Wednesday, 29 September 2010

What to do if a Bear wants to eat you

Apparently stunning them with a large courgette stops them in their tracks . A day after hearing on the news how a woman had fought with a bear in her kitchen with the nearest thing to hand, we got a lethal weapon of our very own.


Mr Bun was given it in the playground when he collected the Buns a few days ago. There was a spot of boyish grins and jokes I think, he called me at work to tell me how enormous it was. It's sat there ever since willing me to think of something glorious to do with it as befits the size of the thing.


I leafed through this book and I got an idea for some of it to become Courgette and Dill pickle. Apparently it's good with cheese and we eat a lot of cheese here so that's one solution. Then I think endless roasted veggies and pasta dishes for a week and that might be the end of our very very large courgette.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Post with the Poodle

Woodbridge Market was great fun yesterday, despite being the coldest I've been for quite a while. I was pitched next to my friend the lovelie Emmie for a chat or two. I met a lady with four Pugs, one is only four months old, black and called Violet. She was beyond gorgeous, can you feel broody for Pugs I wonder? I also met one or two people who read my ramblings and caught up with a lovely lady who always makes me laugh each time I see her.

Anyway I'm digressing. I completely forgot to take any pictures yesterday, so I took some today to show you my buys. First up something to make my making stuff in chair even better. It's becoming my very own Jim'll Fix it Chair (soon to have it's own secret compartment).


Don't know what it's called so let's call it a chair table thingy. How can you not like pink plastic painted with flowers, especially when it's a handy wee table that grips chair arms with a vengeance.


Early in the morning on one of my wanders I spotted something quite nasty that Mr Bun has been after for quite a while now. He likes kitsch stuff that makes him laugh, in fact he'd even got me to agree to make one for him and now I don't have to as we finally have our very own poodle loo roll cover. He can stay in the downstairs loo to keep the cats company while they eat.


When I called him to say "I've found it, something you've wanted for ages." He got very excited thinking it was the thing he has really wanted for forever. Do you remember those plastic money collectors that stood outside shops with little boys with a caliper on their legs? Well for some reason he hankers after one. I did say if we found one it would have to be a garden ornament as it would give me the creeps indoors.

I did find a fair bit of gorgeous stuff too while I searched about the stalls. A couple of green glass bowls, buttons, pillowslips in their original 70's packaging and a bag load of embroidered and plain linens from the Hospice stall.


I've just about run out so I was thrilled to find so many, these are just the colourful ones. They all smell pretty strongly of cigarettes so need a good soaking first and then I can start stitching up more trinket bags for Christmas gifts.


Today has been all about being cosy after getting soaked through at the end of the market. Part of the excitement of being outside. So the woodburner's been lit, I've crocheted and baked. In fact we're all sitting here full up after scoffing cheese scones and chocolate cake. A pretty fine antidote to a wet windy day.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Last Thing as Usual

Today I finally got myself down to the business of making stock for Saturday's market in Woodbridge. Admittedly I do work two days a week and there's always boring stuff to sort out just to keep a family chugging along. I'm also very good, accomplished even, at putting off to the last minute. I've told myself I work better like this to make myself feel better.


Well before I did get my head down there were a few distractions I guess. After dropping the Bun's at school I went to visit a friend. We felt the strong need to go out for coffee and then of course there were the charity shops that needed visiting. I did actually have to be there as I was in search of Victorian type clothes for Eldest Bun. Tommorow they're off to the workhouse for a get poor and experience history day. While there I found two gorgeous blue rose pyrex bowls and a beautiful blanket.


When I got back I stopped faffing and actually did something. A few small flowers and a handful of cherries were hooked up.


I ate some sweeties for a midday snack while I looked at some fabric for inspiration.


Which finally got cut, patched and stitched into this soon to be cushion cover.


And before I rushed off to do school collecting I edged and pom pom'd a couple of vintage towels. Hopefully I'll get some more brooches made on Friday if I just stop getting distracted.

I thought when I sit on my stall on Saturday I might take a look at my wristwarmer disaster. Thanks for all your great suggestions. which were really helpful At the moment the plan is to take the fairisle out and then I'm not really sure what I'll do. Have a fiddle and see I guess.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Whoops

I had so many making things planned for those days when I wasn't at work this week. It didn't work out that way. Instead l've done plumbing stuff and found out that the only way to get to the leaky problem from a pipe is by cutting a big hole in Eldest Bun's ceiling, had a haircut, faffed and created a disaster.

Do you fancy a peek at my really quite lovely disaster?

I had plans for some new wristwarmers so I got a spot of yarn together to try out colours.


I fancied adding a spot of fairisle into the tops of my wristwarmers as I've never done it before. I've worked a fair bit of intarsia so I thought fairisle would be a doddle and it was in a way.

I got a basic shape for the wristwarmers from a pattern I've made before and then re-wrote it together with a fairisle pattern from a vintage patterns book. Fine so far.


I knitted one hand up in an evening as it was so quick and easy. All you have to do is move your yarn along, not keep adding it in like intarsia. I was thrilled with the result as it was exactly how I'd imagined it would be.


That's before I went to sew it up. The stretchy rib wrists fit beautifully, but I need really really thin hands for the top bit where the fairisle is.

In my impatience to get going I didn't really stop and think about how winding the wool along would make it all tighter and thicker and so a hell of a lot smaller.


If there is a next time I must remember to increase the stitches a lot before I get to the fairisle bit.

If I do find someone with unfeasibly thin hands I might just make them the matching one up as a gift.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Just Stuff

Two new things appeared last week. One might be quite pleasant eventually, the other I liked straight away.

Little Bun has wanted to play a violin for a long time now. When we moved school and found there was no violin teacher I have to admit I wasn't as broken hearted as maybe I should have been. This term they've found one. He can also play the theme tune to Dr Who on his violin which has made it an even better thing to learn in her opinion.


The other thing to arrive was a small parcel of bright zesty fabric from Littleteawagon.


When I saw it in Jane's etsy shop I knew it would be the perfect fabric to get me going on Eldest Bun's patchy bedcover. I knew the colours I wanted to work with and hadn't found exactly what I'd had in mind until now. Just got to get matching fabrics up and cutting and I'll be away.


Except I get so easily distracted and there's so many other things to finish too. After a session ripping favorite pages from magazines and throwing the rest in the bin, I fell in love with the colourways used in this blanket. Rather than try out these colours now I just had a quick go at rows of trebles with what was in my basket. So that's yet another blanket that will need to be made along with draught excluders. I'm determined to keep warm this winter.


On Friday evening we all snuggled up to watch Big (80's film revivals here) and I tried to actually finish a cardigan I started for Eldest Bun months ago. Only a sleeve and collar left to go and it looks like I'll run out of wool. My fault for knitting it on bigger needles so it would be a size up. I'll deal with that problem if it happens, maybe a different coloured collar?

On Saturday evening our cottage was being invaded so there were preparations to be made all day. Three girls plus our two for a sleepover as a belated birthday party. I made another cake and had a lot of fun making tiny paper bunting.


I didn't enjoy the Singstar Karaoke session so much or the chatting until 1am, but they all had a great time.


Sunday morning and we both felt as if we'd been beaten up. Tiring stuff this girlie business. I thought maybe laying face down asleep somewhere or a spot of knitting would be good things to do on a Sunday. Then my folks called and said they wanted to go to our village airshow. We live near a WWII US airbase that's now used as a small airfield. Each year they have a show with vintage cars, stalls the lot and we've only been once. Mr Bun packed us all a picnic and then we set up camp by the car. Handy that at 84 dad has a disabled parking thingy so they had front row parking with the best view.


We sat munching away watching planes whizz by, kill their engines and drop from the sky, twist and turn and all sorts of other edge of your blanket thrills.


I'm not interested in all the talk of how many rivets a plane has, but the stories behind some were fascinating. There was a Mustang that had crashed just outside of Paris in 1944, killing the pilot. Years later the pieces were retrieved, restored and a plane rebuilt that flew once again for the first time in 2008. It was also very silver shiny and fast, I liked that too.



Now I was going to be disciplined and get on with some making work today, but after being cooped up all last week ill, I'm off to visit my friend and her lovely yarn shop.
Have a good week.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Entertainment for the Poorly

My cold turned into flu and it's felt like somebody mean has taken over my body this last week. I'm still coughing like a tobacco chewing old man, but I think I'm me again.

I've had a bit of time on my hands to fill as I've sat around with all energy zapped.


I finished up Little Bun's Grape Beret while I watched repeats of Monarch of the Glen on UK Gold. Now she wants a Jolly Big Flower Brooch for it just like the one I made her big sister.


I sorted through some of the endless bags we have of the Bun's notes and artwork. Eldest Bun's groundrules for school aged six. My favourite is about keeping your lunchbox shut so the cat doesn't eat it.


I also found this poem. I can remember her telling me exactly what to write down for her before she gave it that extra something with her felt tips.


I also found a shortcut to something I've meant to do for the past four years. When we moved here I bought some Vanessa Arbuthnott Swallows linen for my friend Rachel to make into curtains for the sitting room. I thought I'd turn this panel into a small blind of some sort or other for the other small window. I've thought about making it quite a few times and then I find I just can't be bothered.


Being ill sorted that problem out as I just got a hammer and a couple of nails and banged it in to the window frame. Now that was easy and problem sorted.


I also kept myself entertained by moving stuff around and filled up this new Carltonware dish with some precious bits and bobs. My parents bought the watchchain for Mr Bun for his 4oth. It's dated 1914. He bid for the Victorian monocle on ebay an age ago. The Bun's like mucking about with that. I especially love the silver and ivory Georgian teether. It has a rattle and a whistle but no chain now. An elderly family friend gave it to Eldest Bun when she was a few months old. It was her husband's mothers and sadly as they'd lost both of their children when they were very young there was no one else to pass these things on to.


One of my other distractions this week has been fabric browsing. A parcel came in the post this morning and got my ideas a whirring. I'll show you next time and tell you my plans for it.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Changes

Well that's that then. Another wonderful summer has ended and my wee friends are back to school tommorow, adventures packed away for another day.

On Saturday we grabbed the chance for just one more magical day and rode on gallopers, trains and picnicked in beautiful gardens.


Today the season is showing its changes. I'm heavy with cold and sniffing and sneezing endlessly. I've sharpened all the pencils and the Bun's packed their pencil cases and school bags. I had to let skirts down as I left it until today to go and search for new. I felt too ill in the end to face the shops, so a few inches were found with a needle and thread instead.


My very very poorliness meant I needed the restful comfort of the sofa and a bit of time with the yarn stuff. Even these colours tell me the cosiness of autumn is fast upon us. Little Bun has chosen her favourite purple for a winter beret and for Eldest Bun I've chosen wools I need to use up from my stash. In the true spirit of Dottie Angel's Challenge of the Utmost Kind I'm turning to what I have rather than buying more. So I found eight balls of each colour of Rowan's Wool Cotton to knit up a jumper I downloaded from their free patterns page. It's supposed to be knitted in felted tweed, but Eldest Bun shrieked in horror at the scratchiness of the picture before I reassured her that I'd chosen the softest of soft yarns for her.


After my knitting rest stop I felt pretty peckish so went off to cook up comfort food. Mr Bun had come back from walking Alfie with a huge bag of Victoria Plums he'd bought from one of the cottages in our village. I stewed them up with a stick of cinammon, made a crumble topping and then we played Monopoly while we waited for them to cook.


Despite this all sounding like the most blissful of days, it had a very sad start to it. Mabel one of our Light Sussex hens has been very poorly and slow for a few weeks. There's been little I could do for her, other than spoil her and try a few tonics. Little Bun has tried stroking to soothe her discomfort and today sadly she just didn't have enough energy to even stand. Mr Bun went to let them out this morning and then came back to tell me how she was. As much as it broke his heart he knew he had to help her out of her pain so he went to cuddle her for a while to relax her and then it was over. I truly appreciate his strength in being able to do this as I'm not sure if I could have done and she needed to stop her suffering.


On a brighter note - I thought you might like to catch up with our wee maniac Olly. He's growing in size as is his adoration of Alfie. I'm not too sure it's reciprocated, I think Alfie just puts up with the situation.

Lastly, thank you so much for your kind birthday wishes for Eldest Bun. I always really appreciate that you take the time to stop by and say hello, even when I'm so rubbish at getting around to visit and say hello as much as I'd like.

Right I'm off to blow my nose. Ta ta x

Friday, 3 September 2010

Time is Flying By

On Wednesday September 1st our beautiful first born gorgeous girl turned ten. In this picture she's exactly half this age. A little girl of five, days away from her first day at school. A big moment for her and for us as she stepped out into the world.


Now five years later a graceful, funny, thoughtful and sophisticated girl is emerging of whom we are very very proud. One who is loved intensely by her little sister who is her best friend in the world.


We had the family birthday tea the evening before her birthday as we we had an 8pm train to catch in the morning. So lots of grandparents gifts to open on Tuesday and then our gifts early on Wednesday.

She loved the bag I made for her and so this came with us for the day filled with all the essential books, paper and pens.


A busy day was planned sightseeing in London. We took the train as this was another first for the Bun's. Having lived in London until our early thirties neither of us have felt much urge to go back other than the meetings and other work stuff we do.


We chose the right age as the Bun's were just old enough to get what they were seeing and just about have the energy to walk the ten miles we walked them from St Paul's up to the Tower for a look around and then back along the river up to Westminster, the Palace, through Green Park and end at Trafalgar Square.

We had a fabulous day, the weather was perfect, tons of drinks and good food were scoffed along the way and we managed to fit in a spot of people watching.


On the South Bank we spotted this little mudlark playing in their leopard suit, They must have been boiling.


In my teens I couldn't wait to get away to live in London, in my forties I was thrilled to be heading back home to the countryside.

I had to work the next day and I could barely move. Those ten miles have played havoc with my legs.