Just lots and lots of thread.
It was such a beautiful day, I didn't want to be indoors. With summer on the wane you need to make the most of the sunshine while we've still got it. So I had a gentle amble through the local cemetery. Not as grim as it sounds as it's a sprawling Victorian Garden Cemetery, full of winding paths, imposing obelisks, statuary of draped urns and Celtic crosses. I came across this gravestone where the ivy has been cleared off it, but once the greenery's gone there's still the tangle of branches to cut away. It really is like a piece of modern art. I love the contrast between the carvings on the stone and the wildness of the plant weaving around it. It's impressive too because at some point I'm sure the stone will be cleaned up and order restored, so this 'art' won't be around forever.
In between sunning myself I finished off a needlepoint cushion. It's not perfect, but there are parts of it I like a lot. I've used embroidery thread and metallic silver thread, which works out well. What's less successful are the deep colours (such as the dark brown). I should've kept all the colours light and ice cream-ish, lots of pastels rather than anything too intense. Never mind, I'm still happy with it.
I didn't mean to, but when I nipped out to the supermarket I splurged on a DVD. Hmm, not really part of the not-consuming being-thrifty plan, eh? But in my defence m'lud, it's the last series of 'The Thick of It' which I adore, and I know I'll watch it again and again. And it was only a fiver and ...
That's how supermarkets get you, isn't it? You're pootling around with your list, thinking you'll buy some milk, teabags, a jar of spices then - oh look, saucepans are on special offer. That DVD's only a fiver. Those mugs are nice, and while I don't need yet more coffee mugs those ones are 3 for 2 ... Before you know it you've spent far too much.
I bought towels the other week as they seemed too much of a bargain to resist. A beautiful pale turquoisey blue, bath sheets reduced from £20 to £6 a pair, hand towels from £14 to £3 a pair. Yes, they were inexpensive, but I've got a stack of towels already. Opting out , even a fraction from the consumer culture is tricky when opting enthusiastically in and buying nice things can be very pleasing.
Oh well, I'll post this, then I'll check my ebay sales and see if any of the books/DVDs I've listed have sold. Maybe that'll help balance things out a little.
This i s a piece of needlepoint that's nearing completion, almost ready to be stretched back into shape and made up into a draught excluder.
It's not turned out quite how I planned, mainly because I didn't have the colours of wool I'd wanted to use.
Normally I'd just have bought more wool on ebay or nipped out to the nearest craft shop, but I'm trying to practise the art of thrift. Specially important since I'm not working at the moment.
So, I made do with what I've got, which is mainly masses of autumnal colours - dark brown, caramel,, orange, rust, interspersed with some bluey-purples and - as always - some pink. I'm pretty happy with how the needlepoint's turned out, and happy with not having splurged more money on tapestry wool.
I'm going to try and keep this thrifty thing going. So no more adding to the fabric stash. Of course, they say the road to the Hell is paved with good intentions, so let's see how that pans out next time I'm in my favourite cheap'n'cheerful fabric shop.
It's strange, but you can look at something for ages before finally realizing it needs updating. This poster frame has been home to a sheet of rose decorated wrapping paper and assorted postcards, prayercards etc for several years. It was only the other day I really noticed how faded the flowers were., the sun having bleached much of their colour away.
I did think of buying some shiny new giftwrap - Emma Bridgewater's blue & white 'Big Love' design came to mind - but I need to be mindful of the pennies. Really can't justify spending three or four pounds on a big sheet of paper!
So, instead I dug out a roll of the brown stuff.
It's surprisingly handsome for something designed to simply wrap parcels in. Actually, it makes great wrapping paper for presents, especially teamed up with a fancy ribbon - pale grey or blush pink would look pretty. In this case, brown paper makes a neutral background for little things like an old Christmas card of a cat in a hat or a fab postcard of a rather stout lady feeding what look like v. grateful feral moggies. I'll keep adding bits and pieces to the display as I come across them, making it much more personal than a mass produced item could ever be.
I tend to spend my breakfast skimming The Guardian's website, taking a shameful peak at The Daily Mail online (then recoiling in horror at what they consider 'news') before taking a nose at Twitter and Flickr. After that, I like to browse a few crafty sites.
I'm always on the lookout for new sites, and it's fun when you find one that's colourful and interesting (with a minimal amount of Cath Kidston style bunting). The mix I like is craft stuff, some vintage/thrift shop finds (though it gets a wee bit boring if people just list their best buys and the cost) and a Green bias toward re-using/upcycling. I love shots of peoples homes too. Great to see that other crafters live in organised chaos with toppling-over fabric stashes and cupboards full of 'It'll come in useful one day' odds & ends. Two that're vibrant in their use of colour are www.scrumdillydilly.blogspot.co.uk (Jessica Wilson) and www.woodandwoolstool.blogspot.nl (Ingrid Jansen). Always happy to stumble across new sites, or to receive suggestions for future browsing. Any that you know of?
It feels as though we're gradually moving towards autumn, doesn't it? Not that I dislike the season. It's actually one of the nicest times of the year, the bronzes and golden coloured leaves on trees, the crisp fresh days. I could do with a few more hot summery days though before the sandals go back in the wardrobe and the coats make an appearance.
Talking of clothes the shops are full of autumn/winter fashions. Very tempting. I'll have to resist, unfortunately, as
(a) I'm not working so no salary = no new clothes.
(b) I'm trying to cut down on buying new, sticking instead to 2nd hand shops, and to making do and mending the contents of my existing wardrobe. No fashion magazines for me either. So I'll carry on crafting and maybe get around to sewing that velvet ribbon on to the hem of my aged cashmere cardi in a bid to liven it up.
It's interesting how you put a couple of pictures together, add a little something else, tweak it a bit and come up with a very pleasing arrangement (at least to my eyes!) The larger clip frame used to contain a 'Keep Calm & Carry On' poster. I loved the font, but the message is just too plastered everywhere to be witty or original any more.. So instead there's an image of a painting, no idea who by. It was a page torn from an old Country Living magazine. The fox is part of a cardboard puppet, the only bit I have. The blue tile is a practice piece from a ceramics course I took. The photo on the top left is me!!! Years and years ago, in the days when I was cute. Bless!
I really do need to work on my ability (or inability) to focus. I'm always starting one project, getting a new idea, switching to something else. All projects get finished at some point, but I'm meant to be focusing on making crafty stuff to sell.
Instead I'm sewing together flag blocks to make another wonky seamed Union Jack quilt ... and I'm making more yo-yos (see last post) for an eventual quilt ... and I'm trying to get back into creative writing. That novel! Will it ever get written / published???? Then there's the allotment - blooming bindweed everywhere to be constantly dug out.
There's the bathroom that I've started to re-paint. I need to dig out the dusty sewing machine and make a door curtain too. ... Oh, it's all too much. I may need to lie down in a darkened room. :-)