Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Mr Blue Sky......

Yes, you did read that correctly....BLUE SKY!

The odd little fluffy white cloud, but on the whole, Beautiful Blue-ness....

...and sunshine!  Wonderful!  I can smell Spring just around the corner......*sigh*.  Bliss and smiles here in West Sussex.
I have nothing else to share just now as it has been a bit mad here....MIL down for a fortnight (delayed by the snow) but but wonderful coincidence means she is here whilst The Hubs is away on business...hate not having him around.  Not been feeling great, nor have the girls, nor has MIL!  Been sewing and will share the whys and whatnots of that soon.
In the meantime enjoy the sun if you have it xxxx

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Handmade Giving

I have found there are mainly 2 schools of thought when it comes to those receiving handmade.

The first is the recipient that values the amount of work that has gone into the piece, and the love, care and attention given to their unique and original gift, let alone the cost of materials and time.

The second is the recipient that thinks handmade is 'naff' and a cheap way of getting out of buying a 'decent' gift with no concept of the care and hours given over to their unique gift.

In order to hedge my bets, I usually give a mix of things.

I love making things for people, but do they appreciate receiving them?

This Christmas, I decided (again) that there would be a good mix of bought things (but mostly garden, cinema and caravanning vouchers for those with those interests and who have a project, time free or holiday to appreciate them) with a spattering of handmade.

We did make the gingerbreads again this year for Tiddly Toes teachers, this year she choose a snowflake shape............

It's a great recipe, as so easy to substitute Doves Gluten Free Self Raising flour if need be. (Sorry no pics as they were gifted and scoffed VERY quickly!)

Along the lines of the crayon rolls I told you about here, I made some knitting needle rolls for  my Mum.............

...Mam (mother-in-Law).................  
and Auntie...................

Then there was a cute make, Tiny Angel Mummy requested ornaments for their tree.  Unfortunately, I could find quite the right colours, so I hoped they wouldn't mind the colours I chose.  Although there is only Tiny Angel and her Mummy and Daddy, she does have a wonderful Nanny, so I couldn't make a family of these........
...without making No.4 for Nanny.
For friends that we don't see as often as we'd like we bought bottles of wine, wrote out a little poem inviting them to dinner and attached it to the button on a wine scarf like this.........
I knitted or crocheted the scarves with some free yarn that came with a magazine, I added little star shaped buttons.  Some scarves had stripes, some fringes.  One is now proudly round the neck of a much loved doll (and the poor thing will need it this weekend if she's venturing out into the snow!).
Tiddly Toes has a little boyfriend at ballet, he also goes to her pre-school where I made Gingerbread Playdough for the children in December.  We thought that the dry ingredients in a jar with instructions how to make it up seemed to fit the bill rather nicely,....
 ....we teamed it with a set of Nativity shaped cutters from The Works.

I made Dad (Father-in-Law) an armchair tidy, but stupidly didn't take any photos, so that's on my to do list when I next visit them!  It hangs over the arm of his chair and hols his quiz book, pen, specs, remotes (for the many gadgets.....boys never grow up!), and a sling part to pop his newspapers in....leaving the coffee table free for the all important cuppa.....or glass of wine!

Finally, there was a very special make for my Across the Pond Friend, we met through The FlyLady, we've never met in person, bt we have a certain special connection.  We made each other gifts last year, so this year what could we do....but make each other gifts....not that we actually knew that as we don't discuss it!  But I received a beautiful cross-stitched treasure and AtP Friend got a Chris Made This inspired Lavender Bag, but made by Nora!.......

Well, I think that's all of them, if you want to know how to make anything, leave me a comment and I'll post a tutorial (or point you to one if I used it myself).

I've got some on-going makes in the pipe-line to share with you shortly, but in the meantime I'll leave you with a most treasured and rare photo taken at my Aunties on Christmas Day of the 5 of our kids together..... all smiling, all facing the camera and......well, just wonderful (not that I'm a proud Mum or anything!)

(Alex, 21.....Dan, 16.....Charlie, 18
Belle, 13 & Ellie, 3)

See you soon,

P.S. Have now found the fab blog where the Owl Tutorial resides....flick on over to Becky at Hopscotch Lane here to take a look. xxxx

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bringing Spring in....

.... can't wait for it to that seemed the ONLY solution to the
un-Christmas-y-fied bare lounge.

Whilst I was out and about in town I treated myself to a little bit of Spring.

They, yes, THEY were bought from a wonderful little market type stall that resides under the arches near a railway bridge...funny little place, but they sell great plants and flowers and eggs.

So here are my lovely Spring-y treats when I first bought them home.....

...a lovely bunch of daffodils and........

a pot of hyacinths.  So chuffed!
After I housework-ed the other day, I decided a sit down was in order and as I walked towards the sofa realised I had flowers either side and behind it...what a delight!


.... my poinsettia from my birthday (I haven't killed it yet!)
a lovely vase of those mini carnation things (sorry no idea what they are that's my best description!), and......
(not sure how the date and time appeared on these photos as
it's never done it before!  Little fiddling fingers methinks!)
...a smashing bunch of daffs...oh! and my super teapot for one with bucket sized cup of Earl Grey....................mmmmmmmmmmmm!
Sip and relax!
Unfortunately Spring-mania was short lived as yesterday this........
arrived...yes, snow!  And tomorrow there's supposed to be another 4 inches more (at least).  So expect some snow-y snaps in the next week or so.
A little craft update...I have finally decided on the fabrics for the Melman Quilt.  I have also run up a table den for the kids at our Out of School Club, so I'll show you that soon as well...PLUS!...I had a bit of a moment and decided to crochet a cupcake hat!  It went quite well and I'm happy, but I have discovered a few things along the way so I am now running up another for Tiddly Toes with a few modifications!
So, there we are.  If you're having a dose of the White Stuff, stay warm and eat your cupboards bare!  If not, the enjoy whatever you've got, craft on (and let me know what you're creating...PLEASE!) and keep well, until the next time,

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Daffodil tips!

Yes, there they are.......

Just peeking through the soil....... the tub that Tiddly Toes and I planted up last year......
...isn't it exciting!
The first little nod to Spring!
Many thanks to Jille at Love to Craft who led me to be able to post this using the HTML and Compose buttons xxxx  (bit fiddly Jille but it works!)
I am now back in the Land of Blog!
Bringing some gifts soon!

Shhh! yes, it's MORE stash!

I couldn't help it!

Well, OK, maybe I could have said no!

Could you say no to gorgeous fabric or beautiful yarn or pretty paper..... or whatever is your addiction?

It does actually have a purpose (she says cheekily with her tongue in cheek)  it is for Tiddly Toes quilt.  The one about 'Melman' (that's giraffes to those of you who are not familiar with the Madagascar films!)

Not that I was going to start on it just yet, but then.....I couldn't....I didn't have the right mix of fabric!  (teehee!)

So without further ado, here are the additional stunning fabrics......

(misty photos still!)
I love the Minky...little lady chose the's from The Eternal Maker.  I've heard horror stories about working with this, so maybe not the wisest choice for a novice!  I'm looking out for a good tutorial or maybe some tips if you have any for working with this stuff!
I shall be posting up my (slow) progress as I journey through this quilt, so please feel free to comment as you like!  I'd appreciate all feedback...I think chatting about things helps the creative process.
...and here is what they are going with (told you about these back here....naughty aren't I?), well at least some of them coz I think I've decided to ditch (from the right) the first, second, fourth and seventh fabrics, three have a creamy coloured background and don't quite look right. 

Tiddly Toes loves rainbows and has asked for a rainbow somewhere on it.  By wonderful design fluke, her name has seven letters!  You can see where I'm heading with this can't you?
The main part of the quilt I should like to be a trellis design, with the trellis in white to balance the riot of colour.....found a fab one the other day....can I find it again! Grrrrr!
Never mind....just means a bit more searching until I come across it again!
In the meantime, I'm hoping that this post won't disappear, that I can find time this weekend to solve the uploading photos problem that Blogger seems to have at the moment, and return to share the Christmas makes I had been beavering away at in December (hence not alot of blogging!)
Until then, Happy Making,

OK, I'm getting cross now!!

I managed to write a post and used photos that I had already uploaded....scheduled it for around 10ish Thursday evening....AND.....

it was deleted, lost....stolen!!  Who knows!!!  It has simply vanished (hey, maybe I'm a magician and didn't realise!!)

Blogger is seriously getting me down....need to find time this weekend to investigate further!

Thanks to everyone for solving suggestions!

I'll keep you posted on progress.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Slight technical problem.......

do not retune your set!

For some bizarre reason (which this technophobe is unable to fathom) I can't insert photos into my posts!!!!

Any one else got this problem on Blogger?

If you have any idea how to solve this.....PLEASE HELP!!!!

I have some love-li-ness to share.

Hope it gets sorted and we can catch up with a chat soon!


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Goodbye 2012

Well, didn't that go by quickly?

Can't quite believe that another year is upon us!

Towards the end it all got a bit frantic with family things, illness, work, pressie making and wrapping....need I say more?

But I felt I neglected you in the rush of other things, so I'm popping in today to give you a gift  update!

I do hope you won't mind if I share some of my wonderful gifts with you.....but I think you will enjoy them....and it might even inspire you to pop them on your Wishlist!

Shame this is such a photo-laden post, as my camera is's a bit misty...quite romantic sorry about the fuzzy-ness!

Going back a few weeks now, it was my birthday at the end of November and I was thrilled to receive a book that I had had my eye on for some time......

Can't wait to get started on this!  Poppy Treffry has a wonderful way of making this seem soooooooooooo easy!  We'll see if she's right when I actually let the first 30 pages sink in and pluck up the courage to get going!  If you think you might like this book, you can find it here along with some of her other titles, she also runs courses and can be found at or here for her catalogue if making becomes to much and you turn to buying instead!
I also received Jaffa Cakes and Garibaldi biscuits as I do like a nibble with a cuppa but have to be careful of the fat content.
I also got this very seasonal gift, which I still haven't given the kiss of death!  It's going strong in the kitchen...............
Yes, a Poinsettia!
I was also fortunate to receive some birthday money and used a little of it to buy myself these...............
A Lavender bag and an Owl Brooch made by a very talented lady called Chris from Chris Made This.
I am a bit of a teabag too.....

I love White tea and Jasmin Green Tea, my other fragrant favourite is Earl Grey which I got in a set with a tea bag tidy to save the numerous trips back and forth across the kitchen to the compost bin....I can now save them up and do them in one run and spend the time saved blogging and crafting doing housework!
My Tiny Angel gave me photo frames for both Birthday and Christmas, look.....
I also got a copy of Sewing World Magazine for my birthday........
I've had a lot of magazines over the years, more recently, Simply Homemade, Making, Let's Knit and Mollie Makes and unfortunately the more I've bought the more they get same-y...there's nothing in them that I couldn't work out for myself!  Then they bring out a bookazine with all of the best projects in anyway, and that's only twice the price of a monthly mag!  So guess what, I've cancelled the subscriptions, look at them in the newsagents (just to assure myself that I am missing nothing!) and when a decent Bookazine arrives I shall get that instead....if it's good enough!
HOWEVER......Sewing World has been great this year as it has published an article every month about different feet on the sewing machine and how to get best use....well!.....with a new sewing machine - that was invaluable!  So for Christmas I got a subscription to Sewing World!!!!  YAY!
My Teenage Daughter knows I have a Wishlist on Amazon, so she can point her Dad in the right direction when it comes to buying Mum a book!
I got this one for Christmas...Teenage Daughter will love it too...when she gets the chance to get her paws on it!!!!
It has already inspired me to crack on with Tiddly Toes 'Melman' (giraffe) quilt....there's a stash post coming soon!!!!
Then on New Years Eve we had Crafty Friend and husband and my Godfather and wife over for nibbles....Crafty Friend came up with this gem.......
She knows it is not a book I would but myself as the projects are too wide ranging for me, however, she understands the need sometimes to immerse yourself in the 'lifestyle' and feel good factor a book can bring without necessarily being useful.
Lastly some smell-y treats! The big box came from the family of 2 little boys we look after at the out of school club - what a treat!!!
We also have numerous tins of sweets and biscuits to work our way through AND quite a few bottles of wine!  Shame!
I must disappear now to cook Mac Cheese for dinner tonight.....mmm!
I'll see you soon with my Stash Confession and some makes, can't wait!
Until then, take care and........