Wednesday 8 June 2016


I was at the party.... honest. 

It was a lovely weekend here.     Perfect for joining Chookyblue in celebrating her Chooksheds 4th birthday.   Doesn't time fly.  Seems like only last year that she took up residence in her own special sewing space.

In honour of the Chookshed I blew the dust of my box YLI Silks.  Polished my applique needle and cleaned my specs ready for action    And here is what I worked on.....

The first block of the  Rowdy Flat Library Quilt.......

Like I really needed to start another project   Duh!  I hope there are quilting stores in Heaven (I'm hoping to go there) coz I'm going to need all of eternity and then some to scale my WIP mountain.

I must admit I haven't stitched much in all the weeks I've been missing.   Actually the fact I haven't sewn much is the reason I've been missing.    There are only so many cat and chicken photos I can bore you all with and even I'm sick of the sound of my own whinging.

Still..... things might just be looking up.   The party put a needle back in my hand and guess what.... I liked it.   I had fun.   I quaffed my share of vino collapso and munched my way through a mountain of root vegetable crisps.    So what if I eventually felt sick.....   I was happy as a pig in poo (being polite).

Here's another photo....

I finished all but 10 of the little petals around the centre.   Good going eh.   I'm ringing the changes with more modern and brighter fabric selections too.  Seriously..... what is happening to me.  I'm in danger of becoming 'trendy'..... who'd have thought.

Thanks for the party Chooky.  I know you had a great time and now you know I did too.  

Now for a bit of a general catch up.

I'm showing you this photo of Chris and Sally to prove to you that the sun does shine in Scotland.....


not often I can get the two of them to sit for a photo.  Just look at that blue sky!    I suspect that Sally allowed me to take her pic because she wanted me to show you her finished circle quilt and as you know there is a price to pay for everything.  

Here's her quilt....

I love it.... I covet it.  Is that a sin?    It looks just perfect for my conservatory.  I can't believe she refused to leave it with me.  Some friend eh!  (just kidding Sal)

Chris caught the circle bug too...... this is her proudly displaying her first batch.....

She's got over 100 done now.   Yep... she's addicted.

Kitty visited for a weekend....  she arrives every time she needs a hair cut.  Sadly she doesn't trust me to style her locks.   Perhaps I shouldn't have shown her the pudding basin......

She finished this lovely embroidered pincushion.  It's the first time she's tried ribbon embroidery.. didn't she do well.    She stitched that little squirrel cross stitch too.   It was a freebie kit with a cross stitch magazine.    Honestly..... I didn't think anyone ever made up those little kits.    Do  you?

Bit by tiny bit I did manage to make a few more Stonefields blocks.....

Hand piecing is so relaxing.

Not a lot of progress but better than nothing.

A few weeks ago I took on the role of Chicken Nurse.   Here I am throttling medicating Ruby.   Talk about stress.   It worked fine the first time I dosed her but after that.... well she had me sussed.  No way was she coming near me.    I'd  honed my rugby tackle to perfection by the time treatment was done.

She did improve but sadly she didn't thrive.   For a Rhode Island Red she was very small and delicate. This morning I found her on the floor of the chicken coop.   She quite literally fell off her perch and ascended to chicken heaven some time during the night.   I like to think she was happy.  Her last supper was fresh raspberries and corn.... boy did she enjoy it.    

Lovely Miss Ruby Runabout

The chickens I waited 62 years to own have broken my heart twice already.    Miss Rosie disappeared a month ago.    Just disappeared without a trace.   No ruckus in the garden.  No sight or sound of a predator. Not a feather to be found.  Spooky.   It was 2 o,clock on a Sunday afternoon for goodness sake.   I was home.  I heard nothing.

I've discounted Mac's theory that she was abducted by Aliens and I'm hanging onto the hope that she's gone broody and is hiding somewhere in the garden.   Goodness knows a battalion of chickens could  be hiding in here and you'd never know.   

It's been 4 weeks without even a note.   The Poultry Man told me she could sit on her eggs for 4 to 6 weeks.... until she notices that they are getting smelly and not very nice.... and abandons the nest for the comforts of the coop.    To be truthful... hope is fading but you never know.   Stranger things happen.... around here anyway.

Chicken news is not all bad though.   Chris and Sally took me to a Poultry Auction at our local Mart.  I had a great time looking at loads of lovely birds the like of which I'd never seen before.   I intended to bid for two Speckled Sussex hens.  I'd lost hope of finding any of those locally.  

Well..... I nearly had a dicky fit when I heard the auctioneer in action.   I couldn't understand a word he was saying and boy was he fast.   I can talk some gibberish but he had me beat.   I begged Sally to stay and bid on my behalf..... I really am quite shy you know.  Honest.  Eventually I had to take pity on Sal and Chris and let them go home.   My 'lot' was some 2 hours down the list and they were starving.... or so they told me.

By the time the Speckled Sussex were up I was an auction expert.   I'd tuned in to the Auctioneer and figured out the strange methods folks have for bidding.   I decided that flicking the show catalogue would be my method of choice.  It worked.   I am now the proud owner of .........

Miss Sally Speckles

Miss Susie Speckles

What's not to love about them.  Roll on the next auction.....

Well... I'd better get going.  You've guessed.... it's TV time again.  Besides I'm rambling and I've really overloaded this post with chicken stuff.   

I've got a day off tomorrow.   After I've picked up worming meds for the hens and blitz cleaned the coop that is.    However much of my day I have left  I'll be spending with you.   Visiting and checking out what you've been up too this week.   

So.... have a lovely rest of the week doing what makes you happy and I'll see you soon.

Thanks for putting up with me....:o)

Josie xxxxx

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Reasons to be cheerful.......

Fluffy Chicken bums!      

Don't you just love them!     At last I've got some chickens..... 7 of them.      I picked them up on Easter Sunday (how apt) and I haven't stopped smiling since.    I was supposed to be choosing a maximum of 6 but you know how I am at decision making.     I'll introduce them later in the post once I've brought you up to speed with what I've been doing the last few weeks.

What have I been doing.    Not a lot!  

I'm still wondering what happened to all the lovely optimism I woke up with on January 1st.   It didn't hang around for long that's for sure.    It's darned hard to be optimistic when your spouse is the Prophet of Doom.   Take this week.... he's pronounced the end of the world is nigh yet again.    This time it seems we need to stock up on tinfoil (not for the first time).    How a roll of Bacofoil will save us when a hidden planet sneaks out from behind the sun to destroy Earth with a burst of radioactive rays  I don't know.   But.... if he wants foil he'll get foil.   Anything for a quiet life.   Hot tip..... buy shares in Aluminium!

To cut a long story short..... my Anti Mac pills weren't up to the job so the nice Dr. upped the dosage.
Plus it turns out that my Thyroid blood results showed that the dodgy gland was on the fritz again.  Another increase in medication required.     Some days I haven't know up from down. I've tried to blog (believe me I have tried really hard) but no words would come.   Who knew there was such a thing as Bloggers Block.  Trust me.... there is.

Right.... that's the whinge over with.   Now down to the business of catching up.   I'll start with the sewing.... what there is of it.

Back in late January the girls and I retreated to the cottage again.    I did sew....

I made quite a lot of quarter circle blocks for my scrap project.    Haven't touched them since.

Made a start on a new BOM too (I know... I should be shot for signing up)....

It's the Lucy Boston quilt Patchwork of the Crosses.   I resisted this project for ages but when I saw it as a BOM made with Liberty print fabrics I was sunk.   Resistance was futile.    Kitty signed up for this one too and she is actually bang on target with the blocks.    Me..... well... guess what!    This is as far as retreat took me......

I have finished one project this year.  I made a bag..... I had to... it was a class.....


It's an homage to my new chickens.   If you look carefully you'll see the main fabric has rows of chickens parading back and forth.    I love it!    Kitty and I signed up for the bag class ages ago.  It was held in March at my new local quilt store Holm Sown in Castle Douglas.    Rachel (the store owner) is lovely and both Kitty and I learnt lots about interfacing's and bag hardware.   Just goes to show it is always possible to teach an old dog new tricks.

While I'm on the subject of bags I didn't show you the gifts I made for Chookyblue in the SSCS swap.   Truth is I made a real hash of taking photos of the finished main gift and I've had to 'borrow' these pics from Chookys blog (sorry Donna I know I should have asked first but I'm on a roll and I'm scared to stop)

Here's the bag I made for her.....

Talk about pressure to come up with the goods!   I mean.... making for the Chookster herself... phew!
Was I relieved when she opened the parcel and actually liked it.

Lovely photos Chooky......

I had a lot more grey hairs by the time I'd finished choosing all the applique fabrics I can tell you.

I did get a halfway decent photo of the Christmas Ornament though.....

Had fun making it too.    Seems I was tuned in to chickens before I ever knew I was getting some for Christmas!

Finally I have been working on circles for my Quilty 365 project.   Apologies Audry for not linking up yet.....

I'm not exactly following the rules for this project either.    One circle a day is the requirement but it seems cutting out circles was the limit of my abilities this last few weeks..... I've cut and ran running stitches around over 300 of them.     No apologies for cheating..... circles have been saving my sanity.

Here's a few of them.    Not as imaginative as those of some of the other girls working on this project but hey.... it's all my own work and I'm happy with it.

Heck.... I screwed up another photo.   I'm actually setting these 'on point'!     Actually... now that I've seen this pic I might change my mind on that.   Why make it any harder..... ho hum!

That's it for the sewing stuff I'm afraid.   Doesn't amount to a hill of beans does it!

I did make a supreme effort to fix the driveway earlier this year.....

Believe me this is the best bit.   It got worse further down.

I'd just finished barrowing in 3 tons of hardcore and was choking back tears as the realisation dawned that 3 tons was a drop in the ocean and I was going to need more... like 20 tons more!  Right then my bacon was saved by the arrival of a man in a van offering a good deal on Tarmac (Asphalt).   Now I know it's prudent to beware of men turning up unexpectedly offering to Tarmac anything  but heck.... I was desperate.   I said OK.    

Four hours later this is how it looked.....

The piggy bank took a big hit but it was worth it.    No way could I ever have made it look this good. Can't tell you how giddy with relief I was.   The darned drive is 500 feet long... I'd have still been filling holes next Christmas.   One job less to worry about.

At last.... it's time to introduce you to my little flock.....  scroll to the bottom now if chickens are not your thing.

Meet the girls.....

Dora the Explorer a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte

Ditsy Dorothy (aka Dotty) a Plymouth Rock
Bashful Blanche a Buff Laced Barnvelder

 Ruby Runabout a Rhode Island Red

Miss Prudence a Blue Laced Barnvelder

Sweet Molly Malone a Welsummer
and last but not least....

Rosie Posie a New Hampshire Red

You've probably guessed I couldn't decide on just one breed of chicken so I got a selection!
They are still young and just beginning to lay but I have a feeling I'm going to have more eggs than I know what to do with when they all get the hang of things.

OK.... I'm going to leave you in peace now.   I might just manage to grab a bite to eat before TV time if I'm lucky.

I'm not going to promise to be back soon just in case I end up on the dark side again.   Hope that doesn't happen.

Can you believe it.... writing this post has got me all excited again.   Heck.... I can even feel a bit of enthusiasm bubbling up.   Wonders never cease.

Bye for now then.
Hope you are all having a brilliant year and sewing for all you're worth
Have fun...


Sunday 10 January 2016

Friday Night With Friends.....

 Friday was a strange day here in South West Scotland.

I woke up and it wasn't raining!   That was odd for a start.  I set out on the grocery run happy and relaxed.   Should have know it wouldn't last.   By lunchtime we'd  had rain... sleet and finally snow.     By the time I arrived home I was soaked to the skin.  Frozen to the bone. And more than a bit ticked off.  

When I finally made it into the sewing room I was greeted (actually she couldn't be bothered) by a rather sad looking Tiggy.....

This is what a really fed up little cat looks like after weeks of rain.   Pour soul.   She's as sick and tired of being damp as I am.   Looks like she's lost all hope of a day in the garden that doesn't leave her looking more drowned rat than cat!   Anyone got any tips on cheering up a depressed kitty?

She did hang around (albeit halfheartedly) to assist with the cutting of all these squares though.  She's not one for missing out on a sew in.....

After I'd warmed up and had a cup of tea I did some thinking.  Really productive thinking.   As you know a while back I decided to join Audry in her Quilty 365 Challenge.     I'd like to say I deliberately waited till 1st January to make a start but that would be a fib.    I just couldn't get my backside into gear before the new year arrived.     An evening with all you girls finally gave me the momentum to get going.

First off I decided that I wanted to use just two fabrics for circle backgrounds.   Spots and gingham. Then I decided I wanted to set the blocks 'on point' so I could play around with the setting triangles. How about that.... two major decisions in one evening.   Can't begin to describe how chuffed to bits I was.  

Next... I began to applique the circles that I'd prepped earlier in the week....

I really like this 'tree'.   It does look better when it's 'on point'.  

This is another favourite cut from a charm square of Curio fabric which I've been saving for something special.  

All in all I manage to applique 6 of the 8 circles I'd made and I was very happy.

Just realised that green circle at the top looks plain.... it isn't.   It's a text print.  Don't know what happened to the photo.   Rubbish photographer I think!

I really hope everyone who joined in FNWF had as good a time as I did.   Thanks Cheryll for hosting yet another lovely sew in.    I very much appreciate it.  

I'm about to head up to bed now for some much needed beauty sleep(!)    Tomorrow morning (weather permitting) I'm off to audition some chickens.   Won't be bringing them home though.  The weather has been too bad to get the coop sited.   Besides the girls and I are off to the cottage for a week at the end of the month and I really can't contemplate leaving Mac 'home alone' with poultry.  Not when he wants to call them.....  Kebab,  Bar-B-Cue,  Kentucky Fried,  Casserole  etc.   Seriously!

Before I go I have one last thing to say.    I want to thank all of you who leave lovely comments on my posts even though I haven't been responding or commenting myself lately.    I do so appreciate your support.     My resolution for 2016 is to make finding time to visit and chat a priority.    Chatting is what I love to do (you'd never have guessed) and I miss it terribly.

So... watch out!   I'll be about!

Have a great rest of the weekend doing what makes you happy.

See you soon
Josie   xxxxx

Friday 1 January 2016

Happy New Year!

I love the first day of a new year.    It's the one day I'm guaranteed to wake up so full of optimism I might just burst with joy.    It's the day I feel invincible!    I can climb every mountain.  Ford every stream.  Follow every rainbow..... right to the door of the nut house (according to my mother)!  

Who cares.  I'm having fun.

I fitted a new toilet seat before breakfast.   Gathered up storm debris in the garden before lunch.   Cleaned the oven this afternoon and now... joy of joys.... I have internet access again so I can talk to you all.    Storm Frank took out what was left of our internet connection after Eva hit us earlier.  

Christmas means SSCS and this year my gifts were sent by Jan at Little Red Hen in Australia.    Jan made not one but two ornaments.   Cute little felt hearts with pretty button centres.   They've been decorating my sewing room for the festive season.   I have a fibre optic tree these days so I have to be a bit more creative about where I hang ornaments.

On Christmas day I got to open the other two packages.....

and found all sorts of goodies.    A new sewing pouch and needle keeper.  A really cute hoop ornament with what I'm sure is a Hatched and Patched design.   A pretty felt brooch and some lovely little buttons to save for just the right project.    Thanks Jan...... I luv em all!     Turns out Jan was born in Glasgow but emigrated to the Antipodes when she was 'wee'.    How clever of Chooky to pair her with a gal from her homeland.

My SSCS partners gifts arrived in Aus right on time.   My pressies went to none other than Chookyblue herself!     No pressure for me then!   I was super happy (not to mention relieved) to hear that she likes what I made for her.  It was an honour and a pleasure to make for you Chooky.   Hope you have one foot back in the world soon.  Luv ya!    

I got one present this Christmas that Santa had to drop off early........

a Chicken Coop!    No chickens yet though.  We need to prepare a base for the coop and get equipment ready.    Don't think I've been so excited about anything since I was a kid.  My dream of chickens in the garden is finally coming true.   Mac is excited about the amount of chicken manure coming his way.

He thought it was funny to pull his new hat over my head when the girls were here.  They took a photo of Chicken Josie and dared me to show you....

you'd think they'd know by now not to dare a fool.    Think it suit's me... don't you.  

On the sewing front I've been sewing lots more quarter circle blocks.    I put a few together just to see how they'd look.....

I'm really happy with them.    Of course it's taking me ages to choose the 4 quarters for each block.... nothing new there.    Which reminds me.   While it's still the 1st of January I need to make the first circle block for my Quilty 365 Challenge .   Better go and choose more fabric.....

I hate to cut and run but the bat cave beckons and I need to prep that circle to stitch during TV time...

Happy New Year!!

See you soon...

Josie  xxx