Saturday, 23 June 2018

More Sourdough Bread, and a Very Determined Kitty

Last night I baked my second lot of sourdough bread, having started the levain yesterday. It does take much longer to rise than normal bread but it’s well worth the wait, and the work in between the long proving periods is minimal.

It was ready in time for supper again, and this time, I rationed it because I said to my hubby that it’s no good us getting through a whole loaf in one sitting! I know that sourdough bread is extremely good for you and much less likely to put on the weight that normal bread does, but even so…

I made a double quantity this time. The second loaf will go in the freezer.

03 Sourdough Bread, 22-6-18

I love the texture with the holes, and the amazing crust you get on it. It’s quite hard work on the jaws to eat – really substantial, unlike the cotton wool and polystyrene bread you buy in the supermarket! And as for the flavour… This is bread that really packs a punch. I saw a programme on TV recently about carbohydrates and how Western society is suffering all sorts of health problems (in particular a positive epidemic of Type II Diabetes) because the wrong sort of carbs are too readily available. Sourdough provides resistant carbs that “feed your gut bacteria, not you” – in other words, it passes through to the colon without being absorbed and converted into sugar, and then (if you don’t burn it off), stored as fat. A healthy gut microbiome is the secret to good overall health. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about this recently and it’s a quite fascinating study. (I just wish there was more information on people without a colon but this is a very new area of research.)

Since coming out of hospital I’ve been drinking home-made kefir daily, and now eating sourdough bread, in addition to my normal daily intake of home-made live natural yoghurt. I have now got the correct spice to start making kimchee (a type of spiced sauerkraut from Korea) which, like all fermented foods, is extremely good for you as it encourages a healthy gut microbiome.

Since I am now going to be making sourdough bread regularly, I decided to order some bannetons from Ebay – two medium round ones and two medium ovals. These are the traditional rattan baskets used to prove the sourdough, and which leave the distinctive ridges on the sides of the bread. When I went on the bread baking day a few months ago, I saw these for the first time and witnessed the other person on the course using them as she was doing sourdough. The ones I have ordered come with nice fabric liners that can be removed and washed – you are not supposed to wash the bannetons themselves, and a build-up of flour could result in an infestation of flour weevils.

I have seen some photos online of beautiful designs on sourdough loaves – it is traditional to slash the top with a very sharp blade, which makes the dough inside the crust burst out and get lovely and crispy on top. Some people make small slashes in decorative designs and the bread comes out looking so lovely! As the bread rises in the oven and expands, the slashes spread apart and the darker interior is shown in contrast with the floured surface of the crust. This is something I definitely want to try. Have a look at this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ-y43_Z07A

A very determined kitty…

Our two kitties are so loving being in the garden. They come in in time for supper and we have to keep them in after that as we don’t want them out all night. Contrary to what I thought, my hubby said today that he thinks he saw a fox in the garden once – I was surprised since we are in the town, but foxes do get very bold these days, and I wouldn’t want to risk our kitties with a fox.

Our cat flap is lockable, with two separate cams that can be engaged separately or together, to prevent passage in, or out, or both. My hubby has been locking it, but twice Lily has been found outside again afterwards, which made me wonder if my hubby hadn’t been doing it properly. I have pushed against the locked flap and it is pretty secure. Last night, I watched to see what would happen, and she pushed and pushed really hard against the flap, so that it bent outwards on the side away from the lock, and if I hadn’t prevented her, she would either have bent it far enough to squeeze through (which is what we think has been happening), or she would have broken it! All that nonsense about cats not going through openings that their whiskers won’t fit through is a myth! My hubby brought down a heavy little wooden stool (which we’ve used in the past to block the cat flap in our old house) but even this wasn’t going to stop her – I watched her attacking it from various angles and using quite considerable strength in one so small, and she eventually succeeded in moving it out about an inch, and left to her own devices for any longer, and she’d have succeeded in getting out again! I can’t believe how strong, and how determined she is, and also, how intelligent – you could see her working it out. In the end, we agreed that the only answer was to get them in for supper, and then shut them right through in the house and not allow them into the kitchen until the morning. My hubby said he’d think about how to make the cat flap really secure when we need it to be. Unfortunately we can’t drill into the door because it’s glass.

What a performance. What a naughty girl!

Ruby loves to be outside too, but she isn’t so independently minded as Lily, and not so intelligent. Once back indoors, she’s happy with that.

Yesterday my hubby said he was worried about the kitties because they are so keen on the garden that they are no longer interested in cuddles and coming to him as they used to, and he thought they were turning feral!! I went out later, and as I went up the garden path, one after the other, they both came running to me to say hello and have a stroke, and in the evening I had a big cuddle with Ruby, so I said to him that of course they weren’t turning feral lol! I am sure that eventually the novelty of the garden will wear off, especially when winter comes, and they will want to be snuggled up somewhere nice and warm!

Friday, 22 June 2018

Card for a Centenarian–Box for the Card

Having completed the card yesterday, today I worked on embellishing a box for it, as it is too thick for an envelope.

11 Starting the Box for the Card

The box was in my stash, and originally contained some samples of stoma supplies! (Nothing goes to waste chez Shosh…)

I painted the bottom, sides and edges of the top with black acrylic paint.

12 The Box Painted with Black Acrylic

Inside the box, I sprayed it with some pink shimmer spray that I’ve had from when I started papercrafting, many years ago!

13 Spraying the Inside of the Box with Shimmer Mist

I noticed some had got on the bottom of the box and I really liked the effect of it on black (something I’d never tried before) so I ended up spraying the whole thing with it.

14 The Outside of the Box Sprayed with Shimmer Mist

I thought the inside needed something a bit extra, so I painted on a thin layer of soft gloss gel medium diluted with water, and sprinkled on some variegated copper gilding flakes, dabbing them into place with the paintbrush.

15 Gilding Flakes on Inside of Box

I wasn’t really happy with it, so I made up a wash of gold acrylic paint with some iridescent medium and painted that on. It was really shimmery but the brush strokes showed more than I wanted, and this was particularly obvious on the lid, unfortunately.

16 Wash of Gold and Iridescent Medium on Inside of Box

Here’s a detail of the effect. You don’t really get the shimmer from the photo.

17 Detail of Inside of Box

In the end, I covered the inside of the lid with some of the paper left over from making the card, first distressing the edges with Evergreen Bough and then Forest Moss Distress Inks. This improved the look of it.

18 Inside of Box Completed

Here is the card in the box. It will be wrapped in tissue paper.

19 Card in Box

The front of the box completed. As with the card, I added some stickles to the butterfly’s body, and to the centres of the flowers – Holly, and Magenta. In this photo, they still aren’t dry.

20 Box Lid Completed

I used scraps of the cards and paper used for the card. The circular die cut was one of several in my stash that a friend sent me ages ago. The flowers were more left over from the Floral Mini-Album, and the butterfly is another die cut from the set I used for the card. I used the same two ribbons, and where the “Congratulations” gold card meets the decorative paper, I added a thin strip of gold card from my stash, trimmed when making some other project in the past.

Here is a detail of the floral embellishment.

21 Detail of Box Lid Embellishments

As with the butterflies on the card, I lifted the wings of this butterfly and secured them in place with a blob of Pinflair gel glue under each one, to stop them being flattened.

Now that the card is fully dry, I can return to it and show you the finished result. Here are a couple of detail photos showing the topper and embellishments.

22 Detail of Die-Cut Card Topper

23 Detail of Floral Embellishment

The sentiment on the inside of the card.

24 Card Inside Complete with Sentiment

25 Detail of Sentiment Inside Card

Finally, a photo of the box, the card and the embroidered piece, all for a remarkable lady whose 100th birthday we shall be celebrating with her at her party tomorrow.

26 Box, Card and Embroidery Complete

I can’t believe I’ve completed this lot in under a week! The trouble is, apart from making bread, that’s all I’ve done this week, and everything else has been neglected!

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Card and Present for a Centenarian

On Saturday we are going to a party to celebrate a friend’s 100th birthday. She is a truly remarkable lady and you’d never guess she was this old! She gets out and about and joins in everything, and is a real character. I really wanted to make her something special for her birthday but didn’t have much time to do it, so this week I’ve pulled out all the stops and really cracked on, and at last I’ve finished, bar a few finishing touches.

The Card

In February I went to the Craft4Crafters craft show in Exeter, and bought some lovely dies by Die’sire (Crafters’ Companion) – these are supposed to be to create easel cards but I thought this lady might not know how to work them, so I decided on doing a straightforward card for her, using most of the elements. I chose the gorgeous butterfly card set.

Here is the topper in the early stages. I forgot to photograph every stage, but I chose some paper and card from a wonderful collection that a friend gave me for my birthday – she was so delighted that I was already starting to use them. The base layer is a dull gold card with bright gold text, “Congratulations” all over it. I chose a piece of green and white floral card for the next mat layer, and on top of this, a decorative paper with pink roses on a green and white background. These two mat layers were cut with the two frame dies from the set, and I distressed the edges of the top layer with distress inks and a bit of water spattering.

01 Early Stages

Here’s a more detailed shot. Originally I was going to use one or both of the wide ribbons in the previous photo but on further consideration, thought they were a bit too wide, so I chose a narrow pink organza ribbon, and a slightly narrower green satin one with a picot edge instead. I also selected a few flowers left over from the Floral Mini-Album project, which would tone in nicely with this card.

02 Assembling the Pieces

I selected some sentiment pieces from my stash, which I had cut some time ago on Sheba, my Cougar cutting machine. I coloured the text pieces with Worn Lipstick Distress Stain, and the shadow pieces I first coloured with Dried Marigold Distress Stain to give a nice rich base colour, and then added Treasure Gold gilding wax.

03 Colouriong the Sentiment Pieces

I layered the pieces, sticking them together with spray adhesive. Behind, you can see my home made spraying booth.

04 Assembling the Sentiment Pieces

Turning to the inside of the card, I coloured it very lightly, using Inkylicious Ink Dusters and Distress Inks, first working in from the edge with Evergreen Bough, and then covering the whole of the middle with Antique Linen. After this, I stamped a selection of butterflies with Versamark and heat-embossed them with clear embossing powder. I then continued to colour the paper, first with Old Paper Distress Ink, and then a little Spun Sugar, concentrating on the areas where the embossed butterflies were. I rubbed these with very slightly damp kitchen paper to remove any ink from the embossing, and added some water spatters which I allowed to sit for a minute or two before blotting them off. The final touch was to add a bit more distressing around the edges, this time with Bundled Sage Distress Ink and a home-made ink blender.

05 Card Inside

The result is quite subtle, I think, and the embossed butterflies echo the theme of the card.

Here is a mock-up of the front of the card with all the elements laid in place.

07 Mock-Up

The two little leaves were from my stash. Every now and then I cut a whole sheet of different elements on Sheba, from white card, and store them away, ready for when I need them, and I can colour them individually according to the project. This time I used Bundled Sage Distress Stain.

08 Colouring the Leaves

To add a bit of interest, I daubed a little Forest Moss Distress Stain onto my craft sheet and with a very fine wet brush, added a deeper colour to pick out the veins of the leaves. I spritzed them lightly with water and blotted them to soften the effect a little, and then dried the leaves with my heat gun. They were stuck down with Scotch Quick Dry adhesive.

09 Colouring the Leaves

Here is the finished card with the final elements added. I left it out overnight to allow the glue etc. to dry.

10 Finished Card, Drying

Before attaching the topper to the base, I attached the two layers of ribbon, fixing them on the back of the gold “Congratulations” card with double sided tape, and attaching a small piece of each, folded over to form two tails, with glue dots. The top of this was covered with the paper flowers, which were attached with hot glue. The leaves were stuck down with Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive.

The butterflies in the die set all have the ability to have their wings folded upwards, and whenever I do this, I always add a blob of Pinflair glue gel under each wing to keep them up and stop them getting flattened. This glue dries crystal clear and you really don’t see it. It also doesn’t lose any dimension as it dries, making it ideal for uses such as this. It is a very three-dimensional glue.

I added a few dots of Holly Stickles down the bodies of the butterflies, and in the centre of the smaller pink flower. Both the Pinflair and the Stickles glitter glue need time to dry before they can be handled. Unfortunately the Stickles dry a lot flatter than they appear when first applied, which I think is a shame because I love the 3-D effect you get with them when they are wet.

I stuck down the sentiment on the front of the card and inside, using Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive.

Now all that remains is to cover a box that I’ve got, which will serve as an envelope – the whole thing is rather thick, with the roses and the raised butterflies’ wings.

The Present

A small cross-stitch plaque with the word “Shalom” in Hebrew and English letters. The tall stroke of the Hebrew letter “lamed” extends to become the English “L”. I worked this cross-stitch with two strands of stranded cotton on 22-count Aida fabric, working in the small clip-frame which has a hanger on the top.

Beside it you can see the original one which I made for myself.

When this photo had been taken, I had completed the cross stitch but had not yet done the outlining back stitch in black, using a single strand of stranded cotton. This really helps the design stand out against the background, as you will see if you compare the two plaques.

01 Work in Progress

I created the original design on a programme called EasyCross, several years ago. Unfortunately this software does not work fully with Windows 10. I was able to print out the design (top right in the above photo) but the colours weren’t right, and it was covered with very distracting diagonal dotted lines. I ended up colouring the background with coloured pencils to show me where to change. Before I did this, I found I was making numerous mistakes, and the bottom half of the design had to be fudged a bit but it’s worked out OK. The graduations between the rainbow colours were achieved by mixing threads on the needle – one strand of each colour. In the original, I worked alternate stitches of each colour for the transition, and I can’t decide which I prefer.

I have bought a new cross-stitch designing programme called WinStitch (there is also an Apple version called MacStitch). Unfortunately the old EasyCross files won’t open in this programme but at least I can print out my original designs and copy them into the new programme. This will take a long time but it will be nice to have them available again. I haven’t done any of this for such a long time and now feel I want to take it up again, and I was very pleased to find that an alternative programme exists to replace the now defunct EasyCross. A shame this programme has been discontinued because it was very good indeed.

Here is the completed plaque.

02 Finished Embroidery

This is the reverse.

03 Shalom Plaque Back

To finish off the back, I trimmed back the edges of the embroidery fabric and glued it to the inner ring of the frame with tacky glue, leaving it to dry for a while, held in place by a series of plastic clamps that I’ve got.

I stuck some cream polycotton fabric onto a piece of self-adhesive pelmet Vylene and used the inner ring of the frame as a template to make a paper pattern to cut it out. Unfortunately I had to cut this by hand and it’s a bit shaky round the edges! I think what I need to do is to scan the inner ring, and use this image to create a template in Inkscape, which I can cut on the cutting machine, which would give a much neater result.

To neaten it a bit, I ran some tacky glue around the junction between the two frames and stuck on some gold Lurex crochet thread, finishing it off with a small bow that I made on my bow maker. This was stuck down with a tiny blob of Pinflair gel adhesive, and again, this was left to dry overnight. I have also signed the back and dated it.

I am busy tomorrow morning, but I have every hope that I shall finish off this whole project in the afternoon, and get it wrapped ready for the birthday party the following day.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

WOYWW 472

Contrary to my expectations, I managed to do a bit at my desk this week. This coming Saturday we are going to a party to celebrate the 100th birthday of a delightful Jewish lady who regularly attends our Christian Friends of Israel meetings. She is truly amazing for her age and you’d never guess she’d reached 100! I didn’t have much time but decided I must make her a card and a present.

On my main desk is her card so far.

WOYWW 472 1 Main Work Area 20-6-18

The papers I am using were given to me for my birthday by a friend, and she’s delighted that I am putting them to immediate use. I have used the Die’sire butterfly card dies I bought at the craft show in February – at last I am starting to use some of the stuff I got then! I have cut the mat layers from some of the decorative papers I had for my birthday and the base layer is a thicker gold embossed card with the words “Congratulations” all over it. I will cut a “100” from gold card on the cutting machine and will use one or both of the ribbons you can see on the left.

I have also managed to clear a space on my office desk, which is now marginally tidier than it was before – ready to start last month’s accounts once I get time.

WOYWW 472 2 Slightly Tidier Desk 20-6-18

I’ve still got a lot of sorting to do as I’ve got far too much junk in there that should be shredded.

I decided to make a little embroidered frame for the 100-year-old’s birthday present.

WOYWW 472 3 Embroidery 20-6-18

You can see the original one on the right, which is normally hanging in the bedroom. I started the other one at the weekend and finished the cross stitch last night – been working flat out! – all that remains is to outline it all in black back-stitch and to tidy up the back. I am sure I shall get both this and the card finished in time for Saturday.

The design in an original one that I did several years ago – the Hebrew word “Shalom” in English and Hebrew, the central letter of the Hebrew becoming the “L” in the English, worked in rainbow colours, mixing the threads on the needle to get the graduation of colour. I designed it using a programme called EasyCross, which I have not used for years, and which I have subsequently discovered does not work on Windows 10, and which has been discontinued, and the company has gone out of business. I have purchased another cross-stitch design programme which I have yet to get to grips with. I managed to open the original “Shalom” design and do a screen grab and print it but it was covered with dotted lines and the colours weren’t right – I’ve had to edit it quite a bit with coloured pencils and notes. Eventually I shall redo this design, and my other EasyCross designs, into the new programme.

Ongoing Computer Stuff

WOYWW 472 4 Still Sorting the Hard Drives 20-6-18

The sorting out of my various hard drives and back-ups has had to take a back seat until after the weekend as I’ve got to get this birthday stuff finished first. There are still hard drives and cables all over the sitting room floor! At least I’ve managed to sort out the recovered back-up that I did last week.

Bread

On Friday I went to an Erev Shabbat (Sabbath Eve) meal at a friend’s. We had a wonderful evening and I made some new friends. He had done the table most beautifully.

04 The Table

I offered to make the challah (two plaited loaves of enriched egg bread) as he would not have been able to get any locally.

13 Challah

Somewhat lumpy at the ends! Next time I must remember to taper the ends of the long sausages of dough before plaiting them!

This is the challah cover that I made many years ago.

05 Challah Cover

The Hebrew words are the blessing before bread: “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.”

This week I also made my first attempt at making sourdough bread. This is the starter I made, from organic rye flour and kefir whey (I had made some kefir cheese by straining the kefir and reserving the liquid whey which is full of goodness).

01 Sourdough Starter

The starter takes several days to develop, during which time you feed it daily with more flour and water (or whey).

Here is the resulting sourdough bread that I made yesterday evening – I started it on Monday evening, leaving it to prove overnight, and knocking it back yesterday morning, and leaving it for its second prove all day in the fridge until we got back from our day out – sourdough takes longer to rise than normal bread, and long slow proving improves both the flavour and texture of the bread.

02 Sourdough Bread

It was so successful that by the time we’d finished our supper, there were only two slices left!!!

This is definitely something I shall be doing regularly. It’s not much trouble to make, but you just have to think ahead a bit and allow extra time for all the proving. You can keep the starter going more or less indefinitely, like kefir.

New Stash

Today, the friend who gave me the lovely papers for my birthday, turned up with a carrier bag absolutely full of craft goodies that she’d bought for me at a coffee morning – it was like Aladdin’s Cave opening it all up!

01 Papers, Stamps, Embossing

Lots more papers, cards, stamps, embossing stuff…

Also in the bag was this gorgeous Docrafts folder, absolutely stuffed with clear stamps.

02 Docrafts Stamp Folder Closed

03 Docrafts Stamp Folder Open

I am overwhelmed – so much stuff to play with, and also with her kindness, thinking of me and buying me such a fabulous present! She said she got it all for an absolute song. What a treat, and what a lovely surprise.

Kitties

Can’t leave you without a kitty picture. Here are Lily and Ruby watching me intently from outside the kitchen window.

09 Looking Through the Kitchen Window 15-6-18

Ruby in particular likes to jump up there, in the hope that I will let her in through the window – which I don’t want to encourage!

They are both still really enjoying being in the garden all day, and doing quite well with the cat flap, but Ruby keeps forgetting how to use it! They are better at going out than coming in, probably because they have more incentive to go out, as they are both little garden addicts these days.

So you can see I’ve been very busy this past week, and this will continue for a while until I can get on top of things again. At least I’m being creative again!

Have a great week, everyone.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

WOYWW 471

The only change in my studio and office this week is more chaos, I’m afraid. Some of my wools have been put away because I’ve finished the socks (not yet blocked). No change on my main desk area, so no photo of that this week.

WOYWW 471 2 Studio Chaos 13-6-18

I can’t get near my office desk at present for clutter. There are also a lot of computer cables on the floor.

WOYWW 471 1 Office Chaos 13-6-18

After the death of my old laptop I’ve been trying to sort out my various external hard drives and in the process, managed, at a single key-stroke, to delete all the back-ups from my other old laptop that died – this was totally devastating because it was the sum total of many years’ work and accumulation of my entire music library… until I thought to do a google search into data retrieval, and for a sum I’d have preferred not to spend, have downloaded a truly excellent program called EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and I’ve got it all back, despite it being “permanently deleted” from the drive!! It just goes to show that when you think you have safely deleted something, it is still there to be retrieved, so if you are disposing of an old computer, it is best to trash the hard drive with a sledgehammer because that way, no unscrupulous people could retrieve your precious and confidential data with a data retrieval program.

When I told my hubby I’d had to buy the program, he said, “Would you have been prepared to spend a pound for each of the files you’d lost?” and I had to admit that yes, I probably would – and what I paid for the program was a tiny fraction of the total of £1 per file!! He does have a knack of making me feel better!

So I’m mightily relieved, but there’s a huge amount of work to be done! Not only has it retrieved the back-up I deleted, but it’s retrieved a whole lot of other stuff as well which had been lurking underneath and which a “deep scan” found – and there’s some excellent stuff there. Most of it is duplicated but it needs to be checked. I’m amazed at how much stuff has been layered onto this drive, and that any of it can be retrieved. Isn’t technology wonderful?

My work is cut out for the foreseeable future, sorting everything out. I’m backing everything up onto a new 2 TB drive so all the back-ups will be together and easier to manage, and I’m going to store all my media files on another external hard drive (also backed up) so these will be accessible from all my computers.

My new iPhone is now up and running – the SIM card arrived very quickly – and yesterday I sent my first text, and I got the terse reply from my hubby in confirmation, “Got it.” Nuff said! His texts are as terse as his emails lol!

Kitties

Great excitement. I knew we’d got a pair of very intelligent kitties, but I never thought they would learn how to use the cat flap all on their own! Since letting them out into the garden we’ve been fixing it open with masking tape so they get the idea there’s a hole in the door to go in and out through, but when it was shut, it appeared to be as much a barrier to them as ever. A couple of days ago, though, Lily came out on her own, soon to be followed by Ruby. Yesterday I managed to get a really sweet video of them going out – still struggling a bit with it, but they’ve definitely got the idea! Look out for the bit where Lily appears to be telling Ruby what to do!

Before I grabbed the camera, there was a moment when they both had their heads up against the cat flap, and I thought they were both trying to get out at the same time!

We are still locking them in at night after they’ve come in for their supper, but soon they will be coming and going as they please. Lily has got over whatever fright she had that made her scared to go out for a couple of days, and we have a job getting either of them in in the evening! They absolutely love it out there.

Here’s another clip of them playing in the garden yesterday afternoon.

Not sure when I’m going to be able to get back in the studio, with everything else that’s going on at the moment. I’m still trying to catch up with a backlog of stuff from when I was ill as well.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

WOYWW 470 Chaos!

Well, here we are back again after another week has flown by.

Old Windows Laptop RIP

Yesterday my elderly HP Pavilion laptop’s hard drive died. I’d been expecting something of the kind for a while because lately it’s been incredibly sluggish and also it tended to get rather hot. The same happened to my small one (same brand only smaller) and I wasted money to be told that there was no point repairing it because the motherboard was too old and overheating. So I decided simply to ditch the big one and probably won’t replace it, but make do with my newer large HP laptop. The old one was unusual in having two hard drives and I’d used the second one for all the stuff that was on the old failed small laptop. I have removed this and have ordered an enclosure for it so that I can continue to use it. I am not fazed by what has happened because all my data is backed up.

Since we moved here I’ve had an expensive dust-gatherer in the form of an old NAS drive that unfortunately won’t work with the Sky router. It had 2 hard drives, 1 TB each, and while I was at it yesterday I removed these and have ordered enclosures for them also. I shall use one for backups of all my data and probably the other one as a second backup. Something I’ve been planning to do for years!

Before deciding the old laptop wasn’t rescueable, I tried repairing it with my emergency start-up discs but the thing was kaput. I had to get loads of stuff down to find them and this is the chaos in my office a a result.

WOYWW 470 1 Office Chaos 5-6-18

I’ve decided not to put anything back until I’ve been through it all and chucked out a lot of rubbish.

Studio Chaos

Further chaos reigns throughout my studio too.

WOYWW 470 2 Studio Chaos LH Side 6-6-18

No change on my desk this week apart from perhaps a slightly thicker layer of dust – no time or energy to do any art. Still working on the second heart ornament and the box for my mini-album. The stack of paper in front of the cutting machine was part of a birthday present from a friend – lots of goodies in there!

Things are no better the other side of the room. At least I shall soon be able to put all my wools away.

WOYWW 470 3 Studio Chaos RH Side 6-6-18

Knitting

I have at last finished the second pair of socks for the homeless that I started last year. I am hoping someone at church will be able to pass them on now Socktober and Toevember are a distant memory – this project had to go into abeyance when our lives went pear-shaped in November when my hubby broke his leg and all that has happened since.

At least one of my UFOs is now finished.

02 Completed Multi-Colour Socks Not Blocked 6-6-18

They still look knobbly and uneven because they need to be blocked.

I’ve just got to sort out my knitting bag and then I can put the wools away.

Kitties

The kitties are going out in the garden on a daily basis now. We think Lily had a fright the other day because she was suddenly terrified to go out and had to be taken out in my hubby’s arms and she’d dash back in again. She’s growing in confidence a bit more now, though. As for Ruby, she simply loves it out there and it’s a job to get her to come in – she spends her time mooching about looking at things, chasing flies, smelling the flowers…

I managed to get this shot of them both through the bedroom window this morning – unfortunately didn’t have time to open the window first so there’s a bit of reflection.

In the Garden 6-6-18

Ruby in the laundry basket:

01 Ruby in Laundry Basket 25-5-18

Their latest favourite place is my hubby’s office chair.

04 Asleep on Study Chair 3 2-6-18

05 Alseep on Study Chair 4 2-6-18

Here’s my hubby having breakfast in the garden the other day. The kitties are out there somewhere with him!

N having Breakfast in Garden 3-6-18

My Birthday Present to Myself

When we went to Knightshayes on my birthday, we both fell in love with a metal astrolabe-style sundial so we bought it.

My hubby has made a pedestal for it from an upturned terracotta planter and the pedestal of a broken concrete urn! He is going to paint the whole pedestal with a sand-and-cement wash to make it uniform. Rather smart, don’t you think?

Astrolabe Sundial - Pedestal Unfinished 6-6-18

Shoshi Limps into the 21st Century at Last

I have finally given in and decided that I can’t live without a mobile phone. I have put it off for ages except for briefly last year when I was given an old Android smartphone which I couldn’t get on with. If I was going to get one at all it would have to be an iPhone but I wasn’t going to spend silly money at Apple’s prices. Yesterday I found some brilliant reconditioned ones on Ebay and have got one at a very good price – OK, it’s a SE so not the latest but I’m not fussed about that. I have also discovered a SIM only deal by a network called Smarty which is incredibly cheap and which will suit me perfectly well. I shan’t be using the phone that much but now that I am getting out and about on my own a bit more on the buggy I thought I should really have one so I can contact my hubby if necessary, and I’m fed up with all those organisations that assume everyone has mobiles and you can’t secure your account etc. without one.

So that’s my week. Everything but art, except for the knitting!

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