Thursday, 28 June 2012

Home Grown

If you have a flick through last Saturday's Yorkshire Post Magazine, you'll find a little piece about me along with a photo of my Circus Carousel Lamp on the front page of their Homes & Garden section. 

What a treat. And I'm pleased to see my mechanical duck made an appearance too. He revels in the limelight.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Sugar and Nice

I had a visit from a photographer last week, who took new shots of my sweets.

Here are some of the best bits...

bonbons, rainbow, rainbow candy, super sour, sweets, confectionery

humbugs, mint, striped candy, circus, candy stripes, sweets, elephant, elephant on unicycle, penny farthing,confectionery

fudge ice, coconut, coconut shy, coconut fudge ice, striped candy, circus, candy stripes, sweets, confectionery

jelly beans, bouncing beans, magic sweets, circus tent, kangaroo, hippo, illustration, striped candy, circus, candy stripes, sweets, confectionery
sherbet pips, red white and blue, candy, antidote, meercat, illustration, remedy, magic sweets, potion, circus, sweets, confectionery

fortune teling fish, circus, confectionery, sweets, crystal ball, fish, stripes, candy stripes, fortune teller, illustration, carnival

flying tiger, caterpillar, peacock illustration, creature cannonball, flying cannonball, circus, candy stripes, aniseed balls

The photographer was Ian Gracey, and he was here for a mammoth seven hours. That shows commitment. I'm thinking of getting him back to take some shots of my prints and new wooden badges, but I'm afraid the poor fellow might be sick of the sight of my studio. Maybe I'll give him time to recover first? 

I've also made a new board on Pinterest especially dedicated to sweets and niceties. You can find it over here along with my other boards >>>>>>>>

And finally, you can now find Betty and Co. over at From the Wilde. We're super proud to be part of their collection, so please come over and say hello.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A Secret Cushion Crush

Shhhh.... I've got three new favourite cushions, please don't tell the others.

The Fabulous Flags one is already in my Etsy Shop (here), and I shall do my very best to list the others tomorrow. I had a photographer here yesterday – I hate to admit it but I think his pics may be a cut above mine, and I'm more than a little excited about rooting through them,.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Flags and Folksy

I feel bad. I've been sorely neglecting my Folksy shop for quite a few months now. The thing is, my brain is so full of characters, creatures and adventures that there's not much room left for anything else. Quite frankly, having one shop is really enough, but organising and stocking two leaves me in a muddled tearful mess.

But I really, really do love Folksy, so I'm going to make much more of an effort from now on. Did you hear that, Folksy shop? You have it in typing now.

My absolute favourite thing about Folksy is that they're based in Sheffield - just like me. My other favourite thing is that it's a friendly kind of platform run by friendly people. I've met James, one of the Folksy folk (sadly I may never tire of that alliteration), a couple of times, once at a "Make It, Sell It" do at the British Library, and once in their offices with some other makers for a seller-feedback session. Both times he's been really open to suggestions and criticisms, and really supportive too (especially considering I only had two sorry-looking badges in my shop for about six months).

Personally, I think Folksy gets a hard time from a few sellers who complain about its lack of features and speed, and other technical things I don't understand about forums and things. I'm not sure people realise that they're not some huge global enterprise like Etsy, and that they are working really hard to give people all the features that they want. (Errr, actually I'd super-like a button I could push to rearrange my shop, please, but no pressure, it would just be a lovely thing to have all my cushions in one place and not scattered around the place looking unruly). I get the impression everyone who works there really wants to make Folksy great and help promote makers too – and I think they deserve a better shop than I've been giving them. So, in their honour, I'm going to pull together my muddled mind, wipe away my tears of twin-shop frustrations, and reward them with a shop that contains more than two lonely-looking products. I can't expect to sell anything if I don't list anything to sell now, can I?

And because that's lots of text and no pictures, and also because it gives me another chance to alliterate, here are two flags (flags and folksy... yey!) I made last week for my niece's idyllic wedding.

I sewed them from seemingly millions of carefully cut pieces of fabric, tea-dyed them, then printed on them, and gave them to the truly happy couple as presents, along with a sweetie buffet for their beautifully turned-out guests.

I'll ask if I'm allowed to post some photos here of the actual wedding, which was one of my favourite ever days, full of family, food, flags, fun and festivities (OK, I shall stop now). But in the meantime, you can see the bride's amazing work here >> (that's my niece you know, and I'm ever so proud).

Friday, 8 June 2012

New Things for The Art Market...

I've been making things for this Sunday's Art Market in Holmfirth. Here's some sneak Instagram peeks...

I also did an interview for The Art Market's series of podcasts about the history of Butterscotch & Beesting, and what I really love about childhood, storytelling and magic.
If you want to listen it's here >> 

And there's another more ramblings from me here, but this time without the talking and with a few pictures here >>

I'm really looking forward to Sunday, so fingers crossed it doesn't rain all day please xx

Monday, 4 June 2012

In Honour of Her Majesty... Jess Quinn

I'm a huge, huge, huge fan of Jess Quinn's work. I think her shop was my very first 'favourite' on Etsy when I started up last year, her blog is full of totally awe-inspiring photographs and illustrations, and I've generally been obsessing about her amazing work ever since. Then, this week I saw her Jubilee Brooch in her Etsy shop and I got very excited indeed. I'm not really sure what's come over me this Jubilee, but I feel almost giddy with royalism, which is very peculiar, especially since I was brought up in an anti-Monarchist household with a Marxist sociologist father. I'm hoping it's just an aesthetic thing and that it's temporary, otherwise I may well be disowned.

Anyway, I showed Jess's cameo brooch to my girls and they got very excited too. So in honour of her brilliance, we decided to make our own odes to Queen Jess (not Bess). While the Flotilla floated in the pouring rain yesterday afternoon, Middle drew pictures of Elizabeth circa her coronation in 1952, and then helped me stitch them together on to a felt and lace backing. Being two, Pia's struggled to draw an exact likeness, although she did draw a fabulous crown, so to help Middle drew her sister's picture too.

They're not a patch on the original, but the girls are very pleased with their Quinn-inspired creations, and they're looking forward to wearing them at a Jubilee wedding tomorrow.

So thank you, Jess Quinn, you are an inspiration!  We salute you!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

May Days

It's looking very misty and grey today. But my plan is to ignore the damp weather and pretend it's last week again. So here is one hot day in May, when my mum and dad took us to beautiful Hardwick Hall. If you've never been, it's a wonderfully grand house that was built by the great Bess of Hardwick. Bess was a powerhouse of a woman, an incredible social climber, and through a series of ever-greater marriages one of the richest people in Elizabethan England. She was also appointed by Queen Elizabeth as the guardian of Mary Queen of Scots, who spent a lot of her time under house arrest in Bess's other great building, Chatsworth.

This is the hall surrounded by spring blossom.

stately home, blossom, apple trees, Hardwick Hall, Bess of Hardwick, Elizabethan,

The house is beautiful, especially the Great Hall with its walls of portraits, but my favourite place there is the kitchen garden. 

allotment, growing beans, bean supports, vegetables, kitchen garden

red slate, garden

The orchard was in full bloom, and breathtakingly beautiful. I'm not sure what trees they are because they didn't look quite like apple. Maybe pear?

stately home, blossom, apple trees, Hardwick Hall, Bess of Hardwick, Elizabethan

Orchard, fruit trees

Pia played hide-and-seek with her Morfar around the yew tree.

Please come back sunshine. I'd really like another day like this one.