Category: Creativity

Bought a rag rugger kit ages ago (we’re talking years) but never got round to doing it – a combination of laziness and a fear it might be trickier than it looks.  The instructions suggested it was dead easy, but so do the instructions for flat-pack furniture, so that didn’t mean anything.  Anyway, finally decided to have a go – cut up a load of fabric strips as per the instructions, got out the little rugger tool (nifty little gadget with a sprung clip which grabs the strips of material so you pull them through) – and lo…’s…erm….dead easy.   Feel a bit silly now for not having done it ages ago.

But it does use up a lot of material – so there was me thinking I’ve got plenty when in fact, this might not be the case. I can see me prowling round the house in search of more bits and pieces to cut up….. I might get carried away…. 

‘Jen, what’s happened to the curtains?’ 

‘Jen, where’s my favourite top?’ 



Am attempting to raise some money for World Horse Welfare by selling (or asking for donations for) homemade Christmas Wreaths.  They are all made from recycled materials – the bases are made from an old artificial Christmas tree which was going to be thrown out last year, the trimmings, bits and pieces saved from all sort of things.  I think, since they cost nothing to make, they look great (though, they aren’t terribly robust!).


The “down” is that one of the chucks is ill – she’s looking very sorry for herself.  Have isolated her from her friends (in case it’s something infectious, and also because I thought she might be better off in the quiet of the little hen house rather than the mayhem of the main run.  Thought she might be egg bound, so (following accepted wisdom in the matter) I sat her in a bowl of warm water for a bit to see if I could ease it for her, but didn’t seem to make much difference.  I’ve also bought some herbal pellets for treating internal parasites, just in case it’s something which might affect them all.  I’ve left some in her feed, but she’s off her food anyway. 

The “up” is that we’ve just been to set up our exhibits for tomorrow’s show.  Looks like they’ve had a really good number of entries this year – the whole Horticultural tent seemed much more packed than it has done in previous years.  Lots of excellent photo entries from the photographers in our family.  Plus some fruit.  Very pleased with the presentation of my jams – but of course, it’s the taste which is most important, so we’ll see what the judge’s comments are tomorrow afternoon!   Love this whole show – love the fact you can take part in some small way and be a part of it, but there’s always lots of other stuff to see too.

Perhaps while I’m there tomorrow I’ll be able to pick up a book on Chicken Husbandry!  Seems like I need one…  😦

Well, we’ve finally moved the new gypsy caravan hen-house into the run – and this was no mean feat, I can tell you.  The blooming thing is jolly heavy having been so…erm….sturdily built!!  Plus of course we had to trap all the hens in the old hen-house so that we could take the fence down while we lifted the caravan in!  And then trap them all in the caravan while we removed the old hen-house and re-fastened the fence!


Wonder if we’ll get an invite to the house-warming?!  😉

Buying creativity….?

Had to concede defeat today and actually make a cash purchase in relation to the building of the gypsy caravan.  In order to paint some decorative designs on the panels of the doors and shutters, we needed a rigger (a very fine paintbrush with long bristles suitable for painting narrow, delicate lines – in case you didn’t know, ‘cos I didn’t!). We were passing a huge Hobbycraft, so we popped in.

Now, as you might know, I like making things – I like sewing, knitting, cross-stitch, quilting, painting things, etc, so you’d probably assume that I’d love Hobbycraft.  And I probably should.  Lots of my friends seem to love it, and I have to say I’ve bought a few things from there now and again, but something about the place seems to me all wrong.

The thing I like about sewing and knitting, and re-painting old things, is using time and imagination to turn something very ordinary (a bit of wool, some scraps of fabric, an old item of furniture) into something lovely. In Hobbycraft, you can just walk in and buy all the bits and pieces, and that seems to me kind of like cheating.  Quite apart from the fact it’ll cost you a small fortune which seems to go against the “make do and mend” ethos of making stuff for yourself, it’s just too easy.  Where’s the joy of rifling through your old button box to find the perfect button to use as decoration for your latest project? Where the sense of achievement from using that left over piece of fabric, or old pair of curtains to make something new?  If you’re just going to walk into a shop and buy all the bits, you may as well just buy the thing you were going to make, and save yourself the time and trouble.

Of course, I am a master horder of fabric and other useful bits and pieces – and my mum was too, so I have her old collections of buttons, fasteners, ribbon, beads etc.  I realise other people might not keep a whole load of “crafty” stuff for years on end, just in case, and so they might have to go to places like Hobbycraft.  But the idea of buying a specific kit which has been put together by someone else, and making something from a set of instructions doesn’t really appeal to me.  The best bit about home crafts is just being creative and making whatever you want – not what someone else has designed.

Hobbycraft is great if it encourages people to have a go at a creative project.  But I hope those people then go on to make more things for themselves just using the stuff they already have at home, and their own imagination. It’s so much more satisfying.  And cheaper!  And greener!  😉

Last Day of Advent!


Merry Christmas everyone!  😉

Advent – Day 23


Advent – Day 22


Advent – Day 21


Advent – Day 20