Thursday, 29 December 2011

Handmade Christmas Gifts

Firstly I would like to wish all my readers a Happy Christmas and New Year. Lets hope its a good one as they say in the song.
Like lots of us, I made a few gifts for presents and have had to save them up for now, so as not give the game away. I didnt make lots this year it has to be said, but here is a round up.

For my sister in law, who loves elephants, I got a cute miniature kit from The Old Pincushion . This made up and popped in a lovely teacup.  My brother cant moan about more elephants taking up too much room with this one can he?

For Mum, I purchased some lovely theraputic gels from Simply Beautiful Cosmetics. Whilst not handmade, these are fabulous and definitely to be recommended. They are not in the prettiest of packaging and I wanted to perk up the presentation a bit.  The cup above came as part of a pair so I tried my hand at candle making and made Mum a pretty teacup candle and packaged it all up to look pretty. it is a shame I didnt photograph  it pre- pink cellophane as you cant see it really, but you get the idea.

I made a cosmetics bag for Mum in law but forgot to take a picture, doh!

Whilst in the wax vibe, I made this one for a friends gift too.

For my other siter in law I opted to buy handmade from a lovely fellow etsy seller.  I have admired her work for some time and was lucky enought to win these gorgeous hand tatted snowflakes for my tree in her giveaway.

No, dont worry, I am not a cheapskate, I didnt give these as my gift to her. I ordered her this gorgeous pendant from Heathers range. Do check out her shop at Tatiana Rosa. You will not be dissapointed.

That rounds up the handmade gifts for this year, except to show you this cute pair of foxes I finished for a loveley customer in Canada. They are travelling as we speak. I love foxes, I think they are my absolute favourite to knit.
Just a quick reminder that I have 25% off lots of items in my shop until 7pm Friday so its a fabulous time to snap up the things you may have had your eye on. So do have a peek whilst you are on the computer.
Bargains here

   xxxxxxxxxxx   See you in 2012 xxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 22 December 2011


Ok folks, as the Christmas shopping fury is over for this year, it is time for you to treat yourselves.  Like the high street (which will be noisy, busy and infuriating no doubt), I am having a sale on my teddy bears. There is a whacking 25% off all the bears from 9am tomorrow until 7pm next Friday.  I have lots of bears planned for next year and would like some space for them so why not take the opportunity while they are a wee bit more affordable.
The bears are here, but do have a peruse of the whole shop. We have so much more than teds.

Oh, and if you are an etsy seller and would like to use the sale tool I did to create this sale very easily, just use this link  to take you to a very helpful site. Do look at the you tube instructional video. Tells you quickly all you need to know.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

DIY Wrapping

I dont know about you, but I find commercial warapping paper either quite boring or if its nice (more the latter in my case) and tasteful, hugely expensive.  I hadn`t found any I liked this year and had a wrapping urge last Sunday.  So what was a girl to do with the notion in her head and the gifts ready to wrap but not tools to complete this whim?  Answer, make it yourself.  Now, last year I used brown paper and stamped it up with some tags and red and white bakers twine.  This year, no forefthought at all so had to be even more resourceful.
A good few years ago, we bought my son a huge roll of drawing paper as he was always drawing. That has stopped and I found the roll on top of the kitchen cupboard.  This I stamped with a metallic blue mandala stamp and raspberry snowflake. Tags were simply cut from some blue gingham card I had in my stash. There is always some suitably  coloured embroidery floss floating around here. That just left the tying up finishing touch. I had some hessian which wa sleft over from previous projects and cut this into strips.  Apart from that large one, which the hessian was not long enough for. This was solved with brown paper cut into strips with fancy scissors and punched with my crop o dile punch.  What do think? I even made a cute gift bag for a small gift. Obviously,  there are a few more but these give a feel of what I did.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Beary Gift

I have been hanging on to show you this, for obvious reasons.  My good friend had her birthday today. She has long admired my bears and gave me some lovely red silk which she loved but found hard to work with.  So the logical thing was to make her a bear of her own and use her beautiful silk.  I love her and even my husband said he rather liked her too. What do you think? Sadly, it was a bit dark the day I took her mug shots and they dont do her justice really.

Sunday, 4 December 2011


I am currently working on a pair of cute foxes for a custom order.  I have to say, they are my absolute favourites to knit.  In the real world of course, they are a bit of a pest.  They remain very popular with children and you have to admit a real life fox is a beautiful sight. I know, i know, if you have hens they strike the fear of god and rightly so.
I have 2 very well behaved little foxes in the shop now and rearing to go off to some new homes. Maybe you would like a pair. Shame to separate them really.  I think in the new year I shall make some more of the large ones. If like my lovely customer, you would like a bespoke one, do get in touch. Its unlikely I can get a large one done for Xmas now as I am booked up, but I could possibly squeeze in another small one for UK delivery. The little ones below are dressed and ready to go right now.

Click here to buy Felipe

Click here to buy Fliss

These 2 are past work and give you an idea of what can be made.

This is a small one at 9 inches. This size is perfect for little hands with no small bits or too many moving parts.

This is a larger one at 12inches tall

Monday, 28 November 2011

Affordable gifts for Mum and Nan

Quick post to remind you about the handmade bags from my previous shop at very agreeable prices for sale on the sidebar.  There is a direct paypal link for each one.  2 of them would make lovely knitting bags if there is a knitter on your present buying list.  They are just £6. I used to retail these at £20 so they are a steal.  Keep an eye on it as i think there are a few more I can pop on there when I next get a minute. Phew its a busy time of year isnt it?   Happy shopping!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

More Cuties in the Shop

With the last payday before Christmas coming up for lots of us, I expect many of you, like myself, will be thinking about the present shopping.  I have just listed these 3 little cuties in my etsy shop in time for the busy shopping season.  I dont know about you, I do not relish a trip to the shops at all.  These are my smaller ones with no joints, pom poms or small pieces, so are really nice for smaller children. I would probably say not under 3`s but it is your call.  At only £15 each, they are very affordable and if you buy more than one the subsequent ones ship free.  In addition to these bunnies, there are 2 little foxes in the shop, and if you have witch friendly kiddies, there are couple of witch bunnies in the same small style.

Dont forget, there are some lovely stockings and cute mittens for your tree in the etsy shop, with a selection of some of my bears and bunnies.




Dont forget about the artist bears for those bear collectors on your list.

Now, I think I may go pour myself a nice coffee and indulge in a mince pie.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Hang up those Stockings, santas coming

Eeeep! Its only 37  days until Christmas.  Good job I have some stockings.  They are exclusive to the folksy shop so dont look for them on etsy. Only lisitng them once as they are a fab price. Click on the links to take you to the individual listings or browse the shop here

Santa and Snowman Stocking

Icy Blue Snowman Stocking with knit look cuff

Cream Swirly Stocking with glittery holly cuff and toe

Santa sleigh ride stocking
They are all approx 37cm long and  16cm across the cuff. Just right for some small goodies.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

More New items to show off

I have been busy making stock for the shop. I have just put these 2 in the etsy shop for now. I have opened a shop on folksy to cater for the UK market a bit more and am gradually adding things to that. Pretty much everything is one of one, so, if you see it in one and then in the other, there is still only one. I dont envisage it being a problem at this stage, but there are one or two things which you will only find in the one place.

Tabitha is my first cat design. More to follow

Rufus is a gorgeous raspberry red. He has a sister on the way shhhhh dont tell him yet he will get too excited!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

New Bunny and Cute Chrimbo Decorations.

This is one of those purely promotional posts I am afraid.  I did not manage to finish 3 critters last week but did finish a couple of blankets which I am going to list over the next few days.
This weeks offerings are 

 Beautiful Brianna.
Brianna Bunny

Then I came up with these cute little felt and flannel mittens for your Christmas tree. I am really chuffed with these. You can pop choccies or tiny gifts in them and hang on your tree.  They look like i have raided the Cutey Critters wardrobe I think.  I have listed them as singles for £1.75 or a set of five for £7.50 saving you 25p on each one. You wont find these in DIY sheds or garden centres, they are quite unique.

Cute little mittens

Choose from these colours

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Flying Apron Baking Book

Click here to find it on Amazon

I had my birthday last week and  one of my gifts was The Gluten Free & Vegan Baking Book.  I am not vegan but definitely gluten free so was delighted with this.  Now, it has to said before I go any further, if you are in the UK like myself, some of the ingredients are a bit alien.  More about that in a bit.  The concepts used in this book are also somewhat different to the norm.  It is a delightful book. I can honestly say, I have never had my nose in a cook book for so long. I just cant leave it alone.  Never have I read all the forewords and blurb at the back before, but this one I definitely have.  It is going to take some experimentation, but I shall not be defeated.  I have had a couple of failures, but know what is wrong with one, if not the other.  I have had a good outcome with today's recipe and the look of glee on my taste tester sons face summed it up for me.  Any recipe book that can produce a cookie that is much healthier and still makes him smile like that has to be good.

These photos are of the Chocolate Chip Cookies I made from the book.  I have to tell you, I did not use rice milk because I am not vegan, but ordinary semi skimmed.  Also the chocolate was not dairy free etc but none of these things I think would affect the finished result.  Also, you may notice I made some,  double chocolate ones too.  After the plain ones went in I added about an ounce of cocoa and about 2 tablespoons of water as cocoa really dries mixtures out.  This I am pleased to report was also a success but not in the book.
Some ingredients that are called something else in the UK

Garbanzo bean flour  = Gram flour, made from chick peas, like we use for bhajis.  I cant call it gram flour any more now. Garbanzo is such a good word!

Fava bean flour = broad bean flour (I haven't found that here yet)

Canola Oil  = rapeseed oil which is usually listed as vegetable oil here ( look on the back).  That said, I believe sunflower would be fine too.

Stevia = this is a plant based sweetener, also hard to find her.  Research suggest that a similar plant based sweetener called zylitol or xlitol would be a good substitute.  Both warn against using too much, as it can cause a laxative effect in large amounts.

Baking soda.  You prob know this one, but that's bicarbonate of soda, just in case.

That's what I found so far. Will update this list as I go along.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

And the winner is..........

Drum roll please, the giveaway has been drawn courtesy of  Mr. Random number generator.

The winner of the little Tilda witch is

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1

Max: 26



Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Julie from A Tale From Toadstool House  who said

"Hi Joy ,thankyou for finding me,I love your Tilda witch and would love to enter your giveaway. Well done on the crochet,I learned last year and really love it!Its so addictive though,do you find? Hope you have a lovely evening,take care,julie.xxxxx"

Congratulations Julie, if you could let me know your details, I will get her in the post for you.

Thanks to all that entered and so sad I cant send every one of you a little witch. x

New Bears in time for Christmas

The giveway is now closed folks. I shall be collating the entries and making the draw later on today.
I have completed 2 new gorgeous bears for the shop. Click on the pictures to take you to the listings. Dont forget, I can set up interest free layaway listings for you if it makes it easier. Just ask, even  a 3 way split will be done by Christmas and as long as we time it right, with you for Christmas too.

Kiki, a ginger and white Panda

Victoria is a 18 inch beauty

Sunday, 23 October 2011

I finished The Crochet.....and started another...oops!

Well, as I mentioned in my last post, I finally after umpteen years have mastered crochet! I used a tutorial on you-tube and stayed up far too late, and it all suddenly made sense. I think this may be a bad thing in some ways as I am, if you will pardon the pun, totally hooked. It grows so fast. My hubby thinks its hilarious an just another addition to what he sees as my quirky pastimes. I don't think he would have me normal, so neither of us are really complaining. Little Mango loves it. She is so interested in it all its quite amusing. Here is a pictorial story of its evolution.

This was the 'Eureka' moment and the first of many

My little pile grows  larger (can you spot my reading material?)

Mango helps while I decide on lines or randomness

She cant quite wait for me to finish sewing all the squares together and commandeered some of the squares.

The 'Ta-dar' moment!

There has to be lots of shots as its going in the etsy shop.  I have started another now and I really cant keep everything I make.

So, its been a wonderful journey and I am so proud to have finally gotten to grips with something that has confounded me for so long. Though a little ashamed now I now how easy it is.  Its half term now and I intend (remind if I don't manage it) to have at least 2 new critters finished by this time next week.  Christmas is coming you know.

If you were looking for the giveaway, you need to be quick as it ends Monday 24th October at around 3 pm.  Its the next post down or just hit the highlighted word.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


UPDATE!!!!  Here is the actual Witch you will win, so go spread the word because we need more entries.

Ok, in my last post I indicated there would be a Halloween giveaway.  I also said it would be one of my little bunnies! ...........  I lied!
Not about the giveaway, that's still happening.

Not about it being for Halloween, that's still a go!

What it is is that it will not be a knitted bunny.  The thing is, I sew in my craft room during the day but my knitting all takes place in the evening whilst watching tv.  So why is this a problem?  I hear you cry.  Well I have learned to crochet finally!  I have tried on and off for years but I have finally got it, so all evening activities are currently hook based.  I am crocheting a blanket,  and rather selfishly I don't want to stop or have any more UFOs floating about.

So, instead, I have decided to make another of these Tilda Witches.  Now, Tilda things cannot be made to sell but no one will mind me giving one away.  Here is a couple of piccies of two I made previously and the prize will be similar but not the same.  I shall start it at the weekend, and as soon as she is ready will add to this post instead of these not so fantastic pictures. UPDATE above.

So, what is your role in all this?  Its all the usual things really. 

Leave me a comment for one entry.  If you do not have a blog (as this does make it difficult), just e-mail me from the about me page and I will add your comment myself.

If you do have a blog yourself.  Spread the word on your own blog for a second entry.

If you tweet my giveaway, you get a third.  Let me know your @ so I can follow you.

If you facebook it that's a fourth.  Same as twitter, if you let me know where you are I can say `hi`

I think its fair to ask for a minimum of 10 entrants for the draw to take place.  Not much of a contest if not, so please go spread the word.
So basically leave one comment telling me what you have done and I shall assign the correct amount of entries.  So if you are the third commenter and have done all the entries, you will get no 3, 4, 5 &6.  Quite simple.
The draw closes at 3pm (uk time) on Monday 24th October 2011.  This will give us a whole week before Halloween to contact one another and get Miss Witch off to her new abode.

So what are you waiting for?  Off you go, tell your buddies.  I am not going to make you follow the blog, but it stands to reason that if you do, you get to find out if you are the lucky one much easier.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

More Halloweenyness!

My blogging rate has been utterly deplorable of late and this  flying post is no exception. I am trying to get things actually made and completed at the mo which means less time for blogging. My attack of `startitis` (you know where you just have to start a new project before finishing the one you are doing) has gotten out of control.  Something has to give doesn't it?
Well this weeks finishees (is that a word? it is now) are actually the most recent starts because they are Halloween themed so took precedence as they are somewhat time sensitive.
Briar and Bramble are cute little bunnies all dressed up for Halloween trick or treatery.  They are a really soft shade of mossy green and knitted in a soft snuggly baby yarn.  They should be fine for smaller folk too.  At just £15 also really affordable.
I think I have time to knit one more so the next post will be a giveaway announcement!!! Watch this space and tell your friends to follow this blog so they don't miss it.