Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Me and My Sewing Machine

I have been making bags. I believe I told you that my friend who has a curtain shop brought me offcuts of fabric that would otherwise go to landfill. I gave several boxes of these pieces to my cousin because she has a friend who helps with classes for single parent families and these classes teach them to make soft furnishings and stuff. 
I use some of the fabrics for quilts and the smaller pieces I make bags to sell for my daughter's guide company
The pink panel is a large pocket. The circle is done with beads and the motif has also been beaded. The button to hold it shut is vintage - from my Granny's button box. The bag is fully lined

This one has a pocket with a flap. Fully lined and the buttons are vintage

Vintage buttons and fully lined. Beading on the motif

fully lined with an inner pocket. Vintage button
I am really enjoying making these and I might just activate my etsy account just to seel them now rather than wait for the autumn fair she plans to run

Monday, 14 May 2018

Me on Monday- Nothing to see here

Nope, nothing to see here. Just an ordinary day after an ordinary weekend.
 With the help of favourite Son-in-law (he is my only son-in-law) the little greenhouse has been moved down into the garden and the yard swept. The table and chairs was moved up, the cushions brushed off and we sat outside in the chairs that have been stacked up since father-in-law died in 2016
 Just look at that pained face! the chair is too narrow and leans back too far so Mr M is squished and looks most uncomfortable. My legs are too short for these chairs so the front edge cuts into the backs of my knees but my bottom doesn't touch the back of the chair. If I lean back I am almost horizontal and flailing around like I am drowning. We managed ten minutes then re-stacked the chairs put the cushions in the box and gave them to youngest son for Helen's (his significant other) garden. We then got S-i-L to carry our good old director's chairs down and we use those when we sit outside. Much more relaxing
 I have completed the Harry Potter quilt but the recipient hasn't seen it yet so you will just have to wait a bit for the full picture. I am taking a little break to make some more tote bags to sell to raise money for the Girl Guide company that DD runs. These pictures are a taster - the turrets of Hogwarts and the Golden Snitch. You have to understand here that I have not read the books and I only watched the first film with Mr M but I was the one getting the snacks and drinks and stuff - oh and cooking dinner. I did this by pictures from the internet and things people told me. These pictures are to show off the beading. I am addicted to beading.
we also went to the garden centre this weekend and bought Tomato plants and runner beans and I might just have taken a look in the "last chance before we chuck them" corner and found some lovely plants. I am gradually getting the garden straight. I have the big blu tub nearly ready for the tomatoes and the runner beans will go in the bed where the tomatoes were last year. I will put the lovely blue flowers in the front of the bed and the Veronica will go under the Wisteria.
So I nice weekend with Mr M taking a couple of days extra and then pulling a muscle in his thigh so he spent most of the time in pain *sigh*. I will be so glad when he retires

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Unicorn delivered

 The completed quilt Too far away to see the beading on the mane and the swirls. The dark dots on the crown are sapphire beads
 My great granddaughter helping Mummy to open her present
 The face of a satisfied granddaughter. Don't you just love the colour of her hair?
Then we came home the pretty way - only the view was shut because the cloud was wrapping around the mountains and somehow we found ourselves on the wall of death road. Just look at the satnav!!

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Me on Monday - quilting and eating

It has been a while since I have had Monday thoughts but I have just completed the applique on the Harry Potter quilt and I needed a break before starting the serious beading.
The weekend before last we went out for a little ride to see my sister-in-law who has broken her humerus, right at the top near the shoulder joint, and after commiserating with her and admiring her bruising - shoulder to wrist all colours of the bruising rainbow - we went to the Hungry Horse for lunch and then came home the pretty way via Gloucester and Ross-on-Wye.
 The Unicorn quilt is now completed but you can't see it until the recipient has set eyes on it. These are the cushions to go with it.
 Lunch at the Hungry Horse. I had the steak and I have to say that so far my steak has always been perfect at any of the Hungry Horse pubs we have been to.
 The very beginnings of the Harry Potter quilt. Hogwarts will never look the same again. I should probably read the books for accuracy, but I am content to google such important facts as "what colour are Harry Potters eyes?"
 We went to Chepstow Garden Centre for lunch this last weekend. I know it sounds strange because we are together at home all the time (when Mr M is not in work) but I really do like those times when we go out and he gets to enjoy his hobby of shouting at other drivers - no, wait..... he gets to enjoy his hobby of driving and we can talk without the phone or TV or someone at the door interrupting.
There comes a point in the year when the amount of green on the trees and hedges is greater than then amount of brown. We call this Green Day and we declared it for our special area of South East Wales on 21st April 2018. This is the A449 near Raglan

Saturday, 24 March 2018

A Little Trip out

First trip out for more than four weeks
We went to the Wyevale Garden Centre in Hereford. Yes, I know that's a long way from home but that was the way we were kind of heading. We bought a new tap adaptor for the outside tap because I forgot to remove the one that was on there AND I forgot to turn off the tap so when it froze and split I had home made icicles all over the garden from the resulting spray of water. We also bought a trough thingy that holds a grow bag for my tomatoes - one last go at growing them before I totally give up and pave the whole bl**dy garden.
The we moved on the Oakchurch Farm Shop. I might have mentioned this place before as they always have stuff I desperately need.
Chocolate Torte and a large latte for me. Mr M had a pot of tea and a can of sprite zero

LOOK! LOOK! a special mug for Mr M. We didn't buy it.

I am waiting while he goes to the Loo.............. waiting is boring

There he is! I miss him so much when he is not right by me

See this? This is snow left over from last week

When it hangs around like this we always say it is waiting for more. We hope to be proved wrong

Friday, 23 March 2018

And so it begins

SO, you think you have an idea but it is vague and shrouded in swirls of mist. 
You continue with the work in hand and try to allow the vague idea to assume more substantial form.
You finish the work in hand and pay more attention to what your grand children are doing and saying and one of them posts a picture that you INSTANTLY see as a quilt.

And so it begins
Tentative placement of the first parts of the unicorn

The working drawing, based on the picture that Hanna put on her FB wall. (I am told this is "The Last Unicorn"

The beading has begun - Emerald eyes for a unicorn that might just be a bit "Goth"

Ears, "Always you pull my ears"

The crown with sapphires - just found them in the forgotten bead box.
I am now at the point where I must start securing the pieces to the quilt and I am always reluctant to start because of all the preliminary stuff - basting and pinning and throwing away the stuff that refuses to work. I dislike working with voile but I have some fabulous maroon and purple and black voile that is just screaming for me to use it and bead it. I will allow the ideas to fester mature over the weekend and come to the table fresh on Monday.

Have a good weekend and I'll see you on the flip side

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

This is for remembrance

For World Poetry Day...  a sad sonnet by Edna St Vincent Millay (1892 - 1950).

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied 
Who told me time would ease me of my pain! 
I miss him in the weeping of the rain; 
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side, 
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane; 
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide. 
There are a hundred places where I fear 
To go,—so with his memory they brim. 
And entering with relief some quiet place 
Where never fell his foot or shone his face 
I say, "There is no memory of him here!" 
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.


For some reason this has really struck a chord with me.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Let me introduce Cedric

Because it takes a while to complete a quilt I tend to let my mind drift a little while I am stitching and sometimes I create a back-story for the picture.
 You already know that I like to hang the work in progress so that I can look at it and decide how to work the next bit. So it will come as no surprise to you that this water dragon is called Cedric. I didn't write the story when I thought it - too busy beading his tongue - so I can't tell you. I do remember that his name is something to do with Kelp, but I have been asleep since then.
 I invested in new beading needles and now every project I think of seems to have a way of incorporating beads - I can sit in my chair with legs elevated and bead away to my hearts content. I do need to order some more needle threaders though. Otherwise I spent at least five minutes threading the needle and I have to use a magnifying glass to do it! I have broken all my needle threaders and the complicated plastic one with the push button is just too thick to go into the fine beading needles so it has to be those funny little metal discs with the fine wire sticking out.
 Now all I have to do is wait for the piping cord to arrive so that I can finish the cushions to go with this quilt and the necktie one.
Yes the carrier bags in the picture do have the fabrics for the next project in them. I have ideas for a goth unicorn - thank you Darling Daughter for making that birthday cake and inspiring me - and a stained glass window butterfly................ I also want to make some bags for the charity shop.

Oh did I tell you that my friend who has a curtain shop has had a "bit of a clear out in the workroom" Mr M gave a sigh and bought a large plastic box bigger than a cabin trunk for me to store the fabric. I have promised to share the bounty and I have already given three bags (black bags, large) of fabric to someone who teaches parents of one parent families to sew their own soft furnishings. As I live in the area with the highest national incidence of unmarried parents I am glad to give stuff so that they are learning a skill and gaining a little pride

Now I simply have to go and cut the strips ready to pipe those cushions - oh and order some new needle threaders. ................ Now, where did I put that black tape?

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

sneezing and coughing and quilting

 It snowed! You noticed didn't you? Youngest son was sent home from work with another chest infection and then it snowed. I intended to do so much but I could feel the sniffles creeping up on me so I spent the whole weekend sitting in my chair by the fire quilting the background of the necktie quilt. On Monday I put the border on it - I used what was left of the ties and now I have it hanging on the dresser so that I can look at it. When I have done that it will go onto the bed in the little bedroom because that's where Wicked Uncle Cliff slept last time he visited and he says that the bed in there is "full of sleep".

I have now finished attaching the water dragon to his background and I am really pleased with the way his legs and claws look now they are stuffed properly. I put big flat blue beads for his eyes and I have done more beading on his face. The beading on his scales will take some tim so no pictures until that is completed. I am thinking that bubbles will look better than seaweed although I am still undecided. I will search the ribbon box for shades of green but I don't think I have much. All donations gratefully accepted
horns legs and wings firmly satin stitched in place. Let the beading begin

You can just see the beads on his eyes

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

How to make your own icicles in one easy lesson

Take one outside tap and attach a plastic fixture for two hoses. Use it through the summer to water plants in two different levels of garden.

Forget to turn off the tap and drain the fixture for the winter.
 Obviously the water in the fixture froze and cracked the plastic. Then the morning sun defrosted it sufficiently for the tap - which was still turned on - to start sending water In a beautiful fountain onto the trellis and vegetation
 The back yard is like an icerink around the tap. The drain had frozen so the water was overflowing and I had to cling to the wall to get to it, turn off the tap and then scrape the drain with a piece of wood until the water rushed away.
I had spent at least three hours searching inside the house because I could hear running water but couldn't find it! So glad it wasn't much worse.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Monday and Me - Birthday treats and snow

Mr M celebrated a birthday yesterday. We went to Tyntesfield to see what was happening and both of us decided that after a slow wander around the ground floor we didn't have the strength or energy to go upstairs. We had a lovely cuppa in the Cowbarn Restaurant and because we have been getting our card stamped it meant we got the drinks free - we like free.
I love the expression on his face. He hates me taking his picture but usually forgets his own camera so can't take my picture

Doesn't it look lovely in the sunshine but there was a lazy wind, you know? one that goes straight through you because it is too lazy to go around. My word it was cold

I said I couldn't skip to save my life - a friend assures me that one cannot skip for metal but perhaps for reggae

Too slow to take a picture of the birthday lunch.
We went to the Supermare in Weston Super Mare for lunch and used our Christmas present of a money voucher for the Hungry Horse chain. Food delicious as usual, service great although it did take me a moment to realise that when the nice lady asked if we wanted mayal she was just asking - with a real Bristol accent if we wanted Mayo*.
We decided to come home after lunch because the weather had already thrown rain sleet and snow at us and we had to cross the river while it was windy.

*True Bristolians add the letter L to all words that end in a vowel sound. The example I remember best is the man who had two daughters Normal and Eval.


Monday, 5 February 2018

Monday and Me - fed up and not sewing!

I should be finishing this AND the quilt for a great granddaughter but the stupid sewing machins is making the most awful noises and machine oil and WD40 have not worked. Every time I try to sew it sounds like it is ripping itself apart inside and shrieking loudly while doing it. I will have to take it to J&B to get it fixed but that can't happen until Friday afternoon because of Mr M's shifts and the Guttering men on Thursday. I can't describe how frustrating it is to be on a roll with a quilt and CIRCUMSTANCES are preventing me from working.

Wicked Uncle Cliff gave me ties to make a quilt. Lots of ties with fascinating labels

I have made the centre of the flower with the labels, Some are unique

The corners will have flower centres too - with labels
Just as soon as I can I will be finishing this and the other one AND making pillows and cushions that will match

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Christmas shopping? really

We needed to go to Costco. No, really it was a need not a want. We had run out of bacon and nearly run out of decaff coffee so we had to go.
They had some good stuff on display so we were able to buy presents for all the sproglets under the age of 12. All those over 12 will get money!

We stopped to have a bite of lunch and while we were eating I noticed this small child sitting in the trolley and looking at a phone. It was the stillness and the expression on his face that caught my eye. He can't be older than two and yet he has the facial expression absolutely right and the hands are perfect.

I sneaked a picture while the two women he was with were totally unaware of what he was doing.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Monday and Me - Pink sky! No, really PINK SKY!

It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegone - sorry, it's just that when I think about how to start my ramblings I always come to Garrison Keillor's opening lines on his radio show. It has been a fairly ordinary week here at Macey Towers. Youngest Son and Mr M are both recovering well from their battle with viruses and bacteria but next in line was Darling Daughter. She was sent home from work and after two days did the "I'm indispensable" routine and struggled back in only to be sent home again. This time she accepted that she really was ill and took to her bed with her Bettermaker Blanket. She has gone off to London for a conference or course today so she is on the mend too.


On Friday we had builders - MY builders, the ones who did my cellar stairs and my kitchen AND my french doors in the breakfast room. The put this lovely new door with a tilt and turn window in the top into our study so that we can have a breath of fresh air in here and the rats cannot chew through the door frame because it is metal with a covering of plastic.

Isn't the colour of the sky amazing? NO I haven't done anything funny with photoshop that is really how it looked. Newport County were winning their football match against Spurs at the time so perhaps the sky was really full of flying pigs.

I loved the way the colour was reflected on the wall of the house behind us. I am also quite impressed with how tidy the kitchen looks, it's not usually that neat

Monday, 15 January 2018

Monday and Me - First day out since Christmas

As I write Mr M is in bed, having gone to work and then come home sick!! I can't remember him ever doing this before so it is a bit scary . We went out for our first little ride since before Christmas. Misty Black Mountains, grey and soggy Herefordshire and the Jo's Place for lunch. 

We needed bacon you see. Mr M bought a packet of sauce mix for Chicken and Bacon Pie and I thought I would try it. I have always done all my cooking from scratch so it is really strange to be using packets for sauces. I even use pre-packed pastry! If it's good enough for James Martin it's good enough for me.
We like Oakchurch bacon so we decided to go there and get some - and a few other things we were sure to desperately need. We went up via Abergavenny, Talgarth and the Wye Valley - not the narrow gorge between Monmouth and Chepstow, oh no, the proper wide open much more beautiful one around Hay on Wye. We love that route and never tire of seeing it in the different seasons, even when the sky has that If-It-Was-Two-Degrees-Colder-I-Would-Snow look about it. The cloud was so low it was getting it's bottom ripped by the tops of the mountains and the air had that slightly yellow flavour


Black Mountains looking decidedly grey
 We arrived at Oakchurch, which has become know as the Harrods of Herefordshire apparently. Paused to take a picture of their big turkey and then bought bacon, a quarter of lamb, some suet blocks for the birdies, a savoy cabbage for Sunday dinner and a couple of different potato peelers because our favourite one broke and nothing we have tried since has been as good
Big Turkey!
 Then we went to Jo's PLace at Whitchurch, just outside Ross on Wye for lunch. We talk so much about so many subjects when we are in the car on our own. I just love this special time. For various reasons - mostly because we don't share a taste in TV programmes - we tend to sit in different rooms to watch TV. Another reason being that as soon as Mr M sits in his chair in the front room he goes to sleep so watching TV with him is like watching on my own but with added snoring. I can't sit at the table for too long without my ankles swelling so I have to elevate my legs - sitting in the car is different because he concentrates on driving and we talk. No chance of the phone ringing or the doorbell just us. Absolute heaven!
Each table has its own cruet set and they are cleaned and changed so every time we go there is a different one on the table. This time we had piggies