Saturday, 13 September 2014

Saturday,September, Snaps.

Just a few pictures today . I am so incredibly touched by people's kindness and generosity. This charity project is warming my heart. And strangely enough providing a distraction from other things which are not as joyous.

Our poor daughter fell in the Gym ( dangerous places) I mean it's hard to fall over a sewing machine ,a crochet hook or a knitting needle!

Well to cut short a very long,very painful story I am following in Florence Nightingale's special footsteps. Caring for our dear girl who has badly damaged the tendons on her ankle.

So, as she sits with her foot elevated and packed with ice I am able to sit and sew. Quiet companionship and love.

So. A stack of cushions.



And a little bit of cosy red and strawberries. A pretty combination indeed. I love relaxing in the evenings with a little bit of yarn.


Please excuse me for not making so many comments on all the lovely blogs I follow but life is a little busy just now. But I am enjoying reading all your lovely words.

Love Linda x


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

September Days!

I took the second bag of goodies to the Charity Shop today. Lots of things made from the great shirts which are arriving. How lovely is that. I open the packets as they tumble onto the mat and there are beautiful shirts inside. I can promise you they soon go metaphorically " under the knife!"

Lavender bags filled from the lavender in the garden and tied with string.



But, just now nothing is safe from this September gazing. This September thought shifting. As I open the wardrobe door I see something tucked at the back. Well it's being hoofed out and popped in the bag. Forgotten things stashed away are not safe either. Those sale bargains that are actually no use to anyone, are filling up spaces in our cupboards no longer.

A few of the bibs I got a little bit obsessed with a while back!


Pretty Pincushions.
And draw string monster bags for the yummy mummies who have everything.



And today I did not mind being called " that lady" in the sense of "Oh, you are that lady who is donating to us in September!" It was the manageress and she was so delighted. It made my day. Apparently people are asking about the labels which say. Hand Made With Love @ 1 Can Make A Difference.

We had a little chat and she is going to save any plain shirts that come in for the cushion backs. Brilliant. What a result. Working together for a common goal.



Saturday, 6 September 2014

September the sixth. Gentle quilting!

The lovely Lorraine from Mamas Mercantile sent a beautiful shirt today. It reminds me of Candy stripes and sweets. Just perfect and waiting for some other gentle pastels to blend with it. Thank you so,so much.


I was also very, very touched by a blogging friend, Gracie from across the pond sending me some pennies or that should be dollars via PayPal to buy some thread . This quilting malarky certainly uses a lot! Thank you so much Gracie.

And also a lovely friend who is a star on my Charity knitting thread has pledged some Mandalas. French postage costs are horrendous. I shall be so happy to tuck them in the bags of goodies I am preparing for the charity shops.

While I am thanking lovely people. Whilst I have been zipping along with my sewing machine my follower numbers have reached the magical figure of 250. So welcome and " Thank You " to you all. I love to read everybody's comments. They encourage me a great deal as I travel on my little journey in Blogland.

I have been gently quilting cushion fronts. Lovely colours and I am so chuffed that my cutting skills are improving. To be able to match sides for sewing and see corners meeting at a crisp right angle is seriously making me happy. I think I am still pressing far too hard but hey ho!


So today on this sixth day of September all is going well. I do not think anyone is safe near me with a plain blue shirt at the moment. These fronts are in need of some gorgeous plain blue backs.


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The postman came knocking !! Day 3 of Share a Shirt!

The postman knocked this morning. And gave me a parcel. I think he is going to be busy. And there was a gorgeous shirt from Una. Thank you so much it's totally perfect.





I can squeeze a back panel out of a large shirt plus about 40 squares. Amazing. Oh! And a little extra bonus is the pile of buttons.




So, zooming along and blending the squares and my sixth cushion is complete.


Here you can see that the back panel blending beautifully and I actually like the contrast between the patchwork side and plainer.


I took my first bag of goodies into the Red Cross Shop this morning and they were delighted and very interested in the labels and the idea behind " Made with Love @1 Can Make A Difference. So, that was a lovely conversation. Now, I am just finishing off the second bag which will go to Oxfam when I go to town next. I have realised that the nearest Save the Children Charity Shop is in Totnes.

Totnes is nicknamed Narnia. Very apt. It is the most eclectic place I have ever visited. It is about 6 miles from us and one of my favourite places to visit. Yarn and material abound plus a lovely market full of paraphenalia to tempt. If ever you find yourself in the South Hams in Devon you must go.

This picture was on Facebook about Totnes yesterday and they are the only town in the Country to persuade Costa Coffee not to come even though they had planning permission granted for a new shop. It is a town so proud of the fact that it is full of independent traders and shops. A real feat in this day and age.


Before I go I would like to say a huge welcome to my new followers and thank each and every one if you for all the support you so generously give me here at Chalky's .


So that's it for Day 3 here in " Shirt Land"





Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Hand delivery today!


I have had a homey day today. Andy out playing golf. Just that kind of day that you are happy just to "be"

I did have a lovely visit from my sister in law who has recently moved into our village all the way from Aberdeen. She came bearing three beautiful shirts and also a desire to help.

What could be better than that?



I meant to take her picture snipping the shirts,cutting out the interfacing and dashing away with the smoothing iron... But we were such busy bees it got forgotten.

I have decided to try and have a methodical approach to this getting shirty malarky. I bet that doesn't last long!

So today I concentrated on Janet's colourful shirt which arrived yesterday. All day I have had the American celebration of Thanksgiving in my mind. Autumn,fall,pumpkins,wheat,corn and turkeys.

It's easy to see why!

It's amazing to think that Janet's generosity may have generated over £20 of sales in the Charity Shop.

So far I have made 5 zipped pouches.

They are really lovely,bright and colourful .


And there was also enough material to make some really pretty Lavender pouches .

I have not filled those yet!

So,now it is just a case of all those pretty items needing labels saying..

Made with Love @ 1 can make a difference.

And I truly think it can.

Just by sharing 1 shirt life,hopefully will be a little bit brighter for at least 1 person.



Monday, 1 September 2014

The best start!

I always try to be ready for things. I often think looking forward to events to be the best part. That tummy tickling excitement which comes with anticipation.

When I wake ... Usually fairly late,the first thing I do is work out what day it is. Then I think how lucky I am not to work anymore. I spent years racing at a mega rate. Organising three children,a husband on shifts and working full time. The plates spun so fast I never really saw the pattern.

But, no more. As a retired teacher these early September days fill me with joy. No new term.... So, after working out this morning that it was Monday and thinking how lucky I was to be able to stretch out under the loveliest cotton quilt,with a choice. Another five minutes in bed or wander downstairs for a cup of tea.

But, always the first thing. The most important thing. A vote of thanks for my life. The jellybean,colourful life that I am lucky enough to wake to. This practice of making time to make a vote of thanks upon waking and a vote of thanks drifting off to sleep at night,every day over the last nine years of retirement has altered my perspectives on life and living. A perspective which is just better,more heartfelt and totally joyful.


And then the postman dropped a parcel on the doorstep... And who could not be cheered by this parcel.



The lovely Janet, also known as the " Puppet Lady" had found a shirt and sent it in for my challenge . "Share a shirt for September."


It is so joyful and full of fun. Teresa would want it for her Thanksgiving Table!

I am going to have so much fun making things with this shirt.

Watch this Chalky space !


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Thank you and I have been thinking.

Thank you on all counts. Thank you to my new followers. I just love it when new friends join me here in my little bit of Blogland. Please pop back in often.

Thank you for such a positive response to my last post..... SHARE A SHIRT FOR SEPTEMBER.

If you missed it please look back to my previous post it. I would love it if you could join in with the fun.

And most if all a huge thank you to those lovely people who have already sent me an email and pledged a shirt! Whoop whoop..... You thought it was a good idea too.


But of course I had to think about things.

Quietly,rationally and gain some information.


I had to try and see the wood from the proverbial trees. I had to make sure I was not taking myself or more importantly friends here up, or down a proverbial blind alley. That was really important to me.

What I choose to do with my time and following my schemes is one thing but when through the kindness of your hearts you join in and incur postage expenses I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing.

Perfect is probably impossible but good and right is enough.


We were lucky enough to find a Groupon deal this week to celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary.

It was lovely, and it also gave me time to think.

Andy did some research.



I had promised myself I would try and not get bogged down with doubts about charities,their overheads, expenses etc. But seeds of doubt were creeping in.

So. Facts were needed to reassure my worried mind and this is what we came up with.


Well today we are back home. My rotary cutter is whirring and I am feeling 100% positive again.

Just for one month I have decided I am going to donate everything I make to Oxfam,Save athe Children and the British Red Cross shops.

We have them all in our town. ( And how many mandalas does one shop need)

My labels are going to read...

"Hand Made with love @1can make a difference."


In a few days I am going to try and set up my own Facebook Page where I can also put the pictures of things I have made from all the shirts but of course they will be here too.

So it's back to the drawing board.... Thankfully my cutting is getting a little more accurate... Must be all the practice. And a replacement blade arrived this morning. So there's no stopping me now!


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Share a Shirt in September. An idea in the making!


Thank you, thank you ,thank you. Your comments have been kind, generous and very encouraging of late. So much so that my mind has had a little idea mulling around for a few days now .

It all started when I was working on those lovely shirts which turned sadness to something happier. Shirts that became bunting,a little drawstring bag and a cuddly cushion. That's when the germ of the idea came. I was using such lovely material and turning something utilitarian into something quite lovely.




Yesterday I talked with my friend about it. She has been away and not seen the things I have made yet. But,when I told her of my plans she was so enthusiastic and happy for it to be based on the crafting I had so happily undertaken for her.

And then I read of Lillian who is beavering away to try and make 1,000 dresses by the time she is hundred. I hope she lives to an even greater age. In my last post I talked of Lillian and how inspiring I found her efforts. I posted about my distress listening and watching the news. I know from your lovely comments that so many of you feel the same.

So, I decided........

Yes. I am only one person. So is Lillian.

Yes, I truly believe that one person can make a difference. 1000 little girls know Lillian has when they put on their pretty dress. Maybe their only one.

Yes, I have the time and the energy. So does Lillian and she is 99!!!

And the greatest " Yes" is if everyone did one thing to make the world a better place maybe, just maybe..

It could become so.



I am going to ask anyone who can, to look in their wardrobe and pick one shirt that they would like to share.

Obviously I am also going to post about this idea on Facebook and some people will hopefully just be able to give me their shirt when they see me.

But dear followers if you would like to join in.

  1. Choose a shirt. The higher cotton content the better. Any colour,any design.
  2. Pop it in an envelope and send it to me . Please email me ( my email can be found on my sidebar) for my address and please enclose your name and email with your shirt so that I can thank you for your kindness in joining in with this idea.
  3. Be assured that I will soon be cutting it up. Stitching it with love and making lots and lots of items for Charity.


I am trying very hard not to get bogged down with some of the people who say that not enough of the money raised in Charity Shops goes to the people who need it most.

I am determined not to get bogged down with some of the thoughts that money raised falls prey to fraud to corruption and other terrible things which we know does happen.


When I go to my Yoga classes the simplest things often move me the most.

A prayer for peace, a hope for humanity.

This September I am going to try every day to make just one difference.


Of course Andy's already chosen his shirt. A bit ahead of time but I wanted to make a start and here we have the results.

The softest cushions.


My wardrobe is missing a blouse too.
However all the darts and shaping only leave enough fabric for these zipped purses.


Daytimes zipping along with the machine and evening time quietly circling.







So, my first little pile is ready to go to the charity shop. But, I am going to spend some time researching which charity donates the most of it's takings to actually relieving the terrible sights which have upset me so much. Because every penny has to count!

Thank you again to my followers who have, probably without their knowledge helped me bring an idea to fruition.

And if you are able to send a shirt you can perhaps enjoy watching its evolution on my future posts right here at Chalky's .

Of course it would be lovely if you can send a shirt. But if not maybe you would like to post a link to this post next time you are giving a chat here in Blogland

Thank you














Sunday, 24 August 2014

Day One!

Lately I have felt more than a little overwhelmed by the news. The sad,tragic parts of the news which most of the time displays imagery beyond comprehension. The graphicness of reporting is heartbreaking. I must confess I understand far too little of the intricacies of the warring which seems to be so rampant in much of our world.

For some of the time. I turn it off. Other times I look away. But, it's there. Those children,innocent people and the sheer inhumanity of how people are treating each other.

It is hard to know what to do. It is hard to know if one person can actually make any difference. It is hard not to just become immune and live in a little world which ignores what is happening. But today I was inspired by the story of a ninety nine year old woman.


Lillian Weber is on a mission.

Every day she makes another dress for a small child she’ll never meet.

“I could probably make two a day, but I only make one,” she says.

The dresses are collected and sent overseas to little girls in Africa by a Christian outreach group called “Little Dresses for Africa”.

“I have to be busy,” says Lillian.

And she’s been very busy.

In the past two years she’s made more than 840 dresses and she plans to make 150 more by May 6th of next year.

You see, by next May, Lillian will turn 100 years old and it will be her one thousandth dress.

“It’s just one of those things you learn how to do and enjoy,” she says.

In Lillian’s Scott County farm house are completed dresses for little girls, made from a pattern, but each with extra stitching and individual details, designed to give each child a little extra pride.

“She personalizes them all,” says Lillian’s daughter, Linda Purcell. “It’s not like good enough that she makes the dresses, she has to put something on the front to make it look special, to give it her touch.”

What started as a hobby has become a daily labor of love.

Lillian says she starts work on a dress in the morning, takes a break during the midday, and puts finishing touches in the afternoon.

“I just think she’s somebody to look up to, somebody whose not just sitting around and frittering her life away,” says Tonya Urbatsch, who nominated Lillian for the “Pay It Forward” award.

“I’m amazed at her every day,” adds Linda. “I’m very, very proud of my mother.”

Family and friends will continue to be proud of Lillian, well after her 1000th dress. After all, 1000 is just a number.

“When I get to that thousand, if I’m able to. I won’t quit. I’ll go at it again because there’s no reason to not do nothing.”

When Lillian is finished with her dresses, her daughters deliver them to a Davenport senior living apartment complex where a group of residents have a weekly sewing appointment to make dresses for the charitable organization.

“Little Dresses for Africa” is a Christian charitable organization founded in 2008 in Michigan.

Its founder, Rachel O’Neill, says 2.5 million dresses have been distributed.

The simple dresses are distributed to orphanages, churches, and schools in Africa.

Rachel says she’s traveling to Africa again in September 2014 and February 2015 and hopes to be able to present to a child one of the dresses personally made by Lillian.



Amazing. And of course the viral effect of Facebook is wonderful when used in a caring compassionate way. The " Ice Bucket Challenge" has already raised enough money to fund over 10 Macmillan Nurses.


So, I have decided that every little effort can count. Every penny must surely help. Every effort might change the plight of one person. And that person will know that another human being has at least done something. Not just looked the other way.


Today was Day One of my challenge. I am not going to make a promise that I will create something every day but I am going to try to make something for charity as often as I can.


Following on from my " getting shirty post" I stopped cutting hundreds of squares and got sewing. Here is Number One cushion cover completed and ready to deliver. That's easy.... Our town is full of charity shops and this one is going to the Red Cross.



As it's Bank Holiday weekend I am hoping I will have another 2 to add to the delivery on Tuesday!

And mulling around in my head is a scheme about shirts. But, if it was to go in the smallest way viral I may be overwhelmed. The one thing I am sure of is that there are an awful lot of generous souls in Blogland and that might happen.