Friday, 24 August 2007


I forgot to say that when I was on my mountain climbing/bog hopping walk I did three stand up wees, man stylee! I used my cardboard willies: Although they are absolutely fabulous, I didn't like the idea of throwing them away on a mountain side in the beautiful countryside. I know they are made of cardboard, therefore bio-degradable, but they are bright green and really conspicuous.

So I bought a SheWee instead: which is made of plastic and re-usable. It's so cool and so easy to use. I shall never worry about being caught out again. It can also be used for nasty public toilets, collecting urine samples and peeing out of the window on trains!

I would recommend the cardboard P-Mate if you'd like to keep one in your handbag or glove box for emergencies as they fold flat. The plastic SheWee is best if you're going to use it a lot. It's very small and discreet and fits into a plastic bag in your pocket.

Now we can all wee up against a wall on the way home from the pub!!!

Thursday, 23 August 2007

The Quilt Takes Shape at last!

I have achieved quite a bit today on the old quilt front. I am quite proud of myself actually! Below you can see the initial stages. I cut the different fabrics into strips of varying width and sewed then together (badly). I believe the wonky lines give it a certain je ne sais quoi though. I used my super duper new spangly grid ruler thingy to square it up ready for cutting into tiles.

Here are the tiles ready for sewing together.

And here it is all sewn up with a pretty border added.

I then cut out the paper pattern for the applique portrait of Livvie. Each piece is to be from a different fabric.

Here's the finished basic quilt ready for embellishment. I shall have fun tomorrow with that!
And a close-up detail.
Tomorrow I shall do some free-motion machine embroidery. I actually need a feed plate cover for my machine which is a little plastic cover that goes over the serrated feet things that push the fabric backwards. Have I explained myself well? Some machines are able to drop the feed dogs, but not mine. The idea is that you grip the fabric in an embroidery hoop, take the foot off the machine and then you can freely embroider backwards and forward at will without the feed dogs pushing the fabric in the wrong direction. Anyway, without a cover I was going to be stumped. I have been trying for a week to purchase one, but can't find one anywhere. So Gary came up with the idea of sellotaping a credit card over the feed dogs. He made a hole in it for the needle to pass through and it works very well. So tomorrow I shall do smashing things. :0)

Has the Sock Monster Stolen my Sketch Book?

Where is my sketch book? How am I supposed to shine artistically when I can't use it for reference? I have looked in every conceivable place and now I am stumped. Without it I shall be very cross and stamp my feet a lot. I suppose I do have photos that I can use for reference, but it's just not the same. I was going to fill that sketchbook with gorgeous artistic renderings and when it was full I was going to sell it on eBay for £50,000. Now I shall have to start again. :0(

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Holiday in Northumberland

We're back from our weeks holiday and I have finally found the time to blog about it. I had seven loads of washing to do when I got back as well as unpacking, cleaning out the camper van and getting the shopping in. Then I had a heart scan yesterday which was ok and then I did a tour of the charity shops on Ecclesall Rd to find Gary some work shirts. I came up trumps there and found him four lovely shirts. 2 x Marks & Spencers and 2 x Next, all with the double cuffs he asked for as he likes to wear cufflinks. All were beautiful quality and three seem brand new. One needs the cuffs turning, but I'm more than capable of doing that.

Last night we had a free evening out with Gary's firm. First we had a meal at Nandos and then we all went bowling. I was spectacularly rubbish of course, but I always enjoy it. It wasn't until we were nearly finished that I thought I probably shouldn't be lifting 12lb bowling balls and hurling them about! I am supposed to be taking it easy after my lady-op. Oh well, as Gary pointed out my guts didn't fall out!

Then today Chris dragged me, Sarah and dad out on a four hour hike. The good news is my hip held up fine and I'm not in pain. The bad news is that I am obviously too fat and unfit as I ache all over and I won't be able to walk tomorrow! I shall post some photos just as soon as Chris emails them to me.

So now all that's done I am able to bring you a few photos of our hols. :0)

Gary and me at Anwick Castle. Harry Potter was filmed here but I was SO disappointed that there wasn't one mention of it anywhere. What a wasted opportunity for the owners! Maybe it's to do with licencing? It was a lovely castle though.

Livvie and Gary had a go at archery.

Does anyone recognise this from the films? I didn't recognise anything at all. Maybe it was all computer jiggeried?

This is our campsite in Haltwhistle. It is actually the very dead centre of Britain. It was all extremely pretty. Very much like where we live in Sheffield, but with some raging rivers thrown in. On the other side of the river bank were cows, sheep and bunny rabbits hopping around all day. Livvie even crossed the path of two deer in the woods. Talking of Livvie, she was dead chuffed to get kissed twice! Two boys actually had a fight over her and had to be separated by a mother!!!
This is Dawn and Glen at High Force water falls. This is how the weather was most of the week. Still, we didn't let it dampen our spirits.

All in all we had a fab week and really enjoyed ourselves. We even slipped over the border to Scotland to do a spot of shopping at Gretna.

Yesterday I finally started the quilt. Here are my fabric choices for the turquoise background. I printed out the sketch of Livvie in the size I needed and cut it out ready to make a pattern from it.

This is the first, un-ironed stage of the quilt. It doesn't look very impressive now but believe me, it will be stupendous when it's finished! Assuming that I am able to move tomorrow, I shall do some more. :0)