Friday, March 30, 2012

Quilty as charged

 Needs to loose the creases as only just finished - but hand quilting all done.
 Signed and dated.
 Front all sashed - may quilt a red line 1/4" in on the sashing...may not.....can't decide.
Drapes well and I am happy with it. First quilt project that I've attempted (and finished) in quite a few years and I like its simplicity and colours.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

All is quiet

 Been busy with other stuff, so the blog took a bit of back seat. M had some time off so we did some out and abouting.

 J took the opportunity to meet up with some long lost family members (M's side of the family of course).
 We played tourists.

We visited with friends old and new and just generally had a chilled out time.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


In a months time someone I've known for over 20 years will most probably be dead after failing to fight off cancer for a third time. He's not old, in the true sense of the word, late 50's, he leaves a wife and other family and a huge array of friends and neighbours all of whom will miss him. He was kind to J as a little tot, always friendly and always cheerful and will be missed.

And when I think of all the wasters, abusers and people who waste their lives for puerile things - I feel angry and sad that someone like him, who has used his life well and been such a good all round bloke, should have his time shortened. Someone who twice has beaten cancer and found the strength to come back and fight with all he had for round three - well to be honest it makes me sick.

It also makes me value, even more, my own life and family. Cherish every moment, no regrets and try to find positives in all the things that piss you off - cos it can all be snatched away on a flip of a coin.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Books 34 -37

Paw Tracks in the Moonlight by Denis O'Connor
Format - Kindle.

Complete change of pace from preceding book. This delightful gentle book tells of the story of a man and his cat - from a daring rescue of a tiny kitten to adventures shared through the cats life. The stories are told with humour and whimsy and it really is a lovely read.

His Good Opinion: A Mr Darcy Novel by Nancy Kelley
Format - Kindle.

This takes 'Pride and Prejudice' and tells it from Darcy's perspective - the complete novel from the other side. Well written with a enough of the original dialogue to appeal to Austen fans and the language of Darcy's story slots into place very well. It is lovely to read how he saw Elizabeth's behaviour, how he reacts to Mr Collin's and Lady Catherine. So many P&P spin offs disappoint but this one doesn't.

Before I Go to Sleep by S. J Watson
Format - Kindle

Forget the hype - read the book! Not my normal choice of book at all - but it really is a good read. By the time I was getting toward the end I couldn't put it down - even abandoning the family at the breakfast table so I could read a bit more!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Format - Kindle.

Finally read it instead of listening to it - just as good. A lovely follow on from 'His Good Opinion' I love this book to bits.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lady Grr Grr is not amused!

Now this just takes the Bo-Bo biscuit - as if it isn't bad enough that the o'rrible smelly Boggart gets in my bean bag now Conkers McBonkers aka Killer is trying to muscle in and squish me out. This is beyond BT tolerance! I am going to write to my member of Pawliament because these cats just do not stay within reasonable boundaries! I can feel his nasty little green gimlets burning into my back willing me to move, but I was here first and this beanbag smells of dog so it is mine. This Lady Grr Grr (aka Mrs Grunty) is NOT for moving!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Books 31-33

 'Civil War Women' by Barbara Brackman
Format - book.

I re-found this book whilst searching through my patchwork books the other week.It was a Christmas present from M quite a few years ago - I knew I'd read it then but remembered very little so decided to re-visit it. Very glad I did. Historically interesting and very inspiring it provides history, background and quilting designs/projects.
'The Magic Toyshop' by Angela Carter
Format - book.

Another book re-visited following a brief chat with someone at knitting group about this author (she was local to SE England) this book has been read many times. It is a strange, disturbing yet compelling story and one that always engages and intrigues. If you've never read any of Angela Carter's work then this one is a good starting point. She isn't always an easy writer to read but her stories stay with you.

'The 9th Fortress' by J P Jackson
Format - Kindle

This was a free download. I found the synopsis interesting and decided to give it a go - very glad I did! It is quite a long book but the story telling keeps the pages turning and it isn't at all boring or dull. It does turn into a 'quest' type fantasy novel but it has enough differences to make it worth the read. It is also quite gory in places and although I sussed out the plot it was well written enough for to read it through to the end and feel very satisfied with how it all came together. Bloody good book and even better that is was a freebie.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Quilty pleasures.

 Thought I'd have a rummage in one of the storage bags to find some of the lap quilts I made when I  was first learning patchwork and quilting when J was just a toddler! Above is a Maple Leaf quilt - I love this particular block it is a favourite to work. The quilting is done in silver thread.
My first attempt at a Log Cabin quilt. Ma has the other one which is well worn now and was a variation of the theme - Courthouse Steps. I still have a thing for red and green in combination.
 Japanese patchwork lap quilt - the whole thing is stitched by hand!
Current quilting progress - I don't use a hoop (though I have one) I can't really get on with them, except when I machine quilt, I prefer to hold the quilt as I quilt it - cosy on cooler days too.

I have others, full size, lap size and loads of cushions but they are all in the attic so wasn't feeling brave enough to rummage about in there.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Bit more baby knitting

Cast on back Wednesday - started front Saturday - baby came early on Sunday - Sunday finished two fronts and a sleeve - Monday other sleeve, borders and making up - all blocked and done. I really did 'knit, knit like the wind'.

Details re yarn, needles and even pattern same as previous one.

I hope my Great Niece likes it.

Lets have lunch.

Lunch time here is a quiet affair. Ma does her crosswords, J eats a sandwich at speeds which blind and bewilder the human eye and then disappears until someone calls out 'Do you want this cup of tea or what?' The terriers have a couple of biscuits, a mad charge around the garden and then settle down on squirrel watch somewhere and I have my lunch whilst reading my Kindle and the house is quiet enough to hear the birdies singing. But today was's lunchtime could have been written for a sit com.

Conkers bought home a lovely gift this morning of a dead baby mouse - he then, when this was rejected, decided we'd much prefer a live one, which he deposited amongst all the outdoor shoes by the back door in the conservatory. The three human residents then spent a good 15 minutes amongst the shoes, helped by a demented Scottie yapping constantly through the kitchen door and a cat sitting in a superior fashion on the glass topped table.We shook the  shoes, we moved the shoes, we spotted the mouse, we lost the mouse.We tried shaking the shoes again and moving the furniture when we noticed a bipping noise....bip......bip.....bip.....bip. Not the mouse squeaking too big a noise, Ma suggests the washing machine has developed a squeak....wrong location. Mouse hunt abandoned as we moved onto bip hunt.

(In the meantime I am still trying to finished my slice of toast, eat my apple before it goes brown, calm down the demented Scottie, make tea and coffee and watch the cat to see if he leads me to the missing mouse.)

Perhaps the bip is the tumble dryer....nope. The downstairs smoke alarm....ah has a bit of droid rot when it needs new batteries. J volunteers to deal with the alarm (I am still eating my lunch - on the move - and Ma has been ill all week with labyrinitis) he climbs on the step stool, wrestles out the two 9v batteries - problem solved......bip.......bip.......bip. Check the burglar alarm (which was serviced last week and had a new battery) not that.....upstairs smoke alarm.....bip.....bip....bip. J again volunteers - repeat of before but just 1 battery this time. I find a replacement loose in the drawer (M loves 9v batteries and takes them in  out of his basses so it could be a used battery but I try it anyway). The bips meantime have J then puts back the batteries in the downstairs smoke alarm as it was actually ok.......bip......bip.......bip.

Action stations - smoke alarm downstairs......J upstairs (I finally finish my apple). It's upstairs! I find a brand new battery (still in the packet - must of hidden it well from M - who has one nickname of "The Battery Hen" he loves and hoards them and J and I make clucking noises at him). Again J clambers up changes the battery. No more bips! Hurrah.

I then take the chance to drink my now cold cup of coffee when.....bip......bip......bip I send J to watch upstairs alarm...I watch downstairs.....neither! Then Ma appears with the carbon monoxide alarm from the conservatory where it lives above the boiler and it goes bip......bip......bip. The boiler isn't on, the windows are open so it must be the batteries....3 AAA those. Two adults and one teen geek can't find the combined brain power or manual dexterity to open it. So it is still going bip.......bip........bip. Maybe the missing mouse will think it is its Mum calling and come out of hiding? Conkers has abandoned it and gone back to next doors compost heap to look for a friend for it.I just hope we find it before Fergus does!

Bip......bip.......bip.........I think tomorrow I will go out for lunch!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Ooo baby, baby.

Less time on d'interwebs more time for this.

First size, knit on 3.25 and 4.00mm needles in Rico DK baby yarn which is very soft, machine washable and can be tumbled. Cast on Saturday (25th Feb) finished and set to block yesterday.Got the next one on the needles. The pattern is an old Hayfield one that belongs to my Mum.

(Yarn and buttons purchased from Cocoon in Hove).