Wednesday, 24 February 2010

WOYWW --- dare you reveal yours ???

Today I found some lovely new blogs to follow here at Paula's and here at Julia's .....  today it's time to share WOYWW or What's on your Workdesk Wednesday ...... if you are ready here is my organised chaos corner of the spare bedroom

This was my grand-daughter's bedroom when she lived here with us hence the Disney Princess border (the grands use the bunk beds on the other side of the room when they stayover).  At the moment I have little piles of fabric strings waiting to be put together for Loft Creations 'No Strings Attached' challenge and the large plastic box contains various squares of fabric for later quilting projects.  The M & S biscuit tin is full of buttons and I use old sweetie jars for ribbons etc.  My wool stash is housed in some wooden wine crates.  Underneath the desk are more plastic tubs with some of my fabric stash which I have managed to organise into vintage and colour themed.  The rest of the stash is in an ottoman at the bottom of my bed. 

This little corner was only claimed as my own in October last year and it's so nice to be able to leave the sewing machine in situ instead of lugging it on and off the kitchen table.

Whilst I was sorting some knitting bits and pieces the other day I came across this ....

It is one of the most bizarre things I have ever had to make ..... have you guessed what it is yet ?????

it's a UTERUS of course !

No you didn't misread it ..... it is a knitted uterus ....... my daughter is a midwife and when she was training she had to give a presentation to a parenting class to demonstrate how the baby emerges from the womb, so off I went to search for the pattern (thank heavens for the www).  I've made willy warmers and nipple covers in my time but never thought I would see myself knitting this!!!

What's the strangest thing you have ever made???  Come on share it with
 the class ;-)

Monday, 22 February 2010

We can always rely on our weather being unreliable!

We have gone from this (Saturday morning)

Mr Arrogance himself .... Zachary Dumbledore Binks sunning himself on the bird shed

to this morning

Scooby and Scrappy Doo alias Molly and Ruby in the snow that was there to greet us this morning .... the chickens weren't very impressed and shot back in the shed!

It is still coming down now and as per usual no gritters had been out and the roads were chaos .... I had parents calling me to say they had abandoned their cars and one was still stuck in a traffic jam at 10 o'clock!

I walked to school with the one child who did turn up ... fortunately it's only a 15 minute walk through a park and today I got to christen these

They are so comfy and very light to walk in and kept the old tootsies warm and dry .... Welliebobs from Joules a very good investment.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Well that's another half term done and dusted

It's true what they say about time going by faster as you get older .... something to do with a lack of memory cells and I liken it to the memory being like an old cassette .... the more that is recorded the less space there is therefore the time between memories seems shorter making time go faster ..... am I making sense !!!

In between organising activities for small people, caring for a poorly grandson and moving out number one son I've managed little in the way of crafting this week but I have made progress on the Freecycling unwanted items before I bring new ones into the house front.  I must have gained a few square feet of space in the house and even my mum commented today on how empty/uncluttered the living room looked today.  Mainly because I have moved this

upstairs.  It was in the charity shop a couple of weeks ago and I just couldn't resist.  I have just the fabric to make some lovely bedding.  There was another similar crib in the CS last week but I was a good girl and resisted.

I've been sorting out some old photos too and thought I would use one as my new header photo.  This group is my paternal great-grandparents Bertie & Florence with the eldest of their nine children - Eric, Clarice and Florence.  GG Bertie was born in Dovercourt, Essex and GGM Florence in Mickfield, Suffolk.  They married in 1895 in St Albans and it was only when I started doing my family tree some 20 years ago that we discovered they had a daughter before they were married but she stayed in Suffolk and was raised by her grand-parents .... nobody in the family knew of her existence or if they did they never spoke of it.  Bertie was the son of a blacksmith but was work on the land diminished he had to turn his skills to something else which turned out to be plumbing.  He came to Bedfordshire just as the Victorians were starting to take drainage and sanitation seriously and looking at this posed family photo he looks as though he was probably doing alright.  If you look closely you can just see his watch chain .... my brother has inherited the gold watch at the other end of the chain as it has passed down through my grandad and dad.  My grandad was the 8th child of their brood ..... all raised in a two up two down and how they did it I will never know.  I can just about remember my great grandmother as a little old lady wearing a large hat when I visited my grandparents house as a child.  Bertie and the elder children died before my time but I do remember Florence or Auntie Flo as we called her .... what a character just like my grandad .... cheeky and full of fun and I can remember at family gatherings she would have a gash of red lippy and never failed to flash her bloomers during a dance!

I am a great believer in that you have to know where you have come from in order to know where you are going in life and tracing the family tree is so interesting.  If you haven't tried it I recommend that you do but be aware that it will become another addiction like the crafting/thrifting (or maybe that's just me ;-)

I had a very unusual maiden surname and was always curious about where it came from ... it was Scowen .... pronounced with a soft 'o' rather than the harder 'cow' sound.  Grandad always said it was Scandinavian and that is feasible because blonde hair and blue eyes do run in the family and my research has highlighted that the highest concentration of families with this name came from East Anglia and there were a few in Cornwall/Devon where the derivation was Scawen or Boscawen.

Here are a couple of other old photos .... this time on my paternal grandmother's side of the family .... she is the little one sitting on her mother's knee

When I can locate my Family Tree Maker master disc and can unlock my data I will post again on this subject.  I hope you have found it interesting and would love to hear of your family stories too. x

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

What's in the bag

I've been tagged by Lissylou to reveal the contents of my bag so this post is going to be soooooo boring

In my handmade by Lalabibaby bag tonight I have:

one purse
one pack of tissues (bless you)
one brolly
one nail file
one emery board
extra strong mints, Polos and a couple of stray Airwaves gums
one pair of warm gloves
bank books
a box with some cufflinks ???? meant to drop them in the CS today
my idiot book won in a lovely blog giveaway last year .... I use it to jot down my ideas (so there's not much in it ;-)
and a little note from Ellie

I dare you to expose the contents of yours xxx

Half term and up to my ears in pancakes

I'm having a quieter half term this time as some of the children are spending time with their parents.  One of the girls brought her favourite Usborne book on things to make yesterday so out came the paper, scissors, glue etc and we came up with these.  The book used jam jars and on the grounds of good old elf and safety I decided to use plastic cups instead.

Spring must be in the air .... look who I found on the kitchen windowsill today .... I'm not sure if she was having a quiet sleep somewhere in the kitchen or whether she came in through the open window

and of course today is Shrove Tuesday .... pancake day and as per every year I have to make sure that sufficient batter is made for everyone to have a plate full ..... four small people ate five each this afternoon .... they don't even touch the sides and disappear in seconds!  My second bowl of batter is waiting for me now ... I love good old lemon and sugar and cook mine on the griddle so I can do two at a time.

The recipe I use is the same one that I use to make Yorkshire Pudding batter

250g plain flour
300ml water
300ml full milk
6 eggs

mix 4 whole eggs and just the yolks of the other 2 with the flour then gradually add in the water and milk mix ..... give it a good old beating and leave to rest for at least an hour before cooking  ... delicious !

Happy Pancake day everyone x

Monday, 15 February 2010

No strings attached

Back in October 2009 one of the lovely ladies at SCC set a challenge .... three items of old clothing were posted out and we had to upcycle/recycle into something new.  Well I am ashamed to say that my items were buried in the stash pile and I almost forgot about them till I had a tidy up last week.

My three pieces were a pair of shorts in a ditsy floral print, a red gingham check school dress and a rather jazzy Hawaiian style man's shirt.  I ummed and ahhed .... what to do .... then the lights came on whilst stripping scraps for Loft Creations 'No Strings' challenge.  What better way to use the fabric so out came the scissors, cutting mat and rotary cutter on Saturday and away I went.  By Saturday evening I had finished and this is the final result

A mini quilt measuring 33" x 24"

In the true spririt of recycling I used a piece of vintage ticking for the border and the backing is from an old red & white gingham curtain.  The only new part of it is the polyester wadding filler.

So there we are, two challenges in one go .... first strings project and SCC challenge completed.

The finished article is available in the classifieds at the SCC forum on an auction basis and the proceeds of the sale are to go to Lissylou's British Heart Foundation Fundraiser.

My little string block pile is growing on a daily basis and I try to slip away to my sewing sanctuary after dinner each evening to produce six more blocks and I'm still enjoying it so much.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Anyone for tea and bargains

When I am unable to disappear upstairs to my little sewing sanctuary I always have a  bag of knitting or crochet tucked down by the side of the chair.   Over the past couple of weeks I have been knitting this bobble tea cozy and finally finished it last night.  For my next project I am going to crochet a ripple snuggle blankie in similar shades to this with some pinks thrown in.

After a busy couple of weeks at Lala Towers things have calmed down a little and I am slowly catching up .... the move to Nottingham of number one son has been delayed and he is now off on Monday and I am so frustrated that because it is half term and I will have a house full of small people I won't be able to start my blitz.

I'm planning to make some more strings for Loft Creations 'No Strings' challenge this weekend ... my little pile is growing and it will soon be time to start putting them together to actually make something with them.

I have been a good girl and have followed my 'something in something out' rule.  I took a couple of bags to the charity shop this week and what did I spy on my way out ...

Not one but two pairs of Laura Ashley cornflower & lily of the valley curtains .... one I will keep for my landing window and one I will sell in order to raise the funds to buy some pretty lightshades for the hall and landing.

Later on the same day I went into the smaller CS oppposite the school where I do pick-ups and was thrilled to see these in the odds and sods box

There are twenty four of them altogether .... lovely vintage children's hankies .... all unused and some have still have a little sticker on them saying Irish Cotton.  There are a few with faded colours but most are still quite vibrant.

It's been ages since I've picked up such lovelies and I can't wait now till Easter and the car booties.

Have a good weekend everyone x

Monday, 8 February 2010

Re-stocking Aunty Wainwrights Treasures

Evening everybody .... as a part of my ongoing de-cluttering programme I have been stocking up my blog shop over at Aunty Wainwrights Treasures 
Please take a peek x

Sunday, 7 February 2010

I must have time on my hands .... two posts in one day !

Floss is having a lovely giveaway over at Troc, Broc & Recup for her first blogiversary .... pop over to her fanastic blog for a look and a lovely read.


not only can she deliver babies but my DD2 can make exceedingly good cakes

her first attempt at Chelsea Buns using the breadmaker to make the dough and finished by hand .... flip I'll never lose any weight at this rate !

Peaceful but norty Sunday

Well I have survived our triple grands sleepover last night ..... just!   I gave the parentals strict instructions that my house was to be a child free zone from lunchtime and they duly obliged and collected said offspring.  Peace reigns .... bliss.

Still no crafting done today but some more de-cluttering ..... I am making a rule for myself that for every item I bring into the house from now on one other thing has to depart and so today I have freecycled a wooden swing crib that I used for my brood (it must be 30 years old as I bought it secondhand in 1981!) .... a lovely excited lady came to collect.  She is going to dress it ready for a new grandchild and she was over the moon .... it was a lovely feeling to know that someone else was going to treasure it as I have and what use was it to me stuck in the loft.  A single bed frame and knitting machine found new homes yesterday so I am learning to let go.  I am also waiting for my OH to notice that the pile of bricks that have lived on the front garden since the wall fell over some 5 years ago have disappeared ..... he's been out today and another lady who posted a wanted for bricks has been to collect them.  She is making a allotment area in a disused part of a friend's garden.

My washing machine decided to play silly devils on Friday so DD1 and I popped to the laundrette this afternoon and whilst our machines were turning we went to Asda for a few supplies for dinner.  Along the ethnic aisle we spotted this and just couldn't resist  .... a friend of my daughter's gets married this year and she's going to pop this in with her hen party delights.

I also spied these in the children's section but as they went up to a size 6 again I couldn't resist ..... CK eat your heart out and a fraction of the price.

So Mother Nature if you are thinking of chucking some more of the white stuff at us over the next couple of weeks I'm ready for you.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

A quick visit

Just a brief post today .... this week has been manic in my house and I am so glad we got through it.  On top of all the usual madness we had the house move of my daughter and family to cope with then Ellie's little op on Thursday (which went very well however we are still waiting for her volume to go down!)  She has been diagnosed with a hearing problem ... apparently we can all start to hear noises at around 20 decibels but for her it reaches 40 in her left ear and 70 in her right.  Which goes a long way to explain why she is so loud and always has to have music and TV turned up so loud we all jump out of our seats.  Fingers crossed that the grommits do the job.

After minding children all week I am on a busman's holiday today and have all three grands staying over tonight .... I spent the morning getting my old bunk beds out of the loft for them but it was a good excuse for a pre-Spring clean and I have Freecycled several things today before I did my usual and stashed them away again.  De-cluttering is the watchword for the next couple of months .... I am a clutterholic and it's got to stop!  Well it's got to decrease at least .... I can't give it up completely .... can I ??

Not much time for crafting this week .... I've got a mountain of strips waiting to be turned into string blocks and another pile of fabric waiting to be stripped.  After todays tidy up in the small room where I've put the bunk beds the crafting corner is much more organised so I am looking forward to spending lots more time in there next week.