Sunday, May 22, 2011

Messy Monday.

This uninspiring, un-beautiful mess is where I spent most of my day today. When all those pieces of wood are sorted they will become kits for pencil cases. We at the woodworker's club have a program that we call 'Kits for Kids'. We cut out kits for, not only pencil cases, but breakfast trays and small tool boxes. This year we are adding shopping-list boards and mug trees as well. We drill holes for the nails so that the wood won't split, then sell the kits for a nominal fee (we're a not-for-profit club) to local organisations such as schools, church children's groups and sometimes to groups for the active elderly in retirement homes etc.
When we get 150 kits together, we will be off to the local Special School where, with the assistance of the teachers, we help the children there to make up the kits. The children that attend this school are intellectually challenged to varying degrees but they are able to weild a bottle of glue and whack a nail with a hammer and love doing so. When the job is finished they have something they can take home and present to their parents with great pride.
For me, having a child come to me, hugging his work to his chest, smiling as he thanks me for helping him and announcing "You're my best friend." is the highlight of my day and always leaves me with a rosy feeling.
I always remember to take my ear plugs with me cos its a really noisy time.
Must go now. I hope yours was a nice week-end.
Bye for now until next time.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


That's it. I can't take any more. These balls of yarn have been sitting there, taunting me for a couple of weeks. A friend gave me some of them and, inspired by their rainbow hues, I added a couple more to complete the rainbow spectrum. I love the bright colours and have yielded to their beckoning - one rainbow blanket coming up. Yes, they're acrylic, but the blanket is destined for the local welfare centre and mothers who may not have the facilities to enable them to wash pure wool with the care it needs. I will knit it in the garter stitch patchwork that I enjoy so much. Being something that I have done often, I can take it to knit in the car on long drives. Then I can knit without thinking about it while I enjoy the scenery. I have also started some crocheted granny squares with the leftovers from my last blanket. I don't know whether to call them WIPs or UFOs; a little bit of both, I think.
I can't believe we're almost halfway through the year already, can you?
Must go now. I'm still messing about with that newsletter and I've got to get it out this week.
Bye for now until next time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Old time sparkles.

With beading so popular today I thought you might like to see these necklaces from a craft article of 1928. This magazine is The Australian Woman's Mirror. from July 1928 and is interesting to compare with today's magazines. Apart from the lack of gossipy articles on who's sleeping with whom or pregnant to whomever else, the articles are pretty much the same as we have today. Lots of recipes, home hints, craft patterns and jokes, the instructions for making these two little necklaces are there too. That little one is a choker.
I really like beadwork, the blingier the better, with lots of sparkles etc. and have a shoe box of saved up beads waiting for me to turn them into something magnificent. Another one of those 'one-of-these-days' projects - sigh. Humans don't live for 200 years, that's my problem, because that's how long I'd need for all my 'one-of-these-days' projects.
Anyway, I have a newsletter to get out and here I am nattering on to you. Gotta go. Hope you are warmer than I am, it's freezing here today.
Bye for now until next time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A beautiful secret.

I've been spending so much time with my lovely old books lately because my arthritic thumb has packed it in and I'm trying not to overwork the poor thing. It's nice to have an excuse to just look at a book and I thought you might like to see what I've found this time. The magazine that I've been reading is a copy of The Needlewoman, printed in 1922 and for sale at threepence quarterly.
This picture is that of a knitted tea cloth and according to the text with it, it was made "in secret by an old Irish lady using very fine sewing cotton. The old lady took a great pride in this piece of work, and would allow no one to watch her knitting it, having done the tea-cloth entirely in the privacy of her own room."
Can you imagine the time it must have taken? I haven't even tried to count the number of stitches she would have cast on, but there are 16 medalions knitted in a sort of feather stitch, joined together to make the large square with the borders added later. Of course there is no pattern for the cloth.
I am seriously impressed. I wonder what condition her thumbs were in, not to mention her eyesight, neck and shoulders.
Just for fun I found a reel of sewing cotton which is about as thick as a number 80 crochet thread, and tried a few stitches and I've gotta tell you the old lady will have no competition from me. About a number 20 is my limit.
If you click on the picture you might be able to get a closer look at the work in the cloth.
Must go now. I hope you will have a happy weekend. Bye for now until next time.