Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

November 25, 2014

Stuff and all that stuff

We fill our homes with it, we buy it for our families and friends. Container loads of it arrive from China and heaven knows where. Shops are stuffed with it, even charity shops push aside donated goods to fill their festive shelves with stuff. Do we NEED all this stuff? We need to eat, drink and clothe ourselves, read, wash and educate ourselves but what’s with all the other stuff? Candles that set the smoke alarm off, sparkly things that sit and gather dust for a few weeks before being packed away and ending up in another charity shop. Toys for little ones that would rather play with the box it came in, girly pretty things that sit on a dressing table til next year when pink is no longer the on trend colour of choice. Lunch boxes with ‘famous’ faces on that only 7yr olds can recognise and by next year will be discarded. So many synthetic hats/gloves/socks and scarves  that will make you sweat but not keep you warm. Where does it all come from and who thinks we need it all? Someone at the top of the tree needs to be told to STOP this madness, we don’t need it, don’t want it and most of all can’t afford it but all the time it’s there the vulnerable will believe they DO need it, have to have it, have to give it to their children, get in debt for it and be miserable. Eventually it will end up in a charity shop where it may be deemed unsafe/unsuitable and end up in the bin going to landfill. What is the point????

Couldn’t we just stop buying this stuff? Maybe set aside a whole week when we refuse to buy stuff except food/clothing etc. No more stuff, just a week. Have a homemade Christmas, make some biscuits or sweets, knit a hat or toy, shop in an antique shop and upcycle something that was once loved by someone else.

Say NO to STUFF!

Enuf said

July 4, 2014

Unwind Brighton 2014

Just over a week to go until the biggest yarn/fibre fest that Brighton has ever seen. Forget the Knitting & Stitching show, this event is bringing together the very best in indie dyers, tutors from far and wide, knitters from further and wider and little ol’ me complete with busted ankle running the Spinning Surgery. Being held in the Friends Meeting house spinners will be able to drop in from 10 til 4 and experience some of Britains finest Rare Breed fleece as well as Sussex alpaca.
I will have a blending board, silks, tencel and lots of hand dyed curls to play with.
Bring your wheel or spindle and sit a while, experiment with the very best of British wool. Take away portions will be available.

image016IMG_1364feeding RogerI'm a bit wobbly

June 8, 2014

South of England show 2014

Hectic week, delivering our entries to the WI marquee on Tuesday morning ready for judging, preparing needlefelting kits on the Wednesday, running a needle felt workshop on the Thursday, peg loom weaving with Guild of Weavers, spinners & dyers on Friday and being a visitor on Saturday. We had to stay late to collect all our WI competition entries so it was a long ole day.Of course we didn’t agree with the judges choices, not just because she didn’t choose ours! 

Such organisation goes into these events, whether it’s the WI or the Guild everyone volunteers their time, the spinners & weavers turn up and demonstrate over the 3 days, their beautiful hand crafted items on display. There is no remuneration for their time and effort, we are not allowed to sell any of our items, we can only promote the Guild as a whole and encourage people to learn some of the skills we demonstrated. It was convenient for the Guild’s marquee to be next door to Plumpton college sheep shearing demonstrations so the link between the sheep and yarn was there. 

Seeing all the stunning entries in the WI marquee makes me worried that it may put some members off entering future competitions, the standards are so high almost unachievable, but if everyone thought that there would be no competition! I try to encourage members of Ringmer WI to enter something and they did, I will encourage them to enter the Autumn show, it was our first ever time last year and we won several classes. The show committee work so hard to make these shows successful and they always look amazing. This year the weather was great and hopefully even more members of the public enjoyed seeing all the entries.

On my ‘day off’ I went to look at the sheep and saw a Teeswater sheep in the ring, he was in the runner up class against many other breeds, mostly meat sheep, of course his wool was the best in the class but being a bit on the skinny side not much good for the plate. Bizzarly he was next to a Wiltshire Horn sheep that had no wool at all. (not much use to a spinner). I tracked down the owner of the Teeswater and admired the 3 sheep that were there. Turned out he was interested in having them shorn so he talked to the head shearer and at 4pm the sheep were led to the college pens. A rather large crowd then watched as Thomas was shorn, thankfully he wasn’t too lively and the shearer experienced so the fleece came off without too many second cuts and Thomas sustained no injuries. The crowd applauded!  2 other sheep followed and I was very happy to be able to buy 2 of the fleece, even happier to be able to lead Thomas back to his pen, he was so gentle and his skin so soft. 

A show to remember for sure!

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May 16, 2014

Brighton Mini Maker Faire 2014

I am going to apply once again to attend the Mini maker Faire in Brighton. It will be held on 6th Sept in the Corn Exchange. My needlefelt balls are always popular and if I’m successful the theme this year will be ‘The Big Top’. I have happy memories of going to the circus so I though it would be fun to make some clowns using pre made felt balls. Last year I made 100 balls and all were duly decorated by visitors to the faire. So send in the clowns….. (and a Ring Master)Image

 

January 26, 2014

Whole 30 A whole new way of eating

My daughter-in-law suggested I try this Whole 30 diet 20 days ago. Considering I gave up smoking some years ago and dairy over 25 years ago I thought I was quite healthy. Seems like trading dairy for soya ‘milk’ and still having a teaspoon of sugar in my tea is not healthy. I’m ADDICTED to sugar!!!! I don’t like chocolate except the white stuff and of course that’s just milk and sugar but I love sweeties.

For 20 days now I’ve consumed nothing but meat, fish, vegetables, eggs and fruit. I’m learning to love dates, remember those things you had at Christmas time? I really like their caramelly taste now! Olive oil and coconut oil have replaced my ‘vegetable’ oil. I read even more labels now searching for the hidden sugars and nasty e numbers. My butcher and I are almost on first name terms and every week I pick up a new ingredient from the food market. This week is was a white radish. I ask numerous questions to all the market traders and explain to the vegan noodle lady why I’m not purchasing her gorgeous spring rolls and curries with noodles. Not long now I tell myself…….

Hot drinks are no longer enjoyable, I’ve tried about a dozen types of ‘tea’ and various ways to make a decent coffee at home. When I’m out with a friend I’m limited to an espresso, not the same as a soya latte!!! And fizzy water is not a drink to have in a pub!

We have a fantastic bakery in our village, the best bread for miles and the best donuts! I have to walk past it to the butchers, oh the temptation! 

I have more food waste now so I’m glad our council collect and compost it, I’m not throwing away my cooked stuff it’s all the veg & fruit skins!

Just ten more days to go then I might just celebrate with an iced bun and a shandy! Soy will no longer be part of my diet though and hopefully I will be able to drink a cup of tea with no sugar without grimacing. 

Wish me luck!!

 

May 8, 2012

From Highland cow to string

During an exceptionally quiet moment at the Spring show I volunteered to spin some fibre from the gorgeous Highland cows that were enjoying the attention of many visitors to their pen. I had the chance to stroke one or two of them and was surprised at how soft they were. Unfortunately the bag of fibre I was given was not so soft but undeterred I had a go. Suffice to say I ended up with hand spun string!ImageImage

April 20, 2012

New Banner

I decided the time was nigh to make myself a striking banner to use when I’m out and about. I need something that would last and take the bad weather that we have to put up with sometimes so this is what I came up with.

Made from a felted blanket, a felted scarf, some buttons and silk thread (hand spun of course).

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It can be pinned to my table cloth!

December 13, 2011

Christmas crackers

A unique gift idea these crackers are full of fibres to spin or felt. Varying in size and content each cracker has been colour coordinated. Great stocking filler or secret santa gift.
pinks and purples
Nutty

March 23, 2011

Brilliant Freelancer-Leif Kendall

How proud am I? VERY!!!!

My son presented me with a copy of his book Brilliant Freelancer on Monday and I was so proud I thought I would burst. For anyone thinking of starting  a freelance business this book is a must read. I started reading it on Monday and within minutes it dawned on me that I too am a freelancer.

Yes it’s scary, full of unknowns, not knowing when/if you will earn your keep, but every day is a new challenge. Face the future knowing you don’t have to commute to ‘the office’ every day, get stuck in traffic, push and shove your way on to the train with hundreds of nameless faces only to sit in front of a pc all day.

My days are still structured, I don’t lie in bed all day or watch day time tv in my pj’s, I’m not lonely and certainly don’t miss being in an air conditioned office set at 65 degrees wrapped in a woolly cardi trying to keep warm!

Brilliant Freelancer is out NOW so if you are ready to break free pop out and buy a copy-it’s a snip at 12.99-the cost of a cheap round of drinks at the pub. ISBN 978-0-273-74463-4

It really is Brilliant and Leif really is my son.

January 27, 2011

Motorcycle Funerals

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, there on the back of a trailer was a motorbike, but what the heck was that next to it? As I followed the black transit and trailer I realised I was looking at a sidecar attached to the motorbike which was actually a hearse. As we rounded the roundabout I saw the sign writing on transit- Motorcycle Funerals. I just had to look them up! Low carbon footprint/enviro friendly???? check out the web site! http://www.motorcyclefunerals.com/

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