Tuesday, 30 December 2008

A Late Christmas

It was a peculiar Christmas this year...

We did not have holly

no baubles either

and most certainly it did not snow

but we have Eden back home again - a few pounds lighter, very pale and rather weak and home is home once more.

Hope your Christmas was both bright and beautiful. I'll see you sometime in the new year.

Friday, 19 December 2008

From Bad to Worse

I have gone deaf. Deaf I tell you! And it is bloody unamusing. My children are fed up of yelling at me and I feel exactly like the terminally daft and grumpy bat that is all deaf old women. The house is still in something of a mess and I have not finished the shopping let alone started wrapping. But lets be British shall we?

and I can...well I might be able to if what had started off today as a check up at the Doctor's for Eden, who has been off colour since the weekend had not all of a sudden turned into V dashing to the hospital with her with the suggestion of appendicitis leering at us all. I am trying very hard not to worry.
But the impulse is there...

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Ab Fab!

Thank you my dear Technodoll, I think you are fabulous too.

Along with this I have to list five addictions and pass the baby along. So

1. Spinning obviously
2. Merino wool, cashmere, silk equally obviously
3. Really cute underwear sets
4. Shoes (must be frivolous in the extreme)
5. And because it is Christmas I will own up to my addiction to Tinsel. I know it is tacky, I know that the whitewashed and gingerbread look should be my spiritual home cos I am a country girl and all that. I know, I know, I know and I just love the stuff. Bury me in its glitzy, flashy prettiness cos you just can't beat tinsel at Christmas.

I am supposed to pass this on but honestly I think you are all fabulous. So if you are reading this then please take this award from me. I am not and never will be a big blogger. I have maybe fifteen regular readers but I reckon I know most of you quite well and I love your comments and your visits. So You are Fabulous Too in my opinion.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

All I Want For Christmas...

Rose is writing her letter to Father Christmas. On it are items of such ambition I feel dizzy just looking at it. Never the less, the lady knows what she wants.

Surveying the devastation around us after what is now nearly a fortnight of illness in one member of the family or other and knowing what a herculean effort it is going to take to get the house in order, let alone pretty for the season, I declare that I would like a slave for Christmas.

V: That wouldn't be much use.
Me: What?
V: We haven't had any snow.
Me: Slave...not sleigh.

Ho ho ho.

Friday, 12 December 2008

The Feast of St Nicholas

The 6th of December is the Feast of St Nick. Not the jolly fat bloke in the red suit (that was hijacked by the Victorians.) But still suitably festive. We decorated the largest tower with holly and ivy and a minstrel strummed carols on a dulcimer while we were at work. Yes, it was cold but not desperately so. Minus 4.5 C at night but we were quite cosy in the tent. Thanks to the large gas heater that we swiped from my dad.

V in the outer bailey
We were dressed very warmly too - linen, silk and wool cannot be beaten for their thermal properties and V even had a fur collar (fake cos it's hard to get real wolf round here any more )

That very elegantly shaped window that you can see behind V's left shoulder belongs to the large kitchen so you can imagine that the chap who built this castle was not short of a penny or two. However, we cooked in the small kitchen tower which with two fires blazing and the bread oven going was the warmest spot to be - apart from our tent of course :o)

Myself and Mistress Pat in the small kitchen tower.

I spent most of my time helping to prepare the feast- pottage (vegetable stew) roast beef and spit roast lamb, roasted vegetables including potatoes which although they weren't around in Britain the 1300s it was felt that beef wouldn't be beef unless there was a roastie cuddled up next to it. The beef and the vegetables were cooked in the bread oven built into the tower wall but the lamb was spit roasted over an open fire. They tasted magnificent - I think I am ruined for beef now. There was a sweet furmenty for pudding - I had never tried this before and it was an acquired taste, flavoured with rose water and sugar it was unusual but fun to eat food made to a really ancient recipe. There were also dates stuffed with marchpane (marzipan) and crispalls which are some kind of small, intensely sweet cake. I don't really know what they tasted like because the archers scarfed the lot down as a kind of aperitif. We also had mulled wine and mulled cider to keep the chill out which worked very nicely.

Above is a picture of the outer bailey where we camped. Our tent is the one to the right, next to the fancy blue and yellow stripey one. It was rather hard getting out into the chill of the early morning. The girls elected to stay in bed until lunchtime and it later turned out that what I thought was tiredness brought on by a late night and fresh air was in fact the starting of tonsillitis which they in turn passed on to me - blah - so we have been busy with that most of this week. Back to earth with a thump as usual!

However, there has been one consolation when stuck in bed with sick children who will not let me move one inch away from them lest I get weak, queroulous calls of Mummy, Mummy! And that is that I finally managed to read all of Ken Follets World Without End which at about a thousand pages is a proper cockroach killer of a book. Thoroughly absorbing stuff if you can leave behind the taint of the horror that the Black Death must have been. Still 600 years is a long time to brood over something like that. Shake it off girl, shake it off.

Hope you and yours are well and blooming. Prayers and good vibes welcomed for three kids and a mum who aren't really.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Feast day

home for the weekend - only ours is white

Rise and shine for the day is upon me and we are off to try out the new tent...yes in December. Srsly.

Yes, blue skies and bright eyes. Today we are heading for Chepstow and the Yuletide feast.
The costumes are all made, the gingerbread has been baked and the wine and cider have been purchased waiting to be mulled on site. I have filtered the Blackberry whiskey* which I laid down in September and the dough for the fairings is made, wrapped and ready to be popped into the handy dandy bread oven built into the castle wall.

We will be cosy enough in the tent I know - we can hardly move in the car (packed tight as a drum by the way) for wool blankets** But how I wish wish wish that I had managed to weave up those snuggly fleece sleeping mats.

Have a warm and delightful weekend won't you. I think we will :o)

*and very pretty it is too with a deceptively warming glow as it goes down and then when you get to the bottom of the glass you realise that your feet have gone numb.

**and a calor gas heater

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

On the Loom

We have a wool sleeping mat. And it is taking flipping ages! I have been working on this for days and it is not getting any longer it seems.
I will not be finished in time.

It is beautifully thick and warm, just the thing for chilly mornings in a tent. I meant to make three of course but what a drag they are turning out to be.
I won't be finishing it on time

And it is not as if I am ill equipped - those spikes are actually longer than my fingers! I can comb up a lot of wool and threading the resulting fluff through a diz and turning it into a roving is almost as much fun as spinning.

But I am not quick enough at the weaving and I have to face it that I am not going to finish it in time...

Monday, 1 December 2008

One Single Impression - Welcoming

I haven't done a haiku prompt for a very long time but this one felt so pretty...

Advent is one of my favourite seasons - the waiting, sometimes counting the days - that quiet sense of anticipation heightened by the stillness of winter - welcoming the birth of light once more
and so the year goes round...

leafless wood, sky like bone
watch and wait
soon a son

do take a look to see how others keep a welcome at One Single Impression

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Spinning Starlight

Yes folks, this spinning wheel is made out of glass. Is it not astonishingly lovely?

There you are - something beautiful for a Saturday morning.
Hope your day is serene and sparkling too.

Thanks to Spinning Fishwife for finding and posting this beauty

Friday, 28 November 2008

Hackles 'n' Looms

There are hackles on dogs and hackles on hats but this little hackle is clamped to a table and used to comb and blend fibre.

Hackles are very difficult to find and very expensive to buy but I really need one to comb out the fleeces that I have had hanging around for the last few weeks. The above is a rare valkyrie hackle and is about $150 US. I don't think so. Not when my clever husband can take a piece of scrap wood and a few 5" nails and make me one.
And he has. I have no picture as yet but it is rather more savage than the one pictured above. In fact I think the baddie in Enter the Dragon had something quite similar strapped to his wrist/stump in order to gut Bruce Lee

Okay, maybe it's not quite that bad but it is still a big piece of wood with nails hammered through it and it looks an effective bit of kit for a bar room brawl.

Yes, it has been a very productive day today as V has also made me a new peg loom. My dad has been promising to do this for some time but unfortunately he has been quite unwell for the last few weeks and it is getting to the point where I really do need to get moving on the children's sleeping mats*

Again the above is not mine, but it looks very similar (can you tell that the camera has gone awol again?)
Needless to say tomorrow will be spent combing and weaving. I will try to get a few pics of what I am doing. I am sure the camera will turn up somewhere. In the meantime, it will be a true pleasure to use something in my crafting that my husband has made for me!

*for camping I hasten to add, they usually sleep on beds like everyone else.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Tablet Weaving

So here is the tablet weaving - a belt for Eden. I used crewel work wool in silver lilac and milk chocolate. The pattern is one of slanting bands and it was very simple to weave.
Yes, after all that shilly-shallying about, it only took me an hour or two to actually weave the darned thing. I'm pretty happy with it because, as anyone in the Guild will tell you, I take to weaving like a hydrophobe takes to water.

Tablet weaving is as ancient as you like. The Romans did it and so did the Vikings and it is a handy skill to demonstrate on medieval days. It can be quite complicated but as a beginner I stuck to the easy stuff. That said, it made my brain ache a bit but that is because I am such an utter duffer at warping up. It involves visualising numbers you see and I am rather like a monkey with a key board in that department. I just keep following instructions while not understanding a word of it. Not very comfortable.

Above are the tablets that I used. I have twenty and I actually used four. Yes - four. But when I get onto using silks I dare say I will need more tablets to make a decent width of braid.

The belt is about an inch in width and there are some errors even in such a simple pattern but I am still pretty happy with it. I gave up on perfection a long time ago reasoning that I would rather have something to show for my time rather than ripping stuff up when it went wrong. I often go wrong but in the words of Wellington - just tie a knot and move on. I am gratified to say that the only knots in this are the ones that are meant to be there.

So it looks like this is a go and I will shortly be doing a few more belts for myself and the girls. Hope you have a pleasantly knot free day today too.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Look, Yarn!

If yarn is your thing then you could wander off to Posh Yarn and just weep over the simply gorgeous buffet of colour and texture on offer every Sunday evening. Only don't bother going over there now because it is probably all sold out - the sale moves ludicrously quickly - the sale starts at seven and is generally over by quarter past. So it with a particularly glad heart that I show you these beauties.

jaunty (bright pink) and sleuth (violet)
lambswool, cashmere and angora sock yarn.

Just the thing to keep little toes warm inside little wellies. The kidlings chose the colours themselves. I am so chuffed- both about the yarn and the fact that I am successfully indoctrinating my daughters with a yarn thing of their own at such a tender age.

And, let's face it, I need a project to keep me busy. Hah!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

My Gangsta Name is what?...

Okay it is Saturday and no one checks blogs on a Saturday apart from me and Technodoll.

But if you are reading this then may I recommend you pop over to Patois and have a giggle at her hippie name...

Back? Okay. Now it is my turn


2. GANGSTA NAME: Cherry Garcia Stilleto

3. NATIVE AMERICAN NAME: Orange Hedgehog

4. SUPERHERO NAME: Cerise Merlyns

5. NASCAR NAME: George Elias

6. STRIPPER NAME: Anais Chocolate


8. SPY NAME: Harvest Tulip

9. CARTOON NAME: Cherry Slipper

10. HIPPIE NAME: Muffin Rowan

Here's how to play

1. first pet, current car

2. fave ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe

3. favorite color, favorite animal

4. 2nd favorite color, favorite drink

5. the first names of your grandfathers

6. the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy

7. 5th grade teacher's last name, name of city that starts with the same letter

8. your favorite season/holiday, flower

9. favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now

10. what you ate for breakfast, your favourite tree

Friday, 21 November 2008


I have been woken obscenely early and have been meandering around some new blogs as you do.

It has made me wonder whether to put a music gadget on here. Just some sweet/ soft/gentle stuff probably celtic in flavour.

What do you think about automatic music thingies? Annoying intrusion or pleasant addition?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Of Reasons

So I sorted out all the tablet weaving kit. I plan on making a belt for Eden. The dress below is hers for when we go re-enacting. It is a lovely soft purple. I dyed it using acid dyes which have a tendency to be quite bright and though some natural dyes can be very bright indeed the purples that they (ie medieval folk) could get were not. So I took great care to keep the mix on the silvery side of lilac which is what you can get if you use elderberries. I missed the elderberry season this year and anyway I am not into natural dying, all the mordanting wool and all the fiddle (and potential errors) that natural dying involves. Acid dyes are far easier.

So I got all the kit out, even the pattern book! And then I realised that I really should get cracking with V's tunic rather than indulge myself with a demanding fiddly new rabbit trail. Eden can do very well with a length of plaited wool for now but V's tunic must be made before our next gig at Chepstow on the 6th. I need to get my dress sorted out too but I can borrow something if needs be. I want the rest of the family in their own kit first though.

This is part of the haul from the re-enactors fair up in Leamington Spa. Pure wool that is next to skin soft. I intended this for a dress for myself (and hoped to get one for Lily out of the remainder) keeping a lovely thick linen for V's tunic. But the training day that we went to two weeks ago made me realise that linen just won't be warm enough for a December day.
This wool is a cheery, holly berry red and it suits V very well. I have enough left over to make a dress for tiny Lily but I am going to have to send off for some more wool to make a dress for myself. I am fancying a burnt orange or a moss green if possible. It will look a bit daft if we have three members of the family in the same colour I think.

And I finally saw sense and started using the sewing machine. One dress, some braeis and two underdresses would be enough handsewing for anyone. If I want this finished anytime soon it is going to have to be machine work from now on. I finish visible seams - necklines and such- by hand and very relaxing it is too now that most of the donkey work is being done by the Bernina.

An honourable mention goes to this machine by the way - it is older than me. Bought in Tanganyika* for thirty shillings over forty years ago and it is still going strong**. The whirr of this machine is one of the sounds of my childhood. Mummy was always creating something with it. She has assured me that it will come to me when she can no longer use it. I am happy to have the occasional loan for now.

Maybe I'll get a pic of V wearing his new tunic tomorrow. This post has taken ages to write and I am off to bed now.

Nos da everyone.

* Tanganyika no longer exists as an independant nation. It has been amalgamated into Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.
**Which is perhaps more than can be said of Tanganyika

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

In Search of Pebbles

It was a pretty day today and let's face it, how many of them are we likely to get this time of year? So Mum, Sis and I went down the Mumbles for the afternoon.
We sat in the car as the wind was pretty thin and we drank hot chocolate and ate fairy cakes while watching the gulls bob up and down on the swell.
And then I went beach combing

On the list of my favourite things, rock pools are surely in the top ten, especially ones that the tide has just left.

I was in search of pebbles of which there were more than a few.

Mostly on the beach,

but some on ledges as if laid by a rather absent minded dragon.

The above are quite small specimens, a little smaller than a hens egg and they will do just perfectly as warp weights for my tablet weaving. There is no more reason to stall on this little project. I have had the tablets for weeks and I have all the yarn a girl would ever need. I even have a proper reason/ goal for the braid rather than just pootling about. But...but...but I am loath to get going on it. Procrastination - I duz it.

As you can see, I have found the camera, so there will probably be an increase in posts for a while...at least until I lose the camera again.
Hope you had a pretty day too.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Of Kids and Kidding About

Getting the kidlings ready for school this morning in my rather tea deprived state Rose squawked-
"Look at my foot!"
In so far as I could, I whirled round to face what awful thing had happened to my baby to see a grotesque bulge under her big toe.
"Good grief!" I shriek. "What the heck is that?"
"It's my wart" she says, completely straight faced.
I just about passed out in horror, when - in the nick of time - she withdrew a marble from her sock.
I think the word is pwned.

In other news, here is my latest bash at a cloak. In a former life it was an ancient Welsh wool blanket, slightly scratchy but still comforting and very very warm. I have dyed it from a distressing Calpol pink to its present shade of milk chocolate. It is a classic hobbit cloak. Cut on the cross, two quarter circles sewn into a half and it drapes very happily around my shoulders.

I am particularly pleased with the clasp which I purchased from a viking re-enactment store in Copenhagen. I love the WWW.
More pictures of sewing projects soon. I am on the last leg of the costume marathon now and I will be glad to get back to my spinning wheel. I miss it.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Happy Birthday

Not a bad birthday all told. New dolls, pretty dresses, fluffy things and a bit of birthday money. Ice cream, milk and a chocolate cake with five candles each.

Goodness me...five years. Five whole years. What can I possibly say to describe what they have been to me? Roller-coaster springs to mind. Sleep deprivation, worry and soaring, bewildering joy. I would not have missed a second of it.

Happy Birthday my darlings.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Poppies in Flanders
Poppies in Afganistan
We can not forget.

image from freefoto.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Training Day

We bunked off church today to go to Chepstow Castle and a training day with the Freemen. I actually had a go at sword fighting which was quite exciting although I am prettybad at it. I keep on watching the blades which is a very bad habit to get into, but they are surprisingly mesmerising. Kerry was a very patient teacher even though I kept on blocking incorrectly - I was annoyed with myself about that. I found out that although swords are pretty awkward and heavy, they really are quite musical, in that they make a very pleasant sound. Weird eh?

I also found out that archery is more like golf than one might first imagine - all to do with shoulders and feet lining up in the right direction. Drawing the bow so that there was enough power in the string for the arrow to actually hit the target was pretty much beyond me. The bow was a 40lb draw if that means anything to anybody, it doesn't to me. I suppose it means that 40lb of pressure is needed to pull the string to its optimum stretch. It was very satisfactory when I got a red though - I can see the appeal and I would not be surprised if I got a little further into archery, only with a lighter bow!

There was pottage for tea and chocolate mini-rolls, the latter not very authentic but I needed chocolate by that time (and I am certain that if medieval folk had had chocolate they would have been eating it in barrel loads.)

On the way home, V and I were chatting about what we enjoyed best in the day and for me it was hearing the song of swords and the twang of a bowstring in a place that once rang to it. Castles always give me the shivers - in the nicest way - history shimmering all through the place, soaked into the stones: the way a step has eroded over the millenia under generations of passing feet; lives, stories, passions and sorrows lived out and suffered over now long since gone and unremembered by any but there none the less. I looked out from one of the castle windows and saw the broad sweep of the Severn River slinking past the castle walls and felt the breath of the past on me. Shiversome is what I call it.

My hands are aching from holding that sword. No sewing for me tomorrow I think. I may well dig out some sock yarn and work up some slippers for winter. Nothing like the feel of cashmere to sooth tired hands.
Have a warm and comfortable day won't you.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

I Went to the Market...

Do you remember that game? We played it a lot as kids. Well I went marketing medieval style on Sunday last. The Living History fair in Leamington Spa was jam packed full of traders offering almost everything that a re-enactor needs.

Me: I went to the market and I bought...

a thurible. (Fabulous word that isn't it? It's an incense burner and I bought three packs of delicious incense.)
V: I went to market and bought a gambeson (a padded jacket for wearing under chain mail)
Me: I went to market and bought five wooden bowls
V: I went to market and bought a pair of boots (thigh high, black leather and yes, they are almost as kinky as they sound)

Me: I went to market and bought three horn spoons, some bells, a wooden shuttle and a beater for tablet weaving

V: I went to the market and rather fancied getting a helmet but thought I'd hang on a bit as they were flipping expensive and I just bought a sword on e bay.
Me: I went to market and bought eight yards of linen and ten yards of wool. Because, let's face it, you can never have too much wool right?

Did you notice? I bought far more stuff than V but I spent way less. I feel very pleased about that.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Mulled Wine

Am I the only one who has been taken aback at how cold it is right now? Somehow it feels rather more bitter than it usually does - there was snow on the Beacons yesterday! I can't remember the last time it snowed in October...
With that in mind I am giving you my recipe for mulled wine.
I have been making this for years , tweaking and experimenting as I go and I think this is as close to perfect as I'm ever going to get anything

Bottle of inexpensive, hearty red wine.
I use the French table wine from Tescos but the Bulgarian cabernet sauvignon is good too

1 orange, sliced into half inch slices.
Don't use the top or bottom slice as there is too much pith in proportion to flesh and pith makes it taste bitter. (I will resist the urge to make any further comment here)

Brandy or port or sherry in order of preference. If you want to make falling down water then use all three.
Fill a large mug half full with chosen plonk - Tesco's own tawny port is lovely for this - and top up to full with water.
Add another mug of water or else you'll be asleep by eight.

Soft brown sugar to taste.
I use about 1 or 2 tablespoons. Don't use too much or else it will start to taste medicinal, weird I know but there it is.

5 cloves

1 large cinnamon stick.
Tap the stick very gently with a wooden spoon. It releases the scent of the spice into the wine.

1 decent sized piece of whole dried ginger root.
This can be difficult to get hold of. I got mine in a health food shop in Aberystwyth but you can try a Chinese herbalists too. Do not be tempted to use powdered ginger, it clouds the wine and it hangs around on the tongue too.
If you can't get it whole dried, use fresh (peeled) but then make it a large piece.

Put all the ingredients in a large sauce pan and heat very gently until steam starts to curl slowly from the pan. Strain and serve in heat proof glasses.

Be warned...This is strong stuff but very warming. Roasted chestnuts are the desired accompaniment with this but gingerbread is good too.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Six Random Things

Nan from Shells and Roses (a beautiful blog filled with cats and other lovely things so do pop over and say hello) tagged me for this and though I have done it before it doesn't mean that I can't do it again. So...
  1. I still find it hard to not believe in Father Christmas. There is something in me that really wants the North Pole and the reindeer and all the rest to sneakily be true.
  2. The same with Hogwarts really. It would be happy to think that there is a magical school in the Highlands with Quidditch and the giant squid and everything else. Not Voldemort though, he is not invited...
  3. And while we are on the theme of fantasy...you know at the end of Labyrinth, when the Goblin King asks Sarah to just love him and everything? I never understood why she turned him down - I mean I understand now but when I was a teenager there would have been no decision at all - pass me that white sparkly frock thank you very much!
  4. Autumn makes me feel sad - but I love Halloween and Bonfire Night and the wonderful comfort food we can eat this season
  5. I am tremendously untidy which is unfortunate as I like my environment to be kept neat.
  6. I am a qualified teacher but would like very much to re-train as a nurse. It is a big decision though and not one to be rushed. I am still thinking about it - watch this space
And that is it. I won't tag anyone for this because there is no one left to tag I think. But if you feel like doing it let me know and I'll pop over and take a look at your randomness which I am certain will be far more random than mine!

Friday, 24 October 2008


We went to Ewenny Pottery and watched the potter at work. There is something magical about watching something being created and we stood entraced for ages. I eventually tore myself away to buy the cutest little brown mug for winter mulled wine.

We had lunch in Ogmore at The Pelican, one of our favourite pubs. Like a good blogger I took pictures of the food to taunt you with. V had poached salmon in a white wine and cream sauce and it was beyond delicious. My honey roasted ham with home made apple chutney was just as good and very filling. I have left overs for my tea.

And then we went on to Southerndown and one of my favourite things in the world...

A walled garden...

It was sleepy and warm, sheltered against the cold wind that was blowing off the sea.

And there were still flowers spangled about

Autumn sunshine poured lazily through the tangled apple trees but the sun was so low it felt almost wintery. Not long to go before the frosts arrive I think.

We enjoyed the golden afternoon.

Hope your weekend is just as lovely.

Just a Bit More Wool

Lily in front of the BFL fleece,
(yes it did indeed come from a sheep, not a polar bear - that is one big fleece let me tell you.)

Yes, it is official, I have finally lost it. How in the sea of fibre that I am swimming in already, do I reach the conclusion that I need a whole fleece? And not just one fleece, oh no - I have three of the suckers waiting to be washed and dried. They take flipping ages to dry too. My entire house is now delicately scented with wet wool. I think it is quite a pleasant smell, but others may not agree.

These are destined to become peg woven floor mats. The fibre that I have in my attic is all carded and combed and ready to spin and it is mostly merino and other pretty fine stuff - far too good for mats and mats are what we need for the floor of our tent to keep the drafts out.
We looked for sheepskins but they are too expensive to lay down in such quantity (it is a very big tent!) So there I go again, saying the magic words "I can make that".

To that end, V and I had a quick jaunt up to Brecon Wool Market and picked up a Blue Faced Leicester (beautiful, crimpy and soft) and two Black Welsh (bouncy but hard wearing) and I spent a fine evening a few days ago skirting the fleece outside - that is picking all the pooey bits off round the tail end and pulling off the belly wool which as the sheep has already laid on it all year has already turned to felt. Then it has to be washed which is a bit of a bind really.
Eden came into my room yesterday looking bemused "Mummy, there is a sheep in the bath"

Now that's not a sentence you hear everyday is it?

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Future of Jousting

Only the British would do this...

Okay, maybe the Aussies would do it as well.

Monday, 20 October 2008


Okay, the camera has gone AWOL again and I have got fed up of waiting for it to turn up in order that I could show you the evidence of the latest welter of crafting activity. So you are just going to have to take my word for it...

Do you remember The Haul? Well shortly after that, another haul arrived - my fabric order for the medieval stuff - linen, more wool (woven this time) a few yards of silk/cotton blend and an experimental few yards of jute. This last is not for clothing I hasten to add but it will do very well for the floor of our tent.

So my latest bout of crafting has resulted so far in these:
  • 4 bonnets - two felt, one calico but lined with felt, one crocheted. The last one is for the etsy shop, the other three are for the girls, it is probably going to be cold in Chepstow Castle for Yuletide celebrations
  • 1 cape - double lined with fleece and brushed cotton for Eden
  • 1 underdress - basic rectangles with side seams left open to the knee for Rose.
  • A whole bobbin full of lace weight merino in purple
  • A hank of lace weight silk dyed purple to ply with the merino
  • Sheets of merino felt that have since been made into the bonnets
  • A small band of weaving on a borrowed box loom just to get a feel for a loom again. I used mercerised cotton for the warp and the tail end of the shetland lace weight that I have had hanging around for the last year or two. I bought four hundred grams of shetland fleece and four hundred grams goes a heck of a long way when it is hand spun to filament thickness.

I also had a go at making some braeis for V. These are basically medieval boxer shorts. It was an utter disaster but it was well worth the giggle. Shall we just say that I have only ever sewn skirts or dresses for myself and the girls. Men's undies are a whole different ball game as it were...and well...they didn't fit and I'll leave it there!

I still have a huge amount to do sewing wise - hand sewing takes me an awful long time but using a machine doesn't really save me any time at all. The machine goes so quickly I have hardly any control over so I make mistakes quite frequently so I plod along taking three evenings to do what someone else would take half an hour to do with the machine. Ah well, I shall get there in the end and the although the journey is slow, it remains pleasant and rewarding.

Hopefully I will track down the camera very soon and I shall have a few pics up before long. I might also show you the latest handicrafting - a completely new direction for me - as soon as I have anything that is worth showing off.

Have a great week won't you

Saturday, 18 October 2008


It is 7 am.
It is dark and raining out.
I am snuggled under two blankets, a cat and a warm laptop.
It is very peaceful.

Rumblings from upstairs indicate that this is all about to end.
Soon, porridge will be demanded.
and warm milk
V will trundle downstairs
I'll light the fire, it's pretty chilly down here,

Slowly the day starts.
I'm off to put the kettle on.

Have a good Saturday won't you.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

When the Cat's away...

the mice eat what the heck they want. Discuss:

Me: - rummaging in the cupboard, hungry after work - Where are the biscuits?
V: Eaten
Me: The whole packet?
V: Yup
Me: -with gathering dread - What did you give them for tea tonight?
V: Well, they were being really picky and everything
Me: Yeeees?And?
V: So they had crisps
Me: ...and biscuits
V: and those little red circular things
Me: ^&*(!...?
V: Those red circles you put on pizza
Me: They ate the chorizo?
V: Yeah
Me: What!
V: Hey, it's what Dad's do.

Thank goodness I only work part time.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Little News Flash

Some of my work has been included in a treasury selection on etsy.
Click on the colourful writing to see I'm not kidding!

Shall we say I'm a bit chuffed?

*my face is hurting 'cos
I am grinning so hard*