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.