Monday, 26 September 2011

Chilling out

I thought I would just post a few photos so you can see what a lovely time we are having here with Clare and Kenny.  The weather hasn't been great so far but it hasn't stopped us from doing anything and I have got a couple of projects completed, which is amazing for me!! 

It's strange isn't it how different your children can be and the different times you have when staying with them. Richard and I are very lucky in that way because we get to stay with them when we are back in the UK and have good quality time with them.  With Vicki and family, apart from the lovely catching up time we have, we have of course got the children and they keep us on our toes and we absolutely love being with them; the cuddles in the morning and the stories at night time are not to be missed.  We also go to church with them, as a family, and that's quite special as well.  We feel very privilaged also to feel part of their group of friends, and they have lots of them and that always helps keep you feeling young.  I even get to go on "girlie" evenings or lunches which is great fun.  Then with Clare and Kenny, we have lots of walks, doing craft and mooching around "crafty" shops which I absolutely love, poor Kenny always sorts out our computer problems without EVER complaining and just being able to sit on the rocks or beach and watch nature at work.  Brilliant.

Clare and Kenny's raspberries being made into jam

Catching up with breath-taking scenery

The power of mother nature

Well deserved treat after our walk

Clare trying out my sewing machine
A very old but wonderful Bernina

2 projects completed so far
Well, that's about it for now, should any of my family be reading this, especially the "Smith" family, I hope all is going well.  Jess, I'm sure you are enjoying yourself at your new college, can't wait to hear all about it.  Briony, good luck at Uni, I hope you settle in soon, knowing you, it won't take long.  Clare and Kenny are looking forward to seeing you at their house.  Charlie, I guess this is going to be a tough year for you at school so good luck.  Hi to everyone else.

I am now going back to my knitting while Clare is working, perhaps I will be able to finish something else while I'm here!!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Cornwall and Craft - Family and Fun

Well, here we are in Cornwall staying with Clare and Kenny and the rain hasn't really stopped since we arrived.  Do I care??  No because Clare and I are having such fun crafting.  The first project is a little rag dolly which Clare has made before but I have to take my hat off to her because all she got were a few bits of paper cut outs as you will see from the photo, but with no instructions whatsoever, so here I go .............

I suppose it's a start !!!!!

Off we go

2 arms and 2 legs for each of us

Always full of fun

Looking a bit deflated, dolly not me!!!!!

Enough for one day, more tomorrow
I am having the most amazing time and if I can pass on any tips to Clare that I have picked up at various workshops then that makes it even better.  It is so good working together, more so because I don't see her very often, but the best bit is seeing just how talented she is and to be honest, Clare is teaching me more than I am teaching her!!

This morning we made a batch of raspberry jam and I made a taggy for my best friend's grandchild who is due in about 3 weeks.  I wonder why it is you get the motivation to do more stuff when you have someone to do it with.  I know I do "stuff" when I am with my mum and she certainly does more when my sister and I are about.

While I am crafting Richard is on about his 5th book!!  How often do we take the time to "just read" and of course, to snooze every now and then.

Also I have just finished the 4 books of the Twilight series and Clare has the first 3 films so of course I now know what the characters look like.  Perhaps not quite as I imagined but oh my goodness, I can't wait for the next film to come out.  Who would have thought I would have enjoyed the books so much because, let's face it, they are targetted to the teenage females but I really enjoyed them.  The escapism I suppose.

Time to go now and start thinking about colours, buttons, ribbons, threads and what to do next.  So many projects, so little time.  Oh by the way, I have knitting projects on the go at the same time.  I find it easier to knit in the evening, not so hard on the eyes.  Oh!! the joy of getting older........  Here's to tomorrow, bring it on....

Friday, 2 September 2011

Bizarre creatures - quilters

I have a very good friend over here who loves to go to charity shops and the equivalent of car boots and buys up old cotton dresses, blouses and shirts, bedding also.  She then takes it home, washes it, irons it and cuts it up.  She then spends quite a few evenings cutting up brown paper into squares and the result is this .........

A huge pile of brown paper squares

A huge pile of cotton squares
So when we have lots of paper and lots of beautiful cotton squares, what do we do with them?  We wrap the fabric around the paper and tack it on.

Part of the process
This is actually a wonderful part of the process because you come across so many different kinds of fabrics which have been dresses, shirts etc.  They are quite faded with the washing and pressing they have had in their lifetime and you can't help but wonder who was lucky enough to walk around in the amazing patterns.  Quite a few I recognize and realise that perhaps my mother-in-law had a blouse in the same fabric, or my mum has a dress in the same fabric.  It really is quite nostalgic and very satisfying.  What is even better is the fact that my friend has done the searching, the washing, the cutting and then realised she didn't want to do any more so I now have the task of trying to make a couple of quilts for my twin grandchildren.

The first 9-square of many

Squares tacked ready to sew together in piles of 50
A really nice part of the challenge is putting the colours together and blending them into quilts.  Of course the girls are very different and Millie is going to want pinks and lilacs and Jaime will go for the lellow (I know that should be yellow, but she makes it sound so much nicer) and greens.  I know I am going to have a lot of help with this when I go and stay with Clare and Kenny in a couple of weeks.  All this is hand stitched so I think I may be doing these in my sleep!!!  So much to do and I really wish I lived close to a friend of mine, Sharlene who would be able to quilt the end product for me with her special machine. So you see, quilters really are very strange, we buy fabric just to cut it up and stitch it together again.  Surely there has to be an easier way?

Bird church time again
Away from quilting now and as you can see, it's that time of year again when all the swallows are gathering before emigrating.  They fly in in their thousands and it really is an amazing sight. We are so lucky that they seem to do this within the area of our garden.  Every telephone line is absolutely full when it's time for them to leave.    When William was here, he saw all the birds on the wires and he called it "bird church" because he thought they were all sitting in their pews singing to God.  How cute is that?  It will always be bird church for us.