Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Pink Jobs and Blue Jobs????

Do you have pink and blue jobs in your house?  I don't think we do really, but our jobs have changed since Mr. D has retired.  Pink jobs used to include the garden, decorate the house including tiling etc. etc.which I know most folk would consider these 'blue' jobs.  Nowadays many of these jobs have turned into 'blue' jobs along with shared cooking (what a treat), bits of shopping, tidying the house.  This weekend the sun was shining and it was actually warm , so I wanted to power wash the drive and patio ready for the 'stunning' summer I long for, but I had the distinct impression that Mr. D now felt this should be a 'blue' job, but after a bit of discussion out came the power washer and this was me a few hours later.

Not sure I'll ever get those pants clean.

These next few jobs are definitely on the Pink list (big grin)

This week is crochet week again, and last time we met we were shown the boxes for Emily's star that some of us started to fill with bonding squares, hats, booties and incubator size quilts for our local hospital.  One thing that was in the box were little comfort toys for the babies, so I thought I would have a go at making them.  I have to say I have not got very far.........ONE is complete, but I did have good intentions, even bought a soft fleece blanket ready for the many that I should have finished...Blah! Blah! Blah!

So cute

They really don't take long to make and the white blanket is ready for the 'Off'

I did have an unexpected trip to my sister-in-law (S) last week and we took the opportunity to go to Lichfield to Spellbound Beads   The shop looks a bit boring from the outside, but inside is a wonderland of beads.

Sparkling Icicle 

Starry Night tassel 

We just couldn't resist, so came away with a couple of kits. and S bought beads which she plans to make into one of these....

My second half doll skirt
You would not believe just how many beads are in that skirt, it takes almost as long to thread the beads onto the perle thread as it does to knit the skirt, still keeps me off the street.

Don't forget if you would like to join our Mini Mania group over at flickr.  The next challenge is Cathedral Windows, the  instructions are here.

Till next time, happy days x x

Monday, 2 May 2016

Aprils Mini Mania Challenge Tah Dah!!!

Yep! It's that time of the month again.....Mini Mania Challenge 'show and tell'.  This months challenge was the 'drunkards path block'. We also had to use solid coloured fabric which suited me as I had used solids on my 'Pineapple block'  challenge and fabric still hadn't found their way back into the cupboard. Now I have only made drunkards path once before and that time each block was about 6" square and all sewn by hand. This time I wanted a 2" finished block and machine pieced, so a bit of Internet trawling and I came across this website that showed you how to make your own template, then I found this one so thought I'd have a go at making my very  own templates.

But I wasn't happy with the result, and so I then had one of those light bulb moments!  A couple of years ago I did a quick workshop at one of the quilt shows.  This workshop was to show you how you could frame a circle with fabric.  I have used this technique on a couple of occasions and thought I could make it work for my blocks.  Out came the compass again and voila! My drunkards path blocks were born.

I made them a bit bigger than needed so that I could trim down

Once all blocks were done I then the fun bit of choosing a design....and what a choice I had.  In the end I had three that I had to choose from

Eventually I settled on this arrangement.

Sandwiched and quilted, I am rather pleased with my little mini quilt.  This one will end up in a large quilt at the end of the year, that why it has no binding.

Why don't you head over here and have a look at the talented ladies creations.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Perhaps we should never tidy our sewing rooms!!!!!

This has been a bit of a mixed few weeks.  I took Mr. D for a walk around Foxton Locks, a repeat of the walk I did with my friends, but this time in daylight so we could enjoy the joys of Spring.  The first of the wild bluebells (some were white just to be contrary)  and daffodils that I have seen this year, mind you we were away at the beginning of Spring.

Is this an indigenous bluebell????

Daffodils in flower,  Bluebells to follow

Think these must be the real thing

I still haven't got back into sewing, but I am enjoying making the crochet doilies.  I have tried a few patterns for the 'ladies that crochet' and made a few into a dream catcher, but I can't have hundreds of them hanging around - so! what to do with the rest?   I have a plan, but I might save that to reveal in another post......sneaky of me!

Just a start

At the weekend I decided to look through and tidy all my yarns.........big mistake!   I started well, but soon got distracted when I came across some perle threads which a number of years back I used for knitting miniature dolls clothes and some skirts for half porcelain dolls.  Porcelain dolls!  Where are those dolls?   Every cupboard, box, drawer, nook and cranny was searched.....no dolls!  This is the time when the saying 'My brain is like a Teflon pan. Nothing sticks' is very appropriate.   My sewing room was then turned upside down for the umpteenth time. Then as I last resort I looked in the garage where a few boxes for the charity shop had been stacked  Yes, you guessed it, one box had strayed into the wrong pile and my half porcelain dolls, along with some skirt patterns, were finally discovered. Phew! Lucky rescue........

Probably the longest part of making these beauties is threading the beads onto sewing thread ready to transfer to the Perle.

It takes hours honest.

Finally something finished to show you....

She just needs a name.

The moral of the story is - if you get distracted while cleaning up your stash, don't worry you may also  rescue a treasure,  because my ladies would certainly have ended up at the local charity shop Eeeeeek!!!  

I am on a roll now, "dollies and doilies".

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Walking and working......

As the clocks were set to British Summer time at the end of March it meant that 'we ladies' could start our evening country walk again, but the weather hasn't really been very good to us until last night.  Although it took a bit to get me out of the chair I was really pleased I made the effort as it turned out to be a really lovely evening with a  beautiful sunset.  We walked around Foxton Locks (Leicestershire), and ended up in the village,

So beautiful
 As the sun went down the sky looked like it was on fire.

Now, have you ever had that item in the house that you feel you could make more attractive -- but never had the time to get around to it?  I have an old office chair which is used at my sewing machine and it is covered in typical office upholstery fabric, so a number of years ago I draped a small quilt over it as I was a little intimidated about reupholstering it,

Looks a little sad
But today was the day for tackling it.  Mr. D was out for the day so I had access to the tools (have to say I feel they are my tools as much as his!).

The old screwdriver is ready to lift old staples 

A few more tools added and I am now at the point of no return.....

Think its working....
Bit of cutting stapling and sewing -- Voila!!!!

Think I should have invested in some white paint for the legs....maybe that's a job for next week

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Still looking for my MoJo

Oh my! Am I having a problem getting my sewing "mojo" back.  Don't get me wrong, I find it's sometimes good to have a break but this week is a sewing week at my local quilting shop and I can't get any enthusiasm for any sewing and I'm blowed if I am going to sit in the shop knitting or crocheting when I could be on my comfy sofa at home!  I suppose I will come up with something to do and it will be nice to catch up with the other 'ladies that sew'.  I did make a bag when I first got home, so I might just cut some more fabric up and make another, it can always be a gift.

A combination of two Debbie Shaw pattern

When I go on holiday I take some small hand sewing to do at quiet times, and this holiday was no different.  I took all of my hexigon 'stuff, and I also took some embroidery, but the main thing I did was knit.....Yes in 30 dec C  I was knitting fingerless gloves.  The thing is I think fingerless gloves are so handy and they are quick to knit.  In the end I made 6 pairs..... all with different yarn, and therefore they all came out slightly different.

This pair are actually lime green

 The other thing I have been wanting to play with since our trip to France before Christmas, are crochet Dream Catchers.  I love the idea of snowflakes, so the first one I attempted was a crochet snowflake which I love, but I am not sure about the big gaps, so Pinterest was studied over the weekend.....

Got to think more about the ribbons too
these are my next attempt 

I might look at a smaller ring to attach it to

Blocking going well, and I think the ring will work for this one

Do you remember the Higham Piecemakers Christmas Challenge? We were all given a fat quarter of background fabric (either white or cream) which had to be used  along with the workings for a clock.  I have made clocks before as gifts for friends, but never one for me, so, this is my clock which sits very happily in my sewing room.  I finished my one before the holiday, but it missed the big reveal day as that was the day we were travelling back home.  You should go over to Higham's blog to see what the other ladies made......they are brilliant. 

Bright and cheery just like my room 
These lovely spring flowers were a late Mothering Sunday gift from my daughter.  Not only do they look lovely, they smell beautiful too.

Off for the first evening walk of this year tonight, so hope the weather stays dry and I might get a few photos for next blog time.  Keep fingers crossed it stays dry

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Holiday Time

Fair warning, this post is going to be holiday holiday holiday, so if you want you can bail out now.

We arrived in South Africa the day after my birthday, so we were treated to a wonderful lunch at Harbor House Restaurant, which seems to lean out over the sea, such a beautiful venue, and scrummy food.
Pre lunch drinks 

That Sea looks so tempting

What a setting!

This was my 'starter'  Shrimps and Avocado  Yum!

The children were both at school, so we took our turn with the school run's.  Mr B. comes out of school 1 1/4 hrs before Miss I, so we spent the time watching the children playing in the school playground.  Each class has their very own climbing frame and there are no 'health and safety' police around, so the kids learn to be careful.

This is part of the school building.   Those tree's call out to the children to climb them

No soft landing if you do fall.
and we were lucky enough to be there to celebrate Pancake evening.  A fire is lit in the middle of the paved area, pancakes are provided, and there is always folk dancing for all to join in.

such a great way to spend an evening.

The children have quite a few after-school activities, but  on free days we would try to go for a treat somewhere.  I think our favourite treat was cycling along Sea Point Prom.  with a nice cool ice cream at the end of it.

You have to admit I'm getting pretty good at cycling  with the camera in one hand 

'Blue Blue' skies 
and once you have finished your ice cream cone, you can share the rest of the tub

Some for you Miss I

Open Wide
Then home for some quiet time.

Bit of hand embroidery 
and Mr.B could not be left out

He was pretty good too!

Mr D and I had a couple of days to visit old haunts.  Kirstenbosch Gardens is always worth a visit, ( I could write a whole blog about Kirstenbosch but today its just a few photos)

The beginning of wonderland

cool pools 

These Lillies grow along the central reservation of one of the Highways, and they are a joy to see growing in the wild

You can't beat that mountain as a backdrop for the Botanical Garden
We also traveled back to our old home town, walked along the beach then took a drive up 'Chapman's Peak' for a selfie photo shoot 

Fisherman' s Wharf and the Sentinel Mountain  in the background
Getting better at these 'Selfies'

Its been a while, but I used to cycle up here.....30 mins up, 10 mins to get back down

I have to show you this piece of Art,  Its very clever... odd bits of metal strategically placed

Can you see what it will be?

Bit more of a clue in this photo

Tah Dah!  its to bring attention on just how endangered the Rhino is 

As a family we had a weekend away in Bonnievale.  The cottage we rented was right by the river, and we had the use of canoe's and the river was wonderful to cool off in ....once we got through the weed.
Relaxing on the stoop 

Look no hands

Morning paddle 

All too soon the holiday came to an end, but the weekend before we flew home Mr D and Mr A had a weekend away.  A "father and child bonding weekend" for children attending the school our grand children go to.  The weekend is organised by the Dads and they all take part in making the weekend fun.  Some cook, some make coffee and cool drinks, some act as life guards and take walks up the mountain. some tell bedtime stories and some just help out where ever they can (that was Mr D)  

Tent up and ready 

Love the hat 

All ready for supper

A walk up the mountain 

and a reward at the end of the trek

while the men were away J and I had a bit of a girly time.  Manicure and Pedicure booked, lunch at our pleasure and cocktails and supper at the Waterfront.......very special time.

My favorite cocktail  Turkish Delight ...... and it was delicious 

Good Health to all 

I now have to get myself back into the real world. and hopefully I will have some thing crafty to show you next time.