Gone to Visit the Queen

We are only about 45 min from the largest and oldest continuously occupied castle in the world. It also happens to be the primary residence and home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I feel like she was calling us to visit this weekend! Early Saturday morning we left to get to Windsor in time for our tour of the castle kitchens…in our new rental car…very appropriate for go go little red eh!…

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We zipped to Windsor on one of the nicest fall days we’ve had yet…unfortunately, the Queen was not in residence, a bit rude don’t you think seeing as we made the journey specially, ha!

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Don’t we look like we could live very happily here, surely the Queen has room…

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Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to pictures inside the castle on our tour but I found an old image on the Internet. It was beautiful and is still much like it has always looked throughout history. There was even still a Victorian range in use…

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The only thing this picture is missing are the beautiful copper pots that were on display! Not used anymore because the cost of lining them is so expensive.

After the tour we went through the beautiful State Rooms. We also got to see Queen Mary’s Doll House. It sure was a sight to behold! After a walk around the castle was in order…

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Of course Windsor Castle is next door to Eton College and we were just in time for the 3:15 tour…

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It was an informative and interesting tour. I had no idea Eton was soooooo old, but of course it was!! It was founded in 1440. This is the original school house. On the bottom were the classrooms and above lived the 70 King’s Scholars. To this day they give around 70 scholarships a year to promising young men…

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There is a small museum to visit on the grounds…

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Then you get to visit the chapel. Again, probably wasn’t supposed to take pics, I’m going to get chucked out of somewhere someday…

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Another beautiful day for little red and her Mr.

Cheerio!

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Placemat Mania

I have been busy working on the Inlaws placemats…

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Not sure why I didn’t just sew the edges on the wrong sides so that when I turned them to the right side I wouldn’t need a binding buuuuuuuut I think they will look much prettier this way!…

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What do you think of the lavender I chose for the back? I think it works well with the other fabric, although I wish it was a bit darker. You can see I did 3 stripes with the front material at the top on the back. For the quilting I chose to go with a modern straight line about 1/2 inch apart.

Almost done binding one mat by hand (because I think it looks better than trying to sew it on the machine) 3 more to go! I’m sure I’ll get them done by Christmas…right!

Weekend Construction

This weekend I decided I’d finally get off my butt and update my blog appearance. Shamefully, when I started the blog last Christmas I meant to jazz it up but then just never did. I love the photo section because I like to add a lot of photos. If you see a photo of interest all you have to do is click on one and it will take you to that blog post. The only thing I’m not terribly crazy about is that the post does not appear in full but I’m going to live with that for now and see how I like it. I’ve also updated the “About” section…check it out. I’ve also added pages for finished projects…now I just have to add the pictures! I’ve been meaning to take pictures for a while now of three early and special knitting projects. The “About” section inspired me to take the photos today…This is the first sweater I ever knit! Classic pattern eh…check out more in the “About” section. Next, is the first sweater I knit when mom and I began Julie’s knitting classes all those years ago. I wonder if she thought I was ambitious and was surprised that I finished so quickly. I used Brownsheep Bulky for this traditional creation. The red sweater is the sweater I knit when I was in New Zealand. It is made from Naturally’s old Merino and Possum. I’ve got rid of many sweaters over the years that I just don’t see myself wearing anymore but I could never part with these!

This weekend was also very exciting for John because he got to do his kayaking test at the Olympic Whitewater centre. Many will know that John has a background in paddling but don’t know how good he really is! This was the first weekend that the course was open so we drove the 45 min to Waltham Abbey so that he could be assessed to paddle on the Olympic section of the course. He used to be heavily involved in the British Canoe Union for Slalom and ran into some old mates. We saw Paul Ratcliffe the Olympic Silver medalist from the Sydney games who was also excited to get out on the new course. It was crazy busy with playboats and rafts but I think watching the slalom paddlers is a work of art. Here’s John on the Olympic course…

Go John go!

Afterwards, we went to check out Waltham Abbey itself. Not the best area but the history of the Abbey is amazing. The original Abbey dates back to the 7th century. It also has quite a bit of history involving the favourite King Henry VIII…

It was a beautiful sunny day and nice to be outside. All blog construction happened today, Sunday, because it’s been grey and rainy. Perfect for sewing though and I’ve worked hard on John’s parent’s placemats and finished my Ghastlies top…Stay tuned…

Ooo La La

Quickie update…

Finished all of the Ghastlies Halloween squares tonight and even sewed one row together, excitement! Hard to get a good picture though as not the best lighting in an old Edwardian style home at night and no John to hold things! I tried…

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Oooooo look you can see part of my new spice puzzle!

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I’ll take better pics when the top is done.

Works in Progress

Sew…I’m back at it. I think the Xmas placemats really got me going again. The Lavender came in today from an online store in the UK called Simply Solids. It’s nice that I can get Kona somewhere!

Sew…here we go with the update:

I’m washing the fabric for John’s parent’ placemats but did manage to buy some binding for them.
Now a word on batiks…not my personal favourite but so many shops carry it that it was all I could find near me. How is it that I live in England and can’t find K. Fassette or Amy Butler fabric easily, hmmm a mystery. Anyways, this will go quite well…

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Now for the really fun update, my Ghastlies Halloween quilt. I have always wanted to do a Halloween quilt and when I got the Ghastlies fabric a couple of years ago I knew I wanted to do a non-traditional (meaning not orange and black) one with this fabric…

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I’ve also really loved the Kitchen Window pattern…

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from…

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I always thought it would look awesome with fussy cut pieces in the windows. I’ve also had some pinks that I’ve been saving for the occasion. I really love how it’s turned out so far. I cut all the pieces and organised them into blocks. I cut all the sashing and have begun sewing the blocks together. Loving it!!!…

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This is how they will fit together…

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Seaside Fun

On Saturday John and I were in full tourist mode and decided to go to the seaside town of Brighton. It’s a wee bit tacky and touristy but a fabulous example of a British seaside town. I was excited to come because if you’ve read any Jane Austen books you will know that the characters were always heading to Brighton or Bath for their relaxation. One of the old Victorian Piers is still there but has been destroyed by various fires and sits abandoned in the water. There is still a very old looking pier that you can go on with carnival rides…

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There were some great views and interesting details to be seen on and around the pier…

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I’ve never been to a pebble beach before, I don’t think, and couldn’t believe that it was actually natural!…

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Of course I couldn’t resist a ride on the old carousel. John had a good laugh but it was sooooo fun. I used to love getting the horse that moved up and down. I was happy to see that all the horses moved on this one!…

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The fun didn’t stop there. We read in the guide book that there was an awesome vegetarian restaurant in Brighton and boy was it right. It was probably the best meal I’ve had here since moving, yum, yum, yum…

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Don’t ask me to remember what all the food was but it was Asian inspired mostly I’d say.

Walking around the shopping area was fairly pretty too, we didn’t stray too far but did see some old buildings and quaint streets…

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And…check this out…the new line of Cath Kidson bags have a red spot one!!!!…didn’t get one though boo, trying to be good…

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On our walk we found the Royal Pavilion built by George the IV, I think. It was stunning but obviously a different architectural style…

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We didn’t go in because we were getting tired and wanted to go home but I think it was for the best because we will need to save some neat things to see when mom comes to visit again. I hope she comes again soon!