Thursday, 26 January 2017

Quick make......

....that actually took ages from start to finish although most of the time was me going off to do other things while thinking it through. I knew what I wanted just didn't know how to get there.

So I started with measuring the space it need to fit, then I found that the supermarket cartoon was near enough.
Cut the bottom out
And covered it with fabric which had to be held in place with clothes pegs. The fabric was actually one of my mum's dressing gowns so a little bit quilted and the pink flowers were perfect for this project.
Next came the trickiest bit as didn't know the best way to attach one to the other. First tried a back stitch but going through card made it hard to keep the line straight so took that out and then tried big needle and embroidery thread to give a decorative blanket stitch edge but didn't get far with that either. I then tried a small sample of card and fabric through my sewing machine and so long as I was slow it seemed to work.

Because of the size I moved my machine onto the ironing board into the middle of the room, and added a pile of books to extend the footplate to support the thing so it wouldn't bend, and I  had to stand for best reach. Very hard to control and a very wavy machine line but it got the job done.

Next dilemma was how to attach the chunky wool cross strands, which were poked through to the back and knotted off in twos apart from the four corners which had buttons for anchorage. Four more buttons to secure the central diamond and it was done!

And we now have a very useful notice board in the hall with the fabric matching in well with our bright pink walls.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Nothing lasts forever, except memories......

My dad used waxed string for so many things. I'm sure his reel started off looking  like this one

But when I inherited it there was only about a third of the reel left. 

A long length of it went into my holiday emergency kit and has been used and reused on many adventures. It has been a makeshift washing line, I've used it to measure spaces, to tie up things, to secure things....the list goes on. 

At home I've mended shoes with it, wrapped parcels for posting and I've secured sets of books for charity collections with it. Every time I've thanked my dad and it has always been called "dad's string".

The most recent job it did was restringing my beaded light pull cord in the downstairs loo, R & E made it for me when they were three years old and last week when rushing in there while saucepans were bubbling on the cooker it suffered one tug too many and beads scattered all over the floor. Now restored.....

Which sadly after the last 18 years just leaves me with this bit, which I know I'll be reluctant to use.

I can't replace it, I'll just have to manage without it. 

Friday, 20 January 2017

Productive few days......

You know what it's like when nothing goes to plan, well hey when things do go to plan it is so worth shouting about here, even if it's normal routine stuff.

We have just ordered new lounge furniture and delivery dates won't clash with our upcoming holiday.

As Daughter will be taking some of our current suite (as it's so much better than what she has), she decided it was a good time to improve her lounge floor before the sofa swap. So with Hubby's help out went the old carpet and down went a floating wood laminate. Not easy as she has nowhere else to put her furniture so it was move aside - do a bit of floor - move furniture again - do a bit more floor - etc.

This Wednesday it was our turn to benefit from the B&Q pensioner discount with more flooring. This is the before photo. We have creamy beige carpet which I still like and I know the front doorway looks good it's only because that's a new rug, as each one gets too grubby to clean up we cut another piece of offcut but unfortunately this was the very last spare piece. Also the rugs really annoy us when they creep under the door and have to be dragged back whatever gripper non-slip products we have tried.
 And this is the after photo. Hubby has done another great job of laying a floating vinyl laminate (not easy getting all our wires secured and flat and hidden). So we now have a wipe clean entrance.

We've also had a tyre change on my car, I've cleared and dried the laundry and half way through the ironing, bought a new suitcase and changed sterling to dollars in spite of Brexit negotiations and Trump-mania lol.

On the social side I had a lovely long Skype catch up with friendsL&K in the US.
BFriendM and I took the train to Ely to spend time with friendHBW where we went into the Cathedral, had tea in a crypt and learnt a bit more about Oliver Cromwell.

Had a lovely lunch with friendLE and friendSG in a local restaurant I've not been to before. We enjoyed it so much our next meet up for the end of March is already booked for the same place.

Oh and also took back a jumper Hubby had bought me for Christmas that sadly didn't fit and changed it for two pairs of jeans. Of course then at home I had to shorten both pairs. 

Friday, 6 January 2017

The ties between charities......

Yesterday was our first of the year visit to Acorn Villages for crafting and lunch. As I've mentioned before it's mainly a residential community for adults with learning disabilities and totally funded by charitable donations and they also raise funds by selling hand crafted objects the residents have made.

Our neighbour-friendsP&A and their church are also very involved in another charity in Romania and taking lorry loads of goods out to them. Recently they were given a huge amount of brand new school ties which unfortunately would be of no use to the orphanages or very poor in Romania.

How lucky they mentioned it to me, just in idle conversation. Well as a crafter I knew there were lots of possibilities and we all loved the idea of passing on a charitable donation straight on to another charity that could make good use of them and hopefully make some money too. I had about 40 here of three different patterns.

So far I made two prototype sample cases, for specs or mobile phone and a pen or scissors etc.

 I took them yesterday to show the other crafters and staff. The member of staff thought they were definitely easy enough for some of the adults there to make. The other crafters all loved the idea and a few came up with lots of different ideas and said they can make for Acorn to sell or make for themselves and make a donation to Acorn instead. As they are bright colours we've decided to keep all scraps too for making rag-rugs and rag-wreaths for next Christmas.

So I've now told P&A I can make use of them all, so think I've some huge boxes of ties coming my way.

2016 reading.........

It's been a dreadful year for reading, seems like I'm not sitting still long enough, or crafting and playing online Words With Friends is taking preference, or I haven't found the right book to grab my interest. So here is the meagre list......

Hardback. Bought used from Amazon with Christmas gift voucher
Started  11/1/16 - finished 21/1/16
An excellent and very entertaining read. So refreshing that it wasn't the usual rags-to-riches celebrity autobiography as Michael was born into wealth and privilege but of course privilege is relative as his parents divorced and he passionately describes his relationships with family members, teenage angst, finding love and the huge struggle to work his chosen career to success. It's so funny.

eBook. Paid for download to Kindle reader with Christmas gift voucher.
Started  22/1/16 - finished 3/2/16
This had been recommended to me by SisterS and I'm just about to thank her as I've thoroughly enjoyed it. The twists and turns of emotion and comparisons between how the generations grew up and how it had influenced their relationships with each other. Secrets and lies and how the truth unfolds. I highly recommend it.

eBook. Free download to Kindle reader.
Started  4/5/16 - unfinished
Carrying this forward to 2017

THE ART OF BEING NORMAL by Lisa Williamson
Paperback. Lent to me by GranddaughterE.
Started  14/5/16 - finished 16/5/16
A brilliant look at teenage peer pressure, bullying and support when there is added pressure of gender issues. The families were described so well that it showed why the teens had some of their problems. For all the young adult readers I'm pleased it ended on a positive note.  Highly recommended.

NORWEGIAN WOOD by Haruki Murakami
Daughter read this and recommended it,  I found it as an audiobook on YouTube.
Started 1/10/16 - never finished, seems my lifestyle doesn't go well with audio books.
A little bit odd as this book is very Japanese but is read by a young male American. No heavy story but all mixed relationships well implied without being totally described (does that make sense? ). Yes enjoyed as far as I got but easily picked up and put down.

*THE WOMAN IN WHITE by Wilkie Collins
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader. Another that Daughter had recommended.
Started 26/11/16  - unfinished
Carrying this forward to 2017