Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Phew, it's all over for another two years!!!!

What a long weekend it has been and very tiring.  Why?

Well last weekend Higham Piecemakers had their Biennial (that is every two years!) Exhibition and I seemed to spend most of the weekend at The Bede House.  As secretary of the group I had spent time on the odd jobs that needed doing and ensuring that the publicity appeared where it should.

I arrived early on Friday afternoon to help Mr T and L set up the tables, the quilt hanging stands and the gazebos for the outside catering,  By 6.00pm the group helpers had arrived and we set up for the following day.  Lots of quilts which I will not show as they are very well documented here, the sales table overflowing with goodies -

the Bag-a-bola that sold out by lunchtime on Saturday -
the cushion raffle that always draws in the punters -
and the Christmas Challenge 2014 set out on the stage, thanks to John.
Our group quilt, that had gone walkabout, for the last Exhibition was in its rightful place outside the front door and I forgot to take a photo of it!!

The following morning I arrived good and early and helped L to put out tables and chairs for the refreshments; what a glorious sunny day it proved to be -
On the way to the hall I had taken a very quick photo -
Excuse the shadow in the middle but taken very early in the morning
People started arriving well before the official start time, so we either let them in or pointed them to the refreshments.  It was 'Farmers' Market' day so we did quite well out of that.  As the collector of the entrance charge (or the Rottweiler on the door!) I was determined no-one would get in without paying!!!!  By 4 o'clock we were very tired and glad to close up, but the chairs and tables had to be brought in, in case it rained overnight.

On Sunday the weather was also kind to us and we had a steady stream of visitors until the drawing of the cushion raffle just before we closed and a really fast clear up!!  My car was stuffed with 42 'unclaimed' cushions and so the first job was to list all the details from the ticket stubs.

I was in the middle of this when I received a phone call from L to say we had raised

What a brilliant effort and all for charity.
Monday morning was spent phoning all the cushion winners and the job of delivering started, including two that I have posted to Nottingham and Norfolk.  People come from far and wide for our show!!
So now I only have 8 cushions to re-home and I will need to ring these people again. For me, this is the worst part of the whole show and I hate cushions!!!!!!!! BUT everyone receiving one has loved them so that makes it all worthwhile.
Now to get on with converting my third bedroom to my new workroom - my project for October,  November,   December  .....

Thursday, 24 September 2015


I am juggling so many balls at the moment that I feel that the whole lot will come down on top of me!!

Firstly I have started to clear out the very small third bedroom to turn it into my workroom that has involved a great deal of searching the 'net' to get ideas and ensure that I get the best possible price.  My first purchases have been a Z-bed and a small two door cupboard.  The Z-bed only needed castors fitting and I was able to wheel it out of the way.  I must point out that I am not a novice when putting flat pack together and the cupboard was slightly more problematic and everything was going brilliantly until I put the doors on.  When closed they overlapped so back to the instructions to see what to do - undo some screws.  OK, one door sorted but the other one fell off and after an hour trying to get it back on, I GAVE UP!!!  And that is how it has remained; one door on and one door off; but in the meantime the suppliers have sent some more hinges, I have put my cordless screwdriver on a charge and as soon as I get a moment I will have another go!!

Two 'before' photos -
The quilt is now stored and the toys put to one side
The shelves have been cleared and this furniture will be broken up-
 In the meantime I have been getting 'stuff' together for the Exhibition (see last week's blog)

When you realise how much has been made in the last two years, it is actually quite a lot.

I have baked a carrot cake for the Refreshments and am about to make an Orange cake as I have a little time to spare.
The carrot cake needs to be iced with cream cheese
Oh and finally a sneak peek of the 'Mini Mania Log cabin quilt' that I finished during the week and will be needed to show next week.
The green square is a quarter inch square
Now can I lie down  in a darkened room until Saturday morning when I will be taking the admission money for the Exhibition?  Let's hope that I take lots as everything made will go to charity.  I can't of course, as I have smocking class in the morning

See you at the Exhibition!!!

Friday, 18 September 2015

A free weekend , yippeeeeeee!!

I cannot believe it but I have a completely free weekend, including today, and already it is lunchtime with very little to show for it!  However this has been a busy week (when are they not) and I am glad of going a little slower because the following weekend will be full on. 

Anyway, as promised, an update on Mud and Mayhem last weekend.  On our arrival we were divided into two groups (very important for later on) and the first activity was blindfold driving.  Not only that but there was reverse steering so when we turned left it went right.
The start
The steering wheel was on the left and the instructor sat on the right controlling the clutch and accelerator.  Navigators sat in the back and shouted instructions for turning the steering wheel, but they were not allowed to say 'left' or 'right' so we each had our own code.  I found this worked well for me until the end - only 5 minutes per driver - when I was steering back to the start and was allowed to take my blindfold off and could not steer at all!  I completely lost it and needed help steering.

Next was 4x4 driving.  Certain rules - thumbs on the outside of the steering wheel and no crossing arms when steering because if the wheel turned suddenly thumbs and/or arms could get broken!!!!!!!!!!  What a good start.  I engaged first gear and took off the handbrake and was told to clamp that foot to the floor as only the accelerator and 1st gear were used.  Up the hill with foot down and all I could see was the sky, then foot off as the vehicle went over the top and "do not steer as the 4x4 knows how to go down the hill, oh and you can breathe now" says the instructor!!  I knew the final hill had a corner at the top but it was still scary as I didn't want to roll down the slope on the other side.

We were all marked and a male club member in the vehicle with me was only marked 5 out of 10.and I got 9 out of 10 and felt on top of the world. 

Next was quad bikes on a very rutted track.
Not me as I took the photos
I have enjoyed quad bikes more at another venue where it was flat and we could open them up.

A good day and my team won, though we don't know how it was scored and we got a real bottle of champagne, which in keeping with our friendly club, we shared with the other team.

I have finished my Road Trip Scarf and am really pleased with it and it keeps my awful old neck warm.

The photo does not do justice to the colour which is more shades of purple
Having been envious of friends with work rooms I have decided to take the plunge and turn my little third bedroom into one.  When I say little it is only 9' square, so space will be at a premium especially as my grandson got upset that he could not come and stay as the bed will disappear.  I will have a put-u-up instead so he is now happy.  However I think there will a ripple effect as the 'stuff' that is currently stored there will have to go elsewhere so some clearing out will take place.  I will try and remember to take before and after photos. 

I have decided to start next month as I do not have any time at present as I have my Mini Mania Log Cabin to finish and then we have

Higham Piecemakers Biennial Exhibition 
next weekend 26/27 September at the Bede House in Higham Ferrers. 
Busy, busy, busy.

Friday, 11 September 2015

A sneak peek and other things

Is it Friday already and another week gone?   Am I the only person wondering where a large part of 2015 has gone.  My youngest grandchild started school today and I received a delightful photo of her looking very grown up in her uniform and because of this her Mummy and Daddy are moving her bedroom around to make it a 'big girl's room", so out with the small bed and in with a new divan.  Must check if she has a quilt for it as I can't remember!!

Yesterday I had to go to Cambridge to look after the children and as I walked to school to pick them up at 3.30pm I decided to pick some of these from a tree that is on the way.  It is laden and nobody bothers to pick them -
Their common name is 'Dog's Bottoms' as my grandson remembered!
Yes,  they are Medlars and I must have picked about 3kgs as the bag was very heavy.  I have put them into a bowl to 'blet'.  I probably should have left them a little longer but I didn't know when I would get another chance to pick them.

I have succumbed to the Mini Mania challenge that some friends are doing and you will find information through this blog.

Here is a sneak peek -

Needle packet to give indication of size

I will tell you that the centre square is finished at ¼" and I am hoping that the finished squares will be 2" finished.  No more than this at the moment.

But I have a finished item - YAAAAY!

I worked the last few rows of my toe to top socks last night and though they were very difficult to make I am pleased with the finished result and they fit beautifully.  So here is the TAH DAH moment -

The photograph makes my legs look fatter than they are!!

Tomorrow it is 'Mud and Mayhem with the 50+ Adventure Club and I am desperate to drive a Hovercraft!!

I will definitely let you know how it went....

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Going batty!!

This week has seen me doing 50+ Adventure Club activities, starting with Line Dancing. 

Many years ago, when I lived in Chepstow I joined a Line Dance class as a beginner and was with them for about three years and gradually moved up until I was in the Advanced Class and I loved it.  My big problem was that though I recognised all the music I could never remember how they started, but thankfully in class we were shown.  Many is the time when I stood in a queue at the supermarket or shop and the Muzak has played a tune I knew and like a Pavlov dog I started jigging!!!!!

However it is many years since then and so when I signed up for this class the only step I could remember was a Jazz Box!  That did not matter as we were instructed on all the dances and as usual I cannot remember a single name!!
Too complicated for me so I took a photo!
It was good fun though and thanks to the local group 'Happy Feet' who helped us to dance.

Last night was the more adventurous activity of a Batwatch Paddle.  Going with Canoe 2 we had a great evening and if you follow that link and watch their video the three 'oldies' are our members who helped them to make it.  They had a great time filming.

From Ditchford we paddled downstream to Higham Lock, at one time running beside the A45 and the river was very smooth.

 We were told that there are otters on the river but all that was seen and heard were a kingfisher, a green woodpecker and some bemused swans.  Coming back upstream seemed a little harder -
especially as my partner had to keep the canoe straight whilst I took photos from the back!  Incidentally I was the skipper and had to keep us straight but I never really mastered the steering!!  In the past I have always sat at the front so had someone doing it for me.

As it was dusk when we got back we proceeded to meet our guide for the walk and off we set in the gloom with our bat detectors!!  Bats use echo location to fly and catch their food, so the detectors were set to pick up the signals that the human ear cannot hear.  We walked round Ditchford Lakes with the detectors held high and suddenly we were hearing Soprano Pipistrelles and were told that whenever we heard a 'raspberry' type noise it was catching its prey!!  In the gloom we tried to see them but it was difficult as they were flying high up round the trees.  Setting her detector to a different frequency our guide picked up a Daubenton's bat but we didn't mange to locate that one.

It was a very special evening and one that I am glad that I did not miss.

Tomorrow is the 50+ Adventure Club cycle ride that I did back in July.  At least the weather will be cooler - more like winter at the moment.