Sunday, 28 April 2013

An ode to my mojo

Warning: this post contains nothing of any relevance whatsoever - nope not even any photos - and I apologise now for the dodgy rhyming!

I've lost my crafty mojo
I don't know where it's gone
I've got some works in progress
But enthusiasm - none

I know I've put it somewhere
I crocheted just last week
But somehow something's happened
And now I have to seek (ooh - very poor!)

I love my crafty mojo
It means the world to me
So if you think you see it 
Please return - A.S.A.P.


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Fancy some blossom possum?

Because I've got some over here on my April moodboard 

For once I haven't waited until the last day of the month to scramble around the garden in a desperate search for something new. Things are actually starting to grow - who'd have thought! 

New growth poking up through the soil

The first pale yellows of Spring being replaced by blues
Forget me not



Rich purples
Primula 'Silver Lace'

Deep pink
Flowering currant

And blousy brights

  Look inside

And last but not least the blossom


The rest of the garden is waking up. The lilac is 'nearly' there, as is the wisteria. The apple tree is just starting to show the sweetest green leaves. Shoots of forgotten plants keep surprising me. Last month my moodboard was about hope, this month it's more about promise. And it's a promise that my garden always keeps. Bliss.

Thank you so much for your feedback on my last post. Your comments were so supportive and some actually moved me to tears. You are a wonderful bunch!


Sunday, 21 April 2013


I didn't know whether to post this. I questioned my motives. Ultimately it was something that has absorbed me this week and I wanted to share.
My brother lives in New York. He was there in September 2001 and was one of the many who was evacuated in the direction of the river. Although we did not lose anybody we knew he lost friends and colleagues. He also runs. At the moment he is raising money for MS by doing as many runs as his workload will allow. When I turned on the news on Monday night my thoughts were immediate concern for his safety. It turned out that he had run a shorter race that day as he had not achieved the qualifying entry time for Boston. But what hit me was he could have so easily been there, and we could be in the same terrible situation that many families are now finding themselves in.
I have also been thinking of the young men responsible. The youngest is the same age as Big Sis. When she was home last week the house was full of friends, laughter and plans - so many plans that kids of that age have for their future. It is difficult to fathom what went so wrong as to allow someone of the same age think that what he was involved in was okay.
I came across a post on someone's blog. They knew the Aunty of one of the victims and had sent out a request for some woollen squares. These were to be made up into blankets for the families of those who lost their lives. I felt compelled to contribute and produced three crochet granny squares. It seems a little bit trivial compared to what these people are facing but each stitch was produced with love and I can only hope that it might go some tiny way in to producing something that will provide comfort.

Sometimes terrible events like these put our own worries into perspective.

Sending out warmest thoughts

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Things that make me go 'whoop!'

Big Sis has gone back to university today. We've had three weeks of mess, opinions and noise - and oh how we'll miss it! I helped her to the train with a ridiculously heavy suitcase - I believe she must have packed some lead bricks - and got all misty as she waved away. I knew as soon as I got home I would come over all sentimental at the sight of her breakfast dishes congealing in the sun, and the upturned basket of ironing that she burrowed through in a last minute panic to find her favourite black top.
There was only one thing that would stop my wallowing. I was in need of some 'whoop's. And I needed them fast.
Now be aware these are not the sort of 'whoop's that have any deep meaningful significance. These are instant 'let's have a look around and see if I can find any' type 'whoop's.

Whoop one

Who would have thought that a bag of parsnips could evoke a whoop but there you go. Freshly dug up from a friends allotment and destined for some lovely soup. (N.B. I did point out that these whoops were instant ones - had I put more time in these would have been presented in a wicker trug on a lawn of chamomile!)

Whoop two

My gardening clogs. A recent impulse buy that make me smile/laugh/giggle.

Whoop three

A peek at my new summery dress - bargain from ebay - and it's greeeeeeen!

Whoop four

Cherry blossom - AT LAST!

Number five - now this is more of a whoo than a full blown whoop

See that branch - the main one running diagonally from left to right - that's where our blackbird was sitting and singing the most delightful tunes. Until I fetched my camera. Mr Blackbird then suffered a short bout of stage fright which meant that the only thing of any interest left was our next door neighbours compost bins. Bad blackbird.

Whoop six

A print I ordered from the very talented Ruthie Redden over at 5 Precious Things. She is a pictorial storyteller who bases her work on Mother Nature, myths and folklore. Pop over to her blog for some wonderful stories and insights into old traditions.

Are you ready for this?
There is about to be a gaggle of whoops.

Whoop seven

A parcel...

Whoop eight

...tied up with the most beautiful string

Whoop nine

Smelling of beautiful fragrances

Whoop ten 

And containing some wonderful garden gifts from the lovely Sally at Lavender Attic. This is my first giveaway prize which arrived today and was ' just the medicine' I needed. Look at those beautiful flowers which will all be very carefully sown with my poshy galoshy gloves. You would love Sally's blog - I recommend you pop over and say hello!

So - I'm whooped out.
Still missing Big Sis but thankful for all the little joys I am surrounded by.
Do you have anything that makes you go whoop?


Friday, 12 April 2013

Dot dot dash

If you ever find yourself in Shropshire you could do far worst than visit the wonderful historic town of Shrewsbury. 
With it's beautiful half timbered buildings

interesting features

and niche shops

it is a truly glorious place for an amble.

But today we shall amble not!
We are going to head straight over here.
Watson and Thornton
The most wonderful fabric shop.

Look at this

and this

Then look over here

Inspiration all around!

But my eyes were drawn to this
Fresh white polka dots on crisp cotton poplin

Perfect to make this

The pattern said this would take me one hour.
Only 1 heure!
 Fantastic! Obviously they did not factor me in this.

I had used this pattern several times many years ago so the pieces were already cut. My challenge this time was to try view B - something I had always avoided as it involved sleeves!
I lovingly unrolled my purchase on the kitchen table. It was at this point that I realised the effect of so many spots altogether - it could be a bit disconcerting. (Look back at the fabric photo and move a:your head or b: your computer from side to side very quickly - do you feel a bit nauseous?) Never mind. It wasn't going to take long and surely when it was all together the effect would be minimal. 

I set in my darts
Then set in my sleeves - several times. 
(It's only thanks to a lovely lady on Youtube that I have any hair left.)

And three days later it was ready.
I tried it on.
The spots were hypnotic. I added a cardigan and some boots. Still a bit concerned about moving around too fast.
Final straw - I asked Little Sis for her opinion.
"Hey mum that's great - it looks just like my uniform at first school!"
She was right. I thought the unruly spots would be the downfall of this project but no  - swap them for checks and it is pretty much what those sisters used to travel to school in every day. 
I can imagine the chatter as I frolic through town in my poplin -
"Mum - why is that lady wearing my school uniform?"
" I don't really know dear, keep away."

So here it will stay. For now. Waiting for me to 'do something else with'.

(Should I cut the top bit off and make a skirt or the bottom bit off and make a top?)

Never mind.

Look who I found staring at me in Ikea today.

How could I resist such a chirpy little chap. 
I've already got grand plans.
I'll let you know if they work out.

Jane x

P.S. thank you for all my birthday wishes - you are a truly lovely bunch. And to my new followers hello and welcome - it's good to have you along!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013


I think I've mentioned I like green. Many times. Any shade. Love it.

So this morning I was surprised and thrilled to receive these from my lovely man.
Flowers in glorious shades of purples, pinks and blues.

Followed by a punnet of pansies... the deepest purple you could imagine.

Then came a wonderful blueberry bush
with the promise of delicious purple fruits

Some rosemary - renowned for it's spikes of purple/blue flowers

And finally - this
(I love the fact Big Sis has added a bell!)

I love green but maybe purple is pretty good too!

Thanks to my family and friends for their lovely thoughtful gifts on my birthday.

Hope you are surrounded by colour wherever you are.