Friday, 23 January 2015

Going, Going....... Gone!

 The Beasty Holly tree that once looked like this...

 Had a jolly good trim and looked like this.....

 And before I could change my mind...

there it was----- GONE!

see the bendy fence?

 Many trips to the tip to dispose of the foliage and two neighbours asking for the wood for their wood burning stoves  - oh the dilemma! Mr T now has to cut it all down and take it to the boy's for HIS stove.

And just to keep me from crying about said tree ( I really get attached to stuff!!)  We made a visit down south to see this little munchkin

 who helped me to eat the pudding that I really didn't need!

but it was scrummy
 And then off to Heathrow, to meet with the nephew ( the sailor ) who was dropping off some bags for safe keeping until he joins his next ship. He flew in from South America, dropped his bags and then flew out to North America for a holiday with his parents! It's a good job he can sleep on a plane!
He is SUCH a well travelled man, but somehow the envy didn't get me. We have been talking about a little trip, but neither of us can muster up the enthusiasm to tackle the airport - maybe next month.....

 Oh, and I have just the binding to sew down on the table runner, and have sorted out the fabrics for a bag making session this weekend. Maybe the MoJo is creeping back in

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

I Love My Elna!

 I have been using my new Elna over-locker (serger) to make some of the shorts for the Dress  a Child charity.

I purchased it last year, used it a few times, one of which was to shorten some bridesmaid dresses. Then it was put away, and I just hadn't got around to actually getting to know it.

It's an Elna 664 Pro purchased from Andy at Sew Northampton

It is really easy to use and I can thread it without looking at the instruction manual. If you want to change the type of stitch, you just turn the dial, and the screen on the front tells you what each setting should be!  The threading is colour coded so you just start at the right and follow the coloured dots!  How easy is that?

 It's not a top of the range machine, I couldn't justify just spending for the sake of it, but it is a lovely smooth and quiet machine that does just what I need it too. If you are thinking of buying one, put this one on your list to try out. I am sure you too will be impressed.

Thank You Auntie Joan!

However ...... being all excited at using the machine, I may have got a bit carried away making these shorts.......
It took me three hours to thread the elastic through the waistbands!!

elastic lengths all cut and ready
piles of shorts
I will tot up how many and let you know

I have also been sewing a simple table runner for my girlie.

This is made from the scraps left over from the shorts  which were made from larger scraps - no waste in this house!

 I will be finishing this later this afternoon, and trying hard NOT to look down the garden...

Mr T has being going on far ages about removing this Holly tree. It started as a twig from a table decoration, pushed into the ground nearly 35 years ago. We have kept it trimmed into a lollipop shape for years but it has got away from us a bit this year. The fence panels need replacing and this is NOT a friendly tree!  The leaves are really hard and VERY pointy, you can't use it for flower arranging, there is always too much blood.

sadly no berries this year
 I want to grow more vegetables this year and the piece of ground would be ideal for a small plot. So I have agreed. (sad face)

It is quiet in the house so I am expecting to hear a shout of TIMBER! shortly...

I will stay away from the windows and carry on with my knitting and listening to a Jack Reacher novel and hoping that there will be no injuries.

 The knitting is coming on nicely (it's not very big!) and the yarn is a delight to use - so soft and smooth to work with.

its a sign of Spring when you get Tulips in the shops!
 Two bunches brought for me at the weekend xx

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Still Looking for my Mo-Jo!

I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I always struggle to set my mind to the many tasks and  projects that are waiting patiently for my attention.

I am free of the bug that had me in its grip for almost three weeks, so I can't use that as an excuse.

Before Christmas I began the move of all my 'stuff' out of the bedroom that I had been using for sewing, computing etc.
It is only a small room, but my goodness, I had packed so much in there. 
I was moving out so that when Little Miss comes to stay, she has her own space.
We do have four bedrooms, and only use one most of the time, but if Little Miss comes with mummy and daddy, then often her Auntie S & Uncle L come over too.

Mr T has been busy setting me up a workspace in our little conservatory. I often used the space for sewing anyway, it is so light and I love to sit there looking out onto the garden.

just the machine to set into the worktop
I MUST set myself onto something. I dithered and dathered and got out some of my larger scrap pieces and started cutting.

Then I got out my very nice over-locker (serger). This was a little treat to myself after an unknown long distance relative of my late father, left him an inheritance, that passed on to me and my three sisters. We are still trying to work out what actual relationship it was, but we have gratefully called her Auntie Joan.
 It was only a small amount. But it was something unexpected. I had been looking at these machines for ages, trying to justify the outlay, but after Auntie Joan's gift, I trotted off to see Jill & Andy at Sew Northampton and after umming and ahhing for ages (Andy is SO patient!) I purchased this Elna.

 It didn't take me long to mess up the view!
It is really easy to use, and I can thread and unthread without looking at the instruction book!

 Half an hour later resulted in four pairs of shorts that will be passed to my friend Ellen, who will in turn pass them to the Dress a Child Charity. I used four fabrics, but used a different fabric on each panel so they do look quite funky!
just the elastic to thread through
 Not sure the Mo-Jo is back but I have made a start

And here is a photo of the lovely Orchid that came to live with me at Christmas

And some Hyacinths that were a gift and have got so tall I have had to steak and tie them up. The scent is quite strong and they seem to like living in our downstairs cloakroom, which is quite cool compared with the rest of the house.

 And just because I am not being very productive, doesn't mean that I am doing nothing at all.  This baby Aran cardigan is keeping me out of mischief. Should be ready for the Spring!
I promise that I WILL make a start on the bag that I wanted to make before our holiday!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

It's Been A Long Time...

since my last post, but I can assure you that I have not been slacking!

Not a jot of sewing done, though I finally managed to finish a rather nice little cardi for Miss O.

Things have been really busy at work and having some work done on the house, and I have now sold my little business, which should free up some time for me to do the things that I want to do, though many of you lucky retirees have told me that someone steals the free time that I think I have gained!  We shall see.

Christmas was spent ( several of us having this awful flu type bug that lasted for DAYS!!! ) with all my lovely family arriving on Christmas Eve. Sister 2 and family on Christmas Day and Sister 3 and hubby on Boxing Day. No turkey left in my kitchen!!

Santa HAS been Generous!
Little Miss is now fully mobile ... and despite having the most awful cold, was happy entertaining our guests with her antics. She also had fun helping Grandpa do the chores
not like that Grandad!
She spent ages filling and emptying the cutlery tray! Such a happy little girl.

Father Christmas was kind to me too. My very special friend A made me this beautiful quilt. I saw it in the making, not for one minute thinking that I would receive such a beautiful gift.

"A" has been attending a workshop with Jan Shepherd at her LQS. The piecing is perfect and the quilting finishes it off beautifully.
I am a lucky girl.
I am looking forward to actually getting on with some of the projects that have been sitting waiting for my attention .

I am not one for New Year Resolutions, but I do intend to keep this little blog more up to date. Please come back and see me soon.

Happy New Year!!

Monday, 17 November 2014

A Grand Time

We have just returned from a very long awaited holiday, spent in Florida with Sister3 and her hubby.
 I was supposed to be working on the Saturday, home, then down to Gatwick on the train for an overnight stay and flight on Sunday morning. BUT...... Friday night brought the mother of all Migraines - you really don't want to know the details - but Mr T called my VERY good friend L quite early Saturday morning (early for L anyway) to ask of she could open up at work and hopefully I would be in a bit later.  L kindly held the fort (my hero). Three prescription pills (normally only need one) and I was still out for the count. 

Thank goodness we hadn't booked the Saturday flight!  By tea time, I felt considerably slightly somewhat better, so armed with nappy sacks (just in case) and every type of medication I could ram into my bag, we headed off to the station and to the hotel. 

I could elaborate further, but it wasn't pretty. BUT we caught the flight and arrived in fairly good order.

Brother in Law is very organised and had a calendar filled with things that he had planned. Put paid to that! We had a fairly quiet day on Monday and then I felt back to normal. 
Let the holiday commence

We headed off to kennedyspacecenter on Tuesday. We have visited before, quite a few years ago when the children were 10 (ish) , but we knew that there was a new exhibit, Atlantis and as we had previously actually seen Atlantis launch, we wanted to see more. 
 Now, you may now that I am a bit of a quilter, and as we looked at the ACTUAL shuttle, Mr T and I looked at each other  and then again at the shuttle,

Honest to God, those panels are made from the same sort of fabric that they make Fireman's uniforms and the protective gear that racing drivers wear. Three layers stitched with what looks like (but most certainly isn't) Perle thread.

 We chatted to a charming gentleman, who had worked on the Atlantis missions and he showed us a sample of this 3/4" thick piece of history. Using this fabric enabled them to contour the shape, and they are able to replace worn parts, rather that the whole panel. 
This is the flight that we saw launch
 If that was the only thing we did this holiday, it was worth the trip in itself.

There were dozens of these "buzzards" flying around. They are actually Turkey Vultures. Reminded us of those three in the Jungle Book film.
What d'ya wanna do?
 Wednesday was Guy Fawkes night.  Sister 3 had invited their neighbours round for a bit of a do - We had made a Guy, and one of the neighbours had Googled and had also made one. They even painted their faces to look like the Guy!

I was so worried that the dry trees would catch light, but B.I.L has a thing about fire and everything went very well, with marshmallows heated in the flames, and food consumed when the flames died down 
We spent some time cycling around their distinct, which is beautiful. Full of trees, with the spooky Spanish moss dripping from the branches

Lots of lakes, with so many birds, turtles, and of course, alligators

And if you cycle a certain route, 

you end up here
where it would be rude not to participate in a certain food category!

I can do the maple syrup or molasses, but I do draw the line to adding bacon to the mixture

And as we made our way though the park - I bumped into one of my customers!! How small is our world!

 I did pop into a couple of quilt shops - just to browse -

 This one is HUGE and they were so accommodating
 and maybe one or two purchases made.

The weather was glorious, sunshine but not too hot and not at all humid, which suits me so much better.  Evening meals were taken sitting watching the sunsets.
 this pic made me laugh, looks like he has brought his own torches!

 A bit of a hiccup when we visited Magic Kingdom.
 We hadn't even got into the park, when I realised that I had lost my very nice new camera!!!
I ran around for a bit trying to retrace my steps, and asking the "cast members" at the lost and found. But no camera. Filled in the form and left the phone number if the said camera was handed in. No phone call the next day, so I had to accept that it had gone.


But we did meet one of the neighbours
 O M G!!! Fancy having this beauty living down the garden!!!

After nephews arrived a few days before we were due to leave ( the sailor and the one from "up north"), we had great fun on the beach, watching the Pelicans fly past, and swimming in the Atlantic  It was great to see them all together.

 And after packing up on Sunday morning, I thought just one more call to Lost Property. Just in case. AND .......
They had had my very nice new camera handed in!!!! How lucky is that!!!
God Bless America!!  
It is now back in my hands and I promise to be more careful with it in future!

 Lots going on now both at home and and work but I will tell you more about that later.......