Monday, 25 January 2010

world war 2 : poison sewing needle bomb !

Oh my - who'd have thought it .... back in WWII the British Government assisted by Canadian and American scientists developed  a new and lethal bomb made from poison infused sewing needles!  I came across this article recently in the Danger Room and couldn't quite believe what I read ... but yes it appears to be true.

Apparently the bomb never made it into full production because it had "little penetrating power" .... Now speaking from personal experience I can honestly say it hurts ALOT when you stab yourself with a needle but maybe I'm not as thick skinned as those weapons men?

You can read the article here in the Danger Room

Friday, 22 January 2010

Snow Dyeing

I am not a great lover of snow or dyeing but combined they aren't half bad!
 Trudi over at Quilting Prolifically inspired me to have a go at what turned out to be great fun and it will be a good reminder of our snowy weather in early 2010.

I haven't done a great deal of dyeing before and its something I prefer to leave to the professionals like Dye Candy.  But I did manage 3 metres of what actually turned out (now I look at it two weeks later) OK..ish.  I really thought it was all pretty yuck to begin and vowed to leave it buried in the cupboard but on reflection I can see some promise in them. I even used some of it to make a postcard for my exchange with Emma over at QuiltFish ... but I'm not going to show you all of postcard cos she might be looking!

Now ... as I am not an expert on snow dyeing I have no idea if this is the prefered method of snow dyers or not but the method I used was simple and worked for me ... here is what I did.

First soak your fabric for at least 10 mins in a solution of soda ash. I used 1 cup of soda ash in half a bucket of warm water. While the fabric is soaking prepare your dye solutions. Again, I no idea if this is the correct method but mix 1 teaspoon of Procion dye in a half a cup of warm water. I mixed up 5 separate dye colours . 

Once the fabric has soaked, wring it out and lay it loosely in a tray.( I have an amazing tray from Lakeland Plastics that is designed to soak your oven racks and trays in and is perfect for dyeing in too.)  I laid my 3 separate fabric pieces along the tray, buried it under  2 large buckets of icy snow, then chucked my chosen dye colours on top of the snow. (Technical or what?) 

Now wait for the snow to melt and the dye to filter through the snow and onto the fabric.

 (I could only wait 5 hours for my snowy/dye before I got too impatient - overnight may have been better)

 Carefully pour off the excess dye/melted snow solution and remove the fabric. (Use plastic gloves to stop your hands going strange colours!) 

I placed and sealed each metre piece of fabric in a separate zip-lok 'boil-in-the-bag' plastic bag and literally boiled them in a large pan for 20 minutes. (I left my placky bags in the water until it was cool enough to handle - several hours).  

Take the dye fabric bags to a sink, open the bags, drain off excess dye concentrate , then wash fabrics in very hot water and synthrapol until the water runs clear. 

Tumble dry, iron and admire

...and possibly even use it!

Monday, 11 January 2010

.. dip your toe in

This 5 minute video by Box of Crayons is having an airing around the web at the moment ... I just love it!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

"out for the fun of it?"

Last night saw heavy heavy snowfall in Hampshire UK. Many were forced to abandon their cars and walk home whilst others were trapped in their cars on the motorway for up to 10 hours.  We knew the snow was coming ... we could see a big red alert circle on the weather map - just above our house!  What's more we knew what time it was coming - it was forecast for 5 o clock  .... it arrived at 5 o clock too! It just dumped!  This is so unusual for the south of england  - both the snowfall and the accuracy of the weather!

Dh made it back from work by 8 o'clock - he left work, just a 15 minute drive away at 6. He did remarkably well but then he drives a Landrover Defender!  He arrived home feeling sooo very pleased he had a car that could drive in snow that he forced me to go out with him for a snowy drive ... sheer madness considering state of the roads and the snarl up of all major and minor traffic routes.  But like intrepid explorers we donned hats and mittens and ventured out. Kids in tow.

Town and countryside was quiet ... no traffic - nothing could get through! It was white and peaceful and really quiet beautiful but then we had transport that moved efficiently through the snow. We were warm and cozy inside our little aluminum can on wheels.  I felt so very very guilty ..... until we passed another Landrover driver who stopped .. wound down his window and said ..

" out for the fun of it then?"

p.s I forgot to mention .. I took my camera along with me and snapped like a pro -- I sent this one to the BBC where it made it onto the main webpage and its since been syndicated around the world!  How cool is that!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

ta very much ...Fat Face!

No I'm not being rude .... really! I made no resolutions this year until I came across a label attached to a new dress from clothing company Fat Face. I've been a fan of this company for several years now and I love them even more now they attach such profound statements to their clothing .. ta very much for the inspirational message (and the opportunity to make a great ATC!)

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2010!