Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Pearl of the Adriatic

Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic" was my first foreign holiday destination after I started gainful employment (many moons ago!), so I was keen to introduce this fantastic city to my husband who had never visited.

Our lunch stop en-route from the airport to our ship gave us our first view of the walled city, and it did not disappoint! The bright blue skies and crystal clear waters certainly didn't detract from the view either :)

Once we were settled in to our home from home




it was time to get out and do a bit of wandering in that beautiful walled city.

Many of the roofs have been replaced since the Croatian War of Independence (1991 - 1995) during which Dubrovnik was under siege for a time, so the tiles are often a uniform colour rather than the mottled shades of the original roofs. As you can see above the alleys running off the main thoroughfares are narrow and steep, I definitely felt sorry for the poor tourists lugging their heavy cases up those in the heat!

Up close the stonework on churches was amazing.

Although it is a magnet for tourists, and apparently becomes very crowded in July and August, the city is still home to many Croatians, so washing has to be hung out somewhere!

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this lady's washing line :)



Recently the city has also been used as a location for the TV series Game of Thrones, so if you are a fan this part of the city might be better known to you as the harbour of Kings Landing! Sadly we didn't have time to take a Game of Thrones walking tour of the city, so will have to leave that until our next visit.

If you ever get the chance to visit Dubrovnik is definitely worth seeing!


Sunday, 25 June 2017

New places, new pattern

Welcome to this month's New to Me link party.

The party where we celebrate and commiserate the highs and lows of attempting new things. Success or failure are all the same here, so if you have tried out something for the first time this month, link up and share your experiences with your fellow bloggers.

My own New to Me experiences this month are very different.

First up a whole New to Me coastline.

Map of Croatia
http://www.croatiaemb.net/main.html
We recently sailed up the Croatian coastline from Dubrovnik to Zadar, it was a wonderful trip which I will share with you as soon as I have sorted out my photos. At the minute I am struggling to work out which building is which!

Here's a taster :)

This is Omis, which is just south of Split on the above map. Isn't that an amazing backdrop?

We took a boat trip up the River Cetina from here and the scenery was stunning! 

My sewing mojo seems to have deserted me this month so there has been very little in the way of sewing going on, although I did manage to do a little embroidery on our cruise (in between sightseeing and cocktails!).

A friend's daughter has just had a baby boy, so I thought that I could make good use of some of the lovely knit fabric that I splurged on when the gorgeous grandson was born. I knew that I had my Brindille and Twig patterns to use for an outfit, but wanted to make a baby beanie hat to finish it off. So, I searched the internet and found this baby hat pattern and tutorial by Zaaberry.



My New to Me pattern came together really easily, so I can definitely recommend it. The pattern comes with two other variations, so I think I will be revisiting this next time someone I know has a baby.

Unfortunately, the pattern only comes in 0-3 months size, so the gorgeous grandson will not be receiving one for his cute little head :( Fortunately, my mum is an excellent knitter and has kept him supplied with a stream of knitted hats during the winter.

So, that's my New to Me's, now it is your turn. As always the link party will remain open until 23.59 GMT on June 30th, so if you are thinking of trying something new this month but haven't yet here is the nudge that you need. Grab the link party button and take the plunge! Check out the linkers and give them some blogger support for their endeavours too.





Thursday, 25 May 2017

New to Me - the Menagerie!

Welcome to this month's New to Me link party, where we celebrate the trials and triumphs of having a go at something new.



This month all of my New to Me's are animal related, I am not quite sure why it certainly wasn't planned :)

First up


a New to Me pattern, Whiskers the Fox, from Ann's Orchard Needlework

Then


Two new paper piecing patterns tested for Tartankiwi

and finally Denis the Dinosaur!

My very first attempt at a stuffed toy!

When I saw the pattern in a recent Bustle and Sew magazine I thought it would be a great project for my first attempt at toy making, but didn't do anything about it. Then I got an email telling me that kits for the Dinosaur Softie were going on offer for a short period, so I decided to dive right in and order one straight away.

Despite the kit being advertised as suitable for a child, it wasn't all plain sailing I can tell you. I ran out of the green thread/floss and had to use a substitute to finish off the second leg and attach the legs and arms. The kit also came supplied with beads for the eyes, but I decided to stitch colonial knots instead, which meant that I also ran out of the black thread too!


The instructions for attaching the legs and arms were just that - "stitch into place". Having never attempted anything like this before I could have done with a bit more guidance.

We got there in the end and I am sure that it will look good on the gorgeous grandson's bedroom shelf, but it wasn't quite as easy as I had anticipated.

I bought a kit and a pattern for two more soft toys when I was at the Knitting and Stitching show. Fingers crossed that they are more fulsome in their instructions and their supplies :)

So, that's my New to Me's this month now it is your turn.  Link up and celebrate the trials and tribulations of trying something new and, of course, encourage and support your fellow bloggers who have moved out of their comfort zones this month too. As ever the link party will remain open until 23.59 GMT on May 31st, so if you are thinking of trying something new this month but haven't yet here is the nudge that you need. Grab the link party button and take the plunge! Check out the linkers and give them some blogger support for their endeavours too.




Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Furry Friends

I have been testing out two new paper-piecing patterns for Juliet as I couldn't resist them when she put out the call for testers!

First up

was this cute little Otter, isn't he sweet?

He was soon joined by

this spiky, little hedgehog. He looks a bit like an albino hedgehog in the photo, but he isn't really so pale in real life, I assure you :)

As ever with Tartankiwi patterns they were a breeze to put together and great scrap busters to boot!

I don't have any particular plan for the blocks, although the gorgeous grandson probably features in whatever they become :)

For the minute they will join the Falcon block that I tested for Juliet a while ago until I can decide what to do with them.


All suggestions welcome!

Linking up to

Quilter in the Closet

Friday, 19 May 2017

Whiskers and Chips

As you probably know by now I have developed a bit of an obsession with Ann's Orchard mini beadwork kits. The gorgeous grandson already has Hilda the DuckBasil the Cockerel, Hetty the Bantam, Lettice the Rabbit,Daisy the Cow and Cheddar the Mouse on his bedroom wall. When I saw two more of these cute little kits on Emma's stall at the Knitting and Stitching show, well I couldn't resist.

So, along with Chips the Seagull,

I now have Whiskers the Fox to add to his collection!



All framed and ready to go in the post

I think that is probably enough wall art for the gorgeous grandson's bedroom for now, don't you think?

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts
    

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

New to Me - Lakes and Challenges

It is the 25th of the month, so time to look to see if I have tried anything New to Me this month and to invite you to celebrate the highs and lows of trying something for the first time too.


My New to Me's are pretty thin on the ground this month, although I did manage to complete all three of my challenges for Jen's 100 Day Challenge. That was definitely a New to Me experience :)


Not only did I work out the problem but also managed to correct it when the neckline of my newly serged t-shirt for the gorgeous grandson went all wavy!



Differential feed settings on the overlocker were definitely New to Me :)

I also found a New to Me supplier of great organic cotton knits for more outfits for said gorgeous grandson - Jelly Fabrics

It would take more willpower than I have to resist fabrics like these wonderful whales :)

My final New to Me, was a new destination.

We travelled to the Lake District in the NW of England to meet up with that gorgeous grandson, his parents and our youngest son and his girlfriend for a few days over Easter. We were surrounded by green fields criss-crossed with miles of drystone walls.




Lots of sheep and lambs to get the boy all excited :)


Moss covered walls had me itching to replicate them in embroidery, so lots of photographs were taken in the hope that I might actually get around to it someday :)


Of course, we could hardly visit the Lake District without visiting a lake, now could we? This is the view from the harbour at Bowness on Windermere, on the shores of Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England.



We took a steamer from Bowness on Windermere to Ambleside at the top of the lake, another New to Me!

So, that's all my New to Me's now it is over to you. Link up and celebrate the trials and tribulations of trying something new and, of course, encourage and support your fellow bloggers who have moved out of their comfort zones this month too. As ever the link party will remain open until 23.59 GMT on April 30th, so if you are thinking of trying something new this month but haven't yet here is the nudge that you need. Grab the link party button and take the plunge! Check out the linkers and give them some blogger support for their endeavours too.




Saturday, 15 April 2017

100 Day Challenge - the final!

It is the final check in for Jen's 100 Day Challenge.


So time to find out if I managed to meet any the deadline for any of my challenge projects.


My three projects for the challenge were to

  1. Master the shiny new serger sitting in my sewing room
  2. Try out the New to Me technique of Boutis
  3. Finish the long overdue Craftsy BOM quilt top

Well, to master the shiny new serger I wanted to make an outfit for the gorgeous grandson.

 One pair of leggings, done and dusted!

T-shirt to match

and several dribble bibs! I'd say that was done wouldn't you?

Next up, having a go at Boutis

Done and dusted too!

The final challenge was a bit more daunting. When I went to work on the 20 blocks from the Craftsy BOM I discovered that there was a couple of issues with the sizes. I suspect that is a big part of the reason why these blocks have been languishing so long in the cupboard!

I decided to pull 12 blocks from the pile and work with them and here is what I now have!

One completed quilt top! As it happened I only had enough of the navy solid to sash the 12 blocks anyway so it was obviously the right decision :) My original intention with this BOM had been to give the resulting quilt to my son and daughter-in-law, and I think that I will still do that but as I have blocks left over I hope to pair it with a smaller quilt for the gorgeous grandson too!

So, three challenges set and three completed!! That's a first.

Thanks Jen for setting the challenge again, I have really enjoyed working on these three very different projects, it was certainly the nudge that I needed :)

Monday, 3 April 2017

Waves

The second of my 100 Day Challenge projects is to make a complete outfit for the gorgeous grandson with my serger.

Having already made these leggings, next on the list was a t-shirt to match.

And here it is! I thought that a long-sleeved t-shirt might be too warm for the boy in the summer when this will hopefully fit him, so went for the short-sleeved option. I was a bit disappointed with how wavy the neckline was, so checked out my trusty Craftsy Serger Class and discovered that it was down to an incorrect setting of the differential feed (????). One simple adjustment later and the sides of the t-shirt were stitched without a wave in sight :)



Clearly practice is needed, and for practice I need fabric, so these lovely organic knits from Jelly Fabrics might just have turned up on my doorstep recently! Who could resist those whales and deer??




Thursday, 30 March 2017

Beach Party

We have been having a welcome burst of sunshine recently so that might explain the beach theme of today's post!

When I visited the Festival of Quilts show in 2015 I naturally indulged in some retail therapy and one of my purchases was a canvaswork kit for a scissor keeper from the Sue Hawkins Needlework stand. Well, it has taken a bit longer than I anticipated but I finally have a finished Beach Hut scissor keeper.




The stitching of the canvaswork was pretty straightforward but the website wasn't wrong when it described making up the box shape as fiddly! I had it turned inside out a couple of times to make sure that I was stitching it up properly.

When it came to the instructions for the cord, I was completely stumped. There were no photos to accompany the text and the text just didn't make any sense to me at all. Fortunately I bought a braid making kit at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Olympia a couple of weeks ago, so this was the ideal opportunity to give it a whirl.



It was a pleasure to sit in the sunshine and manipulate the threads around the card to make this braid, even although it undoubtedly took a lot longer than the original instructions intended :)


Sitting in the sunny SW of France it is easy to agree with this sentiment, might be a bit more difficult to hold on to when I am back on the West Coast of Scotland! Still at least now I will have no excuse for losing scissors down the side of the sofa anymore!

That's my finish for this week's TGIFF, now it is your turn to link up and celebrate your finishes this week. As ever don't make this a solitary celebration click on your fellow linkers and leave a celebratory comment on their fabulous finishes. Grab the blog button and add it to your post so that your readers can join in the fun too.













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