Thursday, 14 December 2017

I like Thankful Thursday

More things to like and be Thankful about!

Morning ritual - 1 half cup of orange juice topped up with hot water to take my meds. At the same time, fill the lovely glass teapot - a gift from the Thoughtful Man - with 2 Lemon and Ginger Teabags and more hot water. Leave to get on with steeping while I am making my porridge. The glass teapot means I can tell what colour it is! Cool.

The folded over sunflower log cabin was gifted by my mom. I think it was probably meant for placing pots on the table? but under all my table cloth is a lovely wooden table which was nearly ruined all those years ago when it was brand new by the heat going through a mat for a hot teapot. So, when I realised I needed a tea cozy for the glass teapot, I took this mat and folded it and ahem stapled the sides. It is just right for a tea cozy. Some day I will be ashamed at being lazy and will take out the staples and sew it. For now, it works though!

Oh, and the mug is my special new bone china replacement for the special bone china one that broke.

Next up - the porridge. I like it full of raisins, seeds and nuts, made with milk and nuked in the microwave.

And recently my friend Gabrielle brought some porridge bread to the sewing group. It is not a sweet bread. It is made with yogurt and oats and whatever seeds and nuts you want to add. I liked it, so she gave me the recipe.
Both the Thoughtful Man and I like it so much that I have made it nearly every week since the first time I tried making it. Mine comes out a bit different than Gabrielle's was, but it is still as good. Sometimes the texture is different depending on the choice of seeds/nuts.
And it is even very good toasted lightly, butter added and also cheese. (There might also be a bit of gooseberry curd that happens with it.) All this for my lunch, with a conference pear and a clementine/satsuma/ small citrus thingy .

Hurrah! Porridge twice a day. What's not to like? Good for you!

2 photos, but loads of likes.

To see the likes for the others, go to Lee Anna's blog. You might need to let the North Americans get up in their morning first! 😉

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Dutch Spiral - take 2

I have managed to get the Dutch Spiral back to where it was when the thread broke for something like the 3rd time, which prompted me to take it apart.
I had struggled to keep the tension even previously, so now I have put a wooden coffee stirrer inside (the Dutch Spiral is a continually twisted triangle so is hollow). It helps me hold every thing together...which would have been harder because having a double thread now would have meant a bit more juggling. I also find that putting a needle or something through one side of  the triangle on a set of beads just below where I am working, also helps. The above photo shows it at the point where I would probably move the needle up again.

So, now to keep at it til I have 1 metre!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017


The recent project which I can not post has gone well. Then I was about to cut and trim and remembered I am meant to send a 20cm square example of the quilt. Oh.

It has been a stretch to make something 2 metres by the width of the fabric. That was the challenge I set myself. But, having made my design cover the whole of the 2 metres, I haven't got any left for a sample! and as the design is somewhat symmetrical, I can't really chop some off to use!
So, having been frozen by indecision for a little while, I had searched online, but it couldn't find it. I had purchased it at Festival of Quilts from Doughty's, located with the white on white fabrics. I finally decided to get over it and phone Doughty's Fabric to see if they had it. I hoped the lack of presence was that the white on white fabrics aren't put online because they are hard to see.

So, I phoned. This was brave. I do not like phoning. Even worse, I do not like phoning companies and businesses. But a lovely lady was very helpful. She thought she found it by my description, but said send me a photo. So, I did and she said yes it was. and so, soon a little parcel of fabric will arrive in the post. Phew.
Now I can go with the trimming the edges and working on the binding!

While I was being brave, I ordered a book online for a Certain Young Man's Christmas, and slippers for the Thoughtful Man. I don't like ordering online either, but now I don't have to traipse through shops for just the right kind.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

The beads are still going on...3-9 December

week 49 - 2017








Saturday, 9 December 2017

Something on Saturday

Cow 47

A tea towel given to me by my friend in Ethiopia. I have parked it in front of the microwave, but it's real place is to cover the case of accessories for the food processor.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Trim or not

Remember this trim I was starting?

I was doing well but the thread broke. Then I sorted it and I was doing well but the thread broke. So, I haven't touched it for a while.

Today I took it all apart. The thread was lovely and just the right colour, but not strong enough to cope with trying to line up bugle beads with their sharp edges. The choice would be - thicker thread, though I am not sure I have any in suitable colours - or double thread. And since I want to make at least 1 metre of the dutch spiral, I couldn't use double of that colour because I know I would run out.
So, I am going with a pale lavender instead, of which I have more than one little bobbin.

And so we begin again. I should have the pattern in my head now!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

I like Thankful Thursday

Today I am Thankful that the pain block procedure is working. So, I still have fibromyalgia and I still hurt. But, my back feels like a very heavy rucksack has been taken off! And so even going upstairs is easier. Walking is quicker. So, I am very thankful that a big pain has been lifted so that I can cope better with all the rest!

I haven't posted much, not making much and easing into things.
However, on Saturday, our church was already scheduled to host a Ladies Christmas Lunch for some other churches. And I am so thankful for my ladies, my friends, who helped to make the day wonderful. I still did the talky things, but I didn't have to worry about lifting or carrying anything.
photo: Debs Lewis
And then from there it was rest for several days.

And now One wonderful thing I like about December!
The first of the December baking...though I have bought some special food treats as well. I still have pumpkin in the freezer from when the Thoughtful Man had his allotment. So, I thawed some and baked Pumpkin Chip cookies and Pumpkin Bread.

The cookie recipe from a childhood friend, Lisa and the Pumpkin Bread from one of those small cookbooks of gathered recipe favourites. This one from a church many years ago, Pilgrim Baptist Church in Massachusetts. The recipe is called Shaker Pumpkin Bread.

Because I come from a large family, December was full of baking. I think my mom made double batches of everything. One to be devoured that day and one to be saved for Christmas!

And I like (love) being in England for winter. Instead of it being so cold everything dies, there is often lovely bits of colour still around to cheer you up.
Saw these wonderful pink berries the other day!

It was windy and they were moving around, so it was hard to get them in focus.

Forgot to say - over at LeeAnna's blog you can find links to other people's likes on Thursday.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

The beads are still going on...26 November - 2 December

week 48 - 2017






November's beads

The end of the grey sets for this year. I like the combo of the grey and purple.

Brown for December...the last set of brown



Saturday, 2 December 2017

Something on Saturday

cow 46

Another cow apron
I like this one for baking, but the ears do get in the way!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

I like Thankful Thursday

Today I am not here. I am having a pain block procedure on my back.

from hospital website
However, that is a glad thing. I am glad for all the things that fell in place, a few years ago, to be referred to the pain clinic. I hadn't realised it was an option but through one thing and another, it came to be. And I think if I had been able to get someone to do something more for me, it might not have happened because at the time the hospital authority I was under didn't do that. But, that changed and it meant I was now under a different hospital catchment which extended further south to an area that has a pain clinic.
And so they have been helping and this is one hope that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

Another like having to do with this, is that the hospital has a little charity bookshop. (It is just to the right of the glass doors on the photo above.)
So, when I go back and forth for appointments, I usually stop in. I bring what I have read back with me the next time!I picked up quite a few when I had my physio appointment last week. What I like is that sometimes you can get quite a few books in a series by the same author.
Looking forward to reading these while I am resting up.
Another time I found one by an author, that I hadn't read yet. I had been looking for some time. Yes, I could buy them, but usually it is just something I want to read, not necessarily want to own.
One of my favourite authors is Lindsey Davis who writes about a detective in ancient Rome. I just finished reading one the other day. A couple weeks ago I finished one she had written about Vespasian's life...really about the life of his love Caenis. A Course of Honour builds a wonderful story from this account; "A tantalising half-sentence in Suetonius’ biography says that after his wife died, Vespasian ‘took up again with Caenis, his former mistress and one of Antonia’s freedwomen and secretaries, who remained his wife in all but name even when he became Emperor’." a phrase from the webpage about the book on Lindsey Davis site.

On Saturday I met up with sewing friends at my friend Gabrielle's. I took the camera, but forgot to get it out!
However, I met one friend, Annette, who I hadn't seen for sometime. It was nice to catch up with her.
As is usual at most sewing meetings, someone wants to get rid of books or something. So, I came home with these. A few might be for possible students as a resource.
Also the wooly polyester thread to try on the overlocker.
But the fabrics in front and the elephant panel in the back were a gift from another lady. The panel from India she didn't want... "I have already made something from the rest and I don't have a need for anything else with elephants". However, the wonderful sunprints were pieces she picked up on a recent holiday in Africa for me! I think Zambia. How nice that she thought of me. 😊

Speaking of which gifts from sewing friends, a few months ago at one of the meetings (we meet at the Community Centre, bringing our projects to work on. Sewing machines and the like.) where there is often a lot of unrelated chat, we somehow began to talk about pressure cookers. I haven't used one since I was living at home, and then I think I really wasn't involved. Because I hadn't really learned all the nuances of pressure and wobbling thingys on top, I just wasn't confident about it. So, in the discussion they said the new ones were much more user friendly, and in fact, you could get ones that had buttons to set time and pressure and so on, then it got on with it. If there was anything not quite right, it goes to keep warm setting and cools down a great deal.
So, I thought. OK, I need one of those.
Then Margot said she had one in her garage she didn't want. She had bought a smaller one, because the other was too big for her small kitchen. Did I want it?
Are you sure?!!
Well, I would only eventually toss it. Someone should get use out of it.
So, I have been making use of it ever since. It was Very Helpful with the sweet potatoes and then potatoes when I made a Thanksgiving meal that had been ordered by a Certain Young Man who came home for it at the weekend. I didn't have to watch they didn't boil over or try to fit everything I was making onto 4 hobs at once.

OK. more on the like side of things next week! If you are interested, you can see what others have said, over at LeeAnna's blog.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017


Last year my sister-in-law gave us an amaryllis that had been living in it's box for more than a year in her garage. It has been a gift from someone, but she doesn't like them.
I do.

So, the poor thing had tried to flower in the box, the stems with buds had grown about 4 inches and dried up like husks. I watered it and the leaves grew last year. So, I knew it was still full of life, though a bit mixed up. After the leaves finished, I put it all back in its box to hibernate.
Then when it was about the beginning of November, I got it out and began watering it. I wasn't sure where it might think it was in the cycle, so was very pleased that it grew flower stems again.

So pleased that I bought a few more colours at Aldi when they started having them! And now the flowers have opened on the first one.
There are 2 stems and 4 flowers on each. Well, there were 4 coming, but I went to turn it like you are meant to for the sun, and one broke off. 😞 Currently it is continuing having been stuck in the side of the pot. Anyway, as you can see, the flower is beautiful. Can't wait till they all open!

And the other plants have begun to send up green points. Not sure whether they will just be leaves or also flowers. One is deep red. Another is the opposite to this one, red with white. and then I went back down and bought a white one, too, to get the full compliment. In theory, they are meant to open by Christmas.

Monday, 27 November 2017

The beads are still going on...19-25 November

Week 47 - 2017

A bit delayed. I had the photos to upload, but then the camera wanted recharging...and then the moment that was available was gone.









Saturday, 25 November 2017

Something on Saturday

Cow 45

Another cow apron.  This one I use when I am dyeing fabric or painting, etc.
My youngest sister gave it to me years and years ago when she lived near Seattle.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

I like Thankful Thursday

Today is Thanksgiving in America.
My family there are enjoying each other in the various places where they live. Many Blessings!

I was invited to take part in an online group posting something they like on Thursday. I have been posting the cows for Something on Saturday. Not long now and it will be up to a year.

So, I decided to start looking again - with the camera - like I used to do on Inspiration Monday in the early days of the blog and later on Something on Saturday.

I had to go over to South Hill Park to deliver something to a colleague. As I was looking for Thankful Things, I decided to look there.
Italian gardens

You may recall when I took part in Engage! with Art. That was at South Hill Park.
my favourite: Bull at the Gate.

I have lived in this area for 30 years. South Hill Park is a big feature. For a long time, I didn't go inside much. It is only about a 15 minute walk, but I didn't feel very welcome there. So, I mainly walked around the lake and grounds.

But in the last several years, things have changed. It is lovely to meet someone for a cuppa in the cafe or wander round to see what exhibitions are up.
  'puddle wonderful'by Jan Barstow
Loved this print hanging near the cafe.

There are always things to see that you never noticed before.

This week I found these stairs. Another day I will see where they go! There are many stairs to unusual places around the mansion.

And now I know a bit about clay.

I took a one day taster on precious metal clay some years back.
One day I want to take a bookmaking course there.

So, I am thankful for South Hill Park.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

on the worktable

Busy being a people person lately.

But I am back to working on this secret (not to be shown online) piece I started ages ago.
The worktable having been lifted for my back, had become a bit of a log jam for the sewing part of things. And this piece is 2 metres long. So - big log jam.

But a Certain Young Man took one of the shorter bits of  wood out, and now there is enough of a slant that I can manage the sewing.
I am doing one hour a day. It is getting it done and conserving my back.
My physio will be glad!