Tuesday, 30 March 2010

the decision

he started to think about it just after christmas.
he really didn't know what to do! would his parents be upset? should he just carry on?
the worry of it was making him feel ill - that and the cold weather, the drafty window in his flat which made his room feel like an icebox, the workload, the debt.
eventually he thought maybe the best thing would be to talk to his parents. they were sympathetic, they told him it was his decision to make, but that any decision was better than no decision, to go away and think about it for a week or so.
he thought about it long and hard for about 3 days, then he went back to his parents. he told them he had made up his mind, and hoped they would support his decision. after 18 months of a 3 year course he was going to leave university, and hoped they wouldn't be upset.
his parents told him the most important thing for them above all else was his happiness.
we love you, alex.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

new look

here are the new look joyknitt and malebox banners, designed by the lovely nat of harvey crafty cards and yummyscrummy pie shop (click on highlighted words for links)

this weekend joy has rediscovered her stash of knitting patterns, packed away in surrey in july 2008, and shoved into a spare bedroom cupboard on arrival in devizes. they are all fairly dated, as you can probably tell by some of the hairstyles. they will be sorted into packs of 10 or12 and listed in the joyknitt shop over the coming weeks.

below is the first batch of 10 which will be listed this evening

new look

new look joyknitt and malebox shops appearing soon, please watch this space

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


if you read any part of this blog, please pop into the comment section and say hello, it would be great to know how many of you are really reading. thankyou

what's being a phoenix trader all about then?

well, firstly its about a wonderful range of greetings cards, gift wrap, tags, postcards and other stationery items, all sourced and printed entirely in the uk, a few samples of the newest cards in the range can be seen above, the entire range can be viewed by clicking here. once at the website you can also read about the company's history, (founded over 10 years ago by a group of mums in a kitchen) and their ethics.
secondly its about value for money. all products are available only from independent traders, (click here to order or find out how to become a trader) who sell directly to their customers, no middleman, no retail premises, no horrendous mark-ups, just superb products reasonably priced and excellent customer service.
and thirdly its about teamwork. all traders are part of a huge support network, they are a friendly bunch, all helping each other whenever possible through upline contacts and a lively forum.
the range has new product introductions 5 times a year, in january, march, may, august (christmas range) and october, so there is always something fresh and new to see and buy. above is the front page of the current new product supplement, which is actually 6 pages long, and currently being distributed to all existing customers. to request a copy of the full brochure, which includes this supplement please contact: joy.shallcross@btinternet.com (cut and paste). along with the brochure you will receive a sample card, so you can see the superb quality for yourself, an order form, although you can also order by email or direct from the website, and a pink self addressed (but not stamped) envelope should you prefer to order by post.

so there you have it, phoenix trading. a wonderful idea, a superb product, a huge team of traders and a great business opportunity. what more could you want?

Monday, 22 March 2010

sunny sunday

alex is a student, therefore very hard up. last weekend he completely forgot it was mother's day, so this weekend he came home, and brought me some flowers, they are freesias and as close to blue, my favourite colour, as he could find. thankyou alex, they smell gorgeous.

this is my second spring in this house, I bought some crocuses in september, but for one reason or another, I forget now, they didn't get planted until after the very hard winter we had, so none of them have showed yet. however this little crocus has appeared in the front garden, it may have been there last year, I cant remember, but its at the front and I certainly didn't put it there. welcome little crocus.

the first daffodil to open this year is also at the front, I moved it there from the back last year, its just outside the lounge window and I can see it from where I sit at my desk. there are loads more almost ready to open and in a week or two my front garden will be a mass of yellow.

whoopee, yesterday I finished digging over my temporary vegetable patch. it has a load of homemade compost and lots of bedding compost from my old pots and hanging baskets from last year dug into the dark clay top surface and greensand which is about a foot down, so hopefully it will be a nice tasty mix for the vegetables. I've already planted the desiree potatoes that I saved, looking forward to eating them already.

this is a photographic cock-up (please excuse my french). the wiltshire air ambulance is based not too far from here in the grounds of the wiltshire police HQ. yesterday it was taking off as we walked past and I was concentrating so hard on focusing on the helicopter that I didn't even notice the fencing!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

A very special thankyou to sprinks and joolzkay for nominating me for the sunshine award

The sunshine award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blogging world.
The rules for accepting the award are as followers
  • Place the logo within your blog or post
  • Pass the award on to 12 bloggers
  • Link the nominees within the post
  • Let the nominees know they have received the award by commenting on their blog
  • Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award
Now it's my turn to pass on the award to 12 blogs that I enjoy!
this is taking me rather a while, as there are so many wonderful blogs out there but the first four I have chosen are as follows:
1) niftyknits
2) moobaacluck
3) house of istria
4) lightwear jewelry
I shall try to pick another 4 later today, and then another 4 tomorrow, please watch this space. and a very big thankyou to all those whose blogs I follow and who follow me
joy x x
later, and here are my next 4 nominees
1) sandie
2) seven seas
3) hennie
4) lily whites
I may find time to pick the final 4 later today, but if not then tomorrow. right now I have to go out and dig.
friday morning now, and I have picked my final 4 nominations for the sunshine awards, they are
1) helen the beading lady
2) vintage beadery
3) made by val
and last, but by no means least, the person who has helped me the most since I started blogging, rachael of knitting snippets.
thanks all, keep up the good work, I love reading your blogs and getting to know you. I hope you enjoy reading mine.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


the link in my blog below to the donkey sanctuary doesn't seem to work, but the address, which you can cut and paste is http://drupal.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/

not much to report

there are a few highlighted words in this blog, click them for relevant links.
here are the final plans for the conversion of the outbuilding at the bottom of the garden, my area is the one marked "studio" on the right, and rog's area is the one on the left marked "study". we'll both end up with interesting shapes to work with, I'm really looking forward to it. still waiting for builders quotes - why do they take so long?
sorry to bore you with more pictures of cassie, I'm still practising my crochet, so have made her a couple of mats to lie on in her favourite places, our bed, above, entrance hall stool next to radiator below.
gerry is a wonderful sausage maker (a lovely man who makes great sausages). he comes to devizes market to sell his produce every week, I've been buying sausages from him for over a year now. rog is a real sausage roll fan and when he suggested I could try to make some by wrapping pastry around a sausage (ha ha), I asked gerry if he could make me up a batch of sausage meat to our favourite recipe (pork and black pepper), which he did, and last night we had the most wonderful sausage rolls I have ever tasted. thanks gerry. please click on the highlighted gerry for a link to his website and if at all possible give his sausages a try, they are truly made in heaven (well hungerford, actually, but its close).
my friend rachael is a fabulous knitter, and if you visit her fanpage you will see some lovely donkeys that she has knitted for the donkey sanctuary. I have sent off for the pattern and am going to have a go myself when it arrives. in the mean time I've just bought some lovely yarn from ebay, and dashed up a quick square to see how it makes up, see below, although the colour hasn't come out quite right, its a bit more pinky than it appears in the photo, but I love it. (dont worry, I shant be using it for the donkeys!)
and finally, I had a lovely time yesterday afternoon pottering about in the garden, did lots of tidying up jobs and got everything ready to start sowing seeds for the hanging baskets later today, but first its off to the kitchen to make another batch of bread.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

birthday boy

yesterday was rog's 60th birthday, and the picture above shows the presents he likes the most, a log store which now sits outside the back door, a mug with the legend "from 0 to 60 in 1,893,456,000 seconds" (being a mathematician he had to check its authenticity), and a bottle of brandy. we had a lovely lazy day, just the way he wanted it, a stroll along the towpath from home to the Artichoke at lunchtime, a snooze on the sofa in the afternoon, and chicken with bombay potatoes, spring rolls and rice for tea, also shared a bottle of wine - I like the way we share a bottle of wine, he opens it and pours us a glass each, which we sip together, then he says "if you dont mind I'll go back on the beer now", which he does, and leaves the rest of the wine for me.

you can read my "veg patch" blog on MISI (click on the highlighted area), I was chosen as guest blogger for this week. I've also been interviewed by the lovely ladies at "Creative Crafting" for the next edition, due to be published on 1st april - when it comes out I'll post a link.

Thursday, 4 March 2010


this blog is titled joyknitt because when I first started it I wanted to use it as a showcase for my knitting, however it seems I have blogged about lots of other things and hardly mentioned the knitting at all. the reason for this is that just before christmas I started to teach myself crochet, and now I am hooked (no pun intended). at present I am still very much a beginner, doing only simple stitches and really struggling with keeping a constant tension, but I'm quite pleased with the small coaster sets I have made, although I had to make about 8 of the circular ones to get 4 the same size!
I am doing lots of coloured squares to make blankets, which I shall be giving away as christmas presents this year, so I'm not inclined to show them on here just yet, but here is a picture below of one very happy customer. she likes to sit on the spare stool which I have recently covered in black jumbo cord, and of course its only the white hairs that come off and attach themselves to the black cord, now when we need to use the stool for extra seating at the breakfast bar if either of the lads come home I can just remove her blanket and lo and behold the stool seat is hairless (we hope!)
if you get this far in my blog, please pop in to the comments section below and say hello, would love to know how many are reading my words, thanks.
well, the sun is shining, so now I'm off out to do some tidying in the garden.