Sunday, 31 January 2016

A sunday roast diner - mmmmmm

Last night, just to update the doubters, passed well without a drop of food passing my lips.  I sold raffle tickets, portioned the puds and then served them - but avoided temptation - go me!  I then tried something different with Daisy's sleeping arrangements - I left the cage open so she could roam the kitchen and sleep with Millie - there was no moaning whatsoever and just one number two near the training mat - I was very impressed!

This morning I watched my sewing programme (not tempted so have still stuck to my pledge) and then set to tracing the next two blocks on the Anni Downs quilt.  We have all year to make this so why am I feeling under pressure to finish this early? (sewing buddy - I blame you!)  The noise from the hallway was an indication that the dogs were having a whale of a time - and that the hall will need hovering!!  Daisy is certainly sleeping less and has boundless energy - thank goodness she starts walking next week.

Then it was time to head over to Caistor where my brother and his wife had invited me over for Sunday lunch - along with Mum and Dad.  Living alone I don't usually bother with a Sunday roast so this was a real luxury!  Janet, my sister in law, is not a dog lover and so an invitation to bring Daisy was an honour - I think this picture suggests that Daisy warmed Janet's heart (my brother is trying to take a photo of them both).  Daisy has been invited to come over again - I think that says it all!


Once home, it was some hand quilting in the bedroom (trying to finish the Tuesday night star blocks)whilst Mum and Dad had 40 winks in the lounge.  Daisy and Millie quite tired themselves out and fell asleep on my bed.  Tonight the hand quilting will continue (thank goodness for Thimble-its) - whilst Mum and Dad watch different tv programmes to me (its a good job that I bought that armchair for the bedroom!)

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Pub quiz, sewing day and a feast of puddings - a winning combination

Last night was our monthly book club meeting.  After the meal there was a lively discussion followed by a pub quiz - let's just say that my team smashed it - well, we won by just a couple of points but why spoil the story!  When I got home it should have been straight to bed ( it was approaching 11:20am and past my curfew) but sadly there was sewing to be done.  As a competitive person, when Sewingbuddy sends me her completed block one -well, I just couldn't give her bragging rights now could I!

Today was the monthly sewing day at West Ashby - yes, Daisy came too.  Truthfully it was a day of frustration - after finishing my Tuesday night machine quilting, and cutting out the shapes for the next Anni Downs block (I suspect that Sewingbuddy will have finished this block soon as well!) then I set to trying to finish a block tat I started last march.  Sadly I did not have enough fabric so it was sew, undo, sew, undo etc etc!  Daisy, however, was fairly good - sleeping by my side for long stretches with only one "accident" (under Sewingbuddy's table lol!)

Tonight it's a church function where my role is to sell raffle tickets.  For £5 people can enjoy a bowl of home made soup and crusty bread - followed by as many different puddings from the groaning table as they would like.  (I'm not eating!)

Friday, 29 January 2016

Afternoon tea followed by a pub meal - the diet is going well!

May I start with a complaint - several comments were posted last night - particularly by JDme - which castigated me for letting Daisy sleep on my bed for one night.  May I just remind everyone that that action was only taken to allow JDme to have a good nights sleep!  How very ungrateful of her!!!!!


Last night I was so tired that I could have literally fallen asleep on a knife edge - and so didn't get up until after 8am (plus the obligatory listen to Chris Evans playing "Bring Me Sunshine" of course - my Friday treat).  We had booked an afternoon tea for lunch (work with me here) at Lilly's Tea Room in Keelby so had the morning spare. I put the time to good use - getting ready for tomorrow's sewing day at West Ashby and undoing a major catastrophe in my Anni Downs quilt (I had the same fabric next to each other - quelle horror!)  I also used the spare time to try Daisy's coat on her again and attach the lead - she could go out for a walk from next Wednesday so she ought to get used to it.  She tolerates it a little better but then just lies down and refuses to walk!

Lilly's tea Room was another delightful experience, although we did forgo afternoon tea for other delights (I had a bacon and cream cheese sandwich followed by a slice of salted caramel cake).  It should be said that Mum was trying to avoid being in this photo - but what the heck!

After a run out to check the location and times of a church that Mum and Dad want to try out on Sunday, plus a visit to our lovely local butchers, it was time for home and a cuppa before I go out again - tonight it's the monthly bookclub meeting so its time for a pub meal - it's a lovely social life but plays havoc with the diet.  (I put on half a pound last night - I blamed it on the cuppa that we had an hour or so before the weigh in lol!!)

Thursday, 28 January 2016

I am going to "Box Heaven"

Last night was "fab-u-lous" - a real feel good night out with lots of live dancing, music and singing - finishing with a multi film homage to Hollywood.  For all the fans of Strictly Come Dancing, the live tour lets you see familiar routines from the tv show up close and personal - as well as new whole cast routines.  Jay and Aliona won the phone vote on the night but, for me, Anita Rani and her partner Gleb danced the best.


I arrived home around 12:30am and wouldn't have bothered the dogs in the kitchen had they not started to moan and whine.  Conscious that Mum and Dad were sleeping above the kitchen I went in, let them out to be clean and then settled them down again - or so I thought!  Ten minutes later of Daisy whining and howling I got up and brought her cage into my bedroom.  She still didn't settle until I let her sleep next to me on the bed (okay okay I know that I shouldn't have done that but, by now I was ready to settle for anything to close my eyes!)  Truthfully she did settle really well - until the back up battery in the smoke alarm started to peep really loudly and woke me up.  Conscious that the alarm was outside the bedroom upstairs I then got up and took the battery out before settling again.  Well I say settle - that was until Millie started to whine at 5:30am.  Are you getting the picture?  I am shattered!  Mum, on the other hand, reported a lovely nights sleep!

The rest of the morning passed slowly until we made a decision to go out for some lunch and try a new café that I have never been to before - The Gingerbread Café.  It was very pleasant and mum even picked up some useful Christmas gifts - yep 11 months early as well!  Whilst we were in the area we popped into Tesco's and into Pets at Home (to buy a retractable lead for Daisy's fist walk next week) before heading down to B & Q.  They had a sale on of "Really Useful Storage boxes."  By the time that Dad and I had finished I am now sitting in a room with 18 boxes!!  (hence the title of the blog today).  I have made a start in sorting the craft room and have dismantled three boxes so far and filled a bag of books for the charity collection tomorrow,  It may be a small drop in the ocean but it's a start. The boxes are so that I can organise my fabric into colour themes etc. 

Cute photo of the day - Millie and Daisy lay down to sleep in the morning sunshine - bless!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Strictly Come Dancing

Yesterday, as Church Treasurer, I received an electricity bill for over £2000!  But we were in credit with them so only had to pay £900!!  Since we normally pay around £200 per quarter something was seriously wrong!  So first on this morning's lists of tasks was a call into the church to take the readings.  Sure enough - by my calculations - they have over estimated our usage by 4000 units , bringing the bill down to around £500.  This still seems high - but we have had a lot of services and we have a new electrical heating system so haven't quite know how expensive the running is going to be.  However there is a lot of difference between £2000 and £500!

Last night I also heard some sad news.  A friend of my grandmothers - someone that we had known as Auntie Ivy - passed away.  Truthfully it was a blessed release for her but my heart and best wishes go out to her friends and family - particularly Happymum who was very close to her.


After a welcome lie in, I also treated myself to some hand quilting time.  Wendy had been kind enough to lend me some "Thimble its" - stick on protector pads to ensure that your finger is not full of tiny holes from the sewing and my target this week is to complete all the handsewing of the four star blocks - nearly finished number 2!

Apart from the usual housework tasks, I then used some scraps of towelling to make a new toy for Daisy - I even found some crinkle plastic to put inside it.  Having two large dogs here this week is proving a strain on the toy front - particularly those intended for puppies.

Crafting wise - clearly time has limited my attempts today - but I must just show you this idea that I fancied trying.  Someone has bought some till rolls and has marked out a pattern on them - sewing her scraps to the till roll (foundation piecing) as she has them - thereby forming a border roll.  I think that this is a fab idea!

But the main event today is my travel over to Sheffield to see Strictly Coming Dancing - the tour tonight.  Whilst I am over there I am planning to stop off at Meadowhall for a bit of retail therapy and will meet up with Trisha later on - more of this tomorrow.  You have been warned!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Daisy v Maisie

Well - Mum and Dad arrived late afternoon and chaos descended on this little peaceful house!  They have a border collie who is really not sure about a little pup who keeps bouncing around the room and tries to eat her tail!  The evening started with some form of stand off - Millie lying as far away as possible and Daisy bouncing around like Tigger.

Daisy, however, quickly bonded with Dad!  Look how quickly that tail is wagging!

By this morning Maisie would reluctantly allow Daisy to sit near her on the sofa - but soon jumped off again.  I would go as far as saying that Maisie is afraid of Daisy!

Life tends to move at a slower pace when Mum and Dad are up and it was noon before we decided whether to go out or not ( we didn't).  The weather was not great so a troll around the shops, even if Mum's leg would allow it, was not on the cards.  So instead they had a lazy day ( I am on strict instructions not to take a photo of the invalid asleep with a quilt wrapped around her - but think nursing home and you get the picture!) whilst I made a set of coasters from a charm pack for mum to give to her friend next week as a hostess gift.

I also used my time to start the big sewing room clear out - one box / basket at a time.  As I come across suitable fabric for a Tanya bag I, of course, put it to one side - and then made my first bag (wrongly as it turned out but the bag is functional!). 

Meanwhile Millie and Daisy snuggled together and went to sleep (for the first time).

Tonight Mum and Dad are going over to my brother's for a meal and an overnight stay whilst I am off to my sewing class so clearly time also needed to be spent this afternoon getting ready for it.

Monday, 25 January 2016

The royal party is on their way

Today started well - it's dry (don't expect that to last this week!) and so warm that I turned the heating off.  Nothing for it then - Daisy had to have her weekly wash - well Mum and Dad are up late afternoon/ early evening so she has a new audience to charm - we can't have her smelling now can we?  Daisy doesn't particularly like being washed and wriggles around but seems to like the hairdryer part of the process.  Mind you she got her own back.  I couldn't find her - until I came across my craft bag which madam seems to think is a new bed!

After another hoover around, not to mention the daily washing of Daisy's bed (she will mess in her own bed!), it was time to head off to the vets for her second jab.  That means that she can go out a week on Wednesday - that's come around quickly!  So this week we have to practise with her lead on - at the moment she just sits down and refuses to go anywhere.

After coming home, giving her lunch and settling her down again it was time to head off to the craft group.  I took my machine to help Linda out with her quilting (although she didn't need it because Dorothy brought her own one for Linda to borrow) but I continued with the hand quilting of my star blocks.  Talking of Dorothy I was extremely grateful for her purple fabric haul - I am off and running without buying anymore fabric (as per pledge).

Talking of fabric I finally got around to collecting some fabric together for The Splendid Sampler.  I have a collection of moda fabric (mainly charm packs) and am hoping that, with little addition, they will complement each other.  It is difficult to be decisive until we start to see the different blocks but at least I am ready to rock and roll.

The final accolade of the day should go to Carine who has finished her craft organiser bag - using a gorgeous teal baric that I threw out grrrrrr - I am not jealous, I am not jealous, I am not ..........

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Normal service is resumed.

Firstly may I apologise for my bad mood yesterday.  I can forgive Daisy for making mistakes, but when Millie refused to eat her food in the conservatory it was just a step too far - the straw that broke the camel's back etc etc.

Onto today - as ever I watched the sewing programme on Create and Craft - and resisted making a purchase!  They were featuring a designer who makes simply gorgeous quilts but I think that I might have enough projects on the go as it is.  However it was an excuse to continue with the hand quilting of my first star block.

Then it was off to church where a chance conservation with Dorothy may result in a few more purple scraps being added to my stash for this mystery quilt.  It would seem that purple, lilac and pink are Dorothy's colours - ooh I was so grateful that I could hold onto my pledge.  I just need to avoid buying any fabric until the 26th February - not much longer now - we're nearly in February after all.  Mind you I might need to start buying wadding - Daisy seems to want it in her bed (I found this today - for the uninitiated the white stuff is my wadding!)

After a lunch of cauliflower cheese soup, I set to tidying up for mum and dad's visit tomorrow.  Luckily everything was reasonably okay so it didn't take long but I would like them to see the newly decorated rooms looking their best.  Then it was down to machine quilting the second block before the sun dropped and it became too cold to sew in the conservatory.  I figure that if half of the blocks are completed before Tuesday evening's class then I am getting somewhere.  I am also conscious that I made a fuss of having hooks put up to hang quilts from - yet, a month later, there are still no quilts to hang - I must crack on!  Once the block was completed I moved on to the 365 challenge - these blocks are number 24 and 25 - one day ahead of the game!

My other reason for being in a bad mood yesterday was the continued bad behaviour of my computer - hence the strange layout of the post.  I am pleased to say that the computer stopped sulking today and is working fine - bless him.  Fingers crossed that this happy state continues.

Tonight sees the mopping of the kitchen and bathroom (night time so that the floor has time to dry and I escape the slips!) with some more hand sewing.  I suspect that Daisy will be lively tonight - she has been asleep for the last hour or so and I suspect that I will pay for that!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

A strange old day

Today started well - a lie in plus a number of small household jobs quickly completed should have been the precursor of a successful day.  I even managed to pop into the village for some dog food and then onto the village butchers for some sausages.

Once home I carried on with crossing the small tasks off the list.  First up was the quilting of my Tuesday evening star blocks.  Each one has to be machine quilted and then I am planning to hand quilt a decorative pattern. I started this block on Tuesday evening so finishing the machining means that I can sit and hand quilt tonight.  This is a picture of the back before its tidied up - they say that the back should look as neat as the front!

Next up was finishing the Anni Downs candle holder block that I started yesterday.  Just one more panel and this block is completed.

Then it was onto the fireplace - you may recall my admiration of Barkeepers Friend many months ago.  Well it came up trumps again and removed many of the stains that coal can leave.  

Then it was time for lunch, a sit down and my " problems" to start.  Daisy is having a bad day ( toilet training wise) and Millie had the hump about eating in the conservatory rather than the kitchen. Let's just say that the house was rather grumpy today!

The bright point was the catch up on a channel 5 series - " Britains Bloody Crown". This series covers one of my most favourite periods of History - The Wars of The Roses - and the much maligned King Richard III in particular. Hand quilting and watching history - mmmmmmm, it soothes the nerves!

Friday, 22 January 2016

A straight jacket or a nice new coat for Daisy - you decide!

Let's start with last night - Daisy's debut at Slimming World.  To say that she went down well would not be an exaggeration - I was lucky to bring her home!  Whether it be child, grandma or baby, everybody was enthralled.  Even the caretaker didn't seem to mind a dog being in the building ( she didn't disgrace herself though so that's a brownie point!). By the way - I lost 2.5 pounds so that's okay.

So - onto today and I am having a mare!  At face value, everything has gone well.  I left early to hit Tescos by 8am, then onto the hairdressers, the hospital to deliver the Tanya Bags and then the doctors to have my war wound re- dressed.   I was out for longer than I would have liked but am trying to extend it to give Daisy time to get used to the absences.  When I got back she was absolutely fine.

Her toy, however, was not!  Millie had gone to town on it and had removed the squeak from it plus half the fabric!  As if that was not enough my computer has decided to die on me.  The screen comes on but, once I've asked it to load the Internet the mouse disappears and the screen goes blank. Grrrrr!  I blame it on a conversation that I had recently with a friend about the new iPad pro - I was not intending to buy one but perhaps my iMac has taken the hump!

To add insult to injury the iPad is losing charge as quickly as it is loaded.  I am hoping that the cover has los it's magnetism and that the iPad just thinks that it's on all the time.  I've ordered a new case, which has just arrived, so let's hope that this sorts the problem.  I ask you - it all comes at once! ( update - the case is too large but might fit mums - grrrrrrrrrr)

Whilst I was out I bought Daisy a coat. When she gets bigger she, hopefully, won't need one but her first walk is around two weeks away and the east coast in February is not a warm place for a little one. The title of the blog is that she writhed around on the ground and managed to get halfway out of it.  Mind you we are practising with the lead and she seems to enjoy being pulled along.  There's work to be done!

This afternoon, after my melt down, I made the latest two blocks from the 365 challenge - I'm up to block 23 so far and put a load of washing on ( thrilling eh?).  Tonight's craft project is the third block of the Anni Downs quilt - a candle holder with felt berries.  Should be fun.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

A really self indulgent day

Today started late - I woke up at 7:45 am !!!  Wow - what a treat!  No whining, no barking - you really appreciate a good nights sleep when you get it.  That meant that I could make an early start finishing the first half of block one of the Anni Downs quilt.  I am determined to finish this quilt by the beginning for December so I have to put the nine yards in now.  In addition I am really loving the needleturn applique technique.

So, after a bout of totally indulgent sewing, it was time for some housework.  One of the many trials with owning a puppy is that the house seems a bottle bag which she has been dragging around the house!  Still - at least Daisy and Millie have been playing well today.  When she's concerned, Millie puts her head and neck over her as if to both stop Daisy and protect her - bless.

Whilst I had the sewing machine I thought that I would try to repair Daisy's first toy - playing with Millie its had a brain transplant!  Unfortunately it required delicate hand surgery (the machine couldn't cope with the thickness) but it will last a little longer.


blocks 16 - 21

This afternoon it was time to play catch up with the 365 block challenge, write some birthday cards to post and pay the deposit for my holiday in June.  Sewingbuddy persuaded me that I ought to join her on a painting holiday (????????????????) in Scarborough in June.  Well - it is near our favourite discount sewing shop after all! 

I also watched a lovely film starring Helen Mirren - "The Woman in Gold".  Even though it was a true story, and therefore I knew the ending, it was a beautiful and, ultimately, both sad and uplifting film.

In reality I am just killing time before heading out to Slimming World - Daisy has been invited you may recall so we will see what chaos she can cause!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Another milestone for Daisy

Today was her first visit to the vets, and therefore her first time travelling alone in the boot of the car (it's a hatchback with a dog guard before you all get worried).  All the way there she howled but I am pleased to say that I didn't hear a murmur from her all the way home.  At the vets she was admired and cuddled - by both the people who worked there and the owners of the patients.  She passed her health check but has some ear mites so has to have some ear drops - she didn't mind - she's a trooper!  Next week she has her final injection and then she can go out for her first walk around 10 days later!

When we got home Millie and Daisy had a mad half hour whilst I searched for purple fabric.  My pledge to not buy fabric until the workshop on 26th feb took a dangerous tilt last night.  Our next Tuesday night project (due to start in two weeks) is a mystery block quilt made of 49 blocks - to start we need one fat quarter of purple and purple scraps.  Purple - I ask you -  I am not a purple girl (As I write this I have a purple jumper on lol).  However I have managed  to track this down from my old stash upstairs and Wendy has found some as well - if we share we might get somewhere and my pledge can stay intact.

Lunch was some homemade cauliflower cheese soup with some more smash scones.  This time I had two slices of bacon which I dry fried and added to the mix to add some variety.  I then decided to treat myself to an afternoon of hand sewing so that I could make some headway with the next block from the Anni Downs quilt that we started on Sunday.   Eventually the guidelines will be ironed away so I don't need to worry if I stray a little!

Mum and Dad are now coming up to stay next Monday so the final job of the day was to sort the mess of books that were taken off the book case before it went on Monday, put the pillow cases on and fix the new shower head on.  It's the high life for me!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Senior screen, and sewing - what a combo!

This morning started early - Daisy, this time (I let her whine for 15 minutes until the news at 6am - by which time she was quiet again - I didn't want her to think that I would come in if she was whining).  I have to say that the idea of not covering the cage completely is working - she only made a minimal fuss last night and no noise when I got up in the middle of the night.  The issue of messing her bed was also sorted by squashing her bed into the cage and leaving space at the front of the bed for a puppy pad.  It's all trial and error.

Leaving all the toilet talk behind, but sticking with the topic of Daisy for a minute, I have been really impressed with the way that Millie is trying to mother her and teach Daisy how to behave.  Poor old Millie has never gone outside to be clean as much!  However I noticed today that other behaviours are creeping in.  When I load the dishwasher, for example, Millie will interrogate to see if here is any dropped food - Daisy has to join in.

Then, when Millie goes outside, she likes to go amongst the leaves to see what she can find - so does Daisy now.

Finally, on this point, when I leave the house I pick up two biscuits and two puppy drops and tell the dogs to go on their beds - Daisy gets on the wrong bed every day (ever hopeful)!

Being a Tuesday it was senior screen this morning - Jean and I wanted to watch different films so we split up inside the cinema - I went to see "Steve Jobs" - CEO of Apple.  Undoubtedly a driven man with a brilliant mind - but emotionally not very nice to those around him - if the film is to be believed.

This afternoon Carine popped around to check something out from the craft group yesterday - it was a good opportunity to get Daisy used to visitors.  (Wendy is due to visit Daisy tonight before we go to the first sewing class of this term tonight so that will be a double dose.)  By now it was 3:20pm and the afternoon was soon gone - just time to sort the sewing out for tonight and tidy around.

In terms of my leg, truthfully it is stinging more today, but I am feeling fine otherwise (apart from the disgusting tasting antibiotics!).  However the bandage has had to be changed and we won't even talk about the appalling mess that I made of covering it with a plastic bag in the shower this morning!