Sunday, 31 October 2010

Bella's new toy

It was the dreaded strip out day today for Bella; if you don't understand then I'll explain. Border Terriers have two coats of fur, a fine coat near their skin and a thicker coat of guard hair. This coat of thicker hair grows so long every 6 months that it has to be stripped out, also the fur dies so it looks untidy. So today was the chosen day to do it and I use the greenhouse because of the mess it makes.....

Anyway, Bella is fairly patient because it does take a couple of hours to do. So today she was good when I stripped out around her head and neck and front but not too happy when I was nearer her tail........ Oh well, tomorrow is another day and I am sure to be able to tidy her rear end up a bit more. Meanwhile, a photo seemed a good idea and I gave her a new Monkey toy for being so good. Here she is after pulling the monkey out of the plastic ball which had some treats to eat in the bottom. Maybe, I will see her in an hour when she tires of it!

Monday, 25 October 2010

A big thank you! Over 4500 of you too!

Wow over 4500 visitors from all around the globe have been popping by to read my blog this last year. So I want to thank you all so much, it really makes me feel wanted. My clustrmap which records all of you as little red dots has just been archived which means they wipe you all off and start again with another year. So I hope you all return and put the dots back................

I can't buy you all a cake, so you will have to feast your eyes on this one instead.

Remember to put the red dots back.........bye

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Book Find in Keswick

Amy Emms' Story of Durham QuiltingI was passing the Congregational Church on Saturday with DH and there was a sign saying book sale free entry. Well he always wants to go and peruse.........
This time though we had just been walking Bella and I did not have any money on me so he was quite surprised when I found a book......I think it was a bargain and we knocked the seller down by .50p

Anyway, I had read about Amy a few years ago and so when I saw this on the shelves I knew it was going to be interesting. I have not read it all through yet but my intention is not to follow completely in her footsteps (as if anyone could ever be as good) but to derive an essence of her work and incorporate it into something I make. Not sure what it will be yet.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Dreading the needle

Not sewing so much as prodding around in my hand.... I was out on the fells on Monday in terrible weather guiding up on Helvellyn and as I came down a rock step put my right hand out to steady myself straight onto a really vicious plant with small spines. Anyway, some of them are still in my hand and they are minute, like 1mm long and fine as a hair, but they still hurt and part of my hand is sore and swollen and red. I have extracted 3 with a fine quilting needle.. but I know another 2 are still in there. So I am going to have to ask DH if he can help because I can't get them out. I know I am not going to enjoy this....I have never liked splinters since I was little but these things you can hardly see and they seem to have gone in vertically. I am having a glass or 2 of wine to steady the nerves  ;-)

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Steaming ahead

But not with the quilt, oh no, this was real steam, as in steam locomotive railway engines.

Bella and I took a ride on the railway used for filming 'The Railway Children' film last Sunday deep in Yorkshire Bronte country. This was our transport arriving at the station.

The next shot is our destination, Oakworth Station which was the station used in the film. So if you want a similar experience then go here for information provided by wikipedia

Bella and I went for a 5 mile walk around the area once we disembarked from the train, I cannot say it was a wonderful walk because Yorkshire is not the Lake District but it was muddy and scenic..... with the frequent noise of the trains trundling along in the valley below us. However, we were glad to make it up a real Scottish hill later in the week when we went to Spean Bridge near Fort William and then drove up Loch Arkaig to remote and lonely Glen Dessary, a really wild spot. See my other blog for details.

We did go on another train later in the week and it was the famous 'Jacobite' from Fort William to Mallaig; now this is one of the best train journeys in the world. Here is the 'Black 5' waiting at the platform in Fort William ready to begin the 84 mile return journey to Mallaig.

This journey was made even more famous because it was included in a Harry Potter film (Philosopher's Stone?) where a steam train goes over a wonderful viaduct with 21 arches, it is called The Glenfinnan Viaduct and is a superb example of railway engineering by Sir Robert McAlpine.

Anyway, it is not to be missed, so if you find yourself on holiday in Scotland and can fit it in, go to Fort William and take the train to Mallaig, you will not regret it. Better still keep it for a special day and book a First Class seat where you will receive complimentary tea and scones for two.

This journey is a classic and comes highly recommended by Bella as it is dog friendly, all the staff are wonderful and you even get to stop at Glenfinnan for half an hour on the way.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

A photo of the current project

I finally tracked down the problem of the 90deg turn to the new camera, but don't know yet why its happening, however, it does not seem to be a Blogger problem after all. Anyway, this photo is not turned sideways (which was really irritating). I have more to do yet on this project and its coming together quite fast now. I am piecing using my little Brother Innovis Anniversary edition with a quarter inch foot which works really well. I can't fault this lightweight machine and am really impressed with Brother.

I noted today that another blogger likes Brother machines too seems the thing to own is an industrial machine, ok if you have the room but I don't so I'll stick with my portable for now.

More quilt progress

Well this was supposed to be an update plus photo of the current quilt, but I cannot get Google Blogger to upload the photo without turning it 90degrees... Its so frustrating, anyway, I have told them about it so I hope they have a solution. Meanwhile, I can say that the quilt is looking better than I expected to be honest. In fact I am beginning to feel I might be onto something new and exciting.....But I do not want to show you it sideways so have had to leave the photo out.

Instead of my effort what about something truly magnificent.

Meanwhile I want to comment on the latest debacle that Cumbria has suffered this month, as if poor Cumbria has not had its fair share of troubles since the terrible floods last November and just when our little county seemed to have found a treasure, it was lost to us. I refer to the wonderful Roman Cavalry Parade Helmet which was found in May in a Cumbrian field at Crosby Garret by a metal detector enthusiast. It was given some very careful repairs and then promptly despatched to London for sale at Christies. Our local Carlisle Museum immediately launched an appeal to save this exquisite helmet from leaving the county where it had laid buried in a Cumbrian field for nearly 2000 years. The reason they wanted it is obvious, take a very careful look, it is beautiful. Stunning workmanship, of the highest order.

Now I used to belong to an archaeological society when I was a teenager. The Lower Medway Archealogical Research Group or LMARG for short was the group I joined and what fun we had scraping the sides of Roman trenches with our 5 inch mason's pointing trowels, but we did not have sophisticated gear like they do now. (We never found more than a few pot sherds but we were operating in the late 60's.)

Fast forward a few years and metal detectors are here to stay and that's fine so long as the use of them is subject to sensible precautions in order to save important objects from being sold to Mr or Ms 'anonymous' for purely financial reasons. Nationally important archaelogical finds by metal detector wielding folks should not be sold at auction without first going through a vetting procedure. I know the law does allow for gold and silver objects to be declared 'treasure trove' and so protected from sale to anonymous buyers but it must be extended to include all metal objects which are significant. Christies London auction house should never be the place where these items end up because this just panders to the cult of the rich can buy what they like approach. Our cultural heritage is swept away into private collections whose owners remain anonymous and we sit at home fuming.  ok Rant over..... but Cumbria needed this helmet, it was a jewel, and I would have given £50 to go and see it at Tullie House Museum in Carlisle.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Progress on the project

I did manage to do some sewing earlier in the week before I was given all sorts of printing jobs to do this weekend and I still have one left to do later today, Sunday. I never seem to be off the computer nowadays but its usually work related. So getting back to the point of this posting, this is a photo of the work in progress so that I can keep a record of it. I am not sure if the colours are being represented well though because I think they are showing up as too bright on the screen. Anyway, they are supposed to be more restful so now you know. 

Speaking of which I decided also to take at turn at being 'Domestic Goddess' over lunch today, meaning I not only cooked some spicy lentil soup but made mini cheese scones to go with it. Again I am not sure if these shots are perfect.

You will note that I use my Remoska instead of an oven nearly all the time if I can as it saves loads of electricity and is fun and quick too. Anyway, they seemed to be enjoyed over lunch and Bella had some small pieces spread with Lurpak. She is really a fussy eater for a Border Terrier as she insists on small morsels to tempt her as opposed to being a wolf.....The good thing about me doing lunch though is that DH gets to do the dinner tonight....ha ha.  His spag has really improved recently since I had the glut of tomatoes because he started to skin the toms and use them instead of passata and the difference is amazing, you should try it.  I did make some notes of the recipe (his own) last week so I might post it here later.  Meanwhile, I think it might be an idea to give Bella a walk into town to buy some more paper for the printing I have still to do today. I know its Sunday, but that does not mean a thing in this house, it still counts as a work day.