Sunday, 31 March 2013

Steampunk’s Reality and One Knitwear Designer’s Vision

Missed you all and missed my journey. Last year my journey came to a stop because of a nasty cold. Well the cold has gone in a week, but during that week I directed my attention to my bank balance. Well they say that a person always connects with themselves during illness. I think I have connected too close with my bank account and the bills. So there was one thing to do, back to a full time job with a guaranteed income.

I was offered a job in Manchester as a garment technologist.  The job was more than 120 miles away from my home city. The temptation to take it was more than I could resist, so I started commuting between Leicester and Manchester daily and that meant driving at least 1200 miles a week.
Nuts, wasn’t it?!
 So after a year of driving on the M1 and M62 routes, or The Woodhead Pass (when it is not closed), last September, I moved to live in Manchester. My bank balance was getting very happy, but my emotional balance had shifted into an unwelcome feeling of home sickness.  However, my daughter joined the local college and settled down very nicely.

Miles of snow along Woodhead Pass...

... Miles of Heather across Woodhead Pass.

People here are very generous and open hearted. My home sickness was eased up and I am back to being self employed.
The city is very Victorian and the architecture is adorned with sculptures carved into the walls.  The beauty of this city has captured my soul and inspired my imagination. My business has found great inspiration in the steam Victorian era. The travelling, the adventure, the optimism, the imagination and mechanisation. The soul of this era is an attempt to subvert the basics; it is Steampunk’s reality and one knitwear designer’s vision.

Victorian Architecture

This is The Great Northern Railwy Company's Goods
Warehouse. It was built in 1885 and completed in 1898.

Unbelievable...Unbelievable... I was absolutely in a state of disbelief.  While walking down Deansgate (A Victorian street), I came across this building still preserved in its initial look. I was hysterical with joy.  I felt madness high jacking my sanity trying to comprehend the changes that this building has ignited and was witness to within the Victorian optimism.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Sorry, no post today: I was nursing a nasty cold all day and the internet is playing up.  See you tomorrow  :(

Monday, 4 July 2011

Around the Blogs in 80 Days: Day Four

It’s done.  It’s done and I’m jumping with joy.  This is my first patchwork and I’m soooo proud.  I’ve only unpicked twice.  Okay, three times.  Alright, I admit it: four times  :D
  It was a lot of fun to make and my full admiration and respect goes to all of those who love and practice this craft.  I’ll definitely add patchwork to my hobbies. 

  This picture of a tiled floor was taken a few months ago, when I visited Birmingham Museum. I used it to create my masterpiece, teehee  :D
Step one: I’m planning

Step two: I’m happily sewing  :)

Step three: I’m thrilled  :D

And here is the back view  :)
Thank you, The Happy Quilter, for the inspiring posts.

So, onto day four of my journey.  I would love to know about your blogs; please introduce me to your hobbies: I would love to have a go, and so far I’m loving it.  And the invitation is open if you want to join me in my journey; it would be a pleasure to have your company.
  My next stop is at One Man’s Journey in Jewelry Making.  His posts shine with creativity, and I can’t help but want to go and read through the rest.  I’m going to have a go at making some jewellery of my own. So, wish me luck  :)

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Around the Blogs in 80 Days: Day Three

You can lure me very easy by Art and crafts, and of course cookies. Today, my daughter, mum and I went to the Botanic garden of Leicester University. Besides the art and Craft Displays, there were lots of stalls to visit and I was more than Eager to do so.

   The atmosphere of the Fete was great. The Ground was dotted with people having fun. The cafe was inside the big House, which I think was once a home of some very, very, very rich people, and outside on the terrace there were Instruments of the Jazz band that later on started playing some sweet music whilst we drank juice, sitting on the grass.  The Kids’ Laughter filled the place and joined in with the Music of the band.  There was a sense of romantic Nostalgia in the air.  

  We then came across a stall full of some Original felt designs that looked simply gorgeous. The Plant stalls were full of beautiful and colourful orchids.  I also picked up a schedule sheet for Quilting classes.  I have never had a go at quilting and it seems like great fun, so I’m up for it.  By this time, my mum was getting tired and we needed to Rest our weary feet, so we sat down near a sculpture called ‘Spiral’.  You can’t help but to feel the presence of this great work of art.  The artist has captured the movement of a spiral perfectly. (sorry, no picture available, I’ll post it soon, I simply have to go back again to this place  :D  )
  Off we went again, and this time we visited the stall for the Leicester Tortoise Society where there was an Unbelievable big African Tortoise, yet it was only a baby.  The Venue was teaming with scents, sounds, and colours that were Weaving around you, creating a Xanadu.

  At the end, we walked back to the cafe and had tea.  What’s a British day out without tea and slice of Yummy Victoria Sponge cake??  We’re back home, my feet are weary and all I want to do now is catch some Zzzzzz’s.
That was my A-Z writing, and boy was it a toughie!  Thank you, Stephanie, reading your A-Z challenge was a pleasure  :)
  My next inspiration is The Happy Quilter.  Her blog is very upbeat and light-hearted.  I haven’t finished reading all of her posts, but what I have read so far is beautifully written.  I was especially inspired by her post ‘Is it a Patchwork Quilt?’.  Well, as I said earlier, I have always wanted to have a go at quilting, and this is my chance to put my money where my mouth is.  Wish me luck and let me know about your blog; I’d love to visit you.  Happy quilting   :D

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Around the Blogs in 80 Days: Day Two

Today was a busy, busy day.  It started by travelling around the blogs.  It was all going smoothly and happily until my daughter spotted that dreamy, excited look in my eyes.  Yes, I was planning of moving the furniture around the living room.  Do you get this delicious urge to move furniture around??  I do!  Ignoring my daughter’s usual saying of ‘not again, mum’, I carried out the plan and I couldn’t settle down till the entire living room was rearranged.  I then stood in the middle of the room, pleased with myself.

  Ok, now I could get on with my project.  Tracy, you are a brilliant instructor; your instruction video was very thorough.  However, I am terrible at following instructions. Whenever I purchase any thing that requires assembly, I just throw myself into assembling and the factory should never have bothered with printing the instruction booklet.  Most of the time, it is ok, but there are occasions where the dear ex has had to come and rescue the poor item of furniture. 

  Well, this is my version of Tracy’s window envelope pocket:

Step One:  I am pleased

Step Two:  I am happy

Step Three:  I am dancing with joy

Thank you, Tracy; I had a lot of fun trying out your idea.

  My next journey is taking me to another blog that is close to my heart: Stephanie V at Hookin’, Knittin’ & Livin’.  Her writing is full of warmth and strength.  Her stories are uplifting and her language is very smooth.  The more I read, the more I become eager for the next post; it is always a pleasure to listen to her thoughts.  She is a keen observant and her ways have inspired me in so many ways.  My favourite posts were from her A-Z challenge and I would love to have a go at an A-Z challenge that spans 1 day.

  I’m looking forward to posting it tomorrow.  Meanwhile, happy writing and wish me luck and let me know about your blog; I’d love to visit you  :D

Friday, 1 July 2011

'Around the Blogs in 80 Days'

  Inspiration lies all around us, and if we take the opportunity to slow down and just take a little look closer, we will be amazed at how many inspiring people cross our path and enrich our lives.  I’ve been a member of Blogger for a few months now.  During these months, I have ‘met’ some amazing people who have shared with us their hopes, dreams and creations. 
  Well, the plan goes like this: ‘Around the Blogs in 80 Days.’  The idea is that each day, I will visit and talk about what I like in the blog and how it inspires me.  This is a journey, during which I wish to show my gratitude to these people who are truly amazing.

  Today, I wanted to say thank you to Tracy at ‘Tracy’s Treasures’.  She is an inspiring person; her smile always shines through her writing.  Tracy is a very creative person.  I like the cards that she makes and her colouring.  The little anecdotes that she tells us about her family are always sweet and funny, and bring a smile to the heart.  I especially liked the story about the skunk who settled down under her property.   
  I also loved the idea of how she created the window envelope pockets; the idea is so sweet that I want to have a go at it.  Tomorrow, I will post images and let you know how did I get on making the envelope pocket.  Happy Creating  :D
Ok, wish me luck and I would love to know about your blog  :) 

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Never Say No to New Ways...

My mum’s favourite hobby is watching TV, especially soaps, movies, the news, sports..... Okay, okay everything on TV.  Well, that has changed and she is knitting.  Yes, my mum is knitting.  The story goes like this:
She came to stay with us for a week.  During this week, my mum started to suffer from TV withdrawal symptoms, so we rushed to the TV store and bought a new TV.  Yeah, I didn’t have a TV: we are old foes, and if you are wondering what happened to it, let’s just say a while ago, it was taken into pieces and placed outside and taken away by the bin men.  Bless its soul.
Well, the week was extended to a month.  I love having my mum to stay with us, but I think I was beginning to suffer from peace withdrawal symptoms with the TV, so it had to gooooooooooooo!   Before it met its fate at the back of the dustbin truck, my mum declared that she can survive without TV, so it was merely switched off.
As the 2nd week went on, the TV withdrawal symptoms returned and my mum was suffering badly, but she wouldn’t give up, bless her fighting soul.  But a miracle happened and my daughter managed to convince her mama (grandma) to take up knitting.  My mum, knitting???  I needed to see this before I believed it.  However, she proved me wrong and she started to learn.
The cliché is that mothers teach their daughters to knit, but in my case I was teaching my mum to knit, and I was so proud to teach her.  Learning and laughing has given our relationship a different dimension and I love my mum’s sense of humour and her kind nature. She is 75 years old, but she never says no to new ways.  Now, after a month, she loves knitting and she is hoping to knit a blanket.  Way to go, mum, I love you.  Yes, the TV is still OK. We just watch it from time to time.

This is my mum’s first finished creation.  Yes, I know what you’re thinking.  As a matter of fact, we started by few loops, as seen at the base, but by a miracle of God, some more few loops were added to the work.  I said miracle of God because my mum insists that she has added up no more loops and she was only knitting the original ones.  So, when she saw the finished product, she said “praise the Lord, by miracle of God, the little blanket has turned into a lookalike of the map of the United States of America.”  You see, knitting miracles still happen.
I love you, mum  :D xoxo

By the way, I have a new collection in my Etsy shop; Happy Shopping  :D