Tuesday, 30 April 2013

One Day in May

I am looking forward to our holiday in Wales, we were there last year at the end of May and we had a week of absolutely glorious weather. It was Juniors 2nd Birthday and we spent a wonderful day at Folly Farm.

Junior was a bit overwhelmed at first.

But a ride on a tractor

And a play in the sand

More tractor time,  with Dad to lend a helping hand

More fun with Dad

15 minutes feeding and talking to these little ones

With a big hug from Auntie Fran soon had him on top form. We walked what seemed like miles , looked at all sorts of wonderful things and animals until this said it was time for home.

Folly Farm is a magical place for children of all ages, there is loads to see and do both outside and in.

Apart from the fairground rides and go carts it is free. There is plenty of space and enough places to get hot and cold food and drinks so that you never feel crowded. There are plenty of Picnic areas with tables and chairs and ample rubbish bins all around.

We went back again later in the year and will be there again this year.

I hope you enjoyed sharing this with me and if you find yourself in west Wales do pay a visit.

I have put together another photo heavy post, showing how I made the phone cases and will share this soon.
Dinner tonight is Beef Olives in a rich onion gravy with Yorkshire Pudding and vegetables, we love our Yorkies and have them with any gravy meal.

TTFN   Pam

Monday, 29 April 2013

Do You Have A Bucket List?

I read Frugal Queen's blog post last night, she made a bucket list and it got me thinking.
Do I have a LIST, the answer is 2, but could they be called a bucket list, maybe.

There are some short term things that I intend to have a bash at and some longer term goals that are on my "like to do" list. All pretty mundane, and only pertinent to me.

Short Term,
Make a Cathedral Window patchwork block.
Make a Dresden Plate Quilt.
Visit The Eden project.
Get my garden up and running, to at least the standard that it was before the floods .
Get all the clutter from every nook and cranny in the cottage, and keep it gone.
Put a Log Burner with a back boiler in the living room.
Learn to crochet, ( i hope to persuade Hard up Hester to spend a day teaching me in the school holidays)
Decide whether to make covers for our sofa or to replace it.( It is too big really but we love it)
Spend a holiday exploring Cornwall from the Lizard up.
Learn to Free Motion Quilt following a pattern.

Nothing exotic, nothing horribly expensive, all achievable. All I need to do is get cracking.

Long Term

Return to Australia to visit my "baby" brother and his family, I should have gone this year but my dog sitter is no longer around and my dogs will never go into kennels. I need to explore other possibilities.
Move to Wales, this would entail selling the cottage and will not happen until  Fran is settled in a place of her own. 
Search for and buy my ultimate sewing machine, I have narrowed it down to 4 makes and aim to do this next year. I am saving for this as it will be a big investment.
Go to California and have a meal in Guy Fieri's restaurant.
Drive Route 66
Spend a month in Italy just looking and eating wonderful food.

That is it. Again nothing exotic, nothing horribly expensive even the Route 66 can be done on a budget. The last 3 like the first all hinge on finding an acceptable dog sitter.
Once we manage to move to Wales we will have James and Cerys, Michael s son and partner on call.

Do you have a "bucket list", is it exciting? do you feel like sharing?

No photos today, we were both called in to work last night, as we had been up all day we are still a bit "jet lagged" and I could not focus.

We are having a "ding dinner" today, Curry and rice that I batch cooked a while ago, and I will make some onion bhaji's.
I hauled a joint of topside ( yellow stickered) out of the freezer and will slice it and make Beef Olives tomorrow and a casserole.
There is also 1Kg of minced beef which I will turn into food for the dogs, no shop bought stuff for them either. 

I have 3 loads of washing pegged out and the 4th has just finished spinning. Oh My, just think of the ironing. It is handy that I have 3 episodes of Paul Hollywood's TV baking program to watch.

More tea is next so it is  TTFN       Pam

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Slow Sunday

A warm welcome to my new followers, is is good to know that what I scribble entertains.

A late start to my day after our night out, we had a very pleasurable evening everybody there were our friends as well as work colleagues.
 The bowling was very funny they were all trying so hard to outdo each other and mostly failing miserably.
The food was acceptable but then you do not expect Cordon Bleu in a bowling alley. I made a huge Cappuccino Gateaux, David's favourite, which disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Fran asked me to make some quilted mobile phone covers, sometimes on the train her bag gets squashed and she wanted to protect her phone from damage.
I had a look on the web and there are lots of tutorials out there but I wanted something that was simple and quick to put together.
I had a scrap of material and wadding and without worrying to measure threw this together just to see how it turned out.

   This is how it turned out, far too big of course at 4 by 7.5 inches it is even too big for my Galaxy Note, it will come in for something.

I was quite pleased but did not like the top stitching down the sides so tried this.

Much better, I slip stitched the sides and used a hair elastic for closure. On the next one I intend to round off the corners. 
I asked Fran to look through my fabric and find some that she liked and she found 3! including the blue one above, this is now housing her phone. 
This took me half an hour at the most and I am almost as pleased with it as Fran is. I will make her the other 2 tomorrow, if anyone would like a show and tell on making this let me know and I will post it..

We are eating early today and it is in the oven now, Bacon chops from Mr S, jacket potatoes, veg for Fran and salad ( no I haven't put that in the oven) for us. I can barely wait I have the rumblies in the tumblies to quote my favourite character, the one and only Pooh Bear.

I love reading all the comments and do my utmost to answer them all. 

TTFN   Pam

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Sunny Saturday

My word how fast the weather changes, when I got up it was cold, grey and raining and looked set in for the day, out came the sewing machine and I got my apron sewn together.

 I had to do some last minute changes as I have mislaid 2 pieces, the waistband and 1 of the ties. I had a piece left over and managed to get a narrow waistband out of that and had to cut the remaining tie in half. It just means that instead of wrapping round and tying in front it ties at the back, no big deal there. I put 2 small pockets in as I prefer that to a single big one and I lined all but the skirt. I am quite pleased with how it turned out.
 This was just a way of using a random yard of fabric, that I love, with too big a print for my patchwork and I have a new apron to wear.

My second win from the April Showers Blog Hop arrived this morning, the embroidery pattern.
It is very pretty but too advanced for me. I have got a book from the library and am practicing but it is early days yet and I do not want to try to run before I can walk.

If one of you clever needlewomen out there would like this let me know and it is yours.

I have a batch of cinnamon wholewheat scones just out of the oven and a coffee sponge just in,and that will be the sum of my cooking today.

We are out tonight at a farewell dinner for a work colleague, Fran has a chicken and vegetable pot pie defrosting for her dinner. To be honest I would rather have that but I want to be at the "do" tonight to say goodbye and good luck.

Michael is in his man cave making sawdust, he is so. He is cutting up scrap wood for a friends open fire and killing 2 birds with one shot by tidying the yard as well.

.Both dogs are snoozing in the sunshine and I can not fault them, it is glorious. I will have a wander round the garden once the sponge is out of the oven.

I have new potatoes planted in tubs to check on and some trays of seedlings to fuss over, I hope to clean out the small greenhouse on Monday ready for my chilli plants and maybe an aubergine or 2 if they make it.

I have to buy tomato plants this year, I just did not make the time to search for seeds early enough but several people in the village will have plants to sell soon.

The Rhubarb is doing well and we will have some in a crumble, with some stem ginger, tomorrow for pudding.
The cake is out of the oven and I am off to tootle round the garden with the dogs, they both woke up when I shut the oven door.   TTFN    Pam

Friday, 26 April 2013

Deep in the heart of Texas

A wonderful parcel landed on my door mat today from deep in the heart of Texas. I posted about my lucky win on the April Showers blog hop and it has arrived, with company.

Here are my winnings, 2 fat quarters. I was so eager to share that I did not take time to iron them.

They were accompanied by this extra piece from the fabric range, this was a lovely surprise and it did not stop there. 

There were 2 charm squares as well, these will become the middle block of 2 cushion covers. I will use a version of the Log Cabin block so that I do not waste a single scrap.

As luck would have it I bought 2 pillow forms from Wisbech on my last visit so I am ready to get cutting and sewing.

On a completely different note, we watched 2 of Michael's DVDs last night, Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise and Hotel Transylvania. Two completely different genre and we loved them both. The first we were hesitant to buy as we all read the books by Lee Child and could not visualize Tom Cruise as Reacher, I am still not convinced but the film was still very good, lots of car chasing, menacing behavior and plenty of bad men getting their comeuppance.

Hotel Transylvania had us rolling around laughing practically from the start, I class it up there with the Madagascar and Ice Age group.

Ben was most perturbed and did his Meercat impression to try to distract us. After the third one Fran took a photo to share with you.

That photo has a mind of its own and will go nowhere except  there!

I am off to see what it is like outside, we have had sun, rain and hail so far today but at least I have been busy in the kitchen. I whizzed up some braising steak and some pork shoulder with an onion and 3 cloves of garlic added a handful of breadcrumbs and made meatballs, they have simmered in a homemade tomato sauce and are destined for the freezer, 6 meals for £3., all the meat was yellow sticker and the sauce costs the electricity to cook as all the veggies came from work as freebies.

Right, I am off outside, have a good Friday, see you tomorrow.  TTFN   Pam

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A Garden Surprise

I had a late start today, last night at work was hectic to say the least. I managed to fill the oven with cakes, the recipes came straight from Karen's blog, my kitchen smelled wonderful and as she suggested I used the same bowl for all 3 recipes. They are all cooling down and the washing up is done and dusted.

I have been pottering around in the garden and watching the leaves start to unfurl over the past week.
Once I had finished in the kitchen I took my washing to hang out and could hardly believe my eyes.
I walk past these every time I venture into the garden and there has just been a faint touch of green and then this morning POW

One of my "sort of" espaliered apples is covered in deep pink buds, it is the only one but it is in the most sheltered spot.
While taking this I glanced down, to make sure that I was on level ground, and spotted these.

This little clump of violets have popped up at the base of an Aquilegia, the colour is poor here, the sun was so strong it has bleached it. 
Once they have both finished flowering I will attempt to get the violets out and into a shadier spot, they have been donated by a kind bird as I have never had violets here before.

Michael finally decided what to have for Dinner tonight, Rib Eye steak, homemade chips and sweetcorn, as Fran does not eat corn I will cook some broccoli as well.

Then if I can squeeze some in a piece of cake and custard, I changed the Apple cake recipe slightly, I left out the fruit and put flaked roasted almonds in and added cinnamon.

That all for today, the birthday boy has got 2 books to show me and 3 DVD's which we will have a quick look at and probably watch 1 later. I can only hope that he does not want to show me how the router works. LOL

   TTFN    Pam

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Where oh where have my photo's gone

I am perplexed, I took some photos  today to post and despite sending them twice they have not landed yet, they may well be floating around in the ether having a jolly holiday. If and when they land I will post them.

I have been gardening and got to the point where I had to stop and shower, it is very muggy here today. Then I emptied a shelf of my bookcase and had a sort out.

I have 2 quilting books that I have made everything from and a craft book that is mainly cards, this was sent to me with no indication of from whom or where, as I do not make cards I wondered if anybody would like it.

I also found a small stack of dressmaking patterns that came free with Prima magazine, I was given a subscription and elected to get the patterns on the basis that someone might like them.

This program is interrupted for a news announcement

The photo's have landed safe and sound.

These have given me lots of fun but I will not use them again.

I have no idea who sent this to me,I have never made cards and although I like them paper craft has no interest for me.

If one of you out there would like either one or all let me know.

There are 4 dresses, 2 tops and a jump suit in here, I do a bit of dressmaking but I have a pile of basic patterns that fit well and I use them over and over. Again if some one out there would like them let me know.

I have made a trip to the Charity Shop to drop off the white china and a few other bits and bobs. I  have stacked all the Prima magazines ready to take to work tonight, we have a book shelf in the canteen for break time reading material.

The next job on my list is my desk, it is just a tad messy( total shambles I am ashamed of myself) just lately i have opened the top and pushed things in without even looking. Knowing full well that the crunch point would come, well it is here and now. My punctuation went a bit haywire then but not to worry.
Tomorrow is Michael's birthday, he does not know what he would like for Dinner, he does not know how he would like to spend the day, he does not know how annoying it is!
If he is not careful I will take him to a few fabric shops and let him spend some money, only part joking, lol.
I have another follower, welcome I hope you enjoy my rambles I do tend to run on a bit, after all why use 1 word when 5 is better.. Once again I blame my Granny, she was a Gaff and all of her side of the family could talk up a storm. When she and her sister Rosina were together no one else got a word in edgeways.
I better call it a day now and get Dinner on the go, once again we are having salad, ham I think. i will make a Cottage pie for Fran, she is not a lover of greenstuff, well not salad anyway.
so it is TTFN    Pam

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

And The Luck Rolls On

Blimey, perhaps someone should pinch me to see if I am dreaming
. I really like pretty china,but for a while have been using plain white for every day. I have my Royal Albert Old Country Roses and  Violetta but hesitate to use these all the time, they are just too precious to me. Last week I was pootling around on E bay and found some Royal Albert Silver Maple Leaf, a full dinner service and a tea set. I put in the minimum bid on the dinner service and today I went to collect.
The vendor had the tea set there as well, it did not get a bid, he offered it to me for half the sum he had asked. Have a shufti at this.

6 plates in 3 sizes, 6 pudding dishes, 3 serving dishes, 1 meat platter, gravy boat and saucer,
Tea Pot, sugar bowl and milk jug, Bread and Butter/cake plate and 8 cups and saucers.
I was so pleased and the astronomical sum for this little lot........£20 yup that's right, all this pretty bone china for less than a cheapo 12 piece from the supermarket.
Happy happy happy, All my white stuff is now in a box and will go to my local charity shop this week.

To make my day even brighter I had post today, not just any old post but this

This beautiful crochet shawl was made by Hard up Hester, it is going to Poland for a baby due in my birth month, May, fingers crossed for the same date, one of my former colleagues fell in love with and married a Polish boy, they made the decision to make their home there when she became pregnant.
.Although she loves the slower and simpler pace of life there are some things that are difficult to find, pretty baby clothes being top of that list. I buy 1 item every time I shop and send it to her, I find it strange that some countries will not allow second hand clothing to be sent but Baby clothes are very cheap here.
Lynne left a comment yesterday about the books that I unearthed, Frugal in Suffolk has a lot to answer to, and now I have to go "up the Amazon" in search of Kitchen in the Hills. 

Dinner tonight will be a repeat of yesterday, Salad with whatever, that is not quite true, on my way back from collecting my china I popped into Tesco and picked up a pack or 4 roasted chicken portion for £1.10 and a bag of 8 cooked sausages for 50p, this will be dinner for the 3 of us and a sausage sarnie for Fran's breakfast tomorrow and maybe a sneaky treat for Bertie and Ben.
I also snapped up the end of a ham joint for 50p and that will join 1 of the chicken pieces  in a pie.
With all the rest of the meals coming from the fridge and pantry that will give me 6 meals and a snack plus treats for the dogs for £2.10, not bad, in case SFT is reading I am still using my change fro the housekeeping and I found £1.78 in the boot of the car to eke it out.

I have a night off tonight then back in tomorrow and then off till Wednesday, the garden beckons so I need to get gloves, secateurs, pots and seeds sorted, I need the secateurs to cut twigs for the pots so the birds do not have a dust bath in them, I will put a shallow dish of dry earth out for them.

You know what comes now, don't you TTFN   Pam

BTW who used that catch phrase, I can not remember for the life of me. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Happy Monday

I am still feeling very lucky, I follow Frugal in Suffolk and for a few days now I have opened her blog up and looked at the stack of books. A little bell has chimed and I new that I had owned some of these, yesterday I turned out some boxes and a cupboard and Eureka  I have 2 of them ready to enjoy all over again,  I love old books not just for the content but for the use of language, it is amazing how our use of words and writing style have changed over the years.

I had to go into Wisbech today and never one to let an opportunity slip by I paid a flying visit to a few Charity Shops, there was a lot of tempting morsels but I found 1 perfect item.

This is a really soft double sheet, for the princely sum of £2 I  have stacks of fabric, it has a cream background and a very pale print of pink flowers with green leaves. Yes I know, I was moaning about pink and green but this is just the job for these, and there are touches of blue and lilac in there.

These are a selection of the Vintage Sheet Charms that I bought from Mary Emmens, I got them through her blog a few weeks ago and have been looking for the right fabric to display them and now I have it. Win win.

Waiting for me to unwrap when I got back from the shops was a nice parcel from Amazon,

I have been lusting after this book since it was released, but I waited until the price was right for me,
it is full of all the basics so perfect for a beginner. There is a list of projects and all use scraps of various sizes I love it

This is a book for next winter, once it becomes dark and dreary and too cold to be outside much I will be sorting through my scraps and making plans, possibly buying fabric, make that definitely buying fabric. There is no way that I will have enough scraps to make these, but most of what I buy will be remnants or Charity Shop finds. That is unless my Fairy Godmother springs into action and magics me up some.

Right my tea is now cold and I am ready for a cuppa so it is TTFN    Pam

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sunday Morning Quilty Thoughts

First of all I would like to say welcome to Anne, I am a few days late but sometimes my mind does not just wander it leaves altogether.

I gave you a sneaky peak at ny proposed Scrap Vomit Quilt yesterday, well things have moved on apace.

These are a few of the 2 1/2 inch squares sewn into 4 patch blocks and I like them, they are not too loud or dull, a new venture for me, I am a bit of a control freak and there is no control here.

Then I did this.

OH NO, Dull dull dull, I did not like this at all.

I am not about to unpick, these will become pot holders with a thick layer of insulating batting and a backing fabric to brighten them up.

If anyone would like one let me know.

 That sound terrible, I only need 2 as I have some that I purchased from The Silver Sewer and love them. So there will be 2 up for grabs.

Earlier this morning I was indulging in a little blog hopping and happened upon the messyjessecraft blog. She was doing a show and tell on what she called her "Little House on The Prairie" quilt. Very Pretty . I shamelessly stole her idea and came up with this


I have just laid the 4 patch blocks out on a light but low volume background fabric. I am almost there. I will pull some more fabrics from the stash and try them out, I may choose something with a slightly darker background or I may go for a solid. On the other hand I may pick 4 fabrics and make 8 patch blocks.
I will keep you posted.

I had to have the picture quite large to show the different effects, for some reason I can not rotate them today.

I was going to prattle on about random thoughts but this has taken over, there are a few things that I would like to share though.

I am feeling particularly lucky today

 I do not have to choose between warmth or food.
I do not have to slog away in a job that I detest so that I can pay my bills.
I am able to save for the things that I may want or need in the future.
I live in a warm comfortable home that is mine.
I am surrounded by love and friendship every day of my life.
I am literate and numerate, giving me infinite opportunities.

I could go on but there is no need, I am sure that you see where I am coming from.

Happy Sunday to you all.   TTFN    Pam

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Waste not, Want not.

We normally eat our meals at the table but every now and then we have a "movie" night with a couple of DVD,s and a buffet dinner. I set out all the dishes on the table and we have a tray on our laps.
I used a load of strips left over from another project ages ago to make tray cloths, I got 6 out of the scraps. Yesterday I was turning out one of my plastic boxes of bits and bobs and found 12 orphan blocks. 4 were  HST left over from a quilt and cushion covers and the other 8 I made as an experiment. I was not over impressed and put them away for future work, then promptly forgot them.

This morning I gave them a quick press and found a piece of material for backing and set to sewing. before I do the show and tell I have to tell you that the trays we use are different sizes so more by luck than judgement I managed to get 3 cloths that almost perfectly match the tray sizes.

Here they are on the ironing board and you can clearly see the 3 sizes.

These are the 2 smaller sizes, if you look closely you will see that the pin wheel points do not match, a case of more haste less speed but I did not bother to unpick, they are scrap tray cloths after all.

This is the largest, to get the size that I needed I cut the backing over sized and wrapped it round to form a self binding border.

I am almost to the end of the pink and green stash and if truth be told I am glad, it is becoming too repetitive and just a touch boring.

Just in front of the machine you will see the leaders and enders that will make my "scrap vomit" quilt, I will show more tomorrow and of course you can see the normal clutter that comes when I sew.

Dinner tonight will be Roast chicken, potato wedges with sweet and normal potatoes and salad , can hardly wait, when i get the urge to sew i do not eat, just can not spare the time. Perhaps I should sew 5 days a week, all day, no need to watch what I eat then, I could have a day on Ben & Jerry and a day on cake, maybe not. 

In those immortal words. That's all Folks.   TTFN   Pam

Friday, 19 April 2013

Let there be light, but which light?

It is Time, I have to admit to myself that I need a good craft light to sew by, I have mentioned before that my eyes are fine in sunlight but as soon as it is grey I  struggle to see fine details.
I have looked at loads on line, from £6.99 to "How Bloody Much" and upwards. I do not want a magnifying glass on it, I do not want a floor standing model, I do not need to pay for a "name", I do not want it to whistle Dixie. I just want a clear light that is flexible so I can point it where I need light

Can anyone suggest a model, perhaps some one out there has the perfect light, please share.

This will be a photoless post as my phone, which is so big you can not really forget it is in my locker at work. My camera, which is now working perfectly, will not talk to the lap top. Until my lovely friend, the camera wizard who also knows about 'puters can have a shufti I am banjaxed.

I had another gentle night at work and could not sleep when I came home, I just was not tired so I read my Emails and caught up on some Blog reading and got through a chunk of a book. Can not do washing as it has been raining on and off since 4 this morning.

I dug some Haddock out of the freezer and with some mashed potato and left over cheese sauce from last night, I just made too much, we now have fish cakes sitting in the fridge firming up, I will flash fry them and then into the oven for 20 minutes, a tray of potato wedges and salad and dinner is sorted.

I have been going through my kitchen cupboards and there is only 1 item that was in the way, a small slow cooker that I have been shuffling around for ages. I was whining about it last night and one of the chaps said he would like it so now it has been re homed, making my cupboard space tidy.

Michael has been in his Man Cave building a work top over the existing one giving him the right height to work on and thus creating a storage space for more Boys Toys. he will soon come in with a flurry of sawdust heading for the shower. He is working tonight while I will be either reading or doing a bit of hand sewing while I watch some "chewing gum for the brain" on the telly.
It is now getting close to the time I need to be in the kitchen so it is TTFN    Pam

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I checked my emails today to find that I have won 2 fat quarters of a beautiful print from Texas. I entered a giveaway in the " April Showers Mug Rug" blog hop and won this,

This is the Bluebonnet, the national flower of Texas, I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and intend to buy some yardage, I won this on the  More Stars in Comanche blog, I often follow these blog hops and when I am a bit more confident (and have the time) I will take part in one, perhaps there is a UK blogger who is in the know who would be able and willing to host one.
I have it in mind to make these into mug rugs in the spirit of the theme and then perhaps have a little giveaway competition.

I have been to Lynn and got the bulb for the Toyota and got the little Janome sorted so I am all set for sewing but it will be tomorrow.

Dinner tonight is a pack of the bacon chops, I have put them on a bed of diced onion and apple, spread them with some wholegrain mustard and drizzled Maple Syrup over. They will go into a moderate oven for an hour covered and then I will bang the heat up and cook them on for about 20 minutes uncovered, we will have baked sweet potatoes and cauliflower cheese with them.

While I was in Lynn I took the time to buy Michael his birthday gift, I know what he would like and I found it with no problem it is now in hiding, he reads the blog via email so I will just delete it from his in box before he sees it.

I hope that they spend many happy hours together in his "man cave" AKA the shed.

I have to make this a quickie as I have a hot date that will not wait

I will happily press every seam that I sew and every piece of fabric however small but I hate, loath and detest ironing, I have to iron just about everything and I have to do it properly, my granny again, I can feel her looking over my shoulder if I skimp on it. TTFN   Pam

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Grey Day Grey Mood

I woke early this morning to grey skies and a damp feeling to the air, I put washing on the line anyway as a good blow through helps to soften it.
Pootled round the kitchen while the kettle boiled and put the small slow cooker on, 4 carrots, 1 white onion, 2 sad leeks and a chunk of swede all diced about 1 inch, joined by a beef cheek cut into bite sized bits ( no I did not just cut in half cheeky) whoops unintended pun. an oxo cuke and enough hot beef stock to cover, that will sit and simmer for dinner, I will throw some dumplings on top about 30 minutes before we want to eat, I forgot to say that I added a finely diced potato which will break down and thicken the gravy. Then I made some sourdough up and put to prove.

2 more cups of tea and I am human, Bertie joined me in the kitchen and his cupboard love was rewarded with a sliver of meat and a piece of carrot. Ben is still flat out snoring but he did get up at 4:30 when Michael got in from work and stayed up till I came down.

I am off to the post office soon, Dreamer is having the 9 patch blocks and I have a gift to send to Malaysia, one of the joys of working for a multi national company is that you end up with friends all over the world, the furthest away are in East Timor, the postage costs are dreadful so I am very careful about weight, this time I sent 1 of my bags.

I had a quick read through the local freebie paper and it is astounding how many new restaurants, grills and snack bars are opening up, have they not heard that we are in a recession and that people are losing their homes and families are struggling to feed themselves. There seems to be an equal number of food banks opening up.

My grey mood is simply my own fault, I could not settle to hand sewing last night so I set up my small machine to have a stab at some FMQ, not too bad but when I came to raise the feed dogs it would not happen. I took the bobbin cover off and took the bobbin housing out to have a look, no idea could not see a thing, putting it all back together I managed to crack the bobbin cover, in full clumsy clot mode I dropped the cover and then stood on it, it was not lying flat so with my not inconsiderable weight it cracked. Aha I thought I will set up the quiltmaster beastie, the bulb has fused and it was my last one. I can not sew on either till I get to the machine shop in Lynn and that will not be till Thursday.

To cheer myself up I took a photo of a quilt that I finished in early March, it was made with leftover blocks from a pair of quilts that were a wedding present last year.

This is going to Lithuania in June, I do not have to post it, one of my colleagues is going home for a visit and this is a present for her sister who used to work with us. you may have noticed that pink and green are present in much of my work, I bought a stack of fabric from a closing down sale several years ago, most of it was in those colours. You may have also noticed that I do not faff around tidying up before taking photos, if I am working I need all the gear set up ready to use, especially the ironing board, I press every seam and spray starch some pieces before sewing. the iron is almost as essential as the sewing machine.

I have decided what I will be making with the fabric that I won from Frantic and will be making a start as soon as I have a machine up and running, and I will do a show and tell.
I need to get to the PO so it is TTFN   Pam

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Baby quilt blocks and other tales

A while ago I made a stack of 9 patch blocks for a baby quilt, in a mixture of pastel shades and white. These are a dream to strip piece and I got carried away, 2 crib quilts, 2 cot quilts and a receiving blanket later I still had some blocks left, they are 6 inch square. I have 22 and if anyone would like them I will gladly send them off, made up with alternate white or pastel solid squares they will make a decent size cot quilt. There is no catch I just can not see me ever using them, after 4 repetitions it would be a step too far.

I have had a good morning in the garden giving the Pyracantha  a hair cut, in return it gave me a few decorative scratches, I will be stuffing it through the shredder tomorrow, that'll learn it!

I had to run an errand into Wisbech this morning, I drive along the 1101 and it has a notorious accident black spot. several people have lost their lives and many more been injured. That stretch is 40 and the rest is 50 MPH.

I have no need to hurry and there was a lot of slow moving traffic,  visibility is good and most of the time you can see well ahead. Just as I reached mid point of the danger zone a motorbike came up from behind, I estimate that he was travelling at 80 MPH, I used to ride a bike myself so this is not a wild guess. He had to pull out and pass 5 vehicles 2 of them lorries, he had no choice he had no time to slow down. There was no accident this time thanks to our 5 slowing down and the driver coming towards us pulling onto the grass verge to let him through.

I see many bikers on the road and for every good rider I see 10 idiots with a death wish, then when the TV is on some moron tells me that car drivers do not see bikes and kill or maim riders daily....Think Bike.. is the slogan, I feel that it should be ...BIKER THINK. When I had lessons the first thing we were told is that when a biker hits any thing the Bike almost always loses.
I am no pussy, I did a ton down the Acle Straight, with 2 up on my Triumph Bonneville, but the road was clear, it was early on a Sunday morning in the summer and I hasten to add I was stone cold sober. I only did it the once  no need to repeat.

The hedges and verges round here are golden with daffodils, these are from the small bulbs that get thrown, they are deemed too small to plant, and some get through the riddler and are discarded with loose soil and stones. However they get there they brighten up many car journeys, and then you see a car pulled onto the side and some selfish git picking them. I do not think it is illegal, they are not a protected wild flower, it is just a shame that once picked no one else can enjoy them.

I have vowed to buy no more fabric until Bonnie & Camille's new line Happy Go Lucky is available in yardage, it is out in precuts but I only buy them when on sale price, I think that I have another month to wait
and then I will have to buy from the US as I want most of the range. This is for a special project and I still have not decided which pattern to use, the problem is the more I look the more indecisive I am. If I had a mind I could make it up.
 Plus there are some very pretty fabric lines coming out now and I have some vintage sheet squares talking seductively to me and I am still only chipping away at the edges of my scrap stash. In my book anything smaller than a fat quarter is a scrap, I then divide them into small, medium and large, strips, squares and others. It sounds complicated but it works for me, I love scraps they are so versatile, some times it is scary to cut into a large piece just to get a 2 1/2 inch strip.

Dinner tonight will be pasta with a sauce of leeks, bacon and smoked cheese and a salad, 20 minutes start to eating, just the job, then I will settle down with some hand sewing. I cut out 50 hexies last night and am making large flowers to applique I think. I have 2 episodes of Paul Hollywood to drool over.

We watched the new Hobbit dvd on Sunday evening, it was good but the first 10 minutes or so gave me a strong feeling of "I have seen this before", I think that it must be word for word the same as an earlier version. The dishy Sean Bean was a tasty addition, but he was sooooooo lurvely as Richard Sharpe, I had to shake my head a time or two kept seeing him in his uniform.

I went to Dunelm Mills a while ago and bought some really pretty fabric, I dug it out last night while looking for something else, it is light home dec weight and quite wide, it was for cushion covers but looking at it I may be seeing a skirt, and then a cropped jacket to wear with jeans. It is 100% cotton and washable and was £8 a metre, so I had 3.

  I was looking for my quilting pins goodness knows where I have put them, I am sure that I have a Gremlin in the house, when what I need is a House Elf, oh dobby where are you ?
I think I have waffled on enough so it is TTFN   Pam

Monday, 15 April 2013

Marvelous Monday Meanderings

I am a bit late posting today, Marina and I went out on a jolly. We went to Market Deeping, had a little tootle round the shops and then headed for the garden center.
The prices are horrendous but we were just looking and picking up ideas, I did buy some seeds that were reduced, all flowers, I am going to mix them together and sprinkle them in any bare spot in my garden.
It was a lovely sunny day so I packed a lunch and we found a comfy bench in the sun to enjoy it, them retreated to the cafe for a pot of tea. Altogether a good day out, the tea came in a big pot with extra hot water and a little dish to tip the dregs from the cups, I have not seen that for ages.

I have been sewing up odds and ends of charm packs and using remnants of fabric over the weekend. I had 2 swaps to send off and came up with these.

They all vary slightly, the front center one has iron in interfacing and long handles, that has  gone to America,
the brown/orange one is padded and stitch in the ditch quilted and has gone to Canada.

The green one is the first one that I made and is a keeper it is padded and quilted about every 2 inches, it is destined to hold my scissors and rotary cutters when I am sewing, I tend to put them down just to have them vanish.

The blue one is the same construction as the brown but had padded handles. They are all 13 inches wide by 10 inches tall with a 3 inch boxed bottom.

This is a birds eye view, as you can see my scissors are there waiting. The front one has a stack of charms in that I thought I had lost till I looked at the photos, they are very simple, no zips, no pockets but very useful.
I made one a week ago for a colleague's daughter to carry her books in, have you seen the price of satchels, I used some material from a "Hello Kitty" pillow case  that I found in the CS.

The piece of flowered material in the background is part of what I hope will be a full apron, I am making it up as I go and will post it warts and all later.

I am off now to get the washing in, the wonderful Michael did a load and even pegged it out for me, and he made dinner, no photos we were running late. TTFN  Pam


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Sad on Sunday

I had the saddest news last night, my lovely friend and neighbour Marina has been diagnosed with Leukemia, it is incurable. The doctors are monitoring her blood levels and she may be given chemotherapy at some point. at the moment her bloods are level and she is coping well.

She has come to terms with this as best she can and is looking to being reunited with her beloved husband .
 We shed a few tears and shared some "do you remember" giggles.  We vowed to enjoy as much time together as we can.

Once she left we chatted for a while and then settled on the sofa, Michael snored through whatever Fran was watching on the TV, I read some emails and some blog posts. Bertie was snoozing on his bed Ben picked up on the vibes and tucked himself close to me.

Suddenly he sat up and focused totally on Fran,

He then turned himself round in one hop to do this

Which quickly became this

seconds later he was lying across me on his back demanding my undivided attention, Fran was now doing the dying fly and incapable of taking another pic.

He is such an affectionate dag and his antics eased the tension and we finally went to bed in a relaxed frame of mind. 

I have photos of my sewing and will post it tomorrow. TTFN  Pam

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Simple Saturday Sewing

What a funny start to the day, when I got up it was sunny, on went the kettle and the washing machine. Tea made and drunk, quick run through the shower. Kettle on again I looked  out of the window and it was grey drizzle. I had some more tea and a mumble and mutter about said weather and thought Quilt Shop, so off to Wisbech, parked on the Horsefair and the clouds went and the sun came out so I had another little mumble etc.
The quilt shop had just the batting that I needed, at a very good price, so I got enough to last me a while. 
I had a little excursion into a couple of shops and picked up an outdoor electric extension lead for the chipper before driving home, popped into Asda for some coffee that is on offer.

Another cup of tea and out with the sewing machine. I made a charity quilt a while ago and made far too many blocks. There were not enough to make a full size quilt but just enough for a snuggle size, I had some deep pink minky to back it with so no wadding needed.
This was the result

I am sorry for the poor picture but I am missing my quilt holders, she is shopping and he is chipping at the bottom of the garden.
The blocks are disappearing four patch in shades of pink and was a rushed job and the Minky was a nightmare to sew, but it is so good to snuggle under, Bertie loves it and it was in a post earlier with him snoozing deeply.

I am still getting on with the padded tote bags and cushion cases. Miss Opie won one from me and it will be in the post on Monday, I hope that she likes it.

I was lucky enough to win some fabric from Frantic Antic and it arrived yesterday, it is lovely.
as soon as this lot of sewing is done I will be using every scrap.

We are having a lazy dinner tonight, Sausage, egg and chips homemade in the oven. Roast Chicken tomorrow with Yorkshire Pudding, roasties and lots of veg., I might make stuffing as well with some sausage meat and bacon in it. Then some can find it's way into a pie later in the week. I think I have talked myself into that!

That's it from me for now, tea break is over and the sewing is calling me, BTW it is now raining, 
at least the weather is not boring just a bit Bloody Minded. TTFN  Pam

Friday, 12 April 2013

Feel Good Friday

Work went well last night, I managed to get away at 4:00 this morning and got home at 4:15, the dogs were very pleased to see me home so early. A cup of tea and a fuss with the dogs and time for bed.
Not tired, tossed and turned, Michael was like a bump on a log and snoring gently. Then the dogs picked it up and started to move around so I threw in the towel and got up.
I could not sit still so had a ponder in the kitchen and decided to tidy the dresser. There used to be a larder in an alcove but it was too small and no room to move about in and too big to just reach in to the shelves so we took it out.
On the end wall there is the dresser  that Michael made, to the left is a shallow open shelving unit which he also made and on the right is a trolley that houses the Ding Oven, the big Slow cooker, saucepans and pyrex dishes.
I chose to have curtains on the base as there is not a great deal of room for doors to open, plus I had the perfect material. this holds and hides all my baking paraphernalia and   large containers of flours, rices and pastas.
The shelves hold spices, dried herbs, pulses etc in clear containers so that I can see at a glance what is getting low. My cook book rest lives there and my cake stand, there are 3 jars of coffee at the moment, there has been 12, I only buy when it is half price or close.
On the top I store my large plastic cake boxes, they are tidy and within easy reach when I need them.
Around the shelves I have hung some of our mug collection, I change these around every so often, we must have 50 or more!
There are still some things on there that need rehoming, that is the trouble with a flat surface, it just asks to be filled. 
I hope you enjoyed this little snap shot of my life, all I need in my kitchen to make it perfect for me is four times the space and a four oven Aga, oh and and old fashioned kitchen table big enough to baste a quilt on. In other words I want my grannies kitchen.

On  an even happier note, a belated welcome to Angelsey Allsorts, I have been reading your blog for a while now, I just love your hat.

Ben seems fine, he does not like taking his pills, they are huge, but wrapped in a sliver of meat they become quite desirable it seems.

I am off to my sewing. TTFN.  Pam