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Three children *** Two dogs *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.

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Craft Projects

Just a thought….

"A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe."

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Life

Love reading your comments

  • Jane - Our Little Escapades Love your photos. It sounds lovely getting time alone with one of your dogs. I will have to ask my mum about yarn chicken #WotW 23 Jan
  • Val Both my Grandmothers had identical Singer machines , my Mother made us clothes on the machine she inherited from her Mother and I have a... 23 Jan
  • Craft Mother Oh, I'm sorry. No intention to do that! Although I always feel slightly sad when I see these machines out of action or cast aside,... 22 Jan
  • Craft Mother It is a cosy nook, especially at this time of year. 22 Jan
  • Craft Mother It was a simple dress, but special to me. 22 Jan
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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

Evening with my Singer

And I’m sewing again. All thanks to a bit of machine oil, my vintage Singer sewing machine is singing again.

This machine has been sitting in the attic. Budged up there by the purchase of a modern electric sewing machine, a few years back. No point the old girl taking up room, when the new one could do everything I needed. But I didn’t get rid of it. I couldn’t.

For a start, this machine used to belong to my Great Grandma and was handed down. It was made in 1940 in Scotland. I know this from the serial number and a quick internet search. I also found out that the Singer factory was commandeered to make guns, at that time, for the war effort. At slower times, they carried on making sewing machines. Including this one.

She is a hand cranked machine, series 99K. I can hardly begin to tell you how different she is to sew with. I’m so used to my electric sewing machine, that I keep on looking under the table for the foot peddle, as I prepare to sew. Not there. Believe me. I’ve checked every time. The hand crank is turned and the needle goes up and down. A simple and beautiful mechanism.

It’s been sitting idle so long that it needed a good oiling. Part of me rejoices at taking off the front plate and opening up the bottom of this machine. Removing all the lint and adding oil. My favourite machines are the ones that are easy to see how they work. No hidden parts. I feel the same way about cars. I like the machines that I feel more connected to, as I use them. Am I the only one that feels like that?

I needed a straight forward sewing project. One that ensured all the moving parts of the machine ticked over, and the oil could work its magic. Looking around, it seemed so fitting, and an obvious choice, to mend the cushion cover that the same Great Grandma had made. I’d changed the backing a few years ago, but wear and tear had caused a split in the seams.

The machine worked like a dream. Singing. A few tweaks to tension, but other than that, there’s not a lot that can go wrong. Simple. Done in no time, with all the control and accuracy I needed. Not bad for an old girl of 77 years.

The Singer only does running stitch. In one direction, but it does it so well. The stitch is perfectly straight. I can see why other people use vintage Singer machines for top stitching, but use their electric machines for the main sewing.

I love this machine. It compliments my modern machine so well. It’s much quieter. I can use it in the evenings without disturbing anyone. I could take it anywhere. Although it weighs a ton. Not literally, but oh, it’s so heavy.

This machine and I are old friends. When we first moved in, I used it to sew all the curtains. Over the years, I’ve made clothes, including my wedding dress, with it. I’ve added to its history, already.

Oh, and what about the mended cushion, you may ask?

Back on the chair, in the fireside nook. Perfect.

So what are my next plans with this vintage sewing machine? It’s not going up in the attic again. I want to use it. I want to use it for patchwork and also as a machine for the children to use when ever they like.

My first project is a small one and perfect for this machine. Shouldn’t take long to do. Expect to hear more about this lovely, old Singer.

Anyone else used a hand cranked Singer?


Word of the week – Mostly

It’s Friday. Yeh! I’m ready for it to be the weekend.

Not that I’m wishing the week away. There are moments I’d truly like to treasure. Such as walking my old dog through the frosty woods, as part of the school run, each day. It is part of my new year routine. With the pup left at home, there is no over excited hound to bounce her. She seems to find the spring in her step and enjoy our time together, as much as I do. She is a large breed, so every day after 10 years seems like a blessing. I’m hoping for many more lovely woodland walks with her.I also want to hold on to the memory of going out in the evening, with my husband, this week, without the children. I can hardly remember the last time we left them. We spent the evening with friends at a fund raising get-together. It was fun and certainly had its moments.

Eldest baby-sat, although the other two children objected to the term, but she did a fabulous job. I paid her in cookies. Shh. No-one tell her that there may be a different currency for baby sitting.

No chance of forgetting the moment this week when, pleased with my choice, I gave a rose as a present.  Nor the puzzled silence, that followed, when they looked at the label, eager to see the name of the rose. I’d hinted that I’d put thought into choosing this particular plant, based on its name. I had. A meaning behind the name, that I hoped they’d enjoy.

I was just as puzzled as they were, to find that instead of presenting a Joie de Vie rose, I’d gifted a Lady Marmalade. A Lady Marmalade? What? Not even close.

Sigh.

As all faces turned to me for enlightenment, I struggling to find a connection between the receipient and the rose. Nope. Nothing came to mind. Even though it does seem a beautiful rose in its own right, (might pick one up for myself), it’s name didn’t have the effect I’d planned. I guess I should have been grateful I hadn’t picked up a rose called Ruby Anniversary or Absent Friends.

I’m sure that this rose, and its progress, will be pointed out to me, every time I visit. I look forward to it.

I might be happy to forget that I lost at yarn chicken this week, although I’m glad I tried.

For the non-knitters among you, playing yarn chicken refers to the last part of a knitting project. When you’re not sure if you have enough yarn left to finish, but you keep on going till the bitter end. Hoping, against all the odds, that the previous hours of knitting, will not be in vain.

Will it, won’t it? Stretch.

In my case, I lost. The last few inches of the yarn ran inevitably through my hand, before I’d reached the end of the project.

Not that I went down without a fight. Sleeves rolled up. I tried to improve the odds, by making a few creative changes, but there was no denying that it was time to accept defeat. Crucially there is no extra ball of wool sitting on the side, which means that this project is dead in the water. Unlikely to ever be finished, it will be frogged, or, in other non-knitting terms, unravelled. 

In my case, I was three fingers short of a glove. It was the second glove. Time to turn both gloves back into a ball of wool. As I’m stash busting this year, I’m sure it won’t be the last time this happens. Better to try than not.

Fortunately, my boy, who was hoping to wear the gloves, has requested a scarf or hat instead. Turns out, he was after the softness and, most importantly, the non-itchy yarn, and not so much the gloves. He’ll still get a pair, as he does need gloves. In the meantime, this freshly wound yarn ball has his name on it. Looks like scarf hat knitting this weekend. Certainly got the frosty weather to go with it. Brr.I hope you all have a good weekend. Plenty of memories to be made and treasured. I’m going for the word mostly as my word of the week, seeing as my week mostly went right.

Joining in with Jocelyn

The Reading Residence

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There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.