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Thursday, 17 August 2017

I can fully understand...





...why the UK appeared so far down the Broadband speed list.


This morning I spent a frustrating hour trying to get to my emails and then check my ready list on my blog - the second task was not accomplished as I gave up waiting for the 'blue ring of death' to stop spinning.


I appreciate that with the various "works" going on down our street at the moment this could be impacting on services...we seem to have holes and road works wherever you look.


But talk about rubbing salt into an already angry wound, when I did get into my emails this morning there was one from my service provider advising me that my monthly costs will increase by £3.99 from 1 November 2017. They then tried to soften the blow by reminding me of all the 'wonderful' things I have access to.


Needless to say, I was not in the best of moods when I finally managed to set off for work..........................................................................................

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Someone...

...wanted to say "Hello".

But then got a little shy.

This is "JJ" and he belongs to one of my colleagues. He wanted to show 'Lunch Lady Jan' just how smart he looked in his doggy bandana...
 ...but then had second thoughts and got a little camera shy.
However, it wasn't long before he got over the problem...
...and was getting up close and personal with the lens LOL.

JJ has certainly fallen in love with his bandana - doesn't he look smart.....................................

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

I am a naughty...

...blogger.

The lovely Lunch Lady Jan sent me another parcel of goodies for the RNLI fundraising and although I had taken some photos I hadn't loaded them to my PC - how bad am I; sorry Jan.

There were a couple of beautiful tote/shopper bags that I can't show you as they have been nabbed by a friend for gifts but here finally are some pics of the wonderful items Jan made...
 ...hanging padded hearts...
 ...lovely drawstring bags perfect for PE gear, ballet shoes...
 ...or even just a change of shoes if going out on a walk...
 ...sunglasses cases...
 ...and tissue holders...
...such a lovely selection and aren't those Doggy Bandanas cute.

Such a generous parcel of goodies - Thank you Jan.........................................................

Monday, 24 July 2017

Something a little...

...different.

Saturday was the monthly "all day" parchment class at Pinnacle Crafts but folk who are 'parchers' would have found it a little strange this month.

There was no scribing, embossing, pricking or snipping going on. In fact, there was some straight-forward tracing and cutting followed by lots of...WATER and ink.

Yes I know, shock...horror...water; dishes of the stuff.

There were lots of traced pieces...
 ...to cut out of our parchment.
Then we soaked each piece in an ink/water bath and applied additional colour around the edges...
 ...a process that had to be carried out quickly...
 ...and then the individual pieces were left to dry whilst we toddled off for a spot of lunch.
It is surprising how quickly the parchment dries and we were soon curling and putting together layers to create...
 ...pretty parchment-paper flowers. Here are the 3 completed but waiting for the glue to dry...
 ...so that each flower could be teased and shaped as wished.
This was the final result (sorry about the glare)...
...a pretty spray that can be used as a button-hole or as a floral piece in the home.

Thank you Joanne for a lovely class............................................................................

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

150 Little hats...

...will be winging their way to join the BIG knit.

From 11 May 2017 until Friday 14 July 2017 our Craft & Chatter group have produced 150 mini hats for 'innocent smoothies' to place on their bottles this Autumn.

This was the colourful heap that I turned out onto the table...
...so that I could count what we had made.
I even managed to add a  "4th of July" hat...
 ...actually knitted on the 4th of July.
Just look at all these pretty colours...
 ...don't they look cheerful.
"Ollie" octopus managed to join the collection...
...just in time for the big send off.

This batch will be heading off later this week to add to the ones donated by folk all around the country - here's hoping that the target of 2 million hats has been reached/exceeded.

As a group we have decided to continue with these fun little knits so that we can see just how many we can have ready for next year's event.

These little hats don't take long to knit and help to use up all those little bits of yarn that we crafters can never throw away (although I admit I did buy some more yarn when some pretty colours took my eye LOL). So I'd better keep those needles handy and busy - perhaps we can manage two boxes full by next year...................................................


Monday, 10 July 2017

My Happy Place...

...in the Sun.

My lawn will never be a velvet green patch that could put a bowling green to shame. To be honest the lawn looks more like straw with a hint of green.

I don't have loads of flower beds abundant with colourful blooms. The yucca is likely to have a mass of white bell-like flowers later in the Summer but for now the only colour is the purple of a wild buddleia.

However, when Mother Nature sees fit to bless us with glorious blue skies...

 ...it seems a shame not to sit outside and make the most of the lovely weather.

Problem was, until last Friday the only seats I had in the garden were a rather uncomfortable bench and some plastic white chairs (fine for sitting at a table but not very comfortable to sit in for any length of time) which are actually a little too high for me as I'm only 5ft 4ins on a good day.

A couple of years ago I saw the perfect chair for me in a branch of The Range but the colours on offer were not to my taste. Then earlier this year I saw the same chairs in just the right shade for me - but by the time payday came around they had all gone. I was sure it was not to be but then last week they had some more in but I didn't have space in the car. It looked like I was going to miss out again.

Just on the off chance, I called into The Range on my way home from Barleylands on Friday and luck was on my side. A chair and table were soon making their way to my car in the car park but oh dear - the chair would not fit. A length of rope, and the tailgate left open  (I was determined to secure my purchase) and I headed home - at a rather gentle pace.
 
As you can see, the grass leaves a lot to be desired but I love my new seat and table....
 ...the seat is just the right height for me...
 ...and for a moulded resin chair it is wonderfully comfortable. The perfect place to sit with a cup of coffee...
 
 ...and enjoy a bit of crafting outside in the sunshine...
...in the ideal spot in the garden. The place where I've set my table & chair is in a part of the garden that gets the sun for most of the day and is quite secluded so no-one is overlooking.

My garden may not be the prettiest place in the world but I now have my own little "Happy place" where I can sit and enjoy the sunshine and while away a few happy hours.

I'm now on the look out for a sun umbrella in a matching or toning colour then everything will really be perfect..........................................................................


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Today is our weekly...

..."Craft & Chatter" at work.

We will be doing a count up of the mini hats made so far.

At last weeks gathering we had a display table of the different types of craft that folk have been doing. This was in sup[port of a "Health & Wellbeing" event that was being held in the building and there were various talks & stalls set up in different parts of the office.

There were examples of cardmaking as well as the knitting & crochet...
...with a selection of seasonal and general cards...
 ...the mini hats were very popular...
 ...and the basic knitted squares seemed to prompt a few folk to consider getting their needles out...
 ...but surprisingly, these Christmas cards with images of the Bugaboo character "JJ"...
...seemed to catch more attention and we may have a few folk join us to make a few cards.

It will be interesting to see how many 'new' folk turn up for the group today.

In the meantime, the knitting needles are still clicking away and we will have to see what our total number of mini hats has reached as we will be packaging them up next week to send off.....................

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Not all ideas...

..actually work.

Whilst others do.

I wasn't sure about the "Minion" but other folk seem to think he is fine...
 ...and the "Ghost" (free pattern found on line by a friend) worked beautifully but a colleague suggested knitting a "TARDIS" (the Dr Who telephone box). This wasn't such a success a) because I didn't have the right shade of blue b) because the TARDIS is square and the innocent smoothie bottles are round so it looks rather distorted. Ho-hum...at least it is another hat to add to the collection.

Innocent Smoothies stated they wanted to achieve 2 million mini hats this year which means they would be donating £500,000 to Age UK to boost funds that help elderly vulnerable folk deal with heating issues during the colder months of the year. Around mid-May they said they had reached approx. 1.2 million (the deadline for submitting the hats is end of July).

Our "Craft & Chatter" group at work will be well over the 100 mark by mid-July when we will be packing them up and sending them on their way.

Here are a few more that have been added to the collection...
 ...the one with the multi-coloured bobbles at the back seemed like a good idea at the time LOL - let's just say there will not be a second one knitted.
The collection box is filling up nicely...
...and the good thing is, folk are getting to use up all those odds and ends of yarn that they have hanging around the place (you all know how we crafters don't like to throw anything away).

I've now cracked the 100 mark for little hats and will be keen to see just how many my final total amounts to when we have to send them off.

Our group have said that this has been quite a bit of fun and some of them may continue in between other projects so that we get a head start for next year.....................................

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

I've knitted...

...ninety-one mini hats; so far.

The total currently stands at 94 hats, three of which have been made by colleagues (one by Heather, one by Pam and one by Kristian). Lynn has been knitting away and promises her finished items when she has attached some bobbles and Francis has been knitting little character hats that just need some googly eyes attached.

I thought I'd done about 70...
 ...and just kept adding the finished ones to the box.
These little hats are so easy to knit - perfect for an evening in front of the TV...
 ...and the basic pattern can be 'played' with to create all sorts of designs. Here are a bunch of 'bell flowers'...
 ...in a variety of different colours.
Yesterday I added a few more hats to the box and decided to tip out the contents...
 ...this was the pile and it was quite a surprise to find just how many I have knitted over the past few weeks.
I had a go at making a 'Minion' type hat...
...but it didn't come out as I wanted (a touch of leaky elbow syndrome). Still, it's another hat for the collection.

We are aiming to send our hats off by the middle of July so there should be plenty of time for me to break that 100 mark......................................................................

Thursday, 15 June 2017

My first...

...completed parchment project.

If you promise not to look too closely (and spot the wonky snipping around the edges and the odd pierced hole that shouldn't be there) I'll show you my finished Christmas gift box.

I did all the outside panels using the Scalloped squares Groovi plate rather than create different shaped panels for each side.

The Groovi plates are a great starting point...
 ...which can be decorated in any way you like. This means even traditional 'parchers' can make use of them (much easier than measuring and trying to draw straight lines with perfect corners LOL).

The "S" on the front of the box was my first attempt at grid-work...
 ...and despite a couple of 'oops' moments I was very pleased with the finished result.

The inside of the box was decorated with some small (less detailed) panels...
 ...with a touch of glitter and 'spray & sparkle'.

The background for the "N" was from a small grid...
 ...which meant that the pattern had to be 'matched' to fill the space - I think this is my favourite panel.

On the sample that Joanne made, her "O" panel was round (using the scalloped circles Groovi plate)...
 ...so I had to adapt the design slightly to fit a square.

The "W" was stippled (only the second time I have done this) and it seemed to take for ever...
...but once done, the background was created with the random use of the micro sun tool.

This Friday I have a couple of parchment classes so will be continuing with my "Twas the Night before Christmas" book - just 3 pages left to do.

At this rate I should have at least two completed projects by this Christmas.....................................

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

"Little boxes...

...made of..."

The box that we made as the base for the parchment project was such a nice idea that I thought I would have another go at making one.

The box is constructed from 300gsm smooth white card and covered with PP from a paper stack that I bought in Poundland (the stack was one of several A5 sized pads that they had and the paper is actually very good quality).

Here is the resulting 'make'...
 ...I didn't have any very fine magnets that could be used as a closure and Velcro was also too thick so I raided my ribbon stash.

The inside of the box was covered in the same PP...
...although I did consider using a contrast.

A lovely sturdy little box - perfect to pop a gift or some fancy chocolates in and still have a cute storage box afterwards................................................................

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

...and double Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Windows 10 carried out some up-dates on Sunday & Monday and whatever was done means that Windows is no longer friends with Blogger.

Yesterday, I spent ages trying to get into Blogger only to be faced with a blank white screen.

Today, I have spent ages trying to get into Blogger and although I have finally succeeded, things are not running smoothly.

Windows 10 & Blogger - will you please 'kiss & make-up' so that I can get on with the things that I need to do...........................................................

Friday, 2 June 2017

The little hat collection...

...is growing.

I had a bit of a play over the weekend - after all, despite it being a Bank Holiday weekend there wasn't a great deal to watch on the TV of an evening.

So the knitting needles were busy and I made around 20 little hats...
 ...two of my 'plays' are shown in the photo on the bottles.
The yellow & green and the blue & white were a couple more...
...they were sewn up at this week's "Knit & Natter".

Some of the other folk in the group have been making hats too but they also need to get them sewn.

The knitting part seems to be quite quick & easy but we are all less than enthusiastic about the sewing LOL

Still, we seem to be doing well and hope to have a good collection completed and ready to send off by the middle of July.

I'm looking forward to seeing how much of the box we manage to fill.............................................

Thursday, 1 June 2017

I told you...

...I had a busy weekend.

Despite parts of the UK having temps that were better than Jamaica, the weather over the Bank Holiday weekend wasn't that great - spells of heavy rain & thunder storms made it difficult to plan anything.

On Friday & Saturday the weather wasn't too much of an issue as I had craft classes. However, I really wanted to get my fence at the front of the house stained.

Due to the thunder storm Saturday evening, the fence wood was too wet to apply stain on Sunday so I concentrated on getting the washing & other household chores done. I was lucky, the rain held off until around 4pm so the washing dried and luckier still, the rain didn't last that long.

So Monday, bright & early, I was determined to get the fence done.

I had previously managed to get the front door painted as it is under the cover of the front porch area...
...and as you can see, it is now "Village Green". I used a satin exterior wood finish rather than a wet-look glossy finish.

Several hours later.

The front fence was changed from a tired "Red Cedar" colour to "Forest Green"...
 ...it looks a bit patchy here as it wasn't completely dry.
I'm very pleased with how it looks...
...and despite the initial doubts...
...I am loving the new colour.

The sky started to cloud over and rain had been forecast so I didn't get to do the front facing side of my back gate but I should get that done next weekend.

Now I just need the rain to hold off long enough so that the grass can get cut................................