Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Creative Dictator? Yeah me too

My favourite blog at the moment is blueprints, full of patterns and tutorials with no limits on what you can do with it, a very generous thing to do in this all to profit driven world, and something I am determined to copy in my endeavours.

Anyway, getting off the point here, I was reading some of her older posts and found her post entitled Crayon Liberation. Everyone should read it and let go of the 'don't make a mess' mentality when kids are being creative.

Got to go, battery dying on the laptop. Happy reading

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Isn't it pretty?

I have been prettying my blog for my own amusement, hope you like it too!!

Friday, 20 November 2009


I have passed myself another ball to throw into the mix - nothing like keeping it fresh, eh?

I have been offered a new job which is like gold dust; term time, part time and very, very local! They are even willing for me to do 4 days instead of 5 until my youngest begins school in September! The job is also more interesting than I imagined, running the library at our small, but caring secondary school where Kate, my eldest has just started year 7. Just refurbished and now known as the Learning Resource Centre, my role is to make the place an effective area for study and quiet reflection for the students in an otherwise bustling school day. I can run projects that go along with curriculums, poetry and reading challenges and allsorts, my first thought is to do a display board for current affairs entitled 'Am I Bothered?' . Very exciting.

But now it means I am juggling an extra ball now, home making, crafting and now work. I was anxious about arranging childcare as I detest childcare settings in the mainstream, but with much thanks to my friends, I have managed the time when nursery sessions don't cover with weekly playdates within Freddie's friendship group, which I feel very comfortable with.

The job is set to start very soon, on the 30th so wish me luck, I do hope I can continue to be creative both with craftiness and the family and keep this blog going. I am sure I'll struggle some days, but I am so very thankful to the gods right now for answering my pleas of need for the family, and now I am in a much more secure place and will be meeting my earnings target to help out the family budget. I have already planned where the money I'll earn is to go, swimming lessons for Freddie and music lessons for Kate are a couple.

In all I am truly happy and excited and very, very grateful for the full feeling I have right now, long may it reign!! I wish a bit of that warm and fuzzy feeling for all of you as the weather bites cold and wet.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Back from the brink

It seems like a long time since I have posted here, or indeed made anything of any merit! I have however made plenty of mess while I have been away; lurgy-filled household followed by half term break, my eldest's 12th birthday and going camping (in November!!) and then the inevitable clear up from all that.

So I thought I'd take a moment to pop on here and give an update of what I'm doing and planning right now. I have been able to make some Christmas decorations, both for the shop and home. Also did a couple of new things, for my kids for Christmas I have covered mache initials for them both with gorgeous cotton prints which I have hung in the shop for now to take orders from. Also, whilst I had the spray glue out I covered some simple wooden photo frames in delicate cotton prints too, they look amazing if I do say so myself!! Pics will follow in the next week.

It's been a great month all told, we got rid of all illness before the end of the month and since then it's been joyous. Really enjoying the autumnal weather, food and family time together. Managed to get out to the woods when the trees were really showing off, they put on an excellent display this year thanks to the wet summer!

Also got to go camping near the dunes at Merthyr Mawr, Bridgend. It's the second time we've braved the weather and camped in November, and we were lucky again. There were showers, but that kept it mild and we had a lovely sunny day on Sunday in time to dry everything out and pack up for home.

This morning I have been offered an interview for a job I had forgotten I had applied for, that was a nice surprise! It would be great to get this job, it's erfect as it's based in a school, therefore term time only and during school hours, so fingers are very much crossed that I get it as term time part time jobs are like gold dust!!

Wish me luck for Thursday's interview!! Thanks for reading.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Stuff what I have made

So, how many times have I promised these?

These are my pencil rolls and they have come up really well. I and others have made these before, but this time I have really simplified the pattern making them speedier to put together.
I have also incorporated a cotton batting in between the layers, this really keeps the pencils snug in their pockets, allowing some degree of protection against knocks and drops, which are inevitable but make pencils frustrating to keep a point on as we all know!
I love the fabrics on these, you can't quite see the detail on this pic but the orangey one is a lovely vivid print of cerise ovals and dots on the brightest orange background. I even got clever and the topstiching co-ordinates on one side and contrasts on the other, just because I felt like playing! I really like the duck egg blue paisley with mulberry coloured flowers, a very pretty mix. The stars print is fun, lined with brightest yellow to appeal to boys as well as girls.

Need I introduce these? My fabulous superhero capes!! I just adore these. We have a superman as the stalwart design,in red or blue., and this week I increased the range in time for Halloween to include a batman design and pumpkin man (?) well, that's what my son calls it! I have 2 more designs I am going to do in time for Christmas, a Captain Planet design, in green with a planet earth felt design and a Princess Power design in, of course, pink with a crown or a butterfly felt applique, I haven't decided yet! Both of which I am really looking forward to making.

Made from polyester satin, a break from my norm as I usually strictly use natural fibres only, but they need the shine, and with acrylic felt appliques, simply because I can get them easily from my local haberdaser in a load of great colours and also to keep the costs down. I do hope to move to wool felt as soon as stock is shifting and I can afford the outlay. I have found Blooming Felt online and really want to buy her stuff, I truly love felting, but I am too slow at it to be able to make feasible. I just do it fo the joy of it.

Finally these, my Raggedy Hearts, blatantly nicked from bellsjo's tutorial (see her blog from my blogroll).
THANK YOU!! These made up my first sale at the shop and I need to make more! I have made them smaller than bellsjo suggested, mine are 6" rather than 8" that bellsjo made.

I am going to town on lovely prints for these. Helped by the fact that, yes another mention for her (did I tell you she is wonderful?) bellsjo sent me some stash, including my first piece of Amy Butler fabric!! I was a very happy lass when that arrived with a lovely postcard that keeps me going. when I feel like sitting in the bath all day.

Finally I shall leave you with a pic of my stuff in the shop, my display space at the moment is a gorgeous little wardrobe, which I hope to outgrow soon.

Happy crafting!!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Phew!!!! I'm bushed....

I am pretty darn tired this late Sunday evening after having quite a week.

My eldest was at home ill for the start of the week and my youngest, being a bit of a dare devil/superhero in his spare time, had an accident resulting in a casualty trip in place of tea time on Wednesday. All is well, and his tongue has repaired itself remarkably quickly! Eurgghh!!

So that kinda put pay to getting photo's of my stuff in the shop, and subsequently onto here. ( I daftly forgot to take the camera with me last week when I began my journey into selling, my mind was a little elsewhere) All excuses aside, I managed to have a catch up day yesterday and got some more superhero capes on display in time for halloween.

I love making these capes!! The first, obviously had to go to my own little superhero, for destruction testing more than anything, and I am very pleased to report that they both look good and survive many miraculous deeds and heroic battles along the way, they wash well, on a cool cycle too! Another plus point  for me, and therefore may well be for any mum of a budding allbeit impatient superhero, they dry really quickly too!!

I have also taken the ellusive pictures and will get them on here tomorrow... promise! But in the mean time I'll leave you with this...

Oh, just one more excuse... I have been busying myself with getting a dedicated blog for the shop, where all the crafters are authors... I'm hoping it will be fun and colourful, like the shop itself. Take a look for yourself

Monday, 28 September 2009

Deadline looms closer than we think

I thought September lasted a few more weeks, realising with a jolt today that it is October on Thursday. Why is October important? Well, that's the deadline for getting my stock into The Hope Emporium, our local craft store, full of pretty and unique things all handmade by locals.

I agreed on October with Jo and Jane from the shop at the end of August, it felt like eons away then, but now it is 3 days away, I want to get the stock in on Thursday morning, which means I only have half a day with an empty house (bar the cats and the odd chicken!). Looks like the evenings will be humming with the sound of the sewing machine for the next couple of days. I won't have much in there to start with but will build stock levels up each week. Things are coming along nicely!

I promised photos of what I'm making, I shall take some on Thursday and get them on here after that, maybe with some shots of my stuff in the shop. I am very exicted!! Better get back to it. For now though, here's a shot of the yummy fat quarters I hunted out recently.

When I found these I also discovered Amy Butler's fabric collection and drooled for quite a while, they are gorgeous! I was very temtped, but can't stretch the budget that far yet, but I did get a free pattern for the sweetest bug cushions, a butterfly and a ladybird which may well end up being made up for Christmas presents this year!!

I was accompanied by my 11 year old on the hunt and she is now planning a few projects of her own which is lovely and I'm really looking forward to seeing what she has in mind.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Half-hearted Gardening

Having attempted veg growing for a good few years now, I still never get it right, but even so got some fair results this year.

This week, as I have been concentrating on my sewing machine I forgot to do a food shop, to be very truthful I did a fabric shop instead! So by Tuesday we had run out of food and turned to the garden to supply tea for the family. Cringed at the thought of what would be weeds not food, but was pleasantly surprised by the results!

Not bad really... I grow nasturtiums because my youngest loves munching on the flowers while he waits for tea, which is handy really because they grow so very easily.

The carrots and parsnips went to make a lovely roast dinner with random bits of meat found lurking at the back of the freezer. I had a well fed and happy family!

Friday, 11 September 2009

New Beginnings

Ha! Me, a blogger.. who'd have thought it? I know I never did, but here I am. Why? To share in my excitement at prospects new for me and the family. My youngest, Freddie has begun nursery and so the time has come for me to think of my own future a little more.

I was self employed in the events industry for many years and throughout my eldest Kate's early years, but when Freddie arrived as quite a surprise I couldn't (or possibly wouldn't!) find the balance between working and mothering, so I closed the business and my long suffering other half  Paul went out to find work after being the stay at home dad for Kate (he did a great job and I have been trying to live up to his pretty exacting standards ever since!).

So here I find myself, having enjoyed Freddie's baby days, in that hole we all find ourselves in at one stage or other, staring into the void that is our future and finding my place in it.

I have decided to make stuff again, mainly from fabric, but other stuff aswell. All things I have done before for pleasure but now set myself the challenge of making the fruits of my labour profitable. I am in the lucky position of having a local outlet wanting to stock stuff, The HOPE Emporium,a newly opened craft shop in the market town of Bromyard entirley stocked from local craftspeople. As well as there always being a small craft fair going on somewhere relatively local that a few crafters get together to do. Its all ripe and ready to go, I just need to jump in with both feet and get stuff made and out there.

Having said that, I'll stop rambling for now and get on with making stuff. I'll let you know how it goes and get some pics of what I make over the next week.