Friday, 30 December 2011

Rainbow cats

When I went to Jersey in October I went into this fabulous fabric shop ( Fabric Factory Shop, St Hellier). Floor to ceiling in rolls of fabric anything from heavy upholstery fabrics to fine voiles, trimmings and all things haberdashery. And the staff were so helpful. I bought a bundle of 'fat' quarters in a self tie-dyed colours. I haven't bought fat quarters before but the colours were irresistible. What was I going to make with them? Well I decided I wanted to make some cushions.  That was the easy part. The next step wasn't. I didn't want square cushions. No pattern, no idea of normal sizes in fact no real experience of cushions at all. So in thinking mode for a while, and craft fairs took precedence.

Rainbow Cat - Front
In the meantime I took a look at my old sewing machine (it had been faithfull (over 35 years service) but it was badly in need of repair and had been for some time) so I looked around and decided to treat myself to a new sewing machine with extra facilities. What better way to check out a new machine than to have a project ready and waiting.

Designing the cushions - desicions.

1. Shape is now decided I wanted oblong
2. Colours - I want to use all  (8)

3. Size 12" * 24"
4. Embroidery - undecided but doesnt prevent starting.

Rainbow Cat - Back
Once I had cut and sewn the basic shape for my cushion I then started thinking about the embroidery. On one I decided to try out a variety of standard stitches to see what they looked like. Then sat down and designed a cat and a butterfly.

The cat is the first one completed the other are waiting for stuffing to arrive.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Its Christmas Eve. No more shopping for food presents etc. Time to put your feet up for an hour or two and relax.  Look forward to tomorrow and enjoy.

Wishing everyone a Merry Merry Christmas. Hope you all your happy dreams come true.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Relaxing before the rush

I'm sat relaxing on the sofa thinking should I be doing something Christmas is only one week away. So "What have I done" and "What is still to do?" Well I've put away my jewellery tools and added the last items to my "WOWthankyou" shop. Just going through the tick list

Presents - sorted
Christmas pud  - made (not sure how its going to taste)
House - ready for guests
Food - still some shopping to do
Pre christmas cooking - still to do

Things are pretty much on schedule.

The only blot on the horizon is a tax form to fill in. Still there is over a month to the deadline. So I might just fill it in before Christmas so that I can forget about it til next year.

 PS  WOWThankyou is a relatively new site where british crafters can sell their goods. Please take time to have browse you may find that something different for that special someone.

Friday, 2 December 2011

No more fairs til March

Its time to prepare for Christmas. I've done no shopping so far but there is still three weeks to go and no more fairs to prepare for so my time is my own.

This is the list of things I need to do

Get the trimmings out of the attic dust them down and see what needs replacing.
Clean and tidy up. (I've let things go a little recently).
Trim the house.
Go shopping for presents, food and cards.

Not a lot, but I can guarantee it will take plenty of time

Then when I have a few minutes to breathe I'll start more detailed planning of next years projects making sure I have everything prepared. And take a look at this years craft fairs etc. and set a plan for next year.

 Heres a few of my earrings. Just to brighten up the page. 

I love making earrings. I'm fascinated by the fact that I can add something different to make them unique. There are only a couple of designs that can be repeated but only while I can find exactly the same components.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Last craft fair for this year on the horizon

I've  only one more craft fair before Christmas so I hope its a good one. For all you out there I'm at Highbury Hall in Birmingham on Sunday. Its free entry and open from 11 til 4pm. Hope to see you there. Right thats the ad over.

Display at craft fairs is always a problem. Each one is different. The size of the table, the lighting the position (is there a wall at the back that you can use, are you in the corner etc.) How do you deal with this? I'm slowly getting a display that can be adapted to most positions as long as the light is good.

I have been concentrating on my earrings display as I seem to make more earrings than anything else. I currently have around 100 pairs. Too many pairs to hang on a tree or bought display also people did not seem to look the earrings on the display. Putting each pair out individually and making sure they match takes far too long but sales were good. So I tried a card system but this took up too much room. I tried netting a notice boards but the earrings did not stand out against the netting even though there was a solid black background . Now I am trialling a system of trellissing and earring cards. Much quicker to put out and put away but also does not seem to have a detrimental effect on sales. Even on this very bad picture the display stands out. What do you think?

Friday, 18 November 2011

Computers - can't live without them?

I was updating my web site for the first time in months when I realised I had again been neglecting my blog.

I can site all sorts of reasons for not doing so, but I'm not going to bore you with everything thats gone wrong or excuses for not blogging. Its beeen a great summer, lots to do, craft fairs, holidays, days out, a wedding in the family, seeing friends.

Computers aren't they a pain but we can't seem to live without them. About a month ago the computers in my house decided to go on strike and being me I just love a challenge so decided to try to fix it myself. The laptop had an intermittent problem but the PC seemed terminal. So starting with the PC. It looked like a hard disk failure but after checking all the connections (multiple times) even trying a windows repair from the installation CD. I was just about to give up and start looking for all the bits I'd need to upgrade my ancient PC (around 10 years old and built by me) when I took another look inside the box to recheck everything when I spotted that one of the memory cards looked as though it wasn't clipped in properly. Its worked perfectly since then. The laptop however does now look terminal.

I also had a bit of luck I was given one that had been discarded (was on its way to the tip but was about 5 years newer than mine) so disks in hand and no passwords I went to work. It took 3 days to reinstall and add all the updates, applications and set it up to use. Fantastic it is so much quicker.

At home I'm the one that gets the job of troubleshooting any computer related issues whether hardware or software (PC Network or Applications). I'm thinking of going into business offering to troubleshoot any computer related issues. Prices on Application. :-)

I have replaced my laptop with a brand new model. Hence the renewed interest in web site and blogger. I was so tired of waiting for sites, pictures everything to load. It was taking an hour to make minor changes.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Craft fair time

I couldnt believe that its been nearly a month since I was last on here. The weathers been great recently so have been in the garden planting a few potatoes. I've also been making a few new items which is good news as I've a few fairs booked and hoping for more.

I'm in the middle of preparation for a busy weekend. Why do I always seem to think of my blog at a time like this. Oh well I may as well plug where I'm going to be this weekend. I have two events one indoors at Evesham Town Hall on Saturday the other is in Ludlow. They are holding a Craft and Country Fair on Sunday on the open air market hoping for good weather on both days. Lots of travel but its always good to go to different places. Hope to see you there.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Spring is on its way.

Well I've been very quiet waiting for spring and new enthusiasm. The cold days of winter were not very inspiring but as spring is coming I am starting to wake up. Here's what I have been up to.

No surprise here I lost my enthusiam for making anything. I had a little moan about it on the crafts forum these guys are so helpful there is always someone with some good advice. You are never alone when you need help there is always someone ready to help. But what really turned the corner for me were two things. I spotted some wool and I decided to make a macrame owl. This is the picture straight after I finished him.

He looks a lot better now I've pressed him but for a first attempt I was so pleased.

I made a scarf out of the ribbon wool I bought. sorry no picture.

But now I've been buying beads, wire and findings, a sure sign that I am ready to make a lot more jewellery which is just as well as I've also booked a number of craft fairs over the next few months. Please go to the events page on my web site for upto-date information. Heres hoping for a much better year than last.

Also WOW thank you is an online shop of shops for buying all sorts of handmade goods all made by people like me who enjoy making things. (I have a little shop on here 'Blossom Crafts' what else) They have been online for around 12 months now but will be launching their updated site in the next few days so please take a look over the next few weeks and check out whats going on you might find the ideal gift