It all started with those pesky chickens who have been laying like the clappers, if you want reliable hens buy White Stars, their productivity is quite astounding. So first of all I made a couple of quiche’s with the eggs, a piece of Stilton I rescued from the back of the freezer and the first of the asparagus.
Anyway, I ran out of black fabric yesterday and needed some more to finish these placemats so I took myself off to Warwick to visit Anita at The Quilters Den, to spend a very enjoyable hour and a half choosing fabrics. I’d only popped in for a couple of items when an idea that had been ruminating came to fruition after having seen these fabrics.
I think they will make very pretty placemats for Mum to use in the garden and will become the perfect 75th birthday present that I have been searching for. I’d best get crackin’ .
In the scheme of all things related to the sewing machine, items that require a ten digit code to verify that you do indeed have the right part to use, to do the job you wish, an item that will work on the machine that you have safely installed in your home, never trust shop assistants. I have just found to my cost that I have been sold the wrong free motion bobbin for my machine. It is like a game of snakes and ladders, and I have gone back five spaces.
Secondly the reason that these little jobs on the sewing machine take so long is because of the designer of the machine. You see the way I see it in my mind is that all of the little feet are stored on the top and all of the bulky feet with attachments are stored in the nicely designed draws at the back and front of my machine. Simples, so when I looked for my free motion quilting foot, I found it wasn’t there. I checked my machine three times, searched the room, scrambled under the desk amongst the bits and pieces of fabric that had fallen there, imagine my happiness when I did find a foot, not the right one, but a foot it was, I must be on the right track. I came back out dirtier but without the required foot. Then checked my machine again, opened the draws and glanced over the top, nope the free motion quilting foot wasn’t there.
Then I thought have I put this foot in my older machine. Managed to unearth it under a pile of magazines, pillows (stuffing to you and me) and fabric only to find that it uses a completely different foot and no the foot I was after wasn’t there. Cursed under my breath and considered buying another foot whilst desperately trying to think of a way to get this under hubby’s radar. He would blame my housekeeping abilities which we know are well down on the list as to why he loves me.
I decided to search downstairs, just before glancing once again at my machine. And then, just out of the corner of my eye, I see the large quilting foot I want, perched safely in its hidey hole that the designer has so carefully placed on the top, next to the small feet. It shouldn’t be there at all, it should be tucked into one of the draws, any self respecting seamstress knows this. Mandycharlie quickly checks her peripheral vision which is fine and can only determine that it all stems from a knock on the head sometime soon after birth.
Manic mode, averted, it would have been ugly.
I hear you ask.
Well its been well over the 30 days, I think its about 48.
The first two to three weeks went extremely well, then I caught a tummy bug (probably from the Sewing for Pleasure jaunt) and that took me off my feet and meant I stayed very close to home for a few days. I felt quite weak after that but managed to recover enough for our day out in London (which was blogged about some time after the event) and caught the chills on the way back which went into a cold and then a mild lung infection (green gunk and the shivers), but fortunately recovered from that without medical intervention.
So what I am trying to say is I veered off course. I am building myself back up, although heading back to Curves when a Zumba class was just about to start wasn’t the best plan for the first day back. I rather over did that, and needed a couple of days to recover. Thankfully I am now back to my usual workouts and am feeling fine with that.
Well, what have been the benefits?
Well for a start even though I caught a cold, my muscles weren’t screaming at me the way they normally do when I am having a day out in London, (we do pack a lot in) there were times that I was positively bouncy (although that may have been the Turkish coffee) and I felt that my gait had changed, my stride has lengthened and I felt that I was stronger.
And, I’ve lost a couple more pounds, it would have been more, but colds always leave me ravenous for some reason and not always for the healthy options.
It is good, I am glad I tried this challenge and I think Curves is going to be part of my life for a good while yet.
It is time to move over to another 30 day challenge and this time I want to explore the way I use my time to play. I spend far to much time on the computer, its true! And because of developing the social places that I go to, let alone the fascinating blogs that I find along the way, my time in my day runs away with me and its all too easy to accomplish less and less, whilst all the time wanting to do more and more creative projects. So, rather than saying that I am going to limit my computer time and suddenly be faced with a void, which could make me grumpy until I turn on the computer and click onto my social places to see what is going on in the world, I have decided to tackle my time issues from a different angle. I am going to do more, that right, more. Crazy isn’t it. But it just might work, so, for the next 30 days I am going to play with my sewing machine every day. Even if its just for a few minutes. Every day, for 30 days.
I find using pencils are the best way to prick out, I hold the leaf, never the stem, no matter how gentle you are you risk damaging the plant if you grip the stem. I use the pencil to lift the plant and its roots gently from the soil (no pencil in this shot as I was taking the photo with the other hand)
And then wiggle a hole to carefully place the young plant in, then gently water in and the hole will fill in on its self.
So, there we were at the train station before 7.00 a.m. bleary eyed and yawning listening to the cacophony of the birds morning chorus getting louder and louder as the day became brighter and brighter. Soon the train arrived and it was really nice waking up to the wonderful views of the fields, hedges and trees just springing into life with their new growth of acid green as the sun slowly warmed the earth. Having seen David Hockneys work quite recently (and eager to see it again) it has given me a new insight into his use of colour when visually describing the colour of hedges and trees. He uses a lot of purple and to start with I thought I hadn’t seen those colours in hedges but sometimes when the light is just right or we happen to come across the same species of hedge I see exactly the same colour that David Hockney chose to use. Its very interesting. Although I am not convinced of the colour he chose to use when painting May in full bloom, I see it as a much brighter white than the creamy colour he has chosen. However, I am waiting to see if it changes to that creamy colour just before it goes over and is lost again for another year. And then when I see it, I will doff my cap to the master and apologise for doubting him.
We arrived just before 8.30 a.m. and decided to see what Borough Market had to offer on a busy Saturday morning. I hoped we would be rewarded with a show of great magnitude and rewarded we were. Oh to come shopping on a Saturday morning and return home with sumptuous goodies that would be perfectly unspoiled after carting them around London for the day. One can dream, but until that day, we have photographs to tempt us.
These were knitted by me and are all preemie size , two cardi’s, two hats.
and this is a preemie size next to a first born size.
A couple of photographs of the detail of the ladybirds on my first completed and finally understood Baby Surprise (he sure was!) by Elizabeth Zimmermann.
I do like ladybirds. They are my favourite bug, they eat all of the greenfly and they are pretty, whats not to love.
Noelle sat up most of the night knitting this so she could get it in the wash and dry it off for Thursday. I think red is such a lovely colour on a baby.
Another lady (Barbara?) at knitting gave me this to keep Baby B’s head lovely and warm.
There was a lovely matinee set by Kay, which is absolutely dreamy the wool is so soft,
and this was knitted by Kay too and tickled me to bits. I love it and I sure Lucy will too.
I really am very lucky to have such wonderful friends, thank you so much for all your hard work, I know it will be much appreciated.
Baby B is doing very well and had most of his tubes removed yesterday, its all going as it should. There will be a piccie of Baby B, but I am putting him in Ravelry for a little bit of protection, message me if you would like his whereabouts, he really is beautiful.
Happy Easter everyone.
I decided to try my hand at hot cross buns this year, mainly because I have been thinking about them for the last couple of months and thinking what an ideal vehicle they would be to use up some dried fruit that has been sitting in the cupboard since Christmas.
I assembled the ingredients and found that I only had wholemeal bread making flour and being too lazy to walk up the town and lug a bag of white bread making flour back, I decided to go ahead and make them anyway.
Which resulted in hot cross buns that if you threw one hard enough you could probably take out a rhinoceros, and you have to check how strong you are before picking one up, they would make great paper weights (really selling them aren’t I?!) but they taste delicious. They taste nicer than shop bought, as well as the dried fruit I put a good quantity of mixed peel and spices which has added a really nice flavour to them. They are proving very moorish and the two dozen I made are being demolished quite rapidly. (I have a small secret stash in the freezer for Easter Sunday)
I’d love to have another workshop with Jennie, she was a very good teacher, leaving very little room for her students to make mistakes. Her humour is lively and she entertained us beautifully.
Jennie in front of her own Scrappy Zappy Do.