11/01/2015 § 1 Comment
Mother Duck has been busy all day today. She popped down to open up my little duck-house this morning then later on this afternoon, I was cuddled (not all that willingly) and fed a little treat of mealworms sprinkled on my water bowl (I gobbled those up very willingly), and then she was off again with a can of spray paint in her paws. Or is it just Belle and Misty who have paws? I get a bit confused about these things sometimes!
Here’s what she’s been up to today …
Here it is all lit up and sparkly …
And Mother Duck has also been playing with some beads …
but I’m not sure what she’s been sewing yet. Belle said she spent an hour or so doing some patchwork upstairs in her sewing studio so watch this space.
Belle and Misty have been really tired this afternoon since they returned from a long walk up at St Catherine’s Hill, near Winchester. Misty said it was a really steep walk up to the top and Belle says she had to pull Mother Duck all the way up! Apparently the views from up there are awesome and then Mother Duck and son J1 walked back to Winchester where the collies were treated to some nibbles from their brunch at Maison Blanc in the High Street. Lucky collies!
It’s definitely been a busy day up at the house and now that it’s just getting dark, I’m all tucked up in my duck-house, with my evening meal of chopped grapes, mealworms and chicken feed – yum, yum!
Quackers for now …
13/07/2014 § Leave a comment
If you happened to enquire about a sports-themed quilt in Alton on Saturday, and left your email address, I’ve been unable to contact you via email so thought I’d leave a note here so you can make contact with me.
My email address is: email@example.com
Here are a few of the fabrics that I’ve found that might be suitable for your grandson:
Alton was wonderful, as ever yesterday. For those of you who may not be local, Alton is a bright, vibrant market town in Hampshire with many independent stores. Weekly markets are held on Tuesdays but once a month, on the 2nd Saturday to be precise, the top of the High Street is closed to allow the Farmers’ Market to come to town. So many amazing stalls with cakes and preserves, pies and quiches, butchers and bakers and plantsmen (and women) lining the streets under their colourful stripy canopies.
On the same day as the Farmers’ Markets, the Alton Lions organise the Craft and Makers Market, providing gazebos for those without their own, though many of us roll up with the whole cha bang – gazebo, bunting, tables and stands and of course, our stock. It’s a long day for me and hard work setting up and taking down but yesterday the sun was shining and the crowds were out. I met some wonderful people to chat to as well as friendly fellow stall-holders. It’s a great starter market for ‘proper’ makers (Carole is very strict about everything on the stall having been ‘made’ – absolutely no bought in goods allowed). If you’re a maker in Hampshire or thereabouts and would like to dip your toe into the pond of selling direct to your customers, then why not give it a go. There’s a website and application form here.
In the meantime, if you’re the lady who enquired about a sports-themed quilt for your grandson, then do get in touch as I can’t contact you. Or if you’re not ‘that’ lady but would like to commission a quilt, then pop an email into my inbox and I’ll be happy to discuss a bespoke quilt for you. I’ll be closing my book for commissions in mid-September this year, to allow myself time to build up my stock for the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market. Yes – I’m planning it already and will need lots of stock as I have a stall in the prestigious British Crafts Village section of the market by the ice-rink. Can’t wait!
Enjoy your week – I’m off to cut out some more quilts!
14/05/2014 § Leave a comment
winding wisteria, secret views and rolling landscapes seen from Cheesefoot Head …
A couple of evenings ago, the light was perfect and we took a short drive out of Winchester, to see Hampshire in all its glory. We could see right down to the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth! There’s something about this time of year – we took the same trip last year – here.
I love gates – this one has a long handle so it can be opened from horseback without dismounting, at the beginning of a long bridleway. I could imagine riding up here – it quite took me back to my early teenage days with my pony, Prince. He was such a good pony – good at opening gates too! I’d be standing up in my stirrups to reach the gate handle, then encourage him through before it closed, a quick turn and up close again to shut it after us. Then turn him around to face the landscape and choose which path to follow, gather up my reins and off we’d go, stopping to pick some cow parsley to weave into his mane or browband along the way. Riding along, there’d be a cool breeze blowing his mane across my hands. Sometimes, he’d stop and breathe in some distant happening that he could smell and I couldn’t see – head up, nostrils flared. “What is it Prince? What’s over there?”
We’d ride for miles and miles in the countryside – hard hat, yes, but no high-vis vests or expensive gear for me and Prince. Jodphurs and wellies were my teenage uniform. He’d shy at startled pheasants, making my heart thump or scoot off if he thought he’d heard something behind us, just to make life a little more exciting. Often we’d see no people, but deer in the fields, a fox slinking through a wood and a plethora of birdlife. Those were the days, my friends!
For now, I’ll just enjoy the view and quietly recite “If wishes were horses …”
03/08/2013 § 2 Comments
… maybe … for Barton Farm, Winchester
A long campaign was staged to prevent the development of this ‘green lung’ of farmland that reaches almost to the centre of Winchester. However, the death knell has sounded and planning permission, as many suspected it would, has been granted for 2000 homes to be built on the fields, along with other facilities – a school, shops, health centre etc etc.
There are websites, easily found, that show the battle and the glossy professionalism of media-friendly plans. Whatever the rights and wrongs, I will simply miss the farm where I walk the dogs so I thought, just in case the final harvest is being gathered in, we’d go for a long walk in the summer sunshine and enjoy it.
We start out from home and within 2 minutes are walking up a broad avenue of trees next to the Andover Road out of Winchester. Usually our walk takes just under an hour, but today with photo-loitering we won’t be home for almost 2 hours!
Did you enjoy our walk? When will the building start? I’m not sure – there are phases and phases so it will be many years until the farm is fully developed but I wanted to capture my walk this summer. The girls and I enjoy the farm in snow, howling gales, storms and summer sunshine – early mornings and late into the evenings. Last week a little vixen poked her nose out of the crop just ahead of the blissfully unaware collies – she slinked off into the undergrowth and was long gone by the time they picked up her scent. I’ve seen a deer and her fawn, red kites, sparrowhawks, buzzards with their offspring, a merlin, larks in springtime – they’ll all have to move north to the open farmland beyond Barton Farm.
Last evening, finally we took Dolly (our campervan) out for a jaunt and cooked our supper in the New Forest. Absolute bliss. Dolly has been having a very long winter’s rest which has taken her right into the heat of summer – the time needed to be right and it’s finally arrived. We had such a wonderful supper – a hastily chopped up salad with olives & artichoke hearts and freshly seared tuna steaks. The girls had a whole patch of forest to explore and so many sticks to play with.
We’ve just arrived back for more jaunting and I’ve packed up my cushions and new quilts ready for Winchester’s Vintage and Retro Market tomorrow – it’s all go!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. What have you been up to?
23/05/2012 § Leave a comment
in the evening sun …
Can you see the tiny white dot right in the middle and in the last grey layer of landscape? That’s the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, 32 miles away! Even with extra zoom lens power, that distance is a bit of challenge! I can definitely see it though.
There’s something magical about the end of the day, as the sun sinks and the shadows grow. It had been raining during the day and when the sun came out in the evening we took a little trip to Cheesefoot Head, just a few miles out of Winchester. Up on the ridge, there are amazing views south towards Southampton and east to Portsmouth and on really clear days, as far as the Isle of Wight.
I love being outdoors and a jaunt after supper is always a treat. Hampshire is lovely – Winchester is special – Home is Sweet – the fields are green! I think I need a bit of seaside though. I’ve been longing to walk on a beach, to feel the sand between my toes, to look out into that blurry spot on the horizon where the water meets the sky. Yes, definitely – some seaside is on my ‘places to go, rather urgently’ list!
31/03/2012 § Leave a comment
You’re all invited to the Vintage & Retro Market tomorrow
Winchester High Street & Middle Brook Street
(you won’t miss us)!
Parking is free in Winchester on Sundays
It’s a wonderful City, the ancient capital of England – we’ve an impressive Cathedral, amazing eateries and bars, interesting shops, water-meadows and St Giles Hill forming an amazing backdrop for King Alfred at the lower end of the city.
Pop by and say Hello – I’m in the High Street near Boots!
04/12/2011 § 10 Comments
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la, la la, la la …
Pop over to Wendy’s Handmade Monday blogspot to see where everyone else has been, and what they’ve been making.
Have a lovely week and enjoy your Christmas shopping!
03/12/2011 § Leave a comment
Yesterday I rediscovered some quilts that I made about 12 years ago …
They were all safely stacked away at the back of the airing cupboard – just waiting for me to have a good tidy up! I used soft wool as wadding and the log cabin is backed with warm red fleece – just perfect for keeping knees warm in the winter! They are all lightly hand-quilted and I can hardly believe that I made them.
I love the pattern on the log cabin – to tell the truth, I hadn’t even noticed the solid green pattern until I uploaded this photo! Can’t remember whether it’s there by accident or design! And all those tiny 1″ squares around the edges – hand cut in the days before my rotary cutter.
The huge Friendship Star is a real deep mid-winter quilt – it’s weighty due to the heavy wool wadding. I reckon it could quite easily keep you warm and snug in an igloo! This one may be for sale tomorrow at the Vintage & Retro Market in Winchester. Should it go, or should it stay? Decisions, decisions …
Should I get up into the loft and fetch the Christmas decorations? Should we go shopping to town or out for lunch, or for a stroll in the New Forest with the collies maybe? Should I make more Christmas stockings or cushions?
I’ll just have another cuppa and stroke these quilts for a bit, while I decide …
Enjoy the weekend
29/09/2011 § 1 Comment
Morag and Bracken …
The hairy girls arrived at Farley Mount country park, just west of Winchester earlier in the year. We’re almost daily visitors, with our own girls Belle and Misty the collies, and watched with some interest as a secure stock fence grew around the perimeter. Notices appeared assuring dog walkers and everyone else who enjoys this fabulous open space, that there would be frequent gates and the cattle wouldn’t interfere with our enjoyment of the area. I remained unconvinced for quite some while!
However, the girls arrived and are particularly docile creatures. They’re unbothered by dogs or strange 2-legged creatures with clicky thing who say ‘Smile’ and silly stuff like ‘Say Cheese’! They are part of a conservation strategy to protect and preserve this chalk grassland habitat which is home to over 30 species of butterfly.
The scrub used to be cleared by hand, or topped with a tractor but the girls will now graze the area and keep the scrub bushes down.
Aren’t they pretty – in their own way!
I feel inspired to make a cushion with a lovely cow-face, now! Watch this space …
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