Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

25/10/2020

Spinning a web of threads and yarns

I could hear the rain and the wind before I even opened my eyes. The room was filled with a dim grey early morning light, making me bury myself even deeper beneath the duvet. 

It took a determined small cat and a large mug of tea to make me surface. Pepper who - when let upstairs first thing in the morning, takes it upon herself to ensure every last person, still in bed, is awake. She is so persistent that even the most lazy-lie-in will give in and sit up.

Sipping my tea, watching the world through the window, as the wind thrashed the trees back and forth,  did nothing for my 'get up and go', preferring to stay wrapped up listening to the radio, however, tea drunk and Himself and Pepper ready for breakfast made me drag myself out of the snug warmth of the bed.

Breakfast eaten, washed up and put away - we went grocery shopping - oh I was so glad to be wearing a mask, the wind and rain whipped around and my face felt safe and warm behind the blue batik fabric. Once home the weather really upped it's bad behaviour, so we gave up all outside thoughts and chose to be warm and dry by the fire. We planned quiet things, reading and listening to music, sewing and chatting, resting and unwinding. Not things we often do.
However. It did not take long for me to get 'itchy fingers' so I started my slow-sewing.

 A small hand stitched Ted. Teeny tiny stitches to hold together teeny tiny pieces of fabric. He was stuffed with snippets of cloth and trimmed off waste thread from all my recent mask making.
Although not finished yet - needs eyes and a nose - I am rather pleased with the end result. I even managed to 'joint' his arms and legs so they move, making it easier to sit or pose (will do a 'photoshoot when he is complete).
With trimming off the final thread - I realised that I had generated more little snippets of fabric and ends of threads - so decided to make a little fabric 'tub' to hold all the little pieces that seem to come with sewing. A quick rummage in a pile of left over fabrics revealed a long narrow piece of upholstery material - perfect.

A break to do some baking - we needed something to help brighten the still rather dreary weather....... a batch of fruit scones slathered in butter and grape jelly with a piping hot mug of tea....
Bliss. Strangely (or not) they did not last long and I managed to hide a few in a tin to have later.
The fabric tub - a mix of sewing machining and hand finishing kept me quiet for the afternoon. 
I am looking forward to filling it with all the snipperty bits whilst I am sewing. (there is a proper name for one of these little containers - if you know what it is - please let me know). ****
By this time Himself was ready to eat again (he has hollow legs!) so again a break off from crafting while we went into the kitchen to start supper.
A friend messaged me asking if my Halloween window display was finished .... finished? finished? I have not even started it yet! So I raided my stash and laid it out on the table to see what I could make with what I had.
This year's trick and treating - like everything in 2020 - is different, windows are decorated and children, accompanied by their parents, wander around the village following a map hunting for the pumpkins. Instead of the little mini monsters and princesses knocking on the door for sweets, they are given by the parents when the decorated windows are found.  What I had not realised was the displays are to be up all week to give parents and children space to walk around the village in safety. 
Which means my window had to be up and ready by midday on Sunday - So ...... I crocheted the quickest (and let's be honest) scruffiest spider web. 
Bit of denim and hessian, four pipecleaners and suddenly there was a spider. Two bats out of black paper soon followed, some leaves and fairy lights finished the inside display.
Outside I quickly hung some black bunting and added a small pumpkin - grown by Eldest in the greenhouse before he and his lovely gf moved. Just a simple face and for contrast - black paper inside to make the eyes and mouth show up. Final addition was a salt lamp to give that lovely orangey glow. I was, I have to admit, a bit disappointed in the final result and was in a bit of a grump for a while.
If anything - I felt like he looked - :(

Then after a really good (and tiring) afternoon walk, when we returned, I lit candles, switched on lights and the window display suddenly looked a whole lot better.

So - that was our weekend - it flew by faster than a bat on a mission..... The display has to remain up all week, hopefully little grumpy pumpkin face will last that long.

Hope your weekend was good :) Here is to an equally good Monday xxxxx

***thread catcher - seems there is a whole world of patterns and ideas for them out there - whodathunkit?!

20/10/2020

Simple pleasures

Last weekend was a time for chores at home, the sort of simple jobs I procrastinate over, then once I finally get round to doing - wonder why I took so long to get started ...... 
Time to replace the tired pots of sunflowers, sweetpeas and calendulas which have spent their summer
along the kitchen wall.
I found some very reasonably priced zinc buckets and Himself added drainage holes in their bases.
It didn't take long, and now I have winter colour and planters along the back wall.

They'll soon settle in and fill out while the weather is still 'reasonably' warm.

Mask making - this time with a seasonal twist, I will be posting some of these off as soon as I can.
This must be the easiest and most fool proof pattern yet - this is the one I will be sticking with from now on.
Pattern HERE

Jam making - well, grape jelly really. 

The greenhouse grapes yielded over 2 kilograms of fruits - added to about 500gm red currents...
boiled together with 710gms of pectin enriched sugars....
gave me five full jars and a half-ish one (presently sitting in the fridge) They are now labelled up and ready to eat. A soft rose coloured jelly with a delicious tangy fresh taste - perfect on toast and scones - can't see this lot lasting long :)

 Simple jobs that once done bring pleasure - there are more that needs doing but - pah - not just yet!


Are you a procrastinator? Do you have jobs waiting to be done? Go on, tell me, reassure me I am not the only one (I am procrastinating now - should be showering and getting ready for a morning stint of volunteering at the community store - but ... phfff, still sitting chatting to you!)

Have a lovely Tuesday xxxxxx

16/10/2020

Life in colour

The colours of autumn are so different to any other season - the light casts a benign glow while foliage softens, sweetens and changes.

The heady blues of summer mellow to gentle clear sapphires and pinks. Clouds wrap horizons shawl-like and the air has a taste of distant memories of toffees and salt.



A grey sky to me is like wearing a lead weight, yet other greys abound with such delight - the muted camouflaging greys of a silent river sentry, 


the swirling eddies of deep grey water as it moves with meaning and purpose through a narrow gorge, 
The unnoticed 'invisible' grey supporting flashes of brilliant colour..... a wonderfully stumpy and broad slab of rainbow luminance...
The unobtrusive grey of a boardwalk covered in a confetti of leaves.

Then, there is the more expected colours of autumn,
The punchy reds and pinks....
Oranges and yellows,
Russets, browns and darkening greens,
Rusts, terracottas, ambers, creams and golds....
Tawny, sandy, sunset shades with flashes of caustic whites and sinister alabaster shades.
Talking of sunsets - they too have been sharing their shades of autumn, from fiery and volatile ...
To a more gentle slide into dusk then darkness.

There is so much more to autumn than the decline into decay and a loss of light - I am having to re-think my feeling of loss when the summer goes and learn to see the beauty in the faded charm and cooling weather.

It will take a lot of practice... have yourselves a lovely weekend filled with colour and sunsets in the most glorious shades of autumn xxxxxx

14/10/2020

Mud maketh the walk (muddy!)

Dawn brought respite after the all night rain. We'd parked beneath a deciduous tree and all through the night the rain drops landed on the roof making our van as musical at a kettle drum. A lovely metallic sound...all..night..long.............all......... night........looooooong.......

I managed to get a fairly good night's sleep however Himself was very groggy and tired and needed a good strong brew first thing before he felt anyway human!
Moss dragged us out after breakfast  as we stepped into the woods. There were several other vans quietly hidden between the trees, most of the occupants seemed still asleep, although there was one sleepy eyed vanlifer clutching a steaming mug whilst he sat on the step, we nodded a mutual silent greeting almost like a secret club as we walked by. 
The air was filled with bird song accompanied by the steady crunch of our boots on the woodland paths. Moss bounded ahead, following invisible trails of scent as they pulled her along.
The path suddenly reached the edge of the trees and left us against the side of a vast open moorland with mounds of flowering heather and silver birch trees. A weathered abandoned fence post looked for all as a small wooden Easter Island statue, making us both smile at the incongruous sight. 
We re-entered the trees and began to head downwards along a puddle riddled track - Moss was delighted and threw herself into the mud and pretended to be a wallowing warthog, grinning and wagging as we walked towards her.
Along our route, we chanced across an abandoned hamlet so we explored and imagined who lived there and what the buildings were. We even found the old orchard with an apple tree weighed down with glossy red apples - unfortunately despite the urge to attempt a little scrumping - we were unable to penetrate the thorny scrub that protected the tree.
We walked for most of the day, through farmland, over moors, along tracks, through woods, by villages and alongside roads. We stopped and sat next to a fast flowing small brook for a break, giving time for Moss to swim while we drank tea and rested. A long section of the path had been hard going, mud filled, slippery and boot eating. We were tired. 
 On the return journey, the air cooled and the sky faded to a gentle blue, bird song turned from the daylight chittering and twittering to the garrulous evening chorus as they jostled for roosting space in the trees. The blackbirds being the most argumentative of them all. 
The last stretch to the van was the hardest - uphill with a section along the road - but it meant we were nearly 'home' or is that nearly 'van'?!
As we turned into the trees we discovered a small memorial viewing platform, so we stopped, breathed in the cooled air filled with the scent of autumnal decay and trees' breath. 
As we turned away from gazing at the valley we'd spent most of the day walking up one side and back down the other - we saw we were being watched!
It was bliss to take my boots off, to put the kettle on and to sit down. Moss had been fed and was fast asleep on her bed and our food was quietly cooking. That mug of tea was like nectar!


Then, after we'd eaten, I curled up in the bed, with the back door open and watched the woods gradually darken whilst I caught up with a bit of slow sew and Himself read his book.

Another good wild day - despite the mud - it was really good.

xxx