Crafting, fun and friendship

Crafting, fun and friendship

Wednesday, 16 May 2018



Well, it's been another busy week with lots of different things happening. So I'm not going to apologise for the amount of pics, it's just how life is!


I'm making the most of the JanCave this week because next week sees the start of some work which involve turning the two small shabby en-suites into one big one for our master bedroom. So that door on the back is going to be closed off. This means that I'll have to pack everything up and move it into another room, but it'll be worth it. The green, white and purple fabric are all old sheets/stash which are being used to make some sashes and banners for our next WI meeting which is celebrating 100 years of Womens' Suffrage.

Just making it up as usual :-D


Les and Oscar are working miracles, it's still in the underpinnings stage at the moment but Les promised me that I can start planting this weekend - woohoo *happy dance*

The paths are laid out:

The paths are straight because I wanted a formal walled garden look. There's going to be rope edging holding the borders back, slate chippings on the path, that area in the middle will have the recycled gravel put back. We're not sure what to put in the middle yet, an acer in a big pot or a raised pond. But there will be dry loving plants put in the gravel to soften the look.

The area in the shade is going to be decking - I can't sit in the sun for long so that's going to be my spot! You can sit and look up at the mountain and trees.

Les is an amazing chap, we were chatting the other day and he told me that he made flowers and animals out of scrap metal and sells them in the Gower Gallery. He brought some to show me:

The red is Hammerite paint - he dips the rose into it and lets it drip upside down because he didn't want brush strokes to show. I'm very lucky because he gave me the one on the right which is now on my bedroom window sill :-)

FB friends have already seen these pics, but this was the state of me when G and I painted the fence on Sunday..there was more on me than the panels!

But the result is really fab:

I love how the slate grey really shows up the foliage and flowers - gorgeous!!


I came home from band practice last Tuesday and was settling down with a cuppa about 10pm when G announced that he wanted to go down the harbour to take night sky pics for a camera club competition. I didn't want him going on his own so we wrapped up and spent an hour down there, it was VERY dark!!! But he got some awesome pics:

This really shows the effect of light pollution, don't you think? Look how many more stars are visible in the dark area of the pic, whereas the lights from Llanelli don't help at all. This was taken as a 30 second exposure and you can see a shooting star trail on the right hand side. The lights on the other side of the estuary are the Gower Peninsula, for those of you who like to know these things!

The harbour looked very different at night - it wasn't as bright as it appears here, G's camera is superb in low light levels - ie pitch black where you can't see where the edge of the quay is!

And this was a final shot taken in our back garden - you may have to enlarge the pic to see the nebula that's in the sky, easily visible with the naked eye.

I really would like this week to be a bit quieter but don't think it's going to happen!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018



Well, the weather has really helped this week, don't you think? It's been so glorious, being in the sunshine just makes you feel better. Consequently, not much indoor crafting has taken place and what there was, I can't share with you yet as I completed all my ATCs for the Anniversary swap in a couple of weeks' time! Woohoo, go me getting my act together, THAT doesn't happen very often, I can tell you :-D

Most of the activity has been outdoors:

Our garden is in the process of being re-landscaped, the lovely Les and Oscar have dug out all the bamboo, which let me tell you, was no mean feat. They have levelled up the ground and have started to peg out the deck area, borders and paths. G and I have always done this ourselves in the past but this was a heavy job. I'll show you how it gets on in the next couple of weeks!

This was a semi-circle of rotting wooden decking, it's going to be my raised veg patch, keeping the overall shape - it's like my very own walled garden!

My Outdoors Desk aka the Black and Decker Workmate! Our wooden patio table and chairs were looking a bit sad so we decided to paint them - Dusky Gem is the colour, it's very lovely indeed!

Well, it's got to be tried for size and comfort! All that's missing is a G&T :-D

It was a high tide this time last week, a beautiful evening - since then the superstructure of the new RNLI boathouse has gone up (the other side, just to the right of the brick building) It's going to be an amazing asset for the area and both lifeboats will be housed there. Burry Port is the second busiest inshore station in Wales so it's sorely needed. I did my first stint as a volunteer in the shop on Sunday and learned that the most important thing is to get all the stuff for sale out of the way quickly if there's a shout!

And just for Julia and Helen:
Taken before Rhys went back to uni to sit his Finals, I can't believe that he's coming to the end of three years' study at Winchester...blimey, that's gone quickly.

Take care, sorry about the lack of desk this week but hopefully there may be something to share next time!

Wednesday, 2 May 2018



Last week was particularly bonkers, this week has been less frenetic but has still been filled with quite a bit going on. 

Let me explain.

After making a mess in the JanCave, I spent a happy hour tidying up and sorting out my stash. The fabrics are slowly diminishing but the wools seem to magically multiply and it's not even that I'm buying loads more, people keep giving it to me!

The shelves have been slightly rearranged so that I can fit in the box of cards that I take to WI to sell for fundraising - haven't done the box of ribbons yet, they're still a rats' nest :-D

Then Lynne asked if I could make a mini cushion for her to take on journeys - her cracked rib is still very sore:
I found some wadding and rolled it up then made an inner pillow case to keep it in the same shape. I used some of the grey FQs that Margaret Glitter and Glue sent recently.

Then I covered it in the same hare fabric that I used last time. As the fabric was out, I thought I'd make a little zippy purse to go with it. some grey spotty fabric was suitable for the lining.

Et voila!  Hope Lynne likes them :-D  I think I've got to replace this fabric - oh dear, another trip to the lovely quilting shop in Mumbles might be in order *grin*

And organised chaos reigns on the dining table, I was sorting out all the bits Elizabeth sent recently into Male/Teenager/Diva categories. Ready for another card making session!

Great fun was had on Saturday - my band entered a big contest in Cardiff and we came second, beating some arch rivals. Everyone was really thrilled and consequently we ended up in the local pub:

It was a fun few hours with folk who have become really good friends over the past year. There might have been quite a few whiskies involved....:-D

Have a great crafty week everyone!

Wednesday, 25 April 2018



Before I get going, can I wave to Eva from Austria and Catriona, who comment on my blog! As they're no-reply bloggers I can't email them but the fact that you read my nonsense is very pleasing and this is the only way I can say thank you :-D

You know when someone asks you how your week has gone and you can't remember a thing you've done? Thank goodness for taking photos for my blog, because they're a good aide memoire to remind me what I've forgotten!!

And there's a lot to share so apologies for the picture heavy post.....

My WI needed a collection basket - someone had a lovely wicker one but it needed a lining, so I measured it and made everything else up :-D Pattern? Moi?!

Threading through the cords...

Et Voila. Job done.

Then I was talking to my mate Lynne (Lynnecrafts on WOYWW) who has cracked a rib, poor gal and is in a lot of pain. She mentioned she needed another pillow to brace against when coughing or sneezing so.....

I bent a cushion pad in half and sewed it up then searched for a tough but soft cotton. That hare fabric I got recently fitted the bill just right:

The pattern really lent itself to the tall shape - hope it helps Lynne. x

It was the table top sale at my WI meeting and so I thought I'd use up some scraps to make some more sunglasses cases (hope you found the Pinterest pattern Eva!) and tissue holders - you know, stuff that takes no time to make and can be sold to raise some cash.

Tissue holder Jenga!!

Now this might look as if I've been chained to the sewing machine most of the week but other things have happened too:

I made these cakes for the funeral wake of the WI President Rita, who passed away a fortnight ago - I haven't done a run of cakes like this since I used to cater for Julia's cardmaking workshops (where I earned my Lunch Lady Jan nickname) There's coffee and walnut, sticky gingerbread, lemon sponge and maids of honour. The funeral went as well as these things can and loads of people came back to the hall for refreshments - no-one wields an oversized teapot as well as the WI !

You bored yet? Lol...there's been plenty of walking in the beautiful weather as well:

The sand martins have returned from their winter in Africa and were just starting to excavate their nests in the sand cliffs down on our beach. We watched them for ages, they were very busy with holes of various depths providing new homes for these tiniest of creatures,

It's hard to make out but there are two birds hurtling straight towards holes in this pic - we loved the way they folded up their wings just before they shot into the entrance!

Last pic! Phew, all my short blog Brownie points have well and truly been used up today :-D
Our son Rhys turned 22 this week and we went out for lunch and a mooch about and ended up at:
Cenarth Falls in Cardiganshire. The beautiful River Teifi is a home for salmon and sea trout and there's a museum all about the Coracle,a small single person boat that has been used since pre-Roman times. We had a grand day out.

And someone HAD asked me what I'd done last week, I'd have scratched my head and pondered for a bit and said 'Errrm, not much I don't think'   *grin*

Have a good crafty week everyone! xxxxxxx

Wednesday, 18 April 2018



It's been a lovely week, the weather has been much sunnier and warmer, friends came to see us and we've been outside an awful lot more - maybe Spring is finally turning up! 

I have been in a sewing mood however:

The tote bag is a present for my SiL in Wales who turned 60 last week. I love this faded rose fabric so much she almost didn't get it - there is just enough to make a smaller bag so I may see what I can do. The stripey fabric was the perfect lining but I don't have anymore of that left. There wasn't enough for a bag so I used it all up as linings for sunglasses cases to go on the WI Table top sale. 

I wanted to finish off that Scottie fabric too as there wasn't sufficient to make anything bigger, dunno about that elephant print though, it's too big for a small sunglasses case.

This photo is a bit fuzzy but I'm showing it because every time I used those Clover clips I think of Janet Fairythoughts, who 'persuaded' me to buy them in the shop she worked in!! They are really useful and much quicker than pinning everything, which many of you will know how much I detest doing that :-D  Good old Janet, she is much missed by everyone.

I've sold two already before they even made it to the sale, lol!! They're very quick to make and the secret is ironing everything as you go along, makes a much neater finish. That's the only time I'll ever enjoy ironing.......

Talking about wonderful desking friends, two more have made my day recently:

Julia passed on some stamps and ink pads for the making of some more cards for WI fundraising - thanks mate, they'll be very useful!

And a parcel arrived from Elizabeth Silverscrapper in Scotland which contained all these amazing toppers, papers and other bits and pieces. A complete surprise for which I'm very grateful - thank you so much Elizabeth, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity. How kind of you to think of me and the fundraising, it's a great selection with loads of stuff for sporty, vintage and male cards - absolutely brilliant xxxxx

Have a good week and lots of fun getting crafty :-D

Wednesday, 11 April 2018



I've been out dancing two Saturdays in a row!! This used to be the norm when I was younger but is a cause for celebration these days :-D Not so the aching ankles and knees the following day however, age is a-creeping up on me, lol!  When I think of dancing for hours in 4 inch heels...sigh.. don't think I could even walk in them these days :-D

I only tell you this because I've been out of the house more than in. Last Monday, we went to Winchester to up our lad from uni - we dropped in on Julia en route, hooray!! It was so fab to see her and we had a really good catch-up. Forgot to take any photos though...doh....

So here is a very short expose of what's been occurring craft-wise:

I've completed the crochet blanket and finished it off with a scalloped edge - it's a prezzy so has to be stored until needed. Julia had asked me to make a couple of little drawstring bags for her, so the fabric and cord is all to do with that. The boxes in the back contain card making stuff as I needed the dining room to be clear!

Blanket close up.......

Two fabrics for the Julia's bags - actually it was good using these as I bought them during a lunch stop when we were heading up for the Llandudno Crop last Sept!  I'd forgotten about them until I had a good rummage....

A tangle of cord - no matter how carefully I put this away, it always emerges looking like a rats' nest :-D

I'd also forgotten that I'd promised my SiL that I'd make her a fabric glasses case for her handbag. The spots attracted my attention and 15 mins later, there you are!. That's my own cardboard pattern behind - I have to label the front and back to make sure I get the right pieces facing the right way.....sad, I know but it works. Simple is so often the best :-D

Short and sweet today - things to do, places to go, meetings to attend. So apologies once again for late replies to comments. Hope you're all doing well.

Have a great week! xxxx

Wednesday, 4 April 2018



Goodness, it's been another busy seven days, two lengthy road trips, one for a funeral, the other for a party and lots of other goings-on too.

The desk:

I was in the mood to do some sewing so made another few bags for Margaret Glitter & Glue's charity. There's a pile of finished ones by the machine and some more fabric waiting to be cut out on the left.

The pale side is the 'right' side but I like the reverse of the fabric just as much, so these bags aren't going to be lined - the fabric is tough enough to make a bag on its own!

G and I went up to the Midlands to attend my brother and SiL's joint 125th birthday barn dance - we left the house early in order to meet up with some reprobates beforehand:

Shaz and Doug Silverwolf!! We haven't seen each other for ages so it was really lovely to just sit and have a catch up - I don't think we drew breath, lol!! Shaz was looking great after all her recent health upheaval and Doug never changes - we didn't have enough time though as G and I had to pick our son and fiancee up from the station. See you in Sept Shaz, if not before!!

The hotel that we stayed at was a converted convent and was quite idiosyncratic - but fun too. They were into calligraphy in a big way:

This made us smile!

And this looked like it was from some old poem - but G knew straight away it was the lyrics from Hotel California by the Eagles! Hence today's title :-D

There were lots of interesting nooks and crannies all over the hotel - even the stairs offered different viewpoints:
It's a bit like a picture by Escher! I have no idea which way is up......

The barn dance was awesome - the Willow was well and Truly stripped!  The band were fantastic with a really great caller, so after the first dance when everyone made fools of themselves, we soon got sorted and didn't do too badly for the rest of the night.  I took a photo of the band's name as it was appropriate:

I didn't see any wool or needles but they might have been stashed away!!

I am out today so if any of you are kind enough to comment, my replies are going to be very late in return.

Have a great week! xxxxxx