hurray!

hens 02 07

A day of celebration ^^  Miss Marple and Miss Moneypenny have finally come out of the nesting boxes of their own accord, and seem to be staying out.  At 7am this morning, the three girls came tumbling down the ramp and at 2pm they’re all still outside.  Dare I hope that the broodiness and silliness is over?  It’s taken a long time.  Fingers crossed.

If it depends on the weather, they could well decide to turn broody again because weather is very hot.

hot hens

The coop provides some shade if they go under the roof part, but of course, I was there with my camera so they followed me about.  Hopefully, if I leave them in peace & quiet, they will dig themselves a hole in the ground and keep cool in the shade.

I actually have two hurrays . . . not only are hens all out but . . .

whopper 88

This is the biggest egg Miranda has ever laid.  88g – I don’t know how she managed to get that one out.  Obviously another double yolker. I wonder if Miranda is trying to show off to the other two?  Give them incentive to get back to egg-laying and let them know they’ve got a lot of catching up to do lol.

Anyway, to celebrate, I’ll be giving them a few more chunks of fresh water melon later on today. They already had some for breakfast, but since I can’t offer them a glass of champagne, water melon will have to do Rire

“almost summer” exchange–what I received

The postman has been, and I can now share photos of what I received from Michèle for the “almost summer” exchange that I took part in on a French forum.

Michèle knows I collect bookmarks, so . . .

from michele 1

And for the stitched gift . . .

from michele 5

it’s a “photophore” (not sure if that’s the word in English? with a little candle inside.  I’ve taken several photos to show you the design which goes all around the glass container

from michle 2

from michele 3

from michele 4

A big thank you to Michèle – lovely bright colours and a really original idea for the finishings.

Best Layer of the Month Award

The egg-count has been easy, and very low for the month of June because Miss Marple and Miss Moneypenny have been continuing their “silliness” the entire month and only Miranda is laying.

miranda 1206

Miranda, laid a total of 28 eggs this month and we’re very very grateful.  

As I told you at the end of May, the other two ladies came over all broody and I decided to follow advice from the breeder: just leave them to sit on eggs.  The breeder said they would give up after 21 days, if not sooner.  However, our two broodies don’t seem able to count to 21 because more than 4 weeks later, they’re still brooding.

I have been making sure they come out of the nest boxes a couple of times a day for food & drink but they’ve been running back up the ramp as soon as my back was turned. I’ve tried giving them a cool bath in a big tub of cold water.  That didn’t help.  I’ve tried locking them out of the nest boxes . . . they just spend all their time scratching and pecking, trying to get back in.  I removed the marked eggs after 3 weeks . . . they now wait for Miranda to lay, and then hurriedly steal her egg to sit on.  And when I remove Miranda’s egg . . . well, both Miss Marple and Miss Monepenny somehow manage to fit in the same nest box, and they literally take it in turns sitting on each other ^^

I think the weather is partly to blame.  We’re in the middle of a heatwave here.  Temps are very high and it doesn’t really cool down much at night. 

Anyway, I’m still hoping the broodies will snap out of it soon and in the meantime, making sure they get some fresh air, exercise, food & water at regular intervals during the day. 

“Life” back on track

It’s not my life that’s back on track (since it never went off the rails) but my “Life” project – or to give it its full title “Life’s Moments” from artwork by Jo Moulton and cross stitch kit by Design Works.  I started this on 1st January, thinking it would only take me a few months, but here we are, almost July, and it’s not finished.

If I stopped letting myself be distracted by other projects, it would help. But that’s me!  Easily distracted, and it’s not at my age that I’m going to change.  Anyway, this post, more to motivate myself than to show progress . . . last photo posted was in May, when things looked like this

life

The “plan” had been to work on the flower but that didn’t go to plan ^^  Petals are rather busy with different symbols, all shades very similar to one another, so I need good lighting and preferably no cat on my lap.   I have made progress and completed the stem and leaves, as well as filling in a few petals

life 23 06 b

but I’ve also begun filling in another section which doesn’t require any counting or thread changes now that I’ve begun

life 26 03 c

This way, I’m alternating the more boring part with the more interesting part . . . but still have quite a lot of work to do.

life 23 06 a

The optimist in me would like to see this finished by 1st July, but I know that’s not going to happen . . . however 1st August might be a more realistic target to set myself.  Not that I’m in any particular hurry to finish, except that I do have a few other charts calling my name. 

So, lots of work still to do . . . I’m off to make a fresh coffee and stitch in the veranda. Le Bleu is out sunning himself, so I may get a few more petals done before he comes to disturb me.

“Friendship Quilt V” SAL update

Gosh three weeks have sped by . . . time to show you update on my SAL stitching.  As you know, I’m stitching “Friendship Quilt V” a design by Whispered by the Wind, along with Avis, of Sewing Beside the Sea . . . and a very international group of ladies are also SALing along, working on different projects.

For this update, I have completed my 16th block (of 25)

block 16

overall view looks like this

view block 16

Don’t forget to nip along and visit the other blogs of: Avis, Gun, Jule, Kate, Alison, Carole, Elizabeth, Lucyann, WendyCathy and our two very newest members, Jacqui. and Jess.

Next update on 12th July.

blue summer tunic

I am having such fun with my sewing machine!  After managing to make myself two pairs of PJs, I said I was going to tackle a proper top that I could wear out and about . . . and I did. 

blue tunic 3

Here’s a zoom on fabrics first, because they’re prettier than the model ^^  Two lovely blues.  The top one is from the Moonlit Sonata collection and the butterflies are from the Color Program range.  My blue binding around armholes, isn’t a terrific match in daylight (looked fine in my sewing room) but I don’t think I could have found anything closer unless I made it myself. 

Now for a full view . . . are you ready?

blue tunic 2

a back view first, of yours truly who really should make herself a hair appointment . . .

blue tunic 1

and a view from the front ^^  I am really pleased with the way it turned out.  My seams are pretty neat, my pieces all matched up nicely, and I like the slightly bell-bottomed shape the extra band gives to the tunic. 

A reminder of the pattern I’m using – the red one on the smiling brunette ^^

tunic pattern

Next thing to work on is: size.  This is still a little on the “comfortable” side, meaning a little loose around the yoke and shoulders.  I’m going to have another attempt using the same pattern, but doing it a size smaller.  Doris is wider around the shoulders and back than I am, so she’s not being much help as my dummy so far. 

Anyway, I’m having a whale of a time Rire  The most time-consuming part for me is the choosing of fabrics and then pinning and cutting out the pieces.  Since I’d already made this top twice, the sewing part was plain sailing.  I didn’t sew anything on back to front this time and it was extremely motivating to have made an item of clothing, from start to finish, in one day. 

“almost summer” exchange–what I sent

I signed myself up to take part in a cross stitch exchange on a French forum, the theme being “almost summer”.  Rules were simple: cross stitch a small summer themed design and finish it off however we wanted.  Names were put in a hat and drawn.  I therefore discovered who I was stitching for, but it will be a surprise as to who is sending to me. 

I was stitching for Calinette (she doesn’t have a blog).  Apart from cross stitch, she loves cats, and her favourite colour is blue.  Hmmm, not a lot to work with there, but cats, yes, I had an idea and blue, yep should be able to manage that!

June exchange 1

I stitched a Margaret Sherry cat ^^.  This design was “totally tropical”, a free kit in “Cross Stitcher” magazine way back in July 2008.  Can’t get more summery than that, can you?

June exchange 2

Sunglasses, cocktail, palm trees . . . yep definitely has a summer flavour ^^  For the finish, another pouch (sorry to repeat myself).  Quilted with horizontal lines on the front and vertical on the back.

June exchange 3

I even added a little wrist strap. 

June exchange 4

IMGP8969

I made this pouch big enough to hold a 10” tablet. Not sure if Calinette has a tablet, if not she’ll find something to put inside.