Kate's adventures

Friday, March 22, 2019

Rocking Your World 2019; Week 12

My how time flies. Here we are at Friday again; the end of another quiet week for me. I have been unable to shake off this virus that has plagued me for three weeks now, so I decided to take a week out from everything, and consequently I have hardly left the house, until I went out for some much needed supplies this morning. The gorgeous weather we have enjoyed for most of February and the start of March, took a downward turn this week, but to be fair, it has remained comfortably warm, and quite sunny for part of each day. The clouds were very black on Wednesday and yesterday, but the promised rain didn't come, so I was forced to get out the hose and water my dry pots.

The upside of a week at home is that some odd chores got done including fitting a new light in the hall. A good while ago I bought a fancy light bulb which has hung from the ceiling in the hall, but although it is very pretty when it is on, it looked a bit 'odd' in daylight hours, and it did not afford sufficient light at night. It was hanging from a very old fitting from a previous owner of the house, so we bought a new fitting and an open woven bamboo shade. It proved quite tricky to get it wired in but Chris managed it while I just held the ladder steady and handed the tools to him. Now we have a very brightly lit hall. I like the patterns the shade casts on the ceiling.

Unwilling to give up on my fancy bulb, I chose a small table lamp stand to put it on, and it now sits on the table in the hall, just outside the sitting room door, where it seems to give much more light, and it looks so pretty too.

My main task this week was to finish sorting out my craft room. Had I been in a better place, this would have been done in a week. As it is, I managed to do a little bit more each day, and now it is almost finished. Some people have asked to see it, but I couldn't get a picture of the whole room, so here it is in each of the four corners. First of all, my computer corner, where  I can sit by an open sunny window for most of the year, though mid-summer it is too hot and I need to let down the blinds. My two stacked printers are to the left, and of course, to my right is the resident fur baby, Arwen, who happily lays there for most of the day. By my reckoning she is at least 12 now, so she deserves a bit of peace.
My office chair is on casters so I can roll between it and my work desk on the opposite side. This is now much clearer so I have some space to craft again. The big pile in the left hand corner is still to be sorted out, so there will be even more space then.

Alongside my computer and printers I have my new tower of large boxes and a double unit of mixed boxes, now in a sensible order and all clearly labelled. I have an uplighter here, and the socket for my fire in winter and fan in summer. It is still the fire right now though I haven't used it for some time. On the gap at the end there is an untidy stack of zip up folders holding all my cutting dies. These will have a new home very soon.

And then on the last side, going on from my work desk, there is the other new tower of mixed boxes, and then two stacked book shelves. Again the boxes are all labelled so I should be able to find anything when I want it now. The boxes nearest to my desk hold all the things I use most often. All the ring-binders on the lower two shelves of the bookcase, hold rubber stamps, removed from their wood blocks, and mounted on EZ-Mount foam, and stored on laminated card, mostly catalogued by company and name. As with most things, fashions in stamping have changed, and many of these stamps haven't been used for a long time, so one day they too will be sorted out, and many will be weeded out and passed on or discarded, but for now, they can stay.
It was almost impossible to take a photo of the whole room, but sitting on the surface that runs under the window, between the computer and work desks, I took this one, which clearly shows that the far end of the room is a fitted wardrobe, which does still contain many of my clothes, along with Arwen's food, a ream of oversized A3+ paper, and a drawer for my rolls of vinyl!!  But it does also show that there is now a fair area of empty floor space. This is where a filing cabinet used to stand at right angles to the wall, effectively creating a very dark corner space, and making the other end very cramped. So it is all a huge improvement.
The only thing left to do now, is find a suitable time to drive over to IKEA where they sell a very tall, 12" square shelf unit, which will perfectly fit behind the door, (where there is a tatty old four box plastic unit now), which will hold those folders of cutting dies, and my stacks of A4 coloured card which are still in the garage. So now I need to make good use of it all and get crafting!

I haven't even ventured out of the house into the garden much this week, except to feed the dogs, but when I went out to do the watering, I was very pleased to see that our little mandarin tree has lots of blossom on it. It only has rather weak and spindly branches, but almost all are covered in white buds. Unfortunately this doesn't mean it will have lots of fruit on, as many will be blown away in the April/May winds, but it is now right outside the kitchen door so I will not forget to water and feed it. I'd love to see it come good as we have had it for three years now, and so far there has been no fruit from it at all.
On the other hand, our lemon tree gave us a bumper crop this year so I half expected it to rest this year, but it also has plenty of blossom on it.
The buds on this one tend to be purple, and you don't always notice them. It is quite usual to see blossom and new fruit forming on the same branch as much more mature fruit. 
Out at the front of the house I was also surprised to see a lenten lily in flower. It only seems like a few days ago that I was bemoaning to Chris that it had no buds again this year. I guess some people would say it is an Easter lily, but if it flowers at all, it flowers before Easter. It is probably a bit pot bound so I need to move it on when the flower is gone.
Around it my lovely blue squill are again in flower. I think this is so pretty. It doesn't last for long, but it is such a beautiful deep blue. I know it is a squill but can't get any closer to deciding whether it is the Peruvian or Sicilian variety. They are also known as Scillas and are part of the Asparagus family. That which we call a rose etc... I shall just enjoy it while it lasts.

I had a surprise yesterday. A full five weeks since it was dispatched, my wool order turned up! It was a bit difficult as I had accepted a refund for it by then, (and spent the money on my new speaker!), but it is easier to keep it than try and send it back to UK, so I have agreed to pay for it on pension day. As it happens I had ordered a new brand of yarn, really for my current project, that had been highly recommended and came out well in a comparison review with other similar brands, but I didn't actually like it when it came. At least, I liked it, but not for that project. But I always have a few things on the go, and I am sure I will find a better use for it. In fact I have something in mind already!

I apologise for not visiting everyone last week. This virus has turned my brain to cotton wool, and I spent very little time sitting at the computer. I have done all sorts of silly things from putting milk in the teapot, to calling the dogs round for their breakfast without remembering to let them out from their sleeping area that morning. And today I got to the supermarket, a 20 minute drive down the motorway, only to find I had left my bag, purse, cards etc on the hall table! It is a good thing I can laugh at myself isn't it? But it is a long time since I missed two consecutive weeks of church, and I don't intend to miss a third this Sunday, so I have one more day to get back on track. And I will make sure I also spend time visiting each of you my blog land friends.
So now I will link up with Rocking Your World on Virginia's blog, and Annie's Friday Smiles, and go and see who else has some positives to share this week.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Rocking Your World 2019; Week 11


Well already another week has gone and soon we will be a quarter of the way though the year. It has been a quiet week for me as I am still struggling with a wretched cough and now a sore throat as well, so I haven't wanted to do too much, but I did venture out with Chris for a hour on Saturday afternoon as it was the village carnival. This is a simple affair, and this year there were very few floats, but still plenty of folk put on their fancy costumes and joined the parade around the village. There is always a lovely happy atmosphere at this event, and lots of people turned out to see them set off from the plaza. They were led by the village band all dressed up for the occasion.
I will just show a random selection of the photos I have - some are mine and some taken from the 'official' ones posted by the Town Hall.
It is a real family affair and lots of parents dress up themselves and put their little ones in matching outfits.


In this one, my friend's baby had her first experience of carnival.
Here are some of the 'stranger' visions I saw.


As the procession passed by us, a friend stopped to pose for a photo.
Some esteemed gentlemen from our community who always go the extra mile to wear outrageous costumes. They enjoy themselves as much as the children do and you can't help smiling at them.

As for the rest of the week, well, my son had been away for the weekend and was very surprised to get a message from him Sunday night to say he found my parcel waiting for him when he got home! I only posted it on Thursday, so it must have sprouted wings!! He loves his new blanket and it is now adorning the back of a very dark settee which shows if off very well. It is where I had envisioned it going.
Yesterday my sister sent a message to say my other parcel has arrived. That was the heavy one that I sent by courier, so a week was pretty good for that too.
Unfortunately I was not so lucky with my wool order, which never did turn up. On Tuesday it was the required twenty-one days since dispatch, so I contacted the company again, and they immediately offered me a replacement order or a refund. As I had by then bought the yarn from elsewhere, I asked for a refund, and it was back in my account the same day. So I used the money to send for a blue-tooth speaker, primarily to use with my computer. I had a  pair of old, slightly scratchy, plug in speakers which weren't very satisfactory, so I had thrown them away. Then I bought a blue-tooth plug-in so I could use my little, fairly standard speaker which refused to cooperate with the sound card in my computer, and I ended up using my good head-phones instead. They were fine for listening to specific tracks etc, but not practical for full time use. Two years ago I bought a very good bluetooth speaker for Chris for Christmas, and that worked fine with my computer, so I decided to buy one the same, only as his is black, I chose a royal blue one so they don't get mixed up. I am very pleased with it. Now I can listen to music while I work, and talk on video calls to the family without using headphones.
Very, very slowly my craft room is getting sorted out. I haven't felt up to doing much, so I have just done one box at a time. I had lifted a big box out of the shelf unit to sort my ribbons into, and when I turned round, Arwen was in the gap, blinking owlishly at me, and looking very at home. I gave in and let her stay there and she was still in there the next morning, but I have claimed the space back for my box now.

Because my room is such a mess I have not been able to do much crafting, but I really wanted to make something yesterday so I looked out this file I bought from the Silhouette store a while ago. With St.Patrick's Day looming I thought it was a fitting project. I used a sheet of digi scrapbook paper and altered it to become rectangular instead of square, and printed it out to fit a new frame I had spotted in one of the cupboards I was sorting out. Then I played around with the tree and script, changing one word, and choosing three different colours of vinyl to cut it out on my Silhouette Cameo. The main image of the tree and some of the words are a darkish green, but not as dark as they look in the photo. The 'significant' words I cut from metallic green, and the rest from very dark brown. I may have to do it again one day as one line of writing should have been a little higher, and it annoys me that I did that, but for now I am quite happy with it.
Hopefully my room will be sorted by next week so I will have space to make other things.
In the meantime I will link up with Rocking Your World, and Annie's Friday Smiles, and then go to feed my zoo.