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Monday, 5 November 2012

Back to blog

Well hello! It's been a while, dear readers. Months, in fact. The reasons for my absence are:
 1. Lack of motivation. My creative genie that deals with words went on an extended break. Rather than speaking I've been making "ugg ugg" sounds for the last 4 months.
2. Lack of privacy. I had to share my hidey-hole with some IT people for a while.I had to learn not to bristle when they used my favourite pen. I suppose this is the administrator's malaise - doing a sharp intake of breath when someone blithely says "Can I borrow a pen?" and without waiting for me to give them the designated un-favourite pen, they reach out and grab my BEST BIRO. Dealing with this has probably been character-building and good for me. It's just a pen (apparently).

As far as creating things out of felt though, things have never been better. I've given up making jewellery because so many people on Etsy (and I daresay elsewhere, but dealing with one online shop takes up enough of my headspace as it is without looking at other sites) make far more beautiful and authentically crafted jewellery, rather than just bunging beads and charms on to bits of metal which is all that I can do.

Instead I have become a felt addict. I will freely admit that I LOVE FELT. Our living room is becoming a sea of coloured plastic mailing bags, each containing several sheets of beautiful felt in a variety of colours. There is generally a carpet of tiny felt snowflakes on our, well, carpet from where I've snipped off tiny bits while making things. I'm a perfectionist, see. I bet not even Kate Middleton's hairdresser snips with the care and devotion that I do when I'm finishing off the edge of a memory game piece or trimming a nutcracker soldier's hat. I've discovered something finally that I'm good at (the evidence being, very happily, several sales of the games I have made on Etsy) and I love it and it makes me happy.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Sharing the Craftfest Lurve....


 Craftfest has arrived! It's a hectic week - well, not so much for me so far, seeing as I can only do stuff on my mobile at the weekends (painstakingly stabbing at my iphone trying to tweet and stumble and all sorts of stuff), so I haven't been able to do my full share of helping to promote Craftfest so far (sorry fellow Craftfesters - *slaps own wrist*) but I promise that I will Do My Best during the rest of this week.

As part of this event, Craftfesters are sharing the love of each other's blogs with an 'I Love Your Blog' award. My award goes to (*drum rolls, ta daaaaaaaaaaaa...*)

because Sharon has done loads to promote Craftfest and her team members' stalls and I also really like her friendly, funny writing style :-) Sharon, Pins and Needles salutes you! 

And I was sent this link by the very lovely Lu of Handmade in Keswick whose Crafestfest stall can be found here

and also by Garreth of Scent Cosmetics, whose fabulous stuff I can personally vouch for, as I have bought some and it's AMAZING, have a peek here:

And last but definitely not least, Sharon of the Old Button who makes the most beautiful playmats - have a look:

 Now then, here's the science bit.

How to Share the Craftfest Lurve
1. Paste our 'I love your Blog' badge to your page
2. Put a link to the blogger who sent it to you
3. Put a link to the blogger your are awarding the Lurve to
4. List some other blogs you like
5. Inform all the bloggers you have mentioned by commenting on their blogs
6. List 'How to share the Craftfest Lurve'
7. Tell us something you'd like to say, or show us something you'd like to sell

So, some other blogs that I like are....
 The thing that I'd like to sell is this pair of earrings, just because I think they're really fun and cute!
Happy Craftfest everyone!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Back... by popular demand!

Ahem, well, I say 'popular', but Mr Biscuitnose commented that I hadn't blogged for 15 days and he's quite right, I've been SOOOO busy leading my ueber-glamourous lifestyle* that indeed I haven't.

*this fib merely means 'I've been busy at work/ couldn't think of anything exciting to write about'.

So at Pins and Needles Towers, the buzz is that the cat is pulling his hair out (I'm hoping very much that this is just due to a change of diet - he cut his mouth last week and under instruction by the vet was on wet food, which, according to t'internet, can cause cats used to dry food to drink less water which results in them getting heat patches on their back and so yank their fur out - so he's now back on the dry stuff), it's ONE WEEK until the Green Man Festival (WOO HOO! I can't wait!!!!!) and I have sold a second memory game - yay! :-)

I also discovered the other day that I have signed myself up to another craft fair that I'd forgotten all about at the end of this month (note to self: write things in diary and then remember to look at diary), so I should start planning that really. I need to get more organised. Until now my stalls have looked pretty... well.... crap, to be honest, so I need to hone my presentation skills/ nick ideas off other people. I find it quite difficult to find good ways of presenting my necklaces and bracelets in particular, though my home-made necklace stand things (constructed along the finest Blue Peter traditional lines from a Shredded Wheat packet) worked pretty well last time.

Then there's also Craftfest, the online craft fair from 1st-8th September. If you're not a crafty person and you're wondering what the Dickens that is, here's a taster of some of the lovely stalls:

And you can see heaps more if you just go here, dear reader:

As well as being an online craft event, it's a good way for people who love making things to swap ideas and get tips on all sorts of things, not to mention bask in compliments from each other :-) Us artistes love that don't you know.

At the day job my building is partly building site/bombsite. I think the builders are getting gradually higher as the week goes on, from the nasty fumes being given off by whatever it is that they are using to seal the windows. They started the week merely whistling a bit, but by this morning it had become full-blown rapping and loud song. I'm expecting a performance of the musical 'Hair' tomorrow, or something similar.

Finally, this week I have mostly been making an owl. I'm not sure why all of my felt creatures come out with slightly wonky eyes. What would Freud say I wonder...?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Person fondue

It's so hot. I feel very languid and as if my brain has turned into slushy ice cream. I can't really be bothered to do anything except investigate just how melty my chocolate biscuits in my Important Stuff drawer have got.

It was a beautiful weekend. The children were so happy out in the garden pottering about and I didn't want it to end. The cat loves the sun and capers about trying to one-leggedly catch flies with his front paw. The tortoise still doesn't do a lot, though we were hoping that the sunshine would perk her up a bit, but she does enjoy a warm bath if you put her on the grass and pour water over her shell.

When I took Son down to London on Friday evening there were lots of Olympics-related people stood around idly in Paddington train station with nothing to do. They were wearing orange and purple shirts and I guess they were there to help any visitors to the games or athletes who had lost their way, but it really didn't seem any busier in London than usual. I felt sorry for them having to wear such ugly shirts - who in the hell thought that colour combination up?

Poor Son got his laptop, his ipod, two X Box games and all of the other contents of his rucksack taken from a cinema in Woodgreen. Both he and his Dad neglected to check that they had picked up his bag as they left the cinema after watching Batman and by the time they had realised and gone back to the cinema, it was of course gone. But after the events in Aurora I think he realised that far worse things happen in the world and in the end.... it's all just stuff. Stuff can be replaced, people you love can't.

So anyway, in the interests of helping Son to buy back some of his stuff, I will be donating the proceeds of anything that I sell in the next little while to him. My latest creation is this - another memory game - the last one sold in less than 3 hours, so I have my fingers crossed....


Meanwhile Craftfest preparations continue apace (when I am not drinking pear cider in the garden, that is.)


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Little old omnipresent me

So I seem to have got myself involved in an online craft fair. It's a very good idea - in fact it's a great idea - but I am rapidly getting the feeling that technology is leaving me behind. There are so many threads for things on the website and so many ways of promoting yourself and fellow crafters online - many more websites and portals than I ever imagined for selling and showing what you've made. I wrote out a list when I joined up of the ways in which me and my stuff can be found, and it turns out that - my god - I am EVERYWHERE! Have a look under your bed - I'm probably there as well. I am on Etsy, Pinterest, Creative Connections, my own website ( since you asked), Craftjuice, Facebook and this very blog. Which makes it all the more teeny-weeny bit disappointing that I haven't had many sales lately after a bit of a flurry a week or two ago, but hey, never mind. There are many beautiful things on sale from talented crafters and designers from all over the place in the online craft fair and it can be found here - - I think. See, I don't really know what I am doing.

In other news, Mr Biscuitnose has bought a wonderful 1950s bike that he is going to restore. It's his new project. Mr B is extremely creative and handy. He has taken it apart and is going to restore what he can, replace what can't be revived and get it all painted/powder coated in lovely vintage colours. It's going to look truly gorgeous and the end result is going to be for me (to ride around on but hopefully not fall off). No one's ever done anything like this for me before and it makes me feel very loved. I'm welling here and it's going to ruin my reputation as the most fearsome receptionist in the West Midlands so I had better stop.

I finished this last night and I'm quite pleased with it as a first attempt at making a multiple bead-string thingy.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Taking responsibility for things seems to be a recurring theme for me today.

First of all, I read about a designer called Rachael Taylor whose flower design had mysteriously appeared on a range of T-shirts in Marks and Spencer without her knowledge. It seems to have turned out that this was due to one of their suppliers having ripped off the design - M & S have apologised (on Twitter at least) and are going to withdraw the T-shirt from the shops and recycle them all. But how did they allow this to happen in the first place? How can such a major company just shrug and say "whoops"?

I then read very soon afterwards about an almost identical case where a lady called Kate Davies has had her knitwear design used without her permission by Debenhams. As yet there seems to have been no outcome, but hopefully they will do the same as M & S. I found this case even more sad because the designer depends on the income she makes from her knitting patterns since having a stroke.

These companies are big - in fact, HUGE. Do they really think that no one's going to notice? But that seems to be how things go these days - big companies ripping off the little guy in the belief that they are infallible. It's why the farmers are in London today and why Bob Diamond is 'only' getting his 2 million quid for being incompetent and/or a liar. I sincerely hope that they all get their comeuppance. (Did I spell that right? It's difficult to concentrate on spelling when I'm in Hulk mode.)

Finally I was glared at this afternoon several times by a middle-aged student who arrived five minutes before her essay deadline without having printed it off. I did my bit and told her where she needed to go to print it off and who she could see for IT help when she somehow managed to send her document to some printer in an office far far away..... but I had a strong feeling that she wanted me to hold her hand all the while and then hot-foot it down to the registry section to hand her work in for her. All I can say is sigh.... never mind. It's nearly wine o'clock.

Friday, 6 July 2012

My potential other life

Looks like the rainy season is here to stay, doesn't it folks? On Wednesday I got soaked to the skin about 4 times. I eventually arrived home and dripped all over the carpet. The cat has been missing since yesterday evening but I'm not too worried this time, I think the trip from one of his other houses to our back door may too much for him in this weather and he doesn't want to ruin his fur-style.

We have a busy weekend lined up. Son is making his dramatic debut (well, to the outside world at least - the actual debut of his dramatics at home was long, long ago) tonight in a production at a local theatre that he's been working on at his drama group and, like a true thespian, he'll be doing it all over again tomorrow night, a two-night run! I have a craft fair tomorrow at the Guildhall in Worcester (as mentioned in my last post, but I'm not above repeating myself in the interest of publicity). The forecast for tomorrow is, more or less, pants, so I don't know how busy it'll be but I'm looking forward to trying out a slightly different kind of event and seeing how it goes.

Hmm. As I sit here typing, someone just walked past and said "You look slightly like Kate Middleton". She stressed the slightly quite a lot though, so I don't think I can quit my day job and take up my new position as Kate Middleton Doppelganger just yet. However, Kate, if ever you get bored of going to those film premieres and posh lunches and you need a stand-in, you know where to find me. Just drop me a line. Okay? Great :-)

                                                                We're practically twins