Monthly Archives: January 2016


It’s only just begun


January is nearly over, Christmas is long gone and the heady days of wine and popcorn are over. Yes, Popcorn. Gave me awful bloody heartburn and indigestion picking at toffee popcorn with a glass of wine. Bleh. Up most of the night with it watching Lady Mary having a Farooq and Bates walking in circles learning yet another criminal art form to be brought to good use later on.  He went to prison on a murder charge that was later proven to be a suicide. So he went in with good character being convicted of a crime he didn’t commit but somehow cultivated excellent forging and pickpocketing skills during his incarceration. All, ostensibly, while walking round in circles in the exercise yard.

And poor Thomas. Despite him and O’Brien exchanging dialogue in such sinister whispers that you’d assume they were plotting to steal the family silver or sell Lady Edith’s knickers to underwear fetishists, I took to him.  In fact, I could have kicked Carson’s taters in when he described Thomas as ‘foul’ for being a man who liked to walk along ‘Bournville Boulevard’. Such odious opprobrium from a pompous old scrote who’d kept his testes wrapped in mothballs for years until Mrs Hughes came along! Of course, Carson got the ‘palsy’, or ‘w**k hands’ as George from Drop the Dead Donkey would call it, and this wine-pouring impairment was the opening for Thomas to come back as butler. And Mrs Hughes didn’t mind one bit, either. So, ended well for him. No thanks to Carson, though.

Anyway, the following day I cleared out the fridge. It was full of half-a-things. Mysterious things in tin foil which, on unwrapping, were nasty bits that should be buried in unmarked graves.  The salad drawer had its own dirty secrets. A sweet potato trying to set up its own eco system amongst the onion skins, by the looks of things, as well as Other Things that looked older than Keith Richards and just as unsavoury. Like pork scratchings that were probably once care home toe-nail clippings.

I got the steam cleaner out and steamed here and there to dislodge grimbly bits stuck in nooks and crannies. Surfaces were wiped down with oils of lemon and lavender. Hard work that had my cheeks as red as fire engines.

The boiler we have at the moment is probably about 15 years old so it’s definitely an old boiler! And now only about 35% efficient. If that. Most of the heat is going up the chimney! Modern boilers offer efficiencies of between 85 and 98%. So mess to make and money to spend (hopefully with good cheer as it will return me comfort and economies) but when it’s done and dusted, it will be all good. That’s mid-February so not long to wait now.

Even so,  January is nearly done yet  everything I’m making is a work-in-progress despite some of the projects being started before Christmas. I’ve only just begun!

Here beginneth the saga of the some-done stuff.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a real crush on Tilda everything.

I was overjoyed to get some Tilda books for Christmas! I think the summer angels look like Lady Marys. Tall, aloof with inscrutable expressions, what’s that word they use in Downton? ‘Opaque’, I think.

So I started not one, but two Lady Marys:

Poor Lady Mary! She overheard his lordship joking with Carson that the public might visit the house and see her in the bath. Here she is, all faint, with her head between her knees waiting for Edith to bring her a dose of cyanide. My mistake, I mean smelling salts, naturally.

In fairness to myself, I ran her up quick to familiarise myself with the littles wrinkles and tips to sew her nicely (tons of You Tubes on making up a Tilda doll). I didn’t like the ugly stitches across the top of her legs – certainly not up to the standard of her Harley St doctor! Suture, M’Lady! No,doesn’t suit her at all!

So have started a second. Still a prototype but might put this one together. We shall see. But there are too many Tilda things to make – an abundance of riches, you see. With those beautiful pictures, you turn my head young lady (Tone Finnanger). I want to make the snail and dragonfly (from the ‘Tilda Characters’ book) as a pincushion.

Just as oranges are not the only fruit.

I got these gorgeous books for Christmas as well! I love, love LOVE the Year in Crafts Book! The layout and typography and the drawings, the photos, the cardboard dividers…. It’s just jam-packed with just lovely things.


Isn’t it gorgeous? I can pick this book up and touch it (tactile, hardback as well, btw) smell it (I smell all new books. ALL!) and just glory in the gorgeous pics and drawings. This book is lovely. Incidentally, lol, I love most of the projects in it as well.

The big Craft book  has a really wide range of crafts; it’s like a compedium of crafts. Really nicely explained and clearly pictured.  This book has so many things to make like making your own paper with dried petals and lavender seeds, soap making, silk screening, lino printing…. and absolutely tons more.

So I barely start on one thing then find myself distracted by something else entirely. Complete flibbertygibbet.

Then there was the intention to journal. That was something I had intended to start at the beginning of January and pour my thoughts and other nibbly ideas into.

Thank You to Santa once again. How gorgeous is this leather covered journal? But it remains unsullied and unmarked. How can I bring myself to spoil it with my scrappy writings and other such nonsense?

And, material girl, that I am, I also got some lovely fabric stash!

WOW! Some sensationally lovely fabrics there. So trying to sew Mary together I’m faced with the primal call of colour and pattern and surface design that draws me like a moth to a flame. I pick them up. Touch them. S-m-e-l-l them! But it doesn’t get Lady Mary a new set of evening wear and so she gets left in her modesty undergarmentry looking very unhappy. So unhappy you could believe that not only had her and Gillingham been caught  fornicating  in flagranti  but in also in Mrs Patmore’s B & B of ill-repute in the Adulterer’s Suite. With Carson looking through the window, eyebrows up and down on pogo sticks in shock and disbelief!

And talking of hookers… sort of… I’m still into crochet.

I kind of finished this bag for my wools and bits. I rolled down the handle to make it a double thickness and stitched it in place. But so plain.

I think the next stage will be to decorate it with crocheted leaves and flowers – so it’s not finished even slightly!  I tried these crocheted hearts and beady balls I made over a year ago but think they’re a bit too small for the job.

Then I turned my hand to making a few pom-poms (the Clover Pom Pom maker is super for this job – just sit in front of the telly box and wind that wool) . A couple of red woolies and a turquoise mohair fuzzy wuzzy. But still not right. Unfootalootalu.


This wonderful word came up in an episode of Judge Rinder. A ‘tradesman’ had done some plumbing (plooming) work that was not up to standard. His letter of regret included the word ‘Unfootalootaloo’ (sp??) which served for ‘Unfortunately’ – as if you couldn’t have guessed! Ha ha.

Ingenious erudition, was as ever, also in evidence on Judge Judy. A plaintiff claiming for loan repayments alleged her ex-boyfriend had made ‘dentures’ in the wall. Amazeballs. And I thought walls had ears.

Anyhoo, must get going. This has been a pretty cathartic post for me – expressed a lot of frustrations with myself for being so dissipated and scatty. And cleared the way for me to plan ahead  – a plan without a goal is just a wish or a brain fog (or fart, depending on how rude you’re feeling). So have actually written a list (the pinnacle of organisational structure for me) detailing the way to proceed.

Off to make the bed properly now that Jess has jumped off.


Happy New Year

A warm welcome to this new year. The end of 2015 ended on a terrific high and so did the start of 2016. I have an embarrassment of riches (figuratively speaking!) and am feeling happy and blessed. I hope you are as fortunate as me!

I got some absolutely gorgeous fabric and will be sewing from here to eternity by the looks of things. There wasn’t much chance to do any sewing  over the Christmas break but did manage to fit a tote bag into this weekend.

The fabric came from Ikea. The colours are glorious and juicy, aren’t they? The wooden handles were from a ‘C’ shop bag bought for a huge 50c. The bag is lined with Ikea curtain lining, a plain calico colour. It was finished off with a boxed-bottom to make it easier to pack things in.

I got lovely presents but the best present of all was having both of my boys and their girlfriends here together. It was a bit of a surprise but a hugely happy one.

The cats got spoiled, well, more spoiled than usual, and got cat nip and radiator beds from Cat Santa. Being cats, they were contrary about them but am sure they’ll eventually favour some time to their radiator-hung snugs.

And so here’s Jess. Not in one but in her favourite chair, instead. Too comfy looking to disturb and she was snoozing soon after I took the photo. A day in a cat’s life can be very wearisome, you know. They need lots of naps to save up the energy for a proper cat sleep later.

Haven’t made any resolutions but have joined a Crime Thriller book club at the library. The first book of the year is ‘The Disappeared’ by Kristina Ohlsson. I have to have it read by the first week of Feb and have made a good start. I have to confess that the Swedish names with their various accents, umlauts and such, and not being able to pronounce them (I hear words in my head as I read or write) makes it difficult to keep a track of the characters. I’ll get there, though.

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