Friday 31 August 2018

Finding new homes.

I didn't get much chance of sitting with the chatty crafty ladies this morning, I was busy selling pictures. I was surrounded by people, those that weren't buying asked lots of questions. Total so far is eight sold. Caz made a special trip back on the bus and bought two. She has sent me two photo's, they look smashing in her house. I'm so chuffed. This one looks lovely the way the soft glow from the table lamp below lights it up.

This needle felting on a piece of driftwood adds a touch of rustic charm to the bookcase. Thanks for the photo's Caz.

I took Auntie Pat to tidy up Uncle Stan's grave in the churchyard tonight. We gave it a wash and cut the grass. I had painted a stone with glittery flowers on it and we placed it at the base of the headstone. He would have been proud to see my exhibition.

One last chance to maybe make another sale or two tomorrow.

Don't forget it's check in day for the International Walking Group on the 1st of the month. I haven't done very well at all, so let's hear from you about your efforts of keeping up with your challenges. Catch you later. ilona

Thursday 30 August 2018

Nice to get visitors

A visit from another blog reader today. Caz from Derby took a bus ride to come and see me. It's actually the second time we have met. The first time a few years ago was purely by chance, on a service area on the M5 motorway. I was on holiday with Rocky and we had stopped so he could have a walk. Caz and her husband recognized him from seeing him on the blog. Amazing coincidence. Great to see you again, Caz.
Here is the bio I wrote for the exhibition.

I had another visitor today, a trucker friend that I hadn't seen for many years. We worked at the same company, my first job in 1976. Was good to have a catch up. Pete was always the life and soul of the party type, nothing has changed except he has a lot less hair now.  One more picture sold today. I've made a video but it's not that good, lighting problem and camera shake, will have another go.  ilona.

More to read, with pictures, alert.

Gayle the blogger I met yesterday has two blogs. I have put their links on the sidebar because they are interesting reads for anyone who likes stories about travelling in a motorhome, and walking in beautiful places. Get yourself over there pronto and find out what they are doing. Seems like they are hardly at home, always off to exciting and interesting places. Toodle pip.  ilona

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Bloggers meet up

Another busy day at the library, talking to interesting people with interesting stories. Nice comments about my pictures on the note pad. Another blogger and a reader of my blog, dropped by for a chat. Gayle lives locally near Burton, it was great to see her, and hear tales of their travels in their motorhome. Sounds like they have a fantastic life. Didn't know which pictures to publish, taken by her other half, so here are two of them. 

Hoping for another busy day tomorrow. Chillin with wine now. ilona

Monday 27 August 2018

Saving a few bob on an upgrade

My sun visor is looking a tad faded. Not sure how long it has been on my head, must be a couple of years. This is the third covering it has had, now it's time for the fourth. It started out as a cheapie pink one in a sale, a bargain at 50p. 
First remove the old cover. The original pink is looking grubby, having got wet a few times so it's a bit mouldy looking in places. Most people might bin it, but not me.

 Use these as templates to cut new pieces of fabric.

To recover, pin it down, sew it all on in tiny stitches, and bingo, a new sun visor.

Hopefully this should last a couple of years, then I'll do it all again. You can't beat a bit of make do and mend to save money.

Bye for now. ilona

Sunday 26 August 2018

Need a kick up the bum.

It's almost the end of the month and my walking has fallen by the wayside in the last week. I am getting behind in the mileage count. It's been raining for most of the day so I have stayed in, it's not raining now and I have been in two minds whether to go out or not. Keep changing my mind. Something is telling me that I should, but can't be arsed. So I think I will leave it for now. I'll see what tomorrow brings, it might be a bit brighter. Anyone else feeling less motivated than they have been?    ilona

Saturday 25 August 2018

Your carriage awaits you madam

I saw four weddings today, the Registry Office is in the same building as the library. The first wedding party turned up in two stretch limo's, the next two came in ordinary cars with ribbons adorning them, and the last one brought the bride in this beautiful glass carriage with two fabulous white horses. Everyone came out of the library to have a look.  

Two pictures sold today. The commute back home this afternoon was easy, not much traffic about. I picked up some food from Tesco but I was too early for the final reductions. Not to worry, I didn't wait for it. Tired now, I'm off to bed. ilona

Friday 24 August 2018

A busy library

Luckily I have some sewing with me, I joined in with the Craft and Chatting group today. It's a similar set up as the group I go to on a Monday, take your own work and chat. Coffee and tea available. The library is used by all kinds of groups as a meeting place. There's a busy cafe which is very popular, and loads of computers which are always in use. 
A surprise visitor today, blog reader Jane from Derby, and her beautiful daughter, dropped by to say hello. It was lovely to see them both.

Tattybyes for now. ilona

Thursday 23 August 2018

On the right track

This is the longest commute I've ever done, thank goodness it's a very short term job. I don't know how people travel a long way backwards and forwards every day, Monday to Friday, for months sometimes years on end. It's a good job I am used to driving. Nothing I could do about the massive jam last night on the A38, there had been an accident on the M1 and traffic was looking for alternative routes. I read an article in the Mail this morning, someone filmed two big blokes who were out of their cars and brawling on the M25, physically punching each other. Jeez, calm down chaps.

It's been interesting to see other peoples reactions to my art. When people I know tell me that it's lovely I think they are just being nice, but when strangers say that, it's a bonus. I like my art when it's finished, but then I would, wouldn't I. When someone peers closely at it and declares it's amazing, it makes me think maybe I'm on the right track. So I'll carry on and make some more. Not just yet though, I'll have a break from it after this and do something else. Adios. ilona

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Chilling in the sunshine.

I had a nice walk in the sunshine, the flowers at Stapenhill Gardens are lovely, they always have a good show. 

Someone came along on a bicycle and started throwing food for the swans, and they all came swimming towards her. Then they started fighting for the food and she ran away.

Another woman appeared a bit further along, she had a shopping trolley full of food, so they all swam towards her.

After a day of chatting it was nice to relax with a walk through the gardens to the river. See ya, ilona

Memory Lane

It was nice to meet up with a friend of a friend yesterday, I knew the face but Sandra had to reveal her name to me. We last met almost ten years ago at a party in Blackpool, that was when I did my first long walk, Blackpool to the Humber Bridge. It was Shirley's 60th and retirement party, there were a lot of people there from the past. 
Childhood memories were recalled, we laughed as we remembered the antics that we got up to, as we all lived in the same area and went to the same schools.  Sandra is a couple of years younger than me, and was in the same class as my brother. She has a good memory. 
It's raining. Time for breakfast, beans and egg on toast.  ilona

Saturday 18 August 2018

Fake blog post

This is not a real blog post, it's a fake, there is nothing here to read. It  is an empty bottle, an empty box, an empty tin, and an empty bag. There is nothing in it. It is a waste of space, a load of crap, do not bother to read it, do not waste your time here. Move right along.

Now let's see how many rubbish Anonymous comments land here. I wonder how many come in on a daily basis. Just curious as I am constantly deleting them. ilona xxx

Friday 17 August 2018

Alternative Big Brother

It's that time again..........

See the connection? Dress these monkeys up and you wouldn't know the difference  ;o))

Skip BB and go here instead. A fantastic day out.

Going to collect my new hearing aid. Toodle pip. ilona

Thursday 16 August 2018

Pure genius

I have a plan. If someone looks interested in one of my pictures, and can't quite make up their mind whether to buy it or not, I will try a spot of bribery. If after much discussion, shall I shan't I, dithering about, well I don't know, perhaps maybe, they are going to need a push in the right direction.
This is when I play my ace card. I tell them I have a special offer on today, for one day only. If we can close the deal now then I can give you first choice of one of these exclusive bespoke hand made shopping bags, completely free of charge, with my compliments. I think this would swing it, they are not going to be able to say no.   
Eight shopping bags made, and six more cut out and ready to sew up.

Pretty good idea eh! Go on, say it, pure genius.  Bye for now. ilona

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Breakfast mini rant

Watching the hard working bin men outside in the street this morning while eating my breakfast,  prompted this video. Trying not to rant.

It's nice not to have to go to work. ilona

Monday 13 August 2018

I'm a bit chuffed. Vid added.

It's the little things which makes me smile. I had a nice surprise this morning. The lovely Lauren who checked my shopping through the till on Thursday night left a lovely comment for me on the yellow sticker post. We chatted as she zapped everything through the scanner at a nice leisurely pace. Unlike another supermarket where the assistants barely have time to speak to you as they push things forward and you hurriedly move them into your trolley, and fumble with your purse to try and pay at the same time.

I like to be treated as a human being when I go shopping. I have never found a rude or grumpy staff member at Tesco Extra Scunthorpe.. They are all pleasant, have good manners, and are helpful. The checkout staff are super friendly and are always smiling.

Mind you, they can keep their self serve tills, their hand held scan as you go zappers, no I am not a robot, I will not do their job for them. I want a human to serve me, someone who appreciates that if their shop had no customers they would not have a job at all. So treat me with respect and I shall keep going.

Now off to Crafty Club. Cheerio

PS. A video added.

Sunday 12 August 2018

Coming together nicely

How many little red dots will I need for the exhibition? How many pictures will I sell? I haven't a clue. It would be nice if I could sell some, but it will also be nice if people are interested enough to walk around and take a look, and maybe ask me some questions. I will enjoy explaining how they were made, and if someone is inspired to try and make their own, that would be good. 
I have made the labels for each one, these will be below each picture. They all have a number, and a title, and the price, all hand written.

I have some pre printed paper from many years ago so I cut it up and hand wrote my contact details on them. These will be on my table to give out, and people can pick one up if I am not there.

I have written two lists, one for me, and one for the library to keep at reception. They will have to deal with any enquiries in my absence. I am not spending any money on getting paperwork printed, I can hand write everything.

It's coming together nicely. Still got to write a bio, I've been watching videos to see what I should put on it. A week to go, I should be ready.  Now I must go for a walk. Bye bye. ilona

Saturday 11 August 2018

Making the job easier

It doesn't take me long to make a video, park the camera on an upturned small coffee table, park myself in front of it, and speak. Ten minutes if I don't waffle too much. Upload to yoootooob, they seem to be uploading a bit faster now, wonder if they have tweaked it a bit. And there you go, one blog post done. Quicker and easier than struggling for an hour or two, wracking the brains, editing and re editing a load of text. Now I have time to get on with other things.

Lurv ilona xxx

Friday 10 August 2018

Lucky with the yellow stickers

I had a trip to my home town yesterday, to check out the exhibition in the library which is due to finish just before I start mine. I was surprised to see that there were only four paintings on the display boards. Apparently the person who booked it couldn't go ahead with it, and a friend had permission to hang their pictures instead. So I wasn't able to pick up any hints and tips on how another artist would set out their work. Not to worry, I have a pretty good idea of how I want my display to look.

I had a wander round the town while I was there. Sat in the park and ate my sandwich, did a bit of people watching. It was quite busy because it was market day. I noticed that there were hardly any empty shops in the shopping centres. Burton has grown so much since I lived there.

I called in to see Auntie Pat for a cuppa before I set off back home. She has a lot of de cluttering to do, I will be able to help her with that. I took away a box of cookery books intending to donate them to a charity shop here. I stopped at Tesco to pick up some shopping, and put the books on the charity table there. Seemed the easy thing to do.

I was lucky with the yellow stickers. There were more people than usual milling around the trolley, I dived in among them, and managed to get enough for me. Some people were greedy and taking lots of the same thing.  Here's a little video.

We had a short shower ten minutes ago but now the sun is out. It's turned cooler needed to put extra clothing on for my walk. It's the weekend, yipeeeee. Every day is a weekend for me :o)  ilona

Thursday 9 August 2018

Keeping the lines of communication open

At one time if you wanted to contact anyone you either wrote them a letter or picked up the phone. That was all very simple. Snail mail took a couple of days, phone calls were instant if the other person picked up. Then there were answer machines if they were out, leave a message and they would get back to you, eventually.

I notice now that everyone I know has their own preferred method of communicating with others. It's up to me to keep pace with all the changes and try and remember who I have to email, text, ring on the landline or mobile, facebook message, or tweet. And that's only a few ways of communicating, there are more.

I can email one friend and she will reply when she has a minute to spare. I can phone and she will pick up if she is there or ring me back later. Another friend I can text because he only has a mobile and no landline or internet. One family member goes out a lot, usually has a routine so I have to try and remember what that is, and pick certain times of the day or night to contact her. Some people I find very difficult to contact, they are away from the house, don't have a mobile or haven't taken it with them, or it's in a bag and they can't hear it, sounds like me, ha ha. One person I know will do facebook messages during the day, but not at night, I can also ring her during the day on the landline, she may or may not answer, but doesn't like phone calls after 6pm. Some people have given up on landlines altogether.

Forums and blogs you can message someone and you are not sure whether they have read it, or if they will get back to you. It's like firing your words into space in a rocket, in the hope that they are picked up somewhere. Waiting for a reply which may or may not come, wasting time going back to have a look. All a bit barmy actually.

It's all a bit hit and miss really, trying to remember who prefers what. I'm not sure if this is progress or if our brains are becoming more computerized to keep up with it all. My actual preferred method of communication is to step outside the door and speak to someone. Lots of lurv. ilona

Hands up all those who can sing along with this all the way through. me me me :o)

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Learnt something new.

Well that's never happened before. I had a call through Facebook Messenger from my friend. She rang me, I missed it because I was outside, so I rang her back. I didn't know you could do that. Amazing. Free phone calls. Mind you, on my landline phone package my calls after 7pm are included in the price anyway.

Wonder if I can get all my friends to join. Mind you, it's not the same as speaking on the phone, I found I was talking over her because I wasn't sure when she had finished speaking, and when it was my turn. A bit like the Skype that I used to do, but don't do any more. I found that a bit difficult when there is a split second delay. A bit like speaking to someone on the other side of the world. Ok for a quick five minute call but it might be exasperating to speak for an hour like that.

Catch you later. ilona

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Blue Lagoon, new picture

Almost finished this picture. The wet felting which I did at the workshop at 20 21 Arts Centre, the other week. I have mounted it on a board, which is covered in a thick pale green curtain fabric, given to me by a Crafty Club member, it's just right for this. 
I have put some small tacks around the edge to hold it in place, then wrapped wire around them, and hammered them in.

The green fabric is laced at the back so it fits tightly to the board.

The tacks have come through to the back and I have bent them over. This will now be covered with a piece of matching curtain fabric, and wire added for hanging, to give a neat finish.

I wont have time for another project before the exhibition. I need to be thinking about what I need to  take with me. I'll make a list. 

Hot again today, they say we are going to have storms. My watering job has finished. Another dog walker for Bailey poodle has volunteered to help. Rose will do it when any of us can't. Joyce, Bailey's owner, is 92 on Thursday, her family are coming to take her out to lunch. I'm going to get this picture finished now. Cheerio. ilona

Monday 6 August 2018

Go Brenda !

I've just read a blog post which is very inspiring. Brenda is a keen cyclist, has cycled long, long, and I mean very long distances, mostly with hubby, sometimes on her own. She has recently done a solo mini tour on her new electrically assisted bike, and she is loving it. 226 miles covered through Yorkshire, pulling her trailer with full camping gear. Photo's on the blog, it's a good read. The link is on my sidebar, if you want to read this report click here.

Brenda, you're a star, I am in awe of your pioneering adventures. Now with the new bike, there will be no stopping you. lots of love, ilona xxx

Sunday 5 August 2018

Gone to a good home

My three mile walk around the village usually takes 50 minutes to one hour, depending on whether I stop or not. Sometimes it takes longer if I stop and chat more than once. Last night I stopped when I saw this campervan.  
It's a 1966 model, and still going strong 52 years later. It's meticulously maintained by the Mr, it's just sailed through it's MOT test, and is road tax exempt. 
The family have owned it for eight years after buying it from the previous owners in the West Midlands. Prior to that it originally came from Atlanta USA.  
I love the little dinky trailer on the back.

It's a left hooker, the dashboard and controls are very basic. None of your modern plastic fascia in here. I bet it's a lot of fun to drive.

Seeing this jogged my memory. One kind reader gave me a curtain with a colourful campervan design on it. I didn't want to cut it up and as I don't have a VW campervan I was looking for someone who might appreciate it. When I got back from my walk 20 minutes later I got in my car and went straight round there and gave it to them. The Mrs was dead chuffed, she put it in the van and said it would make a nice tablecloth, and she might find another use for it in the house. So thank you kind reader, it has gone to a good home.
Sunny Sunday, I'm gone. ilona

Saturday 4 August 2018

How revolting!

I've just had to go outside and scoop up the contents of a cat's stomach. A little bit of cat food, and a chewed up mouse, head and tail intact with blood and guts mixed in with it. I almost puked :o(

Magnificent Desolation by Buzz Aldrin. Book review

I often look up to the moon and think, wow, men have been up there and walked on it. I remember being amazed in 1969 when we saw pictures of 'lift off', at 9.32 am the five large Saturn V engines ignited. Buzz Aldrin describes the atmosphere as the three of them waited in anticipation of their journey to the moon.
'Gasses rushed out of the engine nozzles as they built up thrust, when they reached full power the gantry latches released and the rocket was free to soar'. Words taken from the first chapter, 'A journey for all mankind'. I like that, 'free to soar'. Wow, yes, we are all free to soar if we grasp opportunities when they come our way.

Buzz Aldrin was the second man to walk on the moon. The first part of the book describes the events leading up to the launch, what they did when they landed, how they felt, their routine of checks, gathering samples and data, the long three day journey back to earth, and landing in the ocean.

The rest of the book details Aldrin's struggles with depression and alcoholism. Being part of the first moon landing had a profound effect on him, he was for a while floundering in a fog, not sure what direction he was going to go in next after his epic journey. He found various jobs within the US Air Force and NASA. He became famous obviously, but the tag of being the 'second' man on the moon took it's toll. Not quite the first, like he was always following in Armstrong's footprints. His life spiraled out of control when he no longer had any more goals to achieve.

Aldrin has been married three times and he has three children with his first wife. Reading this book has prompted me to find out more about him on Wikipedia, and it seems he is is the process of divorcing his third wife. I often go leaping ahead because I want to find out what happens next.

A complex character with an interesting and colourful life. Following the moon landing he has worked tirelessly towards making space travel accessible to all. Whether this will happen remains to be seen. The book is an easy read, great if you have an interest in space expeditions, from a man who has been there and done it.

Customer reviews from those who have read the book.

Buzz Aldrin's web page.

Happy reading, I'm onto my next book now. Happy weekend. ilona

Thursday 2 August 2018

Too hot for cats

The heat is back. I have got a watering up job for my friend who is on holiday. I rather hoped that we would get some more rain then I wouldn't have to do it so often. She has a big garden with what must be a couple of hundred pots. Thank goodness that she has two hose pipes which squirt a long way. I only have to drag them around and waft the water over the lot. No hosepipe ban yet, it might not happen due to the last few downpours filling up the reservoirs. 
When Heidi has had enough of lying in a sunny windowsill, she moves to this one in the shade in the kitchen, and takes cover under the net curtain.  
Mayze likes to lie down in a darkened room. I close the curtains for her. She loves my duvet and sleeps all night with me there. Yes, I still have a duvet on the bed, it's a lightweight one, I pull the corner across my body and stick my legs out of the side.

I had a no-cook dinner tonight. Fabulous salad. Iceberg lettuce, salad leaves, potato salad, large tomato, two small tomatoes, two mushrooms, cucumber, and a quarter of a cheese and onion quiche.

All the artwork is packed up and ready. Now need to do the paper side of things. A reporter from the local newspaper will come and see me on the first day when I am set up. Take photographs and do an interview.

It's great that so many people are still walking, thanks for checking in, I'm proud of you all. I shall be off for my walk shortly, just waiting for it to cool when the sun goes down. Adios. ilona

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Check in for the Walking Group

Well I haven't quite made it to the target again. I should be on 583, and I am 10 short. Oh dear. I must pull my finger out and get on with it. I am going to be very busy over the next few weeks, after the exhibition I will be going on holiday. At least I will get some walking done then to hopefully catch up.

How is everyone else doing? Are you surging ahead, or are you struggling to keep up? Report your achievements, and your failings. Give each other a pat on the back, or commiserations, whichever is appropriate.
Ta very muchly. ilona