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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A busy bee...sort of!

I firmly believe that my crafts are causing me a discomfort in the neck, almost like a headache, achy shoulders and a weak grip.  That does not mean I will giving up the crafts, no way!!

Tipsy has been behaving herself and kept off my rug.  I finally finished it the other day and after deliberation, it sits in front of my baking books.  It has worked out rather well with the sizing, which was just a fluke but it softens the laminate flooring until I can afford to buy a big rug.  Here is a picture
I had to move Tammies feeding bowl so she did not ruin the rug with her food and she seems ok about it.  When I first got Tammie, I wanted to have her feeding in the kitchen but she just would not do it.  When she eats, she likes to turn her head round to me as if to say Thanks Mum, and then carries on eating.  She does that several times.  When I had Peanut, the mad black cat, he was always fed in the kitchen and Tipsy was fed on one of the steps on the stairs because she felt safe.  Our pets have such funny routines......

The next project that I am crocheting is a Spiderman blanket for a christmas present.  I have made a few of these before and once you get past that first bit, the rest of it is easy to do.  When it is the size I want it to be, I will crochet black chain stitch from the centre out to create a kind of web.  

I was working on it a fair bit but my designing head has sprung into action and so I leave the spiderman blanket on my bedside table and work a couple of rows on it every night.  

My next crochet project is a Winter Wreath by Lucy at Attic24, I decided to crochet all the flowers, leaves and weeny balls first before I crocheted the wreath covering.  I have a link below for you to go to Attic24 project.

It is for an experienced crocheter and I started making the leaves on Monday afternoon and by yesterday (Tuesday) I had it all done except for the Robin and the wreath covering.  Granted my neck is hurting today because of the 6 hours crocheting.    Here are a couple of photos for you to enjoy of my work so far..

The Hellebore Flowers are very addictive and I only followed the pattern once and was able to remember how to do the other two.  I might get a small badge like pin to attach on the back of another one for a brooch...

Bits and Bobs

I am waiting for a start date for a new job which I am excited about (sort of) and I have still been trying to keep busy during the day whilst at home.  I would go absolutely bonkers if I did not have crafts to do.  

I am so glad summer has gone now and welcome Autumn with open arms.  It is getting dark around 7pm now, rather chilly of an evening so I get the blankets out to keep warm.  I refuse to put the heating on until at least nearing end of October.  

Frank and I have not been out anywhere really of a weekend, might do some christmas visits to London once my finances are better.  I just cannot bare the crowds in London, especially Oxford Street.  It is absolutely crazy there.

Anyway, I am going to grab a cuppa, a bag of crisps and potter around a bit.  I have spent a lot of my time watching podcasts and have even re-watched a few too because they brighten the day plus there is absolutely nothing worth watching on tv.  Well, apart from Bake Off which is on tonight...wooohooo!!

Have a good week and thank you to everyone who reads my posts...

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The culprit....

Do not be deceived by this innocent cosy and sleepy cat.  Look what she did below...

I am knitting myself a small rug for my front room and is made of expensive Rowan Country Yarn. I had put it down to answer the house phone and before I knew it, Tipsy started scuffing it trying to make a bed and I raised my voice to her telling her off.  She has made a fibre stick up and it wont go back.  

I had to get my quilt that I made and threw it on the sofa for her and she immediately curled up with no apology or anything!  You wait Tipsy.......

After five and a half weeks of not working and worrying about when the next penny is coming into the house I have taken a job of an Activities Co-Ordinator and it is only 30 hours per week.  It is not what I really wanted to go back to, in fact I wanted to come out of care altogether but I am just not getting anywhere with my applications for office work.  It is so hard now to get what you want and a decent wage to go with it plus the annoying thing is everytime you go on the gov website to browse for jobs it is all agencies advertising.  I have lost count of how many agencies I have signed up to and even worse than that, do you think you actually hear anything from the.  NOPE!!

I am hoping I can kick myself up the bum and get on with designing so that I could make up the shortfall of income but at the moment, I dont know when that will happen. In fact, I am just going to stick with what comes along and be thank full.  

Anyway, enough of that and back to my weekend of baking and foraging.  I baked another cake for Frank and on Sunday we went to Danson Park and went looking for some acorns from the really old tree.  Here is a photo to remind you and there is Danson House in the background.  

As you can see there is a fence around the tree to protect its roots and branches.  It is over 200 years old.  There were no acorns around to be seen and its either the squirrels or the local schools that have collected them so I thought it would not hurt if I climbed over the fence and gently went searching for just one acorn.  Here is a photo of me foraging..

I actually found 1, just one acorn and Frank and I are going to plant it to see if it will take.  

Well that is all I have for the moment, not much really and I am sure you dont want to see photos of me cleaning the house to keep busy.   

I have been watching podcasts in the afternoon and I actually shouted at the laptop the other day whilst watching The Bakery Bears Podcast.  A husband and wife knitting team who started a quiz where they have to answer questions about knitting and poor Dan got his question wrong so I froze the picture, took a photo and posted it on my Instagram and tagging Kay and Dan.  Here is the photo....

If you like watching podcasts about knitting, sewing, books and star wars/lego then take a look because it is well worth it.  They also do a section called Favourite Places to Knit and much more.  Here is the link for their podcast

Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Not London today but baking...

Here is what I made today and it's called Victoria Sponge,  a traditional receipe by Mary Berry who is a British icon of cooking. and type in Victoria sandwich and it will show you the receipe as well as the method.  Here is my method exactly as Mary says.....

This is what you need in the bowl all at once
Then mix it all together with an electric mixer until it's all mixed... Don't over mix it.  Here is what it looks like.. 

Just simply put half of mixture into two greased tins and weigh them both to make sure that they are as even as possible.  

Put in oven for about 25 minutes and then voila.... 
Once cooled put your filling onto one which traditionally is a jam but I put some butter cream in and then lightly dust with icing sugar. 

I hope you enjoy making it and hope they you use the BBC website for more receipes.

On the crafting side of things here is my latest finished project and I will talk more about it later.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Convent Garden, The Strand and

Burger King at Charing Cross.

On Thursday we bought a travel card for the trains and buses and we started by getting to Convent Garden in London.  Here is a crazy guy juggling swords whilst having a plaster on his shin.

We didn't stop long because we saw a beautiful display of balloons towering over the seating area,  here is what I mean.

The meaning of the balloons relates to the history of Convent Garden and it's heritage.  If you can read the photo below it explains it and the designer.  

We then had a walk through St James Park and the below photo was taken whilst walking over the foot bridge and you can see the London Eye.

We ended up at Charing Cross Station and was hungry so decided Burger King was our dietary need. 

Oh well,  I'm off to do some more creating and hope you liked the photos

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

And so it begins ....episode 2

I just want to say thank you to the 175 people that took the time to read my last post. It must have been the title of the post so I hope you all like the next stage, so do I !!!

In between the last blogpost I have had two interviews, one of them I really wanted but did not get short listed and the other one I got the job but after doing one shift, I walked out of there in the pouring rain, cold and so depressed that I cried all the way to the bus and then forced myself to a small quiet cry until I got to my front door.  Luckily it was raining so much that my head was down and when I got indoors I did not want to go out ever again.   That is the honest truth and I refuse to write that everything goes to plan and the days are lovely because thats not real life!

After going to bed and talking to my family I decided that I do not want to work in the care of elderly anymore, its supported me for the past 15 years but that is it.  I then made myself get up and spent the rest of the day crafting and crafting.  I could not concentrate on anything other than my mitred blanket and did 10 squares in just a few days.  I spent a long weekend at Franks with his family and did baking and chatting and going for walks.

I have actually spent hours and hours applying for jobs all normally by e-mail and I have had one reply out of over 20 and that reply was to say they would keep hold of my cv.  I have joined agency after agency and no telephone calls, I have rang up all of those companies that I had a business relationship with via ex-employers but to no avail as of yet.  I have however been shortlisted again for something and I am praying that I am successful so am not going to say anything because I just do not want to jinx it.  

Frank and I had this week booked off work as a holiday so we went out for few hours a day and I came home to job search and general housework chores.  Today we went to Southend on Sea and it was a lovely warm day. We did our usual routine of going on the arcade machines, (spent a whole £2 in 2p coins), we went into the cafe we love and then we crossed the road and had a look in Gabes Yarn Shop.  I got chatting with the lady who owns it and I said to her that my local yarn store had closed down after 40 years and it is so hard to get a job in a yarn store and she said that she employs people part time and rarely has a vacancy because the staff have been here for years and are ex-customers.

Maybe I should go to the bank manager and say can you let me open a yarn store, here is my business plan and expect him/her to say of course Susan!

Here is a photo  of their window display and I fell in love with the blanket a long time ago and will one day get it done.

This is the better photo of the colourful blanket.  I have plenty of yarn to make it and will one day.

The next photo below is a sneaky one that Frank took of me whilst having a look at the yarns,  I go off into a place within my mind that just screams that there is not enough hours in the day.

Anyway, we went into the Valerie Pattiserie a bit later and then headed back on the train so I got out my crochet project whilst it was chugging along on the tracks.

Frank stayed on the train to his destination and I got off and headed home to Tammie and my chores.  I did take Tam out for a walk straight away and then when I got home I felt like I was getting really down so I weeded the front garden path and kept busy for a while until I could get ready for bed.

I watched a few podcasts and I have just seen the latest episode of The Great British Bake Off which I was looking forward to because it was about gluten free products.  I am not in need of Gluten Free, I am just interested in the range that is called free from products.

Whilst that was on I have completed stage 1 of my crochet project, here it is and it is a polystyrene ring from Hobbycraft for £2.50 and some baby blue acrylic that was an absolute nightmare sewing it on.  

This is the front of it and you have to sew it so it gathers at the back and keeps the flow of the design even at the front and not distorted.

This photo next door is showing the back and honestly, you must PIN IT with safety pins all the way round so that you can stitch the gathering evenly.

Its still in the thinking process on how I am going to decorate it so I will hope that you can all come back next time and see its progress.

So without much more to say other than I am so glad the summer has almost gone and the autumn colours are going to be showing soon, I shall say goodnight and leave you with a photo of a traditional Southend on Sea photo.

Have a good week everyone!