For Fun and Friendship

For Fun and Friendship

Wednesday, 8 April 2015



You know that moment, when you realise that it's only 6 weeks to the Crop and the amount of things that have got to be crammed in before then? Aaaarghhhhh!  I might even have to make a list............snigger.......

Like this, for example....
I'd promised to make some bunting for my teacher friend Sue to hang around the outdoors story hut at school....she asked me ages ago and I forgot :-(  Too many other things washing around this little brain at the moment... Anyhow, I finally remembered and dug a few scraps of brightly coloured fabric out of the stash and tessellated those triangles with a vengeance!  You can also see my pile of sewing and quilting books plus the tin, which is full of lavender that I picked and dried.

I bought this pattern ages ago and can't remember why! It may come in handy one day, so I'll hang onto it!

I'm still making the little preemie hats and sewing up the crochet squares but haven't taken any pics of those!  What a bad blogger...... But I've got any amount of stupid photos I've taken so I'm going to show those instead!!  
This beautiful art glass was a present from my boys at Christmas. It's by a local artist, Jeannette Therrien and shows the Uffington White Horse, the Bronze Age chalk carving near the Ridgeway (see here for more info if you're interested.)  Terry Pratchett, my favourite author, described it as 'not what a horse looks like, it's what a horse be'. Perfect. This is by where I sit at our dining table and the sun was just so beautiful streaming through it, I thought I'd share :-)

Random Pic No 2:  The Family LLJ were walking along the Kennet and Avon canal, when Owen spotted these teeny beetles at the side of the path. They were bright, iridescent blue, only about 6mm long. That was good to see :-)

And finally, Random Pic no 3.  My village, on the surface, is a small, friendly, unassuming kinda place...but there is someone with a fantastic sense of humour who just does things to make you smile. There was the infestation of garden gnomes in peculiar places a while back and then this appeared at the weekend....
Lol! I haven't seen any yet ;-)

Sorry about the lack of desk-i-ness, I don't know when normal service will be resumed, so you'll just have to bear with me!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015



The sewing mojo has been defunct this has ceased to be, it has shuffled off this mortal coil and joined the choir is an ex-mojo (with apologies to Monty Python!) There's just too much other stuff going on at the moment.

But it's not like I've been sitting, twiddling my thumbs all day....
There's been sOwing, not sEwing....I've done all my beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, chillis, peppers and salad leaves :-)

This is the downstairs craft desk, next to the sofa. What a tip - can you tell that there's a few projects on the go at the moment? lol
I'm sewing the crochet squares together,bit by bit, while I'm watching TV, but my butterfly mind saw a new project on the UK Handknitting website - little hats for premature babies. I knew I had some spare yarn lying around (no, really? Well, THERE'S  a surprise!) and so the knitting has taken precedence over the crochet. It takes me 30-40 mins to complete one of these diddy little hats.....
They're so small!  I've got a few more to make before sending a parcel off.

My cat Ron has taken to sitting on top of the wicker basket in which I keep my sheet music...I don't know if it's a hint to stop playing or whether he's practising his camouflage technique!

And finally, d'ya remember the Cinders/Cinderella doll?
Well, here's a lovely pic of Chloe holding her!  Thanks to my mate Helen. Chloe's mum, for the pic. Helen,by the way, is very crafty and should be showing her stuff in WOYWW too!!

Have a great week :-)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


(Ace of Base)

I know we all ponder on the swift passage of Wednesdays come around at an alarming rate of knots, for example...but this past week has been positively supersonic. Such a lot has happened, some wonderful, some good and some...well, meh.

As the weather has been glorious here in Wiltshire, a great deal of my spare time has been taken up by the garden....very few hours spent in the craftroom. But I did make something small...
I needed to make a covered notebook for a new friend and as I wasn't sure what her favourite colours were, went for the whole gamut!  This was a good chance to use the fab cat fabric that Julia got me a while ago.  But stupid me forgot to take a pic of the finished article (doh) so I had to ask Becky to take a pic and email it...
It was fun and fast to make and the colours made me happy :-)

I got a surprise parcel last week too...couldn't work out what was in it. This beauty, that's what!!
The most gorgeous heart which is now hanging in my craftroom :-)  The lovely Debbie Rock made it for me as part of a Facebook Pay-it-Forward thing that we took part in. I really love it, Debbie..the colours, the sentiment, the twine. Just fab. Thank you so much!!  I am a lucky gal.....

Something else that made me smile was the yarn bombing that we found on a visit to Winchester University last Saturday...Rhys was there for an applicant open day..there was quite a few bits displayed around the campus..

Julia and I hit the sunny streets of Marlborough last week and outside the cafe where we had lunch was this.....
...and the other side...
Well, it made us laugh...all the way along the street....and made me feel a lot better! 

Have a great week and may your crafting be happy and prolific :-) 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

WOYWW 302 - THE 200th Edition!


It is my 200th post today - I can't believe it!  Sharing the crafty madness and goings on at LLJ Towers is a lot of's amazing that there are folk still willing to read my weekly bout of codswallop. Long may it continue :-)

More squares on my desk today...I've completed a few quilt-as-you-go nine blocks and am having fun choosing the fabric combos. The towers of crochet are ready to go back downstairs to be my project whilst watching the TV.....I can't just sit there and do nothing :-)

But a couple of days was slightly different....
What a tip....see, I can be messy at times!  I'd bought a craft mag and there was a pattern for a topsy turvey Cinders/Cinderella know, the ones that are well, not reversible exactly, but a bit like a Pushme-Pullyou.

Now, as this was a present for a young lady who's just turned three, plus the fact that I've never made a doll before, I was a Good Girl and used a pattern AND pins!!  It's just a one-off though, don't panic ;-)  My hubby asked me why I was making a bone, lol......
Sorting out the fabrics for both dresses...the Cinders version and the princess one...

Here's the bodies sorted out before attaching the looks as if Frankenstein has been at work in the sewing room at this point...*grin*

And here are both 'sides' of Cinderella. I've made her with dark hair as Chloe's is too. The pattern went from dark Cinders to a blonde Cinderella....why?  Does being brown haired inevitably cast you as one of life's servants? I didn't agree with that one bit, so she's a brunette for both sides!

I had fun making her but wouldn't rush to do another. There was a huge amount of hand sewing and the pattern was scanty to say the least. But it kept my little brain happy for a few hours. I only hope that Chloe likes it too :-)

Have a happy crafty week!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015


(Huey Lewis and the News)

Back to the humdrum after last week's tricentennial celebrations!  It was fun though and great to share Julia's amazing achievement with everyone :-)

I seem to have made nothing but bags recently, which is fab but I needed something else to do...something easy and unchallenging.  I'd bought a cheapo book off Amazon, Quilt as you Go, which I know is something that Mary Anne has done in the past.  I like doing patchwork very much, but the quilting bores me to tears, so doing it in bite sized chunks appealed.

I took the charm packs bought with my Christmas fabric voucher and started to lay them out randomly.....
Lovely fabrics...but it just didn't do it for me. I've said it before, I don't enjoy 'random' all!  So, I had a quick rethink....
And it was just better (for me, anyway!). The intention is to do different blocks of nine, some with darker colours at the corners and others with light....
...and then you quilt each block before joining them up. I like this technique a lot!! So much better than having to manhandle an enormous amount of wadding. It'll also give me a chance to play with the order of the completed blocks.  This should keep me happy for a while :-)

Other squares featured today are:
I'm going to start blocking this little lot. I'm glad this project is nearing the has been useful to use up ends of yarn, but again, I prefer it when there's a pattern and logic to the colours....very left brained of me!  I'll make a blanket but don't know what I'll do with it; maybe there's a charity that needs one.

This was Gail's finished tote (she's received it, so it's safe to share)...
Apparently it's already full up with yarns and hooks...yay...happy dance!

And finally, Queenie Jeannie bought a Hooter off me (for Zoe's fundraising) and sent this Thank you card in return:
What a gorgeous, happy card...just perfect for Springtime. The sentiment made me laugh too. Thanks Jeannie, it's adorning my mantelpiece right now!

Have a great week xxxx

Wednesday, 4 March 2015



Congratulations, Julia, on reaching the 300th WOYWW - what an achievement!  
Thank you for enabling us all to link up around the world and share the crafty madness. Long may it continue :-)

I'm just so glad that Julia 'persuaded' me into joining in with the WOYWWers each Wednesday; apart from really enjoying writing this blog, I would have missed so much caring, sharing of friendship and ideas, meeting like-minded nutters.... It has truly enriched my life xxx

This week, you'll be relieved to know, the post is significantly shorter!  I think I wore out the keyboard last time, though the reaction was fun to the various photos.  The description by one friend of me as an 'axewielding, lopping maniac' really appealed...I'm going to have that as my epitaph  :-)

Anyway, today's desk:

I've got the Botanicals out again (you can get arrested for that, you know.....)  Gail would like a bag in this - I've run out of brown spotty fabric for the lining though, so I hope this black and white mini spot will do. 

I think it's ok......

As everyone had apoplexy when I revealed that no fabric purchase took place in that Brighton shop, I'll show you what Julia forced me to buy in the sale of a local quilting place....

Chocolate brown and pink make surprisingly good partners. These are not what I normally go for at all and I have no idea what I'll use them for either. Summat'll turn up, probably when I least expect it :-)

This is Princess Judy's finished zipped tote, en route to Tucson very soon. I love the colour combination, it's fun, isn't it?

And finally, the outdoor project got finished two days ago....
There, that's better.  Even the flowers in the bank are coming out too, adorning the scene. Celandines, daffodils and even some daisies....Spring might be on the way, fingers crossed!!


Wednesday, 25 February 2015


(The Scorpions)

You find me, mid bag making (again!)  Princess Judy fancied one and specified 'greens, blues and pastels' so I think this fabric fits the bill perfectly!  I found this fresh, apple green spotty fabric in a shop when I was away two weekends's a gorgeous colour, really springlike - which is why I was attracted to it in the first place.  After this, there'll be another bag to make for a lady who emailed me, she reads my blog and some of the other WOYWW desks but doesn't join in herself. So hello Gail * waves madly*, hope you manage to take part in the general weekly mayhem at some point!!

Two more Hooters for Zoe's fundraising, one for a neighbour of mine, the purple one is for Lynda B. I'll be posting him soon, Lynda...hope you like the colour :-)

But I haven't actually been crafting indoors that much...outdoors is a whole different matter though! We have a long hazel hedge down the side of our property, which is on top of an ancient bank/hedgeline. It grows up to 7' every year which we cut down in the autumn with the help of our boys. But I decided it was time to really hack it back and re-lay it properly. My husband is poorly with the flu at the moment, so I went out armed with a bow saw, axe, long handled loppers and secateurs.......

You can see the difference in height between the uncut/laid parts of the hedge...

It's like knitting with twigs and boughs :-)  It's tough but very satisfying!

Rhys helped with the removal of the trimmings. I really enjoyed doing this and only have a couple more yards to finish. I'm proud of my handiwork!

Right, feel free to bail out at this point as I'm going to post a couple of pics from our weekend away  :-) We were invited to go to Eastbourne by our friends in the Accordion orchestra, as a thank you for helping them out last was a whole weekend of all things accordion-y, so while workshops etc were taking place, Gordon and I went sightseeing!  First we went to Bexhill-on-Sea, because I wanted to visit the De La Warr Pavilion, a beautiful Art Deco exhibition centre on the seafront...

She was like an ocean liner in a 30's poster...good cafe too!

Gordon took this amazing shot looking up the beautiful sweeping staircase. I love spirals, so this is fantastic.....

I had fun being a human sundial on the promenade....

A photo of the two of us  - the self timer on the camera did a great job, I really love this pic!

The next day, we went to Brighton on the bus. And had a wonderful time mooching around the alleys and lanes, enjoying the very trendy right-on vibe of the place.

The Royal Pavilion is just bonkers! Fun though.....

What?? It's a fabric shop, isn't it? I had to go in, just for research purposes, you know...cough....

It was stacked high with piles of wonderful fabrics...I particularly liked this selection. 

But the shop was so crammed, it was difficult to move around, so consequently I didn't buy!

We passed an amazing cake shop (NOT Choccywoccydoodah, which was cheap and tacky in my opinion...can't understand why people make such a fuss about it!) where this Steampunk cake caught my attention. 

I took this pic for research purposes for my son and his fiance :-)

And finally....Gordon made me do this! He said it would be a good blog piccy...hmmmmm. Totty maybe, but Posh? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha........ I don't think so, lol.

We had such a great time away...pity that since then, poor G has been struck down hard by flu. He's been really, properly poorly...

If you've read all the down down to the bottom, then you must be mad! But thank you :-) 
Have a great week!