Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Threading for Beginners

I've got a fairly unsophisticated sewing machine, as well as age-related deteriorating eyesight. So, I have to resort to using a needle threader. No all-singing, all-dancing automatic threader for me!
The trouble with these things, though is that they break all too frequently. Well mine do.
You can usually buy them in two's or three's for around a pound.  Hobbycraft sell them like this.
Still seems expensive to me.
The wonder of eBay meant I was able to buy a bundle of them for mere pennies.
Thing is, though, I've now got 250!
If I use them at the rate of one a month, it'll still take 20 years to get through that lot.
So, I thought I would share them. If you're a Luddite, like me and could make use of some needle threaders - drop me an email and I'll pop some in the post.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Monday Morning Feeling....

.......Or it would be, except I'm having mine on Tuesday. It's back to work tomorrow, after a week off. I'm happy to report that I didn't spend any money all week, until today, that is. A trip to the Post Office, a top-up shop in Sainsbury's - that came in at a massive £2.57 and unfortunately a 40p library fine!
No petrol used whilst I've been off, no charity shops visited, all meals from store cupboard - so, a success, I think!
I haven't been bored, plenty to do that doesn't involve consumerism worship. I did, however, get treated to a night out that included dinner and a film, so I'm lucky and can't complain.

On The Straight And Narrow.

Posted by Picasa
I went to a grammar school, where it was decided that keyboard skills should not be taught, as grammar school girls did not become typists. This was in the olden days, obviously. Instead we had domestic science - not sure that even exists anymore. We did cooking and sewing. The first year we made an apron to wear whilst cooking and the next year we made a skirt. They weren't particularly inspiring lessons and did not promote a life-long love of sewing.
I was given a second hand old and very heavy sewing machine when I was 16. This made me interested in sewing. I made lots of my own clothes, with mixed success. When I started clubbing, it was important to have a different outfit every week and being something of a punk meant I was quite creative(and outrageous), at times.
Later, I became more interested in soft furnishings - making curtains, cushions and duvet covers. I would haunt the now defunct Habitat shop, buying remnants of furnishing fabric.
Sadly life got in the way and I stopped sewing for what turned into decades.
About 15 months ago I treated myself to a rather basic machine and just over a year ago I found my interest in quilting.
My previous experience hasn't stood me in good stead, at all. So, it's been like learning from scratch. The basics, like cutting accurately and sewing in a straight line are still skills to be completely mastered. I'm getting there!
I've found it useful to make small things like the above mug mat - it's good practice. I've done some more today. However, loading more than one photo at the moment is something Blogger still won't help me with!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Not much sewing, today. Lots of cutting, cutting and more cutting. 200 6" squares needed - nearly there!
I made another mug rug thingy with Bee fabric scraps, but no chance of a pic - bugger Blogger. It used to be so simple to upload photos, now it's a very time consuming task.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Saturday Sewing

I made the January block for the Bee I belong to. It's to make up a quilt from a tutorial on Fresh Lemons Quilts. I've checked and it is straight!I had quite a few scraps left so whipped up a (very) scrappy mug rug/mat/thingy. I'll pop that in the post as well.
Hope Blogger gets the photo thing fixed soon. Took ages to load these and they had to be 'as is' - editing them was only possible if I didn't want to publish also.
Apologies for the quality.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Happy Birthday Mr B

Having been an almost life-long fan of David Bowie, it's wonderful to see that he's still going strong and on the occasion of his 66th birthday, he's released new material.
Looking forward to the album.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Spreadsheet Overload

How many spreadsheets are too many?

In a vain effort to be organised, I've added to my collection.
I already had the budget one - that's the one where I juggle money available with the amount needed to pay the bills and have a life as well. It's scary, but necessary.
Next I have a sort of monthly meal plan, that takes into account when I need a lunch for work and when I'm going to eat the same thing two nights running. This one is flexible, but helps with planning my shopping list. I do a 'big' shop once a month.
Master shopping list is kept on Mysupermarket and updated and printed off before I hit the supermarket.
Last year I also started using .Listigator for various things - I love a 'To Do List'!
My newest one, however, is very important. I've entered all the UFOs I have as well as planned projects and added start / finish dates and the costs involved.
This is supposed to keep me on track this year.
Today I made the January block for the Bee I'm in. Need to square it up before posting and I'll take a photo in the daylight.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

And The Winner Is........

Well, having been up all night checking and counting, I'm about to reveal the winner of my little giveaway. It was a resounding success!
I was absolutely inundated with 2 entries.

Enter a lower limit:
Enter an upper limit:
Random Number:

 The goodies go to number 2 commenter - Aalcea Rosea!
 Please email me your postal address and I'll get the package sent off as soon as possible.
Actually, I feel a bit bad about Connie KLine missing out, so Connie send me your address, as well and I'll put a little something in the post.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Countdown To Extreme Frugality

As I blogged a couple of days ago, I have some time off fast approaching. I've already got a few jobs planned and some more interesting stuff, but alongside this, I've decided to set myself a challenge. Can I go a whole week without spending a penny - I know some people already do this as a matter of course.
I'll treat myself to some new library books, walk if I go out and make serious inroads into the contents of my store cupboard.
Purse firmly closed. Oh. except for posting my Giveaway, whoops.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Frugal New Year

I know we are only 3 days in, but I can report success with my frugal endeavours. So far this year, no money spent, all meals at home and lunches for work from the store cupboard, no food wasted and languishing in the recycling,
I haven't been near any sales (don't actually need anything) and have taken to driving like a flat-capped pensioner on a Sunday morning, to eek out the petrol.
Only another 365 days to go.
One of the (many) things I want to master whilst I'm off is making my own bread. I acquired a breadmaker a little while ago. Second hand, of course, but I haven't been brave to get to grips with it. Whenever I tried breadmaking in the past, I've produced some excellent door stops, but nothing edible, Time to learn this, as plenty of raw ingredients in cupboard, ready and waiting.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Something To Look Forward To!

Whilst most people reluctantly dragged themselves into work this morning, having had an extended Christmas break, I was feeling quite different.
It always seems to me that the UK practically comes to a standstill for 2 weeks in December - everything is, 'well it'll be after Christmas, now'.
My world is slightly different in that I was off work on the Bank Holidays, but other than those days, it was nose to the grindstone. However, next week, I have the whole week off, actually 9 days off. Can't wait!
Lots of things planned - probably more than I will have time for,
Aside from the sewing / quilting projects and slapping a bit of paint on a couple of walls, I hope to catch up on some sleep.
The reason for my lack of sleep:-
This is Bernard, possibly the most annoying, attention seeking cat in the world. He's relentless and wakes me up numerous times during the night, usually with a deafening purr. I wouldn't be without him, but I wish he slept more.
If you haven't seen my Giveaway, pop along here and leave a comment to enter.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year Giveaway

Today is the one year anniversary of my starting this blog. Whilst my success and commitment to it have been somewhat mixed, I have learnt a lot in the past 12 months.
In order to say thank you for all the advice, inspiration and kind words I have received from others out there in blogosphere, I've decided to have a very small giveaway.
Up for grabs is a package containing 3 fat quarters of fabric, one of which is a Laura Ashley print, a mini cross-stitch kit with everything needed to make a needle case and a hand made Caroline Jacques felted pink purse.

If you'd like to win, just leave me a comment, below. I'll leave it to run until 9pm (GMT) on Friday 4th Jan. After that I'll employ something hat-like to pick a winner.
Many thanks to my followers over the past year and a Happy New Year to you all.