Friday, 5 June 2020

Here we are again

Hi there …. gosh June already.
How are you all doing out there in the real world?

This is a year we won't forget isn't it, odd, interesting, baffling, infuriating, scary and many, many more such feelings - and many will only surface later maybe.

Little has altered for me, still working from home and enjoying it and in no rush to go back in to the office again.

We can potter around more freely and drive further afield to potter too. But even so, part of me is concerned that an invisible virus is floating about that may infect me which is annoying. The fact that its most likely going to reach me by the lack of common sense in others is most annoying of all lol

I am certainly not worrying myself silly about it however, there is nothing other than basic common sense that I can use to try and help prevent infection. 
But I'm sure it will have coloured the outlook of many of us and our future plans, as to whether we enter the community in the same way we had before.

I am still thinking that through!

And then the appalling death of yet another US black person.
Humanity doesn't learn from history does it and you know, for me, that is the most sad and infuriating thing of all right now.

Some bits Ive made for work - nursery rhyme characters for a Language Unit teacher ..

I finished the skew whiff hexi top, now have to think about how best to back it and quilt it.
I am much happier making the tops than finishing them must admit.

I wish I'd spread the darker diamonds out differently but instead of making all the blocks first and then arranging them, I stitched them togther as I went along.
Learn by my mistakes! 
I do like the skew whiff, castellated edges even though they will be a pain to incorporate on a backing.

Anyway hope all is well, with all of you and yours out there.
Take care 

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

I know - Its me again!

A delightful day here, bathed in sunshine with a slight breeze so I sat out back in the garden, stitching and listening to a magpie making mayhem in a nearby tree, squabble, squabble, on and on for ages!
Then 3 pigeons who have chosen to regularly eat the bird food I put out came, they were coming and going, arguing with eachother about which was going to sit on the feeder at any one time.
I wouldn't mind but they are fat enough for a tasty 'stoggy' pie already and it's the local sparrows I want to feed!

It's all go out back at times lol

But I had to marvel at some tulip bulbs I bought last autumn ...... I can quite see why the Dutch went tulip crazy way back in the 1600-1800s and bought the bulbs for huge sums of money and even traded bulbs for products and services.
It's an interesting comment on human nature, not least the Dutch back then!

Infact another of the yellow tulips has streaks of red on the petals,
  they look almost like old English roses . So pretty.

I follow a Facebook group (Beachcombing British Beaches), for the sheer joy of seeing what kind of things they find, though quite afew overseas members voyeur along too.

One of the guys is right wit and artist too, he makes humorous pieces of art with rubbish metals and flotsam and jetsam he finds.
He held a draw recently, with much pomp and ceremony, it went for days and days, for one of his much loved items and I won it.
I think there were maybe 5 of us in the draw lol 

So .. I present to you
'Yellow Duck on Blue Bridge on Wood with an 'Ole'

Max named it thus and so be it. 

I know your all envious aren't you!
Eat your heart out, he's mine!
Shows how easily pleased I am mind you doesn't it : )

 (I also follow Thames Mudlarkers on facebook and what they 
    find fair blows me away!)

Out of interest, that cats face to the right above was found in a ploughed field by my grandma when she was following the tractor and its attachment that upended whatever crop she was supposed to picking up behind it.
Solid brass, black bright it was then and Grandad cleaned it up, no idea really what it's for but she used to lay the hot end of the poker on it.
And at the back of the shelf, the round brass dragon plate?
I bought that when in Hong Kong way back, from a brass factory in Shatin.
I say factory ha! It was a corrugated roofed tin shack up on the hillside above what was then the river valley and is now the Shatin Racecourse.

My grandaughter likes to go to playcentres, you know, adventure playgrounds indoors for kids of varying ages, and the one nearby to me is called Kinderland.
I always take a book, crochet or stitching to do whilst there and this hexi cover began as simply calming hexi making with no real plan in mind. 
It is known as the Kinderland Lapquilt lol
I had wondered why folks using this diamond design only did them in a  vertical or horizontal layout, thought I'd try a diagonal approach.
Well, the reason they dont do it diagonally is probably because you get irregular edgings which makes it more hassle lol 

So here is my bodging a design having already started stitching them skew whiff, before the penny dropped it was going to make life difficult!
Do learn from my mistakes please ...

They are 1" hexis and whether my edging idea works is yet to be determined. I think I need another row of larger diamonds at least before I consider the top finished.

Yesterday I had an urge to make a sea scene and once again, without common sense or planning, I gathered bits n pieces together with a vague idea of layout. 
Common sense would have meant I stuck to a size that could be framed in a standard size frame and mount right?
But no, this is once again, non standard sigh ..  so framing it must wait a while.

I want to make afew stitchy pieces to give to a local dog rescue centre that is struggling at the moment and who do remarkable work homing Romanian dogs over here in the UK. 
I have given them afew things already which have been raffle and draw prizes or sold at the kennels.
Oakwood Dog Rescue, Hull and from where my next dog will be all being well, once the lockdown ceases. 

Infact I had just decided to sell my original early Mister Finch Swift for their fund raising when the lockdown occurred, so I can't auction it off or post it really while all this is going on.
I must have told you about Finchy before, an incredibly talented guy who uses recycled textiles, tea spoons and all manner of other things to make stunning creatures.
Swift was made to hang from the ceiling, although he was hung by his ring on the wall here beside my Finch Butterfly, which I am keeping.
But hung on the wall his beak was upside down and his belly in view head on lol 
(excuse the mess in the pics!)

Please treat yourself and watch this you tube clip showing Finchy's last exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which I went to see.
 It was utterly magical and here he talks you through the story.


Monday, 6 April 2020

Royal School of Needlework postcards

So no idea why I ended up with text in white stripes in my last post ... though clearly something I did!
Anyway, just a short post to tell you about the Royal School of Needlework postcard call out.
I know Mary Anne makes stunning crazy patchwork postcards for a start but maybe one or two of you may not have heard aboutbthis yet.

Do take a look, it is open worldwide after all.

I bought a 500 piece jigsaw last november for the princely sum of £2 in a  charity shop, a striking picture of Gaudis moasaics in front of grey/white/black shadowy buildings.
I meant to start at Christmas but didn't.
It's quite years since I did an adult jigsaw, and by that I mean a country scene not something sexually explicit! 
Disney ones oh yes, lots with my kids and the grandchildren too.

So yesterday I took a break from hexi stitching, yes I am still hexified ... and started the Gaudi.
Well what fun it's been, relatively easy with the mosaics as so bright and colourful but now I'm on the harder upper building sections so this may take a while!

But once the charity shops are open again, I may well buy up all the jigsaws at those cheap 
Have you seen how much they are to buy new?!
And now of course, everywhere is sold out to buy online LOL

I did earlier today win a 2 x 500 box of Yorkshire seaside scenes on Ebay.
(Will sanitise the box once it arrives!)
I had no idea there was such a roaring trade in used jigsaws on Ebay!
Dozens for sale currently and of course NOW, the prices are jumping up and up, will be interesting to see how they sell when we are back into a less stressful state mind you.

Right back to the jigsaw and to see if this post too, has white stripes round the text - you see, 
I try to keep you and myself too, guessing!

Cyber hugs folks 

Monday, 30 March 2020

So how's it going in your neck of the woods?
I was three or four days ahead of UK lockdown but already some pals of mine are struggling with being confined to home.
So I'm wondering if there's something wrong with me - as I'm not! 
It is early days of course and I may well be ooby-loop crazy by the end of our new 'normal', best let me know please, if I start showing signs of losing the plot on here!

I made the fastening cushion below, last week for a child with physical difficulties. I can't recall if I told you how much I dislike doing button holes but I have gotten round making the smaller ones by using the buttons and holes on charity shop shirts - yeah! 
Ideally shirts have the small buttons that so often PD children need most help with.

I had picked up A LOT of shirts with the intention of making ever so many quilts out of them or batching some together to make natty shirts for myself in the style of      in fact I even bought a pattern from her!

Well you know how it is, I have still not gotten round to doing either of those things!
So I started cutting off cuffs and button plackets to put to good use on the many fastening cushions I make for the kids that need them at work.

Now the one below I made whilst in work, for a child who loves fire engines and needed more practise with some larger buttons too.
A pain but I do still have to do button holes lol

 A while back, work asked me to make a Storysack for 'Jack wants a Pet', an Aussie tale written by Marion Osbourne, by all accounts for her grandchildren who live over there.

So I chose the velcro accepting fabric back board idea again with an assortment of made, adapted and acquired creatures that feature in the story. Some of them can be attached onto the board so allows for differing forms of activity. 

I made a simple braille version of the book itself to go along with these 2d and 3d items.

And they call this work : )
So its easy to see why I can work from home  isn't it!

Tomorrow I must venture out to collect my prescription and meds but I will be wearing a Gangster Grannie facemask in the Drs and pharmacy if others are in there!

I made afew for my daughter to wear since she works in a building society but no, they are not cool enough for her …… my common sense
has she none....
Mind you wearing a facemask makes my breath steam up my glasses, so I might yet end up walking into a wall and becoming hospitalised yet!

Take care all x

Take care all

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Carry On Corona ... sounds like an old film doesn't it!

Well, doesn't life throw us curve balls lol and here we all are, much in the same boat I imagine.
Locked down, in  isolation or working from home and in my case both isolation and working from home.

Hope you are keeping well - all and any of you and not driving yourself and others daft whilst together ..... you have to wonder how many children will be born hereafter after this or divorces petitioned for!

I wonder what psychological effects growing up with the label Corona Baby will bring!
Baby Boomers and Millenials ... Corona Babies .... hmm there's a thought.

And likewise, records will show in years to come for genealogists and statiticians, the deaths that occured world wide because of this virus, although I imagine death certificates will show heart failures or resiritory failures maybe not specifically - as a result of Corona Virus, who knows. And what about deaths in far flung places where they aren't registered for whatever reason? Scary.

So so sad and I truly hope none of you/us lose anyone to this ( man made? I still wonder..) darned contaminate.

But for those of us who have accumulated too large a stash we now have no excuse not to use it or complete UFOs do we ... cough, splutter ..!

I'm able to work my 3 days a week at home though being now 70 with heart issues I was obliged to stay away anyway from there anyway. They have since closed down our Service and our fantastic VI  TAs are supplying work online to our Visually Impaired kids, parents linked in to monitor what the children are and can do, and have access to.

Anyway, this is the ideal time for me to pull my finger out and write often again, I am paying a small amount monthly to keep the blog afloat anyway! 
Though unsure if I stop paying if that means the blog wafts away and is no more or I simply will not be able to witter on here as and when. I am SO untechy me.

Anyway, here are some pics of the Dangerous Pockets I made for the Dangerous Pockets Project. 
The one above commemorates the strike of the Black Country, Cradely Heath women Chain Makers in 1910 who worked in appalling conditions in their backyards for miniscule pay. 
They struck for higher pay and won!
Well worth reading up on their fight on the link above and includes easy to watch videos.

Do look it up, its been remarkable how many pockets were sent to Paula for this community project and there are images online you can look at too.

Below  was my first and I think woman's most hidden pocket, her womb. I wrote a resume of why I had chosen this ....

This is surely woman’s most hidden pocket, her womb.

Women throughout history have generally been considered to be frivolous, emotional creatures whose purpose was to adorn a man’s arm, with or without a wedding band. Who were prone to ‘hysteria’ and were strictly limited in what was considered to be their social station in society. They were restricted by cultural and social expectations, by family ties and men’s need to be the controlling factor in his individual and socially male dominated life. In all levels of society women were inferior beings.

Women brought up in this manner for generations, passed this repression on to their own daughters, as if they had no prospect of being anything important in their own right and should not aspire to anything more.

It was as if they weren’t entitled to anything more and that home making, keeping and mothering were menial tasks anyway. Their life was primarily to minister to man’s sexual whims, run his household and/or provide him with children but thankfully most of us now have the opportunity to select which of those things we want to do.

Medicine provided us with a freedom of choice and with means of contraception so we no longer have to rely on men themselves taking the initiative and using a sheath, or the withdrawal method alone.

The ‘Keep your hand on your halfpenny’ advice for young women, to avoid their too early deflowering and the social shame of pregnancy, might no longer be so often used in earnest or jest.

Mostly we make no secret that we take precautions, so we avoid bringing children into the world for the wrong reasons, yet some may feel unable to admit to using these forms of contraception, so for them, it is truly ‘hidden’.

Some are unable to use them even if they would want to, think poverty and the need to buy food rather than contraception. Think religious doctrine that prevents its use and the emotional guilt burdened on those who consider or use it.

There are ‘hidden pocket’ wombs worldwide that hold untold secrets, some that make hearts ache whilst others hold or held joyful blessed gifts and memories.

Oh and I had to reach out to some FB group folks for the various empty contraception packages, being far past that need myself : ) 
And that's an old British halfpenny on the front, paying homage to the saying
'keep yer hand on yer ha'fpenny' ..

Then I made this to commemorate the women of the SOE whose wartimes roles deserve our respect 

For the life of me I cant find a picture of the Amy Johnson pocket I made up!
I managed to find a charirty shop jacket in near enough a flying suit fabric and khaki from which I used a pocket.
Most annoying if I didn't take a picture before I sent that in too : (

Check out Paula's current project below too, you won't be disapointed.
She is now doing a fabulous facebook group project called Ellen's Legacy where you can make exquisite little books, embroidered, stitched and with time on your hands the perfect little calming stitchy things to make curled up on the settee or sat outside in the sun.
Do check that out too : )

Anyway .... back to work things!

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Happy New Year!

I know!
I’m here, still alive and .... writing a blog post!
I’m pretty certain I will be nattering away to myself, that you have been busy elsewhere too and probably hadn’t noticed I wasn’t here lol
But that’s fine, I hope your all well, happy, healthy and enjoying life.
I have no excuses, really, for not blogging, other than I lost the urge to?
But oddly, the urge seems to have returned so here I am, giving it another go.

This was a try at stitching leaves into flowers but I didn’t glycerine the leaves so they crumble if knocked.
An interesting thing to do though and maybe next Autumn I will get more organised and try again.
I had sat in the car waiting for number one grandson, now 11, to come out of school and looked at the bushes alongside. 
A spur of the moment leaf gathering moment lol

This was what my desk at work looked like one day in November, unbeknown to me the 5 in the office decorated my desk for me lol I seem to be the oldest there now ! But at least I am still working and enjoying making things for the kids. I do worry that one day they will turf me out as I’m having too much fun making stuff! 

Just before Christmas I was asked to make 12 little zippy pouches for some hearing impaired children to stash their hearing aid batteries and bits in.
Great fun! 
Each was to be different so no one had the same as anyone else.
I haven’t downloaded all the pics of recent makes yet ... well, not onto the IPad which I’m using just now. 
The last years worth of pictures are either on my phone or on
the laptop and I must get round to doing whatever it is you do, to make all three technologies talk to each other and share my stuff! 

But, I have been making quite abit of different stuff, as well as decluttering stash ...
.... though is there some existential or otherwise explanation as to why, 
when you declutter LOTS .... you still seem to have SO MUCH stuff STILL left?
I mean is it only me that has this problem?
Spaces aren’t evident, despite several black bins of stash having been taken to 
charity shops, or to stitch clubs sales table or donated to folks making fund raising items.
It’s a conundrum alright and if any of you have an explanation I’d love to hear it lol 
Okay, am sure this dipping my toes back into the blogging world is enough.
Now I must seriously catch up on reading your blogs and apologising profusely for not stopping by for far too long!
Take care folks.
To quote the big fella...
I’ll be back .... :)

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

My Anniversary day ...

Well this day each year always bites abit, I would have been married for
37 years today. 
Of course because himself jiggered off with a younger model, wanted a divorce and then went and died still aged only 40 - its always a hard day for me.
My kids of course never even think about it lol thankfully I suppose.
I never ventured back into the mating/hurting game and now I guess its just as well, looking around me at the half made this, that or the others : )

Okay enough nostalgia!
Hands up who remembers Bagpuss and the Clangers?
The original puppets have been on display at our Art Gallery, the Ferens.
I took a grandchild along to see them this week and he was not surprisingly, somewhat underwhelmed by their simplicity lol

Lovely to see original illustration artwork, the way it was before CGI and computers lol

     Ive forgotten what she was called, I didn't recognise her, a really spooky crow mind you! Do any of you recognise her?

The Poggles
                                                                   The Clangers 

              Interesting to see the dragon with its simply felt scales stuck on                      

                     Asparagus and Carrot rag dolls - late 1800s/early 1900s
                Ma-Coney rabbit 1930s
                Rag doll 1920s 


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Blue eggs!

I couldn't resist buying them, they were such a pretty shade of blue!
To be fair they tasted like any other egg but are much prettier : )

Just completed another book for work about a child's train journey, my own idea, for sighted children rather than visually impaired this time.

The book shows things seen from the carriage window and the window pages turn and enable the tactile character to be felt.

My granddaughters been creative too ----

The conversation went something like this -

Her Mum - Evie why on earth did you do that to your shoes?
Evie        - Because it makes them look pretty!
Her Mum - You do know your not supposed to draw on your shoes dont you?
Evie - Yes but I wanted to anyway.
Her Mum - Well that was naughty and there are consequences when your naughty aren't there?
You will use your birthday money to buy yourself a new pair of shoes and go to bed early tonight too for starters.
Tomorrow we will talk about this behaviour again.
Apparently Evie threw a tantrum and was not a happy lass LOL

To be fair, her Mum at about a year younger, scribbled on the back of our newly delivered air force blue leather suite chair - far less artistically - and it took me ages to remove most of it without her dad knowing it was there.
Brillo pads worked a treat but I did have to reposition the chair into a corner so he didn't find out that his precious suite was damaged by his precious daughter - until much, much later on : )