Friday, 29 July 2011

PIF P- A Project You Can't Refuse!!

Pay It Forward Project

Ulla wrote about this Project, the link will take you to Ulla's post ( I hope!), and I think it sounds fun! The idea stems from the notion of not paying back someone who does you a good turn, but paying it on by doing someone else a good turn. I've always thought that was a very sensible way to do things, and its one of my family's proverbs from way way back- 'Cast your bread upon the waters...'

She promises to make a gift for three people who wish to participate and send it to them within one year. To take part you have to write about the Project, and promise to send a handmade gift to each of three people before the end of the year. So here goes- if you would like to be one of My Chosen Three (!!!!) say so in the comments, then write your post and make your promise!

Of course, there is the disadvantage that there is absolutely no knowing what will arrive in your post box! It could be anything from a blue spotted kettle, to a piece of peculiar knitting, to an item that seems perfectly ordinary to me and you won't know what its meant for...I'll try to keep it normal, really...Perhaps you should all rush over to Ulla and volunteer to be added to her Chosen List- she makes lovely things!

So! Who is volunteering?????

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Wandering from the poem by WB Yeats: The Song of Wandering Aengus...

Though I am old with wandering

Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
...And walk among long dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Often quoted, and much loved. Well Yeats is one of our 'locals', and in typical Irish fashion, is still spoken of as though he'll saunter through the door at any moment!

Anyhow, the Aengi in this instance are Youngest and a friend.

Youngest had a great time in Charleston, South Carolina, and environs, and met some amazing people. Apparently the determining factor in a good holiday is how many friends you get to add to 'facebook' afterwards, and she has 'about a million'. Therefore, definition of a good holiday!!

They did loads of things including quite a lot of Community work, which I thought was good. They did get to see a few historical places, but it was much more about the people. She's decided that she has to go back, and she's hardly home! I think she will probably read 'Gone with the Wind' and 'Celia Garth' over the next weeks too!

The friend who went in search of Santa made it to the North Pole and back! Her photos are amazing, I had a tour last weekend and nearly needed to wear a jacket whilst looking at them...all that ice, and the descriptions of travelling in an icebreaker...polar bears...island landings...extreme weather and northerly conditions...I know NASA just brought back the Space Shuttle for the last time but I'm telling you folks, there's a lot to see and do on this old Earth of ours yet!

Anyhow, if you want an idea of her experience, here's the link to a blogger who was on board with her. Hopefully your Russian is a bit better than mine...or not!! but you don't need to read the text to appreciate the amazing awesomeness of the farthest North...and this was in July...Summer!!

( I can't get the Cyrillic script to display, but if you scroll down to this photo of the icebreaker, its one of several posts. Also if you click on the text in bold near the end of each post, the link will take you to more photos. Sorry its the best I can do...)

'Sergey (apparently very famous in Russia as a travel blogger) was also on our ship, and took the most amazing photos. There are only a very small selection here – the hour or so with the polar bear mother and 6 month old cub he took about 1,500!

The video is great for giving an idea of what it was like going through the ice, though it may be a bit dizzifying and nausea inducing for some of you as some of the views are looking straight down the sides of the ship.

Also some great photos, with a few polar bear ones further down, after other random ones. Obviously I haven’t a clue what the text says, but the pictures say enough.'

And watch the video of the wineglass taken at a meal- the camera is as level as he could keep it in comparison to the movement of the ship, I think it gives a perfect example of being on board!

Anyhow, there's your eye-candy for the day...week...year? You can see why a) people become addicted to travelling, and b) why they return home with a different perspective. It would be better for our poor beleaguered planet if we all managed to achieve this perspective and take the broad/ long/ wide view I believe.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Too Blue to be True!

 So I had this idea you see, for a blue quilt...and as I found a great white cotton sheet in the Chraity shop, as well as some scraps in my trunk, I thought...I fancy a dying I did!

Here we have the high-falutin method of dying sections of sheet different depths of colour:-
 Here we have the cold dye bucket method...and yes, the bucket was blue to begin with:-
 Here we have the poor sheet which wished it had never left the Charity Shop in my company:-
And not to be outdone by a mere blue-polka-dotted kettle!!
True Blue, what-ho!!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Craft Fair Report

Thank you for all your good wishes last week, and ideas, and support! It worked!

I spent the week sewing like a mad thing, and getting organised (apart from a day in Dublin on Tuesday, but that's another post!). I managed to gather together a fair selection of items, from small low priced to lap and baby quilts.

Saturday morning Middlest came with me, and spent most of the day with me too, and we met the people and set ourselves up. I counted 18 stalls, several artists and photographers, candles, woodwork, calligraphy, cards, and some textiles like myself.

There was a steady stream of people throughout the day, mid-morning and mid-afternoon being the busiest, and many of the stalls did quite a brisk trade, I'm told. There was a good bit of interest in everything, and lots of questions and chat from people. Several friends stopped by to sit and chat for a while, which was really lovely of them, and anyone I knew stopped to chat too- I caught up on a LOT of people !!

It was a pleasant enough day,except for the fact I only sold one item, for €6- a decorated tea-towel! The family keeps saying 'put it down to experience'. Huh! Some experiences one can do without!

Ah well. The Hub thinks I should just draw in my horns and call it a day. He's been fed up with the sewing and mess for about twenty years now, I think he reckons I've had a good enough innings and my time would be better spent concentrating on him...ummmmm....

Well, we''ll see. I closed the Etsy Shops for the day, just on the off chance I sold the same thing twice, ha ha, but I'm thinking I'll leave them closed for August and do some thinking...and possibly some tidying and clearing too. My sewing machine could do with a serious clean and oiling, I broke three needles last week, and at least one I think might have been because of built up of lint as well as the thick fabric.

Later in the week I'll tell you about Tuesday in Dublin as it was a lovely day out!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Addressing the...CyberNation...

Ladies and Gentlemen, Umbrellas and Walking Sticks,
I'd like to tell you Something I know Nothing About...

Well, actually I do, but that's how the rhyme goes!

This will probably be the only post this week by heckety loud-mouth- whew! a break! sez you!

Yesterday I came across a local Craft Fair I hadn't known about, and emailed a last minute application to participate- mad! mad! mad!
All day Saturday 23rd  July in Johnson's Court, Sligo, organised by the newly formed
Atlantic Writers and Artists CoOp.

Anyhow, the answer came back 'Delighted!' (understand, they've never met me...) so its all hands to deck and an industrious week of production coming up! I'll take all the Shop items of course, but need to make a bunch of other stuff too, finish off things, etc etc.

Look forward to a quiet week in this quarter, and please forgive if comments or emails aren't answered until the weekend!

Also I'm going to Glasnevin, to the Botanic Gardens tomorrow to see The Irish Patchwork Society Quilt Exhibition, which should good...if wet...I'll knit on the train!!

Tally ho! Amigas! Have a peaceful week!

PS I'm hoping this isn't meds-based optimism/ courage? I'm hoping when it comes to Saturday morning I can really do this? Think of me Saturday morning 8am please?!

Friday, 15 July 2011

The Uses of Black Humour

The other day whilst in a clothes shop I noticed a lady trying on a jacket. There was nothing obviously odd about her but I got this feeling that she was not alright.

So I went over and asked her whether I could help.

'Yes!', she said, 'I have fibromyalgia and my arm is stuck!'

So I eased her arm back to a normal position and helped her to try on the jacket, and we had a laugh and a great chat about fibro and she gave me some useful info to tell Eldest. She was lovely!

On Wednesday afternoon, Eldest rang to say she was in such awful pain that she was coming home for the night and would I meet her off the train at 4 o'clock. Well I was there and she took ages to appear, so I was about to storm the barricade onto the platform to see whether she was stuck on the train (steps are a terrible bother to her) when she appeared, very slowly.

Later in the evening she took a notion to make biscuits. She and Middlest were having a rollicking time when Eldest suddenly fell over backwards onto the floor. She lay there giggling and shouting, 'I saved the biscuits! I saved the biscuits!' Which she had- she'd thrown the bowl onto the table as she felt herself falling!

There is a point to this waffle!

Two points in fact:

Firstly, it seems to me that many people with long-term disabilities develop a real sense of black humour as part of their coping mechanism. And honestly it can be awfully funny.

A few years ago a very good friend could no longer manage the stairs in her house, and her husband didn't come quickly enough when she called. She casually asked him to re-position their daughter's trampoline closer to the back of the house, and then, when he asked 'why?' explained it was so she could jump out of the window to get downstairs....

I dunno whether its my reprehensible sense of humour, but I thought that was just hilarious!

Secondly, and this is more serious, how many 'hidden' or 'invisible' disabilities surround us all the time? People just quietly getting on with their lives with little or no help.
How many times do we pass people who could do with a hand, and not notice?
How often do we get annoyed with the person in front of us being slow, when in fact they are doing the best they can, and possibly in more pain than we could imagine?

We all notice the elderly, and make allowances for them, well here, we do. I'm referring to younger people, teenagers, twenties, thirties, etc, people who are not old and look fine on the surface.

Since learning to cope with Eldest I try to keep my eyes open and my antennae never know when you'll be able, with one small act, to make a considerable difference to another person's day.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Of Talking Chocolate...

Do you folks ever have a problem with talking chocolate?

I do.

I never knew what it was that caused a hitherto silent bar of chocolate to begin vocalising, until yesterday...

Yesterday morning I tried on an old pair of linen trousers to make sure they still fit me. Instant 'muffin effect'. Oooops! Bit of cutting back needed here, Heckety me ould bean!

Which was fine. Got on with the day, Eldest to train, errands in town, this'n'that at home, chatted to the mobile Butcher (all the farmers are frantically getting in their silage these fine days), etc, had supper with Middlest, fed the dogs...and then...Hark! a little voice from the larder press:

'Eat Me!'

Ignored it, no problem. Again it comes, bit louder:

'Eat Me!'

Do the washing up, make tomorrow's bread, clean the table.

'Eat Me!'

Leave me alone! Have a cup of tea, write some emails, ring some folks.

'Eat Me!'

 Think of the trousers! Think of the trousers! Think of the trousers!

'Eat Me!'

Oh for Pete's sake! So, just to shut it up I went and had two squares.

So much for inanimate objects...So much for strength of will...

The hips were willing, but the mouth was weak.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Grand Notions and Their Results

You may not be the slightest bit interested in this, but I'm telling you anyway since that is the way of blogs!!

On the other hand, you may be so interested that you'll all want to move to the NorthWest of Ireland tomorrow!!

There's been an idea milling around in the back of my mind for a while (as ideas tend to do...), concerning the setting up of a NorthWest Ireland Craft Sellers group. I think there are a good few people stuck at home alone, churning out lovely crafts, with no support and very little sales. With the recession as it is here, many people need to be making a bit of money, and also they need to meet other like minded folks, or at least, that's my premise!

Secondly, as a group, one often has more influence and ability to think bigger than as individuals.

And thirdly, local craft, local money, local shoppers- its a spiral which could be good for the area, which is slowly sliding back into the unemployment and emigration which cursed it up until the Celtic Tiger.

So three weeks ago I finally did something about it by emailing the Etsy Ireland Team and writing a post for the Etsy Ireland Blog. As you can see the response wasn't great. (Shligigh is the Irish for Sligo and what a lot of people refer to it as).

Then I put a request on their Facebook page, result even less great.

Then (which took the whole of yesterday afternoon) I sent an internal email to all the Etsy Sellers I could find who had an address in the NW, and behold! Positive responses! Eight 'definates' so far, and such lovely replies too!

So I'm quite encouraged!

This is The Year of Craft in Ireland, and there is so much happening around the country, even in Galway and Donegal. But Galway is nearly three hours drive from here, on a winding narrow road, and Donegal Town is an hour, not practical for a social do. Sligo, Leitrim and North Mayo are the last bastions of Craft Barbarism in the known world- I'm tellin' ya!

I've so many ideas of possibilities, I hope something comes of it. Maybe I'm thinking too big, or being impractical, but its kind of exciting having something to maybe look forward to.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Friday Night is Party Night!

So who's going out tonight?
You two?
OK, you look nice- lets have a photo then!
Ah, I see Hoover Dog is going too.
All spruced up and ready for a night on the tiles then, Hoover?

Eeeergh! Vampire Twilight still on in the Cinema?
 Oh, sorry Jackie O, I didn't see you there by the door!
Well have a lovely time folkes!
And don't ring after midnight, cause this taxi turns into a Sloth and don't do road trips!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Thankful Thursday Humour-ish

I haven't done a Thankfuls post in bally-yonks, so, as Greg reminded folks this morning, here's an overdue one!

Firstly- Thankful the world didn't end a few weeks ago, apparently it was due to! Like the Bible doesn't say that 'no one knows the day or the hour...' I say, 'Duh!' to the doomsayers and daft eejits who came up with that one.

Secondly- Thankful I'm on the mend, as the aches and pains induced by this bug were really, really agonising. If I was a permanent invalid I'd be the grouchiest one out, and yes, I could be a whole lot worse! all sorts of ways...

Thirdly- Thankful for my dogs.
When I'm sick, they lie outside my door and thump their tails on the floor to remind me they're there.
When I'm busy, they stick their noses into everything and pretend they are supervising.
When I'm watching a noisy TV program, they come bounding in, all hackles and snarls, to protect me from whatever is happening onscreen.
Such devotion!!!

Fourthly- Thankful to the members of our Church and community who encouraged and helped Youngest and her friend to raise the money for the Diocesan trip to South Carolina! They left this morning at 3.15am...yawn...

Fifthly- Thankful for jokes which make me snigger for days: here's one I've been dying to share!...

Four Church Elders were discussing themes for up-coming Services and had decided to run with the theme of 'Freedom'. Now they just had to define it exactly for the modern congregation.

1st Elder: 'Since Christ died for us, Freedom is being free from our sins.'
2nd Elder: 'Living a life of Faith, freedom from fear and worry, to me that is Freedom.'
3rd Elder: 'I consider Freedom is the opportunity to live in the Light, a life of prayer and service to others.'
The 4th Elder looked at the others and said: 'You chaps have no idea, you are thinking too small. Freedom is when your youngest child leaves home and takes the dog.'

Go on....snigger....

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


How stupid is a bluebottle?

It spends hours buzzing round the room, whizzing and bashing into everything and annoying everyone, ages more banging itself half to death against a closed window trying to get out (one presumes...), and then the minute you open the window and let it free it does one great big loopedy loop of freedom-

and flies straight in the very next open window!!!!!

Like I said; how stupid is a bluebottle!

And the reason I have studied this incredibly irritating behaviour so closely?
I've spend since Saturday sick in bed...a total waste of time, as well as the waste of two sunny days.

How abysmally tediocre.

BUT as a special treat, since I've managed to sit up for a few hours today, I get to get up for a while tomorrow- golly! the lengths I go to for a bit of excitement!!

Grrrr....or perhaps....Bzzzzz......

Friday, 1 July 2011

Cloud Cuckoo Land and Other Stories

I was wondering whether anyone else finds that Cloud Cuckoo Land is their regular default mental destination? Or is it just me??

I get up in the morning, for instance, and I think (or maybe even I write a list) 'today I will shorten the blue skirt for Youngest, hang up the laundry and do ALL the ironing.'

Then about midday the Hub asks whether I've made any bread for his packed lunch...uh, didn't think to check whether it was needed...and Youngest wanders in to remind me she has a rehearsal at 1 o'c and have I fixed the blue skirt for her?

Well! I may have knitted half a new cushion front, tidied and cleaned the sitting room, had a long chat with the dogs and done the washing up...but no! I haven't achieved any of the 'must-do's', and I've entirely forgotten the essentials.

It drives the family nuts, of course, so they always think I idle the days away, am totally selfish, and do nothing for anyone. Its VERY FRUSTRATING I can tell you!!!

Earlier this week, after a conversation with another Etsy seller, in Galway ( lovely cards by the way!), I downloaded the forms to apply to register with the Craft Council of Ireland. Its free, gives one a presence on their website, and sure what the heck! nothing ventured, nothing gained!

As I went through the form, I came across this question:
 How many employees do you have (excluding yourself(ves) as owners)?

Part Time: _______________ 
Seasonal: _______________

Hmmmm, tricky one, I include the dogs? They do like to supervise activities, except when they are asleep in the sun. So would they be Full or Part Time? But then again, would they be classed as Employees exactly?


Its most annoying that my ripper appears to have gone on holiday this week, just when I have quite a few sewing jobs for which it would have been usefully employed. I can't say that its lazy, because its far from that, but it sure does choose its moments!

If anyone happens upon it lounging poolside in some exotic location, please tell it very sternly to 'Go Home!'

Thank you!

PS Its yellow, if you see one that's not yellow, its not mine.

And talking of jobs, since Youngest leaves for the South Carolina trip on Thursday next, I need to get working on the various clothes which have to be cut-down or remade for her. This is the only one I've started:

(Sorry, the photo is squiff) Its an old LIBERTY fabric skirt a friend gave me because the fabric is so beautifully light it should be very cool and comfortable. I was delighted when Youngest wanted it to be hemmed above her knees- all the more to patchwork with, Grandmother!!!

Its a lovely blue, the photo doesn't do it justice.

I've another skirt to cut down, a dress to cut into a skirt, and I think a pair of old jeans to cut for water sports shorts, as they aren't as likely to catch on objects as loose cotton might.

See what I mean about Cloud Cuckoo Land?
Full Time: _______________ 


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