Sunday, 14 August 2016

Where do the weeks go to?!

So-  who snook away with the past few weeks then? Come on, own up!
Its the summer school holidays and I seem to have been busier than when at work - another conundrum to wonder about!
I got wind of someone needing knitted/crochet flowers and pom poms for a 'secret' yarn bombing which is being planned.
Thanks Jean for the heads up!
So I had chance to use the natty pom pom gadget I bought the last time I went to the NEC.
It makes pom poms so much easier and faster - and in multiples too, up to 20 littley ones at one time for example!
I knew there was a reason I felt obliged to buy odd balls of yarn at the charity shop I get my best craft bargains from.
The chrysanthemum-ish flowers are crocheted but to my own pattern and I was amazed that it worked!
Their success is due to my using one novelty yarn and a 4ply in all but the same colour.
Mind you, the yarn bombing wanted orange not peachy pink - but will send them anyway and hope they can be of some use : )

You can see the various sizes of pom poms you can make with the Multipom gadget and I haven't made the largest
or the smallest sizes there!

I do have a 100 knitted and crochet flowers book - somewhere - but actually found it easy enough to just sit and devise a shape, although my daffodil trumpet, does leave a lot to be desired lol don't look too closely at that one!

On 25th July, Harvey cat went in for a rear leg patella luxation operation, where they adjust the patella and pin in it where it should actually be.
When I homed him off the couple with two heavy handed children last year, I soon saw that he had a leg injury and limped, something they denied had ever happened before.
His leg also often splayed outwards at 45 degrees when he walked so it couldn't be missed.
I took out insurance but it was a pre existing injury, so of course the £2000 cost wasn't covered!

However with a change to another veterinary practise, I managed to reduce the op cost to £1150. So it pays to shop around and ensure your vets are not charging you orthopaedic surgeon prices from the off!
Such an operation needs 6 weeks cage rest to prevent him jumping up and down and to allow the bone to grow over the newly placed alignment.
So Harvey is cooped up in my bedroom, in a cage at first but now out of that since hes doing so well.
But he is a loving soul and hasn't been any bother really and now manages jumping onto the bed and off again easily.
Given that he hauls himself up fences and the garage, I'm not letting him out and about outside again until I'm certain the leg is healed well enough lol
So his night time rodent chasing, when he refuses to come in at night, has been curtailed for a while!
Any gardeners out there at all?
Does anyone have any idea what these weird, but almost hexagon like things are on my plant?

I kept an eye on them to see if they opened up but we had torrential rain and that washed most of them away although they had altered the leaf colour dramatically I noticed.

I dont think they weren't spiders eggs -  but that reminds me the other night, Harvey was agitated in the bedroom and wouldn't settle down to sleep, so I switched the light on to see him avidly watching the curtains. Uh Oh .......

I finally caught sight of a huge wolf spider and went on a spray and catch session which of course left me wide awake!
I put the fan on to cool down the air and ventilate the room better, put Harvey in the other bedroom and I went downstairs for a cupper. 
At 0125 !
I mean why come into my room when it was balmy and calm weather outside?!

So as you do, I sat outside in the garden thinking I might just see the Perseids meteors -
and I did! I did!
Wow, what a wonderful thing to see, they whizz this way and that, with not even a seconds notice!
I saw several long whizzes across the sky and many more shorter ones, then a whole bunch of teensy movements I wasn't sure of but next day, I saw on tv that they were also meteors.
So thanks go to Harvey for waking me for both the spider and the night sky fun!
Of course next day my neck ached quite a bit lol

I had a wonderful surprise in the post from my bloggy pal Mary Anne, I wasn't expecting it at all but I need to download the picture, so I will come back to you and show you what she sent to me, in the next post, tomorrow.
Bloggy people are some of the nicest people aren't they!!

Friday, 15 July 2016

'10 in a bed' ( settle down!) and Moths

Only a week and a day to go till the school summer holidays begin -
yeahhhh : )
I do like working term time only, although shed loads of work came in last week for me to do, for our Councils Porterage group.
One job was to replicate this old resource, long past its best and mucky as 'eck!
It was made with pelmet Vilene and you can tuck the teddies in behind the bedding, a cute idea isn't it!

So this is my prototype interpretation of it, making it tactile with differing textures.
The 'spotty' numbers on the pillows are hefty French knots, 1 -10.
The pillows I colour coordinated with the bears hats.
Most of the children the Porterage team see will have sight, so no Braille needed on this and the colours will be seen and become a matching activity for this 10 in a bed gang.

This beaut Hawk Moth was hanging about in my back garden, killing time ...

an hour or so later and she had company - nooky time!

I've had a couple of these canoodling in my garden before, too often and my garden will get a bad name!

I made up another fastenings waistcoat last week

We have a display in Hull of painted moths, to commemorate Amy Johnson who lived here for a while.
Here are a few of the 56 scattered around the city -

When I was about 12 I had my ear syringed with water to try and reduce my tinnitus, a wierd experience but happily the tinnitus  eventually went away.
After about 2 years with a blocked sinus on one side and the ear on that same side, feeling as if I'm under water, crackling and swelling internally from time to time I finally got a Dr to take it seriously.

I was at hospital today to see an Ear Nose and Throat Consultant and had my right ear hovered!!
Yes hoovered LOL no water in this day and age : )
It was a mini Dyson gadget and would be perfect for hovering sewing machines and keyboards I thought at the time!
I also had my hearing tested ( its fine thankfully ) but the sinus tube is narrow and blocked, as Id suspected and if I cant get it cleared with persistent use of nasal spray, I may have to have a grommit fitted!
Trust me to have something out of the ordinary .....

I watched the footage on tv earlier of the prat in a truck in Nice, France.
Appalling carnage, wanton killing, children included -
So many dead, in so many places in our world, in the name of religion or an ideology -
Sickening, heart breaking and So bloody wrong.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Im still Scrappy Happy : )

I do wonder why I'm fixated on using the bags of scrappy fabric bits I have, when I have such a lot of untouched fabric to yet cut into!

So from this to ...

this ...

Not as easy as it looks mind you. The block ended up smaller than Id anticipated, have yet to understand why lol but I fancy a few blocks with skew whiff inserts.

The fun part is that these strings can be done whilst sat watching tv,
on your lap, by hand and you can use up smaller scrappy pieces.
I didn't use the till roll method, I just stitched the scraps together in roughly straight vertical lines.
Though again I have included some diagonal angles, simply because some of the fabric scraps were angled themselves.
Many are leftover pieces from my fussy cutting for The New Hexagon hexis.

I have also made some strips now in single colourways, different scrap fabrics with a single colour theme -  that too could be a fun idea to play with.

I'm still making circle blocks and have started quilting some of the blocks.

I finally placed the textile human digestive system onto a back board for work. It is held in position by Velcro, so it can be taken off if needs be.  I also made a Key to accompany it, the large print text has Braille laid over it too.

of Amy Jihnson
Here in Hull we have some 50+ moth shapes on display, to commemorate 75 years since the death of Amy Johnson, who lived in Hull for a while and went on of course to become a famous Aviatrix.
This is the first I have been to see so far.


Oh yes and here is Nellie, my Yarndale sheep, which folks are being asked to knit a version of and send off to form a display at the Yarndale show later this year.
They will help to raise funds for this years chosen charitable group
Martin House Hospice.

There are free knitting and crochet patterns for you to make your own sheep.
I used a nobbly unbleached 100% wool but I should probably just have used a normal white double knit perhaps.
There is also a great little sheeps' coat too, but Nellie would have been too hot, so I didn't make her one!
 I am going to make a few sheep for myself and the grandkids, so Nellie may stay with me and another go to Skipton yet!
Hilly got in on the act at the last minute lol

This is her 'Feed Me!' look ....

The wonderfully talented Lucy from Attic 24 supports Yarndale whole heartedly each year and has come up with the superb crochet sheep pattern. Lucy can be found on Facebook and has a blog too.

Lucy has an interesting post here too by the way, showing how she works out a placement colour scheme, for when she plans a pattern.
 Its sensibly clever, would never have occurred to me and worth looking at even if you don't crochet!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Playing with fabric scraps

So, I was looking at the till roll, scrappy strip
and thinking ....
what if I used it as centres in log cabin blocks...
so I had a go and now have 9 x 9" blocks, still using the same bag of scrap fabrics.
I will put them together with more scrappy strips, maybe have them between the blocks, maybe not, haven't decided yet.
Maybe I should draw a plan but that would be far more disciplined than I generally am lol
I will keep you informed, but there's still a lot of fabric in this one scrap bag, so the next step is more scrappy till roll strip : )

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Car boot buys and till rolls!

So I nipped to the car boot this morning and struck lucky as well as buying my bananas for work this next week : )

Someone on a Facebook patchwork group had posted a tutorial for using till rolls as a backing, making with her instructions,
attractive strings of flying geese.
I imagine most of you will already have seen the idea but it was new to me. She was using up her scraps and 2.5" width till rolls and the result was really nice, so of course I thought I'd try it too, some-when or other.

So this morning, 2 x packs of 5 till rolls for a £1 - bargain!
The lady who sold them, said -
I suppose you've got a machine they fit then!
Her face when I said,
No I'm going to use them for patchwork
I didn't explain!
Now the lass on FB, drew vertical lines down each side of the till roll strips
and then found the centre line between them and drew that in vertically.
Then she  drew diagonal lines, in V's towards that centre line,
all down the length of the till rolls.
She then placed fabric pieces in a flip and stitch format down the length of the roll, forming a flying geese strip.
Well I wasn't going to do all that drawing of lines down 2 miles of till roll obviously, since all I want are scrappy strips which will use up some of my scraps!
Not so much flying geese as skew whiffy V's!

Once stitched together I cut them half an inch wider than the till roll itself, then spray starched them on the front.
It was surprisingly easy to tear off the till roll from the back since it was serrated anyway where it had been stitched through.
Clever that!
Then I starched and ironed the back too for some stability.
Because I've used scraps and lost all sense of fabric bias,I ran lines of machine stitching down each outer edge, which may be overkill,
but it will keep them intact till I use them.
It hasn't made a dent in my smallest bag of scraps, so I will be making several more!

The other thing I couldn't leave at the car boot was this for £1.50...

 Its clearly an old frame and canvas and it is so charming, I couldn't resist it. I have washed the canvas already and the yellow eye has come up beautifully and thankfully we had a couple of hours of sunshine with a breeze, so its dried nicely.
I think I may cut Percy Parrot out at some stage and use it in a textile collage, though he is almost worth framing exactly as he is, even though he is not finished!

Oh and the other things I got were 1 full Au de Toilette and a 2/3's full PERFUME! bottle of Lair Du Temps for £10!
There's a chap comes once a year with all the ex display stock from various  stores, they must replace the display bottles once a year and he buys that stock and sells them at the car boot.
I have bought from him several times over the years and struck lucky today as he reduced the prices of what was on the table.
Instead of £8 each bottle, I paid £10 for two - but I don't think he realised one was actually perfume : )

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Purritty flowers, circle blocks and a VI students view on life

June is flying by, but not exactly 'flaming' at the moment.
That old saying about 'flaming June' is a bit off kilter at the moment but it does mean I don't have to worry about watering the garden!

Some brighter, more fun circle blocks, though some hearts are creeping in and a bee hive too.

Hilly puss was laid on the table but seemed to take umbridge when I laid the blocks out lol she's normally purrittier than this lol

This above picture was taken earlier this month when the sun paid us a visit and that's her side of the table I used today : )

I made another simple nursery rhyme storyboard for work, Red Riding Hood this time.

The house and RRH are velcro'd on/off and Granma and the wolf can be slotted into the 'bed', whichever way round.
Its my version of a topsy-turvy doll and the boy figure is
now the Huntsman.

At our last stitchy club meeting, one of our members displayed this little quilt for us to see. I thought it was delightful and you can see the card that inspired her alongside it too.

Now something you might like to read from one of the Visually Impaired students on our caseload.
His name is Lenny and I have his and his tutors permission to publish this.
He has been shortlisted in a competition and his essay is on the RNIB website, along with the others shortlisted too.
Hope you enjoy reading it : )

Dear Candidate
Very many thanks for your recent submission to the Onkyo Essay Contest.  I am very pleased to be able to inform you that you have been successful and your essay has been selected as one of five UK entries to be put forward to the European level of the competition.  Your essay will be posted onto the RNIB website ( ) in the next day or so, along with those from other finalists.  Many congratulations for succeeding at this level of the competition and I wish you the best of luck for the next stage.  The European deliberations take quite some time and we do not expect to hear the final decision until the end of September.  If you have any queries in the meantime please do not hesitate to get in touch.
With best wishes
Mandy White
Project Manager (Braille)
RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) PO box 173, Peterborough, PE2 6WS

Age 15
1,101 words

Braille is Brilliant

When I was 5 years old I started to learn Braille.  I practised using the keys on the Perkins brailler.  When I was working with my teaching assistant she showed me all different letters.  She showed me a line of Braille letters and asked me to find a different one.  I learnt all of the Braille alphabet I loved it because it was fun.  I was a bit nervous because I thought I would get it all wrong.  I found the contractions exciting. Contractions were helpful because they are short-forms, so that I don't have to do the grade ones.  I've got a good memory because I can remember important things and things from a very long time ago.  Braille is the most important because it is my reading and writing.  I enjoy Braille books and talking books because the Braille tickles my fingers.  It gives me information and I like listening to Roald Dahl, Harry Potter David Walliams I can ask for books in Braille and work from my Teaching Assistant and Support Teacher.  When I first went on my Braille note I thought it was just a normal Braille note but I can save files on to memory sticks and the Braille note reads back my work.  My work comes out of a document so that I can print it off in letters so that everyone can read it.  At home I have got a Perkins to review the books I’ve read, my home work and write anything. Also at home I can label CDs and DVDs.  I've labelled the washing machine so that I can do my washing at home.  I know how to do the dryer. At School I have a library with Braille books in. I look at them when it's reading club.
When I was at Primary school I fell asleep on my brailler with my spellings on top of the brailler, when I fell asleep I had my spellings that were on top of the brailler on my forehead. The Perkins brailler was a bit strange because of the clanking sounds. It was like playing a drum but I was writing.  I can read the same as my class on guided reading.
  At school I have mobility lessons where I can go out to places. I went to the bus station and I found Braille on the pillars to tell me what bay I was at. When I went in the lifts they had Braille on the buttons to tell me what floor I could go to and a voice telling me ‘doors open’, ‘door closed’.  I have noticed recently that medicines had Braille and other cleaning products like bleach have Braille on them.
Also on dust bins they have got Braille to tell you what colours they are and what you can put in them.
 Some of the places I would like to have Braille are cash machines even though I haven’t used one yet I think it would be useful for me when I am older. More public places like museums, I would like Braille in these places so I can get more information, without people having to tell me what it is I am looking at. When I was practising going up and down in lifts we went up and down that much that my teaching assistant felt sick that she had to meet me at the top floor. When I go to the restaurant ‘Whistling Goose’ I would like Braille menus so that I can read independently without my Mam and Dad having to read the menu to me. I am growing up and should be able to order my food.
I would like Braille on shop signs to tell me what isle I am down or where things are and how much things cost. I read Braille in double line spaced so that I can read my Braille with my sausage fingers because my hands are so huge.  I love my fingers just because I am blind I still have my four senses like my hearing, smelling, tasting and touching and feeling.
When I was young learning Braille was very difficult and it made me really tired that I remember once I fell asleep on the cello so my teacher and my TA had to take the cello and the bow off me before it fell on the floor.
  In my school there is only me and my TA who read and write Braille. We did a Braille awareness day to teach everyone Braille.  We used Perkins braillers, raised dots and tactile pictures.  Everyone enjoyed it but they said how hard it was and how clever I was for being able to reading and write Braille.
 My memories of learning Braille is that once I ended up brailling on my sister's homework because I enjoyed brailling so much I would Braille on every piece of paper, I got into big trouble!
Without Braille I wouldn't be able to read anything or come to school and learn anything.  Braille allows me to be included in class. In English lessons we have read Gangster Granny, Mr Stink and Skellig everyone else had a normal print book but I have them in Braille, they were 7 volumes long.  Braille makes me part of my class even though they write in pen but I can still write in Braille.  Because of the Braille I feel like I am a part of the school community I am not mad because I am blind because I have a fabulous life a wonderful family and nice friends.
 When I bought my keyboard I had some music lessons to help me with the notes I had Braille on the keys.
At school I am a school councillor I went to meeting to talk to head teachers about what our school was going to do in the community. I did a presentation to 12 Head teachers all my notes were in Braille and they were very impressed with my reading skills. I also met a man who is involved in the City of Culture Hull 2017. He was talking to us about what we will see during the City of Culture year. I put me hand up and said What about me? I am blind what can you do for me? I am now involved in the City of Culture. I am telling them what would be good for Visually Impaired people which will include Braille signs, Braille information packs, tactile models etc. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity if I were not Visually Impaired.

Another view of the life of a 15 year old, only this young man has no vision whatsoever.
Makes you think doesn't it .....

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