Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Oooooo we're having such a fun and busy summer :) My feet don't feel like they've touched the floor in weeks ... busy, busy, busy ... thank goodness we didn't book a holiday this year, we'd never have been able to fit it in .. lol! And the weather has been good to us too ... only a week of holidays left so I feel pretty brave jinxing myself, I could cope with a week of rain ... hahaha... not, that I hasten to add do I want rain... Oooo bet I've really jinxed myself now ! ;)

Anyway, what have I been up to? Well I went to the NEC Festival of Quilts Show in Birmingham on ... I think it was the 11th, Thursday, the first day of the show :)  was all a little bit 'will we - won't we go' the night before because of the riots and problems in Manchester ... we weren't sure about catching trains in and out of Manchester to get to Birmingham. In the end we decided to go  ... no looters were going to stop me going to the show.. hahaa  ;)  Unfortunately the only snag we hit was missing our  8:27am train !!!  :(  We left home early enough but the roads in Manchester were closed and diverted because of road works and the rioters and we were just sat in traffic for ages, I was kind of resigned to going back home and missing the show, but my lovely Mr Kirby said 'its only money' (word for word quote!! lol) and told me to buy another ticket at the station ... I don't think he expected that one way ticket to cost £37 though!!   I still had my return ticket, but even so it was more than double my original ticket of £31 ...   I have learnt that its not always cheaper to buy in advance, especially if there's a chance you'll miss your train ! ;)  Fortunately the later train I caught actually only got me to the NEC only 30 minutes later than planned .. it was a faster train than my original booked one so I didn't loose any precious shopping time ... lol! The show was busy and hectic and I have to say that although I had my camera on me I didn't have any free elbow room to get it out and take photos  :(  And I desperately wanted to take a picture of a couple of ladies I kept seeing :)  hehehe. We've all seen the lovely patchwork and quilted bags that float around the shows, I love seeing 'homemade'quilt bags on the train and following them to the show doors :)  But these ladies I saw went much further ... they had patchwork trousers on! No kidding, proper patchwork squares, BIG squares, BRIGHT colours ... reeeeaaally noticeable, and I tried soooo hard to get a picture, I even followed them for a little waiting for an opportunity to snap a picture, but I think they started getting suspicious of me so I had to pretend to be looking at some fabric or something to put them off ... I gave up after that, but honestly I saw Patchwork trousers!!! :))

Guess I should show you my goodies ;) ...


Aren't they yummy?! :) I'll be honest and say that my 'haul' this year looks pretty similar to what I got last year .. lol! Some wools and threads, another African basket ... sooo cute for holding balls of valdani :)  have a closer look...
LOVE my Bonnie Sullivan book, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!!! Definitely my bestest buy  :)  And can you see that woolly bag? My next best buy :) The lady on the stall was selling it in her 'old samples' pile, she wanted £20 for it ... I almost bit her hand off I was sooo excited, I had seen the pattern last year and was tempted, but worked out the cost of the pattern and handles alone would be more than I was willing to spend , so when she only wanted £20 for an 'old sample', what could I say??? YES PLEASE!!!  :)  I also picked up some yummy warm homespun fabrics to use for backings for my various woolly projects. Next picture...


I was a bit disappointed that the Valdani stall wasn't back this year, but I still managed to scrounge some odd balls here and there, none of the complete ranges that I like to be tempted by, but some good solid usable colours :)  A handful of wool scraps was all I could find in what was a desperately woolly absence, and I was sooooo sad that 'Born to Quilt' wasn't there, my one big disappointment :(  I was really hoping she'd be back, I did think that there didn't seem to be much new this year, but maybe that's more my taste than anything else. I did struggle to find odd bits and bobs, like rusty bells and chunky wooden spools, but it was very busy I could have missed them. All in all I had a fun day out and I was sooooo pleased with my Bonnie book, worth going just to buy that :) even worth the throbbing feet and thumping headache (probably didn't drink enough during the day... ) Will I go again next year? Not sure, probably ;)

I've also been busy with my 3rd Pincushion class at the little quilt shop in Southport, I really enjoyed making these....

I love my bunny :) I chose to decorate his pillow with wool pennie flowers as opposed to the stitchery flowers the other ladies did, just felt they suited me more :) The acorn was soooo quick and easy, almost tooo easy if you know what I mean ... I only have one more class to go, and I have to be honest and say I'm not as excited about the pincushions we are making then, a traditional hexagon embroidered pincushion, and a beehive ... I know a beehive!!  I was excited until I got the 'ingredients' list and saw that it calls for a polystyrene egg!!! I think we're just covering the egg to make a beehive shape ... I should reserve judgement until I get to class!!! lol!

I have to share a little bit of sewing, not too much happening with the holiday activities in full swing ;) But I've manage to finish this pretty wool Bluebird  table runner from Primitive Gatherings' 'Summer' book ...

I just adore the blue of the bluebird and the deep rose of the flowers. It was a lovely easy relaxing sew, perfect for the holidays :)

Anything else? Oooo yes! I have been tempted for sooooo long by these gorgeous Annies that Nicole of http://www.raggedyoldannies.com/  makes and so I was cheeky and sent her an e-mail to see if she shipped Internationally .... She does!!  :))  So here are some absolutely gorgeous Annies to add to my collection ... I really should take picture of all my Annies to show you ;)  But for now meet twin sisters Annie and Frannie....

Gorgeous!! I don't know if they are twin sisters but when I unwrapped them I just saw sisters and thought Annie and Frannie, I love their long faces and long legs :) I also got these cute little tinkers...

They did have 'names' but I can't remember them, and  haven't thought of any yet, but they are sooo small and cute and adorable,  a lovely family of Annies. I'm sooo pleased with them. How daft am I to get soooo excited over a bunch of stuffed dolls ...hahahaha :) But you know what?? I don't care if I am daft, I love my Annies! :))

One last photo....

I saw this 'Wool Gatherer' sign and just HAD to have it, its nothing clever or fancy, but it just called to me, I HAD to buy it, I'm sure it was made just fro me :)  I've hung it on the chimney breast wall in the Quiet Room, appropriately under a shelf of baskets filled with woolly goodness ;) And it just makes me smile each time I see it. Sooo glad it 'called' to me ; ) ... lol!

I'm not sure if blogger is going to let me keep going, its awfully slow uploading pictures and saving text, it took over 1/2 hour to upload that last photo  :(  I could be pushing my luck by trying to share any more, I should probably quit whilst I'm ahead and come back with more later ... I have the cutest mouse and pumpkin to show that I made, and I finished my cross-stitched needle keep, and another pinkeep ... starting to get addicted to making them ...lol! So I'll play it safe and close for now, but i'll be back soon, have to show you my mouse and pumpkin, soooo yummmy! :)
Take care
 Love Wendy x


Thursday, 4 August 2011

I thought I was back :)  ??? and I thought I'd conquered Blogger ... but then guess who goes and gets me this time AOL!!!!! How many years have I been moaning on about AOL???  Forever!!  :)  We really, reeaally, reeeeeaaaally need to take the plunge and move to a new server person, but if I'm honest I'm a bit scared about doing it ... what if I loose all my e-mails and passwords and ... well all my 'stuff' !?  But after the last few weeks of being able to see that we have e-mails but not being able to open them (finally did the other day when I realized we could use the free wireless /wifi thingy-bobs from outside in the local atmosphere, and at my Mum's home ... hehehe) So now I've managed to read most of our E-mails/comments ... Thank you very muchly!  :)   Now I have to get sorted answering them, fortunately after all that messing around we've suddenly miraculously got connections again... but I am sooooo behind with bloggy reading and e-mailing, so I'm just going to start afresh from now ... but if in the future I don't seem to be responding its probably AOL again :(

We are well and truly into the summer holidays , 1/2 way through our 2nd week only 4 and 1/2 to go!! ... school's back on the 6th September ... hooorraaaayy! Truth be told so far its not been tooooo bad, the sun has been shining and we've managed to play out in the garden and enjoy the warm weather, and on days when its been a bit wet and drizzly we've gone to the Cinema, Swimming or snuggled with a DVD and a bowl of popcorn, or Doritos ( Mmmm ...  I'm lovin' my Doritos at the moment , especially heated up with  a mild salsa sauce and melted grated cheese ...yummy!)

Esther is doing fairly well coming off her Epilepsy meds, since I last wrote she has had 2 big 'Grand Mals/Tonic Clonic' seizures but they didn't last as long as previously and she's recovered better afterwards, slow going but even with those two seizures her little life is better than it was before ... now I just need to try and fatten her up ... she's soooooo skinny, poor little mite is wearing shorts and t-shirts for 8-9 year olds ... she's 13!! Abigael has been baking lots to try and help save spending pennies on cakes and biscuits ... that and we actually prefer homemade cakes :)  So I'm hoping by the end of summer Esther will have put on a bit of weight .. lol! My only problem is stopping myself eating all the goodies (& Doritos ... lol!) my hips definitely don't need encouraging ... hahaha!

The end of school went well, the Angels had lots of fun activities in class, swimming races, no sports day this year which I thought was a bit sad .. you should see my Angels go in the wheel chair races.. pushing some poor friend that's in a wheel chair ... lol! All completely safe and supervised by the teaching staff of course.. hahaa.  Miriam said goodbye to her class in Primary 1, she'll be moving up to Primary 2 in  September, she won't be top dog in her class any more, currently Mim is the only 'walker' in her class, so she get lots of 'jobs' like taking the register to the office and collecting the fruit bowl each day ... she loves her jobs :)  But she'll have to share jobs in her new bigger class. Its going to be a bit daunting for her at first but she's ready for the move and over the last few weeks before the holidays she's gone in for little bits of lessons with her new class... and besides her new classroom is only next door, if she's feeling a bit anxious she can go back and have a cuddle ;)  Esther stays in her class Senior 2 for another year and probably the next after too, she has a lovely teacher ... I think the best in the school! :) So I'm really glad there's no change for her. Esther received a lovely Photo/award from her class .. 'Horse-Woman' of the year... she goes to the stables every Wednesday and has gradually moved from hiding behind the stable door to venturing near the 'Horse of Darkness' .. a large pretend 'Black'  horse thingy that you train on before you try the real thing :)  And in the last couple of weeks she's even managed to sit on a real horse and ride slowly around the paddock! This is a major, major achievement for Esther .. it's taken her over a whole year and  a half of visits to do this. Everything from wearing the hat to being lifted onto the horse has been a very slow process, but with the love and support and expertise of her teachers and the lovely ladies at the stables she's done it .. Well done my Angel!

Jacob also didn't miss out on the awards, he was given the 'Footballer of the Year' award from his school, he didn't do too badly in his end of year school report either but I bet you can guess which he was more chuffed with .. lol! Abigael is still waiting on the results of her AS levels from her first year at College , they're due out on the 16/17 August, so a few more weeks of nail-biting yet :)   We're currently doing the rounds of visiting Universities, we did York University last week and have days booked for Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Lancaster and Newcastle yet to do so that's keeping us fairly busy.

 And talking of busy, I've been busy enjoying my 'holiday'  :)  As we are not going away this year we've chosen to have 'days-out' instead ... my days just happen to be at  my local Quilt shop :)  I signed up for a 'needle and pinkeeps' course, it runs over 4 days alternate Wednesdays through out the summer ... which is very nice because I have 'days to myself'  to look forward to without booking off a whole week. I've had two classes so far and this is what I've been doing....
The large round ball thingy :) is actually a Sue Spargo pattern for a 'Peony Bloom' Pincushion, the kids tell me it looks more like the monster plant out of  'Little Shop of Horrors' .. I think they might be right .. lol.. but I'm not telling them that ;) Yesterday we made the mouse on the strawberry and the Bumble bee, mine obviously aren't quite finished, a little bit of homework there, but not tooo much to do :)  And guess what??? I've been using ALL my own wool stash (remember all those bundles I bought on E-bay last year?) I've made all of mine out of Wool ... its woolly heaven .. lol!   I've enjoyed my classes so far, they're not overly full, about 5 ladies, all really nice and friendly, and its fun to see what fabrics everyone else is making their pinkeep/pincushions with .. I think I'm known as the woolly lady, they seem a bit bemused by me, but there again I've not been convinced by some of their fabric choices ;) ... hahaha. Two more classes to go, next I think we are making a rabbit on a embroidered pillow and an acorn , then a beehive and a more traditional hexagonal pincushion.  And I'm still continuing with my Thursday evening classes, where we just do our own thing, my next set of blocks from Primitive Gatherings for the Heart to Hand BOM's arrived at the beginning of the week so I'll just continue on with them :)

Anything else?? Oooooohh yes :)  Because I'm going to these classes I've felt my 'storage system' for some of my DMC and Valdani threads has been some what lacking !! (I've been using the plastic packets that you get 'girls' knickers in from the supermarket... they're quite strong , clear and hold quite a few balls of thread!) BUT ..... they don't particularly look that impressive, and I'd noticed that the 'ladies' all had such nice hand stitched/fabric bags ... from classes that they'd previously attended ... well I was feeling a bit 'cheap' with my plastic knicker packets, so I made myself some little bags to hold my threads ....
Nothing particularly clever but they do look better that the knicker packets .. hahaha.  I'm thinking I might need to make some more in woolly fabrics ... Oooo that would be nice :)

I didn't quite manage to get any stitchery work prepped for the holidays but instead I've been doing a little bit of cross-stitch which I've enjoyed and found quite relaxing ...


This is 'Bluebird' by 'Blackbird Designs', I'd finished one and enjoyed it so much I've stitched another just have to finish making it up now. I even used my treasured Valdani threads, the finished one in a blue variegated thread, the unfinished one in a DMC black variegated, just to see if they looked any different, I think I'll be able to tell more once I've finished the 'DMC' one , once its stuffed and tea stained it will look different :)  I'm currently trying to cross-stitch a needlebook, another 'Blackbird design' but its slow going on that 32ct fabric .. lol! 

That's about it with my sewing so far for the summer. Just before the children finished school I did a little Christmas in July swap with Shazy of  'Country Prims' Blog. I think I can show you our swapsies :)  Shazy is still on holiday with her family but I know she's busy, busy busy :) Anyway we did our swaps ... this is what I sent Shazy...
You can see I had a bit of a Gingerbread man and Tree theme going on .. hahaha .. not sure they're reeeaally Christmassy, probably needed to add a Father Christmas or such .. lol! But I think Shazy liked her gifties :)  
 Wanna see what I got :))) ??
I think I came out 'tops' :)  Shazy made me everything I love :) ... Gingerbread man, baskets, trees, snowmen, even a prim long stripey stocking and some lovely grubby candles. I LOVE them all, that woolly Ginger is sooooo cute in his long basket, the trees! Well the trees are gorgeous, Shazy is soooo good with her punchneedle, I still haven't conquered that .. lol!  And I love my Snowman pocket with his candy canes and greenery. I really have been spoilt, and I couldn't bear to put them away until Christmas so I've proudly put them in a basket in my 'Quiet Room' so that I can smile at them each day, also I like to think that it helps me be just a little bit ahead in my Christmas decorating for this year...lol  Thank you Shazy  :)  I had such great fun, I loved making up your parcel but I most definitely enjoyed receiving yours :) Its great fun doing swaps, I loved it !

Well its almost 2:30pm here, my Angels went out at lunchtime with their carers to the cinema, to see 'Horrid Henry' I think, I'd have gone to see 'Harry Potter' myself
(LOVED IT!!!)  but we've already seen it twice at the cinema this summer, and we are only in our second week .. lol!! Hubby says we have to wait to see it on DVD now ... no more 'Harry Potter' cinema trips :(  So my Angels will be home soon, full of energy and popcorn-sugar-rushes :) I should just have time to organise my sewing bag for my class tonight and maybe even get dinner ready ... Nah , forget dinner, its the holidays we can have Pizza ... out of the freezer  ;) .. lol!

I'll try and be back again during the holidays, wish me well with AOL !

Hugs Wendy x