Archive for the 'works in progress' Category

I’m still here…

January 13th, 2008

Just…. rocking gently away in a corner, humming cheesy pop to myself and crocheting quietly. Seriously, that’s been me. The night of the “invasion” I didn’t get much sleep (even though I had to work running a playgroup for disabled children the next day) – at least the lads had the civility to not pump the air bed up at 3am as it sounds ridiculously loud. However I did lay in bed and very feel sorry for myself until they had all gone out for the day (and no, I didn’t want to get up at 7:30 to help David wash pots and cook eggs for his mates that had ignored me… am I mean? or sane?).

So, on a lighter note, having spent a lovely day with my best friend, cooking Sunday dinner (delicious) and “chewing the fat” with her, still crocheting and watching some lovely wildlife films and Antiques Roadshow (rock and roll life for me I tell you) I thought when I got back in that I would show you some of the things I have been working on and purchasing recently.

I am very lucky to have a lovely textiles shop around the corner from me that specialises in wool and felting fibres – I need to get back into felting as I love the texture of it, and I have planned a handbag from a sweater I acquired for a wedding I am going to next month. Anyway, I picked up these threads to crochet purses with - they are hand dyed linen and only £1.50 a spool – I thought that this was a bargain.
I do lament the lack of range in the craft supplies we can get in Nottingham. When I think of the history of Nottingham, the lace industry and the myth that surrounds the craft supplies I am generally frustrated by what you cannot buy. I was in Derby this week for a conference which led me to a trip to the market there and a great little haberdashery shop that I always spend a fortune in whenever I do go. And I picked up this little lot for £15 - the crochet threads you can get hold of in Nottingham are very basic and so I bought what I could that I didn’t have. I also bought the DK cotton for face cloths I am making.

I am planning on making quite a lot of basic stuff to sell at craft fairs this year, like face cloths and hair slides as well as the other bits and bobs that are a bit cheaper. Hence making loads of face cloths – easy and very satisfying and just the ticket when you have been invaded by hoards of tiny fighting men…

Back again soon – I’m off to try and get a head start on some sleep – they are still here! xoxo

Just popping by…

September 25th, 2007

Feels like ages since I have posted anything, and feels like I have been doing nothing but work recently, but I didn’t come here to moan too much. Just get my thoughts down a little.
It’s been a rough day at work – I run a small project that supports parents and carers of disabled children, and as I expected at some point to happen, one of the children we have been helping has died. Sounds cynical to say I expected it, I mean that when you are working with disabled children and children with special needs, you know their life expectancy isn’t the same as everyone else’s, but it still came as a shock. The family have had it so hard, and all she could say at this time when she must be in such pain was thanks for the volunteer she had and the support they gave her – bless her. Then the other families we are working with are all being failed in one way or another by the system (which is what our project supports them to get through) and it’s so frustrating when you visit families that yes, may not be the most conventional family around, but works as a unit and the kids are loved and looked after. Made me really question my own values and why I am passionate about doing what I do. Also made me question my own “problems” and put them into perspective.

Trying to find somewhere to live at the minute and it’s proving a more difficult task than I thought originally. I have been sharing a house with Rachel since we both graduated from uni in 1997, and there have been realy good times, and we have supported each other through the really, really bad times, so it will be very strange, to say the very least, to live with someone else. Even if that someone else is the guy I have been prattling on about getting married to next year.
My work history is one of working with vulnerable people in way, shape or form, and without wanting to sound rude, I don’t want to live in some of the areas I have worked in in the past – high crmie areas and lots of anti social behaviour. Estate agents must hate me as I phone up about a property that has inevitably been advertised after it has been let, and the alternatives are not going down too well – “No, I know that there are 2 dealers living down that street” or “no thanks – that area isn’t safe for me to walk back from work at night on my own …” kind of things. 10 years ago when Rach and I moved to Nottingham we had no idea where we were and we could have got stuck with anything. I have worked across Nottingham now for those 10 years, and I know where is nice and where isn’t. No wonder they think I am awkward.

Plus that, maybe I’m being picky but I have an idea of what we need in what will be our first home together – I need somewhere with a garden (I am using the cats as an excuse for that, but have made no secret about wanting to have a vegetable patch…), and I need somewhere to store all my stuff. David’s all consuming hobby (as mine is various crafts) is Warhammer – tiny fighting men basically. Not my bag, but I hardly have room to criticize when I could out granny most grandmothers! So we are ideally looking for somewhere we can have a room each, a guest room (in case anyone wants to stop over) and a bedroom/living room for us. We are viewing one tomorrow and I almost don’t want to hope for it to be nice, cos I don’t want it to fall through if it is. We really liked one a couple of weeks ago – was bigger and more expensive than we wanted but literally ticked all the boxes and felt right, and I really wanted it. Deep down I knew it wouldn’t work out though and she used the excuse of the cats and a 12 month tenancy being too long for her (!) but it took almost a week for her to let us know, in which time we missed out on looking at other properties. If this is what it is like renting I now see why it’s difficult to buy. Aargh!
Anyway, I am hoping that things will settle down for a change – I have a busy day tomorrow, but we have the viewing in the afternoon then it’s the craft group, which will feel like a real rest.

Sorry to moan so much – I really do have a lot that I am grateful for and getting it down (on virtual paper) has helped me see that. Hopefully next time I have the chance to post I will know where I will be living! xx

Dog racing and more works in progress

August 28th, 2007

This is how I feel today…

Do you know I just can’t seem to get myself motivated to do anything constructive today.

Had a lovely weekend – I normally don’t get out very much as I am usually flat broke (good job I kow where to find things for pennies not pounds really) but this weekend was different.

David’s mum and step dad own 4 Greyhounds, 2 of which have come over to live at a “stable” in Lincolnshire, so they can race in England. Now I know a lot of people have reservations about dog racing as a “sport” – and I am one of the first ones to be up in arms about cruelty, but I know for a fact that these 4 dogs are spolit rotten! The pair over in Ireland have retired from racing and now are very large, pampered pets. The pair over here, Gemma and Joey have now lost weight and look like racing dogs. Joey was having a trial to see what his time was before he starts racing again after an injury.

I didn’t realise (duh!) quite how hard it would be to get a decent picture of a dog running. I quite confidently said I would take some pictures, digital camera etc…. When your subject thunders past you at 40mph then it’s a somewhat different thing, but I am pleased with this one.
Here he is being fussed and petted after the race.

He made Beth, David’s mum feel guilty as he gave her a look that simply said he didn’t think very much of her not taking him home and he still remembered her leaving him in Dublin and he didn’t rate that at all. Not a happy bunny!
Gemma was racing that night, and as it was some of the nicest weather we have had here it was lovely time to sit out, enjoy a beer in the evening sunshine waiting for her race. Getting a picture of her, however was an altogether harder task.

Here she is standing relatively still.
Gemma is a real live-wire. She can detect hankies at 20 paces, and she has them out of your pocket and eaten (clean or used, she doesn’t care) before you have time to blink. I had a cold one of the times we were over to visit and she was a bit younger – still had a puppy head on a fully grown dogs’ body, and she managed to wrestle me to the floor and lick me to bits trying to get to my hanky. She just never seems to stay still, and she certainly didn’t reckon posing for a photograph was a good idea.

We then took Beth and Billy to Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem – one of the oldest Inns in England that was a favourite haunt for people on pilgrimages, hence the name. If you visit Nottingham, it’s worth a visit – half of the pub is built into the sandstone caves the run through and under most of Nottingham.

The next day I spent some time making progress on some project bags for myself. It was seeing Gemma that got me thinking of hankies, and reminded me of them.
I have a load of my mothers’ cotton handkerchiefs sat in my dressing table, some are really pretty prints, others are embroidered and I felt it was a waste not doing things with them. As I have about 10 projects on the go any any one time, project bags, either for transport or keeping things neat and tidy whilst they aren’t being worked on would be a great idea. I am using some vintage fabrics that I have built up, my mother’s hankies applique’d on and on some, a doily stitched on for good measure.This is a pocket, cut and pinned that is made from some of my grandmother’s fabric. I sound like I have tons of stuff like that hidden away, and I don’t. Just a few precious pieces squirreled away for something at sometime. Maybe even never to use, just to sit and admire. The colours haven’t come out very well in this picture, but it’s mid grey with pink roses climbing up, my grandmother’s favourite flower.

I also decided to sort out my knitting needles. I buy vintage ones when I see them and they are in decent condition, and I have a box crammed full of needles from my first set (plastic, small, size 1) as well as some of my mother and nanna’s after my sister and I split them. I wanted to make myself a knitting needle case, like I have planned for the online shop (when I get my ass into gear and get it running) out of some lovely vintage fabric I have, so I will post more pictures when I am further along than this.

I need to get into the habit of keeping my camera on me at all times. My dad had a period where he worked as a photographer – was entirely self taught, and he was never, ever without a camera. He even invested in a tiny Minolta “spy” camera so he would always have one. That’s maybe why I as an adult hate with a passion my photograph being taken (dreading the wedding ones) – all the hours of having photos taken as a child, although it’s a lovely record of my childhood. My dad would have adored the way technology has moved on and I know he would have been fascinated my digital cameras and computers. Like to think I am carrying some of his, and my mothers’ skills on in what I do.

I had better go an try and be constructive for a bit and get on with some proper work…. though I would rather be sat at my sewing machine!
Claire x