Thursday, 13 June 2013

Grinding to a halt - and trying to jump start the blogging mojo

Oh dear!

What happened there?

One minute it's all chugging along in a pretty standard way, and then WHOOOMP!  You have a few days away from blogs and blogging and return home to find you just can't get it all started again...Maybe the battery is flat; perhaps the starter motor has seized up; perhaps it's the spark plugs?

Whatever it is, I am attempting a bit of tweaking and rummaging today, in the hope that I can get the thing up and running again.  Otherwise known as 'doing a post'...

So, Mr U-t-B and I had a few days away to celebrate our wedding anniversary. 

We headed off to the Limousin countryside, perhaps best known for the pretty (but apparently quite fierce) cattle...

Okay, Monsieur Bull - I get the hint!

It may not sound the most glamorous way to celebrate, but I went over to his 'retirement project' to help him tidy his tools!

Oh the fun!  

Seriously though, I really did enjoy this!

That IS the 'after' photo - and though it may not look like it, it really is super-organised now!

Mr U-t-B has a lot of tools, and he is always so hell-bent on doing the next job, and the next one, and the next, that he ends up with a right old chaotic mess and then slowed down when he can't lay his clever hands on what he requires.  

Our quarters were rustic, but clean and with a beautiful view.  Owls hooting made the only night-time sounds, cuckoos in the daytime and bats were pretty much our only companions.

At Mr U-t-B's project, there is no electricity, unless you switch the noisy generator on.  So light is courtesy of solar lamps, hot water is provided by a 'camping' shower (which luckily is plumbed into an inside shower, as it was flippin' freezing outside!) and the much needed extra heat is provided by a paraffin heater.
No internet, intermittent phone signal - bliss!

The weather was pretty ropey - cold and drizzly, which meant we were only too happy to get on with the inside tidying jobs, so that in his next stint of work,  Mr U-t-B can turn this area into a bedroom.

The morning we were to set off for home, the sun finally decided to put in an appearance.

Driving home, we stopped for lunch and a wander around Chartres.

Anyway, once back home I had a swap to take part in.

I had another attempt at making a textile ATC, this one trying to tailor it to my swap partner's likes.  

I decided that this was the one to send, as I hoped it was most in tune with the recipient's likes.  

I was then lucky enough to receive this sweet and beautifully made card from my other partner...

Thank you to Hilda, of  I love the image of the girl, the colours and fabrics.  

It is now sitting happily in my workroom, where I can see it often.  I enjoyed taking part in Ali's swap, and if she runs one again, I'm sure I'll be signing up!

Well, I think that is quite enough as a test-run.  Hopefully back very soon - I have books and sewing to share...


  1. Fantastic retirement project there! :) x

  2. What a wonderful retirement project, is it any wonder you didn't want to come back ... nice to have you here though x

  3. Love the new blog design - very pretty and fresh! The few days away sounded good. Loved your birdie card. I very nearly stopped blogging recently - sometimes it seems a bit pointless, but I'm chugging on! x

    1. My feelings entirely last week, but now I'm back I realise there was a little hole which can only be filled this way!

  4. Hubs would think he was in heaven with a workshop like that! I think we all go through the 'can't get back into it' thingy with blogging, but something always seems to pull us back. x

    1. I think the break sometimes does us good!

  5. Your blog looks so pretty Alix, nice to see you still here.XX

  6. We missed you while you were away ! Oh my goodness though, what a lovely place you were in !
    Your ATC is delightful as is the one you received... thank you for showing us x

  7. For someone who's lost their mojo you've done pretty well. Lovely post and lovely project! x

  8. I was just about to write...for someone who's lost their mojo...... but then I saw lovelygrey's comment. Seriously,this is a great back to blogging post. The photos of Chartres are amazing...and your tales of what you have been up to are brilliant. Welcome back. J.

  9. Lost your mojo...........don't think so - lovely post.
    Happy anniversary.
    Is there step by step instructions to make ATC cards cos I would like to have a go....
    Julie xxxxxxx

  10. Your little getaway looks fabulous! I love the idea of a remote little home somewhere without internet signal. And although it was cold, even the sound of a camping shower is appealing!! I think it's a case of "too much work, not enough outdoors" that brings that on :) love your stitching too! xx

  11. I keep reading about ATCs (and these are lovely), I've googled the term but I'm still not that clear - a liitle piece of art, on a card, a miniature?
    I need someone like you to sort my shed! It is a disgrace.
    Looks like you had a lovely trip.
    Carol xx

  12. Thank goodness you were on hand to colour code and size order Mr U-to-B's tools, that job definitely needed your creative eye :)

    Looks like a great project the Mr has taken on, especially when the sun comes out.

    Pretty pretty ATC, very you. Love the one you received too.

    As for the quokka, I just adore that little creature :)


  13. Thank you all for the encouraging comments!