Thursday 28 September 2017

Another body on the table.

I have had a busy few nights so not got as quite as much done as I had hoped, but spending
 time with family and friends is very  special and not to be missed. 
It also means I get to do more cooking - one pudding and two cakes.
Early in the summer to raise funds for a little boy, Jacob 's cancer treatment, there was a raffle for a beautiful textile hare. Unfortunately I couldn't find out how to bid on it, so someone else is the lucky owner of it.  It made me decide to have a go at making one for myself, especially as I had seen one, (the first for a very long time) on a  steam train journey in the Lake District.  I bought the pattern from Emma Hall, and it was all stitched, stuffed and constructed ready for me to do my own thing on it, Sunday while hubby was at Duxford. Going with the theme of hares gazing at stars or the moon, I have painted him in Prussian Blue and stencilled little stars over him. Now to work on his face.

 I have also started work on another doll, another male, and in the very early stages of construction.

Saturday 23 September 2017


 Guitar finished.

 Cigarette made.

 Managed to find a peace badge small enough to go on her afghan coat.
Project finished.
Now to finish the hare.
 I have also done a bit of baking, chocolate fudge brownies with white chocolate for a McMillan coffee morning........
 Rocky road for two little boys birthday party........
 Today we were going to Mersea to meet up with some of Kezia's relatives who we have not seen for a long time so I made Limoncello mousse (Gino's recipe)......
 Plus a fresh fruit brulee.
 We needed to get some fresh air and to walk off our lunch lunch, so went along the beach, so many jellyfish have been washed up!

Thursday 21 September 2017

Not much left to do on my latest doll.

I had thought that she would be finished by now, but the spray aerosol  varnish, needed for her guitar, had a blocked nozzle, so it necessitated  a quick trip to Basildon to get another can. The guitar has now been sprayed but it requires time to harden.
 Meanwhile, I made her sunglasses and am now just finishing the baby, so fingers crossed tomorrow night she will be completed.

Monday 18 September 2017

Making progress.

The guitar for my hippie doll is nearly finished. Tomorrow night it will have a coat of varnish and Wednesday night when the varnish is nice and hard, it will have the strings put on.  Just the sunglasses then and she will be finished.

While waiting for the paint to dry on various parts of the guitar, I have started to stuff my hare.  one more arm to stuff and then the ears to make. As per usual, I am not following the instructions. Lol

Saturday 16 September 2017

And bake!!

Such a busy week!!  Last Friday night I was out celebrating a friends party until 2 a.m. Great live band that had us all dancing.  Sunday an early start to go to Euro Finals at Santa Pod. Long before I met my husband he used to spend many weekends here, working in a team on his friends drag racing car  . We now try and go every September to this event, it is so exciting!  We had seats right by the starting line, and as the cars raced off you could feel the power of the engines through your body. the speeds they reach are phenomenal! Although I was wearing ear defenders, I still felt on Monday at work I was talking a lot louder than usual.

 Loved the artwork on this van
 Unfortunately the rain stopped the racing early, as it is far too dangerous to race on a damp strip.

 Jet engine car and bus. This is the first time I have seen the jet bus.
I have been busy baking again this week. Tuesday night I made Hummingbird Bundt cake, I iced it on Wednesday after work.
 Thursday needed me to make Caramac cheesecake's and Malteser slice for my daughter to take to Birmingham when she visited a friend for a picnic on top of the Malvern Hills.

 Gina blogged last week about a challenge she is doing, trying new recipes from a cookbook on her shelf.  I love to try new recipes but I tend to prefer to make a  cake or dessert. So this week I tried two new savoury recipes out, sweet potato and red onion fritata (Internet recipe) and Vietnamese cod, prawn and coconut curry (Asda magazine recipe). I will be making both again.
 I have two projects on the go at the moment, first of all  I have started work on a guitar for my hippie doll. made from balsa wood and grey-board, a little filler around the edges and a coat of gesso before painting.
Project number two, is a hare. When I was on a steam train a couple of weeks ago in the Lake District I saw one , the first I have seen for a long time. I hope to start stuffing him this weekend.

Saturday 9 September 2017

And now for the jester and more.

I was going to try and take photos of the various stages I went through to create my doll, but once I get creating, stopping to take photos just doesn't happen.

 Although I was supposed to be using the pattern that Ray supplied, because I got inspired I had to adapt/make all patterns I needed for my doll (apart from the head) as her shape would not have been right. 

She has now got suspenders to hold he stockings up.

I tried black hair on her first but didn't like it so had to send away for a large piece of Tibetan lambskin.  I made several 'wigs' in felt  to try on her for size before making the real one. My fingers were very sore after stitching it together and then stitching it on her head,

Although it doesn't show in the photo, her hat was made with a cotton fabric that had a little sparkle in it.  I have had the pack of cards in my playroom for years, they were in a Christmas cracker, just waiting for the right project to use them in. The cog button I got from Craft Arena and re-painted.

My daughter thinks she has the look of Christina Aguilera from the film 'Moulin Rouge' about her. 
I learnt so much making this doll, and as always feel sad when they are finished but there is the excitement of what to make next.

She is residing at the moment in my dining room.

My doll was finished in time for me to take to the July meeting of Doll club, where we put all the dolls together to take a group photo.
The doll I started at this meeting was from a pattern I bought off the Internet, 'Anya Baba, The Traveler Doll' by  Angela Jarecki. She is the first stump doll I have ever made, and the pattern contained some different techniques in over 100 pages of instructions.
Me, being me, I have put my own twist to the doll.
I have made her a hippy, hence the Afghan coat.   Instead of her walking pole, I am going to try and make her a guitar!!! watch this space.
Her hair came from an Afro/ Caribbean hair shop in Ridley Road market.
As I mentioned in my last blog, I crochet most evenings in an attempt to unwind,  I managed to complete this blanket when I stayed with my mother.  As one project finishes it is on with the next....

The pattern is called Namaqualand by Dedri Uys. I have yet again, done my own thing!

It seems to have been a long time since I did anything with molding paste, so to that end, I created a cover for my school planner, lots of fun.

Just had to finish with a picture of my hanging basket. It's spread is over 24" wide, trails to the ground and has flowered all summer long.

Friday 8 September 2017

Mostly gardening.

 In October, my husband will be celebrating his 70th birthday. Not being a party animal, he wanted to celebrate by having his relatives from both sides of his family over for a get together.  We chose a Saturday in August that the majority of his family could make and we were so lucky with the weather, as we hoped to entertain everyone in our garden. we decided not to BBQ, as it meant that we would have less time to talk with everyone. Instead I laid on a buffet. Spent a lovely couple of hours going through cook books looking for new recipes to try out. ( warning- if you eat at my house I will very rarely cook an old favourite for you, I look on it as a chance to experiment.) Our relatives were the Guinea pigs for ten new recipes!

Luckily, as it was the school holidays it meant I was been able to devote a lot of my time trying to get the garden into shape. Sewing had to take a back seat.
We have planted a lot of plants over the last couple of years to encourage bees and butterflies to visit our garden. There does seem to be a sad decline this year in the butterfly population.

 This is our Antipodean garden, inspired by our visit to Australia.
I recycled this chair. We were about to take it to the tip as it was no longer white and I could not get the white plastic to clean up properly. So, two coats of paint and a few peacock feathers stencilled on, and I have a lovely shady place to sit and sew or crochet (weather permitting)

I like to crochet for about an hour each night before I go to bed, so over the last few years I have manged to create quite a few blankets. These four had been stored in a vacuum pack bag, and smelt a bit musty, so they needed a couple of hours in the fresh air. Loved seeing them on the line as it was a dull day and certainly cheered me up. As the evening got cooler, I was able to hand out my throws to keep everyone warm.  Another throw will be added to the collection in a couple of weeks as it is nearly complete, making it 12  in total.😁

My completed jester doll photos will be in my next blog, just need some decent weather to get some decent pictures.