Thursday, February 21, 2008

Summer Inspiration

I am really in the mood for spring and summer, can't wait for it's arrival! I thought I would show you some pictures of my garden.....NOT!!!! These are pictures from a trip that my little sidekick and I made with my parents to see Powerscourt Gardens in Co. Wicklow. Wicklow is known as the "Garden of Ireland". So for all of you who are thinking of traveling to the Emerald Isle and enjoy beautiful gardens then this is for you. I would also like to mention to all of you who like to eat LOL that there is a fabulous restaurant, Avoca, in the main building. The restaurant is too die for and an absolute must for lunch!! I personally like having soup and brown bread for lunch in order to indulge in the most scrumptious desserts you have ever had the pleasure of eating.....

These pictures were taken in August after one of the wettest summers in years. Can you imagine what they would be like if the weather had been sunnier and just a little drier!!

I only wish that my lawn looked like this, it never ever will. It looks like a lovely soft green carpet and the hydrangeas are so pretty against the wall!! Although keeping a lawn like that would require way too much maintainance so I guess I should just enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor for a change LOL!!
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Table Runner Almost!

Hello to everyone out there! I put this together Tuesday, a nice table runner which is part of the Darlene Zimmerman Clothes Line Club. It is 19.5 " by 39", just right for the kitchen table. I am going to try and finish this up tonight, we shall see. I am trying to get my flimsies finished before I start something new. Wait until you see what I have to start, yummy yummy!!!!
All the best and keep smiling!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Farmer Boy vs. Spiderman

Well hello out there!! I don't really have anything quilty to show you, except for this flimsie that I did last winter and is still waiting patiently to be finished!! Sidekick and I started a project on Friday, she really wanted to make a tote bag for her Barbie dolls and accessories!!! Of course I don't do simple, no I have to take everything to the next level and only then do I realize what a mess I've made. A third of the way into the bag making Sidekick abandoned me. She was off playing with her brothers and the next thing I know she is off outside running around having a great time. I have yet to finish the bag, I am making it up as I go along so God only knows how long it will take LOL!!!!
I thought I would share a funny B&B story with you. Two years ago, I had a group of 8 men from an english speaking country arrive for a long weekend of golfing. They were here to take part in a fun golf tournament. The first night arrived and the fellas unpacked the big van and settled into their rooms, preparing to go out for dinner and a few pints!! All is well in the world. Me and Farmer Boy settled in front of the telly, children asleep and the guests out for the evening. We went to bed around 11 pm, the dogs are in the utility room in their beds and I set my clock for 6 am, early breakfast for the golfers! Are you with me so far, peace and tranquility!!! Suddenly at 2 am I wake up with a start, there in my bedroom door is a guest, he was only wearing his spiderman underwear, Farmer boy was awoken as well!!!! Farmer Boy, "Who is that, what do you want?" Spiderman SILENCE while he fumbles around looking for the light switch..... Farmer Boy leaping out of bed in his very conservative boxers, he is going to kill me for telling this story..... What do you want says Farmer Boy in his most commanding of voices. Meanwhile I am laughing because it has dawned on me what is going on. Spiderman slowly turns and walks away with Farmer Boy in hot pursuit. Spiderman returns downstairs and into his room while Farmer Boy is running down the stairs trying to simultaneously get dressed.
Farmer Boy is mad..... He returns to the bedroom and starts cursing about the incident, he is really MAD!!! He is going to protect his family from this crazy man!!!! I told him that the man is probably sleepwalking. Farmer Boy is not amused. At 2:30 am, we hear a bedroom door open, Farmer Boy jumps out of bed and runs downstairs only to hear the door close again. This goes on all night, every half hour we are awoken. This poor man was walking everywhere in the house, the dogs were let out and were running around, poor Farmer Boy had to go to work the next morning with no sleep... It was dreadful.
Turns out this man sleep walks whenever he drinks, I told them the next morning that they would have to lock him in the room at night and his roommate would have to sleep with the key. They were so apologetic, the poor man was mortified when I told him that he must know every inch of our house by now!!!! The look on his face.... To this day Farmer Boy is not amused even when I am ROFLOL about all the men running around my house in their undies - it was like something out of a Chevy Chase movie. The following night all the doors to our quarters were locked and the children slept in our room with the door locked. What an eventful weekend!!!
Farmer Boy, he's my hero ROFLOL!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Addiction 101

I hope that I have established that I have a serious addiction. I don't smoke, don't really drink (an occasional glass of wine, actually you need a drink after you see the prices of alcohol over here!!!), food is simple you need to eat so no addiction there. My drug of choice is fabric, in the past year I have acquired a great deal of it, I left my stash behind when we moved. It didn't amount to much and it was all really hold and yucky. So I took it upon my self to buy what I needed and then some. It doesn't help when people show off their stash on their blogs and the envy starts, fabric envy. Or you see a project that someone has completed and you just have to have the fabric and pattern. Some women like shoes or purses, I like fabric!!! Here is my recent purchase, no idea what I am going to do with these. From Free Spirit, Tanya Whelan Barefoot Roses. They were so gorgeous that I had to buy several yards of each and I have several yards that are backordered. I am looking forward to spring and these are seriously putting me in the mood. Maybe a table runner and then a quilt, I have the entire fat quarter collection as well so there is enough to make several quilts!! Farmer Boy is going to explode, I need to hide the credit card bill when it comes in LOL!!! He supports my hobby wholeheartedly and never asks how much and I want to keep it that way. We moved over here because it was his dream to come home and I simply point that out every now and again, this of course works a charm!!!!!! I have to go get some housework done, guests tonight (the paying kind, yipee). I have received a few questions from bloggers about the difference between living here and the US and recipes for Irish Foods. I am going to put together a few thoughts and give you all a low down. I will be gathering my thoughts while I clean 3 guest bathrooms, the most delightful part of my job!

Weekend project

Here is what I accomplished over the weekend! It is the Thimbleberries quarterly project, click on the picture to get a better look. As usual I managed to mess it up. Do you see the mistake? It is the most common mistake I make, turned blocks. Two Trees are correct and two trees are miraculously growing upside down!! Even my children caught that one and caught it rather quickly I might add! Middle son looked at the quilt (he's only 9) and looked at the picture on the instructions and said, "two of your trees are going the wrong way". Then he laughed, smart alec!!! If you use this on a table it won't matter, we were going to hang on the wall in the dining area of our kitchen. Every quilt has to have a humility block and with out a doubt mine always do LOL!!!! This was an easy peasy wallquilt, now I have to do the same blocks and put them aside for the big quilt kit, I will pay better attention.

On the Farm front there is nothing much new, we have close to 50 lambs but we have lost a few to scour. A very unpleasant diahrrea(sp?) like condition, poor little babies. The weather has been pleasant, lots of sun for the past 4 days and we hope that continues. The children are looking forward to Thursday and Friday since they have those two days off for mid-term break. It won't be long until the big 2 week break at Easter!!!

Now, I need help from all you bloggers out there! I can only post one picture at a time, why is that. I upload pictures onto Flickr and then when I post I go up to the picture above click on that. I use the box on the upper right hand side, not the html one, where you paste your pictures code and then go to flickr and pick my photo. I pick large size. copy the short code, the second choice. When I pick a second photo and the orange button at the bottom of the screen half disappears and most of the time the two photos don't copy. Do I need to do something about Picassa?? I am a novice and this is driving me crazy, I only just learned about the email address for responses. I was one of those people posting comments on blogs and wondering why no one was answering LOL, now I know!!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Living the life of Riley

Okay folks, I have been tagged and I want you all to know that this is my first tagging. Hopefully I won't disappoint!!

The rules of the meme are as follows:
1. When tagged, place the name of the person Helen and URL on your blog
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 7 things about yourself
4. Name 7 of your favorite weblogs
5. Send an email letting those bloggers know they have been tagged

Here we go!
1. Living Arrangements: Not Good (only joking), I live in Co. Wexford Ireland with my ever so charming Farmer Boy and my two gorgeous sons (11 3/4 yo and 9 yo) and my newly crowned as of Friday 8 year old sidekick daughter. Sidekick had a 6 week countdown to her birthday which started on 26 December! We live in peace and harmony on a 60 some odd acre farm which produces barley and lamb. We also operate a Bed and Breakfast in Fawlty Tower tradition, don't be mean or rude to the B&B lady or you will find a dead fly in your breakfast!!!! I'M JOKING.... I can see my mother reading this and not finding it funny...

2. Schooling: I have a BA in Economics from a wonderful Jesuit University located in New England. I spent the first two years of my university schooling in Washington DC and then transferred back up north to be closer to home.

3. Favorite Food/drink: Anything as long as I don't have to prepare it! I live in the land of meat and potatoes so I love Italian food and I have grown very fond of my chicken curry dinner. I used to be a hard core coffee drinker but I have grown more fond of tea. I love cappuccinos but finding a good one over here is a bit of a challenge. Part of my job as proprietor and B&B lady extraordinare involves cooking so I grow tired of standing in front of the stove but can't really afford to eat out (I would rather buy fabric than a meal out on the town).

4. Morning/Evening person: This is a tough one. I think I am mostly a night owl, I could go on and on for hours at night. During the tourist season I have to be up super early to get breakfast going so I go to bed early and get up bright eyed and bushytailed. During the winter I reverse my hours a bit, I stay up later and get up later.

5. Since when have you been quilting: I started quilting in 1988/89 while I was living in Vermont after college. I fell in love with the quilts hanging in the window of a store in Woodstock Vermont and that is what started me off. I am completely self-taught, I have never attended a class since I never really lived near a quilt store that offered courses that fit in with my working girl lifestyle. I was in my early twenties and had more important things to do!!!! When my first child was born I simply didn't have the space or time or desire to quilt. I took a sabbatical of sorts. When we moved to Ireland in Dec 2001 we had plans of building a home on what was an outfarm and the next thing you know we were building a B&B. Once all was running smoothly I realized that there was something missing and that I needed to get back into doing something that I had alway enjoyed, Quilting. I have a serious addiction to fabric and really love Moda fabrics, in fact I feel like a bit of a groupie LOL! I know all the designers and the names of the lines - serious trouble!!!

6. Pets: Here is one of the goof ball pets I have chosen to live here! This is Sophie our golden retriever and she was abandoned here in August 2006. She showed up and was in very bad shape, the poor thing must have been terribly abused. But as you can see here, she is living the life of Riley and has really landed on her feet.
Sophie is sound asleep, in fact the camera and flash noise woke her up. This is not a very lady like position and she sleeps like this all the time. You will also notice a shot gun by her head, that is a toy left by DS1. Please excuse the messy room, I live with children - need I say more!

We also share our home with Sheila the wonderdog, she is a terrier mixed with god knows what. I tried to download a picture but for some reason I can only download 1 picture at a time tonight. Actually most of the time I have nothing but hardship downloading pictures from flickr. What gives with that????? We also have a handsome tomcat named Sammy. Sammy lives in the house by day and stalks the farmyard by night.

7. Vacation: The United States is our vacation of choice for very obvious reasons, shopping. Nooo, to visit family of course.... We like to go camping with our caravan or camper to the West of Ireland or Co. Waterford along the coast. Anything to get away from the B&B during the summer is delightful. B&B work is 18 hour days 7 days a week for months on end, I have to block off a week and a couple of mini breaks here and there so that the children have some sort of a decent summer and I need a chance to catch my breath. It takes alot of energy to be charming you know!!!

My favorite weblogs are so vast, I am without a doubt addicted. I draw inspiration from most blogs and there are a few bloggers that both inspire and seriously amuse. I have a dark sense of humor and try to find humor in all things, if you can't laugh at yourself then you are in deep trouble. Here are just a few of my favorite blogs Nicole, Kim, Megan, Sherry, and of course last but not least Bonnie. These are just a few and there are sooooo many more I would be here all night. I have a lovely Swiss family staying with me tonight so I need to go to bed so that I am delightfully yodeling tomorrow!!!

I will have a new quilt that I just finished to show you tomorrow!!!!

All the best and keep smiling!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Quilt Club start and Traffic

Well, last night I decided that I was not going to get behind on all the things I want to get done before the tourist season starts. At the last minute, after a alot of thinking, I joined the Thimbleberries Big Quilt Club as well as the Quarterly Club. I like Thimbleberries but I have a funny feeling that everyone who quilts goes through a Thimblerries phase!! Some of the fabrics in this collection are ok, not my taste but I can live with them. Anywho, I thought it might be fun to have a project that takes a year and the quarterly projects looked nice so what the heck!! I am going to get going on the sewing this afternoon or evening.

When I moved here to Ireland I found life very difficult, everything was so strange. I complained endlessly about the stupidest things, now I just complain about the weather and so does everybody else. However, I have a serious issue with the driving over here!!! Traffic, bad drivers, speeding (don't even get me going on that one). But honestly get a load of this group, did you ever see such pokey behavior in your life, LOL!!! The traffic they held up, all I wanted to do was get my kids to school!! My mom is going to be seriously annoyed that I published this without her knowledge, snick snicker.....

This little trip was through the Gap of Dunloe in Kerry. We decided to do the trap cars because my special side kick (the one in the green shirt) is a horse fanatic! If you ever travel to Ireland and Kerry is part of your trip, be sure not to miss this tour. We stopped and parked before you get to Kate Kearney's pub, there are two fellas with trap cars on the left hand side and they were fantastic. Alot of great stories and local knowledge. Super Duper Fun!!!!!

All the best and keep smiling!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Here Comes the Sun!

Here comes the Sun, Thank the good man upstairs! I ran outside with my camera and my finished quilts and took a few snaps and then ran back inside because my eyes were in a state of shock....
I have to finish the binding on the red and white quilt. I was concerned about that one and the red being a tad overpowering but boy was I wrong on that one. Simply gorgeous and I have enough FQ's and the other fabrics to make a second one. The two twin beds in one of the Guest Bedrooms will have those on them for the summer!!!
As some of you (family and friends) know I am a B&B lady, kinda like the Dana Carvey's Church Lady from SNL!!!! My bookings are coming in fast and furious for April and have received a number of good bookings for later in the summer as well. I have alot of funny B&B stories, I will have to gather my thoughts and retell some of them, of course I will have to hid the identities of the individuals that I make fun of!!! Like the young German couple that requested an extra flat sheet and when I inquired about the bed, "isn't there one on the bed?", they said that they each like their own sheet because they like to wrap it around themselves when they sleep!!!! SAY WHAT...... I will have none of that in my house ROFLOL!!!!! A little bit of John Cleese in Fawlty Towers mixed with Hyacinth from that other funny BBC comedy that I can't think of the name for!!!!
I have guests over the next serveral nights, I have to earn some money to pay for all my fabric purchases!!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Guess where I've been?

Sorry about my lack of blogging, what can I say except blame them!!!! Honestly, I thought bottlefeeding and tending to little ones was over but nooooo, every spring I have the priviledge of being a new mommy again! We have been very busy, alot of new arrivals here on the farm and when you add the rain and wind to the mixture you find you're having sooo much fun LOL!!! I look at Farmer boy sometimes and I would like to smack him, boy did he sell me a load of manure. This is what I love about working with my husband, every 10 minute job turns into hours of slopping around in the farm yard with the sheep. The little darling refuses to buy a jeep, he prefers to see me laying across the hood of the car holding onto the windshield wipers while he drives across the fields. You know the extra weight on the front tires helps. Don't tell him but it is actually kinda fun except for the time I fell off when we were going around the corner. If my kids were doing this I would be giving out a stink, just because we are in our mid to late forties doesn't mean we can't have fun!! I have finished my red quilt, see previous post, as well as my thimbleberries quilt. As soon as I get broadband I will be able to load more pictures. I have been helping the U.S. economy of late, many purchases from my favourite online quilt shop (the Fat Quarter Shop) and hope to do some cutting later this week. I am getting together with some quilty peeps this Saturday so that should be fun and best of all I won't be on bottle duty!!!

Keep smiling and see you soon!!!