Wednesday, 28 November 2007


Despite the outward chaos, I think I might actually be getting to grips with all I had to do this week. I have finished the above, which is a Christmas gift for my niece. Here's hoping she doesn't visit the blog for a while - I know she's busy at the moment as she's coming to visit me for a long weekend tomorrow!

This is a simple Derwent Drawing Pencil portrait on a lovely piece of blue paper from the new Daler Rowney 'Murano' pastel paper, 'cool' range of colours. It was great fun to do - Muffin is an eight month old Retriever bitch and simply gorgeous, very bouncy!

I shan't be making anything for a while - other than some Christmas pennies I hope - going to be very very busy! I'll try and take some pictures of the Big Bead Fair for those of you who aren't going.

By the way, I'm considering having a Christmas Giveaway - anyone interested? Not sure what the booty will be just yet.....

Monday, 26 November 2007

Sea-glass, Hummingbirds and Flowers...

Yesterday I spent over two hours pricing and setting up a display of jewellery for the coming craft fairs - and still only managed to do half of what is needed. My kitchen looks like a junk yard and I'm beginning to panic - the logistics of this week are starting to escape me. I have a craft fair Friday afternoon, but about fifteen minutes after that finishes I have to go and pick up my sister who arrives from Greece to visit the Big Bead Fair with me on Saturday. Saturday, I have to go to the Big Bead Fair but also have my son man my stall at another craft fair and hope that I can get back in time to at least be present for the last hour. In the meantime, I have work every day (the Day Job!) as well as trying to finish one painting and start another...oh yes, and I guess the family will want feeding and clothing as well! The thought that keeps me going is that Sunday I can relax a bit and go with my sister to do some retail therapy and have a nice lunch out.

Enough of that - I can't complain about commitments that I have taken on willingly!

However, last night I managed to have some fun with beads and wire and these are the result:
Having sold the first humming bird necklace very soon after making it, I realised I didn't have anything similar in my collection so made sure to rectify that. This is with little pink flowers and AB vintage beads on gold-plated wire. Hopefully it is very different from the last one, which if I remember had leaves as well. £16 + p&p
I had made a sea-glass necklace similar to this a while back and kept it for myself. Unfortunately, while plunging through the undergrowth dog-walking, it must have fallen off. I searched the house and my route but can only assume some other dog walker is sitting at home chuckling over their good fortune at finding my precious necklace (I really liked it!). So I will put this in the sale but if it doesn't go, it's mine! £15 +p&p
Finally, I made a little bracelet using dark brassy wire, little AB seed beads and blue plastic flowers. Bit of a retro piece - not too sure what it falls under! This is £5 + p&p

Off to price the rest of my stock - boring!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Poor Rudolph.....

This kept me amused last night - found the pattern on the net but adapted it to my own specifications - added ears, a little plastic nose and the red ribbon and jingle bells. This is a Christmas tree decoration but the general concensus in our house is that I should make another one, without the ribbon and bells, and mount it on a little crochet plaque - we are a sick bunch!


Friday, 23 November 2007

Not much to show.....

The above is a very old pen and ink drawing I did of my first saluki, sadly long gone. However, I thought it might be a good example to put on here of another style of pet portrait that I can produce - not just coloured pencils and acrylics!

I have not been idle over the past few days but have nothing finished to show for it yet. I am in the middle of a coloured pencil portrait of my niece's young retriever, which is coming along nicely but nowhere near finished yet. I have also been knitting a tamoshanter hat for Wear-Downey, which is almost done, but is in very thin and delicate yarn so is taking longer than I thought - and I have to make two more of those!

My own bits and pieces have had to take a back seat - I have to finish the dog picture as I have a rather lovely commission to get on with (picture of a wet dog standing in water looking very pleased with himself....); and the Wear-Downey stuff has to be done or I won't get paid! Also with two craft fairs in quick succession next weekend, I have to spend the next few days pricing everything and getting it all presented well etc. I may take some time out this evening as I have found a rather nice amigurumi reindeer decoration to make.....

On a different note, the lovely Emma at My Vintage Charms will soon be getting lots more stock in - so if you are in to the retro, the kitsch or the just plain whimsical, this is the place for you! I can't wait to see what's coming - rumour has it there will be zebras.........

Monday, 19 November 2007

Woolly Mittens

Having fallen in love with the little Jack Russell pattern and made a couple of brooches using it, I thought how cute it would be to have some gloves or mittens with little friends on the back. I knitted these fingerless mittens in a nice warm blue mohair yarn (you may remember it from the little wrap I made a while back; this was what was left). I then made a couple of little Jack Russells - as time goes on I am getting faster at knocking these things out - and sewed them on to the mittens. Cute! These are for grown ups - why should children have all the fun! £12.50 + P&P SOLD - but I will take orders......

We had a day in London yesterday and visited a fascinating shop called the Japan Centre in Piccadilly. Apart from picking up various foodie bits (no sewing or crochet books unfortunately), I found an origami kit to make jungle animals. Well, that's something that nearly ended up the other end of the room with a boot mark on it! Looks deceptively simple but is actually incredibly least I mastered how to make a butterfly, but the gibbon and chameleon look like refugees from the Island of Dr. Moreau......

Friday, 16 November 2007

Beat the Christmas Rush...

The above is my latest watercolour, which has taken a lot of hard work - boats are not my thing and I found it really difficult. It was a lot of fun having a challenge though and I am quite pleased with how it turned out. If you are interested in buying it, please contact me.

Just a quick note to say to anyone who hopes to buy any item shown on this blog as a Christmas present, please let me know within the next couple of weeks if you have set your heart on anything. At the end of this month I will be setting up shop at various Christmas craft fairs and if sales are anything like the last few craft fairs I have done, there will not be much left at the end. I can either 'reserve' an item or sell it now, whichever is best for you.

With the same theme in mind, any Christmas commissions need to be given to me now in order for them to be completed in time - only so many hours in the day I am afraid! If you have any queries, please get in touch at the e-mail address above - thank you!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Gone to the Dogs.....

Here is the result of a couple of days planning and sewing - a felt model of my own dog! It's loosely based on my saluki, using an adaptation of the large felt dog pattern I made a while ago. I slimmed down the body, gave it a deeper chest, lengthened the muzzle, legs, tail and ears and gave the tail and ears fronds. He has the daft little 'melon seed' eyebrows, and a very smart leather collar with the obligatory tassel that all salukis must have! I'm really pleased with how it came out although if I were to make it again I would slim the face and front legs down even further as salukis are very delicately made.
This is a more lifelike pose for a saluki - running like the wind!
Until I put a few anchoring stitches in the ears, they were horizontal like a bird's wings which is how they go when the dog runs, but it looked a tad silly when just sat there!

And this is generally the dopey expression I'm greeted with!!

I made this little Jack Russell mascot as well, but this was from my recently acquired book, slightly adapted as I added the patch and made the ears a bit more jaunty. This is going to be a brooch - I'd wear it, don't know about anyone else........ SOLD - but I will take orders...

I do have a million other things to be making, but I feel the felt dog obsession taking over.....commissions undertaken!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Experimental Duck

This is a little something cooked up yesterday - my son is really taken with the idea of his designs being made into toys and asked if I could make up this to see if it would work. It is a fairly simple idea for a first attempt and I had to cobble up a pattern from looking at his design on the computer and then try to make it as best I could with what resources I had at home.

Bearing in mind that my son is a 23 year old Animation graduate, I think it is a pretty neat design and I can only apologise for the shoddy stitching which seems to have appeared when photographing this. (It doesn't show in real life, I can't understand why the flash
picks up every tiny thread.)

If you would like to see some of George's more professional art, please click on the link to your left - Monstertree. If you would like to employ him in some shape or form, please get in touch - poor lad has been job-hunting since graduating and is feeling pretty desperate!

If there is anything of his you would like turned into a felt toy (within reason!) also get in touch and we'll see what we can do!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Thong and Dance.....

Here are three pieces I made last night. The above is a five strand grey suede necklace with soft blue round wooden beads and sludgy green wooden fish beads interspersed with silver and MOP fish and shells. The fastener is made with silver wire. This has turned out even better than I expected - looks very nice on indeed. £16 + P&P
I love this bracelet - I may have to make one for myself too after having a practice run of wearing it for an hour this morning. It is five strands of grey suede thong with little groups of three soft blue round wooden beads and five silver fish scattered among them. It hangs so beautifully when on the wrist and the thongs kind of spiral round each other like ripples on the water with the fish swimming along underneath! £7.50 +P&P
This giant glass bead was bought from a little old man called Pericles in Monastiraki Flea Market, Athens. I bought some beads from him last year and they have all gone, so we went back this year in the hope of him still being there and sure enough his little shop was exactly the same. I chose a few chunky glass beads (this was the only round one unfortunately) and when I went to pay and spoke to him in Greek, he did the same as last year - knocked the price down and gave me a couple of free beads! I have hung this bead on a mixture of grey suede thong, grey ribbon, organza ribbon, and two strands of grey and clear seed beads, with a simple silver clasp. The bead can be removed if you want to wear the strands on their own. £16 + P&P

Friday, 9 November 2007


Finally the postman delivered my books! They were waiting on the doorstep when I got home from work today. The knitting book is actually a present for my sister and contains some beautiful knitted children's wear. Not really my thing though - got no-one that size to knit for any more! The book I've been waiting for is The Cute Book - full of felt (whoops, I thought they were crocheted from the tiny illustrations on Amazon) mascots. Although I am wondering why on earth anyone would consider this........
.........cute!! Personally, I think it is cool and can see myself making one for the hell of it, but cute? Not in a million years!

Change of subject: I got given this today by a small boy in the class I am currently working in. He's been in a bit of trouble this past week so today was very remorseful and showering all the teaching staff with pictures. It wasn't until I went to go home and had a really good look at this I realised it was a picture of me, with my green skirt, brown cardi, manic blonde hair with the glasses perched on top of the head! (Bit worried about the giant pink hands he gave us all though...) Ahhh, guess we'll have to forgive him....

Nothing made to show today - started making the dishcloth (???) last night and was asleep in front of the TV by 7.50. Who needs Horlicks!

Thursday, 8 November 2007


Well, still no delivery from Amazon and I am very frustrated!! Maybe some little postal worker somewhere is sitting crocheting small animals and knitting baby jackets.....

In the meantime, I have occupied myself making one of the slightly larger felt animals from my existing Japanese book. It took a couple of evenings but only because I decided to make it using invisible thread - aptly named as not only is it invisible on the finished article, you can't see the darn stuff while you are sewing with it! So I kept getting in a bit of a tangle as it wound itself around things without me noticing and I had to go back and sort out the mess! But worth the effort as the stitching barely shows and he has come up looking really quite professional - yay me! No doubt this little chap will have some accessories - can't send him off to a new home without a bed and toys.. SOLD!

Bit of a downer yesterday - got another parcel in the post from Wear-Downey wanting me to do some knitting for them. I was kind of hoping they had forgotten about me after sending them a tactful letter saying I wouldn't mind if they didn't use my services again as I was really very busy with my own stuff.... Never mind, this time it is fairly simple - three identical tamoshanter hats and a dishcloth (??????) - and as I'm getting paid for it I shouldn't complain!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Pink Teddy

Here is the sum total of yesterday's arts'n'crafts - just the one pink teddy bear. I've shown it next to the miniature one (which is now a brooch) to get an idea of the size, about 5 inches tall. I don't know what it is about making these bears, but I always end up dozing off - is it the soothing repetitiveness or are they just plain boring to make? I think I have had enough of them now - I'm still awaiting my Amigurumi book from Amazon (damn you Super Saver Delivery, why did I choose the slowest way just to save a couple of quid!) and want to see what I can make from that. Oh well, there are plenty of other things to be getting on with in the meantime....
Both bears SOLD!

Monday, 5 November 2007

Three More Necklaces...

After taking an hour to sort out my bead tray and amalgamate the new beads into my containers, I have been knuckling down to making some jewellery. I began yesterday by producing some Fimo pebble beads, a process I loathe and despise for the mess and time it takes, but the results are worth it. The above is a necklace with five 'stone' beads interspersed with silver wire spirals all on a soft grey suede thong. Very understated (unusual for me!) and would go very well with the Winter greys in fashion at the moment. £10 + P&P
This is a simple bronze chain necklace with dark tubular beads - I can't say what colour they are as they change with the light - they are dark with a sheen of purple, green or blue, depending on the angle you look at them. Again, quite simple, but the beads make such a statement they don't need any further additions. £12 + P&P
Finally, back to my favourite frivolity, flowers and butterflies. These are small lilac glass flowers on a silver hand-made chain, with a couple of frosted glass butterflies. Very delicate and pretty. £15 + P&P

Not too sure what to do today - so many ideas to choose from!

On a different note, anybody else hate this time of year? We have had three nights of fireworks so far with the promise of more to come this evening. My poor little dog spends half his life behind the sofa at the moment, moaning and hyperventilating at each loud bang. I have to ensure he goes out for a pee before dark as there is no way we can cajole him outside once the noise begins, and we have to wait until very late to let him out again and hope there won't be that last damn rocket that will send him scuttling back behind the sofa, bladder still full. We have had him for over ten years, but I don't think he has ever got over being a stray in London during the first week of November. I dose him up with a homeopathic remedy which seems to help a little, but it makes me so sad to see him turn from a happy little chap whose tail never stops wagging to a hysterical wreck cowering and quivering.

Saturday, 3 November 2007


The above is a necklace made with gold-plated wire and three sorts of AB beads - small, medium green and large clear vintage. The pendant is a cluster of beads hung on the wire and sparkles in the light like a disco ball. I found this really hard to photograph - out in the sunshine the sparkles confused the camera, inside the electric light doesn't pick up the sparkles - you'll just have to take my word for it, it's yummy! £16 + P&P
This is a bracelet made with five strands of soft grey leather thong (I bought an enormous reel of this in Athens, hoping the neutral colour would go with most beads & charms) bound at the ends with silver wire. Hung on the strands are various little beads and charms which have free movement up and down the thong. I saw this sort of design in Athens but have made it in my own way - marine themed rather than with the crystals I saw there. £7 + P&P

Had a bit of an idea for the mini-bear - he deserves a bit more care than being a key-ring, so he is going to be made into a brooch.

Just got a parcel of wire in the post, but no Amigurumi book, so I guess it's jewellery for this weekend!

Friday, 2 November 2007

My Poor Eyes......

Here he is, my smallest crochet teddy bear yet, finished and ready for action and I think I may never see straight again! I'm amazed this got done as it has a strangely soporific effect on me - I fell asleep while making him again last night.

I'm not too sure what will happen to him - I'm thinking keyring/phone charm. My lovely son told me I should make lots of them as he is sure they'd sell (bless him for his faith in my abilities!) but I don't know whether my eyesight would last the distance!

I'm awaiting an Amigurumi book from Amazon - this really is becoming a bit of an obsession! However, I think it will be back to beading today - so many crafts, so little time....

Thursday, 1 November 2007

First Attempts...

Here are my first forays into my bag of Greek beads! The above is a fairly long chain necklace made using AB greeny/blue flower shaped glass beads and some old brass coloured eye-pins. In between the flowers are some AB seed beads. The flowers are quite small, about the size of a drawing pin head. It is a delicate and understated necklace - pleased with that! £15 + P&P
This is a bracelet made using silver wire, clear seed beads and some fabulous green frosted irregular shaped beads (plastic would you believe, not glass) that look just like sea-glass. I am so happy with this one - trouble is I keep looking at the bag of beads left and feeling bad for using them as they are too nice! £7.50 + P&P

I am in the process of crocheting another Amigurumi bear in very fine crochet cotton - I'm not sure my eyes will stand the strain! I would have finished it last night but kept falling asleep, crochet hook in hand - hopefully I have recovered enough today from the mountain of washing (six loads, SIX!) and shock of going back to work so will be able to stay awake past 7 p.m. - poor old thing, it's a shame.........