Monthly Draw

I just wanted to give you a real quick update about the monthly draw on my website. The winner of this month's draw was Jackie Bonner of Cambridge. She gets to choose one of the new miniature stitchery kits I uploaded to my website this week. CONGRATULATIONS !!

Well, I finally managed to get round to listing a few of my new brooches/corsages on ebay. Fingers crossed they will sell - they are also available to buy on my website if anyone is interested (£4.50 on both ebay and my website). I also managed to get some more items listed in my Not on the High Street shop.

Its been a lovely day here in Essex today. This morning we took the little ones out on their bikes down to the farm opposite where we live - it was great (apart from Sam getting completely out of control and falling of the bike - never mind !) This afternoon I managed to get the other half of the grass cut (I ran out of petrol on Monday!) Actually, it's quite good doing it in two halves, doesn't take as long (obviously) and is not such a daunting task - having to cut half an acre in one go takes up the whole afternoon which is not good when you've got a million and one other things you need/want to do :-)

I've just realised that I haven't got any pictures to show you today - I'm so sorry - it makes the post very boring. However, I will be felting lots of lovely hair accessories this evening so will have some pictures for you in the next post - I promise !

Have a lovely weekend x

At Last ...

.. the postman delivered the fantastic miniature stitchery kits and wool this morning. HOORAY - at last I can add them to my website, get on with needle felting the hair accessories I have been waiting to make for goodness knows how long, and do the monthly draw for one lucky mailing list subscriber to win one of the kits !!!

I've been frantically working on the website all evening trying to get everything loaded on, along with some new felted accessories I've been putting together over the last few evenings, and now the Mr Site server has decided to go slow and not upload anything. GRRRRRR

So, here is a pic of one of the lovely little kits I'll be adding to the site - they are going on at £6.50 which I think is great value as you get everything you need to complete the kit (apart from a needle).

I've also got some children's bug and bear kits - retailing at £6.00 each. These are suitable from age 3+, all you need is some PVA glue.

I just wanted to quickly show you as well my latest little creation - felt brooches / corsages. These will be for sale on my website at £4.00 each (great value me thinks !!) I also take commissions, so if you'd like one making up in any particular colours, do please email me at : mail@pictureitinstitches dot co dot uk (replacing the word dot with .) - sorry, I have to do it this way to reduce the amount of spam I've started getting.

Just a quick reminder - the draw to win one of the stitchery kits will take place this Saturday. You just need to subscribe to my website mailing list, which can be found on the "Welcome" page of my website, to be entered.

Until Saturday ..... xx

Just another day

Well, I'm still waiting for the postman to bring both the lovely stitchery and peggarty kits from Primitive Beginnings and also an order of merino wool I purchased through a website over 2 weeks ago !!

I'm really hoping that the Primitive Beginnings order arrives tomorrow because I'm keen to get them listed for sale on
my website and also because the winner of the monthly draw (which will take place on Saturday) will be able to choose one of the lovely kits. Don't forget - to be entered into the monthly draw you need to sign up to my website mailing list (on the front page of my website).

The website I purchased the merino wool from is being SO slow in delivering. I've emailed and left voicemails for them to try and find out where the order is (it's holding me up!), but they haven't responded. My final email to them on Friday told them that if I hadn't either received the goods or a reponse to my messages by Tuesday, then I would request a refund from Paypal. It's just not on !! I wouldn't mind if the goods were out of stock or something, but when I ordered it said all items were in stock and delivery would be within 2-3 days. Grrrrrrr

I visited the Hylands House Gift Shop on Saturday with some of my textile pictures to see if they would be interested in either buying from me or selling them on a commisson basis. Unfortunately they weren't interested. I then read a very interesting article that a friend told me about on the Whip Up blog about how best to go about approaching possible buyers of your items and read, to my horror, that the worst thing you could possibly do was to just turn up unannounced and expect them to look at your products. How could I have got it so wrong ??!! I should really have thought about it much more before bowling up like that - how unprofessional must I have looked? :-( So, the upshot of this is that I shall be producing a mini catalogue of all of my items and sending it out with a nice introductory letter to all of the outlets I feel might be interested in stocking my products and asking whether it might be possible to arrange an appointment to show them some samples. I'm so THICK sometimes - and to think I used to be in Marketing !!!!! Durrrrr

This leads me nicely on to showing you all of the textile pictures I have produced to date - if you haven't yet had a chance to check out my website, all of these pictures are available for sale through my site - just click on the link below to view them. All of the pictures are priced at £20 each, except the "Name in a Frame" pictures, which are £30 each, as these are made to order.

I'm on countdown now to our holiday which is in just under 3 weeks time. We're off to the US and I can't wait !! I've started buying stuff from US ebay and US etsy sellers so that I can have the items delivered to my parents house and so save on postage !! This is a great big bag of gosgrain ribbon I purchased from the US ebay site. It only cost me $5.00, so about £3.00 - I shall be using it to make up "Grab Bags" of ribbons, buttons and fabric etc to sell at the craft fairs.

I'm off now to see what else I can buy !!


Look what I got today

... these lovely goodies !!

How excited was I when the Postman knocked on the door and delivered me a parcel?

It was from Paper and String - and in it were all these lovely miniature dresses, bags and flip flops. This is a wholesale order I placed and will be used to make up various pieces for the craft fairs I'm attending. As soon as I have pictures of what they have been turned into, I'll show you, but until then it's a bit hush hush !!

S - if you're reading this (which I know you are !) I just want to say a massive thank you. It was an absolute delight to open the parcel and see how beautifully everything was packaged up and how amazing all the little bits and pieces are - you are so clever :-)

I was hoping also for a parcel from Primitive Beginnings, which sadly didn't arrive today, but should definitely be here within the next few days. This is again another wholesale order and I found Primitive Beginnings at the recent trade show I attended at the NEC in Birmingham. All of these kits will be available for sale through my website within the next few days and the winner of the monthly draw (which will take place on 31st March) will be able to choose one of these fab kits. So, it's definitely worth subscribing to my website mailing list if you would like to win one of these.

Today, we can't do very much as Gracie is still suffering with the dreaded pox and I daren't take her anywhere there is likely to be other children for fear of her passing it on. So, we have a beautiful park (not sure if it's National Trust actually) in Chelmsford, called Hylands Park. It's where the "V" Festival is held every year and Hylands House, the beautiful old house has at last been fully restored to its former glory (it's only taken them about 15 years !!) I remember going there when I was small and seeing the house in its derelict state with the roof having fallen in and pigeons nesting in it. All of the windows had been boarded up and it was just so sad. Fortunately, the council then bought the house from, I'm presuming, its former owners, and have spent an absolute fortune restoring it. It's now used for craft fairs, as a wedding venue, music festivals etc. Anyway - I'll get back to my original point and say that they have just finished restoring the old stables which have been turned into a craft centre and tea and gift shop. So, I shall drag the children over there, along with some of my textile pictures, and see if they might be interested in displaying them for sale. The children can then run about in the grounds (which I believe is around 600 acres), without fear of bumping directly into any other children (I hope!)

I spent virtually all of yesterday evening cutting out these felt flowers which will be stuffed and then hopefully turned into a baby mobile. It's the first time I've tried something like this, so IF it turns out ok, I'll post a picture. If not, I'll never mention it again !!

Right - I'd better go and so some ironing.

Oh, while I think of it, if anyone knows where I put the great big bag of hair clips I bought the other day, can you let me know ???

Byeeeeeee xx

Back to normal


Sorry I've not been around much lately - my in-laws came up from Cornwall on Saturday and only went back home today. It was lovely to see them though - we haven't seen them since Grace's Christening last August. They couldn't believe how much she had grown.

Talking of Grace - the poor little thing has managed to get Chicken Pox. I shouldn't be surprised really, it has been doing the rounds at nursery for the last month or so but hadn't actually reached the baby room .. until now :-( Fortunately, Sam had chicken pox when he was only 9 months old so fingers crossed he won't get it again. If anyone has any tips on how to get foul tasting medicine into an 18 month old I would really appreciate them - putting it into her milk and/or her food isn't working, neither is trying to syringe it down her throat. I NEED HELP !!!!

Of course, having my in-laws up for the weekend has meant no blogging (as I'm sure you're aware), no reading other blogs (I've spent the last hour or so catching up with what everyone else has been doing in blogland!) and no crafting !! I've been getting withdrawal symptoms - but at least my poor little fingers have had a rest from the dreaded needle felting needle .. not a plaster in sight :-)

Now, with all this talk of needle felting, I must tell you that the courier delivered half of my consignment of needle felting supplies on Friday - this included a whole range of beautiful coloured wools, felt purses ready to be felted straight on to, needle felting needles and sponge pads. The other half, which consists of ready-made needle felting kits and polystyrene hearts and balls to decorate, will hopefully be coming this week. As soon as it is here, all of these items will be for sale on my website, so if you fancy giving needle felting a go (I warn you, it is addictive), do please check out my site - and if you leave me a comment on any of my posts, and then order from my site, you'll get a 10% discount - do please make sure you let me have your email address though so that I can tie up the comment and the order. Here's a sneak preview of some of the goodies that will be going onto my website

It's great to know that people are reading my posts - considering I've only been blogging for a few weeks, I seem to have a fair few followers, and I would love to know what you think of my blog and if you've looked at it yet, my website. I am planning lots of new things for my website (including a monthly freebie) and hope that you will be interested in signing up to receive my newsletter - by doing so you will automatically be entered into the monthly draw every month ... so what have you got to lose?? Just click on this link and then at the bottom left of the "Welcome" page you can sign up. I look forward to hearing from you :-)

I'll catch up with you again later this week once the rest of my supplies arrive and I can point you straight to the relevant page on my website.

Bye for now xx

As Bob the Builder says ....


After hearing Bob the Builder say this numerous times over the last couple of weeks, it suddenly dawned on me that rather than spending all of my money on buttons and fabric at the haberdashery shop (apart from felt of course !!) that I should be recycling our no longer worn clothes.

After trying on numerous occasions to sell the children's clothes that they had grown out of on Ebay without any luck (apart from the designer stuff), I've got lots of plastic storage boxes of their old clothes up in the loft just sitting there, so what better way to recycle them than to take them all apart and re-use them for my craft projects. These are just a couple of bits I pulled out from the cupboard this morning - the rest will be making their way down from the loft later

All of those lovely tiny buttons and gorgeous fabrics - it will break my heart to take them all apart because for every one I look at it will jog a happy memory of when the children were wearing them, but, there is absolutely no point having all those clothes just sitting there doing nothing, when they could be put to good use elsewhere.

I have to say though, I have given quite a few of their old clothes and toys to charity recently, so don't feel so bad about keep some back for myself.

Just wanted to post a quick pic as well of the lovely knobs I got at the Country Living Fair - they will be going onto Grace's wardrobe this weekend.

A couple of photos also of the 2 Mother's Day cards I made last night. At least I got one thing crossed off my craft "to do" list.

My in-laws are coming up from Cornwall tomorrow for a few days, so I won't be able to blog much (or do much sewing and needle felting) sadly, but check back again next week once they've gone and I've got myself reorganised again !!

I'll leave you with this lovely picture of the daffodils around the 300 year old Mulberry tree in our garden. Hopefully they'll make you smile and feel happy just as I did when I saw them :-)

Have a good weekend and to any Mums that are reading this post - have a lovely day on Sunday x

A Day at the Country Living Fair

What a lovely day I've had !

After having to stand on the train all the way in to London this morning (honestly, cattle are treated better than train passengers !), my lovely Mum and I hot-footed it over to VV Rouleaux in Marylebone. What a LOVELY shop - tons of gorgeous trimmings and ribbons, but I was a bit disappointed that they didn't sell buttons though. I had set myself a £20 budget to spend in this shop because I wanted to save the rest of my money for the Country Living Fair, and I thought I did pretty well - £21.70 later and this is what I bought

Not an awful lot to show for £21 I know BUT the trimming is beautiful and the little flowers - there are actually 30 there and I plan to use these in some new pictures I'm designing. The trimming - well, you'll just have to wait and see what I do with that !! I've got an idea in mind, and just need to buy a couple of other bits to go with it. Watch this space :-)

After spending the best part of half an hour in VV Rouleaux, Mum and I jumped on a bus to the Design Centre in Islington and got to the Country Living Fair just before lunchtime.

My heart started beating ten to the dozen as soon as I stepped into the Fair and I was like a child in a sweet shop - all those lovely stands with gorgeous goodies on them shouting out "Buy Me, Buy Me" !! So, off we went and buy we did !!!

First up - these beautiful little personalised angels for all of my NCT friends' daughters. We're having an Easter Egg Hunt at our house over the Easter weekend (of course!) and rather than stuff them full of chocolate (actually, I'm not that mean, they will get some choccies), I thought it might be nice to give them one of these each to take home in their goodie bags. Sadly they didn't have anything suitable for the boys, so any suggestions you might have would be greatly received.

Next (we did actually look at other stalls in between buying all these bits and pieces), this gorgeous mohair wool which I shall use for felting - sadly the light was fading when I took this photo, so it doesn't show the colour of the wool particularly well, but they are the most gorgeous grey blue and grey green

Then, after stopping to chat to numerous stall holders, including Samantha from Plump Pudding, who has been working like a trojan the last few months preparing for the Fair, and I have to say her stand was gorgeous and she's such a lovely lady. I really hope she does well at the Fair, she certainly deserves it. I then came across a stand selling some lovely ribbon, which I just couldn't resist especially as I will be making a couple of Mother's Day cards this week and can use the ribbon on them (sorry about the not particularly bright photo) - there is some lovely pale pink polka dot gosgrain ribbon (on the reel), a lovely brown and cream polka dot ribbon, a cream and grey heart stamped ribbon and a lovely gosgrain ribbon with some little hearts and the words "Special Mum" printed on it

Of course, there were so many stands at the Fair that I couldn't possibly have bought something from every single one (even though I wanted to!) and there are far too many to mention in this post - but I will list a few of my favourites in my next couple of posts, just so that you can see what you were missing if you didn't make it to the Fair.

I also bought a giant lump of handmade vanilla and belgium chocolate fudge ... mmmmmmm LOVELY

Sorry - it's half eaten !!

A lovely Bill Brown bag for my Mum for Mother's Day, some tasty organic sausages, a hot chilli sauce for my hubby, some beautiful hand painted wardrobe knobs for Grace's bedroom (pic to follow next time because they're in my Mum's bag !), a nice new pale blue leather purse for me and these lovely lavender filled hearts for my Mother-in Law (hope she's not reading this otherwise I've spoiled the surprise for Mother's Day !). Unfortunately I couldn't find anything for Sam ... well, that's not true actually, I did see the most amazing recycled rubber tyre horse swing to hang from the tree in our garden, but I needed to check it out with Paul first, so will hopefully be buying it online

My final purchase was something to keep all of my material and bits and bobs in, and I have to say I am extremely pleased with these, not just because they are lovely, but because I can also use them to hold lots of my goodies that I will be selling at the craft fairs

So, I am now absolutely knackered and broke, but was truly inspired by the most amazing craftspeople and their gorgeous items and of course, like I said before, had a really lovely day. Thank you to everyone at the CL Fair xx

3 days to go !!

Yes, it's just 3 days until I go to the Country Living Fair in London. I can't wait - I'm just so excited.

I only found out about the Country Living Fairs in the Autumn of last year and then visited their Christmas Fair. It was absolutely amazing - if I had had enough money I would have bought something from every single stall it was that good ! So, I'm hoping that the Spring Fair will be just as good - I've been saving my pennies. It's a fantastic place to visit for inspiration too - so many wonderful handmade items all under one roof. It's making me feel happy just thinking about it.

But before stepping into the CL Fair, I shall be visiting V V Rouleaux in Marylebone (and this is nearly as exciting as the CL Fair !!) For anyone who doesn't know, V V Rouleaux is probably the best haberdashery store in the whole wide world !! It is an Aladin's cave of ribbons, buttons, and every type of trimming you could possibly think of. I shall have to make sure I don't spend too much money in there otherwise I won't have any left for the Fair !

This evening I have been needle felting yet more hair accessories - just little balls this time, as I was attempting to catch up on last week's Desperate Housewives at the same time, so needed something easy to do. I still managed to stab myself numerous times though !

I haven't posted any pictures today (sorry), but am saving them all up for when I next blog (probably on my return from the CL Fair).

Catch you later !

Such Excitement !

Today I'm really excited because I had my first sale through . I was invited to become one of their selling partners a month or so ago and so have been listing with them for about 3 weeks. Today I had my first sale through them. I couldn't believe it when I checked my emails and saw an order there. I must admit I was starting to get a bit despondent as 3 weeks without an initial sale, I felt, was quite a long time. But it has finally come and I'm a happy bunny !!

I'm also really excited because the freebie that I won from paper-and-string arrived and it is fabulous. Thank you !!

I've been practising my needle felting over the last couple of evenings and managed to produce the following. The first photo shows lots of miniature pieces which I will turn into children's hair bobbles

The second photo shows 2 larger flowers that I have done - they measure about 2.5 inches across and will be turned into fridge magnets.

I am getting quicker with this needle felting business - it took me about an hour to do the 2 flower fridge magnets, which I thought was pretty good AND I didn't stab myself once ! As I'm on a bit of a roll I shall produce as many needle felted pieces as I can over the next week or so, in the hope that it will be enough for the first craft fair I'm attending at the end of May (see previous post for details).

The Japanese craft book that I ordered also arrived yesterday and has some beautiful projects in it - thank goodness it has diagrams, because I haven't got a clue what any of the text says !

Sorry about the flying visit today - it's a gorgeous day here in Essex so I'm off out with the children.

Have a good weekend if I don't see you before x

It's official

I'm addicted to felt !! And yes paper-and-string, it's all your fault !!

Below are 2 photos of my latest creations using felt. The first will be framed and used as my logo/sign at the craft fairs I will be attending later this year (more about those in a mo!) I used buttons for the centres of the flowers and also as the dots on the letter "i"s

The second is a new design that I will be adding to my website and also using as an example, again, at the craft fairs so that people can commission their own "initialled" picture. I will frame this (when I get a spare 5 mins!)

So, more about these craft fairs. I was lucky enough to be asked if I would like a stand at the "Jimmy's Farm" craft fairs later this year. For those of you who don't know who Jimmy is, he is Jamie Oliver's mate and is a Pig Farmer. BBC2 have been running a series of programmes over the last couple of years about him and his quest to reintroduce a rare breed of Essex pig. The fairs will be held at the farm which is on the Essex / Suffolk Border on the 28th May (Bank Holiday Monday) and 27th August (Bank Holiday Monday). If you live nearby, fancy a great day out (they also have a Farmers market there) and would like to see my work up close, do pop along - I'd love to see you. If you're really lucky you might get to see my twig tree in all its glory (probably with Sam standing there holding it up, if I don't manage to get it to set in the pot properly !)

Yesterday, my little stash of needle felting supplies arrived, so I spent the evening stabbing myself with an extremely sharp needle (note to myself - buy a thimble). Here's a picture of my very first needle felt attempt (don't look to closely in case you see any blood - oh, and please don't laugh either !!)

Not bad I thought, considering it was a first attempt and was done completely freehand. Could do with being a little less bulky, but overall I'm pretty pleased :-)

No sign yet of my Japanese needle felting book, but it is coming from Japan so maybe I should give it a bit more time and stop mugging the postman for a week or so! As soon as it does get here I will post some more pics of the beautiful projects in there and, if I'm brave enough, show you some photos of the projects I have attempted from the book. I am hoping that my wholesale supplies of needle felting goods will be arrive within the next week or so. I shall be putting together some needle felting kits to sell at the craft fairs and also on my website and these will contain everything you need to give needle felting a go ie. needles, foam blocks, beautiful merino wools and bags and purses for you to decorate (I might even pop in a couple of plasters !) If you would like to receive details of when the needle felting supplies are added to my website, please join my mailing list on the front page of my website.

Well, I think that's it for today.

Look forward to seeing you soon x

General Rambling

It's almost the end of the weekend.

Saturday was yet another gorgeous day weather-wise and I spent the morning in the hairdressers - Glenn did a fab job. I then managed to spend £50 in the haberdashery shop on felt !! £50!!!!! Sshhh - don't tell hubby. Mind you, the colours were just so gorgeous I couldn't resist them - but I have to blame a fellow blogger for getting me hooked on felt.

Sunday was a wash-out. Hubby very kindly occupied the children virtually all day while I did the roast beef and yorkshire pudding, followed by a rather lovely rice pudding ! And I then spent the afternoon cutting out templates and pinning them to my lovely new stash of felt. However, all this constant spending apart from having a terrible effect on my bank balance, is rapidly turning our guest bedroom into a haberdashery store. Oh how I dream of having a studio of my very own where I can have everything neatly stored - I found a picture of a wonderful studio that another blogger had posted and am now yearning for something just like this

How wonderful it would be to have a room dedicated solely to my crafting :-)

I have been making sure that this particular photo is always on the screen when hubby is close to the computer, in the hope that he might notice and comment on how lovely it is.

Sorry about this slightly boring post. Hopefully I might have something more interesting to tell you and some new photos of my latest creations, over the next few days.


Twig Trees, Felt & Friday Freebies !!!

Hooray - it's Friday and yet another lovely day here in Essex !

I had to take Grace for her Measles jab this morning - didn't go down too well, but a chocolate button soon sorted the tears out ! Then I spent an hour fighting my way round Sainsburys. What is it with Friday mornings in that place??!!

As it was such a lovely afternoon we headed out to the local open/children's farm. Good job we took the wellies - the place was an absolute mud bath. Still, we got to see some lambs being born - the children were amazed (as was I) and then we were able to feed some of the other lambs that were born a couple of weeks ago and whose mothers had rejected them. That was so good - but you had to hang on to the bottle for dear life - they've got some suck on them those little lambs !!

But before we went to the farm, I managed to get a piccie of my twig tree - still in its original form (but minus the branch we lopped it from!). If I don't manage to get it set in the plaster of paris, I can always get Sam to come to the craft fairs with me and stand there all day holding it !

I have to admit to having a little spending spree today (and last night !) I bought a few bits and pieces to get started on my needle felting and then came across the most amazing book whilst reading another blog. Just look at these gorgeous items, all of which have patterns in this book. I scoured the web trying to find this book and finally found a copy at The only trouble is the book is in Japanese, so if anyone can translate for me I would be most grateful :-)

Lastly for today I must tell you about the most brilliant Friday Freebie that I won today from the Paper-and-String blog. This lovely lady does giveaways once a month (I believe) and all you need to do is comment on her post for that particular day, leave your email address and you'll automatically be entered into the freebie draw. How cool is that ?? Today, I was lucky enough to win one of her new range of "Make your Own Flower Brooch" kits, which I am so excited about because she is also supplying me with a number of these for my upcoming craft fairs and I can now see one "in the flesh" whereas I've only seen the pics up until now. If you want to buy one of these fabulous kits, you can do so through her ebay shop. Just click on the link above to her blog and then click on her "ebay shop" link.

I probably shouldn't be telling you about these freebies, because now you'll all be commenting on her posts and there's less chance of me winning something ! But, as her stuff is just so gorgeous, I had to let you into the secret !

Day 2

Today is a beautiful day here in Essex, the sun is shining and the daffodils are starting to open. I'm feeling happy !!

I spent the morning at Tumble Tots with Sam & Grace, then had lunch with my parents, then spent an hour or so at the park and feeding the ducks !! My Dad then came over with his giant loppers and cut the mini branch off the tree so I now have my twig tree I was telling you about yesterday. I will post a pic when I get a spare 5 mins. Of course, the dilemma now is whether to leave the bark in its natural state or spray it white. Once I've decided (I'm swaying towards spraying it white at the moment), I shall set it in plaster of paris in a terracotta pot, and it will then be ready for my craft fair display.

Yesterday I said I needed inspiration in order that I could expand my range
on my website, so after much searching I came up with a great idea which doesn't seem to have hit the UK yet, but seems to be very popular in the US. It's fabric postcards - what a wonderful idea, but how could you bear to part with them once they're finished ? Maybe they could just be framed instead ? I've posted a couple of pics of some beautiful fabric postcards (the 3rd pic is actually a mini quilt). I think I shall definitely be trying this out and hopefully selling a few through my website.

Talking of my website, I am currently running a sale with 20% off all pictures between now and Mother's Day (which is the 18th March here in the UK). Also, if you join my mailing list, I will be having a monthly draw and giving away a freebie to the first name pulled out of the hat - surely that's got to be worth you signing up ?!


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