Tuesday, 28 February 2012

FABULOUS baby jumpers for Ethiopia!

 I passed the pattern around at work, hadnt thought to photograph all the others I passed on but having gathered SO many this past couple of weeks............thought Id show you what folks have made!
Arent they just great!
Theres more to come too, from a couple of others who have told me they are bringing in what theyve knitted " so far".....
People can be so kind.
There's 48 here, some few out of shot on this first piccy.

I caught site of Jupiter near the crescent moon.........first time Ive recognised a planet, as a planet and not a star..........and thats only thanks to Helen!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Please vote for the winner of your choice? The Town that Drowned - book review....


There are only 4 entries and although I no longer go to the club, our dolls house club has entered the competition above.............
Mind you I did make the boys legs that you can barely see sticking out from under the table clothed table end lolol
( he's looking up the womens skirts, well you know what little boys can be like ....)
If you think youd like to vote for any of the clubs entries...please do!

And I want to thank Riel Nason once again for book she sent to me , which I won in a giveaway last year.
I have finally read it and really, really enjoyed it!


Its perfectly charming, with interesting and likeable characters..well all except one of the lasses at the school, who I swear I recognised....one like her is probably in most schools!
Like Ruby I never felt as if I fitted in..
I can recommend you read it, its humorous and abit like reading your own thoughts from when you were a leggy almost teenager, on the cusp of adulthood.
Ruby's brother is an amazing young man with special gifts but whom most would call different and perhaps not take seriously.
The whole issue of losing the place you live in too, why our home and sense of place is so important.............there's alot in this book that resonates.............do read it!
I think you'll enjoy it.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Gardening..batik...and aged cat

A lovely spring like afternoon, so a short while outside and grandson opted to water plants for me...........this was after he'd chased the poor dog around, trying to water on him first...lol

I was at the dentist this past week and once again was struck by the batiks they have there, all framed up.
This one inspires me, I love the plant or tree at the front and the crazy bird shapes. I can SO see these shapes on a little quilt in bright colours, the shapes are such fun.

My eldest cat took to living on the kitchen worktop 2 or 3 weeks back. He seemed off colour and withdrew himself, so I humoured him and cleared a corner of the worktop for him.
He's since then, decided he's going to be sociable again and unusually, since he's always been still very much a semi feral, now comes for a lap sit each evening, so I'm very honoured.
He was one of 5 black kittens and a black queen cat that were all buggers to catch, beside a railway line years ago.
Mum was neutered and put back since she was W-I-L-D bless her.
One of her 4/5 month old kittens was neutered too and went back as well since he was a really mean young lad already.
There's a small manned railway line crossing where I trapped them all and the British rail guys took turns to feed the mum and her son.
But the other 4 kittens I felt could tame down when split up.
Three of them tamed down surprisingly quickly once split and worked on, one by one.
But Fergus here was somewhat resistant and lived for 5 months in the living room, determined not to be touched or stroked. He used a litter tray and ate well, then slowly, slowly I won him round. But he's not been domesticated really. He's just paid me lip service LOL
He must be feeling alot better because now he allows my other semi feral to snuggle in with him.
He's about 16+ and she's 11........and they both seem to have forsaken their spots in the dining room lol
I suppose a change is as good as a rest!
I think he's got thyroid issues so he's off in for bloods and then teeth cleaning next week and will most likely be on thyroid tablets after that.
Although Ive never managed to get tablets into him easily yet, so this could be a whole new experience for both of us....!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Hungry Caterpillar activity...


I have been making a Hungry Caterpillar activity at work, to put in a healthy eating topic box, for our visually impaired children.
It works well, so I will be making another one, to accompany a braille version of the book as well.

 I had seen a couple of similar resources online made by other bloggers, but needed to adapt mine for use with VI children. One lady, whose name I cannot now recall, used what looked like laminate pictures of the fruit and foods. They could be velcro attached to the caterpillar body as you read along with the story.
Ideal of course for sighted children and a good idea.

Then Id seen a set of beautifully made felt caterpillar foods at
so I had two very good examples to think about, when I started to plan one for our children to use.

I have used velcro accepting fabric for the caterpillar but sliced him along the centre, so that all the goodies can be tucked into him, as he 'eats' them.
Ive used felt for part of his eyes, large french knots for his nostrils and carpet thread, stitch wrapped, for his feelers.

I used different sized plates to shape his head and body and I hand stitched all the pieces together, simply because I enjoy hand stitching, but .....dont tell work cos the sewing machine would have meant it got done faster lol

This shows the centre line opening and the token legs stitched beneath the body at each end.

... and this is the under side with legs in position.

The fruit is tactile and a simple flat design with a hole or small area cut out of it.
But the foods are 3D, again with different tactile textures and a white felt circle to suggest eaten areas.

I'm not altogether happy with the foods, and may well remake the ice cream at least. Although it will work for what most of our children need, it doesnt look that great...yet lol Actually I dont like the salami either, must find something different to the fun foam Ive used for that.
There are squishy balls within the fleece wadding of the cherry pie for little fingers to fondle.

I probably should have used the same symbol to suggest eaten areas on both fruit and foods, so it will be interesting to see which the children prefer, in use.

I could make a pupae bag for the kids to roll the caterpillar up in .. for him to later emerge from .....though of course...then Id need to make him wings and if I keep the scale................he'd need to be about 6' wide! Hmm....maybe not...that needs more thought!

You cant help but smile when you look at these fragile looking little flowers, as they stand erect with their toes in the snow.

  ... and thankfully, the snow has gone and the flowers are now fully 'abloom....Come On Spring!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

More body art but for protection! and hexies

I forgot to post this yesterday and I cannot now recall which tribe or culture Rachel Lombard said practised it. 
But this facial tattoo art is done by the mothers to prevent their daughters being taken away.
I assume there must be or have been,some threat that their daughters would be kidnapped or stolen away.
So its considered a protective measure, rather than a sign of beauty or a symbol of cultural identity!
I wonder if it still practised today?
Also the clubs display of what some members had finished making
( for which they deserve a medal - esp when I look at my UFO stack getting higher and higher lol)
there was this great hexi cushion made by Alison Laird.
It looks quite dark until you get close to it and then you realise its lots and lots of weeny hexies...and it looked as if it was silk fabrics too.
the camera flash makes it look darker than it really is, the colours are so subtle and all toned so well together.
It was just lovely..

There was also this other hexie quilt there... by Ann Richardson.

And talking about hexies, do go see this very clever way to use your hexies, which had never occured to me before ! 


Saturday, 11 February 2012

Rachel Lombard at stitchy club

Stitchy club meet today............and a talk by Rachel Lombard with a display of some of her work and I succumbed and bought her book...lol
Its like Kim Thittitachi's latest book with the most wonderful textured cover, all smoothe and warm feeling.....which is the lamest reason to buy a book...right? lol
Will let you know what its like when Ive had time to read it through.
One of her college workbooks interested me very much.
Rachel had been researching our continual concern with beauty and the pursuit of perfection through clinical intervention and had explored how beauty is expressed in other cultures.
The pages below struck me as interesting in the way she had used nails, pins and plastic straps inserted in the paper.

I dont know why, but scarification and tattoes always remind me of cave art.... wonder what Freud would have said about that!

I love fabric boxes, I've never made any but I did like these two above that Rachel had made. And I adore the mother of pearl buttons used on the lower one, with the threads all perfectly toned to the buttons colours. Each of these had personal family phrases stitched around the sides, making them a family heirloom for the future, nice that.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Oh yes ............ Coronation Cord..fancy that!

This interested me too and Id never heard of it...
coronation cord...........see the info at this link...


Benefit claimants lottery win, fab felt and a National Trust house maybe worth seeing

Shelagh tells me she has been having trouble accessing my blog and I wondered if anyone else had had bother too? though if you were/are, you wont see me asking this!
AND Shelagh says that she can see the Moons Phases on my blog?
Well I spent ages trying to get them on a while back, but assumed that I had not done it right because when I look at my blog...they are not there!
So can you all see them? anyone suggest why I can't then? lol
OH wow! Seriously Spooky! they are there now...............and yes,
I AM sober!
Okay, its terrorism.............it has to be...............

Okay, I know some folks are entitled to benefits but.........this really hacks me off! Its our taxes godamit!

"Lottery couple defend benefit claimA couple who scooped a £10.2 million lottery jackpot have defended their right to claim benefits more than six years later.

Mick and Jean O'Shea won the huge EuroMillions sum in 2005, but Mr O'Shea still receives £500 a month disability allowance because it is not means-tested, the Sun reported.

The former builder told the newspaper: "I worked for 40 years and I'm entitled to it. I've been getting it since about 1996. I declared the win to the authorities at the time, but it doesn't matter as it's not means-tested."

He said he has osteoarthritis in his legs and rheumatoid arthritis in his hands and has recently had a hip operation.

According to the newspaper, Mrs O'Shea, 72, said of the allowance: "It's for his eyesight and arthritis. We're entitled to it."

Mr O'Shea, 73, also receives a new car every three years under the Government's Motability scheme for disabled drivers, it was reported.

The couple live in Sneinton, Nottingham, but reportedly also had a house built in Co Kerry, Ireland, after their win.

Mr O'Shea said the pair give away 10 times more than they receive to good causes every year.

Under Government reforms, disability living allowance will be replaced by personal independence payments, which will involve more rigorous checks on claimants but will not be means-tested.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "We do not discuss individual cases but these specific benefits and allowances are not means-tested."

I'd be interested in your thoughts !

I saw this on the Craftside digest and thought you might like a look............fab felt works...clever lady!


AND....................I just watched a Flog It tv programme and they were at
the most amazing looking National Trust house  'A Laronde' over looking Exmouth.
It looks fascinating, you may be interested in looking at the website.
the house has a wall freize running around a room, up near the ceiling.......okay not so unusual, but its pattern is made from feathers!
All gathered by the owners on their 10 year Grande Tour of Europe...thats alot of dead birds sadly....


Friday, 3 February 2012

VC10 and a book to read!

A touch of nostalgia here, this is my most favourite (then RAF) VC10 aircraft, the one I would load with passengers and/or freight, then fly on as aircrew, worldwide.
She took me, (she and the other several airframes,) to parties across the world and to amazingly interesting places.
I miss her to this day........
I also miss the younger, bonnier, slim, me that flew in her!
This photo above, was the last VC10 out of RAF Gan, now the popular but expensive Maldive Islands, the ultimate luxury escapist holiday destination surely.
And to think I swam in the waters there, snorkled, featured on a radio show for the unaccompanied lads there and got the very best tan, ever, from anywhere, there!
Blimey...how times change in ones lifetime lol

..... And how lucky am I, above is my giveaway win from Riel Mason whose blog is at http://quispamsisquilter.blogspot.com/ , which is well worth a look! Do go visit.
You'll notice that the book is written by Riel herself, it's her first published novel and I can't wait to start reading it. She's also included some lovely fabrics that I can fussy cut to use in an I Spy quilt. Riel  has made some wonderful quilts on the I Spy theme, well worth a look at.
Thank you so much Riel!