Friday 30 November 2012

Firsts and Button Angels

First day of winter. First day of December. First trip to somewhere new-more later!
 To make button angels, first make your table look like this.
Once it is a chaotic mess, start to assemble your dolls.
 I used flat clothes pegs-super cheap from Hobbycraft and also have been hanging around for ages. I drew little faces with a fine sharpie, added a little colour with pencils, then used scraps of fabric and yarn to make their clothes and hair. The yarn is all the ends I have been saving from crocheting and the fabric is all the off-cuts from the dolls. I used other little bits and pieces too. The wings of some are made from beautiful wired tissue I have had for ages, and some are ribbon. Their halos are made from pearly looking plastic buttons. I started with white but had to move on to other colours as the collection grew.

 Some angels are snow angels, with felt clothes and little pom poms.
 Glue guns are great inventions!
They are all coming with me to Kent tomorrow for the fair. Apart from the three I have kept! 

Thursday 29 November 2012

The Craft Fair

I have not stopped since the fair and also have been mulling it all over in my mind before I wrote about it. I only sold three things ( a brooch and two dolls) so I at least made the table cost. I was a bit disappointed but I enjoyed the experience and felt quite positive afterwards. I got mostly lovely comments and gave out lots of cards so you never know where things may lead. It was lovely to see my friends and their little girl who is so funny. I had good conversations with quite a few people. One with a woman who makes cloth dolls too, to raise money for cancer charities. Hers are bald because of this and have little hats. She happened to have one with her. She uses that expandable scarf yarn very cleverly to make the skirts. Another conversation was with a woman who had recently visited Greenwich and really liked it. The other stall holders were very friendly and Jemma, who was next to me selling her pretty jewellery, helped me set up. We watched each other's stalls for breaks. My friend did a brilliant job of organising the fair, and worked really hard on the day. The gallery owner gave her good feedback and wants her to arrange another one. He also was complementary about my dolls she tells me. I had my photo taken for the local paper which made me laugh. A taste of another life perhaps!

 Here is the lady with the doll. I just love her little feet and the skirt.
 This is the delicious lemon meringue cupcake which my friend's sister in law made. Mmmm!
 I had a quick wander to find lunch. Newark market looked tempting. It was a lovely crisp day-eventually-after the rain in the morning.

 The week after the fair I took a break and crocheted some rainbow things with some vintage yarn I bought from one of the stalls.
 I have recently invested in some pom-pom makers after having them demonstrated to me by my friend a while ago. Pom-poms are a bit addictive!
A first attempt at following a snowflake pattern. It worked ok until the last little bit when something had gone wrong, but I just finished it anyway as I didn't want to undo it all again!
I talked to my Mum when I got back, and was telling her about how I felt-disappointed but excited to try and do it again. Then a few days later my Dad rang. I knew he was doing a craft fair soon, selling his lovely wood turned objects. He said he had talked to Mum and to the lady who organises his fair. He has got me a stall for two days this weekend. We are out on Saturday-a day trip to Lisle, but he is going to set my stall up and look after it for the day and I will go down on Sunday morning. I went down on Monday night to take the stuff and have dinner there which was very nice. I realised that Sadie, their cute little dog, is an even bigger and more accomplished cadger than Cassie!
I am really looking forward to the weekend. Day trip to France and craft fair! Just wish I could have a day off to recover afterwards! Thanks for all the lovely comments and good wishes about all my recent ramblings, they are much appreciated!

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Early One Morning

Saturday morning. We got up early and I took Andy to the station as he was going to Edinburgh. It was foggy and I took some photos. I love fog if I don't have to drive in it!
I didn't hear any maidens singing though.

Friday 23 November 2012

A Tale of Two Utilities

Last week went something like this. There were the best of plans and the most annoying attempts by life in general to sabotage those plans. (There was no prison, no evil French aristocrat and no guillotine though, so I shouldn't complain.)
Craft fair imminent. Loads of work at work. Me and my colleagues ill. Children behaving badly. Smell of gas when we turned the fire on. Whole of downstairs socket circuit blown at six in the morning on Monday. Loud recurring explosive noises from somewhere in the vicinity of the large shelves. Growing fear that we would be fried in our beds if the gas met the spark. Increasing necessity to switch off the electricity when we were in bed or out.
Phone call to British Gas. Threat from British Gas that The National Grid people would break our door down to turn off the gas if nobody was there to let them in. Panicked rush home from work at lunchtime to prevent said door from being assaulted. Gas off. Bowl baths.
Friday afternoon kind head teacher let me go home. Gas people didn't turn up. They were supposed to come between 12 and 6. Stressed Andy arrives home. I set off on dark foggy drive to the Midlands. The gas and electric people did eventually turn up on Saturday after many calls and texts back and forth. The boiler was fixed and the electric problem fixed.
Craft fair over I get home to find piles of stuff everywhere and have to face up to the fact that I am a massive hoarder and need to sort it out now before we are climbing over things to be able to do anything. We started with the books and managed to fill 7 large shopping bags. The shelves will have to go as the way I had piled them up with stuff was what caused the problem. The concrete floor under the laminate had cracked due to the weight and had broken the electric wire causing the explosions and fuse blowing. There is now a hole in the floor and two junction boxes but for now that can stay. The main task I have now is de-cluttering. It is now the following Saturday and I have made good progress. The flat is in the biggest mess but there is method to my madness and it will all hopefully be liveable again by tomorrow. Then I will plan the next part of the get cleared up campaign.
It is a far far better boiler than it has been for a while and it will soon be a far far tidier flat than it has ever been.
The moral of this story is that hoarding is dangerous. I think. Sorry Dickens.

Sunday 18 November 2012

Whirlwind Weekend!

This is my stall at the fair yesterday. I will tell you more about the weekend later in the week but for now just a few pictures. There has been so much going on this week and today has been a long day too, so all I want to do now is sit down with my glass of wine and do a bit of crocheting for no other purpose than enjoyment!
 If by any chance you are visiting me with a view to having another look at the dolls or accessories. I will be listing most things in my etsy shops over this week.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Nearly There!

 Firstly, if any of you are in this area on the 17th I would love to see you there! It sounds as if it is going to be a fun day. There is live music and Lindy hoppers, and lots of stalls. 
 I spent  yesterday doing little jobs, such as writing price labels, sewing on cloth labels, dressing the rest of the dolls, and doing a practice run for my table. I am pleased with how it looks I think. I made the stand for the dolls from cat food boxes in tiers, painted, collaged with old dress patterns then painted again. The layers are movable and stack neatly in two layers for transportation. I was most pleased with it when I made it last weekend! I am always amazed at the good, solid quality of the cat food boxes. I take them to school normally, and we use them for junk modelling and cheap lightweight construction toys.
 These are the other dolls I made in half term. I have called them 'Candy Stripe Dolls'. They are an all in one head and body, with arms sewn in as the body is sewn up, construction. The hair also gets sewn on as the body is joined, but with a bit of machine stitching first for texture. In hindsight I wish I had done the hair straight across, as they look slightly strange with their high foreheads! Some are cuter than others!
 They are made from calico which I love. It is easy to work with and I like the way the weave is quite visible. It has an old fashioned look too, which I like. I have metres of it to cover my table, the front piece with a scalloped edge. I am trying to keep the table simple, to show off the dolls well.
 This is my sign. I was very careful, and divided up the circle with thin masking tape, both across and down the middle, to get my lettering even. This is not at all how I normally do things, tending much more towards the slapdash, but I felt an effort was required.

 About half of the dolls still need scarves. I have some made and hope to finish them tomorrow. I gave up on the idea of jackets and cardis as I just don't have the time. I am pricing them differently, according to how many clothes they have!
 A few of my crochet brooches. I have made about 10 more today. I really enjoy making them and like how they are all different.
 This is my business card. I have printed about 100 on bamboo paper. I decided to make my own as I was running out of time and money!
Below are photos of all the dolls. These are not very good photos, but they are more for record keeping purposes. I have kept one of them, and she is not in the pictures. She is my favourite and I decided I deserved one!

A few more ribbons around waists, a couple of cardigans and some scarves and they are ready for their big day!

Saturday 10 November 2012

Tuesday 6 November 2012


The good thing about having many and various art supplies is that when I need something I have usually got it. And with my increasing use of clear plastic boxes and better organisational techniques, I can often find it!
I wanted to make a little stamp to personalise my price tags so I carved some rubber and hey presto! One of my colleagues said my dolls are like doll versions of me-but when I first tried the stamp the dark rings under her eyes looked a little too like mine for my liking! So I whittled away a bit more and she looks less tired now.
Thanks for all the recent comments. Once next weekend is over I will be back visiting people again!

Saturday 3 November 2012


Little pieces of my week.
A new doll pattern. I wanted to make a smaller, less expensive and quicker doll. Ideas have been drawn and the pattern was from this sketch. I started them on Thursday and have just about finished them now. More photos to follow!
Greenwich market on Thursday. Very bad move as I came home with more things I don't need but do love. It has been adorned with giant hearts and this mirror one was my favourite.
Cassie under the blanket on the settee. She has had some really amusing mad moments this week. Maybe she does every week but I am not here to see them.
A carousel on the Southbank where we went out last night to celebrate Andy's sister's birthday. We had a tasty mexican meal and a couple of equally tasty cocktails. It was fun!
A pumpkin left over from Halloween. This is about five houses down from us. I like the face and the orange against the pale greys.