Happy colours, splashy pups (part one)

I love visiting our local garden centre, Avon Mill near Loddiswell.  It’s grown up around an old mill on the River Avon and is a great outing for us all – dogs are allowed too – that’s well behaved dogs Miss Daisy!  When I was a youngster I used to dread my parents’ trips to Watkins Roses, our local garden centre.  Back then these places were soooo boring, just acres of plants which had no interest to me at all as a child.  But today garden centres are so much more than just plants.  Avon Mill has a lovely restaurant – their jacket potatoes are to die for, and a selection of small shops, including a deli with a sweet counter …

Sugar mice in potYes, a couple of those pink and white sugar mice did  find their way home with me!  There’s always plenty of cheerful colour, delightful on a grey December day …

Garden centre colour

 And there’s lots of colour in my latest pattern for the January issue of my magazine too …. 

handukkar 004

Two Dala Horses and some folk embroidery.  Bright primary, happy colours using simple felt applique and crewel wool worked on a neutral linen background.  It’s funny how designs develop – I was thinking of horses as 2014 sees the Chinese Year of the Horse, but I also really love the folksy Scandinavian look and the Dala Horse appealed  as a good way to combine these two ideas.  I’m enjoying rediscovering crewel wool, I haven’t worked with Appleton’s wool for many years and I’d forgotten how much I like it – look out for more crewel work in future issues! 

But what about the splashy pups? I hear you ask!  I think I mentioned that Avon Mill Garden Centre is directly on the River Avon – there’s bit of a clue there!  Back soon to show you what the terrible twosome got up to!


On this cold snowy day it’s such a delight to see the bright colors! The sugar mice are adorable and Dala Horse lovely…
X Linda


Snow!! Don’t tell Ben, he’ll want to relocate! He’s only seen “proper” snow once in his life and adored it! X


Those sugar mice are so cute! It sounds like you had a wonderful visit to the garden center. 🙂


Oh those primulas are making me pine for spring and we haven’t gotten through Christmas yet!!
I absolutely adore the sugar mice – is that a holiday only thing or do you always find them in your candy shops? Over here (Canada) I don’t recall seeing them anywhere. If there is any sort of story that goes with them I would love to know. Maybe some felt sugar mice for your newsletter? (if you haven’t already done so)
Have a wonderful holiday,
Jenn @JennsCraftyWorld


Hi Jenn, lovely to hear from you, no sugar mice are popular all year round. They’re actually quite easy to make, I’ll hunt out a recipe for you xxxx


Hi Helen, I should be writing Christmas cards today but couldn’t resist having just a quick peek at your website and what do I find but my favourite Dala horses! How lovely – I can’t wait until next month. I am new to your magazine but I think it’s fabulous and my neighbour, Chris, does too. We are hoping to start embroidering Mr.Fox after Christmas; mind you, now that I know the Dala horses are coming I may wait for them and catch up on some of my patchwork projects in the UFO drawers. I love to watch your videos of Ben and Daisy – they are so funny. We have 2 black Alsatians (3 year old sisters) and they make us laugh a lot with their antics, too.
Wishing you and your family, obviously that includes Ben and Daisy too, a Very Happy Christmas.


Thanks so much Diana for your lovely comments and Christmas wishes. I’m delighted you like Bustle and Sew – and Ben and Daisy too – and hope you and yours all enjoy a wonderful Christmas holiday. Xxx


What a lovely place to visit. I wish there was something like that close to where I lived. Those sugar mice are intriguing – what are their tales made of?

Love the Dala horses – such wonderful colours!


Thanks Denise, their tails are made from pure white cotton string, knotted at the end. When I was little I used to love sucking the end that had been embedded in my sugar mouse’s body as the sugary taste lingered for ages!


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