking but this doesn’t feel right. I mean I enjoy all of the above bit surely I should be doing something that normal 20-something’s do. Normally, I don’t care what people think but today….today feels different. But tomorrow is a new day and maybe I won’t feel like this tomorrow.

Which brings me onto the fact I watched “Groundhog Day” for the first time today. And honestly I know I’ve never seen it before but I was expecting a different ending. Like a totally different ending. I thought he would have to live the first day again exactly as it happened, bad points and all, to learn that you can change but you can’t change the world. But maybe that’s me thinking too much about it, or maybe not enough, which once again brings me to the point of: am I normal? Does anyone else overthink films like this.

I suppose I should also say: lookie! I completed my jacket.

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Yes it is also not normal. It’s imperfect. The sleeves are unevenly gathered, the hems on the sleeves still need tidying up, the binding is lumpy and uneven and I had a nightmare with with the interfacing. But it’s mine and it’s completed and it does fits. I’m going to give it a bit of tidy up and a neaten of the seams before modelling (plus I’m in my pjs and nobody wants to see the red-love-heart-silk-red-baggy-Scruffs I call my pjs).

Tomorrow is another day, thankfully. Unless someone wants to play a Groundhog Day Style prank on me.

WIP Wednesday: Look at all the goodies!

So this is less of an update on what’s in progress and more of a look at all the pretty things I’ve bought.

As I mentioned yesterday a parcel got delivered. My husband said it was about the size and weight of a five year old. I didn’t quite believe him. Until I saw itself that is.

It was huge.

Wanna look at all the pretties?

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I’ve already nicknamed this one my ice cream. Sound daft but it just remind me of summer and it would make a great little vintage style summer dress.

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This is to make some Christmas decoration for me and my Mam. I will show then when they are completed.

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I think it’s fair to say I have a little obsession with these colours.

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And these will hopefully make some lovely blouses.

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And this shall be a basic dress with WOW! Made from a pattern from these lovelies!

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How really, really spoilt am I? (And on a side note how amazing was last nights Bee?)

Then in Scarborough I got these goodies!

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So much! I am one very lucky girl!

There was also an amazing little shop just on the Main Street where I got this.

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Go visit them. The whole shop is a treasure trove. They even have a working antique singer which is divine.

Finally, it still isn’t block but I’ve decided I just can’t wait to show it off any longer. Here is the "hideous pink cardie" as I have nicknamed it.

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Lent Update: no idea what day I’m on. No longer craving coke. Been a little easier than I thought.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Great Things About Tuesdays!

Let’s face it, Tuesday is a bit of a flat day. It’s not the start of the week or the middle of the week or the weekend. Most people would say Tuesday has no good points. But I disagree. Here are 10 reasons Tuesdays are Awesome!

10. You get a list from me
And I get to think of one too!

9. Deliveries!
Look what I got today!

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I order this lovely package of goodness from Minerva Crafts on Saturday. Let’s face it Royal Mail would never get it here on Monday morning so Tuesday deliveries are best!

8. Everything’s Tuesday
No I’ve not gone mad. It’s the name of a song! Look honestly a song!

7. Food places are empty
Nobody treats themselves to a lunch treat on a Tuesday. Which makes it the perfect day to go. And my personally suggestion at the moment is Harajuku Kitchen in Trinity Leeds. It’s only here until Sunday so go try then really quickly!

6. Traffics not as bad
You can pretty much guarantee traffic jams on Fridays and Mondays. But Tuesdays not so bad. My train was even on time today! My train is always at least 3 minutes late!

5. Super Tuesdays!
No this isn’t something I’m making up either. Go to your local Vue cinema and you can get a third of the regular cinema price! Who needs orange Wednesdays when you have Super Tuesdays!

4. Again the same for the theatre
Here in Leeds a lot of the productions only have one week runs. Mondays opening nights and Saturday and Sunday Matinees are normally crazy. So go on a Tuesday. Often you get upgraded to a better seat and have the choice of better seats when booking. Double awesome.

3. Sometimes Tuesdays are Mondays
Ok so I’m stretching the credibility here a but but when you have a Bank Holiday Monday how many people (if you work in an office) say “Ooh it’s like Monday today, but it’s only a four day week, how lovely!” So sometimes Tuesdays can be Mondays.

2. Monday, Tuesday, Happy Day!

I just wanted an excuse to link this! How can you not smile at this?

1. Sewing Bee Day People!
Best TV day of the week! Pjs on, needles out, chocolate and wine at the ready. Bring on the Bee!

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