Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween

Well I know we dont  make such a big deal about Halloween as the Americans, but the kids around where I live seem to love it, and I can't blame them. How often are you allowed to dress up and shout 'bo' at strangers?

So to get into the spirit of things I carved up one of the unripened pumpkins from the garden and popped him in the window (sorry about the quality of the photo but it was getting dark.)

As a result we do not have a scrap of chocolate left in the house (much to Paul's dismay) and a slightly freaked out Maisy kitten with the constant doorbell ringing! But we do have a lot of cheerful children in the area!And they all looked so cute!!!!

Well I am in  a cheerful mood myself because my new labels arrived yesterday and I love them!
I can't wait to make something to sew one into! I am away most of this week working so it will probably be the weekend at the earliest, but rest assured I will share when the moment arrives!

Happy Halloween mwha haa haaa ha haaaaaaa

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Finally getting something done!

Well it has been another very busy week. Despite giving up the day job last week I have been run ragged since then with contracting work for my old company and an old acquaintance who needed an extra body. So not much time for being creative! I know it is the plan but there are still bills to be paid so I will take the work where I can get it!

So there was not a great deal of creative work done lately. I have finished a jewellery commission for a Christmas gift, but I can't share it here as the recipient sometimes visits :) . I have another order for a necklace and earrings along the same vein so will share after Christmas.

I am also work in a silk appliqu├ęd wall hanging which is in it's very early stages and will share when there is more to see.

So what exactly am I going to share?

Last week I went to my local Sue Ryder shop and picked up a few pure wool jumpers:
I popped them in the washing machine on a boil wash and then into a hot tumbledryer to felt them. Then I could cut them and make flowers and my mobile phone holders:

I have sold a couple of them already! 

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

More dolls that I didnt make!

A couple of weeks ago I shared the work of Lesley O'Brien who makes dolls in Tewkesbury. Well ,she read my blog and left a comment:

"I am Lesley O'Brien and I made this doll. I am one of those peculiar 'crafty' people who love to make things for people who love them. This piece took about 15 hours to make as the embroidery and bead work took hours! I sell to people to appreciate my work, not for profit! So glad she has found a lovely home. I am at The Bay Tree, 78 Church Street (advertising!) Tewkesbury if anyone interested in crafts cares to pop in, I have loads of stuff to show you."

As one who appreciates hand made items I couldn't resist at return visit when I worked in Tewkesbury again. This time I met Lesley, and came home with the wonderful piece I have christened Lady Cate. Isn't she fabulous!
The detail this lady puts into her dolls is amazing! She even has a moist looking little nose!

Here is a doll I bought about 6 months ago at a craft fair. I am afraid I can't find the makers details, but she was another find! So introduing Jolene - she has a raunchy soul!!

And here is my space badger! This was an inside joke between the lovely Paul and myself when we were first together, and my Mum made the character come to life!

Obviously no self respecting space badger would be seen without his weapon and his breathing apparatus!
She did a lovely job didn't she!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Maisy will get everywhere!

What is that I spy in the washing machine with my woollen blanket?

 oh, best not put it on a spin cycle quite yet then!
I was so distracted that I put the blanket on too hot and shrank it! But that is better than shrinking the kitty!

Monday, 11 October 2010

A very busy start to my 'new life'... a birthday and getting all 'earth mothery'!!

So how did I start my new life? Well with a long birthday weekend for a start!

On Thursday I went to see the gorgeous John Barrowman at the Cambridge Corn Exchange with my friend Vicki, and we couldn't resist falling even more in love with him (if that is even possible).

Then on Friday the lovely Paul took the day off work and we went to London. Lunch in Covent Garden, a bit of shopping and a visit to the Natural History Museum was a day well spent. I love Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop in Covent Garden which is a complete treasury of gorgeousness, and I came away with a tiny mechanical songbird in a cage - Maisy is really not sure about it :)

Paul made me a birthday card with our cats on it - how cute!

On Saturday night we had a lovely meal out at Loch Fyne in Elton for my birthday. That's me on the left, my best friend Erms in the middle and the gorgeous Paul on the right! We didn't get to bed until 4am - what rebels we still are!!!

So after all of that carousing I felt the need on Sunday to get out in the garden and harvest the rest of my veg. This parsnip fella made me laugh - but I do have the sense of humour of a 5 year old :)

I read Gina's blog and she is always making some fabulous from her garden produce so I thought I would have a go. As usual, I decided to do it my way rather than follow a recipe - all I know is it needs vinegar and sugar, then loads of lovely 'stuff' - which you cook for a few hours and I keep my fingers crossed. I did look up about sterilising the jars so no one should get food poisoning :)

So we went from this...

to this...

To this...

It tastes lovely (if I say so myself)! And the only thing I didn't grow was the tin of tomatoes I added to bulk it up a bit! Not bad for someone who was never at home to look after the veg plot! Next year will be even better!

But I did actually manage to spend some time in the studio on Sunday night and made a mobile phone holder for my new HTC Desire. 

I am definitely going through a purple phase!

So there ends a busy weekend - I hope you made it to the end of the post :)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Change your life

If you follow my blog you will probably know that I have one of those jobs that takes up way more of your life than it should. I work long hours and drive a mental amount of miles (sometimes 2 or 3 thousand miles a month) with nights away from my lovely Paul spent alone in hotel rooms. But this has all changed. I have decided that it is time to break free from my usual grind and see if I can let my creative bird fly!

Before this I was barely surviving creatively but had money in the bank. I have decided that this really is the wrong way around and so I plan to see if I can make enough money to survive financially whilst adding something more to my emotional life. Giving up a well paid regular job is scary - and some may say irresponsible, but I need to spend more time living! I turned 38 yesterday, and I feel that I need to make a change before the big four-O looms large. My husband died suddenly when I was 30 and he was only 34, so I am fully aware of how short life can be. I can't imaging that I would look back on my life from my deathbed and say 'I wish I had worked longer hours!'

So the immediate plan is to do some contracting for the old day job a couple of days a week to keep the wolf from the door, and do some craft fairs coming up to Christmas to try to make some pin money, so if anyone knows of any good ones around Peterborough/Cambridge area over the next few months then please do sing out! I am also going to be working on some more courses in beading to deliver anywhere that will have me. So watch this space and let's see how we roll!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Look what I found...

I was working in Tewkesbury last week and as usual took a wander during my lunch break. I happened across a little shop on the hight street called The Bay Tree where I couldn't resist the most beautiful doll.

I have named her Tatania after the queen of the fairies because she just has that 'otherworldly' vibe!

This was hand made by the lady who owns the shop. She wasn't there that day so I chatted to her sister. The shocking thing for me was that this exquisite hand made doll was for sale for only £30.  It makes you wonder how someone makes a living out of what she does. Obviously the fact that she has a shop that sells lots of other lovely items must help, but still!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Another Day, another course...

I cannot resist the opportunity to have a go at a new skill, especially one that I can blend in with the other textile work I do. So when I saw Creative BumbleBee at Sandringham a few weeks ago was holding another course in Leicester, I just had to sign up. I have done needle felting and had a play with merino wool in the embellisher, as well as producing a disastrous welt felted scarf that stands up on it's own, but the opportunity to learn from a master was too good a chance to miss (even if it does mean getting up at an ungodly hour on a Sunday!)

So last Sunday I got up early and packed up the MX5 and headed over to Leicester to do the Handbag and Flower Corsage course with Maria.

It was a brilliant day spent with some great women, and I learnt so much. One thing that I really appreciated was that we created a finished piece on the day, rather than a collection of samples or something I have to finish at home.

So we made a bag and a corsage. I chose purple and lime green as my two colours and they just popped!

I made my corsage so that I could attach it to the bag and wear them together, or take it off and pin it to my favourite coat.

So here is my bag with the corsage attached...

Here is the inside  which I did in lime with little purple dots on it.

This is a closeup of the corsage on it's own.
It was a great day and Maria was a great teacher - very patient and full of useful tips... and she makes the most amazing cakes which she bought along for us to share.

It seems that I am not the only one who likes my bag...

I have had to hide it!