Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Fixing things

During lockdown you can perhaps do some house keeping. This is because it’s not easy to replace everything at this time. So Mary and took apart a toy pirate gun that wouldn’t fire, saw how it worked and promptly fixed it. Bang bang! 

My friend’s daughter tore a very pretty dress while trampolining (PE at home), and I agreed it was just too nice to throw away. It tore right across the front in two places, and stitches were just about holding the other side under the bodice. 

It was fairly easy to rejoin the skirt part to the top, then to repair the long rip in the fine fabric I opted to stitch it to the lining using two lines of zig zag in both pink and green. There’s a visible repair but in use on a child playing doesn’t really stand out. 

The dress dips lower at the back and you can see it in all it’s repaired glory here modelled beautifully by Vienna, who gave me permission to share this happy picture with you. The post wasn’t too bad either, first class only too two days. 

Keep smiling, and see what you can fix! 

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Lockdown life .... some thoughts

Lockdown life has thrust families together. It’s also enabled us to help those without family nearby, as long as we safely can. 

A routine has helped fill our days, and little celebrations are also important. We delivered balloons on a birthday by tying them down and retreating to a safe distance! The shadows of balloons should be enjoyed. Why hadn’t I noticed them before? 

If able, take your one outdoor exercise everyday, and drink in the sounds, sights and smells. It’s a good way to break up the ‘school’ day too. Much of it is administered via laptops and iPads. 

Bean and Flute remind us to be kind and look out for those older or more vulnerable than ourselves. 

Wearing a mask will help protect you and others and help you to feel safe especially when in the shops. I think mines cute, but I don’t seem to raise many smiles. Wearing a mask is clearly very serious business. 

Cuddles help. Ash wants more cuddles, he can clearly tell that the world is a different place now. Cuddles it is, then ...

If you can’t get out, you might find a way to keep fit indoors, like Bean. Especially if you do a lot of the baking and sampling. 

Above all, now and always, love each other deeply. This weeks prayer flag was released on Sunday. We were a little sad after saying goodbye to a second  pet since lockdown started. Stay home, stay safe xxxx

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Prayers for our time, lockdown life ...

I’ve been working on a series of small textiles using scraps and what I have available. I have thought about them as an exhibition or event for quite sometime, but it wasn’t until now when we all took to our homes that working on them became important. I wanted them to be made from things I already have and to feature single words, perhaps something that could be prayed or spoken over something, a series of things to be thankful for. 

After running my idea past Nick The Vic each of them will be shared during the online Sunday church, and the first appeared last Sunday ... 

With no work available apart from house work and cooking it’s nice to have a little project on slow burn, and perhaps beyond lockdown too. It’s also very satisfying to hit that stash and create something that might reach further than I can. Feel free to comment with any single word prayers or blessings or words for things we should be grateful for during these crazy times. Practising thankfulness is very powerful indeed. Love you xxx 

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Lockdown life, hair!

All my children dip dyed their hair because there’s no school, apart from home education, and home education has no rules as far as hair colouring goes. I decided to bring forward my hair colouring to join them in blue solidarity. For I was planning to turn my hair to match the colours of The Court Said, previously scheduled for the 6th June this year. 

I applied about half a pot of manic panic to my head after smearing my forehead with barrier cream to hopefully prevent nice blue skin. It was hilarious watching my white hairs brighten up as my very curly hair slowly dried! 

This shade is called Blue Moon if you fancy trying Manic Panic. It smells rather nice and looks like children’s finger-paint! 

On Easter Day I got dressed up for the dog walk, casting aside my usual lockdown attire and tuning in to our churches online service feeling smart for once. Have you coloured, cut or even shaved your own hair? Let me know. Stay happy xxx

Second hand out fit, with shoes from The Dorchester Collection, cardigan from Sue Rider and dress (also planned for the court said) from Ebay. As you were ... 

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

House Work

So as lockdown began, and Mike could not attend the local gym, he began to shift furniture instead of weights, and I gleefully watched magnolia walls and painted polystyrene tiles disappear. About time too in the case of those tiles! The walls were full of fine cracks, and some bits of plaster fell off. The ceiling had well defined lines, and some water damage from one very rainy night some years ago. 

Remember that divan base that we upcycled? You can see it here, fabric covered. Under the grey worn carpet lurked on the whole some very nice floorboards, imperial not metric, but sadly in some areas the floor boards have taken some abuse on account of electronics and plumbing. Both needed doing when we got this house in 2006.  

Also on the to do list will be some curtains and carpet tiles will finish the floor. Mike will come up with a headboard and there must be a shelf for teddies and other things we like. The dressing table I picked up a few years ago, someone had begun to do it up so we painted it with some white undercoat and I have decoupaged the draw fronts, adding back the original handles. We need to do something similar with our bedside cabinets! 

Meanwhile, home education, arts, crafts and cooking carries on. And Bean the muse, explores the dust sheets on the stairs! 

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Lockdown life, food ...

These simple potato bites are made from mash mixed with cheese and rolled in polenta before frying in a light spray of oil. Some of the cheese melting through the polenta makes the coating extra special. Good use of lockdown leftovers! 

I often make banana cake but found myself short of one banana. I mashed my one banana and grated a juicy ripe pair! Result. This cake was for Matty and Daisy’s 14th birthday as they popped over during their holiday time with Steve. And check out that post jaw surgery bite! I’m still great full!

Did you have an Ester egg this year? We had ours for breakfast, while watching Breakfast @9 live on YouTube! Missing Sausage church, mostly the people of sausage church of course ...

With flour becoming available again, and eggs from our own chicken, waffles have become a usual breakfast staple. It was certainly a good choice to take on the rescue chickens this autumn. 

How about something to drink? I tried my hand a the whipped coffee that’s all over the place, but I think it tastes better once you fold it into the milk a bit. The kids liked it, even Mary who tends not to be a coffee fan, but making this coffee does call for a lot of sugar. I reduced the coffee for us, so blended 4 teaspoons of instant coffee, 4 tablespoons of sugar and 4 tablespoons of very hot water with my Bamix. 

The mixture whipped up pretty fast using the whisk attachment and we spooned it over mugs of chilled soya milk. I felt so good after drinking it I collaged most of a mirror and went out to play cowboys with Mary in the cul-de-sac!  

Friday, 17 April 2020

Someone left the paint out in the rain ...

So I painted a lion in one of the last services before lockdown, and added layers of chalk at home one night while doing a social distancing ‘cake church’ with Mike and the Fuzzies. I wasn’t sure how much I liked it but sat with it for a while. 

Then I sat wondering when it would rain. The weather during lockdown has been fabulous. Perfect for children to walk home from school in and here we are, all home-based. I knew that when it did rain I was going to shove this gauche-and-hairspray-fixed-chalk lion outside to let something performance art style to happen. 

So today my ever thoughtful lion spent the day on the front lawn (away from the dog) until after my home made cheese and onion pie dinner. 

I found him remarkably intact and quite fresh looking with much of the brown shades removed. Incase you are wondering, the canvas is stretched curtain off-cut onto a pre made frame, up cycling. 

I’m not sure what I’ll do with him next. Watch this space!