A Passion for Travel


Travel is my passion. Whether it is global cruising, trekking The Himalaya or Sunday walking in Snowdonia. Travel stretches the mind, excites the imagination and feeds the memory banks.


Damnvan1 is a great way to travel around the UK. We have travelled coast to coast and Lands End to John OGroats. We have manoeuvred over (very) narrow bridges up steep hills, onto ferries and, best of all, along our beautiful coastline.


We have great plans to travel Globally and continue in Damnvan1 to forests,valleys, mountains and coast. So BRING IT ON!

Cruise craft #1


Well dear friends I am off on another cruise teaching crafts to fellow cruisers. OK I don’t go until January but I am busy preparing. Quite a lot of work goes into the prep beforehand. This includes working out how many classes will be required, what to make and what we hope will interest any crafters from beginners to experts.

This next cruise I am planning on using some of my mountainous stash of vintage linens to make up cycled/re purposed items. This project sits nicely with my recent spell of clearing out, making space and de cluttering. I really do have an almost limitless stash of vintage linens but can’t bear just to throw it away. This way someone else will take pleasure from some of it and ( hopefully) make something useful and definitely have fun

I have spent the past week thinking about a one day project, what to do and how to do it. The prototype is now done so one project down, quite a few more to go. This project is a hanging heart made from vintage linens. It is gently perfumed with Lavender and embellished with lace, buttons and ribbons. It is aimed at taking one hour to make although we will find more time on the day.


Lavender Heart

The cruise line that we are going on is Fred Olsen and this voyage goes to Norway in early January. Fred Olsen provide wonderful cruises and look after their guest lecturers (aka craft instructors!) very well

I will update you as and when I have sorted more projects so watch this space.


A small number of large vintage cloths

Neolithic Birthday!



I recently celebrated a birthday ( yes another one!) and because we were visiting the Lake District, Cumbria, I wanted to re visit the Castlerigg Stone Circle on my special day. It’s a good walk over fields and along hedgerow lined lanes to this National Trust property. The stone circle is like a HUGE birthday cake with stone candles on. It is situated in a beautiful bowl shaped area surrounded by lovely fells and mountains. On this special autumnal day the sky was blue, sun was shining and sheep were causing mayhem! All was good in my moment of time along with the thousands of moments of time there must have existed at this historic site.

The Neolithic British Isles refers to the period of British, Irish and Manx history that spanned from circa 4000 to circa 2,500 BCE. The final part of the Stone Age in the British Isles, it was a part of the greater Neolithic, or “New Stone Age”, across Europe.

This is a famous monument in a dramatic location, surrounded by mountains. The main circle has 38 large stones, some standing 3 metres (10 feet) high. The entrance seems to line up with the midwinter sunset. It’s one of Britain’s earliest stone circles, about 5,000 years old, and has been officially protected since 1883. However it gets so many visitors that conservation is an everpresent concern! Managed by the National Trust and English Heritage.

Location: Grid ref NY291236. 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) south east of Keswick off the A591. Limited parking near site.


Chartwell and Churchill


Today was spent visiting the home of Winston Churchill at Chartwell.

The house was interesting and situated within lovely gardens. We pic nicked in the gardens and learnt about Winston Churchill his life and political background. He was originally a Liberal MP then joined the Conservative party returned to the Liberals and then became a Conservative Prime Minister! He obviously had many many other wonderful achievements, not least the Nobel Prize for literature ! What an amazing life.


South Coast Sunshine


I’ve arrived in Eastbourne which is situated on the South Coast of Eastbourne. Our hotel is situated right on the sea front and our room has the best view!

imageThis was the view from our bedroom window when we woke this morning. Best of all you can hear the surf as it ebbs through the shingle beach-so relaxing! A quintessential British seaside view.

Today we had coffee (and cake!) on the Waterfront harbour. There are some seriously expensive boats ( or is it yachts ?) moored in the harbour. Definitely not you average canal boat!



Not a Thing to Wear


I suspected that there might be a problem when I threw out all  most of my clothes! Now I’ve nothing to wear! Surprise! I reckon it’s a reaction to loosing Mum, well I have to blame someone. I needed to cheer myself up so I’ve booked a party for my birthday in a few weeks. I just wanted a happy party! Now I haven’t anything to wear so I’ve temporarily cheered myself up with a new hair cut, manicure and new lipstick. Oh and I’ve booked a holiday next week with a friend. I’ve still nothing to wear so next week may or indeed will, include a large dose of retail therapy. Sounds like good therapy to me!

I forgot to mention that I have also joined a gym, I love swimming. I’ve bought a new Fit bit and I’m going to the Arctic Circle in January. How mad is that? Life is an adventure.

Remember “Adventure before Dementure”



The “Art” of Re-purposing A Vintage Sewing Pattern

The “Art” of Re-purposing A Vintage Sewing Pattern

I could open a pattern shop! But you never know…. I might just make something!

Starr's DIY Creations & Inspirations for Home and Family

I’m so excited to share another great project from Lulu Spencer!  If you have a box of old pattern packages, or even newer ones; framing them is a an easy, affordable and creative way to give your  sewing or craft room walls a unique, colorful fashion make-over that’s fun and funky. If you have sewing pattern packages that are just sitting in a box; dig them out and give this a try!

sewing-pattern-art Re-purposed Framed Vintage Sewing Pattern

I love how she left the Simplicity label on the side visible and these 60’s pj’s are super cute! This project is simple to make and if you don’t have any pattern packages you can usually find vintage ones at most thrift stores. Remember – it doesn’t have to be a retro pattern; you might want to frame a pattern  of something special you’ve made or something you’ve never made but love just…

View original post 16 more words

How not to sort out!


Remember the big sort I was telling you about last week? Well the project continues but with chaos abounding.

1) We had to buy a new bed for our spare room. After MUCH discussion Hubs refused to buy a new mattress as well so I ordered one anyway

2) Whilst we are sorting out the new bed I virtually threw out all my clothes from the spare room wardrobe. I feel cleansed but maybe I will have to organise something for the Winter! We took seven bags of clothes to the charity shops.

3) Its amazing how much I had stored under the old spare room bed.

4) As we were buying a new bed it seemed sensible to decorate the room. Hubs agreed after some gentle persuasion.

5) The bulb had fused in the spare room so Hubs sort of removed the shade to replace the bulb. The light fitting broke so now we need a new light fitting and an electrician to fit it.

6) The TV in the lounge died so we are off to buy a new one tomorrow.

7) Because we are expecting a new bed and re decorating I have bought new bedding. Well you can’t use old quilt covers on a new bed can you?

8) It seemed a good idea to buy curtains to match the new quilt.

9) The electric kettle gave up so we need to buy a new one! I guess we’ve made too much calming tea with the other kettle.

10) Maybe I will sort out our master bedroom next! Maybe not as I don’t want a divorce!

Pause for thought:


A Scatter Gun Approach


I have decided that I definitely take a scattergun approach to life!

Today I went with Darling Daughter to the Stitching Sewing and Hobbycrafts Show at Event City in Manchester. The show itself was just about OK BUT I bought ( at vast expense I might add) lots of wood carved stamps for fabric printing. Another hobby, project to learn, as if I’ve not got enough to do!

I must concentrate on one thing at a time! I really do know myself. When I studied Psychology I frequently had my personality analysed. I always turned out top score for starting projects and nil points at finishing projects. So true!

Meanwhile I am excited at starting another project.

I’ve bought the paint, pads and stamps so now I just need to source some nice silk to print. Oh and focus! One project at a time. I confess that I’ve just bought three books on various crafts. This is becoming a Splatter Gun approach.





As you know dear friends I am in the middle of a “Big Sort” I’ve striped my wardrobe nearly bare and am regarding it as an opportunity to buy more clothes! Well not really as I do have another wardrobe that I’ve not touched yet. I remember being told that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time, this I think is true so why clog up the wardrobes with 80% of stuff that I’m never going to wear? It’s really liberating this de cluttering.

I have a HUGE stash of yarn, textiles and craft items. When I sorted my wool stash I put it into one of those bags that you use the Hoover to suck all the air out and shrink the package for storage. Now I have a confession to make. I actually couldn’t use the Hoover!! It’s not that I don’t Hoover the house honestly. I do nearly every day, but I never use the extension tube. Hubs always hovers the stairs so DONT tell him that I couldn’t use it! Oh the shame! ( not)

From this:

imageTo this:

imageFinally on a cheerful note: