For Fun and Friendship

For Fun and Friendship

Wednesday, 21 September 2016



There's been many strange things on my workdesk recently, but this must be one of the weirdest.....
That's right, two heavy floor tiles that we found in the garage of our rental place.

Here you are - a bit of a hint!

I tried to fix my cutting mat, which was warped into a banana shape by the heat in the conservatory! I consulted the Interwebs on how to rectify the situation and so put a sopping wet towel over the mat, then steam ironed it for ten minutes until it was floppy and then put heavy weights on it overnight. It's not perfect but it's a lot better than it was and will do ok for my needs!

I was in a fabric shop and bought a few 25cms worth of cotton to make some Christmas bunting for a charity thing.

The conservatory has cooled down a lot now the temps have decreased so I spent a happy couple of hours cutting out flags while the rain poured down outside. I shall do a grey/red selection of the five in the front and a jolly snowman one with the green fabric. That should keep me quiet for a while!!

I've been busy playing with my band too (those lights from last week have already earned their keep!)  and was in Pewsey on Sunday eve for the close of carnival service. The river Avon had been taken over by these characters:
Someone had done a lot of hard work there!  Apparently it was a Pokestop too. For a small village they do really well in Carnival fortnight - it was good to be a part of it :-D

Have a great crafty week! xxxx

Wednesday, 14 September 2016


                                  SHINE A LIGHT ON EVERY CORNER OF THE WORLD...

Thanks for all the well wishes last week! We still feel as if we are in a permanent holiday home at the moment - having decided to unpack as little as possible, it is amazing how few items you actually need for daily living. Hmmmm, when we eventually buy a house, I think I'm going to have a major prune of our stuff. 

I played in a church service last week (this IS craft related, fear not!) and as usual was at the back in the dim light. Well, even with reading glasses. I couldn't see the tiny notes in the hymn book. Look.....
See how tiny they are compared to the other piece and the cream paper doesn't help either. A quick search of a well known interwebs site revealed the Mighty Bright Music stand light.

As demonstrated here on my stand - it looks like some mutant alien insect doesn't it??! If you're wondering what those small things that look like chess pieces are, they are very powerful little magnets that hold your music onto the stand - the merest breeze can whip your music away faster than you can say Accelerando. 

My music case has loads of stuff in, the stand, music folder, small towel (for catching drips!), bass stand, mouthpiece, valve oil, vaseline (for the slides). It weighs a blooming ton and that's before you consider the 2 stone weight of the instrument itself - anyhow I digress. I wanted a case to carry and protect the lights in (plus some spare batteries too) and so I made this:

Not the best bit of sewing I've ever done, but it was quick, easy and made from scraps, the little pocket on the front will hold three triple A batteries.  See, there was some crafting to show (eventually!!)

And they are in action at the outdoors church service I played in as part of the Pewsey Carnival fortnight:
This was before we started - they really helped when the sun set later. Yay - no more blind-as-a-bat peering at the music for me. Woohoo.

There you are, you got to the end, hopefully unscathed. I will try to show a bit more actual craft next week, but that may well be a rash promise :-D

Wednesday, 7 September 2016



Helloooooooo *waves madly*....I'm back. The magic of Interwebs means I can once more join in the weekly mayhem that is WOYWW!

It's been a frenetic fortnight but thanks to sterling efforts by family, friends and some very nice removal men, we are now ensconced in our temporary home. It's a comfy place, very close to Julia and we are extremely happy here - it's like being in a permanent holiday home. Most of our boxes remain unpacked and stored but I did keep some of my crafting kit out (otherwise I'd be showing a blank desk for the next six months and I think my numbers would tail off a bit....)

Anyway, the Jan Cave has relocated here:
I am going to have to move this stuff, it's way too hot in the conservatory - my cutting mat has warped in the heat.

I've made a start - this is the dining/craft room! It's a bit cooler here :-D

Some new stash bought with a birthday voucher - it's going to be another blanket as I'm quite enjoying the mindlessness of zipping along the rows.

And I've enjoyed using my gorgeous pencils too, they make shading so easy. Gordon has made me a playlist on the iPod and I was enjoying listening to it on random selection. Some real golden oldies appeared! I shall take my time with this colouring and really explore the tones...

If you are kind enough to comment, I may be late in replying as today is a busy one. But I will get back to you!!

Have a great crafty week - it's good to be back :-)

Wednesday, 24 August 2016



Well, this is the last post I'm writing from my lovely house - everything happened rather quickly and La Famille Appleton are moving lock, stock and barrel to a rental property just around the corner from Julia! I shall be Interweb-less for a while so no blogs from me..maybe I can post vicariously through Julia :-D I don't know if I'll be able to return many comments either, sorry!

This was the last shot of my desk a couple of days ago, piled up with the stuff that I'm sending to Misteejay.

It was a useful exercise in stash busting!

And that's what the Jan-cave looks like now - I wasn't in there very long but did enjoy the space and luxury of leaving half finished work out on the desk.

And here's the stash all ready to go. 4 plastic boxes, two cardboard boxes and a bag of yarn. See, I really don't have that much! And someone else can corroborate that fact.....

Lisa (of Lisa's Craft Garden fame) and her lovely family dropped in en route from t'North to Cornwall. It was so lovely to meet someone who I've got to know rather well over the last five years. It was just fab to meet you, Lisa, I think that neither of us drew breath the whole time you were here. Thanks to your family for putting up with us too, LOL!! Hope you're having a great holiday :-)

And we're not the only ones who are packing up and moving on:
We found this absolutely gorgeous little nest constructed in our wood store. it's perfectly circular, made out of smooth mud with dried grass and a couple of plant labels too!! No sign of eggs anymore so hopefully the little family enjoyed their time there and found it was time to move on. A bit like us really, except our time here lasted 19 wonderful years.

Goodness I shall miss it.....but a new adventure awaits. It's all rather exciting.

See you all in a few weeks xxxx

Wednesday, 17 August 2016



Another fun filled week has whizzed by here at LLJ Towers! Some packing has been done but actually it's been all about having fun and appreciating friends and family. This is going to be a longish post, there's lots to pack in!
Some crafting has been done though! I've been making stuff to send to MissTeeJay, she's fund raising for the RNLI, a charity dear to my heart.  The bag that's on the machine is my version of a Bag for Life.
...and after! (or vice versa!)  I had fun making this, something a little bit different!
And these were the makings of a large tote bag. I like the pink/grey combo very much.

Right, bale out now if you want as desk time is done and shots of the weekend approach!
This lovely pile of stash was given to me by Shaz Silverwolf, who came to stay for the weekend with hubby Doug.  I'm sure I can find a use for that lot Shaz, thank you!
But not only was she generous with this...
...she sat and sorted out my ribbon box for me! Now that's a friend worth more than rubies :-)
And that's what it looks like now, a thing of beauty I hope you agree! I sorted out my scraps box while we were chatting.
 We went to Devizes for a mooch and had a lovely time window shopping and drinking coffee!
I'd found this half life size patchwork giraffe in the kitchen shop...random, but impressive!! And no, that's not going to be my next project..... :-D

Goodness, we did have a lovely time, I don't think we stopped chatting all weekend. I'm just so grateful that we got to meet the Silverwolfs through WOYWW, they have become really good mates over the past couple of years. In fact, so many wonderful people have crossed my path, my life has been truly enriched. And one of those was Janet Fairythoughts, who passed away one year ago exactly. Her friends and daughter finally did their skydive this week, raising funds for the lovely hospice who cared for Janet in her final weeks....
This is Anne having just jumped. She sent me an email saying she literally was on cloud 9 when she 'stood on a cloud'. She thought of Janet all the way down, thinking how beautiful this world is and how wonderful Janet was. They have raised well in excess of £2000, with more coming in. She wanted me to thank all those deskers who sponsored the jump - doesn't it just go to show how this Interweb malarkey can change lives for the better?

I'd like to say a huge thank you too, to everyone who reads this funny old blog and makes my world a happier place xxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 10 August 2016



EDIT: Lea H, if you're reading this, I've tried to comment on your blog a couple of times but it keeps getting returned to me as a 'could not deliver' email. Please could you email me your email addy, so I can at least reply to you because I really like the stuff you do!! Thanks

I am spending more time packing boxes than crafting but a little bit has been done...

 I knocked together some personalised bunting for the new nephew of a friend of mine. The ribbon box needs sorting - guess what? It ain't gonna happen :-D

....and this is why:

Boxes everywhere! You can just see a framed cross stitch, in the days when I had the patience to do them :-D  It's a Noah's Ark sampler I made for Rhys 19 years ago!  We've kept the boxes relatively neat as this is the bedroom in which Shaz and Doug Silverwolf will be using when they stay with us this weekend!!

I turned 55 last week (Gawd Blimey) and one of my presents was wrapped up with this:
Yup, I'm going to age disgracefully! Anyone care to join me??

Have a great week xxxx

Wednesday, 3 August 2016



Another crazy week has just whizzed by. Back to Wales to scatter my Dad's ashes on our special beach, playing with band, my birthday and a visit from a very special lady on Sunday! 
Diana (VelvetMothStudio) came up to LLJ Towers for a couple of hours, for a little light crafting, chatting and a spot of lunch. Goodness it's amazing how the time whizzed by - Julia popped up for a coffee too which was lovely. The weather was kind and we managed to sit outside.

We didn't actually get to spend that much time crafting, we'd talked rather a lot you see, but when I showed Diana the Jan-Cave, this is what my desk looked like for a while!
Diana was doing some of her beautiful and intricate embroidery and I was sewing the border onto the little charm pack quilt. I enjoyed doing the patchwork but the quilting/backing/bordering has been like pulling teeth. Quite frankly I'm glad to see the back of the blooming thing!

A close up of Diana's work - just cos I love it so much :-D

I was wondering what to do with this little lot....
...when my friend from Wales asked if I had any items going spare for the craft stall at the RNLI Open Day in my old home town. Just a few, I said! So these will be winging their way to hopefully raise some money for an amazing cause. (for non-UK readers, the RNLI is a lifeboat/lifesaving charity that is run by volunteers and charitable donations. My friend's husband was a volunteer boatman who went out to rescue people in trouble)

And finally, another dear friend of mine shares a love of fabric (maybe an obsession?!) and she sent me this fabric as a birthday prezzy...
Hokusai in embroidery. It's so beautiful - I may just have to stare at it for a long while before using it. The photo doesn't do it justice. Thank you Lynne!

Hope you're all well and happy - have a great crafting week everyone :-D xxxx