Saturday, 24 November 2012

Costing Christmas (NaMoBloPo #24)

Like a lot of people my budget for xmas presents is way down this year. I go through phases of making them vs buying them. This year there are a lot of people I'll be giving to who will appreciate the effort so I'm making. But that doesn't really reduce the cost. Materials are definitely one cost but the other is the one that often goes unacknowledged in our calculations - time.
Even the most vanilla of socks requires hours of work, while something more complicated can take that into days. But then when the gift is appreciated it makes it all worthwhile.

Ahead of a little more making I have acquired a few new fat quarters to replenish my stash. I should have waited until the sales but these were v cheap so I gave in.
Fabric Fat Quarters
I do love the button one, top right. That is going to be saved for me! The others may pop up in other forms in coming weeks! Speaking of which...what connects letraset, google maps, and cocktails?
I'm leaving you in suspense for now...

I haven't been blogging about it but things between Pooch and I have been a bit up and down the last few months. However, with some external assistance, we've been really good recently, despite his many and varied colds. I've found that the best thing for a germy male is a glass of wine and a crochet blanket.
Touch wood I've avoided everything that is going around to date. I can only think it must be down to my preventative chocolate intake. Nom.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Acquisitions (NaMoBloPo #23)

Were I better organised I would by now have sent a thank you email for this.
Fabric Scraps
Someone emailed me to ask if I'd like some fabric scraps as their Mum was having a clearout. I'm pretty sure it was a direct email and not a blog comment. I said yes and after having a post office red card in my bag for two weeks finally picked this up at the weekend! That's not even all of it - it's just all I could carry home from work. The yellow/blue is particularly lovely and reminds me of my sister's bedroom when we were little. I am thinking diamond patchwork cushion cover for that. Whoever sent it to me please get back in touch because I cannot find your email and I feel awful not being able to thank you!

I've also had a few other things arrive chez byrne. These are the butterflies I bought last weekend with Nickerjac's LB.
Brown Glitter Feather Butterflies
I'm still not entirely sure how I am going to use them, but then that is what this weekend is for! It's not like I have a social life so expect to see more of these before my sister's wedding actually takes place. It was physically impossible to go to that shop and just come out with a few
Don't ask about the polka dot toadstools. I can't think what I'll do with them either, but I had to have them. Those jewelled pins were a bit like that although mildly more practical. Mildly. Then there was the long awaited arrival from China.
Assorted purse frames
The big one is ideally for a bag for the wedding but I don't know if I'll have time now. There are more of the other ones. Aren't those tiny ones sweet? That's the same size I used to make this tiny one for a swap a month or two ago.
Frame Purse in Button Fabric
You don't get an idea of the scale but they are about 2" across. I'm thinking dpn holders.

Then finally there is a FO to show. On the fourth attempt I got it right!
Red and Purple Striped Jumper
I will take better photos when I have a moment - November has been SO busy which probably makes it both the best and worst months for taking part in NaMoBloPo. Lots to write about but little time to do it. Hopefully the weekend will give me some time to get caught up and finish a few time dependant projects. I shall spend it wrapped up in the jumper above alternated with this one that Pooch got me.
Cat hoody grrrr


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Bashing the Bishops (NaMoBloPo #22)

This makes me angry.
Screenshot of BBC news page about bishop vote
I'm not a believer. I don't care if the christians faff about and continue to put off people from following christianity. What I cannot stand is the idea that it is acceptable, on any grounds, to discriminate against someone on account of their gender. As a woman, am I less able to communicate with people than men? Does their God genuinely not want women in senior positions? Is their God threatened by Women? Perhaps their God fears women might stage a takeover attempt? Might oust them as God? Then there would be a WoGod presumably? And then goodness knows where it would end.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Wheeeeeeeeeee! (NaMoBloPo #21)

21 in a row! And all on time!
I'm starting to think I'll actually make it through a whole month of National Blog Posting Month!

Meanwhile, you and I might not think much of this kind of generic hotel space filler.
Fake Bullrush
Except of course you don't work with the people I do. While I was running an event in Manchester yesterday one of the delegates pointed out that they were bathroom loafers wired to pieces of bamboo.

So now you know.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Manchester, Home of the Mancunian (NaMoBloPo #20)

Remember that scene in Wayne's World when they go "Delaware! We're in....delaware...". That's me.
Welcome to Delaware
I'm in Manchester. For work. It wasn't raining when I arrived so it is, QED, about to rain.
014 rain outside nandos
But let's not forget - it also has Abakhan Fabrics. This weird fluorescent lit, frankly dirty shop is packed with crafty gubbins, most of which isn't dirty. I was very restrained. The fact I only got there ten minutes before closing has no relevance.
Yarn and thread
Isn't that yarn a lovely turquoise? I have a pregnant friend who loves that colour so will be crafting a cardi and perhaps a hat for the baby out of it. I also got a couple of wooden embroidery frames - one circle and one oval, to frame WIPs. The thread is viscose which means it is all shiny and therefore great for machine embroidery. Mmmmm, shiny...
Jesus is Coming Church Sign

Monday, 19 November 2012

Live Music (NaMoBloPo #19)

I hardly ever go to anything live. I don't even watch TV when it's being broadcast most of the time. When my Dad gave me a call asking if I'd go to a gig with him I agreed without knowing anything about the singer. I now definitely do.
Beth Hart on stage
Her name was Beth Hart and she had one hell of a voice on her. She sang, played piano and danced about for about 2.5 hours with no break. That takes one amazing pair of lungs.

Her official website is here. There is also a lot on YouTube. I'd start with Chocolate Jesus as an example. It's not one of her songs but her voice is pretty incredible.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

On the Fun Bus (NoMoBloPo #18)

I had the honour of spending a chunk of Saturday with Nickerjac's little boy. He showed me how to get to a shop I needed to visit and I then joined him on his favourite activity - bus hopping. I'd never tried this before but having definitely been on more than 12 buses today I now feel I am an expert. The first stop was S&A in Upminster where I got all the feather butterflies I could possibly need to make a hat to wear to my sister's wedding next month. LB was so good and expressed his artistic side with my camera while he waited for me to choose my colours.
The shop is a warehouse crammed from floor to rafters with stuff. Mainly party stuff (see the 6 foot inflatable champagne bottle in the background above - a mere £14.99) but most of it could be put to a crafty purpose. If I hadn't been accompanied I think I'd still be there now.
Abstract Xmas tree
The upstairs is all fake flowers, bushes, trees, topiary and more. There's also an extra christmas warehouse.
Portrait by LB
Hide and seek among the flowers. Awesome.

We sat upstairs on all the buses (obviously) which gave the LB full reign with his playground radar. The slightest hint of a ball pond or swing and we were off.
Jungle Gym
These things really amaze me. There was no such thing when I was his age. It was literally swings and roundabouts. And a see-saw. See-saws have definitely vanished from the modern playground. Although there is a one person version.
Playground camel or sheep
Now would you say that was a camel or a sheep?

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