Tuesday, 28 December 2010

PINNY SALE!!! UP TO 30%!!!

The Christmas chaos has finished (almost!) and I have work to do.  I am having a clear out ready for big changes in 2011.  Because of this I am having a sale, so all those wanting one of my lovely pinnies at a fraction of the price, pop over to one of my shops!!!  I have sale items in both my Folksy shop and my Etsy shop.

I will be adding more items over the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled more more goodies.

Hope that you have all had a good Christmas, and that you are managing to find time to sit back and have a bit of a relax.  Best wishes to all. x

Monday, 20 December 2010

Deck the halls with boughs of holly....

fa la la la la... okay, maybe not, but we (myself and that crafty Fairy) have been having a homemade Christmas.  I admit, it is nowhere near the extent of Kirsty Allsop's Homemade Christmas, but we are dipping in our toes.

The children's (mine & neices/nephews) presents are finished, and yesterday I felt I had enough time to spend a few minutes surfing the online crafting community where I came across this fantastic paper snowflake.  I saw it and simply had to make one!!  It is fabulous, and although it looks pretty tricky to make, it is actually quite simple.  You can make one, or loads (as I intend to do time permitting), by following the instructions Kate from M is for Make has very kindly shared.

We also got down to making some mince pies...

... and the Fairy made a gift for the birds with the left over pastry.

I am sure that the birds will love them, and we will love watching them being devoured.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

I'm being driven crackers!!!

Brrrrr......... yesterday it was like this when we got up.  I had planned a visit into town to get a few bits and pieces, but there was no way we were going anywhere except in the garden to play in the snow.  Unfortunately the snow was beautiful powder snow and was impossible to 'sculpt' into a snowman.  So we had to throw it around instead!!

After lunch whilst the Tinker was in bed, I decided we had better make a start on the crackers the Fairy and I were making for Christmas day.  On the whole crackers annoy me, they cost a fortune, generally have rubbish gifts, hats that don't fit and dreadful jokes, which is why I decided it should be a Fairy activity.  

We have been collecting toilet roll tubes and I had bought some snappers from Ebay.  First we made some of the gifts to go inside (very useful gifts!!!).  We haven't done jokes, I'd asked the Fairy if she new any and I got the knock knock Dr Who joke.... hmmmmm.  Er... we haven't done hats either as I thought about them a little too late in the game. Although we were missing some (not so essential) essentials, we laid out our bits and pieces by the fire and got to work, and this is what we made....

... I thought they looked good but had a feeling the Fairy would want to embellish them.  I was right, and cringed slightly when she said yes she would like to add sparkly bits.  I left her to her own devices at this point and when I returned this is what we had....

... fantastically classy looking crackers.  What a good job she has done.  I couldn't believe that they hadn't been covered!!!!  It makes me realize how grown up she has become.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

My Little Victorian Girl!

Firstly, I can't keep up with myself.... I should have done the post last week, but didn't get round to it!!!

About a week and a half ago, the Fairy came home from school stating that she wanted to be a Victorian girl on a school trip to Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley the following week.  I can't say I wasn't aware of it, I was.  I had received a letter from school saying they could dress up if they wish, but hadn't mentioned it to her... hoping that she wouldn't be interested... as if!!!!

My response was "Okay love, I'll see what I can do".

There was no way she was going to be gentry... so she got a maids outfit.


I made the dress by adapting a simple top from this book by Emma Hardy.  It is a lovely book that my mum gave me recently, it has lovely images, and simple instructions for some quick makes. Unfortunately, it only goes to age 5, and the Fairy is a big 6 year old so I can't just follow a pattern, I have to re-jig it!

This is the pattern I adapted.  Very simple, and quick to make.  Perfect.

Then came the pinny, and I seized the opportunity to create a prototype for my new children's pinny (that has been flying around in my head for months), a new range for 2011.  I was please with the outcome.  A little more tweaking to do with it, but I am looking forward to using some fabulous fabrics on it!!  Hope fully I will be able to grab some time over Christmas to make some!!!  Am I being optimistic?

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Look what I got!!

It was my birthday last weekend and I got some lovely pressies.
But look what my mum and dad got me...

... I had blogged about this necklace here.  It is made by Brazen Hussies based in snowy Scotland, and it is even more beautiful on than it is on this image.  I couldn't believe it when I opened the box!!  My lovely mum had read my blog and secretly bought it.  What a fab surprise!!

I also got this fantastic teapot...

... I love the birds, but I also think the shape is fantastic too.  It is by Hannah Turner and she has lots more lovely items.

I was also bought this...

... one of Silvermousey's anodised aluminium bangles.  Miss Silvermousey is a local artist I met this year, and like to have lunch with when we have chance.  Her and my sister have been being sneaky!!

And then I bought myself this...

... another birdie!!! This cute jug is by Faye Power, another local artist.  I bought this when I visited Drumcroon Gallery in Wigan on my birthday.  They currently have a Christmas Art and Craft exhibition on at the moment, and you can go and by lots of lovely gifts for friends and family (or yourself of course!!!)

Hooray for lovely gifts!!!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

It's cold outside!!!

Hooray, we have snow... not quite as much as other parts of the country, in fact nowhere near as much, but it is still snow!!!  I must venture out into the cold to refill the birds 'restaurant' (aptly named by the Fairy).

I am very pleased that my hubby and I spent the past few weeks taking out our gas fire, re-fashioning the fireplace, mixing concrete and laying lovely slate tiles for our new multi-fuel burner so that we could have it fitted at the end of last week.  So, even though it is a little on the chilly side, we are toasty warm inside!!!  We still have work to do, but that can wait until the festive season, when all my present making has ceased and I have time to work again!

Earlier in the week the Fairy and I set about making some birds to hang as Christmas decorations...

... I made her a template and drew round it on some lovely vintage style paper so that she could cut them out.  She then made concertina wings.  I will put thread in the top of them so they can be hung up in our living room.  Really simple, but very pretty and she really enjoyed making them. 

Monday, 22 November 2010

Another weekend has flown! A craft fair on Saturday and cake making on Sunday

I had a good weekend.  Amongst helping Father Christmas making gifts, I had a stall at a local village fair in Wheelton.  It was a lovely event.  The people were great and they had a good turn out, I sold quite a lot of my stock and there was a lot of interest in my work.  Excellent.  Here's a picture of my stall.  The quality of the picture isn't too hot, but I was pleased with how it looked.  The Fairy came along to help (as it was only a couple of hours) and my mum came up too.  

On Sunday I managed to get my pinny on for a bit of cake making with the children, and convinced the Fairy that it was a good idea to make a lovely apple cake rather than the fairy cakes she loves to make.  I have made this cake once before to take to my brothers, but to be honest the recipe that I used originally was a little too faffy to make with two young children so I adapted it, and now it is very simple.  

Yummy Apple Cake Recipe


125g soft butter
125g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
125g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
3 small firm dessert apples
* you can also use a couple of tbsp flaked almonds to sprinkle on the top if you fancy it (I didn't have any in!!)

1.  Pre-heat oven to 180*/160*(fan oven)/gas mark 4 and grease a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin and line its base with greaseproof paper.
2. Cream together butter and sugar until sort and fluffy.
3.  Add the egg a little at a time, beating as you go along.
4. Add the flour and baking powder, mix it through and put cake mixture into the cake tin.
(At this point I gave my little helpers a beater each from the electric mixer to lick whilst I sorted the apples!!)
5.  Core the apples and cut in half (if you have the luxury of an apple corer.  I don't so cut in half and carefully removed the core with a small knife.  Don't worry if it looks messy, you won't see it).  You now need to make fine slices in the curved side of the apple without cutting all the way through.  See the picture below.  Place the apples on top of the cake mixture.  Don't be tempted to push them down... the first one of these cakes I made you couldn't see the apple!!!

6.  Sprinkle the almonds on top if you are using and pop it into the middle of you oven and leave for 35-40mins until golden and firm.  I checked mine after 30mins and it was golden but not firm (the skewer wasn't clean when I pierced the centre of the cake) so I covered it loosely with a piece of kitchen foil and left it for another 5 mins.
7.  Allow to stand in the tin for a couple of min, then put onto wire rack to cool.

Delicious cold with a cup of tea, but could be eaten warm with ice-cream, or maybe even custard!!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Some work from some of my favourites

I have been far too busy this week, mixing cement, choosing slate and continually clearing up mess. It will be worth all the mess next week when I am sat in a toasty warm room warming my feet by our new burner.  I am very excited!

Anyway, instead of showing off the fruits of my labour, I thought that I would share a few of my favourite things that other people have made.

This lovely cushion has been made by the very talented Zoe Badger (aka Zebedee).  Zoe creates fabulous lino prints and I had been in touch with her a while ago saying they would look fab on fabric for things like cushions.  Anyway, she has done it, they look fantastic and are selling well.  Pop over to her shop by clicking on the image and have a look at her other lovely prints.

Another print, this time of two Ptarmigan by Deebeale.  I love the simplicity of Deebeale's work and the colours used.  Click on the image to see more.

I love rectangular shaped pendants.  I bought a beautiful one for my sisters 21st and every time I see her with it on I am envious.  I must love her to have let it go!!!  Maybe one day I will own one. This is a lovely example by Brazen Hussies.  Click on the image for a link to the shop.

And finally ...  a lamp... not just any old lamp.  How pretty is this?

These are made by Hannah Nunn.  I love dandilion clocks.... well actually its a bit of a love hate thing... I really dislike dandilions because they are a pain in the garden, but I guess without them we wouldn't have the beautiful clocks or sugar stealers.  Have a look here at the blanket of sugar stealers from early summer.  Anyway, I have digressed slightly.  Please go over and have a peek at Hannah's other lamps by clicking on the image.  

Sunday, 14 November 2010

My niece's birthday pressie

In a previous post I mentioned that I had been busy making my 2 year old niece's birthday pressie.  Yesterday we trekked over the border to Yorkshire to her party and took this with us.

I am pleased to say it is a hit.  She gave it lots of kisses, but wasn't too sure about sticking the pole in between her legs to ride it.  The Fairy and the Little Tinker weren't too impressed that we were giving it away, and I have now been informed that we need one in our house (even though we have Lily, the fairy's huge rocking horse, and a smaller version for the Little Tinker).

This is how I made it...

..first I made a pattern (with the help of Bob the Builder!!!).

After sewing my pieces together and attaching the ears, I made a start on the hair.  This is the most time consuming, but quite a simple task... I did mine whilst visiting my brother during half-term when I didn't have access to my sewing machine!!!

I then stitched on my eyes before stuffing and inserting a length of pole with the top covered in glue.

If you look closely at the image below, you can see that the horse is smiling.  My husband thought that the horses nose was a little too pointy.  I didn't really fancy removing the stuffing and re-sewing to change the shape, but he had other ideas and simply pushed the mouth up to make it smile.  A couple of stitches, and she was looking perfect.

A perfect pressie for a little person, and enough time before Christmas to make a few!!!

N.B It's funny though... I noticed once I had finished it, that out of all the fabric I have, I chose the same fabric for the horses ears that I had used on a dress for a rag doll that I had made for her 1st birthday pressie!!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Get knotted scarves!

At the beginning of last week, before becoming ill, I made these scarves.  In fact, I thought I had given myself motion sickness with all the sewing that I had done.  I work on a vintage Singer and it has a tendency to create quite a large amount of vibration on my workshop (attic) floor! 

They are quite simple to make, and a lovely way to show off a beautiful piece of fabric.  I particularly love the one shown above.  These are scarves (to keep the chill off your neck), but a wider and longer piece of fabric creates fantastic shawls, perfect for summer evenings.  

The scarves were washed after I had made them, and knotted before drying, to create their crinkled textured look.

There are three different fabric choices, all of which are really pretty, and they are available to buy in my Folksy shop here.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Reindeer Cards

I have been making Christmas cards.  I had sort of decided that I wasn't going to make any as I am short on time, and next year I am going to be focusing on my pinnies and paraphernalia (so no more cards as I need to be focused).  However, I have been asked if I am making them (I had an idea of what I wanted to do anyway), so here they are. 

The images are created by drawing a template and then hand cutting the reindeers out of pretty papers.  These are then scanned, fiddled with slightly and a greeting is added before being printed onto vellum.  I then stitch them on to card.

I have done three different designs...

... and they are available to buy in my Folksy shop here.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A trip out with my mum!

I cannot believe that it is over a week ago since I was last here!  Maybe you thought that one of the witches that visited us for The Fairy's party last weekend had cast a vanishing spell on me.  Actually I have been poorly and now have an even bigger back log of things to do!!!

But first I want to make you aware of a fantastic Art Market that has been created in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, where artists and designer/makers can sell their wares.  It has been set up as an event that enables artists and designers can exhibit (and sell) their work, rather than it simply being a business venture, and this is captured in the ambience of the market.  They have another planned for next Sunday, so if you fancy a trip out, it is worth a visit.  You can find out more on the Art Markets website here.

My mum had her eyes on a couple of pieces of artwork, but my eye was drawn to two stalls in particular (both who of whom I have just noticed were called Helen!) one was a textile artist Helen Hallows, another was silversmith Helen Shere.  I love both of their work.  Please do pop over to their sites to take a look at their work.  Unfortunately I didn't remember to take any photos of the event, but I am hoping (finger crossed) that I will be there early summer 2011.

Now I must go and make rapid progress on my niece's birthday present before her party next weekend.

I will post about it later in the week, time permitting.

Have a good week.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Getting ready for Halloween!

Where has the past week gone to?  A lovely weekend with my brother's family just outside of Peterborough, and the Fairy off for half-term has really disrupted the work schedule!!!

Anyway,  a few weeks ago I had a moment of madness.  I decided that it would be a good idea to have a Halloween Party for the Fairy and her friends... well... they are only young once!  I think that it important for children to get involved organizing, so earlier in the week, I had her drawing around spooky templates and cutting them out ready to be made into bunting.  Today's activity, whilst the little Tinker was sleeping, was making tablecloths.  I got out a spud and some paint, made her a stamp...

... and off she went.

She got out a paintbrush, decided where to print and made two table cloths.

If you ever do anything like this, I recommend that you use a very sharp knife (I used my craft knife), and I also mixed some PVA glue in with the paint so that if (!!!?!) a drink gets spilt we won't have orange splodges all over the table and the children!

Much more to do tomorrow.  Bunting to finish, and I think we will be putting on our pinnies and making spooky cakes and 'slime' jelly!!!

N.B The fairy has informed me that little witches are called witchlings, and little wizards are wizlings.  Excellent!!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Girly Ruffles

I have had a t-shirt in a beautiful pink lying around for quite some time.  It was one of those (pre-pregnancy) items of clothing I didn't really want to get rid of as I loved the colour, but felt it a little too short to wear!  

What better way to utilize a girly pink t-shirt, than to turn into girly ruffles...

... and stitch onto a pair of old trousers...

... to make a lovely doorstop?!!

Hoorah for recycling!

p.s. I actually made a few of these, which are available to buy in my Folksy shop.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

If you go chasing rabbits

Last night we had a mass exodus to Blackpool.  Before we started we had a fantastic fish and chip supper (at St Anne's Fish Restaurant), all part of the 'going to Blackpool Illuminations' tradition, and highlight of the evening really.  The lights were very disappointing, after a long trek up the promenade (starting out from Central Pier not a good idea with little legs!!!) we made it to the north pier, where the good ones usually are.  Unfortunately there had been a power cut and quiet a few weren't lit.  We did however get to see some of my favourites from when I was a girl (how old do I sound!) including the Alice in Wonderland ones.  I took the photos with my phone, but I think they have come out pretty well.

This then reminded me of last weekend when we visited Witton Park in Blackburn where they have recently created a fantastic play area for children.  One of my favourite parts was Alice themed again...

...a carved table holding Alice's tea party, fantastic.  There goes the Little Tinker! 

So then because I had Alice mania I had to find White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane (click on the link to listen to it), as I hadn't heard it for a long long time.  Love it and love the imagery that Alice and Wonderland creates.  Fab!

Friday, 15 October 2010

My Rainbow Quilt has been featured again!

It's so lovely when you are told that some one likes your work (although it does make me a little bashful!!).  Just open an email to be informed that my lovely rainbow quilt has been featured again (twice in one week!!!).  It has been included in the Etsy treasury for SayItSoSweetly.  I have a couple of hours before school is out so must get some work done!