Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone. Hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas. I have had a lovely Christmas and have been really enjoying myself. Its been really relaxing and so lovely to have some time to try some recipes (almond meringues with my new whisk yesterday), do some knitting, potter and generally relax. I am already dreading going back to work and think I would be very happy to just stay at home forever.
I have been making a few things, like some cards, new sausage dogs and some cushions for our living room, but have been trying to take a more relaxing fun approach, rather than be in the factory mode I found myself before Christmas and its been fun.

Happy new year everyone!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Got a very busy day today cooking and cleaning and generally preparing for the arrival of mine and Jon's parents! Ahhhh!

So its just a quick post to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Hope everyone has a lovely time and manages some relaxing too. I also wanted to thank you all for reading, as well as all your lovely comment and support I have recieved in the few months I have been blogging. I will try and do a post before new year, but in case I don't hope you have a wonderful and happy new year.

Thanks everyone and Merry Christmas.

Helen xxxx

Monday, 21 December 2009

Fortnum and Mason Hamper

Last week I think I mentioned that where I work had given us all a wonderful Fortnum and Mason Hamper. So thought I would show some pictures of it. Its a really beautiful wicker basket which no doubt will be used to store some craft suppliers, but I do like the idea of using it for summer picnics.
There were lots of lovely things in it, and here is a small selection. It was all really nicely packaged, I'm such a sucker for nice packaging!!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Random bits and bobs

Bit disappointed by the lack of snow in Nottingham today, I think some snow would have made me feel extra christmassy.

My fella is out on his work do tonight so I am planning an evening of wrapping pressies and drinking sherry. I may even buy a party food selection for tea. Actually those last sentences makes me sounds very sad indeed!!

Tomorrow I am working all day in the Nottingham Craft Mafia shop (Get Made), which is on St James St in Nottingham. I normally have quiet a relaxing and productive sewing day when I work in the shop, but I think tomorrow may be quiet busy. Its a great shop for gifts, and I think I may be buying a few last minute things too.

I am feeling more organised than the start of the week as I only have one present to finish making and have made, written and posted most of my cards. But have a busy week planned next week so glad I feel more on top of things.

I have also listed some new textile pictures in my Folksy shop this morning.

Sorry is a very random post! I really need to do some new work so I have more interesting things to talk about!! Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Productive use of time

I had the dentist this morning, so had a bit of a late start. I had planned to use the opportunity of being home in daylight to take some picture of some things from this week. But instead I had a lay in and it was lovely.

I was going to show you the xmas decoration I made for my front door, a hat I have knitted for a friends baby and the fortnum and Mason hamper which was waiting for me on my desk yesterday!!

But instead here is a random selection of photo's I took a couple of weeks ago. But I am feeling a lot less tired so that's good!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Market Research...

I think as early as September time I said I was going to wait until Christmas time to see how things have gone and then maybe have a good think about the direction I am going in and what I should be making.

Now this has been my first Christmas as a proper seller, its gone ok. I was really please with how a couple of the craft fairs have gone, bit disappointed with online sales (although I did sell something last night) and sales of my items in Get Made are improving. So for a first Christmas I think it has gone quite well but there is certainly room for improvement.

Now I do have quite a few ideas for new products and things I would like to try, but don't want to say too much until I have started to make them. But ideas include, doing more printing, a new card range, a new felt range and making some smaller lower cost things.

But I thought it might also be interesting to do a bit of market research, to see if you have any suggestions of what I should be making. I know this might sound like I am cheating a little, but sometimes it can be hard to take a step back. So please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Christmas Shopping Evening

Just wanted to let you know about the Christmas Shopping Evening at Get Made tomorrow (16th December). Get Made is the Nottingham Craft Mafia's shop, which is situated on St James Street (next to the Malt Cross). It sells a wonderful selection of handmade things from some very talented local makers. Its a great place to find that perfect gift or to treat yourself.

We are normally open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11am - 6pm. But will be open a bit more the week before Christmas - see the Nottingham Craft Mafia blog for details.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Tea Cosy

Just listed a new tea cosy in my Folksy shop. I think its my favourite one!

O'Christmas Tree

Well I am actually starting to feel quite Christmassy, so due to the lack of new things to show you, I thought I would add some pictures of my Christmas tree. Its abit of a funny shape, but looks quite pretty.

Most of the decorations are homemade and are in fact probably about 10 years old now, but I still quite like them. I try and add a few new ones each year.

This year I swapped a couple of my mini Christmas Stocking for a couple of beautiful Robin Decorations. These are made my Rachel Ainley, who organisers some of the local craft fairs that I have done. I really love them, but wish I had brought more from her. I may contact her to see if she has any more left.

Yesterday I decided to make a decoration for my front door (How do you attach wreaths to UPVC doors), I certainly won't be entering florist of the year anytime soon, but I was quite pleased with it. Its not a wreath, but more of a hanging foliage thing. I will try and add a picture tomorrow but it was too dark this morning and last night.

Now I just need to finish (or start) the last few remaining Christmas presents I am making.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Custom Orders

Yeh, I have finished and posted all of my custom orders. Its quite a nice feeling to have them all done. Although I find it all a bit scary as I really want my customers to like what I have done and you don't really get to hear any feedback. But having said that I did drop a couple of pictures off at someones house and they opened them in front of me, which was really scary, but she seemed please.

The photo's (sorry they are not very good, its always seem to be too dark!) are of a large personalised picture I sold through a site called Bouf. I send it early this week, so I hope they have it by now and I have my fingers crossed that they like it. I was pleased with it and really enjoyed making it, as its been a while since I did a larger one.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Colouring in....

As I child I loved colouring in, (when I wasn't designing bat winged jumpers). Even when I was a student I had one of those patterned geometric colouring in books, me and my house mate George would sometimes sit and have a colouring in session.

The other day at work I found myself doing some sneaky doodling in black pen. I then decided to photo copy the doodles so I created my own colouring sheets. The Angels may end up being Christmas cards (as I need to make some for myself), although I scanned them in today and they don't look so good. But I did enjoy my colouring session.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

And the winner is.......

So the winner, who was picked at ramdom by Simon who I sit next to at work is.... (Drum roll)......

.....Fairly Girly! Yeh congratulations!

Thanks very much to everyone who entered my blog giveaway, I really enjoyed reading your Christmas gift wishes, and loved that most of them are so reasonable, eg: craft knifes, wool and handmade things. We an easy bunch to please by the sound of it.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Sketch Book

The Nottingham Craft Mafia does a regular feature on artists sketch books which I have been finding really interesting to read. This, along with looking at some beautiful sketch books at the knit and stitch show has got me thinking about my own sketch book.
At college I always had one on the go and really found them useful for developing ideas, I loved that they got really chunky as they would often have collages and samples stuck into them. So this year I started using a sketch book on a regular basis for the first time in years.
Its great to have all your ideas in one place and to be able to look back and revisit ideas. I have found with this one its mostly sketching down ideas in the form of quick black pen drawings (I never draw in pencil), I suppose its good as many of these ideas have been developed into textile pieces.
Although I have enjoyed doing this sketch book, and I hope its the start of many more, its not quite the same as the ones from my college days. I hope in the next one to explore and develop ideas more, to try out more ideas, including samples and create some thing bright and interesting, rather than just black pen sketches. But the good thing is I am looking forward to starting it.

Friday, 4 December 2009

UK Hand made - winter issue

Check out the winter issue of UK handmade, full of lovely stuff, including something on Nottingham Craft Mafia, yeh!!

Winding down

I have been feeling a bit rough this week and generally under the weather, starting to feel a bit better now, but still sound a bit bunged up.

So I have been talking things easy this week, which has been quite nice after the hectic month or so. I have almost finished by last custom order (just needs mounting and framing) and then I have no crafting pressue for a while and I am really looking forward to it.

I am sure I will still be making things and have lots of things planned but it will be nice to not be rushed and even have time to develop some new ideas and try some new techniques.

I treated myself to The Sarah Raven Christmas Book this week, so have also planning some cooking days, I really enjoy cooking, but haven't have much time for it recently, so hoping to make lots of christmas treats.

If you haven't already done so, don't forget to enter my blog giveaway (see last post for details) you have until the 7th to enter. I am really enjoying reading everyones christmas gift wishes. I am hoping for some carders so I can do some nice colour blends when felting.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Its Giveaway Time

I had said to myself I would do another giveaway when I reached 50 followers, but I missed it!! So to celebrate 52 followers and December I am doing a blog giveaway.

So to win the selection of goodies above all you have to do is write a comment saying what you would like Santa to bring you for Christmas, you have until 7th December at midnight to enter.

The selection of goodies includes a small felt unframed picture, a mini Christmas stocking, a grey and white wool brooch and three hand felted and embroidery Christmas decorations.

To thank of all my wonderful followers for reading and all your lovely comments followers names will be entered into the hat twice.

I have been listing some new things in my folksy shop and have some more to add, so take a look