Thursday, 18 December 2014

This Week

I have made gift tags. I started cards ages ago but don't like most of them so have given up and bought some RSPCA ones. Tags are much easier and quicker. These involved my glue gun and glitter so all the better! 

We went for a walk in the park on Sunday. Paddington Bear was there. 
I sat on a tree to drink coffee. This is one of the Spanish Chestnut trees in Greenwich park. Isn't it impressive? It made a very comfy seat too. We watched a mad little Jack Russell running around every tree chasing squirrels. There were also lots of the green parakeets chatting away. 
 I decorated another tree. This one is by Malcolm, Anne's husband which he very generously gave us when we visited in the summer. Isn't it lovely? He has a big collection of very well organised driftwood, with which he makes the trees. The tiny tree is from Tesco and is already glittered. It is keeping well. In front of the tree is the ugly Nativity. They are from the Oxfam shop in Rochester some time this year and I couldn't resist. They are papier mache and very lightweight. Lily keeps lying up here so they are in more of a regimented line than I put them in as she lies against them and pushes them back.
 I made a hat for this felt face. I didn't make the face. He is from Etsy a long time ago. I wish I could make such good faces!
 I stole this gift tag idea from Pinterest. You use a coke can pull for the belt. Great idea! I made the little stockings, sewing them by hand as my sewing machine has stopped working. The curtain seems to have finished it off. After a very frustrating couple of hours on two evenings trying to sort it out I gave up. I might have to get a new one. I should look into fixing it I suppose but that may be expensive and it was a cheap machine. The stockings are for my friend in Holland's children. I put in silly little things from the Museum of Childhood gift shop.
 Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to the theatre! I was working in New Cross in the school I have been at for a few weeks, and the class I had was going to see Bear Hunt at The Albany in Deptford. It was nice of them to take me. The teacher was in, so technically they didn't have to. We had a very pleasant walk there and back, and the show was great. It was puppets and four actors/singers/musicians. The puppets were the kind where you can see the actor operating it, sometimes two of them as they needed extra hands to do the feet.  They were very expressive and with fairly simple props and stage sets it was very well done.
 I received the first of some magazines that I have briefly subscribed to. (Briefly because it is an offer to get five months of three magazines, one of which I always buy anyway, for only £1 each-I am going to cancel the subscriptions before it goes full price!) These thank you bear stamps came so I did some stamping and colouring in. (pencils and watercolours) Not something I usually do but I do enjoy colouring in!
On the way back to my car yesterday, I found Tin Tin in a bin. Well, a box next to a skip, which in my mind was a bin. The box was full of wet books and him, so I rescued him. I hope I didn't leave Snowy behind!
 Today I had Reception in the morning, always lovely, then year one in the afternoon-party time! I am really enjoying this week!
Opposite Subway, where I got my lunchtime coffee today, I saw some more nature street art. I took the photo quickly as there were lots of people around. I only read the words later. It is about an extinct dragon fly. It seems quite likely to be the same artist as the bees as the theme seems the same, but the style looks different to me. Bethnal Green is such a great place to wander around!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

A Scottish Tree

I realised the other night that I have seven Scottish costume dolls, collected from eBay and charity shops. These dolls are just cheap souvenirs that a version of is still sold now, but they have a lot of variety and detail in them. Then it occurred to me that I could use them to decorate the tree. We only have room for a small tree so it saved me getting everything out. The tree is a pot one but pot bound would have been a better description. I had to use a saw to cut away the plastic pot and have tried to give it loads of water since as the roots were completely dry. I put it in a terracotta pot which looks better than the plastic.  

 Red, green and gold tinsel, a few gold baubles and some chandelier drops completed the decorations. I have never had such a themed tree!
 There are some Christmice running around the bottom. The tartan fabric is also from a charity shop. I have had it for a while and it is perfect for this!

 This doll has something wrong with her eyes, giving her a slightly scary look. 
This one looks cross eyed. 
I have been wrapping presents today. I made gift tags which I really like. I don't think I have ever wrapped presents this early. It must be because I don't have any work to do! At the moment on tv is some Christmas song programme with Michael Buble. I had to check to see who he was. Maria Carey is on it-she can sing but Buble has a bit of a weak voice in my opinion. They are doing jazzy versions of things such as Rudolph and White Christmas. It has been quite festive but now I have finished this I am going to make it stop! Now he is murdering Santa Clause is coming to town.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Bits and Pieces

Christmas lights are going up wherever I can find a socket.
 I have been playing with oil pastels. 

 Tiger and Cassie have become pretty friendly!
 Bethnal Green scenes...

 Greenwich in the sun yesterday. I went to the market on both days this weekend, in a search for presents. I was fairly successful.
 Bright flowers mixed with Christmas branches and trees. 
 One of the little Christmas fairy bears I made for my two friends from work. I met them for lunch yesterday and had to stay up till three on Friday night finishing the bears. I always leave things too late!
 Cassie in her shoe box. Who needs fancy cat baskets?
 Cassie again, with the catnip chicken. 
 I have been playing this game on my phone. It is strangely addictive. Here, the bubbles left formed a house shape.
 An alleyway to Greenwich market. 
 In the market I found a present for my friend in Holland-a chicken doorstop that the recipient fills themselves. It is made of retro fabric. The stall also had bright and cheerful catnip mice so I bought one for our cats and one for my Mum's cat. Cassie found the bag and broke into it, biting into the packaging of my friend's present. I gave up and gave it to her early!

I made this curtain today, to stop the draft from the front door. The fox fabric is from the market in Bethnal Green and I backed it with wool blanket fabric. The most difficult part about making it was laying out the fabric, getting it flat and cutting it accurately. I am pretty pleased with it though and it seems to be working. 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

This weekend has been a quiet one, which has given me the chance to catch up on cleaning and crocheting. The best thing about this weekend though, is that we can now open our front door in a normal manner. (Not by bashing it with our hips or yanking it using a belt through the letterbox) With all the rain we have had, and a leaky gutter, which we recently had fixed at great expense, the door and doorstep had expanded so much that it was very hard to get in and out. It has been this way for about four weeks. I was waiting for it to contract but that was not happening so Andy found a man called Ray on a site called rated to come and have a look. He arrived at about four yesterday and by about 6.30 the door was fixed. He did a great job, even leaving me a little pot of sealant to keep adding more layers where he filled a hole (that I had gouged last weekend in an amateurish attempt to fix it) He didn't rip us off and he was nice too. He talked to himself and sang as he worked which was an added bonus. (I like a bit of talking to myself too!) 
 I have been making bears for presents. This is one I finished last week-a wedding bear for my Dad's wife. Today I have made three heads and a body.
 I used a crocheted band to attach her bouquet, rather than sewing it to her hands as the book suggested. That just seemed cruel!
 This is my to do list for the weekend. I didn't really need to write it as it was glaringly obvious which parts of the house (all of them) needed doing. I drew the bird from a reference book of caged and aviary birds. It has some really beautiful ones.

 The sun shone this morning and I had Cassie as my crochet companion. She was being very sweet and cuddly.
 Then later I made a Nigella clementine cake. It is a lovely and easy recipe which fills the house with the delicious scent of oranges as you boil them for two hours. It is lovely with a bit of creme fraiche.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


I of course have far too many things. I like things but some of them have got to go. I am happy to say bye bye, that is if anyone wants them. This puppet family came from school a long time ago-along with a few of their friends, deemed too old and old-fashioned to use anymore. I saved them from the bin and am now trying to sell them on eBay. I did sell two last week so there is hope. 
This is from an issue of 'Golden Hands' a craft magazine from the seventies. I have about ten of these. They have some good stuff in but I have lots of other craft books etc so they are for sale. This page shows a lady in Scotland ( I think) making a ring shawl. Lace knitting so fine that the whole shawl can pass through a wedding band. Apart from the eyesight issue, my hands are just too rough for this sort of thing. Amazing work.
 A knitting pattern for a twinset. I like these just for the picture but someone out there could actually make the twinset!
 My two forties knitting books were destined for eBay but when I started to look through them I changed my mind. They are just so funny and interesting so I am keeping them.
 Everyone needs a knitted beach suit. 
 This is not on the topic of things, just a favourite photo from recently. We visited our friend Lorna in Tooting and had a delicious Japanese meal and lots of beer. It was fun!
 These are more things, ones I have added to the hoard though. The kids I teach on Friday afternoon have a reward time at the end of the day called 'golden time' One of the activities in this is hama beads and I wanted a go too! I have a load somewhere but don't know where so I bought myself some more and had a bit if a mad hama bead week last week. The ones I bought are from hobby craft, mixed with some genuine hama ones from a kit. I swear that the hobby craft ones don't stick together properly. I made a large table mat which kept breaking. I solved it by sewing felt on the back but I am only buying real ones in the future.
 This is a thing made by someone else- a genius child and their genius parents and brought into the class I had last Monday. It was too good not to take a picture of! They were in a school only five minutes from my house which was great.
I worked all week last week, and worked yesterday in a reception class (where one of the kids said 'You look like a grandma'-not so great for my self image!) Today I just didn't want to work so I didn't. A bit naughty but I am glad as it turned out because I got a phonecall this afternoon offering me work in a school not too far away for the next three weeks on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. So I am fully booked until Christmas! Hurray!