Happy New Year!

I will share one of my Christmas presents with you- a gorgeous 500 piece jigsaw. There’s a watery theme to today’s post. I can’t believe I’ve been away from Blogland for so long!
After Christmas there was a thaw so we hurried home to Oxfordshire. This is our New Year’s Day walk in Iffley.
The New Year’s Day walk has been a bit of a tradition ever since we were married and went for a walk to the lake up in the mountains near Scheffau, Austria 20 years ago.

We got there fine- very pretty. We saw a sign pointing back down to the village but not the way we had just come. “Ah a circular walk!” After a while the track got narrower and narrower. It started to snow. “It can’t be much further?” We kept going. It got darker and the snow got heavier. “We must be nearly there- it didn’t take this long before.” Then we saw a sign pointing to a snowdrift next to a hedge in what would be a field in Spring. “Well we must be close and we are going down the mountain on this track, it’s too far to turn back in the dark.” We trudged on heavy legged as the snow gathered under our boots. Eventually we saw lights of cars in the valley and had hope. Our legs went faster. We were overjoyed to reach the road in the blizzard. We walked a way along it hoping to see something we recognised. About an hour later we reached the village- we had walked round the mountain on the road! Back just in time for supper in the restaurant downstairs.

The silly thing was we hadn’t told anyone where we were planning to walk to and it could’ve been fatal if the temperatures had dropped further. If you are planning a trip in bad weather make sure that someone knows where you are and what route you are taking, just in case.
Anyway back to Iffley- the Lock Keeper’s Cottage.
A friendly goose to welcome me home. 🙂
Bridge heading towards town.
These boats are unusual for the area.
“De Ark” I wonder if the owner was called Noah? It was shaped a little like a child’s toy ark.
The Isis Tavern.
This used to be a crowded Summer pub for when you walked along the river. There would only be half a dozen people there in Winter as it is far from any roads so you have to walk along the tow path to reach it.

It has changed a bit under new management and was packed with young families eating home made food from a small menu. I’d like to return when they have finished painting the interior- they had removed internal walls to make it more open plan but hadn’t finished stripping the old wallpaper off yet. Sorry no pics of the interior.
It was so lovely to see the River Isis again. An old friend.
I expect you are wondering what I’ve been up to other than gadding. Well I was given some of the Noro Silk Garden yarn for Christmas so I made these over the knee socks. Love the wool colour but the pattern is a let down as the socks prefer to drop to my ankles.
The children found it hillarious! I don’t think I will get more of it because for the price I expected not to find joins in the skein, let alone non colour matched ends. A good quantity of yarn got wound off so I could match the colour and have the socks the same. I think I will stick to cheaper stuff in future. 🙂
Can’t find a pic of the matching hat to this aran scarf, but they were a pressie for Darling Husband.
This got backed and bound.
Another Autumnal themed pressie- acorns.
Applique crow, leaves and grapes decorate the pieced acorns.

A gift for a fellow greyhound owner. She gave me the fabric offcuts from her curtains so I turned it into matching cushions for her.
These were a quickie and great idea for children- a ready made fleece blanket- just make it personal by sewing their initial in a corner.

A special big bag for a dear friend. 432 small bits plus pockets, handles and base pieces. One side.
Other side. All made from scraps so some are 1 1/2″ and others are 2 1/2″ squares. My own design making it up as I went along. Reinforced handles so it should cope with most things.
I had some little squares left over so made 2 pockets for the bag from them.
From a larger scrap piece I made a bigger pocket. The lining is calico and it has a removable calico covered base. The outer base is in the same fabric as the top binding.
With all this snow I’ve been thinking of pastel shades. Front paper pieced.
Pieced back.
Same pieced tree in blue but with a different border as I was using scraps.
Pieced back. Again lots of 2 1/2″ squares. The quilting makes it look more complicated.
These were for a couple of uni aged children. I wanted to make them laugh now they would be/are buying their own food and supplies. I got the idea from a burglar’s sack of stolen property being a “swag” so it made me chuckle to think of the children going into shops with such a clearly labeled bag. They thought it was hillarious! 🙂
Inside was lined in a vintage (very narrow so I think it is old) heavy duty furnishing cotton so these bags will be very strong with reinforced handles.

When I got back here there was a deadline to meet so I was working silly hours. The naughty Gabriella the Gin Fairy only got put away today instead of on 12th Night! As she seemed to like swinging on the chandelier we didn’t have her swoop and lunge across the room like in previous years. ….I think she may be up to something.

Hideous amounts of pre-Spring cleaning to do here. How about you?

I’m planning to wallow in Blogland tomorrow and catch up with everyone between horrible housework chores. See you soon.
Happy New Year!

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