Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Postcrossing funny

Love it!  Just got a postcard through postcrossing where the text reads 'when my husband's grandmother died we found all these old cards from vacation.  I took them for post crossing, even though I have never been to Sea World myself'

I'm feeling a combination of amusement, pleasure that the postcards are being used and just a hint of eww, dead woman's possessions (silly really given my vintage/charity shop obsession)

S l o w l y w o r k i n g on a quilt top

I am so easily distracted by anything at the moment, particularly with it having been so hot.  I am meant to to have finished this quilt in May I think, but here we are at the tail end of June and I'm just getting round to playing with block placement!  Lucky there are no quilt police around

Sometimes I surprise myself

What a flash of insight!  It has only just struck me that I can write blog posts and save them to post later.  This is exceptionally helpful to me as sometimes I have loads of ideas for things I want to write about, but don't want to a) put them in one mega post or b) flood the blog with lots of posts in one day then nothing for weeks.  Also, I like writing at one PC, but the photos are all on the other one, so this way I can babble along as inspiration strikes and then add photos when it's convenient. 

Plus I've realised that I can schedule a posting time - ooh, the possibilities!!!!!!!!!

Cor, wonder if I'll be inspired to get the papering done in the bathroom soon?!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shawl Pin Number 3

Lovely Linda of Tall Yarns commissioned a silver shawl pin from me last year, which was very exciting and flattering.  She loved it and was impossibly upset when it was lost, so she asked me to make another.  This one is even chunkier than her first and will look lovely with her designs.  As it is so heavy, I'm going to recommend that she employs a teeny safety pin in the reverse of her knitting through one of the purposefully large jump rings, so that she can never lose her pin again.

I got a shock when I priced up this piece - silver is so expensive!  I hope Linda had a great time at Woolfest to fund this....

Friday, June 25, 2010

In praise of online friendships

I've just entered a giveaway here, which is timely as I was thinking today about how important online friendships are to me

So, thank you, everyone who reads or follows or comments, chats on facebook, twitters or blogs - you all make a difference to someone's life

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I'm trying to thwart the dreaded spammers so I've moved onto a different comments system, but have somehow lost everyone's words of wisdom on here and my other blog - woe is me!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Loughborough Degree Show

Loughborough University - Art and Design Degree Show 2010 - Artist profiles

I visited this show last week, intending to stay for just an hour but after 2 1/2 hours still don't think I saw it all

I love Daisy Collingridge's work - I couldn't remember her name so was very pleased to see her featured here in the profiles

I was also enamoured with pieces by Emma Wicks and Hannah Tatnall., plus another artists whose name has gone, but did an installation piece resembling a potting shed that seemed to be all about growth and decay. This last work didn't seem much at first but has played in my mind ever since and I'd love to know who did it!

I was all fingers and thumbs answering a call while I was there - looks like I was trying to take a sneaky pic!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Anyone used this fabric supplier

I do not need any more fabric, I don't. but just in case - anyone used croftmill?  Any other online suppliers you could recommend.  just for research purposes of course

hexagon love

I have mostly been… « Sew Much Progress
It's a long time since I did English patchwork, but the photo of hexagons almost persuaded me to have another go - until I thought of everything I've got started and not yet finished

Saturday, June 19, 2010

a busy morning

While I was doing my shopping in town this morning I had a quick blast around the charity shops.  I was very, very good and did not buy anything, but I have been kicking myself ever since for not spending a measly £2.99 on this beautiful toy sewing machine (and I checked, it's been sold), but at least I'm keeping to my drive to get things out of rather than into the house!

I saw some beautiful books too, but wasn't tempted by
or by
Who knew that there'd been a jazz book club in the 60s? 

I was pleased I hadn't brought lots home with me as I had the most wonderful table full of post waiting for me
Clockwise from top left: two bookmooch books from Japan - still in the lovely brown envelope at this point; a postcrossing card from the Netherlands; a beautifully wrapped purchase - amy butler's softwares which just happened to fall into a cyberbasket yesterday (more when I've looked at that tomorrow) and most exciting - my wonderful handmade soap that Susie from Useless Beauty Designs blogged about here and was sent in unnecessary payment for the plants that I hope she has either received or that will get there on Monday (if they've not dried out and shrivelled by then, worrit worrit).  The bars are lavender and geranium and they smell wonderful - not overpowering and just wholeheartedly feminine without being sickly.  I love that they look handmade rather than machined and until they are used, they are sitting in my frillies drawer, sharing their perfume!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Victoria and Albert Museum - Patchwork: Pattern Maker

Victoria and Albert Museum - Patchwork: Pattern Maker

How fab is this?!

Spreading the love

I was reading Susie's blog, useless beauty designs and it gave me an opportunity to send her a few plants for her herb garden.  She is being very generous by posting something in return - lovely but not expected when made my offer, but even more exciting for that.

I'll post more when her gift arrives

Monday, June 14, 2010

Unexpected beauty

Being a Grimsby girl I have a lot of childhood memories of standing with my parents in fish and chip shops - our takeaway treat after doing the grocery shopping one evening a week (probably on my dad's weekly payday).  I doubt there are as many chip shops around now, but I was always excited to visit one particular one and after visiting a family wedding in the town a few years ago, made a special journey just to photograph the fish range at Smiths chippy

I'd love to see other examples of decorative ranges- I can't find anything on Google!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I decided to make the marmalade and poppy seed teabread recipe from the Splenda website so that the knitting group could sample Splenda in a recipe (mainly because I love the weird flavour and texture of poppy seeds)

The recipe was really easy to follow - lucky as I had left it a bit late.  Quite a few ingredients but really quick to put together.  The timings were great and I took the cake to knitting wrapped in a checked tea towel and still warm. 

We sneakily got it out and it looked so inviting that I didn't have time to take pictures until there was only a little left:

Everyone who tried the cake liked it - most had a second piece!  No one could discern an aftertaste, which had been a concern that two had voiced, so I would say that the Splenda had been a success.  I also gave away the free samples that came in the kit so there may be some more feedback next week.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Small pleasures = big happiness

My small pleasure for today - red leicester cheese on toast.  I got the timing just right - slice 1 just the way I liked it, slice 2 under the grill and ready to perfection as I finished the first one!

Glorious charm squares

Oh, I so love the kindness of strangers and online friends

Helena on Ravelry offered to send some home cut charm squares to anyone who wanted some.  I said I'd swap some with her (still to cut mine!) and waited with excitement for the envie.  And waited.  And waited.  Eventually I sent Helena a message explaining that it hadn't yet arrived, but I was worried in case she thought it had and I'd just been ingratitude personified.  About the same time she received her parcel back from the PO - totally mullered!

Anyhow, she sorted it out and we tried again and success!  I spent a good 15 minutes luxuriating in these lovelies, fondling and dreaming of what I can make

All tied up in the sunshine:

Then I came inside as the wind started to blow and I didn't fancy chasing fabric around the garden.

Look at all that inspiration.  I'm buzzing to play with it all - a bad case of startitis which I am resisting but it's hard!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Soda Farls

I thought I'd try my hand at making soda farls last night.  I was surprised by how much they puffed up and will have to consult the expert (AKA my wonderful mother in law) on how to stop the crusts being quite as chewy as they were, but for a first go these were delicious toasted and buttered with a fried egg

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Super sweet

As mentioned in my post here I'm a Bzzagent and I've received some free samples of Splenda.

I don't take sugar in tea or coffee, so I was pleased to realise I had some fresh mint from my mum, a fab little teapot and therefore an opportunity to try the sweetener in some Moroccan style mint tea.

I poured the tea (just steeped a handful of mint leaves) onto the sweetener and was surprised to see it dissolve easily.  Friends in the past have complained about this aspect of sweeteners. 

I tasted the tea and it was extremely sweet for my liking.  Once I had sipped and topped up my cup it was a lot better.  I was pleased that there was no aftertaste but would have preferred the tablets to come in half teaspoonful equivalents

My next adventure will be baking with Splenda - there are a few adjustments I'll have to make to take into account how the sweetener will behave compared to sugar.  I hope whatever I decide to make turns out OK as I'm going to take it to my knitting group to sample

Ravelry: discussion topic - How to stop "Grazing"?

Ravelry: discussion topic - How to stop "Grazing"?: "I read a book on compulsive eating once - can’t remember for the life of me what it was called! - and the key message was to 1. plan when you are next going to eat, anywhere between in 30 minutes to 4 hours time. If you get to that time and you’re not hungry, fine - just set another time. It advises against going for more than 4 hours without eating though. Then 2. when you do get to the ‘set’ time, decide beforehand what and how much you are going to eat. You may eat less, if you get halfway through and feel full up for example, but never more. Then go back to step one and decide what time will be your next eating opportunity…and so on and so forth."

Hmm - would that work?

The Boy Who Knits - Techniques: Fixing Lace Without a Life Line

The Boy Who Knits - Techniques: Fixing Lace Without a Life Line

Now why would I need this tutorial?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Julie Whitmore Pottery

Julie Whitmore Pottery

Ever find a site, blog or Etsy that makes you want to cry with vague and bittersweet nostalgia? I can barely take in all of the wonderful details here - ooh, making a cakestand for the cookies she baked; pears, my beloved shape; crinkly shaped spoons - for the rush of feelings her work invoked. It may have some connection to my childhood love of making tiny sculptures out of plasticine, but who knows? I'm happy just to ride the wave, then snap back to today and wish that I too could go and poke about in Birds of a Feather in Main Street, wherever that may be.

Monday, June 07, 2010


We had a quick overnight visit to my mum last week and took our GPSr with us to do a spot of geocaching.  Five of us wandered along the canal bank, desperately trying to find two microcaches in a glitteringly hot afternoon.  Despite our best efforts we failed to find either, but we had a great time underachieving.  Wandering about the Lincolnshire countryside was balm to my soul, particularly when we explored a deconsecrated church and graveyard that is soon to be converted into housing.  The nettles were far too tall to let us try to read the old gravestones or poke about in any way.  I couldn't see any interesting statuary apart from one very weathered stone cross with a carved wreath on it, but there did seem to be a preponderance of graves with rails around them.  I wonder if that's a local preference or reflects the countryside position of the church?

DS surprised me by asking to be shown how to knit.  He took to it immediately and has progressed onto purl, so who knows if I will soon be shooing him away from my stash and knit pros?

On the way back we stopped off at the Wragby Maze.  It was a bit expensive for what was there, it's not worth a special journey and we'll never have to go again, but for the one time we were there the lovelies enjoyed running around the maze, laughing at the topiary, playing on the putting green (DS was particularly happy as he scored a hole in one!) and just relaxing in the sunshine together.

The whole place had a very old fashioned feel to it and reminded me of my childhood summers in some vague way.  I think because there was so little in your face, laid on amusements in view - a case of making our own entertainment with the equipment and space available
I was particularly taken with these cheery little fellows and their opposition - some equally lovely looking worms that I managed to take a horribly blurred photo of - shame.  I think they were to play noughts and crosses with

Spoilt for choice

So much to write about, I don't know where to begin or end, so there will probably be a flurry of posts today

Had a great week over half term with the lovelies: visiting my mum; running round a maze; playing pitch and putt; failing at geocaching; visiting W Mids Safari Park;knitting a little; sewing even less; supporting DS in his first triathlon and getting my samples of Splenda - no wonder I'll need more than one blog post!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Basket Temptation

Oh, I like the look of this basket make.  Not that I'll be making it as a) I've got two wonderful wicker baskets and as many reusable bags as I can sew (no shortage of recycled material here) b) it's using plastic c) I'm supposed to be getting rid, not adding!  But I can admire such beauty surely?