Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Doing my Bit for the P.O.!

Due to the fact that I was camera-less last week, I should have twice as much to show today. Wrong!!  The photos of the zipped bag I made for DS's girlfriend were lost somewhere during the changeover, but you'll just have to believe me when I say it was very pretty!

I've been on a sending/receiving spree and made good use of the postal service this week!

This is the lovely Tuscan themed block I received from Jo of Bear Paw for The Tag Square Bee for February.  I've been very punctual about getting my blocks sent out so far but this month I am delayed due to a serious shortage (complete lack) of black fabric. 

 I've been better organised for the Scrap Swap organised by Ali of Very Berry Handmade which had to be sent by 28th Feb.  This is the little parcel of goodies that is winging it's way to Jenny of Gingerbread House, if it's not arrived already!

 It's not diffucult to find recycled/rescued fabric to add to my stash but old reels of thread are another matter.  I've, very rarely, picked up the odd reel in charity shops but Ali (see above) came up trumps with her recommendation for the site Rag Rescue, which is where I got these beauties!  I was a bit worried that, if they were very old, they would be weak and unusable but they seem to be fine and they're exactly the sort of colours I use quite often.

 Brightly coloured buttons are also not easy to come by so I supplemented my collection with a couple of 'lots' from ebay. (Wonder how that rogue purple got into the yellows?)

I finally got the red thread, from my auntie, that I needed to finish this cushion and, would you believe it, the reel was so big it wouldn't fit on my little domestic machine!  So, instead of satin-stitching the little linen hearts on, I blanket-stitched by hand.  Here it is reclining on a kitchen chair................
.............and here posing on a comfy chair.
Here's the obligatory close-up - pores and all!!
Next week I will have swapped my car (and some money!) for a newer one.  OH tells me I need a car that is more economical on longer journeys so it'll have a slightly bigger engine.  Don't ask me anything about cars because they don't interest me one bit.  So long as they get me from A to B I'm satisifed, although I did want a green one (it's blue!!).  I'll show you next time.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Picture-less Post!

Hello everyone, just popping in because I can't keep away, even though I have no photos to pretty up the post.  I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day!  My OH said he'll do some of my ironing for me for V Day!!  What more could a girl ask for!?  I've mentioned to him in the past that I think V Day is too commercialised, which he interpreted as "I don't want anything"!  To be fair though, I only got him a little box of heart-shaped chocs and it will be good to get some of the ironing out of the way!

My DS, on the other hand, went the whole hog, as you do when you're 22!  Roses, chocolates and a meal.  All that having just come back from a weekend away for his girlfriend's birthday.  And that is why I have no photos!! 

Confused? Well let me explain.  DS's girlfriend had a camera for her birthday but it had no memory card.  They wanted to take photos on their weekend away and lo and behold my memory card fitted her camera.  My first instinct was to say 'no' which I did.   How could I blog without any photos?  Then I felt really selfish and mean.  She said she would manage with her phone camera, then I felt even meaner! Their first break alone together and I was going to deny them any decent photographic memories of the occasion!  Their need was greater than mine.

Now, if I did have a camera over the weekend I would have shown pics of the zipped pouch I made for her birthday, the pile of goodies I dug out of my stash for the scrap swap at VeryBerryHandmade and I may have taken some photos outside on Saturday, which was a rare day of glorious sunshine.

You won't have to wait very long to see the craft goodies;  the glorious sunshine, however, is another matter and not in my control.

Oooh - I've just noticed my Stat Counter is nearly at 5,000 - that will be something to celebrate!!

Bye for now

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Roles Have Reversed!

On Friday evening OH and I went with DD and her partner to watch England beat Wales :-(  in the Rugby at the local pub.  DS and his girlfriend joined us later when he finished work, and we and our friends took part in a monthly charity quiz.  We've somehow ended up playing girls against boys in these quizes (never mind what any other team scores!) and it's become a bit competitive.   It was 2:1 to the girls until then and I think we drew so no gloating this time (the boys that is!!).  When OH and I got home at 2am!!, our DS and DD were already tucked up safely in bed!!  Roles have reversed somewhat over the last few years - not that we make a habit of this you understand, but where did we get such sensible offspring? There was a reason for the responsible behaviour though - they had arranged to go to a club in Cardiff on Saturday night for DD's birthday. 

DD's present that I managed to finish in time.  All recycled materials, except the yellow fabric.
 Getting to bed that late would have been fine if we'd been able to have a lie-in, but the phone rang at 7.30am on Saturday to call OH out to a fallen tree on the Estate that was blocking an access road.  He took DS with him to drive and help cut up/move the tree (both have chainsaw certs).  I didn't get back to sleep after that and spent my day at the quilting club in a sleepy haze, doing a bit of hand quilting and trying to give sensible replies when spoken to.

I added a Suffolk Puff to the front, turned up the bottom corners with buttons and filled it with goodies.
I was still very tired on Sunday but managed to potter about getting housework done (apart from an hour or so in the afternoon when I sat down to have a cup of tea and almost didn't get going again)!
As mentioned in the last post here is my second Ripple Scarf made from an un-run (frogged) jumper.  This one has 2 wider ripples instead of 4 narrower like the first one (see Stitchng Progress page 2010 if you want to compare).

 Finally,  here's my January block for the Tag Square Bee from the clever Nanabanana of Sisters in Stitches, all the way from Texas.  I think this design may be called Bear Paw  (Never mind thinking it, it's pretty obvious really!) I need to start on my February block soon which will be black/white/yellow.  Having to select colour combinations that I wouldn't normally think of certainly helps with creativity and I love seeing what other Bee-ers come up with from my colour choice.  Before I do that though, I am in the process of making another zipped bag, like the one above, for my son's girlfriend's birthday on Friday.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Brooches and Beans!

Sunday afternoon was lovely and sunny, although still cold.  It put a smile on people's faces and allowed us bloggers to take some reasonable pictures.  My OH had come home Saturday evening from a week of skiing in France (just in time to refill the screen-wash in my car :-) and took over fire stoking duties once again.  Though I had managed to keep it going since he left.  It was good to have him back!

While he was away I was able to get on with my projects and not worry too much about having meals ready at certain times or even cooking at all!  I finished these 4 brooches, which I showed the makings of last time.  They're not quite how I pictured but I'm reasonably pleased with them.  I now have an idea to improve the design and have picked out the fabrics ready.
As you can see from the top pic, I made 2 small and 2 large (The small ones are a bit too small really).  All the fabrics/buttons etc are recycled or thrifted except the felt at the back which is wool felt that I bought a while ago.
I tried out the blanket stitch on my machine for the edge of this one.  It doesn't have quite the same rustic look of hand stitching that I like. 
All in all, the weekend was quite busy.  My Saturday Singing group met for the first time since December and started on some new material.  We haven't any events lined up after missing out on singing the Welsh songs we learned when the Welsh Evening was cancelled due to the snow! 

On Friday evening I remembered to put these haricot beans to soak.  I should have used a bigger bowl.  My DS told me I needed to add more water so, when I did, it was almost running over (that's why it's on the draining board!)
Saturday lunchtime I drained the beans, boiled them for 10-15 mins, drained again, then threw them in my slow cooker with a little of this and a little of that (see above).  I also added a large chopped onion, a large tin of tomatoes, some vegetable stock and some brown sugar (sorry, no measurement - I just threw it in).
Following the guidelines in my slow cooker book, I put it on low and then left it for about 7 hours (stirring once or twice, just out of curiosity).  I'm very satisfied with how they turned out.  Eminently recognisable, in both appearance and taste to the tinned sort, but better! Not sure if they work out cheaper though.  I'll have to check the prices.  I got about 8 portions out of this, some of which is in the freezer, but probably should have stretched to 10. I will definitely make them again!!

Sunday evening I popped up the road to my aunt's to cadge some red thread for the cushion cover I'm working on and to see if she has any fabric I could use as a border for my half-square-triangle quilt.  My aunt used to make a lot of curtains and soft furnishing for people but doesn't do it much now.  Consequently, she has lots of fabric remnants and bits and pieces which she keeps telling me to use.  I'm waiting impatiently to see what she digs out.  Come to mention it, I'm still waiting for my January block for the Tag Square Bee too. Nanabanana send it over 2 weeks ago and it still hasn't arrived yet.

It's my DDs 25th birthday today - Happy B'day Bessie!!! - and she reminded me I realised the other day that, although I've got her a couple of 'sensible' gifts, I don't have any nice little pressies that are fun.  I hastily ordered a couple of things online yesterday, in the hope that they will be delivered before we go out for a meal on Wednesday, (latest is they have been dispatched so fingers crossed) and yesterday evening stitched up another little something which I can't say any more about because she will quite possibly read this before then.  Besides which, it needs a bit of tweaking and finishing off tonight. I never make 2 things exactly the same, but have to make some kind of modification which is not always successful!! 

With all this expectation and things in progress there should be plenty to show next week, including my second Recycled Ripple Scarf.  That's the first time I've ever said that with any confidence.

Bye for now
Teresa x