Monday, 30 November 2015


Its all about the end of the month in this post. 
November brings the Knitting and stitching show in Harrogate and I went for a visit on Thursday, with a friend.
The first person we saw was the one I wanted to see the most, the delightful and extremely talented Michala Gyetvai, who I've know from blogging and flickr almost from the start of my internet life!
I was dying to see her recent work, inspired by landscape and trees and influenced by a recent trip to India.

Some of her pieces are huge and intensely stitched. If you want to see more of her work visit her website and blog.
It was a pleasure to meet her. 

I also met up with Julie, Wendy and their friend Tina.
We arranged to meet and I was having my lunch when I saw Wendy I swallowed a big piece of my sandwich so I could say hello, and proceeded to choke. 
Fortunately Wendy was a dab hand..or should I say a dab fist, at thumping on the back, which she did and saved my life. Honest! I was choking. SO embarrassing.
We had a laugh about it...but I was quite shaken.

I met a few other textiley friends including Kim Thittichai, Sue Dove, Angie Hughes,  Clare Bullock, and Wyn Ingham.

I'd had enough of the whole stall thing by 3.30 though. I'm getting a bit jaded. 
I went out into the fresh air and did a bit of shopping.

Talking of fresh the weekend I did craft fair in The Palm House, Sefton Park, Liverpool.
Its an amazing huge Victorian Glass house. 
When I arrived I had no idea whether my stand would be in the Palm House or in the Marquee next door. It turned out I was in the Palm house and I was mighty glad because it was cold and windy on Saturday.

 Its a stupendous venue and in theory a good place for a craft fair. 
I had a perfect spot and met some truly great makers. 
But sadly, not enough buyers of my work.

 The weather had put a lot of people off I think, and perhaps my work was not right for this event. Such a contrast to Woolfest and Yarndale where I almost ran out of brooches.

By Sunday the winds had got up and after about an hour the people with stands in the marquee had to leave. There were huge gusts and the whole place resounded with noise of the wind against the glass. Trees were being blown over in the park, so the organisers made the difficult but very sensible decision to close.

 Rather a pity as I'd sold as much in the first two hours on Sunday as I'd sold all day Saturday. 

I'm having a rethink about Craft Fairs.
Even the  beautiful ones.

Now I'm going back in time to earlier in the month and in the last post I showed you the birds,
Well, I made lots more (for the craft fair) and had a little play with them for photographing.

And today I put all the ones I didn't sell at the weekend (which was nearly all of them!) into my etsy shop.
Here they are peeping and ready to fly.

And indeed many of them have flown today in my own online craft fair.
If you'd like to join in I'm giving 20% discount with the coupon code VALENTINE.

Now...if you don't know how to enter a coupon code here's a picture that might help. Do you see where it says 'apply shop coupon code' ? Click that
and you get this.

Put the code in the box and click apply.

Just so you know!

There are other things in the shop besides birds.

Selling fast.
I'm having a big rest from sewing now and going to tidy up so there may not be any more.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015


Birds have been hatching in October.
I've been thinking about making them for years and at last got round to it.
This was the first one.

I made it into a brooch and sold it immediately.

Suddenly I got into gear and continued to make them.
Each one is started with a machined outline on felt. I make a pile of them.

Next a pretty velvet wing is added.
And a new pile is made.

Then some nice tail feathers are machined and a beak and some feet. 
(Sometimes one, sometimes two. Just depends how I feel.)
And I make the pile again.

 Then I put the pile in a box and take them downstairs, with all my yummy hand threads, and sit and stitch little patterns on each them using French knots and lazy daisy and running stitch.

I get ridiculously involved in minute detail and very excited by things such as these little black stars with shiny white centres.

Then I take them back upstairs and machine a stiff piece of Vilene on to stiffen it, and start another pile.
Then I trim the Vilene down to the outline.

                       I go through the pile again, ironing a backing of Liberty lawn floral fabric on .

 Then I trim the excess felt and fabric away.
Some are going to be brooches and some have ribbons.

 I did that just before I wrote this post but it's too dark to photograph them.

 I used lovely shades of Organza ribbon .
 I ordered some from a company called Stylish and stunning. The order was wrong and no amount of emailing, phoning, and even returning the order has elicited a response from them. So avoid Stylish and stunning at all costs and use instead Printfare who sent me a perfect order within about three days, all correct.

I'm making more soon. 
I will be putting some in my shop eventually.
But don't know when.
They will be the same price as the brooches.

Here are the finished birds. Photographed this morning.

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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