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Catching up and a Christmas bath!

It's been a while (a week?) since my last post (is it just me or does that sounds like the start of confession?!) and I'm not entirely sure where the time has gone or what I've been doing - not a lot, I suspect!  I just thought I'd pop in and catch up with everyone before Christmas...which is rapidly approaching - I just have some mince pies to make and then I'm done.  Thanks for the recipe, Susan, I can't wait to try one!

One thing I have done is to sort out my scraps (an aim declared in my winter stitching list).  Before I started they looked like this...

All sorted by colour but then thrown into freezer bags - they were crumpled and sad!
 And now they're all ironed and in labelled boxes...

Don't they look smart in their new boxes and don't you just love IKEA?!

Ahhh...that's better!

So there's one thing ticked off my list - several more to go!

Another thing I've done is to finish the tree triplets for my mam.  I even managed to cobble together a container for them out of a box and packaging from a radio - I've made it so they can be stored without getting squashed.  No photos of the marvellous container, I'm afraid, I was too focused on getting them wrapped and under the tree!

Edited to add:  the instructions and templates to make the trees can be found here.

Tree triplets!
And that's the only Christmas sewing I've done (I was going to try to get the red work garland finished but soon realised there was no way that was happening so I'm now aiming for 2012!) - I made quite a few presents last year so this year I had a year off!

I've also been prepping some more hexies so that I have some sewing to do over Christmas - I'm still working on the teeny tiny paper piecing project but I find it quite tiring so I thought I'd get some hand piecing ready, just in case I'm up to it...

Sorry for the awful photo - aren't dark afternoons marvellous?!

I'm replacing the green on my 'tumbling blocks star' with white to see if I like it any better - I was going to scrap these three hexies and start again but I'm hoping the addition of white will make them look better.  You can see what the blocks look like here.  It looks fine by itself but when it's with the other hexies it just stands out like a sore thumb...

According to the hexy calculator I've got 23% of my hexies done (I'm not including the half hexies I'll need to square the edge) and these five new ones will take it to 26%.  I was hoping to get some more ready but these seemed to take hours and I ran out of time (and energy!)...

I also joined Pinterest and I think it's going to be very addictive!  You can find me here if you're interested...I'm just finding my way at the moment so any tips will be gratefully received!  I read a post by Adrianne at Little Bluebell today - did you know that even if you're not on Pinterest you can what (if anything!) has been pinned from your blog?  I tried it in the certain knowledge that there wouldn't be anything but to my surprise found four pins!  How thrilling!  To try it go to Adrianne's blog post about it, type the link into your browser and adapt it for your blog.

Yesterday I got a surprise present in the post from a certain someone...I was tempted to open it but once I learnt there was something in it for Archie (who doesn't normally get Christmas presents) I decided to save it for a few days!  Thank you, Judith, Archie is very excited to have a present under the tree and he's already given it a good sniff!

Love the card!
Today I called into the vet to get some worming tablets for Archie and saw these on the counter...I couldn't resist getting Archie and Alfie a treat so that's two presents Archie will be getting on Christmas day - as well as (a small bit of) turkey skin and gravy for tea as well as his usual dried food!

Archie is getting the brown one!

Speaking of Archie, it was time for his Christmas bath on Monday - to say he wasn't thrilled is an understatement!

Ears back and flat to his head - his scared posture.
Look how worried he looks...the poor thing!  Now it might seem cruel when the temperature outside was hovering about 5 degrees but Archie gets bathed outside.  Because he's petrified of being in water and if I put him in the bath he gets very distressed (and so do I).  I've done it twice and I'm never doing it again.  As a special treat I used several buckets of warm water - not as easy as a hosepipe but much kinder! 

I don't really need a bath - I had one four months ago!  We'll just go back inside and forget all about it shall we?

One of the drawbacks of using warm water is that I had to keep going back to refill the bucket!

Let me in!
After he'd been dried a little (with a towel, not a hair dryer - something else he's scared of!) I moved the settee so he could get right next to the radiator to have a lick and get dry

Do you mind, I'm in the middle of my post bath lick!  Some privacy would be nice...
And after a lot of licking and some biscuits to make up for the distress and indignity of being bathed outside in the middle of December he relaxed in his bed and was kind enough to let me take a photo of his gorgeous pink paws!

I love those freckly pink pads!
Now if that isn't relaxed I don't know what is!!

And one last photo before I go - thanks to a bit of pot luck charm pack shuffling with Fiona I'm now the proud owner of three charm packs of Terrain.

Aren't they nice?!
They're still in the packaging because I'm 'not allowed' to open them until all my Christmas jobs are done!

I'm not sure what I'm going to make with them yet.  I know it will be a quilt and I'm contemplating making an ArchieBobSquarePants quilt (I've been wanting to make that block for a while and just haven't got round to it!)...any other suggestions are welcome.  Lucy has recently made a wonderful Terrain lattice quilt - please go over and see how marvellous it looks!  Maybe I should make one of those instead.  Or maybe a larger version of Wonky?  It's not like I'll be starting it for a few months so I've got a while to ponder!

All that's left is to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year - I hope we all have a fabulous (and healthy!) 2012.   I'm not sure how much I'm going to be online in the next week or so so please forgive me if you don't hear from me for a while - I'll catch up with you all soon!

Oh, I almost forgot about my random fact!

Random Fact Two - I didn't know I had curly hair until about 18 months ago.  For years I've battled with my hair, trying to straighten the kinks and waves and stop it going fluffy and it never occurred to me that it was curly rather than awkward and difficult!  Now I have curly hair and I love it - it's so much easier to look after and once I've done it on a morning I don't need to touch it again!  And I don't need several different products plus a hair dryer and straighteners, just some mousse, a diffuser (I know, how 80s does that sound?!) and a little spray of water and, hey presto!, curls!


  1. Now how about a picture of that curly hair?? Archie looks very handsome after the bath! Your scrap organization is fabulous and I can't wait to see what you decide for that Terrain!

  2. Hi, this is going to be a long comment, so feel free to get rid of it if you wish!
    1. I love your hexies. The pink and green is lovely, but I totally see what you mean in the group photo. Perhaps they just need 'spreading' to not be all together, to dilute them a bit. They are so pretty, it is a shame to start them over.
    2. I have jut had my invitation to pinterest too, so am also learning as I go along- tips here too please!
    3 Dead jealous of your organisation. I am about to pack up the sewing machine and bits till after Christmas day, and let the Dining room be dined in!But it will never look tidy with sewing going on!
    4 Trees are gorgeous, did you make them up, or find them somewhere?

    5 Archie looks lovely following his bath.

    Have a lovely Christmas, and relax

  3. what a lovely sewing area - the boxes make things so nice and organized. I have some too.

  4. Forgot what I wanted to say because I can't get Archie's poor sad wee face out of my head! Clean face, but so badly done by - by the looks of things. ;-)

  5. Oh I have wavy hair and have always fought the curls....but just recently got a nice haircut which allows my hair to wave without looking like a crazy woman! Soooo much easier!!! Archie is looking mighty handsome with his Christmas bath...Flanders runs and hides behind the chair when she hears bath. You are so organized....I want to be YOU!!!

  6. Very impressed with your scrap organising and love the triplets. I also admire your patience with those lovely hexies. It's going to be a fabulous quilt. Nice to see Archie all ready for santa :)

  7. I'm very impressed with your scrap clean-up as well! Archie looks totally relaxed now, in spite of his terrible bathing ordeal! Luckily for me, cats do their own well as each others!
    I had to add BobSquarepants to my list as well. Lynne's block is so darn cute!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  8. Wonderful organising - the scraps and the cutting hexie bits! Poor wee archibald... was he really that smelly ;-)

  9. You wrote about so much I'm worried I'll forget something! Pooooooor Archie! Lol, he looks so cute in that last pic, tho. I turn on the heating pad ahead of time so Lucy can lay on it as she dries, hehehe. Love the little trees, how cute! Look forward to seeing what you make with those charms, eek they're so nice! Uh, I lol-ed at the curly hair thing, that is seriously funny it took you so long to figure it out! Let's see those gorgeous locks, eh?

  10. that reminds me! mmmmmmmm mince pies! I keep meaning to make some but when I spied a jar of mincemeat at the supermarket the other day it was $7 jar and I didn't really think I needed a 1lb jar!

    I had a quick peruse of that pinboard site the other day too, but I wasn't sure how accessible it was, nor what a blind man would use it for! If anyone has ideas then please do enlighten me and I'll wander on over there again!

    I don't think I'd be alive to write this comment if I tried to give Maggie cat a bath! Know your limitations I always say, and know your cat's capabilities of inflicting large amounts of pain is another good plan!

    Like the sound of all those hexies! I'm still on squares, but I know that hexagonal shapes lie in my future!

  11. So slow to catch up - lovely post, clean Archie!!
    Jealous of your uber organisation on the scrap front. Woohoo for hexies!!
    How can you just have found out about your hair??

  12. Oh look at his little paws!! They absolutely just melted my heart ♥

    I had to give the kitties a bath when I first got them because they were covered in fleas and blood and horrible stuffs... Let me tell you, if I ever have to do it again, it will be too soon. I'm not sure my arms have ever recovered!

  13. We're making mince pies today too. I love you organised scraps, you don't want to come here and do mine do you? I have a Terrain layer cake sitting there waiting for me to figure out what to do with it because I love it so much I don't want to waste a scrap! Merry Christmas.

  14. Lovely organising!! How satisfying!
    The trees are adorable.
    I so love Archie and his even his pads are cute!
    I only used one charm pack (plus 8 extra charms I cut) for that quilt so you could make 3!! I'm sure you'll do something fabulous with them :)
    The hair fact made me laugh so much!! And a diffuser?! hahahaha!! Curls are great!

  15. Oh Archie, how awful having a bath! It always amazes me how Sam runs head long into the river for a swim, but mention the "B" word and he is just the same, ears back, belly down on the floor, thinking if he makes himself small enough I wont find him. I love Terrain can't wait to see what you do with it, must get myself some. Joyeux Noel! xxx

  16. Archie - so handsome! Glad for you on the terrain - looking forward to seeing how you use them! Trees are cute and will really make the table festive ! Great organisation - scraps I am using are 'filed' in a heap on the floor (oops - didn't mean to own up to that!)

    Will need a big clear up soon as I have to relocate the sewing space!

    Merry Christmas Archie and Helen!

  17. Oh, Archie! The wee pet- bet he's got that gorgeous dog-just-been-washed smell, though! Our Wilson could do with a bath, rats can't reach the middle of their own backs and he hasn't a cage mate to wash it for him, now.

    I think an ArchieBob quilt in Terrain would look amazing!! And I so love those wee trees, you're so clever.

    Have a lovely Christmas, I hope Santa is good to ya!

  18. Wow you have been busy - even I thought 'poor Archie'!
    Love the scrap storage and I too would like to see the curls!

    Merry Christmas H xxx

  19. I feel Archies pain on being bathed but the treats made up for it I think. The hexes look very pretty and I think your charm packs are going to make a terrific quilt. I wish my sewing room looked as tidy!
    Have a wonderful Christmas.

  20. your storage looks brill! What a sad face on poor Archie!!
    Have a wonderful Christmas

  21. No wonder you have no time to blog Helen! Great job all round and bet he smells better to you anyway! hehe! Handsome Archie!

  22. Wow, you have very organized scraps now! And Archie looks wonderful and clearly the process ended with a wonderful nap. Looks like you are planning some fun projects too! All the best for the season.

  23. Thank you for dropping by and for your Christmas Wishes, Archie is looking well! Have a good one! E x

  24. I love your new organization bins...I may have to make a trip to Ikea soon! Hope Archie has recovered from his bath and enjoys his presents this weekend. Happy holidays!

  25. Awww loving the Archie photos. He really looks like he didn't want to have a bath bless his little pink feet. Hope you have a fabulous Christmas and see you on the other side :-)

  26. Bet Archie`s tail was tucked firmly between his legs during the bath! Great sorting out and result on the scrap packs! Merry Christmas Helen to you and Archie. x

  27. your scrap organization is stellar! and thank you so much for the pinterest source info. very interesting! i also discovered i had curly hair after a lifetime of thinking that it was just uncooperative. i had a decent hairstylist cut it short, show me how to use a bit of gel and scrunch it and now i haven't used a brush on it in years.

  28. Awww, he looks so cute there after his bath.
    Love the scrap boxes and the colour coded labels!

  29. Aww poor Archie, but doesn't he look handsome now? Happy Christmas Helen and all good wishes for 2012.

  30. Hi Archie! Wow what a wonderful post! Poor Archie if your don't like a bath, but now it's done again for a while. I managed to learn Hanna for the hairdryier with giving in the beginning all the time small treats and now she lets me dry her well.
    Your new fabrics are just adorable and your sewing space - wow - as you said Ikea is a great help - everything looks now so good and inviting to start new projects!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! xxx Teje & Nero

  31. Check out your local directory for some sort of dog wash. we have a 'Bailey's Dog wash nearby. It's wonderful. for $10.00 they supply everything except the dog and the labor. it's indoors, hot water, the tubs are raised so no bending over. the dog walks up a ramp to the tub. for years we had a st bernard and i had nightmares of what all that hair would do to our septic tank. Bailey's solved the problem.

  32. I am just catching up on posts through google reader. Love your scrap organisation, I may have to visit Ikea! Have just followed you on Pinterest too.

  33. I am just catching up on posts through google reader. Love your scrap organisation, I may have to visit Ikea! Have just followed you on Pinterest too.


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