Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Just call me Florence

After a difficult night - why am I not getting to sleep much before 1am - I am tired when I go to bed and then I wake up again!  I'm putting it down to the increased steroids but who knows.  Anyway after a difficult night, I was awake early to take my next door neighbour to the fracture clinic.  She had been walking the dog and heard a pop in her ankle.  After it started to swell and hurt, her husband took her to A & E and they put a temporary cast on it.  Today she had to go back and have a permanent cast put on - but her husband was at work and, like me, she's an independent lady  and doesn't like asking for help.  Not only that but it turns out that her appointment card was written out wrongly for Wed 30th August - she should have gone yesterday!  However they agreed it was their fault and, after a wait, she was seen and a bright purple cast was put on.  We were home by lunchtime so the wait had not been too long!

Once I had dropped her off, I popped around to church to empty it of my bits and pieces.  Most of the displays will stay in the car until Friday when it can go straight to the tip - its a shame but it has served its fundraising objective.  Tomorrow, however, I can start to ring around the raffle prize winners who don't live in the village and arrange for the collection of prizes.  On my way home the car phone leapt into life - It was Jean ringing to ask a question about the sewing at Scamblesby on Sunday.  Since I had a raffle prize for someone she would be seeing tomorrow, I made a quick detour and dropped the prize off whilst answering the query.

Once home, and fed, I started to complete the Lavender Ravioli (yes Sewingbuddy it is William Morris!)  but was feeling absolutely shattered.  I did manage to fumble my way through a recording of Dragons Den whilst ironing but then succumbed to the sofa for a   lost hour or so!  I was that comfortable that I didn't want to wake up.

But I had to - it's the Great British Bake Off tonight and I needed to make the Lemon and Poppy Seed drizzle cake from last night.  It's cooking at the moment so I will report back tomorrow - but it is a recipe from the star baker!

Of course I also need to complete my voucher from the Woman Magazine so that I can rejoin Slimming World and save myself £10 - bad timing, but hey life is like that some time.  So far I have been sponsored to the total of £1 per pound, £10 per stone and several fixed amounts promised - one of which is £5.  I would love to raise £100 as my contribution so I guess that I ought to get myself in gear then!  The meal plan is written and, as of tomorrow morning, I am good to go!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Pass the tissues

So - what does a girl do when she has a church to help empty and a house that really needs a good clean throughout?  Well - its Tuesday so she goes, with Jean, to the Senior Screen!  We haven't been for a while but I wanted to see "Me before You" - a real two tissue weepy but enjoyable nevertheless.  On the way home I stopped off at Jean's to show her the marvels of paying your car tax online rather than traipsing into Louth.

This afternoon, though, was the great unveiling of the sewing room - well, the sewing machine was finally moved onto the new craft desk.  With ITV's "Victoria" on in the background, I sat and sewed some mini charm pack pieces with a view to making some Lavender Ravioli - Sewingbuddy wants some things to sell at her village fair. 

Whilst I was sewing Mr T turned up with this week's groceries (I have planned my slimming world menu and shopped accordingly) but, as he was unpacking, I was visited by a small doggie.  We eventually traced their owner but with no collar on it was a job!  After taking some groceries around to Wendy's (we added some ingredients on so that we can both make the lemon and poppy seed drizzle cake for the Great British Bake Off tomorrow night - fortunately it's on after the weigh in so that's treat night sorted each week.  I also have the WI on Thursday night so can take some spare supplies there out of temptations way), the dogs and I headed up to the beach to stretch our legs.  The weather here is (sadly) glorious - I say sadly since the lawn is screaming out to be mowed so that's this evening's task - ready for the green bin to be emptied on Thursday morning!

Tonight's task (although I really feel like collapsing again) is to continue with the Lynette Anderson embroidery and applique ready to construct the Christmas wall hanging on Sunday at Scamblesby

Monday, 29 August 2016

Paper Festival Day 3 - and we are already planning for next year!

After a fairly sleepless night, I was up early and pretending to be Nigella Lawson.  Well - some form of domestic goddess at least - with three cakes made, cooked and wrapped before I left home at 10:30am!!  I also found time to iron on the applique for two splendid sampler squares.  This one is based on a Baltimore style block

whereas this one represents, to me, the "she" cave that I dreamt of whilst in the MRI scan.  I just need to source a fabric rocking chair to sit outside now!

I also found time to book three hotel rooms for my brothers wedding - in August 2017!!  How is that for advanced booking!!

Of course today was another full day at church - the last one of the festival and, in truth, the quietest one.  However it was also one that didn't quite go the way that I expected it to.  One good friend of the church had had a sleepless night as well and came with bags of fund raising ideas -  offering to do a sponsored slim for the church.  There is a limited period - 1st September - 30th November -  and, before I could think of a better reply, I found myself offering to do it as well.  By lunchtime, sponsor forms had been printed and 6 people are now taking part.  Well - I was thinking of going back to Slimming World anyway so I'd better do that now then!  So, if anyone wants to sponsor me per pound or for a set amount please let me know!

Elsewhere in this mad world that I seem to inhabit, we made great plans for next year - the theme is "Fabric Memories" and we were busy measuring church to see where poles can be set across to hang quilts etc and thinking of objects that can be included - Mum I'm emptying your house!  Why do we do this to ourselves?

Tonight?  Tonight I collapse into a stupor - that's all I am capable of now! 

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Paper festival day 2 .....

.... and life is getting back to normal! (albeit slowly)


Let's go back to last night where the leftovers from the day before was "suzzed " up with the addition of some out of date, soft crackers.  Having googled what to do with them, I decided to blend them into breadcrumbs and then mix with some grated cheese before sprinkling onto the chicken and ham "stew".  What a good call - the crackers went crisp again and added a nice topping!

Having made two cherry cakes last night (and forgot to take them with me!), this morning I had time to do some ironing, fill up the recycling bin with waste paper and then make a start with a couple of splendid sampler blocks.  Just some bondaweb drawing and then ironing onto suitable fabrics - but it's a start that things are returning to normal.  I even had time to start thinking about my Christmas challenge for Scamblesby - be very afraid Sewingbuddy!  Meanwhile the dogs were haring around the place - as you can see!

At church I managed to sneak a few pictures of Summer, as promised yesterday, but my day was filled with selling raffle tickets, talking, selling, talking etc - all finishing with a Songs of Praise service at the end of the afternoon.  As yesterday, we were blessed with a steady string of visitors and, from the comments, can count the event as a success!

Tonight?  Well, since its 7:30pm as I write this, there isn't much of the evening left - but I am intending to watch the two new BBC sitcoms at 9pm.  I say "new" since they are remakes - and I wasn't terribly fond of "Are you Being Served?", but I am intrigued by what they do with "Porridge".  To their credit they have used the same writers but without Ronnie Barker?  I await a verdict.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Paper festival - day 1

Apologies - this is just a short blog - filled out with pictures!  I left home at 9:30 to man a stall at a local quilt show, then went onto a textile show, before heading back to the paper festival and then coming home.  It is now nearly 6pm and I have two cherry cakes to make for tomorrow, tea to make and then collapse - before doing it all again tomorrow.  Oh - and its raining here with thunder and lightening for good measure!  So, instead , I thought that you might like to see some pictures of how the festival has gone.

Starting with my Easter display (sorry that the picture is so dark)

we then move around to my paper lounge - oops would it be immodest of me to mention that someone wants to buy my sweet wrapper handbag?

before heading towards the main part of the show - the paper nativity

and Christmas tree filled with my hands!

The piano has a folded book on top which spells out the word LOVE.

Then it's on to Autumn with the wedding feast

before heading back to the miniature harvest scene.

There was also a Summer setting but I am saving that until tomorrow!

We were amazed as to how many people came today - its always nice to stay busy and chat!!  Let's hope that we can say the same tomorrow.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Dedicated to my very wise father

First let's step back to last night.  After a packed day I just had one last task to do which involved the hot glue gun.  The dogs were out and about and all was well with my world - until, that is, I realised Daisy had been ominously quiet!! When I called her - she was in the back garden "playing" with a pigeon.  To her credit she dropped the bird when I called her and came in - but the ground was covered in feathers and the bird, though still alive, was somewhat stunned!  This morning I nervously went to the area to see that the pigeon had gone - phew I thought, not so badly hurt - until I turned and saw it looking at me from a soft patch of grass that it had adopted as a nest.  Now I must confess that I am an absolute chicken and advice such as "ring its neck" is probably right so that it doesn't suffer - but I can't bring myself to do so and  desperately hoped that it managed to fly away (but feared that it wouldn't).

The rest of the evening was uneventful and all the requisite paper creations were completed - leaving me with just a massive clear up over the next few days - or so I thought.  As I packed up everything to take around to church this morning I spied this kit for a paper bird box wreath that I had been asked to make up several months ago -and hadn't.  So, after three hours in church, I headed home for a late lunch and another afternoon of cutting and sticking.  After cutting out the template and then one bird box I realised what a task this would be.  The cutting out was okay - ish - but then you had to cut the circle opening out - yuk!  I hate cutting out circles!  Now, at this stage, I ought to let you know that Dad has somewhat of a liking for DIY tools - he is fond of saying that you have to have the right tool for the job - which is how he explains his 30 or so drills!  As I was chuntering about the cutting out, the thought came to me - but I have the right tool - my ScanNCut machine.  True - it would have been better if I had used the template in the first place but a quick go around the edge to make it stand out, a quick scan and the next 8 boxes were quickly cut out - all with perfect circles!  Dad was right - just don't tell him will you?

So - my afternoon was spent making these boxes up - although I don't think that the wreath will be finished until tomorrow morning.  The weather has been glorious - although it poured overnight - and so the dogs enjoyed their run up at the beach - and I am beginning to see the end of this paper nightmare!

By the way - I went outside to investigate "Birdgate" just before taking the dogs up to the beach and the bird has gone - it may just have crawled into the undergrowth but I am not investigating further!  I am pretending to myself that it has upped and flown away from the nightmare doggy!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Working towards the final countdown

Last night was a snuggle night - snuggling onto the sofa with my slice of banana bread, a cup of coffee and watching the  Great British Bake Off -all was well with my world.  The cake turned out delicious - I don't normally include the chopped walnuts but they really added something - but I am not so sure about the extra bit - it seemed to make a bid for escape in the oven!!  Mum has decided to join in with the "Bake a cake from the last episode" challenge and has decided to trump everyone by making a mirror glaze cake.  I am keeping things more simple and am planning to make the star baker's Lemon and Poppy seed drizzle cake.  Happymum - what are you planning to make?

So - onto today and an early phone call from someone who is concerned about how much work is still needed in  the church. From experience these festivals always come together at the end so I am fully expecting to leave the church tomorrow happy that everything is sorted.  However I did spend some time this morning completing a piece of "modern art" using toilet rolls and tissue paper to go on top of the piano. 

Then it was round to the church to take some goodies round, move some chairs and hang some more bunting up.

Once home, and the usual housework, it was back onto making the paper coil for a table in my "lounge", a large white flower ball for near the alter and some greenery to add to my "paper flower arrangements".  I am beginning to wonder what I will do when this is all finished (not!)

This afternoon also prooved to be somewhat of a surprise.  Last Friday, at book club, we divided the bill and all paid our share - yet we were £10 short.  We moved furniture etc but couldn't find it - eventually making up the difference between us - but left doubting ourselves and our own actions.  Today the £10 was returned to a member of our club by the publican - the cleaner had found it and gave it in.  It's not so much the money as clearing up what had been a very puzzling experience.

I am not sure how much sewing there will be tonight - I fear that more greenery will be needed!!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Did someone leave the oven on?

I don't know about you but last night was a killer.  Despite the sun setting, and against all logic, the temperature seemed to soar and a restless night was had.  In fact so bad was it that I was wide awake at 5am and gave up at 6:30am - preferring instead to get up in the cool of the early morning and get on!

Today's task was to pop into Grimsby (again!) for more paper based supplies.  Then it was back to sort the shopping out, tidy the kitchen up and then set to cutting out handprints from green paper for the paper Christmas tree - favour for a friend!  The ScanNCut machine is helping with the task but the paper is quite thin so can tear - even when I reduce the cutting pressure down as low as possible.

60 handprints later - we will probably need more but it's a start - it was then time to get going with finishing the paper mache Easter eggs.

Mind you - there's no point tidying up yet - this is the remains of the handprints!!

Having spent some time yesterday cutting strips from toilet rolls, I then set to trying to make a piece of toilet roll art.  I am aiming for something creative, artistic and which doesn't look like it was made out of toilet rolls but  who knows what will happen?

Of course then there was the banana bread to make ready for the Great British Bake Off, tea to cook and some more embroidery to trace ready for sewing tonight - oh and dogs to walk etc etc etc.  Life is just far too busy at the moment!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Why, oh why do i do this to myself?


This morning I spent some time, with others, around at church trying to present our creations.  It is only when you start to do this that you realise how many gaps there are and how much there is still to do.  Which is why I have come home with a list of things to make / buy as long as your arm - and there's only 3 days to go - yikes!  Not only that but the back of my neck aches and I think that I need to get my tens machine out tonight!

The "lounge" is starting to come together - but still needs a lot more props - which is why, this afternoon, I started a magazine rolled table - don't ask!  I have a sturdy cardboard tube, which I will spray and use as the base.  Meanwhile I am cutting up 1 inch strips and rolling round in a circular fashion - using pva to secure each strip as I go.  This will be a long task!

Meanwhile I need to make a white flower ball for the winter area, construct a toilet roll piece of art to go on top of the piano, paper mache some eater eggs etc etc etc!  As I said in the title - why?

As you may have guessed I have moved into frenetic mode and so there is not much else going on in my life to reflect and report on!  Tomorrow, the Great British Bake Off is back and I am very tempted to follow the practice of Happymum who watches the programme, armed with a piece of cake that they have made from a recipe used the week before.  Clearly I don't know yet what recipes they are trying tomorrow night but I have some bananas to use up so am very tempted, tomorrow, to make some banana cake using this recipe from Nigella Lawson - it's a mmmmmmm favourite of mine!

Ah well - back to the cutting and sticking - perhaps some paper mache eggs whilst tea cooks!

Monday, 22 August 2016

Another day - another paper project!

After a late bedtime - I was reading too much! - I woke up at a shocking 8:15am!!  Ah well - such is my life but it did result in a late start.  First up was making the rest of the flowers and gluing the sticks in place.

Then I moved onto making the clock.  I figured that stickers are another form of paper so covered a clock shaped box in stickers and then fitted a clock mechanism - so this paper clock is a working clock!

By now the dogs had been walked but the rain was threatening so I loaded up the car with the clock, the flowers, the arm chair and the golden legs and took everything round to the church.  A group of us are planning to head round there tomorrow to start putting it all together - and I will use the hot glue gun then to fix the legs.

The trouble with space and time is that you start to develop other ideas as to what could be done - really, with only 4 days to go?  Toilet roll art, tubular seating etc!  Instead I have given myself a strong talking to - finish the projects that you already have started!  Consequently I returned home to make a basic cushion out of wallpaper to sit behind my bunny rabbit one and then out together 9 wedding favour bird cages with a view to hanging them bunting style somewhere.  The pack had 10 but I figured that I would keep one back to see if I can scan it into my machine as a template for future use.

By now the blind man had arrived - thinking about a comment made by Happymum regarding the red fading quickly,I decided to have a cream magic fit blind fitted so that the room would still appear light and airy, but that the sun's ray's were blocked out.  Of course Daisy liked having some new company to make a fuss of her!

Next up was a very late lunch whilst I caught up with Dragons Den from last night - oh, and cut out some Easter characters for my window display!  By now I was papered out so took the dogs up to the beach (for the first time since the end of June - apart from when Dad drove us up there of course) and spent the rest of the afternoon doing general housework!  It's good to get some distance!

 Tonight's sewing will be the completion of a piece of embroidery for my long forgotten "A quilter lives here" wall hanging.  Then it's straight onto a Christmas project - you can never start soon enough in this house!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Groundhog day


Well - not exactly but, with the paper festival starting a week today, I  beginning to feel that every day is focussed on the same point!!  Today I managed to finish wall papering the armchair before moving on to complete the paper cushion - not so bad if I do say it myself!  I have stuffed it with toilet roll and I think that its quite effective.  Notice the wonderful rocking chair that sets it off!

Then there was a call from Michelle - I am at church now - so I popped some things into the car and popped round - I will need several journeys to take all my props around so daren't waste one.  Just as well - I walked in to see Michelle holding a long paper streamer thing and asking me to hold the ladder whilst she fixed them up - I am sure she wouldn't have gone up without someone at the bottom of the ladder but ................  As it was she did one side - and then Ian, the gardener walked in so he did the other side for us!

After chewing the cud for a while I came home and made a start on putting together all of those flowers that we folded at book club.  All of these took two hours just to make up!!  It's not quick this paper festival lark!  On the plus side, however, I have thoroughly road tested my craft table - it is the right height and length to do my work and I can catch up with the soaps on the computer whilst I work.  It's just a shame that I haven't moved the sewing machine in yet - but I will!

I must admit to not having slept well last night so, had a lost hour in the conservatory (where Daisy seemed to think it great fun to jump on and off at irregular intervals) before completing the day by spraying the inners of kitchen towels to make gold legs for my armchair.  My hope is that the chair can then be taken around to church tomorrow and that I can begin to make a little sense out of the chaos that is my house!  Today, for example, I cleared some newspaper scraps left over from the paper mache and the sides of the box cut down for the armchair - let's just say that the grey recycling bin is now half full and the conservatory is still choc full of paper, tubs and boxes!!

Tonight?  Well I am beating that well worn drum towards my embroidery.  It is so much quicker with two eyes!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

We are not just any old delivery drivers - we're M & S drivers!

Last night was book club - we meet around 7, order drinks and our meal and then chat until the email comes - waiting until others who are not eating to join us before discussing the books.  Cue light bulb moment - I took some paper squares with me and pleaded for help making paper flowers.  They kindly joined in and we managed to fold 150 flowers - even Jenny who REALLY doesn't do craft joined in!

Happymum mentioned yesterday that the paper festival was a whacky idea - it sure is!  Which is why today saw me continue with the armchair - this time starting to trim off the wallpaper samples and then trying to stick them on patchwork style.

Meanwhile I also started to make a cushion by crumpling up cartridge paper to break down the fibres and make it more fabric like.  then I printed off a couple of Easter bunnies and used the sewing machine to appliqué them.  My plan is to use crepe paper as a ruffle border and then stuff - with paper of course!  Sorry that the photo is upside down.

Around noon my new bedroom furniture from M & S arrived.  They showed up, showed me their identification, rolled out a carpet runner to ensure that they didn't walk any dirt into the house and then put plastic covering over their shoes as they took the furniture upstairs - each time they went outside the coverings were removed and then put back on once they went on their runner - all extremely professional!  The furniture was placed into the room - none of this "delivery to the kerb" - and all packaging was taken away!  Now I just need a bed and bedside tables!

 As for knitting with raffia - well it's grown since I took this picture but at least I have enough to hang out of my paper knitting bag.  I really want to see everything together and find out how it turns out!  This week will see a number of journeys back and forth to church - its a good job I can drive now!

Tonight I am planning on watching "The Imitation Game" - our next WI meeting has someone from Bletchley Park talking about the Codebreakers so I thought that this could be interesting background.  I am also planning on doing some embroidery - so what's new you say!

Friday, 19 August 2016

I really love those creative kind of days!

Today started with a quick dash up to The Range for more paper supplies (gosh how I love a quick emergency dash - Amazon sales will fall sharply now that I can drive again!).  Armed with crepe paper, 12 x 12 squares of paper for large flowers etc, I arrived home to finally make a start on my cardboard armchair.  The first job was to botch together an armchair shaped box.

Then I started to cover it with layers of newspaper and wallpaper paste.  Judging by the state of this after 4 hours - I think that it will need leaving for 24 hours at least!  The plan is to cover it, patchwork style, with wall paper and I have gold paint spray for the toilet roll legs.

That left me with time on my hands - so I started to fiddle with my supplies.  I wanted to create some form of paper flowers / twisting greenery around my paper "Angel of the north" statue.  I am not happy with it yet but I am getting somewhere.

After a conversation with the churchwarden, Michelle, I then set to with my Scan N Cut machine and cut out 48 doves to hang on our remembrance tree.  I've saved the template so can cut out more if needed.

It's book club tonight so no sewing - but my next job is to try knitting with raffia.  A lounge isn't complete without some knitting - right?

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Here we go again.

If it's a weekday then it must be a hospital appointment - well, I might be exaggerating but that's how it feels!  Today's appointment was with the consultant that I see regularly about my temporal arteritis and he declared my eyes fit and well (phew).  Although he didn't actually say it, I do think that he believes the eye problem was connected to the TA and he has said that I will have to be on a low dosage of steroids for the rest of my life - if that stops the eye sight going then bring it on!

Did I mention that I drove to the appointment?  Yep!! I drove - and then drove onto B & Q for some supplies before heading home.  Oh the joy and freedom!!  Of course, by now it's lunchtime, the house needs de-daisying and there's washing etc to be sorted.  In addition I can't let a day go by without making something for the paper festival - so started to make some more flowers to put into vases in my area and around the church.  These will be made the same as before but with 5 petals stuck onto a stick so that they can stand in the vase.

This afternoon the rocking chair is due for delivery (oh those MRI memories) and then I need to pop Millie through to the vets.  I think that she has a light dose of Kennel cough and want to nip it in the bud.  Hence the early publication of this blog as I also need to go out tonight to the WI craft group - we are making felt poppies for the WI wreath this year.

Sewing wise I finished the Lynette Anderson workshop embroidery last night - next step is the 200 hexagons to be sewn together in a random fashion!  Anni Downs has also messaged me congratulating me on her fabric win - lets  hope that it gets here soon!

In addition Wendy wanted 126 3/4 inch hexagons.  Never fear, says I, I have a Scan and Cut!  An hour later I had cut her a set and myself - this is sure a steep learning curve - but fun!!