For Fun and Friendship

For Fun and Friendship

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


(Pharrell Williams - listen here if you want!)

I wasn't very happy last week, if truth be told. You see, whilst driving en route down to my dad's, I looked at my hand and realised that the diamond had dropped out of my engagement ring..... it could have been anywhere: in the car (no), in the house (no) on Marlborough High St after I'd marched in the Remembrance Day parade (sigh). I was very upset, after all, that ring had graced my hand since 1981...but many lovely, unexpected things have happened since. Also the realisation that it's been seven years to the day since my wonderful hubby had a quad heart bypass operation.... people are way more important than things, don't you think?

So I start today not with my desk, but a little surprise that made me very happy indeed :-)
A parcel full of crafty gorgeousness from Kay (505whimsygirl)!  There's one of her famous spa cloths - yay! - some lovely festive bits and pieces but most of all, my very first stamp, tags and ink pads!!

Oh boy, am I going to have fun making my very own crafting tags!

But these stole my heart - two musical fat quarters!!  Thank you so much Kay, I absolutely adore them and will enjoy using them for a project very soon :-)  I really appreciate the kind words in your lovely card too - it made my day.

Ok, the desk....

I was having a sort out of what I've made, what fabrics I've got left etc etc, thinking about.. *whispers*.... 'C' presents.

I still love this birdcage fabric and the check soooooooo much!  Another bag, I think :-)

Here's the stripes bag made up - it's so funky. This made me smile as I was making it!  The other side doesn't have a pocket so you are enveloped in its stripy-osity :-) 
(Don't you think the grass is green for November, it's still growing, for goodness sake!)

I heard from some old friends, hooked up with local pals I haven't seen for a while, my hubster and Rhys bought me some gorgeous flowers and a rockabilly you see, I ended the week in a much happier state of mind :-)

My brother Steve and his partner Ros came for lunch as well - it was good to see them. 

I showed them my craft room - Steve insisted on trying out a tote for size......

Looking good, mate! LOL. He wouldn't keep still, so the photo's a bit blurry.....don't give up your day job Steve, I think the catwalks of Paris would be safer without you!!  (He reads this blog btw...grin)  Still, it takes a real man to carry off the look so well ;-)

See, I'm a lucky gal, with a wonderful family and friends. I really have counted my blessings.

Have a fab week!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014



That's because there may be fabric on my desk today, but no signs of actually doing anything with it!

I've been having a play with various ideas, combinations of fabric etc but as I've been to my dad's for a couple of days, there's not been much time to cut out and sew!  

I bought that funky fabric in the foreground from my favourite shop in Marlborough, Dible and Roy. It's full of roll ends of delicious furnishing fabrics - this one caught my eye because I knew I already had the green and brown spots at home.

A friend gave me a bag of felt offcuts and I was playing around making a decorated tree whatsit. Felt doesn't grab me (if ya know what I mean!), I never feel inspired by it whereas others create beautiful things with it.

Pleasing combination of tones, huh?  The selvedge of the fabric shows that the blocks should be vertical but I think I prefer them horizontal. 

Wonder what that would say about me in some deep, meaningful, psychological test?  No....don't answer that!!

Right, I've got to pull my finger out because I've got a couple of presents to make and any spare time seems to be whisked away at the moment.....
Better get my skates on!

This may well be my shortest WOYWW post ever...hope I get lots of brownie points from the Desk Meister. My current standing is about -97 at the moment....grin :-)

Have a great week, y'all !

Wednesday, 5 November 2014



Well, then, lovely WOYWWers (and other readers...), it's that time again. Show and tell!

I had just over half a metre of the lovely Botanicals fabric (as seen last week) so decided to make another tote as something to have in reserve if anyone needs a bag/prezzy. This time, it got teamed with this beautiful soft green check which I LOVE.

Here, I'm sandwiching together the bag lining, zipped section and a top bit of lining. Hence the pins, because three layers would just go walkies otherwise...and yes, I've learned that the hard way!

But now it needs a blooming good iron to finish it off :-)

Then with some of the offcuts, I made a covered notebook (A5, if you're interested!)  Even though I allowed half an inch to the book's measurements, it was quite a tight fit....

I didn't add any embellishments as I thought it would detract from the gorgeous print. I was really pleased with this and it took about 15 minutes to make.

From the sublime to the ridiculous!  This was the desk last Thursday.... I've been playing bass keyboard for the Kennet Accordion Orchestra recently, standing in for their normal player who's going through breast cancer treatment.  

My previous image of accordions was a French bloke in a stripey t-shirt smoking a wrong I was!  The sound the orchestra creates is amazing - layered and complex.  Anyhow, we were in a contest on Saturday and were playing Rock around the Clock in one category. So I made scarves for the five girlies - just hemmed triangles but they added to the overall impression. If you're interested, the Orchestra won the three group categories they were in. second in a small group, plus duos and soloists from the group came first in their sections. It was a good day!

The venue was quite large and this sign struck me as I was wandering down one corridor! Well, the mind bloggled, it really did. But, seeing that I'm a sticky beak, off I went to have a nosey, visions of large jellies in my mind.....

Oh, it's wobbling exercise machines. That's what the sign meant!  I dread to think what would have happened if I'd have had a go on these.....underground tectonic plate disturbances in deepest, darkest Dorset!!

Thanks for reading my nonsense, I'm off to make some jelly :-)  

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


                                                                   (Dixie Chicks)

A long post today...desk first, then you can duck out sideways if you'd like!

Bag making time again!  I'm using the Botanicals fabric together with this pale green cotton.

It's at this point that you begin to wonder if you've done everything ok so far, or whether it's all backwards!  And yes, I have finished a bag before now, only to discover the zip was upside down.....

But not, I'm happy to report, this time! Phew :-)

The zip is the right way up....yay, happy dance!!

This was the only thing I sewed this week as we were away at the weekend, taking our younger son to a University Open Lampeter, West Wales.  We bumped into a familiar face en route....
We met up with Hettie for lunch in Abergavenny - it was good to catch up for a brief natter and hear all about her recent trip to the US!

When we got to Lampeter, we had a stroll around the town - it's very quaint, quite small but we stumbled across a Quilt Museum! Oh dear, what a shame..... I left my menfolk to potter and in I went, not expecting much to be honest...

Wow, was I wrong!!  It was the most amazing double height space featuring one woman's collection of Victorian quilts. These were made by men who worked in the woollen mills nearby, of which there were many making Welsh flannel and blankets. These were all from off cuts, very much the 'make do and mend' mentality.

This was the back of one of them, which I found just as interesting as the front!  It showed what fabric the off cut had come from and was neatly labelled up.
This end of the space featured quilts made by people in the home, from old clothes and sheets etc - the exception was that bright red patterned one which was made by a soldier after the Boer war...the stitching on that was fantastic! All hand done......

There were quilts everywhere!  The patterns were amazing....
I love this one, though it did make my eyes go funny!!  I love the figure in the main fabric.
A simpler pattern, but no less effective.... as were these....

I took a whole load of photos but we'd be here all day if I put them all up!

There were modern examples of quilting too - this owl made me smile.
There were two smaller rooms exhibiting fabric and textile artworks - the table in the middle was piled high with quilting and fabric books to peruse....I've got to go back cos I just didn't have enough time in there!

They were marvellous but this was my favourite....something to aim for, eh? Better get some practise with that free machining foot I bought recently!!

So, sorry for the long post today. but if you're ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit...especially as there was a very fine fabric shop, Calico Kate's, right next door!

Have a great week :-)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014



I make a few things for a friend in the village to give as presents...a couple of weeks ago, she asked me to make bags for her grandchildren. Well, the 6 year old girl was easy...pretty little craft type tote with all the trimmings. But a 2 year old boy? He won't want a bag like that....

Choosing the fabric was the easy bit - I had half a metre of this fun owl print and some contrast linings. But I had to go and purchase some extra, very important, plastic bits.

Strap adjusters and D rings?  And no, it doesn't involve any strange hanky panky!! Cute owls, huh?

Can ya tell what it is yet?  ;-)

I thought a little lad would like a backpack in which to stash his lego/blasters/marbles etc etc but had never made one before. I found a tutorial on Sew Mama Sew's blog but if any of you out there fancy having a go, the method is sketchy in places. I'm glad that I have a reasonably good grasp of bag construction, so I was able to make some educated guesses cos the instructions were quite vague at times. Doing the strap adjusters for example. I'm still not entirely sure they're fitted correctly but it's too late now! And the straps slide through ok, so who's checking?!

I'm quite pleased with the result. Will shorten those strings though......

I just hope that the little lad likes it at Christmas!

I admired some knitted Remembrance poppies on Chrysalis' blog last week and she very kindly sent me her pattern....
I could NOT get a decent photo of these..the red was hard to get right.  They're actually so much nicer in real life. Here they look like a mad pair of eyes (or boobs!). But Chrysalis' pattern is so easy to do - I've enjoyed making them :-)

And here's some more In-Your-Face-Red....I grow these Kaffir Lilies together with Nerines at the edge of my raised veg beds in honour of my mum, who always had these for cutting in her garden. The sun was doing some good backlighting this morning - it made me smile and remember some great times when she was alive. I reckon this is a happy photo!

Finally (!), I went over to Julia's yesterday for a crafty day and lunch, we were joined by Fiona (Staring at the Sea) who drove up from lovely Dorset.  Julia kindly let me raid her scraps box for bits to make Christmas labels out of on her Cricut..
I tell you, I ain't a natural stamper! But it was fun.
It's not going to win any prizes, is it? LOL, but I don't care :-)
Fiona was using this really gorgeous SU stamp....
Julia was sorting out papers to go with photos for scrapbooking.....
In short, it was a really fun day!
And I got to riffle through Herself's button stash for black ones to sew onto more poppies! She's a good mate (but don't tell her I said so.....grin!)

Have a great week everyone :-)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014



Thanks for all your fab comments last week, lovely girls, they made me feel an awful lot better. I had a kidney infection and was feeling really rubbish so your kind words were very cheering :-)

I didn't move from the sofa for two days (and THAT, Julia will tell you, is very unusual!) and needed something to do. So I sewed all the granny squares together for the blanket I've been making for the Crochet for Kidneys (ironic, huh?) charity that I support. The daisy motifs were fun to do and the effect is very pleasing....

It's cheerful, isn't it? I hope that the dialysis recipient enjoys the bright colours.

The very clear and helpful tutorial came from the Colour and Cream blog, where there are loads of free tutorials to follow!  I highly recommend it if you need a fix of happy crochet :-)
Talk about from the sublime to the ridiculous!  I was a bit crocheted out and fancied doing some knitting to use up some of my stash as featured last week...cough. So I made up this Minion hat for a baby to finish off a tiny scrap of bright blue!  And then I had to crochet the Eye, but needs must!  It just needs a black pompom as the finishing touch.  I've knitted another variegated pink hat for a teenager but haven't taken a pic of that. Both are to send off for an outreach project featured on the UK Handknitting website's charity directory.

That was over the weekend; as Monday was very rainy, I managed to get some sewing done...for me! Yay! Remember that blue fabric I got a while back?
I am making a slightly larger zipped craft tote so that I can carry around some crochet/knitting etc when I'm off somewhere. The dark spot is actually navy, it's a better combo than appears in this pic.
Nearly done, just topstitching to make it look neater :-)  Honestly, our camera is amazing at coping with low light levels cos it was as black as Hades in my craft room with all the rain going on outside!
I'm not so sure about that navy spot now but it was the best match I had and I wasn't going to buy any more fabric!!  It'll do.......

And this pic made me happy too....
One of my bags made it all the way to Denmark!  That's a first for me :-)  I hope it gives its new Danish owner many happy years of service!

Hope you gals have had a good week.....keeeeeeep crafting :-)