Review of Crafty What Nots!

A couple of week’s ago I had a very exciting delivery in the post!

brown box postal delivery

Crafty What Nots Box arrives!

I love getting parcels and this one contained completely unknown items which made it all the more exciting!   It was lovely opening it up and seeing a hint of the contents through the opaque white tissue paper!

inside all wrapped up!

inside all wrapped up!

This is ‘Floral Pavillion’ sample of  a Crafty What Nots box of craft goodies from!

Here are the contents!

craft items

beautifully packaged craft items

Opened out!

craft bits and bobs - even a note book with my name on!

craft bits and bobs

There were floral cut outs, buttons, coloured twine, sticky pads, some butterfly embellishments, two little magnets, two coloured chalky ink pads, a flower stencil, not to mentions some very nice paper and card stock!!

pretty floral craft papers

floral and vintage themed papers and cardstock

The selection contained paper and card of different thicknesses and finish – I especially like the textured vintage florals!


All this had been sent to me by Jenny for me to review as part of her new business venture Crafty What Nots!

Included were some white ready folded card to make into greetings cards or anything else which you might dream up!

pristine white card stock, prettily packaged

pristine white card stock, prettily packaged

Within the box Jenny sends some detailed instructions on how to make your own sweet little cardboard handbag!

detailed instructions

detailed instructions

and also some suggestions for other projects!

project ideas using the contents from the box

project ideas using the contents from the box

I haven’t used all the craft items yet but I did try out the chalky ink pads as the Peony and Blue colours really appealed to me.  I used these and some of the floral shaped embellishments  to make two cards!  Jenny supplies little sticky foam pads so making the cards was easy!



first attempt at cards

I thought the plant card would just need a ‘happy birthday’ stamp at the side to finish it off but I haven’t got one of my own so will sort through the Craftseller free papers and I am sure I will find something!

I also made myself a little floral storage box!


I have to say I really had fun making these things and I still have a lot of the content to continue creating pretty things.  The contents inside the delivery box were presented beautifully and all of the items were useful as well as attractive.  Even the ribbons and twine used to tie the items together could be used in a project.

Jenny sends out these boxes on request and the one I received, contains around  £20 of retail price craft items but would only cost you £12.50 plus £2.50 p&p.

There are discounts available if you order more than one at a time, and each has different themes. – see Jenny’s  website for more information!

I think these boxes would make a very exciting gift to send to a crafty friend or family member.  Imagine being off sick, laid up in bed and receiving one of these instead of flowers!!   There are all sorts of occasions when these boxes would be fun to receive – including treating yourself!!

Well I hope you enjoyed the peak into the box!  I’m now going to link up with Handmade Monday and see what else is going on in the crafty world! x

Fabric Shops and Coffee Stops!

Well as I mentioned last weekend, I had a trip to Blackpool recently as DH likes to go to the annual Amateur Radio Show in much the same way as I like to go to fabric shops and events like Wonderwool and Yarnfest!  Now that our children have all left home we have a hobby room each – mine is full of fabric and yarn etc and his is full of radios, components and model railway parts!   Last time we went to the Blackpool show I was very disappointed with the ‘craft centre’ I had found on the internet – basically it had lots of empty units and most were closed!  This year however my internet research showed that things had improved!   Having dropped DH off at the radio show I excitedly drove to the March Mill Craft Village in Thornton.  It’s still not as good as it could be but it’s sooo much better than it was, as it now as a lovely coffee shop called ‘Tiffin’ which sells good coffee and homemade cakes,  🙂 and  a wonderful fabric shop called ‘Grace and Favour’.

Fabric shop in Blackpool

Grace and Favour Fabric Shop

Having forced myself not to run straight into buying fabric  I settled down to  scrumptious millionaires shortbread and an Americano in the warm coffee shop and contemplated the peaceful hour or two I would have before DH ‘phoned to arrange his pick up!  I was not disappointed – I didn’t even get in the door for about 10 mins as there were baskets of fabric packs outside to browse through.  I entered the shop with two of these already chosen!

Linen colour fabric with vintage rose pattern by Clarke and Clarke

Vintage Roses Fabric by Clarke and Clarke

Green and lilac cotton lawn

Cotton Lawn Fabric

It’s a lovely bright shop, not very big, but well laid out so you can enjoy a good browse working your way round the well stocked walls and then perusing the craft shelves in the centre. I was in their well over an hour – browsing, choosing, re-choosing and chatting to the friendly assistant Jess, who is also a sewing tutor at their sewing school ‘The Sewing Sanctuary’ in the same craft centre where they hold social crafting and run courses!  Wish I lived nearer!

inside-grace-and-favour-shop blurred-fabric-sidewall

I was very pleased to get these fabrics – only £1.50 a fat quarter!

red and pinky-red floral fabric in fat quarters

Far Quarters in lovely Cotton

I also got some trimmings for various projects – this is for my upcycling projects using the vintage linens I have acquired – I think it will make a beautiful addition to the dresses and tops I am designing!  I am going to make these out of a mix of vintage and contemporary fabrics and trims and it’s very exciting gathering the various bits and bobs and starting the designs!

beige lace flower rim

Lace Flower Trim

By a happy serendipity I got the ‘I’m ready to be picked up’ call just as I was paying for my items – so off I went to collect him and see who had spent the most!

And so to link with Handmade Monday!

Bye for now, Ali xxx

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Wool, Coffee and Cake, a dream day out!

Ooh I had a lovely outing this last week!  Mum and I went for a drive in the countryside (well down the M53 amd M6, then the countryside!).  We went to Black Sheep Wools Craft Barn in Culcheth!  My dream day out! – it included wool, coffee and cake!!  (and my mum 😉 )


Black Sheep Barn entrance

Entrance to Black Sheep Craft Barn

The craft barn is set back off the road in a lovely countryside setting,  but it’s even more lovely inside!  As you step through the door you can see shelves of pretty, delicate spring coloured wools and cottons on one side, shelves of beautiful variegated purply pink yarns on the other and a central stand with crafty items and gifts!

inside Black sheep wools Craft Barn

craft items and gifts



different yarns on shelves

coloured yarns

Noro wools on shelves

Noro Yarns. I love the variegated colours of these Japanese yarns!


view of shop

view down shop

















I was hard pressed to actually move through the shop as I kept getting distracted by yet another shelf of lovely yarns!  They sell a wide variety: wool, mohair, cotton, silk, viscose, acrylic, bamboo and various mixes of these in plain and varigated colours.  There is also a large section of Cross Stitch kits and threads, a wide selection of craft books and patterns and various notions to purchase.

Mum and I always suss out a coffee stop wherever we go and so thoroughly enjoyed the onsite cosy café serving light lunches and cakes.  We had a very nice panini and a slice of Victoria Sandwich cake with fabulously strong coffee, just how I prefer it!  I’m quite happy to travel to visit new craft places but I do like it when there is a café so I can stop and reflect on all the things I’ve been browsing through before I make my purchases, especially when I’ve driven a while to get there!  It’s the sort of place you could enjoy visiting with friends or a knitting/crochet group.

I was very taken with a crochet designs book by Nikki Trench called,  ‘Hooked on Noro’, Now although I like the look of Noro yarns some can feel a bit harsh and are quite pricey so this time I bought the book but chose an alternative yarn – Fusion Cotton – a soft, cotton and viscose mix yarn by Patons, very reasonably priced for the quality, with which to make the fingerless gloves from the book.    Mum wanted to know why I would want to have fingerless gloves?!  When I said they would be handy for texting, she just raised her eyes to the ceiling and said, “you could just pull off  a normal glove!” – Eh?  I don’t think so! I love the pair I’ve just made and actually so did Mum once she saw them finished!

fingerless gloves in brwon cotton and viscose mix.

Fingerless Gloves!

They are very comfy and soft to wear and the pattern in the book is easy to follow.


The final thing I bought was one skein of Rowan’s Kidsilk Creation Stripe.  Now this is pricey,  but absolutely gorgeous!  It looks and feels like a high quality product.  It’s  actually mohair and silk mix and it already partly knitted into a long mesh, which can be stretched out widthways if desired.  I noticed there was a  pattern on the label to crochet a scarf with it  but I couldn’t understand how you would do it!   Luckily there are plenty of nice friendly staff to ask for help and one of the ladies explained I needed to crochet it  up the long edge.   However,  I was completely flummoxed at first when I got home, but once I understood what to do it was very easy to make up in about three quarters of an hour!  It ends up as a twirly, twisty floaty pretty scarf! I’ve taken some pics and will post a tutorial about how to work with this yarn as it’s certainly worth it!   I chose a pinky purply mix and the finished item has now been posted to my very stylish Aunty for her 70th birthday!

Mohair and Silk yarn

the kidsilk creation stripe yarn before crocheting

Purple and pink mohair and silk crochetd scarf.

Scarf in Kidsilk Creation Stripe

So all in all we were there just over two hours – it was long enough for Mum who by now was trying to nudge me to the exit! It’s the sort of place where you could keep going round and round oohing and aaahing and patting large balls of pink and purple wool!

Well I’m off for another visit now – over to Handmade Monday to visit some lovely blogs!  If anyone lives near Black Sheep Wools Craft Barn and fancies meeting for a coffee n’ cake I’m always up for another trip!!  🙂


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