Sunday, 28 February 2010

Layers of Grey


Grey on grey
on grey,
on grey.

On and on
and on,
and on.


And wet!

Yes, my overiding thoughts of February,
are ones of,

These photos were all taken on Friday and today.
Yesterday was a glorious spring like day
with Sunshine.

But today
the greyness returned,
and brought with it the wind,
gale force,
and later,
the rain!

The river once again is flooded,
and can be clearly seen from our first floor balcony.
Grey looking!

Are you grey today?
Or do you have some colour to spare
to send our way?

It looks as though I've posted twice today,
though in reality the previous post was posted last night,
gone midnight.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Postcard Challenge

In my last post I said I would show you what I'd been up to with my 20 minutes a day
and my free day.
Following on from making artist trading cards
Leah was also in the ATC swap that I took part in.
For January she challenged us to make a postcard
using a bird and yellow.
So this is what I came up with.

The bird is quite small
and attached to the background using free machining.
The background is machine embroidered.
Because the leaves are so small,
I attached them by hand.

I'm a bit late with January's postcard.
I think I was too busy with my hexagon quilt to get my machine out.
The theme for February was
'things we love'.
I was going to do something to do with chocolate
but decided against it.
Instead I chose
bright colours, though I've only used red,
stars and hearts.

I suppose you could say the butterfly and red spotted fabric are vintage.
I've had them that long.
That must make me vintage as well!

I had fun making them.
Although the photos don't show it
I have finished off the edges of the postcards
but then left a border.
I thought I would frame them and use them for pictures for our walls.
After all we didn't bring any of our art work with us when we left Sweden.
It's still in storage there.

I really enjoy making something like this.
It does take me a while to think up the design,
and it doesn't help that I have a limited choice of fabrics here.
My main stash is also in Sweden.

The postcard size is only four by six inches,
so they make quite small pictures.
The postcard with the bird is nice close up with the detail,
but the bird is too small to be seen across a room.
The second postcard would have benefitted from being quilted.
It would have added more 'substance' to the overall look of it.

It's nearly March
and the theme is 'words to live by'.
I've already got my ideas for the next postcard in my head.
I'll show you how I get on with it
when I've made it!

In the meantime,
pop on over to Leah's to see who else has joined the challenge,
and how they have interpreted the themes.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

A Free Day

It's been rather dull here.
So I haven't been taking many photos.
But I did take the camera out the other day
when we went a bit further afield for our walk with the hounds.
The first photo shows just how dull it's been.
The next one is something that I don't remember seeing before,
Mistletoe growing wild.
When we looked around
we noticed quite a lot of it.
Handy for next Christmas.

There's been more colour inside.
I've spent the day playing with fabric,
stitching and sewing away.
Mike and I give each other a day off every now and then.
So today Mike has walked the hounds, fed them,
and us,
while I've faffed about
enjoying myself,
I may show you what I made next time.
In fact those 20 minutes a day are accumulating.
So much so that
I may even have some reveals
to show soon.
Or what Lucy calls Ta Dah! moments.

What have you been up to?

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Wild Eyes

The sun was shining again today
and nice for walking.
So we drove up the hill behind our village
to walk through the higher vineyards.
Once you get up there
the roads are fairly level.
Most of the snow has gone.

There are a number of these crosses at strategic points up and down the valley.
I think we can see at least three from our village.
It is a very religious area.
You will have seen some of the shrines in the vineyards in my photos from the summer
as well as in the last two posts.

Mike walked on ahead with Paddy and Jewel
while I stopped to take photos.

Can you see them a bit clearer here?

Something has caught Arthur and Jewel's eye.
Rufus has seen it too.

It's a man walking down the vineyard.
He's just above the van
more or less centre of the photo.
Can you see him?

This is looking in the same direction
but further away.
I like the way the sunshine mirrors
the horizontal rows of houses.

Mike suggested I take a photo looking up at the hounds.
Nice don't you think?

We've turned to go back now but returning on a higher road.
There's quite a bit of waste land in between the vineyards.
Great for wildlife.
Just after taking this photo Jewel slipped her lead.
It wasn't tight enough and she has a very slim head.
She just slipped it and darted off.
Fortunately after running a short distance,
she turned and ran back towards us.
Before running off again!
But she tires very easily
and after a mad few runs,
she walked back towards us.
Safe once more.
What a minx,
and after what I told you yesterday about her running off.
I did notice her eyes though.
She has quite sharp looking eyes and when she gets excited they get a wild look about them.
That's what they were like.
I think she'd enjoyed herself.
All the boys could do was to watch quietly at her mad antics.
Maybe a little envious at having had a run.

I took this last photo towards the sun
just before getting back in the van.
All hounds present and correct.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Sun Shiny Day

It has been such a lovely sunny day here today
that I just had to share some photos with you.

They are taken from and of the vineyards up above our house
where we walk the hounds most mornings.

I'm fascinated by the patterns
the vines make.
So I am always stopping to take a different shot or two.

Lovely for a picnic perhaps?
Maybe another day.

This is the road we often walk back down.
It looks a long way but it isn't.
It's quite icy tho'.
The views are of the other side of the river.

Here's a closer view.

Ohh and here's Jewel.

I stopped to take a few photos
and that's all she needs for an excuse to lie down,
and eat snow!

Back home this is the view from the house
looking down our little street
across the river.

The sun must have thawed the ground.
Mike has been hammering in fence posts
in order to put up a fence for the hounds.
It will give them a little area to run around and play outside.
Supervised of course.
Did I ever tell you of the time Jewel and Rufus ran off?

It happened one night the first week we had moved to Germany,
so everything was all a bit new to us.
We had just come in from the nightime walk,
which meant we would be going upstairs to bed.
But on getting upstairs,
only Paddy was there.
Jewel and Rufus were no where to be seen!
We went back downstairs
and unable to find them,
we came to the conclusion
that they had escaped!
We didn't know how.
We just knew that they weren't
anywhere inside.
Mike got in the car to
cover more ground.
Well greyhounds can move fast!
And I stayed close to home in case they showed up.
I also looked in the allotments/vineyards close by,
but it was very dark.
It was frightening to think
about how we would get them back.
Did they know their own way home?

After 45 minutes or so
Mike spotted Rufus trotting back through the vineyards towards him.
He was in fact heading back in the direction of the house!
We like to think that Rufus knew which way was home
and he'd had enough freedom and it was time for bed.

Mike got him into the car and travelled a bit further afield in search of Jewel.
She's always been a little minx.
He was nearly in the neighbouring village when he happened to see her nosing around along the edges of the gardens.
When he called to her she was very happy to see him and came over straight away and got in the car.
But I also think she would not have known her way home and would have carried on going further and further away until she eventually stopped and wondered where we were.

And how did they get out?
A certain someone hadn't shut the workshop door properly,
and Jewel being Jewel,
was the first one to go through and find it.
Rufus followed.
It was very fortunate to get them back safe.
Since then we have been very careful to check that doors are closed.

After this mornings walk
the hounds spent time on the balcony
chewing bones,
and relaxing in the sunshine.
Who was out there the longest?

Hope your day has been a sunny one.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Winter Frivolities

A little more snow has fallen over the weekend
keeping the vineyards under a light covering,
defining the lines of the vines.


down in our village,
they were celebrating.
We're not sure what
as we didn't get a satisfactory answer from anyone.

The hounds found it interesting.
Although Paddy jumped a mile when a band struck up a tune next to us.
I think it was the beating of the drum that made him jump.

There was also a lot of dressing up too.

Even the buggies were in fancy dress.

Hat off.

Hat on.

Neighbours that we haven't seen in a while
stopped to say hello.
People (and mushrooms)
taking part in the parade were pouring Gluhwein for the onlookers.
An unexpected bonus.
The children didn't miss out either.
Sweets were thrown which they collected in carrier bags.

After all the fun,
I went home and carried on with my rippling.

A bit of colour in an otherwise, so far monochrome month.


Sunday, 14 February 2010

Hearts n Vines

Whether you celebrate it or not,

Valentines Day is a good excuse
for playing around.
Even the vines are shaped like hearts.

For future creations.

I made some crocheted hearts
from a pattern here.

And had fun in the kitchen.

I hope your weekend was a good one.