Friday 30 December 2011

It's nearly New Year...
...and I tell you something, 2012 is going to see me so organised, disciplined, calm, resourceful...
remember, you heard it here first.

We've had a week of visiting, having visitors and awaiting for the next lot to arrive and all that that entails.
No doubt it's been pretty similar for you too and no doubt you have been a lot more organised about it than I not getting distracted by making a new quilt when really you should be getting the house geared up for guests.

On the other hand, this long holiday is all about having a break and spending time on doing things you love, when let's face it the speed of the rest of the year takes over and there's not usually much time for enjoying a quiet bit of guiltless sewing.

So, guests are arriving tomorrow and what am I doing? Making a new quilt of course.
I've had it on my To Do List for yonks to make a large hexie quilt. At the start of every winter when we all fight over the solitary quilt in the living room, I have it in mind to make a cosy pile of them to grab and snuggle under. Obviously I have these thoughts when I don't actually have the time to action that plan.
At least now though I am getting one quilt closer to quilting nirvana...
I had a lovely afternoon in my studio today, having sent the others to Tesco (they don't know they are born, that lot) and spent time, new CDs blaring, piecing together the quilt top.
I'm just awaiting delivery of this scrumptious flannel for the back.
Then it's a question of binding.
Do I play safe, below, and go for a coordinating fine stripe?
Or add a bit of wow, above, and use a zing of luscious Lotta?

I think you know which one I'll be choosing...

I hope this out of routine week has been a good one for you and you have had time to guiltlessly do something you love.

New Year's Eve tomorrow and I hope 2012 brings health, happiness and more guiltless pleasures xx

Tuesday 20 December 2011

So, last postal day today and First Night Chanukah. Could things have been any better planned?!

Chanukah fluctuates from year to year, the Hebrew calendar being lunar based, and sometimes it can fall as early as December 1st, which quite frankly is a right old inconvenience.
Imagine trying to fit in lighting candles every evening, getting together and exchanging gifts with family and friends, whilst everyone is still at school, I'm on that mega work roller coaster and not to mention being organised to have presents bought and wrapped in time.

When it falls, like it has this year, when the rest of the country is festive and celebrating, it makes such a difference to enjoyment levels. 8 days of celebration ahead to be had and relished.

I even had time today after last Post Office trip of the year, to wrap the children's gifts and make their little initial notices, so everyone knows whose pile is whose. Sometimes I think this is their favourite part of Chanukah...seeing what I've come up with each year. No pressure then or anything.

Then the wrap...
I like to be festive and cohesive, without being overtly Christmassy. not an easy feat I can tell you.
However this year I had a huge pile of all my screen print testing papers that I'd kept after each printing session. Perfect! Being a hoarder I knew they would come in useful for something, quite what at that point I hadn't quite worked out.
This obviously sprung Idea 326 for 2012 of what to screen print next...wrapping paper of course! Watch this space...

8 days of Chanukah is somewhat all consuming, but when it falls in the holidays it's 8 days of fun, fun, fun!
Consequently this is a good time to sign off for the festivities and I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Festive Season ahead, whatever you may be doing.
Thank you so much for your visits and comments throughout the year. I really appreciate each and every one of them, so I can't wait to catch up in 2012 and see what the new year has in store for us all.

It's last posting day before Christmas for all UK based parcels today.
Quite honestly I didn't think this day would come!
I have been to visit my friendly PO ever day for weeks now and it will be odd - odd, but rather pleasant - to not be fitting that trip into my day.

One last trip today and one last parcel if you want to grab it for a little Christmas sewing.
Yesterday I had a request for a set of Scruffy Flowers (thank you, Carolyn!) and I now have the other half of the panels that I have made into a second set for one quick purchaser.

If you are UK based, it will be in the post and on it's way to you today...if you are abroad, it will still be on it's way to you today, but may (doubtful) not reach you in time for Christmas.

It's right here...

(If you would like a different pack today, just give me a shout)

Friday 16 December 2011

Hello, me again.
I feel I have been bombarding you all with blog posts a little more than is necessary at this very busy time, but I needed to ask you a question, or two.

You may have seen my previous post today about my scrap bags and the update not that long later to say they had sold out so quickly.
This got me thinking.
It seems that giving a selection of fabrics is possibly more appealing than buying separate larger pieces.

So what I'd be interested to know is, would you like to have a mix of fabrics available? Say, quarter of the size of the larger panel, but in 4 different colours? Perhaps you would like a pack of both designs in 2 colourways?

I'd still offer the full panels too but I obviously want to be able to give you what you want and by the way the scrap packs go, then maybe a mixture is what you are after too.
I really would value any feedback on this, so thank you in advance and as I said earlier today...
Have a great weekend!

I'm feeling a little bit pleased with myself.
My studio gets completely out of control at this time of year. Stock for fairs gets dumped. Fabric stashes can be seen all over the place, with scrap pieces strewn across the entire room.

So with things quietening down a tad this week, no more fairs to get ready for and orders slowing down a fraction, I actually got on with tidying up the place.
It's always a very daunting task, but so satisfying when done.

I won't actually say it's been done. We are talking at least 3 months worth of dumping going on.
But I can certainly see the light and find things.
Which for you means, i have organised my screen printed fabric scraps and made 3 lovely bundles of great pieces for you to have lots of fun with over the holidays.

I've listed the Scrap Packs here so, if you are planning a little holiday sewing, go grab a pack!

And who knows what else will be listed when the rest of the room gets cleared next week!

Have a great weekend x


All gone!!
It appears that you peeps love scrap bags and they sold out in record breaking time!
Hopefully there will be a few more very soon ;-)

Thursday 15 December 2011

This little baby made a star appearance today...

Front Page on Etsy no less!!!

...or so I was led to believe. Unfortunately FPs aren't universal and so I didn't actually see it, but the traffic to my page made me realise something was happening and then the lovely Erika informed me that it was indeed Front Page from where she was viewing.

Now I am sure this isn't anything to shout from the rooftops about for a lot of peeps, but this was my first (of many, I hope) and so definitely something to celebrate in my book.

I blame Florence for distracting me today.
There I was happily taking things a little slower when I read her blogpost and suddenly realised I had to make Ruby an apron for one of her Chanukah presents.

So bang went my "I'm in control" day and enter "crap, I have to make this now" day.
I know Ruby will be delighted because she's been nagging me for a new apron for ages.

The problem is that one apron wasn't too much trouble (apart form a bit of unpicking because you are making it up as you go along - my usual style - rather than following a pattern), the problem started when I realised my nieces needed one too.
Well, they obviously don't need one and I do actually have other gifts ready for them, but they are all coming up over the holidays and since it usually includes a bake off session, then clearly, they do actually need one.

So what started off as my first slightly slower paced day in a long time, has ended just as crazy as the rest.

And I blame you, Florence!

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Today it is all about Pink!

I'm not normally a pinky person but I had a request for my fabrics in pink and so last week the pink paint came out and I have to say...

I love it!

The pink I used is a fab hot pink, not girly sickly, sugary and the colour works so well on the crisp white linen. I'm particularly pleased with how the colour has taken on the triangle design - really crisp and clear.

Last night I got a it's one thing seeing the fabrics in panels and quite another how it looks made up into things.

A few pleat and pencil pouches later and it was pretty clear that perhaps I like pink rather more than I thought.

I stopped myself sewing so that I could list a few pink panels for you to purchase and use in your own creations.
Go right here for well as the pink made up pieces.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

I'm not entirely sure why I choose the end of this busy time to start playing around with new ideas.
It has probably got something to do with being on the roller-coaster treadmill of fulfilling orders and not having time to be creative.

Maybe it was a need to stop and do something creative for a moment.
Whatever the reason, I came home late Saturday night from being at We Make London, which by the way was fab, and felt the need to DO something.
It was fantastic to finally meet fellow exhibitor Louise from EdwynUK and Nicky from Mrs Sew and Sow. Thank you so much for making the trip, Nicky.
I also had a visit from a dear friend that I hadn't seen for 7 years...crazy but true.
All that aside the Fair was fantastic, a hall full of brilliant talent. I just wish I'd had time to do some of my own Christmas shopping! Thankfully Nicky has done a great post on the fair and snapped the essence of it, so head over here to take a look around.

Maybe it was being surrounded by so much talent that got me wanting to stop and do something. So I hadn't been home long and an idea that had been burning in my head on the 4 hour journey home, just had to be executed. I wouldn't have slept if I hadn't!

The polka dot pouch was the prototype for a pleated pouch that I wanted to try, but it actually turned out really pretty. I wanted to see if the shape worked before I cut into some precious woollen felt that I had been hoarding for some time - since last winter I think!

A few pouches later, including obviously one of the screen printed variety, and I could relax.
Although there are a couple of variations spinning in my head, which if I don't try some time very soon, I may just explode...

(new pouches can be found right here...)

Thursday 8 December 2011

Busy, busy, busily getting through my To Do List.
Yesterday was all about printing bags and labelling.

I'm getting along fairly well...until my stapler broke and now I need to go out and get a new one so I can finish off packaging the mirrors and magnet sets.

That was a tiny glitch in the preparation process.
What was slightly more problematic was forgetting to make a whole load of zipper pouches.
I think I'll be up quite late tonight.

I actually only really popped by to let you know that Lynne over at Lily's Quilts is hosting a giveaway on her blog...go check it out...I think you'll like it...

Back to pouch making...and stapling...and kit compiling...and...

Monday 5 December 2011

Hello and a happy Monday to you!

I am busily making for Saturday and one thing I'm getting going on this morning is lots of craft kits, Flower Brooch Kits in particular.
This, like last time, is creating heaps of off-cuts that I just can't bear to throw. I know last time, many of you offered to take them off my hands and so I have listed them here for those that are still keen.
Whilst I am generous to a fault, I have taken the liberty of charging a very small fee that literally covers p&p, along with any Etsy and paypal charges. There are about 100 cut outs (life's too short, I haven't actually counted) so plenty of fun to be had.


Sorry, but this one has been snapped up...if you would like to put your name down for the next one, just let me know.

Saturday 3 December 2011

This time next week I will have been to London and back again for the We Make London Christmas Fair.
I am very excited about taking my wares down to Battersea and am frantically trying to get enough made to make it worth it.

As well as making plenty of pouches, craft kits, pencil rolls, notebooks and needle/pin sets, I'm trying to get the packaging for my new mirrors and magnets sorted.

This will also be the first public showing for my magnets and mirrors, so am obviously rather keen to see how they are received.

I've been busily sewing little pouches for the mirrors, after all, all good pocket mirrors need a little pouch.

If you do live nearby and fancy a trip to the fair, with over 80 Designer/Makers it should definitely be worth your while. I'm very excited myself to see some of the other makers and their work and planning on doing some Christmas shopping of my own. Hopefully I'll have time to have a look.

As well as all these wonderful stalls, the We Make London team have put together a fantastic prize draw, which includes my Yellow Triangle Mania Pouch as part of the amazing First Prize loot. Check details out here.

It should be a fantastic day and please come along and say hi if you do come visit. I'd love to see you!


First of all thank you for entering and a big thank you to Courtney, from Seamstar, for donating the prize...

And now onto the winner...

drum roll please...

Number 26: Dawn from pop-i-cock!

Unfortunately my computer crashed so I have no visual evidence of Dawn being the chosen number from Random.Org, so you'll just have to take my word for it!

Hope you are all have a great rest of the weekend - me, I'm being shlepped round town doing some Christmas shopping...

Tuesday 29 November 2011

I'm on a mission to buy all handmade for gifts this holidays.
My main source of inspiration as ever is Etsy. Throughout the year I have marked a lot of gorgeous things that I have had my eye on for gifts and now I've started purchasing.
It's such fun!

As an Etsy seller, I know the thrill of selling handmade as I am aware that most customers are looking for something a little different and special, so it is always where I head to when I am looking for something a little different and special.

As an extended family we have 15 nieces and nephews and as a consequence we have a £15 limit, which makes selecting even more fun. We also stick to gifts just for the children.
So here's what I have found so far...

Pretty gold necklaces for the teenage girls (I'm quite eager to get one of these for me too...) from the immensely talented Cindy of Edor Jewellery.

The teenage fellas are all getting a pair of cufflinks from Zinc White. I first met Paul and Lidia at Saltaire Fair and I love their quirky jewellery, particularly these Initial Cufflinks. I have bought a lot of these for gifts over the months since i met them!

The pre-teen girls are all getting a goodie box of one of my notebooks, pencil pouches and a brooch similar to this one below by Elizabeth Pawle.
I'm ear-marking one of these for me too ;-)

The challenging remaining is the pre-teen boys...I'm really stuck on this one so if you have any bright ideas and can point me in the right direction, I'd be really grateful. I'm determined to succeed in getting everyone a handmade gift this year.

I think I've done pretty darn well and hopefully the recipients will be equally delighted. There really is an amazing selection of handmade gifts out there, so I open up the challenge to you...

Can you do a handmade gift list?

Friday 25 November 2011

Christmas shopping officially starts today, so to kick start yours enjoy 20% off everything in my Etsy shop until midnight GMT tonight! Simply enter BLACKFRIDAY in the coupon section at the checkout.

And watch out because I may be restocking as the day goes on...

Don't say i'm not nice to you...

...and speaking of being nice, don't forget to enter my giveaway too...

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday 24 November 2011

A giveaway...and a new toy...

...actually the new toy is the reason for the giveaway.

A couple of weeks ago I invested in a Big Shot machine. I'd been after finding a way to cut fabric shapes out for ages, for the particular purpose of cutting flowers for my Flower Brooch Kits. My Flower Brooch Kits are far and away my most popular kits and up until now I have been buying cut flowers (not of the fresh fragrant variety) from a lovely lady in US.

But I have been wanting to make my own for obvious reasons and up until now any cutting machines weren't suitable for fabric.
Enter the new Big Shot machine...

The Big Shot has revolutionised my kits by the fact that I am in control of my stock of flowers, cutting as I need and not having to worry about temporarily making the kits out of stock while I wait for more flowers to arrive from across the pond.

And it's so darn quick and easy to use!

If i haven't lost you yet, here's the fun bit...the giveaway...

I obviously needed something to cut and coincidentally just at that point Courtney from Seamstar came along and almost the very same day sent me a swatch card of all the delicious new felts she was carrying. They are 30% wool and really beautifully soft and vibrant.
I put together an order for the ones I thought would work well for my kits and a day later I was cutting and combining to my heart's content.

Courtney was so taken with the selection that she decided it would be perfect to make a specific bundle with this selection of fabrics. And here's the giveaway part...Courtney has very generously offered one of you, my lovely readers the opportunity to win a set of this bundle, here on my blog. All you have to do is leave a comment here on my blog and you will be in the draw to win a fat 1/8 of each of these 6 luscious felts. I'll be leaving the draw open until next Friday 2 Dec so if you fancy some felt, just leave me a comment and a contact email and you will be in with a shot.*

Also... i was cutting out all my flowers I was left with all these. Now I am known for my inability to discard anything and am convinced there is something that can be done with these 'stencils'. But, for once, I am going to resist the temptation to hoard them. Unless someone thinks they can do something wonderful with them they are going in the bin. If you can't bear the thought of that and know exactly what you would do with them let me know and they are all yours! The first person to say they want them can have them! Again, just make sure you have an email that I can get hold of you via.