Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

2012 has arrived and the past few weeks seem just a blur. All that hard work shopping, wrapping and more for the big day then gone in a blink of an eye.  Hope you are not too hungover from the celebrations last night.

A New Year and whilst I am not big on resolutions only for them to be broken by the end of January, do think this time of year gives renewed hope and an excitement of what may lie ahead. Just think a whole year to plan, design and make with a hope that on the sales front things will be better this year than 2011. New journals to fill and in my case a new iMac and iPad just love them both, still love my old Mac but had seen better days and thought change now before it all goes up in smoke. DH has been given the old Mac as he is technologically challenged he is quite happy but I do allow him on here on occasion if he is good, lol.

Back to resolutions! one I am going to make and ensure that I do not drift away is to lose weight before the Doc lays into me, we are walking Shiloh 3 times a day now which equates to approx 2 - 3 miles a day so exercise is being ticked just the food issue now, I love my grub and love to cook. Lee is slim and does not have a weight issue and can eat for England which makes my job of dieting even harder and also not a great advocate of diets or dieters prefer healthy eating and change eating patterns. One thing I will not be is a dieting bore never having a treat when out, watching every morsel, you have got to enjoy life and to be a slave to the 'D' word is not my life.

I have looked at several shopping sites in the past to sell from such as Etsy etc but feel that a new one called 'Wow Thank You' looks brilliant, joined last year on a special offer but that was it so along with my own website this is work in progress for 2012. At this stage not doing any more craft fairs, really felt looking back at the analysis that I did them to line the pockets of the organisers whereas I attended at a loss. Also felt I had too many irons irons in the fire as often happens, opportunities come along and you think 'What if' so you grasp all and end up achieving very little and spread yourself so thin. So back to the beginning and 2012 will be like a new business with new ideas and designs more down the luxury route so exciting and this has given me my passion back as those of us that work for ourselves know that without passion for what we do we can fail.

Check out the other blogs at


Make Mine Pink

Wishing you all a very Happy and prosperous New Year


Still thinks he is Employee of the Year, debatable. 

Monday, 26 December 2011

Safe to share

Hope you all had a good Christmas, suitably stuffed and not too bored with the reruns on tv.

I made a silk boudoir cushion for a friend that I was not able to show but as this friend reads my blog had to hold off until after the big day. In ivory silk dupion machine stitched design of flowers and of course had to add her name to the centre.

Having worked with silk for these Christmas gifts has focused me as to what to use in the reinvention of my business. I think silk and velvet has a timeless elegance and opulence that most people recognise, can be a difficult fabric to work with but the colours are so vibrant think worth the effort. Whilst I still love my patchwork cottons dealing with prints can be a problem as not always repeatable and I wanted to have a line where I could carry minimal stock and make to order. Will not stop me making OOAK's though as sometimes a work of art just has to be created.

Great excitement now that Christmas is over, a holiday I love but I have been planning my relaunch for a few months now, will be having a big sale on my website of existing stock January through February with reductions from 10 to 50%, will publish the first wave on the 1st January then once or twice a week until the 28th February. My aim is to clear the decks and provide storage space for my new look, if you love Vintage you will want to see what is added on the 1st March.

The next blog will be into the new year, so wishing you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year from Caroline and the helper! at Carolee Crafts.

Check out 1st Unique Gifts blog for more holiday tales and makes.


Sunday, 18 December 2011

This time next week.....

it will all be over, all the preparation, extra trips to the supermarket, battling the crowds, then gone in a blink of an eye. Does not mean I will not be enjoying the festive season though as I love the decorations, twinkling lights and general magical air all around. I may be 54 and do not have children but Christmas still holds wonderful memories and it is what you make of it. Lee (DH) and I love this time of year and whilst may hate the shopping part love everything else that is Christmas. 

Christmas day off to mass and light some candles for those gone but not forgotten, back home for a delicious feast, a good film or two, walk the dog, then late afternoon gift opening, just perfect.

I got a lovely surprise when the postie arrived on Saturday an envelope all the way from the US of A and what did I find nestled inside?

A beautiful Christmas card and 2 delightful ornaments a musical tree and mitten edged with white fur. Thank you so much Nancy I love them.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas to you and your families, have a wonderful time over the Holidays.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Only 14/13 days until Christmas

Not sure where these last few months have gone but they have disappeared in a puff of smoke am sure the trainee wizards from Hogwarts have been experimenting with time disappearance spells. However in between my planning for next year and stocking up on Christmas goodies have been making gifts and cards. The cards are all in the post except 1, local deliveries done just down to the final few gifts to make. Can only show one of the makes as the other one may well be seen by the recipient and don't want to spoil the surprise. An embroidered cushion and eye mask, all done on my new machine which is just heaven, adding some special smellies. The fabric is silk and wanted to keep the colours muted to go with most decor's do hope she likes it.

 Embroidering on silk has always been a bit problematical before and whilst I did panic on the Friday night "what have I done? all that money on machines!" got over it now and and so glad I went ahead as the stitching was a dream. Just got to master the downloading of designs now. All this new technology sometimes wonder if I am getting too old but a lot of it could be I do not read instruction books but dive straight in, get in a pickle then have to read the machine book.

Perfectly Peacock Mood Board

Think the colours say it all I love them, this is my inspiration for my first project of 2012 and my new direction/reinvention of Carolee Crafts, more will be added but to the finished item. I love mood boards as they are the best place to gather items that may not be used but purely for a colour spectrum, I tend to lay them out photograph and file the photo in a journal for future reference. Peacocks are such beautiful birds and I remember when we lived in the Walled Garden in Loxwood they would come over from the Clock Tower next door, my Mother would entice them to open their tails which they tended to at her request, just beautiful the colours out of this world.

Pantone colours for 2012

Not too sure about the Tangerine Tango but does mean that DH can get his shorts out that he bought in Florida all those years ago and I must search for my sunglasses, lol. Do like the bottom 5 colours though and could see me adding a bit of the Cabaret & Bellflower.

Check out the other blogs at


Have a good week

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Handmade Monday is here again.....

and only 20 days until Santa struggles to get his girth down the chimney.

Our tree is up mainly because DH and I are big kids and when it comes to the festive season we love all things Christmas and here is a picture of Shiloh at age 6 months, it will be his first Christmas and yes the tree is still standing and no flying baubles YET!!! 

No crafting from me as taking a break from making to recharge my batteries for my new direction in 2012 but that has not stopped me getting 2 new machines for my old one. Already have the new normal sewing machine and the embroidery one should turn up on Monday, now that is when the fun begins playing getting to know the machine and it's quirks and you never know may have made something by next week. 

 New Year, new me (hopefully a thinner one) and new ideas, my notebooks are getting filled and in the middle of making a mood board which may end up on Pinterest of my first project. Think colours of a Peacock in silks and organza, pearls and crystals with glitter and feathers. Have I whetted your appetite? that is all you are going to get may let you into the mood board when done but no finished design will be shown until 2012.

As the festive season fast approaches remember to stay true to a 'Handmade Christmas' if possible and love your family and friends, treasure each moment with them.

Check out the blogs on Wendy's blog 1st Unique Gifts


of course the fantastic ladies at Make Mine Pink who make each day a pleasure with their friendship and help when needed.

This post today is in honour of a very good friend Kim who is going through a hard time atm sending you love and hugs Kim you are a true friend.xx

Sunday, 27 November 2011

A disarster of a weekend

In the words of Craig Revel Horwood Saturday's fair was a disarster, well lit hall, clean, good mix of stalls, good quality items but not as many visitors as would have hoped and not much buying, well except the shoe lady and she did a roaring trade.

This has been a long list of events which have not worked and made my decision to finish with fairs during the current climate easier. This decision also comes at a time when I am changing the face of my business and confirms that what I am doing is right.

As a business never easy to make changes as you have no crystal ball to see into the future to check the decisions you make are the right ones at least being a one man band only myself that can be let down. Such a shame that handmade has reached these levels and again would love to know why, think with the lack of spare funds in purses customers are looking to stretch their money as far as possible in the gift section and buying cheaper bought in goods to at least have the same Christmas as previous years with oodles of gifts around the tree. So quantity over quality wins.

Took some pic's of my stall, shame about the sports nets at the back but am happy went back to the full stand as it becomes my shop window for the day. Apologies for the picture quality I am not David Bailey!

Had a Christmas card order from the Pamper event on Thursday an unusual request as this design is not normally Christmas but hope the customer is happy.

Don't forget to stop by the other blogs at 1st Unique Gifts and Make Mine Pink.

Have a Happy Crafting Week

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Handmade by Me Thursday

Another Thursday and sorry no creations from me this week. My machine made an awful noise and died on Sunday, so now sitting in a repair shop in Woodham hoping? (well not really more later) to be repaired. Back to the repairs have my eye on a new machine, my Janome is very old now and have decided to move away from Janome and back to Viking. My old blue and silver viking was a gem and so good not sure why I ever changed. I do like the Janomes but their software is not that good and they are so expensive object to paying the same price for a sewing machine as a small car.

So this is a picture of my dream so watch this space.

Craft Fairs

There is always a lot of controversy surrounding handmade fairs and this year I have not exhibited at as many, why? mainly due to the cost of the rents and competing with bought in goods as they have to go away from handmade to fill the halls. Sad times and have made the decision for 2012 to concentrate on my website and the selling sites, think sometimes we can spread ourselves too thin and I for one end up running round like a headless chicken trying to achieve all and ending up achieving nothing. This is all part of my New Years resolution for my business to consider opportunities more carefully and do what is right for the business and me.

I hope that the true handmade fair will return it always does as the old saying
'What goes around comes around'

Have a wonderful Handmade Thursday

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Advent Calendars

Only 35/34 days to go, the difference depends when you read this blog whether Sunday or Monday. I am sure it was only a few days ago that the number of days was 100+ and now where has the time gone. 

For those that read my blog regularly you will know that not much crafting has been done of late as I have been having a big sort of stock and a change of direction, however this weekend I did make 1 advent calendar for an order for a fur babies in our lives,  now my machine has died making an awful noise. This one is for a dog using Christmas dog fabric for the pockets, light bulbs for the main backed with burgundy.

2 events for me this week:
Thursday 24th 7pm to 9.30pm
Pamper Evening
Jolly Farmer
Binsted Lane
Nr alton 

Saturday 26th 10 am to 3.30pm
Christmas Fair
Priorsfield School

If anyone is in the are please drop by and say hello to Jill (Christmas Pie Crafts) and myself we would love to see you.

So many virtual craft fairs this year, something different but perhaps the new way to go:

CRAFTfest runs the weekend of the 26th and 27th November


Handmade with Passion runs from now until end of January

After all my sorting and tidying going to have a humongous sale of all my existing stock starting 1st December, some items may be reduced by as much as 50% so if you are looking for a bargain check out my website or the Handmade with Passion virtual fair, all will link back to my website.

As this is a blogging Monday check out


Check out Blogaholic Social Network a must for frequent bloggers

Why not join Handmade by Me a forum for all creative types by joining you can also participate in the Thursday Blog Hop a good place to get your business noticed.

Enjoy your week

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

What is vintage?

Vintage, Retro, Edwardian, Regency, Victorian, Antique, Gerogian

All words that describe various era's of our world so how do you know which is which, some are quite self explanatory but others? well!

Gerogian - 1714 to 1837 overlapping with Regency
Regency - approx 1811 to 1820
Victorian - 1837 - 1901
Edwardian - 1901 - 1910
Antique - at least 100 years old 
Vintage - Mainly 1920 to 1960
Retro - about 15 to 20 years old

The timescales for Vintage and Retro do tend to move and now in some cases includes up to the 80's. Either way these styles are fondly followed today and in some cases never really date and can be very valuable. Vintage is having a revival whether due to the recession or looking back to a gentler time when things were simpler, maybe not as easy but certainly a quieter time when you did have time to 'smell the roses' and chat to neighbours, get to know people instead of passing in the street with no acknowledgment. 

I am lucky to live in a small Hampshire village and the residents do stop and talk, say 'Good Morning', the owners of the local shop know their customers by name gives  a warm glow and feeling of belonging so maybe that is why vintage is so hankered for of day's gone by when sometimes things were better. Mind you could not do without the computer or my digital sewing machine let alone the washing machine but do enjoy just sitting doing hand embroidery or water colours to while away a few hours. To sit and read in the garden or now winter by the fire, a good book and cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Time to sit and think and not be bothered with the rat race and impersonation of ants that goes on in cities.

Looking back over my last few posts they have mainly been about the crossroads in my life, could be the time of year, the realisation that I am not getting any younger and tbh am just fed up with the direction I have been plodding in plus off course with the big tidy up have not made a sausage. Have quite enjoyed the time away from the machine but am looking forward to some Christmas gifts that are still to be made. A handmade Christmas where possible this year can be difficult and some will have a amazon voucher to add books to their Kindle as not everyone is into handmade.

Cherish your yesterday's
dream about tomorrow
but live for today

Sunday, 13 November 2011


Welcome to another blogging Monday with:


Check out the participating blogs and enjoy what everyone has done last week.

I have finally finished my big stock sort, checking everything has a price tag, listing for an inventory and packing into some nice new plastic storage boxes. This task has taken longer than expected but had a very poorly puppy last week and with trips to the vets not much more done. Shiloh had Gastroenteritis not sure where or how he got it but as only 5 months old quite a worry and he came first in our lives, mind you not much different there. 

Inspiration is my blog theme this week as many of you know I am on a road to reinvention of my business, having done the sorting task this has enabled me to focus and look forward to 2012 I now know what I am going to do with the old stock, have a sale at the next 2 events and then on my website. My aim is where possible to completely clear all stock leaving me free for my new creations.

Definition of Inspiration: 

1. An inspiring or animating action or influence
2. Something inspired, as an idea.
3. A result of inspired activity.
4. A thing or person that inspires. 
Inspiration for me is all around me be it nature, magazines, people, shop window displays. I love the latter particularly small boutiques that whilst only having a small space, sometimes less than a standard craft fair stall, can produce a window that just speaks to you to take a peek and then venture into the shop. In our local town of Farnham there is a Milliners (Beverley Edmondson) not something seen much now but her shop window is just beautiful and only about 4 ft across. It just draws me in a bit like a child with her nose glued to a sweet shop window. 

My Inspiration:

I have a stack of journals that are crammed with pictures from magazines, photos of nature such as an Autumnal Morning to my own sketches of designs for that day when maybe, just maybe I get around to making. In the meantime these ideas are my dreams and those that know me know I have a love of stationery, no pretty notebook or notepaper are safe. The strawberry notebook at the bottom of the picture is my latest acquisition, by Cath Kidston just perfect for my new ideas of 2012. Empty at present but not for long, have a new pen standing by for the peaceful time over Christmas when I can live my dream and fill this perfect book with I hope some very special ideas.

I know I may never get around to completing all the ideas in my journals but they give me inspiration whenever I have a design block and often come with me on day trips to be able to read whilst waiting for DH to finish going through what feels like the whole stock of a second hand record dealer. Camera, pens and watercolours along with a bottle of water are always at hand a girl just never knows when creativity will strike.

Jill from Christmas Pie Crafts is a friend and crafting colleague we often meet for coffee to put the crafting world to rights. Like myself Jill loves stationery and bought some pretty little bulldog clips which she very kindly shared with me, thank you Jill they will come in so useful for my new venture.

Have a wonderful inspirational week what ever you do and remember you are never to old to dream or to try something new, just be happy and never look back and wonder what if? just go for it.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Handmade by Me Thursday

"Today is the first day of the rest of our lives"

Never sure where this saying originated from but so very true along with

"Tomorrow never comes"

I think we all get wrapped up in our own problems, that is human nature, waking up with pain or a worry is never good but we only have one of each day we live, never to get that day back. Every now and then I stop and think about that fact and realise that each day I am getting older as are those around me. Things are said that would be best kept within ourselves but once said cannot be taken back only apologised for. This post is really a continuation of my journey from Monday's post.

I had a comment on my Monday blog this week from a lovely lady whom I admire by what she has acheived and her business standing. Her words made me realise along with others that I did have the right to change or revert direction and that being true to myself and my abilities was priceless. I think we all come to a crossroads in our lives whether on a personal or business front and I have struggled over the past few years on sales and realise that I have tended to go down the route that was expected of me, try this or try that. Noticed that the quality of my stall display has also gone downhill and sat and realised that the passion had gone this in turn is affecting my motivation. 

Now  decision time do I carry on? Hell yes I love what I used to do, love to make unique pieces that may take hours and okay will not get the cost back for my time but I know that my time spent is so fulfilled and satisfied,  to produce a work of art at the end that I am proud to put my name to and display at an event. Nothing better than rummaging in antique shops for bits of vintage lace, broken jewellery to add to a creation that has been made with love.

Thank you MB for the encouragement that you gave me and all the Pink Ladies, your help and advice is priceless.

Check out the other blogs for poetry, makes and tales of a creative week.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

CRAFTfest - Online Craft Fair 26th and 27th November

I am working towards getting my album sorted on Creative Connections for the CRAFTfest on the 26th and 27th November. A fantastic idea of an online craft fair, participating members have been split into coloured teams (Lilac, Purple, Pink, Blue and Teal) and in total approx 170 crafters are participating. Never done an online event before but cuts out the lugging of stock, unpacking and setting up, repacking and back to the car so looking forward to the weekend.

New Beginnings

I have been crafting for more years than I care to remember and every now and then I reinvent my business and the direction it is going in. I feel that as handmakers we have to evolve, move with the times try something different or revisit something old, My passion is vintage and whilst over the years I have tried out new things some have worked some not but at the back of my mind is still my first love of vintage,  a gentler age, embroidery, lace, antique pearl buttons. These items take longer to produce but take me back to my training of freehand machine embroidery, hand and ribbon embroidery, delicate roses made from ribbons, flowers from organza embellished with pearls. A cushion with ribbon roses and a reclaimed vintage brooch. What does all this mean? well 2012 is the year I go back dig out my old sketch books and idea journals concentrate on Vintage and specialise doing what I love. I know that the older style is not for everyone but now is my time to return to a niche market and steer away from mass production.

Craft has changed so much over the years and trends come and go, the market is now flooded with so many people making the same style of thing, craft shows with table upon table of textiles or jewellery or sadly with imported goods. To earn money we all take the chance but sometimes, just every now and then you have to take a look at what you are doing, does it hold the same passion. To work for yourself you have to love what you do and most of all follow your dream hence 2012 for me is my dream year to produce wearable works of art and go back to my routes. I do hope you join me on  my journey and enjoy the finished products as much as I know I will enjoy making them.

Check out the other blogs at 1st Unique Gifts

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Handmade Thursday

Handmade Thursday

Sorry no crafting tales from me this week as our router went on the blink on Monday, BT sent a replacement which arrived today but have only just got over an all day powercut. However do check out the other blogs linked below:

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Christmas Card for nearest and dearest

Welcome to Thursday blog hop with Handmade by Me

All welcome all we ask is that you join the forum, introduce yourself, visit and comment on the blogs participating.

A Christmas card for my husband, every year I struggle to come up with a different theme but this year just love the tatty Teddies, here's hoping he feels the same.

He hates 3d decoupage but loves embossed cards, so kept it flat but found the blue embossed snowflake paper yesterday at Art of Craft.

Back on Monday for 'Handmade Monday' and look forward to seeing you them.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A week of sorting

Sorting? a week? well not quite. I have been wanting to sort my stock for some time but craft and life just gets in the way, well I got in the way. The thought of trawling through oodles of stock, checking price tags and listing was daunting to say the least and I love to create but took the plunge on Saturday and have 2 boxes full of lovely goodies all easy to find. Have another 3 boxes to fill and think I will need to buy some more bit have made a start! Have got to buy some proper numbers next week.

Thought I deserved a break from all the hard work and having received some new fabric through the post on Saturday and it was just sitting and calling to be made into what? as lavender print thought sachets:

Strawberry sachets from fabric in my stash

These items have been priced and stock listed already, just hope this new super organised me continues and putting old, old stock on ebay next weekend as think another free listing is due.

Last week my blog was selected by Popular Crafts Magazine section Word on the Web, very proud and feel privileged that out of all the wonderful blogs out there mine was selected.

Check out:

Show and Tell Monday with Make Mine Pink


Handmade Monday with 1st Unique Gifts blog

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Handmade by Me Thursday Blog Hop

Another week nearer Christmas and still finding it hard to produce festive themed items just seems too early but have made another door hanger this time with a snowman and gold print tree background. Planning on at least another 9 of these making 12 in total.

Have a good week and check out the other blogs with Handmade by Me in the link below


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Red and white, Santa and a tree must be Christmas

Another week has crept past ever nearer the festive season and another Handmade Monday with 
1st Unique Gifts and Show and Tell with the wonderful ladies from Make Mine Pink.

Good News this blog is in print, well in recommended blogs in Popular Crafts magazine along with Jills' Christmas Pie Crafts. We are both so excited  and good after all these years to be recognised. Have to buy a copy or 2 and plan to add a pagelet to my website as any press coverage is good.

Red and white tutu was the make of the weekend, took a look outside and such beautiful weather and as due to change for the worse later this week thought better try to see the lawn again and get rid of all those leaves

Door hangers one with a Father Christmas and the other with a tree and gifts, machine embroidered onto mistletoe fabric backed with white felt, a perfect decoration for any door handle.

More of these will be added over the coming weeks, with different backing fabric and designs.

Check out Show and Tell with the wonderful ladies of Make Mine Pink


1st Unique Gifts Blog

Have a great week peeps getting ready for Halloween on the 31st and Happy Crafting


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Saturday Challenge

I am a lover of glitter and a girl can never have too much in her life, only problem I find is I end up with just as much on me as on the item I am decorating, not to mention the workroom and the dog, lol.

My admission for this weeks challenge is a simple but I hope elegant card, stamped in smokey gray with a hint of colour and glitter


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Continuing a theme of ghosties and ghouls

The year is racing past and not sure will get everything done I want to this year, always happens start off in January with all good intentions and new ideas interrupt my organisational chart and in a blink of an eye the year has gone. Indian summer over and autumn is well and truly here the last few months to Christmas will be gone in an instant, so some comprehensive planning needed with 'To Do' lists expanding daily. Plan to put on some Christmas music for my planing session, always gets me in the mood for the festive season, so watch this space......

Back to Handmade by Me Thursday blog hop and continuing with Halloween a purple and black tutu, did not quite finish as still have the purple ribbon to sew around the waist but almost there.

this tutu may already be sold but they can be made to order, appearing on my website any day now.

Check out the other participating blogs in the link below, off to hunt for white pom pom trim for a red and white tutu for Christmas and Halloween decorated rosettes on lolly sticks to come next Monday.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Spooky, It's Halloween

Well not quite but getting into the spirit early:

Spooky Bow Ties

made in cotton fairy frost diamond black fabric, fastened with velcro and the pumpkin just had to be added for extra spookiness.

Pumpkins/Jack 'o' Lanterns
Fun decorative stuffed fabric pumpkins with glitter leaves and black features:

Halloween tag set, only 1 made so far hoping to make some more later this week along with some lolly stick rosettes, all will become clear....

I would like to thank all of you that do comment on my blogs, your thoughts are important to me showing me you care

Show and Tell Monday with Make Mine Pink a group of caring professional women

Check back on Thursday for Handmade by Me blog hop, with more tales of daring do and creativity.