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Sunday 30 November 2014


Hello everyone

I bet the title of this blog post sums up how many of you are feeling?  I know Christmas only happens once a year and I know it only lasts for a short period of time, but I also know the whole world goes potty at this time of year and shops as if the world is about to end (or the supermarkets are closing down for good).  Trying to keep on top of everything is almost impossible and if one more person asks me if I have finished my Christmas shopping yet, I will not be responsible for my actions!  Despite organising craft & gift events and about to take part in some, I have to admit to not having bought any presents yet.  It gets harder each year to know what to give people that is different from what I gave them last year, finding something they will like and something that doesn't require a second mortgage to buy (or make) it.

I hoisted the Godalming Bazaar banner outside of the Borough Hall for the last event of this year, stood back to check all was okay only to see that the date I had put on said 6 December 2015!  I am taking bookings for next year, but think my banner advertising is a little premature.  

Over the next two weeks I have two events I am organising/managing and three events I am taking part in - one is a two-day fair.  My last event takes place on 14 December and my plan for the following day is to sleep for 24 hours or do I mean days?

I dropped into the Normandy Scouts Christmas Fair this afternoon - very busy and clearly very well supported by mums, dads, sisters, brothers and other relatives.  A wide variety of items for sale: cakes, cards, fruit, vegetables, jewellery, etc.   My cake-making friend was taking part and her cheese scones looked very tempting.

Back to work now, more bags to decorate, more wreaths to make and if time permits, scented candles to make too.  I made the following wreath yesterday and although the ribbon is dark green, it seems to have taken on the blue colour of the butterflies when photographed, and also when viewed in natural light.  Very unusual.

I am joining up with Handmade Monday this week and look forward to seeing how the crafting bloggers are doing with their Christmas work.  I must try to get back into the blogging habit - I do enjoy it, but it does seem to make its way frequently to the bottom of the To-Do's that are in my head.  
Have a good week everyone - if you live in or near to Godalming, it would be lovely to see you at the Bazaar next Saturday and don't forget this is Small Business Saturday, so a great opportunity to support lots of local small businesses.


Sunday 26 October 2014


Hello everyone

With the clocks going backwards, it really does feel like winter now - such a long time to spring.  I understand we are going to have some nice weather over the next few days with unusually high temperatures for this time of year, so all is not yet lost.

How has your week been?  I know for all small businesses, particularly those of us in the world of handmade, this time of year is really hectic.  It's that time of  'I can leave that for a few days' and then realise that was not the best decision to have made.  It's a time when two (or more?) pairs of hands would be good, as well as 48-hour days and, of course, not having anything else to do other than create.

I have split my time this week between event organisation and making stock for my forthcoming events.  Really could have done with one or two 48-hour days or preferably two pairs of hands.

Here is one of my completed wreaths.  It has 11 metres of burgundy-coloured velvet ribbon wrapped the polystyrene ring and a gorgeous glittery peacock fixed to the bottom.  I am not too sure whether (and what) to add to the wreath or just leave it with the peacock adorning it.  I am happy as it it, but do wonder if it is a little bare.

On the event organisation side of my life, I have an Early Christmas Bazaar taking place in the Tongham Village Hall on 1 November and this coming week will see me out delivering flyers, putting up posters and banners and hoping the weather stays good until after next Saturday.  This is anew venue for me, so am anxious about it being successful.  I am always anxious about any of the events I organise, but a new place brings with it new challenges and they are often very ahrd to manage.  I tell myself it is all part of life's rich pattern (although the pattern is sometimes not my choice).

A short post this week as it is back to work and finishing off some more wreaths.  I hope you all have a good week and don't forget to drop in on my fellow crafting bloggers taking part in this week's Handmade Monday.

Monday 20 October 2014


Hello everyone

Where does the time go?  Do you find that at this time of year the days and weeks disappear much faster than in the summer?  I seem to have so much work-in-progress (WIP) or is it that I just start too many things that I use WIP as an excuse?

I seem to spend a lot of time running to keep up, trying to remember all of the things I have to do, and thinking of all the new things I really must try when I have the time!  It could be that I still suffer from the disease I suffered from when I was a wage slave - an inability to say 'no, I really don't have the time to do that'.  I used to say 'yes, I can do that' and then panic because I knew I was over-committed.  Now, I still have a problem saying no, but justify it by telling myself it is okay because it is my own business that might suffer if I say no.  Oh dear, will I never learn?

The good news for me is that I have actually made (or begun to make) some stock for the events I am taking part in as an exhibitor - and I have really enjoyed getting back in the crafting saddle again.  Yes, it is still work-in-progress, but hey everything has to have a beginning, middle and end.

My trusty glue-gun was used for this - holds the large gold Poinsettia in place and also the fabric centre I added to it.  I still have work to do on this wreath, but at the moment I am not too sure what other embellishments I will add.

More work-in-progress and no, not the beginning of the five Olympic rings.  These have been covered in ribbon and one has had string wrapped around it too.  I have lots of embellishments to add, just need to plan the design.

I had planned to write this blog post yesterday, but WIP got in the way!  The usual things that always take longer than planned: cars to garages for MOTs and repairs, kittens to cuddle, cats to feed and also cuddle, plants to plant out ready for winter and spring, plants to bring into the greenhouse away from winter, family and friends visits to arrange, and life generally.

My 'Me Day' on Thursdays is still very enjoyable.  I feel that I am at long last moving forward with my designs.  They still don;t always resemble what my mind's eye sees, but they are not as disappointing as they used to be.  I have been working on getting to grips with noses, lips and eyes this term and this is my first offering of the new style hat man:

Believe me, it is a big improvement from the Mick Jagger-look-a-like lips I was producing and sticking onto a tube of clay.  The Tate Modern will be on the phone any day now, so watch this space.

Back to WIP now - I was recently invited to take part in a Christmas Market taking place on the evening of 4 December, so I really have to make sure the WIP becomes WIF (work is finished) because my two-day event follows soon after.

Have a great week everyone and I am linking up this week with Handmade Monday and Creative Mondays, so don't forget to check out the bloggers taking part.  

See you next week


Monday 13 October 2014


Hello everyone

Yet again, another month has disappeared since my last blog post.  Do you find that the days and weeks whizz by at this time of year?  I just feel this autumnal/winter-like weather has come a little too soon for me and I just want the warm weather to return as soon as possible.

In my time 'away' from blogging I have been on holiday (or rather we have been on holiday) to Malta, another of my Godalming Bazaar events took place on 4 October and I took part in a Wedding Fayre at the Frensham Pond Hotel yesterday.  Our holiday was lovely, very hot and humid but also very relaxing - for most of the time.  It did involve work for me as I took my laptop and various other bits and pieces so that I could keep on top of the event organisations side of my business - my latest event took place two days after we got home (not good planning on my part).  Here are a few photographs from our holiday:

The view from our apartment balcony.  The temperature every day was around 30 degrees, sometimes 34.  Humidity was also very high and this often created a misty appearance.

We visited Gozo, which is a small island off the coats of Malta.  Interestingly, it is much greener than Malta.  I was lucky to find some of my favourite animals, cats and these ones were supported by the local animal charity.

Back home and the weather here wasn’t so good and in fact on the day of the last Godalming Bazaar event, it tipped down until about 30 minutes before closing time.  Despite the weather, we had 354 people through the door.  Some may feel this is not brilliant, but the majority of you who are involved on either side of craft events, know that visitor numbers are often disappointing and I know that the venue I am using does not attract a big footfall for similar type events.  

The results of the day were that some stallholders did very well, some didn’t and some did better this time than last time – the life of a crafter at craft events is an interesting one.  There was plenty going on throughout the day: we had You Ukes playing from late morning to the end of the event, two lots of crafty make-and-take workshops and a face-painter.  Plenty to draw people in, and as the weather was poor, our refreshments people did a roaring trade.  

Here are some photographs of the event taken by Dawn Hart of Stonepit Crafts - thank you Dawn:

As the title of my post says, four down, four to go.  I have four more events that I have organised for this year and it's now on to the next one which takes on 1 November at the Tongham Village Hall.   Tongham is a village not far from me, it has a few shops and well supported activities take place in both the village hall and the community centre.  Fingers crossed this event does well for everyone involved.  The next Godalming Bazaar event is on 22 November - a Christmassy themed one I feel.

And finally......  Yesterday I took part in a wedding fayre at the Frensham Pond Hotel.  We had a steady flow of visitors and it was very successful for me.  I have to prepare 8 quotes for stationery ranging from just invitations to a full range of stationery.  I hope they all turn into confirmed orders - lucky for me they are spread throughout 2015 and 2016 so I will have time to work on them.  The most popular design was a simple one with a scroll at the top and a ribbon across the middle.  Here are a few pics from yesterday:

My lovely new pop-up banner.  The company I now use for my banners and flyers produce double-side pop-up banners.  Great if you are placed where visitors are walking by on both sides (back and front) of your stand.  I need to order one for the Christmas Pie Crafts part of my business, so might go for a double-sided one.

The scroll range of stationery.

I decided to go for a heavy weight A6 flyer rather than a business card - I feel it catches the eye of visitors to the stand more than a business card will.

Purple is still very popular.

One last finally...  I have two new foster kittens, both girls - one is tabby and white and I have named her Ruby and the other one is black and white and I have named her Pearl.  They are only 9-weeks old.  Milly has said she will add some photogrpahs of them to her blog post on Wednessday.

I am off to join up with the Handmade Monday bloggers - I have missed them recently and looking forward to seeing what they have been up to since my last visits to their blogs.

I will, hopefully, be back next weekend with some more bloggy news - have a good week everyone.


Wednesday 17 September 2014


Hello everyone

As you can probably guess, I don't like this foggy weather - I snooze in the conservatory while it's like this.  It's all very well everyone telling me that the sun will shine in the afternoon, but I want it to shine in the morning as well.

Did you know I have my very own bedroom?  Well, it's a room within a room.  I sleep in the bottom of Richard's wardrobe and have done ever since I moved in properly.  If I didn't have my own room, I would probably have to sleep in a cardboard box.  It is nice and comfy sleeping on Richard's jumper - tough if he wants to wear it!  I get a little annoyed if the door is closed and I chase Jill and Richard until they understand what I want.  Humans!  You are such hard work!

There is another black and white cat in the neighbourhood.  A boy!  He has much more white on him than me and Jill says his white is cleaner than my white - she mumbled something about using the right sort of washing powder and then laughed because she thought she had made a joke!  He keeps coming into my garden, sits on the drive hoping I will come out and play.  I keep trying to tell him I am not interested, but he won't give up!  I shall have to get my big pal Jazz on to him - actually, that won't help, because Jazz is a friendly cat and will make him his new best friend!  Cats!  You are such hard work!

Sun's out - I'm off!  See you next week.


Sunday 14 September 2014


Hello everyone

Long time, no write.  I think I should write a blog post about the all the excuses I can come up with about not writing a blog post.  I did promise myself that no matter what I would write a post every week, but this year that promise has gone to pot!  Despite, as always, having plenty to say, because I join in with the Handmade Monday gang I feel guilty at not having any makes to show and share.  As time is whizzing by since my last post, I thought 'hey, join in anyway'.

What have I been doing since my last post?  In between the usual million and one things we all get bogged down with, earlier this year I applied to take part in the Farnham Maltings Christmas Fair, sent off my paperwork with photographs of my work and as you can imagine, the next few weeks were 'will I, won't I' times.  I was so pleased to receive an email telling me 'you have been successful'.  It is a two-day event, used to be just one-day, and so many people have said it is hard to get into, so you can imagine I am extra pleased.  Need to get on with making stock now - can;t make excuses for not doing that.

My latest Godalming Bazaar event took place on Saturday, 6 September.  From an organisation point of view I felt it was successful in that there was plenty going on at the event (craft workshops, wildlife charity, Town Crier and great refreshments) and we had a fantastic 512 customers through the door (compared with 247 visitors at the last Godalming Bazaar event).  Those of you involved with craft events, on both sides of the stalls, know getting customers through the door is hard work and getting them to stay and buy is even harder.  Of course there were moans - not everyone was pleased, not everyone did well, but it is very hard trying to please everyone and I am sure one day I will realise that it is a pretty impossible task to do that, but for the time being I shall continue to try to achieve the impossible.  I have had some great feedback from customers: very impressed with the variety and quality of work at the event, liked that there were not too many stalls selling similar items, great to have make-and-take sessions, first experience of a craft fair and pleasantly surprised, and definitely going to come along to the next one.

On to the next one which takes place on 4 October.  I have arranged two make-and-take craft workshops (I use two halls at the Godalming Borough Hall so one in each will be a great attraction), a face-painter, one of the stallholders is offering Henna Tattoos, another is giving Reiki and Indian Head Massage tasters. Plenty to interest and encourage people to spend time at the event and buy from a fabulous range of handmade items.  Oh, nearly forgot also have You-Ukes joining us between 1.00 pm - 3.00 pm.  Will I please everyone?  No, of course not, but it's great fun (and flippin' hard work) along the way.

Several foster kittens have passed through our home recently and gone on to fabulous new homes.  We are kitten-less at the moment, but there are plenty more out there waiting to be taken in, looked after and re-homed.  It does get a little easier parting with them, and I know they are going to good homes, but if I had a much bigger place.........

That's me more or less up-to-date and this week I will be catching up with my fellow crafters taking part in Handmade Monday - I bet there will be lots of Christmas-themed makes to have a look at.  There seems to be lots of new crafters joining in, so it will be nice to see what they all make.

Have a great week everyone, looks like we are going to have some more sunny days.


Wednesday 10 September 2014


Hello everyone

What a day!  We had no Internet connection today from early morning until about 4.00 pm.  Jill was behaving, in her words, as though her right arm had been cut off.  Not sure what that is supposed to mean, except that it sounds rather painful, but she was a very happy person when she was able to get back online.  Yet again, these human things confuse and surprise me!

My big best pal Jazz is feeling much better after his trip to the vets on Sunday.  He is so lucky, he gets fresh chicken for his meals - I offered him fresh pigeon, but he wasn't very keen on that.  He may be enjoying the chicken, but I don't think he is as keen on having the tablets twice a day!  Never mind, Jazz, only two more days to go - a shame because I have been pinching some of the chicken and very tasty it is too.

We don't have any any foster-kittens here at the moment - our last two, Boris and Barry, went to their new home on Tuesday and I am sure, like the sensible boys they are, they are now in charge.  That's just the way it should be.  Cats rule! 

Because of this business with Jill's arm being cut off, my post is a little short this week.  I am off to bed now - we kittens need our beauty sleep.  Well, actually I don't because I am beautiful no matter what happens, but I do need to tuck Jazz in and make sure he has taken his second tablet of the day.

Have a good week everyone - see you next week.


Wednesday 3 September 2014


Good morning

Woo hoo, it's going to be hot and sunny here today!  Summer's back at last.  I have spent too much time inside snoozing recently and that's not much fun for me.

Busy times here again; Jill has her next Godalming Bazaar event on Saturday - I have offered to help with putting the paperwork together, packing things into envelopes, but she has refused my offer of help.  She has told me that a wildlife charity (Harper Asprey) will be taking part in the event - I wonder if that's why she doesn't want me to help out on the day?

We have two new foster kittens: Boris and Barry.  As always, Jill says they are very cute - she so needs new glasses!  There is only so much cuteness in this world and I have all of it!  You can find out more about them on the Woking Cats Protection website and you can also check out Tom Tom's information on there too.

As you know I am a big supporter of the Woking Cats Protection branch and I am happy to blog about them and their wonderful work, however, you can imagine my surprise when I saw on Facebook that they are looking for a home for Ringo!  Come on Woking CP, surely he made enough money from being a celebrity to buy his own home - have things become so tough for him that he needs your help?  Has he hung up his drum kit?  Stopped talking about that tank engine he is so fond of?  I think my readers need to check Ringo's Facebook page out and make up their own minds.  I have to say the years have been a little unkind to him, he is very hairy and ginger now!

Off to catch some more sunshine - see you next week.


Wednesday 27 August 2014


Hello everyone

Oh boy, this weather is so horrible!  All that rain!  Just not good for a sunshine girl.  I have spent so much time inside over the last few days, I have almost forgotten where all of my favourite play spots are.  Jill said that she has heard that the local bird population are very pleased I am inside - wonder what she means by that. And it's cold and I don't like the cold!

We have had busy times here recently, Prickle and Dandelion went to another fosterer on Thursday and then to their new home on Tuesday, we had a big family get-together on Saturday and we have Richard's sister staying with us for a couple of days too.  In between friends and family, we have Mr Soakaway Man and tomorrow Mr Plumber!  If that wasn't enough, we have a noisy men chopping down trees in the field at the bottom of my garden.  Why does nobody ask me if I mind all this upheaval (see, I am learning big words now)?  There is also some mumbling going on about decorating!  Hang on, enough is enough - peace and quiet here please.

I bet you are all as surprised as I am that Tom Tom has not been adopted.  How can you not want to take that lovely black-and-white girl into your home - all black-and-white girls need nice comfortable homes.  I have got mine and know I am very lucky and I know that Tom Tom wants to be in her furever home too, so come on you cat lovers, get over to the Facebook page and check her out.

I am off to find a nice snuggly warm spot - inside of course.  Have a good week everyone and if you go to see Tom Tom, please leave a comment here because I would love to know what you think about her.

See you all next week.


Wednesday 20 August 2014


Hello everyone

I am so disappointed in this weather!  I know it is sunny, but it is a little too nippy for me.  I am spending more time inside than I normally do at this time of year.

Come on you black-and-white cat lovers!  Tom Tom is still waiting for her fur-ever home and I am so surprised she has not already been adopted.  Get in quick because I am sure she will be adopted very soon and if you have been thinking about going to see her, don't think, go!

We have two foster kittens with us at the moment: Prickles and Dandelion (I call Prickles Burdock because I think it goes together with Dandelion).  They had a family visit them on Sunday and they are coming back to see them this afternoon, so paws crossed everyone - they could be on their way to their new home very soon.  Jill took this photograph of them - rare for them to be quietly sitting together, normally they are running around, chasing everything, playing with anything and everything they find and generally having a very good time (the remind me a little of me!).

Not too sure what it is going to be like around here over the next few days.  We have a family bash here on Saturday (I hope they are not expecting to share my food with me), but tomorrow some men are coming to dig a trench and a very large hole in the front garden!  Buried treasure?  Hope they cover the hole up because we cats are very nosey.

Not so sunny here now, so it's back to the conservatory for me - it's nice and warm in there, just right for me.  See you next week and don't forget to go and see Tom Tom if you are looking to adopt a beautiful (not as beautiful as me) black-and-white cat.


Sunday 17 August 2014


Hello everyone

I get the feeling autumn has arrived a little earlier than expected.  Chilly, sunny, but very windy here today.   Such a shame as we have a family get-together next weekend and really need to be able to be able to spill out into the garden.  Never mind, it might have a to be a cosy get-together inside.

A busy week that ended in the really good news for me that I have found a refreshments provider for my Godalming Bazaar events for the rest of this year: The Pantry Tea Room.  I was beginning panic, but had a recommendation from a Streetlife member, contacted Julia and success, we have lift-off.  If you are not familiar with Streetlife, I really recommend you check it out.  I have been able to find lots of information and businesses on there that I was totally unaware of: I have had stallholders contact me via Streetlife, I have found a gardener, lots of information about things happening in my area and the surrounding areas.  Brilliant!

On Thursday of this week I took part in a pottery workshop my pottery tutor, Jean Tolkovsky, organised.  I and 7 of my fellow pottery students had a great day and our project was to make a figure similar to one
of Jean's models - as you can guess 'similar' had lots of different interpretations and here is mine:

The wire sticking out of his shoulders will be trimmed once the final firing has taken place.  I had a bit of an accident as I was tyring to remove the cocktail stick which had been placed through the body and upper arms prior to putting the wire through, his head fell off!!!  More disaster, his hat fell onto the floor and part of the brim fell off!  I managed to weld his head back on, but didn't have time to tweak the top of his hat, so it's not as smooth as I had planned.  Good fun really, and something I have never done before and I think I will have a go at making another one when our course begins in September.  I still cannot make decent lips and noses.nose -

If you would like to see what my model could have been (I wish) please check out my Friday Review - it is about my pottery tutor, Jean Tolkovsky.  I am sure you will agree her work is amazing.

About two months ago I applied to take part in a Craft Fair fairly local to me and was disappointed that four weeks after I applied they let me know it was full!!!  I had emailed them to find out the current situation because I was interested in another event that took place around the same time and I think that is the only reason they replied responded - I am not sure how much longer it would have taken them to reply.  They apologised for the delay, said it's summer and sorry, we are full.  I find the lack of professionalism in some businesses very disappointing.  Summer it may be, but surely that is no excuse for poor communication in a business?  Will they also blame winter?  Spring?  Autumn?

Another busy week looms: tomorrow I am lurking in a garden centre car park (as you do) to hand out flyers to my stallholders, then I am having lunch with a couple of friends (Lesley and Dawn - looking forward to seeing you both).  Every day this week has a meeting of one sort or another - Friday is a free day, although sadly that will be housework day to get everything ready for my family bash!  Housework is not the way to end a week.

Have a great week everyone - hard to believe next weekend is our last Bank Holiday until Christmas!  Mind you at the moment time seems to be whizzing by and I am not always too sure which week (or month) it is.  Don't forget to drop in on my fellow Handmade Monday bloggers, and I will 'see' you next week.


Friday 15 August 2014


Hello everyone

My Friday Review this week is about my pottery tutor: Jean Tolkovsky.  I and 7 of my fellow keen pottery group members spent a day with Jean in her studio yesterday making models similar to those Jean creates.  I use the term 'similar' very loosely as we produced some very interesting pieces.  Several of my fellow pottery students have been with Jean for many years and some of the work I have seen them create over the 3 years I have been on the course is amazing and worthy of any good art gallery.

However, fabulous though their work is my review is of Jean's work and to demonstrate the range of her skills, this photograph is of the outside ornamental pot I bought from Jean last year (I couldn't resist it and already have my eye on another large outside pot she has made):

Isn't he amazing?  A very handsome fellow who has a gorgeous head of hair (not that you can see much of it in this picture) and he will soon have a pair of dangly pair of earrings.

This is another remarkable piece; fabulous rabbit-style ears - the colour of them is a salmon-pink shade and the finish is beautiful.  This is a piece you need to see in the 'flesh' to fully appreciate.

As you can see from the above photograph and the following ones, some of Jean's pieces are really quirky and as she says:

'I produce one-off figurative pieces including punks, jesters and other quirky characters...........  I aim to produce work which carries a narrative but is also open to interpretation.'

Still with the quirky, for me the next photograph is great.  I can't decide if my interpretation is people sitting in a doctor's waiting room or school boys sitting waiting outside of the head master's study, waiting to be reprimanded for something they have done (and been found out for):

Jean's recent work is very different to these previous pieces:

Aren't they beautiful?  They look so delicate and elegant - really stunning pieces.

If you would like to know more about Jean's work, where she exhibits and the events she is taking part in this year, please visit her page on the Surrey Artists' Open Studios website.  I am sure you will agree her work is amazing and as it's always changing, so you never know what she will create next.


Wednesday 13 August 2014


Hello everyone

I am guessing summer has finished?  A shame because I love the sunshine and it means I get to play outside for a looooooong time every day.

Hard though it is to believe, my post this week is not about me!  It is about a cat who is being looked after by one of the Woking & District Cats Protection fosterers.  Yes, I am writing about another cat, and even better (or is that worse) she is black and white!  Before I go any further I must point out that she is not as beautiful as me, but then that is never going to happen in cat-land

This black and white lady is called Tom Tom.  Okay, I know, why call a girl Tom Tom?  In my short life I had always been lead to believe that Tom Tom was a satellite navigation gadget - perhaps this particular Tom Tom is pretty good at finding her way around places?

Tom Tom is around 9-years old but as we all know, there is that special someone who releases the inner-kitten in all cats and someone reading my blog post could be that person.  She has her own Facebook page where you can read her daily diary and you can also read more about her on the Woking & District Cats Protection website.

Tom Tom has been with her fosterer for six months and as much as she loves being there, she would really like to be settled in her own home soon.  So come along you cat-lovers, if you have been thinking of adopting a black and white cat that is nearly as beautiful as I am, Tom Tom is the gal for you.  You can contact Woking CP on their website (click on the link above) and arrangements will be made for you to visit Tom Tom - just let them know that Milly has sent you and I am sure you will be able to see her very soon.  You will find Tom Tom sitting on the window sill waiting for your visit:

I will be back next week and it would be lovely to be able to say, yippee, Tom Tom has been adopted.


Friday 8 August 2014


Hello everyone

I am very pleased to introduce my Friday Guest Blog Spot, Karen of Casalana -The Woolhouse:

Hello and thanks for inviting me to be a guest on your blog.  My name is Karen and I am a mother to 4 children and a proud grandmother to 3 boys and 2 girls, the youngest born just 8 weeks ago and this is where it really all began.

My mum taught me to knit when I was very young and that was when my love affair with all things woolly began.  I used to knit for my children and more recently my grandchildren and friends and family have been telling me for years that I ought to sell my makes.  So, in January of this year I finally bit the bullet and launched my Facebook page: Casalana-thewoolhouse.

The name Casalana comes from the Spanish words for house (case) and wool (lana) and I chose this because I am fortunate enough to own a lovely country property in Southern Spain and my time is divided between there and the UK.  I am here in Spain at the time of writing this blog and it seems crazy as we are in the height of summer here and I am sat knitting my range of winter wear and Christmas items.

I try to make my items interesting and unique and I always use the best quality wools I can find.  I love to buy from small independent crafters who spin and dye their own wools and I have a couple of favourites that produce some beautiful yarns.  I also like to use recycled materials and have made some lovely crochet baskets from recycled sari silk which is collected by a group of ladies in India from sari factories and then spun into yarn.  These have proved very popular.

I love to make baby items and like to design my own range of cot and pram blankets like this cot blanket which I call the Jester because of its bright colours and pom-poms.

I have recently expanded my baby makes range to include gifts for Baby Shower parties and the new baby, the most popular of which is the Hickory Dickery Dock Nursery Basket.  This is a crochet basket with a clock face and pendulums and even has a cute little mouse running up the clock like in the nursery rhyme.  It is filled with all the lovely goodies that a new mummy will need and even a little pamper gift for her too.

When I am not knitting and I am here in Spain I love to make jams and chutneys from the many beautiful fruits and vegetables available here and from my own fruit trees and veg patch.  I go to my local street market every Friday to stock up on all the lovely fruit and veggies as well as olives, meats and cheeses all produced or grown locally.

I hope you have enjoyed reading a little about me and my life and if you would like to see more of my work please visit my Facebook page and you can follow me on my Blog


Sunday 3 August 2014


Hello everyone

I know the old saying 'hard work never killed anyone' but there are times when you do wonder if this is quite correct.  We all know we work very hard at our business, making items to sell, completing all of the necessary administration work, but very often it is the 'hidden' hard work that knocks us down.

I know it doesn't sound very hard, but at the moment my 'hardest thing in the world' is getting a face-painter to take part in my Godalming Bazaar events!  Easy peasy really.  No, it isn't.  I had one for my first two events, and she was really good, but the income generated amounted to about 2% of her fee and if you know what face-painters charge, you will have an idea of how much that income was.  Since then I have been trying to find one who will hire a table/space from me (I have offered this at a reduced price) and all the income will be theirs.  Two face-painters almost bit my hand off to book.......  then it went very quiet and despite advising me they definitely want to book/pay, I think they have been gobbled up by spacemen.  I sent a gentle 'not long before the event' reminder and that appears to be the end of that episode.

I have posted a message on Facebook, Twitter and Streetlife and received lots of recommendations and I have contacted all of them.  Replies?  One, so far - unfortunately, despite her work being fantastic her fee was far too high for me.  Am I wrong in hoping face-painters will come along and make their money at the event without me having to pay to have them there?  Am I wrong expecting them to be like other crafts people/artists who book a stall at the Bazaars?  I see them as a crafts person wanting to sell their 'work' at my events - am I wrong in that view?  I appreciate and respect their amazing skills and really do want a more family-friendly atmosphere at my events, but I am almost thinking they are for more bigger events than I organise.  I know that I need to come up with something else that will attract families to the events - any ideas?

Like everyone, it has been the usual busy, busy week here.  I was going to add pictures of my hot-glue-fixing work this week, but decided that as I have not yet got around to putting them on my website, I would prefer to do that first.  Face-painter search permitting that is.  Apart from a day out at Wisley with three friends it's been work, work, work for most of this past week.  We went on Thursday and it was quieter than I had expected it to be.  We had a stroll around the gardens before lunch, which we had in the restaurant (we decided to splurge the refund we had obtained from TravelZoo on a waitress service lunch rather than the hustle and bustle of the cafeteria).  We worked off lunch with another wander around a different part of the gardens.  It's always surprising to me that, no matter how many times I visit Wisley, there is always something I have missed.  I always like to visit the small gardens, because they are very inspirational and at this time of year checking out the fruit and vegg patches is a must.  They all looked so much healthier than mine although I was pleased to see the odd weed.

That's my week in a large nutshell; next week begins with a meeting tomorrow morning with a Godalming cafe-owner about providing refreshments for my events - fingers crossed they are happy to do it because I have always found having refreshments at these type of events encourages people in.  They may wander around the stalls, then have a cup of tea and a cake and then go off around the stalls again to buy what they have seen first time around.  I have a 25th Wedding Anniversary event to provide invitations, acceptances, maps, menus and place cards for, so it's head down and make some samples based on the suggestions the couple have given me.

Have a great week everyone, enjoy the sunshine and get lots of crafting done - don't forget to call in on the other crafty bloggers taking part in Handmade Monday and if you haven't had a chance to read my Friday Review post, have a look here, you will love Dawn's knitted people.