Saturday, 2 July 2011

My 2nd Ginger Skirt ..... Or Is It Curtains?

Another post that I started back in July but didn't get round to posting!! Oops again!

Still ..... aught to record my second Ginger skirt even if it did take until 4th October to actually finish the post!!

My son, bless him, on seeing this skirt said 'Didn't we used to have curtains like that once Mum?'. You could go off him, couldn't you :) However, subconsciously, this comment may have had an effect as I haven't really worn this one! Mind you, although I do like the print, it is a bit difficult to find a suitable top to go with it. I'm possibly a bit too old for a bright yellow t-shirt? But I haven't been able to find a t-shirt in either the pale or dark brown you can also see in the print.

A Hat Experiment

Top Section of Sun Hat

Do you like hats? I think the 'correct' response most ladies are supposed to make is 'yes'. My sister in law, Lynne, delights in wearing hats and indeed always looks very glamorous wearing one. I'm actually sure that the main attraction for her in a wedding or a christening is the opportunity to wear a hat! Of course, weddings are the main event when hats get worn nowadays. This was most obviously evident at the recent Royal Wedding and who can forget the amazing 'hat' that Princess Beatrice wore? However, I was saddened by the vitriol some of the press gave to Samantha Cameron, our Prime Minister's wife, because she didn't wear a hat. It did cross my mind that she suffers from the affliction I have ........ a Big Head!!! :)

Yes ....... I can quite safely say that I Hate Hats  ......... because they never (almost) EVER fit!!!

When my brother got married a couple of years ago, when Lynne found out that I wasn't going to wear a hat, I think (bless her) she thought that perhaps I couldn't afford to buy a hat and offered me free range to look through her vast hat collection and borrow whatever I liked. To humour her, I did indeed look ....... but I knew what would happen. Sure enough, there was one that would have gone perfectly with the dusky pink suit I'd bought from Jacques Verte ...... but whereas on Lynne it fitted low over her brow in an almost 1920s style, with me, it perched on the top of my head in a wobbly way and one backwards tilt of my head and it was off!! Well ..... you could only laugh :)

Underside of hat, showing lining and the rip that led to James throwing these jeans out!!
Nevertheless, there are times of the year when I do have to wear a hat and that is on holiday or when out for long periods in the sun. You see, I was born a Ginger and, although the hair colour has faded and only resembles auburn thanks to the clever colouring skills of my hairdresser, I still have the fair skin that goes with being ginger and ..... boy oh boy ...... I burn very easily. 
The reverse of both layers of the hat
In my teens, our summer holiday was always accompanied by The Hat Quest! The quest to find a sun hat with a wide enough brim to shield my head and neck that would also fit! I did have a lovely straw one that was perfect and lasted for several years. However, being made of straw, it eventually started to show bad signs of wear requiring The Hat Quest to begin again.

My Mum (bless her) should have been a Girl Guide! She always has a tape measure in her bag and she would automatically measure any sun hat she came across to see if it was likely to fit! It didn't matter what it looked like! If it was big enough, it would do! Sigh!!

Of course, the observant might recall that on the 42 mile sponsored walk, I AM wearing a hat. Well, that hat is very special. Thanks to my ever observant Mum, she found an advert in one of her magazines that actually had head measurements for ladies hats. This sort of advert was (and is!) incredibly rare! Thankfully, they had my size and that beautiful cotton hat has been my saviour ever since. It was bought way, way prior to the Internet and I think the company no longer exists ...... so it must be well over 21 years old (I'm sure I had it prior to James' birth).

Anyhow, it is bearing up well but can't last for ever. John found a pattern for a sun hat and wondered if I would be interested. However, it is designed for a 21 inch head and mine is 24 inches! So ...... here comes the experiment ..... this is 9% bigger so I asked John to increase the size of the pattern pieces by 9% in Photoshop and thought I'd give it a go and see how it turned out.

I used a pair of James' jeans! They weren't very old but he'd ripped a tear in one of the legs and didn't want them. Seemed like the ideal material to try. I also made another change; my interfacing is only of medium weight so I ironed interfacing on both layers of material for the brim. I did really want to embroider some flowers in a hippyish sort of way over the denim but, given that I wasn't entirely sure the pattern would fit, I thought it would be best not to do this at this stage. This version is very much a trial run!

The instructions and photos are very clear and easy to follow. I made it up over the course of a couple of days and actually finished the last little bit last night.

Looking slightly manic wearing hat!!
How is the fit? Actually, not too bad. Funnily enough, it could possible do with being a little smaller round the head. I think I am going to have to sew in some ribbon ties as a gust of wind will blow it off!
Recognise the lining? From My first Ginger Skirt
Side shot showing crown
The crown could possibly do with being a little bit deeper. However, I'm quite pleased with how it looks. It would work well as a sun hat and would keep the sun off of both my face and my neck.

Doing a Witchy-poo impersonation. Flossie not amused :)
This last picture might mean it gets called the Witchy-Poo hat  .... but, I guess, if the hat fits ....  :)

Friday, 1 July 2011

More Oxford Canal Walking .... Back in June!!

I've just realised that I started this post back in June but never got round to completing it and posting it!! Oops!! Better do so now (4th October!!!).

So ..... way back in June, we had a lovely weekend over the 25th - 26th June at our friends' house in Bicester in Oxford. Possibly inspired(?) by our crazy training walks, they too have been increasing the amount of walking they've been doing, so on Saturday we set off from the Trout Pub in Lower Wolvercote in Oxfordshire to walk along the Oxford Canal. We didn't acutally go in this pub although we have before and they serve very good food if anyone is ever down that way. Before reaching the canal, we found this lovely pair of swans with their cygnets.

I just about managed to capture one of the adults preening.

Saturday's weather was just right for walking, neither too hot nor too cold. It seemed strange to think that we were walking along the same canal we'd walked along when staying in Coventry the previous week. Still, this end of the Oxford Canal is equally picuresque, indeed the canal is very well maintained and it is very popular with canal boats.

We walked into the centre of Oxford and, after lunch in a Wetherspoon's pub, walked through to the river Thames to walk back to where we started. At one point on the river, there was a huge gaggle of geese .... I'm pretty sure these are Brent Geese but I'm not entirely sure. We couldn't work out what was attracting such a huge group of these geese but they did look an impressive sight.

On the way back, we stopped at a lovely pub called the Perch for a drink. Do we detect a 'fishy' trend here in pub names? They wer serving lovely BBQ food in the garden, so that also looks like a pub worth visiting again!

In total, we walked 10.2 miles which was the furthest our friends have ever done. We were walking for 3hrs 45 mins at an yaverage sped of 2.7mph. A very nice day's walking.

On the Sunday, the weather was scorching hot! Although we wanted to go out for a little walk, we decided that it would be best not to go too far. So, we started at a very pretty little village called Tackley which is just north of Kidlington and walked from there to the Oxford Canal (again!).

I have no idea what this delicate, pinky coloured flower is called but it was growing very profusely along the canal edge.

Finally, here's John and I enjoying the sunshine :)

June seems so long ago ....... but we had a great weekend.

I Think I Must Have Trod In Something :)

Well ...... I must have done to have had such a string of Good Luck! It was only back in April that I won Joy's Giveaway on her blog. It was via Joy's blog that I found the blog of Mumu & Squeak's Mum, Callie. Well, I immediately warmed to someone who names her blog after her cats ...... a girl after my own heart and her blog is great! To my total surprise, I won a Giveaway she recently ran; you can see the link button on the right-hand side of my blog.

So ....... today the parcel arrived at work! Because I wanted to take a photo of it before opening it, I resisted temptation and hid it out of harms way! However, all day it beckoned from the dark depths of my bag :)

They say good things come in small packages and they are quite right :)
What a fantastic collection of goodies!

A lovely selection of cotton heart patches, a seriously cute crocheted blue flower, a lovely orange felt brooch, three skeins of floss, some gorgeous wooden buttons and not forgetting a cotton bag. Absolutely lovely! Thank you so much Callie.

We are going away on holiday tomorrow, so this will be going with me as an extra holiday project. For some time now, I have been playing with the idea of creating some sort of modern sampler so I can practice some of the embroidery stitches in this book.

I think this just might be the project! I am thinking ........ a mass of all sort of different stitches and obviously also incorporating all the bits and pieces Callie has sent me ....... ummm ....... this should be fun :)

Thank you again Callie :)
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