HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome 2012!!

All over the world, people hold celebrations to welcome in the New Year. Some of the most crazy are to be found here in good old Britain. Many feature fire prominently as a sign of welcoming back the sun and looking forward to the Spring and Summer and are a relic of our folklore.
One such ritual is the Tar Bar'ls of Allendale in Northumberland. As midnight approaches, 45 folk from the town parade around the streets in fancy dress. Nothing unusual there, you might think - except they carry this on their heads.
Yup, half barrels of flaming pitch are carried aloft, all around the market square in a big parade. The marchers end up by a huge bonfire in the middle then one by one, they hurl the barrels onto the mound of wood.  Needless to say, the fire instantly leaps into life - no firelighters needed here!!

It's so exciting to watch, really gets the adrenalin flowing - it's a direct link back to our pre-Christian past. Very like Up Helly A in the Shetland Islands, linking back to the Vikings.
I'd love to see the Temporary Event License application form, especially the Risk Assessment - LOL!!!
Wishing you all the very best for a happy, healthy and exciting 2012,
Much love,
LLJan xxxx


Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too,
And God bless you and send you a happy New Year.
And God send you a happy New Year.

(English Traditional Carol)

After the joys and excitement of the Christmas festivities, I always feel that the week in the run up to New Year's Eve is a time for a good clear out, in all senses of the word. I always take down my decorations before then as I like a fresh start for January 1st. 
Also, much as I think New Year's Resolutions are made to inevitably be broken by mid January (or is that just me?? Lol) this week does make you think of what you'd like to achieve throughout the year.
So, LLJ, here goes....
* to try and do something that is not in my comfort zone
* don't prevaricate..just DO IT!!
That's it - only two, but they encompass many parts of my life that need tweaking. Now all that needs doing is to listen to my own advice *grin*

I haven't been doing much sewing but lots of knitting instead. However, here are some shots of my desk...
DH, as promised, blinged up my machine for Christmas Day!
I had some very thoughtful prezzies this year including some sewing bits and pieces in the lid of the box - the tiny scissors, buttons and ribbons are from my great friend Sue. The turquoise ribbons I saved from presents that my boys bought me from my fav shop in Winchester, Forme, where they gift wrap free of charge! I've got to re-use those beauties at some point.. The buttons and beads weren't a present but were passed on by my niece who's having a clear out. It is a gift really as I'm going to have fun with that little lot :-)
A big surprise was this amazing journal from Madam Dunnit

It's all about my 50th birthday week back in August - it's amazing and so thoughtful, thank you Julia. You needn't have worried about your homemade gifts, we loved them all :)
This is my next job on the list...
I'm going through my scraps box in order to make petals for flower corsages and charms - there's loads of tutorials on the net if you're interested. So, lots of tracing and cutting out in front of the telly, I think!!
I am a very fortunate girl you know, I've got a fab family for which I give my heartfelt thanks. But there are occasions when .. well, see for yourselves. All I wanted was a nice photo on Christmas Day...
Thanks for the sign, Julia, the words are more true than you realised.....!!!
Wishing you all a Happy New Year at the weekend - may 2012 be everything that you hope for.
LLJ  xxxx


Good Tidings We Bring
To You and Your Kin.
We Wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year!
My band has played this song a lot over the past few weeks! Two more gigs left and then we're done for the Christmas season.  It's been fun, rewarding, often cold (three layers on for busking!!) but very enjoyable. Then it's time to give my tuba a soak in the bath and a good polish ready for the New Year!
So, my desk should be retitled 'What's On My Lap' this week....
'What? Me? Play with your wool? The very merest suggestion of a thought hadn't even begun to cross my mind.......' 
I'm knitting some wrist warmers for a friend's birthday. Now, at the risk of sounding like a real old-fashioned grump, didn't they used to be called fingerless gloves? What's all this wrist warmer nonsense??! Anyhow, the wool is randomly coloured so the knitting looks like complicated Fairisle, but without the hassle...Result :D  I'm also knitting a sweater in the same yarn for DH, but the extra amount of wool would be a step too far for Harry's self restraint!
The sewing machine has been resting up after all its pre-Christmas exertions, however I bought lots of co-ordinating fabrics for my 'Spring Collection' - oooh, get her!!  That'll give me something to do in the New Year - you know, when I'm bored and sitting twiddling my thumbs *grin*
Here's one I made earlier...! I love the material of this table centre and just had to keep one for us. The flower pots I made years ago for our village Pre-school Christmas fair, they keep coming back year after year. Do you have favourite Christmas pieces? I regard mine as old friends. The pleasure of opening the Christmas Box and rediscovering our 'treasures' is one our whole family enjoys.
We're very traditional - it has to be mostly red, green and gold - but they can still be funky :) Morti presented us with this little beauty she made, it's such fun, makes me smile. Another special treasure to cherish.

As is this, a really sweet hanging from Lisa (Craft Garden) - I like the sentiment about Friendship very much as that's the main thing I've taken from this blogging lark - the links around the globe between previously unknown people have been a revelation and very heartwarming as well. Thank you for making it for me, Lisa - I love it!
Speaking of friendship, here's the portion of Herman, the Friendship Sourdough cake starter that my brother passed onto me. The starter has been doing the rounds for some time now, I'll grow this batch and then pass it on myself to three other friends. A simple yet really pleasing thing to do.

I'll finish with a pic taken back in warm, sunny August at my Big Birthday Bash. I'd like to raise a glass and toast you all, the lovely readers of WOYWW. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and may 2012 be happy, healthy and exciting!
Jan xxxx


(Traditional English Rhyme)

It's been a week of stops and starts, alternating frantically busy with snatched moments of peace.  After the craft fair madness of two weeks ago, I've been catching up on some commissions...
 Julia was after some of the Nordic fabric in some bunting - so I've made some for her to stick up chez Dunnit.
My brother asked me to make a couple of items for his in-laws, preferably something useful. What DO you give to 80 year olds? So he thought they may like a table centre and a peg bag. Duly done :)

Last Friday was DH's birthday - it was one of those glorious winter days: blue skies, sunshine, crispy cold. So I decided to take him out for the day. We headed towards Winchester as he hadn't been there for a while. OK, there was an ulterior motive *grin* as I knew the Christmas Market was on as well!! He took some fab shots...
 The smell as we walked past this stall was fantastic!
I enjoyed having a browse and he enjoyed taking the shots!
The market was set up behind Winchester cathedral around the green, on top of which was an outdoor skating rink.
You can see it was a fantastic day. I love Winchester Cathedral - together with Durham, it's my favourite in England. You can feel the ancient history there. What events that building has witnessed over its long life.
If there were adult sizes of the penguin-sledge that child is using, I might have had a go at skating. But my stupid ear-dizziness problem means that my balance isn't so fantastic anymore :(  It was fun watching all these folk whizz around though!

I bought three of the turquoise baubles, small, medium and large to hang up in  my bedroom window. They're mouth blown glass from Bath - I could have bought the whole stall!! The other pic is for Julia, whose taste for kitsch is enormous!
If I had space in my living/dining room, I would have a dresser filled with blue and white china. But the only available wall is filled by my beloved piano, so it's not going to happen! I can always dream....... :)
Finally, for the history buffs amongst you..
My favourite house tucked in by the city wall. I'd have loved to have had those top rooms as a bedroom when I was a teenager who 'wanted to be alone'!!
And a section of the city walls, featuring some nice chunks of terracotta Roman roof tiles!  Recycling's been around for a long time....
That's it for now. Don't get too hassled by Christmas. Have some choccy instead :) xxxx


I adore being part of the Phoenix Brass Band - it's a great bunch of people who make learning music affordable and who work hard at raising cash for good causes. But we need money to run the band as well - it's amazing how much music costs to buy/hire, instruments need repairing/replacing etc etc. So last Saturday found us busking on Marlborough High Street!!
We were so lucky with the weather! It was a beautiful, sunny day. This brought the crowds out and made life more comfortable for the players. We raised over £400 for the band, which wasn't bad going.  You play a lot of carols between 10am and 3pm - they'll be repeated even more by the 22nd Dec, which is our last engagement! Only 7 more events to undertake :)
The following evening found us in my local village hall, playing as part of a Christmas Celebration evening. We've got our dress jackets on as it's a more formal evening.  Here's a piccy of me and G3 at the back - look at that concentration!

Right, in between all the playing, I've still been sewing, so here's my desk.
Hello, Big Boy - I still love you :) I may have mentioned last week that I got a new machine *grin*. I've been making some more bunting, the reason for which will become apparent later.
This is my big box of bunting bits...
I found this union jack bunting in Salisbury. It was double sided with a cheap tape running through the top. So I've unpicked it and the 15 flags are now 30 single sided, which I will back in white and put onto new tape for the UK's celebrations next year of the Queen's 60th Jubilee and the Olympics.  I'm very pleased with the way the flags are turning out - it also appeals to the miser in me :D

OK - Competition time...The Results....
So many of you joined in with the spirit of 'What A Festive Fabric Frolic' that I decided to put in a few more prizes, so if the following would care to email me their addresses via the link on this blog, something Festive is heading your way!
Jacqueline (Jacqueline's Crafty Blog)
Crafty Womble
Angie (Shozzy)
Elizabeth (Silver Scrapper)
Butler's Abroad
Lisa (Craft Garden)
Bleubeard and Elizabeth
Sylvia (Little Treasures)
You'll be getting either the Nordic bunting featured last week or this Bright Bunting!  Thank you to everyone who entered though - the names were pulled out at random by G3 - my lovely Ginger Gentle Giant.
Hope you have a wonderful week xxxx


HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON....? I really did enjoy last week's celebrations, rather different to the normal ATC swap but no le...