Wednesday, 28 September 2011

While the sun shines

I know it had been forecast but it was still a pleasant surprise to open the door this morning to such a glorious day. I was sure Autumn would descend with the same false promise as Summer had. 

With the sun on my face I set out with every intention of getting some work done, but on my way to the work room I was stopped in my tracks by this rather handsome devil.
WARNING: if you have a fear of spiders look away now

Sorry if you're not big on spiders but I couldn't help myself, he was just fantastic.

Not being an entomologist I have no idea what sex or type of spider it is, I just called him ( or her) 'Big'. I watched him ( or her ) for a while as he sat waiting for something tasty to drop by. The temperature began to rise, a soft breeze ruffled the turning leaves and I thought to myself it would be such a waste to be shut up in my workroom on what was probably going to be one of the last good days of the year.

Instead I went back to the house , collected some gloves and a pair of secateurs , and spent a very enjoyable morning doing some outdoor housework ( or gardening if you prefer ). When we bought the house 6 years ago I inherited a rather large herbaceous border that always needs cut back at the end of the season. The last few years I've left it too late and the rain and sudden frosts have landed me with an unappealing brown mush to deal with.It wasn't going to happen this year. During my tidy up session I came across a number of others that were busy making the most of the last minute sunshine

These bees were collecting pollen from the few flowers that escaped my flailing shears. When armed, I show no mercy! 

Evidence of more spiders could be found. Unfortunately as the day wore on and the dew evaporated the intricate webs became almost invisible, great for a spider trying to be inconspicuous, not so good for a very poor photographer.

There has been a lot going on these last few weeks, filling my head with one quandary or another. Today was more than a bonus weather wise. It was also a chance to remind myself to stop and take the time to appreciate what I have around me instead of constantly seeking the elusive 'more'.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

An unwanted stray

It was inevitable. It happens every year. The little darlings go back to school after a break and catch up with their friends. A few weeks later they come home with a stray cold they have picked up on the way. They feed it, make a fuss over it but after a while they get bored with it and that's when they give it to me to look after.

Of course by this time it's no longer the innocent little thing they arrived home with. Oh no, by the time they've finished with it the mutation is complete. It's now a cold with homicidal tendencies!

It starts by trying to drown me to death, streaming simultaneously from eyes, nose and down the back of my throat. It does however do wonders for my deportment, especially since chaos ensues should I tilt my head in the slightest. Another upside, I'm excused from making dinner!

When that attempt is thwarted it tries to smother me. Where it procures the copious amounts of cotton wool it stuffs up my nose and into my head I'm not sure but there always seems to be enough left over to soak up any moisture in my mouth and throat. The resultant sporadic breathing can be quite noisy. You know it's bad when your own nocturnal grunting wakes you up.

Its final attempt is the lung expulsion (I may have mentioned this particular tactic in a previous post) The aim is to make me cough so hard my lungs are ejected from my body via my trachea.

Suffice it to say I never look forward to the boys bringing home this particular stray, it always seems to get the better of me.

But not this time, you little terror of a cold virus you! Having lost 2 weeks earlier in the year while I did battle, this time I remembered my girl guide training and I was prepared. I had brought in reinforcements. 

Copious amounts of hot ribena, echinacea and raspberry tea and toast and marmite* were consumed in between popping various pills and potions, while kleenex doused with olbas oil ensured at least a few hours sleep. 
Some remedies were homeopathic while others were allopathic, in this instance I have no problem being a belt and braces kind of girl.

I didn't escape completely but what is usually an extended engagement became a minor skirmish. Result! I have missed a few days in the workroom but will hopefully be installed behind my machine by the weekend. 

Oh, and I discovered that doing some ironing proved to be a productive substitute for a congestion relieving steam treatment (but it's a good idea to keep a hankie handy) :o) 

*I know, I know 'marmite'! But it really is good for you and when you have a bad cold you can't taste much anyway.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

'Of Wallets and Women'

Okay, okay, so in this country we call them purses but lets not argue over a little alliteration. Anyway, back to the topic in hand. 
I've been doing a lot of travelling this last week for one reason or another. While waiting to pay for yet more petrol my mind began to wander, as it so often does. Since I was holding my purse in my hand at the time that was the direction it decided to take. 

A woman's purse is a curious thing. Every little girl will have one, probably from so early an age they can't ever remember being without one. The type used will change as the years pass, accompanying the various stages in her life. The evolution of womanhood as displayed by her purse!  

Hmmm, so perhaps the petrol fumes had gotten to me :o) but it's an interesting theory don't you think? Since I haven't had much time for making I thought I'd have a look on Folksy and see if it could be substantiated.

I'm not sure if they prove anything but I just had to share some of the fantastic examples I found. First, a selection that I'm sure every little girl would adore.

Beautiful felt purses from babyjanes , a distinct improvement on the pink nylon coin purse with plastic seed beads  I remember from my childhood

Better yet , a personalised purse from the piggy bank made from recycled materials

Who wouldn't want this furry friend from Pidgeon Stitch  looking after their valuables

Or a monster purse from The Linen Cat to keep lunch money safe behind its teeth while securely clipped on to a bag

Inevitably there comes a time when we feel the need to put away childish things. Something a little more grown up is called for.

This simple coin purse from Wardrobe Surgeon  offers a perfect transition from childhood to teenagerdom

And this one by Leanne Wood Designs has a separate pocket for the ever important first bank card

This zipped purse  by Jenny Gale, with space for cash, cards and a phone, is the perfect teenage accessory.

And for something a little bit different this clever pouch by Lynn Fisher has a  zipped pocket and  two card holders inside

Early adulthood arrives, and suddenly we need to acquire space for more cards. But since at this stage we probably still have a social life we don't want a purse that is going to take up too much space in our bag. That's when the wallet comes in to its own.
A simple but stunning card holder from Very Berry Handmade

This recycled comic wallet by Kluck will definitely get you noticed

Then something very strange happens. The size of our purse increases while the amount of money we have to put in it decreases. Instead we need space for more cards. Membership cards, loyalty cards, library cards, donor cards......and don't even get me started on the vouchers! 

A spacious but stylish wallet/purse from Kayomi that provides plenty of space for money, cards and receipts

And this fabulous oilcloth offering from Dianna Jessie's Oilcloth accessories has the advantage of being able to be wiped clean

Of course there will come a time when fingers can't grab a zip pull as easily as they used to and thats when the framed coin purse has its day. Now I can remember my grandmothers purse and I refuse point blank to ever, and I mean ever, be reduced to using anything that even remotely looks like it.  Fortunately there are so many out there we will all be spoiled for choice.

I have my eye on this glorious retro print from Court & Spark

Or this wonderful little tweed number by Jane Coe with its silk lining

How about making a statement with this luscious recycled purse from  make new and mend 

Although to be honest this one from Sew You is more likely to be the statement I'll want to make

And if we feel like bucking the trend and throwing my theory out the door without so much as a goodbye there are always these quirky little cash containers to choose from.

Intriguing leather purses fromYummy Mummy Living

Simple coin pockets by Little Bobbins

And a truly delicious little felt pouch from   Created and Felted by Claire Louise 

Well after all that I think it's about time I made my own purse a little lighter by snapping up some of these lovelies. Look out Folksy, here I come! 

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