Thursday, 26 April 2012


It's been a little longer than I'd like since my last blog post! Sorry! I have been rather busy though, not been resting on my laurels - promise!  It's all come about from a large (insert naughty word of your choice) up of my sleeping pattern.  

Now, I'm sure that if such a thing existed, I would be more than eligible to enter the sleeping Olympics - I generally need at least 10 hours to wake up 'fresh', else I end up waking up transformed into Kevin the Teenager - NOT a pretty sight! My problem lies in getting to sleep.  I've got so many ideas and things to do rushing around my tiny mind that it takes a while to relax.  I have attempted to thwart this with boring activities to relax such as those horrible sleep aid/meditation CDs, simply lying there and trying not to think, counting sheep/owls, and have just had to settle for watching countless episodes of Big Cat Diary on Netflix.  

This lack of sleep has effectively cut my working day in half - which has meant less time on Facebook, and more time making things - which can only be a good thing - I do tend to get glued to the PC when I get there.  I've had to be very self disciplined and log in briefly, check all the things that need checking, and then scurry off to get things done - and this list seems never ending!

The first thing that needed doing was a custom order from an old friend of mine - she wanted a small Union Jack cushion to send off to her other half who is currently off doing his bit in Afghanistan.  I wanted to make it slightly manly - which goes very much against my usual themes, so I had to be very good and not cover it in flowers or hearts or anything too cutesie - I didn't want him to be laughed out of the country for sentimental cushion-y love, so I kept the front of the cushion nice and plain:

I had put some wadding under the Union Jack to give it a quilted effect, but unfortunately this was lost a bit when I stuffed it.  Still, the red stitching gives it a little something extra I think.  For the back of the cushion, we went a bit more 'smushy' with a heart with 'miss you' hand embroidered on it.  I figured the more manly side could be used when mates were present, and then it could easily be flipped over when he wanted to show his softer side! 

Next up were some bookmarks - I do love books. Especially the old smelly sort (see picture below - I have NO idea how old this book is but its fab!) I don't have enough time for reading nowadays, but when I do read I just don't stop! I think my personal best was (a fair few years ago now) when the last Harry Potter book came out, I was so very excited I read it in about 5 hours.  I still love Harry Potter now - but the last book I started was Game of Thrones - I got down to the end of the first page and had to give up - it was too big, I was never going to read it in a space of time where I would actually remember the story line!  I'll have to make do with the TV series for now - no spoilers please - I've not started watching it yet!  I did post a picture of one of my bookmarks up on the Facebook page - this has since been donated to a friend so I made some more...

I will be taking these to the 'Give Up Your Day Job' event at Jack Chams, and any that don't go then will be available to buy from the Facebook page for £3.75 each.  I've also been designing some new things to suit the event - its a bit 'edgy' - think rockabilly, skulls, and the like. So here's a sneak peek of something I knocked up last night...

I had intended it to be a keyring, but I put the embroidery a little too close to the edge and if I stuffed it the detail would be lost, so I think this one will end up as a brooch. 

In other news, I will be donating some cat related bits and bobs to Plymouth Cats Protection for their stall at Exeter Axhays Open Day (it's on Sunday 27th of May - please do go if you can!)  The Cats Protection team do so much work for my favourite furry creatures - from helping with the cost of neutering your cat, to looking after kittys while they wait for someone to give them a forever home.  I consider both our cats 'rescue' kittys as Pepper, our youngest was probably the runt of the litter (she's tiny!) and no one wanted her, while our oldest (but most recent addition) was getting too poorly for her original owner who was moving home and didn't have any room for Bracken.  But they are both very happy (or at least they seem to be) here with us.  Bracken is old and grumpy - she hisses at everything! Even at me when I take her off of my lap - but it's calmed Pepper down a lot, she's a hyperactive little ball of purr!

I've also just acquired some cat nip to make some toys for your furballs to destroy!  

Right. That is quite enough computer time for me today - hopefully this extra long blog will make up for my absence!  I do intend to use it a lot more now since the uproar about Facbooks rules for Pages, and it will be the platform for my next giveaway when we reach 250 fans! 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Back to reality

Well, I had a very very busy two weeks back home in Dorset (not that I have much to show for it other than a bunch of craft supplies!).  I had such an amazing response to my competition I spent far too much time watching my page, but I was blown away by how many people entered - thank you so much! But now I am back in blustery Plymouth, and it's back to normality for me.

I spent a good bit of time rearranging my craft 'area' - an old amp, a small bookshelf, and my coffee table in my living room - it seems ever growing, and I have run out of boxes and places to put boxes if I had any!  It's a great shame because I have been very excited about a toaster box full of vintage fabric and trim goodies donated to me by my grandmother - she used to be a dressmaker, and being of the 'make do and mend' generation, she has a giant fabric stash in a box on her landing with fabrics from old clothes from as far back as the 60's, and I even have a piece of lace from my Aunts wedding dress that Granny made in the 70's.

Here is a peek at what's in the box:

And here's a look at my newly clean (but probably not for long) craft area - I thought I'd take the picture as proof that *sometimes* I am tidy!

You can see little Bracken taking a nap while she watches me working hard... oh to be a cat! 

I've also had a very lucky week.  Unfortunately, I didn't win the Lotto, but I did win two Sticker Sunday competitions!  Sticker Sunday is run by Kittypinkstars - one of my favourite people to 'stalk' on Facebook, and her Blog is brilliant too!  My stickers came in such pretty envelopes, I almost didn't want to open them! But I was too excited about the contents, so I tore them open carefully, and inside was a world of stickery goodness in the brightest paper bags I have ever seen!  You can enter Sticker Sunday every Sunday (surprise surprise) over at Kitty's Blog - although I do recommend you check out her Etsy shop too where you can buy her super cute fluffy puffs or take a closer look at some of her fantastic illustrations - and even order a custom doodle!

My last bit of news is a bit exciting for me... 
As the weather is cheering up, us crafty lot are thinking about craft fairs and fetes and the like - and I'll be attending my very first fair at... wait for it... my favourite pub!  Whoever came up with the idea of crafts AND wine in the same place really does deserve a medal.  If you live in Plymouth, come down to Jack Chams on Ebrington Street - there'll be t-shirts and art and zines and everything DIY - all in all, it's set to be a great evening, with DJs playing after for those of a more 'party' disposition.  Here is the poster: 

And on that note - I'd best get cracking with the sewing!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

100 'Likes'!

WOW! In just over 3 days, my little Facebook page ( has reached over 100 'likes' AND I've had my first 'real' customer! She bought this little owl keyring which was one of my first makes!

I am amazed by this social networking malarky - although it is rather time consuming. Returning likes for likes, promoting your page on special community or networking pages, 'hiking' etc etc. It's had me chained to my PC (not anything new by any means!) but I've found some more lovely pages and spent rather a lot of time trawling through photo albums. 

If you are looking to do some networking, I can highly recommend a blog post by Dotty Anglaise about being a technophope. You can find it here, and while I am no technophobe, this idea of networking had me in a right tizzy.  Other networking pages that include helpful hints include new page Mrs. Strings, old favourite Hike those Likes, and SITT.  I did find some more specifically crafty networking pages, and while they are both relatively new, they are rather good! The first, which runs lots of games and promotes swapping and upcycling, is Crafty Love.  The second is a little less interactive (but I believe this is because the wheels are still in motion), but is run by a lovely lady who is of the opinion that networking is much nicer when you get together and do it over tea and cake. (I happen to agree wholeheartedly - especially the tea and cake part!) She has coined the fabulous term "Natterworking".

So... as a celebration of reaching the big 100 so quickly, I am running a competition on the Facebook page to win a keyring or brooch of your choice! It could be one already up in the photo albums, or it could be a custom one to your specifications (within reason, obviously - while I can sew, I am not the stitching goddess my grandmother is!).  All you need to do, is head over to the page (here!) click on this picture:

Then you can 'like' it for one entry, comment on it for another entry, and if you share it, you can have a third entry!  The winner will be drawn on Thursday at 6pm.  

So, thank you if you have 'liked' my page, and good luck with the competition! 

Friday, 6 April 2012

The Big Day!

So, it's been a long time coming, but today is the day I *finally* published my business page on Facebook!  

I originally had the idea to set up shop in early February, but wanted to sort a logo and a good amount of things to sell before I jumped in - to be very prepared so I could avoid the large amount of confusion I anticipated!  All these things were ready by March, but I was shocked at the lack of insurance for small scale (I think it's referred to as 'Cottage Industry') people like myself, and the fact that a lot of these insurers don't cover online sales.  It took me up until Wednesday to find someone suitable, but now it's sorted, so I thought I ought to get a wriggle on and open up! 

The idea of having your things up online for all and sundry to view is one of both dread and excitement for me - I am quite a perfectionist, (to the point of my significant other teasing me about OCD - the meanie!) and so I am very self critical about my work.  This means that the idea that other people, STRANGERS! can look and judge my work is scary, but I know that I have put my all into every single item, so it is exciting to see "likes" going up, and I do look forward to hearing what people have to say about it all. 

I will be listing some new cat based items later on, so do pop in, "like" and say "hello!"