Thursday, 12 August 2010

Arteria Gallery "Wish you were Here" Exhibition

Hello again,

You may or may not have noticed that I've been away from both my blog and Etsy shop for quite some time; I've had a  hectic few months which included getting married on 12th June, followed by an amazing honeymoon in Vietnam and Cambodia.  Life is slowly returning to normal - still not sure whether that's a good or bad thing.

On a crafty note, I am very happy to report that a selection of my bags are currently for sale in Arteria, a lovely gallery/shop based in Lancaster which stocks a wide range of 'contemporary and design led gift ideas'.  I don't know how I managed to continue making bags in the run up to the wedding!

Sadly, I missed the opening night of the exhibition but when I dropped by recently, I was very impressed with the overall standards and delighted with the prominence of my handiwork...  

A few photos:

My artist's blurb (and new surname!):

Fingers crossed I get some sales!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Cake Time

I baked a huge batch of cupcakes recently for a friend's birthday; vanilla with sugar flower decorations and chocolate/orange with sprinkles.  I highly recommend using a piping bag; not only does it enable you to add an obscene amount of butter icing, it makes the cakes look pretty good too:

I visited a friend recently and discovered Blue Ribbons Sugarcraft Centre in Hampton Court.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I stepped inside the shop.  They stock the most incredible range of cake papers, decorations, colourings, sprinkles and everything else cake related you can think of!  If you thought that edible metallic balls only came in silver, think again...  Make sure you check out the Cupcake Boutique section of their website. 

The staff were really helpful; they advised me which sized piping nozzle and bags to use, and didn't get grumpy when I was still deciding which cake papers to buy 2 minutes before closing time.

Check out these stunning cake papers (all available to purchase from their site):
 Images courtesy of Blue Ribbons Sugarcraft Centre.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

More of my spring flowers

I suppose I could have saved the photographs of my spring bulbs and shared them in one blog post, but I got over excited. Here are a few more:



I can't wait for these Grape Hyacinths to flower:

The squirrel is determined to dig up my Garden Hyacinths, but I keep re-planting them:

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

French Revelation Blog Feature - Featurama Monday

I was kindly included in 'Featurama Monday' on French Revelation's blog this week.  I must say that Jane has the nicest blog banner I've seen in a long time.  Please do check out Sid's In Stitches and Milk and Honey Handbags, the other two artists featured in the article.

Jane selected my olive stripe mini-messenger bag:

and my orange tartan tote bag:

 Thank you!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Blog Feature - "Couture du Jour"

I had a really nice suprise this morning to find that one of my bags had been included on lillyella's blog as part of a "Couture du Jour" feature. Thanks!

Be sure to check out lillyella's lovely blog for the full feature and Zepur of ZionShore's Etsy shop, who selected the ensemble below:


Tuesday, 9 March 2010

More Vintage Finds

Despite having little space left in our flat, I can't resist adding to my collection of vintage finds...

A glass fruit/desert stand and two pieces of lace:

After giving various pieces of china as Christmas presents, I decided to start my own collection.  I found these tea trios on eBay (one of which is identical to a Christmas present I wanted to keep for myself). I think the mismatched pieces work really well together:

I'm also on the lookout for vintage birdcages, the bigger the better.  I don't consider that they count towards the clutter quota because I plan to put them in the garden.  They look beautiful just as they are but I plan to fill them with plants or outdoor candles.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

My Craft Stash

In common with many crafters out there, I have a stash of fabric, buttons, ribbons, trimmings and everything else sewing related you can think of.  My collection often outgrows its storage space!

I never spend a huge amount on any of these items; I think part of the fun is sourcing a bargain.  I find it helpful to lay out my supplies for inspiration and sometimes, I can actually bring myself to use them!  Anyway, I thought I'd share a few photos of my craft stash for those who are interested:

I currently have a bit of a thing for ribbon...

and for bias binding...

and trimmings...

I have collected lots of vintage buttons over the past few years and plan to use them to embellish kisslock frame clutch bags (watch this space).

I love vintage jewelry and have kindly been given various pieces by my Grandma (an antiques dealer!). Some were missing a few stones, but I fixed them using items which were beyond repair.  Some of the brooches don't have pins, but they will still look stunning stitched to the front of a bag.


I have a lovely collection of vintage buckles, which I am yet to use. My favourites are those made from wood or mother of pearl. I'm currently pondering whether to make some belts or incorporate them all into my bag designs.

I don't limit my shopping to vintage items.  The clear and pink butterflies were originally attached to hairbands and cost around 50p each (80 US cents).  Obviously I had to buy every single one on the shelf...

I often pick up keyrings in the sales, which make for unusual bag charms or zipper pulls:

I have so much fabric, I think it deserves an entire post to itself...

Thursday, 25 February 2010

My pet free sewing environment...

I recently returned to my sewing maching to find my neighbours' cat sitting on top! (She'd crept in the back door and decided that was the best spot.)

In view of my Etsy promise that all items are constructed in a pet free environment, I quickly and kindly tried to 'help' her get down.  Her response was to nip the back of my hand, grip the machine with her back legs and refuse to budge. At least it gave me chance to take a photo - I was laughing so much, I'm suprised I managed to keep the camera still.

Potential customers please note that this is not a regular occurence...


Monday, 22 February 2010

Valentine's Cupcakes

I did a bit of baking last weekend and made these Vanilla Valentine cupcakes, entirely for his benefit -honest. We washed them down with hot chocolate (which he's cunningly taken to flavouring with rose syrup so it tastes like turkish delight!). Yes, we felt a little queasy by the time we'd finished...

Monday, 15 February 2010


This Narcissus was a Christmas gift (one of those indoor bulb kits which you plant and grow yourself) and was very special while it lasted; it's a shame the fragrance can't be shared online...

Monday, 8 February 2010


My Grandma kindly gave me this delicate piece of hand embroidery at Christmas (she made it herself a long time ago). I think it is an amazing piece of work; the colours are beautiful and the detail breathtaking...

If you click on the image you can see the detail more closely.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Christmas is definitely over...

This weekend we burnt our Christmas tree in the garden.  I wish we could have planted it, but its lack of roots somewhat hampered things.  It made for some interesting photos though...


Thursday, 28 January 2010

Tutorial - Vintage Cake Stand

I recently made this cake stand for a friend. Simple but effective!

It's always nice to create a special one-of-a-kind item. If you fancy making a similar one, it's as easy as this...

You will need:
  • A plate (a dinner plate is the best size; choose one which isn't too heavy)
  • A candlestick with a flat top (approximately 18cm/7 inches tall)
  • Epoxy glue (two separate gels which you mix together immediately prior to use)
  • White spirit
  • A marker pen
  1. Wash and dry the plate and candlestick thoroughly.
  2. Measure and mark the centre of the reverse of the plate with a small spot of ink.
  3. Place the candle stick over this mark (i.e. where you will eventually glue it in place) and draw around it.
  4. Lay the plate face down, mix and apply the Epoxy glue to the candlestick, then glue to the plate. (This glue sets incredible quickly so you won't have much time to reposition the candlestick if you make a mistake).
  5. Leave to dry overnight.
  6. Use white spirit to remove any traces of marker pen from the reverse of the plate.
  7.  Place cake(s) on finished stand, admire briefly, then eat.
  • You can find a massive selection of vintage plates and candlesticks sold individually on eBay.
  • Make sure the candlestick has a flat top. Some have rounded tops and therefore less surface area to stick to the plate.
  • In preparation for gluing (to create a stronger bond), you can sand the top of the candle stick and the marked area on the plate. Sandpaper is sufficient, but I was fortunate enough to have a helper with a small electric sander! Remember to clean the sanded areas with white spirit prior to gluing.
  • Wash/wipe clean by hand. Although the Epoxy glue is incredibly strong, I would not advise putting your finished cake stand in the dishwasher.
As always, I look forward to making one for myself!
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