Monday, December 31, 2012

All Shiny And New

As a student at school, it was always a great feeling to fill up your old exercise book and start out with a brand new one.  Gone was the red writing from the teacher and the pages where your writing went all scruffy and there in front of you was fresh paper, crisp covers and the chance for a fresh start.
The new year 2013 lies before each of us as a chance of a new fresh note book.  The chance to start afresh on new journeys and discoveries and the chance to lay behind us things that have have made us unhappy.
Enjoy your new notebook!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Christmas Open House

For 5 or 6 years now, I have run an open house event in the run up to Christmas.  

I spread all my creations out through the downstairs rooms and pop on fresh coffee and warm mince pies in the oven, light winter scented candles.  

Turn on the Christmas music and ioen up to the public.  I send out invites to friends and extend the invite to clients and anyone else who wants to come and browse.  I really enjoy it as do many of my clients who ask in anticipation each year.

This year My Open House will be held on Wednesday 28th November from 9am til 3pm and from 7pm until 9pm.  All are welcome.
Contact me for further details or just turn up!
4, Nunnery Walk
South Cave
East Yorkshire
HU15 2JA

Monday, October 15, 2012

Jam Jar

Since glass jars have been produced, they have been re used to store things in.   Initially known as preserving jars as they offered air tight storage and preserving housing for fruit and vegetables meaning that they could be preserved and used over the whole year rather than just "in season".  The addition of sugar, vinegar or alcohol offered year round food supplies often a lifeline to poor families without the modern fridges and freezers.
Home pickling  chutney making and jam making is ever popular and many small cottage businesses have grown up around this trade.  The ability to keep costs low in production have been embraced and many of these small businesses are recycling glass jars.  Church hall fetes, WI ladies among others are also large recyclers of glass jars.
in the jam making and pickling process, all jars used are washed thoroughly in hot soapy water and  are then heated in the oven or microwave to sterilise them (instructions for sterilising jars are HERE).  Incorrectly sterilised jars will infect food and it will go off.
Recently there has been an uproar for the ladies in the WI, small businesses etc as a 2004 EU regulation has been publicised stating that jam jars used must be new and  made of pure glass.  The FSA has advised that each authority will make rulings and to contact your local environmental health department for guidelines and advice.
The cheapest glass jars I have located are: JazzJars 1lb jars wth lids pack of 56 £18.75 + £7.25 = 46p each
This is a lot for a small business to add into their costs and many of them may be pushed out of trading.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Teal Choker

I been making some new Autumn and winter jewellery and this is the first one in the new range.  it's a wooden choker with metal accents in antiqued silver

The teal beads are accented with a few jungle green beads from the same series.

The Earrings are on ahook topper, but can be changed to  clip on s or stud topper.

The set is available on my Folksy store

Monday, October 8, 2012

I Won A Prize

This morning I heard that I had won a prize in a card making competition.
The competition that has been run by Jill from Christmas Pie Crafts was a competition to make a card featuring flowers.  I had an afternoon of playing with quilling strips and created  this card.
I admit to being very very happy!!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Guest Blogger on Christmas Pie Crafts

I am the guest blogger on Christmas Pie Crafts today.  I wrote the article a few weeks ago and had quite forgotten about it, so it was a lovely surprise when Jill contacted me to let me know about it.  Why bnot pop over and read about my preparation for Christmas.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sock Monkeys ~ The Sad Truth

I have been working on self certifying my sock monkeys for the CE EN71 mark which is a legal requirement for any toy.  A toy in legal terms is anything that looks like a toy! (so saying only for over 14's etc is not a legal get out of jail free card)
I got a self certification pack from Conformance (£30 incl VAT) it's incredibly helpful and shows you what test need carrying out, how they need to be carried out, what paperwork to collect, forms etc.
Now all components need to be EN671 compliant and whilst I can get stuffing, felt etc, I have been unable to find socks that conform and that is because as clothing, socks do not need to conform to toy standards.
Dispute the fact that I use children's socks from reputable shops, those socks may still contain dye that is not compliant, so by making a child's sock into a child's toy, I would be breaking the law.
I could get the socks tested myself for about £180, but when socks come in packs of 5 different designs that would each need testing individually and then when the shop decides to change designs, I start from the beginning again.
I am therefore taking the decision not to make sock toys.

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Prizes

A while ago, the forum ran a competition, well actually a series of competitions called the Crafts Forum Summer Show. I entered lots of the categories, and was lucky enough to win two of them. The first was
Reycled crafts and was sponsored by Bodrighy.  I  entered my skirt
I received my prize last week and it is beautiful.  It's a beautiful wooden goblet made of Chaperno wood.  I have always loved Pete's work, so it's now got pride of place in my lounge.

The second category I won was Pink to make the boys wink sponsored by Snug Craft.
I entered my memory quilt
I received a wonderful prize of a pair of handcast pewter earrings with pink enamelling and a lovely little pewter heart.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Quilled Card

I have recently bought some quilling papers so that I can take part in the UK Crafts Forum's Quill A long However, as that isn't starting until next weekend, I have been looking at the strips and wondering if I can still remember how it all works.
I got my chance to find out when another post on the forum made me look at a card competition and think "what a great excuse"

so out came the papers and an hour later, this card emerged.

Now I should point out that card making is not usually my remit, but I've had a lot of fun doing it.

hope you like it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Giveaway

It's a long time since I did a giveaway and so I decided I better get round to doing one.
I recently made a necklace like this one for a friend and it was admired by a lot of people, so I thought it would be the ideal gift for a giveaway.

It is a selection of pink / plum/ purple toned beads strung on three strands..  The earrings are currently on hooks, but I can change to a stud top or clip on for you. Let me know which you prefer.

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning it is to:
Follow and comment on this blog (1 entry) and /or
follow and RT the tweet on Twitter (1 entry)
I will select a winner at random on Monday 17th September at 12 noon.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ring a Ring of Roses

I've been having a ring phase recently.

I've been creating a series of cluster rings.

I find it incredibly satisfying selecting beads in a colour scheme or mix and adding them to the ring bases.

They are fiddly things to make, but add a real dash of colour and texture to you outfit.

The ring bases are platinum plated and are fully adjustable.

They came in any different colour ranges, or can be made in your own colour specification.
You can see the other rings I have made on HERE

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Christmas Is Coming

I have just made my first You Tube Video and here it is in all it's Glory.  (Well nearly all!  the end seemed to just disappear!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wall Art Canvases ~ Hidden Depths

 I have been up to my eyes in glue and paper recently making this series of Canvas wall art.

Based upon the secret history we do not see as we walk through our surroundings is hinted at through the form of the spiralling ammonite.

The pictures are made up with recycled papers and are finished with varnish.
Each picture measures 20cm x 20 cm x 4cm.
 They can be free standing or wall mounted.  
you can read more about them HERE

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

4 Skirts Recycled into 1.

I have a lovely neighbour who loves clothes shopping.  This is very much to my benefit as when her wardrobe no longer fits her stash, she empties it and brings the clothes over to mine.  It's always lovely to receive the latest bagful.  The latest stash had several skirts in it that were too short for me as I love floor swishers.  I was at a loss with what to do with them as the fabrics were lovely.  Often I will turn the clothes into altered tshirt scarfs or rag rugs, but this time I wanted to do something with them so I could wear them.

I sat one night and cut each skirt into small pieces and then the following morning I began to sew them all together to make a huge patchwork sheet.  I then cut it up and formed it into a skirt.  It's really lovely autumn colours and swishes like you wouldn't believe.

I didn't have a pattern to follow so have had to make it up as I went along.
Now I can't wait for my next sewing project.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I was interviewed ~ Handmade Harbour

Recently I was interviewed by Wendy at Handmade Harbour which is a great blog about the crafting world.
It was lovely to see the interview published yesterday.   You can read all about how I got started and see my workroom.  Read about Karen

Friday, August 3, 2012

You're Beautiful ~ Phil Wickham

Beauty In Unexpected Places

Every day when I see the wonderful countryside around South Cave, I think "I am so lucky to live here"  the rolling hills with their crop planted patchworks, the copses and woodland all sit beautifully together, no wonder they inspire artists.

Painting by David Hockney
A few night ago I was talking at a WI over the other side of Hull in the rural location of Roos.  My journey there took me from the beautiful Wolds.

Past the river Humber with the sunlight glistening on the water and the blue sky reflected in it. Past the majestic Humber bridge through the centre of Hull.

Past the marina with the boats bobbing and into a run down dock area, past the prison and then past the sprawling mass of pipes and chimneys that is Salt End Petrochemical company.

Finally I entered winding country roads that led through pretty little villages until I got to my destination. I thought back over the journey and thought how Salt End was a blot on the landscape.
My return journey left me thinking that perhaps I'd got it wrong.  It was dark by the time I left Hedon and turned out on to he A63. As I did, there infront of me was a stunning scene.

this photo is one of a series of amazing photos by Hull Photographer David Laws

 Salt End, lit up by lights all decked in splendour.  It was beautiful.  Had I not been driving I would have been able to take it in a bit more.
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