Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Bangor to Crawfordsburn

Bangor Marina

It was such a beautiful morning I took Smudge to an appointment I had in bangor so we could go walking dirctly after. She was happy enough as she got to nap in the car for 30mins first. We parked at the Marina which I was quite surprised had few spaces at this time of day during the week. 
We walked toward Pickie and this was the first I had noticed it had been closed since October. Lots of work underway, landscaping around the boating lake and a few new sculpts and park areas being laid out. There were lots of dog walkers about and Smudge did her usual damsel in distress pretending she was scared of them. She prefers to be off the beaten track so lots of fun on the beach and around the rock pools

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Quick Family Visit

Smudge and Nanny B
Smudge ready to go again

I don't get up to Portadown and Kilmore enough so despite being plagued with a migraine off to mums for lunch. Smudge loves going visiting and especially when she is going to see her granny. Then it was off to see the rest of the Browne's. Lucy had been ill so we had a lazy time together. She was very pleased with her new horsey body warmer my other niece Lydia sent with me for her. She told me all about the ponies she rides and the books she had been reading, Jacqueline Wilson is becoming a favourite. She has fairly moved on from Dr Seus
watching football
Smudge wants some attention
Headache didnt start to lift til after 2100hrs. Time for crochet..thanks to Marja for the link to Lucy's attic and her pattern for the ripple blanket. She did say the first row for a newbie crochet is very difficult and I can certainly agree with that but I didnt give up and the second row was so quick. It also hid most of the errors of the first row and I am not looking forward to adding more colours.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Quiet time for quilting

Despite being quite housebound this week and having to cancel my skatercise, Bible study and art class I was quite content at home. My car looks great, the colour spray now perfect. It meant I did a wii yoga session every day which is helping my posture as much as my chiropractor I think. I got my 8th quilt block appliqued so just one more to go as well as a few more crochet squares. I am on leave the latter part of next week so that will give me the chance to put my quilt together ready for quilting !!
last one ready for applique

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Car-less so staying local

My car is back in for a respray where there had been some scratches and some delay in getting it back but plenty to do locally. The rain didnt stop us as we did a few laps of kiltonga  nature reserve.

Spring is in the air
Scrabo tower in distance

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Shaw's Bridge

  Many times we have drove past Shaw's Bridge and Belvoir Forest but this morning we decided to take Smudge for a walk there to check it out. Lots of dog walkers and joggers. It was mild and the river very gentle. It felt very Autumnal.

Given the opportunity for a bit of freedom she doesn't like to stray too far from us.She was quite sociable to most of the dogs she met this morning, just one caused her to run back as it approached and not sure why it affected her differently from the others. she was exhausted by the time we got home and will likely laze around for the rest of the day.

 Time for me to get back to my
 crochet and start applique on another quilt block.


Monday, 20 February 2012

What to do when it's wet and windy

What a day, but a great excuse to stay inside and work on some craft projects. Even Smudge has decided its indoors only today. i thought I would persist with the crochet as was pleased with my first attempt at single and double crochet. I downloaded some patterns and decided on trying out some granny squares. I also had to google crochet abbreviations as the UK and USA seem to differ.

Eventually got my 7th quilt block finished for my tiny town quilt. I do find the applique relaxing but looking forward to having it all pieced together so I can get into the quilting.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Our Daily Bread

Peasant bread
Today, the Sabbath, treated very differently by many people of all faiths. In the Bible we are told to keep this day for rest but with the world as we have it now this is impossible for many whose employers don't respect this day or they have a job that is essential every day of the year. However when God rested after the creation of the world he set an example that we also need a day of rest, time out and time to focus on him and we may need to choose another day if necessary.

 Last night on skype we looked at forgiveness and pain from our past. We learned the necessity in forgiving others just as Joseph did ,even when it meant such pain and before that person would ask for forgiveness. We can not be  forgiven ourselves if we do not forgive others. The Lord's prayer also reminds us of this. Today we were looking at  the beginning of Luke ch 3 where John the Baptist is preparing the way for the Lord. This very simple man was given the message from God. In this world today we are made to believe we need to be wealthier, own more and be famous and yet even this week we see this does not bring happiness and many famous people take a path that leads to destruction and death.The Bible tells us clearly it is not how we look or what we have that is important but our relationship with God that gives us real joy. Nothing else in this world can give this joy we just have to look at all those people who have achieved their goals but are so broken.

How reassuring it is to start the new week knowing whatever is ahead God has already made provision for us if only we ask. The bread machine I received from my brother and sister in law is still getting good use. The peasant bread I made yesterday made an ideal lunch today

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Before the snow came..

We have been trying to make an effort to make good use of our Saturday mornings and not be so lazy but be up and out before 1000hrs. This is much to Smudge's disgust as she is far from an early riser but so long as her daddy is with her she copes.
A cold morning but little breeze at  Mountstewart. It almost felt that nature was a bit confused, leaves off the rhodedendrons and yet a few of the varieties were flowering.

It was also a surprise to see the 4 young swans still with their parents, I am sure they haven't stayed around as long previous years. This one was particularly cheeky as it crossed our path and hissed at Smudge as it made it's way to the lake.
waiting for its sibling to join it on the lake

Friday, 17 February 2012

Work, work, work

It's a bit hectic at the moment but still finding time for my wii fitness plus and managed to teach myslef single and double crochet yesterday fairly successfully. I have tried this so many times over the years from when my grandmother first tried to show me and promptly gave up. I am more hopeful now it won't be long till I can follow a pattern. With so many other projects on hold I am not sure when that will be as my large dollhouse cross stitch is sitting untouched for over a year now

I also need to get back to my paperclay homes as I have never completed the electrics and my crooked house needs some furnishings.See Rik Pierce

my most enjoyable creation

crooked house made using Rik Pierce's design
Although the outside of these homes give the impression they are finished there is still a lot of work to be done on the inside regarding the attics and possible inhabitants. Maybe a crooked man by the style?? and some sort of storybook character for the cottage, not sure something I wiull have to think about.

I just have to take one day at a time........

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Half Term

Helen's Bay
Half term for some is time for a break. I rarely take a break but with regular things such as Bible study and art class taking time out I got a chance to catch up on other things. The day after our family Sunday unfortunately J's father was ill and is still in hospital. My priority was visiting friends who were ill and unfortunately I didnt get to see everyone. Is it because age is creeping on or is there generally much more illness??It was lovely for Smudge and I to have a good walk this morning with Julie and Minnie. It was really quite mild and Smudge enjoyed a good race around the beach at the end. It made up for me not going to skatercise last night. I have managed to keep up with my wiifitness plus at least 4 times a week and not missing CURVES so far. My craft priority this week is to keep going with the applique on the remaining quilt blocks for my tiny town quilt. My craft storage furniture is almost filled and need just a couple more drawers, I think, so next time i am in Holywood will pop into Ikea again.
top part
lower part

There is a lot more light in this room as south facing so will probably spend much more time in it for crafting apart from coffee and craft of course when I have other folk joining me. I have been teaching Sarah to sew and she is doing really well and started the first few squares for her patchwork cushion last week.
exhausted after beach walk

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Family Day

Work has been fairly exhausting so nice to have some time out. Time for the family to join us for the day. Such excitement for Smudge as she sees her auntie Ellie approach and even more excitement as each person gets out of the car.
Lydia off to answer her phone...

A little time to work on my next quilt block number 7 out of 9. I am looking forward to getting to the quilting stage but will be quite a while yet.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Thursday Girls

Deirdre said it and now it is stuck. Another great morning at Julie's with a lovely group of girls. So we appeared to have done this before but only in pencil and when I got it home I could see such a difference from my first attempt.
pencil sketch

colour pencil
This was done over 2 pieces of paper hence the shading.
Add caption
A little card I made today