Useful Ideas for those Christmas Presents

I love giving and receiving presents, especially when they have been made by friends and family. This Christmas we were given Apple Chutney, Medlar Jelly, Piccallili, Lavender Jelly and Apple and Rosemary Jelly. It is all absolutely scrumptious . The problem is that it is taking a long time to get through it all and I now have five opened jars in my fridge. I love them as an addition to salads or with meat. But during these winter months, we don’t tend to eat that many salads.

So, I decided to try something a bit different. Every time I have made a casserole, curry or soup, I have added a tablespoon of one of the relishes. It really gives my winter recipes a zing and we are both loving a slightly different take on our favourite winter foods.

It also gives us the chance to remember our friends who gave us the gifts in the first place. So a big thankyou to you all. I cannot  wait to see what you come up with this year!

Linda

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A Simple Start to 2016

After a great deal of fun over the past two weeks celebrating Christmas with family and friends, one can be forgiven for any feelings of being totally overwhelmed at the thought of the New Year. However, after spending a little of my time looking at the wonderful blogs on Pinterest, I have been able to focus my thoughts on what I hope to achieve in 2016. (I don’t like to call them resolutions!

  1. To really try and make my life (and that of hubby’s) a lot more simple.
  2. To try and earn a little more through my different creative skills. ( I so love all things crafty!)
  3. To try and save towards my dream of a camper van.
  4. To develop opportunities to help others through volunteering.
  5. To have a lot fun doing all of the above.
  6. To live out my faith every day.

Having reached the grand old age of 57, I think that it is time to relish each day and count my blessings.

One of the blogs I follow is that of Eliza Cross at http://www.happysimpleliving.com . For January I am following her Money Diet. She reminds us of some of the things we can do to spend less, but enjoy more of our lives. Have a read. I loved day 2 . I spent some time yesterday evening looking through a basket of toiletries and made sure that I treated myself to a luxury shower! My skin felt amazing and it was totally free!

I hope that 2016 is a wonderful year for you all and that you feel truly blessed by enjoying what you have been given.

Linda

 

New Year. New Things.

Happy New Year to one and all!
After a few weeks of total busyness, I have finally got round to my blog. Sorry not to have been keeping everyone up to date with all things ‘crafty’, but I have been trying to get my head round the new EU laws with regards to digital downloads. This means my knitting patterns. They, The EU lawmakers, have changed the VAT rules.(I don’t think that they live in the real world.) I was beginning to think that having only just got my little website off the ground, I was going to have to start again. However, the lovely people over at ‘Ravelry’ and ‘Love knitting’, have combined forces and I am able to continue selling my patterns through their sites. Hooray!! From now on, my knitting patterns will be available through Ravelry ( you only have to press the little icon and will be taken to the site)
All this made me think as to what else I could sell on Etsy. After a huge sort out in my studio/workroom, I have unearthed a whole stash of fabric. I have been busy covering buttons and am now also starting to make some lovely fancy bias binding. I will let you know when they are for sale. I must say that it I felt a whole lot better for having the sort out, although I was very grumpy whilst doing it! Sorry hubby!! The best bit, though, is the fun that I’ve had creating something from bits and pieces that I had forgotten about.
Happy crafting
Linda

Creating your own Super Chunky Yarn

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I love the quick results that you can achieve when knitting with a super chunky yarn. However I do not always like the cost. Whilst at the Handmade Exhibition, in September, I discovered that Hobbycraft had a special deal on their Women’s Institute Acrylic Yarn. Now, as a rule, I do not always like acrylic yarn because their colours can be a little ‘synthetic’ looking. However I found 4 lovely colours and bought 8 balls.( I only paid £12 for enough yarn for the whole throw!!) The joy of knitting in super chunky yarn is the quick results. So armed with my size 15mm knitting needles, I soon knitted up this warm and cozy throw. The only thing that you have to be careful of, when knitting with 4 different yarns at the same time, is to ensure that all 4 yarns go round the needle together. If they do not, then you find that you may have to unpick a couple of rows until you catch up with the wayward yarn. Yes it did happen to me!! If you want the pattern for this throw (teddy not included!), you will find it over on my Ravelry page, where you can download it. Just click on the little icon at the side and it will take you there. Or click on http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/super-bulky-throw. Happy knitting.

ps Big thankyous go to Sarah, Rob and Toby for providing me with a fabulous place to write this blog! I have been creatively inspired, once again, just by visiting you!

Bags and Bears;

The second of the courses ran this weekend. One of the students produced this fabulous slouch bag. So proud of you Nicky!IMG_1643The other news is that these two little bears have found their way on to my Etsy shop. They are Beanie Bears, 20 cms tall and filled with little plastic beans. They both have cheeky smiles and are cuddly. They are well prepared for the winter with their warm scarves. Although a teddy, they are not really suitable for under 3 year olds. My problem is that I always grow rather attached to the bears that I make, so I am hoping that there is someone out there that will give them a loving home. IMG_1636 IMG_1635

 

Bags and Bears

Our first  bag making course, which took place last week, was a resounding success. ‘Reversible Tote Bags’ were the order of the day. Although the participants had very little knowledge of sewing, they were soon  very busy putting together their first accessory.
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After 3 hours of concentration, quite a bit of cake and a great deal of fun, they left with some great examples of their hard work. Well done girls!

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The next bag making course takes place this Saturday (11th October). There is still one place available for anybody who would like to attend. Please contact me at,  LindaRStone@googlemail.com,  if you are interested.

And now to bears. I have had many requests as to when I am going to start selling bears on my Etsy shop. Well, for all of you bear lovers out there, I have just cut out the first two beanie bears today. Hopefully, they should be on sale in the next few days. Keep watching this space.

 

A Snuggly Baby Blanket

Although we are enjoying a lovely ‘Indian Summer’, it is noticeably cooler in the evenings. So, I decided to use the opportunity to design and make a baby blanket. It is so easy to make (and very easy to wash too!). My thanks go to my friend Charlie who modelled it for me. He looks so cosy beneath it. As this a free pattern I have listed it over on my Ravelry site. Just press the icon on the left and you should be able to find it or you can go directly to : http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/simple-chunky-baby-blanket

Linda