Thursday, 21 October 2010

Fed up with blogging. Not sure! Maybe. Hmmmm.....

 Feeling somewhat reflective these days!

Oh dear! I have been AWOL! What can I say? Busy as usual, and other things going on in my life that are keeping me on my toes, so I am sorry for neglecting you all again. Will you forgive me folks? SO! Today I am writing a blog post about not wanting to write a blog post! To be quite honest, I am finding it hard to keep up with the old blog these days, and even worse, I am getting a bit fed up (whispered!)  with it too. Does anyone else feel like this? Then I find myself feeling guilty if I don't get around to reading all your lovely blogs. So somewhere between feeling guilty and feeling fed up, I find myself in the middle wondering why I do it at all! I find myself hankering for a time where there were no computers, no mobile phones and even no Facebook!  I have a keen desire to become a hermit!

Just at  this moment in time I find myself in a nesting mood, I just want to concentrate on getting my mutinous house under control, and get the garden sorted out for the winter. I have been planting some daffodil bulbs, and tidying the borders when I get a minute away from renovating the house that is!

Last friday I made a pissa ( No '-'s again on this puter! Here it is so you can know what I am talking about!  I made the base too, and it turned out quite tasty. The topping had artichokes, peppers we had grown ourselves, fresh herbs from the garden, and plenty of stick on the hips cheese of course! Oooh and tuna, it was delish!

I also made a lemon drissle (!) cake.  See, it is bad, I can't even be bothered to take a photo!   I am in a very ponderous, housey, reflective, quiet place at the moment.

I really actually do have an enormous urge to just walk away from my blog. What stops me? You! yes all of my friends in blogland who I would miss, and wonder how you are all getting on.  And would I change my mind when life becomes more settled again, and my little sun shines again.  After all if my little sun comes out again I will  be all chirpy and full of energy.

 Maybe I just need a darn good belly laughing session!  Chirpy and energetic is waiting for me !

That really is the main problem I think.....I just have very little enthusiasm right now. Lack of sleep and a few things in life which I have to get my head round have left me feeling somewhat depleted, and sometimes after, or during a busy day, when my head feels in a whirl, the last thing I wish to do is to write this blog! Then I worry about the fact that I haven't got to others blogs, and then that just stresses me too!  Does that make any sense to you at all?? Or is it just me?! Do you ever get the urge to press delete? Or have I stood up and blurted out the unspeakable in blogland?

I think I am quite tired though, maybe it is that simple, I never used to feel this way, I used to enjoy it all so much.  Maybe I just need some extra ssssssssssssssssss (!) See I have definitely lost them! Maybe I am just feeling the effects of time, like a creaking old gate. Heres a little funny to show that I am not a complete misery! A few of you will  have already seen it on my facebook page!

Today, which will be tomorrow (!) I will be getting round to reading all your blogs! ( I always post after midnight, therefore Friday, but it always says thursday! Yes, after midnight, after 1pm sometimes, and then I wonder why I am always tired!)

I hope you are all well and happy!  Have a happy weekend!  Lots of love to you all, top of the world to you all!  Susie xxx

Thursday, 7 October 2010

More Handmade Christmas, Plus Teacosy Pattern

Hello again peeps!

Well it would seem that everyone who commented last week, certainly shares my longing for a more simple christmas with handmade gifts and old fashioned values, which may I say is very refreshing! Thank you so much for your input and lovely helpful comments. You have all inspired me further to press on with my quest!

So this week as I was busy sewing, drawing, painting, etc., I was still pondering over how hard it is to think of good handmade gifts for men, and I found myself smiling to myself reminiscing over past makes which didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped for.  There were the pyjamas I once made for George  out of an old sheet, very thrifty...(I know, poor George!). You know, sometimes an idea just pops into your head, and well, you just have to, don't you? Bless him, he wore them, even though the traced markings, ie. dots and the words cut here, never ever would wash out!

 Then there was the jumper I made him on my newly aquired knitting machine, which had one of those contraptions which allowed you to draw the shape on it, and then just knit it. Happily flinging the carriage from one side to the other, following the chart, I didn't realise that the jumper was growing longer and longer!  On that occasion George refused point blank to wear it, and I ended up wearing it around the house as a very long nightie/dressing gown!

Sadly no pics though, as it was in the days before digital cameras!

As well as trying to catch up with various jobs, such as a cross stitch I promised the lovely Lynne in Ireland many moons ago. If you are reading Lynne, it is coming along very well now! I have been a busy bee drawing and painting little pics for a few peeps, and still trudging on with my secret project.

There are a few simple knitted gift ideas too which I have to get on with.  This is a gift I made for my friend a couple of years ago, and she still has it, and tells me she treasures it more than any shop bought gift I have ever bought for her. Those words warm the cockles of my heart!

Another popular request is for this teacosy which I made too. you can find the pattern here folks!

Another handmade gift that I may make, is this pin cushion with needle keep which I designed and made a few months ago. But not many of my family and friends are into sewing, so I am not sure who I would make one for yet!

Or perhaps I could make some more of these?

I have also been trying, as you all may well know, to sort out our house.  The bathroom and the shower room which were to be started this monday, have now been delayed due to an internet purchase which has been causing us distress for a few weeks. It may be sorted out now, but for a while there we were feeling rather sick that we may have lost a bit chunk of our house budget! They had debited our card, but we could not contact them at all, desite numerous efforts. We have now managed to cancel the order and hopefully will get our money back, but it has caused a big delay, as our plumber has now got other jobs on. Here is a before pic of the bathroom, in a sad state of limbo!

Anyhow, sorry for boring you with that! It will all come out in the wash as they say, and there are worse things at sea!

GET STUFFED! Sorry! :) I have been stuffing this week..... stuffed marrow, and yesterday stuffed peppers. I love the stuffed peppers, and sometimes I use no meat at all. Yesterday I used a  bit of minced meat which I minced myself from some steak we had last friday, when we had thin slices of steak on ciabatta, with sauted onion and cheese! Ooooh yum.  I love being thrifty with food, it must have rubbed off on me from my Mum. It really delights me to buy a cut of meat and then see how many meals I can get out of it. So, I held back some of the steak and minced it.

 Stuffed marrows before the cheese was added and before cooking, with a marrow from the garden by the side!

Next, I made up a basic mix, with onion, celery, etc., and cooked it all with a bit of homemade sauce. So this week we had stuffed pepper and stuffed marrow another day,  twas yummy!  Mollye, you asked the other week how I stored my chili peppers, well I frose them, I didn't write this because, I have to spell it frose, as I have lost my ' ' and have to use 's'!!!  Its to be hoped that I don't visit the oo soon and have to write about the animals I saw a t the oo!

Talking of my Mum, it was the anniversary of her death on the 4th of this month, and my Dad's on the 7th. I still miss them like it was yesterday. It is hard to believe that they have both been gone for so long now.   I often long to have just another day with them both. I think of all those questions I should have/could have asked, but never did, because we always think we have all the time in the world don't we?  But we don't! So if you are both around somewhere... I love you so much, and miss you terribly. Grab someone you love today and give them a huge hug!

 My Mum and Dad! Years ago, before I was a twinkle in the eye!

 Anyway, I hope I haven't bored the pants off you today!  Will be trying to catch up with everyone this weekend!

Lots of love! Susie xxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 30 September 2010

I'm dreaming of a thrifty Christmas!

Hello to all you fine peeps! Happy October! Did you remember to say White wabbits? I always say it!

This was a picture from last October, and I grew my own pumpkin, this year not one of my seeds germinated! No Pumpkins! Boo hoo!

Well its that time of the year again ( I know, already! :0). Time to look towards cosy nights by the fire, bonfires, fireworks, and then of course to top it all off with the cherry on the top........... CHRISTMAS!!! There, I said it.....CHRISTMAS!!!

                                                       ooooooh Yummy!  And next thing you know its.........

Now, I am no Grinch, I love Christmas, all the sentimentality, nostalgia, sparkle and glitter. BUT! This year I am getting out my sandwich board and going on a protest march! Why? Because each year that goes by, I despair at how it has all become so materialistic and driven by commercialism. People run about like headless chickens spending money that they can ill afford, and instead of getting the desired Christmas that we are told we should be getting by the media, all that a lot of us get is worry and one huge headache and  painful bills to match!

I yelled out last year that I longed for a long ago type of Christmas, the sort where people happily exchange a gift that has been lovingly hand-made. You know the sort, like in 'Little Women', where a face would light up at an embroidered handkerchief, as if it were a precious treasure they were looking upon. Eyes filled with the wonder of each stitch being sewn by someone who loved them.

SO! This year I have made a vow to myself, that where ever possible, I will be making gifts for my much loved family and friends with fabric and materials which I already have in the house. After all, I am a hoarder, and after last weeks post where I was confined to my workroom (what a hardship!), I started to look through all those pretty fabrics which I have been collecting over time, and thought....hmmmmmm!?  Obviously this is not a completely achievable goal, as I don't think my brother would be too excited about a pretty smelly heart or bird, etc!  Although it is good for men to let their feminine side loose sometimes!

This week, whilst confined to my sewing room, I started on some of these, which I will loosely stuff and fill with lavender nearer to Christmas, and of course finish them off with bright beady button eyes! .......

I personally would be extremely happy and content, and filled with sheer warm happiness if I pulled off the chrissie wrapping paper to discover a handmade with love gift! That would mean more to me than any expensive shop bought gift. I would rather have something unique and loved than any diamond or trinket that has no substance other than cost. This is to me what Christmas should be about. Simple but true comforts and love.

Oh, and before I go, I am so daft sometimes! Last week I announced the winner of my drawing, ( who was chosen randomly by drawing numbers out of a hat) and then completely forgot to tell you the name of Aunt Spicy's beautiful scottie doglet! What am I like?  Well the little dogs name is Fred (Freddie)! Thank you Mummy Boo Bear for your suggestion!  Fred (Freddie is liking his new name very much! Mind you I have still not decided whether said dog is a girl or a boy yet. What do you think Aunty Spicy, after all, you created this gorgeous pooch! Either way, tis all good..... Fred, Freddie , Fredrica!

Getting back to christmas, what are your opinions on it these days, and if you are handcrafting gifts, what will/are you making? I would love to know, it would give me inspiration. Here is a difficult one... well it is for me! Anyone have any good ideas for handmade gifts for men?  If you do, let me know PLEASE!!! ;0)

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Susie xxxx :0))))

Thursday, 23 September 2010

AND THE WINNER IS .........................TA DAH..........

Happy Friday Peeps!

This one certainly crept up on me!  This week has seen more work being done on the house, and it feels as if it is never-ending sometimes!  The new french doors are now installed and performing their new task of framing and inviting the back garden into the sitting room with a  gusto.  I will take another shot of them opened another time, as I am not allowed to open them yet. Have to let it all set.

 Isn't everything all Autumny all of a sudden?  I have been gathering in the harvest!

 There are still lots of apple to pick!..... No there are not only two apples!

Take a look at all those red hot chili peppers! This is the last batch, we have about 4 bags stored now, and they may be tiny, but they are hot. George loves hot food, I mean really hot, bring me that fire extinguisher hot, hot! 

There is also a tiny new window in the shower room. This being our very impatient shower room, which wants a makeover too, and in protest of waiting too long, has now sprung a leak which has caused me to trot up and down stairs every hour to empty the bucket. Obviously I have forgotten a few times, which results in the utility room beneath flooding. In fact I think it is a while since I last did it! Ooops, back in a mo!

Oh dear!

Another glimpse of the kitchen, which now has the floor down, and a rather large hairy dog in it too!

At the moment though, I am confined to my work room with the dogs, this is the only place left to hide! I have music playing  (The Eels, I love them! Got every cd of theirs I think!) so the dogs can't hear the banging, and the curtains shut so they can't see the man on the ladder! I hope the man on the ladder doesn't think me rude! In this room sits my PC, and so I am writing my blog this week on there instead of on my laptop. So this week I have my 'Z' back.. yippee I can be Suzie again!  I wonder what I could do... hmmmmm, maybe have a mess on my sewing machine?

This is my lovely naughty, indulgence, it was expensive, but I treated myself to it when my Mum died, with some money that she left me.  However it is ages since I did any sewing, with all the work and upsets over the last few months. But I seriously  think is time to get sewing again, after all I am called itch2stitch aren't I!

I have a confession... I am Suzie and I am a gadgetholic! I simply cannot resist the urge to collect little gadgets for sewing, strange feet for my sewing machine, objects which promise to make the job easier or more professional......elastic guides, jean-a-jumps, measuring gauges... I view these objects as vital, magic, essential when I buy them, and then I simply put them in here.....

And then rarely use them!

I love the idea of patchwork and quilting, but I have only ever taken baby steps with it so far. This, which is so basic it is not true, was going to be  a bed cover, but never got finished.  It is made from dresses which my daughters wore when they were little, some shop bought dresses and some which I made for them. So each square holds special memories.

Whilst rooting about in my room I came across this embroidery which surprise, surprise, is also unfinished. It is a tablecloth, or should I say it will be one day if it ever gets finished!

 How about this for some sewing inspiration? I took some pics in the V&A on our hols in London,  Iranian fabric I think.  Isn't it beautiful? Can you see how you could use this design  (and the gorgeous colours too!) in an embroidery or some quilting, etc.?  Or, Sarah if you are reading, don't they remind you of colourful doilies?

It is amazing how much inspiration you can find by just looking at things that little bit closer. 

Ooooh and I love this fireplace! I would love to have one like this, perhaps in a garden room, with white furniture and lots of comfy colourful pretty cushions? Oooh yes please!

Now to the winner of one of my drawings.......

The winner is........ Mummy Boo Bear! Congratulations!  Let me know your posting details and also what colour you prefer, as you didn't mention that  in your comment and I shall get on to it as soon as possible! I can just do it in the colours you saw on my last post if you wish, it is entirely up to you. If I ever emerge from my work room that is!

Thank you all for joining in the fun, and there may be another chance for you to win again in a few weeks, if you would like too.  And may I say a big thank you to all my new followers too (and my old ones!), it cheers me, and makes me feel happy inside to 'meet' you here! Thank you for taking the time to visit me and leave your lovely comments. :)

Until next week, I wish you all good things. I am off to empty that darn bucket again!

Suzie xxxxx

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Who would like to win one of my drawings?

 Hello all you lovely peeps!

Well I am back from my travels, and since I got back I have been so busy,  and I have a sore throat and feel so achey, so I am sorry for not keeping up with your blogs, tis not like me at all, to stay away from you all for so long. I do apologise, but I will be trying to catch up with all your news as soon as I can.  I have been thinking of you though! You are never far from my thoughts..... get out of my head!  No, only joking!

 Would you like to win one of my drawings? Perhaps like this one? Maybe even choose what colours you would like? Read on to find out more!

You will be happy to know that George and I had a jolly spiffing time in London, and I shall be giving you little snippets  in the coming weeks, as I have so many things to tell you, it would be far too long a post! Needless to say there were many funny times! I, for instance, got chastised while in The Tate Modern. Yes! I did! I spotted a very interesting sculpture which was arched in shape and hollow in the middle with refective surfaces. A woman had walked into the centre of it, and I of a curious nature, waited for her to leave and then I too explored the inner world of this piece of interesting art. Hmmm, it was a bit like a surreal hall of mirrors. Fascinating, lets wave our arms a little.... oooh how funny.  OIIIIIHHHHH! I was startled  by the sound,  and  I looked around to see an irate attendant staring at me and gesticulating. HUH? Duh? Me? Do you mean me?  He pointed towards the floor at the wire barrier.... which I should not have crossed! (well I hadn't even seen it! I had gone in from the side)  Oooops, sorry! I really had to overcome the urge to point to the woman who had first ventured into said sculpture, and shout out "Well, she did it first!".

Some pics.....

I love the hustle and bustle of London!

And the really unexpected and interesting places which you find when you venture off the main roads!

I loved this wondeful wacky wonderland! 

Isn't this fab!

Isn't this yummy!

 Just before I left for my hols, lovely Alex sent me this award, Thank you so much Alex, you are lovely!

Please go and visit  Alex at Pink feather paradise  
She has a wonderful and very enjoyable blog, you feel like you are home there! Well worth the visit if you haven't already done so!

I have been so lucky with oodles of kindness being bestowed on me lately!  Tracey at Tracey's crafty scraps sent me a lovely parcel filled with goodies, beautifully sewn and made by herself. Also, she sent George a wonderful knitted willy warmer too  ;) . George seems somehow a tad reluctant to model the article however! But of course he is over the moon about it and awaits the colder weather with a relish! Honestly he laughed so much when I gave him his little (very little!) gift! Ha ha ha! Tracey is a lovely friend, she is funny, talented and one of the kind of people who I admire greatly for her ability to laugh in the face of adversity and always remember others... like little old me! (hey! Less of the old!) Thank you Tracey!

Ha ha ha ha ha! George is still smiling ove this one! Brilliant!

Lovely goodies all lovingly made for me! 
A gor-gee-ous pin cushion too!

And then, if that wasn't enough to find in my porch... more kindness!  Look at what arrived in the post!

How wonderful is this? This lovely little scottie doglet is from the very kind and talented Aunt Spicy. I was filled with tears at the note too.. this little dog has come to cheer me up after the loss of my little dog Archie, how absolutely kind! My friend had popped around for a cup of tea, and I read the note out to her, but couldn't get the words out properly for tears! Now I have to think of a name. Any suggestions? I would love to hear them! I will get my thinking cap on too! I tell you what, why don't I put your suggestions into a hat and whoever's name I pull out will win one of my drawings.  How about that? Are you all up for it?

 Beautiful, sweet little doglet, beautifully stitched and such wonderful fabrics too! What more could a dog loving peep want!

Back to the London trip!  On the second day we were in London, there was a tube strike! So it made getting about  a bit more difficult and took longer. Well we did it the way George does it... by walking everywhere!   I tell you I need another holiday to recover, I was so exhausted, and my feet and legs just about gave way! I think my shoes have actually given up the ghost now too. We walked for hours and hours! When we left London to go and stay in Tewkesbury, I was quite ready for a quieter pace.Tewkesbury is an old Cotswold town at the meeting of the rivers Avon and Severn. Such a lovely walk along the river looking at all the boats. The wetherspoons there has the most attractive beer garden, which of course we just had to try out and sample!

 The Tewkesbury Wetherspoons beer garden

Our hotel in Tewkesbury.

You will no doubt not be surprised that my dogs Ralph and Bertie were very happy to come home from the kennels! We walked them home and it absolutely hammered down with rain, so we all arrived at  the house looking like drowned rats. I love seeing how happy they are to be back, running about to see if everything is still as they left it! Of course Ralph had to wait in the kitchen until he dryed off before being let out into the rest of the house. That dog knots up for fun, and he looked a bit ragged after the kennel and the rain! Oooh and that wet dog smell! Nothing quite like it is there!?

Oh gosh, I am happy to be home Ralph!

Me too Bertie! 

Oh... hes conked, it must be all that barking he did at the kennel. Its worn him out!

 I shall tell you all a bit more next week, like about the loony on the bus (why do they always sit next to me?!), but  in the mean time don't forget to think of those names for Aunty Spicey's lovely scottie dog, and you could win one of my drawings (if you want one that is! ha ha ha!). So just leave a comment telling me your suggestion for a name for my new little doglet and tell me what colour you would like in your drawing/painting and we will go from there!

Happy days to you all Susie xxxxxxxxxxx :))))