what other family members get up to

I’m always sharing photos of what crafty things I get up to, but thought, for a change, I’d share some pictures of what some other family members get up to.

Readers know that the husband likes to keep busy out in the garden, but he’s not averse to messing around with a paint brush too.

Of late, he’s rediscovered a cake tin full of lead soldiers (he used to play Wargames) . . . and has been having lots of fun painting those. 


They’re troops from the Napoleonic wars, but that’s about as much as I know.


Only 28mm tall, so the husband has a steadier hand than I do, to get all the details done.


Here’s a close up of one of the groups I rather like . . . getting the canon reloaded and ready for battle!


And then . . . over in my sister’s home . . . you’ll remember she got remarried in May this year, and that I crocheted a bride & groom doll for the occasion.

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Well . . . I was rather pleased when my sister told me that they loved the dolls so much, they wanted to have them on permanent display!  Her husband is a very handy woodworker, so he made a little case for them, and dolls now stand in pride of place in their living room.


the birthday dog and his new bed

Our lovely glossy Gibbs turned 3 earlier this month (on 6th to be exact) and his birthday went totally unnoticed.  What a terrible dog-owner I am!  To have forgotten such an important event!  So, to make amends . . . I set to cutting and sewing. 

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The cutting was, slicing up of old jean legs, and mainly only being able to use the back panels . . . then sewing together.

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Also being a little bit adventurous with embroidery options on my Juki.  I decided stitch n° 41 was pretty, and an excellent way of reinforcing seams, as well as adding a touch of frivolity & colour to the denims.

To make, a new bed for Gibbs.

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And for the other side:  I chopped into an old curtain.

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Finished size is approx 100cm x 70cm.  Inside, in case you’re wondering, is half a single duvet:  chopped in half, overlocked, and then folded in half again. 

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I added ties, so it’s easy to stuff into the bed cover.  But also easy to untie, and put in the washing machine for when it needs washing.

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SAL “Bag Ladies” #17

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Above is the photo I posted last SAL update of “Bag Ladies”, a project I’ve been working on since September last year . . . for today’s 3-weekly update, this is progress!

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Not too shabby, methinks!  One new cat head, and a brown bag almost stitched, but lots of backstitch detail to add.  By my calculations, it should take me another 3 updates to see this project done & dusted!

In the meantime . . . let’s hop over and see what other SAL members are up to.  This time we welcome 2 new members;  Susan and Anne (their names are last in the linky list.

AvisGun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Susan, Anne

And we’ll be back on 13th October!

ScrapHappy # September

Time to link with Kate and Gun, who host ScrapHappy each month, to show you what I got up to, with scraps!

I had meant to make more progress on a small quilt top I showed last month, but ended up doing something much less exciting.  Our neighbour, Claude, asked if I could repair his leaf-blower vacuum bag.

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Now, I’d already repaired it in the past and on the inside there are patches as proof

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but what Claude hadn’t noticed was . . . things were getting very holey in certain areas that were more difficult to patch.

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So . . . I took the thing apart, including unpicking the very long chunky zip so I could re-use . . . scouted in my box of unpretty scraps, where I found the perfect piece: 

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This fabric, full of holes chewed by Rio, as it used to be the “blanket” I used to cover his cage at night time.  Despite the holes, there was plenty of fabric to cut out pieces to make a new bag.

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Zip insertion leaves much to be desired, and I’ve just realised I need to turn the black plastic “neck” thing by 90° in order for it to clip on the machine properly but I’m rather pleased with how it turned out.

So pleased in fact, I made a second one in a bright turquoise fabric (that had been used to patch the original bag!).

Zip insertion went a little better and I got it on the correct curve this time.  This one just has a length of cording laced through the neck part which then ties onto the plastic clip thingy.

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Everything used was either scraps or recycling, since I found a second chunky zip in my stash which had been upicked from something (probably a bag). 

3–1 + 2 = 4

Mixed news to share regarding our hens . . .  The bad news:  Miss Plumpton,

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who wasn’t well end of August, didn’t respond to my TLC & administrations and died earlier this month.  Which means we were back down to two hens. 

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Here are the “old gals”: Miss Moneypenny, on the left, who is getting on for 5 years old, but still laying an average of 20 eggs each month.  And Mauricette, to the right, who is 3 years old (same age as Miss Plumpton).

While these two gals seem to get along very well, without bickering, we decided to go ahead and buy in two more hens before it gets too late in the season to find “young blood”.

The two new gals are very shy at the moment and don’t want to venture out of the coop.  They’re only young (just 20 weeks) and it’ll probably be a month or so before they start laying, but that’s fine.

new gals 

Please meet . . . Ruby the red hen and Florence, who is a Medicis hen.  They are currently in the coop in the veggie garden, while the older gals are in the coop in the orchard.  We’ll give the new hens a week to settle in, then we’ll move Miss Moneypenny & Mauricette in with them . . . the coop in veggie garden being closer to the house and more practical for all the daily hen chores when autumn sets in.

due to popular demand . . . Rio!

A slight exaggeration there, as only a few people enquired or picked up on my mention yesterday of “our parrot Rio”.  I have actually presented him on my blog before, but ‘tis true, I don’t mention him often.


Here he is, and very pleased to meet you all:  Rio, our blue-fronted Amazon.  Rio has been a member of the family since 2004 – he was hatched in May of that year and hand-reared (not by us, but by breeders in Belgium).  That means he’s very sociable and is 15 years old.  Since parrots have a rather long life-expectancy, we could say he’s still in his teens.


Photos are a bit blurry as he wouldn’t sit still and kept on chattering when he saw me with the camera.



I say chattering . . .. his vocabulary is somewhat limited but what he lacks in vocabulary he makes up for in enthusiasm.


Anyway, there he is.  He lives in a corner of my sewing room.  His favourite song is “Pop goes the Weasel”.

And just for fun . . . a few photos from my archives.



and yet another carboot sale!

At the risk of boring you . . . more photos to show you what we brought home from yet another carboot sale on Sunday.  The husband didn’t find much to catch his eye.  In fact, all he bought was a set of brand new steak knives.

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I, on the other hand was like a child in a toy shop (literally) and came home with lots of toys lol.

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3 dolls: a Berchet baby doll, a Rapunzel and a Vaiana (I know in other countries she’s Moana, but in Europe she’s Vaiana).  She is missing her top, and hair needs something doing to it, but that’ll be a project to see over on my other blog:  Claire’s Collections.

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Couldn’t resist this little plush baby doll in her carry cot.  It’s a Lilliputien doll:  Bébé Zoé.

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Missing cloth nappy and little cloth blanket to tuck her up in her carry cot, but considering this doll retails new at over 25€ and I only paid 1.50€ for it . . . I’ll get sewing and make the missing items.

I bought 2 animation DVDs, a baby toy (that’s for our parrot, Rio) and a piece of very bright cotton fabric.

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Not sure what I’ll do with the fabric but there’s about 1m x 1.40m of it and it only cost 50 centimes.

Still on the theme of sewing

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One lady was selling cones of thread.  Originally 5000m on each, some now have less on than others, but I got 11 cones for 10€ so I was happy.

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Especially as there were 6 Gütermann cones in the lot, 2 Coats and the other 3 are Sarmix.

The icing on the cake though was  . . .

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A Disney Animator doll – yay!  Lady selling said it was an Alice in Wonderland, but I know my Disney dolls . . . this is a Cinderella and while she doesn’t have her pet mouse, her outfit is complete and in good condition complete with hair bow, ankle socks and blue shoes.  Hair is going to need some TLC but, for only 3€, I was very pleased with my find.

more carboot sale buys

Carboot sales (or “Vide grenier” as they’re called in French) are winding down for 2019, but there are a few local ones still scheduled for September.  On Sunday 1st, the husband & I were up and out early heading to one about 20km from home.  And here’s what we came home with.

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A dozen empty “Bonnemaman” jam jars . . . because we’ve run out of jars and the husband hasn’t finished preserving for this year.

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Numbers 1 – 5 in the Everworld series by K.A. Applegate . . . my teen years may be far behind me, but I do enjoy reading teen fantasy fiction.

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Six paperbacks, by varied authors, all in the “Ecole de Loisir” editions.  These are aimed at children aged 8-11ish, but I shall enjoy reading them too.

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A few more DVDs of films I haven’t seen yet.  These will be for evenings when there’s “nothing on TV”.

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2 dolls . . . rather pleased with the male doll, which is Flynn Rider, from Disney’s “Tangled”.  He’s in good clean condition and I’m pretty sure my niece will find a home for him.  Plus a very cheap & cheerful version of a Corolle Chérie doll, except this one was made in China and body is cheap plastic.

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I grabbed her for only 50 centimes because she’ll be a useful model for doll clothes-making. 

Then last, but not least . . . the husband’s find . . . an antique wooden shuttle.  We live not too far from Lyon, and Lyon was the heart of the French silk weaving industry back in the 17th and 18th century. 

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This shuttle, sadly missing the bobbin of silk, measures 37cm.  I’m not sure if the husband is going to start collecting shuttles, or whether this was a one off buy . . . but I suspect he’ll be keeping his eyes open at future “vide grenier” for some more.

SAL Bag Ladies #16

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This was the photo I posted 3 weeks ago, of progress on “Bag Ladies” . . . and here is progress for this time.

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Not as much as I would have liked, but it’s still a step in the right direction.

For those of you thinking I was so close to a finish last time . . . sorry to disappoint, but no, there are still 2 bags and 2 cats to go which means at least 4 more stages (or 12 weeks in SAL time). 

Let’s pop along and see what other SAL members have been up to.

AvisGun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

And I’ll see you with another update on 22nd September.