Friday, 30 April 2010

Davy’s been poorly…

Hello folks. I’ve been absent for a week, I know, but it’s been hell of a week.
Well, two weeks really. Dave, the last of our original hens has been sick. She looked a bit under the weather so we brought her in and to keep an eye on her. She was being very picky about her food – interested, but not eating. I’ve been syringe feeding ever since. This continued for about a week and we thought she might have worms despite using verm-x (isn’t a trawl around the forums enlightening? Turns out verm-x = evil and useless) We ordered the proper medicinal wormer from the net – one we had been avoiding because we didn’t want to pump our beleaguered ex-bats full of chemicals. The next morning her crop was full and it looked like she wouldn’t be able to take the meds. A phone chat with our wonderful poultry vet confirmed worms, and I rushed round to pick up some drops to put on her skin. He was worried about her crop though and thought she might have an impaction further down that he wouldn’t be able to clear.
I'm beginning to think the vet was right, and she may have blockage beyond her crop. I’ve been treating for sour crop and I thought it had emptied yesterday morning but when I got back from work she was unable to stand and her crop was full as ever this morning. She has gone from looking peaky for two weeks to looking near death overnight. I didn't expect her to be alive when I got home from work today, and had a good cry and said goodbye this morning but she's still here, hanging on. She's extremely weak, her eyes are closed and she's just lying there rather than sitting. If I try and stand her up she falls forward and I have to catch her. I’m sure she's skinnier than she was two weeks ago but I can't bring myself to weigh her to find out.
When we first got hens, a lady I met said they bring you nothing but heartache. I'm looking at Rita and Lucy trying to shelter from the rain and I have to say I don't wholeheartedly agree. I love watching them pecking about, and I'm proud they have all been rescued from evil battery cages - but when they die the heartache shows itself.
At least Davey got to see the sun.
I’m sitting watching Brief Encounter (I just watched the original Sweet November, it’s that sort of night) with Dave on my lap, sleeping. I know to most people she’s only a hen, and I feel a bit foolish being so melodramatic, but to me she’s no different to a dog or any one of my cats, and I know it’s only a matter of time.
So for now I’m signing off, to get a coffee and pull myself together, and decide whether I’m going to spend my bank holiday weekend sewing through my mountain of lovely fabric or building more workshop furniture.
That’s it Beccy, focus on the Nice things.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

The building of a table…

I have to start by saying Knock-off wood is awesome, Ana is awesome.

We needed a huge table for the workshop, one metre by two and a half. The dimensions have to be perfect because we have so much we need to fit in there. We also needed the table to be sturdy, have storage underneath and most of all be cheap!

Enter Knock-off wood. I’ve talked about the site before and all Ana’s amazing (and free) woodworky plans. And not just any plans, these are plans for high-end, high-priced furniture from places like Pottery Barn and the like and the thing is, they’re better made, and much, much cheaper.

Here’s our newly delivered wood. It’s mostly planed, sawn softwood but see those green ones on the left? They are our table legs, and they are un-planed fenceposts. You see, it’s impossible to get planed 4x4’s anywhere near here.


Enter my new friend/torturer the 60’s plane…


…which created this. An enormous pile of shavings. Now, you might be forgiven for thinking I did all this by myself because that’s how I’ve made it sound, but I didn’t. There were three of us – me, ma and Elle, all taking turns, one measuring, one sawing and one planing. And I tell you, it was hard work for all of us!


These next pics show the table in progress. Once we had cut all the wood, which took 2 days (although we were cutting wood for a further two workbenches at the same time) it still took another day to put together but it was worth it.


And the (almost) finished table. It is definitely sturdy! two of us could barely turn it over, never mind move it. All screw-holes need to be filled and it’s going to be painted below, but the top will probably be lightly whitewashed because I hate yellow pine and I think I might be rubbish at applying convincing stains!


So our hands hurt, our knees hurt, we stink of wood and have sawdust in places we didn’t know we had places, but I have to say thankyou so much Ana! The specific plans can be found here if you want to see. I’ll post another pic when it’s properly finished, but for now I was too excited to wait! I don’t know about ma and Elle, but this is the first woody thing I’ve made since CDT classes at school, and I’m proud.

Now onto the other two workbenches…


Car booty…

Just a few things I discovered at last Saturday’s car boot sale. There is a lot of this fabric – more than enough to make a lovely frock. I know what you’re all thinking, ‘does Beccy ever make any of these dresses she’s always banging on about?’ Well never fear, I will soon as I have a free day! At the moment I’m just gathering supplies so I have everything on hand I need for those perfect frocks :)


Speaking of supplies, I found these awesome cards of buttons too.


This 60’s dress was £3 and it just fits. If only I hadn’t eaten all those eggs over Easter…


This tea set 30p. 30p!!! The little old lady on the stall asked if I needed it because I was ‘away to college?’. Haha, despite being 30, I look about 17.


And finally, my new toy. It’s an old 60’s Rapier plane and it cost me £3. The blade looked like someone had used it on a cheesegrater but I managed to grind it back to usability.


Tune in tomorrow (as they say on the telly) to see what we’ve been doing with it!


Monday, 12 April 2010

A long week…

…at least it feels like it! Which is a good thing, because I’ve been on holiday all week and have another one to come – if I make it seem as long again, these two weeks could feel like a month off work!

I finished the plate I was making for that chap and managed to get it posted off to France – it should arrive tomorrow, I hope he likes it. Here’s my original he wanted…


…and here’s the copy.


Almost the same, barring photography and the fact that the original broke in storage – in fact it’s better made!


Me, off a-posting!

We spent a day visiting our friend Penny in nearby Pocklington, who we haven’t seen for a year (!) and her new dog. We took him for a long walk in the wettest wood ever, but it was so nice to see Pen we didn’t care about the mud.

We also went to Hull to pick up an ebay win – a lovely piece of teak countertop for the workshop. We stopped off at the Humber bridge which has a nature reserve to one side. I’ve never been before, that bridge is huge!


I’ve spent the rest of my time painting the workshop, boy it’s taking a lot of time to get that finished! I haven’t any photos of it finished but we finally got the floor primed and painted too. We also ordered the wood today for the workbenches and table which are going to look like this, but longer. Once again, I have to say that Ana at knock-off wood is amazing and her plans are awesomesauce. If you haven’t already, I urge you to clickedy click the link now.


When the wood arrives tomorrow afternoon I will know the painting is nearly finished. Nearly, because all the benches will be painted too – do any of you love painted wood? I’m a sucker for it. By the way, it took all day today to calculate how much wood we need - ‘sell it in even lengths madam? No, we only do weird random lengths, so you’d better be good at maths!’

Those who know me well know I get a bit too excited about tools, but I haven’t had a chance to use my new laser-guided circular saw yet and my trigger finger is itching.

On Saturday we took a morning off to visit our local car boot sale, not so rich pickings but I did find a few things. More on that tomorrow…


Friday, 2 April 2010

This week’s vintage finds….

Ok, so I haven’t had much time for making things, but I managed to get out to the charity shops for a couple of hours. It was slim pickings, but I did find this:


I love old sewing baskets, it seemed a bit steep at £4 - especially since it’s falling to bits and needs some tlc - until I opened it up…


…and I found it was full of lovely old sewing stuff! I’ve never seen so many sewing needles in one place, there were also lots of bobbins – some of them are wooden, and you know how I love wooden bobbins! Lengths of elastic, zips (some curiously tiny), thimbles, buttons a weird needle threader (the green box that says ‘Ully’ in the third pic – if anyone knows how to use it…?) There is also a load of darning thread and a darning mushroom.