Saturday, 28 February 2009

February Finish!

Just in time - my 'green' quilt!

'Please Do Not Adjust Your Set' !! It's not actually green in colour but my attempt at recycling!

DD has just finished redecorating her guest bedroom ready for our visit in 3 weeks time and a little while ago asked if there was any chance of a blue and white quilt with a 'shabby chic' look to it, and could I take it over with me - well, what do you do say?? I am not the biggest fan in the the world of colour co-ordinated quilts, lovely as they are, they are just not me. Added to this was the difficulty of getting hold of the right fabrics in this area - plus - how do you make a quick quilt !!

Then I remembered seeing this quilt on Amanda's blog ! I'm afraid there were no vintage sheets lurking anywhere, but what I did unearth were a couple of barely used 'retired' duvet covers (who needs duvets now we have quilts?) which I thought might fit the bill - and this is the result !! Overall it measures 6ft x 4ft 6inches , and I am really pleased with the way it turned out, I even pieced the backing out of cut-offs . (forgot to take photo though!!)

I finish the quilting (large stipple) about a week ago, but for some reason it has taken ages to get the binding turned - but now it's done, washed and dried and packed in a large brown paper bag (courtesy of Ikea!) ready to catch the ferry !!

I e-mailed a photo to DD saying that if she didn't like it, or didn't want it, I wouldn't be offended as it would go very nicely in one of my own bedrooms (!) - the reply was 'it is lovely and don't you dare forget to bring it !!' - Ah Well! It was worth a try :-)

Do you remember this photo from last week ?

Same spot today !

I think you'll agree that was some extra volume of water !!!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Oh Dear! I'm not generating any interest in my PIF Appeal, so thought I'd put a little temptation in your way! It might be something like my latest project - who knows !

Thought I'd show both sides to try and catch your interest :-)

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Didn't We Have A Lovely Day!

We had the nicest day for months last Friday, by mid morning there was a cloudless blue sky and it was surprisingly mild ! In the time we've lived here, we have found February to be a very grey and quite often wet month, so this was a bonus not to be wasted!!

Our destination was somewhere new to us, St Briac sur Mer on the North Brittany coast just around the coastline from its better known neighbours of Dinard and St Malo - and it is a little gem!!

After a pleasant lunch of 'moules & frites' and a glass of vin blanc at a cafe just off the marina , we set off up the hill towards the local Golf Club. I have to say at this point that I thought there was something just a little strange about the cafe owner as he insisted on speaking a 'form' of Italian in a strong French accent ! Now I know my French pronunciation leaves a little to be desired , but no way can I be taken for an Italian!!! He must have been having a bit of fun with us I think, as he signed our bill 'Paid with Thanks' in English when we left !

Up between the links...

....and over the brow of a small hill, this is what was waiting for us !

and this was just the start of it!

Following the footpath around the coast (I think it was a section of the GR34 , part of the huge network of footpaths that criss cross the whole of France!) we came upon cove

..after cove...

... rocky and sandy beaches...

...and yet another item for the shopping list when I win the EuroMillions!

........the ultimate house with a view - now where will I have my sewing room ?????

Before we knew where we were we had been walking for over 1 1/2 hours and were miles from the car park so it was sore feet all round by the time we made it back - but well worth the effort for such a wonderful unexpected day!

I know it sounds utterly selfish, but it is a delight to be able to visit these smaller seaside towns before the 'summer visitors' arrive - there'll be no empty beaches then I can assure you !!!

Tomorrow's forecast is also promising another nice day, and if it happens, we will be off North again, this time to explore a little further around the coast at St-Cast-le Guildo which promises to be another jewel in Brittany's crown !!!

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Presidents' Residences !

As there has been lots of 'Presidential' talk over the last few weeks, and in case you need something to do this afternoon (!) I thought you might like to pop over to Paris and take a vitual tour of one of the French Presidential buildings - Le Palais de L'Elysee !

Once each photo has uploaded, just left click, hold down and move the mouse SLOWLY around the mat! I say slowly as otherwise you may become a little disorientated - and don't ask how I know that :-) You can also zoom into any feature by using the 'wheel ' on your mouse.

It really is worth a visit !!!!

Pay It Forward

Back in July I jumped into a Pay It Foward challenge with Jo in Tasmania. Over the months Jo and I have corresponded on and off and I think it might be fair to say that we have become cyber friends! I knew that Jo was near to completing my gift, and because of our growing friendship I thought she would understand when I 'refused' her generous offer and asked her to donate it instead to one of the charities for the Bushfire Victims. I was right to think that she would understand and she is now very kindly sending it to the Victorian Quilters Guild to give away.

This was to have been my PIF gift, and I would have loved it dearly, but I am glad to know that someone more needing will benefit and I am sure that they will treasure it as much as I would!!

Thank you Jo for being an understanding and generous friend!

Still on the subject of PIF, I have actually joined the next round with Andrea of Comfort Coves Designs , so help me out here please I need 3 people to join me so's I can carry on the challenge :-)
These are the rules (if you don't know them already!)

I will send a hand made gift to 3 people on my list within 365 days.In turn, the 3 people who have joined my PIF must also host their own and ask for 3 people to join.They then must send a handmade gift to each of their 3 players within 365 days.And on and on it goes, spreading the goodness around.There is no set time to send the gifts, just as long as they are sent within 365 days of hosting your PIF.If you are interested in joining in - please leave a comment !

Friday, 20 February 2009

Funny How Time Slips Away!

I just can't believe where this week has gone again , and being a Country & Western fan (!) couldn't resist 'borrowing' Willie Nelson's words for the post title !

Its been a strange week one way and another, I seem to have been busy the whole time, but have nothing to show for it! Perhaps the fact that the builders have been in turning the place upside down has something to do with it - or perhaps its just because its February! I have a major problem with February -I hate it!! Even though its the shortest month, for me its also the most 'down' month of the year, don't ask me why, I just don't know, but I am always glad when February is over !

The builders are in because we've actually decided to renovate the last part of our house! This has been on our minds for a couple of years, but to be honest we got to the stage where all we were doing was working on the renovations and that really wasn't why we came to Brittany, so it was put on a (VERY) slow burner until we decided what we wanted to do with the very large grenier (attic) over the cob part of the house ! The funds for this job have been put aside in France for a long time too, so haven't fallen foul to the £s / Euro exchange rate that we're all suffering from at the moment!! The bad news is that there is a mess everywhere - the good news is that I have claimed the biggest part of the new area as my sewing room!!!!! Much as I love my little room ( just a large cupboard really!) it will be great to have some more space eventually !

I have lots more news as well as photos for you, but just for now as I am pushed for time (again!) and I don't like to post without a photo - one of the new little foal that arrived just over a week ago, 3 days old when this was taken & she is gorgeous!!!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Weather Report

Well, the second storm didn't happen, thankfully, and our weather has become calmer but colder! Cold I can cope with (as long as there's no white stuff to go with it!!) at least then there's a chance of getting some exercise in the form of a walk!

Loyat ,a pretty little town between home and Ploermel, and at one end of Lac au Duc. As you can see from the map(page 2), our (yellow) route takes us through the bottom end of the village crossing the river Yvel , just before joining the main road to Ploermel. Normally a slow moving river about 4 metres wide, l'Yvel meanders alongside the roadway, under a couple of bridges then eventually into the lake - but not at the moment!

Thursday we decided to make the most of the dry, bright spell and went for a good walk along the Voie Vert (Green Way) near Loyat and these are photos of this normally placid river -remember that this is some 5 days after our last downpour so the levels have already dropped!!

Fishermen's access to the river bank & footbridge, all but gone!

Just a small verge seperating the lake and river!

Bridge arches all but submerged - this bridge was swept away by floods in 2005 and has only just been rebuilt ! I would guess that more than 3/4 of the arches are submerged this time!

Tall trees show the natural position of the river bank

This one tells is own story!

Do you think the chickens made it to dry ground ??

The animals - waiting two by two !

What a face ! As cute as he was, this has got to be the stuff that nightmares are made of :-) Just look at his teeth though !!!

Too late for Christmas, a whole branch of mistletoe ripped off ...

.... and I guess no flooding for these 'folk who live on the hill'!! Yes - all in all you could say we've had a drop of rain !!!

This afternoon I am off to do a photo shoot of the 3 days old Breton Harras foal belonging to one of our neighbours, so be prepared for some A...aah! photos soon!!!!!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Bush Fire Quilt Project

Four more Wonky Star blocks this afternoon, all 5 are now packed up ready to post to Tia tomorrow!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Today's Hat Trick!

Just a beginning , my first attempt at a wonky 'Maverick Star'..............How many have you made ?

Helping Hands

Its not often I post twice in one day, but I do have a good reason ! Like many others in Blogland I have been totally distraught over what is happening to many thousands of Australians and have been wondering what, if anything, I could do to help.

Many years ago I lived for a short time in Fiji - it was a very short time actually, only some 3 months, as that was when I and my family were also the victims of a fire, caused by an electrical fault, and watched our home being totally gutted and all our possessions go up in flames. The house was weatherboard, it was very, very dry and it just went up like a paper bag !

We were luck, all we lost were possessions, but for a short time one of my sons was missing, he was not with his friends where he should have been, and, as I had been working down in the garden, I couldn't be sure if he'd sneaked into the house or not! I cannot begin to tell you what that felt like, but I can tell you it took three men to stop me going in to look for him !

Whilst the memory of that time has never really left me, the TV footage showing the absolute devastation caused by the bush fires together with the loss of lives , has brought the whole episode to the very front of my mind. I can vividly remember what it felt like to realise that we were thousands of miles away from our families, that we'd been left with nothing - in fact I didn't even have a pair of shoes to put on my feet as I 'ran out' of them going back to the house and , believe it or not, someone stole them !

Having told you all this, you'll understand why I feel a great need to help with this crisis and maybe ask you to do the same! It is really very easy and all you have to do is go look at this Flick'r Group , if you haven't already done so, and give a little of your time to make some blocks and a few coins to pay the postage, I am sure it will help to make a difference to someone...............

The Morning After !

Well, the forecast almost got it right - the winds did increase but to a greater strength than anyone expected! Not long after midnight the storm hit the Brittany coast at an average speed of some 120 km an hour (that's 75 mph!) It came up from the South East, cut a swage right through Northern France and was last seen heading towards Germany ! This photo (courtesy of Orange France) shows the force of the wind this morning on the Normandy coast , well after the 'big blow' went through!

At 2 am we awoke to a very loud roaring noise and for a moment couldn't think what it was - and were amazed when we realised it was the wind ! The power of it was frightening & the noise undescribable and as we stood watching the trees all around us bending almost in half from the force , I can tell you everything was crossed (!) hoping nothing fell on or near the house!!

It carried on gusting like this for most of the night and only really abated with the dawn and we have been very fortunate not to suffer any damage . All the houses in the village are OK too, which is a relief as most of the other residents are very elder folk !

The really bad news is that it is forecasted to happen again tonight and Northern Brittany is on Orange Alert for heavy falls of snow and hailstorms thrown in for good measure ! Now we are slap bang in the middle, so what we'll wake up to tomorrow is anyone's guess !

But, after every storm there is a bright patch, today is sunny and dry although still extremely windy and we even have some of the survivors from last night's battering !

Spring perhaps ?????

Monday, 9 February 2009

The North Wind.....

.......doth blow!! And we shall have snow!

Not a great deal admittedly, more like a sprinkling of icing sugar (!) but what we have had is rain, rain & hail, and then more rain!! Add to this not just the North wind but the East wind too which I swear has been coming straight from the Russians Steppes and it has been a very unpleasant weekend!

The normal trickle of a stream that runs through the villlage is swollen to a raging torrent , any minute now the village will be divided in two, and the low lying fields are under inches of water and no sign of a break in it either!! But -much as the pouring rain is driving me out of my mind, I am grateful that we didn't get snow, as 4 years ago we had a fall of approx 14 inches overnight and it was a nightmare!! This part of the world is certainly not geared up for big snow falls, it was 9 days before we could get out of the village other than in our very ancient Landrover, and , much as we love her - you would not want to travel very far in her - she gives a new meaning to Shake, Rattle & Roll !!

The wind is increasing as I write and we've already had a number of trees blown over and I expect there'll be quite a few more as the forecast for tomorrow is for even stronger winds!! The weather conditions throughout the world all seem to be vying toward the extremes and whilst we are not suffering like Australia and many other countries, you have to wonder where it is going to stop !

It has been several days now since I ventured out, I do not want to give the 'chest' a chance to get any worse - in fact it is a lot better, but I am not taking any chances ! We should have gone to pay for and arrange delivery of the new bed at the end of last week, but that hasn't happened I'm afraid, so we have a lovely newly decorated bedroom but no bed !!

Not a lot of sewing really, I have finished block 2 of Verandah Views

and Once Upon A Time (no gold button yet!)

but otherwise just a couple of fabric baskets to show , one from here

and the other from here

both of them fun to make! Otherwise, I keep plodding on with joining the 2" square together, then together again to make 4 patches, etc, etc............and so it goes on, well, you know the story !!!!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

A Sense of Deja Vu !

To say that I am feeling very low is putting it mildly - I have just been to the GP for my regular 3 monthly' check up' to be told that, in spite of flu jabs, zillions of vitamins, etc, etc I have contracted another chest infection!!! I just don't believe it - I have done everything possible to avoid a repeat of last winter's saga, even to the point of becoming paranoid about going anywhere there might be a germ lurking , but here we go again!!!

I have been a bit suspicious about things for a day or two now as I've been coughing quite a bit and my breathing has been a little laboured, but kept hoping that it was just my imagination playing overtime. Hopefully, the fact that it has been diagnosed fairly early will prevent it getting as bad as last year, but I am back on the inhalers and antibiotics for the next 2 weeks!!

So, as I am feeling very sorry for myself, I can do one of two things - either go sulk in the corner and make DH's life a misery (!!) or get out the credit card and order a big wad of new fabrics to cheer myself up - no contest really :-)