….shame you can’t bottle it!

This afternoon I have been teaching my grandson Collin how to sew mini owl key rings. His Aunty cut out the shapes and explained about adding the features. And together they came up with several unique owlets. You could almost grasp the patience emanating from the two of them, as they helped each other to with useful advice. I think Collin made a great job of them for his first attempt at sewing. And he is so enthusiastic, you can’t teach or buy that so I’ll be encouraging him to try other things over the weekend.

From the look on his face when he was sitting at the table,  my sewing machine in front of him, I could see in his face the desire to have a try at using it.  Maybe one day next week when I have the time needed to talk him through the mechanics of using the machine. But until then he will have to be content to use the old needle and thread.

And content he was.  He is a very able learner and after being shown just once how to do something he had the confidence to carry out the instructions correctly.  I must admit I was surprised at how quickly he picked up the different techniques, but there again I have found some of the more able children I have worked have tended to be of the male sex when it comes to crafts and needlework.

And Collin wasn’t no different, but I couldn’t get him to leave it till later and go up to bed.  “I’ll just sew this side Grandma”, he said, his little fingers flying back and forth as he worked his way round the miniature felt shapes. So keen was he, it was hard to be firm and insist it was too late to still be sewing. If only I could bottle all that enthusiasm, he would make his Grandma a very rich woman.

Not a battery in sight, no TV, no technology, and no moaning or complaining he was bored, just overwhelming eagerness. And the look on his face when I took a photo of the finished product, was a testament to the level of enjoyment he’d gained from our time together

During the time we were discussing how successful the outcome, I asked what he wanted to do with these little critters.  He asked could he give his mum one as a present.  Of course I said that would be fine, I’m sure mum will be very pleased with the finished product and will proudly show it off to her friends.   Then I suggested he carry on making key rings and he can sell them to make himself a bit pocket-money. I’m sure people would happily give a pound or so for his little owls.

I am so proud of my grandson, he reminds me so much of my late Dad who was also very clever with his hands.  When he wasn’t building a new cupboard or a bookcase, you’d find my Dad removing screws, and nuts and bolts all  in the name of ‘repairing’ some household appliance or other.  And it was never fixed properly if there wasn’t at least one screw left over., or so I was told.

My dad had a knitting machine on which he knitted our jumpers. He was a competent needleworker  having been raised in a family where the talents of all, boys and girls were valued and encouraged.  His stint doing national Service ensured he honed his repair skills using a needle and thread.  He taught me how to darn his socks when I was about nine years old.  I still have his old mushroom should the fashion for  darning  socks return I’ll be more than prepared to take up where I left off.

The thing my dad made that had the greatest effect on me was the Valentines cake he made for my mother.  Three layers high, it was decorated with pink marzipan and icing sugar hearts.  I remember coming home from school to find it sitting in the middle of the dining room table like a little pink palace of loveliness.  I was so envious, I wanted to learn how to do the same, but had to wait a couple of days for him to teach me how to make the cake, minus the pink hearts.

There wasn’t much my dad couldn’t accomplish, and he passed his abilities to me.   He taught me so much, he was always encouraging me to try different things to stretch my abilities.  I tried to pass on what I know to my children and in turn those of my grandchildren who have shown an interest.

I am looking forward to introducing Collin to other areas of creativity that I suspect he’ll thoroughly enjoy.



WARNING…… There have been numerous reports of zombie outbreaks throughout the country,  the magnitude of which has never before been seen in the United Kingdom. Members of the public have been advised for their own safety to remain in their homes and avoid quick bites to eat as this could prove extremely detrimental to their health. Three course meals are recommended though care should be taken to follow a balanced diet. “A crisis is NO excuse for reckless diets and over eating”, warns the department of health. This statement has been confirmed and endorsed by WHO (World Health Organisation), on advisement of the Prime Minister. 



Large groups of zombies have been observed wandering our car parks and supermarkets, in particular those giant food chains who offer BOGOF, two for the price of one and half price offers.  Attracted to the huge amount of free food that no sane person could possibly hope to devour on a weekly basis, the walking dead have been observed relentlessly following supermarket trollies in the pursuit of tasty morsels to satisfy their outrageous demands for sustenance.

It would appear that the zombies prefer the late evenings and early mornings  to prowl,  though this is still to be officially confirmed.  A spokesperson for the government declined the opportunity to make a statement when contacted this morning at 9.00 GMT.  There have also been several unconfirmed reports that the older zombies have been found sleeping in the afternoons, presumably early morning escapades necessitate the need for regular ‘granny naps’.  Any solitary zombie found sleeping after lunch is regarded as fair game and should be captured and imprisoned at any employment office, after the appropriate paperwork has been completed in triplicate.

If you should come across zombie hoards, you are advised NOT to try to capture or outrun the creatures.  Do not be fooled by the slow ambling gait evident in the majority of the creatures, it is simply an illusion perpetrated by them in an attempt to fool the living population, lulling them into a false sense of security.  In reality the zombies can move at the speed of light, and in the blink of an eye they will overcome the strongest member of the public, sucking their brains out through their ears and feasting on their own toe nails.  Please heed these warnings and to ensure the survival of the human race pass this message onto your family and friends.  image image

As a citizen of Great Britain you also have a moral obligation to take responsibility for your older neighbours who will require assistance on a daily basis.  The government cannot provide extra funds or safety measures to protect our more vulnerable members of society, that’s where you come in. Visit your neighbours regularly, be observant;  How long has the milk sat on the step?  Is  the mail piling up? Have those curtains been opened this week? All of these observations can indicate if something untoward is happening in your neighbourhood and may highlight when an elderly person may be at risk.

What to do if you bump into one of these incredible creatures on your visit to the Supermarkets you ask.  Whatever you do, DON’T, I repeat DON’T look into their eyes. This can prove fatal.  In the event you succumb to the zombie influence the only way to break free of the impact of their deadly stare  is by rubbing the back of their necks with burgundy boot polish.  Though it should be noted that there have been unconfirmed reports that this method of disabling the zombies  has failed numerous times.  It is thought a more effective method of disabling the marauding  undead would be to spray them with Bird’s ready-made custard, aiming for their hair.  This won’t kill them, but they will be incensed that you have messed up their hair, they will sit down on the nearest pavement and cry buckets till they have pulled out and eaten all the yellow goo.

Should you look into their eyes they probably won’t physically harm you but it is thought they will follow you home and take up residence in your home.  During their waking periods they will eat all the food you have in your cupboards and fridge, they’ll  drink all your beer and drain your tap dry leaving you thirsty and starving,  and craving flesh!! Should this happen,  without delay, visit you nearest butcher who will happily slaughter you a pound of horse meat sausages.  Eat one a day for three weeks and hopefully the zombie effect will be eliminated.

The government has also expressed grave concerns over the large numbers applying to the registrar for licenses of matrimony throughout the zombie world. It is feared this increase will result in the birth of new and more complex life forms hitherto unseen by man. There is no telling what the results of these outrageous unions will be and how they will adapt to our way of life.  Should you receive an invitation to such a wedding you have been advised the government will frown badly on your attendance and may have you arrested and placed in custody in the nearest bingo hall for a period of up to ten months. It is thought the monotonous banality of the pastime provided will wipe all thought of marriage from even the clearest of minds.


You have been warned!!

No zombies or retired members of our society have been hurt or eaten during the writing of this report. All photographs were taken with permission and individual consent was given for them to be publish in the internet.

Zombies can be purchased from the author, prices and details of individual zombies are available on request.

Please feel free to comment


Long day

Time for a sit down I think.   I’ve been sewing for most of the last two days and now it’s time to stop and take stock of where I’m at.

Luckily, I’ve had help with the cutting out so I managed to finish off  a cot quilt and several busy books yesterday and another couple of books and several aprons today.  I’ve also received an order for three of my busy books so they’ll  be going off in the post soon.    I’m glad they are popular, it gives me a great sense of satisfaction when I receive feedback from customers telling me how much the children enjoy the activities.

It’s been quite a rewarding day, my sister and I have been talking through how to adapt some of the books I’ve made. We’ve discussed how to include other areas of learning, and I’ve explained how some development in children is promoted through play and why certain things work better than others.  I’d forgotten how much I enjoy sharing my knowledge and teaching others, but not enough to return to the world of education.  I’ve been retired for a year now, and I’m learning to adopt a completely different way of life.

I no longer have all the hustle and bustle, planning and marking, stress and targets that were a big part of my life for very many years.  I no longer live my life by timetables, ruled by clocks and alarms: I get out of bed when I wake up, eat when I’m hungry and sleep when I’m tired; I go out when I can and stay in when I can’t and I’m answerable to nobody but myself.

I’ve had a couple of visitors over the past few days: our house is always busy.  Just after I returned from the doctor’s my  lovely neighbour called in for coffee and a chat,  and as usual we put the world to rights before lunch.  Then we had an unexpected visit from our second son, I’ve never been sure if he adopted us or we adopted him,  but he has been around for so many years he’s loved like, and regarded as , one of  the family.   He’s always a welcome visitor, he always makes me smile,  just seeing him and hearing his news boosted my mood, this weekend.  Which was just what the doctor ordered to help dispel the  anxiety and panic I’m struggling with at the moment.  I’m looking forward to his visit next weekend, I’ll have to bake a cake or some cheese scones to have with our coffee.

I’m very pleased with all the new books I’ve made over the past few days. But I must remember to pace myself better.  I lost track of time today and had been sitting at the sewing machine for hours.  It wasn’t till I moved to answer the phone did I realise how stiff I was from sitting so long.  I haven’t quite got the hang of being my own boss and working from home.  

Nevertheless, I’m sure I’ll adapt eventually and I’ll learn to factor in break times and  some days off.  I’m sure my husband will keep me on the straight and narrow and carry on feeding me periodically. And nag me when he deems it necessary.

My little stock of crafts for the fair is steadily increasing, so it should be a successful  day.  As  well as the busy books I now have a small pile of aprons, for children and adults.  The Dr Who fabric I had left from a previous project was ideal for the aprons.  In the back of my cupboard I found some beautiful material I’d purchased from IKEA a while ago.  Just the right colours and design for aprons for  girls and their mums.  I have a selection of crafts in my  boxes, so hopefully there will be something to appeal to  everyone.

Tomorrow, I’m having a day off.  I have to go for a chest X-ray, just a routine check for this silly cough I have developed.   Then hubby and I are having lunch somewhere quiet  before returning home.  I hope you all have an enjoyable week and visit again soon.

Craft Fair

Well I’ve finally done it. I’ve been toying with the idea of having a stall at a craft fair, but have held back because I didn’t know if I could manage it.

Firstly, I suffer from an anxiety disorder that makes it very difficult for me to cope in crowds of people. Secondly, I don’t always have a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities, which is why for years I have made things and given them away. It is only in the last few months that I have been persuaded by my family and friends to sell my crafts, something I still feel uncomfortable doing. Like numerous people who lack confidence in themselves, I tell myself if I give things away they’re gifts and people would be too polite tell me if they think they are rubbish.  Human beings can be complex and strange creatures.


So, I am stepping onto a completely new road, without a map or clear vision as to where I am going. I have no idea where it will lead to but I am taking those first tiny steps with a sense of adventure and I must admit, trepidation as I start off  in a completely new direction.

I have been telling myself for weeks, it doesn’t matter if all this comes to nothing; I am thoroughly enjoying making and creating and if nobody wants what I make, there are plenty of charities that would be able to use them.  So, whatever happens  there will be no losers but plenty of winners.

I  am cheating a little though.  I don’t feel confident enough to take part in the actual fair so I have delegated the selling role to members of my family who are quite enthusiastic about my new venture.

For  this to be a positive experience, I have been thinking seriously about what the outcome of having a stall might be.

  • All of my things will sell like hotcakes, but then I’d have nothing left and I will have to start building up my little stock again
  • some of my things sell, so I’d have enough to do another fair  in a month or so
  • selling something would give me some idea of what people want to buy
  • Or
  • I don’t sell anything, because it’s not good and nobody wants it

It can be very difficult to switch off the negativity  and see the good in what I am doing  but I am trying and whatever happens at the fair, I’m sure it will be a good experience for us all.

Happy St. Valentines Day


Happy Valentines Day.

It’s been a busy week, I made a set of cushion covers for my daughter, and I’m very pleased with the finished results.  The material was origanally a pair of curtains my daughter bought from Primark to make the cushion covers. They were just the colour she’d been searching for and fit perfectly in her living room.  Like me she loves to scour charity shops and shop sales for bargains and items she can recycle or upcycle as its called these days.


I posted off my first online order this week, to a lovely lady for some children’s activities and a busy book. Being new to online selling I was naturally nervous about getting it right.  but everything ran smoothly once  I had reset my Paypal account ( I had forgotten the password again! ).  Thank you Monique for your order and the complimentary feedback.

Doll dressing book. Small doll and selection of clothes for different situations, bed and pillow.

Doll dressing book. Small doll and selection of clothes 

Doll dressing book

Doll dressing book


Doll dressing Book

Doll dressing Book


Picture matching game, pairs,

Picture matching game, pairs,


One of my granddaughters had her 15th birthday yesterday, a date I can never forget.  I helped deliver her, then spent a couple of days in hospital with her and my daughter who was rather poorly. Consequently, I missed my wedding anniversary which was 14th February, St Valentine’s day. My poor husband spent the next day and night on his own and  then we were both back to work. It was a fortnight before we could find the time to be together, but that’s family life for you and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This year though we didn’t miss our wedding anniversary. Valentines day is very popular in our part of the world, making it very difficult to book a restaurant on our wedding anniversary so we celebrated a day early with some good friends yesterday. I’ve had a lovely day with my husband, then shared a romantic dinner and bottle of wine tonight at home and just enjoyed being together. And very soon we’ll be rounding off our celebrations with a trip away to Tunisia, so I’ll have to get busy with my sewing machine.

I hope whatever you did today, you also found time to be with those you love. Xxx