Sunday 31 October 2010

Another week, another parcel!!

Well another week has just whizzed by! Busy at work resulting in tired at home Sad smile!

No big crafty reveals this week, I haven’t even touched the crochet since last Sunday evening, when I unpicked my previous attempt and started a ripple instead – bizarrely that wouldn’t work for me either – perhaps that’s why I haven’t picked it up since!

I’ve actually had a busy few days at home as well, thinking back. Son 1 and FDIL came for dinner on Thursday evening – this is going to sound really awful – and I cooked a real dinner! Even Son 2 comments that when they come round we eat properly! By a real dinner I mean a chicken casserole which isn’t really difficult and I don’t know why I don’t do stuff like that more often. I think most nights when I get in I just want to sit and veg out and tend to throw a meal together which just goes into the oven!

On Friday, the friend that I call Julie sent me a text early in the morning  to say that she and her daughter, my lovely goddaughter Smile were coming to Ipswich shopping and would we be around, so they popped into see us – originally just for a cup of tea but when I said we were going to get fish & chips, lovely goddaughter’s eyes lit up so they stayed for dinner as well, I know how to treat my guests (more of that to follow)! Son 2 arrived home and declined my choice of culinary delight and, as he had a very late night, promptly fell asleep on the sofa still wearing his suit! He woke up to have some toast – his choice – change his clothes and went back to sleep! I shooed him off of the sofa about 8 o’clock and he went to bed – in his clothes – where he stayed until Saturday morning!

Saturday morning saw us drinking tea at 4 o’clock! We were both wide awake but still tired and I do find that a cup of tea helps to go back to sleep – which it did, the next thing I knew was the doorbell ringing at 7.30! I scrambled out of bed to find the postman with a parcel, which I had arranged to be redelivered – just didn’t expect it quite so early! I’ll tell you about the parcel a little later – just to keep you reading!!

I needed to go to Quilter’s Haven to get the backing and binding for the current project and John decided he’d come too – I told him I’d only be about an hour but still he wanted to come! Back home and off to town for lunch before football and I know you’ll all be pleased to hear that we won 2-0 which always makes me feel better, I get so heavy hearted when it’s not going well!

And then in the evening, more guests for dinner! This time Linda & John to discuss our upcoming holiday arrangements and today’s meal of choice – a Chinese takeaway!! Followed by indigestion at 3 o’clock (which would have been 4 o’clock yesterday) more tea and back to sleep until about 7.30 which in reality isn’t too bad!

Best part of the day so far has to be Son 2 getting up for work without putting his clock back! We waited until he’d got in the shower to tell him, bad parents that we are!!

Anyway, back to the postman. He bought this month’s secret blog swap which this month was sent by Miss Cherry Red with many apologies as she had been let down in her original purchase and was consequently late in sending, without further ado here is the content of the parcel – I think you’ll agree well worth waiting for!



A lovely sewing box which, when opened, revealed



Not only all this lovely yarn but also…



A really cute little kit to make bags!

And that’s about it for now – we’re off on holiday on Friday, leaving Son 2 in charge of himself and the house, I don’t care what he gets up to while I’m away – as long as it’s clean and tidy when I get home!

Tuesday 26 October 2010

When to retire…..

As soon as this happens........ retire with dignity.......



 I’m not there quite yet!!

Sunday 24 October 2010


I’ve had some lovely deliveries this week! Whilst I was blog hopping last Sunday evening I came across this site which has some lovely fabrics! Well, I looked at it for at least 15 minutes before I decided that I really did need some more fabric for my stash, I ummmed and aahed for a while before settling on my fabric bundle of choice, placed my order and quickly moved off before I found anything else I wanted!

True to their word on Tuesday the postman delivered an unassuming black package to my door


Which, when I opened it revealed a beautifully wrapped package

002 It got a bit dog eared because I kept unwrapping it before I took the photo!

Which contained this lovely stuff…

231010 fabrics

Which smells just beautiful – I love the smell of new cotton fabrics! It’s a bundle of ten ‘fat quarters’ which I will make into something – just not sure what at the moment!

And then, on Thursday, the same postman bought me this….


which I will be turning into a baby afghan blanket with some mint & white which I had already bought. Sadly the pattern that I wanted to use just won’t work for me, I’ve unpicked it twice now but still can’t make it work so I’ll give up and revert to a ripple instead!

I fear that I am turning into a real craft-aholic as all I seem to write about these days is what I’m making! When I look back over the years I can’t help but feel  I’ve wasted so much time just staring at the TV screen – I need to make amends now. One thing I have noticed about myself is that I’m more patient, which surprises even me, with sewing now. If the seam isn’t straight I will unpick whereas back in the day I would have said ‘that’s the best I can do’! Last week I mentioned the log cabin pattern quilt that I had made with Nicky and I can now reveal it in it’s almost completeness – almost because I haven’t quilted it yet. Last night I tried to had quilt it but the back was an absolute mess, this morning I started to machine quilt it but that too was a mess. I have decided that the machine I bought just isn’t up to much other than stitching the fabrics together – it doesn’t really cut it for the quilting.

So, without further ado here it is…

First log cabinIt’s only 15 inches square and was intended for a ‘Blanket of Love’ we even had some sunshine  this morning!

First log cabin1

This was my first attempt at binding the seam – I didn’t do too bad!


First log cabin close up

Close up of one of the squares

I think I mentioned that I’d agreed to help Nicky with a blog when I wrote last week, well I don’t have to now because her sister designed her a website and a blog as a birthday present – isn’t that a lovely idea? Please have a look here at the amazing things she makes, not just quilts but bags as well. She’d love to have you visit – you can tell her I sent you!

Just in case anybody is worried that I haven’t had a holiday for a few months, we are going away to Tenerife next week with our good friends Linda & John. Just for a week, recharge the batteries before the winter really sets in – then when we get back it will be time to think about Christmas, how time flies!

Better go now, been sitting at the sewing machine most of the day working on the next project – using Christmas fabric no less, I will share when it’s finished!

Thanks for reading….

Monday 18 October 2010

Aww – somebody missed me!

You see dear readers, when I fall outside of my fairly regular blogging pattern people start to wonder why! OK – one person wondered why – you can’t blame a gal for trying to make it sound more than it is can you?

So I’m late this week (or last week), I have no real reason, yet again, for failing to post news of scintillating life other than I couldn’t be bothered! Yes – that’s right, just couldn’t be bothered.

Last week was very busy at work, I spent Tuesday & Wednesday on a training course – all about working smarter, improving processes, adding value – hey, wake up – I haven’t finished yet! Now while all this may seem yawningly boring we did actually have quite a few laughs, not least when we played ‘Two truths and a lie’, we had to write on a post-it just that – two truths and a lie about ourselves, the results were hilarious. Mine were 1)By night I am a hooker(!), 2) I have a season ticket at Ipswich Town & 3) When I was a teenager I screamed at an Osmond’s concert! Most of you will have no trouble working out which is the lie – if you can’t I’ll tell you at the end!

After Wednesday’s training I went back to the office only to find that a huge amount of work was required by 9.45 on Thursday – and I mean a huge amount, gathering reports and other evidence for a Very Important Meeting with a Very Important Regulatory Body – by 5.45 I’d decided I had no more to contribute but instead went in early on Thursday to do a pile of photocopying, let me tell you there is no end to my talents!

I had the day off on Friday and had arranged to go to Nicky’s house for a day of quilting lessons which she had offered in exchange for help creating a blog! I have to say that I was the sole beneficiary of the exchange as we never got round to the blog! I’ve left Nicky thinking of an original name for her blog which will feature her amazing quilting exploits – don’t blush Nicky – she is amazing and you should see the bags that she makes! When the blog is up and running I’ll add a link for you all!

I’m not going to post a picture of my creation until I’ve finished it, but I can now make the log cabin pattern, ooh get me!

The day flew by and when her husband arrived home I was amazed to find that it was 5 o’clock! Time for me to wend my way home through unfamiliar roads – I’m glad it wasn’t too dark!

Saturday morning saw me making a lavender cushion for this month’s secret Blog Swap – nothing like leaving it until the last minute! This is going to wing it’s way to Germany – I hope it makes it safely!


These fabrics were in a ‘scrap’ bag – ideal for small projects like this!


I love the Michaelmas daisy print – takes me back to my childhood garden!

Apart from that I have not had a creative moment – not even picked up a hook (in fact not picked up a hook since last Wednesday). Football was awful – we lost 1-2, Saturday evening TV was OK, Sunday morning I took FDIL to the Vintage Market at the Waterfront which was nice although there was less craft stalls than usual which was a shame and Sunday afternoon passed by in a flurry of ironing type activity – you know, really exciting stuff.

And that’s about it – I need to make more of an effort this week especially as I have two parcels to look forward to – more later!

Oh – and which was the lie? Number 3 of course – I was 49 when I screamed at an Osmond concert!! What’s that? Hooker? You didn’t think? Surely not? No!!!

Saturday 9 October 2010

Hooky stuff

Bonkers busy week at work, been feeling completely shattered but, strangely, in a good way! I’ve been asked to help another department out of a bit of a sticky situation whilst still keeping my own stuff going as well, but it’s OK at the moment – probably a touch of adrenalin rush!

After revealing my ‘Blanket of Love’ last week I knuckled down to finish the blanket that I’d agreed to make for Julie – she’d seen the pink & blue baby afghans I’d already made and asked for the pink one if I didn’t need it. To be on the safe side I made another just for her! This one is a little different because I used UK double knitting (I think it’s 8-ply elsewhere but don’t hold me to that!) and a larger hook – then when I was almost finished realised that I had done too many rows of pink between each white row – should have been three but me being all clever didn’t bother too look at the pattern properly! So, to use a good old Suffolk description, it’s come out huuuwuuuggg (can’t spell check that!!) but it’s pronounced just the way it’s written, with soft ‘Gs’ at the end!!


It’s a bit difficult to square it up because of the weight!


I joined the centre blocks as I made them which I think has given a neater finish!

I’ll leave it to Julie to decide which one she wants as I know she will have to post it overseas!

So what next? I’ve got to have something lap sized to do in the evenings, all those years I spent just plonked in front of the TV now seem such a waste now that I’ve rediscovered the life of a hooker! I thought I ought to use up the odds & ends of yarn in my stash so this week have been making random 6 inch squares from Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks I’ve only used block number 117 ‘Granny in the Middle’ so far and tried to keep to the colour order but I don’t think I’ll have enough scraps to maintain that. I think the whole idea of the book is to mix and match anyway so I’ll give it a go!

003 A bit blurred but you get the idea!

Oh yes, almost forgot that the hoarder in me surfaced again last weekend and I did actually order more of the Kool Kotton I used in the baby afghan, this time in Mint Green which I thought would be a little different – I was actually quite surprised when I got home to find the package last night!

Sunday 3 October 2010

Season of mists and mellow whatever…

Well, the seasons have changed yet again and with the autumn comes the rain – especially for the last few days.

No rants this week – I promise! Quite a quiet week really, work hasn’t been spectacular – just more of the same no awful situations to deal with no fights fought – just as it should be really!

I had my day off on Friday and debated whether to go into town early or lay in bed for longer – town won because the forecast was for heavy rain and, although I won’t melt or shrink if I get wet, there’s nothing worse than walking around Ipswich in the rain – it’s one of those towns where everything is spread out, oh to have a lovely shopping centre!

I saw some boots a few weeks ago and thought I’d treat myself – just a pair of flat brown ankle boots (can’t have heels these days ‘cos of my poor old feet :() and of course they didn't have my size which is just typical, so I ordered a pair which will be in next week! I bought a new winter coat and a pair of trousers for work in case you’re worried that I went home empty handed!

I was home late morning, nice and dry, and decided it was time to start my next quilting challenge. Did I tell you about the blankets of love? I think I might have done, anyway, my friend at work *waves in case she’s reading this* has been showing me for the past three years her wonderful quilting handiwork and one of the things she makes are quilts for women who lose babies during pregnancy as a keepsake. I originally intended just to buy some material as a donation – which I did when I was in the US in the summer. Anyway – I’m rambling again. I decided that I would have a go myself so spent Friday afternoon hunched over the machine and cutting board. I’ve decided that it’s my cutting precision (or lack of) that lets me down and I end up trimming and trimming until the material is even, sorry – rambling – so, I ended up on Friday afternoon with a not too bad effort of a pale pink quilt top made from the pineapple technique and with Facebook support. But guess what – I had no backing fabric! I only had to go again to Quilters Haven on Saturday morning, yes I know, poor me! Now this is where the title of this post comes into the equation. As I drove to Wickham Market I was taken by the colours of the trees and the slight mist rolling off of the fields following Fridays heavy rain falls, it was truly beautiful!

So, here it is, my first blanket of love – again by no means perfect – which I hope will help somebody cope better with a sad situation – you can find more information here, if you’re interested.

First Blanket of Love It’s a very pale pink!

A little bit of love

I dusted of my embroidery skills as well!

So what’s next? Perhaps a blue one the same (but without the wonky bits!) perhaps something else – we’ll have to wait and see!

And here’s the poem – thought I’d introduce a bit of culture!! I expect a lot of you like me only know the first few words…

To Autumn – John Keats


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.


Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep Steady thy laden head across a brook; Or by a cyder-press, with patient look, Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.


Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, - While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.