Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas day plus two

Well, that’s Christmas over for another year. This year, for the first time ever (as far as I can remember) John and I spent most of Christmas day on our own. We were very civilised and sat down to a full blown Christmas dinner which we then slept off while we waited for David & Amanda to come around, with her Mum & brother, for tea. I don’t usually do much in way of tea at Christmas but this year I thought I ought to  make an effort – not surprisingly a lot of it went uneaten!

Yesterday morning we talked to Matt on Skype – the first time we’ve been able to since he left in September – he gave us a guided tour of the house he’s living in and introduced us to his housemates! I often wonder how families managed when their loved ones went overseas as recently as 20 years ago – it must have been awful not being able to make the instant contact we do now.

As I’m writing this I’m watching a trashy movie on Christmas 24, it’s all about a mail man and a lonely lady who meet up at Christmas – what a lovely idea Winking smile, it has a slightly familiar ring to it…..

So what now? Well for the immediate I’m expecting Janet and her Mum for coffee at any time and I’m back to work tomorrow. I think I’ll make the most of the rest of my time off and do some hexie piecing because I can! Relatively pain free now, but just need to be sensible as I don’t want to undo the good that’s been done before my holiday next week – yep, I hear you ‘another one’. Doesn’t seem real at the moment what with Christmas and everything but I think after the New Year I’ll start to get excited about it!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

I’ve only gone and done it!!

Now that caught your eye didn’t it! What have I done? I’ve listed some of my bags on Etsy – you can find me here at Handmade by Heather. I’m not sure if they will sell but if I don’t try I will never know will I? The pricing looks a little strange ‘cos you have to put the price in US dollars and I suppose depending which exchange rate the site uses the rate will vary. I really struggled to come up with a price that reflects my expenses and that will appeal to the buyer, I’ve had a good look around Etsy and at the various craft fairs I’ve been to and the prices vary widely - £10 - £45 for very similar items. I thought if I offered free UK post and packing it might seem a good deal.

Now just have to sit back and see what happens – gulp!!

In other news, we head towards Christmas wondering where the year has disappeared to. Matt seems to be settled in Brisbane now for a couple of months at least. He has a job working for a meat supplier – he works nights loading orders for supermarkets. Working nights should suit him as he has always been a nit of a night owl anyway and the money is good. It’s going to be very strange mot having him around at Christmas this year although we will talk on the phone.

And that’s probably all I can think of – oh, nearly forgot – the shoulder business. It’s getting better I think and I’ve finished the acupuncture – can’t say it’s made any difference really but it was worth a try, I’m still taking the medication because when I don’t take it the symptoms all come right back! But the good news is that the Physio suggested I try some hand stitching or crochet – almost like getting back on the bike when you’ve fallen off I suppose. I tried some on Thursday to no ill effect so hope that I can carry on. I’ve packed up the sewing machine as I don’t think I’ll have any time leading up to Christmas but a spot of hand stitching might just fill the gap!

Sunday, 20 November 2011


Sorry if this is becoming boring but…Strictly was blooming fantastic. I’ve set this to post after tonight’s results show because the audience were sworn to secrecy about the result!

We arrived at Wembley about 4.30 and queued for a short time before taking our seats which, although not fantastic, gave us a good enough view. We were fortunate enough to have a screen that we could see the dancers on, although we had to watch the group dances on the floor as we missed stuff otherwise! I was sceptical about the Saturday show being transmitted live but it is! The fill in bits for Sunday are filmed before and after the Saturday show is transmitted and the opening group dance was filmed in advance of the live show – which is obvious when you think about it as they would never be able to do the costume changes in time. On the live show when you see the training segments the crew are busy clearing after the last act and getting ready for the next dancers – it is so slick!

And then there’s Bruce! He is so much better without the stupid scripted autocue gags, he came on before filming started and did a few gags completely of the cuff – let me tell you, doddery he is not! He sang and danced as well which was a Brucie bonus, I take my hat off to him!

Anyway, I think most of you know that Sunday is filmed on Saturday night, so we got to see who was voted off and now you know as well! Russell was so humble in losing, the final dance actually lasted two or three minutes which you don’t get to see on the TV and all of the dancers really support each other all the way through.

I’m not a great fan of Il Divo but they were fantastic as well – what you saw on the TV tonight was what we saw – just one take and the same for James Morrison & Jessie J! I sort of hoped that Robbie Williams might have turned up to see his pal Robbie Savage but it wasn’t to be Sad smile

Who do I think will win the whole thing? I think young Chelsee might just nick it from Harry – she was amazing last night!

Oh nearly forgot  - the judges! We were all told to boo and cheer as necessary, but Craig got by far the biggest cheer when he was introduced, he seemed quite shocked!! Craig and Bruno were hilarious together camping it up – I don’t know if you saw them dancing at the end of the show – if not then you missed a treat!

So would I go again – hell yes!! It was fantastic entertainment, my hands hurt from clapping so much and, apart from the fact that we chose to stay overnight, it was excellent value for money at £20 per ticket which, apart from the VAT, all goes to Children In Need.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Needles & Pins

Ah, I see you all thinking this is going to be a crafty post, well you’d be wrong! It’s been almost five weeks now since I’ve been able to do any hand sewing or crochet – that simple holding action between thumb and for finger seems to have been the trigger for the dreadful pain I was having in my shoulder, arm & hand. However I have now had two acupuncture sessions as part of my physiotherapy and I think I can feel an improvement – I’m desperate to be able to do something of an evening, but am resisting the temptation to try.

I have made a few of the purses that I have shown you before and have decided to try to build up a stock and sell them, so I’ve decided not to post pictures at the moment. I’ve really appreciated the comments that people have left about the ones I’ve already shown and I think that’s sort of given me the courage to try to sell some.

In other news, John and I are off to see Strictly Come Dancing at Wembley tonight – excited doesn’t begin to describe how I’m feeling! Dress code is glamorous which makes it even more exciting! I’ve been driving my work mates made with my countdown to the big day and yesterday one of them said to me ‘do me a favour and call my phone, there’s something wrong with my display’. When I rang him he’d changed his ringtone to the Strictly theme tune! His deadpan delivery took me right in – there was of course nothing wrong at all with his phone!

I’m equally as excited at the prospect of going to IKEA tomorrow on the way home – sadly we don’t have one close to us so we have to take advantage when we travelling that way. I plan to stock up on candles and tea lights and who knows what else takes my fancy – last time we went we came back with more stuff than we knew what to do with!!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Lucky me!!

Something a little different this week. When it was announced that London had won the 2012 Olympics, John & Matt volunteered to help with whatever was needed, they heard nothing so assumed they wouldn’t be wanted but, when we got back from holiday, John had an email inviting him for an interview for ‘transportation’. I jokingly said that he would be driving one of those electric carts that you see at such events while he was convinced he’d be driving a coach!! (totally unrealistic of course). Anyway, the interview was Thursday at the Excel Centre, close to the Olympic village.

We both took the day off and drove down to London and all was well until we got right up close to Excel and found it was nigh on impossible to work out how to get in! Eventually we found a kind security guard who we followed to the car park and he showed us where to go.

Before we left home we had a debate over what John should wear. We knew it was to be a one-and-a-half hour interview and he said he ought to wear a suit – who am I to argue? Well, the interview turned out to be a short film which was viewed with about 30 other people, then a chat in small groups afterwards. He found out that they 10,000 drivers!! 10,000. They were needed to ferry VIPs and dignitaries from three points in London to the games and they’ll have a fleet of 3 series BMWs!! So now we wait to hear, apparently people who were interviewed in March are only just being told!

As a special treat, John let me go to the new Westfield Shopping Centre at Stratford – I don’t normally like big centres like that but this one is different, some lovely shops and really open and airy. There weren’t to many people there on Thursday afternoon but I’d imagine it will be heaving at weekends. We started to make our way home about 4 o’clock to beat the worst of the traffic, but boy were we in for a surprise! The promised rain fell and the drive home was a nightmare. Standing water in places on the A12 with more rain falling, I’m just glad it wasn’t me driving!

We’re getting to the reason for the title now! When we got home I checked my emails and there was one from Ticket Master headed ‘Your Strictly Come Dancing Application. I’d forgotten that I’d applied for tickets for the Wembley show which is a special for Children in Need, I knew it was a draw but I’d been successful, as it’s for charity we have paid to go but I’m really looking forward to it – I just hope we will be able to have a good view!

We spoke to Matt today as well, normally we phone him at 9am our time which is early evening for him, but he sent a text saying that he would call us at about 11pm his time – we thought he’d probably be out for the evening and when another text came through saying change of plan, I’ll you about 2am we thought he’d had a really good night out!! But we were wrong! He’d been at work! He’s had a couple of random days work this week and this one was dismantling an exhibition and clearing the space for another, if he’s to stay for much longer he will need more work as he’s running out of money, trouble is he has to pay 30% tax which he’ll get back when he leaves but it makes a deep dent in what he earns.

Only one bag made this weekend, the neck/arm/hand combo is still causing me grief but I’m going to have acupuncture on Wednesday – oh how I hope it works. Three weeks of agony and discomfort is enough I think and I’m really missing sewing of an evening, more than I ever thought I would.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Decision made

OK – time to put the past few weeks to bed I think. I’ve decided to ride out whatever storms arise at work, thanks to this strange positivity that’s arrived over the past couple of weeks I now feel a lot more positive and optimistic about the future – just hope I can keep it up!

Moving on to other things of a more domestic nature. Matt seems to have settled in Brisbane, he’s been there for about a month now and has his ‘white card’ to enable him to work in the ‘construction’ industry, which seems to be a generic term for odd-jobbing here and there. Apparently there’s a large music festival in Brisbane in a couple of weeks and they need people to work on the site and stuff. We have a regular weekly phone call with him and he seems to really be enjoying himself – which is a huge relief after the first few days.

Yesterday, I had a select ladies who sew day, not intentionally select but only a few people could come – bad me took not a single photo! The reveal of the day was that Isabel has lovely hand sewing skills! She was rummaging through my purse frames and picked one with greeny coloured bobbles for the clasp, the challenge then was to find some fabric to go with it and here is her photo of her bounty!

Isabel purse

It’s the small purse from issue three of ‘Molly Makes’

I made another frame purse yesterday, I’ve decided to just make a few so I have some to hand for that impromptu last minute gift so set out several matching fabrics – they only take about a quarter yard of each fabric which helps to mitigate the cost of the frames!

Finally, here’s some of the bags I’ve made lately and haven’t got around to sharing yet…

Veronica 1

Veronica 3

Veronica 1 (4)



I’ve moved away from my safety net of plain lining for this one!

I’m off then, time for a quick shower before I phone Matt!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Positive Mental Attitude

Yes - that's what I've got now! Still need to decide about work but that will come, I know. The positive mental attitude (PMA) has come about from a weight loss programme I'm trying and I will let you know more about that in good time.

I haven't got much to tell you this week apart from the problem with my shoulder which is slightly marring my PMA. For  a few months now I've suffered from intense sporadic pain in my left shoulder. I put it down to repetitive strain injury from crochet because that seemed to be the trigger, however last weekend I noticed the pain from that gripping position when I sew the hexies. So I stopped sewing for a few days. Unfortunately the pain didn't go so I referred my self to physio at work (about the only perk we have) and she told me that it's not my shoulder - it's my neck :( after I'd finished the session I could barely move my head and all she had done was to assess me, no treatment! The physio suggested a visit to the GP for proper pain releif and she'll see me again in a couple of weeks when they've started to work. Meanwhile I am to avoid anything that makes the pain worse whilst doing some simple excercises to help loosen things up. I feel totally bereft that I can't do anything (confession - I worked on a bag with minimal hand sewing today 'cos I wanted to get it finished - no reveal just yet though!)

So here's to another week of who knows what - all I can say is bring it on!!!

Friday, 14 October 2011

You have mail….

Dear Blog,

I’m sorry that I’ve ignored you for so long. No excuses, well perhaps a few. We had a lovely holiday and I promise I’ll let you see the photos eventually (just need to get around to editing them a bit). Matt seems to have settled a little more in Australia. He’s been to Sydney and is now in Brisbane, he’s taken some great photos (I’ve pinched this little gem from his Facebook album – I’m sure he won’t mind)

gull on beach-1

He seems to have made some friends now, having met up again with people he met in Melbourne and Sydney, so he’s looking for a job and plans to stay a little longer.

Then there’s work. What can I say? Not good. I truly believed that I would work in the NHS until I retired. Apart from a three month stint temping a few years ago, I have only worked for one other company in my whole working life. Now I’m faced with making a huge decision about my future. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% behind improving patient care, including all the things that have hit the headlines lately but non-clinical staff are essential to make sure that the clinical staff can deliver. With the cuts that have also made front page news lately I just can’t see how anybody really expects things to continue, let alone improve. I feel sad that I am now faced with making probably the biggest professional decision I have ever made – do I stay or do I go? Watch this space.

I have found time to make a couple of bags which I gave away without photographing – my mind’s just not with it right now – and I’m sewing my hexies every evening, it very true that sewing is therapeutic.

So I suppose that about sums up why I haven’t written for so long, I hope to get back to business as usual as soon as possible and regain my wonderful sense of humour.

I hope you forgive me,


Me x

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Things I’ve learnt this week


Warning – melodramatic Mum overload, I won’t be offended if you skip this post!! I don’t want to bore people too much with all of this stuff so I won’t link it anywhere, but if you stumble across it in your reader I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not to read it!

1) Saying goodbye is really hard, no I mean really hard – I’d kept everything tight right up until Tuesday when it was time to head off to the airport. That final hug of farewell at the security gate was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done for my children. Trying to be strong, I’d skipped along for the past few months, merrily saying ‘oh it’s OK, he needs to get it out of his system, it’ll make him a better man’ and all those kind of clich├ęd phrases. What I probably wanted to say was ‘I don’t want him to go, I’ll miss him, is life so bad here that he has to travel to better it?’ or words to that effect.


2) Listening to football on the car radio (5 Live) is almost impossible! As a distraction we put the radio on on the way home from the airport. Neither of us really wanted to talk so it seemed the right thing to do. I just ended up with a worse headache than I would have had otherwise.

3) I can tell you what time it is in Melbourne without even thinking about it!! Oh how I hope that wears off soon, the urge to check my watch and wonder what he’s up to. After finding out that he slept for 14 hours (through the whole day) when he first arrived, I really don’t need to wonder what he’s doing – he is still on UK time body clock-wise.

4) Facebook is fab for that instant in touch moment (OK – I probably didn’t just learn that) to see the window pop up that says ‘Matt sent you a message’ was amazing at 7am yesterday! Really got my day off to a great start. I’m now wondering just how bereft parents felt when their offspring travelled to the other side of the world all those years ago and then had to wait for a letter to arrive – one day without contact almost broke my heart.

5) He’s not as macho as he thinks he is. Another window popped up last night when he should have been asleep. The chat was not so encouraging. He admitted to being lonely, he’s in a multi-bedded room in a youth hostel and he’s been the sole occupant mostly since he arrived. I think he had the vision of arriving to a thronging crowd of Brits who would introduce him to the Aussie life style and set him on his way for the year. After about an hour of chatting with John and Son1 and my cousin (who conveniently has relatives in Melbourne) he seemed to be a lot happier. I’m sure once he sorts out his sleep he’ll be fine – he’ll never meet anybody if he’s asleep while the rest of the town is awake and vice-verse!

6) I’m actually a lot stronger than I thought at the beginning of the week. Yes, my heart was broken chatting with him last night but I managed to find the resolve to encourage him to stick it out. I think my sensible head came into play rather than my emotional head. Hopefully things will settle for him or at least he will give it time before turning round and heading home, seems such a waste of an opportunity not to at least give it a shot.

(disclaimer – this is so not me!!)

If you’ve got this far thank you for reading and indulging my wittering!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

And the rain came down…

…just in time for our trip to the airport to see Son2 off on his adventures!

We’d had our own adventure before he left, he came ‘home’ on Sunday and bought all his bits and pieces back on Monday – so much stuff! And clothes – he only took one suitcase with him plus a back pack and the rest has been left behind.

The first suitcase split under the strain just as he finished packing, luckily we had a spare one in the loft which was a little larger!

The goodbye was inevitably very tearful but we didn’t want to prolong the agony so said goodbye as he joined the snaking line towards security. I hugged him tightly and said goodbye amidst tears and sobs and we left him to it. As we walked through Terminal 3 at Heathrow, people gave me the strangest looks – I wanted to ask if they’d never seen a mother saying goodbye to her son before! (Yes – I know they had know idea why I was there!)

Anyhow, with the power of the internet and the marvellous book of face, he sent a message once he arrived at Singapore to break his journey, some of which I’m going to share with you – simply because it made me LOL!!

LMAO had an interesting surprise when I woke at one point, the Singaporian(??) man sitting next me, thought it would be nice to lift the arm rest up and fall asleep on my lap, Hmmmmm.

At least he’s retained his amazing sense of humour!(You’ll notice I didn’t share the mushy stuff – have to let him keep his macho public image!)

He’ll arrive in Melbourne in about three hours – 24 hours after setting off on his journey but having effectively lost a whole day in time (it’s Thursday out there already!)

So in a year’s time we’ll be doing all of this in reverse – I can’t wait to stand at the airport with one of those huge banners to welcome him home – mmm – wonder what he’d make of that?

Friday, 2 September 2011

I am winner–woo hoo!!

Last night while I was idly watching Twitter scroll by relaxing after a hard day at work, the following message jumped up in front of me:

Twitter: I need a title for BBCR4 short story about twitter. It's got libel, people not being who they say they are, and daytime TV. Ideas?

This was posted by the author Jojo Moyes, and I sat and thought for a few moments and for some reason the words ‘Between the Tweets’ popped into my head. So I replied!! Jojo replied that she liked it and would add it to her shortlist for submission to the BBC.

And, obviously the title of this post gives it away, my title was chosen!! So, you Radio 4 lovies out there, keep your ears peeled for the story with my title, coming to a radio near you!!

Oh – and I got a prize! A signed copy of Jojo’s latest novel – can’t wait!!

I’m off now to lie down in a darkened room to get over the shock (not really, I’m going to watch the football – come on England Winking smile)

Monday, 29 August 2011

Getting together to say goodbye…

…to Son2! He wanted a chance to say goodbye to family friends as I briefly mentioned last weekend. So yesterday was the day, it sort of coincided with John’s big birthday and we had our friends from Colchester up with all the grandchildren and we were joined by FDIL’s mum and brother (who was 18 on Friday).

As usual, we bought far too much food both barbecue and otherwise and now the freezer is overflowing! We had a great day, made even better by the fact that one of the grandchildren who was very poorly, and I mean very poorly, a couple of weeks ago after open heart surgery came along and was able to run around the garden as if nothing had happened – kids are a lot stronger than we give them credit for!

Most of you have probably already seen the photos from last weekend via Facebook but I’ll share some of them here as well. We’re really pleased with the results although they were evvvveeeerrrr soooo expensive – we did the deal when you buy one mounted print and get the CD with all the pictures for half price – I’m not even going to go there with the prices! Anyway, the best print by far was a black and white panoramic of Son1 and FDIL – an absolute killer pic and of course, the only one of the collection not on the CD Sad smile, they had to have it. However the rest of the pics are ours to do with what we will and this is where good old Photobox comes in handy (and, no they aren’t paying me to say that!) I ordered a lovely panoramic of all five of us on Thursday and it arrived on Saturday and all for less than £10!! Just need to find a frame for it now….

me and my boys Aug 2011 blog copy

boys playing Blog copy

5 Blog copy

So onwards and upwards, Son2 flies off on Tuesday week and John and I will take him to the airport but first he has to move out of his house share which means filling up the spare room with all of his worldly goods, *sigh* I love that room as it is now but never mind!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Good times!

I’ve had a couple of lovely days! Friday was my day off and I had planned to go to lunch with Nicola. Normally our socialising is limited to slaving over a steaming sewing machine but I had a voucher from Groupon for a local restaurant so off we went. Now, if you read Nicola’s blog, Stitch Magic, you will know that she spent a few days at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham so of course she had lots to tell me about her adventures. I was green with envy and next year I am going to make every effort to go myself. She wisely tells me that one day just isn’t enough – even three days meant that she didn’t get to see everything – I’m just imagining the enormity of it all! Being the good friend that she is, she bought me a present to make up for me not being able to go! A beautiful bag kit – no spoilers, you’ll have to wait until it’s finished!!

We had a lovely meal but forgot about taking any pics until the dessert came – here’s mine!

pudding 190811-1

Doesn’t it look huge!! Don’t worry that’s an illusion, it just looks like a huge trifle bowl, in fact it was a small bowl – meringue island, with lovely vanilla custard and strawberries – delicious!

After lunch, I inducted Nicola into the joys of Poundland – can you believe she’d never set foot in such a place before? I think she was a little overwhelmed, poor thing! I love Poundland (on a quiet day!) it’s great for all sorts of things but this time I needed bits for the grand barbecue we’re having next weekend.

And the fun continued yesterday. John has a special birthday coming up at the end of the week and he is notoriously difficult to buy for at the best of times. Son1 decided to organise a photo session as a local photographer’s studio. After agonising about what we should wear all five of us trooped along, FDIL and I both wore dresses, the boys wore more casual clothes and John wore smart trousers and shirt. The photographer took one look and said ‘you’re dressed quite formally – my style is more fun!’ We had an hours session booked and 10 minutes in I was exhausted!! We had this pose and that pose, John & I, the boys together, the boys apart, Son1 and FDIL, John & the boys, me and the boys – it seemed endless! I’m really looking forward to the results!

And of course all good things must come to an end and they did – with a bang. Ipswich Town’s match was televised yesterday and, having being thumped 5-2 at home during the week, we were hoping for a good result. We sat down to watch and were ecstatic when Town scored the first goal. Sadly the ecstasy did not last as Peterborough sent SEVEN (yes SEVEN) goals into the back of our net. There are 11 players in a team, we lost 2 to red cards and the remaining 9 seemed to think they should just stand back and watch the show. It’s hard being a Town fan, but we thought this season was going to be different – sadly that does not appear to be the case Sad smile. Never mind, the next game that I will go to won’t be until October (Son2 will take my ticket next weekend) perhaps things will be sorted out by then!

So what’s next? Busy week coming up, going to view the photo’s on Wednesday, John’s birthday Friday – going out for lunch with FDIL’s Mum & brother ‘cos he’s 18 on the same day – and then on Sunday we have the barbecue as part of Son2’s ‘Going to Oz’ celebrations, this one’s for family friends (he has a compartmentalised life!).

I’ll need today to prepare myself!!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Catch up!

After the fun and games of last Saturday, we took an impromptu trip to Snape on Sunday for the vintage market. I’m always so tempted by the wares displayed on the stalls, constantly saying ‘oh look, we had one of those’ or ‘oh look how much they want for that’! I resisted though and didn’t buy, although I was sorely tempted by the lovely cake stands made, mainly, from similar but not quite matching plates. The thing is I decluttered a few years ago and now have very few decorative things on display – plus my style is more contemporary that vintage, although I love the look of vintage on other people’s blogs as I browse my way around them. We followed our browsings up with a trip to Aldeburgh where we had fish and chips on the beach – imagine that, on a Sunday! For those of you that don’t know Aldeburgh, it’s a lovely place but very popular with Londoners for holiday homes (disclaimer – I have absolutely nothing against Londoners – it’s where both our families hail from!)

Whilst we were queuing (you always have to queue) for our fish & chips there were a couple of young children in front of us whose mother had left them to keep her place whilst she wandered along the shops. They were a bit mischievous but nothing exceptional and, right on queue, when their turn came to order, Mum appeared as if by magic. I’m getting to the point now, don’t worry. Order placed, the children helped themselves to the little wooden forks on the counter. Handfuls of them. Only to be told by Mum that they didn’t need that many. So they put them back! Eeeeeewwwww! I watched so carefully, determined not to take any that they had put back! Mum didn’t bat an eyelid, just steered them out of the shop when she’d paid.


The weather wasn’t brilliant – overcast and cloudy, but I liked the look of this boat!

I suppose though, in the scheme of things, that was nothing compared to the headlines of this week – I’m not even going to begin to go there, don’t worry.

A joyful week at work was broken by a day off on Wednesday when I had to wait in for the man to come and replace the door trim on my oven – can you believe that it is not covered under warranty? As a matter of principle, John insisted that they come and fit it and not send it in the post for us to fit ourselves – it took all of two minutes! And then I waited for somebody to come to repair our front door handle – it’s not been right for a long time and sickeningly we realised too late that it would have been covered under the 10 year warranty if we’d called them out before – that took about three minutes to repair!

Yesterday saw the first home game of this year’s football season. We lost. Enough said. Before the match I did something I haven’t done for a long time – I bought some yarn from a real shop! The friend that I call Julie has put in an order for another baby blanket (she seems to work with some very fertile people!) and, as the sex is not yet known, I opted for a minty green and white – hope that’s OK Julie!!

Which brings me on to today where I spent the day joining fabric squares together – in two places – only to cut them in half!

Chainpieced HSTs

I’m sure some of you have worked out by now I was making half square triangles!


I bought this in kit form several months ago and thought it was time to do something with it – if it works out well it will be a Christmas present for somebody who I think will like it!

Half & Half

I’ve decided that I’m going to add my name to some of the photo’s as I discovered a few of my pics on Google Images for all the world to use! Well, I might just as well make my claim on my own stuff, mightn’t I!!

That’s it for now – another exciting week awaits me I’m sure! Thanks for stopping by!!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Ladies who……

Earlier today I had a really catchy title in my mind for this post, however the sieve that has replaced my memory in recent months has let it leak out and it’s lost!

I hope as I’m writing I can come up with something that tells you what a great day I’ve had today! A few weeks ago I had the brainwave of inviting some likeminded ladies to spend the day being crafty and today was the day we settled on. I suppose I expected maybe two or three friends would say yes please but we ended up with eight of us – and John!

John very kindly rearranged all the furniture a few days ago so that we could open up the space available and this morning we got ourselves ready. We opened up the dining table, laid out the cutting mat and sewing machine, pulled out a box of yarn and awaited our guests. I’d said 10 o’clock for a start time but slowly messages started coming in about people being delayed. The best one has to be the text that said ‘Please tell me it’s tonight we’re sewing’! Poor Trish had got 6 on her mind not thinking that was the date and not the start time! She and her daughter arrived just in time for lunch much to the amusement of those already gathered!

So here is the day in pictures – I think we all enjoyed ourselves, Isabel sort of learnt to crochet with Janet’s help, Sian made one of Nicky’s lovely boxy bags, Julie and Steph enjoyed a bit of show & tell, Trish wasn’t having a good day – instead of bringing her dress to finish she bought the remaining fabric, John got a few photography tips from Trish & Sian and me, well I did some crochet and marked out the half square triangles for my next project.


005 (2)

The sewing end

004 (2)


003 (2)

The other end!

006 (3)

Yes – I left the ironing board out! The sewers amongst you will know that this is an important piece of equipment!


She need a bright colour!!


Don’t show my face!!


See – Nicky used that so important piece of equipment!


I’m not looking up!!

SIan & Nicky

Always happy teaching!


The final result!

Thank you all for coming – shall we do it again?

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Another week , another reveal!

Another first for me this week – a bag on a clip frame, I’ve always wondered how these work and now I know. This one is called Easy Peasy Purse and came in kit form from U-handbag. I have to say it was very easy to make although I struggled a little getting getting the fabric into the frame – but it will be easy next time!

In other news I took myself off to Dunelm on my day off as I had read on Catherine's blog here that she’d got an absolute bargain roll of fabric – 10 metres for £9.99. I had to have a look didn’t I? So was I as lucky? No of course not! Although I did get four end of rolls for £2.99 a metre, all a slightly heavier cotton, not really quilt weight but will be great for bags. And it will make a lot of bags. I bought 10 metres. Yes, I know who can make that many bags? Perhaps I’ll share it…..

Son 2 finally booked his flight to go to Australia. He was going to fly in October but has become so disillusioned at work over the past few weeks he’s bought it forward to early September. He’ll fly to Melbourne and go where the fancy (and the work) takes him. Good luck to him, he’s young enough to get the best from it and I hope mature enough to make it work for him – and before you ask, of course I’ll miss him!

And finally, the reveal – here it is my first clip frame bag (the fabric is Amy Butler ‘Tumble Roses’)…

Tumbling Rose Clip (2)


Tumbling Rose Clip

Just off to order some frames I think…… Winking smile

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Ooops–forgot something!

Cast your eyes to the right – notice anything new? If you’re not seeing this as the top post you’ll have to scroll up to the top of the side bar Smile!

Whilst I was whiling away some time this morning I noticed that Lynn over at Lilly’s Quilts has started a Hexalong. Naively I thought that hexagons were just that, six sided shapes cut and joined together, however there are so many ways to make a hexagon you wouldn’t believe it. Anyway, Lynn’s inviting people to join in, all of the instructions are on this page here and all abilities can join in – take a look at her Flickr group as well!

Own up–who stole summer?

Talk about a wet weekend!! It’s barely stopped pouring since yesterday morning – looks like summer is over!

John was supposed to be going on a circular geocaching trail yesterday, I think it was something like a seven mile circuit, quite wisely he and his friend decided to change direction and go for caches they could drive between! He’s been out this morning though, I think I heard him leave at 6.15, and managed to avoid the rain.

I read an article recently that said that sewing, particularly quilting, was good for the soul. My soul is in need of some goodness so, with that in mind, I sat all afternoon yesterday piecing and sewing hexagons. I’m trying to square the sides now ‘cos I figured a square quilt will be more practical than a hexagonal one! I’ll share more when it’s squared – it’s getting quite big now!

One of my friends at work is leaving this week so I have made her a bag (what else) it’s from one of the fat quarters that I bought in Whitby. I hope she likes it – I’ve finished it off with one of my lovely new labels which I bought from here Smile.


Melanie 2

In other fabric news, I spent some time this morning tidying my stash which now takes about three drawers in the spare room chest of drawers. It’s quite a little habit I’ve got into Sad smile(I know sad), I go from having it sorted in colours to sorted in sizes – yardage (should that be meterage?), kits, fat quarters, smaller-than-fat-quarters-but-not-quite-scraps and, of course, scraps. Did I tell you that I’d created a scrap bin…..Smile

I also bought some yardage from Simply Solids in the sale – I recommend that you visit if you need like good quality fabrics at good prices, free UK postage and no VAT!! Plus excellent customer service, nicely wrapped parcel and delivery within a day or two of sending the order.

I’ve been playing nurse maid to Son1 today, he picked up food poisoning at a works do and ended up with a visit from a paramedic this morning so FDIL dropped him here on her way to work. I use the term nurse maid loosely because he came in and went straight to bed – his trusted elephant, that he’s had since he was born, tucked firmly under his arm – I knew then that he really was feeling poorly!!

So, that’s another week gone – four days to work this week, having Wednesday off for a change, but then two whole weeks without a day off ‘cos the boss is away on her holidays!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A bit of a makeover…


…in progress I think. May leave it, may change it again – if you have an opinion one way or the other, please let me know – I just thought it was time for a change with all these new things popping up in Blogger.


Saturday, 9 July 2011

Fishy Feet Friday!

I’d been looking forward to my trip yesterday for several weeks. It was the day that Janet and I had planned for our Fish Pedicure, neither of us had been before but both wanted to try it. Janet was Project Manager for the adventure and was set the task of finding somewhere for us to go, after much research she settled on this place – Beauty Rituals in Melton. The location for this seemed a little strange as it is in an industrial estate but the place itself was lovely. It’s a beauty salon as well which seems to be a common theme for fish pedicurists (yes, that is a word!!).

We had opted to share the experience which meant that one of us had to shuffle across the bench seat whilst keeping our feet out of the tank – surprisingly I managed this successfully and let Janet have the easier option Winking smile.

I wish I had taken photographs! The whole experience was amazing, the first few moments are hell if you have ticklish feet (which I have – big time) but after a very short while it settles down and becomes almost a buzzy feeling. I didn’t feel as if my feet were even in water – the temperature is just right – even though I was sitting dangling my feet over the edge of the seat. I think I had the best feet for the fishes as they spent more time with me than they did with Janet but I have to say my feet are now feeling probably the best ever! No scraping or rubbing with files, no slicing with scalpels or pushing down on cuticles. I still have a little hard skin around the base of my heels but my cuticles, soles of my feet, back of my heels where shoes had left their mark have all gone – along with my corns!!

There weren’t this many fish in our tank but it gives you an idea!!

So, if you get the opportunity, do find somewhere to have this done – this one cost £10 for 15 minutes. Janet and I would both recommend single sittings though – whilst it was very nice to spend time sitting, literally, cheek to cheek it would be better on your own!

It was Janet’s birthday as well yesterday, so we made the most of the time we had together by having a little retail therapy followed by lunch at The Riverside which her husband kindly treated us to!

The day was rounded of with a visit from son 1 and FDIL for dinner – for some reason I was shattered by the end of the day!!

So that was Friday, today I’m off to Felixstowe to buy zips and thread – why is that, whatever I decide to make, I always need thread that I haven’t got – I’m turning in to Nicola with my stash of reels of thread! (Take a look over at her latest post – she’s already planning Christmas!!)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Suffolk Summer Sunday!

We decided to have a day out today with the prediction of a heat wave! John asked me where I wanted to go so I scratched my head and came up with a few ideas – and agreed that he could do a few caches as well, being the kind loving wifey that I am!

It didn’t even cross my mind to go looking for fabric shops – I think I’ve done enough of that kind of shopping to last me a few weeks so instead John researched some caches and drew up a circular route that would take us up the Suffolk coast and back home.

We jokingly said that we’d go out out at 7.30 and my body clock obviously took me seriously and woke me at 5.50 this morning. But we set off around 9.30 heading towards the first cache of the day in the middle of nowhere (sorry if I don’t sound enthused – I do try, just not very hard!) which was a church down a tiny lane in a small village called Theberton which I have to say I had never even heard of before today. After that we continued down very narrow lanes until we reached the perimeters of Minsmere nature reserve where he had another cache to do. After the successful discovery of the second cache of the day we headed off down the single track lane that led us to the car park and visitor centre to embark on our day out. I had no idea what to expect, we’re not into bird watching and nature particularly, but must admit to having a great time. Being close to the coast it was quite nippy with the breeze blowing off the sea and my hair decided to take a curl in the wrong direction but out of the wind it was very warm.

There are a couple of circular walks, each about a mile, around the reserve and we ambled around for a couple of hours, deafened by the sound of birds shrieking at each other birdsong, we even sat in hides like they do on Springwatch! Took loads of pics – sadly we don’t have much of an idea of what – and returned to the cafe for lunch and decided that, as we had enjoyed ourselves so much, we would have to return and actually signed up to become members of the RSPB!!

Without further ado I’ll leave you with some photos – all that fresh air and exercise has left me feeling exhausted!


A damsel fly ( I think!)


A tree(!)



The North Sea in it’s summer glory!


I wondered if this was a fledgling kingfisher – probably not though!


Can anybody tell me what the flower is??



And that’s your lot for this week! Oh, John took the photo’s by the way – not bad are they? If only we knew what we we were looking at…..