Thursday, 28 April 2016

If It's Snowing, There Must Be Socks

It's getting chilly in here I thought this morning, as I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down to check my emails. The first one I opened offered "What To Wear In May" so, as we are nearly there, I took a quick look : Choose light layers! it said. Pair with sandals and a floaty scarf so you look cool and fresh at May's festivals and markets! And then I looked out of the window, and saw that it was snowing, so I closed up the email and went to look for a pair of knitted socks instead. 

After that, I hauled myself up the stairs (that exercise bike is beginning to do its worst) to take a few photos of the new pages I have made in my sock notebook. I know: It has been a while; but I've been knitting more and recording less. I'm pretty sure that I haven't told you about these ones before:

That would be two pairs of easy to put on, wear instead of shoes socks:

I cut pieces from the invoice and snipped a sample of the wool because I want this notebook to be a proper scrapbook: full of scraps.

Soon after I finished those, I bought quite a few balls of my favourite good value wool: Drops Fabel

 It washes easily at 40 and the first pairs I ever made  have now been through the machine once a week for a year without showing any signs of wear.

But then I needed somewhere to put that new wool. So we went to Ikea where I found a perfect set of white metal drawers. Remember these?

and all the time I'm knitting and purling, with a pair for Fiona, and a couple for my sister (to be honest, she got the ones striped together from the ends of other projects. She deserves better) and suddenly we were getting close to Christmas. I started on some presents

while at the same time looking forward to a present of my own

which led me to come up with the idea for Sock Of the Month. But that's probably enough for today. Back to knitting instead of recording. After all, I have to decide what I'll make for May..

Monday, 25 April 2016

Memorandum Monday

Ah Monday: if you are waiting for me to greet you in an out of breath kind of way, you'll have to wait a little bit longer. The exercise bike is now out of the attic and ready to go. I just haven't got round to sitting on it yet. 

That would be my thing I haven't tried before for this week.But I know simply thinking about doing it isn't enough: it's fine, you don't have to tell me, I've worked it out for myself. I've never enjoyed exercise. If you have known me for any length of time you'll understand that. At school, I was the one hiding behind the lockers when the netball team was being picked. I was the one at the top of the sick note queue, thanks, partly, to an understanding mother who signed her name at the first hint of a sniffle. And I was the one who used a mild spot of childhood asthma to excuse myself from the cross country running our teacher believed was the right and the responsibility of every member of the Fourth Form. 

Did we love it? The clue is in the name.  Each week we ran (or didn't, tick as appropriate), one of two routes: either the graveyard run, or the abbatoir run. Oh no, wait, they weren't named for their effect. We did genuinely have to jog past the cemetery or the meat packing factory. Death stalked our PE lessons like.. It probaly wasn't that bad. I wouldn't know. I held an unbroken excuse record for the entire time I was there. 

Why am I telling you this today? Because change is coming. I've been going to PIlates for two years now. A year ago I added a second class and I have discovered, to my complete surprise, how perfectly satisfying it is to come out of that extra class on a Friday morning and know that I've undertaken two - that's two, count 'em - hours of exercise in five days. And now, I'm looking for more! Ask me what I did for the first time this weekend and I'll tell you: I went looking for ways to take more exercise. And so, the bike, which isn't mine, but will do for a trial run. Or cycle. Or maybe we'll use it as a houseplant holder, that remains to be seen, but the thought is there. And that's a first.

No pictures, no, I like you too much for that. So instead, here's one of my default activity: a trip to   the bookshop.

How about you? Any new thoughts this weekend? Try anything for the first time? Learn something you didn't know before? 

 Deb, Helena, Eileen, Jane, Maggie, Melissa, Mitra, Alison, Mary-Lou, Mardi, Susanne, Ladkyis and Karen made a Memorandum on Monday last week. Go on: give 'em a wave! Here's hoping your week has got off to a good start too.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

If I Bit My Nails..

...I'd have been biting my nails. But I don't, so I had to find something else to do. 

What to do while she was doing the test?

- Marvel at a driving instructor who had been willing to haul himself out of bed so that he was here in time for a pre-test final lesson, at 7.30am.

- Worry about rush hour traffic at 8.50 in the morning.

- Tell myself I can't do anything about it.

- Make a card for a friend (and change it a little after the picture)

- Pick up my sock knitting and promptly drop a stitch, which goes down three rows before I can catch it. Realise I can't take knitting with a hole in it to my my first meeting of  Knitting Club tonight, so manage to fill several minutes picking up the stitch.

- Put a load of washing in the machine, close the door, turn it on, walk out of the utility room, and find a t shirt lying on the floor instead of going round in the machine.

- Muse on my own driving test, and the differences between my test in a country town (to overtake the tractor? or not?) and this test in the city (keep out of the way of double decker buses).

- Unscrew the lid on my jar of Easter chocolate mini eggs, dip my hand in..

....and then, the door. I ran down the stairs, there she was, waving a pass in her hand. She's mobile! She's independent! Does that mean I never have to be in the right place at the right time ever again? Maybe. I think I'll have those chocolate mini eggs after all.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Mouse Boy: Interiors as Inspiration

The year before I made my first scrapbook layout I filled an album with pages torn from interiors magazines. That was my paper fix then, though of course it was also all about the colour combinations and the looks I liked, and which I could replicate myself in the houses we renovate. I don't use it so much now because I'm more sure of what I want, and of the formula we have developed over the years. But I did fetch my album down from the shelf

From High In The Sky for Get It Scrapped

and have a little nostalgic flip through as soon as Get It Scrapped asked for a page inspired by the use of textures in interior design. I had lots of tearsheets about texture in there: if you renovate a house to sell of course it pays to keep the decor neutral so that it appeals to as many potential buyers as you can find; and so the way to avoid bland and suggest comfort, cosiness and luxury is with texture. 

At first I thought my page was going to be white, then, with wood and kraft cardstock, you know? But when I paged through my album I chanced upon a collection of folk art images: all bright and woven together with stitching and ribbons, beautiful cushions and curtains which gave me an idea for a totally eclectic look. There was, without a doubt, only one subject who could help me pull it off and here he is. It's Little E, all dressed for World Book Day, ready to go to school as the boy who turns into a mouse in Roald Dahl's The Witches

Honestly, I think I could make every page I ever scrapbook in this way, with a band of embellishments stretching either across the page or up and down. It creates a shelf to put everything else on AND it's just plain fun to start at one end and work along until I get to the other, simply adding anything with the right look, one embellishment at a time. You can see I added not just the witches, but also a mouse tail or two made with  lengths of grey ribbon, knotted at the ends. I squeezed in as many textures as I could: cork, smooth wood, shiny puffy stickers, 

a tassel, some tied threads. But just look at those ears: don't they make you want to turn mouse for the day too?

You can see how the other Get It Scrapped Creative Team Members introduced texture to their pages right here Mix Textures On Your Scrapbook Page Using Inspiration From Home Interiors

Monday, 18 April 2016

Memorandum Monday

Well, would you look at that! It's Monday again. We had a chilly weekend here: as our girl set out for her ten mile sponsored walk along the coast I made sure she took a hat! And that cold breeze meant that anything new I did, or learned for the first time, was most likely going to be of the inside variety.

Disclaimer: photo taken back in February, when I brought this wool back from Scotland, and realised I should have bought more..

I did think bout being out in the fresh air, gardening, when I read that the best way of getting rid of weeds is to keep on watering them after you have weedkillered, so that they grow all the more quickly, use up all their strength, and then disappear in as short a time as possible. I wonder, do you think it would work? We don't like using weedkiller round here, so although as a suggestion it's something I hadn't heard of before, it's probably  not a keeper in life's great card catalogue of trivia. In any case, our garden isn't famous for its plants. Instead it's made more interesting by its treasure.

By all the scattered pieces of pottery we find every time we turn over some earth. I've written about it before. I keep the pieces on a dark wooden tray beside the phone and sometimes, if you listen carefully, you'll hear the clicks as I turn them over my fingers while I talk. 

Yesterday I thought they looked dusty and unloved, so I emptied the tray and cleaned all the little chips, which took on the appearance, then, just for a minute, of pebbles washed over by the retreating tide.

That was my gardening. Unless you count my new sock wool. It's in a colourway called Blue Tit, named for the little blue and yellow bird we sometimes see in our garden, and I've been saving it up til now so that I can use it for my April Sock of the Month. Oh, yes: time to make a start on that! I haven't made a pair of April socks before: I think I might have to make them count for innovation this week... about you? Anything new this weekend? We'd love to hear about it.

 Deb, Barbara, Helena, Eileen, Jane, Karen, Liz, Mitra, Mary-Lou, Susanne, Fiona, Maggie, Julia and Melissa posted a memorandum last Monday. Go on, give 'em a wave! Wish them a good week! And have one yourself, won't you?

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