Sunday, 16 December 2012

Handmade Monday No. 97

Christmas is almost here the decorations are up, the freezer full, the drinks cupboard flowing over and this is the last Handmade Monday until after the festivities (what will I do with myself for the next 2 weeks), when we can look forward to a New Year. Making resolutions we are so determined to keep but by the end of January they become a past memory. 

I love a New Year always gets me invigorated thinking 365 days stretching ahead to fill with crafting and all kinds of Vintage visiting, in the blink of an eye only 8 days left and wonder what I have been doing all year. Crafting is all consuming takes you away from the day to day troubles surrounded in my case with fabric, lace, ribbons, pot pourri and more. Next year I am scheduling in fun time with visits to Betty and Violets open day's, The Packhouse Antique centre, Artisan Markets at Tweesledown, Lady Sew and Sew in Henley and anything else that just begs to be visited.

A few blogging stats

62 blog posts this year
20000+ visitors
1000+ comments

Thank you to all my followers and readers makes doing a blog so worthwhile

Got there have been frantically making stockings for the 3 of us, yes this does include the dog, hmpf!! any way finally finished today and quite happy not to see another stocking for another year. You will notice Shiloh's is already full and he has sniffed it out already, wonder how long will remain hanging.

Check out the other blogs at Handmade Harbour for the final tales of the year

"White Christmas"

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
just like the ones I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases
May all your Christmases
May all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white
Christmas with you
Jingle Bells all the way, all the way

Have a very Happy Christmas Crafters and hope your stockings are full of all your crafting dreams.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Handmade Monday No. 96

Just over 15 days until Christmas and although have been crafting cannot show the makes as gifts for special people. No more fairs for me this year and have agreed a B & M business opportunity next year, a new shop opening in Lincoln in time for Easter, my good friend Kim is the proprietor and when opened will be well worth a visit if you are in the area, situated in the historic market town of Alford, they have a regular craft market in the town so look out for Apple Crafts, the owner's card making skills are second to none plus an excellent friendly and approachable teacher at her workshops.

The Christmas edition of Jeanne d'Arc Living is out and does not disappoint, if you love French Shabby Chic then this publication is for you.

 These apples look so festive

Vintage styling at it's best

Who knew porridge could taste so good

These are just 3 of the articles to tickle the senses and taste buds, don't forget if you would like a copy the UK stockist is:

Those of you that know me well know I am addicted to stationery and for my 2013 planning just had to find a new journal and walking into Staples what did I see? A perfect journal where you can add pages, dividers, plastic wallets for all those clippings and more, what better way to start a New Year, sad? I know but too old to change now.

Not much else to report and will struggle to blog in the coming weeks but will try to find some snippets for you to read even if links to other inspirational blogs and websites.

Have a good week and remember to check out the other blogs at Handmade Harbour

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Handmade Monday No. 95

Due to the sad passing of Mum in Law last weekend have not done much in the way of making as so much to sort out this week.

I made the following for a dear friend's Birthday on the 28th November, Happy Birthday Kim, am sure she would not mind me showing you. A gift and tote bag  and a good way for her to advertise her business. The writing looks blurry but not on the photo think something to do with the shading made by the stitches.

On the Christmas front now must start making like mad for the gift and card side for family and friends.  Do not have a big family and only a select group of friends, not into gifts for all and sundry would rather concentrate on those that mean something to us. All will be revealed after the big day just in case any of the recipients have a nose at my blog.

On the home front all gifts are wrapped and under the tree, decorations up and the freezer is almost full, so ahead of schedule with Waitrose booked up to the big day.

Check out the other blogs at Handmade Harbour

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Handmade Made Monday No. 94

Due to a family bereavement in the early hours of Saturday morning unable to attend The Royal School fair, hope it went well for all the stallholders

The final 2 teddy pocket bags this time in yellow and lilac, sorry I know getting a bit déjà vu now but these are the last two, honest.

Hair clips covers, these were so quick to do.

The nightlight bird cage was a boot sale find two for £1.00, came across them in my workroom and thought had to use and filled with hair slides what better use.

I mentioned an advertorial the other week, well the magazine is now out, they selected the red waistcoat to feature and have noticed hits on my site have gone up sky high. Click on the magazine front and scroll through to page 18/19 if you want a peek.

They approached me out of the blue after finding my site on Best of British, just goes to show these free directories are worth putting the effort into.

Check out the other talented makers on Handmade Harbour's Handmade Monday

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Handmade Monday No. 93

Cannot believe only 36 days until Christmas where has the time gone, seems like only 5 minutes ago taking down the decorations and packing away for another year and now here we are with them going back up in 2 weeks, yes we do put ours up early and make a festive day of it. Think as you get older it is so important to make events of special days, when younger we just seem to go with the flow not realising that life is so short and speeds past plus am sure that journey gets quicker the older I get.

Makes this week, back recovered enough for me to complete another two teddy bear pocket bags, due to a family crisis having to fit sewing in around this.

Lee (DH) suddenly informs me his friends Birthday on the 20th eek! I really must diary these on for myself then will have more time but card done for a fishing fanatic:

The business front is certainly on a roll at Ocala Towers and long may it continue, think for me having read and digested Dixies Juicy Customer segment so many times now know the sort of clientele I want and local church halls is just not cutting it. Have a few juried events planned for next year and have to submit applications by end of February, guess what I will be doing after the festivities have faded to a blur.

Check out the other blogs at Handmade Harbour

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Handmade Monday No. 92

Two weeks until my last event of the year and only the second this year, so a time to reflect what sold at the first event, what needs to be added for this final push.

November Birthday

A card I made for an old school friend, we have known each other for more years than we care to remember and the only one I have stayed in contact with. We were bff back in the day and whilst may not see each other now due to distance still keep in contact through Birthday's and Christmas.

A while back went to visit the Long Barn at Alresford, they grow the most delicious lavender and had to buy a large bag. Whilst wondering round the shop saw a gap which I thought could fill so samples sent last Monday and fingers crossed:

A lavender bag, wash bag and sleep pillow

Will let you know how I get on, maybe for nothing as I know things are very tight atm but nothing ventured nothing gained.

Went to a women's networking meeting on Tuesday, Ladies Who Latte, have been to the Farnham one before but this was a new venue for me. Held at The Alton House Hotel, a beautiful Georgian building and wonderful grounds. The meeting was very good run by Kathy Gilbert, relaxed atmosphere and not on the normal formal programme where you all have to speak for a minute but more coffee and chat, networking at your own pace which for me was so much better. One of the best networking events I have ever been to and I have been to a few.

Back to making, my next and last event is being held at the prestigious girl's school 'The Royal' at Hindhead, so google to hand trawled through to look for ideas as to what girl's are into, quite a varied spectrum of ideas but settled on mini bags including some fun Christmas ones. These were fun to make and with the added embroidery (a teddy bear pocket) will hopefully let them stand out on my stall.

The latest Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine arrived and words evade me, just wonderful:

Also arrived the latest issue of Pretty Nostalgic

Went into Guildford yesterday and picked up the latest copy of Selvedge No 49 called Evergreen an absolute must if you are into Textiles

Finally the Vintage Directory, ideal for all things vintage can be picked up at fairs or for a postal subscription. I also did a special Christmas advertising online offer with them this year and considering whether to go in the actual directory.

Not as much done as would have liked this week as Thursday woke with the most horrific back pain, hurts to sit, stand, walk and lay flat. Still not sure what I did but have had problems before, r & r maybe.

Final bit of news got a request from a local Surrey magazine if they could feature some of my handmade items in the Christmas gift issue, really chuffed with the offer. The magazine is an upmarket, exciting lifestyle magazine that is contemporary in style and aimed primarily at the yummy mummies in Surrey and the age group 30 - 45, while also appealing to the wider community.
Off to try to have a back breather and catch up on all those tv programmes that I have taped.

Check out the other blogs at Handmade Harbour

I would like to thank all of you that visited and commented on my blog last week, a bit late in my trawl but hope I got round to you all, your comments are appreciated.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Handmade Monday No. 91

Needlework Archive Craft Market

The day arrived up bright and early, thank goodness for the clocks going back enabled us to walk Shiloh before I went. Dreaded leaving Lee in charge of putting on his harness and all the other things associated with a dog walk, co-ordination and my DH do not go together, think could be a man thing.

The drive to Newbury was a good one the A339 is synonymous with dreadful driving antics by idiots but leaving at 7 and arriving by 8.00 meant I avoided most of that, cannot say for the same for the return journey, think I got more grey hairs on the journey back. Had time to sit and wait for the opening of the doors and took that chance to enjoy a peaceful cup of coffee and a read. 

The doors open and in the exhibitors flood, greeted and shown to our pitches then backwards and forwards to unload. I decided I was doing it differently this time taking in the stall cloths and stand first, setting up the stall without the stock boxes getting in the way. Had also placed on the back seat all the stock going on the stall ready in the display baskets etc so the set up was easy. That left the stock boxes  had  packed 2 with back up stock and left the rest in the car. Have been known to go to events before packing also the kitchen sink. Time to have a browse at the Archive shop wonderful goodies and a fascinating place to visit if like me you love all things needlework. Took some pic's of my stall and the new set up, still maybe some tweaking to do but all in all very happy and got some wonderful comments. Did well and the day was a success, although did not sell oodles what I did sell were large ticket items and can say the were the right sort of customer Dixie.

One sale was a special request for a door pillow in pink roses for a Best Friend, not one to let the grass grow under my feet, all done a ready to be posted tomorrow.

As an aside a few of you asked how I got on at the FW networking event, well to cut a long story short did not go and have left the group. The reason? they are now no longer a group for women only, nothing against men as married to one, lol but have always found at these type of events unless a crafter most men do not get what it is to be creative and can be a tad condescending. So nothing against crafters who are men but corporate men, plus still not sure why men would join a women's networking group, DH thinks a bit odd. Did voice my concerns but the owner has not had the courtesy to reply, so as not a paying member I am obviously of no consequence. also felt that the vote to accept men should have been put on the main website not on Linkedin, all a bit underhand me thinks.

Back to the makes a birthday card for a friend but will have to wait to see it until after the 10th. Also working on some lavender samples more next week

Check out the blogs at Handmade Harbour

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Old Textile Centre

Carolee Crafts is attending the following event this weekend, if you are visiting please come and introduce yourself

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Handmade Monday No. 90

Only 6 days until my first event,  I know I have mentioned this so many times but have pushed the boat out this year for this one. Have sourced and followed Dixie's ruling of the right sort of customer for handmade, consequently have been very fussy and only booked the 2 events. Rents are more expensive but needs must to take my business to the next level, think I had been too content with the 'village hall' type of fairs for too long. Probably because they were safe and  knew all the people but no more I am a professional and as such must look for professional high quality and the right sort of people. Will take pic's of not only my new dressed stall but hopefully of the event it self and more details on the venue. Just hope being the needlework archive I am not distracted by all the vintage goodies stored for reference.

Designed my own labels 2 circles one with my logo etc and the other which can be removed for my reference of what has sold with the price. Happy with them the main problem was finding suitable string/thread as ties, settled on a fine crochet cotton.

Final makes, well should be:

Keep Calm Door Pillow

This came about as a contact on FB asked for details of the large pillows as the crown is their logo, not wanting to do the full thing without an order thought this would show
as an example of what can be done.

Gingerbread People

Made in the hoop just added the ribbon to the top for hanging, a bowl full of gingerbread people

Christmas Stockings

Finally the Christmas Stockings in white and cream fleece, fully lined and stitched in one colour thread felt this made more grown up and elegant.

Next week apart from stitching some Christmas cards will spend the time pricing and doing a stock list, loading up the car on Friday for a 7am start on Saturday, hope to take some pic's of the day.

Check out the other blogs at Handmade Harbour


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Handmade Monday No. 89

Back to Birthday's this week. My dear friend in Gloucester loves cats so had to use this theme the card pretty and delicate and ho could not loves this cute kitten

The gift, well she also has a sense of humour and thought these stripey cats on raw silk where fun, the back has a button enclosure with the skeletons of fish embroidery, fully lined with cream cotton.

Sent off early, then she emails the day after to say swanning off to Turkey near the Syrian border of all places, just hope arrives safely. PS. got a phone call to say back from holiday and parcel collected and now opened, she loves the gift and the best thing anyone could say to a crafter is "I love you making gifts for me" makes it all worth while.

Back to Christmas and only 9 weeks away am sure time goes quicker the nearer we get. To top it all only 12 days until my first event at the Needlework Archive near Newbury. Next week I am stopping making and starting to price, something that I should have done as I go along but selling online you tend to forget about fairs and the need for pricing labels. Anyway makes for last week:

Candle wraps

In natural linen with Nordic designs on the front of the wraps.

Off to my first meeting with the Fabulous Women in Farnham on Thursday, looking forward to it as the first ever meeting in Farnham. Only bit always wary abuot is the minute talk each of us has to do, hate this bit as not into public speaking and used to detest the role playing courses that the corporate world love so much, so wish me luck as will probably be a stuttering, sweating wreck not a good look.

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