Thursday, 26 January 2012

Finished Projects

This week, I've completed two books, in between the rushing around, getting ready for a Special Trip tomorrow.
The white silk and purple suede Wedding Guest Book for my friends, who are getting married in Mauritius in a few days' time.  I posted about this on January 12th, when I had got started on the covers etc, but it was finally completed this week, with a label mounted on the front.

The guest book has covers of white dupioni silk hand-lined bookcloth, with purple suede edge and a matching satin ribbon decoration.  The white tassel is hand-tied, using threads from the white silk for the covers, plus a toning purple silk embroidery thread.  Inside there are 40 pages of high-quality white paper, with hand-torn edges and decorative folded section wraps/spacers. 
Stitching the binding...
The completed Coptic binding, in purple waxed linen thread.

* * *

I also made a gift for a friend...
Coptic bound sketchbook, with magenta-purple hand made lokta paper covers, embellished with grey suede leather.  Stitching in black linen thread.  Contains 40 pages of quality sketch paper.
The back cover.  Isn't this paper lovely?
Inside the front cover.  As this was lokta paper, rather than fabric, or patterned papers, I lined the covers with the same paper, trimming it so it could be folded over the end of the board and stuck down over the inside too.  I left some of the suede showing though, as I liked it.
When I use silk for the edge detail, I almost always overlap the silk onto the paper, so I can make a decorative frayed edge.  The traditional way is to lay the main cover paper over the quarter binding edges, but I like the decorative appeal of the frayed edges. 
However, this paper is hand made, with a wonderful uneven edge. So I overlapped the edge of the paper onto the suede, to show it off.  I think it looks so interesting.
Because it has a coptic binding, the sketchbook will open flat all the way through.  Great for a sketchbook, as you can sit it on your lap, or lay it on a wall etc, keeping both hands free for your work.  And, of course, you can draw all the way across the double page, if you want to.
I made a matching label, which I printed with the artist's name, before I mounted it permanently.  However, I don't want to show a picture with the name on - the new owner might see this post, before I give them the gift.  I do want it to be a nice surprise!

So the Wedding Guest Book was in the post and should have arrived by now.. I so hope my friends love it!
And... the sketchbook will be finding its new owner very soon.  It's currently on my desk, all nicely gift-wrapped.

* * *

I probably won't be blogging for a while, as I may not have internet access.  Tomorrow morning (at an unfeasibly early hour!) I am off to do some printmaking courses, with the amazing Mariann Johansen-Ellis, at her studios in Spain.  I am just a little bit excited about this!

I'll report back about the printmaking on my return... 

Have a good week.  See you all soon. XX  

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Crazy Sock Creatures and Silly Sock Pets - My Saturday

This Saturday I ran a workshop day at the local quilting and sewing shop.  It was "Crazy Sock Creatures and Silly Sock Pets  " and - guess what - we made Sock Creatures!

Jo-Ann made "worms"!
Also a rather adorable dog....
...with a very appealing look in his shiny eyes.
Marie came up with a wonderful pink lady bunny, with loooong eyelashes - very glam!  She also had a go at the 2-sock dog, like Becky.  Hers was quite different, with the big roses splashed over it, googly eyes and sparkly glitter-glue eyebrows. He also had a knotted wool tassel for a tail.
Leah, aged 11, came with her grandma, Chris.  They made a couple of lovely sock rabbits.  This is Leah's, which she made for a baby family member.  She was very careful with her sewing and embroidered the features, so there was nothing dangerous to the baby.   Leah also started a sock Monkey.  It was about half done by the end of the day.
Sadly, Chris didn't want me to photograph any of her items, because she hadn't finished them yet.  She made a baby rabbit too (which still needed its face), and was part-way through a very bright yellow spotted dog. 
June made a great striped cat, then a really funky rabbit.  Although they were obviously made from the same pair of socks, they look so different.  I loved them!
Last, but by no means least...  Becky first made this wonderful leopard-cat.  I love his felty nose and the pattern of the sock on his tummy.
She gave him embroidered eyes, which are so well camouflaged, but work extremely well.
Becky's next project was a dragon, which she found in one of the books I had brought along for reference and ideas.  The one in the book was green...  But Becky had 2 pairs of socks, one pink, one black, so she decided to combine them, to make this truly fabulous creature!  She split the pink sock for his head, so that she could use the black one as a mouth lining. 
She gave him toes on his feet and fingers on his paws.  Her plan was to make big teeth from white felt, plus claws for the fingers and toes.  I hope she finished it at home - it would have looked amazing!

I think the day was a success.  Everyone seemed fairly happy with their sock creatures and all had more than one project to take away with them.  They all seemed to think they would have another go at home too.  I hope they enjoyed it - I certainly enjoyed seeing the wonderful variety of creatures they came up with!

* * *

Oh, a commenter has reminded me that there are two tutorials here, on my blog, for making your own Sock Creatures!  Look here: for a cute little one-sock Bunny Rabbit and here: for instructions to make a traditional Sock Monkey.  Have fun!  

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Knuston Idea and Opinions Wanted

Hello again everyone.

Well, it looks as if the Pass the Page blog hop has been a success - thank you Julie, it was a great idea! 


I'm posting again today, to see if anyone is interested in my Knuston crafting idea - see the previous post here, for more information.  I would like to sort it out reasonably quickly, so if you do want to come along - or you might do - please give me a shout.

It's not an "official" Bloggers' crafting trip or anything, just a little holiday for anyone who fancies some crafting and company in a really nice, relaxing setting.  Knuston is tucked away in a small village and is surrounded by fields, plus its own gardens, so it's a lovely and peaceful spot. 

I'm happy to make the initial booking, which will reserve the craft room for us.  But there is no point going all on my own - I may as well stay home and craft here (in between doing the laundry etc!).  If two or three friends care to join me, then it'll be worth making the booking at Knuston - I'm sure we'd all have an enjoyable break.

Bloggers' Scrapping Weekend No. 2

On the subject of Bloggers going away to do crafts...  I did promise that we'd try and organise another Weekend, particularly for those who couldn't make it in November.
The original dates that were (tentatively) mentioned, were weekends at the start of March.

I wonder how you all feel about one of the weekends at the beginning of March, or else the end of April or 2nd weekend in May?
Whenever we decide we want to go, we need to get our skates on to find a venue and make bookings.  Jo has very kindly started some enquiries for suitable venues, but I thought it would be a good idea to check who might be interested - and when.  That would help us when enquiring for availability and prices. 

Sooooo..  Who might like to go to a Second Bloggers' Scrapping Weekend? 
March - 1st or 2nd weekend - 2nd-4th or 9th-11th March?
April - 3rd or 4th weekend - 20th-22nd or 27th-29th April?
May - 2nd weekend - 11th-13th May?

Any opinions please?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Pass The Page Blog Hop

Hello all Blog Friends,

The fabulous Julie, of Letting The Days Roll By (who I was lucky enough to meet at our Bloggers' Crafting Weekend last November!), came up with a really clever idea for a blog hop,  waaaaay back in September, to celebrate her up-coming birthday.  She thought it would be fun to have a game of "Pass the Page", so asked for people to sign up and join in.

Three months later, here we are, at the end of our list...  Everyone has had their starting-point picture (the previous person's page) and has created their own scrap page, using the photo as inspiration.  It seems ages since I did mine....
Here's a full list of people who are participating (Helen of Beacon Crafts doesn't have a blog yet, so she is a Guest on my post today!) :

Helen at Beacon Crafts in Sedgley
Lizzie: lizziemade (you're here now!)
Jemma: Just-Jimjams
Lisa-Jane: Inside My Head
Deb Clark: Debisjoy
If you get lost - or if you've come in at my blog and want to follow from the beginning - go back to Julie's blog, or use the list above to find your place.

I have heard rumours of a prize draw, for those who have managed to complete the whole "Hop", leaving a comment at each page, so it's worth doing the thing properly!

If you are following the Blog Hop, you should have arrived here from Lea's blog
* * *
Helen's Page
I loved the bright colours on Lea's page, it was quite a busy design - not my style at all but none the less I liked it! 
I loved the flowers and bunting on Lea's so I decided to go with that.
I used one of my favourite photos which I had been meaning to scrap for ages !
I've loved taking part in pass the page and I can't wait to see all the finished results!

* * *
Lizzie's Page (that's me!)
The photo is my baby great niece, who was 7 months old. 

I made myself a "Scrapping Kit" from various papers and cardstock, which went with two die-cut circles that I had. Then I found this photo in my recent set from Photobox.
It just seemed to go well with the die cut and papers - and I already had the 2 crochet flowers, so I made this!
I am so pleased with it - it was very hard not to publish it on my blog for months!! I had to send a photo to my niece, with strict instructions to not publish it anywhere. 
The Materials:
Brown Cardstock - Do-Crafts, Die-Cut Circle "Truffles & Trees" - MLS, card for photo mat & patterned paper - K & Co., lettering - Sassafrass and Jenni Bowlin.
Concertina flower and crochet flowers - home-made, vintage buttons from my collection.
* * *
Thanks for visiting to see Helen's and My pages.  Your next stop is Sian, who makes such fabulous pages - I'm sure you are in for a treat and can't wait to see what she did with her photo of my page!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Invitation to Friends - 3 days of crafting, anyone?

Okay, so this is a quick post, as I'm supposed to be Working Hard!

I have been trying - in between book binding and workshop writing - to find a venue for a second Bloggers' Weekend...  No luck so far, but I will try again next week. 

However, it occurred to me that Knuston Hall might be able to help.  They had e-mailed subscribers (that means me!), to say that a course was cancelled, so some rooms were available etc.  I thought perhaps they might have a long weekend with no courses, in the Spring (a bit of a long shot, but worth a try).  So I rang them. 

They only have free weekend spaces in February.  No good, as far too soon and I'll be in Spain!  But, but but...  From Wednesday 11th to Friday 13th April, there are rooms available.  On a special deal...  And Mr LizzieMade says he would take time off work to be at home for J.  How lucky am I?!

If anyone is interested in joining me (but we might need to be quick!), we could go to Knuston Hall for 2 nights and they would allow us to use the Practical Room for crafting (a large classroom/studio where I did my bookbinding and printmaking courses). 
For the bargain price of £188 for a Single Room, or £164 for a Shared Room, full board. 

That seems amazing value to me.  Their normal rate would be over £200 for a shared room.  The meals they serve are fantastic.  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner - all cooked and with choices. All really yummy.  Clean and tidy bedrooms, all en-suite.  Comfortable and clean public rooms.  All very nice.

Knuston Hall, by the way, is in Northamptonshire.  It's close to Wellingborough - which is on the main rail line to /from Kings Cross, also close to Rushden and about 15 miles from Bedford (to the south) and Northampton (to the west).  Bedford is on the main Thameslink/ St Pancras line and Northampton is on the Kings Cross line.

So, if you might fancy it, do get in touch.  My e-mail is "Lizziemade (at) aol (dot) com".  I need to know soon though, as the availability might vanish...

* * *

19/1/12 4pm - Update to clarify a few things / more info

I called Knuston to ask a few questions and clarify a couple of things. 

Current availability is good, because they had a cancelled course.  There are still quite a few single rooms available, as well as shared rooms. 
The initial payment would be a Deposit of £40 on booking, with the balance due a month before - ie. by 11th March.
The £188 / £164 would include 2 nights' accommodation - Wednesday and Thursday - with all meals, starting with lunch on Wednesday and ending with lunch on Friday, after which we'd all pack up and go home.

If you're interested, contact me first, so I can confirm that it's going ahead etc.  You'd then make your booking and payment direct with Knuston.

19/1/12 - 10pm

A Further Update to Clarify something!

Some people have commented that they can't come because it is school holidays etc...  There seems to be a belief that this is "The Second Official Bloggers' Weekend".  It's not!!  A second "proper" weekend is currently under investigation - perhaps for March (if it's not too soon), late April, maybe May...  the closer we get to summer, the trickier it may be to organise it cheaply, but we'll see.

This invitation is just from me, to my blog friends (old or new!), who may fancy a couple of days away, with your crafting kit, yummy food that you don't need to cook, a nice room to yourself (or you and a friend), a lovely venue and some other crafters for company.  If two or three folks want to come along, then I'll book myself a bed, reserve us a craft room and confirm that I'm going, so you can also make your own bookings! 

I hope that is clear (as mud...).

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Thoughts from the Washing Line: So, does it mean I'm a bad person?

Today was another good drying day.  I put the sheets out mid-morning and was able to leave them there until about 2pm.  So, of course, as I pegged away, I was thinking about an unfortunate affliction....

* * *

I suffer from a chronic condition.  Aside from my asthma, I mean.  I have a bad, ongoing case of Foot-In-Mouth Disease.  I suffer recurring bouts of this condition, causing me - or my nearest & dearest - various amounts of embarrassment.

Hmmm...  Like the time I was at my boyfriend's house, aged 16, for a family meal.  We had a big Chinese takeaway and it was lovely. A's mum, dad & brother were there, along with his grandma and Uncle John, who lived in the same village.  Nice meal, good evening... so, I helped with the washing up in the kitchen, along with Mum B and Uncle John.  Uncle John was drying up and he dropped a dish, which smashed on the floor.  Before I had thought about it, my mouth sprang into action (it's always doing this to me - my mouth speaks before my brain has given permission!).  "Never mind," said I, encouragingly, "it was an accident." - this being what our mum used to say, if we dropped a plate when we were small; I suppose she wanted to spare our feelings, as we must have looked so upset.  However, Mum B. did Not appreciate this....  who can blame her?  John should have been more careful... he was a "grown-up" after all.  Those were her best plates - a cherished wedding present.  John was in the dog-house and I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me.... Cringe!!

I have had numerous such incidents over the years.  The sort of stuff which, when you remember - which you can't help doing - you find yourself still cringing and sucking in your breath with embarrassment.  I've managed to forget many of them now (I suppose that as you grow older, some things are less important anyway, even if they were amazingly embarrassing at the time).  Still, it's just as well that I forget long-past events, seeing as I'm so good at adding new faux-pas to the list....

Like Friday evening.   DS had Trampoline Club, so I took him along and DH came with us, as he worked at home on Friday.   All going well, boy busy bouncing, me & DH playing games with his i-pod touch thingy. 
We got to the last 5 mins of the session and the kids started arriving for the next session.  One of the mums came and sat near us, as it was cold and we were by the radiator. 
She and I started to chat and the conversation got round to how the sports centre hadn't changed much, since she had been coming to use it as a school-girl - "a million years ago...", chipped in Lizzie - "... 30 years ago..."
And we got onto the subject of the decor - the paint is still the same colour - and how the radiators are still the exact same ones...  "We used to sit on them to keep warm..."
"They must have been solidly built," said I...

On the way out, DH said, "I can't believe you said those things! And I can't believe the other lady didn't seem to notice either."
"I said what? Noticed what?"
"When she said they used to come here when she was at school, you said 'A million years ago.'  Then, when she was talking about sitting on the heaters, you said 'They must have been strongly built.'!  You as good as called her really old and fat.  I can't believe she didn't notice."

So, have I stopped cringing yet?  I certainly didn't all the way home - no less because DH went on, and on, and on about it, all the way.... he thought it was very funny.  No use trying to explain what I really did mean...  Arrrrgggh....

Do they have a cure for Foot-In-Mouth Disease?  Anyone?  One of these days, I may just die of it, you know!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Wednesday Worktable - on Thursday (again!) - 12th January 2012

On my table this morning...

This post is a day late, but it's what I have been working on for the past day-and-a-half (had to go out this afternoon).  The photo above shows the situation first thing this morning, with bits of a Wedding Guest Book scattered around, in various stages of construction:
Pages ready for binding - I did these on Tuesday; hand-torn and cut, arranged in sets of two folded sheets (ie. 4 pages per signature), with hand-punched and folded spacers, then the holes pierced on the fold, for a Coptic binding.
The boards were covered with hand-lined white, dupion silk bookcloth
This lovely bookbinding leather (suede leather) was chosen for the edge trims of the covers.  I was a bit worried that it might stretch when I began to work with it, so I lined it with fine paper, as I do with the fabrics, to stabilise it and prevent any colour-bleed into the white silk underneath (it is "real" bookbinding leather, so I'm sure it wouldn't bleed any colour, but this is a special book and I wanted to be 100% sure of it!).  
I attached the suede leather to the bound edges of the covers. 
I first pre-punched the binding holes - I don't want to punch through the leather and make huge holes; I'll pierce the holes with a small awl, to the thickness of the binding needle/threads, but these small punched holes allow a little bit of leeway for the binding, without being so large that the binding will be loose.   
I have lined the insides of the covers with this lovely, soft mauvey-purple art paper (this is Canson paper, for media such as soft pastel, charcoal, coloured pencils, crayon, chalk etc, but it's also a great paper for bookbinding, with a slight texture, a good range of colours, a good weight and also being acid-free, which is important with books that need to last a long time).  
This is the finished back cover.  I added a satin ribbon trim, at the edge of the leather, for a nice contrast and to avoid a sharp "edge" or step between the leather and the silk.   
I have part-made a tassel, using threads of the white silk that covers the book-boards and tied with a piece of Madeira silk.  I'm not certain if this tassel will be used - I need to approve it with the customer first, but I think she will like it; it will be attached by a loop of the purple silk thread, to the top stitch of the cover. 

The thread on the two cards is a lovely waxed linen, in a grape-purple colour.  In daylight, it almost exactly matches the leather - which is a lucky coincidence! It will look great when stitched, as there will be six rows of great little chain stitches down the spine-edge of the book, with a fabulous contrast between the white paper and purple thread. 

The covers and pages are all under pressing boards just now, so the pages are nice and flat for binding and the covers have dried and flattened.   I hope to stitch the binding tomorrow - watch this space! 

Monday, 2 January 2012

Thoughts from the Washing Line... (Storytelling Sunday 2012)

So, yes, I know I haven't been around for a month.  A long time.  Lots of reasons why, which I won't detail here; I have just been so busy and I think that'll do.  However, I didn't want to miss Storytelling Sunday (even though I'm posting this on Monday evening!), so here's my effort for the month.

* * *
This morning I was hanging up washing - on the outside washing line, which DS had put up for me specially - having taken it from the corner where it was stored "for the winter".  DH commented that I should take a photo of the washing out in the garden, as it was warm and sunshiney today, which he felt was unusual for a day in early January ( I didn't take that photo - I really should have!). 

It set me thinking about the winters we have had recently (or maybe I should say "endured", when thinking of the two most recent winters!). 
This year's winter has -so far - been so warm and windy, with a couple of very wet spells. 
Last year and the year before, we had some warm and wet weather, but there were spells in December when it snowed and snowed, with freezing temperatures - and the resulting disruptions to work and school days, transport, postal and goods deliveries, power supplies etc... 
December 22nd 2009 
December 22nd 2010
December 22nd 2011

Earlier I was reading an article about the winters of 1946/47 and 1962/63 (both of which happened before I was born), when all of Britain was plunged into periods of sub-zero temperatures, blizzards and deep, drifting snow.


1963 - Margate, the sea froze over
The previous very cold winter that I do remember, was 1978, when all of Britain suffered with blizzards and heavy snow.  The South and East of England was spared the worst of the January weather, which hit northern areas just after Christmas/New Year.  However, we suffered badly during a big blizzard in mid-February.

That winter, we were living in a cottage, on a farm at the top of a hill, in the middle of the Bedfordshire countryside. 
The journey to school, in the town of Bedford, was a 40-minute bus-ride, along the main road, a mile from our cottage; the village was a mile and a half away in the other direction.  The farm was across the road and we had a next-door neighbour in the adjoining cottage. Other than these neighbours, we were very isolated, perched at the very top of the hill.   We used to walk to the village quite regularly, as there was a shop there; in summer the local school opened their outdoor swimming pool - for the bargain price of 15p each, we could swim all afternoon; my sister had a school friend in the main village too, so we would go and visit her sometimes.  We also went to a nearby church, once a week,  to practise bell-ringing, with some locals and girls from a nearby boarding school.
The cottage had no heating - just an open fire in the sitting room and a couple of electric heaters.  The kitchen was equipped with an electric cooker (but no gas),  the bathroom had an electric bar-heater at the top of the wall.  So, that winter it was almost as cold inside, as it was outdoors.  We woke to a layer of ice on the inside of the window-panes, a bedroom so cold that it was painful to get out of bed and dress. 
A bath was out of the question, until the bathroom had been heated up, so it was a chilly wash every morning.   That winter, for the first (and last) time, I had chilblains on my feet and fingers (I have Reynauds syndrome, so it was very difficult when the weather was so cold). 

The blizzard hit us in mid-February, when we were just about thinking that winter was nearly over (!).  School half-term holiday was on the way and we were looking forward to a few days at home, relaxing by the fire, walking in the fields, perhaps visiting Grandma in town.  However, on February 14th or 15th, we woke to deep snow and white fields all around.  Our mother gave us a warm breakfast and sent us off, to walk down the hill to the bus-stop, in our school coats and gloves, scarves and knitted hats.  I think we probably wore wellington boots to walk in, carrying our school shoes. 
The snow was pretty deep and had frozen hard (already!).  In fact, I remember walking along the lane, which bordered a paddock on one side, looking at the hedge and wondering how it came to be so small.  We sometimes scrambled over the fence/hedge and ran across the paddock, since the road doubled back around the paddock, making the walk twice as far as if we took a short-cut through the paddock (this was fine until the time the farmer put three young bullocks in the paddock... long story, but basically, one of the bullocks trapped my sister against a tree and licked her face all over, until she stopped shrieking and giggled madly!).  The fence was invisible and the hedge looked about a foot high, under a deep drift of snow.  The paddock was also deep in snow and looked level with the top of the hedge in places.  We decided that it wasn't a good day to take a short-cut and went the long way round to the bus!

We waited a very long time for our bus.  The main road was mostly clear (I suppose they had snow-plough lorries out), but the bus service had been very disrupted.  The bus did arrive eventually, but not before my Reynauds' had got the better of me.  Its arrival found me sitting on the edge of the kerb, with my head between my knees, no doubt very white in the face, dizzy and desperately cold.  My sister hailed the bus and explained the problem to the bus conductor - a lovely lady, who immediately took charge.  I was half-carried up to the top deck of the bus.  The kids sitting on the long front seat were unceremoniously kicked off, so that she could place me right in front of the heater, which was blasting out wonderful warm air.  By the time we reached school, I had thawed out (quite painfully!) and no longer felt faint. 
(the bus was like this one - photo by Boxley)
We stumbled into school, around an hour late.  About half the girls were missing - I suppose their homes were snowed in, or their parents didn't think they should risk the weather.  Lessons were not running as usual, since some staff had also been unable to make it to school, but we all struggled on, until a message came round, about 1130am, that the whole school was to assemble in the main hall.
My school - in summer!
We were told to go home; school was being closed and would re-open when the weather improved.  There was a long queue for the one school pay-phone and some of us were sent to the office, to borrow the secretary's phone. 

The bus usually came across town to pick us up at the end of the school day.  It left at 4:10pm - so obviously we couldn't expect it to be there for us at 12pm.  We all trudged across town to the bus station and were lucky to catch a bus that passed the end of our lane, as it went between Bedford and Luton, a very large town to the south of Bedfordshire.  The bus driver was kind and let us get off there, although it wasn't a normal stop; this saved us some of our walk home, for which we were very grateful, as it was snowing again.  I think our mother was relieved to see us and she soon had us warmed up again. 

I think we were off school for the rest of the week.  It was an unespected holiday and we made the most of it.  I remember going for a walk in the fields that surrounded our cottage.  They looked strange and unfamiliar, covered in snow and ice.  We could barely recognise our normal routes and made our own footpaths across the snowy fields.  Obviously some snowballs were thrown and I'm sure we talked about building a snowman in the garden of the cottage. 

It was an exciting walk; until my sister decided to jump into a snow-pile that she found.  A run-up, a jump - whooping with excitement.  She disappeared.  It wasn't just a snow-pile, it was a drift, which covered a deep water-filled ditch!  Obviously, once I'd fished her out, I had to walk her home very quickly - shivering, wet and a bit tearful.  Luckily the bathroom was warmed up, ready for us to have a bath on our return, so she was swiftly plunged into warm water and thawed out!  She didn't suffer any harm at all - not even a cold. 

I don't remember a lot more about that winter.  We were pretty much house-bound for a while, only venturing into the fields a couple of times (with more care of snow-drifts!),  enjoying our walks, but glad to be home again and warmed up. I'm sure we built some good snow-men (I remember being lent a hat and scarf by the neighbours and supplied with coal and carrots!).  Then the wind changed, the temperature rose and the snow melted.  We went back to school and life was back to normal. 

We've had three or four very cold winters since (1980/81 for example), but I remember that first one best, because after that we moved closer to town and had central heating; the chill and snow didn't seem so difficult with the advantages of modern technology (and friends whose mothers gave us lifts to school on snowy days).   

* * *

This was my contribution to the first of Sian's Storytelling Sunday posts for 2012.  I hope it made you smile!


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