Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hope your day was merry and bright!

How was your Christmas? We had a great one, and white too!
Most of these pictures are actually from our trip to Elgin last weekend to visit my parents and it wasn't quite as snowy as this here in Glasgow but snow on Christmas day (no matter how shallow or trampled) is not to be sniffed at!
This house always has the most amazing Christmas lights, which you can see from my mum and dad's kitchen window. My dad always moans about how over the top it is but even he loves it secretly, I'm sure. It's just so festive!
I'm too scared to have a real snowball fight nowadays (when did I get to be such a wimp about the cold?) but Graham kindly threw one past me for the camera. I'm also terrified of slipping on the ice, which has not made getting to work in the mornings very easy. There is no way to avoid walking down a super steep hill when I leave my house. I have been clinging to lampposts and hedges, tiptoeing and generally looking like an idiot. I only fell over once (so far) this year. I nearly got run over in the process but sustained no worse than a skint hand and a bruised behind in the end!
These poor cows were looking very cold, standing about in the snow. No more to say about that but they are cute enough to merit two pictures, I think.
With the family Christmas thing done last weekend, Graham and I had a quiet just-the-two-of-us Christmas yesterday. It was great!
Here I am, festively modeling some of my pressies - bright pink socks with pom poms (yippee!) from my friend, Lorna, and the most fabulous print that Graham (the genius) found in a charity shop going for a song. Talking of songs, I got Graham a last minute glockenspiel which went down very well - phew! Shopping for your beloved on Christmas Eve is very stressful...

After eating a whole lot of food and drinking a whole lot of booze yesterday, we are having a quiet day (nursing our kidneys) today and have an evening of Trivial Pursuit and naff telly watching planned for tonight. Tomorrow the post Christmas clear up commences! My attempt to give people handmade gifts has left the house looking like it has been hit by a bomb but I am determined that I will have a tidy house for hogmanay. Besides, I have loads of crafty projects planned (some that I'm very excited about) so will need to clear a space to make them! I don't see the tidy house lasting much past January 2nd...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas time... cats, tinsel and wine

Disclaimer: if you have no interest in my cats, then you may as well stop reading right now!
I can't believe what a poor blogger I have been this December. What with working, making, visiting and vomiting (I spent about 4 days snuggled up with a very nasty bug) I just don't know where the time has gone. In a last ditch attempt to bring a bit of festivity to this place, I have a number of themed festive posts up my sleeve for today, and this is the cat themed one.
The cats get so excited when the Christmas decorations come out. Poppy has got very territorial about it all this year but, as you can see, Lola managed to steal a wee catnap on an upper branch while Poppy was distracted by a pile of tinsel. Don't you love my new dog decoration that she so thoughtfully perched beside? I got three great new decorations this year - a knitted stripy cat from my friend Bernie, and this dog and a worried monkey (he has a frowning brow!) wearing a bell. The dog and the monkey were made by a girl who had a stall next to me at Say No To Plastic. Nobody was buying them except me which just proves that you can never tell what the public will go for. How could anyone resist? I don't know...
Shortly after I took these photos of Lola, she jumped down. She is probably the world's clumsiest cat so it came as no surprise that she brought the entire tree crashing down. They have only knocked it down twice this year though, the second time being this morning. They must be growing up :(
I think she was pretty determined to be comfy but it just wasn't really happening.
Meanwhile, Poppy was making herself a spangly Christmas bed in a bundle of tinsel. She gets tinsel OD eventually and collapses with ginormous pupils. This is definitely her favourite time of year - tinsel, trees and central heating.
And here is a gratuitous cat cuddling shot just to prove that they are good friends (and sisters) really. This was the nest I made for myself on the sofa when I was off work with the vomiting. They seemed very happy to have me at home all day and hardly moved from here the whole time I was ill.

Now I have to go and find a present for the most important person in my life - waaah! I hope I don't get squished by all the people who are as disorganised as me. Just in case I fail to deliver my other planned festive posts (snow photos, anyone?) then have a great Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm back! And with a whole heap of new products to boot!

***Update - if you want your purchases in time for Christmas, then please order by 7 pm on Thursday 17th December at the latest. I'm heading out of town this weekend so anything ordered after that will be posted on Monday at the very earliest, which is really cutting things too fine. If you want anything sent fancy delivery (rather than ordinary first class post) then let me know and I'll adjust the postage costs accordingly.***

Oh lordy, it has been a hectic couple of weeks. Christmas has taken me by surprise and I have been crafting like a maniac every non-subtitling minute! Consequently, I have a whole heap of new products in my shop for any of you (if you're anything like me) who have the majority of your Christmas shopping still to do. Of course, I'm too late for anyone outside of the UK (sorry) but if you are a UK resident you have a good few days left to panic buy. I aim to be back with a proper post soon, but in the meantime here are my new products.

Did I mention they were available in my shop?*
Dot and Pat lavender hangers! £4.00 each. I got a huge (for me) order for these this week so have been up to my elbows in lavender and ribbons and... Phew! By the by, Dot has a lovely floral backing, while Pat is backed by saucy leopard print.

Eastenders not quite your thing? Or looking for a present for a certain male (or female) someone? Then make lavender macho with these fantabulous Big Daddy lavender hangers! Also £4 each.
Or maybe you're looking for something a little bit special. Then you will be thanking your lucky stars that I squeezed in the making of one of these Little Red Riding Hood magic (a.k.a. glow in the dark) embroideries. When you switch off the lights, the fire dies down and the stars come out, while Little Red Riding Hood and her cat snuggle down for the night. This embroidery costs £25.
On a tighter budget or looking for a little stocking filler? How about a vintage domino brooch for a measly £1.50? There are three different types of domino to choose from.

Or why not treat your tree to a flaky decoration? These are going for £1 each and come in four varieties.
Don't forget to browse the rest of my wares while you're there.

Right, enough of the hard sell. I am off to bed, via the sewing machine. Aargh!

p.s. I was subtitling EastEnders again today and, just in case I don't have time to blog again this week, you MUST watch EastEnders on Friday - the doof doof moment is the most classic bit of East End drama I have seen in a long while!

* I will try to add them to my etsy store soon, too, but you should be brave and just buy them from my shopify shop now. Get 'em while they're hot!

Friday, December 4, 2009

You win some, you lose some

Originally uploaded by minkee.

Apologies for my absence this week. I have been working myself into the ground, subtitling by day and then crafting by night into the wee small hours of the morning. I'm not feeling too ready for tomorrow's market but am officially too tired to do anything else tonight. I will get up early tomorrow instead.

Today has been a real mix of highs and lows. At some point tonight, the heating, the internet, the microwave and the towel rail have all been broken. The microwave and the towel rail still are broken. My much needed friend has pulled out of helping me at Sunday's market, too. Nooo! And I had a wee disaster that I can't tell you about for fear of looking unprofessional!

But on the upside, I have spotted a definite theme in this year's advent calendar from my sister. I opened doors 1-4 tonight (it's been trapped at the sorting office until today) and have already amassed a fine collection of a-ma-zing vintage buttons! In other great news, I made my first shopify sale. Woo hoo! It feels great to sell something, and I also know for sure that the shop works. And my subtitles were on tonight's Eastenders. And then (yes, there's more) I found out that I've won one of these prints (pictured) by Minkee in a giveaway. Aren't they lovely? I am hoping for the one in the middle, even though they are all great :)

Anyway, good luck to any of you who are joining me in the Christmas market madness this weekend. I hope we all come home rich (and creatively satisfied!) beyond our wildest dreams!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The cat that got the... pipe?!

Originally uploaded by maraid

I'm happy as the cat that got the cream, really, but this pipe smoking cat looks pretty happy too! Who knew a job could bring such joy? Today I have been subtitling... EastEnders! I'm doing Friday's episode (can't reveal anything for fear I am found out and banned from doing any more!) and seriously could not keep the grin off my face as the theme tune kicked in. It was very embarrassing and I got serious face ache from trying to look serious. Even sadder (happier!) than that, was that I was dropping more stock off at the Made in the Shade Maisonette after work, so I had a bag under my desk full of EastEnders goodies while I was working on it - hardcore EastEnders loving, people! I love my new job!

One of the items I delivered to the Maisonette today was a brand new EastEnders product that I've been working away on this weekend - Dot and Pat lavender hanger thingummies to keep your clothes fresh and moth free! I dropped a handful of them off with a very excited Carrie (which was nice) about an hour ago and they are on sale there now! I will share some pictures of them here (and list them in the shop/shops) just as soon as I have enough daylight to take a photo of them. I will have them with me at the markets I'm doing at the weekend but if you just can't wait until then (and you're in or around Glasgow) then hot foot it down to the Maisonette this week for an exclusive sneak preview!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Do you pom pom?

Ha ha ha! Last night I made a pom pom wreath and I can't stop laughing at it. I think that's a good thing... but I'm not sure. Is the pom pom wreath totally great or just totally awful? The flash isn't flattering to it and I think that in real life it's great - very snuggly and, er, old school... I might take it to the markets I'm doing next weekend and see if anyone wants to pay a small price to adopt it. I think we probably only want one wreath in our house over the festive season and the gum drop wreath has become an annual tradition for us.

Markets next weekend, did you ask? Well, yes! I'm doing two. On Saturday December 5th you will find me at The Big Bang in Langside Hall from 12-4. This is an event that's being organised by a very nice glass artist called Keira McLean, who I met at the market I did at the start of October. There's fine art, photography, furniture, glass, performance poets... and me! It sounds like it will be really interesting so if you are south of the Clyde next weekend, do come along. On Sunday December 6th , I'm going to be at Say No To Plastic at Oran Mor from 12-5. I can hardly tell you how good the November Say No To Plastic was, with its fabulous array of vintage and handmade goods, and I'm hoping this Christmas one will be even better. And if you're a Londoner, then you might just get a chance to see/buy my wares at We Make on Saturday 5th December, too. Claire (Miso Funky) will be having a stall there and, if she can squeeze anything else into her already bulging suitcase, should be taking along a handful of things made by me too. What a weekend! That's why I've got to stop dilly dallying and actually make some stuff to sell. Eep!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I want to be in a girl group...

... preferably the Shangri-Las, but after my attempt at singing last night (don't ask, but let's just say the computer failing to save my "vocals" was a stroke of good fortune for one and all!) have realised once and for all that it just will not happen. But a girl can dream, right? So I am creating my own girl group/army from felt. These are the only two I have left just now (I sold the rest at Say No To Plastic before I could get a good photo of them) but there are more on the way. These two have been made into brooches but I actually have other plans for some of their friends, thanks to the genius of my sister. That plan will be unveiled soon, hopefully, but in the meantime I'm off to list these two little brooches in my new shop. I can still call it my new shop, yes? Especially since I haven't made a sale yet - ha! I will be working on that sorry situation soon... In the meantime, I've just got too many felty girl groups to form!

p.s. I think I was inspired to create these by one of my favourite bits of (long gone unless you look really closely) Glasgow graffiti. You can see a photo of it in my flickr.

p.p.s. Yes, they are rather like my chaise longue haired girl! She was a prototype who's since gone solo :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

how do you like your eggs in the morning?

Staying with the theme of cute painted wooden objects standing in a row, how do you like my new egg cups? My sister found them at a car boot sale and thought of me but also wanted to keep them. While she was deciding whether to be generous, she went to another car boot sale and found another five of them! Egg cups for everyone - problem solved! I think they are most adorable. I particularly like their blue eyelids - they would rival Pat Butcher in an eye shadow competition.

I had another good day at work today and am now subtitling for real. Woo hoo! My first subtitles will be on screen next week. Yay! It is actually surprisingly exciting, plus it is nice to be earning my keep rather than playing at subtitling. In other top but boring for you news, I made another two cushion covers tonight so we now have four matching cushions. Yahoo! We only just had enough material. And to think I nearly left one of the three pieces in the charity shop thinking I wouldn't need it...! Sheesh! I have really gone for it with the exclamations in this paragraph. Sorry. But isn't it great to have a job that affords you time to make cushion covers of an evening? :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can you really call them Russian?

They're not very Russian looking, really, but just how cute are these Russian dolls? I bought them at Say No To Plastic (the market I did a couple of weeks ago) for the princely sum of £2! I spotted them on the stall opposite mine (selling vintage and second hand goodies) while I was setting up and decided I loved them. I expected they would be on the expensive side but decided to torture myself with a closer look anyway. I was so delighted when I saw the teeny tiny price tag and snapped them up before the market had even opened! They remind me of Dick Bruna illustrations. I now have three sets of not very Russian Russian dolls, so I guess that is kind of a collection.
Blogging about this has made me realise that I never got round to posting a photo of my Say No To Plastic stall. Here it is! Not much different from the last market shot I posted but it is if you look closely, and there will be some close ups coming soon...

I should also mention the fabulous stall that was set up next to mine, selling cake stands made by the clever stall holder from vintage tea sets. Some of them even had a little tea cup at the top to put marshmallows (or whatever!) in. Sadly, my battery died, so no photos but check out their etsy shop - Truly Madly Sweetly.

I was a bit sneaky and took a lot of photos of different things this weekend (making the most of the rare daylight!) so that I could blog a bit more this week. I'll be back soon (hopefully tomorrow) with something else!

p.s. I made cushion covers tonight! They were not as straightforward as I had hoped but I think they have turned out quite well and they are making our sofa look a bit more snazzy. Right, off to recline with them :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Crafters never have a dull moment

Now that this gift is safely with its intended recipient, I can share my recent foray into the world of cross stitching. My sister is an avid cross stitcher but I've never really been bitten by the bug and don't do it very often.

I made this as a combined thank you and get well present for Claire of Miso Funky. Anyone who is familiar with Claire's work (and if you're not then you should go and have a look now) will surely realise that she must be sick of the sight of cross stitching, since she spends every waking minute (well, apart from when she's holding down a full time job or getting her gall bladder popped out through her belly button) sewing cross stitch samplers for her demanding adoring public! I thought this would either be the perfect gift or the very thing to push her over the edge - she is very politely claiming it to be the former!

I actually pilfered this idea from a free postcard I picked up about ten years ago. I think the motto is very apt for anyone with a time consuming hobby, which embroidery (in all its guises) certainly is! The original postcard is framed and hanging on my wall of many wonders and it was quite exciting to finally get around to making a real life (i.e. stitched) version of it. When I'm not covered in hand cream, I will take it out of the frame to see whose brilliant idea it was originally.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

foxy fox

Sweet Fox
Originally uploaded by Pin Pals
Have you seen the Pin Pals' blog post about the amazing vintage origami books they found? If not, you must go and look immediately! I am very jealous but so smitten with this little fox that I just can't feel bitter about it :)

Do you smell burning?

When I visited my sister in France recently, she was celebrating her wood (fifth) wedding anniversary. She got a wood burning tool and decorated a set of raclette spatulas with pictures of love hearts as a gift for her other half. They had love hearts as their wedding favours so it was especially appropriate. She had quite a few spare spatulas so she let me have a go and it was great fun!
Here is my Scandinavian-esque heart design.
I managed to make this spatula look like a paintbrush mid use. Kind of...
And then I did a random wood burning of a tiny little horse in a field, just to see if I could.

As far as I could see, the wood burning tool was pretty much the same as a soldering iron, just with a few different nozzle type bits for varying thicknesses/effects. I bought a soldering iron years ago (for burning holes in fabric) so I think I might try using it to do some more wood burning. I have a great idea for Christmas decorations but my Christmas ideas list is way out of hand so that may have to wait for next year!

It was a lot of fun to try a new craft. I think I might compile a list of crafts I want to try (or revisit) in 2010. That would be much more fun than a normal new year's resolution.
Our day's charity shopping yesterday was quite successful. Graham got a DVD and I got some fun paper coasters to upcycle, as well as some fabric to make new cushion covers from. I am determined they will be better than the last ones I made and that they will not develop holes. I have learned from my errors! I also got quite a few books, including one on how to make all sorts of huts and tree houses and one really ace crochet book from the sixties signed by the author and everything. But by far the best 25p I spent was on a video for cats. Here's a picture of Lola watching it this morning. Poppy was watching it too, only she preferred to watch from behind the safety of the sofa!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

lovely embroidery by a lady called pip

Another flying visit to share this lovely embroidery by Pip of Meet Me At Mikes. The image reminds me of this really lovely Scandinavian ceramic ware that I often lust after in antique shops. I think it is called Lotte...? I will remember for sure soon!

We are just about to head off for a day's charity shopping to celebrate our anniversary. What can I say? I am a cheap date! Last night we were meant to be going out for dinner and then to the cinema. We had booked a table but when we got to the restaurant there were no tables free for us! Pretty shoddy, huh? We couldn't get in anywhere else, so we ended up sharing pakora from the nearby takeaway and then didn't go to the cinema after all. We were asleep by 10pm instead! We are going to try to go to the cinema tonight instead, if we're not too tired from all the charity shopping.

I will be back with a proper blog post tomorrow. One with a photo I've taken myself and everything! Have a good weekend until then.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bad blogging, tut tut!

Film Noir Babe
Originally uploaded by Zoë Austin

Just a flying visit with a random (excellent) picture from my flickr favourites. This is how I look in my imagination but I'm definitely not this enigmatic or glamorous in real life - not on the outside anyway! Ha!

I have been a very bad blogger lately, and must apologise, but it's only because I've been busy being so darned wonderful in every other area of my life! I have managed to combine holding down a new full time job with being a super-duper domestic goddess at the weekends and a social butterfly (well, caterpillar...) in the evenings.

I spent this weekend doing sensible shopping and house cleaning and frugal cooking. I made numerous batches of soup for the freezer as well as a delicious banana loaf to use up the brown bananas. I just ate a slice of it post-work and felt very smug about it. I really think I SHOULD look like this lady... Then everyone would know just by looking how on top of things I was. Hee!

One and a half weeks into my new job and I'm still loving it. Subtitling is much more interesting than I had expected and I am learning so much every day. I'm still subtitling old programmes for training/practice just now (a brilliant nature documentary about Japan yesterday, not so brilliant Homes Under The Hammer this morning, and Postman Pat this afternoon) but should be subtitling for real (under strict supervision!) within a week or two. Exciting! I am a bit brain tired by the time I get home at the end of the day but I've still managed to find the energy to go to the cinema multiple times and am generally being (a bit) sociable.

You see, I really am a multi-tasking mogul and a well rounded individual! I never had any sort of work-life balance when I was teaching so this is a great novelty to me. I haven't quite managed to slot much crafting (or blogging, obviously!) into the balance yet but I am going to work on that this weekend. I've got a couple of exciting markets/events coming up in a few weeks (more details soon) and lots of stock that needs replenished, plus a million and one ideas I'd love to get sorted pre-Christmas... So it will all be busy, busy! In the meantime, please forgive me if I'm not around quite as often as usual. I promise I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

roll up, roll up!

I sold my second last Little Red Riding Hood brooch this evening. That means there is only one left! It's up for sale in my new shop. Miss it, miss out!

I am hoping to make more at some point but my first attempt at a second batch didn't work out so I don't know when that will be. If you want this for yourself (or for someone's Christmas!) I would recommend buying now. I kept one for myself but will never be persuaded to part with it! I've been wearing it today and it has made me so happy :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

The media has cottoned on!

Look who's in the new edition of Sew magazine! There! Top right corner!
It's Dot! Woo hoo! I'm very excited about my first ever magazine feature. Well, maybe 'feature' is a bit of an exaggeration... I shall rephrase: I'm very excited about my first ever magazine thumbnail. Hee!

Dot lovers, it seems, are everywhere... I met lots of Dot fans yesterday, including a girl whose sister had been to a fancy dress party recently where everyone had to dress up as either Dot or Pat. Now, that sounds like my kind of party!

Thanks for the well wishes about my new job. My first day went well. Everybody was really nice and welcoming and I think I am going to like being a subtitler very much :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

And the winner is...

... comment number one, which was from Marceline, who liked the hulder print best of all. Congratulations, Marceline! I will be emailing you tonight to find out your address and will send you your hulder print as soon as possible.

Thanks to everyone else who entered, whether you were one of the six (brilliant) people who actually entered, or one of the many thousands/millions who entered in spirit, I'm sure... :)

I had a brilliant day at the market today. It was mega busy and there were heaps of good stalls and loads of enthusiastic customers and browsers. My friend Bernadette came along to help me on my stall, and we drank wine while we sold my wares (lots of them!) and then went out for dinner afterwards. I make money, I spend money... I bought something great (and resisted lots of other things) but I will share all soon. For now, I have to go and panic about starting my new job tomorrow. Eep! Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Remember remember the 8th of November!

Just a reminder that the giveaway ends tomorrow.
So far there are a measly four entries, and two of them are from people I know in real life!
Thanks if you are one of the four! :)
That would give you a one in five chance of winning...
... and you can choose any prize you like, whatever your heart desires, from my new shop.
Come on, people!

I'll be drawing the winner at random when I get back from the market (Say No To Plastic, 12-5pm, tomorrow, Oran Mor, Glasgow) that I am woefully under prepared for. I am just back from France and a bit frazzled but will have at least two brand new, never seen before products with me as well as the usual stuff that I thought was ace until I realised I could hardly give the stuff away! (Hee hee!) If you're in Glasgow tomorrow, do stop by. It should be really good and I've slashed some prices so there will be plenty of stocking fillers and the like for you.

I'll be back with a proper post soon. I've got lots to share about my holidays and my new products and some exciting (to me) news, as well as revealing the winner of the giveaway. It could be you. But not if you don't enter. Do it.

I noticed that the pictures from the last post did not show up on my sister's computer. They do show up on mine. If you (like me) can see the pictures then apologies for using them again in this post. If you can't see them (like my sister) this post shows what they were meant to be so you haven't missed out on anything really :)

Monday, November 2, 2009 is officially open!


It's the moment we've all been waiting for... Well, the moment I've been waiting for, at least!

My shopify is finished and open to the public! You can find me at

To celebrate the opening of my new shop over at I am having a giveaway. To enter, all you have to do is take a good look around the shop and leave a comment (either here or on the giveaway post over at shopify) telling me what your favourite product is.


I will pick one comment at random on Sunday 8th November (when I return from mes vacances dans France!) and will send that person the item they have named as their favourite, provided it is still in stock. If the item has already sold, I will contact the winner and give them the option to choose a different prize. I am happy to post prizes worldwide so this competition is open to anyone and everyone.

You could win absolutely anything you like from the shop: brooches, cards (including 3 for 2 offers), embroideries, prints, pompoms… Really, pick anything! There are some new products there that you won't have seen in my etsy so have a really good look and don’t forget to include your email address or a link to your own blog/website so that I can contact you if you are the lucky winner.


What are you waiting for? Start browsing and good luck!

And remember that spreading the word about my giveaway and my new website will bring you good karma and may* increase your chances of being randomly selected!

*The winner really will be selected randomly and I'm not sure that there is any scientific evidence to back up the claim that spreading the word will bring you good karma or that good karma will help you win... I would appreciate it though :)