Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Little Visitors

Hello lovely people.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Santa bought you all the things you wished for!
I've enjoyed reading all your posts, but decided to have a little bloggy break for a while over the Festive season.  We had a very lazy but relaxing time, mainly watching TV, reading, and eating too much, as usual.
I cooked an enormous ham that lasted for a week and the usual couple of nice chickens with all the trimmings for Christmas dinner.  There was a mild panic on Christmas Eve when I woke early to find the power had been off all night and wasn't sure what to do about buying the last minute meat and veg.  Luckily it came back on mid morning, so we were saved from the prospect of a festive barbeque!

I must share these snaps of some little critters that have been keeping me amused through the kitchen window.  I couldn't figure out why the fat filled coconut shell disappeared at a rate of knots, despite not seeing a single bird on it so I popped a fat square in the hedge close to the window and waited with the camera ready.  The plastic tub stops all the bits falling on the floor for Lottie to eat!  Not very pretty, but they don't mind.  First a little mouse, a wood mouse I think.

Then some Bank Voles.  We have lots of these in the garden, but I've never seen them this close before.  There's more than one, but they take it in turns to sit in the tub munching away, before swapping places.  Very cute :)

Enjoying some bread.

I hope you have a good time if you're going out tonight.
Happy New Year.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Festive Decorating

Hello, I managed to capture the beautiful sky this morning before the clouds rolled in and turned it all very wintry again.

The house has had a bit of a festive makeover.  I've kept it very minimal and didn't bother with all the baubles and things that usually get dug out every year.  Lots of holly from the garden has been dotted around to jolly the place up and I dried some orange slices in the dehydrator to make some garlands.

I bought a few more mercury glass tea light holders for the sitting room fireplace and love how they twinkle and sparkle in the early morning light and look so pretty when lit.  

I've also been enjoying too many of these yummy mince pies from Lidl.  £1.49 for 12, bit of a bargain and they are really lovely, full of juicy tangy mincemeat.  Better than a lot of the fancy ones I've had in the past.  Not much chance of them surviving 'till Christmas!

Take care

Friday, 29 November 2013

Star Quilt Progress

Hello!  The star quilt is coming along nicely.  I've done about a third of the blocks now and am really happy with how they're turning out.  Some seem to "work" better, I think if the points contrast strongly with the background so I've shuffled the rest of the fabric bits around a bit before I carry on.  It wasn't meant to be a Christmas quilt, but seems to have a festive feel with lots of reds and greens, Like a box of decorations!

Talking of which, I had a bit of a house tidy yesterday and have decided it's time to jolly up the mantelpieces as it's nearly December.  Off in search of the Christmas stuff.
Hope you have a good weekend.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

New Quilt

Hello!  Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post.  I really enjoyed sewing again after a bit of a lull this year, so as soon as it was finished the next quilt was being planned.  The last few have been quite pale, so for a change I pulled out some of my darker fabrics and am going to make lots of star blocks, with lighter fabrics for the background.  I'm loving this first one already and can't wait to get going with the rest.  I found a good tutorial Here with all the cutting sizes, very handy!

Right!  Better get cutting.


Saturday, 16 November 2013

Quilt Top Finished

Yay!  Finished the quilt top today and just about managed to photograph it before it got too dark.
This is the bit I love most, playing around with the blocks until I'm happy with the layout.  My design wall didn't really work.  The board is a bit too heavy and it sagged too much, but laid flat on the table, with a couple of other bits it's fine.

Sewing together while the light's good.

Finished result, showing the seams.

I think it's got a lovely old fashioned, shabby chic look, very "cottagey" and I'm really keen to get it quilted.  Don't really have anything suitable for the back though so it will have to join the pile and wait it's turn!  I plan to go to the fabric sale at Farnham Maltings in January and hopefully will find some bigger pieces so I can get on and finish all my WIPs.

Off to put the fire on,  it's feeling very chilly round here.
Hope you're having a good weekend.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Quilty Progress

Hello, I hope you're having a good weekend.  Thought I'd drop in with a quick update on my latest quilt.  It really hasn't been the best week to be cutting up fabric.  The light levels have been so low I could barely see what I was doing, but got there in the end.  I've gone for a Bird in the Air block this time, keeping the larger floral prints for the bigger triangles.  It was quite difficult splitting them into "darks" and "lights" as they're all fairly pale, but I love how it's going so far.  There are so many ways they can be arranged, but this is my favourite at the moment.  The more you look at it the more patterns appear!

That's 25 blocks done.  Another 75 to do then I can have fun rearranging them.  (Sorry, awful photos.  It's either too dark or too bright at the moment)

Bye for now

Sunday, 3 November 2013

This Week

Hello,  the weather's still very changeable and the summer seems a distant memory now.  House moving plans have stalled for the moment and I've done as much sorting and clutter clearing as I can for now, so to take my mind off things for a while a new project was needed.  Yes, there's a pile of crochet squares to turn into a blanket and umpteen quilty WIPS to finish, but I really wanted to start something new using lots of my palest rosy fabrics.  Not sure how it will end up yet, but just playing around with them makes me happy!

Other things I've enjoyed this week include more dramatic skies and lovely rainbows.

Yummy warming porridge for breakfast with honey and fresh fruit, or lots of homemade gooseberry compote.

Fruity flapjacks made with odds and ends from the baking cupboard.  Very moreish and quite nutritious!

And a great book by Kate Adie about women's roles in the First World War.  Full of information on everything from dangerous munitions work and engineering, to the land army and medical help, often close to the front lines and unpaid, or for much less than men doing the same job!  

The story of women's football was new to me.  With all the young men away fighting, many women's teams sprang up and drew large crowds, probably for the shocking sight of bare legs!  I love this team photo with their mob caps.

Hope it's not too windy where you are.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Still Here!

Wow!  Has it been that long since my last post?  I don't know where the time goes to these days.
Things are a bit quiet round here at the moment to be honest, so I probably won't be posting as much as before for a while.  
There's been some brilliant thunderstorms lately and the skies this morning were looking very dramatic.

The wind has seen to the last of the apples thankfully.  It's been a daily job clearing them up.
A lot of the trees are still to turn colour, but this one is looking radiant at the moment.

Before the weather turned wild I spent some time tidying the plants in the greenhouse and was surprised to find the streptocarpus leaf cuttings I took a few weeks ago had all taken.  I've never done any before and had pushed them to the back of the shelf and forgotten about them only to find lots of little baby plants ready to pot up.  I'll definitely do some more next year, though a bigger greenhouse would be good :)

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope it's not too stormy where you are.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A Little Late Summer Colour

Hello, I hope you're enjoying the lovely sunshine in this curious summer/autumn that can't make up it's mind which way to go! 
  A few images from my garden this week

We're inundated with apples at the moment.  Every day the grass is covered in them and they need raking up before the wasps find them

I saw these three bunnies this morning enjoying a tasty breakfast.  I even saw one peering into the box to see if the apples were any better!

And this is why it's almost impossible to keep them out of the garden if they're determined to get in.  This hole near the fence has been filled in countless times, but they dig it out again every time, flinging the soil further and further as if to make a point.
Oh well, they are fun to watch!

Bye for now

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Wonderful Webs

The garden this morning,  shrouded in mist.
Cobwebs highlighted with dew.

And all the box bushes covered with these amazing constructions, looking rather like lacy hammocks.  I assume they're spider's webs, but maybe not?

Isn't nature wonderful!