Today’s weather. Mom always thought that thunder and lightening only happened when it was hot but it was like this today and something like thunder snow! It didn’t settle and last long but it was not nice when it was happening.
Mom can’t you make it go away, I really don’t like it?
I think I am just going to hide here for the day and I really don’t need my last walk!
Don’t worry Treacle we can get away with a quick trip out before bedtime and hopefully it will have all passed by, by then.
I can’t tell you what day of the week it is, the days are all blending into one round of sick people coughing and spluttering everywhere with no end in sight. DH kept Treacle and I awake all of last night and Youngest joined in from his bedroom as well. It is amazing what is on TV at 2.00, 3.00 and 4.00am!!!! I was only watching TV as I had tried to read my book but that didn’t work. I got my Autumn wall hanging binding to finish but could not concentrate on that!!! Nothing we have tried has helped DH’s cough so it is just down to plenty of fluid. Me you ask? I am still wheezing but have not got what these two have fortunately although I just feel exhausted from it all.
Treacle is not getting much sleep at night, so making up for it in the day!
The weather was not good all weekend and as everyone was feeling yuck I decided that there was no point trying to get any extra jobs done round the house which we would normally be doing, so DH was doing bits and bobs of work, Youngest was in bed with Treacle and I decided that the only thing I could do was some quilting!!!!
I managed to get some clothes repairs done which needed doing and some other bits of sewing done which are not quilting and managed to get that cleared. I sorted out the rest of my UFO’s with backing materials that needed cutting and just now have to pin them and get them quilted, so things are at least progressing there.
I also need to tidy my stash as I have been busy pulling things out and they have got in a mess so that will be another little job but at the moment the sewing room is very tidy. I find if I do a bit of tidying after each time I have been in there it does not mount up. I cannot wait to start my new projects but am determined to get these UFO’s done first and then get my machine serviced before I start anything else. Well that’s the plan.
I hope you all had a good weekend. Friday of this week is Groundhog Day when Punxsutawney Phil decides if we are going to get another six weeks of winter or an early Spring. Normally I don’t mind what, but I think this year I would like an early Spring!!!!
I don’t know about you but I am always looking for ways to make life easier in just about anything I do, being my work or house jobs or quilting. Last weekend I found two things which helped me no end with quilting things.
I always wind my own bobbins on my Janome machines and it is not a problem with standard colours but when it is a special colour that you use for just that quilting project you are then left with the cotton on the bobbin and start to run out of empty ones. The boys for quite a few Birthdays and Christmas bought me packs of ten Janome bobbins which was great and I have lots until I got down to around five left so I had to empty the special colours.
So I put the bobbin on the end of a pencil and started to pull the thread off but it kept coming off the pencil, lets just say everything I tried did not work well until I saw in my box of tricks my walking foot with its bar attached.
If you have one of these and can take the bar out of the foot put the bobbin on the bar as below and begin pulling the thread.
It works really well and the bobbin cannot jump off because of the angle of the bar. I managed to clear out twenty bobbins with this method really quickly the other night. If you can’t take the bar off your walking foot perhaps look for something else which has this angle to it to help clear the bobbins.
My second tip is for a magnet which means you will need to speak nicely to your children/grandchildren/niece/nephew etc for help with this one. Our Boys had these games, Geomag, and lots of different versions. They are little pieces of magnets wrapped in plastic which you can make shapes or play games with and the Boys loved it. I did not love it when I was picking them all up off of the floor when they dropped the boxes but I did find a great use for one of the pieces; for picking up pins and sewing needles when I drop them. So I now keep one in my little box of tricks for when I drop my pin box!
Talking of boxes one of my favourites which I use a lot of in the sewing room and in the attic and in the garage and just about anywhere else I need to store things and those are clip boxes as I call them and mine are from Really Useful Products Ltd.
They come in all different sizes from huge to little itty-bitty ones and I have found lots of uses for them. The big box at the back has all my things in which I use day in day out for quilting so different quilting feet, tools for my machines, cleaning tools, pencils, pens, quilting pens; you get the idea. The box on the left is smaller and holds my bobbins and I have two more of these; one with quilting safety pins in and the other quilting pins in. The box on the right holds my boxes of sewing needles for my machines. They do all stack together which is great.
DH and The Boys bought me this clip box which has a lift out container inside for all my cotton and a section on the bottom for other things.
I also store my fabric stash in several of these boxes which are long and not too deep. I would say they are the best thing I have found to use in my sewing room. I don’t get any money from Really Useful Products Ltd, I just like them and thought they might be useful to you too.
It is raining and very cold here today so I will be quilting for most of it. DH is still not well although he is better than at the start of the week so we are hoping he is getting better and he has to be as he has to go to Scotland next week. Youngest now has it and went coaching this morning and when he got home went straight back to bed. He has an audition and interview at Stafford University on Wednesday but they have said he can re-arrange it if he is not feeling up to it. It seems to have settled on my chest and although I am not coughing like DH when I do it sounds like nails on sandpaper and I am wheezing!!! Treacle is despairing of us all!
I hope you are all keeping well and have a wonderful weekend.
Today is the Birthday of Robert Burns, also know as the Scottish Bard, who was born in 1759 and his birth is celebrated on Burns Night (tonight). My Dad and his family were Scottish so this was something which we celebrated by having haggis, neeps and tatties for dinner with a drop of whiskey.
So if you don’t know what haggis, neeps and tatties are, they are:
Haggis – lamb, beef, oats, onions and spices wrapped. Neeps – Turnips and carrots mashed together with butter and a little salt and pepper. Tatties – Potatoes again mashed with butter.
There is a great tradition of addressing the Haggis at the dinner which is brought in separately to the rest of the meal and was written by Burns, which is why it is forever linked to him and his Birthday.
There are eight stanza’s to the address the first of which is :
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o the puddin’-race! Aboon them a’ ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace As lang’s my arm.
Translated to :
Good luck to you and your honest, plump face, Great chieftain of the sausage race! Above them all you take your place, Stomach, tripe, or intestines: Well are you worthy of a grace As long as my arm.
Of course most people will be more familiar with his more well known poem/song of “Auld Lang Syne” which we all sing at New Year.
Robert Burns Burial site in Dumfries
Burns was regarded as a cultural icon and a pioneer of the Romatic movement and had a great influence on Scottish Literature. Sadly he died at the young age of 37, although he had managed to have twelve children with his wife Jean and it is believed today there are around 600 living descendants.
The Robert Burns Legacy Tartan
I love haggis, neeps and tatties but DH and the Boys are not keen at all so I usually end up getting a small haggis for myself and then make them cottage pie, although I do try and sneak some of the mashed carrots and turnips onto the Boys plates but they usually find it and don’t eat it!!!
We won’t be having this tonight though as DH and I still have this dreadful cold and now Youngest has come down with it although Eldest seems to be avoiding it and us at the moment. Dinner will be quick and easy again as I got about an hours sleep last night because DH spent most of the night coughing although he did manage to sleep, grr!!!!
Yes well he has gone and done it and infected me with his cold, DH of course! I knew he would and Treacle has decided it is not a good idea to sleep in her basket in our room at all and is sleeping on Eldest’s bed. At least I don’t think it is the flu which is doing the rounds at the moment, although the cold seems bad enough.
Anyway on to happier things, DH’s cousin sent me a picture of her table runner I made her for Christmas, with a jug of lovely daffodils resting on it.
She loves it and I think it looks great and certainly brightens up the horrible January weather.
I managed to get all this mess unpicked on Sunday and last night I quilted it (it came out much better) then I found some material which I had used for a quilt last year to make the binding and sewed that to the front and now just have to hand sew it to the back and that will be another UFO done and done. I just now have to decide which one to pick next to finish.
Just to add insult to injury I have managed to crack a tooth so I now have a trip to the dentist tomorrow for him to fill it!!!! Oh joy. At the moment I think I will be glad when January has ended!
I am now off to see what I can rustle up for dinner, I think it will be quick and easy!
Evalyn’s quilt is done! DH is helping with the photographs although he is poorly sick still. I love the way it has turned out and I hope she will like it. I finished sewing the binding on at 3.00am yesterday morning, mainly because DH kept coughing so I knew I wouldn’t get much sleep but I was watching the tennis as well.
A close up of the bunting and quilting.
This is the back
A close up of the pink gingham.
I also finished Treacle’s bag, which she can take with her when she goes on holiday.
Treacle with bag, I think she likes it!!!
Yesterday I also managed to get the rest of the unpicking done on my Autumn wall hanging so that will be my next UFO to be done and ready for next Autumn.
I had a great weekend quilting and of course looking after DH, who is not the most patient of patients! Even Treacle is a bit confused as he is not up and about as normal and in fact she spent the night in Eldest’s room as DH kept coughing and keeping her awake!!!! I, of course, had to put up with it. Good job the tennis coverage begins at midnight so at least I had something to watch most of the night. Of course now at 5.00pm I am starting to flag a bit!!!!
We never need an excuse to quilt but if we do wish to have an excuse then I think snowing is a good one! This is what we woke up to this morning and it just got thicker as the morning went on.
Our vehicles getting nicely covered and our hill.
As you can see the sky is full of snow.
Treacle out in it.
And the look on her face when I made her come in. Do you like the floating head picture?
I did quite a bit of quilting yesterday and I will show you the pictures tomorrow and I got the binding finished on Evalyn’s quilt. It is currently being washed so I will show you the pictures again tomorrow.
DH has come down with the heavy cold that seems to be going round but at least it is not the Australian flu which is worse. He is back in bed and being dosed with painkillers and plenty of fluid. We have to try and get him better by Tuesday as he is in London for the rest of the week at a business exhibition and he has to go. Hopefully with a day of rest today and staying home tomorrow we will break the back of it. Of course that only leaves me who has not been ill so far (I am crossing my fingers whilst typing this) and hopefully I won’t catch it.
It is due to rain later in the afternoon and overnight so the snow will be all gone again by tomorrow but Treacle has made the most of it whilst it was here.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.