Tuesday, 15 December 2009

'Bringing home the tree...'

The approach to Christmas is my favourite time of the year. This year, as last, it began in November with a visit to the Country Living Christmas Fair in London with a dear friend who loves the whole kit and caboodle as much as I do. A great start.

December got underway and as usual, we had an hour of family fun building a gingerbread house. I say 'we' - what I really mean is, I sit back on my hands and let them get on with it, resisting the temptation to step in and 'neaten it all up a bit'. We all sat back and admired it. Then little fingers wanted to get in there and break bits off and....eat them!! Pardon? I think not! This little house I like to think will outlast Christmas and will be the final thing to dismantle on twelfth night. First in, last out. Why? I have no idea. But I like it that way. So, as every year, they had to make do with polishing off the leftover icing and glittery sweets.

Now, when I was a child, my family had its own traditions - my mum would pop me on the back of her bike on the last day of the school term and we'd go and pick up a tree. It would get lashed to the saddle and handlebars and we would walk slowly back singing 'Bringing home the tree, bringing home the tree....'. Such a fond memory for me. Not until Christmas Eve was it brought into the house and the decorating commenced. I wish, wish, wish I followed on with that tradition. But I don't. We went out in the pick-up for our tree this weekend - drove all the way to the farm shop, hoiked it in the back and drove home again. But it was a fun afternoon, picking and choosing as the woodcutter held each one at arms length for us to walk slowly around and measure up - Father Christmas himself brought the freshly cut trees down from the field on his tractor. Who could ask for more?

Our tree, the one that had our name on it, is waiting outside, preparing for its moment of glory...

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Shopping List Saturday...on Sunday

Winter has arrived - this week saw the ground covered in frost and a strong chill in the air. At times like this, I can only think of layers, snuggly wool and ruffles - we all love pretty things!! I hope you enjoy my selection this week:

1)La Reine Maria Leszczynska bracelet cuff/ hypericumfragile

2)Midnight Clusters Scarf/ Fabulize

3)Elan-Rosa...Knitted Neckwarmer/ Scarflette - Chartreuse Green-Pink Flowers/ irregularexpressions

4)Hunter Green Ruffle Flower Handbag/ mojospastyle

Thanks for popping in - do check out the lists of fellow Etsians and supporters...please use the linklist in the sidebar. Have a good Sunday!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Merry Go Round

Each month, a group of craftswomen from around the world join together and give their reponses to the same question. This month, our question is:
What is your Purple Cow?
This question refers to Seth Godin, who maintained that the key to success is to find a way to stand out and be remarkable - to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins.
Absolutely. I couldn't agree more! I mean, when we look at successful artists and crafters work, we can intuitively see what it is that gives them an edge...what makes them stand out. Maybe they have something to offer that no-one else provides or maybe their superb craftsmanship is evident. Whatever it is, they've got it in spades.
But what about me...? What is my purple cow? Yikes. Do I even have one? I'm not sure. Or about the success part, either. So, I cast an eye over my Etsy feedback that I've received over the past 18 months. That was helpful. Then, I asked my family. Tell me about my work, I said. Throw some words at me that sum it up. Go on, I can take it...and these are the words that my girls and the woodcutter came up with:
pretty - I like this word. It sums up all things girly and feminine. All women want to feel pretty, don't they?
bold - Good! I like to think that if you're going to wear jewellery, wear it! Let it be seen and get you noticed! It's not for everyone, but I try to put a bit of boldness into each piece I create.
colourful - colour is important - it lifts your spirits, it says so much about you. It captures your attention. I need colour in my otherwise rather monochrome life (yes, I tend to live in black!).
intricate - I just love details. It's all in the detail. Sometimes, it's just that one little extra bead that you need to add to a piece to create a certain sparkle and allure, or just one more layer of fabric to complete the story. Without it, a piece can seem almost lifeless.
Now that I re-read this back to myself, I can see that it has made me think a bit clearer about my purple cow - I'm going to name my purple cow 'complexity'. I realise that every item I create combines all of the above...a bit of this and a bit of that; old bits and new bits; layer upon layer of fabrics; multitudes of beads...I use it all. I like to think this results in the viewer being intrigued and totally drawn in by the complexities of each piece. I can hope...
I found that quite thought provoking and tough to answer. I wonder how my fellow Merry Go Rounders got on this month? Find out by clicking on the links in the sidebar...purple cows await you!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

New Beginnings

Sometimes, a little bit of wind and rain can wash away the cobwebs and pave the way for new beginnings.
Last week saw the launch of a new blog. Curious Nature is a collaborative venture between myself and the lovely Mariana. For some time we have discussed the possiblities of working together on a photographic project of some description, and this is the result!

We are both excited about this long-term adventure. Curious Nature is a personal interpretation of our world around us - Mariana (florcita) is an Argentinian ceramicist and fibre artist living in the Netherlands who, like me, shares a passion for detail; for colours, textures and patterns. We are taking our first steps right now, but there are great things ahead...

Come and share the journey with us...

Friday, 30 October 2009

Merry Go Round

Each month, a group of craftswomen from around the world join together and give their responses to the same question...this month, our thought to ponder is:
'Failure sucks...but instructs'
Hmmmn. Not easy, this one. Prepare for honesty by the bucketload...
I can honestly say that good things really can emerge from failure. Just over two years ago, we embarked on a huge lifestyle change. We sold our house and almost everything we owned and upped sticks and moved here, to the middle of a glorious forest, to set up a luxurious tipi holiday campsite. We had spent several years talking about it, researching it, finding the perfect place for it and gaining planning permissions for it. We started work on it...but this happened and that happened, and the whole project faltered. Now that's a blow to your self-worth.
The woodcutter continued with felling and stripping the tipi poles and I worked in the evenings on fancypicnic products. We just couldn't be defeated by this. We had many black moments - moments that so often made it hard to get out of bed in the morning. But how can you let your children down? How can you sit back and let it consume you? Both of us have artistic backgrounds - he'd been a product designer since graduating - and being thrown into this peculiar abyss of 'now what?!' made us think. Think really hard.
The woodcutter hates waste...our tipi poles needed chopping to length and the thick butts removing...and these smoothly peeled offcuts felt good in our hands. They smelled good. They looked darn good!! There must be something we could do with these....
And there was. The Log Basket had arrived. It certainly isn't going to make us millionaires, and it is extremely hard work, particularly for the woodcutter - but it is truly a family business, one where we can spend more time with the children but at the same time work all night if need be. We're doing it for ourselves and we have discovered that working for yourself is tough but incredibly rewarding. It is immensely challenging, to say the least and throws us into many a conundrum - but we like a challenge! We can also see that from this our children are learning. They often get involved with various processes, from helping to offload the logs from the kiln and stack them, to popping the tealights into the candleholders and lending a helping finger when tying the raffia on the gift boxed packaging. My fancypicnic baby can develop alongside, maybe even become integrated within The Log Basket (watch this space), and I like that. One year on, I can see that we have room to grow and widen our product line. It is certainly different to cleaning tents and laundering sheets! It sucked to fail, but we realised that we could, and should, be resourceful - and with a bit of imagination and gritted teeth we could change things. A hard lesson to learn, maybe x
Please now pop in on my fellow Merry Go Rounders - their bloglinks are in the sidebar. We are all in different timezones, so please call back to read their posts. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The shop is lucky...

...it is getting some new stock!

Today, the Elven range arrived back from Stampington in America, following publication in the Autumn edition of Belle Armoire Jewelry. Over the next day or two, these five items will be added to the shop!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Shopping List Saturday...

...on Sunday.

My spot of window shopping may be a little late this weekend, but I hope these lovely items will tickle your fancy nonetheless. Enjoy!

1)Calm - soft wool woven bag/ memake

2)beret31/ dadaya

3)Small Arctic Fox Scarflette/ PilliPillihandmade

4)Verdigris And Rust 11.../ barefootweaver

For more Shopping List inspirations from fellow Etsy sellers and handmade supporters, do click on the links in the sidebar; if you would like to share your weekly window shopping with us, let me know!
Hope you've had a lovely weekend x

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Autumnal Air

Autumn is most definitely upon us...falling leaves, delicious coppery tones appearing everywhere, and a distinct chill in the air. How about this enveloping, multi-functional neckwarmer to carry you through the season?
Completely reversible, with red silk one side and latte and old gold shades on the other, there are so many ways to wear it! Button it up, flip it over, wrap it around...you choose! For a closer look, click here.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Shopping List Saturday

So...a week has slipped by...where does all the time go?
At the end of this busy day, here are some of my Etsy favourites this week - as ever, enjoy!

1)Large felt and velvet brooch/ dogdaisy92

2)Siesta cotton canvas cushion in orange and tan/ roddyandginger

3)Marley the Mini-Zaubermausi/ cynicthelamb

4)Purple Metal Flower Wall Sculpture FREE SHIPPING (US)/ merritthyde

For more Shopping List inspirations from fellow Etsians and handmade supporters, do click on the links in the sidebar; if you would like to join in with your own lists just let me know!
Happy weekend x

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Shopping List Saturday

It's Saturday, so let the shopping commence!

These are a few of my favourites from browsing Etsy this week. Enjoy!

1)349 Blushing Sparrow Avenue - House Pillow/ Olive

2)Ranunculus No. Three - 5x5 Fine Art Print/ saranorris

3)little love tree/ gypsyandtwink

4)the Atheist 4x4 print/ telltalesigns

For many more inspiring selections, do click on the Shopping List links in the sidebar for other lists from fellow Etsy sellers and handmade supporters. Have a lovely weekend...!

*Late edit...Welcome to Buttons and Lizzy, (a fellow Etsian), who has been posting her Shopping Lists for a week or two already (whilst I was taking a summer break) - it is lovely to have you join us!

Friday, 25 September 2009


Each month, a group of craftswomen from around the world join together and give their responses to the same question...this month, our little poser is:
'What's Your Next Chapter...?'

I've been clearing out kitchen cupboards today - they really needed it - and much as it is a dull and tedious job, sometimes, it simply has to be done, doesn't it? All that stuff...clutter...dust...disorganisation...it can all get a bit too much, I think. The time has arrived for me to take stock, clear out and clear up. And I feel better for it.
This is a perfect way to describe my life at the moment, as it happens. So much is going on around me; lots of jobs keep calling to me; new skills need to be learned and I just have to bite the bullet and get on with it. But it is hard sometimes to make changes...necessary changes.

De-cluttering: throwing out the old and making way for the new.

So what does the future hold for me? What will be new, and what will be cast out? Well, the woodcutter's empire is growing. That's a good thing! A really, really good thing. Our future's looking eco-friendly, rustic and wooden.
The Log Basket is exceeding all expectations and our energies have to be channelled. I need to develop a sanders' hands and lumberjacks' muscles. I also have to don a secretary's head and get stuck-in to that lurking headache called paperwork. What do they say? A cluttered house is a cluttered mind? I'm taking steps already...

As for de-cluttering, I think really I mean 'paring down'. Stitchery is very important to me - it is something that is truly 'mine'. Stitchery gives me time to think; it provides that creative outlet that I love; it really becomes an extension of 'me'. I hope that I won't have to leave it behind. I hope that there is room in my life for logs, paperwork, taking pictures and textile explorations. I think a work timetable will evolve and some things will give whilst others take my time. And it will be okay....

Thank you for reading! Please take a few minutes now to read about what the future may hold for my fellow merry-go-rounders - just click on their links in the sidebar, but do remember that we are all in different time zones so posts will appear at differing times.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

In Print...

Yes, this is quite exciting!

fancypicnic's Elven jewellery has been published - find it in the current (Autumn 09) issue of Stampington's Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine. Such a thrill to see my textile jewellery in print!

This issue (like every issue) is gorgeous - packed full of beautifully crafted, highly individual pieces from extremely talented designers...a pleasure to be featured alongside them.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Shopping List ... Sunday, Irish Style

So - it's Sunday, the sun is out...I'm feeling summery! This week, my offerings to you all come from my Etsy neighbours in Ireland. I featured the lovely TanyaMac in my list last week, and through her, I have discovered the Crafty Ireland Etsy Team and their blog, Etsy Ireland. Do have yourselves a little visit...use the shop directory on their blog to find a whole host of wonderful stores!
This is a little delve into just a few of them...enjoy!
Do check out the links in the sidebar for more shopping lists - and if you'd like to join in with your own lists, just let me know! Happy shopping!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Shopping List Saturday

...will be coming on Sunday for me, this week.

Sorry - do pop back in and come shopping with me tomorrow! In the meantime, why not click on the links in the sidebar and take a peek at fellow Etsy sellers' and handmade supporters' lists? Lots of goodies to tempt you!

Happy Saturday x

Monday, 14 September 2009

This may not be stitchery....

...but it keeps me busy!

These are our decorative logs, installed in an alcove of a gorgeous, beautifully converted barn. I love the contrast of the wood against the chalky white walls, and the gentle colouring of the naturally occuring shaded rings at the ends of the logs (they are not stained or treated in any way) add just that little bit of rustic texture.

Today, a big batch of logs are making their way to their new home - a Zizzi's restaurant. Lucky things....

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Shopping List Saturday

It's been a while..!
Today, the return of the Shopping List to my blog - I've discovered some circular beauties with a nod to Autumn about each of them. I can feel the changing of the seasons in the evenings, as a chill in the air nudges me back inside, to warmth and candlelight. Ever the romantic.


1)Blackberry Wood. Set of 5 paper baubles for decorating your home this Autumn/ TanyaMac

2)Ring Ring 2/ aubeebop

3)ingrid...crotcheted heat pad/ EmmaLamb

4)Recycled paper garland/ wrenhandmade

For more Shopping Lists this Saturday, do click on the links in the sidebar and discover new delights chosen by fellow Etsy sellers and handmade supporters. Have a great weekend x

Thursday, 10 September 2009


Today has been a day of glorious sunshine.

Eldest daughter and I armed ourselves with dishes galore and went in search of ripe fruits...what a lot we found. Now, the kitchen surfaces are laden with freshly plucked, ripe fruit.

I was filled with many good intentions earlier this evening, determined to seek out a recipe or two that would do justice to this little cache. Perhaps it will have to wait until morning...for now, it is beautiful to look at - and smells good, too x

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Hello again...

Fancy meeting you here!
I thought maybe it was high time I returned to my blog, now that school has started again after its long summer holiday. But what to write about...?

So here I am...and yes, just a little bit older...and a proud owner of a rather fetching timepiece complete with forty - yes, forty (count them!) - bouncing buttons. Thank you, family of mine xx

Friday, 28 August 2009

Merry Go Round

Jump on and join a group of artists/craftswomen as they link around the world and tell you a little bit about their lives in art and craft.
Our question this month is: Summer - What Does It Mean To You?

Would you believe... a whole month since my last post...! Where does all the time go?!

Well, summertime has been and now very nearly gone - in a week, the girls will be back at school in their new year and new classroom...and in a tiny moment, the looooong summer holiday will be just a memory.

So what does summer mean to me? Mine begins the week before my daughters finish their school year, in July. I get carried away with the buzz of what lies ahead: slower, more relaxing mornings; stressless days for us all; warm, sunny afternoons sightseeing and visiting new places; a spot or two of camping in Cornwall; meeting up with friends and their families; the children running in and out of the house, delighting in the great outdoors; having lunch or afternoon tea in their wendy house cafe...a perfect summer!

On reflection, does that sum up this summertime? Actually, pretty much! There has been the odd downside - the lack of sun for most of the holiday and the camping was sidelined for this year. Last year, as this, I have purposefully switched off from blogging and stitching to spend as much time as possible with my family. I haven't touched the sewing machine for...weeks...(eek)...and I have spent a LOT less time on the computer. It has been worth it. The woodcutter has been flexible with his working day which has meant we have had lots of days out together enjoying a bit of culture here and a lot of nature there; I've seen my youngest finally learn to ride her bike; eldest has cooked for us (with just a modicum of help!) beautifully; she has mastered her own sewing machine and has gone sock monkey mad (yes, one of them is peeking out of the above mosaic); we've all crafted and beaded our way through the holiday. In a word - smashing.

Does it really have to end...? The whirrr of that stitching machine is waiting...

Thank you for taking the time to read about my summer. Please take a moment or two to read about my fellow merry-go-rounders and their musings on the subject - although we all live in different time zones right around the world, it is amazing to find how similar we often all are. Likewise, it is wonderful to be able to celebrate our differences! Happy summer's end to you all x

Friday, 31 July 2009

Merry Go Round

I'm having a bit of a blog break at the moment, to spend time with my girls whilst they are on their summer holidays - but I'm back to participate in this month's Merry Go Round...hope the sun is shining where you are - there's too much rain here at the moment!
Jump on and join a group of artists/craftswomen as they link around the world and tell you a little bit about their lives in art and craft.
Our question this month is: What inspires us? A peek into our journals, pinboards or folders...

Well, this is pretty much my inspiration board these days...

I've mentioned before that I am heavily influenced by what lies outside my front door. I live in the middle of a wondrous forest, and I love it. I love watching the changing of the seasons - I am in awe of the beauty that surrounds me. The colours that nature provides us with are limitless, and the juxtapostions that occur are inspiring beyond belief.

Back in my college days sketchbooks were an absolute must, and I diligently filled mine in...often with pen and ink drawings of flowers or vegetables, and the odd sketch of someone sitting in an armchair thrown in for good measure. Journals - or scrapbooks - were also kept, crammed full of images torn from magazines, postcards and packaging snippets pasted in until the covers would almost burst.

Nowadays, I rarely sketch. I should; I would like to draw again...but it has been a long time! I sketch now simply to work out a template for a piece that I am working on, to refine the pattern before I progress to snipping fabrics. Instead, my sketchbook and journal has been replaced by my camera. What would I do without it? In an instant, I have a record of intricate details, colour combinations and textures. I know I should sit and draw the sepals and stamens that fascinate me so much, but I thoroughly enjoy taking photographs - it feels like a huge reward to sit back and scroll through the images that I have snapped. This way, details are crystal clear and the colours pop...how could I not be inspired?!

Now that you have kindly read about my inspiration 'folder', do please pop in on my fellow merry-go-rounders (click on the links in the sidebar) - they are sharing theirs with us too, although at differing times...many of us are in different time zones!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

goodbye for the holidays

goodbye for the holidays, originally uploaded by fancypicnic.

The time has nearly come - tomorrow is our last day of getting up and ready for school...'one more get-up', as a dear friend would say...until September.


Today will be my last post for a while. I love the summer holidays - lazy mornings, happy children running carefree and barefoot, a spot of castle-roaming, beach dwelling here and there, tree climbing (them, not me), seeing friends for loooong afternoons, camping....ah, the good life! I'm looking forward to spending some time with my little girls, but I'll be in and out I'm sure.

Until next time - a very happy, sunny summer to you! xx

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Shopping List Saturday

The end of the school year is looming...counting the days!
This week's Shopping List is for all little girls out there...and of course, grown up ones too! Enjoy...

1)A Winter's Tale/ artandghosts

2)Radish - sterling silver and fabric necklace/ 3squares

3)NEW Lilla Lotta GladBag/ lillalotta

4)Seduction - Print 16x11 inches/ HidenSeek *

It's a rainy Saturday here in the UK - perfect weather for Etsy shopping! Shop handmade this weekend - let my fellow Shoppers inspire you with their lists (check them out via the links in the sidebar)...and if you'd like to join us with your own Shopping List each weekend, let me know!

*This week, I purchased a stationery set, pin button and stickers from HidenSeek - I have to say that it was the most beautifully packaged parcel I've ever received through the post! Simply gorgeous - thank you, Eloise xx

Friday, 10 July 2009


Fitted in between bouts of log handling and tipi pole delivering...some stitching!

So lovely to spend some time with snippets of beautiful fabrics again, sewing away with my machine. I tend to sew in quite a rhythmic fashion - snip the fabric, place the fabric, stitch the fabric; needle in; snip the fabric, place the fabric, stitch the fabric; needle in; snip the fabric .... and it seems to work for me.

I don't think it's efficient (I probably should cut out all fabric pieces first and have them to hand so that I simply reach out and select a piece, sew it on and repeat), but it certainly feels indulgent! I end up surrounded by and burrowed in to mounds of silky, sparkly textiles and I love it. There's no monotony, just sheer enjoyment.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

those little red shoes again...

dreaming of fairyland, originally uploaded by fancypicnic.

You see, if I could be an elf or a fairy I would be...then I could live here, happily ever after. Love toadstools - especially big, bright red and white ones.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Shopping List Saturday

Serene, calm and elegant...my thoughts for the Shopping List this weekend. Dainty and feminine, I'm in love with each of these items - I doubt I can resist them for much longer!

1)Lovely Glass Ring In A Lace Edge Setting/ UldeYrth

2)Linen Heart Keychain/ makeyourpresentsfelt

3)Handmade Petite Purse Seed Head Stems Lilac/ meplusmolly

4)Soiree Necklace/ mamaslittlebabies

I hope you too love my coveted items this week. If you would like to join us with your own weekly list of Etsy discoveries of handmade beauty, please just let me know!

I can hardly believe it's been a week since my last posting. I can feel already that I'm winding down in preparation for the long school summer holiday ahead, but there's plenty to be done over the next two weeks. Here's to a productive few days!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Shopping List Saturday

Gloriously girly fairytale fancies have formed my Shopping List this weekend - I adore them all. Hope you do too!

1)handmade RETRO STORY BOOK sundress from LOVER DOVERS green and white polka dots with cherry print and red ric rac trim great birthday party dress or special occasion custom boutique for baby infant toddler or girls/ loverdoversclothing - will you look at this!! How cute?? Just gorgeous...and take a peek in the store for the sweetest little doll dresses with matching accessories too.
2)Follow Me There/ artandghosts - a girl guide in the most beautiful leg attire stands with her curious companion, a print from the Fairytale Silhouette series. Fabulous, just like everything in the store.
3)Put On Your Dancing Shoes - Signed Fine Art Photograph/ starrybluesky - from a dream, aren't they? Yes, I dream of owning gorgeous shoes just like these. So why not have them on my wall?!
4)Alice In Wonderland - Big-version two(light)/ Champignons - stripey legs, ruffled underskirt to die for...terrific image.

For more Shopping Lists packed full of covetable handmade items, do click on the links in the sidebar. Would you like to join in? Let me know - the more the merrier!

Shopping List Saturday

I know, I'm late again this weekend.

I'll be Shopping later today, but I just wanted to use this post to welcome a new blogger to our team of Shopping Listers. Welcome to Ivy, from EderaFairie and the gorgeous Etsy store EderaJewelry. Ivy has posted her first Shopping List this weekend, so do pop over and take a peek at her coveted items!

See you later...


Jump on and join a group of artists/craftswomen as they link around the world and tell you a little bit about their lives in art and craft.
Our question this month is: What is your favourite publication(s)? Is there a book, magazine or website that has become the bible of your art/craft?
Inspiration for me comes from absolutely anywhere and everywhere - nature, magazines, my children and their inventive imaginations, historical properties, gardens, holidays, that ball of string that has tangled itself up into the most beautiful of patterns...everything! My eyes always seem to be open, everywhere I go. I love colour, detail and sumptuous texture.
It is no surprise to learn I'm sure, that I could while away many an hour grazing on the amazing talent and beauty that can be found on flickr and in numerous Etsy stores. That goes without saying! I devour every issue of Country Living magazine, too...oh, to live those 'perfect' lives! Stampington magazines are a fabulous way of looking in on other artists' lives and works - ever inspirational.
However, there are two tomes that never ever fail to inspire me - or at the very least leave me breathless with want and aspirations. Take a look at Nineteenth-Century Fashion in Detail (Lucy Johnston) and The Art of Embroidery - inspirational stitches, textures and surfaces (Francoise Tellier-Loumagne) and you'll see what I mean. When I open these publications, I feel the need to reach out and touch...to feel for myself the ruffles of fabric, the nubbles of thick thread, the delicacies of the stitches beneath my fingertips. Such beauty and intricacy to marvel at!
If I could climb into these books and never get out again, I would. Taking with me my monthly copy of Country Living, of course! That, my friends, is happiness indeed.
What publications inspire my fellow international merry-go-rounders? Do click on the links in the sidebar to find out!

Thursday, 25 June 2009


Don't you just love polka dots? And on the insides of your shoes...?!! Lucky daughter...

Things seem to be a-changing here...slowly, but changing nonetheless. Sounds exciting? I think it could be - but for now, whilst we tinker and play about a bit and find our way, things continue to mosey along the same as always, so I'm here - sanding and stitching and completing custom orders just as before.

Hope you're all having a good week. Where's the sunshine today? x

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Shopping List Saturday

Just trying to squeeze this weeks' Shopping List in before the stroke of midnight...I seem to flit in and out these days!

These fabulous items have won me over this week...take a peek and see what you think.

1)Summer - Collaged Brooch/ zoeest-coming from the wonderful Zoe Woods, this layered plywood collage brooch is sold in her new etsy shop. Do take a look - everything's so pretty.
2)Poetry art doll - Bramble/ The7thMagpie - I'm a fan of this magpie's work...lovely embroidered textiles, decorated with beads and stitches. Her latest doll series is quite charming.
3)THE BUNNY n ITS TREASURE (Bracelet) Limited Edition/ OpusMuse - I just adore this, not merely because of the cute little vintage bunny charm; the deep cherry red lampwork glass is good enough to eat!
4)Orange/ TimothyAdamDesigns - I'm going to quote the item description now: ' are you looking for a little modern for your jewelry collection? Here is a great orange pendant hand cut, painted and drilled from recycled steel.' Yes, please!! I love it!

Hope these little beauties have made your day x

For more Shopping Lists handmade style, do check out the blogs listed in the sidebar...if you would like to join us with your own weekly list, just let me know!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

So, I'm sanding log upon log upon log....

images from my flora flickr set; mosaic created via picnik.

...and I have a slight tendency to get a little...bored.

I've found a solution. Have my camera to hand, take a few minutes' break with some fresh air that isn't filled with sawdust, wander about a bit, snap snap - ready to start sanding again. Works every time. Logs, anyone???

Not much stitching going on in these parts.....

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Shopping List Saturday

I'm a bit late again this weekend with my Shopping List. Oh dear. Let's hope no-one noticed...

This week, a small list again, but it contains my most recent Etsy favourites. Little gems indeed. Here they are - see what you think (and you must check out their stores...packed full of loveliness, all of them):

1)To the skyline pendant/ flightpathdesigns

2)Bathtub - 5x7 Fine Art Print/ janeheller

3)Underwater revelry.../ barefootweaver

4)The Romance -- original illustration --/ fricdementol

I just love all of these...hope you do too.

For many more Shopping Lists from fellow Etsy sellers, do click on the links in the sidebar. If you would like to join us, just let me know! Hope you all have a happy week ahead xx

Friday, 12 June 2009

A Lovely Blog Award

It seems to me that a lot can go on whilst you're away!

Two kind ladies have given me a Lovely Blog Award - the lovely lady from Bags and Buds, and Theresia from Minori Design . How sweet - thank you both.

Now, I need to pass this on to 5 blogs that I have recently discovered and enjoyed. (Girls, please feel free to accept this award and pass it on to 5 more blogs). Here goes...

blossom - a feast for the eyes, every visit

vadjutka - I love her fabric jewellery...!

fleurfatale - again, lovely jewellery!

Lobster and Swan - beautiful, beautiful blog.

Dropes de Mentol - art I love.

Do pop in on them ... with a cup of tea and a spare few minutes ... and enjoy xx

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


onmydeskwednesday, originally uploaded by fancypicnic.

Can you believe it? I'm posting about my desk, on the correct day for a change!!

On my desk today - a couple of w.i.p's, as I begin to make sense of the dollmaking process. They're lurking in my head (dolls), as they have been for quite some time now; I'm wondering if maybe now's the time to see them come to fruition...?

For more desk activity, pop over to kootoyoo - why not join in??

Monday, 8 June 2009

Little treasures...

flickr image, 'mine' by fancypicnic; enhanced via picnik

Such treasures.
I love this time of year, when I can feel the summer holidays are just around the corner...the clue? Eldest joyously seeking out these little beauties from my mother's garden. Joy indeed.

My garden (unlike my mother's) is desperately in need of some TLC to prevent the weeds from choking everything in sight - guess what I'm up to for a few days?! At least there's a silver lining...the ideal opportunity to go mad with the macro function!

Have a lovely day, weeding or otherwise x

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Shopping List Saturday

Ready to shop? Off we go...

1)Eco Toes. Sunshine Linen. Size 7-8 / infusion - aren't these gorgeous? Treat your toes and look super-cute at the same time!
2)Soft Rocks Paper Chain Party Streamer Crocheted Scarf/ Toggle - such a lot of fun, don't you think? I'm thinking I'd like to festoon my house with some too. Gorgeous.
3)Outsider art textile sculpted dolls - freestanding figures - The Masked Pair / The7thMagpie - I love these, in fact all of the embroidered pieces available in the store - do check them out. Lovely use of colour and stitch.
4)Bow - textile doll / novembermoon - if you read my blog regularly, I think you'll already know how much I love Cathy Cullis' work...if, like me, you've fallen for this little beauty, snap her up now. Cathy sells out very quickly!

This week, I'm pleased to welcome not one, but several new players to our fold...Catania from etsy store chococatania; Claire from etsy store sewsewcrafty; Karen from etsy store blossomnbird; Gemma from etsy store gemmipop designs...and finally Stephanie from etsy store Stephanie Levy. I wonder, have I missed anyone??

Wonderful to have you join us, ladies. I know some of you have played along for a little while already. Thank you - I hope you're having fun!

Have a great weekend - it's raining here, so take it easy...put your feet up and shop handmade!

Friday, 5 June 2009

Feels good to be back...

...and sewing again.

This is another yoke for a salwar kameez which is on its way to America right now. It's heavily decorated and reminds me of a walk through a wildflower meadow. Ever the romantic...

Thank you so, so much for all of your kind words - left for me here, some via flickr and many via email. Families are so important, aren't they? Things are slowly getting back to normal...and I have a lot of catching up to do!!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

A quick catch up for you...

I've been a bit quiet lately. Parental illness has taken up a lot of my time...hospitals, helping out...you know the sort of thing. Hence, blogging, stitching and being creative has been put on hold for a while. I've had a lot of time to sit and think, so my head is brimming with new ideas and projects that I can't wait to indulge myself in...in a little while.

I hope you're all enjoying this wonderful sunshine that we have at the moment!

I'll catch up again soon xx

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

On My Desk Wednesday

Rhodos on my Sill, originally uploaded by fancypicnic.

Wednesday already...

We've delivered tipi poles today, in the rain and mist, in Hay-on-Wye. Such a different day yesterday...the garden was bathed in glorious sunshine, and the rhododendrons took centre stage.

So lovely to come home to these blooms - a splash of colour on a grey and dismal day.

For more desk activity (I know...mine was a windowsill today), do pop over to kootoyoo's blog...maybe join in with the meme yourself?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Works in Progress

Picnik collage: Working Week, originally uploaded by fancypicnic.

From one texture to another...

Mmmn. I just love the bark peelings from our tipi poles. I want to pick them up and make something out of them... The peelings are normally kept clean and dry, and we use them to pack our gift-boxed candleholders. It looks great, and creates a wonderful woody scent when you open the box. Waste not, want not!!

Here's a w.i.p (bottom pic) that I'm completing at the moment. Another yoke, this one needs its sparkles...beads and buttons are at the ready!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Shopping List Saturday

I've been a bit quiet this week...tipi poles have taken over our lives. If you're buying a tipi, you know where to come for the poles!!

So - the good bit about Saturday...the shopping! Let's get on with it...

1)DewBerryLime CUFF FreeForm Crochet with Cabochons/ saraaires - I'm in love with crochet. I can't crochet...but when I see items like this, it makes me want to learn. I love the colourful undulations that flow through this. Not to mention the beads!! She also creates gorgeous bags - take a look in her store.
2)Seagulls in the sky - Coffee Clutch/ the wren - this item is full of lovely details; from the hand covered embroidered 'wren' button, the hand drawn and screen printed lining, the recycled fair trade coffee sacks that form the outer part to the simple leather tie. There are alternative variations on this bag available in Wendren's shop. Do take a look.
3)Sing little bird - pretty applique bag/ memake - a girl can never have too many bags, especially when they are as wonderful as this one! Lovely features include beautiful hand stitching, fab colour combination and recycled vintage fabric lining. Wish this was mine!
4)Lulicade Goddess Necklace (2222) - A Collaboration/ SandFibers - to quote the item description: This is the collaborative effort of three Etsy artists: LisaPetersArt made the ceramic button; SandFibers created the bezel and bale, and Scarfitup added the fiber and beads to the crocheted and braided cord necklace! I love the combination of textures; such a great coming-together of skills. Lovely.

This week, we're pleased to welcome the lovely Dana from LeiLiLaLoo to our ever-expanding team of Saturday Shoppers. Dana is soon to give birth...I'm thrilled she's keen to join us, and look forward to looking at her lists - whenever she has the time!! Welcome, Dana.

Welcome, too, to Jan, from the Little Shop of Horus who is joining us today with her first list. Terrific to have you play along with us!

If you would like to join in the fun and windowshop with us for covetable handmade items from Etsy, just let me know!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Quick Round Up

Hello! I've been away for a lovely family break - but here I am, back again, trying to get back into the swing of things.

A quick catch up on the stitching front for you...the w.i.p (top pic above) has been completed (lower pic above), and already received...it's going to be attached to a tunic, as part of a salwar kameez. A lovely project to be involved in - lots of fun and colour!

Here's a little recap of our past week xx

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Shopping List Saturday

Happy Saturday to you! The perfect day for shopping!

I'm unable to do my list this week or next...so please click here for the list I made midweek, packed full of gorgeous things to treat yourselves to. Do you need an excuse?

Do take this opportunity to click on the links in the sidebar to take a peek at the wonderful lists of fellow Etsy sellers who play along with the Shopping List Saturday meme. You won't be disappointed, and I guarantee you'll find so many new things to covet! If you would like to join us, and share your shopping lists each week, just let me know.

Enjoy shopping handmade xx Have a great week!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Merry Go Round

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.

Our question for this month is: What does Springtime Mean to You?

Springtime. Well, it's a busy time for the woodcutter and his wife!

We're now well into our second year of our tipi pole business, and we know from experience that Spring is the time we have to put all our energies into felling, stripping and drying new poles, ready for customers who will want them now, or for those who will leave it until the last minute for their summer holiday...we have to have plenty on offer.

We cater for very small child-size tipis right up to huge, 29ft ones. The woodcutter visits the forest daily to select and fell the trees, which he brings home for us to peel and then dry. We also fell 'to order' if people wish to de-bark their own poles. Many of these sets of poles we also deliver personally, nationwide, so we're busy busy busy!

The log chopping and sanding continues...!

Despite being nicely busy, I'm able to really enjoy the springtime here. It's glorious to be able to wake up in the morning and spot the new shoots in the forest...the beautiful fresh bright green leaves unfurling in the trees around us...wandering amongst the rhododendrons as they flower one after the other...embracing the flashes of colour from balloon-like tulips...watching the flutterings of delicate butterflies wafting through the air...trying to remember the juxtapositions of colour that nature throws together - it's SO inspiring...

Most importantly of all, it's the thankful return of sunlight that I really treasure. It's so lovely to be able to avoid harsh contrasts when taking photographs, and the days are so long I can sew into the night! I have always been a sombre, gothic lover of winter - but nowadays, this is most definitely my favourite time of year.

Please take a moment or two to pop in on my international blogging friends who're spinning on this merry-go-round with me (their links are in the sidebar). See what Springtime means to them!

Girls, I look forward to reading your posts in a week or so!