Crafting, fun and friendship

Crafting, fun and friendship

Wednesday, 13 December 2017



Thanks for all the great comments last week - I'd like to welcome Laurie and Pam as two new followers. Thanks ladies. hope you enjoy the nonsense that is my blog!

I've given up making excuses for my lack of anything remotely resembling sewing! But there has been some action in the JanCave this week - woohoo! My son and future DiL are staying for a few days and some holey coat pockets needed mending:

It's hard to tell what I've been doing really, which is probably a good thing as the mend wasn't terribly pretty! However, it means that a perfectly good old winter coat now has functional pockets again, which can only be a good thing and took all of five minutes to do.

There's something else on the desk though:
Some purchases from The Flying Goose quilt shop in Llandeilo! The fabric is for a table runner which I'm determined to get done in the next couple of days - the interfacing and Bondaweb are for an applique project to be done in the new year. I'm on the Banner team in the Womens' Institute - a new one has to be made and I got 'volunteered' to help. Story of my life :-D  More on that in a few weeks' time.

I've been knitting for some little ones in our family - I have loved using this Cherish yarn, it's so lovely to knit with and the resulting pattern is like Fairisle without the grief of intarsia! Twiglet gave me that top-down cardi pattern ages ago, it's brilliant because it's knitted all in one and therefore requires no sewing up at all!! My sort of pattern :-D The piece on the left is the back of a jumper (the sides have curled in which makes it look a bit weird!)
I made that table runner a couple of years ago - in fact, I bought the fabric from Janet Fairythoughts in C&H Fabrics, so I think of her so much when I bring it out of the Christmas box each year.

It's been fun deciding where our old favourite decorations are going to go for the first Christmas in our new house - I may have bought a couple more to fill up the space (so much for downsizing....)

I love the trees - they brighten up our hall very nicely indeed!

But some family traditions remain the same no matter where we happen to be living and this is one - the Christmas Jigsaw!

Here's Lexy, my DiL-to be, doing a grand job of sorting through the pieces. It's a snowy street scene, of which there have been many this past week, but fortunately not here in Wales. As much as I love snow, it would have severely hampered the band's carolling. I can't leave a jigsaw alone once it's out however, so I foresee a few burnt dinners over the next few days!!

Have a great week xxxx

Wednesday, 6 December 2017



Well, dear WOYWWers, there's been no desk action again this week but there is something new in the craft room!

Aha, yes it is she who must be obeyed! Julia's been staying for a couple of days, needless to say, there hasn't been many awkward silences, we're making up for lost time :-D

A recently picked up flyer had mentioned Art in the Hall, which was in a very small village not far from Llandeilo. We didn't know what to expect really, would it be the sort of crochet toilet roll cover sort of fair? Oh no, it was really high end and in the most magnificent building. The Aberglasney Estate is nearby, where there have been recently restored gardens, so I guess it was all part of it. There were lots of beautiful crafts to admire:

I loved that chunk of elm which had been coloured - it wasn't lacquered as such but glowed in the sunshine.

There was any amount of glorious ceramics....

And a few hares never go amiss :-D  There was gorgeous (and expensive) furniture and textiles. What an unexpected pleasure and it had all been started off by two friends, one of whom attended the same grammar school as me, so there was quite a bit of reminiscing!

And then we carried on to Llandeilo. Gin tasting had to be done.

Mine (on the right) was rhubarb gin and Julia's was an Eccentric - I rest my case, M'Lud.


We had a seat at a bench overlooking the open kitchen and learned a lot from the very calm lady chef. I don't think she got fed up with our questions :-)

Then we went to Deb's Wool Shop and I remembered to take a pic of all of us this time! There had been a party held by the Knit and Natter Group who were still there, chatting away. Any shop that has crisps and chocolate cake on the counter has to be good right?! Deb and Chrissie are lovely people and so helpful too. I strongly recommend you visit this amazing shop - I know a good B&B in Burry Port!!

And finally, I forgot to put this pic up last week - Erna, the Dutch friend who cleaned my Janome, is a quilter par excellence. This is the last quilt she made. I am in awe......

It is gobsmacking! I wouldn't even know where to begin - or even have the patience to complete such a project. Absolutely wonderful!!

The Carolling has started big time with band, so the only crafting I'll be doing is yarn related. Hope you're having more success than me, lol!

Have a great week xxxxxxx

Wednesday, 29 November 2017



Hello, lovely WOYWWers, hope you're all well! Life just overtook me last week, hence the lack of a post. I won't even begin to list what my life involved but suffice to say, it included paint, music, a surprise visit from Australians and band recordings. You can't say that my life isn't varied!!

BUT...the biggest thing I did was get the JanCave back together, hooray!
I realise it doesn't look much different but when I tell you that rough walls have been plastered and navy and black paint has been covered up, then you can see that quite a lot has been done. Do you like my funky new curtains? They were cheap as chips from Dunelm and I love them. I took the opportunity of moving back in to sort out all my baskets of bits and pieces on the shelves, so they're all lovely and tidy (for the moment, lol!)

And my stash of fabric and yarn has been considerably slimmed down. My crafting of choice is still knitting at the moment - the pile of beanies is growing ever higher :-D

We haven't seen our Aussie friends for quite some time and it was brilliant to catch up - it's one of those friendships where the conversation just starts again. Erna is an amazing quilt maker and very knowledgeable about machines - we were having a discussion about suitable stitches for applique and before I could change thread, she asked if I clean my machine regularly. *embarrassed cough* Well that'll be a big fat NO then. She set to like a woman possessed, ferreting out a disgusting amount of fluff!
This in depth archaeological investigation involved paint brushes, tweezers and quite a lot of tools that came with the machine that I'd never used. I will from now on, honest!

And she used screwdrivers too - impressive stuff! Seriously, she is right, doing this more often will help extend the life of my Janome. I'm too embarrassed to show you the amount of stuff that was extracted though!

I took them to Llandeilo (and yes, we did visit the Ginhaus!) - this is the little street where a lot of lovely little shops and galleries (and Ginhaus) are located.
It's like Diagon Alley! 

Do you remember the yarn shop I showed you last time? Well, the lovely owner Deb commented on how thrilled she was to get such wonderful remarks. We've struck up an email friendship and she was in the shop when I took Erna in. What with us hugging and the mad Australians enjoying themselves, there was a real party atmosphere in there. Stupidly, I didn't get a photo of us together but I did take these shots of the windows:
There are the fluffy Christmas trees/Cousin It as part of the display!

There are some very neat knitters and crocheters in this part of Wales!!

Hope you all have a wonderful week - I may try and make something with my Christmas fabric, if there's time :-D


Wednesday, 15 November 2017



Well, the black sheep might not have much but there's lots of yarn on my blog this week! But first, the Jan Cave progress.....

It's still all piled up as we've been doing the gloss painting of the doors and skirting boards. But it's all finished now and we'll be putting everything back together this week - woohoo!! *Happy Dance*  I shall take this opportunity to have a bit of a sort out too, I'm sure the stash can be rationalised somehow!

So the only crafting I've done this week has been knitting:
I'm using up my chunky yarns matching the plain colours (in the bag) to the coloured yarns in the box - nothing special, just beanie hats for a charity thing.

I have bought some more bits and pieces:
Three more balls of chunky for hats or something and some buttons - well, you can never have too many huh?!

I went with my mate Helen to Llandeilo on Monday, primarily to have lunch at the Gin Haus, where I'm getting to be a bit of a regular!  But we found another wool shop in another part of the town:

Oooh, so much choice and so many colours....I didn't know where to start.

I was a happy bunny!

I loved the way the displays were laid out...

I may have bought some of these..... :-D

Helen succumbed too - well, it would have been rude not to! The place is called Deb's Wool Shop - I don't think they do online sales but if ever you come to stay with me, I'll take you there (and the GIn Haus...*grin*)

All the shops in Llandeilo were getting ready for a festival this weekend and the girls in the wool shop had been making Christmas trees out of tinsel yarn:
There are patterns for these but they'd all sold. They remind me of Cousin It from The Addams Family :-D

Finally, this is the view from the front of my house - it's been weird weather recently and we saw a cracking rainbow. 
Do you think the owners of that white house would mind if we dug up their garden looking for the pot of gold?? Maybe not, lol!!

Have a cracking week xxx

Wednesday, 8 November 2017



Well, dear friends, there's very little to show you this week - life and decorating have simply got in the way of crafting....

But the JanCave has had two coats of Jasmine White, rollered on by yours truly:

...and it's looking a lot fresher. The newly plastered walls were worth every penny! Ron doesn't look that impressed however :-D

So this has been the downstairs crafting - but as usual, I never seem to have one project on the go!  The navy knitting at the back is going to be a snood for me to pull on when my cold ears need some TLC - no pattern, I just guessed! The Caron yarn is for a blanket, I've just started the foundation chain. I'm not that keen on the yarn, to be honest, but as I have quite a lot of it, it WILL be used up. The navy yarn is Debbie Bliss Merino, bought for me by our New York visitors and boy, that is gorgeous to work with - so soft. There might be enough left to make some wrist warmers for when I'm playing carols very soon. And the red is for a poppy I knitted for a band friend.

Talking of band, it's been all go - we're rehearsing hard for a contest:

We did a recording in Cardiff on Sunday as part of a televised competition. We're on the long list and have to wait and see if our performance is good enough to be included in the shortlist for the telly appearance next Spring.

And five of us did a community event, where a local Victorian arcade is slowly being done up. Three new shops were opened by the MP and Mayor and we were asked to play some tunes.
We were up on the balcony, hidden from view but the acoustics were stunning, we sounded really good!! 

I really hope the shops make a go of it, it's too lovely an arcade to lose. 

Now do you see why I've hardly crafted - it's all go!


Tuesday, 31 October 2017



I honestly cannot believe it's Wednesday again - I was convinced it was Monday yesterday and it's thrown me out completely!  The Jan Cave has had its two manky walls plastered and they're as smooth as a baby's peachy derriere. Such skill to do that, it's perfect- look:

Now comes the painting - next week though, after everything has dried out properly.

So I've still been working downstairs...
My dining table is covered with stuff, which doesn't matter as the room is full of the study contents, as that room was plastered too. Detritus on the left, finished articles on the right!

I'm going to give these to the Knit Stitch and B*tch group on Thursday - I've made quite a few now, this is the second batch and I fancy doing something else!!

Some new purchases - half a metre of that Land Rover fabric to make a boy's PE kit bag and I'd used up all my bows on the Christmas penguins so had to buy some more. 

What else have we been doing - you wouldn't believe the half of it so I'll leave you with some images of the harbour area in my town where we had a picnic lunch last Friday to escape the madness for a moment:
The egret was busy hunting for his lunch too!

But these were way too big for him - they're about 20 inches long!

We watched a boat go flying in the air :-D Off to have its bottom scraped or something!

But mostly, we just sat and enjoyed the view:

Absolute heaven.....

I doubt if the JanCave will be finished by next Wednesday so goodness knows what I'll have to share!  Hope you have a more productive week than me :-D

Wednesday, 25 October 2017



This is what the JanCave looks like at the moment:

Bit sad, huh?! I've had to clear my stuff out as Romeo is coming to plaster my walls :-D  Yep. not kidding, he really is called Romeo and is hopefully going to make everything all smooth again so I can slap some paint up - this is all to make good the mess that was left after we took the wallpaper off!

So my desk has moved downstairs...

More cutting out for Christmassy stuff, the sewing machine is on the floor but will be called into action in a minute. See that orange stencil? I bought it whilst away at the weekend from a proper old fashioned stationery shop (you'd have loved it Julia!) 

I mean, how many circles does a girl need??! But I've got one for every occasion from now on. A bargain at £2.95!

The Use-it-up blanket is coming on well and I'm getting through some stash yarn. Woohoo!

Last week, I heard that a dear old friend had become a Grandma for the first time - it makes you feel old when you remember the new mum as a young girl! Anyway, they chose a fab name:

They're bright and breezy folk so I had a lovely play with colourful stash - hope they like it!

G and I were attending our third wedding in 9 weeks last Saturday! An old friend from our Wiltshire village was getting married after a tough couple of years. She and her hubby had specified definitely no presents on the invitations but I wanted to give her something so spent a happy hour making a charm for her:

I tried to channel some of Judy McCarthy's talent as she does some beautiful vintage work...I really enjoyed myself making this. It's good to try something different occasionally eh?!

Have a great week xxxxxxxxxxxx