Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Blogversery patch swap

I hope you all had an amazing festive season and are starting the New Year well and happy. We had a great time with Mum and Dad in Dorset, everyone had lovely presents and Santa came so he must have thought the children were better behaved than I did! Despite there being one more day of this year I am already getting excited about the crafting possibilities of next year and as I have been keeping my Blog for nearly a whole year I thought I would start 2009 with a swap/round robin type affair. So for all of you who feel like an angel hemmed in by chaos,
Anyone who enjoys working with others, (and keeps in the lines!)
For anyone who has the patience to piece the tiny bits together for the whole effect



For anyone who wants to get that Christmas feeling all over again........I propose a swap/round robin thing. Please leave a comment below if you'd be interested, it would be a fabric type swap which I think would leave everyone with a variety of squares to do with as they wish; cushion cover, bag, wall hanging etc?



Sunday, 21 December 2008

The Good Shepherd






Will performed in his first nativity on Thursday, he is completely taken with the story and said his lines loud and proud, or so I am told by Daddy who went to watch as I was at work. Simon took Will to the cafe after school as a treat but Will was fading fast and spent the rest of the day under a blanket on the sofa. Friday was Christmas party at school but Will was still poorly and took another duvet day. This meant he missed out on Christmas Party and Santa! His lovely teacher did catch a friend in the playground though to make sure he got his goodie bag and cards. Poor boy-he is just well enough to be naughty today but poorly enough to really flip if you try to tell him off! Joy.




I hope you are all having a better run up to the big day, but judging from what I have been reading on other blogs I suspect not.


I have either finished, or missed the boat on all my Christmas sewing so today I got the sketch book out and put down some ideas for next year. I think it will be my year of 'cuffs'. Here is my prototype. Embellished felt with hand sewing and backed with cotton. I am not pleased with the elastic loop closure and am about to snip it off for a buttonhole loop. It will just mean I need help to get it on and off- oh well! Watch this space for more hot cuff action, hopefully I will get chance to do some crafting over the break, we are staying with Mum and Dad so I will have a partner in crime...hooray!














So, I think will be the last post before Christmas day; Happy Yule, Seasons Greetings, however you see the world and whatever festivities you partake of I hope this week ahead is a really lovely one for you and your families. xxxxxx


Saturday, 13 December 2008

Guildy pleasures




Yesterday was our local meeting of the Embroiderers guild. There are branches across most of the country and similar groups everywhere! Our group meets monthly with a bring and buy table, traders, a really good speaker and tea and BISCUITS! So once a month I get a whole afternoon of inspiration, retail therapy and the chance to chat with other crafty types.....BLISS. This months speaker was Helen Deighan, the lady who came up with the dying in the bag thing, which sounds ace, but Ive never tried. She also imports braiding disks and was displaying samples made with a square board which results in a flat braid. I couldn't resist and now am just waiting for a quiet moment (flying pigs!) to have a play! Helen was really lovely and funny and chilled, there's a lot in this crafting thing!


I did a spot of shopping at the bring and buy table- (I did do a little bringing too) I found some ace fabric, just right for panto season, load of little bis of Liberty, (pass me that yo-yo maker) and a ball of wool which has already been used towards a brooch. (£2 the lot in case you were wondering!)

The most exciting thing was probably that lovely S has started a Blog. Dottybird trades at our guild on a regular basis, bringing various goodies of felting equipment and soluble fabrics etc. She also puts together these yummy variety packs of stranded cotton, this one is Jelly bean and I hope to be braiding it soon. Do pop over and say Hi if you get a mo, she really is very lovely and a very clever lady.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Winner!


So with two entries to the teeny tiny giveaway I decided to save paper and toss a coin. Heads for entry one and tails for entry two.......so congratulations to Purple and Paisley- (I don't think a tree will get to you this Christmas but I'll post one off and hopefully it will arrive in time to be packed away with the other decs for next year!) Thanks for entering guys. I am still frantically making brooches and trees but enjoying every minute. Thinking more and more about organising a craft fair next year- I do like to plot and this is keeping my little brain full. (it is also giving me the chance to make lists and this is my second favourite hobby next to crafting-am I very, very sad?)

Friday, 5 December 2008

Worlds worst pun, and smallest giveaway


Meet Christine she is a very happy rodent......infact....(can you see where this is going?).....(I'm so sorry!)........she is a 'Merry Chris-Mouse'. God-it's sad isn't it? This little cutey, is for Uncle Ben, he will appreciate the awfulness of the word play, her odd colour ears and her insanely fluffy texture-he's that kind of guy. If you had ever though 'that Jennyflower- I wonder why she never makes softies-look no further for the answer, my 'cute' just comes out 'freak'!
Anyway Christine got me thinking about a teeny tiny giveaway- don't panic YOU WILL NOT GET THE MOUSE. What I am asking is this; leave a comment with your worst ever seasonal joke and I'll put your name in the hair-tie box for one of my felt Christmas trees. You can see a example in my Folksy shop but I wold make you a new one, maybe even to fit in with your Christmas colour scheme. I am away this weekend but leave a comment by Monday morning and I'll draw then. Thanks! (and sorry-again) xx

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

You sell some you buy some!


Now I wouldn't say that I was an 'orange' person. But when I was drawn towards this fabric in a shop today my friend Claire rolled her eyes and said that is so you-you're an orange person aren't you? (Maybe it is because a bare a striking physical resemblance to the Tango man?) Anyway I think this is ace and I'm really looking forward to making something suitably subversive with it.....look closely it has some pale pink in it!
I also stocked up on wool- seriously this lovely cream and pink bubbly stuff was 60p a ball- no really! I bought some spotty buttons and hair ties in proper girly colours will follow shortly. I love the little wool shop in Deal. I got this little lot and some sewing machine needles (does it matter that I haven't bought Bernina ones?) for £8.51. I'm really pleased with this......though I'm guessing unless I get it packed away pretty smartish Simon will be less impressed....shhh......secret squirrels!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Fair enough



Don't worry, it's safe to read on! I'm feeling a lot more positive now, thank you for all your outraged comments, the made me feel a lot better. I have definitely decided that I will be trying to organise at least one local craft fair next year. I thought that if any of you guys wanted to send a box of stuff perhaps we could come to some arrangement over commission? I'll think more about how it might work but maybe let me know if you might consider this. I'd like to hold an event with workshops perhaps or certainly some supplies as well as finished items. If anyone has any experience and any tips I'd be grateful.




I have really enjoyed listing some bits and bobs on Folksy, I worked out that I could list 40 items for the same price as my cancelled craft fair pitch so that is my target and I have already had a sale. I am particularly going all out on hair accessories for the festive season, Simon has insisted on buying some from me for my stocking as I hardly ever wear the stuff I make and he thinks it's a shame.........aaaawwwww...isn't he cute? (he might feel differently when he realises how grey my hair actually is when you can see the sides!)
I've also been listing on E-bay, I have been collecting 'Embroidery' magazine for some time now and have accrued some duplicates. I have listed several batches in the hope that someone else might find them as fascinating as me! If you decide to bid and win, leave me a message that you have come from the blog and I'll put something extra in the package. (something nice obviously not the gas bill or anything like that!)

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Christmas (it's not) fair

I have to warn you here and now that I am feeling whingey. The Christmas fair that I have been beavering away producing gorgeous things for has been cancelled.....with three days to go.....and I only know through a friend....the organisers haven't actually told ME at all. I am seriously considering organising something for myself next year because I truly believe that even had it been a 'drinks party' in a brewery I could have done better. I now have lots of things to photograph and fill Folksy with, which I am pleased about and I am desperately trying to find another fair in East Kent (anyone?) which I could attend, and lots of my Christmas cards will now have an extra little treat slipped in and I can get on with secret projects 'X' and 'Z'.........oh you see I'm not really that cross anymore-this always happens.....I think my glass is half empty and while I'm busy moaning about it someone comes and tops it up!




I have also really enjoyed playing with the yo-yo makers I bought at the K&S show. Will has been 'tired' lately and I haven't had chance to spend much time with him because he always seems to be sat on the bottom step, but last night we made yo-yos together and it was ace! He kept stabbing me with the needle and got a bit distracted hiding my buttons but we had fun and he was good as gold. Crafting soothes my soul and I think it can do the same for my little five year old Diablo.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Right old mish-mash!



Altered life gave me this lovely award a while back and I have been a bit (!) rubbish about spreading the joy. The reason for this has been the rules of the tag; that it should be passed to four regular readers from this country and one new one from abroad......I have no idea how to find out who might be a regular reader except for if they comment and I'm not aware of any new people from another country. So if this might be you please comment and you can take the award with my pleasure and thanks. Back to altered life, if you are planning any angel projects for the season I can strongly recommend a visit as she has done all sorts of lovely things along this theme. I have recently set up a jennyflowerblue facebook page if anyone might be interested in having a look, not much different from here but a few silly discussions and details of local events. I guess some of you may be on facebook as real people and it would also be lovely to 'meet you' that way too. Thanks to Marmalade kiss for the tip off on that one and her super clear idiots guide! More exciting goings on in that Dogdaisychain is having a giveaway/cuff survey on her Blog, her cuffs are.....no divine really is the only word for it no matter how that might make me sound, please just imagine me clasping my hands and looking heavenward in an ironical manner! I don't really want you to enter because I really want to win but she is so lovely she deserves support. Finally now I have have a good brain clear out with all that lets get down to the makey......this scarf has been knitted out of strips of old T-shirts which I have been saving for ages. I am thrilled with the colours and the knotty ends. The texture is, in truth, a little heavy for a scarf (who'd have guessed essentially wearing five extra t-shirts 'round your neck would be heavy!) so next time I will cut the strips to 1cm rather than 1 " and use the same needles but I think it would be perfect in different dimensions for a bath mat or in one of those knitted tray type affairs. Have you ever knitted fabric strips....how was it for you?

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Birthdays, Ben 10, Brooches, Bums





















Well actually no bums, but I bet that got you excited! Yesterday was Wills 5th birthday and today was his party so it has been pretty much non-stop baking, clearing, wrapping, planning, shouting, chaos for 48hours. My head hurts. Will received loads of lovely Ben 10 toys, Lego, books, clothes, a bike, Power Rangers, you name it really. If it was plastic and did something violent and/or gross it was on the list. He was in his element. I did a home made Ben 10 chocolate cake. (Please don't point out to Will that I managed to melt Wild-vines arm with a candle!) Today we had five little friends round for a Kung-Fu Panda party complete with Kung-Fu statues, chocolate chopstick race and Origami. Everyone was really good, well actually Will lost the plot a bit at one point but it all came right in the end. I was really pleased when M, who had minded both my children from a few months dropped in during lunch. She is a very calming influence and bought Will the ace hand-knitted hat. After all the plastic and packaging he was delighted with it and proceeded to prat about and generally be the boy we all know and love. I am very proud of him.

Determined to slip some crafting in I noticed Mum had no adornment for her posh winter coat and as she treated me to some lovely flecked wool I knocked her up a Jenny special with which I am very pleased. The buttons came from a massive bag for £5 which will be popping up everywhere. I am looking forward to a couple of sane weeks before the Xmas madness.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Seasonal silliness

We didn't really 'do' Halloween as children. The thought of knocking on doors demanding presents is just.......'vulgar' to me! However I am starting to get more of a feel for seasonal celebrations, I went to church as a child and have to say I do miss the structure to the year that all of that gave. But of course most Christian festivals cunningly coincide with much older festivals and these are the ones I am trying to get my family back in touch with. So last night, yes I know a bit late, we had our autumn type celebration. We made a lovely cake, carved the pumpkin, made cardboard spiders, found out the spooky Playmobil, dressed up (thanks Gina!), ate pizza, and drank wine! Mum and Dad are staying and we had sch a lovely time. We didn't get one request for treats ourselves and no eggs thrown at the door, so plenty of fun size for me!









In other autumnal news I knocked myself up some mohair wrist warmers whilst lying on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. They could do with some shaping but I'm happy with them . I did have to line them as the wool was very itchy on my delicate wristeys, (what a wuss!) I knitted them on ordinary needles and it did cross my mind that they would be much more elegant knitted in the round. Mum bought some double-ended needles with her and got me knitting on them. It felt a bit awkward but I think if the need arose I could mange it. Will have a play with some circular needles next to see how that works. We came up with a new scarf idea while we were playing watch this space for the next big innovation in wool craft........

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Award!






Thanks Griffin! I have received this award which is lovely as a) it's from the Griffin who spins a delicate yarn, b) it's very attractive, don't you think and c) I have tonsillitis and am feeling a bit sorry for myself.



I think I'm meant to talk about six things I like. (Griffin did!) So for anyone who is interested here goes;

I'm rather pleased with my purchase of this inflatable rubber zebra. I love kitsch, unusual, tasteless. I like walking into a house and seeing piles of stuff, books, junk, treasure. I like a cluttered home, which is lucky!

I like baking. Yesterdays pudding, (well tea actually as it was just Simon and I eating and we were both a bit shattered) was chocolate orange bread and butter pudding. This is just like good ole bread and butter pudding but with the bread spread with marmalade, no vine fruit, and a sprinkling of dark chocolate chips between layers. When I cook like this it makes me feel like a 'real woman'!

I like my bed and often force myself to stay up till 10p.m when really I have been yearning for my pj's since 9.

I like lots of other things too, and usually there would be three more well thought out likes but I'll finish up with my top three for today; Penicillin, warm squash and ITV3.

I've been feeling the bloggy love from three lovely ladies in particular this week so if you fancy taking the tag Karen, Dogdaisychains, and Iris and Lilly please go right ahead, otherwise just take my thanks for cheering me when I feel so bloody miserable. (that was a whinge so I must be on the up!)

I'm sad to hear about Julia Caprara and will have another look at the work I started on a weekend with her. I was struggling with getting a technique until the last day with half an hour to go when I took the bull by the horns and just frantically started rotary cutting and bonding. I remember her giving me a big squeeze and saying 'good girl', I remember how that felt, someone else sharing in the happiness of creation. Usually textiles for me is so solitary and the blog is about trying to get that feeling of shared excitement. I'm wondering if anyone would fancy a round robin type thing in the new year. Maybe something based on a particular colour palate or stitch? Let me know what you think!



Friday, 17 October 2008

Bo Dangles






I've been playing again! Emma at Tamarisk thought that some clip on bag dangle-key ring type things might sell well at her shop, I already had some clips and I picked up a big bag of lovely chunky glass beads at the show for £3.50. I also have some tassel making plastic things which I haven't really used much before. The only thing missing was....a knitted bead. Daisie has been championing this phenomenon lately and I have really enjoyed making them, they are very quick, (I've been doing them on the bus to work). I.m pleased with the way these have turned out and just hope Emma likes them too. I think they have potential for Christmas decorations too. I also had a fiddle with anew brooch design. I used the embellisher to mount some circles of silk and organza onto a felt disc and then went mad with beads and sparkly bits! I think these could be much bigger and froofe-er!
Can you see the lovely red beads on the brooch and bag dangle? They were amongst an enormous bag of treasure given to me by my friend Ursula. She has amassed a huge amount of stuff and I was the beneficiary of a clear out. The picture shows a bag of beads (glass/coral/stone) thread (Chinese silk etc) and gold work supplies. There was so much other lovely stuff that I just can't believe it. She also gave me two squash and LOADS of apples. With friends like these who needs shopping trips?
One of the other items I picked up at the show was a Stef Francis kit. I considered this a real luxury item at £12.50 but the kit is amazing and I'm actually really impressed now I have had a good look inside. I think it will teach me three or more new techniques and I'll get something gorgeous to wear at the end. One particular technique new to me was stuffing tubular ribbon. I have never really seen the point of this type of viscose ribbon, but now I have put some wool down the middle I am in L-O-V-E- somebody stop me!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Beautiful Things?



I was really pleased to have so many entries to my give-away. Especially as no one (not even me) knew what the prize might be! Well Kate won, and said that her favourite colour was brown, the colour of chocolate cake so I put together a parcel with this in mind. Kate also said she likes making books, I never have so I haven't got a clue whether any of this might be useful for that! Anyway putting together a package for someone you have never met is strangely exciting, I highly recommend it!
If you haven't visited Kates Blog before that is highly recommended too, and as she is feeling a bit poorly at the moment a little visit might be just what she needs!

Monday, 13 October 2008

Knitting and Spending show

Well it was hot, sweaty, knackering, and expensive but by golly it felt g-o-o-d! This was how my treasure looked when I laid it all out on the footstool for Simon's approval (he pulled-'where exactly are you going to keep all that?!' faces.) But really it's not too much.......is it? I have started with the brooch making already, who could resist, the wool is ace! This is the first year that I have been to the show and felt the balance was more in favor of knitting than stitching. All the favourite traders were there but in terms of 'new and exciting' for me the wool and the beads had it.
There is much more to show you, so many more treasures and ideas lurking in that pile of fluff. I'm sure it will keep me going until next year. I hope then to get back to Harrogate. I just felt the gradate displays had more room there and I got more inspiration from that. Meet you there next year then?

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Tag, you're it!

Hello! Feels like a long time since I've blogged-sorry. Things have been quite exciting 'round here as my brooches and other treasures are now in another shop. Nila, my sister-in-law very kindly took some bits back with her form her hols. She had told me about a very cool shop called Mallory and Syds in Sheffield and they have agreed to put some bits out on commission. (I'm very excited!) I also spent a good long time mooching in Tamarisk who also sells my stuff. Emma is lovely and very happy to see what I've been up to. I can't tell you how nice it is after three pretty depressing farmers markets to find a home for my creations where they are loved!
This is my latest brooch design, three blooms in wool, lightly felted on the embellisher, mounted on a padded felt brooch with vintage buttons. I like this and might do some more in a posh wool on a green embellished felt brooch, what do you think.....a go-er?
The main reason for this post is that I have been tagged by the lovely and now rightfully celebrated Iris and Lilly. so here goes with a hefty dose of self indulgence as I tell you 11 things all about ME!!!!!
Clothes shop; I'd love to be all glam but since I've had the kids it's two T-shirts in the trolley!
Furniture shop; Our local independent, so friendly and delivers straight away.
Sweet; Wispa at the moment-I just can't resist.
City; York, Bath, Canterbury, you get the picture, old, smallish.
Drink; Beeeeeeeeeer, although posh bottled Cider is surprisingly a bit nicer than Woodpecker!
Music; Not techno pop cheese or opera or country but otherwise I'm e-a-s-y.
T.V series; Agatha Christie- oh how soothing you are!
Film; Like books there's not much I'd sit through twice.
Workout; walking. I do force myself to the gym but not as often as I 'should'.
Pastries; Chelsea or Belgian, I do like a nice bun
Coffee; oooooo no thanks,tea for me, and please don't stir it with a coffee-ish spoon.
Thanks Sharon, and I'm taging Cooplet, because she's just started Uni and might have som new discoveries to share!
I am getting very excited about Sundays trip to the Knitting and Stitching show, I don't know if any one else out their in blogland is planning a visit, but if you fancy meeting for a tea......

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

WINNER!!!!!






And we have a winner........I wrote out all your names,

I folded them neatly and Anna lent me her hair tie box and graciously agreed to choose a winner.............

And it is ......Kate from Beautiful things. Kate is a lovely lady and a very generous blogger with tutorials and advice. I will get to work on finding some suitable treasure!

Thank you all so much for entering, I love the variety of different replies I got. The winners reply came very late in the day but made me chuckle when she said that she liked red/brown and her favourite brown thing was.......cake!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Jean Genius!


Thanks to all of you who have entered the giveaway; I'm getting quite excited! There's still time though, just get in before the end of the month and you're in with a chance.
I am sorry this picture looks so skew-whiff but I took it all wonky and then flipped it, (basically it looked better before I fiddled!) Anyhooo it is just a fiddle so no harm done. I have been meaning to have a go at Jean pocket hanging thingys for ages. I ripped some instructions out of Patchwork and Quilting magazine I think and knocked this up this morning with the kids. It is meant to be all denim but the jeans I used were some old ones of Annas so were seriously tiny In the article they went mad with embellishment too. Having said that I think the idea is sound and definitely something I'll be doing again on a larger scale.....my jeans definitely qualify! I also want to try it with some of Simons work trousers, I think it could be quite a good 'mans' textile project.
Yesterdays farmers market saw me basically paying £5 for the privilege of giving away two brooches. I have two Christmas fairs booked but I almost feel like I have got the whole 'selling what I make' thing out of my system. I am happy to keep making brooches to sell through shops. I really do enjoy it, but as far as other things go I am only going to make things that really take my fancy- not just stuff that I think might sell. Does that make sense? Overall the markets have been great experience and at another point in my life I may well give it another go, taking it more seriously but for now? I've scratched my itch.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Yo-Yo stitching show


Look what I got from Prairie Homestead, this lovely lady was my bookmark swap recipient. I never expected a thank you present but what a lovely one! I can't wait to have a go and the idea looks like I might be able to adapt it for a bag dangle.
I also went to my local Embroiderers guild meeting on Saturday to hear Heidi Jenkins speak, what a lovely lady, and very clever! There were people selling vintage buttons; bliss, and I picked up some fluff and threads (which I won't show you because they might form part of my give away) and I signed up for a place on the trip to the Knitting and Stitching show.
Please do enter the giveaway if you haven't yet, it really is open to all and I haven't seen any family names pop up yet- go on go on. OOhhh and don't worry if you don't 'craft' if any of the senses you see here. If you write, cook, garden, photograph, doodle, whatever I can find a prize just for you! xxxxx

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Colour me Happy it's a 100th post GIVE AWAY!


Hey, guess what? This is my 100th post! In the tradition of Blogging I am having a give away. Please enter and tell your friends, it's open to everyone- share the love!
What I would like you to do is this; comment telling me;
1; Your bestest ever colour
2;Your bestest thing that is your bestest colour
3;Your preferred creative outlet.
e.g. My best colour is purple, I love grapes and I like singing.
I don't know what the prize will be yet because it will be individually tailored to the winner.
I will shut the give away prize door at the end of the month.