Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Take 5

1) I thought it was about time I shared some yoyo love.

I've been hand sewing these here and there for the past couple of months. The plan is to use them on a quilt, and I'm itching to start the quilt, but I'm being quite disciplined and want to finish Maria's quilt first.

There's a little pile on the left not spread out, I got a bit bored arranging them towards the end! I counted them back into the box though and there are 106 of them. I think this might be enough - especially as I could easily get more than a bit bored sewing them all on the quilt when the time comes!

 2) Speaking of Maria's quilt...

Not very speedy progress to report, but I have got one more block done. This one is a 'pocket block', with a little bird hiding inside.

He still needs an eye.

3) And an update on fish sewing too...

The daily sewing resolution has slipped quite a bit, it's not been the best few weeks and there have been a good few days when I haven't made it to the sewing machine at all - which in turn adds to it not being the best few weeks! Last week I started to try and get back in more of a sewing groove, and it was great to have the fish as an easy and quick project to pick up and get me going again. Something that needed minimal thought and effort.

So generally I think it's been more daily therapeutic practice, rather than the daily creative exercise I was hoping for more. And that maybe shows with the fairly boring fish that have come out of it. But I'm OK with that, and hopefully they'll start to be a little more adventurous at some point. Today's fish was slightly more that way and is one of my favourites so far...

Still very simple, but I like the black and white effect.
You might also see a connection between the colours of all these fish and the colours of those yoyos! They've all come from very small scraps left over from yoyo making, and it's great to be able to use such little pieces so immediately.

This shoal was all from the edges of a napkin, the centre was a solid red which I used  for yoyos, but I didn't think the stripey parts worked so well in a yoyo.
The girls have been quite intrigued by seeing a growing pile of fish, and when I explained the thinking behind it they really liked the idea. So much so that I cut them a good supply of small oblongs of pale, sea coloured paper and they can draw a fish (or sea creature) whenever they feel like it and stick it up on their own background - just the bottom of a cardboard box.

I think quite possibly they may help provide some fish pattern/shape/design inspiration to me along the way.

 4) I haven't shared any thrifted finds with you recently, and there have been a few! Some gorgeous embroidered tablecloths...

I do have quite a large number of embroidered table cloths and napkins now, and I've been trying to come up with ideas to use them - so I don't feel guilty buying more when I spot them at bargain prices! Especially as, although I very much like my quilt top from embroidered pieces, I'm still too scared to quilt it so making more quilts in that way is not so likely in the near future. I've come up with a couple of projects so far, one all finished but I'm afraid I have no photos as yet, so that will have to wait.

Another interesting thrifted find was a little bag of haberdashery goodies. My favourites from this were some old, small, square self cover buttons and these 3 giant safety pins.

These are each just over 15cm long and I think I'm going to enjoy coming up with novel ways to use them. Any thoughts out there? What would you do with giant safety pins?!

 5) I'm trying, and not really succeeding at the moment, to adjust to wearing reading glasses. It's not something that is filling me with any kind of enthusiasm. I have nothing against glasses generally (although personally, on me, I don't much like them!), but I think the depressing element is very much that they are a clear sign of aging. My body is starting to deteriorate! Obviously this is inevitable and natural and has been happening for quite some time in lots of little ways, but suddenly needing to wear glasses does make it all very real.

You don't get to see a photo of them on me - very few people have actually seen this sight. And, needless to say, the children are among the privileged few and all laughed like crazy hyenas!

But as much as the aging element is depressing if I allow myself to dwell on it, what's causing me even more grief is the practicalities of using them. I only need them for really close up reading, anything other than that and they make my vision blurry. So it feels a real pain to use them unless it's a concentrated period of reading and nothing but reading. And even then I'm struggling to get used to having the frames in my peripheral vision - they irritate me! I'm sure it's just a matter of perservering and eventually getting used to them, but any words of advice or comfort or sympathy will be much appreciated!



  1. I have no advice for the glasses, but I hear you on the aging part. The good news...it is happening to all of us :) Love those thrifted embroidered tablecloths, wonderful finds.

  2. I love that the girls are making their own fish / sea creatures, too. :) I actually think it sounds like you have been busier than you feel.

  3. So much thrift envy here! Those table cloths are amazing. And I love the fishes. And you deserve an award for making all those yoyo's. Are they hard to make?
    As for the glasses .. It's just a time and adjustment thing. I will confess I do forget to wear mine a lot of the time. I now use super thin frames so they don't catch in my peripheral vision so much (ha I should have shared that tip before you got your huh!) and leave them right beside my kindle. I also find they help when I'm tired and sewing. You have my upmost sympathy though - the getting used to them is rough!

  4. love seeing your shoal of fish growing x

  5. Great thrift store finds! If you knit, the large safety pins could be used as stitch holders.

  6. Your yoyo display brings to mind a beautiful field of wildflowers, and your pocket blocks are so whimsical and fun. The fish may appear boring to you right now, but I see a whole lot of potential for later embellishment sometime when you are in the mood for fancy hand - or machine - work. It can be such a relief to just sew without thinking. Enjoy making your therapy fish, guilt-free, I say!

    When I saw those pins I immediately "saw" prayer flags hanging from them - with beads and streamers and gauzy things hanging down. Don't know why that popped into my head, but there ya go.

    About the glasses...hmm. They do take getting used to, but if you can see them as a source of joy (reading with ease), maybe it will help? I don't equate glasses with age, though I did get my first pair at forty. (Opposite of you - mine are for distance, so I wear them to drive and watch tv - who knew Clint Eastwood had all those wrinkles???). I guess because my dad had glasses at a very young age (all my life, and more), I just figured glasses helped people see better. Ha!

    The thing that has triggered my age angst was attending a party at my husband's work and realizing that all the people who came up with him (25 years of working together) have moved on, and the crop of new people are ALL the age we were when he started there. Yargh. THEY were ME 25 years ago. Fairly depressing thought. My youth has flown past, my children are grown, and now I - ME - am in the grandparent generation. This isn't going to help you any, I've just realized, but it goes by so quickly!!! It's probably best not to reflect on that too much!!! Sometimes I miss the days when my children were still little and life was crazy-busy with them and their friends. Ah, happy memories.

    I think the trick is to keep making happy memories no matter what stage you're at. Life changes, but it can still be pretty darn rewarding. Don't let the glasses (or my goofy rambling) get you down! You are in the throes of a beautiful life. Glasses are just a tool to help you enjoy it more easily. You are definitely NOT old, just growing and changing as we do all our lives!!! (and I'm not old, either, because I choose to remain engaged and joyful! Take THAT, Father Time!)

  7. I am in the same position as you with spectacles; I use them for reading, and for anything other than close reading/sewing etc, they blur my vision. I can also just about manage without them, so I tend not to use them for 'quick reads' like a recipe, or a short newspaper article, but if I know I will be reading anything with smaller print, or for anything longer than a couple of minutes, I put them on. I don't really see them as a sign of ageing, I focus more on my saggy chin for worries of that nature! I'm sure you look very nice in them, and the more often you wear them , the more used the children will become to the sight of you in them, and the discouraging hoots of laughter will diminish...! x

  8. Oh I love the fish - yours and the girls'! And the embroidered tablecloths are beautiful - I really want to collect enough to make a quilt but all the ones I've found so far are too pretty to cut, I might have to embroider them myself!

  9. Oh, the thrill of the thrift!!! Love! And the block with a pocket! I think everything is better with s pocket, no?! ;)

  10. Oh, with you on the glasses. I need mine. I see it everyday and still, I'll leave them on the counter. It,s like my brain can't wrap itself around the notion. All those yoyos! My mother-in-law showed me quickly how to make them, but I never actually tried. I have a few patterns that have them, maybe I should. What a great way to get rid of scraps.

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