Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for February, 2019

A Little Owl.

The felt embroidery workshop on Friday was great fun. Cost £1, so I wasn’t expecting much. There were fourteen participants, with varying degrees of skill and former experience. The tutor provided felt, embroidery floss and designs for us to choose from. We each made our selection and traced the design we choose onto tissue paper which we then laid direct over the felt. We stitched the outline of the design through the tissue and then pulled the tissue away from the stitches. Some choose to make an applique design in the usual way. I  had never tried stitching through tissue in this way so gave it a go and it was surprisingly good. Afterwards you will the design with whatever stitches you choose. At this point if you were a beginner the session fell apart . The tutor had provided some worked examples and a couple of books for people to look at. As we were in the library I went and located some more stitch books for people to look at, and I also found myself helping the two novice stitchers beside me. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop, it has renewed my interest in stitching. I came home and completed my little owl. Here he is.

Stitches used are split stitch, stem stitch and back stitch for the design outline. Then satin stitch, for beak and claws. Stem stitch for the wings and feather stitch for the body. Eyes are blanket stitch and French knots.  Leaf is straight stitch and fly stitch. I had a great time but felt sorry for those who had no experience of embroidery. Less sympathy for those that thought they were going to be doing needle felting when the title of the workshop was felt embroidery. I have no idea what to with him now he’s done, any ideas anyone please?




I counted no less than six nests in or garden last year, and with the hard pruning the gardeners did for us, I have got a much better view of them.

This is a blackbird’s nest in the honeysuckle against the garage wall. I see the leaves are just coming through.

This is an attempt at a nest by a wood pigeon in the tree by the pond. Maybe they will make a better fist of one this year.

This is another blackbirds nest in a rose which grows amongst ivy on the garage wall.

This is again using the structure of a rose and the protection of the ivy which grows on the fence by the kitchen door. I am not sure that this nest was in use as it’s so close to the house. The other two nests I mentioned were also in ivy but that was chopped back and so the nests have gone. The blue tits are already sizing up the nest box on the garage wall. It won’t be long before nesting begins.

Leaving you with a shot of the snowdrops spreading year by year against the back hedge.

I was wondering if you have any birds nests in your garden?

So the sun is shining again today, and we are told the weather is more like May than February, so time to go out and enjoy it I think.



Knit and Natter Friday

We’re on a bit of a roll Mr E and me on the tidying and chucking front. I have finally got round to bagging up my office clothes which I have not worn for the last 4 1/2 years. No less than fifteen items for the charity shop. Bad news it doesn’t seem to have created any space in the wardrobe at all.

We decided to tidy the lounge. Mr E did it again. Half an hour into the task he is sat down at his computer. Apparently he had finished. And just like when we tidied in the kitchen he hadn’t . Never mind half an hours effort is better than no effort, till I discovered that most of the items he had moved from the lounge were now on the stairs. He will never ever be accused of being tidy.

I went to Scarborough last Saturday for the backing fabric and wadding. I choose a plain cream in the end, the simple option.  The wadding is 80% cotton and 20% polyester, which the fabric shop lady said was the one she used. Good enough for me. I then asked about getting a new blade for the roller cutter as we were told to replace it for every new quilt we made. Well the fabric shop lady and  another customer looked horrified at this, on the grounds that it is unnecessary to change it that often.  I got one just in case. I also got some more needles for my machine and confessed that scary new sewing machine ( 6 years old) is still fitted with the original needle. Both ladies looked horrified all over again. Oh dear, I shall never cut it in the quilting world.

Meantime I am still loving my fettled garden. We ( we ? the chaps we hired) came just in time as the frogs appeared on Wednesday. I counted four that day. Yesterday when I took the picture I counted 16 and a right mess they had made stirring up duck weed.

Knitting is progressing slowly. The back of the jumper for Miss F is done.

Looking pretty, I have started the front, but I seem very slow knitting wise this year.

So ’tis the weekend tomorrow. Does anyone have any lovely plans? It is lovely and sunny here, yesterday the car thermometer read 14.5C. Wow. Some Augusts it doesn’t get that nice.

This afternoon the library is hosting a felt embroidery workshop. It costs a £1. Wow again. I am going.  The rest of the weekend will be the usual laundry and shopping chores, maybe a little walk, bit of garden mooching..

Love to hear your plans. Please leave a comment, the natter part of this post depends on them. Thank you. Have a great weekend.

Take care and Be Happy,



February walk, Thornton Dale to Ellerburn.

Today’s the day I take a small select group of people on a short walk , I wondered if you would care to come along. I am hoping for lots of snowdrops and a nice mug of coffee when we are back. I took the photos when I did the walk back in January, I have to H&S these walks. We are going from Thornton Dale to Ellerburn and back.

See, it’s not a long walk.

Past the old mill which used to be all about animal feeds when I lived in the village, but is now flats.

And along the beckside. I love beech hedges during the winter.

That’s the old mill race, at one time there would have been a wheel to power the mill.

I wonder who decorated the tree for Christmas and if they came back and took them down? Hoping the woods will be full of snowdrops. Should I take my camera and risk annoying the walkers?

I love the way the beck has been reinforced with timber.

The beck is still on our left but the dale of Ellerburn is opening out.

My family tells me I take weird pictures. I can’t think what they are referring too.

Nothing weird about chickens

or trees.

There’s the church with the bats in the belfry , and our route back takes us along a lane, which you may recall is just one mile long. I counted no less than ten benches. Ten. If Wild Daffodil ever has a photo challenge for benches I shall be well prepared. I did take a picture of all ten, not weird, here are the two most moving ones

Christmas greetings for the loved ones on the plaque ,and here too

this one had a letter for Mum, saying how much she was loved still and missed.

If there is a gravestone for people to visit there is a place to go to think of their loved one, but when ashes are scattered well where do people go for a quiet moment.?

You can’t beat a nice photo of a gate can you , and it’s certainly not weird taking photos of gates.

Back past the thatched cottage and if it looks at all familiar it might just be that you have seen it on a jigsaw puzzle.

And back to main road and the Hall care home. It was a hotel back in my day. Mr E and his family stayed there the night before our wedding.

OK coffee anyone?

Hope you enjoyed the stroll. Have you had any snowdrop walks this year?




Colour in the Garden

It’s a real joy to go into the garden now. It’s oh so tidy , and sunny and colour is popping up everywhere.

The first tete a tete daffodil.

I think I planted theis two years ago and forgot all about it.

The first flowers of the year.

More and more snowdrops each year.

First yellow crocus

And these three survived the gardeners walking all over them last week.

Happy Days.

Hoping there is colour for you today.

Scrap Happy Natter.

I am posting this a day early as Friday is the day of our great internet changeover, and I have no idea how long that will take. We are now on Plan C by the way of interim internet provision, Mr E has his uses.

It’s also Scrap Happy Day so I am combining two posts in one, so do please visit Kate’s blog for more scrap happy projects.

I have continued to use up the yarn leftover from the Eastern Jewels blanket- so far there have been two cushion covers and a blanket( this has now gone to a homeless charity), and at last I have used all the yarn that was leftover. I am now onto using scraps of yarn leftover from other projects. Yes there probably is enough to make a good size blanket.

The grey colour is really green, and it’s going to be an enormous granny square.

This week it’s been all about the garden and its winter tidy up. Four man days it took and oh boy there is a difference.

Wisteria off the wall

Up again, can’t wait to show you it in May .

Big mess in vegetable garden.

Big mess moved onto the lawn at the end of day one, and now all gone for recycling and upcycling.

Vegetable garden ready for action.

Pond in need of some TLC

Pond ready for the frogs returning next month.

I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. There were two trailer loads of vegetation now all gone. How long would that have taken me to dispose of via the garden refuse collection which doesn’t  get collected in Winter. I had already filled it to the top. Oh and the compost bins are overflowing too.

Sometimes you just have to concede that Wonderwoman can’t do it all by herself. when Superman has been very ill indeed.

I am now looking forward to warmer days when I can potch around the garden again. I love going out first thing in the morning and enjoying those early moments when day begins.

The birds love the transformation by the way. You should have heard the noise they made on the first day the chaps came.

A quieter weekend is install for us. I am hoping to go to Scarborough on Saturday to choose backing fabric and wadding for my beginners quilt. Friday morning is Family History Group. I have made some good progress with my researches this year and all down to my Dad not chucking things out. If anyone’s interested let me know and I will do a post.

So I hope you all have a good weekend. Any nice plans? Do tell. Have you ever had to give in and get help when things overwhelm you? And please don’t forget to look at others Scrappy Projects.

Be Happy,




Knit and Natter Friday

The quilting workshop/course was wonderful, exhausting in the extreme, but jolly good. I spent Sunday afternoon stitching up my nine blocks. I found that tiring too, as one patch was too small so I cut another to replace it. Oh the thinking I had to do..

I’ve been laying it out on my bed. The idea is to not only having a pleasing look to the quilt but to make sure if possible that no two pieces the same touch. Now I used 10 fat quarters not nine, as the little Cath Kidston dogs was too small to be a full fat quarter, so it was slightly easier to do that bit, but then I had an aversion to having the dogs and the teacups the wrong way up.

So that is what I currently have. Our next session is at the beginning of March when we sew this lot together then add wadding and a backing fabric. I think I shall make life easy and go for pale blue. And apparently I have been using rubbish wadding in the past, so I wondered if anyone had any thoughts on wadding, also on colour for backing and also on the current layout. Please…

I was so tired by Tuesday that a not only was a little nap in order, but I also slept eight hours at night.

Other than that this week we have been having a tidy up. Now we agreed to have a big tidying session on Wednesday in the kitchen. Virtually every work surface was covered in something, clean somethings, but cooking was getting impossible. I start to empty a cupboard, clean it, put things back and clear the work surface. Mr E concedes he doesn’t need two coffee machines and we agree to put the one we don’t use in the glory hole under the stairs, which we do. Nice big space on work surface. Mr E, then informs me that everything else is mine and he is done. Well it wasn’t… and he isn’t! I cleaned and tidied and then placed all his stuff in one place, which I can say occupies quite a lot of space. I suppose he might finally clear it…..

They never mention the sharing of space when they talk about life in retirement do they?

Wondering if we dare tackle the dining room next?

Meantime I finished knitting my fingerless mittens. Not certain I get the point of these, so I have used them in conjunction with a pair of black gloves, and the result was quite cosy.

The colours are rubbish really, this is real wool, so the white is cream etc. The wool comes from a Wensleydale sheep, which is good to know. But talk about yarn chicken, there was precisely 8 inches left when I finished.

And meantime I have started more knitting. I found some yarn with a pattern with it in the bedroom. I actually have yarn in quite a few places, but I have decided to start with that which is cluttering up the top of my pine chest. The thing is I have no idea why I bought six balls, I almost wonder if I intended making two things not one. Anyway I have decided that with that quantity I clearly intended to make the jumper for Little Miss F. I worried that the yarn was too babyish but actually I think it is pretty rather than babyish.

Is she going to hate this?

So what are your plans for the weekend. I am making some Celery and Stilton soup, and if the rain isn’t too bad, maybe some time in the garden before the gardeners come next week, did I mention what nice chaps they were? And a walk..

Do please join in the natter/comments, my favourite bit as I never get tired of saying. Our internet is still a big problem, not helped by a certain gentleman dropping the router on the floor and cutting it off completely for an hour whilst I uploaded photos. Anyway today we have internet, still a long way to go before we have new equipment, so if I vanish for a while, you’ll know the reason.

Have a great weekend and

Be Happy,




February windows

Taking up the window challenge by Wild Daffodil

The village church at Ellerbrun where I shall be walking later this month.

Rather a plain little window, but look at the stone work over the left side.

clearly some reused stone, possibly from a grave

this bit is by the door. The church dates back to Saxon times, this is one very old church.


I cannot for the life of me work out why the stone pillars have been built over the window. Any ideas, because it really is a rather nice window.

If you have any nice windows to share do pop over to Wild Daffodil to leave your link.

After the frost, Spring will come.


After I took these pictures , we had a little snow. Not much here, my sons down South have had much more than we did.

I love the way frost seems to put everything into suspended animation, life goes on hold in the garden.

People feel the same I think when life gives them frost. I am just awakening from my icy blast. Spring is coming for me.

Am I talking rubbish, or do you know what I feel having had it happen to you?



Re Quilting Workshop/ class

Quick update after the quilting workshop today. Six hours long. Totally brilliant. Totally know how to use a rotary cutter, finally out of the packet ( former gift from son Mr B , maybe three, four years ago). Almost understand the 6 1/2 inch ruler thingy, also a gift for Mr B three/four years ago. Completely baffled on how to get 5 different size pieces of fabric from a fat quarter, but somehow I did it. Started to join them all back up again in a different order with different pieces.

Totally shattered.

I’ll sort them out and get round to taking a picture to show.

The rest will be a breeze, won’t it?

Thanks everyone for all the excellent advice yesterday.

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