Sunday, 26 January 2014

Whew! What a scorcher!

Just kidding - it's been a day for all seasons today, rain, snow, wind, bright sunshine.  It's been sunny all weekend in my heart because I've stitched, baked, chatted to my lovely friend from Surrey and had Ben sleeping over:

Checking out the breakfast situation
and road testing the strippy quilt.

Yesterday I had my quiet time at the start of the day. Loving this particular quilt. I've worked out it will take about three hundred hours to finish.  Three hundred hours of peace and contemplation. Perfect.
However, on a more practical front, or should I say behind, I've been doing a fairly common repair on No 1 son's jeans.  All that bouncing about on a tractor wears even the toughest fabric.
The denim is so lovely and soft now. Jeans that old are a pleasure to wear and I"m not surprised he likes them repaired even in this day of throwaway clothes. Puts me in mind of my first pair of Levis - back in 1969.  I could only afford one pair (my Saturday job paid ten shillings or 50p) and they were washed to near destruction.  I was walking along the sea front in Brighton and some random biker offered to buy them from me for more than twice what I'd paid. I didn't succumb though!

Alison and I spent Saturday morning putting the world to rights and stitching this and that.

Which colour to stitch with? Dark Green.
I sat with this project this afternoon whilst Ben was having a nap.  I don't drink a lot of tea but when I fancy a cuppa I don't think you can beat tea for thirst quenching pleasure.

For some reason I can't find my stash of calico (can't see the wood for the trees I think) so I still need to put the back on this but it's nearly done:
I have uploaded the March block of the 'Picture the Year' quilt which this mini quilt is part of.

The little chooks are getting used to their new home but they are coming back in if the temperature drops below freezing.
Tonight I will be mainly ironing - what an exciting life I lead. But for now the internet connection in playing up so I'm going to press the publish button while I still can.  Have a good week everyone.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Paint, stitch, housework - in that order

Saturday morning was our first sortie on to the Hill this year and we're raring to go.  It's been a few weeks since we painted and what a lovely time we had!  I wanted something pretty to store my crochet hooks in so I chose a little pot that would become a flower.

This is the first coat but will have to wait until next week because I had a huge list to get through today - mostly on account of sitting yesterday afternoon stitching my strippy quilt and watching rugby. It's a hard life. Anyhoo I washed the dishes from the night before (naughty girl) painted until nine, got my shopping list together and scraped the frost off the car. After I dropped off the shopping I went to Dainty Crafts to get some bits and pieces for bag making with my Year 10 class. John, Steph and Ben came round so I put the ironing on hold (no hardship).  Anyway that's all done now and the chicken is roasting away happily and the house is quiet.

Talking about chickens - 
They are looking particularly scruffy at the moment as they start to grow their fluffy feathers but how big are they growing? We have acquired a rabbit hutch for their transition from warm house to chilly garden, via the sun lounge. Could I just say that these are not destined for the table!

The first Mavis and Gladys class of 2014 took place last Thursday and the ladies started on Picture the Year.  If you want to take part the first block is ready to download here.  There is also a bonus pattern if you want to make up the blocks into a Mini-Quilt.  That is the part of the to-do list that I didn't reach today.  There should have been a finished picture of the Mini Quilt but I'm afraid it's still in its component parts.  Next week....

I made some choc chip mint cupcakes for the class but actually I didn't like them very much.  I like After Eight Mints but not Mint Chip Ice Cream or cake. I don't want to make only the ones I like though.  John has suggested sticky toffee cupcakes.  I think I'll make something savoury too for those ladies who don't have a sweet tooth. 

So now I'll serve the dinner and then get into my jammies.  The weekend has gone so quickly, as it does and I haven't got to the bottom of my to-do list again, but hey ho.  

I hope your week is productive and enjoyable, in whichever order pleases you most!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Not a good day for photos but Picture the Year starts today

I'm having some trouble importing photos.  No sure what the problem is but there are some lovely ones of Ben going through his Daddy's rucksack that won't upload.  I was going to show you what was in the said rucksack - A lap top power cable, two pens, a butt bungee, a neck exerciser, two satsumas and an old ipod! I'll just confirm that John is a Sports Physio and the Butt Bungee is an elastic band which helps to strengthen "Glutes" - bum muscles which have become weakened and unbalanced and are giving back pain - just for the record.
This is the only one and is quite blurred.  Ben is not well at the moment and we spent last night in the emergency room. He has croup which frightened the bejeezus out of his Mammy and Daddy and Ben too I think. He had some steroids and they let him out about 2am so everyone is a bit tired today. He is still very wheezy and pale.

The lamp I have been shabbying up has been a bit of a disaster!  The paint wouldn't dry properly.  After two days I decided to paint over the Dulux One Coat  Three Coats with some acrylic craft paint.  That worked great.  I shaded the edges with some pinky lilac to go with the new shade and decided to give the whole thing a quick spray with the sealer. Look what happened:
A bit too shabby I think.  I sanded it down again but it is not the best effort I have made. However it has been salvaged now and is lighting my bedside.
Tried a new recipe today for custard creams - they were yummy and pronounced fit to bake for the quilt class on Thursday. They went in a flash. (Edd Kimber's recipe). They were really crisp and light but I do think they ought to be square!

Quick update on the little chicks - they are really growing strong now and can perch on their own.  They had some delicious dried mealworms today. Mmmm.
The quilt which I marked up during the summer holidays was on my to do list and I had forgotten how wonderfully relaxing it is to just quilt. It changes a piece of flat fabric into something really special.  I'm going to enjoy this one very much.
So, if you're wondering when I am going to get round to publishing the fabric requirements for 'Picture the Year' you will have to go to  because I couldn't get a downloadable pdf file into blogger and had to set up a wordpress blog.  I'm still working on it so will put a link in every week until I've got it figured out. There will be paper copies available at High Street Quilting from this Friday onwards or if all else fails email me at and I'll send a copy that way. The pattern is free - yipee!

I'm looking forward to seeing all the lovely ladies at the first quilt meeting of the year at High Street Quilting on Thursday but it's back to work tomorrow and I find myself yearning for the time when this is my work. Sooner rather than later I hope.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

2014 - The year to say No!

I expect everybody knows what it feels like when someone asks you to do something - your brain says "no" and your mouth says "yes".  This is going to be the year when my mouth follows my brain.  "No" to working late when everyone has gone home.  "No" to working a weekends when I should be with my lovely family or chilling out in my little nest. "No" to the fast food because now I will have enough time to make something with real, delicious ingredients. "No" to sitting down staring into space when I can be creating instead of wishing I was creating.

I expect everyone can think of lots of things to say "no' to - go ahead - give yourself permission.

A little while ago I bought a lampshade to make over a lamp which I've had for years.  The lamp is going to be shabbied up.

Am I going to get the get the paint out and put it away a couple of days later because I couldn't be bothered? "NO!"

Bring it on 2014.