Saturday, 18 April 2015

Bunter, Buntress, Buntle, Bunting ?


Bob was trying to find a word for someone who makes miles of bunting. We have ruled out “Bunter”.

Billy Bunter aka “The Fat Boy Of The Remove” may have been popular for the first half of the 20th century, but now he is definitely out of favour, for so many reasons.

Buntress” is slang for an ugly woman “Buntle” is urban slang for ‘little bits of grit that get between your toes, then deposit themselves in one’s bed”. And “Bunting Tosser” is naval slang for a signaller [can you confirm that one, Jane and Chris?]  None of these terms seems very polite. Whatever the term is, I have made 150 metres of the stuff now and I am calling a halt to the exercise!

But what’s this? This looks suspiciously like rows of rectangular pink and black bunting. But it isn’t – it is mass production tissue holders!


Steph wants to give each of the guests at her hen party a goodie bag – and so she and Liz have blagged a load of freebies from various sources [cosmetics and toiletry samples] and thought a handmade gift would be fun too. It doesn’t take long to run these up – particularly if you sew them in a line and trim later. I’ve done loads in the past and taught others to do it too. You can find loads of easy tutorials on the net, with ideas for personalising too.

P1010119One useful tip – they turn out so much better if you trim the triangle at each corner.

Some of my more enthusiastic pupils cut rather generously – and snipped a hole in the pouch. P1010120

So I taught the girls this tip – hold the corner with your finger and thumb just on the edge of the stitching, so that when you cut, you do not cut into the seam!

P1010121Turn them out, and load them up with little packs of tissues. Job done! By the way, my rectangles of fabric are 6” x 7”, and I sewed on the trim before sewing the final two seams.P1010131

I shall deliver these black and pink treasures to Steph next weekend, and possibly have some more handmade items for the goodie bags. Prototypes are under way [ok, they’re all over the lounge] right now. Poor Bob has abandoned all hope of me doing Proper Housework whilst I’ve got these many and various Wedding Projects on the go!

Friday, 17 April 2015

What I Did On My Holidays

Frugal Queen shared her quilt error last week – and asked if we had any epic fails with our sewing. I had a bit of a knitting hiccup whilst we were away at on holiday at Cornerstones. Usual story – I was trying to use up some leftover yarn. I had two balls of red DK. I thought at first they were from the same batch – but in certain lights, one ball was clearly more orangey than the other.


I decided to knit up this pattern from my Debbie Bliss book. Its done on one circular needle- and I figured that if I added a stripe of white at the chest, and around the top edge of the sleeves, it wouldn’t be so obvious.

The lace edge is knitted separately and stitched on at the end. So here’s the jumper, and the edging. As you can see, this does not look at all good- the pretty lace edging is completely wrong for the red and white stripes. This definitely counts as a disaster.


I thought again, and decided to do simple moss stitch bands.



Now it reminds me of one of those American College Boys’ Jackets.

How I loved watching Happy Days back in the 70s. Wirth Ron Howard and henry Winkler as Richie Cunningham and The Fonz. When I thought a bloke with a leather jacket and a motorbike was the epitome of cool… [and I still do!]

My other knitting projects on holiday were more successful. I had a large ball of random yarn and knitted another BSJ [they’re addictive]

bsj2  cobblestone bliss cardi 04 15


There was enough left to do a Cobblestone Vest.  Liz shared this pattern with me- it is a great baby vest, knitted in one piece and buttoning at side and should [so no need to pull it over the baby’s head]

I love the fact that with fewer stitches on the needle, the random yarn knits up into much wider stripes.

But the holiday is over and I am back in Dorset again – knitting has been put away and the sewing machines are out again. I have one more load of bunting to complete!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Bring Me Sunshine!


This is such a delightful piece of news, I thought it was worth sharing. Having muttered about Pantone’s rather dull choice of Colour of the Year for 2015 I am so glad they have just brought out a new shade, the first one ever to be tied into a movie franchise.

Pantone Minion Yellow

You can read more about it here

“Based on the Minions from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me global film franchise, including the upcoming prequel Minions, PANTONE Minion Yellow is an illuminating, energetic, friendly and fun-loving yellow shade that immediately calls out to you.

Just as the sun’s rays enliven us, PANTONE Minion Yellow is a color that heightens awareness and creates clarity, lighting the way to the intelligence, originality and the resourcefulness of an open mind – this is the color of hope, joy and optimism," said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute.

Here’s hoping your day is a bright and sunny one!!


Cruising Along

P1010109Dear Mr Cunard, it is very kind of you to invite me to Southampton to see one of your liners [£50 for half a day- that includes lunch. You do have to take your passport – but the boat doesn’t sail anywhere]



…but honestly, I am not inclined to take up your expensive offer. I am happier pedalling along on my bicycle, with its new red panniers. Only £9.99 a pair from Lidl*, and they help me to feel much more balanced when I collect my library books.


My ride yesterday took me all round the town – library, chemists, Parcel Office, and then finally I called in at UCF. The building work is coming along beautifully- last week they poured the concrete** into the trenches and now the bricklaying is well underway. Look at the glorious blue skies. God has been so good to us with the weather!

bricklaying 15 4 15

* four different designs- I chose the ones with carry handles and a shoulder strap. They clip on and off my rack easily – and have nifty little nylon rainproof covers hidden in a neat zip pocket, as well as a useful small zip pocket on the side.**thanks Josh for concrete photo1

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Wiv ‘er ‘ead Tucked Underneath ‘er Arm…

Along the draughty corridors,

For miles and miles she goes.

She often catches cold, poor fing,

It's cold there when it blows.

And it's awfully awkward for the Queen,

To have to blow ‘er nose,

Wiv ‘er ‘ead tucked underneath ‘er arm.

She walks the Bloody Tower…

My grandfather was particularly fond of singing this song, when he was working out in his garden shed. It was the only time he ever used the ‘B’ word. The late lamented Anne Boleyn was executed in the tower of London – but born in Norfolk at Blickling Hall. Gaz visited last week and we went on Saturday [a birthday treat] The Hall is well worth a visit- lots to discover, not just the Tudor connections.

P1010059From its 15th Century builder, John Fastolf [model for Shakespeare’s Falstaff] right up to WW2 and the Hall being taken over for the Officer’s Mess of nearby RAF, there’s plenty of history to learn.

I must also mention the excellent sausage rolls, and the wonderful secondhand bookshop!


The house itself is tremendous. So much to see and enjoy, with the usual cohort of knowledgeable volunteer National Trust guides. I enjoyed the kitchens – utensils, a range, and a mangle which could be touched and handled by the visitors.

P1010062P1010063P1010061 – Upstairs they had the most amazing Victorian bathroom scales – you sit on them – rather like a jockey’s weighing station. These were roped off though, no chance to check my weight here!


An abundance of good meals over the last 10 weeks at Ferndown, combined with a week of sampling delightful scones [beginning with tea at church, ending with a cream tea at The Owls of Holt] has meant I have put on rather more weight than I should. I must make an effort to cut back on the calories, or I won’t fit into my MOB outfit purchased at the end of January!

Our holiday in Norfolk has been really good – meals with family and friends, the opportunity to worship at the Chapel at Foulsham, and exploring some of the historic sites in the County – plus moments fixing things and crafting and working together on Cornerstones. And plenty of time to rest and relax and read… all the elements of my ideal holiday. But now it is really good to be back in Dorset!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Good Life?

Long, long solitary journey back from Cornerstones, down A11/ M11/ M25/ M3/ M27/ A31. Passed two nasty looking accidents and a verge fire. Mercifully nobody seriously injured in any of these incidents. Now back home safely in Dorset, and I have Internet access again. Bob got back half an hour after I did, and the motorbike is safely parked in the garage. Thank the Lord! As I drove I listened to the radio – people kept talking about this phrase…


goodlife briers

So do I follow the chap who gives up the rat race and turns his garden over to vegetables and livestock? Or the one who promises a ‘brighter, more secure future’ [so, DC, where will our young people live, having graduated with massive student debts, once the Housing Associations have sold off all the affordable rentable properties?]goodlife cameron

Personally I am aiming at a different sort of Good Life. As the prophet Micah said

Man, He’s already showed you what is good,

what He requires is that you -

  • act justly,
  • love mercy
  • walk humbly before Him.

That is the sort of manifesto I’ll vote for.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Lost For Words

Here I am, on World Scrabble Day, with absolutely no Internet Access at Cornerstones. I had to come to Dereham Library to return our books, before we go back to Dorset tomorrow, so this is just a quick post to say all is well - and I will be blogging again in a couple of day's time!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Fruit Of The Spirit Is …Peace

peace lily

A dear friend back in Kirby Muxloe sent me a gift token, with strict instructions to buy a Peace Lily for our new home in Dorset. So I did [thanks, M!]

They are such beautiful plants, and it is said that they deal with pollution in the atmosphere- making the home both look, and feel better.

There have been a number of issues, major and minor, in the 11 weeks since we moved to Ferndown which have been unsettling

  • world events – terrorism, plane crashes, natural disasters…
  • events affecting friends – particularly illness and bereavement
  • personal events – all quite trivial in comparison – the hassles of moving house, a damaged wrist, job-hunting-problems, anxieties about wedding arrangements.

But whenever when I remember my peace lily plant, I am reminded of Jesus’ words to his disciples,

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

and Paul’s letter to the believers in Philippi.

Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.

Things start to look better, and I feel better. The difficult issues don’t disappear- but I find I am not so unsettled by them. And that inner peace is truly beyond anything that my brain can comprehend – and my heart is at rest.

Like a river glorious, is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth, fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth, deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.