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!

Thursday, 29 December 2016

In Between Time

What a beautiful cold and frosty morning! 


Perfect for this 'in between time'.  Christmas Day passed in a flurry of eating, drinking and flying wrapping paper; I loved my handmade gifts from Sandra, Helene, Jacqui and Barbara


I had made them each little purses


But I think on the 'home made' front, Victoria won!  She has stitched a beautiful cross stitch of Maidencourt:


It's truly magnificent - what a very clever young lady!

Our present to George, Victoria and Ben was a spot of flying which they enjoyed on Boxing Day morning (at first they thought I'd booked them to go sky diving, so they were relieved when they realised it was indoors!)

 
 
And then the next day it was the East Garston Fun Run and we all supported Victoria:
 

And now I don't really know what to do with myself.... Nearly all the turkey has gone; my favourite way to cook the left overs is make up a bake with onions, potatoes, cheese and drizzled with the garlic infused rape seed oil my sister gave us:

 
I think I'd better take the dogs out for a walk in this beautiful sunshine!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Eve

So, after all the hustle and bustle, panic, worry, - it's here!  And after an evening of carols, food and drink with family, friends and neighbours


(and that's only a quarter of those present), with lovely music


all there's left for me to do is wish everyone who comes to our workshops, and reads this blog,

A Very Merry Christmas!



Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas is Coming....

- Well, I suppose it's here, really.  The parties have started, we went to the ballet and saw Romeo and Juliet, sang carols and danced in North Hidden barn, all our animated figures are out and Jonathan is enjoying replacing batteries and today things really got going when I bought the turkey and George and Jonathan went out and bought the Christmas tree.  It's very pretty but does look a bit as though it's been dropped from a great height so there are loads of branches at the bottom and it's a bit sparse on top:


A bit like a great big fat Christmas pud - impossible to get any presents under it:  I don't know how Santa will manage.

Talking of pressies, I've made the first blunder.  Every year I print off this blog with Blog to Print and give the book to my Mum for Christmas - it's a nice record of the past year and, until I introduced her to post-its, my mother liked to write little comments and questions on each page.

Anyway, in November I carefully did the lay out on line so she can see everything we've done in 2016, and sent it off to print.  It came the other day and I was really pleased with it until George pointed out the small error I made on the cover:



Sunday, 11 December 2016

Careering from One Crisis to Another

Well, not really but it made me laugh the other day when my friend was here and something was going  on (can't remember what) and she said "Good Grief, I couldn't live in this house, you're always careering from one crisis to another!"

Anyway, I was up early on Saturday morning making the first mince pies of the year.  All went well and the first group of ladies arrived to make their Christmas wreaths.  Linda was showing them how to do it so I could return to the kitchen.  Poor old Reuben was looking very sorry for himself - he's always terribly upset when Jonathan doesn't take him out to work and mopes around giving me mournful looks.  As I was encouraging him to go outside he suddenly threw up!  Yuk.  I cleared it up and went out to see how things were going in the workshop.  The hot chocolate had been drunk and most of the mince pies had gone - a good sign!


And, by the end of the morning everyone had made beautiful wreaths!


Back to the kitchen to make the second batch of 24 mince pies - and I couldn't find the butter anywhere, but, it would be fair to say the kitchen wasn't as tidy as it could be.  I was very pleased when George offered to go and get some more rather than me continue to hunt high and low.

The afternoon ladies arrived, and nine more wreaths were under way.

Reuben was still really down in the dumps and I felt so sorry for him.  Jonathan had hired a man with a digger to clear away all the over grown hedging along the main road on Maidencourt bend (or Rabbitts bend as it's apparently know as in Lambourne)because there have been eight accidents there this year alone so something had to be done, and a collie bounding about would have been a hindrance.

I was just about to carry out the second platter of mince pies when Reuben threw up again - and all sympathy went out the window when I saw, in the mess, the wrapping from the butter!  He'd had it!

Anyway, although three ladies escaped before I had time to take a picture,  everyone was very pleased with their beautiful wreaths.



We have another workshop Wednesday morning and one in the evening, which we still have spaces on.

And earlier in the week was our Snowman workshop


Look carefully as you drive through Eastbury and you'll see one of them has taken up residence in a window there!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Cold and Frosty

Oh My Word, what a very cold and frosty Morning: -9° and really thick  ice on the troughs.


The two Hornbeams in our garden are really clinging onto their leaves, but a couple more nights like this and they'll be laid bare.

Then, for some reason I thought there was only going to be four ladies at the workshop...and then there were eight, which was a lovely surprise!

Janet brought her hexagon quilt to bind at yesterday's Pitch and Stitch, it's so bright and beautiful, just what we need on these cold, dark days.


I have been particularly struck by how early it seems to get dark this winter - it's like the middle of the night by 4.30 so you feel like the day is nearly done, and yet in Summer you'd think nothing of starting something at that time!

Last week Barbara brought along her lovely tuffet which she made at a workshop recently (not here, and I can't remember where, maybe Lady Sew & Sew but I may be wrong).  She's rightly very proud of it, and I'm sure it'll be a long while before anyone is allowed to put their feet up on it!



Christmas is just around the corner now.  I'll be running outside to put the Christmas lights along the front of the house tomorrow (we take the putting up of lights very seriously in School Lane, East Garston) and my Christmas puds are maturing nicely in the larder.  I made them last week, and as well as the family having a stir and making a wish, the ladies who came to our crochet class also had a go!


I've been busy making little Christmas gifts, which will have to remain secret for a while.  I need to point out to Lynne that they are just fun little things,  and they are deliberately made in a homespun way!


Next week will be the last of our workshops for 2016, apart from the Christmas wreaths, and we'll all be making Frosty:


 

There are still a couple of places on the workshop, if anyone would like to join us!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

You Can't Turn Your Back for a Minute

For quite a few years now we have used George's old bedroom as a holding room for things that either only get used about once a year, or that should really be thrown out.

Well, when I was enjoying my day out yesterday, Jonathan decided it was time to sort out that room.

So, he's taken half the stuff out and put it in bags on the landing.....and the rest he's put into the green room until we can decide what to do with it.


So instead of having a little junk room in the back of the house, we now have all our junk in the guest bedroom.

It's time he went back to work.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Bright Colours for Dark Days

Someone reminded me today that I haven't updated this blog recently, so I have put aside a few minutes to do just that.  The main reason I'm reluctant to start is technical - for some reason I'm having trouble uploading the photos on Picasa, so it takes ages to add pictures, but here goes anyway.....

The workshops have been going really well, and it's lovely to see all the different things people are making at the Tuesday morning sessions.  Next Wednesday is the Crochet workshop with Helen, - there are still a couple of places if anyone is interested!


Last year I made my friends little lavender bags out of linen, with crocheted linen granny squares on top and I was very pleased with them

but, as you can see, they were a bit 'made up' - so it will be good to find out how they should have been done!

Meanwhile, I have finished my crocheted blanket, and was thrilled with it, but you know how it is......the very next day Ros decided to bring to the workshop the blanket she has just finished knitting.....

Words failed us....


it was so absolutely stunning











we all wanted it


I'd like to make one, (that's a bit of an inside joke, my will is always greater than my skill) but, first I must get on and finish the scarf I started in Ros's workshop - it's coming along but I'm struggling to knit the 'grown up' way so it's not very relaxing


Got to be done by Christmas though!!

What else has been happening? - Mr Rabbitts is recovering well, but I'm finding it hard to understand why he has to have 2 cups of tea in bed in the morning (he said his consultant said so) and yet was able to (accidentally) jump off a four foot wall this afternoon.

Today I went to two quilting talks at my local quilt group.  The first was by Pamela Smith and the theme was "Russia: patchwork and quilting, ancient & modern".  It was so interesting - lots of facts and history, most interesting of which was that whilst we associate the red in Russia with Communism; in fact the words for 'red' and beautiful are interchangeable - so Red Square is actually Beautiful Square - and the Russians love bright, beautiful red textiles.

She had lots of examples of pre- 1990's Russian printed fabric









and a beautiful old quilt

 
and other memorabilia

Sadly for her she sat next to me at lunch and I asked so many questions! - I could have listened to her all day but she went home.

Then in the afternoon Margaret Johnson entertained us with her quilts from around the world - lots of funny stories and so many lovely quilts but my favourites were the 1930's American one


and this old Welsh woollen one:

 
which prompted the question, "Had I finished my Donegal Tweed quilt?", to which Sandra replied "No - it's hanging, unfinished,  over the sofa where I put it to solve the d├ęcor problem".


Well, unfinished or not, with the log fire in front and a tweed quilt behind, it's exceedingly hygge.





 



Thursday, 27 October 2016

Autumn Colours

I have practically finished my crocheted blanket from the pattern I bought from Black Sheep Wool at the Ally Pally last year ( I started it in June), and only have the border to do.

I was looking at it just now, and thought how all the colours can be seen outside this Autumn.


Obviously the sunny days we've had mean the skies have matched the blues, but the pink is exactly the same as the pink of the Spindle berries



I love our Spindle trees - and was interested to read that the wood used to be used for making spindles (surprise!), knitting needles and bobbins.

In the right light they just look so beautiful and practically glow.


But back to the colours of the blanket.  The dark red is the same as the Dogwood













and the gold/brown colour is, of course, everywhere but I think the best match is the climbing hydrangea:













or the little fir cones that have grown on our Spruce for the first time. 


So there you are!

We had a bag making day in the workshop last Saturday and everyone really had their heads down


Some people even managed to make two!

I am using mine to store my knitting - great workshop with Ros yesterday where I not only made a start on a beautiful scarf, but also learnt to say 'yarn' and not 'wool' and furthermore discovered that I put an extra twist into the stitches I knit - a habit I plan to break.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Hip, Hip.....

Hurray! - but more about that later.

This post has been a while coming, and since I've already written it once and then accidently deleted it, it's likely to be a short one.

We've been busy, with lots going on, including the little East Garston Craft Show last weekend.  I'd gone down on the Friday night to set up but hadn't read the e mail saying the times had changed so found the place all locked up.  Robert kindly took my stuff down on Saturday though and set it up for me, leaving Frosty to keep guard:



The reason I couldn't be there was because I was at

 
The Ally Pally Knitting & Stitching Show.  We had a great time, and I am getting very good at not buying things.  I didn't buy the Latvian Stocking kit, but was really tempted by the four day knitting trip to Latvia.  I've brought the flier home and keep looking at it and dreaming!!  I did buy wool for a new crochet blanket - I've nearly finished the one I bought last year and have really enjoyed doing it.  I didn't buy anymore linen thread but I had to get some more linen - lots of plans for that.

The next day was Harvest Festival - a sign that Autumn has arrived.  I'm still picking Blackberries and Raspberries, but the devil has sadly spat on most of them.  The Dogwood my sister gave me years ago and which we planted outside the workshop, is looking really beautiful and we love looking out at it:


We didn't go to the Harvest lunch, though, and I'll explain why later.

We  have been very busy in the workshop, and it was lovely to see three quilts made by Pam, Pippa and Jackie:















Pam and Pippa have now made a start on their Sutton Grange Quilts, but Jackie is mainly making rabbits or clothes for rabbits.  My Bobbin Pin Cushion with the sheep has gone over to Jersey (huge sigh of relief for those who thought they might be getting it for Christmas) to remind Victoria of the hills of home, and now I'm making one for me with Scottie dogs!

Finally the really big thing that has happened the last couple of weeks is that Jonathan has had his hip replacement!


The patient is recovering well, (note, only one stick now!) and not too bored yet so hopefully after two or three months he'll be able to live up to his name and be hopping around all over the place.

Now, let's see if I can publish, rather than delete, this post!