For Fun and Friendship

For Fun and Friendship

Wednesday, 17 December 2014



Well, there's been very little crafting going on Chez LLJ this week!  And what I have made, I can't show you :-)  But, for what it's worth, here's the desk.....

Taking a leaf out of Kyla's book, I'm going to patchwork up some fabric to use for a tote bag. There's not enough of each bit, so this seems the way to Bust my Stash.... That knitted bauble is a present from Denmark, from the lady I made a bag for!  I thought I recognised the pattern and construction - it's by two Norwegian blokes who featured on last week's Kirsty Allsop's Christmas crafts programme on TV - coincidence or what? There's also a crochet flower I brought up to find a button for.....

I can show you this though - a covered notebook for Rhys' tutor at his sixth form college, who has been very supportive of him.  I still have to have those stripes horizontal though, lol!

Even though I haven't got much of my stuff to show, I can share some other's work instead :-)
This gorgeous butterfly picture was made for me by Helen, a friend from the accordion orchestra I've been playing with recently. Isn't it fab? I love the colours and the music paper background!
And this fun Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bauble was made by a friend of another mate, also called Helen, for her son!  Isn't it great? It made me smile!!

But the main reason for not having any time to craft is this........
As you can imagine, the brass band I play in has been very busy recently!  We're at Tesco in Marlborough here, helping to raise money for a local Community bus service.  This is about a third of the band and yes, we were cold!!  Simon, on the right, was playing his new P-Bone...a bright red trombone made of weighs hardly anything. Very funky!!
And I made myself and my bass as festive as I could!  Fairy lights were twined around my music stand and the instrument and my bunny ears also flashed. Fetching, doncha think?? 

Just two school carol concerts to play piano for and four more band engagements, then I'm done. All good fun though....just as well I adore carols, isn't it?? Lol

Have a great Christmassy crafting week xx

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


I remember one christmas morning
A winters light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that christmas tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire
(Greg Lake - listen here)

I've chosen this song because we're playing it a lot at band at the moment - the euphoniums have the main theme and play it beautifully!

Once again, the desk is a tip...
A finished tote, some felt, black lace, button drawers askew, A5 books ready to be made into prezzies. Believe it or not, there is method behind the madness and some sort of running order!  The things that needed to be sent abroad have gone, I'm just making a final PiF item for something I got involved with on Facebook and now it's time to make a couple of things for a family party.

This is all I can show you...the recipient occasionally reads my blog! 

Wish I'd removed that red thread before taking the picture....
I can't remember where that black lace came from (think someone might have passed it on to me) but goodness, it's been well used in items from Goth bags to corsages. I'm just making another here....
I did wonder if that red button was too big, but I liked its In-Your-Face qualities, and the person for which it's destined isn't a shrinking violet anyway!  Fingers crossed she likes it!

The village that I live in is very lucky to have two shops, a doctors, two pubs, a petrol station and active sports club. which is amazing as it's not that large. But the heart of the community is, without doubt, our wonderful Post Office. Mike and Yvonne who run it are well used to me toddling in with something destined for the other side of the world.  "Another blog reader?" they query as I plonk the parcel on the scales!  The reason I'm telling you this is that they adore Christmas and every year, decorate the shop....
You get the feeling that something's different as you approach.... then you go in and.....WOW, just look up.....
They spend a whole day stringing twigs across the ceiling and then hanging fairy lights and decorations. It's far more twinkly in real life and there's music playing too :-)

It makes me smile every time I go in (every other day, it seems like at the moment!) and if you weren't feeling particularly festive beforehand, 10 minutes in there and you'll come out singing carols :-)

Have a great crafting week!  xxxx

Wednesday, 3 December 2014


(by Peter of my favourite carols. Listen here)

Ok, it's the first post of the Festive Season, the Carols lyrics are at the top of the page and my messy desk looks like this....

Yep, the Yuletide fabrics are out and it's time for Christmas thongs again!!  Lol.  Well, that's what I was told that the bunting triangles looked like last year, so who am I to gainsay that?  A mate passed on some more festive fabric so I've been having a look see....her taste is quite different to mine, so I'll use what I think fits in with what I've already got.

Yep, definitely thongs....or maybe Christmas bikinis!!  Don't think L'Agent Provocateur have got anything to worry about ;-)

I had a surprise parcel from Diana (Velvet Moth Studio) yesterday. Inside was this...

I can't tell you how much I adore this...the colours, the tiny hare, the cotton reel, the scrap of music wrapped around...all personal to me.  The hare in front is a brooch which is now adorning my jacket next to my WOYWW badge..completely gorgeous. 

Thank you so much, Diana, that was a real surprise and I love it all - the tree will be a wonderful addition to my Christmas treasures box that I love getting out each year xx

I went to a wedding last Saturday...unusually for me, I wore a dress....gasp horror, don't faint!  It was a burgundy red lace number, and I had a black fur trimmed capey-poncho thing to go over the top. I had a black fascinator already but it was a bit plain so I got to work....

It's amazing the difference a bit of ruched up fabric, two flowers taken off hair clips, reduced-in-the-sale black feathers and a few beads can make!!  I had lots of comments on the corsage, which is now adorning a jacket. Well, might as well get some use out of it - grin!

The Kennet Accordion Orchestra were playing in the service (the groom is a member) and afterwards, I got chatting to Richard who plays. He asked about my corsage, the conversation moved onto crafting in general and he let slip that he had done quite a lot of crochet in the past, mostly for his children - and, wait for it, all without patterns. He just did his own thing. I asked if he'd email a couple of pics as I thought you lot might be interested. This is what arrived.....

Look at this fantastic octopus!  I love the fact that the suckers on the tentacles are decreasing in size down to the tips!

This elephant has got real character, don't you think?  I love the tusks and the little toenails...genius!

And a little blanket - the detail is amazing!  

Now Richard isn't a youngster and you would never guess that he had this sort of talent.....I love it when people can completely surprise you like that. Isn't it wonderful?  

I've been using up scraps of wool to make a blanket that I'm going to give to an old folks' place. It's ok but I've discovered that me and Random are not good partners. I don't know what goes wrong but I'm never as happy with this work as I am when I've specifically picked the colours. More evidence of OCD perhaps?  Still, it'll hopefully brighten up someone's day when it's completed!

Talking about random.......
Remind me never to pootle around the Christmas displays at a local garden centre with Julia.....

It's a good look, don't you think?  (apologies to the sales staff for having to witness the exploits of two middle aged titterers!!

Have a great week xxxx

Wednesday, 26 November 2014



It's an odd one this week. I want to show you my desk....

But this is about the most you'll see as the things that I'm making at the moment are for Christmas prezzies and so I can't show them in their entirety because the recipients sometimes read this blog!  So I may have to place a few red herrings here and there to put the presentees off the scent!!  Just call me Miss Marple :-)  I'm messing around with an idea at the moment.

Pretty, girly, flowery....all the things I'm not, lol!!  But I'm enjoying playing around with these!

Checking out my frou frous for another prezzy  ;-) .....grin!

Fabric, lace, ribbons and doesn't take much to make me happy!  Can't show you this either - bet you're really glad you stopped by my blog, aren't you?!

I haven't played with my beads for a while, so really enjoyed this - they'll be more in evidence over the next few weeks as I intend to do some beady prezzies too. I love sparkly stuff.....

I can show you this though!! I'm going to a wedding on Saturday and wanted to make the bride a good luck charm to give her on the day. 

The basic idea was an embellished heart. I don't know if you can make them out but there are tiny seed beads on the lace flower - they just catch the light and twinkle prettily.....
I had a lot of fun making this....more frou frou, you see!  Now all I have to do is remember to take it on Saturday.....

Have a great crafting week :-)

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 :-)