In which we relax…

“Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.”

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

 

This weekend really has been a most indulgent and relaxing couple of days. Having discharged all housework (I cannot sit still if the house is not clean and tidy), shopping and general domestic duties by Friday evening, Nathan and I have been free to enjoy doing very, very little. 

On Saturday morning Nathan spent some time at home while I took a client’s dog out for a walk. She’d booked an extended two hour slot for her pooch, which afforded me the opportunity of exploring further along the river bank than time constraints usually allow. Afterward, we looped back toward the man-made loch that is a few minutes from our cottage and had the uncomfortable experience of discovering an entire tribe of these…

… It was horrendous – they were everywhere! Like that awful scene in Indiana Jones where Harrison Ford finds himself dropped into a snake-pit, every time I moved my foot another toad would come to life and go hopping off in some direction or another, sometimes splatting onto my wellington boots, sometimes hitting my canine companian and dropping back to the moist earth of the path with a dull thud… Eurgh! 

Returning home from the horror of the outdoors (don’t get me wrong – I love nature, moreso even, since I have lived in Scotland…. I do not, however, love nature launching itself at my every move…) I decided that a little decadence was in order and so gave myself that rarest of treats – the mid-afternoon bath… Immersed up to my neck in deep, hot water, with cinnamon scented bubbles spilling over the edge of the bathtub and onto the floor, glass of Bourbon in one hand and Toni Braxton crooning quietly from the speaker of my iPad I couldn’t help but wonder to myself “WHY the HELL don’t I do this more often?!”

Nathan had a good fire going by the time I exited the steam-filled room and we stayed in front of it for the whole of the rest of the evening. We’ve decided recently to make a conscious effort to switch off the television more often and spend time reading instead. I made a good start on Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White whilst Nathan had decided to re-read The Shellseekers by Rosamund Pilcher. There really is nothing more enjoyable than lazing around with a good novel while logs crack and spit in the grate…

Hoping to maintain our idleness for another day, Nathan and I decided first thing that to avoid any sense of guilt we ought to ‘earn’ our indolence by first going for another hike from our book of walks… We settled upon Scolty Hill, near Banchory and by 7.30am were already trundling along in the woods…

The route that our guide book took us along was not long (some 3 or 4 miles), but it soon moved beyond flat woodland and opened out onto steep paths that ran up to the top of the hill…

All the ‘huffing and puffing’ was worth it, however, when we reached the summit and could enjoy 360 degree panoramic views across the county…

We spent a little while taking the obligatory ‘doggie’ shots. We are a little worried at the moment that Bruce (the Dobermann) may not be too long for this world. He has been steadily losing weight over the past couple of months and his snout is greying. Add to this the mysterious appearance of a couple of lumps upon his legs and the anxiety begins to mount… Hopefully a trip to the vets will eradicate our fears and it may be confirmed that he is merely getting ‘older’ rather than sick…

At the top of Scolty Hill is a large round tower, erected in 1842 in memory of a previous Banchory resident. I desperately wanted to climb the spiral staircase inside and go out on to the viewing platform, but they always make my legs turn to jelly and I only managed to get halfway up before the shakes took over and I was forced to seek, once again, the comfort of solid ground…

Nathan, on the other hand, whizzed up the tower like a billy-goat…

By 10am we were home again, showered and sitting out in the garden with coffee.

The dogs dozed…

By midday we were tucking into a hearty tapas style lunch – cheeses, cured meat, bread, dips etc ah bliss…

By 1pm we’d started pouring generous measures of gin and tonic…

And now? 

Well, let’s just say that we’re still ‘mellow’! 

I’d intended to get a little sewing done today, but I don’t think in my current state I ought to be operating any machinery! 

 

Here’s hoping you’ve all had a nice, relaxing weekend too.

 

More soon

 

MR x x x

 

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In which I make preparations…

Ok, so let’s be honest. I’m fat. 

Not grotesquely so. Not to the degree that I am forced to buy two airline tickets for my one, engorged posterior. You won’t see me wandering around Disney Land pushing a wheelie-bin full of hot, buttery popcorn. No, I’ve not quite reached Pavarotti proportions yet, but too many years spent lingering by the dessert trolley have resulted in more than a slight change to the slim and trim version of myself that existed at 18. Given that I’ve probably uttered the words “we can grab coffee and a cake somewhere…” to friends and family at least three times a week over the last decade it is of no surprise…

Anyhow – the point of all this? Spring/Summer are clearly approaching (or at least they were until today’s wind appeared from nowhere – I’ve chased our rather heavy dustbin across the garden at least three times this afternoon) and I am, once again, experiencing that familiar annual dread of how I am going to clothe myself in the warmer months. I own a drawer-full of the obligatory t-shirt, of course, but knit fabrics don’t tend to offer much in the way of man-boob disguise, do they? Not,  I repeat, that I have an awful lot to disguise, but more than there ought to be on a guy, you know? Dressed simply in a t-shirt my chest mimics that of a young girl, just on the brink of pubescence, whose parents have been too busy or too uncaring to take her to the shops to be fitted with a first training bra… I fear that I will not make it through another year artfully draping open-weave scarves across the offending portions of my body and pretending that it is an ‘outfit’ rather than a ‘cover up’! 

The solution then? A diet? More exercise? Less cake? 

Don’t be silly, dear readers, the solution, of course, in true Mothers Ruin style is simply to sew some new (loosely fitted!) clothes for myself and stop relying on shop-bought tees and the conscious avoidance of overhead lighting! *shading is not flattering…*

In preparation for my new life as a tailor, then, I used the wonderful Merchant and Mills sewing book to whip up a tailor’s ham for pressing and shaping all those smooth curves that make up a garment (I’m thinking of the collars etc on nice placket fronted cotton shirts and hope that you’ve all followed this train of thought? If anyone so much as mentions a bust dart…)

The book explains how to produce one’s own pattern (I used this Blue Peter style corrugated cardboard in the absence of anything else large enough)

The fabric is cut…

And after a double line of stitching to strengthen the seam the whole thing can be stuffed rigid with sawdust and the back of a wooden spoon…

Ta da…

Not bad eh? Now I just need to source some good summertime mens sewing patterns, have a root through my stash of fabric and convince Nathan that these are a necessary investment and we’re good to go…

 

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In which I fall in love…

It’s official! I’m in love! I’ve dabbled in everything from sewing and quilting to knitting and crochet over the last nine years and must admit that certain elements if these crafts have always seemed out of reach to me, or rather, to require so much effort that they would never make the break from grand dream to reality… It was for this reason that I have spent almost a decade drooling over other peoples’ hexagon quilts without ever making a move to begin creating my own, but now I’ve started I cannot believe that I waited so long! Sure it’s pretty time consuming, but making hexies is the easiest thing in the world to do, requires no concentration whatsoever and is, in my opinion, the VERY best way of getting a quick sewing fix when you are plonked in front of the tv and don’t want to (in my tiny cottage, at least!) sit in the little nook at the top of the stairs in the company of the sewing machine…

 

I bought this title…

…a couple of years back when it was first published because I’ve always loved the look of hexie quilts. Looking through the patterns, though, I noticed that a lot of the designs in the book involve using hexagons to create a variety of secondary shapes from rosettes to chevrons…

…and I wanted to create something with a little more fluidity and freedom; surely the joy of this type of work is in not worrying about hexagon placement? It occurred to me too that having an ‘anything and everything, everywhere and anywhere’ approach would not only maximise my ability to use up all of the scraps that I’ve collected over the years, but would, in turn, mean that the finished quilt would be a fantastic keepsake/reminder of all of those past projects, all of the things I’ve made and gifted or have been lucky enough to sell…

Several years ago somebody gave me a 1.5inch metal hexagon template, so I traced around this a million times on sheets and sheets of plain printer paper to create my foundation paper templates…

And then started chopping into those scraps and leftovers…

After an evening or two of hand-basting the hexies (I read up about glue basting, but that sounded like an accident waiting to happen as far as I was concerned!) I think I may actually be in a position to begin stitching some together! 

So take it from me: if there is something out there you want to try that makes you nervous then don’t deliberate any longer -it may just turn out to be the most enjoyable thing you’ve ever done…

 

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In which I feed my addiction…

It wasn’t my fault. Honestly, it wasn’t…

Given that storage space in our humble abode is at a real premium I had agreed with Nathan that I wouldn’t buy any more vintage ‘stuff’ until we moved. 

But then I kept receiving emails from lots of lovely people with this attached…

So, you see, it really wasn’t my fault! I mean, what was I to do? You wouldn’t invite an alcoholic to a wine tasting day, or somebody with Munchausen’s to the hospital….

In all honesty Nathan was very good when I picked up yet another bevelled mirror to add to my collection – I got away with merely a raised eyebrow and a slight, almost imperceptible, shake of the head… 

There is a ‘grand plan’ for all of these mirrors, don’t worry! They wont remain in storage forever! 

Next up was this enamel bin. We’ve all seen these a million times before, but I love enamel-ware and the patina that each piece carries. This one caught my eye because it did not have the usual text on the side and the knob-type handle differs from the more commonplace looped style. 

My third find was this Liberty of London Fabric remnant…

I was in two minds about this at first as there is some fading along the whole piece and a good sized hole too. When I discovered, however, that the chap only wanted £1.00 for it I soon overcame my caution and decided that holes and fading would not notice if I chopped it up into patchwork pieces for a quilt… 

I think I’ll pair it with these sets of patchwork squares that Nathan and I picked up for a couple of pounds in a vintage shop in Chichester last year….

A bit more of a muted palette than I’d usually go for, but I’m interested to see what other toning fabrics I can dig out of my stash…

The final bit of loot this morning was this American buttonholer which, so I’m told, should fit my vintage Singer sewing machine. As you can see it still had the original box and instructions, so for £2.00 I thought it was worth a shot…

Now where to put all this stuff? With all this excitement I may have to have a lay down…

 More soon

 

MR x x x

 

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In which things are changing…

I always used to be a real ‘winter person’ – I loved it; thick jumpers, scarves, buckets of coffee, pulling the curtains early and snuggling up to watch a movie with that faint whistling noise as the radiators fill up with hot water…. Recently, however, I must confess that I have become hyper-aware and hyper-excited that we are on the cusp of spring. Perhaps it’s because I’m now living in the country and can appreciate these things, but everywhere I turn I seem to find a celebration of the seasons… Each time I step outside the door I am greeted by the chirruping of birds, these little beauties have sprung up all over…

The sunshine is reaching dazzling heights and shows every inch of the landscape it touches in pure, technicolour brilliance…

And even when we do find ourselves subject to a little rainfall it gives rise to these…

Last week yet another friend came to stay with us for a little R&R and we had a fab time! Honestly – I’m convinced that we socialise with people far more now that we are 600 miles North than when we were just around the corner. 

(A little aside at this point – she brought with her a message, nay REQUEST, from a reader who shall remain nameless – “the blog is good to read, but can it include a bit more about Nathan from time-to-time?” Err….. have you not realised by now that it IS all about me, HAS always been about me and WILL CONTINUE to be all about me? Nathan did describe my personality, right?)

We managed to tick another walk off of our list and headed out on Sunday to enjoy a stroll around Loch Kinord…

Crafting wise, I’ve not really managed to get an awful lot done (again!)…. I thought I would be super-organised at the tail-end of last week and cut out the fabric for lots of different projects in an effort to get more done overall. This hasn’t quite worked as expected, so instead of having piles of neatly folded fabrics in my sewing area I now just have a big, untidy pile of smaller pieces of fabric which the cat is enjoying playing with at regular intervals! I HAVE made a couple of purchases however… Completely necessary items, of course….

I mean, who could live without this 1970’s pattern for a Mens Patio Jacket that I found on ebay?

More exciting still was this genuine 1950’s barkcloth fabric, completely intact, off the bolt and still with selvedges… I bought 6 metres and received 7 and a half… Maybe the seller was stupid, but I prefer to think she was just plain kind….

 Look at the texture….

Look at it!!!! I know taste is a personal thing (some would say that I don’t have any!) but that was, like, the holy grail of ebay fabric finds…  I am totally making some curtains from this at some point – which lucky person is going to sleep in my guest room and pull them first?!

The greatest change that we are about to embark upon will, for the moment, remain a mystery as I don’t want to jinx it!!! Given, however, that it takes rather a lot of time, effort and energy I’ll wrap things up for now.

More soon

 

MR x x x

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In which MR makes a gift…

So finally, after the second most long, boring and painful saga (second only to mine!) my Sister called me this week to say that contracts had been exchanged and that she is able to move into her new house any day! Yippee! 

I intend to make her something much more substantial in due course, but as a quick house-warming present that I could sling in the post by the weekend I whipped up a gorgeous (well, I think it is anyway!) ruffled circular cushion with vintage crochet trim…

Excuse the pictures – Not the greatest snaps I’ve ever taken but, hey, what’s new?!

My big Sis is a real ‘girlie girl’ and loves pink, roses, all that jazz, so fabric selection wasn’t difficult at all. The backing fabric was even easier to choose as she was with me when I bought the remnant for a whopping 50 pence (steady now!) and she adored it even then…

Would you like to make your own? (Not that I wish to take the sheen off of my gift, but they really are SUPER easy to make and very quick!)

 

Here’s How…

You will need:

  • 18 inch circular cushiom pad (mine was feather filled, but you can use anything)
  • A crocheted doily, smallish in size
  • 20×20 inch square of backing fabric (heavier weight works best)
  • 6 squares of cotton fabric (contrasting or coordinating – whatever you want for your design) cut to 9.5 x 9.5 inch
  • Coordinating cotton thread and sewing needle
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Ruler and marking tool
NB – use a 1/4 inch seam allowance throughout
  1. Take your 20×20 inch square of backing fabric and draw a circle 18 inches in diameter in the centre (I’ve not alowed extra fabric for seam allowances as, in the past, this has resulted in a loose fitting cushion. I prefer to make cushion covers slightly smaller to ensure that they are plump and firm when the pad is added!) Cut out the circle and put it to one side.
  2. Take the six squares of cotton fabric 9.5 inches and sew them together into a long strip. For obvious directional prints keep the pattern running the same way as if you are creating a banner. 
  3. Fold the newly created long strip of fabric in half (right sides together) and sew along short edge to create a continuous circle of fabric.
  4. With right sides together, pin (yes pin! I never pin anything, but you really need to this time!) the long edge of your ring of fabric all along the edge of your circle of backing fabric.
  5. Stitch all around the circle, removing the pins as you go and avoiding tucks or puckers…
  6. Clip the seam allowances all around
  7. Turn out the right way and insert your cushion pad.
  8. Using your cotton sewing thread and needle make a line of running stitches all around the open edge of the cushion and gather… This creates all those beautiful pleats. Tie off thread
  9. Using your cotton sewing thread and needle hand-sew the vintage crocheted doily to the centre of your cushion…
  10. Enjoy!!!
More Soon
 
MR x x x 
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In which we have snow AND sunshine…

Before we begin I’d like to take a moment to dedicate this post to my dear friend, Zola, who contacted me this week to explain that her lovely home in Surrey had been flooded and that she was unfortunately going to have to move her family into temporary accommodation for several months. Trust me when I tell you that Zola is, without doubt, one of the kindest, most optimistic and all-round lovely people you could ever hope to meet and she certainly doesn’t deserve such poor luck. She did, however, make me chuckle to myself when she text me the following:

“You’d have been proud of me, Mark – my vintage lamps and crochet project were the first things I rescued”

What a trooper! Keep your chin up, Zola. We’re thinking of you!

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On Friday evening we had the first real snowfall since our arrival in October. We’ve had short bursts before, but they didn’t amount to much, certainly around Aboyne. Nathan was his typical child-like self and insisted (at midnight!) that we dashed outside to … well, I can’t actually remember what phrase he used, but it certainly didn’t involve a snow-ball fight, which was the ultimate outcome…

Ahhh – it was like our white Chrismas had arrived 6 weeks late…

 Our weekend continued to focus on the weather today, when we woke up to discover that we were bathed in bright sunshine and overlooked by piercing blue skies. In an effort to make an effort, the Mothers Ruin household recently invested in this title:

We’ve set ourselves a nice little challenge for 2014 – to work through all of the walks in this collection. We figure that we’ll enjoy both the health benefits from the regular exercise (there are some 30 odd walks here, the longest of which is 9 miles) and gain a greater understanding of the county that we’ve moved to. We undertook the first walk this morning – a five and a half mile trek through the old pines of Glen Tanar. 

After parking we crossed the road and over an arched stone bridge, before following the fenced path to the right…

We passed a herd of sheep…

And the old chapel of St Lesmo…

At the crossroads we continued straight on…

Until we reached Knockie viewpoint, whereupon we sat for a few moments to enjoy our stunning surroundings and take some silly photo’s of Bruce and Denny…

Afterwards we continued along the track which ran parrallel with the Water of Tanar and through gorgeous pine forests with fern and heather ground cover…

Crossing over another old stone bridge, we reached the farthest point of our walk and began to circle back round toward the car park…

2 hours and 20 minutes after we set off we arrived back at the car and headed home for a late shower, some lunch and a log fire….

 

Now we just need to pick the next one! 

 

Dear God! Am I becoming ‘outdoorsy’?! 

 

Heaven forfend!

 

MR x x x

 

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In which a craft club is born…

Regular readers of TFMR may have noticed the online conversation that began in the comments section of a recent post about the possibility of arranging a get together with some local like-minded people, so on Tuesday evening this week I freshened up (not having to don a suit and arrive at an office every morning has, apparently, rendered me incapable of using a razor more than once a week! I don’t really think too much about it until I glance in the mirror and am shocked to find that I look like something from Harry & The Hendersons) threw myself into the car and, collecting Nathan en-route, headed for Woodend Barn to meet Cath and Jenny. 

I must confess, I was a little nervous about meeting up with total strangers. It felt exactly how I would imagine blind dating feels! I soon settled however, with a quick look at the menu (food, of course, can make ANY situation bearable!) and by reminding myself that Cath and Jenny were bound to be lovely and have impeccable taste because, well, they read my blog! I’m pleased to report that I was quite correct – they were both lovelyJenny has an interest in all things sewing and fabric and completely puts me to shame having hand stitched (yes – HAND stitched) a multitude of projects in a very short space of time since attending a quilting course, while I have simply sat around talking about it! Cath on the other hand is a true ‘wooly’ team member with an interest in fairisle, indeed – she seems to love colour/colourwork full stop and, like me, has certain colour schemes and shades that she struggles to break away from! She is currently teaching herself lace knitting too!

I’m not going to give you a blow-by-blow account of what we got up to – suffice to say we are hoping to increase our numbers (kinda leaving this to Cath and Jenny given that I can count the people I know in Scotland on the fingers of one hand!) and meet up regularly to enthuse about our respective interests, share tips and advice and, with any luck, teach one another some new skills…. I know Nathan intends to take his spinning wheel along, but given that I dabble in most things I’m struggling to pick a first project! HOWEVER…

Having spent some time with Cath on Tuesday evening, I am starting to wonder if I ought to go for a knitting project to start with. I feel kind of, I don’t know… ‘re-inspired’? I used to knit prolifically, but I guess I got swayed by sewing because it can be so much quicker to achieve a result. Moreover, it’s not really necessary to concentrate too much when whipping up a quilt or something similar, whereas I’ve always found knitting to be a much more engaging activity in terms of brain power – I can’t do anything more complex than stocking stitch in front of the tv without missing whatever it is I am watching… As a consequence, over the years I’ve either stuck to boring, straightforward patterns, or packed my knitting away entirely to catch whatever it is I’ve tuned in to see…. I guess my thought process is this – even if I just knit for a couple of hours at craft club (we haven’t come up with a name yet!) every week then at least I will keep some momentum going, however slow it may be. Thus I turned to the piles of magazines that I have at home to decide what I may like to knit. I subscribed to The Knitter for about three years but became frustrated with a) the lack of mens patterns included and b) the fact that the majority of those that were published were just plain dull and/or unfashionable. After going through three years worth of 13 issues per year I found only 5 patterns that really got my juices flowing (don’t get me wrong – for female knitters I would say this is the best magazine on the market, so don’t hesitate to pick up an issue!).

Here they are:

 

HALIFAX

TRISTAN

ANCHORAGE

HENRI

ROCHESTER

Anchorage and Henri are very similar to a cardigan that I already own, so I’m a bit 50/50 on them, but then they are very nice garments… Rochester too is a bit of a question mark for me – I love the shape, the collar and the waist tie… but I think I’d feel self-conscious wearing such a bright cardigan (and I’ve made some shocking errors of fashion in my time!)

What do you guys think? Should I commit to one of these projects? I’m a relatively slow knitter, so this could be weeks and weeks of work ahead of me! 

As you can see, I’ve not completely shaken off that ol’ devil indecision!

Whilst we are on the subject of knitting and before I wrap this post up, I’d like to draw your attention to Gill of Artisan Threads who is also based up in the Scottish Highlands. Gill happens to be my ‘almost Mother-in-Law’ (I know – lucky cow! *Wry smile*) but I am not biased in telling you that she also produces an exceptional range of knitting yarns, fleece and fibre, often hand-dyed with natural dyes. If you are not a commitment-phobe like me and are considering diving into a new project, then check her out!

 

That’s all for now – but soon, please….someone, anyone….God?….. Help me just pick a project and get going on it…. I have the crafting equivalent of writer’s block and it’s driving me crazy…..

 

More soon

 

MR x x x 

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In which Mothers Ruin has a secret…

I’ve not been able to post anything for the last few days because I’ve been keeping myself busy with an exciting ‘top secret’ project! Oooooohhhhh! 

Unfortunately, I still can’t share any specific details with you, dear readers, but suffice to say that I was both thrilled and flattered recently when I was asked to be a test sewer/sewist on a couple of projects for a new book by a well-known organisation in England. I’ve already completed one project and submitted the relevant feedback/evaluation, but I’m still only part-way through the second and my deadline is tomorrow! Argh! 

It’s actually surprisingly challenging to stick rigidly to a set of instructions and not go ‘off-piste’… Usually I make my own tweaks or alterations to a pattern. 

Apparently I’ll get a wee mention in the acknowledgements section of the book when it is published! What can I say? Fame at last! 

“Alright Mr DeMille…. I’m ready for my close up….” 


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In which MR is decidedly indecisive…

I don’t normally mess around with Tales from Mothers Ruin too much. The typo’s and errors of grammar that I sometimes discover days after hitting the ‘publish now’ button will attest to that. But today I have written, or at least half written, three separate blog posts.

Indecision is, quite clearly, to be the main ingredient in the Mothers Ruin recipe today. The joke is that I am only here, blogging, in the first place because I have been similarly indecisive in every other area of my life.

I woke feeling, I admit, slightly bereft. Having finally got Nathan back after 10 days apart (I survived, obviously, completely intact and only resorted to eating cornflakes for dinner in the final few days!) we enjoyed a four day break together in the company of a dear friend who travelled up from London to stay with us. If nothing else it really brought home to me that the simple things in life are the things that matter most. It is so easy to be swept up in the muddle of mortgages, promotions, IVF treatments, marriages, engagements, graduations, goal after goal after goal after goal…. In our final moments on earth, do you imagine that we’ll look back and wish we’d worked harder to win that elusive promotion, or taken more of the opportunities on offer to share a good meal with friends and laugh long into the night?

In an effort to re-kindle my love of the simple things, I decided to head out into nature with the dogs, forget that fact that I’d suddenly found myself alone again and try to remember what it was we were trying to create by moving here in the first place…. (Sounds convincing, doesn’t it? Almost decisive one might say….) WRONG!!! After dithering about with map books, Google Earth, the SatNav etc whilst trying to decide upon the best new place to go out and explore I managed to wind the dogs up to fever pitch by putting the leads on to go several times, changing my mind about the destination because of the distance or the unpredictability of the weather or if my footwear was appropriate, and then taking the leads back off again…. After a hopeless 55 minutes being unable to reach a decision (seriously, MR, it’s just a bloody walk!) I finally ended up stopping the car at exactly the same place that I always take the dogs! 

Returning home again I thought it would be pleasant to forego the usual several hours of cleaning that have become the focus of my daily routine in favour of some sewing time. I’m starting to think I should have picked up a duster instead….

I’ve been playing about with leftover fabric scraps recently and used them to make this patchwork block…

So did I want to continue with this project and turn it into a full quilt? 

Oh, I’m not sure really. Using all those tiny pieces of fabric is quite time-consuming and fiddly and the overall effect is a bit too bright for me – perhaps I won’t make a quilt”

Well, how about turning it into something else?

I suppose I could turn it into something else….. but is it suitable for a cushion? and I’ve made tonnes of cushions recently so that doesn’t reall excite me…. Something else? A bag! No, no, I don’t think it’s big enough for a bag… What then? I can’t fold it or cut it, because the graphic nature of the block would be lost….”

Suffice to say I couldn’t make a decision on how (and if I wanted) to proceed with this project and so after a lengthy interlude of picking it up, turning it over and putting it back down again I eventually turned my attention from it completely.

Perhaps, then, I ought to sew a garment? Something totally new, fresh and more importantly all for ME!

One of these Burda patterns that I picked up in the sale some time ago?

“Mmmmm-hmmm, well yes I could sew one of these but do I really need another shirt? Is there any point in sewing a new top when I really ought to be going through the wardrobe to throw out some old things to make space for it? And those jeans? What was I thinking? I can’t wear drop-crotch trousers! Why did I buy that pattern? I wonder how much I paid for it? How wasteful….”

Sigh. One of your vintage patterns then? Something quite different?

“Yeah, yeah – I see where you’re going with this. Vintage pattern! Nice! And it’d make a great blog post! Mind you, that one on the right there is for knit fabric and I don’t have any in my stash… Perhaps I should buy some?! No no – sew something from what I have already….Well, the Vogue one is no good – I don’t work in an office any more so I don’t need to make myself ties and things…. Maybe I will go for a shirt after all then? Not that one, it’s too small and I can’t be bothered to re-draft the whole thing…”

This one then! There you go! Good choice! Very different!

 “mmmmmm – I’m not sure now…. Won’t I look like a fat Michael Jackson?”

How about a Waitcoat then? You ALWAYS like a waistcoat!

“I do! I do! I always think everybody looks so smart in a waistcoat! and I’ve got those 3 metres of thick brown wool that I picked up in a charity shop last year……………………….

…………………….

…………………….

Then again………

……………………

……………………

Will I wear a waistcoat in Aberdeenshire? I’ve not had one on in the whole time we’ve lived here….”

And THAT is pretty much how my whole day has continued! Hour upon hour have passed me by while I, immersed in fabric and pattern envelopes, have found myself unable to reach a decision. To say I am frustrated with myself would be a great understatement. 

Making one last ditch attempt to salvage my day I turned to my blog. If I couldn’t create something then at least I could write something! But what? Should I tell you, my dearest readers, about cocktails at The Carmelite in honour of my friend staying with us? Or about the antique hall stand I almost bought from Magpie? Should I describe Sunday lunch at the hotel? Update you on our search for a new home? Show you the photographs that Nathan took in Denmark? After several hours, multiple false starts and several revisions I have been left with this – a shortened version of the internal dialogue that has plagued me since 6am! You think you’re bored of it?! You should try being in here! *taps head*

It’s half-past five, I’ve achieved nothing all day and the indecision that seems to have woven itself through every fibre of my being leaves me almost frightened to acknowledge that little question that is starting to form in the back of my mind….

“I wonder what we should have for dinner……?” 

 

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