Hello, I havent posted for an age but i have been sewing so will catch up with piccies of that tomorrow or over the weekend.  But as i was in the kitchen marinating olives, i thought i would share my cheap olive tip.  You will probably read this and go “yeah Jo we do that already” but just in case you dont and are addicted to yummy olives like me, here is a tip on how to save those pennies.

I am a sucker in a deli or a gorgeous market buying pots of olives in different marinades at £2 plus a pop and then eating the lot in an evening.  Anyway last week I bought a jar of olives in brine (pitted) – 49p for quite a big jar.  I tipped them out, rinsed them, put half back in the jar added slices of garlic and some black pepper and then filled the jar with the rest.  Poured in extra virgin olive oil up to the top of the jar, closed it up, shook it and bunged it in the fridge.  they were beautiful.  My friend Liz and I devoured them in minutes (over a couple of bottles of champagne no less)

Anyway just thought i would share this olive tip with you as have just finished a few more jars.  Hope you are all well


And the winner is????

I had a fantastic reponse to my first tutorial and giveaway, thank you so much to everyone who left a message.  I was really bowled over by the amount of feedback i got from readers of sewmamasew.  The tutorials entered for their competition were amazing.  There are a couple i am going to try, off to ikea for a fabric expedition tomorrow

So anyway as i promised Oliver was in charge of picking the winning entry. There were ten entrants in all,  here is photographic evidence of the process


and the winner is

SO would the lovely Andrea of Indigo Blue please email me her postal address and i will get a ring made this weekend for you in blues.

Have a good day everyone

Off to make a bag order for my cousin so hopefully photos tomorrow

Ring tutorial and give away


So in readiness for this ring tutorial i got out my ring making drawer.  Can you actually see any beads within this mess of stuff.  what the hell is my bone folder doing in there i here you ask, what the hell is a bone folder i hear more of you asking.

Anyway here is the finished ring.  I have used white beading cotton as it is easier for you to see how it is threaded in the pictures, I would normally use a co-ordinating colour to the beads. Everything here is available at your local craft store, mine is called  Craftability and it is just great.

So here is the finished article.  I am going to give a tutorial on the making of this ring (my first) followed by a giveaway.  This giveaway is a ring made specifically for the winner in a colour combination of their choice.  If like Suzanne you like oranges for example then this is what you need to state, if green is your thing then say so.  Clear as mud???  good oh.  To win all you have to do is leave a comment.  I will put exact details at the end.

So this is the ring

 This is what you will need to make your own:

  • An assortment of beads in your own chosen colour combination – different sizes helps.  Mine were a mixture of 6mm amber colour, gold ones about 4mm (i dont have the size as they were a gift) and some 2mm assorted.
  • A blank ring frame – mine is an adjustable one with sieve.  The sieve is needed to thread the beads through and is made by a company called “make me”
  • Beading thread – i have also used beading wire, slightly different process and less jangly ring when worn
  • Beading needle or very thin needle that will fit through the smallest bead you have.  It is the eye of the needle that can cause the problems so always check first by pushing it through
  • scissors


  1. Secure the beading thread to sieve Thread your needle with a length of thread long enough to complete the ring.  Always overestimate.  Push the needle through one of the holes in the sieve from underneath, stopping the end part of the thread with your finger 

Bring the needle down through the adjacent hole in the sieve and pull tight (still keeping hold of the thread 


end). Tie in a secure knot underneath.

2.  We are now ready to thread the beads on.  I wanted to make a striking star shaped kind of ring.  Not too symmetrical ( i have this thing with symmetry in certain areas and i cant stand it) so for this i decided to use a biggish bead on the bottom with a smaller one on top.  Obviously with this you muddle along as you choose.  If it goes wrong start again – the beauty of ring making is that mistakes do not cost much.  So bring the needle back up through the first hole in the sieve (the one used to secure the thread) and push the needle through your first bead and then your second if using. Push the beads down to the sieve and then insert the needle back through the hole of the FIRST bead you threaded.  (otherwise the thread will come out clean)

Draw the needle up through the sieve and both beads, bring the needle back down

by inserting the needle into the first bead and then back through the same hole in the sieve

3. All you need do now is continue like this around the ring, building up your own pattern of beads as you go. 


As you can see i have used a combination of sizes and colours, making the bead towers taller in places towards the middle.  When you have finished your main bead display you may wish to fill in the gaps (where there are spare holes in the sieve) with the smallest beads you have.

I suddenly found this pot and decided to do just that, using the darker orange ones

Right hopefully when you have finished threading your beads on you will have a sieve of loveliness so now all you need to do is secure the thread once more. 

4. To secure thread You probably will have a better way of doing this but i push the needle through a hole to the bottom of the sieve, thread the needle through a couple of the stitches created at the bottom of the sieve and secure with a tight knot.  But as long as it is secure any method is ok.

5. Attach the sieve to the ring base I am probably being insulting by explaining this bit as it is completely self explanatory (having said that so is the rest probably but hey ho).  Fix the sieve into the main ring part, ensuring that the triangle pointy bits are pointing upwards.  Using a pair of scissors or other sharp implement, secure the sieve by pusing the triangles down onto the sieve.  You may find you need to wiggle the sieve part around a bit so that the beads are not in the way.

Voila your lovely ring is complete.  I hope you found the instructions clear enough.  this is my first ever tutorial.

Anyway for the giveaway

All you have to do is comment on this post saying how you thought this went for a first tutorial, leaving your favourite colour combinations. I will put all the names into a hat and ask Oliver (my son) to pick one out on Wednesday 30th April.  the winner will get a bespoke ring to their colour choice made specifically for them.

Have a good weekend