Sunday, 31 August 2014

Free curtains

Hello. Howzit goin? All is good here. Guess who I met tonight while bimbling around the village. Go on, guess, bet you don't get it right. I met George Formby, amazing eh! This guy was the spitting image of him. He was out walking with his friend, Joanne from the 1939 house, remember her? Put '1939 house' into the search and you will find lots of photo's of her house. Of course she was dressed the part, that's how she lives her life, everything about her is 1940's, and her friend George dressed the same, flat cap and braces. He even spoke like George. He earns his living by appearing at events, playing his ukulele and singing just like George. What a lovely couple they made. I cursed because I didn't have my camera with me. 
Here we have a picture of my dinner. I made two portions so it was mixed veg curry for two days. A tin of red kidney beans, grated carrot, chopped up pickled onions because I have run out of big ones, runner beans, sultanas, and courgettes. And very tasty it was too.  
Yesterday I went a ride out to Barton, haven't been there for ages. I had a look round the Ropewalk art gallery. They had an open exhibition on. I must say the paintings were not my cup of tea, only one or two caught my attention, the rest were pretty boring. It looked like very little effort had been put into them, just dabs of paint sploshed about. 
I went to the Waters Edge country park and had a walk round there. There were Canada geese and ducks on the pond, with two swans. I love the colour in the hedgerows at this time of year. 

This is the dead head of something, sorry don't know names of plants, but look how amazing it is.

Several spiders had taken up residency in this seed head. Isn't mother nature wonderful. 
I am following the blue route.

And the Humber Bridge which you have probably seen in my photo's before.

I am keeping my eye on the skip and had another look in today. There is not much in it at the moment but I thought I spotted what might look like bags of curtains. Luckily a young man was just coming out of the house, so I asked if I could have them because I can make shopping bags with them. He said, yes, help yourself to anything you want. I nearly fell in the skip reaching for them, ha ha. I pulled five bags out, and this is what I have.

This is a nice set of curtains, they will fit my windows so I will keep them. 
These look like they have never been used, still in the original wrapper. On opening them I found only one curtain. It's massive though, could easily be cut in half and two shorter curtains made out of it. I won't bother though, maybe make bags with it or take it to a charity shop.
Another still wrapped set of curtains, but sadly only one curtain. It's lovely thick fabric. Not really practical to make white shopping bags, I'll think of another use for it.
The rest are curtain liners, with one set of blackout liners. Amazing that I got all this for nothing. Must keep watching that skip.

Thank you very much to the lovely reader who sent me some beads and sequins. I am already thinking about my next picture, so they will be useful for that.
Toodle pip.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Shocking !!!

Good morning. I'm bopping away to Sounds of the Sixties on Radio 2 as I write this. Some great old hits to sing along with. Every Saturday, 8 till 10. 
Right, what's the topic for toady. A leaflet dropped through the letter box this week, that reads like a horror story, thought I would share it with you. I hate anything that aims to swindle people out of their precious cash. This is a leaflet from a shop called PerfectHome, it could be from Bright House, they are all the same. They may have a shop front in the High Street, but that is a ruse to get people through the door and get them to sign their life away to a finance company. In this case, Temple Finance Limited is trading as PerfectHome. 
Years ago when I was a child my mum saved up to buy some of our furniture, but most of it was second hand, handed down from family or passed on from friends. For our entertainment we had a small radio, then television sets started to appear in shops. Of course we pestered mum to get one, she went into a shop called Radio Rentals and rented our first TV. A few years later after we had moved house, she went to Boyds, a family electrical shop, and took out an agreement to rent a TV. I have the agreement in front of me, dated 20th June 1974. Mum paid £1.85 a week for a 19 inch mono TV. In those days it was rare for people to buy a television set, because it would have been expensive to repair. Renting seemed the better option because there would be a new one provided when the set was too old to repair. We didn't think about how much it would cost us over a long period of time. Money came into the house weekly and mum was pretty good at budgeting, she wouldn't have got it if we couldn't afford the weekly payments. 
How things have changed. Now everyone wants to own the biggest TV in the street, no matter what the cost is. The PerfectHome shop window in our High Street looks very appealing, imagine all that lovely furniture in your home. You too can have a showhouse like this, but, there's a catch, there always is. Have a look at these figures, they make shocking reading.  
This TV will cost £1,731.99 to buy from this shop. Of course they don't want you to buy it outright, that's not where they make their money, they are a finance company, they want to lend you money at shocking interest rates. They want you to sign up to an agreement to pay £14.59 a week, for 156 weeks, they don't say 3 years, and you will end up paying £2,276.04. So, you might as well throw £1,048.05 of your precious cash, down the toilet. Shocking!
Want a supadupa sound system? Throw away £1,048.05, the difference between the cash price and the weekly payments over three years, and you can have it.

Of course you've just got to have an American style fridge freezer, with a water and ice dispenser, hasn't everyone got one. Errr, nope. On credit it's £2853.24. Shocking!

A nice sofa to sit on? Jeeez, credit price over 3 years, £4,475.64. What a shocker!

We all need to lay our heads down every night, but at what cost? £20.99 per week for three years, or 40p per sleep. That's a very expensive sleep. I would be having nightmares if I slept in this bed.

Only two of you, a small sofa would be ideal, but not at this price. Take out credit on this item and it will cost you £1,613.04 to sit on your @rse.

Ha ha, look at this, a special offer. Buy today and your first weekly payment is JUST £1. WOW, gotta have that, I think not. What about all the other 155 payments, where you are struggling to make ends meet, struggling to buy decent food, can't afford to put the heating on, can't afford to put petrol in the clapped out old car to get you to work.

For God's sake people wise up, get your priorities sorted out. Stop feeding these sharks. You don't need all this fancy stuff, you don't need to get into debt just to keep up with whoever has got more than you. Life is not about showing off, hey look at me, I've got one of those, or I've got a bigger one than you. It's ok to buy second hand, to get the best for your money. It's ok to buy from car boot sales, from charity shops, to skip dive, to take hand me downs, to barter and swap, to go on Freecycle.

Phew, sorry about that, had a Nellie moment just then. She would be proud of me. Joking apart, I know a lot of people who read my blog already know about this stuff, but please pass on your wisdom to younger members of your family and warn them of the danger of taking out such extortionate rental contracts, because it will come back and bite them on the bum, with such force they won't be able to sit down for months. or even years.

Looking good outside, have a nice weekend. Toodle pip.  

Friday, 29 August 2014

Inventing a picture frame, and finding some free ones.

Hello. At last the picture is finished. After changing my mind about the frame several times, I thought of this idea, and I think it works rather well. I added an extra layer of the green mossy stuff to strengthen the edges and give it a more defined frame, I stuck it on with PVA glue. 
I have had this knocking around in the spare room for years. It's a self assembly shoe rack, though I never used it for it's original purpose. I bought it to add height to my market stall. Positioned at the back of the table as extra shelving to elevate the display. Perfect for this job. Lay the two pieces on a piece of hardboard. It wasn't quite big enough so I cut two of the legs to size to fill the gap in the centre.
The picture sits on the top of it, secured at the top and bottom with a dark thick thread set one inch apart. Along the vertical sides I have used invisible thread. I was going to use the dark thread, but decided that the stitches up the sides would not match up with those at top and bottom. 
Each piece of dark thread is knotted at the back.

I screwed all the slats in several places to a piece of hardboard, which I trimmed to slightly smaller than the picture, so it doesn't show to the front. This makes it super strong.
Then I covered the knots with black tape to tidy it up. A piece of wire from a broken set of Christmas tree lights to hang it. 
And there you have it, finished. Looks nice hanging on the wall, this type of frame is ideal for it, as it's more like a tapestry than a picture. I shall take it down and wrap it to keep it clean, in the next few days. Then try and get it shown somewhere. 
I've been skip diving again. Just down the road they have a skip on the front, looks like they are sorting their stuff out in readiness for a move. The house is for sale. I saw that they had put four picture frames on the ground outside the skip, maybe these are free to take, so I knocked on the door to ask. Yes, take what you want, says the woman. I've cleaned them up, they must have been stored in an attic for years. There are two large ornate frames, 

And two smaller plain ones.

Good find, eh! Need to make some more pictures now. I will keep my eye on that skip in case anything else appears. Love free stuff, ha ha.
Toodle pip.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

A bit more about blogging

Hello. Now where was I, oh yes. Have you figured out how to get your blog up and running? Have you written a post yet? You might want to start adding photo's, this is easy as long as you have them stored on your computer. Click on the little picture icon on the top of the new page, it will open a new box telling you to choose the pictures you want. Get the folder with your pictures in on the screen and choose which ones you want to upload. Upload singly or hold Ctrl while you highlight up to five. This may take a couple of minutes, I usually do something else while I am waiting. I upload all my pictures first before I write anything. I position them in the centre of the page, and leave a space between each one. Then I resize to large, and add the words in between them.

Best to use your own photo's if you can, if you use any others from the internet be careful of copyright. Don't steal photo's from other people's blogs, that's naughty, ask permission first and accredit the owner. There are some sites which have free picture sharing, include a link to where you got them.

If you post a lot of photo's you will eventually reach your storage limit. The photo's are stored on Picasa, a picture hosting site, you don't see them go there first, blogger do it automatically. I reached my limit at around the two year mark. From then on you have two options, you can pay Google if you want to continue using the same system, or you can open an account (free), with another picture hosting site like Photobucket. If you go with an external site you have to copy and paste the links across, too much faff for me. I have stuck with Picasa and Google, the current price is $6 a year, hardly a spit in the ocean. Beware though if you don't want to pay, and go into Picasa and delete some photo's to free up storage space, they will also be deleted from your blog.

You blog content should be all your own work, unless you accept guest posts. Do not copy and paste words from elsewhere unless you have the owners permission. If you suspect something you are reading has been published elsewhere, you can check by inserting a couple of lines from the text into a Plagiarism Checker. Be aware that there are a lot of people out there who start a blog with the sole intention of making money. These are not genuine bloggers. They will take bits from here and there and cobble together their content from other sources.

When you are feeling confident about your blogging skills you can add extra stand alone pages. If you want to group topics together so they are easily found you can open a new page and put it all there, and put a link at the top of your home page. Always go to your dashboard and it will show you how to do it. You can also add elements to your sidebar, move elements around and change the order that they appear.

It's very easy to deceive on the internet as you will already know, I hope no one has transferred sums of money to an African bank account, on the promise that thousands more will arrive from cloud cuckoo land. I think we all know that scam. Use your gut instinct to tell you what you think is genuine and what you think is not. Bloggers usually follow a pattern. When I read them I recognize a certain style of writing, I pick up on certain phrases they use, and detect mood changes. Over a period of time a picture emerges. It may be anything between a true picture, or pure fantasy, or anything in between. Fact peppered with fiction or fiction peppered with fact. Inconsistencies alert me, don't be taken in by them, and be consistent yourself.

The question most people ask is how do I get people to read my blog. The easiest way is to read other people's blogs and make comments there. That will leave your footprint for others to click on if they so wish. It depends on how desperate you are to increase your readership. If you want to promote your blog you could join other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and plug yourself there. There is also something called Search Engine Optimization, SEO. To get search engines to find your site and to push it towards the top of the page, you need to include a lot of buzz words relevant to your content. For instance my buzz words would be frugal, thrifty, penny pinching, cheap, bargain, money saving, scrimping, tight, etc. They do crop up in my blog, when they fit the piece I am writing.

Another question is how often should I post? Well, as often as you like, there are no rules. It depends on how much time you want to give to it. I missed yesterday because I was busy with other things, and didn't have much to talk about. This morning I am getting on with this post because I want to finish framing the picture and start organizing a holiday. What I would say is, if you start blogging and then decide it isn't for you, don't just abandon it and stop. People will wonder what has happened to you. Best to say on your last post that you are giving it up. No need for an explanation.

On the previous post about blogging there was a comment from someone who was put off by the possibility of attracting trolls. That's a shame, but I can understand that some people would not want to put themselves in that position. I don't know how many troll comments other bloggers get, maybe someone can enlighten me. I only have the one, but I am strong and can handle it, water off a ducks back. Sticks and stones will break my bones but calling words won't hurt me. What you have to remember is that the troll has the problem not you. By the way, a troll is normally someone who does not know the person they are trolling. They do it out of devilment, to cause upset and anguish. My troll is someone known to me, and is therefore a bully. I am waiting for their comment on this post to come into my 'Awaiting Moderation', box. In all cases stick two fingers up at them and hit the delete button.

Any more questions on blogging, just ask. I don't know all the answers though, especially the technical ones. There is a Help button on the dashboard which will take you to a bloggers forum, where you can put your questions there. It's quite busy so you won't have to wait long. In fact it's interesting to just read the forum to pick up some useful tips.

Any new bloggers tempted to give it a go?
Toodle pip  

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Lost and Found. Book review

Another book finished, this one definitely has the aaaahhh factor. I was a bit apprehensive about taking it out. I don't want to read about animal cruelty, I have a pretty good idea what goes on. It would upset me to read all the details, but thankfully this book has none of that. If it had gone into the background of how the animals came to be in the care of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, I would not have been able to read it. Thankfully though, it is stories about the people who were looking to adopt a dog or a cat, how they found the perfect pet for them, and in the end how they all lived happily ever after.  
There are twelve chapters on twelve successful rehomings. Some of the stories are quite amazing, and all are very heartwarming. Bryn the collie went on to become a search and rescue dog with his new owner. Johnie Reggae was a little terrier of seventeen years old, no one wanted to take on an old dog, then Stephanie came along and fell in love with him. Ice, an English bull terrier was adopted by Ulla who took him home to Denmark for his new life. Wriggler was one of eight tiny kittens who were dumped at Battersea at only one day old. They were hand reared by staff members, sadly the girls didn't make it but Wriggler was adopted by his foster mum.

Each chapter is a separate story, so it's easy to spend a spare half hour reading one story, and not have to pick up where you left off when you next pick the book up. Definitely a book to give you a warm fuzzy feeling, with happy endings. If you are an animal lover you will love this book.  

Monday, 25 August 2014

Busy at Epworth Show

Hello bloggerettes. You don't see many of these at an agricultural show. A robot came to visit Epworth Show today, and the crowds loved it. Standing over eight feet tall, he entertained the audience with his banter, and anyone who was unlucky enough to get too close got a soaking from his squirty eyes. He was such fun chatting in his alien voice. 

All the traditional attractions were there as well. The funfair.

Lots going on in the produce tent. Gorgeous flowers.

Fruit and veg on display.
Cupcakes in the junior baking section.

Make a miniature garden in a tray.

Crafty bags.

 Flower arranging skills on show.

The usual vintage tractors.
 Veteran and classic cars.

Girls disco dancing troupe.

Birds of prey on show.

And here is our stall in the craft tent.
We did very well today. Sold a load of STUFF, didn't take much STUFF home with us, thank goodness, now I have some space in my spare room. Made loadsa money for the cat rescue.

I hope you all had a lovely bank holiday weekend. We had a shower in the middle of the afternoon, but apart from that the weather held out. We got a bit busy when it rained as everyone came into the tent, good for our sales. A jolly good day and well worth the effort.
Toodle pip.