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Tuesday, 26 August 2008

~*~ Melly & Me ~*~

I signed up for the exclusive Melly and Rosie BOM club at the Fat Quarters, my local quilt shop.

Here are the first 2 installments:

Month 1 - a gorgeous "Rosie" style angel called Alice in pinks and greens

Month 2 - a stylish "Melly" style bag. Mmmmm, I am not a patchwork bag sort of girl , so I dont expect this will get made.

Need a great read for your hols,I have just finished this :

A thought-provoking, informative but also very funny book.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

~*~ About Time I Caught Up ~*~

This may be a bit of a long boring post as I try and make up for all the time I've missed.

Saturday & Sunday 12th & 13th of July, Blackhall Mill, Jennie Rayment talk and allday workshop. "Twiddling & Fiddling " with calico, excellent fun with a superb teacher.

I discovered one morning in early July,that my black silkie hen had become broody. As I no longer keep a cockeral, I acquired 6 mixed ,fertile eggs from Dave a local hen-breeder & enthusiast.
28th July I now have 4 gorgeous day old chicks. A leghorn, a legbar, a campine and an araucana.

Saturday 9th August, Slaley Show

Verity entered some under 16 cookery classes and got a brilliant First with her Choc Chip Cookies !!.

I won prizes for my quilts,a cushion and a pincushion but unfortunately did not retain the Handicraft trophy, This was won by a fabulous box.

17th August. Verity & Calum fly off to Cuba with their Dad for a 2+ weeks holiday.They will meet up at Havana airport with Alex !!!!!

The house is very quiet since the children left but P & W the dogs are valiently trying to fill the void. V, C & A have kept in touch almost daily via Juliette's mobile phone !!
21 August, The latest Elm Creek novel arrived on the mat from Amazon on Tuesday. ( ordered it on the 22nd June tho) and finished it today......a good,easy read

Saturday, 5 July 2008

~*~ 100,49 & 1 ~*~

No these are not my lottery numbers but

100th post,

49 yrs old today &

1 yr as a blogger all celebrated today, the 5th of July 2008 !!!!

100th post means a giveaway, doesn't it? but what? NO IDEA but it will be something GREEEEEEAT !!!!!! Leave a comment and you may be lucky.

49yrs old today and don't look a day over 60 !!
Fabulous prezzies from Calum and Verity, spot the fab little chest of drawers and the vintage,funky, thread "doll"....
a gorgeous Boden summer wrap from Julie
a handmade,embroidered, garden journal from Pauline and
a bag full of green goodies from Dawn& a Bridgewater dolly teaset from Fiona.
A big,BIG,BIG Thankyou to everyone.

C,V &I had brunch in the "Chare", bacon and mushroom mini baguettes,huge hot chocs and cake and then I sewed with Julie with the women's tennis final on in the background.

and 1yr ago today I started this blog, in the beginning, I was almost fanatical but things have slackened off a bit too much recently but overall the average isn't too bad and I still enjoy doing it and also reading loads of other people's blogs on a regular basis.

to change the subject slightly, Pippy had the "snip" yesterday and should be sore and sleepy but, guess what, he's not. Watch your stitches pal !!!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

~*~ Lifted Spirits ~*~

I received a tonic in the post this morning and didn't mind paying one little bit.
I have been looking for the new Leanne Beasley "Hens" pattern and was about to order it from Australia,when I remembered Buttonberry
I ordered 3 patterns on Sunday afternoon and they arrived today,Tuesday.
As you can see the patterns were beautifully wrapped and there was a hand-written card too.

I have finished 2 tiny projects-

and embarked on a huge one-

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

~*~ All Work and No Play.... ~*~

I am becoming a very dull girl indeed!!
I am getting no sewing done at all, I have been buying lots of supplies but have not completed anything.

If the weather is suitable, I am in the garden and if it is rainy, I am working in the house.

I have planted out my courgettes and pumpkins.

I am in a LIME GREEN mood at present,
Firstly there were plants,
and then..........I have had my new bathroom painted in LIME GREEN and it is brilliant...bright,clean and fresh and goes beautifully with my new chocolate brown towels !!!!

Pip,or Pippin, or Pippy yes "what's his name" is 5mths old now and HUGE and very bouncy and naughty

Saturday, 3 May 2008

~*~ K.L. calling...................~*~

Last Sunday, I was up the step-ladder , fitting a ceiling light on the landing when the 'phone rang. I nearly didn't answer it but I am so glad I did cos it was Alex , phoning all the way from Kuala Lumpur.
We chatted ,on skype, for over an hour. He is well and having the time of his life.I asked all the usual Mum things, like, Are you eating enough?,etc etc etc .......

The picture is the new ceiling light, bought in the Laura Ashley sale with 60% off, apparently it looks really spooky from outside!

Eventually, I got into the garden today,it was warm and sunny and the ground was workable.I forked over and weeded half of the area that I am going to plant up with "cut and comeagain flowers " for the house.
In the greenhouse, the seeds are starting to germinate and tiny seedlings are emerging.
Verity came home this afternoon,she has been doing her work experience at a boy's private school in Windsor and really enjoyed the whole week.

Pippin is nearly 4mths old and if he keeps still long enough I will take some photos.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

~*~ Lemon and Lime ~*~

A few of the goodies I brought back from Newby Hall including a signed book and a huge , lime green platter.

The haul also included a dahlia tuber " Rip City" a huge spiky purple/black flower but this is already tucked up in compost, hopefully ,sprouting.
The platter looks really fantastic filled with lemons and limes

Saturday, 26 April 2008

~ *~ Normal service has been resumed.........~*~

I'm back,bigger and uglier than before, having moved house and fought the ultimate battle with BT and.........lost.
It took BT 5 weeks to flick the switch and connect me up to the phone and internet in the new abode.

What have you missed? nothing much crafty anyway.....no time.

Have had new central heating and a new bathroom fitted but not yet decorated. Verity's bedroom has been gutted and redecorated and she is settling in and getting all her nice bits and pieces out.
The decorator then said " I can emulsion your bedroom as well, if you want" and I had to spend an hour trying to choose a "funky" colour.Wimped out and picked "antique cream" How can you suddenly decide what colour a room should be in 10 mins.As my Mum would say ;the room looks fresh and clean but a bit boring.

The puppy is now 15 wks old and we have called him Pippin and he is gorgeous.
Wendy hasn't enjoyed the move and remains quite unsettled and poor Molly is failing fast.
Helped the FQ's out at the Pins & Needles show at the beginning of April.

On Tuesday 22nd April, I drove down to Newby Hall, nr Ripon, and spent a fantastic day learning about growing cut & come again flowers for the house with Sarah Raven.
The setting was great.it was a warm, sunny spring day and Sarah was a witty and informative speaker and I came away inspired, clutching lots of packets of seeds.

I started sewing seeds today and sorting out the greenhouse.

The buttons are on and the other "thing" is by Farmyard Creations which I did about 15yrs ago.

Monday, 3 March 2008

~*~ Atishoo.........bless me ~*~

I am feeling very miserable with myself, I started a ghastly cold last Wednesday afternoon at the FQ's and it is still bad, lots of snotting and sneezing and coughing.
So nothing much is getting done, sewing or otherwise.

Alex is in Hanoi at present, not much more info than that!!!

Sunday, 24 February 2008

~*~ Sunday ~*~

At present I am working on small, portable, easy packed away sewing projects. This little "Button" stitchery is a great way to display those 1 off, too special to use buttons.

One of the little iris bulbs in the teacups has very quietly come into bloom.

and as much as I dislike Tesco, there are sometimes bargains to be had.....4 English Lavender plants at 60p each, which will line a path in my new garden.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

~*~ Beijing calling.....over ~*~

A bit of catching up to do...........

Firstly belated Valentine's hugs to everyone.This was my card from a "secret" admirer!

How do you like this little fella who will be joining our family in a couple of weeks ? He is 5 weeks old here.

but just how many chins do I actually have !!!!!

The packing continues but all this and work as well has put the scuppers on my sewing.I don't want any large projects on the go at present because they take up too much space. I am therefore just doing some small stitcheries.


I arrived home from the FQ's later than usual on Friday evening after trying to get a quilt finished and Verity was on the 'phone to Alex!!! He was calling from Beijing where he had just arrived after a week on the train from Moscow.It was absolutely fantastic to hear his voice after over a month away.He seems to have had a few adventures,nothing too serious, but has met loads of friendly people who have helped them, especially with the language problems. It is so heartwarming to think that complete strangers are putting themselves out and helping these teenage boys. I hope I would do the same. There are now 4 of them, Will and Rowan flew out to Beijing on Friday, Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors here they come.

Calum arrives home from the Art Dept school trip to Barcelona tonight.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

~*~ The Sap is Rising......~*~

It has been a truly beautiful Spring day here today- warm sunshine and the birds singing...!
Verity and I went for lunch in "Truffles" in Corbridge and had a stroll around a few of the nice shops.I bought a 25m roll of pink ricrac for £5 which is just ideal for my new Rosalie Quinlan BOM.

When we got home,I got to work outside, Clearing gutters,cleaning out stables and henhouses. Spring must be in the air because the hens have started laying and the cockerals are strutting their stuff !!

I have a date for the new house - 28th February, the recent central heating discussions have put things back a full month.

The quilt shows an example of the Gammill's handywork at the FQ's

Calum has been in London this weekend with the English Lit dept of the school, They are going to see a production of Othello staring Ewan McGregor and then visitng the Globe Theatre and the infamous "crack" at the Tate Modern.

Alex is on the Trans-Siberian railway as we speak, so is incommunicado for a week until he gets to Beijing.

Molly, the Great Dane, seems well again and all in all things seem to be coming together.

Think I might have a P&P marathon on BBC 4 tonight !!!!!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

~*~ Packing up...... ~*~

I have taken a few days off work to try and get the packing well under way, to be honest, I never really settled in this house, so a lot of my things are still packed from over 2 yrs ago.
I have been packing kitchen china and emptying my dressers and plate-racks; boxes and boxes of gorgeous spongeware !!!!
In the midst of this chaos, a huge box containing 2 dinner plates arrived from the Bridgewater factory, seconds, but just ideal for everyday use.No photo cos they are in the dishwasher being prepared for tonight's tea, that is a second also, left over shepherd's pie from yesterday.

The postie brought me a beautiful cushion made from vintage fabric and backed with a piece of old Welsh blanket, the colours are lovely and soft and "lived in "

Alex has emailed from Moscow today where he is spending about a week before boarding the trans-siberian railway to Beijing, this train journey takes a week.

I had a surprise visitor this lunchtime, Ann Davison is a fellow quilter at the FQ's and has just moved to a farm in Bellingham. She was picking up some patterns she had ordered and dropped in to see me on the way home.
The new house has a nice big garden and I am taking a couple of my fave hens but there is no place for a noisy cockeral, Ann offered to rehome a trio and so picked them up today , to save me a trip. Catching them this morning was great exercise, normally you catch hens at dusk when they are dopey and sleepy.They arrived safe and sound and are getting used to their new surroundings.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

~*~ 17 TODAY !! ~*~

Happy Birthday Calum, xxxxxxx M, A & V

Saturday, 2 February 2008

~*~ Back Online ~*~

No, I haven't been lazy, my telephone line was brought down by those gales we had last weekend.For 5 days I argued with BT, via Verity's mobile , that the fault was outside while they argued that the fault was inside the house !! It was outside !!!!

It was quite nice to be beyond reach for a short time.

Molly, my very elderly Great Dane, was poorly on Monday night and required a visit to the vets on Tuesday. I am doping her up with antibiotics,anti-inflammatorys, and some gut settling paste stuff.She seems to be better now.

The hiccup with the new house has been resolved and it's all systems go again.
Packing and sorting is quite exciting cos I keep finding things I'd forgotten about but I tend to get sidetracked and sit leafing through old photos or books instead of wrapping and packing.

It snowed here again on Friday but I managed to get to the FQ's no problem. There was nobody else there, so I helped Kim with the Gammill.

Alex has left Poland now and is heading up to Moscow. He visited Warsaw and Krakov and went on a tour of Aushwitz which was very harrowing, as you could imagine.

Calum , middle child, is 17 tomorrow, all his friends threw him a surprise party last night in a local pub !!

I am taking a few days off work next week to continue packing.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

~*~ If it's Tuesday.......... ~*~

If it's Tuesday.......then Alex is in Krakov. The boys have taken the train to Poland and are staying in Krakov where the Christmas deckies are still all up!!!! Alex is having a great time sightseeing and meeting the locals!

Rural Northumberland had a fall of snow on Monday but it has all disappeared now.

The postie had a nice haul for me today:

A Bridgewater mug from the new Valentine's range,
The latest Elm Creek Quilts novel and
Warm Fuzzies by Betz White with some great felt designs.

Off to pick up Verity from Dance and then there is Youth Theatre tonight and the latest production is to be Grease.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

~*~ Is it going Pear-shaped ? ~*~

Alex arrived safely in Prague and says they are having a fantastic time, Doing What ???, I am not sure ? He has emailed a few times and "spoken " to Calum on MSN. They are staying in hostels and most of them offer online facilities.

I set about Alex's bedroom this morning, cleaning, tidying and packing up.

We have hit a glitch with the new house, the very expensive survey has revealed a few major problems so I am going to try and get the price reduced, to help towards the repairs.

Craft- wise, I am just finishing off a few things;
1. A needlepoint I bought at Harrogate in November and I am going to send it to the company "Jolly Red" to be professionally framed.( Finished )

2. Calum's fingerless gloves that were supposed to be in his Christmas stocking are just about finished.

3. January stitchery of " Ring in the New" by Kathy Schmidt. (finished ).

Calum and Verity are in London this weekend, visiting the Terracotta Warriors, due back tomorrow night and on Tuesday evening I am going to see " STRICTLY COME DANCING" at the Arena in Newcastle.

The photo is of a glorious tablecloth I bought from "Louise Loves ", before Christmas.

FQ's on Friday, in the morning I helped Kim load a quilt onto the Gammill and then I was late for the lunch we had arranged and then spent a couple of hours on the above projects. Well its back to the gloves...........

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

~*~ Romeo and Juliet ~*~

I love hand embroidered table linen, especially crinoline ladies, and just recently I bought this gorgeous cloth - Romeo and Juliet. It is beautifully worked by hand and the colours are clean and fresh.
The iris bulbs were planted up in a little Minton cup and a sugar bowl by Julie Oswald who always has a fantastic stall at Hexham's Antique Fair.

Calum has an AS English exam this morning on the Great Gatsby and requested a bacon sandwich for breakfast, isn't fish brain food!!

Anyway, the bacon was sizzling away nicely under the grill when there was a flash and all the lights went out. I checked the trip switches and nothing had flicked.
Calum and Verity ate their breakfasts by candle-light and I called in the electrician.

He pulled the gas cooker out, not a great idea at the best of times,and revealed the most diabolical wiring job done by the previous tenants - bare wires etc.
Cooker was safely rewired and a trip switch installed within an hour.
I put in my beloved Aga when we moved in and therefore use the gas cooker very rarely,thank heavens this wiring didnt start a fire when the kids were cooking or when I was at work.
I can't wait to get out of this house !!!!

~*~ Tuesday 15th January 2008 ~*~

Alex set off on the second stage of his gap year yesterday. The first stop being Prague (£15 by Easijet ) and then Warsaw and Krakov.

Alex and his friend Stephen have planned and saved hard for this trip and have done all the organisation, bookings, obtained the visas required (for later on )and the jabs and malaria meds themselves.

Yes, I admit there were a few tears at Newcastle Airport but the umbilical cord is very stretchy.
So for the next few months, Alex's progress around the world will be reported on here, and when he starts his own travel blog, I will post a link.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

~*~ I'm still here..... ~*~

Verity came home last weekend after a holiday in Paris with her Dad. She seems to have had a marvellous time, sightseeing, eating in lovely restaurants and, of course, shopping.

She brought us all back lovely presents including a moulin roty jug and a gorgeous crocheted "Wendy".

I bought the cow creamer in the EB sale when I took Alex up to Edinburgh at New Year

"Wendy" is sitting on a new stitchery project I've just started ;"Ring In The New " by Kathy Schmitz. These are 12 little stitcheries , one per month , worked in black cotton.Perfect to do in the evenings.

The new house purchase is approaching completion and I have started sorting and packing. I am a bit of a hoarder so there is a lot to do.
I am working on some little projects that do not involve spreading out loads of fabric, tools, machines etc.

Alex, my eldest ,sets off on the second stage of his gap year next week. He is visiting Poland, Russia, China, etc etc, this will take about 6mths. I am proud and excited for him but also frightened.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

~*~ Ring in the New.....2008 ~*~

A Happy and Healthy New Year !!!!!

It must be my age....I spent a good deal of Hogmanay running teenage children around to parties and then staying sober in case I needed to drive.

Verity, my 15 yr old daughter, has set off for Paris today, with her Dad. She will be away for 5 days. I am sure she will have a marvellous time but she has borrowed my camera, so no new photos from me for the next week. I haven't any new projects on the go anyway and I really should start packing up the house as the house purchase etc. seems to be going along smoothly so far, touch wood !!

Taking Alex and his friend Stephen up to Edinburgh tomorrow, to get his visa for China.
I know I am a bit of a sad so & so but this also coincides with the start of the Emma Bridgewater sale in Edinburgh.