Saturday, 31 October 2009

A very cute shop

Yesterday, I received a very pretty parcel in the post.
I have taken part in a few swaps with swap-bot and this is by far the best!
For those of you who don't know about swap-bot, it's an on-line community where you can swap all sorts of things, loads of 'crafty type' swaps going on.
I entered a Shop Swap - you get to find 2 new online shops and the people behind them and this parcel was from the lovely lady behind the first shop -Esther, who owns Essie's handcraft cuteness, this is currently only in Dutch at the moment but she also has a DaWanda shop for the rest of us.
Esther lives in the Netherlands and the name for her shop comes from her nickname, Essie.
Having always been a creative person, Esther likes to paint, draw, sew and design, and loves using cotton fabrics, wool, beads and felt.

Check out some of her beautiful products - this very talented lady makes t-shirts, bags, wallets, purses, bracelets and more!

I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful felt bracelet, a really well-made little purse and an Ipod Nano cover in such gorgeous fabrics and my favourite colours.

You can tell a lot of time and effort has gone into these with their professional finish and Essie clearly loves what she does - as she says:- 'Sewing is a kind of relaxation for me. When I sew I only have to think about the product I am making, while listening to the radio. It's fun to have a picture of something in your head and then make it into a product.'
Esther's handmade business began a few years ago when she started sewing little purses and wallets as gifts for friends. After getting many requests for more, Esther decided to open an online shop and Essie's handcraft cuteness was born.
And for the future? Esther says:
'I hope to spend more time designing and making new products and work a little less at my current day job. Ideally, I would work at my everyday job for 3 days and have 2 for my own business.' I'd say it won't be too long before she can do this!
If you like Essie's work as much as I do, then take advantage of the 10% discount Esther is currently offering - just leave 'Shop swap & blog' in the comment field.

So, even more delicious online browsing!!!

P.S. If you would like to take part in a swap, just visit Swap-bot and join in the fun!!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

And the winners are......

Okay, so all the names have been written on little pieces of paper and these were placed inside...not a hat....not a box even...but a bowl - and a bright pink one at that!
They were shaken and stirred and then with eyes tightly shut, our Floss picked out the three lucky winners one by one....
Winner number 1 who wins the felt pack is-
Winner number 2 who wins the huge button set is-
Winner number 3 who wins the polka dot buttons is-
TA DAH!!!!

Could the winners please email me ( with their addresses and Meagan, you need to choose the colour of the polka dot buttons you would like!!!

Congratulations to all and better luck next time to everyone else - I have decided to have an End of the Month Give-Away EVERY month as it was such good fun - many thanks to all those who dropped by and come back soon y'all. xx
p.s. must just add - although it says Thursday on today's post, it is actually Friday here - just realised the reason all my posting has been at odd times - I was on Californian time!! Wish I really was!!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

My creative space....

today has had a little makeover! Shelves have been tidied, jars straightened, papers filed.....
I needed another table in my little room (and it really is small, you know!) but where to put it? I ended up moving my Grandma's chest of drawers into the space under the stairs which is next to my room, which meant I could squeeze the table in which in turn meant virtually everything else had to be turned around!
I also commandeered the shelves in the space outside my room which had previously housed the dvds and cds but which of course, were just the perfect home for all my buttons-

Isn't it a funny thing - whenever you tidy a place, it tends to look a lot worse than it ever did, before it gets better!
Anyway, it looks lovely now. I took some more pics but my camera battery has just died!
See more creative spaces here.

Couldn't wait any longer - I am a bit impatient!!
Okay, so I am going to give away 3 things to all you crafty people out there!!

1 - the first person will get a full pack of my 71 colour 4" mini felt squares - a complete rainbow of felt in THE most gorgeous shades. Just think what you could do with all those colours!

2 - the second person will get a full set of the most HUGE buttons - you will get 12 - one of each colour - red, turquoise, pink, purple, white, yellow, black, chocolate, blue, navy, cream, and green!
and 3- some lucky person will get 60, yes 60 polka dot buttons and will be able to choose their colours from lime, soft orange, red, black, racing green, yellow, teal, aqua, royal blue, lilac, baby pink and candy pink. You could have all 60 in one colour or a mixture, it's up to you!

Good luck everyone!
All you need to do is leave a comment below and your names will be put in a hat (well probably a box actually) and Flossie will pull out the 3 lucky winners on Friday. x

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

What's Hot and what's Not.....

Joining in again with the lovely Loobylu.......

HOT is.....

1)Other people liking my new polka dot beauties almost as much as I do in their citrussy shades! Thank you - you know who you are!
2) The wonderful windy, drizzly Autumn days we are having at the moment - I just love the wildness of it all. Makes me want to twirl in the leaves with my hands above my head like a little kid!
Autumn Leaves Photograph by Nancy Mueller

3)That weird thing that happens when you have lots of things you have to do - you can then only think of the things you WANT to do! Whenever I have commissions (which is great) I make them whilst all the time dreaming of the other things I'm going to make the minute I have time! Does this happen to anyone else? Its like a kind of creative tease your mind plays on you.

4) Having a walk across the fields and into the woods with your husband alone for the first time in about 16 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ooooooh!!!!!!!

NOT is...

1) My poor 15 year old succumbing to the flu virus and turning from a tall, rangy, smiley, cheerful boy into a moaning, ghostly statue in his bed. Bit worried there for a time but now thanks to the anti-virals he seems to be returning to much more like his normal self! Thank goodness!

2) Our kettle - which is needed for tea-making at least a hundred times a day - breaking and shutting off the electricity not once but three times today. I have now resorted to a camping kettle on the gas stove but this means that wherever I am I have to drop everything and come running when the whistle blows!

3) Realising that even though 30 years have gone by, your sister can still wind you up the way she did when you were ten. Deep breaths......I am a grown-up......I am a grown-up.......xx

Click here to see more and to join in the fun!

Friday, 23 October 2009

WIPs and a bit of nursing...

Quick post as I have SO much to make today!!!

Thought you might like to see how the peg bag turned out - I'm really happy with it, it looks very like the initial idea in my head.
I am now in the middle of making 12 fabric brooches, hopefully some will be ready for tonight as I have been asked to bring some of my things to an evening houseparty, so we shall see.

I am slightly hampered by the presence of 2 sick children! My 15 year old son is upstairs two flights up in bed with this awful flu-ey virus feeling hot then cold, and Flossie (9) is on the sofa next door having come down this morning with the same thing. My 12 year old has gone back to school today having had 5 days off with the same thing!!!
So I will be playing nurse up and down stairs, sewing, and cutting and going ever so slightly mad!!!!!!!!!! x

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

My creative space....

Today I am joining in with kootoyoo and letting you have a little peek at my creative space.
There is much afoot in my little sewing many plans in my head, many many lists on the wall, and bits of paper with half scribbled sketches ready to become something wonderful when...........
there's time!
I am in a bit of a quandry at the moment - there are some items I have sold out of on my Craft Stall and I really need to make some more - but there are also so many plans for new things in my head that I am sooooo longing to get on with these..... isn't it always the way?
Today I am planning to combine the two just a little.
I am making peg bags - both in my usual design, but also in a design that I have planned for a while.

and while I work, this is the view from my desk...
Er.....hmmm....sorry about that - THIS is the view from my desk..
Cary is actually right in front of me as you can just about see in the photo above. And I'm sure his eyes follow me around the room....well, a girl's got to have a bit of inspiration!! x

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

What's HOT and what's NOT Wednesday!

Am joining the lovely Loobylu again with what's hot and what's not for me this week....

A little buzz of excitement..
I'm getting a really good feeling at the moment with what I'm making - that isn't to say that it's turning out great - it isn't actually, but I am soooo enjoying making. It's a kind of butterfly excited kind of feeling, like when you were a kid and you just couldn't wait to finish your dinner before getting on with the game you were playing. It's kind of the same - boring things like the ironing, and cooking the evening meal are just getting in the way at the moment.
Making a cosy home
I was only going to feed them this morning, but they looked so forlorn out there in the nippy Autumn chill that I dug out their indoor cage and after hunting for the paper and the sawdust, they are now happily installed in the utility room complete with blanket over the top at night!
It was strangely satisfying to make a little home for them. And they really did look happy.

I must add, they are my daughter's guinea pigs, and like I told her when we got them, she has to take care of them, I'm not having anything to do with them.........Hmmmmmm!

A big thank you
Flossie had a couple of days off school recently with a nasty virus. When she was better, she presented me with this lovely card to say thank you for looking after me. Inside, she wrote 'I am not entirely better but you have looked after me so well I feel a lot lot better' and she wanted to give me something for looking after her. Awwwh!
Out came this, beautifully wrapped in tissue. It was one of those teary mother moments I'm afraid, she had made it totally alone and it even had contrasting colour sides and some applique!!

The Dentist
Yes, I know, I can't believe it's there either!
This time last week, I had spent all week dreading a visit to the dentist. I was down for 'a good clean' and we would 'just have to get on with it' for the forty five minute appointment!!!!!
However, the lovely new hygienist was sooo gentle and understanding it only took twenty minutes and I could have hugged her when it was done. What a lot of worrying about nothing!! But such a relief when it's all over. Felt almost euphoric!!


Spider invasion
It must be the colder weather, but everywhere I go in our house at the moment, there is a spider. And no, it's not the same one, they are different sizes - I've checked!
Now, unless they are enormous, or running straight at me, I don't really mind them, but this is getting ridiculous - it is turning into a spider hotel. (Maybe I do need to vacuum a bit more often?!)
Turning inside out
I'm sure there is a technical term for this, but I mean turning legs and arms inside out, fairies ones, not mine. I have been attempting to make the fairy that has been on the cards for months, and after 3 attempts, I am nearly happy -
the only frustrating part is turning the little arms and legs the right way. In the end, I used one of my jewelry pliers but you have to be careful not to tear the material.
Cold tea
One of the downsides to getting carried away making things is that any cups of tea my other half makes me tend to get left until they are lukewarm or actually cold.
Then there is the dilemma - how to dispose of full cup of tea without him seeing and saying the very predicatable ' I'm not going to bother making you any more cos you never drink them...'
'Something's not quite right'
Having made the aforesaid 3 prototype Angel Fairies, there is still something wrong - the first, on the left, was far too 'girl about town' all she needed was a patent leather handbag and she'd have been off dancing the night away!
The second was more like it but a bit tall and thinner than I'd imagined.
The third, who insists on being called Sylvie, is much more how I thought she'd look, but there is still something 'not quite right'. I think I know what it is and I'm going to go now and revise it with Fairy number 4.
That is, if I can squeeze by the spiders. x

Monday, 19 October 2009

A start...

After a successful Craft Market on Saturday, during which I made my usual list of Things To Do This Week, I spent most of Sunday making pencil rolls and button charm bracelets.
From past experience, I have discovered that it's better to work in 5 or 6's than aim as I used to for making 10 of something.Not only do you risk falling entirely out of love with whatever it is you are making when you know you've still got another 5 to go, and you can start to feel like a craft 'factory' which is so not the point of handmade! But also, you might end up as I once did with 10 or 12 of one thing and nothing else!
So I now make in handy 5 or 6's . With the pencil rolls, I made 5 simply because in a spare moment last week, I had already cut the felt strips and had enough for 5!
I have altered my previous design and decided to try the rainbow inners in felt. You know by now my love of felt! and it's soft warmth really lends itself to being in a pencil roll. You can almost imagine the pencils sighing with relief as they are returned to their cosy pockets after a hard day's colouring!!
I'm really pleased with how they're turned out and have actually managed to list some already in the Etsy shop.
Having exhausted my stack of pre cut felt strips, I then turned to the button charm bracelets as the evening wore on..

I have no time to waste this week as I am absolutely determined to get a little bit more organised for the Christmassy fairs that are rushing towards me! Still haven't made any Christmas decorations but at least I'm on the way with the stocking of the craft stall!
I particularly love the Coffee and Cream charm bracelet, loving the different browns and creams.

But I also have a soft spot for the flowers as usual....
Actually, the LIME one is a delight too....

..nope, can't decide on a favourite - just love all the buttons!!!
Okay, I have to say it - my name is Tanya and I am a button-oholic!!!!! There I've said it - anyone else coming out?
The bracelets come gift-boxed and it is really satisfying to see them sitting ready in their smart boxes...
at least they're ready for Christmas even if I'm not!! x

Friday, 16 October 2009

A beautiful button post...

Yes your eyes are not deceiving you - the very popular RED polka dot buttons are BACK!!!!!
And not only that, my friends, they have brought some new cousins with them - may I introduce the AQUA polka dots....
the TEAL polka dots...the SOFT ORANGE polka dots...
and last but not least, the LIME polka dots!!!! Ta Dah!!!!!!!
Yes, I'm afraid I do feel a bit Ta-Dah-ry today - a bit like a magician pulling rabbits out of his hat, well buttons, not rabbits, obviously.
I am in rainbow heaven, surrounded as I am this morning by all this colour and all around yumminess.
There is more......
are you sitting down?.....Okay, I have the wonderful Spotty Dotty buttons in a smaller size, they are just the height of cuteness! Check this out-
these babies are half an inch (just under 1.5cm) in diameter and they are SO cute!
The eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted (sorry, couldn't resist!) a new colour peeping out there too. A lovely soft buttery yellow. I am in LOVE!!!!!
Sorry, the buttons are calling me now, I am just going to have to have a little play with all that colourful gorgeousness. And then there's the arranging - they need new jars, lots of jars, to be filled and gazed at lovingly......
In case you think I have completely lost it, I tell you there are lots of people out there in Crafty Land who would be exactly the same!! I know there are! ......Aren't there?! xOooh, nearly forgot to say! If you would like to share some of this yumminess, they will be in my shop and in my Etsy shop just as soon as I can get them there!!! You can always drop me a line if you have to have them NOW! I would understand completely!!!