LilySlim - Weight loss

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Going all arty ....

Today was my monthly visit to a textile group at Belchford where Sewingbuddy and I are trying to develop our artistic skills.  Today we were going to be shown how to fabric paint and then build up some form of picture.  Of course we both sat there starting at the blank sheet of paper with no inspiration - until I used my phone to find a landscape that I liked.

Sewinbuddy, of course, drew a lovely outline and then proceeded to really enjoy the painting and blending stage.

Once we were happy (I wasn't but it was the best I could do) we then had to paint and fix on anything that was coming to the fore of our picture - mine was the stone wall,

which I then added some grass to.

Sewingbuddy had a tree and stone wall - we both added the details with free machine sewing.

I know that neither of us have finished - but even Picasso has to start somewhere - surely?

Back home and its time to light the fire (brr) before settling down for the evening.  My craft tonight will be to finish the WI craft demo - ready for tomorrow - before going back to my lovely hand sewing!  It's much easier following a pattern don't you think?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Being a "Domestic Goddess" -ish!

Today's calendared activity was a WI planning meeting - with lunch.  However it wasn't due to start until 11:30am -so I took the opportunity to crack open my "domestic Goddess" alter ego!  First up was my lunch - The lunch (and the puddings) would be far too tempting- just check out these photos! -  and, with my target of 9 1/2 lbs reverberating around my head, I decided to take my own ( I did check with the hostess!).  Today lunch was going to be a Chicken Caesar salad (SW version of course) with a yoghurt / hifi bars for afters.

 Next up was a Pork and Egg meatloaf (again SW style).  It's a bit messy to make but having a loaf in the fridge means that you can snack on this rather than reaching for sweet treats.  It doesn't look all that - but mmmmmmmm!

With a quick break to load the dishwasher and washing machine plus ordering next month's medication online (ready for collection by the weekend - love this service) and accepting an oil delivery (I belong to a village group, and the price is still quite low), it was then into the craft room to start the embroidery machine off - I need to do 9 embroideries and each one has to be started separately so it's an on/ off process.  Of course this means that I can be in and out hoovering etc and getting the house straight (let's just say that I know the bins need emptying because Millie has started the process for me!!).

What's happened to me?  Why do I feel so good getting the house straight like this?  All I can hope is that this feeling soon passes and I get back to my normality!  The WI planning meeting went well - it is more of a throwing ideas / contacts around in order to try and form a plan for the meetings next year - trying to balance different topics which will interest and stimulate our growing band of members.  After the meeting, the secretary then tries to contact different people and nail them down to particular months.  It's a lot of work - but worth it when we enjoy such a varied programme of topics.

Back home - to a nice tidy house! - it was off to the beach with the dogs and then out in the garden for some light weeding (well, you have to take advantage of the sunny weather now don't you) before settling down for some sewing.  I say sewing - but, in reality, I am sorting out a sewing project for the WI craft group on Thursday.  We were intending to continue with our knitted poppies for the WI wreath but I suspect that we already have enough!!  Instead I thought that we could rustle up a Christmas decoration with some hexagons and so need to make a demo model!!  Of course I will do some more embroidery / applique on Mum's wall hanging if time allows!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Target weigh in day - minus 3

Being a Monday, today started, as ever, with the Textile Group.  We were making the mini sew together bag and most people made great progress.  We managed to fit the zips in and make the pockets - leaving the sides, outside and zip plus bindings for our next meeting after half term - schools are off already!  It's all a bit confusing with the weather being so fantastic today - I walked the dogs at the beach in a tee shirt!  Mid October!!  Mind you, by now the wind was starting to get up, the sky went a funny colour and the sun was bright orange -all very strange!  The local news paper reported that the orange sun was due to sand being picked up by Hurricane Ophelia and brought over here.

After a snooze (oops) it was then off to Slimming World - where I managed to lose another 3 lbs.  So that's 9 1/2 lbs away from my personal target - and three more weigh-ins to achieve it!  I already have another target in mind for Christmas but I will reveal that when I meet this target!  I also picked up my free cookbook (I bought a countdown which saves on the fees and gave you the free book).  "Comfort Food" is right up my street!!

Luck was on my side -and I also won the raffle which contained a variety of foods - including this pre-chopped mix for chilli and these butternut squash chips.  That's me sorted this week then!  All in all - it's been a very good day!!  Now I just need to batten down the hatches for the evening.  The wind is starting to howl so I hope that everyone is tucked up safe and sound!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Preparation is the key to success!

Whilst I waited for the promised sunny and warm day (it's overcast and cold enough to wear a jumper in the house) I decided to use today to start getting ready for the sewing retreat - its only just over 3 weeks away after all!  I have learnt, from bitter experience, that is good practice (and saves you money in the long run) to prepare, essentially, "kits" for every project.  Whilst I assemble the fabric, patterns and resources, I can then make a list of threads to buy etc so that I am sorted!

First up was the final Christmas present to be sorted (well, the final one to be started at least!).  Collecting everything together I have all the resources and just need two spools of thread!

 Then I started on the individual blocks from Lynette Anderson's Block of the Month for 2017.  I have started the embroidery for some of them but didn't attempt the patchwork parts of each block since I was still completing the 2016 project.  Now seems right to make a start.  Again I have everything - just need some thread and to remember some essential tools.

So that's block 1

block 2

   block 3

and block 4 sorted!

Next up was due to be my presents for the book club group.  I don't quite know how I got into the habit but I started giving everyone a present a couple of years ago - just something book related and small to open at our Christmas meal at the end of November - so it's about time that I got started on this project.  However I was that organised that I bought the resources for the gifts months ago - now where on earth did I put them?  Oops!  However I did "fill" the time by lining and marking out Mum's wall hanging that she demanded wished for.

That just leaves me with the Scamblesby Quilt to sort out.  Taking too much did i hear you say  - NEVER!!  I would hate to run out of things to do!  Mind you - I have a prioritised list so will focus when I get there - and at least I have sorted out the "kits" to do at home.  Well, that's the plan at any rate he he!

PS - the sun did come out to play - briefly -and so I mowed the lawn.  Whilst I was mowing, inspiration struck and I came inside - to find the lost resources.  I guess that's my next job - but problem solved at least

Saturday, 14 October 2017

A shed, a shed, my kingdom for a shed!

As I said yesterday, I think, today I took Mum and Dad out to buy a shed for Mum's kitchen overspill.  Their current one measures 5 foot wide by 7 foot deep and has more holes than a colander - something had to be done!  Before we left they did some research online to get an idea of prices and then we set off ......... to my brothers for breakfast - well, you can't hurry these decisions now can you?

After our pitstop, the first stop (yet again) was Brigg garden centre.  We now had an idea of size (8 foot wide by 6 foot deep) and style of roof (pent rather than Apex) - I am rapidly becoming an expert! 

With a price list in our pockets from the garden centre, we then popped round the corner to Earnshaws (a shed and fencing place)where we sat in the glorious sunshine and cogitated - this firm included treatment, this one doesn't etc etc.  As we sat talking, another couple came over and we discussed sheds - finding out about another shed manufacturer that was around 15 mins away in Kirton Lindsey. 

So, off we went, to look round yet more sheds!  This time we ere offered discount on ex-demo sheds and sheds with different roofs which would hep with water drainage.  Although the roof raised the price considerably, the ex-demo shed compared favourably with the others that we had seen today.

So, we then headed around the corner to another garden centre for a cuppa and a discussion.  Dad went all sloppy and gave Mum his chocolate orange from the top of his chocolate orange cheesecake.  (I resisted all temptation - convinced that the cooked breakfast had taken me over my syns.  As it happened it didn't - but I will make up for no lunch with my steak and chips in front of Strictly tonight!)  It should come as no surprise that they decided to buy the ex-demo shed, and we went back to order and pay for it.  Being ex-demo sheds, they won't be available until 1st December - which gives Dad time to take the old one down and lay a bigger base for the new shed - thank goodness we sorted and de-cluttered the shed yesterday!

Friday, 13 October 2017

Wonder Woman to the rescue!

Let's start with the mini sew together bag that I started yesterday.  After 30 minutes on the project this morning - I just have to hand sew the binding this evening and then sew on the zipper tabs - then it will be another present finished (the recipient doesn't read this blog so I am safe there!).  You may recall that this is a trial run for the Textile Group on Monday so I now have another one to cut out - not my favourite task!

Today has been scheduled for a visit to Mum and Dad's.  When they moved in, a lot of Mum's kitchen related "stuff" was stored in a small shed.  We allocated today, since the weather forecast looked good,  as the day to go through the stuff - bin / charity shop what she doesn't want and then re-label and store everything else in a more organised manner.  The shed itself isn't in great shape so we also wanted to empty the shed to see the full extent of repairs needed / decide whether a new shed was necessary.  As I left (without my phone so you are sparred gory photos of spider paradise!) I received an email saying that a package was due to be delivered between 2pm and 4pm.  Just my luck!  However I decided to go, since often a tight deadline focuses the mind!  As it was we sorted the shed, decided to buy another one tomorrow and then moved and constructed a log store with Dad - all in 2 1/2 hours -not too shabby.  I even found time to patch up a potential Millie escape hole in the fence and we will try the garden next week with my pair of pooches.

Back home before 2pm, and tied to the house until the delivery was made, I decided to cut out the second mini sew together bag and back it with the interfacing.  Whilst I contemplated what radio / music / tv to put on in the craft room "The Music Man" popped up as a suggestion from Amazon.  I love this musical - it has "76 trombones" as one of its songs.  When I drove home to Lancashire in 1991, unsure as to whether I should have accepted a job in Lincolnshire where I knew no one, this song came on the radio and everything felt ok!  It was a no brainer - on it went and I sang along!  Not quite the "Let It Go" that some comments referred to yesterday but .......

My other job for the afternoon was to plan my menu for next week.  I find that I stick to the diet if I plan accordingly - plus we will be going to Morrison's after we buy the shed tomorrow so I may as well take advantage of the visit!

So, dogs now walked, parcel not delivered yet (grrrrr - we are well past the two hour slot!!) and tea cooking ( a yummy lamb stew plus veg) it will soon be time to settle down to , err, guess what, oh yes, some hand sewing!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Letting go.

I am one of life's decision makers.  I make decisions really quickly and then stick to them -even when they may not have been right.  I can always find a way around a bad decision - I would argue.  However I am also savvy enough that, sometimes, you just have to let a decision go / change your mind.  Sometimes you have to be brave enough to say - enough is enough!  What am I talking about - you may ask.  Well, sit down, pull up a chair and read on!

In 4 weeks time I am at a sewing retreat for 4 days.  Last time I went, I took a variety of projects to complete and pretty much finished everything.  Although I originally had a project in mind for this visit ( I wanted to finish the Scamblesby Quilt that we have been designing the blocks for), I allowed myself to be tempted by a beautiful Christmas quilt designed by Mandy Shaw (you may recall that I blogged about starting to cut the pieces up for this project several days ago).  I know that others are intending to make this quilt during the retreat but I still have several Christmas presents to complete - plus the afore mentioned Scamblesby Quilt.  So, I am calling a halt to this madness and changing my mind.  You have no idea how much this has been on my mind recently and, therefore, how freeing making this decision is!  So, if any of my Scamblesby friends are reading this - sorry, I won't be making the MS quilt - I will probably regret this when I see yours but, there again, I still have my box full of the lovely fabrics that I set aside to make it so can still do it for next year!

Okay - so onto today which started early with a visit to the groomers for Daisy.  Although she always comes out happy, she goes in shivering! This time she jumped straight back into the car when I got her out - bless! 

Once home, and after a tidy up and dishwasher unloading (not my favourite job), I was able to get on with the mini sew together bag that I cut out yesterday.  It should have been a day long job,  but is one of those projects that is better to have breaks after certain stages - so that you can walk away and come back refreshed -well, that was the plan anyway.  However an afternoon nap went on for rather a long time (I started in the sunshine and woke up freezing! ) so the sides will get attached this evening but the rest will wait for another day!

One of those breaks was to pay the church gardener, visit the post office and then walk the dogs - who says that I don't have a glamorous lifestyle eh?  Another was to get outside and do some weeding and glue a piece of wood onto the she cave door - like I said - glamorous!!  This wood "came off" nearly a year ago when a helpful delivery man put a parcel in the she cave and "forced " the door open - breaking this piece of wood off!

With a lamb casserole in the slow cooker to look forward to, my plan tonight is to catch up with the Apprentice from last night (plus Educating Greater Manchester) whilst sewing some more of Mum's Christmas present.  After three nights out on the trot, it's a real treat to spend a night in at last!

And the Shakespeare from last night?  Well, actually it was really good - a long one (hence the nap today) but extremely well acted. Unfortunately there were not many people there to enjoy it (about 12 that I could count - with one of them snoring for most of the play!) but at least it means that we can all spread out!  The next one in February marks the halfway point of my quest!!