Humour, Journey, Musings and personal, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing and blogging

The Attack of the Space Invader

 


Be warned….they are out there…living amongst us, waiting, watching…..to claim some of your oxygen, all of your arm space and find the smallest imperfection on your boat race…

So one thing I did notice on my recent trip to London was some folks’ lack of respect for others’ personal space.

We’re all used to having to suffer others’ armpits or admiration of chest rug when bustled into a cramped lift or in a busy queue for the train but the seating situation on my last train journey nearly led me to a large guffaw at, let’s call him, Mr Bumble’s expense.

I run for my train as, like usual, I’m always late but manage to bag a seat with a table – to write some of my blog funnily enough – and sit opposite a suited gent, busy working away on his iPad.

  

We’re on the earlier 4.10 train from Charing Cross, with quite a decent selection of places to park our bottoms, when an elderly gentleman decides to plonk himself pretty much on top of poor businessman, let’s call him Suits...hurrah to the fact it’s not on top of me – efficient use of my bag placement trick detailed below…

He then proceeds to pull the arm rest down, without a word of excuse me to Suits, squashing him further into the plexiglass of window, pulls out a paper flapped into face and pretty much uses the businessman as a headrest. He is obviously far too polite to ask for some of his lap back, although looking thoroughly miffed at not being asked to move.

I struggle to hide my rather unfair sneer but plough my head into my handbag for a quick titter and to retrieve my iPad.

We carry on our journey for literally two minutes, when Bumble decides to cough his way into the next century – quite openly onto Suits into his paper and in my direction, hurtling his leftover lunch onto his chin (cue gross out) – no hand over mouth, apology….NOTHING….

At this point, my seating choice is hanging in the balance – do I move to avoid catching the ills that Bumble has coughed all over us or do I sit here in support of Suits in the hope that Bumble will straighten up, the cough will subside or even better he’ll alight at the next stop.

But he sits…or should I say lays… for the next three stops – we carry on with a few coughs here and there until Mr Suits cannot take it any longer and pretty much screams “I CAN’T MOVE ANYMORE MATE!” – we’re all sitting thinking exactly the same but now looking worried that a rows gonna break out…but Bumble nonplussed, stubbornly (although not really allowing Suits any extra space) apologises before gathering his belongings and staggering off at Sevenoaks….

I doubt this is an uncommon difficulty between us humans, and I’ve seen a fair share of space invaders…..what makes them so keen to climb into the face/chest/laps of others I’ll never know…

Moral of the story is……always travel in pairs, or carry a large inflatable person with you or failing that… always start off your journey in the aisle seat with a mountain of bags that you can place next to you as a sign of “please don’t speak to me let alone think of asking to sit next to me”…it saved me from the SI on this last occasion…but he is still OUT THERE….

  

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Art & Design, Craft, Musings and personal, Uncategorized, Writing and blogging

Super sparkly party pants πŸ‘–

So I ventured up to the big smoke last week, mainly to get acquainted with some lovely fabric suppliers at the Textile Forum www.textileforum.org and two, to visit Berwick Street and check out their lovely fabric shops – and what a feast for the eyes.

I decided (as I’m still frantically trying to work off my cake shelf in time for impending holiday) to see London this time by foot, whilst still clocking up my Fitsteps on to my Fitbit. I didn’t use the tube once and my Converse were bloody painful by the end of the day but no pain no gain“. 

With me being on my ped’s I also got to discover and accidentally fall into a couple of vintage shops….well it’d be rude not to…The lovely guy in Bang Bang informed me on entrance that it was their clearance promotion, so all items would be half price or less…so my nimble fingers quickly took to the rails.. And what a beaut lay in wait just for little old me…

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This lovely full circle skirt by Monica’s of Paris, named Diligence. It may have lost a few sequins but with a nice little vest and paired with the right pumps, it’ll be a lovely 1950’s look in no time

So I carry on my London spuddle and head towards Berwick Streetο»Ώ (any wannabe fashionistas, costume designers or fashion students please go and take a look at this road full of beautiful fabric, the shops are full with every material you can imagine. And if you are a budding designer they aren’t too precious about handing out a few samples here and there) to check out the Cloth Shop and a few others before finding The Cloth House, another Aladdin’s cave of beauty.ο»Ώ     

A beautiful selection of cottons, wool and organdie fabrics…and a mountain of haberdashery items

So if you are in that neck of the woods, definitely take a look – I was in love – and they also have a website (the link’s above) and the minimum spend for some fabrics is just half a metre and the carriage isn’t astronomical.

So…… after drooling over those delights, off I trotted with iPhone map in hand once again and carried on my journey to One Marylebone for The Textile Forum. 

I was immediately taken by the vibrant colours of Nunoya‘s stand which stocks magnificent Kokka cottons in both luxurious and playful prints. 

 

Prints I would love to use in my shop and that would look absolutely terrific transformed into a tee, skirt or baby bib. So I registered my details with the boss man Sean and off I trotted…..

I had a good look round, surrounded by rails after rails of amazing samples, with fabric stockists and wannabe designers desperately wanting to get their order in for this season’s latest print, leather or lace. And I don’t know if it’s my crazy cat lady style or a bit of a case of mistaken identity that seemed to highlight me amongst the crowds, but I was soon accosted by a very lovely lady; the show’s co-founder and organiser, Linda Laderman. 

Linda invited me to have a quick chat about why I chose to attend the forum and what I do – cue bright beetroot Tasha, camera lens touching nose, trying not to bumble and stammer her words to explain why I am there – but I did it! Said my goodbyes, handed my card to a few suppliers and then went in search for a Saturday night outfit.

I’m not a big fan of Oxford Street…I’d much prefer searching through charity shops or vintage stores but I was in a hurry to catch a train so needs must, I bagged myself a pair of very tight fitting gold glittery trousers. I might look like an 80’s xmas decoration on the night but it’s a silent disco so it’ll be dark!!

T x  

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Baking, Birthdays, Cakes, Cooking, Craft, Humour, Uncategorized

Mary Berry I am not….but you can’t blame a girl for trying? (And please be warned its a little EXPLICIT!!)

Gin and tonic cake discovered with the help of a Pudding Lane share from Giddy Aunt Lola

Cakes….I love them …to eat a lot..and I have a very nice space to fit them into…my cake shelf (which is really just another name for my muffin top but it’s quite fitting as it’s mainly full of cake mix).

 So I’m pretty cack at cooking a decent sponge – if any of you have a magic recipe for the perfect equally rising masterpiece then feel free to add it below – I currently use the weight of the eggs as a guide and make my cake ingredients all the same weight. I was also told to cook the sponge at 150c for a longer time and once it’s risen and the skewer comes out clean then “Hey presto!” 

But no celebratory hurrah from the oven this week…more like a Findus crispy pancake, so extra effort was then needed to hide the complete eff up of cake failure under a wedge of lemon butter icing..hopefully the taste will compensate for the Brillo type sponge it surrounds! I’ll let you know…..

Raffey’s lemon and blueberry Wanda and the Alien cake

Where I lack the skills, my little lady however seems to have a knack for baking and making things turn out just perfect…her Oreo cookies were delish!

Decoration on the other hand is not quite such a challenge as I love a good bit of modelling, fiddling and moulding to get it just how I wanted. I started out with shop bought jobbies in the early days or just a batch of cupcakes, but over the years I’ve gradually plucked up the courage to bake and I now have lots of fun making my children’s requests each year… Having both boy and girl, and with an age gap, they at the moment, tend to be opposite ends of the spectrum.

Chocolate orange fairy house

My daughters favourite birthday cake creation so far



 

But then it’s all change when it comes to friend’s cakes – and I was told this recently after I uploaded my latest to Facebook…..that I apparently tend to be slightly more “diversely creative” ha ha …or more straight to the point: CRUDE….yes crude….so if you are easily offended look away/close your eyes/close this page now….


   Sorry I may appear quite uncouth but I find the ‘dirty’ extremely funny (my dad refers to me as his son!) so when I’m not creating little bunnies or pretty little things, I like to embarrass my buddies by presenting them with a cakeage creation that doesn’t look quite so palatable or easy to swallow πŸ˜‰ 

But sharing is caring, and with the gift of giving and being able to offer some sugary treats … who doesn’t want a cock cake for their birthday? Especially when the birthday night out is to a screening of 50 Shades of Grey…



 

And talking of the dark and mysterious Mr Grey, how talented is Rosie of Rosie Cake Diva who’s lifesized Christian ‘Cake’ Grey appeared on the Graham Norton Show next to the dreamy Jamie Dornan who then proceeded to have a bite of ‘himself’! 

You can read the full Daily Mail article here…I’m not so sure I would have been as cool, calm and collected on his cutting, but if the man he’s modelled on is the one scoffing him then I think I would have been pretty chuffed with myself. Go Rosie!

 So on reflection, I’m never going to make it as a master baker….but that’s no biggy as I don’t really have the patience or commitment, but I take my hat off to those that can and do….and I mustn’t forget to mention the lovely Cakes by Chelsea if any of you are in the Kent area, her masterpieces are both delicious and beautiful πŸ™‚

And apologies to those of you trying to remove the above images from your brain….what can I say….I’m a creative kind of girl…with an eye for detail, or maybe just an eye for bad taste…. 

I’ll stick to the sewing machine shall I? 
 

❀️ T xx

 

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About Me, Health and wellbeing, Humour, Musings and personal, Uncategorized, Writing and blogging

Shaping the Future – whilst fending off the fembots!

This is a different stance for me, as I usually like to natter all things craft but of late, with how our world is carrying on, and all that is happening around us, something keeps cropping up into my think tank.

The world is either terrifying or beautiful, and only we can choose how we digest it. Those who know me, know that I am a terrible worry wart, especially where my children are concerned but I make it my own mission to protect them from the horrors of the outside world and hopefully for them to try and see the beauty in what remains. Some I admit aren’t so lucky and that beauty is a little harder to see but we have a chance to make our futures brighter through those tools that are at most times, highly accessible….our children.

We grow up and have various levels of conflict whether it be at school or in the workplace but we hope as we leave that and head for parentdom those trivialities will not arise again. How happy you will be to head into the joyous world of motherhood, with no more worries or arguments (well maybe a few with the hubby over who’s changing nappies or making the next bottle….but that’s it)……BUT how wrong you were, you are now about to embark on the most deadly, soul protecting mission you have ever had – to protect your innocent little bundle of creation from all things – but without realising it, the hardest of them will be judgement and opinion – because everyone will have an opinion. You will not be lone mother/parent/care provider for your little darling, you will be one of many…..

I never realised having something that lights up your world – could cause so much conflict – conflict with those – we call ‘MUMs’ (MUMs for short but full term to be used is Mighty Undercover Manipulators)

MUMs are like a super army. I think, had they been put on the frontline years ago, the wars would still be in full force now, with two lone women, carrying on their shouting match, not making any argument relevant to the point they started on, red in the face and tired from the brain frazzling angst of trying to get their point across. Or…… it may have ended conflict a damn sight quicker amongst the rest of the troops as they would have all fallen asleep waiting for their female opponents to stop talking – no violent weapons needed as the MUMs tongue would have cut through the weaker adversary like a hot knife through butter…

Anyway, back to my point – MUMs are dangerous, they will judge each other, profusely lie about each other, lie about their methods of MUMing – all with one end goal – to beat the weaker ‘mother’ to a pulp and leave her broken; panicking that everything she will do from this moment forward will break her child….. What she will feed it, breast it or bottle it, bathe it in, immunise it against, allow it to watch, how to coach it on the full school curriculum extra to its very capable teachers, what additional homework to set it every night just to allow it to catch up to its peers…and boooooooom has your mind just exploded???????

These MUMs without meaning to become more competitive than two boxers battling for the World Heavyweight title. They will fall out, compare, compete and argue until they have forgotten how they were ever friends and have stripped their newbie child of all personality and left them as a bare shell of not their little darling, but a mirror image of the MUM. Why does this happen? Why are we as females so prone to disagreement, conflict and upsetting each other. We should be building each other up rather than tearing each other down….

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We push and compare to form our child into a miniature version of hopefulness of all that we couldn’t achieve….
I am not denying I am slightly responsible here…I desperately want my daughter to read and enjoy books as much as I did…I want her to have a magnificent reading talent; to want to write books and be creative with her mind as this is our outlet to fantasy (I am a massive fantasist, but let’s not disappear off on that tangent for now)…

Rather than being one of these manipulating MUMs, we should instead make it our responsibility to shape out little miniatures into being a better human being, one that is loving and caring but at the same time headstrong and knows it’s own mind. One that won’t enter in to the world of comparison and the ‘mine is better than yours’ mentality…we should simply just drop that act… The only thing we should be stripping them of are our selfish and over competitive faults…..does it really matter if we are different; that one child can walk before the other, is potty trained before the other, can run faster than the other, read quicker than the other,……No! There are much more important things to focus our child rearing energies on…

– to teach them that they matter, their opinions matter, they should always believe in themselves.
– to be kind and considerate and treat all with respect and appreciate the world around them.
– our issues with body image…be positive in front of our young vulnerable little people.
– our issues with friendships….teach them to embrace all; somebody’s weaknesses maybe somebody else’s strengths.
– our harsh opinions…protect them from talking ill of others….what we may view as a normal judgement of a person, could be seen as detrimental by another.
– teach them to not talk ill of others unless they are prepared to share that opinion with the person themself….loose lips sink ships…..and destroy friendships.
– teach them not to meddle in situations that do not affect them (my biggest one to teach my daughter as she has inherited my ability to take on the world like a one woman justice league, fighting for all equality and unfairness….when sometimes I should just learn to keep my trap shut and let the situation play out as it was meant to)
– you can’t please everybody and you can’t be everybody’s friend but if you treat people with kindness and it’s still not accepted then that is a reflection of them not of you.
– keep them informed of what’s happening in the world but not to a point where the worlds worries become their own.

This list goes on….but this is part of our purpose; our meaning in life, to make our future’s brighter by making our future (generation)’s brighter!

And that doesn’t mean all of it through a school education – they can be the smartest kid in the class but without being courteous, sensible, kind and caring that can all be lost.

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There is enough upset and conflict in the world, without us MUMs adding to it with the trivial….every action we make as an adult with young eyes watching us has an affect…

And don’t get me wrong, it is not all peachy, calm and super parenting at our house. I shout at my kids, my daughter is HER MOTHERS DAUGHTER, but at the end of the day, I just notice now more than ever, as she approaches 8yrs of age, (the age of rebellion) that it is important to listen when needed, not to say negative things in front of her or my son and to hopefully shape them into well rounded adults.I can only hope to grow with my children, not to necessarily be their friend but to be a parent that will always be happy to have their friendship if I’m lucky enough to be given it.

This is how we shape the future, and I hope by supporting them, whilst showing them love and kindness, they will contribute to making it a better one. 😍

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Art & Design, Craft, Health and wellbeing, Musings and personal, Uncategorized, Writing and blogging

Does Blue Monday last a month?

January – the start of a new resolutions.
January – a celebration of a new year, new starts, new things – a month that starts with the best intentions; more visits to the gym, less fat more thin, honing ourselves for the better…or in my case, a bikini for a summer holiday (here’s hoping…I think I’ll still keep my full Anne Kellerman style costume handy for this summer, to save the other holidaymakers peepers!)

Ok so went off on a tangent there….back to January… A dry January – a whole month without alcohol, a month of shaking off the dirty daytime drinking habits of Christmas and the over indulgence of let’s face it most of December (Christmas is a month long, right?)

That’s one effort I have made – no alcohol this month. Although, I (in quite a ridiculously backwards way) will celebrate my month of saintliness, by cracking open a bottle of fizz on Sunday to mark how amazing I have been, ahem sorry hubby, we have been, we have been.
It’s been worth it…annoyingly worth it….I haven’t lost a pound, I have however learnt that water is quite refreshing, alcohol added to food improves its taste no end and its nice to have a month free of a hangover, as with age comes great hangovers…piggy eyed, sallow skinned, zombie apocalypse looking Tash hangovers…….

Anyway! Back to January….January that place for new bright things and motivation? Err…no…Why? Why is it that I feel like I’ve lost a bit of creative mojo – and when I say creative – I mean sewing.

Sitting here crocheting in an evening still holds enjoyment, as does needle felting (although I’m only in the early stages of both), but sewing, that pushing myself in to the ‘make’ is something I’m finding difficult.

Maybe it’s just this month – that January feeling – when we can’t all afford to just stop but really feel like we still want that break of Christmas…the time of feeling happy and nostalgic and not giving two craps about money, as we spend more than a small fortune on our little people or loved ones. But it’s not a lone feeling…
My husband has struggled to get back into the swing of things – he’s an electrician (he makes these amazing lights for me in his spare time)

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and I think the thought of these dark mornings and cold starts is just as off putting as the quick trek in the rain for the school run.

The only thing I have been motivated about is my 10,000 steps a day, the magic of the Fitbit. And if you are thinking of getting fit or just wanting to make small changes, I highly recommend the Fitbit Charge – counts steps, calories burned, floors climbed and even tracks your sleep and gently wakes you with it’s vibration feature every morning. That has kept me motivated…in a totally different way to one I’m used to. Maybe that’s the problem..we can’t focus our energies on to too many things or we will fail at at least one of them…

But I need to get my sewing head back on and develop a few new ideas that have been circling in my head since Christmas. It will come…tbh it would come back a lot quicker if I could find a decent and fairly priced fabric supplier.

I desperately want to make lots of children’s clothes but sourcing the right prints at a wholesale cost is something I’m struggling with. I love Robert Kaufman, Michael Miller and I’ve found some other beauties from the States but, as I’m in the relatively early stages of my craft and not wanting to order 100’s of metres, I’m sure I’m a bit too small fry for them to give an account to – any advice greatly received here πŸ™‚

I am hoping to visit the Textile Forum in the next couple of months (4th and 5th March for those of you interested, just have to apply for an entrance ticket http://www.textileforum.org.uk) so hopefully that will open a few doors…and fingers crossed a few accounts…to allow me to sew lots of items for a cost that appeals to all.

Here’s one I made last month…

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it had quite a bit of interest as the print is so pretty, so to be able to offer them in all shapes and sizes and to have fabrics of all prints in abundance would make me one happy Tashi..where there’s beautiful fabric, there’s always a happy crafter.

One last little thing before I go…and these seem to be trending all over Facebook at the moment…People’s Seven Secrets – those seven points about you that not everybody knows, and a fair few have given me some proper belly laffs…

Here are mine, well those that are suitable for a blog πŸ˜‰ ….so spill lovelies, what are yours?

1. I was a standby for the children’s Christmas edition of the Crystal Maze after winning a competition.
2. I can fit my whole fist in my mouth and I can touch my nose with my tongue.
3. I’ve been in love with my husband since I was 12.
4. I’m terrified of flying, even though I was an air cadet and did an amazing victory roll in a Chipmunk when I was 14.
5. I have Misophonia…especially with people eating.
6. I can’t cartwheel.
7. I have one extra long toe, it’s disgusting to look at. The older I get the more it pains me….I think it needs to come off!
Ha!

The creative mojo will return….I think I’m just stuck at point 4 at the mo!

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For those of you that haven’t lost it…send some stitch and positivity my way πŸ™‚
Ta ra for now xx

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About Me, Art & Design, Uncategorized, Writing and blogging

It all began with Betty…..

Well..this is all new to me…Wordpress I mean…I did once have a dabble in the world of blogging but I got too confused by all the techy talk and ran to the hills…
But..I wanted to move in the direction of a possible blog attached to a web domain, “thinking outside of my nine dots”, as my nan would say, to a possible larger market for my little old Betty and Peg.

And talking of Betty, that’s what brings me here…as without the lovely Betty May Ansett, I would not be as fortunate to sew on my lovely Frister Rossmann Cub which is my pride and joy for creating all my crafty bits – an inherited gem – although I fear one day soon I may have to cheat on the poor old gal (the machine that is) as if I’m to carry on crafting, I’m gonna need some muscle behind the material and some fight to my fabric to bite the bullet and invest in a machine that can take my makes to the next level – to have a needle finish up out of a garment would be such a luxury!

I’m sure most of us learn to sew in the laps of our “olds”, and it is something that we as adults treasure, especially knowing how impatient it can make you, when you just wanna push that 7yr old outta the way to take charge of that little bear she’s been trying to sew for the last half hour…but we relent, and smile and let our little darling carry on humming her happy tune whilst she attaches Babbitbaby’s arm into place.

But for me, it didn’t come naturally, I did not inherit any skill from a long line of machinists or natural self garmenting fashionistas. I’ve had to learn it all from scratch; from simply learning that my machine winds a bobbin, rather than winding it by hand (yes I really did do that once!) – to creating a complex pattern to recover an armchair (I did do that!) and that’s all thanks to a wonderful lady, my sewing tutor Deborah Good – check her out here: www.prettygoods.co.uk or prettygoods2.blogspot.com – she must have the patience of a saint, to be able to show me the ropes or in this case piping cord.

Well, I think I’ve said enough for a first post….and I’m hoping after writing in that little ‘About Me’ box up top that it actually shows on this page to give all a bit more of an idea who this crazy lady is; sitting, hiding behind her ipad, writing in her very loud lounge surrounded by very loud little people….off to make a brew…

and remember..life is like a cup of tea….it’s all in how you make it πŸ™‚

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