Thursday 27 January 2022

Filling in Holes - BFF SAL 6

Had s fun evening this week, plodding around the pattern and filling in random colours as I felt like it.
I was determined not to have any odd characters haunting my stitch... I did have a bit of a Slimer building up, so I filled him in so he'd leave me alone!!

Mind you, I think we found a little bit of the reason for my slower stitching tonight... But I will wait and see if my BFF is going to tell you about that!!

Check out my BFF's update on

Sunday 23 January 2022

Forging new Experiences

This blog is about all kinds of stuff, and about learning.

Yesterday we learned something brand new. 

Hubbyman and I are obsessed with an American TV show, Forged in Fire, where bladesmiths compete to make knives. 

This gave me some inspiration for his birthday present, as Moving Day last year kind of overshadowed his 50th.

So, as a family we went to learn a little of the craft and have a go at blacksmithing and making our own (decorative) knives.

Taking an American railroad spike as our materials, we got started (our instructor explains this as having the right carbon content to be hardenable without extra tempering time).

We start by flattening the steel down using a hammer.   It's surprising how many times we had to hammer then reheat just to get any movement.  We flatten one way to make the blade wider, and another way to stretch it length-wise. 

Next comes the process of 'drifting', to create a finger hold for our knives.  It may be hard to make out here, but the smith hammers an increasingly large spike to create a hole and expand it to fit the finger of the wielder. 

This bit was exhausting, and for my short legs, I needed to stand on a bucket to get sufficient height above the larger anvil! 

My lanky teenager has no such worries! 

Finally... No photos for this part directly... We were on to twisting the metal to make the handle.  We added an extra chisel line down either side of the handle first, which shows up nicely in the finished blade. 

The twist was actually much easier than I'd expected. 

We have 3 different twist patterns so we can tell who made which blade. 

And finally we got to 'quench' the blades to harden them, heating them up in the forge again, then plunging them first into oil to harden, and then into water to cool them down. 

From top to bottom... The source material, my blade, hubby's blade and then our son's. 

It was an incredible day out, and one we're very keen to repeat. The smith offers many different options, so I suspect we'll be back again at some point! 

Wednesday 19 January 2022

The Same But Different - BFF SAL 6

We often say that about the way we approach our SAL pieces. So it's not a new sentiment for my blog.

But the context this week is not quite that... I'm talking about the weirdness of the plastic Aida.  It's odd.  It looks like normal fabric but it behaves very differently.  It doesn't flex in the same way, so I end up with stiff hands after pushing thread through filled holes.  I like the lack of fraying, although I am still managing to see a little of it.  Not sure it's an experience to repeat regularly.

I had some extra time on my own today as my BFF had a meeting beforehand.  So Elfis now has hair, and a face, and a present.  Still feel like I'm playing catchup though! 

Check out my BFF's update on

Tuesday 18 January 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness January 2022

Well... Here we are in a new year again!!  And it's (past) time for Gifted Gorgeousness, hosted by Jo over at

Gifted Gorgeousness for me this month is a Diamond affair all round.  Firstly from me to my son.... A Star Wars image. I completed the diamond painting under cover whilst he was at school or out with friends.   I do think the frame really sets off the image. 

And what about the other? 

That would be the wolf, which was my first solo diamond painting, which I completed with my mother in law in mind.  She was very happy to receive it for Xmas. 

Check out for the other participants. 

Wednesday 12 January 2022

A confusion of bows and snowflakes - BFF SAL 6

A full session this week, so I feel like I've got loads done.  Those snowflake bits were harder than I thought they would be though., as they are so similar I would have my eye on the wrong row.

And between batches of snowflakes (flurries?  What is the collective noun?), a little yellow bow.  Although not a Mellow Yellow, more of an Acid remix!! 

Check out my BFF's update on

Wednesday 5 January 2022

Take the 'ruff' with the smooth - BFF SAL 6

Another quiet shorter session this week, as my BFF is still fighting off a rotten cough, and I barely stood still for long enough to remember what day it was today!

Happy to spend our time together though, with subjects as varied as blacksmithing and Shakespearean comedy to natter about.

And I still felt like we got a reasonable amount of stitching done too.  Finished off the ruff and added a little bit of body. 

Check out my BFF's update on when she's posted.