Monday, 13 February 2017

owls quilt - finished

I finally finished the owls quilt I was making for Debbie with the fabrics bought in Canada when she and Jason were there last year.

She had chosen this pattern (click on the photo for the pattern) which Joanna had found on Pinterest.

I played around in Photoshop putting the colours of Debbie's fabrics in where they would go and came up with this:

Debbie thought that the fabrics looked like they were "floating" and I could see what she meant - no real definition of the blocks. So Douglas and I went through my pile of plain colours and decided a bright pink would look best.

Back to Photoshop and this is how it looked now. Much better!

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have spotted that I changed a starry fabric for a turquoise fabric - 1st block on the left, second row down. I don't know if it was a mistake in the original pattern but it was the only block that didn't have all the colours in it. So I changed it. As you do. Or at least I do!

Anyway, Debbie liked this layout so the sewing began. I managed to get the top sewn together but then I got sick and the quilt sat for about 3 weeks with nothing being done to it. Last week, I finally sat down and got it quilted. I just sewed diagonal lines - the quilting part of making a quilt is my least favourite part of the process and, if I can think of a quick way to do it, that's the way I'll go.

Here's the quilt on our bed.

Here's a close-up of the fabrics - those owls are so cute!

Here's a better photo of the quilt with my trusty quilt holder (Douglas) holding it up.

The back is a fleece given to me by Joanna - this quilt has turned into a real family affair! The pink on the snowflakes is almost exactly the same colour as the pink Douglas and I chose to boost the blocks. Pure coincidence!

It's less than 2 weeks now until the baby's due. We're getting excited/scared/impatient around here! :o)

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

a thank you rose and a baby cardie

I didn't get nearly as much done last week as I'd hoped as I was struck down with a really bad cold. I basically sat or lay on the couch for 4 whole days feeling yucky. I'm on the mend now, thankfully. Crumbs I do hate being unwell.

I got a lovely parcel whilst I was feeling sorry for myself which made me feel a lot better! It was a box from interflora!

Inside the box was a lovely rose.

There was a card:

And on the card it said -

Oh my goodness. I was stunned! Gail - who I made the diary cover for shown in my last post - sent me a rose to thank me! How lovely! How kind! I only hope I can keep it alive!

The only crafty thing I managed last week was to finish off this wee cardigan.

I really was surprised at how far apart the colour changes were in this yarn. There was also no repeat of the colours so I couldn't start the second front in the same place as the first front. It's a bit weird but I don't think it's horrible. If Debbie doesn't like it, she can always make it a sleeping-only cardie. I do remember having a few sleeping-only cardies when my two were wee. You know, the ones that are just a wee bit strange for some reason or another.

I dug out my Hague linker to sew it up - much quicker than sewing it by hand.

This is the back of the cardigan. It looks like it was deliberate to have those dark pinks matching at the top of the back and sleeves - it wasn't. It's pure fluke!

Now for a laugh. I was standing making a cup of coffee in the utility room last week when I noticed this on the mug cupboard door.

It's a Christmas poem written by one of the girls when they were at Primary school. It - along with many others - gets stuck on the kitchen/utility room cupboard doors as part of our Christmas decor. Why is it still there? We use that mug cupboard every single day - at least 4 times a day. How did we not see it? How did Joanna not see it? It made me laugh so hard when I saw it. I wonder if there are any other Christmas decorations still in full sight? I wouldn't be at all surprised! :oD

Sunday, 22 January 2017

another catch up post!

I got into trouble yesterday when we went to see Debbie, Jason, Molly & baby bump for not blogging. Debbie told me in no uncertain terms she was fed up refreshing the page only to see the same photo of hyacinths again and again. Okay, next time you refresh, you'll see a photo of my sale jammies. Happy now? :oP

Yes, I bought some jammies in the sales - you just can't make jammies for £8 these days. Crumbs, a dressmaking pattern costs more than that! Anyway, I wore them for one night and *had* to do something about the buttons. They were so small that they kept coming out of the buttonholes - not good in this chilly weather! So, I went to replace the buttons and didn't have enough of the right size. Isn't that always the way? I have thousands of buttons - no word of a lie - and it's crazy how many times I don't have enough for what I want to do! Then I had a bit of a brainwave - why do they need to be the same? They don't! So the replacement buttons don't match and I don't care one hoot. I love these jammies. They are so comfy and cosy - especially now that they stay shut!

I made a couple of lemon cakes. I doubled the quantity as I had a lot of lemons to use up. They're all gone now but they were delicious! My mouth's watering just thinking about them!

I decided to stop crocheting the ripple blankie I was making for the new baby - blogged about here. I've not ripped it out, just put it away for now. Instead I've made the same kind of blankie I made for both our girls when they were babies - your good old traditional granny squares.

When we found out Debbie was pregnant, my next door neighbour asked me if Debbie would like a traditional shawl. Debbie was delighted at the idea and C gave it to us last week to give to Debbie. Oh. My. Goodness. It is absolutely gorgeous. What a lot of time and effort she's put into it! Debbie - having been brought up well ;o) - has already written a thank you note. She just loves it!

When Debbie and Jason went on holiday to Canada last year, a friend took her to the quilting shop we'd gone to in 2011 - blogged about here - and bought her fabric to make a quilt for the baby. At that time, Debbie didn't know what sex the baby was so the fabrics are non-gender-specific. I've spent the last week or so making them into a quilt top.

It's now pinned on to a fleece for the backing so I hope to get it quilted together this week.

One of Joanna's work colleagues was admiring her diary cover (blogged about here) and oohing and aahing and drooling over it. Maybe the last bit isn't quite true but it was a close thing! Joanna asked me if I'd make a cover for Gail. Of course, I said yes.

Here's the front:

The back:

The inside front cover showing part of the quote Joanna chose:

The inside back cover with the rest of the quote - I did the quote using my embroidery machine. So easy peasy!

I hope Gail likes it - I'm sure she will!

You might have noticed some wee paws in the photo showing the back cover. That's because Tilly decided she wanted in on the act. Butter wouldn't melt! :o)

Monday, 9 January 2017

bulbs and the one that got away

I bought some hyacinth bulbs last year and this is how they've done. (Please ignore the filthy windows!) These are the pink ones.

These are the purple ones - not much difference between them, is there?

These are the red ones.

And these are the white ones - they're a wee bitty further on than this now (I took these photos last Friday).

I was a bit worried that all those hyacinths would be really powerful together scent-wise but they're not. The smell is absolutely glorious!

We've also had success with an amaryllis plant that I got out of Aldi's for half price - all of £1.49.

I'm not really much of a plant person - I like them well enough but I'm not that good at looking after them. I'm obviously not bad at looking after hyacinths and amaryllises! Go me. :o)

Around this time every year, I seem to post a similar photo. This is Christmas decoration that wins "the one that got away" prize this year.

This is the dining room door out to the garden. We're in this room every single day - in fact, we eat all our meals in here! I don't know how we didn't spot it earlier! There's always one! LOL

Monday, 2 January 2017

this year

• This year I'm going to really try and not let what other people do bother me. Actually, it's more them *not* doing something that I get bothered about. Well, no more! I'm fed up expecting people to do what they should do and being hurt when they don't. I know that sounds like Double Dutch but I know what I'm talking about and writing it down will hopefully remind me to stop bothering.

• This year I'm going to be kinder to myself. I have voices in my head - not in the "she needs help" kind of way, honest! šŸ˜œ These voices will not let up with the "why are you doing that?" or "are you happy with that?" or "isn't that a waste of money?" questions which have always made me doubt myself. Well, no more! If I want to make something just for the hell of it, I'm going to do it and the voices in my head can just shut up because I am NOT going to be listening any more!

• This year I'm going to live by these words which I saw on a poster in the bookshop in Alnwick when we were there in 2015.

• This year I'm going to be living without my mobile phone. It died on me in December - and I didn't even notice! There's no shame to it as it's the second version of the iPhone so is very old - as mobiles go. Not quite the size of a car battery as Douglas's first mobile phone was but not far off it! Anyway, we had a look at new iPhones and, yeah, at £370, that's just not going to be happening any time soon. It would be different if I actually used my phone but I don't. Many times I've gone to switch it to silent when I go to Singers' rehearsal only to find it's still on silent from the week before. Woops! So no texting or phoning for me in 2017. And, you know what? I couldn't care less about that! There's a certain freedom there and I'm looking forward to it!

• This year, there are a few things we're looking forward - a new baby being the most important one. Debbie is keeping well - just over 7 weeks to go now. I'll keep you updated!

• This year is going to be a good year. Bring it on!

Saturday, 31 December 2016

books read in 2016

Just posting this before the year ends. Another busy book-reading year!