Sunday, 30 December 2012

My First Craft Fair

So I've mentioned in a couple of recent posts that I took part in my maiden craft fair earlier this month.  It's something I've been toying with for a while now but required copious amounts of time, something which with a toddler I have precious little of.  

Whilst on a family walk at the end of October my lovely brother-in-law mentioned a Christmas craft fair that the art gallery he works for were hosting as part of the preview for an exhibition of embroidery and needlework (including some by Mr X Stitch) aptly entitled Hemmed In (I did offer my "fuck" doily but it was politely declined, can't think why) and asked if I'd like to have a stall.  This was the ideal opportunity for me to have a bash in a friendly environment with no real outlay except my time so I spent every spare minute of the intervening 6 weeks crocheting, sewing and paper crafting my ass off.

The eve of the big day was spent with a mock craft stall in my lounge (along with a Christmas tree and the aforementioned toddler) pissing about with the display and making signs and a photo montage for my e-photo frame plus trying to decide how much to charge for everything but here it is, my finished stall ready for some selling

Mr Right and Buster came along to wish me luck and a few people I know through the gallery were in attendance so it was nice to see some friendly faces on the night and I actually made some sales (sadly the two stall holders next to me didn't sell a thing so I was very lucky).  

I got some lovely compliments about my work plus the invitation to join an internet based network of entrepreneurial mums (I'm an entrepreneur now don't you know) and the bonus of a boost to the stock for my Etsy shop

I also came away with some amusing anecdotes like the lady who asked whether I could make the Baby Boobie Beanies in blue for boys (er, not really as they would be blue boobs, and you only really get blue boobs on dead people) and the lady who wanted to know if the Princess Leia Hats came in blonde (er nope, then they wouldn't be Princess Leia Hats) and the constant Carry On style quips about people fondling/laughing at my boobs/knickers (the boob hats and knickers pot stands).

All in all it was a great experience and I'd like to thank my bro-in-law for thinking of me and for Mr Right for wrangling the kids and putting up with me shouting "I'm counting!" every time he deigned to talk to me during my stock-making time.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Hello Sailor!

I hope you've all had a spiffy Christmas.  I hate Christmas but I do like the enforced time with my little family, happy children full of Father Christmas excitement and the copious amounts of food and drink.

On boxing day found myself with some me time, mini Pink was in bed and the Blues were trying to thrash each other on a new football game on some console or other so I decided to make myself an extra little gift (as if I need another present) from a fab pattern book my sister gifted me for Christmas.

It's an anchor brooch with the legend "Hello Sailor" embroidered on it, okay the embroidery's not that great but I was a bit tipsy when I did it but you get the idea and I think it adds to the handmade charm.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Candy Is Dandy

I was looking for a quick crochet project that I could tinker away with whilst being sat behind my stall at the craft fair last week and this little candy cane garland fitted the bill perfectly, I even made some solo canes that sold on the night, you can't get more handmade than that.

By the way these are now available on my Etsy shop

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Wreaths, Not Just For Dead People

You know I love a wreath, they really shouldn't just be exclusively for dead people.  So what better kind of wreath for me than one made entirely out of dead people's stuff?!

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed during my Junk Shop Jewels ramblings I've been collecting old wooden cotton spools, purchasing a few hither and thither and putting them aside for a rainy day, well that rainy day came this week and was practically a deluge when I hit the mother load of 18 spools for 10p each at the 'cheap as chips' charity shop (chips quite literally as it's situated next to a greasy spoon and everything you purchase has the faint whiff of l'eau de fry-up about it until its been aired for a couple of days)

I bought a heart shaped metal-framed wreath from good old Wilko's for £3 and used wire and pliers to attach the spools to the frame, et voila!

It now hangs above my little craft bureau and brightens my day.
One of the reels still had its original packaging on it with the price of 9D stamped on it.  Some of the names for the shades they came up with were rather exotic, this one for example
and my personal fave
Sadly this is a cautionary tale.  Whilst creating this "masterpiece" I managed to stab some of the wire into my finger tip (my sister did the same thing a few years back and damaged the tendon in her finger and I STILL didn't learn?!) so if you're creating something similar please wear gloves as it's like making a wreath out of barbed wire and razor blades.

Monday, 17 December 2012

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

Is there anybody still there?  I do hope so.  I've been so busy of late that the blog has taken a bit of a back seat.  I recently had a stall at my first craft fair (more on that another time) so my free time has been somewhat lacking as every spare minute has been spent making stock giving myself RSI.

Anyway, I'm back now and raring to get things back to normal so what better way than with a Junk Shop Jewels post.  Here are some more items that I've plucked from the jaws of hell for your delight and I'm sure my husband's dispair.

First up some more gorgeous wooden cotton reels, I found 18 of them for the princely sum of 10p each!!!!!
Having found the mother load of cotton spools I also had a spot of luck with the lesser-spotted vintage bed linen with a beautiful pink floral double sheet (£2.50) and a candy stripe pillow case (50p)
I met up with Liz (of Magpie Monday fame) for a lovely and very civilised Christmas Crafternoon at her gorgeous gaff and in a wonderful coincidence there happened to be a jumble sale running that afternoon and she took me along to my maiden jumbly.  Shockingly given my thrifty ways I have never been to a proper jumble sale!  Car boot sales and charity shops yes but jumble sales are severely lacking in my neck of the woods so it was great to finally get to rummage through dead people's stuff in a cosy village hall elbow to elbow with other like-minded tramps.

My haul included this dressing up costume for Missy (50p)
An old rug beater (20p)
And this 1960s Quelrayn Zipper (50p)
Love it, now I just need to get myself a captain's hat, a turtle neck and some slacks and I'll fit right in with the marketeer's 1968 vision 
Linking up with Liz and her #MagpieMonday over at Me And My Shadow
Me and My Shadow

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Christmas Crochet

I know it's still technically November and I'm the last person to be raving on about Christmas as I've grown to hate it more and more each year, it's only redeeming qualities seem to be the time we get to spend at home together as a family and excited children.  That said I've been making a couple of Christmas items mainly for my home but also for listing on my Etsy shop at some point so I thought I'd give them a little outing on here

A string of pretty faux Christmas lights, there are 12 bulbs in all and they took an absolute age but I love them and am seriously considering leaving them up all year round.
and a snowflake garland made with some suitably festive sparkly yarn
Merry bastard Christmas! x

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Cakey, Cakey! - Tangled Birthday Cake

I've been unintentionally neglecting the blog the past few weeks, apologies, I've been a spread a little thinly trying to devote some serious gym time to work on my running plus I've been busy making stock to list on my Etsy shop and family life just generally got in the way with sickness and a birthday, speaking of which (the birthday NOT the sickness!)...

Missy turned three last week and with great age comes great fickleness and we've lurched from princess cakes, to CBeebies cakes via EVERYTHING in between until finally the weekend before the big day we settled on a Tangled birthday cake, not the easiest of subject matters to realise but then a soon to be three year old doesn't give a fig about technicalities.

Anyway after 6 hours hard graft here's what I came up with for her
She, being her discerning self, wasn't too impressed as "you can't see Rapunzel's dress!"  Everyone's a critic, eh?!
For the uninitiated this is what it's based on
She soon overcame her disappointment though when it came time to blow out the candles and thankfully we all lived happily ever after. 

Linking up with Lakota's #TaDahTuesday over at Faith, Hope And Charity Shopping (ps there's a giveaway over there too!)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker


UPDATE:  Many thanks for all your many entries but the giveaway is now closed and the winner of the DVD randomly selected.  The winner was...


and she has been notified directly of her win, many congratulations!

Missy is a dancing queen at the moment, every dressing up item she favours these days seems to be a voluminous and sparkly affair that she refers to as a "strictly coming dancing" outfit so when I was asked to review the Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker DVD I knew it would be right up her street.

The DVD features excerpts from the Birmingham Royal Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker, which is pared down with simple explanations of the story that my then 2 year old could follow no problem.  I can't imagine her sitting through an entire performance but this was just enough to hold her attention and ignite a spark of interest in the dancing.

This is an American DVD that has been remastered for the UK, which pleased me greatly as there are hardly any American accents to be heard, something I'm finding it increasingly difficult to avoid with our regular TV and DVD viewing.

An animated fairy (Prima Princessa) guides you through the performance and through some simple ballet steps, which Missy loved.  Each step is repeated a couple of times which saved my rewind trigger finger plus I think children find repetition an aid to learning.  Missy found the way that some of the steps are reiterated by animals in nature hilarious, our particular favourite is the deer doing his Passe!
There are some lovely sequences of the ballet along with the instantly recognisable classical music by Tchaikovsky and Missy danced her little socks off, 
although she drew the line at joining in with the male dancers "I don't do man dancing" she told me.  Thirty minutes into the DVD she was pooped 
but still continued to watch the remaining thirty minutes intently.
We've watched several times in the couple of weeks we've had it and each time Missy insists on dressing up like a ballerina and even requested some ballet shoes for her 3rd birthday last week.  
Not to be outdone Mr Right and I have even been swayed, we'd quite like to go and see The Nutcracker for real.

This festive DVD would make an ideal Christmas present for the little ballerina wannabe in your life and is available from Amazon here or, if you'd prefer, the lovely people at Prima Princessa are putting a copy up for grabs, all you have to do to be in with a shout of winning it is be a UK resident and leave a comment on this post telling me which celebrity you'd like to see win this year's Strictly Come Dancing along with a way of contacting you.

This giveaway closes at 8pm on Tuesday 27 November, winner will be chosen at random and the prize will sent out directly by Prima Princessa.

Disclosure:  I was given a free copy of the DVD for review purposes.

Monday, 5 November 2012

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

Well the crap keeps a-comin'  First up these two kitsch pineapple dishes £2 the pair
Another vintage brushed cotton double bed sheet £2
This lovely teal/petrol blue moleskin coat with the most gorgeous mish-mash of buttons in cream and gold £4.95
 Looks much better on even if I do say so myself
 A vintage tablecloth £2
 and a jazzy vintage napkin 50p
Linking up with Liz and her #MagpieMonday over at Me And My Shadow
Me and My Shadow

Monday, 29 October 2012

Off The Cuff

I've been crocheting again, I know, yawn-a-rama right?  Perhaps I should start a crochet blog to save you all from my granny ways but until that happens you'll just have to humour me, ok?!

I've made these...
"What are they Christy?!" I hear you cry, well they're boot cuffs.  'Tis the season of the boot and if you're like me and can't be faffed with a chunky sock (as well as chunky legs) squeezed into your boots then this may be the answer.
I made some in grey to go with my wellingtons and some in cream
to go with another pair of boots, I've also made an olive green pair but as you can see pictures taken by me of my own legs haven't come out that brilliantly (have you ever tried to photograph your own legs?, go on try it, it's trixy!) so I haven't bothered to try and capture those ones on film.
Anyway, I shall be adding these babies to my Etsy shop asap.

Monday, 22 October 2012

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

Don't let it ever be said that I'm behind the times, satchels are de rigueur at the moment so I'm now bang on trend with this beauty, I was transported back to my infant school days when I spotted it at a car boot sale as I seem to remember I had one very similar, 50p
A small lidded dish to go with my tea set 50p
Fab old book of fonts, great for all sorts of crafty applications, 50p

Linking up with Liz's #MagpieMonday over at Me And My Shadow
Me and My Shadow

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Tickets Please!

Mr Right has just discovered Pinterest.  His new-found obsession resulted in this wonderful birthday present he engineered for me.  On the day he presented me with a box frame and we spent a lovely afternoon rummaging about in the loft for all our concert tickets and festival wristbands, theatre and sporting event tickets, theme park and cinema stubs and threw them haphazardly into the frames.  I made some giant 'Admit One' tickets in pink (for me) and blue (for Mr Right) and we hung them on the wall in our dining room, much better than them lurking in dusty old boxes in the loft.
The only trouble is that they're pretty much full to bursting so we may have to make two more!

I must also mention that Mr Right made me a birthday cake.  He was very aware that I make cakes for loads of other people but rarely do I get a cake made for me so he asked me what cake I'd like (Farmhouse Cake fyi) and he made it for me complete with candles!
I'm seriously thinking of going into retirement as it was delicious, Mr Right can make the cakes from now on.

Linking up with #TaDahTuesday over at Faith, Hope And Charity Shopping

Monday, 15 October 2012

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

More dead people's stuff for you to cast your eye over, lovely Midwinter sugar bowl 50p
Four cake forks 80p
Pretty floral bowls £1.50
Lacy table runner 50p
Two platters that match a tea service I already own, great for cakes or finger sandwiches £1.00 the pair
Linking up with Liz's #MagpieMonday over at Me And My Shadow
Me and My Shadow

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