Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Knitting success!

Im really not very good at this bit of the year, which is part of why I've not posted for a bit. It's odd, as I love the bit before Christmas, and the buying presents, seeing family, stuff like that. It's just when it comes to the 25th, it all seems very tiring, and hard work, and makes me very anxious.

But the most important part of the past week or so, is that Isla liked her bunny!! Apparently it's quite good for a customer when she plays shops. But she did appear to ignore all her toys on Christmas day (My parents and I were at my sisters, with her boyfriends parents, and a couple of her friends from New Zealand, so without their family for the holidays) apart from a couple of Bob the Builder trucks, and a small sponge that came with a pack of chalk. She had so many new things, new toys, games, and things to play with, so she was occupied all day with a bit of sponge about the size of a matchbox. Of course.

I've been working on my mitred square blanket a bit, and have got three 4" squares done! But it's always been planned as a long term project, to be finished in about a year. So I'm now considering what to begin next. Theres a lot on my Ravelry list, and I should consider using my stash to knit with, but I'm becoming drawn to this scarf and its matching hat,if not something in the same stitch pattern.

So it wasn't too bad a holiday this year. I tried to stay calmer this time, than let myself get panicky and worked up like I sometimes do if I'm at my mums too long. I'm just not very good at change, so being away from my flat, and what I know worries me quite a bit. But I'm back home now. Still not too great, as I've had a lot more bad New Years than good ones, so I tend to ignore it all, and stay in now. But I've got a nice dinner in from Tescos, I've sent my mum all the chocolates I don't like from my Christmas tin of Roses (It was that or throw them away) and I've three episodes of the Gilmore Girls saved on my tv. I can't help it- I love the show. Its overtaking my addiction to Charmed!

But I hope you had a good holiday, no matter whether it's Hanukkah, Yule, Christmas, New Year or any other festival or holiday you choose to celebrate. See you in 2009. Promise I'll at least try to be more regular with the entries!!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Not to show off....

...but I've pretty much finished Christmas.

I'm a bit shocked myself, to be honest, but I've now got all presents bought, wrapped and either posted or at my mums house. The cake was decorated last night, so everything in my kitchen now has a faint golden sparkle from the edible glitter. The tree is up (OK, so its 24" high, and comes ready assembled- I have a tiny flat!) decorated and has little chocolate snowmen on it. My lights are up in my flat too, so I have little fairies that look like their skirts are on fire when the lights are turned on, all along my mantlepiece.

I've got a few cards to write and post, and was thinking of making some mince pies, and my now famous gingerbread this weekend, but thats about it. Im not sure what to do now. Im knittng a new project, but its a longterm one, thats not to be finished anytime soon.

To be honest, I'm a bit bored, just waiting. But in my dads (annual) words "this time in two weeks, it'll all be over"

And I'll be bored again.

Monday, 1 December 2008

and a confession

I did manage to spend the best part of £30 in Lush at the weekend. But they're just so lovely, and it smells so nice in the shops, and I got a bit carried away. I had only meant to spend around £15-£20, but somehow, more bath bombs fell into my basket. So really not my fault...

I've finally finished a knitting project on time!!

I was very impressed. And it actually looks pretty good. (you have to agree. I'm presuming that anyone reading this will think it looks lovely too.)

So its all ready for Christmas. Apart from I feel like a bunny killer- to keep it clean and out of the way, I've popped it in a plastic bag. To see its little face still smiling up, as I wrapped the bag around its head...Was terrible!

But I've now had my choccy from my advent calendar. (It was a Santa hat, and a perfect pre-breakfast treat.) My mp3 player has been fully loaded with Christmas music, and I've started the shopping. And it was horrible. Oxford Street on a Sunday was possibly the most stupid idea I've had for ages! And I'm off there again with my mum this Friday- at least most people will be at work. It'll be empty. And if I repeat that often enough, it might just be true!

This week is the office Christmas meal. We're off to a japanese restaurant, which should be ok. Not overly traditional, but I don't mind that. Just the people from the office, who i see everyday anyway. But next week its meant to be the whole company thing. And I'm scared. Luckily I may have a final pre-Christmas knitting group that night, and even if there isn't, I'm telling my boss there is, and I'm committed to it.

Don't get me wrong- I'm not against Christmas parties (although the heavy drinking of others is kinda dull) But I'm really nervous in large groups of people. At gigs I was always the one stood at the back holding coats as a barrier. On the tube, I'm happier near the side, so I can be facing a wall, and I'm not good at all when its a group of people that all seem to know each other, apart from me. I've always spent a lot of time in kitchens or at the sidelines at parties.

I'm also meant to be going ice skating from work next week too, and again, don't know if I can do it. Embarrassing acts in public are mortifying to me. Might have to make excuses for that one too...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

I am at one with nature.

No really, I am. Even though I live in Leytonstone! (We have a bit of Epping forest, and Wanstead flats. Therefore, practically rural. But with convenient travel links!) But this natural power to bond with animals has seeped into my garden.

In this picture, you will notice not only a squirrel hiding behind the tree, but also a robin. Ive ringed them in orange, if it wasn't obvious.

AND it was snowing when i took the picture this morning. But I'm still not allowed to hum Christmas songs at work until it's December, or a girl I work with has threatened to beat me about the head with a stapler. She'd do it, too! But she doesn't know I've still got Phil Spectors A Christmas Gift for You (the true sound of Christmas) in my head!

I haven't done the knitting I was meant to this weekend. I've got the arms left of Isla's bunny to do, then sew it all together. But I did spend a large proportion of the day, trying new hairstyles. I'm not very good at them yet, but have discovered that Victory Rolls look really rather good on me. Even with the cats eye glasses I wear. I know, I'm mixing my decades, but I think the whole thing sort of works ok in a rockabilly style. Just need those foam/net things to put in, to keep the shape of the roll. IU was trying wadding, which although it works, is white, and my hair is red/brown. They show. But with a bit of luck, and practice, I may look as wonderful as this.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Tis the season...

It is officially the Christmas season. I have made the cake- now carefully double wrapped in greaseproof and foil, and sat in a Roses tin in a cupboard. And I have my advent calendar! Thorntons, as it is every year, with my name iced on the bit on the bottom for Christmas day. It says its another 50p online- I almost had ti think again as to where to buy it! But luckily, it turns out that it's still free in the shops. Phew.

I have purchased my Christmas ringtone (Mariah Carey covering Darlene Love's Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)).

But it also means, I've received a letter today, from my main charity of choice, the samaritans.

I try to donate to them as often as possible, but especially at Christmas. I realise I'm pretty lucky in my life. I may get upset, I may be far more single than I'd like, I may not have too many friends, and not be in my desired job, but I still consider myself very lucky. I'm going to my parents for a few days at Christmas, with my family visiting, and my sisters on the main day. But I know theres a lot of people who don't have that support network, if they feel bad, and this is one of the worst times of the year.

I've called the Samaritans before, and used their email service too. they've been a great help to me, and I feel I owe them- possibly my life. I'm better at dealing with my problems now, and have my family to help me, but many others don't, and are really going to struggle to stop themselves being depressed or lonely this time of year, or even not making it to the next. New Years Eve is still pretty lonely and bad for me. (I don't celebrate it anymore. It's just easier that way.)

I thought I'd post this now, rather than wait a while, as I know myself how hard finances and time management can be at Christmas (and thanksgiving as well, I suppose, for any Americans reading!), so this is still at a point where you may be able to think about this sort of thing. I don't mean for this to be any kind of harassment- everyone is free to have their own views, and feelings about this sort of thing. But I wanted to mention this, as even if it makes people maybe consider a friend or neighbour they know who may be on their own, and give them a card, or a mince pie, if nothing else. Maybe that will help them through to 2009. One little act, or cup of tea and a chat, can make the world of difference.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

my peanut has legs....

No really- the head and body of the bunny, looks like a peanut. I've completed the knitting part of the legs (not sewn up yet) so now it's a peanut, and a pair of legs. It looks a little odd at the moment, I know, but it does work. I've tried it with pins, and everything!

Just arms, ears and tail to go now. I'm doing the tail last, as it's a pom-pom, and can be as small or large as the yarn I have left allows.

My hair has also been redyed, and is now back to its proper colour. Woodstain. Means my head is soo itchy now, from the chemicals!!

The Christmas cake has now cooled, and has been wrapped up until the start of December, when it will be marzipanned. Its a word. I just added it to my computer's spellcheck, and everything! I also added 'spellcheck'...

I also made a gingerbread again, and mixed the wet ingredients into the dry a bit at a time- and stopped it having flour lumps!! I also added loads more ginger. About twice as much as the recipe suggests. It may not be to everyones taste, but in my opinion, it's lovely now.

Odi et amo

I have had some emotional trauma this week (hence the title. Latin GCSE, anyone? I actually really like Catullus poetry.) I have mentioned before my love of Nigella Lawson, and therefore bought her Christmas book, as soon as it came out. And then this Thursday, I was crestfallen.

I go to a knitting group, when I can, who meet in the basement cafe of Waterstones in Piccadilly. So I wander up there last Thursday, having tried to adjust my karma by being a good person in the Japan Centre next door (paid with a ten pound note, girl at till thought it was a twenty, and gave too much change, I handed it right back to her.) Then off to look around Waterstones, before tea and knitting. Then I saw the sign outside...

Nigella was signing copies of her Christmas book, whilst sat on a sleigh in the front of the bookshop. I was torn, and had to call my Dad for advice! He's training for the CAB so should be good on trauma. Could I justify buying a second copy, but get the chance to meet her, and get my book signed? I paid £15 online, and it would have been another £25. That's a lot for a cookbook, even if it is signed. He convinced me that it would have been too much. So I loitered for a while, and went and bought myself a nice cake to go with my tea, to make myself feel better. Hate sensible practical advice. But love the book still!

Continuing from my love of the aforementioned book, and Christmas in general, I have made the cake today!!
It's in the oven at the moment, and will be for a total of two and three quater hours. I have cut corners before with baking, and know my own tastes (butter is sometimes too rich, lining a tin can be skipped if you grease and flour it) but for this, THE christmas cake, it was all by the book. Pre-soaked fruit (in 30cl of Jack Daniels!) double lined tin, with a brown paper wrapping on the outside, and all mixed well by hand. I've got the marzipan and icing to pop on it later in the month, and now just need to work out what sort of design I'll do. I'm thinking a plain white, with some stars stuck on. Has anyone tried the edible gold stuff you can paint/dust on, or edible glitter? I like the look, but don't want to ruin the cake!

We are in the run up to Christmas in my family. The lists have to be submitted for review by this Friday. Each year, my mum sends out lists, just to immediate family really, that have to be completed and returned by a certain date in November. It may seem to take some of the fun out, but since she started, we've not had that moment of "what the $*%& do I buy her?!!" or "That's um...unusual-where did you get it from? So you have the receipt still...?" We all list what we want. My mum splits the items into who's buying for who, what's not allowed. (no kittens or time machines are allowed, apparently. They got special mention as being unavailable the second year of the lists.) Then me and her go out one day in early December and go into town, and buy stuff. A lot of stuff. It means we don't get the surprise on the day so much, but everyone else does, as although they don't know what from their list will be bought, they know they'll like all they get.

Now off to dye my hair, do some more knitting for Isla, and prep some ingredients to make gingerbread this afternoon. Its a really good recipe, I highly recommend it. But I am adding more ginger this time.

May post later, once the cake is cooked!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

yay for karma!

Today, I went to visit my nan, with my mum (her mum). We think she's addicted to bingo. Says she can stop anytime- just chooses not to! But she's 90- 91 this December, and on her own now, so who cares, as long as she enjoys herself, and it gets her out of the house.

So she told us that when she last went to the bingo, in the week, she won £500! Now this would normally be great news- especially as winter fuel bills, and the cost of Christmas is on its way, it'll make sure she has no worries about money (she's fine for money generally, but hey- it all helps, right?)

This is particularly great news though, as the same thing happened in the summer. She won £500 one week, and popped it in the safe in her house. Thought it was a once in a lifetime sort of win- it's normally only the odd ten or twenty pounds she might win. And then some bloke came and stole it when she was outside cutting the grass. He saw that there was an old lady on her own, and sneaked into her house, and stole her money. Fortunately, he got caught. Turns out he'd done this a few other times, and had assaulted one of his victims, so is now doing a few years inside.

But obviously at the time, my nan didn't get her money back. She saw it as a bad thing, but at least it was won money, and not all her savings, or something, so it could have been worse. She's quite good at seeing the best in things like that, my nan.

So I'm seeing it as karma. She's a fantastic lady, and makes the best chocolate cake in the world, and deserves only good things in her life. And now she's £500 better off again! And isn't telling anyone at all where she's hidden it!

Yay karma!

Friday, 7 November 2008

End of an Era

A certain part of my life has had to come to an end. I have realised that I'm 28, not 20 anymore. I cannot wear the same clothes I wore then- both through weight and age! So I have decided to sell one of my favourite tops I wore during my punk/metal years. My lovely purple Cyberdog top.

Ok so I haven't actually worn it for a few years. and maybe should have got rid of it a while ago, but its hard to get rid of your past like that sometimes. At least if I sell it (loving Ebay at the moment!) I get to know someone else can get to enjoy it. And I get a bit of extra cash before Christmas, of course!

Not using this as an extra sales pitch, or anything! Just marking the passing of a great top, that gave me better cleavage than almost any other top I've found!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

I hate month end at work.

I have spent the past week and a half working 9-6.30, trying to get all our work completed before the powers that be in head office turn our system off for 2 days. This happens each month, but apparently, you never get used to it!

So not been the most productive time for crafting.

However, my mum did get her copy of Knitted Toys, and photocopied the bunny pattern I need!

So I have been steadily getting a few rows at a time done, being very careful about making my increases right, and my decreases balance, and have finally got to something worth blogging about.

I've got the body done, and the bottom part of the head, so have just go the top part of the head (decreasing again- the easy part!) and I'm done with the main part. I am having a bit of trouble with the increases though. Little gaps under each one, that sort of notice when there's a few. It looks a bit like the bunny's had throat cancer, and has a hole in its neck! I'll just stitch them together inside, with a bit of similar coloured thread!

Then only legs, arms, ears and a pom-pom for the tail to go...

I'm doing the contrast colour for the feet and ears in a nice fluffy looking pink. Then a neutral colour ribbon for the neck. I had a bunny when I was little, and I like that my mum and dad didn't try to allocate a gender to it for me. He later became Bobby, but that was my choice. Worryingly, this was in the early eighties, so theres a chance I subconsciously named him after Bobby Ewing from Dallas! Lets hope Isla has more sense and taste than me!

Thats not the only Christmas prep I've been doing though. I've bought my red white and brown felt for decorations, a pack of red feathers, and half the ingredients for the Christmas cake!

I've also made a lovely gingerbread from my lovely Nigella Christmas book.

I don't know why the last bits of flour wouldn't mix in, but I decided it really wasn't going to make that much difference, and popped it in the oven anyway. There's now a bit of an odd crust on the top (little bubbles of flour in the top!) But it tastes great anyway. Maybe a bit more ginger next time though. We do have a taste for it in my family. Think I might go and have a slice with a cup of tea...

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

not really well, not really ill.

Been age since I last posted anything, I know- just been ill, and miserable and sulking.

Had a cold type thing been going on for ages, so always feeling a bit under the weather, but not fully poorly- wish it could just be a couple of days of being really rough, and then done with!

So Ive not felt like doing anything craft based. Did a bit of cooking, to try and make myself feel better. Couple of Victoria sponges, and a lovely blueberry clafoutis, adapted from the Nigella Express book did the trick. But now don't want to finish my skirts, until I've lost a few pounds!

Got all my wool waiting, but just waiting to get a copy of Zoe Mellor Knitted Toys, for the bunny pattern. I've ordered it from my library, and got my mum to order it from hers, just now got to wait it out!

With a bit of luck, I'll get it by the end of the month, as I'm going to have a whole lot of time to knit on the 1st/2nd November- off to Plymouth to see my lovely friend Claire, who gets to do sewing for a living. Its about three and a half hours on the train. Each way. I'm going to have to take something to do on the way, or I'll go mad!

I did get my copy of Sew Hip magazine the other day! It is very good. Don't know if I can afford a subscription, but will definitely have to buy it again.

In between my feeling a bit rough, I did manage to go on a date with a bloke called Josh. Seemed to go rather well, so fingers crossed there may be another one...

Still no word from the Hackney job. Just hope it's that they're taking their time, not that its a 'no'

I'm going to make an effort to actually make something this week/weekend. Whether it be a pincushion, or just a bit of my denim patchwork (pinned together, need to quilt it now) I will do something!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

I'm feeling rather proud of myself today. Application posted, and winging its way to Hackeny, as I type. Christmas book has arrived, and is all I hoped it would be, and prettier! You can't beat a Nigella Lawson book for pics of food. Hair finally cut, after too many months. Now has a proper shape again.

I have bought the lining for my green skirts I'm making, so they may even get started this weekend!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Am I too soon?

As my birthday is done, it's now officially downhill till Christmas, with a Halloween detour!

I know, shouldn't mention things like that so soon, but I've got Nigellas Christmas book on its way to me, and have got to start planning anything I'm making for December. It takes me a while! I'm ready for Halloween, anyway. All I needed was new biscuit cutters, and I got them from the wonder that is Matalan the other week. I know its not the best place in the world, but its on my way home from Leytonstone tube station, and its open till about 9pm.

Back to Christmas plans. I need a knittng pattern for a bunny. My sisters' blokes' daughter, Isla, (do those apostrophes look right?) likes rabbits. She also likes In the Night Garden, but I'm not going to try one of those characters. They look really tricky anyway, and I can't see her being impressed if its even a bit out. I want to make a rabbit as beautiful and soft looking as Little Cotton Rabbits' but don't think mine would turn out as well- just not really experienced enough. And she doesn't sell the pattern, but sells them fully made on her Etsy shop instead. Who can blame her?

So if anyone does know of a good pattern, please let me know! Or a bear so I can just extend his ears! Ravelry, my usual source, has left a little to be desired. I'm able to buy a single pattern, but can't really afford a whole book. Unless its available in my library, or something. I was considering creating my own. Surely it's just a case of egg shapes stuck together? but that may take me a while to figure out.

Im also considering a wreath. Might try knocking up a few holly leaves, and sewing them over each other till they're a circle.

I'm also on the hunt for a new job. I'm meant to be filling in an application form tonight, but I'm here instead. It actually looks like a good job, with a future, rather than my fun finance assistant one, that is heavy on the assistant part, less so on the finance side. Unless the photocopying of finance stuff counts?

So I'm applying to be a trainee accountant for Hackney Council. It's got a whole career path with training and stuff, and would be perfect for me. It's the job that I thought I was going into this time!

I really do want the job, but it's just so hard to do the written bit first! They should know I'm right for it, without making me explain why and how in detail!! So I'm off to at least look through the form. Wish me luck...

Monday, 22 September 2008

back sooner than expected

Just had the shock of my life. Shaking as I write this.

Back story: I met a guy on the dating website I use just over a year ago. He seemed lovely. He was honest and open about bad bits of his life as well as good. Saw him for a couple of months, then he vanished. then reappeared, very apologetic, and then vanished again.

Couple of months later, about new year, I discovered it was all fake. I'd looked up this charity walk he was going to do, and it turned out it never was. He never was. At least, never was who he said he was. He was, at the time I read the news article, being investigated by the MOD for impersonating an officer, or some rank, and investigated by the police for possible bigamy. The break up he told me he'd had a couple of months before we met had apparently happened after the wedding. His father is quoted as calling him a serial fantasist.

About 6 months ago he showed up back on the site. I reported this, and he was removed.

Now, I've just had a look at who's looked at me, and he was back there.

I've now reported him again, and also sent him a message telling him I found out the truth.

But why has this got me shaking with anger again? It's not fair that he can still get to me this much. It all just makes me wary of anyone I meet, from the site or not. Even making friends, I don't trust as easily as I used to.

Just need to try and regain some faith in people again, and remeber they're not all like him. People are generally good, aren't they?!

p.s. I know theres a part of you wanting a little more info about him. My mum was straight onto google when I told her at the time! Try "The Walter Mitty of Prague", and you'll find him. Sorry if I've underestimated the moral strength and fibre of any of you! ;)


Well, it took me a bit longer than a fortnight to get back on track.

I've been away from here a while, trying to sort out what I'm doing with my life.

The holiday was good and bad. It was good to be away from work, and the rain I'm presuming drenched London in my absence- no really, this was the view from my window!

I learnt that Wheel of Fortune is just as good in french, especially when you're sat next to your mum with a dictionary on her lap.

But as it was a little village in the middle of nowhere, it gave me too much thinking time. That's really not good for me.

I also get a bit miserable around birthdays (only my own, I'm very good at other peoples!) and therefore September is never great for me. but that was last Friday. Safely out of the way now, and I get to be 24 for another year.

However. I've realised that I need an aim in my life again. With that in mind, I've also realised I made a mistake in my job move. Not that I would have stayed at my old one, but shouldn't have taken the one I'm at. Following lengthy discussions with my dad (he's very good at them. We've had many) I think I'm going to stay in finance, and try and get a future in it. Which means a job move to somewhere that can offer me that. With a bit of luck, Hackney Council. I believe I may be the first person to have ever used that phrase! Apologies to those unaware of the view of Hackney by the rest of London. It's never been the popular borough, but it's the one next to me, so I'll go there!

There's a few trainee accountancy positions there, promoting the whole training part. So now I just need to convince them I'm the girl they want!

Aside from my work based stuff, I've still not done too much craft wise. Took my knitting on holiday, but to be honest only did a little bit. But I've bought some lovely fabric to make skirts with. One is a nice olive green needlecord, and the other an Amy Butler print from John Lewis, also in green. The pic below doesnt really do it justice, but you can see the pattern. And tonight on my way back from work, I accosted a bloke working in the window of Next (the one next to Chancery Lane tube- very helpful staff!) and have made him put the last green cardi from the window aside for me till the morning. Anyone spot a colour theme? It's because my mum's trying to wean me off black. I bought a purple dress too. She's very proud.

I've also topped up my knitting projects. Theres a blanket to start- had a row/discussion about a pattern with the woman in my wool shop, as she couldnt see how it would work. And I've got my fluffy wool to make my sister's boyfriends daughter a buinny for christmas. I have no bunny pattern, but a bear one instead. I'm just doing longer ears, and a pom-pom.

I did happen to find a great website from CRAFT magazine, particularly handy if travelling somewhere new. It's Knitmap and you just put in your location, and it finds you shops to go to! It's international as well.

I must also mention that following a "delivery issue" with Royal Mail (Of course I was out at 11am on a weekday- I work!) I have received my robot from Flurogoddess. It's a lovely squishy robot called Roxy, and she's ever so sweet. I would show a pic, but I have no idea where my camera is. There should be pics up of them all at the flickr page though...

Think that me done for today. Hopefully won't be so long til my next post, and I may even have finished something! Now off to watch my recorded new best TV show. How have I been unaware of Gilmore Girls for 8 years? Its everything I look for in a drama! Not the best TV perhaps, but the kind that makes you feel all warm inside. Can i also mention I have had 14 piercings and multicoloured hair at the height of my punk-metal past. Just to remind myself I was tough and strong once, and not always this soft!!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008


I have spent the whole bank holiday weekend thinking of doing some sewing, or knitting, or something craft based. But have done nothing. Zip. Nada. Not even baked. I kept meaning to, but somehow never got around to it.

But with a bit of luck, I'll be able to get back on track in a fortnight, when I will be on my holidays*!

Just needed to add that bit. Holidays. In a fortnight. Yay!

*France for a week with parents, my sister and her fella.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Honesty is the best policy.

I've been away from here a while. I'm trying to keep writing here regularly, to use this partly to have somewhere to talk about my craft stuff (nobody else will listen!) but partly for the cathartic benefits.Unfortunately, I've been having a bit of a bad time, recently. Nothing serious, no injury, or major trauma, just not often up to much more than work, sleep, and switching off in front of the TV.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 15. Since then, I've seen a variety of counsellors, psychiatrists, had some bad times, had some ok ones. I've been on antidepressants for about 12 years (about the time I started smoking, actually. Any port in a storm, I suppose) and am now settled into a prozac enhanced world. I've had some rough bits early on, but got through them, and been able to move on, going to college, getting a job, and most recently, living on my own.

But all this means that I'm not always on top form. And it also means, I spend a lot of time, thinking about when is a good time to mention it. This is a common problem. Finding people to trust as friends is hard. Many haven't stuck around when they find out. I suppose they think I'll turn psycopath, when in reality, it all just means I can be a miserable bint at times. It also means I can struggle to keep a fella. It's hard enough in London when you don't drink that much, and don't listen to dance music, let alone putting an issue like "when do I mention the pills?" part into the mix!

That's why I ended up on the dating website (btw- latest update, is a not bad date last friday, second one this week, to go to the pictures. )

I apologise- I'm now rambling. But I wanted to be honest, and give a reason why I may be irregular with posts, some may be up, some down, some a little peculiar!

Anyway. Back to the craft stuff. My denim quilt has been delayed in completion, due to the suprising unavailabiltiy of fleece, in August. I'm going for fleece rather than wadding for the middle, as I want it warm, but as thin and light as possible. The denim is heavy enough, without the added weight of conventional middle bits (what is the proper technical term? I always just use top, middle and bottom. Am I just ignorant?) But I have found some. In the form of dog blankets. They're brand new, so all clean, and sewn together will be just the right size. Just feels a bit strange to be using them, than proper fabric-shop fabric.

I have also aquired some new yarn from ebay. It's Sidar denim stuff, and I'm going to make a patchwork blanket out of it. I found the pattern on Ravelry- its Berrocco's Mu Shu. It's got a lovely marl to the yarn which I think will look nice. I like the idea of reducing in the middle, bringing the two sides in to meet. But then I have a thing about triangles.

Thanks for reading, if you got this far. I know this is a bit of a strange entry. But it feels a lot better, to be open about it all. Now just got to try and get on an upward keel. If you can (grammatically) have that? You get the gist, I'm sure!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

I'd like to make a public apology to my sewing machine..

It took a whole load of Sunday, and a few hours yesterday, but i have finished the top of my denim quilt!

This picture had to be taken in the hall outside my flat- I don't have a space big enough to lay it flat, unless its over my bed. It weighs a lot- almost killed my little sewing machine.

I went straight for the leather needles, rather than risk any ordinary ones. I ended up sewing through around 5 layers of denim at some points.

I've also bent 10 pins out of shape, just trying to keep the pieces together.

I'm afraid I must also make a bit of a confession. I know the rules of quilting and patchwork. know when to pin, tack, iron, and the importance of all of these, and the need for accuracy in the lines you sew, but trust me- these all have to go out of the window when you're faced with a rivet that's sat right in the way.
Some of the seams would sew fine, but when I tried to iron them flat, the fabric was having none of it.

Took forever to get it all in the right place. I ended up having to label it all, and map out where each piece went.

The next step, is to get the back onto it. Im not using wadding, as I think it would make it too thick, really. Going to use fleece instead, as it will still give it warmth and a bit of softness, but not too much more weight.

The backing is a lovely bright pink tartan, and a yellow satin bias binding for the edge. So I need to plan how to quilt it. Obviously anything too twiddley or delicate is out. The pattern recommends a few running stitch wavy lines across it, in a bright colour to match the backing. But I don't know if that might look odd against the geometric denim. Im thinking maybe just some french knots at the corners of the squares, or something. Any ideas are most welcome!!

Just one more day at work, til my lieu day! Off to see my retired dad on Thursday, and go out for the day. My parents live in Herts, so my mum had suggested a museum, or something in London. But I'm thinking Cambridge. Not really so good going for a day out in London when I'm there everyday for work! Need something middle ground, to appease us both. Not too country, not too city.

I've now got my swap partner for the robot swap! I was wondering where I'd end up sending my creation(s)and it turns out its a bit more local this time, and is flurogoddess. Only a bit outside London! Now got to think of what to do...

***writing this watching The Culture Show (Love you auntie LaLa!) I must see the new Hellboy film! Just saw their review, and a clip. ***

Right. Off to check my emails from my dating website. I promise I am being very careful, and sensible. Both for personal safety and also emotional. But I am having some lovely chats with some nice sounding boys...!

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

I'm melting...

London is too hot.
There are too many people on my tube, and I believe they're in my seat.

But I have received my cupcake swap stuff, and its fantastic! Many thanks to QuiltyGal for all the wonderful things! Unfortunately, I can show no pics, as my camera is having a strop, and wont accept its batteries are new.

Its started me off on a whole world of swaps now, I think. I'm signed up for Swapety-Swap-Beep, at Claire's Crafty Blog, so am going to have to delve into the world of mixing techie-roboty-stuff, with squishiness and fabric and knitting and that.

My mum has pointed me in the direction of a great site for a quick knit, that does some good in the world too. Save the Children have set up a scheme to knit little hats for new-borns in developing countries. Just a little hat can save a life of a baby, keeping it from catching things like pneumonia. Please knit up a hat, and send it off. Please encourage your friends and family to do the same. It's got instructions for non-knitters, or first-timers, and also has instructions in Welsh!

I've spent many hours last weekend, cutting up jeans for my denim quilt. I couldn't feel my hand by the end of it, and have managed to blunt my cutting wheel, but i have now got all my pieces cut out and bundled into their little set, ready to sew. Just got to build up the courage now! And get a good supply of needles for my little machine in. Think it may be time to give it a good oil and clean, get it ready for this before I pass yards of multi-layered denim under its foot. Im thinking of going straight to leather needles, rather than breaking anything weaker or blunter first. Just seems it will save time and hassle of changing them later!

Oh, and Ive added a new site to my list of favourites, mainly through loyalty. I used to work at Fabricland in Bournemouth, so felt I should mention them. The site's a bit random (maintained by a really lovely woman though!) but the do mail oreder, and have really good prices! Honest- I don't work for them anymore!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Tea, cake, love and knitting.

I have finished and posted my tea and cupcake! Cant post a pic or anything for obvious reasons, but its all done, and sent on its way. Not entirely sure I truste the girl in the post office, about the customs restrictions, as she was a little preoccupied with talking to her mate, but I'm sure New Zealand won't mind me senidng the odd teabag! I also made sure I put 'fabric items' on the customs label- thought describing exactly what the parcel contained would lead to more questions!

I'm attempting to end my singleness, and have been into the whole internet dating thing for a while now. I just think, if I'm able to use the internet for knitting, sewing, and stuff like that, why not my lovelife too? So I'm on the site from the guardian. Might find the love of my life, might just get a few nights out from it. I did go on a date with a nice bloke from south London on Tuesday. Seemed quite interested in meeting again, and texted me(sure its a valid word, now) to say he'd email. I'm still waiting for that email...

Not really done much else this week, craftwise or otherwise. but I'm going to make a definite effort to get my cardi well on its way! no pics yet, as its really only a bit of ribbing at the moment. I'm using a pattern from Ravelry, basic black, for my John Lewis bargain, Rowan Cashcotton. Suprisingly it took forever to find a plainish pattern for a cardigan. Everything seems to have some twiddley bit, or cable, be down to the knees or up to the armpits! Now, its not that these werent nice patterns, but I really needed to have something I knew would have a chance at being finished. Anything twirly, and it was going to be passed over at the first chance, for something I can do on the tube!

Now I've got the cake stuff done, I've also no excuse not to get on with my denim quilt, and on that note, I'm off to draw some plans for what squares I need to cut the jeans into.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

My first harvest!

It may only be one, and it may be a bit plain, but I have harvested my very first courgette. It's just under 6" (ruler to prove it!) and from the look of the plants, may be the first of many. I shan't be putting up pics of all that I'm growing, that would be a little odd. But I am ever so proud of myself!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Bad John Lewis...

..Naughty John Lewis!

I only went in to have a wander, and they have to go and have a sale.

2 balls of sidar denim tweed in a bright pink, and 8 of Rowan Cashcotton in black. All about half price, so I was saving really, just need to add it to the rest of the stash, and try to find some nice patterns to use it on!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Tiredness and Teacakes

It's been a while since I last wrote anything here, as I've now started my new job, and get home each evening shattered! Always feel I'm running late as well, as its 10 to 6- quite different from my last job, where I was always out of the door by 4.30, and home in time for Neighbours! Just learning a whole new lot of systems, codes, that sort of thing. Sure I'll get used to it, just so much to take in the first week.

I've finally made a decision about the tea and cupcake swap, and started work this week. Obviously can't say any more, as that would ruin the suprise. But on a cakey theme, I've just discovered my sister has returned from a weekend in Glasgow, with Tunnocks teacakes and caramel wafers, with plain chocolate! I've only heard of their wonder, and while I enjoy the milk variety, the idea of a dark chocolate shell, cracking to reveal the fluffy white marshmallow, is far too exciting, and I can hardly wait until I can collect them this weekend! I should mention, my new job is finance assistant at St Martins Art School, not for Tunnocks marketing department. Although I'd swap in a heartbeat if they'd have me!

My cake-based-crafting that does mean I've had to put the denim quilt on hold for a little while, as there's no deadline on that one. It does mean I may be able to get a couple more pairs, as I had an offer from a friend last week. It does seem to have inspired people, the whole recycling aspect of it. There I was thinking it would cost a fortune getting all the fabric. But I have resolved that although I may not sew it yet, I will start the cutting process this week.
Having got my beautiful new sandals last week, I'm yet to wear them! Just waiting for a day I can be assured it wont rain. Not looking too hopeful, as this seems to be turning into a tradition English summer. My mum had hailstones where she is today.

But it is doing my little garden the power of good!

I now have TWO little courgettes! Theres beans, french and runner growing nicely, and my strawberries have had a new lease of life the past few days.

I assure you, this picture does show the most perfect little french bean flower. It's just they're quite small, and not easy to get to in their little wigwam! But they're such a lovely shade of lilac, and so delicate. The sweet pea pyramid is blooming well, and smells beautiful, but is covered in greenfly! I need ladybirds, fast.

With a bit of luck, this week will be a little sunnier, and I can get out and enjoy my little bit of green in East London. With milk chocolate teacakes, to tide me over!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Just a quick post.... mention my lovely new shoes!
Dr Martens, so still practical and stompy, but a little bit girly too!
(Only a pic from website- my toes are in no state to be shown yet, as only just revealed for the summer)

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Making my mum happy is Very important.

Taste was fantastic! So many things to see, and so many things to try. My mother is so proud of me, the samples and vouchers for 30p off I collected. And to top it off, I found someone's dropped crowns (the odd taste currency you have to use) on the floor. Only a couple of pounds worth, but when there's a man selling lovely Dorset ice-cream in front of you, thats all it takes! And it meant I technically stayed in my budget.

Didn't really manage to do anything when i got home, apart from have a lie-down in a darkened room, and try and recover a little. But before collapsing on my bed, I was able to lay out all the material I'm using for my next quilting project.

Its a denim quilt, with a tartan backing, that I found on allpeoplequilt and looks great. I've been trying to collect jeans donated from family and friends, buying the odd pair from jumble sales, and have got 7 now- not the number they say I'll need, but enough for a decent start, I think. For some reason, this project has inspired my mum, and she keeps calling me, saying she's found a skirt in a charity shop, and do i want it? Dont know why this one has taken her, but it helps, so I won't object.

I'm pretty impressed by my inspired choice of backing and binding. I decided to highlight the yellow stitching from the jeans, with a satin binding. Then the pink of the tartan caught my eye on the wonderful Walthamstow Market. Could have been a problem, had I not noticed the little yellow thread running through the tartan. Now I can claim I planned it and took my tme, not that I'm just easily led! Yay fate!

Only one and a half more days left at work! So nervous about my new job on Monday. It feels very much like the last day of primary school, carefree and bringing in toys, with the nerves of going to secondary school, only a weekend away not 6 weeks. But without the uniform...

Friday, 20 June 2008

What to do, what to do...

Just got my email, from Rachael Rabbit, telling me who my partners in the cupcake and tea swap are. Now all I have to do is think of what to make...Do I knit, do I sew? Maybe something more solid, like a polymer type thing? Can I get glitter involved?! Too many choices, too much time to decide. Gonna be dreaming of icing now...

Really looking forward to going off to Taste London tomorrow. Just have to keep my spending in check. Luckily, the girls from work are also trying to do the same, so we may be OK. Or we're all doomed. One of the two!

Monday, 16 June 2008

scary-first ever post!

I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to put in this. I've seen so many others, and their lives seem so much more interesting than my own, but thats always the way, I suppose.

With a bit of luck, it will encourage me to finish the craft projects I start! But this is a changeable time for me, so it seems right to start this too. I'm single, with a great new job to go to in 2 weeks, a garden full of plants starting their little lives, so it felt about time to join them! Just got to work out how these blogy-things work...


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