Thursday, 30 June 2016

Be careful what you wish for.

Today was an early start - two full charity bags to be put out before 8am.  I am waiting for the moment when there really is nothing to put into a charity bag / declutter but not sure when (or if) that will come!

It was a lovely sunny morning so, after a quick clean and tidy up of the kitchen, I sat in the conservatory and started to quilt the rest of the Tuesday night blocks - although I did others during the day - I have now finished!!!!  I have laid the cut blocks out on the bed to give you an idea.  The gaps are because those blocks have not been trimmed to size yet.  When finished there will be 7 rows of 7 with black sashing and black binding.  I have laid them out in the order we were told to - but will admit to thinking there needs to be some switching around to get a balance of colour whilst keeping with the "rainbow" theme.

Next on the agenda was a very enjoyable WI committee meeting.  It was held at the secretary's house and so nice that we could sit outside and enjoy the weather.

After some more sewing and some light lunch, I then set to in the bathroom.  Now, of course, I didn't store anything from the craft room in there but the other rooms are getting a good clean so why not the bathroom.  There I was with trousers rolled up and bare feet standing in the bath washing down the tiles.  And the plug hole - yuk!!  As for the shower door - well, let's just say that it looks a lot better now!  So a quick hoover around, wiping down sides and some bleach later that's the bathroom finished.  The mats are in the wash (after I rescued one of them from Daisy) and the floor will be mopped tomorrow when I do the kitchen - it's the high life here you know!

After walking the dogs I REALLY wanted a sit down - but the weather forecast is variable and, quite frankly, I would never find Daisy again in the grass outside my front fence - so I set to and mowed the lawn.  Its a job that I am always pleased when its completed but ......

Tonight calls for more decluttering upstairs,  tidying in the craft room and hand sewing - if Daisy lets me.  She has a knack of knowing when I pick the sewing up in one hand and a needle in the other - and then jumps straight on me leaving me defenceless!

And the title of the blog?  Well - let's just say that, as a retired teacher, I am horrified about one of the candidates for our future Prime Minister and want to wish Teresa May all the best.  I will say no more!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The world is going mad!!

Well - after yesterday's blog - the company has all been court marshalled and given a dishonourable discharge.  Sgt Millie is taking it bad and has taken to the sofa in the conservatory to "contemplate" her future.  Private Daisy has celebrated by running up and down the stairs - for the first time ever!  Meanwhile I, declared mad by own mother, chose to go to Springfields in Spalding - a 3 hour round trip.

She might have a point - it was a three hour round trip so that Jean could exchange two sweatshirts for a larger size!  Mind you I did pop into The Works and picked up a couple of things for the paper festival.  I also spent some time in Costa with my favourite lemon tart - oh and a coffee of course!

I got home at lunchtime and popped upstairs - with Daisy following me - to fill up a couple of charity bags ready to put out tomorrow.  Then it was on to the main event - finishing the bedroom now that the special forces have been sacked.  There wasn't much to do - just a couple more boxes to move and then a final hoover - those cobwebs WILL be defeated!  But I can now declare that the bedroom is RECLAIMED!

After a quick dishwasher loading and general tidying of the kitchen, it was then time to continue with the quilting of the Tuesday night blocks.  I made good headway last night but there are still 8 or so to do.  My aim is to have them all quilted and ready to start sewing together when we have our sewing day at Scamblesby on Sunday.  I REALLY want to see the back of this one so that I can start to focus on Christmas presents (oops - the C word - well, its only 178 days to go!).

Tonight, for a change, I am in - so really should pick up that hand sewing and get on.  You may recall that I started June with a box full to hand sew - yes, you've guessed it, most of them are still there!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

A modern day "who didn't do it?"

Today - you decide.  The bedroom is not finished - but who is to blame?  As leader of the unit, Colonel Jean has called the suspects in, one by one, and asked them to give an account of the situation as they see it.  Please read carefully and decide for yourself.

Sgt Millie:-

I despair, I really do.  We had been given our orders and I was ready to greet the day at 06:00am - yet Corporal Lynda didn't emerge until after 08:00.  Leaders should really lead by example!

After the recent events in the UK - including the football last night - I dreamt of reclaiming the bedroom and staking our flag.  I had a plan - dispatch Corporal Lynda to the cinema for some training videos and to pick up much needed supplies such as custard creams (she was of no use anyway) - whilst Private Daisy and I set to. 

I had hoped that Private Daisy was a goner yesterday after that court martial but somehow, like a bad penny, she has turned up again for duty.  I say "duty" - it was more like bouncing around the house singing "I'm beautiful, I'm pretty, everybody loves me la la la".  It would be easier to get on by myself!

The first problem came as Corporal Lynda left for her training session - AND SHUT US IN THE KITCHEN!! This was valuable time wasted when we couldn't tackle the bedroom.  Still (yawn) I had had an early start so 40 winks wouldn't hurt I guess.

When she returned, Corporal Lynda fussed around - getting lunch and baking cakes for her sewing group  tonight.  By the time we had gone for our constitutional the day had simply disappeared.  It is not my fault - I was ready and willing!  Mind you I got my own back - I "escaped" up at the beach and ran around the empty car park - ooh it was funny!

Private Daisy:-

"I'm beautiful, I'm pretty, everybody loves me la la la".

Ah - okay - I am being serious.  Sgt Millie was being such a grouch today and not playing.  But I really started to rebel when she threatened to tie a duster to my tail so that the job would get done more quickly.  Thank goodness mum Corporal Lynda came home and I could wrap her around my little fingers .  She gave me a chew and then set about making cakes before we went up to the beach for a walk.  When we got back, Corporal Lynda then started preparing for her sewing class tonight. It's her fault really - leaders should lead - and not get distracted!  I think that we should have a vote of no confidence and get rid of her!

Corporal Lynda:-

I was scheduled for a visit to the Senior Screen this morning where I watched the film "Bastille Day" - clearly a training film for future terrorist operations.  Whilst I was away I had instructed Sgt Millie and was deeply disappointed to see that the work was not completed.  This is not the first time that Sgt Millie has simply laid down on the job and I shall be recommending Private Daisy to be promoted and take over this leadership role.  I simply cannot be expected to do it all!  After all I seem to be company leader, cook and seamstress - its just toooo much - I need another lie down!

So - you decide - who is to blame for this aborted mission?

Monday, 27 June 2016

Battle of the bedroom

Today I can exclusively report on the progress made in this awful, and sometimes downright filthy, war.

Sergeant Millie in control
Private Daisy slacking!

Daisy Debris
At 10:30am the heavy machinery was able to enter the room and start to clear up the debris.  Troops on the ground had secured the carpet and made way for the hoover.  This was a time consuming task but one that was thought vital to the overall success of the mission.  Sergeant Millie directed operations and ensured that Private Daisy restored order to the craft room and items were relocated.  At 11am precisely Sergeant Millie reported to Corporal Lynda that the room was clear for the ceremony of the bed changing.  Corporal Lynda received Sergeant Millie in her private lounge where she was enjoying a well earned rest from her morning of ironing, housework and general drudgery.  Meanwhile Private Daisy was enjoying the newfound space within the bedroom and littering it with her trademarked "Daisy Debris"

Linda cutting out angels
Jean insisted on a second photo - she wasn't smiling in the first one!

The ever empty box !
At noon, Corporal Lynda undertook a charity mission to the local dog rescue home to deliver the discarded pillows and dog bed (it was, I understand, immediately given to an aged Labrador who was likely not to be rehomed and therefore could enjoy the luxury new bed) before travelling on to engage in a two hour workshop on paper crafting - will this pile of paper crafts ever grow she asked me.  Meanwhile Sergeant Millie and Private Daisy were left to continue with the mission.

Three hexies sewn yesterday - more tonight!

By 3pm Corporal Lynda was facing a mutiny - Sergeant Millie and Private Daisy demanded a walk along the beach ( secretly hoping that their boss would then forget about more work when they got home).  Their masterplan worked (they ought to have called Sergeant Millie "Mutley" - I swear I could see her shoulders moving up and down as she sniggered to herself).  The final part of their mission - to restore calm and order to the area formerly known as "bedroom" - would take part tomorrow.  Tonight, this small team of three would enjoy the traditional relaxation of football and sewing.

Postscript:- I understand that Sergeant Millie has been nominated for two awards.

1. The "Nosbod" medal for service to the home in recapturing the bedroom, and
2. The "Long Sufference Award" for her partnership with Private Daisy.

Meanwhile Private Daisy has been court-martialled and ordered to pay costs for her continuous littering of the "field" with her debris.  I understand that Private Daisy apologised, wagged her tail, jumped up and licked the judge all over his face - then fell asleep in his lap.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Oh the irony of life!

You may have read that someone has started a petition to have a second referendum re the EU exit and, quite naturally, this is being seen as being sore losers.  The petition is gaining in popularity - over 3 million people have voted in the last two days.  The irony is that this petition was started by a staunch brexit supporter who believed that they were going to lose and wanted to argue that a narrow victory for remain was not lawful.  He set this petition up before the vote and now, clearly, regrets his actions.  Don't you just love life?

Well, we may not have sorted put border issues etc but today sees the start of reclaiming my bedroom borders!  Because it was not in direct sunlight, a large amount of craft stuff was dumped in there and I am going in.  Hopefully I will see some progress by the end of the week, or sooner, but please send a rescue party if you don't hear from me!  It's so bad that I am not even posting a before picture!

After church I made start with making my tiny hexagon flowers - truthfully I had tacked some last night and this morning but they do take a long time to sew up due to the fiddly nature.

The other task, apart from tidying and decluttering, was to wash the large dog's bed.  I bought it when Kate was alive and needed some comfort but it is far too big and I just don't have room for it in my small house now so I am going to donate it to the local dog's rescue centre - along with some old bedding that I hope will be of some use. 

Meanwhile Daisy has turned into a sheep killer!  Well - just the knitted sheep form some homemade bunting - and I rescued it in time!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

If i do one more free motion quilted block ...........

Today was a treat - we have organised a second Scamblesby day where we can just meet, talk, eat and sew!  I thought, therefore that you might like to see what we've been up to:-

Sewingbuddy was finishing off her Anni Downs quilt and utilising the large tables to layer the quilt up.

Pat (2) was putting together her second Gail Pan bag )I'm only jealous - I have this bag in kit form and haven't made it yet - had it nearly a year as well!).

Ev was marking up her quilting lines in order to make a pheasant cushion

Jenny was also making a pheasant cushion - but had already quilted the fabric.


Pat (1) was doing some hand embroidery from Mandy Shaw - I say hand sewing - she was more often than not nattering away to someone in the room!

Lyn was putting together an applique fox - like the one that I did in blue.

I was free machine quilting those wretched Tuesday night blocks, and Gill, who left early, was making a lovely storage bag.

So - quite a range of projects but today is always the kind of day when everyone supports each other and helps where they can.

Tonight, as I said yesterday, I am out again - serving ice creams at the theatre.  Let's just hope that no one asks me what I thought about the performance!

Friday, 24 June 2016

The day after the night before .........

Well - what can I say? 

Who would have thought? 

I really didn't see that one coming!

I went to Dunelm to buy some curtains and came home with a different "non sale" pair.  Oh - did you think that I was talking about the referendum vote?  Sorry - I try not to be too political here.  All I will say is that I hope everyone voted and that my fears are proved wrong.  I have heard of several people who voted out believing that they were wasting their vote but wanted a moment of rebellion!

Anyway - back to today.  I took 2/3 of the laminate floor to the tip, plus the blind, and then travelled on to Dunelm.  As you may know their sale finishes on Sunday and I had my eyes on some chenille curtains.  Their cranberry ones were on sale - but I preferred their red ones.  What's a girl to do?  Save £32 and go for a colour that's not quite right or?  Well - let's just say that there's a pair of lovely red curtains over the chair in the lounge!

After a quick trip to Tesco's for this month's "Today's Quilter" magazine (plus a copy for Wendy) it was home to try and do some more damage control.  Last night, just after I got in from the Theatre, the heavens opened and the conservatory flooded - there are now several loads of towels to be washed! 

This afternoon it was the finishing touches to the hall - I've bought a nice bunch of flowers to brighten it up - and some preparation for tomorrow.  We are starting a monthly Saturday sewing day at Scamblesby and I want to use the time to get on with the quilting of my Tuesday night blocks.  I will finish it.  I will finish it.  I will finish it ................

The theatre last night was, erm, interesting.  Undoubtedly fantastic singers, their acting was a little "hammish" (one leading actor came on with a  moustache hanging off and hands on his waits being the great I am) and the story somewhat bizarre.  Let's just say that Jean and I got the giggles halfway through the first half and never really stopped - tut tut!  Tonight I am out again at the pub for the monthly book club meeting followed by a quiz - gosh my social life!  I'm out again tomorrow night - shh!  Don't tell anyone!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

EU referendum day

Let's start with last night and "lawnmowergate".  As it turned out my job was made easier with £600 of unexpected donations - the secretary has gone off to negotiate a good price on a sturdy mower capable of cutting over rough ground and between graves!

Today, as the title suggests, is the UK EU referendum day.  After what seems like years, if not decades, of talk - remain / leave - today we all get to vote and have our say.  As a woman I feel passionately that it is my duty to use the vote that so many died to give us so I went out this morning and voted.  Whether you decide to remain or leave I believe that it's important to hear everyone's views.  Mind you, as I drove up there were so many cars parked outside - I was impressed at the turn out - normally you walk in and you are the only one inside the hall.  Clearly everyone else felt that this was an important vote.  When I walked in - guess what - I was the only one.  The cars were for the emails on wheels next door!

My aim for today was to claim back the hallway.  Not the biggest of tasks - I mean, I live in a small bungalow so how big can the hall be?  Well the answer is - tiny - its not much more than a corridor - that houses all of my junk / overspill from the craft room.  In fact I started by moving this sewing trolley into  the craft room, then a delivery came from amazon which, without thinking, I put in the trolley gap!

This trolley was bought from Ikea and, initially, set up to accompany the sewing machine.  It has gradually been dumped upon and so now looks a mess.  However one hour later it emerged ready for service. I just need to put a cutlery drawer in so that things don't become jumbled.

Talking about service - my pegboard is filling up.  I can't help thinking that:-
    a) I have an embroidery hoop fetish, and
b) I am a thwarted shop keeper!

This afternoon was more of the same - hall discovery.  I even managed to relocate the unused felting machine into the craft room Sewingbuddy!  Oh - and I have put the noticeboard up that mum gave me instead of an Easter egg! tomorrow I will take the hall runner up and give the floor a good wash.

I also got rid of a large set of drawers from upstairs via the freely given facebook site.  I need to empty the room ready to be decorated (it's the last room -honest!) by the beginning of August so spent half an hour going through a couple of drawers and throwing / boxing / identifying raffle prizes etc.  Whilst there I came across an essay that I wrote in the sixth form in 1977 (yikes!)  You can tell how marking has changed in nearly 40 years - there was one spelling change and one tick!  Formative feedback ?  Yeah right!!  Strangely enough I managed to achieve without it though - hmmmm.

In the drawers were 6 small fabric bags - 4 of which were a useful colour (my family will understand that one!)

Tonight I am being cultured - not Shakespeare but Gilbert and Sullivan instead.  A small group of WI members are going to see The Yeoman of the Guard at our local theatre who are hosting an operatic group from London.  I have seen some of their previous performances - it should be good.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

I can see clearly now .......


Firstly - the WI entry.  We didn't win - but then again didn't expect to.  We were awarded 89.5 points out of 100 (the winner got 97!) and my bag was awarded 18/20 marks so I am okay with that.  More importantly there was some detailed feedback that we can build on next year.

Today's aim was to reclaim the lounge. So, of course, I started by popping the poorly sewing machine into Grimsby to be repaired, popped into Asda and then into B & Q where I met another ex colleague and had a natter.  I was in B & Q because I had long admired the Karcher window washer and had a £10 off a £50 spend voucher to use by this weekend.  Serendipty?  I have to say it does exactly what it says on the box - spray, swish and "vacuum" - disgustingly dirty water and streak free.  Those irritating marks from Daisy's paws and Millie's nose were gone in moments.

I did discover the lounge floor and it is now hoovered, furniture dusted and windows washed.  One room down, so many to go!  Meanwhile the craft room is filling up nicely.  I am trying to employ the technique of finding everything its rightful place - well, I did say trying!  I have now reclaimed the 2 sofas in the conservatory and am starting to make inroads.  Mind you I spent precious time finding partners for knitting needles and trying to sort them!

Tonight its a "quick" church meeting to "square the circle" - no money, a roof to fix, a new mower desperately needed and £8000 to find before the end of the year to pay our quota - ho hum!  As treasurer why am I always the bad guy?

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The yin and yang of life

Let's start with last night. No - not the football but my domestic goddess moment. Pudding was homegrown gooseberries, stewed, topped with homemade coconut Greek style yoghurt - very tasty!

Today saw the laying of the craft room floor and, therefore, the big move back in. Even I am getting fed up with every room being cluttered!  The lounge, for example, has 8 coffee tables - which go together to make my cutting table but take up a lot of space!  So what did I prioritise?  Why the dogs bed to be washed, the chair to be made up and the computer / wifi to be plugged in of course!

Ever one to meet a deadline I managed to finish making all 49 blocks ready for tonight's class - even losing one and remaking it in the process!  Next step is the quilting.  I also wrote a reference for an ex colleague - it would appear that her current employers won't write her a reference and have threatened to sack anyone that does!  Knowing her it won't be because she is unemployable! As if I wasn't busy enough, I managed to do some more weeding - the green bin is literally groaning now its so full!

This afternoon someone came round to look at my craft room window - a unit has blown. I managed to talk him into repairing part of my upstairs floor and building my sewing table - result!

So why the blog title?  Well for every up there has to be a down. You may recall that my big machine developed a fault when making the WI bag. I eventually got around to looking the error code up - turns out its electrical and needs to go into the repair shop- oops!  Talking about the WI bag - Carine took a picture of our entry into the Lincolnshire show - not bad eh?  We will find out tomorrow how we have got on.


Monday, 20 June 2016

New floor and Lincolnshire show decisions - what a morning!

This morning the weather has been foul!  I only mention that because I had hoped to capitalise on my new found "interest" in weeding and was going to do some more!  I was expecting the carpet fitters this morning to lay the levelling compound in the craft room so wanted to utilise my time. Instead it was sewing - again!

Carine rang and we discussed the show entry for the WI. The show is on Wednesday and Thursday but the entries have to be taken over tomorrow. You may recall that we have my bag and someone is going to arrange the flowers today. We also had to add some baking and was going for a "picnic" theme. We had hoped that someone would make us a crusty loaf which Carine could fill with a pressed layer filling. However that volunteer didn't come through and Carine was stressed about her bread making skills. By the time we finished talking she decided to make a carrot cake - she is a fantastic cake maker!

This afternoon was the weekly craft club where we were focussing on making things for the church paper festival. It's in August and I have a list as long as my arm to make for my area - but we also have a church to fill - help!
This afternoon brightened up enough to take the dogs for a nice walk. Note to self - don't wear clean trousers when there's a wet rugrat on the loose - nobody warned me how springy a Cockerpoo is!
Tonight it's the England match so Carine has kindly printed me out the Splendid Sampler hexagons - 3/8" in size - tiny!  We've used dissolvable paper so that I don't have to remove the paper. However it's something that you can easily do whilst watching the footie!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

"The gooseberries and the Ivy"

After a good nights sleep I woke up - yep - with another headache. However by 9:30 it had passed so I set to. I didn't want another day to drift by.  First up was some more Tuesday night blocks - I know, they seem never ending. We only have two more weeks before we break for summer - and start a new project in September. So between now and September I gave 5 blocks to finish, 40 blocks to quilt and then 49 to put into a quilt and bind - not much then!  I wouldn't mind but I am hampered by Daisy who keeps popping her head through for attention whilst I am sewing!

 Anyway I managed 4 ( yes there are still5 to finish - I didn't count today's efforts) whilst I caught up with The Archers.

By now the sun was shining so I ventured into a forgotten spot in the garden. Next to the conservatory is a store cupboard but it's hardly used, blocks the windows and allows the ivy to go mad.  Not only that but stinging nettles bars the way - time for action!

 The weeds were pulled, the garden waste bin filled, the storage bin emptied and moved, the ladders came out and the ivy pulled - all under Daisy and Miilie's watchful eyes.  If I couldn't pull the ivy then the stem has been cut so there will be die back.  By the time I finished I realised how much space I had - - particularly with the rotation of the bin.

I am going to leave it for a few days and then do a final tidy - before cleaning out the bin. The idea is to move as many tools as possible from the decrepit shed -with a view to buying a new shed later in the year - trust me, it won't survive another winter!

Whilst I was out in the garden I took the opportunity to mow the lawn and noticed that the gooseberries were  starting to fall off. I only have one bush, which Dad planted for me - an apt time to publicly wish him Happy Farhers day- and there seems to be too many gooseberries for the bush.

For Fathers Day I sent dad this plaque - it's in the style of the blue plaques put on famous people's houses. You may recall that he is a Leicester City fan and so this seemed apt - he was thrilled!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

We're home mum

After a good nights sleep ( this aged rocker went to bed at 9:30pm and fell asleep instantly) I had a quick cuppa before heading out to the kennels to bring the girls home. I have to say that I really don't like the house without them - it's far too quiet.  After lots of wagging tails and manic running round the house, they both collapsed and fell asleep

In Daisy's case it was next to me as I sewed. I would have liked to start moving back into the craft room today - but there is a strong smell of oil from when I had a boiler leak several years ago - taking the floor up has exposed the concrete floor and released the odour. Nothing for it then - go into the conservatory and sew. In my case it was these wretched Tuesday night blocks! There would have been three - if only I had cut the right amount of triangles!

Of course I just had to start playing with my pegboard.  I am sure that the "correct" placement of "pegs" will come with use - but I love it already!

Truthfully I've had a massive headache all day - possibly tiredness / oil fumes - so there might just have been moments of dozing or "40 winks".   However the sun is shining ( at last), the girls are back and all is generally well with my world. I've even planted up a few plants ready to hang on my small picket fence.  It's good to be back!