Monday, 31 October 2011

About time I caught up!

September saw a visit to the Olympic site - what a dissapointment! A Meccano box in the middle of weeds and a red rusty heaps of scaffold poles masquerading as a sculpture! I feel rather sorry for the hosts of visitors to it next year, they arrive expecting to see Buckingham Palce and the Tower and what do they get? A fly blown Stratford complete with druggies and wastelands - unless a major cleanup happens in the meantime.
More pleasing to me was seeing the Millenium embrideries at the Greenwich museum Fabulous work! Certainly worth a long trip to Woolwich Arsenal to see them.
October saw us doing a Murder Mystery for the WI to raise funds for Herts Air Ambulance - and raise them we did! Over £1000 for the nights work and fun to be thesping again!
And speaking of thesping I am working on the Music Hall costumes and about to start rehearsals for the Panto in the village. Never a quiet moment here - we had village Jazz night on Saturday, lovely trad jazz and supper in the village hall and we could walk home afterwards. The only downside to that was not being able to dance, my feet were itching and remembering smoky jazz clubs of the fifties - yes I am that old. The banjo player had been with Acker Bilk who coincidentally was a neighbour of ours years ago. I swear I spend more time in the village hall than I do at home what with one thing or another. We were serving soup lunches last week as another WI fundraiser, whisking around playing waitress was completely knackering I needed the afternoon to recover. Another WI event was our Autumn Council meeting at Broxbourne where we had the lovely Adam Henson from Countryfile as a speaker. Great natural speaker and such energy!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Not just ice-cream

Yesterday we visited Loseley Park in Surrey, (just outside Guildford - and what a treat it was.I thought it was simply the headquarters of an ice-cream company having eaten it many times but in fact they sold the company some years a go. What it is is a small and exquisite Manor house set in beautiful gardens and I sincerely recommend a visit.We explored the garden 'rooms', the white garden, the herb garden, the lovely veg garden and a stunning rose garden, walked around the lake and had lunch in a centuries old Tithe Barn lovingly restored.
The house itself is still owned by the family who built it in 1560 and coincidentally it was built at the same time and in the ex-monestery stones just as our last home was, it even looked very similar. I wonder if Elizabeth 1st's courtiers swapped ideas?
Best of all was the beautiful needlework in the house, not just the centuries old crewel work bedcovers but the more modern stuff done by the owners wife, so delicate! Also a pair of Maid of Honour Chairs reputed to have been stitched by Eizabeth 1st and a stunning petit point firescreen that the guide said was Berlin work but I doubt that. The pattern certainly was Berlin type roses but it was done in silks and not wool which I always assumed Berlin was done in. And the stitches were really tiny and delicate.
One bedroom had another bedcover from the William and Mary era (late 17th century)that had apparently once been admired by the late Queen Mary (they were lucky to have kept it - she was renowned for wanting to be given anything she admired!) Amazing, it looked for all the world like William Morris Willow design. The pictures show the house and a random selection of the garden

Monday, 4 July 2011

Summer Nights

Wonderful evening yesterday, one of those all too few balmy English evenings and we spent it having a picnic, drinking wine in someone's garden along with a group of friends listening to a group of young musicians singing and playing. It was magical and they were incredibly talented. They were raising money for a charity called Brains Trust formed after one of them had a brain tumour successfully operated on (in America - sad inditement of the NHS)

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Liz's quilt is finished

Finally finished and handed over the quilt to my friend Liz. I am now an expert on Grandmothers flower garden quilts! So much so I have just been given another one to work on but this time three of us are doing it - I'm no fool!!

Even Dizzier!

Just back from my annual trip to Biscarrosse, tanned and sewn out! The flight was horribly early (like 5 AM at Luton!!) but the upside was that we landed at 9.45 French time and by 10.15 we were in Diffus-laine buying fabric! Actually on time for once so it pays to get an early Easy Jet flight though it doesn't make the security staff any friendlier, they really are the nastiest people on the planet.
I took some chrome yellow Nappa leather out with me and made a jacket, also a dress and a shirt so it was very productive - along with several long French lunches when mussels were the order of the day. Local and delicious.
Now I'm back and frantic with WI stuff, and lots of barbies and lunch things.
My latest craft is rag rug making whic I demonstrated at the Hatfied House Living Crafts and am doing so again at a WI Country Craft lunch. Next weekend is our Open Garden day on June 19th so there is a lot of garden tidying going on, and I have just started quilting my newest quilt - so never a slow moment.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Catching Up!

So,OK I haven't posted for a while. Better really to have something to post about - life goes on but trivia is not my line as they say.
Christmas was rough, I got flu however I managed Christmas day and two parties so I won't grumble. Our rather large family came for lunch just before Christmas and a manic time was had by all including the youngest who at 3 months was just the right age and size to be passed around doting aunts and uncles then handed back without too much of a qualm! The pics show the general melee, a trip to feed the local overfed ducks and Daisy, my son's dog, a Shitzou (sp!) who is the cutest thing ever even though I don't like dogs at all!
Craft-wise I am busy as always. I made a scrap quilt to use up some bits - and ended up buying more fat quarters because natch I didn't have enough of the right clours, and am now finishing a Grandmothers Flower Garden for a friend who's mother started it MANY years ago and is now not in a postion to work on it. Not an easy job, I had forgotten how difficult hexagons are to join to the main quilt you spend half your time turning the wretched thing about to fit them in and the fabric is mostly old furnishing cattons so stiff and a devil to get the needle through. Still, it is a challenge. And when I get bored I am going to make a small quilt for the UK Quilters 2011 challenge.
Cross stitch wise I am following a sampler from Accuiel blog which is up to part 3 with 4 due any day.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Just have to show you...

This is the quilt I made in two days this week for the latest grandson, nothing like rushing!!
The original pattern was in a Readers Digest Sewing book but I used Paula Ozier fabrics for the applique animals instead of the ones suggested, to makee it a bit funkier. Considering the rush it turned out quite well though I have to admit to machining the applique on (instead of the painstaking hand sewing for the Valentine quilt) However I did hand quilt the outlining.