Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Week Of Thoughts

I always like this week of the year. All the frenzy of the Christmas period has just left and there's the excitement of the New year just waiting around the corner. I like the fresh page feeling.

I've never been one for resolutions, I don't like the thought of always setting goals too high and failing. I have been considering the year ahead quite a bit over the past few days though.

I have very naughtily put on nearly two stone this past year and I really have to do something about it. I know my knee has stopped me being too active and, as a last straw, my back went on Sunday as I was making the bed. I am not going to say I am going to go on a mad fitness regime and loose the two stone, I AM going to do my best to be more active and be more moderate and considerate in what I eat.

The other area I would really like to change is my fabulous ability for procrastination! I can sit for hours looking at other peoples lovely work and think 'I wish I could do that' and know I have the time, so why don't I just start?

Well on the last matter I did decide to make a start. White Nights has been hanging over the banister for months and I do have the machine to quilt it I just kept putting it of. I asked Mike to help me put the extra length on the studio frame on Monday and I loaded it with the top etc. Yesterday afternoon I had some time to start so off I went. AND IT FEELS GOOD!!!

Here's Ari in her 12+ foot mode with just over half the quilting done.

Now no more delay, I'm going to finish the top and sort the binding before John comes back from fishing. Maybe I will have it on the bed before New Year!

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Seasonal Greetings

I managed to bind and finish the MM3 table runner.  None of the photos show how sparkly the white fabric is so you will just have to imagine.

I have been playing with Ari (Ariadne is the name of the Avante 18.  Don't ask why, it just happened to be and the name of the mistress of the labyrinth is quite appropriate because of the maze like patterns we tend to quilt with).  I am becoming more confident but still a long way from wanting to tackle the big White Nights quilt for our bed.  I knew it wouldn't see this Christmas!  The JB Baby Blocks quilt is on it at the moment and I'm doing a Suzanne Early technique which has worked out quite well.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday break and plenty of crafting.  Thank you for spending some of your time this past year reading this blog, I've enjoyed reading yours too.

I have just watched the fabulous In Action by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn (Lovely ladies but the really bad manicure was a ! moment to me!) and I had Judy Coates Perez on screen last night so quite inspired.  I'm off to actually play with my sketchbooks!!


Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Can You See Clearly?

We can't here and it's such a shame.  The Lunar Eclipse was this morning between 07.00 and 08.50 and the cloud is so thick.  It's nice to know Mother Nature can do such spectacular things and then throw a spanner in the works like cloud!

I have finished wrapping and dressing and cooking and Christmas can't happen soon enough now.  Even the Sky Box is set to record all the things we will gradually watch through the year rather than all at once.

Why is it we have all these wonderful ideas of what we can make for Christmas about now when time is running out.  I've started to gather a pile of ideas, patterns, sketches and downloads of things I would like to do and I will put it somewhere where I can dip into it later next year.  One of my main projects will be a tree skirt for us!  I did one for Elsa last year but ours is still an old bought one as you can see.  When the new workroom (I can't bring myself to call it a studio!) is built it will be one of the first things to tackle.

Have a wonderful Shortest Day and may your planetary New Year begin tomorrow with a few extra moments of daytime creating!!


Saturday, 18 December 2010

One Minute Thirty

Yes it snowed, where hasn't it!  I just thought I would show you this short clip of two of the bird feeding stations in the front garden.  It's not great but they do show up better against the snow.  The garden is like this nearly all the time most days!

Just in this are Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Robin, Dunnock, Bramling, Sparrow, Blackbird, Starling and Blue, Coal and Great Tit.

Those missing are Pigeon and Dove, Pheasant, Song Thrush, Woodpecker and the Longtail Tits.  Already been and gone for the moment but they will be back. 

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

MM3 Almost There

The MM3 has come to an end.  I decided to do the 'with ends' option.  It seems to fit the table better and will certainly be more filling on it if we have the flaps out and in 10 seater mode!

All there is left to do now is layer and quilt which I'm am quite looking forward to doing and yes, for this Christmas!  I have some lovely metallic threads that will suit the white just right.

The show went well with the robins disappearing very fast.  I think we can quite happily say we added a little to the charity funds and had a good day too.

We are just off out to find some last minute bits for the house.  Then I'm going to have to force the issue and find the tree. My knee is playing up superbly and I'm not looking forward to crawling around up in a squished attic looking for the right boxes and my best Santa's Little Helper is thousands of miles away.  I miss her all the time but some days are harder than others.

I did send her the Christmas hanging I made below. (Please excuse the state of my DW! I will pick the threads off it soon.)  She received it yesterday and has been showing everyone she can.  Bless.  It's from the book Quilt Yourself Gorgeous by Mandy Shaw.

Now to don the armour and face the crowds!!


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

MM3 and Robins

We have made a leap forward in this weeks MM3 and the end is in sight, I think, unless Chris and Barbara are going to throw in a curve ball!  I do love these fabrics and will definitely have to make something more with them.

On Monday I went and helped hang the paintings for the exhibition.  43 great pieces of art plus my 6 that aren't actually for sale!  I think they were pleased with the bits I made to help with funds though.  Nina would like the aquarium cards framed and set up as pictures instead and I also made these robins from a pattern of Helen's from Bustle and Sew.  As they are her pattern I don't want to sell them but will ask for a charitable donation instead.  That is if there are any left, Nina keeps pinching them.


Sunday, 5 December 2010

A Finish, a Start and a Date, or Two.

Yesterday I finished this little table centre.  All the fabrics were hand dyed by Maggi at To Dream To Stitch.  I hand pieced and quilted it and it is from a pattern called Solar Eclipse that one of my ladies had done at sewing group and I admired very much.  Piecing bias curves is not as hard as it seems when it's done over paper. 16.5 inches.  It goes fab with the bowl Maggi.

I signed up to Lisa Walton's new beading class that starts in the new year at Dyed and Gone to Heaven.  I'm just OK with beading but I'm also always willing to gather new information and expand ideas!

Also the Friday Night Sew In this month has two dates.  This Friday the 10th and also the 17th of December.  I'm almost done with Christmassy things so I will hopefully be using the time to catch up on other things that have been put aside.


Friday, 3 December 2010

It's Snow Joke

Well I guess you all have your own snow stories.  We've only just had ours arrive.  I really do believe that this part of Dorset is quite often in a slightly different time line to the rest of the planet.  I won't inundate you with photos.  It's white everywhere and quite often very beautiful.  I have the Hellebores out and was going to take photos of them but they are now under  blanket of the white stuff and I'm not going to disturb them.

There is a possibility that my friend Gilly will be holding an exhibition and sale of work next week, this is weather permitting I'm sure, and she has asked if I could put in some of my quilts and bits.  Trouble is I don't sell my stuff so I have been making things that could be sold just to raise a little cash for the Royal Signals Benevolent Fund at the local camp, every penny counts. So far I have made the following.

Aquarium cards A5 size.  I took the photos after I put them in the cellophane wrappers so they are a bit shiny.

 Some quick baubles from panel fabric.  They remind me of ravioli!

And some Teabag Wallets.

I have other bits on order to make more things but whether they arrive in time is another thing. 

I did have these DVD's arrive in the post so a great time reading through them will be next on the list! 

I hope you are all staying safe and warm.


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Oh My, Not What I Expected At All!

The lovely Benta at SLIK Stitches was kind enough to give me an award this week.

There is the catch that I am suppose to tell you ten things about myself. I have really struggled to think of ten things! Well here goes anyway. lol

1) The Obstetrician who looked after my mum and delivered me also looked after me and oversaw the delivery of my daughter. (He had enormous hands!).

2) When I was five I applied to be a presenter on Blue Peter. I had a personal reply from Biddy Baxter herself, something which I believe she was well known for.

3) I had one of my paintings shown on Vision On and two on Take Hart. I adored Tony Hart!

4) I was always convinced I could make something from all the bits in the big box that my mum kept in the bottom of the cupboard.  It was mostly unusable old plugs, wire, fuses, screws etc but if I added the contents of the button box something miraculous would be made! Or so I thought.  I still look at most things with an eye to what else I can use it for. 

5) I joined the Girls Nautical Training Corps at 13.  Later I did go through the process of all the aptitude tests etc for the Navy too, which I passed with flying colours, I just failed the medical through bad spinal discs. I was gutted.

6) One of the courses we could do in the GNTC was ropework, handy when dealing with boats and, because I was already quite crafty, I soon qualified to teach Ropecraft.  It is so cool when you are that age to teach 'grown ups' how to tie proper knots and make rope fenders and I was allowed to wear a very fancy lanyard on my uniform.

7) I did a lot of training with the RNLI and was one of the first females allowed to do some of this.  I was only 14/15 though so it was never recognised except in my Duke of Edinburgh's Award book.  But I have been thrown out of life boats and winched up to helicopters and set off flares and made lots of hot soup and cups of tea!  All wonderful experiences.

8) I did my school Trident experience in a motorcycle shop learning to put bikes through their MOT's. (Again quite a few cups of tea had to be made!  I am now terrible at making tea.)

9) I used to do fencing.  No the type involving creosote but the swords type.  Loved it, great exercise and fabulous for airing frustrations.  

10) Better late than never, despite always having been invloved with motorcycles, I actually passed my full motorcycle licence when I was 36.  I much prefer cars now though! 

I hope that didn't bore you.  Thank you again Benta and sorry it took so long, it was hard work! 

I hope you all have a great Sunday.


Friday, 26 November 2010

Testing, testing

Just seeing if the BlogPress does what it says it will and let me post photos to the blog from iPad.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 22 November 2010

At Last a Little Action

It seems to have taken ages to find the enthusiasm to create again.  I often think that being ill could be a nice excuse to hide away from boring day to day things and sneak in some extra stitching.  But no.  I think some of the things we take for coughs and colds include a lethargy inducer.  It’s all behind me now though and Chirstmas has been calling.

John took me down to Highcliffe Castle to see the Stitch and Turn exhibition of Heather Lipscombe and Ken Briffett.  Heather is an outstanding needlewoman and her pieces are wonderful.  The detail and techniques really something to aspire to, I just wish I could be one of her students! 

After the exhibition we took the dogs down onto Highcliffe beach for a charge around and saw this flock of oystercatchers flying along the breaker line.  The whole flock undulated as the waves rose beneath them, it was quite a site.

I have been making a few more bits for Chrismas, most of which I can’t show, yet anyway.  I have kept up with the Mystery Monday and the Magical Minis but I have also had a little play.  

The last Jinny Beyer newsletter included a pattern to make this unusual pincusion.  John thinks it's supposed to be a starfish and I think I agree with him!  Different! 

We also had a wonderful treat of visiting the studio of Marie Roper in the DMTV last week where she gave us a demo of how she made her dolls.  I don't like dolls usually, I never have done, I think it's the humanising but I was surprised at how I liked Marie's.  Perhaps it's because they are more of a characteur than trying to be too real.  Anyway, I couldn't resist a go at her technique and this is my madam.

If you are not a member of the website, I can not recommend it enough.

Off to watch Iron Man 2 now. 


Monday, 15 November 2010

Not Lax, Just Icky

Such a long time since the last post.  I have had a quick play on the Avante and I have done some bits for Christmas but the past few days I have had a whopping cold and bad throat.  Not too much fun but I appreciate the comfort of a home made quilt and log fire.

I was supposed to be meeting up with some friends this evening but I will call that off, I hate catching these things let alone passing them around, and I won't go to sewing group tomorrow as Heather has just come out of her last Chemo and I'm am certainly not risking her catching it either.  It looks like the highlight of my week will be John having a check up with a doctor called Mr Pain.  How hilarious! I shouldn't laugh, it starts me coughing again.

Anyway, hope you all have a good week and no you can't catch the lurgy through a computer screen!


Saturday, 6 November 2010


I previously mentioned that I did take the side strip off and turn it around.  You can see it matches the chequers which is quite strange because I certainly didn't consciously do it that way!  Must have been the little fellas at it again, and the nap of the velvet is the same now.

Month 5 was to add two pieces to the top (or bottom), one 4 x 6 inches and one 4 x 7 inches.  my 6" piece is the three strips of silk to the left and the 7" piece is the silk with the mottling and small piece of velvet to the right.

I must admit to struggling a little with this.  I do work quite a lot intuitively, seeing where the work takes me with a vague idea but I think the stumbling block is that someone else (Kate) has the master plan and I haven't had a peek.  I feel this way when I have a workshop and there are very vague instructions or I haven't seen tutor 'samples' of what we should be doing.  Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying the challenge and Kate is doing a fab job being hostess but I am pushing myself through a wall each month.  Perhaps I need to do this more often!! 

Friday, 5 November 2010

It Was Worth It!

In the major turn around that we have been doing here I've found all sorts of things.  But I've also gone into memory brain overload and can't remember where I've put anything!  I have labelled boxes but it's not the same as knowing where something is because it's the thing you use a lot and put it down in the same place all the time.  My work space may look like chaos to the untrained eye but it is an actually logical space to work.  I am working on it though!

I found a bag of cut diamonds from Jinny Beyer border prints, yes another one of her patterns, and Monday and Tuesday I put them together and I now have this lap top to quilt.

I have also chosen my fabrics for the quick Christmas Mystery Mondays 3.  You can't see in the photo but the white has really sparkly gold all over it and is lovely and I just couldn't resist the red stars! 

I also had my first skein of wool from Debbie.  Quite an exciting colour and very subtle changes and oh so beautifully soft.  I will hunt out the swift later and wind it up.

And the reason why we needed the room and the change around arrived on Wednesday.  It was like waiting for a baby to arrive!  I've spent quite a bit of time practising, it feels very different from the Nolting, much heavier for a start, and now I've jumped in.  Here it is loaded with MM 2 as my first piece.  Well I have to start somewhere!  Just waiting for it to tell me it's name.

I have all this going on and we have Chris and Mike are here over the weekend, fishing tomorrow weather permitting, and a whopping urge to have a scribble in my C&G sketchbook.  Anyone any idea where I put that????


Monday, 1 November 2010

Now November

I'm not a fan of Halloween.  It may be a traditional Celtic celebration to celebrate the end of the summer half of the year and the start of the winter half, which I don't mind, it's just been so hugely lost in commercialism and silliness (don't mention the Hollywood factor) that I don't find it enjoyable.  But it does mean that there are 54 days from All Saints Day until Christmas.  Don't panic!

We also have Guy Fawkes night on the 5th.  Now this one I have always enjoyed.  It is my sons birthday on 2nd and his dads on 5th so we always had a huge party and bonfire to celebrate.  Very panicky to organise but after you've done it a few times, it becomes easier.  And this date to me means all the rest is done and I can stop grumbling about the Christmas adverts on the telly (since September) and begin the run up proper.  They have my permission. lol

I managed a little sewing last night.  I put just the one border on the Mystery Monday quilt in the mid patterned green as I had a lot of that left over and I will do the binding in the dark background when it is quilted. I did think of doing a crumb catcher insert but it cut off the points I had spent a lot of time making sharp, so that went out of the window.  Sorry no picture, it's put away safe from the chaos upstairs.  Just remind me where I put it when I can't find it will you?  New MM quilt starts soon.  *EDIT*  Chris has just posted MM3, a quickie for Christmas.

I also took the side strip off the Stay at Home Robin and simply turned it upside down.  Part of the problem was the nap in the velvet being in the opposite direction.  Sort of rubbed me the wrong way.  It turns out that not only did it look better but the chequer squares matched up!  Pleased with that.  I will put up a picture once Kate has told us what we are doing this month and I have done it.

I also arranged and started sewing some blocks of another quilt I had cut.  Quite pleasing to do in baby blocks.  If anything it is also making me use the room where all my things are at the moment.  I would go nuts if I didn't have the sewing to do and I have to clear my head of the 'I can wait until the new room is built' thing as that could be another 4 months away.  It's just keeping track of where things are as I move them!

As these posts always look a little lost without a picture I thought I'd just throw this one from last November when Ruger thought he preferred Tully's bed.  She didn't agree.  They both have an enormous wicker bed to share now and are much happier.

Have a good week.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Finally Found Kirstie!! Set the record button!

It's taken quite a bit of detective work and I still don't think it was that easy to find but the new Kirstie's Homemade Home starts this Tuesday, 2nd November, Channel 4, 8pm.   (Thanks Radio 4 for the reminder!)

All chaos here.  I think I have some sort of plan in mind and I'm just about keeping tabs on what I'm moving around where.

I think I may just find some handwork, a good film and a glass of wine in a bit though.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Nearing Completion

Over last weekend I first quickly made a little teabag pin cushion.  The one I had beside Bob kept falling off the table and so I made this one and filled it with fine aquarium sand.  It doesn't move and sharpens the pins too.  It's a 4" x 8" finished size rectangle of stripy pieced fabrics sewn into a tube.  One end is then sewn, re fold 45 degrees on and sew the other seam.  I did make an identical one from calico to hold the sand and put that inside the cover before slip stitching the last side.  If in doubt of the shape, look at those pyramid teabags!!!  (Don't ask me why the background is pink, I think the computer was struggling with the RGB balance.  It's white watercolour paper really!)

The other thing I attacked I had dug out of the UFO pile which was the White Nights quilt by Jinny Beyer.  I had made all the blocks, (all 1" strips!), a while a go and then added it to the pile.  Over the weekend I put in the corners and squared up.  Next job was to piece together and yesterday I put on the borders.  It's over the banister upstairs as it's king size and the only way I can photograph it easily at the moment.  Underneath is the wadding which arrived in super quick time as always from Asding, thanks Ali.

Congrats are to go out to Maggi who has one of her little quilts in print, please go over to her site for a nosey, she also has another of the Mystery Mondays done and it looks smashing.

I'm about to do an all change in the room arrangements and my Nolting mid arm and Grace Pro quilting frame are going onto Ebay, the space is needed.  I am quickly trying to sort a few of the outstanding projects before the upheaval so I will hopefully have a clue to where I am.  We have Mike here at the weekend and hopefully Chris too so I will abuse their muscle power and have them move furniture.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Time to Play with Mystery Monday

The putting together instruction arrived in the in box this morning.  This is what I have up on the design wall at the moment.

John says it looks like a nuclear explosion.

I like the way that you see things very differently through a lens and on a screen.  I can now see the four circles clearly, on the wall I see the baskets.

I may play with it a little before committing but I do like this way.  I also can't find the fabric key at the moment and wanted to check which was my A colour!  Daft or what.  I also think the borders will really finish it.

I think I have a couple of hours to fiddle but I have lunch with some girlfriends today and don't want to become too engrossed!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

SAHR Catch up

I've finally set in piece 4 of the Stay at Home Robin.

BUT I'm not too happy with it.  The chequer doesn't match up and that bugs me.  If I think some over stitching will sort of blend it, I may leave it but I can feel a ripping out coming.  I'll live with it a moment or two......

Monday, 18 October 2010

Temari Finished

I managed to fit in 16 Magical Minis, the 4 inch blocks, over the weekend and finally finished the third Temari.  I started the first, the red, whilst we were going backwards and forwards to the Isle of Wight trying to bring back one of the cars so that was July 2009.  I then managed the black gold one and started the blue.  The blue ended up in the UFO pile whilst other projects took centre stage and as things are usually more balanced in odd numbers I haven't shown them until I had a 'set'.

They all have the rattle inside but I didn't do a wish as these were for me to practise on and not gifts.  They would make a lovely goodwill gift for a bride or new baby (not as a toy) though as they are traditionally given to girls with a secret wish inside and symbolise a happy life. 

Saturday, 16 October 2010

All Quiet

Or not.  We've been a little busy with things other than me sewing so not a lot to post really.  I just needed to move a post on as John took the mickey out of me for using the word 'gota' in the last title!  I was very firmly taught that there was no need for the word 'got' in the English language, there is always a better alternative and so I really don't like that little word.  Me actually using it is very rare!  Strange what peculiar things stick with you from school (Thank you Mrs Robinson, I've never forgotten!).

I completed Module 1 of my C&G course and had a favourable report back.  It was really interesting, I can't remember the last time I did such formal kind of learning.  I've no idea of the structure these things are supposed to take so I just made it up.  Mind you the Module itself was superbly laid out and great to follow.  At the end I could feel my brain unlocking and seeing things quite differently.  I could probably go back and do the whole thing again totally differently, but that would lose the point of the journey.  I have added quite a few extra parts for my own peace of mind though.  Module 2 looks just as interesting and I can really see how the first part has helped me open up for the second.

John was fishing on Thursday and caught a 13 lb cod.  He was over the moon.  He had some for dinner last night and thoroughly enjoyed it, the rest is in the freezer.  I don't eat fish myself but I enjoy fishing, especially salmon on the fly, and prefer catch and release, but John manages to eat his sea catches.  I love looking closely at the fish.  They have the most beautiful markings on them that never seem to work well on camera.  I think it's the freshness and the movement that make the difference, not something you find on the supermarket slab!

Anyway, before my brain starts on another train of thought for a design...  I will pick up a needle this morning, the first in a few days! Sorry no pictures today.

Have a good weekend.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Just Gotta 'Ave 'Em

Our lovely Horse Chestnut is still doing it's thing despite possible signs of the Bleeding Canker, a most devastating disease that could be about to do as much damage to England as Dutch Elm Disease.  Why is it that the conkers, so fresh and plump, are something I find I just have to have, even just for the few days before they start to shrivel. I can't resist!

Perhaps it's that they are so paintable, but I never seem to finally do them in paint or pastel.  Perhaps it's a reminder of the boys in junior school bragging about whose was bigger.  Do you remember the ways to make them last in Conkers? Dry them, bake them, soak them in vinegar all to have the title of a six-er or eight-er or more! Wow.

We'll just enjoy them for the moment and not put them through the rigmarole!

I have been trying to make the Nolting work properly for a few days and I think I have succeeded.  After a few tweaks this morning I have managed to quilt a whole single top for the lady who holds our sewing group today.  Nothing too elaborate, she only wanted stipple which I was more than happy to do on a poorly mid arm!

I also, finally, managed to finish the little panel that I started when we were touring around Spain and Portugal with Elsa and Mike last year!  It was a download from Quilting Arts, just something quick (ha ha) to do whilst away.

There are lots of sitting in the back of the car together stitches and sitting by the pool stitches and waiting for dinner stitches and lots of we're not listening to car talk stitches in that little panel.  

I'm missing Elsa a lot today. 

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Busy Day

We have been looking out at the beautiful red Brandt grapes hanging on the vine outside the study for a while now and thinking it was a shame not to use them.  They're a bit on the small side and pippy but very sweet and tasty.  The birds love them.  I saw a recipe for red current jelly, which I use a lot of in my winter cooking, and wondered about grape.  Sure enough there are plenty of versions of it out there and we chose two that seemed favourable.  A rummage in the garage came to the conclusion that we had sent far too many jars to the recycling and none were left of the right size for the jelly.  After a trip to Hobbycraft we came back with these ten 8oz jars which were soon filed with the most beautiful coloured grape jelly.  Just the labels to print now.

John also went a picked the apples from the trees to make apple sauce. Considdering the harsh pruning we have put the trees through over the past couple of years, we were surprised at how many there were.  All bagged up and in the freezer now.

I bought some round needles whilst we were at Hobbycraft as I've joined Debbie's Sock Club just to find some of her lovely yarn in the post box every month.  I've just finished knitting John a hat for this winters fishing and realised how much I missed it and how easy it is to watch a film etc doing it.  I used to do knitting for pin money when the children were very small for a friend of mine who had the local knit shop.  It soon all comes back though.  No more cold feet this winter! 

For absolutely ages I have wanted to buy a set of Tsukineko fabric inks.  Not just any set, the workstation.  Of course it's not for sale over here and I hummed and ahhed about having it sent over.  I found it on the Overstock site who now ship to UK with the claim that what you pay is what you pay.  No added taxes or shipping.  I thought, OK, this has to be worth a try!  No customs or Parcel Force/Royal Mail rip off??  Yeah right!!!   And here they are all the way from Newark. AANNNDDDD I ordered them a week ago on the 26th September.  No waiting, no extra charges, no problem.

Pickled onions are soaking in brine tonight for pickling tomorrow.  Roast pork with apple sauce, squash and beans from the garden for dinner and a Tsukineko DVD to watch later.  A good day.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Another Visit

It must be a male thing.  Our mail sparrow hawk seemed to have an interest in the hand tools the last time he visited the garage.  This time it was one of the cars.  So interesting and exciting in fact, he knocked himself out!

How John first found him...

And just as he was coming too.

John managed to give him a quick once over, very quick!, and he flew off up the garden.  Quite a relief.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Ear, Ear!

You may have noticed I’ve had a little change in the decor.  I thought I’d better move over to the newer model of template, the old one was becoming a little unpredictable.

I’ve just finished catching up on week 5 of the Mystery Mondays hence the post title.  All those ears to snip Maggi!!!  Now just to do week 6 tonight and I’m ready for this Monday.  Phew!

I’ve also done this year’s Christmas ornament.  Silk with gold threads and beads with the date on the back.

The little Harvest Fields scrim piece finally had its binding put on too.

In the post today arrived these cops of King Tutt.  No there’s not a baby imminent, I just have a few tops to quilt that happen to be in those colours!

Also this Madeira Lana threads selection in the variegated.  So touchy feely and soft.  I think they will be more hand work than machine. (Don't ask me why they are sideways, it's taken me 1.5 hours to get this far!! I'm hating Blogger at the moment. (And now they're upright! !))

And last came a Procion MX dye beginner’s kit.  I’ve only ever used Dylon in the microwave up to now but the C&G will be using some proper stuff later.  Should be fun.  They were from D&T Craft and Design.

I’ve made a start in to the course, I think I’m happy with what I’ve done so far.  It’s over 20 years since I did anything properly educational so a new learning experience again (excuse the pun).  I’ve also asked to join in Barbara’s hand quilting day at Jacky’s shop in March, John will be going with me but he’s found a fishing lake or two to keep him busy.  Looking forward to that.

Dinner will be in the oven in a minute and then MM week 6 and maybe the SAHR too with perhaps a little Magical Minis thrown in for evening entertainment.  

Thursday, 30 September 2010

There and Back Again.

We didn't fall off the earth, we went away for a bit.

Last week Elsa's job took her away from us for a few months and it was a bit sad. John knew there was an exhibition of Daniel Merriam's work down in Belcastel and so he booked us a flight to Bergerac and off we went.

Two things went mildly wonky. The Château he thought he'd booked wasn't the Château we were going to be staying in. It was, from looking at the pictures as we did realise this hiccup just after clicking send, probably the better of the two but instead of being halfway between the airport and the exhibition (south wards) it was quite a way in the opposite direction (north). Again though, not bad as we were not far from the main road links south and what's a 600km round trip when your on hols!

The other slight problem was the mid range Peugeot we'd booked wasn't there for us and they'd given us a Fiat Punto.    !    John has no problem with driving manual cars, he is a car nut and is rather good at driving. He has no problems driving on the wrong side of the road he had property in France for many years and he switches like a natural. He does have rather long legs though (34 inside) and fitting his legs, big knees and a gear lever in the same small area was a bit of a challenge however.

But manage he did and this is the Château we stayed in.  Beautifully renovated last year and the service and food was wonderful.
I just had to include a photo of the stair case.  It's not your imagination, it really is sloping quite alarmingly to the right.  The stripes in the fabric on the walls are vertical.
Belcastel village rising from the valley of the Aveyron River

The entrance and what we had travelled to see.

There were lots to see in this lovely, privately owned castle, much of which we couldn’t take photos of, of course.  The main gallery with the Daniel Merriam paintings was as good as we had hoped but there were three other gallery’s.  One with a range of paintings and models by Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr Seuss and The Cat in the Hat), another by Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), and down in the prison original hand drawn storyboards by Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland).
Belcastel Village down below with fish scale type roof tiles.

A beautiful and still working fireplace used for the banquets they hold there.

And quite a few suits of armour including a couple of full size horse ones.

The following day we travelled down to Sarlat-la-Caneda which was absolutely beautiful.

 We even found a closed quilting shop!  
A then I ran out of battery so I won’t bore you more with just text! The whole Dordogne area is absolutely beautiful and not too far away on a quick flight of just over an hour. Certainly worth another visit.

Now housework and coursework call!