Saturday, 31 July 2021

Today is my birthday

 I received some lovely presents, some known about, many unknown. Items for journaling, some more gorgeous Japanese snips, gardening gloves, bee wax wraps, soaps and a few sweets.

I am entitled to my state pension, but so far, not a peep regarding when they will start to pay it. They are supposed to be in touch within 14 days of my birthday, does that include 14 days afterwards? I know it could be up to a month before my first payment. Anyone any ideas!

Friday, 30 July 2021

Full size dress trial and rubbish Post Office service

Onwards and upwards? It is so difficult trying to make a dress for DGD when it all has to be done via FaceTime. However, we are getting closer I think:


 As mentioned before, this is not the material that will be used for the final version. I am still trying to get the fit correct. I think the waist may be too low and the skirt needs to be fuller, maybe a circle skirt would look better, who knows. Anyway, another chat this weekend to see what it looks like.

The dress should have arrived Tuesday but so far no show. What is the point paying First Class delivery when it’s worse than normal. Not good enough.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Preparing and playing

 I decided to make some Elderflower Cordial this year. Haven't made any for quite a while:

It is crystal clear but looks slightly cloudy on the picture as I removed it from the fridge and it decided to mist up on the outside of the bottles. Just one or two tablespoons in water of your choice to make a refreshing drink. One version of the recipe can be found here,   but I use 2 lemons rather than 2 oranges.

Having found some baby board books, and purchased some Brusho paint pigments, I tried them. The plastic coating on the pages was lightly sanded down before a coat of white gesso was applied. Once dried I sprinkled on some of the powders and used clear gesso to spread them over the surface. Once that was dried, I coated it with pva glue and sprinkled on a bit extra plus white speckles. It is darker than I wanted but hey ho, such are these trials.

I drew the sunflowers and painted them in gouache paints. Once dried they were outlined in black and glued into place. Not bad for a first attempt but at the moment, I don't have plans to do too much of these for now. I will keep on experimenting though to see what I can come up with. Bleach next, maybe?


Sunday, 25 July 2021

Lack of Olympics on TV

 Apparently the BBC lost full broadcasting rights to the Olympics in 2015. These are now with Discovery + and Eurosport. The BBC can’t broadcast more that two Olympic sports at a time, hence why no multiple red buttons. Now we know.

Many viewers are angry as they aren’t seeing much rowing, gymnastics and no tennis. So I feel glad we signed up for streaming so we can at least see some sports we love.

Poor Andy has had to pull out defending his singles title due to a thigh strain, giving it up so he and Joe can concentrate on the doubles. Well done young man.

Liam Broady, a late replacement for Dan I think, has won his first match.

Still no storms or meaningful rain so far, just that fine floating drizzle occasionally. Might have to give in and water if nothing happens. It is cool so that is a bonus as the humid weather wipes me out.


Saturday, 24 July 2021

Finally

 After nearly 3 hours of frustration and stress, we could view Olympic tennis matches. According to the Eurosport Player web site, signing up gives you access to both it and Eurosport on Amazon. We are Amazon members so signed up via them, just one month for £6.99.

Nope, we could only access limited sport on the player but none of the premium tennis matches. In the end we went on the Eurosport web site, paid another monthly subscription and could finally access what we wanted. I have a feeling we made that mistake last time, must remember.

Eventually we settled to watch Andy and Joe play their doubles match. It was very good. Andy moved and served well. As it happens he has a tough first round singles draw unlike Djokovic (yet again), who had an easy draw against someone ranked 139. He is so jammy.

No storms here yet. It is quite windy and warm but not hot. I do hope we get rain though as the front garden is in need of it.

From the garden

The pansies I planted last Autumn are still going strong even but with slightly smaller flowers:

Up until now, we have been harvesting dribs and drabs of our wild alpine strawberries. Yesterday though, I managed to get a whole cereal bowl of them:
They may be small but boy, do they pack a flavour punch!

Well done Andy and Joe on winning your first doubles match. Good luck with the rest of them.
 

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Food Delivery Problems

I was reading an interesting article the other day about the 50,000 shortfall of lorry drivers, see here. 

Once upon a time, a lorry would delivery what had been ordered even if the lorry wasn't full. Now apparently, they haven't got the drivers to do that so only full lorries can be dispatched.

This is fine for most of the major supermarkets (but not all and not always) but not for Lidl. Apparently they are being inflexible and still demanding their orders whether the lorry is full or not. The drivers association has said that can't be done and they are starting to service other places first.

Such shortages were very evident in Lidl today. No fresh baked goods, many, many empty spaces in fresh, fridge and frozen produce. No one stocking the shelves as clearly no lorry had turned up. 

As usual, after Lidl we went to Morrison's. Quite a few empty spaces on shelves there and quite a few of their 3 for 2 berries were due to finish today and many were mouldy.

Forgot yoghurt so on the way home, popped into Sainsburys. There shelves were much better but still had gaps.

This is just the tip of the iceberg folks. If you haven't started to buy and store one or two extra things each week, you may find, that one day, they won't be there.

Yesterday may have been 'Freedom Day', but in every place we visited today, everyone was still wearing masks except for one customer and a couple of staff. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Boris!

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Warmer today

It is already hotter today and as well as the long blind out the back, we have attached the duvet cover for extra protection. I am pleased to say, for the most part, Ruby is laying in the shade. She had an early walk and won't get another one today. It drives me mad to see people dragging their dogs out for long walks in this heat. They are wearing a fur coat for heavens sake! The tarmac is very hot, would you walk on it barefoot? No? Then don't expect them to.

Although the pots were all watered yesterday, the tops had already dried out so they were watered again this morning. I need to harvest a few ripe raspberries but doing so would involve standing out in the sun. They can wait until later this afternoon when they will be in the shade.

My autumn journal is now finished apart from the outside cover, which I shall start today. That leaves me free to begin writing in my summer one and also think about play journals. I watched someone the other day, use a board book to journal in (the kind a baby has). Quite interesting.

A birthday card was quickly made yesterday for a friend but I am not sure I like it so may make another one. Keep yourselves and your pets as cool as you can.

As I used so much of my Brexit box in the early days of the pandemic, I am starting to create another one. You never know what is around the corner. We have all heard about the driver shortages, weather destroying crops, lack of farm and factory food processing workers. Best to be prepared methinks.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Getting on...

Well, I have trialled the style of mixed media I saw and wanted to have a go at, but don't like it at all. I much prefer what I am doing so that is where I will go. These are the best two of my attempts.  Both dulled down after the application of transparent gesso (which also left streaks), it also leaves a matte appearance, but to me, it just ruined them:


I get annoyed at buying the odd thing to attempt these trials but shall not be doing it again.

An hour was spent in the garden first thing, a big trug of weeds up and dead heading finished flowers. Containers watered and feeding done where required.

The blind along the patio is out but it is a bit windy so may have to be retracted slightly. We have an old duvet that attaches to it and a washing line to give us extra shade if we need to do this.
 

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Secondhand Books for journals

Where possible, I am buying books from either charity shops or Ebay, all used but in good condition. My haul today from a shop were these:

Both the pink and light blue books have been thinned ready for use. The pink will become my winter journal, the light blue, my new mixed media journal.

The Forces Sweetheart book has been gutted to removed oodles of useful ephemera for my journals. However, this particular advert will not appear:


 Amazing that yet again, the women are being called loose yet it is probably the sexually active men who are sleeping around more then passing it on.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

I don't know

Whether to change the name of my blog - or not? There is nothing wrong with it per se but we have no need to be as frugal as we were. I will soon be collecting my pension and whilst I have no plans to spend most of it, it seems wrong somehow to keep with the title of this blog.

I just can't make up my mind!

I am currently working on my second journal but still have bits to do to completely finish my first. Having previously given away all my art stuff, new items have been bought. 

Transparent and white gesso for coating pages ready for working on them. Gouache paints, brushes and black and white outline pens. This is a slightly different form of creating a journal to what I currently do. I hope to embrace both methods, either separately or combined in the same journal. Just a few more items to buy then I can trial this other method.

We have begun to harvest a few raspberries and had our first few alpine strawberries, boy, are they tasty. The tomatoes are finally setting fruit, as are the beans. There are a few lettuces getting ready to eat but that is all we are growing in the raised beds this year. We have French marigolds, cosmos and nicotiana amongst the vegetables and very pretty they look too.


 



Friday, 9 July 2021

In vain

 I have tried to type a post on my main computer but it’s playing silly beggars. Just letting you know. Back tomorrow hopefully.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Will you/won’t you?

 Carry on wearing a mask? For now I will. An example today reinforced my opinion. I was posting a letter near a shop, a van was parked outside. As I walked past it, an elderly chap stuck his head near the open window and coughed non stop, very forcibly. I thought he would make himself sick doing so. My head was within 3’ of his but I had already put my mask on thank goodness.

Once home I gave the mask and my face a very good wash. You just don’t know do you!

I will carry on wearing it in shops or close quarters if too near other people. I currently have no need to use public transport but if I did, would wear one. We still don’t feel comfortable eating inside but have tried to do so, especially if it isn’t too busy.

It seems masks and social distancing are to go, a very big mistake in my opinion but there you go. It feels a political and financial gut decision rather than based on medical need. Whitty and Valance didn’t seem impressed at all.

The NHS may not be overwhelmed by Covid but to all intents and purposes it is. Things are nowhere near back to normal, it seems impossible to get appointments and operations anytime soon. We need to be ready for others to invade our personal space once more. We always have hand gel available and will keep it close by still. 

What about you, will you carry on wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing?


Monday, 5 July 2021

Onwards....

 DGD tried on the latest bodice version of her dress, still not right. Last week she looked like she was wearing a maternity dress, this week as though she had stepped off a 1980’s keep fit set! We all laughed so hard, including her, even if she didn’t understand why we were laughing.

More alterations, posting up and another try on next weekend to check it all again. Rather than keep making dresses, I am just doing the bodice part as the skirt is easy.

Although still crawling some of the time, for the most part, she just stands up, wobbles a little then toddles off. Obviously this involves more trips and associated bruises. Such a shame that has to happen but it’s how they learn to step over things. DS used to be covered in bruises and half egg sized bumps on his forehead. I was always worried of someone reporting me for mistreating him:(

So, all my journal stuff is once again put away ready for sewing. I have now done 2 double pages of the new one.


Friday, 2 July 2021

Journal Finished

I have just finished my first journal, want to take a peek? Here is the front cover:


 Pages inside:





The right page has a pocket to insert something special:

In the middle of the book are two sloping pockets. The first attempt I didn't feel it fitted in with the book:

This does and I love it:

Finally, the back cover:

I shall enjoy writing in it. The only problem I found was the pressure from creating pockets has caused the spine to be under a little strain, despite removing quite a few pages to accommodate them.

The back page (seaside one) is cracking a little at the top but if I need to repair it I will.

I have already prepared my next one which will cover Autumn or Autumn/Winter, see how it goes.




Thursday, 1 July 2021

Daylight Robbery!

 We paid a visit to more charity shops today. Although there wasn’t much to find, I noted that most books were between 25p and £1:50. Eventually finding 2 quite small books, I left DB to pay whilst I went to the next one.

You can imagine my shock when he said he nearly didn’t buy them as they wanted £7. SEVEN POUNDS!!! They weren’t in good condition which was why I wanted them.

Absolutely disgusting and they have lost any future trade from us.

One of the shops from yesterday were only charging £1 for 4 books, of any size.