Thursday, 25 November 2010

Birds of a feather

linen robin

Well, thank goodness, I think, that the craft tables are pretty much done and dusted.   Sales weren't brilliant, but then I wasn't really at the right kind of venues to ensure they would be.   One was our local church bazaar, competing with White Elephant stall, home-made cakes and bowling for the pig.   What chance do you stand?!   Lots of people were very complimentary about my stuff, some even bought things, but there was the inevitable "£3! Just for that!"   It was the end of a long day, and with hindsight my reply was perhaps a bit snappy.... She did go and purchase a revolting glittery plastic poinsettia at the next stall, so I was glad she didn't want one of my cinnamon sacks.   I only want them to go to good homes.   Since I was trying to do two of these events on the same day, my dear husband offered to act as gofer and lovely Anne spent her afternoon manning my second table - she's a treasure and a much better saleswoman than I'll ever be!   To say (an inadequate) thank you I made her some owl bunting from an online tutorial I saw.   Actually, the one I saw said 'Merry Christmas', but time constraints dictated that Anne's version only said 'NOEL' .... not even a 'JOYEUX' ....

Star Strings
I love making these and they're usually popular.   The picture just shows the middle section of the 'string' which is over 4' long: there's more bobbles and circles of hand-made felt with a big star with a wooden star button on it at the top, and a big silver jingle-bell at the bottom.   I took a few orders for these at the weekend, as I'd only had time to make 4 for the fair. 

A few weekends ago I drove over to a craft fair in a village near Cambridge and had the privilege of meeting artist Celia Hart and seeing her work at first hand.  (Celia's blog is Purple Podded Peas).   I absolutely love her nature-themed lino cut prints and treated myself to a bundle of bird notecards ....
... and a large card print of a Buff Orpington hen - (it just reminded me of Fanny and Hilda Hen, who are both moulting at the moment - I have told them that snow is forecast - and have lost their tails) ...  
 ... and a collection of tree ornaments, a hen, a reindeer, an angel, a bear and a comet. 
 Can't wait to see them hanging on the Christmas Tree.
Celia has also recently started a collaborative venture with Rachel Simpson and together they have produced some beautiful jewellery - see it here.

These sweet little tags below from Pearl Crafted are taken from an old Rupert Annual.   I remember reading Rupert stories to myself when I was little and being slighty uncomfortable about the rhyming couplet captions, although there were ordinary prose bits of story too.   Oh, did that sound as if I would have known at the age of 7 what a rhyming couplet was?   Though that does bring to mind a conversation at the tea-table on the day that we had our school photograph taken, when I must have been about 6 years old.    Dad asking, "And did the photographer have his camera on a stand with three legs?"  Me - "Oh, do you mean a tripod?"   Precocious, moi?  

Butternut squash with black rice, pine-nuts and raisins - made for veggie friends - there was Bakewell tart too, but, strange to say, nothing left to photograph today .....  (sorry about the buttery smudge on the page, but then all my favourite recipes seem to have remnants of ingredients and greasy thumbprints over them).   The squash was sooooo delicious  that we'll be having it again very soon.

Did I mention that I've got a nasty cough and cold?  Which is why I've managed at last to get a new entry here on my blog - I don't feel too guilty about being snuggled up with my laptop as I've been instructed (at least twice) to take it easy today.   I did plump some cushions and vacuum the landing carpet, which was covered in little threads and scraps of fabric which had been walked out of my workroom stuck to my socks.   That's enough drudgery for one day!

         See you again soon!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Giveaway and left lovely comments.

I gave each comment a number, wrote it on folded paper and placed them in two boxes, depending on which set the commenter had chosen.   The few who didn't specify were divided equally between the two boxes.   Then the random number picker (my husband) pulled out a piece of paper from both boxes and the results were:

                      drrrrrrruuuuummmmm rollllll please -

Commenter number 16, Kim, of thewildhare, who seems to have left the choice to me, so she wins the linen and cinnamon collection.

Commenter number 4, Jee from Jeeandme, who chose the birdie and bobbles set.

Congratulations!  If you lovely ladies can email me your addresses, I'll parcel the goodies up and get them to you pronto.   (see my Profile for email address)

Christmas trees for my craft stalls

Must dash ..... but I'll be back soon!


Saturday, 6 November 2010

Christmas-Crafty Give-Away


I'm so excited!   I've managed to book myself on a workshop with Julie Arkell, woohoo!  You can see some of her work on the Loop website and on Ticking Stripes blog.   The workshop is at Hope and Elvis in Nottinghamshire, which isn't exactly on my doorstep, but it's so reasonably priced that it's worth the little trip.   It's not until next March - too soon to start counting how many more sleeps.  So, to keep me from swooning with impatience, I decided to try and make myself one of the kind of brooches that I saw on some of the workshop photographs.  I gather it's inspired by some 1940's brooches that are in the Imperial War Museum.    There's a real make-do-and-mend/clothing-coupons feel  to them.     And to stay in keeping with that, I just used thrifted bits and bobs in my own version, which I think is quite pretty.

So, ta-da ..........  the giveaway.   I decided that although the linen set is rather lovely (and aromatherapeutic!) I ought to do a more colourful collection too.  (Especially as I'm joining in on Silverpebble's Splash of Colour to brighten up the winter - just click the pic in my sidebar to see all the cheery photos.)

The linen lot is made up of a sack of cinnamon bark chips with a wooden heart and cinnamon stick tied at the top; a luggage label dangly calendar with a stamped wren decoration; and a padded heart with hand-embroidered snowflakes, hanging on a hessian string.

The birdie & bobbles collection is a long garland (about 52") of hand-felted merino wool bobbles; a padded birdie on a string with its own felt bobble; and a matching luggage label dangly calendar.

If you would like to enter the give-away, please just leave me a comment telling me which you would prefer - Linen & Cinnamon or Birdie & Bobbles.    I'll do a random number draw on Friday 12th November and announce the winner that day.  

Big thank you to everyone who kindly pops in to read my blog - I do hope you'll feel free to enter the giveaway, even if you don't normally leave a comment.   I love Lurkers!!!Don't be shy - the more the merrier!  

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Chrissie x