Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Antique jewellery box

I nipped to my local charity shop for a bit of a nose around - I had to go to the chemist for some medication in any event and the Charity shop is before the Chemists.  One of the helpers in there R**** has been closely associated with high class furniture shops and the like and being a store Manager.  Has a keen eye for the auctions and for private clearances and he does what he can to raise funds for the Charity.  He is a lovely chap of pure heart and I always have a laugh and a joke with him when he is in the shop.

Whilst he was in today he was preparing stuff for outting out and he called me over to show me his latest find which I fell in love with.  It was something that I have been looking for for a while an antique 100+ year old jewellery box.  It is quite a decent size is inlaid with brass fretwork shield panel at the centre of which is inlaid mother of pearl.  I have been advised to give it a good clean up with some beeswax.  It is also inlaid with two different woods one of which is Walnut. The upholstery is a little tatty with use but R**** has advised me to leave it as is to leave it honest as otherwise it could devalue it.  He said 5 years ago a box in this condition was fetching £300+. It has two hidden sections one a small box in the base  and the other in the lid.  It contains a mirror and a letter pouch ideal for billets doux (love letters). Below the lining the leather is in pristine condition and would appear never to have been used.  Indeed the previous owner did not even know about the compartment. I am chuffed to bits with it.  It has been well used and loved and will be ideal to put some of my jewellery bits and pieces in. R**** seemed pleased it was coming to me and to a good appreciative home.

I shall also pop some lavender in to clear the energies before I start to use it.  However I feel very lucky to have such another lovely piece for my home.  I have for a while wanted to start a collection of second hand jewellery just a piece here and there that need not cost the earth but some nice pieces and I think this will make the perfect home for such a collection.  I will have to see what I can find on my travels.

I already have my Great Maiden Aunts green silk lined sewing table.  That needs a bit of a buff up too.  I love older antique style furniture my great aunt had an awful lot of it and I used to stay with her a lot.  I think thats where I got my good eye from and I certainly grew up with respect and care for such items.  I think they add so much character to a home.  Even my dining room dressers which are pine and were bought new and they are now 40 years of age.

Here are the photographs as is before a little Tlc is shown.  I dont think it looks bad as it is but I want it to look smashing with the wood all polished up and shining from a little beeswax and elbow grease.

I just love it.

Catch you soon.



Monday, 30 January 2017

Needlework and craft stuff

One of the plans that I have is to sort out all my charts and instructions for all my crafty stuff and that is why I have purchased all the storage stuff from Dunhelm including the magazine holders.  I thought it would be a start but I do have masses of craft magazines going back years. I managed to lose some of them recently due to a burst pipe but that was beyond my control. However what remains needs sorting and at least it is a start and at least it will keep all my Leisure Craft charts clean and safe.  I have cross stitch needlepoint embroidery crochet heneral craft magazines etc. etc. which I am loath to let go as many of the things I would still like to try and make. Oh for enough hours in the day.  Wherever possible I always try to plan things where I can i.e. if I know I am going to be starting something like the patchwork I try and get in place all those items and consumables and fabric that I will need before starting.

 I have been collecting for some time old cotton shirts which I intend to use to do my own patchwork.  I still have a major job to do in stripping down the shirts they have already been washed and then collating all the fabric together in readiness for having a go at my first proper patchwork quilt. Which I hope to get to grips with fairly soon.

I have also purchased some cream cotton and calico off traders on ebay as it works out cheaper as well as cotton for use in other quilts.  I have several ideas in mind for different style quilts but will start with the upcycled ones first.  Am keeping to simple block styles first but I would like to have a go at a Dresden plate and also English paper pieced quilts in due course. I particularly like star and hexagon style patterned quilts.

I have also ordered some linen fabric in neutral colours as for this Christmas coming I want to have a mixture of Christmas themed cushion covers using different mediums to effect a more Christmassy decor.  Trouble is cushion covers cost a fortune in the shops yet I know I can make them myself at a fraction of the cost. There was a time when I used to do copious amounts of sewing including my own clothes. So I am not  stranger to sewing and am looking to expand my repertoire.

I have also bought some Donna Kooler Christmas Stocking charts worked in needlepoint and cross stitch.  I am waiting for those to arrive together with a couple of patchwork books one on English paper piecing and the other on Crazy patchwork and suitable embroidery embellishments.

Also ordered are another candlewick cushion kit I already have a couple of kits and this one is a different design.  There are also a couple of what are known as pillowcase dolls kits.  I have ordered two different designs.  A little indulgence for myself. There are also two pillowcase kits with a Crinoline Lady to embroider on each.

So despite me working hard to complete the kits there is also a lot of planning and plotting going on behind the scenes as well. Everything I make has a specific style like for instance for my best room lounge I have been working needlepoint cushions roses and flowers with colours pink cream and green predominantly but there are variations to this as well to add a little more interest.

I am very lucky that every so often I indulge myself with some new crafty bits and bobs but there was a time when Oh was out of work for 4.5 years when I could not. So the bits and bobs I had accumulated before then kept my hands busy and me sane during this time.

I have chosen poppies and wild flowers and wildlife for the dining room. Etc etc. Everything has a theme or colour scheme and blends very well together.  A lot of panels have been worked but not yet made up into cushion Covers although that may well change this year. I also have my father's piano stool which needs a bit of a revamp. I intend to find a nice needlepoint to work to cover the lid and then touch up the scratches and give it a good polish.

So there is lots of things I would like to accomplish this year will see how it goes in the long term but it will not be for the lack of trying or planning.  So all grist to the mill and upwards and onwards.

Are you planning on doing anything on the craft front this year.  Do share would love to know.  Catch you soon.

Pattypan xx

Sunday, 29 January 2017

WIP - Work in progress the Butterfly Cushion

I knew I said I wouldnt start this project until the hot water bottle covers were done but this piece just spoke to me.  So I Just did a teeny weeny piece.  It didnt stop there though.

Quite a bit more worked. I am not happy with the palest shade of blue provided it is more like a grey.  Not what I expected at all. But its working up reasonably quickly and I enjoy the rythm of the hand work. Its even relatively neat on the back for me. Its silly but this kit reminds me of the summer meadows that we used to play in as children going newting and tiddling with a butterfly net and chasing the butterflies with our nets and bumble bees popping them into jars to study ghem and then setting them free.  All of that is not politically correct these days but this is what children did.  I do feel so that subsequent generations have missed out on so much freedom.  If you double click on the pictures you will be able to see which areas I have worked thus far.

Since then I have gone onto work some more of the panel and now half of the Butterfly is to all intent and purposes worked.  I am enjoying working this panel and it is working up a lot quicker than I had anticipated but I keep chugging away at it.

So I am gradually making inroads into this project.

Another session of stitching accomplished. Nearly another quarter of the Butterfly worked.  I think this is going to look lovely once completed.

I still have a lot more to do will do an update once a little more is worked and the hot water bottle covers finished.

Theres no hope for me!

Catch you soon.

Pattypan xx

Drinks Session/Brewing Session

I am being drawn back into the kitchen but am having to take my time what with the recovery of my foot.  However I am planning to having a little drinks session in the kitchen.  By that I mean making wine.  I have in mind to make some sweet house orange wine which is a beginners wine to start with. I also use the same basic recipe for lemon grapefruit wines as well.  I also have four wine kits two of elderflower one Black Cherry and a Strawberry.  Hopefully that will take place this coming Saturday.  The wine cellar has been bare here for a while and I aim to put that right for this year. So I thought I would have a session concentrating on this to get them underway.  It will also be nice to have a glass of country wine again in due course with my Sunday dinner.  Not that I drink a lot as I do not but its nice to have an occasional glass of something to drink with the Sunday lunch.

So that's

Orange wine from scratch

Black Cherry a kit

Strawberry a kit

Elderflower x two kits

To make to start with

That should keep me occupied for a little while at least. Now to start sorting those Demijohns out and getting them sterilised.  Will have to find a spot in the house for them to start the fermentation first.

Catch you later.


Saturday, 28 January 2017

All is calm

For once it is quite peaceful here and it has been a steady day one for wandering into your own personal space but still companionable as well. Its at times like these that I start plotting and planning things for the future. I have quite a bit of ironing to do which needs sorting out over the next few days or so.

We have had a simple tea as well roast chicken bread and butter  served with pickles and chutney has gone down very nicely.

Will be watching a film shortly so will be putting my feet up and doing a little crochet as well. Still working on the hot water bottle covers when I get a few minutes
 Taking longer because I am making two. Right off to get myself comfy.  Catch u soon Pattypan x

Civilised start to the day

Oh cooked me a full English breakfast after letting me lay in for a while.  That is indeed luxury from my perspective.  Not that I am one for a full cooked breakfast but at least he made the effort.  The sun is out here it is glorious to see it especially after so many long damp and cold grey days.  I have a hot date with the washing machine yo look forward to. Ah well upwards and onwards I had better get a wriggle on.  Catch you later. Pattypan xx

Friday, 27 January 2017

Besutiful Handpainted Picture

I picked up this beautiful what appears to be a hand painted picture of a doe and fawn before Christmas on a junk stall on the market. Total outlay £2.  The overmount has watermark damage.  The picture is painted on the same fabric.  I am not sure whether it is silk or not.  I absolutely love this picture and wondered whether any of you have any ideas about how I should go about this.  Its too good a quality to be destined for the bin.  Any ideas/suggedtions would be gratefully received.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Pattypan xx

Trying to get organised

I went onto the Dunhelm web site just as dangerous as going into the shop.  I have invested in some storage bits and bobs in an effort to organise my desk area a little better and also my crafting dies for my Big Shot and also my Go Accuquilt patchwork cutting system which I have recently invested in.  Expensive but my treat to me in a big effort to get to grips with the cutting of my fabric and getting quilts made. I have an irrational fear of the rotary cutter and the system sold itself to me on time saving issues.  When you have little time in the first place you try and make the most of what time you do have.

Anyway back to the storage items I have a acquired in an attempt to sort myself out so that I can locate things simply and easily

First up is a paper and drawer organiser.  I have two of these.

Second is a set of two drawers handy for printing paper labels photo paper and specialist other sundries.

Third four large boxes for all my folders and dies for my big shot.  There are also a couple for the Go Accuquilt machine snd dies for my patchwork. One of the boxes is intended for stripped down fabric from old clothing.

There are als four smaller boxes still yo come.

And finally but not least there are 10  magazine holders for my crafting and cooking stuff.
The range is called the healing garden.  It reminds me very much of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady range and indeed goes very well with that.  It sits alongside it very nicely.  All these items are for the computer/craft room.  We have a pale green paint on the wall so it should fit nicely. The most expensive item in the rangr is the big box and desk tidy. They are on offer at the moment.  I am still waiting for part of the delivery to come. When it arrives I can set about sorting out the craft room and getting it organised so that I can start playing in the sewing side.  There is still some more equipment I have my eye on on the sewing side a new machine or machines but I will start with the patchwork and take it from there.  I have also ordered a couple of new kits to go with existing items so a lot more handwork to come.

Right had better get a wriggle on as best I can at the moment.  Still lots of planning and plotting to do whilst I rest my foot.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan xx

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Coldness calls for a hot dinner

I was in two minds as to what to do for tea this evening.  I knew I craved a hot simple meal but Oh has been a bit difficult of late as to what he actually wants to eat.  He came home from work and was absolutely perished.  So that settled it despite him not wanting me to go to too much trouble. I quickly went to the shop and nabbed some sausages and came back and set too.  Oh does not feel the cold so for him to say that he was is highly unusual.  I take it as a precursor a warning sign that if he is not careful he will be poorly.  So comfort food to the rescue.

We have subsequently had individual toad in the holes with mashed potatoes mixed veg csrrots broccoli cauliflower and peas with an onion shallot and thyme gravy.  I did individual toads utilising some older victoria sandwich pans that i had.  I put a little pork dripping in each pan with some slices of onion and then once frying added three sausages each and left them to cook a little then added the batter mix wuth dried thyme mixed herbs and some chives to the batter mix with a splash of home made Tarragon vinegar and then left in a hot oven for 30 to 40 mins to cook and rise.  Once cooked I serve each toad on a plate and then add the veggies. It went down very well and Oh has now warmed up so I am hoping to have avoided him being poorly.  Needless to say he snaffled the lot.  Sometimes your body just craves comfort food and with it being cold -2 at 6pm I am just trying to keep us both warm and fed. Tomorrow I shall make some pea and ham hock soup to have before our main meal and give s but more fuel for our internal central heating systems to process.  Food that is tasty and yet does you good.  I shall add the remnants of the gravy from today to give it a little more flavour.  I hate wasting stuff at the best of times.  For me when I cook its just not about good food but the flavours you release during the cooking so why waste any left overs from good meals when you can turn it into a hot delicious soup.  Its false economy not to do so.

Right am feel very stuffed off to tidy up.  Keep yourselves warm and well fed as it helps to keep you warm especially when ut is what I call brrgh weather.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan x

Monday, 23 January 2017

Candy Cane Vodka or Toffee Vodka

There's a litre bottle of Vodka on the side dresser and each time I pass it I think I really must do something with you. But what exactly.

I have been fiddling about for many years now with infusions and specifically with alcoholic beverages such as Sloe Gin a lovely Winter warmer on a very cold day. Originally i had purchased the Vodka to do some Sloe Vodka but did not come across any sloes.  I am hoping that this year I will find some to put some much needed alcoholic beverages up and I intend to budget for the alcohol in the monthly budget so that I have a ready supply when I feel the need to add something else to the Pantry shelf.

When I started fiddling with the Cherry Brandy, Raspberry Gin, Raspberry Vodka, Passionfruit Gin etc. Etc. there was a slightly different way of creating an infusion which mainly involved a bottle of alcohol a favourite sweet such as Bubble Gum pear drops whatever took your fancy popping the said sweets into the bottle or bottles of Vodka putting the lid on and popping it into a dishwasher for a cycle then popping on the pantry shelf for a little tipple here and there or bringing out when you had visitors.  There was only one problem in at that time muggins did not have a dishwasher.  I therefore resorted to soaking fruit or sweeties in spirit.  It is a more time consuming method is more sedate  - I am not built for speed. So this method suits me perfectly.  However you can break the toffees down if a very hard candy toffee with a rolling pin bashing it in a polythene bag to keep all the bits together or you can granulate it in a food processor. I prefer to let them just macerate.

There are many recipes littered all over the Internet.  I collect them on my Pinterest board.  You do get some interesting results as depending on your chosen sweet it can colour the Vodka or in respect of the Toffee Vodka it not only colours it can make it frothy but this is quite normal.  After the chosen sweet has dissolved in the alcohol and it does - I usually shake the jar or bottle twice a day to make this happen I then strain through paper coffee filters to get rid of any residue or very fine muslin.

 However when I initially played with these infusions/macerations Vodka was a lot cheaper then as well.   However due to the price Vodka is today to start with I would be very selective about which type of sweet I went for my least favourite sweet would be Parma Violets not that it would not make an interesting although I would hasten to add an acquired taste but to start with you want to have something pleasant to enjoy and therefore I would start with the Toffee Vodka.  I warn you though it does have a little bit of a kick.

I then belonged for a few years to a forum where likeminded ladies interested in cooking shared anything they tried on the cookery front and the Toffee Vodka below was a well used and favourite recipe.

Toffee Vodka

1 standard 750ml bottle of vodka
1 pack of Werthers
1 Kilner Jar
Some time and patience and lots if shaking action with the jar.

For the Candy Cane Vodka
1 pack of Candy Canes usually about 10 to 12 per pack
1 Standard 750ml bottle of Vodka
1 Kilner Jar
Some time and patience and lots of shaking action with the Kilner jar.

As at this particular time I have Toffee Vodka on the shelf and I have some candy canes left over from Christmas. Its one I have not tried before.

Basically you take a Large jar such as a Kilner jar sterilise it add your chosen sweetie to the jar and then add the Vodka.  Make sure the jar is big enough to take whatever quantity of Vodka you are using. Seal the jar and then shake the jar to help dissolve the contents everytime you go by or at least twice a day.  Once contents are dissolved strain through fine muslin or a paper coffee filter.  Once strained decant into a clean sterilised bottle.  I just tend to have a little bit of the Toffee liqueur as a pick me up now and then but you could take it a step further and create your own unique cocktails to serve to guests come party time.

I shall see how I get on with the Candy Cane version but other possibilities such as Skittles and Turkish Delight may be possibilities too.  I am also hoping to get some Lemoncello underway too.

Right I need to put my foot up its protesting just a little bit.  Catch you soon.

Pattypan x

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Catch up Sunday

Its been a quiet day here today.  Bright but very cold.  I have therefore hogged the house a bit and rested my foot some more.  A lot of the pain is now gone but it is incredibly sore and I have had tovput a fresh dressing on today. My big toe is very stiff and a bit pins and needley st times but I think I am slowly getting there although I am still not back into my normal shoes yet.  I am at the hospital this week and next week I think one is for a check up with the Rheumatologist. It gets a bit cibfusing when you are seen by three or four Departments. I am still in the very unsexy boot which is way higher than my right side so am still utilising the crutch. I have also popped myself on a short vitamin course as a bit of a pick me up as I have been seriously sleepy dropping off st the drop of a hat.  Now I have to start getting myself back into more of my normal routine as the precursor of getting myself organised in readiness ultimately for hoing back to work. I think I am going to have to be very careful here.  I am going to see if I can do a little walking this week to see jow my system reacts as I walk to work in any event although I am usually collected so will see how things go.

Instead of a roast dinner tonight I just cooked a piece of roast pork and se had slices with apple sauce in sarnies.  Made a nice change as neither of us was overly hungry.

Right am off to get a drink and watch the Tv for a luttle while.

Take care.


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Fabric for Patchwork

I went to my local Charity shop yesterday just for a look around and have ended up finding three mens shirts in pale blues and tourquoise. These at some point will now have to be stripped down to salvage the fabric for recycling into a quilt.   I also pop any buttons into my button box ans they are either recycled on clothing or other craft items. As a child I used to be given my aunts button box to keep me amused and out of mischief. I tend to prefer the larger sizes of shirt as you get more fabric out of them but I liked the fabric in each of these so there will be a little less to play with on these. Fortunately yesterday the shirts only cost £2 each which made a big change.

I have also recently heard if another charity shop which is a luttle way off and an area I am familiar with as I used to live there as a child.  Will go and have a shifty ons day.  But at least yesterday I was able to acquire more fabric for the quilt stash which will be my first quilt. I know its a bit of messing about doing it this way but at least I am keeping costs to a minimum and recycling items into something practical and useful. If there are any scraps left over I will probably use them in other projects as well utilising folded patchwork and Dresden Plate. I will just have to see what is available to play with but having a potential outline does help and then it will come down to patience in preparing the fabric and cutting and then piecing so that the placing will please the eye.  However I still need some more fabric yet.  Hopefully this will be the next main project after the Butterfly cushion.  I am still inbetween everything else working the hot water bottle covers and then the cushion.  However I like to be ahead of the game in that I like to collect everything together in advance so that when I am ready to get on I can just go to it.  I am enjoying my craftwork again. It has been soothing and pleasurable.

Catch you later.  Pattypan xx

Simple eating

Tonight I fancied something with a bit of cheese on a little pineapple and chorizo served with a side salad and a baked potato served with butter and coleslaw. I am of course talking about home made pizza. I did the pizza myself and it was just what the Doctor ordered.  OH had the same but did not fancy the salad leaves but had the rest and it went down very nicely. It made a nice change to have something later.

I was completely stuffed but a couple of hours later I got the munchies and as we had not had fruit or a pudding I made a nice thick pancake with half a tin of Mandarin oranges and dome whipped cream.  Naughty in one sense but very delicious all the same.  I dont use sugar in the pancakes at all so not as naughty as ut could have been. Sometimes you just have to have a little something extra snd pancakes are always quick to make whether for an impromptu pudding for breakfast or savoury pancakes for a main meal. Needless to say it has gone down very well and filled a comfort need for me.  I dont feel guilty just very satisfied.  Carch you later.  Pattypan x

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Butterfly/Moth Cushion

This is the next piece of work on the agenda.  It is destined for my rocking chair and I am not sure whether it is a blue moth or a butterfly.  It is a larger gauge canvas than I am used to and worked in cross stitch rather than just in tent stitch but it should go with the poppy/meadow theme that I have in mind for my dining room. It seems to be working up reasonably quickly with what little bit I have already done.

The first picture is a snap of what the kit should work up into.

And the second photo shows the canvas with the tiny amount I have already managed to do.  

I love the colours in the kit and may well at some future point make a throw to go with it.  It is for my pine Fiddleback Rocking Chair which came from the Lake District.  We were on holiday there when we found it in a shop there.  We therefore ordered it and went back up for a holiday to go and fetch it.  Barmy or what.  I had always wanted my own rocking chair as my uncle had an oak one that I used to be sat in as a little un.  There are a lot of memories attached to a lot of the bits and bobs I have.  The most poignant are the items that have been passed down but they also keep that loved ones memory clear in my heart and mind.  I intend to leave a resume of the stories associated with said items to my heirs in due course together with photos and a list of what is to go to whom do that there is no fighting.

However that is by the by I seem to have got sidetracked as usual. I will show you the cushion panel again once it has been worked in its entirity which may be some little way off but I shall keep at it in the background.  I am still working on the hot water bottle covers and there will be another post to come on that in due course but thought you might like to see what I plan to get up to next. I am trying to organise myself a little bit.  Catch you soon.  Pattypan xx

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Beautiful Needlework

I dont know about you but i have always loved and appreciated beautiful needlework items and have also used them liberally around my home over the years. Being a crafter myself i know how much time and effort goes into creating a piece of work.

Over the years i have gathered quite a few kits and charts together which so far have not been touched.  Some lovely kits which i hope if not this year i will get to next.  I have a host of ufos to do in the meantime and i may be just a bit optimistic on timescales. But hey thats me all over and they do get completed eventually.

I do every so often go onto ebay looking for unfinished work at reasonable prices and i also have these to do.  Needlepoint kits tend to attract quite a high premium but I was lucky recently in acquiring a Primavera kit called Indian Poppies. It has no wools so i am going to have to try and obtain a list of the colours used to complete it.  Why did i buy a part finished kit. I loved the Primavera kits when they first came out but was unable to afford them at the time. I am hoping to get a sister for it in due course.

I always have mixed feelings for pieces like this.  Sadness for the soul who has worked tirelessly at the piece but has not been able to see it to completion but i am happy to finish it and see it to completion and then use it and treasure it.

 I have pine furniture in my dining room and also the Alfred Meaking poppies dinner and tea sets as well as some of the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady dinner service. So i have a poppy theme in mind. Recently also i bought two Tiffany style table lamps and the shades are decorated in poppies also. So eventually the room will come together and be completed.  However my real love is collecting it all together the mixing and matching of said items and integrating them into my home.  I seem to have a good eye for lovely pieces or so i am often told and also a good eye for colour.  But whether i have received as a present made it from scratch or part worked it myself or recycled pieces into something else each will be much loved and treasured like the pieces i have inherited over the years from other family members. I hsve a very ecclectic mix of items acquired over the years or made.

I have also been collecting embroidered tray cloths often damaged and the embroidery is intact but there might be a small hole in the cloth.  I still have a way to go and the theme i have chosen is flowers as eventually i want to turn it into a crazy patchwork style bedcover for my bed but i still have a way to go.  I shall have to pay a visit to the antiques emporium i used to frequent when mum was with us to see if i can locate some more bits and pieces so that they can be reworked and reloved all over again.  Its a good feeling to make something reworkable again. I originally got the idea from a Cath Kidston book but have seen many lovely original creations scattered all over the internet and many of them for sale.

I love creating and fiddling about with things i just have to be doing something. Everything i buy make refurb or do is all linked to each other and is like a big jigsaw puzzle all connected all different shapes and sizes but its lovely when a piece slips or clunks into place.  I just love pretty gorgeous things at the end of the day i just cannot help myself.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan xx

Exercising my fingers paet 4

I have now managed to complete all the squares 24 in total w x6 for the back and 2 x 6 for the fronts x 2.  All loose ends have been woven in on each of the 24 indibidual squares. I have now started joining up the squares. Things are starting to come together although I still have an extensive amount of joining to do before yet more crochet. There is now stacked in my work box 2 different piles of squares. I have started with the back of the hot water bottle covers.  This part may take me a little time but i am being good and concentrating on the one item i.e the hot water bottle covers x 2 and it will be good to get them completed and popped up ready for use.  I have 2 new hot water bottles for the covers.

Most importantly it has got my hands going.  In my real life i am a secretary and therefore typing all day long and as i have no internet connection to my main computer my hands have not been used for typing for the past three and a half weeks which is the longest time ever.  Every little helps and i do not want to lose the dexterity. Typing one fingered on a miniscule kepad on my phone is not my bag.  Its far too slow for me and besides i am used to using both hands.

One final instalment should complete the project and hopefully that will be achieved in the next few days.  Catch you soon.  Pattypan xx

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Exercising my fingers part 3

A view inside my crochet workbox for the Wip the crochet hot water bottle covers.  The front grannys have been worked jn white pink and blue and the backs just in white and blue. I just have one and a half squares of 24 squares to work.  Pnce they are done it will be a case of sewing in the ends and then joining the pieces to form the body of the cover.  I have akso to make white cotton padded inners to make on the sewing machine but will get the cover part done first. Just to keep it looking neat and tidy. I am pleased with how it is working up so far. As I have said before it is inspiring me to make a quilt in these colours and also a crochet blanket. Will have to see in due course.  These covers started out with me wanting to do something with my hands and utilising some remnants of left over wool. I also had no pattern and have made it up as I have gone along. Now to get the sewing up done.  Catch you soon. Pattypan xx

Monday, 16 January 2017

Exercising my fingers Part 2

I am still nibbling away at my hot water bottle covers and instead of being one there are now two.  I have worked 12 granny squares starting with 6 chain joined i to a loop i use the msgic circle method and then 12 trebles into the ring. I then split  into e treble 2 chain on the corners and carry on working for four rows. I have just changed the colourways.  When working granny squares i tend to do so many of each working on the same row on each square until completed.  I have found it more oroductive this way. Now the fronts are worked i am concentrating on the backs.  So far i have r grannys worked and i have another 8 to go.  Once these are worked i will then join 6 of the squares into 2 x 6 panels for the front and the same for the back. I am chuffed with the way things are working up and have been inspired to do this years blanket in this colourway as well as a patchwork quilt. Will pop back again with an update once the panels have been joined.  Take care.  Pattypan x

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Seville Oranges 2017

They are here and the season is usually very short and serms to get earlier every year.  What am I talking about but Seville Oranges and I am chuffed to little bits.

I paid a quick visit to the veg shop just for a few bits and bobs and specifically I had Seville Oranges in mind.  They did not have any outside but a big box of them inside.  The owners explained that a lot of new immigrants who hsve come into the area dont know whst they are and they think they are ordinary esting oranges which you and I know is not the case.  So to prevent any misunderstandings thry hsve thrm under their brsdyceyes.

I was so chuffed to find them that 4kgs have come home with me at £2 per kg.  I have popped an order in for some more as well.  Do not worry I did not carry them home I had them delivered home for me together with some other bits and bobs. The owners brother kindly walked them home for me.

I have in mind to make Seville Orange Marmalade some Seville Orange curd some Vin D'Orange and a couple of other preserves as well. I also intend to freeze some for use later in the year as well to give for a Christmas present. The Vin D'Orange is for Christmas next year. There are instructions on how to make marmalade and the Vin D'Orange further back in the blog. I will pop the back links in when my main computer has access to the Internet again.  Dont miss out on the Seville Oranges.  Catch you soon.  Pattypan xx

Friday, 13 January 2017

Exercising my fingers Part Onei

One of my main craft hobbies has always been crochet.  I am not perfect by any means but i have a go usually on the blanket or throw front. However i have for the past couple of months been looking at hot water bottle covers on different sites particularly at patchwork heart and other various sites as well and have decided to let my fingers do their stuff and hopefully a hit water bottle cover will evolve.  I am using a basic granny patch to start with and using some left over wool in pale pink pale blue and white.  I have managed to work the front granny squares this evening i still have the back to go. I just had the urge to do something with my hands tonight for a change.  Once i work my pattern out i would quite like to do a couple of covers with raised flowers on but lets get this one done first.  If it works out will be another line for the home made Christmas presents. So i am playing and letting my fingers do their thing. I like the colour choice so much so i am contemplating making a patchwork quilt in this colourway it is very pretty.  The cover itself seems to be working up very quickly.  I might also do a throw in this colourway too. Will have to see how things go.  Well thats the first six Granny squares now to do the back.

Now to work the back. Once the back is worked I will then join the squares and neaten up the ends and then start the finishing crochet to join the two panels of six give it an opening with button loops and a neck collar. Hopefully catch you later. Pattypan.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Organising My Craft Work

The CoOp have had an offer on with some work boxes with a removable tray in so i have snaffled a few. My idea is to have a box for cross stitch a box for hand sewing and patchwork and other craft items so that i can stack and store what i am working on and readily find everything in one place. I usually manage to misplace things along the way and as my memory is not as good as it used to be i thought this might be a safer and less stressful way of working for me.

 I thought if i worked on the UFOs in this fashion it would be a good way of getting them done and dusted. In reality i have only purchased three boxes but that is enough to be going on with.  I did go back for some more but they did not have any left ax they were on special promotiSson £7 each or 2 for £9. At least all the necessary items will be in one place as i work project by project.

 The boxes at the moment just have bits and pieces in them that i have come across as i have been sorting bits and bobs out. One of the boxes has some new embossing folders and cutters for my Big Shot.

I also fell lucky the other day in Hobbycraft as I came across a Sissix Bigz Die reduced for making Poinsettia flower decorations out of paper or fabric so that will come in very handy for making some Christmas decorations.  I have in mind at the moment some more stockings but also some Poinsettia Garlands and also trims for the table knapkin holders etc.  I think I was in the right place at the right time. Now to find my felt bag and have a little play.

So I have more than a few things to play with in due course

I am still experiencing problems with the Internet its still hit n miss.  Please bear with me.  Take care Pattypan x

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Whilst I am at home

I am going to try and do a few sewing projects especially some of the UFOs. However in the run up to Christmas just gone I picked up a couple of reduced kits from John Lewis. Both are Christmas orientated and I thought I would start early for Christmas 2017. If any of you would like the instructions please pm me with your email address and I will forward to you a copy. I traced the pattern then scanned it. This particular kit is for a Poinsettia decorated felt stocking.  You can then start making your own versions for friends and family members utilising felt and fabric that you already have. I already have ideas for varying the same.

Anyway I have been going stir crazy and have spent a good part of my time sleeping but I wanted something relatively straight forward and simple to do whilst also creating something personal for my own Christmas decoration stash.

Well have started it and quite quick and simple to make up.  The pattern says to sew stocking up and then turn it through so i have pieced it together with a running stitch and also attached the stocking holder by this method as well.

I still have done a running stitch in a red cotton all the way round the outside of the stocking but you could also blanket stitch it.  I have to sew the Poinsettias on and then work a panel of beadwork below the Poinsettias and then the stocking will be finished.  The kit was reduced to £6 from £10 but i intend to make a few more yet throughout the year.

I also came up with an alternative placement for the Poinsettias.

The beading is more or less done.  There is a placement chart on the instruction sheet which I have transferred to the stocking via greaseproof paper or freezer paper and then sewed the beads onto the stocking through the paper.  I have then carefully torn the paper away leaving a neat panel of beadwork.

All I have to do now is sew on the Poinsettias.  I am chuffed with the result and it has only taken a couple of hiurs work.  Best of all though thats the first project completed for Christmas 2017.  Apart from two beads which have gone walkabout.

This is the beading and Poinsettias in place and once i have the two beads i will show the stocking completely finished.

This year more than ever i want to make Christmas as home made as i can on all fronts. Crafts, presents where I can, food for Christmas, preserves of all descriptions including Charcuterie, winemaking, liqueurs, ciders and beers etc etc.

I also bought from the Charity shop some Christmas tree baubles and I intend to decorate them with beads to really make some lovely tree decorations.

I had intended this year to do my own greenery garlands and wreaths but with the operation and me being hampered with what I could or could not do that just did not happen.  It was more than I had anticipated not being able to do.  With hindsight it was too close to Christmas for the operation but i just wanted it out of the way and done with so that i could get on with things in the New Year.

Once the missing beads are sewn on i will start the mistletoe wreath kit that i also bought from John Lewis reduced to £6 again.  More on that later but all the projects i am making are all home made which is the important bit for me in the greater scheme of things.  I am certainly going to be making more Christmas stockings for my family's use but also to give as a pressie or two.

By the way I am still having problems with the internet. Cannot gain access on main computer and preparing posts on the phone which this post is very tedious time consuming and far too slow.  Hopefully normal posts will resume soon i am finding it very frustrating but at least on this occasion it will let me post.

Catch you soon.

  • Pattypan xx

Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)