Friday, 22 November 2013

A Knock-On Effect!

 After de-cluttering and sorting out the bookshelves on the landing last week, we were left with some extra space; and, in this house, I find that any extra space is usually filled quite quickly, usually when I'm not looking. The only solution was to fill it myself first, and if it solved another clutter situation at the same time then 'all well and good'.

This was the clutter situation in question; kitchen shelves and tops filled with cookery books. It might seem logical to have them in the kitchen, but there are many more than this on the shelves upstairs, so they may as well all be together, and tidy.
It didn't take long to gather them all up and rearrange the shelves. I should do this more often - it feels good!

Talking about books, I think my crafting books probably out number the cookery books (not including my son's cookery books or the pile under the stairs that came from MIL's when she passed away - but let's not think about all those!). Above is the shelf of craft books in my shed.

This shelf is the craft part of the shelves on the landing, and below are a few strays that came from the shed and made their way onto the coffee table in the sitting room.

And let's not forget the magazines.

Although I've made a few projects from these, I don't think I've really made the best of them, or got my money's worth.  I'm going to make it my mission, in 2014, to remedy that. So look out for progress on this, starting in the New Year.

 Now, here's what I have been up to the last couple of weeks. Only one of these  projects was made completely from a pattern and none of them were from my books - for the rest I used my usual method of 'winging it'.

 This bag started out as a simple, hexagon drawstring bag: purchased from a charity shop. Before starting any reconstruction, I removed the lining, and replaced 5 or 6 of the hexagons because the fabrics were a bit 'nasty'. For the revamp I added some bits of chopped up, charity shop corduroy trousers and a new lining, then shaped the bag with pleats at the top and boxed bottom corners.

An unplanned, and useful, side-effect of the construction means that the bag is totally reversible!

 This little bag and purse set is made from a pair of baby's cords. The useful, in-built decoration meant less work for me! The handle is made from half a belt.

Although this crocheted blanket is not from a book or magazine, it is inspired by a scarf in one of the books.

Motivated by the rapidly dropping temperatures, these fingerless mittens knitted up quickly. I haven't tackled knitting in-the-round for a while, but was pleased that this time I was able to work out how to knit them from the right side, rather than inside-out .

That's it for today then. I started off with the intention of making two posts with these photos, but they seem to have merged into one long one!

Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Decorate and Discover!

OH painted the stairwell and landing the other week. And I only mentioned it once before!  It meant removing the books and shelves from the wall, so that was my job.

I haven't got any 'before' pictures because, to be honest, there isn't much difference.  It's the same colour, just a bit brighter and whiter, and there are fewer books on the shelves, after a good sort out. A small pile has gone in the bin, another pile is ready for the charity shop and a couple of books made their way back to the shelf, after DD had a sort through!

This sort of job always takes longer than you think, especially when you come across books you forgot you had. I kept the Enid Blyton story book I was given when I left the Brownies in March 1974; a paperback copy of The Borrowers dated 1964, that looks as though it has never been read; and a hardback copy of The Selfish Giant dated 1967, that cost "13s. 6d. NET".

Inside the cross-stitch book, above, I discovered these two unfinished projects and a pair of scissors. The little cat is a design from the book, but I couldn't find the pansies in it anywhere. I am probably responsible for the pansies, and one of the children probably sewed the cat, but none of us can remember them!

I tried a different variation of zipped purse last week: padded and quilted ones. The first one is pieced together and the second is one piece. They are solid and substantial, and I'm quite pleased with how they turned out.

Next time, I'll have pictures of another finished crocheted baby/lap blanket and, hopefully, a hexie bag that is currently on the kitchen sewing table.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Raising the Roof!

I think the main answer to the question I asked in a previous post, regarding selling face-to-face, at a craft fair (or anywhere for that matter) is to 'put yourself in the customer's shoes'. I read it somewhere recently and thought, 'That's it!'. Obvious, really.

But, despite not understanding this before my last stall, I still had a successful morning, making a good profit, even after deducting the stall fee.

This is the side chapel at our church (where we held the Coffee Morning/Craft Fayre) after 2 friends and I had heaved around dozens of heavy chairs and assembled about 10 tables, the previous evening.  This whole area used to be full of immovable pews until a few years ago when they were replaced with comfortable chairs. All sorts of functions now take place in this area: from meetings to Ladies Group to choir practice (and craft fayres).

My stall
This event was the first in what will, hopefully, be a series of fundraising functions, organised by a small, recently formed group.  The money they raise will supplement the grants that are being applied for, by another part of the group, to raise money for vital work to the church building - mainly, the replacement of the roof!

If anyone would like to make a small donation, any amount would be very gratefully received, and can be made at the Church website.

In other news:

After nearly 6 months, I will be working my last day at the hair salon tomorrow. Working somewhere is very different from being a customer, and, although the other staff and the customers are mostly lovely, I've decided it's not for me. I'm going to continue having my hair done there, though, and may even be needed to help out now and again.

I have nothing else in the pipeline at the moment, but there is a very busy time coming up, so I'll just see what happens.

Bye for now
Teresa x