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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Twenty years on....

Yesterday my Quilting Group held a Quilting Bee. Lots of people were invited for tea and cakes (NEVER refuse tea and cake. That's the law).  Anyway, we were supposed to take something along to show and tell and panic set in.  I haven't made anything since Christmas, and I gave those away. Then I found the above. I started this piece of Cathedral Window quilting twenty years ago but never finished it.  It was lurking in my stash cupboard, looking very sorry for itself, especially around the edges which were a bit stained and grubby.  Anyway, it was duly shown and told and so now I think I should finish it.  I have also started a cushion cover using triangular patches in a heart shape which were stolen from Mrs Sew and Sew who herself had copied them from Karen.  As Mrs Sew and Sew says ' Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' so I hope they're both okay with this.  I've chosen to make mine in some lovely vibrant pinks and greens. I'll put it up when I've finished. I had a lovely drive to Llandrindod Wells today as I was on a course for work.  It's lovely to see some green after days and days of snow covered hills.  On the subject of which, there are some daffodils trying to come out in the garden which have survived the harsh weather. Spring will be early again methinks although we were awoken this morning by a tremendous flash of lightning and an even bigger clash of thunder. The weather gets more weird by the day. If we had a tsunami I doubt I'd be surprised.  And we can't blame it all on 'the rockets up in space' like my mother used to do.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Go away, snow!

Truly, I mean it.  You can have too much of a good thing.  At first the snow is lovely - pristine white, crunchy underfoot and very picturesque.  I love looking at the bare branches of trees with their frosty topping, and always want to get out my sketch book and capture the image for ever.  In the lane it's so pretty when the snow first arrives.  It's quiet because few cars venture up and you can hear the birds who are constantly on the hunt for food. But after a couple of days the snow is dirty and slushy, and it freezes overnight and the outdoors isn't an inviting place.  If the sun was shining it might be better, but it's so dark, dank and gloomy even Gwennie doesn't want to stay outside for long.  My quilting group was cancelled as some of the members, who live up in the hills, are still snowed in.  The dustbin men still can't get up the lane, so we have to drop our black sacks off at the collection point on the main road. So I've had enough of the wintry weather now and can't wait for Spring.  On a positive note, I've managed to finish the embroidery I started last week and am quite pleased with the result. In fact, I'm itching to start something new.  watch this space!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

My Dad's Social Club

One of my ex-students works at a bookmakers and he was bemoaning the fact that they were still open despite the snow storm.  The bookies is my Dad's Social Club.  Ever since he retired he has made his way there nearly every morning, come rain or shine.  He hasn't been for a few days now - confined to barracks because of the snow - and is going stir crazy. Yes, he likes a flutter on the horses but it's more than that.  It gets him out of the house (my Mum would say from under her feet!); it gives a purpose to his daily exercise; he meets his friends and has a laugh and yes, sometimes he makes a few bob too.  If someone doesn't turn up for a couple of days, one of them goes round to find out why - they don't use mobile phones to keep in touch (he has one, but it's never switched on!).  That way they can look after each other if they need help.  Sometimes it leads to him hospital visiting, occasionally to a funeral.  The staff are lovely, and it's like his second home.  Last year my mum was getting runner beans almost daily from his friend's allotment and sometimes she gets flowers too, although she doesn't always meet the donor.  He says he goes to help "the old chaps" fill out their betting slips.  Apparently some of them can't see very well. He's 82 and thrives on it.  If my Dad doesn't want to go out to the bookies, that's when I'll start worrying.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Wednesday 16th January

It's been a very cold few days here.  There has been no snow since the small amount we had on Sunday afternoon, but a lot of that still remains on the high ground or in sheltered spots. The decking in the back garden is treacherous - frozen slush - but the birds need feeding so needs must.  The blue tits and great tits are constant visitors and we have also seen long tailed tits. The woodpecker family have also been taking advantage of the peanuts. I wonder what has happened to the nuthatches? I haven't seen any for a while. It does seem to be getting a lighter a little earlier in the mornings though so at least there is a small glimpse of Spring. 

My craft projects at the moment are making little progress.  I still have a patchwork cushion cover to finish, and a half knitted cushion cover too. I did, however, make myself a notice board for my work area last week.  I used an old cork board - a cheap one that had been lying around for ages that was basically just a piece of corkboard in a frame.  I stapled wadding to the cork and then covered the whole thing in 0.75 metres of fabric (pink with turqouise spots - very cheerful).  I used strips of ribbon anchored down with buttons.  The cork was so thin I was able to stitch the buttons right through it. I'm very pleased with it.  Very useful but looks pretty too! 

I've also just started some embroidery work that, hopefully I can do in the evenings whilst also throwing rubber bones/raggers/pullers for Gwen.  The dog is a tyrant!!  She seems to think she needs to keep us entertained every moment of the day by bringing us toys to throw. She's so full of energy and even though she has plenty of long walks involving running round fields like a lunatic, she is NEVER tired.  I wish I had some of her get up and go.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Year, new blogger!  

This is the first time I've attempted blogging so this is a bit of an adventure! I live in beautiful mid-Wales.  My blog will be mainly about my day to day life here, my hobbies (sewing, patchwork, feltmaking and all things arty crafty), my dog - a beautiful, six month old Border Collie called Gwen, what I'm reading and probably a few random musings.

Wednesday 9th January

It was such a beautiful day today - cold but clear and crisp. A glorious day for driving through the hills, so we went via Dolgellau to the Mawddach estuary and walked along the old railway line from Arthog towards Penmaenpool.  It was quite misty inland, in patches mainly in the valleys and many of the fields were still white with frost at lunchtime.  As we neared the sea, however, it began to brighten up.  The Mawddach estuary is a lovely place to walk if, like me, you prefer a flatter terrain. The views across the estuary are lovely and at this time of the year it's very quiet apart from the calling of sea birds.  Gwen hadn't been this near to the sea before. We didn't take her to the beach - saving that for a sunnier and warmer time of the year - but she found plenty of new things to sniff and ran and ran and ran some more, covering at least three times more ground than we did. A really good way to start the new year.