Today is a very special day

by Helen on April 23, 2014

450 years ago today, in 1564,  William Shakespeare was born …..

April 23rd is also St George’s Day, the patron saint of England ….

 And, seven years ago today, a little black wriggly creature arrived in the world, who quickly grew a fluffy coat and turned into ……

Ben! Seen here at 10 weeks old.  But he wasn’t little for very long.  Anxiously watched over by my first Newfie, Amy, he grew and grew and grew …..

Seen here at a year old – he still loved his teddy bears ….

And seen here aged 2, he adored Amy, his “mum” – he wasn’t at all embarrassed to kiss her in public!

He’s always had star quality!

A real surf dude!

Sadly he lost his “mum” (that’s Amy above)  in 2010, and was an only dog for a while…

Until in January 2013 ….

He became a big brother when Daisy arrived!

Supervising your naughty little sister can be very tiring ….

Though he loves her very much and is a most excellent big brother!  

Happy seventh birthday Ben!!


A lovely colourful Easter weekend!

by Helen on April 21, 2014

Go on then Daisy, you know you want to!

Yes, Ben and the irrepressible Miss Daisy have been staying with their Auntie Gillian at their favourite kennels, whilst I have been visiting Rosie and Dan for a lovely Easter weekend.  They live quite close to Bath so there had to be some shopping ….

And I got a lovely new scarf.  Pink AND seagulls too – what could be nicer?  I also purchased a fascinator to complete my mother-of-the-bride outfit but I’m afraid I am NOT showing you a photo of me with the silly thing on my head!  I think it will be OK on the day once I am wearing the whole outfit though, and I’m comforting myself with the thought that everyone will be looking at Rosie anyway.

 Then after shopping, and a spot of lunch, we went to Farrington Gurney where there is a pick-your-own tulip field…..

With the most amazing colourful varieties – so much nicer than the sort you usually find in the shops.  Look at this wonderful bloom ….

I think it’s a parrot tulip?  But more than that I don’t know … just that it’s totally fabulous!  We picked and picked, and now both our homes have vases, jugs and pots of tulips adorning every available surface.  My especial favourite is this little teapot arrangement…..

Perfect for the ones that got broken off short – and a pretty reminder of a lovely colourful Easter weekend!


Some hexie loveliness …

by Helen on April 19, 2014

I’ve really enjoyed my hexies project using up all the lovely tiny scraps of fabric in my box that are too small for anything else.  I have cut and stitched over a hundred little hexies to create a lovely little pouch for toiletries.  And there’s more .. some vintage stitchery too.  I thought very hard about this, and as my pouch is likely to be used at the beginning and end of the day, combined the phrases “Good morning sunshine” and “Goodnight sweetheart” with some beautiful vintage bluebirds.

When photographing my pouch I decided that I needed some little models to enhance the pictures, and chose the French Hens for the morning side of the pouch, and Lovebirds for the evening.  

They all gathered round to receive some words of advice from Mr & Mrs Mouse who, after all, were professionally photographed for their cover appearance not so very long ago.  Then first it was the turn of the French Hens …..

Who did rather well.  The Lovebirds were a little nervous, but quickly got into the swing of things ….

Though Mrs Lovebird got so excited she nearly fell off her perch!  The pattern for my Sunshine Sweetheart pouch (as well as a little more about English paper piecing) will be in the May issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – out on Thursday.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to tell you – it was soooo funny!  I was sitting on the sofa handstitching my hexagons – or was I tacking them to the papers – I can’t quite remember.  Anyway, I threaded my needle and held it up in front of me to straighten out the thread when …. along came that naughty Miss Daisy – caught the end of thread in her flubbery mouth and sucked it – right out of my needle and down to goodness knows where – it vanished completely into her insides!  I was left threadless – and speechless too.


Thought for the day ….

by Helen on April 16, 2014