Monday, 31 October 2011

Especially for Melody!

As requested Melody...I couldn't resist your challenge! So here's a turnip whittled at the tea table!!

As a child we referred to swedes as turnips, and having 'google imaged' turnip -  plenty of others do too!
We always carved a turnip, before the pumpkin became popular, and I seem to remember it used to take aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages to scoop out the impenetrable flesh, and was quite a dangerous occupation.
I cheated slightly with this little fella - he is only two thirds of a soggy swede found at the bottom of the vegetable rack, as he is backless I was able to cut out the centre quite easily. Also he is only about 8cm high - our childhood ones were significantly larger and had string handles, though I can't imagine carrying roasting vegetables for long distances, with the string above the candle, even with a lid!

Spookily this picture captures yesterdays blog post on the right and tomorrows on the left......
Happy Halloween x

Sunday, 30 October 2011


I have fond childhood memories of a small black sugar paper witches hat scattered with sticky coloured shapes sitting atop a chocolate cake (with flake pieces) alongside a spooky illustrated recipe card! I expect the hat is still around somewhere in a well organised box at mum and dads.
I also recall a white sheet ghost costume and the annual pumpkin, which was of course a hollowed out turnip (now known as a swede!)
Its all a bit fuzzy, but around the time of halloween and bonfire night there was a fair in the local town so I remember loud seventies tunes, clanging bells, flashing lights, goldfish in plastic bags, freezing fingers, candy floss, and very sticky toffee apples!

 We are slowly gathering a handful of halloween heirlooms!

One half term RW Jnr learned how to make pompoms

....another he learned to sew buttons!

This ghost sparkles!!

We have a spider and vampire made from Hama beads which glow in the dark - and catch me out when I turn out all the lights before bed!

This year we have added pumpkins:

Here is this years carved version...a little scarier than usual...and roasting the lid as I type!

Happy All Hallows Eve..eve

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


There are lots of new aromas in the house today

Sensational scented lillies...becoming more pungent as each bloom explodes....

Recently baked butter biscuits...

these are our second batch in two days...the first lot didn't hang around long enough for a photo!!

The  delicious and really easy recipe is from Tracey and we have transformed them into ghost biscuits...

The delicate sweet smell of summer meadows fabric conditioner as this wet felted project dries out...its a secret so only a patch is available for viewing!

Looking forward to some more autumnal aromas... distant bonfires, roasting pumpkins, sparkling fireworks and crunchy leaves (not so keen on the smell of the soggy variety!)
What's getting up your nose today I wonder?!

Saturday, 22 October 2011


To keep my fingers busy on long evenings watching tv I'm winding these lovely yarns round my flower loom...

one is Rowan Colourscape chunky by Kaffe Fasset....100% lambswool 
in candy pink....shade 434

from one 100g skein I have lots of different multi coloured yarns

The other is  Knitcol by Adriafil 100% merino shade 60 Rousseau phantasy

I must admit though I have to have full screen concentration for certain programmes..not relishing the final ever episode of Spooks tomorrow night!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Messing about on the river!

My Goddaughter had a special day this weekend. We sent her a fuzzy fishy cuff.
A narrower version of this with presstuds to keep it in place
(or should that be Plaice?!)


Feeling woolly!!
Hopefully everything is fixed!
I speedily edited the rogue pictures in super quick time allowing me to browse the Firefox help forum, I followed some complicated instructions, made 1 click to unblock something... and wow! everything came back in glorious technicolour, not only in my blog but in everyone else's...
what a lot of fantastic images I have missed...

This is the bumper bundle of fuzzy fibre that arrived yesterday morning from Wheeldale Woolcrafts to keep me happy and distracted from blog frustrations and to start some Christmassy projects.
The brightness of the picture isn't great as the weather was distinctly grey....

Look what I found in the garden though to add a bit of brightness!

As this is my edited post from yesterday....some of the info in the first 3 comments below may not apply now..I hope!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Mystery Solved....

......and many apologies!!
Thanks to some fab feedback from Liz, some serious head scratching, frantic phoning, and rational thinking (from the male members of the household) I think I have solved the mystery of the missing photos!
You see they were never really missing! Which means I have been re posting and re-uploading when they were there all the time. It also means some are HUMUNGOUS and repeated and repeated and repeated.....
In my defence all I see is one beautifully sized and well presented image...when everyone else is seeing double or multiple or HUGE pictures.
I've realised it is my browser (Firefox) on other browsers I can see what you can!
So I will attempt to unload my re-uploads!  and get everything back to how I intended...which my not always be an improvement!
Big apologies for taking up lots of your time scrolling through all the erroneous photos and trying to make sense of the duplications!
I may be some time so please be patient if I disappear from blogland while I adjust!
I had a lovely bagful of wool this morning so I'll be able to roll out some of my frustration soon!
No photos in this post  - for obvious reasons!!
Ali xx


Monday, 10 October 2011

Invisible Images!

Whilst scrolling through my past posts I discovered some of my photos are missing :(
One of the reasons I started blogging was to keep a record of things I made and photos I liked.
Lots of pictures I have uploaded are mega (byte wise)....but some that have become invisible were much smaller...bit of a random deletion process going on!
I have also found that I am unable to view some mosaics on other blogs...I think its just me as other people have commented on the beautiful pictures that are not appearing on my screen.
The up side is that I have discovered Picasa...and all my pics are still stored there regardless of their visibility on the blog, alongside others that I uploaded more than once or were the wrong way up....
So I am laboriously scaling each large picture down in byte size using Picasa and re-uploading some that are missing.
Apologies if you come to a large gap in text or a caption without its image..hopefully I'll get round to restoring them all in the end...I'm also hoping that if I have edited a post it doesn't appear on everyone's dashboard again?!
All this talk of pictures has prompted me to show you some blackbirds that appeared in the garden a few weeks ago....

One has flown far North whilst another made his way South!!

 I'm really excited to have joined a Snail Mail Holiday Swap hosted by Tracey and Emma..I'm looking forward to making and exchanging goodies, and getting to know my swapping partner....I'll be posting about it another time... but there's still time to get involved if you'd like.

In the meantime any pictorial advice gratefully accepted!!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Daisy Chains

My daisy loving friend had a birthday at the beginning of  August, last week I finally gave her the completed present I had been making!
I had the final image in my head, but it took a while, using lots of techniques I have used before and a couple of new ones!

Firstly I made lots of small white blooms on my flower loom,  and needle felted their middles.
Then I wet felted a green background with shetland, some of the green merino from Becky's giveaway, and some sari silk fibres.
It took some thought about how to attach the daisies (minimal sewing) and the hanging device (thanks to my husband for the brainwave that required no sewing!)
...all finished off with a piece of green thread, again from Becky's parcel.

Before the construction.

No sewing pole inserts!

Sari silk shimmering in the sun!

I loved putting everything together, especially needlefelting the middles in the warm sunny garden.
Happy daisies, Happy Birthday! x

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Being Creative - Autumn

It seems so strange writing about autumn sitting in shorts and t-shirt with the windows wide open!
There are a few rusty coloured crispy leaves being swept around the garden and on a recent park stroll I loudly crunched beech nut husks under foot. The sun, although beautifully hot, disappers quickly in the autumnal signs are all around...
For Being Creative this month (well autumn I am a bit sluggish)..I have made two iconic forms using wet and needle felting..
I have made wet and needlefelted balls before and will be doing so again soon.

Its difficult to make a conker from fuzzy wooly felt as it loses its silky sheen somewhat, this one is made from shetland wool which makes it extra hairy!

The shape of the pumpkin was achieved using elastic bands whilst the soggy ball was drying.

The hot weather has been great but not condusive to drying constricted felty balls, which I usually do on the radiator...this pumkin has been basking in the sun, hanging in  a bag on the line, lounging in the airing cupboard and today I resorted to roasting it in the oven!
It is also made with shetland tops and merino with some silk sari fibres thrown in, which can be seen close up!

RW Junior enjoyed unclamping the elastic bands and seeing its finished shape.
I'm looking forward to more signs of autumn, warming soup and stews, vibrant tones and colours, the smell of bonfires and scrunching rustling leaves underfoot. 
What do you like best about autumn I wonder?!