Friday, July 21, 2006

Baby Bib Mine

I think bibs are very practical and wish they were fashionable (I didn't intend that phrase to rhyme, but hey, I'm a poet...) because I'm always spilling food and drink over my nice clothes. Thankfully, I don't dribble, (as of yet) though I have to eat with a large napkin covering my torso to prevent food spraying my body. If bibs were in use, then eating in restaurants would be less traumatic and I'd have no need for those useless paper napkins that shred and ooze grease after approximately one minute.

I bought a set of plain bibs from Mothercare yesterday and started embroidering straight away. I've chosen a Sublime Stitching pattern and add my niece's name Sophie, in the middle of the banner. I'm ready to start the next baby bib project asap! I've also bought a few plain baby bodysuits too, so less writing, more sewing in the week ahead.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sew Happy!

Great news - I am an auntie again! My sister-in-law gave birth to a 6lb 10oz baby girl, Sophie Christina on Monday. Both are well and the whole family is delighted! I now have an excuse to make more crafty baby things. It's a shame I won't be knitting for a while, but I'm sure I can find a lovely project to get started on. Thankfully my stash is full of pink material at the moment! It is amazing how new life can be so inspiring. Thanks to the beauty of digital cameras, I'll hopefully see photos of Sophie within the next day or so. The pictures I've had sent via mobile phone are just adorable, in the words of my dad - 'she's a wee smasher'.

I've currently given up on my knitted camisole top due to sore wrists. I find knitting very addictive and when I start I cannot stop. I have managed to pull myself away from the camisole and give myself a break for just now. I think just a few rows at a time would be better than a frenzied pace of forty a night. So I turned to embroidery for some light relief. It is such a relaxing craft, and gives faster results than knitting. I finished this pin-up girl this morning and need to find a project to use the patch in. Perhaps a small purse? I used some of the spotted material from my stash and embroidery thread that belonged to my grandmother. As a crafter that made lots of projects as a child, then gave up for years, I still find myself in awe of my completed projects. I am glad that in the last year I've started creating again. For just now, I can't stop looking at my pretty pin-up girl.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Buzz words

Recently I've become so inspired by gardens. The variety of patterns and shapes found in flowers and leaves is amazing. I can now understand why Glasgow artist Charles Rennie Macintosh used flower motifs in the majority of his designs. With plants the possibilities are endless. I need to start using these patterns and shapes in my craft work. I find myself wandering around my front garden enchanted by the strange flowers that are currently blossoming. How could I have seen these flowers but never properly noticed them before?

At the moment I love the foxglove; tall and bright, wobbling in the wind. In my back garden, next to the door, is a bench. A foxglove has seeded itself below the bench and has worked its way up through the slats, using the wood for support. (see above photo, though it does not do the flower justice. Not the best photograph.) Sitting next to the foxglove, bees come flying towards you and bypass human life for some yummy nectar. They sit in the bell shaped flowers for a minute or so, moving to the next flower, up or down the foxglove ladder. Their buzzing reverberates making a beautiful noise louder than normal - the foxglove becomes a kind of amplifier for insects. When the bees are finished, they leave the flower and zig-zag away, narrowly missing my back door. I like to think they are slightly drunk on the nectar and sleepily satisfied.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Here's Linda, in case you were wondering...

....who she is. Lovely lass, famous thanks to Page 3. Phwoar as the Daily Star would say. If you are puzzled, then look at my last post.


I hate to admit it, but I have a crush on Sawyer from Lost. It goes against my usual principles of attraction so I feel terribly guilty. I swore that I'd never fancy bad boys, and he's the baddest you can get. I had a dream last night that I was an actress and was taking off my stage make-up when in walked Sawyer. "Ma-am," he drawled, "I'm afraid I can't let you walk back to your trailer alone, it's too dangerous out there. Let me escort you." I melted. I mean, I'm an aspiring writer and I'm suffering from severe Mills and Boon love sickness. What a cliched dream! I blame it all on last week....

I was watching Lost with Lee, I had quite a good rhythm going with my knitting and all of a sudden I blurted out "Shut it Sawyer, just take your top off." My excuse is that I was so relaxed with my knitting that I could not control my mouth. I am in fear of my own actions. I thought I'd bypassed all that laddette behaviour that results in ASBOs or community service. What next - car theft following a Buckfast booze binge? Obviously, Lee was quite shocked and asked "Why are you not asking me to take my top off?". Rudely, I poked his belly button with my knitting needle. "That's why." "Ha," he responded, "who do you think you are? Linda fucking Lusardi?" And with that we burst into fits of laughter. That has got to be the best insult I've ever received. And after all, who other than a reader of the Sun newspaper during the 1980s would know who the hell Linda Lusardi was?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Carry on caravaning

Last week Lee and I enjoyed a lovely break in the Lake District. We spent five days in a luxury caravan in Flookburgh. I am converted to caravans now. When I used to think of caravans I would instantly imagine a small tin with tiny windows on wheels, rocking in lashing rain. Inside the room is damp and drafty with a gas fire glowing through one flickering bar. At best, nights spent shivering under blankets and duvets with bed socks and jumpers, at worst, nights with the additional layers of bobble hat and gloves. How wrong I was, caravaning has changed and for the better. The caravan we rented was a static caravan, two bedrooms, a toilet, bathroom and large kitchen, dining area and living room. The fire was huge and central heating (oh central heating!) adorned every room. The design was ingenious; cupboards and storage throughout with modern fittings and a large shower, all fitted in a small but perfectly formed wee hoose.

It was a fun week and so hot that we even managed to have a barbeque. I liked the caravan park; the walks around it were pretty with stables near the touring caravans. A holiday is what you make but a nice 'home' for the week makes all the difference. Our 'Vendee 500' was certainly comfortable. And what a strange name. Traveling down to the Lake District, we shouted out the name of every touring caravan that passed. Rusty or luxury they never fail to make me giggle. The manufacturers have chosen adventurous names, often implying that they are breaking new ground, discovering unseen parts of the planet - Voyager, Marauder, Swift, Challenger, Prestige - I imagine they are little spaceships rolling along the roads. I am surprised there were no Starship Enterprise tourers. My least favourite names are the ones that sound so middle England, like small towns in rural counties - Chichester, Windsor and Worcester. How uninspiring. The caravan I liked best was an older model, swaying along the M74, clean and slow, like a lumbering can on wheels - the Wanderer. I believe that name captures the essence of caravaning don't you?

Crafty pursuits

So seeing as I boast of being creative (clue is in the title) I may as well get back in crafty mode. I flit between craft projects and currently have three on the go. Sadly, I'm not working on any of them right now. I thought posting a blog with photos would entice me to start back again. And it's working - tonight I shall watch trash (on TV, not in my bin) and knit away. Last week on holiday I bought myself this basket for all my wool.

It was the rainbow colours that tempted me, I'm a softy for multi-coloured products. I believe that penchant was inherited from my older sister who has always loved Joseph and his coat of many colours. (Andrew Lloyd Webber style "go go Joseph...")

I also bought this lovely duvet cover set.

All ready for chopping up and making into things. I'm not sure what things as of yet. The other side of the cover is a cute polka dot print.

Let's add that in addition to loving rainbow stuff, I'm also a sucker for polka dots.

So my knitting project for tonight is a lovely camisole top. I started it a few weeks ago and stopped after a few inches. The pattern is from 'Katie Knits' blog.(see my links) and is an easy knit yet so pretty.

I'm off to get started before I get distracted by new projects that always seem to jump out at me, then loom in the background nagging me to finish them.

Something fishy going on?

Lee took me to the fishing warehouse this morning for a jolly Saturday shopping trip. I reckoned he deserved it after years of putting up with waiting for me in Topshop, jangling small change in his pockets and trying to look interested in headscarves, bangles and culottes. I was surprised at this big warehouse, men standing outside waving fishing rods around testing out and showing off their new toys. Inside, men in groups stood happily discussing the perfect fishing spots or wandered around joyfully pondering lines and waders. It was like the male equivalent of Accessorize sparkly goods enticing and exciting the customers. Never before have I seen men so happy in a retail environment. On the downside, I felt like a fish out of water excuse the bad joke, but it's true, I was the only woman in there without a Barbour jacket or a bobbly fleece. Remember ladies, just because it's outdoor wear, doesn't mean that we have to sacrifice style now, do we?

My favourite aisle was the fly section. Hundreds of clear compartments filled with flies that are surprisingly beautiful miniature works of art. On closer inspection, I noticed that these fake insects are divided into different categories with very strange names. We have the 'boobies', the 'nymphs' and the 'muddlers'. These weird names become more complicated and are similar to those strange pedigree dogs at Crufts. (e.g., Champion Sir Bobby Bouffant of the Kidderminster Harriet's) There are 'hothead nymphs', 'bugger lures' and my personal favourite 'boobies with attitude'. Believe me, it's the place to be if you still laugh at Carry On films. In fact, it made me think of my best friend, a girl with a compulsion for double entendres in a kind of 'oooh matron' way. If she had been there we would have heard dirty jokes about rods, tackle and boobies. And I wish she had been with me, to share my immature amusement.

The fishing warehouse is full of men who are happy in their habitat, relaxed and at one with their inner man and ready for the outdoor world. This could be the ideal place for a single gal. Head down to your local fishing shop wearing your cute retro 'fishing champion' t-shirt, arm yourself with a few cheeky comments and go catch yourself a man. After all, what's so unappealing about being an auld fishwife?

I bet that you look good on the dance floor!

On Friday I ventured out to National Pop League at the Woodside in Glasgow. I love the atmosphere at NPL. The music is great and it's the type of place where you can dance alone and no-one cares. So cue much silly dancing from me. I couldn't help but notice an amazing dancer, but by the end of the night he was swept away and hidden by countless others. Up until the dance floor became mobbed, I watched him in fascination. His moves were circa Joy Division and started with a shake in his hand, a twitch up his arm and a pulsing jump when the beat kicked in. Amazing. I tried dancing next to him, perhaps he'll give me eye contact and shimmy with me, I thought, but alas no, he was happy in his electric world. I found myself wondering where he learnt to dance like that. Is it a natural rhythm, an instinctive move he has, ready to burst out on cue to The Smiths? I would estimate his age and then I could place him in an era, a time that makes sense – ah, ok he's 25, so he was a Britpop teenager. Or something like that.
But I've given up guessing the age of strangers. Lee has said some crackers. Once a very tanned Glasgow girl asked him 'how old d'ya think I am?' He estimated 37. She was 24 and devastated. That's the curse of sunbeds. And honesty. Another time a bloke in the pub asked the same question. Lee paused, thought about this guy's enthusiasm for Dire Straits (he was, we gathered, a big fan) and guessed 36. He was 26. Ha, I thought, wearing white 80s trainers and a headband surely does age you.
So back to my man on the dancefloor, I looked for him when they played Madonna classic Borderline but couldn't see him. So instead, I attempted to pull off some of his moves. It was hard, but you see I'm a sucker for dance movies - Saturday Night Fever, Flashdance, Footloose, the scene in Napoleon Dynamite; I was even dancing to Calamity Jane yesterday. I just love it when the rotten dancer becomes queen of the dancefloor to a catchy, but naff song. I may have big feet and move like a dancing bear, but hey, I'm cutting some rug. Move outta my way!

Moving blogs... far easier than moving house. I've abandoned and moved here to the famous A far more sophisticated affair methinks. I really just prefer the layout. I think I'll transfer a few of my old blogs from myspace to over here, so this new home is not so empty. I'll be decorating asap. I look forward to my house-warming party.
Miso Funky Market