Monday, 30 April 2007

Bookmark Mad....

Following on from being bkmads, here are the bookmarks that got sent out as a result of the bookmark swap I organised during April.

Six people took part, Wendy, Alison, Sarah, Susan, Gill and me and we had an agreement; make at least one bookmark for the next person on the list and keep working your way down the list if you like/ feel able/ haven't anything better to do. These ladies all have better things to do, but they are little gems! So, here is my haul!

Wendy made a monochromatic parallellogram (spot the teacher) which, I think, will grace the book in my ensuite, if you don't mind, Wendy. It is Sarah Ban Breathnach's 'Romancing the Ordinary', so that's quite classy, isn't it?

Gill's Rosy dream has to go in the book in my new bag (currently 'The Memorykeepers Daughter' by Kim Edwards. Jodie Picoult recommended it on the cover & I like her work.) This is my waiting book, so it can take me a while to finish & get to go everywhere! Gill's bookmark will go from Liverpool to York to Wales to Cheltenham this year alone!

Alison's cross stitch creation is lovely, almost too nice to use but good bookmarks, like good books are meant to be used, so this one will find a place in my Bible. Probably in Proverbs 32, as a reminder of what perfection is!

Susan's material creation is fascinatingly tactile, and her label is multi-functional so I think I got two for the price of one, here! I think this one will probably reside in my bedside book. Currently mu bookmark is a bead-ended piece of string, but before that it was a piece of toilet roll (not recycled) so this is a definite step upwards in class! And the book? It's a(nother) thinking man's Da Vinci code... Ok, I don't read good literature all the time... I usually fall asleep with the book still open & have to be gently shoved awake to put it away!

Sarah, bless her, had bunting as a major preoccupation. Go see the blog to see her and the bunting! She did, however, complete her assigned bookmark for Alison, so go and visit to see what it looked like! Thank you for participating, Sarah, and can you make me some bunting, too!?!

My bookmarks...? What? I was supposed to make some, too?? Oh No!

Actually, I made one for everyone except me... which I will remedy in the next couple of days, but they were threads-in-knots sort of things that had beads on. Go see everyone else's space to see them... I forgot to take a picture!

I'd like to send a big thank you to all the ladies that took part. The wonderful thing about bookmarks is that they are small, easily made and always needed. I love the way that we got material, stitchery, beadwork and textile engineering into one small set of bookmarks. I really enjoyed organising it, what little I had to do, and I am so proud and happy to have made some new and talented friends from it!

Also, read on to the next post, about my new blogsite, Best of British; Crafters days out in Britain. Any ideas, people?

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Go see, go see!

I am dangerous with a computer, my husband says.
Go and visit Best of British; Crafters Days Out in Britain. I got it up & running! Alas, I'm the only post at the moment but this is an appeal.... PUT ON YOUR THINKING CAPS.... I want everyone who reads my blog and everyother cute blog in Britain to have an idea. Think of a place, post about it and let's have plenty of ideas for the summer! Gosh! I should be on 10% at least for this! What no money? Eh well, I'll settle for the kudos!

Saturday, 28 April 2007

What's it like in Your Neck of the woods?

Victoria May Plum of the Cornish candle Company now has two blogs; one is her personal site with tales of her days, picture of wonderful shining cornish beaches and thoughts and views on a host of different topics raised by being a small business owner in a big business world. It's very interesting, go see for yourself. She has also just started a new blog called Days In Cornwall, an ambitious venture to record ideas and inspiration for ... well, Days in Cornwall, actually. It aims to have most of the info you need to plan and execute a day out in Cornwall but all told in a personal rather than a business way, so the details are authentic rather than a catalogue of features or amenities. It gives you a real taste of the place.
At present there is only one entry, for the Padstow May Day festival, but the post gives you a real feel for the place. I look forward to reading more..... and wouldn't it be lovely to have one of these for each area of the country, so that when we go out we can look and see what other people have done and recommend doing; whether there are convenient and nice places to eat, whether the event last year was worth it and when the blasted things are, so that we could plan the holidays or weekends we have.... an idea well worth considering, I think....

Friday, 27 April 2007

Going Dotty!

I like polka dots. I like them on shoes.
I like them on backings in websites
And thanks to Mabel, I can admire them in someone elses house. Go see.

Ne'er Cast a Clout til May Be Out

Ok, this post has nothing to do with May or clouts and south of Stoke all sorts of people are wondering what a clout is anyway, but it struck me today as I put on a thin stringed vest top that I had, indeed, cast my clouts and that I wasn't sure whether May the month or the bush had been out or whether taking ancient Aunt May (she's one of those whiskery old relations that everyone has) out counted. Let's hope the good weather continues for the next few months and that the summer isn't burnt out by 15th July and rain descends for the summer holidays. (You know it always happens that way, don't you?) Although, as my husband says, if this is global warming, why would anyone in Britain worry? Cafe society here we come! (That is not my opinion, I think we should worry about the polar bears. Perhaps a good hairdresser could volunteer to go and cut their hair so they don't get too hot. Someone like Herbert Howe, perhaps?)

OK, after that little detour, here is my little brain exposed for criticism.

I got parcels this week, one as a gift, one I ordered.

Firstly, my freebie from Wendy (go and say hello, please) She had an annual blogoversary prize and I won!! (You did know I won, didn't you?)

All these goodies arrived in a parcel and I opened them earlier this week, but didn't have a chance to post until today. The ribbon may be trimming a bag made from an old velvet curtain I have in mind, or a cushion for my bedroom. It may just sit around for a few months until real inspiration strikes. Beads, silver and pink, have a place marked on a t-shirt for the princess (adorning a butterfly!) The rings are pink, and at the moment aren't talking to me, but they will. The paper, I think, will find a page in my scrapbook. It has very useful colours in it.

My ordered gift was this lovely bag from Treefall designs, although if I'd known she was going to make this, I might have waited a little longer. However, mine is a lovely size for the summer, holding my most essential items (You know, the book, the magazine, the notepad, the ten pens that disappear when it's time to write anything down....) and I will have great pleasure in using it for the foreseeable future (or until I save up enough for a house bag)

I have also received all the bookmarks from the bookmark swap, and photographed them. I'm going to put my post about them out on Monday, a week later than first suggested, as then the very lovely people in the swap might have received my bookmarks to them..... it's coming, Ladies, it's coming....

Friday, 20 April 2007

Corners of My Home

Earlier this week I spent three days working hard in the house; I tidied & cleared the boys room, the princess' palace and the upstairs toy room. I am so proud of the work I did I have to show it to you.... but one day at a time.
So, today's corner is the Princess' Palace.

We painted it pink and yellow last year. She chose the colours, and then told us off because we put the pink on the bottom and the yellow on the top! We did have the bed set up in the middle of the room, but that cut down on the available floor space for playing and also gave her a gap to fill with toys and books every chance she got. Now all the furniture is around the outside and there's a big floorspace with no little spaces to cram!

She likes playing with her dolls, especially Polly Pocket, and has a dolls' house, dolls' bed and a high chair which she sometimes staggers downstairs with. She cannot sleep without her Ellie and, God forbid, we never forget to take her on holiday or sleepovers. Ellie is the biggest baby in the cot. The others are Holly and Baby Peter.

What else does she do? She reads, at least, she has the books and looks at them a lot. She can read a little now, but she is still a little unconfident about trying to read 'real' books. Besides which, when you can read yourself, people stop reading to you at bedtime and she loves her bedtime stories.

Writing is a big favourite, too and cutting, sticking, stickers and all sorts of paper crafting. She could keep the recycling business going single-handedly... were I ever allowed to recycle any of her pieces of paper!

You can tell she's into pink, right? I always wanted my daughter to be into red, dressed her in red everychance I got and always, always bought her red shoes. It's such a disappointment to me and, what is worse, it's catching! I found myself buying pink t-shirts earlier last week and stoped to think, "I would never have done that before I had Her!"

But it's OK, I still get to buy her shoes. And red does go with everything, right?

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Home thoughts from Abroad

By Robert Browning (written in c.1845)

Oh, to be in England

Now that April's there,

And whoever wakes in England

Sees, some morning, unaware,

That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf

Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,

While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough

In England--now!!

And after April, when May follows,

And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!

Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge

Leans to the field and scatters on the clover

Blossoms and dewdrops--at the bent spray's edge--

That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,

Lest you should think he never could recapture

The first fine careless rapture!

And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,

All will be gay when noontide wakes anew

The buttercups, the little children's dower

--Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Don't you just love April?

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Wait a minute Mr Postman!

I'm glad to say the bookmark swap is going just fine... all will be revealed next Monday when it's Shakespeare's Birthday & I can post the 2 beautiful bookmarks I've received... for the lucky recipient awaiting my bookmark... it is coming, but, like a slow train, I'm always slightly late....

Friday, 13 April 2007

Please stop by..

Please visit Kirstencan as she is in deep worries this weekend over her Stanley, in to see the vet & she needs all the support she can get.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

I won!

I actually won a give-away! On Wendy's blog! And I don't know what I've won! And I don't care!
Winning is not something I'm big on. I don't run, I can't do logic and I'm a Jack-of-all-trades rather than a master of anything so I never enter any competitions therefore am unlikely to win, but today I actually won! Thank you, Wendy, for the stuff & I won!
I have had a really fantastic day today. The darlings went off to the holiday club & I set off to the local high street. There are about 5 or 6 charity shops there, from Oxfam to the local hospice shop, and I went to them all. I bought loads of stuff for me & the kids, but my top bargains were a pink bag for £1.50, a copy of Enchanted April as recommended by Sarah Ban Breathnach in her Romancing The Ordinary book for April, 2 (count them!) 2 skateboards that my boys have been out playing on (such fun... I will take some photos & post them) for £2.50 each with helmets & knee pads & some tops for the Princess for about £1.50 each.
It was a really blessed day & I am so chuffed! Thank God for charity shops & now I need to go & do some housework!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Thank God for Holiday Clubs!

My three darlings are out from 10 til 12.30 today courtesy of the nice people at a church who are running a holiday club based on Dr Who. It's called Dr Y and is aimed at children from 5 to 11. All 3 of mine raced in this morning, so I'm confident that they're enjoying it. I also know I'll pay the price later on when The Princess starts singing 'Jesus You're my Superhero' at full pelt in the supermarket. She should have been in the Sally Army, she is so loud when she sings especially 'holy' songs from Sunday school or ordinary school. But my old teacher when I was 11 used to have an answer for that... "He who sings, prays twice over" and I'm pretty embarassing myself, although not as cute.

So I have two hours to myself. What shall I do?

Drink coffee?

Cut and stick into my inspiration book?

Ripple a few rows?

Or tidy my kitchen.

Now, if I was Anthea, I could tell you about the joys of a clean kitchen. But I'm not, and I won't. Just so long as we don't all get food poisoning & get ill, my kitchen will do. But I think a little judicious use of the Flash & a little elbow grease might be in order... and I can practise the everyday presence of God! Zen homemaking, here I come!

Then I can have the coffee while I cut and stick with my ripple blanket on my knees. Who said I couldn't multi-task?

Thursday, 5 April 2007


I love the little strings of letters you see around you everywhere. I love TLA's so beloved of Doctors, my favourite being the one the shrink in a hospital in Ireland uses for his patients; Multiple Abnormalities Detected, shortened to M.A.D! I also make names for cars from license plates, hence my car is called Rocky (R...OCK; I had the car before the Rock made his name. How old is that!) and past incarnations have been Veronica, Arthur and Bob.

My newest sad hobby is making words from the verification strings that blogs throw out at me to check I'm human. My husband says if it were only so simple to check, he'd have done it by now, but we're not talking to him yet.
Lots of them are useless, gibberish & don't make any sense (yes, I can hear you thinking "Do any of them?" but keep reading, please) but I had one the other day that did make perfect sense for me. It was bkmads.

Bookmad? Me? I don't think so. Addicted? Consumed? Possessed? Overwhelmed? Perhaps.

I love books. If I am ever declared bankrupt then it will be the books what done it. Ever divorced and the hardest custody battles will be for the books. Ever alone? My constant companion is a book. I like romance, Chick lit, self-help, cookery (Oh yes, cookery! I can tell you how to cook anything... but I've never done half!) I have teaching books piled in boxes in the attic waiting for me to get back, I have books from my Mum, my Nan and my great grandfather.

I have a prayer book covered in olive wood from the Holy Land that's too precious to use and too delicate to do anything with. I have childrens books, thrillers (Has it got a courtroom in? Then I'll give it to PT), every version of the thinking man's Da Vinci Code published in the last 5 years, a large slice of Sci Fi from the early 80's, an extensive collection of classics from school and college with some replacements along the way.

We ( I include the children in here) have a full set of Thomas the Tank engine, an assortment of annuals from 1999 onwards, a burgeoning assortment of modern children's literature. We have had to pre-book 2 Harry Potters for July 21st because neither DP nor I would agree to the other one having first dibs; mine is coming from Mr Amazon that morning; DP's is on pre-order at Mr Borders little emporium & we are going to collect after midnight.....
Books have shaped me & given me some of my happiest hours. They don't mind if I leave them half way through, they sit & wait for me. They give me ideas and inspiration, they show me a better way of living & make me seek to be different. They have been with me longer than any friend, they never answer back, they have no personal opinions on me. They don't judge me by appearance, education or even if I had a shower that day. They are, in short, a perfect way to spend a day. And if the magic should happen... the elusive magic when a book bonds with you & you begin to feel it as a living being... well, that magic is what life as a reader is all about. Happy reading & all that, peeps!

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Am I mad?

I have recently (last week) finished my granny square blanket. Here it is in pride of place on my bed & edged by me*.

I am one of life's impatients so I just did it... hence it just goes on the top of the bed. Well, my dearest darlingest husband, who protests about anything frilly, pretty or pink, has said that as blankets go, it is pretty useless. I think the words "no decent tuck in" escaped his lips sometime. The next time he thinks anything like that he will mutter it under his breath, or he'll be murmuring for a while when they wire his jaw together.
Any way, I finished it, may go back and add some rows of treble stitch down each side as a.... peace offering, is the word, but I was basically tired of grannying. Ho Hum.
Didn't do anything for two nights. My hands were restless, my humming was irritating me and I was at an impasse. I'm impressed I can spell it, don't ask me what it means.
If it were Christmas time (I love Christmas) I could have made cards, decorations, baked or even hummed carols (somehow they are a lot less annoying than 'busy doing nothing') But it is Easter... fluffy chicks? (Chick envy... Molly Chicken's blog had chicks on appropriately enough!) Dyed Easter eggs (that's easy... go see Mias Landliv for the cutest gingham eggs)
No, nothing made my top knot twitch or my fingers tingle (one is lice; the other is Reynaud's and only happens in the cold) And then I had it....
I would make a new and improved blanket. A ripple stitch blanket. A blanket big enough to tuck in and tell my hubby to tuck off.
So, here I am rippling along. I have 10 inches of cute ripple that reaches from floor to carpeted floor on my King size bed. I think I overestimated the shrinkage of the waviness. Never mind; I didn't check until I'd done the first three colours and undoing was not an option. What'll tuck a lot will tuck well. And my husband will sleep well next winter under a blanket that I can truthfully say is original, completely my own work and inspired by all the ripplers on this website.
By the way, yes I'm new to You tube; They actually had a tutorial on ripple stitch. Check it out here.

Pictures to be added later... B****y computer & the light & the children..... Oh tuck it!

I also meant to point you in the direction of Metteflette's blog... these little eggs are so gorgeous & I may have to make the 5-year old girls equivalent!!

Monday, 2 April 2007

And you always knew crochet would drive you mad...

Watch this Lady.

What? Me? You're kidding, right?

I found this test on Mrs L's blog, couldn't resist it and did it. I was thinking along the lines of Valrhona's 85% real chocolate, or perhaps a decent truffle, but no, I am...

You are White Chocolate

You have a strong feminine side with a good bit of innocence thrown in.
Whether your girlish ways are an act or not, men like to take care of you.
You are an understated beauty, and your power is often underestimated!
Wow! Perhaps I underestimated myself & white chocolate.