Friday 29 November 2013

Tins ..I love tins

I blame this post on you see we have a tin in common, so as requested its show us your tins day  The trouble with tins is that you can always claim theyre storage , so its a crafty way of having a hoard. Mine are mostly sewing storage and these all lurk within hands distance of my desk, theres an awful lot more hidden around the house.  Theres not been  lot of blogging this week mainly due to an attack of the Quasimodos , ive done something to my back and today its getting better but im struggling to balance on one foot and it makes it interesting to say the least . Work has been fun , but ive hobbled on and hopefully with a lay around like a cabbage kind of weekend . More like an ebay and direct the house elves should feel more me and less like a pill popping zombie by Monday .
so lets start with the oldest a gorgeous pair of Colmans mustard  commemorative Tins, these were probably the first tins i bought back in my teens , I had a huge collection of commemorative tins and china that ive whittled down to my favorites and family bits . Not valuable very tatty but i still find these beautiful The 1902 coronation of Edward the VII  and the 1893 Wedding of the future George V .

The Sewing Collection these really do have sewing bits in them , the red dragon huntley and Palmers was my mums sewing tin back in the 60s

BlueBird Toffee tins from the 50 and 60s they house my embroidery transfers and buttons (ok not all my buttons ), just popped a bit of Pyrex in their to relieve the boredom

And my latest acquisitions, A Queen elizabeth 60 years jubilee , now full of lace scraps and this Kitty cat who was so filthy i bought him for a £1 then found he was full of buttons bows and buckles , yet to be sorted properly im afraid .

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Fat Bird Fashion Rant

I think im xmased out allready this year , ive wandered the county in the last week between funeral chores , popping into charity shops here and there , having to fight my way past hoards of old ladies trying to buy smellies from 3 years ago that wont have an ounce of smell , buyers of moth eaten xmas trees and the rest of the pickers looking miserable and despondent .
Then theres the horror of trying to buy real world clothes in basic black during the sparkly fat bird on a cruise season. I know choice is limited if your a fat bird but ive seen some really bizarre sights . why has everything got funny shaped hems ? the only real slimming item of clothing would be a camouflage onesie and a bunch of trees this time of year . Why would anyone want to cover themself in black sparkly sequins ? sort of Shirley Bassey does steroids . My mothers nearly 80 and wouldnt be seen dead in the stuff they sell in Evans. My daughter howls with laughter every time i have to venture into the place , she has suggested wearing a burka might make the experience more enjoyable .
Heres my big question for the fashion industry , if most of the country is a size 16 + why when you get anything new instore will there be 2 of each large size and 20 size 10s ? then come the sales thers no large sizes and 9 size 10s rotting on the rails?  Sainsburys you do great basics that dont drop to bits at the first wash. But why oh why did you ever employ Gong Wang ? has anyone ever been seen wearing the hideousness he designs?  do you ever sell any of them? The knockdown rails are packed with his offerings , scary stuff it is . Asda , I know its xmas but how many reindeer jumpers can one store have?
Meanwhile ive got to list this bit of size 22 loveliness on ebay at the weekend i never wore it , its just been hanging in the wardrobe looking beautiful for a long time, now i never have the occasion to wear it and the psoriasis never goes away , this is the back view it laces like a corset

Saturday 23 November 2013

Be Grateful

Its Sunday morning 7am ive been up for hours, the 5 year old Muck magnet is already making the most of his mum still being in bed and watching daft TV and im on my third cuppa tea , the birds havent even started singing yet.  
All my American friends will be turkey wrestling , my English ones mostly having a Sunday lie in .
Weve had a funny couple of weeks as a family . My partner and I are both the product of divorced parents, my parents were a car crash , but they split and married great people , my step parents were awesome people they loved my parents till the day they died holding hands . Theres just my mum still alive now .
Sadly this week Mr Bah Humbug lost his mother , his parents were also a disaster together and went on to other partners , she sadly died alone . we have a big family feuding  funeral tomorrow and i dread it . all his siblings loath each other
Weve been together 7 years we have 5 great kids between us, thankfully we were to old to make any of our own but weve had my daughter and grandson living with us for 5 years , my son lives in the shed(dont ask) another  son is down the road keeping an eye on his 86 year old Grandad , it means he gets a big bedroom and him and Grandad are like a comedy sketch together . Our part time members are a son with Aspergers and Autism who lives with his mum but lodges here when she needs a break , which believe me she deserves.
But this brings to mind the eldest , shes always been the one who keeps her distance and shes fiercely independent . In the space of 2 weeks shes delivered by c-section Mr Bah Humbugs first grandchild all of his own, Ava, on the anniversary of her mothers death.  We were due to go visit on the weekend  her Grandma died , so her first outing will be to her Grandmas funeral and this will be the first time weve seen her for ages.
I wish we could make everything all right but it isnt ,im the step mum who stole her Dad as far as shes concerned . So tomorrow will be a sad but fraught occasion .
Unconventional families are so much the norm these days , were not the Waltons and Mr Bah Humbug just gets upset over it all . He says i mother them all to death . True, but i was never mothered at all .
So today its a be grateful for what you have, be it family , church or friends . If someone cares about you ,youre truly blest .

Thursday 21 November 2013

Long Ago In A Land Far Away

Once upon a time , my dearly unbeloved ex husband bought me something nice. I hasten to add this was by chance . At an auction he managed to get 3 huge photo albums , all dating 1910 -14 , mainly because they were in such dreadful condition no one in their right mind would have bought them , except maybe me they had been soaked the pages were thick with mould and the smell was indescribable . we split up 3 weeks later
Fast forward 7 years and he handed me a big black bin bag with them still in , id filled the bag with loads of silica gel packets tied it up and hed shoved it in storage . Well it kinda worked , the smell had gone the mould had turned to dust a lot of the pages had rotted away , but a lot of the pictures were salvaged . One whole volume was Raj India and the far east, awesome social history shots which ive cut out and kept , but whover had filled the albums had done the world tour , America, Europe, North Africa, egypt and lots of places that only feature in old globes and atlases . so I broke them into groups and ebayed a lot , but im now on the last album take a look, theres a mixture of photographs and postcards , i have to make an effort and ebay these before xmas ..but real life is keeping me busy
San Carlos Mission 
Aboard the Franconia sailing  from New York

Ohio River 

Monday 18 November 2013

50p Purchase

You know when you just have to grab something because somebody else has just put it down. The Wonder Book of Children of all nations is now mine. snatched from the dump bins and dragged home to my lair .
I just took the chance that it might have some nice colour plates , it dates from 1919-20  not many colour plates at all , dilapadated and packed with vintage photographs though so well worth 50p .

The photographs are great from a social history perspective , if a little strange, this is a childrens book that has a section on torture and capital punishment.
Then i started to read it , now I know this is Age of Empire that i collect  , and Britannia ruled the Waves, but they havent got a nice word to say about any other race on the planet , reading this is not for the squeamish . Still read it though . but i think its going on the top shelf out of the way of anyone. so ive picked some nice photographs to show you today out of it
Canadian Indians 

Norwegian Daft Hats 

Sunday 17 November 2013

Crafty Sunday

Its always good when ebay starts to throw free listings about , so today im trying to build up a pile of crafty listings on good old Turbo Lister . So then tomorrow i just have to press the magic upload button when I get in from work . The Trouble is I just keep finding more and more. lol . Plus theres all the usual domestic servitude tasks of a normal Sunday as well .
I think I will resort to grouping things together , with the cost of listing and Paypal fees its not really worth listing anything for less than £5 , unless im just glad to see the back of the item . So ive grouped a pile of Womens Institute booklets together

, im debating vintage dolls knitting patterns and vintage toy knitting . Ive separated issues 1-8 of Mollie Makes , that means ive faced the fact i will never make the herds of felt animals i kept them for . Ive mountains to do but my minds just not on it .

Friday 15 November 2013

My Version of Frugal and Thrift

Blame this rant on and the ever useful . This is the time of year when financial matters really hit , you look around you and all the carrier bag carrying lemmings are heading for the shops , the more you shop the more your loved , isnt that the way we should think. guilt guilt guilt cos its xmas .
Mr Bah Humbug is allready ranting happily over the TV ads and weve taken the precaution of ordering a new TV remote for when he hurls it at the TV after the thousandth time the Hare and Bear appear but i think its the M&S add thats got him venting well .
So heres my weird guide to being skint or almost skint , none of this is recomended by anyone but it does work i can vouch for it .
1, You just got made redundent or your income has dropped to virtually zilch
 If its redundency and not the liquidators knocking on the door of the company you will get redundancy money ,due holiday pay any salary owed etc quickly. Do not spend this money get it out of the bank the day it lands and put it under your mattress. there is no law to prevent you doing this, the bank may squeal, tell them youre buying a car .
First job is call the Council Tax and if your renting Housing Benefit , tell them you wish to make a claim , you dont have to give them anything much at this stage they just run through a checklist , but once its logged on their system it has 30 days to be processed and they will backdate to your first call to them , if you ring them 6 weeks down the line when the bailiff letters appear that is the date they start the claim from . Do remember it can take weeks to get JSA
Do not make any payments on loans or credit cards , do check if loans or credit cards are covered by insurance first . this is usually the point where you find out just how plain useless all the loan insurance is , my partners covered him for his illness but his employment insurance stated he had to supply details of 3 job interviews he had attended each month , unfortunately he took a year to get an interview fortunately he got the job!!!. other insurances state you must maintain payments till the claim is processed , they then take months to process the claim. Theyre not daft at all . Do not ring them let them ring you , if you dont want to talk to them turn your phone off . There is no debtors prison , yes you will destroy your credit rating but as you cant eat it ,does it matter?

Do contact your mortgage provider , there are numerous schemes to help and they really want your money .
Take a look at your other outgoings , do continue pet insurance its cheap and you never know. Look at your life insurance can you get a cheaper term insurance for less or the same amount .
If you make CSA payments ring them straight away , once again its from the date you call them not from the date they call you .
Utilities , do talk to these people , you will need heat light and water , if you have a large bill outstanding the water suppliers are the people who will have you to court fairly quickly and if you want to avoid CCJs and horrendous costs talk to them .
Gas and Electric if your supplier is one of the big boys your in luck, if you went on a comparison web site and got the cheapest your in deep do do , theyre cheap for a reason sunshine! and this is the point they will exploit you to the hilt , they will have you to court in no time , slap on huge costs and send the bailiffs to fit you with a pre payment meter which will claw the money back at a ridiculous amount a week . You will end up sat in the dark and cold 3 days a week. If you have the money ring them with a meter reading pay the bill and go to the big boys right now.
If youre with the big boys even if you owe them thousands they can still help , do not pay your bill , yes they will ask you to take a prepayment meter , the argument that they are more expensive is based on the fact that you pay £1 a week maintenance charge , big deal . no matter what you owe them you will pay it back at £5-6 pounds a week which is in effect an interest free loan , once the meter is fitted you can go to a cheaper supplier if theyre more expensive . British Gas even do a USB key charger so you dont have to go to the shop!! Plus once you have a meter they all have schemes to help those on a low income so do talk to them
To all my American readers I understand that this is the most boring rant youve read , but i know your country is in as big a mess as ours and normal service will be resumed tomorrow

Thursday 14 November 2013

Knitting Pattern Hell

Never Ever be fooled by a grinning little old lady behind the counter in a charity shop . "Ive been saving these for you " she says and lobs half a stone of knitting patterns in a Tesco carrier bag at me . But then I cheered up when she said "thats a £1 "
So ive spent a happy hour looking at bad taste knitting , trying to find that one that will make me a fortune  This is an example of the good stuff  (image stolen from ebay) these bad boys recently made £100 on a BIN, trendy woolies from the 30s to the 50s are selling really well at the moment.sadly these arent mine

 .Obscure Doll and Toy Knitting Patterns by Alan Dart and Jean Greenhowe can fetch £5 each upwards some considerably more ,Fireman Sam doll knitting pattern recently sold for £65 .

 Early Rowan Knitting Pattern Magazines , I sold mine to help fund my divorce . Gary Kennedy Intarsia Patterns , certain ones once again can fetch £30 plus. So never overlook the tatty pile of knitting patterns you never know what you might find , ive found dressmaking patterns and all sorts of obscure stuff in this pile of  90% rubbish  . Did I find any gems in this pile of tatty pages , I wont get rich but they will more than pay for themselves and then some


Wednesday 13 November 2013

Why did I buy this?

Aaaarrrggggghhhhhh....ive been buying stuff with no resale value yet again  lol...I was bored today and it was sunny, so a hike around Torksey car boot sale was on the agenda in my dinner hour .  I was nattering and setting the world to rights with my mate Jane ( see Jane you do get a mention ) moaning how id walked miles and bought nothing when i spotted this strange item that said take me home , its a mint condition empty 1960s Braun projector case , I havent a clue how i will re purpose this , there must be a use for it , for now it can be storage for the vivid blue planter I managed to get thrown in as well , it was such a lush 70s blue ,the only markings are Italy K2I  and if all else fails i noticed ive got a  broken a planter by the front door so it can go out in the spring .

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Torksey was a real disappointment today there seemed to be an awful lot of stalls selling fake branded boots and clothing , knock off cheap imitation perfumes etc but i suppose it is near xmas . There wernt even any decent vintage xmas items , there was an awful lot of stalls and if clothing vintage or otherwise is you resale thing , there was tons available .  I did see the dreaded Linen Lady with her big shopping bags trying to intimidate sellers yet again and a little old man whos been buying watches since i was a kid , I think its scary that ive been going to car boots since they first started in this country , i used to go to fairs and antique auctions when i was a kid with my mother . ..IM SO OLD

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Why Cookbooks?

I was looking for a recipe to use up something strange from the cupboard the other day , when i got sucked into Dolly Daydream mode and before it I noticed  3 hours had gone by and im surrounded by mountains of them . Most normal people would just leap online, tap in the mystery ingredient to All Recipes and away they go . Not me . i have a severe cookbook addiction . 90% have been charity shop finds, the odd one or two have been gifts , i have so many that I will end up as a little old lady being squashed to death by a pile of them . My definition of a good cookbook varies from the ones most charity shops see , i like mine to have fingermarks and splodges , i like them to look used . so most of what i desire probably goes in the bin .

First up is the readable ones, mostly gifts they know they cant go far wrong with, anything by Bob Flowerdew, but it tends to be any TV chef, gardener who actually gets their hands dirty , Ray Mears might seem a strange inclusion but i do like a bit of foraging . Nigel Slater because i want him to be House Elf and  Nigella keeps Mr Bah Humbug glued to the box     The ones i use everyday. Anything by Rose Elliot with Bean in the title , inoffensive vegetarian recipes , not much Tofu involved , Marguerite Pattern Victory Cookbook 101 uses for a sardine and a mouldy crust , Farmhouse Fare any edition recipes from farmers wives . But youve got to be an old bird to use Farmhouse Kitchen and remember it back in the 70s on afternoon TV .

So what cookbooks do you consider an essential ? heres my dilapadated 1915 Mrs Beaton theres not much thats practical these days in it, but its still a fun read

Sunday 10 November 2013

In Remembrance

It seems appropriate this being Remembrance Sunday and tomorrow Remembrance Day to bring up the subject of those we tend to forget , the women left behind when the men went to war
So meet my gran Clarie Exley , age 19 she joined the Womens Land Army in 1914, people tend to forget they had Land Girls during the First World War , but as she was already in service, it was probably a great adventure , this was one of the few things i have of hers . that and a few postcards and pictures that i need to root out, although she married Jack before he went on active service she was allowed to stop on even though she was married which was unusual . I wish i could say they lived happily ever after , but thats a story for another day . This a 1960s photograph of her ,we look very similar except for her addiction to bad perms. She spent  WWII once again working on the land and raising the last of her 5 kids alone , she raised a great many grandchildren after and that I was her last and her pet. So I will remember my gran today it just seems right somehow

Saturday 9 November 2013

Political Disgust

Some people are very naive about what goes on in this country , the manipulating of figures to convince us that things are improving . Funny I dont know anyone who is better off than they were this time last year . apart from us that is. This time last year Mr Bah Humbug was on "benefits " he had had major spinal surgery and the day he went back to work the receivers turned up and shut his place of employment down hed been there 23 years . He got the minimum government redundancy money which we used to pay a years worth of bills up front with , then he languished on Job Seekers for a year after 6 months he didnt receive anything and i was working 60+ hours a week to keep us all , we didnt qualify for a pennies help from anywhere apart from Child Benefit for my youngest then at college . Thankfully in the New Year he got a job , which is minimum wage , but its a job thats all hes bothered about . so this Christmas we will have heating, last year we saved the oil for xmas day .
Does this change your outlook on life ? of course it does , the kids are still horrified at my meaness ,but my jobs currently very erratic and the firm Mr Bah Humbug works for are struggling . I have tons of work till Christmas then it will dry up and i get a month with no wages , the joys of the zero hours contract im afraid . So ebay will have to pay the rent yet
But i always remember that there are people far worse off than us .

Thursday 7 November 2013

Art & Snot

Still got the head cold , still menopausal but not quite so bitter and twisted today , maybe its because ive had a quiet day , only at work for a couple of hours .
So today I think I will show you my bad taste art ive purchased for £1 , Mr Bah Humbug is as usual horrified , its not as if these walls will take pictures ive a huge pile from the old house upstairs that he regularly trips over and moans at me to get rid off . But theyre staying I really dont want to face the fact that I might be stuck in this dreadful house for the rest of my days or until the council shovel us into some dire pensioners ghetto .
First up is this beauty , well i think it is anyway , not to big or heavy so may get away with hanging this one. 1960s  E Kruger Normill Print , still life of wilting sunflowers and poppies , love the colours . so much nicer than a Vernon Ward , it was sat in the£1 box at Age Concern just waiting for me to bring it home , frames a bit chipped and shabby but i dont mind

But then I went and bought this monster , I thought my daughter might like it she has a bit of a green theme in her life , but the look of horror on her boyfriends face put a dampener on that so its now hidden under the stairs . This is a dreadful photograph of it, its a skyline and stylised landscape , i imagine its a 70s print theres a signature i cant decipher, its huge and weighs a ton but i sort of like it the more i look at it , does anyone know of a website that you can post unidentified art at ? This was waiting with the Christians of Gainsborough to be rescued and rehomed , there pastor told me he had reduced it 5 times already and i got it for a £1 . You never know it could be worth millions

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Menopausal Bitchy Wednesday

I love the menopause and a head cold , every time i sneeze well , if youve reached that age you can guess . If its not my psoriasis turning me into a itchy leper , the hot flushes and  insomnia, its the constant aches and pains. I cant wait for it to be over with , I long for the day when I can officially be
Sit in peace and knit and sew , hanging  around waiting for the hearse, as my mother calls it .
Maybe I should launch a rant about mortality , I opened the paper this morning to lots of  back slapping self indulgant awards ceremonies somewhere, theres that scary looking Jada Pinkeyed Smith looking like a Mad Max extra , what was she thinking ? Theres Posh Spice looking like a twiggy melted waxwork snogging the face off her poor son , Stella Mcartney wearing something she designed in the dark with her thumbs tied together , A Kardasian of some description , might have been Twinky third cousin twice removed . Jennifer Aniston having a really bad hair day (there is a God. ) Mick Jagger and the Mrs. Is it me? or does it look like shes holding on to a Spitting Image Puppet ?
This is what were all supposed to aspire to? proof that money cant buy good taste, a decent plastic surgeon or the ability to see whats actually in the mirror ? So im leaving you with a pinny picture as i slope off to my cave with a Gin and Lemsip ...night folks

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Sick of the Sight of Grimsby

Another couple of days in bonny Grimsby working for a living , how this place yields so much stuff that i enjoy is beyond me .  Ive spent a grand total of £3 today on lots of bags of treasure . I finally managed to get down to Cleethorpes today and do the best of the charity shops at that end . Care on the seafront is usually barren all summer but now its wet and cold the good stuff is starting to appear . they do know the value of what theyre selling so they can be a bit expensive if your buying to sell , then again its a big place with a lot of stock , if you want 70s dinner services theyre pretty reasonable , hornsea , wade ,denby , lots of various willow pattern oddments,pyrex . I was tempted by a gorgeous retro 70s floral sunlounger in mint condition , but im skint this week , they also had some olive green Alvingham that i was itching for, but i dont need another lamp base unless i was  I did grab the 2 glorious 70s orange glasses , may sell them for the right price .  

Then I wandered down to the Charity Garden on Mill Road . i love this shop ! and the lady who runs it , theyre a small independent charity and as she says if she can find a buyer she will sell it . Its tiny cramped and you have to root a bit . Todays gems are a pair of Porthmeirion votive holders , this amazing olive green Hornsea reindeer and eskimo mug who if he doesnt sell I could force myself to keep and the 2 little dollys that jumped in the mug when i wasnt looking .
Best of all , we were laughing at some of the strange stuff that gets donated and she pulls out a battered and mangled xmas tree complete with decorations that someone had left on the doorstep over night , she was just going to bin it when i noticed that the baubles were from the 50s and 60s.

 i couldnt get the tree in the car so we hacked the branches off with the baubles still attached , a lot were beyond saving but ive got an evening of trying to prise the good ones off in front of me

Monday 4 November 2013

Linen and Lace

While on my break in Scarborough and Whitby , I didnt buy a thing, apart from a new house number from a pottery in Whitby . I did however have to be dragged muttering from Mr Bah Humbug did have a point about me not needing more yarn . But this shop is just divine , housed in an old chapel in the old town at Whitby , it has a weird mix of everything from vintage to modern both in the knitting line and in general bric a brac . If you want to visit whitby online take a look at  they have far better pictures than i can manage to take .

 Meanwhile in the real world , always check the rag bag your about to throw away , ive just had a severe oops moment , inside a vintage filthy pillowcase was a big pile of vintage linens , theres big bits of lawn with fabulous hand sewn broderie angles , victorian school girl pinafores lace trimmed underwear , lots of lace trimmed clothes, runners and mats. Sadly it all needs a wash so will have to wait till spring , it was the first hard frost last night so with the price of electric theres nothing other than clothes will get washed now for a good few months , I do hasten to add i have mountains of spare bedding and towels that allows me to do this


Sunday 3 November 2013

Whitby Goth Weekend

Im home complete with a severe case of mildew ,  what can I say Saturday at the Goth Weekend was excellent , very few pics im afraid the weather had other ideas . It started well, sunny and bitter wind but what else can you expect at this time of year . Theres something very surreal about standing in the car park machine queue with 2 very large Elves behind you . There were every kind of Goth , Steampunk, Victorian , Cyber Punk, Rockabillies and the entire cast of Lord of the Rings wandering around . Every shop was dripping black velvet , there was a custom car event that had Mr Bah Humbug licking the windows . The Leisure center had the Bizarre Bazaar , awesome jewellery and clothing , lots of retro and some rather scary sado masochistic stuff that was a little worrying .  Shoes to die for  , there were even several gothic themed weddings taking place . 
Funny sights of the day , were those wandering round in full costume with an embarrassed straight partner and the amount of bald blokes with bad wigs, they sail off in the wind really well .
Sadly the heavens did open and it really spoiled things , it was showers of biblical proportions , theres nothing sadder than a drippy goth a lace parasol isnt up to the job , plus a lot of people dont know how to handle big skirts and hoops in the rain