Sunday, 20 January 2013

Snowed in

So 3 days ago the Snow God sneezed and I've been stuck in the Week Day Home all weekend.  For 24 hours the roads on my hill were officially closed by the police so I couldn't get out of town which meant no Country House with Himself and the Boys or sledging and igloo building for me. Here in the UK we behave as if we are the only country dealing with the current snowfall and yet all over Europe it's the same.  

I'm strangling learning the German language and find out interesting things such as Israel has had bad snow and Jordan had floods via the Tagesschau news channel. I loved that the weather forecast showing central Germany at -12 celsius was delivered in a completely relaxed way where as here we go panic buying if there's a hint of -1.  Also, travelers stranded in a German airport were shown sleeping comfortably on airport supplied camp beds with blankets which makes me think I'd prefer to be stranded there than Heathrow.  The Brits are actually pretty stoical about snow and bad weather but our media love creating a drama out of it. 

All that unexpected time on my hands lead to some extra yoga time (Tara Lee - superb but I'm not showing you photo's of me doing a wobbly tree pose) and some baking thanks to a book I was given for Christmas.
 Here's my version of Mary's lemony swiss roll.  Yummmmm....
In addition to the baking I decided to experiment a bit more with the machine embroidery I was doing last week.  (It's so odd to work in the craft room and hear nothing except my machine whirring away.  The little road outside was so icey none of the usual cars or horse have been out and about.)
And once I'd gained some confidence I made a thing....
I'm hoping to build up to doing writing.  This is a great, fun way to use your machine, especially as an antidote to the strict stitching and accuracy of patchwork!  Hopefully I'll be able to escape the four walls tomorrow because although it's nice to have time home alone, I've had plenty now thanks.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Heartfelt Hug

Sometimes sending a card isn't enough and you want to send someone something more huggy.  So this was the chance for me to get stuck into a book I bought before Christmas but didn't have time to read ...Poppy Treffry's (second) book about machine embroidery.  It's a technique we've covered in our sewing classes and it's one I really love, so it was interesting to read the tips and designs in Poppy's book.  She runs classes in Cornwall too but I think you've got to be really quick to snap them up!  (I checked and 2013 is booked already.)

The design which caught my eye was this one for a butterfly.  I didn't follow the instructions exactly but I'm pleased with the result and relieved I finally got the tension right.  That took longer than making the butterfly!  It was always going to be a heart shaped mini cushion and I think the butterfly design was ideal for that shape.
It will be sent to it's new owner later in the week :)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

January Stillness

January feels very still so far.  It's the usual reaction to Christmas being over, the decoration's being taken down and trying to get back into the work routine.  The  motorway feels very dark and loooong these mornings!  But for me it's mostly still because of not having a project I MUST complete.  I'm working away on my 6 Ball Blanket which I've renamed my Seagreen Blanket but there is no pressure to make anything.  No pressure at all.  I can make what I want in my own time.  It's blissfully calming and I realised I'm crafting for...relaxation.

I promised that I would share the Christmas gifts now they have been opened....
Both are quilts, both made as surprises for the recipients and both (I'm relieved to say) liked by their new owners.  You never quite know when you make something to someone else's taste if you'll get it right but these seemed to work.  Both were made in the evenings over 8 weeks and I must admit, I think I took on a bit too much but that's a lesson learned and I'm going to enjoy the stillness of January and only craft for pleasure this month.  Who knows, I may just get back into doing my yoga in the evenings and not make anything at all!