Thursday, 24 February 2011

The sadness and reality of life

I seem to have neglected my blog a little over the last few weeks, part of the reason is the post below, although I started writing it a while back, I just couldnt finish it. The events below took place on 28th January.

This post has very little if anything to do with crochet, instead it is about number 2 son, Harley and his beloved pony Jojo. I need first to give you a little background about Harley. Born 8 weeks early, as he grew several issues with his behaviour and learning abilities became apparant and he was disagnosed with ADHD. He is now 19 and although his behaviour is becoming better, he is still prone to outbursts of anger and an inability to comprehend what is being said to him.

His companion and saviour for the past 11ish years, has been Jojo a rather old and rickety pony, with the stubborness of a bull elephant, but a complete and utter lifeline to Harley, at his most down times, she has been the one he has turned to, poured his heart out too and also listened to, she has taught him so much about his own strengths and even her last act in life, she has left him a lesson to learn.

On the evening of 28th January, Harley received a phone call from one of the staff at the local animal shelter, where he volunteers his time and Jojo had been over wintering at, to say that she had gone down and was unable to get back up, I should at this point, point out that Jojo is estimated to be around the 36 mark, my husband, George, took Harley straight there, but phoned me not long after they had arrived to say that Jojo appeared to be dying, the vet was on the way and he would let me know what was happening. I phoned a little while later to see what was happening and George said they were still waiting for the vet, but Jojo was peaceful and Harley was cuddling her. Harley spoke to me at that time and told me that he had decided to ask the vet to put Jojo down to prevent any chance of her suffering, unless the vet thought that it was treatable. The vet arrived in due course and sadly confirmed that Jojo was indeed dying, her heart was giving up and he agreed with Harley that the kindest thing to do would be to put her to sleep.

Inevitably we were all devastated but thankful that she was peaceful and not suffering, she died in Harley's arms.  There followed many days of tears, hugs and also a small amount of uncertainty on Harley's part, he questioned his decision to have her put to sleep, but with careful guidance and the support of many of our friends, he realised that he had made the right decision.

He now has a beautiful tattoo done by George, in memory of his beloved Jojo and also has a small crochet pony, which sits by his bed.

A much younger Harley with Jojo

Harley learnt that sometimes the hardest and saddest decisions have to be made, for the good of others, in this case, to let his pony go. She left him with many happy memories and she will always be his best friend.

Love and blessings

Monday, 17 January 2011

Diamond Weddings and Crochet Cake

This is my wonderful mum, she taught me to crochet, knit, sew and cook. She is always there for me, no matter how old I get sometimes all I want is a hug from my mum and the reassurance that all will be well.
She won't thank me for this but she is rapidly approaching 80 years old and has recently crocheted a shawl for her first great granddaughter. There was a shawl for her great grandson, shawls for my children, my sister's children. There was the beautiful swinging crib that was passed down through all 4 of us on the births of our children. A crocheted basket for my flower girl at my wedding, crocheted pictures for my daughter, her house is full of crocheted curtains, chair backs and doillies all made by her fair hands. She is also an ace cake decorator which neatly brings me on to the purpose of this post. On March 24th this year her and my fantastic dad will be celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary.

Mum and Dad on their Wedding Day
After much brain drain trying to come up with a unique present for them, as you can imagine after so many years together they really don't need much, except perhaps better hearing! I finally decided to crochet them a replica of their wedding cake. Oh easier said than done, today I have bought some plain white cotton to crochet the top circles and the sides for the 'cakes' one will be 10" across one 8" and the smallest 6". I will then take the smallest of the cakes to my local wool shop and decide what textures of wool I want to use for the 'icing'. Now their original wedding cake was decorated with royal icing or as my mum recently described it my daughter rock icing, as it was apparantly too hard to eat. My Grandad, on my mum's side made and decorated the cake, he was a baker and as far as I am aware he never had to go to war as Britain needed its bakers. I am sure my mum will correct me if I am wrong, when she finally gets to read this.

Some brainstorming with George and various friends and now, I am about ready to start this project. I know what the icing is like, I am not sure about the cup holding the flowers at the top and my mum could only help by saying it was something they bought for the top of the cake. As usual I don't have anything written down, just a final picture in my head, so there is going to be plenty of artistic licence and I dare say alot of frustrations along the way, but I really am looking forward to doing this and if it makes my mum and dad smile and remember their wedding day fondly, then ever second of those frustrations will be worth it.

Blessings and peace
Loz x

Saturday, 15 January 2011


Well, hasnt it just been one of those weeks, I have barely picked up a crochet hook. I spent a couple of hours last night, happily hooking away on a blanket I am making for friends, but apart from that it was Monday, when I was last a happy hooker. I am trying to finish stuffing and sewing together a little teddybear for my great niece who arrived last Sunday night. I then need to make cup cosies to send off to her no doubt shattered parents.

So why all this frustration, well my eldest son moved out of home nearly 2 weeks ago and our youngest son, is moving into his bedroom. Living in an oldish house, the inside walls are lathe and plaster and over the years the plaster had deteriorated into little more than a compact powder on the walls. One touch and another piece fell down, so prior to little un moving in to big uns room, I here must add that little un is 17 next month! we decided to replace the walls with plasterboard, wow doesnt that dust get everywhere! The whole house was coated with a fine layer of white powder, which seemed to reappear for days, as fast as I cleaned it up another load was there, I didnt dare get out my wool and hook. This is of course a week after the chimney decided to deposit soot into the living room each time the fire was lit, that meant sweep the chimney and anybody who has had to do it, knows it is a filthy job and the soot stays around for days afterwards. My light shades needed washing, the sofa covers, cushions everything, not crochet conducive either!

Anyway we are now in the final stages of painting little uns room, metallic blue and dark purple with red gloss work. The curtains he has chosen are grey and white stripes with fluorescent pink and green skulls on them and yes they glow in the dark ... thanks Argos :) He now wants the matching quilt cover for his birthday, guess that is present worry solved.

That neatly brings us on to my craftroom/tarot reading room/painting studio for my hubby. Little un has been living in our 2nd living room for the last 3 years and now we are finally about to reclaim it. At the moment it is his bedroom/junk room and so a massive clean up and sort out is called for. We are then going to sell all unwanted art/craft materials to pay for the redecoration of the room. It will be a mammoth task but worth it in the end to be able to have back all the nooks and crannies of the house which are currently stuffed full of our crafting materials. I intend to photograph the transformaton, memory permitting!

Oh and the tumble dryer stopped working today, typical as Saturday and Sunday are major washing days in this house and of course it is pouring down with rain and has been since I got up this morning. Its one of those dark days where you need a light on all the time. Still on a positive note, I have done all I need to do for today, dinner is cooked, tarot readings are done, number 2 son is finishing the painting and daughter is at her fellas. Little un of couse has left us too it and gone skateboarding and partying today, which means its time for CROCHET and boy does that make me happy :)

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Well being as my blog is all about crochet and me I thought a little introduction may not go a miss. 
I live between the mountains and the sea in beautiful North Wales, with my long suffering hubby, 3 of our 4 children, the other having just moved out of home, 2 dogs and 11 cats.

My loves include crochet (obviously), walking, Avebury and Stonehenge, in fact standing stones and stone circles anywhere, writing poetry, and Tarot reading.

Green Man © Gorsewind Crochet Designs 2010
My mum taught me to crochet probably when I was about 11 and it has been something I have done off and on for many years, blankets for the children, a few bags here and there, but then in April last year, my husband was taken ill and was unable to work. He spent many hours sat drawing and being as I didnt want to leave him for any length of time, I would sit out in the garden and crochet. And boy has it become an obsession. I started making a few hats and bags and then suddenly decided one day to try and replicate a pottery green man that I have hanging about my fire, after many hours of swearing and being nearly ready to throw the whole thing away I finally got him finished. My ambition is to have an exhibition of my crochet art, which may be a while away but I am working on it. Along with gloves, hats, toys etc, I love to crochet art, so far I have managed 2 different green men, 1 sugar skull and a collage of sunflowers which was a Christmas gift for my mum and dad. My work in progress at the moment is a tree Goddess which hopefully will be finished by the end of the month, I always have at least 3 crochet projects on the go.

Tree Goddess work in progress, © Gorsewind Crochet Designs 2010
I love texture and colour, alot of my inspiration comes from nature, whenever I am walking, my camera is with me, you never know when something will jump out at you as a potential future crochet project. My tree Goddess is being worked with hemp string, ribbon and wools to give a wonderfully tactile piece.

Well the cooker is calling for me to go and cook for everyone, we are putting up new walls in one of the bedrooms, so crochet is on hold until the dust is cleaned up again. Wishing you a happy weekend, will post again soon with some more pics of the things I have made :D