Greenhouse Goodies!

Red tomato on plant

Big, red, shiny beef tomato.

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Sixty Million Trebles!

You may not have heard of Sixty Million Trebles or maybe even know what a treble is in this context? Neither did I till a few months ago.

It’s really simple though, a woman who loves crochet heard that there were sixty million refugees fleeing Syria without much to keep them warm.  So she had an idea. She started a Facebook group asking people to crochet (or knit) a blanket to donate to the refugees with each maker counting the Trebles  – a type of crochet stitch – in their blanket and adding a tag to state the number. The goal is to have sixty million trebles overall, each stitch representing a life.

All the blankets will be temporarily joined together to hopefully make the world’s largest blanket!  The centre of this enormous blanket will be comprised of crocheted flags of each country! Once it’s been measured as hopeful the world’s largest blanket it will be divided up back into the individual blankets and shipped out to the refugees.

So this is what I’ve been doing the past few months- crocheting a blanket and two flags. I signed up for Guyana and Singapore because they looked interesting to make but not too difficult! It’s taken me a while though as I have to have rest periods when crocheting a lot

And here is the result!

Crochet purple crochet blanket

My blanket!

Crochet flag of Singapore and Guyana and a purple crochet blanket

My flags and blanket

The idea has really taken off and people everywhere are making and sending blankets into various collection points in the UK whilst we wait to arrive at the magic Sixty Million!

So if you read this and you crochet or knit it’s not too late to join in! Just type Sixty Million Trebles into Facebook and join the group and get hooking! (or Knitting if you really can’t Crochet!)

One stitch – one life.

Love Autumn!

I love Autumn!

Although summer is good in lots of ways it doesn’t have a starting ‘feel’ like spring and autumn do!  There is something about how the air smells in September which transports me back to ‘new term’, ‘new pencils’ type feelings of anticipation and excitement.

I do enjoy being able to shower without shivering in summer and getting dressed quickly because I don’t need layers but I adore wearing my boots, woolly hats and scarves and fingerless mittens again!

We’ve had an unexpected pleasure in our garden this Autumn too – lots of blackberries which are soooo good with meringues and clotted cream 😋

Blackberries in a hand

Handful of blackberries!


Another autumnal pleasure is the crunchy red brown leaves which start to cluster on the pavements or whizz round in the air on windy days! I used some decorative ones as a setting for my new fabric gift tags!

Heart shaped fabric to use as gift tag

Heart shaped fabric gift tag!

Fabric gift tag rectangular shape

Gift tag with embroidery

These hessian and linen gift tags make pretty keepsakes for the receiver of the present! They will be for sale in my Folksy  shop shortly! See sidebar for shop link

Funnily enough the weather has changed this week and it’s now sunny and warm outside – not at all autumnal – might just go and take in a few rays and embrace the end of summer (again).

Tuscan Inspiration

I’ve just returned from a holiday in Tuscany! A week crammed full of culture, churches, coffee, cake, gelato and pasta!

Cake and coffee

Lemon tart and coffee for elevenses!

Such a beautiful time touring medieval towns and hilltop villages and marvelling at the intricate detail in the artwork and architecture. I did take some crochet with me but only made one 6 inch square as I was so tired every night from sightseeing I had no energy to craft! I did however, get plenty of Tuscan inspiration!

We’ve always enjoyed looking at ancient sites and National Trust properties in UK so the decorative churches and stylish architecture in Tuscany were very appealing.  I loved these floor tiles in Siena Cathedral – they reminded me of the patchwork block which joins diamonds to make what appears to be tumbling blocks!

Tuscan blue and cream tiles with a crescent moon decoration

Each diamond has a crescent moon and makes a 3 moon box!


This table was so pretty – much more so than the photo captures

Pretty, pink marble table top

This table was in a the Viti Palace in Volterra – I loved the colours.

We had fun on the day trip to Pisa!

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Silly selfie!


On our last day we walked part of the Pilgrims’ Path – this runs from Canterbury in UK all the way to Rome, including the area of Monteriggioni in Tuscany where we stayed.

Green grass and wildflowers

I love the mix of colours with the flowers and the grass

Field with wild flowers

Wild flowers along the Pilgrims’ Path


So back home I have plenty of photos and memories for inspiration – I think a flower quilt or blanket project design may be taking shape, or an English Paper Piecing Diamond shapes quilt even!

Hobby or Business?: the quandary

Not a lot of crafting to report on this week but I have been doing a lot of thinking and researching about handmade businesses. I have been reading all sorts of ‘what to do to have a successful business’ etc and some of it is inspiring but some of it is a bit off the wall!    The course which Vicky at Lucy Blossom Crafts did recently looks quite interesting and I have been meaning to find out more about it – how fortuitous then to see she mentions it in her blog post this week!

I think I may get in touch with her to ask more about it. – But, here is my quandary regarding Patchwork  Fairy – I really enjoy making things and and it was from  this love of crafting  that the idea to try and sell some of it arose – albeit initially just to try and provide funds for making more stuff!  A few sales down the line and a couple of good craft fairs later and I began to think maybe I could try and turn it into a source of income.

A couple of years on  and things just haven’t worked out as I envisaged.  Craft fairs were dreadful, health problems took their toll on my ability to actually physically do any crafting,  and continue to do so, and my actual sales have fallen short of anything like what could be called a source of income.   At present Patchwork Fairy Is not really a business but is just a hobby which occasionally provides a small amount of funds to allow me to purchase more fabric /wool etc, just enough to fund my next makes.

So this is my quandary – do I go all out to try and make a business for myself or do I settle for making things for me and the family and just enjoy my hobby?  Of course the latter means less funds for us and my poor DH is the only one providing the income. But –   I was quite suprised to have no sales at all over last Christmas and this has led me to question whether the things I am making are special and unique enough to stand out in the ever growing handmade market. Is it actually worth trying to sell them? Am I mixing too many things in one shop? Should I concentrate just on the Goddess and Fairy jewellery or on the fabric things?

How did others come to sort out their businesses? I’d love to know your stories and any advice – folksy? Etsy? eBay? Made it? Any others? What has helped you turn a hobby into a busness?  Hoping the Handmade Mondayers over at Lucy Blossom Crafts will have some insights!

Artist Trading Card Swap -“Getting Away From it All”

It is that time again!  Time for the latest Artist Trading Card (ATC) swap organised again by Ali from VeryBerry Handmade! The theme was “Getting Away From it All”.

This is my second swap and I really enjoy participating in these swaps.  It’s not only the pleasure of receiving a card but also the fun of making one! There is always a theme and the cards must be 2.5 x 3.5 inches and predominantly textile.  As  long as you abide by those specifications you can interpret the theme any way you like!

When I signed up for the swap I wasn’t suffering from this awful sciatica and so it’s proved just a little bit more difficult to complete this time as I have been unable to sit at my sewing machine or stand at my designing/cutting table to start the process.

Finally, on the last day of the posting week I finished my creation and managed to sit at the machine long enough to use the embroidery function to sew the details on the reverse of the card. – This saved me a lot of hand sewing or having to obtain a permanent marker to write on fabric!

It actually took me ages to decide how to represent the theme and a few false starts as well! Then suddenly the idea came to me  as I was taking one of my ‘standing in my sewing room looking out of the window moments’  (which I do frequently as I can’t do anything else in there!) – Glastonbury!

I have spent many happy days in Glastonbury and at one time used to go 3 or 4 times a year with friends for a mini break.  Sadly we are all in varying states of ill health or commitments elsewhere and the trips have not been possible recently.  How I miss those times sitting on the Tor with good friends, united in the sacred peace of the place, the meditations we did, the walks around the area, the trip at twilight to feel and see the beauty of the landscape in the fading light, and the joy of a cup of shared mead in the darkness that  quickly surrounded us.  In those visits I really did feel I was getting away from it all and the return to the mundane life and work a few days later felt very strange.

So here is my ATC!

textile picture of Glastonbury Tor

My ATC – NightFall in Avalon


Reverse of textile card

Reverse of ATC

I loved making this!  I used some fabric paint to create the stars as the area around Glastonbury is remarkable for the way the stars are visible – much as  they always were when I was young and there was less light pollution around. If you’ve ever seen this when out in the countryside away from street lamps you’ll appreciate what I mean.

Anyway that was my ATC – now sent off to it’s new home in Scotland!  We all send a card to one person – but receive one from a different person – and it’s a secret swap until the cards are sent!  so next week I’ll show you the ATC I have been sent!

As usual I am linking up with Handmade Monday for a pleasant read about others’ crafty weeks!

Are magazines redundant?

Do you still enjoy magazines?  I subscribe to three at the moment and I really enjoy getting them each month.  However, with my own, and pass-ons from my mum, I am building up quite a pile in my bedroom which I thought I would enjoy as bedtime reading and whenever I was poorly.  In reality I haven’t read the magazines nearly as much as I anticipated – what happens is quite often I end up reading online articles and blogs instead and playing Candy Crush 🙂

So are magazines redundant?  Will we all be reading everything on iphones and ipads soon?  It seems that smart technology is affecting our lives in all sorts of ways from communication to heating our homes.  At least digitally downloading a copy of a magazine is under our own control though, whereas receiving printed copies through the post is not.  I didn’t receive the last copy of my Craftseller magazine and they were not very concerned when I contacted them and I though I would  end up missing a month 🙁  (Edit:  The April edition arrived today with a copy of last month’s so they came through in the end!).

So how much longer will people generally carry on buying or subscribing to printed reading matter?  I think I might cut down on some of my spending on printed copies but I can’t envisage giving them up entirely! There is something irreplaceable about hearing the magazine land in the porch and sitting with a cup of tea or coffee and turning over the glossy pages and smelling the print!  – it’s definitely one of my guilty pleasures!    It just isn’t the same sitting down with an electronic pad – and anyway, having a magazine stash works on the same principal as having a fabric or yarn stash – it doesn’t matter how much you have at home, you carry on buying new! So no hope for me!!

I’m linking up with the small blog meet at Lily’s Quilts!



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