Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

Light Night February 13, 2012

Filed under: Places to go — lauravw @ 11:10 am

It was below freezing on Friday evening when we ventured out for Nottingham’s Light Night.

Earlier in the day, we’d decided we definitely weren’t going. It was far too cold, the pavements were still icy from the snow that feel a week ago, and I was feeling a little bit under the weather.

But a couple of friends spoke very enthusiastically about the event, and I didn’t want to miss out.So I put on as many layers as I could manage while still retaining the ability to move, and off we went. (I saw someone at the event wearing deck shoes on their feet, with no socks – I suspect they may have lost a few toes as a result of that decision!)

According to the temperature thingy on my phone, it was minus 6 for much of the time we were out – and it felt like it. We took lots of pictures, and my fingers hurt from being exposed to the cold for so long.

I’m glad we went though – there were so many things to see and do, and they were all free. We started at a parkour demonstration in an underpass (not somewhere I’d usually choose to spend a cold night), and then walked up to Nottingham Castle, where a couple of Daleks had landed (they can fly, you’ll remember). There were illuminated marionettes walking around, and, best of all, hundreds (maybe thousands) of little paper bag lanterns had been attached to railings all around the site. This photo shows just a few of them – there were so many more.

To warm up, we went to the Homemade cafe, which was hosting a 1950s diner night – complete with a live band. It was packed – it seemed like we wouldn’t get a table, but luckily for us someone was ready to leave. The food was good, but it was the range of alcoholic milkshakes that appealed to me most – I had a brownie, amaretto and chocolate ice cream one (and I think I could have easily polished off a second one). I don’t know why it’s never occurred to me to put alcohol in a milkshake before, but I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that this is something I shall be trying out for myself VERY soon. I don’t have a bottle of amaretto (yet!) but I have a couple of other things that would work – Kahlua, Baileys, and that bottle of Creme de Noisette that I splashed out on a while ago

The last stop on our tour of the city by night was the Bromley House private library, where the gardens had been illuminated. I’d never been inside them before – it’s hard to believe there can be gardens like this right in the heart of the city centre.


Mini quilt February 6, 2012

Filed under: Crafts,Sewing — lauravw @ 10:59 am

I love looking at pictures of quilts people have made.

I even sort of like the idea of making a quilt someday… but then I think about how long it would take, how expensive it would be, and all the things that would likely go wrong while I worked on it. And that brings me back down to earth: I’ve just not got the patience for such a massive project.

So when I make things, they tend to be little.

I’ve had a week off work, and that gave me enough time to come up with the idea of making this cushion, and to actually get on and do it. I’ve got plenty of fabric on hand, so I decided I should make something with what I already had, no matter how tempting the new prints and patterns are.

I’ve used some of the prints here in other projects, and others are ones I bought on our trip to the Pacific Northwest last year. The plain yellow and green stripey fabric came from The Quilting Loft in Ballard, Seattle, and the grey/yellow ones with the wiggly lines came from a fabric shop in McMinnville, Oregon (a little town I really liked). I like buying fabrics when we travel – it’s nice to bring back something from a faraway place and make it part of your home.

The front of this cushion cover is made from 64 squares, and cutting those out was quite enough for me – I definitely couldn’t manage a whole quilt…


Snowday February 5, 2012

Filed under: Nature and wildlife,This and that — lauravw @ 3:02 pm

So it snowed a bit. We’d heard the weather reports saying that it would, but I don’t think I quite believed that it would happen.

It started yesterday afternoon, and it kept on snowing heavily until long after I’d drifted off to sleep. By the time I woke up, everything was covered in three inches of snow. I got out of bed early to go out and feed the birds, and they seem to have appreciated that. We’ve had a garden full of them today – unlike last Sunday, when we were taking part in the RSPB garden birdwatch, and they all seemed to hide.

I have enjoyed the excuse to stay indoors and do nothing. I’ve had time to finish a sewing project (pictures to follow – it’s only a cushion cover, but it was an unnecessarily complicated one, and so I am unduly proud of it. Here’s a shot of it part-way through).

I have ventured out in the garden with Daisy the cat, who did not like the snow at all and wanted to come straight back in. In previous years she’s been a bit more brave, but this time ths cold temperatures meant the snow had frozen a bit, which must have made it tough on her paws. She is now curled up on a blanket.

Another outing saw me walk as far as our neighbour’s house, to borrow some jigsaws. And that is the plan for the rest of the day: jigsaws, tea, and cake. And hoping that it melts fairly soon…