GOT to love - ViNtAgE! It arrived in the post this morning - barely paid a penny for it - on the bay of E...
Why do i love vintage?
The unexpected. The unusual. The Perfect fit (i must have a vintage figure!?) Recycling and not adding to the ever-growing pile of landfill. Dream clothes that i might have dressed my Sindy Dolls in once upon a time... Personality! Clothes with something cheeky to say x
I belted it - it is slightly on the bigger side of 'fit' - i went all over the house trying to get photos to show it off to it's best...
How can you not love a red dress with white pocket details and polka dots? A pair of Summer wedge shoes... Tis Vintage Love!
I didn't mean to repeat this photo x but you get the idea right?
psst - Giveaway draw to be announced in about 24 hours.
It's high time i had a GIVE AWAY on my blog - don't you think?! I have been meaning to do one for a long time so apologies it hasn't arrived sooner. And just LOOK at the lovely pile of Woodland Whimsy... A Woodland PinPot! Charming little fella that can sit on your sewing table and hold your pins neatly in place. I use mine all the time and love it to bits.
There is also a pile of Woodland Butons for you to use: Reds, browns, greens and the odd dotty surprise PLUS a giant button...
And a little mini pile of woodland-esque felt to use for something fun?
... and last, but by no means least, these 2 super cute wooden pegs. One has a tree design on top and the other and toadstool house (very kawaii or decole)
I am possibly too kind, i know :) but generosity is in my nature.
So, to ENTER: simply leave me a comment (a pleasant one please) and even tell me what you think my blog should have more of / less of to help me improve it. Also... leave your EMAIL ADDRESS or how will i know how to contact you if you win? No catch - entries from worldwide happily accepted.
A genuine draw will take place - (i'm real honest) - and i will let you all know after midnight UK time on Saturday 30th May.
Sometimes i get tired of 'internet selling' but NOT of my customers or my products... it is the constant sense that i am 'playing with the big kids'? I get exhausted by the retail conveyor belt and the 'promotion' and the time it takes to find Ones customer and show what is on offer... The Craft stall isn't like that at all. It feels completely different. Sometimes it hurts to the core when a customer openly declares to your FACE! that they don't like the crafts of your labour!! But i am ever thankful there are only ever the odd mad person who is so tactless! (Photo p.s. that awesome teacup is from my dear LUPIN and worn proudly by me)
Having the "PaperFish Craft Stall" means i can make one-off pieces that don't fit any of my internet shops. I can make cards, for example, which is what i started out making (back in the day...) but i wouldn't dream of marketing them online because it takes masses of energy and time to market well... and that can remove some of the fun and satisfaction from the crafting itself!
And when I am tired of commercial crafting - i still want to 'make stuff' but having a craft stall means i can make things for my friends and family (and self) but make a few extra items too, to show to Mr and Mrs Joe Public.
When my Crafting Career is a little exhausting and i feel a bit like a craft machine - then i PLAY with my paper and pens and paint and felt and fabric and i see what happens when i take away all the rules and deadlines and commercialism.
I live to craft
but i don't craft for my life, if you know what i mean? x
aaahh - a rare treat! Sunday Coffee out with my Sister. Lucky us, to get an hour or two to sit and chat and Sunday browse... We went to Olney ***waves at Olney readers*** ("Local Craft Matters" is out now guys, go grab your free copy!)
That is my Little Sister, totally dreaming and worrying about what to do with her life.
And below, why tis me! Oh, I am wearing that Beret again... it isn't cosmetically sealed to my head, promise! It was raining and i need a haircut... why do i have an odd gurning grin on my face???
Olney, Rose Courtyard - it has a great little Craft and Art gallery and also a brilliant Craft / Paper / Stamping shop L.B.Crafts... it was raining when we sat in but the sky did brighten for a while on Sunday...
I managed to grab the Fruit and Veg Men in the Market Place just as they were packing up for the day. I filled a big bag with oranges / lemons/ limes and grapefruits for about £3 and then went home to 'Juice' them, mmmmm x
And my Sis holding up theeee cutset little Spring Cotton Skirt that i bagged in the Charity Shop for £2.50. What a find!? it is so sweet.
Cafe Sundays my friends... it's what the rest of the week was made for! x
New selection of Butterfly Party Badges - Paper stolen (well purchased) from the ever wonderful Paperchase shop x A new file drawer system - mainly for allll those button mixes! Shame it's white as i wanted one in red :( from IKEA (that trip i went on, on Monday!)
As THIS aqua set is my sisters and she may want it returned to her soon....
AND i really have had a bunting week!
I made this pretty design for my daughters bedroom x
And this gorgeous line is called 'BRIGHTON PIER' as my sister is moving to Brighton soon and i love Brighton too ( UK seaside town for the US reader!)
Carnival Bunting - very much like the 'Frida' set of two weeks previous but it sold and so this is it's replacement, similiar but different. Bright, funky and 'carnival-esque'.
My personal favourite 'REGATTA' - i luffs it - reminds me of colourful sails on fast little boats!
And finally, ....this week, i have sold many sets of these:
Off cuts / Scrap Bags of the yummy Bunting fabric. All small pieces that would be perfect for smaller projects like hair pins or brooches or.....
I couldn't work out, why i was feeling French today? I just felt all continental and have had to fight the urge to speak in a pathetic stereotypical French accent alll day. But i think i managed to trace it back to that croissant i had for breakfast...
So, i shall work backwards... this is me pondering the last few button shots i had to do today. I wanted to get them listed in the shops and then get back to a bit of sewing for a change. This is the table cloth i made today...
A table cloth obviously isn't 'Rocket Science' of the sewing world but i was super happy with it. It looks very 'al fresco' and, even though i know enough to realise that is 'Italian speak' i still felt French.
I made this bunting yesterday and listed it today.
It is grown-up and quite chintzy YET with a hint of a 'Chateaux' (spelling?) so again, you see I have been feeling French!?
I listed this elephant and for some reason I am convinced he ran away from a nasty circus RingMaster who just happend to be.... yes, you guessed it - French!
Last of the new buttons - listed in BigFish - Limited Edition, only 9 packets.
And these Chunky Mothers - again limited edition... nothing at all to do with feeling French but I am telling you what i did today...
And then, with all this 'French-ness' going on around me i remembered!
I went to ASDA this morning to do some food shopping (most hated task) Anyway, ASDA is nowhere near me.... i had to drive out a way.... but ASDA is next door to IKEA!!
And, when i accidentally took a wrong turn into IKEA before ASDA (an e a s y mistake to make my friends) i remembered i hadn't had any breakfast this morning.
SO... I was feeling French today... because i started my day with a Coffee and Croissant.
Every bit of this tale is true.
(Except for the bit when i said i took a wrong turn into IKEA, because blatantly that was always part of my Master plan)
New Buttons.... I know!! ...in some ways I am perhaps overwhelming a customer with choice?
But as a 'seller' of buttons, if i make a decision that i want a certain type of button for my own projects, then it makes sense to sell a few too? How could i resist their colour?
Their spots (and stripes!)
These are the sort of buttons that get a project noticed... I actually feel 'stressed' as my head is exploding with ideas for them.
They are the most expensive sets of buttons i sell.
I worry, maybe they are too much for people to want to indulge in? But they aren't the sort of button you will smother a project with? They are the last embellishment. The 'icing on the cake'. The button that makes people look twice?
I can't wait for my next Craft Fair as these buttons will look so yummy on the PaperFish stall - my first plan is make some Bobby Pins / Hair Slides and matching rings as I'm sold out of these thanks to my lovely girls at Weston Fair last week (***WAVES*** at the young ladies - you know who you are!)
But it has taken me FOREVER to price these, bag them, list them in the shops... I now have button fatigue - YES, it is possible!
I NEED to sew some bunting or a brooch or some Schrooooms to help me feel human again.
IF you want to see where i sell (it isn't compulsory y'know, i don't charge for drooling over the pictures! haha)
The slightly far-away, glazed look in my eye. The look of a woman who might just do something radical, unexpected, unusual... Beware the Button Woman... This is the sight that has sat on my lap allllllll day:
Aaaaaahhhh - Love, love, Loving Emma Bridgewater right now, with a capital L! On Tuesday, I drove my Mum and I up to Stoke-on-Trent which is about 2 hours from us! (not an easy drive but worth it) I liked Emma B's stuff before but didn't own any. Now, after a day with 'Emma', i just luffs her ..... We started with a cup of coffee and a cake in the cafe.... i know it sounds dumb but they use the EmmaB plates and mugs and napkins even in their cafe... i don't know why i thought they wouldn't?? Then we had a tour of the factory. There were only 8 of us in the tour so it was long and we got to ask lots of questions.
The lovely gentleman above is throwing plates. I did have a little go myself! Well, you know me, they asked for a volunteer and i love to get involved... The plate i threw is actually being used and is probably already fired! To *think* somebody, somewhere, will be eating out of an EmmaB bowl that i threw.
This lady is smoothing over all the 'seams' in the clay that happen when they come out of the moulds. Making it all nice and smooth. Every stage of the EmmaB pottery process is done by hand, here in England. You wouldn't believe how many items they can get done in one day!!
Birdie Egg cups - this load has been through it's first firing in the kiln. They will get glazed and then go through again. If the pattern is from a 'decal' (transfer) rather than hand painted then they go through the kiln a third time before they are ready for sale...... just *think* of their energy bills!? whoa!
Trolleys full of mugs - mainly the Robin design here. These are waiting outside the 'checking' area where the products are all 'fault checked' x they looked sooooo colourful all in rows.
Now, this man above is dipping plates in glaze. They have been fired and are now getting their first glaze before their 'decals' and their second glazing. He was so damn fast, it made you *wow*.
The yellow here is from using the 'decal' and will fire off in the third kiln process. You wouldn't believe how labour intensive each piece is.
I loved asking all the questions. I loved seeing each stage. I loved how friendly they were and how long some of them have been working at EmmaB!
After the tour we went back to the cafe / shop / pottery studio>>>>>>>
This was a trip i was organising for me and my mum - she turned 60 this year and we did have a big party but also, many friends and family have organised trips, holidays and surprises for her throughout the year. THIS day was my contribution.
Lots of yummy stock in the shop! Naturally all the additional products are sourced out to other companies and abroad for production. You can't blame them? It's bloo*y amazing they get to even produce their pottery in the UK anymore.
My glamourous Mother, painting her very own mug in celebration of her 60th year. She was nervous as she isn't confident with things like this - but her mug look ace>>>>>>
Obviously this is PRE-fired. We get our items back in a week or two via post.
I was making a mini-jug with just masses of hearts and spots and 'stuff' on..... well, I am not 'known' for my minimalism am i friends!? haha x I promise to show you the finished piece on its return.
And I MUST introduce Paul and Tracy below>>>>
No, i 'must' because i promised them i would! ***HELLO*** and we have them to thank for such a wonderful afternoon of coffee, cake, sandwiches and pottery painting tips. "You made it great fun guys!" x
It all seemed to end toooooo soon. So we had a quick chance to buy one or two EmmaB bits from the shop before having to hit the motorway to get home for the child.
I ADORE the new patriotic range with it's red and blue bunting (yippeeee!) and hand stamped union jacks. So i bought this hUge mug for my morning tea x
And i also bought this lovely tin and it says 'Truly Great'.
And we did have a 'Truly Great' time.
And i would recommend it to anyone.
And, right now, I am LOVING Emma Bridgewater X X X
(i'm off to write her a letter, to tell her much i love her and stuff. Sad? or Mad? x)