Made from scrap

Made from scrap
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Saturday, 31 March 2012

March 2012 Photograph Collage

 Another great month in Blogland passes by, I have had fun, hope you have too :) 

Porky Pies and The Cornish Pasty

I know this is my second gratuitous 'Pie Post' this week but it is important 'National News' that is worthy of 'Lucy In The Sky' Blogging Attention.  Here is our Prime Minister posing as a hard up Pasty Eater!
With all the Porky Pies he tells he better be careful his pasty doesn't choke him!

It takes a good old 'Pasty Row' to bring the Parliamentary dignitaries to my home town, I don't think they would have been brave enough to go to Cornwall, where Pasties and tourists are the mainstay of the County.  Cornish Pasties have European Union 'Protected Geographical Status'.  They have crucial place in History and Culture.
The Cornish Pasty Association Website  has a great video explaining the Cultural Heritage of this humble 'meal'.

Here is Ed Milliband the Labour Party Leader and Ed Balls (The Shadow Chancellor) Posing outside Greggs the Bakers in my home town this week.
Sometimes I sneak in here for a 'hot' Sausage Roll (but don't tell anyone).  I would have been mortified to be caught on national news, sneaking my unhealthy snack.
This shot is just to prove to my 'Local' Blog Audience  that this was in fact 'our' Greggs '.
I did witness all this kerfuffle as I drove past but I was unaware as to who and what it was, as I was on my way to err. . . . ummm. . . do my bit for the 'Panic Buying Petrol Crisis'.

Strange times we are in indeed.  I am sure at some point today I will be making Pasties and I won't be driving far!  

Friday, 30 March 2012

The Humble Pasty Hits the Headlines - Pie Day Friday

The good old Pasty has hit the headlines this week in the UK.  We have endured our Government budget and one of the changes is from the first of April if you go to a bakery and buy a 'Hot' Pasty it will have a 20% tax increase on its cost.  Fancy that?  The Chancellor defended the decision for shops selling hot food,to be inline with the Tax that 'Take Aways' have to charge the customer.  The suggestion the Chancellor has made for increasingly impoverished Brits is If you can't afford a Hot Pasty buy it Cold for 20% less cost.  Blimey only posh folks can now buy a hot pasty, the rest of us who count the pennies are resigned to the fact our pasties will be cold!  It would be enough to have an old Cornish Tin Miner turn in his grave!  I would not usually comment on religion or politics, I don't vote because the Politicians always get in!  I think this government is stooping very very low indeed though, with speculation and resulting panic about fuel shortages, the 'Royal' Mail making considerable increases to postal costs and now hitting us where it hurts with the 'Humble Pasty'.
I would suggest making your own pasties, this is my recipe Here for the Cornish 'Style' Pasty, You can eat them piping hot to your hearts content, Tax Free!

I also make a mean Vegetable Pasty (Tax Free of course).  Vegetarian Pasty.

I am not afraid to stand up and be counted!
The Chancellor can stick his rotten, stinking, low down 'Pasty Tax' where the sun don't shine.  I will continue to bake my Pasties at home and I won't even complain if they are so hot I burn my tongue in my cheek.  The peasants should be revolting.   Bake Your Pasties at home!  Communities Unite for Pie Day Friday!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Crochet Rock Chicks!

I have been crocheting more Easter Eggs to hide fill my basket.  Then imagine my surprise when I looked more closely and saw I was lucky enough to have a hatchling!
Well, well, well.  I was delighted with this surprise.  Never can have too many chicks.  A little later in the day, I looked again and imagine my astonishment. . .
Rock Chicks!  They are going to fit in just fine in this house.
This little fella is sporting a fine Mohawk;
This little fella is more of a Hippy Chick.
I am secretly hoping for more hatchlings of the cool and groovy kind.

They were great fun to make using the 'Easter Egg Pattern'.  Then before they were stuffed I attached two 6mm 'Toy' eyes.  The beak was a little bit tricky:

The Beak:
I used DK worsted weight Orange yarn and a 1.75 mm hook.
4ch, draw a loop through the second loop from the hook then the 3rd loop from the hook and the 4th loop from the hook, you should have 4 loops on the hook pull yarn through all of the loops and fasten off.  I sewed the end in and firmed up the beaky shape with the stitches.

The Wings:
Pick up 3 double crochet in the position you would like the wing to be in.  In the first DC work 1dc and 1tr, in the 2nd dc work 3 tr, in the 3rd dc work 1tr and 1dc.

The Hair:
I used a fine crochet hook to draw short strands through the head into position and fasten off with a slip stitch.  I snipped to the required length and separated the strands of yarn.
Groovy Chicks

Monday, 26 March 2012

Crochet 'Granny Chic' Chicken - Free Pattern

There is only one thing better than a crochet chicken and that is more crochet chickens.  These are great fun to make for Easter.  

Crochet 'Granny Chic' Chicken

Materials: Scraps of Double knit Yarn in the colours you require for your chicken.  I chose red and brown.
Hook Size:  4mm
6mm Pair Safety Eyes
Abbreviations: UK Terminology
Chain - ch
Double Crochet – dc
Treble Crochet – tr
Treble Cluster – tr cl
Sl – slip stitch

For The Body:
Make 6 CH.  Join in a loop and work CH. 2TR, 1 CH, ‘3TR 1CH’ four times into the loop.   Join the round with a SL ST
Round 2:   Continue for the second round working 3CH 2TR into the CH space below the 3CH, 1CH, TR CL into the CH spaces of the previous round.   (You should have five clusters in total this round).  Join the round with a SL ST
Round 3: As Row 2   
Round 4:  3CH 2TR into the space directly below the three CH 1CH 3TR (2 TR CL in the same space), 1ch 3TR into the next CH space twice, 1CH 3TR 1CH 3TR into the next CH Space.   Join the round with a SL ST.  Fasten off.
For The Head And Beak:

Make two the same:
Make 2 CH, work 8DC into the 2nd CH from the hook.  Join the round with a SL ST.
Round 2:  3CH, work 1TR into each DC, do not join the round and join in red yarn for the beak.  Work 2TR into the same DC as the last ‘brown’ TR.  Fasten off.

For the Tail and the Wings:

The tail and the wings are worked the same.  The tail is worked into the TR stitches of the 3rd TR CL on the 2nd Round of the body.   The wings are worked into the TR stitches of the 3rd and 5th TR CL on Round 1 of the body.
Work as follows:
Into the first TR work 1DC and 1TR, into the 2nd TR work 3TR, into the 3rd TR work 1 TR and 1DC.
Making Up:
Sew in the ends on the body, tail and wings.  Place an eye in the centre of each half of the head.  Pad out the head by stuffing in the ends, align the head and beak and stitch the two halves together.  Sew the head onto the top of the body.
For the Comb:
Using red Yarn for the comb:  Join yarn into the 3rd TR from the beak.  CH3, 2TR, 1DC, work 3TR and 1DC into the 4th TR from the beak, work 3TR and 1 DC into the 5th TR form the Beak.  Fasten off and sew in the ends.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Crochet Easter Eggs and a Crochet 'Little Red Hen'

I have been busy making Crochet Easter Eggs.  They are healthier than Chocolate Eggs right?  I have my self made basket to hide decorate and what better to fill it with?  I have put all of my eggs in one basket and rather pretty they look too.  I was aiming for a dozen.  There is life in the old dog yet and the night is young, I think, this hour forward has thrown me.  I can't work out weather I am going to bed early or late and if I am waking up early or late, it hurts my head to think about it.  I will probably lie awake trying to fathom it all out.  I have plans to have a crowded Easter Basket of Crochet Easter Goodies.  I asked Euan what he thought about my Crochet Egg Creations and he answered immediately and emphatically with one word 'Weird'!  Charming, it is a good job they make me happy.  There are many 'Easter Egg' patterns out there, I did not find any in UK Crochet Terms.  I chose this one, as the pattern is very quick and easy, here is the pattern I used in UK Crochet Terms:  I am hoping to use my eggs for an Easter Egg Hunt and will exchange them for 'Mini Chocolate Eggs', we do get rather swamped with chocolate at Easter.

Crochet Easter Egg Pattern

4mm Crochet Hook
DK Yarn,
I used Stylecraft Special DK (Left overs from my Attic 24 'Lucy Pack' the colours are so cheerful) 
Soft Toy Filling
Stitch Marker 
Darning Needle
Notes: Pattern is worked in the round.   Using a stitch marker will help to keep your place

Ch 2
Rnd 1 – work 8dc in 2nd ch from hk. (8)

Rnd 2 – (dc in next 3, 2dc in next) around. (10)

Rnd 3 – (dc in next 4, dc in next) around. (12)

Rnd 4 – (dc in next 2, 2dc in next) around. (16)

Rnd 5 – (dc in next 3, 2dc in next) around. (20)

Rnd 6 – dc in each st around. (20)

Rnd 7 – (dc in next 4, 2dc in next) around. (24)

Rnd 8 – dc in each st around. (24)

Rnd 9 – (dc in next 10, dc2tog) around. (22)

Rnd 10 – (dc in next 9, dc2tog) around. (20)

Rnd 11 – (dc in next 8, dc2tog) around. (18)

Rnd 12 – (dc in next, dc2tog) around. (12)

Stuff your 'Egg' and squish it into an egg shape.

Rnd 13 – sc2tog around to close the hole at the bottom of the egg. 

I have been hankering after a crochet chicken for ages.   You can never have too many chickens.  I am ridiculously pleased with this little creation:
She is a perfect little Egg Cosy and would also sit nicely over a 'Cream Egg'.  She has a little tail and wings and everything a chicken should have.  Good old Crochet 'Granny' stitch gives her an almost feathery looking texture.  I would like to have three crochet 'Little Red Hens', Poppy, Daisy and Rose.  I will work on writing out the pattern and hopefully the world can be populated with more Crochet Chickens.  Photographing sunbathing chickens (real ones) has proved to be easier said than done, but I won't give up trying.  Every time I go out with the camera they like to sprint towards me and investigate, so I disturb them.  I have high ambition, to crochet more eggs and chickens and to photograph a chicken sunbathing. . . . . I hope you achieve your goals this week too.  XXX

Friday, 23 March 2012

A Little Bit Of This and That

This week I have mostly been working on this.  I have now completed the left front, the right front, the back and half a sleeve.  It is quite a relaxing knit, but now I am on a 'county' bit and 'county' knitting is not too good in a busy household.  Did I say 43 or was that 45, oh it might have been 39!
          I have been a complete crafting butterfly, which is a nice was of saying I have crafting ADHD, I have not stuck to the same thing for very long this week.  I had my first go at a new craft this week, quite late one night I tried 'Needle Felting'.  There are two ways to felt wool, wet felting and needle felting.  Needle felting involves repeatedly jabbing fibre or fleece into a shape or to get the desired effect and the jabbing creates felting.  I have a very sharp three pronged felting needle.  It don't arf wake you up when you miss the fibre and jab your hand!  I woke myself up about three times to create this:
For a first attempt I am full of self congratulation, this flower took about an hour (huh I am a poet and I didn't know it).  When I have enough courage to use the very sharp, three pronged needle again I have made 'note to self':  Do not Needle Felt late at night, to jab a little less enthusiastically and never take my eye of the 'ball' so to speak!
I have also been making these for my poor Old Granny (some of you may remember her).  Warning: These Pictures May Cause Distress  I will rebuild her!
I have also been very bad and could not resist this bargainous 'Aran'.  Elephant Grey and Raspberry Pink work so well together in my opinion.  I know of a couple of 'imminent arrivals' that are due and thought I would work on a couple of Pram blankets.  Is Raspberry Pink and Elephant Grey acceptable if the 'arrivals' are of the male variety do you think?
               We are all set for a sunny weekend here, I will try to take photographs of the Chicken ladies sunbathing, they have been really enjoying sunbathing today.  They lie, spread out in the sun and snooze.  They are certainly not 'bird brains' they seem to have the right idea to me, they say it is a 'Dogs Life' but I think chickens have it pretty well sussed too.   The clocks go forward an hour on Sunday Morning, which leaves me feeling robbed and jet lagged.  On the bright side I break up for a fortnight next week.  Yahoooo!  That reminds me I want to crochet eggs and chicks and chickens and bunnies and all sorts of lovely stuff!  I do hope you all have a lovely weekend.  XXX 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

200 Followers Give Away Winners

On their way to Karen  at Bits and Bobs Zone
On their way to Hazel at Crafty 'n' Clothy
On their way to JamieSamie
Thank you very much to everyone for following and entering the Give Away.  XXX  I have planned another 'Give Away' already for when I reach 100 000 hits!  

Monday, 19 March 2012

To Mom - My Mothers Day Poem Written By My Boys

For Mothers Day my boys worked as a team and co wrote a poem for me:

Dear Mom we love you loads,
Try not to get arrested on the road,
But now in all seriousness
Our love for you is delirious. 
To us you really mean the world 
And we wouldn't have you any different.
It doesn't matter if you lose the plot,
Or that your Stilton and Egg Tarts deserve to be dropped
Because you're our Mom
You have shaped our lives
And never told us any lies.
We love you.

Happy Mothers Day from your Two Favourite Sons.

I will treasure this poem and promise never to make Stilton and Egg tarts ever again!  

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Basketry from 'Wild Wood'

Do you remember I told you I was going to a 'Baskets From Nature's Colourful Materials' workshop, demonstrated by Pat Atkins,  on Friday night.  I went to The Stratford Upon Avon Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers with my Blog Buddy Claire from 'Simply . . . Life' and my Mom.  I am so pleased with how this basket turned out.  The even weave and the even shape.
This is all made with natural materials collected from the hedgerows.
The colours of the different wood, shows through in the even weave.
Ok, ok I am telling you an untruth. . . . my brother bought me this basket about ten years ago, from a group of Travellers.  The wood was still green when he gave it to me and it has lasted over the years and I love it.  I thought I would pop along to guild and within minutes be churning out a basket just like this.  Ahem well the reality was somewhat different to that!  This basketry malarkey aint easy.  It felt like a physical workout to me and let me tell you there was much huffing and puffing from my direction.
I managed to achieve this:
You can call it a basket of sorts, which I am relieved about, because for the first hour I thought I was going to make a large woven platter.
The bases were actually made for us, it was down to us to spoil  make the rest of it.
           First we selected and inserted the 'uprights'.  Much much easier said than done.  This was where the huffing and puffing came in!
Then you needed to weave and twist strips/twigs around the uprights and hug and squeeze your 'basket' in to shape.  More huffing and puffing.
My spatial awareness isn't great and I nearly poked three separate peoples eye out, I nearly poked my own eye out twice and my Mom was very patient with me as I had to keep saying 'oops sorry' as my uprights jabbed her in her arm, back and head numerous times as I tried to get my 'basket' to behave itself.  I admit I prodded her a few times with my uprights on purpose, purely for my own amusement!  I may have been motivated by jealousy as Mom's basket was turning out much better than mine!
I was very disappointed with my photographs they have mostly turned out blurred.  This is Claire's basket.  She seemed to work quickly and quietly without causing too much trouble.
Claire used Willow from her Mom's garden, it looked very pretty.
Collectively the group had some very pleasing results to which my camera/photography skills did not do justice.  I do have ambitions to give this craft another go as I love the rustic looking results.  Collecting the materials was fun too.
               Today is Mother's Day here in the UK.  I appear to have two willing servants for the day.  I have just had a bath run for me.  Then we will have Sunday Lunch.  I am hoping to visit my Mom and take her some small gifts as a gesture to make up for all the trouble I cause her and get her in to during the rest of the year.  We are like Laurel and Hardy:
'Well There Is Another Fine Mess You Have Got Me Into'

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Irish Blessings For You - Happy Saint Patrick's day

  • Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.
  • As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.
  • May your troubles be as few and far apart as my Grandmothers teeth.
  • May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.
  • May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. May the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, May the Lord hold you in the palm of His hand.

  • May you be half an hour in Heaven before the Devil knows you're dead. 
  • May good luck be with you Wherever you go , And your blessing outnumber the shamrocks that grow.
  • May God give you...
    For every storm, a rainbow,
    For every tear, a smile,
    For every care, a promise,
    And a blessing in each trial.
    For every problem life sends,
    A faithful friend to share,
    For every sigh, a sweet song,
    And an answer for each prayer.
  • May there always be work for your hands to do.
    May your purse always hold a coin or two.
    May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
    May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
    May the hand of a friend always be near you.
    May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
  • May neighbours respect you,
    Trouble neglect you,
    The angels protect you,
    And heaven accept you.

  • May you have all the happiness
    and luck that life can hold—
    And at the end of all your rainbows
    may you find a pot of gold.
  • May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten.
  • May your days be many and your troubles be few. May all God's blessings descend upon you. May peace be within you may your heart be strong. May you find what you're seeking wherever you roam.
  • May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
  • May the strength of three be in your journey!

  • May you have warm words on a cold evening,
    a full moon on a dark night,
    and the road downhill all the way to your door.
  • May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty!
  • May you always have walls for the winds,
    a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
    laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
    and all your heart might desire.
  • May you have love that never ends,
    lots of money, and lots of friends.
    Health be yours, whatever you do,
    and may God send many blessings to you!
  • May good luck be your friend in whatever you do, and may trouble always be a stranger to you!

  • These things, I warmly wish for you-
    Someone to love, some work to do,
    A bit of o' sun, a bit o' cheer.
    And a guardian angel always near.
  • Whenever there is happiness
    Hope you'll be there too,
    Wherever there are friendly smiles
    Hope they'll smile on you,
    Whenever there is sunshine,
    Hope it shine especially for you to make each day
    for you as bright as it can be.
  • Lucky stars above you,
    Sunshine on your way,
    Many friends to love you,
    Joy in work and play-
    Laughter to outweigh each care,
    In your heart a song-
    And gladness waiting everywhere
    All your whole life long.
  • May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, may good luck pursue you each morning and night.

    You could try this recipe for Beef Slow Roasted in Guinness perfect for 'Saint Patrick's Day', or you could just be drinking the Guinness.  Cheers.

     'Top of the Morning' to you all :)