Well I’ve officially owned an allotment for a week now! And I’d love to say that I’ve been able to go there every day and get a little bit done but the truth is that the weather’s been vile and I’ve been snowed under with making Christmas decorations – So progress has been slow to say the least.

However, I have managed to grab a few moments on the plot over the last few days and started off the general clearing up of the site by making piles of assorted stuff – House bricks, rubble, stones and bits of old greenhouse glass.

Piles of bricks, rubble and stones - OK, so it doesn't look that much different but I feel better for making a start ;)

Piles of bricks, rubble and stones – OK, so it doesn’t look that much different but I feel better for making a start πŸ˜‰

All the tyres have been moved to the other end of the plot – Originally I thought there were ten but it turns out I’ve got thirteen of them to incorporate into my planting scheme!

Good grief! I really don't know what I'm going to do  with quite so many tyres!!!!!!!

Good grief! I really don’t know what I’m going to do with quite so many tyres!!!!!!!

And I’ve started on the digging and weeding – removing all the bindweed and carefully digging the roots up ready to put on the bonfire once we get a spell of dry weather. I’ve also brought some Yucca plants from the Bully Bus garden to put near the fence as a deterrent for anyone attempting to climb over – Apparently this does happen from time to time so I’m resorting to the use of spiky/thorny/spiny plants as a natural barrier. Once I get round to painting the fence with some wood preservative I’ll be planting a mixture of Hawthorn and Pyracanthra there too – As they grow they’ll provide somewhere for the birds to nest,Β flowers and scent in Spring, berries in the Autumn and hopefully put off would be plot plunderers all the year round!

In a few years time this fence will hopefully be clad in a spiky, thorny mass of Hawthorn and Pyracanthra (Firethorn).

In a few years time this fence will hopefully be clad in a spiky, thorny mass of Hawthorn and Pyracanthra (Firethorn).

Whilst the sun was making a brief appearance I had a little wander round the site to look at other people’s plots for inspiration and was immediately struck with shed envy. There are some marvellous constructions dotted around, cobbled together from old doors, window frames, bits of bus shelter etc along with your regular, run of the mill, factory produced offerings. Must admit I’ve already developed a bit of a soft spot for the quirkier side of the shed scene and am deeply envious of the myriad shelters surrounding me.

Sadly, I am currently shedless – If the heavens open and the rain pours down I’m set for a soaking………… But not for too long as a shed has definitely been pledged to me which I’ll be getting some time during the next few weeks….. and I can’t wait!!!! My very own spot in which to make a pot of tea, shelter from a deluge or just sit and listen to the birds singing and the bees buzzing – How lovely!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - The gorgeous shed that's been pledged to me ;)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – The gorgeous shed that’s been pledged to me πŸ˜‰

Admittedly it looks like I may have my work cut out for me but I relish the challenge of turning this kindly donated structure into a cozy little retreat from the elements – And it provides a perfect opportunity for some crafting projects over the winter months in order to make the interior nice and welcoming as I’ll be needing the odd string of bunting, maybe a cushion or two and most definitely a crocheted blanket to wrap myself up in!

Maybe I should also make something nice as a means of saying thank you to my generous neighbour over the fence, a lovely man called Paul who’s also given me a spare water butt and offered to help sort out the foundations for the shed when it’s ready to be moved into its final resting place. Not forgetting the equally lovely neighbours on the other side of the opposite fence who’ve donated a compost bin and assorted plants to get me started on my way!

On reflection, maybe I’ve had a better first week than I originally thought………. things can only get better from now on and I’ll be planting in no time – Fingers crossed πŸ˜‰

Fence cleared of bindweed and water butt and compost bin ready to be incorporated into the master plan!

Fence cleared of bindweed and water butt and compost bin ready to be incorporated into the master plan!

Let’s just hope the weather stays fair and the sun shines on us all in the forthcoming weeks. We can but hope………….. πŸ˜‰

And the winner is…….

Posted: November 1, 2013 in The Garage

Today I got up extra early to begin the task of entering 269 names into an online name generator in order to pick a winner to receive this set of festive, fabric baubles:

Final VW Themed Xmas Decs

And I’m pleased to announce that the lucky individual that’s bagged this gorgeous VW themed selection is……… Dayv!!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations to him! And a great big thanks to all those that entered the draw. Sorry you couldn’t all be winners but there’s more giveaways planned for the future; Next time it could be you Β πŸ˜‰

Have a great Friday everyone!

I’m very excited! Even the miserable weather outside can do very little to dampen my spirits.

After what’s seemed like an epic wait I got a phonecall out of the blue at the beginning of the month which got me all giddy and restless; I daredn’t tell anyone for fear of things going pear-shaped! On Saturday I got the follow-up call that I’d been waiting for to confirm a meeting the following day to finally collect something that I’ve wanted for years………..

I know! I'm INCREDIBLY easy to please!

I know! I’m INCREDIBLY easy to please!

A small bunch of keys! ‘But keys to what?’ I hear you ask………….

There's treasure at the end of that rainbow!

There’s treasure at the end of that rainbow!

Well!!!! The sun shone, the wind blew, we had a shower or two and then a rainbow appeared as the keys were handed over to my very first allotment plot; I am one rather happy bunny!!!!!

So now I’m officially an allotmenteer! And even better, a friend and fellow blogger got a neighbouring plot at the same time – So now we’re two newbies that can take it in turns to put the kettle on for a cuppa whilst we’re working our respective plots, having a general natter and putting the world to rights, swapping plants, ideas etc. Perfect!

But what is an allotment? How do you go about getting one and what do you do once you’ve got it? And why would you want one in the first place?

Allotments have a long history. Their origins can be dated back to the Enclosure Acts of the 18th and 19th centuries where basically a significant amount of the English countryside was rendered ‘out of bounds’ as land was portioned up and enclosed by hedges and walls, and the ‘common land’, the land that the ordinary folk had always used for growing crops, grazing animals etc, was drastically reduced, if not almost taken away completely. This resulted in a great deal of tension; English people generally aren’t good at handling tension! Rebellions followed…….. the Government responded. In 1845, the General Enclosure Act was passed stipulating that land should be set aside as ‘field gardens’ for the labouring population (the nation’s poorest yet most hardworking) ; These field gardens soon became known as allotments.Β By 1906, it became statutory law for all local authorities to provide allotment space for the poor.

Allotments really came into their own during the first and second world wars, spearheaded mainly by the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign, but in subsequent decades their popularity decreased as rationing was phased out and food became plentiful and cheap again. Demand for allotment plots dwindled; plots were left untended; sites were closed down.Β Sadly, lots of allotment sites no longer exist due to the land being taken up for residential and commercial developments.

However, the 1990’s began to see a welcome change for the movement with gardening officially declared as Britain’s favourite pastime and happily, allotmenteering has been steadily gaining in popularity as rising food prices and scares about what we eat keep hitting the headlines on an almost daily basis and the demand for safe, organic food grown in British soil intensifies.

But getting an allotment can be a tricky business and often a lengthy waiting game. Waiting lists are long and it can take many years before a plot finally becomes vacant. Want one yourself? The best thing to do is find out where the nearest allotments are to you – This can be done by running a search on your local authorities’ website in either the public amenities or leisure sections – Or you can visit the local library which should also hold the necessary information. Once you’ve got the contact details, make a phone call to the general secretary and introduce yourself, explaining your interest in holding a plot. Do this as soon as possible and be prepared to be told that nothing is available and the current waiting time is equivalent to eternity! Don’t be put off – Assure them that you’re definitely interested and ask that your name can be added to the list. Then wait, wait, wait……………………………………………………………………………………

Be patient!

One day you’ll get the phonecall that heralds the start of a great big adventure! There may be rules and regulations that you have to follow which differ from one site to another. There’ll be things you’re allowed to grow and things that’ll get you chucked off your plot in the blink of an eye; You might have to seek permission to build a fence or put up a shed only to be told you’re not allowed. There’ll probably be days when you feel overwhelmed by the tasks ahead – But your reward will be a little piece of heaven that allows you to grow your own fresh produce, a place where you can escape and unwind, partake of a little gentle exercise and mix with a great bunch of like-minded people. And allotments boast lively, thriving, multicultural communities that know how to live life to the full πŸ˜‰

Want to see mine? I’ve named her ‘Lottie’ – She’s a quarter sized plot of approximately 150 square metres that needs a lot of tlc; Quite enough to be getting on with for the moment!

Not much of a looker!

Not much of a looker!

Not much to go on at the moment – In fact it looks like a bit of a bombsite! But she will be beautiful one day – I have the patience and tenacity needed for the job of transforming her…….. I think that’s obvious from the wait I had before finally getting my grubby little mitts on that set of keys!!!!

To you it's a pile of bricks - To me it's the basis for a potential seating area.

To you it’s a pile of bricks – To me it’s the basis for a potential seating area.

A pile of old car tyres? Nope! They're going to be used as contemporary planters.

A pile of old car tyres? Nope! They’re going to be used as contemporary planters.

A hint towards some of the organic methods I'll be using to help develop and enrich the plot.

A hint towards some of the organic methods I’ll be using to help develop and enrich the plot.

A certain amount of ground clearing may be needed before any final plans for layout and planting are made.........

A certain amount of ground clearing may be needed before any final plans for layout and planting are made………

Might have to get a bit arty with that fence at some point!

Might have to get a bit arty with that fence at some point!

I'm hoping that the rainbow is a good omen ;)

I’m hoping that the rainbow is a good omen πŸ˜‰

To the majority of people I guess it doesn’t look like much to get excited about – But to someone who has wanted an allotment for a very long time I’m finding it hard to contain my enthusiasm! So there we have it – I’m itching to get started but the bad weather has set in with other plans. Might just sit and thumb through the seed catalogues for an hour or so and dream of future adventures………….. πŸ˜‰

But one last thing to note before I drift off completely ……….. Local authorities are bound by law to find provision If there are no allotments close to you yet the demand for them is deemed sufficient from enough people. It’s all to do with a clause in the Smallholding & Allotment Act of 1908 which is still relevant today. You need to put this in writing and be persistent. – Then maybe we’ll see new sites opening up to add to the 300,000 (approximately) currently in existence and even more people taking control over the quality of the food they eat!

Can’t be a bad thing can it?

Oooh! The Bully Bus Manufactory is packed to the rafters with festive fabrics, ribbons, trimmings, sequins and tiny little jingle bells. It can mean only one thing; This year’s batch of Christmas decorations is FINALLY underway………….. and they’re more gorgeous than ever before!!!!!

We're all been given away completely FREE!!!!!!

We’re all been given away completely FREE!!!!!!

And the good news is that this set of six of the holiday season’s finest, once sewn up and each given a little ribbon loop for hanging, are going to be given away absolutely FREE to one very lucky person!!!!

So what do you have to do to be in with a chance of seeing them gracing your gorgeous tree come Christmas Day?Β Simple really! Just visit my website and add your name to the mailing list. That’s it; That is all!

I know, I know! I said a few years back that I’d given up on my website in favour of all things in the Blogosphere but so many people have asked me over the last few months if I’m online that I’ve finally caved in to the mounting pressure and opened the website back up – Albeit clearing everything out and starting again from scratch!

It’s far from finished. Since July I’ve made it my mission to add at least one new item each day – whether it’s to create a page, add a photo or set up a shop listing and slowly, but surely, things have begun to take shape until I’ve reached a point where I feel happy to share it with the whole wide world!!!!

So that’s where you come in πŸ˜‰

Please feel free to share the link with family, friends etc :Β http://www.bigbluebullybus.co.uk/

On the home page there’s an option to join the mailing list –Β Anyone that adds their name to this from 16th October – 31st October 2013 will automatically be entered into a prize draw where one name will be picked out at random on November 1st to win the luvverly tree decs!!!

And what happens once the draw is over? That’s simple too – Your contact details stay with me; They won’t ever be shared with a third party. From time to time you’ll receive an email in your inbox in the form of a little newsletter highlighting new products, events and further freebies or discount offers. But definitely no spam; No inbox full of inane drivel from a slightly loopy lass in a camper van (I’ll save that for this blog, lol) Β and no hard selling!!!! πŸ˜‰

So? What are you waiting for?

Happy Wednesday Folks!!!!!!! And Good Luck!!!!!

I’ve been a bit naughty recently! Another reason for not blogging that often…….

I’ve discovered a more subversive side of me that I thought I’d grown out of years ago…. and suddenly become the Bramley & District Methodist’s Potty Mouth of the Month. Allow me to explain…….

My favourite answer to ANYTHING!!!!

My favourite answer to ANYTHING!!!!

No! I’m not going out of my way to be rude – It’s just one of the things that’s been keeping me quiet recently – Naughty Cushions!!!!!

Remember Jane Wynn? The clever lady responsible for ‘The Handmade Alternative’ pop-up shop in Bradford earlier this year and the designer/maker of marvellous beaded creations and gothic gorgeousness that is ‘Wildheart’…… Well it’s all her fault!!!

She posted up a picture of some naughty cushions and bunting on Facebook saying how she wished someone local to her would be daring enough to make some…. Cue the ever up for having a go, crafting whirlwind that is me……. and see what happens. And, as usual, it’s been a case of lighting the blue touch paper, standing well back and holding on for dear life to your sensibilities….. again!

I'm on the search for some suitably kitsch squirrel and badger themed fabric if anyone knows of any..... I want to make 'Badgers Rock' and 'Squirrels Are Nuts' versions for a little 'Woodland' themed trio of cushions.

I’m on the search for some suitably kitsch squirrel and badger themed fabric if anyone knows of any….. I want to make ‘Badgers Rock’ and ‘Squirrels Are Nuts’ versions for a little ‘Woodland’ themed trio of cushions.

Now I’m certain you all know that I’m trying hard to make sure Β I don’t offend you lovely folks out there in Blogland by selecting only the tamer options to share with you – But I think you possibly know that there’s a few shockers in the mix; Let’s just say that I definitely wouldn’t let the Vicar come for tea without maybe moving a few out of his general view!

101_1589

101_1619

Ooooh, Errrrh! They are a bit naughty aren’t they? Suffice to say they’ve gone down a storm!!!!

The ‘Bite Me’ cushion has proved to be the most popular thus far, closely followed by my homage to a long dead, Danish king that tried to stop the tide from coming in……. well that’s the politest way I can describe the design without posting a picture that leaves little to the imagination, lol

101_1528

That’s quite enough of that!

Or is it?

Well, I did mention bunting too – And that’s coming along quite nicely thank you very much…………. No piccies yet though πŸ˜‰

There’s just one more thing I need to share with you whilst on the subject of all things potty mouthed; Subversive cross stitch. Google it and you’ll come up with some marvellous examples – I’ve been making a few of my own to complement the assorted cushion designs. Just very small and simple, innocent looking items that maybe make you look twice once spotted from the corner of a beady eye.

Shhhhh! Don't tell the Vicar!

Shhhhh! Don’t tell the Vicar!

Heh Heh! I love the little ornate frame and the fact that you’d expect some pious words of wisdom to be stitched and displayed therein……..

Erm, yes!

Want to have a go yourself? Here’s the chart I made for it; It takes no time at all to create and uses only whole cross stitches and two colours of thread; Perfect for beginners or seasoned cross stitchers alike.

Free to use etc but please remember to acknowledge the designer, blah, blah, blah ;)

Free to use etc but please remember to acknowledge the designer, blah, blah, blah πŸ˜‰

I’m off to create a few more now and practise my cussing!

Happy Crafting Folks!!!!!

Wow! Look at me – The second post in a week; I’m in danger of turning in to a blogging goddess!Β As promised here’s another mini feature explaining my lengthy absence from cyberspace……………

I treat myself to this!

The London Emblem Badgemaker 5 - Bloody Marvellous!!!!!!

The London Emblem Badgemaker 5 – Bloody Marvellous!!!!!!

I’ve wanted a badgemaker for ages but since returning to a life filled with freemotion machine embroidery it’s become a necessity rather than wishful thinking; I NEED to make badges, pocket mirrors, bottle openers etc – I REALLY DO!!!!!!!!

Hence the purchase – A rather pricey item, but boy has it been worth it πŸ™‚ Here’s the linky thing if you fancy finding out more or want to invest in one yourself: Β http://www.allaboutbadges.com/product_info.php?products_id=42

So what does it do? And, more importantly, what have I done since getting it?

Well, obviously you can make badges – In three sizes as it happens; 25mm, 38mm and 55mm. But you can also make keyrings, fridge magnets, bottle openers, pocket mirrors, medals and freestanding photo frames. Marvellous!!!!!

At the moment I’ve got the 55mm set up – the perfect size for incorporating some freemotion gorgeousness πŸ˜‰

Ready for some of my designs? Here we go:

Sugar skull themed fridge magnet.

Sugar skull themed fridge magnet.

Also in badge and pocket mirror options.........

Also in badge, keyring and pocket mirror options………

A floral selection - Inevitable really!

A floral selection – Inevitable really!

It's come to something when I can write neater with a sewing machine than I can with a pen in my hand!

It’s come to something when I can write neater with a sewing machine than I can with a pen in my hand!

An apple for the teacher - A really simple idea but a lovely gift whether it's in badge, keyring, fridge magnet etc form :)

An apple for the teacher – A really simple idea but a lovely gift whether it’s in badge, keyring, fridge magnet etc form πŸ™‚

VW's - You don't seriously think I'm going to miss them out? Do you?

VW’s – You don’t seriously think I’m going to miss them out? Do you?

Of course I had to do a T25 option........

Of course I had to do a T25 option……..

And it would be rude to leave a classic Beetle version out!

And it would be rude to leave a classic Beetle version out!

And now of course there's Christmas to contend with and festive versions to make.........

And now of course there’s Christmas to contend with and festive versions to make………

C7C40A1A-1BAE-11E3-A5CB-C532345C1C50

And what sort of person would I be if I didn't pay homage to my favourite seamstress and her co-stars?

And what sort of person would I be if I didn’t pay homage to my favourite seamstress and her co-stars?

Incidentally, Monday 16th September marked 100 days before Christmas (and just like last year I’m making references to Sally Finkelstein!) The ‘nightmare’ has once more officially begun!!!!!!

Anywhoo, that’s the end of my second mini-post. And, as you can see, I haven’t been resting on my laurels whilst keeping quiet in blogland – I REALLY have been busy. And it’s set to get busier!!!!! Ho hum!!!!

Happy Crafting folks!!!!!!

Yes! I know!

Apologies for my absence – AGAIN!!!!!! (How many times have I said this over the last few years? Shameful really).

Once more I’ve been busy; Incredibly so πŸ˜‰

But rather than go through a long list of everything that’s held my attention and caused me to neglect my blogging duties so badly for months on end, I think It’s possibly best to publish a series of mini-posts containing the edited highlights of life at Bully Bus HQ over the past few months………. In no particular order.

I’ll start with VW shows, shall I?

I wanted to cry a little bit inside when I saw this ;)

I wanted to cry a little bit inside when I saw this πŸ˜‰

First up: Β Volkspower V, held at the rugby ground in Redcar.

What can I say about this show that I haven’t already said? I love it! It’s one of the few dates in the annual show calendar where I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say I can’t wait for it to come round.

This year it was bigger than ever, celebrating it’s fifth birthday and looking quite the grown-up. Lots of air-cooled vehicles in attendance, brilliant entertainment, fabulous crowd of people and wall to wall sunshine; A really busy weekend in a glorious seaside setting.

A nice Scottish man who turned up once or twice for a chat :)

A nice Scottish man who turned up once or twice for a chat πŸ™‚

A Subaru Sambar - Very, very wrong on all levels but entertaining to see the look on people's faces if they've not seen one before ;)

A Subaru Sambar – Very, very wrong on all levels but entertaining to see the look on people’s faces if they’ve not seen one before πŸ˜‰

Excuse me whilst I just drool quietly for a few moments........

Excuse me whilst I just drool quietly for a few moments……..

Sunday's Show'n'Shine attendee - gob smackingly awesome!

One of Sunday’s show ‘n’ shine attendees – gob smackingly awesome!

Another thumbs up for the fish hats!

Another thumbs up for the fish hats!

Awwwwwwhhh! Look at the little trailer!

Awwwwwwhhh! Look at the little trailer!

Lower than your Granpappie's nuts!

Lower than your Granpappie’s nuts!

OK - Just one more little bit of drool and I'm done ;)

OK – Just one more little bit of drool and I’m done πŸ˜‰

A marvellous weekend – Even when we had to call the Green Flag out to get us started after breaking down at the petrol forecourt on the way there!!!!! Now that’s a story in itself; Best saved for a later date……..

We didn’t break down on the way home which is all that matters really – And just as well, as a week or so later we headed off to Dub Odyssey, at Hooton Lodge, Rotherham.

Another show that’s grown hugely over the last few years. It used to be held at the Worksop Rugby Ground where we’d all squeeze in like sardines round the edge of the field; These days there’s a bit more legroom πŸ˜‰

Plenty of vehicles to look at, lovely people (although not quite a full house as there were a few rogues in attendance around the campsite who didn’t necessarily show full consideration to their neighbours), a good scattering of folks from my VW club – Leeds Volkswagen Collective and slightly more challenging weather throughout the weekend.

An award winning bus from the LVC was in attendance ;)

An award winning bus from the LVC was in attendance πŸ˜‰

Yay! Another Bully Bus - Look closely and you can see one of them standing guard at the rear.

Yay! Another Bully Bus – Look closely and you can see one of them standing guard at the rear.

Apparently the view was lovely from up there ;)

Apparently the view was lovely from up there πŸ˜‰

A fellow LVC member's rather gorgeous bus - We lost track of how many times Daz walked round the show - It was exhausting just to watch!

A fellow LVC member’s rather gorgeous bus – We lost track of how many times Daz walked round the show – It was exhausting just to watch!

No break-downs to report from Odyssey – But we were ready with a rubber mallet just in case we needed to tap the starter motor πŸ˜‰ A rubber mallet, that coincidently, and on reflection, I should probably hit myself over the head with for making a poor choice as regards the show we attended next………….

Leeds VW Festival, Harewood. Or as I like to call it, ‘The Doorstep Challenge’.

I don’t know why I go there to be honest; I’ve seldom enjoyed it. I think it must be some kind of loyalty thing coupled with the fact that it’s only six miles away from home………………. not really good enough reasons to hand over my hard-earned cash for a truly lacklustre experience 😦

I’d love to say that there was something fresh and exciting to see there this year – But there just wasn’t; I’d love to say that that’s just my opinion – But everyone I spoke to was saying exactly the same thing 😦 It’s sad to say but it was the same old vehicles to look at, a trade area that resembled a rather large car boot sale, Mad Max scene re-enactments on one of the camp sites and, seemingly, a lot of cashing in on the organisers part. Β I paid for a pitch measuring 5 metres wide by 10 metres deep and ended up having to shoe-horn the tent and two vehicles into a 5m x 7m space – 15 square metres short! And bearing in mind we’ve usually taken three vehicles there…………

I’d post lots of piccies if I’d bothered to take more than a few; I didn’t……… so here’s the highlight of the weekend for me:

A dog wearing beer goggles - Maybe I should have borrowed them for a while for a better view of a lacklustre show ;)

A dog wearing beer goggles – Maybe I should have borrowed them for a while for a better view of a lacklustre show πŸ˜‰

Finally, there’s G.O.T.H, Arley Hall, Cheshire – The jewel in the crown!

On an equal par with Volkspower it’s a date I wouldn’t want to miss on the annual calendar. It’s everything that’s right about VW shows; Just an all-round awesome weekend! Non-stop laughter surrounded by some of the loveliest people on the planet. Chilled, relaxed, family orientated – everything you need to restore your faith in the world πŸ˜‰

It was Mr Other Half’s first time in attendance this year; He’s making plans for next year already………..

……..Plans for what dress he’s going to wear for the drag race!

Mr Other Half loved it so much that he bought the t-shirt!

Mr Other Half loved it so much that he bought the t-shirt!

The annual show'n'shine consists of three vehicles - Not the biggest show in the world; But arguably the BEST!

The annual show ‘n’ shine consists of three vehicles – Not the biggest show in the world; But arguably the BEST!

Plenty of room to just kick back and relax.

Plenty of room to just kick back and relax.

A small, handpicked trade presence - No repeats or wall to wall t-shirt traders, sticker sellers etc

A small, handpicked trade presence – No repeats or wall to wall t-shirt traders, sticker sellers etc

Plenty of time to chill whilst enjoying a recent purchase of a rather striking fish hat, pixie style stocking cap etc.......

Plenty of time to chill whilst enjoying a recent purchase of a rather striking fish hat, pixie style stocking cap etc…….

Family fun at the sports day!

Family fun at the sports day!

I lied when I said I'd stop drooling!

I lied when I said I’d stop drooling!

Gorgeous pets are kept on a leash at all times........ I'm drooling again, aren't I?

Gorgeous pets are kept on a leash at all times…….. I’m drooling again, aren’t I?

Some of the local stunners could have done with being kept on a lead too........ Mr Other Half's turn to drool now after this lovely lady kept giving him the nod!

Some of the local stunners could have done with being kept on a lead too…….. Mr Other Half’s turn to drool now after this lovely lady kept giving him the nod!

Simply stunning Darling!

Simply stunning Darling!

The Drag Race line-up - Every year it just gets bigger and better!

The Drag Race line-up – Every year it just gets bigger and better!

Lol! And there’s me saying this would be a mini-post!

I’ll sign off now whilst ending on a high; Can’t wait for next year’s shows!

Well! I’m back!!!!!!

And thankfully with a clear head; Rested, focussed and busier than ever after a short break en Ecosse with Mr OH and the bullies of the bus – Even though Scotland was a tad damp at times to say the least it was still aΒ well earned bit of time out after a hectic few months…… πŸ˜‰

On the old Edinburgh road in our trusty T5. There is a mountain hiding away under that low lying cloud - Honest!

On the old Edinburgh road in our trusty T5. There is a mountain hiding away under that low lying cloud – Honest!

So, let’s have a recap and look back at what flattened my batteries for a while…..

Firstly, there was an invitation back in early March for me to take part in an event called ‘The Handmade Alternative’ in Bradford, West Yorkshire; The brainchild of Jane Wynn of Wildheart. It was her vision to bring together a whole host of independent designers, artists and craftspeople who cater for alternative tastes and showcase their work in a fabulous pop-up shop in Bradford city centre. An idea that proved to be incredibly popular and was much welcomed by a whole host of customers eager to sample the assorted wares on offer.

I took the opportunity to debut a collection of alternative baby wear I’d been working hard on – skulls, crossbones, zombie bunnies, kitties and Game of Thrones inspired goodies.

Even the tiniest of tots can look uber cool - Appliqued  baby bodysuit featuring a sugar skull and crossbones design.

Even the tiniest of tots can look uber cool – Appliqued baby bodysuit featuring a sugar skull and crossbones design.

Faux tie baby bodysuit with hot pink skull detail.

Faux tie baby bodysuit with hot pink skull detail.

Zombie Kitty!

Zombie Kitty!

Zombie Bunny - Go on! Give him a cuddle; I dare you!

Zombie Bunny – Go on! Give him a cuddle; I dare you!

Awwwwh! So cute :)

Awwwwh! So cute πŸ™‚

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I loved making this custom design over and over again using ditsy florals, vintage Seventies prints and classic polka dots.

I loved making this custom design over and over again using ditsy florals, vintage Seventies prints and classic polka dots.

This applique design looks great when used on covered notebooks too ;)

This applique design looks great when used on covered notebooks too πŸ˜‰

The Handmade Alternative was due to run for the first two weeks in April and even before it opened for business I had already begun work on another project for an event taking place on May 4th in a shop called Kyro, at Morley Market, Leeds. Talk about there being no rest for the wicked!

Now there are probably those of you out there currently reading this blog post that will instantly recognise the significance of this date; Likewise, there’ll be a fair few that would see it as just another day…….

May 4th? It’s Star Wars Day!!!!! An event I need no prompting to take part in or promote πŸ˜‰ So…………… lots of Amigurumi Star Wars characters courtesy of Lucy Ravenscar’s fabulous designs , a few ideas for more appliqued goodies …….. and a chance to come face to face with the Darkside!!!!!

Possibly the cutest Jedi master you're ever likely to meet!

Possibly the cutest Jedi master you’re ever likely to meet!

Luke & Leia - Designs courtesy of Lucy Ravenscar.

Luke & Leia – Designs courtesy of Lucy Ravenscar.

Wicket the Ewok - Design courtesy of Lucy Ravenscar.

Wicket the Ewok – Design courtesy of Lucy Ravenscar.

Beware - Jawa!!!!!

Beware – Jawa!!!!!

Ben 'Obi Wan' Kenobi - Design courtesy of Lucy Ravenscar.

Ben ‘Obi Wan’ Kenobi – Design courtesy of Lucy Ravenscar.

Stormtrooper Applique design worked in my own inimitable style - For an adult t-shirt option.

Stormtrooper Applique design worked in my own inimitable style – For an adult t-shirt option.

Darth Vader - On baby bodysuits through to adult t-shirts and hoodies!

Darth Vader – On baby bodysuits through to adult t-shirts and hoodies!

The little green guy was definitely a popular choice with the customers.

The little green guy was definitely a popular choice with the customers.

All in all it was a great day at Morley Market – with over Β£400 raised for charity πŸ˜‰ Everyone entered in to the spirit of the event with opportunities to have your photo taken with Darth Vader, assorted stormtroopers, Chewie etc, children’s fancy dress, tombola and loads of other activities. Traders got dressed up too and had a whale of a time; It was brilliant!!!!

Smile for the camera!

Smile for the camera!

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Chewie guards my little amigurumi figures - But still folks couldn't keep their hands off of them! Need; Want; Must Have!

Chewie guards my little amigurumi figures – But still folks couldn’t keep their hands off of them! Need; Want; Must Have!

That time when the paperwork needs doing - Even the Darkside has to engage in the odd bit of admin from time to time ;)

That time when the paperwork needs doing – Even the Darkside has to engage in the odd bit of admin from time to time πŸ˜‰

The traders really entered in to the spirit of things.....

The traders really entered in to the spirit of things…..

As did the customers.........

As did the customers………

Sherridan of Hellraiser Records succumbs to Vader's mind tricks.

Sherridan of Hellraiser Records succumbs to Vader’s mind tricks.

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Darth interrogates a likely member of the Rebellion.

Darth interrogates a likely member of the Rebellion.

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The next event has been planned - Super Heroes Day!!!!!

The next event has been planned – Super Heroes Day!!!!!

Phew! And finally……….. on the same date that I had really bad news (blogged about in an earlier post) I had started the day on a high after a meeting with a potential new stockist of some of my goodies that confirmed I had a little spot in a prime retail space in the heart of Leeds city centre.

So……….. the last few weeks has seen me working hard to create wonderful things worthy of a place in ‘The Handpicked Hall’, with a regular weekly slot for me to ply my wares and the opportunity to come and say ‘Hello’ in person :0)

Needless to say that a lot of my current designs have focussed on a strong VW theme and notions of summer festivals and glamping trips – lots still under wraps for the big unveil but here’s a few snippets to hopefully whet the appetite…..

Stylised bay window camper applique design - for adult tees and hoodies.

Stylised bay window camper applique design – for adult tees and hoodies.

Essential home accents for the budding VW enthusiast.

Essential home accents for the budding VW enthusiast.

Teeny weeny bug applique on a baby bodysuit.

Teeny weeny bug applique on a baby bodysuit.

T25 Hi-Top inspired adult ladies' tee.

T25 Hi-Top inspired adult ladies’ tee.

VW themed faux tie baby bodysuit.

VW themed faux tie baby bodysuit.

Add a little Glastonbury glamour to your wardrobe with a dippy hippy flower corsage ;)

Add a little Glastonbury glamour to your wardrobe with a dippy hippy flower corsage πŸ˜‰

Crikey! No wonder I needed a bit of a break………

Now that this week’s blog post has been written and can be ticked off of my usual long list of stuff to do it’s time for me to go and make something lovely for the rest of the day……….. DEFINITELY no rest for the wicked πŸ˜‰ Β Oh well, Happy crafting folks!

Time for a break!

Posted: May 9, 2013 in The Garage

It’s my brother in law’s funeral tomorrow; Time to pay our last respects and lay him to rest.

From Saturday, we’re going to take a few days off and get away from things with just Mr Other Half, myself and the two bullies of the bus in a little cottage by the sea in Scotland. Hopefully, the time spent away will see me fresh and focussed upon my return and ready to properly tackle some incredibly busy weeks ahead.

I think that maybe I will have an awful lot to share with you……… See you all soon πŸ˜‰ xx

Sad times.

Posted: April 25, 2013 in The Garage

Quiet again aren’t I?

There are reasons 😦

Around this time last year you may remember that I lost a very close friend that was like a brother to me in sudden and unexpected circumstances; It was recently his memoriam and a time for reflection upon how this first year has passed without him in our lives. It’s been hard.

Harder still to keep in good spirits when I also knew that my auntie looked like she may have cancer for a third time and my brother in law, also blighted by this dreadful disease, was fighting a battle he knew he wasn’t going to win……..

On April 2nd my aunt went into hospital for a biopsy; Two weeks later it was confirmed that the cancer had indeed returned, in her lungs for a second time, and now also in her lymph system. On a visit to the oncologist this Monday to discuss her treatment it was revealed that her condition is terminal. We are all devastated.

My brother in law passed away peacefully yesterday morning after fighting hard for nearly two years.

And right now? I feel like my heart’s going to break.