Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Sooo Lucky!!!

I had been invited to visit a local woodland to hear the nightingales  sing their glorious chorus. So we set off into deepest darkest Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire Northamptonshire not exactly sure where countryside up a long bridle-path, where we started the walk. 

There were still swathes of beautiful bluebells
And the weather was being nice

These Silver Birch trees looked like they had frost topping them
And some huge specimen Oak trees
Everywhere was so quiet. No noise other than the birds singing.

With the occasional Muntjac deer barking from the undergrowth
The Nightingales were a little shy though we did hear some, they weren't in full voice.
So we headed over to a Badger set to see if there was any movement
The set was HUGE! It had many entrances

Anyway, we settled for a very quiet wait,  and as the last of the light was disappearing, out they came! I was so thrilled to see them even from afar. This was one thing on my "Bucket List" and now I can cross it off.
 No photos of the creatures as the light had almost gone and I was to busy watching to worry about the camera.

I do hope to be asked again.
I behaved very well.
I didn't laugh like a Hyena when I heard a commotion and saw my friend "S"  rolling around on the floor trying to get up quietly from where she had fallen. (though I confess that I did giggle under my breath)
And I didn't scream like a banshee when we heard a rustling in the undergrowth - and we knew it wasn't one of us!!
So hopefully our guide will have been suitably impressed and will set another date.

Sunday, 10 May 2015


What a week!!

All of my lovely family came last weekend to help me "celebrate" my birthday. I have got to the age (or past it) when I don't really want to count the years passing, but they do pass and we just have to get on with it. In my head I am MUCH younger than my birth certificate announces.

They weather was mostly kind and time was spent lounging around the garden after attending a friend's birthday party on Saturday night. Fortunately, I was the designated driver so was able to snigger at the grey faces and wild hair when the young ones got up on Sunday morning.

Monday arrived and parcels were opened

Just what I wanted
And then this .....
 with no more info other than I need to pack ready for a trip next weekend!  The factor 50 and bug repellent are no clue, I use these in the garden at home!  The sun hat is not my normal attire, but knowing my children it could very well be a joke. Anyway - Benidorm or Bognor - it will be nice to have a few days away!

I had lots of other lovelies too, including this rather grand lamp for the garden
it's huge!
 And a rather lovely new watch .....
which is quite a bit bigger than the one I presently wear, so hopefully I will be able to see the dial more easily!!

Little Miss O was her normal gorgeous self and again was quite happy getting wet. We let her just play away transferring water from one place to another then dropping stones and other things into the water. We did draw the line at letting her drink it!
 which reminds me - I have to go fishing for a mug and some measuring spoons!

Not much crafting has been done this week, but I did attend a crochet group on Friday where I showed off the progress of my blanket and began to hook an amigurumi snail but as you can see - there was much talking and not so much working going on!
just the head!!
 Yesterday Mr T was playing golf, so after a quick blitz of the house I did manage to piece another charity quilt top

 And cut and pieced this colourful cushion    I just have to embroider his face and whiskers on.

I have finished May's Mini Mania project (can't show you yet) and am delighted to see that the lovely "D" has decided to join in our little group.  So it's official - we are international

I have also got sucked into a swap group over on Instagram and a anticipating an email with info of who I am partnered with! It seems that many members are also in many other swap groups but I have just signed up to this one and will see how it pans out.

Lots to do in the garden but we had daughter and SIL visiting again this weekend and my girl does love to potter about in the garden, so we got more done than we expected. 

Am off into the loft to retrieve my suitcase to get ready for the surprise trip!

Saturday, 2 May 2015


I mean -SERIOUSLY!!  6 hours - SIX HOURS -

Just to sew two blocks. I know that there are quite a few pieces. The first of the two took just over 4 hours. That includes far too much a bit of unpicking. For some reason (probably because I should have been sorting out the chaos in the rest of the house) I just couldn't get the layout of the first block.

So now there are three blocks made up and 22 to go. So that means another 66 hours of piecing before I get to add the sashing. 

And people wonder why you aren't keen when they ask  "make me a quilt" (it's always a king size).

Just work out the labour charges ( I know sewing isn't a labour - I love my sewing machine). No one would pay what your time is worth. And that's not counting the cost of the fabrics, or the quilting time too.

I have recently taken a leaf out of a very good friends book and can say "No" without feeling guilty or making excuses. Don't get me wrong - I am happy to make for others, but now I choose what and when.

Unless it's for family and I haven't got quite that brave yet! 

We have another Bank Holiday Weekend here in the UK and all of my lovelies are arriving to spend the extended weekend with us.

Have a great weekend wherever you are.

Monday, 27 April 2015

April's Mini Mania Reveal

So April's instructions were handed out at the beginning of the month.  This is an 18" block, so compared with the 
8" x 10"  in March this one would be a breeze.

We used this pattern  (Instructions very clear and  easy to follow)
Cutting, pressing and piecing commenced quite quickly.
 (Mr T on the golf course)
 Spot the mistake!!
 another round added
 The last piece of this white on white. I shall be sorry to see it go, it's so lovely and crisp.

 Ta Dah!  this is my Mini


 A trio of pretties
It is funny that we all have used similar colours, purely coincidental.
We have been issued with the May instructions so will be selecting my fabrics ready for that.

I have cut out two more blocks for my Swoon quilt, and pieced all the Half Square Triangle ready to put together at the weekend
 Trimming all those corners
But no sewing was done this weekend. A visitor on Thursday who went on Friday, for another to arrive on Friday and one more on Saturday for departure Sunday.

It is lovely to have the house full again ( even better that it's only a short while!!)

I did manage to use a huge bag of Rhubarb that I had been given. 
One Rhubarb Crumble that went down very well with the men in the house and then a pan full that bubbled away
gently cooking
 And now we have 7 jars of this (slightly acid) jam. A jar has been donated to one who will give a true opinion but it tastes good to me. Will have to make a batch of scones to ladle it onto.
 Because the weather has been so mild, we have managed to get such a lot of jobs done in the garden, with potting on and planting out many varieties of plants.

And a great event today.

My lovely daughter, who is now grown up, was a collector and lover of all things Panda as a small child.  She had big ones and little ones and lots of in-between ones. She did favour a rather tubby 10" one so when we were asked if "Pandy" could accompany us on a transatlantic flight, we of course said Yes!!
He is about 30" long and shared MY seat !!!

Anyway Big Pandy is 20 + years old and very well travelled and today he had his first proper bath!!

and has gone from this...
To this!!
Still a bit damp and needs a bit of a fluff up but will be ready to cuddle shortly.

Which is good because all of my lovelies are visiting this weekend and Little Miss "O" has taken to the collection with delight. "S" may have a fight on her hands.

Have a Grand Weekend! 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

A Fabulous Start

 to spring!
The weather here has been glorious. The sun has shone every day and the temperatures have been rising ( but not too much - not a fan of  HOT!) 

It seems that everyone is in a good mood, and all is right with the world.

Except for the hiatus that hit me at midday on Sunday and left me feeling like I had been hit by a bus for a good 24 Hours. But I won't go into details
( you understand...)

The postman did bring me a ... small parcel
made me feel much better
Some lovely balls of yarn from Wool Warehouse.  Now, I didn't really NEED this. I have lots of colours that I am working my crochet blanket with. But some time ago, I had done a favour for a very nice lady and she gave me a voucher to purchase yarn from Wool Warehouse. She keeps asking if I had used the voucher, so I popped on-line on Friday and picked some lovely rich colours. 
just lovely!
She approved of my purchase. Aren't I just the luckiest!!  I am making good progress with my crochet blanket, and may have seem another pattern that these lovelies will be used for.

I did complete the Appliqué panel that I started at the workshop on Friday

And after quite a lot of cutting and trimming
I have decided on the pattern for my new bed quilt.

I do have this pattern.       I purchased it a couple of years ago, but never actually got around to starting it. I am sort of glad too because the pattern is for a 24" block and I think that is just too big so I drew it up as a 16" and tried one block out.  I like it.  Just 24 more to go !

I spent a bit of time pairing up some of my Bonnie & Camille fabrics and cut out the next four combinations ready to piece this week.
such happy colours
We are picking up the nephew tomorrow ( the skier not the sailor or the traveller) who will be staying with us for a couple of days before he heads off to pasture new.

And the sun is shining again!!!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Learning a new skill

 when I attended a course  (1950's Flowers ) at my LQS  and run by Gillian Travis .
The designs were inspired by some 1950's textile artists (Lucienne Day & another one that I cant for the life of me remember the name!!).

 Gillian is a very productive Textile artist and had lots of her designs for us to choose from. She uses a layering method for her appliqué and we started off by making a simple pieced background which we block printed with acrylic paints
I used two block designs and two different colours

 Then we traced the design onto Heat & Bond lite
 As you can imagine, this was quite taxing, so some of this was consumed - just to keep the energy levels up of course
Cranberry & Orange  sponge - scrummy!
 We did seem to be in a bit of a mess on our tables!
 And this is what my finished piece should resemble
We will see....
 I didn't get it finished but am not far off so I will wait for my Ta Dah! moment hopefully later this weekend

Here are some pictures of Gillian's work

Love the colours

 And these are works in progress of some of the ladies

 This morning started with a bit of this

 When a friend and I tripped off to Lamport Hall  -  to learn a bit of
Wildlife Gardening.  I can't show you (yet) how we got on, but we have laughed all morning and that's a great way to start the weekend! 

If you haven't visited this part of Northamptonshire - you must - it is so beautiful - rolling hills and sandstone cottages. Just lovely.

There are events (Art, Craft & Design Fair 3rd & 4th May - Festival of Country Life 24th & 25th May  Weekends) at Lamport Hall so I might just bee returning shortly.

Lamport Gardens

worth a visit on a nice day
 Looks like the weather is going to be good this weekend so Enjoy!!