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
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
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 !!
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 ???
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.
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
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 !
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
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
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.
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 !
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 !
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 ?!