Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tigerlily Makes...

Well, the small person started Big Big School today.  How can she be old enough to go to high school already?  It's all gone to quickly.

Anyway, normal routine can resume - whatever normal routine was...  I've been having some technical glitches (computer crashing when I try to use any photographs) so this won't be a long post, but i just had to share.

Tigerlily Makes is moniker of local feltmaker Lisa.  She has just moved to a new craft unit where she will be running not just felt-making workshops, but inviting other textile bods to come and teach their technique to people.  And if you follow this little linkette you'll see that yours truly is to be counted amongst these talented people.

You may have seen some of my campervan canvases before on my blog, Flickr, Facebook, etc.  Well I shall be teaching how to make one of these appliqued panels but with a twist.  Using photo transfer techniques, we'll be personalising the pictures so that the faces of your choice will be smiling out through the windscreen.  If you've always fancied owning a van but could never afford it well here's the next best thing.

The workshop is on Sunday 13th November, so plenty of time to finish this and possibly make more for Christmas presents.  It will held in Lisa's studio at Curborough Craft Centre near Lichfield and includes tea/coffee and scrummy cake plus all the materials you will need.


If you are interested then click on the link and contact Lisa directly to make your reservation.

Right.  I'm going to quit while I'm ahead ie before the computer crashes again.  Will post again very soon with news of my latest craft show, plans for a future one and the results of my dying session (Mmmmmm....).


Thursday, 25 August 2011

Step back in time.

So, after a busy few weeks of travelling to Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Devon again I am finally home again, and trying to catch up with stuff.  Suddenly there is an awful lot to do and it's not that easy with a small person on hols from school.  To be fair she's been here, there and everywhere this week so I have had quite a bit of time on my own.  It's then that other factors have managed to stop me from working.

I desperately need to complete a sample canvas for Lisa so she can promote our workshop but just when I thought I'd got it licked my black thread started shredding in the machine. 

It was cheap rubbishy stuff but buying a reel of decent thread meant a trip to Hobbycraft, which meant filling the van up with diesel - a costly affair which I've been trying to put off as long as possible.  Anyhoo, I needed some white DK to finish my latest hookie blankie as well, so double the excuse for a trip to Tamworth.  Yay!

The only problem was I had to wait for kidlet to finish at her skateboarding workshop.  So to while away the time I decided to dig out my procion dyes and have a play.  I soaked a load of lace trims and fabric scraps in some soda crystals and hot water for a while.  Then I mixed up a few pots of random colours and splodged.  All highly technical don't you know.

At the moment the trays are just sitting on the side.  I'm not timing them or anything.  I'm probably just going to put them out of the way 'til tomorrow, and I'll rinse and dry them as a treat when I've finally completed my VW bus panel.

I do love the colours in this one.  The purple is actually Reactive Blue but with the yellow and turquoise as well...ZING!!

I've had a request for a couple of brooches/badges/pins/call 'em what you will.  So while I was making 2 I thought I may as well make a whole batch ready for Whittington.  The order was for a '6' for a special someone's birthday next month.  It's cotton appliqued onto felt, made up with my magic machine and then delica beads stitched on by hand afterwards - a fiddly job but they do look lovely..

Here is a selection of the other ones I made.  I can do any letter, number or simple shape you like.  Colour choice can also be specified.  These ones without beading are £3.95 each.  They are 38mm wide.

I also made some more simple badges from a book that's one of my childhood favourites - Milly Molly Mandy.  There's MMM, Billy Blunt, Little Friend Susan,  The Little Girl Jessamine,  muvver and farver to name but a few of the characters featured.  These are £1.25 each - also 38mm across.  I'll be listing them on Folksy/etsy soon but if you're interested then you can contact me through my blog, Facebook, email or any other means you possibly have access to.

Right.  I'm going to tackle the sewing machine again.  Maybe this time I'll get it finished.


Monday, 1 August 2011

Hip, hip - hooray!

I've sold a Silly Girl!

Yay!  Bye-bye b&w.  She's winging her merry way to a new home in Scotland.  Hope she'll have a lovely time up there and she tries not chase too many haggis.


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Okies.  I'm having a bit of a re-organisation of blogs, shops and all things web-based.  This blog will now be devoted to 'stuff what I've made'.  All my wafflings and ramblings about the rest of my life will be on my other blog - Witterings of a Land-Locked Beach Bum'.  Hopefully this will mean I will get my proverbial in gear and post more regularly about all things creative.  Then the travels and adventures during the school hols can be added to the other one as and when.

The other thing I've done is to jazz up the Folksy and etsy shops a bit.  I've added my new banner

to both shop fronts.  Hope you like...

I've added some bits and bobs to the Folksy shop and will be stocking up the etsy one ASAP.  I was shocked to see that I've been registered with etsy for 3 years+ and have never actually old anything.  That's probably something to do with only ever having listed 2 items for sale.  :)  Well all that is now going to change.  No more excuses.  No more pussy-footing around.  Organisation is the word of the day.

Here's a wee peek at what I've been working on recently.  As well as making and selling through the online outlets and at craft fairs, I really want to get some workshops up and running.  These appliqued canvases are hopefully going to feature in a workshop I do for a local craft outlet.  More info soon.  I'm soooooo excited to be working with this lovely lady.  I'll let you know as soon as all the details are finalised.

A funky bay window camper van in psychedelic green floral print.  How much would I love this as a full-sized, real-life bus??

 Or there's the more traditional red split screen camper.  Super cute and instantly recognisable.  This one is applied to an old linen dress of kiddie's which had the floral print around the bottom.  It just looked like a flowery meadow - perfect to park the van in.

Right.  Off to do more sorting.  I'll be back as soon as I've got etsy updated.


Saturday, 23 July 2011

I've been a busy little bee in the last few weeks.  I've had meetings and done a craft fair and I've been designing workshops and listing stuff on Folksy and trying to fit some 'making' time in amongst all this.  And then my darling OH asks when I'm going to actually make some money. :-S  Got to love him.

So here are some of the little gems (you may have seen before) that I've got listed in my shop.  I have just a handful of Silly Girls left but more can be made to order if you have a specific colour requirement.  I also do them as a bridge and groom for wedding keepsakes.  I will try and post a picture but if you're desperate to see what they look like NOW then head over to my Flickr photo album for a peek.

I still have a few flower brooches left too.  There are roses, daffodils and these tulips.  All done in silk ribbon embroidery with perle cotton stems.  Again, I can do any of these in a myriad of colours, to match a wedding outfit perhaps....? 

The background felt could be a different colour too.  Your choice. 

So, I mentioned I'd done a craft fair...  My first one in 3 years.  THREE YEARS!!!  I can't believe it.  Anyway, someone I know has arranged this one to raise funds for Cancer Research UK so I thought 'why not?'  It was only £15 for a stall and most of that was going to the charity.

Thus ensued a frantic week of gathering together stock, making a bit more stock, deciding which workshops to launch first, writing leaflets for said workshop, planing a table layout to make sure I had enough goodies...  And that's before I even got there.


On the day I had a 'glamorous assistant' to help me.  I don't know if it's quite what she'd envisaged as it was not very busy, but in the quieter moments I taught her to crochet so all was not lost.  I gave the kiddie one of my softie teabags as her wages as she'd been asking (nagging) for one all day.  She crocheted a cup and saucer bed for it, a sugar cube stool and a spoon.  Bless.  She was so pleased with herself and didn't need too much help at all.  She picked up the concept of a slip stitch quite easily and, while her tension leaves a lot to be desired, it is improving with each thing she creates.

Of course, 'the best laid plans...'never work out.  When we arrived I'd added quite a few items to my stock since "the kitchen table layout trial" so nothing would fit properly.  Kiddie was trying to help but I ended up getting a bit tetchy with her too.  :-(  It all got sorted in the end though and we did have quite a nice day.

I didn't make a fortune but I didn't make a loss either so that's something.  And I did make a great contact with a venue in the middle of Lichfield where they want me to run workshops no charge.  I can use their room and charge whatever I like for the classes.  They'll help promote and just make sales from their coffee and homemade cake.  What a joy!  Just need to tweak some of my ideas for hand sewing rather than machining but other than that...no brainer.

Right.  We're now off to play dodge the rain at Alrewas Canal Festival.  This beautiful village, about 7 miles from Lichfield, is where I spent my first 17 years of life.  I still pop back, usually to The George and Dragon pub after Morris dancing practice, and love it despite all the changes.  Maybe it's growing up here, where the River Trent and the Trent and Mersey Canal briefly merge, that has given me my love for water.  My childhood was filled with walks by the canal, paddles in the canal, catching tiddlers,  photographing flooded water meadows, dreaming of travelling in a narrow boat.  I do miss it now.  Oh well.  Enough musing.  I'm going to go and see the real thing.


Thursday, 14 July 2011

Phoenix from the ashes...

"Here we go again..."  You may well be thinking just that and rightly so.  This time I'm going for it!  Properly!  Stock is accumulating.  Craft fair stalls are being booked.  And workshops are being prepared.  Take a look at this:

Starting in September I will be running a series of workshops in the comfort of my own workroom. There is room for up to 6 people around the table. All fabrics, threads, embellishments, tea, coffee and cake will be provided. Just bring along your enthusiasm (and possibly a sewing machine) and prepare to have some fun.

I will be covering a wide range of techniques including crochet, patchwork (both machine and hand stitched),
appliqué, doll-making and the dreaded ‘C’ word rears it’s ugly head but it’s never to early to start stitching for Christmas! Stockings are already on the list of planned classes and advent calendars will be added very soon.

In addition to these I am holding a less structured session on a Wednesday afternoon. Over the years I have learned a wide range of textile-related techniques including hand and machine embroidery, felt-making, printing and dyeing. The one thing I miss about college is having like-minded people to bounce ideas off. So, Wednesday afternoons will be ‘play sessions’ where we can work on our own projects, gain inspiration from others and learn new techniques as we wish.

Finally, if there is something you’ve always had a hankering to learn then ask me and I will do my best to help. If you have a few friends that are just as keen I can arrange a one-off class especially for your group.

So there you go.  These classes have been announced on Facebook today so now I've just got to sit and wait for the rush of bookings :-).

I'm also taking some leaflets and booking forms to my FIRST CRAFT FAIR IN TWO YEARS on Saturday.  "Craft fair?  But where is that being held?" I hear you cry.  Well, it's this Saturday 16th July from 10.00am 'til 4.00pm at Wade Street Church Hall in Lichfield, and it's to raise money for Cancer Research UK so it's for a VERY good cause to boot.  Seriously though, click on the link for full details.  There's a map of where to find it and a contact phone number for the organiser in case you get lost.  Of course you may want to stand yourself so you could give her a call to see if there's any space left.


Monday, 4 April 2011

Selling Stuff

Well at long, long last "ethel and edna" are selling some goodies.  The Facebook page has proved to be a success - so far anyway.

To begin with it has been friends, who I see regularly but have never seen my wares, that have bought items but I am also getting interest via the other pages I have 'liked'.  I was a little unsure how to cope with the business side of things.  An online shop package is just too much of an outlay at the moment - in terms of cash and time to set it up.  So I've gone back to etsy.  The fees are cheaper than an eBay shop and now you can run your whole etsy set-up in your own currency.  etsy convert back to Dollars for their payments and so on, but UK sellers can choose to list all their stock, P&P, etc in Sterling.  MUCH easier to get my head round.

At the moment I've only got 2 items listed (THAT bit still takes a while to do no matter what currency you're working in) but I can do a custom listing for any item.  I have several photo albums on my Facebook and I'm adding more all the time.

I've now got commissions for 4 custom Silly dolls, 2 art dolls and a cushion.

So we'll see how it goes.


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The dreaded Facebook

At last - as you can see from the box on the right - "ethel and edna" have a Facebook page.  :o)

A customer at work was telling me about her craft business and about how many more orders she gets via her Facebook page than through her own website or etsy, Folksy, etc. 

Well, as I seem to spend half my waking hours on the dreaded FB I thought there's no harm in giving it a go.  I've gradually been adding photos of all the things I've made in the past (quite a scary task - I hadn't realised just what a busy girl I'd been!).  I just need to set up some way of enabling people to actually see prices and order stuff.  I really don't want a 'proper' shop website as that would be yet another thing to manage.  I don't have enough time to monitor and update my blog properly let alone a website.

I will have to borrow The Brain Cell from work (we have a shared one and take it in turns to use it!!) and give it some thought.


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Nightmare Before Valentine's Day Swap

OK so Valentine's Day was quite a while ago now, but I didn't want to post these pics until I knew Sara had received her goodies in the post.  Sara at Kitty Eden was my partner in this swap and her hints/guidelines/preferences were...

Fave Tim Burton film:
  can't decide between Alice in Wonderland or Nightmare Before Christmas

Fave colours
   red and blue

Well there could only be one choice really...


I've wanted to make an Alice doll for such a long time and here she is complete with stripey legs, frilly pinny and key in her pocket.

I also put in some red and blue crafty goodies in red and blue lidded jars (get me!), and of course some Valentine chocolatey goodness.

And a Queen of Hearts pincushion made with red roses fabric (no painting required) and studded with pins with heart-shaped heads.  Cute as...

 Hope she liked it all.  It was a fab swap to get me back into the swing of things and I wasn't even too late for me.

This is my first proper day off in what seems like ages but hopeully now I'll be able to get a bit more organised.  I am bursting to share our latest bit of news but you'll have to wait for now.


Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Goodies Number 1

Kiddie decided she wanted to make pudding of some kind after Sunday lunch.  She didn't want any help - she was adamant so we left her to it.  After a while (and a couple of hiccups) she came back in the room with these little babies.

The photos don't really do them justice.  She'd made choclate cupcakes with bright red (?) butter cream and edible glitter (glitter with everything - it's a must).  But... because I'm trying to lose weight she'd made me 2 teeny weeny ones in petit fours cases so I didn't miss out but didn't fall off the wagon. Hopefully it won't make any difference tonight - Tuesday night weigh-in!

Goodies Number 2

Stash.  Stash!!  STASH!!  STASH!!!  My fabric stash has grown somewhat this weekend which can never be a bad thing.  :o)

A bundle of 24 fat quarters has found it's way into my bag and is heading up the stairs to The Spare Room as we speak.

On Sunday we visited 'Stitches' at the NEC.  That's main annual trade show for needlecrafts, knitting wools, fabrics and 'habby'.  One of our suppliers is branching out into patchwork fabrics and we bought some to see how it goes.  Some of the designs are fab.  Very 'Cath-like'.  And there are some really cute mini prints too.

Bundles of 4 FQs are in our shop for £8.95 but they won't be there for long.  Tomorrow afternoon is the next P & Q workshop and I would imagine our band of new enthusiasts will be stash-building too :o)

Goodies Number 3

Shhhh.  Don't tell OH but I've bought " ANOTHER new book!!.."  Our bargain book shop in Lichfield is brilliant.  SOmehow they manage to get stocks of some of the most recent craft books at stupidly cheap prices.  This one was a fiver and while I've never noticed it before, I thought it would be brill for more fund raising projects for The Tribute Fund.  I shall sit and peruse...

Other books I've bought VERY recently have included the Tilda books by Tone Finnanger.  And all are £5 or £6!!  My arms are several inches longer due to the weight of my bags when I leave the shop!

Right.  Must go and get ready for work.

Next time - once I got the nod that the parcel has arrived - I'll be 'doing a reveal' of my return to blog swaps.  The Nightmare Before Valentine's Day swap organised by Apryl was fab fun.  I'll show you what I made and sent and, when it arrives, show you what I received.  Excited!  :o)


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The first of many...

...in a long line of projects I've dabbled with since last we spoke.  Apologies for the fact that you need to be lying on your side to look at the photos.  If you've got a laptop on the sofa or in bed then no probs.  If you're like me and have a PC on a desk I'm imaging you now - cheek on the tabletop, nose on the space bar.  :o)

These two babies were made for my neice and nephew as christening gifts.  Well I was going to be God-Mummy and I hadn't got a clue what to get in the gift department.  I wanted to get them something that would last and hopefully they would keep for a long time.  All the china cups and money boxes and stuff are not really 'my thing'. 

Kiddie received several (for which I am very grateful - before anyone gets upset (o:  ) but they do gather dust somewhat and once she was out of the Winnie the Pooh stage they weren't really in keeping with her room.  I didn't want to use said mugs and bowls for fear of breakages, but sadly they will be relegated to boxes in the loft.

Maybe these quilts will.  Who knows...


I wanted to do very pretty and girly for my neice but she wasn't an ickle baby so it had to suit 'a big girl'.

A few ditsy prints and some polka dots seemed to fit the bill quite nicely.  I did squeeze some pink in there but also lilac and that scrummy appley, leafy Spring green to stop it from being too babyish.

Apparently on the night of The Big Event a very tired girl would not go to sleep until she had her new blankie to cover her up.  Result!

My baby bruv and SiL wanted to hang the quilts on the kids' bedroom walls to keep them nice. 


They had strict instructions that they must be loved and snuggled and squished and used.

My nephew was not a baby either.  He was most definitely an active little chap (who really didn't want to hang around while some woman in a long white frock poured water over his head!!).  Pale baby blue would not be right.  This one called for bright colors.

My brother and his wife are as nuts about the South West coast as me.  In fact they are actually young and fit enough to don the neoprene and catch a few waves.  So a seaside/coastal/beach theme seemed quite apt.  They have a camper van and tent which they use quite a bit so I decided to make a quilt to suit.

Sand, dunes, fish and of course BUSES!  Perfect.

So there we have it.  A bit of what I've been up to.  There's much more to share but I won't hit you with it all in one go.  Slowly slowly...

I've practised uploading photos again (and I've changed to the new Blogger posting method).  Just need to remember to rotate the flipping photos before uploading them and I'll be sorted!


Here we go again...

err... a very tentative 'hello'.

I'm scared to say it but I think I'm back. Only one year and one month later 'normal' service has hopefully been resumed.

To wrap it all up very quickly - hub was out of work for 11 of the past 18 months but in December he started a new job which (fingers, toes and everything else crossed) is much better and will (hopefully) last. He is much happier there and has settled in really well. Phew!

So the PC is mine again. The house is mine again (on the days I'm not at work). And inbetween housework I can squeeze some crafting and blogging. Did I get that the right way around?

I have actually been keeping my hands busy while I've been away. I had to do something to keep me sane. :o) Photos will follow but - as Miranda's mum would say - "Bear with. Bear with".

Apart from hooking and quilting and shimmying and stick-bashing I've created a new blog.
I really must be stupid to go from no bloggin to running two and contributing to a third but - hey ho - I think it's called hitting the ground running.

My new one is about my sponsored weight-loss programme (aarrgghh!! that phrase). I need to lose many pounds so I thought I'd donate some of them to charity. Have a quick lookie over there and all will be revealed.

The blog I contribute to is the blog for the shop where I work - Staffordshire Needlecraft Centre. It's a place to keep our customers up to date with new stock, workshops and so on. We are developing a mail order side to the business so we can send stuff through the post. Patchwork fabric, haberdashery, wool, lace, trims, buttons.... you name it.

Anyway, enough of that.

I'm off to grab some breakfast then it's back to sorting out the chaos that is The Spare Room. HQ is in a bit of a state since I acquired some new drawers for my patchwork stash. I'll take some piccies of that too so I can brush up my rusty blogging skills. How do you upload photos again....?