Thursday, 28 February 2013


Oh what a difference a bit of sunshine can make!

We played in the park for over an hour with no coats on - I was a little cold with my coat on but the running, jumping and swinging girls were fine.

This was my view from the school playground - the big hill in the background is Pendle Hill which is famous for it's witches.

And you can tell it's getting less wet* as I'm wearing my flowery pumps :)

*for the moment anyway - I do live in one of the wettest parts of the UK after all!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Some new Nana chickens

I've been busy today and have made some new Nana chickens. They are called Nana chickens because I use 'Nana' linens such as tablecloths and tray cloths.

This one here is Betty and I have two made from this fabric. I love the colour!

Chloe is a nice bright chicken who loves the sunshine! I have two of Chloe available for sale.

Chrissie is made from an unusual cross stitched tray cloth. I have two available but they differ slightly in colour as the person who made the original tray cloth wasn't interested in having symmetrical colours!

Freda is made from a large tablecloth which had been embroidered all the way round. Again all the stitches are similar but the placement of them on each chicken may be different from the one shown. I have six Freda's available.

Fabienne above is my favourite and she will be coming to BCTF with me so isn't available for sale yet :) I may be tempted to keep her for myself but I'll see how she goes at BCTF!

These will be available for sale soon but I need to show this post to a valued customer who has first choice :) I'll pop them in my Etsy and Folksy shops and update this post to let you know when they are available. And of course I can take pre-orders and reserve a chicken for you!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Snippets from last week

As I'm late for Sunday Snippets (again!) I thought I would just write a post about snippets from last week. All photos were taken on my phone and most were shared to Instagram :) I'm Swiryarts on there in case you want to find me!

We met Alice the hamster and had a good hold - just so that we could test to see how the girls would do with scurrying creatures for when we get our pet rats!

I sorted out a whole load of new packaging (with help from Matt) and I'm really pleased at how it came out. There will be pictures when I have everything done :)

We braved the snow to stand in line for a fill a bag jumble sale that we go to every year. My mum had just pulled Matt's beard in this photo hence the hilarity!

And these are three of the five bags we got at the aforementioned sale :) Not as many as in previous years though!

Anya suddenly looked very grown up this week - especially as she had on her skinny jeans and fabulous tank top :) Tank top not pictured although I will get her to pose for a photo soon.

And of course my press mention (which you may just have read about here!)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Yorkshire Post feature!

Whoooooo! One of my lovely chicken pincushions has been featured in The Yorkshire Post magazine :) How exciting is that? I took a quick Instagram photo yesterday and uploaded it to Facebook and Twitter but here are some proper photographs.

The pincushion featured is Gardenia and she can be found on Folksy here. There is also a doorstop version. And if you want to read the text then click here to be taken to the Flickr photo - you can enlarge it to read what it says :)

And if you have come over from The Yorkshire Post article - hello and welcome :)

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Display boards!!

Things are slowly being ticked off the to do list for BCTF and one of the things I wanted to get done was display boards. Basically they are large boards with pictures of my work on so that buyers can see them over the crowds of people that will be in my booth! Ahem :)

They are A3 in size and will go up high on the walls of my booth.

They haven't photographed particularly well (the girls were facing the window and the lights were on!) but in real life the colours look great and 'pop'

Anya didn't want to hold them up hence the fake smile but I wanted her to! The boards are made of the same stuff that estate agents boards are made of - what I call corrugated plastic!

The hardest thing was choosing the images to go on there. Oh and bear in mind if you ever order these then they will need to be the correct size - so I had to send over images that were A3 in size. Luckily Matt knew exactly what to do to get them to the correct size and thus he avoided me throwing the laptop through the window in frustration :)

I used and their customer service was very good and when I asked them a question online they got back to me in 4 mins - now that is good customer service!

BCTF is starting to feel very real - now back to the to do list!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Bargain du jour!

We went to see some friends today over in a nearby town and on the way back I stopped at a charity shop to drop some stuff off that we had in the boot. That charity shop wasn't open but the one down the hill was so we dropped it off there.

These beauties were in the window and at 20p a pop for the adults and 10p for the children I had to buy them all :) So for the grand sum of £2.90 the girls have some new playmobil figures!

And these ones are my favourites l-r Pegleg Phil, Sid 'The Zombie' Skeleton and Pirate Jack :)

Monday, 18 February 2013

Sunday Snippets (on Monday!)

It's half term here - I don't need to say any more!

Playmobil school set up by the girls

I ordered myself a darning mushroom - went for the pretty one!

First alcohol of 2013 and it's a goodie!

Manky dodgy walls - most of it is already off though :)

Ironing actual clothes!!

That horrid moment when you realise you've just chopped though the skirt you've spent the last hour and a half taking up! Luckily it's fixed now and I'm wearing it!

Banana and cranberry bread :) Yum!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

New product photographs

I was cursing the snow here this morning (it's 2.45pm and it's been snowing constantly since 7am) but it turns out that with a bit of brightening in Aviary, snow lit skies are great for taking product photographs! I hadn't changed the product photographs of some of my early gift tags since I started selling them so it was high time for a change!

The ever popular chickens :)

And their cousins, the brightly coloured chickens! My original photographs of these were taken in my homemade light box which was actually quite rubbish and gave off lots of weird shadows!

I love how these new photographs of the security envelope tags really 'pop' - the last ones were really wishy washy.

The wool gift tag pictures were fine but I needed to take new ones as I have reduced the number of gift tags available in a set and needed new photographs to show this. I have gone from 10 tags per pack down to 6. I've done this for a number of reasons but the main reason is that most of the tags I make are hand drawn and they do take a long time to make - I just wasn't making enough money for the amount of time I was putting in.

Do let me know if you like the new pictures :)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Holy chicken Batman!

This is a pincushion/paperweight chicken.

This is a doorstop size.

And this is a giant doorstop!

I made two of these as a custom order and they are twice the size of my normal doorstops. To give you another idea of size, here he is sitting on my laptop.

And to give another sense of the different sizes, here they are all lined up.

If you would like your own custom size chicken then give me a shout. The beauty of handmade you know :)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Thirfty bargain

I had a trip to Hebden Bridge today to see some lovely crafty people and of course while I was there I went into a couple of charity shop! This plate just begged to come home with me!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Getting organised!

This is a scribbled together list of things I have to do/find out/think about and make for BCTF in April. I am spending today going through all of the material available and making it into cohesive sets of lists - oh as well as firing off emails to various people as I couldn't remember my stand number*! Yes I lost the piece of paper it was written down on!

*N53 :)

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Introducing* Quilty!

Although he has been introduced before :) Just not with a voice and actions to match!

Tara thought it would be good for Quilty to have a voice and say hello and who am I to argue! She also thought it was funny when I mentioned that even though he is small, he might still qualify as a lap quilt.

Erm, maybe not! Quilty has grown ever so slightly since then and his wobbled bits from the video have been nipped and tucked. I'm slowly making more hexipuffs to be added to quilty but I need a sustained sewing session to get them all sewn on and it's not just happening. Good job it's a long term project hey!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Mending Monday :)

I actually did some mending and adjusting on Friday but it's Monday now so I'm going with Mending Monday as my title :)  When I put the Christmas decorations away I found another bag of clothes that needed altering (some have been there for a couple of years!) So I decided to get busy and redo some of them.

I bought this skirt at a jumble sale two years ago and all it needed doing to it was the hem taking up. By 15cm but still, it was only a hem!

I decided to go fancy with the hem and did a triple hem :) I went very carefully and slowly so that it wouldn't wobble too much.

And here it is modelled - not a great photo but you get the gist!

This dress only needed the buttons changing on it - done in 5 minutes!

This dress was more of a problem. The patch you see in the photograph is a result of a previous Mending Monday but I'd developed two holes under the arms that were a cross shape. The dress is made of a light cotton so tears easily if a hole develops and that is what happened here. I LOVE this dress and have had it for about six years so I don't want it to break just yet. I mended the holes by lining them up as best I could, pinned a similar fabric behind the hole (right side out) and sewed like hell over the top of it with my machine! It has worked so far but I've already seen another small hole - better get to it before it develops into a much larger hole!

I also covered up a corporate label on a thick canvas bag that Matt got from a conference in December with some pretty fabric but I haven't taken a photo yet. It needs some pretty buttons and trim adding first.

Do you mend clothes? Do you alter clothes? Is your mending pile as large as mine?

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Sunday Snippets

I made some robot garlands.

I tidied my craft room - the desk really is tidy, honest!

I turned 35 and my sister sent me this cool card she made :)

I contemplated stealing these pillowcases from my mother in law but I think she might notice they are missing!

I modelled my newly shortened skirt - more on it tomorrow :)