Monthly Archives: April 2014


Okay, keep your bobbins on!

Thought I’d share the best idea I’ve had this year. To those of you who already knew and did this – shame on you for not sharing! I was tidying round my sewing bits when I knocked over a box of bobbins. The lid flew open, the bobbins flew all over the place and suddenly it looked as though thermonuclear war had broken out. Picking them up and winding them back on…. for some reason made me think of Dinnerladies:

SHEILA I’ve got high blood pressure and water retention. Do you know what that gives you?

BREN Boiling water?

Why? I dunno. Guess it was the outrageous unruly bobbin behaviour – so rude it got me a bit hot under the collar. Like the time I forgot my sister-in-laws name….

Anyway, I spotted an elastic band amidst the collateral damage and pounced. An idea so ingenious and simple leapt to mind! I looped the lazzy through a bobbin then stretched it over a spool of cotton. Keeps the bobbin snug so that it can’t roll away or unwind, AND – Brucie Bonus – can keep top stitch and bobbin thread together for immediate use. No more looking for the right bobbin or winding a new one because you can’t find the one you did previously…. Am thinking of patenting a box of elastics and calling them ‘Bobbinkeeps’ and selling them for ten times the price.

Weather was glorious yesterday.  So bloody glorious I had no excuses for not mowing the lawn. Lawn does look nice now though and there is that sense of satisfaction for getting it done. Mind you, I only did the back. Mr S says he will do the front tonight. He was busy hanging a new door on the sewing room and having all sorts of hilarity with it at one point but the end result is fabulous. It was the second of the two glass-panelled doors we bought from Skerries auction rooms last year for a fiver each! The glass has an art nouveau type of flourishy, swirly pattern so if you go past the rooms you can see the light but not the mess!

But, that was later in the day! I’m missing my lovely car boot find out of the mix!

We popped down to the car boot sale where I bought this lovely vase for….. €1.50! It’s porcelain, pretty and prim with tiny delft-blue flowers. I love it. On the way home we nipped to the shops and bought these glorious red gerberas and cream roses to set it off.

Of course, my girls got interested. What’s this on the table? Jess was first up to investigate.

Then the little one, Gracie.

Looking more debonair as the investigation proceeded. (Can you see how well her surgery is healing? Fur growing back nicely. For information, she’s 3 weeks 4 days post-op here).

Till finally achieving the full Inspector Poirot master of detective investigation look.

Then, Jess just being Jess, decided she was ready for her close up and just posed prettily.

So, that was pretty much my weekend. Will get round to posting a couple of quick PS tutorials soon as I get a little bit of sewing finished. Bye for now.



The sun has got its hat on

Hello Dare! The sun is shining and it makes everything look so much better. Hope you all had a lovely Easter. Ours was quiet but happy. We got a leg of lamb and made a lamb tagine so spent time together in the kitchen chopping, tasting and enjoying the fragrant  herbs and spices. My neighbour had a birthday on the Sunday so made her a fresh-as-a-daisy butterfly card in all white (the one above). I also embossed the envelope with my favourite embossing folder. The outer was made using the design I posted ages ago – Butterfly pop up card with cherry blossom cut outs

Anne had all her family round for the day and popped round in the evening with some left over cheesecake – a huge piece! It was absolutely beautiful and covered in fresh fruits – orange slices, kiwis, blueberries and strawberry quarters. It really must have been a cheesecake of glory. And, OMG, it was gorgeous. We ate it in two sittings instead of tea. Sheer gluttony but … Wow. It was good. Little pickers wear big knickers but big pickers wear ginagarous parachute sized ones… the sort used to drop rapid-deployment tanks out of airplanes.

I used my pop-up butterfly flower border insert for the card inner using Conqueror Metallic Champagne. It has a gorgeous golden irridescence. Can’t get it now and my little stockpile is going down so I use it very sparingly but it cuts like a dream and is perfect for the intricate swirls and curls in the design. I wish I find it again and get some more. The pop-up insert is my design and if you would like to buy it, the link is here: butterfly pop up insert

My girls are doing great. Here’s Jess making sure my tape measure and few sewing bits are kept safe for me while I’m out of the room. She’s relaxing more and more and doesn’t have her mardy pants on permanent def com 3 any more.

The little bath bomb Gracie is still all jazz hands and bunny kicks. She found a furry hat of mine and attacked it. I think she thought it was mouse-house central and it was her best find of the day. She’s also been having high jinks with Jess from the inside of an old printer box I brought down to chuck out. It has two apertures on opposite sides as carry handles. She likes to rustle around in the box till Jess comes to sniff at the opening then shoot her paw out and bonk her on the nose or pop up from the box and bonk her on the head. Then they have a chase around followed by Jess having a turn in the box and bonking her back. Of course, they both have to have a good long nap after that! They’re so funny to watch and I love them to bits.

I’ll be posting again soon – two Photoshop mini tutorials. How to convert text to look chalk drawn and a free chalkboard background; also will be posting a quick how to convert a photo to a ‘line drawing’ so , if you’re interested, check back in the next day or so.



Chat, Crafts, Sewing

Sun is shining, weather is easy

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!

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