Sunday, 26 May 2013

My week.

This last week started off as usual. Monday was spent looking at other people's blogs thanks to Handmade Monday, putting a couple of items onto the website and some sewing. Tuesday was much the same.  

Wednesday morning was spent popping to my Mum's (after acquiring a large vintage white cotton , ever so soft from lots of washing, a large cross-stitched table mat with three matching napkin and two beautiful china flower brooches at the charity shop). Where I did a spot of knitting whilst we were putting the world to rights. In the afternoon I completed Eleanor the rabbit and couple more felt flower corsages.

Thursday I started packing my suitcases for the fair at the Bluecoat (see my last post), made some signs for my fair table, printed some fabric with names for my rabbits and cats and Pride and Prejudice quotes for the P and P heart I'm making. I also made the name labels for the two cats and the rabbit that I'd recently finished and did more sewing.

Friday I completed my packing for the fair (a couple of years ago we'd still have been packing suitcases, but with clothes rather than vintage and handmade bits and bobs, for our holiday to Glengarry, when we still had money!). I made a needle case and cut out bits of lovely fabric for a couple more to take with me for something to do at the fair (as my husband would tell you I can't just 'sit' I have to have something in my hands, even if I don't actually do much!).

Saturday started (and continued with) beautiful sunshine, though it was a little chilly. The other half and I caught the bus okay and we arrived at the Bluecoat with just over and hour to set up before the start of the fair. Unfortunately, the management of the fair was a bit scratchy. There was no-one to meet you or even a plan to see where you were. We were advised by another stall holder that the names of stallholders were written on the floor which is how we found where we were. The rooms were a bit snug too, there wasn't really enough space between stalls, especially where people had hanging rails of clothes which people wanted to browse through. A number of times things (fortunately nothing breakable) were knocked onto the floor!

Other stalls.

A view of the Elsie May and Bertha table, that's my Mum, Shirley, that I've managed to catch half of!

A big disappointment of the day was that we didn't make the day's cost (table and travel) back. There were quite a few people at the fair and a lot of them looked at what we had and said how lovely everything was, but that didn't materialise into sales. This was the third fair in a row where I hadn't made back my costs . So, because of this I won't be able to do anymore for the foreseeable future. 

My website isn't doing any better, I can't remember the last time I had a sale through there. On there I've done all the search engine optimising that I can, I advertise via Facebook and Twitter. I'm going to have another try at having a sale on Facebook, but even the last one of those I did didn't generate any sales.

I know this sounds like I'm having a moan, and to be honest I am. Loads of people I follow, whether via their blog, facebook or twitter feeds, are selling and I don't begrudge them their sales, they're all producing beautiful stuff but i can't see what they're doing right and what I'm doing wrong!

For want of anything better to do, I'll carry on making, using the materials I have and adding to the website. I'll be writing this blog and Facebooking and Twittering too.

It's my 24th wedding anniversary tomorrow and we'll be having champagne (a bottle my little sister gave me last Christmas) so that'll be a happy start to next week. I'm always happy with a glass of champagne in my hand!

I hope everyone has enjoyed their holiday weekend, with Memorial Day in the US of A and the spring (yes, really even if it isn't spring weather) bank holiday in the UK or your normal weekend if you're elsewhere.


As usual I'm taking part in Handmade Monday. Pop over there to read about what my fellow bloggers have been up to.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Bluecoat vintage and fashion fair

This Saturday, Elsie May and Bertha (in the person of me and my Mum) will be at the UK Vintage and Fashion Fair at the Bluecoat in Liverpool. It's the first fair I've done at the Bluecoat, though I did visit one of their earlier fairs last year. 

There will be 28 stallholders selling lots of lovely vintage clothing, accessories, china and decorative wares and handmade goodies.

If you would like to come and see us at the fair, is to be held on 10am - 4pm on Saturday 25th May 2013, at the Bluecoat School, School Lane in Liverpool city centre (behind Primark and next door to Cath Kidston). 

The photos below show some of the items we'll be bringing with us.

Jewellery pouches.

Vintage fabrics, and we'll also have a selection of vintage buttons and lace.

Felt corsages, we'll also be bringing fabric cuffs for the wrist.

Hand-knitted slippers for adult, and a few for babies.

A collection of rabbits looking for a new home.


 Other stall holders will include:

Arubia Vintage - for top notch vintage clothes and accessories.

Corinna Miranda - for beautiful jewellery.

Resurrection - clothes for men and women. They will also be offering to 'pimp your pants'! Bring along your tired jeans or any other garment and they will show you how to customise them.

There'll also be entertainment from the Vintage Voice.

Everyone who comes to the fair will receive a free vintage scarf and the first five hundred will also receive another present!

If you would like to come and see us at the fair, is to be held on 10am - 4pm on Saturday 25th May 2013, at the Bluecoat School, School Lane in Liverpool city centre (behind Primark and next door to Cath Kidston). There is an entry fee of £4.00, but it will definitely be worth it!

Hope to see you there.


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Mission accomplished!

After last week's artist's block, this week I've been coming up with new ideas hand over fist! What I'd been really stuck on last week were card's for my aunt's 80th birthday. Last Sunday, when everything came back to where it should be (my brain-wise anyway), ideas kept coming, like buses!

As I only needed two, it took me a little while to decide what to do, but I eventually produced these two.


The one  on the left is similar to ones that I have done for other significant birthday cards (my sister's 40th, my Mum and Dad's 70th birthdays), adding photos of the ageee (I've just invented that word) as well as usual decoration.

I've used a mixture of vintage wrapping papers (from Karla in Lawrence, Kansas), wallpaper, prints from my collection of vintage cards, lace, doilies and buttons, with a bit of stamping thrown in. I suppose all of this decoration is a lot for a birthday card, it's more like a scrapbook page, but you're only 80 once.

The second one has a more flowery vibe, with cross-stitched bits.This one is decorated  with a collection of papers, embroidered panels, with lace and buttons, images from vintage cards and more lace.

 I also gave her one of my felt flower corsages, which I placed inside a box that I'd decorated with paper, lace, a crocheted flower and button.

I also added a decorated tag.

The other work I've been doing this includes more felt corsages.

And I commissioned piece of a Pride and Prejudice rose scented heart.

There'll be more making this coming week as I have a fair on Saturday at the Bluecoat in Liverpool city centre.

Have a good week.


P.S. As usual I'm taking part in Handmade Monday, pop over and see what everyone's been up to.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

One of those weeks...

I've been having one of those weeks! My creative mojo had deserted me, I have two 80th birthday cards to make for my Aunt, but I nothing was coming to me. I'd started a new collage but couldn't decide what to do on that either.

I did finish two cats that I'd started a while ago and I've nearly finished another rabbit. So that's a couple of positives.

The new cats, Jackie on the left, Olivia on the right.
 I'd been doing my usual trawl through the blogs I read and landed on Henhouse's and she had been making 1940s-style felt flower brooches for a class she was doing. I by was getting a little tingle of mojo by then, so I thought I could make one for my Aunt. So far, I've made four, though they don't have their backs yet (I'm going to do separate blog post on these). I'm doing a vintage fair at the Bluecoat in Liverpool on the 25th so these will be ideal for then.

As well as blog reading, and have a trawl through Pinterest, I've also been having a look through a couple of my craft books. 

Both of these have designs for various flowers so I made a collection of cardboard templates as these always come in useful. I'll be cutting out more felt flowers this week as these come in handy when I need embellishments for a piece of work.

By the time yesterday came along I was getting more in the mood for making and started the bird hanging decoration from "All sewn up". Something else I may take to the Bluecoat (if I finish by then!).

This morning I woke up with an idea for one of the birthday cards, and a little inkling for the second one. These will be started tomorrow. 

The week may have started out a little creativeless, but by the end of the week I do have a couple of completed items, so it wasn't a complete waste.

Now I'm off to cut out some felt flowers.


P.S. I'm taking part in Handmade Monday. Pop over and have a look to see what my fellow bloggers have been up to.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Through all the circle of the golden year - a collage

A few weeks ago Minerva Craft's Facebook page had a challenge for bloggers like myself. They had a picture of a cutting compass and asked what we could do with, using fabrics etc from their website.
OLFA Compass Cutter
The cutting compass.

For a while now, I've had a collage idea in my head based on circles, producing a series of fabric and paper collages. This request gave me an ideal opportunity to start. I posted my idea and was fortunate enough to be selected. As well as the compass they sent me their orange fat quarter (FQ) bundle and some spotty bias binding (the colour choice was mine).
Assorted Yellow Colours Fat Quarters Cotton Quilting Fabric x 4 Assorted Pieces
Their orange FQ bundle, you receive a mixture of 4 from this selection
25mm wide Cotton Patterned Bias Binding Orange/White Spotty - per metre
Bias binding

I had a little trouble using the compass at first. I couldn't get it to cut and the fabric buckled. Needless to say my temper was not pleasant, even after I had looked at videos that I had found on Youtube, which did tell me not to worry about the fabric buckling! To keep my sanity I put it to one side and concentrated on another project.

A couple of weeks later, with the deadline for the post looming I had another go. I'm not sure what happened between the first time and this, but I managed to cut out a selection of circles, or near circles. 

 There is a more expensive version of the compass that has a ratchet that helps you move the compass around in one smooth movement, rather than having to adjust your hand to complete the circle (I found out about this on Youtube).

I used a piece of orange fabric out of my stash for the main body of the collage (backed with wadding) and used a mixture of the Minerva Crafts FQs and my stash for the circles, along with a mixture of orangey bits and pieces.

I started with a blank canvas, rather than planning it out, adding circles where I think they should go. The picture below is my first 'layer' amid sewing.