For Fun and Friendship

For Fun and Friendship

Wednesday, 24 August 2016



Well, this is the last post I'm writing from my lovely house - everything happened rather quickly and La Famille Appleton are moving lock, stock and barrel to a rental property just around the corner from Julia! I shall be Interweb-less for a while so no blogs from me..maybe I can post vicariously through Julia :-D I don't know if I'll be able to return many comments either, sorry!

This was the last shot of my desk a couple of days ago, piled up with the stuff that I'm sending to Misteejay.

It was a useful exercise in stash busting!

And that's what the Jan-cave looks like now - I wasn't in there very long but did enjoy the space and luxury of leaving half finished work out on the desk.

And here's the stash all ready to go. 4 plastic boxes, two cardboard boxes and a bag of yarn. See, I really don't have that much! And someone else can corroborate that fact.....

Lisa (of Lisa's Craft Garden fame) and her lovely family dropped in en route from t'North to Cornwall. It was so lovely to meet someone who I've got to know rather well over the last five years. It was just fab to meet you, Lisa, I think that neither of us drew breath the whole time you were here. Thanks to your family for putting up with us too, LOL!! Hope you're having a great holiday :-)

And we're not the only ones who are packing up and moving on:
We found this absolutely gorgeous little nest constructed in our wood store. it's perfectly circular, made out of smooth mud with dried grass and a couple of plant labels too!! No sign of eggs anymore so hopefully the little family enjoyed their time there and found it was time to move on. A bit like us really, except our time here lasted 19 wonderful years.

Goodness I shall miss it.....but a new adventure awaits. It's all rather exciting.

See you all in a few weeks xxxx

Wednesday, 17 August 2016



Another fun filled week has whizzed by here at LLJ Towers! Some packing has been done but actually it's been all about having fun and appreciating friends and family. This is going to be a longish post, there's lots to pack in!
Some crafting has been done though! I've been making stuff to send to MissTeeJay, she's fund raising for the RNLI, a charity dear to my heart.  The bag that's on the machine is my version of a Bag for Life.
...and after! (or vice versa!)  I had fun making this, something a little bit different!
And these were the makings of a large tote bag. I like the pink/grey combo very much.

Right, bale out now if you want as desk time is done and shots of the weekend approach!
This lovely pile of stash was given to me by Shaz Silverwolf, who came to stay for the weekend with hubby Doug.  I'm sure I can find a use for that lot Shaz, thank you!
But not only was she generous with this...
...she sat and sorted out my ribbon box for me! Now that's a friend worth more than rubies :-)
And that's what it looks like now, a thing of beauty I hope you agree! I sorted out my scraps box while we were chatting.
 We went to Devizes for a mooch and had a lovely time window shopping and drinking coffee!
I'd found this half life size patchwork giraffe in the kitchen shop...random, but impressive!! And no, that's not going to be my next project..... :-D

Goodness, we did have a lovely time, I don't think we stopped chatting all weekend. I'm just so grateful that we got to meet the Silverwolfs through WOYWW, they have become really good mates over the past couple of years. In fact, so many wonderful people have crossed my path, my life has been truly enriched. And one of those was Janet Fairythoughts, who passed away one year ago exactly. Her friends and daughter finally did their skydive this week, raising funds for the lovely hospice who cared for Janet in her final weeks....
This is Anne having just jumped. She sent me an email saying she literally was on cloud 9 when she 'stood on a cloud'. She thought of Janet all the way down, thinking how beautiful this world is and how wonderful Janet was. They have raised well in excess of £2000, with more coming in. She wanted me to thank all those deskers who sponsored the jump - doesn't it just go to show how this Interweb malarkey can change lives for the better?

I'd like to say a huge thank you too, to everyone who reads this funny old blog and makes my world a happier place xxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 10 August 2016



EDIT: Lea H, if you're reading this, I've tried to comment on your blog a couple of times but it keeps getting returned to me as a 'could not deliver' email. Please could you email me your email addy, so I can at least reply to you because I really like the stuff you do!! Thanks

I am spending more time packing boxes than crafting but a little bit has been done...

 I knocked together some personalised bunting for the new nephew of a friend of mine. The ribbon box needs sorting - guess what? It ain't gonna happen :-D

....and this is why:

Boxes everywhere! You can just see a framed cross stitch, in the days when I had the patience to do them :-D  It's a Noah's Ark sampler I made for Rhys 19 years ago!  We've kept the boxes relatively neat as this is the bedroom in which Shaz and Doug Silverwolf will be using when they stay with us this weekend!!

I turned 55 last week (Gawd Blimey) and one of my presents was wrapped up with this:
Yup, I'm going to age disgracefully! Anyone care to join me??

Have a great week xxxx

Wednesday, 3 August 2016



Another crazy week has just whizzed by. Back to Wales to scatter my Dad's ashes on our special beach, playing with band, my birthday and a visit from a very special lady on Sunday! 
Diana (VelvetMothStudio) came up to LLJ Towers for a couple of hours, for a little light crafting, chatting and a spot of lunch. Goodness it's amazing how the time whizzed by - Julia popped up for a coffee too which was lovely. The weather was kind and we managed to sit outside.

We didn't actually get to spend that much time crafting, we'd talked rather a lot you see, but when I showed Diana the Jan-Cave, this is what my desk looked like for a while!
Diana was doing some of her beautiful and intricate embroidery and I was sewing the border onto the little charm pack quilt. I enjoyed doing the patchwork but the quilting/backing/bordering has been like pulling teeth. Quite frankly I'm glad to see the back of the blooming thing!

A close up of Diana's work - just cos I love it so much :-D

I was wondering what to do with this little lot....
...when my friend from Wales asked if I had any items going spare for the craft stall at the RNLI Open Day in my old home town. Just a few, I said! So these will be winging their way to hopefully raise some money for an amazing cause. (for non-UK readers, the RNLI is a lifeboat/lifesaving charity that is run by volunteers and charitable donations. My friend's husband was a volunteer boatman who went out to rescue people in trouble)

And finally, another dear friend of mine shares a love of fabric (maybe an obsession?!) and she sent me this fabric as a birthday prezzy...
Hokusai in embroidery. It's so beautiful - I may just have to stare at it for a long while before using it. The photo doesn't do it justice. Thank you Lynne!

Hope you're all well and happy - have a great crafting week everyone :-D xxxx

Wednesday, 27 July 2016



My house has sold! It took less than two weeks and has been bought by a youngish family with two little skippity girls - I know you shouldn't care about who buys your house really but the fact that it's a family has made me happy, it's been a great home for us and hopefully will be for them too. But we may be out by end Aug/early Sept, so the next few weeks are going to be full on - I suspect you may not see me around for a while.

I needed to do some mindless crafting while my brain was whizzing about different things, so I found the Moda charm pack I bought in the sale and, after being inspired by Wipso's lovely little quilt last week, set to placing the squares in a pleasing fashion.
They're such pretty and summery fabrics - I really enjoyed being immersed in colour therapy! I'll make a small quilt and then decide what to do with it!

I do love charm packs - they make life so easy. If I had to pick my own fabrics out in a quilting shop, I'd find it hard as there's almost too much choice. I find that working with limited resources sometimes makes you have to think a bit harder.
Anyway, now the rows are ready, they're perfect for when I have 30 mins to zone out!

Two daft pics to finish on - the first is especially for Helen (Stamping by H), who is another Outlander fan. We found this street name while wandering around Cirencester last week!
A reference for Outlander geeks - ooh, he was a proper bad 'un! Booo, hisssss...........

The second pic I've snaffled from the blog of Darnell, who is on her Grand Day Out crafting tour of the UK! As I mentioned last week, Julia and I were heading off to meet her. We started talking at 4pm and were still going strong at 10 - isn't it fab when you already have a strong bond through this wonderful world of desking?  Darnell's pic is much better than mine:

(l-r: Me, Fiona (Staring at the Sea), Darnell, Julia and Morti (Mad Ramblings)

Lolol!! I think Julia looks very roguish, don't you! Think I need to go for some waxing though :-)  Goodness, we had fun and talked about everything under the sun. Thank you so much for inviting us down, Darnell - it was a privilege to meet you!

Have a great week everyone xxx

Wednesday, 20 July 2016



Hello lovely deskers one and all! Don't forget that the WOYWW link-up is back at Julia and Stamping Ground today - yahoo!!

Now don't faint - I've actually done some sewing this week! It didn't turn out quite like I planned though - and that's not the first time I've ever said that, lol :-)
I was intending to FINALLY make the tote bag but d'ya know when you get that feeling that stops you from doing something, that 'I don't know why I don't want to make this' that keeps popping into your head. No? That'll just be me then! Anyway, the something that was stopping me from sewing the tote suddenly made me realise that what I REALLY needed to make was a new knitting needle case :-D

So, one long white zip and some spotty lining is the desk!

Top stitching the zip....

And here it is, complete with needles poking out for 'artistic effect'. I put side pockets inside to hold my cable needles, stitch holder and Clover pom pom makers. A useful bag, bit like myself!

Last week, Mr LLJ, Son No 2 and myself popped up to Cirencester ( a small Cotswolds market town for the non-UK readers) and went to the Corinium Roman Museum. At one point, Cirencester (or Corinium) was the second largest Roman town in the UK, after Londinium. Consequently there were a lot of rich folk there and they had the goods to prove it!
The most exquisite hare mosaic - well, I had to show you this, you know I'm mad about them!

But this really stole my heart:
A little owl brooch, nigh on 2,000 years old - it could have been made yesterday, don't you think? And that's not a reflection, it is symmetrical. I could wear that very happily!

Off to meet Darnell today - I'm really looking forward to seeing her. No doubt there will be photos to show next time. Ooh, and Julia may have some exciting news for us too :-D

Wednesday, 13 July 2016



Did someone just steal the past seven days?? I can't believe it's been a week since I was last sitting here thinking of a lyric with which to head the post.  Today's is a special one however because I'm very pleased to announce that....

...DRUM ROLL......

Julia will be the main headline act next week!! Woohoo!! Yep, the original (and best) Keeper of the Desks will be back in the driving seat from 20th July. I can't tell you how relieved and pleased I am that she feels able to take the reins once more :-D So the Mr Linky list will be back at Stamping Ground.

It's just as well really as I have no desk to show you - no sewing at
Life's just been too full on. So I thought I'd show you my shelves instead!
Patterns books, both sewing and knitting, baskets of fat quarters, boxes with 'useful stuff', a tin full of lavender, a purse kit that Julia gave me, train/flight simulator manuals...hang did they get there?? Mr LLJ is sneaking his stuff in quietly...I'll forgive him!  The tiny little trophy on the top shelf is when I won the Best Baby in Show many, many years ago. I peaked too soon, I think lol!!!

I have been doing some crafting downstairs - I had some tinsel yarn leftover and am making a couple of Hooters for charity (stop sniggering Twiglet, I can hear you....!). The little zippy bag is now in use, filled with odds and sods.

I leave you with something that Mr LLJ spotted in our walk around Salisbury yesterday....
Appealing to the sweet toothed history buffs eh?!  Made me smile!

Julia and I are back in Salisbury next Wednesday when we meet up with Darnell, who is on a UK tour! How exciting will that be? I'm really looking forward to some hugs, lots of laughter and a chance to meet another desker in real life. There may well be some pics the week after.

So, thank you all for supporting me while I ran WOYWW for a few weeks - it has meant a lot that while numbers dipped a bit, I can hand back to Julia knowing that continuity was maintained. Love ya.....

Over and out.....