Wednesday, 18 July 2018

A Scrapstore visit.

The ladies at Hull Scrapstore were pleased with the scrap wood, plastic trays, and other stuff I took them this morning. They have recently been on a big Swap event, this is where several scrapstores meet up at a venue and take their excess scrap and swap with each other, so everything eventually gets used for art and crafting purposes. I found some things that I haven't previously seen before. It's a good idea to rummage through it.  

Hull Scrapstore is in an old school building. They have a Facebook page and often advertise on there about new stock they get in. 

The Art department is mainly new stock, bought in at a much lower price than a conventional shop. Items are individually priced.

The scrap is donated by businesses, it would normally get thrown away.

 I spent £5 on a basket. Mainly fabric, mostly fake leather, and a few tester paints.

It was quite busy, I think the school holidays have started early in Hull.

The hedges need cutting so I'm going outside now. Catch ya later. ilona

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Fruit salad tree.

Next door to the Cash and Carry is a junk/second hand warehouse. The man doesn't come very often, and when he does come, he doesn't stay long. I saw him today so I had a nosy, and a bit of a banter with him. I noticed a wooden bowl with plastic fruit in it, I said, how much is it. He said £5. I said oh that's too much, I only want the fruit, don't like the bowl very much. Just as I was about to go he reached for a bin bag and emptied the fruit into it, and said here you are, you can have them. How kind. 
So now I have a fruit salad tree, ha ha. Grapes, banana, tomato, apples and oranges. 
These fuschias are looking nice in the three pot planter.

The hanging vegetable steamer is nice.

Lots of pink in the garden at the moment. The rain last night has given things a good drenching. I hope we have some more tonight.

Tomorrow me and Angela are going to the Scrapstore. I picked up some vinyl and some wood for them, and I have a lot of plastic mushroom trays they can have. Trying to de-clutter some of my own stuff. Toodle pip

We have Grayson Perry at 20 21 Arts Centre

We are lucky to have Grayson Perry on show at the 20 21 Arts Centre at the moment, one of my favourite artists. I had a quick pop in when I was in town last week. The Vanity of Small Differences is six large tapestries which explore taste and class. I need to go back and study them closely but I have time, it's on till the 9th of September.  I only wish he would visit in person, but I very much doubt it. I follow him on Twitter and he is always busy. 

Here is a page from the British Council web site which gives more information.

I have found a video on yoootooob, well worth a look.

I'll leave you to it, thanks for popping in.  ilona

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Sew far sew good

It's been a hot one today and I've been indoors sewing the latest picture. I've had both back and front windows open so there was a cool breeze wafting through. 
This is it so far, still more to do, but it's taking shape nicely. I already had the background, a previous project which didn't get finished. It's just right for this. I'm going to couch some cord around the outline of the tree so it stands out. And put some flowers around the base. 

Could do with some rain really, still watering up manually with watering cans. I need to get the electric trimmer out and do the hedge, but it's too darn hot at the moment. I'll catch you later. ilona

Scaling down

Ok, so I get you, people want to be able to make comments and read them, so they stay. Same format as before, please put your name in the 'Name', box. I have to find a way to cut down my time on the computer though so there will be some scaling down of topics covered. I spend hours thinking up new ideas to write about. If I don't get a blog post out early I spend all day stressing about what to write about next. When it gets to the evening and my head is still empty I either pick out a silly thought and get that down, or decide not to bother at all. The trouble is I have always worked to the best of my ability, put everything into what I am doing, attention to detail is important to me. I don't like to half do a job, if I can't do it properly I would rather not do it at all. 
The troll thing is not too much of a problem, yes it gets to me sometimes, but now I have a better way of dealing with it. Stuff 'em and bog off. The nit picking bothers me a bit, where my words are pulled apart, where people feel they must voice their opinion on what I should or shouldn't be doing. To the people who do that, you are not my mother. Someone made a joke at my expense on someone else's blog, which wasn't funny. Why pick on me, make your own jokes. 
I have laid most of my life down on this blog over the last ten years. There's only so many posts to write about money saving, yellow stickers, what food I eat, and ordinary day to day stuff. I am getting bored with it. So topics will be scaled down, there will be fewer posts, and less chit chat. If I want chit chat I can walk outside and pass the time of day with the people I know in the village. I will no longer spend hours wracking my brains thinking about what to write. If I have something to say I will say it, if there is nothing much happening in my world I will shut up. 
So, if I trim up the blog, what's left? Arts and crafts, walking, the odd photo's of cats, a bit about the garden, anything unusual that has happened to me, days out, holidays. 
And to start the new format....I won a prize on the raffle yesterday at the Coffee Morning/Opening of the new Bowls Clubhouse. A basket of toiletries for the bathroom. That will keep me going for a while. 
Now I must get on, breakfast, then a dog walk. I'll be back, sometime. Catch you whenever.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Twiddling again.

This blog is doing my head in, joke joke joke, don't misinterpret that, I am perfectly sane, I have just found out that all the comments have been lost. When I turned them off I thought all previous comments would stay where they were, and activation would only happen for future comments, not so. Luckily with a bit of tinkering in the works I have got them back again.

I'm going to have to think of plan B, but for now I have to go out. Catch ya later. ilona

Friday, 13 July 2018

Poundworld is closing down.

I couldn't resist a look in Poundworld today, as I was in town for the bank. The store is closing down and they have been gradually lowering their prices as they run down their stock. Most of it started at 20% off, now it is 50 and 70% off. I wonder how long it will be before everything is reduced to 10p. 
Up and down the aisles I went, I thought if there is anything I want maybe now is the time to get it. Who knows how much longer the store will be open. I chose a few items which I thought my come in useful for crafting projects. You can't have too much sellotape, three rolls with the dispenser, 50p. Foam stickers, and strips of diamante crystals, pink and gold which can be stitched onto anything. Tiny framed canvases, and some green Easter Grass. I thought this could be incorporated into a landscape picture either by machine stitching or gluing it on. 
I shall keep my eye on Poundworld, just in case they reduce things further. Bye for now.

A day out at Patchings

Good morning Diary. I had a smashing day yesterday at Patchings Art, Craft, and Design Festival. It's on the outskirts of Nottingham a few miles from Arnold, on the north side. Angela came with me, we got there just after 11 and the car parks were filling up fast. There were about a dozen coaches as well, it looks like a popular event. I chose a midweek day because I thought the weekend would be even busier. We had plenty of room to visit all the stalls we were interested in, and the exhibitors had time to talk to us as we quizzed them for more information. 
We were given a programme and map when we went in so we could check on what we were most interested in. There is a full list of exhibitors so that will be useful for future reference. The site is set out with massive marquees, and a walk through the tarmac car park to the permanent arts and crafts buildings. 
Angela likes her gardening so the Bonsai exhibition drew her attention, I am also fascinated by the way the small bushes are trimmed and fashioned to look like miniature trees. 
Some of these are 40 - 60 years old. It has been a family business for a long time.

We sat and listened to his 40 minute presentation which has given Angela a desire to try it on one of her bushes when she gets home.

There were lots of different crafts to get a taste of, these fused glass pendants were lovely.

And so were these pictures on the same stall.

Plenty of room to walk around.

There is Angela getting all the info on repairing a chair.

I wandered around the corner while she was talking. Don't know what this is about but I liked the colours.

One stall caught my eye, Sarah Turner Eco Art and Design. She transforms rubbish, plastic bottles and cans, into unique creations. She had some lovely pieces on display, some good ideas for my future projects.

Katherine Mary Hill makes handmade cushions out of recycled fabrics. Her work made a fabulous display and she was very chatty. In fact all the exhibitors had time to chat to us.

Sue Hawkmoon was there with her wet and needle felting. She is local to me, I have done one of her courses. It was nice to see her again.

We spent a lot of time laughing, Angela is a lot of fun, not at all shy, and ready to dive into any situation. She asks lots of questions which made the day a lot of fun. Before we set off back we finished our packups. There were people camping on the edge of the grassy car park and we wished we had taken tents and done the same. The sun was still shining, it would have been good to crack a bottle of wine before retiring to a tent. We will know next time.

We stopped on the way back for something to eat because we didn't want to cook when we got home. The Green Tree pub had a carvery, I had the veggie carvery which is everything else except the meat.

Anyway, I must go now. Breakfast time, Bailey poodle to walk at 9, a few Parish Newsletters left to deliver, and I want to go to town this afternoon. There is a Grayson Perry exhibition on at the 20 21 Arts Centre. Always something to do. Toodle pip

Thursday, 12 July 2018

We'll get along fine

Dear Diary. This is a new start. I like new starts because it means that things are constantly changing, being refreshed, and moving in different directions. Life does not stand still, yes that's me stating the bleeding obvious. No longer do I have to wrack my brains thinking about what would my readers like to read, now I just have to put down my jottings, what's inside my head. Space to do this has been created, time has been created. My life will become much simpler now that I don't have to worry about how my words will be received, will people like it, or not like it. As long as I like it that's all that matters. 

I do appreciate all the kind comments I have had over the years, I am chuffed that people have found some of the information useful. I don't know everything, I can only talk about how I deal with things, so if people want to stick with me, that's fine. I know my blog is read world wide, that is enough for me to know. I don't need to be told constantly about what a nice person I am, how kind I am, etc, in fact I feel a little embarrassed by it all. So, I am not pushing anyone aside, not blocking you from my life, I know you are there, that is enough.

Now I must get my breakfast and make a packup. My money saving continues, I take food from home when I go out.

Hey diary, this is me and you, but I have to warn you, we will be watched, eyes will be on us, but I think we're gonna get along fine.  xxx

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

keeping busy

Hello. You are all very kind, I am not going anywhere, the blog lives on. Now I am sad because England is out of the world cup, they lost tonight. Today I delivered Parish Newsletters, (400), it was hot again, and tomorrow I am going to Patchings Art, Craft, and Design Festival. Goodnight. See you soon. Toodle pip

Heart to heart

Hello. This post has been in my Draft box for a while, now is the time to get it out.

Hello. Trying to think of the right words to start this post. It's morning, the time when my brain is refreshed after a nights sleep, so let's crack on. I've been reading on several blogs, about the reasons why people write a blog, and the reasons why people stop writing a blog. I see mine as an online diary, it records what I do, usually on a day to day basis. I write it for me so I have a record of something to look back on when I am sat in an old folks home, that's if they let me have a computer in my room, ha ha. It may not come to that, I may stay in my own home bimbling around my village until the end, who knows.

I like the creative process in writing, always have done. I did well in school with English language, although you wouldn't thinks so now, when you see my grammatical errors. Sometimes my fingers don't keep up with my brain. But it's fun to bash out a few words on a keyboard.

I am happy that people find my blog interesting and entertaining. My sense of humour is always lurking in the background, and if it makes people chuckle then I am happy. I often laugh at myself, I see simple humour where others might not have noticed it.

I am fairly thick skinned, but sometimes my defenses are down, and I become saddened by what I see  and hear around me. I then have to detach myself from whatever it is that is upsetting me.  I alone are responsible for my own well being, no one else is.

I have touched on this topic before, so forgive me if I repeat myself , there is a reason for this post. Ok, I have always been a loner, I have always done my own thing, except for the teenage years when I wanted to be one of the gang. I grew out of that when I left home and got a flat. From then on I took full responsibility for myself. Life was good, but when I made mistakes it was my fault.

So, what's all this leading to. It's the responsibility thing I am struggling with, I never wanted to be responsible for other people. I entered relationships but when they became too clingy I was out. If friends became too demanding I backed off. I am no good at working in a team, driving a truck was where I was happy. I can socialize but only up to a point. When I am in a room full of people I will make small talk for a while, but I would much rather sit on the edge and watch, and then slip quietly  away unnoticed.

I started the Lady Truckers Club in 1986 and built it up from nothing to over 300 members. We met at Truck Shows, we had parties, I put in all the work, but got more pleasure in seeing other people make friends.

I started a singles club because I didn't know anyone in the area I had moved to. I organized nights out and made a few friends. Again, I did all the leg work and got pleasure from seeing others form friendships and relationships. My role was getting people together, I didn't need to be part of that gang.

So, where is this leading, and what's this got to do with blogging. I have been thinking about this for a while, and have come to the conclusion that there has to be changes. I have always said if you are in a place where you don't want to be then get out and move on. If you are doing something you don't want to do, then stop doing it.

This blog is going to revert back to being my online diary. It will not close, I will keep posting, but there will be no facility to accept comments. I have made a monster here and if I don't make changes now the monster is going to gobble me up. So this isn't goodbye, I will still be here. I won't be posting every day, I have to free myself of the shackles of the keyboard.

To the readers who have always supported me over the years I feel your love and appreciate you popping in each day. Please don't think I am casting you aside, but I don't need constant reminders from you about how much you like my blog and look forward to it. I already know it in my heart. I hope you will carry on reading, I will see your support through the page views in the stats. If you choose to leave then I understand.

I need to pull up the drawbridge, need to tidy up and make my blog into something more manageable. This is all about needs and wants, the direction I need to go in, and what I want from my life. I want more simplicity and less hassle. I need an outlet for my writing, but I don't need constant appraisal, constant questioning, constant scrutiny.

So what will happen next? At some point soon I will turn off the facility to accept comments of any kind. There will be slight changes in the content of my posts. Hello or Dear Reader will not be the starting point, it will be Dear Diary, because I will be talking to myself. You are welcome to read, you can leave if you want to. Walking Group members will still be able to check in on the 1st of every month. I want you to keep walking, it's important that you keep it up.

Thank you for popping in. I am going to be busy for the next couple of days. You have a chance to comment now, but it will be turned off. I have to do this for me. Goodbye, but not goodbye.
Lots of love xxx ilona

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Now there's a thing.

Hello. I get a few phone calls on the landline from call centre's, they usually try and sell me something, or they are scammers. Every time one comes through and I can hear background chatter I know it's someone in a big office so I put the phone straight down. About two weeks ago I listened to the introduction and heard the word Santander. Oh, maybe I won't put the phone down, my house insurance is with Santander.

I was cautious because it could still be somebody who wants me to part with my money. A male Scottish accent asked if I had read the renewal proposal which they had sent in the post. It was still on my desk, so I said I have glanced at it but not read every word. He was checking that the details on it were the same, and asked if anything had changed. I said it looked alright, still being cautious.

He asked me if I had a mortgage on the property, or if it was owned by me. I answered, it's mine, I paid off the mortgage about five years ago. He said I can give you a discount, which is all very nice I thought, cheaper insurance, a little bonus for me, and I didn't have to ask for it. Every little helps.

I was still a bit suspicious, companies don't normally ring their customers and offer a discount without a catch. It was on my mind, so I went into the Santander office in town with my paperwork  and told them what happened, voiced my concerns that I might have been scammed. They had never known that before, so I went in an office with a very nice man and he agreed it was a bit strange. He got on the phone and  spoke to whoever in whichever department, and said it's ok, all above board, you will be getting a discount. Phew, sigh of relief.

No bank or payment details were talked about on that first phone call with the Scottish gent, he didn't ask me and I didn't tell him. But it was best to get it checked out just in case. So, an extra few quid for me to spend on whatever I fancy.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 9 July 2018

Dragging up the past.

Hello. I wasn't going to write a post tonight as I haven't got much to say, but I have just read a comment on someone else blog, having a go at me, which makes me bloody angry. Someone twisting an old story around to mean something else. This person recently sent a similar comment to me, and I deleted it.

Helen4:09 pmPeople turning up unnannounced (meanqueen's blog said she didn't want any at her house!!!) and now people wanting to make an appointment to visit, it's enough to make you want to move house and not tell anybody where you're going!

This refers to the time I called in to say hello to John in North Wales, I was on my way home after holidaying in Anglesey. Some people thought I was a bit rude to just turn up. I was passing the door and thought it would be a nice surprise. I am a friendly sort and so is John, I read his blog and he has on occasions made a comment on mine, so not completely strangers. I knocked the door, had ten minutes chat and met his dogs, then I was on my way.

I have mentioned in the past how I would rather people who read my blog do not know my address. It does come out sometimes when I am in the press, and I can't do anything about that, but on my blog I would rather not say. Any single female living alone is a target for all kinds of unsavoury characters to take advantage of the situation, and it is sensible to be vigilant about personal safety at all times.

Helen above, if that's her real name, seems to have a bee in her bonnet about me turning up at Johns, and then not wanting people to turn up at my place. She plucks something out of a past blog post, 24th May 2017,  and twists it around to suit her agenda, and that is to have a go at me. I call this trolling.

I will tell you what happened a few years ago. A complete stranger turned up at my front door, he showed me his mobile phone, there was my face on it, he said, it is you isn't it. Well what would you do in that situation, it is a bit unnerving. It turned out that he had been looking for me for four years after seeing me on a TV programme. He had phoned my Tesco store to ask if they had my address. He had looked at pictures of all the roofs in my area, trying to find one that matched mine, my house was in the TV programme. He had been back to my area four times in the last four years, looking at roofs, and looking for me, he lives 100 miles away in the North East. Why was he doing this? Because he thought we might have a lot in common and we might get on with each other. Basically he took a fancy to me.

I told him to go to the pub and I would have a drink with him. I rang my friend to meet me there, I wanted a witness. I took a photo of his car in the car park, a brand new BMW, and I listened to his story. I then told him that what he had done was stalking and was totally unacceptable, and if I ever saw him in my village again I would call the police. He looked a bit shocked that I was straight to the point. I never saw him or heard from him again. So now you can see why I have to be careful. Single females are targets.

So why is Helen saying that I don't want anyone at my house and people need to make an appointment to visit. It is not completely true, twisted lies. What I don't want are oddballs, and he was really creepy, you didn't see him Helen, I did, he was creepy and weird, turning up after searching for  me for four years.

Blogger friends have been to my house they are welcome. People who I have had some contact with in the past, people who are known to me. So put a sock in it Helen, you must have a very sad life to keep bringing it up.

Good night and Toodle pip

Sunday, 8 July 2018

This could be the start of something big.

Hello. We had some clouds come over this afternoon which brought with them a light breeze. I thought we might have some rain so I went for my usual walk just in case it tipped it down. I was half way round and the clouds cleared and the wind dropped, and I was boiling hot again. I am not getting on very well with the heat, quick to run indoors where it's a bit cooler. 
A new project has begun. I bought this dooodaaah thingymajig from a charity shop for £1 a couple of weeks ago, I had to ask what it is for. Apparently it's to hang your scarves, belts, necklaces and accessories on. It's made of metal with a velvety cover. I like the tree shape and thought I might colour it, or add fabric, or wrap it with wool, or something like that. 
Yesterday I had an idea, use it as a template first, then later maybe do something else with it. I drew the outline on a large piece of paper, I used the back of a cheap print out of an old frame. Then draw the outlines of the holes onto cardboard and cut them out.

Next find pieces of colourful cotton fabric, preferably with a floral pattern, and iron on that vilene stuff to stabilize it.

And use the cardboard templates to cut out the shapes.

Next trace the tree shape using chalk, onto a piece of green snooker table baize, thank you Janet for that, and cut it out.

Place thingymabob on the top and put the spots in place to see how it looks. Now I have to sew them all on. I'm doing blanket stitch with matching colour cotton. I already have a backing, something I started about six months ago but didn't get round to doing any more. It's going to look good.

Two punnets of strawberries, minus some that I ate, 20p each, in the freezer.

I noticed the other day that when the sun goes down at the front of the house it shines between the houses and lights up parts of the back garden. From a distance it looks like the sequins on the decorated flowers are little sparkling lights.

I need to wash up now and clean the kitchen. Clever me burnt a pan while I was steaming the veg, I didn't put enough water in it. Will I ever get the hang of this cooking and housework lark, ha ha. I'll do it now because there is hot water in the tank left over from an earlier bath I had. Might as well use it up.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Chink chink chink

Hello. Jacky asked do I want these bottle tops, she has been collecting them for a while to make wind chimes, but hasn't got time. OK says I. 
The first one is finished. Five rows of eight caps = 40, and they chink very nicely in the wind. 
They are hanging from a metal circle cut from a baked bean can, wire from a broken set of Christmas tree lights is attached to hang it anywhere in the garden.

I used a hammer and sharp nail to make two holes in each cap. This needs to be done on a rough old piece of wood so the nail doesn't pierce a table top or bench.

They are joined together with plastic coated plant rings from Wilko, a pack of 100 for £1. I cut each one in half with pliers, and squeezed the ends together inside the tops.

I think it would take a long time to save enough tops, if you want to make one perhaps a good idea to ask at a pub to save them for you. I still have loads left so I will make some more of these, or maybe I will think of something else. I will give this one to Jacky for her garden.

I hope England wins the match today, I won't be watching as I'm not a footie fan. It's going to be hot hot hot. There is talk of hosepipe bans coming in because rivers are running dry and reservoir levels are going down. I hope most people are being sensible and not wasting water. If it goes on much longer I can see panic buying of bottled water. Lots of brown grass everywhere, my lawns are still mainly green because there are more weeds than grass, ha ha. Nice that I don't have to cut it, but I am walking up and down with cans of water for the pots and flower beds.

I'm off, there's washing to get out of the machine and hang out, and strawberries and pasta to freeze. so I'll get myself off into the kitchen for an hour. Thanks for popping in, have a nice weekend, we'l catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Friday, 6 July 2018

Eating well for very little money

Hello. It was time for a Tesco late shop last night, haven't been for a few weeks. When I arrived at 7pm I saw a few of the usual faces hovering around the back door waiting for the yellow stickers to appear. When they did the man took them straight down to the front of the store to put them into the chiller cabinet. A mini stampede followed him. I know there is not usually very much for me in that load because it is mainly meat and ready meals, but I went and had a look anyway.  Whooppeee, I got some custard tarts, pack of four for 35p. 
Then it was head back to the other end to wait for the fruit and veg to come out. It was taking a while so I meandered over to the bakery and picked up large seeded baguette for 20p, and a pack of wholemeal buns for 16p. 
Eventually the trolly's were pushed out, but appeared at another door further away, they didn't deposit the food where they normally put it. There was that much of it they positioned it closer to the frozen food in the middle of the store. I asked a regular shopper why they had done that. He said they put it out anywhere now, you have to watch and follow them. That's a new system then. 
There was plenty for everyone, and even some left over for the charity collection at 9pm. Some great reductions. 

A quick breakdown of some of the food I got.
Grated carrot 8p. Mango 20p. Wild rocket 9p. Grapes 20p. Bag of potatoes 11p. Iceberg lettuce 5p. Strawberries 20p. Houmous 20p. Pasta salad 22p. Mixed bean salad 22p. Baby sweetcorn 9p. Romaine hearts lettuce 10p. Prepared veg 15p. Mushrooms 9p. Prepared fruit 20p. Fridge full, this will last a while.

This morning I went a walk around the park. Brenda drove us there, she is recovering from an operation so can't walk that far just yet. She usually takes Bailey and Maisie by herself every Friday, but she asked if I would go in case she needs to cut it short. It was lovely walking and chatting. When we got back to the car the park was full. Bus loads of children with their teachers, and three walking groups doing their Walk for Health walks. They do 1, 2, or 3 miles, depending on their ability.  Lots of brown grass.

Back home for lunch. I love this Pasta and pine nut salad, went down well with some tasty crusty seeded bread.

It's hot again so I am in for the afternoon. Thanks for popping in. Wind down for the weekend and enjoy. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip