Saturday, 30 November 2013

Clara on tour Part 2

After the success of Clara's visit to Banyan Cottage, the other day we went to see a few more classic tourist stops on St Helena.
We started with a visit to Jonathon the tortoise.

He lives at Plantation House with the Governor. (You can read about a previous visit here.)

Here's the view down the valley over the vegetable gardens.

Next we stopped off at Jacob's Ladder and admired the view from the top...

...and the bottom.

Then we had a look round Jamestown. Clara also liked my favourite tree which is in the Grand Parade (a grand name for a square that would be rather lovely if it was not mostly devoted to car parking).

She liked the arch towards the sea side.

The wharf where everything comes and goes.

The Castle (not actually a castle but the Government offices).

The court house.

and St James church.

Can you spot her in all the pics? She's there I promise...


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Fourth Make for Christmas - Button Necklace

So, make number four is definitely one for the girls. Indulge yourself or make one for a gift. I haven't tried it yet, but I thought a scaled up version might make a good alternative for tinsel-phobes like me.

Button Necklace

Difficulty: Easy Peasy and hard to stop. I tell you this could become seriously addictive!

You will need: Crochet cotton or embroidery thread in one or two colours, 12 or more buttons or beads, small crocket hook - I used 2mm, scissors, needle.

Thread your buttons or beads onto the yarn. If the buttons have four holes it looks nice for the thread to feed in a cross shape but it does make the whole thing a bit more of a faff. Push them a good way down. It is a good idea to thread on more than you think you will need. You can't add more later!

Make a slip knot close to the end of the yarn.

Decide approximately how far apart your want your buttons or beads to be. Chain that length and count the stitches. Mine were 25ch apart. (To make a chain put the yarn over the hook and draw through the loop on the hook.)

Bring your first button or bead up to the hook as close as you can and make the next chain with the yarn beyond it. Continue to chain your chosen number then add a button until your necklace seems long enough.

Join the two ends with a slip stitch and fasten off. Weave in the ends. If you want to add a second colour join the new yarn into the place you fastened off. Chain your chosen distance then slip stitch into the back of the stitch surrounding each button or bead. Finish with a slip stitch into the first chain, fasten off and weave in the ends.

I used beads for this second one and continued to add beads on the second time round the loop so they alternate between the joins in the two chains and the gaps. They are also much smaller and closer together.

Clara tried to decide which she preferred. Naïve and quirky...

or sophisticated and glamorous.

I think probably you could have one to suit every occasion if you put your mind to it!


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Clara on tour Part 1

I have been making every effort to ensure that Clara gets all she can out of her time on St Helena. With that in mind, she accompanied us to a party at a very special venue. This is Banyan Cottage. It does have running water (cold only) but no electricity, and as you will see, some of the other mod cons are neither mod, nor con. However, it is one of the world's special places.

It is near Sandy Bay, at the end of a long and extremely winding road (which is also extremely steep).

Nestled in the bottom of the valley is a little four-room cottage with a fire pit and barbeque in the front garden.

The furniture is nothing fancy - an oil drum for a table...

But with the help of recent arrivals and their goodies from home we rustled up some real luxuries: Pimms and lemonade (no cucumber - there is a shortage of cucumber at the mo, but I did find mint...)

A banquet of home cooked deliciousness.

The men cut wood. Ugg.

Then played competitive sports...

Out the back there is a semi equipped bathroom. It only lacks hot water and a roof.

A greener than green drop toilet.

The light was not good enough to show you properly, but the picture on the wall is a charming painting of the view out of the toilet door. This makes me happy.

With a few magic touches it is ready for an evening of fun and frolics.

How cosy!

Late night games.

Dancing round the campfire.

The Smalls were thrilled to be able to use the lamps they made.

And Clara even made a new friend.

Hopefully I'll be back with another Make for Christmas tomorrow...