Sunday, 6 December 2015

Coming out of (Virtual) Hiding?

It's been a while since I blogged. And when I think about it, most of my blog posts start with me explaining it's been while since I blogged. That's me, what can I say. I'm nothing if not inconsistent!!

Life has been plodding on, my motivation for things I do comes in ebbs and flows. I only seem to blog when things are flowing in the right direction.

There are many things on the go at the moment; making things, doing things, preparing for things which are coming up in the future.  More of which I'll explain about soon, I will be back soon. I promise!!

So I'm getting back into the mode of blogging and trying to figure out the best way to do so easily. My laptop is pretty rubbish these days so I'm currently on my tablet to see if this is an option. Now to add a photo!

Here are the small people attempting to take a photo with me. Serious photos are not easily achieved with these two.

Now to figure out how to access more of my pictures. And put up some Christmas decorations. Must do that today or I'll never hear the end of it 😉

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Isn't she a beauty?

This is my mum's old manual typewriter.  It's lived in my loft for years.  The husband *briefly* asked if we needed to keep it when we moved last year and was *briefly* met with THE LOOK!  As if!!

We brought it down from the loft a few weeks ago after the Dude got a library book called 'The Story Machine', all about a boy who finds a typewriter and ... well it's fairly self explanatory.  So conversation developed and I explained I had a typewriter, did he want to see it.

So it came down, still in it's original case but it needed a REALLY good clean and the ribbon barely has any ink left (which isn't surprising given the last time it was used properly will be close to 25 years ago).  A little cleaning later and it's lovely and shiny.  The Dude had a little play but given the state of the ribbon he quickly got bored.  But I decided to investigate if you can still buy ribbons for manual typewriters .... and guess what?  You can, for less than a tenner too!

That got me thinking and I decided to investigate a bit more about this specific typewriter.  I even managed to find the serial number on it.  It is a Imperial 'Good Companion' Model 6 and based on the serial number I think it was manufactured in 1964.  So it's 51 years old.  And it works!  The Imperial company used to produce these typewriters in Leceister but the factory was closed in 1974. (The year I was born!)  When I was telling my dad what I'd discovered he informed me, he thinks it either cost £18 or £24 when my mum bought it.

I remember playing with it when I was younger and typing out nonsense just to see, and hear, it working.  I also remember my mum actually typing letters on it before we bought our first computer (which was an old Apple Mac!) so that must have been round about 1984. 

I've even managed to find an instruction manual online for it.  I'm so excited to have found out so much about it.  I've always loved this typewriter and I'm not sure why.  But I do know that I'll be getting a new ribbon for it and hopefully it will continue to be loved by my children.

Saturday, 11 April 2015


My main aim at the moment is to be more organised.  In many areas of my life - kids, housework, crafting, eating, work, you name it I reckon it needs to be better organised. 

So to begin this month is my first time at being a Bee Mama!  I mentioned a bit in my last post so I've given out instructions on the blocks I would like other lovely, generous ladies in our Sibling Together Bee to make and they then make their version of my blocks and send them to me.  I've already started to receive some and they are gorgeous.  Can't wait to receive them all and get the quilt all made up. 

Another thing which needed to be organised is some cushions for the kids rooms.  When they are lying in bed getting their bedtime stories, me and hubby end up sitting on the floor next and after a couple of minutes it tends to get really uncomfortable.  We aren't getting any younger so the cushions are mainly for us to sit/lean on, but also to look good in their rooms.

The big mega cushion top is for the Dude's room

 and this smaller one, which involved some pretty cool paper piecing is for Little Miss's room.  Next is some hand quilting I think for both them.  Another first for me! (so getting organised in the way of extending my skills)

The other thing we have been up to this week or so is trying to remove an ugly decking/planter which took up a large corner of our back garden, inherited from the previous owners.  When we first moved, we had ideas of planting potatoes and stuff (there was nothing in it, just a load of soil) but then over the winter and trying to negotiate past the tiny space between the decking and the grass (which was sodden all winter and still is!) we decided it had to go. 

So the mountain of wood has been removed (how many screw/nails are needed to hold decking together?) and now we are gradually removing the mountain of soil.  Which is a slow process.  We thought we'd hit jackpot and there was going to a slabbed area underneath all of this but no, optimistic hopes dashed when we started actually lifting the wood and just more bloody soil.  So the jury is still out on the final use for this corner but lots of options being thrown about.  I'm just pleased to have some more useable space. 

So slowly things are becoming more organised in some areas, not all but hey I can't manage everything at once!

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Mojo Rising

No, I haven't suddenly turned into Jim Morrison (although I'm now going to have that running round my head for the rest of the night! But it beats Kenny Rodgers' The Gambler which I've been humming all day!!) but I'm been making stuff.  I know!  I'm shocked too.

It started with this, how to make a quick blocked piece by pressing squares onto light interfacing.  It stayed in this pressed, but unsewn stage for a few weeks then I sewed the seams together and I now have a rough finished cushion top.  (which i do have a photo of, but it seems to have vanished at present!)
Then I bought the book in this picture Lynne Goldsworthy & Kerry Green's 500 Quilt Blocks which I've wanted for a while and it kind of got my mojo going.  Plus the fact that I am part of a bee for the Siblings Together charity and my month was fastly approaching and not only was I behind on my block for others but I hadn't decided what month was going to be!  (I'm also doing some quilt maths in this photo)
So a little visit to the Scottish Quilt show in Edinburgh last month ended with this purchase, a much needed new rotary cutter (which is brilliant by the way) and the need to try it out.
For February Pat asked for bright string blocks.  I think these should do the trick, the photo isn't great.  The rubbish weather is not good for taking decent photos but you can get the gist!

These are the blocks for March for Susy who wanted nautical themed blocks based on nautical symbols she had found on a piece of fabric.  These are my takes on her theme - the colours haven't come up very well but I really like the top left block which is aqua and pale orange.
 So tomorrow is the start of my month as Bee Mama (eek!)  I've never been part of a Bee before so it's daunting and exciting all at the same time.  Will my instructions be clear, will they think my blocks are easy to follow or too complicated, or too boring?

I've gone with green, blue and low volume/pale neutrals as my colour scheme and the economy block as my theme and come up with this
I'm really looking forward to see what everyone else comes up with!

There is some other things bubbling away but maybe I'll save that and maybe blog more than once a month!!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Round Up

2 months since I last blogged!  I really am dreadful at blogging/remembering/doing stuff in general! (and I use exclaimation marks way too often)

It's not like life hasn't been busy over since January, it has, which is probably more to do with the lack of blogging.  I do have a tendency to get to a point of feeling overloaded and then procrastination sets in which in turns means nothing gets done.

So what has happened (bit further back than start of January but my blog so my rules), there were some Christmas parties
We then had a visit from Santa

I bought some of Katy Jones' Priory Square (with a particular reason in mind but it's not right, however I hopefully have another use for it for the same project so it's all good)
Then it was all back to work/school so the normal mundane essentials of everyday took over and lots of this happened
The husband had to go and this cut out - benign tumour, it's harmless but still a 'thing' to get my head round (for a while it looked as yuk as that sounds, but it all good now)
I have even done some sewing believe it or not..... another bee block, which I based on a design I found in Katy Jones' book, 25 Patchwork Quilt block, which it a really good book.
And we've also been doing a fair bit of exploring our new neighbourhood, we have this path literally on our doorstep which takes you to some farmland which feels miles away from traffic but isn't at all!
So life has been trundling along quite nicely lately, not massively productive sewing wise but lots of other stuff (i.e. 2 small people) keeping me occupied.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Restful New Year

Well it's that time of year again, 1st January.  The start of a new year, a time when most people make new plans, new goals, have new hopes for the forthcoming days, weeks, months.

I'm not really one for making resolutions,  don't really see the point. It's like setting yourself up to fail on purpose.  Why do that?

So no resolutions from me but what I do want to do is take some time to enjoy all that happened last year.  Last year was a jam packed year - the whole rigmarole of getting the Dude into school (which basically went on for 8 months from applying for a place in January to the day he started in August), moving house, change to work patterns, minor illnesses, 2 cars deciding to part company from us, I turned 40, news of changes in our immediate wider family, etc, etc.

Lots of good happened, nothing terribly bad and lots of people had to deal with lots worse than us. It was just a lot to keep on track of mentally. So as 2015 starts I'm celebrating in a low key fashion and planning lots of good stuff to keep me busy for the next 12 months.

(the photos are just to prove I did actually make something in 2014, I did make a little more than just these but there are few decent photos on my phone!)