Wednesday, 30 October 2019

25 done.

A catch up on the little lanterns. I have made 25 of them. Might make some more, there is another month to go before the Christmas Fair. 

I did a five mile walk this afternoon and saw a fabulous sunset. These pictures are just as I took them, no photoshopping. It's a good zoom on my little Cannon.

That's all, I fancy a hot chocolate before bed time. Toodle pip.  ilona

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Quick visit to Hull

I took a bus ride to Hull this afternoon, I wanted to check out the location of the hotel I will be visiting. It's in the centre of Hull so I wasn't sure if there would be a car park. There is, not a big one for the size of the hotel, so I hope it doesn't get chocca and I can get a space.

While I was there I had a look at the exhibitions at Ferens Art Gallery. Most of the paintings are not my cup of tea, Old Masters type of thing, very ancient. There was some up to date modern art, but it didn't float my boat, I couldn't see the point of a lot of it.

I've got 20 shopping bags to give away after my talk, and will randomly toss them into the audience. Hope that doesn't start a riot when they try and grab them, ha ha.

I'll go for a walk now, nearly at the end of the month and I want to top up my miles. The target for 10 months is 833 miles, which is what I am on now, so I'll just slip a few more in to give me a start for November.
Toodle pip.   ilona

Monday, 28 October 2019

Wot a lot of Lego

I went to the 20 21 Arts centre on Saturday to see the Lego exhibition. It was very good. They have had Lego here before, it was all about buildings, here is the link to that blog post. This exhibition explores different ways to make art with the little plastic pieces. It's not about piling bricks on top of each other in a uniformed way, there are thousands of ways they can be incorporated into a Lego sculpture, or a picture to hang on the wall. 
Spooky masks. 
There were sculptures using only one colour. Some of these were behind glass so please excuse the reflections.

This one appears to be floating, it is hanging from the ceiling.

Lots of smaller objects, bags, accessories, and jewellery. 
Large pictures with a Lego theme. I think the reflections of the church windows add something to this one.

My kind of art, ha ha. lots of colours. I knew there was something I could do with my collection of bottle tops.

Now this was interesting, there are four pictures like this where the artist has made a flat picture into three dimensional by adding the bricks. What a good idea.

Again these are in glass cases. A crouching person in white and grey bricks. 

These sculptures look like pixelated pictures.

The activity table, anyone can have a go. There were a lot of children playing on the other table, making paper pictures and sculptures. It is an excellent free facility to teach children about art.

I met a really nice lady there, her daughter very proudly showed us what she had made. 

I'm giving Crafty Club a miss this morning, too much to do here. Making bags to give away when I do a talk on Saturday in Hull. info on this Facebook page. I have a new idea for my next arty wotsit, keen to get started on that. No time to sit and chat today. Toodle pip.  ilona

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Mornings at Tightwad Towers

What happens on a Saturday morning at Tightwad Towers, any morning for that matter. I get out of bed soon after I wake up, if it's very early, 5am ish I snooze for a bit longer. I cannot jump straight out of bed the minute I open my eyes like I used to when the alarm went off at 3am for an early start. These days it's a bit more relaxed. 
Mayze has started to come to bed with me again. She has been sleeping downstairs on the posh office chair for the last few months, but she is back on the bed with me. This morning we got up at 6.45am. 
Oscar was inside last night and showed no inclination to go out in the rain, so he stayed in. Don't know where he slept but he came upstairs to find me when he heard me pottering in the bathroom. Mayze got up with me when she sensed that Oscar was about, she is still wary of him. 
Once the ablutions were done I fed Oscar first, as he weaves around my legs until a bowl of food is delivered. I have to constantly look down so I don't trip over him, and to divert his attention with food is the only way I am going to make a cup of coffee. 
As I drank my coffee I made two more little lanterns with two bobbins I have just emptied while making shopping bags. I looked round and found Oscar had snuggled up on the posh office chair. 
Mayze was parading around the living room glaring at Oscar. How dare he park himself on MY chair. She was quite miffed. After a few minutes of protestations she disappeared. Coffee finished I went to find her, and Heidi, to see if they were ready for their breakfast. In disgust, Mayze had gone back to bed, so that's where she got her breakfast, served by her slave, in bed.

Heidi is spending most of her time in the spare room, hiding in any place that takes her fancy. I wish she wouldn't park herself on the fabric piles, but I make allowances because she is a gentle soul. The fabric she is sitting on at the moment probably won't get used by me, so I'll let her off this time. When she sees that I am pottering around she gets up and follows me about, then I will give her her tablet, and open a pouch of food. She likes to see the food coming out of the pouch and pushes her nose into the bowl before I have finished.

After seeing to the kids I make my own breakfast. Mushrooms to use up, and one egg left, a chunk of seeded bread, with a slice of cheese and pasta hoops. Bloomin lovely.

So what's the state of play at the moment. The kids are all as they are in the pictures, back in bed. No point in getting up, it's pouring with rain outside. I don't blame them. I will go to Aldi because I have run out of a few things. Will have a visit to the 20 21 Arts Centre, they have a new Lego exhibition, that will get me out. Can't stay within these four walls all day every day.
Enjoy your weekend, Toodle pip.  ilona

Friday, 25 October 2019

Detective work

A letter arrived which didn't seem quite right. I was immediately suspicious of it when I saw the hand written envelope, it looks like a child has scrawled across most of it in large letters. I was expecting a letter from a young person. The logo at the top of the envelope and the franked postage mark didn't match up with the handwriting. Why would a company address an envelope in that fashion. Why wasn't the address printed. Almost correctly I may add, except that there hasn't been a 'South Humberside', for many years.

Inside, a single piece of plain A4 paper, no header, with my address in the top left hand corner, and a four paragraph typed letter. Name of sender at the bottom but no signature. On the back of the letter in the centre, 'Dear Ilona' in the same scrawly writing. Why, I wondered.

Reading through the letter, the first impression I got was the grammar isn't very good. I know mine is not perfect, but this is supposedly from someone who calls themselves a PRODUCER/DIRECTOR of a TV programme. The request was very brief, with minimal and vague details. The subject matter did catch my attention, and for a brief moment I was tempted to call the mobile number.

But then caution kicked in. Something in my brain said be careful. This letter could be from anybody, someone could have access to a franking machine which also prints the logo. My name was scrawled over the top of the postage frank, meaning franked first, addressed after. People from the media always email or telephone first because they want a quick reply, they don't go to the trouble of writing and posting a letter.

I am going to follow my gut instinct and not reply. I may be wrong, it may be a genuine request, and I might be missing out on something interesting. But balance that out with getting myself into a whole heap of trouble which could bring me grief, I would rather not bother. Scam or not, I am always on my guard.

Toodle pip.  ilona

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Bottoms up

Oh heck, I'm down to my last pack of toilet rolls, must be careful with them, not to use too much. You know me and my mantra, two for a pee, three for a poo. When these are gone I will have to buy some more. 
I haven't bought any toilet rolls from a shop in years, always got them from a Cash and Carry in bulk. There are branches of JTF in Lincoln, Sheffield, and Leeds, I used to call in when passing.

Reading back through my blog, the numbers have fluctuated over the years, depending whether I have added to the stash or run them down a bit. In 2009 I had 144, in 2011 it was 240, in 2012 was 154, and down to 76 in 2018. It has been very nice not to have to lug them home with my regular shopping, much easier to sling a big pack of 40 in the car. I might have to check the prices at my local Cash and Carry to see if they will do a deal for a bulk purchase.

Much sewing going on here, made more lanterns, now making shopping bags.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

No tears

I am so glad I bought three packs of chopped onions on yellow stickers a couple of weeks ago. They were 40p per pack. Ideal for freezing, I have nine portions for £1.20, ready to add to soups, stews, and anything else to bulk up a meal. I like onions, so versatile, they go with anything, and no weeping when I use these. 
Another early walk this morning, the sun came up but not as spectacular as yesterday. Looks like I can potter in the garden again today. I have huge white mushrooms in the flower beds. Think I will leave them there, they fill the gaps where some plants are dying off.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Magic happened this morning

Another early morning walk, I remembered my camera this time. The street lights were still shining when I set out. A bit further on they went off one by one as it got lighter.

At the end of the road I turned a corner, oh wow, this is going to be good.

I walked through a gap in the hedge and into a field for a better view. I waited for it to develop.

I was about to witness an awesome sunrise.

Rooted to the spot, I took many pictures. So beautiful.

The fields miles away were ablaze with an orange reflection from the sky.

I walked a bit further and found another vantage point. I never want this to end. Pity it will be gone in a short time.

Keep walking, this is taking me a lot longer than the normal 35 minutes. Can't stop marvelling at the wonderful sights to be had at this time of the morning. Worth getting up for.

Starting to get lighter now.

This is the view in the opposite direction, the sun goes down over the river in the evening. Still a fantastic view. If you see a nice sunrise or sunset always look in the opposite direction.

Time to go home for breakfast, hungry now. I think I'll have porridge and fruit today. Click on a picture to make them larger, and have a slide show. 
Toodle pip.  ilona

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Making little lanterns, part two

Lovely Sunday lunch today.

I don't have any spools to make more little lanterns, so I had a look around for something I could use instead. Remember when we bought films for our cameras in little black containers.  Taping four plastic bottle tops together also does the job.

Here's a ten minute video on what I am using now. It might help those who are having a go.

Toodle pip.  ilona

Singalong Sunday

Let's have a singalong. I was up early and full of beans. Did my walk, three miles, before 7.30am. Had breakfast now the cats want theirs.

I've found a singalong video for you, most should know the words of all the Beatles songs, like I do. See how many you can remember. Click through the perishing ads.
Edit. Just listened through to the end, two advert interruptions, then no more. Very soothing and relaxing. 

Catch you later.  ilona

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Gut instincts.

Hello, I am bizzzeeeeee, so a short and sweet one. This was included in my last yellow sticker shop. I quite like it, I've had it before, but only on a YS. It is normally priced at £1.50, with 50% off it's worth having at 75p. Ingredients, mung bean sprouts, lentil crimson sprouts, aduki bean sprouts, and chickpea sprouts. It took me five days to eat it, a portion added to every meal.

I don't normally like anything that is going to take ages to break down in my mouth, but my teeth coped with this. I eat very slowly anyway. Slightly crunchy, and tasty.

I am making more dangly decs which are now called mini lanterns. Every one is different, will stop when I get fed up and move on to something else. Also waiting to be done are more shopping bags, small fabric gift bags, and some dog duvets. I'd better get on then.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Making tree decorations.

The idea is to make Christmas tree decorations, but they could be used at any time of the year to decorate anything. A branch out of the garden, stuck in a pot would show them off nicely.

Susan Lenz, a blogger and textile artist on my sidebar made some of these. She made hundreds using old cotton reels, or spools as some call them. It inspired me to have a go, but I only had three wooden reels, and found two plastic ones, so what could I use instead. Susan has used vintage postage stamps, and constructed hers using a hot glue gun. I try not to use glue, and look for other ways to make things. Everything is hand sewn on mine.

Some of mine are plastic bottle tops. Stuck together with tape. 

First I made two Suffolk puffs, circles gathered around the edge and pulled tight. The felt is a bit bulky but it works. I have made some with other fabric, doesn't matter if it frays because the edges will be covered up.
On the left is a small plastic container that the gloves came in, from a box of hair colour. Slightly bigger than a spool, but it will do the same job. A hole top and bottom is needed to poke the hanging thread through with a sturdy needle. 
I could have made these puffs a bit smaller, but they will be ok. Spread the gathers evenly and pull the thread tight.

Susan wrapped wool around her spools, which works well. I have made sleeves with felt which can be embellished before attaching it. I use blanket stitch.

I made a video. If you want to have a go and have any questions, just ask.

Here is a link to Susan's blog post, in case you missed it. With her instructions and mine, you should be able to make some, if you so wish.

Looking like a sunny day, so I'm off outside. Toodle pip. Ilona