Friday, 28 December 2012

Season's Greetings

Hello,  Just popping in to say I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and aren't feeling too full of festive food!

I didn't mean to be away from my blog for so long, but put my back out just after my last post and spent about 10 days unable to do much other than mope about feeling sorry for myself and trying everything to  get rid of the pain.   When it's happened before it usually lasts a couple of days so I was pretty fed up until Christmas Eve when it finally felt ok again.  Oh! the relief :)

Anyway, I managed to wrap the presents, but didn't get round to taking any photos.  I made some bottles of  Orange Liqueur which turned out really yummy.  Also some candles in mugs, sugar body scrub and some bags of  the Amaretti fridge cake that I made last year.  It was fun making more gifts this year and avoiding the town centre.

We've had a nice lazy time, watching TV, eating too much and I've been working my way through the books I received and thinking what to do with the lovely fabric.  Isn't it pretty?

Kaffe Fassett's books are always on my wish list.  Such a lot of beautiful eye candy at a very drab time of year.  This one was inspired by The Swedish village of Skansen which looks like a wonderful place to visit.

Jamie Oliver's very inspiring too.  I just love his simple but tasty style of cooking.  There's loads of things I'm looking forward to trying in this book.  I made a start by going through all the herbs and spices in the cupboard and re-stocking the basics.  Of course that led to cleaning the shelves and re-arranging everything, but it's great to have clear out every now and then!

Best wishes for the New Year and lets hope all this rain makes way for a bit of sunshine soon!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas Decorating

Hello,  I hope you're keeping warm in this freezing weather.  We've still had no snow round here, but it sure is chilly outside.  I've been shutting the curtains and putting the fire on at about 4 O'clock, but it does make the evenings seem really long!  Not long 'till the shortest day though thankfully.

No proper tree again this year.  My decorating gets more minimal every year I think, but I dug out a box of decorations for the twig "tree" and think it looks very cheerful.

I'm trying not to spend much this year and have been busy making a various presents. (Can't say any more at the moment!)  Loving my home made crackers too. Simply made with crepe paper and a bit of wrapping paper. Prettied up with some ribbons.  The only drawback is having to buy my own gift :) but  rather that than yet more nail clippers etc!

Looking forward to some good food and treats at Christmas.  I've been saving up my Nectar card points all year and boring the family with how much they're worth each week.  I think I've got about £130 now so that should pay for lots of nice "free" goodies.

I think tomorrow is mince pie making day.  I've got a jar lurking in the cupboard from last year. Pretty sure it will be ok. Wish me luck!


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Bit of a Kitchen Makeover

There's been a bit of pre-Christmas kitchen tidying and sorting out here which started with some basic cleaning and re-arranging of  "stuff" and led to some new shelves being made by hubby which I think look great.

This bit of the kitchen has always annoyed me.  There were a couple of impractical metal shelves and an unused blackboard, together with assorted clutter that tends to end up near the back door, and various gadgets like the sandwich toaster that was never used!  It all made the area rather dark and depressing, so last week it was all cleared away and he made me some lovely shelves out of a piece of old floor joist that's been sitting in the shed for years, just in case it came in handy for something!!

I debated leaving them as plain waxed pine, feeling too lazy to paint them properly, but found half a tin of "Garden Shades" paint leftover from doing the inside of the summerhouse years ago.  A couple of coats and a bit of sanding and they look lovely, with the grain of the wood still showing slightly. 

Once they were up, I could start arranging some bits and bobs and I really love the way all the random things go together and make the room much prettier and lighter.  Especially as it all cost nothing to do!

The little drawers had a makeover too and I'm trying to decide on some new little knobs to cheer them up.

The other end of the kitchen had a tidy too, with all the shelves and china being cleaned. Where does all the dust come from? :(  I found a mirror for only £8 in Homebase which brightens up the mantlepiece.  (It's a bit distorting, but hey, for that money I don't mind).  Some fresh branches ready to decorate and a bit of holly and it's looking almost festive.  (Oops, just noticed the missing light bulb. I knocked it out when turning a shelf over and forgot to replace it)

Bye for now

Monday, 26 November 2012

Quilt Exhibition

Hello, I hope you're enjoying a bit of sun today after all this gloom.  I'm so thankful we live at the top of a hill, and with no chance of flooding, unlike the many round the country whose homes and lives have been ruined again by the deluge.  It doesn't seem possible that we had a hosepipe ban earlier this year does it!

Anyway,  I dodged the showers at the weekend to visit the local quilt exhibition and thought I'd show you some of my favourites.  This show is put on every couple of years by The North Hampshire Quilters and as it's not far, I always try to visit.  

I loved the 30's pastel colours of these two.

These two were both made with shirt fabric and "tied" with shirt buttons.  Nice idea!

A couple of small ones using a wide mix of fabrics.

Some very impressive large quilts.

And this one which had been beautifully quilted on a long arm machine.  I love the way the pattern is contained in each block, rather than randomly all over the quilt.

I also gave into temptation and bought a few bits of fabric at one of the stalls, but gave it to hubby when I got home to wrap up for my Christmas present!  Oh dear, I think I'm turning into my Nan, haha :)

Have a good week

Monday, 19 November 2012

Craft Fair

Well, the craft fair at the local village hall has been and gone and very jolly it was too!  There was quite a mix of stalls and a surprisingly large turn out for a small village.  It was the first time I'd done anything like this so bit of a learning curve, but I got lots of nice comments on the quilts covering the table!

The owls were popular and everyone loved the little crochet bears and mouse that my sister made.  Aren't they sweet?

Hubby had the table next to me with his wood turned bowls and things and did pretty well.

The other side was a stall selling chutneys that smelled yummy, but probably overpowered my lavender bags a bit!

So now that's out of the way I've been updating my Etsy shop.  Still some more to do, but the light was so dull today it was hard to photograph anything.  Then I really ought to think about Christmas presents and catch up with your blogs.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

A few snaps from our walk today.  Aren't all the leaves looking fab against the glorious blue sky?  Bit of a late Indian Summer at last :)


Monday, 5 November 2012

This Week

Hello,  I hope you had a good weekend and enjoyed the fireworks.  We stayed home as usual trying to distract Lottie and keep her ears covered with her blanket!  She used to hate all the noise, but didn't seem so bothered this year thankfully.  I did manage to sneak upstairs and watch a good display from the window though :)

I've been making more candles and writing labels this week.  Decided to use raffia to tie them on for a country look.

Also finished off another of my quilts.  This one's been sat in my room for at least a couple of years.  I've shown it before Here and Here and finally got it quilted.
I used an old Laura Ashley remnant for the back.  It's a little thicker than quilting fabric but I was glad to use it up after sitting in my stash for years!
There's a lot of pink and purple going on so I bound it with a yellow spotty fabric to lighten it a bit.  Very happy to get this one finished at last.  I love all the feminine fabrics.  Sort of makes me think of a flower garden.

The garden is next on the list.  It needs a good tidy now everything is past it.  There are still some leeks and brassicas and I managed to find enough for a bowl of salad a few days ago.  Last of the greenhouse tomatoes, some beetroot leaves and some of my precious orange pepper.  I had a few in the greenhouse that were refusing to change colour, so I bought some in and put them in the fruit bowl with some bananas.  Hey presto, they turned orange in a couple of days!  It's been a strange gardening season.  Here's hoping for a good one next year!

Bye for now.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Hello,  What's this? two posts in one day!  Well, I was just catching up with Jo's blog and noticed that the Blogger's Quilt Festival is open again over Here on Amy's blog and popped over for a look.  If you want to be inspired by loads of beautiful quilts this is the place to visit.

I decided on the spur of the moment to add my Faded Diamonds one as I'm really pleased at how it turned out.  I think the simple pattern, muted fabrics and unfussy quilting give it the vintage look I was after.  Apologies to those who have already seen it a couple of weeks ago.  For anyone that hasn't, there are more pictures Here

Measurements:  53" x 53"
Machine quilted by me!
Best category:  Throw quilt, or Bed quilt.

Autumn Leaves

It was so lovely to see blue sky again this morning after a week of gloom and drizzle.  I've been waiting to get some more pictures of the garden, but it hasn't been very photogenic lately!

The leaves on our big tree (some sort of sycamore) are always beautiful but the colours don't last long.  These were some of the first to fall last week.

They're coming down thick and fast now in the wind.  I used to love raking them up for the compost, but found they rot down quicker if they're chopped up with the mower first.  That's hubby's job later!

I'm still busy making bits and bobs.  This week it was some lavender hearts with some vintage fabric and buttons.

Also made a start on the candles.  I did make a mistake ordering a couple of fragrances which sounded great on the website, but turned out to be very strong and unpleasant.  I've stuck to essential oils which smell gorgeous have no "nasties" in them.  Favourites so far are lavender and lime, and vanilla and orange, but I'm still experimenting!
The soy wax is easy to melt in the microwave,  I made a couple of candles with each large jugful.

Still working on the labels!  I'm not very artistic when it comes to handwriting so might need to create something on the computer :)

Have a good weekend
Bye for now.