Wednesday, 29 September 2010

a handmade Christmas (1)

I know that I shouldn't be talking about Christmas yet, it's not even October!  However, I have been thinking about my shopping list already, because this year I am going to try to make many of the gifts myself (and this takes up lots of time!)  Unfortunately, as crafty as I am, I am not great at making everything, so I have began looking on Folksy and Etsy for wonderful items that I can buy my nearest and dearest!

I will be posting some of my favourite items from my favourite sellers during the run up to Christmas.  Hopefully they will inspire you and if you decide to make any purchases, you will be supporting the wonderful people who make all of these beautiful handmade things :)

The first seller I have chosen is Skull and Cross Buns (aka Emily), who hand carves an amazing selection of rubber stamps, including skulls, cupcakes (hence the name of the shop!) as well as owls, mushrooms and moustaches, all from as little as £3 each!

Here are my personal favourites :)
How cute is this set of interchangeable tree stamps?
I adore this stamp!  It is so intricate and quirky.  I have been intrigued by anatomical hearts for quite some time (I spent an entire year of my Fine Art degree being inspired by them).
If like myself, all of your friends appear to be turning into teachers, this personalised stamp would be a perfect gift!  The stamp is also available with an image on an apple.
Now for the best bit.  

Skull and Cross Buns also accept custom orders, so get your thinking caps on!

Head over to Folksy to have a look at all of the other wonderful stamp designs on offer and for more information on placing a custom order.

Finally, thank you to Emily for allowing me to use her images!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

apples and pears and crafty wares

Today I held a stall at the apples and pears and crafty wares fair in Nottingham.  The most popular items today were my phone cases and wooden cassette tape brooches.  I made a nice sum of money, and also met some other really nice craftsters!  I also had a visit from two of my very close University friends, and that was lovely! :)  My friend Steve enlightened me today by revealing that once, when I  had had a few too many drinks, I told him "There's no party without arty".  What wisdom, eh?

As I made a profit, I allowed myself a few treats and brought these lovely items from fellow stall holders.
Strawberries & Cream and Chocolate soap bars from Hearts & Homespun for only £1 each!  Based in Derbyshire, they make homemade natural soaps and bodycare products.  The company also featured in last months issue of Vogue.
I couldn't resist this beautiful vintage knitting bag (which I think that I will use as a handbag, because I can't knit!).  It only cost £4, and I purchased it from a lovely lady named Wendy.  She had a wonderful range of vintage fabric, crocheted blankets, teacups and other vintage home wares and bits and pieces.
We LOVE this cute little reindeer Christmas decoration from Monster Magic.  They have a  fantastic range of toys and cushions, we wanted it all!

Beautifully decorated and packaged cupcakes from C is for Cake.  We chose vanilla, earl grey, raspberry & white chocolate and toffee & banana. Mmm...
Overall, it has been a really great day!  I hope that you're all having a splendid weekend too!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

love tea and biscuits?..

Then have a little look at what I've been busy making for the past few hours!  
Here are two pairs of earrings (my favourite is the Jammy Dodgers, if these don't sell at the fair on Saturday, I think I will have to keep them for myself!)  I have some more illustrations lined up, I just need to find some time to sit down and perfect them.  The plan is to make some more biscuit and cake earrings as well as some cameras and cassette tapes :)
And I also made a lone teacup ring!  

As always, I would love to know what you think of them?  

Sunday, 19 September 2010


I have had a very lazy Sunday today.  We woke up bright and early to get to a car boot sale today (Steve wanted to return because last weekend there was a man selling records for 50p each, and said he would be back today, which I may add, he wasn't!).  There weren't many stalls today, may be because of the freeeezing cold weather, brrr!  I got myself a new ladybird book for my collection though for only 10p, and Steve found yet another camera!  We were home by about 9am, and I have spent the rest of the day doing odd jobs and tidying the house.  I spoke to my sister and my nieces (twin girls who are nearly 2 years old :) ) on Skype this morning, and giggled lots at Isabel calling me 'Aaaaa TIE!' and them both coming up to the computer and kissing it, aww!

I previously revealed how excited I was about Autumn approaching, and I today decided that it's time to make some space in the freezer so that I can make some large batches of soup!  For our dinner this evening we had a very yummy homemade root vegetable soup.
I also finally got round to using up some over ripe bananas to make an extremely delicious vegan banana cake.  I'm not vegan, but vegan cakes really are the best cakes you can eat!  I first made it when I was really craving some cake, but had no eggs!  This recipe was really quick and easy.  I added some chopped hazelnuts to my mixture, yummy!  You can find it here if you fancy doing some vegan baking this week! :)
Served best with a very large cup of tea!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

peach or orange?

I brought two items of clothing at a car boot sale last Sunday, and in the early morning light, I was convinced that they were both 'peach' in colour, although now I am thinking that they are just orange, which worries me a little to be quite honest!  Orange is a colour which I really don't think that I can pull off.

This sweater was £1, and I love the crochet detail around the necklace.  Granny chic at it's best.

The second item is a strapless dress, which despite the scary colour, fits really well.  I just need an occasion to wear it!

I'm not really a fashion blogger, but I was quite pleased at the outfit I managed to construct last night, so here's a photograph!  

The car boot bargain in this photograph is the sandals, only 50p!  I don't often buy second hand shoes, for some reason I find it a bit weird, but these looked brand new, and for 50p I couldn't say no!  The denim jacket is from eBay and from what I remember cost a couple of pounds and the headscarf was £1 in a charity shop.

I'm off to another car boot sale bright and early tomorrow morning, so hopefully I will find some more bargains before the car boot season ends!  I will also be very busy this week getting things ready for the apples and pears and crafty wares sale in Nottingham next Saturday, I can't wait!  I have had a look at some of the other sellers that are attending, and it appears to me that it is going to be a splendid day!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

cross stitch jewellery prototype

I have officially become addicted to cross stitching.

I have been buying many second hand cross stitch books and even cross stitcher magazine, much to my boyfriends amusement!  I have been thinking about making some 'word' necklaces and brooches for a long time.  I experimented with wood and a laser cutter a while back (the same time as my cassette tape brooches were born), however the wood kept splitting.  I really do need to persist with those though!  So, with my new found love of cross stitch, I tonight decided to experiment with making a necklace.  I realise that it does look pretty rubbish because I rushed the construction of it a bit, but it is just an initial idea.

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on it :)

Sunday, 12 September 2010

a weekend of summer fetes

I have had a really nice weekend, even though the weather has been a bit on and off.  Sunshine one minute and rain the next.  Although it did mean that we got to witness a beautiful rainbow yesterday afternoon :)

Yesterday, we visited a church fete close to where Steve grew up.  It was a typical fete, like the ones that I remember from being little, face painting, a tombola, a coconut shy, bouncy castle, guess how many sweets are in the jar etc.  Steve had all the luck, and won these treats on the tombola!
What there never was at my old school and church fetes though, was birds.  There was the opportunity yesterday to hold an owl, a hawk or a kestrel.  I chose a tiny little owl (who's breed I have now forgotten!)  He was named willow, and was so cute!  The falconry is called Kinder Falconry, and the lady who runs it was really nice.  I don't think I was really their target market though!  Their aim is to enable children to get up close to animals (hence, Kinder in their name).  Definitely worth checking out if you live in the Leicestershire area.
Onto today, we have been very busy!  We started off with a little stroll around our favourite car boot sale.  Stupidly, I wore flip flops which are now ruined because the grass was really muddy!  Never mind, the bargains that we found cheered me up eventually!  I am yet to take any photographs of our finds, so I will make a post about them at a later date.

After the car boot sale, we traveled to Lubenham (a village close to Market Harborough) for their annual scarecrow festival.  There was also a fete there, on their village green.  Unfortunately our tombola efforts were less successful today, but I LOVED how they had chosen to organise it!
There were some crafts stalls dotted about.  My favourite item today has to be these rather bizarre doorstops, especially the owl one!  They are made from cuddly toys, and I just think that there is something quite sinister about them!
Obviously, the main attraction is the scarecrows that the residents of the village make and display outside their homes.  Here is a small selection of some of my favourites!
I thought that this display of Gulliver's Travels made by the local primary school children was very cute!
However, my least favourite display was this one...
You may have gathered that I have a bit of a soft spot for animals, so I really didn't know how to take this hunting scarecrow display, complete with cuddly dog toys and a sign reading 'Happy Hunting'.  

The house next door though, was beautiful, and I love this little quote above their door, reading The House That Jack Built.  An idea to remember for when I own my first house I think :)
There was also a classic cars display, now I'm not really a car person, but I LOVE this one! 
After the scarecrow festival, we travelled into Market Harborough where there was another festival taking place.  There were lots of different performances going, it was a great atmosphere but really busy, so we couldn't always see everything very well because of the crowds.  Also, no photographs of this event, as we left the cameras in the car - oops.

So that's been my weekend, so far!  I'm off to our monthly pub quiz soon, hooray!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Teeny Tiny Scrabble Tiles

I have been waiting for some new glue gun sticks to arrive so that I could continue with some of my makes (how frustrating!)  So today, once I got my hands on some, I made some pairs of scrabble letter earrings.  The letter tiles are really small, as they are from a travel scrabble game.  I want a 'K' pair for myself, but there was only one 'K' included.  Looks like I will now be hunting for another game so I can make them!

I have had a really busy week, so haven't had much time to make anything really.  Last night I did manage to finish a reversible tote bag and a few phone cases though.  I am trying to make lots and lots so that I have enough stock to keep me going until Christmas!  I have just taken a break from cross stitching some more initial badges to write this.

I also wanted to share my new jumper (brought from a car boot sale a couple of weeks ago for £1).
I was really unsure about it at first, but I am growing to love it.  Even though it's only September, it is starting to feel like Autumn already!  I love Autumn colours, I think it is because they compliment my red hair and green eyes (I learnt this from my very stylish sister!).  Even when I was doing my food shopping this evening, I found myself becoming very excited by Autumnal flowers and root vegetables.

Bring on the homemade soups I say.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Craft Fairs

I have not had the best few days, I have started a new job and finding all of the changes rather stressful, and I am constantly wondering what my next career move can be.  But, to help me to take my mind off things, I received 3 conformations for craft fairs in my inbox today, so I need to get busy in that lovely art room of mine!

The first is in Nottingham at the end of the month.  The fair is called apples and pears and crafty wares and takes place in Sneinton Market on Saturday 25th September.  I'm quite excited, I love setting up my stall, although it takes ages because I'm so meticulous!

Here's a sneak peak at some of the items which I will be selling on the day...

Please forward this event information to anyone that you know in the Nottingham area.  And remember that my little creations can also be purchased on Folksy!  Anyway, I suppose that I had better stop feeling sorry for myself and get creating!..

Friday, 3 September 2010

Peter Anderson photographs

I received an e-mail from Nottingham Contemporary yesterday, and attached were some of the photographs that Peter Anderson took of me, Ruth and Tate.  I'm very self critical of myself in photographs, so I have decided to only post the two which I find acceptable!  I'm also waiting for a black & white portrait print in the post, so that is very exciting!

Oh, and the dress that I am wearing is from a local charity shop, I love it so much, especially the colours.  I secretly can't wait until Autumn :)


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