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      International Ted travels the Med

      March 21st 

      You maybe aware that I was given International Ted a couple of weeks ago and asked to take him on a journey.  Not to let the side down, I took him along with pappa on a cruise of the Mediterranean.  Follow his photographic journal and see what he got up to on his travels...

      International Ted came to join me for a few days

      As it is cold in the UK the first thing I did
      was to crochet him a hat to keep him
      warm before heading off to sunnier climes

      International Ted has his own Twitter account
      and would love you to follow him and
      see where in the world he ends up, details at the end of the post

      He arrived with instructions to please
      tweet where in the world he would be...

      This was not International Ted's first flight
      as he had recently returned from a skiing trip in Canada

      Pringles, oh alright then...

      Having landed in the south of France he immediately
      sat down and waited for his hot chocolate to arrive

      Sightseeing in Italy began in earnest,
      but it was thirsty work...

      ...so he tried his first ever cocktail in Genoa

      International Ted was much admired

      He insisted on being a real 'tourist' and wanted
      his photograph taken everywhere we went

      Ted found sight seeing quite exhausting though

      He really got a taste for Italian gelato

      ...and worrying for cocktails too...

      Vodka martini or a Sea breeze, he just couldn't make up his mind

      After a long day and several drinks later the
      chambermaid tucked him up in bed

      As he couldn't find any swim wear Ted commissioned
      me to make him a string vest, this was it's
      first outing in the indoor pool

      By the time we arrived in Sicily, Ted refused to
      leave the ship and stayed on board leaving
      us to sight see without him.  Instead he spent the day
        trying the string vest outside by the infinity pool

      International Ted was so surprised to see
      UK telephone boxes and post boxes in Malta

      Barcelona and the cable car in the background

      A quick sunbathe before sight seeing

      Visiting La Sagrada Familia is
      a must in Barcelona
      Back on board and time for a quick dip
      in the 'middle' outside pool

      Such blue sky

      Beginning the journey home, Ted
      realised he just wanted to get there and quick,
      all this waiting around made him fed up

      International Ted was quite excited to
      spot his suitcase being loaded into cargo

      And back at home his crocheted hat was a must,
      brrr it's cold in the UK
         International Ted is now safely back in school ready for his next adventure.  Rumour has it he is visiting a new country over the Easter holidays, to find out more follow him on Twitter, he can be found under @WoodcoteTeds he would love you to follow his adventure around the world  

A spring in my step on a Sunlit Sunday

20th March 

I am feeling better, are you?  We may still have grey skies and there is still a chill in the air, but I can feel it lessening.  The days are drawing out both in the morning when I am now awakened by the cacophony of birds outside my window; and by the evening light lasting just that bit more.  Ah yes, I can smell Spring and Hope in the air and I love it.

It has probably helped that last week I was away as a travelling companion to pappa and we were in slightly warmer climes helping my well being and allowing me to have a little early dose of the very much needed vitamin D.

Genoa at dusk

Mediterranean markets totally outdo the UK ones

Such wonderful displays

Colourful and appealing to the eye and stomach

One of the best things about being away is coming home too and I was greeted albeit by cold weather but the sun popped out and shone through the window into the kitchen, what could be more sunlit than that?

In my kitchen this week

♥   Hope the sun is shining on you wherever you are   ♥

Cruising through the week

March 18th 

Apologies for absence, time has flown and I have been caught up in it all.  Hoping you are well my dear reader and that you have too been occupied and happy.  Can you smell Spring around the corner, I can and it fills my heart with joy.

My very quick five to share with you to day may explain a little of my prolonged silence.  Here goes...

This year my father turns 80 and I accompanied him as his travelling companion on a cruise.  Yes, you did read that correctly, this small boat sailing girl did step foot and lived on a cruise ship for a week.  Will wonders never cease.  John, my husband, exclaimed to the children that I was 'taking one for the team', we small boaters have always scoffed at cruising on such large ships and here I was going willingly...

18 stories high!

As you can see from the photograph she was no small boat.  In fact to be honest with you I had to pretend that I was in a hotel rather than on a boat, she was just too big for comfort for me.  Despite the type of sea faring I was doing, it was fun and good to spend quality uninterrupted time with pappa.

Have cruise will crochet...

Of course I needed my space from him too and along came my crochet.  I brought along with me, one of the Little Box of Crochet subscriptions, which packed up neatly and took very little space in the luggage, it was actually perfect for travelling with.  I will be writing a post just about this subscription next week, look out for it.

International Ted came along for the ride

Some of you may remember that I was given charge to look after International Ted by my colleagues at work, so of course he came along in the hand luggage with me so he could experience it all.  Many people commented on a grown woman with a Teddy bear, more on this in my next post, but I merrily photographed and Ted accompanied me everywhere.

We may have sampled nearly
ALL of the cocktails!

I was told before embarking on the cruise to enjoy the cocktails and what great advice that was, each night pappa and I sampled two or three different ones.  In a week we managed to almost sample the lot, hic.

Sleeves have now been added to the jumper

And on returning home this week I knew I had to crack on with making the surprise jumper for John as his birthday draws ever nearer.  I am now ready to begin the fair isle pattern on the yoke, wish me luck.

Joining in as often as I can with  Amy over at Love Made My Home, to bring you five things from my week.  Pop along and see what others are sharing today.
♥  Hope Spring is springing with you or that the summer nights are still keeping you warm  ♥

Travelling Ted and a month of crochet

Daffodils the flowers of Wales and St David
March 1st ~
Happy St David's Day
This post has been edited as of 04/03/16 with much added towards the end of the post so if you have already read it, skip down and see lots more...

Having two teenage children in the house I had thought my days were over having to write imaginary diaries of a teddy bear but no, today at work I was presented with International Ted and asked if I could accompany him on his travels for the next week or so!  Let me introduce you...

International Ted
He even has his own webpage and twitter account,
pop over and see here and here

Now so far this post has had nothing to do with knitting, crocheting, sailing baking or my own little corner of the world, so why would I blog about this?  Well my friends  I'm thinking that as an International Ted, surely he needs a wardrobe fit for one to travel the world.  I see he has already travelled from the UK to Canada and brrr he was seen in the snow wearing just his lovely blue school top, but how can that keep him warm? These days my life is wildly busy but I am going to try and sneak in some clothes making time, obviously either knitted or crocheted, what should I make first? Suggestions please... or better still if you fancy lending a hand and are interested in kitting this fine fellow up with a wardrobe that other bears would growl for, drop me a comment below and I can give you his personal body dimensions (he asked ever so politely that I do not post his measurements on the www for all to see, but I can direct message you back; he said that would be ok.)  Let's try and get International Ted looking uber cosmopolitan, better still, thinking out loud, national clothes would be great too...

What clothes should be made for International Ted?

Did you also know that today heralded the beginning of national crochet month?

I admit I did not until this morning, infact previous years of national crochet month have passed me by.  The joys of following fellow crochet geeks on Instagram alerted me to the fact this morning...

Nallieradloff always has such joyful images on IG

I needed to delve further and found that it all began with a national crochet week in 1998 in the USA and has led to it becoming a whole month, for more information and on the history of crochet itself see    here and  Crochet History    Continuing to scroll through Instagram I came across not one but TWO different crochet photo a day challenges for March in celebration of national crochet month.  My creative juices flowing with ideas... which to follow... have I time to post every day and then the realisation that it doesn't matter if I don't, I can delve in and out and still be having fun with crochet...  are you interested... are you tempted to have a go?

So in honour of it being the first of the month I give you a photo to fit each of the above challenges...

Last week I happened to stumble upon a fantastic yarn shop
and may have purchased a rather unhealthy
number of skeins... including this set of pastels in 100% cotton

Can't show you the whole WIP as it's my own design
and so far it needs tweaking, but I'm enjoying the
challenge of crocheting with yarn that requires a 8mm hook

  Wishing you a creative month of crochet
or whatever takes your fancy 

Let me know if you can help out with Ted's wardrobe
I really wanted to join in on Five on Friday this week as I missed last week and I know I shall not be able to post next week either.  Life is wildly busy, think I may have mentioned that already.  Do you find that?  The older I am getting the busier I seem to be.  I am taking on several new things at present and not relinquishing others and so it all has to be squeezed into the same amount of time...roll on retirement, oh hang  on, that's still a couple of decades away... I really need to sort myself out... 
So to allow this post to qualify  for 5 on Friday I need to give you three more snippets of life in the eclectic home, are your ready, you haven't dozed off yet have you?
International Ted now has his first item of clothing, albeit a quickly rustled up hat.  there have been suggestions so far to make him, dungarees, a ruck sack, pants, not sure if that was undergarments or trousers as we Brits like to call them.  And some clever clogs who shall remain anonymous suggested gloves!  Can you imagine making a pair of gloves this small?!!?  Am still hoping and waiting for someone to offer to knit, sew, crochet or anything to make this wardrobe of clothing come about... anyone?
International Ted complete with crocheted hat
I wish to also share with you something that I have finally managed to secure for myself.  As an avid IG addict I had come across this darling subscription called a Little Box of Crochet but the mean streak in me decided when it began in November to not go for it.  What a mistake that was and each month when wonderful creations have been posted I have been green with envy.  Each month I tried to subscribe thereafter but to no avail as there are limited numbers.  Amanda and her daughter Jenny have set up this exclusive and extremely well thought put package deal that they compile from their Victorian home here in the Uk.  They ship world wide by the way.  And finally last month I managed to sneak in a subscription and have not been disappointed.  I signed on only for 3 months but can tell already I shall be extending it, want to see...

Great quality from start to finish, it's the little details, isn't it?
Beautifully packaged and thought out
Look closely and you will see everything that is needed for that months make is included in the box: crochet hook, yarn , stitch market, needle, button, instructions.  The instructions are clear and introducing it Amanda gives a monthly update on her and Jenny, so that you feel you belong to a wonderfully exclusive homey community.  Each month a new designer, often someone we follow or know has made and designed something just for this little box!  I'm loving it.  There is even a tea bag provided each month too!
Inside the Little Box of Crochet
And finally, thank you to Phil over at the Twisted Yarn for sharing her ridiculously quick and easy beer bread a few blog posts ago, see   Beer Bread  I have never made bread so quickly and so far each time I've had 100% success.  This is now a firm new family favourite.
From this to...
...to this
Joining in with Amy and sharing with you my Five from this week.  Hope you have enjoyed my blabbering on , I really appreciate you patience with me X