Big Yellow Taxi

April 8th, 2014

This song came on the radio. A Joni Mitchell hit back in the hippy days of Woodstock. I especially like the chorus. Suits my weekend’s events very nicely:

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot


Like Joni, when the track came to its end, I laughed to myself.

NEVER do something for nothing. I finally copped on!

Sun is shining, weather is easy

April 4th, 2014

April already and Easter almost upon us. The sun is shining and am nearly brave enough to go out with no coat! Must be time to start making Christmas cards! Only joking.. I’m getting ready for Easter and  have a rich fruit cake made and matured with brandy for an Easter Simnel cake. Looking forward to a few wedges of that with  some nice cups of tea.

Still stitchy fingered and making odds and bobs for the ‘Office’. Made some bunting to liven up a dull wall… and an embroidered  picture using some scraps of fabric appliqued on to co-ordinate with everything else.

A quick close up. Really enjoyed making this. Measured the fabric to fit in the frame. Drew the design with an air-fading fabric pen and fused some tear-off stabiliser on the back. Dropped the dog teeth, changed the foot and stitched the design on. Changed foot back to a regular sewing foot and stitched down the co-ordinating fabric scraps and it was all done.

Then made a patchwork square cushion and a small pinwheel cushion. See the chair? It will be painted grey this weekend or next.

Another close up for you.

And little Gracie. She has had her op and recovering very well. Normally she whizzes about like a bath bomb but even she has to recharge her batteries with a good curl up in comfort snoozle. Her shaved side and wound are on her opposite side. The wound looks healthy and healing well so no worries, touch wood. Be nice when her fur grows back – surprising how deep the pile  is and how little her body is underneath it.

Jess didn’t react well to her return. Gracie wasn’t herself – a bit groggy and bad tempered and obviously carried the dreaded vet smells. Jess was very confused, almost as if we’d brought home a different animal. She’s relaxed again as Gracie is more like herself and buzzing about full of beans!

So, two weeks till Easter. Hope those of you who made Lenten vows are keeping them well or a visit from Sr. Assumpta will be arranged to deliver the Matty Hislop 10-step punishment programme… be warned!

Goodwill Gussy Up

March 26th, 2014

Before I tell you about the sweet little bags in the picture above I have just got to tell you that I am so done with being COLD! The weather has dipped again and my feet are like blocks of ice. I was lucky to get a pair of Fat Face wooly socks for Christmas. I have worn them most days since and the heels on both socks have worn away leaving the fleecy lining between me and the floor. Just so as you know how long it has been cold now.

I did a wander round the charity shops and found these two bags for a couple of euro each. The turquoise-coloured one is perfect for crochet hooks and the taller, square one is fab for the various size pom-pom makers I have and together look pretty on my sewing room window.

The ‘Office’ (my PC room) is also in the middle of a make over. Mr T put the dresser unit up and I was able to put a few bits and bobs on it to fussy it up. The heart below is made from salt dough and varnished. This one was my favourite purely for the way is cracked.

Cracked was my mental state by the time I’d finished a pair of curtains…  They should have been straightforward. They are lined which makes their construction even easier… except I decided to add a ruffle. Still no problem… unless you  don’t measure accurately and the ruffle is too short for the width of the curtain… and you have to add a couple of ends but don’t have any matching fabric left … and have to use something that contrasts and looks pretty…

Luckily I had a metre or so of this most gorgeous slate-grey spotty cotton that fitted the bill. But then they looked a bit odd stuck on the ends and were shouting for a little more decoration. Again, luckily, I have a Clover Yo-Yo maker so made six little yo-yo flowers and stitched them on. Now they look little-house-on-the-prairie sweet! The photo doesn’t do them justice. They were very hard to get a good shot of but you get the idea. But what a faff.

Here’s the dresser -bought from an auction early last year and painted a chalky cream.  See the jug below – it’s a Delphi pottery (not Delft ;(  ) but perfect for a big bunch of water colour crayons. Another great goodwill find. €2.00. Pristine condition. Totally lovely. And the unit below? That’s from Ikea. It might be part of the Expedit range, not sure. Bought it last year sometime. It has all sorts of junk in hence the curtain (Ikea fabric? Yes) otherwise, you’d open the door and the first thing you’d see would be the devil’s den of crafting junk, toenail clippings (only joking) and paper collections that have accumulated and self-populated (I believe) over the last ten years.

Am off to Ikea at the weekend to get a big rug to hide some of the pee coloured carpet that I can’t afford to replace just yet but making it and shaking it all the same.  Talking of Ikea… last time I went and bought some fabric there was a very rude couple. There was Man – and his Woman instructed him to ‘Stay There’ with the trolley with a bolt of cloth sticking out like a toll gate while she snip-snipped the fabric at the cutting table. Their positioning meant that there was no way through between them – they had very effectively blocked the way. Anyhoo, we said ‘Excuse me’ to Man and he didn’t budge so Mr T turned the bolt of cloth 90° so it no longer stuck out like Myley Cyrus’ tongue.

We got past though Woman did make it difficult to squeeze through. What shocked me though, was when a young woman with a pushchair said ‘Sorry’ (it’s what we say for Excuse me’ here) several times, the nasty pasty totally ignored her. Could see she’d heard because her face got all squinched up like a bulldog licking pee off a nettle and had determined not to give an inch (let alone a foot cos then she wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on, ha ha). Man looked nervous and fearful, especially when he saw that it had attracted the attention of other onlookers also pissed off she wouldn’t shift out of the way for them. What rudeness. Man eventually moved, nervous, I think about the stink eyes he was getting though she probably gave him what for after… tears before bedtime in that house, I think! Not the ‘Ikea Family’ I want to belong to, ha ha.

My cats are  getting along better than I would have dreamed. Jess doesn’t use her claws much now and delivers testy thumps with her paw pads (she has huge feet and her paws look like boxing gloves) rather than a Freddie Krueger slash now and is starting to relax and even enjoy some play with Gracie. She is a lovely girl and follows me around a lot though I’ve no idea why. Hope it’s not a Fr Jack with his strange vegetable smells and rabbit situation…

Gracie is older than I first thought and came on heat last week. She was like a teenager at a Tom Jones concert! And there were visitors coming to the door – spraying (gah) – their ‘aftershame’ about like Henry Cooper in a Brut advert. Lucky we got her when we did otherwise she could be having a litter by now. She’s booked in to be spayed early next week so that will be sorted.. Lucky, lucky girl. Am delighted with the pair of them. My lovely girls.

Recycling old jeans

March 18th, 2014

Hello Dare! Hope you had a great St Pat’s. We went to watch the parade but it was very cold and we didn’t watch it all. Still, at least it didn’t rain and the little ones had fun.

I was busy making a bag from an old pair of jeans this weekend. It’s a lovely slouchy hobo style and great for the summer and casual walk round the shops looking for nothing in particular. The grey slate spotty fabric was an impulse buy from a local fabric shop and works really well as a cuff on the bag as well as for the applique flowers and trim on the handles. You’ll see the buttons that came from the red cardigan that I posted about the other day. Aren’t they fab? I didn’t use a pattern – it’s not a difficult bag to make – and it’s turned out super smashey.

I also made a pair of curtains using some Ikea fabrics. They are straight up and downs with a ruffle . I tore a couple of strips of the same fabric in grey check and stitched that over the ruffle stitch line.

Bye for now.


Adding some finishing touches

March 14th, 2014

Still finding little things to put some finishing touches to the recently-decorated bedroom. The little box with the white porcelain knob and green-patterned sides started life as a wooden biscuit canister. Same design as the bread bin that had the makeover to house the tea lights. This one got the same treatment but with wallpaper to match the top of the dresser and different coloured paint but the principles are the same.

I made the little biscornu cushion in pinks and green to add a splash of colour. It’s so easy to make and, when stacked on top of other biscornus, look tremendous. Roll on the weekend – I want to get a few cushion forms for their stuffing and make a couple more. My plan is to have three stacked one on top of another. The one made so far will be the smallest so the other two will get successively bigger. You know what I mean.

Looking forward to a long weekend (St Pat’s day on Monday – yay) and hoping the weather picks up. So cold!

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