Saturday, 30 September 2017

Saturday Sewing

I haven't finished the Conservatory/Utility room yet, I am still sore after my trip into London to the hospital on Thursday, but what I did manage to get done the other day means I was able to do some sewing today. 

I cleared this table that had become completely cluttered, pulled it out and washed the windows, frames, sills and floor.

I covered the table with a wipe clean cloth I had that I cut down.

I cleared out the drawers, folded fabric and reorganised a couple of them.

This is just a tiny fraction of fabric that I had that was just waiting to be folded and stored.

A drawer with some useful bits and pieces.

Table reorganised, sewing machines cleaned and put back on them.  I will sew here until such time that I have the Studio back operational.

A few books that are currently out from their usual book shelving.

So back to today!  It was pretty miserable outside so I thought I would do some sewing.

I copied out and cut the pattern pieces, and got the fabric for a pair of boy (doll) knickerbockers.

The still need buckles on the legs, if I can find some, and a button on the waistband.  I am not happy with the stitching on the 'fly' so might undo it and stitch with a colour that blends in more.  I'm not sure they are going to fit the doll that they are intended for and unfortunately I can't try them for size as I don't have the doll in question!  Hopefully they will look better on than they do in this photo. They were rather fiddly to make.

Matched up some fabrics and zips

To make two little zipper pouches/cosmetic or whatever you want to use them for bags.  

Last night I started sewing my hexagon flowers together.

I am just sewing them together randomly, as I grab a new flower each time.

This afternoon I went down the garden to pick the apples before we lose anymore.

They look especially good this year and rather delicious!

Friday, 29 September 2017

The Last Friday in September

A quiet day today after our trip into London yesterday which was pretty horrendous.  We caught the 5.30 train and subsequent tube into London and it was PACKED, standing room early.  Hardly an English speaker to be heard, even in the hospital I didn't see one English person, perhaps I now live in a different country?   Coming home at 8 pm, it was also packed - even more so than earlier, again standing and being crushed room only.  I am sore today!  So glad I no longer have to do a regular trip into London like I did when I was doing my Masters, just over 10 years ago.  I thought it was pretty bad then, but it was nothing like it is now.  It was nice to get back to our little town and wall up the tree lined streets.

I attended a local MacMillan Coffee Fundraising morning today and enjoyed a nice slice of Victoria sponge cake with a cup of tea.

Arrow pointing to the cake I had.

I didn't stay that long as I was a bit too sore to sit around for too long.

A couple of hours later my husband and I went out to the local garden centre for some lunch and then on to Bunnings as we needed to pick up a couple of things.  Needless to say I came home with some plants - they are so cheap in Bunnings compared to the garden centres and they are so healthy as well.

A corner of my bedroom.

A lovely hanging plant.  Not sure where this is going to go yet, but in the meantime it can hang here.

Hope you all have a good weekend.  I plan to finish the conservatory/laundry room tomorrow and then hopefully get a sewing commission started.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Goodbye Sylvester

RIP Sylvester.

Sadly Sylvester died today. It wasn't unexpected as the last few weeks he has been losing rate rapidly due to his kidney disease.  Yesterday he was looking worse but was still eating and drinking.  He died during the night.

He came to live here at Rose Cottage on 23rd December 2014 when he was about 8 weeks old, so wasn't even three years old.  He was young to get such a wasting disease, and it is with great sadness he has gone, especially as he hadn't had his new friend with him for very long, and they were great mates.  Jay (Jeremy) kept him company and would sit right next to him right up until the end. There was no bullying or anything.  

It was quite a sudden onset and he really did go down hill rapidly.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Taking Control.

I am taking back control of my life which has got so out of hand over the last few years for a number of reasons...mainly pain and the 'addiction' of buying for the brief 'buzz' I got that made me briefly forget the pain.  Constant pain can really make a huge impact on ones life, especially if it causes a big loss of something that you were passionate about (i.e. music) and it ends up affecting you not just physically but mentally as well.  It is going to be a long slow process, and I am sure there will be some set backs and days when I feel like giving up all over again, but by documenting my progress, I think and hope it will help me to see I AM actually making progress, or at least that is the aim.

I want to turn my sewing studio back into what it was originally built for - an actual sewing studio! Currently it is impossible to sew in there as if is full of 'stuff', mainly dolls, clothes and  their props I have collected over the last few years for my blog stories and books I have been writing.  But really how many does one actually 'need'?  I am now of the realisation that these have been collected to try and 'prop me up' but are in fact dragging me down.  Every time I go in my studio now, I take one look and turn round and walk out again feeling totally overwhelmed.  

I currently sew in the conservatory/utility room, but that too has become cluttered and I have started clearing and cleaning that today - photos for another post as I think it is going to take me a couple of days or so to finish.  One thing I have learnt with regards the pain is I need to pace myself.

Back to my plans for the studio.

These photos are from 25th November 2011, not long after it was built.

It was a nice bright space to feel inspired you can hardly move in there, so time to take back control.  Plus by doing this I will also be getting ready for when we move.

I am far too embarrassed to post any 'now' photos at the moment and it is not going to take me a day to clear, or even a week, but probably more likely at least a month - so I am going to aim to have it completed by the end of October.  Maybe when I achieve my aim I will post the 'before' photos.  

I am going to reduce my collection of dolls, props, clothes significantly.  After all if I can't enjoy them, what is the point.  I find it hard to let go of things, I think it is partly about control, and partly because due to significant moves in my early childhood, teens, and early adulthood, where I have had to leave things behind, it has made it all the harder to let go.  I have hung on to these things thinking 'when I have a new place, a larger space, etc...' perhaps that isn't going to happen, perhaps it will, but maybe it is better to live in the now.  'Things' can always be replaced to some extent.  

Wish me luck, I am going to need all the encouragement I can get!

Right, tea break had, back to the conservatory...

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Today...Ashridge Estate.

The sun hasn't been shining quite like it did ten years ago today (see my previous post) but it has remained dry today and the sun did come out this afternoon which was good, so we made the most of it and took the dogs for a walk over at Ashridge Estate.

As we forgot our walking boots we tried to stick to the drier tracks and decided to walk down to Aldbury Village through the woods.

Passing fields

In the distance a tractor in the field

Pretty wild flowers growing along the foot path

Into the picturesque 'chocolate box' village of Aldbury.

The pond looks like it could do with a bit of a clear out!

Wandering through the village.

Three delightful thatched cottages.

On the way back...

Afternoon tea! 

Ten Years Ago Today.....

Ten years ago today....

A Sunny Day

When the sky is blue and the sun is shining the day always seems brighter and more cheerful regardless of the temperature. Today is one of those crisp autumn days when the everything looks beautiful. The garden looks bright and green and colourful, the sky is blue and bright. Oh if only I could bottle it for the dark, damp dreary days that are sure to follow.

The day has been made even better, as I had a letter in the post today with a transcript of my results. It is official... I have my Masters in Music Performance and Related Studies, so have even more letters I can add after my name if I so wish. As I said in a previous post it all seems rather pompous, although does open doors. What is even better is I got a distinction for my dissertation so I am absolutely thrilled.

Monday, 25 September 2017

A Day Trip to the Isle of Wight

Bright and early - waiting for the car ferry to take us to the Isle of Wight for the day.

The day looks promising with a blue sky.

The journey over was nice and smooth

It didn't seem to take long and before we knew it we had arrived.

We drove over to Yarmouth as our first stop was the Vintage Car Boot Sale.  

We arrived a bit too early and they were still setting up so we had a wander around Yarmouth 

and a morning cup of tea and coffee...

and sat and watched the birds on the estuary.

I was just a bit too far away to get a really decent shot of them with my little camera.

Soon the 'nice orderly queue' of people were allowed in.

We enjoyed having a wander around

Looking at the various vintage cars

and displays of wares for sale.

I think my husband really liked this car!  He stopped with the dogs to have a look.

Someone else admires it.

Heading back to the car, this delightful pink wedding VW van was parked next to us.

Our next destination was to have a walk around one of the villages we are seriously thinking of settling in or near.

Someone had cleverly made use of an old tree that had perhaps been damaged in a storm and died.

A barn owl was carved at the top...

With a red squirrel half way down.

This village has some lovely thatched houses to admire.

Pretty brooks and streams that were running quite noisily.

More thatched loveliness.

Pretty bungalows.

We walked well past the 10,000 steps alone walking round this lovely village and yet it felt like we had hardly walked at all.  It was so lovely and peaceful (no M25 noise, that in itself is bliss!)  and the people were lovely and friendly.  We enjoyed chatting to a couple of people who live here.  I even met the lovely father of a blogger I have been 'following' for years who moved down there in 2015.  What a co-incidence!  

We bought a cup of tea in the little local shop and went and ate our packed lunch before heading off to the next village we wanted to walk round.

Unfortunately on our way to the next villages, the heavens opened and it started to rain, so the next few villages on 'our list' we drove round.  You don't get quite the same feel for a place when you do this, but it did help us rule out some of the places we thought we might be interested in.

By mid to late afternoon we drove to Freshwater Bay to a lovely cafe The Piano Cafe where we have stopped before to enjoy a nice afternoon tea.

Just look at that appealing little face!

Opposite the Cafe is the lovely little thatched St Agnes Church, built on 1908. We saw it last year, but didn't have the opportunity to go inside, this year we did.  

The inside has some lovely woodwork

Beautiful carvings

Looking back.

The entrance way.

While waiting with the dogs so my husband could have a look inside I spotted a couple of spiders...

and just had to take some photos of course.

Some berries...

Now this inscription has something to do with either Advent or the New Year...I can't quite remember, but I do remember the Vicar at the Church I used to sing in telling us about what it means.  

We had a lovely chat with a lady who lives locally and was about to hold the evening service about the church, the area and what goes on.  It all sounds a promising place to live.

  We were disappointed that it started raining again as we had hoped to take the dogs for a walk along the beach.

Soon though it was time to head back to the Ferry.  

A glimpse of the sun setting through the clouds.

Percy got to meet a lovely Mastiff/Boxer cross on the Ferry crossing on the way really was a case of Little and Large.

Now we have to put a plan in action to make our dream become a reality!