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!