Saturday, 24 March 2012

Skill builder is back!

I am now trying to catch up again with the skill builder. I did make a start on the wonky log cabin, but, I hate it! I really dislike it so much that, although I will finish it, I suspect I will then take it apart and use the bits elsewhere. No I am not prepared to share it. It is NASTY. I expect I will have to put it on the flickr group, but that will be its lot. Yuck.

However, last weeks block was wonky stars. I did not expect to like it any better. What a revelation. I really like wonky stars. Or this one anyway.
I chose the fabrics fairly carefully, the greens could have been designed to go together. And a small modicum of care in sewing the triangles on wonkily (is that a word? ), and I was pleasantly surprised. It felt good.

All a little bit different, but, yes, okay. And then to sew them together, and I love the block!

I hope you like it too.

Now, the other night I was really not doing well on the sleep front. I had gone to bed at the usual time, but woke up around 3am. I tried all the usual standbys, went to the loo, got a small drink of water, hid under the covers to rebreathe the carbon dioxide breath, relaxed all the muscles toes up, but I was very awake. In the end I got up and came down and had a go at ribbon roses. These are made with wired ribbon, and I was quite pleased with them.
Of course, I then do not know what to do with them, so, sorry Tara! You gat them. Whoops. I hope you do not mind too much. They just slid into the envelope of their own accord. I had nothing to do with it, honest....

This afternoon  I went to a fabric sale at Patchfinders. I was very good, and only bought a small quantity of fabric to add to my stash. How is fabric so addictive? I also treated myself to some spray baster, which should come in very useful. What did I buy?

The soft yellow with pastel spots didn't show well there, so here it is again. Very pretty!

The only sad thing was, I missed Lucy, by minutes! I did not get away from work quite quickly enough. Sorry Lucy.

Then when we got back from the fabric shop, (I took my DD2 with me, and she made up for my lack of extravagance) we went into the greenhouse, and cleared it out. At last. It really needed it. The dahlias needed starting. My DD2 loves dahlias, so I think I might make them her responsibility! Haven't told her that yet, so I do not know what she may think. We also planted some seeds. Tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, pak choi, and broccoli. It is a start.

And I have been celebrating. My orchids live in the bathroom, well, three of them have decided to flower. One is really dainty, and the other that is out is a bit larger, and more extravagant. The third one is a little behind, but should be properly out at the end of next week.


Now to make a start on this weeks skill builder. Wonky fan. Looks fun.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Another tree block.

Again, the image isn't good, I must pick up our camera tomorrow, but I thought I would do a cherry blossom type branch for Tara as well as the Acacia. I have done the signature block, and now must get these in the post.

It has been a difficult day, going over to my Mum's to do laundry, managing to spill compost all over it on the way home, spending hours draining the washing machine...
But my son has got me up and running on the computer again! Hurrah!

Now all I have to do is to get going again on the skill builder, now that Leila is back in action, and try to catch up with the other things I am falling behind on.

I hope Mothers Day (UK) has been kind to you!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

I think I am back!

Oh it has been a trying time. And still is. I came down the other morning and found water on the floor in the Utility room. Wher does water come from. Boiler? drains? The cat has wee-ed? No, the water looks clean ( phew) and it is not on the work surface, or in the cupboards, so not the manifold, and not the boiler, and not the cat!

The washing machine has filled itself with water, and it is wee-ing.

I am still waiting for my husband to look at it in the hope of saving the machine. It is not that old, and should not have gone wrong. Grrr.

I need to tell you, if you live within reach of Manchester, There is a one day sale on at Patchfinders, 20% off everything. I am planning to go, and take my daughter and hook up with the lovely Lucy, who lives not too manty hundred miles from there. So anyone available, next Saturday, 24th March, 9-30 to 4-30, get along there. They do have an incredible range of fabrics, rulers etc etc wadding , jelly rolls all sorts, just don't buy what I want before I get there. No I do not know what I want, but I doubt I will get away without something!

And no, they do not know I am telling you about it, but it is a very good offer!

Today I have done a tree block for Tara, in the stash bee. I have cheekily added some elephants from the gorgeous scraps sent by Nicky, because they seemed appropriate. I was chatting about it to a friend last night, and came up with the idea of doing an acacia tree, as it has a robust outline, and is very recognisable, so a few diagrams later and I had this, (grotty pictures as it is the wrong camera, )
Then I auditioned fabric, and ended up with this tree, and some elephants- I do not want you all to think I am totally hung up on elephants, but they just worked here, I hope...
I am a little concerned that Tara may not like the elephants, so I am thinking about an alternative...
And I must do a signature block as well.

Now, I am a lucky one, I have been tagged by Tanya, so here goes, if I can!

You must, if tagged, publish the rules. Rules?

  • You must post the rules.
  • Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you and then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged.
  • Tag 11 people and link them in your post.
  • Let them know you have tagged them. 

Now, I am not sure I can tag 11 people, but I shall see who I can tag . 

1) What is the meal and/or cake you most regularly cook?

I am most likely to bake a milk chocolate cake, it is a Be-Ro recipe, and moist and chocolatey and delish.

2) If you had a totally free weekend coming up (and a decent amount of cash in your wallet) what would you choose to do with the time?

That is a most unlikely state of affairs, as I work on Saturdays, I think I would choose to spend the weekend making glass beads, or having a go at silver clay crafting, probably with my daughters

3) What have you made that you are most proud of?

Prom dresses for my girls. ( To say the children would be a bit naff!)

4) What makes you happy?

sunshine and daffodils, smiles from my children (not so small now though), a hug from my husband,
a sense of achievement

5) What tip would you give me?

Grasp the moment. See the bigger picture, enjoy the children NOW.

6) What was your best moment of the past year?

picking a damson from our 1 year old tree.

7) What would you recommend as your favourite book?

too many favourites! I read all the time, everything from Jane Austen to Ian Rankin, Tolkein to Tolstoy.

8) Are you afraid of anything?

I am scared of pain. I have a healthy respect for danger. I am scared of how I would deal with it  if anything happened to my children

9) What is your favourite drink?

Sorry, tea. Builders tea. Milk no sugar

10) What colour should I decorate my loft bedroom?

 cream and light blue if it faces south, pale green and old rose pink if it faces north.

11) What's your best time saving advice? 

 Do not play tag!

My Questions? 

1.  If you could live in any country in the world, which would you choose, and why? 
2. What started you sewing?
3.  Did you ever feel like never doing it again?why?
4. Which gizmo has made your life truly easier?
5. What do you do for a living- if you are a stay at home now, what did you do before?
6. What treat could you not give up?
7. Which book made you cry the most?
8. Favourite flower?
9. When did you last overeat, and why?
10. What is the most romantic thing that has happened to you?
11. What age would you like to have stayed?

Now I would like to tag, not 11 people, that is far too many, how about

Lucy at charm about you
Nicky at Mrs sew and sow
Janine at Rainbow hare quilts
Helen at Archie the wonder dog
Di at the cheshire Quilter
and Wendy the craftiest Womble

Now, I really think this is long enough for this one, but I have to put some yellow from my garden in for Di, I hope you like it !it is one of my pleasures at this end of the year!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Ok I have not been sewing much, too much else going on!
I have just got back from visiting a very dear friend, and getting her going with her new sewing machine. Introducing her to the benefit of a walking foot! Creation of fun things just cannot be beaten, especially when you can do crafty stuff with company.

Monday night we had a break in at work. It gets complicated, because we are in charge of four premises, so when the alarm goes off, it is not necessarily us who are targetted, but we have to go sort it out. So 11.30 we get the call, the alarm is going off. 5 minutes later, the monitoring service call, to tell us not to go in without police. This is what husbands are for, right?
So he went, and it was not us exactly, but next door, upstairs and down- two businesses, who had to be contacted, and all locks have had to be changed, and windows boarded up and door jambs repaired... so we are mentally and physically tired with the lot of it.

He got back at 3.00am, and of course I was at work the next day, and then going straight from work to my friend, about 100 miles, never been before, in the dark, but it was lovely! You know the sort of friend who you can relax and do nothing, or work alongside in harmony. She is great! And she has hens. They are so lovely to see, going around and sorting themselves out, and the cock waking me up in the morning! I went back to sleep, though and only woke up again at half seven-ish. No harm done there.

Now there are one or two giveaways to tell you about, I really do not want any of you to join in, because then I have less chance to win, however, let us be fair about this, somebody told me, so I suppose, I better pass it on?

Susan, at Canadian abroad is the first one, a new online shop has opened, which promises to be excellent. This is the Village Haberdashery- misn't 'haberdashery an evocative word? Lovely in the mouth, and quaint and old fashioned. I love that word. Full of promise.
Then Adventures in fabric is celebrating numbers of followers. At this rate she will have another one next week because of so many more! She is offering some pretty charm squares, by Moda, Domestic Bliss. Have a look!

and poppy makes is doing a giveaway for those helping name her new puppy!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

virus alert

I have again been targetted by something. Last month I had my email hijacked, and now I have a ramnit virus on my computer, the virus scan thinks it gets rid but it doesn't. I am doing this on DH's computer, and this is just to tell you all, if I am very quiet for a bit it is because I am awaiting clearance on my computer...
It is about 10 years old, and ready for the knackers yard anyway, but, an old friend. And has all my backstock of images, which will have to be lost. Sob.
Meantime be wary of ANY communication from me. I shall be changing my email etc, and open NOTHING attached by any means from me until I have changed. I will let you know on here!

In future I will try to add a personal message if I am doing a link on email, so you can be sure it is meant from me. :-((

Monday, 5 March 2012

sent item

I am happy to report, my pouch went off, all by itself, while I was away. I am blessed with a lovely receptionist, who promised to send it while I was on holiday.

Before I went away, we had a bit of this-ing and that-ing, my Papa had a minor op, if anything can be minor when you are into your 80's. on release from hospital, we ended up back there at 3 the following morning, as he was still bleeding, and he was kept in for most of the following day, until he stopped bleeding. Things got better, and he was fit to transport us to the airport, and came to collect us. That was a farce. I know it is not sewing, but, haha!
We travelled by a well known airline, and our return take off time was 14.00. Check in at 12.00, boarding from 13.20. With me so far?
We checked the board at intervals, and, knowing food is not provided on board, except at a cost, decided we would eat before boarding. So at 12.30 we went and ate.About 13.00 we checked the board again. 'Last call for flight xxxx, boarding now' Panic sets in, we are not due to fly until 14.00, and there had been no announcements. so we rushed to the boarding gate, feeling like the very last of the last, and boarded. We were not the last, and there were mutterings around as other passengers also felt that the plane might have gone without us without any warning. Uncomfortable feeling.
Once the doors were shut, they thanked us nicely, told us that everyone was accounted for and no-one left behind, and that we could leave half an hour early, as there was a spare slot.
And we sat. Eventually they told us that, although there was a slot, Control did not want us to go to the runway until 5 minutes before we had been due to take off...  We did leave a little early in the end, and had a fast flight home arriving 30 minutes early.
Meanwhile, Papa consults his computer to see if we are running late, or on time. He then panics, as he has a 25 minute journey to come and fetch us, and we are now landing in 5 minutes! so he sets off.

We disembark the Plane, and get through Passport etc, and head for our luggage carousel. On its board, our luggage is due out by 18.52 ( how are they so precise?) and that from another flight, by 19.20.So we wait. and after about 20 minutes the beeper goes, and then the carousel starts to move. Luggage appears.

Not our luggage though, an announcement is made. 'There is a mechanical fault, and the engineers cannot open the hatches to get the luggage out' So it is Dubai who get their luggage first. Does the airport think to tell those passengers? Not a hope! I spot some folk nearby, and suggest that the luggage merrily trolling round for the third time may be from their aircraft?

Ten minutes later they come back and thank me, and they are on their way.

By the time we get out, my father is frozen with waiting, and might just as well have not rushed, as we are rather later than had we been on time and all gone smoothly!

Anyway, if you made your way through that, here is something that put me in mind of Woolly, so if a Womble is watching...its for you!

Now, the point of this post was actually to 'fess up and tell what I sent in the end. I was lucky enough to be given the job of making a pouch for Tanya, who is also new to swaps, and fairly new to the world of blogging. She is great fun and was lovely to make for, though she is an occasional surfer, so feedback sometimes seemed slow to those of us who are impatient- but it always came and was encouraging! Thank you Tanya! I felt so much better when I heard from you! Sorry to be impatient :-(((

In the end I chose to send her owls, and sorted scraps out which I hoped she will like, and after it was all sealed I worried that I hadn't sent enough. I think I did send a little over the fat quarter- but still I felt mean- Perhaps that is inevitable.
I sewed a card, with some bits from the pouch, and wrapped it in tissue paper and tied with a ribbon, so I felt it looked like a parcel that was exciting to open.

And she likes it!

MY pouch arrived!

Did I just win the lottery? No I got the most beautiful pouch through the post while I was away on holiday. This came from the wonderful Nicky  who I started following ages ago, when Fluffy sheep organised the FMQ sessions. When I saw what she was making I was torn, All her makes were so lovely, and she wanted her partner to choose? Well, I was keen on all of them, but I did make a choice, and this was it. Afterward I wondered, had I chosen right, but then, I did not expect it to be for me really. And then when it turned up, I knew I had chosen right!

The pouch was beautifully wrapped, in bright and cheery parrot paper, this will be saved, and made further use of. Isn't it pretty?

And as a side order to the pouch, many more scraps than was ordained by our Swap Mammas. She got several of my colour schemes off pat, and was most generous with her gifting. I am fizzing with it all, and loving the choicest of scraps- some quite large scraps too. Pinky purply ones, bluey turquoisey ones and a yummy piece of navy jumbo cord. And do you recall her lovely embroidered pouch? It had a strip of elephants on it, and she was so kind, and sent some of them too! I do not think anyone could be more generous with their scraps than Nicky  Haven't I been very lucky indeed? There is a very pretty green with coloured spots, which I have so nearly bought in the past, and a floral in shades of blue and lilac, which has also run through my hands as a possible on several occasions. And a few others have nearly come home with me before now.
And she has sent some linen textured pieces too, which I love. I cannot list everything, but, do not tell on me, -swap mammas if you are watching, look away now- a bar of lovely chocolate also appeared. I am sure it was not in the parcel.... really??
and an ellie card to remind me of the littlest Ellie when we saw the elephant round up in Surin, Thailand, in November.

So, a few more pictures, so that anyone not following our mouthy stitching can get a better idea of Nicky's talents,


secret Ellie


the back! 
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