another un-birthday (and more)

It’s just as well we don’t grow another year older each time we celebrate an un-birthday, because I had a second unbirthday celebration in September.  Thanks to Angèle, the second time with more lovely gifts.

Angèle sent me a denim tote bag, that she embroidered with cherry blossom, two pieces of fabric, 2 skeins of embroidery thread (the white DMC one is a “glow in the dark”), a pretty card, and a pins badge.

So a big “merci” to Angèle for all those lovely goodies!

I feel very spoilt, and I’m not the only one!  Ziva has got more toys than she knows what to do with now after I had a quick sewing session.

Using a couple of fluffy dusters, some ribbons & rick rack, toy stuffing and “cat grass”, I made some very simple toys for her to chase around and practice her hunting skills on.  I didn’t even try to make them look like mice, or anything, just sewed pouches & stuffed.   We’ve got cat toys galore in the house already but Ziva tends to lose them under the furniture.  Hopefully these new ones should be bright enough to spot easily.  She enjoys playing with them already, throwing them up in the air, carrying them around in her mouth.

And when not sewing cat toys, I managed to sit down and finish the back of my poncho.  Which has gone from this

to this

Now to cast on and knit the front which will be more interesting, since this will be my first ever cable project. Just a band of cable up the front centre, like this.

I’m not using the recommended yarn because (as I tend to do) I shopped around on-line looking for alternatives, and am knitting with this. Midway between DK and Aran, but I’m making it work to Aran tension for the purpose of this project.


my unbirthday in Sept (and more)

I am a very lucky lady.  Postlady dropped a plump envelope in the  letter box the other day, with an un-birthday gift from Jacqueline.

Jacqueline is a very talented needleworker who also makes lace.  I feel very honoured, because it must take forever to do and need very good eyesight.   I was sent, my intial in silk thread, a bookmark in cotton thread and an embroidery kit .  Many thanks!

Also feeling lucky because I nabbed myself a vintage bargain at the weekend.  A local family were having an “everything must go” sale, selling contents of their mother’s house. Rest assured, not deceased, but moved into a nursing home where she can’t take all her belongings.  Anyway, I went along and saw this.

Couldn’t resist, and paid 30€ so it could come home with me.  It was made by a local furniture-maker, late 60s/early 70s.  I love the style, and the legs. Reminds me of the furniture my parents had during my early childhood.

And before I sign off for today . . . I’ve been busy knitting and xstitching, but also sticking a few drills on my fox DP project every now and then. So I’ve progressed from


SAL “my day off” #1

I’m linking with other SAL members



to show a photo of my newest SAL project.  Three weeks ago, I was having a happy dance with my poppies, and decided to begin this project next.

A Design Works kit: “My Day Off” based on the artwork of Ronald West.   This was gifted to me a few birthdays ago by Megan. You might remember that Avis and I stitched another of Ronald West’s designs a few years ago . . . this one.

“My Day Off” is in the same series.  Stitched on 14 count aida, it’s going to be very easy on the eyes.  This is how much I managed to do for my first update.

ScrapHappy # September

It’s been a while since I played with any scraps, but for September, I’m back to join the group

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

My contribution this time has been re-purposing old Tshirts.  Those that are either too stained,  too full of holes or grown too small (or is it us who have grown too large?).  I do sacrifice the ugly ones to the rag-bag but, others, get washed, folded and kept for something else.  Well, the something else for September is doll clothes.  I’m signed up to Pixie Faire, an excellent site for doll-lovers.  Quite often, on a Friday, they send their email with a link to their “freebie Friday”. That can be a clothes making pattern and, when it’s one I fancy, I download.

This was the pattern the other week.  For 18″ AG dolls.  I don’t actually have any of these dolls, but I do have quite a few dolls of similar size.  So . . . special “stretch fabric” needle in Juki, and away I went with my old Tshirts.(doll photos follow)

I began, with an old polo shirt of the husband’s (have more than enough left to make a few more).  Allowed extra length for sleeves & body because I thought doll would need it. Turns it, he didn’t.  The raglan set-in sleeves make the sweatshirt quite roomy and therefore extended sleeves are a bit long.  Not to worry. This was my first attempt. Having fun lining up stripes on fabric, and generally getting to grips with the pattern.

Second attempt for one of my girl dolls.  I cut exactly to pattern and this one is a much better size.  Pattern had said to use sweatshirt/fleece weight fabric, I’m using Tshirt weight, so the cowl collar on this one was rather baggy and I decided it looked better turned folded in half.

And last one, because I still had some scraps of the ladybird fabric to use.

I love the pattern, and I especially loved finally finding a use for old Tshirt fabric!

a bit of this & that

A bit of this & that today . . . first up, Ziva!

Feeling very at home here these days (and it’s less than 2 months since she joined us).  Here she is, enjoying the wet food I put out for Ducky, leaving Ducky to make do with the dried food.  Ziva had her third vaccine this morning, and her micro-chip. She weighed in at 1.850kg, so that’s +300g in 3 weeks.  She’s not quite 4 months old . . . next visit for her will be at the end of the year to be spayed.

Ducky is the only one of our three cats who is prepared to be in close quarters with Ziva, and only when food is involved. The rest of the time, he’d rather be outside, enjoying the dandelions . . . along with Le Bleu and Abby who won’t come indoors until they know that Ziva is shut away for the night.

Ob (Mr & Mrs Tattoo’s cat) is the only cat who puts up with Ziva during the daytime . . . and even then, he doesn’t like her too close.

I doubt she’ll be allowed in the Tattoo’s bedroom again soon though, because she had another “accident” and peed on their bed AGAIN!

On the crafting front . . . my poncho knitting project is growing, very slowly.  Has progressed from this

I’m past the 43cm mark, and have placed markers for the start of armhole section, and have to carry on knitting straight for a total of 70cm, so quite a few rows to go.  It doesn’t look very wide, because it’s all scrunched up on my straight needle, but it’s 171 stitches across.

Oh, and after enjoying the instant gratification of completing the diamond painting kit of 4 Mandala design cards, I have picked up a canvas I began way back in February of this year, and been working on a larger design.



some new diamond painting

While crochet, knitting & cross stitch is what keeps me busy most of the time these days, I have been diamond painting a little too.  Recently bought a kit to make 4 cards

Bargain price, only 1.49€ for the pack which contains 4 cards, 4 enveloppes, drills, etc.  I’ve done three so far, which kept me quiet for a few hours.

And a photo of little Ziva . . . who spends her days charging up & down two flights of stairs;  annoying all the adult cats;  hissing at the dog;  sitting patiently by the French windows in the hopes that she can sneak out into the garden (no such chance! she hasn’t had all her vaccines yet, nor her micro-chip!) . . . and occasionally sitting still long enough for me to take a photo.


hen happenings # August roundup

Oops, a few days late with the egg tally for August!  All the gals are in fine fettle, but having to rely on us giving them fresh greens because there’s no grass in their coop and the ground is so dry, there probably aren’t any tasty grubs either.  They’ve been getting their usual food supplimented with leftovers from dinner time, and seem happy enough.

Total egg count for August: 114.  Several of the neighbours were away on holiday, so I’ve been doing some GF baking, not wanting eggs to go to waste.  Can’t say it’s done wonders for the waistline!


SAL “poppies trio” #10 – a happy dance!

I am having a happy dance here, with my trio of poppies!

This is the design: “Poppy Trio”, a kit by Maia Collection with Anchor threads.  My photo from last time

and my photo of the finished piece.

I really enjoyed working on this piece, and love the bright colours. Design is fairly square so I’m thinking I might finish it off as a cushion cover, but in the meantime I’ve just folded and put away in the drawer.  For my next project . . . I had a rummage in my stash and I’ve pulled out a kit that was gifted to me by Megan (aka Lindashee) for my birthday in February 2019

Links to other SAL members, each of us stitching on a project of our choice.

another Ziva update

Ziva had her second vaccination on Friday and weight has gone up from 825g to 1.5kg in only 4 weeks. Proof that she’s growing well.  She’s approx 12 weeks now, but still seems very tiny.  Skoots up and down stairs in the blink of an eye.  Has begun exploring rooms downstairs and had the occasional close encounter with our other cats. But on the whole, the other cats prefer to spend their days outdoors. I think they’re hoping, if they ignore her, she’ll go away lol.  Sadly, she’s just growing bigger, and gaining in confidence.

In order to keep the peace, I shut her in my sewing room around 9pm (with food, water & litter tray) so the other cats can come indoors and not be disturbed during the night.  Soon though, I’m going to have to let the cats all sort themselves out eventually and accept that Ziva is here to stay.

never too young

Way way back . . . in 2017, I made some zippy pouches following a pattern in a French magazine.

Above is the magazine, and below, one of  the zippy pouches I made at the time.

More than 5 years later, two more zippy pouches saw the light of day in my sewing room because, our neighbours’ youngest daughter, Mona (4 years and 11 months) asked if I could teach her how to sew.  Her elder sister (now 12 years old) did some sewing projects with me over the years, and I was only too happy to oblige and have Mona round for some fun with Juki.  We had our first sewing session last week, but I forgot to take photos. During the first session, Mona made a little 5″ cushion which we stuffed with lavender from the garden.  For the second project, she made a zippy monster pouch.

I made one the night before, using some fleece fabric, so I could show Mona exactly what she would making.  And I added buttons for the eyes, but I thought button sewing might be a step too far for a not quite 5 year old.   I managed to stab myself several times with the very sharp sewing needle and didn’t want Mona to stab herself.

We therefore opted for black poppers.


I sewed the zip on, but Mona did all the rest!  A zigzag stitch to attach the white felt for the eyes.  And then 4 lovely straight seams (with the occasional bit of guidance) to sew front to back, and then turn right sides out. One very happy zippy pouch, and one very happy Mona!