Wednesday, 25 June 2014


A late-night, last minute post, otherwise this will be the second week in a row that's passed me by - sigh!

Having hit my all-time heavy recently, I've started going to W**ght-W****ers with three friends. It's much easier to follow than when I went years ago, and I've been trying recipes like the one below, to satisfy my very sweet tooth. It looks weird but tastes scrummy - a sugar-free jelly dissolved in the boiling water, but made up with 1/2pt low fat, natural yogurt, and topped with strawberries. I'll let you know how I get on (but only if I shed lots of weight!!)

Sewing this week has been all about repairs - trousers for DH

and a pretty Monsoon dress for a 5-year old. A friend asked if I could help, so -

It is absolutely gorgeous, but very delicate, thin cotton, and she'd managed to make a 2" tear above one panel (of 8)

Fortunately, I had a tiddly bit of pink lace that matched the panel perfectly and, since it was the centre one that was torn, I got away with one applique rose. I mended the tear by putting iron-on facing at the back (the cotton was really too fine to sew together, and it doesn't show from the front). Then I backed the lace with more facing and hand sewed around, to prevent it fraying (I hope!), cut it out and then hand sewed it to cover the tear (just big enough - phew!!) At least she'll be able to wear it again.

On the knitting front, the mousey cardi is almost finished (just knitting the endless borders and putting it all together)

Then, I was given some lovely turquoise and black mohair, and have started a scarf for DD1, as part of her  Christmas present. It has a pretty, lace-y border added at the end - I'll put the pattern link on, when I remember where to find it - cough

Today, I was given this lovely old clock - filthy (I've cleaned the glass so you can see its face) and not working, but I hope to get it sorted. Tomorrow I'll tackle the brass rim around the glass, and start to sand down the wood

The side view shows how tatty the case is, and how deep the whole clock is. I hope we can get that big bell working! 

Anyway, it's now way past my bedtime and I promised DH to start going to bed earlier - oh well, there's always tomorrow. Talking of tomorrow (Wednesday), see you over at Julia's for WOYWW. Wondering what I'm talking about? Click the button on my side bar, to find out more.

Love for now, Chris xx

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Handmade Monday

Morning, folks - I hope your weekend is going well. Things are quiet here, and I'm making the most of DH kindly doing the lunch today (I have to admit, he often does!). The photo albums are growing - see my last post, but nothing finished to show you yet.

I've been very lucky this week, with this beautiful patio rose from a friend earlier in the week.

I must get out in the garden to plant it this afternoon, along with this other pretty, which was on the front doorstep this morning, with a thank you card.

Also in the front garden, although not invited, are these gorgeous poppies. I suppose that, technically, they're weeds since I didn't sow them. They're so lovely, though, they can stay with pleasure.

We've had some fantastic night skies this week - so clear, quiet and still. I had to get out to take a picture, although nothing I snap could ever do it justice.

Have a great week, and I hope to see you over here at Handmade Monday.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


A mixed bag so far, this week. I managed to remove the dress sleeves for DD2 - easier than I thought, but just don't look too closely at the stitching on the inside!

Then, I've been playing with layouts for the photo albums for Mum's 90th birthday pressie. I was glad I'd saved these two books from going to the charity shop, when she moved here. It goes against the grain for me to chop books up, but they're making great page backgrounds.

These look very muddle-y right now, but I've laid them out and just keep jiggling them around. I'm making the pages by cutting 'hinges' with my Cuttlebug, putting them on A4 card, and then covering with background paper, then cuttings and photos. There will be several albums made this way, and then some ordinary ones I bought, for the rest.

The pages above are of Southend, where Mum and Dad lived for 40 years, and I'm just finishing a couple showing Dad's childhood and National Service in the RAF. I'll post more next week, plus my finished collection of ATCs, with thanks to all the lovely senders.

Talking of ATCs - Cindy (Cashplant) - please email me your postal address, as I have a little ATC package waiting to wing its way to you.

The craft room looks like an explosion in a photo lab, with piles of the things everywhere, as I try to sort them into some sort of order. DH reckons I'm barmy, and should just shove them in albums anyhow, but I suppose that's why he teaches Maths and I craft!

The mousey cardigan? Don't ask - the less said, the better! I hope to show you a pic of the £*%!! thing next week.

See you over here at Julia's, for WOYWW. If you want to know more, click the button on my side bar - you'll be hooked!!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Handmade Monday

Lots of bits and pieces on the crafty front at the mo -

DD2 came to lunch today and kindly brought a dress for me to take the sleeves out of, as they're a bit tight. I hope it works as the dress is new and I don't want to bodge it up.

I've just had to make a couple more ATCs for WOYWW, as I'd received one I wasn't expecting. 

Then, I've started mulling over Mum's 90th birthday pressie, a series of albums of all her old photo's. This is the first group, showing the town she lived in for 40 years (Southend on Sea, Essex). The top one shows Dad down on the beach with my DD2 and nephew, nearly 30 years ago. This is going to be a much bigger project than I first thought, so not sure how it's going to pan out. I bought three ready-made albums, but want to make one-off ones, but there are so many pic's - any ideas? If you've ever attempted a project like this, I'd be very grateful for links to your stuff, please.

The last pic is a 'doh' moment

I had to unpick this, down to the mousey chins, as I'd sneaked in an extra row, giving the little one elephant ears. THEN, I knitted the second front, only to realise at the top of the mice, that I'd knitted the same front twice! Grr! Now half way up, having done it right now (I hope!)

Catch you all over at Handmade Harbour, to see what you've been up to. If you don't know about this, click here and pop over to share the fun.

Love, Chris xx

Friday, 6 June 2014

Did you know ...?

I just had to share this article I saw on Facebook, and hope you find it as fascinating as I did -

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & Sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor"
But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . ...... . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting Married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"
Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof... Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would Sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive... So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.
And that's the truth....Now, whoever said History was boring
Have a great weekend, Chris xx

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Friday Smiles

There are a few this week -

The first is my lovely little visitor Eden (with mum, Esther) on Wednesday morning. She is little sister to Reuben (recent waistcoat) and Maisie (mousey cardi)

and the other two are the crazy places Rosie has chosen to sleep this week.

On the peg bag -

and today, on egg boxes.

Have a lovely weekend. Love xx

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


Hi All - a bit of an anticlimax after last week's anniversary excitement. It's been half term holiday for schools here, so DH was home for a week, which meant I didn't get to spend much time at my desk.

He did take me for a trip one afternoon, to Hobbycraft, where I spent a birthday gift voucher (plus a teensy bit more!!) So this is how my desk looks tonight. I can't wait to try out all the new lovelies.

On the WOYWW anniversary front, I've just finished the last three ATCs (last minute arrangements) and will stick them in the post tomorrow.  Thanks to everyone who sent me one - I'll post pics next Wed, plus how I end up storing them. There really are some talented, generous crafters out there!

I hope to catch you all over at Julia's party time. If you don't know about this, click the WOYWW button on my side bar - careful, it's addictive!!

Love for now, and have a great week.

Chris xx

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

T is for Tuesday

Hi All - spending my cuppa time this afternoon taking up two pairs of trousers Mum bought at M&S this morning. Luckily DH had three hours free and helped me take her (with wheelchair) for a successful trip.

I've just finished doing them, and have now unpicked the mice (see last post) down to chins, as DH pointed out that wee mousie's ear was as big as his head, as I'd put in an extra row or two! Hey-ho - he now looks more normal.

Some members of the household have had a lazier day - though I wouldn't have thought a peg bag made the most comfortable of cushions!

Hope your Tuesday is going well, and will see you over there.

Have a lovely week, Chris xx

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Handmade Monday - Sugar Mice

Not a lot to show on the crafty front this week, unfortunately. DH has been home for half term, so I've been spending more time with him and Mum but not been in flutterby mode. Added to that, Mum has been getting her money's worth from the NHS, with three dentist visits, to get her new dentures, and a trip to the GP as she had a very slight stroke last week - no lasting damage, thank goodness.

I had a lovely morning today with DD1, with a little retail therapy and lunch out. It's great when daughters grow into best friends - I'm so blessed with my two.

I'd laid off the knitting for a week, due to a trapped nerve in my neck (recurring problem) but have done some today.  The pink mice on Maisie's cardi are done (a matching front still to do) so I hope to finish it soon. They will be finished off with an outline and tails of chain stitch, which should make them clearer.

Anyway, the other half returns to work tomorrow, so I hope to get out in the garden and get the sewing machine out over the next few days.

Have a lovely week, and hope to see you over at Handmade Monday.