Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Happy Earth Day!


Happy Earth Day all - unfortunately the sun has disappeared behind the clouds today but we did have good weather for the Easter holiday so can't complain.  Here's a picture I took on Good Friday when we made a trip to Marl Hall Wood near Llandudno.  This is Ffrith Hill, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and in the distance you can just make out Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm - apparently destined to be the largest in Europe!


Climbing to the top of the wood you can enjoy views across the Conwy estuary to the mountains of Snowdonia.  To me this view over Llandudno Junction is rather spoiled by the sun shining on the roofs of the caravan park and the faint noise of traffic on the A470 below.  Still it was worth the climb to sit in the sunshine and watch the many bumble bees around us looking for some nook or cranny to build a nest.


Monday, 21 April 2014

Hacking through the thicket!


I'm imagining myself as the prince in Sleeping Beauty while trying to cut back the brambles that are slowly taking over the bottom of the garden.  They have moved forward at least 6 feet in the last 2-3 years and I've just ignored their creeping intrusion as I love the blackberries in September.  But now the time has come to knock them back to the fence again.


And I am getting there very slowly and looking forward to a bonfire of all those horrible thorny stems.  But here are some more selective garden images from this sunny Eastertide.


And there are compensations for working until dusk - I get to see the sun setting!


Friday, 18 April 2014

Happy Easter Everyone!


I'm wishing all my wonderful followers a VERY HAPPY EASTER.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue and I'm hoping for a walk in the beautiful Welsh countryside and lunch out today!  Make sure you find something special to do if you have time to yourself too.  I made these Scrabble and Hama bead signs for my stall last weekend but forgot to take them with me!  Oh well, they'll come in for next year.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

An Easter Af-Fair


Yet again I've been neglecting my blog - no wonder my audience as fallen away (according to bloggers statistics) but I want you, my faithful followers, to know how very much I do appreciate your visits even if there is no time to comment - and I know how hard it is to keep up with commenting on everything we see in blogland no matter how much we enjoy and admire the talent out there.


Anyway, last Saturday was my first fair of the year, Vintage in the Vale Easter Fair at Trelawnyd Memorial Hall.  Yet again Gill and her team pulled off an inspiring, creative and happy event through sheer hard work and meticulous attention to detail.  For the first time there was a professional photographer in attendance and I do hope she won't mind me using a couple of her photos here.  In all the usual last minute panic I didn't photo-record what I'd taken with me so I was delighted with her photo of my pompom Easter blooms which sold out by early afternoon. :o)  Thank you Love Luella Photography!  You can see the whole album on my facebook page should you be interested.


Here's my stall all set up and (almost!) ready to go.  Its such a friendly event and it was lovely meeting up with other lovely regular stallholders and meeting some new ones.  Here are a few to inspire you.


My lovely VIV neighbour Nia whose gorgeous shop Wish in Rhuddlan High Street is not to be missed if you are in the area. 


Emma's colourful Hobo Heart Collective stall full of reclaimed wooden delights.


The Way to Blue - Sarah's beautiful blue cyanotypes.  Don't you just love that pop of yellow from the daffodils.


Woolly wonders from Lost in the Wood - it was Laura's first time at VIV but I surely hope it wasn't the last!


And I'm not missing out all the stalls full of hard to resist vintage goodness!  I do wish I'd got round everyone with my camera but take it from me they were ALL fabulous.  The next fair is on 2nd August so plenty of time to arrange your diary if you are anywhere near the North East Wales coast this summer.  You won't regret a visit, not least for a nice sit down with tea and cake enjoying vocalist Paula Rose singing all those iconic songs from the 30s and 40s.


See you there?????

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Vintage Finds & March Remembered


I was pleased to find this box of crochet coasters in a charity shop recently.  Now crochet coaster patterns seem quite popular in blogland and on Pinterest but they always seem rather impractical to me as they are bound to get stained in use and frequent laundering would spoil them.  So I've turned these into my favourite craft fair/gift item, scented sachets or pincushions.  I cut out hessian squares just a bit bigger than the coasters and attached them with invisible stitches.  I put some scented drawer sachets from M&S inside which were made from thick perfumed paper, then added in polyester stuffing and a button to make a pillow shape.  This has made a very practical pincushion I think as the paper stops pins and needles disappearing inside the cushion.  And for some reason the coconut scent of the paper mixed with the smell of the hessian is very pleasant.


I put together my March review scrapbook page this morning - it does seem that I've done a lot of crocheting in the last 4 weeks.  And if anyone who bought my Daffodil brooches is reading this (yes, I mean you Baukje!) and hasn't seen my Facebook page, I crocheted 77 daffodils and made £105 for my two cancer charities.  I'm happy with that but it doesn't seem much when compared to the no make-up selfie that managed to raise £8 million for cancer research in just a couple of days!!!!!  But as the saying goes (though I hate to say it myself) "every little counts"!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Cute & Easy Crochet


I often turn to my craft books and Pinterest boards for inspiration when there's a craft fair coming up but do worry about using someone else's idea for profit - even if its with raising money for charity in mind.  I love these little purses I found in Nicki Trench's book Cute & Easy Crochet - they would be perfect for my stall, but there's that guilt feeling in the back of my mind again!


However I spied a similar comment on Nicki's facebook page and to my delight found that she has very generously given permission to sell her designs in return for a small one-off Product Selling Fee.  Yipee!  I can feel completely comfortable making these for my stall now.  I have tweeked the pattern a bit.  I found I coudn't make a neat buttonhole fastening so have changed to large press studs or magnetic fasteners.  And if the lining fabric I've chosen is a bit thin I back it with fusible interfacing to make a sturdier purse that would perfectly protect a mobile phone. 


Using odd balls of Aran yarn from my stash produces slightly random sized purses but I rather like that as different folks will want to use them for different purposes. 

Note:  There is one proviso from Nicki - you can only make up to 100 items from any one pattern.  Hmm, can't imagine that will be a problem for me! :o)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Welcome Spring!


Outside its a bit miserable but today is officially the First Day of Spring.  Its too wet to do anything in the garden but that's a good excuse to play with a new stamp set that arrived this morning.  Its called  Easter Blessings (from Wplus9, you can find it here in the UK at Make the Day Special) but the floral bordering and corner stamps are also just right for carding up these brooches I've made with Mothers Day in mind.  The sentiment is from Garden Grace at Papertrey Ink.


I used my Boutique Accessories die from Papertrey Ink to cut the cards.  The brooches use embroidered motifs from an old dressing table mat and wool felt cut out with Limitless Layers Ovals dies also from Papertrey Ink.  I backed the motifs with fusible interfacing to stabilise the fabric and stop it fraying and stitched the layers together with embroidery silk.


And here's a real sign of Spring in my garden, the lovely Pulmonaria or Lungwort - not a pretty name but a very pretty flower.

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