Sunday, 25 December 2011

Winter Nights

This is winter on the seasonal shopping list, now hanging in the kitchen. It's twin sister will be hanging in Farnham soon.  

We had a little flurry of snow about a week ago but it didn't lie.  Christmas day has been dull, although there were a few rays of sunshine first thing when I went out to feed the hens on all the veggie peelings from our Christmas meal.

Below are the christmas letters I painted for the mantle piece. They were too big.  Now they sit on the window sill above my 'nest' which is slightly tidier because it's Christmas, normally there is only just enough room for me to sit down - can you tell which side I normally sit??

The Original Purpose of the Shopping List

Karin has been my best friend since we were at Junior School fifty years ago.  When she came to stay this summer she had made me a beautiful quilt to celebrate.  Different presents had been working through my mind for a while but I had not come up with an idea that I was happy with.  The theme of a friend for all seasons had been mulling round in my mind and the idea of a painted item with changeable seasonal pictures crystalised into the rather practical shopping list.  Autumn and Winter were easy decisions.  The Spring and Summer took a bit more thinking and will be following shortly.  The photo of the 'shabby' label is not brilliant unfortunately.  I have some lovely, lovely friends but Karin will always be that special person - we have shared our growing up years and all the ups and downs of fifty years.  We have done so many things together from baking cakes to jumping out of aeroplanes.  We gave birth to sons just a few weeks apart and we have had a lifetime of laughter even though we live hundreds of miles apart.  She is an incredible person and has always been a true and wonderful friend.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Pin Cushion Chunkies

These pin cushion chunkies were made for our monthly Mavis and Gladys quilting classes.  Next to pumpkins I love gingerbreads (note to self – design a hallowe’en ginger for next year).

At first they were going to be fabric and have thread catchers attached and I may still make some, but I loved the chunky wooden candle holders that Sandra sold.  We thought the holes for the candles would be perfect for a pincushion.  They are filled with sand, which is supposed to sharpen the pins, but they could be filled with toy stuffing as well.  They are good for weighting down fabric when you are rotary cutting too.  I don't know which one is my favourite.  I love the soft pastel colours but I can do bling as well as autumn colours!  I didn't even have to borrow the paints!  I wasn't sure about poking pins in gingerbread tummies but they are still smiling.

Home is where you hang your keys.

I know I'm a bit of a pumpkin freak but when we were painting at The Crafts House a couple of weeks ago, Karen was making a quilt hanger in the shape of a house.  She decided to make it into a barn and a light bulb switched on in my head.  I've been wanting a new key hanger for the kitchen.  I love the shape of Amish barns and I had another excuse for painting pumpkins!  I drew the basic barn and David cut the shape, adding five hooks for my keys.  Now I just need to convince everyone to put the keys back when they take them. Actually I could paint some (not so little) tags to encourage them not to slip the key into their pockets which are, I think, one-way worm-holes into another universe. The patchwork block is, by the way, called 'Hole in the Barn Door'.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Shopping lists made cute

Just before autumn ends here is my shopping list with changeable toppers. I'm painting the winter one now but I don't want to tempt fate because it has snowmen on it. I think I'll wait until the weather turns before I put it up. I have the usual two hundred things on the go - says something about my mind - either good at multi tasking or bird brain. Tweet tweet.

I have just drawn out a key holder which I'll take to Sandra for David to cut. I also want a kitchen roll holder to match the shopping list but with slightly different seasonal design..... Oh for more time!

Alison and I are just putting the finishing touches to our next quilt class on 28th November. It's a dresden plate this month. We are building on the skills month by month and soon we will have enough blocks for the first quilt. It's so exciting seeing how different designs emerge from the same pattern. That's the good thing about quilting, every one is different and beautiful.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Edible Cupcakes, mmmmm......

Beautiful Steph made some choccie cupcakes withe the spare mix from John's birthday cake. Luscious. It's good to have such a talented baker living with you!

I finished the autumn version of my shopping list at the weekend. Just need to get a hook for the wall and a picture of it hanging on my wall will miraculously appear.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


What do you do when you have a big pile of ironing, the bathroom to clean and a load of paperwork to do? Knit a pumpkin of course.  Just bought a Debbie Bliss knitting book (A Knitter's Year).  Lots of gorgeous patterns. I used some lovely Amy Butler double knitting wool and have enough for a few more pumpkins, although there is a beanie hat pattern and little Grace next door would look so cute in a pumpkin beanie.....

The wonderful woodcutter (aka David Goldsmith) has just cut me some lovely seasonal shopping list holders to paint based on one of Sandra's fab designs.   More on this next time. 

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Let's Make Cupcakes

Just finished my cupcake blackboard.  I did a Gingerbread Blackboard which was designed by Sandra at the Crafts House and I wanted to make one for a friend who loves cupcakes. Love doing this type of painting.  It combines my love of quilting and fabrics with the 'lose yourself in your work' aspect of painting.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

No kitchen for days

For months I've been excited about having my new kitchen.  The work started this weekend and I'm deeply stressed!  Plaster dust everywhere, no water (no sink either) no cooker or washing machine, no floor and a sitting and dining room littered with the contents of the kitchen cabinets which are in the skip outside the back gate. Be careful what you wish for!  I know I will be a happy bunny next weekend but there's a mountain of cleaning and washing backing up.  Of course there's always solace in stitching and painting.  I'm just preparing the quilting element of next week's "Mavis and Gladys on the Hill'.  Sneak preview of the cushion....