Tuesday, 31 July 2012

3 Well-organised Events! (on different scales)

OH went out to a boxing match on Friday evening so, instead of meeting our usual gang for drinks, I took the opportunity for some 'me' time and stayed in to watch the whole 3+ hours of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony while doing some hand-quilting.  I'm so glad I did!!  It was an amazing feat of organisation and with so much to see it was difficult to take it all in.   Highlights for me were; the REAL queen with the fictional James Bond; the fireworks; the 'forging' of the Olympic rings and, to top it all, the stunning cauldron!!

A new flight of stairs up to one of the castle towers, which had been closed off for many years due to the dangerous state of the original stairs.
OH and I popped into our local  Castle the other week during a walk.  There was a company of re-enacters showing the mediaeval way of life and demonstrating different sorts of battle-dress and weapons in simulated fights.

The view from the newly opened tower that I haven't seen for a long time.  These children are trying archery.
 I started to take pics of the action but remembered how people can be 'funny' about taking photos of children.  I became suddenly self-conscious and stopped snapping, so didn't get anything decent to show.

 This is another view from the newly opened tower across to the higher main tower that has always been open.  I've climbed that tower many, many times and also, in my childhood, climbed on and into many places where the public were not allowed. ;-)

Demonstrating how to use a coracle
The organisers of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show must have been very grateful for the good weather they had for the week.  OH and I went on the Tuesday and it was positively sweltering!  A bit too hot for me, if I'm honest, but I shouldn't say it too loudly because it really was lovely to see the sun and a welcome break from the rain.  The last time we went to the show was about 7 years ago when OH received an award for working 30yrs in forestry with the same employer. 

I don't know how we managed it, but we spent the whole day at the show and found plenty to do without actually seeing a single farm animal or entering a single marquee!  Being a forester and owner of 2 vintage tractors OH was interested in the machinery so we spent quite a bit of time in that section, which was thankfully less crowded than the trade stalls.  The tractor above is the same as one of OHs and is the same age as me.  I hope I'm wearing as well!!

We sat on the bank of the main ring for a while to watch the Ukranian Cosacs perform their amazing horseback skills but couldn't bear the heat any longer - it seemed to be concentrated on that bank.  So we popped along to see DS's girlfriends parents, who had a stand selling stock feeders, taking them some grapes and still-warm doughnuts for some afternoon munchies, before heading for home. 

Progress since last time:

Quilt-as-you-go-quilt - I'm finally in the process of hand-quilting the last block after deciding to concentrate on finishing (if not a whole project then at least) one stage.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Friday, 20 July 2012

It's in the Bag!

It was very remiss of me not to add a link to my last post when I mentioned the International Eisteddfod so here it is, better late than never.

I've finished Bag No 2 at last!  I'm glad I persevered with it because this is the one my colleague chose to buy for is wife.  I didn't have a pattern, just an idea, and I'm pleased with how it turned out.  The tricky bit was working out how to sew the main pieces together at the bottom corners.  It's mostly stitched wrong sides together with the binding covering the exposed edges.  This is what I planned but before I got to this stage I searched online for patterns or tutorials that would give me a clue to help. 

I found nothing, despite looking at dozens of sites so had to just go for it!  I had to slighly change my idea so the bottom side seam is sewn right sides together; the corners were just too fiddly otherwise.  All the checked and striped fabric is from furnishing sample books and the flowers are scraps from various sources.  This design could be made in any size or shape without too much trouble. There's no troublesome turning because the lining is sewn in as you go.!!

These yarns arrived in the post the other day.  I couldn't resist sending for a couple of skeins to sample these interesting yarns when I saw a link to this website on a blog (I wish, for the life of me, I could remember which one).  The top skein is a hemp yarn and is quite rough and rustic.  The bottom colourful one is made from the bark of banana trees!!.  Obviously, this is dyed but you can get the natural colour too.  It's softer than I expected. I bought only the one skein of each so I'll have to think of a couple of little projects to try them out. 

Progress since last time:

Bag no 2 finished!!!
Knitted baby booty ready to sew up - (I'm not very hopeful that the result will be as nice as I hoped)
Quilt block - almost finished hand-quilting ( the last  2 of these are going to be my next task - I'm going to get these finished before moving on to anything else)

Bye for now
Teresa x

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Two Memorable Occasions!

What do you do if you go to Disney World on holiday and you don't get proposed to?  Well, you go again 2 months later, that's what!  DD and her boyfriend A are now engaged!!  Not exactly a complete surprise to her (or us) but we're thrilled for them and I'm looking forward to helping with all the wedding arrangements (probably 2014).

 They came around one evening shortly after they got back from America to make the official announcement and we immediately went out for a meal to celebrate. We went to the restaurant where son K works on Sundays and had a lovely meal. As we were deciding whether or not to have dessert, this lovely selection was brought out from the kitchen along with glasses of dessert wine, with the compliments of the house!! How lucky were we!!!!

My parents were away on holiday at the International Music Eisteddfod in Llangollen at the time and despite many attempts I was unable to contact them to let them know about the engagement. They haven't succumbed to the lure of modern technology so, although they had a mobile phone with them, they hardly ever turned it on! It wasn't vital that we contact them, but we would have liked to tell them before the rest of the village heard the news.  But it wasn't too many days later that the need to contact them became more urgent.

We've heard on the news about many areas in the UK having had a months worth of rain in 24 hours.  Well, on Sunday, I'm pretty sure we had our months worth in an hour and a half.   My parents house, being the lowest in the street, bore the brunt when a stream overflowed. It was surrounded by water as it ran through their garden like a river and unfortunately found its way into the house.

  We could see the water through the window but didn't have a key. To cut a long story short - we contacted my parents by phoning the Eisteddfod office and asking them the make an announcement.  My parents subsequently called and it turned out there was a key hidden near the house all the time, that we didn't know about.  So, we got in, mopped up as best we could and carried out the rugs.  I persuaded my parents not to drive back straight away because there was nothing more they could do that night. 

They're back home now, after cutting their holiday short by a week, but the insurance company has been very helpful so far which is good.

Progress since last time:

Bag no 2 - almost finished. I was on a roll and well on the way to finishing bag no 2 when the flood struck, so that's been delayed AGAIN.
Quilt-as-you-go block - started quilting a block at club on Saturday.  Only 2 more left after this one!!

Bye for now
Teresa x

Monday, 2 July 2012

How Late is Late?

I got up 10 minutes late this morning. Not a momentus occurance I know, but my morning routine is so finely tuned that 10 minutes can make all the difference.  But to be more accurate (seeing as I get up 10 minutes late most days), I got up 10 minutes later than usual but 20 minutes later than I should.

Bran flakes with chopped apple. Mint tea (mint from the garden because I ran out of tea bags - should be the other way around I know!). Also in the pic -  a piece of birthday cake that I ate later, from a colleague)
 The result of this on a 'normal' day is that I'm always 10 minutes late for work.  I was still 'only' 10 minutes late today though because I took my breakfast to eat there instead of at home.  Lots of my work colleagues eat breakfast at work (they stay away from home during the week and start work at 7am).  I don't feel justified in doing this regularly (my start time is 8.30am) but I found that eating breakfast later today I didn't get hungry mid-morning. 

Comtemporary arrangement called 'Reflection'
 One of the churches in our local group had a flower festival over the weekend.  It's a small church and they'd put flowers in every place imaginable but, although the style was quite comtemporary, the subdued colour theme ensured it was in-keeping with the church building and didn't overwhelm it.

The Last Supper
I took a photo of the lovely tiled floor around the altar to keep as inspiration when quilting.

I was hoping to finish bag no 2 but here's another little peak instead.
Progress since last time:

Bag no 2 - nearly finished
Baby booties - started knitting a pair to try out a pattern.

Next project will be a little zipped purse for myself for when I need to take a little money but don't want to take my whole purse full of cards, stamps, receipts and whatnot.

Bye for now
Teresa x