Wednesday, 28 April 2010

All OK, So Far

Vet's went well, just their yearlies and check up.  All ready for any holidays now.

MRI was interesting to say the least!  25 minutes of laying still with headphones on.  The machine was so noisy I couldn't hear the terrible music anyway.  I swear my bones were pulsing with it all and my fillings were foaming. I just did one of those focus inward things and though of a sewing project problem.  Results soon.  Probably take a paracetamol and go away.  Thanks for the wishes Maggi and Lyn.

The car behaved strangely on the way home and we had a slow puncture.  At least we made it home.  Still, I have a pastels group tomorrow so John will have something to do going to get that fixed. 

I saw the Sparrow Hawks yesterday doing their mating dance above the house.  I have no problems with them even if they do take a few of the garden birds. They are beautiful and selective and very much a part of our home here. 

This is the male who decided to fly into the garage one day and needed a hand getting out.

And this is his wife with a rather unfortunate collared dove.

And seeing as she is almost half again as big as her mate, John was quite relieved it was the male he had crushing his finger when he had to rescue it rather than her!  The photos were from last year.

We also had the House martins back today though their nests from last year took quite a battering over the winter they'll soon have them fixed up. 

John, you call it fishing, I call it sittinginaboatforhourswaving
andcominghomecoldandsmelly!  But you enjoy I so I enjoy it too. xxx

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Stitch While the Fish are Biting.

Or.... not biting.

John was out fishing yesterday and caught a tan. 

I was at home so I turned up the volume on my iPod, clicked Play and sewed.

I'm still not sure what it was exactly I achieved but there was a block or two completed on the Just Hands On BOM and quite a bit on the latest wall quilt. 

My Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative arrived too today.  It's a little cracker and I'm pleased to have taken part.

The dogs have the vets tomorrow and I have my MRI, I hope we get those appointments the right way around!!

The only other thing of note is that last night I had a fly typing on my computer.  We have one of these new fangled touchscreen all in one computer thingies.  When the fly landed on the bright lights of whatever website I was looking at, the screen reacted and came up with the virtual keyboard.  Of course the fly had to type something.  It wasn't quite War and Peace but it could have been First Contact.  Do you think I should contact the Space Agency people????

Saturday, 24 April 2010

And Clouds Come From...?

After a beautiful week of really blue skies they returned!!  The aircraft that is.  John laughed last week when he said his Dad always told him that the aeroplanes made the clouds!!  How silly!!!

Or was it??

It's certainly been hazy again since and all the clouds have a strange straightness to them!!   Vapour trails at dawn, can you tell which direction London is from us????

Friday, 23 April 2010

And Not a Lot Else Happened

Can you believe I have this lovely new machine to play with and it's just sitting there looking at me expectantly.  I seem to have had one of those days just faffing around and the time has just gone.

I saw my knee surgeon on Wednesday evening and after x-rays he seems happy it's not arthritis but I have to have an MRI to look at the cartilage.  The pain is different to last time he operated and in a different place.  He still made me squeak to the ceiling when he found the spot though! I hate the slower pace and the afternoon aches in it.  It doesn't help that my sewing room is upstairs and the last three steps up are usually agony.  We'll see what next soon.

I've dyed bubbles today.  Hard to explain but I needed some bubbles and they came out OK.  I can't say I'm in love with them, but they'll do for now.  I've had a bit of a disappointment with another part of a wall quilt I'm working on and this is a substitute.  Never the same as that first spark of inspiration is it?

The Building Inspector wasn't happy about a pad stone supporting the roof girders in the garage, or rather the lack of it, so that has to be looked into.

I think I need a G&T....


Cute eh??!??

Happy St Georges Day!

The W108 passed it's MOT with flying colours!  Well it did fail first because they thought it had no screen wash, but they just couldn't find it as it was a floor button.  I'm so proud of John really getting stuck in on this car!  Mind you, without Mike's help it could have been a longer, different story!!  Thanks Mike xx.

Today we have a visit from Building Control to pass off the last of the work we've done on the house.

I also should be having a delivery of my new Bernina!!  Bogod phoned Wednesday to say it had arrived, now it's down to the delivery guys. I will let you know later hopefully.  It is my Embroiderers Guild day but I think they'd forgive my absence!

I'm off now to play with a vacuum cleaner and then Bob the Bernina. In that order!!!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Jackie's Handwriting Week

So I though I should have a go for Jackie from Dog Daisy Chains

There, nothing fancy, thought provoking or mind boggling.  Just me.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Finished Arabesque.

This is it, finally done. 

This was a Quilt University course with Martine House and is a hand done piece with three types of appliqué, embroidery, needle lace, beading, quilting and trapunto. It's kept me quite on my stitching days with my Ladies!!

Thank you for the nice comments about the Journal quilts, tulips, (I think they are the only group Val, about 5), and the dyeing.  You're still not seeing the results just yet!! :-) 

Also I can't tell you how lovely it is to have someone who shows a genuine interest in what I'm doing.  John professes to have no artistic talents but to me his input is invaluable, probably because he has no preconceived ideas.  He asks plenty of questions about my projects when I think he hasn't taken any notice and has really been keen on the dyeing of the fabrics.  It's the little things that spur me on and him wanting to be a part of it all is wonderful.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Fandabulously Stitchy!

Yesterday morning at 7 am, for the first time ever, I dyed some fabric!!!  It was great and I loved the result.  But I'm not showing you lot yet!  I can feel an urge to dye some more.  I have now realised that there is no need to fear not having just the right colour.  It is there, I just have to dye it myself.  What a great revelation that is!  Something I'm sure a lot of you already know about.

The rest of the day was a major push to finish Arabesque.  This morning I did the last 5 lines of background quilting and washed it.  It is now drying flat on a pile of towels and will then be bound.

I looked at a couple of other projects and started the embroidery from the Stitch magazine I am doing in tandem with Elsa.  I also have the Little Fellas working hard on the next stage of a project using the stuff I dyed. 

I then realised I was having pains in the chest from being hunched over for too long so we went for a lovely drive in Gwen, the '79 SL with the top down out through Shaftesbury on through over the Somerset border and in a large loop back to home.  It was glorious!  Just the right thing to blow away the cobwebs and end a weekend in sunshine.

The garden is moving on a bit now and I loved the colour of these tulips about to open so thought I would share them.

And what do you think of these blousey show offs!  I don't even remember buying tulips that looked like these!!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Journal Quilts

I was having a quick sort around and found these three journal quilts I did at the end of last year.

Undine Elemental

Earth Elemental

Fire Elemental

That was September, October and November and I didn't finish (or even start) December!  I really should do Air.  It's just unbalanced not having four elements!!

Friday, 16 April 2010

V&A ...

Was great! 

We arrived after a smooth journey just as the doors opened.  Went through baggage check and down to the Quilts hall.  A five minute wait for everyone to catch up and then we were allowed in.

The exhibition was well laid out and, because they monitored the flow of people in, not crowded either.  Yes the lighting was low and some of the boards explaining the quilts were hard to read but that was small fry. 

After the exhibition and a cup of coffee we went up to see the textiles and the Jewellery (drool) then down to the fashion exhibition.

A quick sit down then out to meet the coach which pulled up just as we stopped.  Everything was timed to perfection!

If I could take a quilt home with me?  A hard choice between one of the Welsh whole cloths or Liberty Jack.

But....  the bit I enjoyed the most and would love to go back for was the textile room.  pulling out those boards and seeing the fabric was fantastic and quite inspiring!!!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Post and Progress

Today the post brought me the POM 2 from The Thread Studio Australia, a huge parcel of paint goodies from Rainbow Silks, some new threads from Stef Francis and some bits from Hong Kong via eBay!  Who needs birthdays!! I also managed to sneak some A5 and A6 blank pads onto a stationary order (John don't read that bit) so they will need covers so I think a bit of playing is imminent!

I marked up and did almost a quarter of the final background quilting on Arabesque and did a large scale drawing of another quilt that has been worked on by the little fellas in the back of my head for some time and now needed to come out onto paper. 

A productive day!

Tomorrow I'm off to the V&A with my sewing Ladies so will probably spend most of the trip there nattering and thinking of what I need to do next at home.

Oh, and I won the LQuilts competition for a couple of free lessons with my quilt of Elsa!! 

Naturaliste is Finished

Naturaliste is finished all bar the label and sleeve.

It's become a memory quilt of a wonderful holiday in Western Australia visiting our son Chris last November.  The bright colours and the clarity of the air.  On Naturaliste itself there have been many fires and the scrub is either blackened or scoured white but the shapes are fabulous and there is always the sign of new growth.

On the reverse in the quilting where few will see are other more personal memories.  The evening at Bunkers Bay where we saw whales jumping around an anchored tall ship, the numerous Shingleback skinks and the wiggly sand path Chris put down to try and fox John!!!

It is 30" x 18".  Don't forget you can click the pictures to enlarge and you may even see some of the beading.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Kingston Lacy Allotments

Today was our first morning at Kingston Lacy to take part in their new allotment course. 

In it's heyday, these gardens were second only to Kew and Queen Victoria sent her gardeners to Kingston Lacy to learn.

The house regained control of the old kitchen gardens two years ago after they had been on a long lease to a bonsai nursery and it has taken the National Trust that long just to clear the 6 acre site of debris and rubbish.  To help with the weed problem they put pigs on the land which turned everything that was edible into manure.

There has been a on-going program to restore what few of the glasshouses are left and some of them are now ready to use.

The ones on the left are rather precarious still, in the centre is the cucumber and melon pit still to be restored and on the right the now usable glasshouses and cold frames.

And the inside being productive.

Some of the original early Victorian bothy's are still standing.  These were used for the apprentice gardeners and garden boys to live in whilst on the estate.  It also meant they were near to the glasshouses and could stoke the boilers in the middle of the night to keep the temperatures up as well as starting work usually at first dawn light.

This one has an enormous wisteria along it that is estimated to be about 100 years old.

This is a part of the garden that has been funded and prepared by the Prince's Trust and will be used for disabled groups to work in.

And this is the area we were working in that has been turned into public allotments.  They are all of a quarter full size so much more manageable for most people.

Behind me when I took the last photo is the area that will be developed into the larger half to full size community project allotments and fruit tree orchards. They have done an enormous amount of work in a very short time but still have a very long way to go.  I'm looking forward being there over the next few months to see this year's progress.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Last Full Day With Visitors

Elsa and Mike go home tomorrow.  Still, we've made sure we've put them to work today.

I have been over the moon to have Elsa help in the garden.  My knee is playing up and I have an appointment with the surgeon again next week.  Not sure if it will be fixed this time but I always hope.  In the mean time I pottered a little whilst Elsa turned the mess of the winter compost bins...

Into organised and turned future fodder.  Four lots out onto the garden and the rest turned and mixed with the mowing's to cook away. 

Mike and John have been in the garage tinkering for hours.  The W108 managed to drive out under it's own power! It had to go up and down the road a bit to settle the suspension as it has been on stands so that meant John could drive Gwen out!!  She's been stuck in the corner whilst the W108 (yet to be pet named) has been rebuilt and sorely missed on beautiful days like we have been having.

Not a lot of needling today apart from a little more on Arabesque.   I hope to be on the final quilting of that soon.  Now for another evening of the BBQ, it's almost desperation grabbing the sun while it's here!

Oh, we did have the company of Izzy up on the G&T hut.  He came up the garden like a galleon in full sail and then parked but then he never, ever really does much else.  The Somali's may be a little unhinged but Izzy is just plain cantankerous.  In a loveble way of course.

And we had our first Magnolia Stellata out.

Friday, 9 April 2010

And Today We...


John and Mike had to go up to Swindon for bits for the car so Elsa and I played a little. She has been practising her knitting lately and she is enjoying it enough to make things for her new home. 

Today she turned this...

Into these...

 All hand knitted and stitched by her. 

She also liked the pattern in the Stitch magazine this month so I made her up a kit to take home with her on Sunday and we will be making one up each together. 

I really enjoy sharing these things with my daughter!!

We also managed to squeeze in boning a leg of lamb packing it with herbs and garlic from the garden and having it on the BBQ most of the afternoon with lots of parcelled veg that was just yum for dinner!

I also received in the post today the Minis part 2 from Quilters Haven but that will have to wait until I can concentrate!!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Glorious Days

A quick zoom around on the mower by John and Elsa transformed the garden.  I managed to clip a few things and especially the dog woods.

Foxtrot in steath mode.  You can hardly see him spying on the birds.

Mind you, he's not as daft as Oscar who is convinced he is one of the dogs.

Tully definately wants the stick.

And for a miniature JR that's almost as wide as she is long, she can find being a yoyo fun.

But look what she can do when she finally wins!

Now don't tell Mother Nature but John has the BBQ out...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Lack of Time...

...for posting here.  We're having such fun!!! 

visiting, bowling, playing games, sewing, playing with cars, Wii, eating, good wine, sitting and talking for hours....

Catch up soon!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Easter Sunday

As Sundays go, yesterday was pretty good!

Elsa and I made her another knitting needle case.  The last one I made was stolen, sadly.  There is now someone out there with a very personally made item who probably has no idea what it is!  Never mind, this is the one we made together.

It's lovely bright, zingy batiks to go with the travelling sewing bag I made her for Christmas.  She nearly has the kitchen sink in it, but not just yet.

And how a table should look before Sunday lunch!

And before I forget, this is the cushion Elsa sewed that I beaded and made up for her.  I think it's lovely!

Have a good holiday Monday doing what yo want to do!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

A Quickie Catch up

Not a lot has been happening here the past couple of days apart from the gales!  We lost another branch off the Atlas Cyprus but this time only a small one.

We had this helicopter hovering over the barn you can just see through the trees on the other side of the valley for a good 15 minutes and I had just fired up the camera to use it's zoom to see what it was doing when a kestrel decided to join in!  I know it's a poor picture but it was literally a long shot.

On Wednesday the frost was quite sharp and I managed to capture some of the crystals on the bathroom window before the sun hit them.  They're just like frozen feathers, again much nicer in reality but I thought I would share a couple of them.

We have Elsa and Mike down with us for the week ahead and we will probably be busy, I know bowling is on the agenda already, and hopefully lots of other nice things to share. 

Have a good long weekend!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

LQuilt Competition

LQuilts have launched their competition today and my 'Sweet Sixteen' quilt is in it!!!

Please go over to  and click on the gallery on the left to choose.  You then vote in the forum area.

Just a reminder (grin), should you like mine that is!!