Saturday, 19 January 2019

Revisiting old memories

I have spent much of the last two days scanning photos of Ollie.  Surprisingly I have not been upset once, instead it has been lovely to revisit memories from 20 years ago and smile as I find I can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when each picture was taken.

There are no favourites, that would not be possible.  The picture quality isn't superb, despite my scanning at the highest resolution I can without introducing noise and distortion, but as long as I do not try to enlarge them too much, things are fine ☺️

It took me hours every week to get his coat like this:

But by the following morning he would be "back to normal"

He loved to swim

and to run

and to jump

and to eat sticks

and to sleep wherever was most comfortable on any given day, regardless of whose bed it really was

Looking back at these pictures I am left with an overriding sense of what a happy chap he was, and what a bloody good life we were able to give him πŸΆπŸΎπŸ™‚

Friday, 18 January 2019

That's a little more winter-like

No Bag End snow this morning, but extremely cold.  At the top of Kirkstone Pass the weather webcam from Cumbria Highways showed the conditions to be pretty similar to here:

Cloud rolled across after lunch but it never really cleared enough to get a good shot of the Whiteside ridge living up to its name

Although the webcam showed a bit of a whiteout at Kirkstone

Daisy slept her way through most of the day;  the woodburner went on early and I pottered back and forwards between the snooker and the scanner, nearly a whole album today, but it's a huge one.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Scan it or sling it

I may have mentioned this before in a feeble attempt to "out myself" but it clearly did not work.

This pile of paper and old photos has been following me around for over ten years but the contents are way, way older than that.  I intended to deal with the old pictures in those boxes BEFORE we left Hampshire but ran out of time.  Since then these boxes have moved around from cupboard to cupboard and now sit behind my office chair, the idea being that they are readily accessible so I will either scan them or sling them.

It is not working, all that happens is the piles gather dust and are in the way.  They do not just physically get in the way - they are a constant mental drain.  It would have been fairly pleasant in the garden today, cold but clear and bright, however, I decided upon long term rewards over short-term enjoyment.

Let us not forget the pile which made it as far as the scanner.  I sorted this lot out so long ago I can no longer remember what criteria we decided upon for keeping or throwing, so I need to start all over again . . . sigh.

There's not a huge difference between the before and after picture, but it is a start.  "All" I need to do now is maintain the momentum {stop laughing at the back, please}.

(nearly) Snow

15 miles away, and not much of a covering, but finally Skiddaw has a little white stuff, actually, that is probably stretching it - it's most likely a heavy frost!  Far later in the season than normal and it will not last if the sun stays out, but still nice to see ☺️

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

UFO Quilt

This has always been known as the UFO Quilt (UFO being quilt-speak for unfinished objects).  Made in 2006 from a combination of trial blocks, pieces made at workshops, a few blocks received as part of a block-swap, all 'orphans' which didn't have a proper home anywhere else.

Dreadful old photo but quite a nice quilt that came out a lot better than expected, until I spoiled it with the quilting which definitely did not turn out as I intended.

Part of me would quite like to make another but I would use a different construction method to join the sections together.   Hmmm . . . perhaps just making odd blocks, intentional orphans?  Might be fun, no rules, no expectations, no plan?

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

The brain cannot lie to your body

It does not matter how much my conscious brain says yesterday's little kerfuffle is neither here-nor-there and not my problem going forward, my sub-conscious feels differently.  When I am deeply stressed or upset by something my body reacts in a very (to me) predictable way - the psoas muscle locks up and goes into spasm.  So today was a write-off before it even got started - uncomfortable to sit, stand, walk, or generally do much.  The only thing I can do is rest, try to relax, a bit of yoga, walk around with a hot water bottle on my back, talk the event through with M., and roll with it until things work themselves out.

Fabric wrangling was confined to ironing yesterday's strip piecing, and adding it to the box of pinkish sections.

I have 'dealt' with the tan coloured plaid bundle by breaking it up and putting the fabric with the rest of the check/plaid collection.

Susan sent me a photo of a gorgeous quilt she had made combining plaids with a floral and whilst it was tempting for a while to emulate her quilt, I've also packed the red plaids away.

I got considerable (sad?) satisfaction from making large labels for the boxes.  At least I can read these ones without having to put glasses on!   It is a stark reminder though that I'm not making much progress using this fabric and reducing the number of boxes.  Hey ho, not a bad First World problem to have.  πŸ˜‰

The rest of the day has been spent mucking around online which got a couple of outstanding jobs sorted, and watching snooker.  Which was eminently preferable to watching the grandstanding and showboating of our elected politicians whilst they argued about things which really should have been sorted out months ago.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Mostly a quiet day

Not much achieved at the start of the week.  Some more old scraps pieced and starched, ironing tomorrow.

Someone did something weird today.  I know this lady has many troubles, frankly she is broken and might be past fixing.  Her husband gave me a hug and whispered "don't worry lass".   I have to hold onto the knowledge that 99% of the time when people do odd things it is because they have a problem, it is nothing to do with you.  Doesn't mean it didn't screw up my day though . . . humans are really strange creatures at times.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Rinse and repeat

Much brighter today and if I wanted to, I could have done a couple of hours in the garden.  Trouble is - I didn't want to.  M. pointed out "you're on a roll in the sewing room" and I wanted to continue playing. As the year progresses there will be so many opportunities to get outside that patchwork will, once again, be abandoned for weeks on end, so I might as well enjoy this whilst I can.

The benefit of overnight cogitating turned yesterday's messy blue strips into something completely different.  Which changed even more throughout the day,  and I ended up with a top that's much bigger than expected, and by adding an extra pieced border I have managed to use up all of the pre-cut strips from the Worn & Washed bundle.

The finished top is (thankfully) a lot flatter than the photo would imply.

Back and binding are done too; as the top is very similar to last year's Picnic Rug I've found some 'food related' fabric for this one.

The other end of the sewing table is still full of scraps waiting their turn.

After all this piecing I thought the sewing machine would be filthy and full of lint, surprisingly it wasn't too bad.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Not a day for being outside

By late morning today Daisy had had two walks, the house was tidy, supper was quietly defrosting and M. had taken a coffee down to his workshop.  With a very January-ish weather forecast and a Sewing room heading for very messy-ish it was a day for quietly and happily pottering around.

OK, this might not be everyone's idea of mess, but to me it's half a dozen half started/finished little projects and making progress on all of them would be immensely satisfying.

I need to get back into the habit of prepping backings for quilts as soon as the top is complete, so job one was find a back for December's strip-piecing experiment:

And whilst I was at it, a plain backing for the silly little top I made earlier in the week, plus binding fabric:

Which has turned out not to be so silly after all.  I ended up really liking it and have done the same with the pink strips.

And 'cos I was on a bit of a roll, I started a third one - which, now I have looked at it, is going to get a lot of unpicking and altering tomorrow.

This is the patchwork equivalent of knitting a scarf, it doesn't require much brain, or a tremendous amount of accuracy, but it is extremely relaxing.  These are not perfect quilts (as if any of mine ever were) and originally the idea was to put together some little tops to practise quilting on.  If they come out nicely I could use them in the van, or for Daisy, or save them for gifts, and if I fail spectacularly then M. can have them to wrap around motorbike bits which need protection.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Christmas shopping

The newest member of the Bag End Christmas Crew has been delivered.

He's rather lovely, and is going to sit on a shelf for a couple of weeks where I can see and enjoy him, before I pack him away until December.

Thursday, 10 January 2019


One of those days where neither the weather or I ever got round to waking up properly.  Probably more tired from working outside than I expected to be, today has been quiet, pottering, indoors except for taking Daisy out.

Outside it was dull with low cloud, not particularly cold and not raining, but not particularly inviting either.  But not a wasted day;  whilst putting the last box of Christmas decorations in the loft I saw a pile of boxes saved from purchases that are now outside their guarantee so can be thrown away. Getting rid of a bit of clutter always cheers me up.

The floral strips I pieced recently look much better ironed,

as do the mixture of pre-cuts that were sewn into long strips.

Cogitating, planning, gentle messing around:

And relaxing with 'Christmas present to self', makes exceedingly good coffee πŸ™‚

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Coppice, day two

Once I had decided which bits of log I wanted to use for edging and Management cut them down to size for me, he attacked the remainder with the chainsaw and produced three large buckets of woodburner-sized bits.

Three trays of snowdrops have patiently been waiting since April 2018, but finally the place I want to put them is ready.  They should be safe from accidental boots at the back of the new bed we are creating.

The logs are sacrificial - they will protect the bulbs until the rest of the bed is filled in and over time the wood will rot away adding to the soil.

Took the time to enjoy the hellebores and look at how much has been achieved in the last couple of days but packed up early because it was just too cold out of the sun.

This little winter aconite is always the first to come into flower.

Daisy came and joined us for a while but soon got bored.  When we are working outside we usually leave a door open, even when it's freezing, so that Her Ladyship can go in when she wants to.  Which she did, and this is how we found her.    Awwww, bless . . .