I had my hair cut this afternoon, so it is feeling a little bit draughty - even if I did only have about half an inch cut off! I have had a somewhat lazy day - my usual Wednesday morning soak in the bath with a mug of hot chocolate and my book, then lunch at the garden centre before the hairdressers (macaroni cheese, one of my favourite lunches when I am out)
The temperature has gone up quite a bit today, so I am sure these little points of daffodils in the front garden will be much happier, after the recent freezing temperatures
When I was in the kitchen last night, Malcolm shouted to me to come through to the hall with the camera. Why? Because there was a very, very big spider sitting there looking menacing (I took the photo with flash, so the colours are washed out - the carpet is actually green)
I have been a bit disorganised with the blog this week ....... I still have photos from the weekend to show you! I have started another piece on the embellisher - this time just doing a random, abstract sort of design, using up the bits left from the landscape
Like the landscape, it makes quite a difference to put it in a mount
I usually watch tv in the studio, but for a change at the weekend I listened to some music
This is the fabric I bought last Thursday when Lorraine and I went to Anne's new shop - it shows how much I like it that I bought it despite there being cats on two of the pieces!
Anne popped my purchases into this super carrier bag .....
...... the Christmas tree is made with cute snowman fabric
Over the last few weeks, because of all the fmq that has been going on, I have neglected my Baltimore blocks, so on Sunday I made a start on the prep for the next block
Well, I think that's me all caught up on things!
You will remember that some weeks ago I started making sloe gin, then added Turkish Delight vodka and limoncello. Yesterday afternoon I bottled them using the smart bottles that I got here. First was the vodka - I poured it through a fine nylon sieve, to remove the few lumps of Turkish Delight which hadn't dissolved
Then it was the turn of the limoncello - I have kept the slivers of lemon peel, as they will be good added to other drinks
and lastly the sloe gin ....
Malcolm recently saw a suggestion for using the sloes after making the gin - adding them to port, so that is what I did!
We are sacrificing giving a bottle of each one to Stuart and Alison, so today I added some labels, pretty ribbon and gift tags
Also today, I got organised to ice the cake
The first stage was to heat some of the apricot jam to brush over the cake, which I would normally do in a small saucepan ...... but there was a slight problem as Malcolm was cleaning the cooker
so instead I zapped it in the microwave and soon the cake was glazed with the jam
Oh the joys of rready-rolled icing - open the packet, unroll it, and pop it on the cake
Then it only took another minute to add Lorraine's wonderful marzipan fruits and some ribbon (I don't like marzipan, so I don't cover the cake with it before icing it, and instead add the marzipan fruits for Malcolm!)
Over the last few weeks, Malcolm has been decorating the bathroom, just doing a little bit every afternoon (except for the final coat of emulsion, which I did, as I make a better job of it!). I kept forgetting to take photos along the way .... so here is the reveal
the cactus on the windowsill are actually candles!
I only noticed the plant when I put the photos on the computer - it should be on the side of the bath!
a smart new shower curtain
I forgot to get a piece of red ribbon for the wreath wall hanging, so I have used this gold one instead .... but I have attached it with a tiny gold safety pin so that I can change it
I forgot all about the knitting update yesterday. The scarf is now finished - but I forgot to take a photo of it (I'm not doing very well, am I!!) I am having a break from knitting until after the New Year - instead I am finishing prepping my hexagons. I can't start stitching them until they are all prepped and I can lay out the pattern, so I want to get them done!
ps - the little bits of Turkish Delight from the vodka weren't wasted - we had them with some icecream for pudding last night ..... delicious!!
Hooray, the snow has almost gone, with the promise of much milder weather for the rest of the week. All day there has been a constant drip, drip as the snow melts, with the occasional rumble as another lot slides off the roof. But it did look pretty when we went out for a walk yesterday morning at Harestanes
We were about to leave the car park when a van arrived, a couple got out and unloaded four beautiful dogs - according to the writing on the van they are a sled dog team
We popped into the Old Melrose Tearoom for a cuppa ........
...... and to check out the newly opened farm shop. It didn't look much from the ouside, with a pile of old doors sitting in front of the window
But what a delight when we went in!! The shop is in the old dairy, and they have retained the old white tiles, giving the shop a lovely light, airy look
Considering that it has only been open for a week, the shop was well stocked with all sorts of goodies - a lot of it local. They have plans to stock locally grown vegetables and meat from local farms. Of course we bought something ........ a wedge of local cheese
....... and some fabulous rocky road marshmallows (which was made in Edinburgh, so hadn't travelled too far!)
I was able to capture some wonderful views on the way to the Tearoom
and more on the way home
On Saturday afternoon, when I opened the back doors of the studio, I could here noises from the neighbour's stable next door
The horse was having a good huff and puff and snort - I guess it didn't like being shut in
Another animal photo to finish with - this is one of the neighbour's cats, perched on a fencepost
I mentioned yesterday that there were changes afoot for SSS - well these have happened faster than anticipated! Last weekend, the wonderful Tracy announced that she was no longer able to host SSS, due to work commitments. She planned still to do it for this weekend, then hoped that perhaps someone else might take it over. Well, not only have a super team got together to host SSS, but they have set up a new blog just for it, so today isn't Tracy's last, but the new team's first. You can find the fun here.
This week I have the last of the photos from our visit to Melrose Abbey - these ones were taken in the Abbey Museum
Many, many thanks to Tracy for all her hard work hosting SSS so that we addicts can enjoy shadows from around the world every weekend, and also many thanks to the new team for stepping in to save this wonderful meme!!
It's just as well that Lorraine and I had our day out yesterday, as this was the scene that greeted me this morning
The sky was so leaden and full of snow that the view looked black and white
Despite the heavy snow ......
...... the birds were still busy feeding - you can see snow on the tit's tail
The poor robin was not his usual chirpy self
But these two sparrows looked content to sit in the snow covered bush
The sheep just kept on eating!
Now for some colour! One of the tiny orchids had just started to flower - you can see the much smaller flower on the left, compared to the large flowers of the other one
Because of the weather, I missed this afternoon's patch'n'chat, so, sorry, but there is no Friday cake to drool over! I also didn't manage to take a better photo of the fabric I bought yesterday, as the light was so poor all day.
This is the last of the wallhangings - I know you have seen the tree several times, but this is to show that it is finished!
I spent quite a lot of time this afternoon sorting through a large batch of my many, many photos, putting them into folders and transferring them to my external hard drive for safe keeping. While I was busy, Malcolm pointed out the colour in the sky - I was so lazy I simply lifted the camera and pointed it out of the window!
There are changes afoot for Shadow Shot Sunday - I should be able to tell you in tomorrow's post what is happening, when I will also show you the last of the photos from Melrose Abbey.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, love Anne
....... so this morning I met Lorraine in Jedburgh. I left my car there and she drove the rest of the way. First of all we stopped in Coldstream for a cuppa. The Calico House was the perfect choice, as it is filled with wonderful fabrics and gifts, as well as the very pleasant coffee shop (if you click on the link, we sat at the table in the corner by the window). I had a pot of tea and a scrumptious piece of carrot cake
I would have shown you Lorraine's cheese scone, but I haven't quite got her trained yet about taking photos for the blog and she had taken a bite before I could take a photo! Then it was on to our destination - the Northumberland village of Longframlington. We were going to see our friend Anne D, whom we hadn't seen since we visited her in her new house in the summer. But this time we weren't going to the house, but to her new shop!!!
Yes, her brand new fabulous quilting shop (the 697 refers to the road the shop is on, the A697). Feast your eyes on these delights
After oohing and aahing (and perhaps buying things) we left with promises to return very soon. The last stop of our trip was at the Maelmin Cafe for a late lunch. I had the most wonderful hot beef roll with chips ......
and Lorraine had a panini with brie, apple and something else that I have forgotten (still not trained, she had started eating the first piece of panini before I took the photo!)
So what did I buy? A very cute stitchery pattern ......
...... and the most wonderful bundle of fabric - I'll see if I can get a better photo tomorrow in daylight
I also bought two things from Lorraine - first, some of her wonderful marzipan fruits to decorate the Christmas cake with
and these amazing marzipan penguins, which are for Stuart's girlfriend Alison (she loves penguins and pandas!)
And to finish, today's wallhanging. This is just a small one, about the size of an A4 sheet of paper
I was looking for a piece of red ribbon this afternoon, and found myself singing this song .....
I peeked in to say good-night
And there I heard my child in prayer
"And for me, some scarlet ribbons
Scarlet ribbons for my hair"
All our town was closed and shuttered
All the streets were dark and bare
In our town, no scarlet ribbons
Scarlet ribbons for her hair
Through the night my heart was aching
Just before the dawn was breaking
In our town, no scarlet ribbons
Scarlet ribbons for her hair
I peeked in and on her bed
In gay profusion lying there
Lovely ribbons, scarlet ribbons
Scarlet ribbons for her hair
If I live to be a hundred
I will never know from where
Came those lovely scarlet ribbons
Scarlet ribbons for her hair
But I wasn't looking for ribbon for my hair, but for my Christmas wreath. I finished the quilting and added the binding (which I have still to stitch down on the back) ......
...... although there are one or two bits to fill in
As I couldn't find any red ribbon, I used a bit of gold, just to give you an idea of what it will look like when I add a big red bow
Before all the sewing, we went out for lunch to the Woodside garden centre. They had some Christmas themed sandwiches ...... I had 'Mistletoe', which contained grated cheese, beetroot and ginger chutney and salad leaves
while Malcolm had 'Rudolph' - turkey, cranberry and rocket. The sandwiches were delicious, and the coleslaw was excellent (and as always Malcolm ate my tomato)
I have been playing with my embellisher ......
Does it look better when I put a frame over it?
And here it is with a bit more work done on it - the next stage will be to do some machine embroidery, adding trees and other details to the landscape
When I was coming in from the studio, I noticed this little rose - I don't know why I didn't spot it when I was taking photos of the garden on Sunday. It was several feet above me, and I couldn't quite get it in focus - the camera preferred to focus on the ivy behind the rose
It was awkward taking a photo of today's wallhanging, as it is a narrow part of the hall, so I had to take it from a funny angle!
Lorraine and I have a special day out tomorrow (weather permitting!) ...... two of our most favourite things (shopping and food) will be involved, and we will also be visiting a friend we haven't seen for some time. Come back tomorrow to read all about it!
On Sunday we went to the Waterwheel Cafe for a cuppa, which of course meant we also went to see the owls. They are awkward things - as soon as you get close, they turn their heads right round the other way
Malcolm went round the other side to get them to turn back towards me
Yesterday morning, when I went to Hawick for the usual grocery shopping, I also had some things to do in town, so I left the car in the supermarket car park and walked across the footbridge over the River Teviot. I was hoping to see the heron, but he wasn't there. But there were several gulls like this one......
....... and one lonely duck!
However, when I walked on over to the River Slitrig, I found the heron that patrols that stretch of the river sitting on the bank
Just inches from the heron, this male blackbird was poking happily through the grass
After lunch, I went out for a walk. I didn't have to go far before meeting my first ewe ...... she just stood watching me until I took the photo and walked on
In the field beyond the church were these wonderful ewes with their striking faces
At the start of the year I had to climb over a fence and struggle through bushes to take photos of the Jacob's sheep, but it was a bit easier yesterday with the long lens
I walked on round to the other field where there are sometimes more Jacob's sheep, and found that not only were the Jacobs there, but also this ewe .........
........ the old donkey
...... and a goose!
There are still a lot of apples on the trees in one of the neighbour's orchard ....
The only things that stops me jumping over the low wall to pick some? ........ it is a long way down on the other side!!
To finish, another of the Christmas wallhangings - Santa and Rudolph
One of the casualties of last Thursday's stormy weather was the pole the holds up our satellite dish. Malcolm had a very frustrating time on Friday, trying to get through to Sky to arrange for it to be repaired (it's somewhat annoying to have to speak to a call centre in India to arrange for a man to come from two miles away!!). After enduring menus and queues, finally he was told that it would be fixed on Sunday morning. So that meant he was deprived of his weekly fix of football on Sky Soccer Saturday. He was very glad when the engineer turned up early in Sunday morning
While Malcolm was chatting to the engineer, I had a wander round the garden and was surprised at how much I found to take photos of
the clematis is still flowering
a tiny primrose
snowdrops just peeeping through
a single yellow daisy
the climbing rose is still flowering
As Malcolm wasn't ensconced in front of the tv on Saturday afternoon, I was able to put up the Christmas tree without getting in his way, turning the contents of the boxes ......
........ into this
The gnomes are delighted to have their Christmas cushions on their chairs
After all the bother with jamming thread and breaking needles, I had a rethink yesterday about how I was working. First, I changed the type of needle I was using, abandonning the metallic needle in favour of my favourite jeans needle. Then I fitted the extra spool holder, which is really meant for filling bobbins if you don't want to unthread the machine, or for when you are using the twin needle
Hooray - no more jammed thread. It ran smoothly from the upright spool, and the jeans needle coped fine with the metallic thread ....... there was just one minor irritant - the bobbin thread ran out when all that was left to quilt was the small area at the top where the two pins are!
By the time I had stitched so many spirals, I felt like a cartoon character when their eyes spin round!
The scarf continues to grow
..... I have actually knitted the number of repeats given in the pattern, but I will just keep knitting until I have used up the rest of the yarn
When I decorate the house for Christmas, I put the wallhangings on the hall doors - rather than fill up today's post with all the photos, I thought I would show you one each day
I went for a walk after lunch today and took lots of animal and bird photos, to add to others that I took yesterday and this morning. Here is a little taste - do come back tomorrow to see the rest!