Official Swiper

In the last couple of weeks I had a letter from my bank. It was not to discuss my tuppence of assets in their grip.

No it was to insure I had easy access to reduce and spend it.

A spanking brand new piece of plastic was attached to the letter, a month before the old one expired. At least this new plastic did not necessitate a page of questions about my financial health and a tour of the land!!!!

This spanking brand new piece of plastic brought me up to date with the world of swiping. Making small purchases up to the value of £30, I can swipe my card on the card reader without the effort of inserting my pin number.

Just like the new shoes or sandals bought for me as a child, I loved to walk out of the shop wearing them. I was anxious to try this spanking brand new piece of plastic.

On my next visit to the local branch of Asda, I discovered they do not have the facility for the use of Swipe cards. I discovered it was the same story in other Supermarkets – Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Lidl does have the facility, so when I have run out of almonds for baking, or feel like a crusty roll for my lunch, I know where I’ll be swiping!

Now on the mention of food and lunch, I discovered this video recently and thought it was perfect for anyone wanting to lose those winter pounds:

Craft with my needle ~ Odds and sods of my yarn stash.

 

My favourite seat for several weeks (while building up my energy levels)  was in a comfortable armchair near the window for the light and surrounded by the largest crochet project for some time – a corner to corner shrug/blanket/Afghan. Worked in random yarns to use up all the odd skeins, half used balls and odd scraps of yarn lingering at the base of my stash.

Oddments of yarn

A sample of oddments

Most of the yarn I was using had come from leftovers of garments I have made, or yarn that was gifted to me from:

  • Brighid, in California
  • Brogen, to use in memory of her late mother Emma Sharma Hayes
  • Ello in Dublin.
  • Margaret, my now late friend who gifted me some of her stash when it became too difficult to knit.
C2C Blanket - Day 1

C2C Blanket – Day 1

So not alone was I reducing the yarn stash, I was actually creating a Memory Blanket that each time I looked at it or spread it across my knees, I re-lived the making or wearing of an item I had made with a particular yarn.

The people listed above were almost in the room with me as I added their colours and textures to my work.

The original idea was to leave it in the car for emergency use, but the colours were bright & cosy and I felt I wanted  to see it on a daily basis. It is large enough to cover the surface of my double bed. But it lives on the couch so I can snuggle under it for a rest, or pull it over my knees and feet to keep my extremities warn as I work on the next new project.

I do have enough for another C2C and will make one for the car in the autumn.

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My Memory Blanket surrounds me with warm hugs from all the friends who gifted me their yarn, each time I use it.

Many Thanks and love to all of you.

A short post for my crafting friends

After my very enjoyable morning at Parlour Yarns, I drove the short distance to Craftwoman Fabrics at Kilroot, Carrickfergus.

Elly had contacted me from Israel to ask if I could watch out for something she needed and it was also a nudge for me to bring my sewing box down on my next visit. I found what she needed with no bother and then came across this little beauty:

Thread & yarn cutter

Thread & yarn cutter

Ideal for travelling especially by air the flower has a rotary blade between the petals. I tried it on sewing thread, crochet cotton and a thick yarn. It cut cleanly on all three. A small needle threader slides out of the handle and the lanyard is detachable. I can see myself using this for many years to come.

On the move again!

In Work for today on 7th January, I was telling you about applying for my driving licence.

Move forward to 11th May and the following conversation took place:

After several attempts to try and get through to DVA in Coleraine, I finally managed to do so at 11:30. The long route of listening and clicking through a million options, brought me to a recorded voice advising me that I was number nine in the answering queue.

Holding

I was not moving. I held on listening to some gentle music and eventually spoke to a young lady.

I had of course to prove who I was etc., And having related the whole tired story, she put me on hold to contact the Post Room to check if they had record of receiving my money. Yes they did. (£30 I paid on 21st April).

Next she put me on hold while she went to check progress with the Medical department…

Back she came to tell me: ‘On 5th May my status was changed from Stopped to current by the medical team’??? The same medical team who gave me verbal permission to drive.

So in order for the new licence to be processed it must go to Swansea, in Wales. The DVA are unable to produce the little plastic ‘credit’ sized cards that include a photograph, in Northern Ireland… so it would be another few days before I got it.

Twenty five minutes to learn all of that and I was still a lady-in-waiting.

Another few days she said. It has been one hell of a long few days since 19-01-16.

And finally…

On 16th May my letterbox rattled and Lo and Behold My brand spanking new driving licence landed in my hall!

One whole week later I finally manage to share my delight with you. This new licence  is for three years and at least the next one will be free.

A Meme

I found this finished list lurking in my ‘items to post’ folder. It must have been there at least a couple of weeks. There are several other items… begun, half finished or with just a title back there. So here we go…

My variation of Chuck’s Meme

Every answer must start with the first letter of your name. 

Name – Marie
Colour – Mustard
Career – Magistrate
Hobby – Macramé
Animal – Moose
Boys Name – Michael
Girls Name – Maxine
Drink – Margarita
Food – Monkfish
Fruit – Melon
Place – Madrid
Movie – Mission Impossible
Something you wear – Muffler
Something found in bathroom – Make-up
Reason to be late – Murdered

😆 I have not been murdered. I need to reinstate my blogging routine. I have missed the daily interaction with regular readers. Intentions are good but time is a killer right now.

Sewing alterations & repairs are my priority for today.

Over the weekend I ‘hope’ to find some time to complete a few unfinished posts for during the coming week.

An alphabet of my likes

  • Apples, apricots, artists & abandoned buildings.
  • Babbling brooks, bacon, beads, bubbles, blogging & Buffy.
  • Chocolate, coffee, cake, crochet, cross stitch & cooking.
  • Denmark, dates, denim jeans & drawn thread work.
  • Elegance, exploration, exhibitions & Elly.
  • Freshly squeezed juice, friends, fabric & fun.
  • Grapes, green, gates, good people & gin.
  • Hellos, hugs, honey, hummus & humour.
  • Icicles, Ikea, illusions, Indian saris & Ireland.
  • Jade, jumpers, jackets & jelly.
  • Knots, knitting, kindness, keys & kites.
  • Laughter, listening, love stories & lemon meringue pie.
  • Memories, motherhood, my family, moo cards & music.
  • New places, neat clothes, needles & now.
  • Old people for their wisdom & stories, oranges & olives.
  • People, photography, playing on words, & patchwork.
  • Quotes, quietude and a quiz.
  • Raspberry red, reflections, rock-scrambling & rambling.
  • Sculpture, sorbet, shadows, sketches, smiles, surprises & sunsets.
  • Talented people, texture, touch, travel & truth.
  • Ulster Museum, uncles, unity & ?
  • Virginia creeper, volunteering, velvet, vegetables & viennetta.
  • Wise words, wine, wool & wood grain.
  • Xylophones. As you can see there are not many X’s in my life.
  • Yarn, yarning, yellow, & yellow man,*
  • Zithers, zippers, ziplock bags & zip lines.

*Yellow man is a locally made honeycomb.

Planning & dreaming

The last few days I have been “grass-hoppering” – I ricochet from job to job, starting everything, finishing nothing. You can blame excitement.

I am planning a few days in London. At the moment my destination is a secret. I’ll be meeting a fella. A kinda date. I never met him before… only on the internet. I think he is real and not like Mr Moss!

This here mystery man even organised my accommodation before telling me.

Do not worry. I’ll have a chaperone. Not like in the old days… an elderly aunt or fussing mother in a little bonnet, high necked blouse with mutton leg sleeves over her whale bone stays and skirts that polish the floor never mind her button boots. All finished off with a tiny lacy hanky to wipe away her tears or hide her blushes!

No. my chaperone will be young at heart, young in body and with a sense of humour just like mine. He chose well. All will be grand.

I know I still have a few weeks to wait, but I am already planning my packing… only one small cabin bag with wheels. No trunks with mountains of outfits that will never see the light of day.

It will be a case of one to wear, one to wash and one for spare with the undies.* I am praying the weather will be kind and not saturatingly soggy.

Outer layers will all be mix & match – the best idea the fashion industry ever came up with.

No skirts. It will be trousers all the way, I have no intention of advertising my pallid flesh, knock-knees, corns, bunions and more blue veins that a Stilton cheese!

And when the clothing is sorted I’ll need to deal with technology:

My cell phone

.

My phone

My Tablets

My Tablets

Tablets, yes more than one.

Then there in my latest acquisition…

I have joined the world of the pad. NO. Not TENA Lady, stop smirking toyboy techies, I mean something totally different and it works. Bigtime.

My Eye Pad.

My eye pad

My eye pad

Thirty seconds in the microwave and my eyes sparkle!

*  The mention of travel and undies made me giggle. A sudden memory of disposable pants that were all the go when I was a young twenty year old. You wore one for a day and then dumped them, Great for holiday packing but oh so uncomfortable. They were made of the same paper type fabric as the disposable hospital gowns that are in use today.

Can you see me?

When did I shrink? When did I shrink

I found these Toyboys last Friday at Garden Show Ireland in the grounds of Antrim Castle, on a bright sun filled day. When I came home my cheeks were glowing.

Glowing from the sunshine… what else were you thinking? At my age even thinking about ‘it’ would wear me out!

I did have some fun with this guy I found in the Flower arranging tent.

My outdoor man

My outdoor man

Art with my needle ~ Update

Long gone are the Wednesdays when my regular posts on needlework – either in progress or completed were shared here (I suppose you could say that about all the usual areas of posting).

Well the needles have been active in the background so look forward to a few items turning up here in the weeks to come.

To begin with, I got round to re framing & re-instating The Lady*’!

Before doing so I decided to spring clean the Bathroom. Now you have all seen my bathroom in the past so there is no need to blush.

I replaced the radiator, removed the old faded curtains, made some new ones, but before hanging them, my attention turned to some emulsion for the ceiling, cleaning the wall tiles and tackling the bath…

cleaning my shoes

cleaning my shoes

Yes. I had to clean my shoes** before I cleaned the bath

Bath buns

Bath buns

I find Bath buns*** always help! 😉 After that the bath sparkled like new. I picked some new towels to tone with ‘my lady’.

All fresh and clean

All fresh and clean

All I needed were little ties to keep my curtains in place. Little things often cause me problems, so there was plenty of  ferniggling to achieve the look I wanted.

flowers and butterflies

flowers and butterflies

I began with crochet flowers and then tried butterflies

Curtain ties in place

Curtain ties in place

With the light behind the window, it was difficult to see the new ties. The curtains are a double layer threaded over a pole and the top layer gathered into the ties. For the moment I have it solved.

Butterfly Tie

Butterfly tie

Butterfly tie on a crochet band with a toggle closure at the back.

So finally finished you can see the lady back in place.

Lady reinstated

Lady reinstated

Each of the links marked with red stars lead to the original posts where the photos appeared with explanations. 

You can find my recipe for Bath Buns here