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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Thank you and giveaway

Firstly a huge thank you to all those lovely bloggers who kindly too the time to suggest ways to solve my blogging problems.

I have now deleted the magazine blogs I no longer require - I think I wasn't signed into something or another so wasn't getting the right menu to stop following. Tick.

I understand the html business but am too scared to delete codes if I am not sure which ones are spaces and which ones are somthing important but I will try it out again later. Tick.
Icon - well nobody seems to know why i am a grey square and not a coloured photo on peoples followers lists but maybe I am a grey blob so we'll leave that. Tick.
Scanning - well I spent all evening yesterday scanning and trying to upload as a jpeg file my document and although I got it on the blog it was too small to read properly but no problem you could click on it and read it larger that way except that page 2 wouldn't work like that so you'd have been left with page one read and page 2 requiring a magnifying glass to see! So in the end I deleted the post and went to bed in a thoroughly bad mood! Not yet ticked!..

So on to this morning - blue skies - aren't Autumn skies amazing? I seem to be much taken with skies lately and today the sun is shining and the sky is this brilliant blue - stunning.

Little butterfly enjoying the sunshine on the fence

I picked the last of the sweet peas - or is it? I keep thinking that there will be no more but although they have very short stems and take several days to appear they are bravely flowering still.

This was the document I tried to share with you last night - I can let you see the text but I cannot as yet show you the illustrated version as here - I will try again sometime but for now for those who are interested in my stories here's another memory post - skip this if you wish and go on to the give away below!

Fuchsia—especially the common or garden variety always take me back to the time when my mother and I lived in the Forest of Dean and we used to occasionally take the bus to visit one of mother’s aunts (one of her mother’s sisters) and her family who lived in nearby Bream. They lived in a double fronted stone house with a lovely cottage garden which backed onto commonland and just inside the front gate was a big fuchsia bush which in September would be covered with the startling cerise and purple flowers dancing in the breeze. As we used to get the bus home from just outside the gate we spent quite a bit of time standing beside this bush although it couldn’t have been in bloom every time we visited.

There were 3 cousins, 2 sons and a daughter and the sons worked with their father in his monumental masonry business – they all died eventually of silicosis since even though they didn’t go down the coal mines they were constantly breathing in the dust made when they carved the memorials for those who did! They had a much nicer house than Grandfather’s with electric light and even a television but their toilet was still down the garden, though much later they did install a proper bathroom with an indoor toilet. Great Uncle Len kept ferrets which I found endlessly fascinating, I loved their silky velvety coats and their long lithe bodies, their bright beady black button eyes and also their little needle sharp teeth! He also had a flock of geese which roamed free on the commonland behind the house and in the spring when the goslings arrived I was besotted with them too. Oh how I wanted one, they were so fluffy and yellow and cuddly. “When they are big enough you can have one” said Uncle Len “and then you can eat it for your dinner at Christmas”!! Like that I didn’t want one at all but it was eventually decided that we would have 2 - one for me and one for mother and mother could eat hers if she wished. I adored those geese and they followed me everywhere like puppies. We kept them in the shed and they had the run of the piece of garden to the side of grandfather’s house, which we were able to fence off, and we fed them on scraps and bran. They got up to all sorts of mischief too and one day my mother had been dyeing my brownie beret navy blue for me as I was about to join the guides and new berets were too costly, and she inadvertently left the pan of navy dye outside and the geese found it and tried drinking some of it! It didn’t seem to do them any harm except that they had purple bills and tongues for ages afterwards and looked very peculiar. Of course to get to the toilet we had to go through their enclosure and once when my cousin, who was about 10 the same age as me, was staying with us (where did he sleep I wonder?) he was so frightened of them that I had to go to the toilet with him – he did so want to be macho and brave but the geese were a step too far. They made excellent guard dogs too since many people were afraid of them when they were fully grown for they could be quite fearsome so they were quite useful. I don’t remember any eggs but perhaps we had two ganders! Of course we couldn’t eat them but they did get sold at Christmas time a year or so later since we were going to stay with my mother’s brother in Liverpool and there would be nobody to look after them – that was what I was told anyway, so I dare say they were eaten but certainly not by me nor by my mother!

Now I promised to do a GIVEAWAY if I reached 100 followers and that number has been reached so... I must try and think of something that I could give that might be of interest to you all - not easy since I know you have very different tastes and interests. So this is the choice: the bag ladies amongst you might like either of the 2 bags shown here - one is knitted and the other felted and both have been seen on my blog at the time of making.

Or you can choose something in crazy patchwork such as a needlecase, heart, camera case (for this you'd need to give me measurements), knitted heart or little Friendship hanging

Or a tiny cushion like this blue one about 3 inches square or a 12 inch cushion cover along the lines of these two which I showed you recently.

I'd add a couple of lucky dip bits to whatever the winner chooses to make up the giveaway package. All you have to do is leave a comment saying which gift you would prefer and what colour schemes are your favourites if I am to make something for you and I will draw the winner this time next week. Gift should follow as soon as possible afterwards although if you choose anything other than one of the bags you will obviously have to wait for me to make it!


  1. Wow! I'm glad you've sorted out most of those problems. I find that spacing goes wrong if I import more photos or move them around, after I've started writing. If I get all the photos in order first, then the writing seems to fit around them without problems. If I want to ensure a break between lines, I cheat and type one character in it, then colour the character the same colour as my background!

    And that said, I would love to enter your giveaway, please! The crazy patchwork would be just fantastic. I love all the pieces you've done in bright, jewel-like colours. Oh, I'd love to win... Thanks for the chance!

  2. I know exactly how you feel regarding the html, its still a bit of a mystery to me although I do try to understand it. Some people have such wonderful blog layouts but I think I'll stick to my simple plan for the time being.
    Thanks for the wonderful sweet pea picture they were my Dad's favourite flower.

  3. Glad you are sorted - I had to ask someone how to delete blogs I didn't want to follow anymore because they hadn't blog in a while, and in doing so I found out how to put my photograph on the ones I am following, bloggers lovely and helpful and through your blog may I say thank you too?
    Julie xxxxxxx

  4. Hi Jane
    Love your story, so glad you didn't eat the geese, I'm still hoping no-one ate the geese!!!
    What a very generous giveaway! I love your patchwork anything made in that would be lovely, if I was lucky enough to win. :)
    Vivienne x

  5. See how helpful everyone is? I loved Floss's suggestion "cheating"........ I shall try it next time I am stuck......

    Lovely memories re the geese. If I were to win your giveaway I would love a knitted heart please....

    Lucky you to have such blue skies today....

  6. Hi Jane,
    I wonder if you are trying to scan something that is too big - like a whole page of a magazine? If you scan it first( the whole page )then crop it into smaller sections you may increase the size of it and make it readable.
    I love all your handwork and besides the postage way out here to Oz is expensive so I'll leave the give away to those closer to home.
    It's late so I'll return to read about the geese tomorrow.

  7. I wanted to let you know I was able to read your post yesterday before you deleted it (I guess I was too eager when I saw you published a new post?) and I didn't find any problem with the pictures, I could click on them to make them larger and read comfortably.
    Don't get discouraged and try again sometime! :-)

    May I enter your giveaway too? I love your patchwork - but I can't decide on which one: the camera case, the friendship hanging or the cushion cover. They are all too pretty! I'll decide if I am a lucky winner...

    ps: Floss' "cheat" is a great tip!

  8. I enjoyed seeing your bright autumn pictures, and loved the memory post - very vivid.
    Thanks for visiting my blog and for the wise comment about the spacing issue (it needn't matter!)I've never entered a giveaway before - if I was lucky enough to win yours I'd be delighted with any of the lovely things you've made - so a surprise would be perfect!
    Helen x

  9. Hi Jane
    Ah, I wondered what the two disappearing posts were! Too sad about the fate of the purple billed geese and friends.
    Love the blue sky and butterfly pictures.

  10. Love the story, I couldn't have eaten them either.
    Your giveaway is very generous, if I was lucky enough to win I'd love the little friendship hanging.
    Sue x

  11. So glad you have got most things sorted out! I upload all my photos first and then blog round them. Seems to work easier for me that way. I like Floss's 'cheat' suggestion!

    Oh my goodness a giveaway and what a lovely one as well. I just couldn't choose if I were lucky enough to win...I do know that I would treasure anything you taken with the crazy patchwork. A surprise is always good fun.

    Will be reading your story in the morning - always find it better to read them, I can concentrate more without loads of interruptions.

  12. So glad you are making bloggy progress, and LOVED the story of the geese. My pages are typed and stuck in an 8"x8" book so the writing is probably about a 6 inch square block which I then upload and resize to extra large, this just fits in, but anything larger would be too much. Keep having a go, eventually you'll hit the right combo.
    I already have a couple of your pieces, a little cushion and pretty heart which hangs on my wardrobe door, so I am quite happy to let your other fans have first dip.

  13. Glad you got your technology sorted - I have to enlist the help of "my technical assistant!" I just adore your little crazy patchwork hearts. I need to try to have a go so some close up inspiration would be great.What a great and generous giveaway!

  14. I love reading memories like you are writing, just wish my parents had of mentioned their little memories of growing up. And I giggled with the geese and the dye :-)
    If I was lucky enough for the give-away, my choice would be one of your wonderful 12" cushion covers, love your work and these designs.
    Now off to find more of your memory posts - if I can ☺

  15. Jane,
    I've been out of the loop on a few days hols in Hereford as you know so I'm only just catching up on my blog reading. Good to hear all your issues are resolved, except for the scanning. Doesn't scanning and then cropping or re-sizing do the trick? I could answer the following thing but not why you are a grey blob (not literally of course) I had noticed that but thought it was your choice to do it that way. Blogger is like pandora's box some days..... great story about the geese and like Jill, I am already the lucky recipient of your beautiful stitched works so choose from amongst other friends. Lesley x

  16. Hello Jane. Golly such a lovely choice! I think I would choose the knitted heart because it has such a softly gorgeous texture. Any colour would be perfect. Well done on the tick list progress! x

  17. Hi jane
    Love your extract. Reading your's about the outdoor toilet bought back memories for me about an 'old' man who lived near us when I was about 5 and he was called Mr Fletcher and grew rhubarb! How odd to jog a memory like that!
    Would love to enter your giveaway please and I would be more than happy to win anything.

  18. Glad you sorted out your computer problems!
    Loved the story, fascinating to read about your life! I like how people were much more thrifty in the past, dying your beret rather than buying one is a great idea! Poor geese, they must have been funny with blue beaks! :)
    I'd love a crazy patchwork heart or needlecase, tahnks for the chance to win! :) x

  19. Computers! Can't live with 'em and can't live without 'em. Either way, we love can't be without 'em.
    I've been one of your Followers for a while now, I may not comment often [shame on me] but do read your posts.
    It would be wonderful if I could win one of your Hearts, though any of these wonderfully generous lovelies will be loved here at my house.
    Hugs & ♥♥♥s,

  20. Seems i am follower number 101.. Lol,, love your blog and reading old memories is always fascinating, especially being a girl from the potteries originally but have been living in Australia for a long time. Love the pictures, brings back my memories of my return visit 12 years back. If i should be fortunate enough to win i would love one of your crazy patchwork needlecases, thanks for a chance to win... :))
    Hugs,Tina (in Tasmania)

  21. What lovely Giveaways you have on offer!
    I still seem to be stuck in a 'no go zone' and need to kick start myself to make something important for my daughter!

  22. I would love the needlecase or a friendship hanging! They are all so lovely. You make such super things and in very pretty colours!
    Your memoirs are also very interesting.
    Lucy xxxxxxx

  23. Darn, I was convinced I had left a comment when I read your post the other day, where is it??? Glad you posted a reminder, phew, almost missed this lovely giveaway. I'd love to win the patchwork heart, its so pretty.

  24. I love your writings about the geese! Please sign me up for your giveaway :-) I'm not sure I know which item I love more, but you know how I am about bags, should I be so lucky. :-)
    Take care,

  25. Can't believe I almost missed this.

    If I was lucky enough to win - I'd love a patchwork heart, please.

    PS - am having a giveaway on my blog - ends on 29/9 ;)

  26. I hate computers too!!
    Lovely giveaway! especially the needlecase

  27. Hi Jane, hope I'm not too late although being the recipient of one of your goodies already I do feel a little cheeky about entering. Do pop over when you have a moment, I've finally got my thanks in !!!! x

  28. oohh just found you from lovely Harmony and Rosie's blog. I hope you don't mind me entering your competition but I would love to if that is OK.


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