Monday, 30 January 2012

Some bunny loves me

Last week I spent making these bunnies ...
beautiful bunnies


Can't find me!

some bunny loves me

(I made them using beautifully soft merino yarn from a pattern from Fuzzy Mittens - there's a link on my side bar. I just added my own touches with the daisy and tassel.)
.... And going to the dentist! So I'm afraid not much to blog about at the moment.
Pickle-Lily is fast asleep upstairs with a cold and headache and missed the little snow we had, she will be disappointed and I'm off to visit all the other lovely blogs over at Wendy's for Handmade Monday.
Jo x

Monday, 23 January 2012


On Saturday evening Pickle-Lily and I went to the Wassail at the local cider farm with the guides.
The word Wassail is derived from two Anglo-Saxon words "waes" and "hael", meaning be of good health. The guides were first on the stage doing some African drumming.

Choosing the queen
There were also morris men, belly dancers, the mummers and local bands during the rest of the evening. After the drumming one of the guides is chosen to be the wassail queen - this is done by cake. A special apple cake is baked and cut up whoever gets the piece with the note in it it, is the queen. She wears her queenly outfit and a crown and is carried on her throne in a special procession to the oldest apple tree in the orchard.
The wassail queen on her throne
At the tree, traditional wassail songs are sung, there is much shouting and noise making and then the tree has toast pushed into the cracks and is sprinkled with cider. The wassail ceremony is at this time of year because the tree spirit is sleeping and needs to be awakened, which is why we sing and make lots of noise, this also helps to frighten away any evil spirits. The toast soaked in cider is an offering to the robins who are seen as good spirits. The wassailing ceremony has been going on for hundreds and hundreds of years, and can be regarded as a thanksgiving to the apple trees and hoping for a good harvest during the coming year.
The mummers fantastic costumes

Toasting the tree

Sorry about the photo quality, but we were on the move a lot, it was dark and there was over 400 people there! At the end of the wassail the guides went home and the merriment went on long into the evening!
For Handmade Monday this week - thank-you Wendy, and Creative Me - thank-you Jenny, I would like to offer dinosaurs ...
I have been busy making these for all the little boys out there either in self striping yarn or more sedate colours! Why not pop over to all those other fabulous blogs and have a look!
Jo x

Friday, 20 January 2012

Deck the Albert Hall

On Wednesday I recieved this email

"Hi Pickle Lily,

I thought you might like to know that I picked up your pattern for a paper chain on the internet...
I’m hoping to use if for a large event at the WI AGM at the Albert Hall in May...

Best regards,
Crafts Council"

How exciting is this! I'm waiting to hear some more from Katy, but I had to share!
Have a good week-end.
Jo x

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Big Shot Bliss

After blogging about my needle felting presents last week, this week I have been playing with my other Christmas present - the Big Shot. Again, I am an absolute beginner in using this, but having read Caroline's  and Kerri's posts and my fingers aching from individually cutting out little flowers I took the plunge! So this week I have been making
flower brooches
I am also making bigger flowers to use on felt bags and needle books

and I have started designing and making felt crowns - ready for the Jubilee and all the little princesses out there! There will also be a boy's version when my new die arrives all the way from America!

Don't I look lovely!

Pink flower crown
A short post as I am offer to wander through the hundreds of cutting dies listed on ebay!

Happy Handmade Monday everyone - why not go and visit some more brilliant blogs?

Jo x

Friday, 13 January 2012

Felted Hearts

Felted heart key rings
I'm not sure if I have already told you, but my lovely sisters-in-law gave me some needle felting kit for Christmas. I already wet felt (but that tends to a warm weather activity outside, with all the soapy water used) and machine wash felt, but wanted to have a go at needle felting. I have already got the traditional needle, but to be honest the barbs are just daring me to stick my fingers in them, so for Christmas I was given a Clover brush and five needle pen. I also indulged myself in the Hobbycraft sale and bought a couple of moulds and a needle pen.
So this is the Pickle-Lily beginners - teach-it-yourself guide to felting hearts! I can not say if this is the correct way to do this, as I have been teaching myself, but I am very pleased with the end result!

Place the mold on top of a normal piece of paper on the brush.
Fill the mold with short sections of fluffed out merino tops.

Punch the tops using the pen through the paper.

This is what the reverse of the paper will look like.
Carefully remove the heart, turn it over and repeat the process on the other side, still placing the paper between the brush and the heart.

The finished hearts.

I then attached them to some normal wool mix felt to make the key rings ready for Valentines Day or Mothering Sunday.
I'm now off to order a book from the library to see if I'm doing it right!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Hearts and eggs

After the success of the kits at Christmas, Pickle-Lily and I have designed two new ones. A pink and red heart mix ready for Valentines Day and Mothering Sunday
Red and pink hearts kit
and - really thinking ahead here ...
Easter eggs
Felt Easter egg decorations! It always takes a while putting colours, buttons and ribbons together and we have lots of discussions about our personal favourites. We also put some sweets in each kit - P's idea - I think it is so she can check out them all out first! This is what the finished Easter egg kits look like ...
We also have fun making all the kits up, using the ironing board as a mini production line, a much better use for it than ironing!
I have lots more ideas all buzzing around in my head, it is just getting the time to make them all! Just a short blog today as I am wondering what everyone else is up to over on Handmade Monday - why not go and visit as well?
Jo x

Thursday, 5 January 2012


When I was little and then as a teenager, my mum always insisted I wrote thank-you letters for my presents. Sometimes I wrote reams, others I hated it with a vengeance, but now I really appreciate them when they arrive on my door mat. It's a little social nicety that I feel shouldn't die out. So, I have always made thank-you cards with my children, from hand prints, to photo notelets and this year with my lovely new shiny Big Shot! Thank-you Mr P-L for my fab present - and I still can't believe you kept it secret till Christmas day!
Thank-you Mr P-L

Simple thank-you notes.
 I made the notes by embossing some patterned paper, trimming to size and sticking on a folded A5 piece of card. Some years ago I invested in a thank-you stamp, so the message is stamped inside and there is space to write a message. You can always write the message on a piece of white paper and stick it inside the card, in case a mistake is made. Two will fit snugly in a A5 envelope side by side and then pop them in the post.

I would also like to say thank-you to my lovely stocking swap partner - Emma . I resisted the temptation and waited to open my stocking ...
All these pretty things!

Fab fabrics!

Super stocking!
So thank-you Emma - I hope you enjoyed your stocking!
Handknitted in merino wool

This is what was inside!

A thank-you to Pretty Petal Handmade who a while ago awarded me with a Liebster Blog Award
I now have to pass this on to five of my favourite blogs that have less than 200 followers, so here goes, in no particular order ...
and thank-you to you for sharing my blog!

Jo x

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Ice-cream on the beach

Happy New Year! Today we went for a walk along the beach and met these very brave people!
Anyone for a swim?
They were raising money for our local rescue hovercraft by going for a quick dip (and being sponsored to do it!).

What very brave people - even though the weather is mild, the water is very cold. So we settled for an ice-cream instead.
A great way to start the new year!