Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Egg Cozy

This is a little egg cozy that was waiting for me when I got home today. My dear friend Zi made it for me. It took a long time in the post, and Zi asked me if I had received it, so it was nice to see that little package waiting for me along with a letter. The fabric is lovely, one side is stripe the other floral. Now I need to boil an egg.
Today has been a day full of friends, tea, sharing, giving and receiving. What fun.

"I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks."
William Shakespeare

Blooming Spring

Primulas from my garden, in a vase that my grandma gave me many years before I was married. I don't know if I truly appreciated it at the time, but I like it so much now. It is just right to make the most out of a few dainty flowers. Showing them so well.

Here are some buds on my cherry tree. I planted the tree last year in a big pot. In the autumn I neglected to wrap it. So I am most fortunate that it was a mild winter.

Dancing Shoes for the Cruise

I love these shoes, which I just ran across in the thrift shop. I couldn't pass them by as the beadwork, so matches up with my formal evening dress and jacket. They're my dancing shoes for the cruise.
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Kitted Out For Cruise

My dear friend Zi made this beautiful bag for me, to take with me on our cruise. Isn't it lovely? I love the fabric pattern and colours.

Look at the detail in the button.

Inside was this travel care package. Those little slippers are so, so soft and cosy. Rob liked the idea of the chocolate.
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Monday, April 14, 2008

Dear Boy's Orange Pound Cake

My dear boy wanted to make another cake, so we came up with a Lemon Pound cake, but only had oranges, so he made an Orange Pond Cake. It smelt so good coming out of the oven. Just making a cake you can teach little things. What does it mean when a recipe says zest? Which part of the grater do you use? What is a loaf pan? When you've cooked for years you take that for granted, but Rob didn't know those things. Great to share them with him.

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Cat in Drawer

Tuppy decided to get in on the act. We have been busy sorting, getting things ready and packing. Robert obviously left his top drawer open, which he often does, and Tuppy being her usual nosey self, found a very comfortable spot.

Yes we are getting ready for our trip. We are going on a Transatlantic cruise, to the Mediterranean. I am excited, but I must say watching "Room With A View" did put me in a nostalgic mood to want to see Florence again.

We are taking the laptop, so hope we find some cosy internet cafes to Blog.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Sunrise Along Shore. By Lucy Maud Montgomery

ATHWART the harbour lingers yet
The ashen gleam of breaking day,
And where the guardian cliffs are set
The noiseless shadows steal away;
But all the winnowed eastern sky
Is flushed with many a tender hue,
And spears of light are smiting through
The ranks where huddled sea-mists fly.

Across the ocean, wan and gray,
Gay fleets of golden ripples come,
For at the birth hour of the day
The roistering, wayward winds are dumb.

The rocks that stretch to meet the tide
Are smitten with a ruddy glow,
And faint reflections come and go
Where fishing boats at anchor ride.

All life leaps out to greet the light–
The shining sea-gulls dive and soar,
The swallows wheel in dizzy flight,
And sandpeeps flit along the shore.
From every purple landward hill
The banners of the morning fly,
But on the headlands, dim and high.
The fishing hamlets slumber still.

One boat alone beyond the bar
Is sailing outward blithe and free,
To carry sturdy hearts afar
Across those wastes of sparkling sea,
Staunchly to seek what may be won
From out the treasures of the deep,
To toil for those at home who sleep
And be the first to greet the sun.

Whispers To The Sea. By Hope

Where did inspiration go

Walked along by the shore

Placed shells up to my ears

Could not hear it anymore

I did hear the waves rush in

Sounds of a whispering sea

Is that where I’ll find the voice

Was the ocean calling to me

Began the soft whispers back

Watching the sea ebb and flow

I send love out , await its return

Sweet inspiration please don’t go

Please ocean carry my voice

My mind and heart sits by the sea

I sink down upon white sand

Inspiration please hear my plea

Caressing the sand so soft

Sun sinking here in the west

I gazed at the vast blue horizon

To the sea made my final request

Yes the ocean is calling to me

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Woodland Crewel Work

Isn't this a beautiful crewel work. Work being the optimum word, because there is a lot of work in this, nostalgic woodland scene. I love the little chipmunk at the tree stump, the flowers and the colours are lovely too.

I saw it in the thrift shop, it was framed, but not the type of thing I would hang on the wall. So I left it, but it was crying out to come home. So I went back the next day and bought it. It's from the seventies. I washed it carefully the other day and placed in on a towel to dry.
I've been thinking of pairing it with some vintage fabric I have from the sixties, and making it into a bag. Of course I may change my mind by the time I get to it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring Bulbs

It's a wonder these bulbs came up. I bought a box of variety bulbs in Aldi's, but did not get to plant them until January. We had several beautifully warm days in January and I was able to get some gardens cleaned up and these bulbs planted. Only three months late. At least I get to photo something outside after being ill.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Daffodils from England

I couldn't resist this bunch of daffodils from England. I was in yes, Trader Joe's and they had bunches of daffodils from England. Which does seem a little over the top in view of oil prices and global warming, but since they were there and not that expensive I bought a bunch. I'm even saving the little tag for a bookmark. Yes I know quirky, but each time I use it I will think of hedgerows in spring, and that bunch of daffodils from England.

This is the bunch I bought.

Here they are intermingling with their American brethren, from my garden, they seem to be fine together.
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Mathias & Tinkerbell

I came across this in my photo archive. Mathias was our hampster, who was almost the same colour as Tinkerbell. We named him Mathias because at the time Rob was reading Brian Jacques, Tales From Redwall Series. But one day we didn't latch Mathias's cage door properly, at least we think that's what happened and we never, ever saw Mathias again, hide nor hair. It was a total mystery.
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Felted Mittens

My friend Ali gave me two jumpers/sweaters, that she had shrunk and I made these mittens from them. The sage green wool was from an Italian jumper belonging to her husband, who is over 6'6" tall, so it was a big jumper, and it's just amazing how small they can shrink down to. The cream was pure merino wool. I liked this combination together. I lined them with an orange fleece lining to be bright and cheerful. And used the buttons from the sage jumper for the trim on the cuffs.

These I made from a boiled wool jacket. They are super warm. I lined these in black fleece to match the black trim that was on the jacket, that makes up the edge of the cuffs. I also used the buttons from the jacket.

These are fun to make and great to recycle old wool items that have shrunk, or have a stain, or maybe moth holes in, which you just cut around, after the wool has been shrunk in super hot water. The red ones my friend chose to go with a black winter jacket she has. Zi displayed them on her Blog here.

Teapot Curtains Made with Serger

A little project I worked on this winter was making these dining room curtains with my serger sewing machine. Now I hate to confess this, but I'v had that sewing machine at least eight years and never learned to thread it. It just seemed so daunting with four needles. Well I'm happy to say after trial and error, all one afternoon, I have mastered threading that sewing machine. I also taught myself to sew a blind hem, now there's progress.

I love this fabric, it's covered in large teapots. I call this my BR fabric. Meaning I got it before Rob. I bought it with no thought as to where I would use it or on what. But while sorting some things out I thought this would look so well in my yellow dining room. If I'd gone out to buy fabric for curtains it could not have matched better. And I just love Teapots.

My dear boy cooking.

Here he is chopping the bread for the stuffing.
Yes this is my dear boy cooking. Both Bo and I have been so ill, in fact Bo almost had pneumonia, we're both on antibiotics. We all had need of a good substantial meal. So Rob said he would help his mum. We did a roast dinner with Cornish hen, stuffing and roast vege. Rob prepared all the veg and stuffing with my supervision. It made me feel so good to work together. I will add he is thirteen.

Making a Sewing Station out of old Tele Armoire

This was the article I refered to in an earlier post. Where you take an old tele or TV armoire/cabinet and make it into a sewing station. You see these old tele cabinets all the time in the thrift shop, as people are now changing to flat screen teles and don't want these big cabinets any more.

I thought what a nice idea for your sewing machine, using the old slide out tele shelf to put it on, plus shelves for fabrics, boxes for patterns, thread, etc. and an idea board too. Plus painting it brightens it up.

Plus one gets to recycle an old piece, giving it new life, which always feels good to do.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Taste, Smell and Memory

Taste and smell can bring back such memories. Don't you find that? I bought this cheese in Trader Joe's. We always ate New Zealand Cheese when I was a child. You may think, that's funny a child in the UK, Europe eating cheese from New Zealand. But what you have to understand is, that before the UK joined the common market most of our meat and dairy products came from the Commonwealth countries. And I do especially remember New Zealand cheese, butter and lamb. In fact we as a family never ate cheeses from the continent or butter. You could get some, but it was much more expensive. Of course that all changed when the UK joined the EEC, and now so many things were coming from the continent, but for many of the Commonwealth countries, they lost one of their main markets. To go back to taste, smell and memories. Well as soon as I ate that cheese, the taste took me back to childhood. I remember that taste.

Thrifting with a Friend

Let loose with a friend at the thrift shop can be a recipe to encouragement of over spending. But truly how much can you over spend in a thrift shop, or as I found out an op shop down under.

This is my German dinner service I bought. Yes it is missing some pieces but that's alright. As long ago I had bought a plain white dinner service with a gold edge that fills in on any shortage I have on may gold edged patterned pieces.

I did this because I was given some lovely Royal Albert pieces as wedding presents, but nothing that made a whole set, and I could not afford to get the whole set, so I decided to make it up to use it, by buying the plain white with the gold edge, and it has served me well.

It's interesting to see the different shaped cups in a German set. You can just look at them and see that they are not from the UK. The set has both tea cups and demitasse cups. So now I need to entertain with them.

I just love china. A friend once said, that if I ever got very cross with Bo, I would never run out of plates to throw at him. Yes that would be true.

The pottery in the centre was hand made in Canada. I love it, but it was no thrift shop find.

A Pot of Paint

What can a pot of paint do? Well it can be quite amazing how it can give life to old pieces of furniture and shelving. The shelves pictured above and below were already in our basement when we bought the house. They must have been built down there, because you would never get them out. The set of canisters a friend just gave to me, she was clearing out and I thought the colour went well on the shelves.

My desk, and I have my old laptop here, which we thought had packed up, there was a problem with the screen, then it revived itself, so I leave it down here to listen to the BBC, Radio 4 which I do so much enjoy.

The chair above is from IKEA and we've had it forever. The shelves behind I got out of the rubbish/trash.

My coup de gras, is that how you spell it? A sewing machine cabinet from the thrift shop. When you press the button, the shelf rises with the sewing machine on. The doors are for thread and above there are shelves to store fabric. So you open the bottom doors, pull it out, open up the top to the left and press the button.

I was going to try and make one out of an old tele cabinet, as everyone is going to a flat screen tele and nobody wants the old cabinets. Later I will look up the magazine article on that and post it. I thought it was a great idea for all sewers with machines. But who could resist one already done with nothing to do.
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