New Project!

New Project!

I feel like I’ve broken the ice now, so I hope to be posting a lot more now.   Up until now I’ve thought ‘I can’t post about that, no-one will be interested’.   It’s either that or shurrup and hide on Facebook.   Worth a punt I suppose!

Here’s what I was working on last night.  I’ve been trying to master how to make chainmaille bra’s for a while, but they’re turning out to be rather a challenge.   So, I’m going to cheat for a while and dodge learning how to do them from scratch….I’m going to use existing tops as a template instead.  That way, fabric is next to skin, which will feel more comfortable, plus if anyone decides to buy anything from me I can just take their measurements and source the appropriate clothing to embellish.  That avoids the endless issues with shaping the cups to the individual.

Gawd, I sound like I know what I’m on about.  I’m just experimenting really.  I’ve tried looking for work for a bit of extra income but jobs are thin on the ground around here and never seem to fit around life with two kids and a massive dog.   So, I’m trying to make more things and maybe I’ll open an online shop dooeywatsit when I feel more confident.

Here’s the very beginnings of my new design.  This is just pinned in place very roughly, I shall probably be attaching chains along the seams and adding a few sparkling scales.  The idea is that it will end up being something that can either be worn as a clubbing sort of top, or underwear.  Either way, I’d like it to look classy and preserve a bit of dignity.  Chainmaille is well, rather see through if you don’t add a lining, so can be difficult to wear.

Waffling aside, here it is!

Japanese weave outline, with a 'rose' added for a bit of detail.  It'll look tidier when it's sew in place properly.  Probably adding chain to outline the bust too.

Japanese weave outline, with a ‘rose’ added for a bit of detail. It’ll look tidier when it’s sewn in place properly. Probably adding chain to outline the bust too.

Not appropriate for the school run, I know the mums there would look at me funny if I turned up at the school gates in wellies and this outfit….but it will hopefully look amazing on the right person at the right event.  I’ll update as I progress with this.  It may yet end up as a disaster, but I’m going to work on it anyway and hope for the best.

Wish me luck :)

Chains and Fings.

Chains and Fings.

After much soul searching and umming and aaahing, I’ve decided I will blog, but not directly about my kids.  They need their privacy now.   I still intend to write like a loon though, if you’ll bear with me. I’ve been very involved with my crafting recently and have done a few Christmas fairs locally, plus I’ve been focussing on my FB page where I sell some of my creations.

So, here goes.  A few pics of how I’ve been occupying my time:

A little chainmaille bag made in a japanese weave.  Cute and little.

A little chainmaille bag made in a japanese weave. Cute and little.

A 'Clockroach' made out of an alarm clock I pulled in pieces, two silver beads and a bit of wire.

A ‘Clockroach’ made out of an alarm clock I pulled in pieces, two silver beads and a bit of wire.

A slave bracelet commissioned by a customer.

A slave bracelet commissioned by a customer.

 

Xmas jumper

Made this for my daughter for Xmas jumper day, she refused to wear it. Can’t see why. I think it’s beautifully understated and tasteful. (I was quite proud of it to be honest and was rather gutted)

This is my Bumbling Bee, I shaped a wirework bee and then 'sewed' the gears and odds and ends on with the wire you get wrapped around the necks of posh bottles of wine.  Also made from bits of a disembowelled clock.

This is my Bumbling Bee, I shaped a wirework bee and then ‘sewed’ the gears and odds and ends on with the wire you get wrapped around the necks of posh bottles of wine. Also made from bits of a disembowelled clock.

So, this is how I’ve been passing the time of day.  I have to say, as you will already know, I hate housework.  Crafting is a great way to avoid it.  So my house is a pig sty, but I have pretty shiny jewellery ornament things to make up for it.  My husband would prefer a clean bathroom probably, but hey, life’s too short to peel toothpaste off the taps.

I think it’s about time I entertained the other love of my life, writing too.  I’ve missed being on here and apologise for the last blog post.

More to come, I’m not abandoning my virtual online baby Brink of Bedlam just yet.  x

Budweiser and Farming (Bit random, but there you go)

 

British Farmers Join Forces with Budweiser

Farmers from 23 farms across the United Kingdom are about to embark on a new program with AB InBev UK, the brewers of Budweiser.

These farmers will be working with AB InBev, to reduce their environmental footprint whilst growing the barley required to brew the famous brand.

The scheme is set to begin in January of 2015 and all involved will become a part of AB InBev’s SmartBarley℠ project.

This project gives farmers the power to measure their own barley production against other similar scale farms around the world.

The aims of the program are to increase productivity whilst reducing environmental impact.

Although nearly 2,000 farms around the world are already using the tool, this will be the first time that UK farmers have joined the SmartBarley℠ Initiative.

Jennifer Anton, the Marketing Manager for Budweiser said: “It is important to work with our supply chain to protect the environment”.

It seems that Jennifer is all too aware of the crucial role the company holds in protecting the environment and claims it is not a responsibility that AB InBev takes lightly.

John Rogers of AB InBev has spoken of his excitement of working together with UK farmers to achieve their shared goals of improved productivity, profitability and natural resource efficiency.

The Hoover VT8114D21_WH Washing Machine – A Review

The Hoover VT8114D21_Washing Machine – A Review

 

Hello! I’d like to introduce you to our new pet, he’s called Dave the washing machine. He loves dirty socks, clothes, jumpers….everything we pile in the corner of our rooms and try to forget about. How cool is that? After he’s digested his daily diet of mucky washing, he returns it to us in the form of sparkling clean washing. He gets his dinner and we get clean clothes. He’s also an 8kg washing machine so he’s massive which helps when you have a family. It’s a win/win situation.

Dave The Pet Washing Machine

Dave The Pet Washing Machine

Dave is very clever, much more intelligent than your average washing machine. I know I’m bias because he’s my pet washing machine, but honestly, he is. Whilst whirling our washing around, he tells me exactly what stage he’s up to with the feeding/ I mean cleaning process by means of the control panel. I can tell him what spin speed I would like by pressing a button, I can tell him when to start the wash – this is called a ‘Delay Timer’ and he even tells me when it’s safe to open his mouth (or door as you might call it) with a door security indicator light. I always know when he’s nearly finished his last meal (or wash) because his control panel keeps me updated. See what I mean? He’s a total brainbox.

And he can do so many tricks! Whoever trained Dave was a genius, because he can do everything you’d ever need a washing machine to do: he happily gobbles (well…washes) resistant fabrics such as cotton, linen and cotton mixed……he does a daily wash with different temperature settings and loads……he delicately deals with very delicate fabrics of course, even wool……cleans mixed fabrics and synthetics……rinses, does a fast spin and has a drain only function……..he can also sit up and beg nice. Well….maybe not the last bit, but he does do everything else.. I’d give him a biscuit as a reward for good behaviour, but I suspect it would make the washing a funny colour and he wouldn’t appreciate it that much really.

Not Your Average Washing Machine - A Very Fine Pedigree!

Not Your Average Washing Machine – A Very Fine Pedigree!

He’s also a bit of a stylish beast. When he’s quietly making whooshing noises in the corner of the room, whilst looking all swish and white, with his posh control panel….it makes me very proud. I own a very well behaved, lovely, stylish pet washing machine. My last one kept holding my washing hostage, and it beeped a lot when I didn’t want it to. I think it might have been swearing at me in washing machine language. Dave is much nicer and I’m much happier with him. I looked up his kennel club, I mean washing machine lineage and apparently he’s a Hoover VT D2 breed.  Comes from a very fine pedigree it seems.  I thought Hoover just bred…well…hoovers, but I was obviously very wrong.

Be warned, you’ll struggle to find a collar that fits, and he’s rubbish at going out for walks – but he’s really rather good at washing clothes!

I was given ‘Dave the Pet Washing Machine’ for the purposes of the review, no other financial reward was given.

‘Into The Lion’s Den’ : Darlek’s First Day at School

‘Into The Lion’s Den’ : Darlek’s First Day at School

We’re about mid way through the school hols now, in a few weeks both my kids will be starting new school years with new teachers.  I was thinking about this the other day, I never actually wrote about Darlek’s first day at school.  So here goes, another for the memory box.   This focuses on the fabulous fluffy coat that she wore on her first day, for reasons I shall mention later.

I’ve bought her many odds and ends of clothes over the years, some more memorable than others.  I remember she loved a green woolen cardigan that had bobbles of wool all over it, in different colours like huge wooly smarties.  Once I found her trying to chew one of them off.  My particular favourite was a fluffy, shaggy black and white coat, that made her look a little bit like a sheep – a very cute mini sheep.  I actually found it in a charity shop and it said it was aged 7-8, but it was tiny so it fitted her really well despite her only being only 5 at the time. That was the coat she wore on her first day walking to school.  I wish I’d kept it now, I think it has probably returned from whence it came.

Time does funny things, I can’t remember getting her dressed in the morning for her first day at school.  I can’t remember what she had for breakfast or whether she was particularly nervous – I’m presuming she was though.   Sounds awful doesn’t it.  I think memories summarise themselves automatically to save space in our brains.  Or maybe I’ve just got a really small brain and I can’t fit much in so I’ve turned the entire morning into a snapshot picture in my head…..because I really can’t remember much apart from this:

My daughter walking beside me, sometimes breaking into a skip.  Holding my hand tightly.  Bright patent black school shoes clacking on the pavement, grey trousers very slightly too long.  ‘Better too long than too short’ I probably reminded myself at the time.  It was a grey day, as is often the case in ‘It’s Grim Up North’ parts of England. She’s smiling, a huge beamer of a grin, full of repressed excitement and nerves.  Fluffy coat ruffling in the wind. She looks so grown up.  I am so, so very proud of her.

I’ll be honest, I hated school.  The work was ok, in fact I loved a lot of it, apart from the bits where I had to do stuff with numbers.  Numbers hated me, they still do.  What I really struggled with though were the complexities of friendships, who was best friends with who, why was someone not talking to me or someone else, what could I do to fit in, did I look ok?  Just the usual insecurities I suppose, but I still hated it more than most I think.  As we walked to school these memories came back to me, and I wished for more for her.  I wished her happiness and the school days that everyone else seems to go on about.  ‘They’re the best days of your life!’ people often say.  I say ‘Jackson Pollocks’ to that, or words to that effect.  I really wanted, and still want, school life to be different for her.

Because of this, I was very nervous about taking her in and about what lay in store for her.  Funnily enough, when I walked Darlek through those big iron school gates on that first day, the phrase that went through my mind was ‘Into the Lion’s Den….’  Now I think back, it seems so very ironic that I had her dressed in her fluffy coat looking like a cute sheep.  Lions eat sheep don’t they?  Perhaps I should have dressed her in something a little less edible looking.

With this in mind, I’m pleased to report that the school hasn’t actually eaten her alive and that she’s doing really well.  I’m relieved that my worries appear to have been unfounded.  It seems that my daughter, in the nicest possible way, turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  This is a phrase that is often used negatively, but in this case I see it as a positive.  She’s got a bit of bite about her, she throws herself into her work, is passionate about her friendships, wants to be involved in everything and bounds around like a mad thing most of the time.

As time sneaks onward, it won’t be long until she’s going to high school.  I just know I’ll feel exactly the same.  This time I won’t be dressing her as a cute sheep…..

 

 

Vapeze

 

Logo

The New E-Cig On The Block

Bet you’ve never heard of these then!  They’re brand new on the UK E-Cig market, so you’re getting a unique review of a unique product here.  I was really pleased to be offered the chance to review them and sampled the E-Cigar, the Starter Kit, and the Disposables.  All were vaped and much appreciated.    Here’s a peek at some of the products they have for sale, many are on offer so if you’re interested in trying them be quick so you can take advantage of the deals.

Instant Use Disposables

Instant Use Disposables

I thought these were excellent value for money and they lasted well too.  I bought an E-Lite from a newsagents a while ago and it wasn’t a patch on the these.  A lot of disposables you can buy from shops are the equivalent of 30 cigarettes, these are worth 50 of ‘em, so I know which I’d prefer to vape.  These taste like proper tobacco and you get a decent amount of vape from them.

Rechargeable Starter Kit

The packet was the real selling point for me, it flips open like a real packet of cigarettes, and black is a nice classic colour of course.  These aren’t too heavy in your hand and screw together and charge without any hassle.  Again, I liked the taste, which is always a good thing.  The throat hit is nice too, you feel like you’re  getting a proper nicotine fix and an enjoyable vape.

The E-Cigar

The E-Cigar

Let me tell you straight, I have NEVER smoked a cigar in my life so I have no comparisons to make.  My husband however has, and he assures me that it does taste like a real cigar and liked it.  Personally I thought it tasted of slightly sweet mouldy carpet, apparently that’s meant to be a good thing.  A huge plus point with this is that it seems to have a fabulous battery, duracel bunny kinda thing.  I’ve been testing the battery life on all of these products and let me tell you, this E-Cigar battery in particular refuses to die.  I gave up in the end because there’s only so much mouldy carpet a girl can vape without going a funny colour.  I did not vape this in public by the way, I would have felt like a complete tit, being a woman an’ all.  I’m all for equal equality and wearing trousers and swearing etc, but I’m not up for smoking a massive cigar whilst doing my shopping.  People would ‘talk’.

The Slim!

The Slim!

These are actually really different.  I’d not seen them until this review, they’re very small, very discreet and very light.  I also like the colour, because I’m shallow like that. Plus, and this is a big plus, check the price!  To my shame, I have sampled those dirt cheap E-cigs for a a quid that you can buy at discount stores and they are the absolute pits.  If you want to try E-cigs, but really don’t want to spend a lot of money, please don’t try them, try these!  I hate to think how many people have been put off by those awful things.

The Allure

The Allure

I guess what they’re trying to imply is that the Allure is alluring. It’s certainly an interesting shape, sleek, dressed in black and looks like a mascara – that makes it alluring surely? 10/10 for advertising at the very least.

The summary……well…..I feel a bit bad for saying this, but I do prefer my E-liquids rather than using refills and cartomisers.  Personally I like being able to choose the different flavours and chopping and changing when I feel like it. But there are different flavoured e-cigs available from Vapeze, and there is no doubt that the quality is good, the service is impeccable and it’s excellent value for money.   It all depends on what you like really.

Vapeze have a Facebook page and are currently running an E-Cig competition for a starter kit if you’d like to bob over there.  The link is HERE.  Please say I sent you.  The odds are brilliant at the moment as this is a new company that has just landed in the UK, and they are currently keen to build up new Facebook friends.

If you’d like to browse their website, you can find them here: Vapeze Website

Many thanks to Vapeze for allowing me to review for them.  I’m particularly grateful for the E-Cigar because it was just hilarious to sit and pretend to be Hannibal from the A-Team every now and then.

Loom-band Project to Raise Funds for the Little Princess Trust!

Loom-band Project to Raise Funds for the Little Princess Trust!

My 9 year old daughter, Darlek, is cutting her hair and donating it to the Little Princess Trust for children who have lost their hair because of medical reasons, whether that be Alopiecha or Cancer. It will be woven into a wig and Darlek will have a lovely light, easy to maintain, pixie cut.

On the 'Big Hair Day' as opposed to a 'Bad Hair Day', Darlek will put her hair into plaits and have them cut off - before her remaining hair is cut into a new style

On the ‘Big Hair Day’ as opposed to a ‘Bad Hair Day’, Darlek will put her hair into plaits and have them cut off – before her remaining hair is cut into a new style

I’m so proud of her.  About a year ago I shaved all my hair off because my hair was in terrible condition, because of the meds I’d been taking for my Ulcerative Colitis. Darlek saw how some people reacted to me, and she realised that it’s not always an easy thing to deal with.  (Just to add it’s all grown back now and it’s twice as thick and in much better condition so there’s a happy ending there).

Another little girl at her school has already donated hair to the Little Princess Trust, and Darlek was inspired by her, so that was it….decision made.  Darlek is very excited about it all and is mad keen to fundraise too.

Darlek recently broke her wrist, here's how she jazzed up her splint.  She LOVES loom bands!

Darlek recently broke her wrist, here’s how she jazzed up her splint. She LOVES loom bands!

I’m going to do a blog campaign, try to get local newspapers and my daughter’s school involved too, and make a huge loom band art project – which I’m hoping to auction with the proceeds going to the Little Princess Trust.

 

 I’m going to ask if people can donate via Just Giving or to simply to send loom bands to us – in bracelet form, or longer if people can manage.  Darlek’s school has already said that they’d be interested in helping out, so if I could supply them with packs of loom bands so they can help with the project that would be fabulous.  With this in mind I’m going to approach a few businesses and see if I can find anyone to sponsor the project and fund packs of bands.

I could link all the donated loom bands together with jump rings which could then be used to make the picture.

I could link all the donated loom bands together with jump rings which could then be used to make a picture.

The idea is to layer the loom bands to and fro across a canvas, using graduating colours, to make an image.   Very simple but effective and eye-catching.  I saw a loom band dress for sale on Ebay which went for literally thousands of pounds and it got me thinking.  Not that I even imagine that this would go for anything like that, but it is something that children are interested in at the moment and so many people have access to loom bands.   The Little Princess Trust supports children and it seems appropriate that each child has an opportunity to help support them, just by making something that so many of them love doing anyway.

A loom band rainbow would look amazing!

A loom band rainbow would look amazing!

It would be a square  image, in graduating colours which could somehow be backed and secured to something like a big picture frame. With this in mind, I’m asking that people donate single coloured loom bands in a fishtail design (which is the most common weave that people learn), whatever length they like, although a minimum of a bracelet length.

I reckon it would look pretty and would look fabulous as a feature on someone’s living room or office wall.  Hopefully people would bid on that, it would raise publicity, people could donate something they find fun to make even if they don’t have the cash to donate, and it’s something lots of people are into at the minute. Any suggestions, ideas, feedback, offers of help would be most appreciated.

Even if you can’t donate or send a loom band, it would be so helpful if you could enter any competitions for loom bands on our behalf.  There’s a few listed at the bottom of this post if you would like to help that way.

If you want to donate a loom band, loom bands, or can offer any other kind of help, please feel free to email me at kay@rubbemonkeys.co.uk.

Darlek’s Just Giving Account is HERE, if you’d like to donate we’d be ever so grateful.

If you’re on Twitter there’s this one: Pls tweet Strand Shopping @ShoppingStrand Follow us to WIN a years supply of #LoomBands! All you have to do is tweet us your best #LoomBandSelfie!

There’s a competition here if you follow the link: HERE 

Or this one…    HERE (only 4 days left to enter this one so be quick!)

There is also one HERE. 

Thank you in advance! :O) x