Posted in Making

Crafty Blog Sale

If moving house teaches you one thing, it’s that you have too much stuff. It’s only when you have to carry all your belongings, every last one, into a new house that you realise you need to thin it out. Starting with some of the extraneous stuff in my studio/office, I’m clearing out some stuff. I started over on Instagram the other day and some of it’s already gone, but here’s what’s left. Instructions at the end for how to purchase! Please spread the word.

admitone

SOLD! 1. Big reel of vintage style “admit one” cinema tickets in mint green. I brought these back from USA a few years ago and never did anything with them. £10 for the lot including UK P&P. I’d rather not split these into smaller lots.

bigwood

SOLD! 2. 2 x 9cm diameter wooden cross stitch blanks. These are priced at £5 each, including UK P&P.

BTM

3. Wee sampler that I never did anything with – £6 inc UK P&P.

cakeribbon

SOLD! 4. 15ft roll of cupcake ribbon, approx 1cm wide. £2 inc UK P&P.

evenweave

5. This is two seperate lots – both are ecru/grey evenweave linen aida type fabric borders – one is 7cm wide and the bigger is 16cm wide. Both are approximately 1m long. £5 for the bigger and £3.50 for the smaller, both including UK P&P. (Specify which width you’d like). £8 for both.

foldingscissors

SOLD! 6. Wee pair of folding mini scissors in a plastic case – £2 inc UK P&P.

gluesticks

7. Glue sticks – wrong size for my glue gun – new and unused. £2.50 including UKP&P.

HELLOSTICKERS

8. Set of 10 Hello, my name is… stickers in red and white – £1.50 including UK P&P (I have more than one of these).

hoops

SOLD! 9. 1 pink 3″ flexihoop and 1 white flexihoop – both for £4 including UK P&P.

islice

10. iSlice paper cutter – £2.25 including UK P&P. Unwrapped and new.

keychains

11. Set of 2 mini cross stitch aida keychains – £3.50 including UK P&P.

monkeyfab

12. Approx 1m squared of sock monkey cotton fabric from reprodepot, few years back – £5 including UK P&P.

needles

SOLD! 13. Pack of double-ended cross stitch and tapestry needles. I have opened the pack – couldn’t get to grips with them, personally. £1.50 including UK P&P.

portraitwood

14. 7.75cm x 5.75cm portrait wooden cross stitch blank with jump ring. £8 including UK P&P.

ricrac15. Sticky ric-rac strips approx 30cm long – £1.75 including UK P&P.

roundpc

SOLD! 16. Set of 8 round plastic canvas blanks, approximately 4 inches in diameter – £2 including UK P&P.

skeins17. Set of 36 skeins of craft thread for making friendship bracelets, macrame, crochet, embroidery. £2.50 including UK P&P.

squarepcSOLD! 18. Set of 8 square plastic canvas blanks – approximately 4inches square – £2 including UK P&P.

stampSOLD! 19. Small “meet me at…” clock rubber stamp. Please excuse my hideous thumb in this photo. £2 including UK P&P.

string

20. 5m of red and white baker twine/butcher string/whatever you call it. £2 including UK P&P. Longer lengths are available, let me know.

tapemeasure

21. Vintage style tape measures – I have 2 blue and 2 yellow. £1.50 each including UK P&P, or if you want all 4, you can have them for £4 including UK P&P.

totes22. 3 cotton tote bags – 2 black, 1 cream. I am not sure where these came from, but perfect for embroidering on. A bit crumpled. £5 including UK P&P for all 3.

widewood23. 7.75cm x 5.75cm horizontal wooden cross stitch blank with jump ring. £8 including UK P&P.

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24. Matroyshka deco tape £2.50 including UK P&P.

How To Purchase

Send an email to hello@thebellwether.co.uk stating the item number(s) you wish to purchase.

Once you receive confirmation from me that you can have it (to make sure of no duplicate sales!), send funds to same email address via Paypal.

Items will be dispatched by Second Class Royal Mail post shortly afterwards. Proof of posting will be retained. In the event of any missing items, I will provide you with the proof of postage for you to make a claim directly.

Contact me with any questions at the same email address.

Have at it! I’ll likely add more things at a later date. Spread the word far and wide.

Posted in Indie Business

Prima Spring Makes #BEDM

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A few months ago, Selina Lake, stylist of the moment, asked me for some of my work to feature in a shoot for Prima Spring Makes magazine – colour me thrilled!

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Not only did my work make the cut, I pretty much got a full page full of my stuff – whoop!

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Oh, and there’s another image, too, of my tea coasters – magic. I was in pretty good company with Kate Blandford‘s ace purse – thanks also to Kate for these photos, as I’ve not found the magazine in the wild yet.

It’s always exciting to see your work in print – I don’t think I’d ever tire of that thrill when you see something you’ve made being praised in a magazine.

I’m blogging every day in May as part of BEDM. Find out more here.

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Posted in Making

Bank Holiday Fun

Bank holiday fun has been thin on the ground today, so instead, here is what I have done.

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Finished making and written up this tutorial on how to make a plastic canvas gift tag. It’s part of a blog hop being organised by Diane of Crafty Pod. I’m quite honoured to have been asked to not only contribute to it but open the whole series.

Eaten some Comte cheese and Sperlonga bread for breakfast/lunch. I went to Whole Foods yesterday.

Played with Max for a bit. It’s his birthday today. He got a new collar and a Frisbee.

Took some quick snaps of my new exciting product and listed them for sale on my lunch break:

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They are now available to pre-order, for dispatch next week, here.

Worked.

FIN.

I’m blogging every day in May as part of BEDM. Find out more here.

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Posted in Making

Stitchy Giveaway

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I’ve been doing a bit of clearing out lately and over the weekend, I gathered together a bunch of embroidery and cross stitch stuff that I have no need of. Rather than list it on eBay, I thought I’d amass it into one package of awesomeness and give it away!

There are loads of iron on vintage cross stitch and embroidery transfers, some mini kits, a yellow 5 inch hoop, a thread cutter, some doilies for stitching on to and a whole bunch of other stuff, too. If you’re into recreational needlework, you should totally leave a comment on this post and I’ll pick one lucky winner to receive it all in a swag bag. Do it before the end of Sunday 10th February and I’ll stick your name in the hat.  Have at it!

Posted in Living

2012 – A Retrospective

I didn’t think I had much to say about 2012, but looking back at the photos I took, I have about 40 pages worth on Flickr. Most of them seem to be of the scenery around our home, so I suppose you could say 2012 was the year of dog walking.

jan

In January, my main recollection is that I worked from home a lot. My boss had been worried that the weather would stop me getting in to work, but as it turned out, it was fine. It did allow me to spend time with the dog, settling him in, as he had only come to us just before Christmas, so I spent most of my days walking in the woods with him and puzzling over who was going to subtitle what news bulletins from the comfort of my own desk.

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Oh, also in January, I bought this amazing sideboard for £8. Yeah,  you know you’re jealous.

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In February, I fulfilled a wish I’d had for a few years – to cruise the North Sea to Amsterdam for the weekend. It was both awesome fun and hellish – the boat was full of drunk Geordies and it was -5, but we had a really great weekend – it’s what you make of it, in these circumstances and we crammed in as much as we could on our 7 hours in Amsterdam!

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I bought a huge armful of tulips which lasted for weeks when we got back and on the way back we stopped off at Tynemouth market where I found lots of treasure. I love that place.

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Other highlights – a trip to the theatre to see a workmate in Thoroughly Modern Millie (which was thoroughly entertaining), reverse parking in a multi-storey car park and a new phone!

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Is it sad that a highlight of March was putting up our new doorbell? If it is, I don’t want to be cool. It’s pretty awesome. After a very low-key birthday, we went to Hammerfest in Wales, thus proving I am the best wife ever. It was pretty awful, accommodation-wise, but I did end up enjoying the music way more than I thought.

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It was also unseasonably warm in March, for Scotland, so much so that I got sunburnt on a walk on the beach with Sarah and the dogs. We had a great day paddling, eating chips on the seafront and generally frolicking on the sand. I also went on a Loch Lomond cruise with Marceline around her birthday, which was really good fun.

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Oh, and we celebrated my dad’s 60th birthday at the very end of March, too with a family meal at the Boathouse. Everyone got well-oiled, we ate like kings and then my mum did a dance to Shalimar when we got home. AWESOME.

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April is probably when panic began to set in about doing Pulse. A lot of it was spent making plans and preparing kits and so on. I also did a really shitty craft fair over Easter.  I wrote about that and generated debate amongst my indie craft compadres. I worked a lot at subtitling HQ. I remember being very tired in April.

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The weather in May was pretty good as I remember – so hot we had to buy the dog a paddling pool, which he loved. Work-wise, I was up to my eyeballs in Pulse-prep and day-job stuff. I did find the time to do a sponsored 10k walk with Jo though, through the streets of Glasgow at midnight, which was pretty fun. We raised about £500 for charity, too.

June was mega-busy. It started with Pulse. I took a giant suitcase down to London for the week and set up my wares for perusal by the great and the good of British retail. My mum came up from Suffolk to help me set up and I had my first taste of Wahaca.

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I haven’t publicly admitted this yet, but Pulse turned out to be the biggest waste of money ever. I daresay I will come back and explore this topic next year but enough time has passed now for me to be able to evaluate and say it was an utter drain on all of my resources and very nearly ruined me financially. It was the beginning of a lot of soul-searching for me, business-wise.

I don’t seem to have any photos of it online, but immediately upon my return, ie, the very next day, Lee and I jetted off to Lanzarote for a week in the sun. It was very relaxing – we pretty much lay down in the sun for the entire time and read, swam and ate delicious food. Bliss.

The day we got back, I pretty much got changed and went straight to Portsoy with Marceline for a weekend at her mum’s, where we stayed upstairs from their antiques shop and had some boat festival fun and visited the Baxters soup place. I can only surmise I left my camera at home, as I don’t seem to have photos of any of this, bar this one from Baxters!

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In July, the weather was pretty good again, and we spent a lot of evenings outdoors, barbecueing. I don’t recall a great deal other than chargrilled meats and my parents getting tipsy when they came to visit (STANDARD).

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The garden was very green and Lee spent a lot of time out there. My brother came to stay and we went on a road trip to our home town, Kilwinning. We took Max to the beach, too, at Irvine. Just as well we did, because shortly afterwards, Max injured his leg and we thought for a long time he’d need a hip replacement operation. He was on sedatives for a long time and spent a lot of time being miserable, poor chap.

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August saw my mum staying with us for a while, during which time we celebrated her birthday and ate a lot of vegetables that Lee grew in the garden. Those carrots are amazing, we’re still eating them now. The weather gave us some good days to spend outside, and I did a lot of sewing for some wholesale orders (that weren’t Pulse-related). My little blue car also gave up the ghost and I got some new wheels!

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In September, Max got the all-clear from the specialist vets and came off the sedatives, hurrah! He gradually got back to normal. He’ll probably always be on low-dose painkillers, but he’s much better now. PHEW. I also helped with the decorations at Jo’s mum’s wedding and had a lovely time at the reception with Jo and Ryan and their families at Hamilton Racecourse (glossing over the fact I left the lights on in my car and had to call the AA…).

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September also saw me packing up my monster suitcase again and heading back to London for Renegade. It was a really great weekend with my stallmates Kim and Adam from Finest Imaginary. We ate like kings all weekend, including at Meat Market. Gosh, I’m drooling now thinking of it. I stayed next to St Pauls and got the sleeper back, which wasn’t as awesome as I thought it would be. Then I went to work. Zzzz.

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We also went on a road trip to buy a dining table in Middlesbrough – I wish I could explain why. It’s a nice table though, eh? We stopped at Tynemouth market on the way back and Lee had his first Krispy Kreme experience – it was worth the  400 mile round trip!

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October seems like 5 minutes ago! I sold my little blue car which had been sat in the garage since I got my new one. It was sad to see it go. I spent a week in London at work on a course, staying in the Premier Inn and being so incredibly tired that I saw no one and did nothing except eat Thai food with my colleague and sleep (not with my colleague). Whilst I was away, Lee painted a wall in our living room and improved the room by about 5000%. I also had a commissioned design published in Cross Stitcher magazine, which was pretty cool – another ambition crossed off the list. The uncertainty about our future at Brownton began when we discovered the owner of the house we rent hadn’t been paying their mortgage. That’s still ongoing. Guh.

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Also in October – more dog walks. Max was getting back up to full walk-strength again, so we were revisiting our old haunts. Marceline and I had a fancy dinner at Chao Phraya. Lee and I bought two science cabinets on ebay and ended up selling one as they were massive. I also squeezed in a couple of days in Durham with my mum where we mostly ate cake and shopped.

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In November, I worked a lot. I had a fairly quiet one business-wise, never reaching the fevered panic that usually greets me in November. I did a lot of thinking. I went to the theatre twice – once to see the Hairy Bikers with Lee and again about a week later to see The Ladykillers with Sarah. Both were fun evenings. I also did one of the best craft fairs ever in Castle Douglas.

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December saw another long-held ambition crossed off the list – visit the Britannia Panopticon. We saw a colleague in a Christmas music hall show there, it was pretty awesome. I’d love to go back for a proper tour. It also snowed a lot. I LOVE snow, so I was pretty thrilled. I worked from home for a week as the snow gave way to ice which pretty left me stranded up Brownton Mountain. On at least one day, we couldn’t leave the house as our driveway was like an ice rink and poor Max kept falling over.

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Christmas arrived, and was a lot of fun. Mum, Jo and I went to see the Nutcracker which was interesting – I am not sure how I feel about ballet, really, but this was a bit more experimental than I expected. Fun night though, as we had dinner with Marceline beforehand, too. Our house got a Christmas facelift with a massive tree, a ton of presents and our Christmas village. We go a bit overboard, it’s true.

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Somehow, I managed to get 5 days off work for Christmas, so once my orders were out the way, I could really relax. And what better way to relax on Christmas Eve than to make 3 stockings from scratch? They turned out well, though, I think (if you ignore the fact I forgot to hem one).

We ate masses of amazing food, including the best turkey I’ve ever tasted. It was worth the upgrade at the butcher, for sure. The best thing about having a big Christmas dinner is the leftovers in an omelette the next day – sprouts and all. It was amazing.  Aside from eating, we did a lot of relaxing, as Max is demonstrating, above.

And now, it’s almost 2013 and I am back at work, at the day job, at least. I am extending my Miso Funky break until next week. I’ll be ringing in the new year at work, with my colleagues, which I don’t mind too much – I am not a big new year’s fan, but I do relish the idea of being able to start a new year with a clean slate and all the opportunities that may come my way. We’re already planning holidays and making plans, so I am sure there is some excitement in store.

Whatever you’re doing, have a good one and have a healthy and happy 2013.

Posted in Coveted, Indie Design

Will Steal Your Kidney

Another Christmas gift that Lee gave to me is this awesome cross stitch hobo sign by Alicia Watkins.

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It fits nicely into my house shelves from Dusseldorf, along with the tiny mountain Lee also gave me (told you I was spoiled). The tiny paper clay mountain is by Sweet Bestiary.

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Oh, and I also received this. Yay! New year’s resolution of blogging more just got easier.

Posted in Making

Collaboration

It took us a long time to get to fruition, but Kim from Finest Imaginary and I have gone did a collaboration. Earlier this year, I had the idea that her badger necklace would look pretty good in cross stitch form. I floated this idea and Kim didn’t think I was a loon and was on board with it. We came up with a small collection – voila!

 

I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out (and I think Kim is too!) – you can now purchase them here.

We’re already talking about what we can work on together next – watch this space!

Posted in Indie Business

Cross Stitcher Commission

 

A few months ago, I was asked to create a wintry design for Cross Stitcher magazine, which is pretty much the leading publication in the cross stitch field in the UK. I was pretty chuffed to be asked (thanks, Emily!) and this is what I came up with.

Simple, not too elaborate and recognisably me. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. The issue came out this week and you can find it in most newsagents or read more about it here.

I am working on preliminary plans for a big project for 2013 at the moment which I hope I’ll have time to see through.  Watch this space.