Friday, 27 January 2012

Rocking my World (might be more rocky world this week.....)

Hello Lovely positive Friday people time once more for:

Hosted by the ever positive Virginia over at the Celtic House :)

This has been a week that should be happy and was full of so many positives but add in a poorly toddler (which is why I am typing this at 5am in the morning) and just the weight of everything that has been dealt with (and the fact I'm not at full fighting fitness meself) and the celebrations are not what they should be.

So at the beginning of last week (or the weekend as it is generally thought of by the many) we celebrated for the third year Chinese New Year (a day or 2 early) with friends of ours and other friends. We have a number of traditions that are slowly arising around our circle and this is the 1st one of the year. We all take around a Chinese dish or two and feast like kings my friend. My lovely husband (who is 1/2 Chinese from his Hong Kong Dad) made a Chinese curry - yum yum and experimental prawn toasts - because under my expert supervision we baked rather than fried them to reduce some lard content - and my friends not a one of the 50 odd triangles was left at the end! My contribution was a baked (unusual as they are usually steamed) cake - it was so so light and very yummy definitely to be made again :) 

Now the next part I alluded to last week, first I shall explain a little bit because Carmen aside you won't know the background and appreciate the true momentousness of it all. So are you sitting comfortably.......... In 2005 (the year we got married) my husband and I purchased out first home together. What followed on and off was bullying, harrasment, threats and other things from the person who lived below us, a man who was unemployed, likes his alcohol, probably also played with drugs and decided to make my family his full time entertainment. We stayed so long, because we naively assumed that with right and good on our side we should be able to sort out this social tenant and stop it happening to someone else (we are sure that he was the reason the previous owner left) . But it turns out no. In 2010 things escalated somewhat and someone glued our door lock, a week later our car was keyed down one side from light to light. Then it want quiet for a few months before a full bottle of beer was thrown through our first floor flat kitchen window (still grateful it wasn't the other side which was T bedroom) we were out at the time and had friends babysitting. Then a week later we found both wing mirrors ripped off our car. I can't even begin to tell you what a state I was in by this time. I was afraid to leave my home, afraid to come back to it. Terrified something would happen to us (which was the next thing threatened). Still the police and Whitefriars (responsible for their tenant) could do nothing. No proof, sorry can't help you get any, can't do anything unless you have some. Just before the 2nd lot of incidents and following good advice from lovely blogging friends like Carmen and Donna (She of Doone fame) we had put the flat on the market. After the incidents we did some sums and decided that safety and happiness were more important than money and we moved ourselves into rented accommodation on the 1st of February last year. Much to the relief of all who know us.  Now it wasn't 7 years of bad, our lovely son was born and it was really only the latter half of 2009 and 2010 that I really started to struggle. The last year has been hard financially but better in many other ways. We have taken a massive negative equity hit in order to sell it but the help of family means that we are financially stable again. So the good news, as of 11am Monday just gone the flat belongs to someone else.  I wrestled a lot with this, but I do believe that while that man will never make anyone's life easy he had a strong hatred for us. We have to be grateful that because there was no proof there was nothing to declare. Whitefriars regarded it all as tit for tat noise complaints (I have that in writing when they sent a reply to our MP when I asked him for help). So there are no records anywhere, so we can move on with a clean slate.  My husband is smiling again as he doesn't see all his wages disappear out every month. Me I am sitting here crying as I write this, the whole thing affected me a lot more. I am not one to dwell this is the last time I shall write of it all. I am not a bad person, he was and I am assured karma will get him. I am glad I won't be around to see what happens to him. I truly believe that someone who gets pleasure from tormenting others like him is a miserable person and so he already suffers everyday. Me well I laugh a lot (maybe not so much this week). I smile everyday because I do have a child like ability to appreciate the little things in life.  I want to feel joyfully happy and relieved. Instead at the moment I feel angry and tired and really fed up. At the moment I just have to let myself feel these things as part of the whole healing process. I am not so far gone that I can't appreciate the lovely fabric that turned up on my doorstep this week. Or when my son utters 'that is the right way to do it' at something on the tv. Or the I love you smile that my husband gave me last night (and it's been a while, he really is relieved and happier) in response to something I said.

So my new friends I do not apologise for this post, but I do promise not to write another one like it again.  I look forward to my husband securing his next contract before the end of the year. Growing more vegetables in my garden wherever that may be. Furthering my sewing skills and at the moment more importantly getting some decent sleep (because that surely doesn't help). Hope you have all had a good one and take care of each other.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Hello Wednesday workdesk hoppers. How are you  all? First let me avail you of the lovely contents that were in Annies blog competition (they were on my workdesk Wednesday evening last after all ;)

All stunning creations made by Annie herself. The felted card and picture are just beautiful. My favourite thing of all is Cyril the bear (who comes with his own adoption certificate :) I for one will be toddling along to the sisters crafty creations shop when I am looking for a little something special for someone! As for this week:

At the back left was the Brazilian 'eye' flag that I created for Darcy's postcard challenge last week, it sits on top of a paper dragon, one of which found its way to a friends house where we celebrated the Chinese New Year with friends. To the right of my little netbook is the start of my mouthy stitches pouch swap creation ( and if you look up at the top you can see the Daffodils in their new home :) The stuff laid out at the front is ready to work on my postcard for this week - China.

So just before I head you on your way to Julia's gateway to WOYWW extravaganza (link on the right) firstly if you like sewing and fabric see the previous post.  More importantly - drum roll please................

THE FLAT IS SOLD - yehaa, Monday at 11am it became the property of someone else and good riddance! There is still some healing to do (and may well always be a little) but as a wise friend pointed out recently there is no point holding tight to the past it gets you no where.  It will take us a large number of years to recoup are losses but we dream of our own house by the sea someday and what is a person without their dreams?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Resolve to Sew 2012 - giveaway

Over at Ali the hostess has lined up no less than 11 prizes in a blog giveaway of fabric or vouchers to purchase fabric. All she ask is that you tell her what you plan to sew this year, go and look at her website to see the yummy prizes and for all the details :)

I started crafting again in the paper world and was positively smitten by all the beuatiful papers avaiable to make lovely thngs with. Turns out fabric is just as exciting.........
I started sewing again (since 1990s ish - [probably a couple of cushion covers to be honest] and last year it was bags with a zippy thing thrown in for good measure. The reason I started making bags I want to have a go at sewing my own clothes and needed to start somewhere.  I have kicked off 2012 taking part in a zippy pouch swap (button over on the right mouthy stitches). My intention before 2012 is through is to have made either a tunic top or a dress............

Thanks to Gone to Earth for the heads up on the giveaway and if I won I would probably ask for the fancy moon prize as I am just starting out the more help I cna get the better!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Darcy's Postcard challenge, week 3 Brazil

This week I got out the paints (inks) and pencil crayons and pitt pens - it was fun!

While I have you here oh wise people. I like my inks I like the intensity they give. I want to get some acrylics to play with (not the tubey you can get me form hobbycraft kind). the look at the intensity of colour kind - any recommendations?

Rocking my World Friday

Hello Friday people :)

There is something a building - it will be revealed next week but the start of the happiness happened this week :)

Saturday I made someone else's world, my sister came over with her two lads (5 and 7) they were fed lunch and dinner and Susan sat in a chair and read a good book (passed on from me) all afternoon - what more can a mum ask for in life eh! no cooking, no clearing up!

Out for an adventure on Sunday with the little fella (potty in a bag) didn't want to go down the park so we walked to Coventry's main train station, caught the train to our local station (they are about the same walking distance) then wondered home. My husband and I shared one of those moments you know them. The scene - child in pants doing ritual clutch of self as need to pee becomes stronger, child also holding on to toy cow he has taken with him on the trip. Husband 'where's Timothy's cow?', Me - 'he is clutching it along with himself - please don't let that become a euphemism' - husband 'no because we don't want to milk it'..........................

Monday I had the satisfaction of starting to sort our front room, everything got dumped up there over Christmas and my MIL is coming to stay mid February (this is a good thing we get on very well), so the great sort out commenced. It also involves sorting out some of T baby things to pass on to friends of ours who are expecting there first child at the end of March.

Wednesday was a good posty day. I found out Monday that I had won a friends blog competition by rightly guessing 88 (we had been given clues relating to years, and I am my friends a child of the 80s (not born then good gosh no) but I got into to music and films and books between 82 and 88 (then gave up on the music and went backwards to 70s, 60s and 50s!). Anyway she was sending me 'a little something' for getting it right..............

All made by Annie herself, the card was brilliant to start with, the picture is amazing but my favourite is Cyril the bear (complete with adoption certificate :)

Then Thursday was another good day, You know the old adage if you don't ask you don't get? well I went for barefaced cheek and asked a blogger friend who I know sews a lot if they would mind sending me some fabric scraps (for practise, for appliqué work and general making). She was most obliging and this was what greeted me :)

It is brilliant as I wouldn't buy pink because well frankly I don't like the colour but it doesn't mean it won't work well in some things and other people (madness I tell you) do seem to like the colour?  I have signed up to a zippy pouch swap and now I know I'm good to go!

Hope you have a had a good week to , Seems I've had something positive to reflect on most days (plus no accidents for T all week!); Head on over to Virginia's the lovely lady at the Celtic House who started this splendid focus on the good in our lives because it's out there and sometimes you don't have to dig very deep at all :)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

WOYWW - paper and fabric

Hello Wednesday peeps. Hope everyone is well. Here is the table of indeterminate purpose for your perusal this week. Please click on what is most likely by now an outdated link through to the Queen of desks (will get it sorted by next week.....)

On the left is the light of my art life, this weeks contribution to Darcy's postcard challenge, in progress and on the right my crafty satisfaction I have been playing around with creating fabric designs (a friend bought me Sew Wild for Christmas there is a whole hoard of lovely stuff on making your own patterned fabric). Not a clue what do with them now mind - any ideas?

(Hi Neet yes they were all cut free hand in red and black felt then embroidered on together to form the knots!)

Finally the last of the secret Santy stuff. This was made for the lovely Doone (who has a live videoed flick through on her blog) and sandwiched with a bunch of other stuff. She nearly didn't get it as I felt quite quite proud at the end of it :) It's my first ever book, feel free to skip to the end or peruse photo's at your leisure ;)

Spent an hour and a half doodling faces, Timothy drew trains and carriages on the back, original scanned and then printed off twice to cover front and back. 

scanned in image, original picture kept


Has a random list of things you can learn from A - Z (yes I got something for every letter!)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Darcy's Postcard Challenge - Spain, time to sketch!

I signed up to this challenge because I have a couple of books in my library, one written entirely in emails and another by the excellent Mark Dunn called Ibid a book written entirely in footnotes (very good if you haven't come across it - in fact he hasn't written a bum book yet) and my mind started coming up with ideas and I had to run with it.  I had not really considered how much more than that it would open up. Wow last week was a blast, all the different ideas the beautiful postcards, recognising like minded spirits :D

First my lovely pack of stamps turned up from Darcy and if that wasn't splendid enough it also contained this stunning postcard:

This week was the week of sketching for me, I had a lot of fun. My postcard front was done with pastel pencils (I got them for Christmas :) . I'll let the photies do the talking. 

Rocking Your World Friday

Hello fellow rockettes. I feel like January is running away already!  here we are though for another:

Last Friday was a lovely day we were visited by my husbands brother, wife and 3 kids who were between Northampton and Cardiff before returning to Glasgow. Their youngest is 3 weeks younger than T so he always has fun. They also left Christmas presents in their wake (n.b. there is a limit to the number of times you can watch Cars2........)

Friday was also a double whammy with posts from this here lovely and select cool gang! and then Darcy's postcard challenge. I guess like many people it is always lovely to have other people enjoy something you have made or put together. People's comments always make me smile - so a big thank you to anyone who leaves me a little missive. I think that I am going to enjoy a number of the stories that will develop. Also I never really considered but I realise that my world will also open  up with all the different ways people approach the challenge both artistically and in writing. WOW

Tuesday I smiled a lot (if you don't have kids look away from this one, otherwise I reckon you'll be a nodding along). We had out first poo in the potty - yeh (We have had a couple of false starts with the de-nappying last year. But he was told it was going to happen on Saturday and we counted down on the calender .) he has been brilliant - very proud of my little fella.

Wednesday I smiled because I had 2 lovely little envelopes. I love getting things in the snail mail - I'm not even that fussy as long as it is from a human being (not a bill or circular). The first was a pack of stamps from Darcy, she entered all the people who linked up last week into a random generator (not as pretty as Carmens :D) and I was one of those selected. The pack contained some stamps, air mail stickers, photo corners and this beautiful drawn postcard:

The second package was also special. Over Christmas one of my whats on your workdesk wedneday posts included a brief post on a cake I was making. I was asked by Jozarty for the recipe and she was quite delighted.  So much so that in a little giveaway where she had asked for people's Christmas traditions she chose to give me a choice of her made pendants to say thank you for starting a new tradition in her family :) I gave a selection and was quite delighted when this little beauty turned up (with a little bag of crafting goodies too!):

So all in all my friends I can't complain (apart from the lack of sleep and the heavily dependent husband who had an interview yesterday and he is like a bear with a sore head for a week or 2  before one (and he becomes very insular so muggins has to pick up everything else) he has a job but is looking for a permanent lectureship he has had a lot of interviews bless him). It's good to remember the things that have made me smile through my bleary eyes!  Thanks Virginia for the inspiration to do this. Hope you all have a good one this week x.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

WOYWW - must get it right

Hello All, blimey I am blogging all over the place these days, have to make sure I get the right link in the right place or risk sending out a search party for lost blogger souls who have stumbled onto the wrong post!

This post are yes I remember the Wednesday work desk romp courtesy of Lady on high Julia Dunnit (WOYWW link on the right will take you to base desk and from there creativity knowing no bounds.)
Right on my workdesk this week:

It is all connected to Darcy's 52 week postcard challenge this week (link at the top right) and won't go on here because that is what the second half of Fridays is for, well along with the first half and  Rocking my World Friday. But that is a helpful comment to make because before Christmas I did tease you with Secret Santy makes that I could not reveal, but now Virginia (of Rocking my World Friday fame) is in the know I can show all! - p.s. Yay Carmen!

For Virginia's delight I did make a box where I stitched on 4 Celtic knots using felt and black embroidery thread to 4 squares of black fabric. I made the squares into pockets and filled with some chipboard. I then used thread to link the 4 filled pouches together and added a bottom then made a lid in a very similar fashion. Unfortunately some pratt forgot to take a photo of the finished box but did do the 4 finished sides so:

And I hope Virginia doesn't mind but I did nick this photo from her original post here

The other piece of creativity that I did come up with was a scrapbook all targeted to her halloweeny, batty love that comes across. There were some added lovely bits in case the creativity went tits up not shown here but in the original post......As before I shall leave you to peruse or not at your leisure, sorry for the photo heavyness. Bats most definitely based on those by Laura Denison of Following the Paper trail, but the rest was all me ha ha haha:

Friday, 6 January 2012

Darcy's Postcard Challenge, week one, Austria :)

Hi all, if you arrived looking for the Rocking your World Friday post it is below (hark at me from 0 to 2 posts on a Friday......)

Very excited about this challenge, I can see it keeping me awake when my mind forgets to switch off. Looking forward to seeing the different ways everyone approaches it too.

Here is the first page of my book (the preface if you will)

You will have to keep reading to find out more ;)

Here is the first page and the postcards, I went very traditional postcard for this first one don't worry it won't always be like that.......

Can't wait to see what everyone else has done. Thanks a million Darcy :) Wonder where we will be next week?.........

Rocking My World Friday

Hello 2012 - I even managed to write the correct year when signing something this week! So what has been making me smile this week?

At the beginning of the week there was New Year. I managed to stay up until 12:30 - first-time in a long time. Watching my parents and their oldest friends doing the penguin game on Wii Sports made me smile a lot!!! well you have to do something to pass the time.

I got a lie in on Monday morning. If my normal sleep patterns were in place I would be awake at 7............. At the moment Timothy is waking me up at 7:45 most days. Sometimes that makes me smile. If he has a favourite film or TV phrase. This week it has just been MUMMY in increasing pitch until I move......

I opened up one of my Christmas presents - I mean I had unwrapped it but it was in a box. It was a wilko cake stand. Finally found time on Monday and the sender had asked for a photo of it once it was together - now it hadn't occurred to me that there was anything out of the ordinary -doh, so image my delight when I unearthed this beauty:

The equations on the top our from the first paper my husband had published while doing his PhD. Seems a shame to cover it in cakes, Guess if we put any on we will just have to eat them as soon as possible ;)

Wednesday afternoon Timothy and I were visited by a good friend (and Timothy's supporting adult - or alternative to a Godparent for those of you with strong religious persuasions). I love nothing more than a good chat about people, life and how to make my world and others better :) of course these days I generally have to compete for time and attention :)

Thursday made me smile the best though. My first day in 3 weeks to myself and with time to craft. In the morning I met my mum and we visited a well known craft store for hobbies where I collected a journal so that in the afternoon I finally got my first postcard finished for Darcy's postcard challenge. I successfully got my head wrapped around the basic background for the storyline and the preface written so to speak.  While crafting I also managed to watch a DVD that came with one of my Christmas presents from a good friends of ours Sew Wild -  the book is about mixed media techniques, creating your own fabrics and papers, free sewing and combining the two to make projects :)

So all in all a good start to 2012.  Head on over to Virginia's and join in the recollection of the good that has happened in your week  - oooh and I nearly forgot - my book is making me smile I read about it on Book Chick City - called Blood Bound, another Christmas pressie (and even better there are 3 books waiting underneath it before I need to worry about what next :)

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

WOYWW - Hello 2012

I do hope everyone had a splendid Christmas. I actually managed to stay up this year and see in the New Year with my husband, parents and some long standing friends. Too much food has been consumed. Too much food is left over still, especially chocolate :) 

My desk has no crafting on it, I have just finished moving a bookcase downstairs so that I have somewhere to store my sewing and crafting things when not in use - still can't find my black Pitt pens sure they will turn up eventually - maybe I need to hunt for something else? What I do have to show you is most lovely and delightful.  The Fork in the centre is for you Donna - the promised battery spaghetti fork. The rest is what I found when I opened up my not so Secret Santa present from Donna :)

A special Donna journal, it is full of much loveliness. There are lots random pictures below if you want to see. Ideas, suggestions, bit of stash, new ways to do things and spaces for me to fill in. Utterly delightful. I feel so very lucky to have such inspiration in my life. 

There will be crafting and creating I have signed up to Darcy's 52 postcards challenge (click for more) and plans to sew at least a top, a pair of trousers, a bag and a cover for a chair.................. I also want to have a go at book binding. World lobster.........

So you can stay a little longer and drool over the contents of my journal (mine, mine, mine) or you can hop straight on over though the WOYWW link on the right and see how all the other desks are looking this first week in to 2012.