Saturday, 10 October 2009

Retail therapy - MrsL style...............

I'm not a great one for shopping - but I'm a great one for bargains! I only buy what I love, what catches my eye and what I will use; quite often I buy to give away if I see something just right for a friend or someone else.
The picture at the top is of the fabric of a rather stunning jacket I found in the charity shop - brand new, still with all the labels/tags on and the pockets still sewn up - only 6 pounds, and MrL kindly obliged on that one! I also got a couple of books and two jigsaws for winter as well in that shop; the next one yielded a very pretty rose print cushion for Bean's room, and some more books. Stopped in at the nursery for some forcing hyacinths and onion sets :) This morning's first charity shop yielded books, rather nice fabric for quilting, a brand new teddy (for which I have plans) and some nice bags of mixed balls of wool for little projects, adding in to others, etc.
We also visited The Exchange where a friend of mine is currently exhibitng her felt work - very nice, interesting, and we had coffee there too.
The jumble sale wasn't as fruitful as I hoped, but I got a pile of tops for Bean, some jeans for EJ, two more jigsaws, and won a big punnet of pears and apples in the raffle - grown by my friend R up the road.
All the stuff is useful or beautiful - think William Morris:

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”

This is my criteria for buying things, has been for as long as I can remember, even before I became familiar with the redoubtable Mr Morris, of whom I am a big fan for lots of reasons.
It apparently seems to some that I buy a lot of stuff, far too much it has been suggested; maybe I do in some peoples' eyes, but being a craftsperson, bibliophile, gardener, cook.......... if I have room to store it (fairly) sensibly, then I will buy and stash it away for future projects, known or yet to be dreamt up. As for books - what price knowledge? Can't have too many if you read and love them. I don't buy for the sake of buying, and don't consider myself materialistic. So, I thumb my nose to the nay-sayers, the shopping bag watchers and the trolley police and am happy in the knowledge that I am, indeed, ready for most eventualites (especially if it needs something knitted).............

Friday, 9 October 2009

Jumble sale

I love jumbles sales, but you probably thought I would! We are lucky here in the village to average 4 or 5 a year for various causes, so I get a fairly regular fix lol. There is one tomorrow in the village hall, so I shall be trundling along with my wheelie basket to see what treasures I can unearth. I do find that sometimes I'm too polite, and don't do the pulling and tugging, the elbowing out of the way, or sneaking in from the side tricks..............
This time I'm on the lookout for fabric - for patchwork, quilting and re-making into other things. Tomorrow morning's mission is to amass a goodly pile of change in readiness.
I shall report back about my haul, and what I intend to make/do with it. I may just come back with a pile of books instead, though; or even as well.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Local, lovely and line caught!

Thursday is fish day; I am lucky enough to have a local fishmonger who has a round in the nearby villages, and Thursday lunchtime is when he gets to me. He's one of the sons of my butcher. His fish is so fresh, beautifully presented; he is very knowledgeable about his stock, and is willing to tell you everything about the bit of fish you fancy. I buy only local fish from him(although he does stock things like tuna and prawns, etc), and always ask the provenance. He knows me now, though, and points out the best he has; his new label will be "Local, lovely and line caught", for fish that meet those criteria. The sea bream in the pic is what I chose today; line caught by a couple of lads in the town next to me, just off Weymouth, last night, couldn't be fresher.
For me, fresh fish this way is good value; although the bottom line, ie the money you hand over, may seem quite high, what price a man's life to get fresh local food on my table? I am happy to pay the going price to support such a local business - ethical, sustainable, honest, and would rather have this sort of fish less often where I can make an informed choice as to what I buy to feed my family. So, well done Gary and Scott, I'll be buying more of your fish. It's not often you can actually name the people who grow/catch/rear your food, these days is it?

Quilt top progress

Got stuck in this morning and made the blocks for the quilt; I decided to stretch the prints a bit further by making half square triangles - one of my favourite themes. Happy with the results so far, so now deciding on sashing and borders - wonder how big it will end up? I have a large stash to get

I'ts a really beautiful autumn day here, turned out quite warm. Quiet here - EJ has gone out, so it's just me and the dog, and he's asleep. I'm waiting for the fishman to come, then it's back to the machine. I've made cottage pies for supper, so that's all sorted, giving me an extra hour at the machine I hope; it's a joy to use after being thoroughly serviced and cleaned - it's like new and is making a nice purring sound instead of a bit of a rattle!

What is a housewife?

"Housewife (n): someone (male or female) who is valued because they care for a house, either full time or in conjunction with another job"

Rachel Simhon, How to Run the Modern Home

My italics :)

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

New quilting project..............

We're doing a charm square swap over at ; 10 of us are taking part, and I've just parcelled up the doanted charm squares to send out by post tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone makes with them.
This is my allocation above; the origianl squares were 5", but I've cut them to 4", and have something in mind, but not 100% certain yet - I'll give it a bit more thought, but looking forward to getting back to quilting, it's been a while.
I've various curtain related things to be getting on with too, so will get stuck in on Thursday when I get the machine out, hopefully for the day.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Simple pleasures for a Monday morning..........

Getting up early and watching the daylight come...........

Feeding the livestock - always pleased to see me!

Hearing the rain on the windows, the swishing of the tyres as the early traffic passes

Sorting the laundry - clean clothes, folding, stacking, putting away

Ironing - transforming a higledy pig into a lovely stack of neatness

Turning up the Rayburn for baking and making tea from my great grandmother's cast iron kettle

Changing the bed linen

Laughing at the dog when he is distinctly unimpressed with the rain

Having a giggle with the post girl about her weekend shenanigans

The clean, fresh soapy smell of homemade washing powder

Opening the Jiffy bag with my new book inside

A thick cotton mophead to clean the kitchen floor with - a delight to use

Slotting in a few rows of knitting when I "should be cleaning"

Realising there isn't as much housework to do as I thought.............

The smell of another bucket of ripe apples to be processed

A full, well -stocked larder and store cupboard, with a view towards winter and harder times

Seeds to sort and store away, decide if I need any more...........

The delights of autumn colours right outside my kitchen window:

Life is good.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Up, up and away.................

This balloon was spotted early morning out the front of our house, disappearing over the pub..............

This one was spotted from the top of the duck and hen run - bit close, that's my brambly hedge at the bottom of the photo! I thought he was going to land, but he fired up the burner and off they went into the wild blue yonder - rather them than me, though!

After breakfast, I spent the morning in the kitchen with this little lot:

48 bottles, all ready for storing back in the freezer room to mature. This afternoon will be racking off some more, sorting the rest of the bottles and taking ages to ferry all the bottles and demi-johns out there again!!
In the bottles we have: 5 peapod, 4 gooseberry, 3 honeysuckle,4 dandelion, 8 parsley, 11 elderflower, 5 jam, 4coffee and 4 rose pouchong tea.
There are another 11 elderflower waiting to be taken outside, and 8 bottles of mead.
Should keep us going for a while...............;)

Puppy love, part II

So - the puppy jumpers, and mum's, are all done now, safely delivered. These are the pups:

Each little jumper has a letter of the company's name on it, all in company colours; the tenth one has the mascot bee on:

They're for a sepcial promotional photo shoot, so they won;t be wearing them long, then they're going on display in the teashop I think, pegged on a line!
I really enjoyed this project, with some more bits to get on with this week as well. Had a long discussion about the value of hand- made things with the customer, so have decided to put my knitting business on a more organised and formal footing, so watch this space LOL