Sunday, 27 January 2013

Wow, its nearly the end of January already!

It seems like only a minute ago it was Christmas! Such a lot has happened since I last blogged that its hard to believe it was only 10 days ago.
Ive had two job interviews, the first was a group interview (which I hadnt done before), which I didnt like much at all and needless to say I wasnt invited back for a second one. Then on Thursday I had another - luckily the lady from the employment agency told me a bit about the lady who was interviewing me, so I was able to use that to my advantage. The interview went really well and I should find out tomorrow if I am being invited back for a second interview with the Head honcho (fingers etc crossed as this sounds like my kinda job!).

 Weve also has a bit of snow!
This was the depth on the garden

One of the Mother in Laws bird tables

Mother in Laws garden

In the middle of all the snow, we had some visitors.
A good friend of my sisters and her son (who live in New Zealand) are doing a bit of a world tour.
 The week before they had been in Costa Rica (thats where James was born) in the lovely warm sunshine.
They flew into London and came up to us for the weekend and this is what they found....

James and Phil (my OH) building snow creatures

The snowman and snow dog with a fresh coating on Friday morning. 

 While they were here I took them out to Chatsworth for a drive. James wanted to go sledging, but all we had was a sheet of plastic which didnt work very well.....
James getting instructions from his Mum

Edensor (Chatsworth)

We saw them off on the next leg of their journey (up to Inverness) at the train station on a very snowy Monday - luckily we were able to drive, otherwise it could have been a very long walk! They are now in the Orkney islands until mid-Feb (they have family up there), then they will be off to China.
It was lovely to meet James and see Jud (last time she stayed with us was about 13 or so years ago), but they did find our house very cold.

I have also finished the blocks for my quilts! Now I just need to get them laid out and put together (tho I only have enough batting for one so the other will have to wait until Im working again). Ive had so much fun making these, I shall almost certain be doing more quilting in the future, I really hope my nieces like them. :O)
 Here are the final blocks.......
Ohio Star

Double Star

Drunkards Path

Cleopatras Puzzle

Friendship Circle

Circle of geese
Well, thats it for now, weve had a lot of rain overnight, so things are thawing out quite nicely, I can see my lawn again and the bulbs which are starting to poke through, so hopefully theres some nicer weather on its way.
All things being well I will have some good news on the job front soon (and we will be able to catch up on some of the bills etc).
Hope the year has started well for you.
Bye bye for now.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

And On It Goes

Life is settling into a bit of a routine now that the 'Silly Season' has gone, and not much has happened since I last blogged, so I wasnt sure if an update was needed or not.

My little job a day list came to a halt when I hit the job I loathe even more than ironing - cleaning the oven! Having said that I did all the other jobs for the week, and its been too cold to have the windows and doors    open while the oven cleaner does its job. I tried the baking soda method, but it didnt get the oven as clean as  I would like, so there, thats my excuse! I will pick it up again as soon as I can summon up the enthusiasm.

We had a bit of snow on Monday, it didnt come to much, but apparently there is more on the way.

View from the spare bedroom
Craftwise, Ive been playing about with some Steampunk ideas. We got some silk flowers to use on fascinators and hats, so Ive been experimenting with changing the stamens........

 Also, Ive been cracking on with the quilt blocks.......

Greek Cross


Dresden Plate

Modern Dresden Plate

 Ive only got another 6 blocks to do of each colour and then the fun starts of putting them together! 

So, as I said, not the most exciting of updates, but things are quiet here at the moment. 

Hopefully next time there will be something a bit more exciting to 'chat' about.




Thursday, 10 January 2013

Wow - is it Thursday already?

Cant believe how quickly this week has flown. Then again, looking back I have been quite busy and have managed to pack lots in. Before I shoot off to (yet another) registration interview with a recruitment agency I thought Id do a quick update.

Ive been out and had a bit of a tidy in the garden, its looking a wee bit better, tho I didnt want to cut things back too much as we are supposedly in for some cold weather and I didnt want to risk losing any plants

Ive been working on a guest blog for the lovely Jen  over at My Make Do and Mend Year - its the first time Ive ever guested on another blog, so Im excited and nervous at the same time.

On the job front, now that people are back from their Xmas hols, thing are finally starting to move. Ive got a few CV's sent off for a few jobs, so fingers crossed!

Ive also been getting into my list of extra weekly jobs. The idea has been adapted from a blog I used to follow, (Im not gonna link to it as the blogger turned out to be a bit of a sarcastic mare and I dont follow her anymore) but Ive made my own list of extra little jobs to do every day (for the next 6 weeks). It includes things like clearing out your inbox, checking your medicine cabinet and throwing out your out of date stuff, you know the stuff you never get round to. So Im cracking on with that and doing one little extra job a day and pleased with  myprogress so far..

Also, Ive had word back from the lovely Big Sis that the nieces approve of the quilt blocks they have seen so far (PHEW!). Im halfway through them now and am enjoying some blocks more than others.
Here are the latest efforts...........

Hexagonal Row

Hex Flower

Log Cabin

Wonky Log Cabin

Well, thats it for now, and Id best get myself organised.

See ya later.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Another Week Over

This week has been a bit of a mixed bag.
Taking down the tree and packing the decorations away for another year always makes me feel a bit glum, the house looks somehow bare and tired and its a reminder that weve now got Winter to get through.
Also, this weeks been a bit weird as I was expecting numerous recruitment agencies to be contacting me about new and exciting jobs, but the phone has remained quiet. OH keeps reminding me that people will have only just got back from their Xmas breaks and that things will pick up next week, but focussing on Xmas was keeping me from freaking out about being jobless and now thats been and gone.........
Having said that, I keep telling myself I dont need to panic about Januarys bills just yet, theres still some 'wiggle' room on the credit cards and plently of time for me to find a job before the end of the month.
Still, I would feel slightly better if my first benefit 'payment' would have come through by now as cash is getting a bit scarce.

Right, enough doom and gloom, there have been some nice things happening this weeks as well!
Weve had some lovely weather (considering its midwinter). I got out for a walk yesterday as I had some errands to run fairly locally (and thought Id try and conserve petrol), so took a quick snap of one of the neighbourhood parks on my way past.......

Also, there are signs that Spring is on its way in the garden, lots of snowdrops, daffodils and even tulips poking through ( the netting is down to stop the neighbourhood cats from using my garden as the local public lav).....

So Im hoping that is the weather stays nice I will be able to get out and clear some of last years dead growth off the garden and top up the compost bin.

On the craft front, I have finally finished the cushion cover I was cross stitching.
Originally it was for a female relative (which is why I chose those colours), but due to unforseen circumstances it wont be for her anymore, so it will probably get sold on etsy once its been made into a cushion.
Ive also done a few more blocks on the patchwork quilts for my nieces, tho I havent had any feedback from my sister yet, (hint hint big sis!!!!!) so Im not sure if these will be met with enthusiasm or be deemed 'oh how lovely' pressies. Anyway here are the next three blocks......

Chunky Chevron

String Block

Broken Spider Web

These last two patterns were very time consuming, but are a fab way to use up scraps!
Im now onto some blocks that involve some hand sewing, great as I can do them in front of the telly at night, but not so great as they take a bit more time as well.

So, thats me for now, I really must get off the computer and go and sort out something for tea.
Hope the New Year is starting off well for you.


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

And we're off...........

Hope your New Years celebrations were fab, and that 2013 has stated well for you.
From tomorrow I will be resuming the Big Job Hunt, so I thought Id post a quick update today.
Ive spent the last few days pottering around the house, reading, doing bits and pieces here and there, and trying to avoid too much housework, ironing etc..
Ive made some Fridge Soup (so called as any veg which have gone past their best that are in the fridge get chucked in), this weeks offering was carrot and swede.....
which has gone in the freezer for a rainy day.

Ive also re-covered my small ironing board as the cover was very thin and the pattern of the board imprinted on the clothes as I ironed them.
And, I have undertaken a bit of a project!

One of the conditions for my getting me brand new sewing machine for my Birthday was that I would get use out of it and that it wouldnt just take up space. I did make a few bits for Xmas, but felt I needed something to help me build up some more confidence/skill.
I had a look at a  brilliant project online last year ...Craftsy Block Of The Month and reckon it was about time I gave it a go.
Ive decided to make a couple of quilts for my lovely nieces who I dont see enough of (mainly due to the fact that they live on the other side of the world), using fabric from my stash/hoarde.
I have no idea what their favourite colours are (shocking I know), so have decided one will have a yellow background and the other pink (mainly as these are the colours I have enough of!).
Each quilt will be make up of 20 blocks each and Ive made a start. They arent perfect, but Im quite pleased with them so far..........

Asterisk Blocks

Wonky Pound Blocks
Baltic Puzzle Bolcks
I will keep you updated with their progress.

Id love to hear what projects you have got on the go for 2013.
Now Im off to cut out block number 4.

Thanks for readung