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The restoration game…


You may have worked out that I love old, pretty things and heirloom sewing. Quilt in a day so isn’t me, and I can use a sewing machine but I infinitely prefer the quiet routine of hand sewing, often in front of the TV or listening to an audio book and preferably using things with a history. My mum’s sewing scissors (which you borrowed to cut paper on pain of death.) The sewing box my parents bought me in Kaufhof in Dortmund the year I turned six. The other boxes that I’ve picked up at car boot sales, charity shops and on ebay over the years and brought back to life with the help of my talented husband who is amazing at repairing and working out ways round things.


So, today’s picture is of the current batch. I spent my Christmas money from my brother on the little dark wood one, which will soon have handles that fit. If it had had them when I’d bought it it would have cost around £60.00 but I got it for less than £10-00 because the dowels don’t fit and the guide holes weren’t drilled. My guess is someone was given it for Christmas and found it didn’t go together then put it away. Eventually it was donated to the Cancer Research charity from where I bought it, polished it, and my husband is working his magic so soon it will be in use. Dark wood ones are unusual and it’s such a nice size that I couldn’t resist giving it a new home.


The rest of the money went towards the pale wood one which was another less than £10 bargain because the screw for the handle didn’t fit. Well, actually, it did. It just needed a nut that was in the bottom of the box, and again, a good polish to clean off the dust of ages and lining with red felt. It will be perfect for embroidery in the garden come summer, and we’re getting closer and closer to the shortest day so I love it as a reminder that the days will get longer again and I will be able to be outdoors without wrapping myself up as if I’m on a polar expedition. Again, apologies to all of you who live in places with ‘proper’ weather but I feel the cold, and winter does my joints no good at all so I search greedily for signs of spring even when winter hasn’t got properly started yet.


I’ve already mentioned the big concertina workbox which is the longest-running project, mainly because my husband’s Aunt who’d brought him up died and my daughter was born six weeks prematurely so I put it away till life calmed down. I won’t say it’s totally calm now, but I’ve finally got it into use and oh, how much I love it. It is just the right height for our chairs and settee and it now holds all the projects I’m currently doing. My very first workbox has had it’s bi-annual polish with almond oil polish, which smells lovely and doesn’t put aerosol propellant into the air or make my menfolk choke and I’ve tightened up all its screws, just as I always do, because you wouldn’t believe how many beautiful workboxes are abandoned because a screw has worked loose and it and the washers have fallen out.


Luckily, I bought a gross of them, so I can have the fun of bringing the old back into life and use just as Peter does for Amy in the Amy Hammond series.



Which brings me very neatly to this week’s special offers. (You’d think I planned rather than waffled on, wouldn’t you?)


There are two books in the Amy Hammond series at 99p UK and 99c US and an anthology called ‘The trouble with falling in love’ which contains Let the Dead, Ghosts of Christmas Past and the Past is always with us at £2.99 UK which is a real bargain for 3 books.

A Handmade Crime is a Christmas one, and Aging Disgracefully is set in wintertime so both are worth picking up at a bargain price.

Then, writing as Eleanor Neville, there’s a nice trilogy of books -To be the best, Professional hero and Enemy Within. These follow the adventures of a hostage recovery team who find more trouble than they were expecting (which means a lot of trouble) and are also set in wintertime.

So, have a good week, and we’ll catch up at the weekend, by which time I will be starting to get stupidly excited about Christmas!


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