About Me

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My name's Alison but for reasons too long to go into I'm known as Cockney Blonde or CB for short. I've been rubber stamping for several years but now spend most of my time either knitting or crocheting. However, with the advent of a New Year I have bitten the bullet and am tackling my usually hated pastime of sewing. I've even bought 'Sewing for Dummies' to guide me on my way. I've been with my hubby Dave for 24 years and between us we have 4 kids and 5 grandkids. We also have 2 cats and a dog, the latter features as my 'photo' image. I used to be able to blog daily but these days I struggle to blog weekly. Hopefully now we are settled into our new home in the country, I can get back to a daily (well almost) update from the room I now have to share with hubby. No more personal crafting space for me!!! Thanks to all the blogs and sites I follow for all your brilliant inspiration, and thank you to everyone who finds the time to comment on my blog.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Blists Hill Museum - Part 3

The final part of my photo extravaganza at Blists Hill, this time of the Furnaces. Above and below, the as was and as is now effects.

I came across this wee cottage a bit further along. The 'owner' was out tending her garden unaware that I was having a giggle at her bloomers...
 Remember the school I showed you yesterday. Well here's a better shot.
 And here is a group of school-children dressed in Victorian attire ready for their lessons. I hope they enjoyed their experience.
That's it folks. I have to say I did struggle with the visit but we made plenty of sitting down stops and took it slowly and I'm glad we went.

Hope you enjoyed it, x

Friday, 30 May 2014

Blists Hill Victorian Museum - Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our Blist Hill visit. The Haberdashery/Millinery was a feast of delight for anyone into fashion, fabrics or even dressmaking. Plenty to see and enthuse over.
 I couldn't help but spot the notice board and loved this advert asking for someone who could manage butter from one cow...
 I also loved the photo of this dear old lady. I hope she wasn't still in service.
Hubby and I took a slow meander around the Victorian funfair and hubby did manage a small win on one of the side shows. A bottle of bubbles for Little Lady.

In the background you can spot the old school house. More of that in my next and final post.

Hope you're managing to last through the photos, x

Thursday, 29 May 2014

One Handle or Two???

Back to crafting and a couple of summer tote bags I wanted to share with you.

I picked up this remnant in Ikea, a bargain at £1.29, and rustled up two tote bags in no time at all. The webbing for the handles was extra, of course, but still a very cheap project.

I thought these would make great beach bags. Just enough for a towel and flip flops, and your costume, of course.
Above is the single handle version, and below the double handle.

Hope you like them, x

Blists Hill Victorian Museum - Part 1

Afternoon Peeps. Here's the next batch of my photos from our short break in Shropshire. This is the Blists Hill Victorian Museum. Well, its actually a Victorian community depicting life in those times. The staff are dressed in costumes from the era and I have to say everyone seemed happy in their work. There was a lot of laughter to be heard.

It looks a little like a ghost town but that was because we got there for when it opened. It wasn't so quiet later on.
Does anyone remember their Mothers' or Grandmothers' having these stoneware jars in their pantry? I can remember the mincemeat one. Does that make me old???
 This was the pharmacy with all the lotions and potions on display.
The lady in the shop explained in days gone by both the dentist (below) and the optician would practice from the pharmacy. Everything contained under one roof.
Click on my photo below to enlarge and see what the postal rates were back then. I bet the service was more efficient too.
Finally, the village bobby was cycling down from the Doctor's house, seen at the top. He begged me to hurry up as he couldn't apply the brakes.......
I hope you've enjoyed this little snapshot into our visit. I'll share some more with you next time, x

Friday, 23 May 2014

More snapshots of Ironbridge

First some views of the river flowing beneath the Ironbridge. This was looking over one side of the bridge and if you zoom in you can see a very industrious lady mowing her lawn.

These next two pictures are looking over the other side. First a glimpse of the village of Ironbridge and secondly, and a bit further down, you can see what looks like a beachy area. We didn't walk down to investigate. That will be a jaunt for another time.
 I couldn't resist taking this photo of the trees. All those different shades of green and in amongst that fabulous red.
 The church nestling above the village.
 And this shop with its oldy woldy chimney. I bet there are stories to tell there.
Finally, a last view of the bridge. This time with a group of schoolchildren peering through the railings.
I hope you've enjoyed sharing our visit. I'll share with you our photos from the Victorian Street another time.

Bye for now, x

Thursday, 22 May 2014

A Trip to Ironbridge

Hubby and I have just returned from a short break in Shropshire, home of the Ironbridge museums. Not wanting to drone on about my health problems, again, but we needed somewhere not too far for me to drive and our hotel in Telford meant that it was only just over an hour away. We stopped for a coffee about half way along and then decided to continue to Ironbridge itself to eat our packed lunch. Above is the view from our picnic bench. I love how the little white cottage peeks through the bridge. There's a closer view at the end.
 Over the other side of the bridge is the original tollhouse.
Below, the table of tolls. We had great fun reading this....especially the rates for a calf, pig, sheep or lamb. Its hard to imagine that this is what really happened all those years ago.
 Here's the closer view of the pretty little cottage.
And here is a picture from the tollhouse side of the bridge from a photo in the pub where we had to go for some liquid refreshment.
Just a little snapshot of our trip but I have more to share with you, although they can wait for another time.

Back soon, x

Some Paper-Crafting at last

At long last I was able to make it along to our monthly Rubber Stamping Group, Victoria Stampers, at the beginning of the month. Although I have to confess that I didn't take any equipment with me to do any crafting. I just felt that, due to my current health problems, I didn't have the energy for crafting as I knew the drive over would take it out of me, and all I wanted to do was catch up with my crafting buddies.

However, those crafting buddies had other ideas and the little group I sat amongst forced persuaded me to get down and craft.

We were making a wall hanging under the expert tuition of Lorraine Crosby which involved a lot of mess, inks, paints, sprays and a gunky concoction involving talc and PVA glue. Basically a lot of fun.

The top picture is the finished hanging with the bottom two being close ups of the top half and bottom half.
We'd used die-cuts and stencils during the process and I wasn't happy with my finished hanging as of the time of leaving the workshop. I felt it was TOO pink without enough shade and that my die-cuts didn't stand out. So when I got home I messed about with 'rub-ons' in various colours of grey/silver, blue and green,  oh and a touch of red.
The final touch was to add some embellishments and voila. I didn't get round to any stamping but I'm happy with what I've done and am now going to look for a frame so that it doesn't spoil.

I hope you like it.

Next up.......a short trip to Ironbridge, x

Friday, 16 May 2014

Owl be hanging around

See what you can make when using up scraps of wool. I'm on a mission to deplete my stash of yarn and fabric, although I did take a quick trip to Black Sheep Wools and buy a little more. My excuse is that it is for specific projects and Christmas presents.

I downloaded this pattern and I must apologise that I can't reference it to the clever person who devised it as I can't find the details. So if anyone knows who came up with this pattern please let me know. It is so so simple to make. A basic crochet circle with a little extra to form the head.
Make two the same (back and front), add some eyes, ear tufts and wings and voila. I actually crochet the eyes rather than use felt but either is good. I also embroidered the blacks of the eyes (and beak) but again you could use buttons.

Then before you finish sewing it together add some stuffing and you have one tubby little owl.

Cute or what?

Hope you've been able to enjoy the lovely weather today and have a good weekend, x

Add - thanks to Maria who pointed out it was Jacquie at Bunnymummy's blog that provided the pattern for the owl

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Owl be stopping you.....and putting the Boot in

Afternoon Peeps, hope you're all having a good weekend. Weather's been blooming awful here today. We have had the occasional short spells of gorgeous sunshine but mainly torrential downpours.

I wanted to share a couple of novelty doorstops I've made this week. First of all Mr Owl, crocheted and then weighted with playsand. I decided to crochet his eyes rather than use felt, and then added buttons to finish. That was a fiasco, as I could only find two matching buttons in the size I wanted and promptly dropped one, never to be found again.....until this morning!!! So I had to buy another pack of buttons just for him. No doubt I will use the rest.
This second one was inspired by an Alan Dart pattern for the Old Lady who lived in a shoe who had so many children...... I decided to just make the shoe/boot and again weighted it with playsand. Thought they were a little different. Will see if there is any interest next time I do a craft fair.
Enjoy what's left of your weekend, x

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

What has red legs and makes loads of noise at 4.30am???

 Well this little fella of course, strutting his stuff on our front path. Its a red legged partridge.
The photos aren't the best as I was trying to hang out of the window - at 4.30am!!! - without scaring him/her off. He was making a heck of a racket strutting around my son's car. So much so we though he must be lost or off course.
However I've since learned that our neighbours have seen him/her several times since, so he's obviously a local.
Fabulous sight so he's forgiven for making the din.

Hope you've enjoyed the change from the normal crafting photos, x

Monday, 5 May 2014

Two Little Birdies

 Two more little birdies to share with you today. These were made as belated birthday gifts for two of my fab crafting pals.
Unfortunately, they turned out a little smaller and therefore more fiddly than my previous efforts as I cut out the fabric on the drawing line instead of using that as my stitching line.

The final result was the same albeit for a few choice words.

Hope you're all enjoying the extended weekend here in the UK, x