Crafting, fun and friendship

Crafting, fun and friendship

Wednesday, 14 November 2018



Another week has whooshed by with so many different things going on - but the weather here in Wales has been foul for a lot of that so my downtime has mostly been spent in the JanCave. I'm trying to get as many things made and put by for the various things I'm doing.

*WARNING* this is a photo heavy post (sorry Julia!)

I've been having fun with some fabrics that were gifted to me recently - Debbie Rock passed on about 4m worth of the paw print fabric out of which I've made shopping totes, specs cases and little coin purses. It was great getting those coloured pop fastenings out again, I love them, they're so bright and cheerful.

Now doesn't that pic just make you smile?

A dear friend from Wiltshire, Helen, sent me a surprise parcel of fabric out of the blue - they are brilliant and I've dived in already:

Those bright colours are FQs that I got from Hobbycraft a couple of weeks ago and they are perfect as linings for the various projects! The colours couldn't match better if they tried.

See? What a great combo!

We got some new bedside cabinets recently and I didn't want to throw the old rattan ones away so they're being recycled in the JanCave as fabric storage - and jolly handy they are too!

Now then you may remember that I was hosting the WI Craft club here last week - everybody was surprisingly well behaved (!) but it made me smile as, true to form, just like the Crop attenders, there was more chatting and eating of cake than crafting, lol!!

Everyone's very studious here - it's only cos I was taking their photo! Some were in the kitchen and others were in the dining room:

Well done Jean and Kathleen, you did crack on.

I'd set up all my fabrics, beads, buttons and ribbons on the worktop so people could pick what they wanted...

There were various templates to choose from, most went for Christmas trees.

And everyone managed to thread the needles ok (with the help of reading glasses, lol)

Some chose traditional colours...

I do love a bit of tartan ribbon....

While others went down the Boho route...

Rightly pleased with their efforts!

Well done girls! It was great fun and a good morning. The December one is going to be Tags and Toppers, led by Janet who is a far more experienced paper crafter than me!

But the girls weren't the only ones creating - you remember G in the garage last week? Well, this is the result:

A two tier set of shelves made from decking cutoffs and other bits of wood, painted with left over white emulsion and cream and grey chalk paint testers. I like it so much I'm going to use it as part of my Christmas decorations later. And G made the marmalade too - he's a keeper :-D

Have a great crafty week - see you soon! xxx

Wednesday, 7 November 2018



A short and sweet post today - that'll make up for all the photo heavy posts I've been doing recently!

The weather has been so gorgeous, I have been out walking (and suffering the consequences afterwards but the sea and blue skies were calling....)  I have been dragging out more fabric to make items for the WI Christmas craft stall:

I have about a bag's worth of these colourful fabrics plus a bit left over for glasses cases. The doggy print in the background was gifted to me by Debbie Rock via Shaz at the Crop.

Those beauties brightened up the afternoon for sure :-D

I've had this hearts/check fabric for ages...a good few years in fact - and these were the absolute last items to be squeezed out of the original couple of metres. I shall miss it, it's been a good do-er!

There's been lots of prep work going on as tomorrow is the first WI Craft Club, we're making the felt ornaments and it's going to be at my house. The last time I had the WI entertainment group here for rehearsals, I offered teas or coffees and stupidly mentioned gin. OOOh yes, was the reply - not making that mistake tomorrow, well, not at 10am anyway.....we might have to wait until 11. *grin*

The JanCave is doing sterling service at the moment but then, so is the original ManCave:

The light's on, so something is afoot.......

I happened to mention to G that I could do with a small display set of shelves for the WI stall and a short while later:

A man happily pottering! It's amazing what you can do with decking cut-offs and some gash bits of wood :-D  A couple of coats of white then some cream and grey chalk paint and Bob is your Upcycled Uncle, lol!!  Extra brownie points for G this week, please :-D

Hopefully I'll have a few pics of the WI felty carnage to share next week - it'll be like herding cats.....


Wednesday, 31 October 2018



I know last week's post was a long one, but it was great to see that so many of you enjoyed the tale of the felty day!  It's a shorter post this week but I have three desks-worth to share!

I'm going to be running the local WI Craft Club with Janet (felting partner-in-crime) - we had a good brain-storming session on the hour long drive back from the workshop. The first is going to be felt Christmas ornaments, so I had to make up a couple of samples:

Just playing!

The crafters can either make something like this, or pink the edges and do running stitch around the edge. And use a fabric scrap for the wing or just some felt. Use a wooden button or a coloured'll be interesting to see how the choices pan out!

I've booked a table for the WI at the local Christmas Carnival fair, where we'll be making a variety of products to raise some cash...jams, chutneys, lemon curds, mincemeat, crafts, pine cone firelighters, bunting. I've done these as my contribution:

Desk No 2!

Maybe some of the Christmas birds will end up on the stall as well, who knows?!

I dug out the Christmas fabric from my stash as well, in order to make bunting. Funnily enough, I don't have that much, but am determined to use it all up!

Desk No 3!

I also got out some fabrics to run up 4 more drawstring bags for my brother Steve to sell to his dancing classmates, to keep their dancing shoes in - all in aid of the RNLI.

This makes me happy!  I have had time to do more makes this week, as my left ankle (hypermobility syndrome = poorly/sore) has curtailed my walking a bit. WHICH I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT!!! Ah well.....

We popped up to Llandeilo yesterday - the autumn colours in the Towy Valley were stunning - and I had to pop in to Deb's Wool Shop, where I got a huge hug :-D  I needed to buy some of the tinsel wool for a Christmas project...

Do you think a Christmas mini skirt is a good idea??! ;-)

Have a great crafty week!! xxxxx

Wednesday, 24 October 2018



Week 490! That means there's only 30 weeks until the big 10th Anniversary of WOYWW in week 520 - I'm already excited about the prospect of the CropTen get together in Shrewsbury, big thanks to Wipso and Twiglet for organising it. I may have already booked a holiday cottage for that week, lol! 

I have a very different desk to show you this week - last Thursday I went on a wet felting picture workshop with my mate Janet from WI. It was up near the Cardigan coast and thankfully, the flood waters from the previous weekend had really gone down.

Our teacher was Ali Scott, a noted textile artist - not only does she exhibit all over Wales but she helps run events including the Wool and Willow Festival at the Minerva Arts Centre in Llanidloes, Wales. Her website is here, do have a look, her work is amazing! And she loves kinda gal :-D

This is a picture heavy post but I'm not apologising!

Ali's workshop was in her back garden:
It was a lovely place to spend the day!

...with amazing mosaics made by Ali - gorgeous!

I knew we were going to have a good day when we walked in and saw this wall of colour!

There was an instrument of torture....
the twin drum carding machine!  

Boxes of silk bits (can't remember the technical term sorry!) and other textile embellishments, bags of yarn - ooh, it was paradise.

And a very lovely teacher!!

In the morning, we learned how to felt from the background fabric up - here's Janet starting 
to lay down the white rovings.... making a woolly canvas!

...then we just played, getting the feel of how to use all the bits and pieces.

Me putting the finishing touches before we then laid a net over the whole piece, soaked it with water and a touch of olive oil soap and then fun part of the felting began. Rolling everything up in the bamboo mat and rolling back and fore - very good for bingo wings!

Then we got our pieces and slapped them down on the desk to matt the fibres even more - this was my favourite bit. I have a hard thwacking technique, apparently :-D

Then our pieces were hung up to dry while we had some lunch.

This was Ali's WiP....I loved the rolling 'clouds'...

...and her woolly equivalent of a scraps box!!

In the afternoon, we tried to remember what we'd learned in the morning (!!) and had free rein to create any picture. Ali had asked us to take a pic for inspiration - I took two and, true to form, didn't use either. Sound familiar?? 

We had a lovely couple of hours playing nicely (and remembering most of the techniques!). I'd chosen subdued yarns in the morning so went for something more colourful here and decided to do Savernake Forest with bluebells, near where I lived in Wiltshire...

Taken before felting....

Janet went for these beautiful bold colours - love it!

And after a long time of wetting, rolling and bashing about, we ended up with:

What a fab day it was - Janet and I loved it! I'm going to embellish mine further with embroidery floss and beads and then it shall hang with pride on the JanCave wall!

Hope you've enjoyed our lovely day - I'll try to make next week's post shorter!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018



Very apt lyrics this week but with a completely different meaning from what the composer intended -you see, my son Rhys graduated in Winchester Cathedral yesterday, so it was a happy occasion mixed with sadness that we won't visit Winchester very much in the future. A lovely visit however, proud parent moment!!

It was a fantastic day, we enjoyed ourselves so much - it was also good to meet Becky, Sally and James again. We first hooked up at two Uni open days light years ago now, it seems, so it was good to share Becky and Rhys' graduation together as well xx

This desk pic is from last Friday when all hell had broken loose with the weather in this part of Wales...

So dark we had the lights on all day - there was an amazing amount of flooding in the area, so I stayed put in the JanCave, making something out of this fabric...

I really like this combo! It works well for both large and small projects....

I've been bunting making again but can't show you it as the person hasn't received it yet!

I found some little holly leaves in The Works and sewed them onto the Christmas puds - just need to stuff 'em with the choccies now :-D

Do you remember ages ago, I was part of the trio making a banner for our new WI? Well, it was unveiled last Thursday at a Group meeting we were hosting...

Didn't it turn out well? I passed it onto Belinda who added some embellishments and then on to Janet, who did an AMAZING job of adding the plane (Amelia Earhart made her first landing just outside our harbour on her historic flight), the clock on the church tower, the lettering...absolutely brilliant!  The Church represents St Illtyd's in Pembrey, it's a 12th century church with some amazing stories attached to it, not least the fact that I sang in the choir as a girl, was confirmed and married there and both our boys were christened too. The lighthouse represents Burry Port of course. Our group meeting went incredibly well as did the sketch, thankfully I do not have ANY photos to share of our act lol but the hats went down a treat!!

Have a great week everyone, here's hoping for calmer weather!