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I had a great time at the Little Birds Market yesterday and met some lovely people. On looking at the beautiful pieces other makers had for sale I realised it’s been AGES since I last told you about some of … Continue reading

shop handmade this Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching and temperatures rising when you go shopping in your local department stores I thought I’d show you some of my recent buys. This time all are from crafters working in the UK but most towns and cities around the world have fairs, markets and even pop-up stores so there is nothing to stop you seeking them out.

Fairs and markets are a lovely way to meet the maker of the items (we enjoy talking esp when it’s about out makes) and most crafters will happily take orders on the day if you want something bespoke. At a recent fair I bought some gorgeous earrings from Sparklypompom ( I’ve had stalls at fairs with Gayle in the past and when she says sparkly she means it!

A lot of crafters have their own websites where you can pick up some lovely bargains and have a look at their blogs to find out what they’re up to along with any competitions they might be running.

I recently bought a funky brooch from Plastic Bat ( which is part of a new range. It’s bright yellow acrylic edging just makes me smile on these cold winter days. Tracy’s work is always fun and just that little bit different.

Last but certainly not least are sites that host lots of shops such as Folksy, MISI and ETSY. Here you can browse away an afternoon and find anything and everything you might possibly just have to have! The items have to be made by the seller and are either bespoke or limited runs. I’ve never had a problem doing this and find the sellers will tell you when they’ve dispatched your item.

copyright Kate Bowles

The two following items I bought are gorgeous.

I stumbled over Kate Bowles shop ( but immediately knew I “needed” one of her hand bound books. The little leather-bound book is tiny, really well crafted and so tactile. I know I can work on a really small-scale but this is amazing.

copyright Gill Pottle

I also have to take my hat off to Gill of Aeris Designs ( who went to college to get her jewellery making kit in all that bad weather just to hammer the silver bangle for me. It’s so light & shiny that I could be tempted to buy some more.

One wee plea is please leave feedback. It’s the main way we know you are happy with the item you got and also lets other buyers see satisfaction levels. Ok I’ll stop the sermon on feedback but I hope you will consider buying handmade (or even local) this Christmas.

With one weekend of shopping left until Christmas have a happy handmade shopping time.


September sale

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Yes it’s time to start thinking about what Christmas goodies you’re going to get your family and friends. Hmmm, and maybe what lovely things you would like for yourself.    I’ve decided to make it a bit easier on your … Continue reading

What have I been doing?

I can’t believe how long it has been since I last blogged. Sorry about that. It’s not because I’ve fallen out of love with blogging, far from it, but I’ve been a crafty wee so-and-so and busy making things.

Tonight I’ll give you an update and promise to blog on a more regular basis.

  1. I’m now a member of the Glasgow Craft Mafia which I’m really excited about. Last Wednesday a group of us headed east to Dundee for a screening of Handmade Nation and to meet the director, Faythe Levine. That was very inspiring even if we did get back after midnight & I still had the energy to think about some guerilla knitting in George Square. You can find out more about the Glasgow Craft Mafia here
  2. Last Saturday I had a stall at the Strathblanefield Community Day. Set in the local primary school it was a beautiful setting and a very sunny day. Think this might have helped me sell a few of my new headscarves
  3. I’ve been working on some new crafty goodies to wear including covered buttons to funk up your clothes and bags and summery headbands to help you look cool in the heat.

If you like the look of these check out my Folksy store which has more in different colours

Well gotta go now. Hope you like this mini update and I promise o be back very soon…

Hand crafted heaven

In a occassional series I’d like to show you some items I’ve bought from crafters and makers outside of Scotland.

Every month I like to treat myself if money permits and what better than buying something I know has been made with time, patience and of course  lot of love.


When I found this site I immediately had to buy one. The package came in the beautiful but curious Japanese style of packaging called Furoshiki

And then I opened it to find a tiny, ceramic, cat pincushion. I picked a green/cream cat with hand felted tummy which comes on a hemp cord that you can wear round your neck. He’s only a couple of inches long but so perfect.

Buttercup Boutique

I know I make brooches but when I stumbled across this on Folksy I couldn’t resist.

It is so pretty and the detail is amazing. I love the different textures and stitching/beading as well as the colours.

Aeris Designs

I needed some earrings (you know how it is girls) to go with a necklace I have and flicked through Folksy until I found these long lovelies.

They are very delicate and the honeycomb style beadwork is lovely. I enjoy beading but not sure I’ve got the patience to actually do this.

Karen Ruane

I’ve mentioned Karen’s work before and now I’m pleased to say I know own some. I bought a small cushion which I know I’ll never use but keep out the sunlight and enjoy looking at.

The skill that goes into her work is astounding and is only something I can dream about.

And while I was buying this I saw some fun puffs Karen had made. They are only about a centimetre in circumference and covered in french knots. I’m not sure how I’ll use them but when I do I’ll let you know.

what does 2010 hold for me?

There are no new year resolutions in my home but I have found myself murmuring “must do more…”

So here’s my basic must do more list

  1. with my blog (& Facebook). I really enjoy blogging about what I’m up to but probably don’t use it as much as I should, or in the best way. As well as letting you know what I’m up to I hope to let you know about other artists and blogs I love.
  2. my on-line shops. Yes like most of us I just don’t give them enough TLC. So I want to try to list every week, actively take part in forums and promote more than I already do. Don’t worry I won’t bombard you with messages but a tweet every so often.
  3. my sewing machine. Currently I do most of my work by hand sewing but this year I want to make larger items and this will be too time consuming. So, looking forward to learning all the trick my machine can do.
  4. craft fairs & markets. Ah yes, I do enjoy meeting people and talking to potential buyers about my work. But they are also a good way of networking. Fingers crossed I will be able to find more to attend.
  5. my camera. As you’ll have seen with my Flickr site I’m not the best photographer BUT that’s mainly due to not spending enough time getting to know my camera…maybe if I give it a name?..
  6. make more. OK that’s a no brainer but I’ve so many ideas but half of them don’t even get on to paper let alone made.

Some ideas I have include buttons, scarves, brooches and cards but will let you know more as I create them.

If I become more organised (I also have 2 jobs) I think it’s achievable.

Am looking forward to 2010 with all its twists & turns. Hope you are too.

a busy bee

Just like the weather I seem to be non-stop at the moment. After a spell in bed with the dreaded lurgy it’s been full steam ahead for me.

The main reason for this is it’s the Dennistoun Craft Fair on Saturday 28 November and as always I’ve got a stall there.

I’ve a lot of new goodies on offer such as

As well as the above I’ll have an assortment of other sweet, knitted items (though I’m gutted I didn’t have enough time to finish some more scarves) and cards.

Dad’s also got his stall with beautiful pictures and cards made with pressed flowers from his garden. He’s even trying his hand at making necklaces with them. Here’s a sample.

I really like them and might even have to buy one for myself.

After the fair? Well I’m going to gt to grips with on-line selling and make more of my shops.

I’ll also be keeping an eye on Folksy’s Upcycle Christmas as I hope the auction which starts on 7th December goes well Talking of which I must remember to take the skirts I’ve entered to the DCF so you can have a look at them if you want.

Have fun and don’t forget you can also follow what I’m up to on  Twitter and on Facebook 

Hope you’re all having fun.

upcycle Christmas part 2

A few weeks ago I gave you a progress report on the skirts I’ve “upcycled” for and their collaboration with the Sue Ryder charity. Well, now I’ve completed them and am very,very happy. I especially love the tweed skirt…but more about that later.

First is the denim skirt by Monsoon. Which had been lovely, but plain. Now, with the help of some embroidery I’ve made it a bit more fun.

I didn’t want to overdo it, though I was tempted to cover the whole skirt.

I also added some flowers to the back of the skirt as I always think it’s a shame that (mainly due to cost) designers only focus on the front.

Now for the tweed skirt.Remember the granny skirt I bought?

the original skirt

Well I’ve slashed it, added to it and embellished it so now it looks like this…

As you can see it curves down from the left to the right (all done freehand). I then made a slit on the RHS and inserted some of the material I had cut off placing them in folds. After hand-sewing the hem and the extra material I added some tweed and tartan love hearts so that when the wearer moves there are flashes of colour.

Will be putting them into the auction this weekend but thought you’d like a wee look at them first.

You can also look at my Flickr site for pictures I took while altering them

Right I’m off now but will give you a glimpse of some goodies I’ll be selling at the Dennistoun Craft Fair on the 28 November later this week.

Upcycle Christmas update

Thought I’d give you a quick update on my Upcycle Christmas project.

With one skirt finished I’ve started on the other and this is going to be even more fun. Here’s the original skirt…

tweed skirt1

the original skirt

Yes, you’re right, it’s boring & frumpy (even with the blurry camera shot) BUT has so much potential. I’ve never altered something without having a reason to alter it. You know when something has become too big? Or to cover a stain/hole/snag? This time I’m working blind.

I let it sit about for a while and just looked at it before a plan started to come together. This plan involved slashing it from side to side and making a slit at the LHS.

tweed skirt 1a going back

Then I  inserted the material I had cut off into the split. As well as adding a feature to the pencil skirt it also allows the wearer to move more freely. I’m not sure whether or not to embellish it or not, will await til I see it on a willing model before deciding on that.

tweed skirt 1d

inserted side panel

As for the material that’s left? Well a couple of brooches have been made & might give them free with the skirts.

brooches 1

brooches using extra material from tweed skirt

So, what do you think?

Sneaky peak of Folksy skirt

Well I’ve started on my Folksy/Sue Ryder project and thought I’d give you some sneaky previews.

I started on the denim skirt which I decided was in need of some colour and for me that meant embroidery. So here’s some glimpses of it…what you thought you were going to see it all?

Front hem of skirt
I’ve put a couple of love hearts on the front waistband one of which has the message “hello” on it.

“hello” top right waist band
It annoys me that some skirts have beautiful work on the front but the back is completely plain. Ok, so we need to be practical but a bit of embellishment to the bottom never hurts.

centre back of skirt
And then we need a strong but simple design. I think it works but will wait til I get a willing model to see if I need to alter or add anything. In the picture below you should also be able to see that I’ve added some coloured threads to the stitching. It’s not all over but hopefully compliments my designs.

detail of front panel

Ok so, what do you think?

My next part of the project will be to tackle the frumpy tweed skirt. Should be fun with a pair of scissors.
If you want to take part or keep an eye on proceedings then have a look at which will give you all the information you need.