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Monday, 7 September 2015

Refugees in South Africa

With lots on the news recently regarding refugees I thought I would share what my daughter, her husband and neighbours have been up to in South Africa. As you may know they work as missionaries, they have adopted two little Zulu boys and are hoping to adopt a third little boy who they have been caring for the last eighteen months. 
They are living in Kwa Zulu Natal and just recently in the Durban area, xenophobic attacks broke out on people from other African countries who are living in SA with refugee status. Many of these people have had to leave their homelands due to war and other traumatic experiences. 

To cut a long story short, many of the refugees have been found homes in other places, away from these attacks but there were about 150 people, mostly from Burundi or the Congo who were without anywhere to live, my daughters  neighbours (and close friends) have a farm and decided to take these people onto their land as their guests. Together Martin and Vashti and their neighbours have collected tents and other donations from others in the area to enable these refugees to set up home on their farm land. 
For now these people are safe, but due to laws in this area it would appear that they can't stay on this land indefinitely and so those caring for them together with sympathetic lawyers, new homelands are being sought for them  to move to.

I thought I would share some photos with you

Along with adults there are of course children, as well as homeschooling their own children Vashti and their friends are helping to set up classes for these beautiful refugee children

The top left photo shows teenagers from Vashti's church youth group teaching the refugee teenagers some dance moves :) top right shows the children enjoying a TV show and the bottom photos show Martin and their neighbour having fun with the children

Top left shows a meeting with lawyers, knitting at the same time :) Vashti has loved watching these people cooking outdoors

Vashti on the left together with a church friend who came along to visit the refugees

In order to find new homelands for these people, Martin has been taking down their stories to establish their backgrounds and what brought them to SA in the first place. The stories are harrowing, these people have gone through such trauma in their lives, please pray that God will continue to heal their hearts and their bodies.

Friday, 28 August 2015

summer outfits

Some time back I posted these little smocked tops that I made for my twin granddaughters, using a purl bee pattern. 
I had plenty of fabric left over, I had found the vintage seer sucker in a charity shop, so I made a pair of shorts each for a pattern I bought from ellegarrettdesigns on etsy. 

Both the tops and shorts were nice easy patterns and the fabric beautiful to sew with.

Today I received the bottom photo from my daughter of the twins modelling their little outfits :)

The sun is shining today, summer here in the UK hasn't been great so I'm hoping this bank holiday weekend will be good. We are heading into London tomorrow to take care of little Eugene for the day while our son and daughter in law attend a wedding. This is the first time we have looked after Eugene on our own and are really looking forward to spending time with him. We are blessed! 

Have a great weekend! 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

flying geese quilt

I've been wanting to make a flying geese quilt for some time and decided on these beautiful plain fabrics. I'm happy with how it's turned out so far, I have put the layers together and plan on handquilting with fine crochet thread. 

For now, that will have to wait until I have finished all the knitting projects that I have in the go but will be a great project for those chilly evenings which I know just up ahead! 

I hope you've all had a great weekend :) 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Welsh Textiles

With having Welsh ancestry and the love of textiles, I've been thoroughly enjoying exploring the neighbourhood around our little Welsh cottage (#dovecottageonwye on instagram)
Lampeter is a sweet town about 35 mins drive from Dove Cottage and is home to The Welsh Quilt Centre

On our last visit to DC we were joined for the last three nights by great friends of ours from the SW of England. Linda also has a love of quilts and many years ago when we lived in the SW we began our quilting journey by attending courses together.
The Welsh Quilt Centre didn't let us down, the quilts were amazing, all old and beautifully hand quilted. We were told that the exhibition upstairs changes regularly so a return visit will be required :)
Downstairs is a shop selling lots of great textiles, books etc.
I took a few photos, but of course they dont do the quilts justice. The quilts were mainly 'whole cloth' with some pieced work too

'Wholecloth quilt was the mark of an artist - the fabric a mere canvas on which to express the quilters fine needlework skills and creative flair. It is a quilt that dates back to the twelfth century, and has been created by European and American artisans alike. A wholecloth quilt is not necessarily made from a single piece of fabric, but from a few very large pieces of cloth, and it is intricately stitched to produce a highly textured, tactile design.'
Cassandra Ellis - A World of Quilts

I have a whole cloth quilt that my grandmother made, probably about 100 years ago. Cassandra Ellis goes on to say 'Both Welsh and County Durham Wholecloth quilts are highly regarded and extraordinarily beautiful' My grandmother was born in Durham and after marrying a Welshman, went to live in Wales before returning to Durham after his death and all her children had married. 
The quilt that I have is old and not in great condition, I covered it many years ago to protect it but may just uncover it one day to take another look :)

The photos below are taken of Welsh blankets, another passion of mine, the top picture taken at the Welsh Quilt Centre and the other three taken in antique shops

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

summer holiday 2015

We have just returned from a lovely two weeks holiday. We went down to Devon for the first week to stay in the caravan we have situated near where our daughter and her family live. The grandchildren had been waiting since we bought the caravan in April to be able to come and sleep over for a couple of nights. They were so excited (as were we) We had a lovely few days with them, off to the beach for picnics, fun in the sea and building sand castles. All while mummy and daddy went off to Cornwall on their own for a weekend of camping.

We spent a couple of days down in Cornwall. The above photos are of Porthcurnick beach which is where the Hidden Hut is situated. a great cafe to visit if you are down that way
 We bought lunch, sat on the beach and I took a quick dip :)

Portscatho is the next beach on from Porthcurnick, a lovely little village and harbour

We stayed over night with friends in Cornwall, the next day rained but as we only had a day and half rain in two weeks we really can't complain. We had a stroll around Mevagissy harbour, a place we always visit as we both have lovely memories of when we were both young and also since we have been married. When I was young I would visit the harbour with my Dad on a Sunday afternoon and buy macarel straight from the fishing boats and take them home for tea.

We had lots of fun with the grandchildren while we were in Devon and then travelled up to our cottage in Wales for our second week. We have only had the cottage for 15 months and so are still exploring the areas, on most of our visits we are busy working on the cottage but decided this visit would be mainly for holiday and so did very little work. We took picnics out and walked around the reservoirs and into the mountains. 

We discovered these lovely tea rooms, top left photo, and so when the family came to stay over on route to their camp site we took them there. The children loved the fancy bone china tea set and cakes. This was their first visit to the cottage so very exciting for all of us. Molly was delighted to share her other home with her favourite people. I made up the bed with my favourite W
Each blanket ready for our daughter and SIL :)

My sister lives about 40 mins from our cottage, her and her husband are Welsh speaking and know the country well, they had planned a lovely day out with us, we packed up picnics and drove up into the mountains.

Some friends from Devon joined us for three days at the end of our holiday, it was their first visit to Dove Cottage too so we had fun showing them the neighbourhood.

We are so blessed to have places to stay in the South West and Wales, the countryside in both areas is amazingly beautiful and we are in awe of Gods amazing creation. 

Friday, 24 July 2015


Life is just so hectic, I can never seem to find the time to blog these days. 
Although I don't have children at school, the holidays bring a little more freedom as I don't need to help run the church toddler group. But that is only one morning a week anyway.

Later this week we head off for our holidays, a week at our caravan in Devon, catching up with family and seeing the grandchildren, the three of them will join us for a sleep over in the caravan :)

After Devon we will drive up to our cottage in Wales for a week.

I've just made this little jacket and have started the second one, for the twins. The sweet little booties are for Eugene who we will be seeing tomorrow. And I've covered the wooden coat hangers in Liberty fabric for the cottage. 

So the weather here just changed, so far we've had a pretty good summer, plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures, today it all changed, chilly and very wet. Hopefully the warm weather will return. 

I'm hoping you are all enjoying the summer and will manage much deserved rest.



Saturday, 4 July 2015


I haven't posted many photos of Molły, our shih tzu x bishon. She is now 18 months old and so much fun. We've had dogs most of our married life with a break of a few years before getting Molly.
We are feeling so much healthier since having her as we walk her twice a day. 

There are so many lovely places near our home to walk her and if we are at our cottage in Wales or down in Devon we are never short of beautiful areas. 

The top left photo above is actually two photos together, she isn't really running away from a herd of deer :)

We recently drove up to Yorkshire to pick up a gas kiln my husband had bought from eBay, it was a long drive but we managed a stroll on the beach and then lunch with my old school friend and her husband. The beach photos above and below were taken at Redcar, a rather run down town in NE Yorkshire. 

The weather has finally warmed up here in the UK and flowers are blooming 

Our little grandson, although still in need of more surgery is doing so well. We are all head over heels in love with him and look forward to all the blessings he is going to bring to our family :)