Tuesday, July 31, 2012

why did I start this?

 In the early days of running paper-and-string all my felt off cuts* were ironed and stored in my personal stash and used for making things, even the most teeny tiny pieces were turned into something else...but now there aren't enough sewing hours in a whole year to use up all my off cuts!
Instead I now have a cardboard box to pop them in, and every time a new off-cut is delicately placed on top (so the whole pile doesn't fall over) I think 'I really must sort that out' and today was the day to sort it out!  I have measured and cut and sorted and now have nice neat piles of off cuts...and plans for what some of them will be turned into!
*off cuts = end of rolls, non-square pre-cut squares, wonky cutting by moi, dirty bits and pieces with holes in.

Monday, July 30, 2012

teeny tiny sneaky peeks

 new kits are coming....
 .....on Wednesday 1st August!
 I am unbelievably excited!!!
 and wanted to share a few sneaky peaks with you!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

early morning stitching

At 6am I was sitting on the sofa hand sewing*, it's amazing how much work you can get done whilst you should be asleep!
I managed to finish: the last two of these 12 flower drawing pins
the hand sewn parts of these 6 boxes and a heart and a flower brooch! 
ooohhh and seagull update:  the cheeky little thing can fly! I've seen him coming and going the past two days...but he does seem to live on the flat roof, and he still likes sitting in, and drinking from, the make-do bird bath!  I think now I have started putting water out I will continue to do it :-)
* only because it was too hot to sleep, not because I'm addicted to sewing or anything (which I am of course, but I do like sleeping too!)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

photo day

today I set up a mini studio for taking some photos...it's not very high tech but it worked really well!!
I can't show you what I was taking photos of yet...but I will soon, I promise!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

hot feet

The back of my workshop overlooks a BIG flat roof.  Sometimes I sit out there and have lunch, but mostly it's my quick route down the fire escape to the big bin.  This is the view out the back door...
 Yesterday a baby seagull (who is rather big) found his way from the roof of my workshop on to the flat roof, and the silly thing can't fly back up again!  His seagull mum & dad are still bringing food and flying at anyone who dares to walk on the roof (that'd be me) but I got a little worried that there was no water for him.   Normally there is a large puddle on the roof where that washing up bowl is, but the heat from the sun has got rid of that!
If you peer closely you can see the parent seagull sitting in the shadow and on the little wall on the left is the big baby....they spend most of the day down there sleeping, as far away from my door as they can get, but the Big Baby must have hot feet because I spied him out the window sitting in his drink!
 Hopefully he'll be able to fly soon, but in the meantime I'll be chief seagull water provider!  I'd like to get the make-shift bath down to the sleeping quarters but so far I haven't dared get that close!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

RSPB kit

The big reveal has started...lots of work has been happening behind the scenes here in my workshop and *finally* I can start to spill the beans!
I started working with the RSPB back in January when they contacted me asking about the possibility of me supplying them with my kits for Christmas 2012.  After some sample sewing and idea swapping with their buying team an exclusive paper-and-string sewing kit has been developed....and today it has been launched on their website, hoorah!
Let me introduce you to my Garden Friends Sewing Kit:
Everything you need to make a snail, mouse, robin, wren and blue tit.  They are also stocking my Woodland Friends kit too:
I love the photographs they have taken, especially the new kit which has even made it to the front page of the website!
I feel very proud that my kits are for sale for such a good cause.  The Garden Friends kit is exclusively for sale with the RSPB, here are some shopping links for you :
RSPB shop click here
Garden Friends Kit click here
Woodland Friends Kit click here

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Love Mondays

When I had a day job Monday's were my least favourite day, but now they are definitely my favourite!
It's the day that I have the most orders to dispatch and the only whole day of the week that I dedicate to the task...all the other jobs just have to wait until Tuesday!
Today was no exception ~  many busy hours have been spent cutting and folding and rolling and counting and measuring, not to mention the wrapping and packing and writing of address labels.
And sunny Mondays always end in the same way, with a drink in the sun at our local pub, then home for hand sewing ~ FanTasTic!

Friday, July 20, 2012

making rainbows

Today has definitely been a rainbow day...lots of felt rainbows have been cut, stacked and tied...lots of swatches have been printed, cut and stuck AND if you peer into the background you can see that my felt stock has been filled up too!
Tooth Update:
Root Canal isn't that bad
- The (very slow) injection of pain relief wasn't nice, but didn't last long!
- The filing (that's filing, not filling) of the holes was weird, but again, it didn't hurt
- Having to open my mouth for 1.5 hours (' a little bit wider please Sarah') was the hardest bit...my face was so numbed I couldn't really tell how open or closed my mouth was!
- There was no dribbling - a miracle!

Today it's a little tender, but that makes sense because it took a pummelling yesterday!
I have a routine check up next week, but for now my dentist saga is over.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

just a quickie!

I have about 6 minutes to do this post...then I have to dash to the post office and then trudge to the dentist!  Yes today is: Root Canal Day....I'm not feeling too worried because the temporary filling has stopped all the pain so the hardest thing will be the trying-not-to-dribble-whilst-mouth-is-open-for-90-minutes thing!
This morning has been fun, I've packed orders in super quick time, received a delivery of my new postcards (which show all my new kits so you can't see them yet!  (sisterini if you are reading this before I speak to you, they look FAB!)) AND I had delivery of 2 more bolts of fabric!!

i'm *nearly* looking forward to having to sit down for 90 minutes!!
New Fabric can be found by clicking here

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

blah blah VAT blah

Today I put the finishing touches to my VAT return. 
It's not so bad really....except it's really REALLY boring ... and at the end of the really REALLY boring task you get rewarded with a bill to pay!
On the upside, I did get to chop loads of felt....I always pre-cut it from the roll so it's ready to cut into boxes when they are ordered, which seems really organised - except I never seem to have every colour I need!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Not On The High Street

The Summer Sale started today on NotOnTheHighStreet and I have included some of my products at 25% off ::
Button Boxes were £6 now £4.50
Ribbon Spools were £12 now £9
Velvet Scallop ribbon spools were £8 now £6
Owl Kits were £6 now £4.50 (each kit makes one owl)
Click here to go to my NotOnTheHighStreet shop and grab a bargain or two!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

and the winner is...

comment number 80....
daisy daydreams said...
Please count me in for the giveaway. Mmmm I have lots of ideas for the fabric. Amanda....x

Congratulations Amanda, I shall email you to find out your address.
I'm sorry that you can't all win but I do have lots more freebies already planned ... all of which are tip top secret and really very exciting, so make sure you keep popping back for those!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

thunder & hailstones

Yesterday it got dark just after lunch.
Really dark.
Then the thunder clapped and the rain poured! ... such heavy rain and hailstones!
I decided to pack up early and take my sewing projects home for a cosy afternoon on the sofa (after a very soggy trek to the Post Office of course!)
And I finished off all of my current orders for made-to-order items, hooray!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

doing the stock room shuffle

 the alcove before (above) and after (below)
 wall of shelves before (above) and after (below x2)...I think I could fit another 4 or 5 bolts of fabric up there!

 all the felt fluff has been dusted away and everything has been jiggled and made room for, and although I have now found room for everything it hasn't gone unnoticed that yesterday's blog readers selflessly offered to help me store my new fabric in their own cupboards, so I have decided to repay  the kindness with a give-away!
 A set of 7 fat quarters (one each of the new fabrics) will be posted to one lucky comment leaver (and you don't need to offer free storage to win!)
 Just leave a comment on this blog post to enter, and I will draw a winner over the weekend
Quick Links :: New Fabrics are in the shop HERE

Monday, July 09, 2012

the eternal dilemma

 my new fabric: finally out of it's box and *nearly* ready to photograph and then list in the shop...but before I remove the keep-it-clean-and-tidy-plastic-packaging I must answer the eternal dilemma
where the heck am I going to put it?

Sunday, July 08, 2012

pretty flowers

 counted and bagged last night on the sofa, watching Fantastic Mr Fox whilst the rain crashed down
 there are 40 buttons in each bag, 5 buttons in each of the 8 pretty colours
they can be seen on the website by clicking here

Friday, July 06, 2012

sewing box after box after box...

 This morning I had a pile of half - finished boxes waiting for me by the sewing machine...
...and by half past two I had 14 boxes ready to send!  They are now all wrapped & packed and in their sacks waiting to be carried to the Post Office, phew-ee, I've never sewn up so many boxes in one day before!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

back to normal!

thank you all for your good wishes (and the advice that root canal work isn't as bad as I imagine!)
I think my toothache timed itself well...because yesterday was super busy PLUS I had some out of the ordinary things::
  •  John Lewis sent a top up order through for more kits
  • My Not On The High Street Shop had a mad busy moment and I've now cut out 14 felt boxes and some felt decorations (a few of which I have finished and packed up today) and I'm sure you'll see the rest as I finish them!)
  • A box of new fabrics arrived....the box says who it's from on the outside and I said to the delivery man 'ooohhhh, new fabric! but that's not supposed to arrive until July, wonder why it's so early'
  • I turned my calendar page over to July, and felt a bit silly!
and then today I've received the forecast for Autumn/Winter from John Lewis...which means my to-do list just exploded!
There's no time for anymore toothaches around here!

Monday, July 02, 2012

ow! *sob* ow!

Bad News ::
last October I had a filling. 
A big one. 
Yesterday I had a little toothache and then a teeny piece of the filled tooth fell out (yuck, I know!) .... pain killers and tooth gel were fine all day long until I woke up in agony at 3am... I couldn't sleep or do anything (except wake John up to tell him my tooth hurt, poor John!) I had no idea toothache could hurt so much!
I waited and waited and watched the clock until 8.30am when I phoned a different dentist and managed to get an emergency appointment at 2pm...it's now 3.20pm and I have got a temporary filling and an appointment for root canal work in my diary AAAAHHHH!!!
Good News ::
I'm quite good at internet backgammon, apparantly I hit my peak around 5.30am
Heartbeat is on the TV very early, if my favourite Columbo isn't on then Heartbeat will just about do!
Concentrating on Monday morning orders makes the clock tick round to 2pm quite quickly...and a trip to the dentist means a lift to the Post Office so no rainy Post Office walk for me today!

More toothache picture can be seen by looking at this google search