Friday 28 November 2014

Another glorious day

This morning brought forth a bright blue sky with fluffy cotton wool clouds, just enough to look pretty, a few that were spread out like angel wings and some, stretched so thinly that they looked like the angel hair Christmas Tree decoration that my Mother loved so much.
My car went in for its winter service, I took Ben with me and after dropping it off we enjoyed a leisurely walk. Once we returned he was ready for his breakfast. I had bought a huge turkey drumstick for just over  £1 yesterday and cooked it last night. I pulled enough meat of it to add to his food for a week, some went into the freezer in day sized portions.

I would say from the well polished food dish that he enjoyed it immensely. I sewed the morning away and Ben snoozed, at 12.40 the garage rang and my car was ready. Off we toddled, after I had wasted 5 minutes looking for the car keys that were with the car!
We got back and Ben announced that he was now ready for his walk. Off we went again, we walked up through the village and stopped to collect Archie and Dolly, the 3 of them like to walk together.

I managed to get a load of washing dried on the whirligig, iron dry in the most part. As the day wore on the clouds cleared and the sky took on that pale, washed out blue that probably means a frost. I looked down the valley towards the mountains, they are clad in swathes of purple heather that is faded and patchy now. Hanging above them was a thick band of cloud, almost a total copy of the heather colours. They looked, for all the world, like 3 day old bruises, but on a grander scale.

It is that sort of scene that convinces me that I need to get a decent camera, I almost decided to hop in the car and head for town when I remembered...... BLACK FRIDAY..... Just about the worst day in the year to make a serious purchase.
 I once witnessed the first day of Harrods White Sale, many many years ago and it is imprinted on my mind. I saw 2 grandly dressed women fighting over a bedspread, they managed to rip it in half. I left, fast, as they started on each other.

I do not do "the sales", well not until the last couple of days, then if I feel so inclined I will have a quick look. I have picked up a few real bargains, my lovely purple winter coat, pure wool and reduced down to a silly price. That was in Carmarthen last year, I also found a black and white hounds tooth one in London 2 years ago. I will not need another coat for the foreseeable future.

I am taking Maggie out tomorrow, we will head for Cross Hands as I have not been into Isabeau Inspirations for ages. The we will make up our minds where next, possibly Llandeilo as I have been told about a wool shop there.
On the subject of wool, I have ordered the yarn for my poncho and will be on tenterhooks until it arrives.
I have no photos today, I have done nothing much but sewing and I am sure that you are bored witless with that by now.

The "brick" quilt will be full single bed size and once it is quilted and bound I will share. I have 2 more cushion fronts done, using the left over bricks. The backing fabric in draped over the ironing board now, waiting for a meeting with ruler and rotary cutter.

That sounds like my cue to get of my btm and get busy.

I hope that you all have a good weekend.

                TTFN                                                  Pam

Thursday 27 November 2014

Not another lost day.

No, not this time. I was about to settle down with the lap top when I had a visitor and after a lot of chatting, laughter and a small lake of tea it was too late. Ben was champing at the bit for his walk and there was washing up and other boring stuff to do. It did not help that we met up with a neighbour and her little dog and went back for ..... yup, more tea and chat.

I am still playing with the scraps, but had a break from the Christmas fabrics for an hour.

These little cases hold a pair of glasses or make up, anything you care to put in them really. I have the pretty little flower buttons and that striped ribbon for the fastenings. The ribbon was a little "thank you" extra in my last order to "Pretty fabric and trims" they have lots of lovely haberdashery, and fabrics, on their site. I often have a look but have to restrain myself.  I have quite a bit of flowery fabrics and may make some bigger versions.
I enjoyed my time with the pinks but the Christmas pile was looming, so I pulled some charms and a few jelly roll strips and ran some cushion tops up.

I have 2 each of these and will make simple pillowcase backs for them from the bigger pieces.

This one is for Francesca, I will put a zip closure in so that it is reversible. I have not decided on the back yet.
I still have loads of jelly roll strips and wanted to try something a bit different, I cut them into 6" lengths and cut some of those in half.
Then I did a bit of brick laying, so to speak.

A birds eye view of the first 5 rows, they have not been pressed yet.

This close up shows the colours better, and the layout. I was aiming at a 36" by 46" toddler quilt but got carried away with the rotary cutter, so it will end up a bit longer, cot size. I have some soft greens and cream fabric to back it with and will probably make a scrappy binding.
Dinner last night was lasagne, a one pot wonder version full of peppers, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs. I made one for Maggie so she has a ding dinner tonight. Five a day without trying. Tonight I have Chicken in a garlic sauce with sweet potato and parsnip oven chips and mushy peas, not 5 a day but I have a bowl of fresh fruit to munch on.
My car is booked in for a winter service tomorrow, a month later than normal, just another result of my decaying memory.
I have read about the poncho in this months Simply Crochet, and once I saw what Daisy Jones and Lucy Croft were doing I jumped on the band wagon. I have the pattern, I have the hooks and I am shopping for the yarn later, Wool Warehouse, here I come.
 The oven needs my attention so,
       TTFN                                                         Pam

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Where did my day go.

I spent all yesterday quite convinced that it was Sunday, right up till around 9. 00 last night when the penny dropped. Somewhere over the last 3 days I managed to lose 1, if you see it about do send it back.

I have beavered away at the sewing, that sounds wrong, it is not work it is play and fun to boot.

I did get laundry and bed changing done but the vacuum stayed in the cupboard, there is another day tomorrow not even touched yet.

I found a small pile of 5" charm squares and some coordinating jelly roll strips, so after a bit of thinking I made these.


The bottom right bag has a shaped bottom, I followed a method by Debbie Shaw. I found it fiddly and did not really like the end result. I prefer boxed corners, I will make some larger bags another day and box them, ideal for larger gifts.
I found some small orphan blocks from last year, I was trying out an idea for tree blocks. I did make them in the end but on a white background, there were 6 so I turned them into 3 small drawstring bags.


I used 10" layer cake squares so the fabrics are reversed on either side.  I bought most of this at less than half price at a closing down sale and the rest was a giveaway.
The of course just as I sat down to write this Ben came in, I was in His place so he threw himself on the other sofa and sighed deeply.

He is so hard done by. Just look at that face.
I must fly, the oven is on and the timer just pinged.
 TTFN                                                                     Pam

Monday 24 November 2014

Scrumtious .Saturday Sewing

I had a ball playing with my Christmas fabric stash, once I had found it that is. It used to live in the ottoman, but a while ago I went through it and emptied 2 storage boxes into it and moved my fabric. But Where To? I searched the house and came up with a big fat zero, so threw myself on the sofa to sulk think, and Eureka a flash of light penetrated the thoughts of chocolate and clotted cream that where swirling round my mind. It Is Under the Sofa. I should say now that my sofas have big storage compartments under the seats, that is the main reason that I bought them.

3 big bags where duly hauled out and the creamy choccy daydreams went in the bin.

I then had the pleasure, and I mean that, of sorting through them and making my selection. I had seen a Missouri Star Quilt Co tutorial 2 days before and planned on having a go.

First I had to select 40 different fabrics and cut 4 x 2 1,2" squares from each.

4 nice little stacks ready to play with.
Then I had to find some fabric for lining and backing.

I did not need all of this but I wanted to see just how many large pieces that I had.
A few pleasant hours of stitching, pressing and more stitching later, interspersed with dog walking and feeding. Not to mention my dinner. This is what I have.

Christmas Stockings, assembly line style. The fabrics in each one are identical but are arranged differently.

The cuff was made from red felt as I thought that it looked good, and I have a really big piece from a CS for £1.00 at least 2 years ago. The backing is different  from the lining as I had some odds of green solid scraps to use up. I am very pleased with these and see at least another 4 in my near future, 3 of these will go to Cardigan for the grands and their cousin Faith, I do try to include her in all my makes. The others will go wherever they end up, I have no plans but they are a joy to make.
Next on my list are some drawstring gift bags with pockets on the front. It is nice to have a pocket to tuck a little something in and I have some squares that should be just the ticket for them.
I promised/threatened a photo of my sea side ripple, and here it is, as you can see Ben has arranged the cushions to his taste and comfort.

I have left the ripple ends as I like them, I have done a simple edge of 2 rounds of dc but may add to that later. On my next one I plan on half trebles to give a fairly solid border, hark at me, I have too much sewing planned to get the hooky going.
Whist rootling under the sofa for the Christmas fabric I found 4 cushion pads that I squirreled away earlier. Handy as I want some more cushions now that I have 2 sofas, that is what some of the 9 patch blocks from yesterday are destined to become.
There was a real frost this morning, ice everywhere, it is still freezing in the shade, but the sun is shining and I have 2 loads of washing out on the whirligig, it may not get dry but it will be so much fresher for being out.
On that note I may just go and scoop Ben up for a walk before I make a start on cutting some bags out. I must earn my playtime, I enjoy it so much more then.
Leisha, if you look closely at the stockings you should see some of the fabric that you gave me.
       TTFN                                                              Pam

Sunday 23 November 2014

Whew, time for a break.

Boy oh boy its good to be back, tip tapping at the keyboard, I have been beavering my way through the stash mountain. I did have one gap when I wrapped and posted the giveaways off.

I did tell you that I made an extra project pouch as so many asked to be in the draw, here it is.

This has gone off to Canada, as Julie has just been blessed with a new Granddaughter I added a little fabric, hopefully patterns that are not on sale there.

I made this case for Francesca, her tablet should fit in it, I must remember that I still have not made her new phone pouch.
I have said many times that the scrap stash has to be dealt with so I put the laptop away, pulled my socks up and tied my hair back.
I took 2 plastic storage boxes down and emptied them on the dining table. I pressed and cut, stitched and pressed, trimmed, measured and stitched and pressed the hours away.
I also found time to make and drink several small lakes of tea and to cook and eat some yummy soups.
This is what I have to show for it.

30 x 9 patch blocks half way there.

50 x 9 patch blocks done and dusted.

What feels like several hundred scraps sewn into strips and blocks. These will end up in my crazy patchwork.

This large project pouch is destined to go to Australia for Leisha, the outside is from the wonderful fabrics that she sent me a while ago, while the lining is my crazy patchwork. I have a few more bits to go with it but it will be on its way soon.
In between all that activity I have been walking Ben the length of the village, it takes us 15 minutes to get into the little shopping centre in Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen. The Post Office has opened a counter in the largest shop ( there is a bakery instore and the goods are soooo yuumy) so I do what ever needs doing and Ben has a little rest then we walk back. The return journey always takes at least twice as long as he likes to dawdle along, smelling all the things that dogs like to smell and greeting everybody that we meet.
We have had some lovely warm days with a little sun shine and of course quite a bit of rain. My grass needs a cut but it is too wet at the moment, fingers crossed for a couple of dry days.
I harvested all the hot chillies (47) from my tall straggly plant and have cut it back to around 9" tall. I am hoping to nurse it through the winter and get a head start for next years crop. My trio of small chilli plants are doing well and I am using the fresh fruit from them, just taking 2 from each plant every week. The sweet pepper plant is still producing and there are 6 peppers coming along, 1 will be cut later today.
My sea side ripple blanket is finished and on the sofa, I will put a photo on the blog, I have to say that I love it and so does Ben. I do have wool for another but that will wait for a few days, my arms and shoulders need a break from the weight and the warmth of armfuls of crochet.
I read Paidinchickens written by Julee Grey, she lives in Lincolnshire, miles away from where I moved from. She often writes about the cats that she looks after for the Lincoln Cat Care. They do lots of good work and have a shop in Lincoln that always needs donations to sell. They are also always in need of those cheap fleece blankets, on sale in loads of places, for the cats in their care.  They are soft and warm and so easy to wash and dry.
 If any of you live in the area and have a few bits and bobs looking for a home do take the time to drop them in. look at my blog list and find her, pop in for a look and contact her, there is a chance that she could collect stuff if you are not too far away.
I have a link to their Amazon wish list but have no idea how to put it on the blog.
If anyone would like to donate I am sure that Julee will help you, just as she did me. When they have the funds they also help to cover the cost of neutering cats for those who are struggling, anyone whether they are working or not. There are many thousands of people working as hard as they can and still slipping backwards whilst trying to house, fed and clothe their families.
I have to finish my tea and get Ben out for a walk then it is nose to the grindstone again. No, not really, today I am going to make a start on my .......wait for it.........Christmas fabric stash. I thought that I better whisper that, you never know who may be listening and I have pressies to make.
   Have a good weekend, think of me, slaving over a hot iron and sewing machine, tea....cake.. who me...... well maybe just a little.
      TTFN                                                          Pam

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Winner, Winner and Winner

Hello, good evening and welcome, I am full of chicken noodle soup and feeling fine.

I have done the 2 draws, with the help of Archie and Dolly's owner.

The book goes to Marlene at Simply Living, congratulations Marlene, I hope you get lots of fun from it.

The Project pouch goes to  Jo at Through The Keyhole, and as I made 2 the second goes to Julie at My Little World. I hope that you both find a use for them.

If you all send me your snail mail I will get them packed and posted.

Thank you all for taking part, I hope that you will all enter the next one, I am already planning on more scrappy makes, I must get that stash used, there is still a lot to work through. I managed to find another 2 plastic boxes full.

     TTFN                                                           Pam

A quick popup post

Just to let you all know that I am still here. I foolishly agreed to help Maggie declutter her bedroom. Then compounded the error by saying "Yes of course we can do it in one go"   Hmm 20 years worth of saving, just in case! It was a heavy day,  followed by 2 days of mind numbing painkillers. They do a good job but render me unable to string a decent sentence together, good job I keep home made meals in the freezer as I dare not cook either. I have ruined a few meals in the past.
Anyway, I hit the floor running this morning. Ben has had 2 good walks, on the second one I took Archie and Dolly with us.


Their owner is a bit shaky on his legs at times and they needed a good walk, Archie gets a bit much at times his energy levels are very high. If only it could be bottled and sold. Dolly is more chilled but still likes a good walk.
I have all the names so far and will do both the draws later, you have around 2 hours to get in. You have to be in it to win it. Because so many of you wanted the pouch I made another slightly smaller to add in.
     I will be back later.
                  TTFN                                                  Pam
BTW, I have a slow cooker full of Chicken soup on the go, some of which will be having noodles added for dinner, the house smells wonderful.

Saturday 15 November 2014

Panic stricken in Wales

My day went from bad to VERY BAD in one simple step this morning. I started by slinking gingerly onto the bathroom scales, Ouch and double Ouch, exit stage left PDQ. down to the kitchen for some restorative tea on with the light and Schreech there it was, sitting on the worktop just in front of the combi oven.

It had me diving for bleach, disinfectant and a large hammer until reason set in and I gave my specs a quick wipe over, phew a seed.
 I do not like rodents of any shape, size or form. How any right minded person ( other than small boys) can want pet rats in the house is beyond my comprehension. I also include the pretty fluffy creatures, I like them but not indoors.
I know that I have Ben but he does not walk all over the work tops, or leave "calling cards " lying around.
Anyway I had an extra cuppa to get over the non mouse dropping and then took Ben out for a walk. We returned and I did a clean down in the kitchen, it helped to calm me and some pattern writing for a scrap busting cushion.
Later on the sun shine was again streaming down, so ben and I decided on a leisurely ramble, similar to yesterday but without the driving.


These were taken from the steep footpath that climbs up the valley and loops around behind the school.

This is from an as yet unexplored foot path that starts at the very top of the village. The next fine day that we get Ben and I will be setting off to see where it goes and what it is like.

We were gone 90 minutes, give or take and needed sustenance on our return. Luckily it was lunch time, I scooped a dish of cooked veg, a lonely beetroot and some garlic sauce from the fridge and made this, with the help of an enormous tomato.

It was delicious and did not last long, Ben finished the remains of his breakfast and went straight to the sofa.
Tea was now needed and to further aid my recovery I indulged in these.

Fig rolls from Lidl, cheap as anything and packed full of fruit, and very very tasty. I could eat a packet full but limit myself to 2. I have warmed them through and eaten with custard and cream, no not at the same time.
Reasons to be grateful.
1.  More sun shine, bring it on.
2.  A delicious lunch from leftovers.
3.  Fig Rolls, 32% fruit, lush.
4.  Another scrappy project to play with.
5.  On checking I found that the bathroom scales needed  
      recalibrating. phew.
Do not forget my followers only giveaway, finishes at 18:00 local time next Wednesday.
You have to be in it to win it, open to international followers.
Also If anyone would like this project pouch,
 or one in a different colour ( I have another ready to sew), let me know. Open to all again and I will draw this on Monday. I am on a roll with my stash busting and want to keep up the momentum.

I am feeling quite full and quite drowsy so need to get up and move about. Ben however is curled up and snoring, not so gently.
                              TTFN                                              Pam

Friday 14 November 2014

Wow, Sunshine.

As the morning struggled out of the dark, one thing was abundantly clear, it was not raining. It did not look like rain, in fact there was a glimmer of yellow. Ben and I decided to get a good walk in while we could.

On our return I pottered around doing odd jobs and thought that a pot of soup sounded good, half an hour or so later a pot of Minestrone was ready to be cooled, and the fridge bottom was free of the remains of the last shopping trip veggies.

By now the sun was indeed shining so a trip to the park in Garnant was the order of the day. I had never been before but had heard lots about it. A few minutes drive and we were there, the sun continued to do its job and the dog walkers were out in force.

Ben had his head down scurrying around trying desperately to catch every last smell. I took the chance to get a few snaps.

This little pond was securely fenced in.

I had to smile at this sign, no chance of that today.

There are tarmac paths running all around, no soggy trainers here.

Unless of course you get too close to this.

The information signs are full of colour, and written in Welsh and English.

Back on the path again, we spent a good hour and a half there. I chatted to the other walkers and Ben spent time with an assortment of dogs, he was intrigued by a very elderly Jack Russell who was being carried in a bag. He has his walk and when tired sits down and waits to be picked up and carried.

I had a little sewing time this afternoon, a friend asked for 2 quilted place mats, and these were a very quick make.


 I had a fairly large bit of  quilted crazy patchwork and just used some excess quilt binding to finish the edges.

I had enough to make this little thing, I saw a version of in on the net this morning and had to do it.

It is just big enough to take a small knitting or crochet project to Knit and natter, or even some hexies and sewing paraphernalia, just the ticket for some EPP.
This evening I have been reading and blog hopping, and there may have been a doze or 2 as well.
Now it is hammering down with rain, Ben has been out and towelled dry, he is bone dry now and I am falling asleep while typing this.
   I bid you all a good night, I hope that you are all looking forward to the weekend, I know that I am. But then I look forward to everyday. The little quilted project pouch was a very quick make, if anyone would like one let me know, I am happy to make one and send it off, same thing as the craft caddy, names in a dish and pick one out. I am on such a roll getting through the stash that I want to go faster.
                      TTFN                                                      Pam.
BTW I am really starting to make an impression on the fabric stash, and not before time. I had started to wonder if the sewing fairies were stocking me up while I slept.

Thursday 13 November 2014

50 Shades of Grey, at least.

Today did not so much dawn as crawl in to being. I woke before it was light but the air had that heavy feeling that often precedes a grey, dull nothing sort of day.

There it is, my lovely view of the mountain, still there is some Autumn colour in the foreground. Even swathed in grey I still find it uplifting.

It was quite early when Ben took me for a walk, he did lead the way and it was a good one, when I had fed him I was yearning for marmalade. I did not want to fill up with carbs so had half the tub of yogurt with a teaspoon of my marmalade stirred through, oh it was good. Cheered me up no end, followed by a brew which I am enjoying as I type.

This is my first try at a knitting pin roll, I ran it up from a couple of scraps. I should have changed the bobbin colour but could not be bothered as it was just a trial run.

I do like the little clowns though so I may just keep this one. I left 2 large sections at the ends as I fancy trying out some tee shirt strip knitting and will need some huge pins.
Later on I am going to try these recipes from Simple Living, I am off to see Maggie tomorrow and will take some with me.

I do have lots of colour in my life and Ben enjoys it as much as I do. He does like his crochet cushion, and does not mind the patchwork ones either.

Do not forget my giveaway, I hope to get some Alpaca wool at the weekend to make myself a cat, I can not decide which one I like the best.
Just a reminder that this book is up for grabs.
Dinner will be a fridge bottom stir fry featuring a small lonely chicken breast, 2  Cumberland sausages and a small chunk of Chorizo along with celery, peppers, garlic, onion and root ginger. I will add a good slug of soy sauce, some chicken stock and enough crab apple and chilli jelly to make a sticky sauce, this will go with noodles and serve 2 comfortably. Easy peasy, no shopping required and 15 minutes at most.
I decided to post early today as I want to have a good session with the Ripple Blanket. I would really like it finished by the end of the week, it is doable as I only have 30 bands of ripples left to make, 60 rows will not take very long.
Reasons to be grateful.
1.  My happy sofa full of colour.
2.  Ben snuggled down on His cushion.
3.  An easy but tasty dinner planned.
4.  Some yummy baking later, and a friend to share it with.
5.  The view of "my" mountain as I ripple away.
My needs are simple, my wants are few, there are many things that I would quite like but none that eat away at my mind. I see people scurrying through the shops, frantically looking for stuff to buy. I wonder who needs so much, I overheard a Mum and Daughter the last time that I went shopping, daughter wanted a new coat but could not make her mind up between 3. Mum suggested that she buy 2 of them and then Mum would buy the other so daughter could borrow it.
I have to add that daughter was wearing what looked like a brand new wool coat and Mum had on a beautiful full length Camel coat.
I do have 2 good winter coats, plus 1 for dog walking and my Dryzabone, guess which gets the most use.
I will not be buying another for some considerable time, I do not dress for fashion but for the weather.
I do have lots of shoes, as I have said before, my feet are rather huge, (9) and I buy from Hotter, sale price and 3 for 2 when ever I can. If I do not see another good offer for a few years it will not matter. I look after them, I try to rotate them and not wear any pair 2 days running. They get cleaned and polished and heeled and soled if and when needed. My black ankle boots are well over 12 years old and still going strong. ( I did cross my fingers while typing that)
I am ready now to get hooking, on second thoughts I better make another brew first.
Enjoy your day wherever you are.
             TTFN                                                Pam.