Get yourself a FREE Graze Box - if you want to....

Foodie Talk!
So... this code below can be used at GRAZE and you can get yourself a free box of healthy snacks delivered straight to your letterbox, and then into your mouth.
You have to JOIN the scheme to claim it but you can cancel anytime you like.
If you enjoy the box you can then get your own code to share with your family and friends...
free box code: DP78Q8D

I haven't had my GRAZE box yet but it really appeals to me as i love to eat well and eat healthy (ish)
 Before i went away, the SmallFish and I had a bit of a mega Cook-a-thon
We have begun stage.1. of making Apple & Damson Gin - i know, yum!
Apparantly Apple Gin was once a typical and well-loved English Tipple, sadly no longer made :(
So, having a plethora of Damsons and Apples (from my Brother's Orchard), i have happily begun to revive the best of British 'windfall' Gin....
It will be decanted and bottled for Christmas :)

 Then, the weeFish demanded Lemon Curd.
Oh lordy, she is sooooo right. This stuff is heaven sent....
slathered over the morning pancakes.
 And we juiced a load of Apples with a handful of Blackberries - DIVINE!
We froze Blackberries for a future project...
We made Hedgerow Jam, or rather Jelly, as i hate the bits.... (plenty of red fruits and lemon juice)
We made Blondie Cakes
We made a mess...!!
I also ended up making a WASP catcher as we had a bit of an infestation during the process.
mmm, sweetness.
SO, to conclude:
September i am having a COLD TURKEY month - sort of a detox.
Water aplenty - no alcohol (only 4 weeks!) Cooking - Plenty of Protein
masses of running and some swimming and weights
AND a trial of these GRAZE boxes to see if they can stop me craving chocolate at nightime and biscuits after my runs... keep my natural blood sugars level.
I like a bit of healthy living.

Closing Shop... and other *news*

 FRIDAY 19th August
Last posting day from any of the shops.... please get any orders you *need* in, to me, before Friday
I shall be taking a break until Sunday 28th August...
(a well needed break)
 Then it will be all systems go for the Christmas Stock!!  
and getting any supplies ready you might want for the Christmas Crafting mayhem.
I have a few FAIRS that i shall be attending and hope to let you know when and where
 >>>>> see sidebar information
(i LOVE a good Craft Fair *excited dance*)
 I will also be having a mega
so an ideal time to get some early Christmas Gifts at a fraction of what they are worth.
I am, as yet, undecided on what will happen to this shop...
I have ideas in abundance, but nothing set in stone
i am open to your ideas / what you like best from there / what it could become more of:
Badges? Brooches? Bunting?
A new style of Supplies shop?
NeedleBooks? PinPots?.....
 A few new Button Bags available in the BigFish.etsy shop
Pretty colour combinations to inspire you.
And i hope to get fully up to date, on my return to work.
In the meanwhile, i have an Older Blog Post re-published here:
LCM is a *must read* if you are local to Northampton / MK / Bletchley area
Lots of info on craft clubs and artists and local vintage...
My piece talks about my way into Button selling... things have moved on even MORE since i wrote that piece and it is exciting to look back - and look forward!

Festival of Quilts Part.two..... stands and shopping

If you don't know about Selvedge - click the link.
I have my critical / journalistic head on today so i might throw a few opinions around...
Selvedge is a beautiful and inspirational magazine.
The sort you keep, on a book shelf, in date order (and never lend to your friends)
It is full of adverts and costs a fortune BUT it is so very pretty and inspiring.
 The show sells a guide at £6 Lupin had one and it is a good reference of stalls and for use after the show.
After paying £12 entrance and £8 car parking, i could do without a guide but would have loved one if it was cheaper.
 Last year, the prestigous and coveted award of
"My bestest and most loved stall of the Fair"
Went to Kim from Worn &Washed (still a top top FAV)
But this year's lucky winner was JANET CLARE
so so pretty. Such a nice lady - very engaging and chatty even though the shows are exhausting for these dedicated ladies. Click - you'll love her work xxx
 Teenies and tinies.
Nostagia and whimsy.
Pretty and Vintage stylee.
 Lots of machine embroidery -
 i am simply going to put these into tiny frames and hang them in my Office.
AND a freebie dog pattern on her details sheet. Very cute touch.
 Some of the stalls and crafters really had a slightly too high opinion of themselves (i would never publically identify whom mind you)
A few crafter / designers had long faces and an exhausted attitude - did not want to engage in conversation...
A few had this sort of haughty response that the table dividing 'Consumer' from 'Stall Holder' was some sort of line establishing one side as "terribly special and important" and the other as "annoying pleb, just spend your money and Jog On"...
That is my only negative about the stands at the show.
Generally people were happy to chat with us consumers.
 Pretty and inspirational stall from Mandy Shaw.
 Lots of Christmassy bits and a very beautifully arranged stand.
 There were many many fabric stalls - of course! and some that i shop at regulary.
There were not that many embellishment stands but i did buy some sweet French Mouse Trim and a few wooden flower buttons as i had never seen these in the UK before.
I would highly recommend the FoQ
There are many stands but not MASSES like at some huge shopping events.
The quilts and displays and all that craft is truly inspirational.
My biggest message to any stall holder?
We know you are tired and it is a long week for you BUT keep smiling and being nice to the consumers. We are WHY you are there! You wouldn't have a business without us folk and we only want to chat craft with you. Feign interest in us and SMILE :)
You never know who's gonna Blog you!
Until next year.....

Festival of Quilts 2011... The Quilts!

 Bigging it up Quilt styleee = me with my Craft Homies
My Good Self - Lu Summers -  Lupin
Birmingham NEC Festival of Quilts 2011
What a great day out!
 My head, heart and throat were swollen from talking and thinking and seeing...
Above is Lu Summers fantastic bright quilt.
There were so many styles and disciplines and ideas. I took but a few photos to share.
 Dynamic blocks of colour and gold with tiny tiny complicated quilting.
 Always beautiful, the nostalgic quilts... the above was full of detailed embroidery.
 A superb knitted quilt that was cleverly constructed so as not to lose it's shape or hang oddly (due to how heavy wool can get) This had lots of attention.
 Emphemera and notions. Nostalgia and haberdashery.
 Blocks and strips of shades and tones. Mixed hand quilting and machine quilting.
 Tiny weeny complicated quilted Art.
Rabbit... Hazel....Watership Down??? 
Me singing "Bright Eyes..... burning like Fire......"
and Lupin and my chum Alison not knowing what on earth i was going on about!
Such Fun!
Thankyou my sweet Alison for a great day out.
Awesome fun to meet with Lu and Lupin was the quilts...
Part.two. will be the people and the shopping...

Is it soooo very wrong of me....?

 Is it soooo totally against the grain, that i am already thinking of Christmas???
I know *in theory* i think about it all the time, due to the fact i have a CHRISTMAS ONLY shop!
But i don't get excited about that in the same way....
I have had a new wave of Xmas Fever hit me :)
Above are some bias trims, just for me to play with. And don't think that i don't LUST after new supplies just because i am surrounded by them for my living.
I do lust after them. They make my heart beat faster.....
 Overcome with inspiration, i put together some new mixed Ribbon Bags for the shops.
I love it. I love playing with the stock and showcasing to people, what looks good together... which products will be fun / hot / useful this year.
Blue is not a traditional UK Christmas Colour but it screams Christmas to me.
 Red and Green and White are more traditional but i think it's OK to go a little 'off piste' at Christmas.
Don't restrict your colour palette. It is supposed to be fun!!
 Giant wooden buttons, to embelish some huge yummy fabric stockings.
(a *new* LOVE trim for the shop and for a Wedding Favor idea i have)
Love Love Love Love
So there!

Now this IS the cutest dog on the planet, right? B&W

ooohhhhh, ooochy cooooooo xxx

Welcome to the DropZone...

 These Buttons are now available in their smallest size!!
(They all look the same size in these photos....)
But these are the DROP size = 1.5cm / 0.55"
Listed in Stripes at the moment but the same is available in spots.
 Brights & Academics
i think the Academics are welcome relief to the onslaughter of BRIGHTS
 I am so happy with this new size and i have been using them on some of my new Christmas Decorations for the SnowFish range. Perfect.
The stripes are my favourite
So smart and little
Listed, once again, in their sets of 80 at present but you can get any combinations in sets of 10.
And that is today's shop *News*
Over and out.

Button Bouquet Order...

 To be very honest, this is not a 'bouquet' as such.
This is an order for 50 Button Stems - as i don't bind these into a 'bouquet.
 Making 50 of these is fairly time consuming as choosing which buttons to use (on ANY project) is always theeee longest part.
And also the best!
 Stood in my sunny studio - i-phone on i-pod
playing with Buttons,,,,,,
Colour me happy.
This is one of those moments when i think "Lucky Lucky me doing my job"
 And, just as i was ready to post these hasty photo's on the blog...
I recieve an email from the customer telling me...
Thankyou & she really likes them!
 When i tell some people
"oooh i work with / sell alot of buttons for a living"
They are incredulous!!
"How many buttons do people need??" (i.e. to replace on a shirt of fasten a something)
Those people know NOTHING about buttons hey!!??
The cutest detail...
I sent them bound in 5 sets of 10
and on random stems i taped the cotton tape message
"i HEART handmade"
"made with love"


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