Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmasing up continues

16 sheets of ordinarry office paper and in less than 10 minutes the lamp is dressed up :D Very simple, fast and easy project. I like the outcome and child is over the moon.

Hallway got a bunch of robins - it's rather busy there, so robins can play around in the draft all the time.

Dining room got a touch of holy and a wreath above. I made a proper wreath for the outside door, but inside I do not have the right feel for traditional "holy and ivy"yet, so I'm trying out different things.

It's not perfect but it's one very hearty wreath :D

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Getting ready

Festive countdown started some time ago and I feel already exhausted of all the merryment. But like every year, I'll survive. Among eveything I managed to complete the 12 blocks for the corners of the Lonestar quilt and even the multicoloured strip for the border, but the biggest part of my time had been filled with Christmas cards. DIY cards always had been a tradition in my family so as a devoted traditionalist I just carry on on keeping appearances.

I'm not very well equiped this year - with all the moving around I lost somewhere the box with tempera so I needed  improvise with water colours and a jar of a really crappy white and sheets of chalk paper.

It's like mixing whisky, champagne and mushy peas together in hope to make a brilliant cocktail.

These things happen, you know.

Durate et vosmet rebus servate secundis! 

Whatever, it's time to enjoy! And as this year we celebrate in Coventry then there is special treat - the city's personal carol!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Christmas jumper day at school

My year 8 lady returned from school last week with simple request - a jumper for the Christmas jumper day. Simple request from the school, isn't it?

Primark shopping was not even considered, idea of re-using any of already existing jumpers failed as none would look nice as a background for the reindeer, so Saturday afternoon we went yarn shopping and then I curled in bed knitting.

The only positive thing - jumper design is precisely as young lady wanted. So here he is - poor exploited Rudolph.

To be honest, the whole jumper thing baffles me. You wear a jumper thus you "break" the uniform rules  so you must donate a pound to the charity Save the children.

I have nothing against charities. Absolutely nothing. I also have nothing against jumpers - they are fun if you like such kind of fun. But both things together...

 I spent 9.90 on yarns plus my time knitting. OK, let's say it cost 10 pounds overall. The cheapest supermarket versions here are 5 pounds.

So - one way or another, parents must spent at least fiver to donate 1 pound to charity, so the minimum of the expenses is 6 pounds out of which only one goes to charity. 

According to Save the Children, out of every pound donated, only 85 p goes directly to the charity work, the rest is service costs.

So, if I follow the route and buy a cheapest jumper for a fiver to donate one pound, only 14 % of my spendings end up doing something charitable while 83% fill the supermarket's sock. So, all in all, I donate to support a supermarket!!!! How stupid is that?

Well, you might argue that we still have a Christmas jumper on our hands. Well, the quality of these fiver worth jumpers are not for wearing - they are as good as all the cheap Halloween costumes - just for one night. And to be honest - who walks around wearing these silly jumpers? I haven't seen anybody, and I live in a 300,000 city, so it will be lurking ina warderobe for a while and then most likely will end up in the charity bag unworn.  

So, if school wants to teach my child charity, I would expect it to do better than promote a project in wich 83% goes to waste from the start.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

A scrappy one

I still do not feel well enough to go out for holy hunting (maybe next week), so I tried a really lazy version of a Christmas wreath. 

Very very easy project and so many possibilities but I just sneezed about the right direction by using my ultimate scrap bag – not all is even cotton fabrics, for this one everything goes. Next year I might try old plastic bags...

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Another piece of HISTORY

 Right now I’m battling with a rather annoying flu. As I was lying in bed for past several days, doing absolutely nothing, I decided to work on the project I started a long time ago – putting on some of the traditional patterns online. 

Traditional crafts always fascinate me, from Scottish kilts to our mitten designs. If you look at the bar above, you will see few new pages there to look at - this, this and this

Many of the patterns come from the three thick volumes on our traditional costume, printed late 20; s –early 30's so quality of printing is a bit outdated but the wealth of information is still there. 

I believe that many of these patterns are still brilliant for modern quilt or fashion ideas. 

Just look at this linen shirt! I can imagine wearing it with my black jeans and looking fab. 

Or these knitted socks – while they are part of one of our region’s traditional costume, they can be a fantastic fashion statement. 

Whatever, I enjoyed putting at least some up and will continue when the next flu will hit me again. Hope you will find them as inspiring as I do.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

A piece of HISTORY with some French influx

I’m not sure still about the outside 

blocks for the corners, but the draft

 looks about like this.

Couple of months ago I won a Jelly Roll of Moda Paisley Park from Kansas Troubles Quilters. Honestly, I love, LOVE this fabric design! But... such a fabric needed a pattern with some historic air about it and I’m not good at following instructions and copying somebody’s design. So I was struggling with ideas. 

 Finally I did choose the Lonestar. It’s historic and at the same time gives plenty of  freedom for adjustments as sqeezing a full size quilt out of one Jelly Roll is basically impossible.  

After some twiddling with diamond shapes I realised that I need one more colour and the only one (hardly) suitable from my stash was some vintage French fabric (SOULEIADO, BY SOCIETE CHARLES DEMERY "TISSU") which was lurking in my stash for few decades. So Lonestarfom Kansas will have some nice French twist.

Now with this little French influx I had enough diamond shapes for my Lonestar. This is the first block done. I like it a lot so far. (CHARLES DEMERY fabric is 4th row from the right).  The rest of fabric is Paisley Park by Moda.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Busy week, II

The second of this week's big jobs done and dusted. All went well, everybody is happy.

Life goes back to normal and now I'll be able return to my sewing machine finally.

Yesterday I also got the best present ever - an order to make my first baby quilt! Whoo- hooo!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Busy week

This weeks to-do-list is simple: two jobs.

One job done today, one to do.

This week is all about math.

It was supposed to be like that:
rather simple, nearly ideal lifetime arithmetic. 

 But the life bent and twisted the four rules of arithmetic into something like this 1+1+2 (+1) -1= 1+3 -1-1-1= 1
which I disagreed strongly. 

I tried to change it to 1+1= 2(+3) but no way, life kicked back at me this one 

((1+1+2(+ 1) – 1)+((1+3(+1))+ (+1+1))(+2)) +1. 

Today was one little part of this formula, one simple 1+1, which I was walking towards for last 3 years step by step. Adoption. Today it finally happened. 
The rest of this math is left for the weekend.

As a result sewing machine is doomed to sulk alone in the corner and - strange enough - it doesn't bother me at all.

Saturday, 1 November 2014


I can’t say that I had been very lucky this Halloween. The idea to do something about Halloween hit me too late – just the day before. So off I went to look for a pumpkin. Well, of course there were none left at the local veg markets so I was doomed by a tiny one from Tesco stock. Not a very good start, but totally my own fault. 

The second problem appeared when I looked at these tiny pumpkins... The shape. They all were typical pumpkin shape instead of offering some space for carving a scull which as you all know, needs more vertical space than horizontal. 

Well, then I carved. I have a bunch of carving-ish tools but none really worked for the rather soft pumpkin so I was stuck with an old serrated knife from the kitchen box which worked the best. 

I spent Thursday evening and half of Friday carving. At the end it looked about right. Not perfect but I was rather happy about the outcome. We lit the candle inside and happily put our scary pumpkin outside on the porch.   

And then, a tad bit over an hour later.... It was gone. Ta-ra!

We live in a quiet blind alley in rather nice area of the city after all – neatly trimmed lawns, nicely polished cars, polite small talks with neigbours...
Why on earth somebody would creap up on our porch to steal A PUMPKIN? What’s wrong with you, people?  Some kind of OFF THE WALL FRIDAY?

 I would be able to fill probably several pages with ranting, but seriously... When you close your eyes and imagine England, it’s all about moss on the old stone walls and green meadows, ivy and holy, castles and terrace houses, polite small talk about weather and umbrellas. The reality is rather different, sadly...

Well, anyway, it lasted about an hour and half, and I hope it was enough to scare all the evil spirits away.