Saturday, June 30, 2007


Can you believe it? We came down this morning to find that our fridge freezer has packed up. Grrr! We are having the crappest luck this year. I thought last year was bad, but this year is even worse. And we're no strangers to bad luck. Hell, we've even been flooded and lost everything. Do you ever think that somewhere, some supreme spiritual force *insert deity of choice* is screwing with you? I think that alot. There is no way that we can afford to buy a new one, or even a second hand, new-to-us one, so I immediately put a plea up on Freecycle and luckily someone has an old one that they can spare us. It's too late for all the food though. We cooked as much as we could and the rest will have to be thrown if we can't eat it in the next day or so.
Ah well, enough of feeling sorry for myself, have a look at the skirt I made earlier with my newly serviced sewing machine :-) The pattern I used was an American one I bought before I realised it was American and therefore was a size smaller than I needed. So I did what any good craft addict would do, I winged it and increased the size by eye. Sadly, my eye is obviously failing me at the moment, and yes, you've guessed it, it's too big. *lol* Never mind, I'll take it in and up another time. I quite like it though!
I started another tissue box cover, for me this time, but I've done alot of crocheting and sewing recently and needed a change of pace. Yes, I have a little craft ADD *lol*
I've had this Celtic pendant for ages, but didn't wear it very often because I felt it was a little small. So I teamed it up with some black lamp worked beads and some hematite ones and came up with this.

Pretty pretty :-)

I like to make my own jewellery. I don't feel guilty when I get bored of it and take it apart to make something new *lol*

Here are some new crystal pendents I made for my eBay shop. I love the blue lace agate ones. Such a nice stone! I'm always attracted to it; I think it's because the colour stimulates the throat chakra and it's always seen as a stone to aid communication - as a quiet person, I need all the help I can get on that front. And I adore tigers eye - it's the crafters friend - a stone of creativity.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A'tissue, a'tissue, we all fall down....

I've been having problems with my sewing machine. My poor lil Brother has been looping on the back of whatever I've sewn for a while. Tonight I stripped him down, oiled him up (oeer!), and and poured over every manual I had (Just the one actually!). Apparently, my bobbin tension was wrong. I think I've fixed it! I did the happiest dance for a while!! My camo skirt is back on line!

I spent most of the day prior to this crocheting: I claimed TwitzidBlood in the OWS for a decorative tissue box cover and a surprise. I made her a plastic carrier bag caddy (which was th surprise) to match the tissue box cover.

I keep promising to make myself one of these.

She likes nature colours so I made that the theme. The handle of the bag caddy does up with a button so she can attach it on something aswell as hooking it over.

I sort of made the designs up as I went along.
And here are the bottle cap pincushion, needle case and paper beads I made for Mini. I posted them this morning so I hope she gets them soon.

I received my car tax disc through the post! I'd ordered it online to save the half hour wait in the post office that tax renewal day usually entails. The only thing that bothers me is that when you go to the post office, you have to show all your documentation, but when you do it online, you just have to put in the code you get on your renewal reminder form. So, the thing that bothers me is that they are so fastidious about documentation...if you do it online, do they check up on you? Is there now somebody in a government office somewhere checking up on my insurance, MOT certificates and all that stuff? Is it all in a big file about me? Big brother is watching you people!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Large and lively

Well, I finished the Light and Lively and I do love it, but it's too big! Aargh! I tried it on as I was doing it and reduced it accordingly, frogged it once, missed out alot of the increases, and it still hangs off me! Ah well, I guess I'll save it for winter to wear over stuff, unless someone wants to make me an offer? *lol*

I was going to start my wrap trousers today, and then realised that I hadn't pre-washed the material. I've made that mistake before and what I've made has shrunk *doh!* I've washed it now and it's on the line drying. Yes, normal programming has stopped for a brief interlude of sunshine. Hopefully it'll last long enough to dry the washing.
I'm considering what project to tackle next. I've claimed Twiztidblood for a tissue box cover, which is great because I've been contemplating making one for me too , so this will help to get my arse into gear. I still need to finish Mini's paper beads so I can get that into the post. I'm painting a little at the moment.

The BF has an interview in Wiltshire next week. Good news/bad news, I dunno yet. I'm going down with him so we can look at the area and decide whether we want to take that step yet.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I spend alot of time mentally blogging as I go about my daily activities, only to forget them all as I finally sit in front of the computer. Does anyone else find that? Everything I've seen, done or thought about magically vanishes like a puff of smoke. Sometimes I think I should write about this or that, and dismiss it - "no-one would be interested about my boring day to day life" I think. But reading other peoples blogs, I notice that it's their thoughts and descriptions of their lives, as well as what they've been doing that makes blogs such fascinating things to read. Especially if they're in another country. Anyway, random thoughts like this occur to me at bizarre times of the day and night. The waking dreams of an insomniac. Catchy title, huh?

Today I spent some of my precious time at the local job centre with the BF, who is alas, still unemployed. It's a truly depressing place. They can pretty it up all they want, give it a lick of paint and bring in organisational experts to make it run like clockwork, but it'll never hide the fact that peoples hopes die in there. No-one smiles. It's horrible. But I did have an epiphany in there. "How do you feel about leaving this town" I whispered to the BF. He looked at me and smiled. "Where do you want to go" he whispered back. So, that's decided then. We're going to look for jobs further down south. I like Wiltshire and Somerset. Fingers crossed.

This is a strand of mystery yarn. I found a lovely poncho thingy made from some gorgeous soft yarn in a charity shop. I couldn't find a label on it anywhere but I was convinced that it was wool, and if that was true I could dye it. I've got Kool-aid and I know how to use it! I unravelled it and I decided I'd dye it yesterday. But, before I did that, I thought I'd confirm that it was wool, or at least a wool blend. This strand's been sitting in undiluted bleach for at least 24 hours now. Yep, that baby's 100% synthetic! Absolutely no wool in there what so ever! Dammit! And that is why you should always do the bleach test before you tackle anything that has the potential to permanently dye your kitchen random colours. Wool will fizzle and disintegrate in bleach, people! Synthetic won't! So I have to decide what do do with all this yarn that is a lovely ivory colour. It's nice and soft, but just not my colour.

And just for Karan here's a picture of Molly Weasley's housecoat from Charmed Knits. Well, if I made it, it probably would have a purple body. And although I love the fluffy sleeves, I know that I would get irritated with them real quick, so mine probably wouldn't be as flouncy. Or have those silly cuppy bits on the shoulders. Yikes! What's that all about? I love Weasley knits, but I don't want to look down right ridiculous *riddikulus* I do looove the technicolour sleeves though, so I may make an adapted version.

And talking about Karan, here's the wonderful layered legwarmers she made me for the OWS. Thanks Karan!

Here's the Wizard Robes. I know that I can't be sad in wanting these because they actually have adult sizes in the pattern guide. So there! It'll take about 17 balls of wool though, so I won't be making it just yet. It looks really easy though. Stocking stitch for most of it, moss stitch borders at the hem and cuffs, and up the sides. I really like the bell sleeves and the pixie hood. This is quite a wearable pattern really. Well, it is for me!

I fancy making some wrap trousers. I have some really lovely purple Thai silk ones, which I adore, but I daren't wear them for everyday use. I've been contemplating my stash and this fabric in particular. I think it's an African fabric, or maybe it's from Thailand or Malaysia. It's woven, not printed and it has a slight sheen on it. I picked it up at a jumble sale years ago and I've never decided what to do with it. Hell, I practically had to shove a granny out of the way to get to it *lol* Okay, that was a slight exaggeration, but I was keen. I'm thinking it has a good weight to it which is great for wrap trousers as they tend to flap if the fabric's too lightweight and no-body wants to see my thighs *no sir-ee* I don't even want to see them. The BF thinks I should make a skirt from it instead. I'm favouring the wraps.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It's raining, it's pouring.....

And yes it's still raining here! I think we're well into a month of continuous rain now. This does mean however that I'm being very productive on the craft front. We've also been offline for the last day or two which has been tortuous *lol* router problems. There's nothing worse than not being able to check your e-mail.
There's not been too much going on here. I watched a bit of Glastonbury on the telly. I didn't get that festie feeling though. It just seems so commercial these days. I remember being young and carefree, and hitching down to Glastonbury with a small rucksack full of sleeping bag, tent and cider. We would head down there early in the week and bunk over the fence (hardly even six foot in those days) and spend a week completely trashed, dancing our socks off, mooching round the festival, chilling in the green field, and haggling for goods and food. I never had any money, I usually spent the first day or so hair braiding and that would give me enough money to have a good festie. Ah, the good old days. No responsibilities, no job, no mortgage.
Anyway, I finished my Short 'n' Sweet. It was plain sailing after that first little hiccup. I love this leaf motif. I may even make another one of these. Am I a masochist?

I did a craft fair on Saturday. It wasn't very busy, so I had time to start the Light and Lively. This is what I managed at the craft fair. They had live music, a BBQ, drum workshops, story-telling. It was a good day, but not for selling. I went because I knew the organiser and it was fundraising for her daughters school. In my experience, the parents of very young children don't really buy glass, so I wasn't expecting to sell much.

It kind of looks like a bikini at this stage.

This is where I am with it today. Cups, bodice, back and one strap done. I'm not sure how much of this blue I have, so I'm doing all the key bits first, then I can add an accent colour if I have to. I'm thinking of this light green on the granny square. I haven't decided if I'm going to add the square yet, or where, but I like the colours together, so I may embellish the edges of the tank with it too!

And whilst the BF was watching the Ricky Hatton fight (boxing, yeuch) on Saturday night, I made these for Mini for the OWS on Craftster. It's a bottle cap pincushion (I'm really enjoying making these at the moment) and a matching needle case. I hope she likes them.

I was in town today (crap job interview) so I popped into the library and I couldn't believe it when I came across this!!

My library hardly ever has new books in! And I've been coveting this on Amazon. I definitely would like to knit some robes. Hell, who wouldn't want a long black pixie hooded jacket? When I have some money to get the yarn, there'll be no stopping me. I quite like the Molly Weasley housecoat too, with the multi-coloured sleeves, but I think I need to adapt it, coz even though I love it, I can't think of when I would wear it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

New threads

The weather here is awful at the moment. We're talking a months rainfall in several hours here. Today was dreadful, so we've been sort of housebound. The BF played pc games all day and I played with my 'lil brother. That's my sewing machine btw.

I made a kimono style hoodie based very loosely on one I already had. I had this gorgeous micro-fleece and as I'm skint and stash busting anyway, that's what I used. I sort of turned my old hoodie inside out and pinned it to the fleece, then cut roughly round it, changing the shape where I wanted to.

At the moment it's fastened with a vintage silver brooch that belonged to my Mum, but I may add ties at some point. I just love this fabric and it's so soft and snuggly! I like that using a brooch means I can fasten it loosely or snugly depending on my perceived body image of the day - today I'm having a fat day, so it's fastened loosely *lol*

I also had this pair of cropped trousers that I bought last year when I was on holiday - I went on a seal trip and got totally soaked. The seaside town I was at was practically pre-historic and the only clothing shop I could find seemed to cater exclusively for the over 50's. Anyway these were the best I could find, so I bought them. They are really not my style. They're elasticated and tapered for goodness sake!!!! Sorry I have no before pictures. (Phew!) They came to just above the ankle, so I cut them off to just below the knee , hemmed them and used the material I cut off to cut a couple of star shapes. I used my sewing machine to applique them to the left leg using a herringbone stitch, then embellished them with some glittery textile paint. The picture doesn't show it very well coz it's black on black, but I think they look great...

And I made this set of display shelving from some clear cd's and hot glue. They are now in my bathroom showing my shell collection off! Recycing, Yay!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Beads galore

We are happily back on line - the problem was the fan. Luckily the BF is not intimidated by pc guts and was able to open up the casing and replace the fan. It is now working again. Sweet!

I have an interview next week in Wimbledon. *Eeek!* There will be an interview board and I have to prepare and present a 10 minute 'mini-tutorial' *Double eeek* Wimbledon (the tennis tournament) also starts next week, so the traffic and tube will be horrendous *treble eeeeek!* Did I mention that I'm a masochist?

On a crafty note, ZaftigMomma has received her OWS package from me so I can post pictures of what I sent to her: an assortment of handmade beads, some are terracotta clay, some are fimo, there's also a wire one in there and some paper ones.

And as a little extra I also added this cute little bottlecap pincushion. I've been wanting to try this out and it's recycling something that would have gone into the recycling bin otherwise. And I figured as a sewer, she could probably use a pincushion. I know Karan loves stars and purple, hence the star motifs! I also sent her a yoga dvd because she's been having problems with her back recently so hopefully that'll help her to get supple and stop future problems.

These are the stitch markers I made for Muria. She knits and crochets, so I made her a set of each. These are the crochet ones. She likes soft blues and greens so I hope these fit the brief.

And these were the knitting ones. They are actually green, but I made the mistake of photographing them on top of the card I sent with them which was orange.

And if you check here you will see the gorgeous glass bubbles blown especially for me by Alana! I can't wait to get these babies in my garden :-)

I've very nearly finished my short 'n' sweet. I have now done the main body. I'm just doing the border round the bottom and up the sides toward the neck. The I just have to do the sleeves and I'm done!! Yippee! It's no so bad once you get past the front side row 8/9 and I love the leafy pattern. I'm making it a little longer than the pattern calls for and I will probably add a couple of ties so that I can tie it up in front if I want to.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Short 'n' Shit

The weather's been a bit erratic lately. Today it was warm enough to sit in the garden with my crocheting, and even more, sunny enough to burn! It was a real family affair in the garden. The BF was cleaning his Harley, Joe, Keilo and Pippin were all sunning themselves and I was working on my Short 'n' Sweet. What a deceptive name. It's sweet till you get to about row 8/9 right hand front. Then, she's a bitch. I've frogged this bloody thing about half a dozen times. And half the time, I think I was following the pattern correctly. Those of you that have done this pattern will know exactly what I mean. But, I persevered and have got past the nightmare bit. I did have to add a little bit on, kinda winging it slightly, to get it to the point where I believed the pattern should be, so I've done the top back, each front top and have joined the back and fronts, and I'm now crocheting in one piece. I must admit, I do like how it's turning out, despite all the cursing it has taken to get me here.

I'm determined not to be beaten!

And this was the view outside my studio window at 8pm tonight. Yes, we had a mad thunderstorm to finish off the days sunshine. I said the weather's been erratic! It's June for goodness sake! It should be long sultry summer evenings, not storm conditions. I think there was even a tornado off the Norfolk coast last week! We humans have seriously f***ed the environment up. I would be in despair at the kind of world we're handing over to our children if I had any. We're guardians of this planet. We don't own it, we're looking after it for our children.

And here's another WIP shot, an Indian elephant lantern I'm in the middle of painting. It'll probably be for my ebay shop.

The computer died tonight. Rest in pieces. I think the fan burnt out. The BF is gutted, but happy that he's discovered the source of its recent unstability. Luckily (for me *mwahahahaha*) we have a wireless router, so I can still connect to the internet via my lovely little laptop :-) The BF threatens commandeering it tomorrow to source a new fan.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Recycling madly

Last night the BF wanted desperately to watch a really important football game *pah* we usually spend Sunday night together curled up in front of a film, but he begged me, so I spent the night on my 'lil Brother. I've been wanting to make some of these for ages, but just never got around to it. Tissue holders from BellaDia's tutorial. Now my tissues will look snazzy in my new holder and I need never fear pulling a tatty plastic covered pack from my bag. I use hankies too because they're washable and more eco-friendly, but I do like to keep a travel pack of tissues in my bag for emergencies.

Pretty purple fabric with butterflys for the outside, and a paler fabric with little purple flowers for the lining.

I've also made some suncatchers for my garden out of some dvd's, some little mirrors, a couple of glass nuggets and some beads. There are three of these in my garden now. One of them I engraved with little flowers. A nice eco-friendly recycling craft. The dvd's were mis-burns and would have been thrown away otherwise. Yay for recycling! I love it when a project costs me nothing, especially when money's so tight.

Here's a sheet of my hand-made paper. I soaked some shredded paper last night and I couldn't wait, so I blended it with my trusty stick blender (yeah, it's my kitchen one, but *shrugs* kids eat paper all the while, and as far as I know, no-one ever died from eating paper) and made a few sheets. It's a little lumpy because I probably didn't let it soak for long enough, or blend it fine enough, but I like the kind of speckly effect from all the bank statement print and other junk with our names and addresses on (identity theft is a big concern in Britain at the moment). It's drying on top of the stove at the moment. It's been raining on and off all day, so I couldn't dry it outside.

And here's my painted spindle. I just used ordinary waterbased emulsion on it (my living room walls are this purple colour), then painted a star on it in pink metallic paint and used gold relief outliner for the dots. I modge-podged a sparkley coating on it, then coated it again in an acrylic seal (because modge-podge can stay a little tacky I find). I finished it off with some golden tear-drop jewels. When it spins it makes a pattern like a spinning top! :-)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Back to square one

Well, the BF returned on Wednesday morning. The job turned into a completely different job to the one he took. He took one that required 2 weeks away training, with his own local-ish area to cover after that, and maybe a couple of nights away a month, which he believed he could handle. It suddenly became 4 weeks away training, and he would be covering the whole country meaning at least a couple of nights away per week. So he is again looking for week after deciding that this job was not for him. He gets homesick very quickly. I though we might be able to get straight for a change *sigh* I meanwhile, have been doing the most boring job in the world. Invigilation. In a stuffy room full of teenagers for hours at a time. Not able to read, or knit, or anything but watch them scribbling away. I snuck my mp3 player in a couple of times and hid the earphone lead amongst my hair. *I love having long hair*. Having said that I caught a cheat the other day. She had scientific equations written on the palm of her hand. Silly silly girl. She will get a zero for this exam and risks being banned from all examinations by that Board.

I received my parcel from Rain this week for the End of Harry Potter Swap . Such gorgeous goodies including a Gryffindor quilt! *Squeels* Click on the link for piccies of the fabulous things she sent me! I feel like I've been waiting forever for these and had almost given up hope. I was convinced some muggle had got their sticky mitts on it!

This week I've been constructing! I've been after an A4 deckle and frame for ages. I found one on eBay for about £18, but there was no way I was paying that for one. So like any good Craftster, I made my own.

The wood cost me about £1.20 from B&Q. The net curtain was free - I found it in a suitcase dumped by a fly-tipper, so I took it home and washed it - eco and economically friendly. Total cost - £1.20. I cut the wood into lengths, hot-glued it together as I didn't have any wood-glue, and stapled the joins for extra secureness. Then I stapled a piece of net to one of the frames. I plan to soak some paper and have a bash at some bigger sheets of paper this week!

I also fancied a bottom whorl spindle. I hear they're easier than top whorls, and the one I have is a little light weight. It won't spin on it's own and wants to spin back the other way immediately. Anyway, I hot glued 2 CD's together and then hot glued them onto a piece of dowling. I carved a point on one end and a groove on the other. I painted it too, but I haven't quite finished decorating it, so no pictures of the finished spindle till I'm done. You can however, look at the unpainted spindle.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Keeping busy

Well, the BF is away again this week training, so I'm home alone, yet again. He thinks he may have a couple more weeks away (he's really not keen about being away from home. He gets very homesick. I hope this doesn't lead him to do anything stupid, like jacking the job in.....) He comes home at the weekend though. I do miss him. The Mondays are the worst. The house seems kind of quiet. Then I get used to it and start to enjoy having the place to myself.
But, yes, Mondays are the worst. So I was V. busy yesterday. I hoovered upstairs, downstairs and the stairs. I washed the floors downstairs. I did the grocery shopping. I walked up to the post office with the dog to post various eBay sales and Atsukos water bottle cozy, and gave him a long walk up at Rabbit Field (one of many walks).
I listed lots more glass in my eBay shop. The star oil lamp will be hard to part with, it's one of my favourites out of this batch, but I don't have the space for all my glass *lol*
I made some beads for ZaftigMomma. No pictures yet because she reads my blog (Hi Karan! *lol*)
I finished May's page for the altered book page-a-long on Craftster. The theme I chose was Spice, which makes me think of either India or Dune (the Frank Herbert Novel), but in the end I went for India.

I made a little felted button brooch and needle-felted a flower brooch. I think it need a bit more embellishment though. It was about 1 o'clock last night when I finished felting it so I didn't get that far. I was just randomly using up scraps of fleece because I'm on a craft supplies diet (no new supplies for 3 months now! I'm using what I have. Isn't that insane? I have enough stash to carry on crafting for a while now, and don't plan to buy anything new apart from glass materials if I can help it.)

I crocheted alot more of my Short'n'Sweet. The long bit at the top is the back and the short bit hanging down is part of the right front. I think. I love the pattern it's forming with the delicate little leaves.

And here's an update on my beaded goddess. There's a bit more done now.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I have a new resident in my garden. Meet Norbert. He's so cute. He's guarding all the new little plants I put into my garden yesterday. It was such a nice day yesterday - I spent alot of the day in the garden hacking back overgrown bits, weeding, digging and putting in bedding plants, sunflowers and geraniums. I also had a load of godetia and marigolds from the MIL, so I popped those in too. I caught the sun a little.

Even Keilo was in the garden with me enjoying the sunshine! I think she was trying to compete with Norbert.

Once I'd finished in the garden I realised that I needed a new yarn project to enjoy whilst sitting in the garden so I checked through my patterns/stash and decided that "Short 'n' Sweet" from The Happy Hooker was quite cute and happily, I have enough of this lavender yarn to make it!

I love this shell stitch. I can't wait to see the finished project! Notice the crochet hook - it's one of the ones that Miss Mermaid made for me. I use them all the time. Sooo much nicer than the boring grey metal ones you get over here. I do have a nice Brittany hook, but it's too big for this project. Maybe I'll give my boring hooks a polymer clay make-over one day.

I thought I'd join in on the Harry Potter Craft-a-long, this is my 'House Pride' project, a Gryffindor book page weight. It's great for holding the pages of your pattern books open. It's basically a rectangle of material, stuffed with rice to give it some weight, and sealed with bias tape round the edges. The Gryffindor badge is printed onto a fabric printer sheet, cut out and appliqued onto a gold felt background, then appliqued onto the fabric. (I did that bit before I sewed the rectangle up.) As you can see it works really well.



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