Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween joke, courtesy of Smallski:
What did the Mummy Ghost say to Baby Ghost as they got into the car?
"Don't forget to do up your sheet belt!"
Another of todays gem's from the small person,
"I found this penny and I put it in my pocket for a rainy day, but it rained and it didn't do anything...."
And I forgot, It's the last day of Blogtoberfest! A must just say a big thank you to
The Big Cat's Emporium for a month of fun!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Snow Joke...part deux...

I got the computer and camera on speaking terms at last! So it's only fair that you all pretend that I wrote this last night as planned, when we still had snow and I still had a point....albeit a very small one....
It's snowing!! In Autumn, in October, before Halloween! It's about 3 months too early! And we still have strawberries growing in the garden on the plants that refuse to die no matter how much we neglect them...which is quite a lot in their case, that could well be my specialist subject on Mastermind "101 ways to neglect your garden". Don't they know the summers been (I blinked and missed it) and gone. They're about 3 months too late! Weird, weird weather!
And it's ALL my fault...Oh, yes according to the till lady in Sainsbury's who gives me the evil eye if I dare ask for a carrier bag. Forget cheap flights. Forget gas guzzling cars. The Eco disasters of the world are in fact a direct result of my carrier bag use. Yes, I agree one-use bags are irresponsible, if you only use them once...but if you re-use them instead of buying bin bags is there really any difference? Does an ordinary cheapo plastic bin bag (not talking super duper recycled bin bags-I'm not made of money!) break down significantly quicker than a reused carrier, anyone know?
My theory, and I freely admit I could be wrong here, is that there isn't actually a lot of difference between a bin bag or a filled carrier bag going to landfill and it's all become a bit of over-simplified fluffy publicity. After all clothes are still put in carrier bags when they're sold, and no one moans, how's that any different to how you carry home your apples and potatoes? As crafters, I think I'm safe to say we all try to recycle, reuse and generally not waste stuff, but the carrier bag thing has got me wondering....
So what's the general consensus then? (Apart from the fact that I probably need to get out more...)
Not a lot between the two, or do I have to start buying bin bags?

I hate computers.....

Had a post planned all about our unseasonal snow. Tried to do it last night. And then I tried again this morning. But, "the computer says no" and won't load any photos from the camera. Mind, we did drop it, the camera that is, and it's soldiered on for three years, but it's getting a bit temperamental.
Or just mental. Buggery thing.
It's snow joke, you know! Ha ha ha....
...oh, how I make myself laugh!

Monday, 27 October 2008

This is..something I'm surprised Iike....

Duck. Let me explain.... Now, I've spent all my life refusing to eat sweet little quacky Daffy, I mean why would you? Really, he's just so cute! But then a friend invited us for dinner a couple of months ago and she cooked (no prizes for guessing....) duck! And me being me was far too polite to say "Sorry, I don't eat anything that quacks..." and it did look so nice and crispy (cooked a la Delia) that I thought "Well, I'll just eat a bit so as not to offend....". Well quarter of a duck later and there I was licking the plate! (Classy bird, me!) Just think, all of that time I wasted, years, feeling sorry for Daffy when what I should have been doing was spreading him in Plum sauce and wrapping him in a pancake! DOH!
Thanks to Earl and Cookie for this weeks theme, and to Angela as always!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Blogtoberfest...Loving Fridays!!

Loving this Friday!
It's just me and the sewing machine today....yea!...and if I focus on only looking straight ahead, and squint (quite) a bit, I won't be distracted and I'll be able to ignore the fact that the house looks like a weapon of mass destruction went off ! ! ;)
More reasons to love's half term next week.... so....NO getting up in the dark at 6 0'clock and NO making sandwiches for packed lunches! for a whole week....whoaa!
I tell you, it's the little things that keep me happy.....

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Propaganda poster from WW2 Home Front Series, after clothes were rationed in 1941.Wouldn't the world be a very different place if they'd never lifted rationing? Just a thought.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


Oops! Sorry missed a couple of days of Blogtoberfest! (but it's Ok, I'll get my Mum to write me a note......!)We spent a wonderful day in London on Sunday, Mr.M and Smallski went to the British Museum. And I took Bigski to the last day of Origin, The London Craft Fair. There are so many talented artists that show at Origin and I thought I'd share with you the ones that I found the most inspiring. As Smallski had custody of the camera I didn't take any pics I'm afraid, so the following have all come from the artists websites.

Betty Pepper: Little Women

Betty Pepper who has a 1940's/Victorian Gothic thing going on and creates the most stunning pieces of textile jewellery and art pieces often using old books. Just beautiful.
Anna Lewis, who makes mixed media contemporary jewellery

Anna Lewis: Katami

Jennifer Collier, creates decorative recycled paper garments and shoes, as well as jewellery that captures everyday items, such as buttons and pins in resin, holding them like little treasures.

Jennifer Collier: Resin Jewellery

and Michelle Holden, creatively reinvents books and maps through her crafting.

Michelle Holden : Ordnance Survey of England, Cornwall and Devonshire 1919-updated in London 2006
Don't you think it's funny how there you are marbling maps and stitching through them, deciding that you like the reverse more than the front, one day and then you look up and someone else is doing the same or similar - only better! There must be something in the air that I've subconsciously picked up on about maps. I've been obsessing about them all summer, saving them, thinking about stitching the journeys I've made. I know there's a general feeling of altering a surface, breathing new life and use into a once defunct item, a waste not want not and recycle attitude that runs through many peoples work. These are the crafts that are the most interesting to me; they preserve and recognise history, usually through domestic and everday items that are most relevant to women, while giving an object a new future. I know I'm not the only one that enjoys finding a creative solution by using what I have, or what I've found.
Now we're officially in Recession, I reckon the feeling can only grow, maybe it will even go totally mainstream and people will stop buying pointless badly made crap ( I say that with one eye towards Christmas. I don't need a singing and dancing comedy Santa, thanks!) Yea, I'll live in hope on that one!
Oooo! Get me!! That's all sounding a bit arty farty, isn't it?!!

Well it's either arty farty or I'm not creatively recycling-I'm just too tight to buy materials!

Well OK! Arty Farty it is!!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

The Rainbow Fish

It must be the season for making costumes for randomly themed school days! There is a promise of it over here and Smallski had to dress up as a character from a watery themed book on Friday.
"Great" me thinks, "Pirate! Easy-peasy, bandana, scarf, maybe an eyeliner scar..."
"Actually, I want to go as the Rainbow fish"
"That's nice.." I say aloud, "But you'll probably go as a pirate, like everyone else" I quietly mutter, rather hopefully.
So, as is traditional in these parts, I wait until 7.30 on Thursday to make a start. Don't get me wrong I'd thought about it quite a lot and had formed a plan of action, in fact I thought about doing a documented tutorial, but it was getting late-you know how it is!
So, this would be the edited undocumented tutorial.....
Get old T-shirt, (but make sure it fits!) Slash up the sides/underarm so it lays flat, cut strips of cloth (I have an unofficial policy of using stuff I already have in the house in these situations, hence the umm, interesting, colour scheme...) and scallop one edge to make scale shapes - a handy baked bean tin turns out to be the perfect template. Stitch them on the T-shirt so they overlap in a scaly like fashion on the front, back and sleeves. Cut up a too too small tutu to make fins and pin them in at side seams , close side/underarm seams , chop up another old tutu that's too too small (alright I'll stop the bad puns now!) and hand stitch in place down the centre back to make the big fin at the back. Fill in any gaps around the neck with individual scales and voila! you have one happy tiddler!

" So what made you think of going as The Rainbow Fish?"
" Well. Me, Lauren and Alex are all dressing up as fish, you know, like a SCHOOL of Fish......!"
Well it made us laugh.......and that's what counts.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Blogtoberfest Fave Friday!

Drewzl has declared today 'Blogtoberfest Fave Friday!' and who am I to argue?!
So I have to tell you about my favourite song, I warn you I am no aficionado musically, and on Singstar I only get a good result singing the Scissor Sisters (yes, I sing like a high pitched gay man!) and appalling for everything else! And I'm the only person I know that turns the radio off in the car, preferring quiet most of the time. So anyway, favourite song would be U2 'With or Without You' no particular reason for liking it, always have and probably always will. I'd find it on You Tube but I still have the cold and cough from hell and my need for cake and coffee and nurofen is just that much stronger.....

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Blogtoberfest. Day 10 (for me. I think..!)

Thursday's are a good day. A college day. Time in the print studio. A few hours just to be me. Even though every Thursday morning I have the same thought at the back of my mind: "if I stay home I could finish Mrs. Soandso's trouser/jacket/skirt/clean the bathroom/make the costume thing for school tomorrow/clean the oven" (actually that last one is just a blatant lie!)

But I go, burying that feeling deep inside, right next to the spot of guilt for paying £300 a year in fees. Remembering it gives me a creative balance to the sewing alterations, and working in the wedding shop, and besides, it's much cheaper than a studio!
It's something we all struggle with as women, wives and mothers, allowing ourselves time to do something for ourselves. Us ladies are just far too good at guilt!

We feel we need to justify ourselves. And then there are those that think we (semi) stay at home Mums just sit around and drink coffee all day. To you I say, "Yes, we do and you're just jealous!!!Ha, ha, HA!" There are a number of other things that I could say to them, but hey I haven't got all day and the kettle is a boiling....;)
So anyway, I went to college, leaving the wake of disaster that is breakfast time at Chez Shaz and spent a happy morning marbling maps and paper. I'm off to work in the shop soon. I was just wondering, you wouldn't happen to know anyone that wants to buy a wedding dress off a lady with very blue fingers, would you?!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


More (late!) images from The Wallpapers Calendar,

August: I don't know why, but I like thinks it's time to step away from the cough medicine...

September: Flying ducks.....

October: Who ever thought teracotta and lilac, with a dash of green for good measure, would be a good colour combination?! I hope they are hanging their head in shame! Oooo, can you imagine living with it? I mean, what colour carpet would you go for? Tricky decision, you wouldn't want to end up sufferring from a self-induced bad taste coma...

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Blogtoberfest. Day 8. Dress art

Selvedge dress by RicRac

Jodie, over at RicRac, has been working on her Big Selvedge Project secretly for months now, just teasing us with a mention here and there. But it was most definitely worth the wait! She's created this stunning dress, purely from selvedge. This has got to be crafting at it's best, creative, using a resource normally thrown away and so beautifully executed and constructed and yet.... it's still functional!! Totally amazing!! Pop over to see more of Jodies Selvedge art here!

Monday, 13 October 2008

Blogtoberfest Waffle!

I haven't posted any images from the calendars for a little while, well alright 3 months....but it's Blogtoberfest and I have nothing else going hard luck, here they are!
Now August and October don't do anything for me style wise, they're rather (dare I say it) boring, but September is a completely different animal (Ha Ha! Private joke for Mrs Cloudcake!)I could see myself swanning around in a luscious velvet cape, looking like a truely creative bohemian dreamer! ( In reality I'd obviously look like a leftover Hobbit from Lord of the Rings, but as I have previously mentioned, I'm on good terms with Mr.Denial...)
More tomorrow from the Wallpaper Calendar (gotta stretch these posts out a bit you see....)

Sunday, 12 October 2008

This is....My Current Reading Material

Living Etc (always, every month, without fail)....and the back of the Sudafed packet (suffering from a cold)....and I might progress to the Sunday Times later, just for a bit of variety!
Thanks to My Champagne Dreams for this weeks theme and Three buttons for the meme!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Blogtoberfest. Day 5. Saturday night....

Gold disco ball, my present to the blog world. Because, after all, no Saturday night is truly complete without one! Let it not be said that I don't know style when I see it........

Friday, 10 October 2008

Blogtoberfest. Day 4. Look what I found in the attic....

Well technically it wasn't me that found them, but Bigski. Rooting around up in the loft she found my final collection from college shoved in an old holdall. I'd really forgotten all about it, it was after all 22 years ago ( What's that?I don't look old enough?*blush* Why, how kind of you to say!! Denial has been my good friend these past few years...)

Wool jersey tops and dresses ( so short they really are only tops, what was I thinking?) with inset lace booby bits (you can tell I was a technical pattern cutter can't you...) The moths have had a good feast on the jersey, but the lace, oh's still good! Proper vintage stuff!!
It was from an old antique shop when I bought it all those years ago, so I really couldn't hazard a guess at it's true date. Even after all these years, I still really like my final collection, but that's not going to stop me ripping these apart and salvaging the lace! The only question is what shall I do with it??

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Blogtoberfest Day 3.

Bag to match the "she's got bottle!" Apron, slightly grubby and creased because I'm using it! The idea is to make a small range of 'bottle' aprons, bags, tea towels and possibly just a couple of prints to sell on Etsy or Folksy. It's the usual problem of not enough hours in the day, (I know I'm not alone there!), which is frustrating, but I've written it down now in black and white just so I'll HAVE to make time and do it!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Blogtoberfest Day 2. Eleven details......

I've been tagged by the lovely Tanya at Lily and Agathe

1. Clothes Shop: Le boutique de Helene-the-chat-hater, Gap, quite random really....
2 Furniture Shop: again quite random really, Ikea if I'm lazy, and skint. That would just be Ikea then....
3. Sweet: Minty Aero's, but if it's chocolate and you're offering, I'm not that fussy.....
4. City: London, Las Vegas, Barcelona, ....
5. Drink: Beer, Bacardi and coke (classy bird,me)....
6. Music: Rather a lot of Elton John playing in the shop at the moment (not a good thing)....
7. TV series: E.R, random daytime tv while I sew....
8. Film: Roman Holiday, A Very Long Engagement.
9. Workout: Does walking to the pub count?....
10. Pastries: Yes please!(but no currants/raisins because, really, what is the point of them?)....
11. Coffee : Oh yes, just keep it coming.....
I'm a tagging....
Cloudcakes, Jennyflower and DaisyDays!
Have fun Ladies!


I'm a bit late, but I've joined the fun that is BLOGTOBERFEST! The idea is to post everyday in October which, I'm hoping, will give me the bit of bloggy discipline that I sorely lack of late, and Blogtoberfest is such a great name how could I not?! It's all been organised by the lovely lady at Big Cat's Emporium, and it promises to be full of fun and festivities. So what are you waiting for? go see for yourself!
I must dash now, I need to go and beat next doors camper van to a pulp with a baseball bat because the sodding alarm has been going on and then off (lulling me into the hope that it will stop) and then ON AGAIN. Only joking. I haven't got a baseball bat.
(See one post down already!)

Sunday, 5 October 2008

This Favourite Kitchen Gadget

Yea, no surprises, it's the cafetiere.
Says it all really!!

Thanks to Angela for the This is meme.

Friday, 3 October 2008

This is...A WINNER!!! (Who's showing off!)

Image from the Folksy Blog

Oh bugger it! I've just tried to write this while being all modest and humble, well I'm far too damn excited for that I tell you!! What's got me so excited at 11.30 on a Friday night? I hear you ask. I only went and checked the Folksy blog and they've announced the winner of the Howies competition and it's only ME!!!!!!!! Me, I tell you, ME!!! Go here and check for I suddenly fear in my abilitity to understand English and worry that I've misunderstood and I'm making some kind of hideous embarrassing mistake publicly to the blog world! I've checked again, for about the 27th time, and it's true!! It's ME!! I'm amazed, I feel like I've been allowed to play with the big girl crafters!
Ha Ha Ha!! World domination is surely only a few printed fripperies away!!
(Queue manic laugh...................)

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

This showing off!

Well apart from the apron thing (see last post), not alot to show off about this week, except I did a rather magnificent reverse park into a parking space yesterday, that would possibly be the first since I passed my test - 10 years ago! I always expect a mass of applause and congratulations related to my driving. Unsurprisingly, and most disappointingly, this doesn't usually happen - not that I'm particularly bad at it you understand. I'm just still constantly amazed I can get myself from A to B, on my own, in a car!!
Thanks to May the Cloth be With You (isn't that a great name?!!)for this weeks theme!
It's the week of the small peeps birthday's, only they're not so small anymore! Bigski was 14 on Monday. 14!!! And possibly taller than me, but don't tell her that because I'm in denial (not about the age, just the height. ALL of her friends are taller than me). Her shoes are 3 sizes bigger than mine now, so my shoes are safe, make up and t-shirts, shall we say, are less safe. But crucially she's old enough to do all the things she's wanted do for years and suddenly she's old enough, it's such a relief! (Relief to me that is!) And ofcourse she's old enough to babysit!! Yipee!!!
Smallski is 9 tomorrow, with a very sore arm that warranted a trip to casualty just to check it's not broken (luckily, it's not). It's going to make for an interesting birthday party though, I've booked a climbing wall. So typical!
Happy Birthday Girls!!