Archive for the 'stuff' Category

What’s new, pussycat?

October 30th, 2013

As per usual I fall off the blogging waggon despite my best intentions (and a lot of IT issues) but he’s to having another go!

There’s been a few changes round here since the last time I blogged.  I’m no longer teaching craft evening classes – a combination of time and energy mainly, and restrictions on how many people need to be enrolled to make a course viable have made it harder to teach.  This is combined with the college needing me to update my teaching qualification, which kind of made the decision for me.  I do miss it, and have done a couple of private crochet workshops since then, which made me realise how much I missed it, and want to organise more of these in the new year.

Private crochet workshop at The Pretty Dandy Flea

Private crochet workshop at The Pretty Dandy Flea

I’ve been trying to take more photographs, and have been on 2 day courses in how to use my digital SLR camera, with Line and Light (who I would highly recommend), as well as playing a bit more with the vintage cameras I have from my parents.  I’m far from being an expert, but I am certainly a lot more confident at knowing what the camera does!

Stereo camera - my dad's pride and joy

Stereo camera – my dad’s pride and joy

We have new (fluffy) additions to the family in the shape of 3 lovely, cheeky chickens.  More about them another time (and there will be another time this time as I’ve already got the post written and ready to publish!)


And last, but certainly not the least, we’ve started a new branch of the Women’s Institute in Sherwood.  There used to be a branch in Sherwood years ago but it closed, I think because it’s members were ageing and there weren’t many new members coming along.  I spoke to Linda, our WI adviser about setting one up last November.  There were lots of people interested in going to the WI, but who wanted something that they could ideally walk to, particularly important if you have children or other commitments that restrict the time you are available.  Once our County WI had approved it, we had 3 meetings arranged to see if there was enough  interest in the group to make it viable, and on the first, very manic night in January we had 60 people there!

First meeting

The room I had booked at the United Reformed Church had a capacity of 50 – plenty,we assumed.  We ended up borrowing extra chairs and pretty much shoe-horning them in.  I knew it was busy as I was making teas for everyone, when my lovely neighbour popped her head in to the kitchen and told me people were queueing out of the door!  It was quite overwhelming that so many people wanted to find out more.  We have so far 42 members, and have had a lot of visitors too.  I was honoured to be elected as President and I’m immensely proud of being part of a diverse, lively and fun group that’s grown so quickly.  I have a fantastic committee along with me too, and although we are “talking shop” even our committee meetings are fun and go on for probably far too long!

Here’s an delightfully unflattering picture of me signing the official constitution and rules making us a WI:

signing the constitution

In fact the amount of pictures taken that night is the only thing that’s really taken me out of my comfort zone as I much, much prefer being the other side of the lens!

We made it into the local paper too -

Sherwood WI celebrations in the Nottingham Post

It’s been a busy year so far, and I’ve met and made friends with some amazing people.   Work has sometimes(often) got in the way, especially when it comes to having a holiday – the only time I have been away this year so far was in late May/ early June we had a lovely week with everyone over in Northern Ireland, and I’ve been ready for another break for months, but that’s not going to happen any time soon.  Next year I intend to change that and get out more!

Thanks for stopping by – will be back again soon x

Dresser make over

April 14th, 2009

Back again after a break that ended up being far longer than I imagined. No real reason, just a general “meh” feeling I haven’t been able to shake off, combined with IT issues (something to do with blog surfing and then getting the blue screen of death…. RAM burning itself out…. do I sound like I know what I am going on about? If I do, I don’t…..)
Anyway, just cos I haven’t been active online (barely been able to check my emails each week let alone daily, so I really had disappeared off the radar) it doesn’t mean that I have been idle. Think I need to have a bit of a show and tell really.
I also recently started teaching 3 craft classes – 20 week hand embroidery course, a 15 week hand and machine embroidery course and a 20 week mixed crafts course, so I am happily settling into them. Have dates for 5 weekend courses through the summer school, and 3 evening classes starting in September. Craft fairs may have to take a back seat this year, although I have booked to do 5 in West Bridgford, which were consistently good/ at the least OK last year and I have new ideas for the stall. It’s also the time of year again when I am being made redundant – this time it’s the end of May, so job hunting time again. I love working in the Voluntary sector but the funding situation is starting to be a bit boring now – after 12 years of working I have never had longer than a 2 year contract. That’s getting a bit much as this is the 6th time I have been invited to “you’re being made redundant and we have no guarantees as to whether we’ll get more money in to continue with the project/ course/ service….” discussions. Moan over. I’ll find something else, I always do.

My plan is to be on my own domain soon, with the blog and shop all accessible and pretty. That’d mean me getting my act together, but watch this space!

Anyway, the first of the “show and tell”s for you – this dresser is solid pine, but had gone a really manky orange colour, but I can’t complain as it was free from a friend who was relocating from Nottingham to Sheffield, and simply didn‘t have the room in his small and incredibly minimalist flat…. David had suggested that I paint it dark brown, as we have a lot of dark wood furniture. Poor lad was given an “are you taking crazy pills” kind of look. I wanted cream and robins egg blue. So that’s what I got. Couple of coats of satin later and I am really happy with the result, especially as I think the colour helps show off the little nick nacks I have displayed.

I always wanted a dresser with loads of chickens on it, so although this is a small dresser at least I have 2 of my hens (anyone remember Bread?) and my 50′s cock- tail tray for starters.

Not to burn myself out too soon I will go, and now we have some decent light take some more pics of the other things I have been beavering away at recently behind the scenes, and be back soon xoxo

What type are you?

July 7th, 2008

I know I set out for this to be a craft blog, but since I have a distinct lack of hours in the day (hence the sparce blog posts) to do anything, I haven’t taken many pics, so I thought I would share this with you. I found this pootling round other people’s blogs and since I always like doing the learning style type questionnaires, I thought I would have a bash.

You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.

You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.

Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.

You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You’re quite the storyteller!

In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.

You often don’t follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. And you do break a lot of hearts.

At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding

When other people don’t get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused

So come on, those of you who fancy it – what type are you? xoxo

What’s on your iPod?

June 26th, 2008

I thought I would do a bit of a cheerful post in the hope that it will make me feel more cheery – this has been a hard week so far, for lots of reasons that I will not go into here, but I hope that our run of bad luck is soon to be ending! David reckons we’re saving all our good Karma for the wedding – call me strange, but I would rather have a drip feed effect – an OK wedding with a little less of the bad times in between!
Anyhoo, to try and distract myself from having to clean up a blackbird that had been torn to pieces on my lawn this morning (lots of cats on the prowling last night, including my pair, so I don’t know which one did it, but I’m not impressed) and from the sh!te week so far I have been listening to my iPod lots, and it got me to thinking about the random selection I have on there at the minute. I also wonder when I see people listening to theirs, what they are tuned in to… I thought I would hit “shuffle” and see what songs came up on mine, and share them with you (since I have nothing better to do really…..)
The cutter – Echo and the Bunnymenbit of a relic from my days floating round wearing lots of black being a goth – I still think it looks so cool, but I can’t be bothered really, and lazy goths just aren’t good….

Ship of Fools – Erasure - love Erasure – always have. ‘Nuff said.

What can you do for me – Utah Saints - bit of an odd one but it’s upbeat and takes me back. Makes the journey to work quicker. The Prodigy and Chemical Brothers are good for this too!

Stayin‘ Alive - The Bee Gees - that needs no introductions or explanations, like Abba. So there!

Sunshine of your love – Creamwhen I was about 14 I started really liking 70′s stuff like Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, and I discovered Cream at the same time, thanks to my brother, one of the few bits of music that we both liked. He used to be a massive Status Quo fan, even in a band playing their hits – maybe this explains something about me and they way I turned out…..?

Killing in the Name – Rage against the Machine - good if you are in a temper – they played this in the student union on my first night away from home when I went to Uni.

True Faith – New Order – always been a fan of New Order, and I also loved Joy Division – I played this a lot the summer I went to Uni (1994) so it always reminds me of then

Pour some sugar on me – Def Leppard – I probably shouldn’t comment, or indeed admit to this one, but you have to have some cheesy rock on there somewhere, don’t you? Or maybe it’s just me….

Never let me down again – Depeche Mode - one of the best birthdays I had was my 30th – David had bought us tickets to see Depeche Mode in Birmingham the night before – I had been a fan since Violator came out, but had never managed to see them – they were AWESOME! We then went to a club night that’s organised in conjunction with the gig, and they played nothing but Depeche Mode – I was in heaven!

Motorcycle Emptiness – Manic Street Preachersanother one that reminds me of Uni

Add it up – Violent Femmes - big VF fan – a band I discovered at Uni. David’s not keen, but we can’t agree on everything can we?

I’ll stop now – At this rate I will go through the entire playlist! Anyway, it’s over to you – what are you listening to?xoxo

I’ve been tagged

March 17th, 2008

Gina tagged me – never been tagged beofre and so I need to share with you 7 random facts about myself. This proced to be more difficult than I thought. I don’t think I am that odd (others who know me may disagree with that…) and also,I do share a lot with you on my blog, whether you like it or not, and so I am not that interesting a person as to have loads of stuff I can bleat on about, apart from what you see here.
Here goes anyway:
1. I love spicy food. Really like it, especially something with chilli in. I have been known on more than one occasion to carry around a bottle of chilli sauce to spice things up a bit. Doesn’t help my IBS, but we won’t go there….

2. I studied History of Art at Uni. I loved it. David laughed when I told him what my degree was in. He thinks it’s putting pictures in date order. I assume that you crafty bloggers out there would appreciate that there’s more to it than that (said with my nose in the air trying to be all high brow). I always chose the fashion modules as I loved them, and my dissertation was on Odilon Redon’s lithographs, which I found fascinating. The grinning, winking spider was one of my favourites (this probably speaks volumes about me) and my boyfriend at the time was studying graphic design, and painted this on my biker jacket for me…

3. I used to be a goth. You know, black hair, black make up, white face, lots of corsets, lace, biker jackets with spiders painted on (see above). My mother, bless her thought that I would grow out of it quite quickly. 10 years wasn’t quickly… She did defend me from my family ridiculing me though, even though she was probably deeply embarassed to be seen in public with me. One of the last things she helped me make was a burgundy and black PVC cyber style dress. You may be struggling to reconcile this with the pretty flowery stuff I make now. I will let you into a secret. I still had embroidered tablecloths and doilies at Uni. I just didn’t tell everyone about it. Becoming a bit older and not caring as much felt like “coming out” when I started making the sort of things I make. I did look very different when I met David though. I remember having pillarbox red hair, my lip pierced, lots of eyeliner, bright red lippie and a red tartan skin tight straight skirt, black low cut vest, fishnet tights and big New Rock boots…. I also had quite a few piercings, although I will not discuss that further, and quite a big tribal tattoo on my back. Now I can’t be arsed with it all. I’d rather crochet….

4. I love cheesy pop and adore 80′s music. I love hearing about people’s “guilty pleasures” musically – I don’t mind admitting to liking Dollar, Fleetwood Mac, Abba. I never have been cool. I just accept it now and wind people up by singing really loudly to cheesy cr”p to annoy them.

5. Not that you would think it now but I used to be in a number of choirs when I was younger. I was one of only 4 altos in the school choir, got roped in from that to the school’s chamber choir (rock and roll!) and then the church choir and the City of Hull youth choir. Helps having a reasonably low voice I suppose. Not that anyone who has heard me murdering Scissor Sisters at Karaoke would think I had ever been anywhere near a choir, but I have the photos and certificates to prove it!

6. Speaking of being younger, I have had a number of things I wanted to be when I grew up. Namely – a nun (don’t ask, but I was 13/14 at the time and deadly serious… even writing to the local Bishop and making enquiries about the convent in Whitby…) a jeweller – I used to make quite a bit of jewellery and, fuelled by my Dad who let me play with things like soldering irons from an early age, wanted to design and make silver jewellery. I was accepted at the local art college for a course when I left school that was for 3D design, and included 6 months of silversmithing. But I didn’t like the college or the tutors and so went to do A levels instead. Oh, and when I was really young I wanted to be a pilot. One of my ambitions is to take flying lessons, and I adore flying now. Just don’t do enough!

7. I was born on April Fools day. Yep, 1st April. And I have heard every single joke going. Honest. It sometimes takes people a minute when taking down your details to realise, then they look up and smile as if to say “I am not surprised” or “I bet you have heard it all before”. Thanks, and yes, I have.

Speaking of birthdays, I will be having a giveaway for my birthday, so watch this space – I’ll sort it out next week to let you know what the heck I am doing.

Told you I wasn’t that interesting – far better to hear me bleat on about crochet or embroidery or something like that…..
Right, now you’re all tagged. I’m rubbish at picking people out, loads of people have been tagged before me, so who wants to play? Let me know some randomness about yourselves xoxo

What I’ve been up to since last time

March 15th, 2008

That’s an imaginative title for todays’ post isn’t it? I have been away for a week but I have managed to get quite a bit of crafting in since I last popped by. Not got many pics taken of things though (it’s the lighting that’s the problem – hate using the flash for close up photos – makes everything appear in the wrong colours!)
I do however have a couple of photos of what I made for my best friend Rach’s birthday. We have spent 2 lovely fortnight-long holidays in Cromer, North Norfolk and I know that Rach is never happier than when she is near the sea, so for her bithday, as well as some other bits and bobs I thought I would make her a couple of things to remind her of the lovely holidays. I made a little photo album that could slip in her bag and have a look at on a boring day at work (we all have them…) – on the cover is a picture of me “grafitti-ing” a sea wall with some chalk we found on the beach. I also made a purse with 2 pictures of Cromer that I printed directly onto some vintage sheets I stuck to freezer paper. I did, however, break David’s new printer in the process – be careful if you are printing onto fabric – we have a “top feeder” printer and the one at work was much better being a “bottom feeder”…. I made the purse up via Heather’s tutorial, which is dead easy to follow. I lined it in Kaffe Fassett quilting fabric - purple with lime green dots, and Rach loved it. I am making her another one with pictures of Pinky and Boo on it, and she would like it lined in pink (to match Stella’s ears). I am so pleased with it, and the new machine David bought me for my birthday (it’s on a couple of weeks but was a bargain so I have it early…) and Heathers’ instructions even made putting the zip in easy, and that’s the part I HATE with a passion!
I’ve also been making some more needle cases for the craft fairs I have lined up, and I may also list a couple of them on Etsy when they’re done. I’ll take some pics and post them this week.
Pootling round in the pictures I have stored I did find these from my London trip – the taxidermists in Islington Get Stuffed. I couldn’t believe the size of the Polar bear in the window, but it did remind me of a couple of stories my Dad used to tell me about when I was really young. The first was me rubbing my snotty, cold ridden nose in some fur coats hung up in a department store (this was also the day I managed to clear entire shelves of packets of shirts whilst my Dad was carrying me on his shoulder. Methinks I had been given some sweets before going out that day..) and the second was a very vague memory I have of a trip to the Maritime museum and a polar bear being on display, and within very easy reach of small children (as far as I know it still is, silly museum staff…) and, me being true to type, rubbing my face in the fur, but, it being very old being covered in dust. Thinking about it I can still vaguely remember the feeling of the dusty fur, so I must have been about 4 ish…. Dad always reckoned it was my first protest against fur coats. I reckon that it was simply an early sign of me liking soft fluffy things x

Postal goodies

February 23rd, 2008

Don’t know what’s happening with the blogging – it seems I have a lot to show you and getting round to actually doing it too. My word, I wonder how long this will last!
After feeling a bit under the weather last night and this morning, I was cheered up to find an envelope waiting to be opened up from Heather in Arizona. I’d won a giveaway on her blog to win Kitty. She’s lovely and I think I will use her on a workbag – something that I will use often rather than something that would only be used occasionally, although it is tempting to put her on a handbag. Heather also put in a tracing of a radish by Vogart – perfect for including on some of the new aprons I am making. Thanks Heather, it’s lovely!
Checking my blog I also found I had been given the Random acts of kindness award by Rebekah, so thanks a lot for that – it’s lovely. I’d like to pass it on to Elizabeth, and Drewzel, and in fact all other people who make my day by reading this little blog and passing comment on my ramblings – you’re all great!
Bouyed up by all of this I have started tidying up again, and made some more Pinky and Boo lables I use the transfer paper you can buy in any stationers and print them, then iron them on to double faced satin ribbon. Need to buy some more paper next week as I need more lables and have run out of paper.

I’m going to throw myself in the shower now and then have a wonder down to the charity shops to see what’s new – if I’m lucky I may even be back tomorrow with some thrifty finds x