On The Hunt

The weekend we tried out something different .. geocaching. It's not a new thing, it has been around for years but it was our first time giving it a go. You most likely know what it is but for anyone who hasn't heard of it, it is like a treasure hunt using GPS. At the spot is usually a waterproof container (these vary in size) containing a log book in which you write your geocache user name. You then place the container back in it's spot for the next person to find. Some of the containers hold small objects or toys which you can add to or swap.

We didn't have any luck at our first location which was at a park in our town. There happened to be a music festival on at the time that we didn't know about so we had Elvis tunes to aid our hunting. Little L was disgusted when she thought had found a piece of human skin .. turned out to be a piece of a nappy sack.
The next spot lead us to a cow field ... no chance was I wading through cow muck then chance being chasing by a herd so we gave that one a miss.
At another location we got nettled to bits so we'll have to return when the greenery has died off.

We were more successful next time and found a nano cache under a post box. 

The post box locations are probably the easiest and we have found this type of cache stuck underneath or at the back a couple of times.

We've only found one container with swaps in so far but didn't have anything with us at the time to add to it. Little L has lots of little toys that she hoards away so she plans to go through them and keep a small bag of them in the car just for geocache swaps. I suppose its one way to get her to agree to clearing some stuff out even if it is only by one key ring or bouncy ball at a time.

Applique Bunny Bag

This morning I made this bunny tote to try and use up some fabric scraps.

I've made this kind of thing before but I usually use matching threads so it was a bit of a change to sew all the pieces on using black. As I was sewing I wasn't sure about it but I found that I quite liked it when it was finished.

Alpaca farm

This weekend we paid our first visit to White Peak Farm which is an alpaca farm. I'd seen an alpaca farm in Cheshire mentioned on a TV programme and a quick search found that it wasn't too far from us. After a 30 minute drive, we were there. 
We were greeted by one of the owners, a lovely lady who showed us around then left us to wander off by ourselves. 

It was a scorching hot day and a lot of the alpacas grouped together in the shade of a large tree

but this one put his legs in the drinking water and tried to flick it on himself. There is a large pond that the alpacas usually have access to but at the moment the owners had some magpie geese with their young there.

They were quite curious creatures and approached us but didn't get close enough to be stroked.

I think this handsome looking chap named Vanilla was my favourite even though he was a bit of a trouble maker with the babies.

White Peak Farm is also home to some other animals many of which were rescue animals.

Little L was pleased to be able to pet the donkey and Shetland pony. These were housed near this gorgeous woodland area along with some rheas, a goat and a guanaco.

The farm has a small shop that mainly sells alpaca wool and items made using it. The owner demonstrated how she makes the wool on her spinning wheel. Little L was amazed, it was 'awesome'. Sometimes I forget that she has never seen this kind of thing before and I suppose as time goes by less and less children probably will. I had a good chit chat to the lady about alpaca fleece and wool. We bought one of the balls that you can see hanging up outside the shop. They are to hang in the garden so birds can pick out the alpaca fleece for nest building but at the moment Little L wants to put it in her room because its so soft.
We had only just driven out of the farm when Little L asked if we could go again so I guess she enjoyed her day out.

Libbie Club - June Box

June's Libbie Club box has arrived and this month I don't think I could choose a favourite from the three items, I was impressed with them all.

These were the products.

Tarte Cosmetics Lights, Camera, Lashes
Tarte is a US brand which I'd never used before so I was looking forward to trying this out. It is a 4 in 1 mascara which lengthens, curls, conditions and volumises. I only have short lashes and it certainly made them look longer. The mascara wasn't too wet (which is something that I hate in some mascaras that I have tried) and it didn't clump my lashes together. I also love the purple leather look packaging. 

Lights, Camera, Lashes 4 in 1 Mascara - 10% OFF

Little Ondine Nail Polish
This is a natural peel off nail polish. No unpleasant odor as there are no toxins.

 We could chose a colour before hand and I opted for Pacific, a blue/grey colour. It has a very thick consistency so I was expecting to flap my hands around for 15 minutes or so between coats but it dried very quickly. I found the polish very easy to peel off but it did make my nails dry.

Ginvera Zero Blackhead Marvel Gel
This not only works to clear blackheads and dead skin it also helps to fade dark spots and acne scars and refines pores. As it is a gel and not gritty like an exfoliator it does not feel harsh on the skin and can be used daily. My skin felt lovely and clean after use.

Pattern Making

Today I thought I'd share how I make my patterns for felt items and embroidery.

I usually start sketching using any notepad and pen that is closest to hand. (please excuse my drawing .. I'm no artist by any means). This one was done while looking at photos of Boston Terriers on the computer. 

I then scan this in to the pc and if I want to make to image larger or smaller I do this in Photoshop.

These are the original and re-sized versions.

As the outlines on the original were very sketchy and drawn using a Biro the larger copy looks quite faint so I draw around the outlines using a black fine-liner or Sharpie.

After going around the image with a pen, this copy is scanned then tidied up in Photoshop. It is then from this image that I make any templates for patterns or use for embroidery.
It seems like a bit of a long winded process but it actually doesn't take too much time to do.

Baby Blackbirds

For the past month or so we have been watching the comings and goings of a pair of blackbirds that chose to build a nest in a clematis right near our living room window.

As they were building the nest it was very visible as the plant hadn't yet started to bloom. It wasn't very high from the ground but luckily we don't have many cats passing through our garden. 

We kept our eye on the birds activity from eggs to little bald babies

and the cute fluffy stage. (I think they look like grumpy old men here).
 While I thought they were relatively safe from cats I noticed we were getting more visits from magpies and crows (there are more birds nesting in the hedges at the moment) so I kept coming out to shoo them off.

Only one day after that last photo they all left their nest and were hiding in various places near the back of our house. One hopped in to our kitchen and ended behind the freezer. As we were putting it back near the nest site the baby's chirping alerted the parents who then began the shout and swoop at us. The parents were still coming back to feed them yesterday but today there is no sign of any of them. It was nice to have them so close to the house and watch them grow.

Boston Terrier Cushion

This is the latest cushion that I have finished. It was going to be another rabbit one but I started again and chose the boston terrier as it is my favourite breed of dog.

The floral fabric was from the kidney shaped dressing table that I re-covered. This piece was underneath the glass top so wasn't faded or stained like the curtains. Being restricted to the fabric size, this cushion is slightly smaller than others I have made and measures approximately 12" x 12".

It was very quick to put together once I'd made a template but I spent a lot of time faffing around with the eyes. I had them closed then completely round before sewing them like this.

After looking at it for a week I decided to stitch around them with some white embroidery thread. 
Some of the changes I'd make to this if I were to start again are to reduce the size of the ears and make the face symmetrical. I think this is going to be one of my projects that I might hide away then take a look at in a couple of months to see if it has grown on me .. it sometimes works.