Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Handmade journals for craft fair

Very difficult knowing what might sell at a craft fair, each one I've done has been different or surprised me. I am trying a few different items for the forthcoming fair. I'm actually getting a few ideas out of my head which have been bubbling away for a while, I'm using the craft fair as an excuse to experiment with them. I feel like I'm racing against the clock to get as many things done as possible.
I am also making the most of this being the mildest November because once this house becomes really cold then most of my crafting will come to a stop for a few months. It gets so cold here that my hands and feet are always too cold to work and the only thing I seem to manage at that stage is a bit of crochet whilst wrapped up in layers of thermals!

So, something I haven't done before is handmade mini journals. Way back when I was at printing college in Leeds I did a segment on book binding and really enjoyed it. I have made these mini journals with recycled papers, vintage wallpaper, maps, doillies, and anything else which was kicking about. I have done some stitching and embellishing on the covers and a bit of rubber stamping.

Thought they might be useful as my bargain items at the craft fair for stocking fillers.

Affordable Art at Gallery 49, Bridlington

I think the poster pretty much says it all. ERA's latest affordable art exhibition has just launched at G49

I submitted my 2 textile robin pictures which I created for last years Christmas cards, along with a few brooches.

A few robin cards are available in the gallery and in my Folksy shop.

There were some lovely jewellery items in Gallery 49 and you might just see on this picture some little ceramic bird brooches by the wonderful Claire West. I love Claires colourful paintings, she has some in the gallery. Claire is also sharing the forthcoming craft fair weekend with me at Wolds Village in Bainton. I am having the stall on Saturday and Claire will be having the stall on Sunday, not sure if she is just selling paintings and prints, or whether some of these ceramics will appear.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Black Garlic - Day 40, experiment 2

40 days seem to have gone fast. Yes today is Black Garlic Day and I have just been down to the oven with my fingers crossed.

Here it is, about to be removed from oven.

Looks promising, I can see blackness through the papery skin.

Look at the colour difference after it's cooked.

Do you want the good news or the bad news?
As I eagerly tore into the bulbs they were certainly black and not the pale gooey stuff I had the first time I did this when the oven wasn't hot enough.

But oh dear....

They've now gone the other way, completely solid like garlic charcoal and absolutely useless and over cooked. I just checked the oven temperature and it is still about 140 as should be. 

This isn't an easy experiment to try out and who knows whether the so called fresh organic garlic I used was fresh enough, or is my oven thermometer a bit out and maybe a tad too hot on this occasion. Who knows, one things for sure, I'm not trying it again!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Hull Vintage fair yesterday

Yesterday was the first vintage fair in Hull, quite nice that it was in the Guildhall although you can't see much from the picture below.

I have to say, now that I've been and as I've got the York vintage fairs to compare with, that it wasn't as good or rather there wasn't the variety of stalls that you get in York. We hoped there would be homeware, fabric / linen and arts and crafts but there was no fabric of any description, the only bit of homeware was a stall where they had made cake stands from loose plates and had some charity shop tea cups, and I didn't really see anything new on the craft stalls.

It was mainly clothes and not brilliant clothes either, and over priced, there seemed to be rack upon rack of horrible patterned, 1980's jumpers and smelly, stained arran jumpers. The odd bit of groovy 60's or 70's clothing is always so small and fitting in style that I don't stand a chance sourcing anything.
So, did I buy anything? Well I was remarkably restrained and only parted with a fiver for these 2 scarves! But I might sell one on Ebay.

I did manage a bun with a cuppa, it had sparkly glitter sprinkles on the top and I think I spent the rest of the afternoon with glitter bits round my mouth! Not a good look!
The catering was courtesy of Miss Poppys tea party, Beverley, who I know from networking.

After the vintage fair, made a quick trip over to Hepworths Arcade, had a look in the groovy Beasleys shop.
Some things never change, Dinsdales joke shop is the same as it was when I was a small child spending my pocket money on sneezing powder and jumping beans!

Was surprised to see Mr Baxters shop, next door, closing so nipped in and he is concentrating on online sales as he's run the shop for 40 yrs.

And, one final picture as I always think The Land of Green Ginger is a wonderful name for a street. I spotted this plaque on one of the office doors and it appears to be a line from one of my favourite films, Stardust, "second star on the right, straight on 'til morning".

Friday, 25 November 2011

Spoonflower contest - Kites

I have a new fabric design in this weeks Spoonflower contest, the subject was Kites so I made this collage effect design with coloured newsprint and machine stitched kite strings.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Festive Giveaway - coming soon!

I haven't done a giveaway before, mainly because I don't have many followers of the blog, but maybe I can drum up a few more by Tweeting about this!

I plan to launch the Giveaway at the beginning of December so I will post an update of how to take part in the first week of Dec. I'm afraid I can only offer the Giveaway to my UK followers due to overseas postal costs but do pass this on to any other bloggy friends who may be interested.

The Giveaway may take the form of one of my handmade textile gifts or perhaps material, I'm not sure yet, I might even go mad and offer a choice!
Either way I thought it would be a fun way of getting into the festive spirit with my online friends.

Watch this space!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Christmas Craft Fair preparations

Any spare moments are now taken with festive craft preparations. I am having a stall at the Wolds Village in Bainton, E. Yorks, they are having a Christmas Craft weekend on the 3rd & 4th December, I'm only there on the 3rd, 10am - 6pm.

There are a few of us representing East Riding Artists, painters, ceramicists, crafts etc. I'm not sure but I'm guessing our stalls will be set up in the Art Gallery, it's a great place and I can recommend in the tea room their chocolate scones with chocolate chips, served with a chocolatey dip & cream! That's if you like chocolate of course!!

I thought I'd show a few bits n pieces I've been making.

A new range of Harris Tweed butterfly brooches.

Some more ice skate decorations.

Some mini cupcake ring pin cushions.

I'm making these sweetie cones or festive favor bags out of vintage fabric.

I've got lots of half started things which I'm itching to get on with and then I have stock from a festive fair last year which I need to sort out.
So much to do, so little time but it's all worth it on the day!

First Vintage Fair in Hull, 26th Nov

A friend has invited me to the first vintage fair in Hull. Looks like it is run by a different promoter to the ones I go to in York so should be interesting and maybe some fresh stalls to look at.

Here is the link if anyone is interested, 26th at The Guildhall, noon to 5pm.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Almond Ricciarelli & vintage linen

Yesterday, wanting to use up some egg whites and try out a new almond biscuit recipe in practise for gifts out of the childrens festive recipe book I got last week, I realised the one thing I didn't have was the ground almonds.

I brought forward a food shop and as it was a pleasant afternoon I shopped in Brid which meant I could get haberdashery stuff and picture hooks in Boyes, I love that shop, what will I do when I eventually move to a part of the country which doesn't have Boyes shops! I did a bit of festive shopping in M&S where the Christmas biscuit tins are on offer, no trip would be complete without a quick look in the £1 and under section in one of the charity shops (more later), I took a breath of sea air and finally, the ground almonds!

Here's the recipe, if you like almonds then I think you'll like them.
This book is great because with it being for kids the things seem quick and simple, yet there are some quite nice sophisticated ideas in here when you get beyond the gingerbread house covered in Smarties!

My first batch spread and overcooked a bit, usually I'm complaining that the oven is never hot enough but it is at the moment. The last 4 came out better, I just did half the amount to try.

Time for elevenses, they taste really good and have a crispness with the egg white.

I'll finish on the subject of vintage linen. 
I went in the St. Catherines Hospice shop on Cross St as the upstairs is mainly things for a pound or less and I've had some great things in the past. I fell lucky yesterday because the linen baskets were bulging with tray cloths, tablecloths, flowery 60's pillowcases etc. 
I got all the bits n pieces below for £2, most things were 10p each, I couldn't believe it. It would have been quite easy to buy sackfuls but I had to be selective and so there is plenty left.

Brid seems pretty good for picking up vintage linen, maybe because of all the B&B's.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Nutcracker Man Cut & Sew Kits

Last week my printed fabric arrived from Spoonflower with the Nutcracker Men cut and sew kits. I spent some time chopping the kits and packing them before photographing them to list in my Folksy shop. 

I am selling them mostly as individual items but I have listed one full set with a man in each colour because I think it will make a lovely string of bunting.

This was before I cut into the lush piece of fabric!

Before packing.

Packed and ready to go.

Here's one I stitched up. Stuffed him with toy filling but would be equally nice filled with dry rice, lavender or cloves.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Bob the bunny's visit to the best coffee shops in York

What a lovely autumnal day it turned out to be. Just as well as Bob had planned a trip to York to sample some of the best coffee shops his owner knows.

This was no ordinary trip, this was purely a coffee trip, no shopping, just a peaceful potter around the streets with juice from the bean to keep us going.

First off was the newest coffee shop in York, Spring Espresso on Fossgate. So new, they haven't got the sign up yet but Bob had no trouble sniffing out the espresso!

Spring is run by the lovely Steve & Tracey who we had briefly met at The Attic before. This is Steve preparing a flat white.

And here is the delicious drink.

Not only do they prepare fantastic coffee, they have the most amazing tea and Piao-i tea infusers. This is some jasmine pearl tea infusing, ooh it was so fragrant, mmmm, like spring (pardon the pun) flower meadows.

The shop has some interesting handmade furniture from reclaimed Yorkshire timber, it was a fascinating start to the day.
Swiftly moving on, Bob and I headed towards the river, our destination Lendal Tower.

New to us, although pretty well established already is The Perky Peacock, run by its namesake owner, Nicola Peacock.

What a quirky little coffee shop, housed inside the tower. Bijou but beautifully formed, full to the brim with customers so we sat outside in the sun and sipped our delicious flat white and homemade ginger biscuits.
Nicola popped out to say hello but Bob had bounced off to admire the river at that point so he'll meet Nicola next time!

We were just starting to get that caffeine fueled buzz, but that wouldn't deter us from scuttling across town to our most frequented venue, yes you guessed it, The Attic above Harlequin.

The doors had more or less just opened but someone had beat us to being first up the stairs. no problem, still plenty of seating.

We were tempted by a sweet sounding Mexican espresso, we weren't disappointed, it was very palatable indeed. The water was divine too, it had turned quite warm so the cooling and caffeine diluting effect was much appreciated.

All this scurrying about had made Bob quite peckish so no trip to the Attic would be complete without a portion of our favourite snack, herb & garlic bread, excellent fodder for a young rabbit like Bob.

Our trip had drawn to a close, the money was all gone, we were high as kites on caffeine, The Attic was now very busy and it was time to go home for a rest. 
Bob enjoyed meeting all our coffee friends, old and new, sampling some wonderful, drinks, hospitality and service. York is certainly becoming a hot spot for good coffee.
Bye bye Bob.