Sunday, 28 December 2008

Merry Go Round Christmastime

Jump on and join a group of artists/crafts-women as they link around the world and tell you a little about their lives in art and craft.

This month's question that myself and 8 other women will answer is seasonal and related to Christmas and holiday times -

How do you celebrate the Christmas holidays? What traditions do you have? favourite time of the year! I love the fact that we are all celebrating the same event, together. Family time is at the fore, and I relish it! We all take a break from the usual daily routines, sit back, relax and enjoy.

Christmas for me starts with attending our girls' school play. It's a heart warming occasion, and we journey home, taking in the light displays in gardens and homes around our town. The final weekend before Christmas arrives, and we spend it decorating the house. My mother always did this on Christmas Eve, for the Twelve Days of Christmas. I truly would love to follow that tradition, but time doesn't really allow. So, the last weekend before Christmas is our time to deck the halls, in readiness for the woodcutter's clan to descend on us for a great pre-Christmas day together. I keep the tree decorations in the same cracker box that Mum used 39 (eek!) years ago - and it gives me such joy to take it out and open it every year. Memories come flooding back...the excitement of childhood Christmases; the anticipation...tears in my eyes every year, without fail!

In the depths of that box, there are decorations I made as a child - especially a golden cardboard star that I made with the help of my aunt and uncle when I was about 5, as a gift for my parents. My aunt and uncle are now gone, but each year, I think of them as it takes its place on the tree. We make a point of saving the ornaments the children make every year, and they re-discover them and place their own decorations on the tree. My Mum always, always, always kept a place on the tree for a little robin...and guess what? I do too!

This year, our tree isn't really a tree - it's a huge branch from a massive fir tree in our garden. It suits perfectly, as it can sit flat against the wall! We've also used another branch to frame the window in our lounge, in place of a tree (top pic). It seems to work, and is a little different to usual. Money saving, too!!

Christmas is in full force come the Eve. My parents spend the day with us, and we exchange and open our family gifts. The children go to bed in happy moods, full of anticipation of what the next day may bring. Of course, they leave a treat for Father Christmas, and a snack on the windowsill for the reindeer! We tread carefully through the night, disposing and filling as quietly as we can, crossing fingers that maybe we will be lucky to make it through to dawn before the frenzy begins!

I hope our girls grow up sharing my love of this special time - and that, like me, they will carry traditions with them through their lives, keeping some and expanding on others.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmastime, and I apologise to all Merry-Go-Rounders for the rather late posting of this piece! Please click on their links in the sidebar, and read how our traditions differ around the world. Happy New Year!

Friday, 19 December 2008

A Thought or Two...

So, today saw my little girls home for the holidays. Christmas is almost here!

I had planned (but failed) to make lots of gifts for family and friends. Sorry, everyone! At the start of the summer this year, I took the plunge and decided I would try and see if I could succeed at doing something I loved - and to see if anyone liked what I did and maybe even buy something! It has been a HUGE learning curve, but I have loved every second...even these past few weeks, when I've been busier than I ever imagined I would be. This has been so much fun - so much so that sometimes I've found it difficult to switch off and walk away!

Christmas is a lovely time of the year, for us all to be together, for family moments - and so, I'm going to take a blog break for several days. As Anna said, over at Half an Acre - I want to sit with the children and make paperchains (yep, I found some gorgeous spotty ones I'm desperate to put together - with the girls' help, of course!)!! Sorry there won't be a Shopping List this week (but please do check out the other Etsy sellers, and buy handmade this Christmas!); I leave you with a photo of our sugar scenes in jam jars, that are gracing our landing windowsills.

I wish you a Very Merry Christmas - I hope you have very full stockings!!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Shopping List Saturday

Oops - a little late; sorry folks!
You can see what my theme is this weekend! I've come over all robin-y lately...we've been looking for little figures to make some sugar-snow-scenes in jam jars. Every time I see a little robin I can't resist it!

1)Robin greetings card - pack of 5/ AlexandraAshby1 - isn't he just gorgeous?!
2)Orange Dot Robin Egg Blue Porcelain Tumblers/ SimplyDaisy - just couldn't resist popping these in here...I love them!
3)Robin Stitchery Pattern/ JanetClare - if I only had the patience to embroider properly, I could have a robin on everything!
4)Winter Holly Berry Nest Large Clothespin Ornament, Needle Felted/ winsomehollow - I adore everything that Katy produces; this nest is delightful and fits the bill perfectly.
5)Silver Robin ring/ ShereDesign - something a little different, and rather fabulous, don't you think? Yes, please!
6)Single Robin - Cutout Christmas Card/ pocketstudio - perfect!I love the cleanness of this card, and the robin is cute and colourful!

Hope you've enjoyed this little selection...please click on the links in the sidebar for more picks from fellow Etsy sellers!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

A Welcome, and a 'Come Back Tomorrow' Plea

First of all - apologies everyone for the lack of my Shopping List today - please pop back tomorrow, and it will be ready and waiting! Busy, busy, busy....

I'm really pleased to tell you that we have a new player joining in with the Shopping List Saturday meme this week! Welcome to Sophie (Sophie Isobel Designs), from 'her library adventures'. Please pop over and check out her first list - and don't forget the other Etsy sellers too (you can click on their Shopping List links in the right hand sidebar). Thanks!

Happy Christmas shopping to you all!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Au Revoir......

Today, I say 'goodbye' to one of my favourite pieces, the Forest Treasures choker. I don't usually feel sorry to see items go - I'm simply thrilled that someone likes them enough to want them for themselves, or give as a gift - but I have to admit to a little pang of sadness in sending this to its new home in America. It may sound a little dramatic, but each time I pick this up, it really does make me smile! It was inspired by our wonderful surroundings - the glorious ancient Royal Forest of Dean - and how exciting it was to finally move into our cottage set right in the heart of it. But, away it must go!

I am SOOO behind with posts this month. I must say thank you to Jackie and Cathy for tagging me (weeks ago!), and apologise for thus far not passing that tag on - I do intend to....really! Bit late, really...
Also, I just want to share with you this gorgeous little birdie, that I actually bought a few weeks ago - but as it's nearly Christmas it's about time I showed you! Edward and Lilly has more of these, and in other colours in the shop - do take a look. If you buy one today I think you just might get it in time for Christmas (oops - best not take my word for it though; I think international posting is best before 5th December) because Rebecca was very quick with her posting!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

On My Desk Wednesday

Christmas is coming and the goose (well, 'I am'..) is getting fat(ter)...!!
Yep, preparations have begun in earnest for the festive season. Hurrah! Sunday afternoon, I fancied a cosy family afternoon, huddled in front of the woodburner, creating new (yet recycled) Christmas decorations...all of us. (I like the idea of making something new each year - and I do keep them until they fall apart! I still have a felt tree I made with my Aunt's help when I was about six).

Go on - guess what happened? Correct! I ended up doing it pretty much alone!! Well, not strictly speaking true, I suppose. The cutting up of the wallpaper strips was done by the woodcutter and youngest...eldest occupied herself with making invitations for the 'production' that they're both going to perform for us on Christmas Eve.
Tonight will see us head off to school for the first evening performance of the school Christmas play. Victorian in theme, it will feature many songs from Oliver. How will I be able to resist joining in?!! My parents would love to come see it, but as my father is in ill health, eldest thought the solution could be to perform the whole thing in miniature for them...on Christmas Eve, whilst they are here with us for the day. Aah.

So, what's on my desk? Well, our recycled wallpaper sample book cornets and snowflakes. I have it in my head that we must make many, many more...we shall see. I'm also guilty of preventing eldest from finishing her angel (seen in centre right pic); I need to starch and iron some fabric for the wings for her. Best be off and do my duty, then!

Check out more desk excitement over at kootoyoo's blog, here.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Shopping List Saturday

As we drive around our little town, we've been enjoying the Christmas lights in the centre, and little glimpses of people's decorations in their own homes. When I was small, my Mum always put our decorations up on Christmas Eve. Always. I would go to bed late, and the house would be in chaos, and wake up Christmas morning to a wonderland. Wow. I don't uphold this tradition....I would never get to bed! My concession? The decorations go up the week before Christmas, but I don't switch the lights on until Christmas Eve. I may give in this year and be even earlier!
However, I'm thinking about cranberries right now. Could I make some cranberry (or rosehip) wired hearts for our dining room? Hmmm. Whilst I mulled that over, I went shopping for cranberry things - here's what I found - and I want them all!

1)rose red ring/ cookoorikoo - I'm not sure why I haven't bought this already! I love it!

2)Red Currant Earrings/ clevergirl - I love the simplicity of these. Gorgeous.

3)Handbag Tote in Tapestry/ katwhitt - a little bit of Christmas for your bits and pieces - and big enough for all the other stuff we carry around, too!

4)Red Sky - Neckwarmer/Capelet/ NandaHandcrafted - isn't this fabulous? Warm, dramatic and beautiful.

5)Cranberry berry bowl/ vesselsandwares - how brilliant is this? Pick your berries, pop them in this cranberry glazed bowl, rinse your berries, drain your berries!

6)Faux Berries and Rope Wreath - 14cms (5.5") - INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING/ makalewakan - Simple and pretty. I love it!

Please don't forget to check out fellow Etsy sellers' lists - click on the Shopping List Saturday links in the sidebar for more gorgeous goodies! This week, I'm pleased to say that we have another addition to our players - welcome Jane, from Prairie Wild Rose!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, 5 December 2008

The Forest Sprite Has Been Here... you see what I mean? The whole time I was creating this pendant, thoughts of enchanted forests kept popping into my mind. I think you can tell the sort of stories that crop up in our house with my little girls' imaginations, and I'm not far behind them!!

Mossy dells, trickling streams, bobbing heads of lily-of-the-valley, sunlight streaming through the leaves of the trees, berry stores for the woodland folk....are you with me?! Anyone?!

Thursday, 4 December 2008


Oh dear. I haven't done very well with my pledge to post once a day, every day, have I?!

Sometimes, I just don't know what to write about...and I think you've all had your fill of this brooch is something new-ish I've finally found the time to photograph. It's machine embellished using wool, yarns and sari ribbons. I love the intensity of colour they provide. It was inspired by the wonderful mosaics created by Valerie - see them in her mistflowerstudio Etsy shop here.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Hand in Hand

Goodness! Will you look at that...there we are, almost hand in hand - top centre and top right, rubbing up against each other (I'm not saying anything) in this beautiful treasury, Feel the Warmth of Giving, by mistflowerstudio. Thank you, Valerie xx

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Shopping for Reindeer...Shopping List Saturday Style

I couldn't help myself! We held our school Christmas Fair yesterday afternoon, which is always a flurry of excitement for the children (how many weeks are there 'til Christmas, Mummy?!), and topped the day off with a Christmassy evening watching the local parade as Father Christmas arrived to switch on the town lights...lovely!

This week, in honour of the great man's impending arrival, and the intensive training course that must be in full force up in the North Pole right now, my shopping list is dedicated to the speciality that is his transport...the gorgeous reindeer. How wonderful are they?!

1)Reindeer 8x8 Fine Art Print/ Sharon Montrose - wow. Just look at him in all his glory! Fabulous, fabulous image.

2)Reindeer Brooch/ lupin - too cute, don't you think? UK based (quite local to me, in fact) lupin's shop is packed full of sweet little handstitched felt pieces - something for everyone.

3)Deer (Original)/ meobrien - magical. This reminds me of a fairytale, or something from my dreams...from deep within our forest, perhaps?

4)10 Retro Reindeer Adhesive Gift Tags/ thecraftpantry - these SO take me back!! The Christmases of my childhood...I'm thrilled to have found them!

5)Pomegranate Deer Plush/ followthewhiterabbit - I know my girls would fall in love with this little beauty...who wouldn't? And if pinky tones aren't your thing, they are available in practically every colour of the rainbow.

6)Bunny Races - Print/ amberalexander - oh, so lovely, to finally discover what the deer and rabbits get up to during the night! Gorgeous.

I hope these appeal to you as much as they do to me. Why not check out fellow etsy sellers picks this weekend, by clicking on the Shopping List Saturday links in the sidebar? Please bear in mind that we are all in different time zones, so our posting times will vary.

If you'd like to play along with our Shopping List meme, just let me know! Happy weekend!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Merry Go Round

Jump on the merry-go-round and join a group of artists/ crafts-women as they link hands around the world and tell you a little bit about their lives in art and craft!
We’re being a bit seasonal with our posts this month. The question we’re all going to answer is...
"How do the different seasons and weather affect you in your art and craft?"

I’m aware that for practically the entire month of November, I’ve done nothing but moan. Moan, moan, moan – nothing unusual in that, I know (before those that love me and put up with me feel compelled to leave a comment to prove it). The depressing light of day in these late autumnal /early winter months is hard to deal with. Am I the only person who struggles to get out of bed in the morning, when it’s still dark, and the warm comforts of a snuggly duvet are enticing me back to bed for ‘just five more minutes’?? It really does make you question your self discipline...but thankfully there are children to be breakfasted, sandwiches to make, ‘undergarments’ to retrieve from the ironing pile (no, I don’t iron them) and the school run to undertake (all in a mad rush!). Somehow, I manage to start the day.
But it doesn’t stop there – the general light in the house has lost its summer brightness; all clarity is gone. Remember our parents telling us off for sitting too close to the television – it’ll ruin your eyes!! – well, that’s it, my eyes feel ruined! I don’t need glasses (I’ve been tested) just proper daylight!! Not only that, but I’m fed up with poor photographs. It’s nigh on impossible to use electric light because it always leaves a caste over your images that I simply can’t eradicate...grrr!!

However, there are good points – honestly! I sit and sew my creations, using a machine or by hand. Granted, working in the evening is more difficult at this time of year, but it’s indoor work, so the weather doesn’t stop me. It’s lovely, too, to be able to reflect the changing seasons in your work – the colours of autumn for example, are glorious; winter sees crisp, cool snowy white; the advent of Christmas sees reds and golds; the party season heralds the opportunity to pile on sumptuous textures and sparkling beads; the colder days cry out for cosseting neckwarmers, scarves and shawls...fantastic!! I love the fact that I can embrace the year in this way; living in a forest, nature and its glorious colours are all around me. It influences our daily lives, so why should I fight it?
What was that line from a Crowded House song, now?...Ah, yes –

Colour is its own reward.


Please use the Merry Go Round links in the sidebar to read everyone's responses to this's fun to find out more about each other, isn't it? Just remember that we are all in different time zones - so if you don't see a post, please pop back again later. xxx

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

On My Desk Wednesday

I know...don't faint! I'm on time this week!!! It IS Wednesday, and this is my desk (well, dining table).
Some simply decorated log gift tags/hanging decorations...simple!

Visit kootoyoo's blog for more desk excitement, here.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Log'll see what I mean....

Welcome to our world...logs; candles; logs; candle holders; brown boxes; logs; raffia; logs....oh, yes - and logs.

The woodcutter has now fully equipped his new shop with...logs - well, candle holders anyway. Many permutations to take your fancy. In threes, sixes, bark on and bark off. All gift wrapped. I'm rather partial to the gift box packaging, but that's probably because it's my token effort. Everyone likes a bit of something pretty, don't they??!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Blog Feature!

Lovely Rebecca, from Edward and Lilly, has popped a little feature about yours truly on her blog - I blushed all over when I read it! Such kind words, Rebecca - thank you so much xx

If you'd like to nip over there for a quick read, click here. And if you do, thanks very much - you'll be glad that you did, but not because of the post about me: Rebecca's blog is beautiful, her stitchery is delightful and she appears to work in an oasis of calm (On My Desk Wednesday speaks volumes!) does she do it??!!

Friday, 21 November 2008

A Rather Cold Shopping List Saturday

The weather forecast for the UK this weekend is BRRRR!!!, with some snow expected on the eastern side of the country....I had a chat with lovely Liane of enhabiten (delicious vintage textile art and homewares) yesterday - they have had a flurry of snow way over there in New Hampshire, too. What better than to stay inside in the warm and do a spot of shopping, handmade style? This week's list focuses on all things snowy...enjoy!

1)Frozen Heart/ angelacallanan You can almost feel the ice surrounding this heart, trapped forever in the frozen water! Part of the artist's Snow Queen series - check them all out. Wonderful.
2) Frosted Feathers Wreath/ Ivyndell For a whimsical touch - snowy and glittery, this twig wreath is home to a sparkling little feathered snowbird. How cute!
3)Vintage Ice Skates - Original Watercolour Painting/ kvwilkinson Aren't these gorgeous? Hung up after gliding over frozen romantic!
4)Snowflakes- bakers dozen/ cakeboxcookies Wow your friends with these delicious goodies...complete with silver sugar! How great is that?! They'll love you for it...
5)Abominable Snowman Magnet/ PearsonMaron Hey! Did you see him?? Bigfoot?? Look, quick - right there, on your freezer know you want him!! Make sure you eat up all of your ice-cream first...
6)tree card/ littlepaperbird - this wonderful card is a gift in itself - beautifully cut, standing like a scene from a fairytale. It can be kept on the mantel all year long, like a sculpture of snow capped trees on a hillside. Super.

For more great shopping ideas from Etsy sellers, please click on the Shopping List Saturday links in the sidebar. If you would like to come and join us with this meme, just let me know! Everyone's welcome! Have a warm and cosy weekend...!

Something New...

Just a quickie to show you the new Edwardiana Cowl collar that has been popped into my shop during the early hours of this morning.

Talking of which, I read a forum discussion once about when exactly was the right time to post new items. I read about people staying up all hours to post at the optimum time. But when is the optimum time....worldwide?! Etsy is, of course, an American site - but the USA doesn't have just one time zone...I tend to do mine at about midnight. Why am I not tucked up in bed??

*created with flickr toys
Perhaps you'd also like a sneaky peek at the woodcutter's new shop?? Currently, gift boxed candle sets are available - but they'll be added to, and you'll also be able to fill up your empty alcoves with clean, stripped decorative logs. Yum.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

On My Desk Wednesday (I know, it's Thursday...again!)

Better late than never??

Terrible pic (sorry) - taken in a hurry with my elbow propped on top of my mug of tea (why? no idea), whilst I tried to do some work on the computer. Another lesson learned. I don't multi-task very well...but don't tell the woodcutter I said that!

For more interesting lives of desks out there, pop over to kootoyoo's ( blog. Why not join in?

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Hurry! Your Size Could Win You A Fabulous Prize!

Would you like to win one of Jackie's (dogdaisy92) glorious wrist cuff creations (above...thank you Jackie for letting me use your pic)? Well, you can - in your size, width and favourite colour - simply by completing her survey, leaving a comment here!
Jackie is asking for at least 100 participants, to get a good overview of sizes and to make it a valuable survey. You simply need to tell her your wrist measurement and preferred cuff width...that's it!

It really is as simple as go and enter your details, sit back and wait to hear that you've won! You never know...and you don't stand a chance if you don't take part!

Be QUICK...the closing date for those comments is tomorrow - Friday 21st November!!

I've Waited For Ages... make one of these!
During the summer, I desperately wanted to have a go at making a glamorous, unusual and voluptuous scarf. Well, not really a scarf - more of a cowly neckwarmery sort of thing. What with one thing and another, I didn't get around to it...until now.

I've selected one of my favourite pieces of fabric from my collection (I love soft blue and bronze together), and backed it with a stiff-ish taffeta that is a bit russet, a bit turquoise and a bit chestnut coloured. The colours are quite subtle and shimmer softly with movement.
I've been waiting to use that fabulous woven ribbon trim - and today it got its chance to shine! But the best bit about this collar? It has to be its versatility - it is completely reversible; there are buttons on both sides (mother of pearl), which means they can be hidden on the inside or shown off by being on the outside. There are so many ways to wear it - loosely, folded over, buttoned up, unbuttoned, as a scarf, upside down...and many more, I'm sure!

This should be on sale in my etsy shop by the end of today. Oops! It's Wednesday....On My Desk tomorrow, then....

Monday, 17 November 2008

Victorian Days

My little babies, ready for school, Victorian style!
This was how they went to school on Friday - the whole school, in fact...staff too - and everyone looked wonderful! There were chimney sweeps, governesses and chambermaids aplenty.
I didn't realise how difficult a mop cap could be to make....but, oh, I learned! The first attempt was just big enough for my daughter's doll; the second would have a fitted a space-hopper...but I just about got there in the end! The pinnies were a doddle in comparison.

Right now, it's Oliver Twist crazy in these 'ere parts!

Friday, 14 November 2008

Shopping List Saturday - Country Living Style

Today sees me hot-footing it off to the bright lights of the big city with a very good friend, to savour the delights of the Country Living magazine Christmas fair...I absolutely cannot wait!!! I'm going for research purposes, naturally (tee hee)...

In honour of this exceedingly exciting day, I've made a very small Shopping List, packed to the gills with country style. Hope you like them as much as I do!

1)Bohobo Bag/ beautythatmoves - I wish I had this to take with me! Shabby chic country roses...beautiful! Roomy and gorgeous.

2)shabby bird ornament/ wickedpen - go on, tell me you want one too! How sweet is this? I'd love this little fellow to reside on my mantel, to say hello to each morning!
3)Tea Party Pouch/ girlbyAileen - so pretty, isn't it? Like having a little bit of country cottage garden in your handbag with you all day. I love it.

4)Blue Moon Magic Harlequin Scarf/ LAOriginals - Yikes! So much fabulousness in one item! There are SO many things you can do with this scarf: split it and wear each one separately; wear them as a belt - and more! Click on the link to find out how versatile this scrumptious accessory is. Perfect!

For many more shopping ideas from some super fellow Etsy sellers, please click on the links (Shopping List Saturday:Check Out Their Lists!) in the sidebar. Today, we say a Shopping List 'goodbye' to Hens Teeth. I know you're very busy Viv, and it's a shame to lose you - I've always enjoyed discovering your beautiful selections on a Saturday evening! Thanks so much for playing along until now. I'll still be popping in to see your gorgeous stitcheries!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

On My Desk Wednesday - call it Thursday!

A new Random necklace, just right for the forthcoming holiday festive season ... Lots of lovely beads and buttons - some old, some new; glass ones, resin ones, casein ones; venetian ones, spanish ones ... I could go on! A tumbling, freefalling funloving necklace, full of colour with something to interest everyone. Just a shame about our dull weather - perhaps picnik will help me out a bit later. This should be in my Etsy shop by the end of the day.
Click over to kootoyoo's blog for more desk adventures around the world!
Thank you to Jackie for my Blogging Friends Forever award - I haven't forgotten it!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

A Touch of Glamour

A little something glamorous - for the festive party season ahead.
This small collar is richly textured with claret coloured velvets, silks and organza. Ruby toned beads are sprinkled here and there to catch the light, and AB faceted beads twinkle from beneath the ruffles. I've had a bit of a job (to put it mildly!) photographing it. I figured that as this item of jewellery is perfect for partywear, it would be worn in the evenings - low light/ electric I wanted to show it as it would be seen and worn.

GRRR!! Hopeless! I'll have to pray for some decent light tomorrow and have another stab at it. Fingers crossed!!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Someone's Proud....

I know a little girl who's rather pleased with herself...and look! It is rather cute, isn't it? Looking over my shoulder at some fabulous photos on flickr, we admired the work of Dot (createarian), and her gorgeous little dotee and Amelia dolls.
Hmmn, thought eldest. I'd like to make one of those...and so she did! She's rather chuffed with the result, and I can see why! It's going to be a gift for her friend (whose birthday we missed last Friday) - this one's not coming my way then. Shame.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Shopping List Saturday a day late!

Firstly, apologies for missing yesterday's post! I just wish I could find the time to write my posts in advance....I don't know how those who manage to do that, manage it!
I have a feeling that I'm not the only one to do this with my Shopping List this theme, no colour link, just exactly what you'll find on my favourites list this week! These have all caught my eye whilst dipping in and out of Etsy this week, so really you're just getting a little glimpse into 'my world'....enjoy!

1)Purple Branch Necklace - Purple and Lime /OlliesWoollies - I love the organic nature of jewellery like this. I feel like I've just discovered it on an exotic beach! It's that purple and lime again.....a winning combination in my book!
2)Walnut Babies Christmas Ornaments - set of 6 (Red Duvet) /SunnyDayArtandCraft - I know two little girls - and their friends - who would be in Little Girls' Heaven if they could get their hands on these! Adorable - they come in other colours, too!
3)Silver grey silk cuff /dogdaisy92 - I just adore Jackie's work. I know first hand that it is exquisitely made, with beautiful fabrics...I would buy everything she makes, if I possibly could. Gorgeous.
4)Art House Pin/ sillyboodilly - Love the buttons, love the trim...and she also makes lovely vintage fabric bracelets too, with fabulous co-ordinating buttons. Take a look!
5)Black Panther Bracelet /triz - triz is a new discovery for me, found through an etsy 'favourite' list. Stunning, dramatic items of jewellery like this, that will surely get you noticed. A definite new favourite for me!
6)Embellished Needlepoint Wrist Cuff - size 7.00(W538) /lesjardinsdevie - one word: needlepoint. The time it must take!! I am in awe of anyone with such staying power! The results are wonderful - colourful and feminine, with really pretty embellishments.
7)Wool Pear / WhimsyByJess - Just love this! A sweet play toy, but utterly cute filling a fruit bowl adorning your table!
8)Clara, the Eco-Friendly Sock Mouse /kevor - I could easily battle it out with my girls for custody of this precious little sweetie. Isn't she terrific? Best get in there quickly before I do...I think I must have her!

Did you find the other Etsy sellers Lists this week, whilst I was away? Do click on their links in the sidebar - everyone finds great items that I bet you haven't seen before! Welcome, too, to a new player this week: lovely to have you, Shelly!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Not Today - Sunday!

Just to say - sorry if you've popped in expecting to see my Shopping List Saturday post. Please call back though, because I will be posting on Sunday instead.

In the meantime, please use the 'Shopping List Saturday:Check Out Their Lists!' blog links for some super shopping ideas from fellow Etsy sellers! I'm pleased to say that we have yet more new players joining in, so please take a little look!
Thank you, and have a good weekend!

Front Page - and I missed it!

This treasury, by Olaladesign - aptly named Sleeping Beauty - was apparently on the front page of Etsy yesterday evening...and I missed it! I have to confess, I do love a bit of Celebrity Scissorhands.....
I really must get to work on some new products - then, if this happens again (fp), at least there will be something new in my shop to look at. I can't complain - I've been really busy - but the old fancypicnic wares definitely need an injection of newness. I just need to get today and the weekend over with, those orders completed, and my restless fingers can get cracking!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Where Does All the Time Go?!

Almost finished the last of my custom orders...and I feel ready to launch into some new products! A little sack of goodness has come my way, thanks to a friend who knows someone in the bridal dressmaking industry - look at these delicious offcuts!
I can picture a collar and ruff with matching cuffs that the Snow Queen would be proud of...

My mind has been racing a little whilst I've been working - I feel the need to make some Christmas stockings, some Christmassy bunting, some padded ornaments....but is that simply self-indulgent? I'd like to make my own gifts this Christmas - but I always say that, and never manage it. I'd like to make some glamorous neck warmers; some Christmas party glittery fancy necklaces; some decadent cuffs; some pendants suitable for the one you love; some accessories for the man in your life...but how do you find the time??!!! Answers on a postcard, please (in the comment section)!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

On My Desk Wednesday

Not a very good picture...picnik has given me a bit of a helping hand, but it's not great. Ah, well - this is what is on my desk right now. A cushion I have made as a gift for my parents' ruby wedding anniversary. The stitching isn't great - my machine is playing up a little. It keeps looping and failing to pick up the lower thread unless I only stitch in one direction. Why???!! I've fiddled and faffed, but I can't solve it. Could be a slight problem for making new jewellery....eek! Any ideas? I've tried changing thread and needles, adjusting tensions, all knobs (you know what I mean!) set to zero as the feed dogs are joy. Oh dear!

Hop over to kootoyoo's blog for more desk culture.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Back to Normality...

Half term is now over - time to get back to the grindstone!
I have to say that a part of me missed the routine of a blog post every I'm feeling a bit sluggish trying to get back into the swing of things!

Remember a week or two ago I posted a photo of some work in progress? It was a custom order, and I thought it was favourite black, with silver and grey, and a touch of purple and lime. A collar was requested - one that could be worn normally, but also easily lengthened to be worn over a winter coat. Well, here it is...I love the colour combination, don't you? I'm thrilled with the effect of the floaty long silver metallic threads - just a hint of shimmer!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Shopping List Saturday

So, Hallowe’en has been and gone...and if memory serves me correctly (ha ha), the high street stores will now launch into overdrive to get us all hot under the collar about Christmas. Personally, I LOVE Christmas...I start to feel tingly all over during mid October...but frankly, I feel annoyed to have all of those glitzy, over-priced items shoved under my nose the second the summer sales have come to an end. I prefer to think of raging log fires; of weeks spent foraging for pine cones to dip in a bit of glitter; of hours happily spent home baking gifts for all...hmm. Scrap that last one.....
This Shopping List is an ode to preparation. I love the notion of sewing away into the evening, creating perfect handmade items to adorn the house on the approach to the big day, but I know it’s something I fail miserably at! Therefore, I’ve found some deliciously made advent calendars! We all need them early, so that we can prepare for what may need to be popped inside, and I think these are fabulous.

1)Christmas Advent Calendar Wall Hanging/HanhansStitching - delightful... something to cherish and pass down through the generations
2)OOAK Advent Calendar Christmas Swag/ ShellyRaeWood – a new twist on tradition, I love these little pursey-pockets and the inclusion of vintage buttons
3) Christmas Advent Box (Snowman)/ MySweetSussie – no need to search for chocolates or little treats; rather, this box contains little suggestions for activities for the month of December.
4)24 Exclusive Advent Calendar Pouches – choose your font and ribbon/ nuvonova – you choose the typeface you want, and the ribbon trim that you want! How great is that? Perfect if you would like something to fit in with a colour scheme, and made just for you!
5)Christmas Light Advent Calendar Pattern/ reevesfarm – I am completely smitten with these...I just wish I could crochet. I adore those large Pifco-esque fairy lights with their solid colours, and here they are in a handmade fashion!
6)Matryoshka Advent Calendar/ thymbyldesigns – with delightfully designed illustrations, these pouches are gorgeous, and very in keeping with the trend for little Russian dolls. Beautiful!

Today, we welcome along some new players with our Shopping List Saturday meme – please click on the links in the sidebar to see what they would buy.
Shop from the warmth of your own home this weekend...perfect!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Merry-Go-Round...scary style!

Jump on the merry-go-round and join a group of artists/ crafts-women as they link hands around the world and tell you a little bit about their lives in art and craft!

Our question this month, with Hallowe'en just around the corner, is: 'What is the scariest part of your art/craft?'

Hmm, well, I had to think about this one for a good few minutes. Firstly, my reaction was well, where do I start? However, the more I pondered it, the more I realised that actually, none of it is really scary...although a lot of it feels rather risky at times!

I remember that moment very vividly, when I first made the decision to take the plunge, and 'set up shop'. I had absolutely no idea where to begin. I could barely use a computer, except for moderate use of Illustrator and Photoshop, and a little bit of internet shopping experience (naturally - I am a girl after all!) to help me along. I suppose that initial tentative foray into the world of selling online was a teeny bit scary. I would sit staring at the screen for what was surely hours on end, willing it to suddenly spring to life and do all the hard work for me...or at least ring a bell or two and flash every now and then to point me in the right direction!!

But that was then...and now, I'm loving it! I am completely suited to being this anonymous shopkeeper; I can work in my pyjamas (something we all do - right?!) and no-one knows. I can assume a managerial role if need be, and I don't even need to have washed my hair...let alone 'put my face on'! It's perfect for me! There are still things that might bother me a little (ok, maybe a lot...I am a worrier), like fulfilling a custom order - they've put their faith in me, I have to provide them with exactly what they want, and on time...pyjamas or no pyjamas! It's made me realise now, as I lounge on the cusp (ha ha! more like left of the centre!) of middle-agedness, that I can only do my best - as long as I do that, it'll see me through. That's what my Mum told me; it's what I tell my girls...and d'ya know? I think it's right! What's scary about that, eh?!!

Please check out the other ladies' stories that are spinning around on this merry-go-round with me - you can click on their links in the sidebar. We're all in slightly different time zones, so do pop back to revisit them if you don't immediately see their post. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Crikey, Really?!

I've decided to break out of blog hibernation (half term holidays, etsy custom orders....and, sadly, the dreaded lurgy...) to show you this. Utilemud's treasury, which includes my Pomp and Ceremony wrist cuff, was on the Front Page of etsy this morning - that's so exciting for me! I'd like to thank all those lovely people who took time out of their busy day to let me know about it. Thanks so much!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Shopping List Saturday!

I’ve been investigating dolls, lately. Dolls and plush fabric figures. There are so many out there, every single one different, with its own personality. Here’s a little dip into the Etsy waters of doll-land:
1)Black Bird Bronwyn doll wall art ooak/ studio67 I think she’s magnificent, don’t you? Such character...such a meaningful face!
2)Greyam Jeanovich/ willowstudio I just love him - great legs.
3)Barry/ dayanra Now, don’t tell me he isn’t cute!! Isn’t he??
4)Blue Floral Snail/ adn109 Now, this chap is full of fun! Bold and colourful..and no slime!!
5)pink goodnight, grub-felt doll set special listing/ kale This completely makes my heart melt. I saw kale’s work over on flickr – it’s adorable. Utterly lovely. Like bathing in a sugar bowl. A little (or big!) girls’ dream.
6)Lilly lil Hoot/ ManicMuffinTotes I couldn’t resist her. She reminds me of a gift I had once from Father Christmas: a cuddly owl. Only mine was furry and pillar box red! No style in those days....
7)Umber Cat/ Marjji I love the textures of this little sweetie...and check out that face!
8)Kelly the Kitten/ bitofwhimsyprims Full of whimsy, this little kitten is feminine and delicate – can’t you just sense her personality?

Happy shopping day to you...plenty to feast your eyes on within the multitude of shops in Etsy – and you don’t have to leave home! For more shopping ideas from fellow Etsy sellers around the world, click on the Shopping List Saturday links in the sidebar. I’m thrilled to say that we have some new players this week – go check them out! (Please remember that we are all on different time zones, so our posting times all vary).

Little Things...

A little gallery of felted brooches. Two are complete, the rest are lying in wait - if you see what I mean! I think these are destined to be sent to a lovely little gallery shop. We shall see...

The end of this half term strikes today, and this afternoon sees us sitting in the school hall watching youngest in an assembly play. Aaah. Makes you think - it won't be long before the Christmas plays arrive...must begin stockpiling the old hankies!

I think my Shopping List Saturday will appear later today, because tomorrow we have a family treat (thanks Mum!) - we're off to Cardiff to see the Birmingham Royal Ballet perform Beauty and the Beast....oooh, can't wait! The costumes and scenery look fabulous, dahling.....

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

On My Desk Wednesday...on time!

Yikes! I hope this doesn't give too much away! I'm about half way through this custom order - perfect for me, using my favourite! Actually, there's a lot of grey and silver here, too, but I seem to have lost that bit of detail in the photo. Love the accents of purple and lime...bring on the beads!!

Go and spy on some other laden desks, here, at kootoyoo's blog. Enjoy!

Monday, 20 October 2008


That gorgeous treasury I showed you yesterday? It's just been on the Front Page! Yay!!
Thank you everyone for your lovely, lovely compliments xx

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Just a Quickie -

I wasn't going to do a post today - busy working - but then I discovered that my Midsummer Collar had been featured in a of course, I had to take a peek. Valerie, from Mistflowerstudio, has curated this amazingly glamorous, romantic and fantasy-filled collection of items, and I simply had to share it!
You can visit it yourself, here, but have a jolly good look now - aren't these items fabulous..? So much storybook drama going on here, it's unreal!
Enjoy - and do visit Valerie's store, too, for the most amazing (that word again, but 'tis true!) mosaic work. Glorious.
Have a lazy Sunday, everyone!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Shopping List Saturday!

1)The Uprising/ chocolateandsteel 2)rusty neck warmer/ forqueenvictoria 3)Belle Ruche in Rust Brown/ infusion 4)Saffron Capelet/ AnniesWearableArt 5)Little Ripples Rust Orange Nunofelted Scarf/ IndigoCrane 6)Lustre ansd Rust Vintage Button Necklace/ calloohcallay 7)Logs II/ Golly Bard 8)Shades of Autumn Rust Leather Journal with Painted Leaves/ julieboyles 9)primitive colonial brooch/ ClairesArtfulThings 10)Ring of Fire Raku Pendant with Autumn Hues Silk Ribbon/ MAKUstudio

Driving through the forest, the colours of autumn are really becoming apparent now. Beautiful golds, rusts, oranges and a smattering of red here and there - just glorious, and the best is yet to come. Another week or two, and we'll have to shield our eyes!!

This week's Shopping List is packed full of just that - rich, intense colour, to warm the cockles of your heart! Beautiful items, delightfully handcrafted.

For more shopping lists from etsy sellers, click on the list in the sidebar (Saturday Shopping Lists:Check Out Their Lists!). So many beautiful, handmade items are out there, waiting for you!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Can You Believe It...?!

Something very small!!

No, really - this pendant is, I think, the smallest piece of jewellery I've ever made! It hangs on a sturdy silver coloured wire choker, and measures a grand total of a smidge over 2.5cms in length!!
Wow. Now I need to go and sit down, to recover from the shock of it. Small?? Well, I never.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Crikey - I Missed Wednesday Again! (On My Desk Wednesday)

Okay - so perhaps I have to add 'can't let a fabric purchase pass me by' to the list of random facts about myself (posted Tuesday) you can see, on my desk - yesterday's purchase of glorious organza squares at bargain prices, and some tres bon sari trim ribbon. Oh, the things a girl needs...

For more laden desks, go check out kootoyoo's blog, right now!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The Finished Article

A little behind the times (for all of you flickr folk who're privvy to this already), but here's the now completed brooch that thinks it's a sea anemone. See what I mean?!

Other business...well, I am just about to commence work on the best custom order ever - a juicily large collar, bedecked with masses and masses of black and silver fabrics and braids, with a dash of lime and a hint of purple.

Sorry, folks - you'll have to excuse me, 'cos I'm in heaven right now...!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

TAG! You're It!...Well, I am... Flo, over at Florcita'sart, has tagged me (bless her). Never one to not rise to a challenge, here are seven facts about me that you may (or may not) know, random or otherwise. Here goes:
1) Now, this is my absolute best fact...always brought out at parties and social gatherings...I was once on stage with the one and only Bobby Crush! Yes, you read this correctly, I did say Bobby remember, man at piano, always sporting dashing maroon velvet jacket, boyishly attractive long hair flopping over the collar whilst he played away at the old joanna...remember? That's him! I was about seven at the time, and I was selected from the audience to join him onstage in a rendition of Old MacDonald Had A Farm...I won't tell you which animal I was. It'll ruin the memory!!!

2) As a child, I didn't have mother packed me off to school in carrier bags over my shoes, secured with elastic bands - oh, the shame of it! Suffice to say, my girls are never short of wellington boots....I can laugh about it now, though, just! My mum's amused by the whole thing..... when we moved here, to the forest, I was given one of the best gifts ever - yes, my own brand new spotty black wellies! Fab or what?!

3)Once, for a few little minutes, I was interviewed on television. Yep, prime time LOCAL tv!!

4)Ornithophobia. I have a completely irrational fear of birds...and it can be a trifle embarrassing at times. If you suffer from this phobia, though, it's difficult to control that blind panic that hits you in town centres, parks and time you see a normally sensible adult woman in the throes of squirming and squealing (quietly), feel sorry for her - it's probably me!

5)I cannot tolerate swede. All orangey and watery and funny tastey and bad smelly. Yuk, yuk, yuk. Please spare me. It makes me wretch involuntarily. Honest. And that's without eating it. I had to stand facing the wall for the whole lunchtime when I was in infant school, for throwing up over the table because some child next to me had it on his plate. His fault, not mine..?

6)I have a bit of a thing about toilet rolls. Hang on - it's not too bad! If the roll is nearing its end, I simply have to start the next one...even though there's still a good few sheets left on the one in use. Why?? It's a compulsion, definitely.

7)I was the first child on my street, in the 70s, to have rollerboots!!! Yay!! Man, I was COOL!! But that was the one and only time...

There you have it! Now that you've seen how completely and utterly mixed up I am, I am going to pass the honour on to these lovely people...let's see what they can offer us!
ethel and edna's tearoom , edward and lilly , half an acre , le bar du vent , miss frugality , fancy elastic , hens teeth

All you have to do, people, is acknowledge the tag from me, list these rules and give us seven facts about yourself. Tag seven more people, link to them and leave a comment for them on their blog...then they know they've been tagged!!

Monday, 13 October 2008

For the Love of Selvedge...

Oh dear. I forgot to take some reasonable photos in daylight - through the summer, I photographed everything in the early evening and I'm finding it hard to break that habit! This brooch, above, is finished's beaded, it's all taffeta'd up and ready to go. Looks a little like a sea anemone - I've used the deliciously fluffy selvedge that bordered the taffeta to outline the fabric shape, so now it has taken on the frondy guise of a sea creature.

Mmm, selvedge...I love it! If anyone removes their selvedges when they're cutting out, please don't rid yourself of it- pop it in an envelope and send it to me! I'll give it a good home and a new lease of life (the fluffier the edge, the better!).

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Busy Bees

Log City. The new name for our abode. Log City.
Phew! Logs coming out of...well, everywhere!
The Log Basket is currently fulfilling an order for a major restaurant chain (revised: for display purposes - walls of logs). The woodcutter has built a huge kiln to dry the logettes out - there are a couple of thousand of them in need of a jolly good baking. The fire is stoked every feels very primitive, squatting down at the Alice in Wonderland sized mini doorway, feeding yet more logs and twigs into the embers. The woodsmoke has a fabulous aroma, that fills the air around our workshop. It's hard work, and we are indebted to my father-in-law for all his help over the past few days. xxx

What else has been occuring? Well, more textile jewels are underway, but the light was far too poor to take any decent photos. Another job for tomorrow....