Friday, February 14, 2014


I'm having a bit of trouble deciding on my Internet presence and in particular, the Internet presence of my kids. I've introduced them through the blog, I've used their names, and of course their pictures. I feel like they have some lovely cyber aunts, who go out of their way to ask how they are. It's wonderful, it's kind and I really appreciate it but....

Is it okay for me to put pictures of them out there when they aren't old enough to consent?

Is it a bit rich that in a few (well, quite a few, I hope) years to ask them to consider their Internet presence when I have actually made one for them already?

I absolutely adore my boys. I, of course think they are the cutest, funniest, most fabulous children that have ever been born - I'm their mum, how could they not be top notch? But, do I need to brag online in order to appreciate them in all their glory?

What do you think?


Wednesday, February 12, 2014


As I've said before, I have a hankering to learn to sew clothes, to knit and crochet.
It's so exciting to dive into something new. I'm reading a lot more sewing and knitting blogs in conjunction with the quilty blogs and I'm INSPIRED.

I decided that I need some practical, formal instruction so I recently signed up to do a short course for knitting and crochet. It's so exciting to do a little something for me before I go back to work after my maternity leave. I've been to one class and is what I've 'mastered' so far.

Terrible pic - I'm having camera issues :(

I must have enjoyed myself because I kept practicing as soon as I came home.
I definitely prefer the hands on, practical style of learning. We were also given a page of diagrams and written instructions to help jog our memories. I have some homework to do, mostly memorise the crochet terminology and be able to do some of the basics. Very fortunately there are several newbies and everyone seemed quite happy to laugh at themselves and each other as we fumbled along. I think it's going to be a good class.

I also saved my pocket money and bought these beauties. I've been hanging to use circular needles but every time I found a pattern I liked, I never had the correct needle size or cable length. Hopefully that won't be a problem. I've already cast on a little jumper for H....even though I haven't finished sewing up L's. Fortunately after reading several knitting blogs, I have established that UFO's apply to ALL crafts. No wonder I feel so at home.

On the sewing side of things, I have just joined a local quilting group. They are a group of lovely ladies who have stayed at The Retreat several times. They always request that I come and visit (and bring babies for cuddling) when they stay. I feel like I've magically inherited a group of aunts.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Retreat Woodend - Want a discount?

Remember this little place?

I realised that I haven't really spoken about The Retreat for ages and I'm happy to say it's because it is soooo busy! I've just had a nice break, as December/January is our quieter time. I am refreshed and ready for the influx of guests between now and next December.

We did have a few groups over New Years and January, mostly families, utilising the five bedrooms to bring the generations together and celebrate. Keep The Retreat in mind for a family jaunt.

What's news at The Retreat in 2014?
We are constantly making improvements to make your stay as pleasant as possible. Recently, we had a big split system installed in the studio so now there is THREE kinds of heating - you're never going to get cold in there, and of course cooling for the hotter times.
I have two new full length mirrors which will come in handy for the seamstresses at the house.
There are new fly screens and a screen door on the studio to help with airflow.
We also have had our fences repaired and looking great.

There are still several weekends and lots of mid-week dates available. Check out the calendar and see if you can find something to suit.

Abbe :-)

Mention this blog post to get a 10% discount on any booking made before 28th February, 2014.

Monday, February 3, 2014

She said it all

I just read Jules' blog post and it really did say it all. Lots of things get in the way of my blogging but I like it so I'm going to do it when I can and I'm going to do it my way.

Does anyone know a good app to blog in? I'm just using the blogger one and its not much chop. I know I'll blog more if I can use the iPad so I need to find something simple but effective to use.

Things I need to show you - 

The red dres: McCall's 3856, tweaked and improved upon the sack.

It's a dress and it's red and I like it. I lined it with a voile, spray basting the two fabrics together so it was like one fabric. It's not quite as floaty as I'd like it but as both layers are voile, it will soften more with time. 

I've been playing with the layout of this. The original pattern I was inspired by isn't going to work for what I need so block shuffling is happening. The fabric is 'Posy' by Aneela Hoey and kona cotton solids. It's going to be very, very pretty.
It's is what I've decided on with the green border.

And there's been some more of this knitting lark. I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back. There's been quite a few silly mistakes, particularly when I get distracted. I'm heavily reliant on a counter but I think that is a good thing at this stage. Oh and that hole you can see, it's not a dropped stitch, it's a very intentions button hole!! 

Back to sleeve two. I've got to get everything ready for Friday when I catch up with Aunty Pam who can help me with the sewing together lark which is rather daunting. 
I'm copperpatch at if you want to be my friend.

Good to be back, lets hope I hang around as much as I intend to.