Sunday, 29 September 2013

You never know what you'll find

Hello there

A few weeks ago now, my daughter and I went to a glass fusing class - I bet that's the last thing you were expecting this post to be about! She had shown an interest in glass when we had a visit to our local museum over the summer and when I saw this advertised at The Sewing Sanctuary in Thornton Cleveleys, then I just had to book in on it. This isn't as easy as it sounds, as it's an hour's drive away and it was on a school night but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. 

Reasons not to do things are always plentiful but reasons to do things need to be highlighted more.

Courtesy of traffic we were slightly late arriving, so we were thrown in at the deep end a bit and didn't get a chance to attune to the environment, so to speak but we did ok and had a nice time working out what to make. Maggie was brilliant, as it was a room full of adults and yet she just carried on regardless. There's such a choice of things you can do of course and yet with our complete lack of experience, we plodded along as best we could. There were some lovely examples of clever glass work around the place. 

We left our little creations there for the lady to take home and put in the kiln and I collected them a week later. One of mine I threw in the bin, as the colours inside it were all washed up instead of displaying the stencilled images I had tried to achieve. All of Maggie's were fine but I especially love her bird.

Whereas my flower looks a bit like a alien hand :-)

The light used for the photos doesn't show them at their best but I struggled to know how best to capture them.

On the way home we passed John Ditchfield's Glasform studio with it's amazing huge glass structures on display in the field's around the studio, which was brilliant to see in the dark all lit up and changing colours. After our little workshop, we appreciated the skill needed to create such a project.

We also have a glass museum in St.Helen's which is close to us and we've yet to go there, so that's next on the list.

Take care out there and check out your local craft shop and see what classes they have available, as you never know what surprises they may have in store.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Watching my p's and q's

Hello there

I'm having to listen to One Republic at the minute, as my daughter wants my opinion on another cd to have in the car, which both of us could listen to. I'll be back in a mo :-)

... It's an 'on the edge' contender in my opinion.

Back to it.

This is what I've been up to this afternoon. I've been to my very first patchwork and quilting class with Wendy Deverill at Coppull; hence the title of this post. I found Wendy after quite a long search for a City and Guild's course in the area and she runs the closest one to me. The course I'm doing is just a beginner's one, as I'm better off doing that first and seeing if Wendy's style suits me.

 I'm not a beginner but I do want to make sure I am doing certain basic tasks efficiently. I thoroughly enjoyed my couple of hours with some lovely ladies and created this easy block. I wasn't at my best as I've been at work for 6am each day this week but I don't normally work Wednesdays, so I'll be fine for future classes which are held fortnightly. I am looking forward to it, as I did enjoy today's and learnt a couple of good tips

We then went on to cut and sew up half square triangles at 3 7/8in. Here they are waiting to be made into a block. That's not going to happen tonight though, as I'd probably make a mistake with being tired.

This reminds me that I haven't shown you a photo of the large patchwork cushion I blogged about several times early this year. 

I made each block by following the tutorials provided by the Craftsy class I signed up for. That class taught me alot and still can, as I haven't finished it and can go back to it as many times as I like.  The last block was mentioned in June in this post called 'Continuation'

This is what I embroidered onto the back of the cushion cover. Kinda says it all really.

Take care out there and enjoy!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

One down

Hello there

This is an update for Dawn, who is one of my avid commentators on here :-)

The craft fayre is all done and dusted. It went really well from what I can tell from the other stall holders, as there was regular footfall. 

Mr Owl managed to make it out of the tree unharmed Dawn! :-)

I need quite a bit of work on presentation though.

Cathy Bown took these photos, so that she could give them for the Church magazine. She did a very good job of advertising the event, hence there were much more people than had been to previous events apparently. I also had my laptop on there showing the slideshow for a while but because my table was in the middle of the room, I couldn't have power for it.

Those brooches are Polly's who had agreed to share the table
with me but unfortunately Polly has had a very busy
time lately and was ill today, so hadn't had time to do anything else.
That's probably a good job as my stuff was taking up so much room.

The weather stayed dry and actually quite warm too, so I think that helps to get people out and about. 

The chalkboards were fab and again, belong to Polly but I would love to get some like that and have them stood up properly. I also think that I should've taken the place-mats out of the ribbon wrapping, so that people could see them properly and touch them. I did take a couple of bags with me too but because I didn't have anything to hang them from, they almost went unnoticed. 

I sold two portable coaster sets and got an order for the red polka dot place-mat set but the customer wants mauve polka dots instead. I'm chuffed to bits about that. It probably doesn't sound brilliant but it was a good experience for my first craft fayre and I'm left feeling positive about the whole thing. Everyone was very friendly, especially Catherine Wood who was also very helpful and kept me chatting when we had quiet times.

A few people took my new business cards too - super cool ones from with various photos of my products on the back of each one.

Last night I looked for a banner and avatar to use for my newly set up Etsy store, as Folksy doesn't seem anywhere near as popular and Etsy have sorted out the currency issue, which put me off last year. I've also set up a Facebook page or ' A place to Set' which is what I've gone to now as a business name. It's not ready to be promoted yet but it's all a work in progress.

Onwards and upwards.

Take care out there

Friday, 20 September 2013

Would you believe it?!

Hello there

Yes, you should believe it. I've only gone and actually finished the placemat and coasters set, I mentioned five days ago here on my blog. It's taken many hours to achieve this but hallelujah, I did it! 

I'm going to have to do the place-mats using a non-binding method, as this increases the cost of the place-mats, as it takes so long to firstly make it and then to hand sew the back of it in place. Each place-mat takes a minimum of an hour to make.

I might not be a fan of the binding but I do love the polka dot fabric I got from Grace and Favour up in Thornton Cleveleys. You may remember it's the same fabric as the bag I made on Monday night.

I made the coasters the usual way I do; without binding! I like the red stitching round the edge although that photo doesn't do it justice at all.

I can't wait for summer to come round again, so this table can be used for more than photo shoots. I know it's only just Autumn but I'm definitely a hot summer kinda gal.

Nero was getting really fed up of me taking
photos of the table and not of him

Now for the craft fayre tomorrow. I'm not expecting to be able to sell the place-mat sets there, as I think people there will be looking for cheaper stuff but my business cards are here, I've got quite a few sets of the portable coasters, two bags and the owl I made on holiday earlier this year. There's also the bunting I can use to decorate the stand or the hall with and I even bought a notebook to use as an order book! So fingers crossed for a positive experience even if not a big sales day. It's all about people getting used to the idea of the portable coasters and what I can do and it's about me getting used to promoting what I make.

Final word is from the owl;
Or maybe not as he's too interested in that apple still left on my Katy tree.

Take care out there

Monday, 16 September 2013

This way or that?

Hello there

 A quickie post to show you a little bag I've made tonight for the craft fayre. I've made it as a bag for taking the dogs for a walk, as it's an across the body bag, which is easily accessible to get all your stuff in and out of, whilst the dogs faff around. It's reversible too, so you can change it every walk if you like. I've made it very straightforward so that I can keep the cost of it low.

Would you prefer to have it this way?
Maggie likes this side

Or possibly you're more of a polka dot kinda gal?
I prefer this side

Either way, I've had fun making it tonight; inside, away from the awful downpours we're having regularly at the moment, which do not make dog walks alot of fun. I definitely need to make one of these bags out of oilcloth and with a sealed top for winter walks! 

Take care out there and try to stay dry if you're having downpours where you live

Sunday, 15 September 2013


Hello there

Inspired? Oh yes, Cynthia Frenette has a lovely blog and recently she posted about some placemats she had made using an Urban Threads design pack. I was drawn to it by a posting UT did on their Facebook page. She's mega talented and was very helpful indeed when I emailed her about her project. 

I've managed to get a little practise run at this, whilst I wait for the Madeira metallic thread and Schmetz metallic needles to arrive and I love it!! 

The machine in full flow doing what it does best. I have just used my Mettler Polysheen thread 1903 and 1902 (red) to do this practise but I'm pleased enough with this even.

Now to see if I can make six placemats before Friday night, as I'm doing the Craft Fayre on the Saturday. I'm not optimistic really but even if I just have one completed one and 5 partially done ones, I will still take them along incase anyone takes a fancy to them there.
If you live nearby, nip in and give me a confidence boost and see what other great handmade projects you can find there too.


I just love the detail on the handles

I think I'm going to just do this on each placemat, as I'm concerned if I do a patchwork plate section like Cynthia's, that the cost of them will rise too much and discourage people. I think to start off that's a wise idea but we'll see what potential customers have to say.

Right, I'm off on a mission. 

Take care out there.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Everybody loves bunting

Hello there

Well, well, that was a weekend and a half! On Friday I did alot of work on 'the business' side of things. That basically means that I finished off a couple more sets of portable coasters and then I created a slideshow ready for my first craft fayre. I spent alot of time on the slideshow and then went for dinner. 'Why is that relevant to me?' I can almost hear you thinking. Well, if you'll bare with me, the relevance is that I left the computer for about half an hour. Upon my return it had decided to seize working completely! That was not satisfactory in the slightest and not part of my evening plans of relaxation.

I do hope that you realise that last sentence was stated in such a way as to disguise my complete and utter outrage, fury, annoyance at the stupid computer for doing such a thing to me!!!

Ooops, I let the cat out of the bag!

On Friday night I went out to a work get together and had more wine than I should have, as I was rather wound up about the computer.

Saturday saw me at the amazing building which is Liverpool Central Library; if you're close enough and like that sort of thing, get yourself in there. It's only been re-opened for a couple of months and yet still has much of it's old character but now mixed with very modern, open space. I was there to take part in an Enterprise Nation Startup Saturday event. The link I've provided you with there, takes you to watch a youtube video of Emma Jones and gang telling what that event is all about. I'll tell more another day; so you'll jolly well just have to come back to my blog to find out, hee hee.


When I got home it was straight out with the dogs for a walk and then to a community barbecue and to a friend's to warm up afterwards, as it was rather cold!

Sunday morning saw me in Liverpool again but with my daughter this time, as I just knew she'd love the library and I was right, oh and of course I had to go to Abakhan whilst I was there; surely you understand my reasoning! Library/fabric store - clearly an obvious link! :-)

Now the even better bit. 

Sunday afternoon saw me, with the help of a friend, fix my computer and actually save my slideshow. It's not a straightforward story but hey, you just want the good news surely! 

I also got to finish off the bunting for my stall at the craft fair on September 21st. A good way to end a very busy weekend. Bunting has a feel good factor all of it's own.

Take care out there and feel free to swear at your computer when it misbehaves! Before you do that though, BACK UP to a separate drive! 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Choice of two

Hello there

Two days ago on Facebook, I put this as my status:
'A commission. Make a card for a 50 year old man, whom you've never met. Cues are model railways/trains and or physics. Wow! Why isn't my mojo kicking in I wonder?!!'

Well thankfully I did get some inspiration and have ended up making two cards, so 'him indoors' i.e commissioner Chris, can decide which card he wants to give to his friend.

I've gone for steampunk, as I tend to do when faced with such male recipients. I've done two 'different to usual' cards, as I figure men like to quickly work out how a card works.

The first one is a stepper card. 

I used the MyCraftStudio Tinkering with Steampunk cdrom again. I'm really quite happy with the result, other than the 'not particularly clear' Happy Birthday tag. 

This is a fancy fold card which I quite like. I do love doing the matching envelopes, although they are a bit of a faff to make with the cdrom if you need to adjust sizes.

I've still got some leftover bits on my desk but I'm not sure if they're enough to make another card out of and besides, I think I've done enough with this for now.

Take care out there

Sunday, 1 September 2013

All in a lather

Hello there

Yes, it's me again, so soon after my last post; less than 24 hours in fact.

Catherine, true to form, set up the September scrapbook sketch this morning. So of course, I just had to respond to the challenge. To add more pressure on me, a couple of my friends said they'd do a page too. Mara actually went ahead and did an extra fast page of her travels to Prague, which is lovely.

I've not had alot of fun doing these pages, I have to admit, as I had photo issues on the computer; I definitely won't bore you with information about that. I think you can tell that from the pages, as they're plain and not exciting at all. At least I've created some memory keepers from my efforts.... and completed my challenge of doing the August sketch inspired layout and the September one all in less than 24 hours.

I will be trying another version of this sketch by the end of September, as these don't 'do it' at all and I need to get my mojo back for scrapbooking. I did some pages on CraftArtist this week too but they're not great either but hey, I do what I can, when I can. I have the memories stored in place, so that's what matters in the end.

Now for some calming tea and biscuits, if the rowdy kids next door will stop getting their ball into our garden.... mmmm, it might take more than tea to calm me! 

Take care out there and stay calmer than me :-)

I beat the deadline

Hello there

Just a quick post as I managed to get a scrapbook page done last night. Now that in itself is a bit of an achievement, as I'm just not managing to get any done lately. It's also an achievement as I created it from inspiration from Catherine's August August sketch challenge. It's September today of course, so I only just made it. July's was completely missed by me unfortunately.
That's not a good photo of it but it'll have to do I'm afraid as Catherine will post about her September sketch today, so I'll have to seize the moment and try to do that today. Last of August, first of September. We'll see.

Dawn - sorry the photos of the Dalek aren't very big in the layout, I'll try to get time late on to just add a photo of that for you in full size.

Where it says Snugbury's on the layout is actually a tag attached to the hidden journalling section and where I've sneakily added yet another photo without ruining the actual layout. I needed to write a fair amount for this trip, so I thought it best out of the way; there's more writing on the back of this tag.

Take care out there and go look at 'Dalicks' in a field if you can :-)
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