It’s Friday.

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Hi everyone it’s Friday, thank goodness, it’s been a funny old week business wise and home wise.  Youngest has sent his application in applying to universities, well three drama schools and two universities and as you can imagine it has been stressful.  In the UK you have to apply to five and wait and see if you get any offers and then, if you do, pick your first choice and a backup.  So we sent it last week and on Monday he got an offer and it is one he really wants to do so he, and we, are so relieved.  Yesterday he heard from another on his list and he has an audition to go to and an interview.

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Talking yesterday about great ways to feel better in these dark days of winter and I forgot to mention about certain sporting events happening at the moment which our family watch.  Dakar starts at the beginning of January and lasts for two weeks and it features bikes, quads, cars and trucks doing rally stages around Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.  Of course over there it is their summer and the scenery is amazing as well as the action.

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Another favourite is Tennis with us, especially Treacle, and the Australian Open is currently half way through it’s fortnight run and I have watched some great matches.  The only problem is that coverage starts at midnight here but fortunately they play in the evening so I get to see the night matches in the morning! 

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Finally in twenty two days time the Winter Olympics begin in South Korea.  I love some of the events especially the ski jumping and bobsled and ice skating.  So all three of these sports will brighten up the days.

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On to quilty things I have to decide when it is best to take my big quilting machine for a service.  It should have gone last year but I was too busy with it and if I am really honest I don’t want it to go now but it does need doing.  I am hoping he will not have it very long.  I have my small Janome which is just my sewing machine so I will be able to use that while my quilting one gets serviced, so I will still be able to sew.

Each evening this week I have been sitting and sewing the binding to the back of Evalyn’s quilt and I am half way round!  Hopefully it will be complete by the end of the weekend and I can give it a wash and then get it to her. 

Tomorrow DH is out most of the day doing his master of ceremonies job so I will be quilting all day.  The weather is going to be cold and raining again so just the excuse I need to stay in and quilt.  Hopefully I will be able to show you some pictures of  my progress.

Have a wonderful weekend whatever your plans are. 

Winter Hugs, Susie xx

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Thursday Thoughts.

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I don’t know about you but at this time of year I get fed up with all the articles and adverts on TV/in magazines/in newspapers about getting fit, especially after as they put it, gluttonous Christmas blow outs.  Firstly we don’t eat anything more than we would normally over the Christmas period and if we do have a few treats, it is only a few.  Secondly all these companies want to do is actually make more money by getting you to join their club/course/gym.  Everyone sets these New Year Resolutions of getting fit and healthy and by the end of January they have stopped.  However you can help yourself without spending lots of money.

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I think what does affect people at this time of year is the weather, which is often dark and dreary and the fact that all the excitement and celebration of Christmas is over and we are back to normal days with nothing to look forward to.  However you can make yourself feel better with a little effort and don’t forget everyone is probably feeling the same, it is not just you.  Being organised always makes me feel better and as you know I am a great list writer, so this may help you feel a ittle less at a loss.  Make lists of things you want to do during the year, in the home or the garden or places you would like to go and put them somewhere where you can check them off.

As you are probably indoors more because of the weather and dark nights take the opportunity to do any jobs in the home that you have put off.  Is there a room in your home which needs a good sort out, or have you been meaning to get your printed photographs organised.  Is there a book you have been meaning to read for a while and not got round to or have you always wanted to try a recipe  and not had the time.  Now is a great time to have a go at these things.

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If you love to garden but can’t because of the weather you can always plan what you want to do this year.  Especially spending time looking for inspiration on Pinterest or plan a visit to a garden you have always wanted to visit for later in the year.

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How about arranging a get together with friends for supper.  Rather than putting stress on yourselves with a big dinner make it easy by just doing a main course which can be cooked beforehand or a casserole that can be made and left in the oven and jacket potatoes in the oven and get everyone to serve themselves.  If you want to make a pudding make it easy or just buy some cookies.  How about a movie night?

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Don’t forget that the children probably feel the same as you do at this time of year.  If the weather is not too bad you can always get them out for a bike ride or walk with the dog.  If the weather is bad then an afternoon playing board games as a family is great fun.  This is something I did with my family when I was a little girl and I remember it so well and is one of my most happiest of memories. 

Eating better and getting out and about is always a good idea but don’t put yourself under pressure with hard goals.  Just change one or two things and see how that goes and if you can maintain it then change something else and do it gradually, that goes for exercising too. 

I must admit I always feel a little down at this time of year and try very hard to do things which lift my mood.  Obviously quilting is one of my outlets but if you don’t have a hobby you could always begin a new one.  With the Web you can research so much and find out about things before embarking on your journey and even if you don’t start something new, you have found out lots of information and that means you have been doing something else instead of stressing over the time of year! 

I hope these few hints of helped you get over this time of year and it won’t belong before the nights are getting lighter and hopefully the weather is getting better.  Have a very Happy Thursday everyone.

Hugs, Susie xx

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The Wednesday Wag.

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So we are half way through January and we have had no more snow!  I am so envious of Molly as she has had some more snow.  In fact it has been just very wet and yucky here and everytime I go outside when I come in I have to have my paws washed and wiped!

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I did forget to show you my Christmas presents from Tara and her Mom, Susan, our friends in the US.  They are super yummy but Mom will only let me have a bit each day or else she says I will be like a little barrel if I eat too much.

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Here they are.  I have never had Jerky before but it is lovely.

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Mom I think I would like the Duck Jerky today please.

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Sorry Treacle you had some Duck yesterday, it’s chicken today. 

Well whatever I love them both so thank you Tara and Susan for my yummy Christmas snacks.

We were supposed to get snow last night and today but it turned into rain so bah humbug.  At least my basket and where I sleep is nice and warm so I am going to snuggle down for an extra long snooze.  I hope you are having a happy woofy Wednesday.

Treacle

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Getting Sidetracked!

I don’t know about you but I start looking for something on the web, quilting wise, and then that leads me to look at other quiltings things and before I know it an hour has gone by and I have completely got sidetracked from what I was doing originally.

It usually starts with me reading my favourite Blogs and I find something on there that I want to check out and then that leads to another blog or to You Tube for a tutorial and that’s the hour gone!

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One of my favourite sites on the web and You Tube is Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I love Jenny’s Tutorials and can find quite a few projects on there that I  want to try and have made quite a few already.

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This was a Tutorial from Jenny for a bag which I made for Jayne for her Birthday.

One of my favourite Blogs, Thelma at Cupcakes ‘n Daisies (http://www.cupcakesndaisies.com) has a list of Life Time Quilts she has made and wants to make, which I think is a great idea (Thelma very kindly said I could copy her quilt that she made for her dog Cooper, for Treacle) so I am going to make a list of what I would like to do.

Another You Tube channel I like is Shabby Fabrics and some of the tutorials on there for various projects.  I am definitely a visual learner and like to see how things are made rather than reading a pattern.  I can follow a pattern, but it does take a while and I have to read the pattern several times to make sure I have understood what they want and definitely how to do it correctly.

So here is the start of my list of quilts and projects I want to make (in no particular order), which I will also put as a new page on my Blog and will add to it as I find things on my trips around the web!

(All pictures off of Pinterest from various blogs of talented ladies who made the quilts)

*  A Scrap Quilt

*  A Bookcase Quilt

*  A Log Cabin Quilt

*  A Market Tote

*  A Quilt which I will hand quilt instead of machine quilting it (thinking of one   of the small quilts from my new book, instead of starting with a full size quilt!)

*  An Airedale Quilt

*  A Red and White Quilt

I am sure I will keep adding to this list as I find things on the web or from my favourite blogs, where inspiration can be found in bucket loads.

Happy Tuesday everyone.

Hugs, Susie xx

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Treacle today!  They have forecast snow, ice and high winds for us today and tomorrow so Treacle is hibernating!

Good Morning Monday.

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Well I am happy after the weekend, not so much all the paperwork there is to do at my desk and the call from our Accountants, but we can’t have it all!

Anyway ignorning business I quilted all weekend with the occasional interruption of DH and Youngest coming back to change clothes and get food before going out again!  I managed to get Evalyn’s quilt finished and the binding sewn on and now just have to hand sew it to the back of the quilt and it is done.  I haven’t taken any pictures of that yet until it is completely done and washed.

I did get one job done from my UFO’s.  The cushion covers for our hallway. 

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I change them every season, so have just taken the Christmas ones off and I needed some Winter ones and I have always loved the red and white quilts so thought this would be a great idea for this time of year, especially with my previous post of red pops around our home to make it feel less wintry.  I loved the way they turned out.

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So I have not got a set for Spring so dug in my stash and found this yellow little flower material and some yellow gingham and a little white and made these.  I already have a set for Summer which have pink sweet peas on and for Autumn I have material with pumpkins on, so now have a set for the whole year.

I then started to work on Treacle’s bag so she can take her things with her on holiday but only got the material out when DH and Youngest arrived back for dinner.

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We had a problem with the radiator in Youngest’s room so had to switch the heating off.  Fortunately it was not too cold but cold enough for Treacle to not be happy and settle, so I dug out her old t-shirt, which was DH’s, and put that on her to keep her warm and she was then settled.  

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It wasn’t too warm in Eldest’s room either so this was Saturday when she was keeping me company.

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This was Sunday.  She was very happy with the blanket over her and spent both days with me in the sewing room asleep.  She only stirred for snacks and a quick trip outside into the garden.  The weather all weekend was really yucky so it was a great for quilting.  Next weekend DH is busy again on Saturday so I intend on spending the day quilting again.  So far I am keeping up with my goal of doing some quilting each week!

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Hugs, Susie xx

Friday Book Club.

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I am often asked, because I love books so much, why I am not a member of a Book Club.  In fact there is a Book Club in our village but my answer is always because they choose books which they feel are meaningful and should be read rather than reading a book for pleasure. 

For example Waterstones (a popular book retailer in the UK) have a Book of the Month and this month their fiction selection is “Midwinter Break” by Bernard MacLaverty.  The synopsis is:

“A retired couple, Gerry and Stella Gilmore, fly to Amsterdam for a midwinter break. A holiday to refresh the senses, to see the sights and to generally take stock of what remains of their lives.

But amongst the wintry streets and icy canals we see their relationship fracturing beneath the surface. And when memories re-emerge of a troubled time in their native Ireland things begin to fall apart. As their midwinter break comes to an end, we understand how far apart they are – and can only watch as they struggle to save themselves.”

Now I am sure that there are lots of you out there who would love to read this book and find it fascinating and that’s great, however to me this sounds like there is too much angst in it and I hate to say it there is too much of that in the World today already!  To me I want a book which takes me away from any issues and lets me escape into a World which is exciting or scary or into the past, to somewhere I can be a part of for a few hours which is why I always pick books which have great stories. 

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DH and I had some book tokens given to us for Christmas and this was my pick.  Stephen King is one of my favourite authors and I have all of his books. Here is the synopsis for this:

“All around the world, something is happening to women when they fall asleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed, the women become feral and spectacularly violent…

In the small town of Dooling, West Virginia, the virus is spreading through a women’s prison, affecting all the inmates except one. Soon, word spreads about the mysterious Evie, who seems able to sleep – and wake. Is she a medical anomaly or a demon to be slain?

The abandoned men, left to their increasingly primal devices, are fighting each other, while Dooling’s Sheriff, Lila Norcross, is just fighting to stay awake.

And the sleeping women are about to open their eyes to a new world altogether…”

Now I know that this is not everyone’s cup of tea but for me it is and it will take me into a scary World for a while and let’s face it, it is always worse in a Stephen King novel than real life!!!  It is also 713 pages long so I can’t wait to start it.

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I also bought this.  I love Kathleen’s small quilts and always think it is a great way to practice new blocks, so this will be on my shelf for when I have finished Evalyn’s Quilt and my UFO’s and also another good use for my scraps. 

Hopefully, depending upon how quickly I read this new book, I am hoping to do a Friday Book Club once a month so look out for that the second Friday of each month.

Whatever you are doing, have a wonderful weekend.  Me I will be quilting the weekend away.

Hugs, Susie xx

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#TBT.

Nat Hist Museum

This was twelve years ago and at the National History Museum in London.  DH had to go to London on business and so I took the Boys down as well and we did some of the museums.  In fact we probably did all the museums several times over the years as they grew and as their interests changed and related to work they were doing at school.  They loved this visit, despite Eldest’s face, it was the Friday at the end of a very long week of early mornings and being on the go all day. 

Eldest was 10 and Youngest was six. I loved them at this age (I love them now of course!) as they still wanted you to help them with things and were happy to hold your hand and be with you.  Of course as soon as they hit teenage it all changes but this was a great time.   

Eldest and Girlfriend came for dinner last night and it was great to spend time with them, Youngest was with us for a while but he had to go coaching for an hour.  This morning DH left at early o’clock (5.00am) to get to a customer and avoid all the traffic.  Treacle and I did not get up that early but not long after. 

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I am on track to get all my jobs done today and tomorrow so that I can spend the weekend quilting.  In fact I am going to have my own quilt retreat, only appearing for tea or lunch breaks and of course to feed and sort Treacle out!  My quilting room is very tidy at the moment as well and just need to tidy up some more of the “sewing repairs” and it will be quilting only!!!!

I hope you are having a Thrilling Thursday and have some fun things happening at the weekend.  I hope everyone who has a bad cold or flu at the moment feel better soon.  Several people I have met over the last week have not been well and I am trying hard to stay out of their way and stay healthy.

Happy Thursday everyone

Hugs, Susie xx

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