Highs and Lows 2013

2013 has been an interesting year with lots of highs and lows.A constant high in my life is my wonderful grandson Harry and we had the news this year that he is to be joined by a baby brother or sister in June 2014. A low was having my surgery cancelled four times and then finally having it in November. I already feel better for it and once I am back to full strength in March will get back to my old self so in this respect it is both a high and a low.
Another high for 2013 was teaching my first knitting workshops. I’ve taught sewing ones for a while which I love but didn’t feel confident enough to teach a group of people knitting. I am fine teaching one or two people one on one but a group terrified me. I was soon put in my place by one of my managers who said and I quote “with the greatest of respect Jenny that’s hogwash”. I taught my first few and they went really well thank you for those who have supported me.
To round up I have to say that regardless of the bumps that come long the road I feel incredibly lucky. I have food in the cupboard, a roof over my head and a lovely family. I have enough yarn and fabric to last my lifetime and a well trained cat who knows not to touch any of it. I am relatively sane and fit and am looking forwarding to walking, knitting and sewing more in 2014,


Almost done

It’s nearly New Years Eve Eve! Thanks for sticking with me I can’t believe I’ve managed to post each day even if I did occasionally forget to press the publish button . A very short post this but a quick update on the Ciate nail polish. The red is the only one which has shown slight signs of wear. It is slightly chipped at the top but it is still in good condition for five days


I can’t believe it is two years since my Nan died. It feels so much longer. She was a huge part of my life and if it hadn’t been for her and my granddad who was my rock, I am sure I would have gone off the rails. So as I did when you were alive I shall do now in your absence. Thanks Nan for all you did for us and for being there for me whenever I needed you. I love you XX

Christmas Nails

An update on my Ciate mini manicure advent calender. The nail polish came off easily with my boots nail polish remover.  I am pleased to report that their sequin polish has fantastic staying power. Normally when I use glitter polish it only lasts a couple of days this time I have worn it for 6 days and it is still as the day I applied it. I really dislike removing glitter polishes so it will be interesting to see how easy this one is to remove . I’m not looking forward to it.

Best present yet.

Yesterday we visited my daughter for lunch. We are having our family Christmas on Saturday as  my other daughter isn’t available until then. I’m looking forward to it. I think we rush Christmas.  My grandson gets  far too many presents, noisy presents and I think when they are spread apart he appreciates them a bit more. I’m the boring grandparent who gets him clothes and quiet toys that you have to interact with him to play.  Ironically he likes these toys as well as books a lot.
My daughter  wasn’t very happy that we had to wait until Saturday to exchange presents and insisted we opened our presents from our grandson. He’s really good at this shopping lark and he’s not yet two. I was very pleased with mine. I got a pair of Knitting needles with a Nana bead on the top. I don’t know how they knit yet but they are bamboo which is good and are a size 4.5mm which  I will use for aran sweaters for Harry. I love being a nanna


2013 Decorations

Here are some of the decorations I made for family and friends for christmas 2013. Every year I have some tags made with Christmas 2013 by Jennifer S. Obviously I change the year but I sew these on to presents I make for the holidays
I decided to add some crochet trim to the bell
The hearts are made with Liberty fabric , felt and trimmed with beads and vintage lace that was made in England.

Christmas Blessings

Merry Christmas everyone.
I was sitting reading A Turn in the Road by Debbie Macomber when my mind wandered and I started to think about how lucky I am.
I wasn’t thinking about my family although I do consider myself extremely lucky to have to two wonderful daughters, an amazing grandson and a wonderful husband of twenty seven years. We’ve been together for thirty two years a fact I am very proud of.
I was thinking of my craft skills. I am so lucky to be able to knit and sew. As I’ve said previously I do believe that my crafting is in my DNA. I am lucky that I have the skills to make a whole wardrobe for myself , my daughters and my grandchildren.  I don’t think when I’m knitting it’s second nature. If I’m stressed I can just do some mindless knitting or even some intricate stuff and soon without noticing I am calmer.  When I sit at the sewing machine I actually feel a wave of calm come over me. I can lose my self for hours doing cross stitch or tapestry. I am also lucky in that I still see things almost through the eyes of a child and simple things please me. I take great pleasure when I see a project coming together and I will stop and look at the leaves on the tree, the clouds in the sky and any other of natures beauties I come across.
Life hasn’t always been easy but I’m still here , I am blessed and know how lucky I am.

Day 24 One Day to go

Christmas Eve today.  Only one day to go until we meet the new doctor. Oh and it’s Christmas.
I shall miss Matt Smith, although I do feel some of the story lines were more Sarah Jane Adventures than Doctor Who. I like the fact that my predictive text automatically suggests who after Doctor. I managed to source some templates for various Christmas shapes including a star, stocking and bell. I started with the bell first but kept unpicking it as I wasn’t happy with my stitching. First I tried blanket stitch then satin stitch but neither looked right so I ended up with running stitch. I used one of my tags for the hanger and sewed a bow I made from ribbon and added some sequins to the top.  I am pleased with the result although I feel a lighter felt would show the Liberty fabric off better.

The second one I decided to make was the heart, this time I cut an extra heart from interfacing to highlight the pattern on the Liberty fabric.

Day 23

Two more sleeps until Christmas. Yay

I have decided to make my Liberty print decorations a bit simpler than I originally envisioned.

My mum gave me an old Liberty decoration many years ago which is basically a piece of Liberty fabric on the front,  felt on the back and stitching around the edges. I am still doing hearts but will use the same type of fabrics and ribbons. I am not sure which stitches I shall use for the edges but it does mean I can have a play


Draught Exluder tutorial. Cost zero.

I often make things off the top of my head but never think to write out instructions or take photographs.  This time  though I have written a tutorial. For months I have been meaning to make a draft excluder. I have the fabric and the stuffing but haven’t gotten around to sew it. This week the draft under the door was back and I knew I had to make one. As I am unable to machine sew at the minute my make do and mend mentality went into overdrive and this is the finished product. It can be made in minutes and doesn’t need to cost a penny as all the materials you need will be in your home.

It’s a bit basic but it does the job and you could jazz it up with beads or ribbons.

Tools and Materials needed

1 pair tights 40 denier or thicker
Beach towel

Step 1. Cut the Legs off the tights

Step 2. Fold beach towel in half so that the shorter sides are together.

Step 3. Roll towel up. It doesn’t matter which side you roll it from it’s which ever length suits you.


Step 4 Roll tight leg up as if you were going to wear it and insert towel into tight leg.

Step 5 pull tight over towel and tie a knot in each end.

Your draft exluder is ready to be used. The best thing is it didn’t cost a penny and when you no longer need it you can untie the knots wash the towel and put it away until its needed again.