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....

Friday, 10 October 2008

Shopping List Saturday

1)Scandinavian Matryoshka Art Doll-Eva Margrethe/Ravenhill 2)pearly queen poetry cuff-textile embroidery cuff wearable art/cathycullis 3)Colorful Pincushion With Flower on Top 40/ FromHollandWithLove 4)Padded heart with vintage buttons/ vintageadvantage 5)CHRYSANTHEMUM RING-Tea Leaf/ dangsworld 6)Red Gingham Petals-flower plush/ lapomme

Aren't these beautiful?
I've spent this past week doing quite a lot of window shopping...for inspiration, mainly!
I think you can see why I've selected these items - I simply love the colour palette of joyous sky blue partnered with bright candy pink, held together serenely with white and just a dash of vintage green. It's like walking along the clifftops to the beach on a gloriously sunny day...
Now - buttons...can't get enough of them. Never ever throw them away - they are the jewels of tomorrow. Just look at them, shining away on these wonderful items!

Last week and this week we have new players joining us with this Shopping List meme - it's great to have you here! Please click on the links in the sidebar ('Shopping List Saturday:check out their lists!') for more great window shopping delights from fellow etsy sellers!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Finally, Some Work...

mosaic produced via flickrtoys
Remember that work in progress on my desk, in the photo yesterday? Well, this is it...finished (bar the back, the bail ....and something to hang it from!!!).
I'm still not sure if it's quite 'right', but you can so easily overwork something, can't you?

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

On My Desk Wednesday...

This is how my table looks today: that (small) bowlful of brooches and pendants mentioned the other day sit patiently waiting for a bead or sparkle or two, and in the background, you can see the W.I.P at the moment - a new textile pendant, fresh off the machine complete with copper thread machine embroidered edging.
Right - off to make lunch now...

You can, as always, glimpse the secret lives of other workhorse desks here, on kootoyoo's blog. Go on, be nosy!!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Bad Hair Day

It's well and truly over now, isn't it? The summer - been and gone, duly replaced by strong winds (yuck) and heavy rain (plays havoc with your hair). Have a picture of my girls' house, with their birdhouse, looking rather sunny and dreamy.
I read on florcita's blog about how Argentinians stay inside with tea and special biscuits when it rains. How great is that? Best idea I've heard for ages!!

I think you can detect that things haven't really moved on since yesterday....I started and discarded three new projects, and spent the afternoon 'researching', ie: devouring historical costume books! My idea of heaven...with the excuse, of course, that I have all of that silk and velvet to play with!


Thank you for everyone's kind words yesterday xx
I hope my oldest friend, the Prawn, had a great birthday yesterday - even if my card didn't arrive until today (sorry) xx
I hope my dear friend, 'back where I used to live', gets through tomorrow's op with a smile on her face (albeit strained!) after a nasty accident yesterday...xx

Monday, 6 October 2008

Oh, The Frustration!!!

This could be very dull...I'm having difficulties. Of the artistic kind. For days, I've been full of ideas for new jewellery, new stitchery and even some Christmas ideas. I'm getting nowhere!! I'm faffing, fiddling, snipping and making a huge mess - and that's all.
I'm desperate to get creating, but the so-called font of creativity is definitely holding me back....I haven't got enough hands!! I've made a bowl (small) full of brooches and that's great, but I'm toying with the notion of some rustic grapevine wreaths with some decadent, regalish velvet and silk embroidered hearts bouncing around the periphery on little wires...waste of time??

As for that scrumptious pile of bits and bobs I showed you last Thursday....don't even mention it to me. AAaarrggghhh!!!

*to fight the frustration, I picked these daisies today on a whim after cutting some hydrangea and angelica for the front porch. These really make me happy - and I love my new necklace from eldest. She stitched together this scrummy little pink cupcake for me, topped with a lilac flower. So cute!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Shopping List Saturday...Spooky Stuff!

1)Black Cat vintage fabric and felted wool animal/ littleloveblue 2)Spooky Banner/ thepolkadotshop 3)SALE - Funky Tin Halloween Witch Hat Lantern/ funkyshique 4)Witch Vintage Inspired Flash Card Decoration/ paperyjane 5)Halloween Black Wreath with handpainted wooden handtags-witch pumpkin crow/ goodygoodygumdrops 6)Snuggly Wool Mature Pumpkin With Camel-coloured stem sz 6-18mths/ mymarketstall 7)Primitive Bowl Fillers Ornie Halloween Pillow Set pumpkin-witch-crow-ghost/ pudmucklesmercantile 8)ODD BLACK CAT PURR-fect For Your HOLIDAY DECOR/ HoneysuckleLane 9)Honey - I Can't Find My Teeth-Denture Soap-Set of 2 Grapefruit Scented Handmade Goat'sMilk Soap/ aBreathofFrenchair

As promised, last week - a collection of spooky and sinister Halloween doings!

Actually, they're not really sinister at all, are they? Littleloveblue's gorgeous felted cat is simply adorable at any time of the year, and what little 'un wouldn't look a cutie-pie in that Snuggly Wool Pumpkin hat from mymarketstall? As for the odd black cat by HoneysuckleLane, who wouldn't give him a good home?!

Thepolkadotshop's banner, funkyshique's lantern, goodygoodygumdrops' Halloween wreath and paperyjane's flash card sign could easily be popped into any home decor as we enter into the spirit of the day. As for the primitive bowl fillers from pudmucklesmercantile, I could easily see me leaving these out on a long term basis...well, they're too cute to have for just one day! I have to say, though, that with young children in my house, Halloween lasts throughout October and for half of November! Why not? It makes the waiting time for Christmas seem more bearable for them, I think!

Lastly I must mention those denture soaps from aBreathofFrenchair! Aren't they fantastic?! Good for a laugh and a great stocking filler, wouldn't you say?!

*For more etsy sellers' Shopping Lists, click on the links in the sidebar (Shopping List Saturday: Check Out Their Lists!)...and sit back and enjoy. Remember, buy handmade!! Happy weekend to you all!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Pure Excitement and Satisfied Lust...!

Oh, my.
Take one look at this picture, above, and I swear you will melt in a puddle of I right, or am I right?!!
This morning I woke up to a brown parcel in the post. I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself! I first saw this Hebridean Jewels Cuff over on flickr, then for sale in Jackie's folksy Dog Daisy shop, and after two seconds of deliberation, decided that I had to have it. The woodcutter always struggles for ideas for Christmas gifts that his wonderful wife (!!!) will be thrilled with - so this year I've spared him that trauma. Will you just look at it? Isn't it fabulous?!
Yes - I think you can tell that I'm rather pleased! It's exquisitely made, the velvet jewels are divine and it's an original...handmade with love. Jackie, thank you so much...and for the amazing and unexpected extra!

These cuffs, made from genuine Harris tweed, are also available in glorious amethyst and a wonderful Aegean blue, here - and look at the brooch and sweet gift tags whilst you're there! Why not visit her etsy shop, here, too? Christmas is only just around the corner....!

*my moo cards arrived, too!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

On My Desk Wednesday (only that'll be Thursday, then!)

Yikes...I could hyperventilate right now. Just look at this little pile of lovelies I rescued from the bargain bin last Saturday! Simply tipping them out onto the table for their very own photoshoot has made me go all funny! It must be the lusciousness of the fabrics, or the textured slubs that does it....or simply the rich colours? Whatever it is that make these sing to me, I'm not sure, but all I can visualise right now are historical-based glamorous collars - high necked, slightly frilled and tucked, and just plain decadent.

Too much Henry VIII if you ask me!

for someone who only wears black (pretty much), I'm amazed at my ability to go potty over colour!

*For more beautiful things on lucky desks, pop over to kootoyoo and take a quick peek.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Feeling Felty

Oooh, I love these colours! They make me feel all warm and cosy! I really like how the turquoise seems to glow when it's set amongst these pinks, purples and browns. This is a really quite deep collar, which is a bit like a...hmm...a 'scarflette', I suppose. Thickly felted, with a smattering of sparkles, and a fabulously clashing deep greeny-turquoisey-satiny-ribbony lining. Yum, yum, and yum again.

That's me for the day - well, almost. Our primary school's Friends AGM was this evening, so I've been quite busy - but the best is yet to come. Oh, yes! Henry VIII in all his glory is repeated tonight, in about ten minutes, and I can hardly wait!

Obviously, I'm watching it for the costumes, the jewellery and the historical facts. That is obvious, isn't it??!!