Friday, May 31, 2013

Queen's Birthday

I've always wanted to be a princess. Not a Disney type, but a regal jewel wearing royal princess.  However, now I realise that I'd like to play with the jewels and live in a big palace or castle, but be completely anonymous. Imagine living your whole life under the constant scrutiny of other people. We celebrate Queen's birthday this weekend, and, although not her real birthday, I'd like to wish Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, a very happy and fun birthday, with plenty of privacy. 
 She could enjoy the company of her corgis, and other dogs. I believe she has also had/has Labradors.

 She could take a lovely ride - possibly sidesaddle, although she probably keeps this riding style for ceremonial occasions. She may have even given the whole business up as I think she stays grounded for special events now.
 I have a feeling she would prefer riding out in a pair of jodhpurs.
 I was a little surprised to find she has a history with motorbikes as well! Maybe a nice hoon around the hills at Balmoral would be on the cards.
 I guess she'd probably enjoy the company of her family most of all. I seem to have seen quite a few photos of her smiling happily in the company of her nearest and dearest lately. She's got lovely family things to look forward to with a great grandchild on the way.
 I'm not sure what her family comes up with as gifts for a woman who has lived as she has. Maybe she is happy with a hug and something handmade, along with a pretty card with a heartfelt message.

Well, I think Queen's Birthday weekend is a bit of a gift to me! Three glorious days of weekend. Adventures to be had. Snuggling up in bed in the morning, with no need to rush. Today I got two parcels from The Book Depository, so I've got some wonderful new books to enjoy.
 Sorry Cherry, Johnny was rather agog at your name.
I read Cherry's lovely blog when I first discovered blogs a few years ago, and then I somehow forgot about it. Then I read a review of her book and decided I HAD to have it. My books give me immense pleasure, so I don't feel guilty adding new ones to my collection every now and then. What a treat getting that card in the mailbox to say I have a booky parcel awaiting collection at the village dairy. 

Have a lovely weekend. By the way, I haven't credited the photos because they were not credited when I googled them. Sadly, they are not from my family album, but if they are from yours and you would like credit, please let me know. In fact, Your Majesty, I'd love to pop around for afternoon tea and a quiet hack with you on the bridle path of one of your estates. I wouldn't grizzle about corgi fur on my cardigan! 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The smell of horses

Sorry to say today has not been a good photo day. I went to take some photos in my work room and of course the battery went flat. I didn't get good ones of the girls today either. They were very pleased to see me. They are all much fluffier. Fergie looks a little more like her sister Lucy. She is going to be a very tall girl.
 I love horsey muzzles.
 Aria has the most extraordinary hairy ears. The hair is much lighter than the rest of her, so stands out.
 Her coat has really thickened up over the past two weeks. Even though the grass has gone around the gateway in a large patch, the ground was firm and dry. We've had a lot of rain recently, so I was glad there wasn't sticky mud for them to stand in.
 I had a good chat with Viv and found out the story of Oscar's unfortunate failure at the Three Day Championships in Taupo. He had a nasty slip jumping down into the water jump, and regained his footing, but the course looped around for another combination jump back into the water. When he came back in for the second go he was so focused on not falling again that he seemed to miss seeing a wee narrow jump coming out of the water, and when Emily realised he hadn't seen it and was picking up speed to race on, she didn't push him on into it, but allowed him to go past because he could have had a terrible crash. Sensible and safe riding. So he went from second to well down the field. He won last year, but Emily wasn't upset with him because he did everything else so beautifully.

I gave Frank a groom today and was pleased to have time to snuggle up to his warm neck so I could breathe in his wonderful horsey aroma. Frank is Viv's number one riding horse and was heading to the arena for some dressage schooling. He's a lovely boy of unpredictable nature when ridden. He's inclined to see monsters in the bushes when he is feeling a bit fresh. He's a gentleman to handle on the ground. It has been two weeks since I had horse time, so I enjoyed every minute of time on the farm.

Back at home I speedily worked on making another of Gertie's Portrait Blouses. They are great under my cardies, especially with jeans. I'd like them to have sleeves, and was going to try to draft some, but decided that, being time poor, I don't want to be mucking around with a project that may end up lurking in the "too hard" basket.
 I have made two previously. The pattern calls for tucks at front and back instead of darts. This gives a more slouchy casual look through the waist. On my second version I decided that I would try fitting the blouse on my dressmaker's model, Ruby, creating darts instead of the tucks. That had created a great fit that is very comfortable. For version 3, I am using this fabulous fabric with a nautical theme. It will be great with navy cardies and a red scarf with white spots.
 I forgot to tell you that I went to a sale at my nearest scrapbooking store yesterday. They had up to 80% off and it wasn't one of those sales where two things are 80% off and the rest is 5% off. It was a real sale, so I had to be very discerning. Easy to get carried away. I got a few goodies at incredible prices. I love this funny little scrapbook to make up for Miss Dog. I have one for Mousie too (Our Kitty). At this point the camera decided that I had ignored the low battery sign for long enough and died, so sorry, no more show and tell.
I always find it interesting to see what other people are buying, because people have such diverse tastes when it comes to crafting. The Crafty Neighbour and I buy completely different products. I love the vintage styled things, and she is more modern in her tastes. 

Almost time for bed. This weekend has left me with very dry hands (note to self - wear gardening gloves), an almost finished blouse, a good book started, worry about my dear dog best friend, and a craving for more time to create. I'm looking forward to the next one already. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A bit busy...

And very tired. So long time, no write! I haven't even taken any photos today. I spent lots of time filling my green bin with garden waste. The dahlias needed some end-of-season discipline. I had some box hedging plants to add to my little hedges, so did some planting. I need lots more for the front border. I don't like the way the hedges hide smaller treasures, but I do like the mix of formality and cottage garden style.

Miss Dog had a visit to her Auntie Emily today, for a blood test to check up on her liver function. We had hoped that the liver function numbers would have improved, but they haven't. They are bad. She looks so well, and seems happy, so as long as that lasts we will be a grateful little family.

Tomorrow is a horse visiting day. I can't wait to see my darling girls, and smelling that warm horsey aroma that surrounds them. It has been two weeks since I have been out so the two fillies will be looking noticeably bigger. It won't be long before weaning time.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

I adore my darling Mum! No doubt about it. I'm so lucky to have her. I sometimes wish I had my own little person to love, but I have a busy, full life without children. I have a dear little niece and nephew, and another on the way, so that is lovely. I just wish we live closer to them. 

Of course I couldn't let Mother's Day pass without a visit to my other favourite mothers. It has been rather wet some days over the past week, and the girls certainly managed to collect a fair bit of mud in their thick coats. Mrs Zanny was in a relaxed mood, enjoying the sun.
 Tara was making the most of the lush grass in the paddock.

 Zanny and Fergie gave each other a good nibbly scratch.
 What a pretty girl you are Fergie!
 And you are so so cute, Aria!
 I've had such a busy week at school, and have been outside over the weekend. I have been planning my next quilt. I like to make the reverse sides interesting because I like to wrap myself in my quilts. These are two pieces of spotted fabric from my stash.
 I need a little extra length so I found this feathery fat quarter, again, from my stash.
 I'll piece those together but the front side is one beautiful piece of fabric that was a remnant I got on sale. What a treasure!
 I will carefully machine quilt it to make the most of the design. I am so fond of images like these, and love birdies and butterflies in botanical-styled prints.

On that note- The Graphic's Fairy (check out the link on the left) has the most divine free vintage images. Well worth a look. You'll be seeing them popping up on my blog regularly!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Keeping Busy

Things have been ticking along here, as usual. I'm glad we haven't had any dramas. I have enjoyed visits to see the girls over the holidays. Look at the beautiful grass in the new paddock:
Today I went out for a visit too. Aria had a bit of a stressful time with the farrier during the week, and hasn't been keen on people since. I was pleased because she was happy to see me. The mark on her face is from a halter she was wearing for a few days. Her fur is all rumpled. 

 The two foals love to race around together. Aria is incredibly fast.
 I think she moves beautifully.
 Mr Mouse has been busy too.
 There are lots of things to explore.
 There are craft projects to help with. He was making sure the backing fabric from my quilt project is comfortable. I have it with the reverse side up, ready to put the batting and top on. Mr Mouse needed some encouragement to allow me to get on with the job.

 Now that Miss Dog is feeling good again she needs to be kept in line. Mr Mouse does have a frown on his face and is about to launch himself onto her bottom. Sadly I missed the action with the camera. Miss Dog takes whatever he throws at her with good humour.
Johnny repaired the roof on my greenhouse. The plastic unfortunately perished on the roof, so he did a beautiful job replacing it with corrugated plastic. I'm going to try to grow some greens for winter salads in there. 
 I am very pleased with myself for getting stuck in to finish this quilt. I have had it in the "to do" pile for such a long time.
 It is all Kaffe Fassett fabrics, and I am machine quilting it in a squiggly pattern almost all over. I just outlined the green sashing strips with a straight stitch and am not quilting onto them.
I tried to use an invisible thread to quilt on the top over the areas that are not red. I didn't want any colour from the top quilting thread showing through onto the red back. My machine tends to have quite a lot of the top thread showing through, and I just can't seem to figure out the tension issues. The mono-filament thread I used is like incredibly fine fishing line and the quilt shop had one single roll. Hmm- perhaps a sign that the stuff is an absolute b----h to use. It kept snapping after short lengths of stitching. I have decided to abort the quilting mission on those areas and get the binding on. The Crafty Neighbour has a thicker invisible thread that I can try from her own aborted mission. I think invisible thread is something for expert quilters to battle with. 

I'm in a real craft groove at the moment. Awesome.