Monday, 4 August 2014

Remembering




Great Uncles







 Grandfathers (both Prisoners of  The First World War)  and  Grandmothers


 Heartbroken Great Grandmother



Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Divided Self...............Voting now open!




Apologies if you were expecting a discussion regarding ontological security but thank you so much for your exceptionally kind words on previous post. I have had to travel through London several times recently and took my new bag with me: I smiled at everyone I passed on the underground/overground in case it was YOU and we might stop to chat about my bag!!!!!  As it happened I did have some old bag admirers....................but none of the 'Custardsphere' (thank you modflowers) persuasion.

What happened to July.....

This post was sparked by a recent rummage through some china in order to 'prepare'  for the kitchen (steady on - it will be months!) with the photograph above representing my divided self.  I have wittered on many times how I do not possess a discerning palette, indeed my palette accommodates all and sundry (hence a house full of junk, rubbish, tat, tut,  tasteful items).

Just realised that nearly fours years ago to the day I posted this -same old, same old.....


One half  (see below for expansion of terms) of me the one half loving florals and fussiness and the other a more spartan, colourful approach. There may also be other facets (neutral linens and driftwood for example....oh dear) but I am concentrating on these two today....

Sometimes I am a triangle.... pentagon...octagon.....dodecahedron...


The combination above is perfect for elevenses - a mid-morning refresher if you will - giving you some pep for the day ahead.  However afternoon tea (at four) needs a more genteel approach - this is where I reach for the florals and something a little more restful (I would like to nod off at this point...).  Actually the more I think about this perhaps the above would be better for the afternoon when I need perking up!  The floral fabric below was given to me in a charity shop recently : the helper was leaving for pastures new and had put a stash of fabric to one side waiting for me to turn up.  That was very kind especially as I only go there once in a blue moon.  The teapot I bought for £3 the other day and the cup I have had since a teenager.



Which do you prefer? Perhaps both fill you with horror.

 I was going to do a whole series of these (different decades/styles throughout the last century) but just doing these two took ages : I may have become a little distracted with china and fabric along the way.








It is easy to be distracted.   Originally I was going to build this post around this piece of linen - the divided self represented by the same woman in different colours. This is a wonderful design by Thea Tanner


Still has its original label and price tag.


From this I distracted myself with a piece of fabric by Bibbi Swahn.


Some of you might remember that I was lucky enough to buy a long framed piece of this from a charity shop a few years ago.  It has hung in the hall ever since where the cheery faces meet and greet. This is the old post about  Bibbi Swahn



This piece  is a a slightly different colour but also in perfect condition....I was going to cut it up but of course could not bring myself to do so.


From here I then admired these pieces below. 

Are these old Ikea pieces below  do you think? 
 I tried 'blurring' two colour examples...not sure why


I don't think that they are that old : maybe 1980s.

I have seen some Ikea fabric being sold as 1950s original and though Ikea has been going for some time I bought the same fabric I had seen (on t'internet) from Ikea circa 1985 (still have it....hang on.... it is now officially 'old'!).  There is a fair bit of misinformation out there don't you think : just because it says so on the internet it does not mean that it is necessarily true.  
Caveat emptor!

Anyway this cheery design comes in several different colours



As you can see it is easy to be distracted and also with the other things which have been going on at 'Custard Towers'.  Nothing exciting but just busy with life.



PS: Due to the heat there is no 'PS' of note this week!

PPS: Somewhere in the house is my old copy of  'The divided self' - worth ploughing through

PPPS: I hope that you are all able to have some sort of break over the summer. I am heading for some time off next week.

PPPPS: Many thanks to 'mystery' Blogger Mrs K/C who was able to sort out my bra and knicker showdown. I will never purchase such items over the ether again! Many thanks my dear and I hope that one day we will finally meet up. Life has some very queer turn of events indeed.




Saturday, 28 June 2014

Is it: a bin, a bag, a bucket? The answer revealed and loquaciousness



 If you said 'bin' or 'bucket'  walk 'The Walk of Shame' and go to the back of the class (which incidentally was the instruction given to all students who dared to be late for my lessons : one day I was late (bike puncture) and had to walk my very own 'Walk of Shame' : Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby was my muse....) !



I used all 'pin stock' making this!

I woke up one morning and had it in my head that I had to make this BAG.  It took much longer than I anticipated but I wanted to 'create' (fancy) a bag reminiscent of the 1940s with a 'handmade/homemade' look.  

I think that this looks home made 

Arthur: 'Is she for real?' 

Martha: 'OF COURSE IT LOOKS HOMEMADE LOVE'

Arthur: 'It's life Jim but not as we know it......'

Me: 'Charming!'

Mr Vuitton: 'I may rest easy'

This shows the work in progress and during the 'bucket/bin' stage.  It took me ages to make a pattern : you wouldn't know it looking at this photograph as it all looks so simple (in truth this was partly because I couldn't find the grease proof paper and then decided to tidy up some drawers in order to avoid future grease proof paper showdowns).  The whole thing was a bit of a fiddle faddle to be honest and this is a shame as I really thought that I had 'discovered' a new 'Bag Opportunity' (aka B O).


The night before I could not sleep as I kept runnng through the stages of the bag making in my head

 In my mind I knew that piping was essential............I can offer no explanation for this.

I was pleased with the pipe work especially as I do not possess a special piping footer thingy ('She who does not pay for the piping foot calls the bag a ruddy pain...'.).



I am very annoyed that I had not noticed that stray thread in the middle of the photograph - apologies all round for that.


I strengthened this bag with interfacing, soft interlining and lining though this also meant that at times I was trying to sew through many, many layers of fabric.  My sewing machine is RUBBISH (and I don't have an overlocker/underlocker/footlocker or indeed hurtlocker...) so at times there may have been a little bit of  **^!**  huffing.....  However all of that, and the little stitches around the base, meant the bag could stand up independently.  Why I wanted a bag that could stand independently I cannot fathom but there it is.





Here is the finished bucket  bag not standing independently (after all that fuss!).



As usual I took a fair while finding the right button but decided upon this one as it seemed 1940'ish to me



The motivation for all this bag making was D Day :  I planned to wear it as I  cycled along the seafront to watch the service and thank the servicemen and servicewomen.  Again for reasons I cannot fathom I thought that it would be appropriate to don my best embroidered apron.  

You don't have a best embroidered apron?  

Gosh!  

That is a bit of a rum do if I may say so.




I have photographed this before on Flickr but as that was a few years ago I hope that it is acceptable to show it again.  

I thought that the blue birds were apt and of course it also meant that as I cycled I could channel Vera Lynn and 'sing as I go' (a bit of Gracie Fields thrown in for good measure there).  

As I tra la la'd along  everyone would clearly understand the connection between my singing, the apron, the home made bag and the day itself.  



This embroidery is quite staggering in its neatness and overall effect - goodness knows how many stitches went into this



In order to demonstrate the stitch density here is the reverse.  If need be I will do a post on embroidered aprons (as opposed to the fabric type representing each decade..... OH COME ON -  YOU'RE THE SAME!).


  In order to stoke my journey along the sea front I ate a few Tunnock's tea cakes prior to departure.  I also had a quick flick through my favourite copy of Woman's Own for some inspired reading....



Did you see what I did there?  Blue birds again.  I was going to dig out all my old Blue Bird tins but NO.  It is good to know when to stop.



Oh I did however lighten upon my old paper doiley collection (OH COME ON!).  Of course I have some 'penny plain' pretty paper doilies but the 'tuppence coloured' add a bit of 'je ne sais quoi' to one's day don't you think.



Paused to read Mrs Fussepottle's latest post whilst working my way through the odd Tunnock or two.  I found this article to be very interesting though I was perplexed by the absence of full stops throughout.


The advert reminded of another Vera Lynn song.  Can you guess which one?



Oh...... I may have made a purse too.



All set and off we go



Tra la la

Every 6th of June I visit the D Day museum so this year would be no different : I parked my bike outside and trotted in.  About half way round I was reading about Southwick House - I was bent right over the information board (I did go to Spec Savers but glasses are rubbish)  and someone said excuse me.  I turned round and blow me down it was Winston Churchill's granddaughter.  Now I should point out here that I am not usually familiar with the offspring of world leaders - for example in a line up I would not be able to identify the children of: Stalin, Lloyd George, Metternich or Hannibal.  I had however been watching 'The Great British Menu' and seen said granddaughter on the telly only a few nights previous.  I was going to mutter something about liking Aktar's rice pudding ( I LOVE rice pudding) ice cream but just said: ' Thanks  for all your granddad did' and tra la la'd off.  I reckon that she was too taken aback by the bag/apron combo to say anything.

I watched The Red Arrows  fly over The Solent  -  hope that it is ok to show these photographs as   I don't usually show new things!





When  I took these I was just pointing the camera randomly in the sky so I was quite pleased to find that I had managed to capture anything.

 

 These don't look real!








On my return to Custard Towers I ate an ice cream which I kept  cool in a home made (see what I did there) mini ice bucket (made the night before using the bottom of a plastic bottle and a few flowers thrown in).  This is  the type of nonsense which adds a bit of pleasantness to the day I think and costs nothing but time.

 Some people write whole books telling you how to make such things!


A full frontal bag shot.  

I might make some more of these bags as I have one or two (AHEM) embroideries that would work well with this pattern. Now I have revealed this bag  I expect all the top shops will be making them...... It would have to be a revised pattern though as this took me ages. I understand why homemade things cost so much




PS: Very, very interested in how this blog 'reads' so I am  keen to respond to enquiry regarding loquaciousness. Thank you to Susan C  and  thewoollydog for further probing regarding this matter.  Loquacious is a most marvellous word I think - see I have mentioned it twice already and we're not bored...... Along with quark 'L'  has a wonderful ring to it.  Anyway I spent a while considering whether or not I might be in the 'L' category and also if I would wish to be in that cohort. I think the answer  depends upon the circumstances.  I hope that my endless chat is/can be tempered with sensitivity if the situation demands and in my nursing life I  spent a great deal of time with others in complete silence (sister in neuro intensive care and also caring for the suddenly bereaved).  In other situations I am quite a garrulous fellow and love to use hundred words rather than a handful (though I do hope that I am not one of those 'centre of attention, listen to me' types!).  I revel in the English language : its nuances, twists, turns, mixed meanings and the humour within it.  I grew up listening to the Radio 4 and one of my favourite programmes was 'My Word' with Frank Muir - that clever use of words stuck with me.  Someone that I  used to work with once asked why I 'had to use those long words' all the time...I remember being a little hurt....then I asked her why she just used those same old short ones day in day out !

I thought that I would try to illustrate my loquaciousness with some words from ex-students of mine -





A bit   VERY conceited and of course I haven't selected any rubbish comments (cheeky!) - but just to show that chat can be good in the right places.  Singing a song in order to remember equations has its place in the world!

My talkativity gets me into a pickle sometimes and here is a typical hapless situation.  Recently I drove Bronte and her friend to the shops : chatting and singing all the way.  Upon reaching the car park I parked too close to a pillar (rubbish at parking) but, as I was still talking and keen to finish the story off, I thought that I would simply clamber out the passenger's side rather than move the car.  Still talking (loudly as both passengers were now outside of the car...looking a little bemused) I did not think it through and proceeded to extricate myself from the passenger side horizontally and  HEAD FIRST.  As my head peeped out of the open door I started to laugh at myself and then could not maneouver my hulking body across the 'gear stick/hand brake'configuration in order to complete the extraction.  I was determined to finish my story (goodness knows what it was about) whilst Bronte stood there shaking her head, saying: 'Why oh why...'.   Later on I had to reverse the procedure in order to get back in....this time I was by myself so didn't feel the need to maintain any decorum (!) ..... as I clambered in I noticed a man a short distance away, talking into a mobile telephonic device,  looking slightly alarmed!


PPS: June whizzed by didn't it....... I have been very busy with work...ploughing on but looking forward to a summer break of sorts.  We have also had the builders in knocking down a wall and doing bits of construction work...oh the dust.  You may recall that I have been saving my pennies for some time in order to 'revamp' the kitchen: Dom decided that we did not need a new kitchen (he is right - we don't 'need' a new kitchen.....so-called 'First World' non-existent problems' I know).  However a year or so ago I resolved to save all most of the money for it myself and that is exactly what I have done.  I am currently contemplating Phase Three which is new kitchen floor (as it will take a week this will need extra loin girding and extra funds). 'The Gas Men' was Phase One,  with the  knocking down of a kitchen wall and putting in folding doors being Phase Two : both now completed.  Next month I will be paid for an extra contract which I took on in order to fund a cupboard building venture (Phase Four)!  I endeavour to have it finished by Christmas ......................................  possibly..............given that over ten years ago Dom put in a 'temporary' kitchen I can wait a while.  Phase Five will be product placement, sponsorship and photographs!

Here are some preliminary images:



And 'my' builders who have been coming here for years - this may have something to do with the homemade rice puddings and steamed treacle sponge.  I love my builders and I know a great deal about their lives (just like the Gas Men), trips to New York to listen to Woody Allen, accidentally chopping down Albert Finney's rose.... a long story which I asked to be repeated the other day as it makes me laugh so much.  People have very interesting lives.


CSI !


Letting the light come in



PPPS: In between we have been on our annual camp where 45-50 families go camping in The New Forest.  This year the theme was 'Heroes' and it was clear that  lateral thinking had gone into some of the outfits. Our friend Claudia is always able to produce the most splendid original outfit (her mum once supply original costumes to the BBC for one of their drama productions): this year she chose to be  a Suffragette, though the beautiful  Edwardian jacket was too small even for her.


AS I HAVE PRESSED PUBLISH AGAIN I WILL ADD IN THE EXTRA BITS LATER - WE ARE OFF TO LONDON NOW FOR THE REST OF THE WEEKEND AND THEN I AM WORKING IN MILTON KEYNES.  THRILLING STUFF

Turned out that there were five Suffragettes in total.




 Some we were not too sure who they were but when Father Christmas loomed on to the horizon on the hottest, longest day of the year everything clicked into place! Mad dogs and Englishmen.....



PPPPPS: It is my intent to have a 'giveaway' soon : is there any appetite for this sort of thing nowadays?  If so I will strive to create one or two  'somethings' within the next few weeks.  Given my low batting average of one or two posts per month it may be a little while...sorry!  I promise that there will be no 'guess the colour' this time round or 'my first is in custard but not in milk' type of question....it will be simplified....sort of.


Finally PS: Welcome to new followers - if you can make any sense of all of this I will be amazed!



It's only words......and words are all I have............