Crafting, fun and friendship

Crafting, fun and friendship

Wednesday, 9 December 2015



Well, I don't know about children having fun...I certainly was a couple of days ago!  A birthday present needed making and that kind mate of mine let me use her scraps box again :-)

Yes, that is me with distress inks in my grubby mitts!! Don't faint.......I was making a picture in a box frame (from the Range) and need a couple of bits and pieces to tart it up.  So Julia came to my rescue - she's a good pal. I've worked out what it is about papercrafting that I like: it's all about the paper and what you can do quickly with it. Stamping is ok but doesn't fill my heart with joy. It's all about the instant gratification for me!

Back at LLJ Towers, I dug out those scraps I was looking at a week ago, in order to make a birthday present for someone....

The green ricrac matched exactly!  I haven't got much further than this to be honest..better get a move on. But there's cards to write (haven't started yet) and Mr LLJ's birthday to celebrate (today in fact...Love you loads G!!) and making Father Christmas' Grotto - yep, you read that right.  It was for the Christmas Fair at the school where I used to work:

The naked room...

Covering it all with white sheets - the window wouldn't be seen after the light had gone...

Covering the bookshelves and learning posters....

Paint some snowy trees, add some silvery icicles and cotton wool snow.....

...and now all that's needed is for Father Christmas to sit on his seat and welcome the children.  Can you tell I had fun?   :-D 

Oh and I've also been out a few times with the band...our schedule is chocka until 23rd:
We busked on Marlborough High St last was windy but we had a successful day. I was tucked away at the back so wasn't too bad!  We'll all have lips of steel by the time we've finished the season :-)

Have a wonderful week - sending love and good wishes around the world xxxxxxxxxx


  1. Wow, Jan!! the room at the Fair looks amazing. Love the pic of you at Julia's.
    Please wish G a very Happy Birthday from me. Take care, and happy blowing! Helen xx

  2. I'm sending your blog post onto a friend who is laid up after a knee op, She will love what you did at the fair Jan.
    Lynn #15 xx

  3. I saw you in the first photo and without reading, I immediately knew where you were. I'm not a good stamper, and it frustrates me, even though I try hard to do it. So I understand the need for instant gratification. I get it when I sew my cards, not when I stamp them.

    What a huge undertaking you created. It is wonderful. And I enjoyed seeing you and the rest of your group playing. I can almost hear you now. Happy WOYWW from #1.

  4. Ooh, you did a brilliant job of Santa's Grotto. Happy Birthday to your lovely husband xx

  5. It's lovely to put a face to the name.

    I want to get a box frame to put my dad's Navy things in. Was wondering where I could one from, so will be off to The Range.

    The fabrics and ricrac look lovely.

    Santa's Grotto is fab.

    Hope you have your thermals on when playing outside int he band.

    Happy WOYWW
    Sue #20

  6. Father Christmas will love to sit in such a room, you decorated it so well! Congrats with the hubs dear, Happy woyww and a big hug from Holland, Marit #19

  7. What fun is that Santa's Grotto Jan!Love the fabrics project too.Thanks for the visit.

  8. Good morning my's soooo good to see you again :-) What a fun week you've had by the sound of it. I love the Santa's grotto as I'm sure did all the children. Gorgeous fabrics on your desk too :-)
    The walking foot is such a clever tool....I really don't know why I haven't tried it before [and I've been sewing just one or two years :-) ]. It walks the top layer of fabric through the same as the dog teeth do from underneath. I know to ease fabric you usually put it on the bottom [and thats what I usually do] but this sequinned fabric had to be sewn on the top so I could see the sequins and keep my lines straight so was a real nightmare.....never again though cos the foot worked a treat [think they are about £50 to buy though but on this occasion was worth it's weight in gold].
    Have a great week.
    Annie x #17

  9. I admit it, I Googled Santa's Grotto as I had no idea what that was! Amazed at the transformation of the room. More impressed with all your talents.

  10. Now that's an interesting colourway for a Union Jack. You have been busy! You will definitely need those fingerless gloves out and I hope the rain stops soon if you have any gigs outside. Well done on the grotto x Jackie 20

  11. Stamping is ok but doesn't fill my heart with joy. It's all about the instant gratification for me! my thoughts exactly ~!~ WOW quite the transformation for Santa. And you are like magical with fabric. Have a WOYWW kind of day and enjoy all that comes your way

  12. What a wonderful post. Super pic of you there with those inks!! I'm the same I have so many stamps and inks but rarely use them. I perfer to print and colour. Lol. That grotto looks amazing I'm sure the kids will love it. Your band looks fabulous am sure you cheered many shoppers out there. Take care Zo xx 28

  13. What a transformation was made of that room - looks fabulous - love those trees!
    Happy birthday to G - now did you make him a special card?
    I hope we get to see the box frame you made when it is time for it to make a public appearance.
    How are you with glue if you don't like stamping?
    Hugs, Neet 13 xx

  14. Jan so lovely to see you colourful desks with all those scraps again.
    You made a great job making Santa his grotto.
    Jan no 33

  15. Wow that grotto is fab! Hope the fair went well. Happy crafting, Max #34 :-)

  16. So enjoy seeing a pic of you! And the Santa grotto is really cool! The birthday gift you are making is very colorful! Hope you have a great day!
    Carol N #32

  17. Wow! lots going on here!Love to see you brooding your horizons, craft wise. That's what friends are for! I'll keep working on the Nos.
    thanks for visiting and the snoop around!
    Robyn 2

  18. Lovely, smiley photo of you! I know what you mean by instant gratification. I like to just throw things together and see what happens! Santa's grotto looks amazing - such transformation - it's unrecognizable. It will look even better with the lights on. Well done for braving the cold with your band! Happy WOYWW! zsuzsa #30

  19. Oh Happy birthday G! I love your santa's grotto - won't the kids be thrilled. Christmas in school as a fab time to enjoy craft activities with the kids wasn't it. x Jo

  20. Hiya Jan, give Gordon a huge hug and a Birthday kiss from us, won't you? That grotto was an amazing transformation, bet the kids really loved it. You keep yourself wrapped up nice and warm outside- no getting colds and stuff this close to Christmas! Glad that Owens new job went well. Love and hugs to you all, Shaz xxxxx

  21. Hi Jan, thought I'd stop by but I'm not joining in this week as I haven't done any arty crafty stuff at all this week - everything is so busy and Christmas is far too close for comfort! You've done an amazing job with the grotto - the kids will love it, you clever thing. I hope you have a lovely time celebrating your hubby's birthday. Love and hugs, Diana xx

  22. LOVE the grotto! I can understand exactly how you feel about it .... I only made Mr Potato Head but ..... the fun!!!
    Take care
    Bishopsmate #47

  23. Happy Birthday to your DH! You did a brilliant job with the grotto! Love the bright fabric! Anne x #49

  24. Happy Birthday to your DH! You did a brilliant job with the grotto! Love the bright fabric! Anne x #49

  25. You & inks - who'd have thought it ! Love the gotto ! Ali xx#50

  26. Hi Jan, I've been out visiting family today so couldn't really join in but still had to take a peek at your desk(s). It's the papers that really excite me too though I do like doing some stamping when I have time. Love those fabrics - polka dots and gingham, what more could a girl ask for :) And Santa's grotto is a credit to you - fabulous! Have a great week - I hope the weather is kind to you and your fellow musicians. Hugs, Elizabeth xx

  27. Oh wow! Great you took a picture as nobody would have believed it...
    It looks as if you had fun though!
    Happy birthday to your hubby.
    The grotto looks like fun. And it looks nice too. We used to have a grotty grotto at work. Being nurses we had were all sorts of weird and nasty things hanging up!
    Great photo of the band playing! You all look so festive in your red jackets.
    Thank you for visiting earlier,
    Have a good week,

  28. Nice photos, bet you had fun decorating Santas grotto. Lovely colours on those fabrics - I don't think I have anything that bright in my stash.
    Have a great week,
    Lizzie J #52

  29. Very well done on the Santa's grotto looks great and looks like your having a fun time in the photos your showing hugs Nikki 5

  30. I love the feel and smell of paper too and when it all goes south, its only paper after all, I can throw it away and start all over. Very jealous that you guys get to spend time together, I wish I wasn't on another continent. I have really missed all of my friends from WOYWW.
    My granddaughter (8) plays the violin at a local shopping center with her violin teacher during December. I get to sit and listen to it every second day, very blessed to be able to enjoy music and to see the shoppers faces when they realise that beautiful music comes from such a small little girl.
    Happy WOYWW!
    Tertia #21

  31. Forgot to say, I am very impressed with Santa's grotto.

  32. Cool job with Santa's grotto.... probably not as cool as your lips after the busking session. I never knew there was such word nor such a number of snowdrops but thanks to you I've been googling and learnt lots.
    sandra de @27

  33. I am super late getting around!! I hope by now you've picked up someone special to bring him home for Christmas! What a happy day! And you made the Father Christmas room look so magical by the way. And I love that photo of you with stamping ink pads--whaa! I've got to get my Christmas things done...the old back and hip don't want to give me tons of energy though, but I keep fighting back! Hugs! Sandy Leigh #35

  34. Lookit you with the inks! And you think stamping isn't instant! Compared to all your beautiful sewing?? LOL! Love the grotto and matching band coats; thankful we have strings, so only play indoors now!