Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Some things always fit

I was reading Lois R.'s blog - Thoughts of Home Quilting about how she is repainting here new house to make it her new home and it made me think of this quilt. I bought this little quilt at an auction during the American Quilt Study Seminar around 1997. (The label says it was made by Janet Aronsen, date.) I've moved 4 times since I've bought this little wallhanging and it is always one of the first things I hang. Isn't it odd that one of the quilts I've made doesn't hit the wall first? I've hung 5 small quilts and none of them are ones I've made! My own are sitting in a pile on top of the dresser in the guest bedroom waiting until I find a spot for them! I think if it hadn't been so cold the last couple of weeks I wouldn't have any of my own work out - fortunately the quilts on the bed are my own work or I wouldn't look like I did anything but buy fabric! (something my DH has long suspected!)

Today I am off to a small Christmas market in town and to pick up my medical records so I can go to another doctor next week. Sometimes MS feels like a full time job!

I've mentioned the red berries a couple of times in my blogs. I'm not sure what kind of bush/tree they are but now that the foliage is dropping the berries light up the hedgerows. They are beautiful! My neighbors are amused at how I carry my camera with me all the time and take pictures of odd things like hedgerows, phonebooths, sheep, horses, and, someday, a pheasant (so far they have been too quick for meand all I have is more hedgerow shots of where a pheasant used to be!)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One more picture of London...I liked the flowers and how Mary Poppins looking the rows of houses were on this street. Our hotel is the building on the left.

It just really hit me today...this week it will be December and there is less tahn a month before Christmas! It sort of slipped in there on me....I put out one little Santa that Brownie immediately attached. I now have one little broken Santa! Guess I need to go out to the garage and dig out the Christmas boxes!

I packed the gifts I had already picked up today. I'm going back to the states for one week in December so I get to deliver them in person! I still need to find something for my policeman brother - he isn't easy to buy for.

The quilting group is coming along well with their tablerunners. It looks like they will get at far as getting them quilted before I leave for the states. They should have them for the holidays. In January we are starting a sampler quilt. I showed them the Christmas one I made a few years ago (and that Bonnie quilted for me!) They really liked it. I will have to change a few of the blocks (no need for a Santa unless they want a Christmas one too!) Gettting it all organized is a bit of a challenge for me but I will make myself sit down and just do it!

Today we drove to the medium-size U.S. base so I could see a Doctor about getting my U.S. medicine again. Formularies (spelling) are different for some of my meds here and DH and I decided we'd rather not mess with what seems to be working pretty well. Besides it is a beutiful ride through some gorgeous Cotswold villages like Chipping Norton and Stow on wold. The little roads and driving on the other side of the road don't freak me out as much anymore so I can enjoy the sheep, stone walls, and bright red berries. Stopped for luch in Deddington...DH was in hurry so I didn't get to investigate the really interesting looking antique shops (this is a reoccurring theme - my not getting into the fun antique places...I've got to work on that!)

I was told of a fun woolen mill that still operates near here...DH is soooo not coming with me on that trip!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

back from London

London remains one of my favorite cities. Museums, shows, window shopping, and people watching were our main activities this past week.

We took the bus up which took just over two hours. It dropped us at Victoria Station and we took the underground/subway to Paddington Station (yes, like the bear!) Maybe it is because I grew up outside Boston and taking the subway was associated with going into the city for special occasions like looking at Christmas lights, school shopping trips, or seeing the tall ships enter the harbor, but I love trains, trolleys, or subways!

We usually stay in Kennsington but this time we decided to try a different part of the city. In the end I like them equally well. Kennsington is a bit prettier and closer to the museums but Paddington had more breakfast places and seemed to be closer to the theatre district.

Anyway, the first night we just walked around the area and went to a Lebonese restaurant. The food was excellant! We got up early on Thursday, had the big British breakfast - eggs, toast, bacon, beans, hashbrowns, fried tomatoes, coffee, and juice! We got an all day pass for the tube and our first stop was Knightbridge to wander through Harrods. The windows were a mixture of James Bond and Christmas! A bit different! (I wouldn't mind finding him under the misletoe though!) I picked up some things in their food area to bring home to Mom - tea, turkish delights, fruitcake and christmas coffee. Then we headed to Leicester Square to get some theatre tickets. This is where DH can drive me crazy - we wandered around for at least 45 minutes while he checked out dozens of discount ticket places. In the end we got tickets to see Guys and Dolls with Patrick Swayze (He was really good!) We grabbed a pint at the Sherlock Holmes Pub (that is me in the photo!) Then we window shopped...a lot! We went down Regent Street and I visited Liberty of London...a great building and the stationary department on the first floor is gorgeous! I ended up buying some christmas ornaments and some pens as presents. Even the deep purple bag is beautiful! We took the tube to Bond Street and wandered through there as well. It is a great place to people watch!

That night we ate curry at a restraurant near the Piccadilly Theatre. To think a few years ago I thought I didn't like Indian food - now I eat it all the time! The show was excellant. Swayze can still move and surpisingly can sing well...just never thought of him as a singer! He still smiles like a little boy and even from the balconey you think he is looking right at you. He is as good or better on stage as he is on screen.

On Friday we ventured out of the hotel for breakfast then headed up to the discount places for tickets again. This time the lines were really long at most of the booths. I was happy though since we got good tickets for my first choice - A Voyage Round My Father, starring Derek Jacobi (I Claudius, Cadfael.) I had not heard of the play before but it had great reviews and of course it had Derek Jacobi one of my favorite actors! It was a bit cold and threatening to rain so we headed over to The Sherlock Holmes Museum. OK, so it is very touristy and a bit wierd how much I love Sherlock Holmes but we all have some wierd spot somewhere! The photo on the right is me sitting in Sherlock's chair with the tour guide dressed as Dr. Watson. It is actually a cute little museum though it did only take about 20 minutes to get through.

We then headed over to the National Museum, which can neither be called cute nor little! What an amazing place. In two hours we only got through a couple of exhibits - the Egyptian and the Greek. Both are amazing. There are dozens of Mummies with all that goes with them on display. I'm a big fan of the Amelia Peabody mystery series and going through this reminded me of her books!

The exhibits of mosaic tiles were fascinating....this one reminded me so much of a quilt! Flying geese can be found everywhere! At this point I was starting to wear out...big time. I crawled back to the hotel and got a nap before dinner and the show. My eyes were starting to act up - I couldn't see very well in the dark and the actors on stage all had funny halos around them - but even with the eye problem the show was wonderful! ( Funny that it was about a man who had lost his sight!) I love Derek Jacobi's voice and to be fair the other actors held their own. The story reminded me a bit of my own family. The main character was blind but no one ever talked about it! He loved his son and daughter-in-law but never talked about it. In the end the son became very much like his father.

Saturday I was pretty much worn out. I wanted to go to one of the antique markets but thought better of it and will do it on the next trip!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

We are off to London for the holiday. This is our first real trip since moving over here and I am really looking forward to it! The other night DH and I were going through the travel guide and planning what we would do each day. He mentioned Harrod's and I said, " we need to do that when we get there on Wednesday so we don't get caught up in the Thanksgiving crowd on Friday..." There was a long silence. I started talking about the shows at the West End hoping he would not notice what a silly statement I had made...they don't have Thanksgiving so there is no "out of the gate" shopping day for Christmas like in the states! No such luck..."we could just go to Harrod's on Thursday and beat the rush all-together," he said smuggly. Uhgggg.

The photo is of the shelf in my kitchen. The little quilt was made by Angie (my Georgia guild.) The pottery is Irish.

I tried to think of what I was happy for this year...
1. My stepsons are all settled and doing well.
2. My mom is 88 years old and still living at home. She has been much healthier this year.
3. We are in an interesting country and have the next couple of years to explore!
4. DH has a slightly less demanding job - no more calls in the middle of the night and he can actually stay home a day if I get sick.
5. Pets have made the transition really well - Brownie is growing back all her hair and Macbeth spends hours in the back yard.

So Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A finish!!!

I can't believe it....I actually finished the tablerunner in time to hand it in for the auction! This hardly ever happens. I was using a new thread in my machine so went back to a brand I used to use (the color wasn't my first choice) and there we were - the machine worked fine. How fickle! Now I have three spools of quilting thread in a color I love that I can't use! Some bargain those were...

So now I can concentrate on other things -like getting the alien baby quilt quilted for my niece! I don't do a lot of machine quilting sor these are a bit of an adventure for me. For things like tablerunneres and babyquilts I think machine quilting makes a lot of sense.

We did go out the visit Winchcombe on Saturday. It was sunny but the wind cut right through you so we didn't stay out too long! It is a beautiful little town though. We stopped at the Farmer's market which they hold every-other Saturday. I bought some preserves to bring home to Mom, some organic cheese made by a local farm, bread, and a bag of root vegetable to use making soup.

Sunday we went to a local American groups Thanksgiving celebration. DH and I got our fill of turkey, mashed potatoe and pie so if we don't find any while we are in London this week we'll be OK! DH was very upset when he got to the dessert table and all the pecan pie was gone though so I may have to make one tonight to make it up to him. For a man who claims not to eat sweets or desserts he sure can put away his red licorice and pecan pie...occasionally a brownie and a biscotti...chocolate chip cookies and bannana bread - but he doesn't eat desserts!

I've been collecting images that I would like to use making a quilt while I am living in the cotswolds...thinks like this carving around a door in Winchcombe. I haven't worked out how I want to do the quilt yet - Baltimore Album style, photo transfer with piecing, pen and many choices! I may start with some small journal quilts like the ones I saw displayed at Lowell. That way I can change my technique on each piece if I like until one really grabs me!

Things I would like to include:
1. black faced sheep under an apple tree
2. pear tree with cats
3. black and white thatched cottage
4. roses...lots of roses
5. white cow with the curley "bangs" (don't know what kind she is but they graze in the field between us and the pub!)
6. hillsides
7. bushes with lots of berries
8. roman style statues and the roman floor mosaic of a rabbit

That is it for now...though I know I have a few more....always time to add on to any list!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sunny Day

Today I was going to work on a tablerunner that I want to donate for a charity silient auction tomorrow but the sun is shining and I really want to get outside! The last couple of days have been cold, wet, and windy. I'm learning that when the sun shines here you need to quickly take advantage of it!

Also my machine is acting up. Not that I am the greatest at machine quilting - still like to do that part by hand or by mail! But I can't get the tension to stay correct. I run a test piece through and get it just the way I want it. I work on the tablerunner and after about 60 inches of quilting you can feel the little nubs from the underside thread. I may end up making bannana bread tossing it in a basket and giving them that instead (lots of single folks at this dinner so I'm told baked goods always sell well!)

The block in the photo is from the Totally Insane Quilt...block one. I haven't squared it off yet but it isn't as wonky as the photo looks! Anyway, this is one of the quilts on the list of "I have the fabric but haven't started" so I made one to see just how small those pieces were going to be! I am missing a lot of my reproduction fabric so need to rummage through a few more boxes in the garage before I can go too far with this project.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Small thing to be happy about

Blogger finally is letting me post photos again! On the left are some cards of vintage buttons that were also in the package from my sister. I bought them at the Lowell quilt festival this summer. The blue ones are so cool I am thinking of just framing the card!

Well I am getting around a bit better today - somthing to be thankful for! DH is still worried though so he took the morning off from work to drive to the doctor with me and to help with the grocery shopping. I can't beleive what I found a the store - Hershey's Mint Chocolate Chips!!! Big jump-up-and-down (if I could!) happy!

One of my favorite cookies at Christmastime is a Chocolate Mint Snowtop and you need a bag of the mint chocolat chips to make them. I know on some web sites they tell you that you can use regular chips and just use more mint extract - so not the same. (my first clue should have been that I was on the Nestle web site not the Hershey one!!!) We listened to Christmas music all the way home - amazing since DH can usually only take a few minutes of it!

My first year in Georgia I bought a bag of the chips around Thanksgiving. A couple of weeks later I went back to our grocery store - no mint chips! They only distribute them around the holidays and the manager told me they were out. He was nice enough to call a few other stores for me and I ended up drive to the next state (OK only about 12 miles...but next state sounds soooo much more impressive...) Since he had been so nice the next week I dropped of a tin with some of the cookies in it for him at his store! The next year I was walking though the store around Halloween and I hear, "hey lady...excuse me miss...miss mint cookies from Boston..." It was the store manager racing down the aisle towards me. They were in. We went out back and there was the case - unopened. I snagged 4 bags! He, and three ladies from the meat department, also bought some with the promise I would drop the recipe by that week.

So here is the recipe that I got from my sister who got it from my cousin at a family Christmas party. They are good the first day, but better the second or third. If you store a piece of bread in the container with them they will stay nice and soft. Do not store them with other cookies unless you want the other cookies to also smell like mint!

Chocolate Mint Snowtops

1-1/2 cup cups flour
1 10-oz package mint chocolate chips
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. butter
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
confectionery sugar

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Over hot water, melt 1 cup of mint morsels. Stir until smooth. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add melted mint morsels and vanilla. Beat in eggs, then gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in remaining mint morsels. Wrap with plastic wrap and refridgerate until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 dgrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in confectionary sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A brief moment of whining...

There was a book or short story I read at university that started with the line, "Being told that a werewolf will howl under your window on the first full moon doesn't prepare you for when it actually happens." (sorry don't remember the author or book title...just the first line!)

Yesterday I had a full blown, bonafide, MS episode. I got to the bottom of the stair and felt dizzy and weak so I sat down on the stairs. When I tried to get up I just couldn't. I pictured myself sitting there for the next three hours until my DH got home and got very depressed. Fortunately my right leg got some feeling back and I was able to drag myself up and into the living room to plant myself on the couch only to be attacked by the "pins and needles" (no not the ones I leave around from quilting...the ones you get when your leg or arm go to sleep...)

Long story short - this morning I feel like I ran a marathon yesterday. Leg muscles are randomly cramping up, fatigue makes word choice a chore, and there isn't enough coffee in the country to keep my eyes open for more than a few minutes. I really, really hate being sick. Multiple Sclerosis really stinks (realize I just typed the PG version of what I'm screaming...) Alright, enough whining for now. My apologies.

On the lighter side....I got another box from my sister yesterday with things I left behind this summer. The scottie towel and the two hankies were purchased at an antique fair in New Hampshire. In this month's issue of Home Companion they have an article on collecting old hankerchiefs with a sidebar on Christmas hankies! Originally I wanted to use it for a craft project but I thin I may just leave it alone. One of my "jobs" as a child was ironing my parents handkerchiefs...never thought I'd miss that!!

I've tried three times to post a few more photos of postbox loot (I sure shopped a lot this summer!) but blogger is not cooperating...that, or a severe case of operator error. I have noticed my blog is particularly boring - no bells and whistles, to do lists, links to other sites, counters by country, and neat stuff like that. I suppose today might be a good day to see if I can figure all this techy-stuff out or maybe just go take a nap...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Something new

I know it is early for new year's resolutions but I think if I start now there is less pressure so a better chance I may actually stick with it! During my long drive to quilting yesterday I decided to try and do 4 new things every week. (I considered one a day but then I'd start counting things like trying a new candybar...not the spirit of what I'm trying for!)

For instance yesterday I followed signs from the main (think rural 2 lane highway in the states) road to a farmstand that I had never been to before and there had "bubble and squeek" and the first time! Combined they count as 1 something new! Too many of the Americans I've met over here quickly get into a rut...they shop at the same places, travel to the same places, eat at the same places. Yikes. It is so easy to get too comfortable. OK, I'll still let myself stop at the Crucis pub/restaurant on the way back from Fairford (they have great wines, quiche and chocolate torte to die for....) but not every time I'm on the road. Besides the stop yesterday gave me a chance to pick up some presents to bring back to the states next month - Tewkesbury Mustard, Tomato Chutney with Sundried Tomatoes and Smoked Garlic, and Indian Chutney.

Sunday night I put the border on the spaceman quilt. Some of you recognized the alien is at least 8 years old - not that there is anything wrong with that! Just another reason why I should get this finished soon! I am happy to say no fabric was purchased in the making of this quilt - it all came out of the stash. (why does it feel like I didn't buy fabric for a quilt when it comes out of stash...of course I bought it at some point!!! I visited a quilt shop here and was shocked when I realized I had almost as much fabric in my quilting room as they did in the store!) I did however order enough batting from Hancocks of P. to finish at least 2-3 quilts.

So does stash reduction become another resolution? It should....that is a tough one though. Fabric is my favorite part of quilting. Maybe if I just limit myself to purchasing only for a specific project? But then I woun't make a dent in the current mountain. Just yesterday I got a package from my sister with the fabric in the photo on the left. I left the fabric, about 9 yards in all, at her house this summer. I don't have the slightest idea what I was planning to do with it! Maybe I will do a trial 3 month fabric diet? Wait, do I get to buy some of that chocolate fabric first?!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Well everyone in the quilting group has the center of the tablerunner sewn together so next week will put the borders on and pin/baste. They should be done by the holidays. I proposed doing the railfence next but it seems they would like to make a sampler quilt to try the different blocks/techniques. I love sampler quilts so it is fine with me. They also have convince the folks who manage the rooms to let us have it from 0800 to 1230! I can't get there until 0900 but it gives folks time to set up so we are ready to go at 0930...or they can use the time to work on their projects. Amazing how much you can get done in 3 hours!

The ride there was particularly beautiful today. The trees are turning golden, the fields are still mostly green, and there are lots of deep crimson berries draped along the stone walls. I wanted to stop and take photos but the roads are very narrow and there aren't a lot of places to pull over. Maybe as I get to know the road better I'll find more spots!

The little quilt on the left was at the bottom of a box I emptied this weekend. It is a railfence I made as part of a challenge...we were given 5 pieces of fabric 6 inches by 6 inches and allowed to add one more fabric. I think it was hand pieced and am sure it is hand quilted. For a long time it covered a small bear on a shelf...I wonder what box he is hiding in?!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Starting over...

No I have not found my hexagon quilt...I have just started a new one! While putting away fabric in my quilting room I cut a small square and tossed it into a basket. As DH and I have been watching TV I have whipped them together. I arranged them differently from the original one so if...rather when it shows up I will still want to finish it!

I've tried getting the last of the boxes unpacked but I am running out of interest and/or engergy. It is unbelievable how much work moving it. I feel like I just keep complaining about it...sorry...but it has just taken over my life that past 6 months. Sometimes it is easier to just chuck the stuff away! I have two more bags of clothes I never wear to go to charity. Lack of closets make you much more particular on what go on the few hangers you have space for in a wardrobe!

Another missing quilttop is one I made for my nieces new baby...OK he is a year old in a few months! I made the top before we packed out and it was in a pile that was not supposed to be packed but was...very frustrating. Anyway, yesterday I came across the alian fabric I used in the first quilt top and just decided to make another one. (DH was off golfing!) Again this one is different from the first. I saw the pattern on and thought it would be quick. I have some spaceman fabric for the border.

I hope I can finish it by off to clean house for the craft group!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Through the fence

So much for going to the auction yesterday. As I was getting ready I let Macbeth out for a quick run in the yard. A few seconds later I heard him barking. I got to the door just in time to see him break through the fence. That's a terrier for you - too short to jump over, too hyper to dig under, so he just went full steam at it and whamm...a whole in the fence and a small black dog on the loose. To make a long, long story short - two hours later he comes popping up the drive smelling like I don't know what (but it wasn't nice..sort of like skunk or fox!) So my day was spent washing the dog, tending to a cut on his shoulder, and fixing the fence.

This is another photo of the route Macbeth and I usually walk. I went by there while he was missing but obviously he went the other way. For whatever reason sheep make him nervous so I felt pretty sure that he wasn't in the field bothering them but wanted to be sure!

Last night was the first rehearsal for a caroling group I've joined. I'm a bit nervous about it. I haven't sung in a long time but hey, it's caroling, how hard can it be? Well....first off, there are 14 people (5 men and 9 women) and we are doing harmony on almost all the pieces. Second, when we do sing it will be acappella. And finally, I don't recognize several of the songs. When they handed out Silient Night I was relieved - I know the Alto part for this one cold! Then she said we are singing it in German! O come all ye Faithful - Latin. Hello! What did I get myself into! I need a piano quick to do some fast practice! I can only use the broncitis excuse for a few more days....

Thanks for the feedback on the fuse/applique question. I made up some samples of the different methods on small potholder size pieces and will let them decide which way they want to go! I also pulled out Mary Ellen Hopkins's "It's OK if You Sit On My Quilt" and cut some 2" strips for the Triple Rail Fence to see if they would like to do that one next. Hopefully my husband will golf tomorrow so I'll have time to sew it together!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cleaning Up

Well I've volunteered to host the craft night for the local expat's at my house on Monday night. What was I thinking! I only have to get the first floor cleaned and organized...did I say only?! What was I thinking...All this when I would rather be quilting.

Anyway, I fused the snowflakes onto the tablerunner so I am still one step ahead of the beginners group. I've only used wonder-under a couple of time so I wanted to do a dry run first. Now I've always added my applique before quilting. There is a woman in the group who swears it works better for her to fuse after she quilts...any advise? Since most of the folks in the room want to machine stitch the applique down it would have to be before right? I ended up doing a hand running stitch with 2 strands of embroidery thread . The stiches are fairly big on purpose - the plain white fabric just looked too plain.

Today I am going to an auction preview! Not that I need anything but it is always fun to look. Besides I am short of bookcases and places to hide fabric and a small table to put the printer on and...well, you got the picture!

I finally got a photo of Brownie in her new hangout...the wide windowsill! She has recovered from her summer ordeal and is acually very healthy for the first time in a long time. She likes to sit in the window (which is partially blocked by the sofa) so she can spy on anyone in the living room and can see anyone coming up to the front door without being seen herself! Since the move she and Goldie have traded personalities again - Brownie stays indoors msot of the time and is very shy while Goldie now goes on walks with Mac and I and sits on visitor's laps! The "green man" face jug next to her is one I made years ago in Georgia.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pea Soup

Now I know what Sherlock Holmes ment when he said "it's a real pea-souper out there." There were moments this morning you could barely make out the front of your own car! The sun coming up only made it worse - it was like the fog reflected the light and at times blinded you! Made for a very scarey ride to quilting!

The first meeting went well. Everyone had nice fabric to work with (which always helps!) I think everyone got their blocks cut using the rotary cutter (and not accidents!!!) All but two got their blocks laid out and pinned to a "design" cloth. (the directions had you using multiple sandwich bags...I was very confused so went with the pinning!) I had one of them sew two rows while we talked about 1/4 inch seams and then I demo'd pressing the seams and pinning them so they would "nest." Not bad for a first day!

I'm thinking the next project could be either Irish Chain, Rail Fences, or 9-patches. I'd like to do a block that would have them strip-piecing. Suggestions?

The photo at that top is of "our hill." Most of the villages are on the side or bottom of the hills. Our village is at the bottom of this hill and about 1/4 mile in from the main road. There is a hike that goes up to the top. The area is mostly protected so I'm told there is lots of wildlife. I'm hoping to be up to making the trek soon.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Beginners Quilting

The group of women I went to Bath with are just starting to quilt. They had picked out a pattern for a simple tablerunner as a first project. By the end of the trip I had volunteered to help...that has turned into teaching a beginners course. Yikes. I've quilted for years and even taught a few classes but never a beginners class!

Monday we are going to work on using a rotary cutter, laying out blocks, and quarter inch seams. I've had to reread the "rules" since I've developed really bad habits on all of the above! I don't want to be responsible for somebody else cutting their finger off! The photo is of the table runner minus the appliqued snowflakes. (not sure if I'll put them on this one!) We will also talk a bit about selecting fabric since that was where they all paniced last week.

Also on the left is Macbeth on one of our morning walks. There are lots of public pathways around the area and he loves getting out on them! Our house would be about 1/2 mile to the left!

I've noticed my digital camera does a good job on closeups but when it comes to landscapes - like the photo on the left - it looks sort of washed out. It is so much prettier and brighter than the photo. Does anyone have any reccomendations? I'm even considering a new camera but not sure what I should look for? I am getting pretty spoiled with digital but if I need to go back to a 35mm I would.

Oh well...back to cleaning and putting away. We have done two trips to the recycling tip with boxes already today. The bad part is when the boxes are gone you see how much dust and dirt they were hiding! All this when I'd rather be sewing!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

My gypsy fortune

At left is Goldie, my good cat, by our front door. she has adjusted well to the move. Her coloring however is making it a real challenge for us to find her! She blends with the cotswold stone that is used all over our neighborhood (including our driveway gravel!)

The trip to the Bath quilting shop was a real adventure. The group met at an airforce base about an hour from where I live. I had visited the base a couple of times before but had never driven there by myself. Each time I was driven there I was told to take a left by the gypsy caravan. (Real gypsies with black and white horses, a brightly painted wagon, and a sign saying they will read your fortune.) Well I can tell you what my fortune was yesterday - you will be soooo lost all day. I was driving along and suddenly nothing looked familiar...the gypsies had moved. I know - that's what gypsies do - but why did they have to move yesterday! I pulled a u-turn (where are roundabouts when you need them!) and went back the way I came. I pulled into the parking lot on base just in time to stop the quilting van as it was pulling out!

The drive to Bath was beautiful. The quilting shop there was wonderful. I did feel bad for the woman behind the counter though since is a small shop and there were 9 or 10 of us! Unfortunately several of the women had to be back in time to pick up kids from school so we just grabbed lunch and headed back. I want to go back to Bath and spend a couple of days.

Being lost hadn't ended though. I was careful to leave so I could get home in some daylight. I looked at the map before hitting the road and even wrote the route numbers on a post-it and place it on the steering wheel. I was 80% of the way home - heading onto a road I acually know - when I saw it. Bright flashing lights and a police barracade. My road was closed because of an accident. Out comes the map of the policeman came over and helped but the new directions added almost half an hour to my trip! The last 15 minutes were after sunset but I made it. (I don't drive well in darkness - headlights can cause my left eye to go blank for a few seconds and after a couple of these I get wicked headaches!)

Anyway, the group is going to continue to get together and do a simple project - most are beginners. It will be fun. Monday they are going to cut their project out using a rotary cutter. I am the worst safety offender when it comes to rotary tools but I will try to follow rules for a day so I don't hand off all my bad habits! Even better news...they will meet in the morning which gives me plenty of time to be lost in the cotswolds!