08.12.13.Snap judgements, observations, artistry, a cure for the wayward bed and the great storm of 2013.

 It’s my eldest son’s birthday today – he’s closer to 50 than 40, confirming the fact that I was definitely a child bride (I’m actually not old enough to be his mother – really, it’s true – I’ve done the math).

Dec 1965, and the trial of the moors murderers dominated all the newspapers, photos’ of wild moorland and photos’ of sweet innocent children, and facts too horrific to take in. I don’t ever remember feeling so terrified for the life (my new little boy) of another person……………..

For so many years of our lives we are the child and our parents know us inside-out, then, as we grow, they know less and less about us; then we become parents and we know everything about our children – yes, everything – the good, the bad  (the smelly). Then year by year we know a little less of their thoughts and actions, and so the circle of life goes on. But why do we forget that we were once them and one day they will be us? “Get yourself a teenager while they still know everything”, springs to mind.

Our lives  get busier and busier and we often notice less and less about those around us. There are so many lonely people, and all it takes to nibble away at their aloneness is a smile, a word, – the woman in the supermarket queue, the lone hiker, the elderly person in the doctor’s waiting room. It costs nothing, it’s so easy and the return payment is huge, for we also feel a little more connected, a little less alone.

This brings me on to snap judgements, observations, and artistry.


My friend Penny, a very well known water-colourist, now in her eighties, never fails to wear makeup. She says that putting her ‘face’ on every morning is, to her, a little art lesson, an experiment in colour and tone.


This is my friend Kev, roofer by trade, musician by desire (and a good one too). He’s gentle, soft, and easily likable, the sort of chap that’s there for everyone……….


 Kev; the back view

Kev; the back view


He tells me that he’s rarely looked on with an open mind, he’s detrimentally judged on his body art, which is truly beautiful, I personally think he should not be allowed to wear a shirt and should let us all marvel at the artistry  he wears with such pride…………..here’s to you Kev……………


Full on Kev!

Full on Kev!

And lastly this is my friend Val, at least my friend’s hands. We were girly lunching in the pub last week and I noticed how absolutely beautiful her hands are, and how she colour coordinates her nails and everything she wears. Beautiful, a pleasure to see.

Val's beautiful hands

Val’s beautiful hands


I don’t know what impression these three friends give to others – what snap judgements people make  – but I do know that Kev is oft looked on with fear, as if his body-art makes him a threat ………………………..


And my week in Paradise……………

We have over 60 acres of woods here on the farm; the storm raged for what seemed like hours (actually is was hours), we bit our nails and waited for the phone-call to say that a tree had blown down over a road – no call came. But next day revealed devastation. Felt ripped from roofs and well-loved trees scooped up and dropped like children’s toys.

This lovely old Ash came down shaving branches off an equally lovely Beech as it fell.


The fallen Ash and damaged Beech

The fallen Ash and damaged Beech


And here an evergreen quite literally bit the dust!


Fallen evergreen

Fallen evergreen

Any consolation? No one was hurt, that’s the main thing, and there’s enough firewood to keep us warm for a year or two. And the leaves have been neatly swept into piles ready for collection!


 leave all neat a tidy

leave all neat a tidy

Now on to this week’s tip/project……………………..

It’s a simple solution for anyone plagued with “out of control bed valences”. I refer to the fabric valance that tucks itself under the mattress or the one that sags to the side – or that nasty one that insists on getting tangled with the bed wheels; you know where they are………..

My good friend Craig at the Kings Head asked me for a “valance solution”. To my mind the only solution (forget ties and Velcro) is to make a cover for the bed base that stays on permanently.

You will need,

Fabric: (I use a curtain fabric which has a little weight to it) . A length of fabric as long as the circumference of the bed plus about 5cm,  x the depth of the bed, plus 25cm.

Elastic: the same length as the circumference of the bed.

Staple gun and staples.

Thread for sewing

Sewing Machine


Measure the circumference of the bed (this needs to be a fairly exact measurement) plus 5cm for the join. Then measure the depth of the bed add 25cm to the depth for the hems and the turn-ins.  Cut out as above.

With right sides of the fabric facing make a 2.5cm seam to the narrow ends.

Turn a hem about 6cm onto the wrong side of the fabric at both edges to form a hem at the bottom and a channel at the top.

Thread the elastic through the upper channel leaving two longish ends (I usually pin the elastic to the sides of the cover so that they don’t become lost when working).

With the right side of the fabric facing outwards, slip the cover over the bed base, turn the base up-side-down and staple the bottom hem to the edge of the base all around (remove and replace wheels if necessary).

looking good

looking good

Turn the base back so the right side is uppermost and gentle pull the elastic tight (the corners of the cover will gather naturally). Tie the elastic with a firm knot and trim off any excess, and the job is done.


Ah, that's better

Ah, that’s better



See my monthly bog for  Quail publishing where  every month I give instruction for a new project, to get the instructions for this pin cushion go to http://www.quailbooks.com/blog/susans-december-post



Pin cushion

Pin cushion

and don’t forget my website at www.susancampbelldesigns.co.uk

Next blog Sunday 15th…………………….


This entry was posted in children, chuldren, Country Life, Free Patterns, judgements, Storms, wayward beds and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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