Monday, 31 October 2011

Handmade Monday

We won a Blue Peter badge for this photo!
Happy Halloween!
Yet another busy week revolving around the children! Lots of being Mums taxi and trying to fit some sewing and knitting in. Today I've got to 'empty' the pumpkin so Pickle-Lily can carve it when she gets home tonight! This year's pumpkins were a disaster, so had to use an old photo of one we grew a few years ago.
My very useful unit
My contribution for this week's Handmade Monday - many thanks to Wendy and thank-you to you for stopping by - is this brilliant unit Mr PL has made me. It is made from two IKEA shelf units screwed together and castor wheels on the bottom. The cutting mat fits perfectly and it is now full of all those bits and pieces that were stacked around that I use every day. It can be wheeled to wherever I am working (I'm not lucky enough to have a workroom) and can also be used as place for visitors to put their cup of tea  Just need to find the time to paint it and make some labels to go on the drawers. It could always have another floor built on it if needed as well.
I have been busy with P's help making up sew it yourself kits

I made them as raffle prizes but they have turned out to be on be of Pickle-Lily's best sellers this year so far!
Just to let you know there probably won't be a Festive Friday this week as it is my turn to visit the dentist and have a tooth out. I'm off to visit some more blogs on Handmade Monday now and look at lovely things.
Jo x
P.S. Have just joined in with Creative Monday - lots of lovely blogs to visit there as well, why not pop over and have alook?

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Festive Friday #3 - Happy Diwali

Knitted Diva lamps
For Festive Friday today, a make and a bake - well actually no baking just mixing!
The make ... Knitted Diva lamps, I have said before that I will knit almost anything!
Knitted diva lamps
Version 1 - horizontal rows

Cast on 30 stitches using 4mm needles.
Garter stitch or plain knit 24 rows. I used a self stripe double knit yarn.
Join side seams.
Gather up one end and pull up tightly, bind and tie. Turn right side out so the seam is on the inside. Repeat at the other end and push inside tube to make a cup shape, sew a few stitches through both ends to hold in place.

Version 2 - vertical rows

Cast on 16 stitches using 4mm needles.
Garter stitch or plain knit 50 rows. I used a self stripe double knit yarn.
Sew cast on and cast off edge together to make a seam.
Gather up one set of row ends and bind and tie. Turn right side out. Gather up the other set of row ends, bind and tie. Push this end inside tube to make a cup shape. Use a few stitches to hold in place.

I used  battery operated tea- lights (mine came from Hobbycraft) and earthy striped yarn, but for Christmas you could use glittery, sparkly or any colours you like. Thought these would look great on my stall, especially on evening events or in a Diwali display, child's bedroom ...

And the bake ..
Barfi sweets
 On the Bake ... page. Delicious, can be made and eaten at any time of year, and again any colour you wish!
Have fun this week-end
Jo x

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Handmade Monday and Leigh Retro and Craft Fair

Yippeee ... it's half term!! Pickle-Lily and I have lots planned this week!

 Last Saturday we went to Leigh Retro and Craft Fair (it's near Sherborne, Dorset) and what a fantastic day we had!  The fair was really well organised with a brilliant mix of stalls, and busy from the beginning to the end. We spent lots and met loads of great people...
From Home Grown Originals
 P bought an owl as a birthday present for one of her best friends, from Home Grown Originals . I also bought a lovely cheerful red seersucker tablecloth, just right for Christmas.

Home Grown Originals
Elm House Studio

P had to buy some hearts!
We were next to Elm House Studio Pottery ...

I also had lovely, long lingering looks at Make and Mend
Childhood memories

Make and Mend

And these are Pickle-Lily's latest offerings - wee Jock and friends.
Wee Jock and friends
Hello, if you're visiting from Handmade Monday please go and visit some other lovely blogs, I know I will.

Jo x

Friday, 21 October 2011

Festive Friday #2 - Mini Mittens

Mini Mitten decoration
For this week's Festive Friday Pickle-Lily proudly presents .... Mini Mitten decoration!

Using Sirdar Snowflake Double knitting and 3mm needles cast on 24 stitches.

Knit 6 rows - garter stitch. Change to main colour in double knit.
Purl 1 row.
Knit 3, Make 1 by picking up the loop between stitches, knit 6, make 1. knit 6, make 1, knit 6, make 1, knit 3 (28 stitches).
Purl 1 row
Knit 12, make 1, knit 4, make 1, mnit 12 (30 stitches).
Stocking stitch 3 rows.
Knit 12, make 1. knit 6, make 1, knit 12 (32 stitches).
Stocking stitch 3 rows.
Knit 12, make 1, knit 8, make 1, knit 12 (34 stitches).
Purl 1 row.
Knit 22 stitches, turn, purl 10 stitches - on these 10 stitches stocking stitch 2 rows (this is the thumb). On these 10 stitches knit 2 together 5 times (5 stitches). Cut yarn with a long end, sew or pull end through the 5 stitches and pull up tight (bind and tie). You can use this end to sew up the thumb.
Rejoin main colour to the last stitch you knitted on right hand needle (stitch 12) and knit across remaining 12 stitches (24 stitches).
Stocking stitch 7 rows.
Knit 2 together twice, knit 6, knit 2 together twice, knit 6, knit 2 together twice.
Purl 1 row.
Knit 2 together to end.
Bind and tie as at the thumb tip.
Sew up sides of mitten and thumb if not already done.
Add a twisted cord to hang. See knit page for link on how to make one.

Jo x
P.S. Pickle-Lily will be at the Craft and Retro Fair at Leigh Village Hall (near Sherbourne) this Saturday 10am to 3pm.

Monday, 17 October 2011


I'm sorry I haven't blogged for a while but last week was so busy both during the day and in the evenings! Today I have finally stopped, and I'm now trying to catch up with house-work, Pickle-Lily and blogging. Today's post is something I don't usually blog about, but after yesterday I feel it is really important to share the information with as many as possible, because you'll never know when you'll need it, so please read on.
On Sunday I spent the day on a first aid course run by St John's. I have always held a first aid certificate and mine needed renewing and updating. In those past years whenever doing a course the first thing covered was always DR ABC (danger, response, airway, breathing and circulation), not so yesterday. The trainer started our course with choking, and showed us this video

Sorry - I haven't worked out to post the you tube video on the blog.
Frances, our trainer told us that choking will affect every single one of us, and that everyone should know what to do, because it can make a difference. For more help on what to do see here
 Please watch it.
Jo x

Monday, 10 October 2011

Autumn Muffins

Blueberry Muffins - photo 'clip art' by Pickle-Lily
Last week-end Pickle-Lily went blackberry picking with her friend. She came back with a lovely pot of juicy blackberries which she made into blackberry muffins.

Blackberry muffins
They were gorgeous - and didn't last long! The recipe has got to be the easiest muffin recipe ever - and is on the Bakes... page. We then made blueberry muffins Sunday morning as well - they were all eaten by tea time!
Thank-you to Wendy for hosting Handmade Monday - and thank-you for visiting me.
Jo x

Friday, 7 October 2011

Festive Friday #1

I am such a big kid as I love Christmas!
Having taught the younger age range for soooo many years I have been lucky enough to have two Christmas's a year - one at school and one at home! Every year on the first school day in December I would get out the school decorations and decorate my classroom, we would have a Santa's workshop and I could build a sleigh out of an upside table and some seats ( and lots of fabric!).

I also for many years bought Prima Traditions Christmas magazine - made the Nativity costumes and knitted the gifts, but it hasn't been published for about ten years.  I was so surprised and pleased when I found this

on the supermarket shelf this week. It is brilliant! Absolutely chocked full of great ideas and makes, like these


And so many more great makes. The magazine is £3.99 and well worth it.
Because I love festivals so much - Diwali and Hanukkah also featured heavily in school celebrations, and don't forget Halloween and Bonfire Night - the blog will have some Festive Friday features (I love alliteration!) up until I run out of ideas!

Happy Friday!
Jo x
P.S. Pickle-Lily is at Brent Knoll Village Bazaar and Farmer's Market tomorrow 10 to 12 noon.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

a BIG thank-you

Bookmarks - Bookmarkblogs

A big thank-you to every-one who left comments on my last post. I have had real problems with blogger when trying to leave comments, as soon as I highlight google account my comment disappears! I hope to reply somehow to you, but in the meantime Thank-you!

As a thank-you to everyone out there I am going to have a giveaway when I reach 50 followers so keep following please!

Anyone fancy a Swap?
I'm taking part in the Great Stocking Swap over at The undomesticated scientist  why not go over and join in too?
Jo x

Monday, 3 October 2011

Season's greetings!!!

Welcome to autumn and what a fabulous week we have just had (and still having)! Although I'm not sure my garden knows what to do, as the apple tree seems to think it is spring as there is blossom on it!

Photo taken on 3rd October
 It has meant that I have found it really hard to get on with making Christmas and winter goodies for Pickle-Lily - so decided instead to make some lavender bags and felt cupcake bags.

I love this pretty fabric

Store in an airtight container
I have dried my own lavender this year - pick nice long stems, put heads down in a paper bag with a rubber band to hold it closed and pop somewhere to dry.
Stripping the heads (pull through your thumb and forefinger into a container) can be a bit time consuming but the smell is gorgeous and invokes thoughts of hot summer days. I make small cotton bags with the lavender in to go inside the 'outer' bag, so it can be re-used again. I'm now trying to work out how to make Christmas bags with all the scents of Christmas inside.

Sorry about the quality of the photo's but Mr PL is in the
Falklands with the main camera - where it is snowing! So, I thinks I have visited every season in one post - hence the title!

If you are visiting from Handmade Monday - please go and enjoy some more blogs.

Jo x