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25 April 2017

Going Out!!!

I shall be off to the train station shortly to catch a train to Birmingham.
The last of my birthday money is tucked away in my bag and I am hoping for some good finds....wish me luck😃

I may not get a chance to post again today but I will be back tomorrow to share my finds.

Have a lovely day.
Sheila-x-

24 April 2017

A Trip Down Memory Lane!!!

Morning all....I hope you haven't woken up to the grey and wet day that we have today.

After much deliberation yesterday I decided to open one of these.....

Quilt kits from Kim Porter at Worn and Washed Fabrics

I resisted opening the packs when they were first purchased and rifling through them and I am so glad that I did.
I have opened the smaller pack on the left, stroked all the fabrics, ironed them and laid out how I want them to go together.
All of the fabrics are found and restored mainly from charity shops and in the pack I have opened I can see pieces from shirts and bedding. 
They have all been hot washed before being co-ordinated into colour themes and when I was ironing them I was transported by the smell to my Grandma's back room where I used to sit and watch her do the ironing. 
The pinned strips are laying over a chair in the dining room and I can still smell that gorgeous smell.
I can't wait to get this one sewn together and will make start on it this afternoon.

Other stuff to do first including some food shopping and a bit of charity shop browsing. I need a couple of new books and I am also looking for a flanelette sheet to back the quilt with...preferably an old one with a blue pattern. I do have a back up plan if I can't find one but I really would like that sheet.

DD is on annual leave this week and was hoping for more gardening time but if the weather carries on like this that won't be happening..........I'll find her something to do....lol.

Right I shall go and hoof her off the sofa so we can go and get this shopping done.
Have a lovely day.
Sheila-x-

23 April 2017

It's Sunday And It's Sunny!!!

A good old sunny Sunday morning but it is still so cold.
Lunch is cooking away....another request fro Mr Bossy Boots so we are having roast beef and all the fixings to go with it.
I have discovered a new love of spring greens which I have hated all my life due to the way my mother used to cook them but they had them in A**a for 20p last week so I thought I would give them a try. Oh my life they are delicious when properly trimmed and gently steamed so they are featuring quite a bit in our eating at the moment.

I ended up having a sleep on the sofa yesterday afternoon and then had a good night's sleep last night which seems to have cured whatever was wrong with me thank goodness.

Once lunch is done today I want to sort out another sewing project but I'm not sure what I want to do. I have so many patterns and books with fabulous ideas in that I am totally befuddled.
I might get out one of the quilt kits that I bought at the NEC and see if I want to make a start on that.
DD is out in the garden at the moment but will be off out to buy a garden arch for over the back gate this afternoon and Andy is sofa hugging.....and will probably be snoring after lunch if I am not mistaken....lol.....so just me then to find something to occupy myself.

Have a wonderful Sunday.
Sheila-x-

22 April 2017

Busy Doing Nothing!!!

Woke up feeling a bit bleurgh this morning so I have decide to just take the day as it comes.
There's nothing desperate needs doing on the home front apart from a quick go round with the hoover and maybe a flick with a duster so I don't feel too guilty.

Apart from putting the elastic into the waistband I have finished the maxi skirt for Ruby. I want to make a white lace trimmed crop top to go with it but I am waiting until I go to Birmingham on Tuesday  to see if I can get some broderie anglaise. The pattern I have is very simple so I think it will look really nice in that.
I have quite a list going of things to look for so I'll be happy if I manage to get it all.

No guinea pigs today.
Andy took Ruby down but they wouldn't let Andy bring any home because of the fact that we are going to be having some frosty weather and are keeping them outside. Ruby was fine with that...bless her.

Another tea requested by Andy today....he's getting awful bossy just lately...lol. He fancies corned beef with salad and new potatoes so that is what we will be having.

DD has been out to one garden centre this morning and has just gone back out to another on the hunt for a trough type planter for a collection of miniature sedums she bought the other day and she also wants to find a low growing white clematis which can be grown up an obelisk.
She really is into her gardening now after years of having no hobbies other than books and films.

Well Andy is back from town so I suppose I should find some energy to go and make a coffee for us both.

Hope you have some sunshine today....we have some but it is still very cold.
Sheila-x-

21 April 2017

Fishy Things And Rugs!!!

The fish recipe I tried out yesterday was really very nice.......


Red onion, garlic and peppers sauteed until soft then I added some chopped sundried tomatoes, a carton of passata and a little veg stock with a pinch or two of basil and oregano and some Hawaiian red salt and fresh ground black pepper. Simmered together for a few minutes then added the pollock fillets and simmered for a little longer until the fish was cooked.
I will make it again when I can get some cod or haddock at a reasonable price as the pollock to me is a bit tasteless.
It was a hit with Andy and DD anyway.

The rug..........


......not an expensive one but I have a filthy dog and a husband who refuses to remove his outdoor shoes but it will do it's job and covers up quite a bit of the nearly worn out carpet which we can't replace until we have had the woodburner put in as I want to change the size of the hearth.
The coffee table is a bit battered but it was a £5 bargain from an antique shop and is a 'project in waiting'.

Well it's a nice breezy day so I think I'll go and hang some washing out. It's a load which includes the comedy dress so I will probably take a pic of that when it's dried and ironed and post it tomorrow.
I also have to make some cauliflower cheese today as Andy has requested it with some sausages for tea. It's not my most favourite meal so I might investigate the salad drawer and have a bowl of salad with some cold sausages.

Tomorrow will hopefully see us having two new additions to the household as Andy is picking Ruby up to take her to Pets At Home to see if they have a pair of guinea pigs that can be adopted.
I love that they rehome unwanted animals rather than selling from a breeder.

Rightio....I will go and crack on with a couple of jobs and then onto my next sewing project which is a maxi skirt for Ruby in the same fabric as the comedy dress.....I had lots left, Ruby loved it so that will use that up and save me storing it.

Have a lovely day.
Sheila-x-

20 April 2017

A Fit Of The Giggles!!!

Hello on this not so springlike morning in Staffordshire.
It's cold, it's damp and it's very, very grey.
We were going to be making a start on painting the shed but as it keeps spitting with rain I think it will be put off until we get a dry day or two.

The reason for my fit of the giggles yesterday was the top/dress I am making for myself. The fabric is a pig to work with but I love the floral pattern and the sleeveless A-line design is just what I wanted for wearing around the house with a pair of leggings in summer to keep cool.
So there I am sewing away with visions of a being a cool and calm country wife in my cute floral smock thingy. Get to a stage where it can be tried on for fit and length and OMG.........tried it on to find that I am channelling Edna Turnblatt.......

Image from Pinterest

.......not quite the look I was going for.
Well I started laughing and I just couldn't stop. Poor old Andy thought I had finally flipped and was ready to call somebody to come and take me away.
I laughed so hard that I cricked a rib which hurt but still I couldn't stop laughing. 
It has tickled me so much that even now I am still giggling.
Needless to say I will not be wearing my Edna dress out in public....lol......nor will I be modelling it for a photo to post here.
It will be photographed on a hanger.

My little princess was a bit subdued when she came for tea last night. I think she was tired as Daddy dropped her off on the way home from a play centre where no doubt she had been throwing herself about on all the equipment. She was very hungry though and wolfed down her meatballs and veg.
She did enjoy a quiet few minutes out on the back planting up a hanging basket with her Aunty.

Andy and I have been debating about a new rug for the living room and yesterday we found that we could get it for 20% off with a code at Argos so he went off to get it. No more struggling to move the coffee table which kept catching on the smaller rug and rucking it up. This one covers the whole of the floor between the sofas and the hearth....smashing.

Today is a bit of a pottering day tying up loose ends of jobs and then I will finish the neck and armhole bindings on the comedy dress.
I am hoping it shrinks a bit in the wash.
I am trying a new thing for tea tonight which I saw on that new ITV food programme. They did salmon in a tomato and pepper sauce but I can't stand salmon so will try it with some pollock I have taken out of the freezer. I'll serve it with some roasted Charlottes and see what it's like.

Have a lovely day.
Sheila-x-



 

19 April 2017

Blood(y) Wednesday!!!

Crikey....'tis a bit nippy out this morning despite the sun. I think I had best go and find a jumper as I am not putting the heating on just yet. Andy is outside again but keeps coming in and going out....leaving the door open. He is laying slabs for the rabbit hutch to stand on and making a little path for Ruby to be able to get to it without walking in mud.

We've already been out as I had to be at the doctors for half eight for my blood test. Luckily it was my favourite nurse so I didn't feel it and I have come out with barely a mark.....she knows my arm so well....lol.

So what will I be up to today I wonder.
A little bit of laundry to finish but it won't be going on the line as it is too near to where Andy is working and there is a danger that it will come in filthier than it was before it was washed.
The house is pretty tidy so just a dance round with the hoover.
Doodle will be coming for tea later. I think I'll do meatballs with mash and veg....she'll like that.
That leaves me a little bit of time for sewing my top which did actually get cut out and pinned yesterday. If I get it sewn together at the seams and shoulders I'll be happy and then it will get finished tomorrow.
Just waiting for Andy to get back from B&Q so that we can have a coffee together and then I shall go and get on.

Hope it's a bit warmer where you are.
Sheila-x- 

18 April 2017

My Most Precious Gift!!!

I don't think that you are supposed to cry on your birthday and I tried very hard not to when I opened this.........


and read these........


I didn't succeed I'm afraid.......if you click on the picture to enlarge it you can read them and see why.

Everything back to normal today.
The kitchen floor is covered in piles of laundry waiting to be done and there will be a meal to cook later.
I also want to get a top for myself cut out and make a start on sewing it in between loading the washer and pegging out.
Andy is off for the week and he is out in the garden putting some blocks under the shed........which he has just come in and informed me he needs help with....dammit....I could have done without that....lol.
Oh well it's nice out so a bit of fresh air will do me good.

Hope you have some gorgeous sunshine today.
Sheila-x-

17 April 2017

What A Weekend!!!

Well I knew we would be celebrating in a way but blimey....that was a weekend and a half.
I expected the birthday breakfast but not the fact that I would be eating mine with a great big 60th balloon floating over my head and a table full of gifts...lol.
Lots of cooking and food prep with my gorgeous girls.... DD and Ruby followed by a Chinese treat from Andy and then we all snuggled up to watch some films.
Then we went to up to bed....walked into the bedroom to find the bed covered in beautiful marbled balloons with lights inside...absolutely magical.

Sunday afternoon this was all set out........


and DDIL and Marlowe arrived with this......


My birthday cake.......Lemon meringue cake filled with white chocolate buttercream, lemon curd and little meringues and covered with chocolate ganache and Black Forest cupcakes filled with black cherry jam all made by my very talented DDIL.....thank you darling....love you muchly.

.....and then the fireworks.......


The time spent with family has meant more to me than anything.
So much fun and laughter....especially with Marlowe the daredevil trying to climb inside the washing machine (I now know how to work the lock) and all her other comical antics and Little Miss Ruby Giggle Britches. Honestly her laugh is so infectious.
Thank you all so much for an absolutely smashing birthday.

Today is very quiet and back to normal.
A roast has been cooked as Andy was desperate for one...lol.....and I have just been all over the house tracking down Ruby's weekend clothes to wash, dry and repack into her suitcase to be picked up by Mummy tonight when she comes to watch Broadchurch with us.
I was going to be doing some sewing but I ache from the top of my head to the tip of my toes after standing in the kitchen for nearly eight hours yesterday so I'm having a lazy Monday instead of Sunday.

Thank you so much for all the lovely birthday wishes.
Love Sheila-x-

15 April 2017

A Sunny Saturday!!!

I am having a wonderful day today filled with love, giggles, balloons and flowers.
A fab breakfast meet up with DDIL and Marlowe at The Cherry Tree. DS couldn't make it as he is at work but he has phoned and I'll see him later on tomorrow when he calls in for party food. Which I am just in the middle of making.....sausage rolls, scotch eggs and all the usual party favourites. There is dough making in the machine ready for bitesized pizzas and custard setting on top of the trifle....we're short of nowt and owt we ain't got we'll goo withowt...lol.

Thank you for all of your lovely birthday wishes I've managed to reply to some but just haven't had time to be on here to reply to the rest....so Suzanne....the dinner rolls are just tiny two and half inch round white rolls with a soft glazed top....very, very popular in the Midlands from a bakery called Birds. I'll take a photo tomorrow to show you.

Anyhoo....I had best dash. Little Miss is wanting something to do so I had best go and set her up with a project of some kind.

Hope your weekend is fabulous
Sheila-x-

14 April 2017

Awaiting The Royal Visit!!!

Princess Ruby will be arriving at 3pm and I can't wait. I have not seen her since last Thursday and I have missed her so much.

Grocery shopping for the party was done last night. I went over budget by just under a pound so I am not going to beat myself up about that.
DD was in town before 8am to be at the bakers for the dinner rolls which at holiday times can be harder to get hold of than hens teeth they are so popular.
Preparation will start tomorrow but there will be no actual cooking done until Sunday morning so that everything is as fresh as it can be.
Tomorrow morning we will be up and out early for my birthday breakfast at The Cherry Tree and then home to start on all the chopping and stuff before Ruby goes to her Little Fluffies session at Pets At Home. There may be new additions to the family when they get back in the shape of a pair of guinea pigs. If she decides she wants a rabbit too that will have to wait as the store will not sell rabbits over the Easter weekend.
Sunday will be party day....inside as apparently the weather is not looking good.

Hope you have a fun weekend.
Sheila-x-
 

13 April 2017

Back To Grey!!!

It's very grey here this morning and really cold so I am glad that all of my jobs are inside today.
Yesterday was wet and cold so we put the heating on and the house got lovely and warm.....just as the sun came out just after tea and we had to throw the windows open as then it was too warm.

My wimpy old shoulders are complaining very loudly this morning so I have had to start the day off on painkillers to try and shut them up. They've been pretty quiet for a good while but all the stretching and lifting while I have been sorting the house out has set them off again....blummin things.

Not a lot more to do now to have the house party ready and I need to spend some time this afternoon making a shopping list so that I can pick up anything needed when I go shopping tonight. The only thing I won't be able to get is the tiny dinner rolls we always have....DD will have to be in the queue at the bakers early in the morning to get those and I will have to freeze them until Sunday.
It's not going to be a huge extravagant spread....just a simple afternoon tea and a birthday cake which DDIL is making for me......and of course a trifle for Ruby which she is going to help me to make.

I am so cold I think I am going to have to have a hot drink before I go and tackle the mess Andy has made in the kitchen. He finished work for a week this morning so had to have his cooked breakfast before he went to bed.....trouble is he doesn't clean up after himself so I have to do it before I can get on with anything else. Judging by the load of pots it looks like he fed an army too....lol.

Have a lovely day.
Sheila-x-



 

12 April 2017

It's All Growing Nicely!!!

I thought that I would post a few pics of the garden today just to show how things are coming along less than a year after DD redoing all the borders adding pots and containers for a bit of interest in our very narrow borders.


Agathapanthus looks like she may put on a good show this year with lots of new shoots coming up (larger pot with the light in).
To the left of her is the Hydrangea I nearly killed when it was in a pot in the front garden. Hopefully it will flower to the colour I bought it.....pink and lime green.....and the soil won't change it.
Some of the spaces will be filled with white pansies later on.


This corner has never done very well but that is all changed now and it's filling up nicely.
The rest of the apricot tree will come out this year and be replaced with a large obelisk and a white climbing Hydrangea....the small obelisk is for elsewhere in the garden.
I am hoping for more than one flower head on the pink Peony this year. It's growing really well.


A triffid masquerading as a Hebe. This came out of a ready planted container last year and is growing like mad.
In the round pot is a low growing Sedum which we thought had died....obviously not...lol.


My favourite corner with a bright green Euonymous and a splash of red from the new Skimmia bought to replace the one that didn't like our soil. It is in a pot with special compost so hopefully it will do well.

The fence is new as we lost some panels in a storm. These panels are heavier and should cope better if we get any more high winds.
We are in debate about the colour we are going to use to preserve them....Andy wants brown and I want green so we will see.

Apart from adding the white pansies, feeding and watering these borders can be left to their own devices for a while as DD works on the front garden. It will be pretty much the same with pots and containers for more tender things with a few shrubs and the hope that we can find some way of adding a Clematis...maybe another obelisk.
I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

No Ruby today as she is coming to stay for the weekend so another day of sorting out and cleaning.
I made a good start on the dining room last night so I'll finish that and then go and give the kitchen cabinets and worktops a wash down.
It's cold and dreary here this morning and threatening to rain so the last bit of laundry can go in the dryer....just a couple of towels done on the highest spin so they won't take long.
Sausage and tomatoes has been requested for tea so that is what we are having.

Have a lovely day y'all.
Sheila-x-

11 April 2017

Titivating On A Tuesday!!!

I had a really good day yesterday and got the lounge sorted out.
Windows washed, net curtain washed and all corners ferreted out with the hoover plus a bit of a furniture change round.
I was certainly ready for my tea come tea time and it was lovely to sit in a clean and tidy room to watch Broadchurch.....Andy hadn't had time to muck it up as he was off to work.

Today is the turn of the dresser end of the kitchen and the dining room which I will do while the laundry is washing...with short breaks to do some pegging out in the sunshine....and a longer break later when I feel I need me coffee.

Another simple tea of chicken and salad tonight with a mango mayonnaise dressing to posh it up a bit...lol.

.......and that will be me today....up to my knees in dust, cobwebs and piles of laundry and not even able to have my music on to help things along......it disturbs Andy who is now in bed after his night shift.

Hope you all have a lovely day.
Thanks for stopping by.
Sheila-x-

 

10 April 2017

This Week Will Be.....Busy!!!

It's a bit chilly this morning although the sun is shining on and off.
A few grey clouds floating about but we still have some gorgeous blue sky.

This week is going to be all about getting ready for my birthday party on Sunday so lots of tidying, cleaning and doing as much food prep as I can to make things easier on the actual day.
Luckily I have my little helper Ruby coming to stay on Friday for the weekend so I am saving a few things that she particularly wants to help with......mostly the sweet stuff.....lol.

Tonight for tea we will be having gammon with roasted Charlotte potatoes and a red cabbage slaw with an apple and mustard dressing so that should be quite tasty.......and fairly quick to cook too.

I doubt I shall get much sewing done this week with everything else that needs doing and I will have to tidy a lot of stuff away anyway. I have my graph pad and coloured pencils so I might make a start on designing my next quilt after I have checked on what fabrics I can use.
Andy wants his own sofa quilt and I have two sets of fabrics that would be ideal for that. I still have to make a quilt for Marlowe after abandoning the Vintage Picnic quilt I started. It will get picked up again at some point in the future but it just wasn't working for me as I really don't like white and there was too much of it.
I have a few of the pattern weights to finish.....all hand sewing so the machines can go away for this week.

So....Mrs Marigolds and vinegar spray I shall be for the next few days then....lol.

Hope you all have a lovely week.
Sheila-x-

09 April 2017

Pattern Weights For Jackie!!!


For the weights I have used 35mm washers which I got from Screwfix plus some thicker ones that Andy got for me so I have superglued one thick one and two thinner ones together. 
If you only have thinner ones I would probably glue five together.

The felt circles are cut at 58mm using a die and a BigShot machine.
I used quilting clips to stop the washers falling out while doing the blanket stitch around the edge....it made life much easier.

The flowers I have used to decorate are also cut out with a die by Sizzix called Fringed Flowers but you could sew a button on, add a fabric flower, sew a charm on or just leave them plain.

Four down....another fifteen to go.
Didn't quite have enough washers to make twenty.

Hope you like them Jackie.
Sheila-x-

Delicious Smells On Sunday!!!

Roasting beef, freshly mown grass and earth that is being dug over.
Sunday is smelling so delicious.
The sun is out and the sky is a beautiful smokey blue.
A perfect spring day.

I have everything cut out now for the pattern weights so in between checking on the beef and preparing other things I will be starting on sewing them up and I will be back with another post later especially for Jackie down at Winters End.
Before I start though I must go and do my hands with a hand scrub as they are very dry and acting like a fuzzy felt board when I am handling the pieces of felt.

OK....time to check on that beef.

What are you all up to on this gorgeous day?
Sheila-x-

08 April 2017

Saturday Sunshine And Shopping!!!

Phew...it's very sunny out there and it's also very warm. I really didn't need my coat on this morning when I went to do the dreaded 'with husband' shopping.
DD is at work until 3pm and I didn't want to wait until that time so I just had to put my big girl knickers on and ask Andy to take me.
I now need a lie down in a dark room for a week at least to get over it....lol.

As we have Ruby for the weekend next weekend we thought it might be a good idea to make a start on the purchase of a rabbit and a guinea pig for her so with that in mind we popped into Pets At Home to buy some little books on the subject and to book her onto one of their Little Furries workshops which will give her a chance to handle the animals and learn about caring for them.

I got three of the Beatrice aprons cut out yesterday and actually got one of them sewn up and finished.
They were cut out in the large size and I am going to have to go back in with the scissors and reduce them down to a medium as the finished one is very big on me. It can stay as it is as it is just going to be an apron and I really do not fancy unpicking the metres and metres of binding to reduce the size of it.
It was great to make though and I learned a lot from it....I can now do an overlaid seam which I have never done before and I learned that next time I will use either a bought binding or I will make my own out of much lighter fabric. The one I made this time was a little difficult to work with being the same weight as the apron fabric. I did it and it looks nice but I'll make it a bit easier on myself next time.
So the other two will get recut and sewn but I will have to wait until I can pop to Derby for some binding or I may wait until DD is on holiday at the end of the month when we are going to visit The Rag Market in Birmingham....I may be able to get some from there.

Not much of anything going on this weekend just a lazy one for Andy and myself. DD is at work for a couple of hours today and tomorrow so she still has time to do a bit of lazying too.
They had a good offer on Pizza Express pizzas in T***o this morning so I have picked up a couple to have with a jacket potato and some coleslaw tonight. Tomorrow will be a full on roast beef dinner.

For now I am off to do some superglueing of metal discs which I am using to make into pattern weights. They will be sewn inside some lovely colourful felt circles and blanket stitched.
I have found using weights instead of pins on my patterns a complete revelation. No more pins for me when I am cutting out.

Well I hope you all have this lovely sunshine and that the weekend is great for you.
Sheila-x-

07 April 2017

Sewing Up A Storm!!!

Latest from my sewing machine........


.......two more little dresses for Miss Marly Moo.
I could make a ton of these as they are so quick and easy to make but when I think that she may only be in them for this summer.....maybe not as this is the largest size on the pattern.
Each dress takes just a metre of fabric with enough offcuts to cut a few squares for my growing stash of charm squares.
I need to challenge myself a bit now so the next dress I make for her will be a little more complicated and has some gathering on it so we'll see how I go with that.
Before I start on that I am going to cut all the fabric for my Beatrice apron/dress which will give me three to work on.
That will be my task for today as I have a good few hours at home alone with Andy at work until 7pm and DD going to the gym straight from work....she will arrive home just before Andy.

No cooking to do as Andy is having some of the cottage pie I made yesterday and and DD and I will have a sandwich I think with a bit of side salad......actually....thinking about it....there are some ciabatta rolls in the freezer and mozarella in the fridge so I may do tuna melts on the pannini grill......good thinking Batman....lol.

If Mr Log Man keeps his noise down it could be a very nice peaceful day indeed....just the sound of my scissors snipping away and maybe the odd expletive if anything goes awry.

Have a fabulous Friday.
Sheila-x-

06 April 2017

A Bit Of A Shock!!!

Yesterday was just lovely.
I got a cake baked and then spent the rest of the day sewing the dresses for Marlowe.
At one point I was listening to Simon and Garfunkels' Bridge Over Troubled Water album which I love and I realised that the first time I listened to that album was when I was about fifteen......forty five years ago....forty five years for gawds sake.
Where did all that time go? I was shocked.

Usually I keep the laptop on all day just in case I need to look anything up or if I want to listen to some music on You Tube that I haven't got in my collection but I am getting very good now at switching it off. Yesterday it went off after I had done my blog post and it never went back on until 9pm. I am going to try and do that every day now....just think of the electricity I will save.....and the time....because once I get on You Tube I can be lost for hours.

Today I have a pack of minced beef and some veg that could do with being used up so I'll make a cottage pie for tea tonight and will probably have enough to put in the freezer for another meal.
We are all still wanting a hot meal at night as although the days are sunny at the moment...the nights are still quite chilly and it's nice to snuggle down to something warm and comforting.

Well I had best go and get chopping those veg and.....the job I hate most of all....peeeling potatoes.
I might just have a coffee first to get myself going though....lol.
I hope you have the blue skies and fluffy white clouds that we have here this morning.
Sheila-x-

 

05 April 2017

A Bit Of Party Planning!!!

Those grey clouds can just go away if they don't mind. They are spoiling the look of what is otherwise a lovely blue sky.

I have a long day on my own today.
DD is at work.
Andy was out early to the hospital for the second round of his blood tests after his operation and he's not sure if he will be back or have to go straight to work from there.
DD has invited me out for tea tonight so I don't have to think about cooking which means once everywhere is tidy I can sew up the two dresses for Marlowe.

Somehow I have found that I am having a birthday party on Easter Sunday.....well more of an afternoon tea really......so I have a notepad permanently by my side making plans for the food. Ruby is very excited that Ganma is having a party and really wants to help so she is coming to stay for the weekend from Good Friday and we will spend Saturday doing some baking and preparation.
I am really looking forward to it.......although if we go with all of Ruby's ideas we may have to invite everyone from here to the little town to help us eat it all....lol.

Sounds like my neighbour has done with his sawing and log splitting for this week so I am off to throw the windows open and do my bit of housework.
I hope it's a glorious day where you are.
Sheila-x-

04 April 2017

There She Goes Again....Getting Sidetracked!!!

The apron/dress didn't get cut out yesterday but I do have a good excuse....honest....lol.
I was trying to find somewhere to squeeze the recently purchased fabric stash and found the only way I was going to fit any more in the storage was to take some out and use it so I cut out two dresses for Marlowe and they are now waiting to be sewn up.
I need to make some chicken pies before I can get to doing that though else I shall be in trouble with Miss Doodle.
The filling is ready and I just need to make the pastry and assemble them....one for us and one for her Mummy and Daddy to have for tea tomorrow.

It's cold and grey today but dry with a breeze so I think the sofa quilts can have their freshen up today and then I'll do all the cushion covers tomorrow.

So I am off into the kitchen to get all the tea prepared so that I can snatch a couple of hours on the sewing machine before Ruby arrives.

Have a lovely day.
Sheila-x-

03 April 2017

A New Week Full Of Possibilties!!!

The second week of April looks to be off to a good start with some  bright sunshine and in honour of this lovely day I have swapped my usual uniform of trousers and top for a skirt and a bright pink tee shirt. 
Hardly a whiff of breeze but I will hang out the laundry this morning....it may pick up a bit.

Early morning hugs and kisses from my beautiful Ruby have set me up for the day and I am good to go now on all the jobs I have on my list for today.
Ruby has requested her favourite chicken and leek pie for tea tomorrow so the filling will be made today.
Laundry, hoovering up after the dog....again and a bit more tidying away of stuff on the landing which is still there from the bedroom move.
Hopefully once that is all done I will have time to get this............


......cut and pinned ready to sew.
I made ten metres of the binding yesterday which should be plenty but I have more fabric prepared to make extra if needed.
I used a new method of making binding which I had seen on You Tube and now I have the hang of it I will be using it all the time. It takes just one fat quarter of fabric to make 4-5 metres of binding and you only have to sew two seams.
Here are the links to the videos

Part One
Part Two

I found it a bit tricksy at first but once I got the hang of it I had ten metres made in next to no time.

Just waiting for Andy to get back from town so that we can have our coffee together before I do anything else.

Hope the sun is shining on your corner of the world.
Sheila-x- 

02 April 2017

A Bit Of A Bind!!!

Andy is making up for last Sunday by cooking lunch today and doing my favourite roast chicken.
DD is out in the garden as it is lovely and sunny at the moment although it looks like it will rain before the day is out.
We have just got back from the garden centre where we have been to use a 50% off any pot coupon and a 20% off in the craft shop coupon. DD got her pot but they didn't have what I wanted in the craft shop. I did get a couple of things though so we both came back happy.

I am going to spend the afternoon making bias binding ready for my apron/dress as I need quite a few metres of it and then I shall have a look through the Sew Pretty Homestyle Tilda book I have just purchased and decide which of the delicious things in it that I would like to make.

It feels like we haven't had one of these slow and lazy Sundays in forever so I think we are all going to enjoy this one.
Hope you are all having a smashing Sunday too.
Sheila-x-

01 April 2017

The Rag Quilt!!!

I did it. I sewed all afternoon and finished at about 8pm. It went straight into the washer and then the dryer to fluff up the rag effect.
The snipping of the seams took almost as long as sewing it together and my hands ached like hell by the time I had done but I am very happy with it and can't wait now to gift it to DS and DDIL.
I hope they like it.

No gardening for DD today....it is raining so she is doing some sorting out upstairs as she still has all her New York pictures to move from her old room to the attic.
Andy has gone to The Doodle House for a bath to ease his aching muscles. We are both looking forward to getting the bathroom sorted out in June and having our own bath put back in and then he won't have to go off with his towel and Radox.
One of my jobs today will be hoovering the dining room floor to try and get rid of all the little bits that the quilt shed after it had been washed and dried.......millions of them...lol.

Andy is in the mood for a Chinese tonight. No cooking for me today then so I might make a start on my apron/dress if there are no other house jobs that want doing.
Saturday night is usually a dvd night but gawd knows what we will watch. We'll probably end up with something off the shelf that we have seen a hundred times before but at least it will be time spent together.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend....whatever you are doing.
Sheila-x-

31 March 2017

Up With The Sparrers!!!

I wanted to be up early this morning so made sure that I didn't stay up half the night.
Ruby is due to be dropped off here at 8am for Grandad to take her to school so I didn't want to miss out on a quick cuddle before she went and I want to get the house jobs done early so that I can spend the afternoon sewing and hopefully get the quilt finished.
There are only twelve squares left to quilt and trim and then it's just a case of sewing them into rows and adding them to what I have already done.
If I get time I will also do the cushion cover. That will be that project over and then I can whip up one of the Beatrice apron/dresses for myself before I start on some more little dresses for Marlowe.

I shopped for salad last night and some cold meat so that tea tonight will be quick and easy. We still have lots of homemade pickles left so I'll serve some of those as well.

.......and that is me for today.
The computer will be going off shortly for the day so that it doesn't distract me and I will catch up with the daily round of blogs later.
Have a fabulous day y'all.
Sheila-x-

30 March 2017

I Could Have Sewed All Night......!!!

.......and I very nearly did.
I didn't get the machine out until late on in the evening and I just kept sewing and sewing and never even thought to look at the clock. When I did it was 2am.....oooops!!!
Consequently I wasn't up very early this morning so I will be trying to catch up with myself all day now.
At least I got another row of squares quilted and trimmed ready to sew together and another row marked and pinned ready for quilting.

My daughter will be happy that I did remember to go out and check the pots on the front this morning to see if they needed watering.


They looked fine. It has been raining all night.
I hope it doesn't rain over the weekend as she wants to get out there again and plant up the rest of the plants either in the borders or in more pots.

Not an awful lot to do today in the way of house jobs just a tidy and hoover before me Miss Doodle arrives for tea. I can't wait to see her. It was very strange her not being here yesterday.

Well I suppose I had better shift myself.........after I have had me coffee of course.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Sheila-x-

 

29 March 2017

An Evening Out!!!

DD came home from work last night and announced that we were off to Ikea. I didn't argue....lol......I love Ikea.
I fell in love with three kitchens, two bedrooms, four living rooms and a couple of spaces set out as work/craft rooms...lol.
I shocked myself with the fabrics I bought to make the Beatrice apron/dress. One plain but two......well let's just say....you will need your sunglasses when I show the finished garments.
There was also a purchase of a gorgeous set of little red steps for the kitchen to help with reaching the top of the cupboards and the windows when they need cleaning.
DD was over the moon to find the perfect curtains for her bedroom which has a definite New York theme going on in greys and blacks.
They will be way too long for her window (they only sell them in one size) but I will alter them and have enough fabric left to make her a quilted rug.

The new sewing machine was set up and tried when we got back....oh my days....it is really great and I am loving that top loading bobbin.
No plans to go anywhere tonight so I will get on with the quilt after tea and see how we go.

Tea will be quick and easy. Andy fancies chips so I will do a mushroom omelette with them and some peas and that should finish off the bargain mushrooms I got the other day. They have made two large boxes of mushroom soup, three portions of creamy garlic mushrooms and today will make omelettes for three of us.
Bargainous indeed.

Just a bit of fluffing and tidying to do now and then I really need to find somewhere to put all this new fabric as the drawer set is rather full.
The sun is trying to come out here but not quite making it.
Hope it is where you are.
Sheila-x-

28 March 2017

Fabric Stash And My New Baby!!!

I had to get out of the house last night as I was going just a little bit stir crazy and having done a quick fabric inventory DD and I decided on a quick trip to Dunelm for a touch of stash buying......





Over eight metres of fabric for less than £35.
The top two pictures are Rose & Hubble crafting cottons and the bottom one is a couple of remnants which were ridiculously cheap.
The turquoise....nearly a metre and over 60" wide is going to be either a bag or cushions.......for £2.99.
Lots of fabric I liked for making the pattern I bought from the NEC.....but not at ten to twenty pounds a metre I'm afraid. I have seen lots I like at Ikea at four pounds a metre so there will be a visit there some time this week.

On the way out we passed the display of sewing machines and there was a machine I have had my eye on for quite some time although I knew there was no way I could afford to get it.
Just out of interest I asked the price and was a bit shocked that it was the cheapest I had ever seen it and it was the last one.
I told Andy about it this morning and nearly had a heart attack when he said...OK well let's go and get it then......OMG.
So here is my new baby.


Please excuse the pile of stuff behind which had to be shoved to one side to get her on the table.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with my Singer Tradition but she does make me squirm a bit when sewing through all the layers for this rag quilt I am making. She will just be kept for dressmaking and other craft sewing and the new one will just be for quiltmaking.
I can't wait to put her through her paces.

Before I can do any sewing today I need to put a curried pork casserole on to get cooking and I need to clear away that pile of stuff from the table and the window ledge, run the hoover round as Smudgedog has been chewing on carrots again and give the kitchen floor a mop.
There's always something to be done isn't there?

Apron on then and let's get them jobs done quickly.
Hope you are all having a fabulous day.
Sheila-x-

 

 

27 March 2017

A Murky Looking Monday!!!

Payback time for the two sunny days then.
This morning is grey and cold and the heating has had to go on as I am shivering even with a cardigan on. It wasn't put on at all yesterday but I think it might be a while before we can do without it altogether.

A lovely start to the day though with Ruby being dropped off for Andy to take her to school. A nice little chat and some cuddles.
Today is DDIL's first day back at work for over a year after her maternity leave. I hope she has a good day and that it doesn't take long for her to get into her work routine.
Doodle Day will no longer be exclusive to Wednesday. It could be any day depending on what day Daddy has his day off or what day Grandad can pick her up.
It's going to feel very strange as she has come on a Wednesday ever since she started school.

Laundry day today and there is extra to do because I have sorted out two single bed sets to pass on to DDIL for Marlowe when she goes into her own bed. I don't use them any more as Ruby sleeps with me when she stays so they might as well be passed on so that they get used.
Tea tonight will be simple......sausages with tomatoes and mushrooms. I have tons of mushrooms as I picked up six punnets of organic whole mushrooms for 23p each and two punnets of sliced mushrooms for 25p each. I'll use the sliced for tea tonight and the whole ones will be made into soup and creamy garlic mushrooms for Andy to have on toast.

Broadchurch tonight.
I can't believe it will be over halfway done with only three more episodes after this one.
It shouldn't be long after it's finished that it comes out on dvd so we'll be able to get it and watch it properly without having to wait a week between each one.

Not in the mood for sewing today so I might just do some fabric coordinating to see what might be missing from my stash before I do any more fabric buying......I still have the money I came home from the NEC with burning a hole in my pocket but I will only spend it on things I really need.

So....kettle on for coffee and then I had best get on with chopping up this mountain of mushrooms and get some soup made for the freezer.
Hope it's a bit warmer where you are.
Sheila-x-

 

26 March 2017

Day Two Of Sunshine!!!

Wow....we are doing well aren't we?
Another bright sunny day and there is warmth there too.
DD is out in the garden planting up some beautiful pots by the front door. They look amazing.

After a very half hearted offer to cook the lunch...His Nibs is ensconced on the sofa while I am doing the cooking with a little bit of extra banging and slamming around....lol.
I won't have time to go to Dunelm today and I am going to pass on the sewing as I can foresee mistakes if I sew while in this bad mood so I don't know what I will be doing after lunch but I will find something to occupy myself.

There was a visit from the Doodle Family on their way out for the day. Lots of cuddles and kisses from Ruby and a big cheeky smile from Marlowe.

Hope you are all having a lovely day in the sun.
Sheila-x-

25 March 2017

Sunny Saturday!!!

What a beautiful morning to wake up to this morning.
Sunshine and blue skies outside.
Not so good inside......Andy has a cold and you know what a man with a cold is like. He has obviously caught it from DD and me but his is twenty times worse than ours was.
I have no patience for mollycoddling him today.

I am off out to the theatre later to see Ruby playing part of the Yellow Brick Road in her dance class show. 
Really looking forward to that.

The rest of the day will be spent pottering and making some sweet and sticky meatballs to have with salad for tea and then maybe some sewing as I am not much in the mood for film watching tonight.

All eight of the mug rugs got finished yesterday......

  
.....the colours are a lot nicer in real life. The yellow spot fabric is a lovely rich buttery colour.

DD has gone off to the garden centre. She is going to make a start on redesigning the front garden this weekend and has gone to look for ideas on what to plant.
The front gets so much more sun so we can make it look totally different to the back.

Seeing as Andy is so focused on himself and his ruddy cold I expect I will be cooking my own Mother's Day lunch tomorrow so I won't get my sewing day. I might cook lunch and then get DD to take me to Dunelm for a wander round the fabric department.
Oh I lead such an exciting life....lol.

Hope you are all enjoying sunshine today.
Sheila-x-

24 March 2017

A Mountain Of Mug Rugs!!!

For some reason I didn't feel much like working on the quilt yesterday and wanted to do something a bit smaller.
With other jobs to be done I didn't have an awful lot of time so I decided to use up leftovers of the quilt fabric to make some mug rugs and set about cutting all the 5" squares needed and I managed to get enough for eight.
There are also four quilt squares leftover as I cut forty but only needed thirty six so they will be made into a cushion.
I will get some sewing done today but not much as I have to go out shopping tonight. Probably won't get much done tomorrow either as I am off to see Ruby in her dance class show.....I had forgotten that it was tomorrow so the fabric shopping trip to Derby has been postponed. 
As Sunday is Mother's Day I am hoping Andy will offer to cook lunch and I will get a whole day at the machine.

I've been a bit lacksadaisical with the shopping over the last few weeks and have some serious holes in my store cupboard that need filling. There is still lots in the freezers so no need for meat, fish or chicken just yet.
I had better stock up on bread flour as I am making bread nearly every day now. There is dough mixing in the machine just now ready to bake a loaf for Andy to have with some soup when he comes in tonight.

Just have to finish off my shopping list, knead the dough and leave it to prove and then I will get on and sew these mug rugs.
Beans on toast with a nice cuppa for quick tea for DD and I before we go out and that will be another day done and dusted.

Hope you are all having a lovely day.
Sheila-x-

 

23 March 2017

No Whittering Today!!!

After the events of yesterday a post about me and my life would be inappropriate.

My thoughts are with everyone affected by the horrible attack.

Sheila-x-

22 March 2017

When I Think Of Spring......!!!

........I think of green grass, sunshine and open windows letting in a lovely breeze to freshen everywhere....oh and of course baby lambs.
I don't think of brown filthy mud, rain and the heating on full blast because it's so cold.

Yes it's another wet and windy day here in Staffordshire and the sofa quilts and cushion covers which were going to be washed and hung out on the line will not be getting done today. Instead I will be making a huge pan of soup (Ganma's magic soup as Ruby will be here) and homemade bread.
I have discovered that I prefer to use the breadmaker to do all the hard work and then bake the bread in the oven. The loaf I made in the machine yesterday looked and tasted lovely but the crust was just way too crusty for comfort.

Two rows done on the quilt and four to go but there won't be much sewing done today. I might get another row marked up for the quilting if I have time before Ruby gets here but I'd like to make a cake too so maybe not.....I shall have to see.

Coffee has been drunk so I am away to don my apron and start on my cooking duties.
Hope your weather is better than ours.
Sheila-x-

 

21 March 2017

This, That And The Other!!!

I do so love rag quilting.
Yesterday I got one row of squares quilted and trimmed and started to assemble them into a strip before it was time to cook and spend a little time with DD.
Today I am hoping to get a little more done as we are just having a cheese and pineapple salad for tea so no cooking.....although I will be making bread.

We made the decision last night that we will be going to the quilt show in August at the NEC.
DD is not a crafter but she has a great interest in anything I do and she loves shopping for craft materials and tools with me. In fact I could give her some money and send her out shopping and she would come back with things that I would have chosen myself.
Anyway....once I have been to Derby on Saturday to buy fabric to make the apron/dress pattern I bought there will be some serious saving going on ready for August.

It's sunny and windy today. Bitterly cold but I should get some washing dried outside for a change.

Right bread to be made and sewing to do....and that will be my day today.
What are you all up to?
Sheila-x-

20 March 2017

A Yellow Mac And Red Spotty Wellies!!!

I have a desperate need to get out in the thrashing down rain for a walk to blow some of these damned cobwebs away......I have gone down with another cold which I could really do without.
Unfortunately I don't own a single coat that is even very showerproof let alone storm proof and I don't much fancy getting soaked to the skin.
Today would be a good day to own a yellow mac and red spotty wellies 😄

One morning this week I would like to get into to town to have a rootle round the charity shops.
I am on the lookout for an old candy striped or floral flannelette sheet to use as a backing for one of the quilt kits I bought on Friday and for the other one I am looking for an old embroidered tablecloth.
Neither of them will be started just yet but I would like to have everything needed so that when I do make them I can finish them.

Today I need to catch up on some laundry, do some tidying and hoovering and prepare tea for DD and I. Unusually we are having a cooked meal tonight....fish, potatoes, peas and parsley sauce which we love but Andy doesn't but it's just the right kind of day for comfort food and he will have a hot meal before he goes to work at lunchtime.
After that I will get back to layering and pinning the quilt squares before I start quilting them.
I'm getting impatient now to see what the quilt looks like when it's all put together.

Think I might need a coffee to gee myself up before I get going so I'll get the kettle on.

Hope it's a bit drier where you are today.
Sheila-x-



 

19 March 2017

Happy Birthday Marlowe!!!

Well....today my Little Miss Marly Moo is one year old.
Happy Birthday you gorgeous little girl.

We had a lovely family party yesterday with DDIL's family up from London and Brighton and Marlowe absolutely loved all the attention.
The most hilarious thing was seeing her attacking her very first piece of cake. She started off very neatly breaking small pieces off.......and then the fists went in and all of a sudden everywhere was covered in cake.
She almost needed hosing down on the back yard....lol.
So birthday number one down and many more to go.

I am still feeling a trifle delicate from hauling my poor old body round the NEC and can't summon up the energy to go out for lunch so we are having a simple meal of stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in pancetta with roast potatoes and veg and then I will spend the afternoon layering up the squares for the rag quilt and pinning them ready for quilting.....well I will once I have put all my new stuff away so that I actually see the table...lol.
I'll have a good long session this afternoon/evening as there is nothing to watch on tv.

The housework can wait until tomorrow.
Hope you are having a lovely weekend.
Sheila-x-

18 March 2017

NEC Shopping Haul!!!

It was without doubt one of the best shows I have ever been to at the NEC and I will definitiely be going again.
We met some wonderful people and saw some beautiful things.
I pretty much stuck to the list I had made and actually came home with money to spare so that can't be bad.
Now I'll let the pictures of my goodies do the talking.....

Rotating cutting mat with free blades and a stock up on the Shmetz needles I love which saved me £14.
 
Shape cut rulers for use with a rotary cutter.


I have been after this pattern for myself for ages and will be sourcing some fabulous fabric soon to make it.
Glorious kits from Worn and Washed Fabrics to make quilts that look just like they have been passed down from Grandma.
A lovely jelly roll with Marlowe's name on it. The green looks a bit washed out here. It's a lovely soft lime in real life.
This Layer Cake is so gorgeous it doesn't really need any words.
Couldn't pass these fat quarters up at £1.80 each and one day soon they will be turned in baskets.
Christmas cushion stash.
A bit of blender stash.
A bit more blender stash from an offcuts bin for 50p each.
This will one day be a bag with a slashed decorative panel on the front.
.....and this will one day be a purse for DD.

My feet, legs and back are destroyed and today I am hobbling around like a little old lady. Goodness knows what I would have been like if we had stayed all day. As it was....the first couple of hours were lovely. After that it was just shuffling along and I don't do shuffling so we went and found the stall where I had seen big cutting mats at a reasonable price, purchased one and then we decided it was time to go. 
By 2pm I was being treated to a late lunch at Harvester fairly near to home.

Thank you so much DD for my wonderful early 60th birthday treat......it was amazing.

Sheila-x-

17 March 2017

Wide Awake!!!

Just look at the time.....02:59 and I am still awake.
I have been to bed twice and tried to get off but I am just not tired enough to drop off...... I must have had two nights worth of sleep last night.....either that or it's the lazy day I had yesterday.

I guess I'll just do a bit of browsing on t'internet and see if that tires my eyes out then grab a couple of hours before I have to get up and get ready to go out.

Ah well....all part of life's rich tapestry as they say.....although I would rather have some sleep than a flippin' tapestry...ta very much...lol.

I'll probably be too crackered to blog when I get back so I'll see you Saturday.

Have a great weekend.
Sheila-x-

16 March 2017

No Plans Whatsoever!!!

I had an early night last night, fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and woke up at half past seven this morning.
Consequently I didn't get that time lying there trying to get off to sleep when I sort of plan what I am going to do the next day.
There was nothing taken out of the freezer for tea tonight but a quick look in there has revealed some beefburgers that want using up. I have eggs and potatoes so I think a mini mixed grill with some peas and onion rings.
As for jobs....nothing planned so I'll just wash the pots and mop the kitchen floor and spend the rest of the day sewing and reserving my energy for walking around the NEC tomorrow.

It's very chilly here this morning. I think the heating will have to go on later when Andy gets up.
We have finally got used to the new heating system and have found that while the weather is here, there and everywhere the best thing for us is to just switch it off and put it on when we need it rather than having it on the timer. It takes next to no time to warm up as the house isn't huge.

Thank you all for your kind and concerned comments about my strange episode.
I have decided that as I don't seem to be suffering any kind of after effects I will be waiting until I have my annual review with the doctor to mention it although of course if it happens again I will get booked in as soon as possible.

When we dropped Ruby off last night I took the little dress for Marlowe to try. It fits beautifully and she looked gorgeous in it so there will be a few more of those on the sewing agenda in different fabrics.

Right I am off to start my rather lazy day.
No sunshine here so I hope you all have some.
Sheila-x-

15 March 2017

Useless Article!!!

The window stick thingy......useless
I prefer the water trickling down my arms to getting a full on shower so I won't be using that again....besides which it is actually for using to clean the car so Andy and DD can use it. It won't go to waste.

The quilt is coming along nicely although I haven't got the squares completely finished. It took rather a long time to sort out the order they would go in on the finished quilt. I have only used four fabrics whereas a bought layer cake has lots of different fabrics which just go together randomly. All sorted now so I  just need to sew up twenty of the forty squares and then I can start cutting batting and backing fabric.....not today though as it's Doodle Day.

I actually got round to using the bread maker yesterday to make some dough for bread rolls..........


They turned out really nice and were served with smoked pancetta, potato and onion fritatta and a few baked beans. Andy also took a couple for his pack up to work using up the last of the beef from Sunday.

Had a very scary episode last night. DD needed to go into town after tea so I went along for the ride just to see a bit of different scenery and breathe in some fresh air. We had just got into town when I had the most awful pain across my forehead followed by double vision and it killed my eyes to look at lights. I have never had anything like it before. It lasted about ten minutes and then it was gone although I still have a pain on the left side of my head this morning which I always get when I have a migraine so I'm wondering if it's a new manifestation of my migraines. Not sure what it was but it was very frightening.

Using up the last two jars of bought pasta sauce today to make a spaghetti bolognese for tea....another Ruby favourite.
I do have home made sauce in the freezer but I want to use these jars up and won't bother buying any more. They were only kept in for emergencies but in future I will keep on top of making my own.

Just need to have a tidy up and a hoover round before my little miss arrives but coffee is high on the list before I do anything else this morning.

Hope you all have the sunshine we have this morning.
Sheila-x-