Scavenger Hunt

Wednesday 28 August 2019

A New Collection

It all started like this.......

One May day I was idly browsing through Facebook and came across an advert on my local free site.  It was a very sad looking sewing machine.  I carried on past but it was still there later on in the day and my interest was piqued.  I thought it looked pretty old because it was small, it was calling to me, and it would look good all cleaned up in my craft room.  I messaged the lady and picked it up the next day.  It was extremely heavy, covered in dust, and came with a few spiders in the case.
When I got it home I put it in the garden and (if you know anything about Vintage Sewing Machines put your fingers in your ears at this point) and washed it down with some mild washing up liquid and hot water.  I left it in the sun to dry and did a quick google, and learnt some things, mainly that you should NEVER put water near something that is made cast iron, it will make it rust and the paint work drop off.  I am pleased to say that neither happened to my machine.  The crank handle was only just moving so Master Clicky gave me a hand and we oiled and cleaned the innards.  Over several days it began to move more freely.   According to websites there was a serial number that I could look up, which I duly did.  I was astonished to learn that this Singer 12K dated from 1883.  People were still wearing bustles, long skirts and hats then!  It was 136 years old.

It has a boat shuttle, rather than a round bobbin, which I have never come across before and I began to wonder whether I could actually sew with it.

I joined a Singer group on Facebook and was met with comments like 'you lucky thing' and 'whoa'.  They explained how to clean it  her with sewing machine oil on the main body and chrome cleaner for the metal parts and she was soon sparkling again.  They also told me that all sewing machines had to have names so I have named her Janet after my (long dead) aunt; a bit stroppy but likes sewing.  She is a bit temperamental but does sew, with a lovely neat stitch.  Some of the decals are worn off but that just shows how much she has been used over her 136 years.

I had had the best time getting this piece of history working again so kept a lazy eye on Facebook Marketplace to see what else was around.  

A week or so later, this popped up.  It was £22 and, happily, fairly close to a very dear friend of mine.  I dropped her a message and she said of course she'd pick it up.
After the same cleaning and oiling she was looking pretty, this one had mother of pearl inlay.  Records for this machine we harder to find.  I thought she was European because she had a centimetre ruler inlayed in the base.  It turns out it is a German machine probably dating to 1900 or a bit a later.  On the shuttle cover it says 'American Sewing Machine Company'.  Relationships with Germany around that time were getting frosty so these machines were made to look anything but German.
She is called Gladys after the seller's Aunt who owned her.  I was about to getting sewing on her when.........

I found this Singer, round the corner from my brother and sister in law's house, for £5.00.  Had to be done.  This is a Singer 28k dated to 1892.  It was left in a house that the seller bought and he just wanted rid of it.  By now I was getting good at cleaning and lubricating.  She's been called Ivy and even more well used than Janet.

I've actually used her to sew a quilt too.  I used Mr Clicky's old shirts, which I've been amassing for a while.  This is a massive learning curve for me, not having done much quilting.   The machine is lovely to use, she makes little hiccups every few stitches and has the added quirk of the end of the crank handle falling off if you're not careful.

Lastly I bought an Essex toy sewing machine.  This is tiny and sews a chain stitch with a single thread.  Called Dot she belonged to the mother of the lady I bought it from.  It has the original receipt dated 1953.  She owned a knitting shop although she preferred sewing; apparently all the wool for the shop was stored in her daughter's bedroom.

I used Dot to make some new felt spool covers.

And Miss Clicky's wedding card.

Here they all are together.

They are all back in the UK of course.  What should I do for a sewing machine in America?  Buy a new one with plastic gears that will only last a few years or buy something with metal gears and that will carry on sewing for ever? mmmmmm

That's me for now, see you soon........Clicky Needles.

P.S.  I have my new laptop and still couldn't comment on either my own or other people's blogs.  With some Googling I have discovered that this is an Apple v Google issue.  I am now using Chrome rather than Safari as my browser and all is resolved.

Friday 23 August 2019

A Trip To Grand Haven

Hello folks!

I had a lovely road trip to Grand Haven.  Mr Clicky and me were driven the 5 hours by his colleague, from the West Coast of Lake Michigan to the East.  We travelled through Indiana and into Michigan, effectively following the lake around, had a night in an hotel so Mr Clicky and colleague could go and be busy and important the next morning in a business meeting which lasted 2 hours and then came home again.

They dropped me off in downtown Grand Haven.  I had a quick wander round but as the shops weren’t yet open ~ 9 am ~ I opted for the 15 minute walk to the beach.

I followed the yachts.

I meandered along the boardwalk 

until I got to the, well I want to say sea here, but it’s not!  I still can’t get my head around ‘it’s a lake’.  You can see the lighthouse in this picture, what a stunning summer scene.

Grand Haven is a beautiful summer resort, the winter however, is a different story.  As it is freshwater, the lake, and the lighthouse freeze.  Apparently this area is not for wimps in the winter.  

Image from Pinterest.

Anyhoo, back to the beach.  I found myself a quiet spot, sat down and got out my knitting.

I was soon surrounded by curious gulls, keeping a lazy eye on me just to see if I dropped anything they might like.

This one found the sandcastle next to me.

I sat for awhile and then walked back to town,  stopping for a sweet black cherry ice cream in the way.  Yum.

The shops were now open, and I bought myself a hoodie.

Mr Clicky’s meeting was now over and they picked me up again.  
Of course, whilst in the car I knitted, and got loads done on my Climb Every Mountain jumper.  

Just a bit of ribbing and it will be finished.

So, the blogging from an iPad is working with this app.  It’s called blogtouch if anyone is interested.  There were a few glitches but I think I have sorted those now.  I am still unable to comment on other blogs though, although I am logged in, the iPad thinks I’m not and this is hugely frustrating.   A new laptop is on it’s way to me, so this should be remedied in the next few days.

Looks like today will be another pool day, the temperature has dropped a bit down to about 25 C, 77 F, cooler, but still very pleasant.  August is here for sure, there is dew on the cars in the morning and summer is leaving us.

That’s me for now, see you soon............Clicky Needles.

P.S.  Forgot to add, I did look for yarn shops and indeed found one........but as it was Wednesday it was shut.

Tuesday 20 August 2019

A Bit of Needlework

Hello there!

I am writing this Stateside my home for the next few months.  There was the usual faff at O’Hare immigration which doesn’t get any easier, even with a visa.  I have settled into life at the apartment in Chicagoland well.  Mr Clicky goes off to work and I get up to whatever I fancy.  There are days by the pool, which I have mostly to myself especially now the kids have gone back to school, I read, knit, crochet and sometimes just sit.  It has been very hot, which also means thunderstorms so on those days I craft and watch box sets.

Back in in the UK I completed this little embroidery which was free in the May edition of Molly Makes.  I hadn’t done embroidery for quite some time and found that I really enjoyed it.  It’s less than perfect, I found cutting the felt tricky but I’m pleased, all the same.

I thought I would have a try at a Craftpod, a quarterly creative subscription box.  Details here.

I was very excited to see what it contained when it dropped through the letter box. 

It was beautifully packaged.

It was bee themed.  Inside it contained; DMC embroidery threads, fabric and hoop for a bee embroidery, such a cute bee pin, a notebook, a recipe for honey and ricotta cheesecake and a fruit teabag.

I put it away what with having a wedding to organise and packed it into my suitcase.  It was apparent that the stunning stitching in this kit was going to stretch me.

I need to do this with no contact lenses in, as the stitches are very tiny and my lenses are no good for really close work, so I do it in the evening or first thing in the morning before my lenses go in.  Here is my progress so far.  I have learnt that you need to stitch over the pencil lines not up to them as they will show, so I might be going over the outlines of the flowers at the end.  Progress is slow, but I am enjoying it, I listen to podcasts and before I know it, an hour will have passed.

Tomorrow Mr Clicky has a one night business trip to Grand Haven, in Michigan which is 5 hours away by car, so I am going along for the ride.  It will be my first time in Michigan, I am planning on heading to the beach.

See you soon........Clicky Needles.

P.S.  I think I have, at last, found an app to allow you the blog from an iPad, so this is a bit of a test.  Let’s hope it works!

Monday 12 August 2019

Nearly finished garden

So, here is the (nearly finished) back garden. 

After our building work our garden was left looking like this. 

Over the past 2 years, I have worked to make it a bit better.  I hired some local landscapers in to lay the paving (not for me!) and Master Clicky has helped if he hasn't been playing cricket/sleeping/socialising/going to work.  We started with the patio area.  As there are some level changes we needed to make the corner slightly higher.  Master Clicky cut up wooden sleepers the correct length with the circular saw, he does it as I really don't like the circular saw. I painted all the bits of sleepers black. 

I dug trenches and holes and we mixed cement. 

We started to cement.

We worked our way around the  patio area.

I carried on digging trenches and turned up a huge piece of concrete curbstone.
The dog promptly lay in the hole I had just made to cool down.
I carried on around the edge of the border, digging, cutting, painting and cementing the sleepers in.
As well as height changes in the garden the cherry tree is a bit of a problem because over the years the soil has settled and the roots are very near the surface, therefore I built a 'box' around the tree which sits on the surface, not damaging any roots.  The wood border carries on to a second smaller patio.
I spent a lot of time and effort levelling and removing stones from the lawn area - see my 'I hate Cotswold Stone' post a couple of months back.
The turf arrived, of course, 5pm one hot and airless evening.
There was nothing for it but to get to work.  Master Clicky couldn't help 'because I've got cricket nets Mum.'  I worked until it was dark and I couldn't see anymore.
I finished off the next day, and after a week it looked like this.

I found some bargain £2 grasses at a local garden centre and planted the bed by the tree; taller plants through the grass.
I particularly love the pink Echinacea.
The raised bed by the washing line is really establishing itself.
On the other side of the house the side return had become a general dumping area.  The problem here is that the foundations of the wall mean there is nothing to plant into.  Yep, you've guessed it, more raised beds.

This time I used the sleepers horizontally.  There was a lot of trial and error here, finding the level was probably the hardest bit.  Master Clicky worked on his woodshed at the same time.
When I decided that all was correct, I painted the sleepers black, cemented the uprights in and screwed the sleepers to them.
I wheelbarrowed a tonne of topsoil and a tonne of pea shingle into the new bed.

I was inspired by a white garden that Mr Clicky and me saw at the Chicago Botanic Garden last summer so I am going for the white look.

When it was first planted it was looking a bit sparse

but it is filling out more now.
With the addition of the path, it's looking good.

There's still a few slabs to go down on the patio and hopefully the landscapers will be back soon, although I won't be enjoying the garden for a while, as I am now in Chicago with Mr Clicky for several months.  It has been hard leaving the Little and Baby Needles' but Mr C and I need to spend some time together.   I worked out we've only spent 4 months of the last 18 in the same country, so we need to remedy that. 

There's always video calls to catch up with everyone.  With 30 degree heat here most of the time, you'll find me by the pool............

Bye for now...Clicky Needles.