Friday, 31 December 2010
I couldn't get these to download earlier, don't know why...
Thursday, 30 December 2010
The sky on the top right house is part of the skirt length which made my 'yacht' bag (below) and the bottom left is a patch called Humble Homes from a quilt book.
The nice thing is, No House is Wrong!
Sunday, 26 December 2010
What can I do now???
(The lining material came from the same friend who gave me the yacht material...)
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
After I'd bound it I decided to put some quilting in the border but just at the corners extending along both sides for a short distance. I have plastic templates of hearts and stars in different sizes so randomly quilted those in red, blue or white (well, cream) quilting thread. It's a fairly satisfactory result except that I was getting bored with having to do this on my lap so didn't complete the centre border sections.
Another corner with more quilting - I prefer quilting when the work is in a frame, except that even a tiny frame like mine takes up 'so much' room when I include the magnifying light, too.
Friday, 17 December 2010
Twenty minutes later it was like this and still snowing.
And an hour after that the snow had gone and there's a blue sky, sunshine in the garden... is it any wonder we're always talking about the weather???
On Wednesday 15th December I meant to post that it was the anniversary of Glenn Miller's disappearance after he took off from an airfield in Bedfordshire but never arrived in Paris, where the band was waiting for him. I'd been to the Eye Clinic and had drops put in and couldn't see what I was doing so wasn't able to post that day. There's a very readable book called 'Next to a Letter from Home' by Geoffrey Butcher which is about Major Glenn Miller's Wartime Band. Just looking to see when it was published(1986) and noticed that the author has signed the first page.
(Later - I realised I hadn't put in the date of the disappearance - it was 1944.)
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
These are fresh bundles of straw which you can see on the left hand side of the top photo. I'm saying straw because I can't imagine it being reeds...
The 'eyebrows' at the top of the roof are lengths of uncut straw which, again, you can see in the top photo. The other end of the run of roofline has been trimmed neatly.
He's still sweeping the roof clear of the cut ends of the bundles.
The lorry is full of the old thatch which must have been pulled down earlier today and thrown into the back ready to be taken away. I wish it had been easier to talk to him but there was so much traffic noise. I can't remember the name on the green logo on the door, all I can remember is that it said 'Master Thatcher', or perhaps it was Thatchers?
Sunday, 12 December 2010
This photo shows a fraction of those used as some had already been packed away in their foam lined travelling cases. All in disarray as the audience had replaced theirs standing upright.
The trio played carols, Christmas tunes and classical music as well., sometimes using bells held two in each hand and sometimes just one. Very clever especially as they change bells rapidly in some tunes. It was a case of ring, put down, pick up the next bell and ring, all in time with the others so there was no hanging about. And knowing where to find the next bell! It reminded me of fair isle knitting where you're searching for the next colour - but much, much quicker... Their music was ranged on a series of music stands at the front of their long table.
At the end they donned headgear for 'our' performance where each person was given a sheet of Jingle Bells words with bold lettering stressed for when to ring your particular toned bell - I won't go into that!
Speaking to one of the ladies afterwards she told me that there is an Advanced Recital Exam for players of any instrument and Pizzaz are the first group of handbell ringers to gain this award.
After the performance there were lots of 'munchies' to pile onto a plate plus tea or coffee before we went home.
PS Because I'm a quilter I was interested in the black material covering their table and in a decorative piece hanging down from the front - black with glittery red dots. However, both the black and this piece were polyester so no use at all...material came from a store named Fabricland which I've never heard of so will have to look it up and see where they are.
Monday, 6 December 2010
The 6th December is St. Nicholas' Feast Day but presents are given to the children on the evening of 5th December - the children leave hay, carrots etc for Santa's horse, as we leave a mince pie and a drink for Santa...
I was in two minds whether to use this next photo or not but - here goes. The other day I saw half a dozen red kites swooping over a garden at the end of the lane, about 600-700 feet away from me. Normally they soar around on the thermals, gradually moving down the countryside. But these birds were actively flying and diving, concentrating on themselves; blackbirds which were also around took no notice. The kites have a 6' wingspan, and are impressive birds, especially on sunny days when you can see the redness in their feathers and the barring on the wings. They were re-introduced round here on to the Getty Estate at Stokenchurch and have successfully bred and moved out and down the valleys. During the summer you can hear them calling, a once heard never forgotten cry.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
He laid a 'patching' floor on top of the shed floor that's going into holes and then made a new sewing table frame for me, very utilitarian but sturdy and what I hope will be the right height to machine on. He's made it with a loose top, which is a wardrobe door panel which I bought at Texas (remember that DIY store?) many years ago.
The framework has been put so that it's 1 1/2" or so away from the wall. I'll be able to drop material or a quilt down the back of the table by shifting the table top. There's plenty of room underneath whereas before, with a pasting table, I had a very heavy set of metal drawers helping to support it in the centre. The only snag is that it's too low to cut on comfortably but I'm learning to use the ironing board!
Stop moaning, woman...
Monday, 29 November 2010
At least she didn't leave a puddle anywhere! Ashley decided to go outside for a while and he wasn't bothered by her scent when he came back in again - later.
Perhaps next time I see her - in warmer weather down at the stables - maybe I'll get a shot showing her face!At last! A sort of full frontal... Take me home, Mum!
Sunday, 28 November 2010
I've just wandered down the garden to see what's happening to the plants as it's been such frosty weather recently. Luckily we haven't yet had snow, touch wood! I know, that's tempting fate. But it's only been a heavy frost. This is the last New Dawn rose bud...
These are London Pride rosettes, evergreens, so the frost won't worry them. They remind me of my childhood when they flourished in our London garden
Even the bird feeders are frosted as I don't get much sun in the garden during the winter. Why are goldfinches such messy eaters? The tray on the left is full of nyger seed. I've thrown out porage oats coated with cooking oil, which the birds are fond of, but rather than robins and finches it's a handful of starlings. Blackbirds like it, too. Commercial bird seed seems wasteful as lots of the seeds get left, unwanted by any bird, even the pigeons and collared doves.
Poor old house leeks but they'll recover for next year. Most of these are next spring's forgetmenots which will be a sea of blue come April. Can't wait!
I've rummaged through the leaves of the clumps of hellebores (the plant on the left by the wire plant support) but so far none are showing signs of flowers. Most of them are the creamy variety and the buds should be coming through 'soon' when I shall have to cut off the leaves to show the flowers. I have some dark purple varieties as well but they're usually later flowering.
While I was outside I could hear some sportmen banging away with their shotguns, which reminded me of something which happened in Stone in April 1897. According to a report in the Bucks Advertiser two boys, aged 14 and 10, and another, were crowstarving with Mr.Woodford's breechloading shotgun in his field. The eldest boy put a marble in each of the five blank cartridges he'd been given and fired three. Having reloaded he left the shotgun propped against a hut. The 10 year old boy accidentally kicked the gun and it went off, hitting the 14 year old, who called out that he was shot. Two men took him home.
Mr. Woodford said he'd warned the boy not to put marbles or anything else in the gun and paid him 5/- per week.
At the Infirmary the house surgeon said the immediate cause of death was 'titanus', by which I imagine he meant tetanus. He produced the marble and said he'd found peritonitis.
The Coroner said it was a pure accident and a verdict of Accidental Death was returned. It was, a rider concluded, injudicious of Mr. Woodford to trust a gun...[to] so young a lad.
It's all so casual...
Little snippets of local history like this give an insight into Times Past.
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Monday, 22 November 2010
Friday, 19 November 2010
I popped into the library today and was greeted by the staff in rather different clothing!
They're supporting Children in Need with tea, coffee and homemade cakes. There's also a raffle and I was promised (tongue in cheek) by the Viking Queen that one of my tickets would be drawn... Harry Potter and a Medieval Lady were also present.
What a good job that I carry my camera with me these days, just in case I see something of interest!
Monday, 15 November 2010
20 minutes to make, about 55 mins to cook.
(8 oz SR flour
(1 tsp mixed spice, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg. Mix these together in the bowl.
4 oz margarine Rub into the flour.
4 oz sugar Stir into mix.
6-8 oz mixed fruit Add to bowl.
(1 egg Whisk the egg in a basin or measuring jug.
(milk Add milk to make 5 fl. oz.
(1 tbsp jam, syrup or marmalade to add to this mix if wanted. Mix well.
Add to mixing bowl, making a soft, dropping consistency.
Put into 6" cake tin or a silicone mould, bake for c. 55 mins at 150C or 300F or Mark 4 for Gas.
Dribble what's left of the egg/milk mix over the cake, shake sugar over it and get a shiny, crunchy top. Definitely a cut and come again sort of cake.
(Why do other people's recipes look so tidily printed and mine's a mess? Narrow column to write in perhaps? Grrr!)
Saturday, 13 November 2010
I was looking on different patchworking sites and found a piece about Mug Mats, large enough to take a mug and a couple of biscuits. It was 6" x 10" but mine's larger at 6" x 12" because I've used two squares I made earlier, just like Blue Peter... It was meant to be a practise for machine quilting with the two reels of machine quilting cotton bought to scribble-quilt the Triangles quilt I made for me, so not too much of a problem if it's untidy. (More about that later!)I thought this scribble looked a little bit like something from the Zodiac...
I like this material as it has gold in it, too.
After I'd taken the photo of the mat I realised that I'd not made a very good job of the bottom edge, so this morning, in the daylight, I unpicked about half of the edge and resewed it so it looks better now. Just being lazy and not taking another photo...
It's still tending to be a Sod's Law day- having done Must Do jobs before I went out I decided just to start the quilting on the quilt, having unblocked the jammed bobbin from last night - after about 3 stitches - and was sailing along, uneven stitches but what the heck, I was machine quilting. It's a bit like learning to hand quilt tidily, which I can do. I must have pulled the material too hard and the needle broke so I went out instead.
Called on a friend to take her some Excel How To sheets and as I left there were masses of starlings in a large tree outside her home, including others in an apple tree making a great noise as they pecked their way through the bonus of apples. I called to her to wait to pick up some windfalls for me but she didn't hear so the starlings left. Damn! There was my blog for today...