Manchester Museum

Well we had typical Bank Holiday weather here for the weekend, rain. After being stuck in doors for most of it we wanted at least one day out and opted for a day at Manchester Museum. So back to Manchester, twice in less than a week. As long as the traffic isn't bad it only takes about 30 minutes to drive there.

The admission is free and we managed to find a car park near by which cost £2 for the full day (much better price than last time). The museum was quite busy and I expect most people like us wanted to find an indoor activity due to the weather.

Dinosaurs were what Little L was most looking forward to seeing.

The T Rex is named Stan.

She was also impressed by the mummies in the Ancient Egypt collection. I don't think she could have got any closer to them when she was peering in to the cases.

The zoology collection was massive and houses one of the largest shell collections in the UK. 

Another thing Little L wanted to see after we had been reading about the museum was Maude the Tigon. Her father was a tiger and her mother a lion. She lived at Belle Vue Zoo in Manchester until 1949. When she died the skin was preserved and given to the museum. The skin was only mounted and displayed in the museum in 2015. Until I read about Maude I'd never heard of a Tigon and thought they was called Ligers. I also never knew that there used to be a zoo in Manchester (it closed in 1977)

These are just a few of the collections that we saw. It was a great day out and I think we are quite lucky that Little L finds this kind of thing interesting. 
The journey home was a bit of a nightmare. There was a big game on at the Old Trafford football ground. It wasn't so much that the traffic was bad, it was that grown men think they can waltz out in to the road straight on front of your car all because of a bleedin football match.

Anyway on the drive I managed to snap a photo of this Art Deco cinema in Stretford. The traffic lights changed to red just as we approached it so I quickly wound the window down and took a snap.

Horror Film Screening

On Thursday evening Anders and myself went to a screening of Jugface and Q&A with Lauren Ashley Carter. This was organised by the Grimm Up North company that host the GrimmFest horror festival. 

The showing was in Manchester Central Library. 

The tickets for the film were £6 each and we paid £11 for parking. I didn't take any photos of Lauren Ashley Carter because I didn't want to appear rude or stalker-ish. I'm sure that she is used to it though.
What Anders got a bit excited about was as we were leaving the car park a guy whizzed past us on his bike and Anders said it was John Robb. Now I only caught a quick glimpse. It may have been him but then again I do have poor eyesight, it hasn't stopped Anders telling people that he's seen him though.

This Old House

This week Anders popped up in to the loft to find something we thought Little L might like.

We packed this doll house away when Little L began to find her feet as a toddler. I was worried in case she managed to pull it over on to herself so it has been in the loft since then. 

It had been passed around a few times before finding a home with us. My brother in laws boss had it built for his daughter and when she grew out of playing with it he offered it to my sister for my niece. Luckily she wanted it because if she didn't it was destined to be burnt on a bonfire. My neice had it for a while then it was passed to my Mum who had it in her spare room for the granchildren to play with. When she got sick of dusting it, it came to us. My boys and his friends played with it a lot when they were little. Not much of the furniture has survived since then but it was never fully furnished away.

The roof could do with a fresh coat of paint but Little L thinks it's fantastic. She cleaned it and set up what bits we do have. This is going to be a long project for me and Little L though Anders is trying to muscle in, he's talking about putting lights in it now. 

A Bit Quiet

 I thought I'd better pop on here and explain why the blog has been a bit quiet lately. Nothing exciting has been going on it's just that we have made a start on decorating the living room and it is not going to be a quick job. It has taken us weeks to acquire enough boxes to pack stuff away. We're not going to be keeping much of the furniture only one of the bookcases and TV unit. Anders is going to be building us some new storage, a pc desk (though that one is the last thing on the list of jobs) and coffee table at work. We are then replacing the sofas, cabinet, dining room set, basically everything else in the room

These shelves have now gone (My friend had some of them for her house)

and so have these bookcases. As you can see from the photos, we're not minimalist type of people but I have been having a good sort out along the way.

We have stripped most the old wallpaper from the walls and uncovered this stenciling which goes all around the room. After speaking to my Mum and a friend who live in the same type of house, they also have stenciling so I wonder if they were all decorated this way after they were built. There are lots of holes to fill and bits of plastering to do before we can get to the actual decorating part. That's the part of it that I enjoy doing and I can't wait to get started.

Fleece Ear Warmers

A few weeks ago Jenny from Winnibriggs House posted a handy tutorial for making ear warmers and hosted a giveaway for the materials to make one. I was lucky enough to be one of the recipients.

This lovely package arrived at the end of last week. It contained a beautiful hand written card, fleece in a chosen colour plus some black fleece to practise on or make extra ear warmers, velcro for the fastens and two pins to attach to the warmers. As Jenny knew I would be making mine for Little L she made some especially for her depicting some of her interests.

Aren't they cute? Little L was delighted. I think that Caleb (who will be 18 next month) even had his eye on the pirate one. It's a wonder him didn't try to bribe it off her.

After the weekend I got cracking straight away. There was no way Little L was going to let me hang about knowing that they were for her.

She loves them. So handy in cold weather especially as Little L as an aversion to woolly hats. 
If you would like to have a go at making some for yourself the tutorial can be found here. Thank you again Jenny for this kind thoughtful gift.

Siamese Fighter Fish Picture

Yesterday I gave sewing a rest and fetched out my paint. 

I wanted to make something with my betta fish on and not being an artist decided this was the easiest way for me to create a picture.

Using this photo of Scaramanga I produced an outline of him. I traced around the photo, coloured it in on the PC then printed out a copy.

I removed the glass from a picture frame (this one was £3 from Matalan), placed it over the image and traced the outline using a permanent ink pen.

Using acrylic paints I began to fill in the drawing. This photo is of the first coat of paint. It took three coats to cover properly but it didn't take long for the coats of paint to dry.

I then cut some patterned card to place inside the picture frame.

Felt Heart Cushion

Today I made another heart themed item, a cushion which is going to be a Valentines Day gift for Little L. The only cushion pad I had at hand measures 12in x12in so it's not very big.

After my fabric pieces were cut out I pinned the felt hearts in to position and drew on heart shapes in between. The hearts are spaced about an inch apart.

The felt hearts were sewn on using my sewing machine then the hearts that I had drawn on were outlined in chain stitch with embroidery thread.

The cushion has a simple envelope closing back. I inserted some pom pom edging when I joined the front and back pieces together.

Jute Heart Bunting

Last week I began to dismantle these jute gift bags that have been hanging around the house for a while. The fabric was quite stiff as the back had been coated, it looks like a layer of dried glue.

I was limited as to what to reuse use the fabric for due to the size of the pieces and I settled on making some bunting.

I marked out a triangle and heart shape on to the fabric

and chain stitched around the heart shape with some DK cotton yarn.

I cut out the triangle shapes and using a sewing machine, sewed on the crocheted edging

then glued some buttons on to the top corners of the triangle.

Crafty Catch Up

Today I'm sharing a few things that I have recently finished making. 

I began to crochet this blanket quite a while ago and after a quick look through my old posts I saw it was July 2013 (I didn't realise it was that long ago). I did start with the intention of it being a large blanket but it seems I got bored.

The blanket is made from 95 hexagons and measures approximately 31in x 42in.

I sewed some black fleece on to the back to tidy it up abit and for extra warmth.

The wool arrived to make the zig zag Hilda mitts from the Pretty Knitted Hands book.

The pattern was very easy to read and I'd finished them in a couple of days. I've been wearing them out ever since as it is still quite chilly here.

At the moment Little L loves to play on the tsum tsum game app so I made these Chip N Dale coasters inspired by the game.

For the pattern I used some free Disney colouring pages which I resized in Photoshop.
At the moment I'm in the process of dismantling some jute gift bags but I'm not sure what to use the fabric for yet.

Olympus Trip 35

The Olympus Trip 35 was I camera I had wanted for a while and was lucky enough to receive one as a gift last year. Both sets of our parents oohed and ahhed and reminisced about the TV ad's during the 70's. While looking for information about the camera I found there is a way to date it. Mine was built in July 1979 (as long as it is not refurbished using other camera parts that is). 

My first set of prints from the Olympus Trip came back this week and I'm delighted the camera is in working order. The film used Agfa Vista Plus 200 which I was purchasing from a pound shop (the shops no longer stock 35mm film, I'm down to my last 2 films)

All the photographs I got from the film were taken in Wycoller last August. 
The only trouble I had using the camera was when I came to rewind the film the rewind button stuck in. After a quick search online it seems there is a way to remedy this so that is something that I need to sort out. 
Besides the film rewind mishap, I think the Olympus Trip may be my new favourite camera to use.