Thursday, 27 August 2009

Bags & Boxes

My daughter has finished making a bag this week from chunky wool knitting that she has felted, blanket stitched, appliquéd and finished with stitched ribbon handles.

I was out for most of the day yesterday and, when I got home, found that she had made this cute little bird charm for it too!

She's really pleased with the end result, but says that none of her friends will like it because it does not come from a shop and they think that, because it is handmade, it is not as good as something bought!! Oh, what a shame!!
There was plenty of creativity going on at the arts and crafts workshop yesterday! With a recycling theme, I had decided on junk models for one of the activities - after all there are only so many cereal boxes, washing powder boxes, cardboard tubes, plastic milk bottle tops etc., that my cellar can accommodate and it was time for a good sort out down there! As many of the youngsters that attend these workshops have either learning or physical disabilities, I usually make some examples of whatever it is that we're doing so that they have something to work from. However, I thought I would just see what they could do when left to their own imaginations this time. The junk models seemed to be a real hit with the boys...rockets, robots, money boxes, treasure chest to mention but a few of the creations! Meanwhile, the girls were happily gluing brightly coloured tissue paper onto jars (more space in the cellar!) to create a stained glass effect, with a liberal application of glitter and sequins to complete the look!
Lots of paint and glue everywhere (thank heavens for aprons and old newspapers!), but lots and lots of fun for all, and smiley, happy faces! Thanks children for a lovely afternoon...and for clearing some of my cellar stash! But, of course, it will be looking like back stage at Blue Peter again very soon because I need more bits and pieces for next time!!
Time for lunch.
Back soon,

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Meat, Two Veg & Tea

Despite having left home over 20 years ago, I still have bits and pieces in my mum and dad's loft!! Slowly but surely everything is making its way here - mum asks if I'd like to look through a box when we visit, or brings things with her when she comes up to Yorkshire! Whilst having a sort out here yesterday, I came across a couple of those things...

my school cookery apron (that mum made for me!) and my school cookery book, which makes entertaining reading - I sound like a 1950s housewife throughout most of it, despite writing it in the 80s!

I had to write a little piece about a local food shop and I chose the local butchers, which, rather confusingly, was called 'Bakers'. Goodness, meat prices have certainly shot up - leg of lamb for £1.54 per pound anybody?

My neighbour (on the other side of us from the lovely B) brought round some lovely looking beetroot this morning, along with a not so perfect looking courgette! It certainly wouldn't make the supermarket shelves! But, I'm looking forward to it as part of roasted veg with some ham from the joint I roasted yesterday. Why do vegetables have to look a certain way? Is it us that want it that way, or are we being dictated to by supermarkets?

Mmm...a nice refreshing cup of tea ! I've gone back to using loose leaf tea - well, it happened out of necessity last week when we had run out of tea bags (disaster!!) and I've decided to stick with it because I think it tastes better! It doesn't really take too much longer to make a small pot and there's something slightly comforting about warming the pot and covering it with a lovely vintage embroidered tea cosy while the tea brews!

Back soon,

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Red and Green

Although I dislike seeing hot cross buns in January, back to school promotions in June, and Christmas decorations in September, I've been seeing red and green here this week as I have made a start on Christmassy things!!

A rustic, red rag heart...

A little green felt stocking...

made up and photographed ready for a November workshop! As I did not have a Christmas tree to hang them from, I thought that the holly bush in the garden was the next best, almost festive, thing! I have also been cutting out reindeers!! I don't like doing it in the summer, but last year I left it way too late so I am trying to be more organised this year!

Ripe red tomatoes...

Gorgeous green salad from the garden...

A little bit of seasonal red and green to remind me that summer is still here...and long may it continue!

Bye for now,

Monday, 17 August 2009

Twittering about at Home

The plus side of not going away this weekend was that some things got done around the house!

Hubby made a start on the much needed painting of the outside of the house and managed to complete the sanding and undercoating. DIY is his least favourite pursuit of all, so I'm quite pleased that this job is now a work in progress! Of course, it probably means that it will rain every weekend so that it takes forever to finish the job, but at least it's a start!!

I finished a cushion for the sofa...I know, it has a button and a flower...sometimes I just can't help myself!!

I also listed a few more things in my Folksy and Etsy shops, and found time to explore Twitter! I have to say that I'm still a little unsure about the whole twittering thing...what should I tweet about? Obviously, I would like to use it to promote 'rebeccamaryjane's', but I don't want it to turn into a 'look what I made, buy it here' kind of thing. However, I do need to find a way to increase my sales and I'm finding that a lot of people have never even heard of Folksy and Etsy!! Any tips?

Poorly boy is feeling much better, thank you - indicated by the return of his favourtie words, "I'm hungry" and "What's for lunch?" So, I guess that my cue to go and butter some rolls...

Back soon,


Saturday, 15 August 2009

Lemony Cheer

I love the look of luscious lemons in a bowl...

and the taste of homemade, luscious lemon drizzle buns with a nice cup of tea!

We've all been feeling a little down in the dumps today as we should be have been in Norfolk this weekend to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday and my niece's 6th birthday, but we had to put off our visit due to my son not being well for the second time this holiday! Poor lad - terrible headache, raging temperature and generally feeling awful! My husband keeps asking if he's "craving truffles" in an attempt to make light of the possibility of it being swine flu! Needless to say, he's not impressed!
Thank heavens for lemons!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Books at 10p each...

...well, I couldn't just leave them there, could I?
I love this one from 1975, which ties in nicely with my love of the Regency period and anything Jane Austenish!

Brigadier, Compagnie D'élite, French 2e Hussars 1808

Oooh, Officers....British Officer, 15th Light Dragoons (King's Hussars) 1813!

This one, from 1969, appealed to me because of its simple black and white/black and red/black and yellow pictures of folk costumes

This old Danish fisherwoman might be wearing her festival dress, but she certainly doesn't look too happy about it!

Meanwhile, it's good to know who's in charge around here...!

Bye for now,

Monday, 10 August 2009

Butterflies, crochet & scarecrows!

What a lovely weekend it has been! The weather here was glorious, which meant that all those gardening jobs got done, washing dried nicely on the line and, best of all, we managed to have breakfast and lunch outside on both days!

The garden has been aflutter with butterflies (and not just Cabbage Whites, which have no doubt hatched from all the hungry caterpillars that have been eating my broccoli plants!).

As an alternative to one of the many buddleia flower spikes, this Peacock butterfly took a liking to a crochet flower on the shawl that was drying on the washing line!

My lovely neighbour, B, popped her head over the fence on Sunday morning to give us one of these:

A little something she had picked up during her visit to Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival on Saturday!

I managed to finish this cushion, which will go to the wool shop to promote the granny square workshop that I'm doing in September:

Here's the finished rag ruggy wall hanging piece, which will also go to the wool shop.

This is only a small (6" x 6") piece to demonstrate the technique but I'm really pleased with the finished result! I made it by prodding small strips of old t-shirt fabric into hessian, using a whittled down wooden peg, which is how I was taught to do it as a child growing up in Norfolk. It is so soft and plump- a bath mat made this way would be fabulous! It would be time consuming to make, but is a brilliant way of recycling old clothes and, with a bigger project, the design can be more detailed.
I also managed to complete one side of a circular crochet cushion cover for the living room, which I shall photograph when it's finished.
So, a good 'at home' kind of weekend was had...pottering about doing some of the things I love best...crocheting, gardening...oh, and a little bit of baking - blueberry muffin cake and lemon drizzle buns! Time for a cuppa I think.....

Back soon,

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Home again

We've just returned from a trip 'down South', where we enjoyed this:

One of many trips to Birling Gap, our favourite beach, with its amazing white chalk cliffs, pebbles, rocks, waves and, when we were there, glorious blue skies!

The Seven Sisters (the chalk cliffs in the distance) - you can find out a little bit more about them here .

We only had one afternoon of this:

...but we went prepared!

Lovely views of the South Downs, including this one from a little side street in Alfriston (home of Much Ado Books)

I wish my Post Office looked like this one!!

We caught up with family and friends that we don't get to see very often and it just felt so good to be by the sea. We had such a lovely time and were thoroughly spoilt - good weather, good company, good food and wine - who could ask for more!

Now we are home again...time to catch up with gardening, washing, ironing......and all the blog posts I've missed!

Hope you're enjoying a sunny weekend where you are.

Back soon,