Thursday 27 January 2022

The Story Of The Lamp

 It all started when one of the light bulbs went out in my living room again, they don't seem to last that long, I had replaced all six of them quite recently and they aren't cheap are they?  Then it got me thinking a small floor lamp would be much better for me, stood in the corner where I sit in the evening.  I would save on electricity too if I wasn't putting the big lamp on all  the time, all I need is something to illuminate whatever I'm working on.  I must quickly add here I have reached that conclusion before and I bought one of those day light type of lamps, it didn't take me long to realise that the light was far too strong it actually felt as if it were boiling my brains, said lamp is now confined to the summerhouse where I use it for photo shoots when I can be bothered.  It's not very stable either when I pick it up it tends to fall to bits and the stand bit at the bottom comes out and oozes cable. Even when I get it back together it's decidedly wobbly, anyway I digress.  

I don't know if you are like me but when I look for something new I have to research it for weeks, yes even for a lamp.  To cut a long story short even though it's already too long I decided in the end to buy this one from Amazon. Why? I'll tell you 

  • I like it's simplicity
  • I redeemed my credit card rewards and got a £35 Amazon gift card.
  • I applied for a Amazon Mastercard because they were going on about how they wouldn't accept visa anymore (I know they have since gone back on their decision) Anyway you get £20 for applying for their card so it's all ok, (you have to factor in the cost of the lightbulbs) that was a total of £55 so actually it added up to a free lamp.
The process above took two weeks, I ordered the lamp and it arrived late one dark cold Sunday evening, I had been waiting in all day so you can imagine my anticipation.  I have to jump in here just to set the scene I had prepared the area where it was going to stand, it was a corner so you can imagine how long it took, I didn't realise how many cables I had, bits of yarn, dust, ok so I'm afraid the crafting comes before the housework.  Anyway back to that lamp I was slightly concerned that it had arrived in a very thin looking box, I expected the lamp box to be padded inside of another box but it wasn't. I opened it carefully and it consisted of a base and two poles with cable running through them, I had to turn the box over to reveal the top of the lamp with cable meeting the other two pieces. then in two seperate compartments protected by flimsy bubble wrap were the two lamp shades well I say two when really it was one, the other was smashed into a thousand pieces. I have given you the build up just so you know how I felt! what a let down😞

Anyway I got a returns label and ordered a replacement, I decided to hold on to it until I was sure that the second one came intact.  It came just two days later, again late at night but to my relief it was a box inside a padded box and it was  thankfully all in one piece. So great end of story I hear you say that is if you've even gotten this far, but I have to assemble it! and there is no instructions, well it's easy enough I can hear you say just screw the bits together, I did just that but was left with about two foot of cable hanging out so wasn't able to screw the top bit in, I tried to sort of bend the cable inside the pole but it wouldn't go, I was almost in tears at this stage and reading the reviews on Amazon I wasn't alone, someone else had found the same problem.

All I can say is thank goodness for YouTube! you can find everything on there, I watched this pleasant gentlemen assembling a similar Lamp and for those of you who don't know, you pull the excess cable through the opening at the bottom, so simple! go on say it, you all knew that right? I switched off YouTube thinking I had no more problems to solve until I tried to screw the lampshades into the lamp, there was no way I could get my hand in to do that the opening was just too narrow,  I sat and pondered whilst staring at this weird plastic thing that had come with the lamp when it suddenly dawned on me, it's a gadget to screw the lamp in. I should have kept the YouTube video running because I'm sure that it would have covered that bit too. It took me a while but I figured how to do it, am I exceptionally thick here😕 would you have known straight away ?

So here it is ta da...

and it doesn't even wobble😊

If you managed to get to the end well done! I just had to get all that off my chest, normal service will resumed next time I promise.

The bark/cough continues, today is day 12 I'm staying away from folk even though it isn't Covid no one would want this, it does improve a little everyday and I'm hoping next week I'll be able to resume my normal activities.

Take care until next time 😘😘

Thursday 20 January 2022

A Good Start

 Well here we are, it's not even the end of January yet and I have got some New Year finishes already, the first is this throw.

I made this to go with the cushion covers and to give the room a warm cosy winter feel. This is the perfect project for relaxing and watching TV a nice mindless pattern which I worked on over Christmas I was quite sad when it was finished.  

I found the free pattern here, I was so happy when I found it because it uses the  same stitch that I used for the cushions.  I used Mariner Aran in shades Cinnamon, Emerald, Apple and Claret. I made a simple border three rounds of sc and a final one of reversed sc.

I did promise to give you the pattern for the cushion covers and I haven't forgotten I will write it out as soon as I have a bit of time. 

I have also finished my brothers wheelchair cushion cover, I used what was left of the Emerald yarn and made it c2c as I find that easier when you need correct measurements.  I even added a zip, now I have to take it to him and hope that it fits. I'll take a photo once it's in situ.

Then there's this sweet little January birth month flower Snowdrops, it took no time at all and I was able to use this lovely oval frame which has been in my stash for years.  The next flower for February is the Violet, I'm looking forward to sewing that and I'm still very tempted with the Winter Splendour Sal, visions of lovely embroidery are appearing on the Facebook page every day. 

Snowdrops template 

I have bought another pattern and yes you have guessed it, another Mosaic Crochet pattern, There is a discount now if anyone fancies buying it. This one is a very easy pattern great for a mosaic crochet beginner.

Woodland Trail
designer Rosina Plane

Thank you for the well wishes for my son, luckily apart for the first few days, Covid didn't affect him too much.  I think it was having to self isolate for ten days was the hardest thing for him.

I have come down with a cough, I had to cancel my u3a crochet class earlier this week because naturally you have to get up close to teach crochet and I didn't want to pass it on.  I'm testing negative but to be honest I think if it had been Covid I would have been better by now, this is day seven of no sleep, sore throat and chest with the constant coughing, shivering and lack of energy, trying to string a sentence together is a challenge as I've lost my voice, I didn't even realise until someone phoned me and all that came out was a croak🤦  I won't be able to attend any u3a activities if I'm coughing not that I feel like it anyway so I could be stuck at home for a while. 

Ok that's my little whinge I'll shut up now😂 I have to say though people are so kind the number of people who have offered to get shopping in for me and have sent get well wishes is so sweet.  The u3a in my Town is like one big family it's lovely. 

I have other things I wanted to tell you about, the lamp adventure for one but I'm going to keep this short and I'll tell you all about it another time. 😀

Take care until the next time. 😘😘

Thursday 13 January 2022

The Queen Finds Her Home At Last.

 Thank you for all the lovely comments about the Twelve days of Christmas Sampler. I still haven't framed it but have learnt that a friend of a friend makes frames for a hobby and we are planning to meet up soon, I just want something very simple so it should be easy enough for him.

I know it's a bit late but I hope that you all had a wonderful festive season it seems like a long time ago doesn't it. I always have mixed feelings about the whole thing I do enjoy the build up, but Christians Day is always quite stressful and I'm always glad when it's over.

I did enjoy son number three and daughter in law's visit they stayed with me for five days before going back to Qatar. It was lovely to have them here with me because it was two years since I had seen them.

At last I can reveal who the Queen Blanket was for two years after it's completion, where did those two years go! I was able to give Minju the blanket I made for her at last on Christmas Day. There was always the chance that she would read my blog and I wanted it to be a surprise for her so I could never reveal who who it was for.

I could tell she loved it and was quite touched, she wrote that it was the most thoughtful gift she had ever received on her Instagram account. It quite brought tears to my eyes, she has even taken it with her although I'd said she could leave it to use when she's here as weather in Qatar doesn't actually warrant the need for blankets but she insisted it was going with her.😊
It's lovely when you gift someone something  handmade and they genuinely love it and appreciate the time, work and love that has gone into it.

 They stayed in the UK for two weeks and divided their time between London, Durham and with me.  Everyone wanted a peace of them and I think they were quite worn out in the end. 
One of the places  they decided to visit was Cragside in Northumberland, my daughter and I tagged along with some misgivings as the weather was freezing, misty and very dull. I had never been before but what a fabulous place.

I would love to go back for a visit in the warmer months and spend more time there, much of it was closed off possibly for the winter and maybe because of the huge rise in Covid cases.  I'm so glad that we went along with them it was a lovely memorable day.

My son now has Covid it's day two for him and he's feeling quite poorly, I'm hoping that it soon passes and he won't be too ill, it's his 33rd birthday on Saturday, this is one gift he could have done without. We will be having a video chat I can't remember when I last spent time with him on his birthday, probably before his eighteenth he has packed so much into his life it's unreal but I'm so proud of what he has achieved. 😊

Take Care until next time. 😘😘

Thursday 6 January 2022

The Last Stitch!

 I did it! the last stitch of the Twelve Days of Christmas Sampler was placed late on Christmas Eve, and yes I did do a little dance to celebrate. I am so pleased that I managed to get it finished but it was touch and go as there was so much to plan and organise because of Christmas.  Now it needs framing and then it will go away until next Christmas.

This is how it all began way back in September 2020 when Jo invited us to sew along with her, I challenged myself to sew a day a month, it didn't quite happen but at least it was sewn in time for Christmas.

 I am pleased to say that this project cost me absolutely nothing I had all the materials that were needed in my stash.

Many years ago a work colleague brought her collection of cross stitch magazines and quite a few cross stitch kits into work and asked if anyone wanted any as she was finished with them, of course I pounced on them at the time and kept the magazines and made quite a few of the projects in them, when I moved house I passed the magazines on but kept what was in the kits the Aida fabric and the silks. 

Go back even further to 1975 - 1995 when I was living in Syria I often frequented  Sūq al-Ḥamīdīyah in Damascus it was like paradise for a craft lover like me.  While I was there I purchased dozens of embroidery silks and I still have lots left.  For the Twelve days of Christmas Sampler all the threads came from that particular stash, I was afraid that I would run out of the red but as luck would have it I had just enough as if it had been waiting for this particular project. 

So as you can see this item has quite a history already. I intend writing a little note and will put it inside of the frame at the back for future generations to find explaining how it all came about. They will also have the fun of finding the mistake in each of the twelve days too, because not one of them is perfect and the mistakes weren't made on purpose either haha.

Although I really enjoyed making this I have come to the conclusion that cross stitch is just a bit too taxing for my eyes now.  To make this I had to wear magnifying lenses and make sure I was sat in good light and even after doing that, at the end of the session my eyes were aching and sore.  I'm not saying I won't ever do a cross stitch design again but I think for my next project I'm looking for something that is easier to see and won't strain my eyes as much. With this in mind I have been browsing and searching for something to sew.

I love embroidery although it has to be said I'm no expert, I did purchase a few Embroidery magazines last Summer and there are some lovely templates that came free with the magazine and I would like to make some of those.

I have also found this website Stitchdoodles  which I'm sure many of you will be familiar with but is new to me.  I love it as there is so much inspiration and a lot of information about embroidery techniques.  They are hosting  the SAL Winter Splender which is due to start  on the 12th January. Are any of you sewers joining in with this? I'm not going to take part just now but I will be watching the Facebook page to see everyone's creations. 

I like the idea of completing something small each month and I like the look of the Birth Month Flowers, the templates are available for free on the website along with instructions on how to sew them, I have already downloaded the January birth flower snowdrops and I'm hoping that I have the threads to sew it in my stash, I'm sure I will have (see above haha)

As for crochet, I have so many crochet projects buzzing in my head but I must finish the throw that I'm making to match the cushions and new rug, I'm starting on the border now so it shouldn't be long.

I am going to try and post more often this year but I always say this and then life gets in the way but my intentions are good, the biggest problem I find is, and I've said this before several times there just isn't enough hours in the day! 😄

Take care until next time. 😘😘