Saturday, 24 March 2018

A Little Trip out

First trip out for more than four weeks
We went to the Wyevale Garden Centre in Hereford. Yes, I know that's a long way from home but that was the way we were kind of heading. We bought a new tap adaptor for the outside tap because I forgot to remove the one that was on there AND I forgot to turn off the tap so when it froze and split I had home made icicles all over the garden from the resulting spray of water. We also bought a trough thingy that holds a grow bag for my tomatoes - one last go at growing them before I totally give up and pave the whole bl**dy garden.
The we moved on the Oakchurch Farm Shop. I might have mentioned this place before as they always have stuff I desperately need.
Chocolate Torte and a large latte for me. Mr M had a pot of tea and a can of sprite zero

LOOK! LOOK! a special mug for Mr M. We didn't buy it.

I am waiting while he goes to the Loo.............. waiting is boring

There he is! I miss him so much when he is not right by me

See this? This is snow left over from last week

When it hangs around like this we always say it is waiting for more. We hope to be proved wrong

Friday, 23 March 2018

And so it begins

SO, you think you have an idea but it is vague and shrouded in swirls of mist. 
You continue with the work in hand and try to allow the vague idea to assume more substantial form.
You finish the work in hand and pay more attention to what your grand children are doing and saying and one of them posts a picture that you INSTANTLY see as a quilt.

And so it begins
Tentative placement of the first parts of the unicorn

The working drawing, based on the picture that Hanna put on her FB wall. (I am told this is "The Last Unicorn"

The beading has begun - Emerald eyes for a unicorn that might just be a bit "Goth"

Ears, "Always you pull my ears"

The crown with sapphires - just found them in the forgotten bead box.
I am now at the point where I must start securing the pieces to the quilt and I am always reluctant to start because of all the preliminary stuff - basting and pinning and throwing away the stuff that refuses to work. I dislike working with voile but I have some fabulous maroon and purple and black voile that is just screaming for me to use it and bead it. I will allow the ideas to fester mature over the weekend and come to the table fresh on Monday.

Have a good weekend and I'll see you on the flip side

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

This is for remembrance

For World Poetry Day...  a sad sonnet by Edna St Vincent Millay (1892 - 1950).

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied 
Who told me time would ease me of my pain! 
I miss him in the weeping of the rain; 
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side, 
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane; 
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide. 
There are a hundred places where I fear 
To go,—so with his memory they brim. 
And entering with relief some quiet place 
Where never fell his foot or shone his face 
I say, "There is no memory of him here!" 
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

For some reason this has really struck a chord with me.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Let me introduce Cedric

Because it takes a while to complete a quilt I tend to let my mind drift a little while I am stitching and sometimes I create a back-story for the picture.
 You already know that I like to hang the work in progress so that I can look at it and decide how to work the next bit. So it will come as no surprise to you that this water dragon is called Cedric. I didn't write the story when I thought it - too busy beading his tongue - so I can't tell you. I do remember that his name is something to do with Kelp, but I have been asleep since then.
 I invested in new beading needles and now every project I think of seems to have a way of incorporating beads - I can sit in my chair with legs elevated and bead away to my hearts content. I do need to order some more needle threaders though. Otherwise I spent at least five minutes threading the needle and I have to use a magnifying glass to do it! I have broken all my needle threaders and the complicated plastic one with the push button is just too thick to go into the fine beading needles so it has to be those funny little metal discs with the fine wire sticking out.
 Now all I have to do is wait for the piping cord to arrive so that I can finish the cushions to go with this quilt and the necktie one.
Yes the carrier bags in the picture do have the fabrics for the next project in them. I have ideas for a goth unicorn - thank you Darling Daughter for making that birthday cake and inspiring me - and a stained glass window butterfly................ I also want to make some bags for the charity shop.

Oh did I tell you that my friend who has a curtain shop has had a "bit of a clear out in the workroom" Mr M gave a sigh and bought a large plastic box bigger than a cabin trunk for me to store the fabric. I have promised to share the bounty and I have already given three bags (black bags, large) of fabric to someone who teaches parents of one parent families to sew their own soft furnishings. As I live in the area with the highest national incidence of unmarried parents I am glad to give stuff so that they are learning a skill and gaining a little pride

Now I simply have to go and cut the strips ready to pipe those cushions - oh and order some new needle threaders. ................ Now, where did I put that black tape?

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

sneezing and coughing and quilting

 It snowed! You noticed didn't you? Youngest son was sent home from work with another chest infection and then it snowed. I intended to do so much but I could feel the sniffles creeping up on me so I spent the whole weekend sitting in my chair by the fire quilting the background of the necktie quilt. On Monday I put the border on it - I used what was left of the ties and now I have it hanging on the dresser so that I can look at it. When I have done that it will go onto the bed in the little bedroom because that's where Wicked Uncle Cliff slept last time he visited and he says that the bed in there is "full of sleep".

I have now finished attaching the water dragon to his background and I am really pleased with the way his legs and claws look now they are stuffed properly. I put big flat blue beads for his eyes and I have done more beading on his face. The beading on his scales will take some tim so no pictures until that is completed. I am thinking that bubbles will look better than seaweed although I am still undecided. I will search the ribbon box for shades of green but I don't think I have much. All donations gratefully accepted
horns legs and wings firmly satin stitched in place. Let the beading begin

You can just see the beads on his eyes

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

How to make your own icicles in one easy lesson

Take one outside tap and attach a plastic fixture for two hoses. Use it through the summer to water plants in two different levels of garden.

Forget to turn off the tap and drain the fixture for the winter.
 Obviously the water in the fixture froze and cracked the plastic. Then the morning sun defrosted it sufficiently for the tap - which was still turned on - to start sending water In a beautiful fountain onto the trellis and vegetation
 The back yard is like an icerink around the tap. The drain had frozen so the water was overflowing and I had to cling to the wall to get to it, turn off the tap and then scrape the drain with a piece of wood until the water rushed away.
I had spent at least three hours searching inside the house because I could hear running water but couldn't find it! So glad it wasn't much worse.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Monday and Me - Birthday treats and snow

Mr M celebrated a birthday yesterday. We went to Tyntesfield to see what was happening and both of us decided that after a slow wander around the ground floor we didn't have the strength or energy to go upstairs. We had a lovely cuppa in the Cowbarn Restaurant and because we have been getting our card stamped it meant we got the drinks free - we like free.
I love the expression on his face. He hates me taking his picture but usually forgets his own camera so can't take my picture

Doesn't it look lovely in the sunshine but there was a lazy wind, you know? one that goes straight through you because it is too lazy to go around. My word it was cold

I said I couldn't skip to save my life - a friend assures me that one cannot skip for metal but perhaps for reggae

Too slow to take a picture of the birthday lunch.
We went to the Supermare in Weston Super Mare for lunch and used our Christmas present of a money voucher for the Hungry Horse chain. Food delicious as usual, service great although it did take me a moment to realise that when the nice lady asked if we wanted mayal she was just asking - with a real Bristol accent if we wanted Mayo*.
We decided to come home after lunch because the weather had already thrown rain sleet and snow at us and we had to cross the river while it was windy.

*True Bristolians add the letter L to all words that end in a vowel sound. The example I remember best is the man who had two daughters Normal and Eval.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Monday and Me - fed up and not sewing!

I should be finishing this AND the quilt for a great granddaughter but the stupid sewing machins is making the most awful noises and machine oil and WD40 have not worked. Every time I try to sew it sounds like it is ripping itself apart inside and shrieking loudly while doing it. I will have to take it to J&B to get it fixed but that can't happen until Friday afternoon because of Mr M's shifts and the Guttering men on Thursday. I can't describe how frustrating it is to be on a roll with a quilt and CIRCUMSTANCES are preventing me from working.

Wicked Uncle Cliff gave me ties to make a quilt. Lots of ties with fascinating labels

I have made the centre of the flower with the labels, Some are unique

The corners will have flower centres too - with labels
Just as soon as I can I will be finishing this and the other one AND making pillows and cushions that will match

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Christmas shopping? really

We needed to go to Costco. No, really it was a need not a want. We had run out of bacon and nearly run out of decaff coffee so we had to go.
They had some good stuff on display so we were able to buy presents for all the sproglets under the age of 12. All those over 12 will get money!

We stopped to have a bite of lunch and while we were eating I noticed this small child sitting in the trolley and looking at a phone. It was the stillness and the expression on his face that caught my eye. He can't be older than two and yet he has the facial expression absolutely right and the hands are perfect.

I sneaked a picture while the two women he was with were totally unaware of what he was doing.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Monday and Me - Pink sky! No, really PINK SKY!

It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegone - sorry, it's just that when I think about how to start my ramblings I always come to Garrison Keillor's opening lines on his radio show. It has been a fairly ordinary week here at Macey Towers. Youngest Son and Mr M are both recovering well from their battle with viruses and bacteria but next in line was Darling Daughter. She was sent home from work and after two days did the "I'm indispensable" routine and struggled back in only to be sent home again. This time she accepted that she really was ill and took to her bed with her Bettermaker Blanket. She has gone off to London for a conference or course today so she is on the mend too.

On Friday we had builders - MY builders, the ones who did my cellar stairs and my kitchen AND my french doors in the breakfast room. The put this lovely new door with a tilt and turn window in the top into our study so that we can have a breath of fresh air in here and the rats cannot chew through the door frame because it is metal with a covering of plastic.

Isn't the colour of the sky amazing? NO I haven't done anything funny with photoshop that is really how it looked. Newport County were winning their football match against Spurs at the time so perhaps the sky was really full of flying pigs.

I loved the way the colour was reflected on the wall of the house behind us. I am also quite impressed with how tidy the kitchen looks, it's not usually that neat

Monday, 15 January 2018

Monday and Me - First day out since Christmas

As I write Mr M is in bed, having gone to work and then come home sick!! I can't remember him ever doing this before so it is a bit scary . We went out for our first little ride since before Christmas. Misty Black Mountains, grey and soggy Herefordshire and the Jo's Place for lunch. 

We needed bacon you see. Mr M bought a packet of sauce mix for Chicken and Bacon Pie and I thought I would try it. I have always done all my cooking from scratch so it is really strange to be using packets for sauces. I even use pre-packed pastry! If it's good enough for James Martin it's good enough for me.
We like Oakchurch bacon so we decided to go there and get some - and a few other things we were sure to desperately need. We went up via Abergavenny, Talgarth and the Wye Valley - not the narrow gorge between Monmouth and Chepstow, oh no, the proper wide open much more beautiful one around Hay on Wye. We love that route and never tire of seeing it in the different seasons, even when the sky has that If-It-Was-Two-Degrees-Colder-I-Would-Snow look about it. The cloud was so low it was getting it's bottom ripped by the tops of the mountains and the air had that slightly yellow flavour

Black Mountains looking decidedly grey
 We arrived at Oakchurch, which has become know as the Harrods of Herefordshire apparently. Paused to take a picture of their big turkey and then bought bacon, a quarter of lamb, some suet blocks for the birdies, a savoy cabbage for Sunday dinner and a couple of different potato peelers because our favourite one broke and nothing we have tried since has been as good
Big Turkey!
 Then we went to Jo's PLace at Whitchurch, just outside Ross on Wye for lunch. We talk so much about so many subjects when we are in the car on our own. I just love this special time. For various reasons - mostly because we don't share a taste in TV programmes - we tend to sit in different rooms to watch TV. Another reason being that as soon as Mr M sits in his chair in the front room he goes to sleep so watching TV with him is like watching on my own but with added snoring. I can't sit at the table for too long without my ankles swelling so I have to elevate my legs - sitting in the car is different because he concentrates on driving and we talk. No chance of the phone ringing or the doorbell just us. Absolute heaven!
Each table has its own cruet set and they are cleaned and changed so every time we go there is a different one on the table. This time we had piggies

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Monday and Me - All Gone

I think this has to be my favourite picture of the whole Christmas period. Sweet little Boots (she is polydactyl, hence the name) getting to know Mr M.

All the food is gone. The green and furry offerings to the Fridge Gods have been cleared out. The sausage rolls that have passed my stringent use by date have gone to work with Mr M to feed the birdies outside his office. Youngest son has gone back to work and all our visitors have left for home.

I do love to have a full house at this time of year and Wicked Uncle Cliff arriving in the dull days between Christmas and New Year has become a tradition that we really look forward to. Miss Boo likes to take him shopping and then not spend any of his money. He loves that she knows exactly what she wants and she knows that he would give her the moon if she asked but she doesn't ask - ever. She has already chosen what she would like and once her mind is set that's it.

He offers her all sorts of stuff ( the outcome of one of these encounters was the arrival of a five feet tall giraffe. Seeing the courier struggling with that was interesting) and sometimes she can be persuaded, but usually she is content with her original choice.

Now everyone is back to work, although Mr M has a cough and a runny nose. I was happy that he had gone to the Dr for the flu jab only to discover, last night, that he didn't go this time because he has decided that the constant pain in the muscle of his left arm is not arthritis as the Dr says but caused by the flu jab last year (which is when the pain started, apparently). So now I am worried. I am pretty sure it isn't flu because he can still get out of bed. If it was real flu he would not be able to get upright. I remember having real flu once and I was two weeks in bed before I could even stand.

We had a parcel with chocolates from a friend so I sent it all down to Miss Boo rather than be tempted to stuff my face. I haven't taken a single picture this year because I haven't felt well enough - in fact I haven't been outside the door since we walked down to my Daughter's house for Christmas dinner. I might not go out until spring

Happy New Year everyone