Tuesday morning Pitch and Stitch - 10.00am to 1.00pm

Tuesday morning Pitch and Stitch - 10.00am to 1.00pm
This hanging from Annie Downs' Hatched and Patched book should be in every caravan as a cushion or decoration!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

An email from the Blackforest

As you probably know, I am, and I really don't know why, a Morris Dancer.  It's a long story but to cut it really short my husband's crazy about it and if you can't beat them, join them.  Also, I feel quite strongly about tradition and feel it's part of our English heritage which should be saved.
Anyway, I've been exchanging emails with Silke from the Blackforest who stayed on our CL, and told her to look at various u-tube videos of the morris dancing - she was interested in it.
Like all Morris sides the Garston Gallopers, have particular clothes to wear and we have to stick to the purple and green which is our village colours

Anyway, Silke told me that " In the Blackforest we have traditional outfits, too. Usually those clothes got worn more in the South of the Blackforest and there are plenty of different kinds, depends in which village one lives. The most famous “Tracht” is the one from the village Gutach were the unmarried young girls wear a hat with red ball on top, black for the married ladies …"

So there you are - tradition!

Meanwhile I have been getting on with my knitted blanket

Every evening I try to quilt for an hour, then knit for a while.  I'm really enjoying doing it but still so slow - still, I love the Autumnal colours and modular knitting is really fun.

Our Medallion course starts up again on Wednesday - I wonder what lovely quilts we'll see.....

Sunday, 18 January 2015

A Carolynne's Cabin Weekend

I was very hopeful that we were going to be snowed in yesterday.  When I went to feed the chickens, there were the tiniest flakes of snow coming down and by breakfast time I looked out on this

I was very excited but after about seven and a half minutes it had stopped.  So that was that.  Hope it's not all we're going to get this winter.

So the Saturday of sledging was not to be, but someone had something else up his sleeve..... 
After breakfast Jonathan turned to me and said, "Joanne, I've done something....".  The look on his face was very familiar.  Jonathan has a place in the village he likes to sneak to when I'm not around.  It's called Carolynne's Cabin and it's his idea of heaven.  It's in the old shop and Carolynne and Colin buy and sell second hand furniture and antiques.  
carolyne%27s cabin

I wasn't surprised to hear that he'd been down to the cabin on Friday and had made some amazing finds (they always are).  He had, however, said I had to approve before he brought them home so I went down to the cabin to have a look..... and it was full of very familiar things!  As I looked around I saw Victoria's old table, a couple of small tables, pictures, a mirror - all things that used to be in our house - even an old alpine horn!  Anyway, there are now two more chest of drawers from us, and we have a new (old) chest of drawers, a cupboard, a pair of table lamps and a picture thrown in for free.  He just can't help it.

Meanwhile we have a problem with our roosters.  Three of my chicks have grown into cockerals and they have started to fight.  There is nothing more horrible - they are so vicious, and you feel so sorry for the ones being picked on.

Look how the big one in the middle of the picture is stalking the one running off to the right.  The poor thing was covered in blood.  We are going to have to get rid of three of them - I've asked Jonathan to do it tomorrow while I'm at work.


Thursday, 15 January 2015

A beautiful Day

Well, a beautiful, crisp, cold and sunny day with blue skies - and what have I done?  Not taken Reuben for a walk, that's for sure, and he's making sure I know he knows by giving me long, meaningful stares and stretching full length across the floor like a bored teenager.  Bring on the guilt.....

I've spent the day on our Spring schedule.  We had a meeting yesterday (okay, a brilliant supper at the John O'Gaunt in Hungerford) and had a final discussion on what should go in.  Jackie said her favourite workshop was the primitive stitchery we did about five years ago

I love this Primitive, Americana type stuff.  In the workshop I have a signed Warren Kimble print which is one of my favourite things.  This stitchery was inspired by a book called Prairie Blessings by Kim Klassen - she would collect old stitcheries and penny rugs and then paint them because, she said, she can't stitch.  I decided to take them back to fabric.

Anyway, as a result of this I spent the morning making a springtime stitchery which we will be doing a workshop on in March

Not quite finished yet but nearly there.

Then I finished off the schedule and will send it out once it has been checked.  There's lots of interesting stuff going on; quilting, stitching, knitting, micro-macramé-ing and we have a few workshops on Saturdays.  Of course, we'll have a new beginners course starting the first Wednesday in February so we look forward to inviting new people to the world of quilting!

Anyway, I'm quite exhausted now so after I've fed the dogs I'm going to sit down.

The other annoying thing about it being such a bright day is that I can't believe how many cobwebs there are and how much dust there is in this house.  This weekend is going to be the big clean.........

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Normal Days

So - all back to normal then.  I took down all the decorations this morning and then spent a very long time dusting and hovering.  Usually I'm quite energised by getting everything back to normal but this year I found it a bit depressing.  Anyway, reviewing my gifts I spotted some more home-mades

Truffles made by Victoria
and Basil Olive Oil and Chive Flower vinegar made by my sister Belinda

The pink of the vinegar from the chive flowers is so pretty.

Reuben got very bored and naughty while I was so busy and is in the dog house

because he took his frustration out on the knitted head

I was very cross.

I used the last of the Christmas food to make Devils on Horsebacks in the Hole

And finally, just to prove Christmas is well and truly over and the new year has begun, my orchids are coming into bloom, as they do every year

So pretty.

Over Christmas I received a lovely letter from Silke Herrmann and her husband who stayed on the CL this summer.  They sent us lots of lovely photos and these are my favourites

It all looks so lush and green - be a few months till we see this out the window again.

Finally, I gave my mother a book of this blog for Christmas.  She enjoyed it very much but said there were too many pictures of quilts other people had made.  I said, "that's because I never finish anything" to which she replied "so you keep reminding us...".

New Year's resolution Number 2 - only talk about finish in the positive.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2015 - Bring it on!

Well, the Christmas holidays are winding down and I was very pleased when Victoria told me today that it's Thursday, and not Friday as I thought, so I have an extra day!

My resolution is to learn how to relax and not to always be thinking about what I should be doing next.....we'll see how it goes.

George and his ringing pals rang in the new year at 11.30 last night and I stood outside listening.  We had a good evening with friends playing (very competitive) games of Humbug and then at midnight the champers flowed!

To blow away the cobwebs I went for a very long walk this morning (not early) and East Garston was like a ghost town - everyone shut up in their houses: understandable considering the dank, dark day it's been.

After a New Year buffet lunch I settled down and finished our Christmas puzzle

Very satisfying but there were two pieces missing - I wonder if my sister took them (she has history).

Then I looked at all the crafty presents I received this Christmas
Yummy biscuits from my nephew Sam and he gave me an old book he found too

Veronica at my quilt club does this so I'm quite keen to have a go (but I shan't be making a waistcoat.
A bunch of knitted Christmas trees from Jacqui ( I held them upside down at first and wondered why she'd knitted me green carrots).

A micro-macramé Christmas tree from Carolyn

A winter picture from Richard

A head band from Sandra (kept my ears nice and warm when I was out walking)

And a knitted head from Harry
(everyone should have one)

So, what a crafty lot of friends and relations I have.

Anyway, A Very Happy New Year to everyone and look forward to seeing you at our workshops!