I LOVE MY SISTER… SIMPLE…

As sister’s go, I have the best one!  We have a really special relationship….  We live zillions of miles apart, yet we carry on as if we live next door to each other.  We email most days, and when we don’t we still know what we are thinking.  I thought telepathy was a load of nonsense, but it’s not, especially if you have a special relationship  like we do.

We had a very memorable  get-together recently… it was the sweetest time, talk about talk… we didn’t stop, and laugh, Oh boy, did we!

You know when you laugh so much your sides hurt, and you run out of laugh noises, and you start snorting, well that’s what happened!

Our families merged beautifully into one, our youngsters spent simple,  comfortable moment together. Watching scary movies, stuffing sweets and popcorn,  taking a walk,  pushing and shoving each other like kids do, playing games and lots and lots of teasing and giggling… beautiful,  as sisters of these youngsters did observe…

As we had missed several special Birthdays as the miles had kept us apart, we decided to have silly joint one.  The years between us added up… so how many 227th Birthday parties have you been to?  Well we have, but just the one!    We decided on a theme, a really bonkers one,  we all  wore a false moustache… well, they are very much in ‘Vogue’ don’t you know!

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Freightingly, some of the “looks” we created were a bit realistic and suited the characters, and that was just the girls!

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and the boys!
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They were cheap and great fun, and caused much hilarity amongst us, as you can imagine… well, if you are little crazy…

Here are a few words I have found that sum up my sis, some funny, and some that will squeeze your heart….

SISTER…

She knows how stupid I am , but still chooses to be seen in public with me…

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost….

There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you…

I smile because you are my sister… I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it!

Never let an angry sister brush your hair…

Always remember I will pick you up if you fall… after I have stopped laughing!

You might be able to kid the world, but you can never kid your sister…

I feel closer to you because you know me so much better than I realise… and you still love me…

You think I am crazy… you should meet my sister!

The anguish I  feel when she is in pain wells up in my chest, and threatens to register on my face…

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I am the little one, and my big lovely, sister stands beside me which she did then, and still does to this very day…

Wether you have a sister or brother, never forget you are joined in a incredibly special way, you each came from the same source, nothing can ever be as special as the relationship of your sibling… cherish it beyond all, as this relationship will be true and undeniable what ever your differences may be… forget all differences before it is too late,   love each other without question…

“Family” is some thing precious, my husband, my daughter, my sister, my nephews, my parents… my family by marriage, you are special too!

Best wishes to all that pop in and visit me from time to time… thank you… Always be delighted to hear from you.

Jay x

Extra snippet for you from Snoo “There are at least 6,700 languages in the world”

COMPLETELY RANDOM! THE KEEPCUP…

Just recently I  have been as  far away from the normal “me” as I could possibly get,  please excuse me for my absence.  To get back my confidence I thought I would tell you some thing “Completely Random” leaving you thinking … my word, what is she on about now!

KEEP CUP…

These trendy fun and functional cups are a must for any one wanting to dash into a coffee shop, have  their chosen beverage made in one, jump in the car and sit sipping a hot drink  while stuck in a traffic jam…?   Sip  while you are on the way back to work as you stroll along.  Or, maybe  at home  you have  just made a cuppa, then realise you are late for meeting the children from school, pour and dash,  ….  Loads of other case senario, pick you own!

But, the real beautiful story behind the KeepCup  can be found on http://www.keepcup.com read it,  I am sure you will  agree with me,   just love the true reason for them, REUSABLE helping to cut down such a huge amount of  daily waste,  plus,  holding the flavour of your cuppa… Well done you guys at KeepCup!  Such a great idea…

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These are the ones we have… the beauty is that if you are the proud owner of a few, you can do this…

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Remove the lids and little “sip” covers, the comfy band grip (that stops your finger tips getting too hot or cold) and swap them around to match your mood, outfit, drink …

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Couldn’t resist having a little photo shoot opportunity and take some modelling shots!

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… and…

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Pretty cool Eh!

These “dude” cups are a real hit in my family, we all love them so buying them was a really good investment!

Thanks for visiting TSW, please leave a comment or message, would love to hear from you.
Best wishes, Jay X

My little extra snippet for you from Snoo “Ice Cream was invented in China in approx 2000BC”

SNOWMAN…”THE POWER OF LOVE” (John Lewis)

Do you remember that beautiful advent on the TV that John Lewis produced prior to Christmas 2012… It was truly romantic.  It tugged at my heart strings every time it was shown.  If you want to watch visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N8axp9nHNU

The superb music of THE POWER OF LOVE with the fantastic animation and delightful story of “boy loves girl” made me want to try and make my little tribute of TSW’s  “SNOW COUPLE”.  After a few attempts, several pro to-types I came up with this charming frosty pair!  You can make them too if you wish… please continue to read on, thanks!

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I spent ages finding just the right accessories to try and replicate (in my opinion) what the SNOW COUPLE should look like if they were made into Christmas table top decorations for your home.

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SNOWMAN

I hunted high and low to find the perfect carrot button for his nose, just the right orange colour and the perfect size.  I found a lovely winter green/navy combination of yarn for his scarf, which knitted up looks great.   His “coal” eyes (like hers) are little black glass crystal beads which are perfect to give his little “twinkle”

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SNOWLADY

Pretty little wrap around red with white spotty scarf made from a length of fabric. Her gloves are hand made wooden laser cut and hand painted buttons, which I was very lucky to find, again perfect size! Her nose is the weeniest little button I have ever seen, her eyes (as his) are little black crystal beads.  Chestnut brown mohair wool for her hair and red felt for her beret… complete with bobble, which you can’t see from “her” photo, scroll down… there you are…

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Cozy together… just look at their happy little faces!

If you want to make these two, I have made a kit up with full instructions, including every thing you need (except poly toy stuffing)  which you can purchase  from  my Etsy shop
http://www.etsy.com/people/TheSewingWren
Hope to hear from you!

Bye for now Jay x

Little extra snippet for you from Snoo “In Elizabethan times carnation flower petals were used to spice wine and ale”

THINK PINK! Getting ready for 24th October 2014…

A while ago I wrote a blog about The Tour de France,  while  I was thinking YELLOW, my next blog  turned into a bit of a YELLOW DUDE ! Since then I have been looking at how certain colours influence  our lives and how we look at colour for different things…. Red, green, gold  together  to me, means CHRISTMAS Orange and black HALLOWEEN White,  brides  and SNOW and all things pure Red, LOVE, letter boxes, tomatoes,  fast cars…! Deep purple,  ecclesiasticals or CADBURY’S chocolate! Blue, the sky, Jeans, Blackburn Rovers (touch of white too) forget-me-nots Red, white and blue together very patriotic for many countries around our globe Red, Labour. Blue, Conservative. Orange, Lib Dem Green, any thing to do with Ireland ‘THE EMERALD ISLE’, grass, Spring time Yellow, naturally The Tour de France(!)  sunshine, butter cups Pink, Breast cancer….. PINK…. I am going to stop here other wise my  mind  will orbit away on colours for certain things until I run out of colours!   I am going to stick with PINK for the remainder of this blog. I think you will agree that most of us have been touched by this horrid disease … breast cancer… It maybe you,  your mum, your sister, your best friend, work colleague or the lady next door,  all could tell a sad story to others, and we would listen to the words spoken with sorrow or with hope. So “sisters” I am going to now show you my collection of ALL THINGS PINK that I have gathered for your amusement, hope to make you smile ,  I certainly have on my foraging around for PINKNESS! Take a moment to think about those wonderful women… SAM_2361 Lets kick off with emptying my buttons again and picking out all the pink ones… SAM_2339 While in my craft room I scurried through and found this reel of thread… very pink indeed! SAM_2340 Still in my craft room … this fabric… SAM_2344 This is the ultimate pink fluffy yarn  don’t you think? SAM_2350 This has got to be the ultimate pink glitter… yes? SAM_2353 These little pink paper roses. SAM_2379 From my painted wooden heart collection. SAM_2347 Craft “birdie” embelishments. SAM_2505 Yes…. PINK CHOCOLATE MONEY!!!  Every girl should have some of these… money and chocolate, perfect combination don’t you think? SAM_2508 Got a bit carried away taking photos of my PINK money! SAM_2506 Okay… the last money photo…! SAM_2349 Paper drinking straws.SAM_2362 This little painted tin egg has a beautiful  “egg” shaped soap inside… it was given to me by a dear friend of mine. SAM_2341 This cute cup cake fabric. SAM_2430 Cherry blossom … this photo was taken in the spring ready to add to this post which was on my mind a few months ago. SAM_2764 This bath time duck is called “Betty” and is the official BREAST CANCER rubber duck!  Proceeds of sales of “Betty” go to the charity….  Good eh! As it is nearing BREAST CANCER AWARENESS DAY 24th October, may  I ask you to make a comment at the end…. for every comment I receive this month  I will donate £1 to the CHARITY…. While I have been collecting my snaps of PINK things and writing this blog, my thoughts have been with those ladies  I know who have suffered, so to all  you gals who have faced THE BITCH OF BREAST CANCER and KICKED HER HARD long may you be encourage and thrive….  Lynda F, Mary Mac, Brenda H, Louise C , Maria P ….

Hope to hear from you… all the very best to you, Jay x

MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT JELLY

I only have  one blackcurrant cane in my garden,  every year the  fruit  yield is small but fantastic! We love the rich intense flavour of fresh black currants, however none of us are keen the way the teeny weeny seeds tend to stick between you teeth… and turn up in your mouth ages later!  So, each year I make a precious little stash of black currant jelly.

The journey of my black currants, from cane to bread!

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I climbed into the bushes to get right up close to the  black currants to take this photo!

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The currants looked so lovely, I had to snip off this little twig full of chubby shining fruit, ready and waiting to be harvested.

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I then pinched off all the little stalks and picked out  the few leaves that got in to the bowl as I was collecting the currants.

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I was given this little HARRODS book (oh, how fancy and posh am I!) jams, jelly’s and chutney’s one Christmas about 25 years ago and have used it ever since when I have made preserves.  Not only do I find the instructions easy and clear to follow, it has some simply lovely  fruit and vegetables combinations. Also lots of true traditional tasty old fashioned British recipes.

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Added this picture, which is on the back cover of the book, just because I think it is lovely!

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The description on the top of the recipe page sums up this jelly to a tee!  I couldn’t agree more!

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WOW…. look at this fantastic colour, felt like I was brewing up a vat for a magic potion…. “Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble…”

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So, all the fruit has popped in the rapid boiling process to produce a lovely thick bitty moooosh…  The next stage is to strain off the juice.  I don’t have a preserve set with proper muslin bag and straining stand, so I made do with my BIG pan I use for soups, stews and casseroles, a square of muslin (you can buy this really cheap for about £1 a mtr, but do wash and dry before you use it for jelly making,  you never know if there is a starch or dressing on the fabric) stretch it over the pan and secure with clothes pegs… easy!   Carefully pour the moooosh onto the muslin, it might splash so make sure you have an apron on or old tee-shirt.  Leave over night so the juice naturally strains through the muslin into the pan below.

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NEXT DAY

Prepare your jars.  I wash them in hot soapy water, pour boiling water in each right to the top, leave for about 10 minutes, so I know they are “clean as clean can be!”  Then pop them in a warm oven to completely dry, and to keep them warm.

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Measure the juice and calculate how much sugar you will need (see recipe photo) I  used jam sugar that contains pectin, normally I would use normal sugar, but  I decided to use this sugar as I wanted it to set to quite a solid consistency.  Dissolve the sugar, boil rapidly for 10 minutes, and pour into the warm jars.

This batch made six little jars of the darkest of dark deep purple thick jelly.  Absolutely bursting full of rich black current flavour, you don’t need much on your bread or scones (home made?) to make your taste buds tingle with currant-tee-ness

All the time I was making the jelly I was thinking how to “fancy-up” the lids.  My first thought was traditional little fabric “mopped cap” style, but gave up on this as my pinking shears are awfully blunt and kept snagging the fabric… Ping!  This idea popped into my mind…

Paper muffin cases, just the perfect size, cute design… super, and it worked a treat!

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The jelly is soooOooooo rich and dark these full jars look like they could be full of black treacle, honest it is the jelly!

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Took this picture of three jars closer to see if you could see the colour BIG DEEP BURGUNDY PURPLE any clearer, but no, still looks black… hummmmmm I can’t get away from the fact that the fruit is called BLACK currant!

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Little labels I bought from the local cook shop, I have now stuck on the jars (sorry, took photo first!)

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I have given a jar away to my dear friend “A” who helped me move a big piece of furniture the other day, just couldn’t have done without her…

We are rather enjoying  having the jelly on our breakfast toast each morning too!

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A FEW FACTS ABOUT THE BLACK CURRANT

*  They are rich in vitamin C and contain antioxidants.

*  The fruit and foliage have been also been used in the preparation on medicines and dyes.

*  Native to Europe and Asia, cultivated in Russia by the 11th century in monastery gardens, then in towns, villages and settlements.

*  In World War Two, most fruit such as oranges were almost impossible to obtain in The United Kingdom. As the black currant was identified as being such an excellent  source of vitamin C, the Government encouraged the cultivation of the crop with land owners, and it became on of the nations important crops.

*  From 1942 blackcurrant syrup was distributed free to children under the age of two, thus becoming a firm favourite drink for children which continues today!

*  In history, the juice was boiled with sugar to produce a syrup which has soothed such ailments as sore throats and help to reduce fever, and help with cold and flu symptoms.

*  Also the leaves have traditionally been used for symptoms ranging from arthritis, coughs, and diarrhoea.

You might just be wondering why I called this blog “Middle of the Night Jelly” it could be because of it’s very, very dark velvety colour which looks like night sky, but it isn’t!  I am having problems with sleeping at the moment, I lay awake many a night recently… often I get up and do something like tidy up a kitchen cupboard,  have a rummage in my craft stash, often get my crochet out, but the other night I started making this jelly, completed it the following  night, well, actually it was very early hours of the morning when I finally put the lids on the jars, papers and labels.

All the very best to you, Jay x

My little extra snippet for you from Snoo “Reindeers like to eat bananas”  (just wonder who gave a banana to a reindeer?)

BIG STORMS…

We had a tremendos thunder and lightening storm yesterday.  You know the ones that you can see, hear and almost feel through your body… well it was like that!

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Ever since I was a little girl I have been really scared of big noisy storms.  I can remember quite clearly dashing into my parents room at night, crawling under the covers between them, and listening to them saying soothing things to me.  Often a little story, most often the one  about people in heaven moving the furniture around up stairs…I bought that one when I was very tiny,   or an angry man who lives in the clouds is a bit cross with some one and is shouting… but as I got older I knew that didn’t sound quite right!

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As I got wiser, I remember the more scientific explanation from my dad (he especially loves all this sort of explanation stuff)  counting the time  between the flash to the rumble and working out how far away the storm is.  

I clearly remember him being a bit of a cloud boffin to!  Seeing clouds like this (below) and saying “oooOOOo storm on the way”  He often looked into the sky and talked about cirrus, nimbostratus, cumulus…  He loved the weather and often went off into his own little world chatting about precipitation, thermals, Isobars, high and low pressure and the one he explained the best “the Jet Stream”… think that was the one he was most fascinated by.
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Although I am still anxious when there is a thunder storm, I can see the spectacular natural show that mother nature puts on for us from time to time.  The cloud formations can be amazing, the dark moody sky’s menacing look,  the crack of lightening quite unbelievable when the light up the sky for that second or two. Pretty terrific to think this is all natural.

I think if you talk to most people you will find they have a fear, wether it is spiders, going to the dentist, being in a confined space, heights… to be totally fearless must be quite unusual.

The symbol of the lightening bolt is out there as a striking reminder, some times a powerful image,  something meaningful, dramatic or for our entertainment…!

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Sorry I haven’t been writing my blog as regularly as I have done, but I have been so busy with all sorts of things!

Do keep dropping by, always super to know you are out there wondering if I am about to blog!

Bye, Jay xxx

My little snippet for you from Snoo “Dr Spock’s (Star Trek) blood type was “T negative”

CLOVER AMOUR CROCHET HOOKS

Hello, I have treated myself… but first let me chat a bit!

About this time last year I learned how to crochet!  Please have a look back to my very first blog post which was a crochet project that I absolutely loved!  “MY CROCHET STORY”  Since then I have been practicing with different yarns, different hook sizes,  had a little experiment with different stitches.  I have also bought  few books, bobbed in and out of various brilliant u-tube tutorials (thank you all those clever folk who have shared their techniques and patterns freely, you all have helped and encouraged my crochet spirits!) also I have done a lot of “chatting” about crochet with my crafty friends over  a coffee, lunch, cuppa…

Heidi Bear, with her excellent tutorials and beautiful projects has been absolutely brilliant and a real inspiration for me to try some thing different.  I so enjoyed making “LITTLE BLUE BIRD OF HAPPINESS… HEIDI’S BIRD” which I blogged about a little while ago, scroll back and have a look, or visits Heidi heidibearscreativeblogspot.co.uk

So, back to what I started this post about… my treat to myself!    My very first crochet hook was a real investment.  Decided to go with a brand which was recommended to me by my friend “A” who has problems with her wrist (she broke it while ice skating, oh yes, what a romantic way to break your wrist… I normally hurt myself in a really boring way like slipping on an icy patch on the garden path, or tripping over a curb, pretty ordinary!) she wanted to have the best control and comfort with her crochet hook.  I have to agree CLOVER AMOUR are terrific! My first hook was number 4mm, and this is the “little baby” that helped me create my colourful blanket.

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I enjoyed using it so much, decided to collect the set over time.  They are reassuringly  expensive… do you know what I mean?  As they are more pricey than bog standard hooks (that are perfectly fine if you are on a budget) they are worth thinking about and investing in over a period of time.  It has taken me a year to complete my set, I do have the satisfaction that I didn’t just go and buy the whole lot at once.  Each time I bought a new hook, I made some thing with the new size to make it a little bit special.  My last hook arrived this morning, “Big mama” number 6… she is a “big girl!”

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Like a little girl with a new toy, I have been playing with them… this is what I came up with as I drank my morning coffee, and clicked away with my camera.

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All neat and tidy as a collection in their packets…

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Okay, enjoy the picture show!

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Not only do I love using these very special hooks as they are so comfy with “soft grip” handles, I also love looking at them as they are such lovely colours, oooOOOo I love a bit of colour!

Me smiling, you?  Bye for now, Jay  X

My little extra snippet for you from Snoo “Cats average 16 hours of sleep a day, more than any other mammal”

 

 

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS…

I’m a bit of a collector!  I have all all sorts of little collections of “things” most of which are inexpensive, novelties,  items I have come by, purely by chance or have been give to me by special people in my life who know me so very well indeed!

HEARTS… I just hadn’t realised how much this pleasing and special shape means to me, they are tucked, propped, pinned, hung and just “about” all over our home.  Some are really rather cute, others you might even have yourself, like my first photo…

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Pack of cards showing QUEEN OF HEARTS out of order! (sorry gents)

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This a special heart shaped pack of cards that I gave to my husband on St Valentines Day.

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I used this photo in my SEEING RED blog a few weeks ago, thought it fitted in on this blog too!

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These were one of my sister and my favourite sweeties at little girls, they weren’t in a posh tin like this, they were in a tube packet.  Didn’t they say the most cheesiest things… “be mine”  “boyfriend”  “love you”  “cute thing”  oh golly and all the rest…!

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My special little coffee mug (I have tea in a different mug, this one is reserved for coffee only!)

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My favourite sister (I only have one sister so she doubles up to be my second favourite too) made this very  pretty beaded heart by threading little glass beads onto wire, twist, thread, twist, thread… and she came up with this, beautiful isn’t it?

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This “string” of hearts hangs in my daughters bedroom along with…

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These beauties…

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The most heart felt room in the house  is the kitchen… here they are…

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These little hand painted wooden ones hang by a little bit of string and dangle from the knob on the dresser.

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On the other knob on the dresser…

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A friend of mine covered a little smooth granite pebble with wool felt… quirky eh!

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This necklace my husband bought for me when our daughter was born as it was called “mother and daughter hearts together”  The large mummy heart is matt gold and the little heart is matt silver, I am wearing it right now as I write this blog!

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My neighbour gave me this bunch one Christmas and they hang in the back porch.

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This hangs on the inside of the back door.

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Angel wings are in our guest room.

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And… the last two photos  are the chenille cushions I made which are featured in my blog ‘CHINILLED OUT” scroll back and have a look through my older posts.

Best wishes to you, thanks for flipping through these snaps I so enjoyed taking!  Leave me a message, would love to hear from you.

Jay X

My little extra snippet for you by Snoo “Sir Isaac Newton refused to eat with a spoon”

 

 

WHO ARE THEY?

We have been on holiday so I have been away from my blog pages… have you missed me?

I have a love of old photographs, especially black and white ones of our family members.  Those special people who have made us who we are,  and that are now long gone, however  their faces and smiles are kept forever in precious pictures.

I am constantly looking for old photo frames in junk and second hand shops, often pop along to the local auction house to see if there are any goodies, while there hunt for frames too.

Recently I bought two lovely and unusual frames.  A beautiful thick oval hand carved one, and a hexagonal one.  Each frame had a photo in which I had intended to take out and replace with a family picture.  As I polished the frame, washed the glass and got my photo’s ready to insert, I glanced at the little faces I had just removed… I just couldn’t do it!   I put the strangers back in the frames and have kept them exactly as they were when I bought them.

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I have no idea who this little lad is, there is no name or date on the back, but I am guessing he is about 4 or 5 years old  The photo is very old and by the thick card it is printed on and the style of his clothes I would think it was taken a long time ago… maybe Victorian?   Do you recognise him? I kinda love him, his cheeky chubby little smiling face make me happy I decided to keep him just as he is.  This photo is in the large oval carved frame, he hangs on the wall in the study.

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Who is this little girl? Again nothing to identify her, no  name or date the photo to know when it was taken.  She is about 5, maybe 6 years old, looking at her pretty little dress, should think it might have been her Sunday best!  Again I think possibly Victorian?  This photo is on my side board with photos of my daughter and nephews as little children, she fits in perfectly with our family group.

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Now, this photo has a different story.  We have recently found a big cabinet of family papers and photo’s that belonged to my husbands family tucked away undisturbed for many many years.  We have gone through the stash of  truly lovely old photos and memoirs  (I got really tearful and sentimental over the letters written by children to parents while at boarding school… lovely little snippets of news   “I was very lucky today as I found a penny in my belongings that I thought I has misplaced….”   Anyway, my husband identified all the photo’s except this little lad.  Who is he we wonder?  He might be about 6 or 7 years old?, and we are guessing the photo was taken between 1930’s and 1940’s.  I haven’t got a frame for him yet, it is quite a small photo, so will be on the hunt  for one.

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This group photo was also found amongst the family archives… We got the magnifying glass out to study the faces but none are family.  We think it is a boy scout outing, have identified where it was taken.  The roundabout cenotaph in front of the church in Skipton, North Yorkshire, in the1940’s?

Thanks for dropping by, please leave me a message. I would be thrilled to bits to hear from you, especially if you recognise any of these lovely faces!

Best wishes, Jay x

My little extra snippet for you from Snoo “When nobody is about  47% of people drink straight from the carton out of the fridge”    …. naughty eh!

 

 

 

LE SKITTLES! Ooo La La!

 

We have been so excited up here in Yorkshire over the last few weeks, but the excitement really kicked in today with LE GRAND DEPART from Leeds. When I woke very early this morning it was wet and dreary, and like most Le Tour fans was a little bit fed up, however by mid morning the sun was out and it was turning into a lovely day! Where ever you are in the world, you must agree Yorkshire looked absolutely beautiful! Seeing the TV coverage from the helicopter made me SO HAPPY as the countryside looked stunning.

LE TOUR is passing through our village tomorrow, and I can hardly contain myself, I will be watching and cheering ALL the cyclists, it’s the spectacle of the event that has bowled me over rather than an individual rider, I think all the participants are to be admired for their true grit and determination.

Pottering around this afternoon with LE TOUR fever running through my veins I thought what can I do for my next blog which is a different from any thing else that may be done as a LE TOUR blog…

CRAZY… eh?

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This blog starts with these packets of sweeties…

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I opened the packets and tipped them all out in this big heap…

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The sorted them into colours…

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Okay, next I kept the yellow, red and green, and put aside the other colours…. can you see where I am going with these selected colours…? scroll down!

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LE SKITTLE BUNTING !

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LE SKITTLE SWEATERS!

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All scooped up, mixed together again,  found this glass jar in the pantry, ready to nibble and share with the family!

Thank you for visiting, leave me a comment, would love to hear from you, just whizz by the bits you might not want to complete and hit the “post commit” button… thanks!

Bye, Jay X

My little extra snippet for you from Snoo “Koala’s are excellent swimmers”