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Wednesday 27 November 2013


Hello everyone

Boy, is my face red!  yes, I know that is very hard to see on the face of a black and white cat, but believe me it is.  I forgot to write my diary last week.  Did you miss me?  I was soooo busy that the week just disappeared.

Having missed a week, I didn't get around to telling you about the four foster kittens we have: Emily, Lisa, Jen and Lois.  No photographs yet because Jill says they are just like all the kittens she has fostered, they won't keep still long enough to have a picture taken!  They are sisters, ten weeks old and there are three ginger and white ones and a tortoiseshell one.  As always, Jill says they are very cute, but I don't know about that because as you all know, there is only one cute cat in the world: me!

It's getting very cold here and I am really pleased when it is time to come into the warm after a day spent playing, chasing and rushing around.  However, it doesn't stop me from rushing out again in the morning - I have been collecting feathers and bringing them in.  Although they disappear very quickly and as this has happened before, I think someone here doesn't like pigeon or magpie feathers dropped on them.  No sense of fun and I did hear Jill say something about making a wreath with feathers - not pigeon or magpie feathers  apparently.

It's late, it's dark and I am hungry so nipping off now for my tea.  I promise not to forget to write my diary next week and I will get Jill to include a photograph of 'our' foster kittens.

Have fun everyone.


Sunday 24 November 2013


Hello everyone

It has been a lovely day here, chilly but reasonably bright and we had a little sunshine.  It was rumoured that snow was likely to fall this weekend, so no snow means happy days.

Many thanks for everyone who visited and commented on my blog post of last Sunday and my apologies for not returning the compliment to everyone who dropped in.  It has been hectic here and as anyone who is involved in selling knows this is just the beginning of the 'mad time'.  That time of year when everyone, yes us included, realises that time is slipping away and very soon it will be last posting time and the shops are shut and it is too late to get that last present you wanted to buy.

However, before that happens we still have lots of making and selling time, so all is not lost.  Five of my fellow stall holders from the Secretts three-day event have opened our Christmas Emporium; which is based in the Secretts Christmas Marquee.  Yesterday was our first day and for me it was very successful - much better than day one of last year's Christmas Shop.  We have arranged a rota between so that we don't have to do every day and today was my first free day - boy was I glad of some time at home as I had a large order to sort out and get ready for collection from the Emporium tomorrow.

A short post today as I have some hearts to decorate for tomorrow as I only have one of my large willow ones left for sale.  Have a great week everyone, don't forget to visit the other bloggers taking part in Handmade Monday and if you are local to Milford, Surrey, please come along  to the Christmas Emporium.  Not everyone is selling handmade goodies and I am sharing my spot with my cake-making friend, but there are lots of lovely things to see (and buy of course)

See you next week


Monday 18 November 2013


Hello everyone

We all know that the weekend begins on Friday and finishes with a relaxing day on Sunday - well most weekends that is.  Mine began almost at the crack of dawn on Friday setting  up my spot at Secretts Christmas Fair and finished at 4.00 pm on Sunday.  Those of you who do fairs know the drill, you take time and care when setting up and then it's a mad rush to put everything away as quickly as possible when the doors close.

It was a great fair for me and I almost doubled my takings of last year.  I think it was because I had extended my range of makes/items for sale this year to include my jute bags, more wreaths, gift bags and other Christmas decorations.  I had a great time, met some lovely new crafters, one in particular was Cathie Brooks who has seven cats!  As you can imagine we had lots in common.  Cathie very kindly gave me a bag of knitted catnip balls to pass on to my cats and foster kittens as well as some other lucky kittens and cats currently being fostered by Woking Cats Protection.  Thank you Cathie - look forward to seeing you during my time in the Christmas Emporium at Secretts.

I took some photographs of my stand, but think that must have been just after the mulled wine!  A couple of them look a little fuzzy but here are two that seem to be clear:

A photograph of one of the willow heart wreath I decorated - very pleased to say these proved to be popular so I will be decorating some more.

It is always interesting talking to other stallholders to get their impression of the event.  Some said seem quieter than last year, some said it was busier, some did better last year, some not as good.  It was a very well organised event and although very cold on Saturday, we were warmed up with supplies of mulled wine and free tea and coffee.  The only thing I would change is the name of the event - it is promoted as a food and craft event, but although plenty of food is available, not all stalls are selling craft work.  Perhaps food, craft and gift fair would be more appropriate.

Day off today and then back on the mad working treadmill tomorrow.  Back to Secretts on Friday to set up for the month-long Christmas Emporium event.  This is great fun, with six stallholders taking part selling a mix of gifts, craft and food.  If you are local or live nearby why not come along and see us.

Off to check out Handmade Monday now - I am running late this week.  It's a bit lastminutejilldotcom here.  Thank you everyone who visited my blog last week and left me lovely comments.  have a great week everyone.


Wednesday 13 November 2013


Hello everyone

It seems to be panic, panic, panic here at the moment.  Jill is getting ready for her three-day event at the Secretts Christmas Fair this weekend, Richard is on leave and wants to relax and our home looks like a warehouse!  I have asked Jill if it really is only three days she is getting ready for.

Very, very frosty here and I have never been out before in frosty weather, neither have Poppy and Coco.  We all spent last winter as inside kittens, so this cold wet stuff on our paws feels very odd.  As it is wet stuff and I don't do wet, I think I will be inside today making sure I keep warm and possibly snuggling up to Jazz.  Daisy is very sensible, she stays in as much as possible in the cold weather.

It's a very short post this week as Jill is telling me she needs 'my' laptop.  Cheeky devil.  I am off to find a warm spot to snooze in, but I will be back next week.  have a good week everyone - keep warm.


Sunday 10 November 2013


Hello everyone

As it says on the packet above, it's all go here and exhausting too.  I know it is the same for everyone involved in any sort of business at this time of year, but those of us involved in the world of handmade know that it seems to be doubly exhausting.

I took part in my last wedding fayre of the year today and have five quotations to prepare and hopefully future contact from people who said 'I'll be in touch'.  I know we all hear that occasionally, but the optimist in me is hopeful.

The weather here today has been lovely - I was hopeful that the good weather would bring the brides out and I wasn't disappointed.  Lots of other lovely wedding sellers, but the most eye-catching was a wedding cake stand (they always catch my eye) and here are photographs of two of the gorgeous creations by Alexander Taylor that were on display at today's fayre - what a talented person he is:

A burger, hot dog, box of fries and a coke.  I wouldn't want to cut into it.  The designs are so out of the ordinary, you couldn't fail to be amazed by them.

Love and peace man - a Sixties themed cake.  Incredible!

Alexander's wife and her father were on duty today and as you can imagine there was a lot of interest in their stand.  The best bit was seeing the look of 'I don't believe it' on visitors faces.

I had planned to make an all white range of wedding stationery for today and I managed to make some of the range.  My thanks to Jan of Handcrafted by Picto for the suggestion to have a red trim.  A great idea and I did just that using burgundy velvet ribbon and diamante embellishments.  Here is a photograph of them - not very good because the lighting at the event wasn't great:

In the Christmas Pie Crafts workshop, I have been back on the make, label and pack treadmill.  The fear of not having enough stock is hanging over me: have I got enough of this, should I make more of that, will they sell.  I am sure my fellow handmade business people know this feeling.

I bought four heart-shaped willow wreaths recently and have decorated each them in a different way.  The light has gone now and I cannot photograph them, but will do so during the week and post them on my blog next Sunday.

This time next week, I will be breaking down my stand following my three-day event at Secretts Garden Centre - I am looking forward to it (and feeling nervous about it too) and will be making stock up to the very last moment (probably during the event too), but there is that 'oh dear, I hope my things sell' feeling, and I will let you know next week how the event went.

Back to the treadmill now, but before I go don't forget to visit the bloggers taking part in Handmade Monday and a big thank you to everyone from last week's linky party who visited my blog and commented - always appreciated.

I have had a couple of people say they are interested in being a Friday Guest Blogger - that would be lovely and I look forward to you joining in, can you email me on and we can arrange dates, etc?

Have a good week everyone - Milly will be here on Wednesday and I will be back next Sunday.


Wednesday 6 November 2013


Hello everyone

Grey and soggy weather here, not good weather for cats.  Lots of leaves to collect and chase, but not many feathers to bring indoors at the moment.  Perhaps all the birds are wise to me and hide when I go outside.

The good news of the week is that Rosie and Violet have been re-homed.  A lovely family came to see them on Saturday and on Monday Rosie and Violet were taken to their new home.  We will miss them (well, I might not miss them all of the time) but I know they will be very happy with their new family.  Jill said there will soon be more kittens here, so I will be able to pull faces at them through the door.

This time last year I was a foster kitten here and it's quite hard to remember what that was like, because when I moved in I became the Boss Cat!  Despite being rather small I am in charge; I tell the other Pie cats what to do, push them out of the way if they dare to move in on my food bowl and I make sure I get all the comfortable snoozing spots everywhere - preferably on a lap.  However, I do remember what it was like to not have a home or have any idea where one might be found for me and there are lots of cats and kittens out there in the same position.  If you love cats and would like to adopt one, please visit the Woking Cats Protection website and have a look at the gorgeous cats and kittens (although not quite as gorgeous as me) who are looking for homes.  You can tell them that Milly sent you.

Don't forget to make sure your cats are kept in at night - particularly at the moment with these weird things around called bonfires and fireworks.  Not too sure what they are, but Jill and Richard have told us that they can be dangerous.

Have a good week everyone - see you next Wednesday.


Sunday 3 November 2013


Hello everyone

How are you?  I hope you survived the storm of last Sunday night/Monday morning.  Quite a few trees were uprooted around here, but as far as I know no damage sustained by homes or people and no loss of power.  I know there are lots of moans and groans about the 'event' being over-dramatised by the media, possibly because it was under-dramatised back in 1987.  It, did, however give us a chance to prepare for potential problems.  Because of past bad weather, loss of power, etc some time ago we invested in a generator - it's a small one, but at least it means we are not lit just by candle-power during the frequent power-cuts we have.  It was interesting to see people in supermarkets shopping as though they were never ever going to be able to get to a food shop again!

An event free weekend, thank goodness, but the last one for a long time - I think my next event-free weekend is the one after Christmas.  After my three-day Christmas Fayre at Secretts Garden Centre, I am
having space in the Christmas Emporium  (doesn't that sound good?) and on Friday of last week, Linda (who shares the after-three-day-event space with me) and I attended a lunch and meeting with our fellow emporium-ists to review the floor plan, marketing and promotion, duty rota and all the other little bits and pieces that needed to be dealt with.  We may all have different products to sell (not all handmade) and certainly we all have different ideas, viewpoints and plans, but we all want to sing from the same song sheet throughout the event.  We talked about having Christmas carols playing when we were open - perhaps we could form a singing group?  Uhm, perhaps not.

This week I have made what seems like 100's of mini cards, some more jute bags (one which has a lovely owl as the design) and loads of Christmas cards - no photographs unfortunately as I am pricing and packing them as soon as I have made them.  I already have 4 large cardboard boxes full of stock and that's without all the loose piles of things everywhere, the large laundry bags full of table and wall coverings, bags and all the other things needed at an event, and the tables, racks, etc.   Thank goodness Secretts is near to me as I have a feeling it might involve at least a couple of trips to offload what I need for just the three-day event, let alone the longer one afterwards.

Now it is back to make, label, pack and even more make, label and pack,  A little light relief from making Christmas stock is my final wedding fayre of the year at the Old Thorns Hotel, which takes place next Sunday.  I haven't done a wedding fayre this late in the year and I am wondering if it will be as busy as those I have attended recently.  I want to make one completely brand new range in all white with a ribbon trim - haven't decided on the colour yet, hope to have photographs for you next week.

Thank you everyone who visited my blog last week and an extra special thank you to those who commented - I love feedback, its always helpful and often gives me ideas of things I need to change and/or new things to make.  Don't forget to drop in on this week's Handmade Monday blog party and read what everyone has been up to during the past week - lots of lovely Christmas makes are appearing each week.

If you would like to be a guest blogger, now is a great time to join in.  You may have events or a new product range that you want to bring to peoples attention - how about a blog post here?  Get in touch if you would like to join in or would like more information.

Have a great week - see you next Sunday