Thursday, 29 October 2009

The time has come...

For me to admit that I really do need a new cooker. At present the only part of my cooker that works properly is the hob...for a main oven I am using a mini grill oven which is far from ideal and means that I can't really bake cakes etc.

With the festive season on the horizon I realise that I can't go any longer without a proper oven and the sooner I get one the quicker I can get used to it so hopefully will be au fait with it by Christmas when I will need it for social evenings.

This of course means that I will have to make room to bring a new one through the hall...ho hum, lots of sorting on the horizon.


Wednesday, 28 October 2009

October's posts are not what they seem

Okay I still need to learn alot about this blogging lark. I tried to import my old blog and thought that my drafted posts would stay in order and dated as they were when I first wrote them...and of course they didn't!!!! So it may seem like I have been super busy crafting in October which I have not, they are mainly from the last six months and jumbled like nothing you've seen before...that said, hopefully the sentiment and content will still come across as intended.

Ho hum, learning all the time.


Something I made for MIL

Here are some pics of my attempt at a tutorial Pink Penquin kindly shared with us,
Thankyou Pink Penquin for putting your tutorial up. Your instructions were clear and the images very useful... an enjoyable project.

It has a nice boxy bottom, this is before I ironed it.

Waiting for the top stitching.

I think this was before I put the lining in, it is a bit floppy but I interfaced the back of both lining and outer.

The finished product with a little tissue pouch I made.

...can you believe it, I cut the patchwork out the night before and started the next day at about 7am and it took me until 3pm!!!! Okay so I did have a few frantic phone calls in between from Hagatha who was trying to get to a duckling and her wellie boots but was being kept at bay by a vicious cockerel ( don't ask )...I'm not sure why she rings me at these key moments, maybe it is so someone can tell the authorities how she met her grisly and bizarre end...or maybe it is just because it makes me laugh...okay I know you shouldn't... but it is amusing listening to someone shrieking as they scrabble up on to a trampoline for safety with an earful of barnyard noises in the background...I am quite used to the cry of "It's coming to get me!" by now.

Anyway enough of these oddities and back to crafting. I found I didn't have any batting so I opted for a lightweight interfacing...didn't fancy the idea of trying to get anything stifffer through the 2" opening you have to turn it the right way around...It seems to have worked okay.

Things I would do differently: Put co-ordinating thread in the bobin so the stitching around the top of the lining didn't jump out at you so much, maybe embroider the plain squares a little before I sewed it together. Apart from that I am very happy. It took longer than I thought, but that may be the distraction of the phone calls and a very lively Sharp he is on anti-inflammatories he is like a puppy again, I have lost count of the number of times I got up to retrieve either the contents of the bin, a pin cushion or some other thing out of his mouth. Oh the trials of a crafter's life. ;o)

MIL now has her little basket,it co-ordinates perfectly with her bedroom was the minty green that did it. What pleased me is that she saw the patchwork and said...
"Nice fabric, where did you get that?"
This pleased me no end because the fact that it was stitched together in squares had not been obvious, meaning I hope, that my patchwork skills are improving. :o) I gave her the little tissue cozy that is in the picture too and I made another for my friend Line.
Doxie wondering what colour combo to do for her own bedroom :o)

A minute's silence...

Could we just take a few moments to honour my dear crafting friend who left us forever yesterday. He was a great help in many projects and no other came close. We spent many an hour in each other's company and without him my projects would not have taken on such a finished and crisp/fresh look. He could seem a bit heavy at times but I think ultimately that was where his strength was... I liked it best when he really let off steam, it was then that we did our best work together...He will be missed, and yesterday I just could not do any crafting knowing that he was not there to aid me.

Goodbye my Rowenta iron...I am sure your replacement will do it's best, but you will take some beating.


Washing Grains

Here is an amazingly quick tutorial for washing grains. Firstly I'll tell you how this came about...Years ago we used to buy Japanese washing grains from The Body Shop in a cute little cannister. They were horrendously pricey for what they were, but DH loved them so we always had some in the bathroom. It really used to bug me as the smell reminded me of something but I couldn't think what...then one day it struck me...they smell like freshly cut runner beans! I looked on the container and they did indeed contain beans...Aduki beans. This sounded very exotic and I decided it must be something very special because of the price we were paying. Anyway like it always seems to happen, they stopped selling them, I do not know why.
Fast forward a few years when I was in a health food shop and there I spied the allusive ( to me ) Aduki beans. After whizzing the creative cogs in my brain for 10 seconds, I decided to buy some. They were inexpensive, in fact, cheap as any other dried beans.
By that evening DH was scrubbing himself away in the bathroom with our version of the bean scrub. Now as I said before I do not know the reason they stop selling them, but I do know that ingesting raw beans is a big no no...maybe it was a health and safety issue ( yawn ) maybe even if you didn't get them in your mouth you could absorb the toxins through your skin, perhaps there was a danger of scratching your eyeballs, who knows? Whatever the reason please be aware that these MAY NOT BE SAFE TO USE...I have had no trouble after using them for years and will continue to, but it doesn't mean that you won't...there, that was your health and safety warning. Also I would not let small children anywhere near them in the same way that you shouldn't let them play with talcum powder etc, you don't want any inhaling or choking accidents!!!!
If you still want to know how I made them this is how...

You need 1 coffee grinder ( that you will not be using again for coffee...don't want any raw bean toxins in your morning cuppa )
A packet of Aduki beans, also called Adzuki beans
A pretty jar to keep it in

Chuck beans in grinder and grind until fairly fine, like granulated sugar is a good starter. Be careful not to breath in the dust...pour them into a pretty jar. You can see how fine/coarse I grind mine below...and that is that!

We use ours by taking a teaspoon sized amount adding a few drops of water to make a paste and then we rub it on wet skin. DH uses it on his face, but that's because he is a big roughtie toughtie man... I wouldn't dare as it is too coarse for my delicate skin LOL ...I love this stuff, and it is soooo much cheaper than the bought stuff was...I am talking several hundred percent cheaper! Until I find a reason why I shouldn't be using it, it will be a part of our bathroom "spell" cabinet ( I am in the hope that one day I will mix the right things and hey presto the elixir of youth LOL ).

BTW, we keep it in the glass jar you see in the first pic but not next to the bath...we decant a small amount into a PLASTIC LIDDED container about once a fortnight. You really need a lid or the damp will get in, and please don't have glass near your hands when you are all wet, slippery and possibly naked, lets not even go there!!!

Doxie the exfolliated

Inspiring site

I came across this great resource to use in creative stuff.

Little token gift

I often struggle to decide what is and what isn't appropriate as a token gift for someone you don't know well. DS is coming to the end of a course of night classes and I wanted to give a little something to the teacher...last year we gave a flowering plant...this year he is going to give a pocket tissue cozy. My sister gave me one of these a few years ago and I was delighted ( mine has a cross stitch top with my name and flowers embroidered on it) so I am hoping the teacher will be too even though it will not be as fancy as the one I recieved.
I am not entirely happy with the one I have made as the interfacing has creased when I turned it right way out, even ironing didn't totally remedy this ( I think I may have used too heavy a weight/thickness for the job in hand )...if I can find a suitable lining I will run another up omitting the iron-on interfacing.

If I have time I plan to make a matching fabric covered notebook for her too...this will be a first so I either have to find a blooming good tutorial or do some crazy quick pattern making in the short space of time I have.
Edited to say...I made quite a few of these and kept one for myself. :o) They really are better at keeping your tissues decent in your handbag or pocket. :o) so tried and tested 10/10

Doxie :o)

Ruffled Tote: ta-da!

Okay so I just could not contain my excitement and had to jump right in with that fancy bag. Two warnings not start it at rude o'clock because you will be too tired and make silly mistakes such as pressing the handle straps the wrong way, as in width wise instead of length wise ( duh, go figure where my brain was on that one? ) or worse twisting the fabric just before you sew two ends together so you have to unpick it (and by hand because you realise that you left your quick-unpick at a neighbour's last week ...and no I couldn't pop around and get it, remember it was rude o'clock)... All that said, if I hadn't started it before bed I would not have slept a wink; having a new crafting project in waiting for me is worse than a seven year old knowing he is going to Disney Land the next day.

Anyway let me tell you something, after this project you will know your hemming foot very well. You will also have a very tired hand ( from all that hemming )...I have never tired my hands out with sewing before, that was a first LOL.

The bit that takes longest to do is the ruffles...unless you have been blessed by the sewing fairy and are fortunate enough to have a ruffler foot for your machine. ( Mr Doxie if you are reading this, that is something to put on the birthday list :o) grin )

I was a complete twit and did not check my bobin thread before sewing on the first ruffle, there I was, merrily sewing away with no thread in the would not have been a problem if I hadn't unpinned as I went along...Thus I had to sit down and pin about 3/4s of it again. Oh well that has taught me to pay attention and not let my impulsiveness ( please translate as enthusiasm ) get me carried away...Oh and something else somehow I managed to get the handles in the wrong place...If the bag had been a square I would have had to shift them by 90 degrees if that makes sense...never mind, I am now a whizz at unpicking !

I toyed with the idea of only having 3 ruffles seeing as I went for very girly print...I wondered if it might be overkill ...ROTFL... look at the fabric, can you imagine? ...The resulting bag is something which would not look out of place at the Moulin Rouge. I'd love to have the guts to embroider a little label for it that says "You think my bag's fancy, you should see my knickers"...but somehow I think one might get some unwanted attention LOL. Anyhow the result is...I am pleased, tickled and definitely going to make at least another 3 of these for 3 very different girly friends.

The things I would do differently next time are; do french seams on the sides ( I did do them on the bottom ), pop a lining in, put a pocket in it for a mobile, and make the boxed bottom wider than the X measurement. I did not put a drawstring on this one as I will probably keep this one for myself and will just use it to tote around bottled water etc on family days out.

Anyone else brave enough to give it a go. It really is not difficult to just need a little patience to get the ruffles right and don't expect to knock it up in an hour. Thanks to Weekend Designer for putting up a pattern and firing up the inspiration. :o)


Invasion of the ladybirds

Look out! Here they come

I am sure they are plotting something
... as long as it has nothing to do with my newly planted roses I don't mind...unless it is eating aphids and then they are welcome! I think the one below is the leader.

I haven't put flowers and leaves on them all yet as I want to get some different coloured felt so I can make them all a little bit individual. I did one thing differently to the instructions; I did chain stitch in black thread around the bottom of the ladybird instead of just a long stitch as I couldn't get the long stitch to behave and stay where I wanted it to. For details of the instructions look at the link in my previous post.
I know which homes these are going to and I think I will be making some more...they are a fairly portable project... you could easily sit in the car and do these ( not when you are driving of course! lol ) or have a go at some in your lunch hour at work.
VerybigJen came up trumps with these. :o) Thankyou.

Visit Pink Penguin: that girl has talent!

This looks like a pretty little thing to give as a gift...I am thinking you could fill it with goodies you made in the same fabric as the basket, how cute would that be?

Also from the same site Pink Penquin is this smashing tutorial on making a pencil/pen case. I don't think I am going to have many problems deciding on what to make for birthday and holiday gifts this year. :o)

The Old Bag Project

Historical stuff really fascinates me...and fashion is such a great window into our ancestors lives...just think in years to come people will probably think it is cute/funny/a sign of our times, whatever, that the majority of mass produced ladies' bags have a tiny pocket for a mobile phone. I am sure when I have looked inside vintage bags the majority of their inner pockets are much wider, but often the same makes me wonder what they used those pockets for...were they for hairbrushes, combs, powder compacts? Going further back, from what I have seen many designs were simple drawstring designs...I guess the ladies carried them on their wrists, they must have looked very elegant when out walking...maybe this is the thing that brought about the idea of what we tend to think are very or overly, by today's standards, feminine poses if you think about the way you would hold your arm/wrist when carrying one. :o)...I'm wondering if those bags might possibly be a more secure way of carrying stuff when you think about pickpockets...anyway I am waffling now...

Because ( oops I learnt in INFANT school you should never start a sentence with because, sorry Mrs Godfrey, blogging is not good for grammar LOL ) you can vary the style of bags so much I thought I might give myself a little project using vintage bags as a starting point for practicing new techniques. This little selection of bags is quite inspiring. I have a few pieces of crochet I have been wanting to bring into a project and I think this may be the one. :o). Crikey I hope I get to live to 210 years old or I'll never fit in all I want to do!

Doxie feeling quite inspired

For Rip Van Winkle: Bird

Just in case you have been snoozing and haven't seen this there ANYONE out there in blog world that hasn't had a go at these yet?...well just in case look at link above...You may or may not see my feeble attempt above depending on whether or not I was brave enough to share a pic with you...I once read that a secret to a good blog is to show you are human...well there is proof in my pictures, far from best attempt at embroidery...all I can say is that if you are going to embroider it, do it with a trick marker because if you are like me you will change your idea as you go along as the aesthetics ( crikey spell check said I got that word right first time around, sometimes I impress myself LOL ) of it become more apparent as you stitch...and if you are a complete twit and did not use trick marker, felt tip pen marks do not compliment the embroidery no matter how much you try and persuade yourself otherwise! LOL

I'm going to try and do a mobile as soon as I find some yummy fabric that will do them justice.


Doxie ...far from perfection!

Old vintage sewing pics on the web

If they were thrilled with this machine, I'd love to show these ladies the new Bernina 830 LOL BTW if you haven't seen it yet, the launch party presentation is well worth a look if you can find it on the web...if I remember I will put up a link is somewhat cheesy, quite long, BUT really pulls you in, I certainly wanted one after watching it but seeing as it is £5,700 at the time of writing, I won't be getting one this side of Christmas! ( or the other side lol ).
Awww ain't they sweet!
Is this one of "The Borrowers" practicing recycling? Apparantly that is a rabbit...I thought it was a Red Setter Dog.

Ahem, apparantly not all little girls are sugar and spice!

There are some lovely "vintage" sewing pics out there on the web. I can't give you permission to use these as they are not mine.They were found at the following site...
©2000 Denise Van Patten -

Ruffled Tote bag

Weekend Designer has the most gorgeous bag on her site ( I am assuming the author is a she , I read the profile and it doesn't say). Check it out here . Be sure to also check the archives on that site, there is some great stuff to inspire you.I'm sure we all know a girly that would have a fit of frilly vapours if they received something like that as a gift!! That's if you could ever bring yourself to give it away. :o)Ohhhh I wish I lived right next to a fabric shop AND it was open late, I want to make one NOW!Doxie ( off to rumage through my fabric stash )

Rae's top

Okay I finally got around to taking a pic of Rae's top that I made...keep in mind this started out as a muslin, so there is probably quite a few stray threads etc ...but I liked the fabric so much I have made it part of my wardrobe...Next time I WILL take more care. The way I put it on the hanger makes it look a bit lop-sided but luckily that is not how it is when you wear it.

Copyleft: link to what various phrases mean

I have often been rather confused as to what I can and cannot do with copyleft photos/patterns etc...More confusing is when people use the words "free" and then add copyright...but I guess that is a discussion for another day.

I just found this good description of what the various phrases actually mean. I hope it is helpful to some of you creative types out there.

Doxie. :o)

cheapo thread...don't do it!

Recently I bought a mega box of threads from everyone's favourite catalogue shop. Most of the reviews online said they were okay, a couple said that the thread broke in the machine. Well guess what...the thread breaks in the machine. I can only assume that the people who didn't make such a comment were hand sewers. To begin with I thought it was just one colour, but so far I have used about 6 different colours and they have all broken in the machine. It's definitely not the machine tension either as when I switch back to a well known make of thread it doesn't break, in fact I don't think my normal thread has ever broken on me. Ho Hum, you win some, you loose some.

Another gripe is that this stuff sheds like a Labrador in the Sahara. I cleaned my machine about a fortnight ago and there is already fluff build up. So if you are toying with the idea of a lovely bumper box of threads which work out way less than half the normal price you'd pay and you are addicted to your machine, DON'T DO IT, you'll regret it !

Doxie the disappointed

fabric book cover links

I really want to make some of these.

Cover for a novel type of book here

At last a project for the men in your life

Go to THIS LINK and then get your yarn out to make all those special men in your life the ultimate holiday gift. :o)

I'd love to see the recipient's face when they opened their present!

Doxie ( grin )

Forgotten things in the loft

I was having a tidy in the loft the other day (translate as trying to make more room for my crafting stash and must have more fabric addiction) and I came across a couple of items I had forgotten about. The first is an old UFO ( groan!). It started life as a patchwork bag...I was never really interested in it as a bag though as the challenge was just to see if I could decipher how to make a bag in this design... once I had achieved my goal I lost interest and was on to the next thing...I am rather proud of my pink bullion roses but goodness knows what possesed me to put those hideous blue ones at the bottom for, they are just not working. I can clearly see that my patchworking skills have improved since I did this too, which is encouraging.

Mmm I think I may have uploaded this as too poor a quality to appreciate the bullions...note to self to take a close up of yellow panel at higher quality.

cheery isn't it?
The Sylvester cat was from a home-ed project...the brief was to find a picture of a famous person, copy it and then use it to make a Andy Warhol style painting. I can't remember exactly which site we got the picture from, but I do remember it was a kiddie's site with "tutorials" on how to draw well known cartoon characters. :o) Okay so ours was not a famous person but it was close enough eh?
I did come across another pic that I painted of a couple of my pets, I will keep that under wraps for now as I may make it into an embroidery design at a later date and I don't want to spoil the surprise LOL. Gee dunno when I'll have the time though.
Doxie, who achieved little in the loft that day because she was so distracted by all the interesting ( to her ) finds!

Anti-Jeremy Top for Hagatha

My dear friend Hagatha had an operation a few weeks ago and really needs to wear floaty tops for now and probably a few months more. I bought her a top a few weeks ago but MIL insisted that it was very me...which was weird as I never wear mauve. Anyway I gave in and tried the top on and I am glad and sad to say that it has become one of my favourites...well you guessed...when I saw Hagatha she shrieked

"I love that top, where d'ya get it? "

All us Doxies just fell about laughing at this and I of course, instantly felt guilty and had to fess up! Mind you, she bought me a beautiful zip up jacket at Christmas which never made it under my Christmas Tree, but looks great on her! ;o)

Anyway the anti-Jeremy bit is to hide Jeremy ...which is the name her daughter gave to her condition ( yes nous sommes slightly unhinged here but it was nicer than having to use the medical term ).

Since making one of Rae's tops the other day for myself I could see it would be a perfect disguise for Jeremy so it looks like that is going to be quite high on my list of to-dos. I am not sure how well it will work out taking measurements over the phone though...Our families are on a day out together over the weekend so maybe I should take my tape measure and just ignore the strange looks I get in public as I take her bust and hip measurements LOL.


Edited to say...Oh dear I never made it...but she did recover really quickly so there wasn't such a great need in the end. :o)

Oh the waiting...

I have 4 craft books on order...the wait is just unbearable. Oh well I guess I could spend the in between time doing the 10 zillion other things I have on my crafting to-do list.

I have to make a bedside mat and another doggy duvet, so I guess that is an okay diversion for now...Suppose I had better go and make up some binding which for me is like eating the sweetcorn first at dinner time...get the worst bit out of the way first. Yuk!

Doxie :o)

I can't believe I did this!

For a while now DH has been pointing out that my hair is so long now it tends to get where it shouldn't ( read as in my dinner ) and I really should think about tying it back at strategic moments. I think his biggest fear is that I may feature in a Roald Dahl type book for those of you who have read "The Twits" and can remember Mr Twit's beard...lets face it, if you have read the book you will NEVER forget the contents of Mr Twit's beard! Anyway, tonight I found out another time you should tie back hair...when one is so engrossed in crafting one can loose all sense of self and spatial awareness...this includes where your hair is when you are cutting fabric...yes I did it :o(

luckily it was not as bad as it could have been but nevertheless I did it...I am taking my new lop sided hair do as a big warning...from now on ALWAYS tie your hair back when crafting!

I wonder if anyone else has been so daft?

Doxie making a new fashion statement ( ahem ) :o/

Guide to smocking on Tipnut

If smocking is on your to-do list check out Tipnut's guide, it looks very clear. :o)


Some girliness for you

This is before it was sewn up so excuse the threads and pin!

How could any girlie not want to stitch up this gorgeous corset pattern from Rectangel? I made a little sachet with mine and filled it with lavender. HOWEVER I was so filled with euphoria and excitement at the result, that when I cut around the edge to shape it and trim the excess felt away, I ...for some reason... failed to see the very obvious ribbon I had carefully stitched on to hang it by and just cut it clean off ! I did remedy it, but what a twit LOL. I think these would be such a hit for pressies.
Be sure to check out the pics in Rectangel's vintage embroidery pattern stream they are lovely.
She's gotta be a very talented person by the look of the pics on flickr.

YAY I did one of Rae's tops!

Okay so I did it a bit late for the Spring Top Sewalong but I did do it!

Some jungle fabric had been taunting me from the stash pile for about a year. It was one of DS's old kiddie duvet covers. It may not be the everyday look for a woman of my age but what the heck I like it! ...and I couldn't waste it on something like a laundry bag that wouldn't get to travel and see the outside world! LOL

I think it will be perfect for a day out at the zoo. I mucked up a bit on the inside of the straps...only because I had a total lapse of concentration during 2 key points... which I shall blame on dear Sharp End taking my concentration away and it being about midnight ...but thankfully it doesn't show or really matter. I just know to take extra care next time and pack in before I get tired...and yes there will be lots of next times because it is such a super adaptable pattern. Thankyou to lovely Rae for providing the pattern, she writes the instructions so well...which you can find here on our much loved SewMamaSew.

and for anyone who has not stumbled across Rae's blog yet, her clever workwomanship can be found here

Doxie who is wearing her new jungle top now!

Cleaning and oiling the machine.

I did my main machine today. How often do you all clean and oil your sewing machines? The instruction manual says do it frequently...what is frequently?... once a month, every 10 times, every 50 times you use it? I'd be interested to know what others think.



One lady's junk is another lady's treasure!

One of my friends has been having a major clearout ( she is having her entire house decorated in the space of about a week! ). She knocked my door the other day with a bag full of embroidery and sewing patterns, she was almost apologetic... she said she didn't want to clutter up my house but couldn't bring herself to throw them away without offering them to me first! To say I was thrilled is an was like having a birthday! The only problem is I want to do almost every project there is in that bag...My to-do list has just got longer! Thank you N my lovely friend, you have made me very happy! :o)


The feminine arts

I am a great fan of the feminine arts. My passions are embroidery and sewing. I also dabble in knitting and crochet.

I have been pondering lately why I like the vintage style so much. I am not a dedicated follower of fashion so it is not just that it has come to the fore lately. I think the reason is that first time around it was a real big part of being a homemaker. Here are my ponderings on the appeal of it for me, nostalgia wise...

  • Things were not mass produced so if you wanted it, you made it
  • Because so much was handmade it was treasured and looked after. It makes one think of days when values were so different to today.
  • Most girls were taught the feminine arts I think of it as being a truly feminine way of expressing yourself
  • Money was scarce so embroiderers/needleworkers made the most of what they had. It was green /resourceful and to me that says a fun challenge.
  • There was no room for extravagence during or after the war so if you wanted bling you had to add it yourself.
  • It was a way of adding cheer to the home. especially with all the little embroidered slogans they used so much
  • It was a very benign way to spend your free time. I have never heard of hoop rage! I am convinced hand sewing slows the heart rate.
  • It teaches patience. You can't rush an embroidery!
  • Being a traditionalist, it was when women were women, not trying to be men...they were homemakers.
  • Alot of the themes were gentle, I personally would rather be surrounded by the calming influence of roses, birds and the such, than some of the more modern looks.

No doubt I will add to this

Doxie feeling girlie and nostalgic

No photos lately

I have just realised how most of my blog seems to be concentrating on my new love...driving...therefore I haven't been posting photos or many links lately...must remedy that, not sure what to put up though. Hopefully in 2010 there will be at least one new standing in front of the learner car ripping up my L plates...or at least pretending to!

Doxie short on photographic inspiration and obsessing about other things!

Stuck for Memes?

Hooked on Memes? Need some inspiration...I found this site today

The Daily Meme

Doxie X

Friday, 23 October 2009

Woohoo Christmas Club begins.

Next week sees the start of my Coffee and Craft Club Meetings. The idea is a group of us meet once a week in the Doxie house to work on a common project. In theory we will get more done than we would as individuals as we can share the work load... especially when it comes to more tiresome things such as making bias binding ( yawn )... AND we have to keep up with the programme because of the others. The plan is to thrash out ideas for 5 projects to complete this half term ( Okay, okay so the educator in me still thinks of time in terms of... well... terms! I don't think I'll ever shake that lol ) and at the end of it we all go home with one of each. :o) Simple!

At present I don't know if it will continue after Christmas as I have other committments but I did think it would be good incentive to keep the house together on the run up to the festive season AND I can use up alot of "schtuff" by recycling into the multiple projects...see the method in my madness?

It should be a laugh and will guarantee that we get together on a regular basis ( guilt free as we will be working and not just nattering lol ) something we have let slip alot lately. :o)

I'd really like to start with a Christmas pennant as that will allow plenty of time to complete embroidery or applique in our own spare time ( see ever the optimist...I am assuming we will have spare time!!! )

Doxie the optimist :o)

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Testing testing one two three...

Well done to DB

Well done DB for passing your driving test, clever lad!!! You can now drive Mum to my house in the evenings when she fancies a wine or two!!!! Come on, why do you think parents pay for all those lessons?

Seriously though, good on ya!

Doxie XXX

I've started Christmas shopping. Hagatha kindly picked me up yesterday and we joined JB and LB ( not related ) for lunch. After a good ol' natter and general catch up we left them and had a nice wander around the shops. I stumbled across a great pressie for DH so I snapped that up as there weren't many left.Hagatha was drooling over something earlier in the day so when we said our " Goodbyes" I whizzed back to the shop and luckily the "one off" thingy was still there! I just have to hope that she doesn't check in here for a bit, but if she does there were a few things she drooled over so she won't know exactly what I got and will hopefully have forgotten by Christmas.

Somehow my handmade Christmas has gone out of the door LOL!

Doxie :o)

Sunday, 11 October 2009

A first for me...

This afternoon I took the family on their first "long drive" with me behind the wheel. It wasn't the nicest weather for such an outing but it was still a fun trip out. :o)

I felt such a thrill that I couldn't help myself doing a little victory song and dance in the car park at the other end. One young couple gave me a funny look LOL, but I think they realised what was going on after a while because of the "L plates". Still, I don't really worry about that kind of thing these least it gave them a laugh ;o)

I managed to do a few little things that my instructor had been pushing me to do when I have been out with him... so I am hoping that he will see the difference in my confidence during my next lesson. I put my foot down on the NSL roads and resisted the temptation to slow right down at every corner LOL. One thing I did unplanned was a very sudden block change when I realised that the turning I needed was right there and not 50 yards ahead! OK I know that it is not good to do a panic mano but at least I didn't stall after the block change which I did do once in a very inappropriate place!

We stopped enroute at a nice little nursery where they have a pet's corner...I was so tempted by the little baby ratties. I am thinking life is going to be very dicey for a new reason when I have passed my test...if I go out unaccompanied there will be nobody standing there next to me saying " No, we don't really NEED another colony of pet rats!" or whatever cutsies cross my path ;o). Note to self...NEVER EVER drive along to the pet shelter.

The other day when a friend came around she offered to be my accompanying driver if I wanted to go out with her and the lads and practice when Mr Doxie is not around or is busy. What a sweet friend, I think I will take her up on that. Who'd have thought that learning to drive could be such a positive experience and one which didn't involve just the family but friends as well. I am blessed. :o)

Doxie feeling quietly satisfied. :o)

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

New Mano...Bay parking

I had a phone call an hour and a quarter before my last driving spirits fell when I heard my instructor's voice, not because he isn't lovely but because I was sure he was phoning to cancel...Thankfully this was not the case...but he asked if I had remembered that he had brought that day's lesson forward by an hour, YIKES!!! No I had not remembered...that meant I had 15 mins to get myself presentable. From planning on spending the next hour doing hypnosis followed by gentle reading so I could start my lesson in a chilled and calm manner, I had to change to full on panic nutter mode! Impressively I was ready in time...He teased me about only just getting up which was SO not the case... I had already done my housework and an hour's step aerobic workout...I was just not ready for my lesson when he telephoned. I had the pleasure of pointing out that HE was the one sat there with toothpaste on his face!!!!!

Mmmm, I'm not sure what to think of this reversing into a bay lark...I totally get why it is wrong to go in nose first, but boy oh boy is this going to take some practice. Doing it with spaces in the bays next to me was okay but I so didn't like doing it with a car next to me. When asked "What must you change when there are cars parked on both sides of your chosen bay?" I was told that the answer

"My pants!"

was not the answer he was looking for... oh well it might not have been correct but at least I made him laugh!

For anyone who hasn't learned this mano yet, the answer is "nothing".

I really wanted to abandon it when he made me reverse in with a car on my left but he kept bringing up the word "trust", so even though I was freaking out at how close we were to the other vehicle I went ahead and lo and behold, it all worked like magic...I just wish you could buy pocket sized Mr Patiences so you could keep them in the glove box for future times of emergency and tight squeezes!

I tried private practice with the Doxie-mobile the same night but somehow it didn't go quite so well...I kept ending up about a third of a bay to one side....still at least I was straight which is half the battle I guess. I don't know if I am turning too late or too early, ho hum I guess that is what practice is probably didn't help that it was at night in a pitch black car park in the countryside and I couldn't see the bay markings that well anyway, so maybe I am being a bit hard on myself.

I had someone walk backwards into the road in front of me in this latest that is an odd one to anticipate LOL. It was a workman...I can only assume he had ear plugs in or something...blooming daft thing to do without looking! Anyway you will be pleased to hear that he is still upright and the only thing that happened was... I stopped, Mr Patience blew the horn and said what a twit he was, or words to that effect!

Until next time,
Doxie :o)

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Nice lazy weekend

It has been a most pleasant weekend...spent mainly entertaining friends, shopping and walking. If you dear reader are one of the dear friends of whose company we had the pleasure...thank you for the good conversation and laughs and I hope you have got over the wolf mask incident LOL

Also this weekend was the first time I washed the Doxie-mobile. :o)

I have had another driving lesson since my last post...nothing extreme to report...just that I am loving it as ever. We concentrated on manoeurves and I think I am beginning to get this parallel parking lark. :o) I have also been out on the Doxie-mobile driving around the local area...I negotiated some new roads in the dark and sussed out dipping my lights etc. I had a bit of a treat one night as a family of deer stood in the road ahead of me. I just stopped and let them go in their own time...they didn't seem scared which in itself is scarey...I hope they are not too "used" to traffic.

Life is good and I feel quietly content.

Hope you are fine wherever you are.

Doxie :o)