Sunday, 14 December 2014

It's on again!

Amongst "us quilters" (sorry about the grammar!), there is a saying……"when life gives you scraps make quilts". So that is exactly what I have been doing for the past couple of weeks. It is the best therapy for me to focus and reflect. So I thought you might like to take a look at what I've been stitching. This is some progress on some of the projects for my first "Afternoon Tea Appliqué Series" books…..May Morris Comes to Afternoon Tea. All small projects that are not too overwhelming, including simple recipes and I am already planning on the Beatrix Potter Comes to Afternoon Tea book!………
Beatrix Potter you say??? Well the big news and the blog title "It's on again!" means the Whitecroft Tours are back on again!! Now I said when I came home just 3 months ago that I was all done with these trips but it took just an email request from Helen and then a phone call and how could I possibly say No! Having Larry with me will make all the difference so plans are underway. The first will be a Beatrix Potter tour based in the Lakes District. Larry and I have fond memories of many places including walks in Ambleside, a week in a B&B in Windermere where I had another memorable steam train ride on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite train - and how special it looks for the festive season……..
Then we will be combining the May and William Morris tours and spending half the tour staying closer to the London and surrounds Morris sights, and then the remainder of the tour in the charming Cotswolds………
The dates are to be confirmed but September/October 2016 gives time to save those $$$! If you would like to be on the mailing list just send Helen an email via the website. 
I absolutely love getting emails from Penny and Paul in Canada and just last week I received the above image………it is in a quilt shop!! What a fabulous place to sit…..for the men maybe but I think a coffee in front of that fire is just the thing! Penny has been helping set up and is now working in this brand new quilt shop from Bethany, Ontario - From the Heart Quilt Shop. They have a Facebook site but the website is still coming. How lucky are those of you who live locally?! I hear they have been run off their feet so here are a few more images. First up the owner Cyndy with husband Steve…..and the happy staff…..(Penny is on the far left!)

 So if you are in the area do visit the girls and say Hi from me….and a special hug to Penny if she is on duty too - just ask! I wish them all the very best in this new venture - I know Penny has been very busy with her own Morris designs and kits - such fun! I also received the latest Christmas photos from Paul 'at home' (someone has to keep the home fires burning Paul!!) I always look forward to Paul's photos too, especially the snow scenes as we swelter down under…….and what a tree they have this year……..

I hope things are not too hectic or sad in your part of the world as Christmas approaches. Take care till next time and enjoy our roses yet again….they just keep blooming!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Small blessings

This past week had been a struggle with our thoughts consumed by things beyond our control. Friends are facing personal challenges, some losing parents and some just generally having a tough time. A funeral last week brought back our own losses with both Larry and I losing our mothers at Christmas time some years ago. We also had some very sad news a few days ago of a tragic accidental death of an 18 month old who belonged to a couple close to one of daughters and her partner. There are no words that can be found in a situation like this and it is beyond comprehension how the young parents must be feeling. My demeanour was so low that I cancelled a couple of end of year functions…how can you possibly celebrate when there is so much sadness? But today we shared in a very major event in Maisie's life. It started with a coffee in a gorgeous French cafe Le Carpe diem…very 'french provincial' and a future haunt I think………

 Emily had asked us to join her as Maisie was being fitted with her first Bone conduction hearing device. Being so little means she can't have the bone anchored device just yet, so for now the aid is attached to a headband. Unfortunately Maisie dislikes driving in the car and she had been screaming for the entire half hour journey to the appointment. Beau was trying to calm her and then unfortunately Emily had a minor accident - no injuries - only to the two cars! I cannot begin to imagine how tough it is driving in a car with a screaming baby and a two year old trying to calm things down. (and at the time we were thinking what other challenges was this week going to bring?….we are so glad it is Friday!!) But we all pulled ourselves together and witnessed a little miracle. To see the look on Maisie's face when she heard new sounds…….it was priceless and of course the Nanna tears flowed…………..
So a little miracle lifted our spirits (as did my reward for that quilt which has finally showed up!). So once again A.A. Milne summed it all up for this week………..

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Being grateful

It has been a bit quiet on the blogging front from me for a number of reasons. A bit of an anticlimax from my last exciting story as I am still waiting in anticipation for my payment for said quilt! I have spent this welcome bonus over and over in my head so I am trying to learn a little patience and gratitude! AA Milne often has just the right words at a time like this………
While one feels a need for justice I also feel a sense of selfishness with the overwhelmingly tragic news of the loss of one of our rising cricket stars this week - Phillip Hughes. It was a very freak accident playing the game he loved and representing our state at the time. You can read more on the web but I found the tribute from his team mate and captain Michael Clarke one of the most moving. (You will find that by clicking on Phillip's name ). Cricket is a big part of our lives at home as Larry has played since he was a young boy. His skills were in fast bowling and some years back I made a tribute in a frame - he is the handsome young one on the top row, second from right……..

 Our girls Saturday afternoons were often spent playing under the trees with their dolls while their Dad played in the scorching summer sun for hours! The trophies occasionally get a much needed dust and just this year Helen from Whitecroft Tours sent an appropriate mug for Larry's 60th birthday……..

 So it is a time of gratitude while life goes on. Last weekend we had a wonderful day with Beau riding on a small version steam train on the Semaphore Tourist track by the sea………..
 He hung on to his ticket for the entire 40 minute ride…….

After a picnic lunch it was time to go to Nanna and Poppa's to put up the Christmas tree and he tells us all he wants for Christmas is Superman!………...

So I hope wherever you are in the world that life is good x