Friday, 27 March 2015

10 Things: Week 12

Hot on the heels of the last post of ten things I'm back with this weeks round up. Can't believe I've managed to blog for this many weeks and hope the format is something people are still enjoying. I suspect I'd not be checking in weekly or even monthly if it wasn't for these posts to prompt me.

1. Read: Touching the Void is still the bath time read. Only I've not done the bubble bath thing this week so it's been untouched. I have been reading my Kindle and am over half way through Stardust by Neil Gaiman. It's like the film with a few differences, as is often the case.

2. Made: Despite the post sickness fatigue meaning I'm in bed each night by 9pm and struggling to do much of quality in the day I decided mid week I had to make something and as I'd recently bought some lovely buttery soft voile from The Village Haberdashery I decided that I'd whip up an infinity scarf. Really less than 15 minutes and it was done and ready to wear.

Infinity scarf

3. Watched: I keep forgetting to watch Gardeners World now it's back on TV. It's lovely to watch together with Mum on iplayer when we do remember.

4. Worn: I may bump this for a better category as this is the one I struggle with the most. I can't even show you a picture of me wearing the infinity scarf as I'm still post sickness pasty and I thought my mug might detract from the beautiful fabric. I'm thinking from next time I should maybe do garden/flowers.

5. Eaten: I've been a bit funny with food this week. My appetite has not fully returned and I find I'm filled quickly and not really enthused by anything.  The only food I have photographed is blurry. That's what happens when you take a quick snap before you eat and it looks good enough on the camera. Only when you upload it it's not.

Twice baked potato skins
Twice baked potatoes

6. Visited/Seen: I haven't been anywhere other than work and the supermarket. However, I have seen violets out in little clumps in the most unexpected places all over my garden. They are my favourite flower and just seeing these makes me smile!

Favourite little flower

7. Recommended: The lovely Jude has some fab deals on fabric in her etsy shop right now. I may have needed to restrain myself in purchasing. (And not succeeded terribly well considering I'm supposing to be using stash not buying more!)

8. Stash In. 4 yards!!! Out 3/4 yard. It took a half yard to make the infinity scarf and I probably sent a further quarter yard in scraps to Lynz who was in need of some purples. Purples are the hardest colour to find. My stash only lacks two colours more: Yellow - although I have rectified this a bit, and Red. Red mainly because I made a Christmas quilt that wiped out what little red I did have and it's not a colour in fabric I particularly like so the pattern/design has to be really something to tempt me away from the blue/green/orange/pink palette.

9. Birds: After 16 last week 0 to report new this week.

10. And Finally: The forecast is not great for the weekend so I'm hoping to get working on using up that stash. I have some birthday sewing I'd like to do and also some more tulips for the Amsterdam quilt. I also want to do a little secret sewing which I'll probably hide in plain sight on here.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

10 Things: Week 11

Rather late this time due to spending the past four days being unwell.  I'm still feeling pretty washed out. At least I'm back on solid food and keeping it down!

1. Read: I finished the Veronica Stallwood and it's reminded me how much I enjoyed the previous novel I read of hers. I really need to get more found. I think I'll keep an eye out of in charity shops when I go vintage sheet hunting. I then started on the latest book group choice: Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones. I'd managed to get a second hand copy from Amazon. I was in denial about reading this book because I'd had a copy previously and passed it on because I decided I was never going to read this. When it was chosen at book group I did a little inward sigh and didn't relish the cost of buying it again - even for Kindle. As it was the book was OK. I read it in a couple of long leisurely baths. I'll be interested to hear what the group make of it as there was some pretty unpleasant violence in it. (Mind is violence ever pleasant?!) The story is about a civil war on a little island in the pacific and when most of the people leave the island (or go and fight for the rebels.) it leaves groups in villages left to fend for themselves. In  young Matilda's village (and the story is told from her view point.) the only white man on the island becomes teacher to the children and decides to read them Great Expectations with both positive and devastating consequences. Now I'm reading Touching the Void by Joe Simpson. More about that next week.

2. Made: No making to speak of this week.  I really need to get on with Amsterdam Quilt.  I also need to stop buying fabric to replace fabric I've only thought about using in projects. I am seriously considering a destash because my fabric drawers are crammed full and I can't get the lid on my scrap boxes - yes the scraps are multiplying like Tribbles.

3. Watched: Second episode of Poldark watched and I'm already only watching in the hope that Captain Poldark will take his kit off again and go for another swim. Otherwise I'm losing interest already. (I have to say I haven't watched episode 3!)

4. Worn: Well it wasn't the lovely clothes I packed for a night away in a suite with Chief on Wednesday night because after he had breakfast on Wednesday, Chief started being sick. He was sick all over Otmoor (literally!) and then crashed at the hotel in bed, in a dark room. Thankfully we had booked a suite because I could at least watch TV in the living room and order room service without disturbing him.  Although using the pool and spa facilities wasn't much fun on my own.

5. Eaten: Room service feels very decadent. It certainly doesn't come cheap. But when I told Chief I'd go down to get some food in the bar to spare him the smell of food in our room, he said I should come back and check on him before I go down to the pool. I then got really worried. When a man like Chief thinks he may need checking on you know that he really is feeling bad and the bravado he's trying to put on may just be covering something more serious. I decided to order a salad and sit in the suite and eat so I didn't leave him for too long. It was called a Vespa salad and it was delicious.

Vespa Salad lunch

Later in the evening Chief thought he could manage a spot of scrambled egg. (The hotel were great and had assured him if he felt like food they'd whip him up something plain of his own choosing.) I opted for the hand pressed burger and chips. I got some fruit for Chief just in case he fancied it later and he did!

Burger for room service dinner 

6. Visited/Seen: I visited the dentist this week to have a filling replaced. It was the tooth that caused me a lot of drama a few years ago. Resulting being on antibiotics for months and the need for surgery.  Now with no nerve left the replacement was easy as no pain! No injection required.  

7. Recommended: Splurge on a suite if you ever get the chance. They aren't always as expensive as you might think and to have our own separate sitting room and all the extras were really lovely. However, I don't advise you get ill when you book it on a no cancellation deal. Although I have to say having two toilets was pretty useful under the circumstances.

St Anne's Suite - The Belfry
View of sitting room - can't see the dinning table or sofa properly.
Bigger than my sitting room at home!

St Anne's Suite - The Belfry
Bedroom - lovely comfy bed

St Anne's Suite - The Belfry
Bathroom - shower was wet room style and just out of shot
around the corner. The bath was a spa bath.

The view from St Anne's Suite - The Belfry
View from the suite.

8. Stash: I confess I've completely lost track of fabric this week. I'll get back on track for next time.

9. Birds: Thanks to a trip to Otmoor I got 16 new birds added onto my year list.  One new addition I even managed to photograph - Redshank - I think you can probably work out it gets its name from the colour of its legs.

Red shank 

My favourite pic of the day was of the robin. It posed quite happily for us. It wasn't a great day for pictures as it was rather murky and misty. 


10. And finally: Friday when my own bout of sickness kicked off (kindly passed on by Chief.) I did have one ray of sunshine. My Spring Time Surprise Swap package arrived. I can't find my partner on social media so I hope she sees this or the pics on IG to see how much I liked the package she put together for me. I am looking forward to growing those dwarf sunflowers in my new cuttings patch.

First day of spring
Thank you!!!

Friday, 13 March 2015

10 Things: Week 10

1. Read: I finally finished Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry. I didn't enjoy it as much as A Fine Balance but it was still worth reading. I also finished Wreckage by Emily Bleeker, which I found an easy read with a few twists and turns I didn't expect. So I have new books for the Kindle and the bath. I have started reading: Stardust by Neil Gaiman on my Kindle. I saw the film at Christmas and found it quite enchanting so thought it would be a good one to read when I saw it on a kindle deal. For the bath I'm reading Oxford Letters by Veronica Stallwood. I had read Oxford Exit before and had been saving this one until I could get some of the novels in between. I'm not sure it's crucial to read them in order but I usually find that there are reoccurring back stories that progress through a series of books. However, next month I'm off to the Bookcrossing World Convention in Oxford and I could do with some Oxford books to take with me so it made sense to get on with reading it.

2. Made: Jude shared this lovely tutorial for a little fabric basket, perfect for stuffing with chocolates. I decided to make one for my partner in the Spring Time Surprises Swap. I think these would make great Easter gifts and will probably be making more shortly!


3. Watched: Poldark on Sunday. I do like a good period drama and have very vague recollections of this show when they did a version in the 1970's. I was relieved that unlike last years BBC dramatisation of Jamaica Inn - you could actually hear what the actors were saying.

4. Worn: I have been venturing outside without a coat. I still need a thermal top on at work though so I'm not banishing the winter clothes just yet.

Me the other side of the spinney

5. Eaten As my brothers family had a fair bit of illness around Mum's birthday we didn't get to go out for a family meal as planned. Last Sunday we were invited down for lunch at theirs to have a belated celebration and my niece made dessert! It's a flour less torte with ground almonds being used in place of the flour. It was yummy!

Lunch at Derek and Claire's

6. Visted/Seen: Reindeer in the Oxfordshire countryside. Who'd have thought it?  I took this picture when I came out of The Crazy Bear Farm Shop. They have all kinds of animals in their fields. But I LOVE to see the Reindeer the best.


7. Recommended I bought myself a Japanese Razor Hoe because it'll be just the job for weeding around plants and readying my raised beds. I've already decided I want a cuttings patch and planted Sweet Williams in the Autumn. Whilst I love the idea of veg growing I tend to grow veg and not eat the majority of it. Twice I've grown beetroots and then they've spoiled whilst I procrastinated about what to do with them.  I'm going to limit the veg and concentrate on flowers so I can get back into a bit of flower arranging.

Japanese Razor Hoe 

8. Stash  In: 2 yards (and a Liberty Scrap Pack) Out: fat 8th!  Ok so a lot more in than out. Hopefully when I can get back to sewing I can remedy that.

9. Birds Again nothing new to report. I need to get out with Chief who's own list is way over 100 for the year now!

10. And Finally I've a very busy week next week. Including time away with Chief. Lots to look forward to and hopefully lots to come back and blog about.

Friday, 6 March 2015

10 Things: Week 9

1. Read: The Val McDermid novel got finished on my kindle. Didn't really see who'd done it until it was about to be revealed. Surprising as I'd watched the Wire in the Blood series on TV which was based on this series of books. Just be warned if you're thinking of reading these books they are pretty graphic and gory.  Now I've started 'Wreckage' by Emily Bleeker.  I've only read about 20% of it so far, so I can't tell you too much. It's about a plane crash and what happens when the survivors are rescued and become media darlings but are they all telling the truth about what happened.

2.Made: I've started making an Amsterdam quilt for me to use in Gertie.  I have about 10.5 tulips made so far and then the week got in the way and it's been untouched since the weekend. I'm going to use wider sashing to help get the quilt up to a usable size. I was hoping to make it entirely from stash but as I wanted some red tulips and am woefully short of red I have ordered a couple of fat quarters of fabric to use.

Still doing a spot of flower arranging
Amsterdam Quilt - I'm enjoying making these tulips

3. Watched: TV watching has been pretty disjointed this week as I've had a lot on.  I have been enjoying re-runs of Enterprise as ever since I was a child I enjoyed the whole Star Trek thing.

4. Worn: The problem with the whole worn category is it requires me either to do selfies (and I'm the worlds worst at them.) or get someone to take a picture for me of what I've been wearing. This week though I did put on a posh frock (for me!) because I had a funeral to attend where colour was requested. I went for a dress I'd bought but, not worn for another occasion. It's teal with a black leaf/flower design. I felt I had to make an effort not least because I'd be standing up in church reading a piece chosen by the family!

5. Eaten: The celebration of life after the funeral was a two course sit down meal at a very lovely gastro pub near to me: The Mole.  We'd been asked to choose from a set menu prior to the lunch and I opted for Aylesbury duck on a bed of mash with herbs and peas.  I hate peas and am not a fan of mash but luckily there were some yummy roasted new potatoes on the table for those that had chosen the smoked haddock option so I was in no danger of starving!  Dessert for me was a passion fruit and mango pavlova.  It was very civilised and a nice way to remember our special friend and chat with other friends and family.  It's just a shame someone has to die to have these occasions! Mum has already requested a return visit to the pub and she's not even a foodie.

6. Visited/Seen: The place I've visited the most this week is our local church yard. Whether it was to line the path up to the church with pots of spring flowers prior to the funeral; attend the funeral or take Mum to see the flowers afterwards.

Holton Church
pots of spring flowers lining the path to the village church
(these have been planted in the church yard as they are all 
native wild flowers.)

7. Recommended: If you're somewhere in the world right now where the weather is improving do venture our for a walk. The spring flowers are pretty abundant at the moment and I think it lifts everyone's mood to get some exercise and see some pretty flowers. Well, I know it does mine!

Wildflowers by the church
aconites, snowdrops, primroses and soon daffodils all in a field behind our local church

8. Stash: In: 2 yards Out: 2 yards. IG has become my new tempter of fabrics. I've bought some lovelies this week and forgot to take a picture of any. Suffice to say there was a fat quarter of some novelty vintage sheeting and some lovely Denyse Schmidt. I'm saying 2 yards for out because it's not easy to calculate how much fabric I've used so far on the Amsterdam quilt. It'll be easier once I've made all the blocks.

9. Birds: Nothing of note to report on the bird front. They're definitely courting and nest building though.

10: And finally: I joined up in a spring time surprises swap that was happening via IG. I've tended to avoid swaps on IG because it's not so easy as flickr used to be and most swaps I've seen have been for mini quilts and whilst I don't mind making a mini quilt, I never know what to do with the ones I receive as I don't have suitable wall space to hang them. The spring time swap sets a £5 budget and asks that you're creative to your partners likes/dislikes and anything goes! So I need to get working on that.
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