Friday, 22 November 2013


Coasters for my sis

When it comes to birthdays, Christmas or any other occasion actually, I can't help but get a bit crafty.  It's a bit of a problem really, I wander through shops, hoping to find something perfect for the person in question.  Something that they'll love, and something I can afford. The  constant refrain that runs through my head is "I can make that". (Although, if I'm honest I don't always get around to it!)
 I'm not sure if it's a result of being brought up on a farm, one of six kids, where hand me downs were the norm and mum made most of our clothes.
 One of my favourite memories is sitting beside mum while she sewed, the hum of the sewing machine a comforting rumble. I would be in charge of the pins, handing them out when needed, and rearranging the coloured heads into patterns on the pin cushion, collecting them when she was done. I remember spending time looking through pattern books, discussing with mum what I wanted, an extra frill here, longer there. The idea of just buying something off the rack was a tad foreign.  I won't deny that there was a time where I just wanted to have the same as all my friends, the latest trendy jumper, or some expensive brand name emblazoned on my clothes. 
 And now that I'm a mum myself, I am ashamed to say I haven't kept up the tradition of sewing all my childrens clothes, but I try my hardest to hand make presents, for my boys, my nieces, my family and friends.
When my eldest boy was little I would knit him a toy every Christmas. One year it was a possum, then a kangaroo.  He had to have a Tassie devil one year, after seeing a pair at a wild life park.
Of course I haven't been as consistent with his younger brother, but I try!

So to my point, I have been busily crocheting up some presents for my sisters. One who's birthday was in October, and one who I have for Kris Kindle.
The coasters pictured have been delivered to the birthday girl, and she loved them (phew!) 
The Christmas ones are finished but I'll be keeping them under wraps until they reach their new home!

Now I'm not saying there is anything bad about buying a present, who would ever turn their nose up at receiving a gift of any kind? And lots of time you do find the perfect gift for someone, something that you could never make yourself. 
But for me the giving and receiving of handmade brings another deeper dimension to a gift. When I'm making something for someone, they are always in my thoughts while I'm making it. And the thought that someone has been thinking of me whilst making me a gift is a wonderful feeling. No matter how small, hand made always feels bigger, and more precious than anything purchased from a shop.

So how about you? Do you have a hankering for hand made? 

Jo x


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Baby Steps...

I've been thinking about this blog a lot lately, in part because I'm doing the wonderful e-course "Blog With Pip" (via ) and in part because I've been sick, and have had lots of time, especially at night, to think. Putting myself out there is daunting, and there has been lots of asking why. Why do I want to blog? Why would anyone want to read what I have to say?  Why can't I figure this techie stuff out?!
For now I'm going to go with it, focus on what I love and let the rest follow.  My motivation for this space was to document my crafty achievements and adventures, and as a place for me to write.  For now I'm not going to stress over the techie side.  I'm sure that will come least I hope so!!
This photo is of my bedside table, and that is the first ever bobbin of wool that I've managed to spin.  It's lumpy, uneven and scraggly and I love it!! For me it is a symbol of where I am and where I want to be.  Spinning it was tricky, slow and frustrating at times, and the result is less than perfect.  But it shows a step forward. So I shall make this bobbin the symbol of this blog.  They are both imperfect, and my first attempt at something new. And I hope they will both be markers in the future of how far I've come!!