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Monday, May 31, 2010


A friend just sent me this , I don't know who wrote it and I hope they won't mind if I show it to you. It really sums up how I feel.
 I  asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is  such a mess
He asked if I'd been  'computering',
And I had to answer  'yes.'

He  told me to get off my butt,
And tidy up the  house.
And so I started cleaning up...
The  smudges off my mouse.

I  wiped and shined the topside.
That really did  the trick...
I was just admiring my good  work.

I  didn't mean to 'click.'
But  click, I did, and oops - I found
A real  absorbing site
That I got SO way into it  -
I  was into it all night.

So nothing's  changed except my mouse.
It's as shiny as the  sun.
I guess my house will stay a  mess.....
While I sit here on my  bum.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Feargal and Scarlett's Memory Board New Mexico/Arizona!

Feargal and Scarlett landed in Silver City New Mexico around about April 23rd.....they had so much to do...including going to Tucson, Arizona on a mercy mission that they only just left on May 28th...bound for who knows where.....all I can tell you is that it's north!!

Oh my the pair of them had such a good time...from the very first hug with Donnacha.

Feargal and Donnacha had set off south down Broadway in Silver City. They admired the old-fashioned Victorian Era street lamps, and laughed about the very uneven sidewalks and the very high curbs. They were glad for the ramps that someone had made just for their visit!
Miss Scarlet, however, had a surprise spa day as a treat (and a retreat from playful Leps) and Feargal and Donnacha headed downtown. . . .South on Broadway at a brisk pace towards Silver City's Authentic 1800's Buffalo Bar! Which of course, is no place for a lady; even one in a red dress.

The boys had intended to check out the Buffalo Bar, a place of renown (some good, some not as good) and local hangout for Bikers, Hippies and Cowboys. But they were just a few steps away from Curl Up and Dye when they began to be intrigued by the art in the windows of the galleries. 
Oh my, there was so much to be seen as they darted in and out of each Gallery on Broadway and they ended up on Texas Street. Their feet were beginning to be a bit weary, so they stopped in at the next Gallery.
Oh boy the stuff they saw in ANIMAS  was an eye opener for Feargal...I am surprised that he didn't have nightmares.

All too soon they headed off to Tucson Arizona, where they were much needed when Donnacha's 'Dad' had an 'op'.
They made themselves useful looking after Mom between hospital visits and making her laugh!

Feargal was gobsmacked when Donnacha got a present of a skateboard. Both boys had been green with envy when they had seen Blathnaid on her snowboard.
Feargal was insistent that he might have some sort of a board and could do as well as his Idaho cousin's snowboard! Leprechaun's apparently are rather jealous and want to 'keep up' with one another.
The good news is that Donnacha decided to give him the skateboard....aren't Leps wonderful!
When 'Dad' was well enough to go home, they all went back to Silver City and life on the ridge.

I wonder where they are headed, and wish them a safe landing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

In which I perform a miracle!!

We have had summer for a week.
Hot sunny days.
Eating outside.
But now it's dull and windy.
Oh well.
I spent the last 4 days working a miracle.

I have teak garden furniture, I love the look and feel of  wood.

I hate it...
when the wood goes grey, and not just grey but gets all blotchy with lichens and green with algae.

I have tried using teak oil, garden furniture stains, fencing paints...but all to no still goes grey!
Grey decking is OK but.......NOT my furniture!

A couple of years ago I discovered a new product that had been designed for pub furniture.
It's a thin liquid with an added colour.....light resisting pigments which are supposed to block UV rays...the ones that turn the furniture grey!
It's solvent free, water based, environmentally friendly....and easy to apply.....just clean the wood first then paint on.
Now I am not saying that this is perfect as it needs to be reapplied regularly....and the grey will show thro' if you don't do this, but it's the best that I have found.
My new furniture still looks good......time will tell how long for.
But that's more than can be said of my old benches.

Now here comes the miracle.....they also produce a product which will remove all the old grey.
I forgot to take a complete before photo until I was under way.

All you do is mix the powder in hot water and scrub it on with an old brush.
It's an environmentally and user friendly alkali.
Of course what it doesn't say on the box is that it needs an awful lot of scrubbing!!
It's really amazing tho' how thin the layers of grey is. The 'stuff' turns it into a sludge...then you wait five minutes and wash it off.

Lets take a closer look at how bad it was.
See all those splodges of lichen. now that was really, really bad.
See the sludge between the slats.
It does say that you can mix it stronger if necessary....well it was.
Especially difficult to scrub the edges of the bars even with a toothbrush.
So after scrubbing and scrubbing and washing and washing everywhere at least three times to comments of..there is a lot of work in that!
After two days I had had enough!
I knew that it wasn't yet perfect but very little is!

Two more days to give it two coats of protector all over, in every nook and cranny and the result is....
ta da!!
Isn't that just something!

See the other bench behind, that has had every treatment under the sun

A close up...albeit focused on the garden beyond.

Only time will tell If I can maintain it every year. It takes a real bashing outside all year.

So wanna know what my magic 'stuff' is.
Not cheap, just ordered more on line (cheaper shhh!) You can read all about it here.
Comes from Cheshire like affiliation with the product!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Coral Reef and more Spring Doileys.

At last I hear you say
A month ago I first tatted Vinnie's Spring can read ALL about it in this post.....for amounts of thread needed etc.
it's an addictive little design
maybe it's just me being lazy!

When I find a pattern that I really like, two things happen....
firstly I want to tat it in every possible colour combo..just to see what it would look like...
and secondly, because I have done it before it becomes easy...and the shuttles tend to load themselves...telling me that I can tat it while watching TV with little effort...see what I mean about being lazy. Where as starting a new design while it may be exciting does require concentration.

I tatted Spring Doiley again.....this time in Flame Lantana...(or Tequila's other name thanks to Tatting Goddess)......just to see.....

It really does look vibrant. I really liked the way that the colours worked...quite by accident.....the central rings are all orange...and in all the other elements the colours repeat alternately and it all is very harmonious...I like it when that happens.

Now for something more gentle. I tatted it again in my new Coral Reef....yup I have been dyeing Coral reef again as it's one of my favourites.

This time Coral Reef is a teeny bit different...maybe not even enough to notice.....but spurred on by the colour changes in my Rainbow Transitions has two more in between colours added to add a bit more interest.

Here is a collage of all the Spring Doiley's that I have tatted

Still want to do one using a matching solid for the chains.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Moose droppings!

It seem that the local Moose (one of the local Moose) got a whiff of the Moose droppings sent from Canada by my friend .

 On closer inspection he decided that they are his, and has therefore laid claim to them.

Good job I haven't tatted a Moose yet!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Holidays for stuffies!

Just in case you think that it is strange to send one's Leprechaun on a world tour......check out was advertised in my local newspaper.

Check out the tour programmes. they are also on facebook, click on the f/english flag sign  to see the  photo album.
This is too bizarre for words!

We at Lep HQ  feel that we must  state at this moment, that while Feargal sending souvenirs home is the greatest of fun for Lep HQ, it was not part of the original idea.....that is you don't have to do this! 
We don't want anyone to feel that they have to compete and so not join in the fun.

We would like him to send a postcard home tho'!

The idea was that you would have some fun....and we would have fun at Lep HQ hearing about it, but then I guess all you Lep Moms know that or you wouldn't be Lep Moms.

I think that our Leps have the best time ever!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Feargal sends more stuff home!

Feargal's first stop was in Zurich,Switzerland to visit Finnbarr, they both moved on to Toronto where they left Maebh behind and were joined by Scarlett.
Feargal and Scarlett traveled on to visit Donnacha in Silver City, New Mexico, also going for a stay in Tucson, Arizona and are now back in New Mexico. That's Ok with me, he can stay as long as he is needed.

Postie recently brought a parcel of Feargal's 'stuff' from his time with Finnbarr PLUS some other lovely goodies obtained for me....unobtainable in my neck of the woods.
You already saw the Myra Piper book in my last post.

 Here we have .....Feargal's Swiss suitcase, and his cowbell.
Gorgeous new Teal colour SewMate all time favourite shuttles, lots of floss threaders for loading beads onto my why don't we have them here???
Wonderful samples of Turkish metallic threads, Altin Basak Nakis Simi....I am using them in my current project! and they work really well.

Isn't the shamrock that Finnbarr's mom tatted pretty?
Tadgh wanted to show off Feargal's stuff.

He thinks that the suitcase is perfect for sitting on at the airport waiting to check in.

 He reckons that if a chap didn't mind getting his hat squished...he could travel in it....and not need a seat!

Tadgh was horrified when I asked him to sit on a pile of moose droppings, a bit slippery but taste delicious was his verdict.
 Tadgh is enjoying Feargal's time away!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Books,book, books!

I have just finished my annual incarceration in an exam hall. It gets shorter each year as I get older and the economy gets weaker!
This year together with a good friend, I watched over the mature students doing distance learning courses. This is always a pleasure as some of them haven't sat am exam for decades and really appreciate a friendly face!

5 days, 45 hours gives lots of time to glance down at a book, and I had stocked up!

The first one to be read from cover to cover was the Travelling book, generously travelling round the world courtesy of it's owner Fox.
In case you don't know about it, the travelling book is
Let's Tat
Angeline Crichlow.

You can read about Angeline on Ambitatterous's blog, it's a great report.
The book arrived together with a pretty bookmark from Gina.
A self published book, one of a hundred copies produced by Angeline in first  thought was it's a thesis.
I have seen so many theses for masters and doctorates from this era....the time before students could produce their own computer generated pages with the diagrams and photos embedded in them ready to be printed and bound.

But Angeline didn't have all these desk top printing facilities. This book is many pages all difficult to correct ones mistakes as Fox has shown.
All the black and white photos must have been attached to the pages where she wanted them to be and then the pages had to be numbered, and the whole thing xeroxed maybe....photocopying was in it's infancy.
Then like a thesis produced today it was sent to a expert himself in quality production. The gold foiled letters are so wonderful.
Angeline you created a masterpiece. It must have taken a long time to produce a hundred copies.

It was a wonderful read, thank you so much Fox. It is packaged and ready to send on to the next name on the list.

I had been saving another treat,
Heather Lickley's book on the life of Elgiva Nicholls.....the first thing that I learned was how to pronounce her rhymns with Godiva!

researched by Heather funded by a Ring Of Tatters Bursary, it is a fascinating read.
The book can be ordered direct from Heather herself.

I had also saved the latest newsletter of The Ring Of Tatters
Another great read.
Last but not least pattern book that a friend had ordered for me from the States.

I had seen so many of the designs tatted by lace Loving Librarian that it was a must have. An inexpensive little book with lots of pretty designs to tat.  Maybe for Christmas!

I haven't been able to or in the mood to blog for a couple of weeks so it's good to be back in the mood.
I should have been enjoying the delights of Prague today but with the volcanic ash cloud drifting backwards and forwards with the wind together with a cabin crew strike, and our friends canceling, we decided to quit while we were ahead! So no great gecko photos this time.
More soon....even tatting....maybe.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Apple Blossom time!

My little bonsai Apple tree survived the rough and tumble of the collapse of my display are last Autumn and is flowering it's socks off.
An ugly tree as bonsai go, but the blossom is beautiful.....

...and it reminds me of one of my very first dyeing endeavours to capture the lovely greens and pinks of the flowers before they open.
My stash has long since been depleted, so this is a sign to me to dye it again.
One of the things that I like to do to use up all my little bits of thread.....(anything longer than 5cm in will be used for something, anything less goes into the rubbish bin!) to make little flowers. Picot size will depend on how much thread there is...... just under a meter will make a butterfly.......

Then the flowers will go onto cards.
If you read tat-ology then you will have seen he card that I sent to celebrate the arrival of Mini Boss......someone we have all been waiting for....particularly Maebh who regards her as the Leprechaun version of a God Daughter!!
The flowers on the card were made with Apple Blossom thread.
The gorgeous looking card behind the baby and flowers is my absolute favourite...holographic.
Every time I look at it from a different angle is a whole new card!

Very difficult to photograph. What is the true colour!

The bonsai area is a sorry site.....just a pile of wood........which I am trying to cut up......the bonsai are all huddled together elsewhere hoping that it won't take too long.....
.... the wood has been ordered for the rebuilding, which the two of us will do. The whole area is getting a revamp,( the men 'that do' have brought their wheel barrows and cement already ) to make it a place worthy of a seat in the sun.....and yup that is the door to the dye all it's glory!!

Don't hold your breath!