Wednesday, 28 December 2016

I do like being off work lol

Its all over bar the New Year celebrations, it went quicker than last year - all that organising and Christmas is been and gone already!
Hope you all had a wonderful time anyway, as did I.

I had a go at the jelly roll race method of making a quilt top, used a Moda Scrap Bag I'd picked up a while back.
It's true, you can make a jelly roll race top within an hour!
This is about 45" x 60" ish and the top went together in around 40 minutes, probably less because I made 2 mugs of tea in that time too.
Next day I simply quilted straight lines and put it all together.
I may applique a bird or two onto it to add some brightness and interest and then gift it to Linus to use as they see fit.

I also put together some of the smaller scrappy log cabin blocks I've been hand stitching now and then.
But stitched them between some cat squares, with no real plan as yet. 

I might just make lots of scrappy blocks and then jigsaw them in some kind of pleasing arrangement.
The larger ones aren't stitched together, but I've made quite a few of those and am hand quilting them one by one, again to use up the scraps.

I nabbed a charity shop pine desk today for £45, well £60 with delivery.
It should be perfect to set the sewing machine on and then - in theory - my dining table will be clear, to eat off - lol
The drawers should hold all the cutting rulers, machine extra bits and possibly one of the other machines in the right side cupboard.
Think I will almost certainly paint it cream inside and out in the better weather. That way it will match my reclaimed wood topped dining table which has cream painted pine legs.

Happy New Year to you and yours all : )

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Almost Christmas - 2016

Crikey, almost a month since I wrote a post ... I'm slipping, packing too much into too little time - though it could also just be my appalling time management lately!

I would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
and Happy Hanukkah Deanna to you too : )

 Spencer arrived safely 13 days late and both Mum and baby are doing just fine. He arrived at 9lbs 1oz, lost no weight at all and is now 9lbs. 10oz.

I have broken up from work for a couple of weeks but this is some of  what I made just before we split up.
A batch of drawstring bags for children to identify the contents by touch alone and some sensory cushions too.

I met a pal for a coffee the other day and this is the natty advertising campaign they have had to resort to, since there is so much building going on about the entrance to the lane they are in.

Clever, although I had a long blonde hair laid across the cake I ordered and Jean had an eyelash in her coffee! 
I wont be going back there lol

This impressive mosaic above is on the now very empty British Home Store building in Hull. Can you see the cities name in the sails?
It's an iconic piece of artwork and happily the new owners of the building are going to renovate it and allow it to remain a part of the cities history.
It was created by Alan Boyson in the 1960s.
More of his artwork can be seen here -

Interestingly they have uncovered a 22 foot long interior mosaic too, that will also now be exposed for all to see.

Below is a bit of this particular artworks history in case your interested, if not scroll on by !

: )

The concave mosaic of Three Ships on the front of British Home Stores, home of the co-op building in Hull, is a well-known city centre landmark. However, there is an equally important artwork on the interior of the building which was recently rediscovered by the developers of the of the five storey property.
Manor Property Group is currently developing plans to refurbish the former co-op store and recently unveiled the interior mosaic on the top floor in the former Skyline Restaurant and ballroom. It is 6.85m (22.5 feet) long and made of ceramic tiles, marble and stone that depict ceramic fish swimming freely in a tile background of bubbling water. The whole piece is set between massive columns of kelp-like fronds in stone. 
The significance of both the exterior and interior mosaics only came to light when Manor was contacted by Christopher Marsden, a researcher writing a paper for the Journal of the Tile and Architectural Society.
Robert Lane a director of Manor Property Group says the interior mosaic has survived very well and only requires a clean to bring it back to its original state. He commented: “We were delighted to hear from Christopher and to know we have a piece of history on the front of our building, and even more excited to rediscover the fish mural on the fourth floor of the building. 
“This work has been covered up and forgotten for many years, but it has survived very well and we have plans to clean and refurbish it and incorporate it into the exciting plans for the redevelopment of the building now known as Manor Point, Hull.
“The exterior Three Ships requires some repair work as there are many scaffold holes in the face of the mural and we will be addressing this work as part of the buildings refurbishment with specialist contractors.”
Both mosaics were created by Alan Boyson who was commissioned to design Three Ships in Hull by Co-op project architect Philip Andrew in 1963. He created the iconic exterior ‘fishing town’ image, which was executed in glass tile mosaic as it was too big for traditional ceramic work.  
Christopher Marsden explained: “The Hull mosaic symbolises the city’s fishing industry and captures the important role it played in the city’s heritage. I hope this research will re-awaken interest in the mosaic which has been on the front of the store for over 40 years. It looks as good today as it did when it was first created. It remains a testament and a reminder to residents and visitors to Hull of the importance and associated dangers the fishing industry brought to the city.”
The whole piece is 66 feet high x 64 feet wide. The face of the mural includes 4,224 foot-square slabs (each made up of 225 tiny glass cubes); altogether there are 1,061,775 pieces.  The mosaic work was carried out by Richards Tiles Ltd from (now part of Johnsons Tiles Ltd) and affixed by A. Andrews & Sons (Marble & Tiles) Ltd of Leeds who is still trading today.
Boyson was commissioned to produce the second mural for a prominent position under what was regarded at the time as ‘an innovative and daringly thin concrete handkerchief shell roof’ on the
fourth floor of the building. The work was re discovered when Mr Marsden visited Hull to research the work and made contact with the owners of the building

Monday, 28 November 2016

Private EJ Bassett RIP

Another month has gone by and we await the arrival of my third grandchild, currently a week overdue and clearly a football player to be, since he is kicking merry hell out of Tylahs' tummy!
Before I go on, below is a post I put on my Facebook page, its an abbreviated story about my dear pal Jen and a Private Bassett who lost his life at the Battle of the Somme.
Maybe you too will think it touching .. the pins in question can be obtained from the Royal British Legion.

Must tell you folks because I suspect you will all understand : )
My pal Jen bought a poppy broach.
A firm is selling a metal poppy made from WW1 shell cases which they have then painted with red enamel paint which is mixed with a portion of soil actually from the Somme.
You got the broach and it has a commemorative card with it, with the name and number of a soldier that died at the Somme,
You didn't get to choose who it was, it was a name from the very long list of fatalities.
Jen got Private Bassett of the Devonshire Regt. She researched him and found he died aged 32, wasn't married and neither of his surviving sisters married, so there was no surviving family left to think about him.
This year she and hubby Steve went to see the huge crater left after the biggest bomb in WW1 and to be at the Somme on the very day, 100 years ago that it all happened. She was going to take wooden crosses to place somewhere in remembrance of her own ancestors and also one for this Private Bassett.
On the way there the guide on the coach ( a Birmingham firm organised the tours and most of the guides are ex police ) said he would take them, off the cuff, to a trench graveyard, where men had died and were simply buried in the trench they held onto - to the end.
What were the chances - It was the Devonshire Regt !
And the second gravestone in was Private Bassett ...................
Isn't that simply wonderful?
All his details checked out and she was able to actually place her wooden cross on his own grave.
What are the chances of that happening spontaneously like that and how lovely that someone who has no one left to remember him, was personally commemorated by someone all these years later.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Stash pic update, Elsa Tree and the Speedweve loom

Nannette said she would like to see the cd cabinets stocked with fabrics and so I've had a go, who knew I shook so much taking pi!
AND who knows where the lead is to transfer pics off my phone to the laptop?
Come on, own up!
Well after several emails from my phone to my email service
and then several more because the first batch were fuzzy wuzzy lol
Here's a view of the inside of the odd little curtained off part of my what is my back room downstairs.
It was once a shower and loo, then it became a little office then I came along and turned it into a curtained off glory hole, where now, its theoretically a stash-behind-the-curtain area.
It also houses a table behind the camera : ) - on which the cat food is and beneath which the litter box sits, so its an altogether multi functioning area.
I had no idea over the years I had accumulated quite so much fabrics ...

: )
 looking right are some ore cuts and a layer cake or two, paper patterns and boxes of ufos ..
 looking further right is another stand tucked away ..
 and looking left at that point is the dark wood, odd cd stand the store threw in as a freebie since Id bought all the others lol  which is fuzzy because I sneezed, sorry!
Years ago someone gave me a lot of perle threads and I am slowly working my way through them, some of which hang on the metal hoops.
Looking down you will see that the floor area is still in chaos but its perfect for throwing bags in when someone is due to arrive and you want the illusion that the living room is tidy - Ha!
The blue bag is my Singer One machine, not very expensive but super!
Don't ask whats under the table there!
Well, okay its 2 huge bags of scrap fabrics, a big container of beads and notions I once thought would be fine all jumbled together - big mistake really that.
And another big bag of used fabric offcuts, denim etc.
So there, my confession is over.
That's the downstairs stash ..............
then there is still some large fabric lengths and the wool stash upstairs .....

I forgot to show you this natty little gadget, I paid 25p for it, or did I?
Well anyway if I did, its worth looking at again : )
It intrigued me that's why I bought it, so I could look it up on the all knowledgeable and too powerful Google.

The Speedweve Model 2 is a natty gadget from yesteryear, made by a Lancashire Firm and was basically I think Lancashires smallest commercial weaving loom. For a full update on it, please go to the following informative blog post, with a full step by step how to use it!

Now is that natty or what, rather wish I had the accompanying mushroom bit now but I simply adore the method of changing the warp!
Inspired : )
Oh and I have finished an Elsa tree, so now must make a few more for the stall. Now I know how I want them to basically look, each one will be slightly different and there are some Anna's to make too.
This one is 8" diameter the others may well be 10", this was the prover size.

And finally a gratuitous pet picture: companionship reigned this afternoon whist the sun shone, my washing wafted briefly and I had a cupper out back, hoping there might be some vitamin D in the weak suns rays!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Tis the Season .....

How come Christmas is almost upon us?
Come on own up, who dragged it closer to me?

Just found out today that my angiogram (with an angioplasty if its found to be required on the day) - is to be the 10th November.
Anyway I have been making some dangly decorations for a craft stall on the 26th ( assuming I will be able to do it of course now!).

Nothing special, just scrappy bits - though the cats look too scary, they'd do better for Halloween! Might dish them out if I get trick or treat'ers at the weekend LOL

 I started a Fusion Quilt with some Tilda pre-cut squares I picked up in a sale.
I was busy before half term at work, had to make up a storysack for the Marion Gamble children's book - Mooncat.
I used the Velcro on/off boards again -

Think I have mentioned we are licensed to make an adapted version of books used by our children and this is a large print version which goes in the storysack too.

I had never read the Five Little Monkeys nursery rhyme you know, but was asked to make 5 copies of it in book form for sighted children this time.
Anyway there are some great resources available free on Sparklebox
one of which is - Five Little Monkeys Sitting on a Tree - so I used the
graphics to make up laminated pages in book format and simply added Velcro on and off monkey heads.

Okay, these pics are the right way up on my USB ............ come on Blogger! get a grip!
Did I tell you I found some cd storage units? In fact there's a darker wood one to the left that I bought too from a charity shop : )

And they are now choc full of fabric, I can at last actually see 50% of what I have stashed away!

We have had a new statue recently put up locally for Amy Johnson, sad to say the local street kids appeared to have smeared her with mud - bloody little tykes.
Grandson thought she was ace though : )

 Being half term I've had Jack for 3 days so we have been making lots of things which he enjoys doing.
He had me adding (torn cotton strips, dyed with coffee) additional wraps to his Egyptian mummy costume and mask, ready for Halloween.
He had done the Egyptians at school so we had the big book out and he drew Horus and various other figures, wrote a shorts tory in hieroglyphics and then decided he needed a mummified cat for this weekend lol
So more torn cotton strips, a juice bottle and a polystyrene ball stuck on top and voila - and neither of my own cats were harmed in any way!
However, Harvey was a bit concerned ......

Monday, 26 September 2016

Yarndale 2016 - Part 3

So lastly, what did I buy at Yarndale?
Only one skein of actual yarn infact!
White boucle wool to try and crochet some 'snow' with lol

I have a lot of fleece tucked away in the loft, from when I wet felted so am going to try and spin it. The previous time I tried to do this with a cd on a piece of dowel, didn't turn out so well and I concluded that hand spinning is most probably abit like a meditation!
I think I failed lol
But maybe this nattier gadget will help me becalm my brain and bring me a meditative peace of mind!
(don't hold your breath!)
I got it from Cat and Sparrow Fibres and she has them in all sorts of jazzy colours and different sizes too -
you can see her Yarndale stall on her Facebook page too!

The Stitch Society were selling repurposed fabric scraps in 50p packets, with 3 or 4 pieces in each packet.
I paid out £2.00 and got this little bundle ..

I bought a new crochet hook to trial, its bent basically! but feels comfy in my hand the way I crochet .
It's by Addi and is in the picture lower down.
Will see how it feels in use and is the size I need for the Janie Crow crochet blanket pattern I bought - Mystical Lanterns.

I hadn't seen these knitting swatch tension checker gadgets before though in my ignorance, have no doubt they have been around for ages.
I am appalling at following a pattern at the best of times and making tensions squares has always been an anathema to me but I do need to start doing them.
I have acquired such an assortment of yarn oddments, I am bound to get better results if I use it more sensibly!
It's the wooden square at the back of this picture and has marked cms/inches on it.


I couldn't resist the sheep card and may have to frame it rather than send it anywhere lol

The 3 little books were also from The Stitch Society stall for a £1 each and will be useful for making some play food for my granddaughter.

I found one stall selling 3 of the Quilt Mania books that coincidentally I had been looking at online recently and had chance to browse them -
before buying : )

One theoretically is for our stitchy clubs library, if I can bear to part with it!
Scrap Valley by Yoko Saito ( in French and English) is divine, if I never make anything from it, it will still be divine lol

 and this which is all in French was for me -
                                                  and no I don't speak or read French!
But its much like those Japanese books and has lots of diagrams to work from, so should be easy enough to suss out.
And again the pictures are deliciously inspiring. 

If any of you rag rug, here's a book I picked up at a charity shop that's worth looking out for, it has much interesting advice on how to prod to get the best results.
The sample page here will show you what I mean for example.
( and yes, it cost me 25p!)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Yarndale 2016 - Part 2

Another pic heavy post sorry lol
Repurposed clothing for a start ..

 Really liked the circles afghan sample below, enlarge to see it better -

Just some of the very many socks that were also donated to be sold for charity and visitors sat sitting, knitting and relaxing : )

Loved these bowls made from - telephone wire!!
Handcrafted by Zulus, exquisitely made too.

 Don't they look different displayed upside down! Makes me go dizzy!
I spotted this fabulous coat on a visitor - if you recognise yourself -

I bought the pattern for this Mystical Lantern below,
from Janie Crowe, she sold kits too but I resisted the full kit : )

A cracking rug made from strips of wool laid on edge and stitched together. They had smaller sizes as plate mats too.
Found it on the stall Bapple and JoJo where
Gill Curwen displayed her work.

Gill had been a co founder of Woolfest which takes place in Cockermouth each year and follow the link to see a magnificent sheep she made.
A rather unusual bag idea, pretend grass with a fabric lining but we saw one visitor sporting one on her shoulder!
So sorry but I cant have taken a picture of the seller to give 
them credit.

There was an 'ice cream van' outside into the full spirit of the event too!

I adored these kits to make little girls dresses too.
Utterly beautiful, love the idea.
Knitted bodices with liberty lawn skirts.
Pricelessly pretty but perfect with boots too!

Oh and this is an idea I have been playing with,
an unfinished Frozen-ish tree lol
I've plans for several more, a bit different to my other trees but kind of fun to make.
Hopefully they may sell in time for Christmas.

Tomorrow I will post what I bought - erm for instance - 2 Quilt Mania books for a start - one theoretically for our stitchy club library - maybe lol