Remember - Its not the length of your life that's important - it's the depth.

Friday, 28 September 2012

They've Gone

My lovely and oh so neglected old sewing machines have gone! I decided some months ago that they had to go, I had run out of a space to show them, and they had become neglected. One was on the floor of the sewing room under a cloth, two were in a cupboard in the other room and one was in the garage! I wanted them to be used/useful so asked around for charities that may be able to use, them to no avail. Then just before I went on holiday I went along to the Local Food Fair, to look around and pass an hour on my own, the fair is held in Castle Street Thornbury (below) and the road looks very much the same as its been for generations, I love the food fairs and often come home with some lovely locally produced bread, meat or some hand made sweeties.
Whilst there I came across a small stall outside one of the houses selling bric a brac, pausing to see if they had any good 2nd hand toys. (I have seen bits and pieces for sale outside this house from time to time and often wondered what it was about.) I spoke with one of the ladies there who explained to me about Butterfly Space a charity project in Malawi where her daughter Alice lives and works, I asked if they could use the machines and this was met with great enthusiasm as they need hand machines desperately. Widows from the surrounding villages are taught how to sew at the Butterfly Space centre, when they are proficient enough they are given a hand sewing machine to take back to their village where it is used to help them make a living, this gives them a chance to make a living and enables them to more easily bring up their children without the constant worry of malnutrition etc.
This was, I knew the answer and a fitting place for 'my girls' so on Monday I delivered the four machines to them and was assured they will be on their way to Malawi in just a few weeks.
one of 'the girls' gone to a better home!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Sewing Time?

Hello All,
I came here to my workroom to sew around 6 hours ago and so far I ain't sewed nothin!
First up I am responsible for producing a newsletter each month for WPQ it's due out Monday so I thought I should get that sorted out first, took me longer than normal (and it usually takes me a couple of hours) it's a busy month for the group with the AGM, then on 6th October it's the group's 20th birthday celebration, all the information for both had to go on this issue. 
The WPQ committee have planned a day at a local hotel for a workshop with Helen Keenan (or do your own thing) which promises to be 'interesting' as she encourages students to cut without using A ROTARY CUTTER.:-0 Lunch and refreshments throughout the day are included plus we can use the Hotel swimming pool and have time to get into our 'glad rags' between the workshop and evening dinner. I am really looking forward to it I can tell you, tho not sure about the rotary cutter bit - all sounds a bit hairy scary to me :-)
Anyways, for my next trick I have to make an item -anything I fancy on the theme of 'Celebration', this being Chairman's Challenge at SVQ for 2012. So far I haven't started and it's all supposed to be secret so I can't say too much, I have till next Wednesday (YES! that's right Next Wednesday) this is the fabric I found at Malvern

and I'd like to do something with these!
Intrigued? so am I!!! LOL. I'll let you know how I get on (and if I finish it) next time. The meeting will be a sit and 'sewcialise' evening and we hope to be joined by Pamela a quilter of 40 years experience who is here from Montana  visiting relatives, I'm sure we will enjoy talking with her.
Our darling little H has been very poorly for the last few days, she was here with her Mum on Thursday and seemed fine but after going home spent the entire evening being VERY sick, on Friday morning she seemed better, but then she refused all food or even a biscuit (unheard of) and last night the sickness returned, they took her to the out of hours Doctor today, he has diagnosed a nasty Tummy Bug and has given them some re-hydration drinks for her. I do hope she recovers over the next couple of days, and returns to her mischievous self.
Well I better go and start sewing see you all soon.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Return from Holiday

Hi all,
First up on  returning to my blog I have discovered that I now have 21 Followers so welcome to Carys, Pat and Sharron who have decided to keep up with my ramblings, I hope I continue to amuse. This has to be one of the 'perks' of blogging, linking up with fellow crafters from across the world, tho I do already know Carys as she belongs to all 3 quilt groups that I am a member of and we go to Knit & Knatter on Monday Eves twice a month.
Well how were the Hols? I hear you ask, eventful I think would describe it but restful all the same. As we had not used 'the van' for over a year, before we set off DH checked everything that could possibly need checking i.e. charging battery, tyre pressures, water pump, toilet etc etc. By Saturday evening there was nothing left to check so on Sunday bright and early (well around 11am actually) off we go, M5 motorway busy but moving, bright sunshine and really warm.
We arrive on site and get all set up, which means unfolding the caravan, connecting the electric and water supply then decide its time for a cuppa and a sandwich. I go inside to fill the kettle and WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT!!!! the water pump fails to work, now we often have a few 'hiccups' with this so I gently suggest having our lunch and sorting it out later. Much later after going out for dinner, and just as it begins to get dark, we remember we have not sorted the problem, I gently suggest leaving it till morning when it will be easier to see, DH agrees...later when it is dark we turn on the lights...... NOTHING!!!! DH checks ALL the connections and all seems in order, quick text to Electrician friend who suggests the battery may have shorted out the system, but he's in the pub so best telephone him tomorrow! By now its after 9pm and completely dark so we go to bed.
Monday AM after telephone consultation with Electrician friend (thanks Jim) we discover the transformer is dead so no 12volt power at all, this means no internal lights, water pump or working toilet . Now I deem the latter to be most important.. comes a time in a gals life when it's nothing short of an inconvenience to get up in the night and trot off across a camp site for the loo! (sometimes twice!!! :-()
However what we did have was mains electric so we buy a cheap desk lamp and manage for the rest of the week with a few laughs along the way and with us two 'oldies' going to bed each night at 9pm we must have done something for the amusement of the rest of the 'Happy Campers' on the site. The rest of the week was great we had good weather, good food and dare I say it good excellent cream cakes. On Thursday we took the ferry across the River Exe to Exmouth for the day which was lovely, we strolled around the shops in shirt sleeves, because it was sunny and warm, re-discovered the delights of the indoor market & had a picnic lunch in the park before getting the boat back again. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of our holiday heaven.
Our Holiday Home from Home
A view from the site
One of the neighbours
Dawlish Warren - sea wall looking toward Exmouth
Sea wall - looking towards The Red Rock
High Tide at 'the Warren' 
Starcross - High tide on the Exe at dusk
While I was 'lounging around' at the van I did lots of knitting, completing a cardigan for little H for the weekend (they were off to her first 'official' function and she needed to look her best!

Pattern detail and buttons.
The cute buttons which and are little wooden Butterflies were purchased at The Knitting Stop in Thornbury, unfortunately they were very difficult to get through the button holes so I cheated, I knitted the borders without buttonholes and put poppers behind the buttons, this seems to work very well according to DD.
On our return home I found this little beauty waiting for me in the conservatory, and there was me thinking that my Orchid had finished flowering for this year!!!
Well it's time to go, I have to get tea then.. off to Knit & Knatter. Yaaay!
See you all soon.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Holidays beckon

Well! not back as soon as I hoped but I have not been idle, I have spent the week getting up at 6am to do some knitting, Little H needs a cream cardie to wear at a christening she is attending with her Mum & Dad next Sunday (16th), I made the main part of one, then discovered it was not going to fit :-(( So a second has been started, and hopefully it will get done in time. By getting up early I have time to knit a few rows before the day starts in earnest, and it's sooo peaceful at that time of day and the light is amazing!!!! I sit in the conservatory and keep an eye on all the little birdies popping by for breakfast.
Here is a picture of the Froggie Bean bag started by H at the YQ day last week, and finished off before she went home on Sunday last - we decided to add straps so that the bit bag hung off the table slightly as 'Froggie' was not very heavy and kept sliding over the edge. He's based on a poisonous Blue Tree Frog which they have in Bristol Zoo (apparently!!)
I promised you I would let you know what won what prizes at the local Flower Show, Well a first prize went to my 'Rennie's Rose' cushion in the Hand Sewn Cushion class, I was well chuffed with this prize, my 'Colour Wash Experiment' wall hanging, my knitted tea cozy, a cross stitch picture and the photograph of the birch tree in the garden all gained third prizes so all in all not a bad day out and H and I rounded it all off with a scrummy Cream Tea. Here are the pictures I took of my exhibits,
The embroidered picture is mine too but did not win anything
              Beautifully displayed by H

and a couple of general views
Some of the craft exhibits
Floral exhibits- were all very beautiful
Heather and I had a great time at The American Museum near Bath on Tuesday, we got to talk to quite a few visitors,  the weather was warm and sunny, meaning we ate lunch on the terrace, and I got some hand sewing done on my Kantha work. I took some shots outside but unfortunately the quilt pictures did not come out at all well, Flash Photography is not allowed and all the quilts are in subdued light so I've included the only one that's worth looking at.
The main house, we sat to sew in the Quilt Room (bay window, 2nd story far left side)
Orangery restaurant and terrace

Covered Wagon - Front entrance

View from the Terrace

Star quilt - the colours do not do this justice A stunning Star Quilt, bright red & lime green stars on cream background with sublime hand quilting
Wednesday saw Heather and I off to Bath once more, this time to the Husqvarna Studio for a one day lesson on using the 'New Machine'. I thoroughly enjoyed the day, the tutor Sylvia, is a lady I worked with for 4 years back in my Design Consultancy days and who sold me my trusty first Elna machine, so it was great to catch up with her AND I learned a lot HUGE amount about what my new Husqvarna Sapphire machine can really do, I have quite a few samples and copious notes, so now I'm eager to get her (The machine not Sylvia!!!) set up and working. But that may have to wait a bit as on Sunday we're off for a few days in the caravan, hoping to take advantage of a few days of Autumn sunshine before winter arrives (or more rain) Its been a busy year so far with Mum's move etc so we have not been able to fit in any caravanning. We aim to leave Sunday for the South Devon coast and return on Friday next.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Quick Post

First up HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Darling Mum who is 86 today, I can't imagine reaching that age and still being as cheerful as she is despite all the pain she must suffer with every movement!
Here she is with my darling Dad on their wedding day in 1947
Second up I had some success at the Show on Saturday picking up a first and 4 second prizes, H (the elder) was soo chuffed for me and I made 100% profit on my entry fee. LOL 
I'm afraid you will have to wait to see what won what as today I am off to the American Museum in Bath (here) to sit and sew with some of the girls from SVQ, we go every year to sit in the quilt room (heaven:-)) and sew/demo our skills (All groups are invited to apply by of the museum who hold these sewing sessions every Tuesday during the summer season) This will be the second 'slot' we have had this year and it's always an enjoyable time, we get to talk to the visitors after they have had their guided tours etc. There is time for looking round the museum, getting Lunch in the restaurant or making purchases in their wonderful shop. So I will take some pics to share with you next time.

GOODNESS! is that the time..... Must dash