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Tuesday, May 29, 2012


*Warning - loads of photos*

I had a rather large birthday celebration on the weekend & after a delicious breakfast in our garden at home and a bit of present opening, the Prince whisked me into the City for a pampering weekend.

I wish you could smell these - so delicate & rosy.

 Shhh!! Don't tell the aphids but our roses are doing really well this year. They smell glorious!


We love foxes!!

Fantastic book on the lost buildings of London. Lost due to redevelopment or the bombings of WW2.
We had booked in for a 2 hour chocolate massage each & I have to say it was a bit mucky but my skin has never felt better! First we were exfoliated then cleansed, then on with the chocolate moisturising cream, wrapped in a space blanket & towels & left to soak & relax for a while. A cleansing shower then back on the table for a really long massage. Ah bliss!!
However I must tell the story of the words you never want to hear on a massage table. Bear in mind that the Prince & I were in the same room with a therapist each. At the same time as my therapist pulled the towel down & bared my bottom, the Prince's therapist woke him with "Hello".
I made the panic face!! until I realised that the 2 actions were not connected!! When I appraised the Prince of the story we laughed so hard we nearly peed!!!

Being the massive carnivore that I am & being that I am allergic to vegetables (yes really!! believe me it is not fun!!) the Prince booked us into Hawksmoor at Seven Dials for dinner on Friday night. OMG!!! Yummm! Highlights of the meal were a perfectly cooked free range grass fed steak, a scrummy marmalade cocktail, Ed's champagne jelly dessert & the honeycomb from my dessert. The waiter caught on to it being my birthday & they bought my dessert out like this - how cute.

On the Saturday we had a lovely relaxing day, breakfast in the dining room, lolling around the hotel, a bit of swimming in the pool, a soak in the jacuzzi (best jacuzzi ever! very hot) a movie in our room then off to Chinatown for dinner.

Getting into the Jubilee spirit China style.

This is the view of St Paul's from the front of our hotel.
I had a wonderful weekend in the company of My Prince. Thank you Darling.
Doing what I love with my love.

Lush xox

Thursday, May 24, 2012


So I am all over the place today.
The cleaner came by & made with the dyson to get this place in order - gotta love that.
I managed to tame the beast that was the ironing pile. Funny I could iron shirts all day but I HATE ironing pants - weird huh??
With the beautiful sunshine & not so fantastic hot weather I am making great progress with the washing & should be done by later.
I am planning to meet the Prince later for dinner at a great gluten free pizza joint over at Shoreditch.
My Darling Prince is whisking me off to a city hotel tomorrow to celebrate my birthday.

All good things.

Here's my dilemma.

I feel like I need a new outfit for such a grand occasion.
And a manicure.
And a pedicure.
And a new nighty. 
I feel too fat to go clothes shopping. I am, it's OK, I can admit it.
I feel like it is a waste of money to buy new clothes I don't really NEED.
I will only get the washing completed if I stay home :/ I need some of the stuff that's in the washing for the weekend.
Does anyone else have a machine that takes 2 and a half HOURS to wash a load??? Mind boggling!!
I have a cracking headache. Again. & would rather stay home.

I am really feeling the urge to sew. I have a bunch of fabric I would love to chop into & make a new top. I just cannot decide how. I can see flying geese & stars but that's as far as I get. LOL
I really should be doing what is on the "to be done" list first.

And what am I doing?? Lolling on the couch doing a blog entry!! & feeling like a dog chasing it's tail!! When I get this way (which seems to be too often lately) I can end up in a foetal position rocking LOL.

Blah!!!! Off to try to achieve SOMETHING!!!

Not such a great day today but still loving being here better than the alternative & know that this too shall pass. It almost always does.

Lush xox

Oh and a picture of what my brain feels like?? Mmmmmm

Here is  a better picture. My President Quilt made for me by my Committee. Love this quilt & can't wait for it to be out of storage & back on a wall.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Change of plans.

We had intended to go to visit friends in Brighton this weekend but plans changed & we were left with a free day to do with what we chose.

So after we played the "Mmmmm, so what do you wanna do? Um, I dunno, what do you wanna do??" game for a few minutes, we decided that since it was such a lovely sunny day we should take a walk to the Design Museum & then have a river cruise on the Thames.
We were at the London Bridge Station & I took these snaps of the building work going on there. Just a few wee buildings then?? Some people still have money obviously.

I felt like I was on a Star Trek set - very space like

The signs on the planters say "A Blossoming Community" - One wonders what it will blossom into??
We wandered off towards the river. I love the buildings in London, the architecture here can be pretty amazing both old & new. (and yes some can be appalling!!) We wandered through an area that still has an amazingly Dickensian feel. Later on the river cruise, the guide pointed out the actual area where they filmed Oliver Twist in the 60's.

This is a fountain in a swish shopping mall in the city. Felt very Jules Verne/Steampunk. Shame the water was off for the day.
No photos allowed at the Design Museum but for the shoe buffs there are some photos on their website.
Our reactions were very funny, The Prince just did not get it at all, he thought people who buy the original for so much must be peeved that Primark & the like are selling knock off copies for a tenth of the price?? & my response was, so much money for all that pain?? LOL. Mind you I just love shoes!!!

We had a terrific lunch at the Blue Note Cafe. I had a pork terrine followed by chicken breast with kale & mashed potato. Sounds boring but let me tell you I would rather have a chef really nail a classic flavour meal than all your fancy foams etc. & this chef really nailed it! Lovely terrine & chicken with the best gravy. The Prince had the crab salad followed by wild salmon with sorrel sauce, again both a hit. (although there could have been more salad LOL).

After lunch we wandered over the river again to get in line for our cruise. We both noted that even though the economies of several EU countries (ahem Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal) are supposed to be in the toilet, there seems to be loads of tourists from those same countries, roaming around London. Again, some people still have money.

One of my all time fave buildings has to be the Gherkin in London. I just love the faceted window glass. We got to see a different view to the usual of the "Egg" also by the same architect. This is London City Hall. I love the way the building seems to hug the land.  They both remind me of Faberge eggs for some reason??

We also got to see the Tower Bridge being raised to allow ships passage. Pretty cool & very fast.
Then we rode the ferry to Greenwich. Whoo hoo!! Sunshine & a young man giving an old fashioned Carry on style commentary then prompting for tips.
Apparently some other Queen turned up at Greenwich the other week. I made a more subdued entry. LOL. Here is a pic of the ship she opened.

The garden is exploding into a riot of greenery.

This is a "borrowed" plant leaning over from the neighbours yard. Not sure what it is but oh the smell is heavenly - very honey like.

I saw another type on our wanderings yesterday but this one is much deeper blue almost purple.
Massive noxious weed in Australia
Here in Engrand?? We are loving the dainty flowers LOL. It's all relative. Just like the weather. The Prince was laughing at me yesterday for saying that it was a lovely sunny warm day. 14 degrees is warm here.

Loving what I do. Doing what I love. Off to enjoy some more sunshine with a wander around our local park.

Lush xox

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Busy, busy, busy.......

Just not on sewing LOL. I must admit I have not plugged Gretchen back in as I am busy but also cause I don't really want to know that I need a new machine :/

I know, I know, I will never know until I try. At least I have had other things taking my time so I can justify my reluctance. MUST try today though.

How do you know a fashion has crossed the line to a fad??

Ah, Steampunk! How could they have done this to you?? A chain store in Westfield no less??
They have removed all your gritty character & made you glitzy & mainstream!! How dare they!!
We mourn your co-opting, we will never accept this pitiful imitation of your excellence.

I have been busy designing & ordering my little Moo cards to take with me to the Fat Quarterly retreat in June. If you wish to order some of these cards, here is a link you can use to get a 10% discount on your first order & I get a little discount if I place another order.
I used the link from Susan via Helen. Thank you ladies, I have been meaning to get myself some of these for ages & 10% is more money for fabric.

I see that lots of people are involved in swaps for the retreat so I think I will need to take some swap items with me. I am thinking pin cushions or some such?? I will need a name badge too.

Mmmm, better get Gretchen up & running.

Loving what I do.

Lush x

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The postman had a bit of difficulty stuffing the post through the door today. Can I just say, post direct into the house?? Awesome!! No more snail nibbled bills & letters. The little glue freaks!!
And this is why.

Whoo hoo!!! Many thanks again to Lisa over at Little Fish Studios  for the giveaway. I just have to decide now where to start. Maybe a pirate eye patch? Maybe a moustache for the Prince? Or a crown for my birthday?? LOL. I am again kicking myself for leaving most of my stash behind in storage. I will have to replace threads as well as start a felt stash. Oh well off to shop. LOL.

I have booked my ticket for the Fat Quarterly Retreat, now to wonder what to take with me. Must make sure that Gretchen is in tip top form or find a way to get a replacement :/

Still loving what I do.

PS: I now have 4 followers!! Whoo hoo!! Welcome Sue Marie. I really only started this blog for my own record but I must say it is a total bonus meeting people & getting comments.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Lulled into a false sense of security

Don't panic, nothing dangerous. First Lull. It has been a lovely warm, sunny Spring day today but the blue skies are not set to last as rain is predicted until Saturday.

The other half of the grafted fruit tree - we think this could be apples but no idea till it fruits??

The Bramley apple
See all that lovely blue sky, it is just mocking me. I am sure as soon as I put out the washing it will rain. LOL

Look at those potatos grow!! (green stuff at bottom of pic) The Prince is convinced we will have hundreds of potatos. I am wondering where we will store them??

Our herb wall

Broad beans & rosemary
You can just see in the middle of the picture a helicopter, supposedly there for our protection during the Olympics. too soon I say.
2nd Lull. We have been getting helicopters hovering for weeks now. I find that once I hear the noise I can't shut it out! I have been getting into having music playing all day which is helping a little.

Here are some photos of my machine quilting sampler from last Friday. It is a beginning. Now if I could just get Gretchen to cooperate :/
Not bad for a start.

Gretchen's efforts - see my problem?? Grrr!!

My third "lull" today is the boiler. It is steadfastly displaying a temp of 14 to 17 degrees but do you think that translates to actual hot water from the tap?? Not on your Nelly!!! I think it is time for the service call. Again. Actually for the 3rd time.

I am still thinking if I should go to the Fat Quarterly retreat. Anyone else going? Will it be good??
I would love to learn how to do a frame purse & also the zip pouch could come in handy but I am still not sure. Gee it is annoying being shy & all the other things that stop me doing things. Le sigh!

Still doing what I love.
Lush x

PS: Just saw that this is my 50th post!! Whoo hoo!!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

And the Universe provides.

I have undertaken several machine quilting courses over the last decade (4 that I can remember!!) and still consider that I have not "got it". So it was fortunate that when I was at my quilt group the other evening, one of the women received a text advising that 3 people had dropped out of a machine quilting course for the next day. When asked if I would like to fill a spot I was hesitant at first (for several reasons) but decided that if nothing else I would have a nice drive in the country & get to know some of my fellow quilters better.
Off we went to Hertfordshire. Beautiful English countryside just like I have seen on telly! Have I mentioned how much I love this country?? It is truly beautiful. Saw my first thatched cottages "in the wild"!!
Anyhoo I had no real knowledge of the presenter, I had heard of her but could not place her name or her work but that soon changed when I saw her quilts. Have a look at her website Phillipa Naylor
To say I was gobsmacked by her work is a total understatement!!

I was worried that this would be another exercise in machine quilting futility. An expert & talented quilter trying to teach me to have the talent that so clearly comes as second nature to her, however I could not have been further from the truth. I got amazing results from her instructions with the key point I came away with being to SLOW DOWN!! & when you feel you are in a corner & no idea where to go - STOP!! Incredible!!
I have always been told to go hell for leather & just move the fabric faster. Well let me tell you that if you make the machine go at speed & slowly move the fabric you get much more control & better stitches. I am very excited by the prospect of being able to extend my quilting beyond straight lines.

Much thanks to Janice for the invite & doing the driving & especially to Stephanie for letting me use her spare machine when mine was experiencing severe technical difficulties. I have to say if Gretchen does not get it together it could be a fate worse than Ebay for her & I may convert to Bernina!! Another woman had the same machine as me & I was somewhat relieved to hear that she has had similar problems. At least this means it is not user error, cold comfort when you consider the money I have outlaid to get this machine.

On the home front there has been more skip retrieval for garden beds - literally in this case. This is a child size bed 170 cms long by 90 cms wide. Makes a perfect size for the front part of our home, we needed to cobble together a bit of timber for one side & the base but this does not show much & the growing plants will conceal it completely. Gives us another 2 square metres of growing space. We intend to put more greens like kale, chard, peas etc. At present this is just a rhubarb plant but loads more to come soon.

Still loving what I do.

Lush x

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Wow, so excited!!!

Yesterday was a day of emotional ups & downs. Some good, some not so good but I am trying to focus only on the good.
Call me Pollyanna.
I have been reading Lisa at Lil Fish Studios blog for some years now & I love the things she makes. She does a lot of home dying from the plants, bark & even weeds from her property & the forest that surround her. She also makes fantastic items from the timber that falls in the forest. Check her birch bark canoes or her fabulous hand carved spoon!! Not to mention her needle felted scenes - lovely!
And the good here for me?? Lisa recently had a giveaway of the book Heart-Felt Holidays & I WON!!!
Huzzah!! Thank you so much Lisa & Lark publishing. It definitely gave my day a much needed feel good focus.
On the sewing front I have had a long overdue finish. So long I can't even remember what year this was started in??? Only know that the shop that I did the workshop with has moved from the old premises & has been in their new spot for YEARS! LOL
Anyhoo, a finish is a finish. Well the top is finished, it still needs quilting.

The Prince as easel
As to the designer etc, these details have been long lost in the mists of time. This is a bias bound stained glass technique that really with a gun to my head I don't think I could remember how to start.
Those mitred corners were a first for me & they were a cow!! I only realised afterwards how I could have done a bit more tinkering & matched up the corners better & had a more continuous look.
Are they perfect? no! Do I care? no! Done is good.
Will I ever do them again? Maybe. Just not this week.
Now to try to work out how to quilt this. I am not very experienced in the quilting side of things. I was thinking sort of in the ditch & echo around the flowers, then maybe try to follow the shapes in the border. Any suggestions?
Doing what I love & loving the interwebs.

Lush xox