Sunday 30 July 2023

Bras and Weddings

I've tried to keep the momentum going (I am aware of how stupid that sounds).

I managed to fix a second made to measure bra!  This time it was the eyes that needed fixing, and it was trickier than I anticipated (no surprise there)

Initially, I tried to reuse the original eye  piece. The metal parts weren't damaged,  the fabric whole section was tearing  away from the bra.   The original eye piece was too narrow for the fabric of the bra, and that is why it had torn. 

I carefully unpicked,  and I just could not get it back together.  I looked through my BBB (bra bits bag), and found a few eye pieces that were the correct size.  None were black though,  and all actually had their hook counterparts, so it seemed a shame to use them.   I'd recently purchased some spare hook and eye bits,  so I found those (eventually). and I actually had one the right width in black.  It was a little shorter than the original, but that shouldn't be a problem as I was wearing the bra on hook 2 anyway.

It was easier attaching the eye piece than it had been attaching the hook piece to the other bra.  I'm happy that the bra has been saved.  I've ordered some more of the bra fixings from a haberdashery website that is closing down,  I can see these being useful in future.

In other creative news,  I also made a card to celebrate a wedding.

A couple of weeks ago,  I combined 2 different designs (which is more faffy than it sounds), and added the name.  I had got as far as loading the design on to the embroidery machine.      I finally got round to stitching it out yesterday, and it came out really well. 

The appliqué part was a bit of a faff, and I wondered if I should have just chosen the satin fill stitch version instead.  But  the choice of fabric added a completely personal touch, and , and the fabric gave me the inspiration for the colour scheme of the lettering.

I hope the recipients like it.


Thursday 27 July 2023

Small wins.

I did some embroidery to make a condolences card for the widow of a builder (bricklayer originally)  friend.  

I also sewed something else, buggered if I can remember now, which is really annoying. 

And today, I managed to repair one of my made to measure bras!

These feel like fairly significant achievements, for different reasons.

The embroidery one was great, because everything worked well.  I also did some work prepping another couple of pieces, but I haven't stitched those out.   I attempted to buy a new embroidery machine,  but was too late.  It did help me sort our what I'm going to do (currently, anyway),  and I feel happy with my decision (currently anyway).   

If When I get my replacement machine, it will use a different format to the one I currently use, which is an unimaginable exercise in redownloading (or extracting) all the designs I own, in the new format.   And, everything will need to be recatalogued, again.   I did this once before when I switched from my lovely Janome single needle to the Brother 6 needle, so I am well aware of just how much effort it will be.

I've actually made a start already,  and I'm working through downloading (or extracting) the new format for the designs I own.  This is tedious work, time consuming, but at least will mean I can start cataloguing when I'm ready.   If I don't  get the machine I'm interested in, well, I've just wasted some time. It's not the end of the world.   If When  I do, I will be happy that all the grunt work is done.

Going through the designs, redownloading them,  makes me see all soiorts of designs I haven't thought about for years, and I've really quite enjoyed seeing what I own.

On the sewing front, I started by cutting up some old bras to "harvest" the hardware.  Today, I decided to do the repair on one of my bras, it was "just" a case of replacing the hooks.   I looked carefully at how they were fixed, and I went through my harvested goods to find one of a similar colour and size.  

 I then went to the trouble and care of unpicking the donor one. I was amazed that I'd managed to salvage it in really good shape,

Then I unpicked the existing one, which also went well.  And then came time to sew it on.  I googled  and found a tutorial which explained how to put these on, and it suggested a zigzag stitch (very short, very narrow).  The donor bra had been zigzagged, so that seemed the right thing to do. 

It was much more tricky than I expected, because the hooks got in the way of the presser foot.  I tried several feet, even my straight stitch leg, foot and plate, and it was just a mess.  Either the foot wasin the way, or the feed dogs wouldn't work, or blah blah blah.

I was amazed at my patience.   I think I managed to be patient because the problems were not of my making, and each of my decisions and attempts were done on sound principles. 

In the end I decided I'd just use a straight stitch, with a very short length,  and that worked really well.  The end result is a bit of a mess because of the earlier issues, but it's still wearable.  And I'll know better what to do when it comes to repairing the next one (which I am currently wearing).

I'm not posting a pic, because it'll look frightful in closeup. 

I'm hoping that a surge (serge, ha ha)  of sewing enthusiasm will overtake me soon, as my list of things to make is getting ever longer.

Sunday 23 July 2023


For some reason I decided that I needed to sort out Myshed today.

It's still called Myshed (although of course my husband says "Yourshed") even though we only have one actual shed now.    DH's shed (or n"Yourshed" as I called it, and "Myshed" as he  called it)  was removed and disposed of long ago.

Myshed became a bit of a dumping ground when we were redoing the chicken run.   The spare run and catio were dumped in there,  along with goodness knows what else.   I'd been selling off stuff, like the nestboxes, and a load of electric netting.

I wanted to get out a dog vrate, to erect a temporary hen house in the kitchen.  Elizabeth is limping, and I want to be ready to bring her in if it looks liek she's not resting it properly.

It was a PITA trying to reach the dog crates.  When I did get to them, I found we had four of them in different sizes.  I managed to extract the one I wanted,  and then I decided I'd have to sort things out.

Several hours of sweaty labour later,  and Myshed looks much better inside.  I even emptied the metal feed bin and scooped up all the spilled feed for the bin. (I've just remembered I left it in a tub on top, so I must go and get it in a moment, otherwise there will be trouble).

I've put some stuff in the bin.  I've put some items in the pile for the Tip;   I've put the Ikea bags we use for logs in the trailer in the car tent;  I've neatly stacked all the run bits, behind the feed bin.;  I sorted the netting so that each bundle stands in its own bin (netting is a nightmare to handle!  and I may need to try and sew some sort of bag to stand each lot in, to prevent the stakes getting intertwangled).

I've brought a load of things into the house to photograph to offer for free or take to the charity shop.   I've bought in one of the 4 dog crates to try and sell.  I need to get that done before the last vestiges of enthusiasm finally leave me.

I've made a pile of crates that DH needs to go through, as it's stuff that I don't feel able to make a decision about. 


Tuesday 18 July 2023


They say things come along in 3s. 


In the last couple of weeks.....

  1. The person who was going to buy coop and run, for whom I had kept said items for 5 weeks, was themselves let down and couldn't collect
  2. DH melted the drawer front of the air fryer
  3. The air fryer manufacturer had none in stock (but have since had stock come in. After I bought a replacement air fryer)
  4. The sky box broke, losing our recordings and our settings  
  5. Leak under the sink. obviously been going for a while, only found because I was querying water bill
  6. Orla, my lovely GT Jubilee organ, has gone kaput
  7. Roberto, the Roomba, has decided to hand in his notice.
  8. I'm having a skin reaction to the full face cpap mask
  9. My back pain has resumed, and my back has become locked
  10. The blade on my hand blender broke

 First word problems, I know. 

But it is a bit trying. 

I will look at this differently, and I will feel better.  So, here are the pros to those problems.

  1. The person who was going to buy coop and run, for whom I had kept said items for 5 weeks, was themselves let down and couldn't collect
    After a concerted effort,  I was able to help the two bits separately.   I helped 2 people instead of just 1.  And I made a donation to a Hen rescue charity with some of the proceeds.  And I met some lovely people.
  2. DH melted the drawer front of the air fryer
    At least it was only the drawer, and a replacement was available eventually
  3. The air fryer manufacturer had none in stock (but have since had stock come in. After I bought a replacement air fryer)
    I now have 2 air fryers with multiple capabilities, and the new one has a big drawer which can be divided
  4. The sky box broke, losing our recordings and our settings 
    New box didn't cost us anything.  I took the opportunity to reorganise the favourites.  Some of the stuff we had on there had been on there for years.
  5. Leak under the sink. obviously been going for a while, only found because I was querying water bill
    I'm struggling to find a pro for this. At least I found the leak now.
  6. Orla, my lovely GT Jubilee organ, has gone kaput. The company no loonger exists. Engineers are hard to find (the one I did find said it was likely irreparable, no replacement parts)
    I found the company that was the last to support Orla before they closed.  They sent me the name of my nearest engineer.    He was fantastic.    He helped me resuscitate Orla remotely. 
    Losing her, and getting her back,  reminded me why I love her.     I had realised that I would spend my savings buying a replacement, if I could find the  right model.
  7. Roberto, the Roomba, has decided to hand in his notice.
    Hopefully he will be under warranty. And, if so, at least it happened while he was under warranty
  8. I'm having a skin reaction to the full face cpap mask
    I can still wear my nasal one.    It's made me understand what some other people go through.
  9. My back pain has resumed, and my back has become locked
    I'm struggling to find a pro for this. Maybe - it's reminded me that I really do need that referral when it finally comes through.

  10. The blade on my hand blender broke
    Spares are easily available.   It was cheaper than buying a replacement (used) one
I guess I do feel a bit better.

Friday 14 July 2023


Not my best week.  Something is not quite right.

I'm struggling to do Sudoku Killer puzzles, and yesterday I struggled a bit to get started with the Codeword puzzle.      My brain is a it foggy, and I' not sure why this would be.

The CPAP is working well.   I'm waking up quite a lot, and I think that's from the back pain rather than apnoea.  

Last night I fell asleep n the sofa at about 10pm, and went to bed just before midnight.  This morning, I woke up feeling like I had been out through a wringer.   I realised I'd forgotton to put on my sleeping bra (a "must" since I started being forced to sleep on my side), AND I hadn't put my Wellue ring on.   At least I had put on my NightShift device, so I hadn't slept on my back,  and I did wear my CPAP.

This morning, I had a headache on top of everything else.  I weighed myself, and I've not put any more since last time,  but I'm at my heaviest ever weight (which I think is something to do with the CPAP).  My back and neck are tired/fatigued.

I didn't feel flu-ey, but "Covid" popped into my head.   I did a test, just in case, but it was negative.

 Maybe I need a precautionary visit to the Physio to try and improve things?  She;s full today. She has spaces tomorrow, but they coincide with the time the buyer is coming to collect the Cube.  The next appointments are Tuesday, so I might book one of those instead.

In other news,  we failed to go for a walk on Monday and Tuesday.  I booked a chimney sweep and a stove service.   Wednesday was Pilates, which was hard work but felt good.    We did a longer walk yesterday,  only a little over 2 miles, but it was good to do it.   Today its raining, so we decided not to walk (wimps!).

I'm going to buy a pattern for a shirred sundress today.  I found an online free "pattern" for making a quick tubular dress, and I was tempted to try it. I still might  but the skirt on it would be enormous.    One of the online Indies that I've had some success with has a pattern, and I've been waiting for a few weeks to see if it comes up as their Friday Feature.   It hasn't so far, and I'm getting fed up of looking at the fabric on the dining room table, so I'll press the buy button today. Probably. Maybe.

The Macrame kit I bought at our local carnival is still sitting on the table, and everytime I look at it I think "Yes,  I do want to make a plant hanger, but not today".    It's going to go and live in the sewing room,  where it will probably stay until I get a moment of inspiration. Or until hell freezes over, whichever is sooner.

 I saw some fabric that I think my BFF Y would like, and I've ordered a tonne of it to be delivered. It's brushed cotton, and   I was thinking I might make her a dressing gown.    It was being sold at a bargain price, and I had to buy a lot of it because she's very tall and the fabric wasn't particularly wide.   It seemed like a good idea at the time,.

We had a leak under the kitchen sink.    I found it because I was trying to read the meter following an unexpectedly large water bill.   I don't think the leak is the cause of the water bill,   it's too slow for  that.

The leak has come from the joint where the hose to the spray is attached.   I suggested to DH that we take the hose out, as I hadnow put a spray thing on our tap.  It's really ugly, ruins the line of our beautiful tap, but it works really really well.    He stopped the leak, and is waiting for a bit to arrive so he can block off the junction. 

The cupboard is drying out.  Luckily, some months ago now I reorganised it and put storage things in there, so whipping out loads of contents was quick and painless (unlike the process for DH of lying in the cupboard trying to fix things)  and it's not too much of a hardship having them on the kitchen floor.    I';; give the contents a once over to check that everything is still needed.

I'm also going to put a sensor light in the cupboard because I need to photograph the meter more often.   We've put a meter on the outside tap, and I want to photograph both fairly frequently, so I can get an idea of how much of our useage is in the garden (and therefore does not go through the waste water system).#


The new hens are doing quite well, and mostly there's not too much trouble.  A couple of the older girls, particularly Elizabeth and Fay, are being really nasty,  but the rest are not going outof their ways to pick on the newbies.   I've started to leave the top half of the dividing door  open at night.  I'm not ready to leave the whole thing open yet.

I suspect that the palamino Vorwerk, Ophelia,  might be blind in at least one eye.    Her behaviour is very strange sometimes, and she really seems to struggle to get treats.  I need to try and spend some time with her, but she just doesn not want to be handled at all.

Olga (Olly), the older of the two Araucana, is such a sweetie.  She's learned that jumping up on something gets her a treat . I don't even have to say "Up, Up" now, she just does it.     She's doing really well.

Odette (Odie), the other Araucana, does not want to be hand tamed, and refuses to understand "up, up", even when she sees her sister doing it and getting rewarded.  I wish Miss Teen was still the old (bu which I mean younger) Miss Teen,  as she would have leapt at the chance of soending some time hand taming a hen. 

The Oldies are doing OK.  Fleur has slowed down a lot.  I've singled out our most ancient hen, Poppy ,  for extra treats, especially fruit from the tayberry and jostaberry bushes.  I also make sure I  hand feed her some peas, and the sunflower seeds in the evening.  


The Mrs Balbir Singh spices have been a revelation.  I've got the Butter Chicken spice mix out today, and it will be interesting to try this and compare it to the Butter Chicken Lady's recipe.    I won't use chicken of course, it'll be pork.   I think it might be the last pack of diced pork I have in the freezer.  I need to check the chest freezer in the summerhouse to see if I have anything else out there.

I haven't made the Byryani, and I'm not sure that I will.    Everything else has been somewhere on the scale of "good" to "sublime".    I've had to start buying jars of garlic paste and ginger paste,  as I use so much of it.  I know it's lazy,  but I really don't care.


Well, I think I've probably procrastinated enough.   I need to go and buy that pattern.  Maybe.

Saturday 8 July 2023

Disk error

Our sky box decided to stop working, a disk error.

We followed the steps to see if it would magically recover, but no luck.

All our recordings are lost,  as are our Favourite Channels,   and our recording schedule (including auto links to new seasons of previously recorded programmes).

The solution was to order a new box from Sky.  To their credit, it arrived the next day and the courier collected the old one at the same time.

Fortunately, while googling for the problem,   I saw reminders to remove our viewing card before returning the old box.  I couldn't get it out.  I tried pushing it in to get it to release, it was stuck solid.  DH tried gently moving it out with a pair of pliers. Nope.  He then used the pliers to push it in a bit, and that did the trick.

The loss included some very old programmes (no longer available anywhere),  and also the remainder of  7 seasons of a US show we were working our way through. We had just started season 5,  and this is no longer available to download.  We can buy access to it from Amazon,   or we can sign up to Disney+,  or we can wait until the series comes around again on TV. We'll probably take the last option, as we don't want to throw any more money at watching TV.

Luckily, in the last couple of weeks we had reached the final episodes of the current seasons of 4 of the series that we watch, so we didn't have to find those.

After the new box was connected, I set up and organised the favourites, which wasn't difficult (we could still see them before we disconnected the box, so I took photos).  On the plus side,    I've organised them a bit better this time round (especially the +1 channels).

We then spent a painful hour or so trying to reconstruct other bits of the recording schedule.  We don't watch anything live, we always record and watch later so we can speed through the adverts.   We are so used to relying on the recordings that we didn't know what channel different programmes were on! 

Still, it's only TV.

Saturday 1 July 2023

Let Down

Seven weeks ago, I sold my Walk In Run.   The buyer lives several hundred miles away, but would be  visiting a town near me this weekend and would I hold it for them.  She also bought a coop I was selling.  

I checked up with her in the intervening weeks, she explained why she was visiting the area (a show was on),  and all was well.

I checked with her a week or so ago, and all was well.

She messaged me today to say she had been let down by friends and was unable to come.   She was very out of pocket herself, what with show fees and van hire having been paid.

I felt for her.

Not quite as much as I felt for myself,  truth be told.  No point being upset with her,  these things happen.  I've just got to psyche myself up to go through all the advertising again.