Friday, 2 August 2013

A new addition

At a recent craft fair I was asked if I had any bags for little girls... oops! not a one. I realised I was neglecting the younger bag users among us. After all, what little girl doesn't want to be just like her Mummy? And today's little girls could be my customers of tomorrow! So I decided to spend a little time designing a couple of bags for children.
 The first one would make a lovely gift. It's fully lined and interfaced and even has a slip pocket inside and it comes with a lovely stretchy Fimo fruits bracelet.

Also in the pipeline is a much more basic, unlined, and therefore cheaper bag. It will be interesting to see how much demand there is for these in the run up to Christmas, and whether buyers go for the cheaper one or the more expensive bag.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Gimme that bling!

Just had to share these blingtastic  pieces of jewellery. They're a little different to what I've made before but I LOVE them! What do you think? A little ostentatious maybe? Yeah, possibly, but if you're dressing to impress ...

Friday, 21 June 2013

Elysia's Oreo Cake

I recently made a cake and posted a picture of it on Facebook that attracted quite a few likes, and Facebook even went so far as to add " This post is more engaging than many of your others"! Well that told me... So I thought I'd share the recipe. I call it 'Elysia's Oreo Cake' not because it contains Oreos but because  my granddaughter (Elysia) says that it looks like a giant Oreo.


For the sponge
8 oz Butter
8 oz Caster sugar
8 oz Self raising flour ( Minus 4 Tablespoons flour)
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 eggs

For the butter icing
8 oz icing sugar (sieved)
4 oz butter
few drops of vanilla extract
tablespoon milk


1. Heat oven to 180 degrees - I never use a fan setting when I'm baking 
2. Grease and flour two 8" sandwich tins
3. Beat together the butter and sugar, the longer you can beat the mixture the lighter the sponge will be.
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Don't worry if the mixture starts to curdle slightly, it will all come good.
5. Add 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder to the flour and stir in. Add enough hot water to the remaining cocoa to make a smooth slightly runny paste and beat into the cake mix, this will make the sponge nice and moist.
6. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder.
7. Divide the mix between the two sandwich tins and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the sponges are cooked ( the sponge will come away from the sides of the tin when it is done).
8. Cool for five minutes then turn out on to a cooling rack.
9. Beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract, again the longer you can beat it the better.
10. Add the milk a few drops at a time till the icing is nice and soft but not too runny.
11. When the sponge is completely cooled sandwich together with the butter icing and dust the top with icing sugar.

Voila!     Elysia's Oreo cake  - enjoy!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Losing my way

I've not done any sewing for the last couple of weeks,  which is unheard of, I think I have 'sewer's block'! Instead I've been concentrating on Jewellery making as I find it relaxing and therapeutic. I'm not planning on giving up bag making, but I feel that I've lost my creative identity. When I first started making bags I had a clear idea of the look I was aiming for - vintage style glamour. At the time I was only making evening bags but have since expanded my range considerably. I've had lots of advice from well meaning friends and family... " you should try making ..." But as a result I've kind of lost my way. My shops no longer have a signature style and I think that it's important to have one. If you do, people know what to expect in your shop and will hopefully bookmark it for when they are in the market for whatever it is that you sell. So I'm going to return to making things that I love - vintage inspired glamour and shabby chic - rather than what I think will sell. I think your passion for making things you love shines through in your work and though  many people may not like the same things as you, it's a given that a fair few will.    So from now on I plan to make sure that my makes have a style of their own, it may take me a while to get it right but I'm sure I'll enjoy the journey.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Though not an avid gardener I do go through phases of spending lots of time and money on my garden. Last year due to the awful Summer, I spent neither. But over the years I have accumulated a collection of shrubs and plants that have survived my sporadic attention and all too often neglect, those that aren't man enough fall by the wayside to be replaced by something else. This year I've noticed that many of my patio plants have fallen - I can't say whether this was due to my lack of care or to nature. But a couple that have survived to live another day are a yellow Camellia that I inherited from my Mum when she moved from a house to a flat and a pink Tree Peony. The Camellia had lots of flowers this year and I'm relieved not to have killed it off as my Mum loved it, and as she was a keen gardener she took great care of it. The tree peony I've had for a few years now and each year it produces just one bloom. Oh but what a bloom it is! It's about six inches across and really beautiful. Each morning when it is bathed in sunlight it opens up to reveal a stunning interior of yellow stamens and then as the sun goes down it closes again. Sadly within a week or so it will be gone for another year but I live in hope that one day there will be other blooms to join it. Maybe I'll have to try a larger pot?

The yellow Camellia

My Beautiful Tree Peony

Friday, 17 May 2013

New product range!

Hi all, it's been a while since my last blog. Since then I've been working on a few commissions and a completely new range of products! Nothing at all to do with sewing or fabric ...but beads!!

I've decided to take the plunge and create a Jewellery range to complement my bags and other accessories. I'd been thinking about doing this for a while, but wasn't sure whether to or not. After all isn't the Jewellery market completely saturated? And wouldn't I be treading on a few toes by venturing into this branch of the creative market?  At every craft fair that I've attended, customers always made a bee line for the Jewellery stands, even if there were several there. It seems that people can't get enough. And as for the toe treading, well in these straitened times I've noticed many other crafters diversifying into other areas of creativity, so I don't feel quite so bad.

I only have a few items in the collection so far, but have sold a couple of pieces already, so I'm kinda hoping that this collection will prove a popular addition to my shop.

Friday, 5 April 2013

New Bag!

I finally got round to making a bag design that's been in my sketch book for a few months. I found some fabric in my stash that I thought would be perfect for it, and I'd even drawn and cut out the pattern pieces. New bags always take longer as you need to iron out any little niggles and figure out the best order in which to make it. It's definitely easier to take your time and think about it, than it is to unpick! ... a job I hate.

Two days later and the bag was finished, and I must say that I am really pleased with the result. I need to make some more now as it's looking a little lonely in my shop..

Inside a pretty cotton print 

The cut out design means the bag will sit comfortably under the arm.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

On Saturday I have my second craft fair of the year, except it's not a craft fair per Se. It's a completely new monthly event called The Emporium Worthing. There'll be stalls selling everything from food, to homeware, gifts, crafts and more. I'm not really sure what to expect but thought it would be worth trying out. It's also outdoors... and I've never done an outdoor event before so I'm hoping that the weather will be kind. Cold I can cope with - so long as it's not bitterly cold - I just hope that it's not windy or raining... even though I will be under a gazebo, I have visions of soggy bags blowing around the market getting trodden underfoot! It's difficult to know what stock to take with me as I have no idea what people will be looking for, I'll probably take it all and just play it by ear.

If you're in the Worthing area please stop by and say hello. The venue is Montague Place Worthing, right in the centre of town, and it's open from 9 - 5.......I'll let you know how I get on.


Edit:  Well, what can I say?  Least said and all that..........

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Shabby chic anyone?

I recently decided to create a collection of shabby chic bags. I have long been a fan of all things shabby chic and thought a collection of bags in lovely fabrics would be perfect for the Spring and Summer. A few weeks ago I was in a local fabric store and saw some gorgeous fabric on the remnants counter. Normally I only buy fabrics in metre lengths as I only make one of a kind bags or very limited runs, but this remnant was nearly 3 metres! What to do? I ummed and aahed and eventually walked away. Once home though I regretted my decision.  A couple of weeks later I was back in the same store - would my fabric still be there? Yes! Fabric bought, I took it home to decide which bag design to make first.

I chose my 'Helen' design which is a hobo bag that I felt would perfectly complement the fabric. 'Helen' was made and I posted a photo on facebook, the post was shared and the bag was sold along with a custom order!

I decided that a 'Jo' bag would be next to be made up this fabric, I was very pleased with the result; I listed it on my website and posted a photo on facebook again... and a few hours later the bag sold! I was stunned... had I stumbled onto something? 

When I was in town the following day I picked up some more fabric that I thought might fit the bill (though I still have a fair bit of the original fabric left).

The new fabric

I made another 'Jo' in one of the new fabrics and listed it yesterday. It hasn't sold yet but I am still more than pleased with the result and I'm looking forward to making many more bags in these gorgeous fabrics, and I'm really excited about creating my first collection.

'Jo' Mark II

Friday, 8 March 2013

Folksy Friday - Red

The colour of choice for this weeks blog post is red. Red is the colour associated with danger but is also the colour that many fruits become when they are ripe and therefore good to eat! Red is also the colour of love and passion...
Here's this weeks selection

A cute spotty bear from  Berry Beautiful

Great cushion by  Creative Cushions

Pretty tulip tea light holder from  Edith Ceramics

A sweet  red velvet heart necklace by  Temporal Flux

A fabulous red cloche hat from  Elspeth Alexander Millinery

Sweet little red cardigan by  Card Making Princess

Stunning photograph by  D.A. Photography

A truly regal red felt crown from  splendid dressing up box

Couldn't resist this red toddler cape by  Creme Anglaise

And finally from me a rd spotty Kindle case  Wild Rose Designs

Hope you like my choices, thanks for looking


Friday, 22 February 2013

Folksy Friday - Yellow

I've decided on a change from different materials as a theme for my Folksy Friday blogs and so I'll be going with colours for a few weeks. As Spring is just around the corner, Yellow is this week's choice. No other colour quite manages to convey Spring as well as Yellow, even though as everything starts to grow the predominant colour is green. Yellow just makes us think of sunshine and blue skies.

Here are my choices for this week....

First up is a pale yellow cake stand from  jml pottery

 A beautiful rose photograph by  Katie Railton Photography

Pretty daffodil corsage brooches from  PaulinesCrafts

A stunning yellow and black candle holder from  Glassmagyck

A lovely yellow enamel pendant by  JellyGiraffe Handmade Jewellery

A leather butterfly key ring from  Tovicorrie

How cute! These baby shoes are from  Funky Shoes - Unique Gifts for Babies

Lovely leather journal! It's by  Bound

Gorgeous colours in this lampshade by  Revill, Revill

And lastly from me, a yellow and lilac bag  Wild Rose Designs

thanks for looking,


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Folksy Friday - Wool

This weeks Folksy Friday's material of choice is Wool.  Not all wool comes from Sheep; Cashmere and Mohair comes from the fleece of Goats, Angora from Rabbits and Alpaca from a type of camel. Wool is a very versatile fibre which can be woven, knitted or felted and it has great insulating properties. Natural wool is usually a creamy white colour though it can come in black, brown, silver or random mixes.

Here is this weeks selection - hope you like them...

Love this cushion by  Lainey Drew Textiles

Wish I'd made this bag, it's from  Jenny Gale

A lovely  traditional Peg Rug  from  nellie and eve

A pretty felted neck scarf by  BEAUTIFULFELTS

A cute teal felt bowl with lid from  That Fuzzy Feeling

Love the colours in this hand knitted Fairisle wool beret by  Mezzaluna bags & berets

Gorgeous handwoven wrap from  Mingled Yarn

This funky felt fish brooch is great, it's by MADE WITH LOVE

A stunning Merino wool painting from  The Mucky Pup Gallery

And finally from me a wool Kindle cover  Wild Rose Designs

thanks for looking  ..  :-)


Monday, 11 February 2013

'Must do list' - update

Further to my previous post I have managed a few of  the items on my list;

 I've joined Pinterest!

 I  only have one board so far, more by way of a practise run but I'm slowly getting the hang of it - I think!         You can follow me by clicking on the button on the left.

 I've booked two craft fairs so far:

 I'm back at Barties Boutique, Chapel Road Worthing, on Saturday 9th March 10 - 2,
 and on the 30th March I will be at The Emporium, Worthing from 9 until 5. It's a brand new monthly    outdoor Market right in the centre of town in Montague Place. I haven't done an outdoor Market before so  I'm really looking forward to it. I just hope it isn't too cold or tipping it down - though I will be under cover.

 And I've started to raise my prices to a more realistic level. I hope that it won't put people off buying, especially in the current economic climate. But though I love what I do, it is my job and I really need to earn something from it...

Okay, so that's three down, it's a good start but plenty still to do, it's a work in progress...

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Folksy Friday - Silk

Yet another week has flown by, where does the time go? I know they say that you slow down as you get older, but this is ridiculous  - and I'm not in my dotage yet! I think like most of us, it's a case of wearing too many different hats!

Anyway, continuing with my materials theme, this weeks Folksy Friday is about Silk. Now we all know that silk comes from the cocoons of the larvae of the silk moth caterpillar, but did you know that the shimmering lustre of silk is due to the triangular, prism like structure of the silk fibres which allows the cloth  to refract incoming light at different angles thereby producing different colours! I love silk, or more precisely silk dupion. I love it's slubbed texture and the way it shimmers and it comes in some stunning colours. Here is my selection for this week:

This is a beautiful hand painted silk scarf from  Ellie Hipkin Hand Painted Silks

Some love silk papers by  Fantasytextiles

Cute silk Mary Janes from  WINNIBRIGGS HOUSE

Gorgeous colours in this lovely hair clip from  Kwur-kee

Some unusual silk bowls by  foto art paper craft

 This Kimono top is lovely, it's by  MistressCollection

A lovely silk ribbon embroidered scented sachet from  handmade by susanjane

A stunning silk Flower girl dress by  Gilly Gray

A gorgeous grey silk taffeta rose necklace from  The TatteredRose

And finally from me, a blue silk bag  Wild Rose Designs

I hope you enjoyed my selection..