Monday, 27 June 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

There are times in the academic year when things get just a little bit hectic - and right now is one of those times. Reports, end of year productions, sports day practices, Summer fetes, ordering supplies and books for September, the list is never ending. To add to that, we have a permanent full time teaching post for which 150 people applied! Over the next 2 weeks, 6 candidates will be coming into my class to teach an English lesson prior to the interview. This would normally be fine, except 2 of the candidates are already teaching on temporary contracts in our school (one of which is doing the actual job advertised) and so it has all got a bit awkward.
Anyway, I did start those reports and have done English, Maths, Science, ICT, RE, Geography and Art for all children. Hooray! It's plain sailing from here!
In between work and family stuff I have tried to snatch a few moments in the garden and sewing together those granny squares.

It's slow progress but I will get there. How do you lovely bloggers whip one up in an afternoon? I will never know!
Some new felt supplies arrived today. The pack on the right are for my felt acorns, left for my jewellery, although I would quite like to make another bag (would be good to finish the one I have started first!).

This was a great bargain I found on Folksy, a destash item, unopened, that should retail at £14.99 but I bought for £7!

So I have plenty of supplies lined up for Summer holiday projects!
Becky x

Saturday, 25 June 2011

My Forgotten Folksy Shop

Oh dear. I have been having so much fun making things for me I have abandoned my poor little shop at Folksy. It was quite unintentional, but now I find myself wanting some extra pennies for the holidays and very little in my shop to sell! There are only 4 weeks until the end of term so you might think that I would have time to make and sell a few bits, but those 26 reports are still on the to do list! I'm going to start them today, I am, I am, I am! After a coffee... and some toast... and finishing this post! I am normally so much more organised than this - really!
I have found a little time to make some crochet flower hair grips which I might put in my shop, but will probably take into school and sell.

Must find some time (LOL) to make some felt necklaces and acorns for the autumn. I have ordered some more wool roving in lovely autumnal colours from The Rainbow Room.

photo from The Rainbow Room

Hope you have a lovely weekend. Hopefully my next post will mention lots of progress on those reports!
Becky x

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Vintage Sewing Supplies

This week I collected some more of my late Gran's sewing things from my Grandad. She was a wartime teenager and very much the original 'make do and mend' lady. I was brought up on these wartime sayings; 'waste not, want not' being a favourite which I now use with my children. Her sewing box (one of several) and button tin reflects this beautifully.
There was a lot of darning thread for socks and stockings alike.

Watching her sit and darn in the evenings used to fascinate me, it required an amazing amount of patience, weaving threads over and over again. I feel quite ashamed at the things I discard which she would have repaired or used for something else. I do donate reusable clothes to charity shops and recycle clothes which aren't good enough to wear so I'm not completely wasteful. However I am so far off my Gran's level! In her sewing box I found two sets of bra straps which had been cut off the bras and put away 'just in case'! It would be fair to say that if I ever needed to make something for school, Gran could always put her hand on just the thing for the job!

I found two little leather cases in with the threads. One was full of different coloured darning yarns for her stockings. The little messages on them are lovely.

Her button tin was full of lovely goodies too. 

Some were still attached to the original packaging.

A few leather buttons.

A collection of buckles.

A glass button - I didn't know buttons were ever made of glass.

And these, what were these used for? They are mostly in pairs and I wondered if they might have been the fastenings for little baby shoes?

And look at these animal print buttons. I wish I knew what my Gran wore that these were attached to - just not her style at all!

I love walking down memory lane! Thanks for walking with me.
Becky x

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Progress Report

Just a quickie to let you know that a very tiny amount of progress on the craft front is happening here! I am SLOWLY sewing together my granny squares for my cushion cover. I tested a few different methods out and settled for one that weaves the yarn down under the outside edge of the squares. It raises this edge slightly but I quite like this effect. I left long ends on each square so I'm using these to sew them together.

I haven't done anything to my felt bag yet, but in true 'Becky style' I did discover this when I was playing around...

I purchased two buttons, thinking I needed only one, but knowing how I like to alter designs as a I go along, had bought a spare just in case. Now I will still need to purchase an extra shell button for the loop closure on the bag! I thought I was ahead of my creative self on this one!
Hope you are finding more time to be creative than I am!
Becky x

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Kreativ Blog Award

A big HI to my new and old followers alike!
I got outside in the garden today, coughed less and feel much more like myself. Hooray!

I have a blog award to pass on but before I do I wanted to talk a little about these awards. For me, it's a 'thank you for sharing' award. Thanks for sharing creations, materials, ideas and for being inspirational (I'm talking about all of you - not me!). However, I am aware that there are those of you out there that regard them as the virtual chain letter, a complete and utter nuisance and unnecessary. If I pass this award on to anyone who doesn't want it, please forgive me. I won't be offended if it is never mentioned again!

So, I have chosen 2 lovely bloggers to offer this award to.

1. Faith's Craft Box
Leah is quite new to knitting and crochet (so she claims but she has very quickly accomplished several projects including booties!) and it is nice to follow her journey in the crafting world. She also likes to embed clips from films and songs from u-tube into her posts which always make me smile.

2. Dinki Dots Craft
Maria at Dinki Dots Craft is very creative and shares all her lovely projects. She is also well on the way to 50 followers and has promised to do a giveaway when she gets there so go on over and follow her! No, really, she's lots of fun and has a great blog.

Hope you're enjoying your weekend.
Becky x

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Knitted Half!

I don't know why but It didn't occur to me to share with you all the knitting projects in the book I showed you in yesterday's post. Perhaps it's because it has been quite a while since I have done any knitting, crochet seems to be my new love. I hadn't even looked at that half of the book myself!
Anyway, whilst waiting for laptop to boot-up this morning I picked it up and leafed through. There are some lovely projects and some slightly odd ones.
I'll let you judge for yourself...

So, what is that picture at the bottom all about with the fin and the pompoms?

Dog jackets!

Really? Why? I mean fins? Pompoms? Is this what a dog desires? I just don't get it (which is slightly ironic from the woman who wants to crochet a skirt for her bike!).
And the bikini... I think not! But the mobile phone covers are cute (although Julia Crossland has shared a great pattern today for crocheted ones which I prefer) and I quite like the leg warmers (are these back in?).

I know I have a blog award to pass on, so I plan to dedicate a post tomorrow to it.
I've started sewing my crochet squares together even though I don't quite have enough for a whole cover yet (so impatient!). I couldn't just go for it and risk having three white ones left at the end so I have planned out the colour arrangement.

I am such a control freak! I'm off now to stitch together a few more.
Enjoy the start of your weekend.
Becky x

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Two New Books

Whilst home I have had a chance to flick through two books I bought recently. We have several book clubs who leave books at school for us to look at and I spotted this one.

In fact, I liked it so much I was reading the sample when the rep' came to collect them and so she left it with me (I did pay for it)! I mainly wanted it for it's jam and chutney recipes, but the more I read the more interesting it became. It has recipes and instructions for preserving foods in oil, vinegar and salt; for freezing, drying and smoking foods and making preserves and cordials.
I have been playing with photoshop again! Here is a little collage of some of the images in the book.

I'm looking forward to making the strawberry conserve with the strawberries from the garden. The other one I want to try is the chilli jelly. I have been buying it from a lady at the local farmer's market but she said she won't be making more until the Autumn and I just can't wait that long!

My other book was from Sainsburys.

It has some lovely little crochet projects which I'm looking forward to trying. Here is another collage of project images from the book.

Look at those fingerless mitts - loving those! I had to get the book for that pattern alone!
Do you remember my bargain bag of this silk, alpaca, wool mix?

Well I thought it would be great to use it for that wrap-around cardigan. I would make it a little longer though - a little past showing off my tummy these days (if I had a nice flat tummy like hers I'd go for it)!
I love the stripey blanket the dog is sat on in the wicker bike basket - such a cute photo.
The cushion is gorgeous too, and you may have noticed in my sidebar that I have made 33 squares now so it won't be long before I'm sewing them together. Hooray!
Still coughing, still home!
Have a good one,
Becky x

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Inject Some Colour!

My garden has entered its 'green' phase. This happens every year despite my best efforts to add more summer flowering plants. So, last week I went to my local garden centre, B & Q (!) and a large car boot sale to buy some colourful plants! I did really well, loads of bargains at the car boot. I like buying plants this way because firstly it's cheaper and secondly the person has the parent plant and knows how best to care for it. On the other hand, if you catch it right at B and Q you can get some good sized plants for great prices (if they have remembered to water them of course!).
I was going to show you lots of photos I have taken of my bargains but I have been inspired by Gillyflower to get to grips with photoshop and produce a collage of my pics...

What do you think? I found a great tutorial for doing this online and I'm really pleased with the result.
I must confess that the white carnation and sambucus were already in the garden, but the others are new.
A few more...

Again, the welsh poppy was already in the garden but the rest are new. As soon as I have the energy to plant them all I'll take some photos of them in their new homes!

Still off work with this horrible cough. Sitting still is the only thing that doesn't cause a coughing fit, but I hate being off work, I always feel so guilty. Do you feel like this?
Becky x

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A New Blog Award!

One of the hazards of teaching is that we tend to be ill at holiday times. Yes, you have guessed it, I spent last week fighting off a bug that didn't really take hold until Friday. Sadly, very little crafting happened last week and my two WIPs are still WIPs! No ta-dahs from me any time soon! Still, I was cheered up no end on Sunday when I received a lovely blog award from Jane at Hook and Yarn.

I was feeling a bit fed up that I week off had come to an end and I hadn't done much of the usual baking, walking, gardening, making...(not to mention spending nearly £700 on the car for tyres, breaks, service and MOT) when I found the award whilst checking out my favourite bloggy places. Perfect timing, Jane! If you haven't visited Jane's blog I would recommend it. She is very creative and generous with her patterns. She has a lovely daisy crochet square which I am hoping to have a go at soon.

I believe the recipient of this award is required to share 10 facts about themselves. I'm really not that interesting! But I will try...

1. I love lattes and when I go on holiday I take my latte machine with me!

2. I went to an evening class studying watercolour painting for 3 years with an artist called Judi Trevorrow. She is well known in Cornwall and is very talented. I really miss it and will take it up again when the children are older.

by Judi Trevorrow

3. I went to live with my Gran and Grandad at the age of 5 when they became my Legal Guardians. My Gran sadly passed away last July and I miss her terribly. She taught me how to sew and bake and is definitely where I get my love of crafting from. I see my Grandad often and he is still very active at the ripe old age of 90! Bless!

4. I have a bent finger! I broke it horseriding when I was 10 but my Mum didn't believe it was broken. By the time she took me to the minor injuries clinic it had already started to heal, but slightly bent. My poor Mum has never lived it down!

5. I love Cath Kidston but think it is terribly overpriced - sorry. (There's how to lose all your followers in one go!)

6. When I grow up I want to be a children's author! No seriously, one day I will find the time to write and illustrate the stories that bounce around my head.

7. I am very impulsive when it comes to buying yarn and plants. I don't buy because I have a project or place in mind. I see something and love it just for it's colour or texture or scent and then I get home I think 'what am I going to do with that?' I always find a home for plants but my yarn stash keeps growing!

Beginning to struggle now...

8. I went off coffee but got addicted to Marks and Spencers cafe coffee cake when I was pregnant with Lulus. My husband looked into buying me a whole one for my birthday (just for a day off going there!) and they were happy to order in a whole cake for me for £48.00! Needless to say I didn't have one!

9. I married (eventually) my childhood sweetheart! Our meeting again was under very strange and unexpected circumstances and now we are both huge believers in fate - what will be, will be.

10. I hate having my photo taken and have avoided putting any of myself on this blog but perhaps this would be a good time to share one with you. A very silly photo of my husband and I in fancy dress for a party a few years ago; pre-children, 2 stone lighter and with a lot less lines!

I will spend a few days thinking about who I should pass this award on to and let you know in my next post ;)

It is Little Mannie's 2nd birthday today! Can't believe he is 2 already. Where does that time go? We finally chopped those curls off last week. Surprisingly, it bounced up again after being trimmed so he still has a few curls, but is now looking more boyish so we will hopefully avoid future 'what a pretty little girl' comments!

I have coughed my way through this post (off work today as the talking yesterday played havoc with my chest).
Time for a chocolate break!
Have a good one.
Becky x

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