Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Crafting Ideas

I needed somewhere to jot down ideas for future projects using stuff I already have to hand with possibly a few extras and thought it might be handy to put it down in note form so that I have a continuous record as it were as to stuff I want to achieve and location of patterns etc.  By the time I get round to them I will have forgotten what I wanted to do so I thought a visual and if possible the instructions would help me out in the longer run.  These are of course on top of the other projects I have on the go.

As many of you know I have been collecting men's shirts for quite some time with the idea of making a quilt.  Mostly in pale blues, whites, navy, reds but also in pinks, yellows, mauves, with an idea not just to make one or two quilts of different colourways.

Project One

However I was browsing Pinterest and I spotted a bought patchwork quilt in reds, greens and creams and I thought I could do that for next Christmas from the majority of recycled shirts, in reds, checks, pale creams and greens.  However this time also adding in specific fabrics like the green and cream to give continuity.  So  shall now be on the lookout for further shirts to recycle.  Also might be some applique pieces in there as well.  Thought would look good done single sized as throws for the front room.

Project Two

I have a small vanity case that was bought for me by my Great Uncle when I was 15 years old.  It is a hard cardboard composite case in a brown colour.  I love the case as it brings back happy memories of a much loved family member who has been gone since I was 25 years of age.   He never bought many presents but the few he did buy me I treasure.

I saw this revamp of a case on Pinterest and thought that I may well do something similar with this case to bring it into use again and also tone in with those items I already have in my bedroom.  

My case is more of a rounded shape but still a decent size.  There are no instructions just a visual but I should be able to revamp it from this.  Looks really pretty.

Project Three

I have a lot of mis-matched lace crochet mats.  Some of the smaller ones I will make some lavender sachets from but with some of the bigger ones I intend to make this throw.

It is very light, very pretty and feminine and making use of something that otherwise would not see the light of day.  Such lovely things should be on show.  This will be a hand-stitched piece.

Project Four

I want to learn how to knit Aran and have seen some cushion cover patterns which kind of kill two birds with one stone in that they get you practicing different stitches but produce lovely cushion covers.  I am thinking that these will be ideal for next Christmas.

This pretty vibrant cushion is a freebie pattern at letsknit on the link below.

Project Five

Union Jack Cushion Cover One

This is on the Prima website.  The link is here with the instructions on how to make:

Union Jack Cushion Cover Two

This one is by Jenny of Elefantz which uses Tilda fabrics.  The instructions are here:

I have posted both as both are slightly different shapes.

I shall add further projects as I go along as I certainly want to make these items.


Thank you

For all your kind wishes in respect of my recent bout of illness.  It is very much appreciated.  Still hanging on in there and just as I think it has gone it comes back for the next round!

This one is holding on for grim death (excuse the pun). Fingers crossed it disappears soon.

Thank you once again

Tricia xx

Plans and Dreams

I have so many floating around in my mind's eye that I do not seem to be able to settle on anything at the moment.  Sometimes I have my head in the sky planning and plotting this and that, that I forget to live in the everyday.  I am perhaps worn out because of too much dreaming and not enough doing.  At the end of the day it is a question of balance and I need to try and restore my inner equilibrium which at the moment is all over the shop.  Tied to everyday restrictions and practicalities does not help the mix but at the end of the day you have to make the most of what presents itself to you.  Sometimes it is not the journey or the specific element you are dealing with at the time but the way you deal with things that is the learning curve never mind that sometimes you feel as though you are treading in perpetual quicksand.

I am time rich in some respects at the moment but because I have lost focus I am not achieving very much. It is seriously grieving me but I wonder whether the ether is making me rest!  I have lots of things to go at because that is what I do i.e. stockpile things to make or do when I am able to so that when times get tighter I still have some creative project that I can go at.  That is just the way I am.  I now need to get quite a few things sorted out across the spectrum including trying to bring those projects which have been sidelined for a while into being a lot of them being handcrafted and realistically like everything else this is going to take some time.  However I believe getting back to concerted focused crafting will help me sort the rest of the issues out. I need to play in order to be able to  stabilise myself somewhere especially when factoring in the health issues I have from time to time.

One of the dreams I have always had is to have a large enough house so that I can fit in everyone and have a proper family Christmas with family and friends as well. The house here is far too small for me to entertain properly and it is a lot smaller than what I have had in the past.  What with two step-children and their partners, four children of various ages plus the dog and cats x 5 it would be more than sardines for Christmas and everyone needs a little space to move.  Something will turn up eventually.  See what I mean about being restricted!  One day!

So after another day of doing nothing, getting frustrated, coughing (not as much as yesterday) I have decided to put some play time into each day so that instead of carrying on with something already started I give myself a break and a bit of play time rather than just working continually which is what has been happening thus far.  I am trying to break a spiral which thus far have not been able to stop.  So another attack from a different direction.  A slight restructure on the stuff I normally do and a little bit more discipline I am hoping will bring me back on track.  Fingers crossed and toes plaited.

In the meantime, we have had a lovely rib eye steak for tea served with home made chips, fried mushrooms, onions and bread and butter.  Has gone down very nicely.

Right tomorrow is a new day and I need to get more done so that I do not feel a full and abject failure.

Catch you soon.



Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Off colour

I am still not right with this lurking cold and it has come back tenfold today with me coughing, coughing and coughing.  So I have done absolutely nothing and am trying to rest up so that hopefully I can encourage this bug to clear orff! I had an early night last night as well and it looks as though it will be another early night tonight.  

Sorry I don't mean to complain really; I am a lot luckier than most.  However I am a bit down  generally at the moment a lot of it I am putting it down to the really cold weather which has also triggered my arthritis and other issues.  I am just hoping I have a better winter on the cold front this year than I did last.  Have to try and keep warm, layered up and positive.  I am still taking the vitamin D tablets but just feel generally overwhelmed and frustrated that I am not getting on with things as quickly as I want to.

It seems to be really cold all over the country at the moment some places more than others.  Are we on for a white Christmas this year folks?  I think perhaps we might be.  It has been a bit of a chaotic year on the weather front in any event but something about the heat of the summer and the cold thus far is ringing bells from my youth when we really had bitter windows.

OH has had the rest of last night's dinner.  There was enough for me but I just could not fancy it.  I have had a couple of toasted teacakes with some cheese in any event.  I have had enough to eat - its just some days I cannot fancy stuff.  I shall snap out of it.  Will have to give myself a stiff talking to.  Go away Black Dog!

Hope to be in a better space tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Monday, 29 October 2018

Things are a little busy again here

as usual, now that the cold still has not quite gone and the upset Saturday night have calmed down I am starting to do a bit again which may mean that I will not post as regularly as I have done.  Coupled with things am trying to do in the house, get tidy, get rid of clutter, etc. etc. OH is working overtime where he can which means that muggins walks the dog as he comes in too late and as she is an old lady nine on 31 October I like to keep her in routine as best as possible as she is so very good in any event. As it is a good mile walk  - normally we go down in the van and then walk her for a good 1/2 mile or so and then come back but when I take her she is taken on the lead to where we walk her and then walked and then walked all the way back.  She is a bit nervous of the traffic but walks for me at least very nicely on the lead. Not necessarily so for the OH as she thinks she can do as she wants when he is around.  I like her to behave herself whilst at the same time giving her, her freedom where we walk her.

Today was such a day and at 3:30pm I noted that it was starting to darken up a bit.  Where we walk Missy is very poorly lit and I did not really want to be out at dusk or later with her  - she is quite feisty and if she does not like anything soon lets us know.  Much as I love walking her - it does end up throwing me out on everything else.

It was starting to get really chilly at that time and has turned chillier since.  However the sunset across the skyline looked beautiful moody and broody and cold!

When OH works late I also try to ensure that a meal is ready for OH when he does get in and we have had roast beef for tea this evening with lots of roasties and veggies.  Hopefully there will be enough for a reprisal tomorrow evening which will save a little time in the greater scheme of things.

It was really cold here again last night, and I have had the heating on a couple of times today already although it had warmed up nicely so at the moment am giving it a little respite at the moment.

I have been backwards and forward to the kitchen quite a bit though making sure that tea will be ready. Especially when someone keeps changing the goalposts!

Needless to say tea went down a treat.  OH is a bit like the walking dead at the moment but at least he has got stuck in and worked the extra all very helpful.

For Wednesday we have a small rib eye steak each which will be served with home made onion rings and home made chips and also some fried onions and mushrooms.  So to some extent some preplanning without too much angst.  

Right had better get a wriggle on.  

Catch you later.  



Sunday, 28 October 2018

Bit more with it

After last nights upset I have had a very easy day not doing very much and only having something light to eat.  I had some ham and pea soup and OH had a spicy bean soup.  After a trip to the tip we have come in and kept in the warmth each of us doing our own thing.  I have been researching some more posts he has been watching TV.  We have not moved very far.  OH crashed out today as it has been his only day off this week and he has worked a couple of lots of overtime.  At least we got the tip run out of the way.

I am cooking a roast dinner for tomorrow night's tea.  We have a small piece of beef and I intend to serve a variety of roast veggies i.e. parsnip, sweet potato, onion, roasties and some roast squash together with some mixed veggies, and spring cabbage with lashings of gravy.  I might also make a bread and butter pudding we have not had one for a while and it is a firm favourite here.  I have just prepared some tuna buns for OH for his pack up tomorrow as well which should keep him happy.

Thank you for the good wishes I am feeling a lot better than I did last night and I managed to get comfy and then went out like a light.  Trouble is episodes like this leave you feeling a tad drained.  Could be worse and I have plans to get on with some more stuff tomorrow so it will be another early start.

Right better get on.

Catch you soon.



A little better

Last night I had a lovely tea of fish and chips.  I had just enough - did  not stuff myself and did not feel uncomfortable.  Later on in the evening I was violently ill.  I believe as a result of an acidosis attack which happens every so often despite being on medication for it.  But needless to say was not too good for a couple of hours and despite having the heating on high I kept going extremely cold. I managed to get comfortable and slept and indeed feel a lot better than I did yesterday.  I was doing a lot of bending and sorting things out yesterday and I suspect that did not help the situation.

However I am being gentle with myself.  I have had a very light breakfast and have not done very much apart from some research for a future post which falls into line with something I have already posted about.  But all will be revealed shortly on that score.

We are supposed to be going to the tip to get rid of some more rubbish but we will see what happens on that score.  There is not a lot but I would prefer to get it out of the way but we shall see what HRH says about it when he comes back.

Right off to potter.  Hopefully catch you later.



The sun has slipped out for a short while from behind the clouds.  

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Perishing weather and a bargain

What a cold and miserable day it has been today.  Grey, wet, damp, freezingly cold and so I understand it several areas have also had their first snow of the season.  Brrgh!

I have not ventured far from home.  When I got up I had the heating on for a couple of hours to warm the house up.  I have found that having it on for a couple of hours and then switching it off the heat remains for quite some time.  I then pop it on a little later to really warm things up and that usually lasts us until bedtime and keeps the house reasonably warm overnight.  I am mindful of the animals here I know they have fur coats but even so the rear of the house at present where they live does get very cold.

OH walked Missy earlier on and I went with him and stayed in the van as it was far too cold.  We then went on and grabbed supper.  A piece of fish and a portion of chips, mushy peas each and that did us nicely.  Its very nice to have your own piece of fish but if you are not going to eat it all which in reality was what was happening then it is false economy.  This way round we get a treat and it does not cost an arm and a leg and we both have more than enough.  Sounds mean but is eminently practical for the pair of us as our appetites are not what they were.  We enjoy our food do not get me wrong but we hate waste also.

I have not done much on the shopping front.  I shall look through the week on the veggie front in particular to see what I can snaffle away in the freezer.  I fell lucky tonight in the Co-Op they had some swedes reduced to 20p each from 80p.  I bought five. They are not as large as they were last winter - but then the heat has put paid to a lot of that as the plants have had to be watered and food prices are and will go up as a result.  So if I spot the chance of something good that can be popped away for next to nothing then I am going to take it. I shall prepare these as Carrot and Swede Crush sometime tomorrow.  It is a favourite here but to buy it I have found it a bit hit and miss with the flavour in any event especially if buying in prepared stuff. Our favourite bought version is M & S version but if I can prepare it myself it will be cheaper and have no additions in it. I have found that once a food item has been turned into something else apart from the raw ingredient that is when the prices really do go up and a large mark-up is applied.  Potentially the swedes should have been £4 for five swedes.  I paid £1 saving £3.  If I was buying the pots from M & S if you bought three of the pots it would be £6.  So I have potentially saved an awful lot of money just by going to the bother of doing it myself.  What I save can be used to put other goodies away so that we enjoy some good eating in the longer run.  

Root vegetables are good for  you.  I have plenty of tasty parsnips in the freezer and I shall also do some carrots during the week and also buy in a few bags of peas.  I shall also keep my eyes peeled for other goodies as well. We also like celeriac, Turnip, and sweet potato. I am gradually emptying one of the freezers so the baskets that are being emptied are going to be re-stocked with more useful goodies.  I may also pre-prepare some stew packs as well.  We all need our vegetables. The chest freezer is mostly stocked with meat. I always keep an eye out for bargains in any event and if I am in a position to take advantage I do.  I always have a nosey in the reduced section as you never know what you might find.  Even if there is nothing there to freeze there might be something that could be dried i.e. celery, kale, lettuce, spring onions and mushrooms.  There is always something that can be put to good use and your own advantage.

Right am up to cozy up and keep warm.

Catch you soon.



Recycling and Reusing stuff where possible

I think saving things or bits of things has been part of my family's make up for many years.  You learn much at the heels of your family members and as  you become an adult you start carrying on family traditions.  It's something you do without particularly thinking about the process just reciprocating.  My Nan was one for recycling paper bags or pretty paper bags and they used to be kept in the drawer of a little kitchen table that she had together with useful pieces of string.  If you needed anything then it was sure to be found in my Nan's stash.  That was not the only thing she kept though.  Anything that she thought might be useful used to get stashed away.  I think this was as a reaction to the war years when so many items were restricted and so in her practical way my Nan made sure that there was always something that could be useful to someone.

The cats have demolished my kitchen blind by jumping up into the window to sunbathe.  There has been a phase of this but I refused to replace the blind whilst I have been working on the kitchen.  I also had to buy a new net because of the same issue.  However, although the blind fabric part was wrecked a lot of the fittings were still very useable if only I could get them clean as they were a bit grubby.  So last evening before going to bed I popped the plastic parts and pulling chain into a pot of hot water with some Astonish stain remover powder a little soap powder and a splash of vinegar.  This morning when I have checked everything has come up nice and clean.  

A few months ago I bought some blind fittings from Dunhelm as my mum had given me a couple of cream blinds which I wished to use.  Somewhere along the line the fittings had gone walkabout and yet the blinds for me are ideal for the computer room and also the back bedroom window.  We need new windows in both rooms something that is on the long list for the Landlord's Agent.  But to try and keep the house warm in the meantime I have in the back bedroom popped up a thick pair of Raspberry Pink velvet curtains to try and stop the draughts.  The small computer room has a pair of Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady curtains Spring Bouquet design as shown on the duvet cover below.  Sorry I am a bit of a fan of Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.  However there is a third blind which I did not have any fittings for so the derelict blind fittings will carry on doing sterling duty but with a different fabric blind and it has not cost me a penny which is even better.

I did this for my step-children as well.  Any part sets of crockery or cutlery any decent curtains that I did not have up at the windows or nets, blankets, rugs that sort of thing I kept stashed and so when they both moved into their own homes they had something to be going on with to get by with until they could save up to buy their own things.  My mum and my Nan did the same for me.  The other thing I do with part sets of this and that is I try and match them up.  Sometimes it takes ages but often all it takes is being in the right place at the right time.  I have done this in particular with fancy drinking glasses and have managed to match up some that I inherited from my Nan to make a full set.  That is very satisfying when you can do that.  Most kids today expect brand new this and that but in reality this cannot always be achieved and at least this way on they have something to be going on with.

So with the assistance of OH I think I may soon be getting the blinds up in the computer room and also the back bedroom. I have full nets up in both rooms as the neighbours can see in if they are upstairs so the blinds will just give that little bit more privacy and indeed warmth.

Catch you soon.



Button Box Number One

It has taken me a good couple of hours but I have sorted through one of the button boxes that came from my mum's home and I believe the owner of it was my Nan.  A couple of small tell tale signs.  Nan was rather fond of Quality Street sweeties (when they were proper sweeties and sold only in small tins) and these buttons are stored in such a tin.  Also as I have patiently sorted through the tin I have found a few different vintage buttons -not the sort of thing my mum would have gone for for instance.  There are also a lot of green buttons in that tin.  Green was my Nan's favourite colour.  It also has a lot of mother of pearl shirt buttons in which I am quite excited about.  Not sure at this stage whether they are going to go onto a special ornament to commemorate my Nan and Pop or whether I am going to encompass them within the button chain or wreath.  I suppose in part that will depend on what I find in the other two boxes.

Because they have been stored for so long in that tin they are a bit grubby so they will need a gentle cleaning.  I am going to soak gently in some soap and then rinse off and then add a little baby oil to bring out the shine.

Here are what I have sorted this evening.  All in aid of making some special Christmas decorations for the tree and then maybe something with  the other buttons in the jewellery line.  Will see.

When I get a project in mind I keep at things until they are sorted to my satisfaction and then I tend to sit down and deal with the making of in one fair swoop too.  Sorting through the buttons certainly is a time consuming job but attention to the minutiae never did any harm from my perspective.

There are another two boxes to go yet.  I am not quite sure what I will find in those but I am particularly pleased with the finds from this one.  I shall probably sort them another evening whilst listening to the television but being productive at the same time.

When I was a little girl I used to be given the button box at my aunt's home to play with as a way of keeping me occupied.  There were so many pretty buttons in that box from memory and it did the job kept me absorbed, amused and quiet.

Right am off to put the buttons into a gentle soak.

Catch you later on.



Friday, 26 October 2018

Baby its cold outside

However it is for the best part nice and warm here depends which room you go into.  However its perishing out.  Do not have the heating on either.  Had it on first thing for a couple of hours and it seemed to warm the whole of the house up a state of play which it seems to have maintained since then.  I may have to pop it on for a little while in  a little bit as the kitchen bathroom and loo are a little chilly.  I am hoping to get cracking with the door curtains in an attempt to try and keep that part of the house a little warmer in the next few days but the kitchen needs to be completely cleared by then and also all the decorating out of the way.  

I have had a heck of a sort out in the kitchen.  All the cupboards have been cleared out and decluttered, every item hand washed and dried and I have sorted out the basic stuff I need out on a day by day basis and the fancier stuff has been sorted and popped into a storage box(es).  I felt that this was about the only sensible way I could deal with things at this house, especially with so tiny a kitchen and being able to find things easily.

Despite never having done any filling work on walls etc the walls in the loo have come up pretty well and after sanding down have come up pretty even which I am pleased about as the walls are just going to be painted (I am not doing a fancy finish here - I want a new bathroom suite first before going to those lengths but I wanted it to look clean and tidy).  Well that is after I have popped a damp sealant on the walls to help give a little protection.  I might get to that tomorrow if it is a reasonable day as I will need to have the window open and need to be able to shut the cats out of the way.

I have also partly filled some of the walls in the kitchen.  They need rubbing down but I do need to work my way round the room a bit more doing this before then getting the damp sealant on the other walls as well.  Yet again going for a plain simple finish to tidy up and make it look clean.  I need a new window in the kitchen and a new back door and step so am not too happy on spending too much on the decorating at present.

Once the Loo, Bathroom and then Kitchen are all sorted I am going to set too on the dining room.  First I have to strip all of the wallpaper out and off the walls then get rid of the rubbish and then do all the prep and filling work in there including the painting. Then I will get stuck in and learn how to decorate.  It is going to be a steep learning curve with wallpaper.  

I have the wallpaper already.  It is the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady Poppy Design.  It should go well with my pine dressers.  My dressers, table and chairs are also going to be revamped as over the years they have got a little battered and knocked so they are going to be shown a little tlc as well.  That will be a little time consuming but should be doable.

There is also under the stairs cupboard to sort out with filler and paint and damp seal as well as the cupboards to the side of the fire hearth.  Both of these will be painted out once all the prep work has been done and then she shelves covered with some cheap vinyl tablecloths I picked up for next to nothing to tidy things up and cheer things up a bit.  Fortunately I have most things in and to hand after months of buying a bit of this here and there it is now all ready to play with.  I do have a long list of things for the Landlord to do though.  We will see if they do any of them this time.

The biggest room will be the dining room on this little stint but it will be well worth it.  Then it is on to the lounge which will also be a big job as the room is slightly larger and yet again will need stripping of wallpaper and then re-papering.  I need to buy the wallpaper for in there though, but most other things I already have to hand.

I have had not too bad a day today, although I have been a little fatigued and also in pain due to the cold but that is par for the course.  I met up with a good friend for lunch and we put the world to rights as usual and then I had a wander into town and had a look around  - I did not buy anything sometimes it is like that.

I did not want much for tea tonight.  OH had some chicken but sometimes I am just happy with a simple bowl of soup - not homemade just some tomato soup out of a tin with some bread and butter.  It went down very well and I am content.  Am just off to make a cup of tea before I start looking for those button tins.

Right had better get a wriggle on.

Catch you soon.



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)