activities and ideas for little ones, Tutorials

DIY card gift box Tutorial.

Hello! I have quickly made some easy boxes and thought it would be great to share how I did it, here on my blog.

It really is pretty easy, and you need minimal equipment. Just some card, scissors and tape!

I’m so happy you’re here to join me, Let’s get going.

From left to right.
1. You need 2 sheets of A4 card
2. Have the card portrait, gently pinch fold in half right in the the middle.
3. Unfold and turn landscape. Gently pinch fold in middle again.
4. Unfold and smooth out. You should see some guideline folds now.
5.Lay card landscape Take the left hand edge and fold into the middle. Press down along the edge.
6. Repeat to the right side. You should have something that looks like a wardrobe – the two sides “doors” should meet exactly in the middle!
7. Unfold and take bottom edge up to the middle, fold down.
8. Repeat to the top edge.
9. Have the card portrait. Cut down ONE section line.
10. Repeat to all corners.
11.pick up the two tabs and glue/tape together.
12. Tip the box up and fold the remaining edge over on top of the two tabs inside the box. Secure with /glue/tape. (Repeat on the other side.)

THIS IS THE LOWER BOX.

MAKING UPPER BOX
13. 14 Decorate the top side of the card
(Get the kids involved –
we used screws to print with!)
15 and 16. Fold in half gently from top to bottom and lengthways (These are marker folds)
17. Next, fold the edges in as before, but leave a gap up the middle
(one finger width is usually enough)
18. Repeat the other length way –
remember to leave a gap.
This will make this box big enough to slide over the other one.
19. Fold in the corner tabs as before
Secure with tape/glue.
20/21 Line with squares of patterned tissue. Add sweet treats in bags and tie bows with some wool scrap lengths.

22.Put the upper lid box on top of the lower (now filled) box.

23. Tie with some twine or string and add labels.

Individual sweet combinations (sooooo many options to choose from) confection affection with a £1 same day – if ordered before 3pm – HOME DELIVERY for GL5 postcodes! .

Thank you for learning how to make a gift box with me. The possibilities are really endless. If you start off with A3 sheets you will get a larger set of boxes and the smaller the card size, obviously the smaller the box will be!

Don’t forget to tag me with #jljdiygiftbox if you choose to share your beautiful boxes online!

Love, Jen oxoxo

activities and ideas for little ones, Home life, Homelife, Uncategorized

Cosy club

I thought I’d make a collection of Links for fun resources/ activities/ recipes/ kid based play/ making ideas 🙂 feel free to leave a comment to say which you’ve tried!

Youtube links for some physical dance along sessions – we loved these today. Handy when trying to all of that energy positively 🙂
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HUvCgpUrqo8 (bear necessities)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KVE-T2_vLpY ( gummy bear)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KhfkYzUwYFk (can’t stop the feeling)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ziLHZeKbMUo (I like to move it)
https://www.instagram.com/p/B9vasYyhwdu/?igshid=c8176106e6fd
Oliver Jeffers is reading one of his books live on Instagram every night from 6pm.
Thank you Thimble and Twig on Facebook 🍃 🌱 🌻
An amazing weaving idea for kids from Rachel At Smile and Wave , will Definately try this one nap time with my older one, https://www.instagram.com/s/aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE4MTIwOTQ3MzU5MDcyMDcz?igshid=laa8jid9nxsb&story_media_id=2266997973879609952
Crochet Tutorials

Free Sunflower pattern

Pattern UK terms

Slip stitch

Sc – single crochet

Dc – double crochet

Htr – half treble

Dtr- double treble

Eleonora at Coastal Crochet has a great tutorial for these stitches here – She used them to create one of my favourite rows of the SeasideStashbusting blanket, the Long waves.

You will need :

Grey yarn (Super Chunky)

Yellow yarn (Aran)

8mm hook and 6mm hook

Scissors and wool needle/darning needle.

This sunflower pattern has been inspired by Sunflowers , a charity that My cousins have set up in Memory of Pete Morris, which supports families who have lost loved ones to suicide. If you’d like to visit their website or even make some sunflowers and send them To Suite 4 The Counting House. Bonds Mill, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. I know they’d been incredibly grateful for these crocheted donations (with a safety pin sewn to turn into a brooch) for them to sell and raise funds, Thank you. 🌻

Crochet Tutorials, Tutorials, Uncategorized

Teeny Tiny Crochet Bedding Tutorial

Hello! Welcome to my cutest project yet 🙂 don’t these little bunnies look ever so snuggly in their Granny Square beds?!

I love a quick project that works up fast and uses up little odd balls of yarn. Alternatively this might be a great introduction to crochet for you! I would recommend Bella Coco, Happy Berry Crochet and Coastal Crochet tutorials to learn new stitches, and grow your confidence. All of these ladies explain things so well, and you can pause, rewind and actually concentrate in peace and quiet in your own time, what a bonus!

This is what you’ll need to make your very own set of Crochet bedding that is perfect for little hands and also Sylvanian Families, Happy Land, playmobile, or other small toy friends to enjoy.

YOU WILL NEED

* Three colours of Yarn (a great scrap/stashbusting project)

*3mm hook

* Scissors

* wool needle / darning needle

ABBREVIATIONS

CH- chain

HTR – half treble

CH SP – Chain Space

SS – slipstitch

ST – stitch

Y1 – Yarn Choice One

Y2 – Yarn Choice Two

Y3 – Yarn Choice Three

TINY GRANNY BLANKET

This pattern is written in UK terminology – the little Granny square makes the perfect quilt for a tiny toy (Sylvanian, Happy Land, Playmobile) it has small (Half treble -htr- UK) stitches and a CHAIN ONE to make the corners, this is to reduce the “holey” appearance.

ROUND ONE

1. Use Y1 to make a Magic circle (a great tutorial here)

2. Chain 3

3. 2 half Trebles (Great tutorials here and here)

4. Chain 1

5. 3htr

6. ch 1

7. 3htr

8. Ch 1

9. 3htr

10. Ch 1

11. SS to join – pull magic circle tail tight.

12. Knot and sew in the ends using the wool needle.

ROUND TWO

13. Attach Y2 in a ch1 corner chain space

14. Ch 3

15. 3htr

16. Ch 1

17. 3 htr in the same ch sp

18. 3htr in NEXT ch sp.

19.Ch 1

REPEAT steps 15-19 x 3 to complete round 2.

To finish – repeat steps 11-12

ROUND 3

Start R3 by Attaching Y3 in a ch1 corner chain space.

Repeat steps 14-17.

21. 3htr In NEXT ch sp.

22. 3htr In Next ch sp.

23. ch 1

24. 3htr in SAME ch sp

Repeat 21-24

To finish – repeat steps 11-12

ROUND 4

25. Start R4 by Attaching Y1 in a ch1 corner chain space.

Repeat steps 14-17.

26. 3htr In NEXT ch sp.

27. 3htr In Next ch sp.

28. 3htr In Next ch sp.

29. ch 1

30. 3htr in SAME ch sp

Repeat 26-30 x3 to complete round 4

To finish – repeat steps 11-12

ROUND 5

31. Start R5 by ch 3

32. 2htr in next 2 st.

33. 1htr In ch1 chain space.

34. 11 more htr in each stitch. (12 stitches down each side.)

Repeat 31- 34 x3 to complete round 4

To finish – repeat steps 11-12

Congratulations Your tiny Granny Square is finished!

TINY CROCHET PILLOW

YOU WILL NEED

* Yarn

* Scrap offcuts

*3mm hook

* Scissors

* wool needle / darning needle

1. Slip knot to start.

2. Chain 15

3. 1 half treble (htr) in 3rd loop from the hook.

4. 12 htr in each stitch (13 stitches in total) TURN

5. Chain 2

6. 13 htr (13 stitches in total)

***repeat 5 and 6 eight times***

(10 stitches in total)

Knot and tie in the ends using the wool needle.

7. Fold the square you have crocheted Start in the bottom right corner and stitch both sides together, sew up the edges but leave the third side open.

8. Stuff with yarn scraps.

9. Sew the final edge together

10. Knot and sew in the ends.

Please tag me if you share your makes, I would just love to see your #jljteenygrannybeds in action!

Crochet Tutorials, Tutorials

Contrast Popcorn Crochet Tutorial

Hello! I’ve enjoyed a little break but now I’m back with a brand spanking new tutorial for you.

My newest series of “Serendipity” Wall Art pieces have hit my Etsy shop, and I’ve had lots of enquiries about this bobble/popcorn stitch. So I’m trialling my first ever tutorial here, please wish me luck!

For a basic Popcorn Stitch Eleonora at Coastal Crochet has a fantastic video tutorial here as part of her Seaside stash busting blanket (you can find my cardigan based on her amazing pattern) I’d highly recommend watching her video of an excellent and clear guide to the popcorn stitch!

For this Sampler Tutorial you will need.

* 2 yarns in contrasting colours (I used Special DK in colours that showed up best on my “how to” pictures)

* Size 4 crochet hook.

* Scissors

To begin, you will need to choose Yarn 1 (Y1) and Yarn 2 (Y2)

1.Take Y1 and make a slip knot.

2. Chain 18.

3. One Treble in the third loop from the hook.

4. 15 more trebles in the next 15 stitches – [16 Trebles in total]

5. Chain two and turn your work.

6. One treble in the third loop from the hook.

7. Tie contrast yarn into the top of next stitch loop.

8. Use Y2 to continue (carry Y1 and catch in behind your work) and make 4 trebles in the same next stitch.

9. Remove your hook. Count four stitches back (last top loop of Y1) insert hook and pull the last loop through.Pull all the tails to keep the tension

10. Change/substitute Your working yarn back to Y1 and make three trebles in the next three stitches.

11. Change yarn for Y2 and repeat the popcorn stitch. 4 trebles in the same stitch. [steps 8&9]

12. For this sample Continue the pattern twice more. [4 popcorns on this row]Once you’ve reached the end of the row, chain two and turn your work.

13. Now we are working on the reverse side. To offset the popcorns we will do four trebles in the first four stitches.

14. Now make a popcorn stitch [but for the end of the popcorn you will insert your hook from the front of the work! Again – pop to see Coastal Crochets video tutorial to see what I mean] – when you look at the front side, hopefully the popcorn will sit beautifully in between those on the previous row.

15. Switch to Y1 and Continue with 3 trebles, repeat step 14 for popcorn stitch and repeat series again. You should have three popcorns on this row.

16. If you wish to add another popcorn colour, simply switch Y2 when needed and continue with Y1 to keep the background colour.

Thanks for reading, I hope you have as much fun with this beautiful stitch as I do! Please tag me in your posts or use #jljcontrastpopcorn and I can see your creations!

TTFN

Jen x

Home life

New addition :)

After a pretty dark spell, we welcomed a beautiful rainbow baby into our family on 09.02.2018.

It’s a horribly dark, isolating, confusing and lonely time after losing a baby. The thought of trying again is quite frankly terrifying. After an ectopic pregnancy, life saving surgery and very difficult feelings to try and make sense of, we needed this bright little star. He is perfect and makes us so very happy.

Welcome baby Joe x

📷 Camilla Reynolds Photography

Craft show, Studio updates

Studio Update, and Yarndale

I’ve been in the midst of printing off lovely wedding invites, which makes for some fun conveyor belt making 🙂 It’s rather relaxing to get into the swing of things when my little “helper” is happily off at playgroup. Hopefully, I’ll have some sneak peeks I can share soon! 


In September, I travelled up to Yorkshire with my fab, real life friend Lindsey from Lottie and albert, and we stayed for a lovely weekend with new Instagram friends Kate from Jellybean Junction, Clare from Colour and Crochet, Kate from LanaBou, Charli from Candidly Rhubarb. We stayed up in Grassington at this amazing Air B and B which belongs to Sian from The helpful Mum.

Having experienced acute Social Anxiety in the Past, I couldn’t quite believe that I’d not only agreed and booked (thanks to the amazingly organised kate Jellybean!) but actually made it up there! (That’s to my road trip buddy Lindsey.) We had a really lovely time, crocheting the evenings away and exploring Yarndale all day on the Saturday. As a relative crochet newbie, I really appreciated all the advice and inspiring Instagram recommendations to follow! 

Yarndale 2017 was a great weekend away. The yarn/wool festival itself was held in an active cattle auction, which had been cleared for all sorts of wooly goodness. Each of the stall holders was charmingly in a real pen, with their gorgeous wares out for perusal. I must admit, I was pretty overwhelmed to begin with. The variety of coloured yarns, the busyness and the bustling was truly impressive! 
Before we had even set off, we were given a very special present. This was my gorgeous goodie bag from the amazing Kate (lanaBou) complete with lovely postcards, stitch markers, a pin badge, and sweets for energy! All of which proved ever so useful, so Thank you Kate. 
Whilst all of my friends were chattering to the lovely ladies on the stands, I shyly sidled up to a table where this fabulousness was happening! I got to try out this supersize yarn from Wooly Mahoosive with a huge 30 size crochet hook, which is something I’ve been desperate to try! I think it could be rather addictive, but I was grateful for the experience to try it out myself. Thank you for your patience in teaching me, Sharna

These are My rainbow mini 5g skiens from cuddlebums yarn that literally made me squeal out loud. I have had so many friends cuddle these! My original plan has not quite worked for these, however I’m looking out for ideas for what to with them. I love them! 

This was the first time I had seen such an array of indie, hand dyed yarn. Within the first five minutes I had truly fallen in love with this beauty by from the love of yarn, and for the next hour or so, I was definately wandering around with Buyers’ remorse! I couldn’t stop thinking about the lovely sparkly, deep rich ocean palette… I have a plan to make it into a shawl, once I can follow a pattern. I’ll know I’ve made it then! 


This lovely Vix brown yarn (who is from our part of the world!) was beautiful. I spent a lot of time at her stall with agonising indecision about selecting the right colour- in the end I went with this one! She was also selling these lovely hooks from make.e, which I’ve had my eye on for a long time. I can safely say, it’s become one of my favourites to work with! 


As I’m in the middle of a granny blanket, I knew this lovely little Blocking Board would come in handy! 

 

Here are some sneaky screen shots from various stories 🙂 


I had a really fab time away, and it just shows that leaving your comfort zone can be exciting and so worth it! 

Jen 🙂 

blog, cards, Jewellery, Studio updates

Around here…

It’s been a busy few weeks up in my studio, and I hope to start blogging more regularly again, now we’re getting back into routine at home again! 

I’ve been sorting out and organising my space, trying to see what works where and I’m hoping to do a little studio tour soon! 

I’ve finished some wedding projects, cards, and recently I’ve made these “stacker” style necklaces. Every single bead is hand made and perfectly imperfect, and I rather like that. I mixed many of the colours myself to make the ombré shades work together 🙂 I only wish I could wear the pink – I think the yellow/brown autumnal one has already found it’s home with me 🙈 Do you have a favourite? Or colour mixes for me to try? .
My happy quotes have been a helpful focus during some difficult times over the past few months. I find huge comfort in words, I have always searched for wisdom from others. I’m hoping to keep all of them together in a small happy quite sketchbook. Do you find writing useful? I’m hoping to get back into it, and my art journaling too!  

Colour moods have always been fascinating to me, and as we move into a new season, there is a definately nip in the air, and I’m loving my trusty legging and boots combo! I’ve been really loving an autumnal palette recently – I love these earth tones with the teals – so pretty together! 

I’ve been trying to record my inspiration and when it strikes using the hashtag #jljinspireme on Instagram. I’m hoping it will be useful to reflect on, and I would love others to use it too! Of course the photo below is showing that I’m being inspired by lace, stickers and sweet treats! 
Finally, Here are some of my new jewellery designs, that I’ve made especially to compliment some of the new arrivals at Stafford Cottage in Minchinhampton. I really enjoy using the lovely prints and fabrics as inspiration. 
Have a great week

Best Wishes, Jen x

Jewellery

Handmade jewellery 


 For the longest time I can remember, I absolutely love making jewellery. Right from making paper beads at brownies, creating button jewellery with my friends to constantly making jewellery with my mum… I adore seeing how much joy can come from creating something you can wear.

Some of my necklaces are for sale locally at Stafford Cottage in Minchinhampton or online at my etsy shop. 

I like the freedom of mixing colours to match an exact item, like this beautiful print from @lilyandmeclothing. That spring /summer colour palette is so pretty. I love the pops of yellow and turquoise! And these beautiful Adini summer prints …with colours like these, it’s easy to get inspired!  

Hand mixing that purple was so much fun! I had blackberry stained hands for a good while! I love the subtle tone changes you can create when mixing colours yourself. There are no limits! 

This was a new design trial – I’ve lived in it so far 🙂 

This was a recent Commission – to match a floral print skirt for a wedding. 

I relish the challenge of matching colours to make a bespoke piece. I’m always happy to chat through an idea – drop me an email! 

You can find my ready to ship jewellery here – I hope you have a wonderful day! 

Ps. This post is not an ad  or affiliated with any companies or brands – I’m sharing products and prints that I love- I hope you enjoy!) 

cards

 Extraordinary Cards.

Commissioning a card can make for a truly beautiful keepsake for an extra special occasion.

A New Arrival to celebrate.

A new life adventure starting together.

A special birthday.

A Christening, blessing or naming day.

A personalised card can make these occasions even more special.

Colours can be discussed to match a wedding theme…

Animals, princesses, cars… almost any theme can be created to suit your requirements.Christening Cards can be personalised with names, dates, and special messages to mark such an important day. 

Welcome to the world cards and sibling cards celebrate a brand new arrival. 

I love making extraordinary cards. My price for a single one off card starts at just £3 (&p+p)

I’m always happy to discuss ideas and designs. Please Contact me here.

See some of my cards for sale here

nappy bags

Nappy Bags and beyond! 

One of my favourite makes are my nappy bags.
These gorgeous cow herd bags are hot off the sewing machine tonight
(Just in time to raise awareness of the cows being released onto Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons on Saturday 13th of May – steady driving lovely locals!)
Each one is different and is Handmade with love, and I can honestly say, It has made life with a Toddler much easier for us as a family!
I only choose fabrics that make me squeak with happiness and that I could see myself using.
The idea for these little bags of happiness came to me after lugging a huge bag to cater to my gorgeous brand new baby boy’s every need.
This inevitably meant that every trip to the bathroom meant carrying (what felt like) the kitchen sink!
I made a few prototypes for us to use, big enough for larger nappies/pants and wipes.
I then gave some to friends and family.
Everyone was very happy with them and we couldn’t believe how much easier the toilet trips were!

My tiny little Newborn boy is now a 3 year old string bean – something I cant quite believe! He has an active role in helping his mama with all things crafting. He just loves setting up things for Flatlays and he chooses EVERY single button that ends up on any of my nappy bags.
He is a stickler for perfection and a great quality controller 🙂

So if you are looking for a little Baby Shower, welcome to the world, or just something to make life as a new mama easier, I can fully recommend one of these bags.
Obviously, the bags can be used for many other things… we use them for spare clothes, small holiday activity packs, Mummy’s crochet work in progress project bags, keeping track of diaries and important paperwork to name but a few alternative uses. (See below!)
I am always adding them to my Etsy shop.