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Friday, 18 August 2017

This week's smiles....week 234

Hello all.  Don't you just love it when you have a week that's thrown you all sorts of challenges but you still come out smiling?  Well, it's been one of those weeks for me.  Firstly I must remember to say thank you to those that shared their smiles again last week and I hope you will be back to join in again today.

Now, onto my smiles for today and I've focused on my garden smiles for today.  It's all looking so lovely out there now with the new white chippings so I went out with my camera to share the flowers with you today........

Every time I went to take a photo my little four legged friend did her best to photo bomb it so I promised her I would let her have one of her own.  So?  I really hope you have found something there to brighten your day and make you smile.  Please snap your smiles and share them with us by linking below.  Thank for calling by.
Annie x

Wednesday, 16 August 2017


Oh wow what a busy week I had last week.  Firstly I must apologies to those bloggers I didn't get round to visit.  There just wasn't enough hours in my days.  I had everything from Wedding dresses, Bridesmaids dresses and Evening dresses to trousers, shirts and many special requests from special customers, family and friends.

I have a few photos to share with you of my desk at different stages....

One of my requests from one of my special customers was for a pocketed hanging storage....it had to be 30x60cm with two button holes at the top 20cm apart.  It had to have a zipped pocket at the top then three rows of pockets of different sizes going down the length and the pockets were pretty specific to include a pen pocket in the top row.....he didn't want much did he? So I set to working out all the measurements required and here I am mid flow.

Here it is finished....it was quite a challenge but I'm rather pleased with how it turned out for him.

Another of my requests was from some special little people in my life for clothes making for their Barbie and Ken dolls so I've been hunting out and printing off some simple patterns....I'm hoping they will be coming to help me make them too so I'm really looking forward to that.

The other pic I'm sharing today is this one to make you laugh.  You've heard the saying...'If it looks too good to be true then it probably is' haven't you?
I ordered some new tape measures off eBay for another little project I had in mind and these were.... 'a pack of 5 fabric superior tailoring tape measures' for just 80p!
Firstly they aren't fabric but are a very cheap plastic and I've laid one against the tape measure I use every day just to show you just how 'accurate' [or lack of it] they are.  Each inch is more than 1 1/4" in length!!  Needless to say I have now had my money back and wont be using them for the project I had in mind.....but it did make me giggle.

That's all from me for today.  I will be head down ploughing my way through my sewing mountain but will do my best to pop over to say hello in between jobs as and when I can.
Annie x

Friday, 11 August 2017

This week's smiles....week 233

Where do the days go to?  I seem to turn round once or twice and hey presto here we are back at my weekly catch up of smiles.  Many thanks, as always, to the loyal few who join in each week.  Between us I'm sure we make the world just a little happier folks so please keep up the good work.

I've had by darling hubby at home on holidays from work this week so we have enjoyed lots of smiles together so I've put a few photos together to share with you....

These are the before shots of our back garden....it's all starting to grow and develop how we want it but we have a few four legged friends who seem to want to 'help'.  There are lots of local cats who have decided it was lovely black soil to use as their toilet and we have our own little four legged friend who rather likes eating the results making her feel sick [and us at just the thought of it!!].  Plus she loves digging in between the plants and chasing the little birds so getting her paws rather dirty.  

So my darling hubby has ordered several dumpy bags of lovely white stone and this is what it looks like now.  It looks really lovely and the gravel will also keep the weeds down too....so win win.

Of course when you have little visitors they like to lend a helping hand and that makes me smile the most.

The other pics I'm sharing with you are of the lovely day out we had on Tuesday.  We went to Westonbury Mill Water gardens near Leominster and what a gorgeous place that is....well worth a visit folks.  There are lots of follies and features for you to explore and a lovely little coffee shop where you can get a yummy lunch too.  We loved it and Milly did too.
You should be able to click on the pics if you'd like a closer look.....you just might see my darling hubby peeping from behind a tree at you  :-)

That's all from me for today.  Please leave me a little comment so I know you've called by and if you can then link to a few pics of your smiles from the week.
Annie x

Wednesday, 9 August 2017


Happy Wednesday especially to our Queen of snoop, Julia over at the Stamping Ground who has been seen wearing her tiara this week and really looking the part.

My desk has seen lots of action this week and it's been very varied.  Everything from a gorgeous Wedding dress to a Dr Who's scarf .....

The wedding dress filled my cutting table and I am in the process of shortening three hems on it....I always hoover and clean all the surfaces before starting a wedding dress so as not to leave and marks on it so it's half a days work just the get ready before I start [I make a lot of dust here in my sewing room].

The scarf really was something else.  It was knitted by a young man who died aged just 31 and his sister brought it to me to be divided into three so that she and her two other brothers could have a scarf each made from it.
The original stretched at least twice the length of my sewing room  and between us we managed to fold it into three which when finished were each more than long enough to make a really long scarf.
I really do get asked to do all sorts and it was so lovely to be able to do just what she wanted successfully.

So there you go nice and short just how the boss likes it [ for once!].  I have my darling hubby here all this week transforming the back garden so I'd best get back to the sewing before he catches me slacking hehehe.  Have a great week.  I will do my best to visit all who call in here in between my many and varied sewing jobs of the week.

For anyone interested I have a Giveaway over on my Sewing by Annie Facebook so why not pop over and be in with a chance to win one of my Memory bears.  I will making the draw at 9pm Friday night......Good Luck x

Friday, 4 August 2017

This week's smiles....week 232

Here we are at another round up of the weeks smiles.....and there's been many here for me.

I've had a week of making special things from clothes that hold very special memories and have seen the smiles on the faces when they've been collected....it has much more than job satisfaction for me as you can imagine.

I have been waiting to find a suitable charity to give one of my eye spy quilts to and when I got chatting to one of my customers this week I just knew I'd found it....it just walked through my door.  He was one of the organisers of a local cancer charity and when I told him about the quilts I make he asked how he applied for one.  Just imagine his face when I handed it to him....he is going to organise it for me so it raises £100 for the charity so I'm really thrilled.

I have a few snaps to show you just some of the smiles I can share too...

Thursday night Amy's three came to see us all dressed as superheros and little Theo came to play too.  I love watching the little cousins all playing together.

On Tuesday Shell babysat Theo for the day and you can see just how much the twins love their little cousin.  They are giving him his morning milk before he went down for his nap....cute or what?

My last pic is one of my birdwatching little Milly.  A flock of starlings had flown down onto our front lawn to feed on the ants I think and as you can see Milly was mesmerised by them ....she's so funny.

That's it from me for today.  Many thanks to all who join in each week.  Everyone is very welcome to share their smiles by linking up below but feel free to come and go as you please.....there are no rules and no commitment to have to post every week [but I hope you do].
Annie x

Wednesday, 2 August 2017


Wahoo wahoo he's back.  Who? I hear you ask.  Why, Mr Mojo of course.  I did just what I said I was going to do.....

I got out all my boxes of wool rovings, threads, silk fabrics etc and uncovered my 'Dumfer'.  I cut out a piece of linen and prepared it by zigzagging around the edges to stop it fraying then used fabric crayons and wool rovings to make a background.  I then got dumfing....and here it is so far.....

I rather like how it's going so far but it still needs more dumfing, some machine and/or hand embroidery and possibly some beading to bring out the detail.

It may well come with me to the crop in September to give me something to pretend to be working on while we eat cake and chat.

The other thing I'm going to share with your today is this desk full of babygros.  They were used by two tiny prem baby girls and were brought to me this week to make a bear out of.....the one babygro was so small that to make a panel out of it I had to join three pieces!!
Of course, being stretch fabric it also all had to be backed with iron on vylene so the bear was quite a challenge to make but......

.....here she is finished wearing the tiny tutu that the baby girls used to wear.  I did have to adjust the tutu a little but I think she's rather cute.

The other bear I've made so far this week is this blue one made out of a Dudley Girl's High School scarf.
This one came with more challenges because it was a fairly loosely knitted woollen scarf that had to be stabilised with fabric iron on interfacing and there was only enough of the fabric in the scarf to get three out of the four panels out of.  Thankfully I had some blue fabric in just the same shade as the school uniform.

Don't you just love it when you can overcome the challenges life throws you and the finished result is so lovely?   I get a big thrill out of what I do....can you tell?

I hope you have enjoyed your visit today and will leave me a little message so I know you've called by.  I will do my best to pay you a return visit but I have rather a lot of orders for my Memory bears and cushions this week.  :-)
Annie x

Friday, 28 July 2017

This week's smiles....week 231

Happy Friday everyone.  I really hope you've had a week full of smiles and would like to share a few with us. Many thank to the 5 of you that shared their smiles last week....I do love to read happy posts so please keep up the good work my friends.

I've found a few pics that have made me smile this week and hope they make you smile too....

On Tuesday I had a fun day with little Theo and what a lovely time we had too.  He is such a happy and contented little man and is so like his daddy was as a baby.....happy memories.

Steve was invited to a Knights birthday party and as you can see he was having a lovely time with his friends all dress up as knights.

Lexi and Sam sent me this pic of them playing together on their Gerald giraffe in the pool on their holidays....they are such good little friends.

Little Milly insists on climbing into my fabric boxes every time I get them out so I have made up a spare Ikea box for her and as you can see she's settled in nicely....why did we buy her a new dog's bed a couple of weeks ago I ask myself.  :-)
She's happy anywhere as long as she's close to me....and the feeling is mutual of course.

My last pic I'm going to share with you today is one my son, Mark, sent me yesterday morning at 5 o'clock in the morning as he left for work....one of the joys of having to leave so early in the morning eh?
If that doesn't make you smile then I don't know what will....even if its just the fact that you can share it without having to get up at such an early hour.

I hope I've brightened your day and you can find a pic or two to share with us this week.
Annie x

Wednesday, 26 July 2017


Well, that lacking Mojo last week hasn't stopped me being productive thankfully.  The work flooded in last week because it was the last week of the school term here and a lot of folk had left things to the last minute so it was Annie to the rescue most of the week. 

But even that didn't stop me finishing my three eye spy quilts....

The exciting thing is that I have now sold two of my quilts and have had really lovely feedback about them including this photo of a little Grandson enjoying his quilt...

How special is that?

These are the three School memory bears I made last week to give as leaving gifts to three teachers....and apparently they really loved them.
I love my job.

And here's my desk for this week....I'm in the middle of making three memory cushions from three jumpers.  They were favourite jumpers worn by a much loved Dad / Grandad and are to hold special memories for three family members.

I always keep my tissues to hand when discussing the needs for special items like these and my motto is that 'my hugs come free' as a bit of comforting is usually required when remembering these much loved people.....my nursing training is never wasted is it?

That's it for me today.  As you can see I will be head down busy sewing all day today....I had a day of fun yesterday with little Theo so that his mummy could go into school and prepare her classroom ready to start back teaching after the summer holidays.
Annie x

Friday, 21 July 2017

Friday's smiles....week 230

Before I start to tell you about my week I want to say a big thank you to all who joined in the fun last week by sharing their smiles.  I really do love to see what's making you all happy so thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to link up.

So onto what's been making me smile this week? 

What a week it's been here for me....it started off with my Mojo going on holiday and I really was struggling to get creative.  I mentioned this on my Wednesday post and the comments that came back really made me smile.  What a truly wonderful lot of friends I've got.....many I've never met [hopefully I will meet many more at the crop at Llandudno in September though] but even from a distance you were able to really make my day. You lifted my creative spirits my friends so thank you soooooo much.

From having a couple of quieter weeks this week turned manic.  Everyone had left much wanted sewing to the last minute so I've been chasing my tail all week to not disappoint anyone. 
  • Shortened two dresses for my daughter, taken one of them in on the side seams and lifted it on the shoulders ready for her holidays
  • Shortened two hems on an evening dress ready for a posh event
  • Shortened the sleeves on a young man's jacket ready for his school prom
  • Made 3 school memory bears to give as end of year gifts
  • Altered a Kindle cover/stand for one of my customers to take away with him on his holidays
.....and yes it all makes me smile because I love my job and work best when under pressure. I was rewarded for my efforts by selling another of my eye spy quilts yesterday too so that really made me smile.

My photos for this week are of my orchids because they are really stunning at the mo and two of my plants that flowered last year have thrown out new flower shoots and yesterday when I snapped the pics the first of these new flower shoots had a bloom opening.  

I hope these have made you smile today.  You should be able to click on the pics to enlarge them if you want a closer look.  Please leave me a little comment to let me know you've called in and then link up to your own smiles below.  I will be along as soon as I can to check them out.
Annie x

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


Here we are at another weekly catch up with all those exposed desks.  Mine seems to be much of the same each week at the mo.  I am getting a steady flow of sewing jobs for my customers but when it comes to my creative time in between I'm struggling.....Mr Mojo has gone on holiday and I really can't wait for him to come back.  I've really tried to make a start on a new project but it just won't come so I fall back onto some fairly mindless creating to fill my spare time....I can't sit idle.  My moto for life is to make every day count so even if they don't sell I will donate them to make money for charity.

So this is my desk for today...

It's three more eye spy quilts in the making.  I just need to cut wadding and backings now for them so I can get them quilted and finished.  I've sold one so far and if you zoom in you will see there is the two completed ones folded on the top of the boxes behind by my blind hemmer and overlocker. My creativity will go as far as choosing fabrics and spacing the squares evenly over the quilt but that's about it.  I plan to get these finished then pull out fabrics, threads and maybe even wool rovings to see if I can summon up some enthusiasm to make something.

Short and sweet for today.  I hope very soon I will have something a little more creative to share with you.  Thanks for calling in each week and leaving me such lovely comments [especially Sarah Brennan who I visit each week but am unable to leave comments....google+!!!].
Annie x

Friday, 14 July 2017

This week's smiles.....week 229

What a lovely week it's been.  Many thanks to all who joined in the fun last week.  It's so lovely to share all your happy moments captured in your photos.

It's been another week of smiles here for us mostly around our gorgeous grandchildren so here's a few pics I can share....

Little Theo just loves water and here he is having the time of his life at the local splash play park.

He popped to see me on Wednesday to show me how fast he can crawl now and what a clever boy he is pulling himself up on Nanny's table....they grow up just too quickly!

On Sunday Lexi had a day of competitions with the Gymnastics club she belongs to so we had Sam for the day.  This first thing he did was to climb into Milly's cage to tease his mummy that that was where we were going to put him for the day.

We actually had a few surprises planned for him.  We had booked tickets to go for a ride on the Welshpool to Llanfair steam train and his other surprise was that Amy, her hubby and their three had booked to come with us.  They all love spending time together and we all enjoyed the train ride and picnic lunch we had taken with us.

When we got back home neither of Sam's parents had got back so Grandad got down on the floor and enjoy special play time with Sam and the technic lego.....I'm not sure who enjoyed it most.

When Lexi returned with her mummy she very proudly showed us her medals....she had been awarded a 2nd in her tumble routine and 3rd in the group floor routine.....so proud of you Lexi.

The last pics I've got to show you today is this one of Milly.  As you can see we are watching the tennis on the telly but Milly is much more interested in her bird watching on the bird feeders just outside the window.  I'd like to think she just loved birds but I have a feeling her love is more of the 'catch them and eat them' variety.

Just look at my orchids on the windowsill too....they are just gorgeous and so far are really thriving for me.

There you go.  I've lots of smiles to share today as you can see.  We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family all living so close to us and really love sharing every stage in their lives and little Milly never fails to make us chuckle.  Hope you're smiling too now.
Please leave me a little message so I know you've called by and, if you can, then link up to your smiles below.
Annie x

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


Here we are again, catching up with our creative friends from all around the world.  I love my Wednesday catch ups. So? What have you all been up to this week?  If you want to join in the fun then pop over to Julia our head WOYWWer at The Stamping Ground. 

I showed you the eye spy quilt I'd made last week.  I loved making it and when I shared it in my Sewing by Annie Facebook page I had a lot of interest so this week this is what I've been up to...

I cut out another 112 4" [56 for each quilt] squares and sewed them together ready to make two more quilts.

Here they are finished.  They each have 7 x 8 squares in the middle to talk about / play eye spy with but each one is backed / edged differently......and one of my quilts has already sold. 


Whilst watching the tennis I've now cut out enough squares to make three more quilts....I'm on a roll as you can see.

Any that I don't sell will be used to make money for local charities and I'm really loving making them.

I think someone else is enjoying me making the quilts too cos every time I pull out a box of fabrics she climbs in.....I think she thinks this is her new bed.

That's my show and tell for this week.  Hope you have enjoyed seeing what I've been up to.  As you can see I'm happily quilt making at the mo but who knows what next week will bring for me.
Annie x

Friday, 7 July 2017

This week's smiles....week 228

Happy Friday to you all.  It's nearly the weekend so that's def something to smile about isn't it?  Many thanks to those who joined in the fun last week.  I do love seeing what makes you all smile so please keep up the good work folks.

My smiles this week focus on our younger family members mainly.....

Here's Phoebe, Lulu and Steve enjoying some fun in the sun in a swimming pool.  They can all swim now and really love playing together in the pool.

Lexi and Sam are posing proudly wearing the stickers they were given at their school sports day.  Sam had a first and a third in his races and Lexi had a special gold award for being a best friend and looking after one of her little friends who fell over in her race.

Little Theo is really enjoying his tea as you can see.....don't you just love it when they wear almost as much as they eat?  I have some fab photos of my three with blueberry pie, beetroot, chocolate etc all round their faces when they were little.  I love this age....they learn something new every day.

And the last pic I'm sharing today is this one.  It's of my hubby's can of shaving foam that came alive on it's shelf when we weren't looking this week.  I'm not sure what had happened.  It could have been the heat I suppose but the full can had completely emptied itself while our backs were turned.

There you go that's my smiles for this week.  Please leave me a little message and if you can then please link up to your own smiles for this week.
Annie x

Wednesday, 5 July 2017


Happy Wednesday everyone.  I decided after the last craft sale [having not sold a single item] to have a break from making items just to fill my really useful boxes as they are already full with items waiting for customers to buy and decided to make something to raise some money for a local charity so that's what I'm sharing with you today.....

You may remember the eye spy quilt I made last year for my 5 [now 6] grandchildren to play with when they come to Nanny Annie's.  They have really loved it and it has been well played with by all...the smallest are happy just to lie on it but there is so much that can be learnt when playing eye spy with it.....colours, numbers, shapes, etc etc so I decided to make another one.

Here are some of the 4" squares of fabric being cut out.  I decided that 7 x 8 would be a good size so 42 squares later.....

I mixed up the colours etc and stitched them into 7 rows of 8 squares then arranged them on my table so that no two adjoining squares matched and then stitched the rows together.

I then cut and attached a border around the sides and found wadding and backing to fit.  I used what was left in a spray can of temporary fabric adhesive to hold the layers together and pinned the layers well before quilting it all together. I used a stitch in the ditch method to quilt it so that each square stands out.

I like to make the backing fabric big enough so it can be turned over to make a binding all round the edges.  I've folded this over twice and pinned in place mitering the corners before stitching in place with a decorative stitch.

Ta da!  It's finished now so I've just got to find a charity to give it to.

I plan to take orders if anyone would like one making but thought I would make a 10 x 10 grid on a large sheet of paper for people to pay £1 per square and this one would then raise £100 for a worthy cause.

I've loved making this one so may make another as I'm not short of suitable fabric. 😁😁😁😁

Thanks for calling by today.  I will do my best to pay you a return visit....there were a few I didn't get to last week and I'm sorry for that but will try hard to visit as many as I can.
Annie x