best layer of the month #September

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Autumn is on its way, therefore hens have been moved back into their enclosure in the veggie patch.  Here they are, enjoying all the fresh grass and vegetation that grew while they were in the orchard.

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The coop-move didn’t put them off their laying at all . . . and total egg count for September was 65 eggs!  18 from Miranda, 20 from Miss Marple and 27 from Miss Moneypenny.  She’s the Marans Cuckoo hybrid to the left of the following photo.

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I’ve got more mouths to feed here, with the arrival of

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Young guinea fowl, 6 weeks old in this photo, who, like last year, will be fattened up in time for the festive season. 

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We’ve had to be inventive after a lot of fun & games the other day.  Young guinea fowl are so small that they can escape through the net fencing enclosure as we soon discovered.  I reassure you, all ended well, but not before Gibbs got to try out his retrieving tactics and a few feathers were lost.

Anyway, the temporary set-up is: young guinea fowl inside a small plastic greenhouse.  It’s far from perfect, but it allows them to stretch their legs and eat grass, keeps them dry and safe from draughts (& Gibbs), and prevents any future Houdini episodes.  As soon as they grow big/fat enough, they will be allowed more freedom.

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finish one a month #2 – September

Early in August I boasted that I was going to tackle finishing off my “finished” projects, and attempt to do one a month.  Well September almost came and went without me keeping that resolution . . . almost, but not quite!

I am very pleased to say that I finished not one, but THREE cross stitch projects!  Yep – three in one afternoon.  Not that any of the following took much time to do, it was more a question of just getting down to work.  First of all . . . some framing.  I bought two identical 50cm x 70cm frames a while back for my two Ink Circles cross stitch projects, but had to wait a few weeks for the cardboard mounts to arrive.  I’m not too sure about the colour of my mounts, but there wasn’t a great deal of choice in the shop I went to.  I’ll probably get used to them, the more I see them.

Ink circkes finish 01

So, a drum roll please for a framed “Cirque des Cercles” and matching “Cirque des Triangles”.

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I do have a picture hook on the wall opposite, for “Cirque des Triangles” but wanted to show both together.

And third finished finish . . . a very quick sewing project . . . just adding a zip and using some beige denim from a pair of jeans I cut up which no longer fit.

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yarn cats finish

To make myself a little pouch for my crochet hooks.  I know some people make needle rolls, but I just wanted to whizz up something really quickly to keep all my hooks together in one place.  Not the world’s most creative (or brilliant) sewing, but it’ll do the job.

“a little bird told me” – happy dancing

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I’m happy dancing, not only because of a finished quilt, but because the recipient of above quilt is now safely here.  Little Mona, born on 29th September by C-section and weighed in at 3.200 kilos.  Mother & baby are well, father is very proud, and 7 year old, older sister, Cléo is thrilled to bits.

This quilt is something I began making this summer – totally inspired by the bird fabric (“Tweet”).  I really let rip with colours and prints . . .

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a little bird finished 02

Quilting was kept simple though, as that’s never my strong point.

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a little bird finished 01

a bit quiet

I’ve been a bit quiet this past week . . . we had family to stay, so I didn’t spend much time in front of my computer, but I did spend lots of time drinking coffee & nattering. 

While visitors were here, I managed to persuade them they wanted a quick trip to Noz to see what latest bargains were in and . . . this is my haul.

BD and big balls

scheepjes big balls

Three big 350g balls of Scheepjes yarn  for only 2.99€ apiece.  One ball should be enough to knit a size S lady’s sweater, but I grabbed three, because at that price, I didn’t like to leave any in the shop.  And four comic strip books (surprisingly in English) for only 99 centimes each. 

Weather was up and down during the week but visitors did get a few fine days, and managed to spend a day sight-seeing in Lyon.  During that time, I enjoyed some sun in the garden, and noticed our bottle brush plant has a new lease of life (we thought it had died last year).

bottle brush

I also managed a few hours crafting . . .

sugar skull finished

and have a finished sugar skull (Sugar Skull ref 3203 kit by Design Works Crafts Inc).  It was lots of fun to stitch and I’m seriously thinking about stitching a second one in slightly different colours. 

SAL update – Cirque des Triangles #11

Avis and I are having a happy dance with this update.  Our “Cirque des Triangles”, by Tracey Horner, of Ink Circles, is finished – yay!

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CdesT finisn zoom 01

CdesT finisi 01

I stitched, over two, on a Lugana “Forest Green” 25 count evenweave, using Threadworx “Wild Poppies”.  Now I need to do some framing, as I plan on framing this piece, along with the matching “Cirque des Cercles” to have them both hanging in my sewing room.

Avis and I have already chosen our project to continue the SAL.  But we’re going to keep it a surprise until next time lol.

Don’t forget to stop by and admire progress of other SAL members.  AvisGun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Catherine, Mary Margaret, TimothyHeidi , Connie and Jackie.

Next update on 8th October.

feathers & sugar skulls

Photo of my latest tunic, which will be going straight in the wardrobe, and won’t be worn until next year.

feather tunic

Made using NewLook 6086 (again) because I needed a pattern with the front piece cut on the fold, so I didn’t have to worry about pattern matching.  A very simple tunic, with slits up both sides.  Only 3 pattern pieces and then binding for neck and armholes.  I’ve still got loads of feather fabric left . . . but never fear, it won’t go to waste!

And, just so my cross stitching followers don’t think I’ve given up on cross stitch of late . . .

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This is the small project I’m currently working on.  “Sugar Skull” a Design Works Craft Inc kit.  It came with 14 count aida, but I’m stitching on 20 count, still in 2 threads, to keep colours very vibrant and have the design stitch up a lot smaller.  On 20 count, skull is going to measure 3.5” x 4.5” (as opposed to 5” x 7”). I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with it when it’s finished . . . I just like the design, which is why I bought it!

“sweet peas” happy dancing

I sometimes wonder if I have my head screwed on properly.  There I was, a few months ago,  knitting when temperatures were high enough to melt ice-cream in seconds . . . and now summer seems to have been and gone, I’m doing some summer sewing!

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I pulled out NewLook 6889, which I used last year to make a long cotton dress (the model on the left) and a smallish piece of lovely floral fabric I bought a while back.  I’m no flower expert, but I think they’re sweet peas.  I didn’t have enough to make a second long dress, and I don’t have the legs to wear a shorter or mini dress . . . so I shortened a little more and have made a long tunic.

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With pockets!

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No attempts at pattern matching I’m afraid, as the floral print is rather busy.  But they’re rather nice, and very roomy and I do like the shaping at the top.

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You can’t see very well in the photo, but I did French seams, so the inside is lovely and neat.  And I did 2 rows of top stitching around neckline, armholes and on hem line.  I think this is the neatest piece of clothes sewing I’ve ever done.

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Gibbs seems to approve . . . or maybe he’s hoping there’s something (other than hands) in my pockets?

Anyway, even though the weather forecast for the coming days is cool and wet, I’m really pleased I made this tunic.  Autumn is almost here, so it’ll be going in the wardrobe, to wait for next summer.  And . . . I’ve cut pattern pieces in the feather fabric, so another (summer) tunic is in the making.