Wednesday 25 February 2009

Better Now

Thank you dear readers for politely reading, commenting and bearing with me during my rant.

I have made a few brooches derived from the piece in this post.

I have made them for a reason I am unable to divulge just at the moment.

But in the fullness of time all will be revealed.
I also made an extra bit of embroidery to go with the others.
It taught me anew that there is always something more to be learnt from 'sampling'.
Its very subtle but if you look closely at the 'knobby' bits
they are just a bit different a bit more successful than some others you may have seen. The difference is that I went round and round and round over them till I built up quite a raised blob. I was using variegated thread so it was nice to exhaust one shade and surround it with the next from the same thread.
The weather forecast for Marrakesh: Monday..heavy rain.
Of course it is..I'm going.
Update on Thursday: I haven't had a cough or a cold or anything for at least 18 months and guess what? A sore throat and a headache this morning. I think I'll stay in bed till Monday!

Tuesday 24 February 2009

A Rant and a a Rave

Forgive me for this non craft no picture post.
Its blog as Catharsis. And its very boring but I have to do it.

I am raving (in good way) about Meyer customer services.
They sent me a new kettle today, to replace one that broke quite a while ago. I had no receipt, the guarantee had expired and in exchange for the old kettle and at a cost of £6 postage today I received my new kettle.
It even had a letter enclosed offering to replace my toaster even though that was out of guarantee. (But they'd misunderstood my letter..they'd already done that!)
Its like this.


I am ranting about Morphy Richards customer service.
I have a kettle (Bought to replace the one above under 12 months ago) still under 2 year Guarantee.
Its like this (But black)
I can't find the receipt. Comet can't find the receipt either.
The lid has snapped off. It used to spring up at the press of a button but ceased to do so and eventually snapped off.
Morphy Richards won't do anything for me.


It was finding the Morphy Richards box with 'Guaranteed for 2 years' written all over it, that spurred me into trying to get a replacement.
So I thought I'd try with the older broken-switch kettle at the same time.

Now if you've read all that you deserve a reward so in eager anticipation of next Monday here it is.

Monday 23 February 2009

Custom Customer

The worst thing about custom making something is that requests often take you out of your comfort zone.

Like this cuff with 'a bit of purple'

The best thing about custom making something is that requests often take you out of your comfort zone.
Like this cuff with this fabulous bit of purple.

Saturday 21 February 2009

Slight Improvement

Do you remember the 'Post with Appalling Picture Quality'?

Those items have now returned and have obligingly posed again.

These pictures are an improvement but

I still wish I understood the workings of my camera,

and could make it take better pictures.

Its almost idiot proof,
but I am quite some idiot.

I've listed some of these in my ETSY shop.
I've taken advantage of the lemons.
If this idiot knows one thing, its her colour wheel.
(With grateful thanks to Mrs Bond, Lower V a, Winckley Square Convent School, 1964.
I had my very first migraine induced by painting the tints and shades of yellow on said colour wheel)

Friday 20 February 2009

Getting a grip (Part deux)

Rather too late, I am getting a grip in preparation for my 5 days in Marrakech.

Unfortunately the effect of the healthy breakfast may well be cancelled out by the copious amounts of red wine I need to calm my nerves so I can sleep.

Here is a picture for Arlee... (See previous post comments)

and a tribute from a similarly abled citron here.

Thursday 19 February 2009


The colour of spring and hope and optimism.
Of sunshine imported from warmer climes.

When I wear yellow

I look like death.

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Getting a Grip

A bit of my tangle is beginning to be undone.
I've had a productive week since I last blogged.

This is a very small piece, about 3 inches wide, to ease me into fulfilling one of my commitments.
Then I did some more, repeating myself somewhat, but with slight changes.

Hopefully, when you look at these you will be reminded of the 1950s.

Then I moved on to a new piece, using all my favourite techniques and materials.
Its about 8 inches square.

The details are very small.

But, I hope, perfectly formed!

Rather like the little person in the chair below, who I have been looking after again, this time without her companion, and she is a lot more hard work on her own.

I call this 'Close encounters of the furred kind'.
I had a wonderful picture with Blodwen, Jools, MummyCat, and Willow, all in the hall , all desperately trying to each deny the others' existence, but I accidentally deleted it.

Now a confession.
I tweeted.
Well. ....I had to try it. The truth is I only do it when I'm bored so my tweets are very tedious.
I might shut my beak.

I've been stocking my Etsy shop. All this is tea bag paper in bundles in envelopes ready for buyers.
Well you have proceed hopefully don't you?
And yesterday I listed this cuff. (SOLD)
I know I'm a bit late but the bush fires in Australia haven't gone unnoticed by me.
Some of the stories that have emerged are heartbreaking and I send my prayers and sympathy to anyone who reads this and is affected.

Wednesday 11 February 2009

Loose Ends

Here in Lancashire we didn't have a lot of snow.
There was no sledging or snowmen or people getting arrested for throwing snowballs.

(Aside: throwing a snowball is how my older son got his alias. He threw a snowball at his friend many years ago, but having inherited rotten aim from his Mother, it missed and hit a car. the irate driver jumped out and asked him his name. My son answered truthfully, and the chap misheard and thought he said Duncan. He asked him ''Duncan what?'' to which my son truthfully replied and the gentleman misheard again, and 'Duncan Friday' was born.)

On Monday though, I received a bit of snow from Wisconsin in the post.

A beautiful stained glass snowflake made by my dear blog friend, Chris from Shady grove studios. She was one of my first blog contacts and I didn't realise I was one of her first too.
How generous and kind some people are.
It has been made from almost clear glass with the subtlest of colour in the form of a few iridescent squares.

There are lovely panels of etched frosty glass too and when I hang it in the window in the newly decorated front room there are little rainbows all around the room.
Do you remember the scene in Pollyanna when she visited the grumpy old man with a chandelier? I loved that film when I was little but now I fear it might have been an 'Anne of Green Gables' rip off.
Maybe not.
(There's the clip here if you feel like watching it )
Anyway thank you so much Chris. I was having a deferred post-Christmas-blues day on Monday and you certainly dispelled them.

Yesterday was the felt group meeting, and I am very much the dunce of the group. We made jewellery and I had a moderate success (eventually) with a bangle round a milk bottle which I then brought home and needle felted a few extra bits into and added a couple of stitches. This is todays TEXTILE CONTENT as I haven't done anything for ages.

Ta daa! (Thats a fanfare)
It will just about go over my hand.
As I said, I haven't done anything but there's a lot going on in my head.
In fact its a mess.
Here's an allegory or decide.
This is why I haven't done anything. Just don't know which end to pick up first. As usual I am over committed and the one thing I wanted to do really well has been usurped by another thing I have to to do really well but in a hurry.
The Textile Group I belong to is having an exhibition in April on the theme of 'Structures.' I thought I would like to explore trees and bushes. I was going to draw, print, collage, photograph aspects of trees.
Well I've taken the photographs. This is the Larch, still in our garden, still not chopped down.
Below are some lovely bark pictures from trees on my walk.

The colours and textures are amazing.

But I fear I won't be able to work the theme through properly so I know I'll end up doing the usual and find some way of justifying it as being on the theme of 'Structures'.
Any ideas?
But now, inserted before that suddenly, I have an article to write and some work to do to accompany it before the beginning of March.
Then I am going to Marrakesh for 5 days. (WOOO! scared but excited!)
And I am committed to two craft events in May and June and a couple of other half- commitments in between. And then it'll be Christmas!!!!!!!
I just want to make felt!
Hello to all the lovely visitors from Hobbyschneideren. I know you are all coming to look at my Machine Embroidery tutorial, because I have stat counter.
Such fun.
I just thought I'd leave you with a lesson in how to doze with absolutely nothing in your head to worry you except being nearer to me than the cat.

Bye for now.

Tuesday 3 February 2009

The Birthday

Its quite a while since my last post.

I've been very busy so this is an account of my activities in case you were wondering.
Read no further if not.
We've been giving the house a bit of a makeover

Re decorated the front room.
And generally 'tittled' the place up a bit.
These smell fabulous on the bend in the stairs, now they have opened.

As you may know I have been making curtains.. I need to add more width, they are a bit skinny, but they look very nice behind the new sofa.

Here it is in all its glory, totally unscathed from the party. (What do you think the throw was for?)

(This room is flooded with light if the sun shines so the pics are bit bleached out)
All the books were re-instated in the re-positioned bookshelves.

The old sofa is staying I can't bear to part with it, and we needed the seating, so its been covered with a lovely sage green bedspread from IKEA ....

to hide the terrible truth.

All this in order to celebrate the 60th birthday of my lovely husband.
Here he is looking rather embarassed while 'Happy Birthday' was played and sung.

Here's the cake.

Its a bit of a catalogue of disaster decor wise. I eventually got an image scanned onto a piece of icing at a well known supermarket. (I was going to write 'Still my favourite squeeze'....but its not about me)

I hope the person from whom I 'borrowed' the illustration will forgive me. I didn't think putting it on a birthday cake and subsequently eating it counted as infringement of copyright. I found him in a Google search and then lost him so couldn't ask permission.

We had 46 guests on Saturday, 12 musicians

including the man himself, all playing traditional Irish tunes.

I love this picture because I can see my Husband,Mum, younger son, older sons girlfriend, sister in law, and two good friends.

I do have one concern though, that I forgot to bake the baguettes to go with cheese when the crackers ran out.
Oh dear.
But there was an awful lot of other food!
My concerns about mingling were unfounded..there was movement, activity, chatter, laughter, and generally smiles all round.

(Apart from my husband while he's playing his concertina..he has to concentrate and can't do two things at once)

This is the owner of Blodwen and the dear departed Porky.

There was even a rapper sword dance from my Husband and his University Friends, former Kingsmen, who had travelled from Cornwall, Bristol Nottingham, Newcastle and Durham.

(If you click the link you might see my husband in a few of the pictures in his tender youth with great big bushy sideburns, In picture 4 he is the one on the right of the two somersaulters, and in picture 7 he is on the right doing a Northumbrian clog dance)

They remembered it perfectly even though the last time they practised it was 10 years ago.
(Not counting the quick practice they had in our kitchen on saturday night)

Great Craic!

We seriously over estimated the amount of beer and wine that would be consumed..

and underestimated the generosity of our friends.

The table above has come out of my sewing room.
We also removed the bed to another room for guests, and it made me realise what a wonderful great-big-shelf a bed makes.

How will I ever get it back to normal?

Wednesday update: I did it! I am off to do a bit of theraputic sewing. maybe some more hearts in time for Valentines just to get me going again.

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Dear Anonymous.....

....don't waste your time...I have a spam filter.