Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Please spread the word......

So, I'm sure many of you are starting to get a tad stressed about the imminent arrival of Christmas, and the need to buy interesting and funky presents for a multitude of people. Well, look no further!

Many of you will have heard / made use of etsy, where you can buy some really gorgeous hand-made items. However, I think you would agree that, because most of the sellers are based in the US, the postage can often make things seem like much less of a bargain. Well, there is now a UK-based equivalent called Folksy. This is still very new, but features the most amazing hand-made items such as handbags, jewellry, clothing - and all from designers / crafters based in the UK.

As I said, it's still very, very new - but new designers are setting up shop on Folksy every day. So, why not head over here with your Christmas shopping list, grab yourself some bargains and support UK crafting at the same time!

Among some of the treasures to be found are the following (these are just a sample of my favourites):

Pink Murano Glass
pendant from Leeski

Ella Grey handbag
from Emma Gordon

Snowdrop scented
votive candle
from Purple Sparkle Crafts

Citrus button necklace from Noodlefish

Clutch bag / purse
from Sow's Ear

I think you'll all agree that these are all truly beautiful and original products - I never cease to be amazed at the amount of sheer creativity that is flying around in this country.

And yes, in case, you're wondering, I do have my own shop on Folksy. There's not much on there are the moment, but eventually I'm planning on having a whole range of knitted and crocheted products, as well as my Mum's (and maybe mine?) patchwork quilts - she just has to send me the photos!!!

Hoping this helps to sort out some of your Christmas shopping - and please spread the word as far and wide as you can!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

More berets.....and a new haircut

Morning all!

Just a quick note to show you some more piccys of recent activities.

First up is another super slouchy beret - this one was made using a thick aran wool which had been hand-dyed. The thicker wool meant that it took me just one afternoon - I have to say, that is one of the reasons I adore crochet, you get results soooo quickly! It came out looking quite different from what I expected - the colour changes were more chunky than the last beret which was much more subtle. Still, the colleague who asked me to make it will hopefully be happy come Monday morning!!

Next up, specially for Grandma, we have piccys of Little Miss A's new haircut - she didn't squirm quite as badly as last time, but I still got completely covered in her hair cuttings! I thought I was bad for leaving the hairdressers with loads of hair on the floor, but Little Miss A has almost matched me! I am completely in love with the new style - and even better, getting all the length and thickness cut off/out has meant her curls have come back with a vengeance! I know I'm biaised, but just how cute is my little angel?

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Still scrapping!

I bet some of you have been wondering if I've managed any scrapping recently.....well yes, I have!

Little Miss A has recently discovered apples (or abbles as she calls them!) - Mr A and I are very happy about this, as not only are they healthy, nutritious and good for her teeth, one apple keeps her occupied for aaaages!!!!

This, combined by the fact that she is starting to smile really nicely for the camera, inspired this DLO:

Papers are Rhona Farrer and American Crafts, with some Doodlebug stickers and AC Ginger rub-ons for the title. Zigzag machine stitching in red thread around the edge. I seem to have a bit of a thing for French titles on my LOs these days - this one translates almost exactly into 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away'. HUGE thanks to Paige (Ladybird) for the red buttons and spotty ribbon - and the little ladybird!!!

Are you feeling festive yet?

My colleague Ruth is organising the Christmas Fair at her daughter's school, and asked me if I wanted to have a stall. So, in a moment of temporary madness, I said yes........thankfully, I had already started making Christmas cards back in September, so I have quite a few of those. However, I didn't think it was enough, so I have been furiously wielding knitting needles and crochet hooks for the past few days and here is the result

- one toddler-size pom pom beret (knitted)

- one child size chunky beret (knitted - on the biggest needles you have seen, but it makes it super fast!)

(apologies for the photos - my model wasn't feeling very cooperative this morning!)

- one super slouchy adult beret / tam (crocheted on the bus between Monday morning and last night!)

The wool is actually more blue & grey than it looks in the picture - the light was terrible last night!
- and these rather lovely little flower brooches. The plum ones are knitted (and amazingly fast to make, did two just last night), the others are all crocheted.

I've got plans to make quite a few more berets - I made all three since Saturday morning and I have bought some lovely hand-dyed wool off ebay. Plus, a colleague has already said she'll buy two off me, at a price that will cover the cost of all the wool I've bought so far - result! I'm also planning on making some post-it cover thingys (hard to explain!) which I hope will be popular. I just have to decide what prices to sell them at now..........the hardest bit, as I really enjoy doing this stuff but nevertheless want to get some kind of return without seeming greedy.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Blog candy alert!!!!

There seems to be a wave of very luscious blog candy available at the moment - here are just a few:

Franmade is celebrating a blogoversary with some gorgeous Christmassy candy (runs till 16 November)

Ann is also feeling very festive (ends 14 November)

Desiree is celebrating 15,000 vistors (15,000?? WOW!) - this also ends on 14 November

And last but not least, Kristine is celebrating her 1st blogoversary (this runs until 25 November)

So many incredibly creative and overwhelmingly generous women out there - I salute you!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Dreams do come true

Well, he did it. I still can't quite believe it. A black man has made it to the White House. I do hope Martin Luther King is smiling (wherever he is). A very, very happy day - I'm sure I could hear a collective release of breath around the world this morning.
I come from a very politically aware family, so I've always been aware of elections and political issues. However, this is the first time that I can remember following a US presidential election so closely, and right from the start. Mr A has been the same - if not worse! It's been amazing to watch, holding my breath and hoping, just hoping so hard, that this amazing thing would actually happen.

We had both spoken of staying up to watch the results come in, but in the end, I didn't make it past midnight (only the 1st two states had come in by then). Mr A got up to sort out the little one at about 4am and checked the internet - so the first thing he said to me when I woke up this morning was 'Obama's in the White House' - wonderful, wonderful news!
And what a speech! Oh my - I had to watch the whole thing on the net. That man has a serious way with words. And McCain was truly graceful in his defeat as well. Disappointing as usual were Mssrs Bush and Brown who seemed to be just coming out with stock comments and blah......why am I not surprised?

There have been a few times when I've felt that I've been witnessing history being made - the fall of the Berlin Wall was the first, then there was the first Gulf War (and the not so historic arrival of CNN!), and of course, 9/11. Some were occasions for hope, some for fear and a dread that mankind just won't learn from past lessons. Today was one of those hopeful times - I really do hope Barack Obama gets the chance to bring about solid, long-lasting change that the US so badly needs. I even found myself telling Little Miss A at 7am this morning that it was a historic day (she, of course, was more interested in the whereabouts of her teddy!)

Well done Mr Obama - I for one think you'll make a great President.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Toot, toot, toot!

What is that noise? It's the sound of me blowing my own trumpet! Well, I figure I'm allowed just this once - here's why.......last Sunday I finally got the chance to open up the November issue of Scrapbook Inspirations (it had been sitting on my kitchen table since Tuesday, waiting for a quiet moment). Imagine my total shock (and extreme excitement) when I turned to the Reader's Page and found that, not only had one of my LOs been published, but it had won Star Letter! Wow, wow, wow! I tell you, my heart almost stoppped, and then I was doing a happy little dance around the kitchen. It was unfortunately too late to tell Mr A (he was already asleep) so I had to keep it till the following morning. The other really silly thing is that Mum had been staying with us for most of the weekend, so I missed out on the chance to show her 'in real life'......oh well!

So, today I received a gorgeous parcel of goodies from the magazine team - a pack of really big pink brads, two packs of 6x6 Papermania papers (one in black & white, one in raspberry tones), some brown alpha rub-ons and loads of Chatterbox goodies

I've already used some of the pink papers to make this:

Thanks Scrapbook Inspirations - my ambition to get an LO published has come true much sooner than I could have hoped for!!!


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