Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Birthday Decorations

It's been a tradition for as long as I can remember that I decorate the house on Caits birthday. I can't remember when/how it started although I think something from "Fairy things to make and do" may have been involved. I seem to remember fairies made from cardboard and straws dangling from our fireplace.

As is the way with traditions they grow every year and the same can be said of birthday decorations! We've had everything from painted flowers and stars with dots on them to cut out birds inspired byPetra Boase.

This year I challenged myself to stick to the bird theme, which incidentally reigned also last summer for Niamhs birthday. This time though I found something three dimensional to have a go at.... bird cages!

I stumbled across a blog called the the BridesCafe which has a fab tutorial for the following birdcages and they are so simple.

I got busy over the weekend and came up with my own versions.

One nice thing was that they were simple enough that Niamh was able to help and she made the one all in pink in the middle of the shot. The most important thing though was that Cait liked them!

Birthday decorations down.... just two advent calendars to sort now!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Light Up Hassocks

I managed to cram everything for the stall into three large bags and had the handy help of my folks to carry it all round for set up time. I draped a few vintage tablecloths over the trestle table and I was in business. Everything fitted on just perfectly and all my little props and baskets seemed just the ticket for adding a bit of character to the set up.

My beautiful cushions.

The bits and bobs end, including my popular decorations.

These are Caits fab rag dolls but I can't work out how to rotate the photo so you'll have to tilt your head!

The whole evening was such fun with a little procession down the main street. The lights were switched on by Harry, the son of one of our friends, and the school choir, including little Niamh, sang a selection of festive songs.

My stall was in a really good place in the main hall and I had lots and lots of people come to browse and buy. It was great talking to people and getting good feedback on the items. The best sellers by far were the rings and decorations, with the brooch kits coming in third. I had as many requests for the bright version as I did the vintage and have made some kits up over this weekend. I aim to get up and running on Etsy this week (lots of people asked if I was online) and they'll be one of the first things I post. 

I manned the stall with Cait all evening bar the school choir moment when we had the fantastic help of the Watson family on the stall. A glass or two of mulled wine seemed to keep me going. The second half of the evening was quieter but it was still quite fruitful in the sales stakes and there was more time to talk to the browsers. On top of all that it was lovely to see everyone I knew that stopped by to say hello and give me a little support.

It was a great experience and I am really glad that I did it. It's got me thinking about doing a little more locally. 

Between now and Christmas my personal challenge is to get the Etsy shop stocked with some of the main things. For 2012 I'd like to think I could do this again somewhere else.

Friday, 25 November 2011

What fun

What fun that was! I'll do a proper post tomorrow with pictures of the stall but everything went so well and I got such lovely feedback from people. I need to get an online shop up and running quickly. 

It was really fascinating to see what sold, and a few things surprised me. The wooden decorations were a huge hit and only a few left to hand around the home! I made some bright versions of my button brooch kit and could have sold several more. Need to make some up over the weekend.

Thank you to everyone that came to the stall and if anyone would like to buy any extras drop me a comment or an email and it will be my pleasure.

Off for a glass of wine!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Last weekend of preparations.

The last full push to get items ready has seen a flurry of activity this weekend.

Friday night on the sofa was spent sewing some brooches.

Saturday afternoon saw rings and hairclips all finished and mounted ready to be sold.

Sundays morning was Christmas Decorations. Do you rememeber those beads that I showed a couple of weeks back? They are now adorning some lovely Christmas decorations. Hopefully these might not all sell because I'd love to have a few about the house.

And amongst all this Mr B has been just fab this weekend, letting me crack on, and I even got some lovely flowers. I split the big bunch up and made a small arrangement for one of my favourite corners of the house.

The frightening thing is that once the sale is over next weekend there are more crafty jobs to do. I've birthday decorations to make to Cait, who turns 14 next week, and then two advent calendars to make. Two traditions started moons ago when I had more time. Two traditions that I will never forgo because no matter how busy I am I love doing them for the girls.

This is an advent calendar from a few years back.....

This is another Christmas job. One for the week before when the family is all together with a whole week off work and we can enjoy every moment. There is lots involved in making this and I don't just mean the eating of the Sweets!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Preparations continue

Preparations are in full swing and there's something to do every evening. Busy? Yes, but its really quite relaxing pulling it all together and I've possibly got too many ideas in my head to carry off!

So one night in front of the television was putting together all my tablecloth weights.

Saturday morning was spent with the glue gun. I assembled lots of rings and I've another lot still to do. I assembled these first and then sought some feedback from the girls on those they liked the best. It helps to steer me in the right direction rather then just the combinations I like. For Niamh it just needs to be pink and purple but Cait is more discerning and has a great eye for colour.

This was part of last nights project and really exciting. It was one of those moments when you are in a creative mood even though it's late at night and things just kept coming together. So I've started with a  collection of vintage buttons from my junk shop finds....

Added a cotton doily that I found in the local antiques market and some old purple linen left over from 'way ago' and I am hoping to have a fabulous cushion cover. 

It will be one of those creations where I will always be a winner. If I sell it, well that's great and really rewarding that someone else liked it to. If I don't I'll be delighted because I would love it one the sofa in the kitchen! Sometimes the one off pieces are really hard to part with.

I'll be sorry to see these two go too. I really love this look and these would look great on the window seat in the Lounge.

Off to do a little more and then I might treat myself to a glass of wine!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Our new addition

Meet Caoimhe, pronounced "kee-va". She's about 12 weeks old and seems to have made herself at home very quickly.

We went visiting at the breeder on Saturday and bought her home the same day. Didn't want to frighten her with the camera straight away though.

She's dead soppy when she's with you, though still slightly nervous around the house and with strange noises. She loves nothing more than being on your lap or at your side and has a fabulous purr. I grew up with dogs but can see that I'm a cat person already!

Managed to also find some time at the weekend to crack on with stock for the sale and now have a small collection of linen lavender bags ready and a few more waiting to be finished.

I also got chance to put a couple of hair clips together and play around with mounting them on the business cards ready for purchase. Hopefully you'd agree that it's quite a nice way to display them.

As more and more things keep coming together I'm getting more excited.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Yesterdays delivery

I always love the postman ringing the bell with a parcel and today was no exception. In the box yesterday were all the goodies that I ordered to help with the sale. It was really exciting to see the logo on stationary and looking quite professional.

I managed to get a really good deal so I not only had postcards made for the logo but also some of photos of a couple of the favourite items that I have made. They look great and will be good for popping in bags to remind people what I do. I also came up with a little strapline.... happiness is handmade. 

My workspace seems to be getting fuller and fuller with all the bits that I am starting to pull together. I thought of the need for bags the other day so I pulled together all the nice plain ones I had in our "bag" drawer and also found some brown paper ones left over from Niamh's 5th birthday party. It looks relatively tidy here though.

Fortunately some things need more space than others but with these little gems the key has been to keeping them out of the way so that nobody knocks them before I glue them. One day soon they will become rings and hair slides.