Gibbs – 9 months


36 kilos of puppy as Gibbs continues to fill out and celebrates his 9 month birthday today.  Sadly, today he’s actually wearing the cone of shame, and looks like this.IMGP3052

He had a growth (wart-like) not far from his eye which we (and vet) deemed preferable to remove.  That was done on 30th May and the excised “bit” has been sent off to a specialised lab for a biopsy.  Fingers crossed that it’ll be something benign.  In the meantime, Gibbs has to wear his cone, until stitches come out on 10th June.

And then he’ll be free to play with canine friends again . . . for example, with Petra, SIL’s dog (photo taken before the op – you can just see the growth)


or with Moka, our neighbour’s chocolate Labrador.

Gibbs and Moka

SAL update – Cirque des Triangles #6

Last time, I showed you this photo.

CdesT 05

For this update, I worked on the right-hand side of my fabric, to keep things symmetrical, and “Cirque des Triangles” looks like this.

CdesT stage 6

Let’s go see what other SAL members have been busy stitching.

Avis, is working on the same CdesT design, but in totally different colours.  Other members are all working on a wonderful variety of projects:  Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, WendyLinda, Catherine, Mary Margaret and Timothy.

Next update on 25th June.  

knitting & sewing

We’re having something of a heatwave in our corner of France.  Which makes me appear slightly mad, since I’m busily knitting my first sweater . . . as if it was sweater weather!

Here’s where I was up to last time I showed you.

knitting 02

Well since then, I have a back!

knitting 03

Sorry about the colour in second photo, which makes things look so grey.  True colours are like in the first photo.  Anyway, I managed my decreasing and casting off as instructed to shape the neckline on back.  I’ve now begun work on the front.

Realising however, that even if I finish this sweater soon, I won’t be wearing it until the autumn . . . and that summer clothes are more what’s needed at this time of year.

tunic mai

I pulled out one of my favourite patterns (NewLook 6086) which I have tried and tested several times.  Chose a “difficult” piece of fabric though.  No idea what it is exactly.  Suffice it to say it’s very light, floaty and slippy.  I did French seams and also made my own binding for neck and armholes.

tunic mai 01 zoom

tunic mai 02

And voilà the result!

tunic mai 03

A lovely simple sleeveless tunic.  Long enough to cover my bum.  The perfect match for my new trousers (couldn’t resist: bargain price at our local discount store, Noz).  I have another tunic in the making, in an equally floaty, slippy fabric . . . so stay tuned.  Gibbs approves, but I’m a little worried about his playful antics and teeth.  He does like to tug on my clothes . . . let’s hope he doesn’t tug too hard on my new tunic!

best layer of the month #May

egg photo 01

We have had a really hot month of May, with temperatures shooting above 30°C and breaking records for hottest temperatures (for the time of year) over the last 70 years!  My hens don’t like the really hot weather.  It either puts them off their laying or it makes them go all broody . . . and as a result, the egg-count is down this Month.  A total of only 45.

Miranda 9;  Miss Marple 16 and Miss Moneypenny, the winner yet again, with 20.

On a brighter note, the hot weather has meant lots of fruit ripening.  We’ve been stuffing our faces with home-grown strawberries, and also with cherries, from our orchard.


Last year weather was really wet and we didn’t see a proper cherry harvest, so this year, we’re making the most of it.  I’ve already got some stashed away in the freezer, so I can make some delicious fruit crumbles this winter . . . we’’re going to eat the rest fresh as they come.

amigurumi – Roary the tiger

A while back, I showed you a crochet project in progress

tiger WIP

And am now very proud to show you the finish . . .

amigurumi roary 08

There he is . . . very well camouflaged, and hiding in the wild poppies . . .

amigurumi roary 05

amigurumi roary 06

amigurumi roary 09

amigurumi roary 02

amigurumi roary 03

I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn, and a 3.5mm hook.  On hindsight, I could have used a 3mm hook for a tighter weave, but I am rather pleased with my little tiger.  He sits up nicely, all by himself, just like he’s supposed to, with the rear legs & tail to make sure he doesn’t topple over.  While making him, his head seemed HUGE, which it is, but . . . that’s all part of his charm.  He measures 15cm high, in this sitting position.

Anyway, in case you’re interested, this pattern is by A Morning Cup of Jo and is one of the 15 designs in the book “Zoomigurumi” (the first in the series).

Zoomi 01

unbirthdays in May

Two packages were posted this month, to far away.  Each containing something handmade, and something else.

un birthday Kathy

Now, this “K” could have been for quite a few of my blogging friends . . . who was it for?  For Kathy of Sewing etc in the United States.  I finished the monochrome K off as a fabric tray, all in blue because I think that’s one of Kathy’s favourite colours.  I also sent her an old copy of “Création Point de Croix”, thinking she might like to see the kind of designs French stitchers like to sew.

Second package was for Kate of by the babbling brooke in Canada.


To Kate, I sent one of my monster felt zippy pouches – he could be used as a thread catcher, perhaps?  And a semi- kit (no fabric) with some farm embroidery designs and 4 skeins of DMC.

So happy unbirthday to both Kathy and Kate.  Who will be celebrating their unbirthday in June, I wonder?

F2F2 blocks – quilting has begun!

Some rather exciting news to share with you . . . orange sashing has been added to all 30 blocks, and now quilting has actually begun!  Yay!  I’m rather amazed myself, at how motivated I am to get these blocks all assembled and made into a huge quilt.

But motivated I am!  Also somewhat scared . . . because the quilting stage is where things can go wrong.  I’m more of a piecer, where patchwork goes.  Not a very proficient quilter, and this project is even more scarey because I’m quilting so many gorgeous blocks made by other ladies.

quilting 6 down

For the moment, I have done six of the thirty.  Here they are (three from Lynn and three from Kate).  They’ve each got a little label pinned on to remind me of where they belong in my layout.  I’m quilting in orange thread and keeping things very simple.  A fair amount of echo quilting going on.  Some in the ditch.  And a very relaxed “let’s see what happens here” design.

quilting 6 down 01

Don’t know if you can see, but I’ve got a sort of “maze/labyrinth” thing going on on a couple, which seems to be working quite well.  Basically, each block will be quilted differently, depending on what the block pattern inspires, and within my limitations. 

In case you’re wondering – I cut wadding & backing fabric slightly bigger, and only trimmed once I’d quilted each block.  I’m using the QAYG method, so the plan is to quilt all 30, make sure they all measure the same, and then assemble with thin strips.