Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Well you could probably guess that life here has been doggy dominant.  I have sneaked about a total of an hour in my room to have a quick stitch and play on the City & Guilds.  I did manage to knit a pair of bed socks in the evenings though!!

And just to bore the pants off you all, and to remind me that sometimes there is calm in the House household, if very brief, I will leave you with some doggy poses involving sleep.  (If you look carefully you may even see the odd quilt or stitched cushion!)

Thank you for following our blog this past year.  From this family to yours, we wish you a
Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Chaos Reigns Supreme

Finally, after a lot of searching, juggling and decisions we managed to bring home our latest edition to the family.

This is Ellie.

She did do a lot of sleeping most of the way home, which we were grateful for.  Seeing as we were in the car for 4 hours we only had 3 wees and all in the right place.  No other accidents or car sickness.

Mind you, now she is finding her feet, I think the resident stuffed duck population is in for a hard time.

But you know butter wouldn't melt really.

Ruger and Tully are not quite sure what to make of this energetic, squeaky little thing and Oscar is grateful he can jump onto high places.  We can't wait for her to meet Remi who is a lot nearer her size!  Vets and vaccinations tomorrow.

Everything, including Christmas probably, is on hold for a while!


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Sharon B's Studio Journal Class

If you were wondering about Sharon's studio journal class I mentioned a few posts ago, this is where she is now advertising it.

Sharon B's Studio Journal Class


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

That Rorschach Effect

Rorschach played in my head with those fabrics I dyed last week.  John kept seeing things and so did I.  We didn’t necessarily see the same thing but there were a lot of insects and bugs!  Anyway I saw these in this piece and had to play. 

I think it was the pupa stage that caught my eye more than anything but there had to be an adult stage as well, and the fabric had provided that too.  

I added some Inktense pencil to give depth to the background but the only thing I added to the pink fabric was a very slight metallic sheen from some Lumiere to the adult as a lot of beetles have that irridesence to their carapaces. 

Freemotion quilting and a jewellery headpin with silver bead for the pin and it was finished.

Someone was a slight distraction at the weekend.

And I made a Thing! No recipe as such.  I had been having a pre Christmas rummage in the larder and found a couple of bags of dried fruit and glacé cherries, you know the sort of thing that lurks.  I put all it all into a bowl and added some brandy, sherry, glug of honey, juice and zest of a lemon and a splash of water for lack of orange juice and left it while I thought of what to do with it.  I had also found a bag of premixed shortcrust pastry but I knew I didn't want to make mince pies, I wanted it to be a little more though I didn't have many ingredients really.  I made up the pastry and lined a 9inch square loose bottomed cake tin to a depth of about 2 inches.  I poured in the fruit which had now been soaking for about four hours and were much more plump and topped it off with a Bakewell topping, without the almonds, made with 5oz butter beaten to death with 5oz caster sugar, 2 eggs added and 2oz plain flour folded in.  In the oven for 35 minutes and this popped out.   

It is (was) very yum and quite rich but the sponge bit meant it wasn't overkill on the fruit.  Lovely with vanilla custard and would be worth doing again with the nuts too. 

And finally this is Oscar watching The Frozen Planet with us on Sunday.  He was facinated by the little mice under the snow but when I took the photo the owl that was after the mice appeared on the screen.

It didn't catch him, honest!


Thursday, 1 December 2011

Shades May Be Needed!

Yesterday I dyed some fabrics using the method shown by Laura on DesignMattersTV a few weeks ago.  Where she scrunched into flat trays, I only had empty laundry gel capsule tubs.  I scrunched in the same way like a concertina and then gently wound it around so it looked like a Danish pastry so it would fit in the bottom of the tubs.  I have a few whitish patches but then each of these pieces of fabric, apart from two almost all orange ones, are 1 metre by 1.5 metres so quite large.  I wanted vibrant, I think I managed vibrant!

I think next time I would use smaller pieces and perhaps sacrifice some of the crystalline effect for less white areas.  I mustn't forget also that the chances of me using this as a whole cloth are about 0 so they will be cut up  and the colours redistributed.  At least they will all have a united theme.  They are fascinatingly like a Rorschach test though, I could spend hours looking at them! 

And the single colour ones are textured too.

My sewing machine has been in for a service so I have been muddling along on my workshop one.  Still a great machine, but not my Bob.  Yesterday I phoned them as it had been three weeks and they said it would be 10 days max and I was told that yes it was done, had been sitting there for ages they just hadn't managed to ring me.  Great service, not.  If only the recognised Bernina dealers weren't so far apart!!

We have been to a couple of Christmas Craft fairs and, because we're doing a little of the Buy British and local thing this year we actually finished our shopping well before December.  Mind you I do tend to buy and make gifts through the year so there's not a loony rush at the end but now we have reached December I am a little more happy to start thinking about the whole thing, especially the cooking side of it!

And just because he simply is just so adorable....

I can't wait to give him a cuddle again this weekend!

Off to to some C&G now and wait the arrival of John and a sewing machine.