Saturday, 4 July 2015

Hi Ted

Hello and Good Morning. Sounds of the Sixties on Radio 2 is getting me in the dancing mood, can't stop jigging. Another humungous storm last night. I woke at 3am to flashing lights and booming thunder. Had to get up and look out of the window. Torrents of rain, a river running down the street, overflowing gutters that couldn't keep up with the deluge, and the sky lit up like something out of a science fiction film. It was wonderful. I must put a chair in the summer house so I can go out there and sit in it next time.

Has anyone found Ted? It's a channel on yooootooob, hundreds of vids about all kinds of topics, most have a thought provoking message. I found this one yesterday, while looking for Judith Tebbutt. I thought it so reflects the way I feel at this moment in time. The simple message on a simple life appeals to my own common sense thoughts, you might like watch it. It's not long, you must listen to every word carefully to get the message. As you may guess English is not the speakers first language, so turn on the subtitles to make it easier to understand.

Jon has a very simplistic view of life, his splattering of humour is entertaining, and compliments the very essence of the message. A simple life free of all the trappings of a hectic consumer driven merry go round, leaves plenty of time for humour. Listen and watch and tell me if you agree with Jon.

Have a lovely weekend. Sounds of the Sixties is finished, time to get on with my hobbies.
Toodle pip

Friday, 3 July 2015

A long Walk Home by Judith Tebbutt. Book review.

Good morning. We had a welcome thunderstorm last night, it hammered it down. Thankfully that gave a bit of respite to the relentless heat we have been having. Today it is sunny so I will organize my day according to how hot it gets later. It's nice to be able to nip indoors for a few minutes to cool down. Yesterday I did a bit more work on the summer house, it's an ongoing project. After clearing the rubbish out from behind the garage it has left a nice space that can be utilized in some way. Not sure what I will put there yet, but it is exposed to the garden next door. I had a spare door so I have attached it to the corner of the summer house to give some screening, and create a bit more privacy for both of us. It's white at the moment, I might paint it another colour when I get some more paint. 

I always have lots of books out of the library, always non fiction, don't read them all from cover to cover, but this one gripped me from the start. Judith Tebbutt writes about how she was kidnapped from her holiday retreat by a band of armed pirates while on holiday in Kenya. They took her to a village in Somalia where she was held hostage in a tiny and squalid room, with a ransom on her head. The responsibility of securing her release fell to her son Ollie back in England. 
This all happened in 2011, she remained in captivity for just over six months. This is her story in her own words. a memoir of the life she shared with her husband, and the ordeal that overturned her world. Jude as she prefers to be called, was a social worker, and all her training and knowledge held her in good stead as regards storing things in her memory which might have well been forgotten. She recalls every detail from her surroundings, her daily routine, and the appearance and personalities of her captors. It was this insider knowledge of dealing with different mindsets which gave her the fortitude to survive. On a starvation diet of rice and potatoes, she had shrunk to five stone and was hardly recognizable to the person she was six months earlier.

Here is a short interview after her release.

I have found a condensed version of her story on the BBC web site, but it is well worth reading the book to understand the full implications of her ordeal.

Thanks for popping in. I'm off out now. Catch you soon. Toodle pip

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Don't get shirty with me

Hiya and good morning. What time were you up this morning? I woke at 4.30am, I was hot, dog was hot, bedroom was hot, so nowt for it but to get up. Oh to open the back door and get a blast of cool air. Walk around the garden breathing deeply.  Methinks we would have been more comfortable sleeping in a tent on the back garden. 
So what have I done with the extra time? Made a cushion cover, and all before breakfast. Remember the shirt cover I made at college, was it last year, can't remember now. After I made it I was so chuffed I bought another shirt of a similar colour thinking I would make another. It was £1 from the Age UK Charity Shop, I might add. This morning I got it out from under the piles of fabric I have. Let's make a cushion cover. Whereas the first one was a kind of lightweight silky fabric, this one is heavier cotton. Some of you will know how to do this but for those who don't, here's the plan. Best to use a shirt that is not fitted, straight up and down, and preferably no pocket. 
Lay the shirt flat on the table. You need to cut a straight line across the bottom. I have a very useful 2 foot plastic ruler, but you can use a piece of wood or anything that is long enough to go from one side to the other. No need to measure.

Then use your ruler to mark where you want to cut across the top, positioning it under the armpits. No need to faff about measuring, use your eyes to determine that you have a fairly straight oblong shape.

The buttons on the front of the shirt become the opening at the back of the cushion cover. If you don't want to embellish it you can sew it together along the top and bottom, inside out then turn it the right way, job is done. If you want to add something to the front do it at this stage. I cut three strips of pink stripey fabric from a shirt I had cut up for patchwork. Turned under a hem along the edges, and ironed it flat to make it easier to sew on.  
The embellishments finished, all there is left to do is turn it inside out and machine along top and bottom.

This is the one I made at college last year, lots of Suffolk Puffs on the front.

I didn't want to spend a lot of time on it today, I kept it simple. Stitched some colourful buttons on the stripes. I think the result is rather smashing. And all before breakfast. 

Anyone else going to have a go at this? The easiest way to make a cushion cover. If you have any shirts hanging around from dearly departed family members, and are reluctant to give them away, what a nice idea to give them a second life. You can make cushions full of memories.

Thank you for popping in, I'll see you soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Waving the flags

Phew, hasn't it been hot today. I have ventured out but not for long, it felt like I was being baked in an oven. Best off indoors so I got on with a bit of sewing. On Monday I cut out all the pieces for a strip of bunting, 21 flags, 42 pieces, using mainly oddments of fabric which needed using up. Today I sewed them all together. 

If you want to have a go at this, here's what I did. I haven't made bunting before so I guessed the size of the flags. Each one has two pieces. I made a template out of a cereal box and used that to cut out the pieces. 
Then I decided to add some tassels, so I cut three pieces of multicoloured wool 8 inches long, for each one, tied a knot in the ends and added a bead.

Make a sandwich with the fabric, bottom piece right side up, tassels in the middle, another piece of fabric on top, right side down.

Machine two edges, trapping the tassels at the bottom point. You could use one tassel if you like, it would be easier.
Turn it the right way round and iron flat.

Then make as many as you like depending on how long you want your bunting. I have 21.

Luckily in my bit box I had a long length of turquoise ribbon. I folded it in half along the length and ironed it flat. The open top edge of the flags is sandwiched between the fold of the ribbon. Pin them in place, I left a one inch gap  between each one. Sew a very neat line making sure you go through all the layers. And there you have it. This will look nice in the summer house. I might make some more. 

Look what I've got. My friend has too many rucksacks and she asked if I want one. This will come in handy, it's a medium size, half way between a day sack and my big sack. This will be useful for a few days away. It's a good fit and lightweight, with lots of pockets. Perfect. I have got some very nice friends.

That's all for tonight folks. It's cooling down a bit now, I have to water up, and Rocky wants a walk. See you soon.
Toodle pip