DRAUGHT EXCLUDER… THE SEQUEL

The “Friends” draught excluder was received extremely well, and is being used, catching all of those sneaky little draughts that are nipping around this time of year… delighted that it is use!

Got me thinking, hey, I have a draught too… under my kitchen door that is most unwelcome, so without delay I  gathered together yarn I had left over from a  very “tweedy” project I made years ago. This is what I came up with…

In situ, perfect fit for the door alcove, so sits there snugly!

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Few close ups to see the colours and texture

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… and another…

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I had just about enough yarn left over to do the ends, this is one…

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… and this is the other!

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This is the “long and the short of it!”

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Sorry I didn’t take any photo’s while crocheting away, too focused and involved, but it is along the same lines as the other one I made, only VERY random with my stripes.

I did have a little think about colour dispersal as I wanted the colours to run through the whole piece.  Although “random” sounds easy, I would advise, if you want to have a go,  to try and be a bit organised with colours as it could be very frustrating if you run out of a colour which you wanted running throughout the project!

 

Quite pleased… what do you think?

Always delighted to hear from you, leave me a message or comment…

Best wishes,  Jay x

Little extra snipped from Snoo  “Dolphins sleep with one eye open”

P.S GIFT FOR BABY…

Another baby!

Our dear friends have just become grand parents for the first time to a little boy, how absolutely fabulous and so exciting!

There is never a better excuse to get the sewing machine out again  to make some thing special for a new little person. Having only just made the baby girl  draw string bag for baby Fearne, I thought another would be super to make, but this time thinking about a little boy!  This is what I came up with….

Adorable fabric called “Tweet Together” by Monkey Bow” for “StudioFabrics”

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The felt colours I decided were a pretty good match for the appliqué

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Used the same fabric for both sides with this bag, however did appliqué on both sides as I have become comfortable with this stitch on my sewing machine.  Machine appliqué isn’t hard, just takes a little time to perfect especially if you have a shape with curves, you will need to get the rhythm of turning your piece as you stitch…

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This is one side…
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… and this is the other side…

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I used a solid plain pretty blue for the draw string binding as I thought this contrast looked quite good!

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The “closed” ruffled top of the bag.

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As I had a tiny bit  extra fabric left over I couldn’t resist, to use it up on this little string of bunting!

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Wrapped and ready to give!

Bye for now, Jay x

Little extra snippet for you from Snoo “It takes more effort for  your facial muscles to frown than to smile…  :o) ”

 

I LOVE BIG COLOUR!

I spend a lot of time appreciating colour and colour collections. This blog I’ve decided to hunt for those bright, big, bold beyond rainbow collections in things that delight me… and to brighten up these winter days we are having… I’m going to keep to mostly pictures, so you don’t have to work hard at all on this post… just scroll through and enjoy!
Okay, lets kick off shall we!
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Not only is this a great colour collection to start off with, it is also beautiful yarn… soft and yummy to knit/crochet with!

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Have been in my button box again!

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Remember a few posts ago telling you about my FLOWER POWER BADGES for OMG, such a mixture of colours.

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Vintage colour.  My original 1940’s rag rug  I bought years ago in a second hand shop which is on the floor in my kitchen.  An old glass jelly dish filled with beautiful hand painted vintage Easter Eggs bought from a delightful second hand shop in  what was East Berlin.

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A cushion I have for sale on my Etsy shop…. if you are interested, please have a look at my shop   The Sewing Wren… sorry for the plug, but I happen to think this goes well in this colour post.

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Just before I made a HUGE bowl of fresh fruit salad for tea.

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WOW… P&Q fabric… ummm!

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Oh my beautiful long string of glass beads!  This is  very special, I wear them all the time.  My sister  lovingly makes these gorgeous  and unique beauties.   This particular one she made especially for me… She occasionally creates and sells them on a commission basis.  So, if you are interested, please do get in touch.  There is a little questionnaire, she will ask of you,  what colours suit you, colours to avoid, how long you would like the string, and so on, any special little request?? She is a fiend when it comes to her bead collections.  Majority of her booty of treasures  are either old, vintage, and in some cases antique.  She is always on the hunt for bead necklaces and rosary’s that are  some times broken or have missing clasps.  Some times the necklaces are pretty dreadful, however she has an “eye” to spot there might be a  “gem” sneaked in amongst the rubbish ones.  All the beads are either semi precious, glass or vintage materials… no cheap modern plastic!  She painstakingly takes away all the bad or broken bits, polishes each bead, and pops then in her filing system of jam jars! She will try  to add some thing really quirky and personal into each piece.  Notice in my  necklace the special piece is the little silver Noah’s ark…

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Remember these that I crocheted for Easter OMG?

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In my sewing box…Coats cotton thread is lovely to work with, one of my favourite thread brands.

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This a photo I took when I was helping Lucy  http://attic24.typepad.com/for  the decorations for YARNDALE 2013. This was  when every one from far and wide were sending her their crochet master pieces of bunting triangles to her.  I had a load of triangles arranged on my kitchen floor (swept and mopped I may add!) pre-stringing all the crochet bunting together… Lucy asked if she could use the picture in her blog/facebook  as  she thought the colours were so lovely, so you may have seen it before.

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I can never bring myself to use normal all steel pins in my craft, I love  using  glass headed colourful ones……

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Oh my word, just look at these socks!

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Silly but cute, my daughter came up with little collection of critters she collected when she was quite tiny, and still has, perfect for this colour blog, thanks “G”

This devine little collection of mini coloured pencils… fantastic wheel of a colour spectrum.

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I hope you have enjoyed flicking thru these pic’s, I have really enjoyed collecting them for this blog… let me know what you think, looking forward to reading your comments.

Best wishes,  Jay X

My little extra snippet for you from Snoo  “There are more saunas than there are cars in Finland”

GIFT FOR BABY!

My dear friend has become a grandmother to a baby girl recently and naturally I wanted to give a gift.  I quite expect the  little lady in question has a wardrobe of clothes already, bedding and such has been carefully chosen, I  know that “new mum” has planned, decorated and perfected the nursery, so I decided to make some thing… this is what I came up with,  fairly simple, quite cute and beautiful fabric… Interested? keep reading!  I’ll start with the fabric, cutest range from a young English designer “Lewis and Irene” this particular fabric story is called “Town and Country” and is available in two colour ways.  I have used the soft pastel shades. SAM_3574
This is the other jolly colour way, same design just a different collection of colour shades… clever eh!
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Close up of the information on the selvage edge.
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I bought two fat 1/4 pieces (50cm x 55cm) from my local P&Q fabric shop. They were £2.70 each. The white cotton piping cord was 60p per metre, I needed 2.5mtr for this project. I had a reel of pink cotton thread in my work box. Also had pure white cotton fabric in my stash for the lining, I used 50cm full width. I had scraps of craft felt too, but do know it is in-expensive to buy, a piece about 25cm x 25cm is approx 50p.

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Cut a stripe from each of the fat 1/4 approx 4-5 cm and put on one side for later.

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These are the colours I chose for the felt part of the project.
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I decided the lettering of the baby’s name would be easiest to work using capital letters. Planned it on simple graph paper.SAM_3577
I used an iron-on Vilene to trace over the letters. Here you will have to think a little about “mirror image” of certain letters. If you have the shiny side up – facing you, when you iron and cut the letters will be around the correct way when you apply them to the fabric.
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Trace all letters onto Vilene. Have your piece of felt slightly larger than your Vilene letter and press with a warm iron. Not too hot or you will scald either the Vilene or the felt, especially if the felt is a cotton polyester mix.
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Cut our letters.
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Look at your sewing machines selection of stitches. I decided on a teeny weeny blanket stitch which looked like this on my machine… you may want to have a little play with stitches and sizes to find one suitable. Satin stitch, blind hem, appliqué, or fancy?
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To hold the letters in place while I stitched I dabbed a little glue on the underside, couldn’t face pins or tacking!  I suggest sewing any appliqué onto your fabric before making up what ever you are making where possible.  It is much easier to turn-sew a piece of fabric rather than a bag, cushion, clothing.

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Okay lets sew! On the very edge of the felt letters, lower needle so it catches the edge of the felt. I advise to go quite slow and watch carefully, stopping, (needle down position) a few stitches before turning, to check, turn and continue.
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Photo upside down to show detail!
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This bit takes a bit of time, but I quite enjoy seeing it come together.SAM_3498
When finished, pull thread through on the under side and tie ends together securely. Now you need to make two bags, one from the design fabric – outer, and another from the white fabric – inner/lining. Stitch sides and bottom, leaving a gap of approx 15cm open on one side of the inner – lining bag. However, make each bag EXACTLY the same size. With right sided together put one bag inside the other.
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Take time making sure that the corners of each bag is snugly in place and the side seams line up.
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In this photo I have shown the lining fabric showing so you can see, I did have the top edges of the bag level before I started to sew.  bags are inside out, sew continuously around the top.

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Pull the whole bag through the opening in the lining, good idea to give the piece a little press at this stage. Stitch the opening closed.

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Push the lining back in on it’s self into the main bag.  I like to  tweak the lining fabric back so a tiny edge of design fabric is showing, which,  on the right side actually means no lining is showing at all on the top edges.  Your can do this by “rolling” the fabric between your finger and thumb. Give the whole piece a good press to ensure the seams are flat.

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With the strips cut previously, press edges in approx 1 cm on each side to form a binding.

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If using co-ordinating fabric as I have, place/pin the different binding onto a each side to add a little interest.
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At the seam, carefully turn in the edge of the binding so it forms an opening to each binding end over the seam. Pin into place. You may feel you would prefer to tack at this stage to avoid fabric slipping out of place as you sew.
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At the seams, back stitch over the seam to add a little strength.

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With a safely pin or large bodkin, thread the piping cord through the opening binding – seam. I like to thread the piping one way and then another length the opposite way, this creates a super drawer string closure, and also hangs nicely on a hook, door handle… Tie ends tougher in a strong firm knot.
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…and, I think it makes a really pretty frilly top!
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Tease out tassel ends with pair of needle craft scissors.
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Finished!

Ready now to give!

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Thanks for visiting, leave a comment if you feel you would like to, always delighted to hear from fellow crafters, blogger!

Best wishes, Jay x

My little extra snippet for you from Snoo “… to see a rainbow you must have your back to the sun…’

FRIENDS DRAUGHT EXCLUDER

The meeting house has a gap under the door where the wind sneaks in… trying to keep the room warm and cosy during this time of year is difficult at the best of times.  With my newly acquired (and rather basic, I must admit) crochet skill, I have managed to make some thing that hopefully will be fit for purpose!
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I wanted to choose a yarn that was thick and chunky, also wanted to get the job done as quick as possible so it could be put to use, stopping those nasty little chills creeping into the room.  Wasn’t too sure if pure wool would stand up to possibly getting damp, plumped for this yarn… King Cole Comfort Chunky 100% polyester, in these smart jolly colours! I bought two balls of silver, one each of aqua and red.
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Looked through my collection of crochet hooks and selected the big one! (6mm)
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I had to do a little guess work next, not really knowing how many chains I would need to cast on as I wasn’t following a pattern or instructions… just going with my gut feel on this project. Chained 50…
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I have used the double crochet (UK) stitch, single (US) for this project. Looking at the yarn I decided on a repeat stripe pattern of four rows silver, two rows aqua, two rows red, two rows aqua, four rows silver, kept going like this until I reached 40 inches (the width of the door alcove) Please remember this colour repeat as it will come up again in a blog I am mulling over in the near future… please come back to visit me soon to find out!
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Keeping to even rows means that the little yarn tails when changing colour are always on the same edge. I left them appox 3-4 inches long as I wanted to use them to sew the long edges together with the same colour, keeping it neat and tidy.
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That is quite a lot of crocheting… happily kept my lap warm while working!
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I carefully sewed up the long sides matching colours from each end of the piece leaving a section open in the middle of approx 12 inches, for inserting the stuffing.
For each ends, with the red yarn, I made a magic ring, chain 3, yarn over, crochet 12 double crochet into the ring to form a firm little circle.
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Each round increase by 12. Chain 3, crochet twice into each of the “v” stitches to make the next row.
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Add new colour, use same method, remember this time to increase in every other stitch. Two rows/rounds of aqua.
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Add one row/round of silver.
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Carefully ease the crochet circle into each end of the “tube”, I found pinning it in to place helped to keep the edges together as I worked around. Once you get going it just seems to fit! Finish with a firm slip stitch and pull yarn into the inside via the opening.
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I wanted the stuffing to be waterproof and weighty. Saved some polythene wrapping and mini bubble wrap, crunched it up a little.
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Bought some dry gravel.SAM_3433

I took a hand full of gravel, filled up 8 little kitchen “snappy” food bags. Pushed the polythene/bubble wrap in through the “tube” opening, arranging it as evenly as possible, placed the little gravel parcels evenly spaced in the scrunched polythene/bubble wrap the length of the tube. Sew up the opening using the yarn tail ends.

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This is all the Yarn I had left over.
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So I made these! I will blog about pom poms in a blog later on, please come back and visit… thanks!
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Last photo, snuggly wedged into place stopping all the chills from finding their way under the door to us!
Thanks for visiting me, be delighted to hear from you.
Best wishes, Jay x
My little extra snippet for you from Snoo “… A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time… 1/100th of a second…”

 

PRETTY MASON STYLE JAR GIFTS

May I share with you an idea that is simple, very easy to pop together,  quite pretty and great to give as gifts.  My best friend has two teenage girls who I really like to give a little Christmas gift to, but never know really what to buy for them.  They both have full lives at school and university, have lots of interests and hobbies, lovely bright young’s things! So, this is what I did for them this Christmas…

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This is how I started.  I bought two  glass  Kilner (Mason Jars Style) with handles (thought they would be useful for hot chocolate after all the chocolate coins had been eaten!) there are some very pretty colours available too, but decided clear glass so the content could bee seen.  They were really reasonable approx £2.00 each.

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I found these super colourful coins in Morrison’s super market, bought two little nets… can’t remember how much they were, not many pennies more expensive than the normal gold and silver ones (PLEASE visit my blog soon as I have more to show you about the coins… super, see you later!)

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These waxed candy pink and white striped drinking straws at approx £2.00 a packSAM_3416

Next I gathered up all the things I was going to need… Pretty fabric, pinking shears (if you don’t have a pair, you might have a friend who will lend you theirs… or use normal scissors) ribbon, label punch, card, pretty waxed drinking straws….

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Guessed the size I wanted the fabric jar cover tops and cut out circles… start with them a little larger than you think, you can always trim them down to size. Tipped the coins into the jars… then all the was really to do was the bows and trims…

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I then punched out quite a few pretty coloured “labels”

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Sorted out some pretty co-ordinating coloured organza ribbon (I like organza ribbon… it ties and bows so nicely, bows tie and stay put without slipping as  satin styles often do…know what I mean!?)
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Made a bunch of straws and used some of the same ribbon.
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A little tip before you tie the ribbon around the fabric at the top of the jar… pop a rubber band around where you will be placing the ribbon, adjust, and wiggle the fabric evenly into place, tie the ribbon, then snip the rubber band and gently pull away leaving neat ribbon!
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Just a few more snaps!
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All done! Pretty!

Thanks for stopping by, plan to blog a little more in 2015, I have found my way back after being a bit wobbly over the last few months… Would love to hear from you!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS IN 2015…. “PEACE THE WORLD OVER” as my dear husband would always say…

Jay X

Little extra snippet for you from Snoo “The liner QE2 moved only six inches for every gallon of diesel that was used”

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