Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Huffing and Puffing and some celebrations!


HOW OLD !!!!!

We are away for a week to do some serious celebrating. It will take me a few days to build up my puff for some serious candle blowing. We are going to a childhood haunt and where the Sporty One and I honeymooned so I am keeping my fingers crossed for dry weather and maybe some lovely sunshine.


"Thank You" to my lovely followers who have left such encouraging,kind,generous comments. I am so looking forward to a Giveaway when I reach 200 lovely people who pop in to Chalky's World. You never know the magic may happen whilst we are away. ----- I do hope so.


Sunday, 21 April 2013

Kindness makes the world go around! And I have been so lucky this week.

I often forget what people say. But I rarely forget how people make me feel. This week I have felt quite overwhelmed by a kindness I will never forget. I seem to have been so lucky lately. The lovely parcel from Japan not so long ago.
http://chalkygilbert.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/the-blessings-of-mistaken-identity_28.html

I can now fold a mean origami crane and I am still enjoying simply looking at all the lovely things Tomoko sent me. An act of such kindness.

Last week another parcel arrived from a friend in France. I am proud to call her a friend even though we have never met. She is a member of the Charity Knitting thread I belong to. I was " talking" online about William. No surprise there! Soon he has to fly a long way to Dubai. I never flew with my children when they were very small and I think it is a pretty difficult thing for both little one and mum and Dad. This lovely lady offered to make him a Quiet Book. I had vaguely heard of them and was thrilled with such a kind offer.

Now, I happily sent some little things which I thought might help. I love visiting the ribbon shop in Spain and I love making up parcels of goodies. But, I had no idea that these few things would be added to, embellished and turned into something as wonderful as this Quiet Book for William.

I have been waiting for a sunny day to take the pictures and I think you will love it as  much as I do.

A Quiet Book for William
As the song by Rod goes "Every Picture Tells A Story" and it certainly does.
 A lovely bag with his initials.



And open it up to start the treat. Soft squashy and bursting with beautiful pages.


A dedication to William which I believe will make this book a heirloom.


Each page has not only the most wonderful artistry but also a focus to help with his development. Gentle,sweet,encouraging,fun, just perfect.
Let the fun begin.
Page one features a pelican fishing. The little fish hook on the line.
Can you imagine my excitement when I saw this page. I knew William and I were in for a treat.



Page Two. A happy tortoise with poppers on its shell. Hidden is a sweet little heart.



Page three has a crocodile. Open the zip and he has an enormous tongue. Just perfect for licking ice cream.




Page four has a giraffe with a lovely long neck. Tying his bows makes him look so smart.


I think you can see now how marvellous this book is. The choice of embellishments is just perfect.
On page five we meet Katie the kangaroo. Undo her buckle and there is bay Joey tucked inside waiting to hop out.
I think maybe this is my favourite page, the amount of work and detail is amazing.




Page six features a bear and a catchers mitt with laces.


The loveliness goes on and on and on page seven we have an exercising elephant who has to button up his roller skates. And what sweet buttons!


I think page eight will be Williams favourite. He loves to roar just like a lion. The tassels make such a great mane! And his tail so beautifully plaited.


Now of course everything has to come to an end but what a finish. A Hippopotamus driving a bus. Undo the buttons to find his tongue.



Now William's mummy is marvellous at sewing and makes wonderful clothes. Brides dresses and special commissions. When she saw this book for William she was absolutely delighted and spent ages looking at all the details and finishing touches. I am so glad it is going to someone who knows how much love has been tucked inside.
William has not seen it yet. I wanted to keep it for a while. There is so much I want to look at slowly and enjoy.
I want it to be fresh and new for his journey and for him to know as he starts such an adventure with his mummy and daddy that not only do we love him very much but also that the world has some exceptionally kind people in it. This Quiet Book was made by one wonderfully kind person just for him,

Saturday, 20 April 2013

I am winning the battle with my sewing Machine.Patchwork Police do not look!!

Firstly " Thank You" to my new followers. I am so looking forward to a Giveaway when I hit 200 followers.
I actually feel that I blog to friends these days. I have over the days of posts got to really know some of my followers. We actually communicate,have a relationship,share things, just enjoy being together. I am amazed at the generosity bestowed. And I can actually say blogging has enriched my life.

Well we have been seriously dealing with " STUFF" lately! Some so seriously that has been a pain in the neck but others that have bought the sweetest memories  flooding back.

I gave this deckchair to my Stepdad when he retired. He loved me and I loved him. I put a sign on it to say "Relax for a few minutes every day!" When he died it looked pretty unused so I guess my Mum kept him busy.

I brought the deckchair to our house and it has been in the shed of doom ever since. Yesterday we decided to clear it out and there in the back was the deckchair. It looked sad, neglected, and even more unused. It nearly joined the pile for the tip BUT I remembered my sweet Stepdad and wanted to put those words " Relax for a few minutes every day" to test.

I seriously can not cut in a straight line. I can not line up seams. Patchwork and I have a long but very tricky relationship. But, I never give up. So I had an idea for the deckchair. I cut. I sewed. I ironed and I swore a bit. But Look-----


A deckchair. You can still hire them at Torquay or Teignmouth. Better than most because it had arm rests and goes up in an easy swishy way. But somehow really boring.So----




Chalky you can cut in a straight line. You can join patches together. You can sew in the ditch!
Wow ! I actually began singing at this point, always a good sign.
And ,so it grew.


I decided I could not stop to go to the shop and buy batting. I had a very ugly towel that deserved to be encased. And as I was sewing I thought to add some lavender to the pouches made by the frenetic sewing. It smelt so good when I was ironing it into submission!

So, I am chuffed. Doubly chuffed. 
The Patchwork Police would probably give me a red card but I love it.
And the back is pretty good too,
Tomorrow I will add some ties and sit back to watch the clouds go by!


Make sure you enjoy a moment or two just doing nothing!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sorting stuff!!

We seem to have spent a lot of time sorting stuff lately. Our garage after our extreme build last year. Dear Mother In laws Barn after her death in January and our shed was bursting at the seams with stuff!
I hate clutter and get to a point when I do not want to do another Car Boot Sale. I do not want to do anymore Ebay sales. I will go to the Charity shop and I will give away things but then I just want rid!
Sometimes when I am in this mood all my upbringing goes out of the window. My "make do and mend" philosophy goes out of the door and I was at that stage today. I looked at the cushions in the shed. To say they were past there best was an understatement. They were more shabby than chic. I threw them all on the pile for the tip. I drank a cup of coffee and then I went and got them again!


You might think I was exaggerating from this photo. Amazing what a different angle shows.


The foam had perished... maybe helped by a Field Mouse! Now I had always loved the fabric covering the cushions. It used to be more vibrant. So I decided to raid my stash and there was the perfect fabric and even better there was enough,just,for the two cushions. I was delighted.


I just folded it in half, zipped along with the machine and it was done. Amazing. I usually fall out seriously with my sewing machine but not today! Perfect!


So now all we have to do is paint the bench. A home really is like the Forth Road Bridge. But, these cushions are not going back in the shed. That poor little Field Mouse will have to find something else to line its nest!


As for the rest of the sorting. We are nearly there but not quite!I can't wait for this ugly pile to go.



Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Jam Jar Army Take Two!

A while ago I wrote about a wonderful new initiative to help charities. The idea was so simple and took my fancy. I wrote about it here--
http://chalkygilbert.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/123-and-pimp-your-jar.html

I have come to love my pretty jar on my work surface. I do not stress about how much I put in but it is lovely to see it gradually filling up.


The Car Parks in our nearest town do not even take 5p's anymore so they have started to drop in. This morning it was full. The lid would not even fit properly so I counted all the change. Last time I had £7.52 and this time I had £8.12 -- so those 5p's are making a difference. So that is a grand total in 2013 of £15.64!!
I can honestly say I have not missed those pennies and although it might not be a huge amount every little helps.

I am going to take this little jar full to The League Of Friends section of our cottage hospital. They do such wonderful work. And I love finding an excuse to visit as they have a wonderful handicrafts stall with some home made gems on. I am on the lookout for props for the Princess and her Pea!


So the jar is empty. But not for long. As the song goes " Love is like a Magic Penny hold it tight and you won't have any. Lend it, give it and you'll have so many they'll roll all over the floor!"

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Getting close up and comfortable with my BIG Elmer blanket again.

I know I have been procrastinating. I have been using avoidance tactics. I have been zoning out. But the first BIG blanket I have ever attempted has been quietly whispering/ shouting at me from the drawer I had shoved it in to.

After a holiday and a rest I have got it out again. Actually I had forgotten how big it was. I had forgotten how very colourful it was. I had forgotten he many little squares I have made and how many ends I have sewn in.

So I am going to finish it. I am going to make it a labour of love and enjoy it. I am going to ignore the squares which for some strange reason have taken on a Madonna type boobs attitude. After all nothing is perfect. I love quirky and I can't do anything about them now.you can see exactly what I mean when you see that turquoise one!

 

Actually I have just realised I can. A true lightbulb moment. Thank goodness I have had a break. I will make some more squares in the same colour but use a smaller hook and replace them. It is such a pain being a perfectionist. I pretend I am not ,but who am I kidding. It will take a bit longer but I will love it all the more. Yay!

 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Having a little think!

I am having plenty of thinking time whilst we are away and I am still pondering on the little set for charity. Now, I tend to get a bit carried away on projects. Making a singleton of something never seems to happen. Anyone who follows life here at Chalky's knows about the little owls, piles of hedgehogs,the mound of bibs and other multiples of ideas.

Lily at Gingham and daisies was so kind commenting on my last post about the Princess and the Pea set.She told me that Ikea make a little bed and it is just what I need. But, I want to make these sets for Charity and the bed is £14 and then I want to buy a nice doll for it. I am wondering if the set will actually mmuch needed cash or just end up costing me so much I would be better making a donation. However that is not as special as making lovely Dolls sets.
So, I am going to carry on thinking and hope that once we have got our garage sorted which is still full after our extreme building project a year ago the "Sporty One " will come to the rescue and manage to make a bed for a lot less.We shall see!Whilst I am thinking I am doing some simple hooking. Good old Granny squares for a very good cause. Syrian refugees. You Can read all about it here. http://love-in-the-language-of-yarn.blogspot.fr/
As always hooking for charity actually stops me worrying about anything. All will become clear in the fullness of time.

Monday, 1 April 2013

A Little Idea concerning a Pea and some Mattresses


Firstly Thank You all so much for all your encouraging comments of late and it is lovely to welcome some new followers. Please pop in often.
A while ago I made these little blankets.Crochet squares using a variety of stitches. A really good stash busting exercise!





 I had an idea in my head. I thought of the story about the Princess and the Pea. A story about an old fashioned princess who is so sensitive she can feel a pea under piles of feather mattresses and quilts. Because of her princessy ways she is deemed fit to marry a prince and they lived,of course happily ever after. I am not usually too worried about Fairy Stories,certainly not too worried about Enid Blyton and I believe every child should be brought up surrounded by Nursery Rhymes,songs,stories,poetry and literature of every kind. Lucky the little one who is brought up this way.

So what was my hesitation about the little plan in my head. I dislike some of the so called modern "stars" who act in a totally princessy way. I dislike the thought that any little girl should think that the pathway to living happily ever after should rely on her being sensitive enough to feel a pea under 20 feather mattresses and to marry a prince paves her way to happiness.

So I will read the story of the Princess and other Fairy Stories to our Grandchildren. Added to that I will  share non-fiction and every other genre at hand. But, what of all those little blankets. I have been doing a little procrastinating.Avoiding meeting with the BIG Elmer blanket again. So I thought about little coverlets for the beds.These have turned out so well.





Then I had a Eureka moment. I was so impressed by the amazing amount of money raised for Comic Relief by the Crafty folk.They made dolls and lovely things to make a child's dream come true. Blankets by Lucy. Clothes by Little Cotton Rabbits and books to name but a few.

So I am going to find a way to make a little bed. The "Sporty One" could be called in to help with that bit. That is definitely Princessy. I blame my Mum! Then I am going to buy and make clothes for a doll. And to top the little set together I am going to add a blanket and most importantly a book. I have the exact idea in my head.





 At the moment I am only at the blanket and quilt stage plus a few dolly hats.
 Hannah's lovely shop window will be the perfect place for this little plan.
I did finish the turtle for our daughter in the Bahamas and he does look infinitely better with legs!


And last of all I am just saying Hasta Luego for about two weeks. We are off on holiday with William.
His first flight and he is all packed and ready.