Monday 29 July 2013

A boat ride

Maybe it's the heat, but I'm totally uninspired by anything up in my play room at the moment. I keep on going up and fiddling about, but not really doing anything, except tidying! It's immaculate! Everything has been put away. So sad to see it like that. But, I did come across something on the WWW the other day that did get the juices flowing, my clicky finger got busy and now I'm waiting for delivery.
In the meantime, while I wait, life has been busy. On Saturday I attended a friends wedding, she married in her own home in the pretty village of Sulby. It was a beautiful day and the whole house was thrown open, guests were able to wander at will. The ceremony was held in the conservatory and a buffet was laid on later. It was a wonderful day.
On Sunday we had another day out. We took a trip on the Manx Sea Quest. The trip left from the city of Peel, on carnival day. We had no idea the carnival was taking place and sadly we didn't have time to take a closer look, but we did get to see some of it and hear the music from across the bay. There was also a yacht racing event in the bay with about a dozen yachts taking part.
 The trip is billed as a scenic and wild life tour. There were loads of sea birds to be seen and a few seals, but the big starts like basking sharks and dolphins were all camera shy. The wonderful weather we're having is probably to blame for that. The basking sharks in particular will be in cooler water!
 We did enjoy the trip and got many scenic shots.
When we returned to Ramsey we went out for dinner, to an Indian restaurant. Every Sunday they put on a buffet menu and diners are able to sample various dishes. A great way to try out new foods.

Friday 26 July 2013

Quick update.

The weather over the last few days has not been quite so lovely. In fact at times it has been very dark, there was even a thunderstorm. So my walks have been quick marches in between showers and not worthy of the camera. Of course that has meant more time sewing. So Moonbeam is coming along, she finally has a face and some hair. In fact I'm almost finished with page two.
 I'm passed the half way mark. 
Which of course means I've been planning my next project. No new starts though, I have to finish this one which hasn't been touched in 5 years!! (Scroll down a bit) before I start a new piece, which I think will be something for baby Faith. Can you believe, she is nearly 7 weeks old now! 
I've also been up in my den playing about a little, more secret stuff!
Time for another cuppa and some domestics before I get to play.

Sunday 21 July 2013

A day out.

It's too hot to do much more than cross stitch at the moment, so I really don't have much in the way of crafty content recently, so I hope you're happy with pictures from yesterdays day out.
We decided on a whim to visit the Curraghs Wildlife Park. ( More info here.) It's not a huge zoo with amazing and exotic animals, but it is fun and there are loads of ducks!! Ducks everywhere! LOL
I didn't take pictures of ducks though. There are peacocks roaming free throughout the park, one had to be shooed out of the cafe where we stopped for lunch, though most of them had the same idea as this chap, find a shady spot and lie down.
The red panda pair also seemed to be looking for shade.
I always enjoy seeing these little guys.
To get away from the heat and sun for a while we followed the trail into the trees. A boardwalk has been put down through a very wet boggy area. There are regular information boards about the plants and insect life.
When we popped out of the trees we were greeted by a wallaby. There are two colonies of wallabies living wild on the island. Many years ago a group broke out of the park and not all of them were rounded up! They have settled in nicely. The colony living in the park seem to be doing ok too. There were joeys!
The pair of Northern Lynx were feeling the heat and seemed content to sleep off breakfast.
This ones mate was well hidden from cameras.
The fruit bats were fun characters.
They have their own house with this beautiful pool containing some very large koi carp.
Anyone who has watched British TV in the last couple of years will know why Meercats have become so popular! Aleksander Orlov found instant love and fame! Not to mention a long running documentary series about a wild meerkat family and their trails of life.
There were of course many other animals, some who co-operated  and had their picture taken and lots more who didn't. 
When we left the park we headed to the most Northerly point of the island.
The Point of Ayre.
Did you know that the majority of the light houses around Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man were built by the Stevenson family. Father and Grand father of the author Robert Louis Stevenson
The Point of Ayre light is one of them.
My Hunney is off out again today, he is helping a colleague to set up a home network and do some other computery stuff. So I plan to sit and cross stitch. 

Friday 19 July 2013

Cross stitch

I think I need to play about a little with the settings on this new camera. It's been ok for the out door shots, but I noticed when I came to do my update picture for Moonbeam, that she seemed to be an odd colour! I'm not stitching on blue Aida! 
 I tried moving to a different room, closer to the window, but got the same result. Even though it was on auto, the flash kept going off, even right in the window on a beautiful bright sunny day!
I had a quick play about with the settings and came up with a better image.
This is more like it. A little pale perhaps.
Anyway, here you go. I have almost finished the first page, I just need to add the colour to her wing. Last night while Tony was busy with the Play Station I finished up everything else on the page and got page 2 out, you can just make out the dark grey line that is the bottom of the moon there on the bottom right of the stitching.
I think I'll be working on her some more today. I got a little over cooked yesterday, so think I should stay indoors and play today, more sunshine tomorrow though. This weather is amazing, like the summers of my childhood, not the wet miserable summers we have become used to recently.
Domestics are already done, so another shower, then sewing time.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Wednesdays walk.

I hope you're ready for lots of pictures.
Yesterday I took one of my usual walks out to the White Bridge, you've been there with me before. But I took the camera along anyway and took pictures of the wildlife.
There were loads of ducks paddling about on the river.
 I did envy them, it was very warm and it would have been wonderful to dip my toes in and cool down.
 I'm sure that's what these chaps were up to. These hooded crows were hopping about very close to the waters edge.
 Once I was over the bridge I had to change course to avoid the brambles, there will be blackberries soon.
 These pretty roses were scrambling along the side of the path too.
 And everlasting sweet peas. They don't have the same sweet scent or variety of colours as their annual cousins, but they are pretty to look at.
There are poppies blooming everywhere at the moment. This one was a lovely reminder of our recent trip. As the coach toured through France, Belgium and Netherlands we saw 1000s of poppies growing in the fields, gardens and along the road sides. Flanders Fields truly are red with a sea of poppies.
 Common Foxglove.
 And periwinkles.
 Have I tild you that my route takes me passed the golf course? I'm not a fan of golf, to me it ruins a good walk. There are several good courses here on the island if you are a fan though.
 There are several bridges like this on the island, in fact there are two here in Ramsey. They are usually closed! This one goes into the school and is only opened during TT week. When the roads are closed for racing, this is the only way to access the school. Schools are closed during race week but, the exam schedule must go ahead as it ties in with the English schedule, so the children have to go to school! This bridge wasn't there when I went to school, we had to romp in over fields or sit our exams in a church hall in town.
The second bridge in Ramsey allows access to about a third of the houses in town, that would otherwise be cut off during the road closures.
 Some one had been busy yesterday.
 This milestone was almost lost inside the hedge! 
9 Miles to Kirk Michael.
7 5/8 to the Point of Ayre. (The most Northerly point of the island)
17 miles to Douglas. (The Capital)
1.2 mile to Ramsey town center
25 miles to Castletown. (The old Capital)
 On the fiinal stretch of my walk I was followed by the town gardeners! This pretty red clover is gone, mowed down along with all the other lovelies along this footpath! Such a shame, I used to see so many butterflies and bees along this path, but in recent years they are no longer there. 
I blame the need to be tidy, cut back and mown away. There are not so many wild places any more. :-(
Time for more domestics. A little every day keeps me up to date. Until DS arrives with about a months worth of laundry that is!! Good thing we're still having this glorious weather.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

An almost finished quilt.

I say almost finished, because I want to add just a little bit more. I tried playing around making some applique cherries, but wasn't happy with my efforts, so they got the heave-ho and I ordered some from the WWW. Hopefully they will be here very soon.
Meanwhile, I did some very simple straight line quilting, just echoing the outline of the string blocks, you can sort of see that here on the back, before I attached the binding.
 I used the same pink for the backing and binding. I plan to dot a few cherries about on the top of the quilt and that will be it finished.
There is one odd strip of fabric that doesn't belong to the Oh Cherry Oh fabric range, I added it for a bit of I spy fun. 
Time to do the domestics then go play.

Monday 15 July 2013

Home again

Well we've experienced Belgium. We were there for four days and five nights. Getting there on Monday was a long haul, being collected in Liverpool before 5am and not reaching our hotel in Ostende  until after 7pm.
On day two we visited Bruges, but sadly lost our camera. So the pictures start late on Tuesday afternoon, once we had found somewhere to replace it, which was in the pretty Dutch town of Sluis, where we saw this beautiful and working windmill.
 Day three found us in the City of Ghent, where we climbed this clock tower.
 It has a golden dragon right at the tip of the spire.
 The current dragon is it's third. Here you see me beside the second one, which used to 'breath fire' during festivals.
 The climb up the tower was broken by several rooms explaining the history of the tower, it was very interesting. Once we reached the top we were able to walk around the tower and look out over the city.
Day four we had free tome in Ostende in the morning, then the afternoon took us to Ypres or Iepers (EEpers) to give it it's Belgian name. There we saw the amazing and very moving Menin gate
We also visited the In Flanders Fields museum at the magnificent Cloth hall. The entire town of Iepers was demolished by the Kaisers men during WW1 and after the war as reparation, the country of Germany had to repair the town back to it's original state, including many of the beautiful medieval halls and buildings.
I hope you enjoyed your short tour of Belgium and the links I have added have were of interest.
We enjoyed the change of scenery, We met some nice folks and had a good time. Tony had a rest which was most important. 
I didn't lift my crochet hook even once! LOL I shouldn't have taken it with me.
We have come home to some amazing weather. It's better here than it was on the Belgian coast! Tony has cooked on the BBQ each night we have been home, I plan to let that continue for as long as possible. 
Right, I'm off out to buy salad ingredients then it's time for a swim.

Sunday 7 July 2013

Going Places

It's been a busy few days here. Tony and I attended the Tynwald Fair at St Johns on Friday 5th July.  (There is loads of info about the oldest continuous Government in the world, if you follow the link). It is a very long time since I attended and Tony had never been, so it was on the list of 'must do' things before we head South. Wee took dozens of pictures, but for some reason, I can't seem to upload any more at the moment!
Yesterday we were busy here around the house and garden. Tidying things up, especially outside, Tony did a great job of the hedge at the front. I should have taken before and after shots!  But I'm not sure they would have been uploaded, I only got one through today!
That one picture is of my Moonbeam cross stitch. I have added a little more to her skirts, and also made a start on the moon itself. The model image is here if you need a peep at it. 
We're going places again today! We're off to Belgium, to stay in the seaside resort of Ostend. I'll be sure to take plenty of photos.

Wednesday 3 July 2013

A finished quilt top!

Here it is. Not a huge top, just big enough for a babys cot. 
I have some plain pink to back it with and at the moment I'm undecided on the binding, more of the pink? Or a scrappy binding, made up from left overs?
 I'm also undecided on the quilting, so it may hang here for a few days.
Once I had completed the quilt top and done a few domestic chores I sat down with my cross stitch. I really am enjoying myself working away on this on. 
 The top image is how it looked when I st down, and this lower image is how she looked when Tony came home. 
I'm really pleased with the amount I got done, her dress is almost complete, then it's onto the moon! 
What to do with myself today......
The weather doesn't look promising, but after three wet days I'm itching to get out for a walk. Hopefully it will stay dry for a while. I would go swimming, but I want to avoid the pool for a few more days yet, following that ear infection.
I'm off to hang out in playroom, to see if something inspires me.