Wednesday, 24 October 2012

WOYWW Part 2 - On a Roll

Having put yesterday's senior moment behind me (well, that one, anyway!) here's what I've been up to today.

I suddenly realised at 9am that I was meeting with some mates at lunchtime, to celebrate Alison's birthday, and I hadn't got round to making either card or small pressie - how did I ever find time to go to work?!

Thinking that, if it worked with card, it would do with felt, so -

I cut a circle of dark purple (yes, it is!) and 'spiralled' it, rolled and sewed in place, backing with a green square, cutting leaves out of the bit that showed, and added veining with running stitches, and added a brooch pin on the back.

Oh yes - I'd put a shiny bead in the centre, then mounted it on a card (this is more like the actual purple colour).

So, very pleased with what only took 20 mins, I moved onto her card -

plain white card, covered with a sage BP, topped with a doily that I'd brushed with TH Bundled Sage distress ink, and a vintage photo - all from the stash.

 Sorry about the lousy camera-work!

I don't think anyone would accuse me of being mean, but I love to be able to salvage.  I've got some coloured envelopes that have been exposed to sunlight, and have faded along the edge.  So, I ran a strip of gold edging where the fading stopped and, voila - a perfectly acceptable envelope.

After a yummy, chatty lunch I went on to make a 'thinking of you' card for a friend who's waiting for the results of a breast biopsy.

On the outside, I used the same BP as Alison's card, with some script BP on the bottom, trimming the join and side with more gold strip peel-off, and put a butterfly peel-off hovering in front, using a strip of acetate (I love the versatility of that stuff).  Inside, I covered the acetate join with another flutterby, and ran a strip of fabric lace down the inside edge, having cut the cover so it showed when closed.

Now I'd better start thinking about what to feed DH when he gets in.

Love for now, Chris XX

Lessons learned in my garden

My crafting has been taking place outside this week, when the weather has allowed.

I reckon that knowledge can be picked up quickly from books, but wisdom builds more slowly, over years, and nowhere more true than in the garden.  A few years ago, while still working, I only got out there occasionally, by which time it was often overgrown and soul-destroying.  I would work out there all Saturday morning and come in exhausted, with everything - tools, weeds, etc., just left until the next time I felt obliged to start all over again.  I never achieved much, and it always looked a mess.  Looking back, what a crazy way to live! 

Then, a couple of years ago, I had it landscaped, and things had to change if it was to be worth the investment.  Now retired, life is a little more relaxed and I can do things at my pace, and the garden has taught me some valuable lessons.

1.  Little and often is much better than longer and fewer.  Even if it's only for half an hour when the weather is dry enough, I try to get out there each day.  Some days I might go out several times, but I stop before getting tired then resenting it, and often treat myself to a cuppa and chapter of a book after a session. 

2.  I clear up at the end of each session, emptying the barrow on the compost pile and putting tools away - even if it means I've only managed 20 mins gardening and 10 minutes clearing.  That way, if I don't make it out again, things still look neat. 

3.  I'm learning to enjoy the successes and just learn from mistakes and failures, rather than beat myself up over them.  Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason for the way things happen - that's just life and it might be different again the next year.  Last year I was overrun with ripe tomatoes, while this year there were hardly any at all, and none of them ripened - down to the wet and cold first half of the year, I expect.  Instead, I've had a glut of courgettes, onions and runner beans (especially welcome when they were £2 a small bunch in T**co!)

So, all in all, my garden has taught me to relax and 'go with the flow', just enjoying the many blessings in my life.  I'd love to hear what your garden teaches you!

I'm posting this over with the lovely Julia, at  Pop over and have a look at what everyone else has been up to, when you've time for some R&R.

DOH!! You can tell I've retired - I was quite worried when I couldn't find Mrs D or any mention of WOYWW - finally realised at lunchtime today that yesterday was Tuesday!! Pop back later this evening, when I get round to posting what I've been up to this morning. xx

Love for now,

Chris x

Thursday, 18 October 2012


- aka a happy accident.  I crocheted this cushion front and started to make the rest of the cover.  Then I realised I only had a small piece of the flowery back.  So, to stretch it further, I cut it in half, and put a stripey edge on both pieces - result!

That's another pressie to tick off the list.

Love for now, Chris x

Love is ...

... resisting using either of these to make new pockets for DH's trousers, heehee!  It symbolises the differences in our sense of humour.  Ho-hum, back to boring, plain navy.

Catch you all later.  Chris x

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Labours of love

Hi - I expect some of you will identify with two problems facing me at the mo -

The first is one that's been on the back burner for some time now.  Earlier this year DD2 said she'd like fingerless mittens and a matching cowl.  The mitts were no problem, and she was able to wear them a few weeks later in March.


Unfortunately, the cowl has been another story.

March 2012 -

October 2012 -

and it's grown by about 4"!

Two probs - the first is, it's really boooorrrrrrrrriiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggg!!!!!!!!  My previous ripple attempt was a multi-coloured baby blanket (the blanket, not the baby!) so I was encouraged by the frequently changing yarns.  The second is, I've decided it's too wide but am at the stage where I can't bear to rip it out and start again, so need to persevere to the very bitter end.

Hey-ho, I've plumped for keeping it view so that I often pick it up, and will just break the monotony by doing other quick things in between, and at least be able to give the cowl in time for (this) Christmas.  With the extra time retirement has given, I'm also determined to tackle all the unfinished pieces in the cupboard

The second labour of love is new pockets for DH's 'at home' trousers.

Given his request (see previous post) for no flowers or frills on his pencil case, I'm tempted to put daisy or teddy fabric in as pockets (just not sure he'd appreciate the humour, and I wouldn't want to do the job twice!)  Some more thought required here as it's not as straightforward as I'd hoped.

Posting this over on  Put your feet up with a cuppa, if you've time, and have a nosey at what everyone else is up to.

Chris xx

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A little something

I asked DH if he wanted a handmade cover for his new phone but he'd beaten me to it by ordering a leather one online.  Instead, he wanted a pencil case (he's a teacher) but no frills or flowers!!?  I found this piece of fabric in the stash and, no sooner asked than done -

I lined it with the same fabric and put a simple velcro fastening on - finished.

I'm posting this over at Wendy's 'Handmade Harbour'
I hope you're enjoying the sunshine in your part of Blogland. It's been lovely here, but starting to turn to hot water bottle weather at night. xx

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Where to begin?

It's such a long time since I blogged, I've been putting it off as I didn't know where to start.  Life has been a bit of roller coaster since back at the beginning August, with my health suffering and eventually deciding to take early retirement.  It's a great relief, and I'm just beginning to relax into a simpler, slower pace of life, even though it will mean tightening our belts a bit.

 There's a distinct change in the seasons as the days become noticeably shorter, even though we're enjoying more sunshine than we have for a lot of the year.  The garden has been taken over by cheerful michaelmas daisies and hardy fuchsias.  I bought a job lot of the latter last year for only 50p each and, after reading to plant them deeper than you'd think, to resist the frost - it worked.  I don't think I lost any.

I've been quite busy on the craft front, finishing off a sweet tea cosy for my sister in law from one of my four tea cosy books!  It's a bit small on our brown betty, but hopefully she's got a slightly smaller pot. The method in my madness, buying 4 books, was that they'll make great gifts, knocked up from scraps, so save money in the end - that's what I told DH, anyway!!

I hadn't made any cards for ages, and my anxiety problem meant that I was quite shaky putting a couple together this week, but determined not to give in.  So, I did a sympathy card for a friend, and this birthday card for my sis.

I was thrilled last week, to receive a lovely gift - well, 6 actually, like lots of Christmases rolled into one!  My generous friend, Faith, was changing her sitting room, and had had enough of her cottages, so gave them to me, to add to my collection.

Despite the crack down the middle, this is definitely my fave - the colours are so delicate and pretty!  Along with the two teapots, cheese dish and couple of other pieces, they look great along with those I already had.

Anyway, considering I didn't know how to start, this post is longer and easier to write than I'd expected, so it has broken the ice and I hope to be joining you in Blogland much more regularly again.

Love for now,

Chris x