Wednesday, April 29, 2009

new home to be

Originally uploaded by pipapiep

Look at this cute little world! I think I will move there. Not much privacy (or housing, shops etc.) but other than that pretty much perfect. It reminds me of the Donna Wilson exhibition I was ranting on about the other month, so I have already walked through a life size version of this and I already know I liked it. An easy decision then, I'm off to live in a tiny felted forest with a fox and a... llama? Yippee!

Monday, April 27, 2009

cheer up, chuck

Originally uploaded by maraid

Oh dear, I am feeling very sorry for myself tonight. Stress stress stress and roll on the weekend! However, this determined octopus makes me want to succeed and generally cheers me up so I thought I would share it incase anybody else out there is feeling at all like me. 

Do you know what else cheers me up? The twelve mystery bottles of wine that arrived for me this weekend! They are not from my mum so I suspect my sister. They have tasting notes and everything. Fun fun fun! Graham is keen to try one tonight. I may succumb even though it feels like I'll be going back into work in a few measly hours after only just finishing up for the night... Harumph! 

Back to the positivity, I also got a beautifully sweet blouse from my mum in the post this weekend. It fits and I love it - a rare feat indeed! Well done, mother of mine.

Apologies for the randomness of this post, I just felt like doing a little nice thing (I think blogging is a nice thing to do) before the day was out :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

last weekend/this weekend

This weekend has been a flurry of crafty activity.  So many hours of sewing.  So many blisters.  Such a small (but perfectly formed) selection of goods to show for it...  Ah well.  It's been fun and satisfying and kind of relaxing in a complete denial sort of way.  This afternoon I must force myself to put my needles down and do work for work.  Boo hoo.

Last weekend I was charity shopping in Geneva (in between pretending to visit Rainbow Brite and sewing up Care Bears of course) and I realised I still hadn't shared my purchases here.  Actually, they are really Kerry's purchases since I had no Swiss money.  I accepted her generosity since this was the only time I left the house all week, so intense were my babysitting/auntie duties! 

I got this tiny ceramic blue bird with beautiful patterns...
... as well as this slightly creepy picture of a bird made with real feathers and leaves.  We had watched Kirstie's Homemade Home that week so I was determined to know what I like and to buy accordingly.  Well, I tried.  I think I like this picture.  I do know it will be a good addition to the wall of many wonders.  I also know Graham is downright horrified by it.  Ha!
As well as birds I bought some tins.  This pink one is so cute.  I still haven't decided what to keep in it.  Something crafty, I think.
Just as I was about to squeal at spotting this tin, Kerry picked it up and said that she had planned to buy it for my birthday and fill it with buttons until she realised that she wouldn't have time to get enough buttons.  When she saw how excited I was by it, she bought it for my birthday anyway (minus buttons).  It's so ridiculously and old fashioned-ly cute...
...and came full of a random assortment of musty smelling craft supplies including a thimble that looks like a finger tip with a red painted nail.  Eugh.  The crochet yarn (I think that's what it is) is very pretty and perfect for my summer ambition to learn to do tiny crocheting.  Nothing like learning to run before you can walk!
I have lots of work stuff to do (stress!) but am feeling very tired and not in the mood.  I got addicted to zip brooching last night so sat up too late and then Graham and his friend came in from the night out they'd been on.  Graham's friend slept on the sofa (neither of them listening to my suggestion that he should sleep in the spare bed) and, when he got up to go to the toilet at half past three, he fell down the stairs!  He claimed to be fine but phoned this morning with the news that he has actually fractured his arm!  Good grief!  My prized ceramic boats got knocked off the wall during the accident but fortunately none of them sustained any fractures.  Stuart (unlike ceramics) will heal eventually so, if you ask me, it all turned out for the best in the end.  Hee!  Poor Stuart...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

cool cats and cocktails

My sister found these tins at a flea market years ago.  I have been coveting them ever since.  I particularly like the cat with the cocktail.  They have the Scotch (as in Scotch tape) logo on the bottom.  I wonder what on earth they would have contained originally?  Does sellotape really need a tin?

I did some sewing last night for the first time in a while.  It was fun!  The cats are being strangely affectionate which is slowing my stitchy progress down a bit.  And my progress in general.  They also prevented me from drinking too much wine, mind you!  Right now, Poppy is resting her chin on my wrist as I type.  She's purring and determined to look relaxed but every time I go for a letter nearer the middle of the keyboard her little head goes bobbing about.  I should start keeping my sewing closer to hand.

Friday, April 24, 2009

cheer bear has been working out

Could you care for this care bear?  I found it hard...  Following an insignificant remark about a knitted care bear from three year old Kim, my mum (a.k.a. her granny) got into crazy bidding wars on ebay to get her hands on a pattern.  She knitted this care bear up while she was in France, the week before I got there.  I do remember agreeing to embroider the face and rainbow but I do NOT remember agreeing to sew up and stuff the whole thing.  Thanks to Cheer Bear I got none of my crafting (not even the knitting for baby Ruth) done while I was there, which is now coming back to bite me on the bum.  It took a mammoth effort to get Cheer Bear finished before I left.  To begin with it looked absolutely nothing like a care bear but it just needed a bit more stuffing... which took a trip to Switzerland to find!  Perhaps I overstuffed those arms...?  Kim now thinks a blue and a green care bear would be nice but I have told my mum she's on her own this time.

I got my prize from the giveaway at Ginger and George today.  Yowser!  The sewing is so perfect that I can't even work out where one stitch ends and another starts.  I am almost ashamed of my embroidery skills now - Kirsty's are truly amazing!  That said, I'm planning to be reunited with my needle and thread this weekend, which is set to be a crafting flurry in amongst all the piles of work I have to do for school.  Graham has a busy weekend ahead so I'm going to try and make the most of having the flat to myself for a bit.  Must be productive, although that would mean moving this warm furry black and white bundle of purry goodness off my lap...  Hmm, maybe later!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

nudge nudge wink wink

This lovely lady was hanging around outside my French bedroom and I'm sure I caught her winking at me...
Is it wrong to want to steal from your own sister?  Or is it good that I resisted?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

peggy two

I made these peg dollies as a wedding gift for Kerry and Gavin, nearly five years ago now.  I didn't have a camera back then so I photographed them now instead.  I keep planning to get back into making peg dolls, it's so much fun.

Monday, April 20, 2009

sew sexy!

Here is the first of my planned series of high speed mini blog posts charting my visit to France (which was very enjoyable).  My sister, Kerry, has lots of great charity shop finds in her house so I tried to photograph some of them to share here.  This fabulously crazy sexy tapestry hangs above their bed and is a whopping four or five feet wide!  Oh, it makes me giggle...

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Oh my aching legs!  Graham and I went on a daytrip to Largs and Millport yesterday.  Blue skies, sea air and the best ever ice cream from Nardini's.  Yum.
I had cherry mania and Graham had turkish delight.  Later in the day I went back for some lime sorbet.  I'd had one too many glasses of celebratory wine the night before and was in need of zingy refreshment.  Lime sorbet was an ideal choice.  I even managed to summon up a last burst of energy to accept Graham's ten pin bowling challenge and I nearly didn't lose.  Ha!
While waiting for the ferry to Millport, we promenaded along the promenade, marveling at the colourful benches.  We also visited the charity shops but neither of us got a single thing.
This lady on the putting green with her handbag tickled our fancy.  I was being all spy like, using the zoom on my camera but I think the man noticed and wasn't impressed as he kept blocking my photos.  This was the best one I got.  The man kept missing puts and was getting really frustrated while the woman patiently put her handbag down to move the flags for him.
Once we had crossed the wide expanse of ocean (the shortest ferry crossing ever with bagpipers to entertain us and everything) we spent quite a while wandering around Millport.  This is apparently Britain's narrowest house, so narrow they can't quite fit the sign on it either!
One of the highlights of Millport was the Ritz cafe.  I stole this picture from this lady's flickr as all my photos had either my face or Graham's in them and we looked very tired and windswept and stole the show with our dishevelled-ness.  The Ritz Cafe is up for sale at the moment and we fantasised about buying it.  The decor is amazing so I hope whoever buys it doesn't go crazy with modernisation.
Here's a close up of the table top formica, my own picture this time.

I slept all the way back on the train and then watched Doctor Who when we got in.  It was like a proper holiday all crammed into one day.

I'd better go and pack my bags for France.  My knitting is not finished and I have very few clean clothes and I'm stressed about not being ready to go back to work... but I can't wait to see my THREE nieces and nephews (and Kerry and Gavin, of course)!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I'm a winner too!

Originally uploaded by PlanetCoco

I guess I got some good karma from having a giveaway of my own because look what I won! How cute is this little red cupcake? It was so exciting to stop by Kirsty's blog and see my name there. Yippee! I feel like maybe this would be a lovely gift for Ruth (my new niece has been named!) but I will have to see how good it looks on my craft room wall first... Hee hee! Oh no, I'm the world's worst auntie already...

Friday, April 10, 2009

hey, baby!

I'm so glad I didn't go into work (thanks, Claire, for your support in the matter!) because if I had I would have missed the phonecall to tell me I had a new nephew who turned out to be a niece!  That is the sort of confusion that arises from letting a three year old girl spread the news...  Yes, I have a new niece!  I'm so excited that I thought I'd share a sneak peek of my knitting which I really will have to press on with now.  I was worrying the colours were looking a bit girly but now that I know it's for a girl, I can go ahead and increase the purple stripe ratio!  Yay!  My new niece doesn't have a name yet but Kim (her big sister) has suggested Rapunzel and apparently the baby does have quite a lot of hair so....?  Hee hee!  Okay, back to the clacking of needles :)

stationery it's ok to hug

Originally uploaded by thankyspace

I just came across this amazing picture via Meet Me At Mike's and couldn't resist sharing it here immediately. When I was little, those four-coloured Bic pens seemed like the height of stationery opulence to me. Seeing one in a new light like this brought all those old feelings of stationery fervour flooding back. Mmmmm.

I want to make fabric versions of real life things today. It would be so much fun to rummage in the drawers and cupboards and say, 'I'll make a fabric verion of this can/stapler/book/key...' I'm meant to be going into work though. Blah. It would even be kind of fun to be in an empty school during the holidays but that's just it - it's the holidays and I have other things I want to be doing (like making fabric versions of household objects). I won't get back from France until late on the last day of the holidays. I'm trying to honestly assess whether I'd be ready for next term if I just turned up on the Monday morning. Probably not... But then what is the worst that could happen? I just want someone to tell me not to go. Could that person be you? (Do it!) In making your judgement, bear in mind that this is my last day of total freedom as I have plans for tomorrow and then jet off on Sunday, leaving my craft supplies behind... To be honest, even if I do stay in I MUST KNIT. I think I am about to accept that my baby knitting is not going to be finished in time. Waaaaah! 

I'll have a cup of tea and a think.  And a knit.  And a sew.  And... then it may just be too late to go to work :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

chicks going cheep!

These little chicks are so sweet, and not just because they each hide a cream egg inside their little knitted bodies.  They were going cheap (huh huh!) in a basket with lots of other chicks in a charity shop yesterday.  I am going to take these two to France for my niece and nephew.  I think it's so cute that somebody knitted these up for a good cause.

Charity shopping yesterday was a strange day and everything was all back to front.  For starters, neither of us got anything in Clarkston (which has never before failed to provide) and then we missed our favourite charity shop because apparently it closes at 1 on a Tuesday.  Noooo!  And just look how promising the window looked:
Not that I would have bought this typewriter.  How many mustard yellow typewriters does one girl really need?

Since the unexpectedly closed charity shop had freed up some time in our military like schedule, we went to an unpromising charity shop that we've been missing out for the last few months... and this was where I made my first purchases of the day!

As well as lots of buttons for my evil genius button plan and some zips for brooches, I got these beautifully packaged hooks and eyes...
... and this really nice fabric.  
I think it would make lovely cushion covers but I suspect the cats' claws would play havoc with the loose weave...  We'll see whether it becomes something exciting soon or spends some time ruminating in the fabric drawer first.
Later in the day I got these Blackpool souvenir playing cards and a Francoise Hardy record.
Look at the lovely label!  Graham patiently looks through all the boxes of records for himself but he knows my taste well enough to be able to spot anything I might be interested so I get all the joy (like finding this) with none of the eye and back strain.  I was listening to this record this morning and really loving it.  There were quite a few songs that I'd never heard sung in English and one or two that were totally new to me.  Such a nice treat!

As usual, I came home with all sorts and Graham returned empty handed.  There's some debate in our house as to whether this means Graham is pickier than me (i.e. has better taste) or whether I just have greater vision and imagination.  I think the latter, needless to say!

cowboys and dinosaurs

I've got bloggers block again this week, I think. I got up super 
early this morning and did some long overdue sewing while 
watching The Valley of Gwangi (above) with one cat on my lap 
and one by my feet. It was a good morning and my sewing 
turned out well too. I had been itching to sew all week but 
made myself knit instead. My knitting is still scarily behind 
schedule but is progressing plus I have made a good step 
towards cracking my wonky knitting technique by changing my 
posture. It hasn't made me knit any faster yet but I'm hoping 
it will eventually. I'l share some pictures of my knitting and 
sewing once they are with their recipients but, in the meantime, 
enjoy the cowboys and dinosaurs!

Friday, April 3, 2009

from work to play

Originally uploaded by maraid

This German matchbox label is a fitting celebration of today's transition from work to play, as I am now on holiday for two whole weeks. Woo hoo! I think I really need this holiday and the last week has been t-o-u-g-h. Phew! Graham and I are planning a south side charity shopping day as well as a lazy pub lunch and a cinema trip this week. I'm going to try to fit in quite a bit of crafting, too (while Graham is at work - ha ha, sucker!). During the second week I'll be saying bonjour with a mouthful of croissants, as I'm off to France for some babysitting while we wait for my third niece/nephew to arrive. Exciting! Which reminds me, knitting must come first. Oh dear.