Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mum's Birthday Weekend Day 2

My mum's birthday itself was Sunday the 27th of May and she had a big party planned at her church after the service. She and the rest of my family went off to church, while Lee and I stayed at home and then went to meet everyone about 12.30. Some people had stuck around after church so it was a bit of a picnic! The bouncy castle arrived and the face painting lady arrived, and the church cafe was open to do tea, coffee, scones, and cake, because that's what my mum wanted. The kitchen head, Frank, did really well and I'm glad she decided to do that.

People started arriving from around 1.30pm and the kids were all over the bouncy castle. Lee's mam, stepdad, one of his brothers, and his friend Paul all came down together in one car so it was lovely to see them. Tons of my mum's friends came, some from really far away! One of her cousins came, and his son and grandson, who I hadn't yet met, so that was really lovely. I think there was around a hundred people there!

I had asked my mum's sister and my uncle to give a short speech each because I knew my mum would like it, and if I gave one too. I thought about asking my stepdad, but he was really stressed when he had to give a speech at their wedding, so I thought he wouldn't mind if I didn't ask. We rounded everyone into the main church area and I went first.

I thanked people for coming, and then I told everyone about some things that my mum is, including being a very good bookkeeper and dressmaker. Everyone laughed and applauded me, and I got very choked up but managed to not cry! Caroline went next and she said lovely things about being good friends with my mum as well as her sister, and then Neil went last. He and my mum are very close too. My mum then said something really briefly but we had sprung it on her because I wasn't sure she would agree! I was really nervous but proud of myself for doing it.

I had my face painted with flowers and glitter, the lady was a friend of a friend and she was so friendly and also really talented. She did loads of faces and arms and had unicorn horns and flashing lights and all kinds of things! I'd recommend her so if you need a facepainter hit me up. My mum was really pleased she'd had a facepainter and the bouncy castle.

We all left the church at about 5pm and went to my mum's. She opened some of her presents (so much alcohol!). There were 17 of us left by this point so we all went to a nearby pub for tea. I was sitting with my godmother, Lee, my cousin Peter, my second cousin Ben, his son, and his girlfriend. It's ages since we've seen Ben so it was really nice. I had a burger with halloumi in, and chocolate cake with ice cream. The pub, the Dam Inn at Newmillerdam in Wakefield, has recently been refurbished and it's really nice if you're in the area.

After that we went back to my mum's, getting fewer in number as people left. She opened her presents and Lee and I didn't leave hers until after 1am! It was a long day but I know my mum really enjoyed herself and that was the main thing.

Here's my photos of the day plus some I stole off Facebook:

On our way! This lipstick is from Models Own and it's semi matte and utterly gorgeous

Have you ever seen a bouncy castle in front of a baptismal?

Lee's brother, Lee, Peter, Paul. Peter was doing somersaults

Lots of bouncing going on

Just as Peter was about to do a forward flip

And just after!

I didn't get on the bouncy castle properly but I did lie on the front bit and get bounced about a bit which was fun

My face painting! The bit in the middle is a sticker and I had to take it off because it was itching me. The right hand side is pure glitter and it kept falling off me in huge bits, I think I'm still covered in it now

My mum's arm painting and a bit of her dress, which she made herself!

Me giving my speech! Lisa took this photo. We had to stand at the lectern to use the microphone there but it did look a bit like we were giving the sermon

My mum saying thank you

And this is Sarah's photo from the back of the church so you can see most of the people there! So many!

Monday, June 18, 2018

What I Wore May 26th

I didn't really have any spare cash to buy any new clothes for my mum's birthday weekend, so I wasn't sure what I wanted to wear. I'm glad I waited though because it was hotter than it was forecast to be, so I was glad I could choose a summer outfit to fit in with the weather. On the Friday I remembered this dress which I bought last year in a sale from Yours, but hadn't worn yet. I thought it would be perfect.

The dress is really light and floaty, which is perfect for summer, and it has this pretty lace trim around the neck and the bottom. The top half has sequins on the pale blue flowers which makes it feel like a fancy dress! I wore it with an ancient crocheted top from New Look which is also really cool and summery. I'll definitely take this dress on holiday this summer!

I forgot to take an outfit photo until we got home at nearly midnight, so do excuse my everything

I had also painted my nails this gorgeous pale lilac from Essie, it applied really nicely too.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Mum's Birthday Weekend Day 1

As I said, my mum turned sixty at the end of May. She planned a whole weekend with loads of people, and it was really lovely but now it's the day after and I've totally crashed and feel really ill. I'll have to be gentle to myself for a couple of days to get over it!

My stepdad's mum arrived a couple of days before, and my godmother and her husband who live in France were staying with my mum too. My mum's sister and family arrived about the same time we did on Saturday. The plan for Saturday was for family to have afternoon tea at my mum's house. They had put tables in the living room and outside, so fourteen of us could move around freely. She had ordered afternoon tea from a lady who brings it and all the crockery and then takes all the crockery home so you don't have to do any washing up. She was a really nice person and I would recommend her!

She brought afternoon tea on cake stands, plus cups, saucers, teapots, cafetiere, coffee, tea, little bottles of milk, and everything else we needed! The tea consisted of ham, egg, and tuna sandwiches, lemon cakes, scones, and really yummy brownies. There was loads to eat and we all really enjoyed it.

The weather was gorgeous so we sat in the garden while my mum opened presents from all of us that were there. She got some really lovely stuff, including tickets to see the Bat Out Of Hell musical in London and a new watch. We gave her the blanket I posted and also bought her gift vouchers for the Titanic Spa in Huddersfield. My godmother and her husband had been to Asda and bought £60 worth of food for the food bank at my mum's church, which was a really thoughtful gesture and one she was thrilled about.

In the evening we ordered pizzas and I spent the whole day having my drink topped up by someone or another. My mum had been stockpiling prosecco for months and we also had some proper champagne to toast my mum.

Here's my photos:

After the historic vote in Ireland, Lee decided to wear his Repeal the 8th t-shirt in celebration. I bought it for him for Valentine's Day 

My mum saw these cakes in Betty's in April and decided she'd like one. They're individual fondant fancies! Isn't the effect really pretty?

Me and my best cousin Peter, I love him and I'm so proud of him - he's currently thriving at university in Bournemouth

The hampers the afternoon tea arrived in. So pretty and cute

I really liked these little bottles that the milk came in 

The cake stands 

And the plates and napkins, really pretty and cute too 

My favourite were these pink and gold cups

Lee and my cousins and my cousin's wife got really into this game, Anomia, and spent ages playing it

I think Rob did best but there were lots of laughs involved. I didn't play because I kept wandering between inside and outside

Last thing I had a fondant fancy - it was really nice. They were like mini Victoria sponges inside!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Lunch Out and A New Tattoo

At the end of May I had an appointment for a new tattoo. While we were clearing out the cellar last year I found a card from my parents that my dad had written for me. I think it must have been when I finished my degree, when I was 21. Now, usually my mum signs all the cards, so the fact that this one was from my dad made it really special. I thought then that I would like to have "Love Dad" tattooed, and then I completely forgot about it. Then the picture popped up on Timehop in March and I thought, oh yes I really do need to get that done. So I made the appointment.

Then I asked my friend Chloe to make a 60th birthday card for my mum using pages from the book Rebecca, which I'm named after. She suggested meeting up for lunch so she could give it to me, so since I was over that way of the world for my tattoo I suggested meeting after that.

So I trekked off to Heckmondwike on the 24th of May. Nini traced the writing out of the card and got it all sorted. The tattoo didn't take too long but I really love it. It's nice to have my dad's writing with me forever.

I messaged Chloe when I was done and we met near Ikea and went to Pizza Express. We had voucher codes so we got three courses for £13 which was a bargain. I had garlic bread with cheese, a La Reine pizza, and ice cream. We chatted for ages and had a really lovely time.

When I came home I completely crashed - I think the week had been difficult and I just lost all my adrenaline and needed a bit of rest before my mum's birthday weekend. That's fine - it's allowed!

I took some photos of my lunch and my tattoo:

This garlic bread was small but really yummy!

Ham and mushroom pizza is one of my favourite things in the world

Salted caramel and chocolate ice cream

My dad had terrible writing. We think he should have been lefthanded but wasn't allowed to be (I'm lefthanded). Still, I love how unusual it is! I love it

Monday, June 11, 2018

A Blanket for My Mum

My mum is turning sixty at the end of May, and around Christmas when I made the blanket for Lee, I offered to make her one too. She chose the colour pack that she liked, but I decided to make Sandra Cherry Heart's earlier blanket, just called Spice of Life. Having made it, I think the first one is a lot simpler, but also a bit more boring in parts, there's quite a lot of rows that are just trebles which can get repetitive. I would make the second one, the one for Lee called A Spicier Life, again, if I made another - which I might! I'm not sure yet, but I do have two more packs of yarn ready to go!

Anyway, this is the Bollywood colourway and my mum chose it because she liked the bright colours. There isn't a colour I dislike in this pack at all, unlike in Lee's where I didn't like some of the paler colours. I didn't end up using Violet, because I needed one less colour and I thought there were already a couple of purples in the pack. I made a list of the colours in the original pattern and then matched kind of by "theme" eg Parchment became Buttermilk which are both kind of pale neutrals, and Petrol became Emperor because they're both quite strong dark colours. Lee helped me with this bit but honestly I didn't think too much about it, because I knew from Lee's blanket that it would look good in any order. I decided to just let it be!

I started the blanket around the beginning of March and I've been working on it a few hours a week every week since then. I had a bit of a break in the middle when I was making the baby blanket for Leanne, but I logged about 60 hours on this blanket all in all! It's a lot of work!

I tried to sew in my ends as I went along but it can be really boring so I didn't altogether manage it. I enjoyed the different stitch combinations, like I did with Lee's blanket, even though I think this one is technically easier.

The week before my mum's birthday I finished the body of it, so I just needed to do the border. It's a much less complicated border than the one for Lee's, but I took myself off to a knitting/crochet/craft group which was held at the library in Penistone. It was a nice group and I will definitely go back - it's nice to have that concentrated crafting time.

I finished the border at the craft group and the day after, so that was really good. I felt so accomplished again - it's so gorgeous and I'm so proud of myself.

I've got lots of photos taken throughout the process:

Look at all these gorgeous balls of squidgy yarn!

The foundation rows of trebles

Sewing in ends at some point

At this point I think it started properly looking like a blanket

I really liked this lilac hook, too. It's a 4mm

This was when it was big enough to sit under as I worked on it!

The body of it finished

The very last stitches on the border!

Ta da! I love the Bluebell of the border, I think it's a nice choice

More of a close up

I can't wait to see what my mum thinks!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Swansea Zine Fest

In the middle of May my friends Cath, Kirsty, and Morgan organised the first Swansea Zine Fest so I thought Lee and I would go to support them. I went to stay with Cath last year so I knew how far it was, so I got Lee to book Friday afternoon off work so we could set off in good time. We had already packed, so we just got some lunch from the shop and set off. The traffic was okay, we got stuck in a couple of places but overall it wasn't too bad. We got to our hotel at about 6pm.

I'd booked the Ibis because it was cheap (£50 for the night, one of the cheapest rooms I could find in Swansea back in January), and it turned out to be a really modern hotel on a little retail park. The staff were THE friendliest hotel staff ever, they also swapped our room without question when we asked. We were at the back of the hotel which was facing away from the road, which made it much quieter and nice. The room was small but very clean and comfortable. The bathroom had a walk in shower instead of a bath and it was a really nice shower!

We set off out to find something to eat. I wanted pizza so we just decided to go to Ask. The staff in there were a bit over-enthusiastic but we both enjoyed the food. I had arancini and then a goats cheese and olive tapanade pizza which was really nice. We drove down the seafront for a bit and looked at the beach, and then we drove back to the hotel because we'd noticed their pool table. We played three games on it and I had a couple of drinks from the bar. Then we went to our room and just got into bed. It was early but we were both tired, so we watched TV and I read my book.

In the morning we decided to have breakfast in the hotel. It was quite nice - Lee had several courses of pastries and fruit and hot food, but I just had a cooked breakfast and some nice hot chocolate. We checked out of the hotel and headed into the city centre to the zine fest venue.

It was held at a DIY space called the Volcano Theatre. Our table was next to Kirsty and near to Cath and Morgan, so that was nice because it gave us lots of chance to chat. The fest itself was quite busy, and it was nice to meet some new zinesters that I haven't met before. I bought and traded a bunch of new zines which I always love.

At 2pm there were people reading from their zines, so I signed up to read from my zine Shy Punk. It was way out of my comfort zone and I was really nervous, but I wanted to do it anyway. My voice wobbled and I had to move out of Lee's sight because that made me more nervous, but I did it and I'm really proud I did! People laughed and clapped so that was good!

At 5pm we packed up and said goodbye to everyone. Everyone was really tired by that point but I think everyone had had a good day. Lee and I got everything packed into the car and got going on the road by around 5.30. This time we went past Cardiff instead of through Neath and Abergavenny. We made really good time with no traffic at all. We stopped at a services to have some tea, but still managed to get back before 10pm. We were both really tired so we just got into bed!

It was a long way to go, but Lee and I had a nice time together. The weather was gorgeous so it felt like being on holiday! The zine fest was really good fun and I'm glad I could go to support my friends. If they do it again next year I would definitely go!

Croese i Gymru! This was while we were stuck in traffic, but it was ok

Goats cheese pizza, really yummy

A panorama of Swansea Bay

On Saturday morning I put some make up on cos I felt like I looked tired. Same gave me this lipstick a few weeks ago, I really like it because it's pale but still a bit glittery

Me on our stall. I love the leaflet rack, I bought it on eBay for about £15 and I think it makes things look really professional

I took my crochet along with because I like to have something to do while just sitting on my stall. I didn't get much done, but I wasn't alone because there was someone a couple of stalls along knitting a sock!

Kirsty took this photo of me doing my reading. Like I say, I'm really proud of myself, and I would do it again somewhere else.

These are all the zines I bought or traded for, I'm so excited to read them!

And finally here's a print Lee bought himself, because this is basically what Ivy does to him all the time!