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Tuesday 29 November 2011


Hi everyone

Many thanks to everyone who posted on my Handmade Monday blog - very interesting and helpful comments about selling at fairs.

Not long before 'the day' when we will be getting up before the sparrows, wondering if we have got enough food the feed the two armies we think are arriving and thinking 'I hope that turkey is defrosted'.  I love Christmas, although it seems we all spend such a long time planning, shopping and cooking for the Big Day that when it arrives we are all shattered.  Still, it is good fun and a great excuse to abandon the diet.  We love this time of year because we get to see friends and family that we may not have managed to see during the year .

Christmas Pie Crafts is getting Christmasy - I know that the name of my business gives the impression that it is Christmas all year round.  Falling snow has been added to the blog and there may be other little seasonal bits added over the next 2 - 3 weeks.  Christmas is a great time to release my inner child.

Lots of people I know will be putting their Christmas tree up today - a little too early for us.  We have given up having a tree inside as Jazz and Daisy feel the need to conquer the tree and remove most of the decorations - we don't mind, but some bits are not exactly cat-friendly.  So, we have one in our porch and one shut away in the conservatory - they can see them but from a safe distance.  Christmas card writing this week - mammoth task and for many years something we seem to leave until the last minute!  This year, we have decided to get them done and posted reasonably early - watch this space though, as the best laid plans, etc, etc.

My last event of this year takes place on Saturday, 3 December:

Addlestone Pre-School Christmas Fair (2.00 pm - 4.00pm) at Brook Hall, Brox Road, Ottershaw, Surrey, KT16 0HG

If you live in the area, please do come along - I understand Father Christmas is visiting this fair.

Enjoy the rest of the week everyone.  I will be back with my HM post on Monday.


Sunday 27 November 2011


Hi everyone

27 days to go to Christmas - with the mild weather we have been having, seems a little strange to be rushing towards a time that we often associate with snow, cold weather.  In fact at the events I attended over the last few days, people were commenting that this time last year travel was difficult, the temperature was bitter and we were knee-deep in snow.  Lovely though it is to look at, please Mr Weather Man, keep the snow away for as long as possible.

It has been a very busy week in Christmas Pie Crafts land.  Three events in four days and I feel very tired.  Events have been busy, but spending is quite sporadic.  Certain items (food produces (pickles, jams, mustards) are always popular) sold well; bought-in items (shoes, handbags, jewellery) also did well; handmade doesn't seem to be doing very well at the moment, although I am not sure if this is UK-wide or just in certain areas.  The events I have attended have been very well organised and the footfall was good, each one had a good selection of products.  A friend emailed me yesterday evening to let me know of another event that took place in Surrey yesterday that only had 30 people through the door.  So, what is the answer?  Handmade items only or a mix of handmade and bought-in?  I have taken part in both and I really don't know the answer - my crystal ball is a bit cloudy recently (must be the snow on the way!).

I have been trying to find out recently what customers actually want or look for when they go shopping.  Most have said they want to buy items made in the UK, quality and value for money are at the top of the list too.  Unfortunately, nobody has yet said why they wouldn't buy handmade - so will keep on trying to track down any possible reasons for low sales.  Has anybody else carried out any sort of survey to find out how people feel about handmade goods?

Several months ago I started a range of mini-cards - they had dual purposes: gift cards (with envelopes) or mini greetings cards.  These have sold really well and this, I am sure, is due to a single price of 60p or 5 for £2.50 - everyone loves a bargain.  I added to the range with Christmas themed cards and these have also proved to be very popular.

Less than four weeks to Christmas which means not many Handmade Mondays left either.  I completed an order over the weekend for a birthday card for a rugby loving penguin fan.  I was going to post a pic on this blog, but the recipient is a possible blog-viewer and as his birthday isn't until later in the week, thought it best not to.  Instead I am including a picture of a butterfly-themed card I made during the week.  I love butterflies in crafting and think they add a gorgeous look to cards.  This is a stepped card and I have used butterfly-flower themed background paper and added silver/glitter decoupaged butterflies as well as butterflies cup form paper I had in stock.  Don't forget to check out the other Handmade Monday bloggers - gorgeous makes that you really must see, and of course read the great blog posts.

I am having a bit of a restful day today - I have two card orders to make up and will spend some time making final items for this weekend's event.

Have a good week everyone - I will be back on Wednesday with my mid-week post.


Wednesday 23 November 2011


Hello everyone

I keep referring to it, and it is a typical British habit, but this weather is very odd.  Foggy every day but so warm - perhaps the fog blanket is preventing the cold air getting through although it is very sunny while I am writing this post.

A busy, busy week so far - lots of events taking place over the next few days and I am really working hard to create new stock. The events Christmas Pie Crafts is taking part in between now and my next post are:

24 November 2011: A Pamper Evening (7.00 pm - 10.00 pm), The Jolly Farmer, Binsted Road, Blacknest, Alton, Hants, GU34 4QD

26 November 2011: Prior's Field Christmas Fair (11.00 am - 3.30 pm), Prior's Field School, Priorsfield Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 2RH

27 November 2011: Rydes Hill Preparatory School Christmas Fayre (2.00 pm - 4.30 pm) at Rydes Hill Preparatory School, Rydes Hill House, Aldershot Road, Guildford, GU2 8BP

As always, if you are in the area of any of these events, it would be great to see you.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had been picked as a 'winner' in Karen Clark's (Beads by Design) 300th blog post celebration.  I received my prize today and the goodies are gorgeous - especially nice is the Mary & Joseph ornament because I did like this when I saw it on Karen's blog.  Here are pictures of my wins - do check out Karen's website, she does make beautiful things.


I am really looking forward to next month.  I have one event booked in December and then I should have time to plan for next year, but more important is that I will have time to get ready for Christmas and catch up with friends and family.  Have various friends 'get-togethers' organised, which will be good fun, so looking forward to them, as well as another Pamper Day with a good friend  (in reality it is more likely to be a talk-the-hind-leg-off-of-a-donkey-day).

Have to get back to the card-making - so many cards to make so little time.  Great fun, though.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the week - I will be back with my usual Sunday/Monday post.


Sunday 20 November 2011


Hi everyone

OK, OK, I know it isn't nearly Christmas but it's not that far off and I know someone not far from me (my sister) who is champing at the bit to get her Christmas tree set up and decorated.

A very foggy start to today and although I had hoped this meant a a sunny day, it wasn't.  Fog always makes things sound so still and quiet - or perhaps it clogs up my ears and mists my glasses.  The moisture fog creates can look lovely - it collects on spider's webs, branches, and makes some things look really pretty.

I took part in two Christmas fairs this week - one at a school which was very good.  The second one was at a local village hall which was a little disappointing, very quiet for everyone involved, but gave me a great opportunity to make some news cards.  I love startling, strong designs and as I had with me some black, silver and dark red glitter card I made the following cards which are my contribution to this week's Handmade Monday blog post:

I hope you like them - I love glitter card and red, black and silver are so stunning.  I have one more to add, but need to tweak it a little so will post it later in the week.

One final pic is not card-related, but I couldn't resist including it in this week's post - while we were packing for our recent holiday, we left a suitcase on the floor of the lounge.  Daisy, followed quickly by Jazz, decided it was a new comfy place to sleep - the caption for the pic (not a very good one) I feel is 'Don't worry Daisy, if we keep our eyes closed they won't see us and we can go on holiday with them'.

A very busy week ahead - three events so lots of new stock needed, plus sorting out and re-stocking my wall at Bourne Mill and I want to get to the WI Market on Thursday morning to hopefully sell my cards in the future, as I missed it last week. Don't forget to check out my Where Am I section and if you are able to come along to any of the events I am taking part in, it would be great  to see you.

Have a good week and don't forget to visit the other blogs taking part in Handmade Monday.


Thursday 17 November 2011


Hi everyone

Certainly seems to be getting a  little colder every day - dare I say it but the skies do occasionally look as though they have some snow to be dropped on us.  Hopefully it is just my imagination.

A very busy week making stock for future events.  I attended the Wash C of E Junior School Gift & Shipping Evening on Tuesday and it was a great success.  Very well organised and very well attended too.  Well done Lorna - hope you arrange many more.

Don't forget to check out my Where Am I section.  My next event is on Saturday at Bramley - a fund-raising event for the Bramley Players.  I did this event last year and it was great.  I have also added another event to the list - I will be at the Addlestone Pre-School Christmas Fair on 3 December 2011.  This is my last event of the year, so if you live local to the school, it would be great to see you there.

As my regular Blog-followers know my blog is featured in the current issue of Popular Crafts.  The Popular Crafts website has a great forum, together with competitions and free downloads.  Have a look and join us on there for a chat about numerous things

Over the last few weeks I have tried as often as possible to take part in the Handmade By Me Thursday Blog-Hop - overloaded this week and I haven't been able to contribute.  However, do have a look at the Forum and if you are a crafter, join us and take part in the blog-hop.

Off to an Evening Event at the RHS Wisley this evening with a friend.  Nibbles and mulled wine - and of course shopping.  From previous years I know the decorations inside and outside are gorgeous, so really looking forward to this year's event.

A short post today, but will be posting on Sunday/Monday Handmade with reports on the events I have between now and then and everything else that has been going on at Christmas Pie Crafts.

Enjoy the rest of the week


Wednesday 9 November 2011


Hi everyone

We have been on holiday in Malta for the last week and the weather has been glorious.  The temperature during the day around 22 degrees and about 16 - 18 degrees at night.  Hard to believe it is November - being a typical Brit we went prepared for cold weather, but did have the common sense to pack summer clothes - just in case, and thank goodness we did.  The fleeces and long-sleeved tops returned home unworn and leaving them at home would have made our luggage so much lighter.  Our apartment was in Valletta, seconds from the harbour and the views were amazing.  I haven't had a chance to make a card for Handmade Monday, but thought I would post some of the pics I took in Malta.  

The view from the balcony

Our apartment is in the centre of this picture, on the second floor

Parking in the town of Valletta is almost impossible, and definitely impossibly expensive.  The best way to get into town is to walk - from our apartment it was uphill all the way, about 60 steps - much better on the way down.  However, the picture above shows another road into Valletta and climbing this one was definitely not on my list of 'must do's.

 We took a harbour cruise whilst away, and access to the leaving point was by ferry.  On the return ferry I was able to take this shot of the sunset.

Lots of gorgeous boats and yachts are moored in the Grand Harbour of Valletta - we saw one that had three stories!

Another view of boats, but slightly smaller ones this time.

As you know Malta was awarded the George Cross in recognition of the Maltese peoples bravery.  The above picture is of the plaque outside of Valletta's 'Buckingham Palace'.

We haven't been to Malta for many, many years and although so much has changed one thing has remained the same: the lovely people.  They are friendly, helpful and go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome.  We had a great week, so many beautiful buildings in Malta and I took a lot of photographs which I am planning to use in my card-making.

Have a great week everyone and don't forget to check out the other blogs on Handmade Monday   



Hi everyone

I have been 'resting' this week, well not really, but have not done much crafting with the exception of working on a special project.  Planning and thinking about the crafting I need to do, but it didn't get much further than that.  Richard has been on leave this week so we have decided to take some time out as the next couple of months will be hectic, both work-wise and social-wise.  One needs to get one's strength up, doesn't one?

The remainder of this month is very busy for me as I have lots of events that I am taking part in.  Don't forget to check out my Where Am I section to be sure you have up-to-date details of where Christmas Pie Crafts will be.

This is a very brief mid-week post but I do want to thank everyone who commented on my Handmade Monday post this week, but a particular thank you to those fellow-crafters who commented on the previous week's one.  My mention of a 'difficult' customer brought forth lots of supportive comments - takes the sting out of the experience.

Enjoy the rest of the week everyone - I will be posting on Sunday/Handmade Monday


Sunday 6 November 2011


Hi everyone

I really don't think I am keeping up with everything I need to do and certainly not catching up.  It is a very busy time of year for everyone and there is always that nagging thought at the back of your mind saying: 'what is it I have forgotten to do?'  No matter how many techniques there are for ensuring you remember things, they don't seem to work for me.  I wonder if I should invest in a hand tape-recorder?  I had one many years ago, rarely used it and it got lost along the way.  I may have to ask Father Christmas for one - that is of course if I remember!

A very busy week - lots accomplished but the mental To-Do list still seems full.  I completed a short notice birthday card yesterday and that is my this week's  Handmade Monday make:

The card is for a primrose-loving person and I used a 'washed' background of primroses, and then mounted a photograph onto green card, which was then placed onto white card.  A happy birthday tag was mounted on green, then white card and fixed to the right of the picture.  I also made a complimenting post-it note wallet to go with the card.

No events this coming week - phew!  However, plenty coming up for the remainder of November, so have to crack of with the card-making.

A short post today.  Have a great week everyone and don't forget to visit the other blogs taking part in Handmade Monday - you will see some beautiful handmade items, great tutorials and really interesting posts.  I am out of email contact for most of this week, but will try to keep up to date with blog visiting and posting.


Thursday 3 November 2011


Hi everyone

Yet another week that is disappearing so fast and I don't seem to be able to keep up with everything.  I don't make lists of To-Do's, although I know I should - I just can't face writing (and re-visiting because I haven't completed any) the million and one things I have to do.  Prefer the old ignorance is bliss attitude.

No pics of card makes today - it's been a hectic week and I haven't really made a card that I want to showcase.  I have been busy making stock and planning what to do once the crazy Christmas events seasons is finished - my last event is at the end of November and I can then settle down to sorting out and planning for my Christmas.  I will probably be so shattered by then that come Christmas morning I will be wondering why Father Christmas hasn't delivered Christmas lunch - or perhaps discovering he had and Jazz and Daisy had eaten it!  Or perhaps I gave him the wrong list of things I wanted this year???

I had a lovely surprise this week from Karen Clark of Beads by Design.  To celebrate Karen's 300th blog post she had a giveaway - the winner will receive some of Karen's gorgeous goodies from her Christmas shop.  I am really pleased to have won this and you can read my post and the other contributor's on Karen's Christmas Creative Blogspot.  Thank you Karen, a lovely surprise and I am really looking forward to receiving my goodies.  Do have a look at Karen's website - she designs and creates the most beautiful tiaras, jewellery and wedding accessories.

I took part in the first Shopping & Pamper Evening at Holly Lodge School in Ash Vale yesterday.  Despite the miserable wet weather it was very well attended, with lots of different things for sale.  Well done Holly Lodge PTA, it was a very good event and really well organised.

I don't have any events until 14 November, so time to make stock and have a little break me thinks.  Wishful thinking really.

Enjoy the rest of the week everyone