Two mini finishes!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well and happily crafting this week! I’ve got a couple of small projects to show you.

Firstly, I made another log cabin chicken and sent it to my friend Claire for her birthday.

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She has called her Twinkle because she has stars in her eyes Smile I attached a felt circle and a star-shaped bead for each eye. I wasn’t too sure about adding them but I’m sure Claire can cut them off and recycle them if she wishes. I filled this one with split red lentils so it is nice and heavy too.

Now, if you know Claire and visit her blog, you will know that she prepares for Christmas all year long. She’s always making little things which she squirrells away for presents and stocking fillers. In fact, she had me making things for Christmas last October!!! I’m usually the kind of person who is still running around on Christmas Eve. Anyway, as a surprise, I also made Claire a Christmas decoration and sent it to her wrapped in Christmas paper. Yes, I do know it is February Winking smile She could choose to open it or keep it until Christmas 😆 I bet you can guess what she did.

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I’ve seen these decorations many times on the internet and in magazines and they are really simple to make. This one took me less than half an hour so I know I’ll be making many more. Let me know if you’d like a tutorial and I’ll post it here for you very soon.

The news from my other blog is that my ripple blanket is now finished. Hurray! If you haven’t seen it yet, pop in and take a look over at Sewing Beside the Sea 🙂

I’d also like to give a shout-out to my dear friend Teje who has just published a wonderful pattern for a crocheted scarf on Craftsy. The pattern is full of clear photographs to show you every step of the way, as well as having written instructions, and I can’t wait to make it myself! You can find out how to get the pattern from Teje’s post by clicking here. Here is a sneaky peek. You’ll have to go to Teje’s blog for lots more colourful photos and to find out who is modelling the scarf. I wonder…. Enjoy!

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It’s almost the weekend and I’m on holiday next week YEY!! I’m going to sew, sew and sew some more Smile

Avis x

Look at the size of it now!

Hi everybody 🙂

Now my parents’ house move has been successfully completed, things should begin to return to normal again here. Thank you to everyone who watched and waited and sent us good wishes. It has been a long haul but the most important part is done.

The house move took priority over everything else and so now, I have time to share birthday presents from last month along with more updates on some works in progress.

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The card is from one of my wonderful blog reader friends. How appropriate is that design? The blackwork goodies and pinking shears were from my lovely sister and the fabric shears and quilting book were from my other half 😀 My daughter bought me a subscription for the digital version of an American quilting magazine, a brilliant way to subscribe without the shipping costs! What a lucky girl I am 😀 The book boasts a smart way to make kaleidoscope pattern quilts but I’m not sure I’d use the suggested method as it involves a lot of wasted fabric, probably bits that are too small and pointy to use for anythiing else. My motto is “I pay for every square centimetre, so I need to use every square centimetre”. I’ll reserve proper judgement until I’ve made a block or two. Believe it or not I didn’t have any fabric scissors before getting these ones. I don’t know how I managed before! And I now have loads of ideas for using those pinking shears 😀

As you can see, the new blackwork kit is waiting in the queue for my embroidery frame. Yes, I could buy another frame but then I’d have two embroidery projects on the go and I can’t have that 😉 So, I’ll finish the Bothy Threads Narrow boat first. Here is a progress check 🙂

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I also have to thank my lovely friend Claire who sent me these! I arrived home exhausted after the house moved on Friday and these little lovelies were in my letter box. The surprise  made my day! So to Claire “Merci beaucoup” 🙂

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I love hand stitched cards…..and those buttons are perfect for……my purple and blue quilted bag.

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I’ve been looking for a button for this bag without success and I’m delighted to add this  painted one. As you can see, it isn’t sewn on yet. The two smaller ones will be used in other projects. My other bags are here if you want to see them.

My crocheted ripple blanket is coming along very nicely. Look at the size of it now! You can also see that we have had a bit of snow again…..that must be because I’ve just booked a camping holiday he-he. It looks like we are in for a chilly time so I’d better get this blanket finished 🙂

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and two more photos of scrumdiddlyumptiousness. Thanks to Roald Dhal for the adjective 😉

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I do like a nice roly poly blanket 🙂

Now, as we are (I am) having a bit of a purple fix, I thought you might like to see my Caithness Glass paperweights.

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Most of them were bought at the factories in Wick, on the north coast of Scotland, and Oban on the west coast where we saw them made. Actually, the car park at the Wick factory was the only place my beloved old campervan ever broke down. I didn’t want to leave there either 😉

I’ve just realised it’s getting towards dinner time. What’s for dinner? This….

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I’m not totally sure what is in it other than beef, vegetables and sliced potatoes on the top. It was made by my OH yesterday while I was unpacking boxes with my sister, so this is a photo of it cold. I’m sure it will be delicious reheated and teamed up with Yorkshire puddings  😀

Finally, I have a confession! A lovely reader, a few weeks ago, nominated my blog for an award and I decided to leave my acceptance post until later. Then, everything at this end became very busy and I still haven’t posted about it. Now I can’t find the nomination!! I have put the images of all the accepted awards down the right hand side of the page so I know it isn’t those ones. If you nominated me for different ward, please let me know when it was so I can find it and accept gracefully. Apologies again to that very kind person 🙂

So, these are my only WIPs except for my Under the Sea applique project, also here and here. I hope to be right back into the quilting groove very soon so watch this space 🙂

Have a fun weekend!

Avis x

It’s time for another dose of nostalgia!

Hello everyone!

Today I have some eye candy crochet to share with you and also something very close to my heart, right at the very end 🙂 I apologise in advance about the length of this post but I hope you will find it enjoyable and maybe you will also visit my previous Trip Down Memory Lane post too.

We (my sister and I) are in the process of moving my parents into sheltered accommodation. It is somewhere they can have complete independence in their own apartment without having to worry about gardening, general maintenance, security etc. They can even ask the chef in the complex to make dinner! This is why my quilting has been put on hold and I’ve only managed a few minutes here and there on projects I can pick up and put down. I am absolutely itching to quilt but, at the moment, the move is taking over my life 😀

I have downed tools for the weekend as I need a break and every muscle in my body is aching! It’s time to whack up the central heating, watch the snow falling outside and get crafting.

My plan today is:

1. Write this post

2. Do some special finishing touches to my blackwork project that I have been stitching along with Claire. I can share the finished project in about two weeks when everyone else is finished 🙂

3. Stitch more of the cross stitch narrow boat. (This might be superseded by putting the binding onto the next quilt in the queue).

Anyway, the house move has meant a lot of sorting and packing and general downsizing which my parents have coped with admirably. The hardest thing for us to cope with has been the decorating of the new flat which my sister and brother-in-law have mostly worked on like Trojans! and all the “stuff” that has been accumulated by my Mum over the years in the current house. Every cupboard has been booby-trapped with an avanche of “stuff”! Would you believe that the only things Mum has discarded in about the last 40 years were her crafting things? All the knitting needles, patterns and wool scraps have gone….given away…about ten years ago 😦 Luckily for me, I did find and old knitting bag which Mum had saved from her sister’s belongings when she died. It had a few patterns and lots of needles inside so I’m so grateful to have those now 😀

When I was about six years old, Mum and I used to visit a very old relative of her’s. Mum has always called her Aunt Yemmy, or that’s how it sounded anyway and that name has been used by the rest of the family too. I have always thought Yemmy was an unusual name and wondered where it came from (yes, I know I have a strange name too and I don’t know where that came from either). Well, I recently had a look into Mum’s family history and it turns out Yemmy was actually Emily. So for all these years we have been corrupting the name Aunty Emmy into Aunt Yemmy!

Anyway, Aunty Emmy used to crochet. I remember my mum choosing and buying crochet cotton, visiting Aunt Emmy to drop it off and then going back to collect crocheted goodies weeks later. Mum never crocheted.

Here are some of Aunt Emmy’s treasures I found this week at Mum’s. I’ve included some close-ups as some of my readers are so talented at crochet that they will be able to have fun working out the patterns 🙂

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The next examples are incredibly fine and heavy. They are only about 7 inches in diameter.

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Some of these pieces were crocheted in the 1960’s. I remember watching the pansies being crocheted. It was like magic! My sister has another set of these with pink pansies. most of the other pieces would have been made in the 1950’s and earlier. The last two examples are incredibly fine with tiny stitches. They are about 7 inches in diameter each and are much heavier and more slinky, if that makes sense, than the rest. All have been boiled and put through the mangle many times. It is a wonder how they ever survived! I hope you like them 🙂

So, last but not least, something I have been trying to find for years!

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I know, it doesn’t look like much….but I made this when I was 10 years old.

ImageEven in the 60’s I loved purple 😀

You would not believe how many times I’ve described this piece of embroidery to Mum in the hope that she would still remember it and hopefully have it tucked away somewhere. She has always denied knowledge of it. There were actually also two smaller pieces (you had to make a set of three) but I still haven’t found those. I wanted to include this in my previous post which was really a tribute to my Primary School teacher, Miss Fox, way back in April but I couldn’t find it. If you’d like to read about my wonderful inspirational teacher and see a few more of my very early creations you can do so here. So where was it?? Right under my nose…..clearing out Mam’s spare bedroom….under the mirror on top of a set of drawers…..still being used four decades later 😀 You have no idea how happy I am to have found it!!!!

Now, I have a question for you all. I believe this technique is called “Huck Embroidery or Weaving” but I hope you will correct me if I’m mistaken. The stitches do not go through to the back of the fabric. They simply weave under the threads which you can see on the close up photo. The white threads are part of the fabric. I only embroidered the purple and green. Does anyone know where I can buy this fabric with the special threads today? I have tried to find it, but not knowing whether this really is huck embroidery or not hasn’t helped. The huck embroidery fabric I’ve found on the internet isn’t like this piece. Maybe you have an old magazine with this pattern in it. Miss Fox allowed me to read her sewing magazines and I have other items I’ve made from them. Some are in the post mentioned above.

So, I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. Let’s see if my wonderful virtual friends can solve this mystery for me 🙂

I’m off to start the 2nd item on my list now!

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

Avis x

A bit of this and that!

Hello lovely bloggers 😀

I hope you are all having a very crafty time!

I have been saving this recent finished project to share with you while my busy time at home continues. You may remember, just over a year ago here, that I had treated myself to a few lovely Moda remnants and wondered what to do with them. 

I eventually decided to use some of them on a disappearing nine-patch quilt. I posted about the finished top and included a very mini photo tutorial for anyone who wasn’t familiar with this pattern here. I love this pattern so much that I’ve made several quilts using it. There are various ways to arrange the blocks. You can choose a very regular pattern as I did here (see from the third photo down) and here (one of my favourite quilts ever). Alternatively, as I did with this one, you can go for a very scrappy patchy look. My Mum loves this one 😀

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I have no idea why this is the only green quilt I have ever made. I love these shades as they are all the colours of nature….grass, trees and wheat fields.Image

Since I was on a nature fix 😉 I did the quilting in a regular surfy waves pattern. I love quilting this pattern. It satisfies my desire for neatness and tidiness (I hope my sister isn’t reading this 😆 …..ssh! I can hear you giggling sis!)

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And another close up for good measure, very important in quilting too 😉

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One more just to show off the squishy snuggly goodness on the reverse 🙂 The backing and binding are in my favourite Moda ivory solid. It looks just like Jersey gold top milk in real life, creamy scrumptiousness!!

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Now, what else? Well, I’m continuing with the blackwork SAL with Claire here. I’ve actually finished the project but I mustn’t reveal all until everyone else is done. I’ll let you see the next finished stage soon.

My ripple blanket is also coming along nicely but as it grows, it is becoming very warm to sit under while I am crocheting. I must finish it before the winter leaves us or I won’t be able to bear working on it again until next year 🙂

So now, I have the rest of the day free Yey!! I’m off to continue cross stitching the Bothy Threads Narrow Boat. This image is from Bothy Threads

Cut Thru' Narrow Boat

Happy Sunday everyone 😀

Avis x

And the winner is…..

Hi everyone 🙂

Thank you for all the lovely comments you made for entry into my 100th post fabric giveaway last week. For anyone who hasn’t read all about our favourite gifts, you can do so here

Now, let’s get down to the real reason for being here today…..who won?

Here are all the entries, 29 in total.

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Chopped up, folded and in the bowl

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My OH drawing one lucky winner

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Drum roll please!

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Congratulations to Trish at Made By Patch.

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I will post them when you let me know where you are 🙂 Trish writes a lovely blog which mainly concentrates on crochet but there are some little collage gems to discover there too. I know she isn’t a fan of pink so it will be interesting to see what she decides to do with that 😉 Go and take a peek for yourselves. Enjoy!

Bye for now,

Avis x

 

Me SHOUTING? Well that doesn’t work either!

I’ll get straight to the point and then move on and be done with this…..and sorry, in advance, for this text-heavy rant to all of my lovely readers.

Over recent weeks, I have found several breaches of copyright from my blog and the latest one has really upset me 😦

I made it very clear and politely wrote in my copyright paragraph, that yes, I am happy to share , otherwise what is the point of putting all of my own hard work up here on the internet.  I requested people should ask me first if they want to copy content which includes pinning (some people think pinning isn’t copying). In other words if you don’t ask, you are breaching my copyright. Anyway, pinning is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the latest breach is concerned and whatever happened to “bookmarking” and “favourites” anyway? Several of my images have been “borrowed” in the night and then reproduced elsewhere. I’m talking 20 to 30 images at a time and this has now happened many times. These people mean business!

Maybe you’ll agree with me, maybe you won’t but that makes no difference to my copyright. I’ll outline what happened to me and you can decide for yourselves. I won’t name the culprit as the issue, from my point of view, is over (for now).

Anyway, I “found” one of my tutorials on another blog. All of the photos were mine, the design images drawn up with my software were mine. My photo tutorials are pretty self explanatory, I’m told, but being aware that some people prefer words for the fine detail, I always include them. My words had been changed (badly).

I thought about contacting the blog provider as their terms and conditions warn that blogs will be shut down if copyright is breached. I really thought hard about this, particularly as other content on the same blog is obviously copied from other sources. But you know what? I’m really not a nasty person and I felt that it would just make me even more upset about what had happened if I didn’t give the person the opportunity to change their ways. I’ve been through all the excuses in my head. They may not understand the rules, they may not have read my copyright, they may have meant no harm….even to the point that surely I should be flattered that someone thought my tutorial was so good that they wanted to copy it. But it was my hard work….that was the bottom line. Also, the terms and conditions of all of the blog providers, pinterest etc. make it clear to account holders that they are personally liable for breaches of copyright. If they don’t read or understand them, liability is vicarious.

Anyway, I emailed the blogger….no reply. I then left a comment on their blog politely requesting the removal of my work and they responded saying they were sorry I was offended and they had removed my photos and design. I wasn’t offended, just violated, but I accept that could have been lost in translation. You see, benefit of the doubt given again.

Yesterday, I changed my copyright again in an attempt to make it even more clear that copying is not allowed. Should I really have to spell it out?

Low and behold, Pinterest struck again overnight. Permission sought? No! Exasperation! JUST ASK FIRST! More form filling for me….like I said, Pinterest is just the tip of the iceberg.

I am now considering watermarking all of my design images and photos as I just can’t seem to get through to a very small number of bloggers. I know it would take me a lot longer to prepare my work and would spoil the look of the blog so the jury is still out. Maybe blogging is not for me after all 😦 It isn’t worth the upset.

Line drawn, enough said, move on…..until the next time.

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Happy Sunday everyone, this is the real me 🙂

My lovely friend Teje strikes again! This time she has inspired me to be a bit more organised. She discussed a great idea of her own with me which I’m sure she’ll be sharing soon and I came up with a version of it that I really needed. The result is two new pages on this blog for projects that I finished in 2011 and 2012. The page links are at the top of this page. They are a sort of gallery so I can see my progress since December 2011 when my crafting attempts really took off. All of the photos will link to the original posts if you want to click on them. This will be useful for me as I often try to find something I’ve made on the blog and can’t remember which month it was. These photos will take me straight to it. Let me know what you think it and whether it was worth the effort. Sorry about the copyright-ish statement at the top. I’m a bit sensitive at the moment!

Also, here is another update, probably the last on this project before it is finished because it unlikely to drape nicely on this chair after today 😉 I’ve now got three stripes of each of the eight colours completed. There will be a total of eight repetitions when it is finished. I thought about varying the width of the stripes and I’ll need to make a final decision very soon. I hope you like it!

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And finally, my fabric giveaway will be drawn tomorrow. It is easy to enter here. Good luck everyone 🙂

Time to crochet!

Avis x

Ripple blanket progress check

Hi everyone 🙂

Here is a quick update on my progress with the ripple blanket. I’ve now completed each of the eight colours twice. I’m really pleased with the 1970’s look and how fast it is growing!

Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway here. Thank you to everyone who has already entered. I’m pleased you appreciate that I’ve made it really easy for you to have a chance of winning. We seem to be stirring up lots of happy memories together so I’m loving reading all about your favourite gifts 😀

Time to crochet!!

Avis x

 

I can’t put it down!

Helloooo!!

New project on the go….

I’ve been wanting to crochet a ripple pattern blanket since I finished my Granny Squares one in May. My favourite ripples are at Playing At Craft, The Lazy Crafter and Attic 24. The great thing is, Lucy at Attic 24 has written a very clear photo tutorial here which is great for beginners like me.

My yarn arrived a couple of days ago. It is Stylecraft 100% Acrylic Double Knit so it didn’t break the bank. It was actually recommended to me by the lovely Trish at Made by Patch. Her blog is well worth a look. She mainly does crochet but there are several other strings to her bow. Go and see for yourselves!

Here is my yarn. I have two of each of eight colours. Maybe there’ll be some left for other hooky magic 🙂

The pattern suggested you should try a practice piece first which turned out fine. You can see how clear Lucy’s pattern is. I shrunk the photos before printing it to save trees 🙂

All going well…so back along the other way for row 2.

I was happy with the trial run so I started the foundation chain for real. It seemed like a never ending first row. I had enough chain for 308 stitches plus 3 chains and needed to end on the correct stitch. I don’t know what I would have done if it hadn’t work out! In case you don’t know already, the ripples are formed by a series of trebles, decreases, trebles, increases then repeating all the way along. (I think trebles are doubles in the States but don’t quote me on that. )

Now the 2nd row…

Time to change colour. That will hold my interest in a big project.

Nice colours but I’m beginning to worry. I kept calm (my OH would disagree here!) and carried on. Have you spotted my reason for concern?

Maybe you can now…. The foundation chain is too tight and is causing the edge to flick up 😦

So I contacted Lucy the pattern writer…..Is this supposed to happen or should I have made a much slacker chain? If I had to start again to put it right, so be it. Within minutes Lucy advised this is a common problem. I should have done a slacker chain or used a larger hook to make it. Oh well, time to wind the wool up and start again. NO!!! That was the cry of my OH who strongly suggested I leave the first one intact and get the new one going before pulling the first one out. I wish I had his wisdom 😉 I didn’t really mind having to start again. It was only an evening’s work and I’d enjoyed doing it and getting used to the pattern.

So I started again and I hope you can see the difference. I certainly can. It was worth keeping the first one just to see the difference here 😀

Then more rows were added.

All is well that ends well so they say 🙂 Thanks to Lucy and Missy Patch again. You both did a grand job:-)

I can’t put it down!

Avis x

Bazaar or bizarre?

Good evening everyone 🙂 It’s nostalgia time again!

This time, I’d like to take you on a trip through some early 70’s crafts…… the decade of bad taste colour schemes, glam rock, leatherette, Spangles and knitted toilet roll covers. Yes, KNITTED toilet roll covers!!

I’m going to show you a knitting pattern booklet which my Mum had way back then. The booklet which I have here is another original copy which I bought on Ebay last year. Mum’s booklet was given to a charity shop a long time ago. It has been out of print for decades but there are many more editions still available. It is packed with 40 patterns for all of those “must have” household items and luxuries.

Here is the front cover. Twenty pence for 40 patterns!!

Tea cosies and egg cosies. The pink tea cosy is crocheted and the others are knitted.

Some toys……a cross-eyed lion?? The owl and the teddy are crocheted.

Funky cushions to match the psychedelic décor.

Now don’t we all  need one of these? Toilet roll covers 😆

Next up, a cuddly toy tortoise, a knitted snake draught excluder and a doll’s poncho. Sounding like The Generation Game now!

More doll’s clothes and a Granny Squares pram rug. We did love to dress our dollies in the 70’s!

And another draught excluder…..this time crocheted. I wanted one like this 🙂

More tea cosies for huge tea pots 😀

Ooooh, and now we have a hip and trendy, fab and groovy guy sporting a knitted tie. What a cool dude!

A very strange looking flat elephant and a bunny. See the bunny in the flesh yarn later 🙂

Ah now, these hats are back in fashion…..

Pram rugs, hottie covers and……..why not knit yourself a knitting bag?

Here is the back cover. Don’t you just adore those pink lacy knitted bed socks?

Seriously though, an awful lot of money was raised for charity from the ideas in these booklets. Most of the items could be made with scraps of wool that almost everyone had plenty of. I remember making the egg cosies and tea cosies when I was very young and I always wanted to make the sausage dog draught excluder but I never did. This was before the days when I taught myself how to crochet tank tops 😆

These designs really take me back in time. I bet some of the people reading this, either made items from these Bazaar booklets, or maybe had presents bought for them like these. What do you think……Bazaar or bizarre?

Here is a picture of the rabbit I mentioned earlier. I knitted it from the pattern in this book. I think it looks more like a mouse (but it doesn’t have a tail), or a Clanger. It only took a couple of hours to make. The body and legs are knitted in one piece and the dress is removable.

I had fun making it because it is ages since I’ve done any knitting. It was good to practice my pattern reading skills again 🙂

Enjoy the rest of the week!

The Versatile Blogger Award!

Hi everyone, I hope you are all enjoying the weekend. Oops, I just looked at the clock and  it is 4 minutes into Monday!

I haven’t been around for a few days as I’ve been so busy working but thought it only fair to break my silence to accept the Versatile Bogger Award from byhookorbypen. Thanks to both of the lovely authors for nominating my blog. They have two blogs, one features crochet and the other is devoted to the Titanic. Pop over and see them for yourselves 🙂

Now I know there are some people who don’t want to get involved in “chain letter” awards and feel embarrassed about refusing them so, on this occasion, I am going to break the rules. I am not going to nominate any other blogs (gasp, shock, horror!!). What a rebel I am 😉 However, I am providing some links to lots of blogs I’ve visited most frequently in May. I’m sure the authors will be happy to see new visitors. I am also happy to tell you more facts?? about myself and hope you enjoy reading them 🙂

1. I love dogs.

2. I think I’m quiet and shy but everyone who knows me thinks the opposite 🙂

3. I enjoy reading but rarely have time to finish a book.

4. I bought five chocolate Easter eggs to give away this year and then left them in a hot car. I had to eat them all myself because they were no longer egg-shaped! What a shame 😆

5. I’m just learning how to use facebook and twitter after having started up ages ago. (Embarrassing number of followers :-))

6. I rarely watch TV, preferring to listen to the radio.

7. I enjoy eating Jelly Babies!

Some of my favourite blogs in no particular order are:

Amysworlds

Doublebarreloutdoors

Buriedinscraps

Craftingismybliss

Handmadebyclairebear

Claire93

rutigt

basildonkitchens

sincerelysarahandcrafted

treadlemusic

chicenvelopements

nerospostandpatch

madebypatch

skalabara

madebyyourstruly

weddingdressblue

occasionalcrafter

sewmuchchoice

If you feel missed out (I hope I haven’t missed you and it wasn’t intentional) just let me know and I’ll include you in my next post 🙂

Have a great week! Avis x

 

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