Thursday, 8 December 2016

Lots Still To Do!!

 Why is it we are NEVER prepared for the Christmas period?
It's not as if the date changes each year 😕

 Anyway, I have finished three of the many baubles that I would like to make

 And some Lemon and Lime curds that will be gifts

 Blocking a shawl that will also be a gift
 And frogged another because I didn't like how it was working up. I'm now trying another pattern - but still not so sure 😟

At the weekend I offered to 'run up' another of the felt wreaths. This has to be finished by tomorrow, as it will be passed on to be taken out to Dubai for Christmas.
won't start panicking till tonight!
 Spent a lovely weekend with the southerners and Sunday morning saw us making footprints in the sand and blowing cobwebs away before brunch on a windy but beautiful day.
 Before Sister 3 went off to the US for the winter, she gave instructions that Sister 2 and myself were to open the parcels left on December 1st, and together. So we did.

I have NEVER had an advent calendar before!  It is so exciting ! ( I do lead a quiet life)

 Guess what was in the first door ....... 😂

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

A Week Of Birthday Celebrations

 But first - the pudding making was a month late but HAD to be done before the family arrived.

All steamed up
 And finishing up some things that needed packing away from little fingers
 A finished angel. I said that this would be the ONLY one I made but little fingers loved it and because I can't say no I now need to make another one for me!

 I had made a whole bunch of story cushions that at last have been passed to Save The Children for sale in their Woodstock shop

using lots of scraps
We have eaten out with so many different friends this week, that I don't think we will need to eat now till Christmas!
Saturday came and Mr T was allowed to leave us all to our own devices whilst he went off to play golf.  So off to Beckworth Emporium to partake in some ice skating,

 The temporary rink this year was at least twice the size they normally have and was very well organised.

 No accidents this time (thank goodness) and it was great fun ( for me to watch, as I was left in charge of the baby)

Watching was just exhausting!
 It does worry me a little, how at home Little Miss is when we go into a bar!
more food!

 Monday saw us take a good walk down the lane to feed the ducks and swans

 And this is the reaction when she realised we had to walk BACK up the lane!
 But was easily persuaded (or negotiated with) and we made it back in one piece.  They have a two hour journey to get home and we were advised that she slept ALL the way!

 Today was the big reveal of the Mini Mania Challenge. This month was Applique, any method, but must include at least one flower and one creature.
I have to confess that mine was made in a rush YESTERDAY!  A bit of raw edge applique using Liberty Lawn scraps. 
 Now that the Big Man has had his BIG birthday we can get onto the preparations for Christmas - but first I need to sleep for several days to recover! 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Some makes

 Starting with the October Mini Mania Challenge.

This month it was "Josephs Coat"

Any way you wanted to interpret

Many Colours was the first thing that came to my mind, so out came that dreaded scrap box and slicing little strips
 and piecing

 I really must stop listening to audio books when I am sewing. I just happily sliced and joined and ended up with enough little 4 patch's to make a rather large quilt!

Joining them all together into a Josephs Ladder  was going to be my Mini .......
Then I remembered that this block is Jacob's Ladder - but Hey Ho! They were brothers, weren't they?

Half way though the quilting I noticed that one of the 4 patches was the wrong way round! - but managed to unpick and re-insert without undoing the quilting
 And my Joseph's Coat is complete

 and some from the other members

 I was meeting up with some family members to make a felt Christmas Wreath, and had a lovely little message from my darling Niece, asking if it was too early for Mince Pies. She loves my homemade Mince Meat,  so a big batch of that, and some pies were produced.

 I love it  when she say's "I am going to limit myself to just 4 pies!" 
 and she is such a skinny girl! 

 Anyway, lots of pre-meet prep had taken place, so we all cracked on with making the bits to add to our wreath
 And with a final flurry, we all finished, with maybe a little tweaking to be done at home.

I have been tidying my fabric stocks, and found a fat 1/4 bundle of flannel fabrics that I purchased when we were visiting Sister 3  (two years ago!) so when Mr T was playing golf, I rustled up this simple rag quilt for Baby Leo
Added the finishing touches to Little Miss' poncho
couldn't decide which colour buttons - so used them all!
Some decorative beaded baubles are on the cards again. This one was a kit purchased from Spellbound Beads - Swags and Tails. I love this design, and hope to make more before we get the tree out.

 I have been making a shawl for Sister 1 using some wool/silk blend lace yarn, but just was not happy with how the thing was working up. Anyway - I bit the bullet and frogged all that I had done ( and there was a lot - in lace!) and doubled the yarn up and began again.

I could say that I had won the Yarn Chicken game - but truthfully - I had to tink back 4 rows to complete the picot edge. I am happy with the final result, (which is blocking as I write) and hope that my sister will be too. 
even had to fudge the last picot with just this to spare!
 I'm not quite sure how October came and went without me making my Christmas Puddings, but it did, so this week that is what has been bubbling away in my kitchen. One bumper one, as all my family will be together for Christmas, and some more for people who are especially nice to me
Image result for wink emoji

 Now onto November's Mini Mania Challenge. This month will see applique, and I have made a ....... start, but must finish before the weekend is out because we have a very busy week ahead, and a BIG birthday for someone.......

Monday, 31 October 2016

Road Trip

 This year has not been the best for us - though some events have certainly made up for the tougher times. Anyway - we had not had the chance to take a holiday so we were determined to make a run for it before the winter weather sets in.

We had decided to go to the West Coast of Scotland, but went via a visit with  friends that live in County Durham ( The North East of England!).

 It was lovely to catch up with them and a lot of talk over a good meal before our first hotel stay near Newcastle. 

The next day saw us visiting more friends in Northumberland.  There was some tea drinking, fabric swapping and pattern checking as Ann is a prolific quilter.

We then headed off to Cragside  a National Trust property  that was the summer home of Lord Armstrong - Victorian inventor, innovator and landscape genius. 
The house was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity.
 There was lots to see

An extra wing was added on when The Prince of Wales announced that he was to visit and included this enormous marble fireplace!

 A great day spent with old friends and off to the next hotel before our holiday started proper.

We had planned to visit Lindisfarne but were advised  that we should make a stop at Bamburg Castle 
which was a great suggestion - well worth the visit. 

And on to Lindisfarne or Holy Island

 Reading the 1939 newspaper  - War has been declared - whilst having a cuppa
This bed dates back to 1727!

We included a visit to St Aidens church

This was a visit that we had been promising ourselves for many years, and we are so glad the we began our west coast adventure on the east coast!

 Another night spent this side and then over the border

St Abbs

And at last, over to the western side of Scotland, starting in Inverness with a call into Culloden Battlefield

very atmospheric
the mountains around Loch Ness

There were so many wonderful views to be had,  but I can definitely say that after leaving Inverness and making our way over to Ullapool it just got more and more spectacular

 We stopped to walk and went "off piste" to find this waterfall

 On the road to Gairloch

 Another day looking towards Skye
 As you can see, the weather was very good to us- the first rain that we had was on the Isle of Skye

View from our room in Portree

Skye cottage

 Then back across the bridge at the Kyle of Lochalsh and to Eilean Donan Castle - another recommended stop

 no photos from inside this building. It is privately owned and was rebuilt in the 1920's to be used a summer home. 
spotted this lovely rose in the garden
Then onto Fort William -  and yes - there is snow on those mountain tops
Bridge of Orchy

 Fort William saw some more rain - actually it was raining stair rods - but I had a beast of a migraine that day, so spent the morning in bed before venturing out for a short walk.

Near Fort William are "Neptunes Steps" a course of 9 locks on the Caledonian Canal ( the canal runs from the Irish sea to the north sea through 4 Lochs with one third of its 60 mile length being man made connections between the Lochs)

 This canal is wide and deep enough to take quite large ships and has great views of Ben Nevis

A view over Ben Nevis
 From Fort William to Carlisle with a stop off at the Commando Memorial. This area was where the commandos completed their training before heading off to foreign lands. There is a memorial garden too, and it was very moving to read the inscriptions, some from very recent conflicts. Many of the fallen, just boys really.

 Near Carlisle we visited some of the sites that still show Hadrian's Wall - this was built by the Romans (to keep the Celts out!!) and runs from west to east coast of England.

Hmmmm - am thinking we might walk the length of it .... but I'll not tell "him" yet!

The last stop on our Road Trip was in the Lake District - which is beautiful BUT so many people and cars and so commercial so this may be the last time we visit this area!
So - 1677 Miles - 10 hotels - 23 Lochs - 15 Locks - 7 Castles - 2 Highest peaks and 1 wall to keep them out -  all in 14 days!!

Not leaving the house for ..... a while !!

I have been doing some sewing, and next time I will catch you up on all my makes.