Sunday, 30 April 2017

The last day of April

 A third of the year has almost gone, it's May day tomorrow. Hope the weather starts to improve, although the sun is shining it is very cold.

My sewing knitting and crochet MoJo have returned and I seem to be spending a lot of time in my Happy Room. I think the fact I have started to have a major sort out has helped. Less "stuff" means I can find things and have room to work.  Still a long way to go to get where I am really happy with it.

Off to church this morning to praise the Lord.
Image result for photo of Church of latter day saints northampton

Happy Planner time

Having bought a Happy Planner in February I have so enjoyed my time working on it. In fact an hour or so planning my weekly stickers and deciding on a layout and I forget everything else and it lifts my spirits.
The Daisy week in May plan before I write in it.
I have been asked a number of times what I use my planner for, so here are a few of the things I like to plan and journal:
Meal planing, I try to plan a whole weeks main meals, and often swap the days around to suit.
Scripture reading, 15 minutes a day to improve my knowledge
Steps, minimum of 2000 a day, writing it down means I make sure I achieve at least this number daily.
Birthdays and anniversaries.
Sewing, knitting and crochet goals,
Boring things like washing, cleaning, shopping etc...
Dentist, doctor and other appointments.
Holidays, I always try and find a holiday theme sticker set for these.
Etc etc..

It is amazing how much more I get done and the great sense of achievement when I complete a task. However if something does not get done one week there is always the next page.

There are lots of people producing sticker sheets for free, so a pack of 50 sticker sheets from Amazon for £3.50 means I am not spending very much on my new hobby.

This layout was printed from 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Two Row by Row completed

Yesterday was full of ups and downs. We started with Chris having an MRI in preparation for his Gall bladder removal. I dropped him off at the hospital and went to pick up my latest Pfaff 7570 from the sewing machine shop. I bought it on Ebay for £350 and spent £120.08 ( guess the 8pence is important!) having it serviced and cleaned up.
Back home for Chris to recover from his 'nil by mouth' and we set off for the Garden Centre for me to collect a package, needless to say I bought plants, eight geraniums for my hanging baskets.
Our plan was then off to Costco to stock up on meat, the journey was horrendous, firstly the Motorway was closed so we tried to avoid the roads near to it, only to drive at 1 mph behind a vintage Steam Roller with no where to pass.
Two jacket potatoes, one cheese and the other curry, plus drinks for £4 gave us the energy to shop.
Back home the meat had to be vacuum packed and labelled before we could have a much needed cuppa.

This saga brings me to today... I am going nowhere and just want to be home to sew.
I did make time to plant my geraniums, white ones this year as I normally have red ones and felt like a change. A short walk for a breath of fresh air and the rest of the day sewing... bliss.
Two Row by Row 2016 completed
The top one is from Fabric HQ, Stoke Mandeville
Bottom one from Quilters Dream, Picket Piece, Andover.

I just love my sheep.

Friday, 28 April 2017

A friends day

Having met up with a friend, Annie, I had not seen in years we arranged a get together to sit and sew. Her sister in law Beryl, who I have known for the best part of 40 years, was also able to join us together with Helen another friend.
It was such a fun day, with lots of catching up on news and lots of laughter.
My Happy Room was prepared for their arrival but then I just did not get around to taking a photo until they were leaving!

Looking forward to a sewing day
Beryl worked on a crochet poppy but with all the chatter kept having to go into reverse! Helen worked on a cushion front hand sewing pretty appliqué, while Annie machined 2 inch squares together for the start of a King size quilt.
I managed to progress on my Andover Row by Row.

Beryl, Annie and Helen

A great day I hope we can arrange to repeat.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Tidy up last years post

In 2016 I decided to try and keep a record of everything I made, but it is time to make a new start, well it is almost the end of April! My side bar will now have things I have made in 2017. I seem to have been very busy last year until October when a new knee stopped my sewing and machine embroidering. I wonder how many things I will add this year.
Christmas flying geese bag...   2 ME Watermill cushions
Large fairy quilt... SweetPea design purse in hoop
Debbie Shore red/black bag... ME ABC with sheep quilt
Jelly Roll lap quilt... Joseph's Coat pink table runner
3 Half a zip bags... Red courthouse steps Linus quilt
Black & Red 'D' phone bag... ME sewing kit
Red Crazy patchwork handbag... Green Joseph's coat cushion
2 oven mitts for swap... Sophie's Universe crochet
Dolphin window pelmet... Cream/black nine patch cushion
Japanese large bag... Chicken oven pad
Mini Mania cathedral square... Owls in a circle mat
60 degree triangle table mat... Mini Mania stars in 3 colours
Fold n Stitch wreath... Dresden plate clock
Noodlehead bag... A Esterhuizen Mandala crochet
Dog panel quilt for Linus... Dutch girl bag
Row by Row panel 1... Faux leather handbag
Cuppa mugrug for swap... 6 butterfly table mats
Mini Mania Seminole top... Fabric basket
6 crochet hook/pencil holders... Debbie Shore bow bag
4 animal print table mats... 2 made in one piece bags [ yellows]
Butterfly Sling purse navy... 4 Seahorse Mugrugs
Present for grandaughter... Christmas lap quilt
2 Oven mitts... 6 Christmas stockings... 12 Christmas angels

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Row by Row

My comment about a Ha Ha at Lyvenden seems to have caused a stir. It is very familiar to anyone that visits old houses in Britain. 

ha-ha is a recessed landscape design element that creates a vertical barrier while preserving an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond. The design includes a turfed incline which slopes downward to a sharply vertical face, typically a masonry retaining wall.

The ha-ha at Lyvenden is grass on both sides and almost invisible until you try to walk across the lawns. I wonder how many people fell into it when leaving the house after a few drinks!

Back to the topic of my blog post...

Last year I took part in the search for Row by Row patterns, only six shops in England took part. I managed to collect some from overseas and  had great plans to make a wall hanging using some of them. I actually only completed one, so having regained my sewing mojo I intend to make some more. A few friends and I are getting together to work on some of them which should help to keep me motivated.

The pattern I intend to make first this year is from Quilters Dream in Andover Hampshire.

Wow, wow, wow there are a lot of very tiny pieces, but they are all cut out and some heat-n-bonded to my background ready for machining tomorrow. Needless to say I didn't think about the direction of the pattern and probably, unless I told you, you would not know when the banner is completed that I have reversed everything.

Part of the banner ready for machining, all those tiny sheep feet!

My trusty 17 year old Pfaff is back from it's service and new bobbin winding clutch.
I love using this machine for applique.
2017 Row by Row starts in June so I better get my skates on if I am to complete last years.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Lyveden New Bield

Looking for somewhere to go for a walk we decided on a visit to Lyvenden New Bield. Owned by the National Trust this property is only about 25 miles from home, but we had never found the time to visit it before. The morning started off sunny but cool, by the time we got to Lyvenden the sharp wind was bitingly cold on this very exposed site. Needless to say we did not stay as long as we had planed.
A very bumpy rough track leads to the entrance.

It is such an impressive sight surrounded by a Ha Ha.
Sir Thomas Tresham created the garden and lodge between 1595 and his death in 1605. It was planned as a pleasure garden and secret place of worship for Treshams persecuted Catholic faith.

Richly decorated with religious symbols of Christ's Passion and Crucifixion.
Although looking like a ruin it is in fact just an unfinished building site, 
due to lack of money and heavy death duties there was no money to pay the workers, so they just 'downed tools' and walked away.

A quick trip to the loo and I found this on the door.

A swallow fly out of her nest as I closed the door 

Inside one of the main ground floor rooms.

The views in every direction are amazing

Yes that's me sneaking into the kitchen

A deep Ha Ha surrounds the building.

The gardens contain interesting snail mounts [Chris took the photo from the top of one of them]
There is also a moat and maze cut into the grass.

The walk to the maze.
The stone for this splendid building was quarried from the local village of Pilton. This is definitely a place to re-visit in the warmer weather.

A Little warmth was now called for and we visited the Harvester Restaurant at Kettering for lunch using a 50% off voucher, making a great end to out day out.

The Great British Land Rover Show

Sunday Chris had arranged for us to attend the Great British Land Rover show at Stonleigh.
Two large halls were filled with everything you could possibly want or need for your Land Rover.
Car parks were overflowing with Land Rovers of every colour, shape and size.
As Chris is the Representative for GLASS [ The Green Lane Association] covering Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire we spent some time visiting their stand.
A quick sandwich for lunch and then it was off to the Off Road Course for "play time".

Narrow lanes with side drop offs [ always seem to be my side!]
area's of mud and extremely sharp hills with sudden drops that had me closing my eyes.

The sun was shining and it was great fun

Waiting for the car in front to manoeuvre one of the hills

On lookers place themselves on all the hair raising places,
needless to say holding on for dear life I did not manage to take many photos!

Busy busy busy

Busy busy busy  Life seems to have been a blur of chocolate!
Easter Monday was spent with the family and after lunch we and the girls were banished from the house, actually took the dog for a walk. Jacqueline had designed an Easter Egg hunt, one for each of the girls and one for Chris and myself. Each started with a clue which led to an egg and another clue, it was great fun and we all ended up with lots of eggs and much laughter.. thank you so much Jacq for doing this.

Eleanor cannot wait to try an egg.

Can just here the cat saying " what on earth is going on"
as we race from the house to the garden and back again following the clues.

Abigail seems to have found a large egg and is reading the next clue.
The next two days were taken up with visits to the nurses for asthma and blood tests, nothing serious just routine after a change of meds. 
Hamtune Quilters had a re-cycling evening so I took along a load of things I want out of my Happy Room, plus I promised myself whatever did not sell would stay in the car and go to a charity shop.
My nails were long overdue for a gelling [ is that a word? ] so I booked a session and came out with Hot Tomato nails.

Thursday I was back at BSK, Bedford machine embroidery class, having missed so many months due to my new knee and then 6 weeks in Spain and France. It was so nice to see everyone again. I ME'd a Japanese lady and started on the alphabet banner... why are there no photos... no idea I had my camera with me so must just have been too busy.
Friday we decided on a day out.
First stop the Fabric Guild in Oadby to visit their new building.
I wanted white on white fabric and was really good, as that is all I bought.
Emmaus at Hinckley was the next stop to unload the boot of charity donations, including all the items left over from the sales table on Tuesday.
After all this we needed food and stopped at the Brewers Fayre Hinckley for lunch. The building is on the side of the canal and it was fun watching the narrow boats sail by.

Too cute for words, seen from the canal footpath.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Easter Week

Easter week started with my promise to myself to have a sort out in my Happy Room.
"Stuff" seems to have a life of its own and filled every drawer, space, shelf and table.
I started with a drawer full of odds and ends and kits for everything from Christmas decorations to penguins! Most will go to a table top sale next week, some to the bin and some to a charity shop.
First empty drawer

Stuff everywhere, no space to even cut out or sew!
Two days this week the granddaughters came to stay, so we made Planners from card, paper and stickers. Both girls did really well and the time passed far too quickly. I have a Happy Planner of my own and it was lovely to share a hobby.

Abigail 13 yrs Planner, journal

Inside Abigail's journal

Eleanor 9 yrs planner / journal

Everything is Keep Calm and... with Eleanor

A brisk walk along the side of the Brampton railway

Chilly but a nice walk to the mosaic 

With Easter around the corner they made Easter baskets for all the family
After the hectic pace with the girls we had a peaceful day today. It was spent working on more tidying in the Happy room, followed by a trip to Billing, and walk around the lake.

Bit of a nip in the air, but at least the sun is shining

Lots of narrow boats at the moorings

Mummy swan had even used beer cans and plastic in her nest building

Lastly we visited the garden centre and bought ten new Shubunkin fish for our pond
it was hard to take their photo before releasing them in the pond.
I'd like to wish you all a very happy Easter.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

IAM craft day

May's IAM meeting was a wonderful way to spend the day after the hectic week in Hemsby.
There were lots of laughs and chat plus some craft work!
Penny's poppy picture, such delicate work

Penny's Linus quilt, partly machine embroidery.
Beatrix Potter is always a favorite.
Backed with fleece, a child is going to love this.

Maureen's cushion was a challenge with a group she belongs to.
Love the central star.

Clare's quilt for a new Gt Grandchild due any day was made with machine embroidered fleece sheep
and pretty barn yard fabric.

Shirley had been busy with her crochet hook.
This will be the centre of a throw for her caravan.

Pauline bought the pattern at Duxford and made two of these door stop owls.
We all loved them.
Jenny provided the dessert for lunch but forgot her encaustic art painting that she intended bringing for show and tell. I showed a couple of quilts I have in the process of having their bindings sewn on [more about them later].
Part of my show and tell. Sewing machine machine embroidery to be made into a bag or cushion or ???

Friday, 7 April 2017

Hemsby Holiday

The first three days of the holiday were spent on my own doing not very much! Then Chris arrived on the Saturday for the weekend, which was really nice.
Sunday the family arrived and left the girls with me until the following Wednesday.
A selection of photos from the Hemsby Gt. Yarmouth holiday.
Eleanor decided to sit in every ride just for the fun on it!
This was in "our" arcade where they had fun rolling pennies in the machines and winning prizes.

Spooky fun at the Haunted house

Thank goodness there were plenty of seats around

Richard and girls with Jacq doing what Jacq always does, petting a dog.

First of three rides on the Waltzer

Bit chilly on the beach

Crazy golf was great fun

Abigail's golf ball went into the lake!

Missing Grandad !

Another trip in the Waltzer

Dodgem fun, taking it in turns to drive

Ball fun outside the chalet

Brewers Fayre meal and sharing dessert

A bumpy ride down the big slide

Reaching the bottom

Back on the dogems again!
It was a wonderful time but very tiring, sometimes I forget I'm 72 years old!

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...