Thursday, 24 April 2014

Another Crafty Post - Card Making

Thankfully I'm feeling a bit better today. Certainly my back isn't nearly as uncomfortable, and I managed to get a reasonably good night's sleep, only woken a couple of times by hot flushes. I did wake up feeling a bit snotty and thought I had a proper cold coming on, but that's all cleared up as the morning's progressed and I'm now left with just a slightly sore and tickly throat.

Making the most of my back being okay, I got on early with making the cards for DD2. I have some great crafting cd roms and often use them for either the main image, backing papers, inserts or a combination. Both these cards were made from this cd which is actually for making squeezy (concertina) cards but I just cut out the images and layer them up and then add my own personal touches. 

                                      (image courtesy of:-

I used another cd rom I've had for ages for the wedding card's backing paper and insert.

These are what I made.


It's not so easy to see the layers on the wedding card as the image is smaller and there were only 4 of them, but hopefully you can see some of the 6 layers on the A4 sized retirement card. Hopefully DD2 will like them. She's usually very good at offering to pay when I make anything for her to give to friends, but usually I just get her to treat me out for coffee instead. This time I will ask for a bit of money as I had to use a total of 7 pages of  semi-gloss photo paper and order another pack as I've nearly run out, and I've had to go and buy white A4 envelopes.

Just for fun, as I've transferred the pictures from my phone to my laptop, here's a couple of pictures of my blue British Shorthair, Shadow, soaking up some sun a couple of days ago. DH reckons he's coming back as a cat the next time around since all they do is eat and sleep and that's his idea of heaven.

As usual on a Thursday night we're having a junk food dinner, but I'm not spending a fortune on a take away. We're having hot dogs, oven chips and baked beans. The hot dog rolls, sausages and chips are from the freezer and the beans are from my kitchen shelf. Cumberland sausages are £1.09 for 8 from Aldi. The rolls were 6 for 72p or 2 packs for £1 from Morrisons (so 50p per pack). The chips are Aldi's crinkle cut oven chips and, I think, were 1.8kg for £1. The beans are also Aldi's at 24p a can. So, breakdown of the meal is £1.09 for the sausages (the guys will have 3 each in rolls, and I'll have 2 without rolls), 6 rolls for 50p, third of a bag of chips for 33p and 2 tins of beans for 48p. There will also be a squirt or two of brown or tomato sauce, some salt and some vinegar used so add another 6p at most for those. Total cost for 3 is £2.46 or 82p each. 

The weather is dry here today after a wet night, and warm enough for me to wear my open sandals and no coat when I went to the shops earlier. Hope it's dry and warm where you are. Love, Helen x

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

More Crocheting

I'm not very well today. I've had a sore throat for a couple of days that's making my voice croaky and I also seem to have strained the muscles at the base of my spine so my back's a bit uncomfortable too. The bad back means I've done a lot more sitting than I usually do and when I haven't been wasting time pinging from board to board on Pinterest (am I the only one who can spend absolutely hours on there?) I've been practicing my crocheting and these are the result.

So far I've stuck with doing them exactly as I was taught at the workshop, but I've been looking at alternatives in my huge stack of crafting magazines, and also online, and I think I could probably follow a simple pattern so once the white and purple square is finished I'm going to try another design.

Of course, my back's hurting and I can't stand for long or keep bending over the table and straightening up again, so trust me to suddenly get a real hankering to do some sewing. Isn't it always the case? Using my enforced rest to flick through all those magazines hasn't helped calm my urge to sew as I've seen loads of projects I want to try. I really want to make a padded case for my mobile phone, have a go at making a zipped pocket in a bag, and make myself a simple, tiered, elasticated or drawstring waist skirt for the summer, but those will have to wait until I'm all better.

I do have to try and make a couple of cards over the next couple of days. True to form, DD2 has left it until almost the last minute to ask for a card for her friend's wedding on Saturday and a retirement card for next week. This morning I've printed everything I need for both cards and will cut them out tomorrow, and hopefully I'll be well enough to make them up either tomorrow or Friday. I know exactly what I'm going to do for the wedding card, and more or less the layout for the retirement card. The retirement card will be A4 size so that everyone in the office can sign it, and I need to buy some large white envelopes for that one. I'll post pictures when they're done. I still enjoy making cards from time to time but don't make nearly as many as I used to when DH would sell them to the staff at the school where he worked.

Dinner tonight is nice and simple, just half an Aldi chorizo sausage ring (75p for the half), diced and added to 2 packets of Approved Foods savoury rice 50p for the 2) with half a packet of Aldi frozen mixed vegetables (50p for the half) mixed in. It should take about 20 minutes to cook, and cost around £1.75p for 3 portions (approx 59p each).

That's all I have for now. I'm hoping my back is all better by the weekend so I can get out for a decent walk rather than just hobbling the short distance down the road that I've been managing for the past couple of days.

Friday, 18 April 2014

I Can Crochet!

Hello everyone...that's if anyone's out there still checking in on this blog.

I'm so sorry to have abandoned you all for a while. I know it's been ages since I updated but the thing is after I'd left it a for a week or so the task of bringing it up to date and the length of post I'd have to write started to seem humungous so I kept putting it off even longer. It's been playing on my weird mind as I didn't want to abandon it entirely. So, guess what? I've decided I won't bother trying to update everyone on the past few weeks, instead  I'll just pick up from here and now. Well, from yesterday actually.

The title says it all. I finally got the hang of crocheting. After years and years of trying to teach myself by book and video, I took the day off from my usual Thursday volunteering and went to a workshop at the Sewing Space in Hythe where last year I learned to use my sewing machine and make bags, and also where I did a beginners patchwork and quilting course. Within 2 hours of meeting the lovely, patient Mandy I was making granny squares like this.

And last night I did this one all by myself. 

Now, I'm not sure I could follow a pattern or make anything more complicated, but then all I really wanted was to be able to make granny square blankets and now I can. Plus it will be a great way to use up all those odds and ends of yarn I have stashed away. I must admit I'm quite chuffed with my little self. 

This just goes to show that everyone learns differently because I know Pam over at A Good Life In Tydd very cleverly taught herself to crochet, but obviously I need someone to show me how and to patiently sit down and talk me through when I make mistakes. Once I learn something then I'm off and running and will try out variations on my own, like I did with bag making. I learned to make a basic lined tote with boxed corners at my beginners sewing class last year and now I'm on to turning out bags like this one I made recently from a pattern in Lisa Lams Bagmaking Bible book.


I've also sadly neglected reading a lot of other blogs I enjoy, so I'm going to spend some time catching up and find out what everyone's been up to while I've been gone.

It's been glorious weather all week down here in the Dover area, although still a little chilly. With DH on Easter break, we've been getting out and about walking and visiting some local attractions like the East Kent Steam Railway at Shepherdswell and a stroll along the pier at Deal. Today, once the washing's finished and on the line, we're just going to wander down to the seafront, walk along Dover pier and then treat ourselves to coffee.

That's all I've got for now. Promise I'll try and update more regularly again. I hope everyone else is well and happy and getting a chance to enjoy some lovely weather.