Tuesday, 22 November 2011

You'll Never Guess What I've Been Up To!!

I missed posting last week due to lack of anything interesting to say or show.  Today, however........boy, have I got something to say!!!!

I finished tweaking and twiddling my Sudoku block and will definitely get it made into a cushion by next time. (No, that's not IT)

I'll keep it on our bed so it doesn't get dirty too quickly.  I don't think it will stand up to the treatment meeted out to the sofa cushions so it'll be better off out of the way. (This isn't IT either) 

I made this box at a day workshop a few years ago. It wasn't until I received the information about the Sudoku weekend course and looked into what might be involved, that I noticed the connection with this box.  Look again at the panel above and see if you can spot it.   (No, not this!)

Hip hip hooray. I've actually completely finished something for the first time in months.  The two pin-cushions are no longer flat.  They are stuffed, plumped and buttoned.  I know that you can barely bring yourself to believe it, and that it's a major achievement (for me), but that's not IT either!!


OH and I were lucky enough to attend the Welsh Premiere of this film on Monday, along with a couple of hundred other people including the author of the book the film was based on, some of the stars and many more of the production crew.  The star guest, however, was none other than HRH The Prince of Wales!!!

Since the book was set (and the film was made) in and around the area of Abergavenny, the Welsh Premiere was held there the day after the London Premiere.  We walked up the red carpet, listened to speeches, watched the film and attended a reception afterwards where wine and nibbles were in abundance and all the hotel staff were dressed in 40s outfits. HRH wasn't at the reception but the film people were and I was struck by how much younger and smaller (in height and girth) they were in real life.

Much of the filming took place on the country estate where OH works and his boss was kind enough to get the tickets for us and other estate employees.  The estate employees were also mentioned in the speeches and acknowledged in the film credits!

To be honest, OH wasn't keen on the film but I enjoyed it.  It's a very moody, atmospheric film with more silence and expression than dialogue.  The acting is superb and the story clever, with the Welsh countryside playing a major part.  Having read the book (of the same name) beforehand, I found nothing jarred with my imagination, although, when the film ended, I couldn't remember if that was how the book had finished. (I wrote this before reading the review linked above and was surprised to find similarities in them - though a little less eloquent in my case)

It was an opportunity not to be missed and, despite being a 'school night', we were detemined to make the most of it.  I still haven't caught up with my sleep but I'm sure I will soon and it was well worth it.

The Welsh theme included the little gift placed in each cinema seat's drink holder. There was a bottle of water (which I presume was from a Welsh source but didn't think to check) and a little box of 3 chocolates called Black Mountain Gold from a Crickhowell based chocolatiers .


I'm not going to spoil the mood, or depress myself or you, by listing my crafting accomplishments for this week.  Suffice to say that the above mentioned items are about all there was anyway.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Tweaking and Twiddling!

Tweaking and twiddling, that's what I was doing most of last weekend!  I took Friday off work and headed for Farncombe Estate where I'd booked a weekend course called Texture into Sudoku.

I've been to Farncombe before. Last year I stopped off on the way for a few hours in the quaint village of Broadway and decided to do the same this time.  The weather being wet and dreary, and the village being inundated with road works, I didn't see any point taking photos but you can see a few if you visit last years post, since the weather was much nicer then. I partook of a little luncheon in the same cafe as last year (the second cafe.... ahem!). If you've never tried peanut-butter, banana and honey sandwiches before - give them a go. Yum....my!

Saturday's weather wasn't much better but at least it'd stopped raining.
Jennie Rayment, who taught the course, is as good at teaching her craft as she is at doing it.  She travels the world teaching and I can understand why she's in demand.  She's funny and lively as well as having a teaching manner that doesn't make you feel like a complete idiot if you don't understand.

My progress after the first day.
'Sudoku' refers to the layout of the 9 different blocks, in Jennie's quilt below.  Each block design represents a number (1 - 9) and the blocks are put together in the layout of of a Sudoku puzzle.  Clever eh!!
Thanks go to Jennie for allowing me to use these photos!
There's even one block replaced by a question mark and extra blocks hanging from bottom, one of which is the correct one to fill the space.  I realised after I got home that we'd become so engrossed in our own projects that no-one had actually taken the time to work out the puzzle.

This is my progress at the end of the second day.  The two blank squares also had pieces ready to stitch on, so it was coming together.  I have a little more 'tweaking' left to do so will show the finished piece next time.

Sunday was a much nicer day weather-wise.  As I wandered the grounds in an after-breakfast stroll, the clear sound of church bells rang out from down in the village. Look at the photo above and imagine standing there listening to peals of chuch bells! 

We'd all come to the course armed with our sewing machines, equipment and fabric already cut out to the correct sizes.  Some ladies had used different colour combinations, while others, like me, had stuck to the suggested cream calico.  We were shown enough variations of each block (in colour and design), along with lots of extra hints and tips,  to keep us in ideas for a very long time.

Stitching progress since last time:

-Texture into Sudoku panel - nearly finished.
-Knitted cardigan - Second sleeve finished (but realised I'd made a mistake on first sleeve so un-run it to the armhole shaping and nearly finished re-knitting - need to check I haven't made the same mistake on the second sleeve before continuing)!!
-Scrappy pincushions - still flat and waiting to be stuffed!

Last but not least, if you said Roger Moore for the knitting patterm model in the last post - that's who I think it is too!! In fact, I'm 99% sure after doing a little googling. 

Bye for now
Teresa x

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Before He Was Famous!

Well there you have it, Brulee is more popular than Caramel (see previous post). The only disenting voice came from DD who has only tasted the latter and, although has served the former when working as a waitress, didn't much like the look of it and was never tempted to try a sample.

Thank you for the helpful hints regarding how to bring together my Bee Quilt (also previous post).  I looked at the pic with the soft green sashing/border in mind and I think that's the way to go. 

There are a couple of old books sitting on our bookshelf that I browse through now and again out of interest.  One is a knitting book and the other is about sewing.  I can't remember precisley where they came from.  Most likely they were from when we sorted out MIL's house after she passed away although she was a crocheter rather than a knitter and not very skilled at sewing.

"A perfectly plain, perfectly knitted twin-set is a 'must' for every woman.........."
The knitting book was published in 1949 and has obviously been used most because a few of the patterns have pencil notes on and the pages are coming loose in places.  Most of the patterns use 3ply yarn and are smallish in size, many without any extra sizes.  There seemed to be no such thing as 'loose fitting' in those days either.  All the garments are shaped to within an inch of their lives and are very uncomfortable tight looking. 

"The teen-age youth will appreciate this polo-neck sweater for weekend wear......"
There aren't many teenagers these days who would appreciate this, or any other kind of hand-knitted sweater. Do you think it's the clothes, the hair styles or the black-and-white photos that make them look much older than they are?  Does this young chap look familiar to you?  He did to me.............

.....and when I came to this photo a bit later (which is of the same person) I was more convinced than ever of who he is.  I may be wrong but I think................no, I'm not going tell.  I've just changed my mind because I think it would be much more fun for you to guess.  


If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  Believe it or not these people are of friends of mine.   We're on our way to a party to raise money for the local Music FestivalWeThey like to dress up!!!!  It's funny how some peoples' personalities change when they put on a costume.  OH in particular became a different person.  He said it was because people reacted and behaved differently than they normally do to HIM.  I wonder how much of our normal behaviour is governed by how people interact with us rather than how we really feel!?
Me on the left, OH on the right!!

I had to change my plan for the little felt hearts.  The darker felt was finer than the pink so when I tried to hang it up it pulled out of shape. I put together a few more hearts and joined them in a circle but it's a bit too 'chunky' for my liking.   Put it down to experience - on to the next thing......

Here's the crazy patchwork piece I made (along with another one) turned into a ready-to-be-stuffed pincushion.  Stuffing will commence after the weekend because I'm off on an exciting little jaunt by myself.

Stitchy progress since last time in addition to the above:-

Knitted cardigan - second sleeve still not finished but I'm on the homeward straight i.e. decreasing the raglan shoulder.That's it!! 

Well this time I even have excuses!  The last couple of weeks I've been doing some proof-reading for a friend and I've joined a Musical Theatre Group.
I know, I know - there's no hope for me. :-)

Bye for now
Teresa x