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Saturday 28 March 2020


I've been up cycling some lovely fabrics into some unique bags in the past few months, including this vibrant pink/orange and brown tablecloth found in my local retro shop Hello Retro. 

Mabel Messenger Bag 

and a couple of large totes with some added repurposed denim

A piece of 70's barkcloth, originally a curtain in vibrant orange with a piece of unwanted denim 

Made this with some unwanted off cuts of tweed and a pair of green waterproof trousers, making the pockets base and handles, finished with orange stitching and lined with cream canvas. 

A large tote made with a pair of denim jeans and an orange flower barkcloth.

A pair of denim jeans and a piece from a 70's pink floral curtain 

A large tote made from a combination of old and new fabric. including a piece of Orla Kiely, a 70's woven bedspread and a pieces from a retro Danish duvet cover.

I've been saving my left over pieces of fabric from making dresses over the years (I hardly ever throw anything away.) Inspired by a quilt I found on Pinterest I decided to give it ago, and have now caught the bug. Above is a single quilt made from a combination of  70, mainly Scandinavian inspired fabrics and backed with a pale blue and white spot cotton. 

A fun play mat made from a combination of fabrics with grey channeling and backed with grey and white str print cotton.

All available on the website. www.mysistermabel.bigcartel.com 

Tuesday 28 January 2020


Before we get into February, I wanted to summarise the last month of 2019.  Earlier in the year Harry and I managed to book some tickets to see Chemical Brothers.  Having sat on my sofa back in June I'd watch them play their set at Glastonbury in total amazement,

  So we began December having a little us time before the Christmas madness began. We stayed in Cardiff overnight and sampled the delights of a few good bars and an AMAZING gig at the Motorpoint Arena.

A few days later Mabel turned 11 so it was bowling and pizza with a couple of her friends

Christmas was a family affair, and thankfully we all took the stress out of Christmas dinner by going out. Perfect!

and the Boxing Day tradition of running into the sea. Always a spectator never a participator!

So 2019 came to an end. We gained a dog, lost a cat and the rest of year was pretty uneventful (but in a nice way) Here's to 2020

Thursday 5 December 2019


Every year Mabel has a check with her cardiologist, for an X-ray and to check her blood pressure to see whether her stent is working to it's full capacity. This year he decided that it would be a good idea to expand it again. As Mabel grows so does her aorta and this creates a slight narrowing again. The stent is made from an expandable mesh which allows it to be ballooned open (unlike an adults which is just one size) This is done with a cardiac catheter which is inserted into the groin under a general anesthetic.

So it was up to Bristol for 7.30, she was first down to the theatre, and as Mabel does, she took it all in her stride. We stayed overnight and everything went to plan. We'll be back to Bristol for a check up in January. As always the doctors, nurses and staff were absolutely brilliant!

Early morning start

Back on the ward.

For some time Mabel has been wearing a customised splint to aid her walking. 

We recently had a meeting to discuss a device already used by adults who have had strokes but not yet available for children on the NHS.  Pads are placed on the leg, which send electronic pulses activating the muscles and sending messages to the brain. It will also help to build and strengthen her weakened muscle tone. Mabel's walking was instantly better, and we will be trialling it again for a week over Christmas.

Saturday 19 October 2019


So, five months have passed since my last post!! (sorry to my girls for not documenting our lovely Summer) I promise not to leave it so long next time, and we are now fast approaching my least favourite season WINTER!! 

October began on a very sad note, with the passing of our lovely cat Missy. What started as a thyroid problem, saw her rapidly go down hill over the weekend. We made the decision to take her to the vets to put her to sleep, and she died in the car on the way there. 

With Harry at work on Sunday, the girls and I spent the day taking it in turns to sit with her, and come together to check on her. The tearful conversations between the three of us covered death and where we go, the people we leave behind and whether Missy had had a happy life and whether we would see her again one day 

While we were talking that I realised that this was the girls first experience of losing someone/thing they loved. 

RIP little Missy x

Thursday 9 May 2019


At the beginning of this year I decided to ditch my oilcloth bags and concentrate on a range of up cycled ones.  I felt like a combination of up cycled clothing and plastic was a bit of a contradiction! Here are a few of my unique bags........available on the website (if they haven't sold already) but I'm making more all the time. 

This bag is made from unwanted tweed from a Scottish waistcoat maker, leather from a local shoemakers, denim from a pinafore dress and striped fabric from an old cooking apron.

Found a huge pair of mens camouflage trousers in a charity shop, and managed to make two bags, this is the first. I added some denim,  leather butterflies and trimming 

Various pieces of unwanted tweed and leather stars for this one.  Lined with striped ticking. 

This huge tote was made from various Scandinavian fabrics left over from dresses and unwanted denim.

Left over superhero fabric and some denim jeans 

Denim and tartan, incorporating jean pockets

Lots of different little remnants of Scottish tartan

Faded jeans, leather, tartan and handles made from leather belts.

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Friday 5 April 2019


On 2nd January we picked up the sixth member of our family (i only have 2 children but we do have a cat) Another female, a little dachshund we named Betty. Betty is my gift for getting through my cancer treatment, and although Harry was very much against having a dog he couldn't really refuse.

Enjoying taking her on our walks on the beach 

travelling in the car 

And what a much loved member of the family she has become. A complete puppy pain sometimes but very cute, loveable and funny.

Of course My Sister Mabel now has a range of various up cycled dachshund fabric dresses, bags, and tops (available on the website) 

Sunday 10 March 2019


Can't believe we are already three months into the New Year. and four months since my last post. I should've made it a New Years resolution to do at least one post a month (but I didn't).  So a quick synopsis of the last four months.

At the end of November I set up a stall for The Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market. Lots of preparation, and a lot of commitment both financially and manpower. I met some lovely people and made some money ....but i won't be doing it again!

Christmas came and went with a beautiful Christmas tree, presents and a poignant moment when I realised that this would be the last Christmas that Mabel would believe in Father Christmas. She even asked me several times as I tucked her in on Christmas Eve, but I didn't think this was the right time.  I must say I felt kind of sad that the magic would disappear for both of us after this year.   

Lots of walks on Dartmoor and the beach to blow away the cobwebs

We finished the year with an impromptu New Years Eve party, which left me with the mother of all hangovers the next day!!

Goodbye to 2018. It was definitely a lot easier and better than 2017, but not as good as 2019 is going to be.