Folksy Friday - Gifts For Sewers

With Christmas quickly approaching my next few Folksy Friday posts will be gift guides. This week's is ideas for sewers.

The Posh Scarecrow
I love this cotton reel shaped storage pot. These are available in different sizes and colour ways.

Rock Rose Jewellery
Sterling silver button necklace

The Crafty Curio Shop
There are many different styles of needle cases available on Folksy but this one is a personal favourite (I have a thing for flamingos) 

Bluebell Woodturning
Sweet chestnut pin cushion

Wardega Designs
Bronze needlework themed bookmark 

I hope you like this weeks selection
Have a great weekend

Folksy Friday - Christmas Tree Decorations

I've noticed through social media that some people have started to put up their Christmas trees and have spotted a couple of houses in my area with their houses lit up already. All this is far too early for me but I do try to leave putting the decorations up as late as possible, (only because it drives me mad not being able to hoover under the tree). This year we have thinking of buying a white tree but I know what we are both like. We may buy a white tree, look at it, decide it doesn't look traditional enough then bring out the old green one the year after. So with Christmas trees on my mind, this weeks Folksy Friday theme is Christmas Tree decorations.

These scandi style baubles are beautiful. All are a different fabric print and embellished with crochet lace and faux pearls

Handcrafted by Picto, Jan Ryan Art & Illustration
I love the intricately painted holly around this peg doll and the tiny tinsel halo

Rags And Tatters
This set of fairy toadstools have been hand painted and stained and have embroidered star details. I'd be tempted to hang these somewhere all year round

No two of these lovely stained glass trees are the same so every one is unique.

This is one my own. A heart shaped decoration in a Christmas print fabric, slightly padded with machine embroidered holly. (you may have seen them on this blog before when I've made them for gifts)

Thank you for looking at this weeks selection
Have a great weekend

Folksy Friday - Winter Woollies

As the weather is beginning to get a little colder lately my Folksy Friday theme this week is Winter woollies. 

100% wool socks featuring a lovely reindeer design

These mitts with a decorative felt flower are made from up cycled sweaters

This hot water bottle cover is my favourite from the thistledown&HOPE shop (I do love duck egg blue)

Hand knitted ear warmer made with British wool

This infinity scarf is available in 6 colours

It was difficult trying to make a selection this week as I do like my woolens to keep the chill off. 
Thank you for stopping by.
Have a great weekend 

Making Bonding Squares

Yesterday one of my friends social media posts was about a hospital running out of bonding squares and they were asking for knitters and crocheters to make some. I have knitted tiny hats and mittens for premature babies in the past but I've never heard of bonding squares before. They are 5 inch squares, made in pairs then one is placed with the baby and the other is given to the parent.

I thought they were an ideal way to use up spare wool and I made five pairs last night.
Information and the address to post the squares to can be found here

Marbury Country Park

At the weekend we nipped over to Marbury Country Park. It's a lovely place to visit especially at this time of the year and as it is local I have been many times though it has changed considerably since I was a child.  

I was surprised at how quiet the park was considering the weather wasn't too bad. The park is extremely busy during Summer and there is always some kind of activity on the mere. 

Marbury Park was originally the site of a grand family estate until it was sold in the 1930's. The hall then had a number of uses including a country club (the open air pool is still there and in use) and during the Second World War, a military camp and prisoner of war camp. The last hall was demolished in 1968 though stonework and steps which formed the raised terraces in the formal gardens still remain. The walled garden now houses a garden centre.

The first ghost story I ever heard (passed on by my lovely cousins) was about the Marbury Lady. The version I was told is that she could be seen in the park on a horse but I think this is where stories have been a bit mixed up. There is a legend of a ghost horse, The Marbury Dun, but I think they are separate stories. Anyway, I've been there lots of times at night during my youth and never seen a thing.
Our main reason for going was to try and encourage Opie to walk.

This photo shows how he behaves when we take him out. He stiffens his body and backs up,very reluctant to move at all (Never have I seen a dog to be so pleased to return back home, he runs around and rolls about like crazy). We know that he's not too keen on pavements but discovered he likes to walk through leaves. Opie actually seemed be enjoying himself. We'll have to take him back while there are still plenty of leaves on the ground.

The photo of Marbury Hall is from The Friends of Anderton and Marbury

Folksy Friday - Christmas Cards

This is my first Folksy Friday post and my chosen theme is Christmas greeting cards. There are so many different styles available, all tastes are catered for. These are just a few of my favourites.

I love the cuteness and humour on Sally's cards

This card set has a traditional British look to them.

A great craft theme card

These personalised colour in cards are ideal for keeping children busy on the lead up to Christmas

I don't think that I could chose a favourite from this set of hand drawn animal cards

I hope something caught your eye from this small selection.

A Busy Few Days

Recently I made the decision to plunge in to the world of selling online. Its something my friends and family have been encouraging me to do for years and it is something I've thought about but that is as far as it got, just thinking.
I made this Boston terrier plush last month which was inspired by vintage plush toys with disproportionately long limbs. Not seeing anything like it around and knowing how many people love this breed of dog I thought that maybe it would be a good thing to begin with.

I've made a few variations since making my first one

 and some Christmas decorations.

Coming up with a name for a shop was more difficult than I thought it would be. I didn't want to use any words such as felt, crochet, knitted, etc as then I'd be tying myself down to one specific product. I tried using the children's and pets names but nothing sounded right. Next I tried an online anagram generator and popped my name in. Using one of the results, I knocked off a couple of letters, added a Y and that is how I found the name, Molly Moochins. Everyone seems to like it  (I searched google and social media sites to make sure no one had used it)
I was ready to make a seller account so signed up on Etsy. Everything was going fine until I got to the verification stage where I had to photograph a driving licence or passport. This is where I got stuck because I have neither. I contacted customer services and if you have ever tried to get in touch, you will know that they don't rush. It took four days to get a response regarding verification but they accepted a utility bill and birth certificate as proof instead.
Next I made a shop on Folksy and made accounts under the Molly Moochins name on Twitter and Instagram. (My eyes have been killing me the past couple of days by constantly looking at screens) I'm not sure about making a page on Facebook yet. I keep my account private, just as a way to keep in touch with my family.

These are the places I can be found -

If anyone reading has experience selling online I would be grateful for any advice you could give me. I've been reading lots of tips but I'm sure I've probably missed something.

Dog T-Shirt

Our pup seemed to find it a bit cold in our house last week and while he didn't mind being bundled up in a blanket and be carried about like a baby, it's not very practical. At one point I even put the central heating on for him. I knew that Boston terriers feel the cold, that's why there are lots of photo's online of them wearing clothes and while I don't think it is chilly at all yet, Opie was shivering. 

We bought him the smallest t shirt that we could find in our local Pets At Home but the armholes were too big so his legs slipped out and he got in a bit of a taggle. Also he wasn't keen on the hood.

I looked online and found this free dog t shirt pattern and I made him some today using a couple of old t shirts. It fits much better than the one we purchased and so far he hasn't tried to pull it off.

Painting, Poster & Pup

Last week I painted our bathroom, the only room in the house I don't mind decorating as it is that small it only takes me two days to do from start to finish. Its gone from green to grey though when my Mum had a look she thought we hadn't changed the colour (now I know where I get my excellent observation skills from).

We put a new blind up though Anders thinks it is too bright but I thought it needed some other colour in there because it reminded me of a dentist waiting room.
Then I caught my eldest boy's cold germs so I've not felt great for the rest of the week. 

On Friday though I had a delivery that cheered me up, a signed poster of the film Dogged which I had won via Twitter. Dogged is a UK based folk horror film. It is being shown at lots of film festivals at the moment and from what I have read it has had great reviews so far. This is one I can't wait to watch. I've popped the Dogged trailer below.

Sunday we picked up our pup, Opie. The journey home takes around an hour and a half with good traffic and as he had only had a short car journey to the vets before I was expecting a bit of upset or sickness but he was fine and slept most of the way home. 

Basically he has slept most of the time we've had him because he is only 8 weeks old. Little L was expecting a playful, boisterous pup and everyone who has seen him has said 'Oh, I thought he'd be bigger than that' but he has plenty of time to grow yet. He has settled in quickly and loves everyone making a big fuss of him.

New Family Member (and it's not a dog)

Last weekend we took Caleb to pick up his new pet, a crested gecko.

 He didn't want to buy one from a pet shop as the gecko's he had seen had no tails. (I thought they would grow back as they do with most lizards but once they drop off on this species, that's it). He found someone who breed them from their home and arranged to collect it. We already had a vivarium stored in the loft from when we had anoles and geckos years ago.

The gecko is female and has been named Tig. I think she's quite cute. She has little spikes just above her eyes which I think look like false eyelashes. She has been handled every day so is very tame and usually just crawls about on your arms though you have to be ready for the odd jump. Caleb's had her sat on a stool feeding her banana from a teaspoon. (He has his own separate spoon for this. I like lizards but I don't fancy sharing my cutlery with one)

My lovely next door neighbour popped round with these this week. Yesterday I made apple cake and applesauce cookies. Today it will be apple crumble then I'll stew the rest to put in the freezer.

I made a start on making Christmassy things this week, two stockings for dogs. The Molly stocking is for my cousin's Shih Tzu pup and Opie is for our dog when we bring him home. I used this free pattern for the bone shape.

It was so hard trying to think of a name for the dog. The only one most of us agreed on was Opie. Now Caleb has named his pet Tig it looks as though we're choosing characters names from Sons Of Anarchy ... but we're not.

Felt Cactus

Today the sewing machine was out so I could do some mending and while it was set up I made this quick cactus hoop art.

The inspiration for this came from a little plant that was a gift from Little L. I don't know who thought it was a great idea to glue things on to a plant but when I tried to remove the hat I snapped the top of the plant. I've squashed it back together hoping that it will heal its self and not die on me.

The felt pieces were all machine sewn on

then the embroidery and wobbly eyes were added.

These are the pattern pieces that I made to make it.

A Not So Quick Catch Up

I thought I'd better pop on because I've been absent for a while. 
We've been busy here since my last post with school holidays, new shed for the garden, sorting the living room out (still) and a few birthday celebrations. We went for a meal last week for Caleb's girlfriends birthday and to meet her family. Now to me it felt a bit odd because I will always think of him as my little boy who loved cuddles, not the 18 year old with a girlfriend. She is a very nice girl though.
We still aren't finished with the living room. The decorating side of it was completed ages ago but Anders seems to keep on adding work for himself. I'll show what has been done so far.

This old cabinet has gone

and has been replaced with these bookcases that Anders made.

The opposite corner is pretty much the same as before. The bookcase is one that Anders made a few years ago.

The fire surround is the old one that has had a coat of paint. Anders made a new hearth and replaced the back on the fire (this was something he added on as we went along). The mirror is from Exclusive Mirrors

This is what the fire place looked like before.

We ordered the table and chairs on line and when they arrived the table had been damaged. On one of the corners the wood had split so this had been sent from the manufacturers like this and not happened in transit. The company told us to dispose of the table and a replacement would be send. After waiting in for I don't know how many days I got back in touch with them only to be told they didn't have any more and they would arrange a refund. So I'm stuck with chairs and no table. Anders took the table top in work to see what could be done to it.

 After a lot of glue, being clamped and waxed, I had a table. It's a good job that we hadn't thrown it on the tip straight away.

These were the old lights which were originally from my in laws

and these are the new ones. The lights we bought were on sale, half price from Debenhams. The curtains and rug were also on sale from Dunhelm Mill.

The sofa looks a bit bigger than our last one but they are the same size. The old one had chunky arms and as this one hasn't it has more seating area instead. The sofa is the Fellini model from Sofology. The wall behind the sofa does look very bare but that is where Anders hangs his guitars. (as much as I hate them being in here, there is nowhere else to store them and he doesn't even have room for them all here so I don't know what his plan is)

The cabinet is from Ikea. Even though Anders wanted to make as much in this room as he could, to buy the glass doors worked out too expensive. It looks pretty empty from a distance but it is full of nik naks that we're bought on our travels.

This was the corner where the cabinet is now. We've bought some small speakers to replace those in the photo.
Still to go in this room is a coffee table (which is almost done), more bookcases in the other alcove next to the chimney breast and a new TV unit. Anders was going to make a sliding shelf to house the turn table but he says that the unit has faded too much in the sun and it is quicker for him to make a new unit from scratch instead of sanding and re staining the one we already have .. see, he makes more work.

Craft wise I got around to finishing an embroidery that I started a little over four years ago. I only found it while having a sort out.

The pattern was purchased from greenbeanbaby on Etsy.

I also made this crocheted cushion for Caleb's girlfriend.
Something else that may be happening in our house is that we might be getting a puppy. This subject has been talked about for years here with Anders adamant that it wasn't happening. I don't know what's up with him (maybe softening with age) but he changed his mind. The kids are delighted. First I looked on line at dog rescue centres where I live plus surrounding counties. After looking at the descriptions of many available dogs it was clear that I wasn't going to find one that fit our requirements as a family. We need a child friendly dog, one that doesn't shed a lot because of my allergies and my eldest boys asthma and is relatively easy to train. After looking at many different breeds and have settled on a Boston Terrier. I've been in touch with a breeder who has a litter but they won't be ready for some time yet as they are only 4 weeks old. I've done this instead of going to pick a pup that I can take there and then because I've heard so much about puppy farms. We have been in touch via email and they have answered any questions I've had so far. As we have no intention of breeding dogs ourselves we have chosen a dog rather than a bitch.

This is pup (the end one with a thinnest white blaze). We will be going to view him next week. Hopefully all goes well with the visit and his health checks are fine.