Monday, 30 May 2016

Here, there and everywhere ...

On the whole the weather has been quite kind and on Tuesday I took Will to Wimpole Hall.  We picked up his Granma, my sister, on the way and our visit started with a ride on the tractor - so exciting.  Well, we were on a trailer but right behind the tractor!!  We visited the Farm and saw lots of animals but the star attraction, for him, were the little tractors -

though Granma had to push and I had to steer.  We spent time in the playground -

All very child friendly and it wore him out.  Later we walked back through the grounds to have a quick visit to the house.  There were extensive swathes of wild flower meadows, wonderful trees -
200 year old yew tree and NOT to be climbed

wonderful views -
The folly
Looking South from the house

My photo of the house does not do it justice so go to the website link.

Later in the week the 50+ Adventure Club had it's annual BBQ and games evening.  Why did we pick May this year as it is usually a July event!  It was so cold when the sun started to set. 
We barbecued with a great deal of smoke and the rounders were set up though the grass had not been cut and so we had the advantage that the ball did not run on. 

However we had a good evening.

I took delivery of this; any ideas?
No, not a board game; this will be really useful for crocheted Granny Squares as they can be pegged out (in a pile) to flatten them.  Unfortunately no squares to demonstrate at the moment!!
Side view
Aerial view
I bet you didn't know that you wanted one!  They have been made by a local craftsman and are probably not available on the 'Net'.

I have almost finished my latest 'Dreamcatcher' and it needs mounting.

but have started crocheting another project; more about that in due course. 

I finished and posted off some surgical gowns and pyjamas for this charity and each time I make for them I think about the child that may get to wear them.  I am currently making another batch with fabric donated by Higham Piecemakers.

I went over to Cambridge yesterday to work on my 'Cambridge Allotment'!!  My son has dug most of it but one side needed tidying up. 
Autumn sewn broad beans looking good
 As I have written before, everything has to be covered initially as the Muntjac eats seedlings.  The beans got too big before we could remove the cover and it has been left in place!
Little bunches of grapes forming
 I know nothing about looking after a grapevine so it is a bit hit and miss but we did get a few bunches last year.   This year looks better.
Again to stop the Muntjac

Even the ends have to have string over them!!
Managed to clear away everything but I shall leave the digging to my son!  Now ready for summer as there are seeds sprouting in the greenhouse but please can we have some warmer weather.  There is such a cold wind!

Busy week and weekend ahead.  On Saturday the 50+ Adventure Club are going on a coach trip to London, that I have organised. Sunday I am 'support' for my eldest son as he rides in the Tour of Cambridgeshire complete with road closures for drivers.  What does 'support' do?  Well I am to provide him with his water bottles, with a tablet in them, for re-hydration so I must be at a particular point at a particular time.  Hope I find it alright!!

Friday, 20 May 2016

May is moving .......

very, very fast!!

The week began with the 50+ Adventure Club Spring Walk and a pub lunch.  A lovely sunny day though there was a cold wind at the top of a very steep hill, which did sort 'the men from the boys' so to speak.  I have to keep walking on these occasions and keep my head down and not speak to anyone, so got up fairly quickly.
The way down even though everyone looks as if they are going up!!

The next day was my weekly Nordic walk and we watched nature quite a lot but still managed to walk 6 miles.  I love this picture -

though the seagulls were dive bombing the cygnets and I was lucky to get a picture of the adult right way up.  Most of the time the tail was in the air as it fed and we expected the babies to be taken.

That same evening I whooped with delight as I saw that these had returned to my bird feeder after a few years away.
Goldfinches - my favourite!
 I had my usual day in Bedford looking after Will and we went to the park to see the Davis Cup on Tour.  Even Will took an interest

but we also had to visit the swings as well!!  I think he was a little daunted by the hundreds of school children receiving a free tennis lesson!!

Last night I went to a local meeting of the Embroiders Guild to hear Jacqueline Wilson give a talk on Smocking.  Very handy as I had my Smocking Group this morning and the talk has given me some ideas.  I want to use it in clothing for myself but have to find the right medium, but in the meantime my granddaughters may receive some more dresses.

I spent £3 this week buying this book, and having had hysterical laughter over the bikini on the front cover I actually found a pattern inside that I liked.  The hysterical laughter was brought on by the memories of knitted woollen swimsuits that sagged around the ankles when they got wet!!  As the yarn suggested is no longer made I phoned the lovely people at the Wool Warehouse who were extremely helpful and the parcel duly arrived.  Very exciting.
This is all I will show at this moment
Can't start at moment as I have something else to finish but watch this space.

A free weekend is coming up so I MUST finish my May Mini Mania as there are only about 10 days to go and June is just as busy!!!!   Heeeeelp.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

A bit of this and a bit of that ....

This week has been busy again but nothing of great interest to readers, but it meant that I never seem to stop!!  This is supposed to be retirement.

Last weekend I had organised a horse riding activity for the 50+ Adventure Club and I decided to give it a go again.  Now I am not very athletic and I am certainly getting quite creaky so it was with some trepidation I waited to mount 'Micky'.  No problem getting on because we used a mounting block, but then the heavens opened and we had to take shelter in the inside covered m√©nage.  The rain soon passed, thunder and lightning were all round us as we went out hacking in the fields but it was a great ride.

But I still had to get off!!  Well I discovered that I couldn't swing my leg over the horses rump, even though I was leaning over Micky's neck so it was suggested that I get off as if I had been riding side saddle so that is what I did!  Right leg over his neck and slide to the ground - haha!!  I landed in a heap on the ground and had to have help getting up; what an ignominious end to a great afternoon.

I completed another item for Wrap Pyjama Fairies today with fabric donated by my friend 'R'.  This is a hospital gown -
This wraps over and ties at the side, BUT this is not the fastening.  It has snaps on the shoulders which can be opened to carry out treatments.  No need to undo the ties at all.
Snap fasteners - what a brilliant idea

I have also started my May Mini Mania and here is a sneaky peek -
Is this going to be Cathedral Window - I hope so

This afternoon I was out for a bit of culture.  I went to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to see their exhibition of 'Death on the Nile'.  My late husband and I had a holiday in Egypt because we were so interested in their ancient history.  We visited the Temple of Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor Temple and even the Aswan Dam and all done as early in the morning as possible before the sun became too hot.  We loved it, so this exhibition was something I really wanted to see and it was excellent. 

Near the entrance are the armouries with guns, cross bows, helmets and sets of armour.  I love this -
Full size!!
However this one has everyone tittering -

Adults only please and I will say no more

Note the codpiece; was he boasting!!!!

Friday, 6 May 2016

" A View to a Kill"

This is a warning - the first part of the blog today is not for the squeamish!!

I arrived home late on Tuesday and, as usual, I glanced out of the kitchen window to see if there were any birds on the lawn.  There was only a little Dunnock hopping about and feeding, so I carried on preparing my supper.  Five minutes later I glanced up again and saw this -

be warned - gruesome to some

A Sparrowhawk had it's supper!!

It stayed on the lawn for at least 15 minutes (I managed to get my camera and take these pictures) and cleared the carcass.  Very exciting, but I am now worried that this bird will consider my garden as it's feeding place.

Anyway there has been some finishing this week with photos and not much text!!  First is my Mini Mania for April for which we had to use Drunkards Path in plain colours.  As these seams are curved it involved a lot of pinning, but I have used it before so not so difficult for me.
I have been told it looks like dancers!

Some years ago I made this floor mat for one of my grandchildren, so I just used four blocks for Mini Mania.
A jigsaw design

For May's Mini Mania we have to make a 9 patch (or more) Cathedral Window, no bigger than 24" (61cms) or smaller.  Hoping to start it later today and I want to go small, small, small.

In the last blog I mentioned that I was making pyjamas for Wrap Pyjama Fairies.  Over the last weekend I made up six pairs all in different children's fabrics and this is an example -

Top and bottoms for a 2 year old
Thomas the Tank Engine fabric

The wrap around top
These patterns are very clever because you integrate the ties when sewing side seams to give the wrap effect.  I hope a little boy or girl enjoy these.

Remember this from the last blog;

Well I have sent this off to my eldest granddaughter.  I hope she likes it!
A Dreamcatcher

I loved adding the final pretty, pretty detail for her.