Nearly there

Busy this weekend. Gave the kitchen a deep clean – mainly because I’d bought a  steamer   and just love the cleaning power of steam.   I took the inner glass panels out of the cooker and steamed behind them and used the Dr Power eraser scrubs to rub away really resistant burned fat spots. And the knobs and buttons on the cooker, washing machine and dish washer are gleaming.

I made cakes – peanut butter cupcakes with salted caramel butter cream topping.

This morning I coloured my hair – not a natural blonde – and it’s turned out perfectly.

Two washloads are on the line blowing in the sunshine which makes me very happy. They will smell gorgeous when they come in.

Will be popping to the shops in a bit. Decided I could do with some new jeans.

I tweaked the Freyja design and cut it out (see above) – but still have a couple of fine adjustments to make but am now very, very close to the final design. I need to get it done soon as I’m off to the UK next weekend and delivering the papercut while I’m over.

Am very excited to go. Both my boys and their partners will be there on the Saturday! Love them all! So hopefully, good food, lots of chat and laughter. It does the heart good to see them healthy and happy.

And I’m off to Yarndale on the Sunday! Ooh – have remortgaged the house so I can indulge myself there. Spend money like a drunken sailor! I have been looking at some beautiful hand dyed blends of camel and silk yarn on Etsy – and saw the business is based in Lancashire so I’m betting she will definitely be there! I’ll be able to squidge the fat balls of yarn and drink in the colours and the atmosphere…  Glorious.

When I get back from the shops am going to run myself up a quick Japanese Knot Bag so I can crochet en route. Will be perfect while on the ferry and train.

So, like I said, busy but in a good way.

Have a good weekend, yourself.

I have a storker!

This is the new design. When I cut the first one out, it was top heavy. The clouds were a bit too dense to complement the rest of the elements.

So I added more stars and moved a few things around. It makes more sense for the bag the stork is carrying to detail the weight of the baby, don’t you think? This is the cut out of the original – it looked a bit cramped. I think the new one is much improved and all I have to do now is cut it. A job for tomorrow.

I have also been playing around a little with Photoshop. It’s been too long since I had some fun with it:

The teapot is one I designed a long time ago now – a 3D model which I stamped with Alice in Wonderland images. Now it includes the Cheshire Cat.

I also found one of my Samsara birds tucked away in the wardrobe. It’s stuffed plumply with dried lavender to help deter those pesky moths. I’ve just finished reading a book called ‘The life changing magic of tidying’ by Marie Kondo. I need to get all of my clothes out of every wardrobe and decide if they bring me joy or do me service.

It will take a steely nerve but am so fed up with having so many clothes and forgetting what I have or where they are. I have so many that either don’t fit, make me feel happy, have faded or gone a bit shabby or are just not the right style for me. Maybe tomorrow , if not, next weekend.

Should I tell you about the lady on the train? Go on then, I will. There’s a lady who regularly catches the same train as me in the morning. She’s sat beside me quite a few times now, as well. She’s quite nervy, for want of a better word. When passengers, normally carrying back packs or carrying bags of some sort or another, get on and move along the aisle to find a seat, she puts her hand up defensively  – slightly raised with her palm facing out. Until last week, nothing untoward ever came at her or threatened her well-being in any way.

Well, last week, there she was. Sitting beside me. Passengers got on and sat down. It was raining and the passenger across the aisle from us put his umbrella up in the overhead storage space. The train pulled away and all was calm. Then, suddenly, the umbrella somehow launched itself out of storage and  sprang away from the luggage hold, swiftly opening itself  up in the process and flew at poor Mrs Tittlemouse! Like a bat out of its belfry straight onto her head! She shrieked, her eyes bulged and was the absolutely uncanny resemblance of a living Edward Lear caricature. Both hands went up to her head and she curled up her little body to protect herself from any further attacks. It was like a scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds. The bloke apologised and quickly took control of the vicious article and calm was soon restored. She hadn’t been injured in any way. No blood… but Poor Thomasina Tittlemouse. Her nerves were shot and she twitched the rest of the journey all the way to Dublin. Sorry to say, I had to stifle my chuckles.

April showers bring forth flowers

A change of scene. I finally put my hook down and caught up with some paper cutting. This is the latest but possibly not the final version but is a good start. Unless it’s totally not what is wanted… then meh. I will remove the name, date, etc and use it some other time. This isn’t yet cut. I sketched it, then traced it in Illustrator. It’s welded but have an unwelded copy should elements need removing, resizing or whatever.

I listened to Shogun all afternoon while working on it. The costumes were amazing. The Japanese characters looked like Quality Street chocolates come to life. Or Roses. I nicknamed the Japanese girl ‘love interest’ as Strawberry cream, the regular soldiers, the Jaffas, as, very obviously, the orange creams, and there were various chocolate truffles, golden cups and guest appearances from Ferraro Rochas and Raffaelas.

Doesn’t the weekend just whoosh by? Tomorrow I’ll be back on the train hoping nobody clips their fingernails (yes – it happened and was a little too personal even though they clipped into a tissue), or puts their make up on anywhere too close to me. For no rational  explanation, I just feel disturbed by somebody applying  full face make up next to me on the train.

And hope my little train doesn’t get bumped off the rails by the Drogheda train. They are often due at the same time on the same track, which obviously isn’t possible. Nine times out of ten, the Drogheda train turns up first. I can only assume the Drogheda train bumps it off the track, face first, into some bushes. My train invariably turns up some 5 minutes after the Drogheda train, rubbing its eyes and brushing bits of twig and  woody things off its face when it turns up. Poor thing.

My heart will go on

To Yarndale. This is the heart I’ve made to go on its way to Skipton to help raise money for Mind at the Yarndale event. I have to coat the back with a solution of PVA to stiffen it as it will (hopefully) become part of a beautiful chain of crochet heart bunting. The link? Here you go: Crochet heart with daisy centre

Here is my gorgeous gal, Jess. Her eyes are open just a fraction, just peeping, but she’s really chilled out and totally relaxed. Gracie was probably out on Neighbourhood Catch patrol. That said, she’s becoming much more of a home body than she used to be. Settling down a bit, I think.

Am so adoring my new monitor. It has built in speakers so I can remove the ones at the back. It’s like having a telly on the desk! It’s a 32″ and just fabulous for working with big apps like Photoshop, Illustrator or even Framemaker – those apps with loads of pallettes that can clutter up the workspace. So spoiled. You can see what my interest is here!

Had some happy luck lately – found a euro on the station platform Thursday evening and another one Friday morning! My car insurance dropped enormously! I was a named driver on Mr Bird’s policy until a year ago and you know how these car insurers don’t/won’t credit you for no claims… cost a fortune to insure me as the primary driver on my car. Well, it was up for renewal and – my giddy aunt – the cost came down by €1,500 euro!!!!! And last, but not least – Little Chick 1 passed the third of five exams he needs to qualify for a promotion at work!  I was over the moon for him! So proud!

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