Saturday, 26 June 2010

Dogs, Dog Training & Folksy Saturday!

Morning all, it's Saturday so that means I'm off to dog training this afternoon, instructing a class of lovely dogs, all of which I would glady bring home! I thought I'd have a mooch around Folksy and see what was around this theme, I've been a bit lax with the Folksy Fridays so this is a Folksy Saturday! I can also introduce Dex and Louis to you, our two Mini-Schnauzers, here's Louis doing his best to sit still during a stay, amongst all the big boys!
Louis second from right!
 I'm sure this fabulous dog from Northfield Primitives on Folksy would do a much better Stay!
Northfield Primitives
I couldn't mention dogs without including Molly Moo and her lovely cards, Molly is a beautiful little Mini Schnauzer too and the inspiration behind these so cute cards, I've bought a couple this week and had them personalised at no extra charge:
Molly Moo Designs
I'm sure Molly Moo has the same mischievous streak as Dex and Louis who are forever up to mischief, it seems to be a Schnauzer trait, but they have such funny characters to go with it, they get away with anything! Here they are looking as though butter wouldn't melt, I think just prior to this they had finished digging a lovely hole in the flower border:
Dogs are definitely the kings of relaxing when it comes to this hot weather, ours spend all day flat out, moving occasionally to get a really is a dog's life, this Quote Brooch from Bookity made me chuckle:
Another fun item I found was this great T-Shirt by Very Vintage, hand printed and eco-friendly:
Very Vintage Designs

Thanks for taking the time to look, it means a lot to know I'm not talking to myself all the time! Have a fabulous weekend in the sun, I'll leave you with one of my own liitle offerings which sum up my feelings about our dogs:
Adien Crafts

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

"Chat" with Natalie of NOfkants Curio's

Hi, I'm sure a lot of you will know Natalie, so I thought it only right we find out a bit more! Here's our chat:
You have a lovely shop on Folksy, how would you describe it to someone who’s never seen it?
My shop is a mix of all my passions, this is why the shop has ‘Curios’ in the title, I hope it is like stepping into an old fashioned style Curios shop, where you can get unique and bespoke items and rummage through items you would not see anywhere else.  I try to make it as personal and personable as possible.

What is your favourite item in your shop at the moment?
Gosh that is a tricky one, as they are all my babies!  I tried to look at this question as someone from outside and I still had difficulty, but if I am pushed I do love the Tiger’s Eyes Fox Keyring / handbag charm, as Tiger’s Eye is one of my favourite gemstones, and this is such a substantial piece.

In the handbags selections, I think my favourite at this moment is the Wool Cashmere combo, as I have so many outfits it would go with.
But tomorrow I will have new favourites, so on this question I am very fickle.

You enjoy a variety of crafts, do you enjoy any one more than another?
Like most people I have phases, I will have a mad phase on fossil hunting and preparation, usually in the warmer weather, but not necessarily, I have been known to fossil hunt in the rain and snow!  I enjoy knitting and crochet as I find it relaxing and am drawn by differing yarns and colours, and can create like crazy for a few weeks, then not touch it again whilst something else takes me over.  I tend to knit and crochet mostly in the evening, which is great as I can still be with my family and spend time together.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Obviously someone stunning, gorgeous and a femme fatale! LOL.
Most likely it would be some pudgy little mousy lady who no one has ever heard of!  I always thought my Mum in her younger years looked like Sophia Loren, not me unfortunately, but it would have to be someone with dusky looks, as I am dark haired and have an olive complexion, not many of those about in Hollywood at the moment!
You have some fantastic fossils in your shop, what’s the story behind these?
Just a joy of fossil hunting.  I have lived all over the world as Daddy was in the army as I was growing up, and having the opportunity to explore I have grown up loving fossils and gemstones.  I spent my formative years in Dorset – The Jurassic Coast – and my secondary school emblem was an ammonite, so it is only natural that my love of fossils deepened and developed further in my teens.  Although I no longer live in Dorset, I take regular trips back to fossil hunt in my favourite spots, luckily for me, my hubby and children are in awe of fossils too, so we make it a family occasion.
Fossils are the inspiration in themselves, Millions of Years old and still there for us to discover and examine!  What’s not to love!?! 

You obviously love to knit/crochet – where did this love spring from?
My Mummy, we did not have a lot of money as we were growing up, and Mummy used to make all our clothes, in fact she still knits jumpers for me now!
I grew up watching and learning from her, hense why I never learned to knit from patterns, she always made up her own designs, and now so do I.  I would not know where to start if you put a pattern in front of me!  LOL!  It is like reading a foreign language!

Is there any other craft you would love to learn one day?
I adore Buttons!  I have memories of being a child and playing with my Mummy’s button tin!  I especially love vintage glass buttons, which I use in my creations.  I would adore to make jewellery from them some day!
Is there a particular item you’ve made that you’re especially proud of?
Gosh, again a very difficult question, am pleased and proud to finish any item.  Probably it would have to be my first ever fossil pictures.  If anyone could see my house, it is full of display fossils, and the pictures were one step further.
I love them all as they are all unique, 

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Nutty Knitting Natalie!
Who would your 6 dinner guests be if you had a choice of anyone, ever.?
Yet another difficult question!  Of course my close family and friends would be a given, but if I could choose six from anywhere, time and place I think I would like David Tennant, Ian McKellan, (both wonderful actors I would love to chat to) Ewan MaGreggor, another wonderful actor and scrummy to look at, has a great singing voice too, so would be good for a song at the end of the meal. I suppose I ought to have some ladies to even things out, Joan of Arc, I’m sure she would have some interesting tales to tell, My Nanna, Alice, she was such a card and she would put on her telephone voice and make us all ‘chortle’. She died when I was in my teens, I would love to know what she would make of things today and I would have loved for her to meet my hubby and children. And lastly, gosh this is so hard, Dawn French I think would be amazing company and have us all in fits!

Thanks Natalie for that little nosey into your life, visit Natalie's shop by clicking on any of her product pictures.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Bags and Stuff!

Morning all, aplogies for being AWOL all week, luckily I've had some custom orders to complete which have kept me busy. I have been very naughty buying lots of yummy Moda fabrics which were new in at my local fabric shop so I couldn't resist. I made some tiny patchwork bags to use as either gift bags for toiletries or a little girls bag, they are so sweet and a couple of M & S smellies wrapped in a flannel fit perfectly in them. Next to make some in Christmas fabrics!

Next I made a lovely Summer bag using the new Moda prints. The fabric is such great quality so worth the extra, it just glides through the sewing machine. I was really pleased with the results - I think it has a Retro feel to it, I could imagine having one of these in the 70's - in fact I probably did. I haven't put many bags in my Folksy shop before but have decided to put a few on and see how they do, thanks for looking!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Race for Life!

Hi all,

A big thank you to all the wonderful folk who sponsored me to do the Race for Life. Our little group raised over £600, what a great result! The day was just right with a nice breeze to cool us on the way round. An emotional day as expected but so worthwhile - putting my feet up today!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Lacock and Mr Darcy!

I hope you won't mind a change from Crafting for me to tell you about my lovely day out to Lacock, the National Trust Village and Abbey and the film site for many productions including Pride & Prejudice, Cranford & Harry Potter. It's situated in Wiltshire, a few miles outside Chippenham.
The sun shone all day for our visit, which always helps to create the quintessential picture postcard scene, you may recognise the images below, I cropped the bottom as 21st century cars didn't fit the image! There is a famous scene in P & P shot on the street where the Bennet Sisters are window shopping and Mr Darcy, the gorgeous Colin Firth appears on horseback...

The whole village, bar 6 properties, is owned by the National Trust, having been given to them along with The Abbey by Matilda Gilchrist-Clarky in 1944, the properties are rented out and the guide was telling me that arrangements are made between the residents and the Trust for filming days for people to say within their homes and not suddenly appear at the window!
The Abbey was established in the 13th century but after Henry V111's Dissolution of the monastries it became a resdential dwelling, however much of the original building still stands, including the wonderful Cloisters where you can imagine strolling along in contemplation, however I would more likely have been a scullery maid! This is where a lot of Harry Potter is shot and again you may well recognise the scenes:

Thank you for indulging me my trip away from Crafting - if you fancy a visit to Lacock I can highly recommend it, the National Trust link is here if you want to follow up.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Chat with Once Designer Jewellery

I love to know all about other Crafters so here is my first 'Chat With' - talking to Amanda of Once Designer Jewellery who has a fabulous website as well as a shop on Folksy:

Amanda, when did you first become interested in Jewellery making?

I have always been interested in it but I only started my business, Once Designer Jewellery, in January 2010.
How do you go about designing a piece of jewellery, where does your inspiration come from?

I get inspiration from the world around me. A lot of my designs are inspired by the seasons, the elements and times of day! I also love researching into the latest fashions and popular styles of jewellery.

What’s your favourite part of the jewellery making process?

I love designing and then ordering and getting the lovely beads! It’s so exciting opening all the packages and seeing them. I also like it when I am halfway through making a piece because I can really see it taking shape.

Do you take on commission work too?

I really enjoy doing commissions. Quite often, someone will see a piece they like and ask for it in a different colour, or they want a certain colour to match a new item of clothing. I recently made a charm bracelet where one of the charms was a watch face, because my client wanted to be able to tell the time at dinner parties without having to wear her chunky watch! I can make whatever clients want, and they love having something unique made for them, which they helped to design.
Do you have your own website as well as your Folksy shop?

I have my own website which you can find at
What item have you made and been most proud of?

Oooh that’s a difficult one! I think maybe the bracelet below. I am proud of it because I made the red and green beads from Polymer Clay and they are my favourite ones that I have made. It’s still available actually! It’s called ‘Summer’.

Are you a Blogger and do you enjoy it?

I am a blogger, yes! I try to keep up to date with it but it is difficult! My blog is here. I also have a Facebook page here.

Are you able to work full time on your jewellery making, or would you like to be able to one day?

I am a teacher as my day job but I am only part time and I hope to be able to do both in equal measure one day!

Finally, anything you would like to add about yourself, life in general etc!!???

I am 32, I am married with two lovely children and I would love anyone reading my interview to have a look at my site and blog!

Thanks for letting me have a nosey into your life Amanda, please drop by Amanda's website/Folksy shop and let her know what you think of her lovely items.

Click to visit Amanda's shop