Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas Presents!

Here are some of the things that kept me busy in the run up to Christmas...
 Amy necklace with star earrings

 Darrenosaurus Rex for my buddy "Dinosaur Darren"
 Three pairs of socks for my dad, mum and hubby
And a bunny for my sister. There are a few other bits, but I can't share them just yet!
I had a lovely relaxing Christmas, full of time with my lovely friends and family, and plenty of time for knitting - I have finished a pair of socks for myself, and I have done half a sock for a second pair. My stall is closed until next Wednesday (Jan 4th), and I'm taking the opportunity to have a rest. It's been a long time coming!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Some Info...


I am happy to report that all of my Christmas present shopping/making is done, and everything is wrapped and safely stashed under the tree, so all that's left to do now is enjoy the Festive Season. I will be keeping my online shops open over the festive period, but I will not be posting orders until 4th January, because it has been 15 months since I had a decent break so I am treating myself to a long Christmas holiday, starting on Christmas Eve afternoon. I will also be re-opening the stall on the 4th, and have some very exciting new designs coming in January! 
I will be back with pics of some finished stuff soon, including some of the presents that I've made, but I suspect this will be my last post before the Big Day, so I'm going to take this opportunity to wish all of my lovely followers a very Happy Christmas! Stay safe and be merry!xx

Busy Days...


It's been a busy week so far - my stall has been open every day and will be until Christmas Eve, so I've been   trying to have a relaxing time between customers so that I can start to get into the Festive Spirit myself! So I've been drinking lots of tea, and chatting away to customers and stallholders, and knitting things that I actually get to keep myself!


So I've been working on a second sock so that I have a pair to wear myself on Christmas day, as well as a second calorimetry, this time in the lovely pink that my pal Amy picked out for me when she was in Italy.

And I treated myself to something special today too - some gorgeous silver Fox studs from my lovely stall neighbours. The stall is run by a fabulous lady called Elaine, and her husband Philip makes the jewellery. They are a lovely couple, I've been very lucky to have such nice neighbours! 

 I am wearing my lovely new earrings now, they are really quite cute!
So that's been my busy week so far!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Knitting...

For the first time in ages my "to-do" list was short and easy to finish, so I decided to spend the day making something for myself. I've been admiring this pattern for ages, but I've never had the confidence, but since the short row knitting thing is deeply ingrained in my brain now from sock knitting I thought it would be do-able... so here it is, my very first calorimetry!!
It took most of the day, but I think it was worth it! And after giving it a test run in the cold, I can say that it is not only cute but jolly practical - It kept my ears warm, and didn't stress me out with my hair like a beanie type hat does. It may well have convinced me to keep my hair long too, and I have decided that it may well be the perfect project for using some gorgeous yarn that my buddy Amy bought for me in Italy. Obviously I will be making more of these things... My apologies for the photo quality (stupid dark British evenings).

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Makings...

I spent a quiet evening last night finishing socks for Christmas. I haven't been able to show most of my recent makings because I don't want anyone spotting anything they shouldn't, but these socks are for my parents and they won't peep...
These fancy stripey ones are for my dad, I finished them last night. I really hope he likes them! I am really looking forward to Christmas morning to find out what everyone thinks of their gifts!

At work this week I have a new design, some very snazzy goldfish. They are very cool!
I will be putting them on Etsy later this evening, but they are already on sale in my stall.
The Christmas crazy time of orders and personalised gifts is beginning to calm down a wee bit now, what with the passing of international postal dates and so on, so hopefully the six day week beginning on Monday will be a time for festive joviality with customers and other stall holders. I am still taking orders, and will be until Tuesday, but I think my sales now will mostly be existing stock. It's been a crazy couple of weeks, and I am starting to feel a little bit rough around the edges but I can't complain, I love to be busy, and I am remembering to make time to spend with my friends and family, which I think does me the world of good.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Shopping List Sunday

As I have mentioned, I have been busy making lots of goodies for my stall and Christmas presents for my gorgeous friends, so to get me in the mood for post-Christmas making, here is a bunch of yummy yarny goodness!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Another little bird...

I really do love making these little birds. This is the latest one - nice and bright! I love yellow.
He's on sale in my stall now, but I seem to be selling lots of them at the moment. I have another ten cut out ready for making over the next week.

My Creative Space

My creative space this week is a little bit difficult to share, because it consists of Christmas presents for my friends and family, plus orders which are presents for people who might read my blog...It's been a crazy couple of weeks.
So I have been buried under a pile of work, none of which I can share. But I can share this - my one little project for me, which I have been working away at every time I get a spare moment. I really love this chevron pattern, it's so pretty!
I finished my "to-do" list this morning so this afternoon I am going to be working on Christmas presents for my lovely friends. I'm going to take photographs of everything when I've finished so I can share it all after Christmas!
For some inspiring spaces pop on over to Our Creative Spaces!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Flea Market Finds

My flea market find this week is this sweet little chap...I had one of those moments where I just knew that he had to come home with me!
Today we have been decorating our Christmas tree, it is looking jolly festive in our living room, so I am planning to spend this evening reading "Atonement" by fairy light and drinking tea.
For more flea market finds pop on over to see Sophie Isobel

Saturday, 3 December 2011

New Flowers

Last night was the first milestone in the countdown to Christmas - the lovely little town that I live in has an annual event called "Christmas Live", where the town is filled with little stalls and fairground rides and entertainment. Unfortunately I missed out on the outside festive frivolity because my stall stayed open late, but I had a lovely time chatting to the cheery revellers and I am told that it was a fabulous evening. Today was the Christmas Parade through the town, and again, my stall was open, so I didn't get out to see the fancy floats, but the festive cheer is contagious and I am feeling immersed in the Christmas spirit. So to keep myself busy today I made some new crocheted flower brooches because they are always a big seller in the winter months.
Lots of people buy them to brighten up dark coloured winter coats so I have made them bright and cheerful because we are in full winter-mode right now. This evening I am relaxing after spending twelve hours in the stall yesterday - we have watched "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 2)", and now we're onto "The Fifth Element", and while I am working on my crochet chevron blanket, my hubby is sorting through a huge box of original 80's "Star Wars" figures and vehicles that we picked up from our favourite charity shop tonight. I fancy making myself an Ewok brooch but I'm not sure if I can liberate him unnoticed from the pile of figures...

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

New Makings...

Today I made some more little fabric birds...And some Hedgehog Cufflinks...
and some Dachshund brooches...
And now I'm tired!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Flea Market Finds

This sweet little guy came home with me on Thursday. He was on a shelf in one of my favourite charity shops and my thrifty shopping partner-in-crime Vicky absolutely insisted that he must be mine (I took so much convincing of course...), and since it was her birthday I couldn't refuse her! He really is a cutie!
He is currently sat with my collection of deers and other kitsch little creatures, but the permanent home that they need has not been located as yet. I'm sure the perfect shelf or cupboard will find it's way to me eventually!
For more Flea Market Finds pop over to see Sophie Isobel

Saturday, 26 November 2011

New Makings...

I've been really busy lately! I had a very long day yesterday, going straight from the stall to a Christmas Fair, I took a selection of my work and sold quite a bit, but most importantly I got to chat to some new people, and have hopefully gained a few customers for the stall. Yesterday was a big day for fabric birds - I sold three robins and two regular fabric birds, and then another fabric one sold this morning, so I had some making to do this morning...
These are my newest birds, they are all so pretty. I thought some nice bright colours would be fun! They are all on sale in my stall now, but I suspect that I will be needing to make some more next week, there has been a fair bit of interest in them already!
I also had some laser cutting to do earlier in the week, so I made a new bunny brooch - a white rabbit. I am going to see the Alice In Wonderland exhibition in Tate Liverpool at some point soon so it seemed fitting to make a White Rabbit.
I also made some greyhound brooches - up to now I have been making them to order and just selling them on etsy, but I decided to put some in the stall too. They are so cute!
So I have been pretty busy making things for the stall, so tomorrow I am planning to spend some time on my chevron blanket!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

My Creative Space

I don't know if this is so much a Creative as an UnCreative space. I am confessing. The time has come where I have to acknowledge that I have a problem. I keep starting projects and not finishing them. I know I am not alone, so I am sharing the evidence in the hope that this will be the incentive to finish some of this stuff.
There are all the usual excuses - not having time, projects that are more pressing (Christmas presents for example), and work related crafty projects that take priority. Some of these are valid points, but there are also less valid reasons - "oooh a new pattern to try", and "oooh, look at this lovely yarn", and "I want to learn to make....(insert project here)".
So this is my stash of unfinished stuff. There are also Christmas socks and a chevron blanket and a rag rug....It is quite clear that I have some kind of addiction. Some of these projects are close to finished, just needing ends woven in or edging, but some are in a less complete state. So here is a list of the unfinished projects (hanging my head in shame...)
  • stripey blanket (about 3/4 done, but will need edging)
  • socks (for me - one down, one to go)
  • African Flower Hexagon blanket (each hexagon needs a white edge and then joining)
  • Bear ear Scarf (not even a little bit near to finished)
  • Fox hat (again, just about started)
  • Stripey cushion cover (Second of two, back done, just needs the front and a zipper)
  • Rectangular rag rug (a long way to go yet...)
  • Granny square pile (completely without purpose)
  • Large granny square blanket (needs ends weaving in and edging)
  • Blue/white/ red granny square blanket (ends need weaving in)
  • And two embroidery projects that need finishing and a purpose
So that's it. No more new projects. I mean it this time. All of this stuff will be finished before I start anything new. I have Christmas socks to finish, and a couple of other bits for presents, but there's nothing new for me. I really mean it. I'm going to start small with things like edging and weaving in, but I really am going to finish this stuff. Honestly. I really am going to try....
For lots of other creative spaces, pop on over to Our Creative Spaces!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Chevron Blanket

After weeks of knitting socks for Christmas, I needed a lovely crochet project to stop me from getting the sock-crazies. I couldn't quite work out what that project would be - I'm already working on a rag-rug, and African Flower Hexagons, but I just had that feeling that I needed something new. So I have started a chevron blanket...
I am using the lovely pattern from The Royal Sisters blog. I am up to 20 rows now, and it's got a nice fresh feeling that is lovely on the cold wintry days that we're having here in grey old England. I really do need to get on and finish some of these other projects though, I am hopeless.

New Fabric Birds

I've been busy making Robins for weeks, but last week I sold two of my regular fabric birds so I thought I'd better make some new ones! I have eight cut out ready to stitch, and these are the first two!
They will be on sale on Friday, and I will be making more soon. Tomorrow I will be busy working on Christmas socks whilst drinking lots of tea with my lovely friend for her birthday, and I am so looking forward to a day off!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Magazine Feature!

I had a lovely visitor to my stall on Saturday - a very sweet lady called Verity, who writes for Craftseller magazine. Verity was responsible for my first feature in Craftseller issue 2, and contacted me last month to ask about online selling, specifically packaging, and on Saturday she brought up the feature for me to see! It is included in the little booklet "Dos and Don'ts of Selling On Etsy" which will be with issue 5, which I believe is released tomorrow! So here's a sneaky peep at my little quote, with a photograph of my star earrings...
It's so exciting!
My star earrings are on Etsy as well as in my stall. They've been pretty popular so far! I have been busy working on a stand for my earrings over the last week, one of the other stall holders passed along a metal stand that she didn't need any more, and it was in need of a little bit of TLC, so I decided to wrap in with yarn!
I think it looks pretty! So I've put out all of my button earrings, and the bottom two rows will be for stars and hearts. I have been making lots of stock this morning so I will be busy gluing and packaging everything tomorrow!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Flea Market Finds

I'm a little late with my Flea Market Finds this week because yesterday I found myself wandering around Tate Modern. But that's another story. So here are my finds from last Monday (it's hard to believe it's been a week, where is the time going?!), two very kitsch ducks and a very sweet little deer!
All found on my trip to Wolverhampton last week, the ducks were from a charity shop (£1 each) and the deer (50p) was on a market stall. The deer is a little pepper pot, and I can't help but wonder what happened to her sister the salt shaker? I hope she is safe and treasured somewhere!
I am starting to think that I need some kind of display solution for all of my little ceramic sweeties. I am considering some kind of corner unit for the living room wall. Bless my sweet husband who continues to accept my increasing collection of kitsch ornaments with his usual good humour. I am a lucky lady indeed.
For more Flea Market Finds pop on over to see the lovely Sophie Isobel!

Public Service Announcement!!

A bit of a boring admin type of post, but I have just updated my Etsy shop with the last postal dates from the UK if you would like parcels to arrive before Christmas, but please be aware that I may need to actually make the item for you so if you have shopping plans, I would advise ordering sooner rather than later!!

International Airmail
Mon 5th December - South & Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Far East (including Japan), Australia and New Zealand
Fri 9th December - Eastern Europe, USA and Canada
Mon 12th December - Western Europe

UK folks have a wee bit longer, up to the 14th December for Standard Parcels, and 23rd December for Special Delivery, but I suspect that will cost a fortune. Same applies here - I may need time to get stuff made so the sooner the order the better!

Friday, 18 November 2011

My Busy Day

This was how my work bench looked yesterday...
I was busy making lots of orders!
Just a taster of how much I've made over the last few days. I'm worn out!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Busy Days!

The last couple of days have been packed full of shenanigans, so my apologies for the quietness on the blog front!
I spent Sunday in London, helping out husband with a sixth-form trip. There were 35 students (all 16/17 years old), five teachers and little old me. It was a really good day, we took them down to Seven-Dials, gave them maps and a check list and sent them off to explore. So we all went for cups of tea sat outside in Covent Garden, then went for a walk along the South Bank, and then back up to Seven-Dials for 3pm to meet the students, via a French Patisserie for Macaroons and yummy pastry. While we waited for all of the students to arrive, I popped down to Magma (one of my favourite shops ever!!) and picked up a gorgeous Lucie Ellen "Sidney the Dachshund" brooch and a new Soop ring with a cute little ginger kitty!
So cute! We took the students down to Trafalgar Square, then down to Westminster, and on to Buckingham Palace. After safely checking all of the students into their hotel at 7.30, I went to dinner with hubby and the other teachers, to our favourite Turkish restaurant Tas, which is just down by the British Museum. It was a lovely day! We came home in the evening, since hubby had to be in school the next morning (the other teachers and the students got to stay on until Monday), and I was tucked up in bed at about 1.30am.
So after five hours sleep, we got ready to head to Wolverhampton to get hubby to school. I went along for the morning because I had a hospital appointment in the afternoon.
I started the day with a huge cup of tea, and spent the rest of the morning wandering around the charity shops, market, junk shops and little independent shops in the city centre. I got a couple of sweet little things that I am saving to show off in my Flea Market Finds later in the week, as well as some more sock yarn (I'm addicted!) and some books.
I had lunch in the Wolverhampton Art Gallery cafe, which was delightful, and started reading "Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger, which is pretty intriguing so far! Today I am resting up after the hospital appointment, which to quote the nurse, was a "MOT MRI". I'm fine but my left arm is a bit messed up from the dye injection I had to have. So knitting, crochet and anything else that involves using two hands at once is out today. So I think I will be spending the rest of the day reading. Doesn't seem too bad really!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Stall-iversary!

Today has been a lovely happy day - my one year stall-iversary! I can't believe that a whole year has passed since I opened my stall, the time has flown by! I had lots of lovely visitors and have had strangers congratulate me and then explain that they follow me on facebook - it's so nice to meet such sweet people! I had some cards and presents too, which was so totally unexpected - it's been an overwhelming day. I took in some little apple pies for everyone, to share the happiness, and it's been a genuinely wonderful day.
Opening Day 13th November 2010

This evening I have reflected on the last year - it has been utterly astounding - I've had some crazy times, lots of ups and a couple of downs. I've learned a lot about myself, made some friends that I hope I will keep for life, and become much more assertive - over the last couple of weeks I have had to defend my little business with more assertiveness than I thought I had in me, and although that was tough I know that I, and my business, will be stronger for it.
Happy 1st Birthday Card from the lovely ladies at Siop Cwlwm

So with all of that, I want to thank everyone that has helped out so much over the last year - everyone that has encouraged me, provided opinions on new designs, listened to my over-excited rambling and my little moans, and parted with hard-earned cash in exchange for my work. It's been an amazing journey so far, and I am so excited to see what is in store for the next year!! Thanks again folks, from the bottom of my heart.

It's been a busy week!

Some of the highlights from a jolly busy week...
I made some Flamingo earrings to match the brooches that I already had! So kitsch!
And I made the "Nadolig Cyntaf 2011" baubles for Siop Cwlwm, plus a customised "Ioan" version, and special new cufflinks...
Tractors! They made their debut last night at a Fair in Llanrhaeadr, which was a Young Farmers Event, so Tractors were the perfect thing to take along! This was my table at the event, I took lots of lovely things along so hopefully people got a little taster of what I make.
And of course, the obligatory photograph of me behind my stall. It has to be done I suppose!
A shiny bit of publicity too; a fantastic interview in one of the local papers with Lowri from Siop Cwlwm, featuring a pic of my baubles! Lowri has been very supportive, we collaborate quite often now, and she is delightful!
So it's been quite a hectic week, but so much fun!