Friday, 30 August 2013

Back from Holiday

I just got back from a week's holiday down in London visiting family and friends...hence the silence. I didn't really want to advertise the fact my house was empty for a week so I'm back home and blogging again.

I did have a fantastic break visiting everyone. I saw two friends that I haven't seen since I was at Antioch a million years ago. Of course, a lot of time has passed but any one who has been to Antioch will tell you that you build strong friendships there. It was so good to reconnect! I bought along my son for the ride. My son thinks I was always some middle-aged woman with no sense of adventure...can't imagine why he would get that idea?

My other half is busy making cushion covers for our newly painted dining room set. I'm torn between leaving them plain or adding something to them. I've had a few suggestions on my facebook page. No, I won't be adding a Fonz picture with the words “Sit on it” as suggested....or a bull's eye target. Nice thought.

Here you go, here's a picture and you are welcome to suggest ideas...suitable ideas, I must add...but I do have a few of my own:
One cushion cover for chairs, Five to go


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Table, chairs and Cornelia Parker

I've been thinking a lot about crafts and art. I recently watched a documentary on the bbc iplayer about Cornelia Parker. I found it interesting that she would formulate these ideas and then take her projects to crafts people to make her ideas into a reality. She would talk about they knew what they were doing and how she trusted them. It made me wonder if at what point was it was a craft or a piece of Art. What is Art because of the concept behind it? Who knows. It just gave me food for thought.

In the meantime, my other half has finished piecing together my satchel and I know have to sew on the buttons. I bought my buttons from a local shop that has nearly opened up. I recently bought some fabric there and made myself a smock top. By mere coincidence, I was wearing it the day I went in to buy the buttons and she recognised the fabric instantly and gave me a compliment. I left the shop feeling very happy!

Here are some pictures of my (nearly) finished satchel. Isn't it gorgeous?
Blocked and waiting for buttons
I also finished painting the dining set. Here it is:
Cushion Covers to be added, other half making those currently
I'm still knitting and decided NOT to do a lace pattern for my cardigan I am making and I am making a cable design instead. I'm pleased with the results thus far. Yes, yes, yes...I need photos of that as well. I have been doing it for the past three nights while watching the LOTR trilogy on Film4. Daydreaming a fair bit in between...that happens.

Friday, 16 August 2013

A Sneak Preview

This week has been mainly preoccupied with painting the dining room chairs and table. I had to sand them down and then paint them. All that is left is for the furniture to be reassembled and the room put back to its original state.

It is a very bright green. Here's a sneak peek at the nearly finished project.
One chair!
Table minus its top!

Another chair with tape to prevent a mess!
I have to say knitting has been largely put on hold this week on account of this very time consuming project. So far I think the effort has been worth it. Good bye dull cream, hello vibrant green! I'm pretty sure my parents won't really like the colour but I'm not seeking their approval...its my dining room and believe it or not, I'm a big girl now.

Next crocheted cushion covers for the chair. Current ones are a pale yellow and pale green. Pale, pale, pale. Not really my cup of tea. Those will be made by the other half. He's nearly finished my satchel as well. Moving forward, always tired!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Green Chairs and Satchel

The past two days I've been sanding and painting the dining room set. I've done all six chairs and just have the dining room table to do. I say that like its a five minute job but its actually much, much harder work than that. I've managed to sand my thumb in the process as well. It is a constant reminder of being more on the ball when working on projects. The chairs are bright green.  My other half said he wanted a colour that would stand out and be bold.  He got that alright. 

I am happy with the progress so far but drained, exhausted, tired, and anything else that is tiresome from all the work. How do people do that all day? It would kill me, seriously.

My other half, on the hand, has been crocheting and piecing together a satchel for me. Here it so far: 
Still needs blocking, buttons and strap

I will make the lining for it. We need buttons and it needs to be blocking to prevent curling but I'm happy with the progress so far. It will be my unique bag, a one of a kind and handmade. How much better can you get that than that? Screw this mass produced, cheaply made consumer society!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Time goes slowly, so slowly (When de-cluttering)

I'm one of those people that sometimes gets overwhelmed by “stuff”. One of the things about having a house with decent space is that “stuff” accumulates. A. Lot. This really grates on my nerves and one of my big hair brained ideas was to actually de-clutter this summer. I had all these intentions of starting with my son's room first and gradually moving onto to other rooms upstairs. Clearly only a tiny amount of de-cluttering has happened. And I mean a tiny amount.

I have managed to get my son to sort out his tiny closet. He has put all his cars that he has collected over the years (cars in boxes, corgis, cars never been played with, etc.) into one box. It is nice, it is ordered...and less frantic. We cleared out his old school uniform and replaced with new ones that actually fit. We went uniform shopping today and you can imagine the fun and excitement that is with a teenager. He had shirts in there from when he first entered school 4 years ago. Small steps people but getting there. I listed 3 shirts on ebay that are still in excellent condition. I don't know if they will sell or not but it would be nice to actually make some money. How do people make money off of ebay? Is there a trick? Am I missing something? I feel like such a novice when it comes to these things.

He has cleared out his sock and underwear drawer. He got 7 pairs of socks today with days of the week on them. I wonder if he will wear them on the corresponding days or if the novelty will wear off. Who knows? He's 15...I was nuts when I was that age. Off my trolley completely. Socks to be binned...old school uniforms to charity. It hardly seems worth listing them on ebay as you can be new for £1! 
Is it worth listing or not? Decisions, decisions, decisions...

I want to tackle the problem of under his bed next. I'm sure that he has stock of Thomas the Tank die cast models and those would sell on ebay. If they are not under his bed, are they in the loft? I don't know...I never venture in there these days. I know the other half keeps his collection of tools and assorted man stuff up there. All I know is summer is almost gone and I still have “stuff” that needs sorting out. Is it mission impossible? Does anyone else have dreams of de-cluttering their home and life?

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Bags of Love

My other half is making something amazing for me. He's crocheting me pieces to make a satchel. I think he might even piece it together for me. I'm really looking forward to this as I've wanted a new bag for a while. I'm not really a handbag lady so for me, this is much better.

I picked out the yarn while we were on holiday at this very nice yarn shop. The yarn is deep purples and greens. I may or may not have enough but there are plenty of other nice yarns to compliment it if he runs out. (Not that I am someone preoccupied with matching things...) I will have to get him to take pictures of it while he is making it. I'm not really a materialistic girl but I do get excited about the idea of having something new and hand made. Something truly unique!!!

I slept extremely well last night. It was such a relief to sleep so well in bed again. I never take having a good night's sleep for granted. I work with some people who have trouble issues with sleeping. Thankfully, sleeplessness only plagues me once in a while. I need my sleep to function as a human. Hope you are all having a great day. Me, I need some sleep now.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Seaside and Yarn

It was very good to get away from our home and look at some other four walls for a change. We went to the seaside and all the trash that goes along with that. I'm glad to be back home now as the bed was about 10 inches wide and the mattress stuffed with straw and nails not to mention to stench of 10 stag night parties in one room.

There was a lot of people everywhere and we would prefer somewhere more tranquil and less congested in the future. We did the usual tourist golf, fish and chips by the sea, museums and one castle visit. We did a crap ton of walking and even managed to get t-shirt burns tans.

I started knitting a cardigan for myself and as usual, didn't do a tension square and after completing the back, I realised it was going to be WAY too big. I never learn, do I? So I have started again. Just as well, I don't grow attached to stuff that easily and don't have any qualms about starting over. I would have given up knitting a long time ago if that was the case.

I did miss my own cooking...we ate very simple food on our holiday. At one café, a river of grease flowed out of my beef burger and some child at another table threw up so that was a memory I'd wish to forget. I guess that's the main problem with holidays, things can be hit and miss.

The good things were the friendly staff at a local yarn shop...yeah, yeah, I know you can't take us any where. The weather was decent. The walks were relaxing. No one killed anyone and we still love one another. I guess that's an accomplishment with a teenager on holiday. I was never, ever young.

Waiting to be blocked and buttons to be added
Finished, waiting for more photos for folksy
While we were on holiday, my other half crocheted 3 cushion covers...two need buttons but are nearly complete.  I know some people go to the pub on a night, we stay in and knit and crochet...even on holiday.  I'm sure you are thinking we are all kinds of crazy now, aren't you? We are slowly in the process of transferring over to Folksy so you can find our shop over there.  Here are some pictures of the nearly complete cushion covers.
Waiting to be blocked with buttons to be added


Thursday, 1 August 2013

An New English Summer

It's actually very hot out for the UK. I used to live in a hot climate but the difference was it was the desert and its usually not humid with the added bonus of cool nights. But here in the UK, its just sticky. I'm not really complaining, just noticing that the weather lately has been more like New England than England.

Today I spent time gardening. I trimmed the edges on the path, around the garden bedding areas, pruned the trees, weeded the bedding plants and swept up the path. It was hugely satisfying. The back garden needs a crap ton of work doing it but there are far too many trees covering it and there's hardly any sunlight in it. Its not the most cheerful of places. When I have to deal with that garden, it is through gritted teeth.

So far, I am immensely enjoying the time off from work. Its so nice not getting up at 6:30am and walking 3 miles to work. Actually the truth be told, the walk to work isn't that bad...its the 6:30am wake up that kills me. The walk to work usually is a time of reflection and feeling calm plus my son normally walks with me for part of the journey.

I have been doing more creative pursuits, photos to follow. I hope this summer doesn't fly by too I really am enjoying the time now.