Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Back to Normality

Well, what stands for normal around here!

All the washing is done and put away, Brian is tackling the weeds in the garden, emails have been sent and answered and the sun is shining.

Before we went away I took the plunge and entered the Hever Challenge!!  I have never entered anything like this before and have really no idea what to expect.  I saw the entry form and theme and had a flash moment and thought why not.  Now I'm thinking WHY??!!??  Oh well, if I don't try I'll never know.  John has been very encouraging but I have still a long way to go until I'm happy with my effort.  After reading Ferret's posting yesterday and her reasoning that if the quilts are not entered there would be no shows, I was nodding in agreement.  So my little entry will be one of the masses that keep these shows going.  That I am happy with.  I don't care if anyone else likes it, John does and I'm enjoying making it. Why else do we do these things?

That has been keeping me busy but I also have now two blocks of the Jenny Rayment BOM to catch up on from Just Hands On TV but that one is nearing completion and I have eight of last months Magical Minis I'm making with Quilters Haven.  There is also the hand work piece on Knowlton which is on going too.

Looks like I need to go off to the sewing room!

Thank you for all the comments on other posts.  I do try to answer usually within the comments too, and I'm enjoying catching up with other blogs.  I think I'm liking this blogging thing!!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Well We're Back

...After a lovely week and bit away in west Ireland.

It was fab, lots of sun and sea and far too much booze and food!! We managed a fabulous drive back from Fishguard thanks to the football, the roads were virtually clear but the pubs we passed were rather packed.

Tomorrow a micro bit of business... then back to the important sewing room and Bob!! Plenty of things to be sorting and working on!!

Now off to catch up.

Friday, 18 June 2010

G&T At Last!!!

We are now sitting here, whiskey for John and G&T for me, having had a lovely lunch and chilling.

We do happen to be in a beautiful hotel just north of Recess on the west coast of Ireland. The journey has been a little arduous, all 23 hours of it but worth it. The dogs have been running over a small part of the Connemarra hills and we are off to have a much needed snooze before dinner which will include the local prawns.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Saga Continues, Now We’re Confused!

Yesterday we saw Dad and Junior.  Junior is still having lessons.

This morning we saw a female with a juvenile. Most of his/her red cap has gone but he/she is still being fed.  Mum on left.

And then this male (Dad?) turns up alone.

It seems we could be inundated with Greater Spotted Woodpeckers this year just like the Cuckoos!  This house has such an attraction to birds it's amazing!

And the flurry of activity yesterday was halted early as we had to go into Salisbury but I did find a lovely book on the architectural oddities of the city, something I have often said to John I would like to photograph. Now it has been done for me.

So far I drew a cartoon out on flip chart paper, sourced some photos and then transferred some of the cartoon onto freezer paper. In the Jan Messent book she did a lovely pieced and hand stitched hanging of St Cuthbert. I liked the concept and found a local story to use myself. We have a 12th c church ruin near us that is set in a Bronze Age barrow and there is a tale that the devil stole the church bell and threw it in the river. The local people harnessed up white oxen to pull it out but didn’t succeed. I will be filling the blank spaces with the church, the pulling scene and the ruin. Well that’s the theory! I have the sketches I just have to trace them out.

I have started the top panel already using calico, silk threads and wool wadding. A least it is portable and should keep me quiet for a while. It is 18 x 36 inches in total but I'm doing the panels separately.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Green Laner's are the PITS!!!

Four doors from us is the village pub and up the side of the pub is a bridleway. Actually it's a very ancient Drove road. We have just been sitting here listening to some inconsiderate, brain dead morons, no doubt up from the town, blatting up and down the Drove road on their noisy, earth chewing motor bikes. Honestly the b'stards need castrating.

Because it is a bridleway, they have 'right of way'. This apparently also gives them the right to noise pollute, air pollute, create nuisance and, most of all make a steep pathway daily used by residents (an awful lot in their elder years) and walkers into an impassable mess!!

And there is not a lot we can do. There is a time and place for everything. Using those machines in that environment is not one of them.


Locked Up and Lovin' It!!

I went to bed last night and firmly put in my head the problem that I had no hand work to do.  I sort of knew what direction I wanted to go and I had a theme it was just putting it into action so I let the little fellas work on it instead.  Jan Messant has been talking to them obviously!  (You will see later).

This morning they were clamouring at the bars to be let out for exercise and so out came the freezer paper and pencils. There has been a flurry of activity in my work room and it feels good!

Apologies if anyone looked in last night when the blog was a mess, I was experimenting with the new templates and became very lost!  Almost in tears actually!  I think I will leave it how it is for now.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Just a Couple of Purchases

Not a lot of news here.  I went to my sewing group and nattered for a couple of hours, helped one of my ladies with a Sun Bonnet Sue appliqué problem and another with some gathering.  We also had birthday cake for two 70th's this past weekend.  Now I'm 30 years younger than most of this lot and they can make me blush I can tell you!!  Love them all!

I had a scoop at Hobbycraft last week where they were selling this lot of in the cheap bin.

I can see at the very least some tassel forms in there.

And I had these in the post from Rainbow Disks

An interesting concept I'm still exploring.   Not quite the same as curling up on the sofa with a good wine to read through but intresting all the same.

I'm off to play with Bob and finish a few things!

Monday, 14 June 2010

A Who Was It Not Who Done It

First off please forgive the quality of the photos. Upstairs I have a little Canon Ixus which is on it’s last legs and I use it to photograph work in progress. Downstairs I have a Panasonic Lumix lurking for quick snaps which is better (the less blurred ones) but the photos are also taken through double glazing and a way back from the window so as not to spook. I don’t have the Nikon out unless I’m in photographic mode! Don’t forget you can click on the pictures for slightly better size.

On Saturday I saw a Woodpecker that wasn’t one of our adults. First hope of it being a Lesser Spotted are always remote, but it is a juvenile Greater.

We were really pleased that our smitten couple had probably produced an heir.

Sunday morning just before 4am we were woken by a call right outside the window. I thought it was a female Cuckoo. I know this sounds strange but we have been inundated with Cuckoos this year at least three in the valley that we know of and very vocal all through the day. John has seen a pair in the ash tree at the top of the garden whilst hearing another on the other side of the stream. He said he’s waited 60 years to see one and now they are everywhere. There is a country saying of asking the cuckoo how long you are going to live. From this year we are eternal!

Just as we were going back to sleep there was an awful racket outside and the blackbirds were sounding off. Cats we thought. John looks out of the window again.

Photo taken at 04.03 so low light to add to other photographic complications!

Later the double edge sword was waving around. We are always pleased to see the Sparrowhawks but we have dozens and dozens of ordinary birds it could have taken. Instead...

A bit sad but this is Mother’s way. But which one was it? We know we have three visitors, Mum, Dad and now Junior. Yesterday afternoon I played the call of the female Cuckoo and the Sparrowhawk (wonderful internet!) and they are quite similar especially when you have just been woken up and are unsure. It was probably the Sparrowhawk we heard.

This morning...

Curiouser and curiouser. This is not the same juvenile as in the top picture. Not as red in the cap for a start and quite a bit more immature. Feeding is Dad although you can’t see his nape in these photos.

Here with pet sparrow who was also asking Dad for a feed at one point!

So who’s are the feathers?

I’m opting for Mum. They are well formed and quite large feathers not as fresh as you’d expect on a youngster. Also, why is Dad bringing Junior down to the tree and feeding alone? We will just have to keep watching for the other juvenile and see but for now fingered crossed Dad and Junior carry on regardless.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Art Week Treasures

We've just been to pick up the pieces we bought at Stewarts Garden Centre from the Dorset Arts Week.

This is 'Two Men in a Boat' by Jenny Adams.  She collects all sorts of bits from the beach and makes them into these lovely pictures. 

These next three pieces were made by stained glass artist Gillian McCormick.  The first is a picture of what is to us a salmon ladder. 
(Approx 5 foot)

And another pair of hairs.
(Both 7" x 2.5")

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Slaving Away

Bob and I have been busy upstairs this evening and we've almost completed a quilt top! It's only 64 x 42 inches but it's been in my head for ages and today the little fellas in the brain gave me the light bulb moment that pushed me through whatever it was that was stopping me doing it.

I'm going stiff in the shoulders now so as the iPad is upstairs with me I thought I'd do a quick post before bed!

Yay!!! I achieved something this week!

Atom's Away!

We've been to the Ariel Motor Company home of the Atom today.  A fabulous little car, totally unique and very British based!  We were allowed to take photos but we were requested not to post any on the internet. I do have a few and one or two I can even see quilting possibilities in them!!

Enough of cars for a moment, I'm off to play with Bob.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Well So Much For Sewing!

Yesterday's sewing turned into realisation that the Wessex Textile group's exhibition at Highcliffe Castle was on it's last day. We arrived at lunchtime which was good because most people at the castle were outside eating, it was very calm and quiet inside. We did the tour of the castle too, it's actually an extended Georgian mansion rather than a castle with an interesting history. Both John and I, though we both grew up virtually in it's shadow, had never been around it since it's restoration. No photos allowed though.
The exhibitions were very good we both enjoyed the displays. One of the castle guides didn't seem to like them much though, he was not afraid to state on more than one occasion in a very loud voice how he disliked 'this modern abstract rubbish' and that was while he was guiding people around! Had I been within his guiding services I think I would have kindly asked him to keep his opinion to himself!  It's not his place to state things like that.

We had a nice lunch afterwards and a walk along the cliffs in the sunshine.

We found a baby rabbit in the garden in the morning. We haven't seen rabbits in the garden as yet and, though we are backed by fields the warren is quite a long way from the house and the perimeter is tightly dog proof. The dogs would not have done to it what was done and the two Somali cats are too feeble to deal with one the size it was. Izzy is a 24 pound Maine Coon that can just about clamber through his dog flap, there is no way he would have gone over the fence and dragged one back into the garden. Where it was found was too small for a raptor to take off so that leaves fox. I think a fox may have taken more of it but food is plentiful this time of year so they can be choosy and an immature one may have been spooked by the dogs or Izzy. I don't like the thought of foxes in the garden, I've seen what they do to cats in the past. All a bit of a mystery!!

Could this Cheshire (well he's really from Sussex) Cat be responsible???

Last night the big sun parasol collapsed. Well actually the thick wooden bar that holds it over the table broke and ended up trying to go to ground through my arm. I had a numb sensation for some time but now just have an enormous bruise. Nothing broken and it missed my head. I had a very similar experience in Morocco last year. What have I ever done to sun parasols? I'm just waiting for the third event now. We've just been and bought a new one and brought it home. A 12 inch square box that's 7 foot long in a little sports car. A wee bit cramped!!!  I also woke up with crippling cramps in my right hip this morning, not great with a dodgy left knee!  I'm falling apart I think.  At least I can still sew if I don't sit for too long.

The sun is now hiding, (probably because we bought the new parasol) and it's even spitting a little. Perhaps now I will carry on with the sewing I left off yesterday.

Poole Quay for my Car

Just a few quick photos of last Friday evening at Poole Quay when it was Open Top Sports Cars night.  Of course the only car that's missing in the photos is ours!! It must have been the lovely Italian meal or the wine.  Probably both!!!

They come in all ages, shapes and sizes

TS Royalist is moored to the side.  I sailed on her for a week when I was 14, it's always nice to see her again.

They parked all the way up almost to the lifting bridge.

Our Gwen is in there somewhere, just about the middle of the picture as far away as you can see behind all the people!!

The headquarters of the RNLI glowing in the late evening sun going along past Holes Bay on the way home.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Hare Today.....

I'm working on a few projects today that I can't show you pictures of, they are gifts or for shows and I'm nowhere near finished!! Hopefully that goal post will be a little nearer by this afternoon.  (The reference to goal post is in no way whatsoever connected to the F word.  There won't be any of the F word in this house unless there is a final involved!)

Instead pictures of my hares, now 8 moongazers and two others who may be sacked for loitering!

Have a good, sunny Sunday!!

Friday, 4 June 2010

Waiting for Daddy

So what do you do when Mummy is busy and Daddy is out??  You wait where you're not really allowed but have a good view.

But that's why it's called furniture!!

John told me this week that I have bad habits, in the nicest way of course. It may be a clue to my bad knee. I have aways had flexible joints, hypermobile they it, and it can cause a few problems. I used to be able to not only touch my toes but put my head between my knees while doing so. John now tells my that when I bend over, drying hair or gardening, I still have 'backward' knees! I'm nothing like as flexible now but it could be a cause. I'm doing all I can to keep my knees slightly bent now. Change a habit of a lifetime.

On Monday we had a lovely drive out to the Haynes Motor Museum in Sparkford in the Mercedes 108.  Of course we also forgot it was half term and a holiday Monday!!  We are in that lovely lull in life where the kids have grown but the grands aren't here yet, but everyone else's were there on Monday!  We did see Ricky the Racing Car though.... hmmm.  The car performed rather well but of course John now has a head full of other little tweaks in search of perfection. 

The garden is coming back, we're so pleased.  My fears of having a hack and slash ground maintenance type have gone.  Brian speaks plants with me and I can trust him with my babies.  I hope.

Yesterday The postman brought me a great piece of kit.  I remember buying my Nan a carousel for her kitchen tools in the '70's and it dawned on me that it would be ideal for my crafting stuff.  I finally found them and bought two, one for crafts and one for painting.  Lots of storage in a small space and it rotates for ease of use, great!

Last night was Meet the Artist at Stewarts Garden Centre where Nina is exhibiting with quite a few others for Dorset Art weeks.  This was one of the official nights and we managed to find something else to put in the garden.  Again can't show you yet, it's still there!! All Nina's beautiful pastel paintings looked lovely hung on the walls en mass.

Today we were invited to a Land Rover day at Beaulieu Motor Museum.  Lots of off road and mud and I was even praised by the instructor!!  Wanna do it again!!!!  

Tonight it's open top sports cars at Quay for My Car in Poole so we are taking the old SL out for the evening and having chips on the quayside! Warm summer evenings......