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Sunday, 28 April 2013


Hello everyone

Hailstorms yesterday that made the ground look like it was covered in snow and thick frost this morning - I think spring is here, but don't quote me on that.

A big thank you to everyone who commented on my blog last weekend - I had hoped to, as much as possible, respond to the comments that are left, but the days whiz by and here I am again back at Sunday.  It reminds me of school: 'I must try harder' and I will.

A few weeks ago, a friend and I went to an indoor country market in Cranleigh to check out a potential sales outlet.  Following our visit, I did some research into this type of market and discovered, as per their website:

'The Country Markets organisation has roots going back to 1919.......  There are currently over 350 Country Markets throughout, England, Wales and the Channel Islands.  Each market belongs to one of 65 Country Market Societies, which have a legal responsibility for ensuring that their markets are run in accordance with statutory requirements.

I found a country market venue in Pirbright, which is close to me, but unfortunately it is held on Thursday mornings and takes place at the same time as my pottery course.  I located another one in Jacob's Well, appx 6 miles from me, and contacted the market manager and arranged to meet with him on Friday so that he could assess my work.  I had been told that there was no space for more cards as they already had 3 card sellers - is card-making the most popular craft?  Does it have equal shares with jewellery-making?  I decided to take my scented candles and fabric makes.  However, I did take some of my cards along, just in case.

The result is that from next Friday I will be at the Jacob's Well Country Market selling my candles and my fabric goodies.  I won't be able to do it every Friday, but that is not a problem, I just need to let the manager know when I will not be available.  The people I  met were very friendly and helpful and despite the fact that I threw a mug of coffee all over the table I had my work on, I was made to feel very welcome.  The fees are 5p to join the organisation - a one-off cost (a bargain) and I will have to purchase an invoice book and a handbook and 12% of my takings are deducted by the centre's committee to cover expenses.  I think 12% is fine and means I will probably make more money than attending a craft fair every week.

I know it may not be everyone's idea of a selling platform, but I am looking at it with three hats on: the opportunity to work with people who have a genuine love of handmade work who want to encourage the public's interest in it, an outlet to sell my work and a regular opportunity to promote it.  I will let you know next Sunday how my first event works out.

My stock of 'cuppa candles' is low, so I visited the charity shops in Godalming yesterday morning.  How lucky am I!  I bought a complete, undamaged Wedgewood tea set for £8.99 and a beautiful red/gold coffee can set for £6.99.  I am not producing the antique- cup-and-saucer candle range which is very popular a the moment - I want to do something different so I am going for what might be called every day cups and saucers, but just that little bit different.   I have a busy week this week, so will be fitting in candle-making in between everything else.

Candle making is calling, so time to hand you over to the other crafters taking part in this week's Handmade Monday.  I have had a quick look at Wendy's post on Friday and I am definitely going to ask if I can join in her digi-stamp testing.

Have a good week everyone.  I will be back next Sunday and Milly will be here on Wednesday with her kitten tails.  Plus, I very nearly forgot, I have a lovely guest blogger here on Friday, so don't forget to drop in on my blog.  If you would like to be a guest blogger, please do get in touch on as it would be lovely to get this up and running again.


Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Hi everyone

I am so enjoying this gorgeous sunshine - it is lovely to be outside, running up trees, climbing on top of pergolas.

I got lost yesterday.  Well, I knew where I was but Jill and Richard didn't.  At tea time Jill called out 'Jazz, Daisy, Milly' - Jazz and Daisy rushed in but I didn't.  Everyone was walking around the garden calling my name (yes, even Jazz and Daisy), shaking our biscuit tin, looking in all the places I normally hide, but although I could hear them they couldn't hear or see me.  Jill and Richard were getting worried and checked the shed, summerhouse and the front garden - just in case.  An hour later I was still missing and Jill decided to check the garage - not checked before because nobody had seen me go in there when it was opened earlier in the day.  The side door of the garage opened, Jill looked in and called my name and I answered - I was so pleased to see her and told her next time anyone uses the garage, please check that I haven't nipped in there before the door is closed because I am a very nosey kitten.  I was so pleased to have been found and I purred for a long time - then I had my tea.

We will have two new foster kittens later today: Coco and Holly.  I haven't met them yet, but have seen the photographs of them on the Woking Cats Protection website and their coats look so different to mine.  Must find out which hairdresser they use.  They are only 6-months old, so a little younger than I am - Jill says they look gorgeous and she is sure they will be adopted very soon.

Trees, shed roofs and fences are calling me as they need to be climbed, so I am off out into the sunshine now.  Hope you all have a lovely sunny week and I will be back next week.


Sunday, 21 April 2013


Hi everyone

What a gorgeous sunny weekend it has been - I spent yesterday alternating between gardening and crafting.  I would have preferred to garden all day, but I had an event today, so needed to get some cards and candles finished.  We managed to get our Heuchera bed tidied up and mulched, so apart form the odd weed that dares to poke its head through, it should be nice and tidy for the season.  Although I do feel it needs one or two additional Heuchera's - one of my favourite plants.

I took part in a fair in a garden centre today - in one of their poly-tunnel greenhouses!  Oh boy, was it hot.  In fact it was so hot, that some of the stallholders who were selling sweets, packaged cakes and chocolate had to move outside as their makes were either melting or the bags they were in were full of condensation.

Here are some photographs of the event:

The 'back' of my space

My spotty stall

I had planned to make candle mugs but having run out of them I went down the cup and saucer route, but decided against the antique cup and saucer.  They were very popular so, a good decision.

One of my matching bags and card range

The calm before the storm?

My cake-making friend, Linda's stall.  She was asked not to sell cakes as there were other cake sellers there, so she sold her range of breads.

This was the organiser's first event, so they charged £10 for the space.  A bargain really and hard to miss out on.  Advertising wasn't great and the big surprise when I arrived was no tables or chairs!  Had we been told?  Sadly, no.  A few sellers had brought their own tables to supplement the ones they thought would be in place and the rest of us were eventually able to get some for our use.  My cake-making friend had been told 'no cakes' because there was already a cake-maker booked in and they wanted to aim for one of each product, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw another card-seller set up.  The event was promoted as a craft fair, but I am at a loss to understand how Fair Trade (re-seller), a £1.00 stall selling second-hand goods, Pampered Chef and bought-in soaps are classed as craft.

I was happy with my sales, cake-maker Linda did well, sadly two stall holders didn't sell anything.  Why did I do this one?  It was tentatively booked before I made my decision to stick to my plan not to do any events in the early part of the year.

The plus side was meeting lots of good, genuine crafters, being asked by one to take part in a regular dedicated craft event, brain-storming (not called that now, but I can't remember the new name) various things related to craft selling, winning a stallholder's event draw prize and being well supported throughout the event by the organisers.  This is going to be a regular event, but I plan to stick with my decision and if the weather continues to improve (please, please) it will be way too hot in that greenhouse and my candles will probably melt.

It's Handmade Monday time (where does the week go?) so don't forget to drop in on those crafters who take part - lots of lovely blog posts to read.  I will be back next Sunday and Milly will be here on Wednesday with her mid-week post.

Have a great week everyone


Wednesday, 17 April 2013


Hello everyone

A very late Milly's Diary today - had problems getting into Blogger and I left it to Jill to sort out.  My advice?  Never ask a human to do something if you can do it yourself.

I am exhausted!  I spent a lot of time outside today, a little chilly but very sunny.  Ideal kitten-at-play weather.  This week I have climbed up our various pieces of trellis, got onto the top of the summer house, climbed up a neighbour's fence and walked along the top - this sounds ordinary but it is a wavy top so I felt a little seasick at the end.  In fact rather than jump onto things, I prefer to climb up them - much more fun.  I am planning on climbing up some of our trees - only don't tell Jill as she will worry because we have some very, very tall trees in our garden.  Jazz and Daisy are very good when I am out, they keep an eye on me to make sure I don't get into too much trouble or wander off - but I am a bit faster than them so I do nip off sometimes.

No kittens residing with us at the moment - huggable Henry went to his new home on Friday and I understand he is very happy.  We all miss him, but are very pleased he has a nice new home.  Still lots of cats on the Woking Cats Protection web site that are needing homes, so don't forget to visit regularly.

It is time for me to settle down for a loooooong nap - here I am just getting settled in:

I will be back next Wednesday - who knows I might even have a photograph of me up a tree.

Have a good week everyone


Sunday, 14 April 2013


Hi everyone

Lots of lovely sunshine today, but unfortunately towards the end of the day it rained - again.  However, over the last week, despite some heavy rain, the temperature has slowly been climbing into double figures and we have had occasional burst of very welcome sunshine.

This week has been Big Shot week, working on websites week, research into different selling venues week and homing Henry week.  I love my Big Shot - I doubt I will use it for die-cutting as I use my Cricut for that, but for embossing it is the bee's knees.  I have bought a few folders this week, but (so far) my two favourites are the tree and the cake.  Here are photographs of some of the work I have produced this week:

The tree has been embossed onto black card and then the branches were rubbed with sandpaper - this puffed up the embossing and gave a different finish to the remainder of the card.  I also added jewels to some of the branches.

The cake folder also looked pretty good on the reverse side.  I am in the process of making some new ranges of wedding stationery for the events I have later this year, and thought the cake might make a good addition to a simple range.

I am going to rub one of those little sponge paint pads over some embossing to see how it comes out - I might try it on the tree or on the wording on a 'Thank You' folder I have.  By next week's main blog post I should have some examples to show you.

A friend and I (my cake-making friend, Linda) and I visited the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen's Milford Gallery on Friday.  We saw some absolutely gorgeous pieces of work, pottery, jewellery and various other crafts - lots of eye-watering prices for some of them too.  One piece that was really stunning was an owl, wings spread, made of chicken wire.  I could picture him in my garden and I am sure our cats (and the birds who occasionally are brave enough to come into the garden) would be fascinated by him. 

Another busy week looming during which I have set myself targets to complete my wedding stationery website and various other things that I have dragged my heels over.  My pottery course recommences this week and I am looking forward to hopefully collecting pieces that I finished at the end of last term and left for firing.  If they don't have that 'oh, good grief, did I really do that' look about them I will add some pictures to next week's blog post.

As I mentioned at the beginning of my post last week was also 'homing Henry week'.  Henry, is the lovely white and tabby kitten that I had been fostering for just over three weeks and he went off to his new home on Friday.  I understand his new family are waiting on him hand and foot (or should that be paw and paw?).  Some more good news on the Woking Cats Protection front, Timothy, a lovely three-year old black cat, was homed to friends of a friend yesterday.  They were looking for a cat (not a kitten which is always good as we have lots of grown-up cats needing homes) and were directed to me and a very happy ending was achieved.

It is a lovely evening, the rain has stopped and sun is back out so I am going to do some more gardening.  I hope you have a good week.  I will be back next Sunday and Milly will be writing her mid-week post on Wednesday but before I go don't forget to nip over to Handmade Monday to read the great blog posts added by my fellow Handmade Monday bloggers.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013


Hello everyone

I have been outside!  Although I have snuck out a couple of times, this time it was legit.  So exciting, lots to see, sniff and chase.  Jazz and Daisy kept an eye on me to make sure I didn't go into unsafe places.  I did visit my neighbours on both sides.  Discovered lots of cats in one garden - should be good fun in the summer.

Jill took some photographs of me - sitting in her flower bed!

Henry is still with us and when I peeped in to tell him what I good time I was having, he wasn't impressed.

A short post from me today as I want to get back outside again.  Apparently from today onwards the weather is going to get warmer and by the end of next week the temperature will be around 18c.  Yipee.

Don't forget to visit the Woking Cats Protection website today and have a look at Gorgeous George.  He needs a home urgently and if you would like a grown-up cat, please get in touch with them.

Have a good week everyone - I will be back next week with more of my news.


Sunday, 7 April 2013


Hello everyone

What a lovely sunny weekend we have had - hope it has been the same for everyone reading this post?  The forecast for this coming week seems to be reasonable - no double figure temperatures, but no sign of any snow.

Another busy week working on websites and card-making for yesterday's event.  It wasn't a great success and it is no consolation saying that the majority of stallholders did badly as well.  One lady I spoke to said she just covered her stall fee, but only because friends came in and bought her paintings, which they probably would have done without attending the event.  It was advertised as a Craft Fair so you can imagine my surprise when I saw Pheonix Cards (PC) were taking part.  In addition to PC the world and his wife were there selling cards along side their other goods.  Such competition is hard to cope with.  I had forgotten to ask if PC were taking part, just took it for granted that Craft Fair meant craft, as in handmade.  A fellow crafter, Snowflake Gems, taking part in the event sought me out as she had recognised my business name as being that of my Facebook page - her jewellery is lovely, so it's a good idea to nip over and have a look at her work.

The event was held in two halls: the smaller one seemed to have a much friendlier, buzzing atmosphere; someone said it was possibly because people were a little more closely packed into the smaller hall.  It also had a lot of natural light, which the larger hall didn't - apart from roof windows which were about 10 - 12 feet above our heads.

Here is a photograph of my stall.  I normally have a black cloth, which sets things off well, but this time I didn't have it ready and I felt there was no dynamic 'come and look at me' colouring to show my work off:

However, that was yesterday and I return to the guns I had planned to stick to early last year: reduce the number of fairs in the January to August period, restrict venues to within a 10 - 15 mile radius of my postcode and try not to pay above £15.00 for a stall.  For most of last year it worked well and although I seem to have veered a little off-track this year, I think I am back on it now.

Having organised an event and taught event organisation for a few years, I know what is involved and how it can be hard work for very little income or other reward.  What is the answer?  Yesterday's event was well organised, good publicity: radio, local newspapers, flyers, Facebook and Twitter.  I know that the area the event is held has a lot to do with it - aim for affluent areas in the hope the residents will spend.  However, does that guarantee those who live in an affluent area will attend a craft fair?

Apart from working on websites and card-making this week, I also confirmed my attendance at two wedding fairs later this year.  In addition to my card-making workshops, this is an area of my business that I want to concentrate on, so I will be looking into doing perhaps a couple more wedding fairs this year.

I treated myself to a Big Shot machine this week; despite having a lovely Cricut Expression machine, loads of punches, etc I don't have an embossing machine and really like the effect this can produce.  In between gardening today I have been embossing sheets of paper and rubbing some down with sand-paper - lots of fun.  I want to get some cards ready this week for my wall at Bourne Mill and also hope to have some to display in my post next weekend.

Have a great week everyone, let's hope we have lots more sunshine and the temperature gets to somewhere near what it should be at this time of the year.  Don't forget to visit the other Handmade Monday bloggers to find out what they have been doing this week - always great to catch up with them.

I will be back next Sunday and Milly will be here on Wednesday with her view on life.


Wednesday, 3 April 2013


Hello everyone

I think it must be cold outside as Jazz wasn't too keen on going out first thing.  I am the sensible one of the family - I stay close to any warmth I can find: radiators, laptops, computers, humans, I don't mind where I lounge.

This week I thought I would tell you about my typical day.  Like most cats and kittens I wake up early, very early.  I then sit on Jill while she is asleep - no, I am not trying to get her to wake up, I just want to keep an eye on her.  When she does eventually get up, I want my breakfast!  Breakfast over I play for an hour or so.  I chase things, hide things, remove things and put them somewhere else.  I love to play football with paper-balls - so does Daisy and we often have a footie match.  I nearly always win because I pick the ball up and run away with it.  By the time play-time is over, I am very tired so I settle down (somewhere warm and cosy) for a snooze.

In the afternoon I play some more.  I also sit and pull faces at Henry in the conservatory, but I have to say he is growing on me and I shall be sorry, only a little sorry that is, when he goes to his new home.  He hasn't been visited yet, but I am sure he will be very soon.  My afternoon is made up of play, snooze, play, snooze, more play and snooze and then it's tea time!  Yipee.

I watch some television in the evening (I like programmes with birds in), but most of the time I am so tired I sleep on Jill's lap.  She says I make it hard for her to work, but I think she likes it really coz it is a good excuse for her not to do anything but lounge with me.  I sometimes have a bit of a battle to get onto her lap as Jazz often get's there first - it's a bit crowded with both of us there.  Then it's bedtime and I can dream about my day and plan tomorrow's adventures.

As you know, I am a black and white kitten - and a gorgeous one at that.  However, I just wanted to point you in the direction of some equally gorgeous black cats that are with Woking Cats Protection at the moment.  They are all lovely, as you can see here, and would love to have a nice new home very soon, so if you are thinking of adopting a cat or kitten, please do visit the website.

Have a good week everyone.  I will be back next week with more stories from my life in Christmas Pie.

Monday, 1 April 2013


Hi everyone

Where did the weekend go?  Hope you all had a Happy Easter?  The days just seemed to whiz by and despite promising myself that I would begin this Sunday's post early, which I did (all three lines of it) I am actually writing most of it two days later than than when it was due to be posted!

I have been busy though, not all socialising - although some of the Easter weekend was spent doing just that.  Last week I spent time making cards for this Saturday's event, making card orders, negotiating to take part in two wedding fayres at Old Thorns in Liphook, Surrey and also producing a website specifically for my wedding stationery.  Oh, yes, and also brain-storming with Linda (my cake-making friend) our next moves with crafting workshops.  Hectic times.

The brief for one of the cards I made was for it to feature someone playing football, some sunny weather (we could all do with that), some bottles of beer,  Happy B irthday the recipient's name and the age of this person.  Here is a photograph of the work-in-progress:

In addition to adding beer bottles and the age (which I put on the bottom edge of the shorts) I also added the Happy Birthday greeting on a football scarf.

A quick post this time because I am so late and very behind with what I need to work on.  Don't forget to catch up with my far more organised fellow crafters taking part in this week's Handmade Monday and I will be back next Sunday (on time I hope).  Milly will be here tomorrow with her weekly 'tail'.

I will add full details of my events to my blog and websites today.

Have a good week everyone