Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A Grand Day Out

Early this morning we set off for Skegness and the sea side. It is bitterly cold and everywhere is frozen but we dressed warmly and thought it would be fun. Half way there there was snow on the ground but it soon disappeared and the sun  was shining [ but still freezing cold].
A stroll along the prom and then into town for a quick look in a few shops before finding a place for fish and chips. I think there is a rule somewhere that says you have to have fish and chips at the seaside! There is probably another rule that says you have to have an ice cream but even I, who loves ice cream, could not face one.

On the way home we stopped at Springfields outlet shops near Spalding and bought a few things in the sales. Yes it was a Grand Day Out [to quote Wallace and Grommit].

Tuesday, 30 December 2014


I follow on facebook Donna Smallin Kuper , a professional organizer and author of How to Declutter and also receive her newsletters. I love some of the tips and ideas she has and is so willing to share.

Since Christmas I have put my plan into action and now have a table full of things to donate, plus some books and other things I have listed on   Item 151533195368 Fool's Puzzle by Benni Harper will take you to my items if you are interested.  At the moment there are a lot of fictional paper back books based on quilting.     flip-floplace   is my Ebay name.

Everything ON the table is for donation or listed on Ebay
Knowing where to start is always my problem and then getting sidetracked is my next problem!! However I sorted out a pile of empty boxes and labelled them with things like zips, bias binding, Velcro, sequins etc etc and as I came across anything that would go into one of the labelled boxes, in it went.  Eventually I will make nice neat labels and sort the boxes to match each other but for now its a start.
Mix match of boxes labelled to help me sort out.

A friend sent me a sign from facebook that reads

How true is this?

Monday, 29 December 2014

The Christmas jumpers

I'm happy to report the snow went away as quickly as it came, everywhere is now just white with frost and it is SO cold. I ventured out to feed the birds but I'm staying put now until this evening when we are visiting friends.

Husbands I find are so hard to buy Christmas gifts for and until a couple of days before the 25th I only had a car wash mitt for Chris. A friend was machine embroidering a picture onto a bought jumper that I thought looked really good, so I made a mad dash to buy two jumpers [ mostly in case I messed one up!] and I loaded them into my EM. Chris has two loves in his life, well maybe three with me! his old Land Rover and wolves.

I found a ME Land Rover design and stuck sticky to the frame [ I hate that stuff but at least it means there are no hoop marks on the jumper]. I turned the jumper inside out and "stuck" the place I wanted to embroider right side up, pegging the unwanted fabric to keep it from moving under the needle by mistake.
I floated two layers of 'stitch and tear' under the frame, lowered the tension to 3.2 [ default is 4].
Next was to find a blue colour thread as near as I could to his Land Rover, hope no one saw me holding blue threads up to the LR! then away I went watching it every moment to make sure nothing moved or got caught.  Brilliant no problems and I think it looks great.

Next I loaded the second jumper and went through the same procedure to sew out a wolf, except I did not go looking for a wolf to copy its colours [ha ha].

Chris seemed happy with his jumpers and as my embroidery machine broke down a day later I was so glad I managed to finish them.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Boxing Day

Just heard on the news that it is snowing in Northampton ! so opened the curtains and they are right everywhere is white and snow is falling!!

Thursday, 25 December 2014



Crib traditionally arranged by the granddaughters 
Beef in the oven, then the turkey followed by all the trimmings and roast veg. Christmas pudding made by Jacqueline steaming in the slow cooker making the house smell very Christmasy. The table it set, all we need is for the family to arrive later this morning.
Just taking a breather and my first selfie!

The family are here!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Eve 1 sleep to go....

Today feels like the calm before the storm!

All the presents are wrapped, the games prepared, even the Christmas tablecloth has had its annual ironing ready for the BIG day.

The food is in the fridge and I have a cooking plan, which seems to start at 7am tomorrow, but hey! I have been known to creep down around 3am to put a large turkey on to cook. Tomorrow as there are only six of us I have a turkey breast joint and large joint of beef.

The girls made a seating plan and angels with our names on so even that is taken care of.

All I need now is a light dusting of snow [ don't think there is any chance of that!]

I'd like to wish all my bloggers a very happy peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

2 Sleeps to Christmas

The girls have had a fun day making Kumihimo tree decorations to take home.

Chocolate sleighs and angels to use as place markers for the Christmas table were next on the agenda.

I found the instructions for the paper angels on Martha Stewart www page.

We decided to have lunch out and visited the local Toby Inn for their carvery always popular with the Ladies that Lunch !

The excitement is growing so I think its time for a Christmas movie to calm things down and putting my feet up!

3 Sleeps to Christmas

Early start with the washing then off to pick up the girls who are staying with us for two days.
The morning was spent making Christmas wreaths, which turned out really well.
Wreaths made using metal hoops and attaching lots of coloured Christmas fabrics to then with a single knot.
Bells were added to the centre and a bow to the base.
After lunch the girls snuggled up under the Christmas quilt and watched a Christmas movie.

We have been having some wonderful sun sets, just wish I could stand on the roof for a better view!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

4 Sleeps to Christmas

Oh dear something is missing!!!
Yes you guessed, my embroidery machine went "clunk" in the middle of sewing out a very large railway carriage. It is now in the "sewing machine hospital" in the hopes Mike at BSK has time to fix it on Monday. I plan to leave the sewing in the hoop in the hopes I can re-aline it when I get my machine back and complete the piece.

To add to our unexpected expenses the light fitting over the dining room table went bang and now has to be replaced, it matches the one in the lounge so that is two new light fittings required asap after Christmas.
Table set by Christmas tree and candle light

Friends came for dinner and to play cards last night, luckily we had enough light from the part of the ceiling light that was still working. It was a great evening playing three of our favourite card games.
I experimented with part of the meal and it was a complete failure, so a quick change of plans and I think it all went OK.

A simple fabric panel with the true meaning of Christmas hangs in my kitchen on the pantry door.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

5 Sleeps to Christmas

These Yo Ho Ho table mats made using heat resistant wadding are a firm favorite this time of year.

Friday, 19 December 2014

6 Sleeps to Christmas

This candle mat was made using different green fabrics heat-n-bonded together, I then cur out the holly shapes and just sewed a few stitches down the middle to attach them to the cream background, really quick and easy but very effective and look great with a candle in the centre.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

7 Sleeps to Christmas

Today was my visit to BSK Bedford for a Machine Embroidery day. I love going with Penny my friend, we have a good chat in the car and always enjoy the day. Today we made a train and one carriage, they can be joined together with more carriages to make a table runner, but I think I am going to make mine into a set of fun cushions!

My Christmas sewing at home is made from three circles interlinked and when pulled up make spaces for bread rolls [ hope this makes sense!]

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

8 Sleeps to Christmas

The Hamtune Quilters Party last night was great fun. The fun started with three quilt related quizzes, Penny and I won a prize for completing the most. The table was groaning with food so next came a food break, which was most enjoyable.
Everyone was then arranged into a circle and given three raffle tickets each, ten prizes were placed in the middle of the circle and the other half of the raffle tickets were placed in a bowl. As a number was called the person with that number collected a prize from the middle of the room until all the prizes were gone. The numbers were continued to be called and this meant stealing a prize from a person who already had it, this caused much laughter as everyone wanted the "cuddly toy" to start with. When all the numbers had gone if you still had a prize you kept it, needless to say I didn't win anything. [ all my prizes were stolen!]
Next we were all told to stand and play the right / left game with the little gifts we had brought along. How come people that make wonderful quilts and do amazing craft work do not know their right and left!!
Finally time to go home and it was pouring with rain and for some reason I missed the drive and landed up driving across part of the garden and lawn... what a mess! And NO I had not been drinking!

Place mats for the Christmas table

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

9 Sleeps to Christmas

What a chilly morning today, everywhere was white with frost when I ventured out to the garage in the dark at 6.30am to collect a loaf from my freezer... burrrr.

Fairly easy day planned today, I am trying to finish my crochet throw before Christmas, only another 32 rows to go! At least it keeps me warm while I work on it.

Tonight is the Christmas party at Hamtune Quilters.. more about this tomorrow.

I bought this little cross stitch kit, think it was Mill Hill beads? a long time ago. It comes out every Christmas, and I remember the fun I had making it.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

11 Sleeps to Christmas

A really nice service at Church today, with great speakers and inspiring words.

One of my favourite "sewn items" is this quilt that is now a few years old and only comes out at Christmas. My Daughter in law would like it and maybe one day I'll get around to making her one. Somehow when Christmas has passed I loose the interest in making Christmas items. The holly leaves and berries etc, were heat-n-bonded on and then machined with a zig-zag stitch.

This horrible cold weather we are having means its nice to snuggle up in, in the evenings.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

12 Sleeps to Christmas

Christmas Tree Festival at St Peter and St Paul's Church Weedon.
This morning Chris and I made a visit to the tree festival, where 30 different groups or individuals had sponsored and decorated a Christmas tree. It was a wonderful sight and amazing all the different ideas everyone had for their tree, from playgroup to the old peoples home.
If your in the area it is well worth a visit next Saturday 20th 11am to 4pm.

Moravian stars made of paper decorate my fabric cupboards in my Happy Room

Friday, 12 December 2014

13 Sleeps to Christmas

I love this little Nativity set, made entirely on my Embroidery Machine. Each figure has a small light inside and they look pretty at night.

Today was Christmas Tree Day and we bought a Fraser Fir from Homebase, which is suppose to be the least likely to drop its needles [ we'll wait and see about that!] but it has the most wonderful smell, almost like Balsam. Chris cut off the 5cm recommended from the base and it is sitting in a water container, he was also in charge of the lights. I started decorating with things I have made and home made items I have been given, these are always my favourite as they bring back so many memories. I then added the glass baubles that are now very old and fragile. Final addition was the tree skirt made with applique trees and reindeer.
All the decorations are up and now with the tree ready and the food on order I think I am about ready to start enjoying Christmas.

Opps I've cut the fairies head off in the photo!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

14 Sleeps to Christmas

Today was  Poppy Patch Sit-n-Sew day. I took along the makings for the twisted thread catchers and five of the group had a go at making them.
To make the day, our last meeting of the year, more special one member brought along a lovely tray of sandwiches, there was also cake and mincepies.

Hanging on my bathroom door this Christmas decoration [again made some years ago!]
looks very festive.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

15 Sleeps to Christmas

Today I'm thinking about what I will cook, what I need to order and buy for Christmas Day when the family will be with us. So I thought this little Christmas over glove was appropriate for my 15 days to Christmas sewing item. The trouble is hes too cute to use!
Christmas oven mitt

Last night Chris and I went to the Evergreen's Christmas party at Church. The organisation is incredible as Sister Mace is in charge of producing a wonderful traditional Christmas meal for about two dozen people on a [could be better ] stove. The youth were all dressed neatly in white tops and black skirts or trousers and waited on the tables before singing carols. Brother Mike Wade had organised some games and told the sort of jokes you find in crackers, in fact I think most of them came out of crackers!  It was a splendid evening and an ideal way to get into the Christmas Spirit.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

16 Sleeps to Christmas

Lots of jobs planned for today.
Its a very cold morning and the white frost makes it look Christmassy, but it sure is cold!
A visit to a friend with some gifts, then onto see my 90yr old Aunt with cards and some photos.
Bought some nice thick tights in M & S before braving Sainsbury's for some gammon and beef joints [ £6 off £30 shop voucher meant I got a bargain as they had reduced their joints to half price.]
Back home for some warming soup and a rest for the remaining afternoon before out to Church for a Christmas meal with the Evergreens [over 60 group].

Heat n Bonded Santas

Monday, 8 December 2014

17 Sleeps to Christmas

I thought I would have a go at making a chocolate sleigh. There seem to be lots of versions of this on YouTube and Pinterest. To start with I do not have a glue gun [ I have the glue sticks but the gun must have died some years ago!] Chris came to the rescue with All Purpose Silicone Sealant that I used to attach the candy canes to the Kit Kat and the Santa chocolate to the front. I then opened a packet of six orange chocolate bars, used four ate the other two! piled on a few gold and silver chocolate coins and tied a ribbon around the whole thing. They do not look too bad but I think I will try and work on the design before using some as table decoration on the 25th.

I love stained glass and making this banner on my Embroidery Machine was a pleasure last year.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

18 Sleeps to Christmas

Burton Latimer saw the meeting of 14 relatives for a very interesting day yesterday. My cousin Helen had arranged for us to meet at The Heritage Centre, where they had a most interesting display of WW1 items.
Helen had organised for there to be commemorative stones made for her parents [ my Mum's brother and his wife] and our Uncle Charles [ another of Mum's brothers]. In typical Helen's style she had brought along her fathers old wind up record player complete with 78 record. Chris wound it up and the Church yard echoed to a record of bell ringing!
Pam, Robin, John & Mick Pridmore, Margaret
It was a nice meeting as now all five siblings  have commemorative stones in the same Church yard.
Mick Pridmore, my Chris, Jesse and Helen Wood

John Percival Ashby 1910 - 1981 [m. Loakes]
Helen Elizabeth Ashby 1912 - 1995 [m. Pridmore, Petty]
Catherine Mary Ashby 1914 - 2012 [m. Simons]
William George Ashby 1916 - 1990  [m. Wilkinson]
Charles Henry Ashby 1919 - 1986 [un married]

Our next stop was a meal at Vivo Restaurant, where the chatting and laughter never stopped.

Left : Chris, Chris. Jesse, Helen, Mike, Margaret, John
Right: Dave, Kim, Me, Chris and Pam [Robin behind the camera!]

My Christmas sewing for today is
This table will have the Christmas Tree on it a little nearer to THE DAY.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

19 Sleeps to Christmas

Today is a busy day with the extended family. We are meeting at Burton Latimer Heritage Centre to look at photos etc of our ancestors. Next it is off to pay our respects at the cemetery then for lunch at an Italian Restaurant. More about all this tomorrow!

Today's look around my Christmas sewing was made on a Jenny Almond workshop many years ago.
Eventually, when the granddaughters arrive, there will be a Nativity in front of the fire.
Setting up the Nativity became a  tradition started some years ago and is a reminder of the real meaning of Christmas.

Friday, 5 December 2014

20 Sleeps to Christmas

5th December already! How did that happen?

Yesterday was our IAM Christmas party, one member was missing as she was in the air flying back from Australia [missed you Ann].
We started the morning either working on our own projects or making twisted thread bags. I actually manged to make two.

The group take it in turns to bring dessert, and this year it was Shirley's turn and she brought two delicious Roulades plus some nibble goodies. Shirley also decided to take over sorting and doling out the gifts much to every ones amusement.

There are eight of us in the group and we all buy 7 £2 gifts, which is always fun and somehow over the years the gifts are rarely repeated. We certainly had some lovely things this year.

Also we buy a Fat Quarter and play a Right / Left game. I try to read the story as quickly as possible to make it more fun.

Next we all bring a £5 to play another game, this year we had a dice game which went quite well, as Ann had left her presents with me before she flew out to Aussie, we designated an angel ornament as Ann to make sure she had a turn and won a prize. [ With a combined age of over 550 we know how to have fun and laughter]

Shirley, Clare, Maureen, Penny, me, Jenny standing, Dorn behind the camera.

 Today's look around my Christmas sewing a table runner, that I loved making a couple of years ago.

Biopsy, bruises and a block finish

Thursday I went into hospital at 10.30 for my lung biopsy, the staff could not have been nicer and put me at ease. The procedure meant lying...