Friday, 27 November 2015

Blame it on the Boogie iPad

This lack of posting to Blogger...  No, really,since I've had my iPad I don't seem to get round to writing blog posts any more.  I'm sure it's because the iPad has a virtual keyboard and doesn't give me all of the facilities that my laptop computer does.  Also, I sit on the settee or at the breakfast table (shock horror) to get my mail in and wander through the World Wide Web. Then I go off and do other things and this poor old blog is the loser.

But I do wonder if the blog is just like sending a rover off to Mars, or the Universe, or anywhere.  I don't really know if anyone reads this blog and I guess it may not matter if they do or not - it's like a diary - in fact, you don't expect anyone to read your diary, do you?  So I shouldn't expect anyone to read my blog.

But wait!  I have met lots of friends through this blog.  Should I just stop 'talking' to them? I loved the blog and those friends at one time, so shouldn't I keep talking to them now?  Of course I should.  And I'm going to.

So here I am again.

One of the problems was that I was following too many bloggers - over 300 of them - and I just couldn't keep that up.  So I have deleted most of them from my bloglist - sorry if that was you! If you are interested in the day-to-day exploits of an elderly English woman in France, then let me know. Seems to me blogging is a two-way thing. I tell you what I'm doing and read what you are doing too.  I just haven't done much of either lately!

But I promise to do better from now on and, to prove it, here is a snap of the mist and frost around me today.

It's been sudden, this onset of winter and we're still having warm sunshine most afternoons, but the mornings are a bit chilly! I guess it's to be expected, seeing that it's nearly the end of November!

So - I'm still making my crafty things - I've just made some Christmas Tree decorations for a Craft Market on the 13th December, and hoping that it's not too late for people to buy. You can always find room for one more tree decoration can't you?

Here are some that I made earlier...

I do love to hear from you - so leave me a comment and let me know your blog address so I can read what you're doing too.

Keep in touch!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Tread (le) ing the Primrose Path

I blame it on my childhood days when we moved from place to place and often country to country as my father (a Flight-Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force) took up various postings.  Whenever we moved we left things behind us.  Either gave stuff away or simply left it for the Air Force to dispose of as they pleased.  No charity shops to donate to then!

So, when we finally came back to the UK to live and my father left the Air Force, we had very little in the way of possessions - or at least, I did.

And so (I think) I collect. Wool, material, typewriters, plates, dolls (and some years ago teddy bears) and sewing-machines....and it is to this category that my latest acquisition belongs.

I found it at a local vide-grenier yesterday, and brought it home in triumph in the boot of the car.  A splendid example of a Singer treadle sewing machine.

Front view

It was manufactured in 1923, so it is looking pretty good for its age.  After I've given it a little TLC, it will look even better!

Although made in England, it was clearly intended to be sold in France, as you can see from the 'Fabrication Anglaise' in gold lettering on the top of the arm.

Top view

The copper Trade Mark plaque is still bright and undamaged...


And it also came with the instruction book...

Instruction book

Instruction book title page

...which is, of course, in French.

I'm not going to do anything other than gently restore it. No re-painting, no cleaning to within an inch of its life.  I'm going to re-polish the table by sanding it lightly and polishing - just to get rid of the watermarks really. I imagine, by the hay and dust I vacuumed out of the interior, that it has stood in a barn for some time!

Since I only got it yesterday, I haven't had much time to deal with it, but I'll give you an update from time to time and, hopefully, you'll get to see it working again!

Maybe I'll even sew something with it...

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Well, It's a Long, Long Time...

From May to December August

Sorry about that, the time just slipped away from me and blogging went with it.  I can't promise to do much better in the future, either, as I seem to have a million things to do these days.

For example, I've been visiting in the South of France...


...and went to a great market in St Antonin Noble Val...

Stalls 1

Flower stall

How I wish I could buy flowers like that in MY part of France!

And then I've been making a cake or two...

Blueberry and Walnut Muffin Cake, just out of the oven.

...because I bought a second-hand ELECTRIC oven which is installed in my d├ępendance...

Electric cooker!

...and it's sooooooooooooooo much better than my 'normal' cooker in the kitchen, which runs on a Butane gas bottle and burnt every cake I ever made.

And as well as all that, we've been revamping my other house, to let it out for holidays.  It's pretty well all done now.

House and garden


The living room...

Living room 3

...which is also where guests will sleep, as the settee pulls out to form a 'click-clack' bed...

Living room 2

Living room 1

The kitchen:


...with a few slight changes since the last picture was taken...

Kitchen 1

...and the bathroom:



Bathroom window

Now all I need is someone to stay in it!  I hope they like it and have a good holiday.  There's lots to do in the area, and a fishing lake with a play area and sandy beach for children, just a few minutes away in nearby Adriers.

If you're interested, just drop me a line!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Manners Maketh Man

...or, at least, they used to.

In this world of Internet and digital, have we forgotten our manners?  I wonder.

Today I found out that I had been published.  In Mollie Makes.

Good for you, I hear you say, and that is true, I am happy that this happened.  However, I only found out about it when I saw, through the Pinterest app on my iPad, that someone had pinned my Doiley Flower Corsage, and the link to the website for it was expressed as Mollie Makes!

Well, you can imagine the mixture of pride and chagrin - my face must have been a picture!  It's great to be acknowledged as a designer and I do rather like the Mollie Makes magazine. However, am I being picky and piqued in wishing:

a) that they'd asked me


b) that the link from the pinner went to my Ravelry page where I actually published the pattern?

It seems to me that it is only common manners to ask a designer before publishing their work.  Am I wrong in this?  Should I be pathetically grateful for this recognition, or am I right to wonder if modern-world values are a little bit short on manners and courtesy?

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Spring is Sprung

At least, the garden thinks so, although I'm still waiting for the cold North-East wind to go away.

But I cut the lawn - or part of it - and noticed that the shrubs and trees are all budding.  In fact the little dark pink-flowered crab apple already has quite a lot of leaves as well as flower buds...

Crab Apple in bud

...but I'm afraid my pictures are a bit blurry due to that fierce wind!

The lilac is almost out...

Deep purple lilac

...and the viburnum, which smells deliciously like lilies, is covered in opening flower heads...

Lily-scented viburnum
Scented Viburnum

...and there's that pink-flowered shrub which I can never remember the name of...

Pink flowering shrub

...and the cherry (with the upper-class-sounding name of Montmorency)...

Montmorency- cherry in bud

But todays non-starter is my Everest apple, bought a few years ago from the Garden Show at the chateau of Mortemart, which is now an ex-apple...


I'm not sure what caused its demise, but there were no buds on it and it was covered in lichen.  It was certainly dead, so I cut it down and will remove the root later.

Perhaps I'll plant a 'proper' apple in its stead - though not in the same place in case it was a soil problem!

Anyway, at least the garden looks a bit neater now...

Half the lawn cut

...although I do mourn those beautiful pink-and-white apple flowers!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Chinese Circulars

I wanted to show you the sock I am knitting...

2nd sock with Carazy Zauerball

...well, actually it's not the sock that I wanted to tell you about, but the needles.

Can you see that I am using two different makes of circular needles here?  One is a Knit Pro needle and the other is a metal circular from China...

metal of circular - close

I have used the Knit Pro needles for many years ago and love them dearly EXCEPT that they break on a regular basis.  I have broken so many that I felt I had to try some other brand that was going to last a bit longer!  After all, the price of a Knit Pro circular needle is somewhere around £5 - £6 for just the one circular needle.  I have broken about 4 of these in the last six months, so it becomes an expensive process.

Initially I had one or two Knit Pros replaced from interchangeable sets where the acrylic tips had broken, but I had to know who I had bought them from - send the broken needle back and then wait for a replacement.  Frankly, this is not what I would desire from what Knit Pro laughingly call 'customer service', so I set out to find a replacement manufacturer.

I mostly knit socks on two circulars, so my Knit Pros were short and I even managed to find some with short TIPS - and these were less prone to breaking.  I must explain that the breaking here ALWAYS took place where the needle tip met the plastic cord.  ALWAYS.

Recently I found a set on Amazon Marketplace - made in China - that were metal, with a metal 'cord' connecting the tips.  They looked good and were only £11.99 for a set.  Needless to say I sent for them, and they arrived within a couple of weeks which, to rural France, is quite amazing!

I have just started using them - with this current pair of socks - and I AM AMAZED!!! They are absolutely brilliant.  So much so that I have just ordered a second set, so that I can use two of the same in my next pair of socks.

They arrived in a neat little case, and included a crochet hook (presumably to pick up dropped stitches) and a needle for sewing up the knitting.

Chinese circulars

Chinese circulars 2

They are smooth to use with absolutely no 'catch' between the cord and the needle tip.  You should try them!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Bias Binding and Bunting

For my birthday (or was it Christmas?) my daughter gave me - amongst other things - some really pretty bunting which had been made from a vintage embroidered tablecloth.  It was lovely, but when I hung it up I didn't like the white tape that it had been sewn onto.

I knew I had some pretty bias binding somewhere, so I set about changing the white tape the other day.

Bunting - sewing on new bias binding

 I'm very pleased with the result.

Bunting with new bias binding