Saturday, 9 October 2010

nearly two months on...

Funny how what was such a faff before is now history - the wedding was perfect, the bridesmaid's dresses found and a wonderful day had by all.

Now on to the next thing. Amy is having chemo now and is on day 3 - so far, so good. She has having plenty of visitors and I have been getting her pj's from primark. The docs are now saying that this is leukemia, so that's it now - she joins the ranks of cancer sufferers (one in three?) and yet, she is still Amy, not a disease.

I have been making Christmas cards for the gallery - found some super little beads and sequins in save the children shop - 50p a packet and nicer than Paper chase. I am thinking more subtle rather than in yer face santa fest. So far so good.

It's great to have a creative outlet and hnelps me to stop being simply a worried mama.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

too busy

for blogging. But I have made more of the flower pictures and have an order for another one. I am working with hydrangea flowers which are the most glorious colours.
Life in this household is stressed just now. Amy has had three blood transfusions in the last two weeks and is still struggling with walking. She is now getting stressed about finding the bridesmaid's dresses, which are selling out fast from Coast. Not surprised, as they are stunning. But a lot can be achieved by us all pulling together.

I have been working hard on the invitations and they are now done, complete with organza ribbon to tie. I have used YARDS of the stuff and kept miscalculating how much you actually need to tie a bow.

just found this on folksy. I love sea glass. I used to spend hours collecting it on those warm sunny days by the seaside.

Here is a picture of Albert, who now has a friend called Arthur, (not yet been photo'd) and my latest blanket which has sold! Hooray!

Went out with the family at the weekend to celebrate eldest daughter's 30th (scary to be that old...), and since they are so up on soaps and celebrities they spotted Jim Mcdonald from Corrie and DCI Manson, I think, from the Bill. I hadn't a clue who they were to be honest. I think DCI Manson was taking his mum out. Sweet.

Here is a pic of me with my souvenir from the Grenada in son's kitchen.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

work in progress

I have started a new blanket with different grown up colours, like sludge, and faded blue, dirty pink, yukky green and cornfield yellow and such like. It's turning out okay and quite quickly since I have used a larger hook. The picture shows it on the kitchen table next to the lovely handbag I have just bought from folksy , much admired.

Today I came home and found my OH had picked a lovely bunch of flowers for me AND put them in water. Then I proceeded to cut the heads off and stuck them in between the pages of a big fat cookery book. And then piled on several heavyweight art books, and a flat iron. I am playing around with pressed flowers and fabrics and have a couple on folksy

Yesterday we did the wedding dress shopping thing for Amy and she has got the most beautiful dress. I thought we would be traipsing around forever but not so - she tried a few on and then picked one that gives her a tiny waist, keeps her boobs in place, and that she can walk in, and sit down in. Hope she doesn't drop a burger on it when she gets married on 5th November (how not to forget a wedding anniversary!). It's been hurried along a bit due to her illness. Her specialist reckons he isn't going to go for a bone marrow transplant for at least 6 months, and that only if they can find a donor. Such worrying times. She is coping by being focused on her wedding day. And I do my crochet. Think it keeps my mind in an alpha state to a certain extent, but not sure what else I can do.

Went out with the rest of the family for lunch and had pizza. Yum.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

massive lettuces!

I have a little garden and in this little garden are some raised beds and in these there are huge lettuces, peas, beans and tomatoes! I am astonished how they grow as I just plonked the baby plants into grow bags and then stuck these into the 'beds' - roughly six feet long, one foot wide troughs on legs, made from bits of timber we had left over from a house move. Last year's strawberries are producing some nice new ones, but it's a race between me and the birds.

I am making a scarf out of a recycled artigiano jumper. A bit sacriligious, I know, turning massively expensive Italian yarn into a nice scarf but it gives me a thrill anyway.

Monday, 28 June 2010

summer days

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with the family in the garden celebrating the Polish Grandma's 84th birthday. The boys were in deep gloom after the England massacre and the girls couldn't care less and just enjoyed the day.
I have been knitting with a myriad of different yarns, coming to grips with colour and tone, and have been delving into my old Kaffe Fassett books. These are wonderful just to ogle the colours and photography.

I am exploring the use of dried flowers in my cards, but in a non traditional way, like I made a card for the Polish Grandma's birthday which was a single stem of dried cow parsley hand stitched in place and mounted on cream coloured linen. I think the single stems work really well and are a long way from the 70's dried flower craze with flattened bunches of flowers. We'll see.

Today I am taking daughter Amy for another hospital appointment and her big brother is coming for moral support. Here is a pic of him with his other sister Rosie. Am proud of my kids and how they love a nd support each other, after all the years of squabbling and bickering...

Thursday, 10 June 2010

rushing ahead

It's been a while but then it's been a very hectic couple of weeks. I am dealing with daughter Amy's illness which is rare and scary - MDS. She needs a bone marrow transplant so that brings a whole lot of other thoughts which I really am trying to process just now.

Meanwhile, my sanity is staying on course with crafting. Knitting, to be precise. I have a view of the kind of thing I want to do but it's not quite working out. Still, the process of knitting is helping calm the nerves. Apparently according to an article that my OH found, we now do way too much multi tasking and this is not good! It means, as the brain is so wired, that when we stop we get fidgetty and bored as we are constantly in some kind of hyper state. I thought it was just me!

Maybe we need to abandon multi tasking and focus on one thing at a time, which sounds comfortingly old fashioned. I may just give it a go!

My favourite flower meadow picture sold yesterday, which I am glad about, but will do another similar one.

Now I have to go to the dentist for root canal treatment. Life is such a bundle of fun!!!

Monday, 31 May 2010


It was pouring with rain on Saturday and pretty cold too, but me and my OH decided to drive out to Buxton in the Peak District. Having spent much of our last two week holiday up hills and down dales, we were drawn again to this fab place, which combines Victorian elegance with a nice smattering of Charity shops and even a Waitrose (the supermarket with the yummy apple and cinnamon yoghurt).

Anyway, there was an antique fair. he went off to have a cup of tea and I had a good browse. Amazed at the prices. I think perhaps I should simply go and buy up all the old embroidered linen tray cloths from out local charity shops for a quid a time and flog them here for £6. Amazing what a good ironing can achieve. Still, I bought a sweet little hankie for 20 p and some tiny mother of pearl buttons for 50p - last of the big spenders. These have now been incorporated into a couple of new cards.

When I was in Yorkshire (visitng the wonderful Wensleydale Cheese Factory) I found a fantastic little wool place and bought a spindle. Okay so I have spent all week trying to work with this, and typically as soon as I had spun something resembling thread, I knitted it up. I have decided that I need to go back to the drawing board with this as it's decidedly ropey. So much for my plan to make hand knitted scarves with home spun wool. But I will continue to practice.

So I am a schizophrenic crafter - one minute tiny stitches, next grappling with chunks of wool and felting, and then of course the textile cards. One day I will find something and stick too it, but now, I will continue to explore. Hearts are a massive motif in shops, stuffed, tin, fabric, knitted, painted, stitched....

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

lovely new day

The cherry blossom is looking a bit faded so summer is on the way, but it's freezing! Yesterday I worked hard completing a stack of cards for this gallery

I have been working with hearts made out of recycled cans, sea shells and I found some fab lace handkerchiefs in a charity shop and have used these too. I think my cards may be a bit cheap since a little bit of market research showed hand made textile cards for just under a fiver!

The downside is that my daughter Amy hasn't been well. She is having to see a blood specialist next week as a blood test came back which concerned her doctor. I am hoping she hasn't got aplastic anaemia again which she had ten years ago, but we will just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, I feel optimistic about the new government which was all compulsive viewing on the telly. New Moon in Taurus today - good for nature, good food and and getting back to basics.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

They are selling!

Word back from the Gallery and the cards are going really well! they have been on sale since Wednesday and over 12 have gone, which is good since it's only open to the public in the afternoons 4 days a week! Apparently the little bird one was very popular although I wasn't so enamoured with this.

I have found a fantastic supplier of card, direct from the paper mill and you can fill up a box with card/paper etc for 2.99 for the small one.

On Monday I am going to a vintage craft fair in Didsbury with Rosie (eldest daughter) which I am so looking forward too!

Was out with OH yesterday - he ogles cars and I ogle people's scarves. What is this? Scarf lust? A woman walking in front of me was wearing the most gorgeous silk scarf with oranges, pinks and clashing colours. I nearly nicked it off but thought I would probably get an ASBO.

Here is a picture of Rosie and I when we went to visit the new addition to the family last July.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

interesting 24 hours

I have had one of those days when you take action and there is a reaction. Now that I have joined stitchin fingers and put up my landscape pics, I am getting some great feedback from people who are stitching experts (which I am not!) How encouraging!

currently I am taking a little break and making a soft floppy scarf from Happy sock yarn. This will be nice for the summer since I usually like to have something around my neck. folksy has some fine scarves so don't think there is a lot of point putting it (or another like it) up for sale. I love crochet but like exploring slightly different ways of working with it.

Here are a couple of pics of the latest landscapes too!

I have sent an exploratory letter to a gallery to see if they will take my cards, since they are already in one so we'll see what happens. The worse thing they can say is thanks, but no thanks.

And I have found I film I was in on Amazon! Yay! This was something I did with my astrology hat on about 3 years ago and there's also the book I illustrated

You heard it here first folks!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Horoscopes & Astrology by Annabel Burton Astrologer

Thursday, 22 April 2010

trawling the net

I thought I would blog and thought that blogs are interesting when you look at what other people are up to and give it out to a wider audience, so googled 'crafts at home' and came up with that stuff where people want to earn extra income by stuffing envelopes and crap like that. And then I googled fibre art - this is joyful, wonderful and gets my juices going. Here are a few little pics of what I found.

this is well worth exploring - like a good book that you can ogle over. this link shows a little thing that I did many years ago, when working with an artist friend. We loved the idea of creating something and then cutting it up and reassembling it. I once did a work shop for student teachers which started with them drawing a complicated bundle of sticks and branches in glorious bright pastels and then they tore it all up and created a 3 d version of the their drawings to create the original. Can't remember what I was thinking about, but it got rid of their fear of making a mistake ha ha!!

The lovely sheep is by feltmaker Lee Fitton x

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

keeping on

Everything seems so relentless at the moment. I had a call from the Gallery yesterday that there had been a glitch with a computer so my cards couldn't go on sale yet, but they should be sorted this week. I just want to know if they are a goer! meanwhile, my youngest daughter is down with pneumonia and feeling absolutely awful. It's not the kind of thing you expect, but then she often gets things that others don't and I just have to deal with it. But it's all quite stressful.

But I am stitching and making more stuff in the evenings. My spare room is in such a state with the ironing board heaped up with swathes of fabric, and bits of thread, all to make these little landscapes. I have decided to pull a few things on my folksy shop as they aren't quite right.

I should be more methodical, and I have listed a few craft sites, like Swanky Maison, Coriandr, Etsy, UK Handmade and some others, but it is so easy to get lost in all these - am wondering whether to join them all and see what happens, but my time is somewhat limited so not too sure. There were some rude things said about etsy on their forum, and I have put a couple of things on there but not expecting a lot of action.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

beautiful day

and I have been in Bolton attending an annual astrology event. This is great. I get to eat some gorgeous food and prognosticate on the ways of the world and possible outcomes to current situations. We covered the history of aviation, since Uranus rules flight and will be changing signs soon in Aries. The last time it was there was in 1928 and since then we have had a technological revolution.

Interestingly, the planes are grounded, but then Saturn is opposing Uranus just now and the energy can block, create barriers, and literally ground us all.

I am stitching away happily. tonight I have made half a tea cozy, and photo's some more pics and sold another landscape! That's two this week - so thank you folksy fairy x

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

goldsmiths - art and craft

I went to Leeds Polytechnic back in the 70's and got a Degree in Fine Art. At the time, art was conceptual,weird, performance, Turner prizesque and I loved painting. Oh dear, I was a bit of a square peg in a round hole and realised that my tutor encouraged me to go Leeds as it was radical and prestigious. Needless to say I was swayed by his arguments and rejected a more traditional college. One of the places that was held in great esteem was Goldsmiths.

Last night I watched the TV programme on this and it was so reminiscent of Leeds 30 odd years ago. The strange difficulty that students had in articulating what their work is about, the loathing of your own work when it's done, the sheer commercialism behind trying to sell your stuff and of course, none of the 'oh I love the colours' 'Wow, that looks great, I want it.' And it made me realise that Art and Craft have parted company.

Now in the handmade movement, people want to create simply to make something beautiful, useful, pretty, desirable and relatively cheaply, and that fits around kids, work etc. I feel much happier about doing this than creating something with meaning, that's challenging, and thought provoking and has to be justified. And now, with my sewn landscapes, I am making them because I love it- the process, the choosing the right fabrics, the colours and the satisfaction of making something that is complete in itself.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

sunny day at last

and I have been talking to a lady down the road about pigs and farming, and how new people in the country side manage to mow down all the wild flowers before they get the chance to seed.

We ran out of jam, so being someone who makes life complicated, I dashed to the market and bought up their strawberries for 50p for 2 punnets. Bargain! Made jam which refused to set (probably because the strawberries were too soft) and boiled the whole lot up again. Managed to produce 3 jars and added a bit of Chardonnay to make it posh.

I am destashing and have put some amy Butler fabric on folksy and have also listed my latest scarf here

I have been embroidering again. I am not sure what to do with this as I am not certain that it's all that commercial, but it reminds me of the Welsh hills, the countryside and I realise how much I see these kind of views. Lucky or what!

Monday, 5 April 2010

gorgeous florals

Ok I admit, I didn't chuck out my chintz when Ikea was all trendy and Swedish and minimalist, and I have been a secret flowery addict for years, but I have to keep it a little hidden, since my other half is definitely into the sleek and smooth look. We find a compromise (like it's mostly my way or no way..). so imagine my sheer delight when checking out this month's Good Housekeeping which my dear mum in law gives to me when she's done with it(hint - what a great Christmas present - buy someone you love a subs to one of your favourite magazines which they then pass on to you! Although she wasn't impressed with Country Living, shame).

So here are some pics from the mag plus a few of my little springtime flowery inspirations. Yesterday, I put on a mad hatter's tea party and my little granddaughter was the star, of course, LOVING the little funny plushy squishy fleecy animal monkey thingy I made, and she was so much fun playing with her dad's mobile, especially when we rang it...

So we had cake, and scones, sandwiches, and chocolate and tea, lots of it... Here is my rather strange tea cozy which was admired too.

Friday, 2 April 2010

uk handmade

Okay so I have been off which means I have spent around 12 hours, making, sewing, cutting, gluing and have a brilliant time! My dear other half took himself off to his Mum's and so it's been so peaceful! Not even stepped outside the door today.

I joined UK handmade a few days ago, and this is a great site, but SO much to discover. Folksy is compact, simple and easy to use and I do like that. Hopefully, it will be promoting more and become a real force in the handmade market.

Meanwhile, here is the Easter weekend. I have bought my eggs for the family and need to make fairy cakes and scones for the Easter afternoon tea. Looking forward to a lovely family time - seems Christmas was ages ago! Happy Easter everyone xxx

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

black lace and cherub

I remembered I had printed off some pictures of Raphael's cherubs and used them on one of my doll's handbags a few years ago. And then I found some vintage black lace from my dear departed Mum's stash, and then I found some really bright pink felt and put them all together to make this !

I have put this on ebay rather than folksy just to see what happens. Folksy is great but it does take a while to sell things since there are so many beautiful things and people must get spoilt for choice.

I than twittered it and the page views went up from 4 to 33 in less than two minutes! We are all SO connected xx

Friday, 26 March 2010


couldn't resist these tapestry cushions and checked throw I found in my local Help the Aged shop - I love the colours but he who must be obeyed said they were far too seventies. Okay so we do have a advocado bathroom and a couple of other nods to that great decade of bad taste, but I love them! Especially as the whole lot cost £5.50 woohoo!

Here too is a pic of my latest circles scarf - a bit brighter this time. speaking of which, the latest crochet blanket is here too. Must admit, I do love these colours.

I have a new baby card to make - I started doing one but it turned out all wrong so I had to start again.

Thursday, 25 March 2010


I have been busy this week - done all the cards for the gallery and sent them off an dput them on flickr! had to do some editing with picnik which managed to crash on my mac, so switched to pc and it was relatively painless.

I found a great book in the library called Stitch Magic (on Amazon but at a price) with the most amazing embroidery techniques. so inspiring and even if I don't sell another card, I have got so much pleasure from making them and this new, for me, medium.

Things have bee a little quiet on Folksy, but then I have been using every spare moment to do stuff.

cards on flickr

Thursday, 18 March 2010


Cannot believe it but I have just got an order for 60 cards in the art gallery! Each one is one of a kind, hand made and thank the lord I love doing them but I am going to have my work cut out!

This is SO bizarre as i have never made a card in my life until 3 weeks ago, but just wanted to do something with my massive stash of textiles ( I am sure this stuff quietly breeds..)

Anyway, there are plenty of little bits I can use and meanwhile the latest circle scarf is taking shape.

It's very encouraging and for anyone who reads this - keep on doing what you love and someone will pay you!!!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

work in progress

This is another of my circles scarves which I have been working on. I love the colour combination and like anything else, it's drawn from an eclectic mix gleaned from who knows where, charity shops, John Lewis, the local wool shop plus a bit of vintage picked up years ago and probably from the 1930's when they made all the fine silky hand knits and floppy crochet doilies.

I saw a Sophie Digard scarf for real and it is amazing! Such fineness and delicacy but her colours are a joy. Not surprised they retail at £200!!!

confused dot com and tiny dogs

Well here we are and I spend my moments in between waking up and getting up to see what I can get excited about making next. Oddly, my dolls are my favourites and yet I have only sold one on folksy, but I have sold my funny little quirky animals and my exotic crocheted scarf (very quickly). the thing is, do you make for yourself or do you find something that is popular and make that? In a post somewhere I read that you have to have a USP. I am not sure that I have a USP, but out of all the things that I make, I would be more than happy to make either the crocheted scarf or the cards all day.

I don't actually have all day - I have a few snatched 20 minutes slots if I'm lucky, and there is nothing worse than being really involved in something and you have to stop. Arrested development!

I actually found a shop at the weekend called Cherry Tree, selling some lovely things. I couldn't go in cos it was closed but made need to investigate further.

Tiny dogs are fun to do too!

Sunday, 14 March 2010