Monday, June 29, 2009

weekend relaxation

John and I decided to have a relaxing weekend after the past few weeks of not stopping!

I worked on Saturday but afterwards we spent the evening with friends, having a few drinks and a pub supper, in the evening sunshine.

On Sunday we dedicated some time to household shopping, laundry, cleaning and hoovering because you can't really relax when there's lots of jobs to do can you?
I watched Columbo whilst working on some ingredients for my next kit...the felt is ordered and fingers crossed I'll have them ready for freebie day on Thursday :-)

Friday, June 26, 2009

it's official

I LOVE my workshop!

it took me a couple of days to settle in and get used to having no distractions (tv, food, laundry, blogland, emails etc) but yesterday felt good.

I had my first crafty-visitor (my friend Kim) and I taught her how to make a paper pattern so she can make her own week she'll be back so we can fit her toile and perhaps alter her pattern.

There are still a few DIY jobs for us to do but we're hoping to get them done this weekend, or next at the latest!

I'm back at the day job today, but will be straight to the workshop after work :-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

stock check

I spent a couple of hours stock taking & photographing items yesterday. I had a shelf full of goodies that I have made over the past few weeks, but that hadn't made it into any of my shops!

That led to a spring clean of my website last night, I've re-jigged the pages and added some new categories, and hopefully everything will be re-stocked shortly...I made a start by making a pile of cuties which have been out of stock for some time ::
After all that sensible work I took a break and visited the Fabric Shop. I only bought some heavy calico and cotton tape, which makes for a boring photo, until they are turned into a new tote bag!!
(I'll take a better photo today and sneak in and replace this one!)
I'll leave you today with a photo taken on my walk home from the workshop.
I was surprised at first but it must be fun because he hugged that tree for quite sometime ;-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I have 3 whole days off the day job!
Yesterday I spent my first entire day at the workshop cutting and sewing, surrounded by paper-and-string things...I was in heaven!
I have so many things I want to make that I didn't really know where to begin...I made a start on some felt & fabric flowers, then changed my mind and made a fabric box ::
then off on another tangent and I made a cupcake tote ::

who knows what I'll make today.....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

feeling better

hopefully the pictures can tell you what I have been doing.....that and the bags under my eyes!!
ribbons and buttons.
packing area (parcels will definitely still be posted quickly!)
....I am SO tired, but oh so happy :-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009


after work yesterday I continued putting the flat packs together, John joined me after he had finished work and then our friend Brendan came to help once he had finished's definitely easier with 3 pairs of hands!

Today i started to move the felt in and *hopefully* after tomorrow I will be ready to sew again!
all these shelves are in the shop corner....I'm going to need to do a lot of sewing to fill all that space....and I can't wait to get started!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

more progress

What I made yesterday ::

3 notebooks for a special order (the books were already covered, I just had to attach the yummy embellishments)

a new home for my sewing machine :-)
It takes 20 screws to hold those legs on, that is a lot of screwdriver-ing!

My new shelves to hold all my supplies and stashes, and the new ironing board.....I am so excited by the fact that I can have the ironing board up all the more dragging it out from behind the door, moving furniture out the way, and putting it away again, just to iron a few seams!

I also put these rails together, ready for John to drill the holes in the wall.

and these little beauties are the storage I forgot to photograph the other day. They are quite large (50x25 cm) ... they aren't designed to stack together, but they are quite happy sitting on top of each other, perfect for all my handmade embellishments :-)
thank you for all your support and sharing the excitement of a new workshop with me, I am struggling to reply to comments so figured I could answer most questions on the blog!

1. I'm definitely not giving up the day job....even though I am full-time my working day is only 6.5 hours (instead of 9), which leaves me time in the mornings to do computer work, and time after work to go to the Post Office and grab a couple of hours in the workshop. The Post Office and workshop are just a few minutes walk away from home, which makes it easier!

2. I managed to get a knock-down price on the rent ... I went to view a different workshop originally but it was very damp and horrible, so the estate agent showed me the one over the road (that I couldn't afford) but whilst he was talking he let slip who the owner was and Bingo! ...John only knows the landlord (it's a car thing!) ... a bit of negotiation later and I got the keys for less than the one I went to see in the first place! the rent even includes business rates and water rates too! yay!

3. I'm going to miss working from home, but it has very slowly been driving me mad. If we had room in our flat I'd still be working here but the current set up just doesn't work, all my stock is in the living room (along with the packing desk, sewing machine and piles of fabric everywhere) My industrial over locker and sewing machine take up so much room in the dining room that we don't even have a dining room table! (we've had tv dinners for years now!) and the other industrial sewing machine lives at the foot of the bed so to get round the bed you have to do a crab-like walk! We've lived like this for years and the more paper-and-string grows, the worse it I'm doing what a lot of people are doing, turning the spare room into a studio, 'cept our teeny seaside flat doesn't have a spare room, so I have to rent one!!

4. I'm planning to have an end is going to be set as a retail space, with all my stocks and handmade items on display, the other end will be for all my materials and equipment I use to create with. The huge table is in the middle and will eventually be somewhere where people can come and craft, hopefully with a few lessons thrown in! It's early days and i'm sure the details will change and evolve over time, but for now I am tentatively planning that I'll be 'open' on Wednesdays, and by appointment over the weekend.

...if anymore questions crop up I'll do the same and answer them here so pop back here to see the answers!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


John took me to Ikea after work on Tuesday evening. We borrowed our friend's camper van and it took us 1.5 hours to get there....the shop was nice and quiet and I managed to find everything I went for...amazingly I didn't buy any fabric because there was too much to pick from and I was trying to be fast!! Even with the quick shopping we didn't get home until midnight!
Yesterday I took the small items to the workshop and John bought the big boxes later on....the plan is to have everything ready so I can move in on Sunday....I can't wait to get some felt on those shelves (the ones we haven't put up yet!)

(1 bosse MADE, 1 Bekvam MADE, 1 rug PRETTY, )
I also got a few small storage items which I forgot to photograph, I'll try to do that tonight :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

painting done

just a quick post today because I have some sewing to catch up on and orders to pack...yesterday John and I spent all day painting my workshop. I was chief gloss painter whilst John was in charge of the roller :-)
please excuse the mess, definitely a work in progress!
the next job? mega-shopping at ikea :-)

Saturday, June 13, 2009


last Sunday (which feels like forever ago!) I finished my parcel for the monkey swap, and now it has been received I can show you what I made!
A BIG felt monkey and a pink tote bag (with a felt monkey embellishment)
I lined the bag with polka dot fabric...I can't get enough polka dots!
Inside the bag I put a small pouch (complete with monkey) which I lined with felt.
...Little Miss Monkey's tail is held on with a big purple flower button.
Diane (my secret swap partner) has blogged about her parcel on her blog. I'm SO glad she liked everything :-)


yesterday John had a few hours in between his normal work and he headed straight to my workshop (I like calling it a workshop, rather than a studio, don't know why!)
Again he was there whilst I was at work and he refused to tell me what he was doing!

He had gone back to work by the time I got there and my instructions were to tidy up and hoover! He had made a BIG mess because he has already made my work table!!
It is absolutely HUGE ... I had done a sketch of what I thought I wanted and he made it Perfectly :-) It's very tall which is perfect for standing up and cutting out or for drawing patterns or for packing orders (it's going to be a busy table!) and just look at all the room underneath for fabric!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

we've started

John spent a few hours at the studio yesterday whilst I was at work and I joined him as soon as I could. He worked really hard and has prepared the walls ready for painting ... it always looks worse before it gets better, right?
Whilst I scrubbed A LOT of dirt off the windows John made a start on the ceiling, it was a fetching shade of peach but is now lovely and bright white, this is a half way through picture ::
In more colorful news, the door stops have finally been listed in the shop ::
and a gift I made for my friend has arrived which means I can post a picture!
It's a fabric and felt square bucket/box....I tipped loads of buttons in so I could take the photo...don't they look bright and cheery :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

very exciting news

I can't quite believe it, and I can't stop skipping and jumping around because I am so excited!!

that beautiful building new. studio....I KNOW!
The inside isn't quite as pretty ::
looking towards the door which leads to kitchen area (it's teeny tiny!) and the essential toilet area.

looking the other way, from the kitchen door towards the entrance door. (token shot of mr. estate agent!)
There's a whole load of cleaning (and spider removal) to do, then we will be painting everything white (it's all very purple right now!) and then a trip to ikea for some bargain shelving and then I'll be ready to sew sew sew!!

Monday, June 08, 2009

monkeys have landed

look what I found when I came home today ::
a monkey parcel for me!!
lots of monkey wrapped goodness and a card revealing who my swap partner was :-)
There are lots of monkey snacks (foam bananas are seriously my fave sweets EVER!)
a wind up knuckle walking monkey (so cool!) but best of all....
sock monkeys for me!! I have always wanted a sock monkey and now I have three...I feel so spoilt and lucky, a BIG thank you goes to my swap partner and to Claire who organised the Monkey swap in the first place.
Such a lovely Monday treat :-)