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Saturday 10 April 2021

Blog Along with Effy - Post Eight

I came across some pictures of the first journal I completed. I no longer have it, as when we left the UK just over a year ago, I had to downsize my craft room, bringing less than a quarter of my stuff to Australia. How often do I regret some of my decisions on what was important to save!
I was adding to this journal in 2016 - it's quite interesting to see how my art has progressed!

If you have been reading some of my posts you will know that when I saw Effy's Blog Along I thought I would share some 'diary' posts, along with some of the journal pages I have been pleased with.  I am enjoying taking a trip down Memory Lane!

I thought that yesterday I would more or less get up to date, but no, I am now writing Post 8 on the 10th. We were out and about all day,  so I didn't get around to much on my 'to do' list.

Early in the morning, Kevin had to go for his first Covid jab. At 70, he is slightly older than me, so I won't be eligible until they roll out the next group.

After that, however, we went on a trawl around the charity and junk shops, hoping to find things we can upcycle, or I can alter, for our market stall. The problem with this, is I always see something I NEED! For instance on this trip, I came home with a few books and a typewriter. I have been looking for a typewriter for a while as I want to use it for word strips in my journal. I know my husband says I can print different fonts on the computer - but I like the look of the script from an old typewriter. There are a lot in the charity shops but they are usually priced too high. This wasn't! I did have a typewriter in times gone by - I wonder what happened to it?

I come from a family of teachers. Not Dad - he was an accountant - but early on he was a radar mechanic in the Navy. He was very proud of his ship HMS Magpie.

(Coincidentally Prince Philip, who passed away yesterday, took over its command from 1950 to 1952, soon after Dad had left).

When my sister started teaching, her subject was Home Economics - cookery and needlework. My brother taught woodwork and metalwork. I think both subjects now come under Design and Technology. My sister later lectured in horticulture at a local college. Mum was in Special Education - and she would certainly have had some tales to tell! Our daughter Sophie also went into teaching despite our recommendations - her subject is Chemistry.

My teaching career has spanned all ages and many subjects - from calculus to card making. My degree from Sheffield University (1971 - 1974) was in Pure Maths and Computer Science so I first started teaching maths. However, having the 4 children and also moving around following my husband's job in Civil Engineering, I have constantly had to reinvent myself.

We are also an arty/crafty family, always exchanging hand-made Christmas craft and so on. (Sophie is already thinking about what she might do for this December.) My sister's Birthday is Halloween so we often had Halloween parties decorating the house suitably. I remember one occasion when we cut out many witches from black paper and stuck then on the walls and windows. She then frightened some of the children who came to the party by saying that these were real witches that she had magicked into paper. My sister liked to tease! When we stayed at our grandparents' house, we would sleep in the front bedroom where there were big wall cupboards, painted brown. She would always tell me there was a skeleton in these cupboards...imagine our fright when one day we opened the doors to peep in - and saw a pair of buffalo horns! 

These horns were a relic from the days of my great grandfather - he was a taxidermist. My grandmother used to do the scenes for the animals he stuffed. I remember glass domed pieces from when I was little, but I have no idea where these went to. My sister now has the horns!

But I started making things from quite a small child. Does anyone remember the paper kits that you could get from Dulux, of paint pots and things?

I learned to knit while still at Junior School and made doll's clothes and jumpers for me. All these are long gone but I do still have this little doll that I made when I was 11. This was entered in a GFS competition.

I am so grateful that I was taught good needlework when I went to secondary school. How to finish seams, set in sleeves, do collars - this was when I was at Keighley Girls' Grammar School. I don't think I ever wore the pleated skirt or shirt-waisted dress that I had to make in the 1st and 2nd year but I did start making many of my own clothes. In those days of mini, shift dresses, I could make a dress out of a yard of material! And I used this - the old treadle that I still have. I'm not quite sure of how it ended up in the family, but I think it was gained by one of my Dad's half brothers by collecting coupons. It still works but at the moment it needs the drive band replacing.

The last thing I am going to mention in this post is my Mum's knitting. She had rheumatoid arthritis and so in the last couple of years I kept persuading her to do a bit of knitting to help her hands. I bought her some cakes of yarn and got her going. Anyway after she passed away last October, my sister sent me her most recent scarf, which was, poignantly, mid row. I finished it and it now makes a lovely television watching snuggly!

Any way that's all for now.. .more soon!

This is a page from that 2016 journal:

Happy Crafting!


  1. What a lovely stroll through some of your creative history. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. How fun to read little glimpses about your family!

  3. I'm a former teacher and now support teachers. Teachers are some of my favorite people. My dad is retired Navy and yesterday, my husband and my dad talked about dad's career in the Navy. I never thought I was crafy or creative until a few years ago. It's amazing to me that one craft can lead to loving and wanting to learn about other crafts. I loved reading/seeing your crafts and creativity.


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