Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

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You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others, including my favourite right now, parchment, both traditional skills and Groovi, very relaxing and calming to do.

I have decided to put some structure into my blog so that each day will have something of a theme.
Monday- for Mindfulness; Tuesday - Tidy Up Day; Wednesday - What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday; Thursday - Technique and Tips; Friday - Finish Off Day; Saturday - Start Something New; Sunday - Anything Goes
These themes are not hard and fast and will be changed if I feel the need.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Quality counts!

I decided it was time to get back to the blog again, just as our internet access vanished,  Virgin had just told us that our speed was being updated to double speed, then ..... nothing.  Still, it is working again for the moment. 

Unfortunately, I could not upload my entry for Less is More as the cut off time had been and gone.  It was supposed to be a flat card with Fur or Feathers. 

The card will not be wasted as I know exactly who to send it to.  The spaniel was from the Clarity Stamp sale, and, as we have two working cocker spaniels, I had to have it.  I already had the tree which is another from Clarity.  I stamped the dog with Vintage Photo Distress ink, and used a water brush to shade it in.   Then I masked it off, and stamped the tree into the background.  The ball was done using a hole punched into.a small scrap of paper, a make up sponge and the Vintage Photo again.  That makes it easy to shade the ball to give it shape. 

The sentiment is just right for the look you get from a spaniel, but the quality of that stamp leaves a lot to be desired.  It was from a set of free see-through stamps I acquired, and partially tore through as I removed it from the backing.  I have been used to the sturdy firm quality of Clarity Stamps and treated in the same way, with dire results.  It was also much harder to get a satisfactory image when stamping with it.  Clarity may not be the cheapest, but they are definitely the best I have used.    Quality counts!

Quality is what I was thinking about when I dug out my elderly sewing machine out to do a bit of mending (it was bought new by my father for Mum (with all the attachments, and I persuaded her that she needed a new one when I got married - the new one was never as good or reliable).  It is a vintage Singer, made in 1949 in Kilbowie, Clydebank, weighs a ton, and just works.  It is electric with a knee lever to operate it.  All we have ever done to it is a bit of light cleaning and a little lubrication - oh and Geoff made up a new power cord when the original perished. 

However, today things went a little awry when the drive belt started throwing bits of green rubber at me, and the speed dropped drastically.  A new belt is required - horror.  Not bad, though, when you consider the original has lasted from 1949 till today.  and Singer still make belts for this machine.  As I said, quality counts.  When new, it cost the huge sum of £17-7s-6d, when an average month's wages would have been around £40.  (There is one on Ebay at the moment for £85) .  Hopefully, the new belt will arrive in a couple of days and I can get going again with this family heirloom.  (I bet the new belt does not last as long)

Although I have not blogged for ages, I have dipped in and out of many  blogs to see what you are all doing - some lovely work out there on show.

I am also entering this card into Pixie's Snippets this week - after all, the card was free old stock, and the one stamp was free with a magazine ages ago.  So, Di, please will you let me into the playground next week.  (I have missed this week).   I miss having my go on the swings.


Elizabeth said...

Hi Maggie, lovely to see you back - you've been missed :) Your card is lovely - the spaniel is beautiful.

I know what you mean about the quality of Clarity stamps versus some others - I have one set of sentiments that I paid a good bit for and was disappointed when the corner of one of the sentiments disintegrated over time - it's not much good with the first word missing.

Loved the story of your old machine and amazed that you can still get the spare parts for it.

Elizabeth xx

Jacqui's little piece of England said...

Lovely card Maggie and great to see you back.

jacqui x

Di said...

Hi Maggie, I was getting worried about you - no posts for ages. And now, a snippets one - yippee! We missed you.

Super card, love the spaniel especially - someone's going to be delighted when they receive this card.

I've linked you into the playground just now BTW :)

Di xx

Mrs A. said...

Bet the new belt won't be in the proportion of cost of the original machine. I inherited my first sewing machine from my great grandmother a hand turned Singer.. Used it or a couple of years and then took it into my local Singer shop who converted it into an electric one and built a lovely domed case for it. Used it for several more years and then part exchanged it for a Singer Starlet when the children came along and I started making their clothes. Kept that one for over 20 yrs and traded it in when the foot blew up and Singer was unable to replace. So now on my 3rd Singer in as many years as you hav had your original. Hugs Mrs A.

Lynn said...

What a lovely story about your old sewing machine - hope you are soon trundling away on it again. Beautiful card - I love all spaniels - I have a KC cavalier. She is snoring her head off at the moment (rather loudly!). Lynn x

Hettie said...

Gorgeous card there Maggie and welcome back!
Loved to hear about your old Trusty Singer. I have a few, including two treddles, one of which is still in use when I am doing the straight things like curtains. It was Hubby's Grandmother's and it was second hand to her! They still keep going on and on....