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Thursday, 22 December 2011

Sew n' Crow Christmas!

This week our Monday night group, fondly known as "sew n' crow" met at Sam's for a festive evening of fun and handmade present exchanging!
Some weeks ago, we all picked a name out of the Secret Santa hat.  Nic decreed that, of course, all presents should be handmade, and cost no more than £5, or should come from your craft stash!  Quite right too!
My gift was wrapped in brown paper and adorned with a luggage tag bearing a button snowman!
And......the recipient of my carefully woven basket gift was Lisa.  Lisa is a fabulous stitcher, as you'll see later on, so I must admit I was a little nervous.....but she seemed to like it!
Lisa in turn made for Jeannette, a lovely jar with pincushion top and stuffed to the brim with sewing goodies......
Jeannette made for Nic, and carefully wrapped her goodies in this gorgeous little wicker hamper - she knows Nic has a penchant for hampers!
Jeannette made these beautiful tweed fabric hearts strung with pretty flowery ribbon and adorned with tiny jewels. 
And filled the basket with handmade iced Christmas biscuits. 
I was the lucky recipient of Nic's gift, some beautiful ceramic heart tags made at a recent Rachel Dormor workshop, plus a really pretty pressed glass bowl and creamer from Nic's own glass collection.
Michelle received a lovely stash of handmade fork pom poms made by Sue - beautifully festive!
Michelle made for Amy and her gift was home made bath and massage oil scented with lavender and camomile and presented in a gorgeous vintage decanter, tied with ribbon and luggage tag.  Michelle even added some glitter to add some extra Christmas sparkle! Amy was clearly thriilled.
Amy's gift to Shiela was a beautiful Christmas Tree cross-stitch presented in an embroidery hoop - Shiela very quickly announced that she had the perfect spot to hang her lovely gift.
Pat's gift, made by Sam, was a beautiful, personalised mug hug - which, as you can see here, also nicely fits an ample glass of mulled wine!!!
Pat made Sue a super cosy, chocolate brown, chenille scarf.  It was on in a flash!
There were no prizes for guessing who made this stunning coffee and walnut cake!  Shiela is renowned for them in these parts - and Sam was the lucky recipient - though I did wonder whether lucky was the right word, since Sam very generously proceeded to share it with us all, leaving her with only half a cake!!!
I think we all enjoyed both the making and sharing of our gifts, in the knowledge that we had invested our time wisely, with love, and had made something which would be appreciated.
I can't finish this post, without showing you a few pictures of the very talented Lisa Museum's finished Santa washing line! She's been working on this at Sew n' Crow over recent weeks and here it is in all its glory - ta dah!
All handmade and handstitched.
How cute.

Sam's cat, Wellington, seemed pretty non-plussed by all of the activity and decided instead that Nic's ball of yarn made a great head rest and the perfect spot for a snooze, whilst we ooohed, aaarh'd, drank and ate!!!
Life doesn't get much better than this!


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Skip Sisters!

How lovely it was, whilst doing our book signing in Woodbridge on Sunday, to meet one of the founder members of the Skip Sisters, Edori Fertig.  Nic and I were absolutely thrilled that Edori purchased a copy of our book too!
Edori is on the left of this photo.  They look like they are having a great time - and we just love their ethos!  A group of like minded women, who met learning how to make felt and who shared a passion for finding old discarded pieces and creating something wonderful and new from them.

Here are just a few of the beautiful items they have created as part of their shared passion.

Edori's Royal Wedding cushion!
 What a fab pincushion!
Of course, tea time has to be catered for!

Beautiful work on display, at the Dulwich Art Fair in 2008
 The Skip Sisters have a pop up shop each Christmas ..where they sell all of their original work.
And this year is no exception.....even the poster advertising the event is fab!
If you are in London over the next couple of weeks, and get the chance, do go and say hello - I'm sure they'd be delighted to see you!
Isn't it just brilliant how a shared passion for craft can bring people together.  If ever proof were needed of the power of crafting, then surely the Skip Sisters must be it!

(All of the images in this post are reproduced with kind permission of Skip Sisters - Thank You)

Sunday, 4 December 2011


What a busy time we've had this weekend.....
Months ago we promised that we would enter a tree into the local Christmas tree festival, the theme being Village Life.  An opportunity to use all our lovely habby goodies that seemed too good to pass up!  We spent a lovely Friday afternoon carefully decorating our small, but perfectly formed, tree to bursting point with gorgeous haberdashery notions and embellishments - with the tag line,  "never knowlingly under-embellished" 
It was lovely to see everyone arriving, all with different interpretations on the village life theme, from "afternoon tea" with branches adorned with gorgeous vintage tea wares and fairy lights to the "demise of the post office" a rather sad, but poignant reminder of the loss of local services.
We made a dolly peg fairy for the top of our tree, as well as button garlands, angora pom poms, mini bunting and also these cute little replicas of our brown paper carrier bags!
And cute parcels tied with jute string.
Hot on the heels of the tree festival preparations came the Swedish Fayre at Creeting House on Saturday. 
The barn was adorned with boughs of the beautiful trees cut from within the grounds of Creeting House and though it was cold outside, and quite cold inside, we were kept warm with gluhwein, yummy saffron buns fresh from the oven, and hot dogs. 

Our budding young crafter Caitlin came along with a selection of her beautiful card creations as well as some rather fetching robins that will be popping up on the blog very soon, we hope!
It was a lovely sociable day. 
Then today, rather than my usual Sunday morning routine of eggs on toast served up alongside the Archers omnibus edition, we were out on the road again, this time to Woodbridge to do a book signing for our book, A Green Guide to Country Crafts, at Woodbridge books!  The book shop fronts onto the main thoroughfare where a street fair was in full swing, so, we set up outside the shop with our weaving and our knitting! It was a lovely, buzzy atmosphere and we had a really fun day and met some lovely people.

We're now both pretty pooped.  I don't know about Nic but after such a busy time I'm now enjoying a large G and T and am just about to take my weaving in to sit beside the lovely log fire that is luring me away from my computer! 

Hope you've had a great weekend!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A 'tail' of two halves...creativity and destruction!

Being the last weekend before the Swedish Fayre, and being ever so slightly concerned that I wouldn't have enough goodies for my stall, I decided to spend Sunday afternoon cooking up some of the pinecone firelighters that feature in our book, A Green Guide to Country Crafts. 
They are ever so simple to make so, having gathered together all of the suitable vessels I could find to fill, I set about melting my soy wax flakes...
The job was made all the easier due to a recent find in our local Sue Ryder Charity shop - this rather fetching preserving pan - very sturdy and in great condition.  A steal at £5! 
I waxed some wick and put one in each mould before filling with melted wax.....
And then topping each one off with a hand-picked pine cone!  The trick is popping in the pine cone just at the right time - when the wax has partly set.
The metal patisserie moulds are the ones I used in the book, but I have to say, the silicone moulds worked a dream and were dead easy to slip out once the wax had set.
All ready to go the fayre!

And then.....ready and waiting to counter my burst of creativity head on...Rory the destroyer set to work!
Firstly it was hubby's (quite expensive) slippers.....whilst my back was turned for a moment.
Followed shortly afterwards by the very swift destruction of a new toy.  It lasted all of half an hour in Rory's very capable paws!
And as something of a finale, a pair of our lovely painted bamboo needles bit the dust care of yours truly!
Good job I love him to bits, little monkey!
Still, without him, I would not have been out walking this morning and I would have missed the pleasure of these.  I just love the ethereal quality of honesty and have an idea for using some to make a card for a friend.....