Saturday, 26 March 2011

My very first Craft Fair

Hello, well I am back from my first ever craft fair and I am pooped to say the least!
How can it be so tiring sitting there all day, being polite while crocheting away?.........I don't know but by heck it was.

Here is the venue, used to be a hotel apparently but it is now quite exclusive sheltered accommodation, looks like it would have been quite a spectacular hotel in its hey day.

And here is my table, I have never laid out a table before so it was a bit daunting, didn't want it too look too cluttered but I didn't want it to look to sparse either, I think I got it right, what do you reckon?

Listening to other stall holders, it seemed a bit quiet but as I had nothing to judge it by, I was quite happy, I sold a number of small toys and hair accessories, one of which was a custom order placed that afternoon by a stall holder, gave a short crochet lesson to another stall holder and had many a conversation with passers-by about the joy of crochet in general.
I also saw an old work colleague, from more than 10yrs ago so some catching up was done there (small world isn't it?).

So yes, first fair done, plenty of stock left, have much more time now to make more stock and it will not be in such a frenzied manner as it has been this last month (as that was how much notice I had), so now I can get back on with the wedding prize of mine that a bride for June won in a recent competition as well as working on some of the bridal shawls I have the materials for and that I am dying to make a start on...but that is likely to be another post.

Hope to see you all soon, I am off for a well deserved sit down and a brew I think.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Serves me right!

Ah, gauge or tension, whatever you call it, do you swatch or not???
Me, nope never do a tension swatch, waste of yarn as far as I am concerned, not to mention time....or is it, is it more of a waste of time making something and it coming out a different size because you used a different yarn etc, ?

Along with this is assumption, we all know that assumption is the mother of all screw-ups (!), you think that by my age I would have learnt this valuable lesson once or twice by now, but it would appear that sometimes I dont learn from my mistakes (yarn related ones!)

There I am last night twirling my hook, creating yummy crochet goodies to take to my first craft fair, starting an American pattern for a baby hoodie, now in the past I have been caught out with an American pattern, (another of those mistakes I mentioned earlier), their worsted weight is similar to our Aran and having made a childs cardigan following the pattern instructions it came out like cardboard, there was no flex in the material. Turns out the hook size was far too small for the weight of yarn, so this time, be the smarty pants that I am, I moved up a hook size (wasnt going to make the same mistake, I thought), did I do a tension swatch?  Did I heck!

I was only this morning when 3/4 way through the hoodie, I decided to measure for tension....guess what, it was wrong, number of rows was fine, it was number of stitches that was wrong, I had too many.  This meant that the 0-6 month jacket I was making was wide enough to fit an 18 month old...aaaarrrgh!
I thought, I know why dont I check the listed yarn to see what description it is given and lo and behold, it is DK weight yarn not Worsted Weight like I had assumed !

So what do I do, do I pull it all out or do I carry on because the length was for 0-6 months remember, hummed and haa-ed for a bit and I have decided to finish it off, will do a deeper contrast edging for bottom border and sleeve edges to bring it slightly closer to the right measurements for the size it is and it will be a perfect Spring/Summer hooded short sleeved jacket for a little girl, for when there is a slight chill in the air.

Now, this time, do you think I will have learnt my lesson........only time will tell methinks!

Friday, 11 March 2011

CiBi has now changed to I Love Handcrafted

What is CiBi you may be wondering, well CiBi stands for Craft it Buy it, it is a brand spanky new site that will be a market place to both showcase all the wonderful handmade items that crafty folk like to make and where people with good taste and an appreciation of 'handmade' will be able to buy from.

The website will go live in April and at the moment there are the forums where you will find an ever growing community of friendly people on hand to chat to, you can find this here, come on in and have a look, no-one will bite!

Look forward to seeing you all there.

Right, well after me posting this yesterday it would appear that there has been a major hiccup in the works so we have all moved over to a new site called 'I Love Handcrafted', you can find us here
At the moment I am not sure when the website will go live (will keep you updated on this) but the forums have the same wonderful crafty folk so as I said before, come on in and have a look.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Folksy Friday - St Patrick's Day

Hello everyone, it feels like such a long time since I have been here but I think its only been a week!

Anyway, on with this weeks Folksy Friday.  I was browsing the internet the other day when it dawned on me that next week is St Patrick's Day, 17th March (which is a Thursday) so I decided to make a couple of brooches, one a shamrock and one a lucky 4 leaf clover for the run up to this day and this got me wondering what else those clever crafty folk on Folksy had to offer.  I posted pictures of my brooches in the forums and opened it up to everyone with the question 'What have you got to offer for St Patrick's Day?'

Below is what I was usual, click on the picture to see that item in more detail or click on the shop name to see what else they have to interest you.

Shamrock St Patrick brooch Lucky 4 leaf Clover Brooch
Loves a good yarn
Shamrock brooch pin Shamrock button brooch pin
Molly the May Handmade
Rabbit and shamrock brooch  ACEO Tree dancers
ADEEGAN and artmagic

 Here the link to St Patrick/Irish becomes a bit tenuous, more of emphasis on green.........(with the exception of the jasper 4 leaf clover)

Emerald Green bunting card Good Luck clover from Sepentine
Aunty Joan Crafts and NOfkantsCurios

Landscape Cushion Malachite Sterling Silver Ring
Clootielugs and Unique Beaded Gems

Shell braceletFelt Roses Green
Antoinette Collection and the felted rainbow

Green glass pendant
Steam Punk Glass 
(apparently the shade of green glass used for this pendant was funnily enough called Leprechaun!) 

There we go, St Patrick's Day, the Emerald Isle and green and if anyone is buying mine will be a pint or two of the black stuff, cheers.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Alas, No Folksy Friday!

Hello again all, tis Friday once more and the weekend is upon us, alas this week I have not written a Folksy Friday post, I know what it was going tom be about but I have not had time to write it, or even ask permission to use other peoples items in it....why you may ask, what have you been doing instead?

Well, earlier this week I received a phone call asking if I would consider doing a craft fair at the end of this month, it would appear that I had been found through Facebook (promotion it would appear does pay off!) and the organiser liked the stuff I make and sell so contacted me, now normally my mum does that craft fairs and has plenty of her stock and takes some of mine while she is at it, but she is already booked on that day so I would have to do this fair on my own.
Aarrrgh! was the something similar to the sound I made as I knew that I didnt have enough stock to fill the stall on my own so this week, in between sourcing Public Liability Insurance, I have been making some small toys to sell, pocket money stuff and will move on to other things over the next few weeks but I would like to introduce you all to my new little friends.....
Here we have Lenny the Lion and Floella the Flamingo
and here we have Henrietta the Hippo and Harriet the Hedgehog.

In case you are interested, the craft fair is going to be on Saturday 26th March, 12 -4 at The Springtime Fayre at Blundellsands Classic, in Crosby, Merseyside, please feel free to come along and say hi!

See you all soon.

Finally heading in the right direction

Right, back in January I made a pledge to keep a weekly weight loss update as motivation, this materialised about as much as the weight loss did but no more!

Anyway, I got in a right snit about what my scales were telling me last week, being very rude to me they were, so I sat down and wrote out a menu plan for the week, I knew what I was having meal to meal, day to day and it felt good to be back in the zone and on the right track again.

Because of this I am very pleased to tell you all that this week I can record a loss of 6lbs, finally heading the right direction and boy does it feel good?!

No more humming and ha-ing over what to eat and kidding myself that I am dieting, honest!  I know what my next meal is, I am preparing fresh food again and making batches for the freezer at the same time to rely on later in the month and generally I am feeling better in myself........and that is nice.

I am now going back to writing out next weeks meal plan and look forward to next weeks appointment with my bathroom scales.

See you all soon.