Monday, 22 May 2017

Memos, Mail and me

It's happening again folks.  I'm being 'taken over' by a colour.  It's subtle, it happens gradually, it lies in wait and sneaks up on you.  Before you know what is happening, you've 'accidentally' bought three new things in a 'totally different colour to normal' only to find out that you may be hatching a new 'normal'.  

Exhibit A

A new top, a new long sleeved t shirt and new dress.  All of which seem to have tones of the same gold/yellow in them.  How long have I liked yellow for goodness sake?  It's really not my kind of colour at all.  

And yet ...

Exhibit B
A quilt I made a couple of years ago which has been on the grey sofa in the lounge.

And then ...

Exhibit C

Where on earth did that dog find a gold cushion for 'her' armchair in the conservatory?  

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how while tidying out my wardrobe I realised that I could date clothes by the colour tones in them and how I obviously have favourite colours every year.  I'm guessing this is my golden year then!


So, let's move on to things that arrived in the post this week.  Well.  I was lucky enough to be a randomly chosen winner of a pack of postcards from Kat Sloma following the Liberate Your Art project and a beautifully stamped envelope arrived this week containing all these beautiful pieces of artwork.  Definitely great inspiration for when I'm trying to find photos to use for next year's 'Liberation'.

There's half term looming - and a trip overseas planned.  Possibly the chance to get some photos to use for LYA2018?  Somewhere we've never been before, but somewhere that people say is beautiful.  Somewhere with Italian influence but not in Europe.  So I'll be AWOL next week for Sian's Memos, Mail and Me but that doesn't mean that I won't be checking up on the rest of you if I find internet connection.    

Monday, 15 May 2017

Memos, mail and me

My posts for Sian's Memos, mail and me theme seem to sometimes mimic those 'What am I?' puzzles in  magazines.  Here's this week's offering:

There is a lot of silvered glass appearing in our house.  (and someone in the house is muttering about 'where is this all going after the wedding?') This week - tea light holders.  To go either side of 10 small silvered glass mason jars which will have flowers in to form a row of prettiness along the top table at the wedding.  They don't look too attractive from this perspective but when they are out of the box they catch the light beautifully.  I think I have now officially ordered all the 'bits' that we need for the reception, now to start pulling it all together!  

I did actually order something totally non wedding related this week too and it's not often that my husband takes much interest in what I buy 7 year old relatives for their birthdays but as a keen nature lover, he thoroughly approved of this present.

It's such a good idea whilst helping children learn in a fun way and increase the butterfly population.  You send away for a cup of caterpillars and watch them go from caterpillars to chrysalises to butterflies in a little pot, then you move them into the pop up 'garden' to mature and when they are ready you release them into the garden. Now it's met with adult approval, I hope that my great niece finds it as interesting as we all think she will!

Hoping everyone had a good weekend - don't they go by quickly?  My Sunday started with being woken up by someone sticking her thumb in my eye.  Followed by drumming their fingers on my nose and finally pulling my hair.  This was a first for me to report back on for the Monday project.  

Leo came to stay overnight - without his mum and dad.  

I think we were all a little apprehensive!  His parents had been invited out for a birthday celebration night in London, their first 'proper' nightclub evening in the city since he was born, and originally I was going to babysit at their house.  But it was going to be a late night and I didn't fancy driving back from theirs in the early hours so at the last minute we changed our plans and he came to us.  We don't have a cot so we pushed a bed up against the wall so he couldn't fall out that side and then I slept beside him.  I'm not going to lie, it wasn't the most relaxing, refreshing night's sleep I've ever had, I kept waking and being aware of him being there and a couple of times he cried in his sleep as he changed position but he didn't actually properly wake up until 5.10.  Which sounds really early but apparently, he's never slept through from 8pm to then before so we all marked it down as a success! 

Now, I believe that Sian is super busy learning exciting photography related things on a course and won't be hosting us today but let's all put our alarms on early to check her blog out first thing on Tuesday.  Or, if you don't like waking to an alarm clock, can I suggest borrowing someone's 8 month old child for the night? 

Monday, 8 May 2017

Memos, mail and me

We lead a very glamorous life over here in Deb's World.  I mean, how many other people can join in with Sian's Memos, Mail and Me posts by recording two bags of diamonds being delivered?  Oh yes, diamonds, dozens of them.  Real ones?  Sadly not but hopefully they'll look pretty scattered on the wedding tables.

Talking of wedding tables, I'm now up to 60 paper flowers - the end is in sight!

I've now resorted to making them while watching episodes of Grey's Anatomy from a DVD box set season 12.  I can make 3 per episode so only 5 more episodes to go!

A few other purchases have made their way into the house this week too.  Only three weeks until our holiday and I thought it was time I reviewed my summer clothes.  Some of those dresses have been in the wardrobe for far too long and are looking slightly dated and 'well worn'.  So I've been through everything, donated a fair few things to a charity shop and replaced a couple of bits.  It feels like you can date my clothes by their colours, I seem to have favourite colours each year, do you do that? I've just removed several pieces from my 'mauve' years, and I think that the next ones to go will be from the 'blue' stage!  So I am trying hard to buy things unlike anything else in my wardrobe for a bit of variety.

A new stage in our life is starting this week - the interim 'looking after Leo stage'.  R's maternity leave is coming to an end this month and she definitely didn't want to go back to commuting into London every day.  So she gave her CV to a company who got her the last local job she had and was sent the following day for an interview for a part time local PA job - and was offered it there and then.  Too good to be true, a reasonable salary, flexible hours, some working from home and 10 mins drive max to the office.  Only he needed someone to start now, and she hadn't got childcare set up, thinking she had time to arrange.

So for the next three weeks we are going to be doing a bit extra babysitting while she gets her childminder in place and negotiates the working from home day.  It's going to be different and I'm sure it's going to be tiring because he's a little bundle of mischief.  

So by the time you are reading this, I'll probably be on my hands and knees chasing him around the lounge and trying to keep him out of trouble - Wish me luck! 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Memos, mail and me

There's definitely no excuse for not joining in with Sian's 'Memos Mail and Me' club this week.  In fact, a certain husband of mine stood at the front door with a pile of packages all addressed to me on Saturday and said the immortal words:

Have you been browsing eBay again?


Maybe ...

Because a wedding is rapidly approaching and when you're trying to do as much as you can yourself, 'things' have to be bought.  Lots of things.  And things that need to be crafted together in some way mean you need more than one thing in order to make the final thing.  I've lost you haven't I?

So, in order to answer his question, I have to admit that maybe it was a little bit more than just browsing ...

May I share Exhibit A.  Organza bags - will eventually hold wedding favours.  And have little tags attached to them with the bride and groom's names printed on them.  
Exhibit B - candy striped sweet bags.  To go on the sweet trolley.  See those empty jars behind them?  They won't be empty forever.  Just wait until my husband discovers large boxes of sweets being delivered to him due to the fact that I accidentally ordered them from his Amazon account and not mine.  Oops!
Exhibit C - Confetti.   To go in the confetti cones that Denise is very kindly making for me.
Exhibit D - can you guess what these are?  That sounds a bit like a competition in a magazine doesn't it?  Little silver table number holders.

And so we take a step closer to the big day.  I now have a complete outfit, hat and all.  Flowers are ordered, suits have been bought, photographer booked.  I'm just wondering how foolish it was of me to offer to make the cake ...

Monday, 24 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

Joining in again with Sian and the Monday Memo Makers where we share our mail, our Mondays and anything new we have learned.  

This little beauty arrived with my mail this weekend which is the perfect cue to put the kettle on, brew up a cup of tea, dive into the cake tin for a rock cake and sit in the sun having a good relaxing read.  
It's such a lovely magazine, and about the only magazine I've subscribed to that I have found my husband looking at from time to time!  

So after a half an hour reading and relaxing it was with a relaxed sense of calm that I opened the other mail, that envelope that we'd both not bothered to open as it was simply addressed to 'the occupier'.  To discover that a house just around the corner has put in a planning application to change it from a mock Tudor red brick and timber frontage (in line with all the other houses in the road) to an ultra modern, white rendered, grey tiled property.  I think they've been watching Grand Designs.  We have no issue with them demolishing all internal walls, extending out the back, moving rooms around, and adding a huge glass verandah to run the whole width of the back of the house - after all, what happens indoors, stays indoors - but changing completely the whole style of the exterior?  It would look so out of place and completely at odds with the rest of the street, and so, for the first time ever, we will be objecting to a planning permission!  The design they've chosen is very modern, and would look lovely in the right location, but that location isn't in the middle of a row of traditionally styled houses.  Watch this space ...

Anything else new?  Well I've now made 30 flowers - yes I know that the number hasn't increased dramatically, let's skip over that.  However ... there is something new to report

I have finally got to grips with that hot glue gun ...

I can see me getting quite carried away with this new toy piece of crafting equipment.  So all 12 wicker hearts now have three little rose buds on them and look very pretty, and I am currently trying to think of what other projects I can come up with that may involve a bit of hot glue gun action. 

Talking of weddings, a new pair of shoes has joined my wardrobe.  Grey suede, rather gorgeous, and hopefully part of the MOTB wedding outfit.  I just need to have the bride give her opinion on them.  But they're staying whether I wear them to the wedding or not, because they fit beautifully and I absolutely love them.

So that's what is new in my world, I'm just of to Sian's to see what's happening with everyone else.  Happy Monday everyone!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

The very best of good intentions is my theme for my Monday post, linking in with Sian and the other Monday memo makers. Which has nothing at all to do with any intention to restrain myself from eating chocolate for breakfast yesterday.  But if that had been my intention, it is only fair to be honest and say I failed miserably.  No, this is an intention to dust off the sewing machine ...

"Let's completely refurbish the conservatory" said my husband, so we did.  New roof, new windows, new window sills. 

"As it looks so lovely and new again, let's replace the furniture too" he said, so we did.  

"That quilt that Coco likes to sit on when she's enjoying the sun on the sofa out there is looking old and faded" I said, "I'm going to order some new fabric to make a new quilt to pick out the colours of the buttons on the new sofa", so I did. 

"I'm going to make a start on that new quilt as soon as the fabric arrives" I said, but I didn't.  

Before I give you my excuses as to why I haven't even cut out so much as a square of fabric, let me first take your mind off the fact that I've not started what I promised by sharing with you a picture of the fabric that I bought.

I think it will look nice.  
When I get round to cutting it out and sewing it together.  
Which may not be any time soon.  

Because no matter how good my intentions are to get going on that project,  my other mail this week included the ingredients needed to make these ...

We're going to hang a little decorated wicker heart on the end chair of each alternate row along the aisle of the room where Rachel is getting married.  Which means we need 12. I thought I could get away with just winding the stem of each flower into the wicker but I don't think that it's going to be sturdy enough.  So it means that I need to get to grips with a hot glue gun.  Which I have never done before; wish me luck!

I also received the paper to make these ...

My dear friend Denise very kindly cut out the petals for me, and I 'just' have to curl and cut and stick them together to make flowers which will eventually be stuck onto ribbon (more hot glue gun action) to wind round serviettes on the dinner tables at the reception.  Since taking this photo I've done a few more and it total I now have 26 finished roses.   

I need 80.

You see my dilemma - there is no time constraint on making a quilt but I have a deadline for the flowers!  I know it seems like I have a long time but you have no idea how long it takes me to do each flower.

So that's me for this Monday, sitting amid a crumpled heap of metallic foil which once decorated an Easter egg, and trying to get rid of the crumbs of chocolate from the keyboard of the computer.  Let's hide the evidence eh?  

Friday, 14 April 2017

Liberate Your Art 2017

I'm not sure what made me decide to join in with Liberate Your Art for the first time last year.  One of those spur of the moment things I guess, because there is no way on earth that I consider myself an 'artist'.  I have trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler, so there is no paint related artist blood running through my veins!  So when I read through the sign up post I realised that art takes many forms, not just the initial idea of paint on canvas.  I've always been keen to create - whether it be by sewing, knitting or sticking bits of paper onto other bits of paper and creating scrapbook pages - so as a 'newbie' to LYA I photographed things that I had made as examples of my 'art'.

When the LYA mail started arriving last year I discovered that out of the postcards I received, some of my favourites were photographs and I realised that you don't actually have to physically make something for it to be art, that you can make art through the lens of a camera.  I filed that idea away for the coming year's project!

Enough of my history with LYA - let me share some very special mail that has arrived on my door mat within the last couple of weeks.

Aren't they fabulous?

From street life observations, finding art in a close up view of a vintage object, collage, and original art. 

And along the way I've discovered new blogs to check out and new Instagram accounts to follow.  None of which would have happened if I hadn't been brave enough to put my insecurities aside and sign up and join in.  My postcards came from many different states in America and one from Europe.  Yes, one postcard had a very long round trip from Slovenia to America and then America to England!  Now I'm thinking, we need to advertise this more in countries this side of the Atlantic - so please consider joining in next year.  It's always good to receive Happy Mail, be inspired by others and forge new acquaintanceships.

For my postcards this year I didn't photograph 'things' that I had made, but when I was on holiday last year I kept an eye out for things that I thought may be suitable for making into a postcard.   Inspiration came in many ways!  While on holiday in Portugal I found some very clever street art painted onto old crumbling cement walls.  Then while laying on a sunlounger and staring up at the sky I noticed how striking the opening petals of a lily growing on the patio looked against the blue, and on an early morning walk, the blossom on the tree looked pretty with the sun gently shining through the branches.  A trip to the English coastline gave me inspiration for my final card.  I love beach huts, and we are lucky to live in an area which is well known for its colourful huts along the sea front.  These were taken while walking between Frinton on Sea and Walton on the Naze on the Essex coast.  So these were the five postcards that I sent out.

 Please do visit Kat's blog to see the kind of mail which has been travelling between the participants of this year's project. Click here for more information.  Ready for some facts and figures? 

876 pieces of art were sent around the world
146 people took part, and those people came from ...
12 different countries

But even better than that, join in next year!  It really is a great project and Kat makes it so easy to participate in even if you live outside of the US. I promise to let you know when the sign up starts for 2018, so start thinking about what you can make into a postcard now!