Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Weekend Fun

The world always seems a better place with good music and good company, and both was had in abundance on Saturday night. I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a gig in aid of the Colonel's Fund Grenadier Guards. Opening the set were Cariad:

the lovely Becky and my big sis Nia...

...and front man Stephen. They sing a three part harmony version of Ride On by Christy Moore that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Bootiful!

Then Whisky Business brought the house down with an amazing set. The Gig was recorded and a live album will be released in a few months. I'll be saving my pennies for that one!

Even the sound technician got up to have a bash.

I definitely intend to go listen to more live music from now on. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time and now I've moved my local bar has an open mic night every week. Roll on Thursday nights!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Let it Snow!

I can't help it. I know that practically it's very inconvenient. That driving in it is a bit of a nightmare. But my gosh I just love snow! There's something so magical about it. I love it best when it's thick and deep and undisturbed. Before anyone's big lolloping feet have trudged big trenches through it.

Today it looks like someone has dropped million a tiny crystals over everything.

I have to admit that, although Christmas is my favorite time of year, I've been lacking in the festive spirit this year. I think the only time I've gotten the least bit excited about it was seeing the council putting up the Christmas decorations in our local town. Hopefully if this snow continues for a little while longer it might just gear me up for the festivities.

I've been yearning for cold weather since the end of August pretty much. And this week certainly hasn't disappointed! So I'm about to head out, wrapped up with scarf, hat and gloves, then I'll be back to curl up in front of a log fire with a big mug of tea and some sewing to do. I'm feeling brighter just talking about it - it just might be working already! :)

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends! I am very green-eyed (as in envious - the fact that I do in fact have green eyes kinda complicates the expression but there we are) thinking of everyone tucking into large slices of pumpkin pie - I'd make it all the time if we had a longer pumpkin harvest here in the UK!

I'm glad that I decided to do a post on thanksgiving. It's been all to easy to focus on the negative recently, but thinking of things to be thankful for has brightened my outlook on life somewhat.

I'm thankful for the friendships I've made in recent years and months. I'm thankful that I have a roof over my head, enough food to eat and enough money to get by. I'm thankful that I have a large stash of fabric and yarn and plenty of Christmassy ideas up my sleeve to keep me busy over the Holidays!

What are you thankful for??

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Getting to Know You: Eve Barnes

Ok so my second crafter interview was scheduled to come far far sooner than this but there we are - it's here now and it's good! This time it's the turn of Eve from Minifelts - tea and biccies at the ready and I'll hand you over. Take it away Eve!

Introduce yourself:

Hello, my name is Eve, I'm from the Isle of Wight and I make Minifelts. I run my own website and have a shop on Folksy selling handmade animal themed accessories all made from felt.

Tell us a bit about your creative background:

When I left school I studied music at University and hae played the drums for several years. I've been in many different bands and had quite a lot of success as a musician, playing big festivals and having my music played on the radio. When I finished University and struggled to find a job, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and randomly stumbled across the Folksy website. I was really inspired by the wonderful things people were creating, so I decided to teach myself to sew. I started making things from felt as it was easy to work with, and now I'm completely hooked!

Who / what inspires you?

As you can probably tell from my shop I love animals and cute things! I'm also addicted to reading craft blogs and endlessly browsing Etsy an d Folksy. I really enjoy reading about people's different creative processes, and looking at other people's creations really motivates me to create my own.

Tell us about your creative space:

Unfortunately I don't really have a creative space at the moment, as I'm currently flat hunting, so my sewing tends to just follow me wherever I go! In the summer I really love sewing outside, and on more gloomy days I tend to completely cover the sofa with my sewing and sew whilst watching DVDs or listening to music.

As for tools and materials I really love working with felt, as it's so versatile and comes in such a wonderful array of colours. I've never learned to use a sewing machine so all my creations are made completely by hand.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

I think my greatest achievement in terms of Minifelts is quite simply how much I've learned in such a short period of time! Before setting up my own website I knew nothing about web design, or anything about how to take a good product photo, or how to get my shop to come up near the top of a Google search.

But over the past few months I've worked really hard to make my online shop and website look as professional as possible. I'm now really pleased with my photographs and I'm starting to get the hang of blogging, branding, marketing and loads of things I knew nothing about before! When I first set up my shop on Folksy, my photos really didn't do justice to the products, but I have put a lot of time and effort into improving them and I'm really happy with the results. I also now find my work regularly featured on the folksy front page which lead to me being offered the chance to have my work stocked in a gallery in Lincoln, which all happened not long after I'd updated my photos, which just goes to show how important they are when selling online!

What are your hopes and plans for the future?

I have so many big ideas that I don't know where to start! Minifelts has only been up and running for less than a year, so I really want to expand the business, firstly by making a new range of products (I'm currently working on camera and Nintendo DS cases). I'm planning to open a shop on Etsy to try and attract more international buyers, as well as getting my Minifelts stocked in more "bricks and mortar" galleries and shops.

I also really want to get my work featured in magazines, so I'm working on that at the moment, and of course I'm sure like a lot of fellow crafters my ultimate goal is to make a living doing something I love!

Thanks a lot Eve - I love to find out a bit more about my fellow crafters. Eve's story is really similar to mine actually (minus the drumming success that is).

You can find Eve on facebook and twitter, check out her shop, blog, website, or contact her at eve(at)minifelts(dot)com

Monday, 22 November 2010

Shiny New Toy

So my return to blogging hasn't gone quite according to plan. My 6 year old laptop wasn't being very co-operative if I dared to ask it to do more than one thing at a time, so I've bitten the bullet and gotten myself a shiny new toy to play with. If only my health was as easily fixed! Not sure that I'm still fit enough to be let lose behind a sewing machine but needs must. If your in North Pembs and hear a rattling noise coming from an old farmhouse that'll be me!

I'm loving being back in the countryside I have to admit. It's so beautiful here! I can't believe it's been a whole 6 years since I lived here last - I'm not that old surely?? I only just finished school didn't I??

Anyway I actually do have plenty of blog posts for your enjoyment this week - they're written and all! So I'll leave you with these pics of my lovely new surroundings and I'll be back with a crafty instillation soon - pinky swear!

Monday, 15 November 2010


Testing, testing, one, two, three. Does this thing still work?? It seems like all I've done recently is apologise for my lack of blogging. I'm back now I promise! I can't believe it's been a whole month since my last post. Without launching into a 12 hour explanation of events let's just say that things haven't exactly gone to plan lately and I've found myself moved back to Pembrokeshire for the foreseeable future. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! You really can't complain when you live minutes away from views like this though can you?

Anyways I can't tell you how much I've missed being my usual crafty self - I haven't done more than a wee bit of knitting for weeks! There's so much to share with you - I have a couple of friends to introduce to you, a few books to review and lots of sewing to be getting on with. As soon as I dig out my sewing machine from the piles of boxes I have to unpack! And I haven't told you about my trip to Canada at all - here's a sneaky peak of things to come:

Before I go I just need to say a mahoosive thanks to my amazing friends who've helped over the past few weeks - you know who you are!