Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Ooops... it's been exactly a month since I last wrote a post, how did that happen! This last six weeks has been crazy busy especially in my Not on the High Street shop and it has been one big round of making up badges and mirrors - especially of the personalised variety! The amount of orders way exceeded my expectations so my own Christmas preparation plans have kind of been pushed to one side this year. As has my blog reading, I've missed so many lovely Christmassy posts I know but hope to catch up a bit soon.

I did put the tree up a few weeks ago, and gathered a few bits for the dresser, but all my plans of crocheted bunting, paper chains, Christmas baking and other handmade decorations sadly went out the window. Next year I'm going to start earlier... round about March I think! (I'm only half joking.)

Here are a few little snippets and favourite decorations from around the house...

My bargain candy canes I bought last year came out - some are hung on the tree, some are arranged in glass jars....

My lovely dresser... which still looks a little bare really, complete with homemade bunting!

The red and white rag wreath I made last Christmas is back too!

...some Scandi inspired red and white stars

Lots of candles...

 ...the little gingerbread house I treated myself to in Bath a few weeks ago
...a fairy with pom pom hands and feet :)

... a feathered and sequinned chicken with a crown

 ...a sequinned nutcracker and little reindeer

...a bejewelled peacock I think this one is supposed to be!

and lastly one of my absolute faves, Mr pom pom earmuff bear! 

There are many more ornaments just as random as these on our tree this year that I've collected over the past 7 or 8 years...  Collecting Christmas decorations is something I really love and it is a tradition to buy at least a few more every year! 

When I was a student I worked part time for a few years for Monsoon Accessorize so many of my novelty decorations with the moving arms and legs and pom pom feet come from there. Since then I've been collecting slightly more 'tasteful' ones of clear glass and red and white but the old favourites still have to come out. Last year I tried just a gold and silver tree but it looked so boring, so am happily back with the jumble of colours and styles this year!

I also bought myself an advent calender this year for the first time since I was about 12! Have loved the little chocolate before breakfast each day but quite dissapointed there were no pictures behind the windows like there used to be. Still for £1.99 not sure I can really expect anymore! 

And lastly my latest purchase is these adorable felt and knitted reindeer. For those of you who follow my facebook page, you may remember when I fell in love with them a few weeks ago... well I happened to be walking past the shop again and they were in the sale... it was meant to be obviosuly, hehe. Aren't they adorable? :)

Just before I go and since it is almost Chrismtas, here are my festive December projects for Crafts Beautiful magazine. (For more crafting ideas go to

 Brightly coloured 'fill your own' decorated crackers... I love how these have been photographed. Too bad I didn't actually put in any gifts when I made them, otherwise we could have used them on Christmas day!
...and a festive stocking project!

Anyway so here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! We will be spending actual Christmas here just the two of us, then will be off to visit my parents and family over the New Year - can't wait as it has been a good few months since I was last there, and a whole year since I saw my brother! Hoping to squish in some kind of crochet project in my suitcase for the long train journey. My stripe blanket is still not finished, but is much too big and heavy to take with me... so something smaller... maybe a cushion cover I'm thinking. Or perhaps the bunting I never got round to finishing... at least it would be ready for next year! Anyway, hope you all have a wonderfully festive, happy  and relaxed week with your loved ones, see you in 2012!


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Christmas is coming!

Apologies in advance, it's been a while since I blogged so have a feeling this could be a bit of a mammoth post! I hope you're sitting comfortably with a glass of something nice...

Well I've been promising it for ages now so better start with a little blanket update! Though actually not been doing much on it lately... a mixture of lack of time and a lack of motivation if I'm honest. When I started it, I was going great guns and within a couple of weeks it was about half the size it is now. At the moment I am lucky if I manage a stripe a day, but then that is OK - I'm at about 100 stripes now I think and I was only aiming for about 120 so not long to go! I kind of don't want to finish it, I have enjoyed making it so much, so maybe that is why I am eeking it out... At least I don't have the horrible sewing together bit with this one!!

Anyway so what do you think? This photo is just over 2/3 of it laid out...

It is so bright and cheerful, just as a granny blanket should be I think, and is lovely and warm to snuggle up under. As it is a work in progress, it is currently living on the sofa, so it's in easy reach in the evenings! I do love cosy evenings, with my dressing gown on and all the lamps lit. It's definitely one of my favourite things about these dark cold winter months.

Continuing on the crochet theme, a few weeks ago, I also started making some Christmassy red and white crochet bunting using Jacquie's fab pattern, though actually this is as far as I got! Karl was a bit mean about it - he can't see the point of any bunting and I think crocheted bunting was just a step too far for him to comprehend!!! I took it to heart and put my lonely triangle away in a drawer but at the weekend I dug it out and I've decided to finish it whether he likes it or not! What do men know about these things anyway?! The plan is to alternate the red and white combinations for each flag and then string them all onto some stripey string to finish. Hopefully it will look nice and festive!

So apart from the crochet, have been working hard on lots of Xmas orders coming in for various things - mainly mirrors and badges I have to say. I actually got a new 25mm die for my badge maker last week and so spent a day or so testing it out making some really teeny weeny badges. The Christmas ones I've got in my shops already...

I'm selling them in packs so they can be split up for stocking fillers and little gifts and so far have gone down really well! I also started making little floral and pretty patterned ones too, but not got around to photographing them yet, hopefully will do soon though :) Anyway so that was quite exciting last week - I do love the thrill of designing and making a new product, and these are just so cute, I totally love making them!!

Have also been on a pudding mission this week, making up more pudding badge cards and pudding magnets for my Not on the High Street and Etsy shops...

Thank you to all you lovely bloggers who have ordered things from me in the last few weeks by the way, I really truly appreciate it! I actually need to start my Christmas shopping soon - Christmas is creeping up so quickly this year as the weeks whizz by. I did have a little trip to Bath on Friday to meet up with a friend for a few hours but all I came back with were some little decorative bits for me! Not really the spirit of Christmas shopping but still... I did get some lovely things actually - especially from M&S, they have some gorgeous red and white decorations in, but I will save them for another post.

Anyway this week I've also been working on a spring magazine commission. It won't be published for months yet though the Christmas projects I did for Crafts Beautiful way back in the summer are finally in the current issues! First up from the November issue is a Christmas card project I designed which is great for using up all your little bits of ribbons...

I really enjoyed doing this one, and it actually turned out better than I had imagined. I love the photography shoot for this project, I think the styling shows them off really well.

The December issue is actually out now too and I have three different projects in this one!! One of them is for these little hanging decorations including a snowman, star, tree, stocking and gingerbread house. Do you like them? The gingerbread house was definitely my fave to make! It will be coming out to decorate my own tree in a couple weeks, can't wait!

For more crafting ideas go to
I think I'll save the other two projects from this issue for my next post too, so that's nearly it from me today! Oh just before I go actually, wanted to show you a bit of festive embroidery I did at the weekend... 

If you couldn't tell, it's a little pair of festive mittens! (Karl's first words when he saw it were 'Why've you done a pair of boxing gloves?' Cheeky thing! Trouble is,  am not entirely sure he was joking!) It was really simple to make, just a little felt and embroidery thread, framed in a little hoop. Don't look too closely at my stitching though, I was watching a film at the time and somehow the snowflakes ended up being kind of wonky... oh well, it's only for me so doesn't matter too much I guess!

Anyway, I hope you are having a good week whatever you have been doing... thanks for your lovely comments and for stopping by as always, and I will be back soon with some more festive makes! Jenny xxx

Sunday, 13 November 2011

We have a winner!


Just popping into announce the winner of my giveaway... Thank you so much to everyone who took part,and hello to all the new faces - I will hopefully get some time soon to have a good nose around all your blogs too!

There were 112 entries in total, including a few from facebook added onto the end of the list where Blogger wouldn't leave comments... I was going to pop all the names into a hat and do it the old fashioned way, but seeing as there were so many entries, I've gone for the trusty magic number generator again! 

And the first number it landed on was..................................................

Number 4!

Which is Sue from The Krafty Cupcake! Congratulations Sue, I will be in touch soon about the sending of your prizes :)

Thanks again everyone who entered, sorry I can't send you all a little something! Anyway, hope you have had a good weekend - I actually managed some more of my blanket today (it has been somewhat neglected for the past fortnight) so off to do one more row before bed! Night xx

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Mirrors, mirrors everywhere!!

That's kind of what it feels like at the moment. For the last few days at least I seem to have been surrounded by them! All because I decided to start selling plain fabric mirrors (by plain I mean not embroidered) alongside my stitched ones...

It started with these festive ones, but I then decided to make up some pretty floral ones too, which could be given as gifts or bought as a treat all year round...

My favourite 'Flower Sugar' fabric has been cut in to... has some of the gorgeous fabric I bought in Bath last week! I do love them, so very girly and pretty!

So it's been a little like a production line here, ironing fabric, cutting out circles, cleaning the mirrors (the most annoying part of the process, but they come really filthy!) pressing them into mirrors and popping them in their little organza bags. Hundreds and hundreds of them... especially the Christmas ones which have been flying off the shelves! I don't think I'd make a very good factory worker though, I'm not very fast on the production line, and I'm also very picky... I would have been fine on the quality control section though!!

Anyways, they can be found individually or as jumbo packs of ten in both my Etsy and my NOTHS shops :)

I have also been doing a little mirror embroidery though too as I've just put my personalised badges and mirrors back on the website, so quite a few orders for these coming in again...
After the matching badges were in the NOTHS spring catalogue, I was so sick of making them, so suspended them whilst we moved house and went on holiday, but actually am really enjoying making them again. I seem to be much better at doing neater embroidery in the mornings though - by the afternoon I'm all over the place!! So I have to make them the first thing I do in the morning... very strange!

Anyway, so apart from all the mirror making going on, I also had a lovely weekend with my parents. It was a very spur of the minute decision for them to come and visit, but it was so nice to see them. It came about because on the Friday afternoon we had torrential rain! And I do mean torrential... only for about an hour, but it was absolutely heaving down... Maybe the title of this post should have been  'water, water everywhere...' that would have been more apt!

I was at home as normal working away when looking out of the kitchen window, the road seemed to be turning into a river. More and more water just came flooding down the road, until the road wasn't even visible. Cones, bins and building materials began to float down the road too...

We live on a newly built estate which isn't even quite finished yet, and the way they have built the road coming in, seemed to be channelling all the water from the main road down through the estate, straight past our house... Luckily for us, we are set back a bit from the road and it was literally just flowing past our house, but not so lucky for the people who live slightly further down the road - lots of people got badly flooded where the water all collected where the road dipped - some of them old people's homes, it was awful, so quick and so devastating.

Because the builders are all still on site finishing bits and pieces, hopefully they will have to do something about it and build some flood defences or better drainage or something, it can't be allowed to happen every time we get heavy rain! Just feel so sorry for all those affected, can't imagine how I would feel if it was our house with all our furniture and belongings ruined... Nature can be so scary sometimes, the force and the speed which it has is frightening.

Anyway, as this was all going on, I was relating it to my parents over the phone and they just randomly decided they would come visit for the weekend. They hadn't seen our new house yet and they've only been down here once or twice very briefly before so it was nice to show them a little around the area too... we went to Castle Cary for a potter about on the Saturday afternoon, then out to eat at a lovely pub called The Three Horseshoes in Batcombe in the evening. Karl was away for the weekend so it was just me and them but so lovely to catch up! I do wish they lived a little closer, it is still a 3-4 hour journey up to where they live now and we don't get to see them very often at all, but I guess it beats the 7 hour journey to their old North Yorkshire house.

Well the day seems to be whizzing by, so I best go and get on. I've got a little list I want to get through by the end of today, starting with... yep, you guessed it, some more of these!
Isn't this fabric pretty? I've not got much of it, so these ones will be a limited edition range! It's an old ('vintage') Laura Ashley fabric from the 1980's I think - mum gave me the fabric, which was an offcut from their old sofa which we had when I was growing up, so quite nostalgic for me really. Kind of feel sad cutting it up, but it is an odd shaped piece and I'm not sure what else I would do with it really, except keep it in my stash for years and years... whereas at least I am putting it to good use now... plus the little posies of flowers are just the perfect size for the mirrors, so maybe it is meant to be! You can find them here for now.

Anyway, really better go now... but hopefully you are all having a lovely week and keeping cosy and dry! Oh, don't forget to enter my Christmas giveaway too which is still open for a few more days! Back soon xxx

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Giveaway time!

Well I've been promising a giveaway for what seems like months now... so here it is - at last! I thought a festive themed prize was in order now that we are in November, which in my mind at least, means we are officially on the run up to Christmas now - eeek! Anyway, here's what I will be including in the little festive package of goodies...

...some festive pudding buttons...

... a six pack of my printed bauble cards...

... a little stocking pin badge...

...a stocking decoration for the tree...

...and lastly one of my little snowflake handbag mirrors (can't believe how many of these I've sold already and we're only just out of October!)

So a real mix of Christmassy bits and bobs, but hopefully a nice mix!

This giveaway is really a big thank you to all my readers, followers and fans on here, as well as on my facebook and twitter pages! I'm made up to have over 300 blog followers, over 1000 fb likers and nearly the same on my twitter page - thank you so much for popping in every now and again to catch up on what I've been up to! I've really loved getting to know so many other crafty and talented people this last year too!

Anyway, so you're probably wondering what do you have to do to be in with a chance of winning?? 

Well I've tried to keep it nice and simple! Yesterday I opened an Etsy shop, so I thought it should be something linked to that! (Plus it's looking a little lonely over there so would like some more visitors!) 

So for one entry, all you need to do is... favourite my Etsy shop, then come back here and leave me a comment telling me you've done so! Easy peasy :)

Now I know not everyone's on Etsy, so for a second entry, you just need to follow my blog, preferably by GFC, then leave me a comment letting me know that you follow.

So to recap... you can enter by:

Favouriting my Etsy shop
Following my Blog

Please remember to leave me two separate comments if you are entering twice!

All the goodies will go to one lucky person... the giveaway is open internationally, so wherever you are in the world, you're welcome to enter! The giveaway will end next Sunday - so the 13th November, at 7.00pm English time and the winner will be picked probably by the magic number generator!

Thanks again for all your support, friendships and lovely comments this year and very good luck with my giveaway! I will be back soon with some new things I've been working on, plus a blanket update too! Have a happy rest of the week, Jenny x

p.s If you are kind enough to blog, tweet, sing and shout about my giveaway, I would be so very grateful - the more the merrier! Thanks lovelies xx

Friday, 21 October 2011

Feeling Festive!

Hello, hope you are well on this chilly Friday! With the weather turning colder, I'm definitely feeling quite Christmassy at the moment... I've said before, I'm not a huge fan of the Autumnal months, although I do appreciate the beautiful colours that Autumn brings. But really I would quite happily skip from September straight to the beginning of December and the run up to Christmas, which is one of my favourite times of the year!

Despite my festive mood, I have refrained from actually putting up any xmas decorations you'll be glad to hear, (won't do that until beginning of December) but I did buy the Prima Christmas Makes magazine this week. I'd seen it blogged about several times and a few of the projects, these sweet little mice in particular, seemed right up my street. 

I've still got to make time and have a proper sit down read of it, but I have been dipping in and out all week, gazing at all the lovely pictures. I think I want to try and do a red and white Christmas theme this year - I love this Christmas tree!! I've definitely been seduced by all the Nordic inspired decorations around at the moment...

It also has lots of Christmas gift ideas which are great. I particularly love this little pop up nativity set by Roger la Borde, but can't find anywhere that stocks it... just think it is so sweet!

Anyway, it is a lovely mag all in all.

Continuing on the festive theme, these Christmas projects of mine were in last month's Xmas Special Crafts Beautiful magazine. It is lovely to see them in print at last, as I did them months ago in early Summer, before we had even moved house and been on holiday! Seems like a very long time ago really!

For more crafting ideas go to

I really enjoyed doing these projects, especially the cards. I don't do much card making for myself anymore, just never seem to have the time or inspiration so it is nice to work on card commissions instead!

This week, I've also been putting together a Christmassy trade order for Andrea of Andrea Willis Designs - you'll probably know her blog and lovely design work already. Andrea has a lovely shop in Scarborough, selling her own work alongside some of other designers too. 

It looks so inviting, doesn't it, I love the colour of the shop front! I did live in North Yorkshire for much of my childhood, but now I've moved to Somerset, it's a little bit too far for me to visit unfortunately. If you are ever up in Scarborough though, make sure you pay her a visit! Anyway, Andrea's been stocking my work since the beginning of the year, and I've just packaged up some  more festive goodies that will be on the way to her soon :)

Thanks for all the lovely comments you left on my last post by the way - they really cheered me up! Luckily, I left the Monday blues behind and the rest of the week has gone past OK - a little bit quiet but I've been busy working on bits and pieces so it has gone reasonably quickly in the end. One thing I have actually been doing this week is finally sorting out a Folksy shop and adding some bits to it including some of my new Christmas buttons...

It's been on my 'to-do' list for ages, but it's always seemed too big a job and one of those things that I've just been putting off! Anyway, finally got it up and running this week at last! Do pop over and let me know what you think :) Hopefully will be adding more to it soon, it is looking a little sparse at the moment.

I do also want to open an Etsy shop too. My NOTHS shop does well for me, but I guess it can't hurt having more outlets for my work, so hopefully will get around to that sometime soon too. If anyone has any advice/opinions on either Folksy or Etsy by the way, I'd be really interested to hear it. I did pose the question on my facebook page recently and got some interesting and helpful feedback on both sites... feel free to add to it!!!

Anyway, that's about all for today, but hope you are staying warm and have a lovely weekend! I'm looking forward to Karl getting home later and hopefully working on my blanket a little bit more too, perfect! Oh, I do promise I will have my giveaway next week too - sorry, have just been slow on the organising front this week! Back soon xxx

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