'If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.' Thomas Edison

21 December 2012

That time of year...

...when we celebrate the birth of our first child.  15 years old..wow!!  We celebrated as he wanted..with the extended family enjoying spaghetti and meatballs.  We are very lucky too, in that this boy is still happy with Lego for his main gift :)  I made a wintry birthday cake for a change...many of us nearly lost teeth to those silver balls!  Having a birthday 5 days before Christmas must be hard going but we try and keep everything separate.

This is also the time of year when today marks another year gone since my lovely Mum died.  This evening will be the 7th year without her here...although I still feel her with me, so she not really gone.  The thing I do miss though, is being able to just pick up the phone and talk to her, tell her those silly things/happenings, that don't really mean much, but are great to share.  I'm quite sure she's been checking  in on the progress of my Hut and would have loved to have done some crafting with me there. 

I'm actually feeling very positive today.  I've been to the Christingle service at school this morning, then dropped off an order.  This afternoon my sister and I are going to see the Book of Remembrance at the Crematorium.  Neither of us have seen it yet as we usually go to the cemetery where we scattered her ashes, so this year will be different.  Then this evening I've got the last order to finish and the marzipan to put on the cake (which I only managed to make yesterday!).

I would like to thank you all for sticking with me through this up and down, busy busy, year.  I shall try very hard to post more regularly in this lovely online world next year.

Solistice blessings for today, Yuletide greetings/Christmas wishes for the 25th and lots of love and happiness for the New Year.

03 December 2012


Wow, anyone who reads my work blog will no doubt know why its been 10 whole weeks since I posted on here!  To say I've been busy would be a slight understatement.  November was full of craft fairs (and trying to keep stocked up for said fairs), the rest of the time is just filled with orders and family...I won't include housework here as I've barely had time for any.  Business is so good that I'm having a workshop (known as 'The Hut on the Patch') built in the garden - the open day is 15th!!  I'm so very excited.  I get my own workspace and we get the house back ;o).  Right, only a quickie today, mainly to let you know I'm still here, but now I must get the littliest ready for school, then we've got home ed group and lots of orders to deliver.  I hope that everyone is busy doing lovely, lovely things.

16 September 2012

Newest Food Love

I discovered these on River Cottage months ago, then got the Veg Everyday book, then managed to make them a few weeks back (these poor pictures have been waiting for me to blog about them for 2 weeks!).  Anyway, these are sweet corn fritters...with or without spice..they are just wonderful, and so simple to make.   Here's Hugh's recipe online...enjoy!

30 August 2012

Something for the house

With the sewing machine out for Handmade Haven jobs we (JJ and myself) thought we'd make the fabric he choose into a pillowcase for his bed.  It's not very often I get the time to make something for us at the minute and this was relatively quick.  

28 August 2012


Another busy week here.  Orders for Handmade Haven are constant at the minute, which is great, but means I have to try and fit everything around family life in the summer holidays.  I did manage a day out to see my wonderful Nan who I hadn't seen in a few months.  We had a wonderful lunch and a catch up and she gave me a carrier bag filled with treasure.  When I got it home and looked through it was full of tiny beads that she can no longer see for her sewing.  At 84 she is still sewing things but she has taught herself to knit as well, so she still has something to do :o)  Such an inspiration!

19 August 2012

A bit of Vintage

Another hectic week filled with Fairs, orders, a birthday (mine) and fab finds in the charity shop.  JJ came with me for the first time to a fair as the hubby was in bed following a night shift.  He took these two piccies before the camera batteries died.

We managed a quick trawl of the local charity shops in the week where I managed to find a couple of tops for myself and these fabulous wooden reels that someone has refilled with embroidery floss..fantastic.  I'm really busy with orders at the minute and the sun is shining too, so I'll pop back as soon as I can :o)

08 August 2012

I'm really bad aren't I?!  I thought it had only been a week since I last posted not two!!... that's the pitfalls of having two blogs I suppose.

The spotty boy is all cleared up and back to his usual self.  We've had a few days out, and I've got a new bike so we're going for small bike rides as well.  He wants to ride to school one day which is ok for me but 3.5 miles is a long way for a small boy :o).  We'll build up steadily and maybe do it at home time instead of at the start of the school day ;o)

I was very excited to receive the above book from Amazon last week.  It's a book I used to borrow from the library when the youngest two were small, and then I couldn't find it when JJ was born.  I'd trawled the internet, had Waterstones search and even had a saved search on ebay, but nothing came up.  I'd given up to be perfectly honest but then a couple of weeks ago the title jumped into my head again so I had a quick search on Amazon and there it was...for 1p!!  I love its rhyming text, and I love giraffes so it's a win win for me.  I also got this one in a charity shop and was reminded of the lovely Jacqui on her Croft :o)  Another beautiful story.

JJ has been joining in when I've been sewing...here's his first bauble for Christmas.  I've also managed to make something for myself too.  I can't remember the last time I did that!  I wanted a bag that I could use on days out as I usually use a big hessian shopping bag which is not very pretty.  I made this out of scraps left over from the skirt I made last year, which make up the liner, then a full piece for the outside and the handle. It's very comfy, fitting snuggly under the arm, into my side, which is just perfect.  Right, I have a cycling date with a small boy, so I'll see you all soon.  Hope your all having a fab summer.

23 July 2012


Helloooo.  Sorry, it's been a while again hasn't it?!  Well, the end of term/start of the holidays has not started out well.  Sickness which has turned into a full-on spotty boy, which has turned into sickness again means we're not really doing much (other than visiting the doctors and the emergency doctors over the weekend).  Ho hum.  Trying to keep a very active boy from over doing it so he can recover fully is hard going.

In the ongoing kitchen news...hopefully today the hubby will start painting it!  Yes I said paint on the kitchen walls.  It's only been waiting 5 years through all the changes that have happened in this room.  I can't wait.  We are still in need of an oven, some tiles and a splashback, but there shall be paint.

And finally, I have some exciting news over on Handmade Haven's blog if you want to pop over to take a look :o)

08 July 2012

Craft Books and Magazines For Sale

Here goes then.  Rather than putting postage details next to each one I've listed the price and the weight and I'll put a link to royal mail at the end, then if you would like more than one it's easier for you to work out the postage costs :o).  If you're interested in any please contact me at mail@handmadehaven.co.uk.  Thanks very much.

 £2.50 - 690g

£2.00 - 700g

£4.50 - 700g


I've removed the items that have sold to avoid any confusion :o)

06 July 2012


I thought I was quite good at blogging this time until I checked the date when I last posted!  Hectic just about  covers my weeks at the minute.  I still have no hob or sink, but hopefully that will be sorted out over the weekend.  We managed to get sports day done yesterday, with only one postponed date...and the sun shone too.  In fact it was a little bit too hot but I'm not going to complain :o).  Today JJ got the Pupil of the Week again..our hearts sang.

I've had a good few orders to complete, with a small list still to do, and tomorrow I have a Summer Fayre to go to.  I love it all...I've booked a fair few more fairs and events for this year too, and I've already got 2 for next year!  The Handmade Haven workshop saga has finally been decided (I know  I said the loft was going to be converted!) and I shall be having my own shed in the garden.  I can't wait.  Now I'm off to get the stock ready for loading into the car, but I shall be back in a few days with some craft books and magazines that I've forced myself to part with.  Hope you all have a lovely weekend planned.

29 June 2012


A once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Olympic Torch go right past the in-laws house.  A fabulous event that the kids will remember.  It's such a shame that not everyone feels that they could/should support things like this.  Anyway, we enjoyed it, we were there, we clapped and cheered as it went past...we saw the Olympic Torch :oD

26 June 2012

The end is in sight..

Having limited cash means things get done in stages in this house.  Half the kitchen was plastered last year, now is the turn for the rest of it.

This arch was hidden by cupboards and tiles (the house was messed about with before we got it), but now it will be replastered and painted, with a few tiles or a splashback behind the hob.  I can't wait!

The sink will be out tonight...hopefully I'll still have a dishwasher!  Plassterer today and tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have some sort of kitchen by the end of the week.  It's a good job I have a clever hubby.

This is what the middle of the kitchen looks like!  Not really a kitchen..more like a storeroom.

Fish and chips for tea today then :o)

15 June 2012


We have another teenager in the house!  13...it just seems so ridiculous to say that...and he's the middle child!  Anyway, cake was made and eaten, a big family gathering was had with chilli and jelly and strawberries and cream (not altogether I hasten to add).  It was a fabulous day enjoyed by all. 

08 June 2012



I'm very excited to be taking part in my first ever CRAFTfest.  175 stalls will be selling from their virtual stalls from tomorrow, 9th until 16th June.  It's should be great fun, and absolutely stuffed with very talented people selling their wares.  Why not pop along and have a browse and support this fabulous event.  My own stall has a small selection of items including pencil cases, cards, badges and craft supplies.

06 June 2012

Reins in!

Thank you all for your comments on my last post.  It's been a tough old week, torn by run-away dreams and miniscule finances ;o).  The solution to the problem of me taking over the house with my stuff - you know the only rooms that don't have Handmade Haven stuff in are the boys bedrooms (and that includes the bathroom!!) - is to convert the loft into my work room.  A less risky option until the business has a more stable cash flow...hmph.  How horrid to be sensible!  So, once the kitchen is finished then it's onto the loft...that is going to take alot of sorting I can tell you - there's still un-opened boxes from when we moved in 5 years ago.
Anyway, distracting me this week has been 'proper rain', sunshine, hot rods visiting a house in the village.  We grabbed the camera and went to have a nosey - I'm sure our youngest boy has petrol running in his veins just like his Dad.  I've also been working on a new line of Make Your Own, with a flower brooch being the first one. 

I've got two fairs at the end of the month so I've been working on stocking up the cards too.  We've been watching some of the jubilee celebrations and then attending a garden party.  Today I even managed to get in the garden.  Ooh, I have missed that.  We got someone in to cut the grass as I broke the mower but then the grass got so long because of all the rain, it just never dried out.  Anyway, I've spent all afternoon in the garden which was fab and just what I needed.  Awoke all those sleepy muscles that I'd forgotton I had ;o)

Thank you again for your support, it really does mean an awful lot.

29 May 2012

Pulling in the Reins

Wow, it's been a busy time again.  If any of you read my other blog or follow Handmade Haven on fb you will know about the fabulous William Blyth Heritage and Craft Centre in Barton.  For those that don't know, I have been asked to supply my soaps, scrubs and melts so they can be stocked in the shop.  An amazing sense of pride/achievement for myself.  I was also asked whether I would like one of the workshops that are on site.  Unfortunately the rent is quite high for me at the moment, but I was invited to have a look round the site yesterday so that I could get a feel for the place, and what they hope to achieve.  The hubby and I also booked to view premises that are actually available in the village where we live as the mortgage on that would be half the cost of the rent at William Blyth. 

First off then was the William Blyth site - it's still being finished, although all the buildings are built.  What an amazing place, the sense of heritage on the site is amazing.  Tiles are still made here, the original (1840s) kiln was burning away (the tiles are fired for 4 days continuously!), the builders/fitters/potters/green oak specialist was working away.  The chef was overseeing the kitchen being fitted.  They are hoping a blacksmith will come and take one of the workshops, there is already a florist seriously interested.  The aim is to keep the heritage of the site to benefit the whole community, while promoting local talents/produce/skills.  The plans for the place are huge and the enthusiasm of Katherine (the woman heading everything) was infectious.  I came away buzzing.

Home for lunch then off to look at the other premises.  Centuries old stables that have been converted into a big room with office space off, a porch, a small storeroom and a loo.  I have dreamed about owning this place since it came on the market a few months ago...a workshop for me where I could work without taking over the house (as I do at the moment), a place for craft groups, a place to sell my things too, a place for demonstrating soap making, and a 5 minute walk from the house.

My heart is aching today...I feel drained.  I would so love to have a workshop at the William Blyth Heritage and Craft Centre.  The whole feeling of the place, what they hope to achieve, their ethos, the future plans of which I am privilaged to be aware of....

I don't really know why I'm posting this...I think I just needed to get it down on paper...to make my feelings 'solid'...seeing them in print.  Blooming heck...I don't want to pull in the reins...I want to go for it!!

12 May 2012

Hand Cream and Bed Mat!

This is the empty pot from when I first made my own hand cream.  I finished it a few nights ago then decided at 10 last night I really needed to make some more!  So out came all my ingredients and bits.

The white stuff is emulsifying wax dissolving in warmed rose water and the yellow stuff is beeswax, cocoa butter and some oils I had left over from a batch of salt scrub (the exact amount I needed too!!!), melting in a bowl on a pan of hot water.

Next you slowing combine the two together until you get some scrummy cream.  At one point I was mixing rather too vigorously and it all separated, but it did come together again :o).  I'm very pleased to say that it actually looks like the picture in the book this time.  It was quite funny checking when I made my first lot - 18months ago - as the recipe says to keep it in the fridge and it'll only keep for 2 months!  Maybe as it's all mixed together properly this time it might ;o).

I also made this bed mat.  We still have a boy who needs nappies at night, and which sometimes leak so something was needed to save the mattress.  I have some PUL from making my own cloth pads so I thought I'd make a pad with that in, an old terry nappy and an old sheet.  Hopefully this will work...and maybe one day we won't need it at all!  Anyway, it was great to actually make something for us rather than for the shop.  I may try some pyjama pants for the littliest boy later, although I do need to make some soap too as stocks are running rather low.  Thank you for your comments on my attempt at needle felting...I did really enjoy it.  Not sure what I'm going to do with the piccie though - maybe it could go on a card for my Nan.

04 May 2012

Cor blimey...

I'm trying desperately to get organised but it's not working that well I have to say!  Every time I cross things off the list, it seems that another 2 are added!  I'm not feeling quite so overwhelmed this week, although still ridiculously busy.  Thank you all for the lovely comments on my last post.  They do help a lot.  I really don't know how these mum's that work full time, then ferry their kids here there and everywhere actually manage to do it. 

Anyway, enough whinging...I came to show you my first attempts at needle felting at Craft Group.  I did the brooch first.  We used some dis-solvable paper to use as a template then needle felted a flower, then a leaf.  I added the button at home once it was all dry.  I much preferred doing the picture - it's only 15cm x 11cm so quite dinky.  Next month is wet felting :o) 

I've had my best ever week sales wise this week which is fabulous as they've been no craft fairs either.  Obviously it means that not much housework has been done though!  Never mind ;o).  Why not pop over to my other blog to see my new additions.

25 April 2012


Today I am feeling rather overwhelmed by things - the business, housework, home ed stuff.  Tiredness and pmt are probably to blame, but hey ho.  Loads on my to-do list.  Plenty I haven't done at all - like make sure my littliest has his school uniform ready!  Bit late to worry about it now, but sometimes I feel like a rubbish Mum.  Organisation is the key I think...I'm not an organised person :o/.  Hadn't intended this to be a whinge or a self-pity post, but life is not always wonderful is it.  Thank you if you've managed to stay and listen :o)

What I actually wanted to show you was my wonderful new drop spindle and wool from the lovely Dawn over at Raising Seedlings.  It arrived last week, but with the big Craft Event I attended at the weekend I've not had chance to play with it yet.  Thank you so much for a very generous give-away prize xxx

18 April 2012


I thought I would treat myself so I contacted the lovely Pippa and requested an A6 notebook with a dandelion clock on the front.  Nothing more....just nice and simple.  Well she certainly managed my request.  Just look how gorgeous this is.  It's absolutely perfect for carrying in my bag..not heavy, but sturdy enough to withstand constant hands fumbling around in the bottom of said bag looking for things!  Thanks so much Pippa...perfect again :o)

PS..don't forget the give-away over on my shop blog