Friday, August 24, 2007

sporadic, sparse, lacklustre ...

all these words seem to sum up my blogging and crafting habits over the last five or so weeks. The school holidays mixed with working and the most disappointing and dreary weather have left me with neither the time nor the desire to craft or blog.

There have been a few glimmers of things happening although not much really but things, I hope, are starting to look up. Today was my last day of work before starting a two week holiday. The first week we are all off to brave the weather and will be hitting the North Norfolk coast. Days of beaches, chips and playing the slotties lie ahead. I'm hoping that the change of scenery will fire up my enthusiasm and help inspire me.

The second week the little fella goes back to school and I hope to catch some of the new shoes and new pencil case spirit and use my time off to get busy with some new projects and maybe actually finish some projects that have been hanging around for way too long.

Now better go and get the packing done whilst daydreaming of having this as my crafting space.It is Martha Stewart's creative refuge and you can 'ooh' and 'ahh' and 'if only' over it all here.

Have fun and I'll See you in September (which sounds a lot further away than it really is).

Monday, August 20, 2007

two tomatillos ...

A couple of Saturday's ago I decided to clean up the garden a bit. Several garden waste sacks later and I could actually set up the deckchair and sit out there without being attacked or poked in the eye by the rampant plant growth.

Sadly, the very next day it then proceeded to become positively autumnal - the weather has become so much cooler and the rain has failed to cease so there has been no chance to sit out there and relax reading a good book. Typical - just typical.

This rubbish weather has resulted in my 'harvest' this year being very disappointing. The tomatoes have rotted on their stalks, the slugs and snails have feasted and feasted on any plants that didn't drown and so far I have only got two ripe tomatillos. I need a lot more to make a Mexican Salsa Verde. So does anyone know what I can do with just two?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

how nice ...

I am feeling very flattered because the very nice Jo of Frenchknots has awarded me a 'Nice Matters Blog Award'.

The award was started by Bella Enchanted. Who says, “This will be awarded to those that are just nice people, good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!” The award is then passed on to seven people and so the niceness multiplies and passes on around.

Now for the tough bit, choosing just seven recepients, because there really are so many nice bloggers out there. So in the spirit of this award I would like to present it to (drumroll please)...... Domesticali, Dottycookie, Monica, Flibbertygibbet, Cheryl, Simmy and Kirsten.

Friday, August 10, 2007

show and tell 2 ...

well here we are back on the show and tell kick.
A couple of weeks ago I bought The Cute Book from The Book Depository. I was really impressed by their service, the book arrived quickly and was even delivered on a postal strike day!

Anyway the book arrived and Little Fella was really taken by it and by the afternoon he'd made his own little cutie. His name is Blue and he's a lizard. I had to help a little with the cutting out and stitching but he was a wizz with the stuffing.

We haven't been the only ones creating our own little creatures recently Pink Chalk Studio and Heidi have all been busy too.

The cuties are only a couple of inches big, the perfect size for sending through the post - Little Fella has grand plans to create loads of them and send them to friends. But seeing as he still hasn't written thank you notes for his birthday presents then I think they will remain just pie in the sky ideas.

Here's hoping for more of this glorious sunshine this weekend as I really must get out and tidy up the yard. All the rain has led to mad, rampant growth and it all needs a good hacking. And having previously said that I don't tend to partake of white wine because of its fortunate side effects I find myself typing this whilst imbibing a delightfully chilled Sauvignon Blanc. Cheers and here's to Friday evening!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

eight things...

well a day later than promised here are my 8 things:

1. Despite my sewing skills I don't ever seem to get around to sewing buttons back onto shirts or stitch hems back up. I have been known to have trouser hems that are held up with sellotape and when that fails I just replace the tape with more tape. Lazy? No, just saving those skills for something more interesting.

2. I have a thing for books. The flat is littered with hundreds of books and there is even a little box room rather grandly called 'the library' that is full of books but they are by no means restricted to just that room.

I have a small bookcase full of my craft books.
My 90-odd cookery books are on shelves in the kitchen. The front room has more shelves stacked with books and then of course there are the ones piled beside my bed.

3. I prefer red wine to white wine. I tend to get too tipsy, too quickly when drinking white wine. Although I love white wine of the fizzy kind.

4. Spurred on by Japanese craft books I am trying to teach myself Japanese. I'm mainly interested in trying to get a feel for the characters but I have also bought a teach yourself CD. I am pretty bad at learning languages so don't expect anything amazing.

5. I love my music and always have my iPod with me. But I also love just sitting in absolute silence just dwelling on my thoughts. See I'm a contrary so and so.

6. I'm a Gemini which is what I blame my contrariness and vacillation on. Of course it is also what gives me my wit and intellect! Ha, ha I wish!

7. Sometimes I wish I was shorter so that I could wear killer high heels and not tower over people. I fancy a pair of classic black Manolo stilletoes. The fact that I would fall flat on my face the first step I tried to take is immaterial.

8. I passed my driving test 17 years ago and haven't driven since. So I have a licence but would you trust me behind the wheel?! I just have never needed a car because I moved to London shortly after passing the test and I just took to using the tube, buses and walking.

I am now supposed to nominate 8 other people but I think most people have already taken part in this but if you haven't and you'd like to join in then consider this an open invitation.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

can I take a rain check? ...

so I promised you '8 things' but the truth is I haven't even thought about it.

Today was taken up with work this morning and then off to the cinema to watch "The Simpson's Movie" - little fella loved it. In between there was the sorting of laundry and a spot of cleaning.

So if it's OK with you I'll cry off - I'm delaying my promise rather than breaking it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

show and tell ....

as promised here is the first instalment of my 'show and tell'. And first up is the latest bag I have made. A clever, cunning little creation that converts from a tote that is slung over the shoulder to a back pack just by pulling on the handles.
Ages ago now, I received a pattern for the 'Day in the Park Backpack Tote' that Liesl of Disdressed had drafted and produced. The pattern sat there waiting for me to finally choose some fabric and get on and sew it.

I ordered some of the necessary hardware from Lisa and the rest came from Kleins. And still the pattern sat there now with 'O' rings, magnetic closures, rivets and a zip to keep it company.
Well, after much deliberation, I finally chose natural linen for the main body of the bag, a coral coloured cotton for the lining and a Heather Bailey Freshcut pattern for the contrast.
I like the way the pattern worked out although there were a lot more pieces to the pattern than I would normally have considered and lot more interfacing and lining than I would normally use. My machine began to struggle getting through all the layers until I had a brainwave and remembered that I bought a walking foot for the machine ages ago. What a godsend! The walking foot was a minor miracle and made short work of all those layers. It also kept me captivated just watching it 'walk' along the fabric. Well as they say 'simple things...'

The instructions were very clear and easy follow. Although there was a slight discrepancy between the table showing what pieces you need from each fabric and the layout schematic. This led to me cutting out extra side panel fabric but nothing too desperate.

I also adapted the pattern ever so slightly. I added a key holder, a strip of fabric with a clasp on the end which I attach my keys to, which saves having to hunt around in the bottom of the bag.

Tomorrow, no show and tell but rather '8 things'. Zoe tagged me a few days ago and having had fun reading other peoples octopolies I thought I would think about mine between now and tomorrow evening and then share them with you.

Monday, August 06, 2007

back again, again ...

Oh dear, I come out of self-imposed exile only to go and disappear again. What can I say I am toying with your affections - I'm just a nasty tease really.

I absconded to my parents, in Nottinghamshire, for the weekend. It was little fella's birthday on the Friday so we celebrated with a couple of his cousins. The weather was gorgeous so there were lots of fun and frolics in the garden. For me a day off work combined with sunshine was a dream.

Saturday was a journey by tram into the centre of Nottingham. While I hurtled around getting all the shopping I needed to get. Little fella played in the new fountain in the re-vamped Market Square. Some children came well prepared with swim suits, toys and towels. Being not so well prepared, one little person had a soggy journey back on the tram.

I couldn't resist getting this book - no sock or glove is safe!

Saturday afternoon I took full advantage of the Powell and Pressburger double bill on BBC2 to finish the handquilting on the baby quilt. By the time Moira Shearer was meeting her untimely demise I had stitched my last stitch. Hurrah! My thumb, which bears the brunt of my needle wielding, survived with minimal damage.

I have a few other things to show you but I think I'll opt to 'show and tell' over the next few days. That way I am on a promise and woe betide me if I break a promise.