Monday, 26 December 2016

Christmas Day with the family

The perfect way to celebrate the Saviours birth, spending the day with the family.
We arrived at our son's home around 10.30am and had a really wonderful day with great food prepared by Richard and Jacquline. Endless games were played with the girls, they are such good company.
Piles of presents to open before we leave home, a BIG thank you to all our friends.
The quilt on the settee was made in 2004 and is still a favorite..

Abigail opening her gift, a new handbag [ she cannot have too many!]
full of everything you need in side, all individually wrapped.

Eleanor opening her gift, a Sleepover bag made by me,
full of everything she will need when she goes to stay with her friends overnight.
Richard and Jacq also opening their presents.

Christmas dinner, with enough food to feed the neighbourhood!

Playing the right / left game

Eleanor and I had a go at the Skittles "thing" I had seen on facebook.
place the skittles in a circle and add hot water gently to the centre.

Such an interesting pattern appears from nowhere.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Happy, healthy, Peaceful Christmas

I'd like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, Peaceful Christmas.
It's time to remember the meaning of the special day and the wonderful birth of our Savior.
Every year as young children my sister and I together with school friends would re-enact the nativity.
I am Mary and my sister is standing on a stool reading the nativity story.
My favorite black doll is in the manger as Jesus.
Such innocent days.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Preparing for the Attic 24 CAL

 Today is the official start of Winter, it is dark, cold and just plain miserable out there.  It is the sort of day to light the fire [ well OK I turned on the electric flickering fire for effect ] close the curtains and just vegetate. I had to brave the elements and go for a walk around the local block to try and get my knee moving but that was all I wanted to do outside.

Something I have been thinking of doing was to prepare for the Attic 24 CAL, so today seemed like a good day to spend in my Happy Room with my wool winder.
The kit from Woolwarehouse that my friend bought me for my birthday consisted of 15 balls of wool. I have now wound them all into little chubby balls, mostly two to the original ball, except where I lost concentration and got in a tangle, then there were three balls.  It certainly gave my arm a work out using the winder.

Once I started I was on a roll, and wrote labels with the names of the colours on, I used garden plant labels as these fit flatly in my little box.  The 'roll' continued and I made myself some stitch markers with wires, clips, beads and small silver accessories that I bought on my last trip to Spain.
Five balls rewound, ten more to go.

Now I'm ready to start when the pattern is released on January 6th.

Blog Statistics

Since starting my blog I tend not to bother about the statistics. I blog for my own pleasure and to keep a record of things I like to do and my family events. Of course I love it if you feel you would like to leave a comment on anything I write about.

This information I thought was interesting, I wonder what all those people in Russia think of my blog?

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United Kingdom
United States

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

More walks

Sunday the daily walk was around the General Hospital ! Chris had an appointment for an Ultrasound following his very painful bout with gall stones. The outcome being he still has a gall stone and sludge [ words of the Ultrasound medic!] He now awaits the appointment with the doctor to see what happens next. Luckily the really bad pain has reduced to a mild ache.  The hospital was deserted but it was still difficult to park !

Another day another hospital
Monday was physio for me and Tom 'the torturer' tried deep massage and forcing more bend... Ouch ouch ouch!  It was not a good day and even my other knee replacement was playing me up.

Tuesday awoke to sun shine even though it was only registering 5.5 degrees on the car dashboard. We decided to walk along another stretch of the old railway starting at Spratton. The sun was so low and bright it was hard to see but it made for a very nice 30 minute walk. Back home for drinking chocolate and a ginger biscuit.

A nice walk in the sun shine

Monday, 19 December 2016

Button, buttons and more buttons!

I need a few buttons for a project four of us are making in February, so I thought I would make a start and sort them out. I have SO many buttons. Every shape size and colour it was hard deciding which to use.
Many years ago my mother worked in her sister's Fent Shop and one of the things they sold were buttons and often in quiet times they would sit and sew sets of buttons onto card. When the store closed I "inherited" a lot of these buttons. It has been very nostalgic seeing the cards labeled with 1/6d [7 new pence] for six or 2/- [10 new pence] for eight in old money. I bet you cannot buy buttons that cheap these days. Luckily I have enough to last my lifetime!
Bags and boxes of buttons!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

The Santa Train

Fed up with just walking around the nearest block of houses, we set off for the Brampton Crossing. A number of train enthusiasts have a large collection of everything train!
Today they had a couple of engines steaming up and down the lines with the Santa Special. It was a hive of activity and the car parks were full, but we were lucky with someone just pulling out as we arrived.
Having only been walking in 20 minute spurts I actually managed to walk for 35 minutes before collapsing in the car for the ride home. It is lovely to be out and about and see the children enjoying visits to Santa and trips on his train.
Lovely to see these restored trains in action

Coaches of every shape and size.
One had three little 'cat flap' size doors... wonder what that was used for?

I'm quilting

The background to my blog title  "I'm quilting"

About fifteen years ago I visited one of my favourite places,  Pat Miller's Dry Goods and Quilt shop in Charm Ohio USA.
Doyle Yoder took a photo of the quilts hanging around the covered bridge at the back of the shop and this was then turned into a jigsaw.

Yesterday while sorting out the bottom of my wardrobe I discovered a pile of jigsaws and I donated them together with 4 other bags of items to a local Charity shop. Amongst them was the above mentioned jigsaw and to my surprise it was still sealed in its original plastic bag!

Now I know I should be doing a lot of other jobs around here but I could not resist working on the quilt jigsaw... I cannot remember the last time I made a real jigsaw, although occasionally I do one on line. Plus of course I am feeling good having donated a total of 5 bags to the Charity shop.
Beautiful quilts taking shape

Nothing will get done until it is finished!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

The eight week attempt

Well it's eight weeks since my total knee replacement and I made my mind up to drive my car again.
I am going stir crazy and need to get my old life back.

By 11am the road outside my house looked fairly quiet so I told Chris I was going to try driving. He asked me to take my mobile phone with me [ I didn't want him with me ] so I set off like it was the first time I had been behind the wheel instead of 50+ years driving.
My comment was I will either be back in two minutes as I feel I cannot do it, or fifteen minutes and I would just go around the estate we live on. It was the usual struggle to get in the car as my knee is still very swollen but everything felt OK. A few pushes on the clutch to make sure the knee would bend and I drove off. Brilliant I made it around the estate and back onto the drive.
I probably will not be going far at the moment but at least I know I can drive again.

The Kitchen floor

What a start to the day... the kitchen floor just got an unexpected wash!
Whenever I use a colour catcher in the washing machine I always check that it comes out at the end. On the last wash a couple of days ago I could not find it even though I turned socks inside out and looked through everything. Chris said it will turn up in something so we thought no more about it.
It turned up this morning when the machine loaded with washing and full of water stopped. The drain pipe was used to drain off the water and stuck in the hose was the missing colour catcher. When Chris pulled the colour catcher out another flood of water swamped the kitchen!
Towels were quickly used to mop up the flood so now we have another load of washing! but a nice clean floor.
Thank goodness I'm married to a very handy man.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Cousins united

Every Christmas my cousins like to get together for a Christmas lunch. It started with the Ashby side of the family, my mother was Catherine Mary Ashby but over the years has expanded to include other relatives.
This year was no exception when nine of us met at The Whitehills Flaming Grill Northampton for our Christmas lunch. Cousin John travelled down from Derby, cousin Mike from near Leicester, cousin Helen from Bristol, cousin Rosalind from Kettering, cousin Christine from London, sister Debbie from the Cotswold's, myself and husband Chris, plus Colin the son of John's partner who sadly died this year.
Northampton was chosen as a central place for us all to meet, and you would not believe the trouble one or two of the cousins had in finding the venue! In fact the cousin who had the least amount of travelling took the longest to get there!
The chatting never stopped and it was great catching up with every ones news.
Christine, Helen, Colin and John

Rosalind, Debbie, Mike, Chris and me.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

A host of Christmas Angels

While preparing Angel kits for my IAM group I thought I would make some extras as gifts for my cousins when we meet next week.
Preparing the parts

Some of the completed angels

Friday, 9 December 2016

IAM Christmas craft day 2016

All nine members of my craft group were able to attend the Christmas party. What fun we had.
The day started with an angel workshop, I had prepared handouts and all the fabric etc. that was needed and much to my amazement everyone completed their angel by lunch time.
Making angels

Pauline provided roulade and cheesecake for our celebration, after we ate our own pack ups.

Then it was time for show and tell, I'll let the photos tell their story...

Ann's bobbin lace orchid

Shirley's Christmas crochet

Shirley's crochet jacket

Dorn's Santa collection

Jenny's Advent calender and felt inserts

Jenny's quilt for her grandaughter

Penny reading the list of items she had made but given away!
While Maureen told us of the items she had made and were now in the post

Clare went on a workshop to make a cockerel and made a pheasant by mistake

Some of Clare's machine embroidery candy cane holders

Clare's machine embroidery crazy patchwork bag

Pauline's Dog cushion for a grandson
Each of us had brought eight wrapped gifts costing no more than £2, so there was lots of "Oo"ing and "ah"ing as we unpacked everything. It is amazing that no two items were the same and everything is so nice and useful.

This was followed by Strip Poker, luckily as we are all over 70 no one lost an item of clothes, the strip part of the game was a pile of 2" strips of fabric. A dice marked with C,C,L,R,X plus one blank side was used and the game started with everyone putting a strip in the centre of the table. The dice was rolled in turn and C meant put a strip in the Centre, L..left, R.. right nothing and the blank meant you took the centre pile and we started again. The laughter level was off the scale!!
Jenny was the final winner of all the strips, we look forward to seeing what she makes with them.

Our final game consisted of us all bringing a gift to the value of £5 max. These were placed in the centre of the table and a dice with four sides marked with a X the other two sides blank was used. An X meant taking one of the wrapped prizes until all the prizes were taken and then the fun began because an X meant you had to swap your gift even if you did not want to! We had four rounds of this.
Reading the rules
Finally I wish all my crafty friends a very Happy Christmas and hope you have as much fun with your hobby as we did today.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas tree substitute

Due to the on going health problems around here we decided to not go too mad with the decorations this year. A small start was to put up the tree of lights so I thought I would decorate it with the home, made by me and a friend, items. I actually really like the look.

I have a box of  fabric made Christmas items that I am hoping I can drag down the stairs and put a Christmas smile on the house. Walking down stairs with a walking stick holding onto the rail makes it difficult to carry anything, but it is surprising what you can do when you really want to.

Saturday, 3 December 2016


It is now six weeks and two days since I went into any kind of shop! Have I missed it? No not really and I usually love shopping. All our grocery shopping has been done on line and a kind man from Tesco has delivered it to the door. Amazon and EBay have come to my rescue for any last minute Christmas shopping.  BUT I am now starting to go stir crazy and long for a rummage in a Charity shop or a mooch in Poundland. Never mind as soon as I feel I can drive again the shops won't know what hit them!
On the flip side of the coin we have saved a lot of money, when you buy on line you don't buy all the tempting things you see in shops and keep filling the car up with fuel.

My Happy Room has been a hive of activity as I decided to try and make a Christmas tree angel for all my cousins attending our annual lunch in ten days time, nine of them. I also bought a few patterns from SweetPea machine embroidery and amongst them a Christmas stocking pattern. At check out it said buy one get one free so together with the redwork stocking I wanted I received a Santa stocking pattern for free.  Now I can't stop making them!
Trying to get in the Christmas mood

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Last minute gift

My sister requested a replacement oven mitt, goodness knows how long ago I gave her the last pair!
Using two of the Allison block patterns from SweetPea I managed to make two for her.
Hope they look alright in her kitchen.
I have spent the afternoon working on Machine Embroidery Christmas stockings, and what could go wrong has!! Tried to be economical and use a large piece of backing vilene only to look away from the machine for a minute and it all to get jammed up, so one stocking in the bin and the the vilene has a big hole in it! Yo Ho Ho it is the first of December...

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Last day of November

Another month almost gone, and still I have trouble walking, but the Physio seemed happy with my progress even though it is slow. He really put me through the mill yesterday so today is recovery day!

I have managed to complete another pair of socks, and they match as near as possible which is always a miracle.
These should keep my toes warm as soon as I get out of the elasticated stockings the Hospital want me to wear.

A friend gave me a Woolwarehouse voucher for my birthday and it was fun choosing what to buy. In the end I decided I would like to make the new CAL [crochet along] that starts on Attic24 blog in January. Woolwarehouse sell a pack of the wool required, so I am ready to go as soon as the first instructions are available.
The idea of the blanket is from the Yorkshire moors and I just loved the colours.
The CAL runs through January and February, most of which I will be spending in Spain so a great project to work on.

So exciting when the package arrived

Cannot wait to start

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Sizzix machine

Each December the IAM group that meet monthly at my home have a Christmas party. We like to play games (more on that later) and when I can think of something instead of bringing their own projects to work on I, or a member of the group, like to organise a mini workshop.

Last Christmas a friend sent me an angel and I thought it would make a great project for the group. Luckily I had put it somewhere I could find it. I have everything I need to cut out kits for everyone so I organised my table with a stool for my leg ( have to try and keep the swelling down) and used my Sizzix machine to cut out card shapes ( great recycling of my Get Well cards) . Next I cut out a pile of cushion soft for the padding of the faces.

Working in my Happy Room
It feels great getting back into my happyroom, even though with a temporary bed to allow me to do exercises without having to climb the stairs, it looks such a mess.

I still have to cut out the main fabric shapes but I am waiting for a large circle cutter for my Sizzix that hopefully will come this week. Since writing this post I have been informed by EBay that I will not get the cutter I ordered and they have refunded me the money! A local store has the same cutter on sale so I now await delivery again.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Another year older

Sorry for the blog post delay but I have just not felt like making conversation while trying to get back on my feet. It is now four weeks since the new knee and although each day brings a little improvement I am getting bored and frustrated with the recovery process.
Two more Physio visits since my last post mean I now walk with just one stick and the bend in the knee joint is improving. The hospital also gave me another pair of white elastic stockings so at least both legs look the same and I have lost the Zebra look.

Some of my many birthday cards
Sunday I clocked up another birthday and the get well cards had to come down to make room for the many birthday cards I received. Amongst my gifts were five balls of sock wool and the Stylecraft Attic 24 kit for the up and coming CAL (crochet along) that starts in January. I think I am going to be busy this winter with needles and hook.
Five balls of 4ply sock wool will keep my busy

My embroidery machine has seen some action, and I have managed to start work on an Allison quilt with blocks by Sweet Pea design. I had prepared everything to work on this project before I went into hospital but it has taken me a while to feel like doing it. I am now really enjoying the blocks.
The first eight machine embroidery blocks

While sitting with my leg encased in a cold cuff to try and get the swelling down I have been busy working on another pair of socks, one is finished and the partner started. I love seeing the different colours of the wool appear and especially like turning the heels.
Sock knitting and hot chocolate... yummy

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Two weeks post op

Well I have survived and here we are two weeks after a total knee replacement on October 20th.

This is my second knee to be replaced, the first was three years ago and different in many ways from this time even with the same surgeon.
Knee #1 meant I was given an epidural which did not work so I then had to have a general anaesthetic which knocked me out for what seem like days.
New knee I was again given an epidural and immediately my right leg went dead but it was the left leg needed deadening so they had to turn me on my side to make it work. So far so good, but then they wheeled me into the operating theatre still wide awake, lights action etc.. I do not want to see this so Sleepy juice was administered and I woke up two hours later in post op.
I don't remember much about the next day other than Physio making me get out of bed!
Zebra legs ! Why do they not have the same colours? I have to wear these for six weeks !

Three nights in hospital and then home, agony getting into the car but with Chris's help I managed it.

  Visitors came and went bringing cards, flowers, colouring books and chocolates. I really do thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Just a few of the many cards I received.

As it was half term Richard brought the girls over on Friday 28 th to carve pumpkins and we had a KFC meal. Although I could not really join in it was lovely to hear the chatter and fun.
Great work girls, and Richard!

Sunday two of the Elders from Church brought me the sacrament and gave me a blessing, which I really appreciated.

Each day Chris helped me do my set exercises and even the smallest improvement felt like winning a gold medal.

Tuesday was the dreaded trip to the start of Physio. Again getting in and out of the car is difficult but we managed to get me there. I had no idea when I was to have my clips or stitches removed so made enquiries. Tom, my Physio, took off the dressing and informed me I had been glued, no clips or stitches to be removed! Last time I think there were about thirty stitches had to be painfully removed.
Amazing what they can do to improve things in just three years.
Tom then re dressed the wind and gently made me bend my knee more... ouch ouch ouch!
He also said I was to walk outside for ten minutes a day.
Flowers to make me smile.

Yesterday I had two visitors in the morning managed to walk a few doors along the street for my ten minutes, and then friends came in the afternoon. A busy day that went quickly, so it was early to bed.

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...