Tuesday, 29 July 2014

New Beginnings!

This photo is taken from near the edge of our garden, which is on the opposite side of the road from our house. That's our house behind the bushes - the cream one with the roof lights. The house is about a foot lower than the road level, down a couple of steps; the garden is long and narrow and is a few feet above road level.

This view is from the top of the veg plot, with a couple of metres more of lawn and trees behind me. We've had a good supply of strawberries, lettuce and rhubarb so far this year and the rest is well on the way. Sadly, it now looks very likely that this is the last year we will be able to 'grow our own' here.

My shed will also have to move elsewhere - probably at the back of the house. However, the reason for all this upheaval (as per my big hints of a few posts ago) is a good one. Our son has, as of yesterday, obtained planning permission to build a house here! In an ideal world we would not have to make use of our garden this way, but with house prices in our area being so high, it is the only way he can afford to have his own place and stay in the village.

In crafty news, I seem to be starting too many longer term projects when I should be making quick, smaller items to build up some stock. Here's my latest bag creation, made from chopped up jeans and furnishing fabric scraps. I've also finished off a project for a friend and made a few more phone covers (photos next time).

I dug out some Christmas fabric to get ahead of myself for future stalls and have started on some lavender bag sets. I can hardly believe it, but I bought a Christmas present the other day (in July!). It's never been heard of before, but I saw the perfect thing and thought I might as well get it.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Money Raising Goes Awry!

 I've mentioned before that I had a little idea to raise some money. It involved getting rid of some clutter at the same time, and I set out with high hopes; but things didn't go according to plan. I gathered together a random selection of items that were languishing in drawers, or just lying around the house, and took them off to a local auction house.

Outside effects being auctioned in the sunshine
A couple of weeks later the items had been sorted and labelled and were ready for auction (amongst hundreds of other varied and strange items). OH came with me and I was quite looking forward to the day. We didn't have to be there to see our items auctioned but, not having attended an auction before, I was interested to see how it all worked. When we got there, we picked up a buyers' number - just in case.....

Most of the items we took went for only a few pounds, and 2 items (a clarinet and a watch) didn't reach the reserve I put on, so we brought them home again. This pair of Staffordshire spaniels, which came from my MIL's when she passed away about 6 years ago, made £22.  Not bad since one of them was 'crackled' all over. At least now my daughter doesn't have to explain any more, to friends she brings round, how we acquired them and that they are not our chosen style of decor!

 I took a chance entering this pen as a separate lot, but it had the name 'Esterbrook' on the nib so I listed it as such and crossed my fingers. I'd had it since I was in secondary school and remember using it and filling it from an ink bottle. I was surprised when someone on the internet got it for £16. Altogether, I made £59 (before fees and costs) which I was quite happy with. But..........I somehow managed to spend over £100.

You really can't blame me, though, when this little beauty was up for grabs. A couple of people were bidding for it in earnest but came to a stop at £65, so I pounced and got it for £70 plus costs etc!!!!!

 I also nabbed a useful box of fabric for £17.50, which was also quite popular in the room. When I got it home and had a proper rummage, I found this vintage, 2.5m, unused piece of Liberty in the bottom, which is probably worth more than what I paid for the whole box.

Crafting has also continued at The Thread Shed with a phone case, child's bag and a cushion sold to friends. The bag above is a new design I tried out, and it worked quite well. Instead of my usual 2 handled shopper type, I tried a single handled shoulder design.

I've also finished this randomly pieced, rustic-looking quilt. The centre panel is made up of squares, HSTs, half-square-rectangles and 4-square patches. I started by cutting the bigger squares, then kept cutting smaller and smaller shapes as it got less and less. It was still too small to be useful so I dug out some larger pieces and made 2 large random borders.

I machine-quilted the whole thing with 2" criss-cross lines. Then, because I didn't want to bind the edges, I added a piece of tea-dyed sheet to the back (by sewing front-to-front and turning) and did some hand quilting to hold it all together. I love the finished result!

Bye for now.
Teresa x

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Festival and Fun Day!

Trying to get giant bubbles through hula hoops
My stall
The Saturday Singers 
Abertillery Orpheus Choir
I was pleased for the organisers of this year's Raglan Festival that the weather was so good. It was important for the relaunch of the Raglan Fun Day to be a success and give them something to build on for the future. Attendance numbers were high and great fun was had for the whole afternoon, starting with the Big Lunch at 1pm, and with bands on the outdoor stage keeping everyone entertained.

On the Sunday, after a community service on the same school playing field and a quick lunch at home, I went to the Beaufort Hotel terrace and spent the afternoon with crowds of others listening to various local entertainers and chatting to friends.

I was chuffed to notice that, as well as having one of my homemade bags with me, one of the Saturdays Singers had her music in one, and the daughter of a friend had hers over her shoulder too. We were joined by my friend's brother whose daughter also had one of my bags. It appears that my bags have a 'look' because my friend said she could recognise them now. Another lady said she'd have to get one because 'everybody's got one'! It was a good afternoon all round!!

Sunday evening's performance in the church of Abertillery Orpheus Male Choir was very popular. It was good to see a few younger members in the choir; probably as a result of the popularity of groups like Only Men Aloud, and choir singing in general being more fashionable. Roll on next year!

Bye for now
Teresa x