hen happenings # april round up

photo from archives today, because camera battery isn’t charged up.  Time for the April tally of eggs in this part of the world!

All gals in fine fettle, and laying literally every day.  I say “literally” – a few days were taken off here and there, but not that it would be noticed.  4 hens laid a total of 115 eggs in 30 days.  Can’t complain about that, can we!

on a roll

I’d been eyeing up some ideas for storing knitting needles, namely double-pointed needles.  Saw a couple of nice rolls on-line, and used photos as inspiration to design my own.  The nice thing about taking up knitting after having learned how to sew is that something like a needle roll is a very quick & simple project.

It was a stash-busting project.   Using a couple of small pieces of cotton print from the drawer.  Finished size when rolled is 10″ x 3″ and approx 1″ thick, so it’s not too bulky.  It’s for my 20cm DPNs.

The husband came up with an idea, when I was unrolling to show him my finished project (and needles almost fell out onto the floor – you’ll see why later) so I added a couple of poppers to the finished pouch.

When unrolled, it looks like this

And the poppers, on either end of the flap stop needles from sliding out if I hold the thing upside down.

I made 8 little pockets, for 7 sets of DPNs and a wider pocket for my needle gauge.  I don’t actually have a set of 2mm needles in 20cm yet, but thought it was sensible to provide a pocket in the eventuality I need to buy some. My sewing machine has embroidery options, but no decimal point.  However, the numbers embroidered are good enough for me to know which needles should go in which pocket.

In case you’re wondering whether I’ve been doing any knitting of late . . . yes I have!


repurposing curtains

I’ve been doing a huge amount of Spring cleaning and sorting in our house, and one of the jobs was having a tidy up in the veranda.  The covers I’d made for bench seats several years ago had faded because of the sun, so I had a rummage in my fabric stash to find something suitable.

I came across two floral curtains (approx 135cm x 190cm each) that came either from MIL or SIL’s home, not sure, but they definitely weren’t mine.  They really are very flowery, but the fabric is lovely quality and I hope it stands up to direct sunlight better than the cottons I previously used.  Anyway . . . I had a measure up of what I wanted to make covers for, including two old chair seats, that have been covered countless times in the past.

These were the chair seats in question.  Disgusting!!!!!  But no longer!  I pulled all the old staples out binning the grotty fabric.  And after playing with the staple gun, they look like this.

What a difference!

So, those two chairs all pretty!  Then I made two square covers for two folding chairs (photo of just one here).

More measuring & slicing went on as I had 3 rectangular foam cushions to cover, that go on the bench seats.

And just enough left over to make a quick cushion cover and add a bit more floral to my grotty old armchair that also lives in the veranda, and doesn’t match anything.



SAL “poppy trio” #4

Time to link up with SAL members around the world



and share updates of our stitching.  My current SAL project is “poppy trio”.

That was the photo 3 weeks ago.

And photo for this time.

We’ll be back again on 15th May.

ScrapHappy # April (or what the husband made)

I missed out on ScrapHappy last month and have to admit to not much crafting this month either. I’ve been rather busy with some serious decluttering, cleaning and rearranging (mainly up in the attic) and crafting has taken a back seat recently.  Not to worry . . . the husband came to my rescue.

Many hours spent up in the attic, tackling cobwebs, dust, and general chaos, including a pile of timber left behind by previous owner (at the husband’s request) because the previous owner was a retired furniture maker and had his workshop up in the attic.  I was sorting, stacking and deciding what was good to keep and what could become firewood, when I came across.

Two cabinet feet that had never been finished because wood had quite a few flaws.  Now . . . a few years ago, the husband made me a lovely yarn holder, with a larger cabinet foot found in the attic, the round foot of an old table and a broken arrow.   So, I immediately thought “more yarn holders”.  I found an old wooden spoon and a long mini trowel thingy to saw to pieces for the rod parts.  The husband took one look at the trowel thingy and declared he was going to polish it up and keep, but he was okay about sacrificing a wooden spoon.  I therfore went in search of something else . . . and found a wooden trousers hanger, with a piece of dowelling that could be used.

After sanding, staining and whatnot . . . two yarn holders. Much less elaborate than the first one the husband made, which had a rotating system in the base. These holders don’t rotate. You have to tug gently on the yarn and the ball turns around the rod.  They do the job though.  One is for Mrs Tattoo, who has taken to knitting like a fish to water in recent months. The other is a spare for yours truly, so I can keep the larger rotating one downstairs and have the non-rotating one upstairs.

Linking with other ScrapHappy members worldwide.

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Viv

happy birthday Le Bleu

Way way back, in 2008, my local vet entrusted me with a litter of 4 kittens to raise.  Their mother had had to have emergency surgery and could no longer feed them. The 4 kittens were 3 weeks old when they came into my care, born on 8th April 2008.   It was a night & day job for the first couple of weeks. And try as I might not to get emotionally attached to the kittens, knowing the vet would be able to find new homes for all when they were weaned . . . I couldn’t stop myself having a favourite.

So as not to get attached to the kittens, we didn’t give them proper names. Just called them “la petite” (a female & runt of the litter), “le grand” (the largest male), “ruban” (= ribbon placed as a collar to differentiate him from his larger brother), and “le bleu” (= blue, because of his almost Russian Blue coluring).  The weeks passed. The kittens were weaned and returned to the vet aged 8 weeks.  Within a few days, 3 of the 4 had been adopted.  But one remained. And yes, you know the rest of the story!

I dashed to the vets and officially adopted Le Bleu, who already felt like part of the family anyway.

So used to calling him “Le Bleu”, the name stuck (and is actually a reference to NCIS – one of our favourite TV series, a French translation meaning “probie”).

He almost didn’t make it to his second birthday though!  In 2009 he was hit by a car and his left femoral bone was smashed to pieces.  Surgeon managed to repair that with metal plate & screws, but only days after the operation, the knee joint became dislocated.  This couldn’t be put back in place for several months, because of the repaired femoral bone that needed several months to consolidate.  And even then, the vet said we only had a 50/50 chance of the knee not popping back out again, in which case the only solution would be amputation.

Here’s a photo to show the left leg sticking out at an improbable angle, before the knee was put back into place.  And stayed in place.   After approxmiately 6 months of convalesence and exercising, Le Bleu was back on all four feet, and (touch wood) hasn’t had any serious health issues since.

Anyway, Le Bleu was promoted to Special Agent years ago lol . . . he’s the oldest member of our 4-legged menagerie (consisting of Ducky, Abby, and Gibbs).  And he celebrates his 14th birthday today!

He’s lost some weight this past year, and his “bionic leg” means his limp is more noticeable as time goes on, but doesn’t stop him living a normal active life.

He sleeps wrapped around my head every night.  Takes over the husband’s computer chair whenever possible. And here, is enjoying the warmth of the sun in the veranda . . . and making sure he looks his best for the occasion.

SAL “poppy trio” #3

It’s time for the 3-weekly SAL update.  Before I show photos:  a thought for Carmela’s family.

This is my photos last time, and my progress.

Some greens, and I’ve started work on the white poppy.  Could probably have done more but I got carried away with knitting in March, as you may have seen.

Let’s see how other SAL members fared.


and we’ll be back again on 24th April.