Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Of Neckerchies and Lurid Cabins

This was meant to be a wha'ja'me scarf...eternal? everlasting? infinity- that's the one!
But I over estimated the amount of wool in the ball, or, to be more exact, under-estimated the woggledyness of it.
I just bought the one ball because I liked it, without considering what I would use it for- story of my life!!
So it turned out to be a Neckerchie...but I doubt anyone calls them that any more either. Dear me, my English has really gone to pot...

Anyhow, its a short neck scarf, or draft excluder, if you'd rather, with a button pin to fasten it closed. It sits nice and close, and the woggledy wool has crocheted into a lovely soft tweedy effect, as you can see. As soon as I can grab a gargoyle I'll take photos and post it in the Shop.

Actually, have you had a look at the 'New In' section? Its beginning to look nice and Springish!

I feel a Log Cabin Quilt coming on, and, since its bally-yonks since I made one, I think I will succumb to the yearning!

Bold colours, I feel, something outrageous...possibly even quite lurid! perhaps? I got a new packet of red dye on Friday which is also calling to me...and some fabulous purple hand-dyed fabric from Vicki which is eating holes in my imagination...

How does Purple and Red grab yez?

Do tell, O Sageous Ones?!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Queen of the Castle: Week 7

And welcome once more to the irregular Queen of the Castle weekly post...Midge will probably make some joke about my being highly irregular, but I will put my metaphorical nose in the air and carry on! Colletta has done a summary here, if you'd like to read it...

This week is about prioritising one's activities between Urgent and Important, thereby giving oneself time to do the activities which are of true value.

Well Ha! Ha! How many of us actually find it easy to discern between the two? Trivial stuff is easy to recognise, even if we get hung up on it. Really important stuff is also fairly easily recognised...(does laundry come into that category? Hmmm, only when its school uniforms!!) But the rest of one's daily life????

LBW gives plenty of examples of what is urgent, important, and Bible passages where people have failed to be discerning- the most well known being Mary and Martha, Luke Ch 10 v 39-42, but the only really helpful observation I found was this:

'Decline the good in order to accept the best... stay on course, reaching the destination God has mapped out...for us.'

Knowing that I need to follow God's will is not the problem, its the discernment of 'how' which I find difficult.
Which is the truly important thing out of all the things I'm 'supposed' to do?
Which is the best use of my time?
Which person needs the most help?
Which person can really do with out my input?
How do I choose between a fellow Christian's need and witnessing by my actions to someone far from God?

I could go on, but I won't! All LBW's advice on these questions is to pray, and a verse from Ephesians Ch 5 v 15-17, which ends...

'...but understand what the will of the Lord is.'


I think I've been praying for discernment for the last donkey's number of years, and so far my track record leaves a whole lot to be desired...but perhaps, retrospect... I've been mistaking endurance for discernment...

Sooo, my prayer for this week is...

Lord, please teach me the difference between discernment and endurance; I'm sure there must be one? In fact, Lord, while I'm on the subject, I really need to learn to pray more effectively.

Now THERE'S a challenge for our Lord!!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Old Africa Magazine and Two Giveaways!

If you are interested in East Africa, its social history, its people, everyday events and photographs up until about the 1960s, you will LOVE the...

Old Africa Magazine.

The website only gives you a taster really, there is so much more in the Magazines. If you know any returned-home Missionaries, Settlers, or anyone who had links with East Africa over the years please consider giving them a subscription? They will sooooo enjoy wandering along Memory Lane with other folks!

They do say Africa gets under your skin, which is true, I guess. I may not wish to live there at present, but I still feel its pull...and not just because I brought a Kenyan husband back home as my souvenir!!...and three children...

Shel Arensen, the Editor of Old Africa Magazine, has lived in East Africa with his family since forever! and is even planning to retire there, if he ever gets round to it...Shel has written several novels, the Rugendo Rhino Series for young teenagers, (which our girls have read until they can quote them! Our copies are in tatters!) so if you want to give your teenagers a glimpse into another way of life- here's your chance!, and The Dust of Africa.

So here are the Giveaways:

I have one copy of 'The Dust of Africa', and two of the Rugendo Rhinos books, ('Poachers Beware', and 'The Secret Oath' copies ordered especially, you'll be glad to know!!) looking for an interested audience. These are the sort of books you will read, re-read, lend, buy as presents, read again, and remember with pleasure!

First, perhaps, visit the links above to get an idea of which book/s you might like.

Next, please leave a comment naming the book/s you would prefer (ie Rugendo Rhinos, or Dust of Africa), before the 4th March, and an email address or contact for yourself.

On the 4th I will draw one name for each Giveaway, inform you, and post the books to you.

If you don't respond to the email by the Monday 7th I will have to re-draw (this has been a problem previously, for me).
Likewise if you don't leave a contact your entry is doomed!
...and if you don't specify which book you want I'll just presume it was a kind comment and not enter your name!!

If you had a moment to post about this Giveaway, or even just copy the button to your sidebar with a link back here, it would be really good publicity for Shel and his work.

Thanks a million!
And I look forward to being BOMBARDED with entries!!!

Friday, 11 February 2011

January's Stashbustin' !

In case the post title has muddled you, here in the West of Ireland it is still January! See, told you we live at a different pace!

And, as titles go, its not as odd as some you meet:
...and while we're on the subject, do stop and admire Liv's quilts, aren't they gor-gee-ous?
And Tricia has another great idea for a new Mail Art Swap using old images...

Anyhow, to business!
Here are some of my Stashbustin' projects from January:

...some puffy hearts and a potholder...
...a baby quilt which I sold...(yippee!!)
...and a notebook wallet, an experiment in Cloth Collage which actually worked!
There were other projects as well, mats, coasters, a tea cosy (of which I forgot to take photos before giving as a present), another Cloth Collage...
So, after some frantic hammering at my dodgy old calculator I conclude that from my Stash I used:
4 and a quarter yards of fabric
half a yard of recycled batting (felted wool jersey and blanket)
I pyjama leg
and 1 shirt sleeve.
On the flip side of that:
I bought a total of 19 fat quarters...oops!
Better luck next month, hey?
Next question: do I tell Ulla??????

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Val and Tine

Yesterday I wrote an incredibly erudite and impassioned response to Chapter 6 of Queen of the Castle, and then when I hit 'publish' it simply disappeared...I could have wept...and then part of a tooth broke and I had to arrange for a second visit to the Tooth Fairy this week...

So, as you can see, I took my lousy humour out on one of Tricia's ladies, and felt much better.
Sorry Tricia, nothing personal!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Interesting News on V&A Textiles Dept

I've been web-wandering (sounds more genteel than 'surfing, don't you think? or less hobo-ish?) this morning looking for embroidered floral images on Chinese Imperial Robes, and in 17C or earlier clothing. That's what happens when you lie awake in the early hours designing things in your head!!

I'll give you some fabulous links in a mo, but if anyone is in the habit of visiting the V&A Museum to see their textiles (one of my favourite places in London for the last thirty years, irregular, but wonderful!), you really should have a look at this post which I happened across at Thistle-Threads. If you knew it already I still think you should pass it on, as out-of-towners would never find out otherwise?

And here's some Su Embroidery eye-candy for you- if you want more go through the Categories sections at the top left of this page, if you go straight to the e-shop you just get titles with no thumbnails...

and also some Elizabethan embroidery. Have a wander on the Elizabethan site, lots to see.

And for why was I web-wandering in the first place?

I'm designing an evening bag with beads and embroidery, well, I think I am...things don't always turn out as I found a lovely crimson table runner in the Charity shop which I want to reuse. I think its a table runner, could be anything actually, but its definitely crying out for re-use!!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Shop SALE! and a New Treasury

How is it that some weeks nothing exciting happens, and other weeks are a constant scramble?

This week I have scarcely been at home, so everything is in a right pickle. And what does one do when the chores are calling desperately for attention?

One decides to have a Shop SALE ! Working out the reductions was a bit hit and miss, my Maths not being of the most accurate, but if you want to stock up on girly presents and Christmas decorations, hurry on over!

I've a bunch of new items made, just waiting to be listed, so I though I would do a bit of a Spring Clearout! Not that there's anything Spring-ish about our weather- howling gale, snow on the hills, and lashing rain and sleet...EEEUGH!

And if shopping isn't your thing but you fancy some eye-candy, have a look at my new Treasury- Homespun Hearts and Happiness. I had great fun the other evening making it!

S'long folks!


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