Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Beautiful Flowers

Hi there.
I treated myself to a bunch of peonies yesterday and just look how lovely they are.

I have admired these beauties from a far for a long time but felt that they were just a little bit too expensive to buy for myself but yesterday the supermarket had reduced them by a couple of pound so I decided to push the boat out.  The stems were quite long so I chopped about an inch off and put them in a tall vase.  There were lots of really tight buds which I didn't expect to open but low and behold when I got up this morning each one had unfirled just a little.  I can't wait to see them all in full bloom.

I have had quite an exciting day today.  I have noticed that in a lot of the craft and knitting magizines they are using 4 ply cotton in their patterns.  This is of course because there is the possibility of warm weather to come.  Well we can all dream.
So in a bid to stock what I hope will be the next big thing I have contacted a couple of new suppliers with a view to purchasing what I hope will be some delectable coloured yarn.
I always get really excited at the prospect of stocking something different.  I know this sort of thing has been around a long time but it is still new to me.  I think once I have it I will have to leave my aran and chunky at home to make room for it in the car.  I will let you see the colours up on delivery.
Oh also I don't know if I mentioned that I have some new alpaca mix sock wool from Peru.  It is lovely and I am assured that you can get one pair of socks from one 50 gram ball.  Any how I am still a bit unsure of this promise but today I have found a free sock pattern which only takes 50 grams so I will be trying this out and if it works will be issuing the pattern with every skein.  It makes what is quite an expensive yarn at £4.00 seem like good value if you can get a pair of socks out of it.  I will keep you posted.
Paula x

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Quilt Festival

Hello, I hope you are having a lovely weekend.  The weather has been great hasn't it?
Yesterday at the stall I was pretty busy and managed to break my takings record.  I had lots of customers who all insisted on buying my lovely wool and accessories.  I even had one lady buy one of my handmade corsages.  It always makes my day when that happens.  To actually have people wanting to buy the things you have made is a very satisfying feeling.
Today has been great.  It has been the Bawtry and Austerfield Quilt Show these past three days and a good time has been had by all.  I volunteered to help in the kitchen for a couple of hours but ended up sat taking the money for the refreshments.  What a nice and easy job for such a hot and sticky day. 
At 2 0'clock we had a lunch of soup and sandwiches with orange squash to wash it all down.  Mmm lovely.
The quilts and other bits and bobs were hung in the two churches and they looked beautiful.
It must be great for our teacher Helen who runs all the classes where all these things were made. 
It never fails to amaze me just how many talented and creative people are out there beavering away.
And of course last but by no means least, my own contribution.  I also had a stool and a craft bag there too. No quilts though.
Unfortunately the brown cushion had the wrong label on it.  I think it must have been a bit late in the day when they got to mine or the label lady had had one too many lemonades.  Never mind.
Bye for now. Paula x

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Magazine Madness

Good Evening and welcome to my humble blog.
I have a problem, an addiction not to put too fine a point on it.  I just love craft magazines.  There I've said it.  It's out in the open.  I need help.
Look at this lot -
Oh my goodness I hear you cry.  She isn't kidding.  This is one months worth and these are just the ones I could easily lay my hands on.  I know I have an excuse.  I do need to keep on top of the trends in the market place in order that I can give my customers what they want when they come to my stall, but really do I need this many.  I could argue that they give me my inspiration and that I am always making things that are featured in them but in all honestly I'm not.  So what you might ask is the fascination and to be perfectly honest I'm not really sure.  I think it must be the time they buy me.  You know, when you just sit in one place and flick through a magazine.  The time just flies by.  Maybe it is that feeling of sheer luxury and relaxation that I get from looking through a gorgeous display of other peoples artistry and creativity. 
However look what has happened -

I think it's time to stop when I don't even know that I have already bought one and go and buy the same one all over again.  I wouldn't mind but I had flicked through them both and had not realised until I collected all my magazines together.  I may have to go and lie down in a darkened room.
Good night. x

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Hooray for Asda

Hello and thank you to my new found friends for leaving your lovely comments.

It doesn't take a genius to guess that I am a massive fan of roses.  I didn't really notice this until I started blogging and discovered so many photographs of roses in my photo stash.
So when I went shopping today I couldn't resist a small bunch of roses and carnations.

I brought them home thinking how pretty they would look in my very plain clear glass vase.  However as I was arranging them, which actually consists of the flowers being plonked in water really, I couldn't help noticing how gorgeous they smelt.  On investigation I realised that they did in fact have the most lovely fragrance which I think is extremely unusual for shop bought flowers.  The only other roses that I have bought that actually smelt like roses were from Marks and Spencers and they were quite expensive.  My Asda beauties cost me £2.00 and they are worth every penny.  I'm sure you agree.
Cheerio and have a great evening. Love Paula x

Monday, 20 June 2011

Garden Open Day

Hi there
I went to a local garden open day yesterday.The only problem was that we didn't actually get to see any of the gardens.  Strange you might say.  Well to be honest I wasn't all that keen to go in the first place but I was pressurised in to it by my mother.  We missed the event last year but before that have attended many many times.  What happens is that about ten gardens in Wheatley, near Doncaster open their gardens to the public as a way to raise funds for the local church.  It is a lovely day and the gardens are spectacular.  One of them was actually featured on Gardeners World and has received many awards for its beauty. 
Anyway yesterday we went along with the intention of visiting just a couple as as you will appreciate, I work six days a week and therefore I don't have a great deal of time. 
Before we set off I needed to buy groceries so we popped to the local supermarket.  When we actually arrived in Wheatley it was lunch time so we proceeded straight to the church to sample the freshly made sandwiches and homemade cakes.  I had the strawberry pavlova with fresh cream, just to be polite, you understand.
We then had a good look round the mini car boot sale in the church gardens and by this time it was twenty to four and too late to visit the gardens.  Oh well I forgot my camera anyway.
We had a really nice afternoon all the same and I got home in time to make an excellent Italian meal for Steve and me.

As a consolation here is a picture of a gorgeous sugar pink rose with a bee having a lovely time of it.

I think roses have to be the most exciting of any flower I know.  The colours and scents are so amazing.
Bye for now. Paula x

Friday, 17 June 2011

New Hair Do

Hello there,
I'm not a happy bunny today.  I decided to change hairdressers as the last hair cut I had I was non too happy with.  I thought it would be a good idea to go to a local salon situated not too far from where I work in Ordsall, Retford.  Hairspray it's called. Bad decision.
Today I took myself off at 5o'clock all excited to be trying somewhere new and low and behold I have received the worst hair do in history.
I wouldn't have minded but I specifically explained that my hair is thick and therefore needs thinning out.  I also told the very nice lady that I liked my hair short, messy and spiky.  Good grief I'm not kidding she gave me a style my mother would have said was old fashioned and she's 87!  When she got out her curling tongs I should have screamed Noooooo - but of course being British I just sat and made small talk!
If nothing else I gave my hubby a laugh.  I am now sitting here with a plastic cap on my head giving my hair the Rusling treatment.  I will in 20 minutes time be very blond, and having also given myself a further trim might just be in a position to venture out in to the great blue yonder early in the morning.  Hopefully before anyone else has surfaced.  I don't want to give anyone a fright.
All joking a side I am just a tad disappointed and will be returning in 6 weeks time to the hairdresser that charges me an extortionate amount of money but who I can safely say has some sort of idea what on earth I am talking about.
I am myself a qualified hairdresser so can in all honestly quite legitimately criticise a so called hairdresser when they do a sub-standard job.
Sorry but I cannot bring myself to photograph this extraordinary sight.  All will be well when I have performed my magic I promise you.
This is a picture when I was looking more like my old self.  I don't have may photos of myself as I am rather critical as I'm sure everyone is.  I have probably about half a dozen really good ones usually of when I was in my thirties and about two stones lighter.  Funny but on the inside I still feel the same.  Unfortunately the mirror and the camera seem to have a different idea of what I look like.
Never mind.  Kindest wishes. Paula x

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Patchwork Quilts

Hi there and welcome.
I was struggling to think of an interesting subject to talk about but really wanted to blog so in order to tap in to a little inspiration I decided to trawl, yet again, through my photo stash and low and behold I came across the picture I took of my traditional hexagon patchwork quilt.  This is another work in progress and it will shortly be coming up to the fourth anniversary of when I started it.  It is all stitched by hand just like our Grandmothers used to do and each hexagon it cut out in card before being wrapped in fabric and tacked.  Each piece is then pain stakingly over sewn together.  I have loved doing this and because each section is sewn individually it was something I could push in a bag and take anywhere.  I am currently stitching each section together and placing plain cream spacers in between.  If ever it gets finished I'll let you see the results.
Moving on I also came across this which shows a multitude of small quilts.  These and many others are the work of several very talented and devoted ladies who attend special Linus days.  I believe Linus was the little boy in Charlie Brown who dragged a blanket round with him, correct me if I'm wrong. 
The quilts are made and donated to sick people mainly children who would benefit from the comfort of a blanket and at the last gathering I went to there were approximately forty completed quilts by the end of the session.  It makes you very proud to be a part of this sort of thing and we receive lots of feedback from the people who receive them.
This is the quilt that my friend and I were working on at the last Linus day.  Unfortunately when it was stitched together we realised that whoever had cut the squares hadn't made then exactly the same size and as a result none of the points matched.  I now have this disaster under the table in my craft room and one fine day I will try to rectify the problem.  Not to worry it will get sorted when I get round to it. Ok well that's me for another day.          Regards Paula x

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Turning Over a New Leaf

Good morning folks.
I woke up this morning in a completely different frame of mind.  You know the usual feelings that greet you when you just want to stay in bed that little bit longer and you can't.  Well that wasn't how I felt today.  Perhaps the beautiful weather outside had something to do with it, who knows. 
I have been thinking lately of ways to improve my life and I had a bit of a turning point on Sunday after watching Eat, Pray, Love which stars Julia Roberts who travels the world trying to find herself.
I am constantly striving to find the thing that I feel is missing in my life and as yet I haven't found it.  It helps I think when you know what you're looking for but so far that particular detail has alluded me.
Anyway after the film had finished I had the strange inclination to re-arrange the furniture in the lounge.  This is definitely not something I would ever dream of doing as it is too much like hard work, however I did it and the room has took on an amazing transformation.  It is obviously less cluttered as I whisked all the excess baggage upstairs and striped everything back to bare.  I then just left the ornaments that I liked and which meant something to me.  I removed the pictures from the walls and replaced them with pictures that I particularly liked.  One thing that probably won't go down well is that I removed the picture of my son on his graduation day.  However I plan to replace it with a less formal more fun picture of him where he looks more relaxed.  The overall feeling of the room has changed.  The sofa is against the wall and Steve's Banjo is now in full view where it belongs.
I strongly recommend this form of therapy it has done me the power of good and I intend working my way through the house clearing everything that doesn't make me feel happy.
I am also in the process of reinventing myself.  For a long time I haven't been happy with the way I look or feel so that is about to change.  I am finally ready to turn over a new leaf and I will let you know what progress I make.  Wish to me luck, love Paula x
P.S. Above is a picture of a glass of flowers picked from my garden back in May 2010.  That must have been the last time I picked up my paint brushes.  Well that has got to change too! x

Monday, 13 June 2011

Works in Progress & The Waltons

Good morning, I can't believe it was Wednesday when I was last in touch with you wonderful people in Blog Land.  My apologies, the days just seem to fly by don't they?
I went to my quilting/patchwork class on Thursday evening.  We are all getting on with our on going projects as we are organising a Quilt Festival on Friday the 24th June 2011 through untill the 26th June 2011.  It promises to be excellent with approximately 60 quilts and lots of other smaller items.  They will be shown in the churches in Bawtry and Austerfield, Doncaster, South Yorkshire.  The show will open at 10.00am (11.00am on Sunday) and close about 4.00pm.  Refreshments, bag tombola, raffle and stalls will be in the Bawtry church hall.  We're all looking forward to it and you're all welcome.
Well on to other business.  I sat in bed yesterday busy with a couple of brand new projects.  This is the first and I'm not sure if this will continue as this was a little practice piece. It is a crocheted granny square and I would like to make a lap quilt eventually if I can get the hang of the pattern.  It's not particularly complicated but each round is different and for my tiny brain it takes time to get used to it.  I found the pattern in my Mollie Makes magizine and then realised that it had originally come from the Gentle Art of Knitting book I featured in an earlier blog.  I used Jane Brockets book for the instructions rather than the magizine so that I could say I had done at least one this from it.  I haven't started the jumper yet but I will.
This is my new knitting project.  The colour reminds me of free range egg yolks. 
Having all that wool on my stall makes it so difficult to decide what colour to choose but sat on my stool on Saturday I was suddenly taken by this shade and so went straight ahead and casted on.  That way I couldn't dilly dally any longer.  It isn't expensive wool as I just wanted something cheap and cheerful.  I was going to knit in a wonderful chunky wool which was basically cream but was space dyed with orange and green.  It had caused a bit of a stir when I first displayed it and I was in two minds whether to use it for myself or to see if it sold first.  Anyway last week one pack was snapped up and the same lady came back and bought the second pack this week so that made up my mind for me.  I have got the same wool in a cream/denim/lilac mix so maybe that will be my next choice.
Yesterday was spent in a leisurely fashion watching TV.  I absolutely love the Waltons.  It was a programme I watched when I was quite young and when Steve told me it was on the True Entertainment channel I was thrilled to bits.  Unfortunately I can't watch it during the week as it is on too early so I only catch it on a Saturday or Sunday. It's good wholesome family television and the domestic references and beautiful quilts and home furnishings make this programme a real winner in our house.
Well on that note I will have to love you and leave you.
Have a great day and we'll speak soon. Paula x

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

All Things Bright and Beautiful

I was really excited yesterday due to the fact that the local Netto which closed down recently was to re-open as an Asda.  Not very exciting you might say but none the less it caused a bit of a stir in my local community.
When I arrived the car-park was packed solid and people were having to park where they could.  Inside it was buzzing with activity.  Unfortunately though it didn't seem that much different than before.  Cleaner, yes and better laid out but at first sight I wasn't that impressed.
However one small item that did impress me was ......
yes, the most gorgeous toilet tissue I have ever seen.  My husband was extremely amused and said that I must be the only person in the world who becomes ecstatic over coloured toilet rolls.  I on the other hand must disagree as I am sure there must be thousands of people out there that feel the same way.

Anyway, moving on here are a few more photographs of the flowers in my garden.

Together with the water lily which happens to completely cover the tiny little pond at the bottom of the garden and a very sad and lonely bunch of strawberries that decided to fruit away from the custom built strawberry patch.
Isn't nature a wonderful thing?
Have a great evening.
Kindest wishes Paula x

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Babycham Cheesecake

Good Morning Everyone,
I hope you are all feeling well this bright and sunny morning.  The weather has certainly improved so fingers crossed we might be in for a good few days.  The weather is so much more important now I have to spend my Saturdays in it.
This is a picture of the Babycham Cheesecake I made last Friday.  It was actually more like a Posset to me as it was made with fresh cream with a good helping of soft cheese, sugar and Babycham just for good measure.  I made half the quantity stated in the recipe and it made two large portions.  I did make it too thick as I didn't realise that once the mixture stands for a while it seems to thicken up even more.  It was beautiful and but be warned, it is very rich.  Next time I am going to make the mixture slightly sweeter and put it on a biscuit base, that way it will be a proper cheesecake.  You can find the recipe here.  Thank you Diane.
Ok well I'll leave it there. 
Regards Paula x

Saturday, 4 June 2011

My Wool Stall - Week 7

I can't believe that today was week seven in the life of my lovely little wool stall, situated at Worksop market.
It has been a great experience and one I continue to enjoy and grow from.
Without exception everyone who has visited by stall has only had nice things to say and today was my best day yet.  Thank you to everyone.
As you can see the stall has had a bit of a face lift since you last saw it with a brand new cotton fabric cloth which looks like patchwork.  I love that material.  There are also many new additions such as the small table which has the new Couture range of Kiddie wool from Cygnet together with the full range of Essentially Cotton also by Cygnet.  I also have lots more buttons, ribbons and general bits and bobs.  It is coming along very nicely.
OK I hope you don't mind if I keep it brief tonight as it's getting late and it is fast approaching my bedtime
Paula x

Friday, 3 June 2011

Sunny Days

Hello again, I'm very pleased to be back with you and am thrilled that it is finally the weekend.  I'll be back on my stall tomorrow which is so exciting.  I love it.
Hasn't today been a gorgeous day.  I haven't seen much of it but it's great to see the sun shining through the windows.
I took these pictures just before I left for work this morning.  The climbing pale pink roses have flourished this year but I think I am going to have to cut them back later on as they are starting to get a bit wild.  The lupins are the best I have had too.  I think it could be because I haven't had time to weed this year so the roots haven't been disturbed.  This is a lesson to everyone to stand and smell the roses rather than do loads of weeding and end up killing all the plants.  Well that's my theory anyway.
The Iris is one we bought on a visit to Gardeners World Live many years ago.  I was attracted to it because it was called Steve.  I couldn't resist it as my husband is called Steve.  It has done really well unlike the little blue plant called Paula which lasted approximately one week before it shrivelled up and died.
I hope you are impressed with the way the words and photos are placed today.  This was definitely good luck and will probably never be replicated again.
Have a lovely weekend.  I can't promise to blog in the next couple of days but will certainly try.
Best Wishes Paula x 

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Summer Bunting

Welcome and a good morning to you all.
I hope that you are well and that the prospect of a beautiful, sunny day fills you with the joys of Spring, or should that be Summer now?  Which ever way I thought I would bring you a very easy pattern for knitted summer bunting which I found on the Knitting Parlour website.  The pictures show the beginnings of mine.  I have been knitting this on and on for a couple of months and intend to hang it round my wool stall.
You will need -
Small amounts of Double Knit yarn in as many colours as you like.
A pair of 4mm knitting needles
A large eyed needle for finishing off.

This project is knitted in plain knit rows i.e., garter stitch.

Instructions -
Cast on 30 stitches and working in garter stitch (every row knit) knit 3 rows.
Knit 2 together at the beginning and end of the next and every following 4th row until 2 stitches remain.
On these last 2 stitches knit 3 rows.  Knit 2 together.
Knit the last stitch twice more.  Cast off.  Sew in the ends.

To string the bunting -
Using 3 or 4 lengths of the yarn held together, thread a large sewing needle.  Using a large running stitch thread the triangles on to the yarn and space evenly.  Alternatively you could sew ribbon or ric-rac across the top of each triangle leaving an even gap in between.
I hope that this pattern has inspired you to have a go.  I think this pretty bunting would look lovely hung round a room for a childrens party or in the garden.  You could even get a group together to all knit them for the church fete etc.  The possibilities are endless.  Let me know where you hang your bunting.
Happy Knitting. Paula x