Friday, 24 August 2007

DVDs thru the post

We use lovefilm and I do think they are great, huge choice, speedy service and pretty reasonable, cheaper than going to the cinema by a long shot. (With 2 young children, we can't get out much!!) Anyway, if you're interested, click the love film link here. This is a UK site.


I'm currently at my dad's house, and he has a lovely Victoria Plum tree in his garden, which at the moment is absolutely heaving under the weight of the fruit. Last year I was actually living here, so I made a load of plum jam, plum chutney and this lovely plum and cinnamon oat slices from Delia Smith's website.

All I can do today, with the few bits my dad has in his kitchen, is make the plum slices, which are cooking as we speak, and I know are going to be delicious. I've decided to nip out later and buy some more butter and sugar so I can make a few more trays worth, as I've got too many plums!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Keep Calm and Carry On

I was reading a new blog and saw a poster on their site hop skip jump which I've definitely seen before, and it looked so good that I immediately ordered it from Barter Books. All you do to find the poster is type in "keep calm" into the search engine and up it comes. They are charging me £5.40 including p+p which seems pretty fair to me. Will definitely get it framed, as I'm hoping it's going to fit on the small stretch of wall between our kitchen and living area (we're open plan). I need to keep saying that mantra to get me through the day with my 2 young children! I just hope the husband approves. Well it's going up no matter what, because I like it, and he's put up loads of stuff he likes, so it seems fair to me. You can also get a t-shirt from these guys.

Today my knitting needles came from the Cath Kidston store. They are a bargain, in the sale, 8 pairs of wooden needles, in a lovely needle holder bag for £9, I got free p&p by looking up discount codes (which is my no1 tip before ordering anything on the web). I'm very pleased with them, and now I need a project to use them on.

I'm away for a few weeks at my dad's house, so am not going to be making much, except I did buy some fabric glue and have put together some of these gorgeous little flower magnets that I saw on How About Orange. I was thinking of doing some beach hut style ones. See what it turns out like.

Yet again my husband has the camera, he's gone off on yet ANOTHER trip! Still at least I can get my stuff out without complaint! So will post piccies when I can.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Chicken Doorstops

I'm worrying that I'm getting a bit preoccupied with doorstops, as I've now come up with a different design to make it look like a chicken. I had to look up pyramids and triangles to make sure I am getting my design right. I have gone for 4 equilateral triangles sewn together which make a tetrahedron. I'm sure I learnt all this at school, but I had forgotten it all, thankfully the Internet is there to answer all my questions.

I have mocked up a chicken, yet to sew it, but I will, and I might have to modify my design and go for a 5 sided pyramid, giving me more volume (ie weight). Will post pictures when done but here you can see the work in progress. My eldest son has already asked for it.

It doesn't quite work as the beak is off to the side, a 4 sided pyramid would mean you could get it central. Still it' a good way to learn.

Saturday, 11 August 2007


I went fabric shopping today, to start some projects with. I haven't lived in this area that long, so had to look up a load of shops first to see what was where and ended up heading for 2 on the same road. Luckily this time they were both spacious enough and you could see their large collections easily.

The first shop was pretty cheap, but had some cool stuff. I picked up some gingham (pink and a turquoisy blue) and some limey green and a fabric with this strawberry pattern on it, which I thought was sweet. Everything was like £2 a metre, so v cheap.

Then I went to this other shop, over 3 floors which had EVERYTHING you could ever need. I picked up some really cute bird print drapery fabric, and some green with white dots (I was thinking for my sister) and another fabric white with a green leafy design, which was a remnant, so it wasn't too bad.

I do plan to recycle fabrics, and see what I can do with stuff I've got. I watched "An Inconvenient Truth" and although I try to be pretty good with the recycling etc etc it certainly is not enough. So I'm going to try and see what stuff I can reuse and reconfigure into other things.

Hopefully I'll have some cool news in a few weeks, fingers crossed!

Friday, 10 August 2007


Having moved to a new house, with extremely heavy doors, I decided to get some doorstops. Once I started looking around, I realised that I could make fabric ones for myself for a fraction of the cost. Now I know that I have been down this road before and not saved a penny, but I was pretty sure this would be a reasonably simple task.

I checked out a load of websites, to get the dimensions, and decided to go with a 18cm x 15cm cube with a handle, the manufacturers claimed it would take 1kg of rice. Luckily I had come across some other people who had been making their own and the patterns they used were a load of rubbish, needing a huge amount of weights to fill them, so they had to downsize them and redo them.

Having 2 young children makes it near impossible to look in any shop for more than 20seconds without being moaned at. So I dragged them into one of those fabric shops that just had piles and piles of fabric, making it virtually impossible to see anything. Battled round the shop, having to leave the buggy in the doorway, as it wouldn't fit in!! Then I realised it was cash only. So went to Laura Ashley where it's all laid out clearly and easily and I could make my mind up in 10 seconds, which is all you have time for with a 4 year old and a baby. Went with a seasidey stripe - cost was ok for my test run. (bought 1/2 metre)

So I made my pattern, on some baking paper stuck together. And marked it all out on the fabric. Can't remember when I last used my sewing machine, but I had forgotten how to thread it up. I can still remember how to do my mum's one though! It sewed up really well. So I filled it with my rice (2kg) and looked at it and realised it was too big. 2kg of rice was enough to hold upon one of my heavy doors (worth testing this out). So took inspiration from the other people and unpicked it and resewed down to 16cm x 12cm . This was a lot better, but still a bit of room, but not enough to need to resew. Decided to make the second one the following day.

The following day

I start to make the next doorstop. It's going quicker, as I know the pattern (think an elongated cube with seems). Start sewing and the machine fails me. I check the bobbin, start again, fails me. Re thread it, fails me. Take the plate off, can't see anything, rescrew it. Then I read the manual, see what I can do, but it's getting late, so decide to sort it out the next day. (Ironically I had noticed a course at a local college called How to Maintain your sewing machine - I will be booking on that)

The next day

I took the machine apart as per the instructions, brushed all loose bits of thread out, oiled it and put it back, and it worked beautifully. So I was very pleased with my accomplishment. Sewed up the next doorstop, made it 12cm x 15cm this time, still has a small bit of slack, so could go either 11cm x 15cm or 12cm x 14cm. I need to make probably 2 more, and my sister has now expressed an interest in owning one! Although she has set doubt in my mind of using rice, as it is a perishable food, although over a fairly long firm. I might do the next one and velcro the final side, so the rice, or whatever can be changed. By the way, I put the rice into a plastic freezer bag first.

Hope you enjoyed by first post, I'm sure I'll be adding some pictures and whatnot soon.