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Sunday 29 April 2012


Hi everyone

No, it definitely isn't a lovely day to be caught in the rain.  I have a sneaky feeling it hasn't stopped raining for at least two days and more on the way.  I know we need it, but as I understand it is the wrong sort of rain (not wet enough?) what's on the way will be welcomed.  Unfortunately, the end of our garden is already under water, so perhaps a little less rain please.

I took part in a Craft Fair in Weybridge yesterday; a very well run event and Nadia Townsend worked really hard to promote it before and during the event.  Thank you Nadia.  Sadly it rained for the whole day and we think this kept the (potential) customers away.  There were lots of lovely goodies on sale - one seller made felt owls with big gorgeous eyes. Several people had cards as a side-line, which reinforced my decision to branch out into other things as there is always so much competition at Craft Events.  Several stall holders said they had had a very bad year last year, but were hoping things would improve this year - as we all do.  Someone made an interesting comment that the clientele at the event were (in their opinion) not the sort that would be interested in and/or buy handmade.  How do you/can we find those elusive 'right clientele?  We can do market research for our products but what about for our public?

The comment about the clientele made me think that being involved with handmade is almost like taking part in The Apprentice.  We work hard, put long hours into our business and then off we go to an event that we think/hope will ensure that when we get back to the boardroom (oops, sorry, home) the Alan Sugar (99% of the time that is us) in our life will not say 'you didn't make any profit - you're fired!'  I like going to events because I love to see the work other crafters have made, meet visitors to the event, and sell, sell, sell - of course.  More often than not the advice that comes through is the bigger the event, the better the sales - the downside of course is the bigger the event, the bigger the stall fee.  Is it a good idea to dive in and book a big event and hope, or a foolish move in what is still a very volatile climate?  

Most of my week was taken up with the card orders I have received recently - mainly because of the promotion of a good friend and a friend of hers.  They have both placed orders with me for several cards and have passed details on to their friends and family.  Word of mouth and personal recommendation is so very welcome.

The brief for Jonathan's card was that he went to Cambridge University, back-packed across America, plays Lacrosse, loves rowing and is an Economist.  Boy, the person who ordered this one loves to set me a challenge.  I made the card to look like a notice board, which turned out to be  a good choice as apparently he had a notice board in his University digs that was covered in pics, etc.

The brief for this card was that Sophie was a party-animal, loved fashion, gymnastics and her Dutch rabbit. She went to a school with Forest in the name (I thought the last thing she would want would be a picture of her school on her birthday card, so I added a pic of a forest).  I placed mirror-card on to the bare card, I added a smaller sized piece of pink glitter card which I had covered in lacey thin paper.  I wanted it to be a little quirky so mounted each embellishment again on glitter card, placed them so that the right-hand ones overlapped the edge which I had trimmed back by approximately half an inch.  My customer was very pleased with the card and I hope Sophie was too.

We went for a meal with a friend yesterday evening to celebrate her cat's 21st birthday.  Yes, I know that may seem an unusual reason for a celebration, but I love a celebration.  Our friend's cat is getting a little doddery (think I would at over 100), but everything else is functioning well, so here's to her 22nd birthday celebration next year.  Perhaps it will have stopped raining by then!

I have a mix of orders for cards to make this week: wedding, thank you and birthday cards.  Most of them are just as challenging as the ones above.  Looks like it could be an interesting week.

My pottery course is going well - I am really enjoying doing a course that doesn't require intense revision, loads of homework and a gruelling exam at the end.  I did the basics of my first 'creation' on Thursday: a candle holder on the lines of a slab pot, but not a slab-pot.  Confusing?  When it has been finished to complete and absolute perfection (about 40 - 50 years time??) I will post some pics on here.  Still amazed at some of the lovely work people on the course are producing - so very creative.  My minds eye sees my finished item as very good, but my hands don't seem to managed to translate that to what I am working on.  All good fun though.

It's that time of the week for Handmade Monday, so don't forget to nip over there and read through the great blogs posts of everyone who has taken part.  

I hope you have had a chance to read my Friday Guest Blogger post?  Thank you Loretta and good luck with the Team Hannah Fund-raising event.  Don't forget if you want to join in, please do get in touch on  

I hope you stay dry and the rain doesn't cause any problems - I will be back on Wednesday my mid-week post.


Friday 27 April 2012


Loretta Farrell who organises events in and around Godalming.


How often have you taken a punt on a new area, a new market only to stand around most of the day and sell more to the other stallholders then anyone visiting the market?  Or worse, you walk around to check out the other stall-holders only to find there is nothing you like or would buy.  Yes, I know that feeling and so Godalming Independent Market was born.  It was not to start another business it was simply to try and bring back the original idea of a general market.  Free entry, with space to explore fine and interesting items and discover new art, gifts and items I want to take home and no one else would have.

The vision: hand-picked, good quality, well-priced stalls that would fit the area, don’t charge entry, promote it well and build a name for the Market.  Basic, simple and what all good markets should be.  But that is not what shoppers are finding, with more of the same and mass markets popping up in every village; shoppers are not finding little treasures or prices they want to pay.  The older crowd still see markets as a place to find a bargain while the younger have not really been bitten by the ‘find’ of the market with quality handmade items.

My job is to sell the stall-holders and make a place where both stall-holder and shopper are happy to be and hopefully supply the right shopping experience that the people coming find new, exciting, well-made products they want to take home.  To help me do that I have application forms as not all stalls will work in my area after, all I live in the village, have children at the schools and hopefully have a good understanding of what type of people would come to the market.

Applications are a necessity so I can see the quality of work, I also ask for websites so I can promote the business beyond the Market via social media.  I have deadlines so people can plan their working life and ensure I get a good mix of stalls.  I can say for every five applications two will be jewellery and one homeware textiles designs. With so many it really is hard to choose.  It comes down to basic professionalism.

Two stallholders at the same market can have two very different experiences so it is not just your items on sale but you.  If you are sitting reading a book I would walk past your stall, if you are not interested in being there why would I check out your stall.  To my surprise I have had a number of stallholders say people have called and placed orders after the event, and in a few case months after.

Loretta’s next event is 19 May 2012  at the Clock Barn Hall in Hambledon near Godalming.  It is a Fundraising Health, Beauty & Fitness Fair.  On the day there will be free health and fitness talks and fitness classes including Zumba, Fitness Boot Camp and Kids Fitness class. There will be a relaxation room with space to sit, read a book and just relax with aromatherapy candles.

For more details

Wednesday 25 April 2012


Hi everyone

It's wet, soaking wet, very soggy, and that's all I will say about the weather this time.

I love the sound of having a virtual assistant - someone to do all those work-related things that need to be done, don't get done and then make me feel guilty.  Sadly, as most (if not all) of us in the small-business world know, an assistant (virtual or real) is something we can only dream of - in reality we are our own assistant's.  I can dream and perhaps one day (next century?) I may be able to employ an assistant.  I am currently looking at training Jazz and Daisy to use the computer - we haven't managed to move beyond what the mouse is for.

I did an early morning delivery today of a card order - most of my orders are posted, but it seems crazy not to deliver local ones.  A good bit of promotion really as often I get repeat orders during my visit.  This is one of the cards I delivered this morning:

The recipient, as you can seen, will be 21 (tomorrow actually).  He is an all-round sportsman with a gorgeous red car he calls Colin.  Even though it was only, oh a year or so ago, I can remember what being that age feels like!

A mini-post today as I have lots of card orders to work on, plus new things to make for my event on Saturday - have a look at my 'Where Am I' on the right-hand side of my blog.  If you are in the area of Weybridge, do come along - I haven't done this event before, but it is a regular one and has been very well-publicised, so fingers crossed it will be good for everyone attending.

If you would like to join the growing group of Friday Guest Bloggers, do get in touch:

Enjoy the rest of the week, hope that rains eases off a little.  Don;t forget to come back on Friday for this week's guest post - a good one for event organisers.


Sunday 22 April 2012


Hi everyone

Yes, I know the title is very wrong, but it would be lovely to think that throughout April we will have had enough rain to ease the drought problems.  The in-between sunshine is lovely - unfortunately, the in-between rain is making the grass and weeds grow too fast to keep up with.

I began my pottery course this week and it was great.  Although demonstrations are provided, it is pretty much a workshop situation, which is great.  Everyone can do their own thing, learn something new, get ideas from others.  There are 12 of us in the group, myself and one other person are new; the others have been attending the course for several years, and most of them do the afternoon session as well.  Even though the tutor has been different during that time they have stuck with it.  Some really beautiful work has been produced and I am looking forward to working on one or two things over the next few weeks.  My first attempt will be a slab-pot candle-holder with a difference - certainly different to my experience of slab pots when I was at school.  Not for some time, but I hope to be able to put some pics of my work in my Sunday/Monday post in the not too distant future.

I have been very busy with card-making this week and also received orders for several more - so as much as I love sunshine, will be happy if it does rain a little so that I can stay inside and work.  Of the recent orders, here are pics of a few of them.  The brief for each of these was interesting to say the least:

The recipient of this card, Philip, has a small herd of sheep, works for a car company and is a Church Warden.  Pretty tricky to combine in one card, but I managed it with a downloaded background of sheep (found this on the Crafts-U-Print site) in a field.  I added a car to the little building in the field, a church in the top right-hand corner and also managed to find a shepherd.

This one was for a lady with the nickname of Queek.  Queek apparently is a shopaholic (oh, I can identify with that), drinks whisky and has a Yorkshire Terrier.  The person who ordered the card wanted a BIG 70 added.

This one is for another whisky lover and I have blanked out the bottle details as it had her name, plus other bits and pieces.

Had one of our great family get-togethers yesterday at my sister's with some of our cousins.  We always have a really good time, we all have a similar sense of humour and as we all lived so close to each other when growing up, we don't have to explain who people are, what particular events were, places we lived, etc.  One of my cousins is a very talented artist and I am trying to convince her to become one of my Friday Guest Bloggers so I can share her work with you.  Fingers crossed this will happen in the not too distant future.

If you would like to be a Friday Guest Blogger, do get in touch:  The topic can be business-related, something you want to talk about/share with others, about your family or pets, I am happy to include non-craft-related posts.  It's a great bit of additional promotion.  You need to be thinking about 600 - 700 words, with 3 or 4 pics (more if your post needs them) and don't forget to add your links: website, blog, Twitter, etc.  Previous Friday Bloggers are very welcome to join in again.

I hope you read last week's post form Jenny who is behind the lovely Rumpy Dog blog posts - they are great and I recommend following the Rumpy Dog blog.  Thank you Jenny for joining the Friday Bloggers Group.

I had an email yesterday from an event organiser in Wallington asking me to take part in a fair in July.  My feeling is that the cost of petrol (it is a 66-mile round-trip), table fees, etc is quite a bit of outlay before selling anything, plus the time the journey would take would make it a very long day.  It would have been nice to attend as we used to live not far from there, but I think travel costs and time are are a big consideration, so sadly I have said no, thank you.

Not too sure where last week went - washed away in all the rain I think, but I need to get a move on during the coming week.  I have an event in Weybridge on Saturday and do not have many cards for sale - although I sometimes raid my wall at Bourne Mill, but would prefer not to do that this time.  So, a week of hard work (well, I can dream).

Have a good week everyone, don't forget to check out the other Handmade Monday bloggers and I will be back on Wednesday.


Friday 20 April 2012


Hi, my name is Jenny, and I'm the creator of, a blog written by a dog for those who love animals.  Through the voices of Rumpy, DeDe, and June Buggie, I share information about a variety of topics of interest to pet owners and animal lovers.

I want to share with you some information that may help you reach out to those of us that love animals.

First of all, why bother?  Well, because there's so darn many of us! In the United States, 62% of households have at least one pet. In the UK, 43% of households have at least one animal companion.

During the recent economic downturn, one industry did not suffer.  What industry was that?  The pet industry of course.  People continued to buy pet food, pet toys, and other pet products.

So there's a lot of folks you could be reaching just by having pet ownership in common.  That's actually how I found Jill's blog.  She had used a picture of her cat as her profile pic on Facebook.  I saw it, thought her cat was quite pretty, and took a look at her profile.  I don't know that I would have done the same if she had a picture of one of her crafts posted. 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you to go animal crazy.  And I certainly don't want you to pretend to love animals if you don't.  There's one thing that animal lovers can spot a mile away, and that's a phony.  But if you do have a beloved furry, feathery or scaly family member, let people know.  Post a picture on your blog or write a blog post.  If you're a crafter, set up a picture in your booth.  If you don't have pets yourself but do love animals, then do some fund raising for pet charities.  Or carry at least one product that has a cute furry little face on it somewhere.

It will endear you to us.  And believe me when I tell you that we're every bit as loyal as the animals we so love.

Thanks everyone, and I hope you come check out my blog at Rumpy Dog

Twitter: @RumpyDog

Wednesday 18 April 2012


Hi everyone

As mentioned in my last post, I received a second Versatile Blogger Award from Dawn Hart.  As all bloggers know, compliments about our blogs are so welcome and very much appreciated.  Thank you Dawn, your blog posts are great.

There is more information on this VBA Blog and the Award Button can be collected from here too.  As before, I had to pass on the Award to another 15, but this time I have limited it to 10 - all great blogs that consist of motivational posts, inspiring posts, new(ish) bloggers, great craft makes and lots of good fun reads.

My Award Nominations are:

Alix of Big Blue Bed
Cory of Coryographies
Jan of Handcrafted by Picto
Mad Imaginations by Maddy
Pete of Bodrighy Wood
Tales of a Twin Mum
The Duchess of Fiddle Fart
Trouble Doubled
Wendy of 1st Unique Gifts

As before, the Award requires me to 'reveal' 7 things about myself, so here goes:

  • I begin my pottery course tomorrow
  • Rushing to get to work (that'll be the day) a few years ago I tripped over my own doorstep and broke my leg
  • I love detective stories
  • I love detective television programmes
  • Pride and Prejudice is my favourite book
  • Mozart and Mercury are tops in my 'musicians' list
  • I am addicted to blogging
Off to advise the above recipients of their Award.  Hope you all enjoy the rest of this week.  Don't forget to visit on Friday for my guest blog post - I know you will love it.


Sunday 15 April 2012


Hello everyone

Do you find that no matter how much you plan to do you never ever achieve half or even any of it?  I am pretty bad at not writing down what I should do (sometimes I do and the rest of the time I forget to!) - would it make things more achievable if I was confronted (or frightened) with a list of urgent, must-do's?

I had planned to attend the RSPCA Car Boot Sale at Chobham today (as a seller) and managed to come up with all manner of excuses not to do so!  Too cold, too windy, ground too wet, not enough 'stuff' to sell, too many other things to do - so almost needless to say, I still have the boxes of books, plates, other bits and pieces of china sitting in my hallway!  Do I feel guilty?  A little, but in the immortal words of Scarlett, tomorrow is another day - or another car boot sale if I can find one.  I think in future I am not going to say 'I plan to do...........', think I will change it to 'I hope to do...........' - perhaps that way I won't feel so disappointed when things I want to do don't get done.

I was very pleased to have been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award this week - not once, but twice.  How complimentary is that.  The first time by Rachel of the House of Pinheiro - thank you Rachel.  I went on to nominate 15 other lovely bloggers - so please do check out my Wednesday Post as I am sure some of you Handmade Monday peeps do not yet realise you are one of my nominated Versatile Blogger's too.  I did post a note on all of the blogs involved, but think some of them may have been missed.  My second Award came from Dawn Hart who writes some really great posts and I recommend reading them - thank you for my award Dawn.  In the tradition of the Versatile Blogger Award, I will be nominating another 15 bloggers in my Wednesday post.

Still on the past week, I hope you have all read about Chester and Taffy's cake-making event in my Friday Guest post by Alison of Fiddly Fingers.  On Handmade Monday posts, we have met Chester but can now see what a very versatile cat he is - I can see Alison will have to hire him out as a chef.  Thank you for joining in with the Guest Blog spot, Alison, your tale (or is that tail?) and pics are great.  Alison will be guest-blogging again for me, so keep an eye out for another great post.  As always, if you have a story, topic, new range that you would like to write about/promote, do join in the Friday Guest Blog Spot - contact me on

The dreaded lurgy has struck in Christmas Pie - you know the one that men get soooo much worse than women?  Richard has a cold and a really grim cough - not sure who gets woken up at night with it the most, him or me, or the neighbourhood!  As you can imagine, his ailment is verging on double (perhaps triple) pneumonia.  How lucky we are not to suffer as much as men do!  However, having sounded very unsympathetic, he is quite poorly - or so he keeps telling me.

I haven't completed all of my card orders yet, will post pics as soon as I have.  However, another order placed this week is making me wonder whether Surrey is becoming the English home of Whiskey drinkers!  A second order for a card for someone who likes their Whiskey.  Oh well, as long as these Whiskey-lovers like my cards, I don't mind what their tipple is.

Before I forget - a cat update: Shadow is doing very well and adapting to life without his left leg.  He has had all of his stitches out and has settled into his new home very well - he will be kept in for a very long time though.  Jazz is doing well and still keeps holding up his paw!  Boy, what an attention seeker!

It is Handmade Monday time and in addition to my card orders, I have also begun to add to my other 'new' ranges - still working on what and how and where and why, but I am pleased with this particular one and feel that it would look good in other colours.  I have already bought some gold, pink and lime green material in preparation for my next makes.  I have bound the heart-shape with gorgeous dark red chiffon material strips, then with thin dark red ribbon and finally I added two roses.

Despite the cold and the wind, I am back out to do some gardening - everything grows faster at this time of year than I can keep up with.  The weeds that I looked at last week and thought 'oh I will deal with them next week' now resemble trees!  OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I am sure the gardeners among you know what I mean.

I will be back on Wednesday with my mid-week post to which I will add my list of 15 gorgeous bloggers that I am passing on the Versatile Blogger Award (VBA) too.

Have fun everyone - don't forget to visit the other bloggers taking part in Handmade Monday this week and also the blogs of those  nominated for the VBA this week.


Friday 13 April 2012


Alison Willcocks of Fiddly Fingers - this a a great post and I know you will all love Chester and Taffy.

Hello, my name is Alison aka Fiddly Fingers!  My first love is crochet but I also love crafts of any kind.  I sell some of my work at local craft fairs but at the moment I am devoting my time to developing my Extreme Crochet Workshops.  I will soon be selling Extreme Crochet kits so if you can’t get to a workshop down in Devon you can always have a try yourself at home.  If you would like to know more why not pop over to my blog and find out what Extreme Crochet is all about!  Hope you enjoy my post.  Look forward to hearing what you think!

Big Chef, Little Chef
A birthday surprise for mum!

First, I think I ought to introduce you to the stars of this tale.  I would like you to meet Taffy.  

Taffy is the first bear I crocheted.  He is crocheted from pure welsh wool – hence the name Taffy.  He often comes with us on our walks and gets up to all sorts of mischief, the adventures of which can be found over on my blog.

I would also like to introduce you to Chester.

He is an extremely large amigurumi cat, crocheted on a 12mm hook with 5 strands of yarn throughout.  You can find out how I made him, on the Chester page over on my blog.

It was my birthday on Tuesday so Taffy and Chester decided they would bake me a birthday cake!  

They added flour and butter to the bowl but Taffy seems to have more flour on him than in the bowl!

Having added the sugar already they then needed to add the eggs.  This proved a little more difficult than they thought! 

Oh no Taffy!  You dropped an egg!  What a mess!

Not to worry!  Give it a good mix Chester, perhaps Taffy can give it one final stir at the end. 

This cake is coming along nicely, mum will be pleased!  What are you doing now Taffy?  No, don’t lean over too far Taffy!  Now look what’s happened! 

Look at the mess you two have made!  Although between you and me, Taffy seems to have made most of it!  I think it’s about time we got that cake in the oven! 

 After a bit of a clean up and popping the cake in the oven it was finally ready for tasting.  I think you’ll agree Taffy and Chester have made a really good job of it – in the end! 

I’d just like to say a big thank you to Christmas Pie Crafts for inviting me as a Guest Blogger this Friday.  I often enjoy reading the Friday Guest Blogs and love to keep up to date with the beautiful creations CPC’s makes.

Tuesday 10 April 2012


Hi everyone

I had a lovely comment on my Sunday/Monday post this week - Rachel at House of Pinheiro has given me the Award of Versatile Blogger.  Thank you Rachel.  I think it is a great compliment to receive awards from fellow bloggers, particularly fellow crafting bloggers.  There is more information on this Blog about the Award and you can also collect your Award Blog Button .

I had to chose 15 bloggers to pass the Award on to and the decision-making part was incredibly hard to do - there are so many fantastic blogs that I have come across, read, followed and commented on that to keep it to 15 was difficult.  Now if it had been 50, no problem at all, although I have a feeling I could add many more than 50.  I apologise if I have missed out a great blogger, but as each person I have given this award to has to pass it on to another 15, you may be one of that group.  Good luck.

My nominations are:

Carol's Ditty Kingdom
Dragonfly Jersey
Fiddly Fingers
Handbags by Helen
Hannah Blavins
Jam Dalory
Little Harriet
Mad Dog Woman of Shackleford
Pickle Lily
Planet Penny
Raindrops 'n' Roses
Rumpy Dog
You Love It You Do

The reasons for my 15 are that each blog post these bloggers 'create' is great fun to read, often inspirational, always full of news and most (not all are crafting blogs) contain pictures and details of beautiful work that the blog owner has made during the previous week; some contain pictures of the blog owner's gorgeous animal(s) and some are interesting posts about life and how the blogger sees it.  I have also included one fairly new blog, which has got off to a great start.  Some of you already have this Award, but hey, you can never have too many awards, can you?  Thank you all for being part of my blogging world and enabling me to be part of yours.

In addition to nominating other blogs, I also have to add 7 things about myself to the blog of the person who nominated me.  I am off do to that in a moment, but have added them here too:

  • I love strong, bright colours - both in my garden, my home and in my craft work 
  • I am a big fan of Christopher Lloyd and the gorgeous planting schemes he used
  • I am a big fan of John Brookes and once met him in his garden (I was on a garden design course at the time)
  • I love going to the theatre and don't go as much as I would like to
  • I read anywhere and everywhere and always have 2 or 3 books on the go at any one time, plus craft books open at various pages
  • I love New York
  • Something you may not know, I love cats - kept that well hidden didn't I :)
Enjoy your Award everyone - I will be visiting your blog today to let you know about the Award.  


Sunday 8 April 2012


Hi everyone

Oh, it has been sooo hard not to pop a gorgeous chunky chocolate-filled chocolate Easter egg into my shopping trolley!  I am trying (slowly it seems) to lose weight and I know that one chocolate egg would be the beginning of slipping down the slippery slope of the return to chocaholicism (think that's the correct spelling).  Alas poor chocolate, I knew you well - very well in fact.

Happy Easter everyone - I hope the weather has been kind to you and you have been able to spend time with friends a family.

What sad weather it has been this weekend - yesterday in Christmas Pie it was dull, dreary and chilly.  Today started off with rain, then the sun came out and quickly rushed back in again.  Tomorrow is forecast for non-stop rain - I know we need it, but my weeds don't as they certainly manage very well without anything liquid.

I had several card orders this week.  One was for a card someone who likes their whiskey and also Zambucca - hopefully not at the same time or in the same glass.  Another was for someone who likes gardening - plenty of scope for that one.  However, another one is intended for someone who makes really beautiful greetings cards - no pressure then.  I love getting orders for unusual cards, even the ones that prove hard to produce designs for - very challenging and they do provide ideas and inspiration for other cards.  I will be adding them to my blog as I get them all completed.

A friend of mine is organising a flower show in May and my bags are going to be on sale at the show.  I don't need to be there as it is not a 'stalls for hire' event (although I will go as a visitor I think), but she will do the selling for me - what a star. I decided I would make a range that are floral-themed and as I have begun work on them I have included some pics here:

I used silver mirror-card (or mirri-card depending on where you buy it) for this one and added a floral embellishment.  I used part of the back of the embellishment pack to decorate the gift card.

Papermania flowers were used for this, I added dark pink glitter to the centre of each flower  I placed butterflies in the centre of the design and also to decorate the gift card.  Daisy sets the pic off quite nicely too.

A poor pic, but I wanted to include this as the colour of the mirror/mirri-card is gorgeous.  Again, I added a small spray of flowers and a butterfly.

I have a few weeks before the bags are needed, so I will continue to work on making some floral-decorated ones.

Lots of lovely new followers this week on my blog and Twitter - thank you all, and thank you to everyone who comments on my posts and my guest bloggers posts.  I know it can be hard work keeping up with everyone's blogs, but all comments appreciated very much.  Have you read Eva's Friday Guest blog post about Budapest?  It certainly sounds and looks a lovely place for a holiday.  There are some more 'places' posts coming up over the next few weeks, so don't forget to check in each week and if you have a project, place or something about your business that you would like to talk about, do get in touch at  Don't forget to check out the LOVE UK CRAFTERS initiative that Popular Crafts are promoting - my Wednesday blog of last week referred to this and also included a reference to a report produced by the Crafts Council that is worth reading.

It's that time of the week when my fellow crafting bloggers will be posting their lovely makes from last week - and adding their words of wisdom too, so don't forget to visit Handmade Monday and while you are there, click on the link to Wendy's Handmade Harbour - lots of helpful advice and information for everyone involved in the handmade world.

I hope you enjoy the rest of Easter everyone - I will be back on Wednesday with my usual mid-week catch-up post.


Friday 6 April 2012


Eva Godden writing about


This old, faded beauty, Budapest will always surprise you with its fantastic cultural events, fabulous architecture, basilicas, churches, magnificent museums, spas, and vibrant nightlife.  The Budapest Music Festival is one of Europe's largest events, with over 200 annual events.  Performances are held throughout the year and a wide range of mediums are represented: classical music, operas, operettas, jazz and rock concerts.  In summer time when the weather is predictable, you can dine al fresco, book for an open-air opera, or the dance, and jazz at Margaret Island.

Margaret Island

Scenic Boat Trips on the majestic Danube are always a pleasure and make a memorable evening.  You can choose to visit Esztergom or Visegrád. Both have famous basilicas, medieval castles, plenty of atmosphere and fabulous panoramic views.  All boat excursions depart from Vigadó Square and you can take trips for one-hour, half a day or a whole day.

Visegrád is about a two hours up the river and it is as scenic, as you would expect. Once there, you can climb up to the top of the Castle and admire the views below as you see the river bends winding into the distance.

Our terrace view

Esztergom is a further hour on and has one of the largest basilicas in Europe: a place that has witnessed many kings' coronations.  It is an important testimony to Hungarian history witnessing many bloody wars and miraculously it is still standing today.  Take a rest after admiring the enormous dome and beautiful frescos by visiting one of the many local restaurants to sample the fish soup, followed by sweet cheese pancakes.  You will like the bill, as you will eat for less as Hungary is still the cheapest place to eat in Europe, a mid-range restaurant will set you back around £8-10 per head.

After you have exhausted yourself site seeing, you will probably want to relax next day at one of the famous Gellért or the Széchenyi spa baths.  Their water has healing properties and combined with a good massage will surely revive you. The Gellért spa has artificial waves and a vaulted glass roof, which opens in the summer, was built in the Neo-Classical style in 1918.  Széchenyi is a neo-baroque building, built in 1913; its thermals springs have been bubbling up since 1879, and is the deepest and warmest of the many spas.

The City's transport system is good.  You can purchase a one-week passport on your arrival at the airport or buy them individually. The 'Hop On and Off' buses, which represent excellent value - around £15 per person for a 24 hour unlimited, travel ticket with guided tours included.

As prices are reasonable, you can buy a five 'puttonyos' Tokaj (Hungary's most famous wine) and enjoy it with Russian caviar!  Yes, you can afford it!  Nothing quite beats sipping on the terrace overlooking the river with the sun going down.

Al fresco lunch on our terrace

There are hundreds of self-catering apartments with varied quality and huge price differences, so you need to consider carefully, where to stay.  The first thing you should ask yourself: ‘What factors are important to having a wonderful holiday?’ If your tick box is looking, something like the one below, your choice has narrowed considerably.  If you would like to have a Rolls-Royce version of a luxury stay, a  terrace for sun bathing and al fresco dining in privacy, combined with panoramic views over the Buda Hills and the Royal Palaces, ultra modern furnishings, spa and gym, secure car parking, European TV channels including English ones, WiFi, 24 hours concierge.  Well, you see what I mean. This is our Penthouse Paradise apartment’s description and we are very proud to present it to our guests.  

However, if you only wish to focus on the ‘touristy bits’, you will have plenty of choices. In any case, make sure that you have enough information about the apartment before you rent it: its exact location, services, number of beds, bathrooms etc.  Does any of your party expect to sleep in the lounge on an open sofa bed?  Does it have a lift?  Yes, many old buildings have no lifts, if it only has two flights of stairs!  This is why I suggest having a ‘shopping list’ in mind as it will be easier to choose just the right apartment.

Royal Castle – Chain Bridge – Parliament at Night

However, you will have fun in this city.  To me, it is never boring, and takes me by surprise every time I visit this unique city.  I am, of course, biased my dear Reader, because Budapest is my birthplace.

I urge you to choose to visit Budapest, as it will change your concept of ‘Eastern Europe’.  I wish you an unforgettable stay in Budapest!  If you need any help regarding anything connected with travel to Budapest, just email or call me, I am happy to help.  There is so much more to tell you about this incredibly beautiful place.  I am always at the end of the phone and delighted to help with any travel tips.


Details information:
Mobile: 07816 605362
Twitter: @EvaGodden

Wednesday 4 April 2012


Hi everyone

My mid-week post is normally a catch-up about what has been happening in Christmas Pie Crafts since the last time I put fingers to keyboard, but this time it is different.  My favourite craft magazine, Popular Crafts, has this week launched an initiative to promote and support UK Crafters - the initiative is called LOVE UK CRAFTERS and you can read about it via this link.

The aim of LOVE UK CRAFTERS is to support and promote the wonderful handmade work that is not only part of this country's heritage, but also part of its future; a major part, as UK consumers are looking more and more for quality products and in particular quality handmade products that are made in the UK.  The majority of handmade items are made by small one-person companies - that one person has skills that they have inherited, improved, adapted, learnt and used to create the beautiful items that we all see at fairs, open days and craft events and in various online stores.  A good example of the work made in the UK can be seen in the fantastic range of items that are displayed every week in the Handmade Monday blogging event.

What better time to promote and be proud of our work than during the year we are hosting the Olympics and celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - not only a  good year to promote our work to everyone in the UK, but to everyone who will be visiting our shores over the next few months.  Good things come in threes, so we must be the third good thing this year.

The Crafts Council have a very interesting report on their website called Consuming Craft: the contemporary craft market in a changing economy.  It is a lengthy, but very interesting, report and of particular interest was the fact that 40% of adults in England (16.9 million people) have purchased a craft object and a further 23% (9.6 million people) would consider buying a craft object.  Combined, these indicate a total market for handmade craft of 63% of all adults in England.  So who are we looking to for sales?  The 40% who do buy (clearly they know how good our work is) or the 23% who might buy?  Or should we be looking at the 37% of people who neither buy nor consider buying handmade?

With the support of the LOVE UK CRAFTERS initiative handmade artists can support others as well as promote their work.  Katherine Jewitt, the Editor of Popular Crafts is producing a list of ways we can help each other and ourselves to a very successful handmade 2012 and one quick and easy way of doing something now is to send Katherine a pic of a piece of your work along with a description of no more than 140 characters  - check here for full details.

Enjoy the rest of the week everyone - I hope that if it snows where you are, that it doesn't lie around for too long.


Sunday 1 April 2012


Hi everyone

What a fabulous week it has been.  Who could have guessed that the last week of March could have resembled the first week of July (well some July’s in England that is).  Unfortunately, a bit of a blip occurred yesterday as it was rather chilly, but spring is here so surely more good weather to come, fingers crossed.  However, I am now updating my post as it was thick frost this morning when I got up!  Er, who left the freezer door open?  All change, as I am finishing off this post, the sun is shining again - but please tell me I misheard the weather forecast that there is a possibility of snow?

It has been a great week for lots of small businesses that took part and were successful in Theo Paphitis’ Small Business Sunday (#SBS) activity on Twitter.  Well done to Handmade Monday’s Wendy for being one of the stars – well deserved recognition.  It’s lovely to see all of the new pics on Twitter of winners displaying their certificate while standing next to Mr P.  Well done everyone.  I take part in the SBS tweeting every week, but know that I need to get a move on with my website to have any chance of being noticed.

Despite my week beginning with sad news about cats, it finished on a high as our vet rang us early yesterday morning to give us the good news that Jazz’s trotter problem was due to a deep-rooted infection and nothing more sinister – yippee!  Shadow is also getting more mobile and thank you everyone for your good wishes for both cats.

We have been ‘on leave’ the last few days of the week (Richard took some time off of work) and the good weather has helped us get lots of work completed in the garden – sunshine is such a motivator.  We took some time out to go to the flicks – haven’t been for ages - and saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel..We went to one of the afternoon shows and there were about 12 people in the cinema!  A lovely film – bound to be with such a great cast.

I am lucky to live very near to the RHS gardens at Wisley and frequently wander around the grounds with a fellow gardening friend – we have actually been locked in twice!  The same friend and I went to an evening event at Wisley about 10 days ago and as always we spent more time nattering than buying – probably not such a bad thing really, but I did buy two lots of seed potatoes.  We are off to Chelsea next month, tickets ordered and on their way to us.  A fantastic show and the highlight will always be that a few years ago Alan Titchmarsh said ‘hello’ to my friend during our visit!  Needless to say, he is her BFF and gardening guru.

As mentioned in my mid-week post, my week also included a lovely ‘win’ of a bookcase necklace and teapot earrings from Cory of Coryographies.  Cory also had some good news to share this week as her jewellery will soon be on sale in a shop in Islington.  Well done Cory, I am sure it will be a great success.  Here is a pic of my winnings – aren’t they cute?

I hope you all managed to get a chance to drop in to read Friday’s guest blogger’s post?  Caroline (Caroleecrafts) wrote a great article about the importance and value of Market Research.  If you want to join in the Friday Guest Blogger spot, it would be lovely to have your company and craft and non-craft related posts are welcome.  Get in touch on

I also took part in guest blogging this week on Lesley Beeton’s, Mad Woman of Shackleford blog – thank you Lesley for the invitation to be a guest blogger.  It was nice to recall the 'fun' bits of being a cat-owner.  Yes, it’s another cat story, but it’s a funny one so I hope you enjoy it and I do recommend you spend some time reading Lesley's other posts - all great reads.

We are rushing towards Handmade Monday – another week that has whizzed by.  Is it an age thing, or is the pace of life is so much faster now?  Whilst I am not quite near to completing my website ready for it to 'go live', I have been working on the different ranges to be included on said website.  One of them is decorated gift bags.  These had their first outing at the fair in Godalming I attended, and they proved to be very popular.  They are also on sale on my wall at Bourne Mill.  Within the range are single bags, bags with a matching gift card, and bags with a matching gift card and greetings card.  This is one of my favourites - the colours are lovely and the paper was a freebie wallpaper sample.

Time to go and enjoy some sunshine before it disappears, plus I have seeds to sew and weeds to pull - why is it that very little weather-wise affects the growth and spread of weeds!

As always, thank you to everyone who comments on my posts (and on my guest blogger's posts too); I love to read your comments and feedback is always welcome.  With that in mind, don't forget to visit the other bloggers taking part in Handmade Monday - I always look forward to see what goodies everyone has made each week and reading their posts

Have fun everyone - I will be back on Wednesday.