Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I was out when the postie called yesterday and returned to find a note, informing me I had a parcel to collect from the post office.

I popped down there today and was presented with not one, but two lovely squishy parcels all for me!!

The first was a really kind gift from Angela. After I posted the Bushfire quilt blocks that I made last week, Angela emailed me and offered to send me some white fabric from her shop, so that I could make some more without breaking my 'stash diet'.

Well, not only did Angela send me a whole metre of lovely white cotton, she also sent me a selection of the prettiest fat quarters in lovely fresh pinks and greens....and some very yummy brown stuff :-)

Thank you so much Angela! I've cut out enough of the white to make nine more blocks and will use the beautiful fat quarters to make the stars. I'm on a mission to get them stitched tonight.

Kind and generous gestures like Angela's are what makes 'Blogland' such a delightful community to be a part of.

What about the second parcel?

Well, this one was totally unexpected but when something like this arrives, you just know it's going to be good!

My lovely bloggy friend, Kitty sent me this gorgeous selection of fabrics from her recent brush with the 'thrift fabric fairy'. Knowing that I would probably be having some major cravings for fabric, at this stage in 'the diet', Kitty decided she would share her fantastic haul with me!!!

There are some really groovy pillowcases in there. Monster has his eye on the blue spots. Minx is rather taken with the pink and green spots ( you can just about see them beneath the blue) and I just adore this.....I think it's barkcloth? Fab colours and pattern, huh?!

I have to say, both of these beautiful, spontaneous and incredibly generous, displays of friendship have really made my day week and quite overwhelmed me.

Where we live, in a suburban area, everyone always seems to be too busy to get to know their neighbours. We have a few good ones here but so many we don't know. On the walk to school each day, some people smile and say hello - others rush past, head down, not wishing to make eye contact or, in fact, any sort of contact with anyone. Sometimes, people are even downright and quite shockingly rude, in their efforts to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, without a thought for others.

I was brought up in a suburban area but back then we knew all of the neighbours. Folk used to stop and chat and look out for each other. Children were always outside playing, or in and out of each other's homes. I'm not a person who buries herself in nostalgia for a 'perfect past'. I'd far rather make the most of the here and now but the 'good old days' certainly did have their good points.

I've rediscovered this sense of 'neighbourliness' since I've been blogging. While many people are quick to dismiss blogging as 'not real', somewhere only sad and lonely people go, or somewhere frequented by weirdos, I have only found support, kindness, caring and pure generosity of spirit among all of you lovely people that I feel priveleged to call my friends - and real friends too - there's nothing virtual about all of you :-)

It's not often you get the deep stuff from me, is it?!!

How's about some sockage then?

As a new member of Michaela's Startitis Sock Club, there has been action on the socks that have been languishing in my WIP pile for a month. I finished No.1 yesterday. Being rather anal in the 'pairs department' means I've now cast on the second one rather than start a new 'pair'.

Don't be fooled by the name of this yarn. It is not HAPPY. It's SPLITTY. It's SLIPPY....and it's very very necessary to concentrate on every.single.stitch!!!! Sooner I get these b**gers finished the better!!

On that ranting note, I shall be orf. My son is being enrolled to the Cubs in half an hour's time and I need to get there with the camera :-)


Saturday, February 21, 2009

A piece-ful week

I'm sure this half term holiday has been shorter than normal. We've bimbled and pottered about and somehow the time has drifted by.

I found time for some sewing. First there was a little bit of wonky patchy piecing for the Bushfire Quilt Block appeal. I've never done anything like this before and loved making them. The only reason I stopped at two is that there seems to be a distinct lack of white background fabric in my stash - this will be remedied as soon as I stop this silly 'stash diet' of mine :-)

This little bit of piecing and finding this book at the library inspired to dig out some six inch squares and sashing that have been cut out since I made my first quilt.

With my sewing head well and truly screwed on and Monster safely out of the way at a 'Chef's Day' with Cubs, the naughty (oh yes! - don't believe the sweet 'innocence' you think you see below!) Minx and I got busy with a pattern and some Chocolate Lollipop.

The yoke was a bugger to do - pardon my language - but really, this thing tested me to the full....and then she tried it on and it wouldn't fit over her b***dy head so I had to undo the whole s***ing thing and start again.....all the while minding my language in front of old flappy ears there!!

We got there in the end though and I praise the day I bought my overlocker - this thing has the neatest seams you ever did see :-)

All the while I was making the blouse from hell I would much rather have been quilting my yummy new patchwork!

In fact, I'd still rather be quilting my yummy new patchwork and spending some overdue time catching up on your blogs.

Judging by the state of our bedroom, I don't think that's gonna happen...... you?

Looks like someone has some hoovering to do!

I'll be back when I've found Moogsdad.....he's in there somewhere......

Hope you have a dust-free quilty weekend :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A bit of fun and some romance

I've just read this great meme on Natasha's blog and had to play! I think a few of us could do with a laugh right now - why not have a go too?

I have to say, Natasha's names were much more exotic than mine :-)

Your Real Name: Lesley

Witness Protection Name:(mother and fathers middle names) Patricia John.

Secret Spy Name: (your first name spelled backwards) Yelsel

Nascar Name: (first name of your mother's dad, father's dad) Frederick John

Detective Name:(favorite color, favorite animal) Turquoise Otter ( ??).

Soap Opera Name:(middle name, county where you were born) Jane West Midlands (classy!).

Super Hero Name: (2nd fav color, fav drink, add "THE" to the beginning) The Pink Chardonnay.

Fly Name:(first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name) Lece (er, what is a fly name?)

Street Name:(fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie) Ginger Lemon Puff (ha haaa!).

Rock Star: (current pet, current street) Meg Rosoman (liking that one!)

Porn Name: (1st pet, street you grew up on) Gretel Wheeler (mmmm...)

Your Gansta Name:(first 3 letters of real name plus izzle) Lesizzle (ooh scary gangsta!)

Your Goth Name:(black, and the name of one of your pets) Black Lightning (oh yeah!!)

Stripper Name: (name of your fav perfume/cologne, fav. candy) Ghost Minstrels (!!)

Ahem....think I like my rock star name best!

In other news, I received this gorgeous parcel of sparkly loveliness yesterday.

Emmapebble and I decided to do an unoffical swapsee. She got warm wrists and to look like Steptoe, while I got these divine jewels, to match the beautiful bracelet she gave to me at our big bloggy meet up last year - great swap Emma.....well, we never said it was going to be fair!!!

Now onto the romantic goings on in Moogshouse.

As you may have noticed, yesterday was St Valentine's Day and the shops were full of cute cuddly toys, beautiful red roses and romantically packaged yummy chocolates.

Being a practical sort of a man, Moogsdad wasn't going to fritter away his hard earned pounds on such trifles.

Oh noooo....he went one (or several) better than that.

He bought me this:

In his defence, yer honour, he had just suffered a week of me bleating about needing a new compost bin to put my vegi peelings in...and a week of dinners involving as little vegetable matter as possible, so that I didn't have to throw the peelings in the bin!

Of course, I couldn't let such a loving gesture go by unacknowledged could I?

By way of a suitably romantic reciprocation, I totally indulged him and bought him this:

We really know how to spoil each other :-)

Before I go - look who we found, playing in the Action Man fort, during our big garden clear up yesterday.....

.....yay, it's Glastonbury Barbie!!!

One more thing - please go and visit Maria - she's hosting a great quilting project for the Bushfires Appeal.

Love xxxx

Thursday, February 12, 2009


You just have to go and pay Trashy a visit. She has the most fantastic raffle going on to help those affected by the bushfires.

Check it out.


Who wouldn't want to win a Little Cotton Rabbit or an original Monkee Maker monkee!!!!!

Go on.......


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

On a bit of a roll

I've been feeling as if my sewing mojo has been somewhat lacking lately. Maybe it's the time of year or something to do with the moon. I wasn't lacking in ideas, just the wherewithall to actually sit down at the sewing machine.

I seem to have cracked it now - rather!

Last night, once the noisy beasties were in bed I had a very sudden urge to make a doll quilt, using some offcut strips of Rowan's Kaffe Fassett fabrics that I picked up at the Cotton Patch.

I even tried my hand at my first proper attempt at free motion quilting - don't look too close!!

Here it is in it's 'blog-finished' state - just got to handsew the binding. This is to be hidden with a few other things, ready for Minx's birthday in April :-)

This morning - after four hours sleep (finished The Time Traveller's Wife last night - in floods of tears at 1am!!) - I once again felt that urge to sew.

Good job it was my day off really!

First off was this little guy, who is now on his way to The Toy Society, with Rosie girl. I got the inspiration for him from Plush-o-rama.

Then I whipped up a couple of little bags - these are now on their way to the Rainbow Comfort Bag appeal. I do hope you don't mind Natasha - I just had to use some of your gorgeous printed fabric for the 'boy' one.

So that was the morning taken care of! I then whizzed out to the post office and did a quick dash round the local charity shops....more of that later...ahem.

I came home to be faced with this revolting sight in the hallway again...

....and decided enough was enough.

Two quick fabric baskets were thrown together - almost cost nothing too as all the fabric and wadding were Scrapstore finds from weeks ago.
Aaah...much better :-)

Now.....I have a bit of a confession.

Y'know I said I went to the charity shop today?

Weeeelllll.....this isn't buying fabric, right? Strictly speaking, this is 'doing my bit for charity' buying fabric at all....the diet is still safe...ish

Seriously though, how could I walk could I resist? The candlewick bedspread is in near perfect condition and just what I need to back my next quilt. The floral fabric is 2 metres of the softest brushed cotton. Again, this would be good to back a quilt....or something....

...and now for some Thank You's...

First, a big thank you to Julia who very kindly sent me a huge wodge (technical term in biblical circles) of Victorian Bible pages. These are huge! Nearly A3!!

I'm going to really enjoy using them. I may make some envelopes but I also want to find some really special projects to make with them. Aren't they fab?

I'm also the proud recipient of a lovely award from Lisa. Lisa emailed this to me a few days ago, when I was feeling distinctly unKreativ, and it really cheered me up :-)

Thank you so much Lisa :-)
The rules of the award are: 1. Copy the award to your site - 2. Link to the person from whom you received the award - 3. Nominate 7 other bloggers - 4. Link to those on your blog - 5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

Predictably enough, I'm going to say I can't possibly choose just seven of you!! Please please consider yourself an awardee if you read my blog. I wouldn't be a Kreativ Blogger without the wonderful comments and inspiration that I get from all of you.

Don't be shy - take know you want to!!
In other news - the latest from sis-in-law in Victoria is that things seem to be calming down with the bush fires near them. Friends of theirs have survived some very near misses with terrifying stories to tell but, hopefully, the worst is over.

Now, I'm going to make a lovely cup of tea and plan my next assault on the sewing machine :-)

Take care xxx

p.s. just noticed something very worrying - I do appear to be becoming a regular blogger....four days in a row!!! I need a lie down!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A message from Rosie

Hello - I'm Rosie. I'm going on a really long journey in an airplane tomorrow all the way to Australia.

I'm going to the lovely people at The Toy Society and they're going to send me to a little girl who needs lots of cuddles after the nasty fires. I'm good at cuddles 'cos I'm made from really soft stuff.

If you're soft and cuddly why don't you come too?

love Rosie xxx

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sad day

It's been so shocking to see the news coming out of Australia right now.

For all you lovely Aussie bloggers - I'm hoping and praying you and yours stay safe.

For everyone else - Jodie and Trashy have both blogged about how you can help. Please follow their links.

Moogsdad's brother, sis-in-law and three kids live in Pakenham, Victoria - about 20km from the fire. Fortunately, the wind is blowing the fire away from them right now. They have friends who have lost everything. They know of firefighters who have bravely tackled these terrifying fires only to discover their own families have been wiped out.

It's impossible to comprehend the terror of this situation - it's also impossible to comprehend that some of the fire may have been started by arsonists. Why?

Stay safe :-)


Sunday, February 8, 2009

From sand castles to snowmen

This is a very very quick post. I just wanted to show you what we were doing on the same weekend last year - click here and then scroll down a bit.....

....and today?

Staying indoors making a big casserole 'cos it's ffffrrreeeezzzzing!!!!!!!!!

More snow on the way - maybe we can make another one of these
....except the next one will not have an edible nose - did you hear that, Moog?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

So far so good and a thank you

It's been a whole week - seven days - one hundred and sixty eight hours - since I started my February 'no stash and book buying' Diet. I'm not sure I even thought I'd get this far but I have!!

Despite the fabricky-booky temptation offered by the internet (and all of you naughty bloggers!) I have not succumbed. I've put a couple of things on my Amazon wishlist but by the time I finish my diet I may decide I no longer need them!

It's made me realise how easy it is to impulse buy and to give in to that rush of excitement when you find that 'perfect' fabric or 'must have' book.

I've managed the need for books by visiting the library for the first time in a few months. The kids and I came home with a dozen or so books, including this one , this one and this one for me.

The first is making great bedtime reading, the second is going to have to become a permanent addition to my own personal Bodleian library and the third has some lovely sewing projects - nothing wildly different but beautiful fabrics and gorgeous photos.

That's the book addiction taken care of.

What about fabric?

Ah....well, that's been taken care of too, thanks to my lovely Fabric Swap partner Natasha :-)

Natasha sent me the most gorgeous parcel of delicious things - including these fantastic fabrics made by Natasha herself! Aren't they fab?!!

Some yummy fabric covered buttons - loving these!

....and feast your eyes on this yumminess - beautiful beautiful fabric!

Thank you so much Natasha - I adore everything you sent and it's been great to meet another lovely blogger :-)

So, with my fabric and book addictions fed, week 1 of THE DIET has been good. What will week 2 bring? Will my resolve weaken? Watch this space!

Now I just need to apply this week's positive mental attitude to the other (and much harder) sort of diet!!!

After I've made (and eaten) some of this ;-)

Have a lovely weekend xxxx

Monday, February 2, 2009

And about time too!

There have been more than a few mornings like this of late...

....and this morning we finally woke up to a fresh crisp blanket of snow. Children were dressed and breakfasted in record time so they could fit in some fun before school....

After slipping and sliding up and down the hill to school - with me carrying Minx's cello! - we arrived to discover the children could go home again.

School wasn't officially closed but so few staff had made it in that they would not be doing much today and told us they would close early anyway. We opted to do what 95% of the parents had done and go home to enjoy the snow. Luckily my work meetings were also cancelled today!!

This is the first time we have had anything near 'proper' snow in the seven and a half years we've lived here and it was too good to miss.

Minx's friend came home with us and Moog and I took them for a lovely snowy walk :-)

Moog went cracker-dog in the snow. Who would believe this nutter is nearly 14?!

Brrr....chillin' out!!

As many of you in the UK will know - 2 to 5cm of snow constitutes 'severe weather'.......thank goodness I whipped these babies up last night then!

Why the clenched fist? 'Cos I saw how old and haggard my hands were looking and couldn't inflict them on you!!

My demanding friend Locket told me I have to tell you how to make these. How can I refuse?

I used Sublime merino wool and a size 4.5mm crochet hook. They are made as a flat piece of crochet and then sewn together into a tube.
Here's how to do them:

With main colour - chain 34 stitches, turn and treble crochet (US double crochet) into 4th chain from hook. Treble crochet into every stitch to end of chain. Turn and chain 2, then treble crochet in every stitch to end. Repeat this for every row until wristwarmer is desired length. Fasten off main colour.

Place the two edges together and stitch together to form a tube. Now attach a contrast yarn to the top edge. *Slip stitch into 2 stitches, chain 3, slip stitch into next stitch** repeat from * to ** around top of tube - this gives a picot edge to the wristwarmer.

If you want to you can do a row of contrasting colour around the bottom of the wristwarmer too - I did but forgot to photograph this bit!

I did these in just over two hours last night. Let me know if you have a go too and if you have any problems understanding my rather vague 'pattern'!!

In other crafty news, last week's brief foray into recycled crafts (for work ;-) ) led to me having a go at making some envelopes. We always use loads of envelopes for school notes and I was about to buy some more but decided to opt for a bit of repurposing instead.

I used old envelopes opened up to make a template and then chose some pretty pages from my stockpile of old Country Living magazines, added a white address label and hey presto!

Once started I just couldn't stop......I made fifty!!!....and these are a few examples...

I have no idea if we'll be 'snowed in' again tomorrow. What would we ever do in this funny little country if we had real weather?

Have a good week :-)

Love xxxxx