Just don't call me lazy !

Hello !

What a busy few days I've had. After the Craft Fair I had a few website orders to catch up on. A friend then contacted me and commissioned me to do one of my "Name in a Frame" pictures for her neice's christening

I have an advert in Crafts Beautiful magazine which will be published tomorrow, so have been adding some new needle-felting kits to my website, along with some additional felting supplies.

One of the little tea-shops I sell my work through asked me to provide them with 12 yoyo ponytail holders and I received an order today for a fantastic shop called All the Fun of the Fair. They asked me to provide them with 6 of my loopy felt corsages and 6 sets of strawberry hair clips !

I have also been researching some new ideas for my textile pictures as I'm still full of enthusiasm following my course down in Dorset last week and I am in the process of contacting a number of "upmarket" gift shops down in Cornwall in the hope that I can get a few appointments with them whilst we're down there on holiday next month.

And all that on top of the ironing, cleaning, gardening, being a mum etc etc.

While I think of it, my good friend Sarah at paper-and-string has finally published her website. Why not go take a look - it has some absolutely beautiful things on there and I'll bet you won't be able to resist buying a little something !!

By the way - I'm behind on the freebie monthly draw for my website, so if you want the chance to win a freebie, sign up to my website mailing list and you'll automatically be entered. I'll be doing the draw sometime over the weekend.

Right - had better go and do some ironing before the pile falls over and kills someone !!


Jimmy's Farm Craft Fair

So, I've made it back from the Craft Fair which was unfortunately PANTS !! I counted the amount of people that walked past my stand today and it amounted to 63 !!

Now, I know the weather had a lot to do with it but it also transpires, after talking to a few of the other stall holders, that Jimmy's Farm didn't actually advertise the fair on their own website until Thursday just gone. Also, there wasn't a single sign on the main road advertising the craft fair - only the usual Jimmy's Farm sign. One lady refused to pay for her pitch because she didn't take a single penny and said that she didn't see why she should pay when Jimmy's Farm didn't actually advertise the fair. 4 or 5 of us other stallholders also spoke with the lady that organised it and said that we thought the advertising was really bad and that we weren't at all impressed. She agreed with us and said she would pass on our comments - whether it will do any good or not remains to be seen.

I was in the Barn and it was absolutely freezing and very damp - all of my fliers went all limp and the print started to bleed into the paper and all of the card I had mounted my brooches and hair bobbles on went all limp too ! Pretty soon I was starting to feel very limp myself!

But, I did sell a few bits and pieces - none of my pictures though - and after taking out the cost of the stand, made ...... wait for it ...... £3.50 ! So at least I did actually sell some stuff and am pretty sure that if Jimmy's Farm had done what we were paying them to do, and advertise the craft fair and if the weather hadn't been so awful, I would have made a whole lot more.

So, a bit of a bad day, but I know it wasn't anything to do with my stock ... just the advertising and the weather !
Here are some pics of my stall - I have to say I was REALLY pleased with how it looked and I got lots of lovely comments from the other stallholders about my stuff too !

And I just want to say a HUGE thank you to my lovely Mum who sat by my side for the whole day giving me lots of moral support and freezing her little backside off !! Thanks Mum xxx

I am now looking forward to having a bit of a rest before completing a few commissions I have for my "Name in a Frame" pictures, waiting for the deluge of business I shall receive following the publication of my advert in Crafts Beautiful magazine next week (fingers crossed) and starting to think about contacting a few little shops and galleries down in Cornwall. And of course, getting to grips with the freehand machine embroidery technique I learned down in Dorset last week !! So not much to do then ........



Well, I had the most fantastic time on the "Creative Applique" course down in Dorset. The little B&B I stayed at was absolutely lovely, as was the owner, Dave.

And the course itself couldn't have been run from more beautiful surroundings.

Willimien runs the courses from her studio which is attached to her gorgeous Arts & Crafts house. How I would love to have a studio like hers !! The first section is the office. You then walk through a little door into the utility part of the studio which houses the loo, butlers sinks and irons and ironing boards and then through another little door into the actual studio itself. The studio is painted completely white with lovely wooden floors. There is a giant work table in the centre of the room, lots of shelves full of fabrics, books and magazines and a couple of tables where the sewing machines live. The walls are covered with Willimien's work and the windows overlook the beautiful West Dorset countryside. Heaven !!!!

Anyway - the course itself was fantastic. Willimien is such a lovely lady, as is her daughter who also happened to be on the course, and one other lady, Ruth, who is a friend of Willimien's.

The morning started with Willimien showing us examples of her past work and explaining various techniques. We all then had to write our names onto a piece of fabric (in joined up writing !!) and then embroider over the letters ... freehand !! This was my first taste of freehand embroidery and although I felt extremely nervous, I managed it !! YAY !!

We all then had to sit down and draw a sketch of what it was that we wanted to produce. Willimien's daughter did her garden with the shed, pot plants and the cat walking along the wall, Ruth did the view from one of her windows and I did a hot air balloon floating over the tops of trees. Willimien then showed us the technique we needed to use to transfer the sketch onto a background fabric and we all then got to work dying our background fabrics and choosing complimentary fabrics to use for the applique.

After a delicious lunch which was all made by Willimien using all of her own homegrown spinach, salad, potatoes and rhubarb etc and organic eggs from the farmer at the bottom of the field, we then got back to work and the freehand embroidery began again. By 4pm and the end of the course we each had a piece of work that was virtually finished (in fact Ruth had actually finished hers), to take home and complete at home. I have to say mine wasn't the best out of the three, but hey, practice makes perfect and now I know the various techniques, I just need to practice my freehand embroidery. I came away with so much enthusiasm and inspiration that I just can't wait to finish my hot air balloon and then start on a new project. I have lots of ideas in mind and need to keep jotting them all down for future reference. Once my hot air balloon is finished I shall post a picture here (but it is nowhere near as good as Willimien's pieces !)

Since then I have been catching up with a couple of orders I received through my website, giving my blog a new look - what do you think? and finishing getting ready for the Jimmy's Farm craft fair on Monday. I think I'm just about there with the stock, it's just the packaging I need to finish now. Oh, and I just realised I forgot to go to the Bank and get a load of change .... doh !!!! Oh well, the children's moneyboxes will have to be raided !!
I'll see you again after the Craft Fair !!

Goodies !

My poor postman has been very busy delivering lots of lovely goodies to me recently.

These miniature tote bags made by Sara Eden are absolutely gorgeous. They're made from Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley fabrics and are beautifully made. Thank you Sara !

Fabric gift tags ... I bought these from ebay and was amazed at how such a simple idea can look so effective. Again, Cath Kidston fabrics were used.

Heart shaped price tags - another ebay purchase

DIY Brooch Kits by my good friend Sarah at paper-and-string. These will form part of my stock at Monday's craft fair and will also be available to purchase through my website for £4.99. I haven't added them to my site yet, but if you're interested in purchasing one, do please email me.

Sarah also very kindly sent me a little helper - George !! He hasn't been very helpful to date - too busy sunbathing over the weekend me thinks - but will be coming along to the craft fair with me as my lucky mascot ! Let's hope he brings me lots of sales :0) Thank you Sarah x

The craft fair has taken over my life these last couple of weeks. I've been creating and framing new pictures, making felt brooches and hair accessories, designing fliers, printing off packaging, devising price lists, doing practice runs of setting the stall up and this evening have been doing my little grab boxes which all contain a patterned piece of fabric, a piece of colour co-ordinated felt, a selection of colour co-ordinated buttons and ribbons, a needle and some thread. Fingers crossed they will sell well. If you would like details of the craft fair, please click
here, and if you do decide to come along, please do introduce yourself - it would be lovely to meet any of my blog readers !

On Wednesday I am off down to Dorset for a "Creative Applique" course with the very talented Willimien Stevens. I am hoping that the course will give me lots of much needed inspiration to create new pictures for my range. These are a few of Willimien's wonderful hand-stitched creations.

Maybe one day I will be able to create pieces as beautiful as these.

And now I am absolutely shattered and off to bed - sweet dreams! zzzzzzzzzzz

Sarah xxx

Yo Yos !!!

Today my Dad very kindly gave me the afternoon off work so that I could get some more sewing done for the craft fair - and this is what I made !! YO YO's. I really loved making these and have bought some buttons that you cover yourself so that I can have lovely colour co-ordinated centres on them. I've sewn brooch pins to the back, but I think the larger one will look good on a bag or maybe a belt.

Whilst I was sewing, the printer was churning away and printing my fliers for the craft fair. I need to do the packaging now !

I also got my little sewing machine back. Sadly the repair cost more than I paid for the actual machine but hopefully it will serve me well for the next year or so and once I've mastered it and am producing amazing stuff (yeah, right !) I will be able to upgrade to a different model.

Remember I mentioned rag rugs last time? Well, this is the pile of Grace's clothes that she has outgrown - I'm going to recycle them and turn them into a keepsake rag rug for her room. I can't bear to get rid of her lovely little clothes and was going to use them in my textile pictures, but then after reading ragged roses blog about how she made a rag rug from her daughter's old clothes, I decided that would be the perfect solution ! Goodness knows when I'll get round to doing it, but it will get done ... eventually.

The rain doesn't appear to be stopping, but the garden is blooming and so is this mock orange in our garden. It has the most beautiful fragrance and is perfectly sited just outside our dining room french doors - sadly, the rain is stopping us from opening the doors and having the lovely smell wafting inside, but I do keep popping outside every so often and having a sniff !

One last thing - I'm rapidly running of time for the craft fair and all of my time is spent producing stock. I need to produce some sort of banner that says Blooming Felt (I have a textile picture that says Picture it in Stitches), but nothing advertising the Blooming Felt part of me. So, I would REALLY appreciate any suggestions as to what I could do that is quick, easy and cheap and won't take too much time away from producing my much needed stock. ALL suggestions welcome .... pleeeeeeeeeeeeese !!!

Right - am off to sew more yoyos and watch The Apprentice !


What a bargain !

Yesterday I was in town for a hair appointment and decided to pay Laura Ashley a visit as I hadn't been in there for ages. I was looking at their remnant table and found the most fantastic bargain - 2 metres of their seaside stripe fabric for 50p !!! YES, 50p !! I couldn't believe it - it turns out the fabric was ex-display rather than end of roll and so it was classed as "used" fabric as it had a few small holes in it where it had been stapled to the display. But I don't care - I can quite easily lose the holey bits of fabric at that price !! I'm planning on using it for the fabric gift bags I'm going to make.

I also decided to visit a few of the charity shops on the look-out for wool jumpers. I managed to find 2 - one which was 100% alpaca wool, the most gorgeous rasperry red in colour and had been made in Nepal and the other was 100% cream mohair. I shall be sticking both of these finds in the washing machine on a hot wash and turning them into felt, which will then be made into some loopy brooches. What a good Saturday I had !!

Today the weather is absolute pants, so we're stuck indoors. Paul and Sam are playing the Spiderman game on the PS2 and Grace is slamming doors !! Goodness knows what else is going on down there - I shall have to investigate once I've finished this post.

Of course, the rain is great for the garden (but not for me because it means the grass is throwing itself out of the ground and I'm having to cut it once a week at the moment). Below are a few pics of the lovely flowers that are appearing in our garden. As I think I've said before, we haven't been in this house for a full year yet, so it's lovely to see what flowers are coming up.

I've also found some really great crafty blogs which I shall be adding to my favourites list shortly, and have been inspired after finding some rag-rugs and raggy brooches - both of which I am hoping to try out once the craft fair is out of the way.

The only problem with finding all of these lovely new crafts is the fact that I am rapidly running out of time to get things ready for the craft fair - if I had enough time I would try and recreate some of the lovely ideas I've seen, add my own little twist to them, and see if they are popular at the fair. But for the time being I have enough on my plate and will see what sells and what doesn't before I go producing new bits and bobs !!

Thank you to Tracy of Cupcakes at Home who left a comment on my last post about covered buttons - we obviously both love fabric buttons and I have decided to make some up and use them on some yoyo brooches that I'm going to make - so thank you Tracy !

Until next time xxx

Happy Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone ! (I couldn't think of a better title than that - sorry !!)

So today started with a whole morning at Tumble Tots - Grace first, who I am sure only likes to go because she gets a sticker at the end of the session, and then Sam who just loves Tumble Tots full stop !! Goodness knows what will happen when he goes off to school in September and can't do Tumble Tots anymore.

Then I went to Mum's who has very kindly offered to lend me her ancient Singer sewing machine (it's probably not that ancient - but it does look rather old!) and had a lesson in how to thread it all and wind the bobbin. I'm a bit scared of using it actually because if I manage to completely jam it up (which is quite likely), she'll give me one her looks, and that is worse than her shouting ... believe me !! I found a nice little man in Chelmsford who is looking at my own machine as we speak, and I'm really hoping that he will tell me it's only something minor that needs repairing, so that I can then jam my own machine up to my hearts content :0)

At last my new felting needles arrived so I can get on with Cooper's Nanny's keyring that she won the other day and also get some more stock together for the rapidly approaching craft fair. In the meantime I have been making my felt corsages

I'm also in the final stages of finalising the joint advert I have with paper-and-string and which is going into Crafts Beautiful magazine next month. Fingers crossed it will bring us both some nice new customers. Talking of which, the guy from Mr & Mrs House really liked my samples and I'm waiting for him to get back to me with a decision - fingers crossed ! I am also hoping to run him up some lovely purses / make-up bags in some fab retro materials I have seen recently

Unfortunately I still didn't get my shipment of needle-felting kits yet, but here are some pics of what you can expect and also the sort of things you can create, once they do arrive. If you would like to be informed of when they are available in my webshop - do please either email or leave a comment on this post.

It's Paul's birthday tomorrow and we shall be celebrating by having a meal out tomorrow evening at a lovely pub near to us. Sam has also talked me into making a birthday cake for Paul so Paul ... if you're reading this, I apologise now for how the cake tastes and also looks.

As I'm sure you've gathered, I am not the best cook in the world :0)

I think that's just about it for today except that I just wanted to say, and I'm sure everyone will agree with me, that I hope and pray for the safe return of little Madeline McCann. My thoughts are with her and her family at this absolutely terrible time.


And the winner is ...

Cooper's Nanny !! Although she didn't leave a comment on my blog (I don't think she could work out how to do it !!), she did leave one on my website, so I included her in the draw anyway !! So, CONGRATULATIONS !! Can you email me your address and I'll get a keyring out to you asap.

ASAP means "when my new felting needles arrive" !! Last night I managed to snap my fine felting needle in 2 :0( and didn't have a spare ... so my needle felting has had to go on hold for a few days. But I will get the keyring out to you asap Cooper's Nanny !

Actually, after having such a good week last week, it rapidly went downhill. First, I picked up my new sewing machine - I was SO excited !! The lady showed me how it all worked, but we couldn't work out how to wind the thread onto the bobbin, so I thought, not too bad, I'm sure the instruction manual will tell me. WRONG !! Mum looked at the machine as well because she also has a Singer machine, and it would appear that the the bobbin winder bit is broken :0( So now I have to drag the machine into town, leave it at the shop for goodness knows how long and lose all my enthusiasm. But it's a cute little machine anyway (and it's pink .. my fav colour !!)

Then last night I broke my felting needle and then at lunchtime today, I noticed that the wall under the window where the french doors are was soaking wet and the wallpaper was peeling off !!!! I can't believe it - we looked outside to see where the rain was coming in, but there was nothing immediately obvious. We can only think that there is a gap somewhere around the window frame and the rain came in through there. What a pain !! We were going to get the windows replaced soon - but only the front as we can't afford to get the whole lot done in one go, but maybe we'll have to get the back ones done instead now. I knew we should have bought a brand new house ... a 250 year old house is going to get problems, let's just hope it is the window and nothing more serious.
At least with my felting needle broken I managed to get the fliers / leaflets for the craft fair done. I'm really pleased with them actually and will have a stack on them on the table and also put one in every bag (presuming I do actually sell some stuff !)

I managed to get the crocheted beads onto the bottom of the baby mobile today and also bound the embroidery hoop (which the flowers will hang from) in some lovely ribbon I bought whilst on holiday. So all I need to do now is attach the actual hangy flower bits to the hoop and it'll be all done (thank goodness !) I'll post a picture soon.

Tonight I shall be making felt corsages from the recycled felted jumpers I got when I was on holiday - again, I'll post some pics soon.

I'm also thinking of doing some fabric covered buttons (I've seen some really great retro fabrics that would look great on buttons), but I don't know whether these would sell - I'd really appreciate your comments on this particular point.

That's it for now ... it's the children's bathtime, so I'm off !!

Don't forget - I need your thoughts on fabric covered buttons !!


A busy week


What a busy week I've had ! I can't believe so much can happen in such a short space of time :-)

First things first - Congratulations to Karen Oh of Malaysia (yes, Malaysia !) who is the winner of the April freebie !! She wins one of my felted flower keyrings. I hope you like it Karen :-)

Earlier this week I received an email from a lovely guy called Robert of
www.mrandmrashouse.co.uk . He is interested in stocking some of my products and has asked for some samples of my textile pictures, felted flower brooches and has also asked if I can make some purses. I am very excited about this, especially as Robert is keen for his items to be "exclusive" to Mr and Mrs House and also because I haven't ventured into making purses before, so I need to get my thinking cap on for this one !! Here's a sneek preview of the felt picture I've done for Robert - I hope he likes it.

Yesterday morning I popped into my local craft shop to get a few bits and bobs that I couldn't get whilst on holiday and was chatting to the owner as there was a leaflet on the counter about a Craft Jumble being held in June. What a fab idea !! Basically they ask people to donate any unwanted craft related items, including sewing machines, fabric, zips, buttons, threads, craft mags, pinking shears, embroidery hoops, wool, needles, knitting needles, knitting machines etc etc ... anything craft related that they don't want anymore. Then they hold the Craft Jumble and all proceeds go towards the Essex Air Ambulance - what a fantastic idea !! Anyway, I asked her about the sewing machines as I have been thinking about getting one for a while now - just a little basic one that I can use to make purses (for Robert), curtains for the children's playhouse etc. She said that a lady had been in the shop a couple of weeks ago and had bought in a brand new basic Singer machine that she had bought and couldn't get on with and so gave it to the shop to be sent to the Craft Jumble. Amazingly she said that I could have the machine for a £20 donation to the Essex Air Ambulance !! How lucky am I ??!! Of course, I haven't got the first clue how to use a sewing machine, but Vicky said she would call me once she had it up and running and give me a quick lesson. I'm really excited now and can't wait to get the machine. I'll still go to the Craft Jumble though because a. it's for a good cause and b. I'm sure there are lots of bits and pieces I can pick up.

I'm particularly interested in wooden embroidery hoops because I have a great project in mind for them. I bought this material (below) from ebay today (because I didn't spend enough money in the US !!) and plan to use this in the projects. Watch this space !!

Also, I don't know if you remember me mentioning about an advert in Crafts Beautiful magazine in my last post ? Well, my good friend at Paper-and-String has very kindly agreed to split the cost with me so that we can do a joint advert. I can't thank you enough S and am sure that the advert will be a good investment for us both :-) Our advert will be alongside the needle-felting article in the July edition. I will be advertising under the name "Blooming Felt" for this advert as I feel that all of the felt bits and bobs that I sell sit really well under this name. I won't be changing my main website name Picture it in Stitches, but if you type in

www.bloomingfelt.co.uk it automatically redirects you to Picture it in Stitches. I shall be redesigning my site (yet again) to incorporate this new name (as if I don't have enough to do !!!)

As I've had such a good week I've decided to offer another freebie to my loyal blog readers (including Cooper's nanny in Brentwood !!). So, if you would like to try and win one of my felted flower keyrings, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post between now and Sunday evening. I will then draw one name out of the hat on Monday morning and then post the name of the lucky winner during Monday.

Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you all :-)

Sarah x


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