Athens time

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Lovely Sunday Weather

It's still great weather ! so more walks... Rafa is happy !

Walking through the thicket, there were lots of little birds flitting about. They would suddenly fly up, then sing their little hearts out as they dropped down to perch on a branch, sing a bit and then ... just as you train the camera on them... fly off again ! I managed to "catch" one and a specialist I met on the path from the Sandwich Bird Observatory, told me the bird in the picture is a male whitethroat. Sure nice to know what it is !! He also commented on how well behaved Rafs was.. I was well chuffed ! It's taken a long time and a lot of training to get him where he is (without crushing his spirit!) so I was ever so pleased.

Along the path a stretch of glorious colour in reds and yellows. These little flowers grow in abundance at this spot, even though I haven't seen many of them elsewhere. They are called Bird's Foot Trifoil (and have three leaves sprouting from anyone spot on the stems.. figures!) and are beautiful !

Not only in close up, but also as a bank full of tiny flowers...

Somebody wasn't going to miss out on all the fun ! Does he normally walk away when I point the camera... now I didn't want him in it he insisted.... Typical.... Never work with dogs and kids.....

Friday, 29 May 2009

What happened next ....

(DS2 fixed the photo thing... not sure what happened there...)

Now I must say first off, that dogs are allowed to be off lead in this bit. Of course if they do not disturb the wildlife and are under control. Luckily Rafa listens well and comes when asked so he could roam a bit...

So we sat down and watched the ferry come in,

Did some birdwatching together,.....
(if you click on the photo and enlarge it, you can actually see the bird. Look right over Rafa's head). Update: the bird is a redshank.

and ignored the boggy smelly ditch at the bottom of the next photo......

When suddenly... whilst I was taking the close-up, Rafael decided to go explore that yummy boggy goodness.... I felt him sliding away from my side and no sooner had I realized what was happening, he had plonked himself, four paws at once, into the bog ! I called, he came, no problem.... (had I been a millisecond quicker to call the muddiness too could have been avoided.. but hey, I was concentrating on holding a camera with 48x zoom still without a tripod... )

No more white socks for Rafa !! And the smell ! THE SMELL !!! It's a shame you can't smell it (or maybe not...) but I drove home with him on a blanket and the window open !!

I will leave you with a shot of the bay,

And the worm diggers who are always there at low tide to dig for worms (of course.. you guessed..) to sell to the angling community.

Morning walk in the Nature Reserve

A lovely sunny morning and off to the Nature Reserve we went, my dog and I, with the camera AND memory card this time.

We both had a great time. Bella, a Border Collie came to play and hid in the long gras with marguerita's to suddenly jump out and chase Raf.

I found some nice flowers to photograph...

and we had a lovely stroll over the bike path with a view over the bay,

Take special note here of the lovely white socks !!!

As you can imagine, ending on that last note, this is not the end of it ! But suddenly my tool for loading photos does not work anymore.... The trials and tribulations of a new blog owner... Finally I know which button to press.. and it does not work anymore.. Whilst I go and sort it out, watch this space...

Think of it as a good soap... they always leave you with a cliffhanger !

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Quilt for the Sew-along

Update: Just to avoid confusion !! made by Dana from the Old Red Barn Company who is organising the Sew-along. If mine comes out half as good I will be very happy !!

I could not find 1/2 yards of the lovely Sandi Henderson fabrics, although I definitely MUST have some in future for another project !! I therefore ordered the fabric from Heather Bailey. All from her 'Pop Garden' range. Oh yes, you know that... see underneath... duh....

Nothing much else to blog about. We went on a lovely nature walk, on which I of course took my camera... All of a sudden a kestrel... hovering right overhead... What do you think ? Forgot to reinsert my memory card after transferring photo's to the computer.... sigh.... So no photos of that....

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Old Red Barn Sew-along

I have finally sorted my fabric choices for the sew along... As I said, I have printed the samples and played along to choose 12 from the 64 or so (or was it 68..) available... No mean task, but I think I've done it...

I have ordered it all from Heather Bailey's own website. The line is called Pop Garden. It looks ok in the paper I think, I wanted it to be very busy, bit like the quilt I saw in the quilt show (I saw this after I ordered the fabric and was very pleased with how that one blended so well !! Fingers crossed for mine !! It's all in the fabric choice... phew... ).. I hope it will work out ok..

So it's ordered and on the way next week. I will be one week "out" at least as it will be a "waiting" week rather than a "cutting" week.. but hey, week 3 will be a "cutting and sewing week"... or week 4 a ... oh well... you get it.... we'll see !

Here it is in paper:

What do you think ?
Minster in Thanet - Quiltshow

If you have never been before, Minster in Thanet is a delightful village. A wonderful church here in which the Quilt show this weekend is being held.

You receive a warm welcome even outside with an Abbey Patcher's Quilt..

as well as quilts inside in every nook and cranny....

They were all truly wonderful and there were too many to mention (or post) which were all my favourites !

One in particular stood out through it's age. It was made by the participants' mother and aunts during the years 1912 - 1915, mostly by oil lamp or candle light. The tiny stitches and colourway are exquisite:

Another one blending pastel colours with artistry,

and this one, another personal favourite ! Just the sort of combination I am currently into !!

There is also an excellent fabric corner with something to buy for everyone. Doesn't your mouth just water ??? (I know it's not cakes... same effect though !!)

There is one more day of showing left. Hurry to Minster on the Bank Holiday Monday from 10 till 4.30 !!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Sew-along and Quilt show

It never rains but it poors !  All this week I have been terribly excited by the Old Red Barn Sew-along.  I saw it when it started and as this is the very first thing (apart from the Bushfire project of course) I have joined online, I was full of anticipation of doing this thing together !  I managed (after several mishaps) to join the Flicker group, only to loose my username and password...  I am sure it will turn up again.  I am useless with passwords...  They tell you that for extra security, you have to have a different one for all accounts... so I duly obey, and create a myriad of usernames and passwords.... only to forget which one is of what !  

In any case.  This week is fabric buying week.  I love buying fabric !  Trouble was, I tried to work out what I loved about Dana's original quilt.  After considering a million fabric choices, which weren't quite the thing, I realized through someone on the Flicker group, that it was -quite apart from Dana's wonderful eye for colours and settings -  that particular fabric... (of course !! I am so stupid...) Sandi Henderson's.  I love both her fabric lines and having realized, I resolved to get that.  Problem two.  Not available near here or in UK online..  Not daunted, thought I'd order it from the US.  On Sandi's website you can find the stores that sell and internationally send.  Unfortunately only by the yard.... Back to square one....

Now I happen to also like Amy Butler (limited availability here) and Heather Bailey (forget it..).  Surfing along I found Heather's Pop Garden range and I loved it !!  What's more, it's available from her website AND by the half yard !  As I need 12 of those, that's quite a bonus !  So I spent the evening printing examples of the designs (that's another colour printcartridge gone...) and making a design board of what I liked.  Great fun !! 

All that is left for this week's task is to order.  I imagine I will be "out" by a week as I now have to wait for it to arrive so cannot do week 2's 'cutting' stage.  But never mind. I am sure I will catch up as soon as it arrives !

It is going to be an exciting week fabric wise, as I am also waiting for a whole lot of Moda's Momo Wonderland fabric, enroute from Australia !  Who would have thought it... This blogging of mine does not only put me in contact with new friends all over the world, it also has brought on this...'oh that's gorgeous.. gotta have that..' virus... (internationally !) Better keep it in check after this for a while !!  Luckily my mum had given me a voucher ("go get yourself some nice fabric darling") for my birthday.  So I am hereby doing just that!

This morning also off to a nearby quiltshow.  It's at Minster (in Thanet) Church.  Saturday 23rd May (today), Sunday 24th May and Monday 25th.  Starting at 10 each day till mid afternoon (4 I think it is).  Hosted by the Abbey Patchers, the local quilt group.  Further info from Tina Parker, tel 01843 822233. In case you are in the neighbourhood ! 

Thursday, 21 May 2009

It arrived Safely !!

Phew.... so glad it got there. Thank you for letting me know Tia and an even bigger one for doing all that work and then on top of that doing this. I hope someone will like it. You are wonderful to do all that you have done ! Good luck and good luck with your move.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Parcel lost in the post.....
It hasn't arrived..... I am keeping my fingers crossed..

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Playlist feature launched !

I saw a playlist on another blog, and hey, presto ! I have one too ! You were so right Lisa, it's addictive ! Only to remember all these songs which are your favourites... When I hear them on the radio I exclaim "Oh, I love that one !!" Looking at an empty bar with "search" on it... my mind goes blank... I am sure it will get added to over time. For now I found the 'live' version of Adam Lambert Mad World back, so no video, but you can still listen.

I hope you like my songs.

All in the Mail .

Worked all day the day before yesterday to get it finished, wrapped up and in the mail and hope it is in time for the quilthaton.

My poor friend in Holland is still waiting... Australia having the deadline.. but her parcel is the next to be wrapped.. It's coming soon !

Monday, 11 May 2009

Bushfire Stars

This is the colourway I have used for the Bushfire Stars to go off to Tia tomorrow for the Bushfire Project. I had hoped they would have been in the post by now but due to a migraine it had to be delayed. Just to finish off a little bit and they wing their way to Australia !

Dame Ellen MacArthur in Dover

On Saturday 9th of May, Ellen gave a talk in the Ark Centre in Dover. It was a lovely light venue with cleverly arranged seating so we all had a good view. Ellen came on stage after a jolly introduction and a short film and it was immediately clear that the Ellen we knew from a few years ago was still the bighearted, natural, warm person she always has been towards everyone. This is an achievement in itself, as she told us in her talk, she never set out to become famous, just to sail, and it came as quite a shock to find herself unable to even walk over the street without being recognised. I can imagine, this must be really hard, but Ellen would not be Ellen if she had not coped with this remarkably well and is using her celebrity status to help and support others. Her talk was totally inspirational,not only to me, but to a great many people in the audience I spoke to afterwards. Ellen was the star and a very brightly shining one, which sparked off to inspire all in the audience. She was also available afterwards and had for everyone a kind word, an autograph or had her photo taken.

Ellen on stage at the beginning of her talk. The image is slightly blurred as it was too dark for photography without flash, but as I know how irritating it is if everybody keeps flashing whilst you are trying to give a talk, I did not want to use flash, so you will have to do with blurry....

She told us there had been three defining moments in her life, and illustrated each with anecdotes and lovely slides of what she was talking about. The first moment was her realisation she wanted to sail. She set out to explain how and why this happened and what her feelings about it were. Not being a celebrity, as I said earlier, but the sailing itself and all this entails.

The second moment was when she was invited to go sailing with the French organisation 'A chacun son cap'. This French charity does exactly what the Ellen MacArthur Trust does here in Britain now. Ellen was very impressed with the children and their tenacity and ability to cope with their illness. She thought this must happen in Britain too and the Trust was born.

The third moment came when she went to South Georgia to help monitor the wildlife and the albatros there. Nature and animals were breathtaking, and if she had already thought about the earth, and how small it actually is, and how we are dailing wasting huge resources (by leaving taps open, equipment on standby, use more kitchen towel than we actually need etc) and using oil like there is no tomorrow, she now realized in South Georgia, that if we do not collectively do something, we will soon have no albatros to enjoy, no wonderful unpoluted nature left.....

She showed us amazing slides and told wonderful stories of her time there and it felt like having been there. We all came away inspired and overawed but happy and full of hope.

Let's all join Ellen (and the millions of people who are allready doing this of course!) in her quest to all conserve energy, not to waste, and preserve wonderful wildlife like the albatros in places like South Georgia. And of course in supporting the Trust and buying a mile !

A book is being written as we speak but it might not be in the shops this year as Ellen is busy giving her talks and working for the Trust. If you can, go along and see her speak. All proceeds to the Trust and a wonderful afternoon and huge inspiration for you into the bargain.

Thank you Ellen. I had a wonderful afternoon !

Ellen talking to a young fan.
The Ellen Macarthur Trust
Inspiring young people's cancer recovery through sailing

This is the Scarlet Oyster, the Ellen MacArthur Trust boat. She is sailing around Britain this summer, from 3 May till 12 September. The Trust takes young people with cancer sailing. They are often depressed because of all they have to go through with their illness but so very brave, and sailing helps them enormously. Whilst the boat is in Harbour, Ellen herself is giving talks in 15 harbours on the way, with the proceeds going entirely to the Trust. The Trust also is encourageing you to "buy a mile" for £10. This ensures the boat keeps going for another mile. Thus there are two boats going around Britain, the actual one, and a virtual one. It is hoped the virtual one will make many more miles than the actual one ! To check where they both are and to make a donation, the website is: " ". (sorry not sure yet how to make a link...).

The Scarlet Oyster is at the moment still in Dover. She was due to depart today but the bad weather has meant she has to stay in harbour till the weather improves. Next talk 16 May at the University of Greenwich. Highly recommended !!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Belle et Sebastien

I have put the original first series tribute in the main body. the videobar overimposes on the blog posts when pressed. I will delete it until I have found out how to do it.

Le Jeune Fabre

More from Mehdi, the series (also written by his mum) following the Belle and Sebastien series. Amazingly after all these years I clearly remember the music to both and could hum it before hearing the music on the video ! The power of music combined with memory... amazing...


When I was young, I followed a television series called Belle et Sebastien. The role of Sebastien is played by Medhi El Glaoui, the son of the writer of the series, the francaise Cecil Aubry. He was a lovely little boy and when I first started watching I was around the same age, about 5 or 6. I remember it well and found this tribute.

I am still trying to find out how to post vidoes in a row on the side in the videobar. I have installed the video bar but whenever I install the next video, the previous one disappears and so I can only ever have one video in the bar.... I will continue to post them in the main posts until I have found out how to do it.... Blogger help has proved no help so far... Good for posting in the main body, but nothing I found yet on the videobar..
Adam Lambert - American Idol

This is a video of the Adam Lambert version of Mad World. When I saw it I was totally blown over by it, I think it is better than any of the other versions I have heard.
This is the live version, and live is always better right ? Although severely shortened to fit in with the limited show time. What do you think ?

Update: The video has been taken off all over the net, aparently due to someone buying the copyright. I thought the show would have the copyright ? and still everything else is all over the net ? I don't understand.... but anyway, no more Live made world.....
Isn't he gorgeous ??

Sunday again and trying out photo's...

It seems to get into a pattern... this weekly posting. And still no photo's... So I have dedicated a few hours (yes... really... but I got them onto the computer !) to take some photo's of the lapquilt for my friend in Holland.

Let's see if I can get this right... Trying to find the lapquilt:

Aha ! Here it is ! Not much patching on my part as I only added the borders. The panel in the middle is preprinted. It is called "Footprints in the Sand". My friend liked the panel, so I quilted it for her.

Some of the detail:

I am not very good at quilting, having only ever handquilted once (my first lapquilt!) (not this one that is, that was a star ninepatch).

You can see on the detail in the seagull the whoppers of stitches I use but enjoy it and I am sure it will get better with practice..

It's quite a struggle with knowing where the text appears and the pictures (all over the place !) but I think I got it in some sort of order.....

This better get easier ! that's all I can say.... otherwise no more photo's.... (no more blog???)

Rushing off to do some shopping. Bye folks.