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Clever Crochet

I learned to crochet for the first time when I was about 8.
Then I forgot how to do it for a very long time.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to my friend Jill's house, to learn how to  crochet for the second time.
 It was fab!
Thanks Jill. 

It has been my dream for a while now to crochet a granny blanket in bright colours.
And I've finally got started... 

1.  Choose a fine selection of yarns that colour match your favourite sweets.  Here, I've gone for a blend of Jelly Tots tones.

(Here's hoping I don't feel nauseous by the time I've finished the blanket.  I've been known to be a tad on the nauseous side of things when I've worked my way through a tube of Jelly Tots, the cheeky bleeders...  Sometimes it's hard to know when to stop.)

2.  Run amok, mixing and matching colours as you go.

3.  Sit back and marvel that your blanket is going to be good enough to eat.

I hope you're having a great day.  

The Sun Has Got It's Hat On

The sun is shining.
The birds are singing.
The squirrels are running amok in my garden.
And my gorgeous friend Marie knocked on my door a couple of days ago with a big bunch of daffodils wrapped in a red ribbon for me.  Thank you Marie.

In honour of Spring finally arriving.
And the fact that I love flowers more than I love ready salted crisps...

Here are some sunny, flowery, springtime earrings I've made...

Bloom where you are planted...  I read that somewhere once...
I hope you are enjoying the sunshine wherever you are.  And that your weekend is a real bobby-dazzler.

Silver Spirals

I love spirals, and twirly things.  
Vines, creepers, curly staircases.
 Willy Wonka-style lollipops. 
And the longer I make jewellery the more I find myself twisting and twirling the metal!


Do you remember when you were little and used to spin around till you made yourself dizzy?
 That's what this ring reminds me of!

Hope you've had a corker of a weekend.

I'm linking up with Heart Handmade UK with this post today.

Take a peek...

Springtime Copper

I've spent the past fews days watching far too much news footage.  Unable to tear myself away from the unfolding situation in Japan.  But today, it got too much.  I realised I needed to turn the tv off.  Watching people suffering wasn't helping anyone.  So I decided to take a break and do something restful.

I know that probably sounds heartless.  I have the luxury of being able to turn the tv off, while people living in Japan have to continue enduring the hardships they are experiencing.  But I realised that watching the endless footage wasn't changing anything.  All it was doing was filling my home and me with sadness.  And that wasn't helping anyone anywhere.

I dug out some pieces of jewellery I had recently made and took some pictures of them in the light, and with flowers.  To remind myself that creativity is powerful, and making things is a positive and life-affirming thing to do with my days.

I love honking great rings, and so recently decided to make The Mother Of All Honking Great Rings...

When it comes to jewellery...  Sometimes more is more.

I hope you are having a bobby-dazzler of a week, and I'm sending love wherever you are.


I've been watching events unfold in Japan via news channels.  

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone struggling to cope in the aftermath, as well as to the victims and their families.

I lived in Japan for a little under 5 years, and as I've watched the news, I have been seeing places that are familiar to me, places I travelled to or passed through.  And I've listened to the statistics and have found it so difficult to comprehend on a human scale the level of devastation.  

Japan is broken up into "prefectures" in much the same way Britain has counties.  One prefecture alone has 10,000 people unaccouted for.  That's just one "county" along the eastern coast of Japan.  That's the equivalent of a news reader announcing that 10,000 people are unaccounted for in Durham.  And so far, there are many areas along the North Eastern coast of Japan that people have not been able to reach.

Japan is a mountainous country, with cities, towns and villages, generally speaking, developing on the lower level land around the base of these mountains.  Large areas of Tokyo and Yokohama are built on reclaimed land around Tokyo Bay. The coastal area affected by the earthquake and tsunami has towns and villages running along it's entire length.  Fishing villages and coastal towns. The Japanese equivalent of Budleigh Salterton, Dartmouth or Exmouth on the Southwest coast of England. 

These towns and villages are not always easy to reach due to the nature of the mountainous landscape behind them.  With power cuts, damaged transport systems and devastated roadways, it is even more difficult for people to reach those in need. 

Many Japanese buildings in this coastal area are built from timber, making them "earthquake friendly".  Timber buildings are light and flexible in comparison to brick buildings.  If a building is able to bend and follow the energy created by the movement of an earthquake they tend to be less likely to collapse.  Timber is good at doing this.  Timber buildings tend to be more easily devastated by tsunamis, due to the very qualities that make them earthquake friendly.  The tsunami has swept away buildings that actually survived the 9.0 earthquake.  The wave has reached areas 1 km inland.  Imagine a newsreader in Britain telling us that Dartmouth has been swept away by a 10 m wave.  That would be devastating and shocking enough.  But it isn't just one village or town.  It's a whole coastline of towns and villages.  Add to that explosions at nuclear plants, electricity cuts, food shortages, fuel shortages and it starts to reach unimaginable levels of chaos.

And yet, the Japanese people have not rioted, or looted.  They have peacefully and quietly set about dealing with this devastating situation.  Pulling together, working together.

Japan is a country very close to my heart.

You can donate to the Red Cross appeal to support relief efforts in Japan here

Please make a donation if you can.   

P.S.  Thank you for your lovely, kind words for Neo and my cousin Fio.  It meant a lot to read them.  I have some things I've made I'd like to show you in my next posts, but it just didn't seem right posting about those things right now...  I'll be back later this week.  xxx

Fio and Neo

Just under eight years ago, my beautiful cousin, Fiona, called me to tell me she had got a puppy.
"He's like 'Hooch' in 'Turner and Hooch'".
It had been a while since I'd seen the film, so rather than trying to describe him, Fio said she'd just bring him round.
I'll never forget the day I first set eyes on Neo.  

Bouncy, fluffy, jowly, with the biggest paws I'd ever seen.  And amber eyes.  He ran around the garden eating everything, and then had a great big poop.  He was gorgeous.  And enormous.

Neo was more than a dog, a pet.  He was loyal, loving and completely sweet-natured.  He was protective, solid and dependable.  He was funny, and daft and completely handsome.  He harumphed and gurgled under his breath.  When he wanted love, he would come and lean all of his massive weight on you and wait till you tickled and cuddled him.   He loved Fio, and was there for her always through the years they spent together.

Whenever I went to visit, he greeted me at the door, and waited to be loved.  Then he followed Fio and I into the kitchen and sat down for the duration. 

It was incredibly easy to love Neo. 

Neo grew poorly in recent months and today, Fio had to take him on his last visit to the vet's.

I love my cousin Fio, and I love Neo and will miss him.

Here he is...

 Neo 2003-2011
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