Friday, March 31, 2006

April's seaside dress..

After Mum went to bed I made this ..she has to go at least two hours before me .So she hadn't seen it ..I had a similar outfit so she laughed . Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 30, 2006

April's dress

Made with Jaegar alpaca 4ply. Posted by Picasa

How to make a really terrible documentary.

A kind friend recorded a documentary about "The Kennedys" for Mum as we have few extra channels.He got this one in a package and never watches it normally .It started well in that it had a young presenter who looked like Mark Steele ( that would have been good!) .That was the good bit after that with the help of the enormous heaps of old film footage it introduced us, badly, to the Joe/Rose generation .Anyone without any prior knowledge would not have learnt much .It seemed to fast forward to J.F.K's election with the odd suggestion that he was "riddled" with a disease that will remain un-mentionable but because if he had been he'd have been pock-marked like some old Venitian aristocrat .He was a very sick man but with addison's disease .I dare say his morals weren't likely to please his wife .We then go through the oft tried can you shoot 3 bullets out of a rifle in 5 minutes etc. They proved you could but like to leave a doubt that L.H.O could .Lots of stuff about Monroe that was beyond laughable , not that we don't have sympathy for the poor woman.Some wit suggested if they had killed all the women J.F.K had affairs with and laid them end to end ...blah,blah.It seems the beasties did it with a hose-pipe ..I won't tell you where. Then we have the best bit of all a seance at which a bit of plastic points to M.M ( it's name) tells us it was murdered by some bloke called ..b-o-b-b-...guess the last one .So handy she was on-line that day .We then fast forward to 1968 and the only bit of film they seemed to have was R.F.K's thank-you speech after The California Primary ( you have to hear him say "we are a ruthless country" by mistake .Not to lighten what is a horrible few moments of film but then come the conspiracy nuts again. Mum is convinced his murder was a conspiracy if only by the anbulance service who took 23 minutes to get to a head -shooting victim.At least a chance to use all that chaotic footage of people running around in total panic .We don't stop there ...poor Ted gets the Chappaquidick was a conspiracy treatment ..all to frighten him out of running for the White-House ( heck I'd have lived in a bunker for the rest of my life if I was him).All in all with a bit of footage and a wobbly camera , a holiday in L.A you too can make documentaries worthy of showing on a channel that thousands watch ..goddness knows why?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

April MacDrey..

The photo features my beloved Cyril Squirrel .This week I knitted him a wife and this baby .I don't need a pattern so am quite pleased .I just have to brush April with a suede brush . Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Inside my Mother's Day card..

I drew these "ages of Holly" and Mum says she loves them more than her pressie.......yes folks I often wore a Sailor suit ! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Garden Cushions..

Mum got a lovely embroidery book in Oxfam yesterday .I'd like to do the ne with little cabbages.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ist birthday insert

Christmas book insert

Sunday, March 19, 2006

V&A knitting site..

Is always a disappointment as I expected a large gallery of knitwear from designers but at least today I looked at the pictures sent by the public and found a gorgeous cheeky Hare and the cutest little fair-isle bag for a child .I think also a Prudence mapstone bag which is lovely .I am not sure I'd ever go the whole hog and wear any large free-form item but bags are great.I fell in love with some needle-felted alpacas yesterday and some bunnies from "Fiber Trends" but don't know if I'll have time .Mum would love a little alpaca ,she has a sweet finger-puppet one from Bolivia .If you do a Google images search for needle-felting there are some really cute snowmwn and a St. Nicholas who is adorable .

Saturday, March 18, 2006

We all have fathers ...

Luckily they don't make us wear matching clothes ..still jumpers or not I'm sure she'd have preferred to keep and cherish him .A little chat maybe about how she'd like a mini-skirt and a nice cheesecloth shirt ? Posted by Picasa

Or let's try the infamous "Mac"..

as previously mentioned trying to look at my favourite make-up is no better ..the rap is played at volumes so loud I am deaf when I stagger out whilst drippier assisstants chat to their friends about who they ********* last night .It is fairly expensive and yet has no class at all in this environment .Then enjoy a walk through the perfumery where Mum will have to tell the assistant which Guerlain perfumes came out when and a little bit of the company story as they go red .Ask what the top-notes are etc and blankness stares back.If anyone here watched "Love-Soup" the two stupid girls in that compare well. At least the lack of staff means we can go home smelling of "Joy" .Mum just found that the Boston based company "Fresh" has left Reading and she is heart-broken as their perfumes did not induce head-aches.Yesterday we walked through yarns while the poor lady who Mum knows well was training a new girl..things were not going well she had never knitted ,didn't understand how sheep fleece ended-up looking like string ..Diana has some work on her hands there .She was young ,attractive ( if you like sticks) maybe advertising for a knitter would have helped.

Last art-shop sells up ..

here in Reading town centre .This is so sad ..luckily they had a 50% sale so I got lots of paper , sketch books and gold inks and nibs .This makes the town even more boring and although Hobbycraft has an art section it is not a great place to shop.It is ugly , looks like a warehouse , small children run up and down the isles ,then wail then go to the upper floor so they can make more more noise whilst drippy parents take no notice as they coo over plastic flowers .At least in "Art-Worker" there would be students ,old-folks who painted and PEACE !

Friday, March 17, 2006

Country's most boring Mall...

I grant I havn't been to them all but this one is just horrible.The side you can see is mostly junk food with loud music blaring .There is a boring "Vue" cinema complex full of people who eats buckets of popcorn and sometimes throw up behind you ..then the shops..clothes,clothes,clothes ..not much else .What I wouldn't give for a good art shop ,a small bead shop ,a craft shop ,a French baker .At Christmas they add huge plastic Santas just to help with the aesthetics .The rest of the town looks scrappy now .Yet we have The Thames and some famous buildings ..a few knocked down .What do you all think of these grey concrete boxes? H.R.H Prince Ch...........ahem Holly. Posted by Picasa

The Wherethehellarewes..

A small tribe of people who live in Mum's workroom that Dad invented years ago .No-one has ever seen one yet but we are sure they carry off pens to use as spears and we hope they like to eat moths. It is a small room and houses my old school work along with Mum's yarns and all the material she hopes to make into quilts much inspired by Janet Bolton.My new scrap-booking is joining it all Mum was born in New Zealand she likes to think they have little Maori carvings on their houses .

Thursday, March 16, 2006


More joy from Lakeland.....

How to get shot on public transport courtesy of Lakeland plastics..

carry the handy plastic Banana guard in your pocket ..yes folks look on page 13 of that "useful" catalogue .It might impress a girlfriend I suppose but an armed Policeman with a wary eye should never see one tucked away .Those who can't see it is 25cms with a bend 3/4s of the way in stiff yellow plastic and costs £ your money and possibly your life.

No name on the bag post..

It's Kaffe's "Roman Glass" is Mum's dream to knit a jacket in this pattern but fears she'd go nuts .He says it is easy but he would the man is a genius .She tried ,cast off and made it up as a bag .I think she has so many projects she just doesn't have the time. She is knitting a lovely "Jewelled Stripe " shawl between stuff for me . She just got some Noro "Aurora" in a sale so is all set to make me another jacket ,cardigan thing ...she hates patterns.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

 Posted by Picasa

Favourite coat..

Mum got some super-chunky Cashmerino from "Coldspring" so I am hoping for another with a different neck-line maybe? Posted by Picasa

My latest bookcover...

hoping it looks just a bit like me ..oh the life of glamour you can lead on paper ! Posted by Picasa

I find Mum's knitting so ...

interesting a subject ! Posted by Picasa

Look at the sign..

Mum has a compromised sense of humour ..she is hoping the Borhka is coming in for Quakers anyday now. Posted by Picasa

Lily says..

"get me out of here "...mum's stashing is a bit untidy . Posted by Picasa

Favourite eating place...

Gorgeous noodles and ginger chicken ..sigh! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

New book insert for "The Golden Years"

 Posted by Picasa

Cast off please Mum....

Those circs could damage a girl..besides you know it is your coat . Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ist episode series 7.."The West-Wing"

The fears of some fans that the quality of the material would be losing it's sparkle will be completely un-founded if the rest of the series lives up to this episode. There was plenty of energy from the new actors ( Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda) as the Democratic and Republican Presidential contenders. The quality of the late John Spencer's performance serves to emphasise what a great talent we have lost. It gave me more insight into the political machine at work despite all the books I have read on the 1960 campaign .Technology has changed but the inevitable human interactions , rivalries etc remain the same. I look forward to more and inclusion of humour as in Leo's re-action to being told his grandson might not be photo-genic enough to join him on the campaign. If looks were and are so important Nixon could never have stood for any office ( maybe a good thing ..ho-hum) and maybe not even Carter. I don't care what they look like as long as they have integrity and a brain .

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My latest project..

A bib for my first little "Hunny" ..sewn,embroidered,applique .I designed it myself so Mum thinks I should do seasonal ones now.

Muffy goes to bed

See the girls in their cute undies by the washing line....I still love them and sometimes get outfits for them on E:Bay.

Muffy for Hazel

Muffy is American and very expensive .When I was three Mum and Dad took me to Chelsea to get her and some outfits ( they cost £20.00s a set ) .It was my birthday and the toyshop was very small and very posh ! There is a site on E:Bay if you type her in that does her but the company changed her to make her cheaper and ruined her quite a bit.She has a friend called Hoppy Vanderhare who Mum loves more .

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A must read..rushing to bookshop.......

Just reviewed by Richard and Judy ..sounds perfect for Mum.It is called "March" by Geraldine Brooks and is the story of Louisa May Alcott's father as Mr March ( i.e the father in Little Women ). So we have anti-slavers ,Transcendentalists ,The American Civil War all in one book.It is hard to find anything inspiring for her these days as she has eye problems and hates to read .I read to her a lot but we have a stack of William Kennedy novels half read . I know she'll stop knitting for this one so my Mother's Day gift is sorted out .

J.F.K quote...

When asked his favourite piece of music "Hail to the Chief has a nice ring to it" ..not sure if it was before or after election.

A huge favourite is his reply to Bobby's many letters to him in The Pacific ..along the lines of that they were all the more interesting for being un-readable. Some now say R.F.K had dyslexia...some say J.F.K but we doubt that he was a speed reader .The family letters to each are full of wit and irony ..J.F.K is said to have reported negotiations with Khruschev as like "with dad , all take and no give" .It is something to watch that cheeky face give speeches off the cuff in perfect sentances to deliver written ones with great authority and then have to hear and watch the guy in that position now bumble through really is scary.

Hooray for "Bobbins" of Whitby

A kind fellow knitter sent Mum the pattern booklet for Colinette's "Madame Butterfly " coat .It is made with "Fandango" and "Prism".Mum phoned "Bobbins" as she has found they are a good supplier of "Fandango" .The lady went through lots of colours then Mum explained I was a tad browner than would suit some colours.She went to a lot of trouble and they decided on "windfall" which I love .It is knitting up really fast but the weather is now warm and wet ! I hope I get to wear it before next Winter.It is very much more "me" than a lot of the more modern patterns. I like a bit of swish and swagger ...then Mum can get that "Romeo and Juliet " Kaffe coat started ...right Mum ?

Film review time again..

There was the most un-speakable horror on T.V Sunday but as it had Martin Sheen in I watched it ...a stupid sucked back in time story in which they don't succeed in preventing Pearl Harbour .
Mum and I have a knit spot to co-incide with the afternoon Channel 5 movie and they have an obsession with films about preventing J.F.K's assassination. In the "best" of the bunch a reluctant scientist sends one guy back who is mis-taken for Oswald so arrested , another person goes back is hit by a car ends up in hospital only to get up and try to reach Dealy Plaza in time.....anyhow to cut a long story short no end of characters go back and change nothing I lie the main character's brother does not die in Vietnam .Do not even enquire why cos it is a film that is so awful we hardly take it in.

I shall now do a review of one of Mum's favourites which it will not surprise you to know is called "R.F.K"......and stars the son of Coronation Street's Ken Barlow ( or rather the actor ) .This was a bit odd she thought but now ranks his performance as just below Stephen Culp's in "Thirteen Days" .On first viewing she almost hated it but that is understandable it is far too big a subject for one film .What Linus roache is good at is catching a shadow of the man and his intonation and frailness compared to J.F.K's seemingly healthy ,confident appearance .The use of lots of original film patches in quite well and helps give a better feel of the era.
The mental crisis that followed his brother's murder is done by J.F.K popping up and his talking to him .A lot of critics complain about this device but we can't see how else to do thoughts on screen .He voices R.F.K's doubts about some of their policies and his own role in pursuing the Mafia and possibly un-leashing the forces that led to his brother's death.
It is the famous speech after Martin Luther King's murder that is most moving and so well done .Linus Roache must be very good at accents .The actor who plays L.B.J does a wonderful job portraying the hostility and ,biased as we are ,his feeling he had a right to patronise R.F.K no longer "little brother" to The President .
The end is perfectly and movingly done and I knew would set off floods of tears .....the funeral train cuts to his campaign train and his hand waves out to the mass of people running after it near the mass who stood hours on a blazing June day along the tracks to pay respect to him and his family.A small figure with rolled-up pants walks his dog "Freckles" on a California beach and fades into histiory ( as clever as the shadows on the wall at the end of "Thirteen Days" .

Miniature Knits and other things..

As someone left a kind message about my new miniature knits I thought I'd discuss the concept.Mum loves miniatures of lots of things , her favourite illustrator Nicola Bayley does glorious miniatures .She helps me make items for my shop run by a squirrel with an awful lot in common with Arkwright of "Open all Hours" .A tray of tiny "Fimo" pies etc coming out of the oven is a wonderful site.I loved the "Sylvanian Families" as a child rather than dolls in my doll's house . I now have some velveteen mice who I really love and some Badgers I made from mohair.I am a no pattern person and prefer to cast on and shape as I go .I think an awful lot of people adore miniture items.I guess that is why books like "The Borrowers" are so popular .

Monday, March 06, 2006

My latest minis..

Baby shawl,bonnet and mittens..booties already attached to a new book-cover .All in angora 4ply.

Bit of a mess?

Some blogger just scared the pants off me saying blogger won't load scanned pics..this is scanned so I can breathe again..Mum's workroom is a tad messy .

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Appeal for stock cubes those in need..

Poor Mum just read THE R.F.K memorial site and much as she adores the guy gets annoyed everytime by the really weird contributions ...leave some of your estate ( huh? we live in a small terrace ..I need it when the old folks pass on ) .Then her favourite is your "stock "..she is in the mood to shove two chicken stock cubes in the post .Now considering his constituents in N.Y were not all rich and some of them must remember him with affection it hurts her a lot.They also have a video at a mere $100.00s ...she can't afford that unless she stops knitting and that keeps her sane..ish .She is tempted to ask if a nice fluffy scarf would do but thinks the Children's action corps in his name might have a more realistic idea of what supporters can manage.

"Do not be scary"

Mes amis ...learnt Spanish so can only guess at the spelling ! Anyhow that is a quote from Gerard in the wonderful comedy "Love and Sex" .If anyone wonders about David go look at Franklin's site and eerrrrhemmmm all will be revealed . Holly who kept a book about the original Olympics under her bed for the illustrations until Mum found it and I heard squeals of laughter ..the drawings were not good ...well it was a Dorling Kindersley one for school !

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Support Franklin..

Bit cold in Michelangelo's studio no? Well now Dad insists we add Gertrudis from "Like Water for Chocolate" as some equal opportunities thingy ..huh! All the time it's ladies' bosoms everywhere when do we get a look in I ask you ?..........although the poor guy isn't much of a treat is he ?
Holly stood under him at the age of three( a copy in The British Museum) b.t.w as he is in Florence ..poor Flo. ( Holly's Mum).

My first Loopa and Mum...

Poor Mum had a major panic-attack yesterday luckily half way along our street so made it home before she passed out.She throws up when she comes round,sweats and then goes cold as ice .I stand by with water and a blanket but can't get too close or she'll get hemmed in today I made myself a loopa with her Silky-chic ,windsong and something fluffy ! I also gave her and Dad pooter lessons so need a holiday .The loopa too two hours and I hope to make Mum one tomorrow..sorry it's a terrible picture but I have to use the scanner .

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday in our town..

We had various things to buy today so I went off to get sketching pencils leaving Mum to browse the magazines .I came back to find her in stitches over the mother's day issue of "Knitting" .It is awful except for Tess's capelet which I half own already ...Mum got some "Decor" in a sale and added other shimmer, glitter yarns.It is much admired in town .We then had a look at the "Per Una" knits ..I liked one that looked a bit like it was knitted in a Point-Five with glitter ...until I tried it on .Mum was horrified at the poor quality and people complain about the price of yarns. It is not my usual taste so she is so pleased I think she is going to knit me one as soon possible. She then trotted off to one of our two L.Y.S's where she was horrified again by the hideous new yarns. I think "Wendy" call anything with a bit of fluff "Party" .She isn't keen on the new Rowan yarns , likes the Debbie Bliss and the new soft cotton that is either Patons or Sirdar .It looks good quality and has a lovely rich red .As we were walking to town we found an old sign high on a wall for a now closed carpet shop as Mum had her "Fandango" coat on she told me to take her photo only to see a man rolling up ( in a nice way ..he thought it appropriate) .Then we went to M and S for the big food shop , not having a car we get it delivered and very good they are too. Anyhow the delightful asian girl on the till asked in her heavy Glaswegian accent if Mum fostered children .Mum looked puzzled and asked why as I was the only "child" with her .She sort of nodded and winked and said well she's ( here's where we thought she'd say Black ) ... " eeerrr very pretty ".That made Mum laugh as she said "so are you" .She still isn't sure if she meant she can't be yours looking how you do ..Mum said I should have said Denzal Washington had a liason with me just to think how far he could go in a role married to an older , funny looking woman.I am sooooooo glad she didn't as she has a warped sense of humour.The poor girl on The Chinese bag and shawl stand talked to her as my "granny" and when told "no mum" could not apologise enough even though Mum just laughs .Whilst in the L.Y.S we were suddenly thrown off our feet by rap music at a volume un-heard of on earth is like "Grace Bros." so we looked around to see a twit on a mobile phone wearing the most ghastly nylon Chave hat which we were tempted to ram over her head. We sighed and left ...thank-goodness it was quiet at Dad's office if a bit stuffy .

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Can't live without it..

Mum has some" fine photos "I could sneak you ...yes of her work.

quaker artists and writers

Alpaca glitter..

Mum just got a skein of Cherry Tree Hill's "Alpaca Glitter" from Gill at "Woolly Workshop" ..her fingers are twitching now as she has too many W.I.Ps to start using it .She also got some "Halo" by Tess in gorgeous purples that she is going to combine with another yarn to knit me a tank-top.

Check out a few new authors.....

I'll try to add some at least once a week.

"Oh no "( say it in a Ruth from The Archers voice)

Not "Pride and Prejudice again...just heard on the radio 4 news that it won an award as book with the best ending...please guys read outside of that small ,white ,middle England ,old ,boring ,romance stuff. There are so many great authors you can't keep reading that stuff ( are you all sitting in empire-line dresses) read Isabel Allende ,Willa Cather ,Sandra Cisneros anything ...Alice Walker ..there is a World of literature out there demand it ! Unless all readers were brought up to really think English lit. is best I got news for you . Then shock yourselves to the ends of your nerves and follow it up with Edward Said's "Culture and Imperialsim" ............will you ever be able to like any of her characters again .I just can't think that book stays on top is an insult to women to think we can't move on or an indictment of the National curriculum ? No wonder kids growing up in council flats maybe in inner-city areas find a good book hard to find ( Jacqueline Wilson you are excused with my blessing she is good ).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sorry Mum...

All those R.F.K in E.K.Y ...that's Eastern Kentucky ..not Kansas...uuuuummmhhhhhh I can FEEL the interest's great read all about it .He cared you believe it or not so what ? ...Ted cares ..hey it was Happy Birthday in Feb. according to my mailbox so "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you , happy birthday to a big brave guy ..74 and many more to come" Holly and angie xx

New chapter dividers

click on any pictures on site to enlarge

West wing character Mum

I agree with Holly about all the characters but Leo was my favourite by far .I think that dedicated 95% loyalty must be very frustrating for families ( Dave Powers ...Kenny O'Donnell etc all the "Camelot" loyalists and friends gave all they could and maybe that is what is needed for a President to function well). My other favourite was Josh but his quick exit nearing the election campaign was a little hard to swallow.I can much more understand the "I'd take the bullet" loyalty . I detest the First lady too .I can't even begin to list the repulsive women ..but I'll have a go !
1) Ainsley ..partly just for being Republican .
2) Zoe ,The President's youngest daughter ..she is just irritating and seems dim about her family responsibility.
3) Mandy ..awful voice , pushy , bossy, screechy .
4) Amy ..too awful for words ( a voice from hell ) thinks she can speak for the first lady .

Lovely ladies

1) Mrs Laningham ..heart of gold as dedicated as J.F.K's Mrs Lincoln of whom it is reported he said "If I told her I'd just cut off Jackie's head" she'd have said "That's lovely Mr.President " and found him a box to put it in .
2) C.J ..gutsy without being masculine and has a great sense of humour .
3) Debbie ...what can I say ..played by Lily Tomlin and I like her clothes as much as her .
4)Donna..sweet , loyal ,efficient and takes a lot of ribbing from Josh that is irritating .
5) Margaret ..not sure why except that all the secretaries keep their bosses work together etc ...reminds me of R.F.K saying "women in a campaign do all the work the men just gossip "

Favourite scenes ...The President having a go at the woman from the radio station for homophobic nuts ..he hoists her on her own petard .Too brilliant for words !
Mrs Laningham's funeral and after when The President has the Cathedral sealed so he can tell God what he thinks of him out loud ..wonderful stuff.

The three assassination attempt episodes are too moving ....and so well done.

The burial at Arlington of a Korean War veteran Toby find's has died wearing the coat he gave to charity( he was homeless)I cry to the point of sobbing and gasping for air when Toby flinches at the sound of the Gun-salute.

The secret -service agent assigned to C.J after she gets death threat E:mails ...he dies during a hold-up at a corner store ..the music playing is Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" makes me nearly scream with rage at the gun laws or lack of them ..Arnie /Heston and your dammned like make that more possible than it is here and that is bad enough .

Least favourite is the over-done kidnapping of Zoe ..just too much and although Martin does a fantastic job .The First lady seems to blame him for making difficult decisions that all Presidents have to make ..when it suits her she loves her position and it isn't a picnic after all ...she should have left him if she wasn't going to support him before then...."Goodnight Mrs Kennedy wherever you are " is reported to have been said of Jackie ..same applies to Abaigail in spades.