Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Look at what I got!

Isn't this just the cutest little thing. I simply adore the centre motif!! I joined a mini quilt swap and sadly my partner overprescribed her agenda and has not been able to fulfill her obligation. Michelle who organised the swap became aware of the fact that I had not received anything and angelled me this beauty. Michelle, thank you, I think it is absolutely fab!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Remember this block ...

.... the one at the bottom right hand corner ....
Here it is sewn together with blocks received by other donors and quilted by Dena Wayne. Please pop over to her block where she gives all the info you need to support this cause.

Our health is very precious, please take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Baby steps

No, it's not the pitter patter of tiny feet ... more like stomp stomp as we make our way around the house and the garden trying to tackle so many different projects we have on the go and all at the same time.

Enman is slowly but surely (weather permitting) making headway with the assembling of the new greenhouse. On this piccie you can see the wooden beams fixed to the wall that the new one will be anchored to. See how much bigger it is going to be compared to where the old one is. We will be painting the wall but with the weather being so miserable and wet it will probably only happen after the whole lot is assembled. It is also possible that painting might only happen after the clematis has finished flowering this year. I have to keep reminding myself that Rome was not built in a day!
Took this piccie out of my sewing room window without him knowing! Our soil is quite waterlogged and getting a spade into it is not that easy.

What was I doing in the sewing room you ask ... sewing blocks for Anna, who has the first month of our quilting bee Sew 2 Speak. She asked for wonky log cabins. I've only ever worked with close/accurate measurements so this was like telling a child that they do not have to colour inside the lines.

Once I'd done the first one then the second one came together quite easily.
I think I might be putting one of these on my personal to-do-list. Would be great to do in scraps, although I think her colour choice is fab. The photo's just don't do the fabric justice. Can't wait to see it completed.

Take Care

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Step by step

Not that long ago we were covered in snow. The world around us looked so clean and virginal. This is what we saw when we looked out the back door or out of my sewing room window. Since then the snow has melted and the miracle of nature has woken up the snowdrop, crocus and daffodil bulbs and they are growing. Mind you, so are the tulips and hyacinths and some other nameless bulbs that we have planted in tubs.The snowdrops are shutting shop but the crocus are the brightest happiest looking little things and they really do put a smile on my face when I see them open their little faces to the sunshine.
Over the past few days the romantic view of the back garden has changed somewhat. The rain has made the already waterlogged ground muddy (and slippery) and Enman has taken down the greenhouse. The old one served us very well and protected many fine crops of tomato, bell peppers, grapes (yes there is a vine that grows in there), radishes, lettuce, rocket, not to mention all the seedlings that started their life in their. So, at the moment the back garden looks a pretty messy sight with an open space and lots of pots showing various stages of growth.In a few months time this is all going to look so very different. Those wooden fan frames will be covered by three varieties of clematis, the new greenhouse will take up the space where the old one stood and that raggedy piece of vine you see will be covered in leaves and offering up trusses of grapes for our table. The mound of soil to the right is actually one of the veg allotments. This year we will create some more. Next year there will not be as many pots with bulbs in as we plan to make some changes to the garden design and then the bulbs will go straight into the soil.
One of the things we are saddest about is that the cold weather has destroyed the amaryllis that flowered so beautifully every year. On the bright side, Enman did find one little new amaryllis baby bulb next to its expired (mushy) parent.

The weather is warming up and the sun is up earlier. Our work is cut out for us but we don't mind as the garden is going to bring us and our four legged children many hours of pleasure.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Day 11 ... Signs of spring

Having been away since my last post I'm going to try and play catch up. These letter refers to 12 March 2010 or day 11. Forgive me if the numbered days of my holiday are muddled.

Isn't nature wonderful! These little gems were hidden under snow in frozen ground and with just a little warmth they pop up. I was just so excited to see them and just take it as a given that the never-ending snow is now behind us. The daffodils have also broken through as have the tulips and some others that I stupidly did not label. The garlic that we planted last year is also growing a little. Sadly, we have lost a fair amount of plants in the garden, eg climbing fuscia and all the geraniums, one of which was a real red stunner.

All fired up and excited I set about getting the seed box out and have planted up a whole lot of veg seeds and popped them into the propogator. This is when I get very mixed feelings, the eagerness to see them pop up through the soil and then the disappointment of seeing what has not grown. Either way my heart is skipping and singing as we enter into spring.

Day 10 ... Introducing Mister Man

The sun is coming up earlier every day and the temperature guage says it's warmer even though it does not always feel like it. Sitting in my chair this morning, drinking a welcome cup of tea, I noticed some activity out of the corner of my eye. Leaving forward I noticed Mister Man was paying attention to something I couldn't see. On closer inspection (on my hands and knees under the table) I found he had caught a little field mouse and brought it inside.

15 years ago one of Enman's friends found Mister Man's mom, heavily pregnant, in empty business premises. Very soon after he rescued her she gave birth. When the kittens were old enough to be separated from their Mom Enman chose Mister Man and brought him home. There are days when his age is against him and then their are days when he surprises us, like this morning when he caught the mouse. He is quite a large cat with the most beautiful silky fur. Being mostly white the sun has got to him and he has had to have part of his right ear amputated and every now and again his heart gets tired but we love him and he comes back again.

When the weather is good he pops over the road to one of the neighbours who, every Sunday, give him a big bone which he brings home to eat. In the garden we have a conifer hedge that the birds nest in and he can often be found lying under the hedge just waiting for the little birds to come out to feed. When we're working in the garden or just sitting in it enjoying the fruits of our labour he wanders around and last summer I simply had to capture this.

DQS8 sent and received

In an earlier post I mentioned the DQS8 mini quilt swap that I was participating in. Until the little quilt arrived at it's new home I couldn't tell you who my secret partner was. Now I can divulge that Lynz of DOMESTIC LIGHT and MAGIC is the new owner of the following goodies:

I can't begin to tell you how much fun it was to be a 'legal voyeur', snooping on my partner, trying to figure out what she likes, what she doesn't like, deciding what would be appropriate as little extras for someone that leads a full and productive life.

In return I also received a little gem!
Sent to me by Laurie of Every-Bit-Counts.
She also included some fabulous extra gifts.

What you don't see in the pictures is a little pink notebook with a slot on its side where a little pencil slides in. How could she have known that the little notebook (with dog eared corners) that I keep in my handbag and has names addresses, telephone numbers and notations of all sorts of info that is important to me ... is full! This new little notebook could not have arrived at a better time.

Laurie, you have no idea how much laughter and happiness this little gem caused. It has clearly been made with a lot of thought through gifted eyes and hands. Thank you soooo much.

This swap was my first Flickr swap and hopefully will many will follow.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Days 8 and 9 ... Swap bot mini quilt

Having just finished my participation in DQS8 I was inspired to do another little swap and this is the result. This little quilt measures 8 1/2 inches square and has now been posted. It is en-route to a lovely woman somewhere in the States. I don't want to mention her name just yet so as not to spoil the surprise. I really hope she enjoys it.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Days 3,4 and 5 .... Stash boosting

It's always so nice to find new shops, little gems that are hidden away and meeting shop owners and their assistants that really are the nicest people ever.

All I wanted was a lovely bunch of flowers. Instead I found a cheery man who despite his frustration at the late delivery from the flower market was chatty and eager to help me choose. He had such an assortment of beautiful fresh flowers direct from the market in Holland and this is what we decided on.

As I drove away the words 'patchwork' written across a little shop window caught my eye. I didn't have time to stop and look so went back the following day and again met the loveliest couple who recently opened their little craft shop. They cater for scrapbookers and sewists and even though the range of fabric is limited they are quality quilting fabrics and by the time I left them these fabrics came with me.

Oh the joys of stash boosting. Now I better get some sewing done to use them up. Actually, despite my list of WIP's most of these were picked with the idea of making a jewel box quilt.

Will post more of my days away tomorrow, in the meantime,
Take Care

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Day 2

10 days ago I had to have a molar extracted. This was my first extraction ever and proved to be quite an unpleasant experience. Instead of healing the 'wound' area has become infected, bleeds continuously and is smelly. I managed to get an emergency 'sit-and-wait' appointment with the dentist this morning and he confirmed that the area was infected and prescribed some penicillin with instructions to get some probiotics to take with it. The tooth gave me problems for a very very long time and I hoped that the extraction would solve the problem. Lets hope the meds do the job.

Tomorrow morning I'm off to visit a friend down south for a few days. She also spent many years in Southern Africa and that coupled with our love of crafting, gardening, caring and womanhood is our bond. She is optimistic by nature and spending time in her company is the best medicine. This mosaic of photo's was taken during my last visit with her. No wonder she is always bubbly. She also lets me takes slips of the numerous flowers and shrubs she grows in the garden.

The car has had a wash, fuel tank filled, tyre pressures checked, now all that remains is to pack my suitcase and hope that the roads are good to drive and the roadworks are at a minimum.

Take care

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Day 1

Today is the first day of 12 days leave.

There will be no photo's today as we spent the major part of the day in the garage starting a spring clean. Today was my turn to help my man out. Enman has spent so much time with me doing needle-work related stuff, helping out in so many ways. He has ironed, pressed, trimmed, made templates, cups of tea, lunch and supper and driven me to fabric shops. In the meantime the garage has got colder, water pipes froze and burst, strip lights on the ceiling fused and after making some bird nest boxes there was saw dust everywhere. Don't know if I mentioned before, but he is quite a squirrel and venturing into all the nooks and crannies of the garage gave me a fresh insight into just how much (and what) he hordes. I don't feel so bad anymore about my fabric stash and quilting related magazines and books not to mention scissors, rulers, reels of thread and other gadgets.

After doing what could be done I ventured into the garden and re-acquainted myself with the layout of the land. We have a greenhouse but it's coming down to make way for a bigger one so there really is not much point in digging over soil and or mixing in manure and all the other 'additives' that gardening magazines tell you that you should be doing at this time of year. Plus, the ground is pretty solid still. The great thing about this little 'walk about' was finding some little crocus flowers that opened for the first time this morning; smiling at the snowdrops, noticing which bulbs are starting to come up and the thought of them in full flower. Afer all yesterday was the first day of spring ... now isn't that something to look forward to!

Take care


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