Crafting, fun and friendship

Crafting, fun and friendship

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


I reckon Kool and the Gang were right - let's celebrate friendship, support and love.
The UK has a lot to party about this year and, as my first craft fair is in 4 weeks' time, I though I'd better get cracking. So here I am picking up where I left off before Christmas with the Union Jack bunting on the go..
 I thought I'd have a good sort out of my bunting that's already been cut out - I didn't realise I'd done quite so much but at least I can crack on straight away. It's one of my consistent sellers, so that's why I seem to make rather a lot of it!!  I do make other items, honest.. :)
There's a right old hotch potch there - shabby chic, seaside/boys' room blues, sophisticated spots. Hopefully something to appeal to every taste! It's quick to run up anyway - instant gratification!!

My brother - the one who gave me Herman, the friendship cake starter - bought a job lot of these kilner bottles before Christmas...
He's filled a couple with homemade sloe gin and blackberry whiskey but has quite a few left over. I suggested he try doing oils or vinegars but don't have many different suggestions. Do you have any special recipe you wouldn't mind sharing with him? It's got to be something that would store for a long time as it's for his consumption/odd gift here and there. Thank you in advance!

And finally, here's Ron checking out the three bags of sorted out clothes for the Salvation Army..
The white sack was posted through the letterbox the other day, which prompted an attack of the 'Sort Outs'! I really got the bit between my teeth and enjoyed clearing out our wardrobes.  But the thing I'm most proud of is the fact that in one of those bags sits an absolutely gorgeous pair of Russell & Bromley shoes. Imagine if you satin, pointy toes, heels, diamante around the back.. a real class act. Except, I haven't been able to fit my feet into them for about 20 years. I hung onto them for many reasons, harking back to my youth, when I worked in the TV industry, before kids, when I earned a good salary (!!). I would take those shoes out and have a Proust/Madeleine moment.
But when I was sorting out this time, I was ready to let them go. I don't know what's going to happen to these shoes but I hope, I REALLY hope, that they go to someone who will love them as much as I did! And the Salvation Army are an amazing bunch of people who support the many who have fallen on hard times. They are going to be my charity of choice this year.

Have a great week! xxxx


  1. Oh a celebration year!! Always good times and great people..Your buntings are all so pretty, hope they all sell out. I love mine and many compliments on it.
    I even love the bottle!!! I don't think we can sell homemade liquors here without some license etc.. Enjoy WOYWW and Enjoy what your doing.

  2. Bunting looks great and union jack get in there with the jubilee and strrt parties.Plud papermania seems to have got in on the act by bringing there portabella round papers ,stampsand ribbons and bows out.With the olympics and the royality im sure you will sell the union jack bunting by the bucket load!
    Have creative week
    hugs judex8

  3. There is something so happy about bunting... no matter the colour or pattern it always looks cheerful!!
    No help on the bottling, sorry... I am sure if you googled you would find lots of stuff...
    Aaah the good ole Sally Army... they are a fav of mine too and I would have been hard pushed to get rid of those shoes... maybe put them on a shelf or something!! LOL

  4. Wow, I always admire all your sewing. I only do it under duress! Great clean out. I have been trying to get my mum to do the same. She did a bit last year and I was so proud of her...she has stuff in her cupboards for much the same reasons and some...needs to do tons more though. Hers went to the church jumble sale...

  5. Hurrah for more bunting. Mine looked lovely draped over and around my mantle piece this Christmas. It has been carefully stowed with the advent calender and a few other treasured bits for later this year :)
    I am sure that the union jack stuff will go down a storm - we just found out that the Jamaican squad are training in Birmingham for the Olympics - maybe we can get a live glimpse of Ussain Bolt after all ;)
    I am sure that such loved shoes can only hope to find an equally good home and be the glory of someone elses wardrobe! Reminds me starting to sort out is on the cards here to this week, hope I'm in zone it makes it so much less of a chore and much more satisfying that way, hugs, Wend x

  6. Love your bunting, m'dear - and well done on the clear out and getting rid of those shoes. I think we all have a pair like that somewhere.

    We're starting to feel a bit more confident about the panto now (I should hope so!) but if you guys do decide to come, don't tell us which night, eh? LOL

  7. Not much to celebrate my end, but good on you for passing on the shoes. I am sure someone will love them. Your bunting is fab, I reckon the union jacks this year will be popular!

  8. I love all your bunting you hem all round each piece?
    A x
    PS Don't forget to pop over to my blog to make your guess and join in the celebration fun if you haven't already.....and good luck

  9. Your shoe story reminded me of when I worked in Industry. Loved it and how easy it was for you to finally let go. And those triangles, ready to be made into buntings/banners, make me think of Valentine's Day.

    Happy WOYWW (#3).

  10. Love your little inspector, he is adorable. Have a great day. :)

  11. Oh I love the Union Jack bunting - I ordered some Union Jack stamps and I hope to get them soon so I can make varios things as this is the year of England! (Olympics, Jubilee....)
    I am back now and I must thank you for all your lovely comments!
    Lots of hugs,

  12. I need to get to sorting out old clothing and household items and get them out to the charity groups. My house looks like a hoarders home right now. Thanks for sharing and have a great week! Vickie #50

  13. The union jack bunting looks great! Happy woyww hugs trace x

  14. More bunting, I just love your bunting. We are in the process of doing the girls' bedroom and I am thinking felt bunting in bright colours.

    Pilates is really easy .... bit like yoga really, no sweating or breathlessness ... my type of exercise!!
    The Tim holtz tissue tape is thin sticky tissue on a roll!!!
    Thanks for popping by,
    Cathy xx

  15. Hi there Lunch Lady Jan - the Queen of the bunting it would seem! and yes well done you on all that sorting you are giving me the guilts you are, you are! need ever so badly to do it here! hope the stunning shoes find a rejoicing new owner! thanks so much for popping over, and for sharing. Happy WOYWW! love, Shaz in Oz. x #30

  16. Good Lord, do you know I've never actually seen your front door step!! I feel a need for union jack bunting, don't want to be back footed by leaving it too late!

  17. Thank you for visiting me today! You will love beading if you love shiny things and I can assure you, it is very addictive. Sewing is one thing that I am totally useless at! I admire anyone that can sew a straight line!
    Celestial Things

  18. Hi there; great creative space this week with lots to see! Thanks for sharing! I quite fancy some Union Jack bunting so if you could email me perhaps with a price? ('s not my strong point anymore - no surprise there really is there?
    Neil # 31

  19. Ooh lovely bunting colours there! definately something for all tastes! good for you having a clear out AND parting with your beloved shoes for charity! I really need to clear our wardrobes out, they're bursting at the seams and I wear the same stuff all the time!!! thanks for sharing x April #80

  20. Just love bunting, doing the same with the charity bags, mine collected Thursday, Hugs May x x x x

  21. I'm on a clear out too. I can't close the toy box so the baby things are off to the charity shop. I've just received help from freecycle - so I want to repay the favour, and friend called round and talked about buddhist values of letting go and I remembered the rubbish I was storing when I have plenty of memories!

  22. Your Union Jack bunting should sell very well considering the celebrations that will be going on this year....good luck at your fair:)

  23. What a brilliant idea to make red,white and blue bunting. I so loved making bunting for Christmas and had decided to make more this year for different occasions and hadn't thought of RWB. Der!
    My friend made a Union Jack goose egg for the Royal Wedding last year! Where is your craft fair? I really need to find some to do during the year rather than just at Christmas.
    The same goosey friend did one of those herman cakes!
    I've made Limoncello and Christmas pudding vodka or is it non alcoholic thinks he wants recipes for?

  24. Any recipe, alcoholic or not would be very welcome, thank you :)
    Now there's a phrase I never thought I'd hear - a Royal Wedding Union Jack Goose Egg...! How?? What?? Please, if you have a piccy, post it next week. I neeeeed to see it!
    And the craft fair is in Devizes, so is probably a bit too far? Look up craft stall finder on Google, that should point you in the right direction in your neck of the woods :)
    Hugs, LLJ #26 xx

  25. I love your bunting :)

    As for the jars - not really a recipe. I bought my friends hubby a jar of layered chilli peppers because he's a chilli addict, what I didn't realise was that they were in vinegar which he hates. However he still loved the gift as it looks so striking on the kitchen windowsill - so maybe something like that?

  26. Knots took an evening each to do once I had drawn the knot and worked out which bits needed to be black and which red felt, then I just went for it! easier ones 2 hours harder maybe 3 worth it though :) Forgot my dad does a lovely olive oil (he gently warms the oil with garlic and a selection of fresh herbs then leaves it steeping for a week. Then strains and bottles it. We demand he makes it twice a year it is then good for cooking with (extra flavour) or dressings :)

  27. The buntings look great. I wonder why we don't fly flags here in the U.S. Maybe I'll make a few and see if they catch on?!?

    A friend of mine gave me some homemade kahlua one time for Christmas. A quick search and I found this. Don't know what her recipe was..

    The bottles are just beautiful!

    WOYWW #45

  28. looks like you will be very industrious today! well done on having a good sort out!
    Happy WOYWW! Debxx #116

  29. Can't help with a recipe but if there is any sloe gin going free count me in. Your bunting is so pretty and cheerful.
    Ann B

  30. LLJ- I always love your bunting! It always makes me wistful the the sewing machine and I got along better...sigh. :)As for your brother's bottle, he might try lemonchello (mmmm) or preserving vanilla beans. We make homemade beer here ourselves. Hope you have a happy week! -Amanda 34

  31. Love your fabby bunting! Maybe I should put some of that up at work for Independence Day, lol!! We make Vanilla Sugar with fresh vanilla pods, yummy, also orange or lemon peel in sugar adds a lovely flavour for baking, but it makes the sugar a bit damp so that might not work!

    Brenda 101

    PS. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  32. I love your bunting! Good luck at the craft fair. x

  33. can't really help with the kilner jar, like stamps, alcohol doesn't get stored very often in our home (we do like a drink)

    If I have made one observation doing life studies (tho' actually I have many)but the one of many I'll share today is that most people have images in their heads, of themselves, others and things, relating to another persons image is what the artist does, it's one of those things that is different from crafting, i'm glad angelina was an image you could relate to, and I do think it's what is in your spirit not your flesh that makes you dance....

  34. Hark at all those buntings Mrs! Good girl for getting in on the craft fairs so early. I really must get some stuff ready for when one pops along.
    As for recipes, I usually make sloe gin and this year hubby made Methoglin - Brandy mead! Mrs Beeton's - nom nom nom and with home grown honey too!! Those jars are expensive now as I found out when I wanted some before Christmas!!

  35. I'm not showing my desk this week, but just had to come and visit when I saw the 'celebrate' lyrics appear on my dashboard for your post as I was singing that song to myself only this morning - for no particular reason mind!

    Love the bunting - so cheerful, no wonder it's a good seller - how long do you make it? I made a short version last year using a union jack rubber stamp - it looked great in pink!

    Oh you were so good letting go of those shoes - I'm thinking you may visit your local shop and buy them back - lol!

    I did a lot of sorting out myself today, just climbed the loft for something, got sidetracked and before I knew it had several bags of rubbish - as you do!

    Celebrate good times, come on!

  36. Bunting always makes me smile, so I don't mind how often you show it to us :o)

    Fiona xx

  37. ooh some lovely bunting there-union jack-fab! As to the craft fair in Devizes......have you got details (if I am about then I'll pop across as I am only in Bristol).

    I have made lots of sloe gin this year, some not very successful fennel vodka, but I would recommend Elderflower cordial, cheap and is great with hot wat, cold water, gin and tonic and even scrumpy!! Also great added to stewed fruit-and best of all it keeps for over a year! Let me know if youd like the recipe


  38. Gorgeous bunting. Yes we made sloe gin this year too - loads of sloes about!!

  39. sounds like a bunting frenzy going on there. maybe should could have made shoe bunting instead. that would be something different

  40. My massive clear up means I now need to clear the floor before I can even get to the wardrobe door to sort out clothes. I really need to say goodbye to several pairs of shoes too that I have been lovingly stroking each year and putting back into their boxes. Hugs Mrs A.

  41. Your sewing machine looks as if it’s going to get a good work out this week if that pile of bunting is anything to go by
    Ron looks to be doing a good job of checking out those shoes Jan, maybe he has a friend in mind he thinks they might suit!

    Thanks for stopping by this week and ……..
    Happy Crafting!


  42. Well, I bought that single on vinyl! I luuuuurve your bunting, and hope the first fair goes really well. Thanks for the peek in to your crafty space...Sarah at 6

  43. Fantastic bunting as always and the demi johns brought back memories of when I was youthful and in a flat share and we made our own wine. Very often never got decanted from the demi john into bottles....and I certainly have a shoe or two from my previous 'life' as a career woman tucked away in the wardrobe for more years than I care to mention!!Well done you for moving on!!!! and I hope that's enough exclamation marks to make you feel very happy! Thanks for popping ny to see me today Cindy @ # 52

  44. oooh you are soooo busy with that lovely little lot
    thanks for sharing at woyww
    hugs sandra (81)

  45. Looooove the bunting it will go down a treat at the fair. It is certainly the time for clean up and throw outs, well done for parting with those shoes. They sound divine and I am sure they will be treasured by a future career woman. Can't share a recipe because I drink all the grog in our house rather than create with it. Although I have (mistakenly) had a sip of alcohol inks while crafting poor hubby nearly fainted at the sight of my green lips. I have just notice your very pretty blog background .... is it new?

  46. Ooo you are a busy bee! Love the bunting - good luck getting everything ready! Happy WOYWW from #57! Kim

  47. I'm still smiling over those shoes! I think a fabulous bunting would be a little selection of all of those fabrics with the odd Union Jack thrown in - still patriotic but something a bit different to the shops. I'll have a mile of it please ;-)

  48. Mean't to say, LOVING the new look blog, very New Year!

  49. Everyone seems to be having a good clearout all through their houses. Hope the person who got your shoes appreciated them as much as you did. Thank you for your visit earlier, and I am sure I will enjoy the bread making. The smell always makes you feel good to start with. I just have to find the right bowl to take with us. Then I can annoy everyone on the caravan site with the smell of fresh bread. xx Maggie #105

  50. It's the clearing out time of year, I've got a bag to go out on Monday. DD is growing so fast at the minute she's had to have a whole new wardrobe over Christmas so all the small things have been packed up and some of mine too!!
    Those shoes sound amazing. I have some gorgeous boots with killer heels that have been worn once and probably won't be again but I love getting them out and trying them on-yes I know very sad. The days of killer heels are long gone!!
    Your bunting looks gorgeous and I bet will sell like hot cakes especially this year.
    I'm back to the stuffed hearts with an order for some more this week so thanks again for the inspiration for those, I owe you one!!
    Happy WOYWW
    Hugs Lisax

  51. Those bottles are gorgeous! Doesn't it always feel so nice to give away a big bundle of clothes and such and have all that free room?

    Happy WOYWW! Katie #10

    PS. Love the background on your blog :)

  52. Jan I think we all hang onto something thinking we'll get back into it...I have managed to narrow it to about 4 items over the years and I just can't bear to part with what is left.
    Love all your bunting it is looking very productive.
    As for the bottles how about some yummy chilli olive oil or herb oils?
    Thanks for sharing,

  53. A great display of bunting there. Which reminds me that I have some material in a cupboard waiting to be made into bunting !


  54. The story of the shoes struck a chord ... I have shoes lingering in my wardrobe, beautiful shoes and totally unwearable. I also have fond memories of a pair of cyclamen pink, leather, Italian designer shoes that just sung to me ... I saw them in the shop window and it was love at first sight ... lusted after them every day for months ... until the sale when I broke down and bought them. I wore them to my daughter's wedding and then never again. But they live on in my memory as the most beautiful shoes I've ever owned. Thanks for sharing. Elizabeth x #96

  55. Love your bunting. I am an ex pommie (now Australian) but I still love that Union Jack!

    Thanks for the comment on your cherry pip spitting prowess, just loved it.

    Von #19

  56. I just figured out that what a bunting is! I thought you should wrap a baby in it. :>)
    I love those kilner bottles. You'l think of something to do with them.
    Glad you were able to give up the shoes. Someone will love them.

  57. Hi LLJ, That's a great effort, three bags to go! Would your brother like an easy salad dressing recipe (which keeps for ages)? 2/3 extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 balsamic vinegar, a little grainy mustard and a little honey (quantities to taste). I keep it in a jar and just keep topping up when it gets low. Shake well before using. Lovely on any sort of salad.

  58. Good luck with the bunting and perparing for the fair, the only recipies I know involve booze, and its a bit late to think about, raspberry and strawberry vodka!!
    I'm seeing how many I can get round this way.then when I have finished I'll come back again, that is if I can STOP reading all the posts first Happy WOYWW

    LOu P

  59. Love your bunting. Blackberry Whiskey I would love a go at that. I have just dropped off 3 bags at the charity shop. Someone will love your shoes. I wonder why I hang on to stuff sometimes.
    Have a great weekend.

  60. Oh Jan Ron is just adorable love seeing him prowl around your bags. The buntings look terrific as usual. I used to have a wonderful recipe for Cranberry Liquor but I haven't made it in years. I'm going to take a look around my recipe stash and see if I can find it for you! Happy WOYWW #17 ~Robin Panzer Art Studio 33

  61. Can't wait to see your bunting finished! Sounds like you'll be quite busy over the next few weeks! I love to pack up old clothes and send them off to the Salvation Army too! I always feel good after I've done that, for many reasons. Great bottle! Can't offer any recipes without going to google first. My go to recipe finder...LOL! Ahhhh, a walk down memory lane! Wished you had shown the shoes!!! Thanks for the visit today, Happy WOYWW

  62. Good job on getting rid of unused stuff. It feels good after it's done!

    Katie (159)

  63. Oh your post on my blog made me laugh, still at my half hearted attempt to clean up my craft corner now clean and I have a floor! Brandy and chocolate required at regular intervals, LOL.....
    Thanks for coming by again, crafty hugs, Erika.

  64. Blimey, that huge jar would hold a few gallons of sloe gin! How about trying the one where you crush up soft fruits, strawberries, raspberries etc, and add rum, I think it's traditionally made in something called a rumptof.
    Enfys xx

  65. Hi there - love the bunting. Well done on sorting out the wardrobes - need to do that job. There are things in there that I've had for years- need to be strong and clear them out. Anne x

  66. Good to have a sort out every now and then. Love your bunting - thanks for the peep at your workspace(Hazel, WOYWW 67) x

    1. Sorting out can be so therapeutic, but I often get stuck remembering when I wore what, even if it doesn't fit any more!

      Great bunting!

      Thanks for the lovely comments on my blog. Hugs

      Debs xx

  67. I think it is great to support the homeless through the Salvation Army - good for you.
    As for the demi-johns, not a clue - used to do wine years ago and elderflower was my favourite but picking those flower heads off was a nightmare.
    Love your bunting, bet you sell loads this year with the Olympics etc.
    Thanks for sharing and for commenting on my blog - Hugs, Neet xx

  68. Bravo to you for giving all that stuff to a good cause. Especially the shoes! I KNOW, I just know they'll go to a good home and be loved for at least another 20 years!

  69. I love the bunting, it looks great. It certainly sounds like you are having a busy, but fun time :)

    Thanks for popping by and although a little late this week, I hope you had a great WOYWW and have a fab weekend, Karen xx

  70. I absolutely adore your blog. I dropped by at just after 6pm on my WOYWW rounds and it is now 7.05.

    I will be back though
    Jackie #113

  71. Love your new blog background. You gave your shoes away. I nearly shed a tear. But good for you I'm sure someone will love them. We had union jack bunting for Christmas - loved it x

  72. Hi Jan,
    thanks for dropping by my blog. I'm really pleased that you have followed my Wrap Up A Child page. I am doing it all again this year :)
    I started out with a group of knitters 2 years ago and we knit anything, hats and scarves for all ages, baby clothes up to items for teens (longer scarves, wrist warmers, beanie hats etc) but my group has dwindled somewhat. We beg borrow and steal (well not quite) wool from all over, Freecycle is good and I buy wool in places like Aldi when they have offers on. It means that people are more prepared to knit for me as I can provide the wool and buttons. All finished items go to the Kids Company, if you Google it you can see what work they do with undepriviledged kids. Some of the stories we here are being abused or running away from home with nothing. There was a story (and please don't publish this) about twins born the year before last. A social worker went to check on them and found them wrapped in tea towels and being guarded by an alsatian dog. The parents, both smack addicts, were found in the pub at the bottom of the road. It's stories like this which makes me not give up on them. The Kids Co never turn a child away. I try to send them a parcel at least every other month.

    Please feel free to knit whatever you like and you can either send it to me and I'll put it in with our parcels or you can send it directly to the Kids Co. If you want me to send you some wool and buttons then please just let me know.

    I shall be returning to your blog frequently from now on and again, many thanks for getting in touch.
    Sorry it's such a long ramble.
    Take care

  73. Wow all those fabrics for bunting looks gorgeous. I understand about the shoes, sometimes it's so hard to try and give something up from the past and I'm sure that someone who couldn't afford an expensive pair of shoes, but able to buy from the charity will love them dearly. Sometimes I have to explain to my kids, that money doesn't grow on trees and that it's important to look after things, when I was on my own with my kids were young, I realied on these charity shops to help with clothes and furniture, and my kids were so well dressed for pennies. I still try and go in sometimes and buy bits to support them they are brilliant. Kezzy x