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Sunday, 10 September 2017


Spent a lovely sunny day in Lustleigh a few weeks ago. Lustleigh is a small village on the edge of Dartmoor with some of the most beautiful thatched cottages, tea rooms, a great pub Lustleigh Cleave and a strong May Day tradition. The crowning of the May Queen has been commemorated with the engraving the names on the rock since 1967

Busy preparing for the new season, so no new items at the moment, apart from these back to school oilcloth book bags. Available on the website.

and another new way to use up some of the left over pieces of fabric , are these quirky hanging sardines.

August Bank Holiday we joined in the festivities for the Back Beach Music Festival, and watched the flotilla of boats celebrating 200 years of the Shaldon Regatta

The last week of the holidays, we headed to Sussex for a few days to visit friends in their new house in Isfield. Had a very rainy day in Brighton shopping, and took a trip to Middle Farm (a place I would often take Bella when she was little) a working farm, with lots of animals, an delicious farm shop and cafe and an amazing range of cider and perry

Back home, and our old friends from Brighton came to visit us on the way back from their visit to Totnes.

And so the Summer comes to an end and Autumns on its way. It's  back to school and time for new shoes. I'm hoping these sturdy new Clarks shoes will last more than a couple of months

 Autumns also means empty beaches, with rain and sunshine all at the same time.

treatment update

Finally got my pathology report, that thankfully confirmed all the cancer had gone. I've since had two expansions of my new boobs, which have taken a bit of getting used to, I have another one this week, and an appointment with my oncologist, then back every three weeks for my Herception injections. I consider myself very lucky! I've been celebrating ever since and recently had some friends over for dinner.  This bottle of home made blackberry gin went very nicely with some really smelly cheeses from Country Cheeses, home made desserts and liquor soaked chocolate covered blackberries. May the celebrations continue!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


A little bit restricted with Summer holiday arrangements due to my impending op, so we've stayed local (which is a first for us in August for a very long time) and we've enjoyed local entertainment, weather permitting. 

Our local carnival 

some of the traditional sculptures along the seafront made with waste materials

Have to say there's been very few long sunny days in August, but I loved the way this picture captures the Summer flowers against the grey sea and sky

Mabel and her friend Isaac at Charmouth beach. A fossil hunting trip on the Jurassic Coast, but not a fossil did we find.

Another grey day on Dartmoor on beautiful Dartmoor

and another rainy playdate camp.

There's 25% OFF everything on the website. Enter the Code SUMMER at the Checkout.

breast cancer update

I had my masectomy on Monday 31st July. I went down to surgery and returned several hours later with new boobs, four drains, two PIC dressing boxes, oxygen and a heated duvet over the top of me to aid circulation. The best news was that they had found nothing in the lymph nodes. Spaced out on Tramadol, Paracetamol and Morphine I slept like a baby unaware of the pain. I left hospital on Wednesday with just two of my drains removed but everything else in place and feeling painful. A week later I had the drains removed and saw my breast surgeon who said that he was pleased with the way everything had gone. The particular implants I have are expandable so next week all being well I'll have them pumped up for the first time. I have a pathology appointment tomorrow to discuss the removed tissue, then after that it's just back for Herception injections until March.  My battle is coming to an end!!!

Saturday, 29 July 2017


We planned a pre-surgery couple of days in London to see friends and generally relax. We drove up on Tuesday, and during our stop at the motorway services I had a call to say that the operation had been put back to 31st August. I had mixed emotions as I'd got my head around the whole process, but on the other hand I was glad that I could have the Summer holidays with the girls without any restrictions.

Our first stop once we'd arrived was Spitalfields, for a few drinks in the evening sun and to watch the world go by (got to say people watching is a whole lot better than in our home town) A few more drinks at different bars and we set about a meat filled menu at Pitt Cue in Devonshire Square.

Wednesday we headed into town and had my favourite lunch, of salt beef (three layers high) sandwiches and coffee in Selfridges Food Hall. Amazing!

Beautiful chocolate selection too.

With our stomachs full we headed across town to Borough Market, a feast for the eyes and taste buds, but we were still so full that we could only manage a cider at the cider stall.

In the evening it was friends and dinner.

Thursday I met up with my friend Jaz outside Libertys, as always  we wander the floors amazed at the prices of things we like, before heading off somewhere a little more affordable.

Lunch with Jaz was at the YAUATCHA in Soho, Dim sums and cocktails. I've never had such gorgeous dim sums, I'll definitely be revisiting this place with Harry as they also have an amazing range of cakes which I didn't get to try this time.

Putting on a sale at the end of the week there'll be 25% OFF. So I haven't made any new dresses, but did experiment with a new bag. Lined with ticking its a black PVC bag with various bright handles and a big handy pocket on the front.

Just something I wanted to make with my left over pieces of Moomin fabric a huge lined tote bag. Available on the website.

breast cancer update

A few days after we returned from London I had a letter to say my surgery was 31st July.  So after getting my head around the new end of August date I'm now looking at beginning of the week.  Part of me is disappointed because of the girls summer holidays, and then a part of me just wants to get on with it.  This also means we won't need to change our planned Summer holidays in September to October. I've also got a week which will include the Carnival festivities that take place at this time. Hey it could be worse, I could be on crutches all Summer.


Saturday, 15 July 2017


Great evening with friends celebrating the end of chemo. Felt so lucky to have spent the evening with great people and in such a lovely setting.  We started the evening at Wetherspoons drinking prosecco and ended it at 12pm sitting on the beach still drinking prosecco. 

New makes this week are some old favourites, the school book bag made with oilcloth and lined with ticking with a velcro fastening.  I'll be making some more in the next couple of weeks ready for back to school in September.

This week I did my first craft fair of the year, the school Summer Fayre. I'd planned to do the Exeter Cathedral (and several others) this year but had to cancel due to circumstances. 

Had a lovely Sunday, the sun was shining and we went down to the back beach for a few gin and tonics (so nice to be able to drink again) Then, it was around to the front beach, were Mabel did a bit of swimming, and then home for a family Sunday paella. 

Two new oilcloth designs this week, blue tulips and sardines 

Mabel was so brave this week.  First was a visit to Torbay Hospital for a CT scan, to see how her stent is preforming. This is normally done under general anaesthetic on children of her age, but she braved it, had a cannula put in and then went into the X-ray by herself.... only to fall off her scooter the next day and bash her lip and chin. 

Breast Cancer Update

I had the first of my 12 herceptin injections. Herceptin is one of the three drugs I had as part of my chemotherapy, and is another cancer killing drug. I've had several pre surgery appointments this week and lots of tests, I've been given the procedures for what to do, and what not to do. So, there's no ironing, no doing the washing, no hoovering, no lifting, no cooking, no sewing or cutting out,(which is a bit of a problem) and limited use of the computer, so I think there'll be a lot of films and reading.  I'll leave hospital with four drains and lots of pain killers. 

Thursday, 6 July 2017


We saw in the longest day of the year with a barbecue on the beach in glorious sunshine. 

This weeks makes have included these Denis The Menace and Gnasher pinafore dresses 

and these Minion fabric dresses. Mabel and I went to see the film this week, she loved it, and I fell asleep, but that's more to do with me than the film.

still making my lavender bags this time using some vintage fabric 

and some fruity apples and strawberries 

also selling well, some Orla Kiely canvas fabric totes. 

breast cancer update.

Well, this week has been a milestone. I had another MRI to see how the chemo had worked and was given the news that I had had a 100% response rate to the treatment and there was no sign of the cancer. So happy and relieved! The side effects continue albeit new ones, including numb and tinkling sensation in my fingers and toes, aching leg muscles, and weird finger nails, which I presume are going to fall off at some stage.

So the next stage is my mastectomy and reconstruction, now scheduled for 24th July, it unfortunately comes just as the girls break up for Summer holidays, but as with all of this, you don't choose! 

Thursday, 22 June 2017


Sunday, Harry and Bella took part in Colour Rush, a charity event organised to raise money for the local hospice Rowcroft. This is a 5k run, which takes place partly on the beach, while having coloured powder thrown at you from three different stations. I'm pleased to say they both managed to finish.

Part of the week we had our friend Graeme staying from London, always a good place to bring friends in the evening, The Ship, down on the river.

This weekend it was just me and Mabel. On Saturday we met up with some friends at the Bishopsteignton Village Fair. The sun shone, while we took shade under a tree and chatted for hours. It was a lovely day, and I felt a little like I was in an episode of Jam & Jerusalem 

It was swelteringly hot on Sunday so Mabel and I headed for the beach. Harry was away for work so there was no Father's Day celebrations.

New makes this week have included these Love London fabric dresses.

Finally got Mabel in front of the camera again

A lovely piece of striped fabric made these sleeveless dresses with full skirts. I think they have a bit of a retro feel.

and enough to make these A line dress with pockets

chemo update

Well I finally got there No.6 and last chemo. 
It's not been easy at times, but my friends and family have all been amazing, as have our wonderful NHS. 

On Thursday I had my first ever blood transfusion for anaemia, which did help with some of my symptoms. I'm currently week two post chemo which is pretty much when you are at your worst, but it's great knowing that your not heading for another one.  Slowly my medication will decrease, and so will the head to toe side effects which have included, apart from the obvious hair loss, acne, twitching eyelids,  watery eyes and running nose, nose bleeds, tiredness, breathlessness, dizziness, changing tastebuds, leg pains, sensitivity to hand and soles of feet and now just to finish it all off I'm losing my nails. I'm now waiting to see my breast surgeon to discuss Part 2 The Surgery.