fame…?

As featured in Making Magazine!

I mentioned before that I entered my Dalek pincushions in the Monday Make competition run by Making magazine’s Facebook page and won – I received a lovely book and was asked if they could include my pincushions in a column in the magazine. However, I realised I didn’t share with you what was printed in the current issue!

Making magazine
Making magazine
ooh look! my pincushions in print!
ooh look! my pincushions in print!

I had already taken out a subscription to the magazine. Having decided only to allow myself one crafting magazine, I checked out as many as I could find before committing to a subscription and liked Making best.

Liebster award

liebster

As if having my work in print were not enough, lovely Tessa at Life and Loveliness nominated my blog for a Liebster award! now this is not without work as it comes with tasks:

The liebster award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers who are up-and-coming in the blogosphere and involves answering 10 questions from the person who nominated you, nominating 10 blogs yourself and setting them 10 questions.

1. why do you blog?

This ought to be an easy question, but it is actually a bit complicated. I started my old blog when I decided that when I eventually got my redundancy I would have a go at working for myself, and everyone said you need a blog to get yourself known. However, when I started writing I found it really therapeutic and thoroughly enjoyed writing and sharing photos. I found myself wittering away about not only crafts, but lots of National Trust gardens and tea shops and the cats and the birds in the garden. To the point that when I actually started my business, I felt the crafting side was overshadowed by witter and photos and thought I should make it more professional. I now find it very hard to find the right balance. I allowed myself Deere Diary to witter away and bore people with my photos and try to make this blog more about about my sewing and other crafts. I find I write less, and I miss the writing/wittering.

2. what is your favorite song and why?

I think probably Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You’, but tomorrow I might give a different answer.

3. describe yourself in three words.

I have pondered this all day, so asked Mark what he would say and he said ‘caring. creative. knackered’ – actually I think that’s about right.

4. who is the one person that can always make you smile?

Mark.

5. describe your idea of a perfect day.

Breakfast out (Bea’s Vintage Tearooms, the Pump Room or the Roscoff Deli in Bath or the Watch House cafe in West Bay), a long lazy walk around a garden or woodland (perhaps Lytes Cary, Westonbirt Arboretum or the Abbotsbury sub-tropical gardens), afternoon tea, then home to snuggle up on the sofa and watch a film…oh yes, I am a real wild child!

6. if you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

I would like to travel around Scandinavia and visit friends in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

7. where do you find inspiration in life?

Everywhere. Really, I am inspired by people I meet, flora and fauna around me, patches of sunlight, pieces of music, scents, textures – most of the time I think life and the world around me is amazing.

8. if you could spend a day with one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

My dad. I miss him.

9. what would you like to be remembered for?

Being kind.

10. have you ever experienced a turning point in your life? if so, what caused it, and what have you learned from it?

I guess being made redundant last year. It was very welcome and allowed me to try something entirely new without having to panic about money (of course Mark helps with that too). I think I have learnt that sometimes you just have to have a go and see what happens; not everything can be controlled and the things you didn’t expect/plan could well be the best things.

Is that ok Tessa? Now for my nominations. I have to be honest, quite a few of my favourite blogs have more than 200 followers and some I am struggling to see how many followers they have, but here are my less well known favourites (apologies if some have more than 200 followers – they all deserve thousands of followers):

Vastgotaspets och tradgard

scrapiana

lizzie lenard-vintagesewing

quiltar och silver

dreimalkunst

a good year

stokes croft stitching

Here is where I ran out of blogs that I already follow and that I think do not have too many followers (although I am not sure about a couple of them as they are just so good, they may well have more than 200 – but I can’t see a number on their blogs). I decided that, as this award is intended to help people discover new blogs, I should go looking. I found these I liked so much I will follow them:

Rare English Rose

Little House on the Dairy

Toasty

I almost forgot my questions for the bloggers I nominated!

1. why do you blog?

2. what is your greatest ambition?

3. who inspires you?

4. if you could swap places with anyone, who would it be?

5. if the world was set to blow up three weeks on Tuesday, what would you want to do with your remaining time?

6. what is your greatest fear?

7. which five people (alive now or magically brought back to life) would you choose to join you for afternoon tea at the Ritz?

8. what advice would you give your younger self?

9. what do you want to be doing this time next year?

10. what is you favourite food?

 

 

 

Bath photos

On Tuesday, the forecast was for sunshine – a rare commodity these days – so I decided I would take it as an inspiration day, take my camera and walk in to town. It was the most beautiful morning, although the pavements were like ice-rinks with frost, and I got a little carried away. Here are a few of my favourite photos from the day and there are more in Deere Diary if you are interested.

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

ta dah!

Just a quick post – the lovely people at Making magazine chose my dalek pincushions as the winning entry for this week’s Monday Makes! I have been getting Making for a little while now (since Sue in my old office recommended it) and have sneakily been waiting for a good subscription offer. Last month’s issue offered a huge bundle of sewing goodies; really useful things like shears and pinking shears and a number of large reels of extra strong thread and…well you get the picture…so I took the plunge and took out a subscription (you don’t need to subscribe to enter the weekly competition on Facebook). I have entered a few things in the weekly competition on the Making Facebook page and was really delighted to win this week. I know it’s just a weekly Facebook competition, but it means a lot to me!

While I am here, I have made a few more things:

Christmas cards with robins…

robin Christmas card
robin Christmas card

I like the way the fabric frays a little around the edges; rather like feathers I think.

robin detail
robin detail

 

glove cats and dogs (not in the shop, as I can’t CE mark them as have not yet been able to track down reasonably priced gloves with EN71-3 dye data – if anyone knows of a suitable manufacturer, do let me know!)…

glove cats and dogs
glove cats and dogs

and a couple more linen zip pouch bags with round trees and little bird buttons…

green tree, red birds
green tree, red birds
green tree, white birds
green tree, white birds

 

I also made a child’s apron with a flower pot pocket and a white daisy growing out of it – will take photos tomorrow.

 

 

and the Christmas making continues

Well, my time continues to be ploughed in to making for the Christmas fair on 4 December – I rarely have time to write much, which I miss. I also suspect that just bunging a load of photos in to my blog is not only a cop out, but makes entries less interesting. Of course I may be wrong and readers may be relieved when they see I have refrained from wittering on.

I am trying to fit in a bit more non-business stuff. This week I made 12 jars of dumpsideary jam (spiced apple, pear and plum) from Gloria Nicol’s book ‘Fruits of the Earth‘  and shortbread Christmas trees to photograph for Christmas cards from uk.Moo.com and four Christmas cakes to be fed weekly with brandy. What’s more Mark and I went out for lunch today – just the two of us (and he bought me flowers on Friday…should I be worried?). Tomorrow afternoon I am giving blood , so that too will be a non-business activity.

shortbread snow scene
shortbread snow scene
edible snow scene
edible snow scene

 

I also signed up for an artist trading card (ATC) swap run by Ali at very berry handmade. I confess that although I had seen the size of the card, it had not sunk in just how small it actually is. The finished card sits easily in the palm of my hand – and that makes cutting out all those leaves exceedingly fiddly. I worked out the design on paper and then painted the dog in fabric paint on natural calico, then used a temporary spray adhesive to hold it in place on the background fabric and ironed on some stitch and tear to stabilise the fabric while I stitched on the leaves and highlighted the dog’s fur in black and white, adding a French knot nose. I made a backing and cut down some bias binding for the edging. It goes in the post tomorrow and I am a little sad to see it go, but I am excited to see what I receive in the post in return!

little dog 'Autumn' artist trading card
little dog ‘Autumn’ artist trading card

On the business side, I have had orders for dalek pincushions and will be making still more this week.

dalek pincushions
dalek pincushions

 

I found some old fashioned milk bottles in Lakeland and am very happy with the look of the snow scenes (not edible!) I have made in them – what do you think? I am running out of space in our dining room/my work room for snow scenes, but am reluctant to fill the living room with them as I don’t want us to get bored of Christmas before it has even started. I generally refuse to put up the tree or any decorations (other than the wooden advent train) more than a week before Christmas, so really hope these things sell!

old fashioned milk bottle snow scene
old fashioned milk bottle snow scene

 

Finally, I just want to share my latest indulgence. For a long time now I have been drooling over Lilla Lotta‘s printed tapes and treated myself to this one:

Lilla Lotta printed tape
Lilla Lotta printed tape

I am not sure how I will use it, but I have an urge to make a number of items relating to fairy tales and think this will fit in. I like it so much I went back and ordered some more – I considered this one, because it’s lovely:

Lilla Lotta red riding hood tape
Lilla Lotta red riding hood tape

I decided though that I don’t want someone else’s image of a fairy tale, as I want to use my own images, so opted for this one.

Lilla Lotta magic mushrooms tape
Lilla Lotta magic mushrooms tape

If you are tempted to buy yourself some of these printed tapes, you will need to get a wriggle on as Lilla Lotta’s Etsy shop says she will be closed for at least a year from January!

Right then, now I have done a wee bit of writing, i want to do some reading…Vastgotaspets och tradgard, Knitsofacto and Twigg Studios, here I come!

 

 

Christmas is coming…the daleks are getting fat…

Christmas is coming…the daleks are getting fat…

Well it’s something like that. I have been getting myself a bit stressed about how much sewing I have to do for Christmas and for my first craft fair* and have been trying to get as much stock made as possible. I had been making things I know well as I can make them quickly, but as I calm down a bit I am letting myself have fun designing new pieces. While I was beading daleks for custom order Christmas stockings I began to think about the possibility of a dalek pincushion and this week set about designing one. I am rather pleased with my first attempt, what do you think?

dalek pincushion
dalek pincushion

Of course do remember that a dalek is not just for Christmas!

Stallholders at the Christmas fair are being asked to donate a raffle prize and as soon as I hit send on my email, I knew a gingerbread house was a silly thing to offer as cooking is not part of my business. Bags are more my thing…but then surely a bag could be a gingerbread house…

gingerbread house handbag
gingerbread house handbag

I will probably add a bit more detail to the windows, but it was fun to make (and sent me off on  the trail of some gorgeous Christmas buttons to make a second (or third) gingerbread house bag.

I  am totally immersed in Christmas. Most years I hate the commercialism of it all and the way the shops fill with decorations and gifts as soon as Summer holidays are over, but this year I have no option but to jump in to it head first. I have been making more free-motion sewn cards and even a bit of hand emroidery.

 

French knot polar bear Christmas card
French knot polar bear Christmas card
tree Christmas card
tree Christmas card

Today I also gave in to Pinterest and made a snow scene in a jam jar – I first saw these on Pinterest last Christmas and I think they are so cute. For gifts (not for sale) I am also going to make some edible snow scenes in jars, with shortbread trees and sugar snow.

jam jar snow scene
jam jar snow scene

 

I have had some time off making things though, including a trip over the bridge to chat to some textile students about the things I make. I was a bit nervous – it’s a really long time since I have even been in a school – but thoroughly enjoyed myself. Everyone was lovely and they showed me their beautiful past projects and we talked about their upcoming projects. I am looking forward to seeing the end results.

Yesterday one of my old work colleagues came over and we had a National Trust day – the Courts and Lacock. It kept looking like it was going to pour with rain, but held off until we were having a meal in the pub in the evening. I rather like grey skies they add a touch of gothic drama.

Lacock tree of light
Lacock tree of light

I will sort out the other photos and pop them in to Deere Diary in a bit.

 

* St Mary’s Church (bottom of Bathwick Hill in Bath) 7pm to 9.30pm Wednesday 4th December 2013