Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A new addition to this crazy family

B has just got a new friend. Nothing out of the ordinary about that, apart from the fact that this new friend hasn't got a name yet (just "My New Friend") and no-one else can see him! I did wonder if B would have an imaginary friend. I don't remember having one myself, but B does have a lot of imaginary conversations with his toys, complete with different voices for each character. What is different about this friend is that he's a little bit naughty. B keeps calling me into the garden to tell My New Friend off for pushing B down the slide or not letting him go inside his tent. I've even had to put MNF on the naughty step this morning! B went and sat down on the step too and started talking to him:

"Now, do you know why you're sitting here? You mustn't push me, you've been very naughty."
"Sorry B"
"Do you promise not to do it again?"
"Yes, sorry"
"Mummy, he can get off the naughty step now cos he said sorry"

Bless! At least it's not me he's putting on the naughty step for not letting him have two ice creams!

Monday, 29 June 2009

5 days to go!

The Winchester Handm@de show is less than a week away - I can't believe how quickly it's come around! I signed up for it in the depths of winter, and now we're having the hottest day of the year!

I thought I'd show you some work from more of the designers who will be at the show - just to wet your appetite you understand, and to encourage you to come along! Remember that you can find all the details about the show and a list of everyone who is exhibiting at the Winchester Handm@de blog here

The first person whose work I'm going to show you is Izabela -I had real problems trying to choose photos to put on here as her work is amazing! She creates beautifully finished, often very delicate but contemporary crocheted designs, some of which I've shown here.

Have a look at her blog, her website and also her photogallery for some more. I think my favourites are a beautiful multicoloured baby blanket in her gallery and the teeny tiny doll's dress below - beautiful work!

And the second person is Raspberry aka Alice who has been doing an amazing job organising the whole Winchester Handm@de show. As far as I am concerned, you can never have too much jewellery or too many bags, and Raspberry bags are gorgeous, beautiful colours and I'm really looking forward to seeing them in real life. You can check out her work here.

She's been coming up with some great new designs lately, and I'm really hoping that I might be able to persuade her to make a knitting needle roll for me - after she's recovered from Handm@de of course!

Meet the Maker

It's less than a week to go until the Handm@de show in Winchester. For the last couple of months the Winchester Handm@de blog has had interviews from the designers who are going to be selling their work at the show, and today it's my turn! Thanks to Alice (Raspberry) for asking the questions and adding the photos!
Meet the Maker - Daisychain Designs

I'll be back later this evening (if I don't melt in the meantime) with some pictures of work from some of the other designers who will be at the show.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Could someone please explain

where the last couple of weeks have gone!? I have meant to blog, honest, but although I've planned fascinating blog posts whilst I've been filing and sanding by the time I've actually been able to sit down and write them my mind has gone blank! Can I blame it on the heat, please?

We've been very busy here over the last fortnight or so. B and I have been out and about alot enjoying the sunshine, and T & B have been tenderly looking after the carrots, tomatoes and peppers they planted a couple of months ago - although in B's case, TLC for plants includes giving them a bath if you're not careful. Having thriving vegetable growth is a big deal for us as I'm very much a "if I had more time I could...." gardener with lots of plans and little time for them, and T, well, let's just say that he and his brother, encouraged by their dad (oh, yes I do remember Mr M - I know that you read this sometimes, and you definitely encouraged them!) once decided to cut our grass with a hedge trimmer and a strimmer. The grass never recovered and all the sweet peas I'd planted to grow up the apple tree mysteriously disappeared. So, as I say the fact that the seeds a) got planted and b) have actually been allowed to grow is pretty impressive!

I've been busy with not on the high street orders, and this week now that my website is finally up and running again I've been busy with orders through that too. I decided to take advantage of my old hosting company going belly-up and start the website from scratch. Uploading the backup would have been a lot quicker, I know, but I had been meaning to make some changes for a while and I knew that if I didn't do them now I'd find something else to distract me for another couple of months. The general information on the website is still the same, but I've clarified some of the info on made-to-order items and hopefully made it a lot easier to find what you're looking for. At the moment I've only uploaded the made-to-order items as I'm retaking the photos of the unique pieces still in stock, but more will be uploaded very soon. Whilst redesigning the website I also designed a new logo and banner - what do you think?

I've also got some new designs, created using silver and 24k gold (yes, gold!), to show you very soon. They use a ancient Korean technique called Keum Boo that I've been teaching my City and Guilds college class, and I've enjoyed it so much that I've got pages of designs sketched out to work my way through. You'll have to wait until the start of next week for those pictures though, as tea has been bubbling away as I've been typing and it's ready now! It's going to be a relaxing evening of knitted whilst watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on DVD. Popcorn, anyone?

Monday, 8 June 2009

Making progress

Just a quick post to show you that I am making progress with my knitting, despite having to undo nearly 8cm the other evening. I was not a happy bunny when I followed the instructions for the right hand side, completed the decreasing and the main part of the pattern and then read the next part about the button holes only to realise that maybe that part should have been printed a bit earlier. Oh well! B insisted that he had to be in the photo, and the funny face is because he was saying "cheeeeeese"!

I've been a bit naughty and ordered yarn for the next two projects I've got planned, the ones I talked about here. Don't worry, I've been busy making jewellery and sorting out the website too - the new look website will revealed very very soon.

And finally, just to prove that B isn't always a little angel, here's what you get when you add a three year old, muddy shoes from playing in the garden and a cream carpet! At least it hoovered out, and to do him justice he did try to help me with his toy hoover!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Winchester Handm@de

You may have noticed the blue 'Handm@de' logo about halfway down the page on the left, under the list of past blog entries. If you click on it, it will take you to a blog about an event that I am very excited to be taking part in at the beginning of July - the Winchester Handm@de craft fair in the Guildhall on Sunday 5th July.

I've been selling my work at craft shows of various shapes and sizes for about 7 years now, but this one feels very different as it's organised by crafters rather than by a university or a town council, and absolutely all of the stalls there will have beautifully handcrafted wares made by the people standing behind the tables. In other words, absolutely no mass-produced goods, every piece that you will see will have been lovingly individually crafted with no two pieces the same, and you will get to meet the designers who have made it all. If you visit the Handm@de Winchester blog you will see a list of the exhibitors on the righthand side, and you can visit their websites to get an idea of what will be on offer. Some of my favourites are shown in the photos here. And if you get there quickly enough and are one of the first 200 people through the door you will get one of the goodie bags filled to the brim with information and items from exhibitors as well as those unable to attend. Oh, and the fair will be supporting Naomi House children's hospice with a raffle that will include a necklace from me, so what more could you ask for? A great location, beautifully crafted goodies and the opportunity to feel good about helping a local charity!

Several of the exhibitors will also be at the Oxford and Cambridge handm@de fairs. The Handm@de fairs began when a group of UK etsy sellers were fed up with working at craft shows were half the stalls didn't have handmade items for sale, and decided to do something about it and organise their own. The first handm@de fair was in Oxford last year, and you can read more about how succesful that was and more about the ideas behind the Handm@de fairs here on the website.

Another reason that I am really looking forward to the Winchester show is that it is on the last day of the 35th annual Winchester Hat Fair - and no, that's got nothing to do with hats! It started as a group of street entertainers getting together to put on performances around the city centre, and after each performance they passed a hat round to collect money from the crowd. It is now billed as "a celebration of Street Arts and Community", with acts coming from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand as well as Europe. It always runs over the first weekend in July, and I'm really looking forward to taking B to it on the Friday.

So, have I given you enough reasons to visit Winchester on Sunday 5th July? You don't even need to worry about parking as the park'n'ride system is great too!!


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