Thursday, 28 February 2019

Follifoot and Spofforth ramble.

I went for a walk today, it was the last day of a three day break. I do like getting away for a few days. this time I've been to Yorkshire. Harrogate was my destination, I booked myself into the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Kings Road for two nights. Checking the OS map before I went, I decided on a walk for the first day starting at Follifoot. It's a lovely little village. 
I headed off towards Rudding Park and entered through the main gate. It's got a golf course, a spa, and a private luxury hotel. There is a beautiful church in the grounds next to the hotel.

I sat on the bench on the right with a view of the park, and ate my packed lunch. It was a gloriously sunny day.

A sculpture in garden.

A broken stile. There should have been a gate next to it, but it was broken, in fact there wasn't much of it left. I walked along a footpath beside the River Crimple towards Spofforth.

The church at Spofforth, the door was locked so I couldn't go inside.

The ruins of Spofforth Castle are surrounded by mowed lawns..

Pictures from the high level looking down into the castle.

There are steps leading down to the lower level.

From Spofforth I picked up a footpath making a circular walk back to Follyfoot. I checked into the hotel in Harrogate at 5.30pm. A little bit of luxury for two nights. The first days walk was 9 miles. I was so lucky to have a glorious sunny day.

These pictures are from Tuesday, more to come from the next two days. In the meantime, it's check in day tomorrow for the International Walking Group members. ilona

Walking Group, are you ready?

The end of the month is here, and you know what tomorrow means, the 1st of March is when we check in and declare how far we have walked. My numbers are looking pretty much OK, I've had a surge and managed to pull in a few more miles. My last chance today to add a few more. So are you making an effort and going for a walk today?

I'll catch up with you later, I'm going for a walk. ilona


Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Using my freezer wisely.

How to get seven portions of chopped onions for 20p. First, buy two bags of yellow sticker onions, 10p each. Then divide them between plastic pots, any pots that you have, and put them in the freezer. This is how I save money. By buying going out of date food, and freezing it.
Head for your reduced cabinets in your supermarket, see what you can find, buy it even though you are not going to eat it immediately, and freeze it for the future. ilona

Love is like a butterfly

I went to an embroidery workshop last week, and this is what I have ended up with. We were given the felt and a choice of motifs to work on. I thought I would do the butterfly as I hadn't done one before. 
I tried some new stitches. I only made a start on it at the two hour class, so finished it off at home. It's very similar to the embroidered hearts and flowers I make at around Christmas time.

I think I might turn this butterfly into a needle case.

This is a monthly class, I don't think I can make the March one, but hope to be back there in April.
Practice, practice, practice.

Here's Dolly.


Monday, 25 February 2019

A quick one.

Just a quick one tonight. I did a belting trucking talk for the Probus club this morning. Put my heart and soul into it and it went down very well. Only 12 people present, all paying attention, and having a chuckle. I haven't done a trucking talk for several years, but it's funny how it all came back to me once I got going.

This afternoon I took Heidi for a check up at the vet. She had a blood test which showed normal. Her condition has stabilized and we can reduce her tablets dosage to one every other day. So that's good news. The cats are loving this warm weather, spending a lot of time outside.

That's all, off to bed now. Toodle pip.

All you need are...... .skips.

Isn't it amazing what you can find in a skip. Last week I spotted one on someone's front driveway, looks interesting I thought, so I asked permission to take a closer look. Among other things, I found a strobe disco lighting box, plug it in and a floating Merry Christmas appears all over the walls. What fun is that. 

See the white slimline stack of drawers , that was out of another skip. I don't need to go shopping ever again, everything I need or want can be found in a skip, eventually.  ilona

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Summer is here

It's been a lovely warm and sunny day today, and I have been out in the garden. My tool boxes are now tidy, and I've made a start on the garden. 
This is my lunch which I ate outside. 
And here is a little video.

Summer has begun.  ilona

Friday, 22 February 2019

Playing with my new toy

I've had a little play with the new machine. I like the way I can set the speed with the slidey thing on the front. The bobbin goes in from the top and has a little window so I can see when the cotton is about to run out. I can use the foot pedal or press a button to stop and go. I need to study the instruction book. 
The cover I made for the last one fits it. It's got a hard cover for transportation. 

What did I make to test the machine? Yes, a shopping bag, something nice and easy.

Tonight I went to the sewing shop for a two hour workshop on embroidery. I learnt three new stitches, it was fun. Off to bed now, I will take the instruction book with me, it will surely send me off to sleep.  ilona

Thursday, 21 February 2019

My early birthday present.

Mission accomplished. I've been to Lincoln and bought a sewing machine from Couling Sewing Machines, situated in the High Street, there is parking outside the door. A nice young lady served me, she was very helpful, and demonstrated my chosen model. It's a smallish shop but they have a large selection of most makes of machines in stock. They also have a Facebook page

And this is the young lady who served me today.

I got a bit lost coming out of Lincoln. I was going to go back on the same road that I came in on, because there's a Tesco and I thought I might as well get some food shopping done. Never mind, I hit the ring road at a different junction and missed Tesco, so I carried on back to Scunthorpe. I pass my usual store anyway so I might as well pop in there.

It was 4.30pm, too early for the final markdown of the yellow stickers so I didn't expect much, I had a look in the veg department to see what there was. I was amazed, there were tons of food, they must have over stocked by such a lot, and although it only had two stickers on, not three, they had knocked 90% off.
I was in heaven. Plenty for everyone. This pile cost £5.04p, and even then, I got a further reduction of 38p, because there was a, buy 3 and pay for 2, offer. 

Prepared fruit, mushrooms, salad leaves, mixed veg, vegetable bake, baby potatoes, baby sweetcorn, broccoli, diced onion, spinach, Italian pasta salad, fine green beans, salad bowl. This will keep me going, some will be frozen, some will be given away. I hit the jackpot.  ilona

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Charity shop reject.

This lovely little chest of drawers came from Aunties house. It had marks on the top where hot cups had been placed on it. It's solid wood, no chips or scratches. 
I put it in my car along with some other items, including another small chest of drawers but not as good quality. I pulled up at the front of the Sue Ryder charity shop and the man came out to help me unload. The first thing he said was, 'I don't want those drawers, they are damaged', referring to the heat rings on the top. I said, it only wants a coat of paint, but no, he wouldn't take it. He took the cheaper ones, and some other things.

I took this to my friend, she said she would have a go at restoring it. I went back the next day and bingo, it looks lovely now. She said it only took ten minutes of sanding and polishing. She is dead chuffed with it.

So there you are, a charity shop reject. They missed out on a lovely set of drawers.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019


Oh dear, there is a big space on my table where my sewing machine was. It's gone, I sold it. I've spent the afternoon showing Helen how to use it. She wants to take up sewing and my Danome is the ideal starter machine. There is a shop where I can try out lots of machines, it has been recommended to me, I shall be going there to choose one. I asked the ladies at the sewing workshop for their opinions on different makes and models, so I have a good idea of what I am looking for. I feel lost without a sewing machine, I need to get one pretty soon. ilona

Monday, 18 February 2019

Make 'em laugh.

A good time was had by all tonight, at the WI in Brigg. Quite a large group, about 50 ish, in a beautiful room. I did my stint and made them laugh. Coffee and cake after. 
Home for 10.15pm, a mug of hot choccy, cuddle with the kitties, now to bed.  ilona

Sunday, 17 February 2019

A fun sewing day.

I've had a smashing day at Jaylaurs Sewing Workshop in Brigg, my friend Lynn came with me. We did a patchwork machine embroidery art quilt. It was a lot of fun. Although mine looks fine on the pictures, close up there are dozens of mistakes. I didn't like the Singer sewing machine very much, next time I will take my own. 
Wobbly lines of stitching everywhere.

I put a lot more stitching on the flowers to cover up for the fact that I struggled to follow the pencil markings.

The squares in the background are sewn on with zigzag stitch.

I didn't have time to put the binding on mine, so I will finish that off at home.

There were five choices of flowers. Originally I picked the most difficult, so I went for the sunflowers instead. Lynn made a fantastic job of the daisies, this was her first time of trying this.

An enjoyable day, great company, we had a laugh, and I learnt something.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Stepping back from MSE Forum

For over ten years I have been commenting on the Money Saving Expert forum, sharing what money saving knowledge I have in the hope that it might be helpful to those who are not so savvy. It's a very big forum with lots of subjects, and very busy. A bit of everything for everyone to join in with.

I visit the forum almost every day, and it has taught me a lot about life in general, about money, housing, holidays, relationships, health, debt busting, and there are places to go for a bit of chat.

I am logged in permanently on my two computers, so I never have to remember passwords, except once a year when I get a page asking me to log in just the once. I usually manage this after searching my notebooks for the magic code. This time however, it happened a few days ago, no matter what combination I entered in the boxes, it would not let me in.

I clicked on 'Forgotten password?' to get it sent by email. It arrived, I tried that, with the three email addresses, still no joy. So now I am losing the will to live. Do I really want to spend hours reading about other people's woes, participating in idle chatter, and shaking my head in amazement when someone admits to being totally out of control with their finances.

I have tried to put people on the straight and narrow, taking control of their money instead of letting their money control them, and advising of the next steps to take. It's like pissing in the sea.

Credit is the way everyone is going, but I am of the old school, saving up until I can afford something. I am out of touch with reality, so I have been told. It's all electronic now, and I still pay cash for a lot of things.

I have come to the conclusion that I need to step away from the forum for a while. The sun is shining and I should be outside. I won't bother to reset my log in details and password until the end of the summer. They can manage without me, I have my own life to live.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

A Valentine for all my readers.

I have just finished this small picture. it's 8 inches square. Some of you might remember that I made the heart a while ago out of melted plastic. I stitched it onto a piece of orange fabric which I got at the Scrapstore. 
A friend gave me a plastic child's toy, like a construction kit. I cut the pieces into small crumbs, put them between two sheets of baking paper and ironed them till they fused together. Then cut out the heart shape.

I have some bits left over which will get used on another project.

I used matching cotton to stitch the heart onto the fabric. I pulled it tight over the canvas, bought for 50p from Poundland, pinning it down at the back, then laced it tight with some cord, tucking the corners in and securing with orange cotton.

I gave the heart two coats of clear nail varnish, and around the edge I couched on two rows of black wool to give it a more defined outline.

On the back I hid all the mess with a piece of orange felt and neatly stitched it on, then added the two rings.

I was going to use the heart as the centre piece for a bigger artwork, but decided that it would look nice by itself. It looks proper cute, I love it.

Re using plastic when it was no longer wanted.   ilona

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Estas Tonne, musical genius will blow you away

Friends visited today and I showed them the boogie woogie videos that I like on yooootoooob. Then Bob took the mouse and said take a look at this guitarist, watch how fast his fingers move.

Wow, this man is the cream of guitar playing. So much passion, he goes into a trance as the music ripples through his body and out through his fingers. Best sound is through your headphones. Watch how he becomes his guitar.

When you have listened to this, take a look at his other videos, they aren't all as fast and furious as this one. Some of them you can sit back and close your eyes, and the music will transfer you to another place. It's wonderful meditation music.

And for good measure, two for the price of one, I've just found this one.

Who needs a tele when you have entertainment like this.

Monday, 11 February 2019

It's the little things......

..........that make me happy. My friend has a long handled brush and pan, she was using it last time I was there. That's handy, I thought, no bending to clear up a few crumbs in the kitchen, I must get one of those. I looked in Poundstretcher last week, they were £2.99. Too much I thought, I'll look elsewhere, must be able to get one cheaper than that. 
What did we find in the garage when we were clearing it yesterday, a long handled brush and pan. I was chuffed to little mintballs. Just goes to show, if you wait for something, it will turn up. 
While checking a laptop case today I found a pair of headphones, brand new, not been used. Oooh, I wonder if they will work in my little netbook. The volume is terrible, I have tried all kinds of headphones, nothing has worked.

I plugged them in and went onto yoootoooob, MAGIC, they work, now the sound goes straight into my ears.

Two small items that I needed, lucky me. Tomorrow I will go to town and take some things to two charity shops. The garden tools will be put out on the front with a notice, 'free to take'. My friend had a chair tonight, it matches one she already has, and she wanted a small hammer. There is a step ladder which is taller than the one I have, I'll keep that as it will make hedge cutting easier. I gave a bundle of artist brushes to a friend, she is taking up painting. I have a small easel for her and some paper which I will drop off tomorrow. I have plans for the rest of the rescued stuff.   ilona

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Trying to save the planet

I've had a very busy weekend. Auntie has sold her house and it had to be emptied, a skip was ordered and I have been there to rescue anything which can be passed on. I now have two car loads of stuff in my house which needs sorting out and taking to charity shops, and given to people who want it. There's all kinds of stuff, too much to list here. I will find a good home for everything.

On the way back today I timed it right that I got to Tesco at 3.15pm, so I was able to get some yellow stickers. Whoooopeeee, lots of sprouts.

Salad leaves.

Posh roasted potato salad.

A large loaf, I will divide it up and put it in the freezer.