Archive for January, 2012

I saw these at work and was very jealous as the squirrels seem to have eaten all the crocuses in my own garden…

26th January 2012 – “Raindrops on crocuses”

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Project 365 – Day 25

There’s something quite therapeutic about pruning, and boy did I do a lot of it today…

25th January 2012 – “A thorny mess”

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Bit of a new feature here but I hope it will become a regular one.  I’m sure most people have a wishlist of some sort, I’ve got one which is a mile long (thanks to Amazon now letting me add things from other shops to it) but the trouble is that I keep adding things, and eventually the list gets longer and longer and there are things on there from way back when that I don’t really want any more.  I should keep the list up to date but let’s face it, I’m lazy.

So Wednesday wishlist is going to be a bit different, it’ll be like the proverbial three wishes you’re granted by a genie or fairy godmother.  Three things, material or theoretical, that I want this week.  If you’d like to join in with Wednesday Wishlist then let me know and I’ll add a link to your blog.

This week I’m wishing for…

More colour in the garden.  It’s still so dull at this time of year, the bulbs are up but not flowering, and despite some flowers which are still clinging on (my summer pelargoniums and my winter cyclamen) there’s just not much to look at.  I’ve got some winter-flowering plants but they’re still quite dull.  I can’t wait for my bulbs to flower!

Cheese moments.  I haven’t had these in absolutely ages and have been craving them for a while now.  Rarely spotted in convenience stores, generally only found in pubs.  Dammit I want some!

The third thing I would really like this week is more hours in the day (or, possibly, to just make better use of the time I have).  I had a whole week at home last week and it feels as though I barely did anything; now I’m back on a gardening week and I seem to have so many ideas and no time to do anything with them!

That’s it for this Wednesday, but check back next week and if you’d like to play along then let me know and I’ll link to your blog post (please note that I’ll be away next week and posting from afar, so if you do want to play then please let me know and I’ll have to add your link when I get back to London).

Update:  Katy over at Creating Misericordia has added her own Wednesday Wishlist!  Pop along and visit her blog to take a look 🙂

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The first snowdrops have finally flowered 🙂

24th January 2012 – “First of the  year”

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Back in September I bought a rotary cutter and took my first step towards quilting.  I cut up a load of my old pyjamas into neat squares and then stashed them away.  A couple of months after that I got my first sewing machine, and last week I finally learned how to use it.

I don’t have a proper workstation for sewing at yet so I had to set up shop temporarily on an old drop-leaf table in my mother’s room.  Not ideal, but it did the job.  Now, I’ve not been taught how to quilt, just given advice by people and looked stuff up on the internet.  Pretty much all the instructions I found said to sew my squares into long strips and then sew those strips together.  Hmmm.  As a complete novice with a sewing machine straight lines aren’t that easy… I can manage to sew straight for a short stretch and then it all goes a bit pear-shaped.

So I decided to sew the squares into small strips, and then turn those small strips into a larger square.

First one was a bit wonky and the seams didn’t all meet up, but yay!  This seemed like a good way to proceed as it would be easier to keep track of how the pattern was going (I only had 9 different types of pyjama fabric, so it was definitely fate), and I’m hoping it’ll be easier to sew the larger squares together than to sew lots of very long strips.

Now, I’d thought that my squares were all nice and neat.  Nay nay.  I made the mistake of not ironing the fabric before cutting out my squares (yes, I’m a lazy moron), so they were all a bit on the wonky side after I ironed the cut squares.  So I made myself a template out of paper and used that to help me sew them together at the right spacings (the template is 5 x 5 inches).  First I’d sew two squares together thus:

Then I’d get my next square ready, line one edge of the template up with the seam I’d just sewn, pin the whole lot together and sew along the opposite edge of the template.

That photo’s a bit blurry isn’t it?  Sorry about that.  Anyway, that’s how I got around my wonky squares, and I’m sure there’s a technical term but I don’t know it!

My confidence grew as the day wore on (although I did get confused at some points and sewed the squares together in the wrong order, leading to much swearing and unpicking of stitches) and my large squares got more even.

See, the seams line up!  I’ve now got 20 of these larger squares all sewn together and that my friends is how they’ll have to stay for the time being.  The next step will be to sew the big squares together (probably using another, bigger, paper template) but that will have to wait a few weeks.  In the meantime I’m very proud of myself for finally conquering my fear of sewing machines, and will be posting details of another, smaller, sewing project very soon…

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Project 365 – Day 23

My job comes with unexpected perks, and getting to play with teeny tortoises (brought home from school by the client’s children) was a brilliant perk today!

23rd January 2012 – “Teeny tortoise”

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You would be forgiven, having read my blog last week, for thinking that I spent most of my time sewing frivolous things for teddy bears and making faux plants instead of doing any real work.  Thankfully that wasn’t the case, I did quite a bit of bookbinding, I just didn’t talk about it!  A grand total of 26 books and one special gift set were finished and added to my Etsy shop last week, which is pretty good (and all thanks to me being organised earlier this month and prepping a load of covers).  Here’s a selection of my favourites, but do pop along to my shop to view them all.


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This week’s Weekword is…

weather.  That might seem a bit dull after Sally’s choice of ultracrepidarianism, but I do like an easy life and the weather has been on my mind quite a bit recently so here we go!

For those who are new to Weekword here’s how it works.  If you’d like to play then please post a comment in reply to this post and let me know (make sure that your blog url is accessible as that’s how I’ll link to you).  You’ve then got all week to think of something to do with the chosen word: take a photograph, write something, draw something, just post something inspired by the Weekword.  On Friday I’ll post my own entry together with a list of all those who have said they’re taking part, along with links to their blogs.  You can then do the rounds and see what everyone else has posted, and it’s a good way of getting to know different bloggers and also of getting people to come and have a nosey at your own blog.

I hope we’ll have a good turnout this week (and let’s face it, the British LOVE to talk about the weather so I expect a good showing from the UK!).  Happy Weekwording!

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It’s Chinese New Year tomorrow, so mum and I decided to pop into town to celebrate early with a yummy lunch.

22nd January 2012 – “Chinatown”

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Note to self: be better organised and then you won’t be trying to take photographs at night when there’s bugger all natural light.

That really is a dreadful photograph but there’s nothing I can do about that now, I shall just have to take my photographs earlier in the day!  So, what am I drawing then?  I’ve been approached about a possible commission to do with flours and flour… I shan’t say any more at this stage, but I’ve been playing with ideas this evening and trying to ease the kinks out of my drawing muscles so that my lines flow more cleanly.  Practice, practice, practice.  I’ll be doing some more work on this tomorrow, but I shan’t post any further updates until I’ve spoken with the client again!

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