Friday, 29 May 2015

Black Sheep Event News & Friday Smile

Back once again from my travels and I managed to hand stitch quite a few more Liberty Tana Lawn 1 inch hexagons to add to may stash. I've now started linking together the random florets with a lighter background. I really like the vintage effect that I hoped for.
It's great to have something to show as a result of hanging around waiting for planes or sitting in a car. 
Many of you will not realise that it's allowed to take a needle or two on a plane, as long as they are not longer than 6 cms, but always check with your airline regulations in advance. 
I've stitched my way around the world and have never yet been stopped from carrying needles on to a plane. 
On the left of the photo, below, you can see my little box prepped and 
all precut ready to go, but my scissors have to go in my suitcase in the hold.
I had a wonderful time visiting the German branch of my family in their pretty little town. 
I didn't take many photos this visit but here's the Rathaus (town hall) with balloons all ready for a Balloon Blast event when they would all be released together. 
It was lovely to spend time with these special little people and luckily the sun shone, giving us some quality outdoor playtime. Cold breezes, mind!

Next trip to plan soon will be to see my other special girlies on the South Coast in Brighton. I always yearn to see the others when I am visiting half of my family.
A real mixed post this week as I am joining in with Annie's Friday Smile and, beside my little stars above who make me smile, I came across this pic below of my favourite "Free Range" chicken.
We take the children to visit a local urban farm and this little chicken has had such a long, happy, free life, scratching wherever it wants but it does look so funny with so many feathers missing. 
We'll miss her if she isn't there next visit! Aaaaahhh!

Here's another smile from me for this week!
The Secret is Out!
I took a little trip to visit Black Sheep Wools,one of my favourite shops in Culcheth, near Warrington.
Not just wools any more since they dedicated a room to fabulous fabrics. They sell top quality brands and designs such a Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler, Sandra Rhodes, Tim Holtz, amongst others. It's sewing heaven.
This time there was a special reason for me to visit to select some fabrics for a forthcoming event.
 The exciting news is that I have been invited, along with four other patchwork bloggers, to join in a Mini Patchwork Sewing Bee in Black Sheep's workshop. Save the date and come along for a fun day to see what each of us will make on the day....... I can't divulge too much yet but we'll all be doing something different but it's all under wraps until we get together for the Bee on......
 Wednesday June 10th
 So much to see and so much to tempt sewers, knitters and embroiderers in this Aladdin's cave of fabric and yarns and there is a lovely cafe too.
We'd love you to join us!         

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Celtic Braid & Tram Museum

Amazingly I completed my Celtic Braid table runner that I had started at the course I attended last Wednesday. I really enjoyed making it and I have already started another one for! Yes! that special day in December!!
 Thanks so much to Maureen for the course enabling me to learn the techniques       for this piece.
Last Saturday the sun shone so we ventured forth for one of our jaunts. This time we chose something to interest DH but it was such a nostalgic trip for me too.
We visited the Tram Preservation Society Museum in Birkenhead and there was one of the No19 trams that used to take me to school almost 60 years ago! I was so excited to see it.
There were so many beautifully and restored trams.

Some of the badges on their fronts were wonderful.

 I wonder was this the same No1 tram that took me to the seaside in New Brighton all this years ago?
 We had a trip down to the river front on this old Portuguese tram and the creaking of the windows was so nostalgic. At the end of the line we had to flip the seats back to face the opposite direction before the return journey. 
This museum is possible thanks to the labours of the crew of retired engineers and other enthusiasts who lovingly renovate these fantastic vehicles. The only charge to visit was buying a ticket to ride on this last tram. Needless  to say we also gave an unrequested donation and it was worth every penny to help their work and hear that bell go "Ding, Ding" as the conductor shouted "Hold on tight" and "Any more fares please".

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Bwlch Nant Yr Arian & Block of the Month etc.

Same old, same old... I've been away again so haven't managed to post for a while but I've still been so busy doing lots of stitching.
I caught up with my Block of the month Swap for Diane the Cheshire Quilter. I'm really enjoying making different ones each month and this time I made a Snail Trail block to replace the one that never arrived and is still crawling from Merseyside to Cheshire.  I'm so happy how it turned out so readily and it is a definite improvement on my previous efforts, for sure.
 The challenge for this month was to make tissue pouches which will go into a charity sale for Hope Hospital, later in the year. A worthwhile cause so I made several including some from Liberty fabric.
I arrived home to a lovely post from Diane ... her May Block of the Month to me and, as ever it is a super one. Thanks Diane, I'm getting a lovely stash together.
Diane sent me the next challenge, which will also go into the charity sale, but this packet of instructions is all you can see for now until I have a go at making them.
Yesterday I attended a workshop, given by the talented Maureen Crawford, to make this Celtic braid table runner.  It was a super day and I loved setting it out,  just got to add the binding now to finish it.
We were in Pembrokeshire last week, an area we had never visited before and we enjoyed touring around, seeing all the beautiful countryside. On the way home we stopped near Aberystwyth to visit Bwlch  Nant Yr Arian to see the Red Kites. It was amazing and such a beautiful location.
The visitor lodge is fabulous...
 the super cafe has large windows with an outside decking area from which the birds can be viewed.
This is the view...
at around 2.00pm the birds, many of which have travelled 50 miles, are fed on the island in the lake and, at first, a bit of a frenzy went on.
Eventually the birds spread out and it is a wonderful sight to watch them swirling and swooping above.
My small camera didn't capture it all as well as I hoped.
As a result of the centre, run by the Forestry Commission, the kite population has increased and been saved from dying out completely in this area.
It costs just £1.50 to park at the centre for a couple of hours and there is no other charge. There is also a gift shop, an information centre and good facilities.
You should manage to spot mountain bikers on the specially made trail in the above photo.
There are a couple of lovely play areas for children, lots of wooden carvings,
and many feeding stations for all the other birds.
A great family day out and I really wished our grandies could have shared the magic of this place.