Hello 2015!

Ooh it’s been a busy Winter. Busy, but profitable. What has slipped has been writing (and housework…sorry Mark!). So here goes…a brief summary of 6 weeks in the life of Sue Deere, textile artist.

I have worked on a teeny weeny Artist Trading Card for the Very Berry Handmade swap:

I have had lots and lots of orders – many for pieces using the customers’ own photos, so I can’t really share them here while others were freemotion pieces and now Christmas is over, I can let you see!

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Royal Crescent, Bath

My photos as well as textile art:

I had a number of craft markets and hugely successful and enjoyable open studio with my friend and willow artist, Su Macpherson (involving plenty of mulled wine and mince pies too!) – for the Christmas Fair at Bath Library I even had a very lovely young French lady to help me run the stall.

Su and I treated ourselves to a half day fused glass course at Silversides in Larkhall:

Excitingly, Su and I have also decided to work together running craft workshops – a creative fun day out, suitable for the absolute beginner: Grownups Playgroup

Su and Sue6_instant
Sue and Su

We are now booking for:

  • 21 March 10.00 – 16.00 willow plant supports (only two places left)
  • 28 March 10.00 – 16.00 willow sculpting
  • 11 April 10.00 – 16.00 introduction to free motion embroidery

Please email grownupsplaygroup@gmail.com if you are interested in attending.

I will also be running a workshop for the Bath WI, making pincushions in teacups:

pincushion1

As well as all this crafty loveliness we have had a lovely selection of frosty mornings and Winter sunshine…stunning sunrises and delicate moonfalls.

A few brisk Winter walks to put roses in our cheeks:

lacock doors

Lots of wildlife to admire, including a kingfisher in the Botanical Gardens in Bath!

botanic 27 dec11

In contrast, the cats have been making the most of the central heating. Max has been experimenting with different resting places including Christmas presents, a hamper, boxes and a rather nice pack of truffles! Rio stuck to Mark’s dressing gown and the ironing board…

There were decorations…

…and lots of baking…

…injuries – little ones like burning my arm on the oven and bigger ones involving an ambulance ride to A&E when our neighbour tripped and cut her head badly.

burn

There were party hats, racing wind-up robins, cocktails, two Christmas dinners, accounts and my first tax return…

botanic 27 dec34

…and the new year started with a new hair cut!

me new hair

So here’s to 2015 and all the excitement ahead!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

With a shed load of Christmas craft markets coming up, I could do with some little elf helpers! As the house fills with Christmas goodies I am already feeling festive…just hope it doesn’t wear off before Christmas! All available to buy or to order in my Christmas shop.

Of course you can come along to one of my Christmas stalls – Friday 21st Nov Yatton Keynell Village Hall (2pm to 4pm), Saturday 29th Nov King Edward’s School, Bath and Saturday 6th Dec Bath Central Library.

starry PBs

penguin babies

This year you could be wearing a Deerey Me creation…brooches and earrings!

trees and bear3
Christmas tree felt earrings
trees and bear4
snowy Christmas tree earrings
trees and bear7
felt earrings
tree earrings2
Christmas tree earrings
trees and bear9
snowy polar bear brooch
baby penguin brooch2
baby penguin brooch
rock hopper penguin brooch
rock hopper penguin brooch
trees and bear2
Christmas tree felt brooches

Of course you can dress your Christmas tree too!

hoops2
robin tree decoration
hoops4
taking the tree home decoration
hoops3
snow scene tree decoration
hoops5
polar bear tree decoration
hoops6
let it snow tree decoration
mistletoe1
meet me under the misteltoe

…and don’t forget Christmas cards!

penguin cards4
penguin card
penguin cards3
baby penguin card
penguin cards2
rock hopper penguin card

Last but not least, it was my mum’s 80th birthday last week…she got a round of applause and and a birthday cupcake at the Pump Room on the day and then a family get together at the weekend. Happy birthday (again) Mum!

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aunt marthas7

a really hoopy frood…

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, hoopy is defined as “a really together guy” and a frood is defined as “a really amazingly together guy.”
As an example to put it in context, Zaphod says, “Hey you, sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is!”
Now I do know where my towel is (soft and fluffy and neatly folded in the airing cupboard), but in truth I am merely searching for a title for this post that might make embroidery hoops a little less…pedestrian.
[short aside: did I ever tell you that my old neighbours in Bristol reckoned I probably worked for MI5, as they couldn’t believe I was really a (then) thirty something who enjoyed quilting, National Trust gardens, and spending time with my cat Brian? Needless to say, they were wrong…but then if I were in MI5, I would say that wouldn’t I?]
So then, hoops. I like embroidery hoops as frames for textile pieces. I have a number of traditional frames, but they are more clunky – and much heavier to post – so I find myself stocking up on embroidery hoops. I have made a few ‘Mama Bear’ size pieces of hoop art that have been fun to do and have sold well…
2014 July 14 hoops - 07
owls hoop
2014 July 14 hoops - 13
storm in a teacup hoop
cat hoop
cat hoop
mistletoe4
meet me under the misteltoe
Then I woke early one morning with an idea in my head and grabbed a ‘Daddy Bear’ size hoop…
lonely tree
lonely tree
Next I picked up a collection of ‘Baby Bear’ hoops and made some Christmas tree decorations…the most fun thing to do with your clothes on! I started with some sketches like this one:
hoops7
tree on car roof sketch
Then I chose a snowy background and cut fusible fleece to the size of the inside of the hoops, ironed it on to the back of the background fabric, cut out my images from lovely thick pure wool felt (using my own pattern pieces), dropped the feed dogs and fitted a darning foot and away I went!
hoops1
Christmas tree decoration hoops
hoops4
tree on car roof (my favourite)
hoops6
snowman
hoops5
polar bear
hoops2
robin
hoops3
snow scene
I am making the Christmas tree decorations to order for £5.50 each plus p&p – order through my Etsy shop or drop me an email: Christmas tree decorations

tempus fugit…time flies!

You may have noticed a decided absence of posts. It is not that I have not been working at all – there have been custom orders and stock developments – but there have also been distractions in the form of visitors, days out with Mark and needing to get things done for the Bath WI. We now have no visitors, Mark is back at work (for a couple of weeks anyway) and my lovely comrades at the Bath WI committee have taken quite a bit off my shoulders so I have two weeks to work very hard…before Mark and I hand over the house and cats to our regular ‘sitters’ and head to Devon for a week in a listed barn conversion; peace and quiet, lots of photos and perhaps a little crochet beside the wood burner (probably alone as Mark has spotted there is a PlayStation in the property!).

So first of all, let me share some of my distractions…

Stourhead National Trust house and gardens:

Stourhead 17 Sept 2014 - 007

Stourhead 17 Sept 2014 - 140

 

 

The Courts, National Trust gardens at Holt:

the courts 18 sept 2014 - 069

the courts 18 sept 2014 - 096

 

Afternoon tea at the Bailbrook House Hotel:

Bailbrook House - 16

 

Yeo Valley Organic Gardens:

Yeo Valley Gardens 7 Sept 2014 - 034

Yeo Valley Gardens 7 Sept 2014 - 045

Yeo Valley Gardens 7 Sept 2014 - 130

And now the work! I have been having fun printing photos on to cotton poplin, and there are now options in my Etsy shop to request custom orders using your own photos…the kids, pets or holiday snaps! Christmas present for Granny?

garden cakes and lavender bags - 11

 

photo fabric 1 - 07

photo fabric 1 - 15

photo fabric 1 - 16

garden cakes and lavender bags - 15

garden cakes and lavender bags - 16

In addition, there are organised people getting ahead with their Christmas shopping and I have had a number of custom orders including Wizard of Oz Christmas stockings – I liked the ruby slipper one so much I made an extra one to pop in my shop, and am always happy to make items personalised with names and/or photos.

w of o stocking 19 sept 2014 - 3

wofO stocking2 - 2

a touch of Spring cleaning

Yes, I know it is July and not technically Spring, but I have indeed been Spring cleaning. I had my fourth craft fair on Saturday and a few things have sorted themselves out in my mind.

IMG_2488
Mark came to help me at the Yatton Keynell popup shop and was really good at making sure everything looked just right!

I started Deerey Me wanting to try lots of things – because I like making so many different things – hoping something would come to the surface. I think it now has. What I enjoy most is free-motion machine embroidery and applique and I think I should keep my stock to this theme. I will sell cards and pictures and zip pouches and to that I may add brooches and tea cosies and aprons, but all will have my style of free-motion twiddliness.

2014 July 14 hoops - 13
a storm in a teacup


One thing that has not sold at all at craft fairs and not too much recently online is the larger tote/shopping bags, so I am going to stop making them as stock (except the book bags). I am happy to make anything at all for custom order – tote bags, slippers etc – but I won’t keep them in stock and I won’t take them to craft fairs. My one exception to all this is Ellen Mouse. I love her too much not to have her around – and I don’t want all that CE testing to go to waste.

IMGP9801
Ellen Mouse..er…Mice…er…Mouses


So, my friends, I now have some stock to clear out of my way. I have decided to take them out of my Etsy shop and sell them a few at a time on my Facebook page
, so why not head over there, ‘like’ my page and see what bargains pop up each day!

etsy 15 may 2014 - 100
Facebook bargain number 1 – reduced from £8.50 plus postage to £4.50 including postage

In addition, the more free-motion work I do, the faster I get, so I am now able to reduce the price of my cards from £4.50 each to £3 each!

2014 July 13 Etsy - 32
two little owls card

Finally, and I shall whisper this…my Christmas shop is now open over at Etsy: Deerey Me Christmas shop. I had a couple of people buying stocking-fillers on Saturday and thought I should be ready for the early birds. The Christmas section does include some non-applique pieces, but…well…Christmas is Christmas and some liberties may be taken!

IMGP8703
Skandinavian style Christmas stockings

Looking forward to 2014

So the presents were wrapped…and slept on…!

Mark and Max pre-Christmas snoozing
Mark and Max pre-Christmas snoozing
Max asleep on the Christmas presents
Max asleep on the Christmas presents

…the baking was done and food was eaten…

fir tree bundt cake
fir tree bundt cake
New York snow scene made from shortbread
New York snow scene made from shortbread
Boxing Day delights
Boxing Day delights
festive but healthy dessert
festive but healthy dessert
chcolate fudge brownies baked in ice cream cones and coated in white chocolate, sprinkles and edible glitter
chcolate fudge brownies baked in ice cream cones and coated in white chocolate, sprinkles and edible glitter

…Christmas afternoon snoozes were snoozed…

…paper hats from crackers were worn and games were played…

…and now it feels like time to take down the decorations and clean the house ready for the new year. I am not a big fan of New Year’s Eve. Whatever the opposite of a party animal is, that’s me. I do, however, love New Year’s Day. I like the excitement of opportunities ahead and the feeling like I have a clean slate and a little mini fresh start. I have a lovely piece of red velvet with little red riding hood’s name on it (metaphorically speaking) and a big roll of chalk cloth and 100 blank cards waiting for a bit of free-motion embroidery and a head buzzing with ideas (and not all of them totally crazy).

Flooding permitting we will go and get some invigorating sea air (while Sue and Don cat and house sit), hide all remaining chocolate (we were given loads!), rediscover fresh green food and ditch the sugary carb-heavy Christmas food habits, dig out our bikes for regular exercise, put up the raised beds where we cleared the turf, plant seeds in the grow house, decorate the bedrooms…oh and I will be grasping my new crafty person role with the Bath WI. See what I mean? The new year is really exciting! I have such a good feeling about the coming year…!

How about you? What are you all looking forward to?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We wish you a merry Christmas…

First things first…or no…actually before that…I must apologise for the lack of attention I have given my Deerey Me website. Such a busy time, I confess I have been favouring the speed and ease of my Deerey Me Facebook page, which has had more than a hint of Christmas party about it. I have all sorts of plans for the new year, including lavishing more attention here.

So back to ‘first things’…I drew the winners of my calendar giveaway. First (Aaron) and second (Emma) who commented over on Facebook, but I was delighted that the third name drawn was lovely Caitlin, who commented here. A Sue Deere Photos calendar will be winging its way to all three very shortly.

Deerey Me calendars
Deerey Me calendars

Most years our house is full of gingerbread houses and yule logs waiting to be collected by friends and family but this year my only request for a gingerbread house was received too late for me to have time to make. In fact my only gingerbread house was a handbag for the WI Christmas Fair…

gingerbread house handbag
gingerbread house handbag

I did have my usual Christmas cake gifts to make and decided to use the spherical bun tin I treated myself to a few years back to make mini fruit cake spheres that I turned in to little fat robins…of course!

fat fruit cake robin
fat fruit cake robin
fat robin Christmas cake
fat robin Christmas cake

My mum is not meant to have marzipan or icing, so her cake just has a hint of edible gold spray and some gold plastic reindeer.

non-iced Christmas cake
non-iced Christmas cake
Christmas cakes wrapped and ready to go
Christmas cakes wrapped and ready to go

I have a little more baking to do before Wednesday and last night was our Christmas street party – a great regular event. One of our neighbours has even put an extra shed in his front garden, which he has converted in to a bar…and this year there was homebew on tap too! We gather around a brazier (not to be confused with brassiere!) and sing carols, drink mulled wine and eat nibbles (the mini meat pies were particularly awesome…). My contribution was these melting snowmen cookies I saw on Pinterest.

melting snowmen cookies
melting snowmen cookies

You can use any sort of biscuit/cookie (even shop-bought), spread a dollop of white glace or royal icing and – before the icing dries – pop marshmallows on a greased piece of baking parchment on a microwave-safe plate and zap for no more than 20 seconds (just long enough that they start to puff up). Oil your fingers and squish a melting marshmallow on each biscuit. When cool and dried pipe on arms and faces. Another time I would use larger biscuits and add fondant scarves. I bought rolos and giant choc button to make hats, but again the biscuits were too small…ah well, we will just have to eat the chocolate.

Talking of chocolate, I made some hot chocolate spoons as little extra Christmas gifts. I bought a big pack of wooden teaspoons and filled them with milk and white chocolate and added Christmas sprinkles and edible glitter; when stirred in to a mug of hot milk they will make yummy hot chocolate.

I was worried that this year, with all the Christmas sewing starting in late Summer, I might be fed up with Christmas before it got anywhere near. However, I am delighted to announce that I was still very happy to decorate the house this week. We have so many Christmas decorations…

Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations

…but there’s always room for a few new home made lavender cats!

lavender cats
lavender cats

Actually, I made so many lavender cats and other lavender bags, I ran out of lavender and had to move on to cloves and cinnamon.

empty lavender jar
empty lavender jar

With all the Wintery preparations for Christmas…

note my reflection in the teapot bauble...tripod and all; very proper!
note my reflection in the teapot bauble…tripod and all; very proper!
Christmas mantel

…it was rather nice taking a moment out to look forward to the new year and Spring with a get well card…

get well card
get well card

I intend to be back here before Christmas, but just in case I get buried in icing sugar and shortbread (what a way to go!), I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and/or Winter break.

 

 

 

 

let the festivities begin…with a giveaway!

My business sewing is pretty much finished for the year and now I feel I can take a breath, finish off a few Christmas gifts and get on with a bit of Christmas baking. A few of my Christmas presents may actually miss Christmas, but should reach their recipients early in the New Year. I have made some Christmas and floral Dalek pincushions as gifts but have a few more things to finish.

For us it’s just not Christmas without a trip to the American Museum at Claverton. It’s decorated for the season and this weekend there is also a craft fair and a sale of Christmas decorations.

Mark and I bought each other a Christmas decoration, although my choice may well stay out all year long. This beautiful glass toadstool is about 10cm tall, and very elegant.

glass toadstool
glass toadstool

Mark chose something more seasonal…

Santa snowglobes
Santa snowglobe

Mind you I am already excited about next year’s makes. I am waiting for an order of red velvet for some little red riding hood themed items to start my fairy tales range, and some tin boxes in which to make miniature fabric scenes for Spring and Valentines Day, and this strange parcel arrived from Plush Addicts

mail order fabric from Plush Addicts
mail order fabric from Plush Addicts

I am very excited about using the chalk cloth (in the tube) to make storage boxes with labels you can write on and bunting where you can change the message at whim.

FREE GIVEAWAY!!!

First things first…with the New Year looming I thought somebody might like a free calendar. I love taking photos and these calendars (one wall calendar and two desk calendars) are my chance to sift through the hundreds of photos to pick out some favourites. If you would like one, just add a comment here or on my facebook page and I will pick the three winners on Friday 20th!

Deerey Me calendars
Deerey Me calendars

Tis the season to go shopping…!

My first craft fair was really good fun, and I learnt a lot. I hope most craft fairs will have larger tables, but I have learnt not to overload whatever size table I have. I sold quite a bit at the fair and more in the online shop, but had got a bit carried away making stock, so still have some to refill the virtual shelves in my online shop.

Amongst the stock there are lots of Christmas stockings…

black and white Star Wars stockings
black and white Star Wars stockings
Star Trek stocking
Star Trek stocking
red and black Star Wars stockings
red and black Star Wars stockings
Wizard of Oz Christmas stocking
Wizard of Oz Christmas stocking
snowmen stocking
snowmen stocking
snowflake stocking
snowflake stocking
holly stocking
holly stocking
glittery stockings
glittery stockings
welly boot Christmas stockings
welly boot Christmas stockings

and aprons…

and bags…

IMGP9165

and cards…

and Christmas tree decorations…

I generally post first class, but am happy to upgrade to courier service to be sure gifts reach you before Christmas – send me a message and I will let you know the additional postage cost and expected delivery time. Do go and have a look! Deerey Me Etsy shop.