ScrapHappy # March 2019

I missed out on the ScrapHappy fun in February because of other things going on.  February saw the husband & myself redecorating the living room (all done).  Me with big plans of making sofa covers (started well, but I ran out of motivation) . . . and then catching up on housework before visitors in March.  Lindashee & Mr Lindashee flew over from England for a few days, and Eldest son & girlfriend drove up from the south of France.

House suddenly emptied on 11th, so after a day of stripping beds, and catching up with more housework, my thoughts turned to ScrapHappy and my sewing machine.

I originally sat down, with leftover fabrics (from 2 pairs of shortie PJs made in November) to make something summery for Baby Viking using pattern NewLook 6970.  Baby Viking will be 1 year old in August, and since babies always seem to be wearing the next size up, I decided to cut fabric for the 18-24 month size.  As it turns out, this pattern seems to size up very large . . . and I ended up with a little pinafore dress that fits Daisy, who is a 2-3 year size.

Not to worry . . . anyway, I’m linking up with Kate and Gun for our monthly ScrapHappy post.


The idea was to make something with scraps/leftovers.  I achieved that.  And got more sewing practice along the way.


It’s a good fit on the shoulders for Daisy, and looks lovely with the little bolero cardie I knitted for her.  I haven’t given up on the idea of making this pattern again, for Baby Viking, but one size smaller and not necessarily with scraps.

Other bloggers who take part in ScrapHappy fun.

 Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, KerryJean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn and Connie


thank you!

Today I have two lovely ladies who deserve a big “thank you” from me . . .

red hat 03

Thank you, to DebbieRose who knitted this gorgeous red bonnet in baby size, thinking of me and my baby dolls . . . awwww it fits Lily a treat!  Definitely keeps those ears warm!

And thank you to Yvonne

from Yvonne

who sent me lots of goodies:  two hand-made gifts, being the pumpkin pin cushion (with an elastic so I can wear it around my wrist while sewing) and a tape-measure covered in a lovely cross stitched pattern.  Also, a very large piece of fabric with lion and elephant prints, a teeny purse clasp and a wooden letter “C” with cute bear.

I do love surprise packages but especially appreciate the handmade gifts which will be treasured.

“Cheri” by Martin Storey, for Rowan

After the relative success of my dusky pink cardigan, I decided I needed to get more practice learning to assemble knitted garment pieces before I took the plunge to tackle another adult sized cardie/sweater.  So, with that in mind, I rummaged through my computer files, where I save any free patterns that take my fancy.  And this is the one I chose to knit.

daisy cardie 03

The model “CHERI” designed by Martin Storey for Rowan yarns.  I immediately knew I wasn’t going to bother crocheting the cherries.  My crochet skills don’t need practice, and I honestly thought the dangling cherries were just a bit “too much”.   What attracted me to this pattern was the short sleeves, short bodice and very much a bolero style.  The idea being, to have a pattern which would knit up quickly, to give me the chance to try my hand at assembly. 

And here’s my very plain version of this pattern.

Daisy cardie 02

I think you’ll agree there is definite improvement in my assembly skills.  I chose pattern size 2-3 years (Daisy measuring 92cm tall, so not quite a size 3 years).  I used leftovers of my dusky pink and knitted on 3.75mm and 4.5mm needles to get the correct gauge. 

daisy cardie 04

daisy cardie 05

And had a good rummage in my button box, where I found some very discreet pale pink plastic buttons. 

Daisy cardie 01

I am so pleased with how it turned out.  My confidence is soaring . . . but not quite ready to attempt the XL men’s sweater for the Husband just yet. 

What I have done though . . . is cast on to follow this pattern a second time.  My second version is going to be in a size 1-2 years, and for Baby Viking.  She is 5 months old now and sooooooooo cute lol.  Anyway, I thought this pattern style would be perfect and a 1-2 year size should be good for this autumn or next spring.  Here’s a sneak peek of yarns I’m working with.  I’m using Stylecraft Special DK in “citron” for the garter stitching, and a very zany Marriner Mermaid DK for the rest.


That’s the 2 sleeves already made.  Now to put on my sunglasses and have more fun watching this Marriner Mermaid yarn change colour.  Viking parents have said I can go as bright as I like, so I’ve taken that literally!

a bit of this & that, plus some thank yous

I realised I never got around to sharing a photo of some lovely seasonal hand-made gifts I received from blogging friends (and may have missed a few from the photo, because all seasonal bits have already been put away).


So, a thank you to Monique for the cute crocheted octopus and little cat decoration);  to Nathalie and Virginie, for their cards;  to Yvonne for the little heart decoration; and to salpal, for the bookmarks and delicate snowflake!

Now for some “this & that” . . .

I had a check-up visit with foot surgeon earlier this month. 


He was pleased with the x-ray, and bandage has now been removed.  Foot is still swollen, but not giving any pain.  I’ve been told to do my “toe curling” exercises and that life can now get back to normal – yay!  Next check-up in March and then I’ll be going to see a man about getting some insoles made – next stage being, a probable 2 years of specially made in-soles, but I can live with that.

Also have a cross stitch happy dance to share with you.


Design is “Chicken Sampler” by The Stitching Shed, and was a gift from Avis at Christmas.  Lots of fun to stitch, with lovely colours.  As you can see, from photo, I (deliberately) mixed colours up a little and changed the colour of petals.  Also decided not to stitch the wording or the eggs.  I’ll be having a rummage in my fabric stash as, being almost a square design, the plan is to finish this off as a cushion cover.

And last photo, because I’ve been playing with dolls lol.  No new body for Phoebe yet, but there’s plenty of time for that.  Anyway, I’ve got Phoebe and Grace having a sleep on the sofa in my sewing room, so their presence is a reminder that I need to make them some clothes. 


what Claire received for Christmas #2

This is the last batch of photos, to show how spoiled I was this Christmas . . . this time by family. 


From Lindashee and Mr Lindashee:  Season 7 of my all-time favourite TV series “Call the Midwife”.  It was Lindashee who bought me the first season, a few years ago, and she’s been buying all the new seasons as they come out, for me.  Story (for those who don’t know it) begins in the late 1950s, in London, with each season dedicated to a new year (season 7 takes place in 1963), following the lives of a group of midwives/district nurses.  First class acting, lots of medical goings-ons, and all with the backdrop of London in the late 50s early 60s.  Lindashee also sent me something to keep my hands busy while enjoying some good British drama . . . so many fun ideas of mythical creatures in this book, including a Loch Ness monster which will probably be the first project I tackle.


From the Viking family, a new baby doll.  She’s a little girl doll, full vinyl, closed eyes and open mouth so she can suck her thumb.  She measures 52cm at the moment.  I’ll be pulling her to pieces sometime this year, making her a cloth body . . . and playing with my new baby doll, who I have called Phoebe.


From Eldest Son – some yarny supplies.  The pattern is a free pattern by Rowan.  And in the bag: enough King Cole Aran to knit myself this lovely turtle neck sweater. 

Continuing a new family tradition, begun only last year . . . part of Christmas Eve saw us sitting out in the kitchen, while Eldest Son stuck a needle in me over and over again lol.  And I have my second tattoo!


Another cat head in the same style as the first one.


So, that was lots of lovely gifts from our three children . . . I bet you’re wondering what I received from the Husband? 

Well, the really BIG present wasn’t actually a surprise.  It was something I saw on ebay way back in October.  The Husband gave me the green light.  The very large box was then hidden away in the cupboard when it arrived and I wasn’t allowed to look until Christmas.


It’s a very large doll.  Actually from the Masterpiece Gallery, by a German doll maker called Monika Levenig.  This is a “Chantal” doll.  She’s approx 90cm tall (can wear age 3 years clothes) and is a limited edition.  My “Chantal” is n° 11/350 of the European Edition series.

I’ve renamed her Daisy.  She’ll be keeping me company in my sewing room, where I hope to get busy and make some clothes for her.  I think she’s lovely, but everyone else seems to think she’s a bit spooky.  Not to worry.  Anyway . . . the Husband also got busy before xmas and made me a bead necklace


AND . . . .


A wooden stand for Daisy.   It’s a recyling job but completely custom-made for Daisy.  She can stand on her own but, with 3 cats charging around the house, it’ll be safer to use the stand. 


bargains last Sunday

Sunday 16th saw husband and myself up and out quite early, heading to another local “vide grenier”/boot sale.  This one was in a small village (population 723) so I knew it was likely to be quite small.  That was fine by us. 

And when we got there, it really was a small affair.  Just the locals, from the looks of things, having a good clear out with mostly clothes/shoes/toys/books and a few miscellaneous things for sale.  We didn’t even bother to split up for this one.  Or if we did, the area was so small, we kept on bumping into each other.

Husband found the most ugly cast iron soap dish with a cow on it (Fresian, if that makes it any less ugly?).  I have no idea why he bought it, but he did.  One thing is for sure – it won’t be going in the bathroom!  And I most certainly won’t subject you to a photo of his 1€ bargain.

Mine, are a lot more fun!

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Here’s a haul of baby toys, which cost me 3€ in total.  Two identical wooden crocodiles.  No idea why the seller had twin crocodiles, maybe they belonged to a pair of twin toddlers at some point?  They’re the old-fashioned toy you pull along by the string and they wiggle.  They don’t look as if they were played with very much. 


At 50 centimes each, I bought both, of course. Plus a set of plastic keys and 3 rattle toys.  The plastic keys have already been gifted to Rio, the parrot, who does love playing with keys.  As for the rattles

more brocante 03

I removed the soft parts on arriving home, and all plastic toys were given a wash in bleachy water.  I then sewed bunny trousers back up again, and Gibbs was well-pleased to have another soft toy to play with.  It was the rattle rings I was interested in  –  they’ll come in handy for some future craft projects.

And, just so you know I don’t only buy toys . . .

more brocante 02

I came home with a few books this time too.  You’ll probably recognise most of the authors (except for Fred Vargas, a French authoress, and I’m not sure if her books have been translated into English).  The others are:  “Chaos” by Patricia Cornwell;  “Unseen” by Karen Slaughter;  “Miss Silver Comes To Stay” by Patricia Wentworth and “I Let You Go” by Clare Mackintosh.  Apart from the Patricia Wentworth one (which appears to be a sort of Agatha Christie, Miss Marple type of intrigue) the others should all be blood, gore, serial killers and suspense . . . exactly what I enjoy with my hot chocolate at bed time!

And last photo . . . 

Ducky and dolls

My dolls live in a laundry basket, because I haven’t pushed madness far enough to buy a proper baby cot for them (yet).  Ducky decided there was room for one more!  I don’t know if you can see properly


but that golden brown thing Ducky is resting his head on . . . that’s Lily’s “doudou” rabbit!  She was holding it in her arms when I last saw her in the laundry basket . . . Ducky obviously thought it made a soft cat pillow. 

one man’s junk . . .

“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”.  That’s something my Mum would say as we headed off for a good rummage at a local jumble sale, when I was a child.  I don’t know if the term “jumble sale” is used anymore.  The more modern term seems to be “carboot sale” (in the UK, I believe) while in France they’re called “Vide Grenier” which translates as “Emptying the Attic”.  Whatever name they go buy, I do enjoy a good rummage.  And it so happens that September is a month where there are quite a few local “vide grenier” going on.

Husband doesn’t mind a rummage either, as long as we go early, and don’t stay too long.  So, on Sunday, we were up early to go to a local “vide grenier”.  It was in a very small commune just down the road.  I was amazed, when we arrived at 7.45 to find the fields commandeered for carparking already chock-a-block with cars, and vast crowds already milling around the several hundred stalls, all out to grab a bargain.  Husband and myself have yet to agree on what is a bargain, with him looking for specific vintage tools to add to his workshop, and me looking for . . . well anything that catches my eye really lol.  Our tactic is to split up when we arrive and meet up later.  If we see anything the other might be interested in, we use our mobile phones.  But basically, we each go our separate ways, getting lost in the crowds.  Me, feeling like an 8 year old, on Christmas Eve.  Always the thrill of finding a “treasure” but not knowing what shape that treasure will take.

On Sunday, the treasure had a rather canine form. French readers might recognise him.  It’s the mascot for “Télé Z” a French weekly TV magazine.

brocante 06

When I liken myself to an 8 year old, I’m not kidding!  Awwww, I saw him and couldn’t resist.  At first, I wasn’t going to buy.  Just wanted to pick him up and have a cuddle.  The seller immediately caught my eye, and called out “50 centimes”.  She knew she’d made a sale!.  His tongue was slightly damaged (something to do with the seller’s real dog having been slightly jealous of the stuffed toy) but I soon fixed that when I got him home.  He then went in the washing machine on a gentle cycle, and after, he was allowed to meet the real pets.


Here he is, meeting Ducky.  All our cats seem to approve, and Gibbs has been told the new dog is NOT a toy . . . . or should I say, he IS a toy but he’s not a Gibbs’ toy!


He’s Claire’s new toy, and he’ll be allowed to sit with me in my sewing room.  I’ve decided his name is Maurice.

And Maurice wasn’t the only toy this 8 year old brought home . . .

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One lady was selling her collection of “doudous” (which is a French term meaning a very soft baby toy, a sort of comforter).  She actually made me feel less “wierd” about my new reborn doll craze.  She admitted to having built up a collection of over 400 doudous, which she was selling due to lack of space and a husband who was sick of the sight of her soft toy collection.  I couldn’t walk past without grabbing a few okay, 6 .  One isn’t in the photo.  It was  adopted by Gibbs since I said he couldn’t play with Maurice but please, shhh don’t tell the seller as she would be most distraught!.  I also bought a couple of teething ring toys.  Our parrot, Rio does love this kind of toy, and special parrot toys in petshops are very expensive.  Plastic baby toys are ideal for a parrot.  Easy to grab and hold in one foot, colourful, robust, even for an Amazon beak, and they make a nice rattling noise when played with.   Again, shhh, we don’t tell the lovely lady who sold me those that they’re for a parrot.  She thinks they’re for my grandchild.

My shopping bag was filling up, but my purse was still quite full, as each item was priced at 50 centimes . . . so Maurice and all these baby toys, for only 4.50€.   With my bag full of baby things, the logical follow-up was . . . a small bundle of baby clothes.  Everything I looked at seemed to be priced at 50 centimes, so I grabbed a few bits for my dolls.  I won’t bore you with every item, but I grabbed six little items, and came home feeling very pleased with my modest spending of 7.50€.

Just one last photo


of Lily in her “new” babygrow PJs and with a bunny doudou.

And just to prove how reasonable I was . . . husband found 2 vintage tools and spent a total of 13€ on his finds . . . so if it was a competition of who brought home more junk for less money, then I won lol.