Monday, 25 April 2011

Busy, busy, busy!!

What a busy few days, I hardly know where to begin!!

I’ll start with Friday, I think. I went off to Nicola’s for the day for more sewing practice – it seems that you can’t have too much practice!! I had prepared a couple of bits as I hinted at in my last post and I think I’m safe to reveal them now!

The pink one I made all by myself – it’s not quite the same as the purple one but I didn’t do too bad considering it was from memory and by almost deconstructing the one I made with her help a couple of months ago!

001 (2)

002 (2)

These have now been given as pressies to the friend that I call Julie and her lovely daughter, my goddaughter.

And then, after a quick trip to Quilters Haven (if it’s possible to have a quick trip, that is!) where we met up with a friend that Nicola had made through blogging (she can be found right here) and her friend (who can be found right here) and I bought just a little more fabric and a book – oh and we had a cup of tea – we returned to Nicola’s and I made this bag, which will probably go to my FDIL as she seemed quite attracted to it!


So after a long day sewing on Friday, I woke up on Saturday morning knowing that it would be another busy day. It was Julie’s birthday and a joint party was being held for her and her daughter in the evening. But I had nothing to wear Winking smile, sure I’ve got dresses and shoes but absolutely nothing that I could wear on Saturday night. So, while I’m in the hairdressers, having had the magic worked on my head and during the next most important part the manicure, the idea was put in my head that I needed to buy a maxi dress and then I could wear flat shoes!

So suitably attired we all set off down to Colchester for a night out – the boys and FDIL came along as well! And what a party – great mix of music, the guests were of all ages and I have to say that I haven’t seen Julie looking so happy for ages!

Sadly no photos are suitable to publish exist of me from the evening but here are the birthday girls in full ‘row’ to ‘Ooops upside your head’ and no I didn’t join in as I would never have got up again!!


After a very late night for us we had a lazy morning yesterday, Son2 came for Sunday lunch and we settled into the garden for the afternoon – and then FDIL phoned and asked if we’d eaten. They had bought a turkey and when she went to put it in the oven it had gone off! Fortunately I had a lot of meat left over  so was able to feed them when Son1 finished work – they bought their own vegetables!!

And today, after a quick trip to Sainsbury’s I decided to have a lazy day, apart from making a cushion after Son2 asked yesterday if there were any cushions for the garden. I’ve been very lazy with this and just sewn some strips from a jelly roll together – my excuse is that I wanted to keep it simple!!


So that’s my weekend – just as well we only have to work three says this week – I’m exhausted!!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Happy Easter

This arrived in the Inbox from my dear friend Scott….


Happy easter

I should probably add some witty riposte but can’t think of anything right now Winking smile

Sunday, 17 April 2011

It’s a disaaaster dahling!!

Before I get stuck in, I’ve added a new button over there on the right hand side for Brit Quilts – if you’re interested take a click and join the group! I came to it via this blog which is one I regularly read through Google reader.

Disaster struck on Friday. John’s car was due in for service and as it was my day off I ‘volunteered’ to get up at the crack of dawn to take him to the garage which would save him having a hire car which he would then bring home to sit on the drive whilst he walked to work (we live too close to be able to park our car). Anyway, long story short, my car wouldn’t start (fortunately I had the bright idea of checking before he went off ahead of me).

I had grand plans to busy myself with shopping and stuff but instead spent the day sewing – no reveal yet I’m afraid ‘cos I’m making something for somebody who might just read this Winking smile. I was determined that I could make what I wanted to without help and, after much stitching and unpicking, have managed to do just that!

So back to the car. I phoned Son 1 thinking that he might have a set of jump leads – he had some at work and would love to help his poor mother but it would be later. OK no problem. He came round whilst we were out, sent me a text saying all sorted, driven the car round the block – you need to take it for a drive (nothing like stating the blindingly obvious, son). So, we tried to do just that – it wouldn’t start. Son 1 comes back, still it won’t start until the neighbour comes to help – the jump leads weren’t making contact properly so with a little adjustment we managed to get going.

John and I decided that a trip to Felixstowe was the best idea, build up a bit of speed over a short distance. ‘What’s that noise’ says John. ‘Oh, it’s been there for a while – it’s speed related if you listen’ says I (can you tell how much we know about cars?) ‘Oh, it’s stopped now’ says John ‘but the ABS light’s just come on – wonder what that means?’ Well I knew it meant slow down and go home!! ‘Ermmm – just drive carefully, slow down and use the gears – don’t break hard’ was my contribution. The car is now going to visit the repair man tomorrow – no doubt leaving me with a hefty bill.

And then the oven broke. It’s been causing me concern for a while because the door’s not been closing properly but now it’s kaput. After a very quick metaphorical toss of the coin, I decided to go for a new one in view of the age and sat and wondered what would be the third thing to go wrong … I’m saying nothing but keeping fingers crossed.

Do you like my flowers? It was our wedding anniversary on Thursday and John bought them for me.

004So that’s about it really. I’ve got a lovely run of short weeks coming up what with Easter, the Bank Holidays and the Royal Wedding coming up – I’m looking forward to that – I don’t think that I have to work a five-day week for over a month which will be nice!

Have a good week – hope the sun lasts!

Sunday, 10 April 2011


I don’t always tell you about all the fabric I buy. Phew – I’m so relieved to have been able to get that off of my chest. You see, I’ve developed a habit. I suppose as habits go it’s relatively safe, but nonetheless it is a habit. My wise neighbour told me this morning that I need to use before I buy anymore. Of course she is talking about starting to work through the fabric stash that I already have. And she’s probably right. The trouble is this habit of mine keeps taking me to places that I shouldn’t even dream of going to. Most of them are virtual places. And most of them are a long way from home. Most of them are way across the Atlantic. And it’s cheaper, even with post & packing, for me to order from there. Apart from excise duty. As a law abiding citizen I agree wholeheartedly with the principles of paying what’s due, however my objection lies with having to pay Royal Mail £8 for delivering me a card to tell me that I have to pay the duty.

Take the last package (only joking, please don’t take it – I waited three weeks for it to come). The lovely lady at Lola Pink indicated that the value of the packet was $43. The rule is you pay excise duty on anything over £18 (for VAT purposes) or over £40 if it is a gift. This last package cost £5.35 in duty – I don’t have any problem with paying that, however I really, really object to paying Royal Mail for the privilege of telling me. There, rant over. Onwards and upwards! I suppose the moral is to make sure that you don’t order anything worth more that £18!!

So all of this fabric – what am I going to do with it? Well, I might have a little break from quilts for a time and try my hand at bags, remember I made one a few weeks ago with Nicola? Well we’re going to have a day together again in a couple of weeks time, I’m going to be a guinea pig and test out patterns that she’s been working on herself plus I really want to make more of the boxy bags that I made last time.

Here’s a sneaky peek of some of the combinations I’ve been thinking of putting together – that’s the part I probably find the hardest, but it’s still early days so I must give myself some time.


I did plan to make a start in piecing the bags today but instead I did the housework and the ironing – time flies when you’re having fun!!

PS – this isn’t all that I bought, like I said at the beginning, I don’t tell you about all that I buy Winking smile

Have a good week, enjoy the sun while it lasts!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Washington Post

(Warning – photo overload, please be patient as the page may take a while to load!)

Not the newspaper but my version! Well, we’re back after a fantastic week in the capital city of Washington DC. Boy was it cold! For the most part we had lovely sunny days and blue skies but they were accompanied by a biting cold north wind, the weather stats said an average of 16 degrees c (61 f) but it didn’t get above 6 c the whole time we were there – we even had snow on Sunday morning!

After a flight punctuated by a screaming 2 year old (nothing to do with the flight she just kept shrieking from the minute she got on the plane!) we arrived at Dulles International airport to grey skies and sleet, a shuttle bus took us to the hotel which took about an hour. Let me say right now that we booked this holiday as part of a package, there is no way on earth we could have afforded to stay at The Fairmont Hotel otherwise – the card in the room gave the room rate at $900 dollars per night!! It was a gorgeous hotel though, well placed for everything and luxury I would normally only dream of – right down to the white fluffy bath robes they provided.

So what did we do? Well, John obviously had some geo caching planned – I think we he managed 23 in the end, all of which were ‘virtual’ apart from one. The virtual meaning that you had to answer questions or upload a photo to prove you’d been there. I don’t think I have ever walked so much in my life! Despite taking the Metro to get us nearer to the attractions we trekked from cache to cache whilst taking the sites in at the same time.

It was good to see places for real rather than just on the TV and here are some of the places we saw – I won’t give you a day by day account but the photos tell the story themselves! It’s Cherry Blossom time in DC at the moment which is something of a festival for them so a lot of the photos include the blossoms, there were also some beautiful magnolia trees in bloom.


The first cache! (don’t worry – I’m not going to show you all of them!)

4Back of WHite House 2

Taken through the railings at the back of the White House!

6Front White House1

Through railings at the front of The White House

12FBI Police Car

13J Edgar Hoover Bldg1


The Capitol

31Lincoln from Capitol2

Looking along The Mall from The Capitol


Not very clear but John F Kennedy grave – Jackie Kennedy-Onassis is next to him (Arlington Cemetery)


Grave stones as far as the eye can see at Arlington Cemetery – a very tranquil place

59Lincoln Statue

Abraham Lincoln statue at The Lincoln Memorial

83Best Blossom

I took loads of Cherry Blossom photos but this is my favourite!

87Washington Mem

The Washington Memorial – you can see just how windy it was!


Einstein – no idea who the children are!! Another of John’s cache answers!

I’ll leave there I think – I took over a hundred photos, a lot of them very similar but I think I’ve picked out the best ones to share.

If any of you get the chance to go to Washington DC I strongly recommend it. It’s a very clean place, everybody is very friendly and, as John so eloquently put it, there’s a lot of history for such a ‘young’ country!