Tuesday, 4 August 2009

I was really hoping to show you pictures of Chris' Star Quilt all finished but it's turned into a bit of a disaster. The main quilting went fine but I turned it sideways to do the side borders and somehow I've managed to get great big puckers in the backing fabric which are going to require a huge frogging session. Sickeningly that part of the border quilted like a dream, I should have known that was a bad omen.

I'll photograph it tomorrow and laugh about it but right now I just want to scream.

Monday, 27 July 2009

I was downloading pictures from the camera and found a couple of things I haven't shared.

First there was this beautiful pink lemonade. It looked so pretty I just had to take a picture of it. Pity the quilting frame background isn't quite as photogenic.

Then there were these fabulous squares that Ally bought me as a present. They are so pretty and girly. I can't decide what to make with them but whatever they end up being part of, it can't fail to be wonderful.

I've just about finished quilting Chris' quilt. I don't think I'm going to have the binding done by the time she gets home on Thursday though.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The weather was lovely this morning. Sunny but breezy and not too hot. Perfect dog walking weather. They thought so too.

When I got back I worked in the garden for a bit. Had some lunch and felt energised and ready to finish Chris' quilt which has been on the frame for a week now. Unfortunately on my way to the quilt frame I slipped on a pile of books in a plastic bag and wrenched my leg badly and so instead I'm laid up in bed with my leg propped up on pillows.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Biopsy Results

Teazle is feeling a lot better now. The drain has been taken out and everything is healing up nicely.

The vet phoned with the test results. The lump on her back was only a sebacious cyst so no problems there, the big one on her side was a lipoma and no cancer cells inside so no problem there either. The one on her tummy turned out not to be breast cancer as suspected but a mast cell cancer on the underside of her skin. They say it was in the early stages and that they got all it's margins so hopefully it hasn't spread further.

After losing Bracken so recently I was pretty wibbly about Teazle but that's a lot better result than I was fearing.

She hopeful gets her stitches out on Friday and then it's just a matter of waiting for her fur to grow back.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Sad dog

Teazle had some lumps that the vet was concerned about so yesterday she went in to have them taken out. She is now the saddest dog in the world. They were pretty big incisions and because there was one on her ribs, one on her back and one on her udders she's finding it hard to lie comfortably.

She was very cold and shaky from the anaesthetic and we took pity on her and she spent the night on our bed all wrapped up in fluffy towels. This made her a very happy dog but she is a dreadful bed-hog and whimpered under her breath all night so I dont think we got a wink of sleep.

Getting up at 4.00 to take my husband to the airport was very hard. She was feeling pretty perky by then and had a breakfast before I left, another one when I got back at 7.00 and then stole some of Sophie's too so I think she's back to normal.

We're now keeping our fingers crossed that they were benign.

Monday, 27 April 2009

It's been ages since I added anything to this blog but I have been insanely busy. As well as tackling the garden I've been clearing the attic with a view to making it into a clean, usable storage space to hold all my quilting stuff. The dining room/office is disappearing under piles of boxes full of fabric and sewing stuff and so it's going to have to go somewhere else.

The attic was totally suffed full of junk and tons and tons of books. Most of which has now been relocated. I've now started on the horrible task of removing the old insulation which is thick with dust and gooodness knows what else. Once that is done I need to clean everything and then we've got to reinforce the joists. It's amazing, given the number of books up there, that the ceiling didn't fall in years ago.

Then it's the joyful task of getting the electrics relocated, putting in a floor, insulating the roof and putting in a ceiling. This is going to be a VERY long job.

Thursday, 19 March 2009


The sunset was spectaular last night. We hung out of the window watching it go down and I tried for a few photos.
It looks so peaceful and rural. You wouldn't think that those trees are hiding the ringroad and Waitrose.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

I've been gardening

We've been tackling the mess that is our top garden. To be honest it looks a lot worse than when we started but the broken arch has been dismantled and lots of dead stuff collected up and put ready for a bonfire. Digging out all the dandelions has been killing my back though. I'm finding excuses not to bend over now.

As well as a ton of frog-spawn in the pond there were four big frogs and a teeny-tiny little one. There are three hiding out in the kingcup. (Click for a bigger picture.)

While we cleaned out the mice they were put in the old fish tank. I thought this would give me a better chance of photographing them. Out of about 400 pictures I think 10 actually had mice in them and about 5 of them were almost in focus.
This is Charliemouse.

Sprite (and Bandit in the food bowl)
and Bandit again.
Teazle was fascinated by them.

Sunday, 15 March 2009


The sun is shining and I feel ludicrously and ridiculously happy today. Must be spring.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Busy, busy, busy

I've been really busy this week. I've picked up a few days work because one of the kitchen staff has a badly broken toe and I've been helping Ally redecorate her office so there's not been a lot of time for internetting.

I've been working on a cozy dog coat for Sophie in my free time and it's just waiting for it's binding. There will be photos later but needless to say it is scrappy and very, very bright. She's going to get laughed at!

We've also become the proud owners of four very cute baby mice. Y bought them their cage with the pocket money he'd saved, E bought some additional tubing and stuff for it, Granny bought them a mouse each and we bought the other two. They are adorable and far too much time is being spent standing in the kitchen watching them run around their tubes and wheel. They are proving very hard to photograph but there will be some pictures of the extremely funky cage coming soon.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

My Birthday

Yesterday was my 44th birthday. We have less than no money at the moment and Phill was away working so I didn't expect it to be much of a day.

I was completely wrong. My Mum baked me an awesome cake,

and invited me to spend the day with them. They provided me with a four course lunch and a glass of wine and wouldn't even let me do the washing up.

My brother used his culinary skill and made me some amazing coconut biscuits and a couple of jars of the most divine coconut and cashew curry paste. He had also turned the coconut shells into bird feeders, so the coal tits are going to be very happy.
Ally gave me some money so I can continue to indulge my obsession with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Perfume Oils. She also bought me this book.
Out of the 101 recipies I think there were only about 3 that we didn't fancy. I'm pretty sure some major cooking will be happening very soon.

The ever lovely Dotty sent me a surprise birthday parcel, which contained some beautifully coordinated fabric, a pin cushion like the ones I'd admired on her blog, four green buttons with white polka dots and a pack of pencils with a sharpener and rubber. These are particularly useful because the boys ALWAYS steal mine and never give them back.

Check out the patterned fabric. Cooking, gardening and quilting fairies! The quilting fairy looks a lot like a slimmer version of me.

My parents bought me wine, chocolates, a set of large ramekins and then there was this interesting box from Goldsmiths.

It turned out to contain a really beautiful necklace. It proved almost impossible to photograph it as it has alternate polished and brushed links and the camera seemed to get confused. Here is the best shot I could get. I love it to bits, it's nice and unfussy without being plain or old fashioned looking. I think I'll be wearing this an awful lot.

MIL had forgotten my birthday as usual so she took me out for lunch at Wagamama's today.
Hubby and the boys are going to give me breakfast in bed on Saturday and pander to my every whim all day (allegedly!!!).
All in all a wonderful day, even if the weather was horrendous.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Lots of Triangles

I've just spent the day sewing together all the scrap triangles left over from my MIL's quilt.

There don't look anywhere near as many now they are sewn together. I hope there will be enough for the border. I suppose I should count them rather than just sewing them and hoping for the best.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Sunny Morning

The sun was shining beautifully this morning and walking the dogs was a real pleasure. Unfortunately it had to be a fairly short one because Sophie was holding her leg up from time to time. She hurt it running around like a mad thing, back when it snowed. It had seemed to have got better but she's hurt it again somehow. The muscle at the top of her hip seems to be really bunched up again. If it doesn't improve over the next couple of days then she'll have to go to the vets.

Despite the occasional twinge she had a wonderful time trotting round and sniffing at everything.

Teazle, as usual, was far too interested in the fact that we were trying to photograph her and kept rushing over to investigate. Out of about 20 photos, this is the only one that actually shows her. All the others are of empty grass where she had been.

We are so lucky to have such beautiful places for dogwalking, right on our doorstep.

It still feels strange to only be walking two dogs. Bracken was the one who wanted to play and he would chase the girls until they played with him. They seem very subdued without him there. I miss him too. He loved to chase balls and sticks and would spend a lot of the walk running back and forth to us, whereas the girls are off sniffing in the bushes and doing their own thing.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Quilt for MIL

I've been very, very slowly working on a bed quilt for my Mother in Law. She gave me free range of her stash and I got to chose the pattern and do the hard work.

Looking through her fabric it was very quickly clear that she favoured blues and so I decided on the Star Struck pattern I'd seen on Quiltville. Thank you Bonnie. I've been wanting to try this pattern for a long time now, so this was the ideal opportunity.

For once everything came together without drama or stress, which made a nice change. Hopefully the border won't play up. I am planning on using the left over triangles in it, so there will be ample opportunity for things to go wrong.

Here is the top so far.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


We had a wonderful time in Lanzarote. The weather was very sunny and breezy so I didn't get too hot but it was warm enough to sit on the beach or swim in the hotel's pool. Had to be a little careful because we all have skin that burns easily and with being winter pale and the breeze stopping you from feeling hot, it was far too easy to get burned. I got sunburnt feet in about 3/4 hour out shopping. The boys really enjoyed themselves and Y managed to get over his fear of water and played in the pool all week. He even got so far as going underwater and managed to swim a little bit. We've promised him that he can go to the local pool at weekends to keep it up. It's a huge step forward. He's always refused point blank before and even the remedial swimming class he did at school didn't help at all.

The Hotel was really nice and very friendly.

We visited the Jameos del Aqua.

The pool is home to weird little white crab/crayfish things which apparently are unique to this cave.

We also took a trip to the Timanfaya National Park to see the volcanoes.

Admission includes a coach trip through the lava fields which was spectacular. It looked like somewhere on an alien planet.

There is also a restaurant which cooks the food using the heat coming from the volcano!

It sits right at the top and is completely circular.

This gives you the most amzing view ever while you eat your lunch. The food is good too.

Finally, while I was downloading these pictures I looked at the photos from the last time we went to Lanzarote. The boys were SO young.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Wedding Present and Jean's Green Quilt

I used up a lot of scraps making this fleece backed bed throw for my friend's daughter's wedding. As always I left making it till the last minute and then it was a real panic to get it done in time.

A while ago now I promised pictures of Jean's Quilt and then promptly forgot again. While we were on holiday I found the photos of it were still on the camera. This turned out so beautifully that I really hated having to part with it.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

RIP Bracken

Yesterday our beloved Golden Retriever Bracken died. He was only 6 years and 2 months old.

He had seemed a little under the weather during the weekend and during the morning walk he didn't want to run around as he usually would and instead walked by our side. His tummy seemed slightly bloated and so we made an apointment with the vet just to have him checked out.

They weren't sure what the problem was and so kept him in to run some tests. At 3.30 they called to say that the ultrasound had detected a mass on his spleen and they were going to operate. At 4.30 they phoned to tell us that he had a huge cancerous tumour that had already spread and it was terminal. We had the option of letting him go while still under the anaesthetic or having him stitched up and sent home for a week or so before he would need to be put down. That seemed too cruel and so we went with the first option even though that didn't give us a chance to say goodbye.

The boys loved him so much and are utterly broken hearted. He was very much their dog and truly was the nicest dog in the whole world.

He has left a huge empty hole in our hearts and our lives.