Work Space..

My work table
Note large cup of char, small, handpainted tea cup full of malteasers and new set of coloured crochet hooks that are a dream to use. I'm in the process of putting together some more bright birds.
The other view from my window

I am in the process of listing some of my makings on Etsy – my shop name is fondle if you would like to take a look.  🙂

A Mixed Bag..

I am sitting at the table in my studio/spare bedroom, watching it rain and listening to it plopping on the roof.  It’s very calming.  I was smelling the rain too, for a while – until it got too cold.  That’s something I had forgotten about the UK, you really know when autumn starts.  It’s ok though – I like the cooler weather and to be honest, there was something faintly creepy about all that lovely, sunny weather we have been having, like it twernt natural somehow.

My darling sewing machine has turned into a monster, it was going ok until I changed the cotton on the bobbin and now every time I have tried to use it the cotton jams and tangles, snarls at me until I am in despair.  It’s possibly my fault – but who’s to know?  I have heard that it cost 60 pounds to get it serviced – more that the machine cost..

So the owls and bags and everything else I want to make are sitting there in their raw state – I try not to think about it too much because it infuriates me,  I have spent so many hours trying to get the %&**£@@(*^^%% ** thing to work!

As soon as I get the funds I will buy a NEW ONE – and won’t that be grand – with all its accessories and a warranty and all that wonderful stuff.  Something to look forward too.

Another thing to look forward to is our tea chests arriving next week, YAY!!!!  Wednesday, according to the cheerful man from Cardiff, who is lucky that he was in Cardiff because I would have given him a GREAT BIG KISS  😉  I never thought I’d say it but I MISS MY STUFF.   I just can’t wait to get my hands on all my craft stuff – yarn and fleece and fabric.  Oh, it’s going to be fun!

And, of course, I haven’t told most of you yet,  I start my new job next week.  It’s only a little job, a full day Saturday and a half day every second Sunday but that is maybe all I can deal with at the moment.   It is in a clothes shop called Number 2, and it’s sister shop a little bit further down the road called Number 2 For Shoes – sooo heaven…  Both of these shops were my among my favourite haunts when we used to come to Hay on holidays – they sell clothes and shoes to die for – really.  I like the bosses and the women who work there so it should be fine.

Hay is rammed with tourists  – summer holidays of course.  It is really lovely living here and not just being on a visit – busy streets  at the moment but whenever it rains they mostly disappear, in case they melt, and you get a taste of how quiet it will be come winter.  I think I will enjoy the contrasting states.

We climbed half way up Lord Hereford’s Knob on Sunday – have some photos for you..

On the way up..
What I found on the way up
Going down
The Black Mountain
Out my studio window today

A bit of a fan..

I LOVE Charlie Brooker

and have been having an mad love affair with him for some years now.

In my dreams of course..

My husband is a little in love with him as well  –   so nice to share these things… So I feel I have to share them with you too, aren’t you lucky?  and post a link to his Guardian web page here and a link to one of his recent articles here.

If you are up for a read of some utterly, utterly masterful slagging off , read this  –  Charlie Brooker’s 10 Years of Big Brother – warning, not for the faint hearted..

Yum, fat….

from The Happy Eater by Jay Rayner

“I can’t think of any proper food without fat in it.  At a push, I would even consider eating myself.” and

“There is to me no sadder sight than a plate of roasted meat from which its owner has systematically excised every trace of glistening fat, the unwanted bronzed skin piled up on the rim like the debris left at the side of a motorway after a nasty car crash.  There is always a pinched expression that goes with this process, the look of someone who has the stench of something unspeakable in their nostrils, I want to shout”you idiot” and chuck my knife in, give those exquisite, slippery pieces the love they deserve.”    and this..

“Is fat always pretty?  No, but then the best food isn’t. Its virtues, like a proper layer of fat, go far deeper than mere aesthetics,  Which, as it happens, is another reason why I think I’d make for good eating.”

This article is from the Observer Food Monthly and I loved it, tongue in cheek, passionate and hilarious.  You can read the rest here. Other articles in the series are worth a read too – I particularly liked last Sundays regarding overeating.

I’m off now to eat some scrambled eggs cooked in butter, mmmm

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It has been bought to my attention that I have missed my own anniversary.

I started this blog on the 6th of August last year, and a hellova lot has happened since.  In fact it seems far longer than a year ago.

The blog I started partly in homage to our dogs, now finds us dogless – that was totally unexpected but  I have met many lovely people through writing it.

I have moved house and moved country and of course – taken myself with me.  I think I am a little wiser, but that could be bollocks 😉

Thank you all for reading and commenting and making me feel like I’m not really speaking into the dark…

Anyway – in celebration, here is a gratuitous photo of something I made to cheer me up.

Cheers everyone!

Today has been one of those holding pattern days, just getting done what I need to do to make me feel like I am not a complete waste of space.  So the washing has been done and some emails got writ and some veggie dhal and coconut rotis got made for tea later.   That is about the extent of my energy level at the moment. The rest can wait..

I have had some great things happen over the weekend.  Firstly we visited Swansea, which is about an hour away from Hay, and stayed the night with our good friends Kath and Julian – it was so good to see them again.  We all went out for dinner and drank too much good beer and generally had a wonderful time.  Julian and Kath are getting married in September and Julian asked me on Saturday night to be his best man/woman!  How amazing is that?!   Jules and I have known each other since 2003 when we first came to the UK.  We worked together at the old Swansea Maritime Museum and got on so well that we have remained good friends (and No.1 drinking buddies) ever since.  All of Jule’s male mates have, for one reason or another, been unable to take on the best man job, so the honour has been bestowed on me, hee,hee 🙂  And I do know it is pretty weird – to have a female best man, but neither Jules, or I could ever be considered conventional, so what the hay.

Now I have to write a speech – bloody hell..

The other good thing to happen is that my blog friend Katy has emailed and asked me to make her three owls for her children.  Isn’t that cool?

And last, but not least was arriving home on Sunday and getting all your comments and emails regarding the previous post – you all made me cry and laugh and feel so much better – thank you , thank you , thank you..

Should Really Be Called The Black Slug..

Hmm, so..

The reason I have not been posting so much lately is because I have been busy fielding attacks from the black dog (depression for those who do not get the imagery)   Sorry to those of you who have had the bother of  checking for non-existent new posts and thanks to those who have commented when I have managed to get one done.  You are all really kind and the reason that I am bothering at all 🙂

What’s been happening in my little corner of the world?  Well you will be pleased to know that I am beginning to make my self right at home here by replicating some of the conditions of my old home.  In particular I mean that I am once again starting a collection of broken china of which I mean to do something with one day.

For the last ten years or so I have carted, from one new home to another, huge plastic crates of ruined china and glass that my friend Julie and I have found and collected.  We kept meaning to have vast mosaic sessions and create wonderful things but the only time that we ever did get it together enough to start, a large, chilled bottle of chardonnay inserted itself into the picture and, of course nothing, apart from some brilliant conversation, ever came of it.  Every time I have gone overseas (three times, for extended periods) Julie has babysat the ceramic stash.   For my latest move however I gave her the stash and told her to keep it – Yay!  finally free of it!

Yeah – right..

My friend Louise who owns the shop Vintage Mercantile (website – Louise Loves)  here in Hay selling all sorts of vintage lovely objects has given me a shopping basket full of bits of new stash.  I could have said no..

The start of the stash

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Our house is decorated all in white and I thought I was ok with it, but it turns out I am not..  Yesterday Tudor bought me home a blanket that he had picked up for a pound in a charity shop and although it is not right up my alley the burst of colour is – zounds I have missed it.  My poor depressed brain got such a zing from seeing it in the room when I came down this morning –  I might just pin it up on the wall.

Knitted blanket

Although I do love colour there is one thing that I could only have in my home if it was white – and Tudor bought me home one yesterday as a surprise –

White orchid

The main reason our home is still so colourless is that our stuff has still not arrived.  This is becoming a bit of a pain in the arse actually as  I have lots of craft stuff I could be using.  Next Friday our Stitch and Bitch group are having a felting morning and I was hoping that I would have to hand the wool roving I have stuffed into every crevice of our boxes, other wise I won’t have anything to felt. And I don’t have the money to buy more.

Also we could do with our decent pots, knives and carpets – patience, patience, deep breath..

I have been missing my kiwi pincushion I made for myself last year and so yesterday I made myself another , this time out of a granny square.  It was so much fun I think I will make a few more..  So I guess that is one good thing about the tardiness our our box delivery 🙂

The black dog has been interfering with my craft work a bit lately but I have managed to finish a few things..

Candlewick owl, I love him, he is so cute!
Granny square pin cushion
Granny pin cushion and the start of another
Experimental two button shawl
Peek-a-boo!

Cusop Dingle..

Cusop Dingle is where we spent yesterday afternoon.  It was our second visit, I wasn’t really able to appreciate it fully last time as I had worked the previous night at the pub and was shattered.  This time was so much better!

If I could, I would live in the Dingle.  It has that fairy tale, deep green, deep history feeling that lulls you and makes you feel like the rest of the world can go hang.  Or that if you should doze of on the lush grass by the brook, you might well wake up in another time.  I was amused to read that it was the last recorded place where fairies have been seen.

I discovered a frog which I captured to show Tudor and let go in the brook, and we returned home with enough blackberries for a apple and berry crumble and enough wild flowers to fill my biggest vase – a blissful day really.  Even taking into account the attack of a nettle while I was reaching for flowers 😉  And by the way – the dock leaf did not work.

Nothing is ever as good as it seems, or as bad as it seems, but I really can’t see how yesterday could have been better – I am thankful for it..

The following is nicked from Wikipedia – just for interest.  Oh and if I had known about the oldest resident I would have paid a call on it.

Cusop is an English Victorian village that lies next to the world-famous book town of Hay-on-Wye. It is reached by driving out of Hay towards Bredwardine, and turning right into Cusop Dingle, locally known as ‘Millionaire’s Row’, because of the large, Victorian houses which line the route up to Offa’s Dyke Path, one of the popular walking tracks in the West of England.

Once documented as the last place in England in which fairies were seen, the Dingle is a single track road running alongside the Dulas Brook (forming the border between Wales and England) into the foothills of the Black Mountains. With a multitude of waterfalls, the Dulas Brook is home to trout, otter and kingfishers.

Cusop was home to the poisoner Herbert Rowse Armstrong, the only English solicitor ever hanged for murder, and the grave of his wife Katharine is in the parish churchyard. His former home, originally Mayfield but now The Mantles, is currently owned by Martin Beales, a solicitor working in Armstrong’s old office in Hay. Beales believes that Armstrong was innocent and has published a book arguing his case.[1]

The writer L.T.C. Rolt lived here between 1914 and 1922, in a house then known as Radnor View, in a development locally called “the Forty Acres”. Spending his early boyhood here, he went on to co-found the Inland Waterways Association and the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society, and to write many books on transport, engineering biography and industrial archaeology.

Cusop’s oldest resident is the Cusop Snail, dating back to the Stone-age.

Recorded in The Doomsday Book as “Cheweshope” from the Roman name of “Kyneshope” meaning Hollow Hill.

The Manor of Cusop formed part of the Ewyas Lacey One Hundreds and was once owned by the Clanowe Family, Edward III, Henry ap Griffith, Vaughans of Moccas and the Cornewall Family.

My neighbour gave me these bits, found when she was doing her garden. I am hoping to make a mosaic to go on our blank garden wall - See next photo..
A mosaic should look good on here.