Monday, 23 November 2009

So...'s been a while. How've you been?

Me? Oh I'm fine.

I'm 40 now y'know. I had a little shindig with a "Beautiful Briny" theme. I went as Ursula the Sea Witch from the Little Mermaid and scared my neice so much she wouldn't speak to me for the whole night. Can't understand why myself...

I had loads of lovely prezzies. These were off my sis and her family. Yep. There are 40. Count 'em.

And my lovely mummy bought me this -
No! NOT the small child in the distance. She's mine anyway. And NOT the whole balloon full of people but I did get to ride in it. A-ma-zing!! I want to go again. We flew from the grounds of Shugborough Hall - a stately home not far from Lichfield. The country seat of the Earls of Lichfield. This is where the late, great Patrick Lichfield lived.
My darling OH bought me a fabulous shiny new bike so we all have one now and have no excuse not to go out riding them. I have ridden it... err... once so far. Yes. I'm useless I know. But I really, really will when the Spring comes. Honest!
We did finally manage to get away in the Bongo. Yay! It was brill (if a little chilly). We went to Swanage for the weekend for a dive trip. It was brill to be parked on Swanage Pier making our own bacon butties and cups of tea in the sunshine while everyone else traipsed off to a "greasy spoon". Next season we definitely need an awning to stow all the excess (diving) kit but apart from that it is ace.
I've had a few other social engagements in recent times. Rocky Horror Picture Show - the stage version - came to the Birmingham Hippodrome and 8 of us had a girlie night out. I want to wear that corset every day! It just puts everything in the right place. OK so you can't breathe very easily and sitting down is a bit of a challenge but apart from that...

On 10th November OH and I went to see Muse live at the NIA, Birmingham. Words cannot describe just how fantastic they were. I now seem to lose inordinate amounts of time watching videos of the gig on YouTube. If I'm not doing that then I'm playing Scrabble on Facebook.
But that's not to say that all craft activity has gone out of the window. Fitting it all in around work has been difficult but I do seem to be getting back on track now.
But I'll save that for daylight hours so I can take some photos and let you see my achievements in "Glorious Technicolour".
It's great to be back.

Is anybody there?


I will be back soon.
Watch this space ----------------------->

Saturday, 8 August 2009


My crochet addiction continues apace. The Granny Squares are gradually joining themselves together (completely unaided) to form blocks. They plan to become cushion covers aparently.

Not content with your basic 2 dimensional hooking, I've now ventured into the third dimension.


Kiddie is suitably chuffed with this concept as she is now the proud owner of a small woolly chick, who sleeps in a small woolly nest and eats very small woolly worms.

(In this picture the worm has crawled away before being scoffed.)

When I visited The Knitting Corner I spotted some fabbo crocheted/knitted bunting hanging from the beams and had to have a little go myself. I found a video tutorial for making triangles but made a bit of a mess of the last few rows (hence the bulge and the 'bent' point) and the edging wasn't great, but I keep trying.

Here's another little play with amigurumi. The yellow is a second birdie and the green is an experiment. Watch this space (in case it works...).

One piece that is working is my cotton rope scarf. I keep ploughing away at the rows of (UK) double crochet - very therapeutic - and hopefully one day soon will have a finished scarf.

So that's me for now. What with school holidays and working..... Ah knickers! You've heard it all before! lol
Will post when I can. Hopefully soon there will be Bongo adventures to share. 'Til then,

Monday, 27 July 2009

No I haven't shuffled off this mortal coil. I'm still here. It's just a bit of 'a squash and a squeeze' fitting blogging in around work, housework, kiddie and my two new passions...

Exhibit A

and Exhibit B...

Exhibit A is our lovely jubbly new camper van!! It's actually a Mazda Bongo. VW's are just way too over-priced for what they are and, much as I love them, they are a bit beyond us. But a Bongo, while not quite as cute and quirky, is much more reliable and has lots of gadgets and gizmos. Ours is fully converted from the original 8-seater people carrier to a mini-motorhome with sink, cooker, fridge and lovely rock-and-roll bed plus an automatic elevating roof where the kiddie sleeps.
We only picked him up on Friday evening and haven't had chance to camp out yet but we had pizzas and cups of tea in him on Friday evening... outside my mum's house!! How adventurous!!
While the interior is all very modern and tastefully upholstered, it needs a few creative touches. All the side windows have built-in electric blinds but the two ends have little curtains. At the moment these are very serviceable checked ones in tan and cream *yawn*, but I feel a big splash of LIME GREEN is needed to match the pop-top bit. I'm heading off to the shops today to try and find some other limey accessories to spice things up a bit.
Exhibit B is as a direct result of my new job. I am surrounded by buttons, zips, patchwork fabric, haberdashery of all kinds and yarn. I have always loved wool shops - the gorgeous colours, the sumptuous textures - but have never been able to indulge in many purchases as I have never known what to do with the stuff. My knitting is school-girl standard at best and the thought of trying to make a garment fills me with terror. As for crochet, well it's become so popular in recent years but I've never mastered it. I tried last year on holiday but didn't know what I was doing and after one wonky sample I gave up.
I mentioned at work that I would love to know how to make granny squares and that was it! My boss (the lovely Bev) produced a hook and a ball of yarn and gave me a demo there and then. I got it pretty much straight away and since then I've been hooked (oh I'm soooooo funny).
I bought 3 balls of Rowan DK out of the 'end of line' basket and a size 4 hook and that was it. Now I'm obsessed. I take it everywhere with me. Joy of joys - I can do it in the car (not while driving obviously). Reading while travelling gives me a bad head but not crochet.
So far I've made 27 granny squares (soon to become 3 nine-square cushions), a couple of other experimental ones (learning to read patterns), several little flowers courtesy of Attic 24 and I'm also working on a cotton scarf. More pics will follow when I make time to take some. :O)
So that's me.
For now dolls and all things fabric have taken a backseat. It's "crochet love" all the way. And now it's the school holidays. For some inexplicable reason kiddie is off for 7 weeks this year!! So in between entertaining her and working and a visit to Devon at some point, my blogging could still be pretty sparse. But I'm still lurking on the edges of Blogdom so do come and say 'Hi'.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Oh my goodness. Much is happening in the world of 'ethel and edna', hence the lack of blogs posts. Where do I begin..?

I know.

I've got a job!

Yes - a real live, bona fide, 'proper' job. And do you know just how perfect it is? I'm working in the needlework shop in Lichfield!! Are you jealous? :O) It has been through various incarnations over the years but is now called The Staffordshire Needlecraft Centre. Imagine - I get to spend all day surrounded by fabric and threads and haberdashery. Fab! SO if you're in the area on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays or alternate Saturdays, stick your head round the door and say hello. It's a proper shop where they believe in customer service and being friendly and passing the time of day with customers, rather than trying to rush you out of the door. :O)
So it's almost here. The Solstice Walk is tomorrow night. Here are my lovely wings from last year. Talk about planning... I still haven't sorted out the rest of my costume yet. I've bought several metres of net so tomorrow I'll whizz up the speediest fairy tutu ever.
I have been overwhelmed by people's generosity, especially considering the current economic climate. (In terms of sponsor money)I have beaten last year's total (£135) by at least £30. And there's still time to pledge some if you would like to. Just click on the Just Giving link on the right.
A mahoosive 'thank you' to everyone that has sponsored me, now matter how much or how little, it all adds up to providing more care and support when it is most needed.
In an effort to raise some funds for up-coming birthdays and other events, I have been having a bit of a de-stash on ebay. There are bags of these:
several pieces of fabric in a variety of sizes that have been sitting around for way too long waiting to be made up into something:
this scrumptious book by C June Barnes which I bought last year at Knitting and Stitching on a whim (for £18!!) and know I will never use (it's even signed!!):
and if you're one of the last remianing people on the plante who don't yet own a copy of Cath Kidston's 'make!' then here's your chance (starting at 99p!!).

I'm going to keep adding stuff over the next few daysm as and when it appears/I have time to photograph and list it. Oh and the all-important details - my seller name is sew_sioux_me_77. I don't know where it came from really - sew is quite obvious I suppose, sioux is as in Siouxsie and the Banshees who I love and the play on words was just 'cause I thought it was funny at the time. Sad but true.


On Wednesday kiddie and I travelled in Brum on the train to go and see 'ethel' (or is she 'edna'? we don't know ourselves!). Hallelujah!!! She - Ann - has finally finished her degree and is almost a free woman! We went to the private view of her final exhibition and her installation which included a tiny contribution from me. I shan't go into details ('cause apart from anything it's all a bit deep and over my head now I'm out of the Fine Art envirnoment), but did a teensy bit of machine lettering to go down the spine of a businessman's suit.

I'm so glad she's finished and so is Ann. She plans to buy a stack of wool and sit and knit just for pleasure. Not for any reason or deadline. It doesn't have to have a context or meaning. It's just making stuff for the sheer pleasure of it.

Amen to that. :O)


On Thursday I went on a medieval pilgrimage to Lichfield Cathedral! Yes I know I live there. It was with kiddie's school and i went along as an adult helper. It was a brilliant day.

We had a whistle-stop tour of 12 stations of the cathedral in the morning, incorporating the story of St Chad (to whom the cathedral is dedicated). Then after lunch we processed around the cathedral, stopping off in the choir for a mini lesson about and demonstraion of the organ. WOW! I love church organ music, when you can feel in through the soles of your feet. Then we were shown the skull of St Chad from the balcony of the Chapel of ST Chads Head. This is what the pilgrims of the Middle Ages journeyed to see. All my life I have lived no more than 7 miles from Lichfield yet I've never seen it before. We finished off with some of the children offering special coins and lighting candles at the altar of St Chad, while the incense burned and smelled amazing.

It was a really well orgnanised, if rather long and tiring day. I never grow tired of visiting the cathedral. There is always something new to see and learn. It is such an incrediby beautiful and historically fascinating place, regardless of your beliefs.

Right. I must go now and try to make a fairy outfit for myself. Doing 'The Walk in my tracksuit would be a bit of a disappointment. Tinsel and glitter and fluff and frills are required.



Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Ooh! Aah! Just a little bit. Ooh! Aah! A little bit more...

Yesterday I spent a few happy hours making mini Adipose* plushies/softies/whatever-you-want-to-call-'ems. Kiddie took her larger one to dance practice on Sunday and one of the blokes asked if I could make him a smaller one to attach to his hat.

So after trawling the 'net for the pattern (I lost the original one in the Computer Memory Incident) I set about reducing and tweaking and here he is.

How cute is that. Of course the kiddie stole the first one and claimed it for her own. The next one I made ended up being given to her best friend then I made a third for BF's small brother as they were all playing together and I felt sorry for him being left out.
And THAT'S why I never make any money!! I'm a soft touch and give everything away. But it was worth it to see his reaction when I gave it to him. And apparently he slept with it cuddled up to him all night - duvet flung aside and 41/2" of stuffed fleece fabric to keep him warm. Aah!
After all that I still haven't made one for Bob the Rabble. And now the B-Movie Swap has been sorted so I need to get to work on that. And I'm hoping to take part in the FibreArts Junk Bird Challenge. Better hit the machine.

* For those of you who haven't got a clue what an Adipose is, they are little creatures from Dr Who made entirely of human fat. Eeeuuww!! Humans bought Adipose weight-loss pills as they magically dissolved fat BUT, when a special gizmo was activated by The Nanny, the fat cells took shape and bulged under people's skin and then out popped these little creatures. Nice!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

I made some stuff

Fab title for a post eh? Sorry I was lacking in inspiration. But anyhoo this is what I made.

Two cushion covers using reverse applique. I've had this fab book for ages and used it to make some samples when I was studying for my City and Guilds P&Q course. One of them got made into a cushion for Evie

and I spotted it the other day which reminded me about the technique. The twist with Jan Mullen's version is that she creates the 'secret' layer underneath before laying on the top one.

She suggests all types of standard and crazy piecing techniques to form this secret layer. It's a great way of using up your scraps. I had loads of bits in bluey-turquoisey colours leftover from my mermaid costume so I used these as a base. Then I chose the words 'briny' and 'blue' as my motifs to cut out. The photo doesn't really do them justice. I'm quite pleased with them. The only problem I found is that I followed what we were taught i college about cushion covers - measure you cushion and make the cover about an inch smaller so they are nice a fat. However, my little cushion were well-stuffed any way. When it came to putting them into the cases it was a real struggle. So now I'm going to have to hack them open and remove some stuffing so they don't burst at the seams!!

This strange lady is an ongoing WIP. Her head, body and arms have been joined together for a while. A few weeks ago I got busy with the stamps and embossing powders to make her body more exciting then she got shelved.

A few weeks ago I dragged her out again and played with threads and fabric strips to make hair. She is going slightly errr.... colourful now, but she is fun.

So now it's onto clothing. I'm experimenting with all kinds of random ideas. At the mo she has some harem pants but they look a bit too clownish so may have to go. I do like the Suffolk puffs on her should though. And the dangly torn strips have got real potential.

Right. Off to be a domstic goddess as OH is back and I need to look like I've made tea!! lol



Friday, 5 June 2009

Away with the Fairies...

Just a quickie tonight - (ooh er Missus!!) -but I just wanted to explain the new button on the right.

Remember this from last year? Well it's happening again this year. On the 20th June to be exact. Me and 1999 other women will be dressing up as fairies and parading around Lichfield city centre in the middle of the night. No we aren't some weird dressing-up cult. We will once again be walking to raise money for St Giles Hospice.

For those of you who don't know, this is our local hospice who looked after my dad during the final stages of his battle with "the Big C". There amazing 'Hospice at Home' team, together with MacMillan Nurses, ensured that he could spend his final days at home listening to his favourite music and the laughter and chatter of his family, rather than in a hospital bed.

Please, please, please can you find your way to pledge just a small amount of money to sponsor me and kiddie on our walk. I know times are hard financially, but people still get terminally ill whether there's a recession or not. If one other family could be given the fantastic support and comfort we received as a result of our efforts it will be worth it. If you can spare a little (or a even lot) just click on the 'Donate' button and follow the instructions.

Thanks so much you lovely people. Last year we raised £135 between us - you and me that is :O). Let's see what we can do this year.
Right. I'm offski now to do some sewing -SHOCK! HORROR! I have actually been very busy although very much in Scanner mode. Puzzled? Click on the link to Meridian Ariel's blog and see if you're a Scanner too, then it will all make sense.
Before I leave I'd just like to mention the 'G' word. Yes, there may be a giveaway in the offing very soon, but "...shhhhhhh... You didn't see me. Right?"

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Doin' a Runner!

Last Tuesday we 'did a runner'. This is how OH's diving club refer to an impromptu jaunt to the coast for a dip in the briny. As it was half term I thought a day at the seaside might be nice, even if it did mean getting up at the crack of dawn.

The divers were meeting at the boathouse at 5.30am!!!

Yes. There really is such a time! I always thought the hands of my clock jumped from midnight to 7am whilst I was asleep.

Luckily, because we were travelling in our own car and not towing the boat and trailer, we were able to drive a bit faster so could get up a bit later. Phew!

It took us 3 hours or so to get there.

Oh sorry. I've never said where 'there' is.

West Bay. Bridport. Dorset.

Anyhoo we arrived mid-morning and it was sunny but quite windy. The guys (and gal - sorry N) got the RIB off the trailer and into the water. Here they all are waiting for the final member of the gang to get kitted up and on board.

For those of you who've not 'met' him before my hubster is the grinning loony at the front.

Eventually, after the obligatory hour of faffing about which scuba divers HAVE to do, they pottled off. These two photos don't show the true state of the sea as they are still in the shelter of the harbour wall. Once they got out into open sea the White Horses were charging about and they all got soaked pretty much straight away. Oh well. That's UK divers for you. Me and the kiddie had our sights firmly set on the yellowy-gold bit behind the boat and in front of the buildings (see below).

We spent a fab morning on the beach with ice-cream and a bag of hot doughnuts! Kiddie had a whale of a time, digging and building then rolling and sliding down the steep shingle bank. She loves the beach so much and can keep herself amused for hours.

When we espied the RIB coming back we scuttled round to the slipway to meet them for some lunch. Sadly the sea had just been too rough and they were calling it a day. If the sea is rough on the surface it isn't necessarily still all calm underneath. Plus, highish waves made it very hard to spot the surfacing divers, despite having metre high day-glo orange markers buoys to identify them. Hubbie ended up with a smashed chin as well when the RIB lurched in the waves.

So, once they were all changed and dry the other divers headed off for home, but we hadn't come all that way for half a day on the beach. We jumped in the car and drove round to Lyme Regis.

Which was heaving with people. Well it was half term.

We parked at the end of town by The Cobb and had the best chips for lunch sitting on the beach there. More excavation followed for the kiddie while daddy 'off-gassed' (went to sleep and snored loudly on the beach) and mummy people-watched. Beaches are just so great for people watching. Everyone is so much less inhibited when the sun is out, there's sand between their toes and the sea somewhere close by. Hilarious!

To round the day off we had locally made ice-cream. Well it's The Law at the seaside isn't it? I had rhubarb and custard flavour *dribble* Hubster had... err... can't remember what he had.

And kiddie..?

Well kiddie...?

Words fail me.

Just look at the photo.

Meant to be bubblegum flavour.

Yes. It really was that colour. Yuck!!

And now onto my fab post this morning (I mean through the letterbox tyoe post not blog type post).
Ooh how excited am I?
I had read about Snapdragon Flowers giveaway over on Clare's blog - Summerfete. Never thinking I'd be one of the lucky ones, I still emailed Jane and asked nicely for a badge.

Look what I got this morning!!
Jane wanted people to photograph the badges she sent out 'in situ' for inclusion in her catalogue. I told her about my Morris dancing rags and hat, and said that I would put my badge on either of these.
So now I'm off to decide where to put my space hopper and get snapping. I'll post some piccies here when it's done.
I've also got to crack on and finish my little bags. It's just been too hot to sit and sew. I have been making the most of the dry weather though and ploughing through the washing. Oh joy!

Sunday, 31 May 2009

50 Foot Woman Attacks Crafting World!!

Just when my mojo was flagging Apryl at Meridian Ariel has announced a new swap.

Flying saucers and aliens, swamp monsters, vampires and robots - anything goes. Think of all those fabulous 1950s B-Movies and away you go.

Pop over to Apryl's blog and follow the instructions.

Number 8

The lovely Emma tagged me to do this meme in an effort to get me blogging again. It's taken me over a week to get my answers all done, and each time I've attempted it I've had to start from scratch because it was a new day.

Here's the rules, just in case you want to follow them:

1. Mention the name of the person who tagged you.
2. Do the lists of 8.
3. Tag 8 bloggers of your choice. (OK I'm breaking this rule cuz I'm rubbish and lazy and good-for-nuffink. If you have a spare few minutes or you're stuck for what to blog about, give it a go, then let me know cuz I'm really nosey as well as lazy and want to know all about you).
4. Let them know that they have been tagged!

8 Things I Am Looking Forward To....

1. My 40th birthday in September – yes really.
2. The next issue of Coast magazine
3. The promised hot summer (yeah right!)
4. My next visit to the seaside
5. Morris dancing tomorrow
6. Working on a new swap and a doll competition (will blog about both soon)
7. Winning the Premium Bonds (maybe one day)
8. Getting stuff listed and sold(?) in etsy/Folksy

8 Things I Did Yesterday... (well OK Thursday).

1. 4 loads of washing
2. Mowed the lawns
3. Finished my book – Notes from an Exhibition – fabulous!
4. Christened our new swinging barbecue
5. Tried to sew the gusset into one of my little bags (way too hot!)
6. Watched Springwatch
7. Sat in the sun - briefly
8. Drank lovely pink wine *hic*
8 Things I Wish I Could Do...
1. Lose weight
2. Have a BIG win on the Premium Bonds
3. Blog more frequently!!
4. Bring about the end of Big Brother! Talk about flogging a dead horse…
5. Be as supple and bendy and fit as I used to be several years ago
6. Own a camper van – I’m working on it (well on him)
7. Live in Cornwall – one day…
8. Whistle really loudly with my fingers in my mouth

8 Shows I Watch...
1. Dr Who (recent convert)
2. Q.I.
3. Mock the Week
4. The Mighty Boosh (nobody said it had to be current telly – I’ve got DVDs, you know)
5. Green Wing
6. Ashes to Ashes
7. Springwatch/Autumnwatch
8. Have I Got News for You

I really, really will do a proper post on Monday when the kids are back at school/work. There's lots of catching up to do. 'Til then,


Friday, 22 May 2009

What?! She's been sewing?! Never!

Yes really. I have.

Many, many moons ago I was a member of the Embroiderers Guild in Lichfield. I loved the monthly workshops we used to hold with visiting luminaries of the world of embroidery. One such was with Hilary Bower who, at the time, was making highly encrusted, multi-media type bags and panels and 3-D towers. The workshop was to make a small bag and below is the result.

At the time we were very much into green and terracotta so this fitted in our lounge perfectly. I was (and still am) pretty proud of it, not least because it was something I actually finished!!! How many UFOs do I have?

Following on from the workshop I decided to make a second bag at home and work commenced on the Ray of Sunshine bag. (It had a name long before a needle ever touched it.) The probably dates back to the mid/late 1990s and is still not finished!!

Earlier this week I suddenly remembered my little yellow bag and had the urge to finish it and make some others in a similar style. So - SHOCK HORROR - I got out my sketchbook. I doodled and sketched and cut and stuck and doodled some more...

Then out came the fabrics and threads. Little bits of felt and silk and cotton; even the titchiest scraps can be used up.

This is the early stages of the blue one. The background felt has been stiffened with dilute PVA and stitched to give a base texture (running stitch in this case). The scraps have all been tacked in place.

The background of 'colourful' one is felt stiffened in the same way but covered with some hand dyed muslin. Some of the motifs have had a a bit more hand stitching applied. I have now set to work with the machine, blitzing them with free-machine embroidery, and the beads have also started to fly (literally on one occasion!). I'll put some more piccies on in a day or two to show how things are progressing.

And now here's a small meme if you've got nowt better to do over the coming Bank Holiday (let's face it, it will probably rain at some point - or maybe you'll be sitting in the scorchio sun under an umbrolly thinking of your answers). Whatever...
...Let’s Play
Let’s Play rules:
Copy the list, erase my answers, add your own then post the to your blog, Facebook, etc. Use the first letter of your last name to begin the answers to each of the following questions. They have to be real places, names, etc. Nothing made up! Try to think up different answers if your initial is the same as the previous person.

1. What is your last name? Smith
2. A 4 Letter Word? Sewn
3. A Boy’s Name? Sam
4. A Girl’s name? Sybil
5. An Occupation? Silversmith
6. A Colour? Scarlet
7. Something you wear? Smalls
8. A Beverage? Shandy
9. A Food? Scallops
10. Something found in the bathroom? Scales
11. A place? Sharkham Point
12. A Reason for being late? Sloth
13. Things you shout? SH*T THE BED! (sorry *sheepish grin)
Thanks to Apryl who I pinched that one from.
Tag. You’re it.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Take That Tickets and a mini catch-up.

Oh pants! It's already a week since my last post. I'm not going to disappear again it's just that I've been a bit busy and haven't got photos of anything I've been up to.

This morning I've been trying to attain the halo of a Domestic Goddess. I've reached that point where the house is A Pit. Enough is enough. Let the cleaning frenzy begin. My kitchen is now spick and span (great phrase!). My bathroom is sparkling. I am now having a small break-ette before hitting the rest of the house. If you really want me too I'll post some photos in a bit. We're not talking Country Living here you realise...

Last Sunday I danced at Etwall Well Dressing as I mentioned. Again I am photo-less as the weather was less than desirable. I am dancing at Moira Canal Festival this coming Sunday. Let's hope the barbecue summer 'they' keep promising begins this weekend. I don't fancy another 'dance out' in the cold and wet. It makes my marabou trim go all floppy!

Oh I mentioned Take That tickets. No. Sorry that is NOT my belated 200th post giveaway (more about that soon). A friend of mine bought two tickets too many and she's starting to panic as they are listed on eBay but haven't sold yet.

IF you would like to go and see Take That on 10th June at the Ricoh Stadium in Coventry then email me/leave a comment.

Some of the more observant readers amongst you may have noticed that I've recently passed 200 posts on this little blog of mine. In view of everything that's gone on here I think I'll postpone the customary giveaway until 250 posts. Hopefully by then I'll be better organised (and receiving an income of some kind so I can afford to give stuff away - lol).

I'll try and get some photos taken and uploaded so I can show you my hard work - both domestic and creative. 'Til then,


Wednesday, 13 May 2009

It's not just me... seems that loads of Bloggers have been taking a break. But now - in response to worried emails from Bloggy friends and nagging from my family - I am back!!

OH started work on Monday. Yay!!! It's been a HUGE culture shock for him after 2+ months at home but at least he gets continuity of employment for his CV, and he's no longer a government statistic (I can hear strains of UB40s 'One in Ten').

So what have I been up to?

Well I haven't been very productive at all on the craft front, but I have managed to sell two of my rose brooches through incy wincy's website. Cheers Sam! You're a star.

A red one went a few weeks ago now.
Then on Monday an order came through for this coral coloured one.
I'm going to have to whip up a few more of these before too long as stocks are dwindling.
Apart from that I seem to have spent most of the time dressing up!! My friend Maria's birthday party had a Wild West theme. I struggled for weeks to know what to wear. The original plan had been to all go as showgirls - flouncy skirts, corsets and feathers in our hair - but then redundancy struck and pennies were tight so I had to make do with what I had at home.

The result was a hillybilly affair complete with freckles and blacked out teeth. Nice!
OK. I confess. The cowboy boots were from eBay but I'm putting them right back on there as I'll never wear them again. If you're interested in some red and black Wrangler cowboy boots in a size 4 let me know...

The next event was May Day Bank Holiday weekend when we went to Upton on Severn Folk Festival with t'Rabble.
Sunday is parade day and they always go in fancy dress. This year the theme was 'Myth and Magic'. After some pondering I decided I fancied being a mermaid (anything to do with the sea is fine by me). But how the Hell does a mermaid do Morris dancing?!? Well this is the result...

I covered the bra with some fabric (see I've done some sewing)and stitched loads of beads and sequins to it, then the tail was loads of strips of fabrics stitched to the knee of the trousers. It's not as good as I'd hoped but it did the job.
On the Saturday we wore normal (?) rags and hats.

We are dancing again this Sunday at Etwall Well Dressing. Our spots are at 3.30 ad 4.30 if anybody is in the area...
Last weekend our school PTA had organised an 80s disco with optional fancy dress element. So of course I had to dress up didn't I? More deliberation but in the end I decided to go as me back then.

I didn't wear make-up like this all the time - just when going to gigs and stuff - but it was such a laugh doing it again.
And the clothing..? I lived in floor length black skirts back then, or shorter ones with black and white stripey tights. I had fake Dr Martens shoes not the genuine 8-hole boots I now own, but the fishnet tights on the arms are exactly the same!

With me is Julia (BDB) dressed as one of Strawberry Switchblade. Now who remembers them?
And that's it. Well of course there's been belly dancing class but you've seen the rainbow skirt in past posts. I have been wearing it a lot recently as we've been learning a new gypsy dance - first in Tuesday class then on Thursday. It's fab. May have to get it videoed so you can have a small peek.
I can't remember how much else I may have missed but that's going to be it for catch-up. As from now it's onward and upward. I have actually been doing some 'designery' stuff today. I'm going to publish this then take photos ready for my next visit to the World of Blog.
It's so nice to be back.

Friday, 13 March 2009

errrr... yeah I know...

Once upon a time there was a blog. It wasn't much to look at but it was a happy little blog quietly eeking out an existence in the Blogosphere. It had pretty photos. It had wordy bits (and sometimes they were quite funny). It even had the occasional visitor which made it very happy.
Then one day it ground to a halt.
It's author forgot about it and left it all alone.
Sometimes visitors came to see it and left it little comments which helped it survive. Just.
The author had become somewhat distracted by the other things in her life - husband's redundancy, husband being at home on the computer all day looking for jobs, looking for jobs herself, worrying about money, - those kinds of things. the blog did not understand these things so it just sat in the corner and pined.
Then one day the author's husband went away for a day so the author could finally get back onto the computer. Once she had caught up with reading all the other blogs she liked in the Blogosphere she remembered her own blog...



Remember me?

It's been a while but I'm back, for today at least.

So here we go with a frantic catch up.

Went to Brixham and sailed across to Torquay in the lovely sunshine,

with my lovely sis, of course, (that's Brixham behind her on our return journey).

Everybody climbing back onto The Rum Runner after lunch. Thanks Tim and Fi for the loan of the boat. She's gorgeous!

And this is the bloke that is now in need of a job. If anybody needs someone to run an engineering/manufacturing plant then he's your man, particularly if it's related to windows/aluminium/metal casting/pressing. Flipping China!!!

I did my first public(ish) Stick Bashing last Sunday. We were meant to be dancing at a pub in Barton and collecting cash for Comic Relief but weren't made overly welcome (even though we had phoned and asked beforehand). So we regrouped at our usual post-practice pub in Alrewas - The George and Dragon - where we did a couple of wee dances in the backroom after we had been suitably refreshed. Evie and I were presented with our bells (think fairies getting their wings but different).

Here is Mini-Me in her kit just before we left home. She looks a real Dickensian urchin in her rags and topper.

And here is another bit of brightly coloured creativity. I finally finished the rainbow skirt!
I love it sooooo much.
When OH gets back from his day of "networking" at Cheltenham I'll get him to take some pics of me wearing it and twirling around so you get the full effect.

can't believe that it's done. There were surprisingly few hiccups along the way. I have even turned the hem up by hands and everything now. I would just like some braid to stitch along the hemline but maybe not...

This is my Morris hat, complete with red noses as it's Red Nose Day. Don't quite know why it's in the middle and not with the Morris dancing stuff but I'm not going to risk shuffling photos around and messing up the spacing an more.

I've been the very happy recipient of a couple of brilliant swaps. First is Jennyflower's Mug Swap. My partner was the amazing Michele of Calicodaisy in America. She had got all my stuff parcelled up ready to go 'til she got to the Post Office. When it was weighed it cost loads more in postage than the actual mug had cost. So she took the parcel to pieces and took the heavy mug out and sent the rest of the stuff which was much lighter. There is so much anyway - it is brilliant.
Three pieces of gorgeous fabric. Look at those toadstools. The polka dots have already been attacked.

Instead of a ceramic mug I got a quilted and embroidered one - much nicer I think.

And a fabbo wallet to carry teabags (or anything else) around in.

Thanks so much Michele. I'm overwhelmed with how much you sent and how beautiful it all was xx

Then there was meridan Ariel's Owl Swap.
For this my partner was fabbo - and also 40 this year (but it doesn't matter cuz it's just a number) - Janine (angelgurl) from New Zealand. Again I am overcome but how generous people are. Look at that cute knitted bloke! He is now on the Top Shelf with Ponsonby Pigeon and Ginger's dolly looking down on us all.

The HUMUNGOUS bar of chocolate is gradually disappearing. It is hidden in my workroom and I'm being very controlled in my eating of it (mainly cuz it's SOOOOO thick you'd break your jaw if you ate any more than a couple of pieces at a time - it-'s scrummy!!).

The box with the circular motif on it is a stationery set handmade by Janine. There are the cutest, stalkiest looking owls stamped on tags and notepads. Hilarious! There are loads of pictures over on Flickr showing it opened out. It is so clever. She is so clever. Definitely pop over and have a look.
There is also an angel charm made from crystal beads and a glittery angel tag.

And then there was this.

We both have a passion for buttons and the day before this parcel arrived I had been making rings out of buttons. None of mine were quite so gorgeous as these ones though. The colours are fantastic. And there are loads of funky shapes and different sizes.

Once again, thank you so much Janine. It was great to 'meet' you and be your partner.
Right. Kiddie wants to go on the computer so I'd better leave it for now.
Next post will be number 200!!!! Aaaarrgghh!!
Giveaway time.
No pressure.

I will think of something.
*wanders off scratching head and pondering*