Friday, 28 September 2012

Folksy Friday - Time for Tea

This is my first Folksy Friday post for a few weeks and it's all about tea time! I do like a nice cuppa especially when it's a little on the cool side outdoors. On a Winters day I could happily sit in front of the fire drinking tea all day! I like my tea hot and strong and in a mug not a cup, but I do think tea cups are very pretty; great for decoration but not for drinking out of. They don't hold enough tea and it gets cold too quickly   :-)
Here's this weeks selection:

First a great milk, sugar and spoon set from Penny Spooner Ceramics

Next a lovely vintage 'tea time' clock by 'Bread & Butter' by Bev Jennings

This is a beautiful card from  Mallow Tree Cards

A super teapot cushion by  Love From The Holly Tree

This is a really cute milk jug purse from lunartis

A pretty bookmark by  Made 4 your Books

An unusual tea time brooch set from  Sketchinc

Love this owl tea cosy by  Tafferty Designs shop

It certainly does... this door hanger is by  plumporridge

And lastly, another tea cosy from me  Wild Rose designs

Hope you enjoyed my selection, thanks for looking,


Monday, 24 September 2012

Clearing out the loft

We've having our loft insulated, it's been so long since we last had it done that most of the insulation has disintegrated. A major clear out of the loft was in order. It took the whole weekend to clear 30 odd years worth of accumulated c...  er junk ! Why oh why did we keep all this stuff? Did we really think we'd need it?  I'd kept every birthday card that the kids got up to the age of 18, they're not interested so that all went into the recycling. There were school exercise books ...even some of mine! And I won't tell you how many suitcases there were - why did we buy so many? Just one of life's mysteries I suppose. A lot of the stuff  is junk, some we'll take to a car boot and the rest we'll have to put back after the loft has been insulated and re-boarded. Until then our conservatory will continue to look like Steptoe's yard.

I did find some of my old clothes from the seventies, in particular one size 12 skirt which I got my soon to be 14 yr old Granddaughter to try on. Now, she is a very active girl, she does 8 hours of gymnastics and 3 hours of dance every week on top of School sports lessons, and eats healthily. In contrast to most of her friends, she is tiny (not in height), a size 4 to 6 and like a long piece of string. The skirt swamped her on the hips - she has none! But around the waist it was a perfect fit! I think it's for a 24 inch waist. When did we get so big that a modern size 6 equates to a 1970's size 12, bearing in mind that the last time I wore it I was about 25 and my Daughter was about 2, so I was no teenager and never considered myself to be exceptionally slim. It can't be just that people are less active as my granddaughter is far more active than I ever was, she's not always snacking and doesn't eat large portions of the wrong foods. I think it must be that portion sizes have gradually increased and a general improvement in nutrition. I just wish I could still fit into that skirt, though I'd probably look ill if was that slim now....ah those were the days....

Another of my finds was a box of old dress making patterns that I had accumulated over the years. There are patterns from the 60's, 70's, 80's and early 90's. As you might have noticed, I'm a bit of a hoarder by nature and hate throwing things out. We are going to be ruthless this time but the patterns will be staying, along with all my books. To me these patterns represent a piece of social history, and you never know, they may just come in useful some day...........

Friday, 14 September 2012

Christmas makes

I've noticed that everyone else is already well into making their Christmas stock and not wanting to be left behind, I thought I'd better get cracking on mine. I thought about making Christmas stockings last year but never got round to it so this year I was determined to make them. I wasn't sure how they were going to turn out but was rather pleased with the results.

These are all quite elaborate luxury stockings but I'm also going to be making some simpler designs with the more traditional rounded toe, and I'm also hoping to make some garlands and maybe some tree decorations. But it's all a bit experimental at the moment....wish me luck.


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Time to get more businesslike

I recently decided that I haven't been very professional in the way that I go about making my bags and other items. I tend to wander into my workroom, sort through my fabric stash and spend ages trying to decide what to make, before setting out to make just one of whatever I finally decided upon. Not very professional and not cost effective either. I'd end up making just the one item  that would maybe sell for just £25 - £30, no a great days wage by any stretch of the imagination, especially when you take off the cost of the materials and overheads! It was time to become more businesslike in the way that I work.

The thing that really gave me the incentive for this sudden need to be more efficient is the fact that I have booked a place at three upcoming Craft markets ( more of which in a later blog). I needed to make sure that I have plenty of stock and a variety of items both in design and colour/fabric variations. I also wanted to add a few Christmasy bits, so I really needed to get cracking.

I decided that the best way forward was to decide on an item to make, cut out at least three or four and set to in making them. Making several of the same design is rather like setting up a production like in as much as it's much quicker even though the fabrics may be quite different. On Tuesday this week I managed to make 4 Kindle covers in one day rather than my usual 1. They were all different but because the method was the same I got into a rhythm and quadrupled my output! They are priced at £15 each, so still not a fortune for a days work but much better than I had been achieving ( providing they sell of course).

So from now on, unless I'm making a prototype or making up a commission, I will be using my more businesslike methods of making.