Thank You and a Give Away…

Well, winter’s here then, I know, as I’m currently wearing thick wool tights that are wrinkled fetchingly at the knee and ankle, in the style of Nora Batty, and it must be cold if I’ve broken out my winter staple wardrobe of wool tights.  It’s also pissing it down and so dark that it appears like it might be the middle of the night, which makes me want to snuggle up in a corner and read all day, shame I have loads of work to do.

I’ve been meaning to do a quick give away for ages and say an overdue thanks or two.

DSC_0198To get right to it, ages ago I blogged about Royal Doulton Fable Tableware (I just noticed the hilarious typo in the title of the post, how is it I don’t see my mistakes whilst I’m writing, yet they are so obvious later?  I know you all forgive me, it’s clear to anyone who reads my blog that I wont be winning any prizes for my grammar and spelling) and shortly afterwards I received a package in the post containing a gift of one of the mugs and a lovely letter from the Royal Doulton team.  Made my day, which at the time was all a bit pants, I may even have cried a bit (yep, it was the kind of day when the John Lewis Christmas ad makes you weep).

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The mug is lovely quality and as my current china is old and getting quite stained I figured I’d buy more as a replacement.  Weirdly, after my little moan in the post about not being allowed such colourful crockery, I ended up with a box set in the plain white version, the only pattern pieces I chose being some ‘Mixed Accents Mugs by Charlene Mullen.DSC_0142Basically, I need my everyday china to sit well with my vintage pieces, so white is the sensible option, but the lure of the little animals hiding inside the mugs was too much so they also jumped into my basket.

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I will be sticking with Fable in the white (which you can buy via Ocado as well – bonus!….oh and there is 1/3 off at the moment – double bonus!!) but I can see the lure of Charlene Mullen’s ‘London Calling’ range, which is also rather lovely.

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Now to the give away.  I haven’t done one in ages, which is a bit crap of me, so I have two little birds that need new homes, they have wonky ribbons in their tails but otherwise are in good order so I’ll send them both to one name picked out of the hat in two weeks time (Friday 28th November).  I’m happy to post anywhere in the world, just leave a comment on this post and please make sure it’s linked to an email address.  That’s all, nothing fancy, just a ‘hi’ will do.

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Lastly, but by no means least, I was lucky to be asked to take part in Laura’s (of Bugs and Fishes) ‘Crafty Ladies’ series.  I’m amongst great company, so was thrilled Laura contacted me, you can read all the interviews, including mine, here.  For those who don’t know Laura’s work, she writes a wonderful blog and creates beautiful pieces in felt, so it’s well worth a visit to her shop.  She’s also a craft writer and I see has a couple of books out that are ‘starred’ nicely on Amazon.  Jealous, me? Noooooo.

It’s stopped raining so there are no excuses not to get to work, which is a shame as I was quite close to giving myself a rare day off to just read.  Ho-hum, well at least it’s Friday 🙂

Giveaway – Green Apple Apron…

Thanks for all the helpful and kind comments on the last post.

I’m glad people feel that the pricing is OK on the purses, it was backed up by two flying out the day I listed them, which is always a good sign.  I hope it comes across I just wanted to open the debate on this area and to show how much work etc goes into the making, and not that I was fishing for compliments or anything.  I just know, when I read posts from other people on things such as jewellery making (which I know nothing about), I love understanding the work involved and seeing the process, it makes me appreciate the final product even more.

I am also aware that I am lucky to have some disposable income and that I enjoy buying handmade, both for myself and for gifts, and am likely to happily pay more for better quality materials and good workmanship.  Not everyone is in this position though, I do know that.  I try to pitch myself somewhere in the middle on pricing, so good quality but affordable (as a treat) and hope I get that balance right.

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As an illustration, I popped over to Sarah Culleton’s on-line shop yesterday and this beauty jumped into my shopping basket.  I love her bags and this one is no exception, it’s one of those wonderful designs that I wish I’d come up with – ha ha!  I don’t copy other people’s handmade work, even if I could, I would feel really uncomfortable doing that and think it’s important to support the designer who has come up with the idea (it’s why I get a bit irked by people pinning my work onto ‘things I’m going to copy for myself’ style titled boards, or worse ‘things to make for the next craft fair’, I’m trying to mellow on this and just not look, I do understand people probably do copy things I just don’t like it being blatant and I’d get pretty cross if I saw my designs for sale anywhere).

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It’s really beautifully made and I’m happy to pay for one…..just check out that little snail brooch detail – genius!

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Anyhow, I forgot to explain the size of the new purses in the last post, they are quite roomy and there is plenty of space for phone, keys, money and a bit of makeup.  They are bigger than the original ones and I have ordered some clip frames from Hong Kong, but to be honest, even though cheaper per unit, by the time you add postage it’s not such a big saving.

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I said goodbye to my last acorn bag as well *sniff* which I wont be making more of, but there will be more purses in general, both with clips and zips (I have other designs on the go).

OK, back to the giveaway.

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When I made the apple aprons, I did one with smaller pleats to see if it lessened the bulk, when sewing the waistband on…I had forgotten that even this small alteration would widen the apron on the whole, plus it gave it less shape, I like how the bigger pleats make the apron bounce out a bit at the front and allow for general curves from waists and hips (as above).

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So, it left me with one finished apron that’s a bit wider than the others and I thought it would make a nice giveaway.

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Just leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner in two weeks (Saturday, September the 21st).  I’ll post worldwide, just please make sure I can contact you from the comment.  Please remember I can’t reply to comments on this post as it messes up the numbers for the giveaway – oh and I nearly deleted the bit about pinning as I know how emotive this subject is, on both sides.

By the way, it’s lovely and quiet around here and I have coffee 🙂

Green Auriculas and Giveaway Winner…

It’s a beautiful day today, sunny and a little warmer than it has been, so I am looking forward to a potter in the garden later.  I plan to hunt for signs of spring in the borders, see exactly what has survived the winter (and the pesky squirrels and chafer grubs, who keep eating my bulbs).

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My recent sewing work has been echoing my need for spring.  Ever since I made the green auriculas for my tweed messenger bag, I figured they’d be a good addition to this year’s flower brooches and I’ve been carrying a tray of relevant hand sewing around with me for weeks.

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I know these images have been popping up a lot in recent posts (sorry, there are other things on the go, not just new flower brooches) but with Mothers’ Day nearly upon us, I thought I’d better get a move on and get them completed and listed.

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So, after a couple of days of frantic sewing, here they are,

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and the backs

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Even though we have had some quite clear days, with good light, they were difficult to photograph and to get the colours correct.  Most annoying as today is perfect for taking photographs but sadly too late, they are mounted on card and bagged up, so I could finally list them, here.

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Whilst I was creating a new colour version of the auriculas, I also re-visited the original design of the burgundy ones.  When I made the recent brooches for tweed bags, I added a second yellow ring to the middle, I really like this as it adds a nice pop of colour to set off the mustard and dark red petals, so I decided to add this as a standard from now on.  There are a few of the original burgundy auriculas left, but I’ve popped these up on Folksy, with the new ones on my own site.  Please don’t think I’m treating Folksy as the poor cousin, it’s just easier for me to keep them separate, with the relevant photos in the right places this way.

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I still need to finish up the latest batch of buttercups, which are currently out of stock, then I’m done with flower brooches for a while, it’ll be nice to tick one of my re-stock items off the (rather long) list.


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Which brings me nicely to the buttercup bag winner – number 1 was picked by the random number generator, I don’t think I’ve ever had a ‘number 1’ picked before, so Fran of Patchy Rose, congratulations, I’ll email you for your address and get your purse into the post.  Thanks everyone that entered and for your lovely comments.  I hope to have another giveaway soon.

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Finally, I wanted to show you this lovely parcel, that arrived last week, how nice is the wrapping!

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It contains Claude the Cockerel, which I bought from Julie and Helen’s Folksy shop Haggiz.  I fell in love and as I’m about to start a week of solid house clearing and cleaning, I thought he’d brighten up the mantlepiece, along with some other birds I’ve collected over the years that come out to decorate the house near Easter (which I know is a bit away, but the boys like seasonal decorations so we tend to rather string them out).

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Julie was extremely kind and added in an extra, in the form of a notepad and cover in what happens to be one of my favourite fabrics, as I was the first Folksy customer to Haggiz.  Perfect, I plan to put it into action this next week when I get a grip on the house and it’s contents.  I wont be getting much sewing done, but I do have some half written posts and things to show, so hopefully I’ll find time for that, but I know taking a week out to tidy and, essentially spring clean will make me feel so much fresher and calmer, so it’ll be worth it.

I’m off to the garden now to hunt for green shoots before starting Sunday lunch, I hope you’re having a lovely weekend 🙂

Open…and GIVEAWAY!!

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I opened the shop and Folksy back up last weekend, they are are a little bit empty to be honest, my ‘to do’ list, just to re-stock, is quite long:

Cashmere Bears (cut but not stitched up)

Lavender Birds (in a nice new spring colour)

Linen Mice (cut out but, again, not stitched together)

Tweed Bunny Purses (yet again, cut out, and partly stitched)

Monster Purses (I can’t keep up with these)

Felt Flower Brooches (mostly buttercups and auriculas)

As you can see, many have been cut but are sitting in their project boxes waiting to be completed.  I’m starting with a re-stock of flower brooches.  Almost the most time consuming bit of this is assembling the pieces to sew, but I do like seeing them all laid out nicely on a tray, ready for stitching.

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It reminded me that I have a tweed bag, complete with buttercup brooch, sitting in a box, ready for a Spring giveaway.  I couldn’t work out what was wrong with it when I took it out to photograph today, I knew there was a fault and it was why I’d popped it aside,

DSC_0026but I can now see that the strap is on the wrong side.  Doh!  otherwise it’s in perfect order and I don’t think it makes any difference really, especially if you’re left handed….although then the zip would pull the wrong way…maybe.

DSC_0001It has cheery ‘Snow White’ lining and is ready to be given away, so do please comment below to be in with a chance and I’ll pick a winner in the 2nd March.  I’ll post anywhere, and sadly, can’t reply to comments as it pushes the numbers out.  On which note, I am trying to catch up with all my blog reading and replying to comments here, so do please be patient with me.  Things are slipping.

DSC_0019And on a complete tangent, I have new boots, just arrived today from the Dune sale and I love them.  I might need to invest in some flouncy long Victorian style skirts.

Right, I have to go clean now, I’ve been neglecting my housewife duties and I’m at the point where I’d be too embarrassed to invite anyone through the door, never a good thing.

 

 

 

 

Tweed Flower Purse Give Away – the Winner!

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Thank you everyone who entered the tweed purse give away, and for all your lovely comments. Screen shot 2012-12-01 at 15.42.01

The winner is Claire of ‘my norfolk life‘ who left comment number 18 (Claire, I’ve emailed you to get your address).  I hope to have more give aways coming up, I just need to be more organised.

I have pretty much stopped sewing here.  It wasn’t my intention, I had hopped to get a lot more done this season, including some re-stocks of old favourites such as ballerina mice (as so many people asked after them this year) and a new batch of christmas tree fairies but once I stopped, I felt very relaxed and I realised the only person putting pressure on me to get these things done is myself.  There is so much on at the moment that I feel happy with my decision to just leave the shop ticking over for now and to concentrate on other things, I do have quite a few half-finished projects but I’m happy to view them as a bonus get ahead for next year.

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I’ve been trying to get the house in order, finishing up some very long-standing jobs and general tidying.  The boys were over the top excited about advent calendars starting yesterday, after a sort pause, I agreed to start putting decorations up.  I don’t normally do this until further into December, although I am very much a Christmas person, I like to wait a bit before dolling the house up.  We haven’t gone too far, just the odd ornament at the moment.

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Charlie was desperate to do a ‘woodland scene’ that he could include ‘Foxy’ his favourite soft toy in so I left him too it.  At the time of taking the photo, Foxy is building train tracks with Charlie.  Marcus hates these bristle animals but me and the boys like them so we win 🙂

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The boys are spoilt for choice this year with advent, they have their very favourite sock/mouse calendar from Germany and completely homemade.

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Not only do they get chocolates, but on some days there is also a ‘parcel’ in the mouse bag.  It’s a lovely way to spread out the present giving and one we all really appreciate.  I am always amazed how good the boys are at not ‘sneak peeking’ in the bag, they love hunting down the correct number when they need to but otherwise the presents sit happily in the sack, untouched by inquisitive little fingers 😉

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They also have German ‘Kinder’ calendars and we bought them each a ‘Playmobil’ one after the success of last year’s.  I love how the scene builds over the 25 days, last time they had dinosaur and castle versions, as above.

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For me, I bought a Betty’s, Poppy Treffry one with little chocolates inside, to hang in my studio.  I know I could make one for myself, but sometimes it’s just nice to have someone else do the work.  M doesn’t have or want a calender….Bah Humbug 😉

Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend and it hasn’t been too wet, I wouldn’t mind a bit of snow to be honest.

Give Away – Tweed Linen Purse

Lots of challenging life things going on around here, meaning my blogging and sewing time may be a bit infrequent from now onwards – I’ll do my best to keep up – but long overdue is the next give away.

 

When I made the tweed purses a while back, I mentioned that they were quite difficult to line up.  As you can see, one purse in particular is very ‘out’ so I thought I’d set it aside for a give away (the yellow stitching is machine basting that has now been removed).  I was about to write that it’s perfect in every other way, but I also notice the inside pocket is on the wrong side…..apart from that, it is a lovely purse!

So with one LHS pocket and dodgy lining up, but with lovely fabrics, the usual hand holding strap and removable rose corsage here it is.  Please just leave a comment before Saturday 1st December – what!!! December is that close, oh dear, where did the time go – oh, and you can live anywhere, it’s open to all.

BTW, I have managed a few jobs, including some non-sewing (new shelves in my studio) and finally re-upholstering my Gran’s pouffe so I’ll try to get the accompanying posts written soon.

 

Lavender Bird Give Away Winner…

Thank for all your lovely comments on the lavender bird giveaway.

The winner was comment number 35, which was by Carefully made by Mrs Robinson, who I see has a lovely blog, full of fabulous makes, especially for little ones.  I’ve said this before but one of the things I love most about doing giveaways is finding lots of new bogs to visit.

Thank you everyone for entering, I really do appreciate it.

There are more giveaways coming up soon….:)

Give away: Leaf Lavender Birds…

Well, Autumn has certainly arrived today.  I’ve just driven to the village and coming back see our lane is strewn with leaves from the poor horse-chestnut trees (which all have leaf miner moths and drop their leaves rather early), the branches are looking very bare now and there are rivers of water running down either side of the road.  I don’t mind, to be honest, I’m kind of ready, I want to unpack my wool tights, make treacle toffee and drink hot chocolate.  I don’t live in a dream world do I 😉

I’m also, finally, ready to start the winter product listings – hurrah!  I’ve worked quite hard over past weeks to catch up and in the last few days it’s all coming together.  I’m starting with the lavender birds, they are the same as last year as they sold so well and I really like them.  I hope to add another colour version but as I made these up over the summer holidays (when I was attempting to ‘get ahead’) I feel I should just get them listed.

When I made these for the first time, I was expecting the red/gold version to be the most popular but it wasn’t the case, the green ones flew.  I stupidly used my last of the green fabric (which is Cloud 9 – Leaves) for some purse linings and then realised, too late, how much I loved it and how I wanted to make some more birds.  Luckily I managed to source some from Etsy and had my lovely husband bring it back from the US for me, it’s a definite bonus of his working there often.

So I thought I’d give a single set of two lavender birds away, you’ll get one each of the green and the red leaf versions, just leave a comment on this post and I’ll pick a name out of the hat on Saturday 6th October.

I’ve also listed some more of the gold and snow blossom lavender birds, they can all be found here in my on-line shop and hopefully some on Folksy soon.  I should mention that sadly the birds have gone up by 50p this year, when I costed out the material and making time they just weren’t adding up as they should.

On a random note, another lovely internet friend has started blogging – Chloe of Flagon & Satchel.  It’s already a wonderful read with very beautiful photos so do pop over and say hello if you can.

Finally, I have been getting ahead on my Christmas shopping and couldn’t resist these hand cut snowflake cards by Saffa.  They are wonderful, as always, and have been squirreled away in my x-mas box along with a few other things.  I’m spreading the cost and panic this year by getting in there early.

I should be on a roll now, and pending good light for photo taking I hope to spend the next week updating my shop so that I can be free to work on some new designs for November, I have lots of ideas in my head, desperate to get out and it’ll be a shame not to find the time 🙂

Give away: Mr Monster…

I have a little Monster Purse with very wonky ears.  I’d meant to do a give away when I did my recent post about the replenished (and now nearly gone!) monster purses but I forgot.  So here he is.  Usual rules, just leave a comment to be in with a chance, I’m happy to post worldwide and I’ll pick the winner on Sunday 26th August.

That’s all 🙂