Friday, November 26, 2010


Originally uploaded by lalheg
Thank goodness for great knitting friends.

The other Thursday I told knit night about a sausage related disagreement (of the mildest nature ever). On Saturday three of us went to a bead and knitting show, then on to Yarn at Beeston. Amongst the fabulousness was this monstrous hairy sausage yarn which Ruth pointed to, shouting out 'Sausages' in a curious voice at the same time. Somehow this hit my funny button to the point where I was laughing noiselessly and crying - much to the amusement of a husband in there, but to the great disapproval of his wife

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A little act of love

Originally uploaded by lalheg
DH had to be away last weekend. So I wouldn't feel too lonely, he arranged his 'loungewear' so it looked like a dried out husk of himself!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Originally uploaded by lalheg
J wants a budgie - I don't think he means one of these, but it will be far easier to keep!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Playing with machines

Originally uploaded by lalheg
I was inspired by fellow ravellers and their penguin friends this week.

I tried to use my lovely Singer, but she was having none of it, so over to my trusty Viking and I was soon happily looking at these two little penguin pals who are about 2 - 2.5" high

I used reverse applique and free machine embroidery and loved their quirky characters

Then I was asked to make another tiny one so used applique techniques as I thought that there would not be room for the reverse applique to work

I am really pleased at how these have come out and my mind is buzzing with ideas for more creatures and pictures that I could make

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A new love

I've been gently chided by a kind friend that I've been neglecting my blogs.  I have, there's no point denying it.  I'm in a bit of a funk - maddened and despaired by my current job situation - so I've not been posting.

However, there are so many things to be grateful for in my life.  One of these is a new love.  It's OK, my lovely hubby has not been deposed.  I am talking about yet another vintage sewing machine.  As some know,  DD has a hand crank.  A few weeks ago I found a sewing table for it and it's lovely.  I was therefore ecstatic when someone advertised on freegle that they wanted to pass on another machine in its own table.  I was lucky enough to have it gifted to me:

So I am now the proud owner of a mucky, chipped and well used Singer 319k with all of its attachments, cams, plates and a couple of spare bobbins.

I was a bit scared of all of its jiggery pokery - so much to fiddle with.  I can't get the stop on the stitch length regulator to budge yet, but I'll work on that.

Poking around on the Internet, I was a bit dismayed to find out that these machines work on a different needle system.  I was therefore horrified when I broke the needle when testing it.  Friends on Ravelry found me UK and USA stockists.  I was perturbed when the UK stockist told me to buy as many needles as I could if I ordered from him as they weren't made any more.  I spent the afternoon sulking and wondering if I should just pass the machine on and save myself future heartache.  Finally, at about 5pm I had a brainwave.

Tentatively I fitted in a normal needle - a Klassik sharp that had come in the biscuit tin of attachments.  I gently turned the wheel by hand to see what happened.  By rights this should have been a disaster as there's a length difference with the needles and so the timing of all the gubbins inside the machine should be wrong. It seemed OK, so I tried a test sew - bang - needle broken.  I took a deep breath and tried a different brand of needle.   It worked going forwards, but not backwards - that broke the needle.  I fitted a third and resolved to just sew forwards.  Lovely, lovely, lovely.  Then, in a fit of not quite knowing my controls yet and thinking I'd adjusted the stitch length to zero, I accidentally sewed backwards with great success.  So, I now just need to stock up on Pony needles or experiment again with other brands.

I don't know why these needles worked - they shouldn't have done.  I looked at the bobbin case and it's not had the cutaway mod.  Maybe the previous owner had got the timing adjusted?  It was definitely a 206x13 needle in there originally as it had the groove down the centre.  Whatever, I am just so excited to have this machine to play with

Now to think what I want to sew on it!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Promises, promises

070806-01Image by reb via FlickrI am here, I will blog, but first I really have to go and get my run done.  Yep, you read that correctly - I have started running!  Inspired by various friends, I have been following the Couch to 5k programme for the past 6 weeks.  Today is the start of week 7 - from here onwards there are no intervals of walking, just straight runs.  This week it's 25 mins at a time - shocking to me that I can do that as 7 weeks ago I found it hard to run for a minute at a time.
I won't babble on about it too much here - I've been blogging away about it on but have been quiet about it until I felt confident enough in what I'm doing

More on lots of things including another giveaway win when I get back.............

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Luckily quilts never go off

I'm just about to start some hand quilting on a lap quilt that I labelled as soon as I pieced it.  I started quilting it then got distracted by paper crafts and knitting, so it has been sitting in my WIPs since June 2002.

Time I got on with it I think!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Picking up the reins

I have a lot of things I want to blog about, not least of which is a wonderful giveaway that I won.  I've failed in getting my photos of that one so far (too busy using a lot of what I won!) so I shall post that one another day.

Today though - a fun day.  I started off with an interview - still waiting to hear on that one, so shh, no tempting fate.  Now I could have gone straight back to the train station and gone home, but instead I walked from one side of Nottingham city centre to the other, up to a new wool shop that's opened - Knit Nottingham.  On the way I walked past a wee lad in a fancy dress costume.  I waited until I was almost level, then just at the right moment and volume, gasped 'Ooh, Buzz Lightyear', then floated down the road to the sound of his delighted, secretive giggles.

I found the wool shop without any problems - it's only a hop and skip up from the Victoria Centre - close enough to town to be buzzy, far enough away to make you feel as though you're in a lovely community and supporting a truly local business.  All the time I was there, people were popping in-  for sales, advice, details of upcoming workshops and even just for a friendly chat.  I really enjoyed the inclusive, welcoming feel that Eleanor, one of the co-owners is building - to the point where I happily sat, knitted and had a cup of tea with her.  Definitely not the treatment you get in larger establishments, or my nearest craft shop come to think of it.

The shop itself is quite small and as I described it on Ravelry is a good range of basics spiced with some fabulous artisan makes, mixed with vintage and served with a great slice of friendliness.  I saw some beautiful handspun / hand dyed and great handmade crochet hooks - all mixed in with good value acrylics in shades that your usual Wilkinsons etc don't carry.  There was a good variety of wools for the size of shop - I was a bit mind blown by my interview to remember makes etc so apologies!

I was frustrated that I had no money in my purse - they are still waiting for their chip and pin machine so that might be worth bearing in mind if you visit.  There is a fee charging cash machine nearby and a free one about a 5-10 minute walk away, but by this time it was chucking it down so I resisted temptation.  I did scrape up £1 to buy a pack of knitters finishing needles - finding them is like hens teeth sometimes so that pleased me!

So, in summary - a good addition to Nottingham's wool shops that I hope is going to grow over time

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Comfort food

Comfort food is different to comfort eating.  It's not about putting a wrong right, rather it's about feeling cosy.  Recently we had a dark, miserable rainy day so, being in the mood for gentle indulgence, we sat down to the most delicious corned beef and potato pie with beans and fruity sauce.

We've been watching The Great British Bake Off and my pie might not have won their accolades, but boy it tasted great and the pastry was short, crumbly and a total delight.  My family had always told me that they didn't like pies, but this converted them to the point where they were flinging pie ideas at me left right and centre. 

Since then I've also made a minced beef and onion pie and I've even bought new pie dishes to bake them in.  Next on the list is chicken pie and then of course there are all the fruit pies......  If anyone has ideas for fillings for savoury or sweet, I'd love to hear them.   Looks like this autumn/winter could be pietastic!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Waving frantically - again!

I am here, I promise - just catching up now that the kiddos have gone back to school.  I have things to mail, subjects to write about and so many things I want to make!  Now where did I put that cloning kit?

Sunday, August 22, 2010


OK, the red stuff is - jelly!

Almost a week ago I finally got round to using up some out of date jelly and made it extra thick so I could do some gelatine printing.  Life kind of took over and I didn't get to it, so it has sat waiting quite happily in the fridge until this afternoon.

I followed various instructions on the internet and must say that I really enjoyed this initial foray.  Unfortunately my phone decided to have a dicky fit, so here are some mangled photos before it got its proverbial knickers untangled from the twist it had them in!

Then finally the phone got its act together so


DD joined in with the second half of the prints and after the very quick clean up, arrived with a very clear statement:

We're going to edit the prints and work more on them during the week - seeing how long the jelly will last, what else we can print on and with, so watch this space!

Arty adventure

Here we have the equipment needed for my arty adventure - paint, glass, paper, rollers, plant material and - what could that red stuff be?.......

OK, she caved!

So, the goodies go to Annie and, as she was already a follower, that includes the tins!  I must admit I was wondering if anyone was going to be tempted, but it was good fun and I will definitely be running more of these.  Maybe my next one will be fabric related?......

I'm having one of those days where I really should be doing something, but I can't get going.  So, maybe if I set myself a challenge of doing something new and doing a photo story of it, that will motivate me.  Ah ha - I have the very, very thing.....

See you in a little while with the first part

Friday, August 20, 2010

Giveaway update - with photo!

So, it's time to get the giveaway going again.  Here's a quick pic of what I've got stashed away for one lucky person so far.

Are you itching for the tins?  Can't live without german hymnal music?  In love with the Constance Talmadge cigarette card?  Remember, whoever shouts first wins, but if you don't I'll add more temptations....

Thank you universe

I had a lovely lunch time yesterday.  I had to go into town to do some shopping and just happened to be able to arrange to meet If the knit fits... at a local cafe.  It was one of those days when everything falls right.  I had the choice of two parking spaces where normally they are all used up and despite the cafe being rammed with people, I got an outside table.  We had a lovely hour together over drinks and cakes (slab of custard slice for me, jam and cream scone as big as a baby's head for ITKF) then I had to move the car so we parted ways.  I did my shopping then had just enough time for a charity shop and RESULT!

ITKF is convinced that I have mad skills in attracting great charity shop finds.  I dunno, I'm open to whatever is in there and maybe it's just the law of averages as I don't report on the many times I leave empty handed.  Yesterday was not one of those times.

My first stop was the books and I could not resist the Country Diary Book of Crafts as it is packed full of things to make and it is so redolent of its time (plus it was a bargainous 50p).  I wanted to wander over to the bric a brac next, but a woman was stood there, chatting.  I thought I could see something exciting lurking near her leg, so I hoped she had finished looking and was on her way out..... 

Looking around in a slightly frustrated way, I happened to spot something I've been wanting for ages - a pouffe! A bit grubby, but the right size and shape, so it was mine.  Ther's a tiny, tiny split in one of the side seams, so I can see it's insides are straw, but that's great.  I'm doing an evening class in soft furnishings and dress making this term (I want to learn about adjusting for fit), but this means I have a furnishing project - a cover for the pouffe!

By this time the woman was just making her way out of the door and yes! my eyes were not deceiving me - that IS a ball winder in lovely packaging.  I swooped (as if anyone else would be interested) and it's not just a ball winder - it's a Daruma Home twister.  Extra super as I've just received a ton of machine knitting yarn through freegle and it's all a bit too thin for my needs

Sum total of this happiness was below £10, so I rounded it up for love.  I got three items of wonder and a blast of gratitude - how lucky am I?!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm back!

Just a quickie - I'm back and have had a brilliant holiday time.  I'll blog more later, but just wanted to wave my flag as it were so no-one thinks I've fallen off the edge of the world

Missed you all and have been dreading trying to catch up with the on line world so have decided I won't - that lifted a huge weight off my mind!  If you've made an important blog post or announcement that you think I should know about, please leave me a comment / link.

So much to tell you all and of course there's the giveaway to get going again.....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Holiday Hiatus

Just to let you know that we're away on holiday tomorrow until a week on Tuesday - as I haven't packed for myself yet, it's time to get my hands off the keyboard and into the suitcases!

See you all when I get back - I promise that there will be a big splurge on the altered art goodies!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Waving from happy times

Lovely blog readers, I feel that I'm neglecting you.  In my defence, I am having a fabulous time with my family - there has been ear piercing, morsbagging, computing, berry picking, jam and jelly making, sleepovers, barbecuing, playing, sewing and general relaxing galore.

We've cared for a friend's hamster for a week and in return received the most amazing trug full of fresh allotment produce

My husband took me out for lunch in Loughborough and we were transported to the middle east

Children and friends have enjoyed trampolining
and composting
I am loving the summer break this year!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ironing = love

In ironing, a fabric is heated through the gla...Image via Wikipedia
I am being very naughty sitting on here and playing about when I should be doing the ironing - again!  Mountains of rumpled clothes are waiting to be turned into expressions of love, hugs to wrap around my loved ones (not that they will think that, but I will know!)
Image via Wikipedia
Q TipsI'm trying out Zemanta - just to see what the heck it's about!  Do any of you use it?  Any tips?
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fiendish Giveaway Update 3

OK, sorry to have been a bit absent from this - to make up for it, I'm going to add some more lovely items - a yard of punchinella/sequin waste, some sea glass, a purple tag, a brass heart, some jigsaw pieces and some used postage stamps - a mixture of foreign and UK from a variety of decades

sorry for the lack of pics again - I feel a headache looming!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fabric lust

Alpine Fabrics: Category: Domestic Diva

I so hope this comes over here. Anyone know of a UK stockist?

Summer Manifesto

I've been almost away from the world of screens and their constituent countries of blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Ravelry for a few days.  I realised that I was feeling anxious about catching up with everything / everyone - ridiculous - so it's either change that attitude or at some point I am going to have to scale down my online activities.  I think that will happen naturally this summer as having pondering my enjoyment of my extended weekend I came up with a simple manifesto for this precious summer.


So, that's what I'm off to do as there are things to make, homecomings to arrange, children to hug, gardens to care for, space to discover, people to love and moments to experience. 

Don't worry - I'll be reporting back!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fiendish giveaway Update 2

No pics yet as have to go out in a moment- just added -

bits of altering 'kibble' - a ruler, a stick on Ganesh, some tags, teeny stick on gems and whatever else usable I find in a container I'm going through.........

I'm also going to add in a bonus item that you will only be able to claim if you are a follower the day before you say 'MINE': a beautiful cream painted metal tin 8" by 5 1/2" marked herbs, with 6 small herb tins inside (great for altering / storage)

Vintage Sewing - lucky me!

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Back in the mists of weeks ago, I was really happy to write about a fabulous charity shop find - the most darling snake charmer basket stuffed to the gunnels with wonderful sewing and knitting things.   Here's a collage tour for your delectation - if anyone wants to see larger pics of any of the items, just let me know and I'll oblige.

Personally, I'm taken with:
- the old cotton reels - there's an eau de nil one which I love, plus a darker wood large reel that is  swoonworthy by itself
- British Safety Pins - would this be a wartime packaging - very sparse
- hand painted green buttons - teeny tiny mushrooms
- advertising descriptions on the needles
- old bags - memory lane
safety pin box - bless!

and more - summarised as 'I love it all!'

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My winnings!

Remember I won a giveaway recently?  Well it's here - two beautiful skeins of handpainted beauty and a bonus badge that I will wear with pride:

I would post more, but there's a thunderstorm so off I go!

I've got an Award

My first blogger award!  I was really surprised to see that I was the first blogger to be listed on Susie's award post on useless beauty designs - how flattering

So I am proudly displaying my award:

and will happily comply with the requirements:

Thank the blogger who bestowed you with the award.

Thank you Susie - we're new internet friends so I'm enjoying slowly getting to know you

Sum up your blogging experience, philosophy and motivation in five (5) words.

  1. fun
  2. creativity
  3. contact
  4. inspiration
  5. addiction

Nominate 10 deserving bloggers

All Things Quilty
Lilys Quilts
Inside Out Style
Flossie Teacakes
If the Knit Fits
That Intuitive mum
Mimi Love
The Artful Zebra

Fibre adventure

Lovely Fiona gave me my first lesson in spinning at knit night last week.  It's a lot harder than it looks!  I was instructed to soak the results in hot water to set the twist, so I went the whole hog and had a go at dyeing too, using a pack of Koolaid.  I've a small stash of packets that Lori sent me all the way from S Carolina - many years ago we were all ATC and altered art freaks together - just occasionally there's a benefit to being reluctant to throw things out!   

So, here's my photo story of not quite fluff to finished article, but all the steps in between.  And yes, that is one of Alice Starmore's books - a bit tattered but a bargain from a charity shop.  TBH I don't really get why so many rave about her - can anyone enlighten me?
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Oh, can anyone suggest what I can make with about 16 yards of bumpy orange oddness?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fiendish altered art giveaway Update 1

As promised, here's the pic of the initial items. and here's what I'm adding today- vintage slides!

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down---to---earth: Tick tock tick

Please, take time to read this post and at least a few of the comments down---to---earth: Tick tock tick. Now look at your day, your to do list, the things that are preying on your mind and be happy that you are here to experience them, plan for them and work through them

I'm off to be grateful that I'm tidying up!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fiendish altered art supplies giveaway

As promised, here is my fiendish giveaway.  I did one of these a few years ago and got such a kick out of it, so thought it high time I did another to celebrate the last week of school, the change in the weather and DS going abroad with school for the first time.  Also, it helps with my decluttering (see my other blog: From Clutter to Tranquility for details of that!)

This one is going to be altered art supplies focused, but if there is a good response there may well be other crafty ones - possibly scrapbooking, fabric and knitting related

I am going to have an envie / box that I will add at least one item to every day. Whoever leaves a comment saying 'MINE' will get the contents - the twist of course is that the longer you wait, the more you will get - unless someone else gets in there first...... so can you bear to wait?  Other comments are welcome, only the MINE comment claims it!

I'm seeding this one with five great items to start with :

Perfect Pearls in Berry Twist
6 5" elastic cords and barbs for use in bookmaking and more
A set of Tim Holtz metal disks
A Maya Road Coffee Break Chipboard Book
A single microscope slide holder (no slide)

I'll post pics later

(I reserve the right to send this giveaway by surface mail if an international friend nabs it - you never know)

Dots N Stripes

Dots N Stripes

Competition entry

I want to put - don't look here, nothing to see, just because otherwise there might be more people enter the giveaway here- what a Grinch!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

My return swap

Now that my partner has received her swap, I can show what I sent. Given that the spending bar for this Ravelry 'Cheap as Chips' Swap is £5, I thought I did well. If you hadn't guessed it, the theme was purple so I had great fun amassing this and making the cover of the notebook.

I won't be able to participate in next month's swap, but I don't want to miss out on the fun, so I've decided to be my own swap partner. The theme is floral I think - wonder what I'll get myself?
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