31 December 2011

Simple Pleasures to end 2011

I love simple pleasures, the sort that don't cost a lot of money, don't take a lot of effort and are just, well, simple.
After the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks and returning to work on Boxing Day I am finally able to enjoy one of these simple pleasures. All to soon it will be time to get back to normality and the chaos of getting my new business off the ground so its nice to take some time to forget everything and just relax.

I finished work, tidied the house, cooked a delicious homemade meal then relaxed in a lovely hot bath for an hour which was made so much lovelier by the fact that I had these...

Bath bombs I ordered from Bath Bomb Creations, I ordered a few of these as Christmas presents and these are the freebie ones that they kindly (and unexpectedly) added to the box, everyone loves a surprise freebie. They smell absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to use the others that I've got from them. Do check out their website which launches in January 2012.
After dragging myself out of the bath I had some lovely new PJ's to put on 

(everyone gets Primark PJ's for Christmas in my family!) before climbing into bed with a mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows and watching the Lion King on DVD.

Simple and lovely. What more could a girl want!
So what are your simple pleasures?
Until next time,
Happy New Year everyone
P.S. I will be posting about the Christmas presents I gave and made very soon so do come back or click the follow button to make sure you don't miss it!

26 December 2011

Christmas x

So how was your Christmas? Did you get spoiled rotten? Did you eat too much? Did you spend some much needed time with family and friends? I know I did!
I spent Christmas day sober as a judge thanks to an agonizing toothache deciding to make itself known at 3:30am on Christmas Eve morning, luckily I managed to get an emergency dentist who gave me a course of antibiotics however they came with the strict warning 'DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL'. Given the choice between toothache and no-alcohol it was an easy choice to make, even I couldn't have drunk enough booze to numb that pain!
Apart from that little set back though I had a great time seeing friends and family and getting a wee bit sloshed on the Friday night (before the toothache kicked in-haha). I got some great presents and my handmade gifts were very well received. I shall be posting more about them soon, did you guess what they were?
All too soon though its back to normality (almost) I'm back into work tonight for the night shift, I just hope its not too busy.
Whatever you're doing with yourself this festive season stay safe, have lots of fun and have a drink for me. I'll be back in a few days to take a look back at 2011.

19 December 2011

The week before Christmas

Its the week before Christmas and if you're anything like me you'll be wondering just where the time has gone?
Have you had any snow yet? Despite the weather warnings I've not had to dig my car out yet, unlike last year...

So what have you been up to this week? I was off work Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday (I can't include Monday as I slept the whole day after finishing the Sunday night shift). I have to admit to loving and hating the internet, I hate it because it is like a magnet when theres so many other things I need to be getting on with. I love it though because it means I can shop from the comfort of my PJs so I've ordered most of my Christmas shopping this way.
I have almost completed the last of my handmade gifts and I really wish I could show you but it will have to wait a week so as not to spoil surprises.
What I can show you though is some snippets of some of them as a bit of a taster,
They are a bit blurry and for once that is deliberate, I will show you the full pictures after Christmas.
What I can show you a proper photo of though is this

I love mince pies, not shop bought ones though, they have to be homemade! Admittedly I didn't make the pastry myself (thanks JusRoll) nor did I make the mincemeat (Asda) but I cut out the shapes and cooked them myself! I have seen some great looking recipes for mince pies since I started blogging and i've tried many different homemade ones but these are the first ones i've ever made myself! Not bad eh? They taste pretty good too!
Anyway, thats enough random ramblings from me, I'm off to Handmade Monday to see what others have been up to and I'll be back after Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful time,
Merry Christmas,

11 December 2011

2 weeks to go...

...and Christmas will be here, where has this year gone?
Right so this week, as promised, I've done a bit more than last week. Firstly the little girls plaque that was ordered to go with the Fireman Sam plaque. I did post this a couple of days ago but I wanted to show it to the Handmade Monday crowd.

I delivered it to the lady at work this weekend and she was thrilled with them both.

My cousin who's baby was due this month gave birth a little early so I've made her a plaque too for her beautiful little girl,

I'm popping it into the post tomorrow so it should arrive sometime this week.

Now with so many houses and people to deliver presents to I always wondered how the big red man remembered where to go? In order to make sure he didn't forget my home I made a little reminder plaque for him!

I've almost finished my Christmas orders but unfortunately I can't put them up yet in case the recipients see them. I will post them after Christmas though.
Its been a bit like Christmas for me already with various parcels arriving through the door for various crafty bits and pieces but the one that got me most excited was my business cards finally arriving from Vistaprint

Ooooh its all coming together!
And finally another little decoration to add to the Christmas tree,

So what have you been up to this week? Are you ready for Christmas? Pop over to Wendy's Handmade Monday to marvel at what the others have been up to and the enormous amount of orders that poor Wendy is completing. I'm heading over there now and my mission is to leave a comment on every link!
I've also decided to join in over at Made It Myself Monday.
Until next time,

7 December 2011

Wednesday Linky Parties

Ok, so now I've been bitten by the blogging bug (try saying that after a few drinks!) I'm keen to keep it up.

One of the best things about blogging is getting feedback especially when its positive and gaining followers who keep coming back because they like what you do. The best way of doing this has to be the linky parties. I've been doing the Handmade Mondays for a little while now but thanks to my normal job having a random shift pattern sometimes I don't have a lot to show on the Monday but a couple of days later I've created something that I can't wait until the next Monday to show off.
This week is one of those weeks, on Monday I only had a couple of Christmas tree decorations to show off as I'd worked 8 days in a row, after a couple of days off I now have some other bits and pieces to blog about.
In order to solve my impatience I've been hunting around and found some other linky parties 'What I Whipped Up Wednesday' and 'Made by me Wednesday'. These parties have an awful lot of people joining in and they have some fabulous creations so I thought I'd join them!
A little while ago I showed a Fireman Sam plaque that I've made as a special order, I've tweaked it a little as I want to use twine on the plaques unless someone specifically asks for ribbon.

Well here is the plaque for little Alfie's sister which I finished today.

I doodled some little mice a while ago for another design but decided to use one of them for this plaque and I think its quite sweet.
I'm now going to go a look through some of the other links, make sure you do too.
Until next time,

5 December 2011

December already?

Is it really December already? Where has the time gone?
I'm currently on day 8 of working non stop for my normal job so crafting has taken a bit of a back seat thanks to being out for at least half of every day. I have the next three days off so I'm going to be busy catching up on a few things which I will have ready for next weeks Handmade Monday. It seems everybody has suddenly got really busy, I just wish mine was with crafting rather than boring normal work!
This week I realised that I don't have any handmade decorations for my christmas tree so in the little time between working, eating and sleeping I made these little decorations.

These have the same design on each side and are only about 5cm in size, I really like them and will be putting them in little organza bags to give out to friends and family.
I have a few more designs which are just on paper at the moment but they will definately be finished this week.
Sorry this week is so short but on the positive side its made me realise how organised I need to make myself if I want to do this job properly as well as my normal job.
I'm off to have a quick look round the other crafters on Handmade Monday and also on Bath Bomb Creations new linky party before I head off into work for the last shift before 3 well deserved days off!
Until next time,
P.S. I actually saw snow whilst working in the early hours of this morning, not just small bits you can mistake for rain but proper big flakes, winter is most definitely here!

27 November 2011


So what have you been up to this week? I've spent most of it working the night shifts (boo) and being woken up during the day by deliveries and builders working nearby. As I work a weird shift pattern at my normal job when ordering things for delivery that I know won't fit through the letterbox I try to arrange for them to arrive when I have a day off or I'm working nights. 9 times out of 10 they arrive when i'm on nights so the postman gets greeted by me in the middle of the day in my PJs with crazy bed hair, I dread to think what they must think of me!
One good thing about this week though was that I told a lady at work about my new business venture and showed her some pictures of things I'd made. I handed her my camera then sat back bracing myself for criticism or at best a "Hmmm that's nice," instead I got "Will you make some for me for my neighbours children for Christmas?" I was so chuffed I was smiling for the rest of my shift! She asked me to make two plaques, one for a little girl and one for a little boy. She left the design up to me but asked that the girls plaque be girly (so pinks and purples) and if possible could I do a Fireman Sam for the little boy. All the things I've made have been from images that have popped into my head or from various doodles so to have a specific character to try to do was a bit of a challenge. After a search of the internet to make sure I got the colours and detail right I came up with this:

She couldn't remember the name of the little girl so I've not been able to finish that plaque just yet.

Also this week as I mentioned in my last post, I got my new logo:

I'd been trying to do it myself on the computer but with a complete lack of computer skills it was never going to happen so I sent a drawing of it to Verve Designs who not only made it a proper logo, they improved it by giving me that lovely swooshy style writing. Not to mention they did it in less than a week! As soon as I received it I got onto Vistaprint to have some business cards made up and they are (hopefully) on their way to me now. I have added it to my website too, which has taken a bit of a back seat this week, I've decided it will now go live in January to give me plenty of time to get it just how I want it.
I like this design as I can use it with or without the writing, I'm going to have some little round stickers made up too so that I can add them to the packaging.

I love money boxes and think they make lovely gifts, especially for babies so today I did a bit of a practice with a rocking horse design,

I'm not that keen on the colours for this one but I do like the shape, I think the next ones I do will be in just one colour like all pink or all blue. I do like the little heart gems though, I've used them on some baby plaques before and they're something I will make sure I've always got in my craft box!
Pop over to Handmade Monday to see how busy Wendy has been with her camper-van clocks and to see what the other crafters have been up to.
Until next time

22 November 2011

I have a logo!

Look I have a logo!
I had an idea in my head of how I wanted the logo for Jam Dalory to look but being the computer dummy that I am there was no way I was going to be able to design it myself. Instead thanks to a member on Craft Forum (who's name I can't remember - sorry) I was told about Verve Designs. On Thursday I contacted Carl at Verve and sent him a photograph of a drawing I'd done and with his computer skills he produced this for me. It's better than I'd hoped for and much quicker than other companies I'd contacted so I'm one happy girly right now. All I need to do now is work out how to re-size it on Blogger but that'll have to wait as I'm off to my normal job for the night shift. :(

20 November 2011

Marty and Matilda

I've not been doing this blogging thing very long but there's something very addictive about it. At the moment this is mainly thanks to Handmade Monday hosted by Wendy each week. Through this I'm receiving feedback about my work and gaining a few followers, both these things are great for helping me to launch my new business so thank you.
I've not been able to do a lot this week thanks to being back at my normal job and getting a dose of the latest virus thats flying around. This has meant that as soon as I get home I've been jumping into my bed with a hot water bottle and medicine feeling sorry for myself. Fortunately though my computer is a laptop so thats been joining me and its been the perfect time to get started on building my website. Its still a work in progress at the moment but it feels good to have got a good start on it.
By yesterday I'd managed to drag myself out of bed and get the paintbrush out again. After all whats the point in building a website if I don't have anything to put on it!
On my first blog post I showed you a plaque I'd made:

I thought he was cute so I had to give him a name so I chose 'Marty'. Being the dreamer that I am I then started thinking of a whole back story about him, I won't bore you with it but the question that came out of the story was what does a little giraffe need? That's right, a friend. So yesterday I created Marty's new best friend, Matilda:

Isn't she pretty? Well she is but my camera skills are so poor the colours aren't coming across right! Any tips anyone can offer would be welcomed.
The wonderful thing about crafts and self criticism is that now I've made Matilda I want to improve Marty. Maybe that's a woman thing, always wanting to improve her man!
I have a few ideas in the pipeline for next week but haven't had time to finish them yet. I will make a big effort to get them done for next week.
Anyway, all feedback and followers are appreciated, I'm now going over to Handmade Monday to see what everyone else has been up to. Make sure you take a look too.
Until next time

13 November 2011

Never Forget

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" a quote by Winston Churchill in August 1940.

I don't know about you but this week has been a thought provoking one and one which has made me realise how much we owe to those brave soldiers for their actions all those years ago.
And, whilst its important not to forget what those soldiers gave for us, its just as important to remember what our brave girls and guys are still giving for us to this day.
This week has definately made me feel quite patriotic and proud to be British, in turn this has motivated me to design my next couple of plaques,
The blue in the flag is actually a bit darker than it looks in the picture above.
I decided to do a pink and blue outline to the heart and star but after seeing it I think I might change it to a black outline. I need to neaten these plaques up a little bit but overall i'm happy with the design.

Also I have now officially registered with HMRC and would like to officially give you a warm welcome to JAM DALORY, I will be making and selling handmade gifts, many of which will appear first on this blog to get opinions and feedback. I have lots of ideas and designs bubbling away in my head and I can't wait to pour them out to you. The website will be coming along soon and the above plaques will be added to it (once I've perfected them!) along with many other gifts, I do hope you'll visit it.
I'm really quite excited now, a new adventure is looming and I can't wait to start exploring it.

Someone else with exciting news is Wendy over at Handmade Monday, she's celebrating a beautiful new granddaughter, go and have a look then see what the other crafters have been up to, I'm off to get a hot chocolate, some biscuits and have a browse of them all.
Until next time

11 November 2011

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.

Did you remember?

For the Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain

Laurence Robert Binyon 1869-1943

6 November 2011


Is it just me or does there seem to be a bit of a baby boom at the moment?
At this moment in time I have one cousin pregnant, one cousin has just had a baby girl last month, at work I have one colleague who also had a baby girl last month, three colleagues who are heavily pregnant and two male colleagues have just had babies (well their partners did!)
It seems that everywhere I turn theres either a buggy or a bump. Now i'm not getting broody, i'm far too immature for that, but I am getting creative. All these babies being born deserve beautiful gifts!
I wanted to create a baby plaque that people could buy before they knew the name of the baby, or even before they knew the sex. So I came up with these:
For baby boys:

For baby girls:

And I did one very similar in cream for those who don't yet know if its a little boy or girl, unfortunately I haven't yet photographed it!
I think they're pretty cute but I'm still toying around with the facial expressions and debating whether or not to add some more embellishments, what do you think?
Now going back to my cousin and my colleague who both had baby girls last month, amazingly they were both born on the same day and their mothers share the same name, spooky! I wanted to create a little something special so for my colleague I made this:

and I made a similar one for my cousin

And then a matching money box as my mum wanted a gift to give her too

Here's the two of them together:

Myself and my mum travelled to London on Friday and delivered the gifts to the new baby, I also did a plaque and bag of sweets for her big brother and sister so they didn't feel left out, big sister had this:

And big brother had a similar plaque to the giraffe from the last post, again I stupidly forgot to photograph it (slaps hands)
The cousin who's still pregnant (due next month) had a baby shower today which myself and my mum went to, it was good fun and she had a whole table full of gifts. I haven't made her a gift yet as I'm waiting to see what she names it however my mum wanted a moneybox to give to her so I made her this:

I didn't get to see her reaction as we had to leave before the end to travel back however she did see the other moneybox and she loved it so hopefully she'll like hers too.
Anyway thats enough baby talk from me, its tired me out!
What have you been up to this week? Pop along to Wendy's Handmade Monday to see the other talented crafters and their wonderful creations. This is the second time I've entered as Jam Dalory and as well as picking up new followers i'm hoping to join in every week at least until the end of 2011.
Until next time...

30 October 2011


Hello and welcome,
If you've come here from my previous blog then thank you.
Every new blog should have an introduction so here goes...
My name is Jem, i'm a good old fashioned country girl from the beautiful Westcountry.

I currently work full time however I've developed a passion for making gifts, mainly for children. It all started when my cousin announced she was expecting a little girl, a few weeks later another cousin announced the same. Whilst searching online for baby girl gifts I realised that it was easy and cheap to buy mass produced gifts but none of them sent out the message I wanted. It was at this point I decided to make something personal, handmade with love. I had a few months to spare during which other events popped up and I began thinking outside the baby box.
The first person I decided to make a gift for was my little brother and after a bit of playing around I made a nice little plaque for his bedroom door. It wasn't brilliant but it was a start and I was happy, so happy that I made a couple more for two friends little boys.
Are you wondering what it looked like? Here it is:

I have started this blog as I'm aiming to start a business very soon, some of the images you see might be a bit familiar as I did show them on a previous blog however this is to show a bit of background to Jam Dalory and I assure you there are lots of new images to come soon.
I love to look at the work of other crafters and there is no better way to do this than through Wendy's Handmade Monday. Many of the crafters who take part have given me the confidence to take the plunge and start to turn my hobby into a business so thanks a million to them.
Take care
Jem x