Here we go round the Mulberry Bush

Regular readers of this little blog will know that I live in a very old house.

I always think that we're just the latest in a very long line of "keepers" of this house and its lovely garden. I feel very priviledged to live here and often wonder about the previous owners over the last 250 years.
If I had time, I would love to research the history of the house. I know that it was a working farm until the 1930s with the 2 cottages over the road belonging to the farm and lived in by farmworkers. Our neighbours' house is built on what was originally a cowshed. Next to them still stands a very derelict farm building. The original farm had a lot of acreage, some of which still remains around us and is farmed by a local farmer, the rest was sold off and new (in the 1930s to 1960s) houses were built and now form the larger village in which we live.

In our garden stands a very old Mulberry tree.

Tree surgeons have told us that the tree is at least as old as the house, which means that it's at least 250 years old. If that tree could speak what stories would it tell I wonder ?

Why does it have a very large, old, rusty chain embedded in it ? Did the numerous farmers over the years tether their horses to it ?

I wish there was someone who could answer all of my questions. But sadly I can only glean snippets of information from various sources until I have enough time to visit the local records office and village church to try and find out the story of our lovely old house.

Mulberry trees, of course, produce lovely mulberries.

But I have no knowledge of this particular fruit apart from the fact that mulberries look very similar to raspberries, but are much bigger. Sadly, the wasps seem to be able to get to the fruit long before we do and so this year's bumper crop has been half eaten by the wasps. But, there is still a fair bit of fruit on the tree and I would love to know what I can do with the fruit. Can it be frozen ? I wonder what it would taste like with the wild blackberries that we've been picking from the hedgerows ?

Any information would be greatly appreciated !
And this is Grace's pumpkin patch ... surrounded by Fort Knox to keep the rabbits out ! Honestly - they've got fields of stuff to eat and are obsessed with getting into our little pumpkin patch. Watch this space for progress on the pumpkin !

Sarah x

Slow Progress

Maybe I'm just being lazy or maybe things aren't happening as fast as I would like, but progress for the Knitting & Stitching Show in October is very slow. With the show being just over 6 weeks away now, I'm starting to panic that I won't be ready. It's getting so bad that I'm actually starting to have nightmares about it now !

I've heard horror stories from other exhibitors that you can sit for 3 hours in a queue at Ally Pally just waiting to unload ! Apparently they only let 12 people unload at a time which means that with over 300 exhibitors, it takes forever to get near the front of the queue before you can even start to unload, let alone start setting your stand up.

I've made a start bagging up supplies, but am now starting to run out of stock and that won't do for my loyal website customers, so I've had to stop bagging things up for the time being and wait for new supplies to arrive.

So far I've managed to bag up felt shapes, hearts, pebbles, plain balls and beaded balls.

I've been to the old fashioned sweet shop and begged to buy their empty for victorian style sweet jars (this is just half of them !)

I've been thinking of ideas on how to pretty up my stand - like the jars of felt balls aren't pretty enough - and this is what I've come up with

Lovely felt flowers complete with spotty buttons in the centre. Hmmm, maybe I should make up some sets of these along with little brooch pins for people to buy as kits?

I've painted the wooden letters that I purchased from Michaels when I was in Florida at Easter

I've bought lovely candy stripe paper bags for the "small, individual items" and am waiting on costings for printed paper carrier bags from the printers. I've signed off the final version of my flier and these are at the printers as we speak.

I've designed some lovely felt ball and button jewellery sets - which just need the final component adding to the little bags and then they're all ready to be labelled up. No sneak peeks of these - if you want to see them, you'll have to come along to Ally Pally !

I'm waiting on my biggest button delivery ever - unfortunately I ordered so much that I think I cleaned my supplier out and only managed to get half of the order earlier this week. Hopefully the rest will arrive very soon so that I can start counting out and bagging up buttons.

My giant felt supplies order is currently being made to order and is scheduled to arrive in the middle of September - until then, bagging up of felt goodies is on hold.

I've printed out thousands of label tops for all of the grip seal bags which we be filled with felt and button goodies and need to sit and cut them all out !

I need to get Public Liability Insurance and sort out the electrics for the stand.

I need to order a chip & pin machine and work out how to use it !

I need to make up a couple of the felt ball and button necklaces for me and my friend to wear at the show so that people can hopefully admire them and we can then sell them some of the lovely little kits.

I need to do a "dry run" and check that all of my goodies will actually fit on the shelves in the stand - if they don't - I'm stuffed !

Oh - and a few other little things that need sorting before the show - Grace's 4th birthday party, Sam's 7th birthday party (a week apart !), new school shoes, new ballet outfit, finish the Questseekers Reading Scheme at the library, entertain the in-laws, make time to see my sister who I haven't seen in a whole year ! Make up some pretty little button hairclips for my friend's daughters who also have birthdays in the next couple of weeks.
Is that it? Probably not, but for the moment it will have to do. My head is nearly bursting but maybe I can use this blog post as my checklist.
ooh, ooh - another thing I just remembered ! Some new special offers have been added to the website - little boxes of buttons - all half their recommended retail price - check 'em out here . And, some cotton tote bags that I bought ages ago with the intention of prettying up and selling on. Needless to say, I've never had the time so am now offering them for sale at 80p each. I'm sure you will be able to do much more with them than I ever planned : EDIT - SORRY, ALL BAGS NOW SOLD !!

Right - gotta go - those label tops won't cut themselves out !!
Sarah x

A week in pictures

All the gang at Tilbury Fort !

Rowing in the garden (don't ask !)

Picking blackberries & plums from the garden - mmmmm... yum

Latest addition to the website - Woolpets the Book !

This book is absolutely fantastic - and it's a hardback which to me, makes it super special ! It has some amazing projects in it (see a few pics below). The giraffe has to be my favourite. And at only £12.99 - yes, £12.99 it would make a wonderful gift for someone crafty or why not just treat yourself - funnily enough, one seems to have found its way onto my own bookshelf.

Click here and see it in all its glory on the website where you'll find lots more information about it. I have got quite a few of these books in stock as I'll be taking them to the Knitting & Stitching Show where I hope they'll be super popular !

And talking of the Knitting & Stitching Show I'm drowning in lists, lists and more lists. I've got a massive order in with my felt supplier and am hoping and praying that all of the visitors at the show "get it" and are as enthusiastic about my felt goodies as I am. If not .... I'll have an awful lot of stock sitting in the spare bedroom !

See you soon x

I am an Addict

Yes, I'm afraid it's true - I am an Addict.

I am addicted.

I cannot help myself.

I try, I really do try, but I just can't help myself.

I have a pusher.

He sends me supplies and in with those supplies he puts samples. Samples of new stuff for me to become addicted to.

My problem now is that whilst I am an addict, I am starting to become a pusher myself ! You too will become addicted just as I am. But for that I make no apologies because I know that just like me, you can't help yourself either. And you will want and need my latest offering ......

YAY - these are soooooooooo cool. I just love love love them ! What are felt pebbles? They're felt balls that have been squished down into a pebble shape. Simple ! Available in 20 different colours.

Added to that - 20 colours of sculpted hearts - woo hoo !

Join me and admit your FELT ADDICTION - you know you want to !!!!!!!!

Sarah x
Oh, and by the way if you're suffering withdrawal symptons - the 4mm felt sheets are now available in black and orange - yee haa

Little Treats

Hello !!
First up I wanted to tell you what I've been up to this weekend.

Yesterday afternoon we dropped the little monkees off at my Mum & Dad's house as Hubby and I had been invited to a wedding reception in Suffolk. We stayed here in Framlingham. Could have been better I must admit - £130 for the night for a very standard room with a non-flushing toilet and milk to put on your cereal in the morning that was off ! £8 for a glass of wine and a pint of beer, specials that aren't served until 6pm (even though they say they're available all day), £6 for a beef and horseradish sandwich and £6 for a jacket potato with cheese !!! I can't say I would particularly recommend staying here.

This morning we went here and bought 2 lovely old chimney pots to put either side of our front door and plant up with beautiful flowers. I think our weekends will soon be spent trawling around reclaimation yards because with all the building work that will be taking place on our lovely old house next year, we need to start sourcing original bits and bobs - like 250 year old handmade clay peg tiles. Hmmmm - we could have our work cut out there me thinks !

Then, we met some friends and had a very enjoyable lunch here. Fortunately, this place is a whole lot better than where we stayed and the food was absolutely delicious - highly recommended.

I do love my children, but it's also lovely to spend adult time with just hubby and I've had a lovely weekend, despite the disappointment of the hotel.

And now I can finally announce the new section of my website that I've been keeping under wraps for so long - I have been working like a trojan getting it all photographed and uploaded onto the site and it is finally here - YAY !!

Introducing the new "LITTLE TREATS" section of my website. Do go and check it out and let me know what you think - I have had great fun sourcing all of these goodies and the excitement when Mr Postman started delivering it all was fantastic - just like Christmas time when you're a kid !!

Here's a little taster of what's on offer (click on the pictures to go to that particular section of the website):

Felt Accessories

Silk Button Badges & Handbag Mirrors

Party Badges
Ice Lolly Badges / Brooches

Felt and Fabric Applique Badges

And now with all this excitement I'm absolutely knackered !! I had a delivery on Friday and will very soon be restocked on the spiral wool pompoms, if you were waiting for these to come in (just give me a couple of days to update the website ... again). I'm also awaiting another very large delivery of the wet felted hearts (in loads of new colours) and another new product line which I will tell you about when it arrives.

See you soon !

Byeeeee x


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