Monday, 30 May 2011

The one where…

…I tell you about phones, glasses and my first big bag! I’ve stolen the title for this from that wonderful TV series Friends which seems to constantly on air on the satellite channels.

First up the phone. I got an early upgrade offer for my mobile phone. I was that excited. I-phone here I come, I thought, but it was not to be Sad smile. Much as I coveted the I-phone  i was not prepared, nor could I afford, the £250 quoted by Vodafone for the initial purchase price. Instead, with support from the on line team via Twitter, I settled for a gorgeous purple HTC Wildfire S. It looks amazing, all the functionality really of an I-phone for zero outlay and the same monthly cost. I was happy. Forget that I couldn’t use the touch screen to type ‘cos I managed to hit the keys either side of the one I meant to. Forget that I sent messages and rung people who I didn't intend to. I loved it. Until that is, the screen started to freeze on me. I couldn’t open it. When I did manage to open it I ended up in all sorts of strange places and, the best of all, I couldn’t hang up on any calls!! The friend that I call Julie had a lovely silent voicemail message from on Saturday. Anyway, cut to the chase, I went into the Vodafone store in town today and, thank heavens, the guy there saw the problem for itself. You need an exchange he said. OK, said I. You’ll have to do it online – can’t do it in the shop, says he. Oh, OK said I and off I went to phone the magic number – which surprisingly I managed OK, until it came to entering my PIN!! Not a chance. Select an option 1-5. No chance. So I just held out in the hope that somebody would speak to me which they did. After me spelling it out that I needed an exchange, they agreed to just that, shame is I can’t get another purple one, had to settle for grey, not that that matters too much. Then, haha, they sent me a text about the exchange which, you guessed it, I couldn’t open. Facepalm is the word I think the kids would use!!

And then there’s the glasses. Way overdue for a check-up, I went a couple of weeks ago to that store that gives you an extra pair for nothing, the one who’s prices start at £85 – you know the one, right? Well, of course I don’t meet the criteria for the cheap option as I have varifocals, so £250 later and an order placed for a regular pair and a light-sensitive pair I awaited with baited breath their delivery. The light-sensitive pair are the very latest Gok Wan design, oooh, get me – I just loved the idea of them as sun glasses, not that I planned to wear them for everyday stuff. You know what’s coming, don’t you? Yep. Couldn’t see through either pair – the Goks meant that I couldn’t see distance and the other pair completely blurred my vision in the middle distance Sad smile. Every time I buy glasses I have these problems. However a very nice young man (very young man) fiddled a little with both pairs and I left the store this morning promising to persevere for a couple of weeks.

And breathe. On to the bag. I bought the kit for this when I went to the Quilt Show at Chilford Hall. It’s from here and although it’s not in colours that I would normally choose I’m well chuffed with how it’s come out! Hyper critical me will tell you that I’m not happy with the place where the handle joins the bag because the sewing machine almost had heart failure when I tried to force coax the many layers of fabric through and I tried to tidy it up by hand, but that apart, I’m pleased with it!




You probably can’t see the lining very well but it’s a floral print from Moda on a brown background, yes I know, brown! As it’s such a spacious bag I’m going to make a small bag to go inside for my phone and stuff – I did think I’d do that today but have now changed my mind and am going to supervise John in the garden while he plants up the plants we bought this morning in anticipation of the torrential rain that’s promised!

Just before I hit the publish button, John has said we’ll plant after the football has finished if it’s not raining – fingers crossed, it’s still beautifully sunny here right now!!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

It’s been a while!

This has to be the longest I’ve gone without blogging! I even missed my Blog-versary Sad smile.

No reason though, just been plodding along doing all sorts of stuff and getting on with life in general whilst battling that dreaded middle-aged woman thing, you know the one I mean, don’t you? Mother nature has a very cruel sense of humour, likes life to be full of surprises so that things happen when you least expect them – if you’re there or been there you know exactly what I mean!

Anyway, let’s move on from the workings of my my body clock shall we? So what’s been going on – well, Son 2 turned 21 earlier in the month and we went out for a meal. Just the four of us because FDIL was away on her work placement. We went to a local pub which was his choice, had a lovely time and the boys even started play fighting because Son2 hid Son1’s sunglasses – happy days! Son2 has also announced that he plans to travel to Australia for a year, if you remember the debacle of his trying to get a visa to the US last year you may be pleased to know that the Australian authorities seem to love him and gave him a visa on line within two days of applying! The plan now is for him to go in October. I’m happy for him to go and gain some great life experiences, if he comes back all well and good, if he settles out there I’m happy with that too.

On the making front I’ve been quite quiet, I made this bag for my friend’s birthday – the fabric just cried out to be diamond quilted which took an age but I was really pleased with the result.

Linda blue bag1

Do you remember that I admitted a few posts ago to not telling you about everything I buy? Well time for another confession. I found fabric on EBay. Yep. Remnants. All different sizes. Some big. Some not so. Some absolutely ideal for my hand pieced hexie quilt. Some that will be absolutely perfect for a baby girl quilt that I just can’t wait to start!

I intended that the hexie quilt would be a WIP for many years, with me adding random hexies as I finished a project. I’ve really enjoyed the hand work, for those interested I’m using one-and-a-half inch templates and two-and-a-half inch fabric squares, all tacked/basted and then joined – I love taking the tacking out and removing the paper pieces intact! However I have deviated into using fabric from the remnants that I bought on EBay because I was getting impatient and couldn’t wait to build up enough scraps! I’ve been really lucky with what I bought, good quality cottons including some Amy Butler pieces. In some ways I regret not piecing this in a more constructive way but as I originally intended that it would be totally random I’ll live with it.


Do you like my inventive way of keeping the pieces together?? The bigger this gets the more totally random the piecing will be – seems very blue at the moment!

In other news we are up bright and early this morning because John is awaiting the delivery of a new camera – he’s like a kid at Christmas! Trouble is, delivery will be between 7am and 3pm – hopefully it will be earlier as I wanted to have a day out today but forgot to mention it to him when I was planning it but as he didn’t ask tell me about the new camera I suppose that makes us quits!!

That’s enough for now I think. I’ll try to get back in the habit of posting every week again – if for no other reason that it gives me a personal discipline!!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


What a weekend! It started off with that wedding on Friday and just disappeared really!

So what have I done? Friday saw me up at 6.30 to make sure I got a front row seat at the Virtual Royal Wedding Party (VRWP) I’d foolishly volunteered to host. The word ‘Virtual’ is the giveaway here – on line attendance only, but never let it be said that I don’t push the boat out for my guests. People came from far and wide, err well Lincolnshire, Kent, Ipswich & Missouri anyway! It didn’t quite attract the numbers that I’d been hoping for but we were a select gathering!!

We all sat in our respective corners of the world, linked by Twitter & Facebook, sharing our feelings on those outfits, especially the younger Royals – somebody should really have taken them somewhere else to buy their outfits and hates, sorry girls you were wide of the mark in the fashion stakes!

And then we saw her. Catherine Middleton. She looked, in my opinion, absolutely amazing! I think William felt the same judging by my limited lip reading skills. As they left the Abbey as the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge I couldn’t help recall that my late father-in-law always referred to my late mother-in-law as Queenie – because she was his Queen! It got me thinking would William refer to Catherine as Duchess – a good old London term? I guess we’ll never know!

So Friday spent glued to the TV (apart from the two hours of champagne induced slumber during the afternoon!!) watching the wedding, the highlights, the news bulletins and looking on line for images. I was productive as well though, following Son 2’s request for garden cushions last week, I decided to convert nine squares that I’d already crocheted into a cushion cover – but I needed to make up the back. It’s still a WIP so you’ll have to wait a few days to see it!

Saturday was the last home game of the football season – I’m not sorry to see the end of this season and, probably against our better judgment, we have renewed our season tickets. Next year will be the last though if it’s anything like the previous three years – where have I heard that before!

Which brings me to Sunday. Sew day. John went out really early to geo cache so I had the morning to myself. i have to say I love time home alone to do ‘me’ things. I made a cake (wanted to test the new oven) but forgot to grease the pans Sad smile (I used my new silicone pans and it just didn’t occur to me to grease them) so first attempt at getting them out meant that the tops cracked, I decided to leave them in the pans to cool down then turned the pans inside out and scraped the cake out with a spatula. Thank goodness for butter icing to stick it all back together – it tasted delicious though!

So back to sewing. I had a pattern I had downloaded and was eager to try for the first time. I knew just what I wanted to do and who I wanted to make it for. I can’t say it was easy but that was possibly because I decided to adapt it – note to self never adapt a pattern the first time you try to make it – and used iron on wadding instead of a sew in interface – it was too much I think and the zip didn’t sit as nicely as it would have otherwise. Still, never mind, lesson learnt and here it is!

001 (3)

I made it specifically for Janet, in her colours, in exchange for some plants that she had grown for me in her little ‘greenhouse’. We exchanged yesterday over coffee and scones – she has even blogged about it here!I think her photos are probably better than mine as well!!

So that just about sums up the weekend – when’s the next long weekend? Oh yes – next week for me, so if it’s not the same for you!! Winking smile