Friday, 31 August 2012

Signs of Life

Newsflash!  There will very possibly be some sewing going on round these parts in the near future!  

It's taken me nearly 2 weeks to get the pieces cut out (not a great activity for someone with an arm that isn't quite right yet) and to decide how I'm going to substitute some of the interfacings I don't have in stock, but I'm just about there now.  I'm using up some fabric from my stash and trying out a new pattern.

Of course, the fact that piping is involved and I've never piped anything in my life could potentially lead to some procrastination, but on the whole I'm in the mood to do some sewing so the minor fact that  I don't appear to own a piping foot probably won't stop me giving it a go.

Whilst I've been cutting out this bag, I've been doing some other bits and bobs too.  The skirt that I made back at the start of June has finally been hemmed and is going to be worn to work next week (if the weather warms up, that is!).  I've also worked my way through some mending and I tidied up a huge pile of accumulated stuff.

I want to try some crochet soon too ... I'm just not sure how good an idea that is for my arm.  And then there's that cardi I was knitting for my niece's Christmas present that I started early (in April!) so it would be ready in time to post to Oz ... of course that's not been touched during the last two months of complete inactivity round here and now possibly won't be ready on time.  Hmmm.

The last few months have been mind-numbingly boring.  I've read a lot, watched more TV than is healthy and generally done nothing much.  And of course the weight has piled on ... it was already creeping up as I haven't been doing any dog-walking since Pip died back in January, but two months of inaction plus a good dose of steroids really did the trick.  So now I'm trying to lose it all again and get fit - lots of walking (9 km today!) plus regular pilates sessions ... 

... I'm really not sure I have time for crafting, let alone work!!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


It really isn't the weather for standing over a hot stove, but my neighbour called round yesterday with a huge bag of mirabelle plums for me.  Her friend has a tree or two in her garden and has a surplus .... hence the gift!  But what to do with 1.5 kg of very ripe plums?

I'm not a plum jam fan .. it's not bad jam; it's just there are so many fruits that make nicer jam to my mind.  So jam never made my short list.  

Google to the rescue!

I found a mirabelle chutney recipe that sounded great and for which I had most of the ingredients (an important point as I wasn't planning a trip to the store in 30+ C heat) or could substitute alternatives.  If you have a surfeit of mirabelles or any other plums, you can find the recipe on this lovely blog: Prunings From the Vines.  

If what I licked off the spoon after filling my jars is anything to go by, this is really tasty ... not sure the two jars that I got from 800g of plums will last long enough for the flavours to develop fully!!  

However did we cope before Google?

I received another lovely gift a couple of weeks ago from a blogging friend in the States.  Cindy is The Bee Lady from Hilltop Farm ... yes, she keeps bees and she also blogs about places she's been to, things she's crocheted, building a new house, her dogs and life in general.  Cindy posts a lot more regularly than I do (wouldn't be hard at the moment!!) and I always look forward to reading about what she's been up to.

Anyhow, Cindy has a fantastic LYS (local yarn store) that makes me miss the one I used to frequent in Canada (see - Canada wasn't all snow and cold!!).  You know the sort of store I mean - one you could browse in for ages, chat to the owner, sit down on the sofa and do some crochet, get help with said crochet (I was a beginner at the time and always stuck!!), get ideas for presents and excuses to buy more yarn .....

Oh, how I miss that store!  And Cindy's posts about her LYS just highlighted my current lack of a really good LYS.  I'm sure they exist over here, just haven't found one yet.

Look what she and some of her friends from her LYS sent me ...

Gorgeous alpaca yarn from Groovy Girl Yarn Shop in Kokomo, Indiana.  The yarn is a gift from Cindy Bee, Granny Bee, Reality Jane and Groovy Girl after they read one of my comments on Cindy's blog about her yarn stash and my lack of a good LYS!  Thank you ladies, your gift cheered me up so much and I'm really looking forward to being able to get the crochet hook out again soon to make something fabulous with this yarn!

On the health front things are slowly looking up!  I'm not back at work yet but I should be by the beginning of September and, in the meantime, I'm starting to do more round the house including some small sewing jobs (just some mending and a little bit of serging on the bottom edge of that skirt I made way back at the beginning of June - who knows, it may even get hemmed by the end of the month!!). 

Just taking it slowly right now and working my way through my mental list of Things that Really Need Doing ....   

Next on the list is making a cuppa!!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Postcard from Bad Wimpfen

Last weekend we met up with some friends near Heilbronn ... about a 90-minute drive south of here.  

While we were in the area we visited the medieval town of Bad Wimpfen and I took a few photos (far fewer than normal as my DSLR is very heavy and my arm didn't want to play for long).

It really is a very pretty town up on a hill overlooking the Neckar river 
(sorry - no snaps of that; my arm had given up by then).

Love the little details!

I elected not to climb the tower preferring to sit in the square below with a glass of local wine instead!!  Made complete sense to me!

Germany really is very picturesque; there are lots of little places like this with half-timbered houses and cobbled streets.  

This one just happens to be in a wine-producing area (why else do you think we were there?!).