Tuesday, 31 July 2018

I'm getting a new hearing aid

I didn't realize it but it's two years since I went to the Audiology department to have my hearing aid re-tubed. No wonder it's whistling at me, it's full of gunk. I never like going to the drop in service because I have to sit around for ages in a queue, don't like hospitals full stop. When I rang up I was pleased when they said they no longer do the drop in service, everyone has to make an appointment. That suits me better.

This morning I was in and out in fifteen minutes. The nice young lady re tubed the aid for me, and said she will set the wheels in motion to get me a new one, and I'll have a fresh hearing test because it's ages since I last had one. Sounds good to me.

I parked near Sainsbury's and walked to the hospital, so when I came back to the car I picked up a basket and had a look around the store, mainly to spy on prices, and if by any chance there was some good deals, or reductions. No such luck, the prices are still higher than what I pay in Tesco and Aldi. I did buy a couple of boxes of their own label cat food pouches though for the visiting cats. By the way, our Sainsbury's now have cameras on the car park, so I parked on the road opposite. Private parking companies are a pain, always be aware where you park. They take a photo of your registration plate when you enter the car park, and when you leave. Don't get caught out, if you are only a few minutes over your time they send you a letter demanding £70 or thereabouts.

As I was out and about I went to Poundstretcher to stock up on dry cat food. It's still £1 a bag, so I got 15 bags. That will last a while. I expect the price will increase eventually, other shops sell it for £3.50 - £4.00 a bag.

As I was close to town I had a trip to the bank to withdraw cash, and a quick look in PoundWorld, to see if their closing down sale was still on. I found a lot of empty shelves and a few mainly seasonal items left. I bought two packs of Christmas baubles for 30p each. They will look nice on my bushes in the front garden, ha ha. I also bought a steel retractable tape measure for 40p as mine is broken and stuck together with sellotape.

Aldi is close by so I did my shopping there.

We had rain overnight, now it's sunny again. I have a key to water up a friends garden while she is away. If it keeps on raining a bit every day, or night, I won't have to do it.

Don't forget what day it is tomorrow. It's the first of August, check in day for the Walking Group. I am a few miles short again, ooops. Lets us know how you are doing. Hasta la vista. ilona

Monday, 30 July 2018

Phew....Done it.

There is a new page listed at the top under the header, My arts and crafts page, it's a place for my arty crafty photo's. The pictures for the exhibition are there. My head is buzzin, I need to get off this computer and have a break. Catch up whenever. ilona

It's taking a while

It's countdown time, not long to go now. I'm getting ready for the exhibition. Artworks are photographed, I will be putting a new page on here. I have a list of jobs to do, write a bio, make sure all pictures are clean, in good condition, got hangings on the back, and make labels for them. Wrap and pack them into suitcases. Make a comments book and business cards. Write two lists of artworks, one for me and one for the library. And it goes on. It will all come together in the end.

I am a bit excited, my Nottingham family will be coming to see me, and . . . also a cousin I have never seen before. He lives in London and is making the trip up north to visit. Big grin  :o)))

I'm off to Crafty Club now. Ta ta. ilona

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Big erruptions

It has come to light that one of the smaller utility companies has gone to the wall, ceased trading, gone tits up, or whatever you like to call it. They are dead. This is causing a lot of panic among it's customers, most of them will be on a monthly direct debit, and will be in credit. They are now wondering if they should make a move to another supplier now, or wait and see how it pans out. Will their credit be passed on to the new supplier, or do they have to apply for it to be returned to them.

The consensus is that they will be shoved onto another supplier, they will have to be to prevent a break in their gas and electric supplies, but no one know who they will end up with, and on what tariff they will be assigned to. What a mess.

If it happened that my company (Ebico), went bust I would not have that hassle, because I pay quarterly on a bill. They don't get my money up front, it stays with me until I have used their electricity and gas, then I pay them.

The utility companies are sitting on millions of £'s of customers money. If people made a better job of managing their own finances they would not have to spread the cost of their utilities over twelve monthly direct debits to level it out. All that is needed is to work out your annual usage, divide by 12, put cash away during the summer months when heating is not used, and build up a pot to cover the extra to pay in the winter.

I put my meter readings into my account at Ebico, they send a bill, and I pay. I've just paid one, £40, from 12 April to 11th July. If I go over to direct debit I save £7 per year. I won't bother.
Bye for now... ilona

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Wot i have made.

It's gone all black here, the heavens have opened for all of five minutes. We had rain, but now it's stopped. It's like a sauna outside, hot, humid, and sweaty. I can hear thunder in the distance, but I think it's going away from us. Tomorrow is supposed to be Furnace Friday, the hottest it's ever been. Oh oh, here comes the rain again. Heidi has come running in, Mayze is still out in the garden. I've put the light on because it's so dark.

I was halfway through making a video this morning when Ken knocked on the door, so I stopped. It was rubbish anyway, I was waffling too much. We had a coffee and a natter, he asked me if I could do the Sunday dog walk for him as he has something else to do. We had a right good laugh, he has a whacky sense of humour, a bit like me. We bounce off each other.

I had another attempt at filming the video, stepping up the pace a bit, this time I succeeded. It hasn't taken that long to upload as it's not very long. Ooooh look, a little flag has appeared in the bottom right of my screen, someone has seen it already withing five minutes of it going live. Here we go, see what you think.

My goodness, the rain is pelting down, I'm sorely tempted to take of my clothes and go outside with a bar of soap. That would save a bit of money, showering outside. Maybe not, don't want to give the neighbours a heart attack. Tatty byes. ilona

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Learning as I am working

I am sitting here making some felted flowers to add to the picture I made on Saturday, while watching yootoob videos. Learn while I work. I put in 'First art exhibition', in the search box and it came up with several videos from artist Rafi. He is a hoot, explains everything in great detail, clear speaking and fun. He covers all aspects of selling art in different locations.

If anyone is contemplating taking a stall at an event, his tips and advice can be adapted to suit all traders, whatever you are selling. This one is about selling outdoors in your own pop up booth, gazebo, or market stall. Can even be adapted to selling at a car boot sale.

Have a listen, but I will mention that I find the interruptions from the person in the background a tad irritating. I'll leave it with you while I carry on with felting, and watching, and listening.


Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Another one for the collection

This picture has been waiting a few months for me to frame it, you've seen it before. It's a piece of wet felting I did at a workshop with Sue Hawkmoon. I thought it would look better if I kept it kind of rustic looking, it doesn't need a frame. I covered a board with 40 year old hessian wallpaper, it was in my first house, that's how long I sometimes keep things. 
 I fixed it on four corners with wooden buttons and wire.

On the back I stuck a piece of  black sticky back insulating material. Not sure what it is used for, I found it in a skip and it's perfect for giving it a tidy finish.

I think the hessian suits it perfectly. I'm pleased with it.

It went quite cloudy, thought it might rain, but it's blown over. Spose I had better water up then, again. Catch ya sooner or later, whichever. ilona

Another hobby

There is no end to this hotness. I must say, it saves on the washing because around the house I wear minimum clothes. I feel sorry for the people caught up in the fires in Greece, everyone is desperate for rain at the moment. I haven't heard any more about the fires in Yorkshire here in the UK, so I presume they must have got them under control. There are some very brave people working for the emergency services in appalling conditions all over the world.

Yesterday morning I presented my talk to the members of Probus (Professional and Business) people, in the local pub. I was pleased to see that Bob, our very helpful newcomer in the village, brought Geoff with him, our 90 something well regarded war veteran.

Seemed strange to start the week with that, I had to give the Crafty Club a miss. We started off with coffee and cake, good start, the gentlemen, (yes all men), were all ears as I rattled on about my brilliant life on a pension. I skipped past a lot of arts and crafts, men are not interested in sewing, and told them about my money saving tips, the summerhouse, and my walking trips.

It all went down very well, and I was asked if I could go back at a later date with more stories. As time was limited, I can never get everything into a 45 minutes slot, it would be a good idea to go back to fill in the gaps. I could probably split the topics up into three or four separate talks, looking more closely at each one.

No more talks booked at the moment, but you never know, the phone might ring, or an email might appear. I don't go looking for bookings, I'll do them if I am asked, and available. I don't need to do more, it's just a hobby.

Looks like another hot one today. My walking is done later on at night, it's still hot at 9pm, but it's impossible to walk earlier, I would rather stay in the shade.

Next job, framing a picture.  ilona

Sunday, 22 July 2018

The happiness tree

I went out for an hour this afternoon to visit a craft fair. It wasn't very big, but I had a nice chat with a crafter who uses all recycled materials. Her stall looked lovely, she has some interesting ideas. There was also an Open Gardens event on but I didn't join in with that. It was too hot for me to walk around 29 gardens. 
My latest wall hanging is now finished. I put the back on with the machine, sewing the two sides together right sides facing leaving the top open, then turned it the right way. I added the loops and closed it up, and hand stitched around the edge with dark blue thread to keep it flat. It measures 18 inches by 15 inches.
I wanted a bit of detail at the bottom of the tree so added some felt and French knots.

The running stitches add a bit more interest, I think it works well.

The background was supposed to be something else, but it suits the tree.

I'm pleased with that. I am a bit reluctant to start another picture now as time is getting on, only four weeks to the exhibition. I need to check all my pictures making sure they are in good condition and ready for sale. I need to give them all a title and price them, and make a list. When all that is done I'll see if I have enough time to make another one.

Now I have to go out and water the flower beds and pots. It would be nice to get some rain. Brown grass everywhere, I long for green grass. Oooh, there's a song.

Tattybye, C U L8ter. ilona

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Felting Fun

I went back to the 20 21 Arts Centre today for a wet felting workshop. It cost £30, started at 10.30am, and finished at 3.30pm. Me and three other ladies. Rosemary Firth was the tutor. This is her website, based in Doncaster, she is a lady of many talents. 
There was a big pile of pictures to look through, and choose one we liked. The one I first chose was very complicated with lots of colours, so I changed it for something more simple, like these flowers. I took some photo's when we were half way through it, then another photo when we had finished.

 It sort of looks a bit like the picture. I will be embellishing this with embroidery and beads.

We all enjoyed it, here are the others.

We went in the cafe for lunch, and later we had some time left so we made some beads. They are easy to make, you layer the wool, two or three colours, wet it, and role it into a tight sausage. Then when it is felted and hard you cut it into pieces.

If anyone fancies having a go at this, look for a workshop near you. I really enjoyed it, nice company, and good fun. Now I need to do my walk. Catch ya later. ilona

Friday, 20 July 2018

Quick alteration, that's better

I did a belting talk last night for the WI ladies of Winteringham village. There must have been about 25 - 30 of them, all interested in my money saving/simple/recycling/arty and crafty/ lifestyle. They were keen to get the lowdown on my brilliant life on a pension, and took a big interest in the art and craft samples I took along. I think there may be some shopping bags made out of cat food pouches emerging from the members soon. One more talk to do on Monday, it will be a bit different because it's a men's group. I don't think they will be that interested in sewing, so I'l steer it in another direction. 
A friend gave me this top a few months ago, it's a bit fleecy like a sweatshirt but not as thick. It has those silly three quarter sleeves which come just below the elbow. I'm not a fan of that style, I find them irritating as I want to keep pulling them down to my wrist. However, I thought I would give it a go as it was free. I think I wore it twice then decided it would have to go to a charity shop. But I like the patterns on it. I don't normally alter clothes, they are so cheap anyway so why bother. But I decided it would be a simple job to cut the sleeves off, it would only take ten minutes. 

I turned the bottoms of the sleeves under once, and did three rows of zigzag stitching on the machine to tidy them up. Perfect. Now I am happy to wear it.

I'm almost finished the tree picture, just need to frame it, or maybe I won't, maybe it is going to be another wall hanging. I'll check my fabric stash to find a piece that suits it. See you next time. ilona

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