Saturday, 29 January 2011

Handbag Mirror Giveaway - Closed!

It's been a really busy week here, but I've finally found a little time to get around to organising my promised giveaway!

I've recently passed 100 blog followers (big whoop!) so as a hello and a thank you to everyone who has left such lovely comments on my last few posts, I have decided to give away one of my embroidered handbag mirrors to three lucky winners.

The winners will each be able to choose which mirror they would like from my new 'Girly' range (cupcake, flower, butterfly)

All mirrors are handmade and embroidered by myself using up tiny scraps of pretty fabrics. They each come in a little organza bag, so they make a lovely gift if you can bear to give them away!

How to enter

There are 5 different ways you can enter the giveaway. You don't have to do all of them but of course the more times you enter, the more chance you will have of winning (no kidding!) So...

*Visit my online shops (here and here) and let me know what your favourite item(s) are - one entry
* Follow my Blog on Google Friend Connect - one entry
* Blog about my giveaway on your own blog - one entry
* Become a fan of my facebook page Jenny Arnott Textiles - one entry
* Follow me on Twitter @jenny_arnott and tweet my giveaway - one entry

To tweet my giveaway, make sure to include '@jenny_arnott' in your tweet or feel free to use the following wording:
Win a lovely embroidered handbag mirror, handmade by @jenny_arnott

For each entry, you will need to leave me a separate comment below. Make sure to leave your email/user names so that I can find you easily if you win. The giveaway is open internationally and the three winners will be chosen using a random number generator.

The giveaway will end at 9.00pm (GMT) on Friday 4th February so not long to get those entries in:)
Good luck xxx

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Cupcakes, Mirrors and Blog Award No. 2

I can't believe it's a week already since I last blogged, it's gone by so quickly! I've mainly been working on a couple of new products over the last few days, in particular little handbag mirrors which I make with my trusty badge maker and my new 58mm die!

The first little range is very pretty and girly, featuring cupcakes, butterflies and flowers which are always a favourite of mine. I am so in love with this cute little green daisy fabric, and was very excited this week to find a yellow version too (see below) which of course I bought up for future projects. I just love little ditsy prints like this, especially as their small scale makes them perfect for my little badges and mirrors. I also bought this gorgeous Cath Kidston-esque printed floral fabric, which I just love. It's so bright and cheerful, I really want to make something for the house with it, I just can't decide what!

Ok so back to the mirrors... I'm really pleased with how these turned out, and hope they will be popular as girly gifts.

On a different subject, I also was very honoured this week to receive my second blog award, this time from the lovely Vivienne of Green Rabbit Designs.

This award is different from some of the others in that it celebrates handmade and artisan blogs, with 300 followers or less. The aim is to promote small handmade businesses and encourage more readers to their blogs and more visitors to their online shops, which I think is fantastic. 

I now need to pass this award onto several other crafty/design blogs. Several of the blogs I awarded last weeks 'Stylish Blogger' Award to would have been very deserving of this one too, but to play it fair, I have chosen four different blogs to pass it on to. They are all run by very talented ladies, but do not have too many blog followers yet, so make sure you go and check out their beautiful work...

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend,

Jenny xxx

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Love is in the air...

As it's less than a month until Valentine's Day, I've been sorting out my Valentine's products this weekend...

This 'Love U card' is one of my favourite designs. It is printed on to heavy 300gsm lightly textured card and can be purchased from here.

These 'I love...' badges can be personalised with your choice of name, word or symbol up to seven characters... Again lots of orders for these before Christmas with some really weird and wonderful names being requested:) Hopefully they will be just as popular with Valentines just around the corner! They cost £6.00 each and again come on a little spotty backing card... if you would like to buy one for your friend or loved one, pop over to my Not on the High Street shop!

Friday, 14 January 2011

My first blog award!

Some lovely news... I have been awarded a Stylish Blogger award by the very talented and lovely Emily Parkes! Make sure you visit her blog and check out her wonderful textiles and illustration work.

So on getting this award, I need to tell you seven facts about myself, and then pass the award along to seven of my own favourite blogs. So here goes...

1: I was born in Bath, but have moved around a lot! In fact I have lived in 10 different places all around the country during my life (apparently I have inherited my dad's itchy feet!)

2: I've always been very academic, and if I hadn't followed my heart and focused on textiles, part of me would have wanted to follow some sort of scientific career - I'm so patient and precise, I think I would have been good in a lab!

3: When I was little, I had a pet lamb called Skippity, who I hand reared as an orphan. My brother also had one, his was called Lucy!

4: I used to play the flute. I got to Grade 5 then gave up... really hope to pick it up again one day although I'm not really very musical.

5: I went travelling around Europe a few years ago with two friends and had an amazing time... One of my favourite places was Venice, where I would love to go back to one day.

6: I hate clothes shopping but could trawl antique shops and homeware stores for hours on end.

7: I would so love to get another cat, but my OH is allergic to nearly all animals :( The picture is of our old cats Tiggy and Spot, who were both total sweeties!

So there you go, hope you have enjoyed learning seven things about me! 

Now for the seven lovely blogs I am going to pass it on to...

City of Blackbirds

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A little baking...

I mentioned last week how I got the 'Biscuiteers book of iced biscuits' for Christmas and that me and my sister had a quick go at baking and icing some biscuits over the New Year... well here are the results!

Unfortunately we didn't have many icing materials between us - only one squeezy bottle and one writing nozzle! We did have some disposable piping bags though (which we had to use without nozzles) but the effect wasn't quite as good as the holes we cut were a little too big. We were also limited on colours, having only basic yellow and red food colouring to hand, so they ended up looking quite pastel but in a way I quite like that! Would have made a lovely new born baby collection :)

Because of the lack of colours we had available, we chose to do simple shapes such as cupcakes, ducks and bunnies which we thought would suit the soft muted colourings and I'm really pleased with the different shapes we created.

We started off by making a simple gingerbread mixture, then drew some templates by hand of the outline shapes we wanted onto cardboard. After placing the templates on to the rolled out dough, we cut around them with a sharp knife, and put them in the oven to bake. Then it was time to start mixing up the icing.

First we made the piping icing which is reasonably thick (about same consistency as toothpaste so that it holds it's shape), added the food colouring and distributed it in to 3 different piping bags  - one for each colour, pink, yellow and white.

With the remaining mixture we added a little water to make the consistency runnier to make our 'flood icing', again separating it in to three portions and adding the colouring. 

We then began to pipe carefully around the outside of each biscuit shape, creating little 'piped walls' as it were. When these were dry, we decanted some of the runnier flood icing into a squeezy bottle and literally 'painted in' the middle of the biscuits in our chosen colours.

We had to do each colour one at a time, because we only had the one bottle... we could have saved so much time if we had had a couple more but we were too impatient to wait until we could get some!

Once the flooding icing had dried too, we went back over, adding in the details and lines with the piping bag colours. For some reason, we outlined some of the shapes again, but I think in hindsight this was a mistake as they looked better before, but anyway, that is a lesson learnt for next time!

I can't wait to get some more equipment (nozzles/bottles) so I can try out some more designs. I'm such a perfectionist that some of this batch didn't quite meet my exacting standards but they tasted nice and I'm sure with practise I can perfect my technique! Look out for more baking experimentation coming soon:) xxx

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Big discounts and some twitter action!

I'm only 26 but sometimes I feel like I kind of missed the boat with some of the new technology that's been around in the last few years! We only got the Internet in the house a few years ago, and although my mobile phone is relatively new, it does resemble a much older style - with the traditional small screen and little keypad, just how I like it:) I know lots of people are raving about the likes of the new i-phones etc around today but I just can't be doing with all that 'touch screen' malarkey! Haha, this post is making me sound so old already!

It was only 6 months ago that I began this blog, and my facebook page too (until then I didn't even have a personal facebook account!) But this weekend, I feel I have well and truly moved into the 21st century... I am now on twitter!!

Twitter is one of those sites that has been on my mind for a little while now, but I just never seemed to get round to signing up. Plus I figured it was just one more social networking site, and I already had enough of those to cope with already:) But so many different people kept encouraging me to sign up, so I finally took the plunge - you can find me on @jenny_arnott - so please come and find/follow me and say hello and I will most definitely return the favour! 

One really fab thing I have already found in such a short space of time is that there are so many beautiful creative people and businesses on there, I will have to try hard to limit my browsing time though or I will never get anything else done! But I really am looking forward to discovering some new faces and talent in the next few weeks.

So enough about twitter for now... I have had a general 'sorting out' few days since I returned from my Christmas break, mainly getting my receipts and invoices in order for the dreaded tax return! I have also put many of my products into the Not on the High Street sale which started 5th Jan - in particular my printed range, which I am not going to be concentrating so much on any more.

So... drumroll... many prints are now half price! This will be for a limited time only and while stocks last - some designs are down to the last one or two so be quick if you fancy them! The square ones are now only £12 (down from £24) and the rectangular ones now a bargainous £14 (down from £28.)

There are also some Christmas bargains to had too - cards, decorations, that kind of thing, with various discounts of between 20% and 50%!

So what are you waiting for? Pop on over to say hello on twitter, and grab yourself a lovely bargain too! Happy Sunday everyone xx

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Hello 2011 :)

A belated Happy New Year to you all, hope your Christmases and New Years went with a bang! Ours was quite quiet as usual, spending actual Christmas Day here in Somerset just me and Karl, then travelling up to see my parents, brother and sister over New Year in Staffordshire. Had such a lovely time, just relaxing and not thinking about my work non-stop, didn't really want to come back:) hehe!

I spent much of my time away either just lounging around, doing tapestry, eating chocolate, talking late into the night, shopping and baking! It was also so nice to see my family all together for the first time in a year. We hardly see each other as we are all so busy and live at different ends of the country, but it was really good to catch up, was just a shame my brother had to dash on back to Newcastle for the New Year!

I was also given some really wonderful presents, I am one very lucky girl! Here are just some of the lovely things I received...

...a wonderful baking book by the very clever 'Biscuiteers' people - I have admired their gorgeous biscuits for a couple of years now, and now I can learn to ice my own! Me and my sister actually had a go at making some iced biscuits over New Year but we were slightly hampered by both lack of experience and lack of equipment! Will post some pics of our results another day, they did turn out quite well in the end considering, but I am so looking forward to buying some more bottles/nozzles so I can experiment with more colours and more elaborate designs! 

Mmmm... drool! How fabulous do these biscuits look?! (Ours sadly were not quite up to this standard... yet anyway!)

... an adorable fleecy hot water bottle - so useful as I am always cold and practically live with a hot water bottle glued to me - even when I am sewing I usually have one on my lap!

... a new tapestry I'd had my eye on for a while, called 'Garden Sampler' from Ehrman. Hopefully I will have it framed when it is finished.

I love it, there is so much detail in it if you look carefully, like the little dog and all the tiny bees! I spent quite a bit of time doing this over the last week or so, but now I am 'back to work' as it were, sewing will take over again and I sadly just won't have much time to spend on it.

... this lovely utilitarian metal sign will be the perfect addition to my studio wall - am thinking of putting it behind my sewing machine so when I am frustrated with it I might remember to 'keep calm', haha! Maybe anyway!

... and lastly these very cute ladybird plasters, which came in a tiny vintage style tin. There are 16 plasters, 4 of each design, with a letter and corresponding picture on each  - so sweet, almost too good to use!

I had such a lovely break away but I am now slowly getting myself back into the swing of things here! I am feeling very positive about 2011 at the moment - I have so many new ideas, projects in the pipeline and new products to be launched this year, and just feel that it will be a good one, fingers crossed! xxx

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