Friday, 24 February 2012


The Bombshell has decided he wants to try out a bit of what Mama's usually up to.

We have even sort of mastered buttons!

Makes a change from wrestling.
Love Nora xxx
PS: just a quickie to say thanks so much to every one who entered the fabric giveaway.
I'm still sorting through the odd bits and bobs so if you haven't received anything yet you should do soon.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

I like to have a bath.
Well really I love to have a bath.
But the problem is, and I suspect it will be one many of you out there will sympathise with, I don't have the time to have a bath.

A quick shower between shouting at the kids to HURRY UP!
Getting school uniforms ready, force feeding a reluctant 4 and a stroppy 8 yrs old unhealthy non nourishing sugary breakfast cereal and shouting at the kids to HURRY UP! whilst running about trying to work out where they have put the shoes this time is all I manage these days, if i'm lucky.
So if I actually manage to fit a bath in its a really special event.
Tonight I knew it was going wrong when there was a slamming on the bathroom door.
"Mummy what are you doing?"
"Having a bath sweetheart"
"Can I come in?"
"But I need to"
"No sling your hook its my bath not yours."
I lay back in the warm and comforting water.
Moments later I realised both the battle and the war were lost in one fell swoop.
The bombshell was standing amidst a pile of discarded clothes and starting to make a serious assault on the bath.
After a lot of whinging about how the water was too hot and then weeing in it
the Bombshell settled down to play a fantastic game.
Washing Mummy's hair with shower gel.
"No I don't like that stuff. This is much better"
"Oh ok, bad hair day tomorrow then"
But then that quickly, half way through rinsing Mummy's hair with soapy wee wee bath water, became boring.
So I spent the next 10 minutes having my head slashed open by Wolverine and then having the blood wiped away by a Ben 10 flannel.
In the end I gave up.
I can always have a shower in the morning
I hope!
Please please can you all reassure me that this is normal.
Tell me that girls are also this gruesome and invasive.
Happy Sunday night to you all.
Love Nora xxx

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Thank you all so much for all the interest in the fabrics from Joan's stash.
The give away is now closed!
I will be contacting every one who entered over the next day or so.
In the mean time if you still want some of the fabrics you can get them in my
I have also listed some of the original scrap bags there too.
All you will be doing is paying for the postage.


click here for free fabrics from Joan's stash

click here for free scrap heap challenge fabrics

Over the weekend I will be listing some bags of buttons and braids.
So keep tuned in you will be the first to know!
Love Nora xxx

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

As you probably know this isn't the first time I've done this sort of thing.
Cast your mind back to the great scrap heap challenge of last year.
So I have been a lucky girl so far this year.
I have inherited Joan's magnificent stash AND I was lucky to be present at
Lots and lots more of you seem to think the semi literate, semi truthful and semi deranged ramblings I put on this here blog are a good thing.
Life is on the up kids.
Its on the up.
So here is the small printy kind of stuff.
I am giving away the following
4 scrap bags of fabric from Joan's stash

2 mixed up ribbon and braid scrap bags
Oh and of course some of the thankfully unused vintage knicker elastic.

and 2 bags of buttons.

The packages will all be a mixture of the fabrics above and some that aren't for want of space shown. Same deal with the ribbons and braid.
All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me which of the above you want and leaving me a way to contact you.
But also I want you to tell me something that will make me smile, don't care what it is and the giveaway isn't dependant on it, but there is no harm in asking for something in return is there!
If you miss out don't worry there is so much stuff to giveaway.
Its just I can't afford to pay all the postage on hundreds of parcels of lovely loveliness.
So tomorrow I will be listing lots of scrap bags in my folksy shop.
All you will be doing is paying the postage.
But I'll tell the details of that on the morrow.
So all that is left to say is
and the answer is of course Nora does.

Monday, 13 February 2012

The Ninja's are back in action.

This time they are playing the long game.
This one will be massive.
Bigger than the Tunnels of Death.
Bigger than the Royal Wedding.
Bigger than the car.
This time the Ninjas are on FIRE!
This project won't come to fruition until the summer

but right now its brightening up our lives.
The beginnings of a cozy campfire.

As they say
Watch this space!
Love Nora xxx
P.S and don't forget tomorrow is the day.
The day for the big Valentines Day Who Loves You Baby giveaway.
See you then.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Some times there are funny coincidences.
Sometimes its best to grab them and run.
Today I saw that Vic at Punky and Me has a new theme for her meme
My place at yours.
Recently my home has been on my mind.
Its been for many and various reasons taking up a disproportional part of my waking thoughts.
I realised I very rarely talk about my home here and I thought I would try and change that.
We aren't ones for buying flat pack furniture unless we can help it.
Lets face it Ikea really is a necessary evil,
I would love to be able to afford to buy one off beautiful hand crafted furniture,
spend my days scouring antique stores and auction houses for
the exactly right occasional table.
Thats probably not going to happen, ever.
But we do seem to have a knack for collecting unloved bits of old junk and giving them a new and loving home.
Most of the things We have hanging on our walls have a story.
And it was some of these I wanted to tell.
So I thought I'd start in the littlest room.
The bathroom.
Whats on the walls in my bathroom?

This Indian shrine was found on Greenwich Market about 5 years ago.
A very young Ginger Ninja and I went for a day out with my friend Rebecca who was on a flying visit from Paris.
I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.
I kept trying to convince myself that I couldn't afford it (£40!!?)
I loved the small piece of wax still stuck to the shelf where incense sticks were placed and burt.
I loved the fact that the little ring to open the door has never been used.
It is much easier to push the hinge to swing the door open.
I loved the fact that on close inspection it is not symmetrical.
We walked away, we came back, we bribed the Ginger with an icecream.
In the end I knew I was being ridiculous, I handed over the cash and came away a happy Nora.
Poor Ginger had to walk home while the shrine rode happily in the buggy.
More bribery I think was used at this point.

When we bought our house many years ago one of the things the Hippy and I loved was what we liked to think of as the en-suite garden.
What other less refined than us may have called the outside privy.
Please understand at this point we have always has indoor plumbing,
this was just an optional extra.
Not that we used it as there was no door.
There were however the most amazing and ancient facilities out there.

Sadly this is all that is now left of those late Victorian early Edwardian fixtures.

I love maps.
I love the Tube map.
I love London.
We spotted these tiles in a magazine and just knew.
Any thing would have been better than the purple monstrosity of a bathroom that was here when we moved it.

I took loads of pictures all over the house.
We have a lot of stuff on the walls.
But in the end I decided the bathroom was where it was at!
Check out whats on every one else's walls here.
And don't forget tune in on Tuesday for the start of the
big who loves you baby Valentine's giveaway.
Though what has possessed me to do this on the busiest day of the month so far and in the middle of the half term holidays.,
I will never learn!
Love Nora xxx

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

This post isn't really about me, its certainly not about my work.
Its about coincidences, obsessions, family and friendships.
I have told you before that I have a Mother.
And that Mother is not from the cake baking, jam making, housework doing mould of Mother.
Oh no she is of the kaftan and cow bell wearing, sod the house work lets eat in the garden and then spend the evening crayoning strange and interesting patterns on our bedroom walls mould of Mother.
My Mother also has a friend.
I think that that Friend should have had speech marks around it.
But Friend it is, Barry is I'm afraid a little too mature to be a "boy friend".
Mum and Barry met through a shared interest in prehistoric sites.
Well some say interest, others say obsession, others less charitable than I mutter the word lunacy, but I won't have that oh no no no.
I will not have it that the many many weekends I spent in my late teens and early twenties going on "field trips" to more or less every stone circle in southern Britain was based on lunacy.
No obsession is a much kinder word.
Though I'm sure in those days we these activities came under the catch all heading of "Earth Mysteries"
I do remember standing on a lot of very windy exposed hill grasping bent coat hangers being taught how to dowse ley lines.
But it is many many a long year since I picked up a set of dowsing rods.
Nowadays Ma's all about the prehistoric rock art.
They love it and spend every spare moment traveling the length and breadth of the country studying and cataloguing it.
And so when I saw this post by Karen Turner of Stitching life,
I knew just what to do.
Mum loved it.
Barry loved it.
End of story.
Or so I thought.
Little did I know Mum had a problem.
And Karen's work just kept on developing.

But before I disclose this problem and probably get to the point of this post I need you to travel back in time with me.
Can you feel the world going wibbly and fading slightly?
And here we are some where roughly 13000 years ago, slap bang in the middle of the Palaeolithic Age.
Some where out in the bad lands on the borders of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire some one dressed in a bearskin rug is scratching away at the roof of a cave with a sharpened bit of rock.
They create this amazing picture of a bird.

We are at what will become many thousands of years later known as Cresswell Crags, in fact we are in the Church Hole Cave.
These caves are in a gorge from the end of the last Ice Age.
It was here that your humble cave man dragged his wives by their hair during the summer months to observe the cull of the free roaming herds of prehistoric cattle.
Those charmers apparently did this by driving the poor beasties over the cliff and then having a high old celebratory feast on the remains.
Some of the caves were for living in, some where for the hyenas and some special ones were according to current theory for rituals and ceremonies, these are the ones with the rock art in them.
Personally I think this was more of a shopping list.
"Oi Ugg, will you stop it with the mashed up remains of the bison?
I'm sick of it, the kids are sick of it, your mum's sick of it, my Mum's sick of it.
I'm fed up with picking bone splinters out of the baby's mashed wildebeest at breakfast.
We want a change. We want some bird, and not one of your easy little birds either, sparrows are so last millennia.
I want a big plump bird.
Oh and not one of those nasty tasting long beaked ones. I want the fish eating one.
Got it?
And just so you don't forget I've scratched a picture of one next to your sleeping pit.

And so enough of my mangling of all modern scientific historic record,
the world is going wibbly and soft focus again.
But we are not quite home yet.
Just one quick stop off in 2003.

Back in Cresswell Crags (did we ever leave?) the hard working and harassed archaeologists were having their afternoon tea.
A well earned rest after a morning of big discoveries, lots of new rock art not least of which is a now familiar long beaked bird which these learned folk have interpreted as an Ibis.
Whilst their backs were turned a curator in a high vis vest sneaks a small group of fanatics, sorry interested amateurs in for a quick reckie.
Barry decided the archeologists were in fact wrong and this was no Ibis but rather a short beaked bird snaffling a fish for its lunch.
And so vaulted the protective barriers, scrambled up the scaffolding and quickly snapped this picture before the archeologists came back and gave him a detention for being a naughty boy.

Who knows who is right and who is wrong. The real answer is lost to the mists of time.
Speaking of which its going wibbly again.
And so we are back.
Back to my Ma's problem.

Unbeknownst to me there was some frantic emailing going on between Ma and Karen.
"Could you?"
"I don't do commissions very often"
"What if you don't like it?"
"I will"
"Ok well send me the picture and I'll see if inspiration strikes
By the way are you Nora's Mum?"
That stumped her! (Nora's not my real name)

And Oh boy did it!

I took these pictures when Ma brought the bird to visit last month.
It was a freezing and gloomy day.
I'm not sure that it does justice to the depth of tone and colour Karen achieved.
But I didn't want to start fiddling with the picture in case I made it loose any of its intensity.
Obviously Karen goes against the thoughts of the trained professionals and agrees it is a short beaked bird with a fish in its beak.

It bears up to very close scrutiny, look at the texture of the fish, the fin and the tail are beautiful.
And here is a close up of the cave wall.

One word.
If only I had the patience to fiddle with all those tiny bits of hand dyed chiffon, let alone create something like this.
Ah well I guess we all have a long way to go in life.
May be one day...
If the crochet doesn't get in the way!
Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 5 February 2012

If you have been concentrating properly recently you will know that I have had an extraordinary run of good luck.
Lots of fab and amazing fabrics, trims, lace and haberdashery seem to be literally falling in my lap.
Then for those of you really concentrating hard you may remember the
that I launched last year.
I think its time to get the ball rolling again.
So tune in on Tuesday 14th February to find out how you can get your mitts on some of the amazing goodies from Joan's stash and my trip to Wayward a few weeks ago, not to mention the ever growing heap of glitzy fabric scrap that
are in the corner of my shed.
So thats it kids

Tuesday 14th Feb for
Nora's big Valentine's
Who Loves ya Baby

And here is a little glimpse of some of the beauties that will be in the said giveaway.

Blue fabrics

Yellow fabrics

Red fabrics

All sorts of who knows what they are fabrics.

Coloured braids.

And even some vintage knicker elastic (unused!)

Oh can't wait!
Bit daunted by the level of organisation I need to undertake
in just over a week but hey ho!
I will be back in a day or few with a tale of odd coincidence that involves trips back in time, archeology and some beautiful stitching by
someone much more accomplished than I.
Love Nora xxx