I have had quite a bit of leave recently in fact I take the most of my leave in the Spring. J has been busy getting the garden prepared for the new growth and Mountstewart is a delight to walk around with all the vibrant colours erupting from the dank marsh like grasses around the lake. I can never quite make my mind up as to whether I like Spring best or Autumn.

Smudge can sit for hours in the little courtyard-her domain, barking at anyone who dares to come close.
Jonathan’s fingers are much greener than mine and it’s those on paper that last longer for me.I have had a break from art but was nice to get back into watercolour after many months.

A Day Out Locally

The weather hasn’t been great but then it’s Northern Ireland and we learn to live with the uncertainty as to what the day will bring even if it is all four seasons in one day.

Corrog wood although small was ideal for Smudge to have a snif around off the lead. No sunshine but no rain either so very pleasant.

The young trees seem to be coming on well but looking at the chart to the proposed forest in 500years got me thinking. I could never imagine that future ahead and thankful I live One Day at a Time….

We stopped at the old gas works by Mountstewart that we have driven by for many years and never explored.

Smudge of course liked to walk by the water.

We travelled on around the peninsula stopping at small bays and beaches on the way.

It was wonderful to have a day out as I do spend so much time on the sofa or at the table crafting. Smudge also could be quite happy lounging on the sofa and eating snacks. Talking about snacks I cannot get myself into my summer menus because of the temperature I am still into casseroles and soups. The National Trust magazine came out and within there were a few recipes. One reminded me of Africa- water melon and strawberry cocktail so I decided to give it a try and it was yummy.

Spoilt for choice

At the moment I am working between crocheting the Lily pond throw and working on my dollhouse but the patchwork pieces are also calling out to me especially since I attended the wonderful display at Glastry Methodist church.the work on display there was amazing.
This was one of many but unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me. 

So far I am managing to keep up with the crochet plan and thoroughly enjoying the new blocks.almost two done of this section (see first picture) and still some time before the ne t pattern comes out. I have taken up Pilates so I am not sitting around crafting all the time and Smudge still needs her walks as well as time with friends.

A visit to her friend Daisy’s house.
Daisy showing her authority by claiming the window seat. 
The dollhouse is progressing slowly and have found the rolling of paperclay hard work

Trying out some new menus as we all get a bit bored with the same diet. This one is from Sainsburys. The chicken is coated in cashews and the veg stir fried in garlic, lime and chilli.it is yummy even for my DH who isn’t great with greens.

Getting back to Miniatures

Dollshouse miniatures was my main hobby for many years and I taught children and adults. However so many crafts crept into my life and so much less time to run clubs which involved making at least twenty kits for each club.it was lovely to catch up with my Dollshouse friends for a meal. 

I am planning a Dollshouse and miniature exhibition with craft fair in Saturday 17th October in Sydenham Methodist Church halls to raise funds for Kiwoko in Uganda. The MGM fair on Saturday also gave me a chance to catch up with old friends.

I purchased some basics for my large Deneway dollhouse that is a work in progress

I just got back to working on this after a few years and started applying some paperclay to imitate the old masonry.i also added some more bricks.

The door is now in permanently. I rejoined my old minis4all group and found a lady with a similar house.  It’s been a good relaxing week off work and enjoyed getting back to the hobby.
Purchase at the fair made by Ann Clarke