Thursday, 31 January 2013

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken......

.......lay a little egg for me...Or in my case, sew a little egg for me!
I've signed up to have a stall at a forthcoming, local Mother and Daughter Evening, selling some needlework goodies. In my (rather limited) experience, it tends to be the smaller, less expensive items that sell better. Which could well explain why I'M still here-petite and cheap I am not!
As the date of the evening is pre-Mothering Sunday and Easter, I thought I'd make some spring/Easter bits and pieces. So I now have 11 of these, in various colourways.......

What do you think? I'm quite pleased with them.....but I could well be the only Sad Muppet who decorates her house for Easter. And Birthdays. And Congratulation Days. And any other Occasion That Merits A Bit Of Bunting.....But I DO think these will look pretty hanging from some pussy willow branches in a lovely vase. I'll let you know what the Mothers and Daughters think!
See you soon. xx

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

One Down....Nineteen To Go.....

Yes, it's been a week since my tearful goodbyes to Daughter No 2, as she jetted off to new adventures in Chicago, and you'll be pleased to hear that I have at least stopped wallowing! I obviously miss her like billy-o, but we've managed a couple of Skype sessions, and I can see that she's just fine, which means I can relax. A little. And continue the countdown for the remaining nineteen weeks.....
So. What's new in my little world?? Not a lot, I'm afraid. A while ago, I bought (amongst other bits and pieces) a charm pack of lemony-neutral-unisex fabrics. I bought them, because I felt my work was all a bit same-y (either pink and flowery or red, white and blue bold), and that the lemons and greens would make a nice change.
I now know why I haven't been drawn to this colourway before. I find it completely uninspirational. That pack, pretty enough in it's own way, has sat for weeks, if not quite months, while I look at it and fiddle with it. Nothing. Nada. Not a single eureka moment. Normally, when I feel like this about fabric, it gets consigned to storage, perhaps being picked at over time, perhaps being forgotten.
But not this flippin pack. It's a bit like a sore tooth that you keep worrying at with your tongue, just to see if it's still sore.....I open up the pack, fiddle around a bit, discover I'm STILL not keen on it, and pop it away again.
 This weekend, I was DETERMINED to do something (ANYTHING!) with it, just so as not to admit defeat. This is what I achieved......

.....I've got 16 of these little blocks........and have come to a standstill. Once more.
Do I add a border to each block, before piecing? Do I just piece them together, using a basket weave process? Do I cut them into strips and make a scrappy quilt, with the smallest squares I've ever seen?? (Which may send me Doo-Lally.........all those seams to match!) Polite answers only on a postcard, please!
(My guess would be, wait a bit before finding the bottom of a storage bucket....)
On a happier note....only 5 more sleeps til my HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Yippee! Those of you who know me well, will know that this particular countdown has been going on a while, and that I'm RIDICULOUSLY enthusiastic about ALL my Happy Birthdays. I shall save the explaination as to why, for those uninitiated amongst you, until nearer the happy date.
See you soon! xx

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Down In The Doldrums......

......where The Sad Mums Wallow. That's where I can be found. Sorrowfully Wallowing. Although to be fair, I haven't actually cried since just before midnight, last night. Even though I HAD been crying, on and off for the majority of the day! "Cry me a river" took on REAL meaning, and flood warnings were issued.
But NOT without reason, I hasten to add! I had to take Daughter No2 up to Heathrow, and bid her farewell, as she left for a four and a half month Uni exchange programme, in Chicago. Now. I KNOW I went to America at the same age (19 years old). And I KNOW that I went for far longer (2 years). So I SHOULD understand, better than most, that she'll be fine, and will have an AMAZING time. But what you're all failing to understand here, is, that when I was 19, I was a GROWN UP, whereas she's my BABY!! Hmmmmm......
Those of you who know me well, will absolutely know that I HOWLED for most of the way home, and should be more than grateful you weren't sharing motorway space with me. Still, I'm more composed now. I've had a couple of emails (I'm actually THRILLED someone invented them now! Who knew!!) letting me know that she arrived safely, and that all is well, and I'm eagerly awaiting our first Skype Call Thingy. .....Yes....ok....very can pick yourselves up from the floor, replace chins etc.....Yes you did read that correctly....I AM going to be Skype-ing regularly over the next few months. I've had a couple of lessons, and feel fully prepared for the event.
Now. Just in case you're starting to think that I've taken leave of my 18th Century Senses, I shall leave you with some photos of what the weekend brought, before the Wallowing commenced.......

And Joy of Joys, Cherry On The Cake.....Blog World let me put the photos on, in the usual way. With no shennanigans. And the words are in the right place too!
Ok. I'm off for a little more Wallowing now. See you soon. xx

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Keeping I t Simple.....

I thought I'd do just that, this evening, and do a photo-less post. I keep meaning to contact "Blogger" which is the host thingy, but then I forget to look up the contact details, and so the problem just rolls on. It's more than likely I've pressed some button or another, or even clicked on a box which says "Click here if you'd like constant trouble with uploading photos on your blog, for the forseeable future." Most of you, knowing my Computer Prowess, are possibly laying odds on the latter option. Hmmm......
At the moment, I'm working on the softest scarf, for a friend's upcoming birthday. I first saw it here, , a month or so ago, and thought I'd find the pattern. And I'm so glad I did. I'm loving it. It's one of those lulling patterns, with an easy repeat to it, which is ideal for the End-Of-The-Day-Mindlessness-Watching-TV-With-One-Eye evenings that I seem to be enjoying more and more. (I'm now quite relaxed about the idea that my Inner Party Animal crawled away and died peacefully, some time ago, while I wasn't paying attention!)
So, there I sat in my allocated spot on the sofa, working away on said scarf, happily minding my own business, while various people came and went through the latest Star Gate they'd just discovered, goodness knows how many light-years away, when, The Partner DRAGGED his eyes away from his 50" screen, looked at me, and asked "Since when did you crochet?"
The answer to that, my friends, is since my Gran taught me, when I was 6. A mere 41 years ago. Needless to say, that wasn't QUITE the calm reply I gave my most observant Partner.....
See you soon. xx

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder.......

Or so they say. Which means that by now, you should all be reaching the Heavily Besotted Stage. However, in my somewhat limited experiences with affairs of the heart, it's probably more the "And Too Much Makes It Wander" part of that particular phrase. Terrific. I'm blogging for just myself and The Partner....Although, if I'm brutally honest (and there are those amongst you, who know that I absolutely can be!), I force read my posts to The Partner. And question Him afterwards, to make sure He was paying attention. (Hmmm.......I've just read that bit back to myself, and now I'm unsure about using the "H"'s. Don't want anyone thinking I'm reading to/questioning a deity. But "The Partner" becomes a bit lengthy after a while, so I'll let the "H"'s stand. Or sit....Lie down, for all I mind. Right. Moving on....) Just me then...
I have finished hand quilting my Cath's Stacks quilt, that I'm keeping just for me, and I'm so pleased with it.....
Ok. The photo was supposed to appear here---> Pesky, PESKY flippin thing! Well, I suppose I should be grateful that there is at least a photo. I've backed it with the last of the pink sheet that I bought in France last summer.
Oh. So now the photo is where it should be! No rhyme nor reason to this system! As you can see I've trimmed the quilt, but not edged it yet. That's because I'm not sure which fabric I'm going to use yet. Decisions, decisions!!
Well at least you can now see why I wanted to call this quilt "Cath's Stacks"...Cath Kidston fabric...Stacked. How very original. And now the words that I'm typing in to this wretched machine are now coming out from the centre. Go figure!
See you soon. xx

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


Nothing more to say!! You CANNOT BELIEVE the hoops I've had to jump through to post these photos on here! And I STILL don't know why I can't upload my photos in the usual way! I've probably pressed some button or another, but heaven only knows which one, when, or why!  xx

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

I'll Try Again......

Right. After yesterday's disaster in the Photo Department, I thought I'd try again.
So I did. I fired up The Dinosaur that is "my" laptop (The Partner's cast-offs), and tried again. Nothing. De nada. Rien. It simply did NOT want my Star photos on my Blog.
Aha, I thought....I can be one step ahead of the silly machine....I'll try and upload said photos onto my Flickr account. So I did. And it did. SUCCESS!
Back to my Blog, smugly confident that I had, indeed, beaten The Dinosaur's system. I tried again, smug look firmly in place. Complete failure.
So. I'm now on The-All-Singing-All-Dancing-With-Bells-On-It Computer. If the photos don't work this time, I give up. I will officially be A Giver-Upperer. Here goes.....

Ok. I give up. I'm going BALD with frustration!!!! SERIOUSLY! I had this SUSSED! Click on little picture thingy, choose photo, click on "select" and appeared. WHY IS THIS NO LONGER WORKING???????
Going off to sulk now. In a darkened room. With several bottles of gin. And I'm tea-total! xx

Monday, 7 January 2013

Seeing Stars

I've joined a BOM! On a blog that I follow, the Blogger was advertising another Blogger, "Don't Call Me Betsy", saying that she was hosting a BOM. Intrigued, I popped along to take a peek....
It turned out, that for a very small fee, "Don't Call Me Betsy" would send me a pattern, every month, over the period of one year, with all the necessary directions on how to complete a different star. The details said that the stars would be paper pieced, and I assumed that meant the English method of patchworking, that I originally learnt many moons ago. I paid my £7 fee, and duly signed up to the corresponding Flickr group.
Within a day, my first pattern and directions arrived on a PDF file. Oh dear. Those who know me well, will understand that I'm very un-au-fait with anything other than letters that arrive in the post. I nearly fell at the first hurdle.
However, I faced my fears (sssooo very brave!) and not only did I download the said file, I also printed it off. (Used a bit of poetic license there...I got The Partner to print it off. I'm quite gifted in the Delegation Department.) Anyway, that's when the panic hit.
It wasn't the English paper method. No. It was a completely alien method, involving paper, sewing machine and stacking material on top of itself. I read it through a couple of times, and it may as well have been printed in Swahili, for all the sense it made to me.
So I did what I do best. Fetched my bucket of sand, and buried my head. (At this point, I should probably confess to the fact, that I didn't actually know what BOM stood for, and it took me until earlier this evening to work out that it's Block Of Month!) (Well... I think that's what it stands for......I'm still not entirely fluent in Modern Patchwork Speak.)
Anyway, not wanting to be considered A Giver Upperer, I decided to attack the flippin thing last night. I followed the directions to the letter, and do you know what? That "Don't Call Me Betsy" knows a thing or two! It actually worked! I chose to do work on the 6" block (there is a 12" variety) and learnt a fantastic new method......
And I'm so glad I did......

Well. I was going to show the photos of aforementioned star block, but for some unknown reason the darn computer isn't letting me upload the images. NOW do you see why I love paper and pen so much??


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Oh Happy Me!

I have always believed that my needs are simple. I was raised in a family that took modesty to a whole new level (not a bad thing), and I was taught that if I had a roof over my head, a proverbial shirt on my back and food on the table, then I had enough to be thankful for. As children, we (myself and younger sister and brother) were encouraged to make our own rides, long walks over the local fields with the dogs and so on. Not an awful lot has changed, in my adult outlook today....I don't crave diamonds, holidays in the sun or days in some spa retreat. Jolly good job really, as our means are somewhat limited....if "our means" were a house, even estate agents would have trouble describing it as "bijou"!!
Which sets the scene for The Pure Happiness that was last night's entertainment. In our household, I call ALL the shots when it comes to Grocery Shopping, Cooking, Housework, Yelling at The Children, get the gist. And The Partner calls ALL the shots on everything else. Which includes Complete Control over our Television Viewing Schedule. And last night was the turn of Graham Norton's chat show, which had originally aired on New Year's Eve. (I can't remember what we actually watched on New Year's Eve, but it probably involved some sort of Alien Invasion!)
Back to Graham. Oh Happy Days! Oh happy HAPPY ME!
There on the Graham's TV sofa, put there purely to make my day, I'm sure, were Hugh Jackman, John Bishop and Paul Hollywood. Need I say more? There were some other celebrities, and Pink sang, but all that paled into insignificance. I couldn't even tell you what they talked about, really. And if I'm brutally honest, I wasn't too interested in the content of their conversation. You could have muted the volume, and just let me watch, and I'd have still been in Seventh Heaven. Hugh, John and Paul equal Eye Candy Overload in this Almost 47 (31 more sleeps and counting)Year Old's eyes!
Okay. Enough daydreaming.
Just to show that I've not been GLUED to the television over the Festive Period, here are two WIP's that I've been working on......

Remember AGES ago, I showed you some lovely material from the Cath Kidston range, that I'd bought with vouchers given to me, by generous parents from work? Well, I've FINALLY put them to good use. I adapted a pattern from "Sunday Morning Quilts", by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. The quilt in the book is called "Daydreams", and was designed by Cheryl. She can be found here . Anyway, as I said, I've tweaked it, quite a bit, to make it my mine. I pieced it by machine, but as this one is for me, I'm hand-quilting it, which I love.
This one.....

.....uses the same fabric, and design, but I'm machine quilting it, as it's destined for my friend's shop. I think I'll call it "Cath's Stack"'ll see why, when it's finished.
Right. Time for a cup of tea now...and just a drop more daydreaming.... xx

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A To-Do List.....

I've discovered a love of The To-Do List. I was never a fan of it in the past, often writing lists of things that I needed to do, that consisted of at least 8 things I'd already done, so that I felt good when I could cross those off as "DONE". Sounds complicated, but it worked for me!
However, as time marches swiftly on (only 33 more sleeps til my birthday!!) I've found that I actually RELY on a To-Do List. As long as it's not too long.....otherwise it just becomes scary, and I'll  plunge my head back into my bucket of sand, which is never very far away.
Anyway...back to today....
1. Take down Christmas decorations. TICK
2. Put decorations away (obvious to some, but trust me, this NEEDS to be on my list). TICK
3. Sort through ironed laundry, and put away. TICK
4. Find homes for my new Christmas presents. TICK
5. Find homes for The Son's new Christmas presents. (A longer job than No.4!!) TICK
6. Feel smug about neat and tidy home. TICK
Now, I've just got to serve dinner (oh the joys of a slow cooker!), and then I've got the whole of the evening ahead of me to veg on the sofa, with some hand-quilting.
What a great start to 2013!! xx