Wednesday, 31 December 2008

WIP - the last animal of 2008

i did finish an animal yesterday, the last one of the year ...
i will show it to you tomorrow, promise. my photography is often lagging behind real life!

did you have a good new year? we were all in bed by 9.30pm, and no getting up to sick children. a monster bug has yucked its way through our 'holidays' and we are still not fully recovered. here's to a healthier new year ...

baby mary who was born this year, and whose birth was blogged by me the day she was born, is now eight months. cute and cheeky, but growing FAR TOO FAST!

5 things from my dads old jumper ...

5 things from my dads old jumper ...
Originally uploaded by RaggyRat

i didnt get many things left to me when my dad died, just two boxes from HMP wymott. one of the things was this jumper which i have worn quite a lot over the years. he died boxing day 1999, so i think of him at this time of year also.

but i dont wear baggy jumpers any more, so i decided to make something alse we could use year after year, some stocking for our fireplace! the other fabrics came from local recyclers. i cant say no to fabric !

oh, and happy new year, hope you have fun tonight. we are still recovering, as a family, from the bad tummy bug.

Monday, 29 December 2008

something to do today ....

and have a good time looking at all that amazing bear-artist work ...

my children are poorly, and i have one more chrstmas gift to make ready for new years!

hope you my dear readers are all ok,


cat xxxx

oh the picture? burned two candles on one of my grandmas plates - apart from the nose, the eyes hair and mouth apeared as the candles melted!

Friday, 26 December 2008

liberating giraffes from christmas paper ...

i made two giraffes from some amazing freecycled vintage fabric, for matty and daisy, using the pattern from SOFT ANIMALS A TO Z ... carolyn vosburg hall.

i wont forget daisy's squeal of delight when she realised what was inside the package!

hope you had a lovely time! xxx

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

the fursuit commission - the mouse's head

oatmeal fleeced ears, the grey fur and some longer grey
Originally uploaded by RaggyRat

work on the fursuit head has been delayed due to the fact that i need hubby to model a lot, and he is either at work , or ill ... yes we have all had a really rotten bug!

but here are the ears, stif foam which has been neatly covered in fleece, and two of the furs, click through to flickr to see another pic which goes with this one, and some notes on the image of the furs ... dont the furs look lush !

happy christmas pero, happy christmas everyone!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

yummy pattern books, to make you drool !

MY FUN TO SEW ... janet barber
this is a book i poured over as a child, i had a whim to go looking for it recently and found it on abe books, from a UK seller ... very exciting and it didnt cost me very much either. looks in about the same condition as my copy ... i wonder if? would anyone like to see inside? its beautifully dated and wonderfully coloured, photots and drawing on every page.

SOFT ANIMALS A TO Z ... carolyn vosburg hall
saw this book on amazon, and while blog hopping
so here it is on my blog too!
the patterns are very clever, i won't make all the animals, but the dog pattern was used to create flash the collie, below, and looks very different from the dogs in the book ... if you fancy trying it, her dog isnt made with 33 pieces of fabric, like mine!
check out that girraffe - i have a fabric that woud look great as a couple of girraffes!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

catterpiller update ...

with no pics, as the results are less than photogenic ...

our 2 catterpillas became three when another nice fat juicy one turned up in another organic green, but oddly, right after this the smallest catty-piller disapeared - now theres a question for home educaters everywhere - where do the dead ones go? no sign of him climbing dining room walls in a bid to escape ...

today i went to fling out old leaves and green poohs, and i couldnt find any of them, then found that one catterpillow had mashed himself into some drier leaves, using some kind of webby glue to bind himself in there, and you could see a bit of him through a hole in the leafy, thready mess. and he looks all yellow and maggot like. lovely.

but this could well be good news, and i moved this remaining (pupa?) into a cooler spot so he can, pupate ...

oh well, no more wrigglers to handle. i'll have to explain the bit about long sleeps now. which isn't like being dead. we have done dead worms and slugs, you see ...

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

singing for seb

singing for seb
Originally uploaded by RaggyRat

remember the concert on the 4th of december?
well here we all are at the run through before hand ...

if you want to have a go at spotting me, click through to flickr, and to 'all sizes' to make the picture bigger, and have a good squint at it

please ask permission before using this photo
thank you xxx

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

WIP - (flash) the border collie soft toy ...

i was baby sitting the evening before seb completed his coastal charity walk, and thinking about the next day i took some fur pieces and a soft toy book over to my friends house - well, i can't knit!
this is the dog without any stuffing or eyes, or tail!

i used 33 pieces of fabric to create this dog, and inside the ears is a vintage style newsprint cotton, which im rather fond of, to allude to all the media attention for seb and flash!
what do you think of him so far?

the original flash painting and a print for chester park school, side by side for the last time ...

me and the painting before leaving for the beach, i did think i would be giving the pic to seb, instead of raffling or auctioning it, but i thought i might have to argue the case with seb, who had already reached his fund raising target...!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

A special post for a certain school in Durham, (and Mrs Williams class), and for all seb fans, everywhere!

today, i was ...

watching helicopters fly over head and marching with the band ...

laughing at sebs jokes!

meeting new friends and trying to keep warm ...

giving seb a special thank you, something which we knew he wanted all along!

letting sleeping dogs lie ...

what a great day!
welcome home seb green amd dear flash, i must say his paws looked in very good condition.
i had a lovely walk and met up with some of the people i have chatted with over the past year, some old faces, someone who enjoyed the choir's concert and some new friends.
i will miss reading about sebs daily adventures, and looking at the map to see how many more red dots there are. i have improved my geography a bit!


about the photos - you must ask my permission if you wish to use any of them! thank you xxx

Friday, 12 December 2008

organic food ... extra free catapillars !

organic food is out biggest luxory these days, well that and smellies without evil chemicals in eg parabens, etc...

but twice this week i encountered criters free with the greens, and i wondered if they might soon pupate and become pets/an educational interest? i set about keeping these 2 wrigglers alive, currently on something spinach-like i found in the garden. the tiny caterpillar came with some chard from a friends allotment last thursday, and the big fat gorgeous one on some cabbage in our veg box on tuesday. so far so good, with both having eat and rest times and getting new leaves everyday.

sorry about the pics, both toddlers and catterpillars dont keep still, i had to hold matty's hand to get the blurry pic i did get!

daisy and matty like to be catterpillas, which involves eating green leaves and doing green poohs. it also involves crawling instead of walking which can make getting ready for lunch, bed etc take more time! they also like to carry imaginary ones around with them, this can make it difficult as one of their hands is always occupied!

now i just need to find out what to do next, when or if they pupate .... looks like we have some pets again !

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

FLASH - AAAAAA-aaaaaaaaahhhhhh! (flash gordon theme)

hoooraaaay - i have just heared that we can RAFFLE the picture of Flash, Seb Green's Dog! Just the picture created by me, not the actual dog at all (at least one well-wisher was confused previously!). folk have to put £5 in an envelope with their name on it, and the raffle will be drawn in the pub on sunday, at seb's welcome home. I'd love to give my on-line friends and blog followers the oppotunity to take part too, as its so near the end now you will need to have a paypal account, drop me an email at the address top left.

here is the official web page or Seb's odyssey

and here is some information to be found on the starlight charity website giving more of seb's story and an oppotunity to donate direclty ...

"Dear Seb supporters,

As those of you who have been able to follow the website will be aware, Seb has almost completed his circumnavigation of mainland Great Britain and will cross the finish line in Weymouth at 11am on Sunday 14th December, having walked something in excess of 3,134 miles since the 1st February this year. It is a truly remarkable achievement for this extraordinary teenager who has travelled, largely unaccompanied, with just his dog Flash for company. He has experienced sun, rain, hail, sleet and snow, gale force winds and days of balmy sunshine. He has camped in sand dunes, forests, fields, back gardens, wild country and 'proper' campsites. He has stayed in the homes of friends, well-wishers, DofE leaders, youth workers, and total strangers. He has stayed in fire stations, youth centres, B&B's and a 'Grand' hotel. He has experienced extraordinary highs and extraordinary lows, and through it all has never once lost his focus for more than a fleeting moment.

An outline programme for the Finish is posted at the foot of this email.

But what has sustained him most, and helped him achieve this extraordinary feat, has been the unwavering support and encouragement of hundreds of individuals, families, organisations, and complete strangers who have helped him along the way in numerous ways - by providing accommodation, transport, meals, equipment, sponsorship, support funding, companionship, laughter and much much more.

We would love as many of you as possible to join us at the finish next Sunday to welcome him home, but if you can't make it in person, or live too far away, why not send a final message for the website by emailing it to or send him a card c/o Mary Harper, Crossways Youth & Community CentreOld Farm Way, CROSSWAYS, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 8TU to arrive no later than Friday 12th Dec. For those of you who make the finish there will be a message book to record your message in too.

And if you do make it to the finish, do come and make yourselves known to members of the Support Team (we'll have badges) - we would love to meet you in person (if we haven't already!) and put faces to names.
We hope by Sunday morning that Seb WILL have reached his £20000 target - we are very very close. If any of you ARE proposing to present fundraising cheques at the finish, it would be really useful to know a definite amount by email in advance to enable us to add it to his total on Saturday evening... It might just stop him carrying on for a further round! (If it is a personal donation and you will be making it on-line using, there is no need to notify me).

Finally, whether or not you are there on the day, please know for certain that without YOUR contribution this extraordinary event could not have been the runaway success that it has. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Best wishes on behalf of ALL the Support Team

Mary Harper"

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

prototype ...

i am up to something, for the next issue of rat and mouse magazine
but this is all you are going to see, untill its published and you get your copy ...

Sunday, 7 December 2008

happy christmouse!

happy christmouse!
Originally uploaded by RaggyRat

then there was one ... 2 mice are going to live over the pond this week, thank you etsy shoppers :-)

Friday, 5 December 2008

wasn't it good? (oh so gooooood!)

didn't we do well ... well i thought so anyway!

last nights concert to raise money for sebs odyssey played to a full school hall, and i think we even ran out of wine. there were songs from the choir and lots of solos performances too, including mine ... i did fantasise about sneaking out of the back door just before it! we heared some more about the starlight foundation, and more about seb green, who is nearly home! We raised a fantastic £793.17 for Seb's two charities.

i followed Maggie singing 2 songs, and didn't look at Steve before i went onto the stage. i can feel the nerves again writing about it! anyway - i opened my mouth and out came my song, and i thought it sounded ok too! it was worth trying to keep my solo secret for the huge grin on Steve's face as i left the stage again ... at last he understood why i wouldn't eat any dinner!

co-director Michael amazed us by leaving his place at the computer and taking the stage for a solo of his own. He got lots of cheers! He also sang most of the choir songs with us, but if you come along to our practices, Michael is there playing videos of new songs to sing, and making sure the words are correct. if you cant see the screen you can also have an instant print out, all with a few clicks of Michael's mouse...

Ed treated us to a few songs, even if he is quite famous and has performed live on the BBC!

next choir meeting is not until January the 15th ... would anyone like to come to my house and sing? i don't know if i can wait that long!!!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

happy christmas monkey ....

made for a special young man, an old friend of mine asked me to make another sock monkey (louise has the first)for his son

ok, big night tonight !
DORSET FOR SINGING concert, and me ... dom't tell hubby, he doesnt know yet ... doing a solo!

i'll let you know how it goes, tomorrow ...

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

home educating ... just being like mummy!

this was fun, and thrilling, and by thrilling i mean for me - twins girls less than three years, real needles and real sewing ... just like mummy

i offered this activity because as i was giving mary a feed daisy started pretending to cut and sew my trousers. now they have met needles and pins before, even the sewing machine, but not too close when its switched on - the danger there is they stand on the treddle when im sewing, and sew through my finger!

i gave them squares of fabric, bright emboidery floss, and large-ish needles, fairly sharp - blunt ones would just be frustrating! i knotted the threads so that the needles would stay on. daisy went through 2 squares of fabric and about 4 lengths of thread, her work is the largest and the smallest of the three forms. she concentrated for over an hour.

people often ask me how i get anything done, the answer is just to do it, and to do it with your children.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Oh Happy Day - choir practice!

Oh Happy Day
Originally uploaded by RaggyRat
i'm practicing for choir, its our concert on thursday, and the girls love to join in :-)

hoooray for you-tube!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

fluffing out my etsy ...

just been fluffing out my etsy shop, and good news for fans of rose rat,

i have checked the conversion rate again and offer her at a discount now!

i added a new banner too, well it is december tomorrow, yikes !

Thursday, 27 November 2008

i AM in print ....

stay tuned for a peep inside ...

rat and mouse magazine, click here...

dont you just love it when real things land on your real doormat?

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

happy new bunny

at last - something small, and cute, and EASY - as easy as it can be, at home with 3 under 3 !

i have ben finding the fursuit a real challenge ...

Monday, 24 November 2008

i dont like 'bags for life' because they have flat bottoms ...

and when i go to the supermarket with ma wee fambly i like the way carrier bags sit up and beg to be filled, their bottoms expanding to contain all manner of good and evil items to tote home again ...

so i butchered a carrier bag from my 'local big shop' and made these ... they held almost £50 worth of shopping this week ... yikes do i spend that much? i should go inorganic again ....

and the girls were highly motivated to get their shoes on and help with the shop

for a pattern just sacrifice a carrier bag near you ... the handles were much more comfortable to hold as they dont compress like thin plastic !

be green ! or pink ....

Friday, 21 November 2008

revamping old clothes - a t shirt i can breastfeed mary in !

just one baggy t-shirt was left in my cupboard, and such a lovely colour, but i dont wear things like this any more. i had worn it for bed a couple of times.

my stripey orange top which is easy for feeding mary in was getting saggy and worn so i cut it up and used it to transform the baggy t-shirt, after first unpicking the band logos from both the front and back!

it fits a treat, and has just enough gather for nursing access. i love it. i think i can say i can make clothes now, its not something i am very good or exoerienced at ...

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

i love this old sofa ....and here is my hair cut, for jackie to see !

this is the sofa previously conquered by splodge!
Originally uploaded by RaggyRat

its getting a bit saggy now ....

i also love the way you can add notes all over your flickr pics, click through (on the pic) to see what i wrote all over this one !

Monday, 17 November 2008

let there be light!

a wee while ago when i was recovering from surgery, and my friend eve had brought round lunch, the men who do street lights came round to find out why ours wasnt working ... after a poke about they made eve move her car in case the badly corroded top half fell on it!

so yesterday they finally came back to finnish the job which has been on going for weeks. they needn't have bothered, its not dark round here, but the nieghbours wanted what they pay their taxes for ... sometimes some men would turn up and look at the job. i was sorry i was holding mary and a phone when they lifted away the old lamp, as that looked pretty impressive ...

but i did get these images and had a chat with the girls while we watched him work
and i hid behind the sofa so the man wouldnt see me haha ! he didn't wave at daisy and matty tho...

now wheres he off to? does he want to see in the bedroom? i wish i had put away my jammies !
perhaps he just wants an overview of his handy work ?

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Splodge & Linus together ... random image!

Splodge & Linus together ...
Originally uploaded by RaggyRat

Splodge & Linus were rescued from a house in london where many, many rats were running feral, and i took them in via joan from the NFRS, and this pic is probably from 2001 ...

i haven't had any rats since these old boys, they really were the most charming rats, and got on with our ginea pig girl too, when they would meet under the sofa ...

the sofa in these pics turns up in my family photos a lot, mostly on flickr i have to admint, as i took it to bits, paited the wooden parts and re-covered it in terracotta sale fabric !

those where the days when i had the time and energy to re-vvamp a sofa !

Thursday, 13 November 2008

raising some more money for seb's odyssey ...

taking flash-dog-drawing to framers this week, can't wait to see what it looks like ... i dont get my work framed much, myself ....

now heres another local even you can come to to support seb and flash, dorset for singing's christmas concert - and not a carol in sight!


damnit, i might even solo !

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

huge sigh .... taaa daaaa!

the body suit part of the costume commission is put together

and now with the feet added you can really see how the fursuit will look,

cant wait to get stuck intot he head in the next day or so !

but i need to make a rat bag and a rabbit first !