Sunday, 30 September 2012


TODAY I made a selection of brooches.  

Hearts, pigs, bluebirds, a aeroplane and a marmalade cat.

After needle felting each brooch I outlined them with black thread before putting on the finishing touches and attaching the brooch back.

As these are for my shop at CREATIVE STORES 
I have taken individual pictures before packaging them.

 I am really pleased with how these have turned out - in fact I liked making them so much I want to do some more.  Here's hoping they are popular.


Thursday, 27 September 2012


I have been following what I consider a very talented artist of Facebook over the last few months.  I like her style of fantasy - dragons, unicorns and other beasties. 

Her website shows her paintings, her published work, her sketches and some rather fun sculptures she made a couple of years ago from a heavy fall of snow. 

I think this shows how good a sculptor she is as snow is not the easiest medium to carve.

She is currently working on some designs for jewellery.

I hope you can take the time to look at her work, and that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, 22 September 2012



 The second shelf up from the bottom is all mine - filled with handbags, needle felted purses, snail fridge magnets, and decorated jars of sea glass.

The beautiful items on the shelf above make me feel I am in good company and have made the right decision. 

 It took me longer than I thought to get everything labelled and priced.

I must remember this when I do a craft fair, and make sure to leave enough time.

 Once everything was priced and put onto my practise shelf I listed it all so that I wouldn't forget what stock I had taken to ROUGH TRADE.

second shelf from the bottom

my display


THIS IS IT THEN a morning of frantic finishing, one last shelf run through before loading up this afternoon and taking my wares to ROUGH TRADE!__rough-traders

I am quite excited about this.  The people who I have met so far are friendly.  And although it is slightly away from the main area of Margate's Old Town it is on the way to the sea and the Turner Contemporary.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

MY PLACE ON THE SHELF - at a collaborative trading place

After signing up for a shelf in ROUGH TRADE  in Margate Old Town.!  I have spent a few days writing descriptions for labels for my stock. This has been both more fun and harder work than I had imagined.  I have decided to do largish product labels with smaller removable labels for the prices.

I am using a shelf in the dinning room to get a rough idea of a layout.  This also means I should know if I need anything to display the items I want to sell.   The display has already changed several times but I think I have a prospective layout. Six days before I go to Margate so things could change a lot before then.

I feel that this could be better than a virtual shop because sometimes being able to see items is more enticing, although the audience is smaller.  Hopefully using both methods will get me noticed.

I found some inners from the cigar boxes I have been making into handbags that should work perfectly as display trays.  

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


 I RECENTLY read an article in a craft magazine that gave instructions on how to make a cushion from old embroidered tray cloths, chair covers, doilies and table cloths. The way to do this was to collect these, cut them up and arrange the pieces prior to sewing them together.  

SO MY question as I begin a new project is when does 'upcycling, re-purposing and altering' items stop being art and become wanton destruction.  
I have just purchased this
little wooden pot froma junk shop for £1.00,  as you can see the original design on the lid has been quite badly damaged.  After conversation with my mother we decided it probably dates from the 1930's.  We also decided that the amount of damage that has happened to it means that it will be acceptable to do pretty much what I like to it.  So is this just me being precious
or do others feel the same at the start of a new project?  Is it right that we believe we can improve on the crafts and skills of our ancestors or are we really paying a form of homage to them.

I started to sand this pot and found when I (quite easily) removed the varnish that although the original design would take a lot more effort to banish on the bottom part of the pot the lid has only remnants left.  Not quite sure how to incorporate it and I do not want to paint over.  Some thought is needed.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Treasures and family history

I have always treasured special things.  I still have several toys - played with constantly throughout my childhood.  The Noah's Ark that my father made me, the Barbie doll size wooden table and chairs that were given to me before I was five, the china dolls tea set brought for me by my Grandfather (the only present he purchased himself) and so many books that were loved and re-read over and over.

To these personal treasures I have now added some family possessions.  The tiepin my Gran wore when she was working in one of the banking houses in London and her wedding present tea set (in pride of place displayed in a kitchen dresser unit).  Pencils that belonged to my Grandfather.  The notebook my Mother brought with her first wages (with some of the original pages)  The Rosary given to my Great Grandfather in Flanders at the end of the Great War by one of the liberated people.  Each one of these things is a link to my family and our history.  

These are calculators. One is pre decimal and  adds and subtracts in pounds, shillings and pence.  The other is a decimal calculator in the same style.

 Recently my Mother shared some of her collection of delights - with her memories of why they should be treasured.  With much of it Mothers recollections were essential to know each piece's true worth.  A cherry stone with 'the worlds smallest elephant' inside it. This had been carved from the cherry stone and has a carved stopper to prevent the elephant getting lost - this came from the Ideal Home Exhibition during the 1950's. 

Teeny tiny elephant carved from a cherry stone,

 A pair of frogs purchased in Bournemouth also in the 50's from BRANKSOME CERAMICS, these she told me were the only thing that She and my Dad could afford although what they wanted was everything in the showroom. 

 A small heart shaped pendant that my elder brother and I had save our pocket money for and got for her from Woolworth's - over forty five years ago.  

There were items that had belonged to my Great Grandmother, circa 1900,   These included a small clear topped metal tin, an enamelled floral bracelet and a beautiful mother of pearl sewing kit case made in the shape of an egg.

 Something else that I am now proud to say I own is my mother's Civil Defence badge from the fifties.

Something that might have been thrown away unknowingly was a small pink plasticy looking elephant that had once been part of a necklace (given to my Mother by her Grandmother). 

The inside of the egg purse

Saturday, 15 September 2012


ON SATURDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER I AM GOING TO TRY A NEW VENTURE.  I am going to rent a shelf at ROUGH TRADERS, this is in Margate Old Town and is one of the shops that has sprung up.  It is possible to rent space to display and sell your goods - from a shelf upwards.! 

I have just paid for four weeks worth of shelf.  Now I need to make sure I have enough stock,  make a couple of display stands and get labels made for my goods.  And write a list of the items I am taking to sell.  I showed a sample to the very nice lady who runs the collective.  

I have not been to that part of Margate for some time.  With the rest of Margate getting such a bad press locally and nationally it is good to see even a little corner of the town emerging from the ashes.  Only a few years ago this part of the town was as neglected as the rest of the town but now it is a bustling place with hidden gems around every corner  and just a stones throw from the Turner Contemporary.  

Lots of beautiful Retro and Vintage clothes shops, Galleries and cafes.   Something for everyone. Rough Trade is a little further out than some of the other shops but worth looking for.  Here are a couple of links to a listing of the shops and a small map to help find this little piece of proof that Margate is not beaten yet and will bounce back to become the town it used to be not so many years ago. 


Thursday, 13 September 2012


JUST OVER a month ago I decided to try an experiment. 

 I have had an ETSY shop for some time now without much sucess, I think this is partly due to the vastness of ETSY and partly because I have not had as much time as needed to raise my ETSY profile.   

After reading an article in CRAFT SELLER magazine 
 I decided to open a store with CREATIVE STORES

So this was my experiment - which would be best for me.   I listed the same item on both sites, at the same time.  Now after a month On ETSY  I have had seven views and on creative stores over one hundred and eighty.  I know that it is early days and I am not going to give up my ETSY shop. 

But I think I am going to devote more time to the very helpful, friendly CREATIVE STORES 
It is easy to use as a seller and easy to find stores and products as a customer.  It is also UK based which is good.

And the piece I used for my trial -  That was a piece of needle feltingA bag charm in the form of a pair of cherries with leaves - the kind that children hang over their ears. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012


THIS is a small tin that I recently found at a local market.  There wasn't a handle but I could see potential.

As it is quite small it needed to be kept fairly simple.  It is also in very good condition so I wanted to keep it as original  as possible.
 The first thing to do was attach the handle.  
I did this by threading the ribbon through the two holes and taking the ribbon around the outside of the tin (to get my spacing right) before pushing the ribbon through some plastic tubing to form the handle. I  used some double sided tape to keep the organza ribbon in place.

  THE inside of the tin I lined with pink leopard print felt.  This looks lovely and covers the ribbon that showed inside the tin giving a nice clean finish.

 With the inside of the purse finished it 's time to decorate the outside.  For this I found some fabric flowers the same colour as the flowers on the tin.  I sewed the flowers onto the organza ribbon and gave them french knot ribbon centres.  
I also attached a tiny butterfly charm to a string of beads to hang on one side.