Monday, 15 September 2008

Monday Stuff

E was a little out of sorts this morning, having been a bit poorly yesterday (while I was out for the day). She picked at her lunch, had a good long sleep and then we went for a walk round the local shops.

I found this cute Puppet Theatre in one of our charity shops. £2.99
At the moment I'm probably more excited about this than she is, because I'm thinking about how fun it's going to be to make the puppets.

I'm sure she'll get into the whole thing when she's a bit bigger.

We popped into the local greengrocer and I let her choose what veg she wanted to eat for her tea, she chose courgette (as always), carrot and a parsnip. hmmm.
While I was there I noticed that the (japanese run) grocers was also selling treats. Look at these cute biscuits I found within a mile of my house! They're really yummy.

I cooked the carrot and parsnip together with a little honey and butter. She ate all her tea, then had a good run about all over the house, getting all her toy animals to 'play piano' on the table. I'd say she's back to normal.

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Sunday, 14 September 2008

Potting Shed, Calke Abbey

Potting Shed, Calke Abbey, originally uploaded by jogafoto.

Yesterday while I was at Calke Abbey, trying to snap shots of the garden I met John, who was taking photos with infinitely more skill than me.
Although I didn't fully understand his explanation of how he was taking this photo, the results are fantastic.
Check out his other Calke Abbey photos at Flickr:

John's website is here:

The NEC Knitting and Stitching Show

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef

It's nice of the NEC to stage the Knitting and Stitching show for me during my birthday week every year, means I can swing a day to myself, pockets jingling with birthday money.
That's where I've been today.

We started with the exhibits and showcases. Some yummy links here:
Caren Garfen
Linda Marie

We took part in Alfreda McHale's "Seeking Pearls", more details here

The large jar is mine, the smaller one is SJ's.
I wonder if Alfreda gets to empty out ALL the jars and re-sort them after each installation? Lucky lucky Alfreda!

At lunchtime I took Ruth MacGregor's "Silk and Spindle" workshop, which was fantastic. Unfortunately, I'm typing this too late to take a snap of my handiwork. My needs work, I'll keep trying!
Ruth's website is here She's a wonderful patient teacher and a sweet person.

Ok, time for some retail therapy. I'd decided I wasn't going to buy any more yarn, but I really did want some wooden sock blockers (an upgrade to my current bent coathanger models).
I bought yarn and no sock blockers:
  • Jawoll Sock Yarn from ArtYarn
  • Some braiding kits from the Braid Society stall created by Shirley Berlin
  • A piece of soluble cross stitch canvas from DMC
and a tub of screen print ink. Not stitching related but something I have a plan for.

I think I was quite restrained. I still have pennies left. mmm. a trip to Lush?

Reading: Under the Skin - Michael Faber

I finished this at 2.30 last night. I really needed to see how on earth he was going to end it.
It begins with a lone female motorist looking for a hitcher on a Scottish road. Not just any hitcher, male and muscular. Nothing else would do.
I can't really say much more about this book, I can't even say what genre it is. The above was as much as I knew when I started reading it, and I think the 'not knowing' was a bit part of the enjoyment of this novel.
Unfortunately, that makes this a bit of a non-review, but you'll just have to get hold of a copy to see what I mean

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Calke Abbey

We had an afternoon out at Calke Abbey today. The gardens were amazing:

and particularly Autumn-harvesty
Check out the gourds!

I loved the potting shed

S and E had already gone back to find the tea shop at this point, so I leant on the sofa and watched the deer...

Friday, 12 September 2008

More thrifted stuff

I've been on a spree this week, another jumble sale and a quick trip out to a charity shop on my lunchbreak.

Here's the charity shop finds:
J&G Meakin Glamour jug. This is the Celeste colour I mentioned in a previous post. I'm collecting the dinner service in this colour, but I do have some small desert bowls and I figured I could use this for cream. In any case it was 50p so I couldn't really pass it up

And this lovely green glass jar. I though I might use it to store some threads.
I filled it with a few I got from one of last week's sales which hadn't yet made it to my crafting space:

Then, the Thursday night jumble sale delivered this. It's a set of 6 Brexton cups, saucers and plates. I'm pretty sure these are from a 1950s or 1960s picnic set. I got them because I have a red Sirram picnic suitcase with an incomplete set of china and these will fit just fine.
The set isn't without it's flaws, the pattern is scuffed in a few places and there are firing mistakes on some, but this is for picnicing outside and I'll feel less worried about them getting damaged if they're not perfect to begin with. Whole set for £1
One from last week,

....Star shaped brooch.

There's probably more to come, there are a few bits scattered about the house waiting to be cleaned

Monday, 8 September 2008


This is another of the things I found at Friday's Jumble. A large piece of fabric. The selvedge reads "A Francis Price Screen Print" and "Athens"
No idea what I'm going to make from this, any ideas?
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Sunday, 7 September 2008

Pinwheel Cardigan

This has been sitting around since forever waiting to be blocked. Pattern here. This morning I popped out for a plug for the 'new' Kenwood and whilst in Wilko's I saw these childrens puzzle playmats - kind of a thick foamy plastic construction - perfect for blocking knits.
This evening I finally managed to get it pinned down. Of course I still have those ends to weave in....
PS. The Kenwood works a treat. Just need to hunt down a balloon whisk now...

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Jumbling - part 2

Today's Jumble Sale pretty much sucked. We've been to this one before and it was terrible then too, so I'm crossing it off the list for next time.
I'd been geared up for some hands-free rummaging (S was around to distract E), and to be let down is a terrible thing, so we headed to a nearby suburb to check the charity shops.
A great find: A cake stand from the J&G Meakin Glamour range, in Rosa (the pink one). I'm collecting Rosa (for a tea service) and Celeste (the blue one, for a dinner service) though I'm far away from anything like a complete set. Finds are rare (and pricey) on eBay so I was delighted to score this. It's been put away with my other Rosa treasures so I haven't got a photo. I'll try to take one in daylight with the other items I have.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Jumbling - part 1

Today E and I went to the first of this weekends jumble sales. A great one, lots of tables. First E found a tray with a big picture of Santa on and a little Christmas snowman, she has a good eye for a two year old and we snap up the cute Christmas stuff regardless of month.
Then on the bric a brac stall we found this:

Kenwood Chef A701. With K beater and dough hook. £3. Over to the toy stall. E could wait no longer. She rummaged through the plastic boxes of bits and pieces under the table (her favourite bit, they're right at her level) and I spotted this on the table:

I've been wanting a vintage tiny tears for her, just like I had. I actually saw one in the window of an Edinburgh charity shop but by the time I got there it had gone. So pleased to find this - £1!! I have plenty of old knitting patterns for tiny tears clothing, so it'll be great to dig those out.

(Sunday night update - dolly has had a bath this evening. Hair washed with baby shampoo and vinyl body cleaned with baby lotion and soap-n-water. She's had her hair brushed and is sitting next to me drying out)

Next up, the book stall.
First I have to confess a weakness for vintage cookery books. Gaudy and/or weird preferably. I rarely use these to actually cook from, more for eye candy. Here's what I scored:
The Penguin Salad Book
A lovely penguin example, they had others, including Cooking in a Bedsitter. I tried to show some restraint and not bring them all home.

The Daily Mail book of Party Time Cookery:
Superb photographs:
And, of my goodness, how could I leave this behind? Cooking with bananas. A Geest publication
Mostly puddings and desserts, but some recipes which appeared to just put bananas on a plate with other stuff and call it a meal. Check out that photo bottom right: chicken, peas, sweetcorn... and bananas

More book finds: Home Making by Julia Cairns
Mostly black and white text and photos, but the colour pages are amazing:
Furniture styles:
Chrysanthemum Room

Advice for the home maker:

The text reads:
"This close up picture of a modern table in light oak emphasises the practical rise of the popular larger place-mat. It is of a size which accommodates all required cutlery and silver, and partly takes the smaller bread-plate too. The Copenhagen dinner set is in soft celadon green, and is quietly decorated with a floral motif in the centre. Modern ladder-back chairs, cane seated, and available with and without arms, are a wise choice for the small dining room of today"
A few finds for E too, including this Colours book by Jan Pienkowski. A little scuffed but delightful

She loves Meg and Mog, and although she already knows her colours now (we're currently getting a running commentary on the properties of everything) this is a lovely find. It's odd because it has no bar code, or publication details. I guess it's based on this but this one isn't 32 pages long.
There are a couple of free online books by Jan Pienkowski on his website. E and I just read Farm before her bath
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Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Reading: James Ellroy - The Cold Six Thousand

I used to read a lot. I kept a notebook listing everything I read and
a rating out of five. It abruptly stops January 2006 - when my
daughter was born. Suddenly not so much time for books.
There's one other entry since then: Truman Capote's In Cold Blood
which took me a RIDICULOUSLY long time to read. And now I'm reading
James Ellroy - The Cold Six Thousand.
I would probably never in a million years have picked this up in a
library or bookshop, but I actually won it in a competition. It sat
around on my shelf for a long time (I find it hard to part with books)
until a couple of weeks ago when I suddenly found myself with the time
and inclination to read again.
A two-year break can cleanse the palette and I found myself quite open
to trying something new bookwise.
I'm actually REALLY enjoying this. I'm halfway through. I love the
fast pace, the slang and the short sharp sentences. It fits perfectly
my current reading abilities: reading in snatched moments, a page here
and there while she drinks her milk in the morning, while I wait for
the vegetables to boil, while my computer boots up at work.
And even though it's a chunk of a book, I'm getting through it much
quicker than my last read (sorry Truman)

I found this Tuesday Teasers at A library
is a hospital for the mind...
and played along. With a little trepidation at what this book might serve up.

The rules:
1. Grab your current read.
2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
3. List the book Title and author.
4. Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

I got:

The Cold Six Thousand James Ellroy (page 242)

"Sonny Tufts. What's the story on him?"
"He bites showgirls on the thighs. The girls get rabies shots when
they hear he's in town."

That's better than it could have been!

Can anyone recommend any other fast-paced reads?