On Thursdays we Pompom


I can make Pompoms. Lots of people can make Pompoms, but it also seems that lots of people don’t know how, or love making them so much that my Thursday nights are now my Pompom workshop nights!

My current workshops take place at the gem of a place…The Paint Box Ceramic Cafe, on Cambridge Street in Cleethorpes, a stone’s throw from the seafront.


I have such a good time every week with such varying groups of people that it’s just a dream come true to be able to do this… we have people who are crafting whizzes, and people who feel like they couldn’t even thread a needle. 

Last night ladies who’d never glue gunned in their life created the most wonderful pieces of work with a bag full of lovingly handmade Pompoms, a polystyrene ring and a trusty glue gun.

Some ladies decided that they didn’t need a wreath…what they needed was Pompom birds, so that’s exactly what they made!

Also, resident Halloween lover and crafting queen Sophie decided that she was going ignore the ‘Christmas’ theme of this workshop (despite my best attempts to get her in the festive spirit with Mince Pies & a Christmas party CD) her Halloween wreath is a bloody triumph and with Thelma the Spider residing at the top of it, I think she may never take it down once it’s up!

Leanne returned this month for her second time, she’s even been making them at home since her first workshop, and last night she completed this festive wreath, with her mum Jackie (not Linda) making a beaut of a pastel mega wreath for her lounge!

The feedback from these workshops makes me plan more, every week my anxiety kicks in and I worry that everyone will have an awful time…every week.

But every week once I finally get home from the fluff tidying duties (with a little help from my mum, another serial Pompom maker) I get lovely messages and photos from people saying what a great time they’ve had. So then I look forward to the next week again ✨

We always have music, nibbles, fizz and lots of laughter…if you fancy joining in then check out my events page on Facebook 😘


Handmade spring themed Pompom wreath by Gemma from It Started With a Stitch


Oh what a circus. Oh what a show! Paulo’s Circus – Newquay 🎪

So…today was the day that the boys had been looking forward to, the promise of a MacDonalds tea and a trip to the circus!

We visited Cornwall last year, staying at the same place we are this year, and Paulo’s Circus was in town then. 

My son & nephews are ages 4, 6 and 9. Last year was the first time my nephews (the 2 youngest) had ever been to a circus and they were amazed by the acts and this year’s show is even better! It’s a brand new show for 2017, so if like us you’ve been before, you can go again!! 

The big top itself is a beauty. Star spangled, bejewelled with lights and smells exactly like a big top should, a nostalgic mixture of sawdust, pop corn, candy floss & hotdogs. 

Do you know what one of the best things about this circus is? (And this is with my proper ‘Mum’ head on)…no one is constantly trying to sell you flashing wands, juggling sets or programs! You can purchase a flashing wand of course as well lots of delicious food but there’s no one on the hard sell which is fab when you’ve got multiple kids with you! 

A few of the acts and tricks were different to last year but a few were the same which felt like a good thing! The double act on the right rope perform tricks that I’d find impossible on solid ground!!

I’m not going to give all the acts away because that’s all part of the magic of a circus, but let’s say there were thrills and almost a spill! Robbie had his hood over his eyes at point because he daren’t watch! 

My favourite act was a double act performing what can only be described as actual magic, right in front of your eyes…and it involved glitter, what more could you ask?!

Go and see it if you get chance, it’s fab. The guys are Inn Newquay until September 2nd! Look out for the Pink Tent!!


St Michael’s Mount & Penzance, followed by a very quick trip to Mousehole! 

I love to see somewhere new, whether that be a place, a view, or a shop. I find that it gets harder and harder to find something really new the older that you get. I remember telling Robbie to sit down and watch when that guy leapt back to earth from space because there’s really not much that people haven’t already done before.

Anyway, as usual, I’m digressing.

We spent a beaut of a morning walking over the often submerged causeway to see St. Michael’s Mount. The view as you approach the area is amazing, it looks genuinely massive and is a really impressive sight as you head up to the coast to Marazion.

We’ve visited loads of different places in Cornwall and last year too and this was by far the most touristy place we’d seen. Lots of bus trips and once the causeway is accessible the play fills up. Quickly.

There’s about a 5 hour gap for walking access, obviously dependant on tide times but you can check these before you go, there’s a boat service at other times and it’s only a couple of pounds so don’t worry if the tide’s in when you arrive!


If you’re wanting to have a look around the gardens then double check which day you’re going, they’re only open a couple of days a week but there is a plant shop where you can buy your very own succulents to take home 🌵


There’s also this gorgeous ‘living frame’ so we of course had to have a go, here’s Grandma & Grandad with the 3 amigos 

After selecting our succulents we enjoyed a cream tea (obvs) and then walked back across to the mainland ready to head to Penzance, the island was getting really busy with lots of organised trips so it felt like we were leaving at a good time! 

We headed up the coast, it takes less than 10 minutes to get to Penzance. 

Penzance seems to be a very mixed up place! It’s seafront is breathtaking, the views out over and past St Michael’s Mount and right across the bay are stunning, but it’s really quiet! Anywhere else that we’ve been, as soon as there’s a scrap of sand or pebbles, there’s someone on it, however remote! But not here! The outdoor Pool was jam packed and looked amazing but other than that the prom was pretty peaceful! 


We needed a drink (a common theme) so we decided to head away from the water and into the centre, we cut through some sub tropical gardens, complete with bandstand, pond with fish & lillypads and a fountain and eventually found an odd mixture of streets with lots and lots of shops. 

Penzance feels like a town that needs loving, it’s full of beautiful buildings & the best views we’re seen but there’s empty shops, lots of charity shops and a shed load of potential.

We saw the Fountain Inn up on a hill and headed for it, the beer garden is right next to quite a busy road so we sat inside and the barmaid was brilliant!


She provided toys, colouring in sheets and switched the the TV to the football at Robbie’s request. She also enlisted Jonno to tell us where best to eat between Penzance & The Minack Theatre…(I’m about to digress again but I feel that if you plan on visiting then you should know) 

There’s 2 places that Jonno recommended to eat, one was The Coastguard which had a beaut of a menu but was quite pricey, although it did have amazing views. The second was Jonno’s pick…The Ship, and he seemed to be right on the money til the 8 of us found somewhere to sit, appeased 3 kids after they argued about who was sitting where and next to who, only to then be told (we’d also asked for a menu at this point) that they don’t serve food until 6pm. 

Anyway, the whole point about me writing this post was to tell you about this place…

Circa 21


If St Michael’s Mount is the jewel in Cornwall’s crown, then this place is definitely the jewel in the crown of Penzance.

It’s just a beautiful, beautiful gift shop & art gallery, situated in an old tobacconists. The stock is provided by lots of local artists & makers and the upstairs is laid out to gallery space.

It was a haven of beautiful gifts, things for your home and very lovely art works. The man we spoke to was clearly very passionate about what he does and it’s a deffo ‘must visit’ if you’re in Penzance. 

By Elizabeth Loveday

By Sylvia Ryan

Gem x

St Carantoc Flower Festival

Nothing screams quaint village lifestyle quite like a sign for the local Flower Festival! We decided to detour on our way to the beach for a cheeky look around (causing the rest of the family to panic/send out a search party as we just ‘assumed’ they’d guess where we’d gone)

Running from August 17th-21st 2017 at the beautiful St Carantoc church, it’s a perfect chance to enjoy an hour or so in a very peaceful and historical building! The earliest parts of this church are Norman with a tower being added in 1224.


The interior of the church is beautiful, with a gorgeous ceiling and it’s currently all the prettier thanks to 30 different floral arrangements that have been installed as part of the flower festival!

An extra added bonus (for us competitive types) is that you get a quiz sheet with some pretty cryptic clues to try and guess which ‘Production’ each of the arrangements represents. Now, there’s a prize for the person who gets the most answers correct so I’ll share some of my favourite but I’ll leave you to guess what you think they might be…don’t want to get into trouble with the ladies & gentlemen who’ve worked so hard on the displays! 

By Di Stevens & Rita Barrett

I loved the dolls house on this one, and the tiny figures!

By Oliveen Bearham

By Jenny Richardson

These 2 displays were for 2 very different productions kind of based on the same story, which do you like best? I like the darker witchy one 

By Janet Symons

The colours in this were amazing (technicolor you might say?!) and Pompom like I thought, topped off with a golden crown of wheat. It was attracting quite a lot of attention. 

By Kirsty Rogers

This display had a can of Silvikrin at the base with the clue ‘It may not kill flies, but tames the ‘fly aways’ I love the colours in this, especially the turquoise and pink 🌸🌺🌸

By Sheila McNaught & Jo Waterhouse

I love how these cakes with a cherry on top are made out of flowers, they reminded me of the coconut macaroons from Riverhead Coffee back in Grimsby!


By Penny Thomas

Last but not least here’s some of another display that I loved because of the colours of the flowers mixed with the orange string and glass of these buoys 

You can see from the clues (and lots were far more cryptic) that it wasn’t as easy as we were expecting!! We finished off our visit with coffee, biscuits and home made cakes in the church hall and handed in our answers (we got chance to check how we’d done and we scored 22 out of 30…I’m not sure it’s a winning score 😭)

Gem x

I’m on my holidays (the Great British Summer ☀️) day 2 Crantock

Welcome back to day 2 of my Cornish holiday experience!! 

Sundays are by tradition, days of rest. So that’s pretty much what we did! We’re staying in the village of Crantock which is a 5 minute drive from Newquay. It has a stunning National Trust beach and there’s always a warm feeling of ‘smug’ watching car loads of people queue to get into the car park for it, knowing that we can just stroll down through the village to it whenever we want. 


If you plan on taking the car to Crantock my advice would be to park in the new Charity car park up at the top of the village, on the left hand side as you drive in, it’s only £3 and the walk to the beach is a nice downhill stroll (I can’t promise the walking back is as enjoyable but you’ll spend hours queuing for spaces at the beach otherwise) 

The route we take through the village passes the village shop which also contains a hot pasty & pizza counter, a tea room with arty gift shop and 2 pubs (as well as a few other local features but let’s focus on the priorities first!)

The beach has 2 main areas, up and over the sand dunes or sneak through the flat path to the right, either way you can get to both areas via both routes. The dune path takes you towards the sea and the flat path leads to the beach area up an around the Gannel.

We went for the flat path option and spent a lovely few hours enjoying some sunshine whilst the boys paddled and leapt around the pools left from the tide going out. They’re still deep enough to float a dinghy/paddle board on so is a really nice & safer spot if you’ve got smaller kids!

When the tide’s out here there’s a sneaky little bridge and when it’s in, there’s a bloke in a boat who’ll bob you over to the opposite bank where you can nip up the steps to the lovely Fern Pit Cafe, who serve up delicious food to accompany the amazing views!


After the boys had worn themselves out, and we’d drunk our bottles of Rattler (I’m sure there’ll be more about this in another post soon 😋) that we’d packed (very Famous 5 of us) we strolled back through the village to a home cooked Sunday Roast at our cottage 

Gem x

I’m on my holidays (the Great British Summer 🌦) Day 1 Newquay & Crantock

So…last year the family (Mum, Dad, Sister, Brother in law, nephews, son & moi) spent 2 weeks in Crantock, just outside of Newquay and we had such a great time that we came back! 

The same house, a perfect family home if anyone fancies booking, Waylands. A beaut of a traditional old cottage with a beaut of a very modern bathroom & kitchen, plus wifi, parking and a gorgeous garden complete with BBQ, seating and water features!


We arrived crazy early into Newquay on Saturday morning, thanks to my genius idea of travelling through the night. Robbie’s response to me waking him at 11.30pm to get up and go was ‘Holy Cow!! I think I’m going to wet myself!’ (I awarded myself extra Mum points for providing him with such a surprise)

Now, Newquay at 7.30am is beautiful and busy but there’s not many places to go and caffeine up, and after an all nighter in the car from Cleethorpes we were all ready for a refuel!! Caffè Nero provided us with what we needed, including a slim but visible sea view!

 We walked the width of the town, from Fistral beach right up to ‘the other end’ and back and also managed to spot the boat that the boys had booked onto for a Fishing Trip, the Bootlegger

Mum’s nursing a cut up & bruised leg and swollen ankle after falling on an escalator on the Underground last week, she did the typically British ‘honestly, no, I’m fine’ so we figured dragging her up and along a pretty steep & stepped coastal path might be just what she needed 🙂

I’m not sure that it helped but we did find a 14th Century Pilchard look out point and a prettily coloured snail. Win!

Places had now started to open so we headed to The Fort Inn for our first proper drink of the holiday, great views of the harbour and beaches and the best view I’ve ever seen from the Ladies


From here we strolled back through a sunny and heaving Newquay to lunch on our picnic and then ventured through to Fistral Beach via the ‘path through the golf course’ to try and get a glimpse of some surfing action


Sun, sea & surf. We’d not even been here a day and we’d checked loads off of the list! 

Phonecall from the Manchester branch of the family saw us hotfooting it back to the car to rendezvous at Waylands, via the playground and pub of course! The food at The Old Albion Inn is delicious (I’d recommend that you book as it gets quite busy, kids are welcome & well catered for! As are dogs) 


And that’s Day 1, we had a sneaky peek at the beach on the way back to the house, accompanied by Cornish ice cream & a hunt around the village shop for fidget spinners (they couldn’t find them but we’ve been told that they’ll find them for us, potential holiday drama resolved!) 

Gem x

…and I’m back ✨

It’s been a while…it’s been a couple of years actually and bloody hell have they flown by!!

I’m now in a totally different job, and since my last post I left a management role at a company I’d been with for 15 years to move to a new company as their first retail store manager (pats self on back) and went on to run 2 of the stores…I learnt lots about myself, met and worked with some amazing people and made some great friends, and after just a year I was made redundant. The stores all closed and for the first time in forever (I think I just quoted a Disney lyric) I had a choice, I didn’t need to work full time & I had a 9 year old son who was becoming more and more aware of what an embarrassment his mum is (I’m no longer allowed to kiss him goodbye in the school playground and I have to switch the music off in the car as we approach the school) 

So now I work part time, do I feel like I should still work full time? Yes I do.

Do I love the fact that I’ve been able to go to Sports Day, the Recorder & Ukulele presentation, the Summer Fayre & School picnic, Swimming lessons and football training & matches? Hell yes!!

My ‘spare time’ which in theory should be 5 whole days a week but feels more like a few hours I can find where I’m not doing the above is currently spent on sounding out whether I can make a real shot of my own business. Exciting and horrifying. Horrifying because what if I can’t? Then what? Exciting because if I can, then my work and what I love to do become one and the same, and that makes me feel pretty lucky.

So…I’m back. I plan on reviving my blog, so if you’ve made it this far then thankyou!! Hopefully I’ll see you again soon 
Gem x