I'll get you, My Pretty... and your little Dog too!

 In Today's Commercial News.....
The shops will now be stocking "Ribbon Bags" full of colour co-ordinating 'pretties'.
It was decidedly unfair that i get to play with lots of ribbons and play 'mix n match' when you, at home, cannot see what fun it is! So i listed a few bags that i have enjoyed playing with and that you may find of use or inspiration.
 I can do a custom mix of pretty much any 2/3 colour combinations - minimum of 8metres. The reason i use 8 - 10mtrs is that i can sell it cheaper. It costs so much to list and sell 1mtr of trim on the net that it seems like bad economics.
 All the colours for the Polka Dot Ribbon reels are now listed on ETSY in BigFish. Available via paypal in GBP if you are interested. I have all colours in stock at present but as they sell, there may be a wait between supplier - myself - and delivery. Red and Pink and Plum have been the most popular colours.
(note to Maker/Sellers - if you are interested in any colours for Christmas Projects it is wise to order very early as Chrsitmas deliveries are notoriously slow)
*Kirsty did NOT mention christmas in the month of January*
 Any Ribbon (pretty much) that you see in any of my photos, are available to order by the reel. LovePaperFish has provided great prices for ladies buying ribbons for wedding projects. If it isn't up 'For Sale' doesn't mean i cannot negotiate certain supplies for you.
I am genuinely happy to help :) i get alot of satisfaction from selling my Pretties!

 The LovePaperFish site has been broken for sooo long now, i despair BUT i intend for it to be up and running soon. Where are all the hours in my day going to?
(she says, shopping for Vintage Furniture and baking chocolate cakes)
 ALL Polka Dot Pretty Button Bags are now packed in lots of 130. 10 each of 13 colours.
The same for the Gingham / Plaid Button Bags - in lots of 130.
Again, i am able to offer such better value when sold like this - and the colours are so tempting. These are by far my favourite of alllll the buttons i sell.
All Felt colours are in stock.
I can announce that the price of my felt is not rising with the increasing of VAT - huzzah! and long may this continue...
I am worried mostly about the cost of postage increasing as Felt is surprisingly heavy to send.
I'll do my best xxx
Commercial Break now ended.
Fun Vintage finds to follow sooon.....

For the Love of Citrus fruits, being Homely & Flat Caps...

"You have been quiet since the turn of 2011 Kirsty... what's been going on in 'da hood'?
Are you ill? introspective? struggling a little to cope with the minutiae of daily life?..."
All of the above it seems! and then some more.
So when life is feeling a bit 'too much to bear' i tend to get domestic. I *think* my philosophy is to 'Hunker down' / get back to the basics. In essence, to start again from the bottom up and see if i can feel better.

 I am not a saint and i did go to the (not sooo local) kitchen shop ABRAXAS in Weedon.
If i ever have like-minded friends to stay, it is somewhere i like to take them. A treat of a shop for dreaming and dribbling in. OF Cooouuurrrse, nobody needs 'special things' to cook with. I can SEW my own "Bouquet Garni Bags" etc... and so on but i am trying to treat myself so i feel no guilt in this commercial endeavour.
 I bought this lovely PINK whisk too. It is all rubbery in feel. Very satisfying. Now that i DID need and would rather purchase anew than save from the skip / carboot.

I love to get all my bowls and equipment out ready...
i got all the fruits from a local independant Greengrocers via my trip to the cookware shop (extra Brownie points?) they are cheaper and friendly and superior quality.
I spent a few days in and out of the kitchen making Lemon Cordial and Marmalade, aswell as Candid Peel (waste not, want not)
I have no tried and tested methods for either - i am too young and impulsive to belong to any club involving 'secret recipes'. I used an internet recipe for the Lemon Cordial, and i am gald i did. It was a superb method which made me use lots of the peel from 12 lemons and save it as 'Candid Peel' - a sort of sugary treat. It tastes A-mazing!! and the cordial is the finest / strongest / perfectly not too sweet recipe i  ever made. Very happy.
 It came out quite brown and caramelised looking but has since lightend with maturity and looks far more like it's Lemony self again now. I made many! - one or two glass bottles i purchased a while back but most bottles i have saved from family and friends and the pub and that.
 Then the o-so-satisfying process of PRESERVING in any which way or form.
You need smell-o-vision here for sure friends.
Is there much in life that is more beautiful a sight than a bowl full of lemons or a pan full of Seville Oranges? i think not.
 (oh Lordy - it's that tracksuit again. I am beginning to feel that it has become sealed to my chest.... how can i rid myself of it's comfort... it has....wait for it.... a.... FLEECY INSIDE!... i am doomed...MrsB???)
 Now that marmalade....
i have used 3 differing recipes over the years.  i have finally concluded WHAT it is iam doing that prevents me from getting the marmalade to the right consistency. I won't bore you with my marma-experiments but it has a great deal to do with the fact i don't like mine all peely and fleshy / pulpy so i *think* i am lacking pectin in the pan.... it's a theory.
 And honestly, it tastes pretty good - but is not a patch on last years batch.
I must make notes on 'why' etc... then i might make it really well next year?
Do you want to know what went into the jar also?
A few strands of that lemon Candid Peel from the previous day (how cunning can a Fish be?) and a Star Anise (for the Major)
Country pursuits - Preserves and Flat Caps.
I smell of lemons with a hint of ginger and just a touch of fleece.
I am no city girl.
I am no domestic goddess.
I am tired and feeling un-anchored.
A little cooking and a great deal of walking is the very restorative that i need.
x x x

Quick & Crafty... Buttons x

 Here is another very quick and crafty idea....
Buttons are not JUST for sewing ya know!
The non-quick bit of this idea is the actual 'searching for' magnets.
Do not be tempted to use any ole magnet that you come across... there is nothing as frustrating as making your own fridge magnet - then discovering the magnet has no strength and everything falls off your fridge. I hate that.
I  *think* i got mine from Staples - and maybe even from Habitat some years ago... a few are quite deep but some are flat - it doesn't matter really. But they were really strong so i was happy to use them.
 Searching for buttons... well that is the easy bit!
you either have some in a pot somewhere (the bigger the better! the more dramatic effect)
or you can buy some from me: http://bigfish.etsy.com/
or you can rummage ebay / carboot / thrift for some unusual oldies.
All i did was to GLUE mine with a super strong glue.
I never recommend Super-Glue as it has volatile properties and you are never sure when the stickiness will give.
You can use an Araldite i think, or a glue gun.
I used Gold Hi-Tack, my most favourite glue of all time.
leave them to dry for 24 - 48hrs. Don't be impatient...
Ace Button Magnets xxx

Button Frenzy... Sale News...

 So, i have begun re-stocking the buttons after my Christmas chillaxing.
I had a huge box delivered, which is allllways exciting and i thought you might enjoy it too...
I always add extra buttons to my colour mixes so a customer will get unique and exclusive button mixes from my shops. It is part of the alchemical button mix process that i really enjoy.
 http://bigfish.etsy.com/ is expanding slightly over 2011.
I don't want to BoMbArD the customer with an overwhelming choice of buttons but... i do want to start offering any mega Crafters / button obsessives a larger amount of buttons at a better price.
So, i have decided to introduce a WHOLESALE section to my BigFish store.
 Individual button bags with 100 of each colour. Yum Yum!
Also a pack of 1,300 spotty / gingham buttons with 100 each of 13 colours.
I am not sure if i can financially stretch to hold this much stock. Running my business is a constant 'cash flow balance' (isn't any business?) but if they are not available to you directly, i can order them in very swiftly.
So.... i have already launched the SPOTTY wholesale button bags.
Soon to follow, will be these fantatsic Reels of Ribbons *swoon* i know.
I am a spoilt crafting brat and, quite frankly, i hate having random cuts of ribbon held in baskets - i want a REEL. So i can snip off ribbon whenever i feel like it. Secretly, i think you feel the same...?
Well, you can always indulge in a reel of just your favourite colour if you can "justify it". They will work out much cheaper than buying by the Metre, especially if you sell on your creations.
I think there will be a choice of 14 colours on these.
 Whilst un-packing the delivery box, many button bags burst (yes, that is very messy and very annoying....) but look at the mix that i discovered! If they hadn't burst i would never have seen hooooowwww pretty these 3 colours look together!
This is called "Boy Girl Party" and is available as a 100g bag
Disco pink, Aqua, White and healthy scattering of spots and stars and hearts to compliment.
 ... i am exhausted after all this *news*
[deep breath and continue]
Gingham buttons will follow the spotty buttons and spotty ribbon reels, when i get a spare hour in the next week or so. Available in 5 new colours and ALSO in the wholesale 100 bags and 1,300 collection.
There will be a mega 'one day only' FREE POSTAGE offer coming soon.
Keep your eyes on the blog as i will announce the date here: Maybe end of Jan / Begin of Feb. My delightful UK customers will enjoy the rare - once a year only - opportunity to shop for supplies and pay far less than the rest of the year.
Why would i do that? It is no scam people, the prices are not 'going up' to compensate or anything.
{disclaimer: some prices will rise 'soon-ish' to accomodateVAT increase only}
 It allows me to move on older stock and boost cash flow... nothing more sinister. It is also a bit of a thankyou to blog readers and regulars for choosing to buy from me :) i appreciate it!
 In bewteen book-keeping & button listing... i am trying to make things for http://paperfish.etsy.com/ i have had requests from some lovely ladies for more Lavender cushions and matching sets of things. I love you for asking but i cannot start any big sewing till February. The odd little thing will get listed though (like the hanging PinPuffs above) If you are willing to wait, i would be so happy to get sewing again.
And lastly.... HOW does Kirsty fit allll this into her life? (I hear you cry)
1. i bought a tracksuit... it is the beginning of the end for me. I have never owned one but it sure is good for running up to the 'School Run' and between the Studio and the Post Office.
2. i made this awesome chocolate cake... energy = choco burst = tasty = happy.  New Year diet might be out of the window.

I know all this is alot of *news* to digest right now. Normal flippant, meaningless, storytelling blogging, will resume soon.

2011.....no rest for the [very] wicked

 Was there a holiday? Did we have a break from work?
Forgive me if that all seems a vvverrrryyyy long time ago now!

Aaaaah, i shall not complain about 'work' - you all know i LOVE it.
I had to catch up on a few commission pieces from 2010....
 Mainly, log cabin cushions-a-plenty.
The above is a smaller cushion, packed with Hops, Lavender and Chamomile. The brief was "use blue", so i did.
 Then there were 2 cushions - much larger, approx 20inch x 20inch
I was so pleased with how these turned out.
A lady ordered them for her daughter.... and then kept them for her own bedroom!
[well, why not?]
 Old shirt labels and mixed linens (mmmmm, linen) and some Japanese fun scraps.
 Starting a new batch of thhhhheeee cutest PinPuffs, with an eyelet and bookring so you can hang it: on a bag, on your sewing machine, on your needlebook....
 This is totally irrelevant to my sewing activities but WOW! how much do i love my new giant bird ring? It is an awesome Sales find of £2 and totally too big to be practical.
 This cushion is for me - in red, pink, slate, blue... it shouldn't work, but it does....
 Yummy scrap of vintage lacework and more old shirt labels....
 And, lastly, yellow Tulips - from my friend MrsB
[she knows what i mean]
Joy to the world my friends
and the happiest of fresh New Years xxx


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