Thursday, 30 April 2009

Number Crunching

I am in the middle of doing my accounts!

Like the ironing, this is a task that gets much neglected despite my good intentions so I have lots to do. It's very satisfying when it's finally finished, but getting it done is a bit of a slog.

Back with more words and hopefully some pictures tomorrow when my brain is feeling a bit less fried :)

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Tiny Treasures

Buttons bought today from the Salvation Army:

Ongoing Projects

Okay so this weekend's sewing extravaganza didn't turn out exactly how I planned it, but I did manage to spend a few quiet hours curled up with a cuppa, a cosy blanket and one of my ongoing works-in-progress - sewing lots and lots and lots (and lots) of poppies:
I've been working on this mega-batch for a while now - eventually all those poppies will become brooches and hairbands and bracelets. It's a lovely relaxing project where I don't have to cut out complicated pieces or have to think about "what colour next?"... so it's perfect for those times when I'm feeling tired or uninspired or just need to sit and chill out for a couple of hours!

I'm currently loving the look of the white poppies all stacked up like this:
Pssst - if you're still in the mood for a giveaway after this week's freebie please go visit my fellow felt-lover The Rainbow Room who is giving away two postcards, a felt bracelet and a felted soap to one lucky commenter... and my lovely sponsor Red Ruby Rose who is launching her great new blog by giving away one of her clutches! Say hi from me :)

Sunday, 26 April 2009

And the winner is...

... lovely commenter number 55 (chosen at random), bloggerjeanne who said "With two girls, I would have to choose the pinks!" Hurrah!

Thanks again to everyone who took part - so many comments! and so fun hearing which colours you'd like and why! Apologies to anyone who commented after the midnight deadline, I forgot to disable comments on the post until this morning (oops).

I've got no idea what I'll be giving away next month, but giveaways will definitely be happening once a month round here as they're so much fun - so do stick around :)

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Wow

I've never seen so many blog comments! :)

There's still time to leave a comment - you have until midnight BST tonight (25th April) - then I'll be announcing the lucky winner tomorrow. EDIT: commenting is now closed, thankyou!

Meanwhile, I've finally re-opened my online shop after my break, and have been packing up some mini felt rainbows in my sunny office (aka my kitchen) ...I'm planning a weekend filled with lots and lots of sewing, stocking up on a few things, working on some custom orders and trying out a few new ideas, so I should hopefully have some fun work-in-progress shots to show you all soon!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

A Freebie!

I thought it might be nice to share the felty love a little by having a monthly giveaway :)

As I've been spending the past few days making up packs of felt squares my very first freebie is a bundle of yummy felt!

The winner will get a pack of 10 9x9 inch (23x23 cm) felt squares in their favourite choice of colours. You can choose from...

Soft Pastels:Bright Mix:Natural Tones:Pinks and Purples:Or Blues and Greens:
I'm happy to ship internationally, so anyone can enter - just leave a comment before midnight BST on Saturday 25th April on this post saying which colour pack you'd like and I'll pick a winner at random on Sunday (26th April).

EDIT: this giveaway is now closed! Thanks for all your comments :)

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Leaning Towers of Felt

I've been doing a bit of restocking today - making up lots of bundles of felt squares & tying them neatly with matching ribbon while listening to lots of Agatha Christie audiobooks.

Exciting and glamourous times as always! But seriously, it's nice to be getting things stocked up while I'm still taking it easy... and all that colour is always a pleasure:

Monday, 20 April 2009

Lazy Sunny Days

It was so deliciously sunny today it felt like I was still on holiday! Consequently I did very little work :)

Instead I have been catching up on all the "fun stuff" - favourite blogs, Flickr contacts, etc - with holidays and the quiet pleasures of the British seaside still on my mind (can you tell?). I have even managed to join Twitter - that's what 2 weeks without the internet does for you!

Despite all its many shiny, shiny pleasures it was totally worth forgoing the internet for a while to go for walks in peaceful places like this...

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Back from the Wilderness

I have returned from my internet-free break and I'm delighted to see that the old auto-posting feature actually worked!!

I'll try to reply to recent comments properly over the next few days & I'll be back to "proper" blogging very soon but I just wanted to say a huge THANKYOU for all your lovely comments re: my recent news. Feeling part of a wider community of creative people is one of the things that makes this crafting lark so rewarding & your support is very much appreciated! :)

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Silver Linings

Our toaster broke a little while ago. Most annoying, especially as (naturally) I was in the middle of making breakfast at the time. I was dead chuffed though to discover that the new toaster came packaged in some excellently quirky bits of cardboard which will make great additions to my collection :)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Curtains

I'm sure I'm not the only crafter whose pile of sewing-related chores - like sewing on buttons and mending tears - lies neglected while shiny new supplies and pretty fabrics draw our attention.

Lately though I've been trying to be good, and actually get some practical sewing done round the house. One of the bigger tasks is to line the assorted pairs of hand-me-down curtains in our flat - and I've made a start with the curtain hanging inside our front door.
It's the classic example of a hand-me-down that at first you pull a face at and think quite revolting, but as time passes you grow to love it dearly. I thought it quite vile when we first moved in, but now rather adore its yellow flock and blue stripe extravagances.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Stocking Up

As well as splashing out on fun extras like charms and ribbon, I've been stocking up on all my "everyday" supplies like packaging and thread and - of course - lots and lots of felt. A lovely courier brought me this little lot on Monday...... and after months of looking a little empty one of my supplies cupboards now looks like this:
(Please excuse the terrible blurry photo - the cupboard is in a dark corner of a dark room and my camera is a bit rubbish!)

I've been investigating a few new suppliers, too, and ordering some different types of felt to expand my stash a little. I know I already have quite a bit of felt, but I'm a total fusspot when it comes to choosing just the right colour for a project and love having a choice of shades and thicknesses to choose from.

A range I've wanted to try for ages and finally got around to ordering is Kunin Ecospun felt - made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. I'm delighted with the colour choices available - lots of variety for a synthetic felt... ... what a pleasure it was to open that parcel! Some of the colours are interestingly mottled, blends of two or three colours, which I've not really encountered before:
Plus Kunin also make a sweet selection of printed felt, which is really lovely quality and frankly adorable: Ooh, thinking of printed felt I also recently treated myself to some patterned felt from Muer on Etsy (patterned felt is always a "treat" as it's so fancy and likely to get used in small decorative snippets only for the most special of projects) .... .... I and may have to snap up some of their delighful gingham print felt as well!

Friday, 10 April 2009

Polkadotty Goodness

How much do I love polka dot ribbon? Yum yum yum.
I got these reels from my wholesaler for use in various projects (what project can't be improved by a bit of polkadot ribbon??) ... EDIT: packs of this ribbon is now for sale over in my supplies shop!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Irresistible Charms

Every now and then I spot some supplies on Etsy that are just impossible to resist - and, if I'm honest - 90% of the time they are tea themed.

It's sad but true that if you stick a teacup or teapot on something I will want it, and tea-themed supplies means tea-themed sewing which is always good, right? Ahem.

My latest Etsy purchase along these lines was a batch of charms from WalkingChick - teacups! teapots! teabags! and sewing machines! (yes, I know there's no tea connection there but they were still rather lovely) ...... I'm not going to start making charm jewellery any time soon, but I'm definitely hoping to use these to embellish my pieces somehow. The teacups and teapots are especially lovely - those little flowers! Wonderful!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Quit Your Day Job

Confession time: I quit my day job last month! Eek!

I'd been happily balancing a part time job (lovely steady income and friendly co-workers) with running what we jokingly refer to as my "felt empire" ... but a period of bad health has meant that I couldn't manage to do both anymore. So I took the decision to quit my day job and concentrate on crafty things instead!

I don't like to talk about my health a lot, but I got started with this crafting lark because I was ill with M.E. and a bit bored and needed something to do with my time... It's wonderful for my health to be able to take each day as it comes, to work when I want and to spend entire days relaxing on the sofa quietly sewing when I'm feeling under the weather.

Even though it's not for the best of reasons it's also very exciting now being able to call myself "a full time crafter" and I hope that as I recover from my recent relapse I'll have lots of energy to put into all kinds of exciting new projects! In the meantime I'll be bumbling along as usual, making some things, blogging about them, and hopefully selling a few things every now and then, haha.

I'm taking a short break to get some sleep - away from an internet connection, so I can get some proper rest and read some actual books! I'm going to take advantage of the magic of Blogger's scheduling function to write a few blog posts in advance before I go away, so *fingers crossed* you'll still have some pretty things to look at while I'm gone ... but my various shops will be closed until I get back and emails & blog comments will also have to wait.

The boyfriend will probably manage to keep my pot plants alive, but asking him to run my shops and answer my emails for me ... well, that might be pushing it :)

PS check out the awesome leaving gift I got from my boss! Mmm, lovely owl:

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Birthday Basket

Yesterday's crafty project was a bit of special gift-wrapping for a friend's birthday...



We bought her a few gifts, and I potted up some flowers from my little garden and made up a little basket to put them in. I wrapped the pots in bubble-wrap and tape so they could nestle among the other presents without getting them dirty or wet, and added some paper cut-outs on cocktail sticks for a bit of extra decoration:

 

I love to give plants as gifts (especially home grown ones) but they can be so awkward to wrap, so I am a bit in love with this idea. The butterflies look so pretty and are so simple to make: I made mine with sugar paper (construction paper), this template printed out at 50%, and stuck them to a wooden cocktail stick with a bit of clear tape.

 

You can of course use any silhouette you fancy, or more colourful images like butterflies from digital collage sheets like these great ones from Piddix (how amazing would a simple house-warming plant look with a grouping of those butterflies fluttering among its leaves?)

Please feel free to borrow one or two photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire post on your site. Thanks!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Surprises in the Post

I don't normally do much swapping, but recently I've traded some stuff with Lucy of Summersville and Sarah & Jon of The Lapwing Printworks ... and both their parcels arrived this morning!

Jon & Sarah sent me a set of gorgeous bookplates which will soon be adorning some of my boyfriend's many books (they were even kind enough to personalise them for him). Plus they included two surprises, sweet printed notecards and a handbound notebook:
I took rather a long time choosing just one of Lucy's screenprinted fabrics, but I eventually chose a piece of Twist in rose pink and very yummy it is too.... but she also sent me a print of the Plantlife pattern she's been using recently for these pieces. *Swoon*Such a nice way to start off the weekend!

Friday, 3 April 2009

UK Handmade

Have I mentioned the awesomeness that is UK Handmade before?

It's a quarterly "design led online magazine committed to showcasing and promoting the best creative talent the UK has to offer", it's run by some of the nicest people I've had the pleasure of "meeting" through selling online and the latest issue is now available HERE.
It's filled with delicious crafty things including interviews, book reviews, studio tours, crafty business guides, and instructions on how to make those lovely cakes and biscuits (yum yum).

If after all that you still want more, you can check out the launch issue or visit the UK Handmade blog for regular updates on the UK craft scene.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

A Place for Everything...

... and everything in its place, though probably not for long! :)

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