Saturday, 30 April 2011

A Bit of Beading

I have lived with a bear with a sore head all week, just because of a certain wedding.  It was strange though that as soon as I said, 'look at the lovely colour of that Bentley,' every car was scrutinised from start to finish. There was of course the possibility that one may drive down the aisle so the ceremony had to be watched too, just in case.

Like everyone, we think it was the most fabulous wedding and we all enjoyed watching it and that dress was just so perfect.

So today Elsa and I did some beading to just relax and play and had a good natter about her and Mike's own wedding.  (I have told them that we are not using Westminster Abbey or flying them off the lawn in a helicopter).

A few months ago Shirley over at Stitcherydo made a thimble keeper and I thought it was a fabulous idea.  I don't really like flushing mine down the loo or losing it in the dinner as I like wearing one a lot.  I found a book called Thimble Catchers and after a little reading we made our own versions.

Really pleased with them and I'm sure they will be well used.  Just off to have dinner and then I'm reading through the next C&G Module for a little evening entertainment.

Have a lovely long weekend, again!


Thursday, 28 April 2011

Well She Liked It

I gave Barbara her other quilt top back yesterday and she loved it.  It was only a practise piece, yet another one of her 'been in the loft for 10 years' ones but she was over the moon.

It may be a repeating design but I did learn a lot from it especially about travelling from an end to the next start.  Also, not to screw my head up too much when every one is not perfect and as I wanted it!  The over all effect is what counts.

I must also add that I try and follow quite a few longarmers, American usually as it's still too few and far between over here, but one has really inspired me over the past few months, especially with this quilt, and you can go and see Karen Marchetti's work, as well as on Facebook (you really should look through the albums on there!) if you too like being wowed by stunning quilting as well as quite a few wonderful quilts.

Thanks Karen for pulling me out of the feathers!!!! (I'll keep tapping the microphone if you keep recording the videos!)


Friday, 22 April 2011

Happy Easter

What amazing weather!  Yesterday Elsa and I, (mostly Elsa) cleared up the vegetable patch at the top of the garden.  The onions and garlic are doing great, but that's it so far.  Mind you a false sense of summer security can be dangerous in the garden, we can still have frost in May so there's no hurry with beans etc yet. I must admit to still really, really struggling with the gardening and I am very cross as to where the enthusiasm has gone.  I am grateful that we spent five years turning the garden around and it now just needs mowing and tweaking and a few hours from the gardener each week, not watering or major replanting marathons.  Maybe that is part of the problem, I burned out and had too many incidents, knee operation, stings, ceptic cuts, nearly losing the top of my finger, I just had enough.  I'm still a little sad though.

I have caught up with home things now though and Tuesday, while John was fishing for bream, I played hard with Bob.

 It was my first Lone Star! (20 inches)  I confess to finding a foundation sheet of interfacing in Spain.  It was so quick and easy.  I would still like to do another the real way, but maybe in a while.

I finished the My Tweets centre panel, Miss Kelly (24 inches) and I'm just cutting and starching the next two blocks ready for stitching.

I've also managed a little more on the Stay at Home Robin with embroidery and quilting.  Yes the needle is still in there, I'm still working on it as it's evolving.

There are three more, and I think they are the last, bits boxes to find homes for and then my room is full.  I've enjoyed re discovering all the things I bought because I knew I would need them someday.  Ariadne the  longarm is sitting patiently upstairs with a quilt on it hoping to be finished at some point this weekend.  I want to put the little Lone Star quilt on and make that up so I had better pull my finger out.  The C&G is sitting patiently too so perhaps that will have a look in later.

Have a wonderful long weekend and keep cool.


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Bore Alert

Home now and back to a comfortable mattress and squishy pillow.  Just a quick post with a few pictures. Nothing too heavy so you can yawn later!!! 

Our first inspection by a Short Toed Eagle.

A packhorse bridge that, along with others down the gorge, just seemed to lead right into the cliff face (to the right).  Makes you wonder how different the landscape was when it was built.

The first escarpment in the distance we would have to cross.  The village on the hill was deserted and it had the most fantastic view over the Embalse (reservoir) de Yesa.

Spain seems to be on a continuous road build mission.  The one below still needs a little work to be done. Actually they have some of the most fantasic roads, even in the remote places and the fact that you can see a car coming towards us was unusual for our trip.  We left Siguenza on Wednesday and it was an hour and a half before we actually saw another car.  It is still early season though.

One of the smallest daffs I've ever seen.

Once over the escarpment we drove around a bend in the road and saw this bluff.  Beyond that you can just see the snow topped mountains we would be crossing to reach our hotel for that night.  You can imagine the satnav picture looking like a child's scribbling most of the time.  John spent a lot of time grinning.

Another inspection by a Griffon Vulture.  It was amazing how many large birds could be supported over there, especially the opportunists like vultures.  There is about zero road kill due to lack of cars and live stock is not very plentiful.  Again it makes you think about the wildlife you can't ever see that is there as part of the food chain.

Some of the Neapolitan ice cream landscape.  And this was quite subtle compared to what we had driven through the day before.

If only the sky had been a little more purple and this would have been a perfect tertiary colour selection by Mother.  Then again She knows what She's doing and it still looks pretty good to me.

All menus were translated, some parts more successfully than others.  John had to have the 'colds more entertaining' just to find out of course.

Yesterday was the Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta.  With the likes of Mulberry Silks, the Silk Route and Ario there I just had to have a splurge!  Enjoyable it was too.

We're catching up with family today, I hope you have a good Sunday too.


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

And On and Up a Bit

First off sorry no pictures. No battery power and I didn't think of using the phone!

Today we passed through the last of the Ebro valley and it's 30 degree temperature and started back north and west along the very edge of the Iberian System which is the eastern boundary of the Meseta Central, the heart of Spain.

As we rose we must have seen every colour of soil available from the brightest white to the deepest burgundy maroon I have ever seen with every colour of orange, yellow and pink in-between. There were even folds in the earth where all the colours were together. It made Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight look very plain and boring. When we levelled off at about 4500 feet the temperature stayed at a very comfortable 17 degrees. Mind you it's 24 outside on our balcony at the moment but it's in a castle so the walls are very thick and cooling.

As it's spring everything is very fresh looking. Lots and lots of tree pruning going on, if it's a tree, it has an extreme prune! It also took us quite a long time to drive out of the olive groves. And yes they do taste wonderful.

I've been very impressed by their solar farms, much nicer to look at than the wind farms. And if you are a raptor fan, there are plenty of those too. We've seen at least two types of Kite, and very high up the Golden Eagle and Griffon Vultures and I did manage a picture of a Short Toed Eagle but I can't crop the picture on the iPad without it blurring so that will have to wait.

We found a fabulous quilt shop called Trozicos with three lovely ladies who spoke as much English as I do Spanish but we all spoke sewing. I bought the usual bits of this and that, I am a happy bunny.

I have the sketch book Maggi but it's had little airing. I will stand in the corner for a bit.

Mac n Janet, you maybe surprised how it's changed. I've read quite a bit about how dry it's becoming. It's still very beautiful and varied.

Lol Benta, I was looking the other way!!!

Were off to diner soon and tomorrow we cross the Duero Valley, we have done the Portuguese end a few times, it will be nice to see the smaller version.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

The Rain in Spain

Falls mainly in the distance and stays there hopefully.

We drove down from the mountains yesterday onto some of the flatest flat land trying to be flat. It was full of vineyards and orchards and obviously the fruit bowl of the region. After a couple of hundred kilometres it changed into cereal crops and more rolling hills. We ended up at a town called Alcaniz and this wonderful hotel.

Our rooms are the top two in the tower. The bath is so huge that John started filling it and I managed to have a shower, change, put my face on and there was still only 5 inches of water in the bottom of it. But I had a good view while I was waiting.

Off to have an explore this morning. I believe theres a quilting store in the town!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Hola Amigos

The view from our hill at this moment is a little more mountainous and quite a bit warmer. We're just having a scoot along the bottom of the Pyrenees. I'm managing to satisfy my urges to visit rather big hills and John is having a ball on the winding roads. He's also going a little silly at all the fabulous mountain rivers full of fish. Off to dinner in a mo with lots of local produce to choose from, exploring tomorrow and then off again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 1 April 2011

Just a Quickie

Lisa Walton posted this on Facebook this morning and I had to re post.  It's so sensible ....

And when one is feeling a little under the weather, one does silly things.  This is Ruger who had an off day on Tuesday and wanted to be near Mum.  So he pinched Tully's bed in my workroom.