Friday, 25 May 2012

No.2 spirit doll

Such lovely weather that makes it difficult to knuckle down and work. However I have finished my second spirit doll - AIR - and because she was so white, I decided to colour her face with moonshadow hint of silver. I didn't realise it would come out so dark, but at least you can see her face.

The market took a nosedive this week, with everyone heading for beaches and outdoor persuits. We did get people going through but they were not buying so I came away in deficit this week. I am hoping it picks up soon or I'll have to find another job and that would be tragic.

I volunteered to pick up the newsletter from the printers for the U3A last week but once I'd been accepted I learned it also involved collating the pages, counting them, sorting into batches and giving them out at the lunch. That's the last time I volunteer to help out there. (maybe not...) We are also having a Jubilee party in June and we have to decorate hats to mark the occasion and a prize will be awarded for the best ladies and best men's hats. I decided on a spitfire logo (blue, white and red circles) and a spitfire aeroplane attached with a wire - hopefully! I'll add pictures once it is made.

I went down to Plymouth a couple of weeks ago to see my new granddaughter - Sara - such a lovely tiny baby who reminded me of a pixie,with her little pointed chin and ears. As good as gold she was and I came home and made her some little boleros and a buggy blanket. I fell quite in love with her and maybe I'll see this one grow up as living so far from my other 4 granddaughters has made this impossible in their case.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Where inspiration comes from?

Where does it come from? I have to say - everywhere - what I have found is that if you don't look for it, it seems to pop up right in front of you. I was reading my latest copy of Cloth, Paper, Scissors and near the back was a picture of a leaf, cut to look distressed and such wonderful colours. What came to mind was leaves printed on lutrador, burned out and layered over organza to produce a pocket for lavender. This could be a new sachet product for my stall. Also I came across a recipe for lavender bath salts on facebook of all places!

The only limit to all of this is the 6 x 4ft x 3ft tables I'm allowed at the market, which can look quite messy if too many products are put on them and my customers get overloaded with choice.

I recently added some Russian dolls, printed onto cotton and stuffed.  These have proved quite popular and I need to make them weekly it seems. My posies are also popular and I wondered if it was the price that attracts the customers or the novelty? I'll have to do some market research this year and then I can reduce my products to those that people are looking for.

Back to work now...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Spirit doll

The past week as seen me with a dire cold, maybe even 'flu, not sure but it felt epic! After two days of coughing and sneezing and using a tree of tissues, I woke yesterday with a brainstorm...a spirit doll had kept me awake since 4am and I could not wait to get going making one.  I did some research and found a freebee pattern then dived into my scrap bin for the right fabrics etc. Yesterday it came to me that I should make 4 of these spirit dolls, Earth, Fire, Air and Water and as my first doll was from an orange kimono piece that made her FIRE. I also belong to an online doll making company called Dollmaker's Journey and the latest newsletter gave us a tutorial in making angel appropriate was that! So today was spent doing these lovely fairy wings for my spirit doll.
of course they are not visible in this picture and I'll have to do a second photo for next time. I often wonder how all these separate elements come together when I'm making something and all because I felt so ill; but they did the job of getting me going again and ready for the market tomorrow. After that I'll have a go at AIR which will be white.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

My first Video

This is the first time I've had a video to upload, never mind uploading it and I'm curious as to how it will turn out. It is Digger and Peggy having fun with the dog walker and a large pond. I love seeing them race around and enjoying themselves, hope you like it too.

This week has been busy with visits to the vet for the hydropool and me going to the opticians and physiotherapy. My left eye has settled down after the shock and although it is still a bit hazy and will get worse, that is old age creeping and nothing change that. The physio is not so great and involves a lot of pain and I have a problem managing it. I'll have to visit my doctor to see if she can help.

Well, enjoy the video and I'll put up a couple more later in the week if this works out.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Fish tank

My dog, Digger, had a "jack russell skip" when he came to me, and I thought it was just a quirk but it seems it is much more serious. He suffered a major tendon rupture in his back leg's knee joint where the bones had 'skipped' out of line and became quite lame. He has been through major surgery to have a pin put in to stabalise his joint and is recovering quite quickly. Here he is in the hydropool, where he can exercise his leg and strengthen the leg muscles.

Looking through the end of the 'fish tank' you can see him looking at the nurse who sets up the hydropool, and below you can see him sideways on in his special harness which has a handle on the back so that she can lift him if he gets into trouble. There is a treadmill moving in the bottom that makes him walk at a slow pace, making him use his back leg.
He really loves going for the sessions and actually runs to the room and greets nurse Angela. He has two 5 minute sessions in each bi-weekly appointment at the moment which will be increased over the next 4 weeks until he can use his leg properly. Unfortunately, it seems that in most cases the other hind leg will have to have a similar operation, but I'm hoping this will not be the case as he's been through so much in his short life.

In the meantime I have to keep the back door open for him because the dog flap needs to be increased in size and lowered for him, to accommodate his short legs, bless him, I am waiting for Joe to come and put a new one in the panel.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

So cute

I had a mental epiphany and worked on two new ideas this week. My mother gave me a little sachet in the shape of a pair of shorts that she had bought many moons ago and I bought some scraps of material and made little key ring shorts scented with honeysuckle.

Then yesterday I looked at some circles of organza my friend had given me in white and lavender. I started playing with them and sewed some ric-rac around the edge of the white circle then a gathering line 2" from the outside. I gathered it into a pocket and filled the centre with honeysickle pot pourii then added 3 roses and a bow of green ribbon. It looked like a wedding favour or hostess gift and really quite cute. I tried the same technique with the lavender circles but with a lilac flower edging and filled with dried lavender. Again so cute!

now how do you follow these little whimsies? I'll have to think hard and long to find other ideas as cute as them.

On the personal front, I found out, by elimination, that the food the vet had given me for Digger was the cause of his sickness - go figure! I went to our local pet shop and they recommended a bag of organic chicken and brown rice cubes that he scoffed immediately with no barfing. Not only that but I was given a card with two stamps on it and when I fill the card I get a bag free PLUS another card with two yellow stickers that enters me into a draw and I get another bag free when that is filled up too. Hey, I'll be back there regularly to get my stickers and both dogs are now eating well. Digger sees the vet again tomorrow when he will be assessed for sessions in the hydropool to get his leg muscles working again. Should be fun...NOT.

I think its the warmer weather and days of sunshine that are waking me up and getting my creative juices going. I do hope other people are feeling the same and doing whatever they are good at.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A New Year,

A new set of problems! Starting with my mobile crashing and losing all my pictures and some contacts; then my car needed jump starting and a new battery; then after having a mammogram I was called to Exeter for more scans and a lesion was found. They attempted to do a biopsy but I'm allergic to local anaesthetics and went into full anaphalactic shock; then my dog, Digger ruptured a tendon in his leg and needed an operation (He's recovering nicely); then when my vision didn't clear after the induced shock I saw an optician who says the lens in my left eye is hazy and will need a replacement operation sometime in the future (when I'm blind!); then I started a series of physiotherapy at the hospital for my back which is proving extremely painful. During all this I organised my mother's 90th birthday in Cheshire. So up to now, it has been one thing after another and I'm exhausted!

However, I have been filling in the time left with making stock for the forthcoming holidays and have come up with some different items, namely dolls' sun bonnets - cute - and fragrance hearts - exquisite!

They can all be fragranced with either lavender or honeysuckle - my new fragrance - I found that some people don't like lavender and would like to buy the gift if it has another fragrance, so I've added another table to my stall solely for this new venture.  I am also slowly catching up with my U3A Devon History group and have taken on a committee membership. I got landed with the minutes and actions listing which was what I did as a Project Administrator in another life. I organised a speaker for our February meeting, a lovely guy who kept us laughing and amused for 45 minutes on a talk about Mrs Beeton's book of Household management. I can now skin a hare, should I ever want to.

The market has slowly improved, salewise, over the last two weeks but before that it was touch and go if I made my stall rent and car parking fees but we have to turn up or the market will fold and we will all be out of a job. It surprised me that our takings were so low over the Christmas period and none of us made enough to cover living expenses. Hopefully the warmer weather will bring the tourists back and we'll have enough to salt away for next winter. It's all a learning curve and has some harsh lessons.