Friday, 30 May 2008


So I went upstairs to photograph some brooches like I said. Then I started stitching beads on some others... or rather I attempted to. I picked up my bead storage drawers and three of the b***** drawers fell out!!! Aaarrrrggghhh!!! Beads went everywhere. Tiny delica beads went everywhere. Tiny red and clear delica beads went everywhere. All over my work table...

...and all over the floor. The very mucky floor - that desperately needs vac-ing 'cause it's covered in thread, bits of towelling fluff from this morning, cat hair and now flipping beads!!!

I am SOOOO fed up. I have spent about half an hour picking beads up off the floor. Sad I know but I can't just throw three packets of beads away just like that.

OK. Rant over. I've calmed down a bit now. I'm sure I was going to blog something else but it can wait 'til tomorrow. ttfn xx

All Sillied Out!

So here is Tuft, the baby Orang Utan, sitting on Shika's back. Kiddie decided to have a photo shoot this morning. He reminds me of Cuddles the monkey the other puppet who belonged to Keith Harris (Mr Orville).

So I told you I'd been a busy girl - actually doing some crafting. Well, here are the fruits of my labours, just to prove how rubbish a mum I've been this holiday. First off are a couple of those little felt boxes that I made from applehead's tutorial. I have lots of ideas for developing these as I've got loads of lovely felt to use up.

And here is a mass-posting of Sillies. I've just uploaded these to Flickr (click on the button on the left), so thought I'd blog 'em too, now they are all finished. Maybe I'll take the next step and etsy-fy one or two of them over the weekend...

Fly Away Home...

Buzz Off

Plain Silly




Plain Silly 2

Fly Away Home

Is it a Bird...?

And after their sensible photo shoot the 'girls' had a play in one of my latest car boot gems. Did you have Sindy dolls when you were a girl? I did and I had a very basic house (basic in comparison to later models like kiddie's). I have looked at them on eBay in the past and they have always gone for stupid money. So I was a bit wary when I spotted one at the boot sale - how much were they going to try and sting me for? And the extortionate charge.... 75p!!! hee hee hee I don't know what I'm going to do with it or where I'll keep it but for that price I HAD to have it.

Silly Par-taaaay!!


It's still got it's little serving hatch. How fab!!

And this morning has been spent having another go at a Lucykate Toadstool. This one is a slightly bigger version. I converted the measurements from cms to "s so that you could appreciate the scale of the cow print better. The cap and the base are cerise towelling and the cow bits are PVC - leftovers from my "mean machine".

Phew! That's worn me out. I've now got to go and hit the camera again. I must photograph a load of my brooches for my new venture with incywincy. It's SOOOOO exciting. Watch this space for more info coming soon.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Useless mother tries her best :o(

The weather has just been so pants all half term and I've become conscious of the fact that we've been nowhere and done nothing (apart from the Bower). BUT... this lunchtime the sun came out . Hooray!! So we had a conflab and decided we would go to Twycross Zoo. We quickly threw a drink, a fleece and the camera in a bag and off we went.

Just before leaving home I (foolishly) checked on Google maps which was the quickest way to go. I know exactly where it is but there are several different routes you can take. I decided I'd give Google the benefit of the doubt and headed for the A5, towards the M42. The journey would normally take about 20-30 minutes. Today it took us 2 hours!!! Aaargh!!

About a mile before we joined the motorway we saw smoke billowing into the sky and all too soon saw what had happened. A lorry with a load of bales had caught light on the opposite carriageway. There were 3 fire engines and a water carrier lorry on the scene and the bales were being sprayed with foam. Unfortunately the whole of that side of the A5 was closed and the tailback was affecting the M42. The police were directing all the motorway traffic but we were just left sitting there. We crawled along very slowly before grinding to a complete halt. It took over an hour to travel less than a mile.

Evie was fed up and moaning 'cause it was hot and the zoo would be shut when we got there. I was fed up and moaning 'cause it was hot and Evie was moaning. This little gem did brighten the mood a little though. They really should have planned space for another letter 'n' don't you think? hehe

Anyhoo... moan over. We got there at about 4pm. But that still gave us a couple of hours so we decided to salvage what we could from the afternoon. We did the fastest tour of a zoo ever but we saw everything that we wanted to.

I love capybara. Whoever would have though of putting long legs on a Guinea pig?! The babie were so cute.

One of a few elephants out in the sun. Their enclosure is getting a Changing Rooms job by the looks of things. A new swimming pool is in the offing I think.

Ahhh! Baby Orang having his tea. Another cutie.

The parrots and macaws are such amazing colours. Sadly my camera just didn't pick this up.

I haven't a clue what kind of animal this is... Answers on a postcard... ;o)

And last but not least - my faves - the lemurs. We didn't get to see al of them but these three ring-tailed dudes were near to the exit so I had to have a peep. At Paignton Zoo the lemurs live in a special woodland enclosure where they roam around freely and you can walk amongst them. That is just fab. There is a swinging bridge and quite often they are lurking around when you reach the end of it, just waiting to say hello.

So now I have redeemed myself as a mummy. Kiddie loves me to bits - fickle child!! I bought her a titchy orang utan plushie from the shop (persuading her that the cheapest one was cuter than the more expensive one which she wanted - hehehe) which she has called Tuft. His bed isn't as good as some (

Hopefully the light will be OK tomorrow so I can photograph my Sillies. They are all finished and waiting to be unleashed on the world :o)

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

It's raining again...

So how was the Bank Holiday for you? Were you in the lovely sunny north or the wet and windy south? We seemed to be in the middle (yeah well - it's the Midlands I live in so what did I expect? lol) so it was overcast all day. The odd spot of rain and then, at the end of the parade, the sun peeped through very briefly. "The parade?" I hear you ask... Lichfield Greenhill Bower parade. I think I may have mentioned it... :0) Ginger Spice made another appearance, and in the full glare of public scrutiny. Am I mad? Here is a picture of me, my mum (Scary Spice - very scary) and kiddie as half a Baby Spice. So does it make sense now? Having seen my mother can you understand? Getting dressed up and making a show of myself is a genetic disorder. :0)

Here is the full complement of Spice Girls with two half-Baby Spices at the front making a whole one. Trudy (Posh) managed to walk the entire two mile route wearing those boots. All hail Trudy!!

And here we are en route, with the fab Nick driving his Marlin. In the background you can just make out Jake and Elwood - The Blues Brothers - who accompanied us in our quest for funds.

All in all it was a fab day, although there was a lot of hanging around before we set off. Next year we plan to make our entry bigger and better, with a lorry float so we don't have to walk - hehe. I'm already formulating ideas for a theme but any suggestions would be very welcome. Who knows, we may even let some of the school children join in ;0)

So onto other things... Are you sitting down? I have actually been doing some crafting. Shock!! Horror!! I may have been in danger of flouting the Trades Descriptions Act or something, I mean this is meant to be a craft blog, isn't it. Well here are the 12 Sillies I have been working on. I decided to have a play with these ones and give them a bit more personality. SO there are a variety of expressions, as well as hair and skin colours. I quite liked the cross-eyed ones as they were, but then the idea of them actually looking at something on their noses hit me. Butterflies, bees and ladybirds were the answer. Some of them are a bit stroppy looking but then who has girls that are perfect angels all the time? I'm just making their dresses then I'll take some more photos so you can see what you think.

The other things I've been making are these cute little fabric boxes. I found this tutorial on applehead's blog a while ago (I've linked to it before I know but it is great and I like to make sure I always give credit), and finally decided to have a go. I picked up the polka dot pillowcase at a car boot sale and the felt was in a parcel of off-cuts I bought very cheaply on eBay. They are really quick and easy to make and can hold any number of odds and ends. I plan to make another batch of these. It's full steam ahead now for my very first craft fair.

The fair - Truly Handmade - now has it's own website. Quite a few of us from the CF will be attending so come and say hello. A bit of moral support would be great, as well as getting to meet some of my 'invisible' friends in the flesh. :0)

Almost forgot. I popped over to Hobbycraft at Tamworth on Saturday. I needed to buy red, white and blue balloons for the Bower and - what a shame - Hobbycraft just happened to have a sale on. It was great actually. usually kiddie hates going shopping but I managed to persuade her with some pocket money. When we got to the store she disappeared to find something to buy with her dosh, so I could look around in peace. When she had spent up I kept giving her challenges of things to find - my balloons hehehe!

Anyway, I disgress. Here are some of the goodies I bought, 'cause I haven't got enough craft stuff honestly. It's such a shame.

Lovely grosgrain ribbon - 99p a reel. There was just too much of this stuff. I wanted one of every pattern and colour combo.

I've never used shrink plastic before and I thought it would be a good half term thing to do when kiddie is fed up. I actually saw a great tutorial using inkjet shrink plastic to make charms for a bracelet. It was done by my Toadstool swap partner, Molly applecyder.

These stamps were so chap I couldn't not have them. The single letters were 29p each and the 4 little cakes were 99p. The ink pad was £2.99 but 3 nice colours and I don't have any apart from black. More experiments for later in the week when boredom has set in. Photos will be forthcoming as we play.

Before I go I'd just like to say thanks to everyone for their fab supportive comments and messages following my last post. It's great to know that you're there and I hope you'll nag me if I come unstuck and start to waiver in the future. I'm on the lookout for a little button/meter to monitor my progress on my blog. If anyone comes across such a thing I'd love a link. :0)

I'm sure there's something I've forgotten but I'll just have to do another post when I remember. ttfn xx

Friday, 23 May 2008

Fairy Dust and Fat Bits

OK! That's it!! Enough is enough! I AM going to lose weight and get fit! I saw the practice nurse yesterday (for one of those horrid 3 yearly visits - yuck!) and when I stepped on the scales I nearly threw up. I'm not going to mention numbers but it's enough to know that I'm creeping steadily towards the next highest one. My BMI means I'm in the 'health at risk' category. So I've decided to stop the rot.

To kick start it all off I'm going to try and kill myself by doing a charity walk. St Giles Hospice is the local hospice that helped look after dad in his final weeks. They provided a fantastic 'at home' service which meant he could stay in his own house with 'normal' life going on around him, grandkids running around and so on, right up until the end. In a similar vein to the Breast Cancer Research Moonwalk, last year St Giles started a Solstice Walk on the night of the 21st/22nd June. This year, their second, the theme is 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', so hundres of women dressed as fairies will be walking the streets of Lichfield. What a perfect opportunity for me - raise money for the hospice, do some serious exercise and dress up! My registration pack is in the post. Just got to start thinking up a costume. Puck do you think?....

I have also been online looking at Weightwatchers. I've 'done' Slimming World twice before and the first time I lost loads, but I think now I kind of know their system and how to work it. The second time I cut corners, didn't stay for class and spent wods of cash only to lose about 3 pounds. So I reckon I should try WW as it's different. I can start there with a clean slate as a totally newbie. It's just a shame there's no class until next week. I want to go now while I'm all fired up.

Crafty stuff later.


Thursday, 22 May 2008

Proper Post

Come on Blogger! Wake up!! I was just about to give up - I've waited SOOOO long for these photos to upload. Anyhoo - I'm here now and so are they.
So did you spot my new buttons over there on the left somewhere? I've got two. The first is for LucyKate's Toadstool swap. I think I may have mentioned it before but if not, to recap, LucyKate did a fab tutorial on her blog to make a little fabric toadstool. It's still there if you'd like to give it a go. LK decided to organise a swap of these little toadies and around 65 people signed up!! My partner is a lovely lady from America called Molly. I checked our her blog to see what talented artist I've been paired up with and she has made some lovely things. I must do lots of practise before I make her toadstool.
Here is my very first attempt. I have reused some old samples from City and Guilds days - stamped and layered fabrics - which I have stitched a few beads to before making my fungus.
The edge is stitched with space-dyed thread as well. A real blast from the past using such 'creative' materials. hehe

LucyKate has also set up a Flickr group so we can post pics of our toadies.
The second button is for another Flickr group, called Best Bargain Buys. This has been created by another CF member - JellyBelly*JellyBrain. As the name suggests, it's a group to show piccies of your best thrifted goodies. So many of us have been bragging about what fab bargains we have picked up from car boots and charity shops (who? me?) that she decided we should have a place to do it. So here are a few of the goodies that I have picked up - some on Sunday and some previously.
First up, a huge bagful of broken bits of jewellery and watched for £2.00. I'm still kicking myself nearly a year later because the lady had two other bags and I didn't get them!! Grrr!

This is a blouse that mum picked up on Sunday for 20p. It won't fit me but the lace and buttons will be very handy for trimming something, I'm sure.

A pile of books for 20p each, including a hardback Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Kiddie is massively into Roald Dahl at the moment.

Well I think I'm going to quit while I'm ahead. It seems now that I don't blog for a few days then do a HUGE one to catch up, which must get a bit boring to read. So I'm going to try Carina's approach and do a few smaller posts throughout the day. Maybe then the photos will be easier to upload.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Swirly Fan Club!!

So who recognises the beautiful bundle in this picture? Anybody who reads Swirly's blog will have seen a photo very similar to this a few days ago. It was a mystery present that she was sending out to some lucky person but she wouldn't reveal who.

And now you can see that I was the lucky mystery recipient. So do you want to see what was in it?... Here you go then..

It's a magical sticker maker. Dear Miss Swirls is currently having a whale of a time making fab stickers from repurposed papers and selling them on etsy. They are fantastic. She has been posting about the fun she's having with the machine in her blog and I happened to comment that I'd love one. Can you imagine...? I never for a minute expected her to send me one. I just hope I'm not betraying all her trade secerets now :0( by showing the machine.

As well as the fab gadget, she sent me some little flower stickers in an envelope, another card for my keepsakes pinboard and a great button ring (which I'm wearing now).

God!! My hands look so wrinkly! That's what too much sun does for you! I've always loved my hands when they're brown but now I'm paying the price. Sometimes seeing a photo of something that you look at every day changes how you see it, don't you think? It's like seeing your face in the mirror every day and then seeing a photo of yourself. You look so different in the photo but that's the way everyone else sees you.

But I digress.

My post today is purely to say a huge THANK YOU to Lynsey for my totally unexpected but totally out of this world present. Keep watching the post Mrs S. It's payback time!!!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Sunday as it should be....

Now that has been a 'proper' weekend. Friday night - takeaway, Saturday night - out with the girlies, Sunday - hit the car boot sale and round it all off with a BIG FAT roast dinner. Yay!!

Saturday was one of the school mums nights out we have every so often. Normally there are about 40 of us invading the Hamilton Suite at Drayton Manor Park for food, drink and a D.I.S.C.O. This time there were only 8 of us for some reason but it was good fun nevertheless. I just felt a bit under-dressed. No wig. No platforms. It was all wrong. So I piled on half a pot of glitter and my wedge sandals. I'm still finding glitter now after a wash and a shower! Will probably still be sparkling for work tomorrow!

BDB and I had a mega chin wag while getting merry on vodka smuggled in in kiddie sports bottles (shhh - don't tell). The booze at these places is always so expensive and the wine is junk, so after one bottle we brought our own. Bad girls!!! BDB asked the DJ to play Shakira cuz 2 of us on table 8 were belly dancers but I was still so stuffed with grub and sober that - SHOCK! HORROR! - I could not perform with everyone watching. BDB was most unimpressed but shimmied away anyway. Later Mr DJ played one of the bestest songs ever from my youth - Tainted Love by Soft Cell BUT the extended remix with Where Did Our Love Go. Oh it's just fab! I was back at the school disco again... What a sad old bag! Luckily there were no youngsters to laugh at us. I think ours was the youngest table of people there. hehe

I must admit tho', by the time I got to bed I was in Spinning World every time I shut my eyes. Oops! I thought I'd have a really bad head this morning but half a pint of water, some salt and some carbohydrates (a bag of plain crisps) before I went to sleep seemed to do the trick. I felt right as rain. :0)

Dropped kiddie round to our friends (last Saturday's birthday girl and her OH - A&T) who were taking her swimming with their kids. My OH went diving so I had most of the day to myself. I confess I let the opportunity to get creative pass me by. I was busy planning... Planning what? I hear you ask... well... I now know when the next party will be. Yeeha!! OH has finally decided that he DOES want a party for his 40th birthday. Better late than never. It will be a fancy dress affair (of course!). And his theme 80s rock and pop stars. I had nothing to do with this choice at all, tho' I'm not at all sad about it. So, I spent the afternoon Googling 1980s for inspiration. And there is lots!! I'm so excited (oh there's an 80s song for you!). I'll give little snippets and clues as I develop my next creation and see if you can guess who I've gone for.

Kiddie spent the rest of the afternoon with A&T and they even offered to feed her. OH went to the Co-op to buy food for us two on his way home, but just as he was about to start cooking we got a phone call to ask if we wanted to go round there too. So we had the most slap up Sunday dinner. T is a chef and we had 3 courses, plus a bottle of champers left from last weekend. Fantastic!

And now I'm back home and writing this and realising that it sounds like I'm a real alcoholic. "Hello. My name's Ethel and Edna and I'm a blogoholic", but that's about as far as it goes.

OK. Craft stuff. I said I'd been working on a batch of Sillies - well here they are. A dozen of 'em all ready for the fun bit. Is it just me or is the best bit doing the hair, faces and clothes on dolls? Is it because that means they're nearly finished or is it cuz that's when they get their personality? I can't wait for Tuesday so I can get cracking on them.

Mum went to a May Fair (that's two words ;0) !!) yesterday and bought me a few little goodies. The best is this little lady, or not so little really.

How glamorous is she? I love her. She needs a bit of tlc though. Her head is barely attached to her neck (I pinned it for the photo) and her thighs don't have enough stuffing. Her button joints are also a bit loose (I know how she feels!!). I'm going to try and see if I can make a pattern from her as I'd love to make another one of her myself.

Her friend is s 'proper' Zulu doll - so it says on her tag. She has some amazing beadwork jewellery which looks pretty authentic I must admit.

They are sitting on a Scrabble set as you can see. It's incomplete so only cost 25p! I'd only mentioned to mum about looking out for a set the other day, to use the odd letters for jewellery and things, and lo and behold she finds one!

OK. It's ended up a pretty lengthy post yet again so I'd better call it a day, but there's still so much to say. 'Manners' for one thing, and Lucykate's swap, and my car boot finds of today... They'll just have to wait 'til tomorrow. And so will you. Nighty night x

Friday, 16 May 2008

Wake me up later

How hard was it to get up this morning?! It's all cold and damp outside - no incentive to drag myself out of The Pit, and I had woken up at about 4am having a nightmare, so now I am half asleep. How I managed to get Evie to school I still don't know. Here is a shot from the window of my work 'cupboard' just 2 days ago. Look! It was sunny! Remember? Come back nice weather. Pleeeeeeeeeeease.

Cheerful things yesterday. Look at my lovely goodies from the equally lovely Suzanne at Chickadee Cards. I won her giveaway and she made me these fabby earrings as a prize. They are just the perfect colours for me - blues and greens. Gorgeous. She also enclosed one of her amazing cards in another fave colour combo - Barbie pink and lime green. The card's too nice to send to anyone. I think I'm going to start a pinboard for displaying all the moo cards, postcards and any other bits and bobs I receive from people.

More loveliness that my sister has got me addicted to...

Yummy!!!!! And fab coloured packaging too. (Am I sad getting excited about sweet packets?)

Well, to spread the happiness, here is Katy Ginger Monkey's doll swap parcel just before I took it to the Post Office. I love giving prezzies. I just wish I could be there to see her reaction when she opens it.

I can't post any sneaky peaks at what's inside because -Blonde Moment Warning!!! - I forgot to take any photos. Doh!! Have asked Katy to take some and email them for me.

While at the Post Office I bought a presentation pack of the new stamps, just released. WE'RE FAMOUS!!! The First Class stamp shows Lichfield Cathedral. How cool is that? Forgot to take a piccie of that too. Will post one later.

Just had to show you that my kiddie has been exercising her creative streak recently. She created this 'outfit for a fairy made from the sun'. I had to pretend to be the sun and give her golden cord and golden fabric to make the frock. Bless her and her vivid imagination.

After saying the other day that I wanted to be tagged, Carina has 'got me' with a slightly different variation to ones I've seen before. So here goes...
The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.
1) What was I doing 10 years ago? 1998....? err.....? working for Heritage Stitchcraft (now known as Heritage Crafts I think). We designed, made and sold counted cross stitch kits, silk ribbon embroidery kits, embroidery scissors and books. It was a fab job most of the time. That is where I discovered my love of textiles and was introduced to the City and Guilds courses by my great friend Diane.
2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order): Make some Silly Girls, complete a Market Research Survey that I should have sent back weeks ago, Evie from school, put a load of junk in the loft, try to wake up enough to go out for a drink with friends later, tidy Evie's bedroom (urgh!).
3) Snacks I enjoy: We're big on monkey nuts at the moment! You can't beat a pack of Walkers Chees and Onion. Chocolate - at room temperature, it goes without saying!!!
4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
i)Move to Cornwall and buy a house near the sea and a piece of woodland.
ii)Do the usual for family - pay off mortgages, buy nice houses, etc.
iii)Give a HUGE lump to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation so they can find a cure.
iv)Pay a team of scientists to develop a time machine and go and fetch dad (see point iii).
v)At the moment fly a covert team of aid workers into Burma to the little villages that noone seems to care about.
vi)Buy as much rainforest as possible to keep it from being chopped down.
5) Places I have lived: Alrewas, Lichfield, Armitage, Lichfield (again!), Blogland, Away with the Fairies. I live in the latter two residences with increasing frequency.
6) 6 peeps I wanna know more about: Sam, Jackie, Emma, Charlotte, Laurie, and.... Sara, who've probably ALL done this a million times before but I'm a tedious person and want to know this stuff.
HOW could I have missed blogging this? Hooray Russ. xxx

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Oh Pants! I Forgot to Put a Title. Mr Media is Going to Ban my Blog!!! :0(

Helloooooo. I'm back!!!!!

Crikey Heck! It seems like ages since my last 'proper' post. There has been so much going on, but now I'm back with post number 70!!! Can you believe that - 70 posts already!! I'm just gutted as it's only today that I've thought about getting a hit counter so I've no idea how many people have actually visited my little world 'til now. Ah well.

So first things first - The Party! Well I opted for Ginger Spice and made a dress as I said. Here it is as a WIP. It took ages 'cause my dress form is way too small. So I had to keep sewing a bit then putting the dress on to try it for fit. In the end I got so fed up, I decided if I could get into it it would do. It was a bit snug in places and loose in others but it did the job.

We went to the local fancy dress hire place and hired a wig each and I got my mega fantastic boots. Here are a few piccies with some of the faces no longer obscured as BDB and her hubbie aren't so shy after all.... ;0)

Oui. C'est moi!!

Et mon 'other half' enjoying the drag thing just a bit too much - hehe

From left to right - OH, me. BDB, OH of BDB. How fabulous do we look!

The party was a blast. The weather was great so we were all outside - front and back of the house. I think everyone had dressed up to some extent, some to a greater extent than others hehe. I only wish I could post more photos but it's not fair to people who I haven't asked. The party received the ultimate accolade, at 12.30 the Police arrived!!! Some neighbours had complained about the noise (were the miffed at not being invited?...) I don't know what the PC and WPC made of it when they asked to see the owners of the property. The party girl was Posh Spice in black PVC catsuit mode with black corset over the top, and her other half was the leather Policeman from the Village People. He was wearing black leather trousers, black leather NYPD shirt, black leather cap, full face fuzz and underneath a leather harness. Hmm... We turned the music down and they were very amiable about the whole thing really.

It was a great night with much dancing and a bit of drinking and eating. We staggered home at 1.45 both crippled by our stupid footwear. hehehe

Oh I almost forgot. The prezzie... in the end I made up a sort of goody bag. Some of the things were silly ones to remind her of her childhood and some were more sensible little treats. I researched 1968 on the 'net to find out what was on TV, music, films, toys, sweets, etc then worked from that. I bought a 10p mix (well a bit more than 10p really) of Black Jacks, Fruit Salads, Shrimps, sherbert Fountains and so on. From The Works I got a little book of classic Cathy and Clare Problem Pages and a set of Basil Brush fridge magnets. I also bought a pair of earrings and a Suzy Smith purse from a little shop in Lichfield and a coaster which read 'I'd Rather Be Wearing My Jimmy Choos'. The one thing I'd forgotten is that she is an absolute shoe fiend! There were other bits and bobs as well that I can't remember, but she was really pleased and came round the next day (her actual birthday) to say thanks. Phew!! Thank Heavens for last minute flashes of inspiration. Just wish I'd had more time to do it better.

OK. I promised I'd finally unveil my mean machine beach trolley, well here's the WIP shot. Did you guess the right colour combo JB*JB? I just love it. I couldn't see any oilcloth I liked, then in Dunelm I spotted this roll of PVC. Cow print PVC!!! I ask you?! How fantastic!! That reminded me of Jelly's bunting and I thought I would love to find some really bright pink to go with it. But there was nothing in all the rolls and rolls of fabric that was any good. SO I started to think laterally.

In another part of the shop they had a bale of towels for £6.99. Two face cloths, two hand towels and two bath towels. When I measured the dimensions that gave plenty of material to be my lining so that was it. Eureka!!!

The actual making of the thing was another matter entirely. Have you ever tried to sew PVC? Grrrr!! Never again! And in the end I had measured wrongly. I'd been too generous so the bag is a little on the large side, but I was so frustrated I decided not to try to redo it all.

And that is why she's still not entirely finished. I need something to reinforce those unsupported top seams along the sides so they don't sag. Also a way of fastening the front and back top seams so they will attach to the front and back bits of the frame. Does that make sense? Basically I've got to fasten the bag around the top of the frame so it stays open and square. After that it's just polish up the frame and clean the wheels I think.

I love her (well cows are girls aren't they?!). Can't wait to go on holidays now.

Hooray!! It's back!!! (Deja vue - haven't I already said that this post?) No - this time it's my sewing machine that's back from the menders. £89 later I have a beautifully clean, smooth running machine. Boy, have I missed it!!! To celebrate I finally managed to start the doll for Katy at imagingermonkey. Bless her heart for being so patient and understanding. :0) Hopefully it will be finished and off in the post in a day or two.

Whilst we're on the subject of giveaways and swaps here is my beautiful bag that I won in the giveaway on Blooming Felt recently. Thanks SOOOOO much Sarah. It's lovely. I'm having to keep this one out of kiddie's way.

I'm obviously having a lucky streak at the moment as ethel and ednas tearoom has been drawn out of the hat for another giveaway. The lovely Suzanne at Chickadee Cards also makes fabby jewellery and she is making me a bracelet or pair of earrings as a prize. I do love getting nice post and I think swaps are a great idea. I want to do loads more now I've got the bug, but I suppose I really ought to start and make some things to sell as well. My contract at college will end all too soon and then I'll be back to no income again. Aargh!

I have tried to be a good and thrifty person and this weekend was no exception. I hit the car boot sale on Sunday morning as it was so gorgeous. This is "Find of the Day Number 1". A bag of assorted sheer ribbons, a bag of black and gilt buttons, a bag of little coloured buttons, a plastic pot of white, cream and MOP buttons, two kilt pins and loads of bigger coloured buttons all contained in this clear case for 50p!!! Yay!!

Right at the end of the sale kiddie came running up saying that she and Nanny had found a stall with loads of fabric and trim and stuff. She took me to where the stall was and it turned out to be a mum and daughter who I'd done my machine embroidery course with. Very sadly the mum's eyesight had virtually gone in a very short space of time so she was having to stop stitching. This is why they were selling loads of their stash off and so cheaply as well. It was just frustrating because I had virtually no money left by then, but this is what I did get-

seven scrummy squares of felt for 20p each and three spools of fancy yarn also 20p each. I've told them to come back and stand next week and I'll bring more dosh!!!

This little pile of loveliness is courtesy of my mum - the Car Boot Queen. A fab little set of hand painted Whittards coffee cups. When I get round to it I want my kitchen to be in all these kinds of colours so they have taken pride of place on my little shelf in readiness.

Well I think that's enough to have bored you all to death so I'll finish now. Oh, apart from one last thing - well done BDB on getting your new job!!! ;0)