Better Late…

UPDATE: Doh, completely forgot to point out that the idea for making ‘Royal’ little birds is thanks to Claire of Love Poppet who left a comment on a past post with the suggestion. Sorry, Claire, not all with it today!

As always, I’m running behind, life has got in the way of the many plans I had.  I’ve given up on Mother’s Day again (there were some products I’d planned for last year, that also didn’t get made, ho-hum, maybe next year?), Easter is approaching fast and I’m way behind there as well.  I have, however, made some little birds in suitably ‘Royal’ colours for the Wedding.

I couldn’t bring myself to use cream or white, it just didn’t work so I’ve opted for red, blue and gold.  I quite like them and I’m happy for them to be in the shop after the Wedding.

Sadly they are shocking to photograph so the above is the best I can get, I need to take some over exposed shots, I think, but haven’t really got the time for a long play with the camera so these images will have to stay for now.  They are available here and here.

In other news, I’ve been lucky to be listed in the Mother’s Day blog post over at Create, along with some great sellers, so that’s rather nice.  M is away and the boys (well, C) has been ill, hence my lack of blogging in general.  It’s not been too bad, the first few nights were shocking with both boys awake and us all ending up top and tailing in the spare bed, but they’ve slept in their own beds since and the bonus of having C at home means I’ve got quite a bit of sewing and sorting done.

I’ve been enjoying finishing some open projects and re-stocks that have been waiting, half completed, in boxes

and one day, ideally before Easter, I actually hope to finish and list the new bunny purses.  Maybe 😉

PS, Still can’t leave comments on blogger blogs where they are left on the same page (with a separate pop-up box it’s working fine, although I’m saying ‘hi’ under my gmail account as WordPress wont link) so hello, I am still reading, I promise.

Little Monsters…

This is going to be a quick post with lots of photos, as quite frankly it’s too nice out there to be indoors working and this sunny, warm weather may not last (sorry if you’re not enjoying the same, especially those of you freezing in Finland, you know who you are :)).

Finally there is a neat little stack of monsters on my desk

In the true style of my own little monsters, each time a new colour appears they try to snaffle them and come out with phrases like, “Oh, I wish I had a red monster purse to go with my yellow one….” whilst gazing wistfully at the new creations and in C’s case, simply running off with them.

Sorry boys, not right now but given a little monster purse making break you may get a second one each.

Although they are called ‘Monster Purses’ C likes to keep a couple of Playmobil men tucked in his, so they aren’t just for pocket money,

and I would have loved to have been able to offer personalised versions, like the original, but sadly having a sick one at home today I am reminded how erratic my time is and prefer to have only completed work for sale (that and the 2 week long Easter holidays followed directly by ‘The Wedding’ weekend that are fast approaching, yikes!).

I did also consider making them slightly larger so they could hold a credit card as I’m pretty sure not all of these will end up belonging to children, but I really like that they can be squished into a child’s pocket, when needed, plus they are the perfect size for hanging off a pair of jeans (as my boys mostly wear theirs) or attached to F’s book bag for school.

They are listed on my shop and a few on Folksy.  There will be more coming in this range and some Monsters in other fabrics, given time; but I know there are quite a few people waiting so finally, here they are 🙂

Rabbit Egg Cosy Winners…

Wonky eared rabbits are you ready….?

Numbers, Messy Monster hat and assistant in the form of oldest son in his pj’s, are you ready….?

(long pause, dramatic flashing lights)

The winners are…

Comment 15, Cate (see her blog here) and…

35, Fiona of Fiona T.  Ladies, I’ve emailed you for address details then your bunnies will be on their way.  Thanks everyone for entering, I really appreciate all the lovely comments (as always, can’t reply as it messes up the numbers) I found lots of new blogs to add to my Google Reader list again, it’s one of the things I like most about doing giveaways.

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, I’m off to potter in the garden then we’ve promised the boys a trip to the cinema this afternoon, should be fun!

All change….

It’s been a funny couple of weeks, lots of on and off drama around here, a rare weekend away for M and I, without the kids (our last was back in 2009), a birthday (mine) and of course a daily reminder of just how small any problems we might have are in comparison to the horrific happenings in Japan.

Work has been quite erratic, I haven’t had much time to sit and sew, although there are quite a few things nearly finished and some general updates I’ve never mentioned.  Above is my desk today with the current open project in the bottom corner, most of you regular readers will know what this is.

I’ve been busy packing up orders between the mayhem

I realised I’ve never shown the final photos of the new batch of little birds, which are now listed, here

and on Folksy.

Also, quite exciting news (for me anyway), I’ve finally moved hosting companies for my website.  Essentially I’ve abandoned MrSite and defected to Create.net, I don’t want to get into a slagging off session but there was a lot I was personally unhappy with, so I simply decided to move.  The main problem for me was the customer service and the many bugs, in fact I still have an open query that obviously isn’t ever going to be answered; in fairness I should mention that they are going out of their way to rectify this problem plus there is a new product due out soon, but for me this is too little, too late.

The immediate good things I notice at Create are:

  • Fabulous customer service, all questions so far have been answered quickly and efficiently.
  • The ability to have shop items in more than one category (so in SALE and another category such as Lavender Bags) with a simple tick of a box, no having to double list and manually edit the stock counter.
  • The ability to hide products so re-listing them at a later date is much easier.
  • Restricting the country for purchase to the UK only in the checkout.  In MrS Pro (which you need if you require a stock counter), payment is processed via PayPal’s pages who have an annoying drop down to choose a country which you can’t remove or restrict, this was really a problem for me as I only ship to the UK without prior arrangement.
  • Very easily customizable template and colours.  You can change the text, colour and template without loosing any of the ‘bits’ (I’m sure that’s a technical term, LOL ;)) you’ve set such as background and header, plus change them back again at a whim with no problems.  I’m fickle, I like to play around with my site a lot, I found in MrS lots of things reverted back to the basic template when all I wanted to do was change the text, so I’d have to re-set them all again.
  • I’m generally loving the shop back area in Create, there are so many things you can turn on or off and to get the exact shop functions you would like and although I haven’t tried them yet, being able to do offer codes etc is going to be great.

I could go on but you may fall asleep, I should say you can also do a 30 day free trial which is a huge bonus plus you pay monthly, not yearly, so you can leave whenever you wish.  Are there any downsides?  Well, yes, to checkout out customers are asked for full address details before going through to PayPal (oh and you can use many other payment gateway).  Personally I hate this as to me the whole point of paying by PP is to avoid filling in forms, I may loose a few of my single lavender bag customers and they are my best sellers.  Also, I struggled to find a template I really liked, my taste is quite minimal and funky for websites so some of the details just weren’t right but it’s all workable.  A biggie for me is that I’ve dropped off the Google UK search for ‘lavender bags’ where I used to be up there on page 2, now I’m no-where to be seen, M suggests this is because all the old links created over the past 2 years to my pages and products are now broken, something I hadn’t thought about 😦

I still have a huge amount of tweaking to do, including a new front page and lots of photos to re-take but I just needed to get it live.  I could be changing the details for many months yet so if you do take a look around, please excuse an mistakes 🙂

Lastly, on a slightly random note,  I need to apologise to all you lovely Blogger friends, I can’t leave comments at the moment, no idea why.  I write one, submit it, it disappears with no error message so I assume it’s gone on it’s merry way but when I check back later it’s not there; it’s been sucked into a blogger black hole and I’m afraid this may have been happening for some time before I noticed.  I tweeted about it and found I am not the only person with this problem, I’ve tried logging in/out, refreshing my laptop, using a different browser but nope, not working, so please don’t think I’m ignoring you, I just don’t know what to do to fix it (BTW, this is only a problem on blogger blogs where the comment is left at the bottom of the page, for those who have a separate pop up window, I can still say ‘hello’).

Very wordy today and not many photos so here’s another ‘nearly finished if I just pull my finger out and get on with it’ product, again you regulars will know what it is 🙂

Giveaway: Rabbit Egg Cosy…

Oh joy, in print and in one of my favourite magazines, oh comely.  I’ve been a subscriber since they ran a competition with Folksy back in September 2010 (one of the winners being the wonderfully talented Kirsty of Sixty One A), so I was thrilled to be asked if they could use my Rabbit Egg Cosies in their March edition.  Now, if you haven’t heard of oh comely, Monica over at Quilt While You’re Ahead said ‘It’s like a really cool blog, but in print format’ which I think is spot on, even my uber cool Berliner husband, who noticed it laying around, commented on it so high praise indeed.  They say of themselves:

‘oh comely is a magazine about people and their quirks and their creativity, rather than money and what it can buy.’

‘It’s a magazine that inspires people to be creative, talk to their neighbours and explore new things, rather than buy stuff or lose weight. Imagine sitting down with a cup of tea and a creative friend to hear all the strange things she says, all the curious stuff she does, and about the things she loves.’

You can buy a copy in WHSmith or subscribe here for £18 per year.

It did prompt a quick Rabbit Egg Cosy replenish as stock was very low.  I’d forgotten how tricky they are to make, getting the ears to match is a nightmare as they sit on a curve and tend to spring out at jaunty opposing angles, however much I baste them.

The linen is also very difficult to iron, even with a damp cloth and lots of steam.

Then again,  I am a bit of a perfectionist.

They are available to buy on my (fancy new! – more about that later) site or on Folksy.

I have 2 egg cosies for giveaway, cute though they are these ones have wayward ears and I’d feel bad selling them.  Just leave a comment, nothing more and I’ll pick two names out of the hat on Sunday 20th March, as always I’m happy to post Worldwide so this is open to everyone.  Nice and simple 🙂

Little Birds…

I’ve just made my entry for the Little Bird Event at the Dukes Gallery, Lancaster.  In their own words:

‘This colourful and vibrant installation of a flock of birds asks you to join in by creating one yourself. Birds can be 3d sculptures, made in any medium to be hung in The Dukes gallery. The birds will then be sold to raise money for charity’. (All Proceeds go to Women for Women International.)

The entry date is 15th March, so not much time left, but such a great idea to be involved with if you have a free morning to make a birdie.  More info here.

 

Still here…

Just in case you wondered where I’d gone, I am still here.  I was working hard on new products but then half term arrived and it all went a bit awry, I’d assumed everything would kick back into place  this week but I’m struggling to get back into the swing of things, I’ve lost my mojo.

F has recently taken to drawing continuously which is great, he has a ‘weak wrist’ which makes it difficult for him to hold a pencil correctly, I’m amazing how quickly he’s improving now he’s on a roll.  We mostly get aliens or, as above; ghosts, vampires, spiders and bats so in honour of this and his general love of all things spooky I’ve invested in some new coasters.

I love them.  I appreciate not everyone gets excited by zombies munching on brains under their cup of coffee but they fit right into this house, as I’ve mentioned many times, we have very eclectic taste. They are by the very talented Fiona T and you can find more of her work here.  The immaculately stitched designs are based on Fiona’s sister drawings which can be found here, if monsters are not your thing then there are many other designs available but personally, I have my eye on an embroidered pink zombie notebook cover.

Over half term I did manage a little sewing, a Messy Monster costume from Okido for F’s school book day.  I know I’ve shouted about Okido magazines before but they really are great, the perfect mix of fun and education and packaged in such an arty, funky style.  I was so pleased he chose this as his perfect costume…that was until I had to make it and my lost mojo got in the way.  After forcing myself to get on with it (time is running out),  I rather enjoyed myself.  I hope to get a photo of F wearing it but in case I don’t have time here you go.

Loving the monster feet, I want some.

Finally, thanks for all your recent comments I really do enjoy reading them and I’m so glad you liked the new lavender bird.  Sorry for my sloppy lack of replies as of late, time has been running away, I haven’t even caught up on my Google Reader list which says I have over 400 posts to read. Yikes!

OK, off to hunt down my mojo 🙂