29 January 2009

Weekend at Richmond

DH has been working the past 2 weekends so decided to have a last minute break away. He found a country house hotel just north of Richmond, North Yorkshire. Apparently there are 57 Richmonds in the world but this is said to be the original town. On Saturday we ventured into the town and had to visit the castle It was bitterly cold, but it was dry. The pic below is the keep.

The next pic is is the great hall inside the keep, looks a bit face-like.And this pic shows the town and its market from the top of the keep. By this time we were very windswept and sooo cold. After visiting we took refuge in a tea shop!Afterward we went out of town to Richmond Station, which isn't now a station, but the Grade 2 listed building is used as shops, cafe and cinema.

Still on a train theme on Sunday we went to Shildon and the Locomotion exhibition there. It has engines that have been relocated from the National Railway Museum in York. DH has taken masses of pics and below are just a few on my own.
This one is of the engine used in the film of the Railway Children, which is undergoing restoration. Next to the engine above there looks to be the front of a miniature ship! It's actually a snow plough.And this one I could not resist and I turned off the flash to take this. As you can see there's my reflection as I had to take the picture through the window in the door of the education room. They are mosaic style pictures of modes of transport - feet, train and tram. The background looks like patchwork and were so bright and colourful. There are 2 other pictures but I could only take three through the window.

23 January 2009

Two books and a postcard

Today I received a couple of books that I'd ordered from Amazon. I'd been wanting to get Quilt Yourself Gorgeous for a little while and when in a bookshop also glanced through Knits to Share and Care which looked good. That was some of my Christmas money spent. Going away this weekend so taking this will hopefully give me some inspiration.I was also inspired to make something from a piece of selvedge on Wednesday. In the sidebar link to Flickr there are a few postcards made with selvedges and have got a fair size bag of selvedges that I will use from time to time. The words "Kittens & Pups" were found so used some novelty fabric that I already had together with some scrap strips. The card only took an hour and a half to make. Nice and bright on what was a dull day.
DH and I are going to Richmond, North Yorkshire, this weekend as he's not working then. Hopefully should have some pics to share then.

17 January 2009

My 2nd Blog anniversary

Hard to believe but I have been blogging for 2 years now. My blog anniversary was a couple of days ago. I started when I took up the Take A Stitch Tuesday challenge on Sharon Boggon's blog. I only got about halfway through this challenge but I do have some samples to look back on. Pictures of this are also on a Flickr site but with the blog I could describe more about what I've made. Sometimes it's been difficult to keep it updated but I figure if I could do that at least once a week it helps me doing stuff, whether its quilting, stitching or knitting, so I can record my efforts. I know that some other things like views of Dorset and later Yorkshire have crept in but I like to share some of my photos, hope that the one or two people that read this blog like them too!Hope you like my "Tete a Tete" narcissi which have come out in flower this week. I think I may have said that we have a garden in our rented house but it's just grass and a patio, nothing else. So we're keen to get some things growing in pots to try and overcome the blandness of the garden.

This week my "stuff" has consisted of putting together some disappearing nine patch blocks, which I started in Poole and has moved up with me in strips. I've put those strips together and got 2 sides of the border added on. I bought the fabric for this last February at Villavin Farm and it may look like it might be my UFO to take with me to quilt when I go there again next month.

Also my hope for this year was to get a job and I've been taken up with 2 interviews this week. One was unsuccessful, the other I'm not so sure about either, but all good experience, shows how much I need to improve my interviewing skills. Next week I have two more, the job description of one of them would really suit me very well so must pull out all the stops for that one!

The last photo shows the postcard that I received from Susan Lenz in March last year, which I'd mentioned in my previous post. It has loads of texture with a background of black velvet, chenille yarns couched with metallic thread plus more machine stitching in metallic thread.

09 January 2009

Cyber Fiber Exhibition and New Challenge

Yesterday in Columbus, Ohio, Susan Lenz opened her Cyber Fiber exhibition and I am pleased to say that one of my postcards is exhibited there. Here's a link to the post with the picture of this and if you go to her blog here its pictured under the postcards section and mine is number 149. The are some lovely things to see, so do take a look. I realised that I hadn't posted the postcard she sent in return and as it's dark it doesn't photograph well in the artificial light, so I'll take a photo for the next posting.
I've not been idle the past few days as I've taken part in BQL's new challenge for this year which are calendar quilts. The quilts, one a month, are of 12" or A4 paper size journal type quilts and January's quilt is based on Kandinsky's circles in squares. Sixteen squares with 3 circles within circles, the fiddliest bit was tracing the circles, Bondawebbing them and sewing them to secure. Once that was done, putting the square together, quilting and binding were completed very quickly. The fabric that I've used is a colour graded fabric called Aurora which I've had in my stash for ages. One piece goes from blue to green to yellow, another from red to brown to peach, and the last piece purple to blue to green so they produced quite a variation of colour.

Last Saturday we went to a garden centre just outside Barnsley where I bought pot of hyacinth bulbs and another pot of dwarf daffodils in an effort to have a little bit of spring in the house. The house we've rented has a garden, but only a lawn so we can't grow anything, very boring. I can see that we'll be buying pots of plants this year. Here's a pic of the hyacinth in flower, lovely isn't it? The scent is rather nice too.One thing that I was dreading when moving up to the north of England was the cold weather and in particular snow, don't like the white stuff. However from what I've heard it has been colder in the south than the north and my friend Penny has e-mailed me pics of Poole Park where the lakes and the fountain have frozen. I looked at the Bournemouth Echo to find pictures of the frozen south including Sandbanks. Think I've had a lucky escape!

02 January 2009

New Year, New Look

Hope you like the look of my blog page. After posting last time I had a play about with the template, header and other bits and at last have the header looking quite good. New Years Day found me playing about with fancy stitches on the machine as the weather was grey and murky. I found an article in Popular Patchwork by Anja Townrow using machine stitches to make a vase of flowers. I wanted to try this out in a journal A4 size and the sample was larger than that so I've drafted out to the smaller size and see how it goes.
These two photos show the recent postcards that I received but hadn't posted earlier. The one about is of Christmas trees from a swap earlier last month on Arts in the Mail. Clockwise from the top are from Rita in Canada, Leah from USA and Angela from Chippenham, UK. The one below was from a Butterfly swap which took place in June on BQL Postcards and came from Margaret. Her card was delayed due to personal circumstances and to receive her delicate looking card was worth the wait.
Today I took the Christmas decorations down, I know I should wait until Twelfth Night, but already had enough of Christmas and want to get back to normal (whatever that is). So farewell to Brett Favre (the Green Bay Packer) and his friends for now as they get packed away until next December.