Saturday, 29 May 2010

No Mans Land

Yesterday the packers came.  They arrived three strong and armed with an array of weapons.  Reels of tape, boxes, bubble wrap and scissors.  For over seven hours they folded, wrapped, sorted, boxed and labeled.  Then they were gone leaving behind a very empty and somewhat sad little place.

Phil arrived and immediately opened the kitchen cupboard.  His eyes like saucers he remarked "ooh good you've still got lots of food".  Yes we have. But such a pity the can opener got packed, along with everything except a butter knife, two cups, some paper plates and some plastic glasses!

Last night we slept on a rather uncomfortable sofa bed with two very disgruntled cats!  This morning we woke to the sound of rain on the conservatory roof.  In Canada they call it the Florida room.  Certainly doesn't look anything like Florida out there this morning!

Lovely Man decided he needed a cooked breakfast so I suggested the cafe at the end of the road.  It was then we realised that we had packed ALL our coats!  So how's it all going so far?  Well.  We've nothing to cook with, eat off or with.  We have only two bath towels and two tea towels left here. NO coats!  We do have a skillet, tub of ceramic beans and a tiffin box which should be on a ship.  Oh and the envelopes I carefully set to one side to post last minute letters?  They are in the top drawer of the filing cabinet.....which is.....on the ship!

However, we are still smiling!  Not with glee though, just pure insanity!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The final countdown

Today has been another day of sorting, cleaning and packing.  How is it that we accumulate so many things and yet still we always seem to not have the one thing we need?  I've lost count of the number of times Lovely Man has nipped off to B & Q on a Sunday morning because we just need this or that to do whatever job is Job of the Day.  And yet he is continually coming into the house saying 'Look what I found!  I didn't even know I had these!'  I, of course, am not guilty of this.  The reason I have so many packets of needles, pairs of scissors and scraps of fabric is because people give me things! (said with wide-eyed look)

But the pleasure has been in finding a birthday card from an old friend tucked away, and the odd photo which had hidden itself amongst books and long forgotten letters from people we haven't seen for awhile. There is also the feeling of new beginnings and a lightness that comes when everything is sorted, sifted, thinned out and filed neatly.  Treasure of the day had to be a handmade birthday card, drawn in pencil on a folded piece of lined A4 paper.  It was from Chris.  It was given to me on the first birthday I was with his Dad.  It reminded me of a surprise birthday party with Jelly rabbits which he'd insisted he made.  And a trip to Chichester with him and Becky which was a diversion tactic whilst all the guests arrived!

All in all a nice day and very productive too!  You never know, at this rate we may just be ready for the shipping company on Friday!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Claire & Michael

claire & Michael
Originally uploaded by Rona Gregory
Claire emailed me a photo of her wedding day which I changed to Black & White in Photoshop and then printed onto Habotai Silk. This was done by using some pre- treated silk sheets on peel off paper and my own ink-jet printer. I then made another ribbon-craft heart with an aperture to show the photo through. This was then mounted onto a canvas painted with pale gold acrylic and then varnished. The 6" square canvas is displayed on a mini easel .

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

ring bearers cushion

ring bearers cushion
Originally uploaded by Rona Gregory
Someone asked the other day how I found time to make all these things when I'm preparing to move my home and my whole life across the world. Simple. If I sit still and do nothing my mind gallops around the house worrying about everything that has too be done. As a lot of what is left to do cannot be done just yet it helps to focus on something else. In other words it helps me relax! This week's offering is a ring bearer's cushion I have made for a friend who is getting married very soon. I got the idea for ribbon weaving from Susan Niner Janes' book New Ideas in Ribboncraft and then chose different fabrics to make it my own. As is fashionable I up-cycled a blouse that had a wee hole in!

With the remainder of the blouse I am going to make a beautiful evening purse.  Watch this space!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Car Boots & Kitty Cats

Today we did our fifth car boot sale in a concerted effort to lighten our load before packing up to sail across the pond.  It was a beautiful sunny morning and trade was slow but steady.  After lunch we arrived home and totted up the money raised so far.  Lovely Man only bought one item, an Eeyore for Bec.  He came back grinning broadly at his find, I didn't like to tell him he bought her one the same a couple of years ago!  He also managed to seek out a fab camera tripod for me at the bargain price of £2!  Our total so far almost covered one single air fare and we were chuffed to say the least.

Last night however, Ali, pictured above, started retching and coughing.  Nearly an hour later she was still at it and looking quite distressed.  We duly called the duty vet who said she may have something stuck, probably a blade of grass, at the back of the throat/nasal cavity.  We put her in the cat basket and she was worryingly co-operative.  'She must be poorly' said Lovely Man.

So at 10.30 pm, in my truly fetching pink velor pj's, we set off to the vet's surgery.  Ali wailed inconsolably ALL the way there!  Her cries were odd, like she was mewing under water.  Once at said vet she retched violently and deposited one long blade of grass on the floor.  That done she decided she felt much better thank you and perked up.  Lovely Man hung his head and apologized several times for getting the vet out of bed or wherever he was.

After lunch we went to pay the bill.  Lets just say I could have flown half way to Canada on it!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Blue-green purse

Blue-green purse
Originally uploaded by Rona Gregory
I recently came across a book by Clare Youngs on making the perfect handbag. Two days later my mum gave me this piece of fabric which I love. I bought another piece of fabric from a charity shop, which was the perfect color match and weight for the lining, along with an old bag sporting the perfect handles! What else could I do but get started? It proved to be a learning curve however, as I started on one style but then half way through adapted it slightly because I wasn't 100% happy. This is the result. I'm going to give it to mum to say thank you.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

CASS Sculpture Park, Goodwood

Originally uploaded by Rona Gregory
One of the nicest things I can think of is spending some time doing something you enjoy with a good friend. Even nicer is when that friend is a great teacher! Yesterday I had a lovely day with my good friend, artist and photographer, Lorrie Whittington. Patiently she explained apertures, shutter speeds and white balance whilst I fumbled around muttering her instructions to myself so as not to forget them! At the end of the day we were freezing cold, had muddy knees and Lorrie had a rather original hairstyle which, unfortunately was not caught on camera! This is one shot of her in action! Check out some of my other shots on Flickr. Also check out  Lorrie's great shots.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Ketchup & Cake!

Well! What a weekend!  Last night we were taken out to dinner by, we now know, our future son-in-law.  And very nice it was too, both the meal and the fact that he chose to do things the old fashioned way and ask her dad first.  I guess chivalry isn't dead after all.  Lovely Man was delighted and to the dismay of his daughter actually offered the lad a £1 plus an extra 50p if he took me away too!  All joking aside we are both really glad John is going to officially be one of the family, even tho he did blow the Kenwood mixer up!
Today we decided to take a day off from car boot sales where I have been trying to get rid of some of our treasures.  But we got lured into a walk around a local market by said daughter and future son-in-law and ended up buying a lampshade, carpet cleaner and a purple umbrella with diamante studs! 

All was well in our household until I realised it was 3pm and John was due to leave at six to catch a flight back to Scotland to join ship again.  I had promised to make a Great Canadian Heinz Ketchup Cake so I had to work fast.  Lovely Man decided to help... he managed to eject the beaters from the hand mixer (John blew up the Kenwood remember) across the kitchen.  He also managed to get egg shell in the mix along with the egg but we got there in the end!

Thank you to the guys at work for introducing me to the ketchup cake, feel free to click on the link I really don't have the energy to write the recipe out now!  If you make it don't worry it's meant to be VERY red!

To Bec & John congratulations and John keep your chin up mate only a week and you'll be home, miss you heaps.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Indian Summer

Indian Summer
Originally uploaded by Rona Gregory
Recently I purchased a small inexpensive note book from a well known supermarket because I was drawn to colours which reminded me of my holiday in Goa. This, together with a half price offer on felt in my local craft shop, spurred me into making the paisley motif on the right. Then I just got a bit carried away resulting in a set of three. Luckily I had three spare canvas who's sizes lent themselves to the project and this is the result.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Originally uploaded by Rona Gregory
First time mosaic! Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. We needed to block off a window in the front porch but, with the best will in the world, we were never going to match either the render or the colour of the outside wall. So I had to think of a way to do it and this was the result! A rather large house number plaque! Still, if we get a short sighted postman it may come in handy!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Counting down, but a girl's still gotta eat!

Well! We may well have started on the last leg of our journey but I'm sorry we have to draw the line somewhere!  Lovely Man decreed that thou shalt eat up all the things in the store cupboard.  However, it seems that whilst I have cupboards positively brimming with all manner of tins and bottles there was still nothing of any real substance to eat!  So tonight friends I have sinned!  Forgive me but I could not endure another night of baked beans, tinned tomatoes and pilchards! So I took four wee little pieces of Neck of Lamb and pan fried them just to seal the sides.  Then I took half a pack of flaky pastry, rolled it thinly and sprinkled with chopped sage.  Next I lay the lamb on the pastry and wrapped up like a sausage roll.  Baked for 20 mins in the oven and served with veggies and gravy!  MMMmmmmm

Of course had I anything of any use, like redcurrant jelly and port, in the damn cupboard we could have had a lovely Jus instead of Bisto!  But hey ho!