Monday, 25 February 2013

Wot? No Sewing?

I'd love to be able to report that I came straight home from my holiday and started work on some UFOs, but I don't suppose you'd believe me. OK, how about that I came straight home and started cutting into this yummy collection of fabric I just happened to pick up . . .

Or even these scummy fabrics that called my name in another shop . . .

But sadly, this is the state of my sewing room at the moment, so I can only stroke my fabrics!  I can't get near the cutting mat, the sewing machine, or even the computer!

I can show this cute little mermaid I started embroidering on holiday

I did say she was little didn't I?
what was I thinking?
What do you reckon, does she *need* sky, or can I call her finished?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Holiday Photo Alert

Pics from my once-in-a-lifetime holiday - the one I want to do again!!!  Lots of pics, but hopefully worth looking through - I saved the best for last!

Our suite

 On deck


 My new friend, outside the ship's shop

The amazing Lofoton Islands - such a beautiful area

The mouth of the Troll Fjord - avalanche risk meant we couldn't enter :-(

Leaving the Arctic Circle

On the bridge

 The old fish warehouses in Bergen

Frozen waterfall

 Frozen Benta

 I did manage to find a few fabric shops

All of which was great, but the main highlight was sight of these lights in the night sky . . .

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Back to Blogging

My posts have been a bit sparse the last 10 days or so, and probably a bit disjointed: this is because there were written in advance and scheduled for random days over the 10 days as I was away. Me being away also meant I haven't visited anyone else's blog for 10 days - I will be catching up :-)

Husband and I have been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday in Norway. We flew to the very northeastern town, then took a Hurtigruten cruise for 6 days down the west coast to Bergen, (including seeing the Northern Lights) we then had a day trip called Norway in a Nutshell which involved a train, a coach, a ferry, a mountain train (Flåm) and then a train back to Bergen, then a train from Bergen to Oslo, then home again. An amazing trip, and photos will be posted, as we edit the best ones out of the 1500 odd that we took!

I did do some hand sewing on the trip:

scraps of fabric and card like this

Got tacked to each other like this

So they could be stitched together like this

With a plan that they would all get joined together like this

A *lot* of these hexies got made,

And even more of these triangles got made

And a whole stack of these diamonds got made

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Blinking Blogger

I do wish Blogger would leave things alone - sort or Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It approach.

I usually check on other blogs via my iPad, and it gradually dawned on me that I was getting the mobile view of all (nearly all) blogs, rather than the web view.  This meant I couldn't see your buttons, I didn't get to appreciate the time and effort you have spent creating backgrounds etc, and for those of you who advertise, I couldn't see your ads, so you had no chance of making money through me.  This wasn't just me: it applied to everyone who used any type of tablet or mobile device

For those of you who are more visual:  this is what my blog looks like on the PC

I have spent time choosing the font, the colours, the buttons, the background: arranging it just so.

However, this is what it looks like on the iPad

Not quiet the same!

It seemed I couldn't change how I saw your blogs, but each blogger can change how their own blog is viewed.

SO - if you like your PC / lap top view you could ensure that I see that view, even from my iPad.

Karen, at Sew Many Ways, and Paul, at Spice Up Your Blog both gave me advice on how to change MY blog - If you want to change yours too, either visit Karen' post here, or have a go at these instructions.

While you are in Web View, go to [Design], top right
Next you want to select Template, and then click on the settings cog below [Mobile]

And then choose NOT to have mobile template available, and [save]
Sorted!  Karen is conducting a survey as to what people prefer - if you want to have your say, click here and you can put your twopen'th in too

Interestingly, after I changed mine, I noticed I was seeing other people's as the desktop view - Have google been monitoring our chats?  If so maybe there is such a thing as people power, and maybe they have done a U-turn

Monday, 18 February 2013

We All Love A Freebie

I got an email with a free offer of business cards from VistaPrint 250: business cards for free, I just paid postage
(OK so not *quite* free, but just paying postage was a bargain wasn't it?)

But then I had the option of printing on the back  - that was a good idea  
(but did add just a little to the bill)

Ooooh look, I can have a matching note book: I LIKE notebooks 
 (and I'm saving on the cards so this is OK)

And then, um, there was a really lovely T-shirt that matched, and a rubber stamp that could be really useful . . .

And now I find I spent £25 just because I got a free offer.

(But I do love it all!)

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Filosofising Friday

(That might be spelt Philosophising rather than Filosofising!)

My oldest daughter, Lisa is in her final year at Greenwich University studying Philosophy.  She, and some of the other students run a stall in Greenwich Market called The Philosophy Takeaway

They have philosophy books for sale and are happy to discuss anything with anybody who stops for a chat.  (Pop by and visit if you are in Greenwich on a Wednesday!)

Lisa runs the group's blog  and frequently posts essays and thought provoking articles.  Despite proof reading many of her essays for the last 30 months, and reading every post on the blog, much of it still goes straight over my head.

But I wanted to share some  passages from a recent essay she wrote - don't worry, its not hard work, and I KNOW you'll nod your head in agreement.

The essay title is beyond me, but to help you (and me) I have coloured in red the important words

Assess, with reference to at least three philosophers discussed on the course, the extent to which the meaning of life can be considered both 'subjectively' and 'objectively'.

Keep the red words in your head, they are the important ones, keep chanting them, like a mantra, and now read her paragraph on the philosophy of John Taylor as he contemplates the Meaning Of Life:

it is not the final product . . . but [rather] the focus of our passion . . . that gives life meaning. A sense of fulfilment is not achieved through the completion of a task but through the activity that is undertaken in working toward that end

So *that's* why I have so many UFOs - the sense of achievement is from the doing, not the finishing.  Lisa then summarises:

. . . if you feel something is a sufficient use of your time, then, he argues, that is enough; ‘an existence that is objectively meaningless … can nevertheless acquire meaning for him whose existence it is’

So this means that cutting up fabric and sewing it back together is a worthwhile activity so long as I feel it is sufficient use of my time?

Guess what, I think it is!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Countdown to holiday

Well the holiday is getting close enough that I've got the suitcase out of the loft!  The books and the hand sewing is all sorted - I'll start on the clothes a bit nearer the time.

Towards the end of the month we are flying to the arctic circle - then 6 days on a ship  down the west coast of Norway.  It's not quite a cruise: we are going on a sort of ferry, but it also has bedrooms.  Its one of 11 ships on the Hurtigruten line.  It is a working ferry - for some people it is the way to get to visit grandma in the next town, or to attend a hospital appointment, there are 11 of the ships, and the round trip is 11 days, so each town (36 of them) gets visited by a south-bound and a north-bound ferry every day.  They have been going since 1895 (don't worry, our ship isn't *that* old) and went every day even when Norway was occupied by the Germans during WWII.  We love Norway, and both would love to see the northern lights, and this year we celebrate our silver wedding anniversary - so we reckon we deserve a treat for putting up with each other for so long!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Holiday Hexies

I've got four Hexi projects on the go at the moment, ( at least that's all I can think of just now) but this reversible one is being finished ready to give to my uncle and his wife when we are in Norway.(For some reason the purple photographed much better than the grey, no idea why)

The hedgehog pinning worked a treat, thank you Katy, and I've now tacked round the Hexies and have machine stitched the binding. Just a bit more hand sewing and some quilting and it's good to go.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Hand Sewing Hexies

Not much sewing is happening at home, but this Hexi top is currently living at my mother in law's and I work on it when we go and see her for a coffee.

One more Sunday cuppa and I think it's a finished top,

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Boring Blogger

This is what 20 embroidered sweatshirts looks like
 boring eh?

Just 25 polo shirts to do, and then I can start to play again.

In the meantime, do you want to see my accommodation on holiday?
And the cameraman who took this pic for the website is standing at patio doors - but at minus 20 degrees c I don't think we'll have them open much!  But hopefully perfect for viewing the northern lights

I'm a little bit excited!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Home Sweet Home

While my embroidery machine has been methodically stitching the fleece jackets and sweat shirts for my friend Debbie, I have been planning and designing the Star Of Africa blocks for Miss December (Sana) and Miss January (Tina)

After 25 fleece jackets and 10 sweatshirts (boring, but I console myself with the thought that each one is worth a FQ of fabric) I switched designs for a while to stitch Sana's block.

Sana has asked for a theme of Home Sweet Home.  I considered a map for a previous block but it didn't work, but the idea stayed with me, so I embroidered a map of a 5 x 7 mile area around my house and the added some landmarks.  Sana has already told us that it will be a wall hanging so I knew I could use buttons and stuff.

I embroidered some land marks and added buttons or shrinkies for other items.  I hope she likes the little corner of the world that has been my home for 26.5 years!

(And the money that I'm earning from the t-shirts - well this little squishy that arrived today will take a bite out of that!