Saturday, 24 January 2015

It's Grow Your Blog (and giveaway) time again . . .

Yes, it's that time of the year again when the lovely Vicky over at 2 Bags Full hosts the fun & fabulous "Grow Your Blog" Party. 

Just for today, regular service is interrupted.  Frequent visitors will know that I'm currently on a mission to finish off as many WIPs as I possibly can, by the end of January - so be not alarmed, the quest continues and normal updates will resume again soon.

So, if you're a new visitor popping in for the party - welcome, it's lovely to meet you and do feel free to have a little wander around.  It's been almost 3 years since I started this little crafty blog of mine and I continue to be amazed and delighted by how much fun it is to be a part of this worldwide group of lovely fellow bloggy peeps.  Thank you to every one of you who regularly take the time to stop by and say hello - I love having you visit & having a little natter too.

Home is currently the midlands of England in the beautiful county of Worcestershire, where I live with one handsome Hubby and two most-adorable-pups-in-the-world - all of whom keep me on my toes & out of mischief, but always encourage & support my love of all things crafty.

Aren't they adorable ?

Mostly here at   "gilly makes . . ."   I like to make things.
(Yes, the clue is in the title.) 
 All sorts of things, really. 
 Anything creative appeals to me, but right now I am loving knitting, crochet, quilting and improving my sewing & dressmaking skills. 

So, what would a party be without pressies, right?   I do love a wee giveaway or two . . . or three . . .

No. 1 is for the sewaholics out there . . . 

 . . . so if sewing or quilting is your thing, then how would you like a little bundle of four fun, cool British-themed fat quarters and one of these fab shopping or project bags from Sew Me Something

  Sew Me Something is my local (and favourite, I might add) haberdashery in pretty Stratford upon Avon, home also to all-things William Shakespeare, and I do so love this little parody of the quote from Henry V: "Once more unto the fabric shop, dear friends, once more"

Giveaway No.1  (Chair, cushion & throw not included)

No. 2 parcel has another bundle of four fat quarters, and lovely mug just waiting to be filled with delicious coffee or yummy hot chocolate . . . or whatever tipple you fancy really.  
The words on the mug are another little twist of words, this time from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night : " If sewing be the food of love, stitch on"

No. 2

And if you're more of a yarny peep than a sewist or a quilter, then pressie No. 3 is for you:

Four balls of Lily's Sugar & Cream Stripes yarn, and a book by one of my favourite crafty designers, Nicki Trench - filled with a myriad of lovely crafty projects.


So do please pop over and have a little peek at all the other lovely blogs that are joining the party - Vicki will post a list over HERE sometime on Sunday, 25th January.

And if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning one of my little giveaway pressies then all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post, let me know which parcel you fancy (1, 2 or 3), and ensure I have a way of contacting you.  
Especially if you're a no-reply blogger (see this post if you're unsure), then please include your email or a link to your blog.

The giveaway is open worldwide, and to all... regulars & newbies  : - )
You don't have to be a follower to enter, but if you'd like to follow along with my crafty adventures, you'd be very welcome.  All the links are in the sidebar: Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin' - the choice is yours.

Closing date is Sunday, 15th February 2015 and I'll do the lucky draw asap thereafter. The 3 winners will be announced on my blog.

Good luck,
 thanks again for popping by and have a happy weekend.
I'm off to have cake now, for indeed what is a party without cake too ?
: - )

'til next time,

ps. Thanks again to Vicki for hosting this annual bloggy party, and big thanks too to lovely Jules for the giveaway gifts of the lovely bag & mug.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Knitting along . . .

I'm on a roll here, sweet peeps - getting these WIPs ticked off left, right & centre.  Oh happy days . . .

So for today's Show & Tell, first up & off the needles is a snuggly striped cowl knitted in the yummy  Rialto Chunky.  An easy garter stitch knit that really didn't take long at all.  Methinks a cosy bobble hat in the leftover navy may be on the cards sometime in the near future too.

( I should add an aside here:  1) we have a new camera and I'm just getting used to it; and 2) the natural light today is particularly poor;  so please forgive the quality. )

The true colours of my new favourite stripy cowl are navy, teal, lime and fuschia - trust me, it's lovelier in real life.  At least, I think so . . .  : - )

Next on the list is a pair of chunky cosy ribbed socks that a lovely friend had started and then life intervened and she had to move house & all sorts of other stresses, so I've finished them off for her.  

Don't you just love that little card too ?

Now regular readers may recall that way, way back in May last year (yes, I kid you not), I started a lacy Phoebe Cape in Louisa Harding's Noema yarn.  (Read all about it here if you like . . .), and it has pretty much sat in my project basket, neglected yet hopeful for ages.  But happily I have retrieved it and am determined to finish it within the next couple of weeks.  So you may, if you like, hold me accountable to that and I'll keep you updated.

And the main reason I really want to get it finished now (besides still loving it ), is because I'm joining in with a fab new Tangled Yarn Knit Along to knit the pretty Orza Pullover by La Maison Rillilie.
Anybody else fancy knitting along too?
Have a little look HERE for more info about it, or pop over to Tangled Yarn and have a drool over the oh-so-pretty Mabel & Ivy Coast yarn that we're going to be using.
I've chosen Kit 3, well just because I happen to love blues & greens - I can't wait to cast on.

Image courtesy Tangled Yarn UK

 So you see, I really need to get cracking and finish Phoebe first : - )

As I'm linking up today with Ginny's weekly Yarn Along, here's what I'm reading in between all this knitting: 

Literally just finished my current Book Club read, and looking forward to delving into the stash of lovely mags on my beside table.

Hope you're having a happy week too,
'til next time

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Meet Bridget . . .

According to her bio, " Bridget has a sweet tooth.  More than anything else in the world she loves baking cakes, and scones, and cookies and more cakes . . . but especially custard tarts."

Ah, she's an elephant after my own heart, methinks . . .

with her good pal, Seamus

Bridget has been a WIP for a little while,  but was as much fun to make as her other pals were.  Like Emma Bunny & Seamus Alpaca before her, she hails from Edward's Menagerie and was crocheted entirely with yarn I had in my stash that was left over from a chunky cosy jumper I knitted ages ago.

So, that's another thing ticked off my list. My goal is to finish as many WIPs as I can before the end of January, so that come February I can make a start to all the new crafty projects whirling around in  my head. 

Have a wonderful weekend, lovely peeps . . .
Stay warm & cosy, and be happy.

'til next time

Thursday, 15 January 2015

No reply ?

Here's something that's been bothering me for a little while, so I thought I'd digress a little and address it today:

Are you a "no-reply comment" blogger ?   

If your answer is a resounding "YES,  and I'm perfectly-happy-with-that-thank-you-very-much" ** , then feel free to read no further, get on with more important matters and carry on with your day. 

If your answer is a definite "NO" , then you may also stop reading, give yourself a little pat on the back, and continue on your merry way.

Thanks for popping by, have a happy day & see you again soon. xx

 BUT . . .

. . . if you've answered  "Hmmm. . . / I'm not sure. . . / Maybe ? / Huh ? / Eh ? / Perhaps. . . / what ya talkin' about "  then please read on . . .

I love it when you pop in to say hello and leave me a little comment, and I would equally love to be able to thank, acknowledge or reply to you - especially if you've asked a question or are a new follower. 
 But oft times, I go to respond by email only to discover that the return address is 
We may not even be aware if we're a noreply-commenter or not and I know that I could just reply on my post, but in all honesty, how many of us actually do pop back to see if there's a response to our comments ?  I really like to respond to comments - sometimes life interferes and it's a delayed response, but nonetheless I like to try. 
 After all, some of our best bloggy friendships are kindled from one little comment.  : - )

So, if you're not currently getting any replies to blog comments, and you think you'd like to, then here's how we go about addressing this ?
 It's really oh-so-simple.

The settings are in your Blogger Profile, so sign in & on your dashboard at the top right, click on your little icon. 

click to enlarge

click to enlarge
 Select Blogger Profile, then Edit Profile and tick the little box that says "show email".

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Save settings and voila, there you have it . . .

Normal programming will resume soon.

'til next time,

**  I know that not all who leave a comment necessarily want or need a response, and I understand and respect that.

ps.  if you're still not sure, or you have a question then just leave me a little comment below and I'll reply here  : - )

Friday, 9 January 2015

Presenting "Pretty Petals" . . .

Firstly,  a happy welcome to my newest followers, and then a big thank you to everyone who has left such lovely comments about my recently completed makes.  You are so delightfully kind . . .

So, are you ready for another one ?

Presenting my finished-at-last  "Pretty Petals"  scrappy quilt,

TAH - DAH . . .


The pretty, pale colours are actually much softer than they look in the pics.  Here it is in situ on the sofa in the corner of the little room it was made for :

This quilt has been in the making for absolutely ages, so I'm chuffed to have finally finished it.  The fabric is Petal, by Tanya Whelan for Free Spirit,  which I completely adored and just had to have from the moment I saw it.  
And a big thanks to Anita and the other lovelies at The Quilter's Den and Bee Quilted in Warwick - my LQS -  for the encouragement, advice and beautiful loopy quilting.

So that's another WIP turned into an FO and ticked off my List . . . YAY . .  much happy dancing . . .

Wishing you a happy, crafty weekend,

'til next time,

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Vector Scarf: tick

In keeping with my continued quest to tick off as many WIPs on my List as possible, I've finished the pretty Vector scarf.  

Can I get a YIPPEE-YAY-O ?

I so enjoyed joining in with this fun project and the Tangled Yarn KAL, and really would love to do the shawl version one day too.  It's just simple garter stitch but being knitted on the bias and the colour blocks make it interesting.  And I couldn't resist adding the teensy little pom-poms as a finishing touch.

Right, onwards & upwards with my quest  -  next on the list is Bridget the Elephant, who just needs two flappy ears before she's ticked off too.
 Watch this space  ; - )

Linking up with Ginny's weekly Yarn Along today, so do pop over and see everyone else's yummy yarny projects too.

Happy middle of the week,  hope you're having a great one

'til next time,

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