For Fun and Friendship

For Fun and Friendship

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


(Copyright Walt Disney Music Co Ltd)

It's been a very full week!  Meeting a desker, attending Janet Fairythoughts' funeral, having the Silverwolfs come visit on their way back home. 

This was my desk at the weekend....Kim Young, a Stateside desker had taken a fancy to the music stand covers I made recently and asked me if I'd make her one.  I squeezed just enough out of the scraps of Botanicals fabric!

All ready to be sent off...I really hope Kim's stand fits in ok. Her dimensions were different to my stand. Fingers crossed :-)

I've taken this pic because of those Clover clips. Janet Fairythoughts made me buy those in her shop a couple of years ago and I never used them until recently. How stupid was I? They're awesome for gripping thick layers of fabric really tightly. And every time I use them, I think of Janet. She'll be looking down on me from heaven and saying 'I told you so....!!'

 Oh, her funeral was sad and happy all mixed up. Julia wrote about it most movingly...but I want to tell you about everyone wearing odd socks or funky shoes, the Minions music played in the service, the reading out of WOYWW messages of sympathy and the fact that Janet's coffin was cardboard, printed all over with photos of buttons, Minions, cups of coffee, cake, Bendicks Mints and gingko leaves. It summed her up perfectly. Goodness I shall miss her......

But it shows how this wonderful blogging community reaches out from the confines of the Interwebs and forms true friendships. Julia and I went to Salisbury to meet Diana Velvetmoth last week, our first time of getting together. Diana looked slightly apprehensive as we approached but before we knew it two hours had flown by.  A mutual bonkers sense of humour and a solid WOYWW backstory meant that we just started talking and kept going!
Diana gave us both a little something......
A perfect little miniature! I've long been a fan of Diana's work, so I was thrilled to receive this. It's about 4 inches high and is exquisitely detailed. Gosh, I love it - thank you Diana!!

Other workdesks in Appleton Towers this week.....
My menfolk trying to fix a laptop cooling system...there were lots of bits spread out over the table...

Soldering was involved......unfortunately, it needed something more like a Harry Potter spell....Circuitous Wirious Reparo.....cos it didn't work. Something had gone phuttt, way beyond the possibility of repair.

More happiness at our dining room table however....
Shaz and Doug Silverwolf dropped in to say hello en route back home after a weekend of gadding! It was so good to see them both and a chance to give Shaz massive squishy hugs - she's undergoing her major surgery today. Please keep them in your thoughts and send positive healing vibes towards Birmingham hospital. Thank you xxxx

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


(channelling my inner Beyonce, lol)

Why this lyric today? You may well ask.....

My brother and sister in law stayed for a few days last week....the spare bed is in the room where my work table is.  Here's a pic while they stayed....

Yep. My brother's camera. Fair enough. But what I'm protecting your eyes from is the corner where, according to my SiL, my brother rested a part of his anatomy and said 'Feature THAT on WOYWW'....!!!!  I may never work on that part of my desk ever again...grin.

Well, it might have been his arm...or chin....but I doubt it very much....

See what I've had to put up with since I was a nipper? Oh, I could tell you some stories.......

But it's not all weird, honest. My SiL Jill brought some of her watercolours to show me. She's been following an online course.

Each painting features a different technique...they were all amazing, but the apple and pear were my favourites.
Aren't they good? The apple looks like a photo, it's so realistic.  Apparently Jill used upwards of 30 very thin washes of watercolour to achieve the effect, which just goes to show how much more patience she has than me!!

I do have a (sullied) desk to share :-)
I found some 28" zips in Fabricland and am going to cut into some more holiday stash material. If time's a busy old week ahead.

I volunteer in an Oxfam bookshop in Marlborough and this was donated a couple of weeks ago....
I was tempted for a moment but unfortunately the cover was more interesting than the contents and who wants to be only Slightly Sinister? Much better to be completely OTT, in my opinion :-)

Have a great week xxxx

Wednesday, 19 August 2015



Even though I knew Janet Fairythoughts was very poorly, it was still a shock to get Julia's text today saying that she'd passed away on Sunday.  I still can't believe that someone so vital has left us so early......way too early, in fact.  From the time that we ambushed her from behind the haberdashery stand where she worked, we got on famously. We met up several times, at the Crops, visiting each other's homes, at C&H Fabrics where she worked.
A truly wonderful, generous and loving person...thank you Julia and WOYWW for letting me have the chance to meet her. Blimey, I shall miss her so much. Sending my deepest condolences to her family and friends.  RIP Janet, you lovely lady xxxxxx

 I was asked a couple of weeks ago to make a couple of slip cases for friends to keep their music stands in. A first for me and I debated how best to do it. The easiest would have been a drawstring bag, but then the strings would most likely get tangled with the rest of the musical gear.

First things first, decide on the fabric.....
This heart/elephant fabric was part of my holiday haul from Shrewsbury and meant for Helen's stand; the other at the far end was for Nigel.

A slightly different angle - also showing the tote bag that Helen wanted.

I found a tutorial on Pinterest for an iPhone case with a flap and velcro closure. Aha, I thought, that's just the after some serious upsizing of the pattern (more correctly known as guesswork....cough) this is what I ended up making:

I thought they looked a bit too wide but actually they're perfect for getting the music stand in without snagging.

I'm quite pleased with how they turned out :-)

Keeping on the music theme, Rhys and I ran across some unusual visitors when we went for a stomp around Avebury last week....
This is the Devil's Chair can sit in a natural hollow and if you turn your head and sing or hum, the stone resonates really weirdly.  This large group turned up which included five people who looked as if they came from Peru, complete with beautiful costumes.

They took it in turns to sit in the was quite bizarre but wonderful to see!  I have no idea why they were there but they sure brightened up a Wiltshire Wednesday :-)

And talking of Rhys...the lad did well and has got a place to study Archaeology/Ancient History at Winchester University. I'm so proud of him but will miss him like crazy when he goes......

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015


(thanks for the lyric, Rhys!   Copyright: Chuck Lorre Productions)

It's been another crazy week at LLJ Towers...some crafting has been done. But I can't show you it yet as it's going to be a prezzy!

I was asked to make a tote bag and slip covers for two music stands by Helen, a friend of mine. Red is her favourite colour so I dug out all the fabrics I have with scarlet hues :-)

And Helen chose this for her tote...there was just enough of the fabric....phew!

Topstitching the straps and external/internal pockets. I cut the handles with the bars of colour going horizontally, you get to see more colours that way!
And that's as far as the bag making went yesterday.....

I brought my music stand upstairs to draw around it and make a template for the slip cover, but this is as far as I got.  The weather is forecast to be appalling on Thursday and into Friday so I'll have a good session then instead.  

I'll leave you with a sneaky pic taken by my hubby!

My boys gave me two colouring for adults books for my birthday and I am REALLY enjoying doing them. It's quite Zen. Here I am, enjoying a moment of peace, absorbed in the fine detail of Johanna Basford's beautiful illustrations. Ron is supervising, of course.....

Nothing can relax quite like a cat :-)  Lol

Short(ish) from me today....I hope Brownie points are forthcoming!!

Have a great week xxx

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


                        (You have to provide your own sound effects/actions for today's lyric)

(Whistling wind)     woooooo oooooooooooooooooooo
(Tumbleweed rolling across the shot) tumble tumble tumble tumble
(Creaky door opening in a Horror style)  Creeeeeaaaaaaakkkkkkkkkkkkk
(Shock, horror)     gasp, screeeam

Because my desk is bare!!  Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrghghghghghgh

Completely bereft of anything crafted this past week, that is..... Oh sure, there's something cut out that uses up the last of the skull fabric, there's a new button tin (part of Julia's birthday prezzy to me...54 last Saturday, groan...) and a new sewing book from my boys, open at a page that took my fancy.

But that's it....

Oh, ok then, I'll force you to read about some other stuff that's been going on, lol! But it's at your own peril......

It was my birthday the day after the Blue Moon made its boys, future DiL and I went to Salisbury for a mooch and spot of lunch.  We window shopped at Franklin's where we spotted this fab display, part of the Magna Carta 800 years celebrations...

It was all so beautifully done!

I loved it and spent ages looking at all the details. There was even a huge pile of the metallic silvery grey yarn needed if ever you fancied making your own chain mail!!

We spotted a couple more Barons that we missed on our visit a couple of weeks ago. This was sponsored by the Trussell Trust (a food bank charity). The detail was quite interesting,

We spent quite a while reading all the words and dedications - I liked this very much.

The following day, Julia and Mr Dunnit came over to ours for a barbeque. She bought me a fab present......
Yep, it's a gallon capacity Kilner jar with a tap, so you can fill it with punch, mulled wine, champagne cocktail or, in this case, strawberry Pimms and have a lot of fun!  Definitely for sharing though!!

I think Julia is topping up her glass here while I'm attempting to fill her glass with extra fruit! This was the first drink of the evening but I do look as if I'm concentrating extremely hard indeed!! It was fun :-)

But I leave you with the 3D card that Julia made me next to the beautiful hare card from Shaz Silverwolf......

My name in Lights.....I'm a star at last!!! Lol. Hollywood beckons. 

Cue last Sound effect:  Cowgirl galloping off into the sunset.......

Have a great week :-) xxxx

Wednesday, 29 July 2015



Very little crafting happened this got in the way.  But I did manage a visit to a friend who I haven't seen for a while. She's just got a new job as a lecturer in Child Care, so I thought I'd make her a tote in which to lug all her college paraphernalia around!

The metre of Botanicals fabric I bought in Shrewsbury was cut into (I rather like this warmer toned colourway) and a black and ivory spot lining added for a contrast.

Just giving it the once over for stray threads etc.....

Ta dah!  Hope she'll like it and find if useful :-)

I also had a quick sort out after finishing the triangles quilt last week...and have rationalised my fat quarters to this quite small cardboard box. This is NOT a reason to buy more...I'm on a serious stash busting mission!

And the reason that I haven't had much time in the past few days??

My elder son, Owen, has moved back home after finishing university! We spent last Sunday washing/sorting/throwing/recycling/putting in loft.  Isn't it amazing how much more bread, milk and cereal you get through again?!

Have a great week :-) xxxx

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


(The Sound of Music)

Bet that's got you worried!

Fret not, the song title isn't referring to me but something else - read on :-)

I thought I'd have a sort out of The Stash, to put away the new stuff and have a general look-see.  Whilst doing this, I came across a stack of triangles that I cut out ages ago, from some of the first fabrics I ever bought, ready to make bunting with....

Goodness but this takes me back!!  I've had most of these for at least five years - they were probably some of the first I ever got when the sewing bug first bit.  There are some old friends there :-)

But I didn't fancy making bunting (banners)...... friends of mine in band have just become grandparents for the first time, so I thought I'd use up these tessellating triangles and make a cot quilt.

I had some white sheeting already, so that was useful to separate the colours......

I also had some pink fleece stashed away from a previous project and had just enough for the backing.  Just quilting in this shot...that's the bit I like least!

Ta-Dah!  Perfect for a new little girl AND it used up some stash, Brilliant :-)


That's it.....these few scraps are all that's left of an old friend. I feel quite sad...which is crazy, isn't it?  But this floral polycotton has been in bags, bunting, quilts, tops and even a dolly.  I made good use out of that original 3 metres, that's for sure......

Just to leave you with a smile though.....

Two more Hooters, made for a friend, sitting on my bookshelf next to Gandalf and a cat. What DO you think they're all looking at??!!
(Clean answers only, please!)

Have a great week xxxx