Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Ikea virgin

Last Thursday Ikea opened a new store in Southampton, which is about an hour south of where we live. As my DD2 had never been, I don't know how that happened, my OH and I decided to make it a day out with her on Monday. We thought we'd be clever and go on Monday after the weekend rush, big mistake.

We knew we were in trouble when we arrived to full signs in most of the major car parks including Ikea's. Undaunted and with a very excited DD in tow ( just like the old days) we headed for the entrance on foot.

It's very swish with travelators that take you up to the third floor where you enter the store. That's when we realised just how many other people had had the same idea. Still it didn't dampen our enjoyment of a very rare opportunity to all be out together sans children.

After having a good look round the living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms etc we were ready for lunch, oh dear!!! The queue was enormous and I could definitely see my poor OH thinking, "if only that gas engineer had been a few minutes later at the house I would still be at home waiting for him." It took us an hour in the lunch queue, but it was worth it in the end, the food was good and welcome.

We couldn't hold our DD back from her mission any longer and headed straight for the fabric dept. where she bought these wonderful fabrics for her new range of Connecta baby carriers. I think there were a few more but it had all become a blur by this time.

So guess what Mummy'll be doing next week?

I was very restrained and just bought some calico, very boring but amazingly cheap at £1.57pm, BTW all the above fabics are under £4.0pm and are 150cm wide, you can see them here.

Despite the crowds and the queue for lunch we had a great day out together, and I found out today that our DD went there again yesterday to get even more stuff!!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Long live romance

I had a wonderful Valentines day yesterday, I received a beautiful card from my OH first thing, with a lovely (lump in the throat) verse, after which he announced that I would need to dress up in the evening as he was taking me out for a candle light dinner, but the added surprise was that we'd be going for a walk first so I would need to wrap up, intrigued? I was.

We left home at about 6.0 and I'd convinced myself that we were going on a ghost walk in a nearby town, but no, we went the wrong way for that. Still, I thought there was Guildford in the other direction so maybe they did ghost walks. No!!! wrong again and then we were heading for London and I still hadn't twigged. It was only as we neared Wisley gardens that I began to wonder if it might be something that was going on there and I was right this time.

The new glass house has been home to exotic butterflies for several weeks and as a special event they were hosting an evening of a walk to, and round it with a candle lit dinner for Valentines' night.
It was a truely magical experience to see the gardens lit up at night and as we approched the new glasshose it shone like a magic palace, the only problem was I was so excited I forgot to take a picture of it, but here's one of us inside that a very nice lady took for us.

It was so great to have the glasshouse to ourselves, not more that abot 30 or so people. I was really pleased I'd taken my camera and as my OH had left his at home he was happy to give me some tips.

This prayer plant only puts its leaves up like this (hence the name) at night so you never get to see the beautiful underside in the normal opening hours.

Don't you think this close up would make a wonderful mini quilt?

I had to have a go at the butterflies of course.

And this beautiful Stralitzia

We spent a delightful hour in the glasshouse and then made our way through the floodlit garden to the restaurant, which of course added to the magic of the evening.
The ambiance was lovely as there were mainly couples dining, and enjoying one anothers' company. The meal was lovely too all cooked beautifully with seasonal veg that I suspect was from their show gardens.

I think it was a wonderful surprise an one that I shall always remember.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Keeping it in the family

I thought you might like to see the latest shot that my brother in law put up on one of the photo groups he and my OH belong to. I think it must be in the genes, this eye for a good pic.

I'm still beavering away with the finishing touches to the C&G and although it's out of sequence I thought I'd put up my last final piece as I was rather pleased with the pic, a great rarity for me as I'm married to such a good photographer.

This little bag was inspired by the shirts worn by the Plains Indians who wore them during the performance of the Ghost Dance. This was a ritual dance that they believed would help them bring back the old ways of a life of hard work and peace which they had been used to before they were confined to the reservations.

The circles represent the earth and the stars the heavens, I constructed it from indigo dyed muslin, discharge dyed cotton for the circles and Procion dyed cotton scrim. The lining is Indian cotton and the stars are silk organza. The beads are polished stones.

It will contain special items that have a significant meaning and power for the dancer. It has been constructed with the idea of it being made by the dancer’s wife in the spirit of protection.

The piece is small enough to tie to a belt at 11cm x 8cm.

I will post up more pieces as I get into the marathon task of photographing all the work for an on-line assessment, thank goodness I started blogging in module 3 as at least I have good documentation from then on.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

St Teilo's church

As promised in an earlier post I now have the pictures of the medieval church we visited at St Fagans National History Museum near Cardiff. We were completely amazed to see the finished paintings inside this lovely little church that had been lovingly relocated and restored at the museum, this is what it looked like when they found it, you can read the rest of the story here.

And this is what the outside looks like today.

We had seen the start of the paintings inside the year before, so when we entered the church last year and saw the finished work we were thrilled and astounded at the result. Apparently most medieval chuches were decorated like this as the majority of the congregation couldn't read and often the serman was give in Latin anyway, so the pictures had to tell the story, like this one.

And this one.

This is what the inside looks like from the back wall.

And then of course there were all those wonderful patterns just waiting to be used in a future art work

And lastly.......

If anyone is in the vicinity this little church is so well worth the visit and to make things even better, the museum itself is free to enter as it's funded by the Welsh government.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

For our friends in Australia

In an effort to cool down some of our friends in Australia who have been suffering ferocious temperatures over the past weeks I thought I'd put up a few pics of our unusually cold weather conditions in southern England, we haven't had snow like this for about 20 years.

This is what it looked like at midday today, poor old Rosie (the dub) hasn't been too well lately and this must be the last straw, after being called an 'old bus', by a motorway patrol cop when we had to resort to the hard shoulder on the way back from Cardiff because she lost power completely, well she showed him anyway because after a short stop she shot off at 70mph!!!!!
I think she's really upset with all our talk of getting a bigger van next year.

The poor old dog won't go outside unless I go with him and the chickens haven't been out of their coops for two days.

The sheep seem to be totally confused, they walked all the way across the field up to their bellies and then went back again.

And as for the birds, well they're just in a feeding frenzy, and now it's freezing again out there, so goodness knows what the weather will throw at us tomorrow.

Sunday, 1 February 2009


As some of you, who have been watching my blog for some time will remember, this time last year I bought the wool and pattern for this cardigan. Well I never got round to starting it till June, but due to this bout of Arctic weather and recently joining a knitting group, (yes, yes I can hear you saying, "but she said she wasn't going to take anything on till she'd finished the C&G, but this is my reward for a hard day beavering away at samples'), I've finally finished it, and the that's what I wanted the buttons for, that I bought at Hoobycraft.

Anyway here's the result, Oh, and I'm sporting a new hair do, created at the hairdressers, I'm afraid my version is a lot less posh and controlled, still it got me a dinner out ot on Friday courtesy of my OH, he must have been impressed:-)

I knitted the scarf as a challenge from one of the group members as she could't get on with the wool and offered it up to anyone who wanted it, or the cat would have had it. The only thing is she was so impressed that she wants me to knit her one with the other ball she bought.