Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Whats in store for 2013 (hopefully)

Well, now that the 'big day' has come and gone (and before we head next door for a 2nd Xmas dinner with those who couldnt make it yesterday) my thoughts have been turning to 2013 and what I hope to acheive.
I gave up making New Years resolutions a while ago (I never kept them and felt like a bit of a failure when they fell by the wayside), so now I have a list of Ambitions and Aspirations instead. This way they are things to work towards at my own pace and I dont put myself under so much pressure.
Anyway here are a few things I am aiming for in 2013.

A new job.
Im aiming for a new job where I will be happy and be paid what I am worth. My job will pay enough for us to live off from day to day as well as have a wee bit left over at the end of each month. Ideally my new job will be close to home (within easy walking distance) and will be something which helps make a positive difference to other peoples lives. Im gonna love this new job and will be happy to go to work on a Monday morning, I will get on well with my colleagues and I will be able to do this job well, but wont be bored and will enjoy the challenges it brings.

Getting debts paid off.
We are heading in the right direction with this. We dont have many debts and hopefully the temporary employment blip wont impact too much on this. The aim is to get one of the cards paid off (we are nearly there) and then make some inroads into the next one.

Blanket Stitch and Buttonholes
There are two things that will help my crafting, so I am aiming to learn both to a level of competance in 2013.
As you may know I got a new sewing machine for my Birthday, so Im hoping I can get some neat things made and (hopefully) sold on Etsy - we are hoping to get the Esty shop(s) up and running (OH will be selling this Steampunk inventions, etc, and I will have some Steampunk costumery as well as other handcrated bits).

Clearing out the clutter (btw this isnt a pic of our house)
 I am trying to reduce, reuse, recycle more. Im also trying to live by the rule 'If its not functional or beautiful get rid of it', tho this isnt easy as OH likes to 'aquire' stuff. So Im trying to clear out as much as I can and reoganise the rest. Im trying to buy less and use what I already have, taking inspiration from some lovely people out there in the internetland namely Jen (as seen here on her blog my make do and mend year

Trying to tread more lightly on the earth.
This is a big part of the Pagan ethos that I believe in. My approach to this takes lots of different forms and Id like to include them more deeply in our day to day living in 2013.
Reducing waste - by spending more wisely (as per above), making the most out of what we already have, shopping for food when its in season -  eat the seasons - using my slowcooker more (to make use of cheaper cuts of meat and seasonal veg), and  trying out recipies from my numerous (unused) cookbooks.
Being more ethical in my spending - looking for items which are value for money, use less packaging (and biodegradable or recyclable packaging), and using my own bags instead of plastic, making presents where I can instead of buying mass produced stuff and shopping locally where I can to help our local economy (as inspired by Team Pugh on  their blog - a year without supermarkets ).
Being more charitable - giving more to charity (instead of dumping where possible), trying to help in any way I can (we cant give financially but I can make - as per my previous poists about the Angel Bears and Dog Blankets - Im interding to make some dresses this year as per - little dresses for africa ).

So there you have my hopes and aspirations for the comming year. Id love to hear what yours are. Why not drop me a comment?

Have a Happy and Safe festive Season and I hope 2013 brings you all you dream of.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Xmas Prep (and a long overdue update)

Well Hello!

I know its been far too long since my last post (hanging my head in shame), but there has been a lot going on. The biggest and probably the most significant event was , after 5 and a half weeks in my (supposedly bright and shiney) new job, I had enough of being bullied by the Bosses Wife (also second in charge) so I walked out! Not an easy thing to do when you are the main wage earner and have no idea where the pennies are going to come from, but with the love and support from my wonderful Husband I felt confident enough to do it (rather than suffer in silence and make myself ill - again). So, after 15 years of continuous employment I am without a job - very scarey. Husband hasnt had much work lately either, so we will be doing more than a little economising until I am employed again.
Anyway, since I left last week, I have been so busy its mad. Ive registered with 3 Recruitment agencies (and have advised them I am willing to do some temping work - something I have never considered before), signed on for Job Seekers Allowance (which took several phone calls and 2 face to face interviews), applied for a few bits online etc. All the people I have seen are in agreement that I wont be out of work for long, and that things will get moving after Xmas. I know my last pay will cover the bills for December, so the way Im looking at it is that Im having some time off @ Xmas for a change. :o)

I have (as of today) got the last of the bits and bobs made, so all that left is for me to wrap the last few pressies and Im all done. It helps that we always have Xmas next door with His Mum and Brothers and Sisters (not all of them tho), there will be 8 of us for Xmas dinner and 6 for Boxing Day (we have a second Xmas dinner then!). In past years there have been as many as 12 or 13 of us both days, but I will admit its more laid back when there are fewer of us (and less dishes for me to do!!!!)

On the pressie front, once again I have been making stuff for the ladies. I changed my mind and decided to go with the fabric baskets after all (but forgot to take pics before I wrapped them!), here is one that was no longer required......

The colour cast on the pics isnt very nice, but it is the shortest day today so daylight isnt very good! You may also be able to make out my new Crafty Kiwi tag on the side - its the first time Ive used them. The baskets were filled with a kimi doll notebook, some choc, a candle and a nicely wrapped bar of soap.

Ive also (finally) got the lemon hand scrub bottled up and tagged......
Ive made 5 of these, the tags are laminated with instructions on the reverse, there are two styles of jars (the scrub is a much more vivid yellow than in the pic), and I must say this smells gorgeous.

Finally, as a bit of a last minute thing, I made some Xmas decs. Originally the intention was to make rice handwarmers that you heat in the microwave and they keep your pockets warm for up to an hour. I was gonna make them out of fleece with nice contracting stitching on them. Logistically this didnt work, so I ended up making decs out of felt and here they are.........

These are very loosley based on some winter white felt decorations I got from Boots last year.

So, there you have it, thats pretty much whats been happening with me. I hope you are all tucked up safe and warm on this Yule (Winter Solstice) night (unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere where technically it isnt Yule) and all that remains is for me to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. I hope 2013 brings you everything youve dreamed of.

Thanks for reading.

Jojo xxx

Sunday, 18 November 2012



Yup, Im blogging on my Birthday - but I thought it was time for an update.

New job is going well, tho as its the run up to Xmas theyve had me just focussing on maintaining the Amazon and Ebay stores, and packing the small stuff to send out, and sending lists through to the warehouses for larger stuff.

For a taster of the kind of stuff we do check this out.......ICI Direct

We import the wooden goods and sell to stores ranging from Waitrose,John Lewis, M & S etc,  lots of Garden Centres and at the bottom end of the scale, Wilkinsons.

They also help people who have come up with ideas to navigate their way through patents and copyright law, to getting the goods produced and marketing them.

Anyway, its lovely walking to work and Im saving a packet on petrol and lunches and my blood pressure has already dropped 6 points!

As my head has been full of getting to grips with my new job, Ive not been up to a lot else. I have decided I really need to get cracking with my Xmas pressies tho.
Im making up a batch of this for my Sisters in Law....lemon-sugar-hand-scrub- and am quite hoping to have a bit left over for me. Im busy trawling the interweb for other bits and peices to make.

I have made another farbic basket for a friends daughter. She grew out of a dress she loved, so her Mum gave me the dress as she thought the fabric was nice. So I decided Lana should have a basket to remind her of her dress......
I think its come out quite well.

And now that I have me lovely new shiney Birthday Pressie from the bestest Hubsand in the world, I can do some real serious stuff. ........

Im very excited as Ive never had a NEW sewing machine before. I reckon a few lessons could be on the Xmas list. Ive done a fair bit of sewing but its mainly been simple stuff and hasnt mattered if it looked homemade, so a chance to gain a bit more confidence and lean some new techniques could be a good thing.

Well, thats it for now I guess, and the Casserole (yup its Slow Cooker Sunday!) needs looking at.

Thanks for dropping by and having a read. I will try not to leave it too long before I post again.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

What A Week!

Its been a bit of a strange week.
It all kicked off with a phone call @ 8.30 on Monday morning offering me the job Id been going for! I said, Yes please, and handed in my resignation as soon as I got to work. Its amazing how much easier it is to wade through the day to day cr*p when you can see an end in sight. So, this will no longer be the view I see when I look out the office door.........

The week was full of trying to get loose ends tied up and saying my goodbyes, as one of our Suppliers pointed out, Ive spoken to them twice a day for the last two years, so it will be a bit strange. I have met some nice people through my job @ Mawdsleys and have gained a lot of Admin experience (including my level 2 NVQ in Business Admin), and there were even a couple of years when I enjoyed the job, but when that stopped and it started stressing me out and winding me up, I knew it was time to move on.
So, I finished on Friday (after 5 yrs service) and got some lovely cards, flowers etc from the people Ive worked alongside.

I start my new job tomorrow, and am really looking forward to it. Its a 10 min walk from our house (no more struggling to get to work as soon as it starts snowing) and with a small increase in pay and with the petrol I will save, we will be approx £100 a month better off (that is equal to our Gas and Elec for 2 and a half weeks), so thats not to be sneezed at. Onwards and upwards I reckon. :O)

On a sad note, the friend we went to see last weekend, passed away on Wednsday. It was expected, but wasnt nice to hear. She had breast cancer a few years ago, which she had fought off, but then this year the cancer came back with a vengence, she started treatment in Feb, but lost the fight on 31st (Halloween). With reference to my Halloween post, Im choosing to think it happened on that day so her Husband could come back to take her with him (he died from cancer in 2004). Her funeral is next Thursday, and my lovely new employers have no problem allowing me time off to attend (even though it is in my first week with them).
Rest in Peace Michele.

As you can imagine, this week Ive been trying to get lots of stuff tied up after work, so havent had much time for crafting. Although we have managed to purchase a couple of mannequin heads for displaying hats, etc . Thank you ebay!
Meet 'Edna and Dick(head)

Gardenwise, theres not a lot happening either as its starting to get quite cold and weve had a couple of frosts this week. My calendula are still flowering and I my crysanthamum plant (well its more like a bush) on the front garden has burst into flower, I really didnt think it would flower again (it didnt last year). Its a lovely chocolatey (almost red) colour.
Thats really about it for my week. Still not got any Xmas crafting started (have lost my motivation and cant seem to remember which box Ive put it in).  Ive got a roast planned for tonight, was toying with doing it in  the slow cooker, but Ive got to put the oven on to do the roasties anyway, so am gonna oven cook it instead.

Hope all is well with you and yours, Thanks for reading, and I might get round to the blog I was intending to get done some other time.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Slow Cooker Sundays

I had another blog planned for today, but wasnt expecting to have to go down to Derby to visit a friend who is now in a Hospice, so the weekends plans kind of got blown out of the water.
Anyway, now that the weather is getting cooler, and due to the fact that there is never enough time during the weekend for me to get the domestics done and fit in any crafting time (for Xmas or other stuff), oh, and due to the fact that food is getting more and more expensive, Ive dug out my Slow Cooker (also called a Crock Pot in other parts of the world).
Last weekend, I did a gammon joint. and it was absolutley gorgeous! I was a bit unsure of how to do it, but had a quick google and found the Simplest Slow Cooked Gammom Ever courtesy of  Reluctant House Dad, you just put the meat in, put the lid on, turn the cooker on to Low and thats it!  I wont ever do gammon any other way again.

Todays effort is a Chilli. I got some Mince from Tesco (on special @ £3 per kilo), chucked in a red and yellow pepper, an onion, a tin of chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, some chilli power, gravy mix and smoked paprika, and once again, put the lid on, put it on low and then carried on with my day. Its bubbling away quite nicely and smelling divine. Theres more than enough for us (and the Mother in Law) tonight and can still freeze the rest for another day.

 So I shall be making more use of this wonderful price of cookwear more and more this year, as its easy and turns cheap meat into lots of yumminess, and I love comming in from the cold to be greeted with lovely cooking smells. :o)

Elsewhere this week, I had an 'appointment' which I was a bit nervous about on Wednsday (hopefully, more on this at a later date). On my way to this 'appointment' I had an altercation with a lamppost! Damn.

Craftwise, Ive been cracking on with the cross stitch cushion cover, but have also done a bit more on the Steampunk stock. We found a few tiny hats (they were actually airfreshners) and decided I could decorate them and put them on headbands.

So far Ive got one done (as seen below, and have almost got a second one done.

Im not sure when the etsy shop will be up and running, and I may have to put the Steampunk stuff on the back burner while I get cracking on some Christmas stuff as I am usually well under way by now.

Well, thats what Im up to at the moment, hopefully I will get the intended blog done and up over the next few days (depending on what crops up during the week).
Hope all is good with you and yours, Id love to hear if you use a slow cooker and what your favourite recipies are. :o)

Take Care and have a good week,


Saturday, 20 October 2012

The True Origins of Halloween

The following blog represents  my own thoughts and opinions, I do not claim to speak for any group or religion, and my words are not intended to insite any ill feeling towards others, but to imform and promote understanding.

Paganism is a Nature Based religion (as practised by the ancient Celtic people), centering around that we call the Wheel Of the Year. This follows the seasons and the cycle of Birth (Spring), Growth (Summer), Fruitfulness (Autum) and Death (Winter), all of which are equally necessary.  The Pagan festivals (called Sabbats) are celebrate seasonal changes like the Equinoxes, longest day, shortest day, beginning of the harvest, first signs of Spring and so on.
The biggest Festival is Samhain and marks the beginning of the Pagan New Year, and this has become known as Halloween, and takes place at the end of October. I will point out tho, that as the festivals follow the seasons, in the Southern Hemisphere Samhain falls in May, not October.
 The festival marks the point in the year when they Winter months are on their way. In the past , this was they time when people took stock of the supplies they had harvested to see them through the winter. If supplies were short, they would slaughter the animals they knew would not make it through the Winter and this was also the last opportunity for fresh food to be eaten before the Spring. In some cultures even today, such as those in the Artic Circle, the elderly of the tribe would refuse all food and drink at this time, effectively sacrificing themselves for the good of their people.
 Before I go any further that, despite what Hollywood would have you believe, Pagans DO NOT believe in the devil! We seek balance in all things so we do believe in opposites, Summer and Winter, Day and Night, Light and Dark etc. We do not see these as 'good' and 'bad' as we know that one cannot exist without the other and we need both in order for our world to exist.

Anyway, back to the subject, Pagans believe at the the time of this celebration the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest and it is possible for spirits to pass between the worlds. At all Samhain celebrations a place is set for any spirits of family members who have gone before if they want to join in the celebration. Pagans, do not summon spirits (as it is felt that it is not our right to disturb the peace of those who have gone before), but those who wish to come are welcome. It is traditional for a lit candle to be placed in the window to guide the welcome spirits home and to deter any unwelcome ones.
This is thought to be the origin of pumpkin lanterns (sometimes called Jack-o-lanterns).

Samhain became the Halloween we are now familiar with when Christian missionaries attempted to change the religious practises of the Celtic people. As attempts to wipe out 'Pagan' festivals only suceeded in strengthening the Celtic resolve, Pope Gregory the 1st  instructed his missionaries in 601AD to try a new tactic. Rather than trying to obliterate the native peoples customs and beliefs, the Pope instructed the missionaries to use them to their favour and consecrate them to Christ and allow their contiuned practice.
So the Christian feast of All Saints Day was assigned to November 1st. The day honoured every Christian saint, especially thoses that did not have their own 'Saints Day'.
 This feast day was meant to be a substitute for Samhain, to draw the devotion of the Celtic people and , eventually, replace it forever.  However, this didnt happen, and in the 9th century the Church tried again to supplant Samhain by establishing November 2nd as All Souls Day - a day when the living prayed for the souls of the dead. But, once again, the traditional customs of Samhain lived on.
 All Saints Day, otherwise known as All Hallows (halllowed meaning sanctified or holy)  continued ancient Cletic traditions. The evening prior to the day was a time of intense activity, both human and supernatural. People contiuned to celebrate All Hallows Eve as a time of the wandering dead, but the supernatural beings were through to be evil. People thought to pacify these supernatural beings by setting out gifts of food and drink. Subsequently All Hallows Eve became Hallow Evening and then the Hallowe'en that we know today.

The Mexican festival El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of The Dead) celebrated at the same time, is thought to be the same as Haloween. There are similarities ( both celebrate the dead and take place on 31st October) but once again, the Church tried to supplant the festivities with All Saints and All Souls Day.
Mexican Celebtraions begin on 31st October with Young Souls Day and November 1st and 2nd are All Saints and All Souls Days. Celebrations in Mexico start with families cleaning the graves of their relatives. Weeds are removed, and the graves are decorated with flowers ( marigolds being one of the most important), photos and candles, and altars are erected near the gravesite. Food is placed on these altars, and offered to the departed as a gesture to show the departed they are still loved.
The Day of The Dead is thought to have originated with the Aztecs and Mayans. They believed that on this day, the souls of their departed would come to visit and feast with them, and this is still the belief that is held today.
During El Dia de los Muertos, Mexicans put on costumes of ghouls, ghosts, mummies and skeletons and walk through towns and villages carrying an open coffin. The local vendors place fruit, flowers and sweets into the coffin as it passes their markets.
Sugar skulls are also a part of the Mexican clebrations. These skulls are gifts for the departed souls of the children in a family, and are exchanged among the living children. On Young Souls Day it is believed that the souls of departed children return to earth in the late afternoon to join in the festivities.

I have only touched on three cultures and the way they celebrate, there are almost certainly more, but as you can see there are aspects of each which Halloween as we know today combines.  I find it interesting to know where festivals originated from and why things (such as Pumpkin lanterns) came to be a part of the celebrations. I hope you have enjoyed the read. If you want to read about these in more details, check out the links below.

Enjoy your Halloween (however you celebrate). :o)

The Real Witches Handbook by Kate West
American Folklife Centre
Spanish Culture
Halloween in Mexico

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Octobers Here!

Have noticed over the last week, its really starting to get colder and the nights are drawing in. ;o(
Although we have been having nice days, so much so that one of the bulbs I planted a few weeks ago (for Spring flowering) has already popped up! Poor wee thing, its not gonna last long once it snows.

New Muscari Bulb       

This week has been a bit of a mixed bag .  Some pleasant surprises, and some not so pleasant, but its all part of lifes rich tapestry I guess.
On the not so good note, the X-stitch project I was working on for a December Birthday, will no longer be required. So looks like it will be going on etsy once its finished, and now theres no pressure to get it done.

On the nicer side of things, my former boss gave me a pressie this week.  He used to holiday in Egypt quite  a bit and I asked him to find me a statue of the Egyptian Goddess Bastet. We are big cat lovers in our house and I'd read a bit about her and felt quite drawn to her. So, a statue was found and OH paid for her as a Birthday pressie.
A few months ago, my former boss told me he was clearing out his spare room and had another statue of Baste that I might be interested.  I said "Oh yes please" but Ive had to wait until now for her to arrive and here she is......

A bust of Baste
We think they are both lovely (and they are very well made), so they keep watch over our living room. :o)

Craftwise, Im gearing up for Xmas, finding lots of ideas and sorting through my stash to find out what I can use and if I have to made any additional purchases. We are also working on building up the initial stock for the etsy shop. Ive almost completed another fascinator and have got two more started. This one just needs the lining and elastic adding to the underside.

So, thats about it for this week really, once again I am almost astounded by the boring life I lead!
Oh well, maybe when I win the lottery, sigh.
Anyhoo, thats all for now, hope all is good with you and yours. If you get the urge to leave me a comment, dont fight it, do it!!!!!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Last Days of September

Wow, didnt realise how long it had been seen since I last posted, where has the time gone!
Cant believe we are into October tomorrow, although the weather has certainly turned and the nights are drawing in. Looks like Winters on its way. ;o(
Ive finally managed to cut the grass for the last time this season, there are still a few flowers trying their hardest to make the best of the cooler days. My one and only sunflower has a couple of new blooms .

Ive had a couple of days off this week, have just been pottering around. I should have spent ,more time doing housework, but then it only needs doing all over again a few days later, so spent my time doing stuff I dont usually get to do during the week (due to being at work).OH and I found a new local secondhand book shop so we did a bit of damage there (but it was super cheap honest!)                                                                                                                                       

  I did the usual boring stuff, likethe  monthly grocery shop  (I try and book my days off around Payday so I can get bits and pieces sorted during the week instead of running around like a headless chicken at the weekend). Our local tesco now has a krispy kreme concession, so of course it would have been rude not to!

On Friday OH was working so I took myself off to one of our local(ish) shopping centre Crystal Peaks. It was a bit of a wasted effort, but I did manange to get a bit of Xmas shopping started at T K Maxx. With a humoungous family (OH is one of 6 kids, plus spouses etc) its never too early to start (especailly when you only get paid monthly).
The weekend has been spent trying to get a bit crafty with a view to building up some stock for  the Steampunk stuff we will be eventually be selling on Etsy. OH is making replica guns, and Ive been trying to think of costume ideas. So far I have customised a pair of lace gloves I have had for yonks.



The idea is to start Victorian and then 'punk' from there.  Ive also done a Fascinator, and am working on a few more. This first one hasnt got the lining on the inside yet, but you can get the idea from the pic           

I also got a bit side-tracked while looking for a tutorial on the interweb about how to make leather flowers and found this....chocolate-flower-necklace-tutorial over at The Sisters Four Blog. So I thought Id give it a crack and see how diffucult they would be.
Petals cut out

Petals sown

All joined together

Finished off with a button   

Much to my surprise, they are as easy as they look, but do look quite effective. The finished one is a bit too big for a fascinator, but I reckon I could make it into a brooch without any problems.                                  

So, thats about it for now, theres not been much happening over the last coupls of weeks. We're just plodding on as per usual.  I hope all is well were you are.  Take Care, thanks for reading and hopefully I will see you back here  next time.                                                                                                                       


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

3 Things Which Make My Life Easier

This was going to be 3 Things I cant Live Without but I can live without these things, I just dont really want to as they make things much easier for me.

So here they are in ascending order.................................

3) My Car.     
 Realistically its our car, but as O.H doesnt drive I tend to call it mine. Currently weve got a white Rover (similar to the one above). Its a bit old and untidy looking, but we buy our cars outright and dont pay a lot for them - the most we have paid has been £500. We tend to run them into the gound (which usually takes a few years) Having a brother in law who runs his own garage helps!.
Without a car the slog to work would take 4 times as long and running errands for the Mother in Law (as well as ourselves) would be a logistical nightmare.
However, weve coped without a car before, so I can live without one.

2) My computer. 
 We are a two PC family. Mine is used mainly for surfing the interweb, while O.H's machine has got the better graphics card so we tend to use this for gaming. My machine has recently been replaced with a 'new' one from a Computer Fair (the first one O.H hasnt built himself). My computer has helped me make lots of new friends through the interweb, keep in touch with my NZ family and allowed me to find lots and lots and lots of cool stuff (as well as sell stuff on eBay and find craft patterns etc). I love my PC and feel lost without it, however, again, I could live without it if I had to.

And finally............................................

1) My Husband

Our Wedding Day in 1992
 Weve been married for 20 years now. Scary. We met in London in 1990. His first marraige had broken up, so he was drowing his sorrows in a pub just  off Oxford St and I went to work there as a Barmaid 3 months after arriving in the UK. We married in London on what would have been my Mothers 57th Birthday (we had 10 days to arrange it all as I was supposed to be getting on a plane back to NZ), and after 18 months moved back to his hometown of Sheffield. Then we rented (and later bought) the house next door to where he grew up (and where his Mother still lives) and have been here ever since, (tho Im now working on getting him to move to NZ).
Weve had our share of ups and downs (the same as most marraiges), and have had more skint years than flush ones, but Boy do we have a laugh! If laughs were £££'s we would be VERY rich!  There arent many days go by without us having a giggle at something.
I could live without him, but really wouldnt want to, as he is my Bestest Friend and Partner in Crime (not literally).

So, there you have it, stuff which makes my life a bit more bearable.

Id love to hear what your's are - why dont you leave me a comment?



Sunday, 16 September 2012

My Week

Well, the week didnt start off too well, I got a rotten head cold and spent Monday and Tuesday feeling sorry for myself telling everyone I had man-flu! It seems to have gone now (thank goodness).

The lack of airflow on our office doesnt help much. The only ventlation is the door and as the part-timer suffers with Raynaulds Disease shes always cold, so we tend to have the door closed. With two computers, a fax machine and 4 printers, (and the fact that its a small room) it gets a bit stuffy and very warm. As I may have mentioned before, I can only see daylight when the loading bay door is open  ........

Once again, by the time the  weekend rolled around there was a list of 'to do's as long as a Leonard Cohen song, so Saturday was spent tidying the garden and doing various other domestic bits. I cant get the lawn mown one last time before Winter as its not drying out enough during the day. I will probably end up cutting it wet.
One job Ive been putting off for a while (but did make a small start on) is a corner of the bedroom we tend to sling everything into that hasnt really got anywhere else to go.....

Dont look at the dust!

 I made a small start but quickly ran out of steam, so it might have to wait until I have a couple of days off at the end of the month and can have a really good crack at it.                                                                        

Today (Sunday), weve been into the city centre to the Sheffield Food Festival. The Mother in Law heard about it on the telly yesterday so we thought we'd check it out. Its been on for 3 days and has been an annual event since 2009 (this was the first one weve been to). I got so wrapped up in seeing and tasting I forgot to take lots of pics but this one kind of sums it up .....                                                                                                                     
Carved melons

We chatted to people from tideswell school of food  and grow  and bought some very nice cheese from lincolnshire poacher and The Mother in Law got some venison marrow bones as a special treat for her dog.  It was a nice day for a wander around the city centre and a few samples of this and that, then  have a look at the sculptures dotted around , these 'ball' fountains are my favourites.                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                    We  then decided to nip out to the new Boundary Mills Store which opened a couple of weeks ago just off the Sheffield Parkway. None of us had been to one before and (apart from the Cafe which I would advise you to avoid at all costs - theres a much nicer one in Morrisons next door) we were quite impressed. OK we only came away with some socks for OH and some books for me, but there is a nice wee sewing machine Ive put on my Birthday list!  Definitley worth a look around  - I bet it will be very busy closer to Xmas                                                                                                       
So, all in all it was quite a pleasant day out. We took our time as the Mother in Law isnt too steady on her feet, but we were in no rush and got to see a few bits that we normally wouldnt have bothered with.              

Thats all for now. Jojo                                                                                                                                    

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Things I WONT be making for Xmas this year

Ive been playing round with a few ideas for Xmas pressies for the ladies of the family. Between OH and myself we have lots of people to buy for and as we are almost always skint I usually end up making stuff.
Here are a couple of ideas that wont be making an appearance this year as once I made them up my Big Sisters saying 'Oh how lovely' came to mind (with me using my sarcastic voice).

I saw these lovely brooches and bag charms on a friends shop over on

So I thought Id have a go.
My efforts didnt turn out so well.

Then another friend posted a link to a tutorial for some really lovely little storage bags.......
The tutorial made them look quite straightforward.........tutorial-fabric-basket.html
so I thought Id have a go.
Mine turned out not as well as expected.
So, it looks like its back to the drawing board. I can almost hear my sister and sisters in law breathing a sigh of relief! Might end up just having to make lots and lots of Chocolate Vodka instead. :o)

Anyho, will leave you with a wee pic of how last years efforts ended up. Each bag had a handmade doorstop,  shopping bag, and pincushion either in the shape of a heart or mouse. The bags are amde from hessian and the gift tags are felt leaves and red buttons for the berries

Thank You and Good Night.