Thursday, August 13, 2009

Something for all you Amy Butler fans

This is a very quick post on my husband's laptop whilst away on holiday in not so sunny Sark (anyone elsewhere in the UK with some sunshine please send a little bit of to the Channel Islands)

Any of you out there who are Amy Butler fans and who can get to Hereford next Monday might be interested in the following link

These are the details from the mailing list email I have just received

Come & Meet Amy Butler at our all new Dress & Furnishing fabrics store!
We're excited to announce that on Monday 17th August 2009, renowned American textile designer & author Amy Butler is coming to open our all new Dress & Furnishing fabrics store at 3 Capuchin Yard, Church Street, Hereford HR1 2LN and we'd love to see you there.
Admission is free & Amy will be available from 11.30am for book-signing and Q&A sessions, so come and see us & enjoy a truly memorable day out in Hereford!
Special Amy Butler Exclusive Online Discount Code
To celebrate Amy Butler coming to open our all new store in Hereford, we've setup an exclusive online voucher code for you to redeem off any Amy Butler fabrics you purchase at from our Amy Butler fabrics section here during August!
To qualify, simply purchase any combination of Amy Butler fabrics from our Amy Butler fabrics section and enter voucher code AMY10 at checkout for a full 10% off your Amy Butler fabrics order! (Offer expires 11.59pm 31/08/2009)
Click Here to Visit Amy Butler at & SAVE!
New Voucher Code: Save big on bulk-buys and supplies!
Whether you're after a new workbox, lamp, thread-box, treasure-chest or simply want to stock up on waddings, basics or a selection of our value-for-money fabrics, is committed to helping you pay less for the things you need. Use coupon code TENOFF at checkout for 10% off your order of £100 or more. (expires 31st August 2009 at 23.59).
Click Here to Visit & SAVE!
Dont' forget to enter your voucher code in the box provided at checkout, or your discount won't be applied.
For any help with this promotions, or to contact us about coming to see Amy Butler on Monday 17th August, give us a call on 01432 267542 or send us an email, full contact details are here.

Not sure if any of the links on the cut and paste i tem I've added above will work but check out Doughty's website for details if you're interested

Not such an Amy Butler fan myself but thought someone out there might be

Keep stitching and smiling :o)))

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The vines are tacked................

................ and ready to hand stitch down - that should keep me out of mischief for an hour or three

Then there'll be a forest of leaves and berries to complete the job

Just ignore the tails of green bias tubing peeping out from under their neighbours - I shall trim those to size once I'm stitching in the vicinity - I've learned from bitter experience how much tacked things can shuffle once a big piece of work is being tugged about and the last thing I want is for them to be just too short anywhere. A big thank you to Libby for giving me the initial inspiration for this quilt - I'm so please with how it's turning out
The batik jewel box is slowly growing too - but has been on hold for the last day or two while I've tacked all those vines

Himself is still plodding on with the back garden - the cement mixer he bought at the beginning of the job has been worth every penny.

Now that the sun has come out at last the butterflies, who have been in very short supply up to now this year, are visiting the garden in abundance and loving the white buddleia we have in the corner - the bees love it too.

My beautifully scented David Austin old english roses are having a second lease of life

This one is called Shropshire Lad - very appropriate as Himself is one of those too having been born in the Shropshire county town of Shrewsbury.

This clematis has decided to come out to play too - it's a gorgeous one with a big blowsy centre but I can't for the life of me remember which one it is - and the label has long since blown away.
Clematis are my very favourite type of plants - at the last count I think we have seventeen different varieties around the place. You can never have too many clematis I always say.
The pumpkins continue to flower in abundance - the flowers are short lived but oh so magnificent. I'm not sure who's the most excited with them - Louise who is their 'mummy' or me because we've never grown them before and they continue to delight us each day

This little fella has got to about 3" across - I just hope it will have just the right quantities of rain and shine to still be growing along when we return from our trip.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The world of work

Some time ago Sarah decided she'd really like to have a career as a physiotherapist

Then once someone told her how difficult it was to find a job in that profession she sort of moved her ideas sideways and considered chiropractics for a while

However probably last autumn she had a long chat with one of the other rugby mums who is a senior nursing manager and as a result she realised that physiotherapy is what she really wants to do - the variety of career options is far wider

So the university visits we've done so far have all been for physiotherapy courses

The competition for a place on any physio course in the UK is extremely high and one of the plus factors on any students application is a spell of work experience within a physiotherapy environment. Such spells are as rare to obtain access to as hens teeth

However with some application and persistance Sarah managed to get a two day placement for yesterday and today at our local hospital

It has given her a first hand insight into the varied working environment of a physiotherapist - from orthopaedics and joint replacements to stroke rehabilitation, and geriatrics to respiratory management

Whilst she already realised it, one of the people she shadowed yesterday told her it's amazing how many girls come on work experience thinking a physio's whole job is to run on the pitch to tend to the limbs of burly rugby players
The situations that she's witnessed over these two days haven't put her off one bit - not even the old chap having incontinence pants put on so he could be helped out of bed to go for a spin in a wheel chair - she wasn't actually at the action end but she did say the smell took a bit of getting used to
She's finished the two days absolutely buzzing - another tick in the box for her application

Just another year's hard work at college and she'll hopefully be successful in her endeavour to train to do a job that she says she can see herself doing for her entire working life.

I guess there can't be that many 17yr olds so sure about their view of their own future.

As for the world of work, her younger brother Nick has had a rude awakening to just how much effort you have to put in to earn a few pounds

At 13 and three quarters he's really not old enough for a part-time Saturday job yet

However he has had his name on the list for a paper-round for a good while

Although there's not yet an opening for a permanent round, this week he's had the chance to cover for someone else's round while they're on holiday

This means delivering almost 200 copies of the local free newspaper to some of our neighbouring streets along with any leaflets the newspaper company is also paid to distribute

The delivery of the papers wasn't a problem - he's young and strong

However, for my less than practical son, the origami involved in sorting and collating all the leaflets was a somewhat more onerous and time consuming task - thank goodness for my conservatory floor!

He'll probably yield about £8 or £9 for this work depending on how many leaflets there were - he reckons it's slave labour

I reminded him that his sister at 14 and a half was working as a swim assistant at the local pool in the water helping teach the primary school aged children to swim for less than £4 per hour, and that there are people much younger than him in this world who work for far less and don't get the chance to get a good education

If he wants to earn money - that's what the situation is

Mind you he did look like he'd spent a while at the coal face once he'd accidentally smeared all that newsprint onto his face before he set off on his deliveries!

His little sister was bored this afternoon - so a mistakenly bought roll of shortcrust pastry (I only usually buy pre-made puff pastry) was turned into a tray of jam tarts and a treacle tart.

That kept her attention for the princely spell of about 20 minutes!

I've been busy too

As I shall have no access to my sewing machine for a couple of weeks soon I've dug out the batik baskets quilt and added the final borders

A basket full of bias strips ready to turn into bias tubing

Then I spent yesterday evening and this morning tacking on the vines ready to take away with me for a little hand stitching to keep me occupied in quiet moments

I'm half way round with the tacking - only another two sides of the quilt to prepare.................

Monday, August 03, 2009

How time flies..................

.................... when you're busy
What a long time since I posted - I can't believe it's two and a half weeks without the excuse of a 'going away' type holiday.

Never mind - let's make up for lost time then.
The big girl has had a birthday - she's now 17 and legally old enough to drive.
That should keep you off the Somerset roads for a start.

She had a small bunch of friends sleeping here for her birthday weekend - lots of caterpillars sleeping in the conservatory
- followed by some canoeing

- Where's that beach? - again - the college friend at the front plays football not rugby and hasn't grasped the concept quite yet.
In and amongst this I've broken up from school for the summer break - hurray!

Louise has been growing pumpkins - with great success, I guess plenty of rain and reasonably mild temperatures have been helping everything to grow.

Himself has been very busy indeed, in and amongst the rain, laying more of my beautiful patchwork patio

He's onto the bottom level after completing all the brick edging around the top one - he got this whole bottom layer put down this last weekend - so progress is speeding along.

The strange gaps in the front of the step are the housing for soft inbuilt lights that we'll be able to switch on as and when we need them as I just know if either my father or his mother (both of whom can trip over a single hair in the most spectacular fashion) are here in the twilight they're bound to miss the step and break something vital like a hip or whatever.

The canoe storage area will eventually be hidden by a very smart fence/gate arrangement to allow ease of access combined with camouflage - I'm also toying with repainting the shed in a lighter colour - but still trying to get that one past the Management Committee!
He's now working out the logistics of cutting the paving slabs to accommodate those less than attractive but unfortunately necessary drain/rodding access covers - Good Luck with that one then dear!

We've had a bit of a run of luck finding some new planters in the sales at ridiculously low prices

Some tall (and not so tall) square ones (with a round friend) at a fifth of their original price

And some nice blue ones at just under half price - I do love a bargain! - once the paving is finished I shall place them strategically round the garden filled with all sorts of things to add colour and interest

We also spent Saturday morning, in the rain (again), having a good shuffle round of plants in the borders - the smaller ones from the back were moved to the front (the border was much shallower before we decided on the paving dimensions) and some other plants added to help fill it all up

Recently we visited some friends of ours in Surrey who have this beautiful cottage garden bursting with flowers and great things to eat

Their overflowing borders and beds are the sort of look I'm aiming for around the edge of the paving - eventually!

You'll also, no doubt, be pleased to note that the earlier argument with the gas main has had no long term ill effects on the plants in the front garden.

Here's a shy little clematis hiding behind its big bully neighbouring buddleia happily flowering despite only being planted a few weeks ago.

Finally although I've been lurking rather than posting around blogland I've not been idle

The plaid top only needs the final row down the right hand side (blocks already completed and awaiting assembly) - and then it's decision time for the borders

Never happy with one project on the go I was tempted to start the next

Remember - I did say I hadn't got the Jewel Box pattern out of my system

Here we are, six blocks assembled and stitched together

I have five more almost done - I decided to scale the blocks down slightly on this one - they're 3" HSTs rather than the 4" ones from the previous scrappy version

I wasn't sure about the colour of the mushroom batik that I'm using for the background - it seemed a little dead when I first cut into it - but as the quilt grows the combination of the lifeless background and the bright batiks works ok - it's growing on me the more I put together

We have a trip to Sark in the Channel Islands planned quite soon - it is a magical place of such peace and tranquility that it always puts me in mind of what 'Heaven with the door closed' must sound like.

I'd rather like to get the borders on my Batik Baskets so I can hand applique a good amount of the vines around the outer border while we're there - that may well be today's job.

Overall a busy couple of weeks - and it's so nice both to be back here with you, and also to welcome Mrs M from The Magpie Files fame back into Blogland with her new blog .....the sight of morning...

If you're not familiar with her old blog check her out she usually brings a smile to my face each morning and always makes me think.

Right - must dash - I'm away to stitch again.....................