Monday, 27 May 2019

i love you from....

the bottom of my scrappy stash. Apologies to The Beautiful South, such a shame that they are no more.

Thank you all so much for my happy birthday wishes and I am trying not to let all the praise go to my head. If it grows my hair will look too short.

I have seized "the bull by the horns" and started another scrappy project. I had 6 large log cabin blocks left from a recent make and a humungous fairly large pile of scraps, precuts and bits of yardage.
So I used a freebie Candy square pack, from my trip to the Festival of Quilts, a strip of white on white and started some small log cabin blocks. I have pulled 4 small remnants from the "large bits" stash box and cut into strips.
These will become a row of blocks along the middle of the whatever it becomes that I can see in my head. I am being fairly meticulous about measuring and trimming each block. BUT I am not working out the final measurements as I am "flying by touch".
I do not want to over think this, I just want to enjoy the process. If I end up with too many, well that's the start of something new. If there is not enough I will simply sash them or make them bigger.

One of the blocks, a bit rumpled but about to be pressed.

The part made new blocks, 22 of them, most have cream on red for the middle but a few have red on cream. They are from "Crazy for Red" by Minick & Simpson for Moda. I would never have bought them as the red is not vibrant enough for me really, but as part of the stash they have to be used.
I have 2 more rounds to add and will then have a measure up.

It is a glorious morning here, blue sky and sunshine with a lovely breeze to make the washing billow out on the whirly thingamabob.

I am off to Spinning group tomorrow, not for spinning though. It is going to be a dyeing day, mostly using natural dies. My mentor, the wonderful T and his wife are taking me along. All I have to do is be at theirs by 9:30 and bring a packed lunch and a folding chair. I can manage that, no probs.

The SO will keep the dogs happy, if not himself. He has an upset tum, probably from working in all that stagnant water. I am keeping well away just in case it is a bug.
The moaning and groaning has been, and still is, worthy of an award. An Emmy if not an Oscar.

Now I am off to my pressing and trimming and then another round of sewing. 
Happy? that doesn't begin to cover it.

                   TTFN                                                    Pam

Saturday, 25 May 2019

What is it?

Is it a Counterpane?
Is it a Throw?
Is it a Bedspread?
Who knows?
Who cares?
Not I.
For what it is is Finished. Tah Dah, Woo Hoo and general all round jubilation.
It is quite big, some might say mahoosive.
I can tell you that it took 690 charm squares plus yardage that I did not bother to measure but probably over 2 mtrs.
while I chain pieced I sewed 108 charms, as leaders and enders, into pairs, ready for a future project AND a further 72 charms into 4 patch blocks ready to make cushion covers.
I believe that makes a grand total of 870 charm squares. 
Mostly from scrap boxes, I did cut a few from stash fabric, mainly the solids/read as solids.
I am  happy bunny.
The top is completely wonky, the very first time that I have not sliver trimmed my work. Most of those charms were given to me and were either just over or just under the 5". I just sewed and eased and let it go.

It reaches the carpet both sides and bottom.

The back, well that is a horse of a different colour. I did trim and square up. I had thought of making it into another quilt top but decided to bite the bullet and make a reversible whatever.

Lots of cream not beige, defo not beige, makes it look even bigger.

There is a wide range of both colours and prints, very scrappy, lovely.

There is no wadding in this, it is a summer thingy and with a top sheet will be perfectly adequate.
I have made 2 of these previously and use them in the hot weather.
This one though is destined to be a sort of dust cover for Francesca's bed. She is not here nearly as often as we would both like and when she leaves after a visit I change her bed. I like it to be made ready, the window is open most of the time and dust does filter through the nets. This thing will cover her bed and keep it fresh.
In the words of Pa Larkin, just perfick.
No, not perfect in construction, all done flying blind and planning nothing.
I am trying to ease up on the controlling part of me, it is not easy though.
All that matters to me is that Francesca likes it, I like it and it has gobbled up an amazing amount of stash.

(there may have to be another using strips)

Now I am off to enjoy my birthday, I will be mainly in the garden just pottering and playing with Herbie. 

Have a lovely weekend, where ever you are.

                             TTFN                                  Pam

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Who Dunnit?

Who moved it? Where is it?
I need it NOW.

What on earth? Oh yes, I cannot find my compost riddle.
I know exactly where I put it at the end of last years potting up and so on. It was in the storage bin. 

It is not there now, I have checked both storage bins, I even braved looking in His Shed, Spiders and crawlies and webs, Oh My!
I have just ordered a replacement , which as we all know means that the next time I go up into the garden it will be right under my nose.

No, not literally, that would be a touch awkward and possibly painful.

I went to lidl this morning and bought 2 tiny Camelias and 2 slightly larger Peonies, I have plant supports and will be putting them into the ground later on. They were £6 for the 4 and I cherry picked through to find the sturdiest plants, give them a couple of years and they will have romped away.

I was thinking about putting some arches into one of the raised beds for my pole beans, the cost for anything half decent was around £40 !! so a friend was culling some saplings and I bagged 8 nice tall ones. I now have a rustic arch and no money parted from my purse. 

I would have to grow a whole lot of beans to make up that amount of money.

I plan on putting either a squash or a courgette under the arch. It will suppress the weeds and shade the bean roots and supply some food. 

No sewing today, I am playing catch up with my house and then will be in the garden.

It is very hot here today, Ben has retreated to a cool spot under the bureau and Herbie has found some shade in the yard, both are snoring gently.

I watched a couple of Darlene Michaud You Tube videos this morning, only shorties, she was making a scrappy quilt top. I like her style although I do press every seam as I go, finger pressing is not for me. Once my current sewing projects are done I will be pulling out ALL my scraps and emulating her. That will mean a crumb quilt as well as it would please me immensely to have empty, or almost, scrap bins.
I do have some new fabric to share but that can wait a while, once I am ready to use it I will share.

Now I need to make a move and have a dalliance with some polish and a duster. 
Whilst I have been tapping away Herbie has come in and nudged Ben awake, they are both on the sofa and back to snoring.

My cutting board, these 4 patches may become a quilt back but it is highly likely that they will be another top. just to be perverse I am trimming them all to 9" square.

                           TTFN                        Pam

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Hot and bothered

It is hot here.
I have been sewing like a woman possessed.
I do not have to, I just want to.
I am, possibly, making the back of the charm quilt.
The problem is that with each seam that I sew and press I like it more.
And more.
It may have to be the front of a second charm quilt.
Even though there are large areas of cream. 
Definitely cream.
Most certainly not beige.

It is eating through the stash.
Just not quite fast enough.

There will be photo's, once I have a bit more done.
I am constructing it in quarters.
This is to make it easier to handle.
It will be large.

My hip is improving.
I am back walking with Leslie.
And enjoying it.
Much to Herbie's amusement.

The SO has finished one job and gone tearing off to an emergency.
Somebody has a cellar full of water, he has to drill drainage holes and put a pump into get rid of the water asap.
This is a long standing problem and needs remedial building work. The SO says it is just putting a bandage on a broken leg, but the person concerned does not want to pay to have the job done by a builder.
It could become very serious if we have  prolonged rain, and this is Wales after all.
This will be his one and only visit to put in a stopgap, then he will wash his hands of it.

I am planning a little while in the garden a bit later, I need to get some fresh air after all the sewing.

Now it is time to start prepping dinner, Iffits tonight with chips or jacket potato, and salad.

                     TTFN                                              Pam

Tuesday, 21 May 2019


I should start acting my age.
Which age would that be?
The times when I am 5 years old and am determined to finish that sweet treat, even though my tummy says STOP.
The times when I am around 9 - 12 and can not help sniggering at something, smutty.
The times when I am around 20 - 30 and want to work all day and still have energy to go out.
The times when I feel like 100+ and crawl around in a fug of painkillers.

In a few days I will be 68, what is that supposed to feel like?
I still have loads of energy, I find it almost impossible to sit still most of the time.
I am not ready to sit and watch telly for hours on end, and wear beige. ( ha, I am wearing a beige cardigan, although it is called straw).
I like colour and lots of it.
I do have almost white hair and have no intention of colouring it   at the moment anyway.

I think that I will wait until I grow up to act my age, once I have decided what it is.
The number is just for paperwork and is only accidental after all. 

Changing the subject, I have finished the charm square quilt top. There are as many corners that are wide of the mark as there are spot on. I do not mind,this from a (one time) control freak is frankly quite scary. I have named it tipsy, for obvious reasons. Francesca has claimed it for her bed here once finished. The back is under construction, I am having a break from making a run of 4 patch blocks to insert in the back.
I am lunching on carrot sticks and Hummus, back to 5 years old.

We are having Cajun Rice for dinner, requested by the SO.
I had to miss spinning again this week, the thought of perching on a hard chair for 2 hours made my mind up. I hope to go next week as it is a dying session. I have some white Jacob,s tops that I would love to dye and there is some fleece on it's way from Pembrokeshire. If it arrives in time I rather fancy some, if not most, will be in the dye pot as well. I have a stock of dye powder that I will take with me, hopefully someone else will like my rainbow of colours.

The bread machine is chugging away, a wholemeal loaf ready for tomorrow. It is a panasonic and a real workhorse, quite old by some standards and does not have the automatic dispenser. That does not bother me, I add seeds at the start, they get broken up a bit but hey, they get broken when you start to eat it anyway.
With the fancy recipes it beeps when it is time to add whatever, I just make sure to stay within earshot.

Another glorious day here, washing pegged out, chores done and I am about to go and potter in the garden. When I say potter I possibly mean sit in a shady spot, with the dogs, and read a bit or knit a few rows. I have a comfy seat with a squishy cushion so will be fine for an hour.

                               TTFN                              Pam

Sorry, who told me to act my age?

Well, it may have been me. I was having an off moment. 
I may have hurt my hip while playing football. xx

Saturday, 18 May 2019

The missing photo.

The laptop decided to get over itself and load my photos.

The lovely things that sue sent me, alas one of the Naked bars has evaporated.

The stacks of charm blocks ready to be sewn into rows. I decided that sashing was not necessary and a 5 by 6 block layout was ample.

I have pottered about this morning, dinner is made and ready to go into the oven. A few changes have been made in the pantry giving me more space. The contents of a cupboard have been moved about, making my mixing bowls more accessible and giving the grater and chopper thingy permanent homes. They have lived where they landed up to now and every time that I wanted them it was a search and rescue mission.

I am off now to walk the Herbie as he is trying to cause mayhem.

                      TTFN                                    Pam

Time for.......

An early tea break.
The postie arrived just a few minutes ago, I was busy beeing round the kitchen preparing tonight's dinner. Pasta, broccoli, cauliflower and cheese bake, and he brought me a little parcel.
We all know that the best things come in small lots.

And these are some of the best.

A beautiful hand made card, hoping that I recover soon.
2 naked bars, that inspired the tea break.
Some lovely hand cream, I get through lakes of that in gardening seasons.
Many packets of seeds, most of my favourites are in there, Nigella, larkspur, Aquilegia, Foxgloves and many more. All it needed was a Mr D'Arcy and my life could not get better. Colin Firth, with that wet shirt... Ooh Err Missus. I may be old but i'm not dead.

I have taken a photo but it will not load, if things change I will update or maybe add another post later today.

I hate techy problems. They get orn my wick.

I will leave you now and enjoy my cuppa, and my Naked Lemon Drizzle.

wus up? 

Who sent it?

Oops, it was the lovely Sue (her indoors).

Um nowagorn.
                    TTFN                                        Pam

Friday, 17 May 2019

Just troshin along.

Yisty wus a rummun, hot then cold, my cardie was off 'n on more than the Brexit deals.
(Norfolk dialect for yesterday was strange) I often find myself slipping into my childhood speech when stressed or tired. I asked for help in a shop and the person "giv me a loadda ole squit" he had no idea what stock was available and gave me a load of nonsense to cover up his ignorance. 
I was in a hurry and it made me suffen savage (angry)

Enough of that , I am neither stressed or tired this morning.

The large blocks have all been squared up and set out ready to start sewing together. When I say squared I mean just that, I have not trimmed them all to exactly the same size, there is up to an inch variation. The charms were not all 5", some were smaller, some larger and as this was always a stash buster project I left them so. I did not want to take the time to get them perfect it would have meant more waste than I am comfortable with. It does mean that my points do not all line up shock horror but that bothers me not a jot.
I like the original ethics of patchwork and quilting, to use up every scrap of fabric and waste nothing. All the sliver trimmings will become stuffing for something, pincushions, toys, Christmas tree decoration, and so on.
I hope to get the rows together today, I will need to go out later but there will be no gardening. The weather has turned cool and damp, I can almost hear the plants sighing with relief after the dry heat of the past few days, I like it but the plants not so much.

I have not managed to locate any Tahini close so will be making my own, I do not know why I did not think to do so earlier. I may mix it up a bit and try adding another seed as well. I have a few recipes that call for Date Molasses, I checked the price and nearly burnt my fingers off. I have a recipe for that also, I think that I will go the whole hog and make as many of my condiments as I can find recipes for. I love almond butter but have to travel to get it, not any more. I can get almonds easily and it is as simple as peanut butter to make.

Tonight we are having a Tahini mushroom sauce over pasta or a jacket potato, I have not decided yet, I may well add some cauliflower to the mix as I think they go well together. There is a chance that some chickpeas may slip into the mix as well.

Yesterdays curry was very tasty and we ate the lot, no leftovers for lunch. I have some single servings of many dishes tucked away in the freezer so will dig one of those out. It is handy to freeze things that way as sometimes we cannot decide what to have so I just grab 2 different meals out and we share.

The time is slipping away and I have chores to do, and Herbie needs his second walk. He is cwtched up to Ben on the sofa but has one eye on me, waiting for the signal.

                                 TTFN                     Pam

Thursday, 16 May 2019

That will be another worm for me.

Another early bird day, not quite so premature today though.

I was tired again last night but held out till 10, consequently I did not wake till almost 5. A real long sleep for me.

Anyhow, this is about my sewing, not my sleep pattern.

The pink quilt flimsy, not quite as wide as a double bed but this is for a young girl. It will drape nicely over a single bed and be a perfect size to wrap up in.

Did you notice the pile in the top left hand corner? Well this is it.
Enough of the same quilt blocks for another in soft blues and greens, I remember making them but thought that I had used them all in a gift quilt for L.

There is also a bag of the greens and blues waiting for the wide sashing strips, and I have plenty of those in the same white on white.

Now for the 4 patch blocks,

120 of those all waiting to be sliver trimmed where necessary.

A pile of extra charms, enough for another 12 blocks, I do not think that I will be needing them this time.

I have sewn 4 of the 4 patch blocks together and once trimmed they will give me a finished block 17 1/2" square, 5 across and 6 down will give me a good sized quilt and I just happen to have exactly the correct number to achieve that. I do not think that I will border this quilt as it would be just too long and wide. Also I do not have enough of a suitable colour and pattern fabric to make said border and this quilt is all about sewing the stash. I will be piecing the back, probably from the left over charms, some fat quarters and random sized bits.
Even though this is all from stash, and much of that was given to me, I have used a considerable amount of thread (not to mention all the pressing) and that is not cheap, I use a good quality thread that does not make shed or snarl and break at the blink of an eye. Every now and then Hobby craft have thread on special offer and I buy a box, I have white or cream and the saving is very good.

Now I have a load of threads and bits to vacuum up in the sewing room, I did not get around to that yesterday and I do not want to walk it through the house.

Our salad was really delicious last night, we had it with a fresh made seeded loaf ( a real doorstep crust which we shared). It is meant to be a little cooler today so it will be Turkey curry and rice tonight. Special request from the SO.

As I was up bright and early I have changed all the sofa throws and cushion covers and they now need pegging out.

                       TTFN                                          Pam

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Sewing and gardening.

Not a cloud in my sky, or the real one up above.
Yesterday was just peachy, I sewed, pressed and rinse and repeat for most of the morning. Considering my early start it was a loooong morning and I loved every minute of it. During that time I walked the dogs, did a load of washing and pegged it out, prepped a pasta sauce and got it into the slow cooker and made a few cuppa,s. 
After a quick lunch break I spent some time whizzing round the house, all those threads a slivers of fabric tend to spread about a bit. The bathroom and kitchen had their daily doings and the little bit of ironing off the line was slotted in with some extra fabric pressing.

Once I had the rows of the pink quilt together and pressed I left that to one side and concentrated on the charm squares. I estimate that I will need well over 100 4 patch blocks for the size quilt that I want to make. I have 50 so far and a whole heap of pairs waiting to be pressed and sewn together for my blocks.

I did manage to spend an hour in the garden and will be back out there later on today.

I finally sat down at 8:15, after dinner clearing up and walking the dogs. By 9 I was visibly drooping and the SO was almost as bad. A long day in the sun hauling stone and wall building took it out of him.

We threw in the towel and were in bed and asleep before 9:30. 

Today I am getting the pink rows sewn together and will then start to square up the 4 patches. I hope that both will be layered by the weekend and that the pink one will be ready to post off next week.

We had a pasta dinner last night, I chopped as much veg as would fit in the slow cooker, added tomatoes, puree and some stock to make a thick sauce and let it cook for the afternoon. It was delicious, very filling so there are leftovers, and used up some slightly sad veg.
Tonight it will be free range eggs and salad, I have a loaf of seeded wholemeal bread in the machine to go with it.

My next shop will have to include more bread flour and seeds and I need Tahini and nutritional yeast. 

My coffee break is over, both dogs are flat out and snoring and I am off to the sewing room. All my chores are done, apart from pushing the vacuum cleaner around and that will happen between sewing and gardening.

                              TTFN                             Pam

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Pass me that worm.

For I am an early bird.

Because sitting is still uncomfortable I spent most of yesterday moving around. I was busy in the house and garden and walking the dogs. I did some sewing but was backwards and forwards to the iron. My sewing chair, one of those office swivel things, is very comfy and I can sit there for some time before it hurts. I did sit to eat lunch and dinner but only for as long as it took.

By 8:30 I was falling asleep and threw in the towel at 9 and went to bed. Consequently I was up to see the dawn and overflowing with energy.

All the rows are sewn together, I just have to press the seams before joining them.
Because I can not chain stitch these, my preferred way of making anything, I pulled out a box of 5" charms, patterned and solid/reads like solid, pairing plain with pattern I sewed these between the pink block pairs and chain stitched to my hearts content.

I now have this stack of pairs, these have since been paired up to make 4 patch blocks.

There are plenty more charms to go at, this is just one box. In effect I am making 2 quilts at once, it is slowly eating the stash, very slowly.
I am not sure what the charms will become, perhaps a large quilt or maybe lap quilts. I have plenty of time to decide.

Now I am off to have a shower and get ready to start the day.

                           TTFN                                      Pam

Monday, 13 May 2019

Not for the fainthearted.

Oh My Word, That,s a bigun.

My bruise has grown and is quite impressive,many a small boy would spend a few weeks bragging about one like it.

If it gets any bigger I will have to enter for a place in the Guiness book of records.

On a more productive note I am past the halfway mark of the pink quilt blocks, another day should see them all made and then the construction can begin.

I aim to spend an hour in my front garden later, the weeds need removing and a few plants want some extra ties. Sadly a few need trimming of the wind damage, our road is almost a wind tunnel and a couple of my plants suffered considerable amounts of damage.
The Hydrangeas need the dead flower heads removing, many of them were taken off by that wind so it will not be a long job.

All my jobs for today are done and I am feeling quite virtuous. In fact I feel that a tea break is in order. 
I made a version of one of Mary Berry,s cheesecake recipes yesterday, I used limes and lemon and it is sublime so I may just have a sliver of that.

Another hour of sewing and then outside for some weeding before getting dinner on the go. Tonight we are having Jacket potato with a spicy vegetable topping and some cheese sprinkled over the top, 10 minutes back in the oven and they will be crisp and bubbling and just right with a little salad.

                       TTFN                                        Pam

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Another glorious day.

I had a few plans for today, nothing too strenuous, just a little sewing with the chance of some knitting.
As the saying goes "If you want to make the Gods laugh, tell them your plans"
I have been busy but done absolutely nothing planned.

Our coffee table has been a bit of a thorn in the side for ages, it is lovely but just a bit too big and just a bit too low for the room and Herbies nose.
I spotted a You Tube video on converting an Ikea storage unit into a coffee table on wheels Mmmmmm, almost right but,
A, Too expensive and another piece of furniture.
B, I have never been to Ikea, and that's the way I like it.

Soooo, we had a look round and Bingo!. In the sewing room (almost hidden by vast swathes of fabric) was the TV unit, made redundant when the telly went on the wall.

A bit of a shuffle round and they were swapped over. I hasten to add that the coffee table is visible all fabric has been tamed and tidied.
The TV unit has been emptied, who knew there was so much junk bits of treasure tucked away. It has been disposed of.
A quick trip to Ammanford and furniture glides were purchased from Wilko, along with some other bits and pieces. I keep a running list so that if I need to go I can make it worth while.

The unit now has lots of storage for my current knitting WIP,s, books, tablet, phone and the top just has coasters and tissues on it.
A big Brucie Bonus is that Herbies nose is lower than the top and so is Ben,s tail, there have been times when the wagging tail has caused havoc and the nose has been poked into things that it should not have.

The grass has been cut, weeding has happened along with a seemingly never ending stream of washing. All now dry and either put away or into the ironing basket.

There has been some rearrangement in the sewing room, still needs refining but that will be another day.

I see that the cwtch I sent off to Somerset has landed and seems to have had the right result. I bit of cheer in the middle of a long run of general greyness.

I am hoping that the pink quilt will have much the same effect. 

I am now about to make those Gods laugh.

I have a good life and want for little, I have my health issues but by and large am fit as a fiddle. It is good to pass some of that forward, I know that when I receive something unexpected as a gift it really makes me feel good, it is not about What you are sent, it is about the fact that someone thought of you.
What goes around comes around, was a saying often on my Grannies lips, she was a firm believer in paying it forward. She wasn't often wrong.

 Now I am off to sort out some dinner....Oh that pizza crust was very good, I just made too much. Next time I will use 1 cup of yogurt and 1 1/2 SR flour and I will use a little semolina to roll it out.

Tonight we are having omelette, salad and sweet potato chips, they are about to go into the oven.

                        TTFN                                          Pam

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Sewing through the pain.

I have had a look at the bruise in the mirror, Oh Wow, no wonder it hurts. I feel so fortunate that it is only a bruise, the thought of a broken hip gives me the judders.

This is in soft focus and is a reflection that has been heavily cropped, my cellulite is not for general viewing. It is very dark and bold in the flesh. Pun not intended. 

I have been cutting, sewing and trimming for the Pink Quilt,

Here are some of the 5" charms, I will not need them all for this quilt but any spare will go into the box of charms ready for the next one.

This is how the layout looks, I will be adding a narrow solid pink inner border and then a wider floral border once the body has been completed. Backing and binding are still undecided, I like to see the finished top before I make my mind up.

I have finished sewing for the day and am off into the garden. The weather is far too nice to stay in. I will not sew in the evening as it is far too antisocial, it will be knitting time. I have picked up the stitches for the afterthought heels on the current pair of socks and plan on getting those finished tonight.

I will be making Pizza for dinner, I am going to try out the 2 ingredient dough that I have seen on a few videos. Self Raising flour and low fat Greek yogurt, I will let you know how it turns out.
Once again I will be adding pineapple to the topping as I picked up a fresh one yesterday in Tesco. They were on offer and cheaper than a tin and fresh fruit is so much nicer. I may go in next time I am out and about to buy some to freeze.

Right, the outside is calling so I bid you all bye bye, have a good weekend all.

                                TTFN                            Pam

Friday, 10 May 2019

Crash bang wallop Oww!

That was the start of my day as I fell down the stairs. I have a long scrape on my right arm and a large bump (with the beginnings of a bruise) on the top of my right leg. 

Ben and Herbie rushed to my aid, as did the SO. I had to sit for moment and catch my breath then got to the sofa. Tea was supplied and after a little while I felt much better.

I had a rootle through the fabric stash yesterday and have pulled lots of pinks, some blue with pink floral and may add a little soft green to the mix. I have almost decided on the pattern, I just need to have a look at my white on white. If there is enough I plan on the Tumbling Charm Quilt from Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Co. I have made this a few times and it is a simple pattern that showcases the prints.

I aim on getting all the fabric pressed today and cut out, much of it is already 5" charm squares so it should not take too long. I have plenty of wadding and possibly enough of a suitable backing fabric.
I want this to be a fairly quick project as I am not sure of the operation timeline.

I have a small shopping list so will factor that in sometime over the next couple of days.
We have a dry and sunny morning so far and there will be pegging out happening very soon.

There is a black hole in the house that has sucked up all my tea towels, not all but I seem to have a much smaller pile than I did. I have added them to the list but may have to look online. I only like the smooth woven cotton and most of the shops seem to have terry toweling or those lumpy bumpy woven things that shrink alarmingly on the first wash. I could travel into Swansea but have far better things to do with my time. I am going into Neath next week so will have a look in Wilko and Morrisons. There is a Magic and Sparkle but they only have clothes and food.

'Nuff of this, I have lots to do and the dogs are looking at me, it is time for a walk.

                                  TTFN                         Pam

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Passing it Forward

Nooooooooooooooooooo, not the snottyness, the giftyness. (That is defo a word now)

There is a certain person who needs as many hugs as possible and once this is posted I will be sending a hug off. It has been on my mental awareness for a couple of weeks or so but things got in the way. 

There is also a parcel going off to Francesca, she has been in the doldrums for a couple of weeks, just something to use when the sun shines and she gets her garden hammock out.

This is some of the making that has kept me busy sewing through the stash. Every scrap of fabric in these came from the bags of fabric that I was given a while ago. This pair, with just 1 pillow, are wrapped and ready to send off. She needs a little extra love right now and this will be a complete surprise.

There are 2 more, very similar and they are now on her bed. Thank goodness that she loves all things hand made.

There is still an embarrassing amount in stash but I have a quilt for someone in my mind, it will be planned out later today. A little girl is facing an operation and 6 weeks total rest followed by many weeks getting back on her feet. I hope that having a quilt will help to comfort her.

I am waiting for some large cushion forms to be delivered, they will need covers and spares, destined for the garden chairs (bring on the sunshine). My cushions are not quite large enough and wooden seat edges dig in. 

Apart from that it is business as usual, a little knitting a little less crochet. I am finding the granny squares too repetitive at the moment, I have looked at a few jumper patterns but am not sure that I have the necessary skills. Still I will probably give it a go, nothing ventured and all that.

I would like an extra day in the week but there is no rush, part of the glory of retirement, I can take my time and enjoy each process.

The garden will need some attention once this wet spell slides off somewhere else. I admit that I am waiting to get my hands in the soil again.
I have stocked up on hand cream and have lemons, salt and olive oil ready for the cleansing bit. I use coarse sea salt, a squeeze of lemon juice and a glug of oil, rubbed in well and then washed off it really does get right into all the creases and lifts the dirt and stains out.

My Mother used it for as long as I can remember, she practically lived in the garden at times and her hands were never stained.

Some of my potted plants suffered in the last storm so this Autumn they will be going into the soil. I plan on filling the pots with more bulbs, spring and summer flowering, they are great to move around and add bright spots here and there.

That,s all for now, it is almost time for a little lunch, after the post office visit, and then I have fabric to look for.

                               TTFN                              Pam

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Not bad, just snotty

I read many blogs and often the writer excuses absence by calling him/herself a bad blogger.
Well I am not bad, ( a bit naughty once upon a time ) but I am decidedly snotty.
Somewhere along the way I have picked up a really runny cold, I leave a trail of tissues in my wake and small mountains if I sit down.
Add that to explosive sneezes that have me ricocheting around and you will understand that touching the 'puter has been very risky. The odd cuppa has been launched across the coffee table and I have almost put my knitting into orbit a few times.
My sneezing has never been remotely "ladylike" but this cold has really made them supercharged. Think of the recoil of a cannon when it is fired.

Now, this may not be entirely down to my cold. My reaction to change is often to bake and cook for the freezer. Following my recent return to normality I took a keen interest in shhh, cleaning.
Not that I live in a tip but I have possibly become borderline OCD about the whole thing.
I have always had certain tasks that I like to do in the mornings, but it has become essential lately, and the list has grown. Then at the end of the day I have always liked to clear the sink and draining board and have a clean floor. Now I am polishing the blasted sink and doing all the worktops as well.

It may be that the dusting and spraying (just my vinegar/water/fairy liquid mix) is irritating my nasal passages and putting my sinuses into stress mode. They have plagued me for most of my adult life.

I need to put some time into calming it all down. Obsessive behavior is a bit scary, I have seen it first hand with a sister in law and a close friend. It can very quickly escalate out of control.

On the upside, I have slotted a session of spinning into every morning and I like to think that I see a small improvement every day. I did not go to group yesterday, I do not want to share this cold thing with anyone.

I am plugging away at reducing the fabric stash, I gave pulled out a heap of charm squares and some strips and am making pillow shams. At least I was till a fit of snotty sneezing drove me away for a while.
I found myself sliver trimming as if my life depended upon it, not necessary as these will be quilted and any minor discrepancies will vanish. Plus they are for the sofa pillows and will mostly be graced and used by the dogs. 

I am knitting socks for the seasonal gift box and have a shawl on the needles for said box as well. There is still a cardigan WIP and my longest living WIP of a jumper. The cardigan is next on the list but goodness knows when I will get to the jumper. The only certain thing is that I will not frog it. I thought about it, I even dragged it into the daylight and gave it a good long look. I decided that 
A, I do not hate it and.
B, I still want to knit it. Just not quite yet.

All the fibre that I am spinning into yarn will not languish in a container, once plied and skeined I will be looking to weave with it.

That brings me nicely to a lovely surprise.

I read the Poppy Patchwork blog, by Marlene. She has been weaving for a little while now and has inspired me to try it as well.
A few posts ago she wrote about a book that she had enjoyed, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I dropped a comment that it sounded good and that I would have to find a copy.
Lo and Behold, it arrived in the post this morning. Such a kind thing to do. Crafty Bloggers are the best of people. This is not the first surprise that Marlene has sent me, or anyone for that matter.
I will be curling up, or spreading out, later to enjoy starting reading it.
Now, as rain stopped him working today,  the SO has just presented me with a cuppa. It would be rude to let it go cold so I am off to enjoy it, I may hunt out a sweet treat to accompany it.

                           TTFN                             Pam

Friday, 3 May 2019


That was me, busy bee or blue bummed fly, take your pick.
The morning was spent finishing the quilt off, it has been delivered and hugged and stroked within an inch of it,s life.

These were QAYG blocks, I did not think about adding decorative stitches until I had assembled the top, I will change that for the next one. There will be another very soon, I have lots of strips left and want to use them rather than put them all away.

Once it was delivered I set to and got the house to rights, all those little threads had migrated everywhere, including the bathroom.

Dinner tonight will be pizza so I got all the toppings ready, I precook the veg and drain it dry to help prevent the Soggy Bottom Situation.

Then it was time for a cuppa and a sit down, the sun was shining and I had a light bulb moment.

It was the work of mere seconds to get tea, fibre and wheel onto the patio for some R & R. Just 30 minutes and then it was time for the afternoon dog walk.

I plan on getting some more spinning in tomorrow, I have jumped ahead and changed all the sofa throws and cushion covers. There were plenty of threads spread over them so once they were off and shaken outside it seemed logical to wash them.

The SO has some in, grubby and sweaty and headed straight for the shower. He has been building a retaining wall today, once set it will be filled and planted up.
All this has had me looking at my garden with fresh eyes, it is not big by any stretch of the imagination and I would dearly like to get rid of the grass. I hesitate to call it a lawn, it is sloping and bisected by a path. It would look so much better terraced with slabs and stones. I could get some really lovely big pots in then.

I need to get the pizza dough on the go, otherwise the SO may have to resort to chewing on the coffee table. All that fresh air and work gives him an appetite.

                            TTFN                                     Pam

Thursday, 2 May 2019

T'is me, I'm back

My absence was painful but necessary, everything is sorted but I have missed you all.
So much was whirling through my head, and my fingers (cue spinning) that a total ban on the 'puter was the only way.
It worked.

Now, as much as I would like to play catch up it will probably not happen. I will dip in and out of my blog list but that will have to suffice. There are only so many hours in the day.

The only part of my day to day "stuff" that has been neglected is the garden, by the weekend i hope to have rectified that situation.

I did a trolley dash round Tesco yesterday late afternoon, the shop was almost empty, and I had my list and mostly stuck to it.
I did snaffle some blocks of Cheddar RTC, now safely grated and tucked away in the freezer, for a steal of a price......£2 a kilo. I also grabbed some bags of Cinnamon and Raisin Bagels for the SO (my rock) for 40p. I do make loaves like this but he does like a Bagel for breakfast every now and then.

I am missing Francesca but she will be back at the end of the month. I like to jazz up her room for each visit, it will be too late for a Maypole but I will think of something. A wander round Home Bargains may give me some ideas that I can steal copy from what I have in the sewing room.

I am a bit bleary eyed this morning, to cap it all I am in the middle of a sciatica session, my body wakes up as usual but the mind takes a little longer to kick off the painkiller induced fog.
I hate taking them but it is that or no sleep. My medication review went like a breeze and it will be a year before the next one.

I will take a photo of my new to me spinning wheel later, once I can focus, and the Q A Y G quilt blocks that have saved my sanity. Shutting myself in the sewing room and completing a block each day has kept me from tearing my hair out. It will be a gift (tomorrow fingers crossed) for a friend and neighbour.

Why does spellcheck insist that I should use the US "neighbor"? If it is such a "knowitall" then why can it not tell that I am in the UK?

Spinning has been neglected, I did manage the meeting on Tuesday but had to leave early, I just could not concentrate on hands and feet at the same time. There was not enough room in my conscious 
mind for it all, sewing was the easiest option, many years of muscle memory I went on to automatic pilot.

I have to get creative with some Haslet for the SO tonight, not one of my favourite foods by any stretch of the imagination, he really likes it. I do not think that slapping it on a plate with some salad will cut the mustard. I may combine it with something and use to fill a jacket potato, or perhaps a Hash would work better. He likes both of those so we will see. he is working extremely hard at the moment and deserves a treat.

I have kept up with the house, there is a small load of washing for later but that is it, I nearly forgot that I ought to whisk a damp cloth round the staircase, all those fancy curves seem to attract the dust like iron filings to a magnet. I have one of those mitts with a smooth side and a "shag pile" reverse side, a light spray with my vinegar solution and 2 shakes of a lambs tail and job,s a goodun.

Now I think that it is definitely Tea o'clock so I must leave you to get a brew on.

It's good to be back.
                           TTFN                                    Pam

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Phishing for my money

I just had a phone call from a woman who declared herself to be a Sky employee. The number was 01273030695.
It was a scam and when I told her soshe became quite agitated and very shouty.
These people scuzzbuckets prey on the busy and distracted, the elderly and confused. 
I recommend keeping a loud, shrill whistle by the phone. It seems to work.  

 Be vigilant, if it seems to good to be true, then it is likely to be a big fat LIE.


Still hanging on.

Francesca has gone back to Kent and the house seems empty, even the dogs are moping around. 
I had another good session at spinning group yesterday, my wheel was rated as a bargain buy (woop woop) and needs very little done to it. There is one bit that needs replacing and the flyer needs new hooks, my lovely "man who can" T from the group has taken the flyer home to get that done. 
It is a Flax Wheel and has done very little work and Iam looking forward to getting to play with it.
I am loving using the Ashford Traveler that T is bringing for me to use, I may have to have a word with the Tooth Fairy and her sister the Birthday Fairy, and see if they can team up with Santa for an extra special gift later in the year.
I have the phone but we scarcely looked at it, the days just flew by and suddenly it was time for Fran to go back. She will be here at the end of May so we will figure it out then. I will have a play before that but am unlikely to achieve much by myself.
It is catch up time for me now, I have done the bare minimum in the house and fell the need to clean and tidy. I did keep up with the laundry but there still looks like a couple of loads will need to be done today, weather permitting. We have a chance of rain this afternoon, I hope it does as it will save lots of watering.

That,s all for now, I have 2 dogs telling me that it must be Lunch time at least and they have not had breakfast yet.

                          TTFN                                  Pam

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Chilling, Chatting and......

Chocolate, in moderation of course.

It is lovely spending time with Francesca, we are doing nothing exciting just spending slow time together as a condensed family unit.
We cook, eat, make tea (seemingly continuously) and drink it. We watch a little bit of telly, we dip in and out of books. look at patterns, sewing and knitting, including  patterns from "Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses".
This was a treat from the SO, I can highly recommend it. Not just for the content but for the fact that it is loose leaf style, no more weighing it open to refer to layout and so on without the pages flipping over the very second that you look away.
I had almost planned on cutting a dress out this morning but instead have a pair of casual trousers cut out for Francesca. I use the Margo pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. It is perfect for casual wear in a 100% cotton, I add side seam pockets and an elasticated waist rather than a cord. I have the pattern traced out in all of our sizes, with a bit of tweaking here and there to perfect the fit.

There is a tray of Hot Cross Buns in the oven and a loaf in the machine, so the air in here is very and gloriously scented. I am sure that I am breathing in calories.

We had a barbecue last night, courtesy of the SO who also made his "special" coleslaw. 

Both dogs are as happy as Larry that Francesca is here, Herbie goes and "knocks" at her bedroom door and if she does not speak he gives a little Woof. Then of course he has a freak out and cuddles on her bed.
Once she is downstairs and on the sofa Ben takes over and demands her attention.

We have indulged in a little chocolate, I made a cake for Good Friday. Chocolate filled and topped with ganache and the dotted with M & M mini eggs and some Smarties mini eggs for good measure.
Yesterday it was Cinnamon Rolls fresh from the oven for breakfast. We will all be watching what we eat very closely for a couple of weeks after this.
Roast Lamb for dinner tonight and Roast pork tomorrow, 2 easy peasy days. 
There will be Millionaires Shortbread at some point today, just a small batch. Not my favourite but Francesca and the SO will make short work of it.

That,s me up to date or just about so. It has been and still is lovely to shelve the issues for a short while and focus on having fun "mothering" Francesca. I can think of few things that bring me as much pleasure and none that bring me more.

I hope that you are all enjoying your Easter weekend as much as we are.

                              TTFN                                 Pam

PS. I have a new "all singing, all dancing" phone so there may be some strange happenings here whilst we try it out.

                             Pam, (Phonetically Challenged) he he.