Lady Luck ?

Recently I re-discovered a photo album which has been sitting in my bookcase for many years. This album doesn’t contain photographs, but in fact, it contains hundreds of lucky clovers. Four, five and even six leaf clovers, are pressed and placed on each page.

A fascinating and fun online search lead me to discover the following:

  • The four-leaf clover is a rare variation of the common three-leaf clover. According to tradition, such clovers bring good luck.
  • It’s been estimated that there are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every four-leaf clover.
  • Each leaf is believed to represent something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.

The lucky clovers in my book represent wonderful memories.  My eldest child is now a similar age to me when I started pressing the lucky clovers.  Placing them in an album, I used my unusual collection to gain my ‘Collectors’ badge at Brownies!

So, have my lucky clovers actually brought me good fortune? Would my path have differed if I hadn’t found those lucky leaves?

Hand written notes which accompany some of the dried lucky clovers, remind me that some were discovered in more unusual places. Once I found a four leaf clover in a hospital car park and I will always credit those four beautiful little leaves for the good results which followed and for which I am so grateful.

Throughout my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy fabulous opportunities and I’ve experienced truly incredible coincidences along the way.  I have the most wonderful, treasured friends and I am the luckiest girl to have the unwavering support of my remarkable family.

It’s certainly in my nature to look to the positive and I am acutely aware of how very lucky I am that I have been blessed with two beautiful children, but the path to motherhood was far from easy.

Despite my abundance of lucky charms, I can safely say that this hasn’t helped me when it comes to matters of the heart.  Quite a statement I know and I wish I could say that my lucky clovers had protected me from being hurt, but sadly, this wasn’t to be.  Without doubt, my experiences rocked my faith but I know that in every other way I am blessed.

In writing this piece I have read that apparently, placing a four leaf clover in my shoe will allow me to see fairies! Needless to say, I will of course be testing this theory.  It’s also said that if a four leaf clover is consumed, a genie appears to grant three wishes… Not sure I’ll be eating any of my collection just yet…

I’m lucky to live with my children in a beautiful location. Living where we do now, most of our walks are on the beach, so I haven’t found so many lucky clovers in recent years, but I love that even my children have found four leaf clovers ~ I keep the faith and live in hope that my boys will have an abundance of luck and love in their lives.


❤ My 2015 ❤

On New Years Day 2016 I find myself with a moment to reflect upon an incredibly busy 2015 ~ What a year!

September brought a beautiful Handmade Fair-y Tale, with Kirstie Allsopp and many creative friends, at Hampton Court Palace.
 I held daily craft workshops, demonstrating super-simple no-sew techniques and I was thrilled when my workshops sold out! 
I was invited to take part in a Mollie Makes Mash-Up, on stage in the Super Theatre and my vintage inspired bunting won! 

New for 2015 was the Handmade Fair at Christmas ~ Held in Manchester, it was a fantastically festive fair-y tale!
Always such fun ~ The Christmas Mollie Makes Mash-Ups were no exception!  Tasked with creating a Christmas Wreath on stage, I enjoyed every single minute of my Mash-Ups. With Lara Watson leading proceedings ~ although technically I was competing against Lisa Comfort and Deborah Simm, it felt like I was crafting with friends, and we really had a giggle as we created our wreaths.

I made a Christmas pudding wreath during my ‘battle’ with Lisa and a holly wreath during my time on stage with Deborah ~ the audience voted on both days ~ declaring draws for each of of us. So we were all winners!

As well as enjoying every moment of Christmas crafty fun, I was asked to join a Christmas cake decorating competition on the Super Theatre stage. Judged by Kirstie Allsopp, along with an audience vote ~ rather hilariously, I won!

I have total admiration and much love for darling Kirstie and her incredible team!

My final big event for 2015 was the Ideal Home Show at Christmas ~ Held at Olympia, London. The show takes part in the midst of a stunning winter wonderland with Father Christmas, friendly Elves, endless Christmas trees, heavenly choirs singing and even snow!

I was so pleased to return to the Show ~ Interiors Ambassador Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen lead demonstrations on the ‘Christmas Theatre’ stage and I was delighted to be selected as one of the industry experts demonstrating tips and tricks to inspire the audience to create their own spectacular Christmas! 
Earlier in 2015, oh what a wonderful time I had with Freddie Flintoff, Rob Penn and their fantastic crew, as they filmed Flintoff: Lord Of The Flies. 

Dame Penelope Keith visited Clovelly for filming and I was overjoyed to meet her ~ I’ve always loved Margot in the Good Life and suspect I may have more in common with her character than I care to think! 

Our 2015 ‘In Bloom’ efforts lead to the launch of Clovelly Yarn Bomb! We were thrilled that Clovelly was awarded Gold and plans are already well under way for Yarnbombing Clovelly again in 2016!

Crazy Kate’s, the seaside cottage I am blessed to call my home, was featured beautifully in Issue 56 of Mollie Makes magazine! 

I wonder what awaits in 2016…

Full Moon Flood Prevention at Crazy Kate’s

Today, Clovellys former Harbour Master, Ticker and I put flood defences at my front door …just in case…

Crazy Kate's high tide 1

Living in such a special and unusual home, I feel a big responsibility to honour the unique history of the building and ensure that the we look after the property.  Perched right on the beach, twice a day, the tide creeps up across the pebbles and laps at our cottage, which means that at certain times of the year, we live with a very real threat of the property flooding.

If there is very bad weather and strong winds during a high tide, there is a very real possibility that waves could wash straight into our house and/or the rough sea could throw pebbles up against the house, which could smash the windows in our kitchen.

Crazy Kate's High Tide 2

Until I lived in the harbour, I hadn’t appreciated the powerful connection between the tides and moon phases. When the Sun lines up with the Moon and the Earth during a New Moon or a Full Moon, the ‘tidal movement’ increases. Known as Spring Tides (named not for the season, but because the water “springs” higher than normal).  I understood that there was an intrinsic link between the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon which cause a rise and fall in sea level, but it wasn’t until I lived so close to the sea, watching the tides change and the way the fishermen adapt, that I truly appreciated the powerful connection and it is truly incredible.

Ticker Crazy Kate's Flood Defences

Ticker, Halloween decorations and flood boards held down with heart shaped stones! (Only in Clovelly!) x

Luckily, my lovely neighbour Ticker makes sure that I am prepared when the tides are particularly high and he helps to put the flood defences in place. There are big boards which slot in front of the doors and on the rare occasions that storms hit at the same time as a high tide, we even have boards ready to cover the windows on the front of the property too.

Living as we do, in one of the most recognisable cottages in Clovelly, it’s impossible to escape the fascinating history of the place. (You can read more about living in Crazy Kate’s in one of my previous posts, here: Living with Crazy Kate on Fish Street).

Yarn-bombing GOLD!

Clovelly has been awarded *GOLD* for Britain in Bloom South West 2015!  …Why am I writing about this? Well, for three reasons:

1.  Earlier this year, I found myself at the helm of an exciting and creative project, Yarn-bombing Clovelly as part of our ‘In Bloom’ effort!

yarnbomb multi

Yarn-bombing Clovelly

2. Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the Britain in Bloom Award Ceremony, where Jonathan Dimbleby presented the Clovelly Community Gardening Group with our *GOLD* award!

Jonathan Dimbleby with CCGG

Clovelly Community Gardening Group at the South West in Bloom Award Ceremony. Left to right: Me (Ellie Jarvis), Steve Marvell, Hon. John Rous, Eileen Turnock, Jonathan Dimbleby, Su Madocks

3. I’m incredibly proud of the hard working Clovelly residents who put their hearts and souls into ensuring the famous fishing village, which we are so privileged to call home, remains picture-perfect for residents and visitors alike.

Clovelly Yarn-bomb multi

Yarn-bombing Clovelly

Watch: Clovelly Yarn-bombing on ITV (Watch out for me!)

Raising money for the RNLI and Children’s Hospice South West, this colourful project was inspired by the Britain in Bloom competition and was coordinated by me at our Clovelly Silk workshop, for the Clovelly Community Gardening Group.


We even yarn-bombed our telephone box!

Our tight-knit (pun absolutely intended!) community of Clovelly residents yarn-bombed the village with the help of people from all over the UK and abroad, who donated beautiful woollen samples.

Colourful displays adorned familiar sights in this traditional fishing village, which is so popular with holidaymakers from across the globe.

In October 2012 Clovelly suffered a flood. As a torrent of muddy water rushed down the famous cobbled street, it left a trail of destruction.


Clovelly Flash Flood 2012

The misery of the flood failed to dampen the spirits of Clovelly residents and as people pulled together, Clovelly Community Gardening Group was formed.

The clean up and recovery was so swift and profound that Clovelly entered the annual South West In Bloom competition.  A regional competition which is part of Britain in Bloom, the largest horticultural campaign in Europe. Taking part in the competition has inspired many exciting projects over the past few years with a real emphasis on the pride and community spirit which is so strong in Clovelly.


Clovelly Flash Flood 2012


Clovelly Flash Flood 2012


Clovelly Yarn-Bomb

Clovelly is a place which people all over the world hold very dear to their hearts and thanks to social media we were able to invite people who love Clovelly to donate knitted and crocheted samples and therefore contribute to this unusual project. We received samples from all over the UK and abroad, and we were overwhelmed by the standard of the knitted and crocheted pieces which we received.


Clovelly Yarn-Bomb


A knitted mermaid at Clovelly Silk!

Our Clovelly Silk workshop was the centre-piece for some very special knitted work indeed, with the breathtakingly beautiful and inspiring knitted creations of Alison Murray who lives locally and has worked tirelessly to inspire her team of local knitters, who have created awe-inspiring pieces including a 25-foot high Christmas tree, walk-in Gingerbread House and recent project, the ‘Above & Below The Waves’ installation which has been touring the UK over the past year and has so far raised over £15,000 for the R.N.L.I.


Clovelly Yarn-bomb raised money for the RNLI and Children’s Hospice South West.

All ages were involved, with toddlers and school children helping, as well as textile groups and individuals too.

People took such care and were so generous to donate their beautiful pieces ~ We were absolutely thrilled.

Watch this space for Clovelly Yarn-bombing 2016!

Yarn Bombing is a type of street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk. Yarn bombing is generally about reclaiming or personalising public places. Yarn installations can be easily removed if necessary.

Take a look at more photographs of Clovelly Yarn-bombing:

The Handmade Fair-y Tale!


Once upon a time, in a magical land, far, far away (from Clovelly) there was a very beautiful palace.

One bright sunny day, Queen Kirstie of Craft invited all the crafters in the land to attend a very special celebration.

Handmade Fair

There were many impressive tents in the grounds of the palace, which were full of curious and imaginative things to see and do.


Flamboyant crafters arrived from across the land with beaming smiles on their faces, many wore flowers in their hair and it was a glitteringly fanciful gathering indeed.


One particularly impressive tent held a ‘Super Theatre’ where people gathered to hear some of the most famous crafters give encouraging talks and inspiring demonstrations.


Queen Kirstie of Craft with her Ladies in Waiting and Knights in Shining Armour, took such great care to ensure that everyone had a wonderful time…

Kirstie Alssopp Ellie Jarvis

…And we all lived happily ever after.

The End.


I held daily craft workshops ~ Demonstrating super-simple seriously exciting no-sew techniques. I was thrilled when my workshops were sold-out!

I was invited to take part in a Mollie Makes Mash-Up, on stage in the Super Theatre and my vintage inspired bunting won!

I was invited to take part in a Mollie Makes Mash-Up, on stage in the Super Theatre and my vintage inspired bunting won!

With the lovely Annie Sloan and her *incredible* boots!

With the lovely Annie Sloan and her *incredible* boots!

I met many well known crafters and designers, as well as finally meeting wonderful friends who I had only previously ‘met’ online!

I met many well known crafters and designers, as well as finally meeting wonderful friends who I had only previously ‘met’ online!


Kirstie Allsopp presents The Handmade Fair 2015


Ellie Jarvis and Kirstie Allsopp at The Handmade Fair

Next weekend Kirstie Allsopp presents The Handmade Fair 2015 and once again I am delighted to be included as one of Kirstie’s Craft Experts!
Can it really be a whole year since I was invited to take part in the first ever Handmade Fair ~ Where on earth has the time gone?

This year I am running daily Skills Workshops  ~ Join me as I show you how to make your own No-Sew bag and accessories!

I will also be taking part in another Mollie Makes Mash-Up!

What an honour to have my name listed amongst some of the most famous designers in the world ~ Emma Bridgewater, Annie Sloan and Dawn O’Porter to name but a few!

Set in the tranquil surroundings of Hampton Court Palace, draped in *miles* of bunting and *millions* of Pom-poms, the fair will no doubt be a *feast* of vibrant colour and a hive of exciting craft activity!

The Handmade Fair last year was a surprisingly intimate gathering of lovely, like-minded craft enthusiasts and this year, I predict an atmosphere even more friendly, vibrant, positive, and celebratory than last year ~ rather like a giant crafting tea-party!

The whole Clovelly Silk family will be there ~ and we hope to see some of you there too!

Banish the Devil into the sea on Shrove Tuesday ~ Clovelly Lentsherd!

1688725_851383308238952_1399290901_n 10597437_1088750077817734_1601433185_nClovelly is a close and thriving community, uniquely linked to the past, fiercely proud of its fishing heritage as well as the history of its residents, and the traditions which have meant so much to so many. For generations every Shrove Tuesday, the children of Clovelly have taken part in a curious custom, which is said to rid Clovelly of all the bad things from the previous year, chasing bad spirits away and banishing the Devil into the sea with a perfect riot before the season of Lent begins. Tin cans (and just about anything else that makes a suitable racket) are tied to strings and dragged down the famous cobbled street, right to the end of the harbour wall. There, the strings are tied together and the metal objects are thrown into the sea; it is said to take the evil spirits with them. As Clovelly is a fishing village they would never be left to litter the sea, so having served their purpose the cans are retrieved from the water and recycled! 1798472_786172028078686_1991249233_n Not much is known about exactly when the tradition started in Clovelly, but the ‘Lentsherd’ is detailed in the Clovelly Chronicles. It seems that each generation has a different name for the custom ~ “Lanshard”, “Tin Night”, “Rattlin’ Tin Night”, “Tinning” to name but a few. I have researched this event and it appears to be quite unique ~ How fitting for such a perfectly unique village and community. 1896892_786172888078600_960429630_n My family set up our ‘Clovelly Silk’ textile workshop 20 years ago. When my eldest child was first able to toddle and Shrove Tuesday was approaching, I asked a friend and neighbour about how we could get involved with this custom which I had quietly admired for so many years. I was shocked to discover that the previous year, only three children had taken part and that nothing was planned for this particular year. 1780868_786172914745264_1668600102_n 1975021_786171818078707_1775442234_n Concerned that this tradition must not be lost, I began contacting other families in the village and very quickly arranged for us to meet. I wanted my child to take part in a tradition which to this day, means so very much to those who carried out this ancient custom when they were children. I sincerely hope the tradition continues for generations to come and meanwhile, my own Clovelly children are thrilled at the mere thought of starting to save their tin cans, and look forward to enjoying delicious pancakes afterwards! 10014636_786167001412522_1437499981_n

  • Event:  Clovelly “Lentsherd” aka “Tin Night”
  • Date:   Tuesday, 17 February starting at 5:00 pm
  • Location: Clovelly village, North Devon
  • Admission: Free from 4:30 pm

Join in the celebration of a wonderfully unique tradition at Clovelly! Lentsherd has recently evolved (via social media) to include tags bearing the names of children from all over the world. These names are sent via the ‘Clovelly Village’ Facebook and Twitter pages. The tags are tied to a string of tin cans, then dragged down the cobbles on their behalf! Shrove Tuesday this year is February 17, during Half Term, so do come and help Clovelly celebrate this ancient tradition. Children are invited to meet at 4:45 p.m. for a 5:00 p.m. start at the Victoria Fountain on the cobbles, bringing with them tin cans tied to string. Children must be accompanied by an adult. There will be free entry for visitors to Clovelly after 4:30 p.m. The custom is most certainly not a race and all participants are encouraged to head safely down the cobbled street at a pace that suits them. Following the riotous fun, children taking part can enjoy building a free pancake with ice cream, squirty cream, a selection of fruit syrups or lemon juice and sugar to decorate with sprinkles and other toppings at the Red Lion. Families can enjoy the ‘Tea Time Specials’ ~ Fish and chips with peas and tartar sauce, or Cheeseburger chips and salad in a bun, available from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the Red Lion.  In traditional Shrove Tuesday style, delicious pancakes will be available for all to buy at The Red Lion, with delicious and indulgent toppings, such as Chocolate Baileys ice cream and a real orange syrup or Rum Flambéed Bananas with clotted cream and a toffee sauce, or of course, a plain pancake with lemon and sugar! For latest details, please contact me or visit the Clovelly website:

Feeling Festive at The Ideal Home Christmas Show, London!


Well it may only be the first few days of December but I couldn’t feel more festive! It’s all because I gave live craft demonstrations on stage in the ‘Christmas Theatre’ at The Ideal Home Christmas Show!


Having visited Earl’s Court, London before, I simply wasn’t prepared for the vast exhibition centre to have been transformed in the way it was. I couldn’t have been more excited as we walked to the entrance, where we were greeted by Father Christmas, Elves, Christmas trees, a brass band, a choir singing amazing Christmas Carols and to top it all off, a carpet of snow ~ Yes, it was ‘snowing’!


Inside, it felt like stepping into a winter wonderland with a sea of beautiful, white Christmas trees and wonderful Festive scenes ~ There was even a full sized Ice Skating Rink!




Interiors Ambassador, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, lead the demonstrations on the ‘Christmas Theatre’ stage and I was delighted to be selected as one of the industry experts demonstrating tips and tricks to inspire the audience to create their own spectacular Christmas!


My craft demonstrations focused on showing several super easy, seriously quick ‘no-sew’ techniques to produce a range of gorgeous gifts and accessories!


I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single second of each of my craft demonstrations! My time on stage flew by and I was thrilled with the reaction from the audience.


The audience were wonderfully engaged and I so loved all the brilliant questions I was asked! I especially loved meeting people at the front of the stage after the demonstration had finished. It’s always such a joy to talk to people and hear how I have inspired them!



It’s so easy to bring creativity to Christmas and I cannot help but encourage people to ‘have a go’ ~ There is something so special about receiving a hand made card or gift and even just seeing hand made Christmas decorations gives an extra special feel!

Now I’m off to create our Christmas cards and maybe even have a mince pie (or two!)

Merry Christmas everyone! X


My interview, featured in a new book!

I am thrilled to have my interview featured in the delightful book ‘Extraordinary Villages’ ~ In which, TV presenter and journalist Tony Francis visits the places and people who live in remarkable villages.


Describing life in Clovelly, I talk about the honour and responsibility of living in such a unique and famous village, and I discuss the joy of raising my children in a place so steeped in history and surrounded by breathtaking scenery.


During my interview, I also discuss Rex Whistler’s beautiful ‘Clovelly’ Toile de Jouy style design. It’s over 80 years since celebrated artist, illustrator and muralist Rex Whistler (1905 – 1944) developed his sketches of Clovelly into a textile design. Read more about this timeless Toile de Jouy on our Clovelly Silk website:




Living with Crazy Kate on Fish Street

Every day, the tide washes up across the stones in the harbour and touches the cottage in which I live. I’m blessed to call the picture-perfect fishing village of Clovelly my home ~ World famous for its donkeys and steep, cobbled, traffic-free street which tumbles down to an ancient, working harbour.


The description of our cottage on the Clovelly website is as follows:

“Kate Lyall, known as Crazy Kate, died in 1736. Her pretty cottage with its picturesque balcony overlooking the harbour is said to be the oldest in Clovelly. Kate’s husband was a fisherman, and she would watch him from her upper window as he fished in the bay. One day, a terrible squall blew up and he was drowned before her eyes.

This terrible sight drove her mad, and she remained demented until the day of her death. On that tragic day, she put on her wedding dress and walked into the sea to join her husband in his watery grave.”


Clovelly is a village like no other ~ Like stepping back in time, the village has hardly changed in a hundred years. Historic paintings and beautiful vintage photographs could easily depict the village today.

It’s likely that you’ve visited Clovelly at some point (it certainly seems like most people have!) and if you’ve visited, you will know just how enchanting the village is. If you haven’t heard of it, take a look!

I’ve had the honour of living in three houses situated on the cobbled street. Each beautiful whitewashed cottage is totally unique and with its own place in Clovelly history.

Moving in Clovelly is worthy of its own blog (in fact I may well blog about that soon!). Any one who has visited Clovelly will know that the village is built on a very steep, cobbled street. Vehicles are banned from the cobbles and residents use purpose-built sledges to transport shopping etc. to our houses. Moving is no exception and all belongings are sledged down the hill!


Over the years, I have amassed a collection of gorgeous, vintage postcards showing each of the Clovelly houses I have lived in. What a joy it is to delight in how little the village has changed in the past century and I have felt compelled to discover more about the Clovellians captured in the photographs, all those years ago.

For a short while, I lived in Rat’s Castle. A tiny cottage, perched on the edge of the Clovelly cliff. My first experience of living in the village, I quickly became used to hearing visitors exclaim the name Rat’s Castle and this was the first time I encountered visitors trying to walk into our home! (Some visitors mistakenly think that the cottages are open to the public, and several times I have met people who expect Clovelly residents to be dressed in period costume!)

I also lived on Independent Street for several years. A hidden gem in Clovelly. Quiet and peaceful, my beloved ‘Indie Street’ will always hold a special place in my heart ~ Both of my babies were born during my time on Indie Street and I found the most incredible friend in my next door neighbour. We’ve been on some adventures I can tell you… In fact one day, I may well blog about our friendship.

We moved into ‘Crazy Kate’s’ just in time to enjoy the exceptionally beautiful weather this summer. We spent every moment we could, swimming from the slip and my children searched tirelessly for ‘treasure’ on the beach. (They’re yet to discover any “real pirate treasure”, but our flower pots are now peppered with beautiful old bits of broken crockery and all manner of ‘precious’ flotsam and jetsam!).


My children are young and Clovelly provides the most magical backdrop for their childhood adventures, I cannot think of a finer place to inspire their vivid imaginations. How incredible to grow up in a house so intimately connected with the sea, so intrinsically linked to the tides, the weather and the wonderful characters associated with Clovelly life.

As the village takes on the beautiful golden hues of autumn, I have been warned by my neighbours that soon the stormy winter tides could wash right up onto Fish Street, and it’s important for us to have boards to put at the doors ‘just in case’! I know from having lived higher up the cobbled street, that it doesn’t happen often, but if there is a storm during a high tide, it’s important to protect this incredible property.


I love talking to the Clovelly fishermen. Fiercely proud of their heritage, the beautifully told and incredible tales can give overwhelming feelings of hope and contentment, making me laugh or just as easily filling me with sadness as they recount the stories of love, life and loss.


The time we live in our houses is transient and I love the saying ‘We only ever borrow a home’.

I often overhear visitors discussing the house and thinking out loud about life in Clovelly. It wasn’t so long ago that I looked on from the harbour, daydreaming about what it would be like to live in a house like this…


Clovelly history is very much a part of every day life and I take great comfort in living hand in hand with history.