laundry room crafting – part 2 (and LadyBug)

I got a bit distracted from the laundry room plans last week, but I managed to get something sorted that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time…spruce up my ironing board!

(I promise you that I don’t make Penny sit in my photos, she does it all by herself.)

I looked at a couple of tutorials online but it was pretty easy to make up as I went along.  Firstly, I used the old cover as a template on some nice cotton from Ikea

I cut round with a good 2 inches extra, my old one sat pretty close to the edge of the board and I wanted it to tuck under properly.

I turned part of an old curtain into a very long 3 inch wide strip, folded it in half and then sewed right round the edge of the new cover with the right sides together.

(The white stitching you can see here was part of the bottom hem of the curtain.)  I then folded the binding in half again, and tucked some strong white cotton inside before sewing along the same line to enclose the cord.  I stitched this bit down with a pretty narrow seam allowance so that it sat above the first stitching line and would be invisible.

After that it was just a case of putting it on the board and pulling on the cord.  There was a slight accident where I yanked the cord a bit much and it snapped, I had to unpick some of the stitching to find the end again.  But overall, success!

While I was working on this I managed to get a photo of our other rescue dog, LadyBug.  She doesn’t appear in pictures much as she likes to shake about whenever a camera appears, so much so that it doesn’t even look like a dog in the resulting photos.  LadyBug is a very old lady, she just turned 17.  She’s deaf and almost completely blind now, but is very content pottering about the garden and snoozing with her tongue hanging out.  On walks Penny acts as her guide dog to show her where all the good smells are, and they like to cuddle up together in front of the fire and at bedtime.


laundry room crafting – part 1

As the laundry room decoration nears completion I’ve started doing a little crafting to furnish it.  (I realise that getting excited about having a laundry room decorated is a little bit strange.  I spend a lot of time there though and trust me, it was minging.)

So for today, here’s something I didn’t make.

This was made by my crafty maternal grandmother who gave it to me recently.  It’s full of many teeny tiny stitches and the detail is lovely.  I used to do lots of cross-stitch when I was a teenager so as soon as I saw it I felt it had to be displayed somewhere.

I didn’t even notice the little doilies hanging of the shelves until I looked back through these photos.  And the teacup!

This is my favourite bit though, and is something I’m going to try to recreate for a little sewing corner in the room.

Yep!  A teeny pin cushion!


I spent the weekend covered in emulsion, gloss and varnish as usual but the good news is that the laundry room decoration is almost done.  I’ve painted one wall the most amazing shade of dark blue and I’m glad I just got a small tin, otherwise I’d have been painting the rest of the house that colour when Mr Saz was asleep.

In the meantime though the random number generator picked a winner of my handspun –





Julie, Penny congratulates you and I will be in touch to deliver your winnings!

spinning to knit?

I signed up for a couple of crafting challenges this year.  The first began in the Yarn Yard group on Ravelry – some people decided that to get back into spinning (or just to do it more) they’d set themselves a monthly goal.  I’m aiming to spin up 100g a month in a bid to reduce my fibre stash a bit.  A trip to Woolfest a couple of years ago coincided with me having A Serious Spinning Bug and I stocked up.  It’s all still sitting there.

When I spin I like to have an idea of what I want to knit or crochet with the finished yarn.  This gives me an idea of how fine to spin and what kind of plying method to use.  However, I do have a weakness for multi-coloured fibre, which isn’t that sensible since I hardly ever knit with multi-coloured yarn.  It’s really fun to spin though – its entertaining and pretty on the bobbins, and its easy to see the difference that using different methods of plying can make.

For January I started with this, 100g of hand-painted Shetland, my absolute favourite fibre to spin.

By doing a little each night it’s finished, and is now a nice bouncy 140m of aran-ish weight yarn.  I navajo plied this so it should gently stripe when knitted.

Only thing though, is I can’t think of anything to do with it.  It’s very nice, but if I’m being honest I’m not going to knit this up.  So, if you’d like it you can have it!  Just leave a comment and I’ll pick someone at random on Sunday.  This is the last of my multi-coloured fibre now, I just need to resist the temptation to get more!

Dr Walker’s house

Many years ago our house was the local doctor’s surgery for our town.  It was actually built specifically for him, mainly as his home with a surgery and waiting room to the side.  There are still bits of evidence…

(Please excuse the blurriness, and my reflection!)  This sits above the door in the kitchen and the bells are all still in the rooms though they don’t work, sadly.  Our house isn’t of an age where bells would normally be fitted, so this must have been something Dr Walker requested as it was built.

What used to be the surgery is now a utility room, and this is my next project.  It’s really horrible just now – paper peeling off the walls, stained lino, lots of weird fixtures.  I plan to transform this at the weekend by painting the presently hidden concrete floor a pale blue/grey, stripping the walls and painting some white and one some kind of colour, sprucing up and moving the shelving that I like and ditching the rest.  I will be delighted to get rid of the flooring.  While the pattern is almost acceptable in that it looks a bit like knitting close up, it’s really horrible.I seem to spend quite a bit of time in here, doing laundry, blocking things and feeding dogs.  I wonder about where the doctors desk was and what went on in here, and what kind of good and bad news was delivered to the people in our town.

To the right of the doorway is the old waiting room.  The wallpaper was recently stripped to uncover a concreted-up opening – this used to be the main door to the waiting room.  Patients would walk up the side of the house along a path which is still there, to wait in this room before being called through to the doctor.

This is currently being used for storage, obviously!  (Mr Saz will be horrified that I’ve put this photo on the internet.)

It’s nice living somewhere that holds a lot of memories for the town, I’ve spoken to people who remember coming to the doctor here, and a friend of my father-in-law remembers being chased off the roof as it was being built when him and his friend had snuck on the building site to play as boys.  Now back to the decorating…

fabric and a fairytale cushion

I count myself very lucky that I work for someone with incredible taste in fabric and a pretty sizeable (to me, anyway) fabric stash.  I was given a lovely bundle for Christmas…

Some of my favourites include:

and chickens!

I went with this one though for my latest quickie sewing project though.  It matches my office perfectly and works with my current pale aqua/blue and chocolate brown obsession*

I used the original cushion as a template for the corners, sewed the two pieces together with right sides facing and left the back open.  I then sewed some ribbon directly onto the original cushion and hand stitched the opening shut.  The original had been sewn through at four points so I did the same by adding some wee buttons.  The other side is some plain brown wool I had leftover from a skirt.  (Actually, it’s a few brown pieces sewn together to get a piece big enough!)

If I were doing this again and I’ve the top fabric the other way round, it feels a bit upside down.  Penny was unimpressed…

*a particular colour combination obsession is a very dangerous thing when you’re decorating your entire house!