Saturday, 15 July 2017

YEY! MORE FINISHES.


I am so pleased to have finished some more projects this past week and have also started new ones. I can't resist new projects even though I still have plenty of others to complete. However, I do feel that I am getting somewhere especially when I have started something and completed it before picking up another one.  A while ago I made several little mini quilts from one of Jenny's Stitchery Club's 2016 designs called " A Year In the Garden". These designs were for a quilt but I decided to make little minis so I could display one each month of the year. I found October's stitchery in my UFO drawer with the borders already sewn on but still waiting for the binding and sleeve. Now I have minis  to display all year. ( Yeah, I know. It needs to be ironed.)


 
I have started Jenny's latest free BOM.
 
 
 
 
I have finished my hand quilted table runner which is Gail's "Bountiful Bees" pattern. 
 
 
 
And 3 crocheted pot holders grew into 6.
 
 
 
I had to perform major surgery on my sewing machine when it decided to chew up some fabric and left big holes in it.
 
 
 
I shall now continue my travelogue ( as my mum calls it).  After a big day walking around Edinburgh and visiting lots of tourist sites on 14th June 2015, we decided to just take it easy the following day and find the Post Office to send some things back home as we had accumulated a lot of books and souvenirs which would add extra weight to our luggage. We spent a lot of time sitting on the post office floor dividing things up between us to reduce the cost of postage. We must have looked quite funny but there was no bench big enough to sort everything out on.
 
We were up early the next morning heading off to meet our tour bus to visit the Highlands, Loch Ness and Glencoe. We tried to catch a regular bus to get to the meeting point but the bus driver didn't take cash and couldn't be bothered telling us how to buy a ticket so we hailed a taxi to get there. There were 15 of us on the coach, one other Aussie who just happened to be a patchworker! My daughter just rolled her eyes. Our first stop was at Callandar for coffee. It was a lovely small village with breath taking views of the Highlands with the classic effect of mist on the mountains which still had some snow on them in summer.
.
 
 
After that we stopped at Loch Lubhair which had a mirror like image of the trees reflecting in the loch.
 
 
 
We arrived at Loch Ness for lunch but the boat tour was soon to be boarding so we bought some food on the boat. It was a rather drizzly day on the Loch so we stayed inside the boat and listened to the tour guide. Alas, no sign of Nessie. 
 
 
Back on board our coach we drove through the Highlands and passed the "Monarch of the Glen" house in the distance which looks quite a bit larger than depicted on TV. We went through Fort William which is the largest town in the Highlands as Inverness is actually a city.
 
I have always loved this breed of sheep and was so excited to actually see them in the long driveway of a cottage. I love this cottage but it was literally in the middle of nowhere and it must get very cold in the winter time.
 
 
 
 
 
We passed this interesting house. 
 
 
 Thus endeth our last visit of interesting Scottish sites.
 


Next stop is a very brief stop in Wales. Any "Torchwood" fans????
 
Thankyou so much for visiting my blog.
Many Angel Blessings.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

Saturday, 8 July 2017

ENJOYING THE ART OF FINISHING


 I am amazed at how many projects I seem to almost finish and then put aside. Thus a drawer full of UFOs.  There are various reasons for this. Sometimes I run out of fabric I thought would be suitable for binding, sometimes I can't find the right fabric for sashings or bindings and there are times when I stuff a project up and can't be bothered fixing it when I have so many other projects I want to do. So, I am feeling quite satisfied now that I have finished one of Jenny's Christmas projects that I had started a couple of years ago but ran out of fabric for the binding. ( Please note that the bird block is not in her pattern. I improvised using one of Jenny's birds and adding some Christmassy bits.)


 
 
The past week I have been busy crocheting these pot holders each evening. The pattern was kindly shared by Hanne's blog. These are going in my gift box and I am still crocheting more of them with various coloured balls of cotton yarn.
 
 
 
I  finished hand quilting this table runner last night and plan to bind it this afternoon.
 
 
 
 
Now, back to Scotland.
 
On the 14th June 2015 we paid money to be terrorised at the Edinburgh Dungeons. It was so much fun as we learned about the not so nice side of their history. I don't think my daughter was very happy with me that morning. Hehehe.
 
 
 
When we arrived we were held in a "holding cell" before being let into a court room by "the judge" where he called upon certain people, thankfully not us, and sentenced them for particular crimes they were supposed to have committed. It was done in a very humorous way. We then got into a boat in total darkness and sailed along past all sorts of scenes of Edinburgh's seedy history. After that we were taken to different areas where we learned historical facts and shown torture implements,and how they used them , told about the body snatchers  and stood in staged sets of the plague era, crammed dark living conditions and homelessness. It was all quite eerie but very well done.
 
  
After that we went to lunch at Frankenstein's Bar where we feasted on nachos, salad and vegie samosas with cocktails.
I decided to hold Frankenstein's hand. ( Must have had too many cocktails).Feeling energised after our yummy lunch we decided to visit Edinburgh Castle. We were quite lucky not having to queue up and arriving just as a tour was commencing. It is quite a vast place with a very interesting history although it is not as old as the places we visited in Carcassonne. 
 
 
 
 
Different parts ,different dates.
 
 
 
The banquet hall.
 
 
One of the beautiful ceilings.
 
 
One of the many cannons.
 
 
 One of the various buildings inside the castle walls.
 
 
The view.
 

You may have noticed that I have a fascination for castles. I love medieval history. I was in awe when I stepped into the room where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to King James 1st and her living quarters, Alas, can't find the photos on the computer. ( I can hear your sigh of relief).
 
Next post we shall be starting here. Can you guess where it is?
 
 
Thankyou for stopping by.
 
Angel Blessings.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

WOOHOOO! i MADE IT!



 I am doing the happy dance now that I have managed to complete a few projects during the month of June. No travelogue today but I do have the latest pic of my 4 month old munchkin.

 
I knitted a jacket and beanie for him.
 
 
I love Jenny's beautiful stitcheries and I decided to make 2 of the one design to make into a table runner. ( Oops, needs ironing).
 
 
 
Another sweet little stitchery from Jenny's BOM was so quick and easy to stitch and I made it into a hanging heart.
 
 
 
And now for the grand finale.........drum roll please. I finished the last border on my single bed crocheted blanket last night. This was a huge project but I really enjoyed making it. The pattern is from Attic 24. With the help of emails and phone calls to Barb over the years and the step by step tutorials on Attic 24 I have mastered the basic stitches of crochet.
 
 
 
 
So, this month I have a total of  5 projects completed.  I am off to crochet a scarf now.
 
Angel Blessings. 

 
 
 
 


Thursday, 29 June 2017

READING AND STITCHING


The past week or so has seen me happily doing some Christmas stitching. These are going to be made into special gifts for special people.


 
 
 
 
I am pleased to say that I have read 2 books this month and have started another one.. 
 
 
 
My last post ended with pics of Dublin taken 2 years ago. The next morning, 13th June, we caught a taxi to Dublin airport to catch a plane to Edinburgh, Scotland . We were quite taken aback when they told us that carry on luggage was not really permitted but they let us go through. We soon discovered why they were so strict as it was a really small plane. The trip only took 50 minutes and we were greeted by a dull and dismal cold day. We then took another taxi to our hotel which was a quaint old building in a cobblestoned street like I have seen in movies set in Edwardian times. 
 
 
 
We settled in and then went out in the drizzling rain to explore our surroundings.
 
 
 
 
This was a moving statue. Every minute or so she would move slightly into a different position.
 
 
Of course, what would Edinburgh be without the lovely sound of bagpipes .
 
 
 
I found it quite fascinating walking down the main street in the 21st century and looking up the hill across the road to see Edinburgh Castle in all its glory.
 
 
 
More about that next time.
 
I am off finish a couple of projects for OPAM.
 
Angel Blessings.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

HMMMM, WILL I MAKE IT ON TIME?



The end of June is fast approaching and I am hoping to have completed a couple of things for OPAM. This cold weather has found me sitting on the couch watching Netflix while crocheting. I started this single bed size crocheted blanket last year and it was coming along quite nicely until I ran out of some of the yarns. By the time I had restocked I received the wonderful news that I was going to be a grandmother so all current projects came to a grinding halt with baby projects being my main focus. Well, I picked up the blanket a few days ago and am now crocheting the 3rd border with only 2 more to go. Yey!


 
 
That little pretty stitchery designed by Jenny is in the process of being made into a heart.
 
 
 
And another Jenny design is being made into a table runner. I am just beginning to sew the binding strips together ready to bind it.
 
 
 
So, will I have them finished in time? Only time will tell.
 
So, I shall now continue with my overseas adventure this month 2 years ago.
 
On the 10th June we were up bright and early again for another big travel day. We walked from the hotel in Carcassone to the train station where we caught the train to Toulouse which was only about a
45 minute trip. We then hopped into a taxi headed for the Toulouse airport. We were 3 hours early for our flight to Dublin and they wouldn't check in our luggage until one and a half hours before take off. It was only a 2 hour flight to Dublin and we lost an hour in time. Once there we caught another taxi to our hotel. ( Yes you are seeing a little softie on the bed. My daughter took it everywhere).
 
 
 
 
The next day was a lazy day just wandering around Dublin and checking out where we needed to catch the Belfast tour bus next day. I just had to get a pic of the "Tart with the Cart", as Molly Malone is affectionately known.
 
 
 
 
We had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe . This became a thing. We went to the one in Paris and London too.
 
 
 
 
!2th June was another early rise to meet the Belfast tour bus we had booked. The tour driver was such fun. He was a lanky Irishman who sang Irish songs and had the gift of the gab. And yes, some of it was blarney. We headed off to Northern Ireland where their currency is English pounds rather than Euros like Dublin. They regard themselves as British protestants. Not one bit of Gaelic could be seen. Our first stop was to see the painted murals which are done by local artists and keep changing. Very political statements.
 
 
 
There were peace walls separating the Catholic side from the Protestant side.
 
 
 
As we drove through the town centre of Belfast we could see evidence of where violence ran amok. There were bullet holes in a statue of angels! We stopped off at the IRA Museum which was very interesting . I found a hexie quilt that a prisoner had made. Sorry, I can't get the pic upright! An embroidery was there too.
 
 
 
 
After that we went into the town centre and wandered around City Hall where the Titanic memorial is.
 
 
 
The interior of City Hall is beautiful and we had lunch in the café there.
 
 
 
After that we visited St Anne's Cathedral and then we went to the Titanic quarter where we saw the slip that the Titanic was launched from. Then onto Inch Abbey which was called Inis Gumhscraigh in 800AD. It was attacked and plundered in 1001 and again in 1149. This part originates from 1118.
 
  
 
 
 
Then we headed to Down Patrick where we visited St Patrick's grave and apparently St Brigid is also buried there. ( I am not Catholic but I still found this really interesting).
 
 
 
Next was Dundrum Castle, 1172
  
 
 
Like the views?
 
 
 
On the way back to Dublin we went through a small village called Maghera and Bryansford where there was plenty of lush , green,  undulating landscape dotted with farmhouses. Apparently C.S Lewis spent a lot of time in this area and got his inspiration for "Narnia" from here.
 
 
 
Whew! What a long day it was. After that we made one more stop at a beautiful area called Mourn Way . We got back after 8pm and still had to find our way back to the hotel. Thus endeth our short  visit to Ireland.  Onto Edinburgh next. But not right now. Relieved? I hope you haven't nodded off . If you have stayed with me then I congratulate you. Thankyou so much for stopping by.
 
 
Angel Blessings.