Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Aching ribs

Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Well I don't know about the rest of you but I had a terrific weekend - my ribs have only just stopped aching from the laughing and we're already planning next years!

The place we stay is fantastic for us because as well as being clean, comfy and cosy, it has places indoors and outdoors that we can all fit together - a lovely enclosed courtyard and a conference room - which means that if the weather is not great (like on Saturday) we can all be inside and when it is great (like on Sunday) we can all be outside and we're not split up into smaller groups.

I was going to say that I can't remember the last time I laughed as much but I can, it was the same place and time last year. At one point I seriously thought I might die and someone had to rescue the large bowl of strawberries I was carrying as I was in danger of falling onto the floor.

I also spent far too much money on fabrics as my road-trip-mate and I managed to visit three quilting shops, one of them twice. In my defence she spent more money than me but really that doesn't take away from the fact that I spent more than I should have.

So now I'm officially on the Stash Wagon for both quilting and stitching until I've made a significant dent in the stash I have. At the moment this will be a year long trip on the wagon with a review and probable extension next June. The exceptions are:

1. The last Bent Creek Big Zipper kits whenever they are released
2. Any cotton required for quilting projects
3. The one or two more fabrics I need to locate for the baby quilt to be gifted to my impending niece/nephew
4. Budgeted amounts for the NEC and Ally Pally shows
5. Limited amounts of floss for Stitching projects (if I need too much I'll stitch something else)

I also have some things to sell on ebay and any money I get for those will be channeled into buying wadding and backing for my current quilt projects.

Yes this is to do with the guilt that I feel but also I have so many fantastic projects in my stash that I should be getting on with I don't need to add any more. I have two more quilting classes booked and that will be the end of them until June next year too as I need some time to practice what I've already learnt.

So quilting wise I'll be focusing on making quilt tops only and saving up for backing and wadding to do the actual quilting in the winter (exceptions being the last two Jungle quilts that have to be gifted).

Stitching wise I want to focus on Sleigh Ride, Cirque de Cercles, Happy Haunting and Red Thread with the idea that I'd like to get them all finished before the end of this year. I can fit small projects around those as and when I need a break.

In other news we never did get hold of the gardener so we're slowly but surely getting on with the work ourselves. We now have a spanking new petrol lawn mower (so lovely and shiny that it's a shame to use it LOL) which means we can keep the savannah to a minimum and we're starting to clear the junk out of the garden to. Painting the fence and the side of the garage will brighten up the whole garden so is hopefully one of the next jobs that will get done.

DH ripped out the manky old water feature on the patio - when I say water feature, it was a plastic bucket covered with a wheelbarrow full of shingle - and has replaced it with the one we had at our old house which fits perfectly and can be powered from the garage without the wiring being intrusive.

I got a voucher for 1000 tesco clubcard points if I spent £50 or more at Tesco Direct this month (stay with me, this is relevant) so I had a nosey around their site to see if there was anything we could use. Basically 1000 points equates to £10 in vouchers to use in store but if you swap that £10 of store vouchers for clubcard vouchers they are worth four times the value so we can get £40 of things such as restaurant vouchers and day out vouchers.

Not a bad deal really as long as one doesn't spend money to save money. Anyway, we bought a 240 litre water butt and some solar lights for the garden for a total of £59. The lights were 50% off so we actually got £70 of lighting for half price plus £40 of vouchers so I feel happy we got a good deal. We do have a water butt that was already in the garden but it is really old, clogged full of ick and has no lid to it. Oh and is about half the size of the new one. The best feature of the new one is that it comes with a lockable lid so is child safe.

Fingers crossed the weather is okay this weekend so we can get a bit more done out there. Now we've cleared some Lia can run around and play while we're working which helps. After this weekend we're on holiday for the next two so it'd be nice to get a bit more done before we go away. At least DH is a bit more motivated than I thought he'd be - he did quite a bit last weekend when I was away so I don't feel like I'm cracking the whip all the time.



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