Good grief, that lyric takes me back 20 odd years to when my boys were small and that was a nursery rhyme in one of the many books they demanded to be read at bedtime. Tempus fugit, eh?!

My desk has been a whirlwind of activity this week - talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous.

It all started when I needed (yes, really!) some curtain fabric in order to make this window look a bit prettier:

It's a 3 metre drop! That horrible net curtain has been there since we moved in and as we haven't got the ladders to reach up to the curtain pole, there it has stayed - but not for much longer. Someone with the proper equipment is coming to paint our hall, stairs and landing and while he's up there, he can change the curtain!

So off to Swansea we went to a really useful pair of shops - both called Lee Mills, one is for dress fabrics, the other for furnishing. After browsing for about ten minutes, I found one I really liked:

It's a gorgeous linen fabric with enough pattern to make it interesting. I needed 7 metres (including a big allowance for pattern) match, there was 6.95m on the roll. I hadn't even asked the price, the lady said that the book price was £42 a metre (gulp!) but as it was an end of roll, they'd priced it at £13.95!!! Well, I could have kissed her :-D  Was that meant to be or not huh??

So as the weather on Saturday was vile, I assigned the day to curtain making. Julia, you'd be proud...and slightly amazed... I measured AND pinned.

It was a lot of fabric to work with, but I'm not lining the curtains so that made life easier. I shall show you the finished articles when they're up!

While at the shop, I spotted another fabric in the same line as something I bought about two months ago:
I shouldn't have...but I did and made myself a big old tote shopping bag!

Beautifully hand modelled by Mr LLJ, doncha think?!  I can get loads in it, it's going to be really useful.

I've also been making tiny knitted Christmas puddings in which to stuff a Ferrero Rocher choccy and hang it on the tree - this is for a fundraiser evening in November. I shall share this next week as there's enough photos here already.

Talking of fundraising, I handed over the £120 raised at the Crop to the RNLI station treasurer this week, a thank you letter will be arriving in due course. I thought I'd show you what it's going towards.

This is the current Victorian boathouse which can only house one of the two lifeboats - the other is in a shed close by:

This is where the ladies (me included) have to run the shop, getting all the stock out and putting it all away again each time. The smaller D class boat and tractor are in there plus all the crew stuff:

It's all neat and tidy...

But that's the changing area - not ideal, to say the least.

And this is what the Crop money is going towards:
Both boats will be housed together near the beach for launching, there will be proper crew facilities upstairs with decent changing rooms and meeting areas. The shop is at the other end together with a viewing platform and visitor experience area.

The shop is bottom left. It's going to be such an improvement for the organisation and is giving the old harbour a bit of a facelift. The local group had to raise £40,000, we're about £27k at the moment with other pledges to come in, that's on top of the £20k we're expected to raise every year. A substantial amount of money for a small community. So when I say Thank You, I really mean it - your generosity has got this amazing project a bit further on.  The crews attended 29 callouts to aid people in distress in July and August alone, so you can appreciate how much this station is needed.

Sorry for the long post (again!) Have a great week :-D xxxxxxxxx



Well, we got back from holiday last weekend and, to be honest, not much crafting has taken place apart from a wee bit of crochet!  We had a marvellous week away and I'm still in relaxed holiday mode :-D

I was given so much stuff by the generous Croppers that my desk looks like this:

Stuff everywhere - above and below! I have some serious sorting out to do...the weather forecast isn't great so I shan't feel guilty for staying in and playing nicely. I do love a good sort out!

The crochet blanket is growing very slowly - I'm doing a bit more now the weather's cooler. I've reached the end of the colour sequence with the turquoise at the top so will now start again with the yellow. I've come to the conclusion that I'm a very methodical person - I find doing abstract extremely tricky!

When I was on my hols, I went to Ruthin and found this little wool shop:

Teeny tiny it was! It dawned on me that Elizabeth had featured it in her blog last week as she was staying in the area too. I must have been chasing her around North Wales! I didn't buy any new yarn though as there's a bag full in the JanCave to use up first. Ooooh, she's harsh!

This little shop was in Ruthin, a gorgeous Welsh market town with some incredibly old buildings, it was a real pleasure to saunter around for a couple of hours. On the outskirts of town was a very high end art/craft gallery and studio complex. Some very nice stuff, I can tell you but what caught my eye was an exhibition by textile artist Audrey Walker. I'd never heard of her and yet she's featured in many exhibitions including at the V&A.

It was all painted fabric backgrounds with simple running stitch patterns - the sort of thing that you think would be really easy but actually very difficult to do in reality.

This G&T for example, it looks very elementary but the nuances in stitch colour was sooooo clever...

I loved the shadows.

I think it caught my attention as I've been trying to do Sashiko recently. My friend Lynne said it was very like Kantha embroidery from East India.

Audrey also worked in colour:

Love this!

And this:

She was a real surprise and an inspiration to boot. I really must crack on with my feeble attempts!

As previously mentioned, the Croppers were soooooo generous but I must mention Debbie Rock in particular who, though she couldn't make it to Llandudno, sent me a huge amount of art and cards to help raise money for the RNLI (£120 so far and counting). I loved one of her pictures so much, I had to buy it!

Now in pride of place on my kitchen wall!! Thanks Debbie, your wonderful craftwork will help raise lots more lovely cash for a brilliant cause xx

Have a great week - I hope that I'll have a bit more to show you next time!


(Except it's Autumn, but you get the idea!)

Well, the Crop was another huge success - thank you first and foremost to Margaret, who did her usual masterly organisation to make the day run so smoothly. For a full photo post see here. Then it was thanks to the folks who came to LA for the day as it wouldn't work without you. It was so lovely to see some familiar faces and wonderful to welcome some newbies - Twiglet, Heather and the special guest Shaz from Oz. Wow, it was so good to meet these lovely folk. Shaz seemed to beam all day!!
The generosity was also so wonderful, items brought for the take-it table, contributions to the raffle - we made £170 profit, split between the RNLI and Margaret's Ugandan schools charity. Special mention must go to Debbie Rock too as she made some beautiful things.

The Family Appleton are here for a week in a cottage...well, I say 'cottage', in reality it's the wing of a 16th century manor house!!
Tucked into folds of the Clwydian hills, it's easy to bypass it in the rush to visit Snowdonia, so we picked this specifically to explore a new (to us) area.  We've enjoyed it so much, I'm going to do a fuller post when we get back home.

So my JanCave Mk 3 has been this beautiful room:

I bet coming here for Christmas would be magical!  Ancient oak panelling plus huge slate flagstone floors...it's idiosyncratic for sure but amazing.

I did a teensy bit of Sashiko at the Crop and have continued with a few more lines.

But mostly I've been sitting in the kitchen gazing out at this view...

I came back from the Crop LADEN with spare stash, donations, what seemed like the entire contents of Shaz Silverwolf's folder...I sorted it out in order that we could fit it in the car for the journey home, lol!  Debbie's beautiful artworks are front of shot....

We've done some great sightseeing since but I shall leave you with just one taken from our visit to Chester zoo:

D'awwwww! I adore orang utans and have actually seen them in the wild in Sumatra. The team at Chester are doing a fantastic job with conservation - this species needs all the help it can get - but in the meantime, they are looked after incredibly well. 

Have a good week y'all :-D



Well, after all the waiting and preparation and secret guesting, the day arrived!  To be honest, the day was pretty much like any other Crop except that Julia wasn't there. We did miss you lovely gal but chatting and cake eating still seemed to dominate the day, lol!

We met again in the hall in Llandudno, it didn't take long for folk to get sat down and the chatting to commence - amazingly there seems to be a bit of crafting too, well done Shaz!

 Margaret played a blinder again this year with the catering and organisation being superb. Thanks lovely gal, you are amazing!

Shaz was doing some serious colouring - look at those glorious pencils....

A wonderful friend, it was sooo good to catch up again.

Doug Silverwolf and PJ (Mr Bishopsmate)  were enjoying the day too - PJ was making a wooden train, he did the most crafting of anybody on the day!

Christine (Bishopsmate) and Sarah were soon hard at work too...

Christine was printing fabric to make lavender bags...

And Sarah was colouring some beautiful stamped images...clever lady!

Two great friends, reunited for the day - Annie (Wipso) and Elizabeth (Silver Scrapper)...did they co-ordinate their outfits for the day? Lol

So lovely to see Chris (Mrs D) again, it was good to hear all about her big move recently...

...and here are two folk who had never attended a Crop before! Jo (Twiglet) was showing our very Special Guest how to Dumf.  I was so pleased to meet Jo after a gap again of three years.
But the prize for furthest travelled guest goes to....

Shaz in Oz!! Woohoo - how fantastic it was to meet this lovely lady after knowing her online for such a long time. Everyone was thrilled to meet her in person - I hope you have a wonderful time visiting in the UK Shaz!

And her dumfing was pretty good too!

Jo was doing well threading the needle without her glasses, lol! Much better than I could have done....

And here was another first time Cropper...but can you guess who?

Heather, that's who! I really enjoyed meeting you, lovely gal, and get to know a bit more about you. We're so pleased you came today :-D

It was so good to see Neet again too - she's still a funky babe!

And so wonderful to catch up with Chris (Pearshaped Chris) again!

Chris was quickly catching up with her ATCs to swap with everyone....

I LOVE this pic!! A Silverwolf and an Aussie :-D

Margaret was so busy behind the scenes - we couldn't thank her enough. Jo was such a help too, thank you mate.

I love these gals....

Look Julia - I actually did a tiny bit of crafting! Some Sashiko stitching - I didn't get very far though, lol!

This pic makes me smile - Jo and Elizabeth look very mischievous...

...but not half as mischievous as these two!!!

The usual swaps table was there filled with stash kindly donated....

And we had a sort-of raffle too....

But of course, these amazing women are the main reason for the day - I'm privileged to call them friends. They're so generous too - we made just shy of £170 for charity, which Margaret and I decided to split between two, the RNLI and the Ugandan charity supported so wonderfully by Margaret's church. Thank you so much everyone and how can we forget these fine folk?

Awesome, each and every one, who join in with the chat, crafting, cake eating but also clearing up and generally helping. Thanks gents!

It's been a very long day and I'm looking forward to snoozing but thought I'd get these pics up first. Hope you got a flavour of what the day was like - roll on the next one!!


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