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: