Thursday, 31 January 2013

Past my 'sell by'?

Never! Retirement has just given me some time and space to do what I want - well, within reason and price!

Today I'm off to Summer Wine (the title will only make sense to UK TV watchers) where some female friends of a certain age meet each month to have fun! Today we're all taking an ingredient for soup which Margarete will make while we're there (I hope we don't all take the same - my contribution is home-made chicken stock) and we'll plan the next few adventures while starting a scrapbook of last year's events. 

2012 saw them kite-flying on the Malverns, having afternoon tea on another hillside (complete with kettle and camping stove, vintage cups and saucers, and scones with cream!) and trying out the new gym equipment in the local park.

I think I'll fit right in with this lot!!

Have a great day, all!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

WOYWW Light at the end of the tunnel

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a struggle. The PC/sewing room was total chaos and, because there was nowhere else to store stuff during work, it's taking longer and is more laborious than I'd have liked.

However, the hall and landing are now finished, and there are now shelves and a curtain - this means there are no piles of shoes as you come through the front door, and the gas meter is neatly hidden but accessible.

Sorting through my stash brought lost goodies to light - I've already mentioned the sizeable pile of vintage Laura Ashley patchwork squares, but there was also my collection of shells, which now look good on the dining table - much better than hidden away in a box.

Back to the WIP - and a quick tour round the room.

The room needed to be up and running asap as I've been suffering withdrawal symptoms while it's been out of action! It needs decorating, but I'm going to do that a bit at a time - not ideal but I don't have the energy I used to have and as I said, there's nowhere to clear the room to, so it needs to happen around the contents.

Just behind the door, I've sectioned off a bit for the PC. I mainly use the laptop but the big one is handy. The partition is DH's two bookcases.

All the brown furniture will eventually be shabby-chic'd (sc) and I'll wallpaper the bookcase backs.  This is the other side of the cases, topped with stuff that DH needs to sort at the weekend!  The table is for him, to work at, marking students' work (he teaches Maths). I don't think I can sc this, because of the formica top (unless you have any ideas?) but I'll throw a cloth over it.

In the bay window, I've squeezed my little armchair - great for hand sewing - and work box (to be sc'd), then a tv table to be sc'd

Opposite the door - my bookcases (waiting to be de-cluttered and mostly used for stash), with my work table in front.

In the corner, boxes of fabric and other stash. This will change as there's a blanket box coming at the weekend, but I don't yet know how much it will hold.

Back round towards the door, the carcass of the cupboard I took out - waiting to be chopped for firewood, and piles of shared books for sorting - more weekend jobs for DH -

Oh yes - he needs to check any board games he wants to keep, before I give them away!

I'm hoping to squeeze in a bed settee on the wall opposite the window, but am not sure how much space there will be yet.  I'll let you know!

The carpet is tatty, with a piece missing under the window (previously had a window seat) but I can't afford to change it, so I'm going to spot-clean it this week, and look out for a rug (car boot/charity shop) to go over it.

I'm posting this over at WOYWW with Julia - so when you have a mo, pop over and visit the other blogs there.


Wednesday, 23 January 2013


... not a lot today.  You will see from the previous few posts that I finished the throw and cushion for DD2, and a rather scrummy velvet one for DD1 but today I really need to keep my head down, and concentrate on clearing/decorating the sewing room.  You can see from the last couple of posts that there's loads to do.

I'm trying very hard not to get side tracked by the beautiful cotton yarn (5 ply) and other goodies I picked up in Lidl yesterday - well, you have to grab these offers while they're there, don't you?!
The pieces of kit were only £1.49 per pack - haven't done French knitting since I was about 10, and already dreaming of what it could make.

The colours are lovely vibrant summer shades (sorry about rubbish pics)

Bright raspberry

Gentle peach

Bright  blue

Tangy turquoise

And last but not least, creamy white for crocheted dishcloths.

BUT ... I must not get sidetracked ... back to the project in hand. Hope to catch you over at Julia's, later, for a cuppa with our feet up -

Love for now, Chris xx

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Feathery Fun in the Hen Pen

Suspicion aroused, to begin with, by the green alien hanging from the roof.  But once they got used to the idea, they are all now enjoying playing with the visitor from Savoy!


Onward and Upward!

Day 2 of the sewing room blitz and I'm beginning to recover the will to live! This might look like total chaos but it's actually most of my fabric, sorted into boxes (ok, there are are a few bits still loose). The problem with a 12'x12' room and nowhere else to put the stuff is that I have to keep moving it around, while I tackle one corner at a time.

One nice thing - and I'm trying really hard not to get sidetracked here - is that you find lots of goodies you'd forgotten about - like the piles of vintage Laura Ashley squares (circa 1975!!) destined for patchwork projects!

This morning I'm venturing out of hibernation to Lidl, to replenish stocks, then it's back to dismantle this cupboard.  Quite sad though, as my late Dad built it to hide the boiler (in a sitting room?!) when I moved here 18 years ago.  However, it's now surplus to requirements, and taking up valuable space.

I'll be back for WOYWW tomorrow, with an update.

Hugs for now xx

Monday, 21 January 2013


Fast reaching end of my tether - run out of spare boxes to sort fabric and I can't move in the room now. I keep telling myself it's a case of needing to get worse before getting better, but I'm not convinced - def tea break time!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Handmade Monday

Handed over the girls' pressies tonight, including this cushion that got finished just before they arrived!!

The true colour is more like this second pic

The velvet called for a heavy backing, so I used this flowery upholstery fabric which, I hope, will match their mink coloured curtains. If it does, I'll make one using just that, as that was the end of the velvet.

I'm posting this over at Handmade Harbour, so hope to catch up with most of you over there.

Tomorrow will see me starting to tackle clearing and decorating my craft room. I'll post pics of the finished article, but too ashamed to show you any 'before' photos!!

Bye for now xx

Saturday, 19 January 2013


Finished at last ...

Another stash-busting project -

I had one square left, so decided to make a cushion to go with the throw on the sofa. Luckily, I'd recently been given 5 cushions, so I just had to make an envelope cover and attach the front.

I've linked this over at Pop over to see everyone else's thrifty projects.

Now on to the 2 patchwork cushions for DD1 - pics to follow.

Hugs for now xx

PS - I've just come across this fun play along -

You can link over, using the pic on my side bar (thanks to DH!).  Pop over to join in and see more goodies. xx

Friday, 18 January 2013

9am in Worcester

The view from our kitchen window at 9am means that the quilts between the sitting room and conservatory will stay up today, and there'll just be some crochet and sewing going on here! The casserole for tonight is in the slow cooker, so that's today's housework done (heehee!)

Take care wherever you are x

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Birthdays and Stash Busting

Well, I didn't manage to finish DD2's pressie in time - but I can give it to her on Sunday, when we go out to lunch, to celebrate both girls' birthdays.

One problem with making things up as you go along is that it's a case of trial and error, and I forget to allow for that.  I started out crocheting 4 rounds around each square but realised a) I might not have enough wool to do that as well as put an edge around the whole thing, and b) it certainly wouldn't be finished in time.  So, the squares now have one round of crochet added via blanket stitch, and the whole throw is edged with 4 rounds of crochet.

DD2 likes the idea of handmade things, but is very minimalist (compared to me!!) and doesn't like multi-colours or the 'rustic' look.  I hope that making it monochrome, and the same colour as her sofa, will appeal.  The throw is quite heavy, as the squares are upholstery fabric, and two thicknesses, and will be very cosy to snuggle under. 

I'm now playing with ideas for a couple of cushions for DD1's birthday on Sunday.  Their sitting room is cream, with alcoves painted raspberry.  I don't have any raspberry fabric, so I thought that a couple of patchwork cushions in purple and burgundy velvet might do the trick.  Watch this space!

The great thing is that everything in these pressies is from my stash, so they haven't cost anything but time and love.

There's so much satisfaction in living a frugal lifestyle - not being mean and penny pinching, but making the most of using what we have.  Today for lunch I heated some curried veggie soup I made and froze last week, from some leftovers. Now I'm making a flan for dinner, using cheese and bacon pieces - yummy!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Close to the wire! WOYWW

Sorry - no time to chat this morning! I can't show you the finished pressie for DD2 (birthday today!) as there was a minor setback yesterday (I had to undo most of it!!) and I'm reallly hoping to get it done before she arrives for tea tonight - WHY do I do this to myself?!

This morning I'm popping round to deliver this

to an expectant mum friend on the way to shop for tonight's meal.

In the meantime, have a great day, Kate (my gorgeous redhead, 31 today) while Jenny, her sis, prepares to reach 33 on Sunday. 

Have a lovely day, everyone, and pop over to Julia's at to catch up with everyone else's work today.

Hugs, Chris xx

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

My Numbers' Up

I've just noticed that the number of followers has been creeping up recently - welcome to you newcomers, and I hope to see you around - both here and on your blog. I trust you're all crafting hard, and working through your stash bash! Thanks for all the encouragement you give via comments as well as wonderful posts on your blogs - it's all so inspiring.  Isn't it great to belong to such a fab bloggy family?! xx

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Handmade Monday

On Friday, I started making a throw for DD2's birthday this Wednesday - no pressure there, then!! LOL!  It's slower than I'd hoped.  Having spent every spare minute on it since then, I've now got 20 x 8" squares.

They are all cream, with 2 different self-coloured embossed patterns, and I've sandwiched two pieces together, and have nearly finished blanket stitching around them. Once that's done, I'll crochet around, and then join them together.

I hope it's finished by Wed evening when DD2 comes for a birthday meal, and I'll post a pic once it's complete.

In the meantime, I'm posting this over at -  When you've a minute, pop over there to see what everyone else has been up to.

Chris x

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Blog Spring Cleaning and Stash Busting

Have your tastes and interests evolved during your blog life? I wouldn't say mine have changed, but they've grown as I've discovered more of what's out there, and more about myself.

I started this blog as a vehicle for entering cardmaking competitions but these days, I make relatively few cards, and spend most of my indoor crafting time going between knitting, sewing, and crochet projects. It was only while going through the blogs I follow, yesterday, that I realised how much things have changed. I haven't looked at many card blogs for ages, but now find my inspiration from those in my side bar. So, I've whittled down the number I followed previously - it's not that they're not great, or anything - just that I've moved on and out from where I was then - another symptom of my flutterby personality, I suppose. I expect if you looked here again in another couple of years, things will have moved on again.

Another new, major source of inspiration for me is Pinterest, and I have to be careful not to while away too many hours, amazed at the truly wonderful stuff out there.

I came across this, this morning

and signed up. I hope it will give me the kick I need, to keep on the straight and narrow, using up everything I have already, before buying new. If you want to clear your decks of stash, the link is in my side bar. I know you'll be very welcome.

Happy Spring cleaning! x

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

WOYWW Upcycling Experiments

Last night I remembered several part-balls of speciality yarn DD1 gave me, left over from last year's scarf Christmas pressies, and decided to play.  The rings are 4" across, and I sat up in bed winding them round - as you do!! Quite pleased with the effects, and once embellished, they will go in the box, for sale.

The second one is in scrummy traditional Christmas red and green

Not clear here, but the above is a fab Spring mixture.

Waiting for inspiration for the others, when they're fully wound.

I'll use any remaining yarn to do smaller wreaths, on 2" wooden curtain rings.

The final WIP will become clear next week, when it's (hopefully) finished in time for DD2's 31st birthday (just in case you're reading this, Kate!) xx

Posting this over at Mrs. D's so, time for a cuppa and see what everyone else has been up to, there.

Love for now, Chris xx