The Craft Fair and a little more Xmas fabric!

Hello there, hope you are all well and happy and in fine Xmas crafting mode!

Ellie and I have had a lovely week, she came home on Weds and we hit the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show where more wonderful fabric was acquired plus some fab buttons, more of that later.

Today we have been at my second Xmas Craft Fair at Oakwell Hall -a beautiful 17th century house and country park near me. Pics of the hall can be found in my posts here and here, today I was in the barn selling my wares and we had a lovely day.

We sold lots of the hearts and some stockings and baubles. not many gift bags (which sold really well last year which was why I made more this year) but had a really nice time chatting to people and it was very nice spreading the Xmas ornie love.

One gentleman was very kind, he bought one of my baubles saying he always bought something special every year for his tree and  he said how lucky I was to be able to be creative which I heartily agree with.

I think anyone can do it given the space to and I think like most things it increases with practise. Most of what I do is unplanned, I spread all my fabrics and ribbon around me and just combine things until I am happy with the result.

Here are some pics of my stall, apologies the light was not very good.

Oakwell Fair 1

Oakwell Fair 2

Oakwell Fair 3

Now for the fabric – I have been looking at lots of home mags and ornies in the shops and have noticed the Scandinavian style ornies are very popular so am going to extend my range for next year. I do mainly make very traditional ornies in traditional red, green and gold but have previously made silver, blue and purple as commissions but I do really like the simpler style ornies – I just really struggle with the idea of minimalism! It is the medieval re-enactor in me where everything has to be OTT but I am hoping I can restrain myself here.

I have bought beautiful red, white and silver prints with Xmas motifs on.

Harrogate fabric Scandi 2

And snowflake fabric to back red felt hearts which I will decorate with snowflake buttons – complete with coordinating ribbon.

Harrogate fabric Scandi 1

I have also stayed true to my roots and bought this additional Makower fabric to go with the stocking prints I already have.

Harrogate Fabric - Makower

And some lovely ribbons!

Harrogate Xmas ribbons 1

Then there are the buttons. I have been to button heaven – most of these were from the Stitch Witch’s stand  and they are gorgeous, they are made by Dress It Up and can be found under the Accessories link on her website – just look at all this Xmas buttoness!

buttons gingerbread

buttons holly

buttons snowflake

buttons xmas 1

My button box is looking fab (and very full – note to self need more button storage!)

Button box

Thankfully did not sell all the stock as need some of the hearts as my Xmas ornie for special friends this year (if you are one of them please act surprised when I give it to you!) Also have a WI craft fair next weekend and have promised to take some to work so still have supplies to do that as am now severely running out of time – can we just put Xmas back a week to give me a little more stitching time?

No seriously want it just where it is – we are off to Disneyland Paris for Xmas and we are getting very excited now as it is less than a month and we have been looking at the programme of events there (a lot of princess things for Ellie) and booking our festive dining and we are really looking forward to seeing Mickey and the gang (and Santa of course!).

So will return next week with more craft fair updates – in the meantime hope that you have a very lovely time and thanks for visiting.

A lovely pile of Christmasness!

Hello, hope that you are all well and happy.

I have been busy taking pics of all the things that I have made for the Craft Fair the weekend after next so thought that I would share them all with you. Have probably about 60 things to sell in total which I think is a good amount and all apart from the baubles are my very own designs so I am even more pleased with those!

First up come the patchwork hearts – have about 20 of these and I love them, any that don’t sell are going on the tree!

xmas ornies hearts

Then the little stockings – similar to the hearts but these are not patchwork – same fabric in different colourways back and front.

xmas ornies stockings

Next we have gift bags – three varieties of these, firstly the nine patch version

xmas ornies nine patch bag

The fronts are all the same, the backs all different fabrics.

xmas ornies nine patch bag 2

Then some bags using a Makower label fabric that I have had in my stash for quite a while.

xmas ornies labels bags

And lastly this bag set that uses fabric that I have carbon dated (ie. looked back at my blog!) to being in my stash for 4 years! And there is still more where this came from.

xmas ornies nativity bags

Then there are my old faves the baubles – designs taken from Sue Schofield’s, ‘Decorations to Dazzle’ ,available from Springwood House Designs. Buy this book – have fun and impress your friends just as I have been doing for the last four years. And she is such a lovely woman and has all sorts of other ideas as well as baubles, she is a Christmas ornie genius!

We have one with some cute reindeer buttons on.

reindeer ornie

And some made with the angel fabric that Kerry gave me last week.These have little gold cross charms on the sides you can’t see in the pic.

angel ornies

And a set of gold ones – again partly from fabric donated by Kerry – stitching friends are the best kinds aren’t they? Love these as I have been able to use up cute snowflake buttons bought in May at the Malvern Quilt Show.

gold snowflake baubles

The really good thing is that if none of this sells I will just have a very pretty house and tree this year!

If though all goes according to plan and the stock whizzes off the table I still have all the stuff I have done for me. This year apart from a baby gift and a couple of exchanges all of my cross stitch work has been ornies for me and this is my collection so far.

cross stitch ornie collection

I did want to do one a month so that I had 12 more for the tree this year, there are only 9 in the bowl but I sent one off to my last exchange partner with her autumn exchange, have this week finished another and have a just completed WIP that needs stuffing and backing. So that does make 12 done but only 11 still in the country so will have to get cracking to get that final one done before the tree goes up in 3 weeks!

Here is a pic of the finish for this week.

cross stitch mini xmas ornie 2

This may well be one of the smallest ornies ever made – here it is next to my thumb.

cross stitch mini xmas ornie

I think it is 28 count fabric and it was very quick to stitch – if at times a bit of a challenge to see! Another one of the JBW Designs stockings.

Hope that you are well on your way with all your seasonal preparations. I do love the run up to Christmas, I have been buying nice food and as usual most of my pressies have been bought for ages so I can concentrate on the serious stuff of decorating the house and doing bits of baking with the kids.

We are going to be away for Christmas this year again which will be very exciting as we are going to Disneyland Paris – as regular readers know we are huge Disney fans and this will be our 5th visit to the Paris one (over the last 14 years) and are very much looking forward to spending the time in the Magic Kingdom with Mickey and co – have just been looking at all the lovely shows and parades that are on and getting very excited! We are very lucky people!

Anyway I will leave you with my best wishes for your preparations for the festive season and will see you all again next week with a report on how the Craft Fair went – wish me luck!

Thanks for visiting.

I love it when a stash comes together!

Hello there, I hope that you are all well and happy.

I have had a very nice week of stitchy craftyness finishing off lots of the things I started last week. Have realised I forgot to take pics of all the lovely gift bags that I have stitched before I packed everything in the bag for the Craft Fair (doh!) so I will have to get them out and do a photo shoot when we have some light.

My week has been rounded off with an excellent weekend with my lovely friend Kerry (from the re-enactment group) who came to stay for the express purpose of having an ornie making weekend and we have had a wonderful time. She arrived with lots of lovely fabric and ribbons for me as she has been decluttering her stash and gave me all sorts of great stuff.

Kerry spent the time designing and making her own set of beautiful tree ornies, 3 of which are pictured below. It was very nice to work with her as our styles are very different, she is a lot more minimalist than I am in terms of what she wanted as her house is very different to mine in terms of colour schemes and decor.

It is not obvious from the pic below but her fabric has a very subtle swirl in it which looks lovely with her tree design. She is very precise in her work and has great attention to detail. The medieval costume she makes is wonderful, she hand beads everything and searches out jewels and embellishments for her headdresses then paints them to get them all to match.

Kerry's ornie trees

So we have had a very, very nice time drinking tea, crafting, catching up  and watching a film last night (X Men First Class, excellent movie – second time I have seen it but first for Kerry, well worth watching though sadly only 20 seconds of Hugh Jackman in it which I had forgotten!) I also taught Kerry to cross stitch and she made a start on a little ornie  while watching the film. It was a very happy evening, it is lovely to have friends who are into the same things that I am!

The stock for the Craft Fair in 2 weeks time is looking good, was a bit worried that I wouldn’t have time to make enough due to the general busyness of everything else but should have about 50 items in total. I have gift bags, gift stockings (small to hang on the tree for gifts of money), stocking ornies, heart ornies, baubles and pine cones and a few of the patchwork tree kits that I didn’t sell last year (if I can remember where I filed them!).

I have once again take a very organic approach to the design process which consists of getting my stash of fabric out and just seeing what I like, what goes with what and then going with the flow. I find that works better for me than planning everything in advance as then I end up with some really good combinations of fabrics.I also find that buying fabric over the years means that you have the joy of ‘rediscovering’  it later on at the bottom of the stash. I have finally used up some fabric I have had for at least 4 years in one of my bag sets and am very pleased with the results.

And as always anything that doesn’t sell can be used for the Craft Fair the following week for the Women’s Institute or be kept by me.There were many moments this afternoon when I said, ‘oh this one is too pretty to sell, I need to keep it’ , so if they don’t sell I won’t be too sad.

It was also very useful having Kerry as a second opinion on which fabrics went together and we designed some gorgeous baubles together this afternoon which I will take pics of when it is light ( tis dark at around 3.30 pm round here these days!).I am particularly keen on the top left bauble in this pic below, using some of this year’s Makower ‘Joyful’ fabric obtained from the Malvern Quilt Show earlier in the year.

Xmas baubles Nov 2011

All in all a lovely week, I do hope that you have been having similar fun in what you have been doing this week and have a very nice week ahead. I have graduation this week which is one of my favourite times of the year when I will be donning the gown and mortar board to celebrate the success of all of my lovely students from last year. It is a very special day for me as well as for them when I hear more about their new jobs and get to meet some of their families as well and I love it!

Also cannot believe that sometime next year I will get to attend Ellie’s graduation ceremony, it does not seem possible that she will be finishing 3 years at Uni next year. She is currently undertaking her third year placement at the National Trust Tudor house in Worcester she worked at last year , The Greyfriars, and finding out more about the last owner who was an avid textile collector. She has access to her archives of research which sounds amazing.

So have a lovely time until next week, thanks as always for visiting.

Doors I have known

I  love taking pictures of buildings , particularly of doors and there are many, many beautiful examples in Spain. The children think I am a little mad for this love of doors so I am always telling them that one day I will publish a book called’  ‘Doors I have known’,  which will be much appreciated by students of architecture and the finer things in life!

I have put some of the lovely things I found on my recent trip to Elche in Spain below. Elche is a very famous town, founded by the Romans and it has the largest amount of palm trees in one place in Spain. There is a wonderful old cathedral and castle and the Palmeral which are palm gardens. Well worth a visit.

The pics show some of the cathedral and other pretty buildings in the town.

Spain Oct 2011 Elche door 1

Spain Oct 2011 Elche door 2

Spain Oct 2011 House 1

Spain Oct 2011 Elche door 3

Spain Oct 2011 Elche window 1

Spain Oct 2011 Elche door 4

Spain Oct 2011 Elche flats

Hope you like them. Thanks for visiting.

Little Ole’ Wine Drinking Me!!!

As regular readers will know I like a glass or two of red wine and on my recent trip to Spain had a lovely day out with Mum which involved my favourite tipple.We went on a coach trip up into the mountains, we have been on quite a few trips with various companies over the last few years and they are an excellent way of seeing the country if like Mum and I you don’t drive, or like most people you doubt your ability to navigate your way up scary, winding mountain roads into unfamiliar villages!

The coach driver did an excellent job as there were lots of very tight turns and long drops and we had a lovely day. The first place we visited was a little village up in the mountains above Alicante called Polop where they have the most amazing village fountain which has about 100 water jets coming out of the walls in the square where people used to go to take the water. This pic shows just a few of these jets but they carry on all around the square.

Spain Oct 2011 Fountains

Then we went up and up passing beautiful olive and almond tree groves right to the top of the mountains where I took these pics –

Spain Oct Jallon  1

Spain Oct 2011 Jallon 2

Spain Oct 2011 Jallon 3

It was so beautiful – my pics do not really do it justice and it doesn’t look like the Spain you imagine at all – more like being in the Lake District or in Switzerland but you still have the wonderful blue sky and sea down below and it is so wonderful!

We then went back down the other side of the valley and stopped at a bodega for a little wine tasting (and buying!). Bodegas are where you can buy locally produced wine, all the wine sold here came from the valley and it operates as a co-operative supporting local vineyards. So not only could you taste and buy lovely (and very, very cheap wine) you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting the local economy – how good can it get!

The smell when you entered the bodega was amazing! All that lovely wine and you could just sample any that you wanted – heaven!

Spain Oct 2011 Bodega 1

There were wine tasting tables with carafes of all the varieties.

Spain Oct 2011 Bodega 2

Then we went further down the valley for a lovely lunch then a stop off at one of the little coastal towns for a paddle and a coffee on the way home, it’s a tough life but someone has to do it and I will be that brave volunteer!

I have loads more Spain pics to show you but will post again with those from our visit to Elche as there was a very lovely market and some fab architecture which need their own post before this one gets too long!

Two of the things I adore about Spain are the sunsets and sunrises and the beach. I cycled down the beach a couple of times and took lots and lots of arty shots of my favourite bit where the walkway goes through the dunes and this is one of my favourite views. I just love the colours and the light – and this pic was taken on the 25th Oct!

Spain 2011 beach

I have posted one of my sunset pics in the last Scavenger Hunt but the following evening there was the most beautiful pink sky while I was sitting on my terrace.

Spain Oct 2011 sunset

And then there was this lovely sunrise one morning – apologies as the pic is a bit fuzzy but hopefully you can get an idea of how amazing the colours were.

Spain Oct 2011 sunrise

It really is food for the soul seeing all that amazing natural beauty and it makes me very happy!

I have been having a great time since I have been back as well, a very nice week at work, my students are very lovely and I am really enjoying this year. I had a free weekend which was good as Christmas is fast approaching and I have two craft fairs to do so I was very busy making stock this weekend. I made lots of little Xmas stocking ornies to complement my Xmas hearts – below are pics of three ornies with picture details of the charms I have used.

Xmas stocking ornies 1

Xmas stocking ornies 2

Xmas stocking ornies 3

I have also finished my latest wrist warmers, very useful now the Yorkshire temperature has dropped so much and winter is very much upon us!They will be very useful in the office when it gets so cold you cannot feel your fingers!

Blue Moss Stitch Wristwarmers

Will see you again at the weekend when I will have more Spain pics plus some more Xmas crafting finished.Have a lovely week and thanks very much for visiting.

A happy coincidence

As regular readers will know I am involved in some cross stitch exchanges – one that I really enjoy is the Seasonal Exchange, I got my gift from Conny some time ago and I posted a pic here a few weeks ago of the beautiful pillow she sent.

Autumn exchange 2011

What I could not reveal until my partner Kathy had got her piece from me was that this was what I stitched for her.

Autumn exchange sent 2011

Yes that is exactly the same design – JBW Designs French Country 4  – how weird is that!! Don’t know if it has ever happened in the history of the blog exchanges that someone has stitched the same pattern that they have then got.

In reality it is not such a weird happening – when we get give our partner’s name we always go and look at their blogs to see what they like and if Conny did that she would have known I love JBW designs. But to choose the very same one is a very lovely coincidence as I always pick designs I would love to have myself and now I do. So thank you again Conny – I could not say too much when you first sent me the piece or Kathy would have known what she was getting!

I have had a lovely week in Spain and have done some more trips which I will post pics of later in the week. The blue wristwarmers are finished and another little JBW stocking ornie has been stitched but not yet backed. I have cast on for a second version of the wristwarmers and started another stocking (I am a little bit addicted to these – well Xmas ornies in general at the moment!).

Hope that you are all having a lovely week and will catch up with you again at the weekend.

Thanks for visting.