Saturday, May 31, 2008

A trip to Ikea to buy new things for the new room...

You know what that means don't you?... Ikea trip = fun (but frustrating) shopping! I say frustrating..but actually it was the least stressful, most expensive, smooth sailing trip to Ikea in my life! (never to be repeated, I'm sure) We turned up at our local Ikea (Coventry) at opening time yesterday (Friday morning) and I can tell you there wasn't a soul to be found. We were able to peruse the mock living rooms without stress, easily find staff to make enquires and get through checkout, collection and home delivery sections without waiting! So I bet you'd like to see some pictures...

Here's us with our 3 carts full...notice the sofa on the trolley!

Here's us with the 3 carts..including the sofa in a giant elevator...notice we had the elevator to ourselves!

And now some sneak peeks of the fabrics and accessories you'll see in the new room.





What do you think?



Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Black Country Living Museum

Ok, so we haven't spent the entire time painting..On Tuesday, in the drizzly rain and cold, we took the kids to the Black Country Living Museum. Set in heart of the Black Country near Dudley Castle, the BCLM will transport you back in time..to a time before technology and indoor plumbing!

It's a Victorian town with all the authentic shops of the time...a sweets shop where you can buy the old candy of the time..pear drops, humbugs and herbal tablets, just to name a few. There is a bakery where you can buy all sorts of yummy cakes or perhaps save yourself for the fish and chip shop where the food is cooked in beef drippings...Yum..bad for your heart, but the best fish and chips I can ever remember tasting.

Everyone is dressed in the clothes of the time and are very knowledgeable. It was a real eye opener to my youngest as she inquired about the dead rabbits in the general store...and found out that rabbits were for eating and not to be kept as pets.
Fortunately no one was around to explain the fate of these little cuties.



We attending a class at the old Victorian school where my eldest was scolded for wearing nail vanish and my youngest has never sat so still for fear of getting the cane! She declared upon leaving the school that she never wanted to go back to that school...EVER! LOL

We also had to opportunity to watch a Charlie Chaplin film in the old 1930's cinema...so different from the block busters of today! I was amazed at the simplicity of the filming and DD1 commented as we leaving that it was full of continuity errors...no fooling today's youth! It was also in the cinema that my favourite quote of the day came from my youngest. As the film started she leaned over and said, "Mummy, I don't think there is any colour in this one!" LOL

As we walked through the different shops and homes, I was on the lookout for anything related to patchwork...it's just a thing I do..I do it when watching movies too ;o)



The Street Bunting



The only bed we saw was in the Toll House. As one lady explained the houses just couldn't take the volume of people going up and down the stairs of these old building as as a result their aren't any bedrooms to see...and therefore not many quilts.



I did see this patchwork pillow in the Chainmaker's House where the lady of the house told it like it was in storybook fashion. Aunt Bessie is a lady not to be messed with and I'm sure would sort any wayward child straight!!

We thoroughly enjoyed our day out..even while we sipped our bitter shandys from the Bottle & Glass Inn in the cold rain!


Now for something a little different... I wanted to share this link to age your photos...the webpage isn't in English, but it's pretty self explanatory as to what buttons to push to get the desired results.

Have a look at this...



Looks pretty good eh?

TTFN



We're painting!

It's been awhile since I posted an update on the extension...because we've been busy painting! My DH decided to take the week off (it's half-term this week) and either go camping or go DIYing. As the weather has been nothing short of miserable, we decided DIYing was the smarter choice. The initial painting was white to seal the plaster and paint the ceiling and then yesterday afternoon we opened the can of colour...



Both the DH and the kids looked at me a bit funny as to them it just looked like a can of cream paint...but I have a vision of the finished room and this apple white is part of a bigger picture.



Here's the paint on the walls...the camera washes it out, but you'll just have to trust me that this is going to be fab!

TTFN



Friday, May 23, 2008

Two colours and some cookies...

Just a really quick post to share with you the fabrics I'm planning on using in Nicole's 2-colour quilt challenge. Like Nicole, I'm going to use red..but my second colour will be cream. I'm hoping the combination will be luxurious and rich feeling as oppose to really fresh, which I think I would get if I used white. I plan to use a very traditional pattern ..Irish Chain with the reds being the chain. I'm also planning to machine quilt part of it and hand quilt in the open spaces. I can't wait to start slicing into the fabric and with half-term being next week I might just get the chance.

Apart from playing with fabrics, and emerging from the dust from the extension, I just had to try THIS recipe that ChookyBlue recommended on her blog earlier this week. She's a bad influence...but I love trying all these new recipes.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Scones

The last time I tried to make scones they turned out like little pancakes!! Chookyblue posted about her scone making here and it inspired me to have another go...Thanks to Chookyblue and Quilting Bebbs advice I had success when I made them yesterday!!

Yummy!



Friday, May 16, 2008

The Extension update!

It's all hands on deck today...just a few feet away the electrician is wiring the lights, the skirting boards are being fitted and the plaster is almost dry. One thing I've had to do is empty my fabric cupboard (as seen here) so they can lay the pipes for the heating. Doesn't look too bad all piled up on the floor... ;o)

How to straighten your fabric ready for pressing tutorial

I'm a pre-washer, which means that I wash all my fabrics before I cut into them. One of the things that you have to do if you are a pre-washer is to straighten the fabric out ready for pressing and I thought I would share how I do that. (Disclaimer...I know that in some schools of thought one should stretch it on the bias to make it straight again...I suspect that may be more important for clothing sewing, but I find for quilting this method works for me and it was how I was taught when I first started quilting in 1994)

First you take your piece of fabric and you hold it out in front of yourself lining up the 2 selvedge edges. See how the bottom edge is rumpled and not straight.



Now slide the top layer of the selvedge left or right until the bottom edge fabric is no longer crumple and is straight.



Keeping hold of your fabric lay it across the ironing board and press making sure the selvedges are lined up the the fold is flat.



Now slide the fabric back and press up to the top edge. See how the edges aren't even..although it was cut straight at the shop.



By using this method of straightening before pressing you will ensure that the edges and your fold are straight ready for the cutting board.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A fabulous Day with Jennie Rayment...

Yesterday, Rocheberie Schoolhouse Quilters were host to speaker and teacher Jennie Rayment. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun both the DD1 and I had. Jennie is in a class of her own! Our workshop of Twiddling and Fiddling with fabric started promptly at 10:30. Jennie had provided us with kits with all the appropriated cut pieces to fiddle and twiddle 2 different blocks. As the DD1 wanted to have a go at improving her stitching skills I suggested we share the task and that she would do the sewing and I would be her support.

Here is the first block we did.



Looks complicated doesn't it?, but Jennie made it so simple with her step by step instructions. Apart from the borders which I helped hand sew for speed, the DD1 completed this on her own.

As the DD1 finished the sewing on the first block, I made a start on the second block. It's not quite finished, but the DD1 plans to stitch down the folded bits.



I have to say that if you are ever able to hear Jennie speak or teach you won't be disappointed. She is a true entertainer, keeping her audience in "stitches". I found this article on the net which sums her style up perfectly...as you can see she's NOT your average quilter ;o)

TTFN

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's a patio...no, it's a box...no it's a ROOM!

How absolutely amazing that just 2 weeks ago the builders were breaking ground...and now look, it's got doors and a window and it's really feeling like a proper room! Tomorrow the electrician will be here and not long after the plasters will be here and soon it will be done!


Also today, I got a lovely surprise in the post. Andrea from the Welsh Quilter sent me a little care package to say she was thinking of me. Isn't that just the prettiest card and the mug, coaster and little tray will go perfectly in the new room. :o) The fabrics are so cheery and I'm sure just the right project will come along for those. Thanks again Andrea!!



Friday, May 02, 2008

Yellow...

Angela over at Cottage Magpie has challenged us to photograph things that are yellow around our house. As we are having renovations...there are a few obvious choices ;o)

If you want to play along you've got til May 4th. Details are HERE.




Thursday, May 01, 2008

Day 9 of the Build update...

Here's the latest pictures for my faithful readers and for my Mom who has yet to see the developments. (Hi Mom!)


This is the from the inside looking out at the new space.





And this is the view from the top of the garden looking back at the house