Thursday, 26 July 2018

Little Buttons

I collected a lovely bag of gorgeousness this morning - be still my beating heart!  Sitting down with a cup of coffee and a little baklava or two I spent a happy half hour sorting the piles into a little box that I happened to have lying about (a few years lying about - but it is now a very useful little box).
I had a few errands to run this morning so I'm not going to have much time to sew but I will get on with bits I have prepared until John comes to collect me at two.

First of all the August Mini Quilt - this will have a little bee button on it too.
Just some little french knots to add for 'seed's and the back to sew on.
Also on the list for today is a little more for my sewing machine cover - I fussy-cut the flowers from some lawn. Still having a love affair with linen and lawn. I'll embroider the lettering with back stitch and buttonhole around the flowers and leaves. It is the most relaxing thing to do.
Oh I think this should have a little been button on it too! Maybe I should have asked for more of them.  There are some tiny little apple buttons which will be going on my September Mini Quilt. Squeak.

There are more designs swirling around in my head for the last three months of the year too. So exciting.....

That was on a blog I follow - so apt! Although sometimes there is nothing going on at all in my head!

The washing machine is beavering away and I'm going to run the vacuum cleaner round quickly so I won't feel too guilty about sitting sewing.

We are having a nightmare with the network at work at the moment - everything went down again yesterday. Tomorrow someone is coming round to fix it or give it the last rites. Fingers are crossed all round that it is not going to be too costly, but somehow I think it is.  The system is fantastic when it is working but so frustrating when things go wrong.

I've discovered a new blog with the most stunning photographs on - take a look at Reflections and Nature - the colours are awe-inspiring and she likes a bit of crafting too.

One of the ladies at the class is bringing cake tomorrow so I might make something savoury to take. It will have to be made just beforehand though seeing as the weather is so hot.  Yesterday was muggy and airless. It rained a bit but it didn't really refresh.

Will is in the middle of harvest now (cutting barley and wheat) so he may not be home for lunch.  It's a full-on time of the year for him and he is exhausted at the end of a long hot day.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

I am cut out for this!

It's been a hard couple of weeks at work and I've hardly had any time to stitch.  I've managed to crochet some more squares for my little chair backs,  but finally this week I managed to make a little bag from a pattern I bought a couple of weeks ago.  I had the material chosen but just didn't have time to pull everything out.  Once I got started it was a quick and satisfying make.
Very soon I had the simple version made up.
It is just perfect to store my crochet pieces neatly.

Simple pattern, good instructions, thank you Sandra Paul of Cherry Heart.

I've been dithering about going to the Festival of Quilts this year.  It's been about four years, maybe five since I went. I managed to get a good deal on the train last time (it's about a three and a half hour journey by car - so seven hours if I want to do it in a day). No such luck with the train this time - over £200!

When I went in search of fabrics to make another little bag I was reminded of how much beautiful fabric I actually own. Do I want to spend lots of money to get more? I would feel a lot less guilty if I just went through my stash and used some of that. I might yet decide to jump into the car and go but I really, really don't need to!

I came across some lovely linens I bought about three or four years ago when Karin and I went to our nearly annual trip to the Sandown Quilt Festival.  Very quickly another bag was, well, in the bag. I love it!

I might send this down to Karin but will probably make another one the same!

My love affair with linen and lawn is not over yet though. Inspired by one of Sandra's bag designs I made some hexagons in Tana Lawn whilst watching the F1 this afternoon.  This is going to be a cover for my little sewing machine. A trusty Light-Weight Singer.
There are going to be words, embroidery, and other embellishments on this.  Watch this space!

Cakey loveliness this week took the form of Chocolate Orange Shortbreads.

Gooey and sweet - yum.  Not as orangey as I expected seeing as there were 5 oranges in it. I think a little more rind and some lemon juice for the sharpness.  I managed to give away some spares so I didn't have them in the tin beckoning to me!

It's been a bit like Piccadilly Circus at home today so I haven't managed to do as much as I wanted to but there are still a couple of hours of daylight left so I'll do a little more stitching and make sure there are things to pick up during my magic hour before work.

I've made enough squares for the first little crochet blanket and have started sewing them together and  have prepared the fabrics for the August Mini Quilt so that will keep me occupied this week.  The boys are coming to stay next weekend so I won't be doing much stitching then.

Going through my stash reaffirms the love I have for quilting. I am so very definitely cut out for this sort of thing!

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Feeling a little lazy this weekend

I'm really hot a hot weather person so the breeze we have had over the past three days has been very welcome. Especially when I was cooking this morning. I'm trying to plan better for the week so I don't come home and fall on the cheese on toast.

Oven baked onion bhajis - just an experiment at the moment. I think I may need to ramp up the chilli a bit to compensate for the lack of oil.  I fried them gently in a tiny bit of coconut oil first and then made a spicy batter with chick pea flour and water. They don't have the same crispy fried texture but the ones you get from the take-away are absolutely dripping in oil. (Damn, my mouth's watering)
Little turkey mince patties flavoured with chilli and lemon and black pepper.  I'll serve these with yoghurt and mint and some salad for supper tonight and freeze the rest.

There was a little bit of broccoli skulking in the fridge so I made some broccoli and spinach soup, served with a sprinkling of seeds - and it matches my latest crochet square!
I'm watching the British Grand Prix and making more squares. I've made 38 so far but need two sets of 54 to make little decoration drapes for the back of my new garden seat.  I bought some paint for it this morning - Daisy White Cuprinol so if I can drag my sorry butt into the garden when it cools down I'll do some painting.  I have some cushions for them and the germ of an idea for covering them to match.

There's not much more going on here at the moment I'm afraid to report. I tend to lose my quilting mojo in the summer months but hopefully the preparations for the class will spur me on.  I'm looking forward to going to a workshop at High Street Quilting on 4th August - on the other end for a change.

Lethargy is pulling at me and when I have washed all the dishes I used earlier I'm giving in to it!

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Feeling positive

It is much easier to feel good when the sun is shining. It's starting to work its magic. So is managing my diet/lifestyle - I'm not going full vegan but I am enjoying the simplicity of this book. No recipe has more than seven ingredients, yet they taste amazing.
The last couple of weeks have been a roller-coaster of emotions. My brother, the wedding, my last baby flying the nest, a flare-up of my back, computer problems at work.....

So settled back in my home I have been taking stock. The latest flare up of my back, happening just before I left for the wedding, the long flight and the long walks left me in a lot of pain.  John has been fantastic and the problem is back under control again.

I suppose the sobering things - my 64th birthday while we were away, not being able to enjoy walks in the lovely countryside, struggling to climb the stairs, smiling when I wanted to cry and crying when I wanted to smile, wondering whether the pain was here to stay, spending a holiday with my amazing and beautiful boys - all these made me reflect on my life and how I choose to live it. Heedless or mindful?

So enough of the philosophising. Get back to reality - be positive you silly old goat!

Apart from the crochet squares, which have been a hooky saviour I haven't done much at all. The pile is getting higher though and I'm loving it.  I have some fabric ready to cut to make a couple of little project bags. I got a pattern from Sandra at Cherry Heart. I particularly love the bee motif and this may be sneaking into other projects

(picture from Cherry Heart Blog)

I'm eagerly awaiting the delivery of my buttons and have lots of designs planned for them.  This afternoon I'm going to bake some lovely cookies for the ladies at the class - I've missed them and am really looking forward to seeing everyone again.

Until next time xxx

Sunday, 1 July 2018

At home

I loved our trip to Spain, it was so wonderful. A different sort of trip - not a holiday but still a holiday.  I'm always glad to get home to my little house and my routine and my familiar things though. The trip home was not too bad, despite the fact that the airport was so crowded we thought we would miss our flight.  We stood for ages waiting for the passport control and would definitely have missed the flight if they hadn't decided to open another booth - we ran for it and were the last to board!  Ben managed to get a seat with the captain on our Airbus 320
And Max took advantage of some in-flight snacks (no one said you have to eat Pringles one at a time)
Unfortunately we got a call at Malaga Airport to say the server at work had gone offline so John headed there as soon as we landed at Newcastle. We dropped the cases off and went back to meet him. A power surge had damaged the hard drive and after a few hours he still couldn't get it working. He took it to an expert the following day and thankfully it is all restored to the night before the power cut.  Steph and I have our work cut out transferring the missing information from Claire's handwritten notes. Monday mornings - who'd have 'em?

The garden hadn't suffered too badly considering how warm it had been at home and the animals were pleased to see us. The rabbit was a bit stressed though.

My birthday present from John and Steph was a bit heavy to take abroad so I got that when we came back!
It'll have to wait to be assembled - I think I might paint it first.  The crochet chair backs will be ready fairly soon as I worked on them in the quiet moments in Spain and today while watching the Grand Prix
Some new yarn arrived while I was away
and I made up some squares.
There are still a couple more colours to come and I will have plenty to do other projects. The yarn is called Coton Fifty from Bergere de France. Not too easy to get hold of but it works together with the Svarta Faret Tilda Yarn I had.

I love this stage
Lots of lovely circles waiting to be squared off.  Some patchwork cushions are on the cards too.
Alex and Will against the sunset in Spain - you can't see but there is a 100 foot drop directly behind that fence. The villa was perched on the side of a mountain - very beautiful but quite hard work on the old legs!

I didn't eat too much whilst away but I'm going to be careful and try to lose a bit more weight. I don't have a very good body image anyway but felt quite (very) self conscious amongst the others - quite out of my comfort zone.  There but for me go I, as my father used to say.  Do I finish my birthday chocolates or ration them, or even give them away?  Get a grip girl. Get a grip.

I got around to sending some button designs to be laser-cut and hope to have them back soon to paint.

I have lots of stitching designs pending or swimming around in my head that need a particular button and I'm excited to see how they turn out. I've missed painting and want to get back to that but it always seems to be hard to fit things in. Am I slowing down so much I ask myself? Lethargy kicks in a lot nowadays.

Anyhoo -  I'm going to get my footspa out and have a final pamper before I get into work mode.  The chocs are going into the freezer and will be divided into 100 calorie snack portions. My next few days  meals are mapped out ready, so there are no excuses about being too tired to cook when I get home.

I am at peace with the world (I think)........