Saturday 28 June 2008

The Arte y Pico Award.

What is that you ask well, it originated here at Arte Y Pico blog, And Julz of Julz Dezign awarded a copy to me yesterday!
The Rules are as follows....
1. Pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.
3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that presented her/him with the award.
4.The award winner and one who has given the prize have to show the link of Arte Y Pico blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5. To show these rules.
So now I have to pick 5 of you who fit the criteria, not an easy task.
1. Linda at All Stitched Up.
2. Andrea at Welsh Quilter.
3. Jane at Sew Create It.
4. Sue at Quilting Chatter.
5. Lisa Jo at Black Bear Cabin.
As I suspected that wasn't easy. Oh! it's easy to choose all the people who inspire me, and show a good variety of topics on their blogs. It's just very dificult to get it down to five, you each inspire me in your own way.
Speaking of the variety of topics, thank you to everyone who joined me on my walk yesterday, it was lovely to have so many replies. The Isle of Man is a beautiful place and I love to share. Maybe I'll do that again sometime.
I'm enjoying having the new blogroll in my sidebar, it's great to be able to see at a glance who has updated, much better than my old method of visiting absolutlely everybody! I think also it has helped me to comment more often, again, much better than bloglines. I see a few others have added it to their blogs a great idea as far as I'm concerned most of my list was born from reading your lists or clicking on your links when you comment.
Time for me to go now, take care all.
Darn it!!Blogger is messing with my post!!

Friday 27 June 2008

Come for a walk with me.

I wish I had taken my camera yesterday, the sun was peeping in and out of the clouds and it was a beautiful day. Today it is overcast, but that doesn't spoil a beautiful walk in the country side. I live in the centre of town, but was gone from home for only 35 mins! And I was stopping to take pictures. Ramsey is a harbour town and the tidal Sulby River spills into Ramsey bay via the harbour. My walk started on a foot path which runs alongside the river.
There were swallows swooping and diving catching insects all along this shore, but my camera skills are no match for them. This is one of many entrances to Poyll Dooey Nature Reserve. (Poyll means pool, I can find no translation of the word Dooey, I suspect it is a miss pronunciation of someones name, Dooeys Pool? A lot of the area was mashy and much of it remains that way as it is low lying, there are many tiny streams and seeps as well as a pool.)

Farther along the path you walk under the trees, here I was surrounded by birds singing. Then the path opens up a little

and you are greeted by a sign

As I continued along the path my way is scented by beautiful Honey Suckle,

And roses in the hedgerows.

And there are reminders that some of this area was once upon a time a council owned allotment and that were houses here with private gardens.
A low lying area has been allowed to become a pond, this area is fenced and often there are ducks and other water fowl to be seen. (Even at it's higest the tidal river never floods this pool).

Today I saw only flowers, though in the past I have seen some very magical creatures here.
This is not my picture, but it was taken at Poyll Dooey. Isn't he magnificent?

The footpath opens out into a large area of about 2 acres, some areas are mowed to make green paths amid the wilder areas. There are signs dotted about telling the visitor what wildlife to look out for.
There are beautiful views to the south.

And this little guy seemed at ease and not at all concerned about my presence, in fact he posed for the camera.

Everywhere there are paths and trails leading this way and that, some lead into secret sheltered places.
There are larger open areas for children to play, with tables for picnics.

Nature is left to deal with things in her own time, with fallen trees left to do their own thing.

The gardens of old are reclaimed and slowly disappearing. Though not totally gone, I didn't get pictures but there are apple and plum trees, I saw countless cherry trees and I happen to know there are raspberries in there too.

There are many native and non native species of trees. Here an Elder is surrounded by a sea of wild flowers and nettles, I gathered my Elder flowers from a more accessible tree right beside the path.
As I said, today is overcast and a little cool, but I saw bees a plenty, black birds, ring necked doves and a plethora of tiny birds, probably finches. I saw only one butterfly, but on other days I've seen many. There are frogs in the pond, bunnies on the lawns, rowan trees, cherry trees, wild forget me nots, ragged Robin flowers and Scarlett Pimpernels. Everywhere was green and beautiful.
When I was a child all of this looked very different, I mentioned that there used to be a couple of houses and some allotments, but the majority of it was a landfill site. It had been closed for sometime, and nature had already started to do her work when about 15 years ago, the council decided to help her along, they brought in tons of topsoil and got work. My few pictures simply do not do the area the justice it deserves. There are now footpaths along the river bank, amid the trees and through grasses. There are benches and tables and a memorial stone placed by the British Legion. Swallows swoop overhead and smaller birds chatter in the trees and shrubs. I could hear ducks on the river and have often seen Herons. An eyesore hidden away on the outskirts of town has become a beautiful place, a green oasis and a sanctuary not only for the wildlife but also for those of us who seek to leave the hustle and bustle of town behind and wish to enjoy a little peace and quiet.

Thursday 26 June 2008

Cross stitching.

I forgot to mention that I am off work this week, nothing wrong, just taking a few days off to rest and relax. For those who remember I was applying for other jobs, but after some frank talks with my nice boss I've agreed to stay put and we are going to re arrange my schedule a little to make life easier for me. Oh yes! And I've taken on additional responsibilities.

Right, back to the nice things in life, yesterday afternoon I did very little to be honest, I sat watching a movie while I stitched this little beauty. I just adore dragonflies, there is something very magical about them.

I wish I'd thought to add some sparkly thread to this one but never mind, he's done now. I'm not sure what I'll do with him, I think he may fly onto a little bag.

Do you remember some time ago one of my service users was leaving and having a big sort out before she left? Well this almost complete cross stitch is one I inherited from her. It was filthy, goodness only knows how it got into the mess it was in. Yesterday I left it soaking in a little soapy water and managed to get most of the dirt off, there is just one tiny stain left, right in the middle at the bottom. (You can see it on this pic.) I'm hoping that my framer will be able to hide it for me.

This one is so close to finished I just have to do it. Problem is the chart is in tatters! Though I did manage to photocopy the relevant area, there are one or two spots I'll have to guess at, hopefully when I get to them it will be clear what thread I need to use. Speaking of threads, yep, you guessed it, no threads either, but there is a list of the Anchor numbers so I'm off out to purchase those this morning.

Now I'm spoiled for choice, to stitch my Endangered Babies, or the Dressing Table Bear?

Have a happy day.

It's quilted.

After going around in circles for a while yesterday, moving blocks here and there, I did eventually remove a row, then had another thought and removed a column too! I put in the blue border.....

Then added a second border around three sides, before settling down and quilting the inner portion. I tidied those threads before going to bed last night.

This morning I have completed the quilting around the outside. Next up I'll be putting a skirt onto three sides and the binding. I'm not going to do that until tomorrow though, my neck and my shoulders are complaining! It was hard work getting this lot though my little sewing machine.

I'm off to cross stitch for a couple of hours now, maybe there is a movie on.

Have a good day.

Tuesday 24 June 2008

Todays results.

I've been having a play about with my Strawberry Lemonade blocks. I have discovered as Lynda suggested that most of my choices won't work as I need an odd number of blocks!! Great planning Loulee! DOH.

Many of you suggested the totally scrappy look and just randomly placing the blocks and John suggested of a sort of zigzag effect which I tried out, and I quite like that, but the longer I look at it, the more changes I make. I warned you, my mind just can't cope with random.

Here and there I see too many blues, or too many strawberries together or two sets of the same HST in a row or column, you get the picture?

I've reshuffled it twice already! Now I'm toying with a new idea for the lay out. This morning while having a root through the fabric and bedding rails in the Hospice shop next door I came accross these two sheets. The perfect shade of blue to use as a back for Strawberry Lemonade.

At this price for two brand new King size flat bed sheets I wasn't going to say no! They are not 100% cotton, but thats ok with me as it was just for the back. This second photo is a truer colour than the first one.

Now however I have other ideas, what if I were to remove a whole row and put in a border between the HSTs and the Bento Boxes, then another around the outside of the whole thing. The reason I suggest removing a row is because my batting is wide enough to accept borders, but sadly not long enough and as it is also from next door it's an odd weight which I can't garuntee to match in order to extend it. I'm off to play some more, I have enough of the blue stuff to make a skirt if I can get the top to just the right size.

DD Came thrifting with me!

The last couple of times I've been into the charity shops hunting for bargains and useful items my DD came with me. She has found practically a whole new wardrobe and a belief that her mother can perform miracles. I don't mind the odd repair, or taking a pair of trousers up but turning a size 14 top into a size 8!!

I managed it though. It still gapes a bit under her arms, but she is happy.
Her brother heard the camera in action and had to get in on the fun.

Then the other brother turned up and well.....
It all went down hill from there really.

Here's a peek at one of the pairs of trousers she produced and asked me to turn up. The beaded design runs down the whole length of both legs. I really should have another go at getting her to do her own repairs and alterations, but last time she tried it all ended in tears, I think perhaps it's skipped a generation.

She watches me sewing any manner of items, cross stitch, embroidery, repairs, with or without the machine, but when she tries? Birds nests! Which disintegrate the first time she wears what ever it was she sewed. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, my grand mother can sew beautifully, but my mother can't and I seem to remember Gran saying her grand mother taught her to sew, maybe there's something in my skipping a generation theory.

On a quilty note, thanks for all your input on my last post, as it is at the moment the pinwheels are winning. How ever John at Quilt Dad (Yes John, your input is always welcome, I'll have to remember to be more politically correct in future.) did give me a new idea to play with which may work better than any of my ideas, especially as Lynda pointed out, I'll need an odd number of blocks! I'll have a play about later today and see what I get. Look out for more photos.

This morning on my walk, instead of full steam ahead I'll be wandering along a different route in search of Elderflowers, I've had requests for Elderflower Champagne. A very refreshing and tasty drink on a hot summers day, be careful though, it can pack a punch! Each batch will be slightly different as the yeast occurs naturally in the flowers and some have more than others, so some batches will produce more alcohol and fizz than others.

Sunday 22 June 2008

Your assistance please ladies.

Sorry for the absence, been a bit busy with other things. But I'm back now and I've spent today finishing the Bento Box blocks (Thanks for telling me the name of that block) and also getting these HSTs done. Question now is, which layout do I use for these?

Number one? Pinwheels.

Number Two? A bit more random.

Number Three? Hmm, don't like this one any more! LOL

Or Number Four? I see butterflies here.

Yes thank you for your input son! Some children will do anything to have their photo taken, but usually they grow out of it by 16!

Or should I go totally random? Not sure my tidy mind could cope with that, but I'd try.

Time I let you in on some plans, I think these HSTs will be making up the body of the top, they will be surrounded with the Bento Boxes. The batting I picked up in the charity shop will be in this one, now I just need to find something to back it with.

I managed to find time to do a little cross stitching this week, but not enough to show off. Maybe I'll have a picture in the next couple of days, I'm off to stitch some on it this evening.

Hope your weather is better than mine.

Thursday 19 June 2008

Ballet quilt. (Take Two)

Remember my sister Moya made this quilt for her daughters ballet class to raffle off and raise funds? It only looks crumpled in this pic, really it's fine.
Well teacher liked it soooo much she promptly claimed it and asked Moya to bill her and make a second quilt!
Here is ballet quilt number two. Made is considerably less time.
She is quilting it as we speak, I just had the stressed out phone call because it's not going according to plan. (OO'er) She tells me she hates cornerstones and wishes she had just a few inches more fabric and she would have mitered her corners! And if she has any more bright ideas I'm to tell her off. (Only she wasn't polite).
Of course I will, what are sisters for?
If she takes any notice of me remains to be seen.
I've done a grand total of zip!! Nil, nowt, nothing quilty.
But I have done a little cross stitch, that was fun.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

New Widget in my Sidebar.

As Tracey has noted in her comments on the post below, I had to try out the new toy provided by blogger.

For ages I linked to other blogs from 'my favorites', or for a short while a blogroll here on my blog, but it was frustrating clicking on everyone everytime only to find that some had not posted since last week, or last month!
For a while now I've been using Bloglines, which was easier and saved time as it told me who had updated, (well some of the time it did) but as that imports the posts I got lazy about leaving comments and was wondering what other options were available when up pops blogger with this latest toy! Fantastic.
There are 4-5 different options with regard to how you want it to look, and it then opens the link in a new window directly onto the blog page. Ideal for just clicking on the comments button. Sooooo.....Hopefully I should get better at commenting now!
Thank you to the clever bods at Blogger!

I didn't do any sewing today, I was too busy with my new toy!

Moya has finished another ballet quilt though. Pictures of that next time.

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Cards from Tracey

A while ago I entered and won a giveaway on Traceys blog. Today my yummy prize arrived, some of Traceys own photography put onto cards.

There is a selection of note and post cards as well as some gift tag size cards. Lots of flowers and of course some chooks and chicks.

Thank you Tracey, they are delighful, and well worth the wait.