Monday, 8 February 2016

Sunday, 7 February 2016

a little late...

Its been a quiet day, I woke up with a headache for the third day running and went back to bed after a while. I've stopped taking some of the tablets so I'm suspecting that they may have caused this. I get to see my consultant on Tuesday so hopefully we can sort things out.

I did get to watch some catch up TV, transfer a few files onto the new hard drive and cut off the boring lace (started last summer) and empty the bobbins.

Tomorrows challenge is house work again :-( slowly doing little and often, still emptying cupboards and drawers, still a long way to go.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

a very brief outing

It was Nottingham Light Night last night and we rarely miss the chance to spend some time wandering round although the Uke Orchestra has provided the entertainment for the last 3 years or so, meaning the the wandering has been a sole occupation.

This year he decided to join me rather than play to the masses in the Tourist Information Office and we kept the visit short as I started to wheeze quite early on. This means that there are few photos but we did enjoy what we saw :-)

 a handsome dragon made from assorted trash :-)

 we had fun spotting the cds etc
 I don't usually take photos of youngsters but I do love her cardi/jumper, lovely colours
 human mannequins

 after watching this installation, the patterns and pictures moved and changed, we headed home x

Friday, 5 February 2016

my excuse? I need a hat :-)

not spinning or knitting for 5 weeks does not seem to have made much difference to the asthma type problem so I'm chancing a quick knit with the merino, I just fancy something a bit colourful :-)

Thursday, 4 February 2016

embroidery exercise

Whilst I was going through my college work yesterday and trying to reduce the number of files I found an exercise in colour and stitch that I thought I might share with you.

The ides is to find a photo and either interpret it onto fabric, stitch directly onto it or cut part of it out and replace with stitching that matches the colour and feel of the original.


this can be a valuable exercise

food for thought.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

spare room?

We have a spare room, originally intended to be a guest bedroom but it really is the dump room for all the bits and pieces that don't have a home.

Yesterday I made a start on sorting it out, it doesn't look like I've done anything but I rescued an assortment of glasses from the shelve above the window and washed a good quantity of dust from them. Nothing is going back on that shelf now!!!

Ths glasses are from motorcycle events so can't be replaced and for that reason we are reluctant to use them....although two small ones are in regular use as spirits glasses, living next to the bottle of Archers in the kitchen.

My biggest quandary is what to do with my old college work, I have files of samples that take up room but I am reluctant to let them go. I'm thinking that I may be able to get a lot of the work into one big file and maybe pack them all into an air tight box. Some small pieces of work have been thrown away as they are so dusty and faded. Others I may remove from the frames and wash.

I can only tidy up for short periods of time so I'm guessing that this may take me a few days.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016



As I've mentioned before, if I'm off work ill ( asthma type ill, able to move a little, not infectious) I generally get the urge to bake.

This time I have dug the bread maker out of the cupboard where its been hiding for several years. The first attempt the other day was sabotaged by a power cut and had to be scrapped out of the bowl. The second attempt was a bread mix from Aldi, basically to check that the machine still works ok more than baking bread. It did produce a loaf of quite dense brown bread which was  delicious when cut into thick slices, toasted and eaten with marmalade.

Today I have popped in all the ingredients for a spiced fruit loaf... we will see what happens :-)

OOOOOppps   all fruit on the outside !! tastes ok but need to rethink :-)

All this has made me think about the number of electrical items in our kitchen, all gadgets to save time, make life easier. The sad thing is that I would struggle without some of them and when we had the power cut I realised how much I rely on them.

The radio, DAB radio essential for good reception here ( we live in a valley, we can see the mobile phone mast, we can't get mobile signal in the kitchen! many conversations are carried out on the stairs)

Electric kettle, we have an electric cooker so popping the kettle on the stove isn't an option.

Slow cooker, stick blender ( perfect for soups) hand mixer, multi mixer (tends to live in its box)
bread maker, toaster, Tassimo (coffee machine, makes a good chai latte) microwave, tablet ( I keep my recipes on it)

Yet in my craft room other than sewing machines (if I had an old treadle machine I would happily use it), computer and embellisher everything is hand operated. Spinning wheels, drop spindles, hand carders, drum carder, weaving looms, assorted knitting and sewing projects, lace bobbins, tatting shuttles.

I'm not sure why my love of traditional crafts doesn't spread to my baking, why don't I get the same satisfaction from beating a cake mix with a wooden spoon that I do from combing out some fleece, both actions take time, are comfortably repetitive, traditional.

Monday, 1 February 2016


So that was a post everyday in January, I didn't really set out to do this but it did give me a small daily task which in turn gave some me some sort of routine whilst being off work.

You are not getting rid of me that quickly, I'm still at home for at least another week !!!

Today the weather is a bit yucky, light rain and really dull, I had planned to go out for an hour later but this may depend on how heavy the rain gets.

Later......this turned into a quiet afternoon with the two of us watching Warehouse 13 with hot drinks and dark choc digestives, I know I will live to regret the biscuits ( just don't ask how many!!)

TAST so far...

Sunday, 31 January 2016

back to the drawing board

I need to practise my own sketching/drawing........haha I really need to practise!! most of my sketches comes out as colouring book type designs these days, I'm still occasionally using the 642 book for subject prompts.

Here is my finger, bit strange looking but there you are.

but then, given the subject 'key chain' I'm back in colouring book mode !!

Talking of colouring books....... I have to reduce the number of books that I own, I know I've mentioned this before BUT it is so difficult to let them go!! I sorted out another batch last week that I can let go to a charity shop but the number of books lurking in cupboards seems endless.

The first five books pulled out from here were colouring books, actually very detailed geometric colouring books which I must have picked up about 15 years ago when I was at college.

So, I showed these to Ian, said how difficult it is to get rid of any and we came to the conclusion that the best approach is to simply put all the books in subject order, then see if any duplicate the same info and work from there. These are going to be filed with my other colouring books for the time being.

Saturday, 30 January 2016


well, I'm not sure what else to call it, I'm removing oddments of thread from my lace bobbins ready for the next project...although I'm not sure what the next project will be. I still have lace on my folding travel pillow but I may set up something simple to play with next week. I have a half finished project on another pillow that I'm lost interest in :-( so I may just cut the bobbins off and file them away.

The power went off yesterday and blew the cutout for the sockets in the house, I couldn't flip the switch to reset everything so all appliances were unplugged and Ian did the deed when he got home. As a result I had to crawl under my computer desk to access the sockets and covered myself in dust!

This isn't helping my lungs so this morning everything was pulled out and dusted or thrown away!!
I now have a neater, dust free work area, still cluttered but not so bad.......just in case you are wondering, I'm still coughing :-(

Friday, 29 January 2016

sketch books

I've been trying to find my old schools sketch books following a chat with an FB friend but so far mine have proved to illusive but I did find a sketchbook that was my grandfathers.

I think it dates from around 1920 so he was maybe 13ish so a typical school boy book, trains, planes and motorcycles!

Although there are a few pages of notes and shading exercises .

although I'm not sure whether this plane is landing or crashing!!

The one thing that I do know is that my Dad also had a love of planes and bikes which he passed down to me x

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Peace and quiet

very quiet day yesterday, caught up with my sleep,a little stitching, a lot of thinking and an interesting discovery.

Many years ago, as a young married 20 something I met a young German biker in the South of France who we kept in touch with for a few years. We would visit him in Germany and he would come over here. We lost contact around 1988.

During my sort out I found a very faded piece of paper with an a name and address written on it in pencil, googled the name and easily found a photo of this person who still lives in Germany and his works address.

The question I write to him? I have wondered where he is every time we travel to Germany but haven't been able to track him down before, we did get on very well and losing touch was probably down to getting divorced etc at that time.

Any comments ?

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

wet and windy

It is getting very windy outside and rain is forecast for later today when the storm that hit states at the weekend sweeps across the UK. Already there are reports of HGVs being blown over in Scotland so I guess that I'll be staying inside today and continuing with the mini sort out.

I attacked the computer drawer earlier, its much tidier now :-)

and I found a couple of lace patterns in there, they should be in my files but one of them is really pretty so I may be tempted to put it on one of the pillows to give me a change from embroidery.

speaking of embroidery, I've added another stitch....

and I found some lovely silver grey merino wool partly knitted into a hat :-) beautiful colour.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Spiegel Tent

Since today has been spent doing housework etc I thought I would share photos of the Spiegel Tent that spent some time in Nottingham last October.
Speigel Tent is Dutch for tent of mirrors and I found the following info about the one that landed up on our Market Square.

Old Market Square, Nottingham
Marlene Dietrich has performed in it, and Marilyn Monroe loved it. It’s over a century old, and it’s the largest surviving ‘tent of mirrors’ in the world! Now, visit The Spiegel Tent in Nottingham!
Nottingham’s Spiegel Tent, has spent its life travelling the world from New York to Sydney, the Dutch Lowlands festival, and now the East Midlands! The Spiegel Tent will bring unique and wonderful entertainment to The Old Market Square, Nottingham.
The Spiegel Tent is a beautiful European mirrored tent – as well as a travelling dance hall, bar and entertainment salon. Featuring a beautiful red velvet draped ceiling, stained glass windows, private booths and gorgeous period lighting. The circular central stage allows the entire audience of the tent to easily see the performance. There are only a handful of these unique and legendary ‘tents of mirrors’ left in the world today.

So how could I resist having a closer look inside?

 Stepping inside .....

Fantastic ! although the problem with mirrors is.......

sometimes they capture what you don't usually see !!