Friday 30 October 2009

Sewing update....

It's been a different sort of week for me this week. I'm guessing a lot of my customers are on holidays this week with it being school half term holidays round here 'cos there has been a lot less 'traffic' through my door. I will say though I am never idle and have been working on some of my longer term projects. I have made 3 'waistcoats' each one a little different to suit different needs and am now onto the leather version...a rather bigger challenge but I'm sure I will get there and at some point I will show and tell [just not yet]. :-)

The little chair I am working on with my neighbour is getting there too. We have had 2 afternoons working on it but as a 9 mth little angel had to be involved it has to be done in stages. It's looking pretty good though and really just needs steaming and finishing off now so maybe one more session will see it finished.

I have also finished one of my felt embellished bags too and thought you might like to see it. I have had lots of interest in them and am really loving making them so please shout if you fancy one to go with that special outfit. I would aim to match colours as requested.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

WIYWW [what's in your workroom Wednesday]...

I spent yesterday working on 'the waistcoat'. We think we have a final design with pockets, zips and rings all carefully measured before stitching in place. Yesterday I cut out and started to make two so I have threads and bits everywhere. I will finish making these this morning but as you are aware I am unable to show and tell them in detail because of the possible pending patent. Watch this space :-)

When these are finished I will be moving on to upholstering this little chair. I am working on it with my neighbour. She is married to a soldier who is in the middle of a 9 month stint out in Afghanistan. They have a 9 mth little girl and this chair is being covered for her in the pretty pink check fabric that is hanging on the back of the chair in the photo. It's a lovely project to occupy the mind for us all. Little A was only 10 weeks old when Daddy left and he has only been home for one week since then. We dearly hope he gets home safely for her first birthday.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Felting fun....

Yesterday was another quality day with Twiglet. I was up early and had done all my customers sewing, all my ironing and had even done all my business books up to date before she arrived. This is my plan now for a Monday morning [she always says she likes doing my ironing but that's not what we should be doing in the quality time we spend together so it has to be done before she arrives!]. We set our machines up one each side my work room table and we spent the day embellishing :-) Customers came and went and lots of interest was shown in what were doing. As you know I have sold the first bag I made and now I have possible orders for 2 more and a definite order for yet another one. The orders are coming in before I can finish them. I am so excited as I am really enjoying creating them. I managed to finish the embellishing on the fronts of two more yesterday. Each one will be different [cos that's what I do]. I don't mind working to colour schemes but I rarely make two of anything the same when it comes to creative crafts [unless i am specifically asked to of course].
So here's a show and tell....

.....this is one with blue flowers that will be put on the front of a turquoise satin bag.....

.....and this is a maroon design that will go on the front of a black satin bag.

Friday 23 October 2009

The Gruffalo....

I was asked for photos of my gruffalo daughter so, with her permission, here is a photo of who will be teaching a class full of 5-7 yr olds today. I am so proud of her for all the effort she puts into everything. There is one very lucky class of kids to have her as their teacher 'cos she was born to teach and is really brilliant at it. [Am I just a little bit biased?....well who wouldn't be?] I have a feeling there is one class of children that will never forget today that's for sure.
I just hope she can get the face paint off later though 'cos it's my birthday today and all our family are off out for a big family meal and I'm not sure they let Gruffalos into the restaurant :-)

Thursday 22 October 2009

The Finished bag...

I have had requests to 'show and tell' my finished felt embellished bag so here is a photo. The main bag is turquoise satin and is fully lined and the front is embellished with hand felted flowers and beads. I'm not very good at putting colours together so I got my inspiration from the colours in the wool that I used to make the strap with. I just love the finished result. Not sure the photo really does it justice but it's the best I can do.

..........And what makes it even more special is I may well have a buyer for it already :-)

Happy to take orders :-)

Wednesday 21 October 2009


Well!! This is an honest start to my day. First confession...we were late getting up. Not like us 'cos nornally we are all up at 7am without fail. It was nearer 7.30 when the bathroom was eventually free for me [the others all have to go out to work and I just have to be 'available' for customers at 8 so not such a rush for me. I do aim not to greet them without drying my hair but what the heck :-) ]

Second confession...This is what my floor looks like after a day's sewing. I'm a very messy worker so aim to hoover every day to keep it to a minimum [and it's all clean and tidy now 'cos I had to make that my first job of the day]. It does of course mean I had a busy day with sewing yesterday so that is a good sign. :-)

Third confession....the reason my floor was sooooo bad this morning was because I spent time embellishing and finishing off my bag instead of hoovering it up at the end of my working day yesterday :-) A girl just has to have some 'play' time.
As it happens I am enjoying my new machine very much and may already have a buyer for my first bag although, as yet, I haven't made the fastening for it. I am so excited.

This is my bead box [you can see it on the back of the table]. I just love the colours and spend a lot of time chosing the right beads when working on a project like this.

Tuesday 20 October 2009

What it is to be a Mum.....

My daughter came home from school yesterday with the news that it's 'that' time of year again. It's Book Week and on Friday they all have to go dressed as their favourite book character! Last year it was 'Sponge bob square pants' the year before it was 'Cat in the hat'. This year it just HAD to be 'The Gruffalo'! :-) Well, as you will possibly know by now, I love a challenge so we set to. A brown fur fabric tabard had purple sharp spikes stitched on the back. A hair band was covered with brown felt and had ears and horns stitched to it. A pair of slippers had brown paws stitched on the front with sharp white claws glued on each toe. A pair of black shorts for modesty and a pair of brown tights had to have wrinkly grey knees stitched to the fronts of each leg. Then it was on to the face eyes and a purple wart on her nose were drawn on and fangs and teeth will finish the look. Her hair will be back combed for the 'wild look'. Wow she looked perfect.....AND SHE IS THE TEACHER!!

Monday 19 October 2009


I just love my new machine. The scissor sisters have had another fab day creating with our new machines. I have sat in the evenings doing some hand felted flowers and have then worked with them on my machine to make the front of an evening bag. I know I still have lots to learn about the embellishing machine buy I am really enjoying learning.

This is the front of the bag so far....

.....and this is a pansy I've just made that will probably end up on the front of a card. The photos don't really do them justice but I thought you'd like to share them. :-)

Friday 16 October 2009

Free Blog Candy....

As you can see there is the chance to win all this. All you have to do is follow the link to Linda's blog [she's a talented crafter so it's well worth a look]and follow the instructions. If I can do it so can you :-)

Wednesday 14 October 2009


It's been a manic week here again for me. Twiglet and I spent Monday 'playing' with our new embellishers while customers came at regular intervals and my sewing 'to do' rail filled to overflowing. I penned all this rail full in for sewing on Tuesday and while I ploughed through sewing that yesterday my rail filled as quickly as it emptied so today I have another full 'to do' rail to empty [at one point I had 5 customers here at the same time yesterday....that's a first!].
Justify Full

So here is a piccie of one very full 'to do' rail that I will hopefully empty today [trousers to shorten, a jacket to shorten the sleeves on and a couple of dresses to alter]......

.......and here is a piccie of what I would like to be doing today.....the felting pieces I made on Monday that I would really like to be adding beads, buttons and bows to to make cards from. I guess they will wait :-(

Sunday 11 October 2009

Embellishing...first real attempt

Having had an afternoon of 'playing' yesterday I was determined to make a card with my new 'toy' today and thought you might like to see my first efforts. It is all done on my new machine and has just a few seeding beads in the middle of each flower. I just love the effects you can get using different materials/threads and am certain I will have many many happy hours exploring the possibilities.
I always send a thank you card to the shop where I buy my machines from because I have been using their services for years and they always go that extra inch to make sure what I buy is right for me. It is a small sewing machine shop that still has the personal touch and wont set up with an on line shop for that very reason. If you live within driving distance and need help/advise about sewing machines or just need your machine serviced they are the place to contact.............. The Sewing Machine Centre, 58 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury. Tel; 01743 343902.

Saturday 10 October 2009

New embellisher....

I've bought a Huskystar ER10 today and am already falling in love with what it will do. I have to admit while 'playing' with it I have found out what it won't do too and have 2 broken needles to show for it. I'm feeling very excited at the really clever effects it is capable of. Watch this space for photos soon :-)

Friday 9 October 2009

The latest on the 'waistcoat'....

I worked all morning yesterday on the latest version of the 'waistcoat' [still in fabric til we get it perfect] and text my gent when I was finished. He popped round about 3.30 and tried it on. It's looking pretty good. I have been instructed to not give away too many secrets now as I have a feeling he has realised it's usefulness and is considering applying for a patent on it. Watch this space :-)
I wouldn't have minded if that was all I had had to do yesterday cos it's been a really manic week for me but no....I had 7 customers in just the afternoon! so my to do rail is now heaving again ready for me to start today [and more on it's way this morning!]. I'd best get moving....Onward and upward. Chat later :-)

Wednesday 7 October 2009

My bears....

As promised here is a quick blog to share a bit of info about my bears. They are tiny felt bears about 2" in height [so only suitable for over 3 year olds due to their tiny parts]. They are all made to my own design and I write little poems to go in their bags with them. I sell them for £1.75 each plus any postage/packaging costs. I started with a worry bear and, over the years as requests came in' I now have little poems to suit all sorts of occasions. The easiest way is for me just to list the poems so here goes...
Self esteem bear
Challenge bear
Hospital bear
Good luck bear
Birthday bear
Congratulations bear
Thank you bear
Poorly bear
Sporty bear
Bon voyage bear
Christmas teddy
Grand parent bear
Baby bear
Over the hill bear
Mother's day bear
Sunshine ted
Bridal bears [2 in pack and costs more]
Bride bear
Crafty bear
New house bear

Phew....I didn't realise the list was so long :-) So you have an idea of what the poems are like here is one for you to read.

Comfort Bear
This little bear will give you strength,
When you’re feeling rather sad.
He’ll comfort you and give you love,
So things don’t seem so bad,
He comes to you from special friends,
Who want to show they care,
No words can tell you how they feel,
But at times life just ain’t fair. ©

As you can see they are just little dittys really and I have the copyright to them all so please no copying.

WOYWW....bears today

I missed last week with daring to have a holiday so this week my workroom is full of jobs done, jobs to do and projects in the planning. I have already had 3 more new customers this week and one of those lives in Portugal and was only over here for a holiday. I'm conquering the world slowly :-)
I have also been contacted for a batch of my little bears so thought I would share a photo of those today. They are really tiny felt bears and all come with a poem. I designed the little bear many years ago and have made well over 2000 over the years. 800 of them were bought my Shrewsbury tourist info so I imagine those are now well travelled little bears. They have been put in Christmas shoe boxes to go to Africa and I know there are some in Wales, Scotland, Holland, USA, France to name but a few because I have sent them there. Each one is made with love and brings a smile to the faces of all that have one. There are poorly bears, worry bears, comfort bears, hospital bears, self esteem bears etc etc so they have been used for many many reasons. If felt is made in a colour I have probably made bears in it :-)

Tuesday 6 October 2009

'Waistcoat' update....

For those fillowing the progress of the 'waistcoat' I just thought I would leave a quick blog. My gent has just been back having had a couple of weeks 'playing with' the maroon prototype. It has been a very useful trial period because there were several changes needed to get it right for him. It's not until you wear something like this that you can tell where pockets should sit for comfort and how big they really need to be to fit in your favourite book. He has drawn out the new shape for me and we have decided on the design changes and new dimentions. He has given it a name and I might share this with you when the time is right :-) It's still a working project in progress but what fun we are having 'getting it right'. :-)

Monday 5 October 2009

I've been missed.....

There is no doubt about it I've been missed. I have had a steady flow of customers all day. My 'to do' rail is heaving under the weight of full hangers. I have trousers to shorten, 9 polo top jumpers to lesson the necks on, curtains to shorten, curtain tie backs to make, a jacket to shorten the sleeves on, a shirt to repair etc etc Its been pretty well non stop today but I've done none of it :-) Today was Twiglets birthday so we have had a day of fun, laughter and giggles. The sewing will wait til morning. There are more important things in life and we believe in using our time together well.

Sunday 4 October 2009

I've been on my hols....

I'm back. :-)
We got home yesterday from a week away up north. We stayed in a beautiful bungalow in Frosterley, Weardale with our good friends from Holland. Having had our youngest daughter's wedding in June we missed going away in the summer so this was a well earned break. We have travelled over 800 miles on roads that all look very much the same. Miles of nothing but hills, stone walls, heather, sheep and grouse. Fabulous! The scenery was amazing with miles and miles between each small cluster of houses. We have looked in antique shops and gift shops, shopped in little co-ops and coffeed in many cafes. Bliss. We have laughed til we cried, eaten til we were full and I've walked til I was ready to drop. My batteries are now recharged ready for my new daily challenges.

One of the many tea shops we found on our travels.

We visted Durham walking along it's cobbled streets looking in it's many little shops and visited Durham cathedral with its huge door knocker.

We walked round Woodhorn colliery showing the life of a 13year old boy working in a coal mine and listened to the giggles of the school children at the pit shower at the mine head.

We walked through a woodland walk to get to the really impressive High Force waterfall. The power of the water was almost deafening and the water was dark yellow from passing through the peaty soil.

We sat drinking coffee and watching life go by near the blinking eye bridge in Newcastle.

We travelled east to the coast and enjoyed the beach at Newbiggin on sea.

And after a wonderful week what better could we have in front of us for miles on our journey home? The rainbow was just stunning.