Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Wales Part 3 and another update.

I only have photos of Wales to share with you at the moment. I haven't got anything creative done around here the last few days. I still haven't taken photos of the flannel and voile circle scarf I made last week. I had a great day out on Saturday with a friend, we nattered, did shopping and had lunch. But Sunday my mum got taken ill and to cut a long story short, I called an ambulance and we ended up spending over 7 hours in A&E, so I'm not caught up yet. It's wet and windy here so I'll leave you with some pictures of the wonderful coast at Abbereiddy in Pembrokeshire.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Wales Weekend Part 2 & and a little update.

I have really been cracking on with the hand quilting of my hexie quilt. If the light wasn't so blurgh today then I'd have taken some pictures. I'm nearly in the middle and that's making it harder to quilt as I have to have so much of the quilt bunched up under me as I work. So far I've managed to not sew it to my clothes...famous last words eh?

I've just made some cookie dough which is chilling in the fridge. I followed a lovely recipe Kaelin from the from The Plaid Scottie shared on her blog recently. The dough smells lovely so I can't wait until I can pop them in the oven. I had a mental moment when mixing the dough because at the stage when it should have been 'quite stiff' it actually looked more like 'bread crumbs'. I was trying to work out where I'd gone wrong and if it was because my idea of a cup of butter and the recipes idea of a cup of butter were different; when I realised that I'd forgotten to add the egg and vanilla essence. Doh! I think it's all worked out in the end. But I guess time will tell.

Anyway, Here are some more pics from my recent trip to Wales. This time St David's which is Britain's smallest city. It is a city by virtue of its famous Cathedral. The pictures don't really show it but the stone St David's Cathedral is made from is actually pink in colour.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Wales Weekend Part 1

I was hoping today to be able to blog about the flannel and voile circle scarf I made yesterday afternoon, but I need to get some pictures for that. Of course as I need to model the scarf, so you can actually see it's a scarf and not just some random pile of fabric, I am finding it difficult to be both the model and the photographer. So I thought I'd share with you part of my trip to Wales last weekend.

I had never been to Wales before. I was told to expect constant rain and drizzle and it to be colder and greyer than England. Well that was not our experience. Despite some cloud on the way down the weather was fantastic - warm (unseasonal) temps and blue skies. We stopped off in the Brecon Beacons for lunch and this was the view from the car park.

We were staying in Tenby which is on the coast in South Pembrokeshire. Once we'd settled in we explored the town and had a walk on the south beach. There were so many inspiring things to photograph. I loved the terrace of higglety-pigglety houses painted in pastel colours that surround the quayside. I think they could inspire a really interesting house quilt. Sorry some of the pictures are a bit dark. I have no photo editing software on the new laptop at the moment.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Back in England a good post day!

I've been away for the weekend on my first ever visit to Wales. (I will entertain you with pictures in due course.) Today I've been back at work - in a cold office doing boring stuff shuffling paper and figures. So it has been fantastic to arrive home from work and find these goodies through my letter box! Isn't the wrapping pretty? Yes, I've saved it all to re-use.

In the first bundle was the prize I won from VeryKerryBerry birthday blog giveaway. Thanks Kerry! The fabric at the back is actually a really pretty vintage apron. I'm thinking cut up and mixed with some other fabrics it would make lovely a cushion for my summer house. Despite going up earlier in the year it's missed out on being interior decorated. The other part of the prize was these 3 red fat quarters of co-ordinating fabric. As soon as I saw them I thought they'd make a lovely table centre mat or runner. So I'm going to start planning a design for that.

I ordered these goodies from Seamstar after seeing a feature on their blog for making circle scarves out of flannel and voile. I've never worked with flannel before so I hope I don't go horribly wrong. I'll let you know how I get on. The flannel is super snuggly and the voile buttery soft. The camo fabric is for a top secret project so I'm going to stay all Secret Squirrel about that one for now. ;-)

Whenever I go away places I tend to pick up leaflets, save tickets, business cards and other ephemera, which I never get around to doing anything with. I don't think any of you need telling I'm a complete photo junkie either. Normally stuff I save just lurks around in drawers, gets used as impromptu bookmarks or just adds to clutter around my home. When I come to label my pictures I've forgotten what some place was called or which order we went to places. So before I went away I bought these Moleskine Cahiers and I've decided to make little visual travel journals. I won't fill a whole one in a weekend, but I can always add to it if I revisit and for some longer travel experiences I may need full on moleskines. I'll show you how I get on. There is plenty of inspiration over on flickr if that sort of thing interests you.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Hexagonal Crap Caddy

As you all know I am completely addicted to anything hexie related so imagine my delight when the other day, whilst mooching around blogland I came across this tutorial. I had long been admiring the pin cushion caddy's over on flickr like these, but I'd been put off from attempting to make one due to all the blogs I've read where people have said - don't go there; as the most popular pattern for these just doesn't work out without modification and can be such a faff. And to be honest I've not wanted to do anything faffy lately.

Not so the tutorial from Penny's Hands which has really clear step by step instructions. I made two modifications with my caddy - Firstly I didn't have a cereal box to hand so used grey board. Years ago I used to make little fabric hexie boxes and to keep them at the right stiffness I'd use grey board. You don't have to buy grey board - I just save and use the grey board that backs memo pads or note pads.

The second thing I modified was when I made my elongated hexies for the pin cushion bit I folded them in half and cut them in two. That way I could use up smaller scraps from my scrap box.

The one thing I didn't like about this - and this is not the patterns fault by mine is the stuffing. I just couldn't get it to sit all nicely. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

So if you fancy making a Crap Caddy - Crap as in a place to put all your sewing crap ;-) then head on over to Penny's Hands.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Travelling Tuesday: Uffington and Avebury

I've just got back from my first physio session on my ankle. Ann the physio was really good. She whizzed through a whole host of exercises that I now have to do as homework and explained lots of stuff about joints and ligaments and all the stuff that makes my foot, ankle and leg work. She zapped my ankle with some ultrasound and I have to go back in a few weeks time.

I feel a bit guilty that I haven't got anything new to show you creatively. Lets say I've been doing lots of research on Flickr and I've also been working on my hexie quilt. It is taking longer to quilt it than it did to cut over 1000 squares of fabric and papers (yes, I cut all my own) and then baste and sew them together! Hey ho.

I've decided therefore (any excuse eh?) that Tuesdays will become Travelling Tuesdays. So here are some pictures from a day trip a few years ago, that took in some interesting ancient sites.

Silbury Hill in Wiltshire. This Neolithic hill is the tallest prehistoric man-made hill in Europe and one of the largest in the world.

Avebury - most foreign tourists go to Stonehenge, although Avebury is just as an important site and along with several other sites in the Stonehenge group forms part of the World Heritage site.

I thought most of the stones looked like they were faces.

This is me outside The Red Lion at Avebury which I believe is the only pub to be situated inside one of these stone circles. It also claims to be extremely haunted.

At Uffington in the Vale of the White Horse is White Horse Hill, where there is a very ancient horse carved into the chalk hill. I used to visit here a lot as a child but hadn't been back as an adult. For a while I'm sure they stopped you standing on the head and eye of the horse because of potential damage. There are all kinds of legends about this place and it's supposed to be good luck to stand on the eye and make a wish.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

A Little Diversion

One of the plus sides to having a new laptop is all the storage space on the HD which means I have been able to upload all my digital pics and not have them sat on a PC and a portable hard drive. You may not see this as a plus when I start blogging about half of them on here. (evil grin.) The fact is I don't have much creative to share with you. I am still quilting my hexie quilt; do you really want me to blog about that every time, maybe with the odd picture of me sat on the sofa with it all bunched up around me? The fact is I just don't feel too well these days. I spent most of the night coughing and this morning I fell *blurgh* with a sore upper back and chest. I just hope this isn't the start of a chest infection as I'm away next weekend on a little adventure.

Lets look on the bright side for now though and enjoy a trip I had a few years ago to Westonbirt Arboretum. It really is a beautiful place. If you go at the right time of year there are the most wonderful autumn colours to enjoy.

I just love the arterial look of the branches and the photo doesn't do the colours justice.

There were lots of visitors the day we went and more dog walkers than I have seen in my entire life with the most amazing selection of dog breeds too! (Not what you need to be seeing when you'd really like a dog but just don't have the lifestyle.)

I looked for fairies - I didn't spot any though.

This is a knitted cocoon. According to the blurb this was a community arts project that toured around various places in England. Over 150 people had left messages on the beads giving away things they didn't want. The tradition of leaving things in trees to heal the mind and body dates back over 3000 years and is widespread across the Mediterranean and parts of the Arabian Peninsula. The cocoon is a powerful symbol of renewal and change and is the stage a caterpillar goes through in order to become a butterfly. All the materials used are biodegradable and no harm will come to the tree.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Pincushion Love!

I signed up for round 2 of the Scrappy Pincushion Swap over on Flickr. I've been actively participating in the group because that's what makes it fun, right? And it has been fun watching all the lovely pin cushion photo's appear in the group and trying to guess if any of them could be mine. There is so much talent in the group and I'd have been happy with the majority of pinnies that I saw. Having said that there are always some that speak to you more than others. Some that just seem to be so what you're about; it's like someone has poked around inside your head and distilled everything you would love into one amazing little pin cushion.

I'll 'fess up I was trying to chart the progress of a couple of these pinnies - you know paying attention when people said who they'd received pin cushions from, to see if they'd got *mine.* So imagine my delight this morning when I got back from the supermarket to find a package in my back porch. Inside was this lovely wrapping...

Inside the lovely wrapping was this...

WOW! One of my favourite pin cushions in the whole swap! Lovingly made by Wendy aka On a Whim/Little Whimsies
I can't stop looking at it! It's just sooo gorgeous! I mean look at how the fishy pins co-ordinate with the whole design...

I just can't stop smiling and almost need to stick a pin in myself in case I'm dreaming!

Oh and in case you didn't work it out I have my new laptop and it has much more space on the hard drive so I am organising properly all my photos - then I'll copy everything to DVDs and my portable hard drive. What it does mean is I'll be able to share with you more easily pictures from the past. So there will probably be a lot more blogging about places I've been and things I've done.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Favourite Things Friday: Fly A Bird Of Prey Experience

I love birds. I really love birds of prey. A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to spend half a day holding and flying a selection of beautiful birds of prey. It was a freezing cold day in the village of South Moreton, Oxfordshire. I had an abscess on my tooth so couldn't eat or talk properly. In spite all this I had a fantastic time and would love to get to fly some birds of prey again sometime.

This is me holding a Kestrel. We often see these birds in the wild hovering in a field.

This beauty is a Harris Hawk.

Here I'm flying Boo a European Eagle Owl. You need a support for your arm because these birds are big and quite heavy.

Twit-woo you have to love an owl like this don't you? (Let's ignore the fact I look so tired and drawn from tooth ache!)

This is me with a Harris Hawk...

...who I snapped while she was on my arm - I think I got her best side. ;-)

Thursday, 7 October 2010

R.I.P Lappy Laptop

I don't like posting without some pictures - even if they aren't great pictures. Yesterday, just as I was about to blog about my day out to a nature reserve my laptop died. The screen went blank, but I could still hear it whirring away. It's done this a couple of times in the last fortnight, so I kind of took this as a sign of impending doom. When it happened before, if I rebooted it would sometimes kick into life. This time it didn't. So I shut it down and left it to cool down. When I went back to switch it on - nothing.

I feel quite lost without my laptop. It was an old laptop. I've had it nearly two years now as my other half bought it from work when it was too outdated for what they required and he passed it on to me. It hadn't been new to him either. I know while he had it had been on a few adventures and well, travelled to more exotic places than I have.

So I ordered a new one last night and have paid for next day delivery. I get a little twitchy buying electrical or expensive goods online. Until I'm up and running it won't be so easy for me to post pictures. It's going to be harder to keep up with blog life and flickr too. So see you soon! (Hopefully)

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Sneaky Peaks ;-)

It's that time of year when I start thinking of Christmas and what I need to prepare and get ready. I am not good at leaving things to the last minute. I know this from bitter experience and the year I left my Christmas shopping until the last minute and nearly had a nervous breakdown, upstairs in Boots (the chemists), surrounded with more shopping bags than one small person, like me, could ever possibly carry.

So I've started on my sewing projects with the trial run of a scrappy stocking I've had a mind to make. I can't show you the one's I've made for other people - hence the sneaky peak of work in progress above. I can show you the one I made myself though.

There isn't really a wrong or right side. Don't you love things all the more when things are reversible? Most of the fabric is scraps from my scrap box. I couldn't resist cutting into a few bits of fat quarters - like the Urban Circus elephant material I got recently and the Heather Ross (for Spoonflower) Gnomes.

This afternoon I whipped up some Rock Cakes. Home baking always tastes better than shop bought even if it doesn't always look that way!

I have some more Heather Ross fat quarters for my stash. I think she must be my favourite designer at the moment. I wish I'd had some of her fabrics when I'd been assembling my hexie quilt top. I hope I can include some in the back edging...and maybe in a matching cushion or two.

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