Friday, 31 May 2013

Catch Up

Over the Bank Holiday weekend Neil and I visited Wicken Fen. Neither of us could understand why we hadn't been before as it's not really that far away. We had a lovely time - the weather was gorgeous the dragonflies were out and in the middle of this picture you can just make out the Red Arrows. You may need to click on it too make it large enough to see them.

We had a wander around the cottage. It's hard to believe that it was lived in up until 1975, although I can remember as a child visiting people in houses like this. I thought  the quilt was very pretty and the only bit of colour in the room.

I have been working on my Markal stick design for Spectrum. I've done half a dozen designs on paper and decided it was time to commit to fabric. Here it is in progress.

This is it finished, now I just have to be patient (not something I'm good at) and wait for it to dry. Then I can get on with the fun bit, some stitching.

There has been some baking and I was going to show you some Millionaires Shortbread but blogger seems to have eaten the picture. 
All I have left to do on Ellie's cardigan is the two sleeves so hopefully that will be finished soon.

I hope you have a good weekend and get a chance to enjoy the nice weather we have been promised.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Getting On

Yesterday was the worst day ever - everything I did or touched went wrong from the minute I got up to the minute I went to bed.

I've finished the scarf I was knitting so I started a cardigan for Ellie. I sat down to do a few rows yesterday evening, I'd done four and then realised that one of them was wrong and had to undo three. I wasn't happy.

I've added the centres to these flowers and even making something as simple as a suffolk puff went wrong yesterday. But at least it's done ready for the next Spectrum meeting and I will have managed to stay out of trouble again.

Yesterday I managed to do some work on my Markel samples. I photocopied the page so I can work on it as much as I like without ruining my original. A couple of months ago at Spectrum Gina did a mini workshop on collages which I didn't wholly embrace at the time but thought this would be the ideal opportunity to give it a go. I'm not entirely happy with the work so far but I have more copies and I plan to go out with my camera tomorrow morning looking for more inspiration.

This Australian magazine (along with others) arrived at work yesterday and I just had to have a copy. I'm so glad I did because when I had a proper look through it there is a great article on screen printing and the lady had used poppies as an image.

Something else that caught my eye was this picture of an art quilt, it fits in perfectly with our theme of black and white for Spectrum.

I have been baking, these coconut tartlets were lovely however the brownies I made yesterday morning, well all I can say is that if you threw them at someone they would have had a black eye. Hopefully today will be much better.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Keeping Busy

I've had a very busy week. At last I have managed to finish the shawl. Silly as it sounds but even though I only had two rows left to do it was finding the time to do them. There was over 700 stitches on the needle and it took about 45 minutes to do a row and it's not one of the nicest things to leave mid row. Anyway I decided Sunday was the day to finish. So when I sat down to watch the F1 I just got on with it.

I'm very pleased with it and I've decided to give it to Steph. I'm not as keen on the colour as I was when it was in a ball. It looked different then.

I also finished this scarf and I'm now half way through another one.

Last Wednesday was the monthly meeting of Spectrum and again I managed to stay out of trouble although I was told I needed a tutorial.  Gina gave us a demo using Markel sticks, this is something we had to do for our City and Guilds but it's always good to have a play and we all enjoyed it. This is my piece of paper that I worked on and I am going to develop it some more. I did do some work on fabric but I didn't like it so it went in the bin.

We are continuing with our round robin. I passed the piece I was working on, to Sue and Caterina passed this piece onto me. 

Isn't it a fabulous piece, I'm really struggling to work out what do with it. The only thing I can come up with is to decorate the flower centres............... in red.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Expo Veldhoven 2013

Neil and I have had a few days away in Eindhoven in Holland. We went for Expo Veldhoven 2013 and had a fabulous time. The weather was very warm and the hotel was great. I have to say I have never stayed in such a big hotel before. The food was good and the staff were polite and helpful.

This is the window in one of the restaurants it was huge, very impressive.

There was plenty of traders there but I didn't see anything new or that I didn't already have so I came away without buying anything, now that's never happened before Neil was in shock.

The bit I really went for was the exhibition and there were some great quilts on show.

I couldn't come away without a picture of a poppy.

Gill if you're reading this one's for you.

I love the use of colour in this one.

Something for those who like the whimsical.

Simple but effective.

The picture doesn't do this art quilt justice. The maker had made a whole series of quilts in the collage method and they were all fabulous.

The hotel was set on the edge of a wood so I did manage to go for a walk. While out walking I stumbled upon a pond, there was no indication that it was there, no warning signs about being near water - you just walked into a half open space and there it was. The Dutch don't seem to be as mad about health and safety as we are.  So you can imagine my surprise when I also spotted the heron, I was lucky enough to get a picture of it.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Quick Catch up

If you remember back to Christmas last year I left everything to the last minute. I'm determined not to do that this time - so much so that I have started pressie shopping already and now I'm making my first pressie. I can blog about it safely because the person it's for never looks at my blog. It's a scarf in the feather and fan pattern, it does look very small in this picture. I can remember making myself a jumper in this pattern many many years ago. I used a fluffy yellow yarn then, I'd quite like another one but not in yellow or fluffy wool.

Beleive it or not I had a request last week for some of my Millionaire's Shortbread ! How could I refuse. So I made some and Neil delivered it for as I ran out of time. I've had a message back to say it was enjoyed very much.

There has been some other baking going on in the kitchen the usual muffins and cakes and there was a try- out of a new recipe that went in the bin. The recipe that is not the cakes, they were edible and apparently very nice. It was a recipe for blueberry muffins. The recipe stated that it made 12 muffins but they were obviously for 12  people on a diet.

We have had some gorgeous weather today. I went for a walk this afternoon and I had a real spring in my step, it's amazing how much better you can feel  with a bit of sunshine on your face. Today was also Dad's last session of radiotherapy so I was glad for him that he walked out of the hospital into sunshine and not another grey day. I'm sure it helped him feel more positive. Here's to more days like this.