Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! And what a year it's been too...I hope next year will be better.

Having a quick read through of some of my favourite bloggers, they all seem to be doing annual round-ups of their year in blogland - and they've been blogging long enough to know that takes a bit of planning. So I won't do that.
I thought perhaps I'd simply say which are my 3 most read posts - that's easy to find as google kindly present me with a whole list of stats, and then my favourite photos.

The most read post is easy to find. It was back on July 12th and was a ta-dah moment, showing one of the little dresses I made for Dress a Girl Around the World. I think I'd sent an email to one of the organisers and mentioned that I'd been writing about it on my blog, and she kindly added a link to their site. So THIS POST has had 163 views so far - thankyou ladies!

The second most popular post from April 12th had 65 views  - Scissor keeper, pin cushion & pin box. Take my advice if you decide to make a pin box though - don't line it with felt. I don't think it actually worked as a lining...

Third up with 59 views is Mara's Sewing Kit also from April 12th. How and why it came to be made is a long story - go and read it and follow the links. Suffice to say that Mara is a teenage girl in the Philippines, who is sponsored by a friend and he was going to visit her. I had decided to make her a sewing kit and got a bit carried away... This post showed the finished kit that he took out with him.

My own favourite post though, was probably the photo tutorial I did for Mara's Needlecase. It was a joy to make and I truly hope it is giving Mara as much pleasure as it gave me to make it.

And now some photos. I've shared so are just 4, in no particular order.

Tina's Allsorts

Tina's Allsorts

Tina's Allsorts

Tina's Allsorts

Right - I'm popping outside to watch the fireworks and listen to the fog horns. You can't have New Year without foghorns! I might even make a little video and share it tomorrow.

PS No foghorns... and the streetlight right outside meant the video was rubbish. Ah well...

Saturday, 19 December 2015


It's been 2 weeks since I was here last and it's been hectic to say the least!
The craft fair last weekend was disappointingly slow. The weather was unpleasant - not actually raining but dark, windy and... unpleasant. There were quite a few visitors to the fair but not as many as I thought there might be considering there were 40 traders!! I bought more than I sold! But at least I did sell something. The rest has been neatly packed away while I decide what to do with it.

I did meet some lovely ladies there though. I was particularly struck by the work of Sarah Duke of Dottery Pottery. She had the most gorgeous tea lite holder - Bird and Flower Tea Lite holder - that I really wanted to buy for myself. But I'm supposed to be buying Christmas presents for other people not things for me. So I decided I would only buy it if she still had it at the end of the fair. Naturally, she sold it 10 mins before it closed!!! Never mind. She said she'll be making more in the new year, so I'll just have to wait.She also gave me some very good advice about selling online - should I ever bite the bullet and go down that route.

Work has been horrendously busy!! It's such a hugely busy time of year anyway but when you're short staffed with no help, it really is no joke.I do worry about all the things that are just being left undone...
But Monday's are still amazing - I enjoy them so much you really can't call them work! And Lyn, the lovely manager, asked if I was happy to carry on in the New Year. Like I'd say no!! I asked what she had planned for the window for Valentine's - it needs to be ready by mid-January to give people time to buy the necessary supplies, then make their Valentine a gift. I just got a "look" for that idea!! Maybe we'll get Christmas over with first. I do have a few ideas though. I made a Pinterest board specially and have started filling it!

I saw this magazine recently and decided to buy it as it had a few good ideas I fancied trying. You can always rely on Woman's Weekly for good ideas! I remember my Mum buying it every week for years and we all had a read. The things I made from it!! I still see charities selling knitted Christmas decorations that I made from the magazine pattern 30 years ago!
Anyway, one of the patterns in the magazine was for a draught excluder, decorated with beach huts and I love a row of beach huts as much as the next person. So when my niece's boyfriend said his Gran might like a draught excluder for Christmas, you can imagine the wattage of the light bulb that went on in my head!!!

It just so happened that someone had only that day given me a roll of suedette fabric that I could use. And although I really wanted to make the beach huts, they would have taken a lot of work that I didn't have time for right before Christmas. Plus, the recipient was said to like flowers and it just so happened that I knew I had some ready cut patchwork flowers leftover form a quilt that I could use. And the magazine pattern suggested using a rolled up bath towel as a filling, and we just happened to have an old one that hadn't quite reached the bin. Clearly it was meant to be made!!
I made it the very next day as that was the only day I could guarantee I'd have time to do it and it didn't take long at all. The hardest part was trying to hand stitch the very thick suedette fabric. The pattern called for the insertion of a 50cm zip to make putting the towel in easier but I didn't have one. I had to struggle to try and inset a rolled up towel into a tight tube with a really grippy texture! And then stitch the ends closed...When I use this fabric again, I'll rethink that bit!!
But it turned out ok and my niece's boyfriend was pleased, so hopefully his Gran will be too. He says she re-gifts just about everything given to her as she's 90 and doesn't need anything. But she does need a draught excluder as she keeps pulling the doormat up in front of the door. So she might just keep it.

And finally, as I logged in today I had a nice little surprise of seeing that the number of views of my blog has reached 4,999!!!

Admittedly, a lot of those will be mine own I daresay and an awful lot of robots like to come and take a peak too. But I know there are real people who drop in now and then, so Thankyou and I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Rubbish photos

Another dull and overcast day. In fact I think it is now drizzling too. The lighting is appalling, so no chance of any good photos. Sorry...

Tina's Allsorts, Flowers for Memories

This is the best I could manage with the flowers. Nothing else is fit to be shown to anyone...
Do they look ok?? Even the green ones??
I decided to go for the dahlia/daisy style as I liked the way the petals curled inwards like a real flower.

While I was looking for the folder to store the flower photo in, I came across a mug hug I'd made for a lady at work 2 or 3 years ago. It was made from really think felt, decorated with red hearts, beads and blanket stitch. Not to be used a s a mug hug in the end but as a pen pot. (I think this first photo would look really nice printed on a Valentine card.)

Tina's Allsorts, Heart Mug Hug

Tina's Allsorts, Heart Mug Hug

Tina's Allsorts, Heart Mug Hug

These little mice are Sugar's predecessors. It feels like such a long time since I made them... Look how they've multiplied -

Tina's Allsorts, Box of Mice

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Busy, Busy

Life has suddenly become very busy! My regular job is now at it's busiest time of year (and short staffed), there is the second job to think about - and I'm LOVING the second job!! - plus there's Christmas shopping to do...

Then there are the Flowers for Memories that I've been making. There are at least a dozen now and I'm very happy with how they've turned out. (There are enough for each of my sisters, sisters-in-law, plus some friends.) I've also been finishing off all the little things I've made for the craft fair next week - it'll be here before I know it! EEK!! And I've finally decided on prices too, along with some multi-buy discounts. I love a discount myself, so hopefully my customers will too.

I was filling sheep with lavender today and the smell was so strong I could taste it. Still can actually! It almost makes my lips tingle... There's still an awful lot of lavender left - in an airtight box. I'm quite tempted to buy a bright red christmassy fabric and make more hearts. But I really don't have the time. And I really shouldn't be buying anything else either!

It's been so busy at work recently that it wasn't until the end of this week that I had time to pop in the craft shop at lunch time for a mooch through the book section. As I walked in the door the staff who were clustered round the till all waved at me! It was lovely. Then one of the girls who doesn't work Mondays said, with a big smile, "I'll get to work with you next Monday" - wow! What a welcome!! Mondays are my new favourite day. The hours of 10-5.30 mean I miss the worst of the rush hour traffic at both ends of the day. All the staff are really friendly and so are the customers. Plus I get paid to enjoy myself. Although I must admit...I am missing having a day a week I can devote to crafting, followed by a quick walk by the sea. But you can't have it all!!

If the daylight is better tomorrow, I'll take some photos of all my wares, as well as the flowers and put them here and on facebook. By for now!