Monday, 31 January 2011

Stand by your beds ..... we have a winner !!

As promised the draw has been made for my blogiversary quilt

Using very appropriate patchwork paper

all the entries

were jumbled up and folded into this

and as I am on my Jack Jones tonight I had to draw the winning ticket myself

and the winner is ......

please let me know what colours you would like and I will get cracking ..... congratulations xx

Sunday, 30 January 2011

The penultimate day of January 2011

Where did January go???  I can't say I will be sorry to see the back end of it as it must be my least favourite month of the year. 

I have booked my first fairs of the year and will be at Potten End Village Hall on Saturday 12th March for a Craft Fair and the following weekend I will be at the 4th Northampton Vintage Fair which is a lovely mix of vintage goodies and handmade items.  This has meant a flurry of activity in the sewing room with two new patchwork quilts on the go ..... one is a hand sewn Granny's Flower Garden hexagon quilt which I am doing in the evenings in front of the goggle box and the other is a Spider's Web courtesy of Marit over at Quilt It which is being machine sewn during my child free moments.  Here are the first five blocks ...

doesn't it make the most wonderful kaleidoscope effect

and better late than never I recently received this award from Linda over at Tabbyroo

So now I need to:

1.  Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.

2.  Share 7 things about yourself

3.  Award 15 bloggers

4.  Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Well number one is done and here goes on the seven things about me (not very interesting I am afraid)

1.  I cannot swim .... as much as I would love to be able to I am just petrified of large expanses of water which maybe down to my fire sign of Aries (and yes I am rather a ram at times) and the fact that I was taken to the local swimming baths aged about 8 yrs by an older girl who lived opposite us.  Her idea of teaching us to swim was to take us to the deep end and leave us !

2.  I have never had a bedroom all to myself (get the violins out!)  ..... during my life I have shared with my parents, siblings and then my husband

3.  I met my husband at High School and we started going out on 10th December 1973 .... the decade that taste forgot ;-)

4.  I hate men with long hair especially the ones with ponytails and nothing on top!

5.  I have been a jack of all trades and master of none since I left school working in  manufacturing, travel agency, estate agency, retail, leisure, publishing and childcare with a spell in the 80s when I went back to college to get an Access qualification so that I could do a degree course.  I completed 2 years of the degree course but then financial pressures meant I had to give it up to return to work.

6.  My dream would be to have a small period house with room for lots of animals and children with a sewing room overlooking our wonderful English countryside or the sea (not too close though bearing in mind No. 1  !)

7.  My nan taught me to knit, my sister in law helped me to get to grips with crochet and the only sewing tuition I have had was at school ..... everything else has been self taught along the way.

I am going to cheat now and offer this award to all of my lovely readers and leave it up to you whether you post or not.

Don't forget the blogiversary giveaway is to be drawn tomorrow evening .... there is still time to enter here

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Lilian Rowles

Lilian Rowles is the lady who is responsible for my beautiful avatar.  I fell in love with her drawings nearly 30 years ago when I started my family and still keep on the lookout for more of her work.  In the past couple of weeks I have acquired a charming postcard with a postmark for 11 September 1932

and today this book came

the collection grows !

Monday, 24 January 2011

2nd Blogiversary

I've just realised that today is the 2nd anniversary of my entry into blogland .... how the heck did that happen???

I tippy-toed in on this day in 2009 and thought that nobody would want to hear about my boring life and ramblings but here we are still waffling on with new friends made along the way and guess what .... life isn't so boring any more.  It is lovely to come on here and catch up with everybody's news and share ideas on anything from life in general to crafting hints & tips.

To celebrate this special day .... which also happens to be my favourite nephew's 21st birthday .... I would like to offer a mini patchwork quilt to one of you lovely readers.  The winner will be chosen in the traditional manner (names in a hat) on 31st January and they will be able to choose the colour they prefer .... the finished quilt will be 1m x 1m and I am aiming to have it finished by the end of February.

No catches .... just leave a comment here and you will be entered.

Good luck xx

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Pay it forward and an award

I saw this on Hard Up Hester's blog and thought it was a lovely idea

All I have to do is promise to send something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment on this post.  However, to be eligible, you must re-post this status, offering something handmade to the first 5  people who respond on your post.   Are you still with me ????  The rules are that it must be handmade (or homemade) by you and it must be sent to your 5 people some time in 2011.
On your marks, get ready, GO !!


I was honoured to receive an award from Hortensia

This award is aimed at smaller crafty blogs rather than the big guys and like Pam I am offering on to some favourite crafty blogs of my own

Sunshine on a rainy day .......

.......  and my first completed item for Annie the Felt Fairy's 2011 Monthly Make Challenge

Fed up to the back teeth of rain, greyness and lack of sunshine I looked to my fabric stash for something to brighten my week up.  What better than yellow and orange ..... I chose a mix of vintage embroidered fabric and contempory plain/floral/gingham/stripe and I am calling this one Oranges and Lemons.

Hope it's brought you a little sunshine too x

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Getting things done ...........

I was just commenting on Monday that I was fed up to the back teeth with greyness and rain and would gladly trade them in for some blue sky and sunshine even if it meant that it got a little colder.  Someone must have been listening to me because yesterday and today have been glorious which has certainly spurred me on.

Our local library service has an online facility to search for and reserve books from all over the borough ... it is so easy and I just request to collect them from the little library that is next door to the school that I pick the children up from.  This is my selection for this week ...

that should keep me going with inspiration and ideas for a while!

Yesterday I popped to my favourite yarn shop for some supplies to finish off a couple of UFOs .... one is a chunky crochet scarf

The other is a ripple blanket which is next on my list and I had told myself I mustn't buy anything else until these were finished but as I stood at the counter waiting to pay my eye was drawn to a display and I was hooked once again.

This springy soft scarf needs just one ball and it is amazing ..... when opened out it looks like a crochet mesh and all you have to do is knit with 00 needles along the top edge ..... sounds easy but we shall see!   This range of yarns comes from Spain and they are lovely quality and very reasonably priced .... a fantastic alternative to the pricier yarns by Debbie Bliss and Rowan.

Mr Postie also visited yesterday with a fabric delivery from Patch Fabric & Haberdashery .... I needed some more of the Tanya Whelan Darla to finish a quilt and treated myself to some more Michael Miller .... the mini gingham checks & red heart fabrics are by Makower and these came from an excellent seller via Ebay.

Here is the finished mini quilt which I have called Spring Greens in anticipation of seeing some green shoots in the garden soon (not shown in true colours I am afraid because I still cannot locate my camera cable and have to use my phone)

and still on a green theme I found this book in the CS today for a princely 20p

and I couldn't leave without another photo of our little lady who has been officially registered today as Millie May

big brother Charlie holding her hand

Monday, 17 January 2011

A big round of applause please ....

Not for me but for Sian over at Diary of a Tinyholder who is working relentlessly at the moment to raise funds for the Alzheimers Society .... such a worthwhile cause I am sure you will all agree.  I should think every family in the land has been touched in some way or another by this cruel disease ... my own nan, mother in law and sister in law all succumbed to its evil clutches at the end of their lives.

At the end of last year I bought some tickets for Sian's vintage eiderdown draw via the Just Giving website .... I am not usually lucky in such things despite how many tickets I purchase but can you imagine my surprise and delight when I realised I had won!!!

With all the kerfuffle of Christmas and snowbound delivery peeps I told Sian not to worry about posting it till things got back to normal ..... then that law of sod came into play on Saturday, the only morning I had gone out all week and what happens ..... the bliddy postman tries to deliver it .... aghhhhh  ..... frustration, now I had to wait until today to go to the sorting office and collect it.

Well it was worth the wait .... excuse the quality of my photo as I have had to take them on my phone because I cannot find the download cable for my camera at the moment .... it seems to have disappeared in the black hole that is my home.

Are you ready ?????

Pretty pink floral cotton with a peachy frilled edging and feather filled and in lovely condition.

Don't be afraid to admit you are just a tincy wincy bit jealous and if you fancy helping Sian raise even more funds for some wonder Cath Kidston goodies visit this link NOW!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


A date to remember


this little beauty came into this world today

Welcome Millie born at 10.11 am this morning ...... photographed with her big cousin at 7.30 pm

My precious grandchild number 4


Sunday, 9 January 2011

Who pinched the weekend?????

Where has the time gone to again??

Why do the week days drag and Saturday/Sunday fly by in a flash???

I started my weekend on Friday evening with a rare night out.  Firstly a dinner at the local Indian restaurant which was absolutely delicious with my daughter, sister, mum and nephew.  It was a wonder we ever got up from the table with our full bellies and made it into town to the cinema.  We were off to see this lovely specimen

Colin Firth in The King's Speech .... a wonderful film beautifully acted by himself, Helena Bonham-Carter and Geoffrey Rush.   The story was both sad and humourous and it was lovely to take in the period detail and also have a brief history lesson.  If you are thinking about going to see it I strongly recommend that you do .... you won't be disappointed.

Had a lovely lie-in till 9.00 am yesterday (which is very late for me) and then toddled off to the Watermill to purchase some yarn for the next project.  Why is it that I have a cupboard full of yarn but can't quite find the right colours when I need them!  My nephew is 21 in a couple of weeks and the daft big kid wants a jumper with Wallace and Gromit on it like he did when he was little .... well if that's what he wants I'd better get cracking.  Sadly the little wool shop is to close next month and I shall miss it along with the quilting shop that went last year.  I am hoping that something else crafty will move in because I am fast losing my excuses to visit there.

I'm hoping to make this my project for the 2011 monthly challenge.

Today has been spent loading some of my clutter  collections onto Ebay ..... it takes sooooooo long to do but all done now   I have listed Art Deco glass, vintage books and toys and here is a link to one of the items under my Ebay ID lalabi-baby in case anyone is interested.

Feet up time now and had better get those knitting needles going while I am watching the new Larkrise to Candleford.

Thanks for the lovely comments about my new header .... I spent some time last year sorting through my mum's photo box and scanned a load.  This is me with my mum and dad.


Friday, 7 January 2011

Blog Giveaway and a terrific challenge for 2011

I have just discovered a wonderful blog over at Annie The Felt Fairy and dear Annie is offering this really useful book in a giveaway

take a look at the link on my sidebar too for the Monthly Make Challenge for 2011 xx

Thursday, 6 January 2011

How does your garden grow ?????

Back in November I started on another quilt completely using reclaimed/scrap materials ..... some cream cotton curtain lining and curtain fabric samples acquired from my local scrapstore and from a gorgeous fellow blogger Bloomin' Myrtle.  Even the threads used are from my stash of vintage threads ..... how eco-friendly is that????

I found a lovely book in a charity shop and scoured it for ideas ..... I never stick completely to a pattern or instructions (it's the non-confirmist in me!) and tend to choose a basic idea and let it evolve from there. 

I chose Granny's Flower Garden

It's a lovely easy one consisting of small hexagons sewn in in a flower shape and appliqued onto a backing square.   I have used some more of the curtain fabric samples to make larger hexagons for the border and binding.

So this ....

now looks like this ......

My first completed project in 2011!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Is it safe to come out yet????

Is it finished?

Can I relax now?

Can I get back into my steady routine?

I must be turning into a right curmudgeon in my old age! 

 Or perhaps it is the hormones .... yes let's blame them although that said, I always enter into this period of not quite depression but gloominess at this time of year.  I love the lead up to the festive season with the decorations & pretty lights, watching the children in Christmas productions at school, visits to Santa etc etc but always get a deflated feeling after Boxing Day.


What is to be done??

Following a swift kick up the derriere I am going to start filling in my 2011 diary .... that's a start isn't it?