Thursday, 17 April 2014

Morning Well Spent

Bear needed new shoes for school as his had rubbed a blister into his toe.  They were getting very battered.  I suspect that it may have been a seam on the sock that caused the sore as I don't think his new shoes are much bigger.  However I gave in and dragged bear to town.

Bear did not want to go into town.  He really didn't want to go.  He wanted to stay at home and watch Donald Duck on YouTube.  It needs dynamite to get him out of the house sometimes.  However I dragged him off  and on to the bus and we got off near TK Maxx.  I thought for a moment and then we dived in because bear needs new jeans.

I am never taking bear into TK Maxx again ever.  I was looking doubtfully at the jeans.  The jeans in Matalan or M&S are around £8-10 though I think I may get some cheaper ones at Tesco or Asda.  I usually get them at a less expensive price on my friend ebay that I gave up for Lent.  I looked at some of the prices.  Who on earth pays £40 for a pair of jeans for a seven year old?  That seems an utter fortune to me.  It is only a few years ago I got an entire summer wardrobe for bear for £50.  I got cashback on that as well!  The jeans were reduced from £40 to £14.99 and bear schmoozed me into getting them.  Yes they are lovely, yes they do feel much nicer than most, yes they are a lovely weight, and they probably have resale value on ebay but £14.99!  They are Bench jeans.  I have an awful sinking feeling that bear could get into designer stuff.

On the way out I pointed at one of the sculptures and said, 'That's a nice horse.'

'That's not a horse, it's just a pile of wood.' Bear said dismissively.  I checked that he was seeing what I was seeing.  'Yeah, it looks like a horse, but it isn't one really.'  So at least he doesn't have a craving for ornaments that cost £80.

Bear does not like leaving the house.  Today there was £14.99 on jeans, £9.99 on a gun, £40 for school shoes and £4.99 for a history book (which to be fair he has been fascinated with since we got home).  Then there was the bus fares at £6.30, £1 for bananas for uncle, £3.90 spent at Subway for lunch, and another 50p for a cake when bear staggered to a near collapse luckily just outside a cake shop.  He may get to stay in more.

The jeans are probably a good buy.  They have massive turn ups designed to be let down and as bear is such a slim jim despite his best efforts they will probably last for some time.  His other jeans are coming from ebay, though. Even with postage it is a lot less expensive.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Bees Have Gone

I'm not doing well in only blogging upbeat stuff.

I had a look yesterday and there is no sign of the bees in the chimney.  They have been there for years, and they are such a fixture now that I feel bereft.  I miss them.  Also I feel that I have lost a little distinction - I no longer have bees in my chimney.

One reason I was checking was that we have fruit trees now.  Father insisted on planting two next to the house.  This is the apple that is supposed to produce apples that are red all the way through.

If all of those blossom fruit it will be a crop (but it is likely to bear hard on the branches so they may need to be thinned if they all go to fruit).

This is the damson.

There was less blossom on this, so I predict a crop of around four damsons, all things being equal.

We brought an apple tree back from uncle's garden.  It was bought for bear, so it was important.  It is in a pot so I will be watering like crazy over the year - I daren't lose it!  It seems to have survived the journey as it has more leaves and is showing a few hints of blossom.

It is conveniently next to the kitchen window (at the bottom of the picture).

Father has a very bad tummy again and is looking frail.  Bear is pitching not to leave the house.  Someone needs to get weedkiller and mildew treatment from town, pick up bananas and deliver them to uncle and somehow get started on clearing the area where the sewing machine has to go.  I am not spending £58.65 to just have it sit in a box, but it needs a bit of space.

The sun is shining.  It's all possible.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014


I've been pottering around changing passwords.  I'm quite strict about passwords, they are usually grouped into types and anything to do with money is definitely different from everything else.  However after the Heartbleed news I thought I had better do the right thing.

After a while I realised that I had far too many accounts.  I have blogs and emails and forums and I feel a bit snowed under.  I have to grit my teeth when the change is awkward as well, when I've knocked caps lock on or forgotten a security thing.  I keep remembering how embarrassed I was logging into Amazon when after a particularly trying attempt I used something very rude as my password.  That helps to keep me on the straight and narrow (and polite!).

Which reminds me, I have two Amazon accounts (write and reader) so off to do those as well.

Monday, 14 April 2014

It's here!

The sewing machine has arrived.  I am looking at it as I type.

Now all I need to do is clear a space to use the thing.  If I clear the big wooden table then it will be ideal for sewing and cutting out.  To do that I need to clear my dining room.  It's going to take days.

I just deleted a huge lump of text explaining exactly why getting it all sorted is going to take ages.  I am determined to write only positive.  I have something to aim for.  I don't want to spend £58.65 plus the money for the old duvet covers and just waste it.  I am looking forward to learning something new.

On another note, the local church runs a card making group on Monday evenings.  I am a bit reluctant as I am not keen to get into another craft, but I may do it in a lukewarm fashion.  I think it is important for bear to see that mums do go out, and it is just at the end of the street and unlikely to be expensive.  I am thinking about that.  I shall hold fire on that, though, until the sewing machine is up, running and productive!

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Still waiting

I have still not received my sewing machine, and I probably won't for a few days which gives me time to clear a space for it.  I have also bought very inexpensively a book called 'Half a Yard Heaven' which is a book of small projects.

Sweet Blondie Blue Eyes - I nearly fell off my chair when I saw how much you paid for your sewing machine!  I suspect you are right, you get what you pay for.  I am holding back on getting a more expensive machine until I know I am going to get the use out of it.

I know that already I won't be able to do one project that I have found - a bottle carrier.  The pattern tells you to quilt the fabric and my machine is only supposed to go up to 6mm thickness.  Sewing two or three thicknesses of quilted fabric isn't going to work, but that's okay. I may try making it in fleece.

Yesterday I bought two duvets from a charity shop for £8 (and a t-shirt for bear, he will look gorgeous), and I thought when the machine does come it would be great to start with those.  I shall go on ebay after Easter to say hello to my friend and get a bulk lot of bias binding which features very heavily in the patterns.

I am going to have a go at the projects in the book using the material from the duvet covers to get used to the machine.  It's a case of 'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway'.  Then I have curtains to shorten in the two downstairs rooms and curtains to make for DH's room.  I'll have to hem them by hand as the machine would never take the three thicknesses of a double folded hem, but I would do that anyway and a bit of herringbone hem stitch doesn't take long.

After that I will be starting my first real project - winciette pyjamas/nightie.  I haven't been able to get them for me and I really feel the cold at night.  I shall look for Kwik Fit Patterns (thank you rabbitquilter) and keep my fingers crossed.  It will probably be winter again by the time I get to those, as I am not planning on hurrying.

Friday, 11 April 2014

I've ordered it

I seem to have lost rabbitquitter's comment, but both she and sweet blondie blue eyes recommend David Drummond on 0131 3131002 and I wish I had seen that first as I really respect both of their opinions.

As it was I have ordered a Brother LS14

I took the picture from Amazon but I actually ordered it from Hobbycraft with a 15% discount off my first order, so it cost £58.65 with free delivery.  It seems like a lot of money to me.  So I will do the curtains when that arrives, then it will be time to get it to earn its keep.

I had a brief look through patterns on ebay (I would normally only buy a pattern in a fabric shop) and I managed to depress myself thoroughly.  I never wear skirts.  I am not sure how a poncho would be viewed n the school yard at pick up and drop off time.  I am really not sure about the tops as I have a ahem fuller figure and I would need to do a lot of fiddling with darts.  I prefer jeans and I am not sure how well I would do at trousers.  As for fancy frocks, I never go anywhere and I am quite happy with that.

I am sure I will work something out.  DH is very happy for me to have a go at things, so it should be good.  My first project may well be a tablecloth which in the past I have sewn the hem by hand but it is bound to be easier with a machine. After that I may look for courses.  It would be very healthy for me to get out.

I think I shall look at this as a good opportunity.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Sewing Machine

Lesley - we so need a sewingmachineaphobe support group (SSG)  I have seen a sewing machine.  It is apparently okay, has okayish reviews on Amazon, is comparatively inexpensive.  I got rid of three just recently, but they were not fit for spares.  This one looks sort of safe.  If anyone has any suggestions please comment as I am completely in the wilderness with this.

The picture is from Amazon which is standing in as my friend.

I have been doing the thinking.  I want a new machine that can manage curtains.  It has to be new because that way I am reassured that the bits and manual match.  I don't know enough to make a guess about stuff.  If I had more confidence and knowledge then perhaps I could risk used.  I also need to have something that can cope with curtains as that is my most likely target.

I shall make myself some brushed cotton pyjamas and some brushed cotton nighties because I can never find them in my size and I feel the cold.  I shall make a patchwork quilt, not the standard American style quilt but the one that they had on Wartime Farm where they fill little bags with stuffing and then sew them together.  I remember seeing a picture of a quilt made entirely from ties from a charity shop, and I quite like that idea.  The ebay shop that sold me the bulk lot of sweaters also sells bulk lots of used denim and I quite like the idea of a denim quilt as well.

I shall be brave!

(I'll let you know when I've had the courage to order one)