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!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A Pink Sun was the Least of It!

What a fortnight - I've been running round here, there and everywhere - work, trips, bulging workshops - and then to top it off the world went pink on Monday.  Whatever next?

First the trip - we went off for the day to beautiful Bath, and after a leisurely coffee went to the Bath Museum of Fashion.  It was fascinating to see the clothes through the ages, and read how they evolved.  Really, the clothes in my lifetime have been very boring in comparison - I was born to wear a bonnet

 
We stumbled upon this dressing up area, and I was transported to my childhood days and my beloved 'dressing up' box.  I used to wear three long dresses at a time, and pretend I was going on a wagon trail by sitting under the dining room table.  We had an absolute ball, making the visiting party of school children wait until we'd had enough.


Then we took the shuttle up to the American Museum and after a delicious lunch looking out on this glorious view


we looked around their exhibition of Flapper dresses.  Again, they were stunning, but not so great a dressing up experience.  I did, however, buy a beautiful Christmas tapestry that I plan to finish by NEXT Christmas.

Last Saturday we went to the Knitting and Stitching show at the Ally Pally.  I didn't buy much, just a few bits and pieces (including silk cocoons) for my sister's birthday - oh yes, and yarn and a pattern for my next crocheted blanket - Mystical Lanterns from Janie Crow.  I do love the Ally Pally though, and think I enjoy the drive up through Muswell Hill and then looking at the stunning view across London from outside as much as actually going round the exhibition.

Meanwhile the bulging workshops - so many happy crafters and so much going on.  At the Lynne Johnson workshop Denise showed us her beautiful quilt

And then this is what was happening last Tuesday:















Crochet

 Doll making
 
Quilt making
 
 
 
including Jackie's brilliant Duck quilt
 
 
 bag making


and I've finally started quilting my Medallion


So all very busy.

With the much anticipated knitting workshop coming up in two weeks' time, a group of us visited Purlescence on Saturday to buy skeins of yarn especially


which Ros then showed us how to make into more user-friendly balls

 
So there you are - what a whirl of activity!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Ten Years!

Wow - so it was 10 years ago this month that Sandra and I started our workshops here at Lorne Hill Farm.

We felt we should mark it somehow, and after lots of discussion decided to do this:





LORNE HILL FARM WORKSHOPS

WE HELD OUR FIRST WORKSHOP IN OCTOBER 2007, AND WE ARE STILL GOING STRONG 10 YEARS ON, SO TO CELEBRATE WE HAVE PLANNED

A FUN DAY OUT on THURSDAY 19TH OCTOBER!

WE WILL MEET AT EAST GARSTON VILLAGE HALL CAR PARK

AND AT 9.30 A COACH WILL WHISK US AWAY TO

THE BRAMBLE PATCH

BRITAIN’S PREMIER DESTINATION FOR PATCHWORK, QUILTING AND FABRIC ARTS

IN WEEDON, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

WE THEN MOVE ON FOR A LEISURELY LUNCH (under £10 for a main) AT THE FAMILY RUN

BELL PLANTATION GARDEN CENTRE

AT TOWCESTER

WE WOULD EXPECT TO BE BACK IN EAST GARSTON AT 4.30

WE DO HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US – WE HAVE MADE SO MANY FRIENDS OVER THE YEARS AND IT WILL BE GREAT TO SEE FAMILIAR FACES!

DEPENDING ON NUMBERS, THE COACH COST WILL BE FROM £12 TO £27 PER PERSON – BOOKING CLOSES THIS SUNDAY 8TH OCTOBER, WHEN WE WILL FINALISE THE COST AND ASK FOR PAYMENT.

 
 


Should be fun.

If no-one signs up for it I'll just drive over in my car!!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Safety in Numbers

Our poor little goose was so lonely this morning - honking and honking - and she seemed very vulnerable on her own, so we immediately got on line to find some geese for sale.

The first advert I saw was for Toulouse geese - and, amazingly, they were in Blockley, the beautiful village where my aunt lives in the Cotswolds.

By midday we were in Blockley, visiting with my aunt and cousin.  Actually, I couldn't remember how to get to auntie Pauline's house, but everyone in Blockley knows the Balhatchets!  It's not often you stop to ask directions, and when you tell the person who you are looking for, they say "Oh, I used to make sausages for your uncle Morris!"

And then by 2 o'clock we were with Dr Morton (apparently my uncle played the organ at his wedding) and by 3 o'clock my goose was showing the new gander and two geese around!


and when they'd all had a good look round, it was bath time!


Saturday, 23 September 2017

Nature at its cruelest

This is an old picture of our lovely grey goose


We've had her for many years, and she's been a lovely mother - once rearing 12 goslings!

Just last week Jonathan and I watched her and her daughter having a bath in the trough.

Tonight at 8.15 I went out to shut them in.

A fox had killed her.

At least I got out just as he had broken her neck, so the scene wasn't as horrific as it could have been, and watched him, watching me, from the field.

I shut her daughter in.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Autumn Workshops

So, the Autumn term started today and we had a lot of fun in the workshop.  I've also sent out the new schedule, so for those who aren't on the mailing list, here's a few of the things we are offering.

Besides Lynne Johnson's quilt days, which are courses that stretch over months, she is also doing a 'Scrappy Quilt Day on Wednesday 18th October.  Some people are doing these on the course, but this is a 'one off' day when you can come, be shown how to do it, and then go off and do it on your own!  There are three quilts, with three different methods to choose from:  machine piecing, hand piecing or paper piecing:

 
 
and then on the 15th November it's the Yoko Saito day.
 
On the 20th September I'll be showing how to make these sweet little coin purses
 

On Wednesday 4th October Sandra will be making a 'quilt in a day' Picnic quilt - very quick and easy and a great introduction to quilt-making

It's 48" square!

I'm really looking forward to Ros Harwood's knitting workshop on the 1st November - Ros' work is so exquisite - she uses the best yarns, lovely colours, so inspiring.  We will be making this lovely scarf - the pattern's called Marin by Ysolda Teague and has been really popular on Ravelry.


Then a fun little workshop on the 22nd November with Sandra, making drink coasters in little fabric holders - great stocking fillers!


On Wednesday 6th December Anne Hellyer is coming to the workshop for the first time.  She is a textile artist who makes lovely little townscapes out of fabric she has painted herself.  Her website is www.paintingthetown.org.uk and we will be making winter townscapes that will be lit from behind - a really lovely Christmas decoration.


And then finally, of course, we have the wreath making mornings and afternoons with Linda, on Saturday 9th December and Saturday 16th December: which means making beautiful wreaths out of all the greenery she has collected, and drinking lots of hot chocolate and eating mince pies!

So, that's quite a list, I think




Sunday, 3 September 2017

Indian Summer

Well, today isn't much like an Indian Summer but I'm sure summer hasn't gasped it's last yet - certainly I'm not ready to let go and September can be such a lovely, soft month after the rigours of harvest.  I am still picking a bunch of Sweet Peas every other day


The best Sweet Peas I've had in years!  The dried flowers have also been quite a success this year:



Today we are having roast pork - the last time we had it was April (I like to not have it when there isn't an R in the month, like the old saying, but only because it always tastes better after a break) with apple and blackberry crumble for puds.  Not very summery, in fact distinctly Autumnal but perfect for a wet day.


It has been quite a busy week - just last weekend I nipped over to Jersey to see Victoria's new house: I fell in love with her patio


I really hope she puts a mirror up somewhere - it's the perfect place for one.  Mine is a bit pointless but I do like it


The high point was seeing a pair of red squirrels - I don't think I've seen one before.

Then it was my birthday so we had a lot of fun at Pitch and Stitch.  Sandra made me a cake and we also celebrated Louise finishing her first quilt, all made from old fabrics she had around the house.


 













and beautifully quilted.

There was also an interesting take on Japanese Patches


On Friday I went to the West of England quilt show, and there was lots to see.  I loved
Susie Corkes' quilt, Overleaf, which was hand-pieced and hand-quilted - beautiful!


As a by the way, when I put up that picture at the top, I was reminded of the fossil I found by the chicken hut.  It looked like a little brown meringue but my sister suggested I wash it, and I was amazed to see that once cleaned it looked like this:

















and the underside like this:


Very exciting.

Anyway, back to work tomorrow so no more garden days!

 

Monday, 28 August 2017

It's Finished!

No - not a quilt, but harvest is over for another year!

Here's the last trailer being pulled in (with George in his new Kubota tractor, which caused great excitement on it's arrival the other week)



and reversed into the barn


and then the last load of oats being tipped in


to a now very full barn


What a relief - and I don't have to do anymore tea and cake runs at 5pm - at least not for 10 months


So that's that - well, not quite because a lot of the grain still has to go through the cleaner so someone will still be busy

 
but at least the feeling of panic has subsided, and all has gone well. 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Backberrying

If you haven't been out yet - you'd better get a move on!  There are so many blackberries this year


Of course the best ones are always in the hardest to reach places


but there are so many about that it's easy-pickings this year.  Every time I go for a walk, I take a little bag with me and fill it up - I now have a freezer full of lovely blackberries which should take us through to next year.

Of course, it would be nice to have more helpful blackberrying companions -  It's a real struggle to keep hold of Millie and pick, but then I've never had much luck with that.  My mother used to hate it and would pick about four and then give up.  Jonathan would pull a strop about having to go, and then insist on taking the truck and stop at each bramble so I could get out and pick.  My children would moan and come along very reluctantly, and I'm sure that when I used to go with my little sister she'd just eat them all.  So it's never been a pleasant stroll in the sunshine,  picking berries and putting them in my basket!

Anyway, we have been enjoying our long walks, deciding which direction to take,

 

and then just loving the wide, open spaces.

And of course, I can usually see the men harvesting in the distance
 


and sometimes a bit closer!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

A Boat Full of Wool

Harvest is still on - and it's such a stressful time.  Most of the time I'm pottering around on my own, but in the background there is a constant feeling of tension.  Everyday there are discussions about the weather, and there is a lot of staring up at the sky and wondering will it rain or not?  If they aren't harvesting, they are ploughing and cultivating for the new planting. 

And the animals still have to be dealt with - last week the ewe lambs went off to Winchcombe, and the week before our spring lambs, so at least there are plenty of empty fields for dog-walking.

Anyway, amidst all this madness I saw a post;  "Mandala's and Mocktails: a Cro-social on a Boat Full of Wool".  Two hours on a barge crocheting Mandalas and drinking Mocktails.  I decided to sign up....

So yesterday evening I set off with my two crochet hooks to a Narrow boat which was moored on the Kennet and Avon canal.  I wasn't sure what to expect but knew it would be fun and different.

Sophie met me and Jo, Jo and Nancy at the little car park and walked us to her boat.  Inside it was an Aladdin's cave of creativity - every surface was covered with beautiful crocheted throws, rugs and blankets and it was like walking into a cosy crafting den.


The mandala we were going to make was hanging from the ceiling - and I had a sinking feeling that in the two hours I would get no further than making a chain!  However, Sophie's pattern started with "make a magic circle"  which I'd never even heard of but is instead of making a chain so I did do more than I expected. 

Mocktails and snacks were put out on little tables so we could eat and drink whilst crocheting and chatting.


Sophie's Cro-socials are such a good idea and she is so young and enthusiastic that it was great to spend the evening with her.  I know lots of young people who love crafts and would love to visit her Boat Full of Wool, so I hope word gets around.

And my Mandala?  Well, I was much slower than the others, and mine was much loopier than theirs, but at least I had something to show for my evening messing about on the river!