Sunday, 27 April 2014

Crafty Thriftiness,Organisation & Buttons

I was very lucky recently to be given four large, very old tins of buttons. Unfortunately they had been left in a garage for a number of decades and some of them sadly had deteriorated beyond use.

But with careful sifting, cleaning and polishing I saved a good deal of them. A lot are made from early plastics, some from glass and a few from jet. There are of course some bog standard ones but they will get used at some point. As will all of them, hopefully at one or more of my future workshops.

Silly to get excited about old buttons I know but it does it for me. I took great pleasure in colour matching them and putting them into sparkly clean Bonne Maman jars. I even managed to print off some free button jar labels to complete the job.

Here they are in their finished receptacles looking splendid and begging to be used.

Hello and welcome to the woolly dog blog who has joined my albeit small 'community' of followers.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014


I'm super chuffed to welcome some new followers to my blog and (goes without saying really), also welcome those of you that drop by on a regular basis.

The purpose of my blog so far has been to connect with like minded people to share thoughts, exchange ideas and information. And have some fun obvs.

Now I am starting my craft workshops (if they get enough support), I will also use it to let people know about the finer details of the classes.

By clicking on the image of the gorgeous crochet blanket on the sidebar you will be immediately transported to another page which has all the information about the first workshops being held this Summer.

I hope they are successful so I can build on them and offer a wider choice of classes. I'm also hoping that I might really get to meet some of the talented people I have 'met' through the web.

For those of you that peek into my world from afar, and there are quite a lot of you, that of course may not be possible. But perhaps I could encourage you to join my Google Friend Connect thingamajig, then I can at least pop over to your blogs or if you don't have one then I can at least put a face to a visitor.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Victoria Coren Mitchell is the Champion

I have been following Victoria's progress on Twitter this last week as she smashed her way through to the finals of the European Poker Tour championship.

I'm super pleased and not a little excited to say that she has won it.

The first person ever to win the title twice, winning 476,100 euros in the process and beating 556 men to boot.

Representing Britain sitting at the gambling tables with her little cardi on and her handbag at her side she wiped the floor with the opposition, in a very sweet non-aggressive but total concentrating sort of way.

I adore this woman, so bright, clever and NICE with it.

She's on the tellybox tonight presenting Only Connect, BBC4 at 8.30pm. I'll be watching her.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Some things that are making my Spring spring

Nike X Liberty trainers. These are at the top of my wish list. Featuring archival Liberty designs.


Jane's version
My version
Some Easter Chuckles.

"Behind You"

Click on image for details

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Knitted Penguins & Other Delights

While I'm on the subject of things that I loved but couldn't quite pinpoint.


I was starting to think I had imagined this little show. All enquiries to friends and other folk met with a blank stare and something along the lines of "knitted penguins"? "Ice cream growing on trees"?

But at last I have found evidence of the little creatures on You Tube and at the same time probably discovered where I first learnt of the delights of the countryside.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Noosha Fox

I should listen to the wireless more than I do. After all I did buy a wonderful 1950s radiogram for that very purpose, that and to listen to my Long Players. You know the ones I collected for years, then gave away because I didn't have a record player and am now buying again. Oops, that's such a bad thing for a super scrimper to admit.

The old songs sound the best reverberating through the gold mesh fabric. The slight musical distortion and the low constant buzzing in the background is how I first heard rock n roll. The sounds of my childhood as played by my two eldest brothers.

The Mr & Miss of radio 2, Desmond Carrington and Liza Tarbuck are my favourite broadcasters. I couldn't be happier with their respective play lists, Desmond's reminiscences and Liza's banter. If you never listen in, I urge you to do so. I promise you will feel very cheery afterwards.

The Saturday before last Miss Tarbuck played a song by a group who I have been struggling for a while to recall. Couldn't quite remember the name of the group or lead singer although I knew she had a very particular sound and a fabulous Biba look. I couldn't think of the name of any of their songs either. I know what you're thinking, but honestly I haven't heard a peep from this group since 1975. I'm not that dotty yet.

There I was in the kitchen preparing dinner when I heard the first chord - I recognised it at once. I shouted to the Mister, he thought I had cut myself or something worse. This was it.

And today Postie brought me my very own copy of their 1975 album, Fox.

Does anyone else remember them?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Iceland's Landscape and Weather

I have to admit the Icelandic landscape and weather quite often merged into one big pool of grey. Yet in a strange way I enjoyed that. The same way I enjoy going to places like Dungeness. The stark difference is enjoyable........ for a while.

We did have some sunny weather, the day we visited Laugardalslaug, the local thermal pools was very bright and FRESH especially between the hot pools.

When we rode the Icelandic pony trail through the volcano and glacier-shaped landscape the wind and rain lashed us, but we were kept warm and cosy in full waterproofs.

I had riding lessons in my teens and thoroughly enjoyed being back on a horse (they're not as small as they look though). Once I managed to get on mine it was a breeze, literally.

The mister had no experience with horses but was still given the biggest one to ride. A gorgeous white beast who had an air of celebrity about him because he had been chosen to appear in some episodes of Game of Thrones, as Jon Snow's horse. The mister was very pleased and rode well.

Unfortunately the weather did stop us seeing the Northern Lights on this visit but I would love to travel to other Nordic countries, so we may get to see them yet.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Alafoss Wool Factory Shop

The old Alafoss wool factory was established in 1896. It is said it marked the true beginning of Iceland's wool industry. The shop we visited is located in the old factory house by the waterfall, about 15 minutes outside of Reykjavik.

Stuffed to the gunnels with yarny wonderfulness, the only thing that held me back was the size of my luggage.

At the back of the shop we found some old knitting and factory machinery and some vintage patterns and photos. We also spotted an Icelandic jumper in the making.

I did have space in my case for a small purchase of yarn, which I will be using very soon and is absolutely not just adding to my stash. Which is quite a small stash anyway, just in case anyone is interested.

This is the quirky dressed window that greets you on arrival at Alafoss. I hope you can make it out, not a brilliant pic' I'm afraid.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Adventures in Iceland

So before we went there was much talk of how expensive everything is in Iceland. I wouldn't say it is more expensive then any other European city, certainly cheaper than Paris and comparable with Rome. And let's face it if you do your homework before you go there are bargains to be had where ever you travel.

We found a really good package deal for the trip through Secret Escapes. This included two excursions and free admission to a fabulous local swimming complex with hot thermal pools, bed (muchly comfortable), breakfast (totally tasty), flights and transfers.

The hotel was very IKEAish but no less lovely because of it.

our room had it's own calendar
and a lovely bucolic image with slightly unsettling text concerning slaughter time for sheep
The hotel was perfect for a short stay of three nights and although small and minimalist it worked just fine.

We found our way around very quickly and the Icelandic folk are very friendly and keen to help with directions and information. We even managed to take the bus out of town to a rather fine old wool mill, more of that later.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Ice Ice Baby - Cake Cake Baby

We've been off on our travels again. This time as part of the mister's birthday celebrations. To the land of the midnight sun, or more specifically, Iceland. I promise to post about the trip in the next few days. It was a very surprising place to visit.

But for now I want to share a wee secret with you. As the days are starting to warm up, you really need to know about this. Remember you heard it here first.

This enchanting little cottage can be found on an old coach path that runs parallel to the A27, right in the heart of the Sussex Downs. Not too far from Lewes or Eastbourne for that matter.

I swept the mister off his feet this weekend and whisked him off to the Tea Garden that has newly opened at the back of this hidden gem.

Oh my, what a place. Tranquil doesn't even begin to cover it. The lovely owner of the Tea Garden is a mistress of cake baking, her confections are simply perfection and her scones could have floated away on a breeze if we hadn't snaffled them as quickly as we did.

You won't find this 'hidden' place advertised anywhere, but if you click here, you will find directions to this treasure.

You might be lucky and catch a glimpse of the divine 'family' of Peacocks that wander in and out of the garden in their quest for cake. If you don't see them I'm sure you will hear them and their comical call.