Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Happiness is....

...a little girl, her frog and a nice afternoon snooze in Mummy and Daddy's bed!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Some mending

When I had my things out for Creative Thursday the other day I did a bit of mending too.

This is what it looked like before the mending :)

Anya got a bit happy with the scissors at school!

Saturday, 24 October 2009


Why is it that when I see things like this on my bird feeder...

I am reminded of this advert?

Thursday, 22 October 2009

My Creative Space

is rather cramped today as I am working from the kitchen table! Yesterday it was even worse as both Matt and I were working from the kitchen table but he is out helping a friend today so it's just me!

I have finally chopped up the felted jumpers to make some Christmas decorations! Here they are waiting to be sewn.

The decision is which thread from my box of delights to choose?

And of course my cup of fruit tea is ever present!

Check out more creative Thursday people over here at Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


So the man didn't turn up yesterday but is now coming tomorrow (mixed messages apparently!) so I have had a couple of days to craft as I fully intended not to go near the internet. However Tara has been very ill so I have been snuggling on the sofa with her next to me and the computer just fell into my lap :) However, I have written lots of Cuteable posts!

So the man will be here tomorrow (hopefully) and the internet may be down so I may get to craft - Tara permitting :)

Monday, 19 October 2009

Won't be online much...

.... as our damp wall is being fixed and would you believe that is the wall where the cable for the internet comes in so we will probably not be online much - hopefully in the evening we will be able to reconnect for a little while. So no blog posts here or over on Cuteable for a little while (should only be a couple of days but we will see!) I'm hoping to get lots of crafting done whilst I'm not online so I should have some things to show you soon :) Oh and I'm gearing up for a giveaway at 700 posts which should be in the next week or so!

I'll leave you with this picture that I love of me and my girls which was taken at our nephews birthday party :)

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Flowers, flowers everywhere!

So I didn't get on here yesterday as Anya had a raging temperature all Thursday night and didn't go to school yesterday. I spent my time being a nurse! While the girls were having a bit of a play on my computer I made these flowers cards - got to get some craft in while you can!

The flowers are punched from a collection of catalogues - Cath Kidston, Boden etc. Rather than just send them straight to the recycling after reading I like to get one more use out of them. I then run the flowers through my sticker machine - I have this one here - and then they are ready to be used. I've actually had them for a while and couldn't figure out how to use them so I had a play around with cards. The black border round the edge really adds something to them and by using a vintage button in the middle of each flower I am slowly starting to use up some of my buttons!

More pics now!

Obviously the last ones don't have their buttons on but that will be sorted soon :) These will be for sale soon - once I've taken better photographs!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

My bubbly family

This was the scene in the bathroom the other night - funny! The girls were having a bubble bath and Matt turned the jets up and added more bubble bath and then got in!

Snuggly girls

Girls with bubble beards

Bubble beard family!

Look how high the bubbles got - we had to switch them off shortly after this picture was taken :)

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

How to use Craft Juice - a tutorial

I see a small number of posts on Twitter, blogs and forums from people that don't know quite how Craft Juice works so I thought I would put together a tutorial for you all! Craft Juice (if you don't know) is a great way of showing off your craft items to a huge number of people - there are over 2,300 followers of Craft Juice on Twitter alone so goodness knows how many actually visit the site! It's also good for networking and I have sold many items as a result of posting my items on there. So here goes for the tutorial for loading your things onto the site - it's picture heavy so be warned!

When you go to the main homepage you will see this page. You want to click on the tab at the top that says Submit a New Craft Item.

You will then be taken to this page where you have to put in your item url. This can be from your online shops, flickr, blog etc but make sure that it is for one particular item - not your whole Etsy shop or your whole blog - just the actual post/item or photograph will do.

Here is an example of where to look for your url - I was uploading one of my Peter and Jane books onto Craft Juice as I had just listed it in my Etsy shop.

Copy and paste your item url into the box and click continue.

You will then see a page like this. Sometimes you will get an added extra bit in the story title. The bit extra in this one is the 'by swirlyarts'. Sometimes it will say 'misi' or 'folksy' or 'flickr' - it's my personal preference to edit this out but you can leave yours in.

You will then see this option - add an image. This is very important as most people will look at the image straight away. Simply do as it says and 'click here' It will link to the url and show you the range of photographs you have there. So for Etsy it will show you your main photograph and then the thumbnails of the smaller photographs. Your main photograph is normally the one you will be using on Craft Juice.

All you have to do is click on the photograph you want - remember though that if you click on a thumbnail then it will come up as a thumbnail on Craft Juice - so small in other words!

Your image will then come up in the post like this.

You then need to add tags that are relevant eg jewellery, earrings, steampunk etc etc and also a description. As it says your description should be about 2 to 4 sentences long.

Then choose a category for your work - if there isn't a specific one then choose general crafts. Then click to continue.

You will get a preview of how your item will look - if it's ok then click on the submit story button and if you need to edit anything then click on the modify button.

Your post will then be live!

You will notice that you have 1 vote on your post - this is your own vote. The whole idea of Craft Juice is to vote for others work that you like and promote networking - as well as seeing some fabulous handmade items!

To vote for others just click on the vote button next to their work - easy peasy! Just make sure you are logged in :)

And then when you have 5 votes you will be automatically moved from the upcoming crafts tab to the popular crafts page - and when that happens you will be automatically tweeted about too which will bring even more people in to look at your work!

So go and join - it's free and fun! Oh and another thing to add - when I list things in my shops I have a routine. List the item, put it in the relevant groups etc on Flickr, tweet about it and then add it to Craft Juice. That way I maximise the number of people that will see the item!

Feel free to ask any questions :)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Two friends

Two friends who are at this very moment winging their way to Australia to meet up with the lovely Pip from Meet Me at Mikes. They are for the annual Softies for Mirabel campaign which Pip helps to organise. Crafting for a good cause is always excellent crafting. This is the second year I have made softies for this good cause and I will be doing it again next year - will you be joining me?

Monday, 12 October 2009

Fair review

Morning! Phew, the fair on Saturday was fairly busy and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I also made the most money I have ever made at a fair so I was doubly pleased!

Here's me on my stall - again I have tweaked it a little as it was slightly smaller than I was anticipating so not everything was put out. I think it looked good though and lots of people admired it :)

As well as selling well I also got the chance to meet up with some fellow crafty people that I 'know' online. Kirsten from Quernus Crafts makes the cutest little polymer clay creatures and she also took the photograph of me above. I also bought some of her things but they are presents so I can't show you - not that the recipients of the presents read my blog but the girls sometimes look at the pictures, if you catch my drift!

I also met up with Tracy from Ruby Spirit Designs, Mich from My Furoshiki, Leigh from Leigh Shepherd Designs and Rachel from Rachel Lucie who were all lovely :) I have also written a feature on the fellow crafters I met at the fair over on Cuteable, including some not mentioned above, so go and check the posts out!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Ilkley Arts Market

This where I will be tomorrow all day. Ilkley Arts Market, Riddings Hall, Christchurch, The Grove, Ilkley. If you are in the area then do pop along and say hi! As an extra incentive, if you buy something and tell me that you read my blog then you will get a set of gift tags free! You can choose which ones you want from the selection I will have with me. I can only do this though if you buy something - sorry! I'll happily give out business cards though :)

Thursday, 8 October 2009

My Creative Space

Is our front room floor today (and it was last night too whilst watching TV!)

In front of me is my trusty guillotine, stacks of reclaimed paper (mainly from local businesses who change their headed paper) and some book covers.

To my right is my book of goodies used when I make recycled notebooks. And some more book covers too!

And to my left is my bind it all machine, bind it all tool kit (very handy for chopping the sharp ends of wires) and some book pages that are waiting to be turned into tags/envelopes. Behind the bind it all machine you will see a pile of offcuts of paper - these are the bits of paper I turn into matchbook notebooks. Hardly anything gets wasted in this house!

To see more Creative Space players head over to Kootoyoo.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Galleries on Flickr

Do you use Flickr? Did you know you can curate your own galleries on there? No neither did I until I was featured in one myself!

It has been curated by fidgetrainbowtree who has a blog here which looks great! And you can see the whole gallery here with my junk mail gift tags in it! I think I am going to have fun creating my own galleries when I get a spare minute!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Some new chickens

They are half made anyway - just awaiting zips and eyes.

I'm sure they were up to something when I took this photograph and I thought I heard the phrase 'world domination'. I'm not sure which chicken uttered those words but have a feeling it was Chicken Pox as she has been on her high horse since yesterdays news!

These will be going with me to Ilkley Arts Market this weekend and then into my shops - if you fancy one before then, then let me know!

*Edited to add* - the blue flowery chicken on the left is no longer available. He is jetting off to Australia tomorrow once his zip is sewn in!!

Monday, 5 October 2009

I've figured it out!

Not that it is a problem (far from it!) but I was wondering why Chicken Pox had been selling well recently - it's because I am on the Shop Handmade UK blog as one of their favourite UK designers :) Well, it's an Etsy mini of their favourite items and Chicken Pox is featured and it does say 'our favourite UK designers' across the top - I am pleased!!

It's rather small but you can see Chicken Pox at the top there!

Belinda, who runs the blog, also has a Folksy shop called Mia Belle. Some gorgeous jewellery in there! So if you read this Belinda - thank you!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Oooops bad sister me!

When I was detailing the things I had made for Sebastian I forgot to include the blanket that my talented sister made for him - I asked her to start making as soon as I found out that Alex was pregnant!

The nice thing about it is that it uses some wool that Alex gave to Sarah as part of a destash and now it has come back to her son in the form of a blanket :)

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Fun Fuse meeting

Once a month (roughly) I go to a craft meeting in a nearby town which is great fun. This week we had two demonstrations alongside our usual chatter and craft time. One was sugarcraft which isn't really my cup of tea so I didn't watch that one but the next one was screen printing which did interest me! I have done a little screen printing before (at school) but not much and I couldn't remember what to do! I had thought about screen printing one of my chicken designs but I really couldn't get my head round what needed to be cut out and what needed to stay so I opted to use a ready made screen instead.

Isn't he cute?

I printed a length of fabric that I might turn into a skirt for Tara if I get round to it! It might just sit on my shelf though instead!

We had several new people at Fuse this time and one of them was a lovely lady called Eileen who is an artist. Anya had come to Fuse with me as she was off school with a dodgy tummy (although you wouldn't have guessed with the amount of running around she did!) and Eileen asked her if she would sit for a portrait. She duly did and was presented with her own portrait at the end of the session (she sat for about 45 mins in total)

Anya is thrilled with it and so am I actually. She made sure she went round everybody at the meeting and showed them the portrait :) We are going to get a frame for it so it can go in her bedroom. Eileen wouldn't take any money for the work although I tried to give her some so Anya is going to make her a card to say thank you - I might throw something in for her too :)

Friday, 2 October 2009

Presents for a little boy

Well this morning I have been to see Sebastian who is the newest addition to the Davies family :) Here is what I made for him.

Some babygro's - you always need clean babygro's for a newborn.

These have been rolled up and popped inside this nappy cake which I also made :) The bird is making a bid for freedom!

Did you spot the recycled flowers I made? Added as decoration - for Sebastian's crafty mummy to use at some stage. Ditto with the ribbon!

Welcome to the world Sebastian!