“Mum do you think…?”

Mum thinks. 

She thinks plenty.

In fact when mum hears the question “Mum do you think…?” forming, she is thinking a mile a minute and wondering what is coming next!

I am getting cute in my old age… almost two years ago The question was completed and I agreed to have a go and see what I could do.

John Button pink t-shirt

John Button pink t-shirt

Now a little explanation might help:

The pink shirt was a tribute shirt for John Button, Jenson Button’s father. Jenson races in F1. John always wore pink shirts to his son’s races, and they were usually open at the collar and showing some of his chest.

John died unexpectedly in Jan 2014. As a tribute to him, and to raise money for charity, pink t-shirts were made in his honour and sold at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone in July.

Elly and George were watching the Grand Prix, saw the shirts and immediately George knew she wanted one. It had nothing to do with her jumping up and down in front of the TV singing “I want, I want, I want!”

Time passed.

George was invited to the Goodwood Festival of Speed that year by his brother and father. The shirts were on sale and my darling son in love knew he had to buy one for Elly. Then came the difficult part: Guess the size, and we all know that is not an easy task for any man.

Typically, it was a man’s t-shirt, so while it fitted Elly around the bust, it was huge below that. I had shortened tops for Elly in the past to make them suit better on her frame, so that was why the question was asked to do it again.

When I saw the shape of the shirt with the close high neck, I knew it was not Elly. She NEVER wanted anything tight around her neck. I also wanted to be a little more daring, and follow  along the line of the open neck. So the shirt came home with me to be worked on at my leisure.

More time passed.

I was thinking and planning…

If I was to follow the line of the open shirt design, I would need to find a lining fabric. Lo and behold I was out one day, not quite where the tulips grow, but in a shop with t/shirts on display and for sale in exactly the colour tone I needed. It was also a lighter fabric so ideal for use as lining. The plain back of the t-shirt was sufficient for my needs.

J'adore t-shirt

J’adore t-shirt

Over time I plotted and schemed my way. The sleeves were way too wide, so I would have to take them in and adjust the side seams to suit Elly and finally take a chunk off the bottom. So we had a live modelling session with the shirt inside out. I pinned and marked and Elly managed to struggle out of the garment with any stabbing by pins.

More time passed.

I like good natural light for working in, but the weather gods, took a very long time to open the heavy grey curtains and allow that yellow ball in the sky to shine through.

All the while I was thinking and planning. Then the stars sun was in my favour and I let loose with the scissors. There was no turning back. 

Work in progress

Work in progress

 

I worked so far but needed a second ‘inside out’ fitting to make sure the new front lining was sitting comfortably and smoothly before I continued with the final hand sewing. So the project was set aside until I went to Dublin in July this year. 

The fitting took place and while Elly was busy earning an honest crust, I set to hand sewing and finishing the task in hand. Not quite in hand… I needed the fabric stretched, and since the live model was not available, I used a pillow!

20160619_173348

By the time Elly came home, the work was done and she donned the finished garment and smiled happily.

Happy Elly

Happy Elly

Time to resume my blogging

It seems like years since I was blogging on a regular basis. It has been months since my last confession blog post (8th July 2016).

In the interim… life has been busy, fun, and family filled.

I/we are fortunate that our sibling circle is still intact.

We may be hovering on the upper shelf, but we are blessed that our families are now increased by two generations! For my part, I have one daughter, a son-in-love, seven nieces, three nephews with a younger generation of nine and counting! We are indeed blessed.

The highlight of our month of sharing in July was a gathering in the house where we were born and the garden where we were reared, still the home of our youngest sibling: my sister. Special thanks must go to her for allowing an invasion of over thirty wonderful, talented & colourful characters. We each contributed by providing the food, booze and soft drinks for the day, from the oldest to the youngest grand niece, who stirred and tasted the chocolate for the making of Krispie buns! The boys were not left out: Sean’s guacamole was a great hit with everyone and now world famous!

The little people were a happy bunch, playing and chatting while showing their talents using coloured chalks on the pathways. It allowed the grown-ups to natter and banter at will. Plenty of space to wander and catch up with folk we have not connected with for a few years and too meet some new additions to the circle.

The gathering in our old family home and garden was so much better and more relaxed than if it were held in an hotel. We ‘six’ were back in our childhood…days when the sun was always shining! We did have a day of glorious sunshine despite a spell of much cooler and wet weather in the weeks leading up to the special day.

The singing from all six of us in a group or as individuals provided great amusement for the younger generations, some of the ‘littl’uns’ stood open mouthed as they saw their elders in a totally new light. Each song had a story, or a memory of a previous generation now long gone, who on dark winter evenings (pre-television or central heating), found entertainment sitting around a turf fire and raising the rafters with song, laughter and cups of tea! Days when we sang our way through the thirty two counties of Ireland and each song had a verse for every county. These were intermingled with songs from Musical shows… we grew up knowing them all.

A time of memory making that will stay with us all our days.

)*()*()*(

By contrast, for me the last month and a half was dull, frustrating and painful. Things are improving. My taste, interest and appetite for food  and cooking have returned, though the painful problem has not yet been resolved. I no longer feel the need to sleep the days away, though a good uninterrupted night’s sleep would be welcome!

With no energy for gallivanting, visitors, house chores or blogging, I distracted myself with some sewing and crochet.

Over the next few weeks I hope to share some of the projects I completed and of course I have not yet shared properly my wonderful week in London and the bloggers I finally met in person even though we have been friends for years in Blogland.

I did find a little energy along the way for a spell of one-to-one crochet tutoring with a very attentive student!!

Buffy learing to crochet

Buffy learing to crochet

 

 

Oh the excitement…

We are all on our way !

We are all on our way !

On our way to the airport on Wednesday night. Not a very clear shot from a shaky hand, in the passenger seat of a fast moving car. At dusk. The tiny white light above the sign board with the yellow signage is the plane we were planning to meet almost ready to touchdown on the runway.

We made it in plenty of time, to meet & chat with a few more of my siblings while our precious but exhausted visitors were transferred to baggage reclaim to collect their bags.

I had a message at 20:50 on Tuesday that they were on board the plane, and two flights plus twenty fours later they landed in Dublin.

A day to catch up on sleep, a day of gentle relaxed fun today, so on Saturday…

Let the partying begin!

Where to begin…

Two weeks home from a wonderful week in London and I have not written one word about it.

Why?

Was it a failure?

NO WAY was it a failure!

It was so fantastic that I am struggling to come back down to earth once more. The days, the people, the places and the fun & laughter and of course Toyboys… they still swirl around in my head.

 

With Barbara my niece

With Barbara my niece, photo taken by my grand niece Rebekah

I had/have several crochet projects going on that had time limits, so my fingers were kept busy during the swirling, twirling kaleidoscopic aftermath of my adventures.

There were also other reasons .

  • I am playing my part in the preparations for a family gathering. For me that task is baking.
  • Over the past few months I noticed that I was finding it more difficult to spend time reading or working at my computer. I was blaming my eyes, they would become tired quickly and the screen, the print or photographs seemed dull. An added difficulty was having a ‘Shiny’ screen that acted like a mirror in bright light ( no. I did not appreciate seeing my ould ragged face every time I opened my laptop). Poor Tobias Laptop has been limping for a long time, but on Thursday just as I found some time and inspiration to post on my blog, he gave up the ghost. Died. Dead as a door nail.

I do have so much to share, the holiday and the craft work of the past months. I also have wonderful photos on a USB key, and only managed to add one for the moment.

It might be next week, but I promise details.. some of them anyway… a girl needs her secrets! 😉

What were you doing on Friday?

I went for a drive, in a freshly washed, hoovered and dusted car.

We are old friends now, the car and I. Sixteen years we have spent together, tootling over hill and dale.

I spoke gently to her on the way.

Be a good girl and do all the things the nice man asks you to do.

She did and here is the evidence:

My car sitting aloft

My car sitting aloft

Twenty five minutes later we back on the road smiling like two Cheshire cats! Adventure here we come!!

What will I wear today?

I have spent a good half hour trying to decide what to wear today. Nothing fancy as the day will be spent cooking, preparing food for a party, ironing, cleaning windows and dancing with the vacuum & duster. All these activities will be interspersed with resting periods of crochet.

So I am looking for something suitable to don and flounce about in while I work. You know, work clothes. Fresh & clean, not worried about little spillages, yet smart enough if an unexpected Toyboy should land on my doorstep! No way do I want to spoil my image!!

I have so little to choose from these days and it is all my own fault:

Hanger sculpture

Hanger sculpture

This hanger sculpture is actual evidence of a recent brutal clear out of my wardrobes. All sorted, cleaned and gone to charity or for recycling. The only problem is that I forgot to keep an outfit or two for mucky housework!

I suppose if I am stuck, I could always wear my pyjamas turned inside out!!

 

Can you hand me a towel, please.

How many times have you asked that question?

You know, your hands are wet and the towel is not on the hook where it normally resides.

‘SOMEBODY’ moved it. Grrrr!

Often the answer absently wings its way back to you: Which one?

Let it be beige, blue, pink or yellow but never bring a white one with the yellow stripe.

A pair of white towels with a deep egg yolk yellow stripe loving lives in the airing cupboard and are only for looking at. They are delicate and have a long story. History.

Towels from Cawnpore, India

Towels from Cawnpore, India

Now, to you they might look like old rags. No. They are ‘Anti –queues’ and not faded!

Really.

As I said in a previous post about shapely legs… ‘They were purchased as a gift before I was even a gleam in my father’s eye. A gift for a woman. A woman I never had the opportunity to meet. The fact that she loved, used and cared for them, was enough for me. They may be my treasure at the moment, but I am really a temporary guardian until the day when I pass them on to the next generation.’

The next generation in this case is my Elly.

I have used them many years ago.

After Elly’s first dip in the baby bath, I loving wrapped her in one of these towels and handed her to her dad. It was long before the days of instant cameras & mobile phones with the option of delivering photos round the world as soon as you click. Never mind, I have the memory stored in my head… just as well, my Elly is way to big for wrapping in one of those towels these days. 😉

Muir Mills Logo

Muir Mills Logo

Jack bought the towels in India, when he was serving there in World War 2 and posted them home to his mother. It was before being moved on to Burma and the injury that ended his war.

Right, it is your turn now. What everyday object or item in your house has a long history or story behind it?

Art with my needle ~ A scarf.

I fell in love with the colour of some yarn, looking longingly at it week after week in Parlour yarns. I lifted it down to enjoy it more closely… the feel of the yarn told me it was just created to keep my neck warm in the winter.

It was randomly hand dyed by Lindsay from Dye Candy in Randalstown, County Antrim. The jade green really sold it to me. I have not kept the ball band, and for the life of me cannot remember the details of weight, colour and needle size. I suppose it might be because I am not necessarily a strict pattern follower. I break the rules, changing the needle size to suit my mood and stitch pattern that invades my mind at any particular time.

20160227_171518

One skein was enough to complete the scarf in ladder stitch, working crosswise.

Ladder stitch scarf

Ladder stitch scarf

Sorry that photo looks a little blurry, not sure if my hand was shaky or my eyes are tired.

Uhoh! I spy the t-shirt that I spent a full day searching the house for last week. I have a feeling the missing pink bra might be hidden underneath it.

Phew! I am not going mad after all.

What a difference a day makes

A collection of views of ‘My Sky’ taken from my back door

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What a difference a day makes!

They are not all from this year or from the same time of the day.

I have often said that if I had to stand at my sink all day, I could not complain: The view was always changing with the movement of the sun and clouds lighting or casting shadows on the landscape

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: