Love them meeces to pieces!









It’s been too long since I did any kind of paper designing or cutting so today I got out some vehicle-grade vinyl and cut a couple of mousies for my car. It’s on the grubby side but was only cleaned last Monday. Since then, it has been up and down the motorway to Dublin and back every day and got grimy and gritty like every other car on the road. I designed them in Illustrator then saved them as SVGs so I could cut them with my Cougar.

Of course, if you have cats, you know that you cannot sit down and get on with something without the help of at least one of them. Gracie is our resident IT expert and the mice were designed under her watchful eyes! As you can see, her gaze is pretty fierce so I didn’t dare mess up or who knows what wrath I could have incurred.

gracie-nov16Once the mice had been cut out, I laid strips of masking tape down the lengths of the mice and peeled them off the backing sheet.

After that first step has been done, it was a simple matter to stick the design down to the car and carefully peel off the masking tape, strip by strip, ensuring it hadn’t lifted the vinyl with it.

Finally, I placed the original backing sheet on top of the vinyl and burnished the mice down over the top of it. I used a small de-icer to apply the pressure and the backing sheet provided a protective layer so the car didn’t get scratched.

I llve the end result. You could say I love them meeces to pieces.

gracie2nov16I think Gracie approved but she would have preferred real mice, I’m sure.

November is here now and the leaves are crunchy underfoot. I love autumn. The leaf litter everywhere is a riot of colour. I’m sure God uses Photoshop and ups the saturation at this time of year!

I think the lawns will have one last cut and then the lawnmower will be put away until the spring. I need to strim around the edges and tidy the sides and then the garden can go to sleep for the winter, pretty much. I still have to pop out regularly to pick up the apples that are falling off the tree, though. Finding uses for the the apples is a bit of a nuisance. Can only eat so many. I mix them with Bramleys in apple crumbles and have enough apple sauce to last until next year and have given lots away. There are plenty out there for the birds. I’ll give it some thought as it’s such a waste not to make good use of them. Talking of the birds, I bought a tub of 50 fat balls for €10 so they will have something to eat once the fruits, berries and insects have died away. I usually throw out a handful of sultanas or raisins for the thrushes and blackbirds as they have a sweet tooth and love dried fruits!

My neighbour brought me round a tub of green tomatoes. She grows lots of things and doesn’t use insecticides or pesticides. Totally organic. Brillo! And, you can’t get them in the supermarkets now – they’re all red – which is fine – but I’ve been wanting to make green tomato chutney and now I can!

If the chutney turns out well, I’ll post pictures and the recipe. If not, you’ll know it was a disaster. Fingers crossed!

Snails Tales or the rant about a set of Addi Swing crochet hooks

swingsA long time ago,  August 20th, I ordered a set of Addi Swing crochet hooks from a seller on Etsy. They were described as a set of thirteen. They looked fab-u-lous and I loved them. They weren’t cheap and nor was the shipping – €16 from Germany to Ireland. The consignment  was to be signed for when it came.

Seller said she would despatch  3 – 5 days from the order. However, she actually despatched on day 6, a Saturday, August 27th.  No matter, I thought. But, a week wasted already.

They were despatched and I was able to track their progress as far as Frankfurt airport. After that they just disappeared. No sign of them. Tracking just stopped.

They were due to arrive, no later than the 8th September. But, by the beginning of September I was getting itchy fingers and sent her a friendly query asking her if she had any tracking information as I had hoped they would come earlier.

She then (allegedly) contacted Deutche Post who said it would take up to 12 days (I presumed working days) to get to me. She complained that she couldn’t get to a post office any sooner than the 6th day following the order as she had a shop and couldn’t leave her premises. Hmm, that was a bit of an iffy thing to say considering in her blurb she says she set up her Etsy shop to ensure that us crocheting crafters who liked our nice hooks and things didn’t have to wait. She’d had experience of waiting and waiting and knew the purgatory us craftspeople suffered waiting for our gorgeous things!

Anyhow, when they didn’t arrive a week or so later, I contacted her again and asked her to investigate as I should have had them by then and if they didn’t arrive I would want a refund. She went ballistic.  Said that I HAD  them and that I was trying to scam her and she would NOT give me a refund. WTF??! I was out nearly €100 and no crochet hooks to show for it.

I contacted Etsy. They shut down direct communications between us and mediated but let us see each other’s comments. She then told Etsy that I had them (no proof of that – nothing signed for). Said I had never contacted her for tracking information or further details. She told Etsy that  I was LYING – Yes, that was the actual word she used. How very rude and outrageous of her! Acting the maggot like that! And, dear reader, her words were so untrue.

Well maties, she wasn’t going to get away with that. I contacted Pay Pal and got them involved.

She told Etsy that Deutche Post had said it could take 12 – 14 days to get to me, not the 10 – 12 she had written via our original Etsy communications. BUT I had still waited longer than that. Silly woman was also obviously unaware that both Pay Pal and Etsy had full sight of all previous communications between us and could see I HAD contacted her and could see the dates she had given me.

Eventually, she was left with humble pie all over her chops. She contacted Deutche Post by phone and finally found out they were sitting in a depot in Germany and left me a message to say they would be with me within a week.  I  waited and was literally going to give her 5 working days before demanding a refund. By now, both Etsy and Pay Pal could see that I couldn’t have already had them because of that admission regarding Deutche Post.

But Joy. On the fifth day they arrived. That was September 25th. Did she apologise? NO! She left me a message complaining that it had cost her nearly €20 in phone calls to track down the delivery and expedite it.WHAT? She whinged and whined to me because the shipping method she used did not despatch in a timely fashion and somehow I should sympathise with her for having to fork out money to investigate where they were?!

However, are the hooks lovely? Yes. Very. But, being picky, they are not so much a set but a collection of 13 individually packaged hooks, which, had I known, I would have ordered individually from Amazon for pretty much the same price in total – and would have had them in DAYS.

I see her American buyers  in their feedback to her are happy with the service – she uses DHL (they the right initials?) for them. But Europe? Ner – snail mail. And what’s more, snails with bloody clubbed feet dragging a lump of concrete behind them could have delivered them faster.

So, Grrrr. My rant is done. Did I leave her negative feedback? No. This is my vent and it won’t harm her business in any shape or form. I would NEVER in a million years buy from her again, though.

Now, during all the malarkey between us, my other half was convinced I would never get the hooks and didn’t want me to be disappointed. He (bless his cotton-picking sainted heart) ordered another set that had been on my wish list. They came (in three days from Amazon) in a sweet pink case with scissors and darning needles. The brand is Tulips and they hookey up like a dream.














So now I have two fabulous sets of hooks. An embarassment of riches, indeed. I feel so spoiled.

mypicotflowerWhat could I do but try them out? I set-to on the final flower to finish a corsage based on the bouquet on the MyPicot website.You can get the pattern if you click the link.

Mypicot also has some drop-dead-gorgeous butterfly patterns to crochet as well as loads of other beautiful things. And now she has an e-book full of her patterns which I think I need to order; I love her designs.

By the way, do you like the fabric? I totally fell in love with it – and another design that was similar in style but different.fab1

















They just are, aren’t they?!

Hope the rest of your weekend is great and all is well in your world.

Flower Posy Pretties

crochet_flowersI had to celebrate finding some gorgeous new patterns by having a bit of a splurge on some crochet cottons. I love the old-fashioned feel of the muted pinks, like the rose madder and its paler cousin in the picture.

Those two flowers  and the Silver Ragwort came from ‘100 Lace Flowers to Crochet’ by Caitlin Sainio. I learned to crochet way back from an American lady and so use US terminology and the book is written in English terminology but it’s easy to convert and there are schemmatics for each pattern as well.

The small flower is one of Attic24’s flower patterns and is very sweet.

The little spiral or noodle can be found by Googling – there are so many ‘patterns’ out there to make them.

Then, I stumbled upon Meli Bondre’s site. My jaw dropped.  There are the most beautifully crafted crochet flowers, all inspired by the real-life plants. Many times, crochet flowers are a bit ‘Plantenstein’, not that there’s anything wrong with generic, stylised pretties but it makes a change to see a pattern fashioned on the actual botanic.

Anyway, the Hibiscus caught my hooky eye and whispered ‘Make Me, I’m Yours’ so  I did. The pattern is here: Hibiscus

It’s an easy make but a bit of a chore….. the same stitch over and over again BUT the end result is worth it and it doesn’t take that long to do.

Meli’s has a much twistier, witch’s hat hibidcuspistil and gorgeously wispy, curly hairy things  coming out the end. Mine’s a bit hairy foot wart and need refining but it was my first go. I think I’ll re-make the pistil and mod the pattern a bit to get that lovely, twisty taper to the point.














Well, that lawn won’t mow itself so better get a wiggle on and just do it.

Have fun and enjoy your day.

Parchment/Silver Foil


Lovely little find from Aldi – parchment with silver foil. Yes, parchment one side and silver foil the other.  The parchment side has a golden lustre and will look smashing for Christmas food wrappings. This is hiding a Victoria Sponge with seedless raspberry jam filling and dusted with icing sugar. Tea and cake. How very English!

I will post the recipe next time I make it. This one was made to christen a Bundt tin that was ordered from Amazon and had to be tried out. PERFECT!

Remember the cash saving on the DMC embroidery floss? Amazon do it again. Olfa rotary cutter blades sell for about €7.00 each locally and in Dublin city centre. Amazon – pack of TEN genuine Olfa blades (45mm) after currency conversion and shipping – €22.00. Got to love Amazon. And Parcel Motel.



















I looked out of my front door this morning and realised just how big my Hydrangea bush blooms have grown. It’s so ostentatious with its pom-poms resplendent in vibrant hot pink / cerise. This one is the largest of the three in my front garden. I have another three in my back garden, too. It looks hot, hot, hot even if the weather says NOT.

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