Monday, 23 December 2013

Almost there!



The last of my orders was finished and sent off on Friday.  Harry has a friend round (always a good excuse to get the Santa and reindeer hat out!) and yes, that really is me with my feet up, watching Elf.  Doing absolutely nothing.  Nothing. at. all    <sigh>

Have a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2014.  xxx

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Giveaway winner

The names were put in a jug and the winning name was drawn (sorry no photos, camera has run out of batteries and I haven't time this morning to go and get some!!) and that name was...... Gilly, from Gilly Makes.  Well done Gilly, if you would like to message me with your address details, a doggy garland will be in the post to you!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013



My baby boy turned 18 this weekend, where has that time gone?! He is looking rather tired on the photos as he got up at ridiculous o'clock so his dad could see him open presents before he went to work!  I did make him a bacon sandwich to help though!

He had a 'gathering' (not a party mum) so it was a good excuse to hang decorations.  I got the snowflakes and paper balls from RE a couple of years ago and will put them up for any reason at all!

Apart from that I'm pretty much chained to the sewing machine, trying to get all of my orders made in time for Christmas, still not sure if it will happen... fingers crossed!

Have a good week everyone x

Saturday, 23 November 2013

One year old... and a giveaway!

I can't believe I've been blogging for a year now, it has gone so quickly and such a lot has happened in this year, especially on the making front, my business has really taken off, which is fantastic.  It has been a steep learning curve but an enjoyable one.

I have 'met' so many lovely new people through blogging and I am grateful to have you, the lovely comments really do make my day.

To celebrate my first blogging anniversary I would like to offer a giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment (you don't have to be a follower, but would love it if I get to know more of you who read my blog)  I thought you might like one of my garlands and I will make the draw on Saturday 7th December so that they can get to you in time for Christmas.

Thank you all my bloggy friends and here's to the next year!

Julie x

Saturday, 16 November 2013

I'm still here...

Sorry I've been very absent the last week or so, no blogging from me or time to read other blogs.  I hsve been aware that my posts have been very gloom and doom, but unfortunately it has been a very true reflection of what has been going on just lately.

My dad had to go into hospital last week and as is often the case these days he didn't have his op in the town we live in and as my mum is not a confident driver I've been  ferrying back and forth to see him.  The good news is he is now home but struggling after a 7 1/2 hour op.  I'm hoping that's the last of the stressful things happening for a while and with that in mind... on to happier things.

I thought you might want to see where I visited today - a very pretty Suffolk village, Bildeston.   I was at a Christmas fair at the very aptly named Christmas Hall.  I would have taken more photos but unfortunately my camera battery gave up the ghost, such a shame because the house was beautiful and really made me feel Christmassy

Sorry photo not very good of my stand, I wanted to see how it looked with my new Christmas lights.  And yes, of course I sampled the cake!

Hope you have a good week everybody x

Friday, 1 November 2013

Me: (excitedly) I've just won a set of Emma Bridgewater cake tins!

Son: (sarcastically) Great, you can use them to catch the rain that's coming through the hole in the roof!

Way to kill a moment... 

Yes it's been a bit of a week.  Jude left a little bit of devastation at our house.  We have dormer windows in the roof where there are two bedrooms. The lead flashing on the roof of one of these was ripped off in the winds and brought down a lot of tiles above it leaving a large hole in the roof.  My week has been spent talking to insurance companies, loss adjusters and builders and to date it hasn't even been covered up as scaffolding is needed to get up there.  Of course the weather forecast said it wouldn't rain until Saturday, but it has rained every day.

Nice tins though! x

Friday, 25 October 2013


Thursday was a beacon of sunlight in a very dreary, drab, wet week.  It's hard to stay cheerful when it doesn't seem to get light all day.

Harry made a little nest in the new cream throw I put over his a sofa... why I put a cream throw on there in this weather I'll never know, it's not going to stay that colour for very long!

I cheered myself up with some cream lillies which have made the sitting room smell gorgeous, although my husband, who suffers from hayfever has been a bit snuffly, but hasn't cottoned on that it might be the flowers  that are causing it!

And of course, a little bit of Christmas making... the mix of cinnamon and cloves that I put in these are making the whole house smell very Christmassy.

How do you cheer up these dull autumn days? x

Monday, 21 October 2013

Autumn has arrived in Suffolk with a vengeance, not the clear bright cold days of autumn, but wet and grey.  There is beauty to be seen in the oranges and reds of the trees and my pyracantha has finally started to colour (seems much later than others this year).

  Also made a little autumnal bunting to off set the monotony of making Christmas garlands... I have had orders for 126 so far!  That is mainly through facebook, as I cannot put them on etsy and folksy as I have a 6 week waiting list now (hopefully?!) if I sew all day and every day.  But I am not going to complain about being busy, I am so grateful for people enjoying my work and it will make me really happy to think that there will be lots of  households with bunting that I have made hanging up in their homes over Christmas.  It's such a nice feeling - I love my job! x

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Raspberry Friands

I think the Great British Bake Off is getting to me.  No longer am I satisfied with baking cupcakes and fruit cake.  No, I need to make something that sounds like it takes a lot more effort than it actually does!

A few months ago I bought this book

Katie Quinn Davies is  an award winning food, travel and lifestyle photographer and this really shows in her wonderful cook book.  It is a joy to just sit and look through and the recipes are simple, but everything I have tried so far has been delicious.

Anyway, today David took Ben off to another Uni Open Day, this time in Leeds and I was staying at home to look after Harry and carry on sewing my garlands.  Best laid plans and all that, the postman arrived with my new silicone friand mould... why haven't I used silicone before, it made baking a large batch so much easier, the cakes just slid out and I could put the next lot of mix straight in!

These were my efforts

Not bad eh?  I wish you were all nearer, they taste delicious, so light and there are loads to go round! x

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Thank you so much for your lovely messages to my last post.  It really is a strange time at the moment, waiting for a funeral for a close friend that you have known for over 30 years.  But your kind words and virtual hugs really did mean a lot, so thank you xx

On the work front... garlands are the thing!  I have so many orders I can't manage on my own.  I have had to draft in help wherever I can and it is a little overwhelming.  I think I have charged too little for the time they take and the huge response I have had.  It is a very steep learning curve, this working for yourself!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend x

Friday, 27 September 2013

Feeling overwhelmed this week.  Loads of orders for cat garlands above and dog garlands I showed you before.

A very good friend lost her battle with cancer this week and I'm not really in a good place to do much let alone the orders that have come in this week (over 20 garlands were ordered in one night - I don't want to count how many individual dogs and cats that is!).

So glad I helped at a Macmillan coffee morning yesterday, we raised loads of money, at least it felt like I did something in my lovely friends memory x

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Sorry everyone, full on Christmas decorations as it's all I'm making at the moment and the only photos I've taken this week!  I've been a bit missing in action, but have just caught up with all your blogs and it's so lovely to see all the gorgeous creative stuff as well as just everyday life.

I'm down to one child at home at the moment... George (middle son) has gone off travelling round eastern europe for a couple of months and with Chris (eldest) working in China that just leaves poor Ben at home.  It really is quiet and rather sad.  Harry follows me everywhere, desperately hoping I'm not the next to disappear!

We're also having to do the University Open Day rounds again,  3rd time and getting a bit boring now as we've seen them all before.  I took Ben to UEA in Norwich last week, which he loved and I secretly hope he chooses as it's only an hour away by train and I can pop up and see him!  He's gone off to Warwick this morning with my husband so I'll hear all about that tonight.

After that horrendous drop in temperature last week (almost 20 degrees!) it is supposed to warm up again this weekend, just as I had put all my summer things away and got my boots out!

Happy weekend everyone, hope the weather is good where you are and look forward to seeing what you've all been up to x

Monday, 9 September 2013

Brooches and bags

... oh and a cat!

This is basically what I have been doing all week, getting ready for the various sales I have in the coming weeks.  I saw a photo on facebook this morning which said only 15 Saturdays until Christmas, which for most probably seems like loads, but for me it heralds the start of my busiest time of year.  My sales in October and November are about the same as I sell for the rest of the year.  So back to it ...   hope you are all well and not feeling the cold too much! x

oh and by the way if you're on facebook I've got a giveaway to win one of the brooches if you'd like one - just look for Haggiz x

Sunday, 1 September 2013

September already!  I've been bringing in little bunches of flowers and herbs of what is left in the garden.  I love the sedum, so pretty close up and the butterflies love it; we have had lots of butterflies this year.

Got the gorgeous chicken fabric from Sophie Allport and have made lots of makeup bags and shopping totes, they are proving very popular.  I have a chicken obsession and it seems I'm not the only one!

Robin brooches are now finished I got some black jewelery making laces to make their legs as they didn't look right until they had legs and now I am pleased with them.  They are now in my Etsy and Folksy Shops.  I think I'll make more brooches as I really enjoyed making them and may have to keep one or two for myself!

Have a good week everyone x

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Oh well, that's the last bank holiday of the summer and it was a busy one.  The weather was dreadful on Saturday which was a shame as we had a family get together in Essex, which should have involved eating outside and games of rounders, but instead was indoors with the rain bucketing down outside.

On Sunday we went to the Ipswich Maritime Festival.  Ipswich Docks has been completely renovated and is now known as 'the Waterfront'.  I will get used to calling it that eventually!  It has the dubious honour of having the last bomb of WW2 dropped on it and for years was a working dock.  It is now full of yachts in the 'marina' and expensive flats.  The up side is it also has some fab places to eat.  Anyway, back to the festival, there were lots of tall ships visiting and craft and food stalls, a funfare and my husbands personal favourite - a beer festival!  Re-enactments were carried out with cannons going off left, right and centre, causing small children and dogs to howl and a good time was had by all.

Monday I was at a craft fare all day.  It feels like summer is drawing to a close, although the weather is really hot today, Ben will go back to school next week and I am making in earnest for the coming months, just one photo though of some bluebirds and robins that are waiting for feet and beaks before they are made into winter brooches.  I love seeing things lined up neatly!  Hope you all had a good bank holiday weekend - would love to hear what you have been doing x

Thursday, 15 August 2013

I've been housebound this week with a very poorly Harry.  We have been back and forth to the vets and they are unsure whether he has a really bad stomach infection or pancreatitis.  Either way he hasn't been himself and has even been refusing food (this has never, ever happened in all of his 7 1/2 years!)

Silver lining, I have been able to get on with lots of orders.  The fire engine bunting is now finished and has gone off to Australia and I have started on my Christmas makes (sorry!)  I know it's ridiculous talking about a day in December when it's baking hot and August, but if I don't start now I will be in full panic mode by October when I have lots of fairs!

We have been promised rain here tonight and tomorrow and I'm really hoping we get some, everywhere is parched and the garden is really suffering.  I have noticed the evenings are getting cooler and the evenings are getting darker earlier.  Whilst I will be glad of it being cooler I will miss the lovely light evenings.  I do enjoy September though, I still  get that back to school feeling with lots of possibilities and I love autumn.  Is it just me, or do you still feel like this? x