Monday, 20 April 2015

Me On Monday

It was a weekend of wide, open spaces and cramped, inside places. A weekend to throw our faces up to the sun, or bend our heads over our desks

Two of us studied steadily and the other two, the older two, skipped outside into the sunshine (dodging accusations of abandonment), grabbing every chance we could.

So: a deep breath taking, twisty path following, you can do it, marching forward, stopping and starting kind of a weekend.

An oh, that's what a gorse fire looks like and those really are firemen running in this direction weekend. A sorry I forgot to take the salmon out of the freezer, it'll have to be burgers weekend. A yes, we'll talk about your driving licence and what you'd like for your birthday weekend.. A new Paddington film watching, Easter egg finishing, BBQ considering (we didn't), lines of dry washing outside, thinking about packing weekend.

And of course we finished it up with our second Sunday night drive-time of the season. Somewhere with fields they asked for; so I guess that brings us right back to where we started. Wide Open Spaces.

Me On Monday?

In the passenger seat:

Making use of my last couple of days of taxi service. Well, I have to use that boy of mine for something, right? When he's in town I get him to drive me to all the places I need to go where the parking is impossible (that's living in the city for you) . I jump out, he circles, messages done. Although one day last week he texted me to tell me where he had found a space to wait, and, as it turned out, I had left my phone at home. I found him. Eventually. Miles later. Miles and miles later. After I - just for a moment - considered hailing a real taxi, going home and phoning him. No: you're right. Probably not a good idea..

Last week Helena, Alexa, Fiona, Eileen, Jane, Deb, Susanne, Ladkyis, Rinda, Krafty Karen, Julia, Rachel B, and  Gail all gave us a wave. Go on, go wish 'em all the best for the week ahead. Still thinking of you Gail ♥

..and thank you to Michelle who last week left a lovely comment, the thought of which got me going on a Monday morning this week. Have a good one!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

In Which I Find a Reason to Start a New Notebook

I think it came from Paperchase. I know it was a Mothers Day present last year...

knitting socks: a diary

Now it's a Sock Knitting Diary: little bit influenced by all the stunning Planners I'm seeing everywhere, little bit diary, little bit scrapbook...

knitting socks: a diary

..I have stamped on washi tape (and recorded all of our measurements - because we all need new socks, even if some of us are still in denial). I have used punches to vary the size of the pages (just for fun)...

knitting socks: a diary

...I have stapled (because it's nice to keep samples of the yarn and the details from the yarn bands) and stamped ( because it's a great excuse to use all the little Gossamer Blue stamps which haven't yet made it onto layouts) and printed out the photos of my first two pairs...

Knitting socks: a diary

...And I've made notes about where I'm going next. There are so many combinations of stitches and shades: will one notebook be enough?

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Still Sticking a Life Project

"The life of a person is not what happened, but what he remembers and how he remembers it" Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

I spotted this in my notebook the other day and it has stuck with me as I've been putting together a few more pages of my Sort of a Project Life.

Project Life style pages

Because I've been going back to the Me On Monday posts I want to use as a basis for my spreads, and I've been finding myself wanting to change them. Not on the blog, no: I'm not planning on editing posts; but as I lift the pictures and text to turn them into a personal family album I'm finding that I want to add, or even subtract. I want to shift the emphasis slightly, tell the story a different way. Has the story changed?

Project Life style pages

Does every story change with time even if we have already written it down? At the beginning of March our fence blew down. We have good neighbours, and it was easily fixed. But we discovered a whole new story later that week when we stood and chatted over a newly mended fence. The night of the storm, our neighbours had been round at friends, they phoned home to see if the family was alright, they heard about the fence. So their friends asked about us and whether we'd be easy to work with and they named names and the friend said she had lived beside a family with our name, back in the 60's : three girls and a baby boy with black curly hair. They used to knock on the door and ask if they could push that baby up and down in his pram. Well, that's years ago now: that baby's hair is still pretty black, though, and definitely still curly and he's married to me and living in a house with a dodgy fence. Our weekend of making space, as I called it when I first recorded it, had turned into a weekend of discovering just what a small place the world actually is. Same story, different story.

Or how about same story, different pictures?

Project Life style pages

I recorded our pizza meal with Little E in a blog post at the beginning of March; but I didn't use these photos partly because I thought I might keep them for something else. When I went back, of course I realised this is where they belonged. There he is: same story, different pictures. 

That's Sort of a Project Life.

Details, Details

No extra pictures today. Just a couple of quick extras

- That "make stuff" stamp is from Gossamer Blue

- The diecuts are all from one Simple Stories packet

-  My pages are curling as I feed them through the typewriter and that's making them hard to photograph. Either I need to flatten them under something heavy first (no!) or I need to give up trying to force them through the creaking rollers of my old typewriter. This is a possibility. If I break my Dad's machine I'd be sorry. Our printer won't print onto card, so it might be handwriting from now on. We'll see. I'm not caught up 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Me On Monday

It was a craft fair visiting, plant buying, Grand Prix watching, jam tart eating (we always have jam tarts at this time of year..why do they say "Spring"?) kind of a weekend.

And a sock heel turning, bunk bed dismantling, making and unmaking weekend. A holiday planning, discussions round the kitchen table weekend. A back to school on Monday weekend

But it's exam term now, and this time last year we started the tradition of a Sunday night drivetime: as a kind of buffer between the studying of a Sunday afternoon and the getting up for school the next morning. We all pile into the car and go for a mystery tour before heading home for some Sunday evening TV. We started out last night and we ended up at the barge you can see in the top picture. The light was beautiful and it fitted with my other weekend photos. It was a good trip.

Me on Monday?

Hiding my guilty look! Yes: I couldn't bear to leave the Granny squares staring accusingly out of their bag any longer. Today I'm putting down the socks and taking on the task of sorting my squares. As you can see, I have the odd loose end or two to darn in..

Last week Lea, Helena, Julia, Eileen, Deb, Cheri, Krafty Karen and Alison all gave us a wave. Go on, wish 'em a good week!

And I'd like to ask everyone to keep one of our number in mind this week. Some of you will know Gail from Storytelling Sunday, and she waves on a Monday when she gets the chance too. Please cheer her on this week as she faces surgery and radiation treatment. We're behind you every step of the way Gail!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Remembering Clothkits

This Easter has been the Easter of the sock (and I'm still knitting). But most every Easter I make something. I connect chocolate, roast lamb and shops being closed for the weekend with new projects. Creme Egg in one hand, crochet hook in the other. When I was a teenager, my Easter projects very nearly always involved something to wear. This was the time to open up the season's first Clothkits parcel. Clothkits?

PinkFresh layout Clothkits

We discovered them at Easter, too. I came back from an exchange trip to France and my sister had the catalogue waiting for me. 

Back in the 80's, and before, Clothkits produced...kits: pattern pieces screen printed onto fabric to be cut out and stitched together into coordinating outfits. Instructions, buttons, zips, even a label: everything came neatly packaged up, ready to sew. Clothkits was our secret weapon. We didn't have much to spend on clothes, but because we had to put in a bit of creative effort this way, these kits were a parent-approved purchase. We were always allowed to choose an outfit or two from the catalogue which arrived like Clothkjits clockwork twice a year, August and February. Those catalogues were works of art - with foldout flaps front and back, so you could compare colour swatches and decide which of the variously themed collections to choose. I wish we had kept ours. They're collectables now, selling on ebay for serious money. For a catalogue! 

I was about sixteen when I made the quilted jacket you can see on my layout (modelled here by my own sixteen year old). I had lots of other pieces - red cord dungarees, skirts, a gypsy petticoat - but the jacket survived because of its story. Of course. When I was nineteen, I put it on for a first trip to meet my new boyfriend's family. The girls all said "hello". They looked at each other. They looked at me. "Clothkits!" they chorused. And so that was alright. I would do. 

After that I had to keep it. And when that boyfriend asked me was there anywhere I wanted to go for my honeymoon - anywhere in England, which was as far as we could afford - I chose Bath. Partly because I knew it had a Clothkits shop. Was there one in Cambridge too? Am I remembering that right? I'm hoping I'm not the only one out there who waited for those catalogues and loved to rip open those packets.

When Clothkits closed I stopped sewing my own clothes. Several years ago, though, I discovered the name had been relaunched and there were kits to be bought once again. On my list, oh yes they are: how long can I hold out? At least until after the next pair of socks. That's all I'm saying.

Any other fans out there? Please say yes!

Details, Details

1. I've been meaning to make a "Clothkits" page for ages, so as soon as I saw this Pinkfresh paper, with its prints like the ones on the clothes I used to make, I knew I had a starting point. I had my doubts about the photo, which wasn't what I had wanted, but I decided to go ahead and see what i could make of it.

2. Oh, but choices! was that paper too busy? Would I be able to fit in the story? Was I just using it because I loved it and not because it was going to work? I pulled out some other choices..maybe white with the Pinkfresh stickers instead, just using the original as inspiration?

3. No: I'm going to stick with the original. Until I cut off that bottome strip I can never decide how it's going to look. Next..working with the photo I chose extras to enhance it instead of trying to ignore it. So, we have more woodgrain, which I found on my desk, with some "graffiti" stamps from Gossamer Blue

4. Nearly finished and just thinking about the journaling when I had a revelation! How about the best of both worlds! If I turned it into a double pager I could fit in all of the story AND have a chance to use the extra patterned paper and stickers. That's what I did:

So now it looks like this:

I have a feeling there'll be at least one more page, though. I still haven't told the story of how that Clothkits gypsy petticoat saved my life..
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