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Thursday Think Tank

I'm finally linking up to Think Tank Thursday with Rebecca LynneOops, just realised it's actually Thursday Think Tank - I've been reading that wrong for months!!  And I'm not sure there is a TTT to link up to this week but it's taken me so long to have a post to link up that I'm leaving the button where it is!

This week I've been thinking about a few things which, to be honest, is hard when you're as tired as I am at the moment.  I currently have the concentration span of a gnat and can't seem to keep hold of a thought long enough to actually think about it.  I tend to just notice it as it passes through my brain and say to myself 'That looks interesting, I hope it's still there when I come back.' and sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't.  After writing some of this post it appears I've thought more than I realised this week (well, over several weeks, if I'm being truthful!) so you may as well make yourself a cup of tea and grab a biscuit, you may be here some time!  Feel free to skip the writing and jump straight to the photos!

One of the things I've been thinking about is Pinterest.  When I first joined I wondered what the company was getting from it - how did they make money given that there are no adverts, what's in it for the company directors, etc.  And then I read this blog post by Heather@Little Tin Bird and followed her link to this blog post about Pinterest and suddenly I became rather worried.

I'll wait while you go and read the links - don't forget to come back!

I've stopped pinning until I work out what to do - is it just the stereotypical 'I'll sue' mentality that seems to be growing evermore ridiculous (like 'caution this coffee is hot' labels - it'd better bleeding well be hot, that's what I asked for!) and yet frighteningly pervasive or is it more serious than that?  I've since read the update post and also the date with Ben Silbermann post and whilst it seems that Pinterest may be working on possible solutions I won't be using it until I'm sure where I stand.  I'm contemplating deleting my boards but I'm going to wait for a bit and see what happens (and I want to go through my pins and bookmark my favourite tutorials, etc. so I don't lose them) - please let me know what you think.  I love pinning and really don't want to have to stop.  I suspect I'm being a little ridiculous about it and would love to think 'sod it, I'm going to carry on' but I'm not brave enough...not today anyway!

I've also been busy cutting blue and white squares for the nine patch/snowball quilt which also involved more thinking than I anticipated (when doesn't it?!) and a slight change in plans but I'll save that for another post as there's already far too much in this one!

The final thing I've been thinking about this week is my hexy quilt.  Over the past few weeks I've prepped the pieces for another 23 hexies and they're in a queue, waiting to be stitched.  I was getting slightly concerned that I wouldn't have enough white on white background fabric to make the 202 hexies I was planning but I'd forgotten (until Nicky reminded me!) that I'm also going to add in some whole (unpieced) hexies like this one so it may work out all right in the end.  I'm going to keep going until I run out of background and then see where I'm at.

Unfortunately one of the hexies I've made isn't as attractive as the rest and although it wasn't evident when I set out the pieces or even when I was stitching them together it soon became apparent when I finished that I'd made an ugly hexy.  I put in the last stitch, knotted and cut the thread, finger pressed the seams, turned it over and exclaimed 'Bloody hell!' and then laughed.  Want to see an ugly duckling hexy that will probably never turn into a swan?!  Promise not to laugh?!  I don't believe you!

How did I not realise what I was making?!!

Yup, best get your protective suit and Geiger counter ready...still, it'll be handy if I ever watch When The Wind Blows again, I can make my own shelter and pin this up outside...

I've been hoping that it wouldn't look as bad when it was with the other hexies but I think I'll always look at it and think 'There's the radioactive hexy' (as I've come to call it!) which could be rather annoying after a while so I'll have to change it.  And after all the effort of getting the gingham squares to match up too!  If this was your hexy what would you do?!  Live with it?  Replace the three big triangles with three of the grey/white/yellow pieced triangles?  Give it up as a bad job and chuck it out?   Unpick it, salvage the fabric and hope to use the bits in future hexies?  All suggestions welcome!

Fortunately I've also made some prettier hexies in the past few weeks so these might take your mind off the ugly one!

I love these hexagon in a hexagon (in a hexagon) designs.

I think this is my new favourite (design from this book
and I'll be making lots more!

I love how different fabrics change the way the star in a hexy looks

I was planning to make a whole bed quilt of hexagon stars but when Lynne started the hex-a-long I was thrilled by all the possible variations on a hexagon so I abandoned my plans and decided make lots of different hexies instead.  I'm glad I did but this photo makes me wonder what the abandoned quilt would have been like.  Mind you, the thought of hand piecing 202 identical blocks and with only the changing fabric to keep me entertained is a little overwhelming!  Maybe one day I'll start one as a long term scrappy project - it'd be really good for using up all my scraps of white and would be nice to do in between other projects!  Looks like I've just talked myself into making 202 identical blocks!!

I think that's all my thinking...I thought there was something else but you know what thought did, don't you?
(Followed a dust cart and thought it was a wedding, for those of you who are wondering!)

I'd also like to say thank you to Tanya@Second Chance and Tina@Holy Scrap! for nominating me for the Liebster award.  I'm honoured and thrilled to be nominated again (I've received this from several people in the past few months - thank you to you all, I really appreciate it!).  I'm afraid I'm still going to break the rules and not pass it on but this time I'm going to explain why.  I love the way it supports and encourages small/new bloggers (it's always lovely to know that people enjoy reading your blog and I can't imagine that changes, even if you have thousands of readers) and it's always lovely to get a recommendation for a great 'new to me' blog from someone you know.  It's amazing how a really great blog can completely pass you by and then one day you find it and spend ages reading through the archives and leaving comments on posts that are six months old...Just me then?!!

But...(and I know this may seem silly to some but it's a gut reaction and I believe in listening to those) it makes me uncomfortable when rules say you must pass things on - for me it feels too much like a chain letter (which I had an unhappy experience with as a child - threats of nasty accidents followed by a painful death if you broke the chain, etc.  I did break the chain but it took ages for me to stop worrying about when something was going to fall on my head and kill me).  I know that blog awards are lovely things to passed on and chain letters are not but I just can't get rid of the negative association and so it's not something I feel comfortable doing.  I hope that doesn't upset or offend anyone who likes to pass them on, that's not my intention at all.  In fact I've debated deleting this whole paragraph but I'm going to be brave (even if it does give me the collywobbles) and leave it in and hope I don't accidentally cause a scene...

Instead I'll carry on with the random facts until you get sick of them (let me know when that happens/if it's happened already!) which means it's time for...

A Random Fact  I'm really scared of the dentist.  I hate the noise.  I hate the smell.  I hate the feeling of those cotton wool sticks in my mouth.  I hate sitting in the waiting room and knowing that soon I'm going to have to face my fears.  In fact the only thing I don't hate is leaving!  Every time I go for a check up (and I avoided them for years until the 'my teeth are falling out' dreams got so bad I had to acknowledge I was avoiding the issue and actually go!) Once I'm in the chair I concentrate on my breathing and slowly count backwards from 300 - one count for every breath in/out.  I'm not entirely sure it works but at least it gives me something to think about other than 'Is she nearly finished yet?'  'Has she found something that needs treating'  'Will I get away without a scale and polish?'  (Yup, I even find those hard to tolerate!)  And I cheer when I'm allowed to get up and then feel really proud of myself as I walk back to the car.  I would quite like a sticker to acknowledge my bravery but they don't tend to give them out once you get past 10!

Which leads to
Another Random Fact I had quite a few teeth removed as a child and once slapped (or tried to slap, now I think of it I'm not sure which it is!) the dental nurse as I came round.  You can imagine how well that went down!  (And I was far from a stroppy child - I wouldn't say boo to a goose!)  And after an operation on my knees I bit through the intubation tube (and my bottom lip - ow!  That hurt more than my knees!) and tried to jump off the trolley as they wheeled me back to my room.  Both legs were heavily bandaged from mid calf to mid thigh and wouldn't bend so goodness knows where I thought I was going!  Let's just say I don't react well to anaesthetics!!

That's it from me (told you it was a long one!) I'll leave you with a cute photo of Archie, who spent the day enjoying the sun in his favourite place (the conservatory)...

I love the sun!

...and evidence that he's been learning semaphore




N.F.N. - Need Food Now.  It is distinguishable from N.F.N. - Need (a) Fuss Now as it has the addition of an occasional high pitched short whine (moving to a low pitched whine after ten minutes or so) and is lacking
  1. a front paw grabbing your hand and dragging it to the desired 'fuss location'
  2. Archie's head suddenly appearing under your hand (often when it's holding a camera!) and then tipping backwards until the heel of your hand and fingers are resting upon his ears, at which point a plaintive whine will be issued.  If that fails the 'how can you ignore me, I'm so cute but hard done by' gaze will be deployed which rarely fails!

Thanks for popping in - please don't forget to tell me what you think about Pinterest and the ugly hexy!

P.S.  If you're quick (and a UK resident) you just have time to enter Susan's giveaway - it closes at 12noon today (Friday 16th March) so rush on over and enter!  Sorry for the short notice!

P.P.S.  I can't remember if I've already blogged about this but did you know that Judith, formerly of Rags to Bags and now recently moved to  Just Jude has opened an Etsy shop Just Jude Designs selling cushions, bags and patterns?  If you're looking for a present or a pattern it's well worth a visit and the patterns are easy to follow and very well written - go on, treat yourself!


  1. Phew... now I am exhausted!!! LOL. I only look at Pinterest then follow the links and download and save original...I am scared enough about how much FB knows about me so not joining anything else. Until you said what does the hexie remind you of I never noticed, but as you did it will be with you for ever..make it into a coaster and cover it with your mug!!! (that's coffee mug not "your" mug) Hugs

  2. I used Pinterest a bit but after reading all the stuff over the last week or so i did start going through saving stuff and taking boards down. I don't want to have to worry about stuff like that i can live without pinterest!
    The hexy i didn't notice anything bad until you pointed it out! If it will bug you forever get rid, otherwise just mix it in!

  3. THERE IS NOTHING UGLY ABOUT THE HEXY HELEN! Totally agree about awards and pinning! And Dentists! I have to pretend to be brave as we all go as a family - I hate it ! And can't get out of the chair fast enough!

  4. Such a lovely long thoughtful blog...with beautiful craftiness....
    Way too much for my brain to take in so... just give Archie a tickle...and... by the way....HATE...HATE the dentist too!

  5. Pinterest - well I started pinning but it just seems like another time sucking vortex and I have enough of them in my life.

    Your hexie is not ugly but it is representative of nuclear fall out.

    Dentists scare the crap out of me. I have to have so many needles that I come out looking like a stroke victim. Not pretty! Emily is the same - super sensitive and extra sedation required. Helen is a jammy git who never has anything wrong with her teeth (so far).

    Feel exactly like you about the Liebster but finally acknowledged it because so many very nice people had nominated me.

    And thank you for the plug about the giveaway. Make sure you come back and leave a comment to give yourself another chance at winning.

  6. Pinterest - well I started pinning but it just seems like another time sucking vortex and I have enough of them in my life.

    Your hexie is not ugly but it is representative of nuclear fall out.

    Dentists scare the crap out of me. I have to have so many needles that I come out looking like a stroke victim. Not pretty! Emily is the same - super sensitive and extra sedation required. Helen is a jammy git who never has anything wrong with her teeth (so far).

    Feel exactly like you about the Liebster but finally acknowledged it because so many very nice people had nominated me.

    And thank you for the plug about the giveaway. Make sure you come back and leave a comment to give yourself another chance at winning.

  7. Is your brain sore from all that thinking?!! ;)
    I don't pin, can't afford anymore time suckers in my life!
    I love the hexie, it made me giggle - you should keep it and make a CND one!!
    They all look lovely :)

  8. Another dentist scaredy cat here!
    It's official - I live in a bubble! I wasn't even aware the hexy resembled a nuclear shelter sign. I think it's lovely :)
    Mug rug sounds great though if you can't put it with the others.
    I don't have time to Pin (or sew!) and try to avoid thinking where possible :)
    Archie's as cute as ever!

  9. Really interesting about the whole Pinterest stuff. When Pinterest first came on my radar I thought how can all these people be infringing copyright because people would pin stuff on pinterest then put pictures on their blog and I thought surely this is copyright infringement. My flickr pictures are all copy written and I ask on my blog that people do no republish my words or pictures without asking first (I have found my pictures on other blogs used without permission). It seemed that people pin on pinterest and then think it's ok to put the pictures and contents on their blog as long as they say from pinterest underneath. I can't see how this is fair to the original creator who has no way of knowing where there stuff is going or in the context it's being used.

  10. Very interesting! I think I saw one of my photos on a blog but I am not sure. I have deleted the account completely. I spend way too much time on computer as it is.

    I need to finish my hexy quilt. I have been doing a lot of knitting recently.
    Have a wonderful weekend!


  11. Wow you have been thinking lots! :) I don't pin, my brain gets overloaded enough looking at flickr for inspiration without addling it with more images. Your hexie isn't ugly but the mug rug is a good idea if you don't want it in the quilt. I totally understand the 'pass it on' dilemma. I hate going to the dentist too, gives me neuralgia just thinking about it. I just had to change dentist and took two years plucking up the courage to go to a new one. When he asked me what he could do for me I said tell me everything's fine and to come back in six months! I'm out the door before he finishes saying I'm done. :)
    Love Archie's waggly ears, he's a cutie. :)

  12. Oh Helen! Love your hexies too. I am also concerned about the pinterest thing....such a shame because it was a good idea. Hopefully it will all be resolved. Who likes the dentist, really?? As a child I had a dentist who did not believe in numbing for drilling and filling. Can you imagine??? It was awful.

  13. Well if anyone wants to sue my ass on Pinterest, then I will sue all those who have pinned me to get my money back - what a nonsense, sorry, if someone has a gripe with me saying I like or more often than not love what they have made, and that I have a memory of a gnat and would never be able to find it again, then the world is a bloody sad place!

    Put the reactor block on the back - you have to keep it now!

    I am OK with dentists now, but before an extraction anaesthetic I did call the guy a b@stard, I was about 12!

  14. I havn't been caught by the Pintrest bug, so can't really comment there.

    The hexi isn't that bad. However, what about adding a tiny bit of embroidery to liven up the white on white piecing.

    Archie is brilliant!

    As to the dentist, I don't mind going. I don't like it, but I can live with it until things are fixed. I did bite the dentist once. I had been holding my mouth open for a very long time....he took out all four of my wisdom teeth in one sitting....and found myself latched onto the dentist's thumb.

  15. thanks for alerting to the pinterest issue I didnt have a clue, and its all the excuse I need to ditch it, as it wastes far to much of my time as it is! The hexie is not ugly at all, but its you that has to live with it and it could annoy you if you use it so perhaps just put that one down to experience! x

  16. You've been thinking a lot! I don't use pinterest but it's an interesting issue - I'd be tempted to have a break until there's some confirmation on this.

    I *love* the radioactive hexie, I would leave it in for the humour value, but it would depend on who the quilt is for?

    archie's ears are amazing, my in-laws Jack Russell can produce similarly impressive expressions!

  17. Do I see two eyes and a nose in that hexie? What made me laugh was what you said about it before showing us the picture of it. I hate the dentist, too. Archie is so dang cute! Is the conservatory a sun room? Is it a butler's pantry area? Maybe I'll get my Clue game out and look at the room pictures.! :)

  18. Don't talk to me about dentists - VERY bad experience there!
    Interesting reading about Pinterest:makes you wonder doesn't it!
    Love Archies use of semaphore!

  19. Aw thanks chick for the plug! I didn't know this about Pintrest. I have much to think about now. My advice on Readioactive hexie is to reserve judgement until the end when you see all 202 of them together. You might be so sick of making them that all of a sudden you'll think it doesn't look that bad afterall!!! Jxo

  20. I've really enjoyed hearing your thoughts. I can see why you're concerned about pinterest. I'm very sad to discover this because I love being able to collect pictures like that. I'm worried too now! For the first time ever (because my computer is broken and I can't upload photos easily on other people's) I've just blogged a post full of pictures from pinterest :( Ironically, I'd thought the point of pinterest was that it keeps art work referenced to it's owner and I have it connected to my facebook account. I'm extremely cautious about what pictures I post on facebook but I thought being inside the pinterest gadget would protect them from the facebook copywrite issues. I think, like you, I'll reserve judgement for now and follow events...

  21. I am not sure what to do with pinterest, waiting to see at the moment. I know what you mean about making lots of the same block, I am hand piecing 100 hand pieced hexagons flower. I don't know if I am too tired but I can't see what I am supposed to see?
    Random fact: oi get scared of dentists too and I wanted to be one! And I got a filling today!

  22. Archie really is a wonder dog isn't he! I'd never be able to stop looking at the "radioactive" Hexie so I'd take it apart and make it into two different ones, with plain triangles in one, pieced in another. Pinterest. It's so interesting but.... Lately I've been trying to follow a link back to where it's actually from, only to find its been pinned and reblogged so much I don't know who it's by. If I'm interested in a photo I like to go to the site and look around and see what else they've been doing so I can comment directly. Hope you feel better soon :)

  23. I never got interested in the pinterest craze. I've always just used bookmarks. I'm not as good about asking permision to post a pic on my blog as I should be, but I always use it in a "how cool is this, pinched from here, click on the pic to go to it's owner's page" way, so I don't see it as a bad thing.

    With your hexie, I think you should keep it. And put it smack bang in the middle of your quilt top so it becomes a feature :)

  24. I never really got into pinterest, and have just deleted my account after reading that.
    Love all your hexies...and Archie, of course.

  25. This was such an interesting post. I read it a couple of times just to make sure I got everything. I struggled a little with the Liebster Award. I had a similar reaction as yours. It's a good thing to follow your instincts. They usually don't let us down. I had a similar experience at the dentist. It took me years with a really good dentist to get over my bad history. Love your hexies.

  26. This is a very thought-provoking post. I joined Pinterest but after I started seeing photos that had been pinned from my and friends' blogs appear on others' blogs with no attribution, as they had just downloaded them from Pinerest, I quickly realized just how many problems it could cause. I have nothing on my Pinterest boards.

    I agree with you on the award thing. They do have that chain letter feel to them and they also can leave some bloggers feeling quite left out, almost like being back in high school.

    I'd keep the radioactive hexie. i like Nic's suggestion that you make it the focal point!

  27. I have tagged you, for more details see this post

    I now see I shouldn't have, and I sympathise with your point of view. So just ignore it quietly and fret not!

    I like your nuclear hexie, but I also understand it might drive you potty. I think I would redo it somehow. Sorry.

    I had to laugh at you slapping the dental nurse. I once had an endoscopy, and was not put out, but afterward I was told, my aim was good, and that I had hit the (male) doctor where it hurt!Sadly, I do not recall hitting him at all!

  28. I hope you work the radiation hexie in as a bit of a joke but only if it would not make you crazy, especially as it has such nice points. I am tired of the pinterest fuss and am prepared to risk it. And I am not scared of the dentist but still hate going all the same! I hope you are less tired soon too.

  29. I love the hexie, maybe if you made more like that (maybe enough for a cushion) in a group they could look quite fabulous! I know what you mean about Pinterest, I've seen that too about T&C, it gave me a fright as I love Pinterest. I have kind of carried on a little as normal but I have hesitated pinning and not done so on more than one occasion. It's a shame as it's such a great place to 'share'. Let's hope it's sorted soon. I'm twitchy about chain letters as I'm superstitious. I had one on Mothers Day about "let 6 Mothers know how great they are, I hope one of them is me", so I just sent it back to her. And I too HATE the dentist, for me it's the smell that gets to me, Eew! I have to try really hard not to let the children know, so they don't go off the dentist. I also had teeth out as a child, to create space for my crowded teeth, not nice!. BIG kiss to Archie... X

  30. Wow...what a lot of your brain tired? I totally agree with you about passing things on...I too had a bad 'chain letter' experience as a youngster and now I just don't pass on emails that say I ''have to''.
    I haven't gotten into the Pininterest thing because I already spend too much sewing time reading quilting blogs. Now I'm glad I haven't. And as for dentists...I have the perfect solution...get yourself a young, really good looking dentist and you totally forget how scared you are. And besides, you're already drooling so what's a little more!
    Happy sewing (and I love all your hexies, even the ugly duckling)

  31. What an interesting post.
    Pinterest - it should always carry, at the very least, the owner's name and link.
    Your yellow hexagon - make a back for it and turn it into a coffee mat and you can turn it round and admire it occasionally and it may turn into the front. (It's happened to me, the bad back turning into the good front).
    Love your stars and the fussy cutting and matching.
    I've finished my cup of tea now.

  32. hi there - well I read this post last week and forgot to come back after I'd gone off to read all about the pinterest issues !! and after you'd said not to forget to come back - bad girl :) love that hexy - I started doing a hexy quilt and took photos of my first blocks and kept seeing that radiation sign as well so haven't done anything on it since ! and Archie is soooo clever learning that language :)

  33. Oh Helen!! Love your Sexy Hexys.... the lilac 'favourite' ....WOW...REALLY beautiful.

    ...but no competition for Archie! I'm still in love with him first!



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