Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Just get out!

And then you might see how things really are.

Just look at the state of my dining room-

What a bloody mess! Somewhere under there is a granite dining room table that was actually made for my birthday last year.

I only decided to nip out for some fresh air and to stretch my legs. Exercise is good for you after all. I've been sewing, sewing, sewing in my dining room for months, blissfully unaware that what to me is a creative haven others see as a tip. Until today after fresh air and exercise.

So I'm giving myself a sewing break and I think I should tidy up- I owe it to my family at least. They're a wonderful loud bunch but they never complain about my heaps of fabric taking over the house.

I might do a before and after shot. I'm also curious to know who else works like this? I might even start a "creative space or mess" group on Flickr

Look at my roots they're just as terrible. A make over is definitely needed here. Sadly I had to cancel my hair appointment last week. So I've taken to wearing really bright lipstick hopefully to draw the attention away from my untidy barnet


........on everything in my Folksy shop


Monday, 6 December 2010

Lets make- Monday

Today is a making day, it has to be, I have no choice!!!!!!
After being filled with so much self doubt last week and having a right old but much needed big twine, I now feel that things are starting to take place.

Wonderful things have happened of late- I have been approached by a number of business' to sell my products at Trade, which I am happy to do but more of that another time.

This weekend was a fantastic weekend! My self esteem was given an enormous boost at a lovely craft fair. To start with the organisers were such lovely and warm hearted people, they made the day a positive one and everyone was in a jolly, festive mood. I stood and chatted all day to many interesting people................................and I sold lots!!! In fact I almost sold out!!! Hence "Lets make Monday" as I have two more craft fairs coming up- eek! The best feeling for me is that because I was busy during the week leading up to the fair I didn't have chance to reduce my prices, so everything went for my original asking price. YAY!!  Everyone I spoke to appreciated "Handmade" and the fact that what I do is not mass produced. Finally!!

So yesterday was a mad dash for stash to the nearest haberdashery open on a Sunday in Carlisle! Not that I'm complaining because these places are my therapy, I really wish I had the money to own one. MMMMM! (Dreaming)
Nom! Nom! What a wonderful sight? My glimpsers can't quite believe it- buttons, fabric, colour and chocolate coins!!!! I especially love the colours of the zips, I sold out of bags so these will come in handy.

I would like to say thank you to the ladies from Hebden Bridge who were full of sewing knowledge, and to the lady who I think would have bought everything on my stall. You are rare gems!

Here's a picture I thought I would just throw in for pleasure. This is the view opposite my house this morning, it's very cold but beautiful and I feel very lucky.

Ok coffee then work. I think I am going to be glued to my sewing machine for the next few days.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Price Wars

I'm presently experiencing a real dilema where pricing my products is concerned. I always thought I was charging the correct amount for my handmade goods, especially as I consider them to be unique, excellent quality, one offs and original. I make everything myself, I don't run a sweat shop so things take time. But I'm starting to feel consistently backed into a corner. Only last week at a craft fair a women picked up one of my Crimbo decorations and pointed at the price to her friend.

So do I swallow my pride and drop my prices (considerably)? Or stand my ground and maybe one day people will be happy to pay my prices and really appreciate handmade? Any suggestions? Whats a reasonable amount?

In the meantime I've reduced the prices on my lovely lavender bags

This is available in my Folksy shop

MMMM! What to do? What to do?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


Crimbo craft fair season is well and truly upon me now, to put it mildly I've basically been working my buns off in order to have well stocked and delicious looking displays. However I have managed to grab a moment today to take some pics of the lovely props I use at craft fairs

I love my tired, old, battered vintage hat boxes. I've had them for over twenty years and once upon a time when I was a really cool art student I used to use them as suit cases, boy did I look cooler than cool. Ha! Ha! Now I use them as attractive storage for my work I also sit them on my tables at craft fairs and I will place my lavender pillows or my bags in them. They really are a stunning feature.


This is my favourite curly metal work bowl which was a present from my mum. I used to use it as a fruit bowl but I don't anymore because I just like looking at it, I usually fill it with baubles at Christmas and that looks super lovely. On my stalls I fill it with pin cushions or Make-Your-Own Kits, I think during these festive fairs I'm going to fill it with my Ogee decorations.

LOOK! What my lovely other half  bought me on Saturday. EEEE!!!!! A gorgeous super stunning Cath Kidston three tier cake stand. As yet I'm not sure what I'm going to display on it- I'm thinking maybe buttons and pins? I know that I love it and I nearly cried when I took it out of the box just at the sheer beauty of it. I feel very lucky!

So wish me luck for tomorrow night- Queen Katherine School, Kendal, Cumbria, 6-9pm. I'm also planning on taking all of my stock so I will be closing  my on-line shops tomorrow for the day.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

So here we are, so close to the big day and a mounting to climb before we get there. Today I've decided to step back, take a good look at what I've made for all my events coming up, see what I've still to finish and write a list. Gulp! I hate writing lists. I once wrote a list that was so long I went into melt down and I decided never to write one again. But because I am extremely busy I fear I have no choice.

So far I've made.......wonderful mini/mini festive bunting. I love all of my Christmas fabrics so I made some bunting using a variety of each of the delicious fabrics! Nom! Nom! I do love my fabric.

I've made slightly larger bunting- with pom-poms and without!! It took me two hours to sew 16 pom-poms by hand on two sets, so as you can see it got the better of me and the third set doesn't have any- this does make it slightly cheaper though!

I couldn't resist making a few table runners. More pom-poms here and lots of applique!

No pom-poms here and this gorgeous table runner is slightly less decorative. My big problem here is that although I am trying to be so organised, with regards to my sewing, my house is getting very neglected. I am hoping to list this in one of my on-line shops which means a very large tidy up so no clutter is in view of the pics. Time is running out but I will do it!

Here is my beautiful collection of finished Ogee textile decorations. I love these and I really hope they sell-my very own design you see so I am extremely proud of them! I'm hoping they get snapped up at some of my craft events but I also want to list a few in my shops- not sure which ones though?

A few unfinished decorations, baubles and trees, in a little piles with possible button embellishments. I do enjoy sorting!

 Once I've sorted which buttons I'm going to use everything gets popped into its own little bag. This is a great tip I've learned from other designers along the way. I used to keep all of my unfinished makes in various untidy piles but no longer and now I'm super efficient!!

A vintage hat box full of finished decorations (sorry you are unable to see the hat box from this photo but you can just make out the lining- mmm think I will take some pics of these). Hooray! This is quite an achievement considering only this weekend we took the ceilings down in the back of the house so that we could install insulation. My daughter has also been off school with a cold, she is 13 now but still needs mum. I also sewed my finger with my sewing machine yesterday I have never achieved this before, nor do I want to do it again. It didn't actually the time,  it did however make a very strange puncturing sort of sound! I'll leave it at that.

So now that I've made these things my list will include- labels, more self-seal bags as I use these when I'm selling small items, maybe order more business cards, take photos for my on-line shops, label and pack everything for craft fairs, invest in some more ribbon, order large envelopes ........too much!

I've also been asked to supply my items to Trade and I have to make up some samples within the next few weeks. Please wish me luck!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Free Goody Bag with the Purchase of my lovely Hearts Pouch

This is just a quick post. 

Today is the last day for listing for my Applique Hearts and Buttons Bag  on Folksy . I'm not sure if I will relist it simply because I am doing quite a few craft fairs and I might add it to my "craft Fair stock". So for ONE DAY ONLY I am offering a free goody bag of supplies if you PURCHASE my bag.

The goody bag will consist of buttons, needles, a stitch ripper and a pin cushion. I will also add some other mouth watering supplies but that is a secret!!! 

Friday, 5 November 2010

Phew! Time to catch up.

Hello! I'm back, but only very briefly. I have been so busy lately well I should really say sew busy. For the past few months I have spent every waking minute (or it has felt like it)  pinning, cutting, sewing,  doing applique projects and then embellishing everything with buttons or ribbons......I really put my back into it. Literally! I ended up with the worst back ache I have ever encountered. It was all in honour of this wonderful craft fair that I was privileged to be part of- Nostalgia Meets Design!

I'm sorry to say that this is the only image I have from the event. As organised as I try to be such as blogging about craft events beforehand to drum up some interest, when it came down to it I simply ran out of time and steam. When the day came it was actually a relief to sit down for the entire day. I put so much effort into producing beautiful good quality work that I think I wore myself out. Anyway I'll stop twining because it paid off I sold lots of lovely things and I've been asked to supply to Trade! Which is the direction I want to go in.

Here is a taster of what I was selling
A sexy festive table runner! Ooh! La! La!

Lovely lavender pillows. ZZZZZZ!

Funky Gingerbread Men decorations! I know a few other designers are making these but this is my version!

Christmas Tree decorations- these went down very well

Pom-pom bunting.

I also made a few kits basically because every time I do a craft event I always hear somebody saying "Oh! You can make that yourself" This really winds me up! I'm convinced these types of people never go on to actually make anything, or if they try they'll never produce the quality that I strive for!! Not that any body said it at the Nostalgia Meets Design or NMD as us in the know call it. HA! HA! Thats a joke!

I sold Christmas Tree kits and Gingerbread Men kits.

Here we have my Christmas goody bags. They are packed with buttons, bows, a string of eight pom-poms and festive shiny sequins! I'm selling them here  

I shall try to blog more often, as Toyah once said "It's a mystery to me...." how some folks manage to sew, make, produce, then list it all in their on-line shops, blog about their new creations and find the time to be a parent!!! Answers on a post card please!!!! 

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

B is for...........



BAGS...... BABUSHKA.......

                                                              All new in my folksy shop

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Sewing Circles

Craft fairs are looming upon me once again so today I'm sewing circles.

I use many bird motifs in my work and I enjoy incorporating Russian Doll images but I am so incredibly passionate about colour and this is why I have most fun sewing circles. I would have to say that I love colour so much my that all my crafting and textiles projects are based around the relationships of colours. Even down to the smallest item I make I have to use the correct colour combination of fabrics and buttons. I'm perhaps more obsessed with using colours than buttons. Its a wholesome obsession! Right?

I find circles a great way to experiment and combine those tones and shades that you thought might not work well. But what an amazing, zingy feeling you get when it actually does. It sends ripples right through my body sometimes. If it doesn't look so hot there's no need to despair you might just need to cut out one more circle in a different fabric either patterned or textural to bring it altogether. I have a lot of confident using colour but I'm drawn to the brightest oranges, pinks and reds, it's quite a challenge for me to use subtle greens and blues or muted beiges but I get stuck in and give it a go. I also find sewing circles to be very relaxing and therapeutic. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

I've also been experimenting with mushrooms! Well felt ones. I've had so much fun that mushrooms might become the new circles, they're definitely going to 'crop' up in my textile projects!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Even BIGGER Buttons

I've decided to upload a few pictures of my new big and even bigger buttons. It's taking me quite a while to sort out my new Etsy shop mainly because I'm sewing, sewing, sewing for a few Summertime craft fairs, also I'm enjoying these holidays with my girls.

So I thought I would share these big, bright, colourful beauties with you for now.

Yummy, yummy buttons in abundance!

MMMM! Temptation!!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Something Very New!!

Here is my something very new... SUPPLIES!!! YAY! I've thought about this and then thought about it some more, I've even lost sleep over thinking about setting a supplies shop up. One big question haunted me- what if I invest in beautiful buttons and ribbons and nobody wants them? Then where would I store everything because my house isn't huge. But I love colourful buttons and pretty ribbons and beautiful fabrics! Anyway in the end I couldn't resist it and I just decided to go for it. I wanted to take my time over the grand opening but one of my pin cushions was in four different treasuries on Etsy, my green buttons were very popular too. My new shop

So my shop is here to stay and so far so good. Now I just have to find time to stock up my other shops, make my bags and cushions for craft fairs and print customers pictures onto canvas. I crave sleep!
Everything is very yummy!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Crafty family

I loved doing my competition, it was great fun and also an excellent way of clearing out some of my textile creations. Of course this means I now have room to make and store many more bags, cushions, pin cushions and what ever else I feel the need to create. I have so many products on the go that I feel that I should be more organised and I am even considering opening up another shop, just so I don't start to look random. Of course this all takes time and energy so I intend to get my head down and crack on, I will try and blog updates but to be honest I don't know how some people find the time to do it all.

In the meantime here is my lovely daughter Lily, she also has the textile bug!! She recently sat her SATS- bless her. We were all kind of dreading it but I have to say that her teachers were brilliant, they were calm throughout the week and put no unnecessary stress on the children. Lily came home every evening with so much energy and zest that I actually think she enjoyed the week, so much so that she decided to make brooches for everyone in her class!! Thankfully we live in a village and there are only eight children in her class.

Lily loves donkeys and I found this fun fabric at Fabric Rehab so we snapped it up. She made brooches for the girls, a key ring for the only boy in her class and a lavender bag for her teacher (thats the big donkey in the pic). However she didn't stop there she then went onto make business cards and then sealed them all in their own bags.
Her mates loved them and I was really proud of her.

Monday, 21 June 2010

And the winner is........

               Woo! Hoo! Congrats to CRAFTY HELEN.

Thank you to every one for taking part and being so lovely, I wish I could give you all something but then I really wouldn't have any stock left. I'm going to do another fab comp very soon.

Ok Crafty Helen now you have to get in touch with me so I can forward all your winnings.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Summer Lovin' Giveaway

So here it is.... my first giveaway. I have decided to do this because I am starting to accumulate rather a lot of textile/crafty products. It's my fault- I never stop crafting, making and experimenting. Sometimes I haven't even finished one product and I'll start another. 

I am giving away a super cute applique 'Bird' bag. I originally made a collection of these bags to keep make-up in, but I use one to keep my sewing bits and bobs in. I'm also giving away a 'Big Button Bow Brooch', a 'Flower Brooch', a 'Bird Lavender Bag', a pin cushion with a heart on and an Ice-Cream Key Charm that is slightly scented with lavender. 

So all you need to do is say "Hi" to me, either here or convo me through our Folksy or Etsy shops, Twitter, Flickr.......anywhere you happen to find us!  

I will announce the winner next Monday 21st June.  Good luck! 

Thursday, 10 June 2010

*BIG BAG SALE* and shameless advertising

I've decided to have a SALE over at my Folksy shop.
Basically I'm always sewing, making and creating (not always with fabric- sometimes papier- mache elephants!!) and I've now got into the situation where the unit where I work and my house are bulging at the seams. They are about to burst wide open with yummy fabrics, buttons, ribbons and trimmings, bag handles, wadding, phew I could go on and on. I have a million and one new bag and cushion ideas and I need to make room for them.

All my bags that I have put up for sale are made with lovely quality designer fabrics, the handles and magnetic clasps are from, they are all trimmed with velvet ribbons and all have some hand stitching or applique within the bag design. They are all extremely well made as I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to sewing and I have designed the patterns myself. I have reduced them from £47.00 to £35.00- they're a bit of a yummy bargain really.

Yummy bag number one with lovely bead handles.

Yummy bag number two with many gorgeous applique circles and knots.

Yummy bag number three with fun red knots.

Yummy bag number four with even more gorgeous applique circles and knots.

Please convo me if you would like any more details. They are all slightly different in size these details can be found over at folksy