Sunday 27 November 2011

Pillow Fight Fought

I've done really well out of another swap!  I think I'm just a bit jammy really aren't I?
This is what I sent out (it was well received - phew!)

This is what I received back (received very happily!!)

Emily did me a lovely cushion in solids - she'd cleverly figured out that I've got a bit of a thing for solids at the moment - and such lovely colours.  She also send an adorable wee pouch in Corduroy (love cord!) and a monkey!   She also, (not in picture) made a colour card for me with the details of each of the solids she'd used in case I might need to match them - how thoughtful is that?!

The weather here has really gone bad.   The dark is coming...  Daylight is currently from about 8.30am to about 3.30pm, but even that is poor.   There hasn't been a day all week that I've not had to put a light on inside to see properly.  Wind has been howling round the house threatening to take the roof off, rain has been lashing at the windows desperately trying to get in, and the temperature has dropped from Mild put a jumper on to Cold put 3 t shirts under said jumper and a few extra pairs of socks on.  Then get a couple of hot water bottles to sit with....   Miss Elliecat is not impressed.  However, at least she is happy that she has been able to reclaim "her" half of the bed, and I think she's also pretty happy to have all of my attention should she desire so...  Not that she's not missing her male human.... she has gone and fetched her toys to me a few times so she clearly misses their playtime.

I'm going to take a few days off the laptop this week, so if I don't reply to comments quickly (or leave my usual quantity) you know why!
Back soon...

Tuesday 22 November 2011

One swap done and one more to go

First of all, I'd like to say thank you for all the really lovely comments, and all the much appreciated encouragement you've all given me to stick with the not smoking.  It really has helped so much.

I've got my Brit Quilt "Pillow fight" package done, wrapped, and ready to go.  I really like the cushion, and I sincerely hope my partner likes it too!  I've been feeling a bit sheepish that its not something directly related to her inspiration mosaic, but it was very much chosen with her in mind so I hope that counts for something! Wish me luck....

the Chocolate Orange Snail Mail Pillow...

I also had some fun trying this tutorial to make the wee extra.  Admittedly I'm not a big fan of batik, but my secret partner I know likes them, so maybe she'll like this?

Lets hope so!!  If all that fails, there is chocolate in there too....

I'm not going to blether much today as my news is all crappy.  My man left on Saturday, away for the next 3 months or so, and he managed to leave me with his man flu too so I've been a big snotty teary mess.
Not to worry though, I'll snap out of it and in the mean time I've still got a mountain of sewing to get done this week!
This'll keep me smiling though....

Trudi - Quilting Prolifically

I take the mickey out of Trudi and her "rotten jelly", and she sends me some to try!!   I am not worthy...  

Trudi, you are WONDERFUL!  
And so is your rotten jelly....  
Thank you xxx  

Mmmmm, I'm off to have some more now, on some hot toast...

Friday 18 November 2011

The smoking bundle of lush...

Warning :  not suitable for those afflicted by fabric envy...

First of all, beloved friends and family please have a look HERE

Christmas Gifts for Quilters

as there are all the ideas you could possibly need...  especially in THIS POST...

I don't normally do stash posts.  This is a bit different though.  This is a good one.  This is one pile of awesome I do not and will not feel even remotely guilty about purchasing.  This one I really deserve, I've worked hard for it!

I've been a bit low of late.  The not smoking is TOUGH.  One thing I hadn't considered was the effect it would have on my sewing.  I thought not smoking would be great for my sewing, that I'd get a lot more done!  I guess I forgot that I take so many breaks primarily because of the Narcolepsy, not specifically because I wanted to smoke.

I cant "do" sitting and concentrating on something for ages.  I need to get up, go somewhere else, have a rest, a cuppa or a quick nap.  So when I'm sewing, I start to feel I need a nap.  I've got to really, its no use "powering through it" or whatever nonsense you want to call it.  After all.  I am not working BECAUSE it's been proven I am incapable of ignoring it, I need breaks, sometimes I hardly manage anything, its all break!  Annoyingly I still fall asleep / go auto even when I do take naps....   but at least with breaks I make slightly less mistakes...  Previously, every time I took a break, I went downstairs or outside and had a cigarette.  Now, I take a break, and... well, I just don't know what to do with myself at all.

I make a cuppa.  I want to smoke.  I sit and put the telly on.  I want to smoke.  Eventually this turns into "I want to eat" or "I want to sleep".  Unfortunately, perversely, I cant actually sleep ON PURPOSE.  Really I don't know whats worse.  Groggy confused out of it Sarah that's falling asleep far too much, or miserable Sarah that cant stop thinking about the extra calories and hating herself for not sticking to the diet...  So its been really hard to go to the sewing cupboard and face that.  Anyway.  All of this has been translating to very little sewing being done.  Just lots of thinking about it.  Dreaming about it.  Planning it.

I've gotten myself into a little bit of a hole with regards to the sewing I had planned, versus the sewing I've gotten done.... in relation to when its supposed to be finished....  Oops.  My man is off to sea again this weekend, so instead of the customary two or three days crying and feeling sorry for myself I'm going to get stuck in, use the bed next to the sewing cupboard, and not do anything other than sew and sleep!
I am determined.  I have things to finish!

Which brings me back to the stash purchase awesomeness.
12 weeks not smoking.  Less 4 weeks buying nicotine replacement, equals 8 weeks.
8 x  £7 for baccy
3 x  £3 for cigarette papers
8 x £0.90 for the coffee I'd buy at the newsagents when I bought my baccy
2 x £5  approximately for the occasional magazine I'd buy with my coffee and baccy

Which this time, not always, but for the moment, equals

from one addiction to another....  
And, because its about time, and because I will need the cheering up, I finally spent my Christmas gift voucher!  (I know, I know, I spent about 6 months waiting for them to get a specific line in, and they didn't, that's why it lasted so long)

merry Christmas (2010)  to me...
Now if I can just get the things I've started finished... then I can play with all this!
Although having seen Meg's winter survival guide I might just have to spend a day or so doing one or two of these first :-)

Wednesday 16 November 2011

A little looper...

I got a little bit of pretty in the post...
I was reading Alli's blog post and she asked if we could identify the fabrics she'd picked.  I am such a fabric geek...  I couldn't resist...  I got all but two, and one of them was a dots....  Should I be proud or ashamed?!!  I don't know.  What I do know is that Alli is an absolute sweetheart, cos look what she sent me as my prize!

My gorgeous scraptastic pressie!

Just for goodness sake don't ask me to identify them (cos I'd have a good go...)  

Meantime, Miss Elliecat had her annual check up yesterday, and has once again been declared "obese".  

Gratuitous belly shot

I swear she gets dried biscuits (the veterinary recommended ones too, she wont eat nice cheap ones...) and she gets a bit less than the recommended daily amount.  But like pet, like owner - she's a fatty.  I was a bit surprised this time though, to be honest, I mean, she's been very playful the last few months.    

First there was the new toy (pics in this post) which since said post I must hold my hands up and admit I was wrong, she loves it.  Then there's the afternoon paper.  At least one of us enjoys the news...

Might look a fairly leisurely affair but that's got more to do with my lack of skills with the camera, just cant keep up with her.  Especially when she takes a big run up to land on the paper at full speed and skid across the carpet.   

And then there's the chasing...  I'm gutted this is so shockingly dark, it wasn't great to start with but blogger seems to have made it even worse, so screw your eyes up a bit - what can I say, I couldn't get her to perform in a well lit area...

So yeah.  She gets exercise, she runs and jumps and somersaults about on a regular basis.  But still she's a porker.  Oh well.  What do we say to diets? All together now...

Friday 11 November 2011

first tick (not the wee beastie kind)

Yay!  A proper tick on my list!  I've been trying to do a little every day, what's more, I've been stopping the second I make a mess of things and putting whatever I've messed up away, then doing a different project for the rest of that day.  Goodness knows I have enough projects on the go, which is saying something when you take into account how often I mess up...  But I think its been working though.  There are a few things I feel have moved forward a fraction, and I have my first list finish.  I'm coming out of the slump...

So, what am I gibbering about?  I've done the bag I promised for my sister-in-law.  Its a Lisa Lam pattern.

Bucket bag in a reproduction Tamis Keefe design print "out to lunch"

interior is a kind of petrol blue with natural stars

I love the print she chose, it's called "out to lunch" and is a reproduction Tamis Keefe print on a linen blend from Michael Miller.   I had a wee bit of help from the ladies at Brit Quilt to tell me the size of an i-phone so I could do a pocket inside to fit!  Not a big fan of the i-stuff here...  my old bog standard mobile still wont go on-line or send photos up here so I don't see the point in getting a fancy new one!  Anyway.  Its all wrapped up and in the envelope and taped up, and ready to post first thing tomorrow, and I've just remembered that when I was photographing it I found a couple of threads I'd forgotten to sew in.  
And promptly forgot to sew them in then too.  


Wonder if my brother can be cajoled into wielding a needle?

Saturday 5 November 2011

the chosen...

Newsflash one...
I got the stars done!  Yay!  First item I can tick off the list...  

The Star Sign block

The Pointless block (as in it no longer has any points...)

Newsflash two...  Giveaway winners have been selected!

What's that?  Is it worth waking me up for?  Lets see.  NO.

Yes, unfortunately Elliecat does not make such a wonderful winner picker as Archie did.  I did think it could work, as she loves using her paw to fish things out of bowls.  Biscuits, cereal...  But clearly she had had enough of paper after yesterdays newspaper looper...   remind me to tell you about that on a more quiet day :-)  Anyway.  Sometimes you have to just use whats available... so my man kindly did the picking!

Winner number 1 is none other than Susan of Canadian abroad!  

Winners 2-5 are Tanya of Second Chance
                           Giles of Touch and Sew
                           Helen (not Archie) of Archie the Wonderdog
            and         Laura of Needles Pins and Baking Tins

Congratulations to the winners -  to the rest of you, I wish I could send you all a wee something.  Thank you!
The first come first served recipients of the fabric are as follows 
                         Bauhaus goes to Leanne of She can quilt
                         Green Check goes to Lynz of Domestic Light and Magic
        and Brown Green Swirly bit goes to  Liz of Lizard Bites

So, to all the winners and fabric recipients, if you havent already, please can you email me with an address and I'll be able to send your goodies out!  The fabric will go next week, the giveaway winners might be week after (I do have a monster big list looming over me remember!).

Thursday 3 November 2011

back so soon?

Oh yes, I cant write that many posts, that regularly....  which is why I'm posting already?   Fickle ain't I?
Well I had to post.  I *had* to.  Look what the postie delivered to me!

Someone enjoyed my Blogtoberfest!  Isn't it fabulous?  There's a wee owl in the tree too...   And the wee burds in the snow...  I absolutely love it!  (Thank you x)

I've been trying to do a bit of fabric sorting, so, in the spirit of this wonderful post (click here to see it),  I think I can take it up a notch!   I was wondering if anyone wanted any of these?

Alexander Henry "Bauhaus" 

dunno...  it is 100% cotton quilting weight tho.
No idea what it is!
The top two are half yards, the bottom one is, hmm cant remember.  Bigger than an FQ anyway.  If you want, just let me know.  I'll be expecting hundreds of requests now...

Would it be too cruel to tell you that I'm creating space for this?

Hope Valley FQ's

I had to get some.  No, really, I had to, I mean, I didn't want to ask Laura to send more fabric a second time and messing up the final quarter of  Star Sign block with the last bits of the prints used meant I needed to get a wee bit more or re do the entire thing.  So really, it was a necessary purchase.  Completely...  That's my story and I'm sticking to it...  As if the fabric wasn't joyous enough, at the bottom of the Saints and Pinners invoice was a wee note saying they liked my blog!  I know, I'm cheesy.. but that's so cool!

I'll be randomly selecting (or Ells might be) the "crappiest giveaway in quiltyblogland" winners on Saturday. Actually, I think it should be renamed cos I don't think I'll be giving crappy winnings, its more that I'm being really mean and selfish and I don't really want you to tell anyone about it, this isn't free stuff for complete strangers.  Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that at all.  If it was a sponsored giveaway you bet your ass I'd want more followers cos I'm deeply insecure and love seeing an increasing number in the "followers" box...  However, that is not the case here.  This is from me to you, this is cos I'd love to send you all a card and a wee thank you - for reading, for laughing at me, for bossing me about, for taking the piss, and for genuinely being a fantastic bunch of people.....  So, first and last reminder, see the original post and... if your names not dahn you're not gettin in.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

October's Over.

Its November already?
Blogtoberfest is over...  
Thank goodness!  

Its been great.  I've read loads of different blogs I might not have seen otherwise, I've really had to push myself with the regular blogging, and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading more regular posts from some of my favourite bloggers too!  But its over now.  Phew!  

Yes, I did find it hard to post every other day.  Really hard.  I might have managed if my man was at sea, and I didn't want to sew, and if I didn't answer any comments... then I might have managed every other day all right.  But then I'd really have had bugger all to talk about!  And I think if there weren't the odd comment to reply to and reader to chat with I'd soon tire of blogging all together.  So, lets just learn from blogtoberfest that I cant do blog posts quite that often!  Although, I must say it was nice to do the odd one that wasn't just sewing, and even nicer that folk still read it...  I might see if I can blog a wee bitty more often than once every 7-14 days in future though, if that's okay with you ;-)

Octobers sewing

Due to the excuses reasons listed above, this has not been a very productive month for me sewing wise, and I do find that a bit depressing really.  However, I cant tell you how much I enjoyed being part of the Japanese Scrap Bag Challenge (there's still 24hrs left if you haven't voted yet!), so a MASSIVE thank you to Sarah for organising such a fun challenge for us.

I have been sewing the past couple of days, but nothing to show for it yet.  I'm still trying to get this right..
my star block design
I'm now on attempt number 3...  Meanwhile I have almost got this one done, just a couple more sections to do before I show you the REAL thing...

my other star block design...
I haven't started the four strip pieced sections yet, so if you hate them and have a better suggestion, tell me now, quickly!

I'm linking up with Lynne for her fabulous Fresh Sewing Day so please pop over to her and have a look at what real quilters call a months work!  There are some simply stunning mosaics there.

And once again, thank you so much for sticking with me through the Blogtoberfest Challenge!