Monday, 21 November 2011


Well it certainly seems that our Indian summer is over.... Yesterday we went for a walk by the River Trent at Gunthorpe and though it was quite foggy it was almost magical...

Looks freezing doesn't it....but that was foam from the weir, not snow...though it was barely 4 degrees!!

We tried to stay clear of the fairy rings....didn't fancy being whisked away looking such a fright!...walking jacket, boots, fleece hat....and dripping hair!....

And just look at this on earth did that happen......

We really enjoyed our walk though and finished off the day with a visit to one of our favourite garden centres where Christmas has already arrived  (reindeer - stuffed, skating rink and decorations from the bizarre to the downright tacky!!) and then a warm meal and home...

But it has got me thinking about my 'Christmas Theme' this year.....DO YOU THEME??...

I am rather taken with all these antique style decorations that resemble old mirrors where the silvering is flaking off, glass and white and white painted twigs....a veritable winter wonderland.....Whats your favourite thing this year.......

Jenny xx

Monday, 7 November 2011

TYING UP SOME LOOSE ENDS.........literally

Hello lovely people

I do find it most heartening to read on the blogs of very talented people, who I consider to be very organised and methodical that even they have projects discarded for something new lurking in the bottom of their knitting basket or sewing pile.
I personally have to admit to flitting from one current 'love' to another with no shame at all!!
That jumper I have been knitting to wear when I go walking is still in my knitting basket 11 months later....., I have found baby hats unfinished, sewing projects all cut out and pinned and crochet started in a moment of boredom which is growing at a snails pace having found other more interesting projects..

so.... well I thought I had better start to do something about it...of course that was after I had just run up this latest project inspired by one of my recent birthday presents...

Remember this......

this delightful little gadget pouch was bought to hold my kindle, however as I already have a leather case for it which can remain in place when I am reading, I was rather torn what to do. The kindle will not fit in here with the leather case on, and because I absolutely adore the pouch I am loathe to use it for the kindle as I would have to remove it when reading and would be devastated if I left it somewhere!

And then I had a brainwave..... I had been sorting out my knitting basket (hence the discovery of the skeletons in the bottom) and there were all manner of small items..crochet hooks, stitch holders, circular needles etc. tangled up in there and I suddenly thought of a new purpose for my pouch...and of course the fabric was just perfect....and then my mind went into overdrive. I needed more of this fabric and quick....
A search on the Internet soon revealed however that this was not going to be as easy as I thought and in the end it was the good old US of A that came to my rescue. I managed to purchase just enough of a fabric which was now discontinued to make this....

Et voila......The knitting needle roll as excellently described in this tutorial has enabled me to tidy up the rest of the knitting basket, and encouraged me to finish some of the projects lurking there....and to tie in their loose ends.....

 my poor neglected tea cosy now takes pride of place in my kitchen....

and my crochet blanket looks like it stands a chance of getting done this winter!......

Of course there are still those baby hats, that jumper.....but come on I have made some progress you have to admit!!!

Well before I wish you good night I am going to make a plea on behalf of my lovely daughter and her partner aka 'GiddyKipper'. If you have not met them before you can see what they get up to here....I will let them tell you more.....

As a partner and being part of the award-winning Weddings at, Giddy Kipper are thrilled to have been nominated in the 'Special Touches' category of the Wedding Ideas Awards 2012. Last year we made it to the final 5 and would be delighted to reach the final again with your help! You don't have to be a bride to vote - we'd be extremely grateful for the support of our wonderful customers! (for any categories you don't wish to vote in, scroll down to 'no answer') Thank you!
 Thank you in anticipation
Jenny xx

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Afternoon all
I hope you are all well and that you mums are coping if your little 'angels' are still on holiday. We have been lucky to have our grandsons to stop last weekend, very hectic but fun too and our eldest is coming again to have some time on his own on Thursday and Friday so grandad and I had better recharge our batteries!

Well with you know what just around the corner I have been sewing some more of my felt decorations in the evenings and I thought some of you sewers might like to try some for yourselves. The bigger children could perhaps make some too under supervision. Perhaps small running stitches could be substituted for the blanket stitch to make it a little easier for them.

Gingerbread men Tree Decorations


Gingerbread man template (either draw freehand or search the web for gingerbread man picture and you will find loads of images to choose from, just print off and cut out )
Ginger coloured felt
polyester filling
2 small cream buttons
2 round black beads for eyes
Strong thread,( either contrast if using blanket stitch or matching if stitching together with overcast stitch or running stitch )
about 10" string or 1/8" wide ribbon if preferred
9" spotted ribbon for bow

First cut out 2 gingerbread man shapes using your template and pin together. Starting slightly to one side of the top of his head start to join the 2 sides together with your preferred stitch (I love the look of the blanket stitch, but you can do what is easiest for you)

Continue all around the shape until about 3/4" away from the start of your stitching. Do not cast off or remove needle. Using the blunt end of a skewer or crochet hook or similar carefully start to stuff the figure. Begin by using small amounts of stuffing and stuff the feet first. Don't try to put too much in at once or you will not get a smooth finish and your poor gingerbread man will look all lumpy!. Continue up the legs and then into the hands and arms and finally the head. It does pay to take your time with this step.

Once you have him firm but not too solid, take your string or ribbon and fold in half and knot the end. Push the knotted end into the opening and finish off the sewing making sure that a few stitches go through the string or ribbon to hold it secure.

Next you need to sew a smiley mouth. I used stem stitch and the same colour thread as my blanket stitch, but you may prefer to use red.

Finally sew on the 2 small black beads for eyes, attach his buttons and tie a smart bow round his neck. You may need to trim the ends of the ribbon on an angle to stop fraying and to get the perfect size for your pattern.


One fairly cute tree decoration. Of course you don't have to stop there as you can create other variations. How about a snowman! White felt and just an extra piece of orange felt cut into a tiny triangle, folded in half and stitched down the long sides to form his nose. Carefully stuff with a tiny bit of stuffing and stitch firmly in place.

  I made his scarf out of a piece of red felt, cut into fringes at the ends and substituted black buttons. I also sewed a running stitch mouth as this looked more like a snowman I thought!

I hope you have a go, they are quite relaxing to make and will look fab on the tree at Christmas....or then again you could make several, make a ribbon loop of only about 1/2 " and thread them onto string for a great garland to decorate the mantelpiece.

I would love to see what you do with them!

And of course if you don't sew, you can always purchase some from my Folksy or Etsy shops.....I would even make a garland if requested, just email me.

Well I am off now to finish cutting out some huge curtains, I may be some time........


Jenny xx

PS I do apologise for the quality of the photos. It was my boy's birthday yesterday and I left my camera at his house. Have had to borrow DHs to do this and it's not quite as easy to use as my own!! Mr gingerbread man's bow is a beautiful pale green spot, but you wouldn't guess from these piccies!

Monday, 3 October 2011

AND SO WHAT HAVE YOU ALL BEEN DOING............ for me it has really been a mixed bag....

First I did a bit of sewing.....old skirts getting a bit snug!!............

Burda pattern 8213, great now that they include seam allowances, used to hate it when you had to mark your own, 'cos it doesn't matter how experienced you are, they never seem (sorry) to end up exactly the same width!!  I only made this out of cheap cotton (£3.99 a metre) as I wanted one in a hurry, but had forgotten how much I like this style so am going to make a couple more in needle cord for the winter. (That's next week according to the weather forecast!)

Then I had a birthday, and was spoiled rotten as usual......................

Books, DVDs and quirky collectibles, what more could I ask for.......Thank you to my lovely family and friend, how well they know me......the cute Tea Cosy and the Kindle Cover were found by my DD on the Internet....she always manages to discover something really different. Don't get me wrong I love everything, some things were on my wish list and others were a lovely surprise.

And finally a visit to the Antique Festival at the Peterborough showground last Saturday...... I can honestly say I ran out of money before I ran out of things I would have liked to buy! Still I am very lucky to have been able to add all these gems to my collections...including more babycham pieces paid for by my DH, even though he had just spent plenty on me for my birthday......

Couldn't resist the Peter Rabbit picture, not only is Beatrix Potter one of my favourites, but to have him advertising slippers...well there was no choice, in my sewing room it will go....

So do I count my blessings....I certainly do, and not just the lovely gifts, but all the love with which they are chosen and that respect I am truly a millionaire......

I know I did say finally, but there is a bit you will know if you read this waffle regularly, we have just had some windows replaced at the back of our house...well, although it certainly wasn't planned yet, we have now started redecorating the kitchen, and since my cupboards are all free standing and hand painted, we have given ourselves quite a task......but we are half way there now!!....and it will be nice for Christmas......hopefully !

Off now to catch up with a few of your blogs, while I have a spare evening. I was supposed to be adding some new slippers to my shops, but who forgot to take the photographs in all this beautiful sunshine....You watch it will be really overcast tomorrow....

Jenny xx

Monday, 26 September 2011


Why does the time go so slowly when you have to work (at things you don't really like), but rush past at the weekends and holidays?

The highlight of our weekend, after a fairly quiet Saturday was a visit to the Stamford Antique Fair on Sunday.
We've been before, but generally we've seen lots of things that we liked (out of our price range!) but not too many that we really fell for within budget. This time however it was more a case of being selective!!

As you've probably seen if you've visited here before, I do have a penchant for old toys, especially tin ones and it's rare to find any genuine examples now at reasonable prices...there are always of course the exceptions and this one is my most favourite to date......and it works

However I really don't expect to come across many like this now, but on Sunday I was in for a nice surprise. Not quite so mechanical but they do wind up......and move.....

And then these, not tin not mechanical but my how kitsch.....

and there little heads nod....if anyone knows anything about them I would love to know more...

a bit more Noddy.....

And finally a great find in brilliant condition and one that will be investigated by my grandson I have no doubt.......

He really will wonder what 1d and 1/3d is.......

We finished our lovely day with a walk by Rutland Water amazed at how suddenly Autumn seems to have arrived........ and gazing at the spectacular sky....

 before we headed off for tea in a beautiful country pub........

Well off to list a few things on Ebay now, need to make a bit more room as its the Antique and Collectors fair at Peterborough showground next week.....1700 stalls..........oh dear think I might have to find a few more things to list after all................................

Have a good week
Jenny xx

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Bonne soiree mes amis

I'd better stop there before I really show myself up...

This post is a bit late, but its been rather hectic here for a few weeks and though my poor head is full of things I would like to share with you, finding the time to stop and write them has been more of a problem!

If you take into account helping out with the grandsons for the final weeks of the summer before our eldest started at his first school. Just being there in that first week to help mum get settled into her new routine. Spending a whole week trying to keep the dirt under control while having all the rear windows in the house replaced,  and making up a few orders in between, I think or at least I hope that you will see I do have a bit of an excuse.

Anyhow......the Braderie de Lille.....quite an experience ! 

We travelled down to Kent on the Friday afternoon as our booking on the chunnel was early Saturday morning. The journey was pretty straight forward, if a bit long and it was quite a shock to arrive at our hotel to find none of our rooms ready!
Not to be put off though, although the site of our bright pink hotel nearly did that , we decided to leave the car and make our way into Lille. As anyone who has attended this event will know the whole of Lille is virtually closed to traffic, so public transport or shanks' pony is the only way to travel into the city. Luckily our hotel did have a leaflet printed with the bus and metro details to and from the festival and at least this was a help. We caught the bus to the metro, no problem....however when we went inside the metro it was packed, a huge crowd in front and as we stood a huge crowd followed.
Not being familiar with the system here, or I confess very fluent in the language we were rather nervous of getting in everyone's way so chickened out and set off to walk the rest of the way.
Fortunately we had brought our satnav and were able at least to check we were heading in the right direction and after only about 500 yards we came across the first street of what could only be described as 'car boot' stalls.
Disappointed......not a bit of it... there was a lot of rubbish but a few little gems.......

My first find was the wooden cotton reels. I had been looking at some of these only a few days before, starting at £6 each on Ebay......I picked up these 6 for only 2 Euros.
The beautiful fashion magazines from the 1950s, all nine of them, I got for 3 Euros. Not bad considering the first price quoted was 12!!! They are stunning. Fashion plates, as well as knitting patterns and sewing patterns. I have an idea to scan some of the black and white advertising to print onto fabric for cushions or book covers. I'll let you know how I get on.
The lovely box of Dewhursts thread at the bottom of the picture was not bought in France though, but was a gift from my SIL presented to me as we set off on our journey to add to my sewing room. She is so thoughtful!

We wandered around for what seemed miles, street after street of bric a brac and a great deal of normal market stalls, grabbed something to eat, and finally decided to call it a day...It had been a long one and we still had all of Sunday. We started to head back to the bus station (still too petrified to try the metro....what wimps!) and eventually dozens of wrong turns later, a couple of not very helpful gendarmes and some rather scary dark roads, we found someone who could actually give us the correct directions and by the skin of our teeth we just caught the last bus back to our hotel.

I will skip very quickly over the miniscule room, the shower made for someone much smaller than me ( I'm only 5ft 4in ) that had no ventilation or window, the  strange absence of staff and the fact that this cost us more than our 4 star hotel in Liverpool, because despite that, it was an adventure, and on the Sunday we actually managed to use the bus and the metro like locals and headed towards the river and the 'antiques'.
The only problem here was that just after we arrived back on Saturday night, at about 10.30, there was a cloud burst. Torrential rain fell for some time and it was blowing a gale. Needless to say, those vendors who had relied on the normal beautiful weather and had not erected any kind of shelter found half their stock ruined. We saw beautiful furniture, samplers, paintings etc just spoiled...such a shame.

All in all though we were very glad we went, another thing to tick off our list, and we will certainly return to France again, but perhaps not to this particular event.
By the way the huge pile of black things in the second picture are the moule shells collected outside the restaurants. there is a competition each year to see who makes the biggest mound, hence the railings!
 Well I did say I had lots to relate, though I didn't actually mean in one post so if you have stuck with it...well done.... and so for now.....

A bientot
Jenny xx

Friday, 9 September 2011


Well if you're anything like me the answer to that will usually be yes! But as a food lover I am really concerned about these recent reports of the growing number of cases of obesity in the young,
I know we are supposed to be in a recession and there are loads of families struggling on low incomes but the facts from the 40s and 50s show that even in those days of severe rationing, when many families lost their breadwinners we were one of the fittest and healthiest nations in the world.
The reason being that we had to eat what we grew and processed food with no real nutrition but plenty of bulk was simply not available!
As parents and grandparents we have a responsibility to show our young that healthy home cooked food doesn't need to cost the earth (literally), needn't be bland, doesn't have to take hours to cook and needs no fancy gadgets to prepare. Whats more including children in the preparation can be fun and good training for later in life.

And so I am eagerly awaiting delivery of my copy of  HUNGRY? the innocent recipe book for filling your family with good stuff.

If their smoothies are anything to go by, we are in for a culinary treat,and as a hands on granny I am looking forward to sharing the pleasure with my grandson.
These short videos will give you a taster (pardon the pun) and they certainly have got my attention.
The books RRP is £20 and is now widely available. Check back soon and I will let you know my personal verdict, but if you can't wait to get hold of your own copy I will be pleased to hear what you think.

Veggie burger




Jenny xx

Monday, 15 August 2011

FERRY ACROSS THE MERSEY..........................

And we did.......

What a great few days we have had in Liverpool. I had never been there and quite honestly had no idea what to expect, however from the moment we arrived at our hotel......the Atlantic Tower....

we were full of anticipation......and we were not disappointed!
Our room was on the 10th floor with a panoramic window overlooking the Mersey.....Wow!

we saw everything from ferries to cruise could almost sit here watching all day........

But we didn't.... we took the tour bus to see the sights, went on the 'Eye', visited the free museums in the newly refurbished docks, went on the ferry and even drove a brand new Range Rover through one of the docks (and it was full)!  A great idea between Range Rover and the City to raise money for the NSPCC, and very successful it seemed too!

It was like being kids again on one of the better school trips. We did lots of walking, a little shopping and far too much eating!! The people were some of the warmest and friendliest we have met and made us feel very good on yer Liverpool you did yourself proud.

We stayed here for a couple of nights and then moved to just outside Runcorn for our third and last night.
And what did we do to round off our delightful stay...what else but visit two car boot sales and two Antique and Collectibles fairs on the way home.

This was my little hoard of goodies. I fear I have made so many great finds just lately that I am soon going to need an extra room or two despite the fact that DH and I have the whole place to ourselves...still it was great fun finding them

The sewing bits in the tin apparently belonged to an old lady and the girl selling it first asked for 20p each for the reels of cotton. When I asked her what she would take for the whole tin, she said £1.50. A few hours later those wooden cotton reels were on sale at the antique fair for £6 each.....I think I did well there!

Well as if this wasn't pleasure enough for one person my week has only improved as today I was able to meet up with my Australian cousins who I met two years ago through doing our family tree. It was brilliant to see them again and as usual I think I did most of the talking!! They're off home soon, so I hope they have a safe and pleasant journey.

Well off to bed now to have a read, getting to the end of my book and its really hard to put it down.

Have a great week

Jenny xx