Thursday, 16 December 2010

More advent goodies and our Christmas Tree

I have to say that we think we've decorated the tree spot on this year, it was out with the old tree and in with the bargain £9.99 tree from B&M Bargains! Decorations were a pack of red and gold from Tesco's at £5 (half price) and some wooden ones i picked up at Tesco's that were on 3 for 2 and some felt trees and stars made by yours truely :). The lights are red berries and another bargain from B&M at £3.99, though not switched on in this picture. Small cute little boy is of course optional!

Onto my latest swap goodies, day 11 and a fantastic badge from Annie, love it!

Day 12 and some more yummy chocolate, though I did allow my children to have a bite each, just the one mind.

Day 13, and a beautiful lavender smelling felt puch thingy (not sure what to call it), it smells divine and that's all that matters.

Day 14 and a fabulous NOEL bunting, that went straight up in the kitchen.

Day 15, a gorgeous floral make up pouch, another winner!

Thank you so much again Annie, this has been a wonderful swap, I think the fact you can only open one per day makes it more exciting, does any one else think so?
I'm al little scared to say it but I think I'm all ready for have been made and delivered, presents have all been purchased or made, wrapped and delivered, decorations are up, Christmas dinner has been ordered and will be picked up Christmas Eve, don't think there's anything else left to do, I think?????
Have a good weekend everyone xxx

Friday, 10 December 2010

I'm a bit behind on showing my advent goodies, so here are days 4 to 10! I feel so lucky, I have received some beautiful things. I hope that Annie is just as pleased, she assures me that she is, though she is really busy at the moment with shop orders.

Day 4 some really vibrant ric riac in blue, white and red. I can't wait to use this on a project!

Day 5 - some humbugs! Very clever there Annie :)

Day 6 - a really gorgeous hand felted purse, just what I would have picked myself.

Day 7 - some make your own felted earrings, something to amuse me over the festive period.

Day 8 - some yummy chocolate.

Day 9 - masses of red and gold sequins on string, will definitely be using these for my Christmas decorations some how.

Day 10 - a lovely mirror with Sooty, Sweep and Sue, I loved that programme when I was little.

So as you can see I've been throughly spoiled. The time I open these little parcels is getting earlier and earlier, sometimes before I've even had my morning cup of tea! And I've still got another 14 to open, heaven. This has been a great swap, I definitely recommend to anyone who didn't do it this year to try next year, you won't be disappointed :)
We were suppoed to be putting up our Christmas tree tonight, but unfortunately we were massively disapointed with the tree we got from Tesco's. I ordered online and we massively under estimated the size, it was far too small and just a no no. So it goes back Sunday and hopefully we'll be able to pick another one up so late. We've got other decorations up but of course you want a tree.
Have a good weekend everyone :) xx

Thursday, 2 December 2010

I t feels like such a long time since I have posted, I've not looked but I'm sure it is. Life has been such a blur, this may explain what I've been doing though:

L was 3 on Tuesday and H was 13 on Wednesday! I made these lovely cakes Tuesday morning, surprisingly there aren't any left, a good sign :)

I did my last stall last Friday, it was so busy! It was really well organised, the school had a vintage theme with a make do and mend stall and all the teachers dressed up in 50's costume, it was brilliant. I did ok, it confirmed my earlier theory of what I needed on my stall. Having Avon on there and handmade stuff seems to confuse people. The Avon is too expensive for the kids (though nail varnish is only £3, but they want to pay £1) and the adults are just not really into the Avon. It hasn't put me off, but I do know who my market is now so I will have a stall to suit that. I loved the whole experience of it, it's quite liberating putting yourself in the spotlight and selling yours handmade wares.

I haven't shown my advent swap parcel yet. I have been paired with the lovely Annie, The Felt Fairy, who is someone I have been following for a while. This arrived really promptly a week before the 1st Dec, not like mine which probably just got to Annie in time!

I was really scared about having to put together such a large parcel but Annie suggested we have so many treat days and the rest chocolate days, this made it much easier to put together.

This what I have opened so far: I really gorgeous needlecase, I love it!

Some yummy chocolate, that didn't last long.

Today was a fabulous crocheted flower brooch, which I am wearing now, I love it.

I hope you like the things I've put together for you Annie. Thanks to LaaLaa for organising this great swap.

I'm off to check out what's going on in the world of blogs and what others having been putting in there swaps.

We've not had much snow here but I know that's not the same for everyone so I hope no one has been too affected by the snow.

Have a lovely weekend and will post more advent swap pictures next week. :) xxx

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Christmas Fairs, a broken bone and a lightbulb moment

For some reason I actually signed up to 3 Christmas Fairs recently, not sure what I was thinking but in for a penny in for a pound I guess!

So far I have done 2, one at a local Constitutional Club and another at a local school.
I felt like I'd not got enough handmade things so decided to add some Avon gift sets to pad it out abit.

What a disappointment, both fairs were really poorly advertised and in turn poorly attended. The first fair I sold 3 of the cupcake pictures I had done and 3 bits of Avon. The second was even worse, I just sold 3 room sprays! Though talking to the other stall holders made me feel abit better as they weren't doing much better. On the plus side I did get a lot of compliments about my storage jars and felt decorations but they didn't sell. I'm not prepared to sell them for pennys so if people don't want to buy fair enough, they will be Christmas pressies anyway.

I've got one more stall to do on Fri 26th November, it's an evening one and hopefully it will be better. In hindsight I think I'd be better off with just handmade items as I feel the Avon may have devalued the handmade products, but I'm not going to let it get to me, you win some you lose some and you've got to take the plunge sometimes and just go for it.
I have however realised what I really love making and hope that I will be able to earn some pennies doing it and that is creating pictures using patterned paper. This is my lightbulb moment, I'm hoping to expand on this and see what happens. This is my latest picture, I love it, unfortunately the weather is terrible today so the light isn't good for taking pictures but you get the idea.

On to the broken bone and H fell off a wall on Thursday at school and has broken her wrist. We've been back and forward to the hospital 3 times already! Firstly to A&E on the day then back again on Monday to have a proper cast on and another x-ray. Where they decided it needed manipulation which they do under general for kids as it's really painful so back again Tuesday for her operation. We had to be at the hospital at 8 in the morning, though she didn't have a bed until 11 and didn't go into theatre until 12.30. Then we've got to go back again next week for an x-ray to check it's healing properly because if not she's got to have wires put in it for more support whilst it's healing which means another operation, kids eh!

So the craft fairs are the last thing on my mind at the moment, to be honest going to the fairs has been a lovely break from the family and give me time to myself, whilst it wasn't busy at the fairs I was catching up on my crochet!
Nic xxx

Sunday, 31 October 2010

My first craft stall.......

I've been a little quiet on the blogger front recently, we had half term a couple of weeks ago and I'd decided that I was going to potty train L. It turned out to be a bit of a non starter bless him. He will be 3 at the end of November but he really doesn't get the concept! He will sit on the toilet and the potty but doesn't do anything on there! He will however do his business in his pants so after clearing up mess we've gone back to pull ups and taking it slowly. Though he's full of a bad cold at the moment so don't want to push him too much.

So a week of clearing up after L and H saying she is bored every 5 minutes I didn't have the energy to come onto the computer. I try to visit the blogs I follow quite regularly but I do tend to post infrequently.

Then I decided to take the plunge and actually do a stall at a local fair, a friend of a friend mentioned that a school near to us will be doing a Christmas fair soon and I should have a stall with my cards. Ok, I thought I can do this.........eek! What have I agreed to.

So since then I have been making Christmas cards and making some felt decorations. I've also crocheted some phone socks too. See below.

I've decorated some old coffee jars.

There are two of each cupcake picture, these were Ikea frames I bought in a charity shop.

The fabric on the Xmas trees is the £2 scraps pack from Fabric Rehab, I bought 5 packs a while ago. There's some lovely pieces in there.

How much should I charge is the question, I don't want to charge too much and put buyers off but I will be putting a considerable amount of effort into making things. Any suggestions kindly welcomed.

This is a cheeky picture of my OH and L in L's play house in the garden, don't think we're going to have many more nice days but I have to say I do like the winter, cosy fires, big hearty dinners and of course Christmas which I love.

I have been tagged by Loo from Jumbles and Pompoms and I've received another award from the lovely Michelle at Creative Crafting. I haven't forgot ladies but it's all systems go at the moment so I will post about those soon.

Nic xx

Friday, 15 October 2010

A book obsession

I've gone a bit book crazy recently, a number of books have accidently found their way into my basket on Amazon oops! Or I've HAD to go into The Works whilst out shopping, just to look of course, but then you spot a book and you know if you don't get it there and then it might not be there when you go back.

I picked up this book from The Works and as you can see it was only £2.99, what a bargain. There's some lovely makes in here, not too much out of my reach either.

This book was from TK Maxx, it's lots of lovely felt makes. Can't wait to try out some of these. Also only £2.99!

This was one of my splurges on Amazon, I love this style and would love to try and replicate some of the journal pages. It looks really messy and lots of fun.

This was my other book from Amazon, I don't want to go back to work in an office when L starts school so I'm frantically thinking of ways so I don't have to! Hopefully I can make more of my cards and other makes so that I don't have to :)
I made some more cards for my friends shop today, it was a real struggle as I haven't made any for a while and I just couldn't get any ideas. I know this is a simple card but there was alot of thinking before it actually came about. I need to do it more regularly but that naughty time just keeps running away from me.

Me and the OH are going out tonight, it's been awhile but I quite like it like that as I enjoy it much more then. It won't be a late one as H will be babysitting for us, we've agreed a rate of £2 which I think is pretty reasonable.

I've been tagged by Loo from Jumbles and Pompoms so I've got some questions to have a think over at the weekend and will post next week.

Have a good weekend everyone - Nic xx

Sunday, 10 October 2010

My first award!

I recently received the following award from the lovely Annie at The Felt Fairy, please check out her blog it's a great read and she does monthly giveaways!
The rules are that I now need to let you know 7 interesting facts about myself, I'll use the term interesting loosely as I'm not sure how interesting they are!

1. I cannot stand ironing and haven't ironed for over 3 years! True :)
2. I love cupcakes but cannot eat wheat so I have to make my own, which me and H seemed to have perfected the perfect ones just recently (see below):

3. I absolutely love a bargain and love a good rummage at the charity shops/car boots.
4. I have recently taught myself to crochet and love it (much easier than knitting).
5. I'm an Avon Representative and have been for over 2 years, I decided to do it after being made redundant whilst on maternity leave.
6. I'm an massive bookworm and when I start reading a book I just can't put it down. Hence why I haven't been on blogger recently. I've only just got into the Harry Potter series (abit late I know) and I'm just about to start the last book and I can't wait. I just love immersing myself in a good book. When I was younger I would walk to the local library on a Saturday morning and spend all day there reading, I loved the peace and quiet.
7. I've been card making for a couple of years and hope to make more of my hobby, I have cards for sale in my friends flower shop and I'm hoping to do some school fairs before Christmas too.
I also need to pass this onto 5 of my fellow bloggers, which is tough to pick out of the lovely blogs that I read. I also know that some have already won this award too.
The inspirational blog of Mimi and Tilly
The beautiful blog of Coco Rose Textiles
The yummy blog of Country Heart and Home
A new blog I have discovered - Jumbles and Pompoms
The lovely blog of Lemonade Kitty
Please check these ladies out if you get the chance.
Nic xx

Friday, 24 September 2010

Hearts and cards

It's so cold today brrr! Me and L have been to the local woods with the playschool for a walk, it was good fun, we picked up interesting leaves and stuff to take back and make things with for the children next week. After such a sunny week it's typical that the day we go to the woods it's cold. Hay ho, the kids don't care anyway. One little boy was jumping in all the puddles and mud, his mum had dressed him in head to toe waterproofs though , she clearly knows what he is like!
I have been quite busy with crafting this past week. I've made some more cards for my friends shop, I forgot to photograph before I put in cello bags!:

My friend asked me to make a card for her neighbour who was celebrating her silver wedding anniversary and she wanted to give her something personal as she is the godmother to her children:

Finally me and H have gone heart crazy making felt heart decorations, it's been lovely to sit and sew with her. It makes a change from her sitting on her laptop for hours. We just have to be careful of L near the needles.

I've just received some ric rac from an ebay seller to add to the hearts so that they can hang around the house.

I've also made my first brooch, a pink felt one of course, which I am wearing today to brighten up my grey top! The fabric is some Anna Griffin squares that I got from QVC some time ago and didn't know what to do with them.

I hope everyone has a great weekend

Nic xxx

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Sewing and Baking

Oops! Just realised I didn't post in the week, I wanted to show you my feeble attempt at clothes altering. This is not what I had my sewing machine for but I guess it does start me off slowly with using the machine.

It didn't start well...... firstly on my test material the thread was dirty when it stitched on the material. Why? I didn't know so I rang the supplier, packing grease apparently, so he tells me how to get rid of it. Phew! It still doesn't feel right, realise there's no foot on the machine, ahh, ring again, where's the zig zag foot? I should have one......oh,.....I look properly for the foot, find it and put it on, what a numpty! That's much better :).

I know I'm supposed to press the seams when I sew but my impatience gets the better of me after all the faffing around so I just go for it. It's not the straightest seam in world by a long shot but after I'd finished I did feel more confident about using the machine.

Original seam

No turningback now!

A little bit wonky but still wearable, a success :)

What I could really do with is a small project any ideas gratefully accepted.

I also did some baking with H last Friday, she was going to a sleepover so we made some fairycakes/cupcakes to take with her.

Covered with sprinkles that I got in a swap from Hookin with LaaLaa, perfect! :)

Have a good weekend everyone, Nic xxx

Friday, 10 September 2010

I don't like routine but I enjoy the familiarity of routine

Does anyone else feel the same?

I've really enjoyed the freedom of the school holidays; getting up when we want (within reason with a 2 year old), not having to get ready straight the way, coming and going when we want, even having dinner late, going out all day BUT I have to say since the kids went back to their respective school/pre school I do feel much better! I know what day it is, I can plan some time to do things, errands get done, all that sort of stuff really.

I'm so behind on my poor blog and I've not managed to complete any crafty things, they're all still just ideas swimming round my head and I don't know where to start.

I'm finally getting my sewing machine out, I know I've said this before but i really think I'll do it this time. I bought my OH a top from one of the supermarkets but it's a little long, I can sort that out I said, eek!, I'm just going to go for it, it wasn't expensive thank goodness. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'll finish with a picture of me and the kids, it was taken on our recent holiday to Paignton. We were on a steam train that takes you from Goodrington Sands to Kingswear where we went over on a ferry to Dartmouth, it was a really lovely day and L loved the train bless him. It was my favourite day of the holiday.

I look forward to catching up properly on everyones blogs, normal service is to resume.

Nic xxx

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Seaside Swap goodies and update

Well it's been quite some time since I last blogged and it's flown by so quickly I'm not sure if I can even remember what I've been doing. It's been a great summer holidays so far this year, I've taken the kids swimming, to the farm, parks, picnics, you name it I think we've done it. At the moment H is on holiday with her friend and family in Norfolk. It's the first time she's been away without us, she was very excited. I was excited for her but nervous at the same time. Her friend and family are lovely, that's not the issue, just her being away and not knowing what she is doing. She did call the first couple of days, one day a little upset with a headache bless her (home sick more like) but she's settled a bit more now and it just text messages, thank goodness for the 21st century communication :). So the house it quite strange with just me and L, he's asked about her a couple of times but luckily hasn't been too upset, he's very close to his sister.

I participated in Craftysmiles Seaside Swap recently and after a couple of date changes myself and Wendy at A Little Crafting Bird managed to swap things. Wendy asked if I minded more handmade things and not shop bought, of course not :), I love handmade. Though I was worried about my standard of handmade being a bit of a novice to the crafting world.
Here is my box ready to be opened.

Wendy is a very talented lady and I wasn't disappointed with she had made either, take a look, lots of lovely goodies ready to be opended.

Wendy sent me some lovely things, 2 bars of chocolate (they went very quickly!), some decorated pegs and card, some pretty shells, a lovely sandcastle magnet, an ice cream keyring, a gorgeous seahorse, an amazing felt seaside picture and a wonderful lavender smelling beach hut.

I fell in love with the seahorse straight away and he is currently hanging on my mirror so I can see him every day.

This felt picture is stunning and will look fabulous in my sons bedroom.

Thank you so much again Wendy.

Wendy has just started a Folksy shop making felt keyrings, which I can confirm are very well made, she would also consider custom orders if there was something you had in mind, please take a look and let your friends/fellow bloggers know too.

That's all from me at the moment, we go away again next week Monday to Friday back to Paignton, I can't wait. Think I'll just take my crochet with me this time and get some granny squares done.

Nic x

Sunday, 1 August 2010

A few cards and a family creation

Well it's been a little while since I last posted but I didn't realise how busy I was going to be over the school holidays. Though I have to say I am enjoying it so far, it's great not having to get up and out. L usually wakes early but it's nice not having to get ready straight away. I know it's sounds really lazy but I've always worked and I will have to go back to work eventually so I've got to make the most of this while I can! I've not had chance to do as much crafting as I'd like, I don't have a craft room so just do it in the Kitchen/Conservatory so having to get my stuff out and put away everytime can get a bit tiresome, also L would be straight in there messing with stuff and I don't like to keep telling him no.
I did make the cards below though for the OH nephews childrens Christening (you still with me!), they were having their son and daughter Christened at the same time. I always dread these situations slightly as L does not like sitting still but actually he was very good, until he realised his voice echoed in the church so was a little bit shouty at the end :)

These cards are for my friends flower shop (sorry about the poor quality photo), she sells them for me and I give her a nominal amount per card sold. I've had a few steady sales so hopefully I will extend to other local shops.

Finally, this is mine and H creation, she loves papercrafting too but feels lost for ideas sometimes. I wanted to do something together and remembered that we had some A3 paper stashed away. It's great because it already looks aged, we're hoping to do a treasure map next.

We made it using paper from my scraps box and shaped punches, peel off stickers, chalks and glitter.

I'm probably not going to be posting as much over the holidays but I will try and check out everyone's blogs at much as possible. We go away again at the end of August so fingers crossed for the weather :)

Nic xxx

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