Wednesday, 25 February 2009

An exciting day

Yesterday was an exciting day for me…. my birthday!  Yes, another one.  They do seem to come round more quickly each year, don’t they?

It was a grey and dull day but that didn’t detract from my day!  As a treat we were to go to London to see a show called the Jersey Boys which I had long wanted to see.

We got ready to go out and had decided to take the bus to the rail station.  Waiting at the bus stop with about 8 minutes to go we noticed an Interlink van driving out of our road.  Hubby realised that a parcel he had been waiting for might have been attempting a delivery.  As soon as the van came towards us at the bus stop he flagged it down.  The driver expecting a hold up by a couple of wrinklies looked quizzically as my husband explained.  Yes, the package was onboard so it was signed for and duly handed over.  Right!  A quick sprint to the house and I’ll be back, according to  Hubby.  There was to be just enough time before the arrival of the bus.  I waited thinking that if I could just see my husband coming out of our road I would be able to delay the bus long enough for him to catch up.  The clock ticked, and ticked.  At last!  Around the corner he rushed just in time to arrive at the bus stop simultaneously as the bus!  Unbeknown to me as he was locking the front door a ParcelPost van drew up wanting to deliver a box of flowers for me!  Quickly they were accepted, placed in the hall, door locked and then the rush to return to me at the bus stop.

Once at the station we bought our rail tickets to travel by train to Victoria from where we were to continue our journey to Leicester Square by Underground.  Since we were early we decided to have a drink and a spot of lunch.  How civilized!

imageNow the time was coming to enter the Prince Edward Theatre.   We were to be sitting in the grand circle.  Settling down we waiting in anticipation for the lights to dim and the production to begin.image By the way, we sat in two of the red seat pictured in the picture on the right!

The musical show of Jersey Boys is based on the electrifying true life story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. With spectacular performances of their hits, follow the rollercoaster journey of a group of working class boys from the streets of New Jersey, who worked their way to the heights of international pop stardom.  The show featured many memorable hits, including: Beggin’, Oh What a night, Can’t take my eyes off you, Sherry, Walk like a man, Bye bye baby and Baby, big girls don’t cry to name but a small selection of songs preformed.  Follow this link to read about the story of the Four Seasons  You can even get a taster of the music as well as some clips from the actual show!  image

Actually, one of the scariest thoughts was that here we were clapping and singing our hearts out to music from over 40, yes, 40 years ago!!!  Gulp!  It was especially hard when I looked around me at some of the audience and fully realised, here were all the wrinklies….mmmmm.

We had thought about having a drink and a meal to round off the evening but decided just on a drink, travelling back home to invite our daughter over for a take away pizza with some bubbly!  A wonderful end to a brilliant day.

What were the flowers and who were they from?  Beautiful cream roses with purple irises and some lilies in between from one of the boys, wasn’t that kind?  Who loves ya baby!!!?

Monday, 23 February 2009

Is Spring starting to spring?

The south of UK was bathed in delightful sunshine with a slight breeze during Saturday.  You could not sit indoors for long after all the cold we have had recently.  It was gorgeous!

My husband and I decided to visit our favourite park to see if any real green shoots had emerged after the snow and ice we saw there on our last visit.  Sure enough!  The birds were singing, flitting here and there gathering food and just generally being full of the joys of a sunny day.  Whilst we took a reLooking across the lakest on one of the many benches provided,  which can just be seen here, it was wonderful to be able to admire the view.  So peaceful with the afternoon sun casting its warm glow across the tops of the trees.Trees by the lake

As I said the bird song was amazing and so cheerful!  Suddenly, I glanced down to my feet as I spotted some movement.  Looking down I found I had a new friend!  Mr Robin!!

I could not believe how tame he was.  He was actually picking up crumbs at my feet.  We  both sat very still and only just moved enough for me to take these pictures!
robin close up

Here he looked up to see what I was up to with my camera upon which, once he was satisfied that I would not stop him foraging, he then turned his back to me! robin turned his back on me!

I was so excited to be able to have this wild bird moving so freely and closely to me.  Obviously, the birds in this park are well used to people drifting in and out without minding too much.

Whilst we walked around we saw loads of clumps of snowdrops which is a sure sign that Spring is on its way!!!


Before we left we really wanted to stroll along the edges of some of the lakes which had been frozen over a few weeks ago.A quiet view across  top lake

What a difference a little sunshine makes!

Spring has sprung.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Pancake Day – Get Ready!!!!

You must all have heard of Pancake Day or at the very least, Shrove Tuesday?  This year it falls on Tuesday, 24 February so you just have time to check your stocks, get out the pancake pan and start tossing your pancakes!

The term ‘Shrove’ comes from the old word ‘shrive’ which means to confess.  On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began.

Shroving is a ancient British custom in which children sang or recited poetry in exchange for food or money.
A popular shroving rhyme went like this:

Knock, knock, the pan's hot
And we are coming a-shroving
For a piece of pancake
Or a piece of bacon
Or a piece of truckle* cheese
Of your own making.

*Truckle cheese is barrel shaped and is often mature Cheddar.

Lent is a time of restraint or abstinence.  Shrove Tuesday is the last day on which you can indulge yourself  animaged need to use up the foods that aren't allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.  Throughout the United Kingdom, and in many other countries, people indulge themselves on foods that traditionally aren't allowed during Lent.  I believe in the US and French speaking states it is called Mardi Gras.  Here some ladies from the mid 1950s enjoy the pancake race!

In the UK this coming Tuesday it is traditionally the day on which pancakes are made to be eaten, tossed or raced with in pancake races!

An English pancake is a thin, flat cake, made of batter and fried in a frying pan.  Caster sugar (superfine sugar) is sprinkled over the top and a dash of fresh lemon juice added. The pancake is then rolled. Some people put golden syrup or jam on their pancakes.

Pancake recipe: -image

100 g (4 oz) plain flour
1 large egg
300 ml (1/2 pint) milk
Pinch of salt

1. Sift the flour and pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Break the egg into the well and whisk the egg so that it starts to incorporate the flour from around the bowl. Gradually add in the milk and continue to beat the mixture together until it is smooth.

2. Heat a little butter in a frying pan and pour about 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture into the pan. Tilt and move the pan until the mixture covers the base evenly. Cook on a medium heat for 30-60 seconds until golden. Flip the pancake and cook on the other side.

3. Keep the pancake warm and repeat with the remainder of the batter.

    To serveimage

    Sprinkle each pancake caster sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice.



    On a more lighthearted note I spotted this joke….

    It was Shrove Tuesday and Mrs Williams was making pancakes for her sons, Justin 5, and Freddy 7.

    As usual, the brothers began to argue over who should get the first pancake. Their mother saw a wonderful opportunity for a moral lesson.

    'If Jesus were sitting at the table, He would say, "Let my brother have the first pancake".'

    Quick as a flash Freddy turned to Justin and said, 'Justin, today you can be Jesus!'

    Wednesday, 18 February 2009

    I was undecided so…..

    A couple of posts ago I described a quiltie I had created for a swap group I belong to. Once I sat and thought about it, I looked hard again but decided that maybe I could do better!

    So, I took some felt viscose from Sassalynne’s Shop on Etsy and used that as a base. Now taking various handmade papers I cut out rectangle shapes to place and sew. To finish I attached a vintage button from my MIL’s collection but placed some seed beads in its centre. For the reverse I simply took another piece of the felted viscose and zigzagged a border to keep it all together. And so, an Abstract Pink Rectangle Quiltie was born!

    Feb 09 Abstract quiltie

    As its predecessor it measures 5” square. Hopefully this will look better than my Valentine quiltie. Regardless, it has now been posted so I had better stop trying to make my mind up and being so undecided!

    Monday, 9 February 2009

    Australia's Bush Fires

    Australia bush fires: Death toll passes 100

    This is a disaster for any country and certainly one for Australia. My heart goes out to those who have lost their loved ones, homes where they have lived all their lives and to those who are suffering so much.

    I won't dwell on too many words here but would ask that anyone reading this post follow the link above to bring themselves up to date.

    The Red Cross is actively collecting any donations with grateful thanks.

    Here's how Emma (feliciafairy) on started a thread in one of the public forums. Headed 'Australian Bushfires. How you can help!' It's about a shop she has opened on Etsy OzBushfireAppeal where, at the moment, you can either donate money or an item to sell with free shipping. Monies will be collected and donated each Friday to the Red Cross. I say, at the moment, since it has to be established whether Etsy are happy with this set up.

    In the meantime, if you have any questions please direct them to Emma at If you wish to view the shop here is the link Victorian Bush Fire Appeal

    Thank you.

    A quiltie swap

    Being part of a mixed fibre/textile group can be daunting!  Well, for me anyway!  I am still very much finding my feet and learning what to do with various textiles etc.  So, I took the bull by the horns and decided to join in this month's challenge of creating a 5" quiltie under the title of Abstract.

    Mindful that February also stands for Valentine I thought I would try to capture the feeling of romanticism by including some hearts.
      fron bettert

    I had some red felt left over from a previous project onto which I blanket stitched some hearts.  Each heart was embellished with beads whilst the larger of the hearts had a lazy daisy stitch onto which I embroidered beads too!  Then I had some pretty ribbon left over which I attached.  Looking around my room I spotted a small gauze bag that had been used to hold the soap tablet in the washing machine.  This was cut up to fit the quiltie.  Now I had to add a little interest so decided on some glittery gold and purly snow flakes that I had used on some homemade cards!  The look was completed with a blanket stitch around the quiltie and embellished with more white beads!

    I always love to see what others have achieved or created and wonder at their expertise!  Their creations always look so professional but I will continue to keep on and through trial and error will, one day, try to reach a better creation. Meanwhile, back to the drawing board!  I might even experiment a little more and might be able to produce something better.  We shall see!

    Friday, 6 February 2009

    Before the snow!

    We knew the snow was coming and on this particular Saturday the sun was shining and the air was still crystal clear. What better excuse to get out and go for a walk in the countryside. Having looked at a map and various National Trust publications we decided to visit a place called Scotney Castle. Unfortunately, the house and gardens were closed for the winter and not due to open for a few weeks but the general public are still allowed to wander through the estate. This we did. It was wonderful! Walking in the fields you had to be careful where you placed your feet! Apart from that it really was lovely to be well wrapped up and able to enjoy the crisp frosty weather before the impending bad weather which heralded snow!

    Fields with stream

    The sheep did not seem to mind us walking amongst them. They simply raised their heads, checked us out and resumed the serious business of eating!

    Sheep at Scotney Castle fields

    I am told sheep actually prefer the dry, crisp frosty days rather than wet wintry ones because although their wool is waterproof I guess I wouldn't want to sit around in my wool coat on a wet day feeling soggy!

    Another peaceful scene

    I must admit it was great to walk around without seeing any snow, just for a change!

    Can you imagine choosing to take a walk around your estate if it looked like this? How the other half live!Walk along road aside fields

    Monday, 2 February 2009

    Some wonderful quilt items

    It's snowing outside, cold and wet so what better time to go internet browsing!  I decided to see what I could find in a team I belong to called Boomers and Beyond Etsy Street Team or BBEST for short!

    Since we are experiencing above average snow fall for UK I thought I would turn my thoughts to finding quilted items whether they are useful or just really attractive and pretty.



    Circles 'n Squares Small Textile Art

    Liz Plummer, who hails from the UK,  describes this quilt as a small quilted wallhanging which  is a colourful, playful one which would look great in a child's room or to brighten up a gloomy room. Particularly if you like sweets/candy!


    Another form using quilting is from Libertybelle's shop



    Flower Fairy Fabric Postcard

    This pretty fabric postcard is made with flower fairy fabric and has been embellished with cute little pink heart buttons. It is finished with lace and hand embroidery.

    I don't know about the title of this one except winter flurries might be more appropriate!




    Art Quilt Autumn Flurries

    by Artmixter who explains that this hand dyed cloth is raw edge applique'd onto a rich blue velvet base, sprinkled with sequin leaves that spiral in the painted and stitched spiral of the wind, with a golden flower in the centre.

    No amount of chat etc would allow this team to focus away from one important influence.......


    .... that of chocolate!!

    Karen Quilted and Beaded Bag in Chocolate and Blue

    Chocolate brown and blue 100 percent cotton fabrics, long brown and pink beading, and silver metal accents make the Karen bag one you will grab often thanks to Kimbuktu


    Since you now have the chocolate, how about a nice warm cup of tea?  The tea would have been kept warm by placing the teapot in this cute tea cozy by Nonnie60.



    Quilted Mini Tea Cozy - Country/Folk Art Design

    This mini-tea cozy was designed and sewn by Nonnie using a quilted cotton fabric in a country or folk art design. It was designed specifically for the nesting 2C pot and cup, which when assembled stand approximately 6" high. It also accommodates any 1C mini-pot. as shown in the main photo. It can also rest on top of a large mug to keep coffee or tea from cooling off too quickly.

    Tempted yet?  Why not browse some more?  You will be amazed at the talent in this group!!!

    Sale Corner!

    Occasionally I will show items that are for sale from me direct which can be paid for using Paypal. Always check to see shipping charges which will need to be added to the item amount!

    For regular prices check out my Etsy shop, as well as my sister shop on Etsy which also sells encaustic art

    Some paintings can be bought directly from my website

    Some samples of my present & past work to give you inspiration for that special gift!
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