The Best Laid Plans!

My Sunday was all planned out….we were going to go to Brighton, shop the vintage clothes stores for a prom bag for my daughter and then to the large indoor market hoping to score some fab champagne glasses for the wedding of my mate Nikki, all the while taking photos for the blog.

We started at The Farm cafe in North Road, fabulous local food, not an additive or pesticide in sight, so far so delicious, here’s the remains of my eggs Benedict….

imageThen it all went to pieces, my darling daughter who has been working like a thing possessed on her GCSEs started to look decidedly green! we made it to Be Worn Again, snapped up a plain bag and then had to take her home. I might have felt a bit peeved but this kid is a diamond, focused, driven and with her eyes fixed on the prize of a career in medicine, So it was home we went……but now what to blog?

So, let’s have a State of the Union post, a how we doing and whats cooking post. First up, how is the pet portrait painting going?

I have just recently completed this picture for a gentleman who won it as a raffle prize…..

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I have two more pictures to complete this month, so these will be taking up most of my time.

Next, its bears, I have been working with a company called Maximus who support disabled people back into work, my advisor is called Julia and she is brilliant, she is supportive and a great shoulder to cry on when the medical issues get a bit much. I made this bear a while ago and we named it Maxine in honour of Maximus…

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Just recently, Julia asked me to write a piece for Maximus’ in house magazine, this has now led to me being featured at their conference so I feel that Julia also needs to be honoured in bear form and as she is so glam I have settled on this gorgeous fur…

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I will also be looking to get a stall at our local craft market, to sell some of the bits and pieces I have been making, I am going to try to book for August so that afore-mentioned super daughter can help me……

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What does that leave for me to do in my spare time? for the last few weeks I have been working on this shawl from Mollie Makes……

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I am in the home stretch now and just have some leaves to complete, oh and all the sewing up to do!

Finally, I bought this fabric from the Vintage Cottage……

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it is destined to be a backpack, I am trying to hone my skills with a view to designing some bags, I have a colossal bag collection but the arthritis in my arms is rendering them a little useless, so I would like to make some fabric bags that look as desirable as some of my proper bags.

What sort of bag would light your fire?

Kisses

Karen xxx

How To Be Chic In A Shabby Way!

I love me a bit of shabby chic, my bathroom and loo were always destined for a faded glamour look, and to be honest it was easy to put together…….

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Lampshade from Dunelm and metal picture from a promotion on Achica.com

But then what are we going to cover the windows with? I had seen various panels on the net that used vintage material or handkerchiefs, as I am not the best with needle and thread and somewhat worse with a sewing machine here is my version of a vintage panel.

First you are going to need some old hankies, these are not hard to find, check any antique shops, flea markets and vintage fairs. …

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Then a piece of lightweight material roughly the size of your window,  if you want it to hang flat, be more generous if you want a more gathered look, allow 2cms for hems on the sides and bottom and 4 cams at the top to make the channel for your wire or curtain rod…….

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Start by hemming the sides and bottom, I do a simple hem, you can make it neater by turning a small hem of 1/2 cm and then turning back again……….

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The top needs a channel for your wire or rod, again either make a simple one just by turning up or by doing the small hem and turning it back again….

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Now you have your panel, simply stitch each hankie to the material, you can pin and arrange neatly or take a more relaxed approach, guess which one I do 🙂 …….

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Keep going until the panel is covered and you will be left with a panel that looks like a gorgeous piece of patched and well loved vintage fabric……..

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So there we go, falling off a log simple and cheap as chips! Next week I will show you round some of my favourite vintage shops in Brighton.

Kisses

Karen

She’s Sew Sweet!

In the last of my reviews of Facebook businesses, this time we are taking a peek at the work of the super talented Emma from Sew Sweet…

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Emma designs her own PDF patterns and sells them via Etsy and Facebook, she also makes various feltie goodies, I love these felt cactii…

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She has a great range of Kits too….

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Emma is always developing new products, like these quotation hoops…..

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and here is her very latest pattern…….

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How cute is that? Emma also made a move into the high street and her products are stocked at Blighty Bazaar, take a look at this lovely shop at http://www.Facebook.com/BlightyBazaar.

You can find Emma”s products at:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/sewsweetuk

http://www.payhip.com/sewsweet

As promised next Saturday we will have a tutorial for a shabby chic curtain.

Kisses

Karen xxx

Never Mind The Election, Girls are still running the world!l

After all that we didn’t get a hung parliament or another coalition, I love politics but I have had enough for the moment and feel the need to get back to talking about what we all love – pretty stuff! As promised this week we are featuring Samantha Goddard and her journey from a Facebook business to the high street.

Sam started out by setting up a business called the Tea Party Company that specialises in the hire of vintage china for everything from small parties to weddings, check out these beauties…

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Sam then ventured into a shared space selling vintage china and other goods, it was at this time that she got interested in up cycling furniture so she decided to leave that space and concentrate on this and the Tea Party Company.

Fate stepped in at this point and the beautiful indoor market Martha and Daisy’s opened locally…

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this set Sam on to a new business idea and Rose and Bea was born. she is now selling new goods and her beautiful up cycled pieces, feast your eyes…

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I would have liked enough room for the blue dresser but had to settle for the lovely Katie and Alice mug. So, that is how Sam achieves the elusive work/life balance and is able to do what she loves as well as raise her family.

Whilst I was at Martha and Daisy’s I had to have a snoop around and it is fantastic! there are all sorts of stalls, selling everything you can imagine all with a vintage/handmade feel, here are some of my favourites…..

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There was also the gloriously bonkers Ice Cream Bike, selling ice cream as it should be, made with cream and milk…

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So if you live anywhere near to Burgess Hill in West Sussex, you need to take a peek.

Following the little technical disaster I had with the blog on Sunday (well done MrsP for spotting it, I owe you one), I have decided to move publication day to Saturday, it seems my Facebook reach and visibility are much better at the weekend. So this Saturday will be the last of my reviews of Facebook businesses, it will feature the super talented Emma from Sew Sweet.

The following Saturday will be a tutorial for a shabby chic curtain, start gathering hankies everyone!

Kisses

Karen xx

Who Runs The World? Girls! (Obvs)

I have a butterfly mind, or put less politely an inability to focus! but this week it has really struck me how marvellous we as women are! There was Kate Middleton 10 hours after delivery facing the worlds press, yes she has a team of people making her look photo ready, but she still had to haul ass and stand and smile. In the worlds I inhabit, blogging and crafting, women are the ones making the money and pushing the boundaries. Clever women that are running businesses from kitchen tables and my favourite – from shedquarters! these are women finding creative solutions to work, raising children and in some cases, like myself, working with long term illness.

So let’s celebrate the women doing it their way, here are some of my favourite ladies who are leading the charge! First up is Katie at Felted Fancies Supplies, this is where I get my supplies from, its full of gorgeous felt, fabric and other goodies, plus your package come with a packet of fizzers!

imageimageimage This is how Katie got started: “I started selling supplies as I got really busy making felt name banners and managed to source some felt wholesale, thinking that i would keep some and maybe sell some off, well it all sold out and I had people asking for more! So I bought some and people then were asking for ribbons and buttons. So with baby steps I purchased a few extra bits each week. I concentrated on the great quality acrylic felt, but over time built up a great selection of everything. My aim in time is to create a one stop shop, for everything felty!”

You can find Katie here: https://www.facebook.com/FeltedFanciesSupplies

Then we have Shell From Shells Cards, Colouring and Crafts, Shell is an amazing artist and despite having Fibromyalgia she is one of the most uplifting people I know, check these out…

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Here is Shell’s story: “I had been crafting for several years and had sold cards to family, but that was it. I started my business accidentally in a way….I noticed whenever I posted photos of my makes on my own profile I only got a handful of likes, and I was worried that I might be driving people mad, so I set up a separate page and asked that the people that liked my photos to pop over and like the new page. This led to a work colleague ordering 40 birthday invites and that was when I realised that this could be a business. Its grown very rapidly, I learnt about networking and built a list of regular likers, I worked out costings and designed a logo and branched out into items other than cards, which is where I am today, roughly 2 months after I started my page”

You can find Shell here: http://www.facebook.com/shellsccc

Finally, Its not only craft businesses that thrive on Facebook, one of my particular favourites for items with a retro flair is the Vintage Cottage, here is just a small selection of the lovely items to be found on this page….

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This is how they got started: “I started my business in January 2012, I started up a Facebook page and started with painted furniture and shabby chic, but my love was always retro. So I started to source and sell items from 1950 through to 1970. Now I am living the dream of having my own shop.”  Find The Vintage Cottage here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Vintage-Cottage

Tomorrow is the General Election and after discussing the work life balance, childcare and working with illnesses, please I am begging you, go and vote! I don’t care what you vote but VOTE! Make sure that the political system hears your voice.

Nagging over! next week we follow a local business -Rose and Bea to her new venture on the high street to see what it’s like when you hit the real world.

Do you have a favourite business that operates on Facebook? give them a shout out in a comment!

Kisses

Karen