Welcome to my blog.
I live in England and my name is Diana, I have been married 41 yrs with one son and two granddaughters age 10 & 6, all of whom I adore.
I love many different crafts and have a wonderful Happy Room to use for my craft work. Please come in and take a look around.
I've made it easier to leave me a comment as I love to hear from you.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Guess it's that time of year

I have been busy sewing up a storm on my embroidery machine making little angels. They will be scattered on the tables at the Relief Society evening next week. I did the same thing last year and they were a big success so thought I'd make some more, but why do I leave it until the last minute?  I just need to cut off the mesh fabric I used to sew them onto and probably make some more.

At the last BSK meeting I embroidered a pile of Christmas bags in the hoop, just need to get them serged to finish them off.
Now if anyone finds the secret of an extra 24 hours from somewhere please tell me.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A beautiful gift

Chris gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers for my birthday on the 20th.

On the the 21st they were wrapped and transported to the lodge we had hired, where the only container was a plastic jug that had to be balanced in a waste paper basket to stop it falling over.

The 24th saw them again being bundled into the car to bring home.

26th today and they still look as good as the day he gave them to me, thank you for the wonderful gift Chris.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Bainland Lodge Lincolnshire

Friday saw us travelling to Woodhall Spa to a rented lodge for the weekend. The family arrived early evening in time for dinner and celebrating Richard and Jacqueline's 16th Anniversary and my 70th birthday.
The lodge was well kitted out with two bedrooms at one end with a shared bathroom, and another bedroom en-suite at the other end of the building. it overlooked a nine hole golf course and there were many activities available on site.

Chris trying out the furniture
En suite bedroom
Double and twin bedrooms at the opposite end of the lodge.
The girls could not wait to try out the hot-tub even though it was raining and very dark! I guess if your getting wet it does not matter.
family fun in the hot tub


After a large cooked breakfast the chosen activity was water waltzer [ think that is what it was called.] Eleanor was not sure she wanted to have a go until she saw Abigail zipped into a gigantic ball trying her best to stay upright on the water, then she could not wait for her turn. Both girls worked out how to stand upright and run up and down the swimming pool.
Abigail being blown into a ball while Eleanor is not too sure about it!

Abigail walking on water

Eleanor managing to run 


A wander to the Adventure playground was great fun balancing on the zip wire [photos did not turn out as they moved too quickly once on the wire!], climbing on giant tyres while Jacq and I looked on.
fun on the tyres

Play time

preparing to use the zip wire

Jacq and I watching the fun

All very tired the men fetched fish and chips for a lazy evening in.

Sunday we repeated the large cooked breakfast and the younger members went off to the swimming pool and for hot chocolate in the Bistro. We drove into Woodhall Spa for lunch at The Mall a very nice but very busy restaurant bar. A lazy afternoon followed [ other than dips in the Hot Tub] and everyone seemed to be hooked on the game Amazon and Frozen on their iPads.
Clearing up the breakfast
What would we all do without our "gadgets"?


Richard, Jacq and the girls had to leave Sunday evening for work and school today, but Chris and I stayed on until this [Monday] morning. It was very quiet!




Monday morning preparing to leave

Friday, 21 November 2014

Birthday treat

I had a wonderful day with friends at Machine Embroidery club yesterday, where I managed to make seven Christmas bags and spend too much money on fabric!
The owner of the store gave us all a "one off" Christmas gift of 20% of everything except machines, so there was a lot of buying went on!

Today we are off with the family  to Lincolnshire where we have rented a lodge with jacuzzi on the deck. The weather guessers are saying we are in for a wet weekend so not sure there will be lots of sitting on the deck but there are lots of things on site to keep the granddaughters happy and I have a book to read. Not sure about Internet connection so it may be Monday before I write again.
The picture in the brochure

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

Had a great evening at Relief Society last night, where three of us set up craft tables, button cards and Christmas trees, gift bags and my table was felt Christmas ornaments. All went extremely well.

Today I spent the first half hour in bed opening presents and cards, thank you all so much.
One of the cards was full of little 70 s, now the bed and floor are covered with them!

Off to BSK for a Machine Embroidery day with my friend Penny, so I have the cream cakes ready!
How's this for a coincidence? My husband wanted to get me a card with nice words plus a card with 70 on it.
The card from my son and his wife was the same card!
Friends last night told me life starts at 70, so I am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

November Catch Up

Where has the time gone since my last blog post?
Most of it has been spent in terrible pain from an IBS flare up and not much "get up and go". It has been years since I had an attack and I had forgotten how painful they can be.
Yesterday was a better day and I am hoping I have seen the worst of it.

During the month ;-
I taught a workshop for BQS [Busy Quilters and Stitching group] at Bedford.
Fifteen ladies made little thread catchers in Christmas Fabrics. It was a great workshop and I really enjoy the friendliness of this group.
Preparing kits

Friends celebrated their Golden Wedding, well done Pauline and Brian.

I spent three days at the Temple south of London, after a good journey down I had a terrible journey home [ 5 hours!] but the time spent at the Temple is just so nice and spiritual.
Early one morning

A workshop with Helen Spence at Hamtune Quilters, was a great success and I enjoyed making another bag, which will probably be a present for someone.





Last Saturday Chris and I attended the Lighthouse Theatre to see Abigail and Eleanor perform with the Michelle Randle School of Dance. It was Eleanor's first time to dance on stage and she looked great and obviously was really concentrating on her steps. At 7 yrs and 1 month she was brilliant. Abigail [11yrs] did some very impressive moves across the stage on her own and had many costume changes going from being a school girl in Matilda to a nun in In The Habit. I think she was on stage in about 6 numbers!
The whole show was so well performed by everyone, even son Richard who was Back Stage Crew and  DIL Jacqueline who helped dressing and with the props.

I think this brings us more upto date on what is happening in my life. Now on countdown [ 2 sleeps to go ] for my BIG birthday. I started wondering where November went, now I'm wondering where the last 70 years went?

Monday, 10 November 2014

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day, 11th November. let us not forget.

My mother's youngest brother, my Uncle Charles Henry Ashby born 1919 served in the
Royal Army Service Corps #219884 during WW2 .
He was taken a prisoner of war soon after he landed in France and taken to Camp 4c Stalag in Wistritz bei Teplitz. Prisoner #252314.
 When he finally managed to escape and return home he was always a loner.
I think the horrors he saw effected the rest of his life.
He was always one of my favorite Uncles and is fondly remembered.

Stalag 4C was a POW Camp at Sudentenland Treibstoff Werke, Wistritz bei Teplitz near BrĂ¼x (now called Most) in Czechoslovakia, where fuel was synthesized from brown coal and many of the POWs worked in the mines.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Whats under the cover AGAIN!

Yesterday I had a new car, I know I had one three weeks ago but...
I bought the VW Up! car from Johnsons at Solihull and it came with a 30 day or 1000 miles exchange with no questions asked if I did not like it.  I liked the car reasonably well but hated the gear box and also the boot was rather small when I tried to get all my sewing stuff into it for a workshop, so decided to go for a bigger car with a different gear box.

We laughed at the markings under the car...looked like a criminal act had been performed!
Better change my coat for a blue one!


I now have a VW Polo in a sparkly dark blue and I love it. The girls were with us when I went to get it and gave it a thumbs up for space. I must say the garage were wonderful and made the exchange [plus a little more money]  so easy.

On our way to the exchange we had time to spare and visited a garden centre where the girls fell for a big polar bear... guess this means Christmas is around the corner and I had better start thinking about it.

Kumihimo

The girls loved making Kumihimo braids and attached bells to the bottom, here they are showing off some of their work.


A favorite game is shops / post office and cafe.. they seem to take over the whole lounge area with every stuffed toy and doll they can find, luckily they are pretty good at clearing up their toys when its time to go to bed.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

St Helen's Church Sibbertoft

The girls have gone Kumihimo mad, they cannot stop making the braids and as soon as breakfast was over they were threading up to start another!

Yesterday afternoon we were talking about our ancestors and decided to make a visit to the church in Sibbertoft where some of them are buried. The girls were excited to see the headstones I knew about and even managed to find some I did not know about.  I think it is so important to know where we come from and both girls like hearing the stories about their relatives.
Martha PERKINS 1820-1902 wife of Thomas SIMONS

Thomas SIMONS 1814-1883

Martha Louisa SIMONS 1859-1877 daughter of Thomas and Martha

Headstone of Jacob SIMONS 1839-1920 and wife Mary ADDISON 1839-1915
Right hand side a mystery to be solved, D A June 1st 1878
Left hand side Joseph SIMONS 1862-1888
Base stone Jesse SIMONS 1870 - 1883

Jacob SIMONS and Mary ADDISON are the girls 4x Gt Grandparents. [my Gt Gt Granparents]
Joseph SIMONS is there son and my direct ancestor, he died very young leaving a widow with two small children.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Half Term with the granddaughters

Monday Abigail and Eleanor arrived to spend four days with us. I always look forward to their visit and try to plan adventures.
A visit into town to pick up my new glasses and a shopping trip were the first things on the agenda.
Eleanor crossed things off the shopping list while Abigail added up how much we were spending [ I had a £4.50 off £30 shopping voucher and did not want to go much above it].
After lunch the girls "got messy" preparing pumpkins for Halloween that they had bought while we were out shopping.
The evening was spent at the gym doing rhythmic gymnastics.
YUK!

This morning our plans for the day involved learning how to make Kumihmo braids, both girls caught on the sequence quickly and love watching the braids grow.
Serious concentration

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Edna Harris 90th Birthday

Tuesday saw me meeting up with two of my cousins, Rosalind and Andrew plus his wife Rosemary, for lunch. A very rare occasion for us to get together, although we live a few miles from each other. It was great catching up on news and wondering why we did not do it more often!

We then went to see our Aunty Edna to celebrate her 90th birthday. Rosalind had taken her a cake earlier in the morning so we looked forward to cutting it with her, thinking we might be the only ones there in the middle of the day. How wrong we were! the house was full of people, her two sons and their families had taken time off work and travelled to be there plus friends had dropped by, only half of the cake remained!

I decided to give Aunty a lap quilt I had made that I backed with fleece, she has always liked and appreciated the things I have made her. She immediately wrapped herself in the quilt after removing her apron [ I have never seen my aunt in her house without an apron!].

Edna Harris was born Edna Simons on 21st Oct 1924, the youngest of 5 children [ my Dad was her brother] she is my last remaining aunt.
Aunty Edna with me and the quilt

Cousins Andrew & Rosalind plus son Stephen


The snuggly lap quilt

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Fly Jab Yes or No?

Yesterday we went for our annual flu jabs, my opinion is better to be safe than sorry. Last year I had a sore arm for a couple of days but this year I had forgotten I had it by the end of the day. Chris on the other hand has it as he is in the "at risk" group and has been suffering every since with a sore arm he cannot lie on and it is red and hot. [ A well know side effect].

After the flu jabs I went to Nene Quilters Day. A large hall of about 100 ladies attended to celebrate the groups 25th Anniversary. There were displays of quilts [ why didn't I take photos!!] traders and two large celebration cakes. After our packed lunches Sally from Threads and Patches gave us a talk about her life as a quilter, she is so entertaining and has some great ideas.
The next speaker was Jan Sharpe and although she had great ideas she showed them through a film show and there were quite a few people asleep. At the end of the film show she produced the quilts she had shown on the slides... such a shame she did not show them as she talked.

The day continued with a visit to our friends Dorn and Bill for a delicious meal of salmon that Bill had caught in Scotland and vegetables and fruit from their garden. This was followed by a late evening of playing cards. I was so tired when we got home at midnight that my head hardly touched the pillow before I was asleep.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Halloween machine embroidery

Thursday was our regular monthly meeting at BSK Bedford, where we can choose from the many ideas on offer what we want to machine embroider.
As Halloween is just around the corner I thought I would sew out spooky designs for Halloween bags.  I now just need to find the time to make them into bags!


Friday was spent preparing for a workshop I will be teaching in a couple of weeks time. I have almost managed to make the 18 kits for thread catchers, just need to eat some more cereals so I can have the boxes to cut up!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Black & white with a dash of red blocks

A few more blocks made to add to my Black and White with a dash of Red quilt.
This project has been hanging around far too long, I hope to make some real headway on it in the next couple of weeks.
I managed to make 8 more blocks yesterday before the nice weather called me outside to do some clearing up in the garden... there are just not enough hours in day!
Paper piecing blocks, with precut strips and a wooden "iron"

Happy Birthday Mum 15 Oct 1914 - 2014

Today would have been my mothers 100th birthday, sadly she died two years ago.
I miss her terribly as we have lived close to her for the past forty years.
Mum and Dad with me in my Christening dress, made from part of  Mum's wedding dress
Many happy days were spent on holidays together especially having fun on narrow boats!


Mum age 90yrs enjoying her first Great Grandchild 
Yellow flowers always a favourite







Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Monday... busy busy busy

Monday started off wet and got wetter as the day went on, not a day to be out and about. However Chris had been asked to go back to work to help with some new contracts and the fact one of the members of staff was off work for three months after an operation. His day was long 7am to 7pm.

My companion, Astrid, and I had planned our monthly Relief Society visiting teaching for the morning. We have four members of church that we visit each month to see if they need any help and to give them a gospel message. I love doing this and always come away from each house having learnt more than I am sure I "teach". The rain continued to pour down and we both got pretty wet.

I dashed in home and had a quick sandwich for a late lunch and as I was already wet decided to go to the post office and post a heavy parcel of items I had sold on Ebay. I also had a £6 off £30 voucher to spend at Sainsburys, so fitted a visit to the store while out. I love shopping and using my maths to add up what I am spending as I go around, so my total was £30.75 before the voucher was taken off.

Back home I decided I deserved a nice warm drink and to work on my crochet before getting dinner.
What a busy day.
It's growing slow but sure.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Happy Birthday Richard

Today is Richard's birthday and no one could wish for a better, more loving son.
He came to live with us when he was eight, very shy and tiny for his age, he has grown into a caring husband and father. His career choice was always nursing and spent many years as a Parkinson Specialist nurse before moving into a  managerial role.
Chris and I could not be more proud of him if we tried.
Could not wait to try out his new boat!
Holding Abigail the day Eleanor was born

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Finished at last!


Before we went on holiday I machine embroidered the months and year, 2015, but did not have time to actually make up the calendar. It went together really well and will hang in my Happy Room.
I had machine embroidered and sewn together the picture above but never finished it, mostly because I could not think what to do with it. Since I am in a "finish up mood" I decided to add tabs and back it keeping it the same shape. I am running out of wall space to hang things so the smaller the better.