Sunday, 30 September 2012

My First Love

Bliss, 2009
Now I don’t want you to think that I have gone all gooey and romantic and that I am going to write about my first love i.e. the first boy I kissed or fell in love with – NO!  I have written it often enough about how much I enjoy working with textiles and how much I love fabric, lace and buttons and I am confident that I will continue to enjoy creating beautiful items!  But, I have discovered this week after many years that my first love is... DRAWING!  Not any kind of drawing, but using charcoal (my favourite medium) to draw the human body.  I have started attending a Life Drawing class this week and it was fantastic!

Sapphire, 2009

Lovely venue, lovely people, excellent tutor and I have to say I was in my element using charcoal on paper again!  I was a bit rusty after a few years absence, but I was totally absorbed as I looked and I listened and I let my hand swirl around the paper!  My first effects show that I wasn’t really drawing what I could see, but what my idea of the human body is – so that will have to be knocked out of me soon!

With the guidance of an excellent tutor, I hope to gain more confidence and produce drawings that I am happy to show you, but it may take a few weeks!  I am no stranger to drawing the human figure, women particularly, and if you have visited my website you will see drawings and artworks that I have formally created  To give you a taster I have included two of them above.

Attending the drawing class is great! It is great to take time out from all the creating with fabric and using my sewing machine.  It is perfect to just sit and relax and enjoy drawing without any pressures and to just go with the flow!  I think you may see in time why it is my first love.
September has been a fantastic month for sales on Folksy – the BEST month since I joined folksy last year.  I am thrilled with this success and I have certainly complained often enough about the lack of sales or felt quite down about it, so I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all my customers – without them my enjoyment of what I do would be lacking in that thrill of someone liking something enough to spend money purchasing it!

I have lots of new things planned for the coming month in the lead up to Christmas – more notebooks & journals, diary covers, bags (they take longer so it is a struggle to make time for them!) purses and further items in my range I am developing for men.  (I do like a challenge!)
Finally, I would like to give a huge round of applause to the September Sellers daily listing club on folksy.  The unrelenting support and encouragement is second to none.  We share sadness and joy, have laughs and moans and it is lovely to belong to this virtual family!  Special thanks to Natalie of NOfkants Curios who keeps things running smoothly and is the captain at the helm – what a fabulous job she does!

I have given you a taste of the beautiful creations that these lovely creative folk produce with photographs to illustrate my blog post today.  Enjoy!  Don’t forget to click on the photos and it will take you directly to the shop – do stop and have a browse – you never know what you might find!



TOP TO BOTTOM: Clare Sherwen, Gimme That Thing, Leanne Woods Designs, Red Devil Crafts, Leanne Woods Designs, CeeCee Gem Designs, Paper Chains & Beads - Jewellery, Cards & More with Vintage Style.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

My Favourite Blog

Creative Treasures

How often do you have time to read other people’s blogs?  Are you a faithful follower and read every post?  Or do you only occasionally “pop in” for a read?  Perhaps, you only read a blog post when the author is featuring one of your items, or giving you some other kind mention in the post?
Well, I’m not going to say which one I am guilty of, but I do like the phrase “time poor”.  Yes, we all fight the battle of time.  We need time to spend with our families, our friends, do our day job, and cook. We need to make sure the house is kept in running order, shop, and a million other tasks that need to be done on a regular basis.  Then of course, if you are an artist or a crafter, you need that all important time for doing what you love.  So, who makes it a priority to not only write your own blog, but read others?

Spiral Fountain Jewellery
I have set myself the task of attempting to blog once a week, but even then it is a struggle.  But, I know lots of folk who blog every day or more frequently because they use it like a diary, or virtual journal, sharing everyday events, or what they are currently making.
My favourite blogger is Linda of Uniquely Yours who blogs every day.
Linda’s blog is a great read, because Linda is a writer and a poet, and you always have the addition of a poem or ditty everyday on her blog posts (a real treat!)  But not only that, Linda is a yarn crafter, a wife, mother, grandmother, good cook and also has a part-time day job!  However, Linda’s love of words is obviously key to who she is, so it is very important for her to write every day.  However, Linda is also a champion.  She constantly features other people’s crafted items on her blog and a great job she does as well!  I am a great admirer of Linda’s blog and only wish I had the time to read it more often.

Dottery Pottery
Other folk love to share by offering tutorials or practical advice in their blog.  Some run competitions or swaps. Others share recipes, holiday snaps, Wedding snaps and so on.  Compared to my simple blog, these seem a lot more exciting – who can resist drooling over photos of a delicious food? Or laughing at the antics or household pets?  Or admiring the bride’s dress and being in awe of the lovely wedding location?  Stunning holiday snaps? And so forth.
I am more of a reflective and questioning writer.  I don’t have any answers, but I have lots of questions.  I am passionate about what I do and being creative is central to who I am as a person.  But, I am full of admiration for artists and crafters who excel at what they do and it shows in all sorts of ways.  I don’t count myself as one of them!!

Finally, and to wrap this up I want to say how gobsmacked I have been this week to discover that folksy have featured not one, but two of my Pinterest boards on the front page of folksy.
My first one was called “What’s your number?” at the beginning of the week, and the second (current) one was called “Harvest Gold”.

Oakapple & Rose
For a long time I kept creating Pinterest boards for folksy’s front page and getting despondent when they weren’t chosen. I have no idea why it was so important to me, but I am the kind of person who says “I can do this.”  And I want to succeed!  Well, I did it!  It is only a small thing, but achievement is not measure by how great is the achievement, but by having a go and being successful at whatever it is!
Enjoy the selection of lovely items from the September Sellers daily listing club which I have chosen for this blog post.  Don’t forget to click on the photos and have a browse in these wonderful seller’s shops!

PS What I have forgotten to mention is that the selection of lovely items are all ones that I love, so that is why I have chosen them!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Something for everyone

Square handmade notebook with embroidery, sequins & beads
Last week I held my Grand Autumn Giveaway to celebrate my success at having achieved 100 sales in my folksy shop.  Participants who wanted to be entered for the draw had to browse all the notebooks and journals in my shop, and then leave a comment as to which one was their favourite.  For me, it was a fascinating exercise because nearly everyone picked a different favourite – only two people picked the same notebook or journal.  This suggests to me that my shop offers something for everyone!

Set of Three notebooks

A5 Journal or Sketchbook
I love creating notebooks and journals.  They have lately become a real passion.  I am constantly thinking up ideas for new ones, and can’t wait to get started, but whilst my ideas flow there is not enough hours in the day to achieve all that I would like!
Wedding Journal

A5 fabric Journal or Sketchbook
When I started out making journals I purchased a number of good quality, but fairly cheap A5 sketchbooks.  I wanted to use my stash of lace, so I started out by using linen as a base and then I layered lots of lace over the linen and stitched until I was satisfied with the result.  The final layer was the best layer because it allowed me to be as creative as I chose.  I often wanted to have an image (this was printed on linen) and then lots of decoration with beads, guipure flowers, appliqué and more lace!  I now only have one of these original journals remaining in my folksy shop.

A6 Handmade note book with silk brocade

A6 Handmade note book with embroidered silk cover
I love experimenting with new ideas so that is why you will such a huge selection of different notebooks and journals.  In March this year I was inspired by the work of Helen Cowans.  I met Helen at the Sewing for Pleasure, Hobbycrafts, and Fashion, Stitch & Embroidery show at the NEC. Her work is amazing, fabulous, gorgeous, and I was really taken with it when I was at the show.  I love collage and I have been doing it for a number of years.  Helen’s work uses fabric, vintage lace, photographic images, buttons etc. and these were all elements that I had used in my work.
Children’s notebooks

A6 Note book - Shades of Purple
This led me to experiment with different ways of creating journals and notebooks and theA6 Note book - Shades of Purple” and “A6 vintage style reusable cover with note book” are classic examples of this new style which I developed.  I love them, but they have not been all that successful as sellers – I have sold a few, but clearly it is not what people are looking for in a notebook or journal.
Fleur de Lys notebook

A6 vintage style reusable cover with note book
Not being someone who stands still! I was keen to develop my skills further and decided to teach myself how to make journals and notebooks from scratch.  This involved purchasing some books on making books, and bookbinding, and doing some reading and research. Then I needed to practice what I had learned to achieve what I wanted to do.  These new handmade notebooks and journals are what have mostly been selected by people who took part in the giveaway.  However, they do tend to dominate my folksy shop at the moment!  I have sold a few and I am hopeful that I will sell a few more – fingers crossed!
Travel journal
The selection of notebooks and journals displayed above are all available in my folksy shop and are the favourites of all those who entered my giveaway.  I think you will see what I mean about there being something for everyone!
Please click on the photos and have a browse – you never know you might find one that you like enough to want to buy it.  They would all make great gifts for Christmas!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Grand Autumn Giveaway

Welcome to my blog.  Today I am celebrating 100 sales in my folksy shop!  I don’t think I ever thought about achieving this milestone.  As each month passes, if I have any sales, it is really lovely and such a nice bonus!  I love doing what I do, creating beautiful bags, purses, notebooks and journals.  I love all kinds of fabric, lace, buttons, ribbon, and I find it very exciting choosing and combining the materials that I have into something special and unique.

Autumn is a lovely time of the year so as well as having a giveaway, I am featuring some lovely autumnal items from the September Sellers daily listing club.  Aren’t they just beautiful?

For my Grand Autumn Giveaway I am looking for two lucky people – the Winner and a Runner up.

The Winner will receive:
v A beautiful tapestry fabric clutch bag with black velvet ribbon and lace trim and a vintage button closure.
v A large brocade fabric bag with white drawstring closure and handle. 
v A lovely A6 notebook.

The Runner up will receive:
v A vintage style bag with wrist handle made from burgundy faux suede, and burgundy wool fabric. This has a pink sequin and lace trim on the front.
v A burgundy corded fabric purse with an appliqué of a boat on the front.
v A lovely A6 address book.
All the giveaway prizes will make lovely gifts, if you decide not to keep them for yourself. 

What do you have to do to enter? 
In my folksyshop I have a number of notebooks and journals for sale. What I would like you to do is browse them all and choose your favourite. Please leave a comment on this post as to why it is your favourite notebook or journal.  Simple?  All the folk who make a comment will be entered into the draw. The Giveaway will close at 9pm on Wednesday 12th September 2012.  The Winner and Runner up will be chosen randomly and I assure you it will be done very fairly.  I will notify the winner and runner up and post the results on my blog. Good luck!


Finally, I hope you have enjoyed looking at the lovely items from the September Sellers daily listing club.  Do click on the photo and it will take you directly to their shop.  There have been some really fabulous items listed recently, and it has been really difficult to choose a small selection! Enjoy!

Top to Bottom: NOfkantsCurios, Creative Treasures, FlowaPowa Art, Deborah Jones Jewellery, Ello Design, Audrey's Cat.
Many thanks for all who entered my Grand Autumn Giveaway.  The draw has been done and it is congratulations to:
  • Silver Moss Jewellery - the Winner
  • Helenjanesdesigns - the Runner Up

I shall be having another giveaway next month to celebrate one year on folksy so do look out for that one!

All the best,


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Crafting with Glass

Last bank holiday weekend my friend and I went to Shrugborough Estate near Stafford.  It was one of those rare days this summer when it was warm and dry.  We had a lovely wander around the estate including visiting the arboretum and walking the sculpture trail.  They have some beautiful highland cattle and other animals on the Estate.  At the craft workshops we met this amazing glass artist who does some beautiful work, turning empty spirit bottles into cheese boards, creating fabulous jewellery, vases, tea lights, mirrors and other items.  We really enjoyed chatting about her work and admiring her craft.

This inspired me to look at items on folksy and here you have my glass theme blog post.  I just love all the colours and the animals.  I hope you enjoy the small selection I have chosen.  If you click on the photo it will take you directly to the shop on Folksy - why not stop and have a browse?

Shrugborough estate is 900 acres of stunning parkland and riverside gardens.  It has a very elegant mansion house (see photo)|, working Victorian servants’ quarters|, a Georgian farm|, dairy & mill| and a restored walled garden|.   Within the stunning parkland there are magnificent monuments to discover.  I particularly enjoyed stumbling across these gems.  Do check out the gambling house if you go for a visit!
The estate features a land train ride, play park, restaurant & tea rooms, craft  workshops, and a gift shop.  It is well worth a visit.  We visited the tea rooms after our walk around the estate and enjoyed a drink and cake sitting outside (that was treat in itself, given the awful weather we have had this summer!)


I hope you have enjoyed hearing about Shrugborough estate and looking at the wonderful items available on folksy.  I have joined the September Sellers daily listing club this month and will be listing new items every day, so please check out my shop!  If you have started your Christmas shopping early please do have a browse.  Many of the items in my shop are suitable as gifts and very reasonably priced.  Here are a couple of items that I have listed already this month!




TOP TO BOTTOM: Carole's Glass, Sue Whyte Stained Glass, Phoenix Glass, Stained Glass Art Designs, Caro Fusion, Bex by Design, Handmade by Edwina.