Monday, 30 November 2009

Busy busy busy....AND A GIVEAWAY!!!

Yes, it's all going on here at the moment. So many things to do....
Of course that's good. And also a little worrying- I don't really like that little panicky nagging feeling that I have 168 things to do and only five minutes to do it all in!
I spent the whole weekend at the local craft market as it was the Christmas market and the local lights were switched on. A big Hello to all the lovely people who came and saw us all there. There was a good atmosphere - we even had mulled wine to warm us!
I took a basketful of Pipples along to join in the fun. I did let them out when we got there - they were starting to squabble as they were a little squashed!

They absolutely loved seeing all the people - although I couldn't bring myself to leave them alone on the Saturday night and had to bring them home with me!

Lost it? What is that you say? Hmmm, maybe never had it!!!

I've also made some new baby Pipples and they are so cute!! Read more about the Pipples here.

Now onto the end of November GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I enjoyed last month's giveaway so much that I'm going to try and do it at the end of every month.
This time, there will be another THREE giveaway gifts -
1) BECAUSE THEY WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY - a whole handful of smiley face buttons, 6 yellow, 6 pink and 6 turquoise happy smiley little faces for you!
20 sheets of felt in 9" squares this time and YOU get to choose the colours - from all of these!!!
and 3) BECAUSE IT'S NEARLY CHRISTMAS - 20 gorgeous polka dotty spotty star buttons -
choose colours from blue, orange, yellow, green, purple and pink.
How will you choose?
To enter simply leave a comment at the end of this post. There you are - lovely crafting bloggy people - my Christmas gift to 3 of you at least! xx

Friday, 27 November 2009

Creating ........

is a peculiar process sometimes, don't you find?
For a long time now, I have wanted to make something that had a personality.
A little life of its own.

Something I could grow a little bit fond of.

Something I could maybe make lots of and they would look cute together.

I tried dolls at first. And fairies.

But there was something wrong with the scale. And the fact that there are lots of doll creatures out there.
Then I thought about teddies,
but there are even more teds than dolls I think. Then rabbits, mice, monkeys, even snakes.

Nothing felt quite right.
Then the other day, whilst messing about with a sock, and squeezing it and filling it with just the right amount of filling, I almost accidentally made a creature.
This creature looked up at me with soulful eyes, willing me to make some friends for it, and stared even more soulfully at the lovely new wool I had put to one side for the day I finally learn to crochet. The very expensive wool than was meant to be a beautiful crocheted blanket. Or something.
But the little creature was cold. It really needed a scarf. Out of the lovely new wool. And so I gave in.
Then Flossie came in. She exclaimed and LOVED the creature so much that I gave it to her. So then I had to make some more.
What were the creatures called? she asked. I'm not sure, I replied. They're a bit like people, but not.
They're Pipples then, she said, matter-of-factly, like the wise child that she is.
And so the Pipples arrived.
Every day a few more arrive.
They are very friendly creatures and don't take up much room.
Today a Flug came too. He was supposed to be a Pipple but half way through the making, he informed me that he was NOT a Pipple but was in fact a Flug.
Sometimes I do wonder who is in charge here........

Thursday, 26 November 2009

My creative space....

this week is almost edible!!!!

Happily, one of our Pipple friends is leaving today for a lovely home in Scotland, so I am making him a Jammy Dodger biscuit for the journey as he is rather partial to a biscuit or two! Safe journey, Trevor.
There are also rainbows as I am making more pencil rolls. Very satisfying, putting together a rainbow. xx

See more creative spaces here.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

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

Is it me, or are the weeks on fast forward at the moment? I'm joining in with Loobylu again this week.


The Pipples are Here!

Very exciting news! The Pipples are here, with their own blog and a little shop on Etsy.
I've had such fun with these! Soon they will be joined by the Flugs and goodness knows what else will find it's way out of the woods to join us!

Craft fairs
Busy busy busy - lots of fairs and markets in the next couple of weeks. I am happy about that but also a little concerned that looking after the Pipples has put back my making of bags, cushions and doorstops!!! Ooops!

Silly Rude Vegetables
A very silly rude potato made its way out of the bag today. It was sooo rude that we couldn't cook it but just had to take a photo instead. There was much sniggering and some debate but I think it's definitely a bottom! Classic!

Glorious Felt Rainbows

Even though I pack and sell felt every day, it's been a while since I sewed with it. It was just so lovely to cut and sew some rainbows for my pencil rolls this week. I do love the vibrancy of the colours and the feel of it, so! Okay, back with it now!

Caterpillar Birthday Cakes for Big Boys

Now, it's not that I can't make cakes, honestly, cakes are my favourite thing to bake, but the birthday boy this week wanted this caterpillar cake for 'old times sake'! I told him it's probably the last time he'll have it. "No way," said he, "I'm having one next year too!"

Rainy Days and Windy Days
Now, I'm a big fan of our British weather, I love it! I don't usually moan about the weather, really. I do like a lovely bit of rain, with my cagoule and my wellies on, but this is getting a bit monotonous just lately. Just a little tired of the wind too, I'm afraid. My hair is sporting that 'OMG what happened to you? look lately just a little TOO often.

Even the Pipples are getting fed up.
Late Nights with Teenagers
I can't keep up. With a 17 and a 15 year old eating toast at ten o'clock at night and not feeling tired (until the morning!!!!), going to bed like a grown-up AFTER the children is becoming difficult. I am actually tired enough to go at 9 - I have got to get a grip on this situation, reassert my authority, either that or teach them how to lock up!

My Total Lack of Self control
Not hot is my total lack of ability to have a few of these and then PUT THE PACKET AWAY! Hmmm, well, it seems silly when there's only a couple left now..........xx

See more HOT and NOTs here.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

My creative space....

this week is completely full of Flossie's curtains!!!!
This is a job I have put off and put off! The absolutely gorgeous fuschia hot pinky red silk curtains were unlined and were hanging nicely at her window thank you very much, but every time I went in they shouted at me! Honestly they did.
Line me, line me!! they yelled. Every last bit of light came through and what's more the sumptuous colour got a bit diluted too.
Now I had some plain calico curtains which were no longer needed but were exactly the same size so I have finally got the ladder out and taken these ones down to attach the plain ones as lining. One of the reasons I put it off it that these curtains are 11 feet long! The windows are Victorian and very high.
I have finished one and it looks soooo much better! It looks and feels rich and warm and heavy. And of course, the colour is there in all its richness. What's more, they've stopped shouting at me!!! xx
See more creative spaces here.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

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

I'm joining in with the lovely Loobylu again and what is HOT this Wednesday?

HOT is:

An assistant
I have a new assistant. She might only be 9 years old but boy, is she good! She has memorised my 70 colours of felt for Feltgirl by name, knows where they go and can wrap with tissue and coloured tape like you wouldn't believe. She has also insisted on 're-arranging' the felt shelves and they look beautiful -

She has also nagged me about the pile of paperwork that needs filing until I've done it! (and yes, before you ask, she is getting pocket money for it!!!!)

New things taking off.
There's nothing like making something for the first time and really liking it but not being sure anyone else will - then someone comes by the stall, and buys it! This happened with the make-up bags this week - I made them a couple of weeks ago and I really like them, love choosing the colours and the achievement of putting in the curved zip! And this week I have sold 3 of them. I have a couple left if anyone is interested here.


My lovely eldest turns 17!!! this week. I can't believe it and whilst in some ways the years have just flown by, I can still remember that feeling of bringing him home from the hospital and being so blown away by the fact that they actually let us keep him, and that we actually had a baby! I remembering staring at him sleeping for ages, taking in his little face, just watching him, hardly believing he was real.

Almost done digging.
Believe it or not, I am putting the diggers under hot this week, as they are almost done digging! It is raining a lot here and where they were digging has turned into a swamp, but it is nearly back to the level of the rest and the huge yellow digger has gone. They've just got to lay some grass, and put back our fence. I shall be so glad when they've gone completely.


Finance rules
Why is it that when you've done quite well on a market stall, or at a craft fair and you're feeling quite good about things, thinking well, the kids can have some Christmas pressies after all, that a huge bill for something turns up within hours of you having the extra money?
It happens so often in our house that I think there must be a technical term for it. (Apart from sod's law, I mean!)
I had a little extra cash this week and first my eldest reminds me the French exchange trip he is going on needs paying by December, then my youngest son comes up with a letter about another school trip, then the garage decides it wants paying for the work on our car and my little bit of extra cash has gone, and gone 10 times!

An avalanche of Ironing

I thought I had this figured out. In a house with six of us, it does pile up very very quickly, but little and often was the way I had decided to go. Then I had a busy week last week, didn't do any and lo and behold, the mountain is building. It is threatening to fill the whole house. We will all be found in a couple of days, buried under an avalanche of ironing.... xx

Sunday, 15 November 2009

My Place and Yours - through the front door......

This week I am joining in again with Pip's meme, and the theme queen is Femme de Montmartre who asks - "what is it you see when you enter your home? And how do you feel?"
Well, I must tell you, I just absolutely LOVE coming home. Not because our home is perfectly finished. Ha ha ha ha (manic laughing!!!!)
But because it's where I feel warm, and happy and relaxed. At this time of the year, when it's almost dark after the school run, it's wonderful to come back to our cosy home and shut the door against the dark, damp evenings.
Our hall is long and when we first came to view the house before we bought it, there was a motorbike parked in it! Living at that time in a smallish house with 4 growing children, space was what we craved. And space is one of the best things about our house now. It may not be finished (oh no!!) but our hall IS done!
It took a long time, we lived with bare floorboards and splinters on the stairs for months cos we couldn't decide whether to stain them or put carpet down. I am really glad we finally went for carpet as it is so warm and sunny even on a cloudy day! And that's what I feel every time I come home - happy to be back, cosy and warm, and ready to put the kettle on..........x

Friday, 13 November 2009

Winter shoulder bag.....

Well, working patternless is remarkably free-ing!!
This is how the bag turned out -
It is darker than this - a rare bit of morning sunshine has bleached it in the photo! And what you can't get from the photo is how wonderfully touchable the fabric is! It is pure new wool and so strokably warm and soft. I'm pleased at how the velvet piping turned out, cos it was so tricksy to sew being fairly narrow to turn into piping!
The plastic orange 'things' look just how I thought they would and I think add a bit of zing to the darkness. I am in love with the Anna Maria Horner fabric too - it adds such warmth to a winter bag.
There are various technical bits - I added a magnetic fastening courtesy of the wonderful Lisa at U handbag, I also added a zipped and lined pocket, and a keyring clip so I won't scrabble at the bottom for keys like I usually do!
So there it is - not without it's difficulties though - because I ended up finishing it late at night, some part of my brain had already gone to sleep and instead of interfacing for strength, I reached bizarrely for the fusible web!!!!!!!!!!!! Ugh!!!!!!!!!!!
I didn't actually realise this until the bag was finished and it kept making this kind of crinkly sound!!! Couldn't work out why - I told you it was late! So, I had to open the lining again and rip out the paper backing! Duh!!!
I sewed it back up and must have left a tiny bit of paper in my rush to try the bag on - but that's the difference between making something for myself and something to sell, I would have been a total perfectionist if it hadn't been just for my use!!
As it is, a slight little crinkly noise, every now and then, will hopefully remind me to go to bed earlier and not get carried away sewing!! x
(slightly wonky angle courtesy of Flossie who had just about recovered from nasty virus tho' not enough to hold camera straight! Or maybe it's artistic?!)

Thursday, 12 November 2009

My creative space....

looks like this -
some gorgeous pure wool check in dark navy, some velvet piping (which was VERY tricky to make because it was sooo narrow), my trusty new scissors and rotary cutter, and the lovely lovely plastic transparent orangey 'thing' which I bought cos in my mind, I saw it completely as a part of a shoulder bag strap.
I have no idea what it is supposed to be for, but that's what it will be for me.
Oh, and some vibrant Anna Maria Horner fabric for the lining.
I am making a winter shoulder bag. A soft, warm bag with a hot lining - and gadgets! I will show you if it comes off!
I say if, because I am doing it patternless, without a parachute. But with BIG ideas. x

See more creative spaces here.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

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

Goodness, can't believe another week has gone by and it's that time already! Well, here goes:-


Crafting headway
I have made a bit of crafting headway this week - I have a shopping evening at a fashion show tomorrow evening and the usual market on Saturday where people are starting to do Christmas shopping so I do need to get my stock levels up!
So, I've made a few new cafetiere cosies in some new colours, a sweet green floral, a 'shaker' style ticking, and (my personal favourite) some lovely dark chocolate with pale pink polka dots:
I have made 2 of each so will be putting them in the shop as well as having one of each new colour for the shopping evening!

I've also made some new felt lavender hearts and the smell in my little sewing room was just gorgeous while I was making them. So calming!

BBC Radio 4
What would I do without this?! It is my constant companion throughout my day, I particularly love the afternoon play, the book of the week and the Woman's Hour drama. At the moment this is Charles Dickens' 'Our Mutual Friend' which is one I haven't read and which is SO atmospheric to listen to whilst I sew.
2 helpful men
I am lucky enough to have a Dad and a hubby who are used to my strange requests and when I found out that my Dad was planning a visit to Ikea a couple of days ago, I knew he wouldn't mind picking me up some more glass jars for my buttons - yes I know those of you who saw my button photo would probably have thought that is definitely enough buttons in jars! Well, you see, once I'd started sorting and tidying, I just wanted to finish it once and for all, and I needed some more jars...

So my Dad kindly bought some home. Then, well, who was to go to Ikea the very next day without any warning, but hubby! and I only needed a few more to be absolutely finished!!!
If you are entirely fed up with looking at buttons in jars (are you mad?!) then please look away and scroll down now, but for those who want to see the entirely finished set of shelves - ta-dah!!!

oops, couldn't fit them all in one photo - but there are 2 more shelves under the bottom one of the above photo, and these beauties are on the very bottom shelf! All these buttons are for sale in my shop and my etsy shop, cos I do like to share!

Okay, no more button photos for ages now! (promise.)


Lost things
Our house at the moment seems to be swallowing things.
1 mobile phone, 1 ds charger, some maths homework, our vid
eo camera, another ds charger, a mobile phone charger, a metre ruler (how?!) are among the things that have gone missing.
Sometimes, these things do turn up but more often then not we spend precious time running around looking for them. Usually just at the actual moment that they are needed. Never the night before, in good time........

Digger invasion
After my post last week, things have moved on......part of our fence has been taken down,

the blackberry bush in the field has been flattened and ripped out, and a fence has been erected in part of our garden.

They've even put up a sign up for us, in case we were to take a stroll around the garden during the works!

It is quite horrifying to look out of our kitchen window and see all this within 20 feet!

Time flying
Is it just me, or is time going much quicker than it used to? It sometimes feels as if my life is in fast forward mode. Where did the last week, month, year go? How did my children get so big, so quickly? Why can't I remember each and every last minute?
Is it because we have so much to think about/do in our lives? I'm sure I remember days and weeks of monotonous boredom when I was younger, nothing much happened, days were the same and lasted for ages....... that doesn't seem to happen now, there are lists of things to do/make/buy - everything is rushing by! and I don't like it!!!!!

If you want to see more Hot and Nots you need to visit Loobylu and you can also join in!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

My Place and Yours - my secret weapon.....

is easy!!!
I have to admit that I am a tea-aholic! My working, creative day is fuelled by a zillion cups of tea.
Well, actually, that should read mugs of tea, from my early morning cuppa courtesy of Emma Bridgewater (obviously the mug, not the actual tea - Emma Bridgewater does not make my morning tea!)
to my latest favourite from Cath Kidston, bought in St Ives this summer:

to the beautiful Susie Watson mug bought by my gorgeous eldest son last Christmas as a surprise. (He knew I yearned for it and saved up for it himself over a few weeks!!)
Then there is the one from the big tomato company that I have absolutely no idea why my husband keeps making my tea in!!
And finally, my all-time favourite of the moment, again from good old Emma Bridgewater, which incidentally has become a favourite with S too, so much so that there is often a 'race'to use it first!
On and off, all through the day, when in any doubt, I put the kettle on. It has helped me through mental blocks in creativity, calming too much excitement over button deliveries, and sustained me through into-the-night sewing marathons! My friend and constant companion, my secret weapon - tea! x

See more secret weapons from the theme queen this week at meet me at mikes.