Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Oh Poor Pussy

This is Genny. One day last week DD2 noticed that one of her ears looked funny. Not entirely sure what was wrong with it, but it was not right.
I then had a lovely weekend away with DD1, in Stirling. It was great to hang out with her, and do little bits of this, that and the other. and then to catch up on Sunday, with an old friend- well, last time I saw her, DD1 was 'on the way' but not ready to make an entrance by some months. And she is now, how old? Never!

and I came back, and littly said,
'Gen's not blinking that Left eye. and she is drooling slightly on the left side. '

And she isn't, and she is. If you follow that.
And the left ear is not twitching toward new noises.  All on the left side.

So it was off to the vet, who gave DD2 extra Brownie points for observation.
Now there is a little back story to this. Genny is a solo cat. She dislikes other cats intensely.
We think there is a new cat on the block, and Gen feels her territory is being threatened. She has come home with a few injuries around her jaw, and on her head, recently. She is not too keen on men either, and she loathes the vet!

So loading her into the cat carrier is an interesting entertainment. And then she sings softly and pathetically in the car all the way. And while you are waiting to be seen. Then you go into the surgery, and find today's vet is a man. Open the carrier door, and guess who doesn't emerge? Yup. We have paws braced and are planning to stay right where we are! and growl.

So dismantle the carrier, and remove cat. DD2 reassembles cat carrier, leaving the door shut, but not locked. Vet inspects Genny, and we discuss the options. ( Ear infection, injury from foreign cat under ear and affecting facial nerve, Bells palsy, small stroke or brain tumour) He then suggests cleaning of ears, and lets go for two seconds. Gen makes a break for it!, paw whisks cat carrier door open, and cat is in before you can see what she is up to.
One far from small cat occupies the rear third of a small cat carrier and growls some more. Cat carrier disassembled again, cat extracted, and ears are cleaned.  To a chorus of growls. Cat then objects to being weighed, but overall, for a cat of her years, she is a good weight, and her heart sounds ok, and the blood tests done in the spring suggest she is a reasonably healthy girl, and we could have an MRI (!!??) but on the whole it seems more sensibleto keep a watching brief.
See if she gets better or worse, and then, well whatever. 

So, what else is new?

Chilli pepper? colouring up nicely!

 My chilli pepper is starting to ripen, and looks wonderful. I am not sure when we will eat it, but I never had one before! Well not home grown anyway.
And I have made the next block for the round the world quilt. This is Courtney's 'You-tastic' block. Each block is supposed to say something about the person who made it, so teapots, sewing and elephants (happy  Nicky? I do like elephants- just a little, and yes, I am potty...)

this block is from Quilters cache, and is called Friday the thirteenth. But it was fine, and went together ok. And yes, I never could exactly follow the instructions, so some of it was made up as I went along, but I do not think you can tell!

Sunday, 19 August 2012


 Well, I have done quite a lot of sewing today. But some of it is secret, so I am not showing you! No, May, do not get excited! You, too, will need to wait!

So, as I am not showing what I have been sewing, I thought I would bring my DD1 up to date a little with the garden.
So, these are, at least in part, for you little one!

Your Dad chopped the leylandii hedge, between us and the neighbours, to the same level on our side as it was on theirs. Difference is, they do it annually, we do it as and when we get around to it! 

  So I came home to this, hedge choppings on the grass- well, I can hardly call it clippings, or lawn can I?     

And a lot more light in our garden!
 And here is Gabrielle!

Shh! dont say it out loud, but ? no wilt?? for the first time! just quietly look at her sideways, in case she notices....

Friday, 17 August 2012

Hey Mr Postman!

 I have received two blocks through the post, one yesterday, one today. They have both been put together beautifully, and I am already playing with them a little!
This top one is from Helen, who seems to have a non- active blog. I wonder if she is blogging elsewhere? She has done a lovely calm block with that pop of red.

Tara has done this busy block, again she just really cared about the way she put it together.

And this was my starter.

And the postman also brought a wee gift into the house. Sarah has put together a zakka style ( must try to get that book) pencil case for each of the Hipbee members, and enclosed a wee bee zip pull/ phone charm, for us.
The bees have flowered bottoms, so sweet. I only managed fuzzy pictures of them, somehow, but isnt that bee bum cute! The idea was really kind and it makes me feel really 'included in', if you know what I mean.
these bees were made by a very crafty and talented young lady, who sells her craft work on etsy. Her shop is called Poppy's Pocket. She sells really lovely fancy topped pins, tea sets, cakes, matroshkas, and all sorts.  Great fun things, from a very capable lass.

I think the postman was very good to me this week!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


 Ok, this is where we got to on Sunday, and I have been working since then, so further progress only came today.
 But, today, Ginger has a dress. The dress has a nice jungly print on it, and the ruffle matches the bloomers.

And, of course, she is keen to join in the family obsessions!
 no, I will not authorise her own blog!

 and if she wants to sew, she will have to be patient, I cannot let just anyone use my precious machine!

Though, as all my other children can sew, I suppose it would be mean to stop her!

You may have noticed, she is maneless.

There is a reason for this. The mane, as supplied, is to be cut into short strips, and each tied into a knot, and sewn or glued into place. I am not convinced I want a fraying mane. If I had thought before sewing her back seam, I might have done a Mamma version, neatened and sewn in. As it is, I am thinking about a wooly version.

What do you think we should do? Or just leave her, hairless? I think she looks quite cute as she is.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Weekend makes.

 As you know, I was sent some lovely co-ordinating fabrics with my lovely frame purse, by the lovely Rhonda. I decided immediately, I was going to make a useful something for me. Very often you get inspired and make a something or other, but it is for someone else. And I suspect some of this lovely stash will end up going to live with someone else, but at least some will stay with me! So I followed a tutorial, and made this weighted pincushion/table pocket/thread baggy - well they call it an organiser, but that is because they have clearly never met me!
If I made it again, I would put some interfacing in the bag itself, to make it sit a bit firmer when dangling from it's loop.
The tutorial was really well written, and the whole thing didn't take long to put together. I only had to introduce the stitch ripper the once, as I misinterpreted an instruction ( called being too clever by half and only half reading the distractions). And, as you can see, I am already using the little kit, and finding it very handy.

Now, at Christmas, I was given a kit to make Ginger giraffe, complete with clothes. So, having my machine to myself as it were, I decided to stop procrastinating, and get her going! All the bits and instructions are printed on the one panel, but there are one or two gaps, so it is just as well I sort of know what I am up to, in places. I still have her frock and her mane to make up, but overall, I think she is quite sweet! The same website does a doll panel, and clothes. Not quite as good as a doll panel my elder daughter had, aged 10. Jessica still sits on her bed at home.Didn't go off to get a degree with her though!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Hip Bee activity

 A little over a week ago, some fabric came through my door. Well, not on it's own, but beautifully wrapped, and sealed in a plastic posting envelope. I had an inkling of what might be inside, because the August mama for the hipbees had sent stuff out, and I knew, other folk had received theirs. So, it was opened.
 Now, I think this is beautifully wrapped and fastened. That soft grey, with the orange ribbon, hasn't Reene made a gift of the sending?
 So, with a little encouragement from DD2, we open the package.

I knew she was sending summersville.
But which ones from the range?
 The house print in their turquoisey blue!

 And some plain orange, and the green and blue swirly print, and that Blotchy orange, and the crosshatching!

From this a house must be built.

Several other bee members are ahead of me, so I need to get my thoughts organised.

And, somehow an Elizabethan style house grew in my mind. Upper storey wider than downstairs, and a line of timber dividing them,
 A bird perches and sings territory on the roof, and a small garden round the front.
I am quite pleased with my house, and I believe Reene is happy with it too. That is the bit that matters!
So that went in the post yesterday, and arrived today! Prompt service from the PO for once.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Postman knocking!

Oh it has been exciting!
I have been containing myself with difficulty, waiting for some post to arrive.

Let us go back in time a little. No, a little further than that! And a little further- no stop! not quite that far!

I have a set of cousins in Australia. Scattered about, but over there. About as far away from me as they could get! Then introduce Skype! And two Sundays ago, I was chatting to my eldest Coz, for about an hour.
Now, in 1999 he visited this country, to see his Mum. And we visited whilst he was there. When I was small I would have followed him like a little dog, given half the chance. My lovely, soft big Coz! well, he is still big, and still soppy and soft! And lovely. Just older! He had a video camera, with autofocus and zoom and all sorts. And he took videos on that visit! Chatting on Skype, he remembered.

So, he edited them, and sent me a copy, which arrived today.
Have you watched a video, 13 years later, having never seen it before?
I can tell you, I didn't recognise my own children! My 19 year old back to 6 years old! My 22 year old, is now 9! and my son is only 11, with his voice starting to change. I never noticed at the time, but on the video, it is obvious. And do I still sound like that? I don't know, but I don't think I sound like that to me!

happy post!

But that was not all! As you know, I have been participating in the Frame Purse Swap. A lot of folk had already received their purses, Certainly, my purse had arrived safe and sound, at it's destination. And today, the purse for me arrived!

A big box!
 But well filled! I thought the brief was a SMALL something to go in the purse!
 But somehow some extra fabric has found it's own way into the box!
 Did you see these cute birdie buttons?
 And a fat puffy pincushion is inside- no room for anything else, with that fattipuff....
 Gorgeous back as well,

 Oh there was room for a little something else!

But where did all those goodies come from?

who could tell?

What wonderful fairy sent these?

I think there is a slight clue on the card!

Now amn't I the lucky one!

Thank you Rhonda, you are a star!


I am  a little late with this one, but on Monday the postman came! He left two rather delicious little parcels for me.One I was expecting, the other, no, I hadn't really expected, but what a treat!
First this pretty envelope came through the door, and was sitting on the table when I got home, just waiting for me. 

 And inside, a pretty card, and that amazing sewing machine fabric. This is much prettier in real life than it looked on Debbe's blog, I am, however, going to have serious problems justifying cutting into it! You know there are some fabrics which just scream 'I am too lovely for your projects', This may be one of them. I already have a plan to use some of it, but I am not convinced it will let me! Perhaps if I take a sneaky section from it, it won't notice too much? Debbe also sent me another FQ, that pretty deep pink stripe you can see behind her hand made card, I did absolutely nothing to deserve these treats, but they do give a lovely warm glow!

The other little postal treasure that appeared, was from the 'Round the world' swap. There are some beautiful things going on and I was sent a signature block, by Ursi. Now, there are signature blocks, and there is an Ursi block.  Just go and have a look. The actual block is continuing on its trip around the world, but she sent the signature straight to me!
Ursi has a tiny little blog, stufffed with beautiful accurate blocks. I look forward to the next things she makes!

This handsome fellow must be part of Ursi's household, I think, I haven't shared this picture with Genny. She might not think him as handsome as I do!
And here is the elegant block she sent me, as a signature.

I am also awaiting a couple of other parcels, so, maybe, in the next week or so?  We shall see!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

beautiful handknits giveaway

As you will know, I have a special wonderful daughter. Well, two really! however, this one I am telling you about, is a knitter. She is about to move from one location to another location, and she has some really fabulous knit bits to give to someone who feels they might use them, and give them a kind home. Really, as they are not being used at present, after all, there are only so many hats, and pairs of mitts one person can use at a time, you would do her a kindness to take one (or more ) of these items off her hands!
I think these mittens are really pretty, and she has several other equally pretty things going for free!

So, please visit DD1 at her blog and just request what you would like! She is not fussed about posting overseas, so wherever you are, have a look!

august tutorial, for Intrepid Thread.

A little while back I promised an August tutorial, to make flower brooches. This was for Julie, at Intrepid thread. She has published that in August, so now, it is time to put it here, so, if you have seen this before, you can just quietly go away, and if you haven't, well, you have now!

So, what are we going to make?

A while back I made some flower brooches for a friend to sell on a craft stall. They are extremely easy, and not too costly to make, but look quite fun. so what do you think?

These take about twenty minutes to make - that is both of them, and you can make them in all sorts of colours, and a lot of variations.

Ok, so let us have a recipe.

I used

Felt scraps
Brooch backs ( bought from a local sewing and craft shop, £1.99 for 12)
Bridal rose petal confetti- in this case, shades of blue, in different sizes, and with leaves as well, this is readily available at a  hobby suppliers, though I got mine at  a florist suppliers. There are a lot of different colour variations.

Diamante centres, again from a florists supplier, Again these are inexpensive, about £3.50, gave me half a dozen stems with about five diamante flowers on each.

A glue gun is also useful, as it is very secure,

 and there is another accessory I find indispensible.

I tend to cut the felt after I have done the glueing, as I feel I waste less that way, however, if you like to be very neat, you may like to cut squares of felt out first.

Snip a diamante flower off by the main stem, leaving enough wire on it to secure it through the felt, I then snip a tiny hole in the felt, to thread it through,

and poke the wire through the hole...

choose your petals, five or six can work well, (If you are using gold or silver they can stick together in layers, so check that you only have one petal at a time). A little time, arranging the petals so you have a mental map of where they are going, is not wasted.

Then a little dob of hot glue, right by where the wire goes through, and press your petals into place.
Once this has set, which is very quick, I snip the whole flower off, with it's felt backing.

The next thing is to organise the brooch back. you have a choice here. I usually just hot glue the back onto a piece of felt, and then glue the two pieces together, this gives a firm, secure back to your brooch.

Alternatively, you can sew the back on. When I do this I make a 'tongue' of felt, to cover the back,

 And I use the zipper foot of my machine to sew it firmly into place.

 You can then sew this back onto the flower back, easing the petals out of the way.


I have also used covered buttons as centres, and added little frills of tulle. These make a pretty addition to a home-made card,  or a neat piece of frivolity to a small gift.
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