Thursday, 31 December 2009

Christmas and New Year

There is not much sewing going on around here, only a little by hand, so nothing really to show. I thought I would let you see some of my Christmas decorations, that I have made over the years. I usually put up a lot of wall hangings, but for some reason, I did not do that this year. I only put up the one shown above, which is my husband's favourite.

I have also included two pictures of us enjoying Christmas with our daft dog, Penny. I have on my hat, which I made for the Women's Institute Christmas hat competition. I got second prize.

We had our own turkey this year. We raised seven, and we will be having another for New Year.

I do hope you have a wonderful New Year and that all your dreams are fulfilled.

Thankful Thoughts

Turkey with streaky bacon roasted on top tastes wonderful!!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas (when it comes)

I got both trees up last night, one in the lounge and a smaller one in the conservatory. I adjusted the colour of the above picture and the next two below, but they don't look right. I decided this year to leave the tinsel off the tree. I usually smother it with tinsel, but then you cannot see the decorations. I have some decorations going back to wartime, and I have made a lot of them myself, as well. My favourite one is an old Santa in the front of the tree, near the red bell. Seemingly during the war (I wasn't born yet!) there were no decorations to be had. My Mum got the Santa out of a Kellogg's cornflake box and painted him red. He always goes on the front of the tree, and my sister and I used to fight, to put him on it. The tree looks very pretty and makes the room look as if Christmas is coming.

I found these two beaded necklaces, which were almost completed, so I finished them quickly in case I needed an extra present for someone. If I don't use them I will have two new necklaces. The top baggie is knitted, the bottom one is a brick stitch amulet. I decided I did not want a fringe on the bottom one. The colours are much nicer in real life.

Thankful Thoughts
I am so thankful I am not living on Mainland Scotland just now. They have had so much snow. They have had the worst weather conditions for the last twenty years. All transport has been disrupted. Roads and airports have been closed, and yesterday the Automobile Association was dealing with 1200 breakdowns per hour! We had a light fall of snow a few days ago, as you can see below - just like icing sugar on the grass, and the next picture shows what is left! It has been very icy, which is really unusual, but beautiful.

This was yesterday's sunrise -

and the bay today-

I do hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that Santa is good to you all! You deserve it!
Till next time!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

A Christmas Card for you!

I know, I know, I haven't blogged for nearly a month, but suddenly Christmas appeared on the horizon, and I started running from one activity to another, and did not accomplish much. To add to the complications, the building work is still on-going. The lounge had to be cleared, as the old fireplace was going, so I have had excess furniture in all the other rooms. We were getting a shed built and a porch added to the back of the house, so that mud and dirt would not be trailed through the house, as most people use the back door. The work has been gong on for months. The new fireplace is almost done, with only a wooden surround to be fitted round the hearth, the shed is complete, but needs to be modified, as it is letting in water and the porch is ongoing. Soon everything will be back in place, hopefully.

My machine has been red hot recently. I always make my own Christmas cards, and have done for as long as I can remember. I started out early, this year, with great intentions. I bought some designs from Emblibrary, and thought this would be a good way to learn how to use my embroidery module for my Bernina Artista 630E. The designs were fabulous, and I am delighted with the results. I learned how to resize, use multiple copies and change the positions of the design in the hoop (see below)

These are only some of the angels I made -
I also make my headers and inserts

The insert reads -

This little lacy angel

Brings you lots of Christmas cheer

And hopes you will have joyous times,

Throughout the coming year.

She’s made of thread and lots of love

That’s sent to you from me,

And next year, if you take her off,

She’ll hang upon your tree.

And this is what the card looks like -

I had great fun, but as usual, needed a lot more cards than I thought. It really is nice to hear from friends far away, and I always look forward to seeing or hearing what they have been up to. I also made Christmas stockings for the girls - but that is another story!
So ... I want to send this Christmas angel to all my bloggy friends. I don't have your addresses, but all my (and my husband's) best wishes are sent to you, for all the enjoyment you have given me throughout the year. Thank you so much!! (Please read on!)

Thankful Thoughts

As well as thanking you for all the great blogs, and the ideas I get from the blogs, I want to keep up the thankful thoughts. Who could not be thankful, waking up to a sight like this? This is the bay in front of my house, a few days ago. It was just after 9am, the sun had just risen (remember we have very short days just now) and the bay was empty. The picture is a little blurry, but you can just see someone on a tractor. Glorious, isn't it?
Till next time.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Thanksgiving and Being Thankful

I was contacted by SewCalGal to let me know about another Giveaway, which looks absolutely wonderful. Go here to see the rules. She is dong this for Thanksgiving and it got me thinking. We do not have Thanksgiving here in Scotland, and I think it is a great pity that we do not. We (I) have so many things, for which to be thankful, and we (I) take so many things for granted. So, at the end of my posts, I am going to put a little thank you, for something that I see or that has happened recently. You can ignore it, if you want, but it is just my way of paying back and to say I am grateful. So today ...

Thankful Thought - There are an awful lot of things I am really thankful for today, but the one uppermost is that all the teddies for the Mercy Ships are finished (said with a BIG grin ). I have heard from the Mercy Ships, and the boxes should have arrived in Holland and from there they will go onto Togo, to be distributed to the patients. I also want to thank all the people in the island who made this possible. A grand job!! Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!
Till next time.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

UFO and Another Giveaway

My Bernina sewing machine embroidery module is working its socks off at the moment. No pictures yet, but I will take some soon, to show you what I am making. I pulled out a couple of UFOs to finish off, recently. I have a lot of these Shoofly blocks lying about. I used to teach Patchwork for Beginners, when I lived on Mainland Scotland. This was one of the first blocks I used, to show how to sew shapes together. I sewed on a border and stipple quilted the block. I am more used to very close stipple/vermicelli quilting, but I made it much further apart this time, to see what it looked like. I like it. I am going to make it into a cushion, but will have to wait till Monday or Tuesday to finish it, as I want to put some cording round the edge. I might be lucky and get some in Kirkwall, when I go over on Monday.

One of my favourite blogs is Nebraska Views. Lynn is such a talented lady, and she passes on what she knows in a great blog. Recently she blogged about the sites Quilter Blogs and Quilting Bloggers. I went across to these sites and spent ages looking at loads of wonderful blogs. I joined both sites, and the hits on my site have increased significantly. They are great sites and I thoroughly recommend them. Thanks, Lynn.

Have a look at Bejeweledquilts. This is the last week for the Inch Worm fabric giveaway. It is fabulous! Fabric to make the jars for the quilt below, and there is still time to win the quilt as well. It would look so nice in my hall! I want it! (See below)

Must go and have a cup of tea.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

100 Books Challenge

Click on the above picture to find out about the newest reading challenge for 2010. I read about this in Colletta's Kitchen Sink blog. You have to read 100 books in a year. That should be no problem! My nose is never out a book, and I am the first to admit - 'I read anything!!' I am not into books, where I have to think long and deep. I want to read something quickly, and I will definitely not remember it next week. Short term memory only!!

Not much sewing going on just now. Too many outside attractions. I was asked to judge the teddy bear contest in the school on Friday. I have pictures, but you are not supposed to show pictures of children, unless you have the parents' permission. I would have to go round all the islanders for that, as every child in the school brought in their favourite soft toy. It was for 'Children in Need'. We have a huge charity event throughout the whole of Britain, supported by all the well-known celebrities, to raise money for the benefit of children. The BBC (television) ran a programme on Friday night which lasted for seven hours, showing all the things that were happening, where the money from the previous year had been used and asking for more donations. Local events take place, the crazier the better, and usually every school has some form of event to do with 'Pudsey Bear', the character of the charity. Our school had a assembly, organised by the senior pupils, and there were a lot of fun competitions with prizes. The assembly culminated with each child lining up with their bear/soft toy. One of the senior pupils dressed up as Pudsey, so she and I had to choose the biggest bear, the smallest bear and the best dressed bear. It was great fun!! This year, so far, over £20,000,000 has been raised nationally.

Yesterday, we were asked to help out at the church sale, so Raymond and I were on the bookstall. Again, great fun and, of course, I had to help the funds by buying some more books!!
Must go. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Quilt Top

This is what I have been working on last week. I used the white jelly roll and the ***jelly roll and also added some of my stash to brighten it up a bit and add a bit of variety to the colours. I am pleased with this. I did not want the borders to be as rigid as the centre of the quilt, so I played about with the sizes. I had fun, and I like it. It is a simple design, but it was quick to do (remember I am a slow worker) and I am not worrying any more about how I was going to use up the *** jelly roll. I do not think I will not get it sandwiched before Christmas, as I have a lot of other things to make (last minute as usual), but at least I will not be dreading taking it out, to work on it. Big grins all round tonight, and I did twenty-four lengths at swimming (small lengths, but at least I did some!) The bread machines are programmed, so I am off to bed.
Night all!