Saturday, 25 October 2014

Fashionista !

Full Definition of FASHIONISTA

:  a designer, promoter, or follower of the latest fashions

That's me!

Here I am today...

Fashionista

...two jumpers, skinny jeans, black socks (but cashmere!) and M&S slippers!

High fashion in the Limousin!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

WOWW

So - this isn't exactly ON my worktable - I've actually just finished it - but it IS my latest finished item.

ZigZag blanket1

It's a zigzag blanket, following Lucy's pattern on Attic24.

I used oddments from a previous striped blanket I'd made, plus a few new balls.

I love this ripple pattern and it's so easy to do.

ZigZag blanket close

I showed it to some friends yesterday, and they all wanted one!  I don't have enough time or yarn ( I know - unbelievable) but I did offer to teach a workshop on crochet and THE BLANKET!

I do have a project on my needles (yes, knitting this time) which is a new pair of socks.  I recently made three pairs of socks using this yarn - Regia Design Line Hand-Dye Effect by Kaffe Fassett.  I made a turquoise pair of Owlie socks...

First owl

...which my DIL now has; a pink pair in just a simple rib...

Pink socks

... and a dark blue pair from this pattern, called Penelope, which does not seem to be available any more...


I must admit, it was a very difficult pattern to follow - at least, I found it was. I made LOADS of mistakes, but persevered until I had finished the first sock.

I started the second one, but bottled out and pulled it and the first sock back.

Even without the complicated pattern, the yarn was hard to work with.  It seemed finer than the pink and the turquoise and the dark colour made it hard to see in any but the brightest light.  Also (and this goes for all three colours) this yarn is quite fluffy and loosely spun and I kept splitting it with the sharp-pointed KnitPro needles that I was using. Put the problems of the yarn AND the complexity of the pattern together and this was a pattern too far for me!

So now I am knitting just a plain pair of socks using the dark blue as the main colour and what is left of the pink and the turquoise as stripes.  I am nearly down to the heel, and that and the rest of the sock will be using just the main colour...

Stripey socks

So far, so good, though I still keep spiltting the yarn and carrying two yarns up the stripes is a bit of a pain!  Still - the yarn was not cheap, and the pink socks ARE lovely and warm to wear, which is encouraging.

What the finished pair will look like with just stripey tops I don't know, but at least they will be warm and I can always just wear them in my wellies!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Getting the House Ready

Today has been brilliant weather - blue skies and hot sunshine - a great opportunity to do that painting I talked about here.

I spent about 4 hours there and I was exhausted by the end of it, though I don't seem to have got much done!

I started with lunch and a coffee on the patio...

Patio

Patio 3

...no, not wasting time - a necessary break to give me some energy.  It was so lovely I was tempted to stay out there longer...

Patio 2

That's not my car, by the way - mine is garaged in the barn, out of the heat.

But on with the painting!

First I painted the skirtings in the front room...

Front room 2

Front room

...though I took these pictures before I started!

Then I did a sample paint area in the bathroom.  I was going to paint it yellow but, having found some turquoise accessories in a charity shop in England, I decided to have a go with some paint I already had - in Verdigris Green...

Green verdigris

Not a success, as it was far TOO green.  Back to the yellow, I think!  If you click on this picture you should be able to see the turquoise items on the windowsill.

Bathroom

 I think the yellow will be OK though.

 While I was away, the new stairs were installed...

New stairs

...exciting, isn't it?

Now I can go up and look at what will eventually be the bedroom (or two bedrooms)...

Upstairs, left

Upstairs, right

Lots more to do - I'll keep you updated!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A Visit to England

Hello!

Once again - a couple of weeks between posts - but this time I've been on a little holiday.

I took the train through the Eurotunnel from France to England.  It's a long drive up to Calais, but I don't mind the driving and the 35 minute crossing is great.  Coming out near Folkestone is good for visiting my son in London, but not so good for visiting my daughter near Southampton.  Still, there's no waiting around in miserable airport buildings and, with the car, I can take and bring back lots of goodies!  Also, during the crossing you can do your knitting...

Tadpole en train...

I put the latitude and longitude co-ordinates into my GPS to get to the French end and it was easy-peasy. Coming back was not so easy as the GPS co-ordinates took me to an area of sand dunes in Hythe!  I should have ignored the Tom Tom and stayed on the motorway, as I was only minutes from the Eurotunnel terminal, it turned out.

A lesson  to learn there for Eurotunnel!  Edited to add that I see that the co-ordinates on the Eurotunnel website are different from those I used (which were on my ticket) and I wonder if they have recently changed them...

The machines as you enter the terminal recognise your booking and issue a ticket automatically, which you hang on your mirror...

Eurotunnel ticket front

Eurotunnel ticket back

If you haven't tried the tunnel - do.  It's simple and quick - but watch those GPS co-ordinates!

I stayed a week with my son and a week with my daughter.  In London we went to the Red House - one of the homes that William Morris lived in...

Red House 2

...a pretty National Trust house but virtually empty of the furniture that once filled it.  Apparently most of this is at the non-National Trust house Kelmscott, much to the chagrin of the Trust (as expressed by the room stewards we spoke to)!

Down South I had a lovely time too, with visits to Winchester (always on the itinerary) and Lee on Solent...

Lee on Solent seafront 1

Lee on Solent seafront 2

...a pretty sea view, but not much else!  Although I did get some great stuff in the charity shops!

So - back down to earth now - one of the things I got in England was some good paint and now I have to paint the house at La Tache, while the weather is still warm enough to have the windows open!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Busy, Busy

It's been a hectic few weeks!  And I see I haven't posted for ages!!!

I've been busy on the La Tache house - trying to get it all cleaned up and sorted out ready to rent out for holidays lets next year.  Today I finished stripping the old wallpaper in the bathroom -the last bit of a long, boring and messy job.  This photo was taken just before the last bits came off...

Bathroom - nearly finished stripping!

Now the walls are bare and it's a matter of washing down before painting.

The other thing that kept me busy was the HOPE Association Charity shop 2-day event at Harry's Route Sixty-six Hotel in Bussiere-Poitivine.

All in all we volunteer helpers spent a fortnight (and a bit of time before that) setting up this event.  On the first day we had lots of visitors and took over 1000€...

Bric-a-Brac

...but today (Sunday) was a lot quieter and we only took 500€, giving us a total of 1500€ for the two days. Still - that's a good amount to raise to help animals in need and we are all very pleased.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Today at La Tache

Cutting back the Wisteria and removing the seed pods...

Wisteria

General neatening of the concrete along the front of the house...

Front door into Living Room

And harvesting the grapes from the vine along the front...

Grapes from La Tache

Not sure how to use the grapes, though!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Tidying Up at La Tache

La Tache is the hamlet where I have a second house.

I bought it as an investment and then the market plummeted.  I let it to a friend of a friend and that didn't really work out, so she has left and I'm trying to get it in order to let it out 'properly' for summer visitors.

A set of stairs is being installed...

Stairs opening 2

... and then the upstairs will be insulated and partitioned to form a couple of bedrooms. That hopefully will help with eventually selling the place too!

The downstairs needed a really good clean and some work, and the garden too.  Today I did some work in the garden and put in a rose bush...

Isabelle Autissier rose

...and some little violas that look a bit pathetic right now...

Violas

I'm hoping they'll bush out to fill the container!

I was also busy altering a little voile curtain and it's surprising how much time that takes!

Anyhow, tomorrow I'll be back, getting that garden into some sort of order - I hope!