Scraphappy Day September 2021

I have somewhat reluctantly agreed to participate in a craft fair and will probably write more about how that came about in another post.

For now though, it is the day of the month where we try to do ‘stuff’ with scraps and, once again, I hand over to Mr. Tialys to step forward as I’ve been too busy getting more stock together so that I don’t show up with a practically empty table and have to pretend I’ve already sold loads of things even though it’s only ten minutes past the start time .

I have made more of my conical peg bags and also some reversible Japanese knot bags, both of which look better hanging than slumped on a table looking distinctly unimpressive and requiring an explanation of what they actually are.

So, a thick tree branch salvaged from the garden was sanded down and adorned with pieces of driftwood collected on our visits to the local beaches.  The branch is held steady in our functional rather than decorative Christmas tree holder which  I’ve wrapped in a hemp cloth and there you have it, ‘A Holder For Things That Look Better Hanging’.

It also serves to make more room for the other items I have on the table which, in this photo, is actually our dining table but as it’s the same size as the ones in the village hall I thought I’d drag it out into the garden and do a practise run so I’ll know what to put where on the day without faff.

The empty wooden frame will have cards with all the prices on when I eventually get round to it – I have until Saturday.

Not to be completely outdone I did make myself this brooch to wear at the craft fair which I feel identifies me as a ‘stallholder’ rather than a punter although, depending on your point of view, perhaps it identifies me as a person with questionable taste in accessories.  This was a whole tape measure but, having had half its length cut off, is now scrap but that doesn’t really count does it.  I’ll have to do something with the other half and post about it in a future scrappy post.

Anyway, as I’ve seen some of the amazing items other people will be selling at the fair there’s no way I won’t also be a punter and will almost certainly spend much more money than I make,

 

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate  Gun, EvaSue, Lynn  (me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, DawnJule,
Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith and Debbierose

 

 

 

 

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The Long and Winding Road

The past week has had some ‘irksome’ moments and I’ve been feeling a bit stressed.  Nothing to do with health – just so you don’t worry about me – but stressful nonetheless.  Which is the only way to explain me being a complete numpty the other day.

After my craft group meeting finished I realised I needed to put some fuel in the car and for the first time ever in my whole driving life – which is quite a long time – I put in the wrong type.  I realised after about 30 litres and £42 and then stopped, rushed into the garage shop and asked what to do,

I had a vague idea I could just top it up with the right fuel and all would be well but no! I wasn’t even allowed to start the engine for fear of damaging it  After much umming and aahing, the charming mechanic at the garage said I could leave it there and he’d try to fit it in but they were extremely busy due to Monday being a bank holiday and everybody wanting their cars ready to cram up the roads for the long weekend.  This is the downside of our decision, now that Mr. Tialys works mostly from home, to manage with one car between the two of us.

Luckily, I had waited until the garage nearest home to fill up mess up big time so I started on the walk of shame, knowing I’d have to ‘fess up to Mr. Tialys that 30 litres of fuel would have to be pumped out and recycled, for which we’d have to pay the best part of £200  and then pay to fill the car up again with the right stuff.

So, in clothing chosen on an overcast morning, I set off up the hill in an afternoon of full sun with a handbag suddenly seeming to be full of lead weights,  my knitting bag and no water.

but at least the scenery is nice.

After what seemed like forever – although it was only about half an hour – I saw ‘the girls’ who are enjoying the grass in the field opposite our house at the moment  – and prepared to spill the beans to Mr. T.  who was absolutely fine about it of course.

Just in case you think I’m a wimp, we did an 8km (5 mile)  walk this morning which included an Iron Age hillfort at the highest point in Dorset (279m/915ft) and took a couple of hours but then I had water, no heavy bag and was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and walking boots which makes a difference.  Plus I wasn’t all hot and bothered because I’d made a mistake and wasted loads of money.

Lewesdon Hill from the west.jpg

Lewesdon Hill, Dorset

So, be honest with me, how many of you have put the wrong fuel in the tank?  Surely it can’t just be me.

Most expensive diesel in the UK ever hits 154.9p a litre despite falling oil prices | Metro News

I won’t be doing it again.

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Must Love Dogs

A few posts ago I showed you a quilt I was working on for the Linus Project UK  and now it’s finished.

The only fabric I needed to buy was the backing as I had how I wanted the back to look like in my mind but didn’t have any fabric remotely resembling it.  All the other fabric, including the binding and the stitch and flip dog’s face, were in my stash.

I machine quilted it very simply with horizontal lines 2 inches apart.

It measures 36 x 42 inches which is the size requested for a child’s quilt and perfect for me to manage on my home sewing machine.

I hope there’s a small dog lover out there who’ll find some comfort from this little quilt.

Next one will be another baby sized one (36 inch square)  and I think I have some Peter Rabbit fabric in my stash somewhere so that will be a nice one to work on.

 

Project Linus UK is a volunteer organisation. We aim to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts and knitted blankets, and give volunteers across the UK the opportunity to contribute to their local community.

from Project Linus UK website:

 

 

 

 

 

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Tight Lipped Tuesday #34

Had to share this.

 

 I never seem to be able to get good photos of butterflies as they are more often than not on the move so, even though I thought it might be dead at first, I was pleased to see this Small Tortoiseshell so still and posed with its beautiful wings spread out.  Happy ending –  it was just warming up its wings in a patch of sunlight and, after a gentle prod with a blade of grass, it was off.

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Scraphappy August 2021

The 15th of the month has whizzed round once again and, unlike last month, I was determined not to let it take me by surprise so had a rummage through my scraps to make something for Scraphappy Day.

Miss Tialys the Younger was visiting again so, continuing her sewing studies, I decided it was time for her to insert a zip.  Mean of me I know but if you’re going to sew the time will come when you will need to put a zip in, like it or not.

The project I chose uses scraps of fabric 8 inches x 6 inches and any length of zip which is good as I have a large zip stash bought as ‘mixed lots’ which means I have lengths I will never need and colours I would never want.

I had a small piece of this vintage style Scottie dog design from which I managed to cut two rectangles of the right size.

My ‘student’ chose a piece of cheaters patchwork fabric left over from a quilt I made a few years ago for my god-daughter’s new baby.

This must be the easiest way to insert a zip.  If you use one longer than you need it’s easy to keep the pull out of the way until it’s all sewn in.

Then sew the bottoms together and then, NOT FORGETTING TO OPEN THE ZIP HALFWAY (ask me how I know why you should do this!), sew up the sides running the stitches over both ends of the zip a couple of times to secure it.  Trim off most of the excess length from each end of the zip.

Turn inside out – through the half open zip! – and fold the corners to achieve the boxy shape you want.  I drew a line one inch up from each point and stitched across, then trimmed off a quarter of an inch from the stitch line.

Turn right side out and you have a cute little box pouch to keep little bits and pieces in.

We didn’t line these but you could do without too much difficulty and it would make it more sturdy and more able to stand up alone.  Full disclosure, I’ve cheated a bit for the photos and stuffed them full of paper.

My ‘student’ did well too.  What next for her?  She’s still scared of the rotary cutter so I think we’ll have to do some work with that as I rarely use scissors to cut anything out.  I’ll keep the Band Aids ready.

 

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate , Gun, EvaSue, Lynn(me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith and Debbierose

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36 Comments

Devoted to Dahlias

I was going to do a general ‘English country garden in August’ post today because I’ve been taking photos around the place to keep a record of what’s going on in the garden now that we’ve been here for almost 9 months and thought I might as well share!!

We didn’t have a clear idea of what was already planted in the garden by the previous owners as we moved in the late autumn/winter but now we do and the current ‘Head Gardener’ hasn’t been able to resist adding a lot of new plants despite all the good intentions we had of ‘wait and see’ so it’s a little bit of a jungly cottage garden at the moment.

Despite Dahlias having a bit of a reputation for being ‘old fashioned’ – whatever that means in terms of plants and flowers – I love them for their ‘in your face’ beauty, kaleidoscopic colours and variety of forms – I wanted to plant some for cut flowers but, when it comes to it, it seems a shame to disturb them.

Well, apart from these inherited ones growing in a raised bed in the vicinity of the veg patch.  They are fair game.

So, I’ll leave the lavender bushes, the sunflowers, sweet peas and veggies – and sewing –  for another post and leave you with my amateurish (on phone in intermittent sun) attempts at capturing some of these lovelies.

I can’t remember any names except I think one is called ‘Crazy Love’ and that seems appropriate.

and last but definitely not least my favourite one of all.

Until I see an even more lavish one that is.

Are you a Dahlia fan?

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Saturday Surplus

Really getting into the swing of English country life now.

Those redcurrants look lovely but what a pain to get them all off the stems and into jars.  But, before you think we are too lazy, we have made quite a few jars of blackcurrant jam and what gardener doesn’t have excess courgettes?

There’s not much passing traffic but most people can’t resist a freebie so most of it will go.

Have a good weekend whatever you are planning

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Oh My Buttons!

My new craft group sometimes runs workshops, usually taught by one of the members, and I immediately signed up to make my own knickers because why wouldn’t you?  That class is planned for October and, as I’ve tried before and failed, I’ll be interested to see if I can make a decent pair of apple catchers under instruction.

As we now live in Dorset and are lucky to have an expert in smocking and Dorset Button making it seemed a no-brainer to sign up for Rosalind’s class for beginners.  (Ros made the buttons for the most recent Poldark series so she knows what she’s about although, sadly, she didn’t get to personally attach them to Aiden Turner).

This was the tempting display of some of the different buttons that can be made employing this heritage craft.

The choice of colours was a dilemma for me but, as usual, I was drawn towards the blues.

First you do ‘the casting’ which means wrapping the ring (brass in this case) with the thread using a blanket stitch.

We made a Cartwheel Button so ‘the laying’ involves making the spokes and ‘the rounding’ involves weaving round those spokes until you’ve filled the gaps.

I found the hardest bit was ensuring you got the ‘hub’ of the wheel in the centre as you can tell in the photo below.  The pink one was my second practice piece and was even more off centre than the first one.  Still, if I knew what I was doing I wouldn’t have needed to do a workshop would I?

There were six of us in the class and we all managed a couple of buttons which wasn’t bad in the couple of hours we had.

While we were working and weaving, Ros told us about the history of the Dorset Button and, if you want to know more, you can read about it on her website here.  I was interested to hear that – reputedly – King Charles I went to the chopping block wearing jackets adorned with these buttons.  He wore the jackets to stop him shivering in the cold in case onlookers thought he was quaking with fear – as I most certainly would have been.

Anyway, Ros sells the supplies to make more buttons and, although I don’t really need another craft in my life, this one needs very little in the way of equipment and it isn’t expensive and it is also very portable andthere were kits! 

So, of course, I had to buy one.

Luckily, I have a drawer full of different colours of cotton perle thread – I don’t remember why – so, the next day, I made another button to fix the method in my mind and, this time, I got the centre almost right.  Maybe it’s because I remembered to put my glasses on which, for some reason, I hadn’t done at the workshop.

😎

Today it is gloriously sunny and beautiful so I am going to sit in the garden with a book and, just maybe, a brass ring or two and some needle and thread.

Have a lovely weekend wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

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39 Comments

The Dog Days of Summer

Apparently, in the northern hemisphere, the days between the 3rd of July and 11th of August are known as the dog days which are considered to be the hottest days of summer..  In my lovely corner of England, nobody appears to have told the sun. I don’t mind because, in the end,  I didn’t like it in Southern France when it got too hot to go out in comfortably.   I have discovered that the temperate climate of England suits me and, when we get good weather, it’s such a treat that everybody makes the most of it and never takes it for granted.

Still, last weekend my very good friend Sarah, drove the three hours from London to see me in our new house.  She arrived Thursday afternoon and we did a tour of the immediate surroundings so she could see the resting race horses, the rams and the Ladies in Waiting – the cows who are in the field opposite full-time at the moment waiting to calve.  I was especially  hoping for good weather on Friday so we could get out and about a little further afield.  Luckily, Friday was a lovely day so we went to another beach  just to ‘mill about’ and then we walked into the local market town of Bridport. 17,000 steps if you’re at all interested.  She, being a triathlete, has a Fitbit thingy on her wrist so I know it to be true.

The beach we visited is West Bay – more stunning cliffs along the Jurassic Coast.  This was the setting for ‘Broadchurch’ and also the place where Gabriel Oak’s errant sheepdog drove his entire flock of sheep to their deaths in the 2015 film version of ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ (very good by the way but no substitute for the book).

There are always some brave souls ready to make the most of the sunshine.

Close up, the texture and colour of the cliff face looks as if somebody has built a giant sandcastle.

Anyway, back to dogs – sort of.  Do you remember this stitch and flip dog’s face I made yonks ago which, like the paper pieced gnome I showed you recently, I didn’t quite know what to do with afterwards?  Well, I thought I’d use it as the central motif for another quilt for Project Linus UK but, this time, a slightly larger version measuring 36×42 inches which is the size requested for young children.

The block is rectangular – but in the wrong way for a quilt – so I searched my stash and made up the measurements as I went along, in order to utilise the fabric I had and get it to the right size.

I put a large spotted border around the outside and then remembered a dog print fabric I’d bought ages ago for face masks (Miss T. the Elder has one)  so started to make a further border with that using a greater width top and bottom in order to get the rectangular shape going.

One of the lessons I learnt early on in patchwork was to measure through the middle of the piece and cut your border to that size rather than to the size of the sides.  I forgot and ended up with a very wavy quilt top which became apparent when I put the first of the batik borders on.  OOPS!.  So, I had to take all the borders back off (apart from the spotted one) and was amazed at how much shorter I’d cut the doggy print fabric – what was I thinking?  I got creative and made up the shortfall by inserting a small piece of batik on each side.  I think it looks intentional 😉

Anyway, it turned out alright in the end.  The red batik is actually all the same shade but the light wasn’t good in my workroom for the photo so it looks as if it’s lighter at the bottom but it’s not.

Just need to sandwich it together with the wadding and backing, then bind it and quilt it as simply as possible.   I didn’t have enough of any suitable backing fabric in my stash and I had in mind some  dog paw print fabric so I broke my ‘no more fabric until I’m 110‘ rule and ordered a bargain piece online.

I’ll show you it when it’s finished.

I just hope there’s a small child in need of a quilt out there who also loves dogs!!

 

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28 Comments

The Visitation

Although I went out for a lovely meal with Mr. Tialys, his sister and her OH on my actual birthday, it was on a Tuesday so the Misses Tialys couldn’t make it until the weekend.  So, we went out for another one on Saturday night when they both arrived and slept over so they could be with us for Fathers’ Day on the Sunday.

For my birthday, Mr. T. planted this lovely rose against the front of the house and, hopefully it will climb up the white wall (once he puts a trellis up) and eventually it will really look like a cottage with roses round the door.

A few seasons to go yet before the ‘Dancing Queen’, as the rose is called, dances far enough to make getting through the door difficult but fingers crossed.

Miss T. the Younger bought me this lovely, rusty plant stake.  It’s just stuck into the weeds cottage gardenish bank at the moment but we’ll decide where its eventual home will be in due course.

So, Fathers Day dawned all grey and rainy but we were determined to finally get to see the sea and decided to drive down there anyway as it’s only a 15 or 20 minute run in the car.

As we are British, we can’t allow the rain to put us off otherwise we’d never do anything so when we arrived there were quite a few people and quite a few more clouds.  We set off up the cliff path anyway and took in this view looking back

I fear for those cows.

This is part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site and so called because of the best known of the geological periods found within it, but also includes rocks from the Triassic and Cretaceous periods.

It’s a bit precarious (possibly an understatement) – this rock face was sending down pieces of itself in a steady trickle as we walked along the shingle below.

As the morning progressed there were more dog walkers, fishermen, beachcombers, hardy swimmers, paddle boarders etc. and also, the sun came out for long enough to make an ice cream cone seem like a good idea.

We did some beachcombing, half-heartedly searching for fossils and driftwood.  Mr. Tialys and Miss Tialys the Elder – having the longest legs – left me and Miss T. the Younger behind so they only have themselves to blame for the rear view.

Hopefully those pieces of bleached driftwood will turn into something decorative in the fullness of time.

So, having paid for my second birthday dinner the night before, been the first to get up in the morning, driven us to the coast and bought us all ice creams, he drove us back home again and made us a lovely Sunday Roast.

Happy Fathers’ Day. 🤣

(well, they did buy him a nice card and a case of craft beer).

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