Monday 28 November 2011

My Oprah Moment

The inscription on the base, in full, reads ''nemo potest personam diu ferre fictam'' and translates as, ''no-one can wear a mask forever'', from the philosopher Seneca the Younger.

The card depicts I The Magician far more traditionally, close to the Marseilles 'Le Bateleur' or mountebank, and so much more realistic than the egoist self-deluder of the RWS tarot: here he is a pedlar or tinker, throwing dice as an additional way of fleecing the unsuspecting simpletons who believe his smooth words. This is the original snake oil salesman.

This card is perfect to describe the toxic person who keeps impinging on my life and raising my blood pressure. According to Forrest Gump, ''stupid is as stupid does'', and nothing I can do is going to change that.

So I am reclaiming my inner peace, taking back ownership of my mental serenity, pouring oil on the troubled waters of my soul - and refusing to engage any more. Their true self, mean spirit and lack of ethics will either be revealed to their unquestioning group of supporters, or not.

The good thing about hitting your head on a brick wall ? It feels great when you stop.

Thursday 24 November 2011

A Good Deal

Well, I am totally more of a dictator than a princess, true - but this is not the reason that tonight I would feel no pea under my mattress. I am shattered: today has been one of those days where lots of things didn't go as planned. And therefore took up more time than I had anticipated.

My computer seemed to have turned jpg. files stored on a CD to wav. files. This meant that - for instance - the 4 of Wands was a rather nifty drumbeat. Nifty, but I can't cope with my computer having synesthesia/acid flashbacks.

The new washing machine was delivered. Or rather, unceremoniously tipped onto the middle of the kitchen floor. The delivery driver couldn't wait to shuffle off. I unpackaged it and moved it myself, only to be stymied by the transit bolts: I have whinged mentioned before that my DH lives in some previous century with the other Luddites, as a result of which any spanners that I could find were Imperial, not Metric ....

Then my grocery order was 30 minutes late. And wrong (although to my advantage, if only I liked pitta bread). Add to this the usual child-related stress (on my part) and screaming (on theirs) and I am wiped out.

So while I am chillaxing with a rum and coke, I thought I'd dash off this merry, uplifting little post so as to shed some rays of sunshine into your otherwise drab lives. I trust you are suitably grateful ?

But actually, I wanted to tell you about a little offer my friend Ania and I have cooked up.

I lie. Like a dog. Like a mangy, misbegotten stray dog.

It was all Ania's brilliant idea, really, I'm just dragging along on her coat-tails. She has this idea to offer our customers a deal: a simple and easy one, too.

Buy £10.00 worth of soap from my Folksy shop, and you will receive not only some fabulous soap (I am shipping to the USA now, owing to the many requests - thank you !) but also a code entitling you to £5.00 off any purchase at Ania's website. Great idea, huh ?  

I am the proud owner of a totally unique custom-made tarot bag from her, and a custom velvet reading cloth that DH treated me to a couple of years ago for my birthday.

I received this as a thank you after my time was up as Chair of TABI. I can't show you a picture of the gorgeous reading cloth as whispers I spilled candle wax on it and haven't got around to sorting it out yet ....

 If any crafter would like to join in with our reciprocal offer, drop me an email with a link to your website/shop ...

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Tootin' My Own Horn

Well, like this fine fellow on the Ace of Wands from the Prairie Tarot, today I am crowing to draw attention to my latest handmade cold process soaps which are for sale.

Even if I say so myself (fortunately plenty of other people say so too - some even blog about them !) they are really kind of great: lots of smooth, creamy lather, kind to your skin, lovely scents, and sometimes they even look interesting.

They make a great gift - I even offer a giftwrap basket service; I can also post direct to your intended recipient. Got no-one to buy for ? Then treat yourself - everyone has to wash, so you might as well splurge a little and wash yourself with my fabulous soap.

All my soaps are suitable for vegetarians, and some are also suitable for vegans - if you have any questions, please ask.

International people, if you'd like some great soap, drop me an email and I can figure out the postage for you ....

In no particular order, there is:

Soothing Serenade: with a generous dollop of shea butter in the mix, this is a relaxing blend of lavender and camomile, a layered purple and white soap. I keep making this one because people keep asking for it.

Summer Lullaby: colored by the pink Argiletz clay used in its making, it contains shea butter and honey for extra bubbles. This soap is scented with Rose and Camomile, two flowers than made me think of a warm, sunny lazy summer afternoon - hence its name.

 Reveille: for me, definitely a morning soap - swirled white and green, its zingy, bright Lemon and Mint scent is a eye-opener, almost guaranteed to wake you up when you wash with it in your morning shower - a much nicer way to greet the day than the Reveille it's named after.

Rajah's Romance: subtly romantic, this soap swirled with pink Argiletz clay and containing a generous slurp of cocoa butter is scented with the sub-continental scents of Rose and Sandalwood, evoking the hills of the old Kingdom of Mysore.

And, finally (for the moment), is:

Babushka: colored a deep, almost tranluscent purple by the magic of alkanet-infused olive oil, and containing conditioning sweet almond oil, this soap is scented with the traditional and very feminine spring floral scents of Lilac and Sweet Violet.

Go ahead - order some. Make my day - and yours ....

Friday 18 November 2011

FO Friday 61: Hat Trick

My title just goes to show how side-splittingly witty I am. Just in case you hadn't already realized. 

The first of today's Finished Objects is - FANFARE - that blimmin' Vintage Cabled Sweater that lasted for nearly ever:

I am so glad that I simplified the sleeves and just had one cable running down the centre; if I'd knitted it exactly to the pattern,. ie. cables everywhere right up to the edges,  I would still have been knitting this at the turn of the next century - and it's only for a 7 year old. It's made using the fabulously good value Stylecraft Life DK in the colorway 'Crocus'. It's washed, dried and awaiting Xmas wrapping paper.

A quick and easy yet impressive-looking knit was the Seriously Simple Shawl:

Made from one and a teeny jot balls of Regia Hand-dyed Effect by Kaffe Fassett in the colorway 'Rubin', to which the photo does no justice at all. This too is washed, blocked, dried and folded awaiting Xmas wrapping for my MIL.

And finally, the Hat of the Hat Trick:

Not my photo, so this time I'm not taking the blame for the fact that this too doesn't show the fabulous warm earthy colors of Patons UK Colourwork Aran in the colorway 'Terracotta'. The pattern was the Irish Hiking Hat; all I did different was to lengthen the ribbed section to make a turn-up brim. It was a birthday gift for my BIL, for when he walks this:

OK, there isn't any Irish involved with that. Or hiking, as it happens - apart from anything else, they live in the Fens, which is flatter than Holland. But there is Outdoors, so that counts, right ?

Over at Tami's Amis are lots of purty things to look at ......

Wednesday 16 November 2011

WIP Wednesday 67: Oh My The Color !

Well, I'm back like I promised, in order to talk about my current WIPS - it was dry and not too overcast today, so I also managed to take a couple of photos:

This is the beginning of a baby blanket using Jarol New Arrivals Baby DK Randoms in the colorway 307 .... Bubblegum, on 4.5mm needles. They got the name spot on, I think; although I am calling it Raspberry Ice. I'm using the stitch pattern ''Tilting Block'' from Barbara Walker Vol.II .

And I have also started making a Christmas sweater for Destructo Boy, who stated his color preference as black. Oh how much those of us with poor eyesight to begin with love to knit with black on these long dark winter nights so badly lit by dull eco-bulbs. So anyway. I have a nice vintage pattern for a DK raglan sweater with a placket neck, and I found a lovely chart for a skull while I was roaming the interwebz. 

 I'm using Cygnet DK, which Ravelry has listed as a worsted weight for its recommended gauge, interestingly; it feels like a proper DK to me, not light and skinny like some can be - and nice and soft too.

I feel I must divulge to you that I've been looking at fingerless mitten patterns. I'm somewhat afeard that this may be sailing way too close to the lee shore that is sock knitting ....

You'll find lee shore survivors over at Tami's Amis ....

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Is Meh Infectious ?

The 4 of Pentacles from the Bosch Tarot shows me picking up my pentacles and going home.

I'm still here. Just hunkering down, nothing much to say or share. Well, not anything that's socially acceptable, anyway. There must be a meh-bug going round - several of my favorite bloggers are also relatively silent right now. 

Meh-ness never usually affects me for long. I 'spect I might be back tomorrow with some WIPs .....

Wednesday 9 November 2011

WIP Wednesday 66: Hiatus

I've two things to show you today, one of which will amaze you because it's so nearly done that it is surprising that I didn't stay up even later last night simply to be able to say ''it's done, at last'':

All that needs doing is the side and sleeve seams to be sewn up. I had to buy another ball of the yarn yesterday as I ran out with the collar yet to knit ....

And speaking of planning fails, another project came to a shuddering halt - halfway through a row, too ! Again, because I ran out of yarn in row 21 out of the final 26 rows .....

The internet is great for 24/7 shopping, and so yesterday morning another skein of this yarn dropped through my letterbox from the friendly and efficient Sheila's Wool Shop ....

As Mini Diva's school had a teachers' personal development day yesterday, we popped into town and amused ourselves by buying bits and bobs for her Operation Christmas Child box (which we couldn't have done if the kind lady in the Shuropody shop hadn't given us a shoe-box). It is a Christian organization, but for us, sharing and giving is non-denominational.

Over at Tami's Amis, you will find other progress reports - I'll have to catch up with you all after my guests have left and I have quit panicking about the broken washing machine ....

Thursday 3 November 2011

WIP Wednesday 65: :Better Late

.... than never.

So all my plans yesterday fell apart and on top of that, the washing machine broke: the drum does not go round. I just ran out of time, energy and will to blog yesterday. So I'll make up for it today instead.

As you'll recall, I have been working on the Vintage Cabled Sweater for at least a century, and at the last check, only had about maybe 3/4 of the second sleeve to go. Now I have about 5/8 of it to go:

It has progressed so little because I have been led astray by this:

I found this at Wibbling Wools in Bury St.Edmunds when we were there at the weekend: Regia Hand-dye Effect by Kaffe Fassett. It is being turned into the Seriously Simple Shawl pattern, another lovely creation of Wendy D.Johnson.   

I think this is a far more enjoyable photo even though you see a lot less of it :

                                                           Moonheart in Dr.Jekyll mode

Less tardy and less lazy people's work can be seen at Tami's Amis ......