Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fairs and a Christmas Bee

So last week I mentioned last week that I had an opportunity to go to the Handmade Fair at Hampton Court, courtesy of the lovely gang over at We Make. I am hope wining tickets to the fair might mean I would win the lottery. But you know to do that you have to first buy tickets....

It was surprisingly, and perhaps a somewhat unfair comment to make, that the fair was rather good. Now I did only go for just over an hour and half which might not seem a long time but it was a bit of an early start on a Sunday to make sure I got there early enough. I like to get to show's early, not a big fan of crowds, and when you have tents...the heat. Now a lot of it was geared towards classes, and talks which I wasn't there for as my ticket didn't allow me to do any, and honestly not sure I would have wanted to. There was, however, a nice mix of craft folk and suppliers. Though it would be nicer to see if they do it again next year they could attract more independent suppliers, the niche stuff that you nine times out of ten have to order on line to see it. And it was some what of a surprise that the RSN didn't take a stand, would have been worth the outlay which I know was fairly substantial, or even have the workrooms open for the day. 

Fabric a gift from my best mate, she knows me so well, some uber cute Christmas Decorations and yes might have picked up some more papercraft stuff. It's an addiction...

Anyway, I picked up a few bits, was being good given I had just come back from the States with a bucket load of supplies, and I knew that the following week I would be off to Threads....

Which like the Handmade fair is still in its infancy. 

For those crazy long term followers of the blog, god love you all, I talked about it's inaugural show last year. Which was a little bit...well I wasn't sure what to make of it, and I am still not sure it's got the mix right. Like with the Handmade fair, I would have loved to have seen more niche suppliers of kits and materials. Not sure it's the fair for purchasing finished products. Especially in a few weeks time is the Malting's big Festival of Crafts. It was also I think a little smaller than last year, or that could have been my imagination. Still it was a good couple of hours of wandering around with the lovely Laura Howard aka Bugs and Fishes wandering about and talking to the stall holders. 

Of course I did buy a few bits...

So much pink...

Such as more wonderful threads from Zoe Acketts, who I have spoken about before, and now has the most delicious range of silk threads to compliment her cotton threads. All hand dyed and produced by her. In due course she'll have a website to sell the threads from which I can't wait for. Really was great to see her again. 

I also got the chance to meet Sophie Simpson of What Delilah Did, so great to put a name to a face. And seeing her new book, which I have to say you have to get because it's so darn cute, Stitch the Halls. Prompted me to purchase the skein of hot pink cotton thread from Zoe, so I can stitch the bunting design featured in the book, which is of winter animals, polar bears and so forth. Sure I have enough to be doing at the moment but a little project for the train can't hurt...

Well, I'll squeeze in around all the other oodles of sewing I've started to get into doing. In particular I mentioned as well last week that I was designing this year's Christmas bee bauble design....well here it is. Well, in it's near finished state:


Yes, the little Merry Bee is back, in miniature size sporting a Swarovski crystal nose. Bling for bees. I have to admit it did take a couple of attempts to get back into how to stitch the bees, nothing like brain freeze but having just stitched another one think I am getting back into the zone. Just have one more to stitch up and then I can get them turned into baubles, so hopefully by next week I can start looking at getting them listed. Might try out having them just on my website. I'll keep you posted. 

My tea has now been drunk, and so that means time to step away from the computer. Hope you lovely lot are well, and that you have had a nice weekend.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Time to Mention Christmas...

I know, I know! 

It's the middle of September and here I am talking about the one word that even makes me twitch. But I have to do it, I have to break it to you that alas I really do need to start to think about it. Like others in craft land its time to think about Christmas. Those who are better at working out that schedule have already started, and are well into their preparations.


I've dipped my toe in over the past couple of weeks and now it's time to cannonball into the pool of Christmas making. There is a good reason for this, I've got a fair in December, more on this soon, my first in over three years. I think? Memory fails me. Anyway, so whilst I am doing my utmost to remain calm and collected I do have to pull my finger out now. Now whilst I was in the States, I took the opportunity to purchase a few items (coughalotcough)...

Not only for playing about with, but to use for the fair in terms of decorating the stall to using to make stock with. I had a great time purchasing lots of lovely new quilting fabric (I will seek out a fabric store where ever I am), And I came to visit a couple of times, Flash Sew and Quilt store in Naples, Florida. It was lovely and holy crap there was a lot of fabric I wish I could have purchased. Next time, I'll bring and even bigger case...

I made a few notes about what I thought was realistic to make in the time and what I wanted to take. A few new ideas were jotted down, including a design for a Christmas card. It had to be stitched now so that I had time to get it photographed and printed in to cards. It was nice to do a spot of stripy trailing again. 

And it didn't take me that long either, which was nice. Was a bit worried I had gotten a bit rusty...

Anyway with it stitched I can now start working on the other bits and pieces on my list. I have two test pieces to try out one is the new Christmas bauble bee design. Last year it was a Queen Bee and this year? Well you'll have to wait and see. The other is just small little keyring idea, there will be bees...again.

Didn't start this weekend as it's been a bit busy as for most of today for instance I attended The Handmade Fair, with massive thanks to We Make London for my ticket. I entered a little comp they were running to win a ticket. And low and behold I only gone and won. Now, I'll talk about that adventure with the one I will be undertaking next weekend when I pop along to Threads, with Laura Howard aka Bugs and Fishes.

I hope everyone had a lovely fun, and crafty weekend.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Post Holiday Clarity

It’s been over a month since I last sat down with a huge of mug of tea and wrote a decent blog post. A lot has gone on over the last month from a special family wedding to a long, overdue holiday. And as mentioned in my posts from late July and early August, I’ve been in a bit of a funny place when it came to my motivation and inspiration to stitch, which meant blogging wasn’t so easy for me.

I have to be honest it still isn’t. Can’t tell you how many attempts it’s taken this morning to write this post. I realised whilst I was away, doing absolutely nothing for over 8 days, that it’s time I focused on what makes me happy and to go easy on myself. So if one week I can’t write a full post then I’ll just share a picture with you, and if I want to share a pattern with you…then it will be no more building up to it or scheduling it as a fixed date. I’ll do it when I am ready. Sure I work well with deadlines but I have plenty of those at work, so I think I can cut myself a little bit of slack when I am at home.

Because everything I stitch, design or make, I do it because I love it not because I hope to garner fame and money (though the latter would be nice to feed my addiction to quilting fabric..) which is probably why I will never earn oodles though my online shop, and you know what I don’t mind. Really, don’t mind.

Yeah, I know something I should have perhaps realised many moons ago, but it does take having a proper time out to make you have that moment of clarity.

So folks, I am back and I am starting to feel that I am in a good place again. I have lots to share with you over the coming weeks and months, so I hope you will enjoy my somewhat meandering path.