Sunday, 29 June 2008 was an experience!

It definitely was an experience, and I am not sure yet just how I feel about it!
The market was dead! apparently it had only been advertised on Friday night, and after the ad had gone out, the Farmers market (along with music, entertainment etc) had all cancelled. But we stayed! we threw caution to the wind and set up our merry little stall of goodies, lovingly made over the past few months... I had taken some 'props' and free sweeties, and tried to make it colourful, added some small pocket money items etc etc...
I sold two items. making a grand total of £5.50p worth of goods, and a loss of what feels like several million!
There were quite a few of us there on our first market - or first time at Preston etc, and no one was impressed. Some had had a stall for the past couple of years and said this was the quietest it had ever been. Am I cursed???
I had deliberated over prices, and taken ages over it, but in the end no-one actually looked at the price tags, there were so few customers looking around, and most people just drifted past on their way to the shops, or looking for the non existent farmers!

The highlight of my day was the stall next to us - and before I left, and after looking round and round the stall several times, I had to buy something from them - it took all my float, the money I had taken and a small advance from my mum - but I love it!!!

Here they are wrapping my purchase in it's own 'body bag'

here is said body bag...
and here is Zadat...
The information on his preliminary Autopsy Toe Tag states;
Caste: Doldrites
Faction: Progues
Home: Murk, 3rd Island of the forest of gloom
Caught: Wedged behind the radiator
please take a look at there web site - it is brilliant!
The stall just over from that was also gorgeous! but they were packing up early and shipping out, fed up with the lack of people, and desperate to finish the web site she had been trying to promote all day - The lovely Emma Travis designed and made the loveliest stuff for kids bedrooms - so here is another link (although you may need to wait until she has finished it all!!!)
Anyway - came home, poorer, happy, and ready for the next challenge!
then decided to make these as compensation - yum!

I feel a giveaway coming on...back soon!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Swap Heaven

One of the simplest pleasures in life is the giving and receiving of
gifts, and when the gift is something you made yourself, then the
pleasure is all the greater.

I am relatively new to this blogging lark, only realising this little
universe existed after I bought myself 'the crafters companion' using a
book voucher I had been given for my birthday - I had deliberated for
weeks over what book to purchase, and found the CC in a small
independent bookshop in the local town.
I read it cover to cover in a couple of days, and realised that I wasn't
alone in my crafting addiction, I no longer had to hide myself and the
things I made away from the world, in fear of being labelled a hippy!

Each chapter of the book was like reading another version of myself, and
needles to say, as soon as I could grab some computer time, I had to
look at this world of blogging. I cannot tell you how it has changed my
life so far - nothing dramatic, just a gentle drift towards the person I
have had lurking inside waiting to burst free for most of my life, and I
can tell you, it is so very exciting!

One of the things I found most fascinating were the swaps. I was a keen
observer of this strange phenomena, and finally took the plunge - it has
been a really pleasurable experience to say the least.
from signing up, getting your swap partner, trying to get a feel for
what they would like, the creation of the swap item, the parcelling up,
posting off, then waiting to see if they like what you have made for
them, and if that wasn't enough, there is the anticipation of what you
are going to receive, when will arrive? what will it be? and before it
ever arrives, you know you will love it - it is a wonderful buzz!
One of the strange things is seeing your own work on someone elses blog
- it must be similar to seeing your work in a magazine or a book.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, my mood is philosophical today, in
preparation for my first ever time selling my own work on a market stall
this Sunday. I need to take my mind off the whole 'will they won't they
like/buy my stuff?'

Last Saturday, the post man woke us up. SSB ran down to the door, and
returned with a tray of coffee, and 3 parcels!

the first was his, but the second 2 were mine - I really could get used
to this!

Just look what Sarah at Pink petal designs made for me in the kitchen

I had been coveting some of those dish cloths from the first time she
posted them on her blog, but now they have arrived, I realise they are
far to nice to use for there intended purpose. I was going to put them
in the bathroom, but for this week so far, they have remained
beautifully bundled up, and proudly on display in my sewing room, so I
can look at them!!!

And look at all the gorgeous things she sent with them - an Owl egg cosy, a mini rolling pin, napkins, the famous cleaning cloths, and a gorgeous card!

then, another parcel, this time from Canada!
The lovely StayMa at L' Univers de StayMa sent me this in addition to the fab
toadstool I received the other week!
A lovely necklace, some fab-ric, little wooden wot-nots, a pendand and a sand dollar

The sand dollar is so cool! check out the link telling you what a sand dollar is.

So - despite the rotten weather, it has been sunny here in the juicy fig household.

Keep your fingers crossed for me for my very firstest market stall this Sunday! If you never hear from me again, well, it was either a total disaster or I made millions and am celebrating on a tropical island somewhere!!!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Summer Solstice

Just typical! only two days away from the longest day of the year, mid summer, England's green and pleasant land and all the rest of it - and where has the sun gone? It has poured down all day here, and my mood has gone down faster than the rain! I have been a right old grumpy so-n-so.
So, a little light blogging to cheer me up is definitely in order.
Yesterday was the monthly pilgrimage to see Grandma in Warrington, and for a change (to Ikea, errr, well actually, as well as Ikea) we decided to go the the HUGE Laura Ashley shop.
LA's used to be one of my favourite shops, especially as they had a factory outlet near by - not as big as the liberty outlet, but still good for a bargain, but I kinda got fed up with them for a few years.
OMG! I was in Laura Ashley Twee Heaven! if only I was a wealthy girl! there was just too much niceness in there, and in the end mum treated me to a couple of meters of sale fabric (still V expensive!) but soooo lovely!
I had been enraptured earlier in the week by a multitude of wild roses along the path to the river nearby. (ooh, that sounded ever so grand and posh like!) I just love English hedge rows - they have fascinated me all my life, and from a very young age I was introduced to Cicily Mary Barkers Flower Fairies poetry. I still get excited when I see the wild autumn aliums or 'lords and ladies' under the hedges, lighting the fairies paths so they can get home from the dance safely. jeese - how sad am I? !!!
I have been tucked away in the sewing room at every opportunity as well. At the beginning of the week the labels I ordered turned up from mini labels
- I am so pleased with them, a real bargain, and they arrived in just over a week! and here are a couple of bags I have made for the stall!
And finally for the day - a quick shot of all my lovely drums (well, some are mine, most I borrow) all set up in the park waiting for some eager drummers!

Taryn with the 'flutterby' she and niece No1 were making out of willow. Unfortunately they didn't get time to cover it, so it is now residing in my van until they get a sunny day to finish it off, although I have no idea where they intend to put the finished article!
My last rainy day pick me up task is to sit and dream about how many different things I can get out of my new fabric, and when I can afford to go back and buy the glass domed cake stand from the sale! (because I desperately NEED it!)

Almost forgot! Thanks Keely! The tutorial was spot on! you did tell me what to do, and I did do it!!!!

pps...gloat, gloat, cough, ahem! shuffle shuffle...


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Brief Encounters...

We had a brief encounter! Taryn loved it - she guessed as we were hurtling along the M6 and I was wittering on about trains...I am so subtle.

It was actually a really nice visitor centre, very peaceful and quiet until you actually got into the cafe which was full!

Taryn had to have her photo taken at every opportunity "this is where Laura and Alex first kissed" "this is where she waved good bye" etc etc.

Here she is pointing out the actual clock from the film - still telling the right time.

And here she is in the cafe - I love the brief encounter cakes - does this mean they only visit ones hips fer a very short while? oh, well in that case we shall have a selection!
A small parcel arrived this week - all the way from CANADA!!!

My TOADSTOOL finally arrived from Stephanie at
isn't it gorgeous? I absolutely love the colours, really fresh, and I think the fabrics are silk!

the weirdest thing was, both our toadstools arrived on the same day - even though there was over a weeks difference in posting!

and I love the Chinese fabric for the stalk!

Thank you Stephanie!

I have decided to take the plunge with the market - and posted off my money etc to the powers that be - so I am committed now, and have been very busy in the sewing room making stock.

I am off to Brungerley Park in Clitheroe today, they are having a party/picnic for the re-opening of a sculpture trail, and for some reason want to shatter the peace with a drum workshop!

PS!!! Giveaway alert! my good friend at Krafty Keely (link at the side...) is having a give away - go and check it out, her work is gorgeous!!!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

June is bustin' out all over!

My head had been too overloaded this past couple of weeks!

There always seams to be so much going on, so many places to be, so little time to fit everything in, when all I really want to do is escape to my sewing room and create!

I got an e-mail the other day about an arts market in a local town on the last Sunday of the month. They started in January, and are connected to a farmers market that runs along side. They are after stall holders, and it is just £18 rent for the day.

Now, this is what I really want to do - but (and this is where I always try and convince myself this is not a good thing to do)
I have never done this before!

I have never been to the market - I didn't know it was on, so I don't know how busy it will be.

I don't have nearly enough stock to fill a stall - can I make enough before the end of the month, while still working 35 hours a week in the day job, and with several drum workshop bookings as well as the rest of normal life etc etc?

will people like what I make enough to want to buy it?

will my drumming public liability insurance cover the market requirements or will I need more?

arghhh! too much! so much so that here I was at the computer at 7am on a Saturday morning reading blogs because I couldn't sleep!

if anyone out there has any suggestions or tips, please let me know!!!

The toadstool swap...

My toadstool from Canada was posted off about 2 weeks ago, and hasn't arrived yet - I really hope it is OK, and will turn up eventually. I posted mine to Canada last Monday - here is a wee peek at it...

and my kitchen swap - well, couldn't resist putting a wee peek of that on here as well, just finishing a little something else off, then twill be in the post!

hope you like the colours Sarah! (just realised the photo is on it's side...)

Today, Taryn and I are off to Lancaster for a shop. We haven't been for a couple of years, and to tell you the truth, I was a little disappointed last time we went. Lancaster always used to enthral me with it's eclectic collection of shops, but last time we went everything seamed to look just like every other town centre!

I am thinking I might just surprise Taryn, and nip to Carnforth Station first, and take her for tea. She has been studying Brief Encounter for her A'level in Film studies, and takes the micky out of the scene filmed here, as it is ever so British and proper - the station recreated the tea room (that was never actually filmed at the station itself) a few years ago, and I have been promising her a trip ever since. here is a little snippet from the Carnforth station web site...

In 1945 David Lean filmed his romantic classic “Brief Encounter” starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. Carnforth was chosen by the Ministry of War Transport as it was remote and safe from attack. Filming had to take place at night between 10pm and 6am so as not to interfere with daytime train operations
I think she is dressing up in a 1940's style dress today - I really hope she does, and we can get some photo's for her and of her!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

cromley beach n stuff

it feels like ages since i Blogged, but it is only 1 week. had a few days off work, and didn't manage to get done half of what I wanted to, but hey ho, that's life!
had a lovely day out at Cromley beach near Liverpool, we went to see the Anthony Gormly installation on Taryn's recommendation - a bit surreal seeing all those body's staring out to see, watching the ferry's and boats going by.
Daughter Taryn, the artist, dad and niece number 1 all posing for me!

Taryn getting cheap thrills by grabbing a barnacled bottom!
then on the way back to the car, we spotted an orchid!
Haven't looked it up yet, but knowing me it is bound to be just a 'common' orchid!

Been up to all sorts in the sewing room - finished my toadstool for the swap, it is on it's way to Quebec Canada tomorrow, so can't post photo's just yet, and also finished my Kitchen item for another swap, and likewise can't show pickies yet, as it hasn't gone...but soon...!!!

made this little dog from my favourite book of the moment - I wish I could come up with stuff like this myself! - I love the expression on his face. I have just been tagged by Vintage KittyKat so here goes...

1) What was I doing 10 years age...

well, I was a single parent to a then 6 year old Taryn Tickle mouse. Full time mum, busy sewing clothes and house furnishings, doing a city and guilds in patchwork I never got around to finishing, and I was still in my 20's - what ever happened to them?

2) what are 5 things on my to-do list today?

to get my van taxed on line

to parcel up my toadstool

to find my drum with it's split skin in the back of my van full of drums to get it re-skinned this week...

to make a start on my kitchen swap

to blog!

3) Snacks I enjoy

kit kat chunky's - peanut butter flavour

ikea choclostad bickies

salt n vinegar crisps dipped in coffee (tastes better than it sounds, and I don't take sugar in my coffee)

4) things I would do if I were a billionaire

do my house up as I always wanted it before I move to a new house!

sort out family financially

buy a farm and become self sufficient

buy a fabric shop!

pay someone to make me loose weight!

sleep a lot.

5) places I have lived

errr - very short list.



billington again

both villages next to each other in the ribble valley.

6) bloggers I would like to know more about...

well, most of them have already filled this in but




ethel and ednas tea room

urghhh - back to work tomorrow - the first full week in a long time, oh for my next day off!