Wednesday, 27 November 2013

New orthotics

I have to wear orthotics in my shoes and slippers. I had polio when I was five and although I was extremely lucky and got off lightly, my feet are a bit pathetic and floppy, so to prevent damage to my knees and hips, and to give me some stability for standing and walking, I wear some pretty serious orthotics. I used to joke that I couldn't even balance on both legs, let alone one! I can just about manage it with these in my shoes.

I finally found a podiatrist who makes this sort of orthotics. One of my old ones broke in half about a year ago and it's taken me this long to get organised. I wonder how long these will look so new and clean!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Here comes Christmas (sing along if you'd like)

There's no denying it, Christmas is fast approaching. I try and shut my eyes to it every year and would prefer not to think about it until December, but it's just not possible. Of course, I'm my own worst enemy, as I also try and spread out the Christmas shopping over several months - food and presents - to even out the cost.

For the past six or seven years, I've made a Christmas decoration for my sons, instead of sending them Christmas cards. And since Number One Son has his birthday on 2nd December, it makes sense to send his with his birthday present. And Number Two loves getting his Christmas decorations up for the beginning of December, so I can't keep him waiting either.

This year I've made two little wall hangings, they just need some hangers - I'll pop into my LQS today to get them - and they can go in the post tomorrow.

This was a Gail Pan pattern from a year or two back.

I don't think I'll be doing very much Christmas sewing this year, as I'm keen to finish my UFOs before the end of the year, so I can start something new.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Stow on the Wold

Yesterday, we went to Stow-on-the-Wold, another extremely pretty Cotswold town, full of pretty buildings and lots of lovely shops. We bought a few Christmas presents, some yummy chocolate and a few birthday cards. We had lunch in another lovely, dog friendly pub. We need to take Ruby into towns and pubs or cafes more often as she gets rather anxious and whimpery; as a country dog she rarely has to go on the lead or negotiate around on pavements, or sit under tables.

We'd taken the motor home with us, so that we had somewhere warm to leave the dog whilst we wandered in and out of the shops; so having packed up in order to drive off the site, we decided that it wasn't worth going back to the camp site for just one night, so came home last night instead of today. I've got a cold as well, so was quite happy to come home to our warm and cosy house.

This house was interesting as the paint had been stripped from the wood and so it looked very much like it would have done when it was first built, probably back in the fifteenth century, or even earlier.

Another Market Hall.

The market place was huge, giving plenty of space in these modern times for parking.

This claimed to be the oldest pub in Britain, built in 947 AD. Part of the building was once a Hospice (originally a resting place for travellers run by a religious order) on land belonging to Evesham Abbey. During alterations in the 1970s, some timber in the building was carbon dated to 50 years either side of 1000 AD

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Moreton in Marsh

I took very few photographs whilst we were away, as although it was very sunny a lot of the time - and extremely wet when it wasn't - it was too cold to take my gloves off for very long. Moreton in Marsh is a really pretty village and like many of the villages in the area has very wide streets. This is because back in the Middle Ages and Tudor times this area was the centre of the woollen industry and the streets were wide, usually funnelling at one end, for the sheep to be herded into market.

The buildings are all built from this wonderful honey coloured stone, which gives them a really warm and cosy look.

We had lunch in a dog friendly pub that was probably an old coaching inn.

The Market Hall, built at the narrowing end of the wide street.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Ruby in the motorhome

We've just been away for a few - extremely chilly - days in our motorhome. We went to the Cotswolds, which are only a couple of hours' drive away from us. Beautiful villages and countryside, and the campsite was as clean and well organised as we could wish. We were able to keep very warm and toasty inside our motorhome, but golly, it was really cold outside.

This photograph was taken just after we started. Ruby didn't seem to realise that she could lie down on the seat and rested her head on the table in a rather resigned and uncertain sort of way.
She actually enjoys coming in the motorhome with us, and will sit out there for ages whilst we're packing up ready to go. Normally she sleeps on the floor, on a blanket, but this time there were a lot of draughts coming in which we don't normally notice when the weather is warmer, so she got very cold and ended up sleeping on the bed. Happy dog, rather sleepless people!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Quilting again

Today I felt like quilting. I haven't quilted anything for ages but today I felt the urge. So I sandwiched up a top that I've had kicking around for ages and set to. As it's a donation quilt I felt that I could try something new, so have started with some feathers which I've never done before. I haven't made it easy for myself by using a matching thread though; I've gone for a lovely King Tut variegated.

I haven't decided yet what I'll do in the striped sections, but there are twelve of these plain sections to quilt first. I'm loving these vary casual feathers.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

iPad cover

I made this a couple of months ago, using a pattern in Patchwork Please. I love this Bollywood fabric, but unfortunately I seem to be coming to the end of it.

I've given up trying to get good photographs; it's so dismal and grey here at the moment I don't stand a chance.

Monday, 18 November 2013

A decorated t-shirt

The Somerset County Federation of Women's Institutes recently had a decorated t-shirt competition. Each individual WI first of all held their own competition and the winners went forward to the county competition. I was lucky enough to win in our own competition and my t-shirt then came second in the county competition.

Really, the one thing I though when I was deciding how to decorate my t-shirt, was that I wanted it to be wearable. I had some scraps of very expensive fabric, where flowers were appliqu├ęd and embroidered on to corduroy. I first of all embroidered some vines on the t-shirt - I used Stitch and Tear to stabilise it - and then applied the cut out flowers. I was pleased with the result and wore it today when we had some friends for lunch.

Christopher had to take about ten photographs before he got one that was half way reasonable - of me that is, the t-shirt looked fine every time!

I'm now planning to make another one for Christmas.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A few small makes ….

That I haven't shared with you. They were both from the Zakka sew-along and I made them some months ago, but I don't think I shared them on the blog.
This is a trivet or pot stand or mug rug, take your pick.

I made this little zip-up bag for Christopher to put his cables and plugs and things in when we go away as he usually just bundles them into the suitcase and they get into a fearful mess.

Chocolate Roulade

I love having people come for dinner, or supper, or lunch, and have no problem with sorting out starters and main courses. But puddings are always a problem. I never cook pudding when it's just the two of us, we stick with fruit or yoghurt, so I don't have a repertoire of dishes I can use. I've had loads of disasters, but now I think I'm on the way to being sorted.

We bought an ice cream machine in the summer, so I can offer ice cream and sorbets in a never ending variety in the summer. Last weekend we had friends come for Sunday lunch and I made a chocolate roulade. Perfect. We've got more friends coming for lunch today, so what am I going to make for pudding? Roulade! Now we've either got to make sure we don't invite the same people too often, or they'll just have to have chocolate roulade every time, or I'll have to find another surefire pudding to add to my repertoire.

Yes, it cracked when I rolled it up, but that doesn't matter, it tasted wonderful.

Saturday, 16 November 2013


The vicar of our local church is leaving at Christmas, and I was asked by the leader of the children's group to make him a stole. No, I didn't know what it was either until I looked it up. It's a long scarf worn by vicars when in their 'service uniform'. I was given a load of drawings done by the children and asked if I could use them as inspiration. I finished it a couple of days ago and am actually pretty pleased with the outcome.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Family fun

We had the opportunity for a photo shoot whilst we were at the resort and managed to get some reasonably decent photographs of all six of us together.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

St Lucia Day

The resort had a St Lucia Day whilst we were there. They put tables outside and decorated them and absolutely loaded them with local fruit, vegetables and drink. The buffet food was all local recipes too.

We all tried coconut milk.

Then there was some entertainment, dancers and fire-eaters and Christopher got roped in to take part. I pulled him out of the 'line dance' pretty soon as it was very hot, he didn't have a hat and I was a little concerned for his health.