Monday, 31 October 2011

Bouncing Babe

Yesterday, we took the Hooting Hallowe'en Owls and a couple of pumpkins and set off into the hinterlands to visit little Sophia, who was looking cute in her witch's outfit.

She had a nice chat with grandad...

...and then showed off her dancing skills in the baby bouncer.

Lovely though the visit was, I may have to offer help on the housekeeping front (not that I'm a paragon of virtue on that front)...

Poor Sophia's Mum was meant to be hosting a parents and babies get together on Saturday, but she came down with a migraine and had to cancel.  Such a shame, when she'd gone to all that trouble to decorate and the place looked fantastic!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Hoping to find time to make some of these today...

Tana Ramsay's Hooting Hallowe'en Owls

To find out how, pop along here.

I'm not really that into Hallowe'en, especially 'trickle treating' (as the children seem to call it).  A few years back I scored on that front, by giving children from school who arrived at my door oranges or apples (we didn't have any sweets in the house!).  Word soon got round that it isn't worth hammering on our door and scaring the living daylights out of me because all you get is FRUIT!


Saturday, 29 October 2011

Because I always show you the exciting things that arrive in the post, I just have to share today's package...

What - no fabric?

Just a load of worms, some coir and a new 'duvet' for our 
can-o-worms composting bin!

I could barely contain myself!

But on a very exciting note, Mr U-t-B got out his blow-lamp, collected some glass which had been cut by the glazier and did some repairs!  (Those of you who know Mr U-t-B will worry that he hasn't changed the habits of a lifetime, as he appears to be doing this work straight on top of the breakfast bar.  In actual fact, that is a sheet of plywood under the window pane.)

The shed project is so very nearly finished. 
Now that's what I call exciting!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Favourite Thing on a Friday

Working with this fabric...

(which is on a red background, even if this looks orange!)

...and being reminded of the dresses my sister and I had in it.  They were the same pattern as below (that's me with my knickers on show! Flippin' 'eck, we wore our dresses short in them days!), white dart-shaped bodice and the cheery peeps, lanterns and buggies below.  My Mum made us lovely things - thanks!

I'm using a small piece of it to make this...

I am quietly confident that this will not be a 'project from hell' like the scarf.  

But that's another favourite thing, because I have now finished the rows with the dreaded '7 stitch wrap' (which turns out to be 'smocking stitch' of a sort) 
and am onto the rows with only 'yo' and 'sl1, k2tog, psso' to keep track of!

And last of all for today, this tablecloth, from a local charity shop. 

Sadly it is damaged.  

Why do I say sadly? 

Secretly I actually rejoice when I find one that is damaged, because if it's in good condition I can't bring myself to cut it up.

I'm going to try something a bit alternative with this one.

I'll show it if it works out okay...

I'm linking up with Mimi and Tilly today. 

 Do hop over and see what favourites others are sharing. There's sherbet dib dabs for a start!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

When will I learn...

...that showing planned projects on my blog before I even have the faintest idea whether I can achieve them is pure madness?

For, once I have mentioned something, and shown some pretty pictures...

...I do feel that I must deliver the requisite ta-dah! moment, and not take too long about it!

Now whilst reaching 'the reveal' in most cases is pure pleasure, the last few days have seen more than a few moments when, had it not been for me opening my big bloggy mouth (so to speak) I'd have abandoned the project in rage and frustration.

Mostly this has been the fault of the planned scarf bonanza.  Did you spot this alongside the lovely photo?

So, I found the lovely Noro yarn to click my way towards something gorgeous for someone special this Christmas. Then I spotted the bargain £1-a-ball 'Allegra' alpaca mix and thought I might as well make two more for another two special people.  

And I have now spent two evenings, and a few odd bits of time in between, knitting and then mostly unravelling what I've made!

If this is someone's idea of easy, I dread to this what would constitute intermediate or advanced!  

I have got this far...

...but I have to tell you that it is peppered with lost stitches (luckily not dropped) and hasty 'make ones' that aren't in the pattern at all.   And it is no surprise to me to find that all my problems stem from the dastardly '7 stitch wrap' that I was quite enthusiastic about on Tuesday.  I have not mastered the stitch, but have learnt to deal with the problem it throws up, so will just continue and hope that the recipient is not going to examine the finished article too closely and spot the errors!

In other news, there has been a bit more bag making...

...and a bit of window painting...

(It's not wonky, just a bit open!)
Shed reveal very soon hopefully!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Thinking ahead...

 This... this... this...

...together with this...

...which can be found in this...

...equals some busy evenings ahead!

(No time for more just now - I have some strange instructions to fathom.  I will return once I have mastered the '7 stitch wrap' and 'yo'.  Knitting instructions sound so cool these days!)

Monday, 24 October 2011

Hallo-'allo-'allo! What do we 'ave 'ere then?

I'm sure it's been a real nail-biting time for you, dear readers, ever since I told you of the crime amongst the flora of the garden wall, and asked for your help in tracking down the villains (you can read about it here if you somehow missed out on this earth shattering news item).   

Several suggestions came my way, for which I was very grateful.

Slugs and snails were put in the frame by quite a few people, but as Alpine grit surround the plants, I felt it was unlikely that they were the culprits, and that if they were, I'd have seen their trails.  

Woodlice (my No. 1 suspect), it was suggested, are peaceable chaps and chap-esses, who munch on no more than dead plant matter and wouldn't harm a flea, or, more to the point, a viola.  

Fingers were also pointed at our feathered friends, but the delicate nature of the nibbling seemed to keep them in the clear.  

Then my sister-in-law (the energetic one who cycled to Paris recently and who has the cutest dog ever in Ralph) phoned and said it might be weevils.  Nematode treatment was suggested, but I thought I'd give a few puffs of ant powder in the hope that this would deal with the little blighters, till I managed to get something specifically designed to eradicate weevils.  I'm normally a bit live-and-let-live in the garden as far as pests are concerned (my poor hostas will testify to the fact that I don't use pesticides often!) but as whoever it was was eating every single flower, I was prepared to be tough!

And look what has happened now!

We have flowers once more!

Oodles and oodles of them!

 So, the culprits have not been caught, but they have either left the scene or...well...let's not dwell on that!

In other news, two parcels arrived recently.  First came these...

Two lots of Christmas Drinks coaster invitations...

..and one set of coaster Thank Yous...

Cut! Cute! Cute!
They arrived really quickly!

Then this...

 Can you see the pretty tissue paper and the beautiful, proper ribbon that is keeping them together?  This bundle is from 'Dragonfly Fabrics'.  Ordered half way through Thursday, it arrived on Saturday, so it's another website I'd recommend for quick service.

Much as I wanted to get on with some sewing, either with this...

...combined with a bit of this...

Or this...

I was a bit busy with a work colleague and all of this...

The shoeboxes...

...and all the bags of contributions brought in by the children from school...

..have landed in my dining room...

After a militarily precise operation, everything has been divvied up, so the knitted finger puppet gang (along with some other very lovely cuddlies knitted by my colleague) have jumped into boxes and are preparing for their onwards journey!  Next stop Romania!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Weird Google-y Things

Now don't get me wrong - Google is a wonderful thing.  

Since it appeared in our lives, it has been helpful in sooo many ways.  

Like when you are watching a quiz programme and want to know the answer so you can sit there smugly, whilst the presenter procrastinates to string the programme out.  

Or when your offspring come to you in their erroneous view of you as the fount of all knowledge and you need to find out something quick sharp, before you and your intellect end up crashing off the pedestal upon which you have managed hitherto to remain.

But sometimes, Google doesn't half come up with some strange things.  

Recently I was looking at the Traffic Sources bit of the Stats page for my blog, and happened to scroll down to the bit near the bottom where it gives the search keywords that have led people to your blog.  And there amongst them was... 

side view of a barbed wire fence

Yes, exactly that.  

So three questions popped into my head.  Firstly, who is it out there that typed that into their Google search box?  And why?  (And let me stress right here that it was not just one such search, but two!)
And then why, when someone typed that in, did Google point them in my direction?

Thinking back though, I do once recall posting a photo of a barbed wire fence...

...and I guess it is a side view, so maybe I can understand this one.  

But then there was 

US navy sailor sunset

which brought two people to my blog only yesterday.  I am completely perplexed, and can't help but feel sorry for the unfortunate pair who arrived at my blog hoping to see a matelot, resplendent in his US naval uniform and perfect smile, saluting as his ocean-bound craft leaves port, with the sun setting like a golden ball on the distant horizon, and found only tales of failed attempts at bag-making, salvaged doors and vintage sewing patterns...

As puzzling as this were the results of a search I made earlier in the week.  I had planned to do a post on signs I had seen recently that made me giggle. (I gave up on the post due to the lack of photos, but will sidetrack into a summary right here.  First there was the one we saw just outside Andover, a couple of months back:

Uncontrolled Pedestrians Crossing

it said. As I was driving, I wasn't able to capture it on film! 
(Nor did I manage to snap the wild and un-co-ordinated pedestrians.)

 Then there was the one on a sheet hung across the front of a house down the road last weekend:

Happy Birthday, Diane!
60 years old.
And still in control of her bladder.

Utterly charmed, I'm sure she was!

And then this one (which prompted the Google search.  I will get back to that in a minute!)

Let's focus in a bit...

Now Mr U-t-B thinks I'm very silly, but it does make me want to find a young goat and go along for a drink, just to see how welcome we would be!   

(I  don't know why I've always hated the word 'kid' when used to mean 'child'.  I decided that, to back me up in my dislike, I'd look it up in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary, which would confirm that a kid is, first and foremost, a young goat.  Here's what I found...


a child or young person


deceive (someone) in a playful way; tease


a small wooden tub, especially a sailor’s mess tub for grog or rations

That's me told!) 

When I was thinking about doing the post, I thought it would be mildly amusing
 to find a photo of a woman (which I'd pretend was me) 
with a goat.  

(Needless to say, I do not have a picture of me with a goat.)  

So I Googled 
'woman with goat'   


Some of the images that pop up are a bit on the dodgy side 
(not that dodgy, but you wouldn't want your grandma to see them...)  

But amidst them all was also this picture...

...which was a bit of a Google-y bonus!

So, what strange keyword searches have led people to your blog (if you have one) or what unexpected results have you had from a Google search?

PS I'll admit it. I lied.  I do have a photo of me with a goat!

But it isn't half as good as the one I'd planned to use, masquerading as me...

From Google Images