Friday, 31 May 2013

Friday smile.

 So what have I got to make you smile today?

I saw this on my way down to Annie's by some road works where two men were leaning on their shovels. Sorry the picture is poor but it was raining and I snapped it through my windscreen as I waited patiently. Surely it should say
BUT - I did have to wait a long time so maybe they were slow men!

To see more things to smile about, pop over to Annie's blog - A stitch in time.

x Jo

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

WOYWW - 4th anniversary

 Ta- ta ta ta ta ta - ta!!!
(Imagine trumpet fanfare)
Congratulations to Julia Queen of Snoop for the 4th anniversary of WOYWW.

Such a simple idea - to get a few crafters to show their desks each week- which has snowballed to nearly 200 crafters posting desk pics and chatting about crafting activities of many varieties each Wednesday.
We see tidy desks, messy desks, desks loaded with crafty bits and bobs and wonderful craft work made by the desk sharer.

So - to Julia and all the crafters who join in each week and then blog hop around as many desks as they can leaving comments and messages- thank you for making this little crafting group such a big success. So many happy friendships have grown up around WOYWW - even though we may never meet - we have shared all sorts of events and activities- and supported each other too.
Long may it last and a big thank you to all!!!!
 Above on my table is the crown pin cushion that I made for the first WOYWW anniversary, surrounded by a few of my WOYWW4 ATCs. I have already posted a few and saved one for my pass it forward to the next person on Mr Linky whoever that may be!!!

Below is the piece of white crazy quilting that I made last week.
I am quite pleased with it and think I might frame it. It is a 12 cm square, so quite small. It has hand stitches, beads and lace decorating the quilted together pieces.

 The other two pics are my latest car boot bargains.
Vintage linen - runners, table and tray cloths.
 Several pieces of pretty cotton prints - not sure what to do with them but I know I will think of something!!!

So that's it for this week.
Enjoy checking out the 4th anniversary workdesks - I will try and visit as many as possible.

x Jo

Friday, 24 May 2013

Friday smile - those were the days!

Can you believe this?!!!

This is a photo of my primary school youth hostelling trip to Snowdonia - I think I was about 9 or 10.
We stayed at Bryn Gwynant Youth Hostel with our Head Teacher Mr Stone and a class teacher Miss Jones.

I am the one on the right in a summer frock, plastic mac and school shoes.

We climbed Snowdon - right to the summit where it snowed in June- dressed like this!!!
It could never happen today could it.
BUT I have to say it was one of the happiest times and we learned such a lot about ourselves, life, nature and the world around us.

Such fun!!
And no I don't still have that plastic mac!

Pop over to Annie's blog "A Stitch in Time" for more smiles of the day.

x Jo

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

It was such a sunny afternoon that I decided to take my latest car boot bargain outside and set it all out on my patio table.
We found a wooden wine box with about 28 reels of  thread inside - along with a tape measure, a tinful of buttons, and some useful needles. DH decided he would use the wooden box for storage so he paid most of the £3 that it cost. Bargain!!!!
I also picked up another bag with more threads for next to nothing so I am a happy bunny!!!
I will be adding them to my thread store - they will all be useful I am sure.

The best thing about living on the edge of the open countryside is the wonderful birdlife that I can watch from my kitchen window.
Below is the best picture that I could take of the pair of Bullfinches in my garden this morning.
The male is on the fence and the female is below in the bottom left hand corner - a drab little bird by comparison.
If you are interested in my resident pheasant then scroll down for the news and photos!!!
I spotted her in the field today with at least 5 of her chicks so they are surviving.
I have been busy this week packing my ATCs into envelopes ready for our WOYWW 4th anniversary swap.
If you wonder what this is all about, then follow this link to find out more.

If you think you would like to swap ATCs with me then email: with your details.

OK folks, that's it for now.
Thanks for calling in. Have a great week.
x Jo

Sunday, 19 May 2013

So cute - 8 chicks!

Empty nest syndrome!!!

(Click on pics to enlarge)
I just checked the eggs and only two hadn't hatched so there may have been 9 chicks but I only managed to count 8.
Mother Pheasant moved the chicks from the nest late afternoon yesterday.
Can you spot her - lurking under my Delphinium with all of the chicks under her wings!
This is the end of the garden nearest to the path round to the field.
I think she was hoping for an early morning getaway.

 At about 9 this morning I just happened to look out of my lounge window to see this.......
 They had followed their mum down the path to the lawn and set off round the edge toward the field.

Suddenly the tiny chicks scattered.
Can you see the huge bumblebee on the right - it gave them quite a fright - but I guess they had never seen anything so large and buzzy yet!!

 What a sensible mum to lead them down the flower border along the fence to the edge of the field.
 Can you spot her in the undergrowth at the edge of the garden waiting for them all to come to her?

 Once they were all together, she lead them under the wire fence (my dear hubby was whistling the tune to "The Great Escape" as this was happening!).
They seemed delighted to be able to roam and feed in the field.
She kept clucking to them and they all tucked under her wings if she bobbed down.
Now they are halfway down the field so I doubt we will see them again.
I always thought pheasants were silly birds but this one certainly knew what she was doing.
Job well done girl!

Thanks for all your comments - I am glad I am not totally bonkers and that others are just as fascinated by nature as I am.

x Jo

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Pheasant Update!!!!

No pics yet - I don't want to disturb them!

Just to say we think we can see 7 baby pheasant chicks in the nest - success!!!!!

Mother P is clucking around and keeps tucking them under her fluffed up wings.
It is totally amazing after the awful weather she has had to endure over the last 25 days since she started sitting on her 11 eggs.

I will try and snap a few pics if she brings them out into the garden.
Hope she doesn't sneak them off into the field before I get a good look.

For those who enjoyed my mousey giggle yesterday.......
Here he is with his baseball cap on.


Here is the tote bag to go with my latest LillyBo Quilt.

Have a great weekend.
x Jo

Friday, 17 May 2013

Finished by Friday - and a smile!!!!

I wanted a little mouse to go in the pocket of the tote bag for my latest LillyBo quilt.
So this afternoon I made one.....


But I knew there was a reason that I shouldn't have put an eye on the reverse side!!!!

He know looks like a very well blessed mouse!!
I used a waterproof pen to draw the eyes and nose so I guess I will have to make him a hat to make things right.

Pheasant update...
Further info on the net says the eggs may take 23 to 28 days to hatch.
So we are still waiting.
The hen pheasant popped out for a quick feed - twice today.
I see her from my kitchen window as she is grazing on the lawn.

I nipped over to her nest and took a quick photo of the 11 eggs.
Not a cracked egg in sight!!!!

Fingers crossed.
x Jo

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Secret life of the pheasant! Victor Meldrew says...."I don't believe it!"

My hen pheasant left her nest to sneak round to my bird feeder and feast on the crumbs and seeds dropped beneath it.

Minutes later another female pheasant came into my garden and enticed her away into the field where they spent a few minutes grazing.
My pheasant seemed reluctant too go far away from the hedge.
BUT - a cock pheasant made his way across the field and the second female walked away.

The cock pheasant put himself between the my hen pheasant and the hedge.
Then (and this is where Annie says I was being a bit voyeuristic!) he jumped on the hen, pinning her to the ground and pecking her head. Of course they were mating and, never having witnessed it before, I had no idea how violent pheasants could be!

Within minutes it was over and my hen pheasant flew back over the hedge and returned to her nest, aparently none the worse for wear.
I think the eggs had been left for about half an hour in total. It has been so very cold and wet I really doubt that any will hatch but, if they do, it should be today or tomorrow. Fingers crossed!!!

x Jo

What's On Your Workdesk Weddingday

He He ... Just a little joke Annie and I came up with....get it.....WOYWWeddingday!!!
We thought we might design a few lovely weddding bits and bobs for the blog shop so I said I would post a few wedding related pics for our WOYWW post this week.
So here goes....

These are Max's invites and favour bags that she designed and made herself.

This is the wedding card that I made for them.

This is one of Max's photos of buttons and lace that I sent off to Vistaprint to be made into notelets.
I think they look really good and make perfect cards to go with our crafty activities.

So keep a look out - Annie and I will be making some special event/wedding items over the next few weeks and no doubt we will blog them as we finish them.

Just a few other pics to share today...
This is the gorgeous hand dyed silk scarf that Jo of Jozart made for me.
Each of the LillyBo quilters have been sent a little gift or two by Jo - so kind Jo, thanks lots - we love them.
The little envelope contains my ATC swap from Jo but I have to wait until the 4th WOYWW birthday to open it!!! Email me if you would like to swap ATCs with me...
If you want to know all about the swap - follow this link to Julia's Stamping Ground.

My next quilt  is on the go - I ran out of red fabric so I am waiting for some to come in the post.
Well that's enough from me for today.
Thanks to all who call here each week and leave lovely comments.
Have a great week.
x Jo

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Chick day minus 2?

Presumably my hen pheasant knows she won't have much time to feed herself once the chicks hatch.
So, yesterday I spotted her under my bird feeder pecking up all the stray sunflower seeds and scraps.
Then she tucked herself back on the nest behind the Mahonia bush.
I think she would have struggled to keep dry overnight as we had torrential rain.
 Maybe that's why one of her eggs had stuck to her breast feathers!
She was carrying it round when she popped out to feed today.

She knew it was there as she kept shaking her feathers and even tried to preen herself.
Luckily it was still stuck securely to her feathers when she snuggled back on her nest five minutes later.

We think they just have a couple more days before they hatch - IF they hatch!

Watch this space....

x Jo

Friday, 10 May 2013

Friday Smile - sunshine and colour!

Today I will let the colours of the last few sunny days bring a bit of colour to my blog for our Friday smile.....

A few double daffs from Sainsburys - so bright and cheery.

Vibrant orangey red Chaenomeles
 Bright orangey yellow Berberis

Bridal veil - some sort of Spirea I think.

  My Scimia has a mass of creamy white frothy blossom that has a lovely perfume when the sunshines on it.

A delicate creamy pink tulip

My own hen pheasant still keeping her eggs cosy beside my Mahonia bush.

If you want more Friday smiles then pop over to Annie's blog - A Stitch In Time.
I think she has been out in the Spring sunshine too!!

x Jo

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


Good morning all - let's hope today is as warm and sunny as the last two days - this could be our Summer folks!
Just a few bits and bobs to share today.
At the top - a pile of fabric snippets given to me this week. I think they will make lovely dolly dresses or crazy quilt pieces.
The printed picture below was an idea I found on Pinterest for making crazy quilting so I thought I might give it a go. A creative way to use up scraps of fabric/lace etc.
On the right is a bag of threads that was a bargain at the car boot sale. The narrow pale blue ricrac was really pretty.
And below.......
This little creature was sucking nectar with its long proboscis from our Aubretia flowers in the sunshine this week. I had never seen one before. It was about 2 cm long and furry like a bee. It had a pointed head and long proboscis. I looked it up and I think it is a Bee fly - Bombilius Major.
That's country life for you!!
That's it for this week.
Thanks for joining the mad bloghop that is the brainchild of the lovely Julia of the Stamping Ground.

If any of my blogging buddies want to join in with the WOYWW ATC swap then email me  and I will pop one in the post. I think I made quite a few so first come first served.

Thanks for calling.
x Jo

Monday, 6 May 2013

Made in Brum

Made In Brum: Jasper Carrott, Bev Bevan, Trevor Burton, Geoff Turton, Joy Strachan-Brain, Danny King picture

Just to say....
Thanks to Annie and Doddy for a great night out at the Severn Theatre in Shrewsbury.

We saw Jasper Carrott and Co in their "Made in Brum" tribute to the brilliant bands who originated from Birmingham and produced Brum's equivalent to the Merseysound of the 60's and 70's.

Jasper was his usual funny self and his best mate Bev Bevan's drumming was a treat.
The rest of the "Band" (Trevor Burton, Geoff Turton, Joy Strachan-Brain and Danny King and the keyboard/singer) had to be seen to appreciate the talent that was on stage.
The nostalgic photos as a backcloth were a great reminder of times gone by.

The theatre was full and, judging by the standing ovation at the end, I think everyone enjoyed it as much as we did.

Another great night - thanks to all!

x Jo

Friday, 3 May 2013

Friday smile - pheasant anyone?

My hen pheasant has started to incubate her clutch of at least a dozen eggs.
According to my internet research I should have tiny pheasant chicks
 running round my front garden 23 days after she started sitting.
Watch this space!!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

WOYWW - ATC swap anyone?

Good morning all!

I have been busy this week making my ATCs ready for our WOYWW 4th anniversary swap.
If you wonder what this is all about, then follow this link to find out more.

Annie and I enjoyed a bit of quality crafting time on fun day Monday.
We both spent time stitching away on our ATCs - they are totally different styles but all lovely!!

If you think you would like to swap ATCs with me then email: with your details.

I have made about 25 so - first come first served until they run out, I guess!

Mine are hiding in the box in the top left hand corner of my picture. The rest of the bits and bobs on my desk are some of the fabrics etc that I was using.
Can you see little Tanner wrapping himself in some pretty turquoise lace?
He just can't resist all that pretty stuff - I put it down to his former home life with V at the Bearister Bookcase - his little buddies over there are just the same - they love to check out the pretty things V has been working with!!

Ok - that's me for this week - unless of course you want a real giggle - if so, then scroll down to the post below.

Have a good week
x Jo