Thursday, 31 January 2013

3 things - January's results.

At the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to do 3 things this year. How did I get on in January? Let's see.

Thing 1 - do not buy magazines.
I haven't bought a single magazine this month. I feel very proud of myself for managing to resist because those sneaky magazine marketing people always make magazines looks so interesting. For the first couple of shopping trips I confess I did look at some of the mags in the magazine aisle but I didn't buy any of them. Now I just walk right past the aisle - I don't even allow myself to look!
January Result: Thing 1 done.

Thing 2 - use what I have.
I have been really good at this one. I've made several pinnies, a shopping bag and a cover for a dog cushion all out of "stock". (I know there are several other things but I can't think of them right now.) The only fabric I bought was the owl fabric which I have made into pinnies for the tartan bee shops - links are in the right column.
January Result: Thing 2 done.

Thing 3 - I'm going to do the "52 weeks of happy" thing.
I have been doing this too. You can catch up on all my "52 weeks of happy" posts so far here . I try to do the posts on a Monday but life does tend to get in the way some days so I'm just doing them as close as I can to a Monday and being happy about it.
January Result: Thing 3 done.

And because it doesn't feel right to not show a photo, let me show you the hat I was working on. Do you think I kept it or did I rip it down? Mmmmm. I wonder?? :oD

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

I made myself do it!

I *really* wanted to sew the Christmas quilt today but I made myself finish off the pinnies I started last week so that I could get them loaded into the tartan bee shop. I then ironed everything, tied them on my dummy or hung them on the door, photographed them, measured them, wrote descriptions and, finally, got them all uploaded this afternoon. Yay! Go me!!

Here's what I listed - these are not the photos I used. These are the uncropped versions. :o)

I'm so glad I made myself do this today. But the next time I get into the sewing room I'll be sewing that Christmas quilt! :o)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

52 weeks of happy - week 4

Here are my happy photos for this week.

1. One of the 6 pinnies I'm trying to finish off so that I can photograph them and upload them into my tartan bee shop. I love this tea cup and saucer print.

2. This is the box I keep my tartan bee labels in. Why does this make me happy? Well, as you can see, the box used to hold Bold washing blobs and every time I open the box, the smell of the Bold wafts out. I *love* the smell of these blobs!

3. Even more stock being readied to be uploaded. This lot came back from Canada so it all needed re-labelling with tartan bee labels.

4. I decided to make a start to the Christmas twister quilt so this is it all laid out on our bed. Debbie helped with the layout and we tried it in several (hundred) combinations before we both agreed just to leave it like this.

Friday, 25 January 2013

a sewing day!!

Douglas and Debbie and Molly went out for the day today so I was left alone with Rosie. I was determined I was doing none of the washing/drying that has been my life since Debbie came and I was going to spend some of my day sewing something ... anything!

First of all I started making up a pattern for a shopping bag.

Then I remembered that I had bought a blank calico shopping bag when we'd gone to Hobbycraft a few months ago so I dug it out (it was well buried under lots of other things!) and decided that I would make an outside cover for it using the bought bag as the lining and handles. This is the outside of the bag waiting to be sewn.

And here's the finished shopping bag. I like it! :o)

I then started overlocking 6 pinnies which I had cut out last week - or maybe it was the week before.

I got all 6 of them to the stage where they just need neck and waist ties sewn on - no photo of that stage. If I get back to them tomorrow, I should get them all done fairly quickly.

Another thing I did was look at and plan what I was going to do with my new Twister tool which I had bought with some of the money I'd made from the tartan bee.

The pattern called for a layer cake or 32 x 10" squares. Now I don't buy layer cakes - to be honest, I think they're expensive and I'd rather choose my own fabrics than be lumped with ones that I don't like. Having said that, I do have this layer cake which Joanna bought me last year.

I think it'll make a really interesting Christmas quilt. Am I starting things too early for Christmas? Naw!!! :oD

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

52 weeks of happy - week 3

My 4 photos for this week are:

1. A moment of peace when both dogs are having some quiet time!

2. The other part of my happy shelf where some of my salts and peppers collection sit.

3. I saw this cast iron casserole dish in Sainsbury's last week at half its normal price and was very tempted to buy it but I didn't! I looked at it again on Sunday and was again very tempted to buy it but I didn't. I saw it again today and knew that I'd be *really* annoyed at myself if I didn't buy it so I did! That's my Christmas money well and truly spent now!

4. I have this app on my iPad and I think it's totally brilliant. You can choose from a vast number of quilt blocks, choose your size and how many blocks you want to make and it tells you how much fabric you need and how to cut the fabric. Totally brilliant!

Monday, 21 January 2013

chaos reigns!

I haven't posted for a while because chaos reigns in our household. I apologise to anyone whose blog I read and didn't comment on but I know you all know that life just gets in the way sometimes and this is how it's been for me this last week ... and it will be like this for a while to come I suspect.

I showed the photos of the washing that was waiting to be done last time and, well, let's just say that wasn't even the tip of the washing iceberg that came over with Debbie from Canada. Nothing is dirty as such but it's all a wee bit smelly from being in the container so it really does need freshened up. There's still loads to do!

Here's the utitily room. The big box is also full of washing waiting to be done ...

... and in the hall waiting to be sorted ...

There are boxes everywhere. Outside the back door ...

... outside the garage door ...

... at the top of the stairs ...

I thought I might go and hide in my sewing room for a while but that was a bit of a non-starter!

In fairness, I took these photos on Saturday so things are a wee bit different today ... but not much. The washing is still ongoing - 5 loads done today and now it's the turn of the tumble drier to do its bit. If only it was summer and I could get it hung on the line to dry. Oh well, it's not so I just have to keep at it. If you don't see me around, I'll be the one buried under the piles and piles of washing!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

new pinny and a new washing machine!

This morning I was gaily plotting and planning my newest pinny pattern and getting quite excited about it.

I even managed to get the prototype started but things went kind of downhill after that.

See, Debbie has arrived now - and her dog Molly too - and, because a lot of her clothes and sheets/towels etc came over in the container, they didn't smell too fresh so we decided to give them a wash. This was the pile left after 2 loads had been done!

I went to unload the second load only to find that instead of spun clothes, I had a machine full of very wet clothes. I tried every possible thing to make that machine spin but it just wasn't happening. I had to finally admit that my machine was broken. :o(

We pondered for a while wondering if it would be worth getting it fixed but we decided that it just wasn't worth it. I mean, it would cost wheens of pennies just to get a man out to look at it. Then he'd probably not have the parts to fix it so he'd have to order them and that could take a while. Then it would be even more money to get him to come back and fix it.

In the meantime, I had the wet load of washing to finish ...

... plus another 2 loads of clothes for Debbie to do. Plus our own washing gets done on a Thursday so, in my head, I could foresee mountains and mountains of dirty clothes just growing higher and higher.

So we took ourselves out and bought a new one. We examined all the ones they had on show and went with one which had a good lot of programmes especially a time-saver option which only takes 28 minutes to do a load.

Douglas and Debbie took out the old machine, plumbed in the new one ...

... and, after tea, I got 3 time-saver loads done. A-ma-zing!

I'll maybe get back into the sewing room tomorrow to finish off my prototype pinny. Fingers crossed! :o)

Monday, 14 January 2013

52 weeks of happy - week 2

Here are my 4 photos for this week.

1. Rosie. I suspect that she will pop up quite a few times in my 52 weeks of happy posts. :o)

Here she's obviously ready to go to bed - see the time on the clock behind her - but she didn't want to go up the stairs alone. Or, it could be that she's a bit worried because the light at the top of the stairs isn't on and, although she's not seeing so well these days, she'd rather the light was on than not!

2. Some of my salt and pepper sets.

On Saturday I moved them on to a couple of the bookshelves in my cookery book bookcase. No doubt the other shelf will make an appearance soon. Actually, this is a bit like a double-happy photo as cookery books make me happy too!

3. My scarf.

I blogged about this just the other day saying how I thought I'd left it at Singers. Well, when I pulled the scrunchie out of the bag to add more fabric in, there was my scarf. This made me very, very happy! :o)

4. A container has arrived.

Why does this make me happy? Because Debbie and Jason and Molly (the dog) are coming to live here in Scotland. Their stuff was brought all the way from Nova Scotia in this container. It arrived last week and it's now mostly in my mum's garage. Debbie and Molly arrive tomorrow. Jason is waiting for his visa to come through so fingers crossed that that comes through really quickly so they can all start the next part of their lives over here. It makes me very happy that my baby is coming home. :o)

Just as a matter of interest (to myself mainly) I went back to my post from the 20th of October 2008 when I wrote about her leaving. Think that's sad? How about the post Joanna wrote. :o(

Yep, we're very happy that Debbie's coming home and bringing Jason and Molly with her too! :o)

Friday, 11 January 2013


I did some odd sewing the other day.

First of all, the musical director of the choir I sing in had asked me before the Christmas break to add more fabric into the giant scrunchie she uses with the children in her singing classes. (Apparently, she gets the children to hold on to the giant scrunchie and then walk around and sing. Sounds like fun to me!!.) I added in the fabric with the cupcakes on it.

I took it with me to choir last night and we agreed that it's still needing more fabric added so I've got it back home with me to add more.

The next odd sewing was to open up a pyjama top of my mum's so she can wear it. She's not able to pull on and off jumper type tops so easily nowadays (she's 84 years old) so I offered to cut the top up the middle and add buttons. I used buttons on a shank which had a bit of a pointy dome on them in the hope that she'll be able to manipulate them.

I kept with my "use what I have" project and used ribbon out of my ribbon drawer to give the fleecey fabric some body to be able to take the buttonholes and buttons. The buttons came from my button box as well. Go me! :o)

The last thing I have to show you might well turn into an oddity as I'm kind of making it up as I go along. I want to crochet myself a hat out of the same yarn I used for my gloves which I showed here. I started off making a circle and then, after 7 rounds of increasing, I started just going straight. So far it looks like it might be working but it's early days yet. We'll hold judgement until it's finished.

I have a scarf which I crocheted out of the same yarn just before Christmas but I can't show you a photo of it because I think I left it at choir rehearsal last night. I can't find it anywhere and I definitely went out with it on. It closes with a button so it won't have fallen off so the only thing I can think of is that it's dropped off my seat. Hopefully someone will have picked it up and will bring it next week.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

some Great Granny squares

I decided it was about time to make some more Great Granny squares so I put these together over the last couple of days. This is a great way for me to keep with my "use what I have" project as I have gazillions of 2½" squares all cut just waiting to be used for something!

That's 9 in total made now. I don't know what size this quilt is going to be - or even if it will all be made in Great Granny squares - but I know I'll need a lot more than 9 squares! I'm not doing it all in a oner, though. I quite like only doing it now and again so I'll give it a rest for a wee while and then come back to it soon.

Monday, 7 January 2013

52 weeks of happy - week 1

Here are my 4 photos for this week.

1. My wardrobe.

Douglas and I moved the 2 shelves and the hanging rail up by about 9" and that made it possible for me to get my shoe crates in there instead of under the bed. I much prefer having my shoes on hand (or, should that be, "on foot"?? :oD) and in the wardrobe as they're much easier for me to get at them like this. (I don't know why that pair of shoes in the right crate are sitting up like that. How strange!)

2. The coloured pencils with my name on them that I got for my Christmas. I showed the ordinary pencils last week, these coloured pencils make me just as happy!

3. My cooker. I got this last March and I just love it. I'd always fancied having a big cooker with 2 decent sized ovens and more than 4 burners and now I have it. Fabulous!

4. The logo for the Atomic Browser.

I use an iPad and I absolutely hate the ads on the Safari browser on said iPad. I use Firefox on my big computer and it has Adblock on it. Even the Safari on my computer has an ad blocker on it so, when I realised I had no options to get rid of ads on the iPad, I was not chuffed.

Move along to a few weeks ago and suddenly all the Blogger blogs that I read on my iPad started to look awful. The top headers were all out of focus and the posts just didn't look right. I investigated this and found that, for some reason, Blogger blogs were seeing my iPad Safari as a mobile browser and so was giving me the mobile version - ie a phone version of the blogs. Oh I could scroll down each time I read a Blogger blog and choose to view the web version but what a pain!!

More googling ensued and I found lots of mentions of the Atomic browser I could use on my iPad which not only has a setting to make the blogs (and other websites) show the web version instead of the mobile version but it also has an ad blocker. I tell you, I was at the App Store spending my 69p to get that browser as fast as I could hit the buttons. So now I'm a happy iPad surfer. No ads, and blogs look great again. So, the Atomic Browser has definitely made me happy this week! :o)