Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Shopping

Last Friday night saw me getting on the train for a trip in to Bath for some shopping at the annual Christmas market.Just as I arrived in Bath the first snowflakes of this winter began to fall. If you look closely you might just be able to make out the snowflake streaks against the night sky in this picture.The night couldn't have been anymore perfect, Christmas shopping in the snow :)As usual I saw a tonne of stuff that I could quite happily have taken home and wrapped up for myself, but I was good and resisted all temptations. I'm trying to be super organised this year and am wrapping as I go, so the pile of pressies is growing nicely and the festive spirit is starting to infuse me already. If things carry on in this vein it really is going to be a Happy Christmas this year.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nan's Quilt

Most of my crafting time at the moment is going in to trying to get Nan's Christmas present done. It's coming along well, but still a long way to go.The back is now pieced, just using this and that pieces of fabric from the boxes I already have. This isn't going to be a master class in quilt making that's for sure, but it's being stitched with plenty of love and is meant to be functional so hopefully it will end up being just that.Yesterday saw me shifting around furniture in an effort to lay this one out in the living room and get the layers basted together. So it's now all rolled up and ready for quilting. I don't do fancy quilting so this is going to get the straight stitch in the ditch treatment.
One of the very best things about quilting is that you know as soon as you start getting the fabric out you're sure to attract the company of a kitty or two looking to make a nest right on that vital piece of cotton you need next. :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dorset Days - Part 2

This time last week I was packing my bags getting ready for my weekend in Dorset, can't believe how quickly a week can disappear these days. Here are a few snaps from last Sunday.We were up nice an early to catch the only few rays of sunshine of the day. This pile of buckets and spades left by the beach cafe were far too tempting to resist.
Haven't built a sandcastle since I was knee high to a grass hopper. The lack of practise was shown up in my first attempt :)Buy hey practise makes perfect and before long we had a whole castle complex made complete with moat.Haven't smiled or laughed as much as this I did during this hour or so of messing around on the beach in ages. I'm not going to leave it so many years between castle building escapades next time.We pretty much had the beach to ourselves which was great. If only my legs were really this long :) Even though the sun was shining I think part of the reason we were alone on the beach is that it was so darn cold.Here we are in all our rosy cheeked glory. I love the beach in winter. After the beach it was time to make our way home via Monkey World. Most of the primates were being sensible and staying inside out of the cold which made photographs difficult as lots of reflection through glass etc, but here are a few of the cheeky monkeys that I did manage to snap.No specific plans for this weekend but I'm sure we'll get out and about somewhere. Hope you all enjoy your weekends, whatever you may be up to. X

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bring on the season

The little Christmas banner I have been stitching is finally finished. For such a small project it's taken it's time to get done. All the of individual elements were pretty quick, it's just been finding the time to get them done and put together. Have no idea where this is going to go when the time to decorate comes, for now I just stuck it up against the wall to get a couple of quick snaps for the blog. Temporarily it has found itself living in the sewing room in amongst a whole clutter of other things that I love. I really enjoy getting cosy in this room, which has also been adopted by Hector and Hugo and their space in the house. It's the one place in the house that I've made truly mine, just wish there were more hours in the day for me to sit and enjoy playing with fabri, enjoying my things, playing with the cats, and ... well just being.

Whatever you find yourself doing today, I hope you find a few minutes to just be you. X

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dorset Days - Part One

My birthday present to Dave this year was to take him away for a short weekend break. What with illnesses and being busy with one thing and another it wasn't until this last weekend gone that we had the chance to make our escape. We spent a fabulous weekend by the coast in Dorset. On Saturday we went for a lovely walk along the coast line. I love being by the sea in the winter months, some might say that it's freezing cold but I like to think of it as invigorating. Whose spirits would fail to be lifted by the sights, sounds and smells of the beautiful and rugged British coastline? Here I am messing around on the beach. As you can tell colour co-ordination wasn't on my mind when I picked out my walking gear that morning, I'm like a giant walking rainbow, though I don't make anywhere near as pretty a picture as a real rainbow :) Here are my good old walking feet taking a well earned rest from wandering the pebbled beach. Beach walking definitely provides a good work out for the legs and bum :) This is one of my favourite shots of the day, a little bit of beach litter that I spotted along the way. Just love how the bright bottle cap stands out against the soft colours of the sea-wet pebbles and glistening seaweed. After a long day out walking in the chilly sea-air, nothing nicer than the feeling of arriving at your cosy accommodation knowing that they'll be a good pint and a gorgeous meal waiting to be had. Perfect days like these make such precious memories.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Next Big Thing

Now the budgie cushion is finished I can move on to the next and final big project that I'm hoping to have done by Christmas. Way back here I made a quilt top which was meant to be a present for my Gran for Christmas, needless to say I didn't make my ridiculously short deadline and, well that was 2 years ago and the top has been folded away in a cupboard since then.

So I've been busy cutting some fabric to make the back, I'm not buying anything new for this project so the back is not going to have any sort of layout or pattern, just a bunch of squares cut from fabric that I just want to get used up, layed out in random order.Now I just have to get to the job of getting them sewn up.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A misty morning

I do like this time of year, there is a nip in the air and the evenings are cosy and dark, but it's also difficult going to work in the almost dark and coming home in the dark and not being able to make the most of the daylight hours in between. I was a little early for work the other day so challenged myself to spend 5 minutes with the camera in the grounds of our office building, these few snaps are the result.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Step by Step

The noel banner is still slowly taking shape. There is so much going on at Angelcat Manor at the moment and work is ultra busy too it's all I can do to feed myself before falling asleep some evenings, so not too much energy for stitching.

But the hearts have been shaped ........ and some simple decorative stitching has been addedThe only thing left really is to get some ribbon and string them altogether. I'm so nearly there.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Walking in the Rain

We haven't been able to venture too far the last couple of weeks as we've both been feeling under the weather at various times, but last Sunday in need of some fresh air we took a lovely little wander in the rain. Not many words to say but here are a few snaps I took along the wayFinally, and I can't believe I'm actually posting this picture of me looking so awful, but what the heck, here we are looking like drowned rats after a wonderfully wet wander.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ready to fly

The budgies pillow is finished, and in plenty of time too - you might remember that this is a christmas present for my Aunt, so I'm feeling pretty pleased. I love how the border turned out, it's amazing what you can make out of even those tiny scraps of fabric that you save. The back turned out really well too, made from an old shirt that I picked up at a local charity shop. I wasn't sure about the shirt at first, particularly as it had a pocket, but I figured I make a little feature of it, so now it houses my hand stitched label. If you've been visiting my blog for a while you might remember that the budgies was one of my Mum's cross stitch UFO's that I finished off. The label reads 'Handmade with love by Susan and Angela Hart, finished 2010' I hope my Mum would be pleased with how I finished off her project.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Windfall Apples

Last week I was gifted a huge bag of windfall apples. Ok so they might not have been the prettiest looking apples on the block but with a bit of cosmetic surgery they got turned in to 4 delicious crumbles. As you can probably see I added a few blackberries to a couple of the dishes. Looks like the naughty kitchen sprites took a nibble out of this one before it made it in to the freezer. I also made a pie, my pastry skills leave a lot to be desired but what it lacks in aesthetic beauty it makes up for in taste. After 4 crumbles and a pie there were still more apples so a couple more were chucked in to the slow cooker with some pork and a splash of cider for a delicious Sunday dinner.

The freezer is now full, so it's now down to the hard work of eating up some of those yummy puddings. :)