Category Archives: crochet

Some things that happened in May

Yes I know that May hasn’t really finished yet but I just wanted to share some things that have been going on over the last month as I am eager to get started with June! I am really looking forward to the summer months ahead!

So back to May then. May has been a weird month, at the time it went slowly but looking back I feel where did it go? I couldn’t believe it when in a conversation with some staff at school someone commented on it only being a week or so until half term. What we had just gone back surely! But no half term was looming meaning not long with my class of lovelies. But that’s a whole other post!


I was lucky enough to get a place on the Cambridge Botanical Gardens crochet project run with Cam City WI and it was my first meeting in May. Now as many of you know I am a beginner at crochet (I still can’t talk and crochet otherwise I lose my place) but some lovely ladies were very patient with me and helped me make a start! Check out this blog post for some more details about the project. I have joined the group making the one that looks like sausages. And here it is in real life!


I won’t post my attempts yet hohum, maybe when they are a little better:)


Yes I have also started running! A group of lovely ladies (I am so lucky to know lots of lovely ladies!) and I have joined forces to begin running/ get back into running and our super coach is Michaela. We are only in the beginning weeks but it has been inspiring and I love our Sunday sessions! My target is to run a 5k to raise money for the hospice who cared for my nan in her last days. They were amazing and I will be eternally grateful for what they did for our family. Plus I need to get fit!


Bank Holiday Adventures

The obligatory BBQ, too much food and lots of lovely sunshine. Plus a hello from the Red Arrows. OK maybe not a personal hello but you know what I mean!

Red Arrows

This was followed the next day by a lovely walk around Wandlebury with Mr Dotty. He took his camera to get some photos of the emo cows we saw last time but sadly we didn’t come across them. One of my favourite things is walking through the woods and, even though it was busy, we managed to wander away from the crowds. As a result  we could hear the breeze going through the trees and savour the solitude. It’s always funny how I get inspired to write whilst out walking so I scribbled away some story ideas to work on. Maybe it is a result of the lack of distractions?




Rainbows have shown up on two significant days this month.


This double rainbow appeared on the day my Grandma died and I was doing the drive on the way back to Cambridge from the hospice. The second rainbow appeared on the evening Mr Dotty and I travelled down before her funeral. I don’t hold any specific significance about the appearance, it was just a lovely thing to occur and made me stop the car and have a few moments of thought. The second appearance heralded a mini lecture from Mr Dotty about why and how rainbows occur. My little science geek!

And obviously there has been lots of letter writing, journaling, great days at school etc!

How has your May been? Are you looking forward to anything in June? Please share in the comments below!




Miss Dotty says…thank you (and why a gratitude list is great)

I am a very lucky Miss Dotty. On those grumpy days I will often write a gratitude list to show that actually life isn’t that bad. And little things happen that make me think how lucky I am. There are some people that keep a gratitude journal daily and I think that is such a positive way to go and something I would love to try.

But on to the purpose of this post. Today I want to show my gratitude and thanks to people over the past few weeks.

As some of you who follow me on Twitter may know just before Christmas my lovely Micra was written off as someone drove into the back of my car. I was parked at a red light and they just didn’t stop. I was shaken up and fine and my first thoughts were that the car was a little dented but looked like it would be fixable. So I put a claim in and my insurance company came to do an assessment of the car. A few days later I hadn’t heard anything so I gave them a ring and was told my car had been written off! Thanks for telling me lovelies! To cut a long story short it took weeks and the money I got for my car was not very much. During that time I was very grateful to my wonderful school who were amazingly supportive and my colleague H and Mr Dotty who gave me lifts to work when the hire car went back. But getting a new car meant I had to make some cutbacks money wise so I had to pull in the purse strings and save some money where I could. And here comes my first thank you.

One night after a lovely night out at a friends having dinner I arrived home to find a package waiting for me. A Crafty Creatives box. I had been enjoying their boxes of crafty goodies for a few months and reluctantly had to cancel so I was surprised to see it. When I opened it this was the message I saw taped to the front.

Craft Creatives Note

When I cancelled my subscription I joked on Twitter to Claire from Claireabellemakes that I bet the next box would be dots. The lovely Crafty Creatives ladies had obviously seen this tweet and yes the next box was dots! So they very kindly sent me the box as a gift with this little note. Now that is customer care and I want to thank you Crafty Creatives for your loveliness.

CC Dotty goodies

I cannot wait to renew my subscription, the boxes are packed with such lovely crafty goodies!

My other notes of thanks are much quicker you will be pleased to know! Firstly to Mum Dotty for this lovely necklace she got me as gift. It is so gorgeous and I will wear it with pride and as a reminder of how fab she is.



Secondly thank you to Claire who got me this card. I loved how she prefaced it with ‘I know it’s not your birthday but…’ Yes you are seeing this right. Dots AND hamsters! There is some debate over whether it is a hamster or guinea pig but the label on the back says hamster and that is what we are going with!



And finally thank you to family and friends, online and off who have listened to me going on about my crochet progress. ‘Yes!’ they must cheer when I post yet another picture of my crochet progress. Not.



Actually this is the finally. Finally thank you to all those people who offered their showers whilst our landlady gets our bathroom refitted. We really appreciate your offers of help.

So thank you for reading this snapshot of why I am grateful and want to say thank you to those around me.

Does anyone keep a gratitude journal or list? Do you have a special notebook? A section in your Filofax? Keep it within your regular journal? Please share in the comments below and feel to leave a link to your own blog posts on the subject!

Take care,


Miss Dotty


Adventures in Bath- Part 2

Hello all! I am back to share the last few days of our Bath trip so without further ado here we go!

We stayed in Bath until Friday afternoon and those last few days were spent wandering around Victoria Park, the Botanical Gardens, the Royal Crescent and the Roman Baths. I adore walking around the Cambridge University Botanical Gardens so it was interesting to walk around and compare.Bath Collage


The above images are a snapshot of our adventures. Bath truly is a glorious city! I loved walking around the Roman Baths and found the experience enhanced by the very informative audio guide which was supplemented by a commentary by the fantastic Bill Bryson. I immediately wanted to reread all his books again! The experience was so well put together and even though there was a lot of information it was put together seamlessly with the aid of video reconstructions and the actual artefacts to look at. If you have never been I highly recommend it! We also went out for dinner at Panasia, greatly decorated and nice food but we were stung by the Valentine’s Day effect which meant it was packed and service took ages.



We also went on the two open bus tours on offer, the city and the skyline tour. It was FREEZING but a really enjoyable way to see Bath. The wall coverings are from Coral Quay Fairtrade cafe where we feasted on a tasty cooked breakfast and admired the beautiful wall hangings. Here the service was again notably good and the cafe had a bright and airy atmosphere. The first of the small pictures depicts the gardens of the Herschel Museum of Astronomy. Mr Dotty, science nerd that he is, spent a happy what felt like hours looking at the equipment that Herschel himself used. The painting is of Queen Charlotte from our visit to the Holburne Museum and I fell in love with this painting. The colours were so vivid!


Sadly our trip to Bath came to a close and we headed to our final hotel on the outskirts of Bristol, ready to travel to the Forest of Dean the next morning. Our final few days were spent visiting Mr Dotty’s gran and we were surprised by the sheep above as we travelled to hers on Saturday morning. Her cottage is in a rural location and as well as the sheep we were in for a shock when we came home after dinner to find a stag munching on the seeds on the bird table outside her door. It was such a thrilling sight and what a powerful animal! Our last meal of the holiday was amazing. We went to The Ugly Duckling and I knew immediately I would love the restaurant when they served us garlic popcorn. I have a bit of an addiction to salted popcorn and I cannot wait to try and make a garlic version! It was lovely to sit down with Mr Dotty’s grandma and catch up on her news. However all talk stopped when our main courses arrived, mine was a ‘Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breast Wrapped in Prosciutto Ham’ and was very tasty. Sadly I cannot seem to upload the picture of that meal so you will have to imagine its gorgeousness!


The remainder of the weekend was spent chilling out, reading and working on my crochet scarf. After all the walking we had done that week it was nice to sit down and relax! In fact the whole week was a wonderful chance to get to spend time with Mr Dotty and I am very grateful to him for our trip away. And so that is how we end this tale of our adventures to Bath! Thank you for reading and come back during week to see some of my crafty purchases whilst away. Take care!


Miss Dotty


The ‘WIP’ Pile

One of my failings as a crafty person is my failing at showing my finished projects on here and I marvel at those who share regularly! This is something I want to remedy in 2013 and so will be sharing a handmade book, some embroidery and my first crochet project over the next month or two! I am hoping this goal will help me stop adding to the ‘Work in Progress’ pile that I seem to be developing (and am rather ashamed of!) Over the past year I seem to have had no staying power for projects. So here are a few glimpses of some my projects started but sadly still unfinished.

work in progress


Are you like me? Do you have many work in progress piles dotted around your house? Please share!

The Larder at Burwash Manor


The Larder


This weekend The Larder at Burwash Manor held a ‘Love Food’ event described as a ‘festival of foodiness’. I popped along to sample some of the delights on offer. I kept away from the rather tempting Sloe Gin stand (I love Sloe Gin and remember making it with my mum when I was a child. Funny because she doesn’t drink at all lol!) and I gazed upon some delicious looking dips. The stall holders and staff of The Larder were very cheerful despite the drizzle and cold!


I thought I would share with you two things in particular that I have devoured already but did take pictures before to show you. First was this delicious tortilla, moist and with a gorgeous mixture of vegetables.



There were no crumbs left on my plate after finishing that! And finally a lovely little mint and oreo (yes mint and oreo!) cupcake from Romano’s.




It was delicious but the frosting did defeat me and I have a little bit left to try and manage later!


I also had a wander around the rest of Burwash Manor and got my class a little present, a Moshi Monster pen. They are obsessed!


Now I am going to settle down to read my new issue of Simply Crochet and have a chill out afternoon. What have you got up to this weekend? I hope it was a good one!


School Life and Journal Musings


The above picture is of my IWB when doing a lesson on what the class hope to achieve and work on this year. These were my examples! See I even get the WI into my lessons!


As well as a crochet beginner, stationery lover, Twitter fan (although I have been very good this week and not gone on much!), WI Secretary and a hamster adorer I am also a primary teacher with a wonderful class in a supportive school and sometimes this overtakes normal life.

Work has been a little busy lately (isn’t it always lol!) with lots going on. As well as the normal day to day teaching and marking I am also Literacy Coordinator and have been writing reports on the progress of Literacy within the school, what I have been doing to make an impact on the subject, liaising with governors, monitoring planning and exercise books, writing Individual Education Plans for the children and writing reports for parents. I will not lie, I have felt frazzled the past few weeks. But two things have kept me going. Actually three things.

1) Mr Dotty and my dear mum.

2) Working where I work and knowing every hour and late night is worth it.

3) The support of friends I have made over the past year or so, particularly through the WI and online teacher people.


So to them, thank you!

What surprised me about this list is that my journal is not included. I have actually started three new notebooks since Christmas and just cannot settle into any of them! I start to write and get a block! I know this can be common to journal keepers but I find it interesting that when I need it the most I have turned away from it. Instead my ‘To Do List Diary’ has become the notebook always in my hand and has helped me keep track of everything I need to get done. The satisfaction of crossing out things is the highlight of my day! Who needs apps and gadgets:)

What have you been up to lately? If you journal do you find you only journal the positive? What do you do to get out of a journal block?






A Lesson in Crochet


You know when you really, really want to do something but you can’t? Not because you aren’t allowed to but because you just can’t develop the skills. Well crochet and knitting is like that for me. My nan and one of my aunts are amazing knitters and my aunt worked as a seamstress for many years and is brilliant. I’m ok at embroidery and cross stitch and have yearnings for a sewing machine but crochet and knitting? Nope the skills bypassed me. My aunt has tried teaching me. My mum has tried teaching me. I have watched YouTube videos and read books but I just could not get it! I would see pins on Pinterest and pin them in the hope that one day I would be able to make these goodies. I gazed wistfully as friends sat there crocheting on a crafty evening and I envied the ladies at Cam City WI as they whipped out their creations. But still their skills did not come to be my osmosis. And then one day hope glimmered as I was told about crochet and knitting classes at The Sheep Shop (I think it may have been Claire but whoever it was thank you!).


Armed with that knowledge I…well I put it off for ages thinking I would be rubbish and that I wouldn’t be able to do it. But finally I booked myself onto a class and eagerly awaited the beginning of February. Then a tweet from Joanne at Not So Granny alerted me to a cancellation so I very quickly asked if I could swap and I could! So yesterday I ventured to The Sheep Shop and with a lovely bunch of ladies I finally learnt the basics of crochet! I had the most wonderful few hours learning and the group was so small that Joanne could help us all when we needed it. She is a wonderfully patient teacher and allowed us time to consolidate and practice our newly learnt skills.

If you have been thinking of doing a class like this but have put it off don’t! I am so pleased I did it and now I have the confidence and basics I feel like I can go off and learn some things on my own (even though I will be heading back for more courses to learn even more!). Now obviously it wasn’t it all glitter and sunshine. I came home and happily practiced and then had a complete mind blank. My double crochet was just not working! A panic followed and then a quick glance on YouTube showed me what I was doing wrong! My next problem was well…you will see at the end of the post!

But again I have had advice from lovely Internet people and I’m going to start again on a piece this afternoon. I am going to set aside some practice time every day (I am itching to do some now but I must do some work first, then play!) and hopefully soon I will be able to make more than just lovely long strips that are collecting around the bungalow! It’s made me excited to try different crafts as well so at the moment I’m feeling very excited! I will update you with my progress and things I make.

Have you learnt a new skill recently or tried a new craft? Is there something you really want to learn? Please share in the comments below!

My class efforts


Eek something goes wrong at home!