Monday, 28 May 2012

A Mixed Bag This Week!

I had this lovely delivery from Karen at Stitching Life.  Aren't they lovely?  She dyes such rich colours and interesting threads.  Mind you, they go like hot cakes so when she is selling you have to be quick! Can't wait to use them.

Hebe has decided she wants a bit of Steampunk.  Big boots, lace gloves and some rather fetching stockings with big girl pants.  The top layer is being worked on, in my head still.  

She is nothing at all like this little girl!!  A friend mentioned ragdolls the other day and I realised I had never made one.  I'm really quite pleased with her, just a shame she is only 10 inches tall.  

We had a visitor in the house the other night and it's not even Halloween.  I managed a couple of quick photos but the light was low and I didn't have the flash on so as not to scare it. 

We seem to have a lot of bats this year.  There is a bat box at the top of the garden and we wonder if they are using it at all, it's very hard to tell and I'm reluctant to open it to have a look, besides which it would be illegal to do without a licence.

There was beautiful light this morning through some of the plants like the Crimson King maple.

Ever hopeful faces at the table, they don't miss a trick.

But after being so good and patient (and a little bit fuller)...

...they did play very nicely.

I am hopefully going to make something out of this pile.  John has had a thought on a topic for a quilt......

I hope you have a creative week!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Pulp Fact

This is Hector and Hebe.  They emerged this week.  Perhaps next week I might just put some clothes on them.  For now they are quite happy watching what I'm up to in the nuddy.  (Them that is, not me). 

The pulp in the post title referred to these sheets of paper.  I had a little play adding a touch of watercolour to some of the mush and flower petals to others.  All great fun but takes an age to dry!  

John and I are listening to an audio book together and I have to think of quiet things to do when it's on so these are just carved out of rubbers.  Not too sure how they will print, I will have a play later in the week.   

And word obviously spread about the snazzy nesting decor kit available.  Just as the first baby Greenfinches are flying, the Goldfinches seem to be looking at making a nest.  Better late then never I suppose.

Have a fabulous weekend and don't get too carried away with the Olympic torch and Jubilee celebrations!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Finally a Finish

This sofa quilt has been hanging around for a while so I finally loaded it on Ariadne and just stitched!  Nothing fancy mind, this is for the dogs to sleep on and to save the sofa cushions.

I'm really pleased with the piecing, especially the scrappy binding.  I had quite a few of the strips left so it was great to use them up.  I've only done it single though because of all the extra joining seams.

Also these two have been growing.
That's as far as I've done to date though.  Legs, arms and tinsey, wincey fingers to do next!

John has been poorly this week again, he had nasty man flu before we left.  I noticed in Sainsbury's that they actually now do medicine for man flu!  Had to laugh.  Anyway this week has included a nasty little reaction called coughing syncope which means he has been loosing conciousness whilst coughing.  Not funny to see or to experience and luckily this mostly happened in the evening when he was sitting down already.  John is not a little fella and it's a long way down if he falls over!! Fingers crossed he is over it now.

Whilst we were away we did both notice one thing, our joints started to ache again.  Mine was worst in my fingers and especially in my thumbs.  Between 6th January and 20th March I lost 32 lbs in weight by cutting out fats, sugars, alcohol and carbs, anything nice really.  On this holiday we went back to eating lots of things like bread and potatoes (and I put 5lbs back on!!).  I've gone back to the no carbs and already the pain is starting to ease.  I do believe wheat could have something to do with it.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

I hope you have a great week and perhaps the sun might shine!!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

And Another Thing...

Just after we left for France I had the surprise of being awarded the Leibster Blog award by Julie at Thimble Fingers.  I felt extremely honoured!!  Thank you so much Julie, it is strange that I ‘met’ you online just after John and I had come back from Western Australia.  If only we had known that we had passed through your town several times!!

This is an award for blogs of under 200 followers and started in Germany.  

The rules state (Thank you again Julie as I lifted this from your site) : -
1. Thank your award presenter on your blog and link back to him/her;
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog;
3. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs (with less than 200 followers) that you love;
4. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know;
5. Have faith that those award winners will spread the blog love.

I now have to list five more blogs for the award.  Always a challenge to chose and limit when there are many fascinating places to visit!! So, as I can’t chose the one who has chosen me, although I would and suggest you do visit Thimble Fingers too, I do choose: -

Julie at Mixed Media.  
A little bit of all sorts and slight obsession with St Ives.

Shirley at Stitchery Do
A lover of hand work and a great eye for colour.

Benta at SLIKstitches.  
Always making things and does so much in her community to encourage stitching.

Maggie at Maggie May quilts
Another prolific quilter and great colour selector.

Lynda at Master of Patience
A quilter with a huge heart for Linus and plenty of tops to finish, but she's getting there!

I hope you will take time out to go and visit them and enjoy what they do as much as I have.


The Boring Bit First

Not that this holiday was in anyway boring!!!  An ordinary View From Our Hill Post will follow this shortly but I thought I'd do a few, quick holiday snaps first.

And quick and few they really are.  We went with a group from car club to France to drive some of the Monte-Carlo rally stages.  John was driving, of course, but I was navigating and it really wasn't a case of just firing up the sat nav.  Reading pace notes whilst on the move and on very winding roads is very tricky.  They were bad enough to decipher sitting at the dining room table the week before! Occasionally I did manage to convince John to stop for a few pictures but most were taken through the windscreen and ended up rather blurred.

You will know if you've been with us a while that we do tend to like mountains and a good view.  Of course pictures do not show the actual scale or vastness of some of these views.

We drove about 200 miles each day going up and through valleys.

Around lakes, reservoirs and rivers.

And across plenty of mountains.

There were very few areas where we could look back and see some of the rally roads without another mountain in the way.

One of the stops on the way where we were served strawberry tarts and coffee by the lady on the left of the picture who just chatted away to us all in very fast French.  I think she was used to enthusiasts stopping by.

 I saw this profile on one of the rock faces looking over the next valley.  I hope you can see it too.

One day we did manage a slight diversion and went down into gorges both Daluis and Supres du Cians. Magnificently beautiful, very colourful and the engineering involved in making the roads, tunnels and bridges staggering.  (If you would like a taster of them, I found a YouTube video Here that's been put together quite well).

We had a couple of nights in Monte Carlo itself.  Our hotel is on the right overlooking the marina.  The boat in the foreground was being made ready to leave and had at least seven crew doing so.  We did wonder who may be on board perhaps sleeping off the night before!

After all the twisty, intense driving we drove up to Lake Maggiore in Italy for a few days.

I had to show you this wisteria.  What an aged old lady she is and still putting on a bit of flower.

And just to show you how old she is, John kindly posed next to her rather wrinkly and hollow trunk.

They may not be your cup of tea but not all driving holidays are manic, waking up to this each morning is food for the soul.

It was great fun and lovely to see old friends and make new ones.  I did take a sketchbook and paints but they didn't have a chance of seeing daylight and even the sewing only came out rather briefly.

Now the washing machine calls and then perhaps some catch up!