Friday, 29 January 2010

A Lucky Afternoon!

Please click here for my One World One Heart giveaway.

Yesterday, when walking down the street to the Library I (naturally) stopped at the window of the Secondhand Bookshop and look what was there?

Now they are living with me. And then, whilst I was humming with glee, I entered the Library and what did I spy on the display stand but....
I swear you never saw me move so fast to grab it before someone else spotted it! I've only read the first four of the Elm Creek books because I have to order them off Amazon, they've never been available here, and I love'em! So SCORE! Its new in and I'm the first to borrow it!

Isn't it just shocking how a favourite author pushes all ones good intentions to the back-burner? The next pair of wrist warmers are, as you can see, knat (past tense of knit), but since I'm not able to sew or crochet whilst reading they will have to await finishing off until I finish this great book!

Actually its quite different to the previous ones I've read; I think this one was written with more passion. It concerns a slave, Joanna, and it is engrossing. I'm also learning a lot about the 1890's South.

So I'll have to pick up some other knitting whilst I finish it to keep my hands busy!

By the way, those of you who were following the Life and Times of St Columba, (which I had set today aside to finish...hmmm...) I took a photo of the mural in the Library yesterday and have posted it on 'Our Inheritance' if you are interested.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

My Letterbox is Definately Too Small...

Please click here for my 'One World One Heart' Giveaway!

Look what arrived yesterday! A package from Finland!!! From Ulla, to be exact!
Her picture is clearer than mine, but the fabrics are just lovely, and most unusual. I'm so happy! I played with them yesterday so I'll show you the results again.(Is that an Irishism? I meant 'in a while').

Some ab fab news from yesterday too- Terri has been offered a job. After all her heartache and the steep learning curve God threw her this is ACE NEWS! As Paulette would say 'Happy Dance'!! Congrats to you Terri, I'm so happy for you!

Something to make you laugh, well I did!...have you seen Janes's new header? Its ACE!

And now before I excuse myself for bragging I read something yesterday which has stumped me, because I simply don't know how to answer. Here it is:
What do you hope your customers gain by reading your blog & buying your product?
I could give all the blather about unique, traditional, hand made, long lasting (hopefully), eco friendly and yadda yadda but is that enough?
Is that it?
Should I aim higher? And if so what?
I don't think that 'needs cash' counts as a morally integrityalish worthy reason...
Any opinions???Please???

And just to NOT be morally ethically something or other, I've just posted these things in my Etsy shop:- bunting... ...fabric scrap bird mobile...
...wrist warmers into the HeartsforHaiti shop...
...and another pair of wrist warmers in my shop...
Now I'm into town to go to the Library to find some books on Medieval Pilgrimage destinations, have coffee with my Dad (if he remembers?) and collect B from school (if I remember!).
The Hub actually polished his shoes this morning because he has a Church Meeting in Roosky with the Dean this evening! And B and Sos have Choir practice at 8pm for the Praise Service on Sunday night.
Still, its been a nice quiet week up till now so I'm not complaining. I'll take my knitting in case I have to wait places.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Requiem for a Mouse and Other Stories

Please click here for the One World One Heart post.

Requiem for a Mouse

One day last week I arrived home to find a small dead mouse beside the front door (on the outside side if you want to know...). I pointed it out to the Hub and B.
The Hub went to remove it and I went to remove my coat. When we walked into the kitchen we were greeted by a blast of Organ Music on the stereo, and B standing at the table with her hands clasped.
'Mum, Dad, a minute's silence please for the poor little dead mouse.'
The Hub stood still for a moment then snorted and asked her- 'What about the dead chicken you had for lunch yesterday? Are we going to have a minute for that?'


The Story of a Mobile-phone

A few weeks ago Dilly returned to Dublin for College. She packed most carefully and was delighted to arrive at the flat with the one case and four extra bags intact including a lovely china jug she received for Christmas.
As she travelled in the height of the snow and ice I gave her taxi money for the journey from train to flat, that too was fine.
The first thing she did after making a cup of tea and unpacking?
Dropped her mobile down the loo...


A Story of the Kindness of Strangers in Far Far Away Land
(written by Travelling Sister)
I had the luckiest happening with my knee. (She fell off her bike and bashed it quite badly).The night before we set off on our 5 day hike into Torres del Paine I was asking Bean an Ti (the landlady) for some ice for my knee (it was still black and blue and v swollen at least a week after the incident).
There was a man sitting in the corner of the sitting room who wanted to know what I needed the ice for. When I showed him my knee he insisted Bean an Ti heated up a lemon, and then rubbed the warm lemon juice upwards (towards the heart?) over my bruised knee, and then got to work on a pressure point on the opposite ankle.
The results were incredible. I had more bend in my knee immediately (and for the first time the following morning I was able to stand on it without pain) and the bruise had reduced considerably overnight.
Turned out he was a reflexologist who happened to be staying the night in our very scruffy rather unclean 'hospadaje'. A stroke of serendipity eh? Don´t quite know how I would have managed the 80km without his intervention.

And finally: The Story of the Tourist Who Thought She Was Invisible
(also by my Travelling Sister)
Out for dinner last night, Andrea asked me which of the people on our Antarctic trip did I think went by the name of 'heckety'????
She had googled King Haarkon Bay as she wanted to check up on some fur seal facts before posting her photos on facebook, and up came my trip report on your blog. What is the likelihood of her googling that, finding that blog, and then asking me about it????
Scary stuff really! Not sure I like the world being quite such a small place.....

(This from someone who left home last April to see what there was to see in South America...and has yet to return!)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Is My Letterbox Too Small?

Please click on this to visit my 'One World One Heart' post!

D'you remember the opening lines of 'The Journey of the Magi' (TS Elliot):

'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
On bitterly frosty mornings like today those lines come to mind and I am so thankful for my warm house.

This is irrelevant to everything else but I have to show you B's Doc Martins! The whole family put money in for them as her Christmas present, are they ace?
Actually the Dean rather fancied them too, said he had a similar pair as a youth and would she consider swapping?! Well our Rector is a little eccentric!

Several things I recently ordered arrived in the post- be VERY JEALOUS people!
These are from The Gypsy Cove:
...buttons and beads and pendants, and lovely packaging! I tell you, this was RESTRAINED, even though the Hub was horrified at my spending, I could have ordered a LOT more!
These vintage papers are from ARTicles by Teresa:
...and I'm going to have a lovely time deciding how to use them. The words are amusing and just fun. Definitely a card or two, and maybe I'll frame one...
Isn't this the cutest little bag from Nics Knots? Micki would love it for her sock knitting!
I've got my crochet in it at present, but it could be used for all sorts of small projects or collections. Actually I bought this and Teresa's papers from the HeartsforHaiti Shop which has so far raised $16,500.00 for Medecins Sans Frontiers working in Haiti. I've also been knitting wrist warmers for them to sell, so much funding is needed just now for those people.
And do visit the 'One World One Heart' Giveaway from yesterday and click on the logo to visit LOTS of interesting folks! Its fun!

Monday, 25 January 2010

A Ticket to Ride on the Magic Carpet!

Welcome to this year’s ‘One World One Heart’ Event!

Lisa created this event in 2007 to bring bloggers together from around the world, to discover new and wonderful people, and in the process to possibly win a prize. It's about finding kindred spirits, bringing people together and generating a closer community through blogging.

Johann Amos Comenius (1592 –1670) wrote:

'We are all citizens of one world, we are all of one blood. To hate a man because he was born in another country, because he speaks another language, or because he takes a different view on this subject or that, is a great folly….Let us have but one end in view, the welfare of humanity.'

He could have written the very same thing yesterday, we still need to consider the welfare of humanity.

So here we are taking a trip around the world on a wonderful magic carpet to visit each other! I am looking forward to meeting new friends and visiting new places- I love travelling and visiting and chatting! After all, talking is what the Irish do best!

This is my giveaway:
….a pair of elegant knitted wrist warmers, an Irish Crochet Rose pin, a very important motto on a fridge magnet, a pendant I bought for raising money for Haiti- all packed in a very useful bag. I tell you I’m having to hide this collection from my daughters…

To be in with a chance to win you must have your name in This Hat!
So please leave a comment and also a way to link back to yourself or else an email address so that you can be contacted if you should win. This event ends February 15th so at mid-day I will pull a name from the Hat and post the announcement!

And there you have it! I am really looking forward to meeting yez all!

Challenges Report #3

Well for Dottie Angel's Challenge I have three items:
Wrist warmers from a ripped out knitting project of Sos'- her knitting had gathered dust for two years, but she really likes the wrist warmers.
Re-purposed item; we needed a coffee table so when its not snowing, we have one!
I found this paper bag in the rubbish, aren't the colours lovely? Just right for a quilt! So I kept it.
And now the Creative Every Day Challenge:
Do you know Whitney Houston's song 'One Moment in Time'? The words are amazing (as is her voice, I think) but the ones i often hold before me are these:
Give me one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away....
...When I'm racing with destiny...
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity.
Don't those words make you all tingly?!
Watching goldfish is one of life's pleasures, well that and teasing the dogs. If you have ever spent time with fish you'll know what I mean- if you haven't you won't! My family all think the goldfish are a waste of space but I know better.
Do goldfish answer back?
Do they moan and grizzle?
Do you trip over them when they want something?
Do they whine in the night or bark at the moon?
See? Goldfish are good!
Lavender and Orange oil in the burner...aaah!
Making cushion covers from velvet scraps, gorgeous!
(no photo, for obvious reasons) Burnt, purple, bean children said I should give the recipe to our local builder as being an Eco alternative to commercial cement...For that I made them eat it!
It was gross...

Friday, 22 January 2010

Ditch it and Start again

It has been a strange week since I've either been out visiting or lying in a dark room with a migraine which wouldn't go away.
Nothing has been achieved.

As a result, dear reader, I am abandoning this week and beginning afresh on Monday...or as the businesses say:

Closed until further notice.

Closed due to circumstances beyond our control.

Have you ever seen a notice:-
Closed due to lack of interest?

Or even:-
Closed due to the inadequacy of your Homefront Correspondent?

Until Monday, folks!

Friday, 15 January 2010

I'm Just a Woman Who Arranges Things...

If you are really quick and head over to French Kissed you might still be in time for her freebie: a scan of a lovely Valentine postcard for you to use as you wish...she emailed mine to me this morning and its gor-gee-ous!
She also has a 'Caption Contest' going on...I love Caption Contests, possibly a left-over of our mad Church youth group when I was a teenager, when the older students held them regularly and gave weird prizes, like a voucher to wear pyjamas to Church, or be taken out for a pizza by the committee! Tricia's prize is much more rational!

I made another pin cushion, embellishing it from my bead stash.
And by the way if you like pin cushions, check out this site. Its positively 'droolable'! So many ideas for using scraps to make something pretty.

If you are wondering about the post title- firstly do you recognise it???
Secondly, this is what I did this morning to cheer me up...none of the family have seen it yet so there could be ructions later...they get awfully tired of me moving all the furniture around!

My favourite place to sit, as you can tell! Very battered sofa inherited from my Great Grandmother:
This sofa has been in the kitchen since the summer and although useful, I was afraid it would get spoiled, so to fit it in is really why I had to move everything else. And, as you can see, the Hub got another load of firewood yesterday!
This sofa is really the root of the problem as it is so huge. When we bought it the Hub lay down on every sofa in the store to find one he could lie on at full length in comfort. But it wouldn't fit in the rented house, so had to be wrapped up in layers of plastic and delivered to the windowless, rubble strewn half built house! It was very amusing even at the time.
And back to the beginning. I didn't get as far as tidying the mantelpiece, job for another day.
And then I got out my stack of velvet pieces as I thought of making simple cushion covers from them. I love the colours so much that I've hesitated to cut them up until the right idea came to me. They are actually from an old furnishing sample book someone was throwing out.
Cushion Top No. One:
Cushion Top No. Two:
I thought of putting them in my Etsy shop, but am wondering whether I'll be able to part with them when they are finished...They are very tactile and comforting.
I'll stop now before you fall asleep, I've some funny stories I'll tell yous tomorrow!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Et Voila!

Est ce que vous avez voire le FREE GIVEAWAY dans le blog French Kissed?

(What's 'blog' in French?) Its a Valentine picture from one of her postcards...and if you haven't viewed her postcards you are REALLY missing something!

Thankful Thursday!

Is it Thursday yet? Ah yes! Please click over to Sonja to join or read...

'To God be the glory! Great things he has done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son;
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the life gate that all may go in.'1. Thankful for all the hymn writers over many hundred years who have given us extra words with which to celebrate, rejoice, give thanks, plead, worship, mourn, inspire...So many people who never open the Bible remember the words of hymns, and if that's what it takes to bring them home, that's good too. This is my (covered) somewhat battered Hymnal, precious to me.

2. Thankful Sos came home unexpectedly last night so we could sit down as a whole family to a VERY ROWDY supper, no one wanted to leave the table we were having such a good time. The chat was fairly flying, as were the insults! Today Dilly leaves for Dublin, work tomorrow night and College Monday so we likely won't see her again until the end of April.3. Thankful that I can recycle old clothes and cloth to keep crafting and stay occupied. Even in the lean times there is always something to do.

4. Thankful, VERY Thankful for all you guys who are kind enough to write comments and ideas for me. Since Christmas I am battling once more with the depression, panic about going out of the house, and terribly jangled nerves, and to sit down at my computer and 'talk' to people is more of a blessing than you kindly people will ever know. I am just so thankful to yous.5. Thankful to my 'Heath Robinson' Hub who has kept us in water and firewood through the last three weeks of frozen pipes and below freezing temperatures. Very ingenious for a little African boy brought up in the Bush!

P.S. See the world map on the sidebar?

And all those dots around South America?

I do declare that my Travelling Sister is checking up on me!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Of Wrist-Warmers, Pin Cushions and Beads...

'Leg warmers for the arms,' sez Dilly. 'Wrist warmers,' sez I. Funky enough for a Drama student? There was I trying to take photos and she wouldn't stay still...the button doodahs? I got that idea from Jane's wild use of buttons! This is my pin cushion which I made about fifteen years back:
...and here's one I made this morning for fun, with vintage beads and some trimming I found.
I'm going to put it in my Etsy shop later as I'm really happy the way it turned out.

Ages ago Paulette gave us a guided tour of her bead stash, which gave me serious jealousy issues. Since I had my own stash out this morning I thought I'd show you, though its not a patch on Paulette's lovely selection.

S'il vous plait, regardez le tres elegant cardboard box, dans which resides a veritable Aladdin's cave of get the gist...
Et voila, les beads extraordinaire!
You see the old containers- match boxes, tins, Cadbury's Choc box? Isn't it just wonderful?
And the blue satin with all the beads sewn on in leaf and flower motifs?
Would you like the story?

About 1994 ish some ladies were helping an older lady to move from her home into sheltered accommodation, and in order to both reduce the amount of belongings and pay for the move she decided to sell some of her things. I think she hadn't thrown out a single thing since the 1920s so you can just imagine the amount of 'stuff'.

She had, apparently, gone out to East Africa as a bride before 1910, complete with trousseau, and since she was marrying a settler and was an excellent seamstress herself, her trousseau included a number of evening gowns, of which I believe the beaded blue satin to be part of a bodice. From what little I know I think most of the beads are from around the '50s.

One of the ladies gathered all the beads as well as a bag of embroidery transfers and gave me first refusal. I was delighted and have so enjoyed using them, for the 'now' and for the history attached. I hope, when I meet Nancy Rainbow in the 'Hereafter' that I can tell her I put her stash to good use!
This is an evening clutch bag I made for Sos to go with the dress she wore for her 18th birthday last March, using some of the beads and sequins.
And there you have my bead story!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


This morning B wanted to go spend the day with a friend, so after we'd delivered her, the Hub took me to the wool shop in Sligo. I still HAD some Christmas money left...
Good haul hmm? You'll just have to wait and see what I do with it now!

Yesterday I listed a few new items on Etsy, and also finished knitting another cowl. This morning I sewed it up, and then Sos decided it was just the thing so it's gone! I doubled the stitches, from 70 to 140. Think it was a little wide so next time perhaps I'll try c/on 120 sts. I decided I'd better start a wool note book to keep track of the changes I've recently made to patterns!

Today we have gale force winds from the south west, sleet and snow on the wind. But temperatures are up above freezing for the second day in three weeks so we are hoping our water pipes will thaw. Today I am choosing to sit by the fire to work, with CDs of Brahms' Symphonies on at full blast, and later I'll play Saint-Saens Organ Concerto- they should drown out the howling gale!

There are beans slow cooking in the oven so now I am going to finish the redwork labels I'm working on, then start some new knitting with my yummy wool. Do'n'cha love new wool?

Monday, 11 January 2010

Challenge Update #2

So here are this week's updates for the Dottie Angel and Creative Every Day Challenges:

I love candles and candlelight so am always looking for new ways to safely have them around. I've seen pictures of punched tin holders so Nifty Thrifty here thought she'd try making one.

Firstly I removed the label, washed off the glue and scrubbed the tin well- I certainly didn't want 'eau de chilli bean parfum' wafting about later!
I used a nail to hammer a pattern of holes, but I think if I'd used a thinner nail I could have made more holes and a more intricate pattern.
I might add to it again but it was quite tricky stopping the tin from escaping, I should have used the vice, but the shed is too darn cold at the moment.
Apparently if you freeze the tin full of water it makes it less likely to bend, but I saw that in a magazine too late for my enterprise. Anyhow, its kinda fun.

Now my Creativity on the 'Body' theme for which I'm using the five senses:

Sight: my sister gave me a Tiffany Calendar for Christmas as I love stained glass windows. The pictures are beautiful and it made me look more carefully than usual at the windows in Church yesterday. I don't know the date of this window as it is in the side entryway, and rarely viewed. It depicts the story of Mary and Martha, one of my favourites. Since folks have been knocking our Church building around since the 1260's it's a bit difficult to find out the history- but I know this window is in a different style to the ones in the nave. Its beautiful.
Hearing: You know the way one can hear things over and over and then once in a blue moon the truth or beauty or irrelevance of the words suddenly hits one afresh? Well it was like that yesterday- suddenly the beauty of the words in Morning Prayer hit me as though I was hearing them for the first time (which I wasn't!).

'Beloved in Christ,

we come together to offer to Almighty God

our worship and praise and thanksgiving,

to confess our sins and to receive God's forgiveness,
to hear his holy word proclaimed,
to bring before him our needs and the needs of the world,
and to pray that in the power of his spirit
we may serve him and know the greatness of his love.'
Such a wealth of imagery and words!

Touch: On Friday I waxed part of the old wooden dresser, which is a very tactile job, and satisfying.
Smell: When it is frosty have you noticed how the air is just searingly cold and pure? And then there is a puff of turf or wood smoke from the chimney and it is startling in its intensity after the nothingness of the frosty air? Taste: A hot cup of rooibos tea after a couple of hours of hard housekeeping work!
After visiting some of the other 'Creative Challenge' people last week I think I'm on totally the wrong track. You should have a look (follow the links from the sidebar logo), there is some amazing artwork and esoteric writing happening out there. Obviously there are some very talented artists involved, not just silly people like me drifting along trying to add meaning to the everyday mundane stuff.

Ah well, c'est la vie en pays!


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