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Wednesday, 30 July 2014


Hello everyone

I had big plans to write my diary early this week, but a frog got in the way!  He looked pretty lonely sitting by the pond, so I brought him indoors.  I thought he might like some of my breakfast.  Jill thought differently and took the frog back outside to the pond!  No wonder I don't have any friends, she takes them all away from me!  Mind you, it isn't just me, she took a frog away from Coco on Monday!

Sage and Angelica went to their lovely new home yesterday; they have new names and are now known as Milo and Mimi.  Apparently we have more kittens coming to stay with us next week - as you cat lovers know, there are always more kittens on the way and Woking Cats Protection are always looking for lovely homes for all of them so if you are planning on adopting a cat or kitten, please do have a look at the website.

As you  all know, because I keep reminding you, it's my birthday on 2 August - my star sign of Leo is so appropriate.  I did some research of the Kiternet and found some interesting things out about Leo's:

Leo strength keywords are: confident, ambitious, generous, loyal and encouraging.  I am ambitious, confident and loyal, but not so sure about the generous or encouraging bits.  Leo weakness keywords are: pretentious, domineering, melodramatic, stubborn and vain.  I have to admit that I can identify with some of these too.  I am domineering, melodramatic and stubborn; definitely not vain as my often grey, should be white, fur testifies.  I don't think I am pretentious, although having looked up the definition on the Kiternet, I am now wondering about this: 'attempting to impress by affecting greater importance' - me?  Never!

It's time for me to go and be stubborn and see if that silly frog is sitting by the pond again!

Have a good weekend everyone - see you next Wednesday.


Sunday, 27 July 2014


Hello everyone

It has been a good week - a little too hot, but hey, it is nice to have sunshine.  On Monday, I meet up with Lara Beardall of Lovecow to collect the rosettes she had made for me.  These match the lovely bag I also bought from her.  You can see pictures here of the beautiful items that Lara has made for me.

I decided recently that instead of a Friday Guest Blogger spot (although if you are interested in being a guest blogger, please get in touch) I would have a Friday Review post in which I write about a website I have found that I like, a product I use, am keen to use or something I have bought - all handmade related.  Lara is my first Friday Review - don't forget to come back and see who has been blogged about next Friday.

This week has also been spent locating and booking another venue for a Christmas Fair; this one is in Tongham Village Hall.  It is not a large venue, but I am hoping it might be a good place for other events next year.  I have hired a Town Crier to promote the Godalming Bazaar events for the remainder of this year.  This particular venue/event needs a lot more oomph to get it noticed and I can't make up my mind if it is the venue or it has run its natural course.  The Town Crier will spend one hour on the day of each event 'encouraging' people to come in and buy.

I love to try out new techniques and something I had a go at this week is hot crystal fixing - embarrassed to say I have had the gadget for a long, long time and as with so many things, put it away to use another time!  I have some work-in-progress pieces that should be completed by next Sunday's blog post and I will add some photographs of my makes then.  I can imagine just about everything in my home will have crystals on it!  Nothing dares to stand still for too long.

I have been working on my Christmas Pie Crafts website and my events one and although not completely finished, here they are for review:

I am not completely happy with the SIM website as the pictures on the home page are slow to load - not very slow, but I don't like what looks like white blanks when it opens.  Let me know what you think.

I started writing this weekend's blog post yesterday while quietly (as if!) waiting for a delivery I was expecting to arrive between 7.06 am and 9.06 am.  9.06 am came and went, no delivery, no phone call, no email.  I checked the courier's website to find a message saying the delivery company (City Link), City Link, were running late and my package would arrive before 12 noon.  

Like everyone, I hate waiting around for deliveries, the time we waste is gone for ever.  I rang Wilkinson's (my order was for 5 flip-top packing crates) and explained the situation.  They were very sympathetic, checked their records and told me that the delivery driver had marked his records to show that the delivery had been made at 12.15 pm.  I don't know where to because it certainly wasn't to Christmas Pie Crafts.  

Shock, horror!  A 'white-van-man' turned up at 2.50 pm with my parcel!  I asked what had happened but unfortunately, he didn't understand what I was saying and just kept replying 'thank you', 'thank you'.  I rang Wilkinson's to let them know the order had arrived and I have been busily filling the crates since 3.00 pm with more craft materials, stock, etc for my storage unit.  (Sadly, one of the crates is badly damaged, so the saga hasn't quite ended.)  I did a quick check on the City Link website and it said my delivery had been made at 8.06 am yesterday morning and signed for by me!  

No parcels expected this week - thank goodness, I couldn't take the stress!  Decision time - pack more 'stuff' or do some gardening?  As it is a little cooler today, gardening wins.  Have a great week everyone and don't forget to drop into Handmade Monday to see how one has been coping with this 'gorgeous' weather.

See you next week.


Friday, 25 July 2014


Hello everyone

My first Friday Review is about a stallholder I met at one of my Godalming Bazaar events: Lara Beardall, whose business is called Lovecow.  Lara produces beautiful bags and accessories from supermarket and department store carrier bags!  Yes, that's right, the bags that you and I often just throw away are used by Lara to create amazing things.

I had been looking for a summer bag, something a little different, one of those 'I know what I am looking for but just haven't seen it yet' times - and that is exactly what I found on Lara's stall.  I spotted a bag in bright greens and asked her if she could make one for me but with a longer handle - no problem.  Lara actually adapted the one I had seen and here it is:

Isn't it fabulous?  The photograph doesn't do it justice.  Lara also added an inside pocket which is ideal for mobile phone and keys.

I had an idea that it would be great to somehow match sandals to the bag and the thought of rosettes in the same pattern and colours occurred to me.  I spoke to Lara about it and guess what?  Here they are:

These are not the sandals they will be attached to (although they do look pretty good on them) but I wanted to include a photograph of them 'in action' so to speak.

Lara's work is brilliant and I recommend her for being both a great ideas and crafts person to someone who clearly cares about the environment and works hard to cut down on waste.  Lara will be at the next Godalming Bazaar on 6 September so please come along and have a look at her lovely work and of course if you have some plastic bags, particularly unusual ones, bring them along because I know she will turn them into something beautiful.

You can see more of Lara's work on her Facebook page: Laralovecow.

Come back next Friday to see who is under the Friday Review spotlight.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Hello everyone

I am getting as bad as Jill for not blogging regularly!  I have an excuse though because when the sun shines I want to be outside.  It's my birthday next week - I will be 2.  Amazing.  Wonder what flavoured cake I will get?  Pigeon?  Magpie?  Such a lot of choice for one little cat.

It's busy, busy, busy here - as always.  Our two foster kittens, Sage and Angelica are going to their new homes next week.  They have been here for such a long time, I was beginning to get a little worried that they might move in!  Only room for one black and white kitten in this home and I tell them that every time I walk past their room.  Jill said there will be more kittens after Sage and Angelica have been homed - more?????  I am worried about her, do you think she is becoming one of those crazy cat ladies people talk about?

Although it is lovely to be outside in the sunshine, not so sure we cats are enjoying this heat.  It can get a bit too much when you have a fur coat.  Some of us stay in the shade, some of us are not so bright.  Daisy snoozes in the conservatory!  Temperatures in there are very, very, very hot.  She is bonkers!   You can suddenly find her stretched full length in the shade outside on the patio.

Talking of hot, don't forget to leave plenty of water out for your animals and also out in the garden too for passing cats who may be desperately looking for a drink.  They could try our pond, I have, but Jill and Richard have strong netting over it!  So unfair!

Have a great week everyone - I will be back next week and hope it is a little cooler by then.


Sunday, 20 July 2014


Hello everyone

Do you get the feeling we are never satisfied in the UK when it comes to the weather?  It rains - we moan; it snows - we moan; it's hot - we moan.  I know it's a great topic, but while we are moaning think how lucky we are to have changing seasons.  At least we know we will have different weather - even if it sometimes
happens all in one day and we can go through at least two changes of wardrobe.

It is, as seems to be the norm this year, hectic at Christmas Pie Crafts.  Planning new makes for the Christmas market.  Thinking what can I do as an alternative to the Secretts Christmas Fair and Emporium that runs (or ran) for the month afterwards.  Sadly, it is not taking place this year as the owners have decided not to run it any more.  I don't understand their decision, it must have been a financial success for them: both by marquee space hire and the increased number of customers they had in the farm shop.  Their decision is a big disappointment for me and the other regular stallholders.  I really enjoy a 2 or 3-day event (it is so nice being able to walk away on days 1 and 2 without having to pack-up) and I have been looking into others.  However, the two or three that are interesting are at least an 80-mile round trip for me and with a finishing time for some of 8.00 pm (coupled with an onsite time of, at the latest, 8.00 am) I don't think I want to take that on - not with everything else I would be juggling at the same time.  So, back to the drawing board and if not for this year, then definitely for next year.  Perhaps I should organise my own 3-day event.

Trying to think of everything else I have been doing since my last blog post and have to resort to my diary - must be an age thing, if I don't write it down it's gone for ever.  Just completed a  battle with TravelZoo (TZ) and Experify; 3 friends and I bought one of TZ's deals that provided us with vouchers for a River Thames cruise (which was really lovely) and a meal at the Altitude Restaurant.  Sadly when got to the restaurant they knew nothing about us and had declined over six months ago to be part of the TZ deal.  Because it was gone 9.00 pm and we were starving, we had our meal but had to pay for it (again).  Emails and telephone calls were getting us nowhere, so I resorted to Social Media - the response and resolution of the problem was pretty quick and a refund was received this week.  I didn't like having to resort to naming and shaming, but having waited over 2 months for the money to be refunded, it seemed to be the only way to get something done.

My pottery sessions having now finished until September, but lucky for us, our tutor has organised a one-day workshop in her studio to take place mid-August - she will be sending out suggestions of what we can make, so I am looking forward to that.  I have been busy with my Hat Family and here they are so far:

Jackie O type sunglasses and a large brimmed black and white hat

I mucked up the lips on this one, so bought some bright red paint and she now sports luscious red lips

My original Mr Hat man

What do I have planned for this coming week?  I have recently begun renting storage space very local to me and having carried out quite a bit of research, it is much cheaper than the other places I have looked at.  Supplies and makes are getting a bit too much here and it was either move Richard into storage or my 'stuff'.  Hard decision, but it is easier to store my stuff than it is to store Richard, he would need to be let out every day!  This week will see more stuff being moved from our home to what could have been Richard's summer-home - oh well......

I am organising another event at the Fairlands community Hall - this is a Christmas one, is in a popular residential area and the venue is in regular use by residents of the area.  Always lots going on, lots of publicity about the venue and its activities so I am hopeful of a good foot fall for this one.  It takes place on 13 December so if you are nearby come along and see me.  I am also looking into arranging some other sorts of events, so lots on at the moment.

My good news of the week is that my two lovely foster kittens, Sage and Angelica, were adopted yesterday.  They have been with me for a long time and will be off to their new home next week.  Here is a lovely pic of them (Angelica is the one sticking her tongue out):

I think that is me pretty much up-to-date, I am re-joining the Handmade Monday crowd this week.  I feel very guilty about not blogging regularly, not visiting other crafters' blogs and generally getting behind with everything.  Busy times as I have changed my website hosts - I was with Vistaprint and spent so little time on the websites, that I decided a complete change was needed.  I have gone with Wix, bought domain names (which I couldn't before as the ones I wanted were not available through Vistaprint) and I am currently working on my new Christmas Pie Crafts website (details next week) and also a new one for Surrey Independent Markets, my event hat business (details of that one next week too).

That is definitely me up-to-date!  Have a great week everyone, let's hope the sun stays out but the temperature drops a little and it rains at night to save watering the garden.