Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Crafty ladies visit Hull Scrapstore

Hello. Four of us went to Hull Scrapstore today. The other three ladies hadn't been before so were curious to see what it is like. Scrapstore is a charity and relies on donations from businesses. Tracey is the van driver there and she goes round and collects anything that can be used for crafting purposes. There is lots of fabric, cardboard, paper, haberdashery, paint, plastics, wood, anything that businesses have no further use for and need to dispose of it. Here is the Facebook page for the Hull store. Other towns have them, gooooglie to check if there is one near you.
Shopping at a Scrapstore is not like shopping in an ordinary shop. You never know what you will find there. They rely on people visiting and buying materials for their craft work. Teachers pick up supplies for their classes. It's best to go with an open mind, draw inspiration from what you see. If you go looking for something specific you might not find it. Best to take a good selection and think up ideas for what you can use it for. If I find I have fabric which I haven't used and no longer need, I will take it with me and donate it back to them. Our shopping is loaded in the car, mine is the biggest bag, and the tins of paint are mine. 
A good selection of colours. Some great fabric to make sturdy shopping bags. I donated some of my bags back to them today, they can sell them in the shop.

I did a yellow sticker shop last night, and found some bargains. I also gave two shopping bags away to two very surprised people. It makes me chuckle. I have made a video showing what I bought, but I've got to load it on yooootoooob, which will take a while. Be patient, I'll post it here tomorrow. 
It's been raining a lot here today. I won't be going out walking in it. I've also got a sore left leg, it's quite painful, so I'll rest it awhile. I had a massive cramp early Monday morning in bed, jeez, didn't half make me leap about. The calf muscle twisted badly, I massaged it, but it's still not quite right.

It's time for dinner, so I'll say toodle pip until tomorrow.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

It's all relevant

Hello. I often think that there are connections between saving money, losing weight, stopping smoking, and not over indulging on alcohol, chocolate, and chips. It seems to me that as soon as you tell everyone that you are on a diet, the first thing you think of is, what can I eat. If you mention that you are on the wagon and someone asks you to go for a drink, you then have to give yourself a stern talking to. Similarly, when you start to limit your spending the first thing you think of is what can I buy that's cheap. The old habits that you want to move away from seem to always loom in the background to give you a little dig now and again, making the job a lot harder to turn over a new leaf and change your lifestyle. It is so easy to give up and go with the flow.

A new year is always a bad time to take stock and declare you are going to make changes, we all do it, make promises to ourselves, but the odds of achieving your goals and sticking to your new regime is unlikely to be at the forefront of your mind past the first three months. That's unless you've got me to nag you into keep on walking, ha ha.

For some people the idea of not spending any money is completely alien to them. The habit of popping into a shop and coming out with a lot more than what they went in for is accepted as normal. Anyone who tries to lose weight quickly by starving themselves will eventually cave in and binge on junk food. Comfort spending is similar to comfort eating. If you deprive yourself completely you will get to the point where life seems intolerable. Cutting back to the extent that is making you miserable will weaken your defenses.

So, short term fixes don't work, there will be relapses. Living a frugal and simple life needs a change of mindset. Living within your means doesn't need to be painful. Small changes are best at the start, making notes of how much things cost, keeping check of your spending by keeping a diary. Little tweaks here and there, a little trimming, build yourself up towards budgeting every penny that comes into the house and every penny that goes out.

There will be mistakes made, ooops, spent too much, learn from it, be more vigilant next time. Budgeting does not mean you have to deprive yourself, it means you need to work out what your priorities are. Cut costs on what isn't important to you, so you have money for what is important. If you are a couple sit down together, get out the bills, the bank statements, work out where you want to spend your money. It will be an uphill struggle if you are battling against a partner who is not singing from the same songsheet.

Rules about what you spend your money on. There are no rules, you make up your own. Just because the folks down the street change their car every year, doesn't mean you have to. Don't be a sheep. I don't care what other people do, jealousy is a destructive emotion.

I love the fact that having less gives me more freedom. I started seriously on my frugal journey just over ten years ago. My finances were pretty low, but I didn't care. The challenge was to survive no matter what. I cut the spending to an acceptable level, my treats were super cheap, and therefore I valued them more. Now ten years later I am in a good place. I am looking forward to the next ten years.

I'll be off to Tesco in an hour to see what I can get in the way of cheap food. Haven't been for a while, need to restock the fridge.

Good luck on your journey to a frugal and simple life. If you want it, take some time to work out how to get there. It's all down to you.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 20 March 2017

Making six mini quilts

Hello. It was a good turnout at Crafty Club this morning, another new member started, she had an enormous ball of knitting wool. If any more join us we will have to get another table out. 
It was raining first thing, but cleared up after lunch. The cats decided to venture outside. They don't wander very far, mostly stay within the garden. The daffs are near the back door so I pointed the camera through the window for this one. Heidi is a sweetie. 
When my friend moved house a few weeks ago she gave me some wadding, so today I cut it up into squares.

And now it is six mini quilts. These are ideal for cat beds, small dog beds, or for putting them on a chair to protect it if you have a pet who insists on lying on the furniture. Fully washable in the machine. These will be sold on our cat rescue stall at our Village Summer Fair in June.

I am let off Bailey dog walking this week, someone else is doing it. His owner will soon be able to do it herself, she is feeling a lot better now. A trip to the Scrapstore in Hull is fixed up for Wednesday, two ladies from the club want to go, so I'll take my car over the bridge.

I'm off to bed with a book. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Start with an idea.......

Hello. I've copied and pasted a comment from the previous post, thank you for your questions. 

Wow! I love your woodland pictures. I used to do old style embroidery years ago, tablecloths, tray cloth etc, but there's no need for those today. Would love to know how you're creating the woodland scenes. Are they for framed pics or being used for something else. How did you learn this? Would love to have a go and would appreciate your help. Thank you. Love your blog.

The woodland picture is a little bit different to what I normally make. I decided to use up some scraps, and chose fabric which had a browny-green colour. It is one picture, not several. I first chose the frame, and I'm making the picture to fit it. Thicker fabric works best for this, it doesn't matter that it frays, it will add to the texture. 

I am using an old cushion cover for the backing, it's a loose weave hessian type fabric. I cut the pieces into oblongs and squares, and assembled them on the fabric like a jigsaw, mixing them up. I did try using iron on webbing to stick them down but it didn't work very well, so I loosely stitched them into place. 
I decided on a tree and cut long pieces of dark brown fabric which looks like bark, and arranged them into a trunk and branches, using the machine to sew them on. Next cut some fluff from a piece of green fur fabric, and stitched this over the branches with a running stitch. 
Now I am adding lots of stitching to build up layers, to cover the joins, and to add texture and mix up the colours. 
The stitches are mainly simple running stitches, added randomly all over it. Most of it is single strand embroidery thread, with some wool, and thicker thread. I am trying to picture in my mind what the floor of a wood might look like. 
When starting to put together a design you could look for a picture in a magazine, and make a simple outline drawing on a piece of A4 paper, then find the fabric which might suit the picture you have in mind. If the picture is structured, cut templates for the pieces first, from paper, and use these to cut out the fabric. 
I have always known how to do a few basic embroidery stitches learnt at school, after that it was a case of reading books and practicing. You can go back to your old style stitches and apply them to any piece of work you like. Nobody taught me how to do textile art, I get an idea and experiment with materials. 
Here is a video on basic stitches to get you started. 
Ideas for patchwork stitching.

There are lots of tutorials on yooootooob for every kind of textile art. I would advise anyone who is wanting to have a go to watch as much as you can. I can't tell you here what to do, I can only encourage you to do some research, have a go, use your imagination, and practice practice, practice. 
Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip