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Friday, 23 June 2017

This week's smiles....week 226

Wow. What a week it's been here for me.  Before I get started I will thank all my wonderful friends who join in each week to help make the world around us a happier place to be.  Smiling really is contagious so lets keep spreading them.

It's been a really busy week with sewing for me and today I will be at a craft fair at Belvidere Primary school between 3 - 6 so I've not only been busy with customers but I've been making a few last minute bits to take with me and getting everything ready to take.

So what's been making me smile?  It's taken nearly three years of living at our new home....
  • the first year of course was making plans and getting planning permission to alter our new home
  • the second year was spent with building work to structurally change the bungalow to make it ours
  • the third year has been spent painting, tiling, fitting carpets / flooring etc and we are just finishing the last room being the utility....it's not easy to get it all done when you both work full time and we have been determined to take our time and to enjoy life too.
I have worked hard during this time to keep my sewing business going but I can now see growth in my customer numbers and each one of them is happy to spread the word so I'm buzzing.  This week I have had orders for 6.....yes 6!! Memory bears with the promise of more to come and I really love everything about making them [UPDATE.....I had another order last night so that makes 7 bears ordered in just 4 days and 5 of them already made  :-) :-) :-) ].  I've met some really lovely people and have really enjoyed making very special memories for each and every one. 

I have recently worked hard [with the help of my wonderful family] to test all the baby toys etc that I make so I can put a CE logo of safety on them.  To do this I also had to contact my fabric suppliers to ask them for safety certificates for the materials I use.  One particular supplier has been really helpful in doing this and I feel I must give Denise at Cabin Crafts recognition for doing this for me.  As a thank you for her help I felt it was right to give her my business and put an order in for some more of her 100% cotton fabrics......You would wouldn't you?  Buying fabric from Denise is really easy and the fabrics are of such lovely quality at good prices so I feel well able to recommend her to any of you fabric crafters out there.

These are the 10 pieces of children's print fabrics I bought from her....aren't they gorgeous [I haven't taken my scissors to any of them as yet but I will because I can rely on being able to buy more when I need it].  Of course my fabric just might not be enough to make you all smile but I'm also sharing a few funnies I found on Pinterest with you and for those of you that know me well I'm sure you will understand why I'm sat here chuckling now just reading them.

There you go....it's been a bit of a long post today but I hope you will understand why I'm buzzing and wanted to share it with you all.  Please leave me a little message and if at all possible then link to your own smiles below.  Have a great week.
Annie x

Wednesday, 21 June 2017


Hello all and happy Wednesday to you all.  I'm having a really busy week with sewing this week.  Lots of orders for Memory Bears came flooding in on Monday [ 5 in total!!!] so I worked all day yesterday [usually my day off ].  I have lots of other sewing too and have a table at Belvidere School fair in Shrewsbury on Friday afternoon [It's between 3-5 if anyone feels like popping in to say hello] so wont be here to get any of it done plus am catching up with a friend this morning for a quick coffee [so  more talking and less sewing will be done then too!!].....it's just one of those weeks.....and I'm loving the buzz.

So here's a few snaps to show you my desk this week.....

My desk in full bear making mode.

4 of the 5 Memory bears that I've managed to get finished so far.  They are all for the same customer....2 in memory of her Mum and the other 2 in memory of her Dad.  I do love working with clothes that hold special memories and making treasured bears for my customers.

You might have noticed this little quilted fabric box on the first photo....it's what I do when I'm waiting for customers to come....I'm never idle and thought I might manage a few to take with me on Friday.....just hope they sell.

There you go.  It's rather short and sweet but that's how the boss likes it.  I will do my best to pop to as many desks as I can but I'm sure you will guess I will be rather busy this week so if I miss you out please forgive me.
Annie x

Friday, 16 June 2017

This week's smiles....week 225

Hello all.  Here we are at the end of another week of sad tragedies on the news.  My heart goes out to all affected with the fire in the tower block in London....it's my worse nightmare.  So much thanks must go to all who went above and beyond to save lives and help those who have now been left with nothing.

I am determined, with the help of others, to focus on a few smiles and would like to thank all that link up each week to help to make the world a happier place to live.....so here goes.

I have many smiles I can share with you so hope you find something here to make you smile....

Milly is sitting on the table between our linked chairs as if she owns it.....what a beautiful little dog she is now.  She's such a character and never fails to make me smile.........

This is her 'little brown dog' toy.  As you know it's her favourite.  It has more repairs than parts now but I just can't throw it out cos she carries it everywhere with her. It has only one eye, no ears, no tail and seems to morph every time it gets repaired.
Having spent the weekend pulling, dropping, bashing and burning the toys I make to safety test them it made us chuckle to be presented with this.....It was as if she was saying...
"Ive tested mine mum but it failed!"

Here's the first picking of our strawberries.....they smelt wonderful and tasted even better.
We have picked lots more and still have more ripening.

Amy and Dave took their three to the Welsh coast at the weekend and sent us this pic.  I just love it.  It's what children should be doing....don't you agree?


The twins have been practising for the egg and spoon races at school....don't you just love them?

They sent me a video but our Internet is so poor here it wont let me share it with you sorry.

And finally for those that like to see my flowers....here's a few of the latest plants to bloom and make me smile.  Our garden is full of natures treasures and I just love watching all the changing colours.

Thank you for calling in.  Please leave me a little message before you leave and if you can then link to your own smiles below.  I love seeing what make you all smile each week.
Annie x

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


What a week it's been here at Sewing by Annie's.  It was brought to my attention that to sell toys they have to be safety tested and must all carry a CE safety logo etc.  As you can imagine this threw me into a panic even though, as you can imagine, I am always vigilant when making toys with having 6 little grandchildren of my own. 

We did an on line search for information and paid £30 to download a conformity pack.  We ploughed through all the information and apparently you should even do safety tests if you knit toys and dolls to sell for charity.  It all seemed a little daunting at first but with the help and support of my wonderful family and my amazing assistant [hubby] we gathered all the necessary equipment together and pulled, dropped, bashed and burnt the materials and toys to within an inch of their lives and I can proudly say each and every one passed all the required tests.  We have had to keep photographs to prove it's all been done and keep records for each model of toy I make so today I'm sharing a little of what's been going on here....

I have had to type up method of production sheets for each toy I make and tick all the pages [there's lots!!] of tests performed and results for each toy too to keep as record.....but now it's done and I'm so chuffed.

If anyone else makes and sells toys then it's well worth checking out what has to be done to cover your backs........ although it's taken time it was nowhere near as daunting as it first appeared.  

Hope you've all had a great week.
Annie x

Friday, 9 June 2017

This week's smiles....week 224

Another week has passed and I'm back to share some of my smiles with you.  Each week there are a loyal group who join in by sharing some of their smiles and I would like to thank you again for joining in.....it would be so lovely if we could get a few more joining in the fun because there is so much in this world not to smile about.  I'm certain smiles are contagious so lets hope they spread.

I have had lots to make me smile this week so here's a few snaps I can share.....

Little Stephen has lost his first tooth and as you can see he is very proud to show me a photo.....these little ones seem to be growing up so quickly.

His biggest sister, Phoebe had to do a study of Ancient Greece during her half term holidays so she decided to write an A-Z of all she found.  She typed it up on her laptop and as her mummy and daddy run a banner printing business she asked her daddy to print it out as a banner.  She was so proud of the finished results and her teacher really loved what she had done.

Little Theo is on holiday in France at the mo and here he is going for his first bike ride on the back of his mummy's bike.  He really loved it but........

......as you can see here he found the scenery just too boring.  :-) :-) :-)

He seems to be changing on a daily basis now and growing up so quickly but never fails to make me smile.

I hope you have enjoyed sharing my smiles and will leave me a little hello comment before linking to your own smiles below.
Annie x

Wednesday, 7 June 2017


What a lovely week it's been with wonderful little treasures popping through my letter box each morning so I'm starting off with a lovely display of the ATCs I've had so far...

From left to right...
Top row with extra lovely cards...
  • Lisa 
  • Angela
  • Jan
  • Margaret
  • Neet
  • Anne
Bottom row...
  • Jo
  • Julia
  • Shaz
  • Lynne 

  •  Ann
  • Sandra de
  • Elizabeth 

We had surprised Margaret by sending her a couple of our ATCs and as she only had one ATC spare she sent that to us with a wonderful parcel of goodies for Jo and I to share.........then made another ATC for us and sent that too. She said she didn't want us falling out [as if we ever fall out hehehe]   :-) 

So girls I would like to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.  I really appreciate the love and friendships we share even though many of you I've never met in real life....but hopefully that will change in September as I have put my name down to go to the crop in Llandudno.....I think Llandudno doesn't know what it's in for.  :-) :-)

The other pics of my desk are of a few of the things I've been up to this week....

At the back you can see my pile of pocket monsters has grown and at the front you can see 4 hand puppets I've designed and made this week.

And last but by no means least is my latest little school Memory bear I've made this week.  This one is very special to me because it's for the school our family have all gone to....in fact for over 150 years we had a member of our family in unbroken attendance.  My Grandma and all her siblings went there and when she left she became a pupil teacher there.  All her 7 children attended the school [including her youngest being our Dad] and one of those also became a pupil teacher there and many of the next two generations went there too.  When our son left [he's now 29] he was the last in the unbroken line [and I refused to have another just to keep the attendance going!!] so I wanted to leave a legacy behind for the school. I helped to make the contents for 24 story sacks each with the book characters to go in them [this included puppets, soft toys etc for each sack....and I think they are still being used today.  :-)

I hope you have enjoyed your visit today [and I've not bored you with my nostalgia].  If you can please pop over to Jo's blog today and leave her a get well soon hug as she has had an op this week and is hopefully getting lots of R and R to make a good recovery....I popped to see her yesterday with a few flowers and we decided she just might be able to audition for The Phantom of the Opera.....only joking sis you know I love you to bits xxxx

Friday, 2 June 2017

This week's smiles...week 223

Hello all.  Another week has passed and I'm really pleased to say my aches and pains have lessened so I'm smiling even more now.  Many thanks to those who joined in the fun last week....I'm sure it does us all good to spend a little time focusing on what's made us smile each week and if you can share it with others the smiles spread so let's keep up the good work.

My smiles this week focus on what's to come.....hopefully :-)

This is our strawberry bed, just outside our kitchen door and this year the plants are very heavily fruited.....

I have even noticed this morning that one of the first is starting to change colour so I'm keeping everything crossed because apparently we are not the only ones who like strawberries.  I've noticed several pics on Pinterest that made me chuckle....

I don't think we will loose too many like this but we do have a little four legged, furry friend who likes to sit on the lawn above the strawberry bed pulling the leaves off.....and the odd strawberry!  And of course we do have 6 little grandchildren this year so it might be a good thing that we have lots growing.

I hope you have enjoyed my smiles for today and will leave me a little comment to say you've called in before leaving your own link if you can.  Have a great week full of smiles my friends.
Annie x

Wednesday, 31 May 2017


Hello all. What a wonderful week of celebrations it was last week.  I did my best to visit everyone but I think there were a few I missed as time just ran out.  It's very special to me being part of this wonderful group so I really hope we will be sharing and caring for many years to come.

I have had many ATCs through my letterbox but Jo and I haven't been able to swap most of them as yet so I will do a show and tell once she has seen them but for now I would like to say a big thank you to all who have swapped with us.

It will be a quick show and tell from me for today as my arthritis has moved from my hip to my right thumb so typing isn't easy and I am having to put drops in my left eye today for a dry eye problem I've got so my vision isn't good either....in fact if I was a horse I think they would consider shooting me hehehe....yes I'm still smiling.

On my desk today is....

My latest idea to sell at a couple of up and coming craft fairs.  I have lots of fur fabric and toy safety eyes in my stash from making puppets many years ago so wanted something to use some of it up.  I am making some little 'Pocket Monsters'.  Each one is different to the next and I'm having fun making them.  

I've nearly sold all my baby activity cubes so will probably make a few more of those too if I get time but there is the promise of lots of work arriving this week so I may not manage to.  I have to fit my crafting for fun in and around my sewing for customers so like to keep a few ideas in the pipeline for times in between.

It's rather short and sweet for today but if you leave me a little comment I will do my best to pay you a return visit ASAP.  Hope you all have a great week.
Annie x

Friday, 26 May 2017

This week's smiles....week 222

Well it's been another week of smiles here at Sewing by Annie's so I have lots to share.

Firstly I must say a big thank you to all who joined in the fun last week by sharing their smiles...we need all the smiles we can get with all the madness and sadness in the news lately so let's all do our bit to make the world a happier place to live.

I would also like to thank all those wonderful WOYWW bloggers that left me such lovely comments this week for our 8th year celebrations on Wednesday....I really is good to be part of such a lovely group. 

Now onto my smiles for today....

My little baby activity cubes have been flying off the shelves...I made one for Theo and as that proved popular I made two more which sold as soon as I put then in my Facebook shop so I made 4 more to keep up with demand.  

Orders for my Memory bears keep coming in and this is the latest one that will hold the memories of one of our local schools that is closing down at the end of the term.

Little Theo has learnt to crawl this week, has cut his first tooth this week and as you can see is quite the little water baby now.

He also has found a love of ice lollies....his mummy makes these for him from little yogurts.....as you can see he's really enjoying it.  I bet it's nice and cold on his sore gums.

The twins are learning to garden....here they are preparing the soil and planting a few seeds.  Their Great Grandad [my Dad] would be so proud of them cos he loved his gardening.

And for those that like to see the latest flowers in our garden....aren't they just gorgeous?

There you go.  I said I had lots to smile about this week.  Please leave me a little comment so I know you've called by and then if you can please link your own smiles below.
Annie x

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


My first thoughts today are with the affected people following the attack at Manchester arena....it all felt a little too close for comfort for us as our daughter had been there at a Take That concert Friday night.  I hope the families and friends of those affected gain the strength to get through the very difficult days ahead.

It has all been very sad to watch the developments but we must not let these people win so today we must celebrate our 8th year anniversary regardless.....8 years of friendship from all over the world really is something to celebrate....there are a lot of really lovely people out there.  Many many thanks to Julia who came up with this mad idea and who keeps us linked together every week.

Jo and I will be posting our celebration ATCs today together with our PIF ones so if you asked to swap with us then watch out for that postman.

On my desk today are a few projects I've been making this week....

This is the latest little Memory Bear I have made plus I've made two Memory Cushions but I am unable to share photos of those with you yet as they are for gifts and have special details on the fronts.

I had been looking through all my children's fabrics this week and decided to use some of the smaller pieces to make a little activity cube for Theo to play with and here's the result taken from several views.  I'm sure he will love playing with it and as this week he has started crawling it might keep him in one place for a little while as he plays with it.

I put pictures of Theo's activity cube in my Facebook shop and had a lot of interest in it so yesterday I set to and made a couple more but ommitted attaching buttons etc to these so they are safe to sell.  I'm rather pleased with how they have turned out.

I have a busy time ahead of me with lots more sewing work arriving today but promise I will do my best to get round as many as I can this week.  If I miss you out then it may be that I am unable to leave you a comment [google+ doesn't let me comment without joining].  Many thanks to everyone who calls in each week leaving such lovely comments.  Lets hope we are still linking up on a Wednesday for many years to come.
Annie x

Friday, 19 May 2017

This week's smiles...week 221

Hello all.  Here we are at our usual catch up of the week's smiles.  many thank to all who joined in the fun last week.

My week has been full of aches and pains with my hip but there is always lots to smile about here as you know so here's my share for this week....

I've been snapping more flowers that have bloomed this week for you....I am really enjoying the colours that are opening out in every corner of the garden and it would be selfish of me not to share them.

These are two little memory bears I've made this week from a much loved Grandad's pair of pyjamas.  Each time I take on these sort of jobs I am able to learn a little of very special people and these two are to help a couple of children grieve over someone who was very special in their lives.....I feel so honoured to be able to help at times like these.

That was all I was going to share but this morning I noticed our Rhododendron coming into bloom and......

....the creme de la creme is this beauty.  This Peony has only got one bloom this year but it has a tale to go with it....

The original plant was one from the garden my hubby grew up in and before his father died I took a cutting [that everyone said wouldn't grow].  It, of course grew, into a beautiful plant in the garden of our old house [I have green fingers].  When it came time to move we took cuttings off so we could give one each to my 3 sister- in - laws but we moved at the wrong time to plant ours in our garden so it was planted in our son Mark's garden.  Last year we divided his so now we have one and he does too.....The love is spreading 💓

I hope you have enjoyed my shares this week and you will leave me a little comment before linking up below to share your smiles.
Annie x

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Hello all.  The 8th year celebrations are nearly upon us and I've been using some forced resting time to make my ATCs.  Forced rest?...I have either got a flare up of my arthritis in my left hip or it's sciatica :-(  I've had it before and know what needs to be done but I'm not someone who finds admitting defeat easy so I'm having to listen to my body and be sensible at the mo.....All I can say is is a really pain in the bum [literally!!].  It means I haven't been able to have little Theo this week so I'm missing out on lots of special fun time.

Jo [Twiglet] and I will be making our ATCs and posting them together to save a little on the postage so if anyone wants to post us both one in the same envelope please feel free.  So far I have made 12 but if I need more then I'm happy to make more.  This is the list that I will be sending to so far....but if your name is on my list please don't feel the need to send one back.....there is no obligation at all.
  1. Julia....The boss
  2. Jan..LLJ
  3. Jo...The 'much older' sister
  4. Elizabeth.....Silver scrapper
  5. Shaz.....Silverwolf
  6. Helen....Stamping by H
  7. Lynn....One I made earlier
  8. Kate....Kate's adventures
  9. Anne...Copper Beech
  10. Neet....Hickydorums
  11. Lisa...Lisa's craft garden
  12. Sandra de....Serendipity 
  13. Ann.....Craftyani 
  14. Angela...Felix the Crafty Cat 
  15. Lynne....Lynnecrafts
  16. My Pay it Forward recipient
.....so that leaves 3 up for grabs  I'm making more now if  anyone else wants to swap....and am happy to make more if needed.  Just email me with your details please to wipso2310@gmail.com  .....PLEASE NOTE I HAVE A NEW EMAIL ADDRESS.

So this is my desk for this week....

Boring or what?  I'm not giving too much away am I.? That's the back of 12 ATCs and the backs of this years cards with my poem inside....it wouldn't be the same with no poem from me would it?

So if you want me to add your name to my list just let me know and email me your details plus of course email me if your details have changed since last year.

The only other activity on my desk today is pom pom making....It's something I can do from my comfy chair while I'm resting.....I'm not certain what I am going to make with them as yet but it's been quite a therapeutic activity and has taken my mind off the dull ache in my hip.

So that's it from me for today....it's very short and sweet cos sitting at this computer is just too uncomfortable for too long.

Hope you all have a great week.
Annie x

Friday, 12 May 2017

This week's smiles....week 220

Another week has flown by and I'm here again sharing some of my smiles from my past week.  Many thanks to all who joined in last week.  It's so lovely to see what makes you smile each week so please keep sharing.

My smiles for today are...

I had a wonderful morning on Wednesday with little Theo.  He was as good as gold. We read books, played with the toys, sang together and he never fails to make me smile.  :-)
His mummy and daddy are doing a brilliant job bringing him up ....I'm so proud of them.

How things have changed since I had our three.  Back in the good old days we used to tuck the little ones down for a nap and listen out for when they woke but little Theo came with his monitor so I was able to watch him sleep while I say sewing. There's nothing quite as beautiful as a sleeping baby is there?   :-)

The weather has warmed up sufficiently for the twins to go to school in the summer uniform....what a pair of cuties.

I always say I like a challenge and my latest little memory bear certainly challenged me.  It's made from a knitted fluffy jumper so came with lots of possible problems...
  • Cutting through rows of knitting it could ladder or unravel
  • It was very stretchy so it needed stabilising before making
I decided to take on the challenge as it was for something special so I used a fabric interfacing to stabilise the fabric and used a special stitch to sew and overlock all the seams and hey presto!
I really love the finished bear....she's so cuddly. :-)

I hope you have enjoyed my smiles for this week and will leave me a little message before linking up your own smiles below....if you don't have smiles of your own to share just let me know you've called by.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017


Here we are at another Wednesday catch up with desks from around the world....if you want to know more then pop over to Julia's blog at The Stamping Ground for details and why not join in the fun?

So? What is on my desk today?

What do you think of all this?  It's come out of a bag full of fabrics I was given by the very talented lady magician, Careen Fenton, that I've been sewing for this week.  I have sewn for her before when she was Miss Picklelily entertaining children but she will be focusing more on her adult magic show now and is moving houses to live in London.  She thought I might make use of it all....all suggestions gratefully received.....it's all bright sequined material so watch this space as they say.

This is the back of the stunning dress and bustle I've been working on for Careena....it's part of the outfit she will be wearing for her stage shows and she looks amazing in it.....and her magic is second to none. 

My life here is never boring is it?

The other thing I wanted to share with you is this collage of pics I took on Saturday at Amy's.  The menfolk were busy with gardening activities [Steve included] so I took over my pom pom makers, wool etc and us girls had a fun crafty session, as you can see.  When I left the windowsill was filled with wonderful creations [If you want a closer look you should be able to click on the pic to enlarge it].  I have no doubt this is something we will be doing again cos we all enjoyed playing.

I hope you have enjoyed my quick catch up today and you will leave me a little comment to say you've called in.  I will be a little late in paying you a return visit this week because I have a little visitor arriving early morning til after lunch while his mummy has to work.....here he is and as you can imagine we will be having a fun morning.....

Saturday, 6 May 2017

When I find something good I like to share.

This is for all you fabric crafters out there.

You will have seen the PE bags and pencil cases I have been making and may have noticed that I do my best to make each one slightly different. 
  • It's just nice to have a change so you don't get bored making lots of identical products
  • It's really fun matching the different colour combinations of my fabrics
  • It's a good selling point that when it comes to the end of a school day the PE bag can be picked out easily amongst all the others. 
  •  Every child likes to feel special.
Because of this I don't like to buy large amounts of the same fabric....even 1/2 metres are too much. I hear you saying "why not buy fat quarters?" 
Answer....My PE bags need 70cm width pieces and fat quarters are too narrow.

So I put a call out in a Facebook group I am part of and almost every one said they do fat quarters or a minimum of 1/2 metre length....OR they would cut 1/4 metre lengths for an extra charge!

I was contacted by one really helpful fabric provider.....Cabin Crafts ......who was more than happy to cut me 1/4 metres of a really extensive selection of bright children prints in 100% cotton for a really good price so I selected 10 different prints.

Here they are.  It's all really good quality cotton fabric and it arrived really quickly so I have to say I'm thrilled with the service and will be ordering from them again.

You will all know just how much I like to stroke new fabrics for a while before I take my scissors to it but as I know when I've used this I can get more I've already used some of it...

Here's the first two girly PE bags I've made using some of it.  I like to use the feature fabrics across the bottoms of the bags so that, if requested, I can applique names across the top section.....just in case you were wondering. 😀

So, my friends, if you are looking for good quality fabrics at a sensible price I can highly recommend Cabin Crafts.  Here are the links to where you can find them.....

Their web page is Cabin Crafts