Saturday, 29 January 2011

Shopping with Mother

I have no idea how I managed to work full time and do every thing else I either wanted to do or had to do, House work etc, Since I stopped working, I have never been so busy! The house work NEVER ENDS! And I don't even do certain things, like IRONING! It is a real struggle to find time to be inspired to sew and knit, and list things on Etsy and Folksy and E-bay, and tweeting and facebooking...the list is endless.

I have just been to tesco for about the fourth time this week also. BUT today I forgot my bags and saw the new Tesco charity shopping bag. I um-ed and ah-ed over the £4 price tag I couldn't really afford, but caved in eventually and had to have one of the new Orla Kiely designs (I could certainly not afford one form her shop, and it is for charity!)

It was lovely and sunny today as well, Clitheroe was Packed with shoppers, and the charity shops were like sardines packed in a tin with tomato juice!
so baby fig Taryn (who has just started her own blog and Etsy shop) took her old mum to Jimmy Citheroe's market cafe for coffee, pie, peas and gravy. We were playing around with my camera while waiting for the food

I love these shots, but then she is my favorite model!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Thank you everyone for your advice and commiserations regarding the roof - I am sure we will get it sorted out before it lands on us! 
Before Christmas our Dryer broke, after freezing solid in our shed, then the ice breaking the fan - so all radiators have been permanently covered in washing - Today Mr Juicy finally dragged it out into the yard and we found the broken part, a quick trip to the local appliance shop and it is all mended, I envisage none stop washing for about a week now to catch up with the back log!

I have been busy avoiding My Juicy while repair were being seen to - and made a few bits for folksy...

My Mum dropped by earlier and commented on my domesticated 'look' 
this involved me wearing an apron (a shock for her no doubt!) and as I pointed out to her my lancashire house wife's clogs!
right, back to scaling the dizzying heights of the washing mountain!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Tiny stitches

Thank you for all your comments regarding the roof - every spare penny is being saved for it at the moment, then we just have to find an honest roofer (having already paid 3 different roofers to go up their and do nothing!)

The 'dummy' turned out to be the good type! but as daughter Taryn acquired it, she is now keeping it in her already overcrowded bedroom. She has started her own blog this week, and put photo's of 'Pertunia' up Pertunia the plus size model

Still away from the sewing room, I have been doing a little bit of embroidery as well, Taryn bought me a book for Christmas with some really pretty idea's for cross stitch - not thinking too much about fabric and hole sizes etc I set forth on a couple of little samples - my eye's were nearly bleeding when I finished! Me thinks some bigger fabric might be in order!

I also signed up to Twitter this week - what on earth is that about? I kept thinking it was crucial because everyone is tweeting - but I just don't get it! still, it is keeping me both perplexed and amused for the moment.

Right - I am off to Culcheth near Warrington today - double visit as always, Black Sheep Wools first, then into Warrington to visit Grandma.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Wet and Miserable.

 What a HORRIBLE couple of weather days we have had in the North West. Not only has the rain hardly stopped, it hasn't allowed much sunlight through, so the days have not ever really been 'light'
 We have known for a while that our roof is in need of some MAJOR work, most of the beams supporting it are rotting and need repairs or completely replacing, but as neither Mr Juicy or myself are currently in full time work, and only just managing to pay the bills, it has been put on hold until we have the money! 
Yesterday the rain seamed to be coming in from the East, hitting the front of the house, and pouring into my beloved sewing room above the window. I have rescued my hand made blind, and moved most of the items on my workbench (in front of the window) - there are two large pans catching the water, about 4" during the night.

 I just didn't have the heart to sit in their and work around the water yesterday, so to try and cheer myself up, and inspired by the cushion I received in the swap I have dug out my own granny's garden quilt project, now in it's 20th year, and sat down stairs in the gloom, sewing until my fingers hurt!

The hexagons sides are just 1" long, and it contains bits of fabrics from most of my projects over the past 20 years, and still fits in the first Octagon box I ever made!

 Even Bodkin was in a funk about the weather (I had to get him to open his eyes to focus the camera on him!) 
While Stitch is having a wonderful time asking to be let out into the rain, then returning 5 minutes later for a good rub down with a towel and a purr, then asking to go out again!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

the be-clothed bunny

Thank you all for your advice! in the end I made....HIM....a purple jumper (although he could still possibly be a she)

Billy Bunny is now for sale on Folksy, and I shall be making a larger bunny or two, so I can make dungaree's pinafore's, skirts and pants etc - all in Purple! hehe, or not. 

I have been very busy photographing the stages of making marmalade all day, and I still haven't finished it, and have decided my Etsy shop will be for Vintage items and my Folksy shop for hand made items. I have been trawling through one of the many button tins from my Grandma (now in her 97th year don'tcha know!) and it is a real wrench getting rid of any of them, but there are so many, and I can't see me ever using some of them. If you are into your buttons, take a look, they are all reasonably priced (I think!) '

Right - I am off to pick baby fig up from work - she works at the clothes store EVANS in Blackburn town centre - the shop is closing for good the first week in February, so they are clearing out all the junk. Apparently she has managed to get her hands on a shop dummy - I just really really hope it is one of those tasteful headless calico bodied, one wooden leg affairs and not some slightly chubby plastic, naked, bald chick!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Naked Bunny

I have been busy making some new 'almost spring' items for my Folksy shop - and created this bunny yesterday. I think he looks kind of...well, very naked! 

I am wondering if I have the skills to knit him a jumper, or to sew her a dress, or both - or should a bunny be naked?

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

If only....

 I have searched everywhere for Seville Oranges this year. It has been quite a sad little journey really - at one time you could have bought them anywhere at this time of year, but I suppose if there is a lack of demand they are less likely to be imported or stocked - also all our local markets seam to be on a downward spiral. 
Our nearest 'big' market is Blackburn. This has been a huge vibrant market all my life and way way into the past, however over  the past 5 years the number of stall holders has dwindled. A couple of years ago, the MALL bought the town centre and market. They have been refurbishing the shopping centre and building an all new singing and dancing market hall where rents will be higher and stall holders will have to be open 6 days a week. This has put most stall holders out of business or caused them to move to other markets. Last week the very last of the fruit and veg stalls closed on the old market. Very sad - and all we can do is stand and watch as it all vanishes.
A similar fate has been working it's way through Clitheroe Market - a smaller market for a smaller town, but after a huge over haul about 10 years ago, that too has become smaller and smaller.
It doesn't help that both these towns have a large amount of supermarkets, and that for the average working person a weekday market that closes about 4pm is just not practical, and Saturdays are spent trawling round the huge shopping centres and supermarkets - to be totally honest, we only have our selves to blame.

So it is with a certain amount of shame on my part that I finally found my oranges in one of Clitheroe's Supermarkets. And yes, I am as bad as the next person - I could have supported the markets more, the local shop keepers and helped to keep my community alive, but I do go to each of the supermarkets, have a loyalty card for each, am loyal to none, and if I can get it cheaper their, I probably will.

Anyway - I have those darned oranges now, I just hope the marmalade will taste sweet, and not leave a taste more bitter than it should be!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

 AT LAST!! I signed up for a cushion swap - ooh, AGES ago! Then - I completely forgot about it! Imagine my surprise when this absolutely gorgeous parcel arrived from Neeta at  Everything Neet
 It is so lovely, and SO ME!!! all hand sewn, finished beautifully, and with some lovely 'extra' too (she has managed to encapsulate the relative size of my underwear uncanilly accurately!)
 The cushion cover received a feather pillow to give it maximum squashiness and has resided by the fire place on a tiny stool over Christmas for my smaller nieces to sit on!
 In return (after a bit of a shock reminder!!!) I sent out my cushion cover. I hope Nita liked it, she had requested something not too old fashioned, but once I finished it, I kinda thought it was a bit old fashioned...eek! but by then it was too late to make another.....

I am going to restrict myself to only 2 swaps this year I think - or - just organise one any suggestions of what to swap would be cool!

I had a request for my Marmalade Recipe - I have added another page to my blog with the recipe! No photo's yet, but take a look if preserves are you thing - and all comments are welcome, perhaps share some of your own fail safe techniques!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Tea of Life

2011 is here. I made it!!

As Mr Juicy's birthday is also 31st December, and he is now tea-total, we had a quiet night in, him scoffing his gluten, wheat, dairy free chocs, and me eating everything else! - well, someone has to do it, can't have all those short bread going off. 
Above is a gift from baby fig's new man - the most adorable collection of tea's I have not been able to open until I had photographed them, and now feel I should open as they look 'healthy' and smell fantastic, but I don't want to spoil them...oh well, perhaps I should have resolved to not hoard things because they 'look nice'
They are Pure Ceylon Tea flavoured with Earl Grey, Red Pomegranite, Jasmine Orange, Mint Julep, White Lavender, Tropical Sorbet and Green Passion Fruit, to name a few!!! 

One resolution has been to walk more - or cut down on my car use, especially now the price of unleaded is so high. I have been taking my camera with me as well, but sometimes get fed up with taking photo's of the same things over and over, however, I have been walking under what is known as the 'school house' my entire life and never ever noticed how colourful it actually is. Maybe it was just the light, angle etc, or that I had been reading my new Kaffe Fassett book about patterns and textures etc.

I just have to figure out how to turn these images into beautiful hand crafted items!!! 

Oohh, and it is almost Seville Orange season. I have been making Marmalade for donkeys years now, mainly because I love marmalade, the home made stuff is always better than mass produced orange jelly with a few shreds thrown in, it is so therapeutic to make and usually lasts us a whole year - Mmmmmm