Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative

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Creative Week 29

I am very nearly back to normal after our 3 week trip to America.

This year we added in a trip to Las Vegas – never again in July, it was so very hot.  On a trip out to the Hoover Dam we were advised to be careful to not loose a shoe as someone on a previous trip earlier in the week had done, they ended up in hospital with a sever burn to the foot!

Our trip to Yellowstone was really enjoyable, we were accompanied by 11 of my American family.  We saw Buffalo, Osprey and massive Bull Elk with full antlers just waiting for the velvet to be rubbed off.  Sadly, no bears, moose or wolves and no bald eagles this year.  With a lack of bear sightings we called into Bear World on our way back to Utah where we did see Grizzlies and Black Bear – the bear cubs are so cute, as were the white baby elk.  They have a white bull elk who had certainly been busy with the ladies, sadly these white elk will never be able to be returned to the wild as they would make easy prey.

Also this year, we took a trip to Salt Lake City including a visit to the state capital building and a trip around Temple Square.  If you are ever in Salt Lake City call into the Lyon House the food is very good as is the price and service.  My little son decided he would have a fainting episode whilst lining up for food, the ladies were so kind in there, they made sure he was well looked after, although they couldn’t do much about the cause of his fainting as it was down to the heat, most of the time we were in Utah it was over 100 degrees F (about 38 degrees C). In Las Vegas it was over 40.

We enjoyed a lazy time at my cousins house in Payson, well as lazy as you can be in America.  We know the Interstate 15 from junction 253 to 260 very well.  I would like to say a massive Thank you to Jeff, Sherri, Taylor and Makayla for having us stay and for taking us up the dump to go shooting.

Now for this weeks quilt idea 1/2 Square Triangle Bonanza 

half square triangle bonanza

This quilt measure approx 45″ square but can be made larger or smaller as required (adjust the fabric requirements as needed)

Here are the links for all the info needed to create this one:- fabric requirements (yards)

rotary cutting info block

rotary cutting info border block

template for block and border block

Until next week, thank you for dropping by. x

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Great American Adventure Part 5– House Envy!

Saturday 12th May saw us take a trip into Provo (I think) to Costco for supplies for the family barbeque next day – America’s Mother’s Day.  We went via a pizza restaurant, the pizza is prepared in front of you and left to cook whilst you pay, fetch your drink and get a seat, once cooked it is delivered piping hot to the table and it was of a normal (British) size too, so I managed to eat it all! Yummy!

pizza 1pizza 2

pizza 3

The trip to Costco was fun too.  In the queue to pay, a poor, unsuspecting man was standing quietly waiting his turn to pay, when he gets accosted by this round, over friendly Brit, who wants to know if he really intends to give his mother a bag of bread rolls as a gift on Mother’s day.  The poor man didn’t stand a chance!  We had 2 big trolley (cart) loads in front of us and another man, who sensibly had a big bunch of yellow roses in his hand and it turns out my aunt knew; so this poor man was getting it in the neck – nicely- from me about not buying his mum or wife a bouquet when the second man joins in too, to the extent of offering to buy me a bouquet too!  By the time we get to the check out the first man decides he had better go and get a bouquet too and comes back with the very one I would have chosen for myself!  Hurray it worked – we both agreed we could dine out on this story for sometime to come.

After witnessing what must have been a very embarrassing exchange for my Aunt and Uncle we got the shopping into the car to return to Mapleton; we went via some properties that my Uncle had worked on, the campus of Brigham Young University and a park up the side of a mountain with camping facilities, a water park which was closed as the season wasn’t yet open and finally a trip round the posh end of Mapleton – this is where the house envy starts and some of them were in a state of demolition and/or refurbishment or neglect – I could have quite easily taken them on but then what would I have done with all the room and just think of all that extra cleaning.  Cleaning I still don’t understand the concept of that yet!

Have a look at some of my house envy moments.

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Great American Adventure Part 4

Sadly, I have returned home now, leaving my amazing American family 7000 miles away – I’m coming back in August be warned!

The following photo’s where taken on the return from my cousin Kate’s home in Blanding in the south east of Utah.  Again the rock formations are astounding and the resident of Wilson’s Arch did enjoy the Doritos we fed to him.  Oh don’t miss the horses face that appears  naturally in a tree formation on the side of the hill.

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Great American Adventure Part 3

On our trip we visited an Indian Trading Post where I was able to take photo’s of some of the art work; all of which would make excellent quilts – sometime in the distant future!

We then carried on to Gooseneck National Park, just as good as the Grand Canyon but only a mile down.  The bends in the river so look like they are from the Burt Reynolds film Deliverance but that was supposed to be set in the Appalachian Mountains.  A walk down would be good but not in flip flops, without water, walking sticks, a hat or sunscreen!


The Indian woman in the car, Julia Halliday, was making and selling jewellery which of course I had to buy (Dear Daughter please don’t read this as you will know what your present is)

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My Great American Adventure!

I know I’m a few days late writing this blog about the start of my trip but I’m doing it now.

The flights were ok, very boring except someone was ill on the long flight and the call went out ‘Is there a doctor on board?’ 

I arrived on time and went straight to have something to eat and to meet 2 parts of my family Ryan his wife and children and Liz , her husband Jason and their children.  the portion sizes are massive, I have children’s size meals but they are still too big for me to eat all of it.  Food to eat out is very reasonable.

My oldest cousin Tony came to the house with 3 of his children in the evening by which time I had been awake for nearly 30 hours!

Thursday was a lovely quiet day just local trips around.  We did buy drinks out, I was offered a 42oz cup but declined asking for a smaller one.  A 32oz one was ordered but behind my uncle’s back I was indicating to the server the size I could cope with which was about that of a UK coke can.  The soda’s do taste differently here a bit sweeter.

Friday we set off to visit another cousin Kate and her family 41/2 hours away in Blanding SE of Salt Lake near the border with New Mexico.  We went via a national park called Arches the name of which will be obvious once you have seen the photo’s!  To be going on with here’s some from the start of the park.

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I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post!

Has it really been 5 weeks since I last posted?  Well sadly it has my excuses…. I have none, other than I have been working hard to finish my Open University course which has finally been sent off on its merry way.  The results won’t be available, I have found out, until at least 15th June.

I have worked on a quilt ready to take with me to America on Wednesday.

It is based on the 10 minute block I found on the internet, using Kaffe Fassett and Sherrill Khan fabrics.  I tried the quilt as you go method of quilting – I layered up each individual block then quilted them very simply by straight stitching diagonally into the corners.  These where then joined together with fabric strips.  I then built up the borders from fabrics from the same layer cake pack of Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the front and from the remaining fat quarters of Sherrill Khan fabrics.  I had run out before the binding was done so this was cut from fabric bought for me for Christmas by my big son.  I love it, it looks scrappy and now that it has been washed it has that old puffed up feel to it which I love.  I hope the recipient loves it as much as I do.  But I suppose the big question is – would I do it again?

Well – yes I would but!……. I would re-think the 10 minute block whilst it is very easy to do, getting it to ‘sit’ right was very difficult even though I have been sewing for years and years trying to get the points perfect, hmmm………Maybe I have just got to get over the perfect bit.  Would I quilt as I went again – Yes I would it is so less stressful to manage a small block than to try to fight a massive piece of work, although I am not too keen on the fabric strips all over the place(unless, of course, that’s the look I’m after), so there again I will play with it until I find the solution.  Would I use these fabrics again (if I can get them) yes I would I love the graphic bright Sherrill Khan ones – the colours are just lovely.  The Kaffe Fassett ones hmmm… I’m not a floral person but if the pattern is big enough to enable the cut to look like an abstract and the colours were ‘right’ then possibly.  Having said that I do have another quilt on the go using some of his fabric range.  See the following link-:

Right I must pack!

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We’re Back

Having booked a very last minute holiday to see our daughter who is working out in the Vendee in France I didn’t have time to post  a note nor did I take my computer with me so no means of keeping in touch, which was great!

It was lovely to see Nicola.  She had been going a bit stir crazy as she hasn’t any transport so is unable to go any further than the local town centre which is literally 500 metres from the site she is working on.  La Rochelle takes over an hour and a half to get to by bus which is a pain when she doesn’t finish until 2 ish on her half days.  So whilst she had us around to ferry her to places we went to La Rochelle to the aquarium on the harbour front.  It is brilliant, we have one of the National Sea Life Centres in Birmingham but it had nothing on this aquarium.

We also ventured on to the Ile De Re going to the little town of Saint Martin, very picturesque but it rained.

Another evening we travelled north to Les Sables D’Olonne.

France is a strange place.  There are really lovely little villages which we travel through but it’s a bit like the twilight zone.  As there is never anyone about in these villages or small towns they all look deserted.  But on Bastille night the town of La Tranche was heaving, people where appearing like ants, thousands appearing on the sea front to watch the fireworks then all just disappearing again.  Where do they all go.  It was just the same in Les Sables D’olonne, no one in the suburbs, looks just like an American town seen in the Western films with tumbleweed rolling down the streets but get to the sea front/ town centre and there are thousands.

Well we had a lovely time, if you ever go to La Tranche Sur Mer be sure to seek out Matt from Bradford in his bar/restaurant, the food is fantastic and the drinks flow.

The trip home was horrid, the rain pelted down the sea was rocking and rolling delaying our return by an hour and lengthening the voyage by an hour and a half.  We are home now safe and well, the washing is done just the ironing to go.

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Images for the week ending today 21st August

If you would like to see all the images I have posted this week in one place, please scroll down to pages in the left hand column and click on images up to 21st August within the Digital Art pages.  Please continue to let me know what you think my email link is still down so you will, I am sorry to say, still have to cut and paste my contact details into your email software.  Thank you for your visit.