Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Anyone found my mojo!

It's just a short post to say I am having a short blogging break until the New Year. I seem to have lost my mojo about blogging, I still keep checking in on you lot but that's as far as I go at the moment. I have a lot going on with Plans for Just Original for 2009 and a very naughty 4 year old and on top of that Christmas, I have not even put my decorations up yet!

So here's me wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a fab New Year!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Last fair tomorrow!

I know I should not say this out loud, but thank god tomorrow is my last fair for 2008! I have attended some howlers this year, but at the same time some really great ones. My task for next year is to find more great ones!

I really love fairs for things other than sales, great customers, fab other stall holders & great present shopping & the main thing is that I get to spend the day been myself, not a mum or wife just me!

I will get back to blogging next week, hopefully, as our wireless network does not like my computer but loves hubbies so don't know what that is all about.

Have a great weekend

PS Forgot to say that I did manage to do the draw for my 100th post compo, the winner was Joe @ Josie-Mary, so well done. Email me your address and I will get the goodies sent off sometime before Christmas!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Sorry, Sorry, Sorry!

No Pictures today as I have no new ones.

Right to start with sorry number 1 - I have been a very bad blogger as I have lots on at the moment, lots of fairs, getting ready for Christmas, husband very busy at work which has forced more day to day chores onto me & then on top of all that I am organising a 'Ladies Pampering' evening for little dears Pre-School tomorrow evening here we have sold 100 tickets I have 10 stall holders, 2 beauticians and an Indian takeaway arriving mid way through the evening. I will take some photo's and let you see how it goes.

Sorry number 2 - I have not been leaving lots of comments as I have loaded all my blogs onto Bloglines and it is then a pain to go and leave comments.

Sorry number 3 - The winner of my 100th post competition result, so in theory there is still time to leave me a comment saying anything as you then get entered into the giveaway.

I will try to resume some normality with blogging after this weekend.

Vanessa x

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Teachers Gift Sets!

This is the 1st time ever I think I have tried to promote you lot some of my products, but I have sold so many and received some nice comments from teachers who said " I wish someone would buy me one of those" that I have decided to plug them. They are £5.50 each they contain a tissue holder & a lavender heart with the words 'Best Teacher' on it. It is beautifully boxed with Christmas ribbon on it. If you are interested drop me a line as I have more designs of Cath Kidston Fabric available that are not photographed as yet.
Plug over!
I am doing the draw for my 100th post later tonight so there is still time to leave me a comment, to be honest if anyone leaves me a comment they are getting added into the bag.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A build up! (Not in my bowls)

You know when you have a lot to blog about but downloading the pictures, making the time just seem to get in the way of you actually sitting down and writing a post, well that's how I have felt for the past week, so today at work I have made the effort.

Look what arrived in the post for me, a much awaited parcel from Natalie at Roseberry Crafts, she was my swap partner in the Campervan Swap arranged by JellyBelly, Jelly Brain.
Look at the gorgeous parcel, are you excited at this point as much as I was, I think not!

More build up, more gorgeous paper, but the chocolates were lucky to get into the photo action!

Yeh! The campervan picture is amazing, the amount of detail and effort was fabulous, the vintage cotton reels are now added to my little collection that I got from my holidays earlier in the year.

Gorgeousness! (Is that a word!) Waiting to be displayed in my studio, talking of my studio, look below!

My studio looks very lovely from the outside, now it is all rendered and painted and accessorised. Ignore the cable going in through the window, I have light in there but as yet no sockets are live! My hubbo is working on putting the radiators in there this weekend to get some much needed heat in there. I will do an inside shot soon.

Look what loveliness arrived on my door step on Saturday, don't get the impression that I need a different brooch for every outfit, I sell these at my fairs! Lovely friend Sara @ All about Eden makes them for me. I have to say my favourite one is the aqua one and guess which one sold!

I also received an award from Joe over at Josie - Mary, so thank you very much.
The rules are that I pass it on to 6 people so here goes.
Well done ladies you thoroughly deserve it!
My next gripe it with all you ladies that have not entered my giveaway as yet all you need to do is put up a link on a post to my blog 'Passing on' Jamies Mackeral Pate. And then just leave me a comment saying the deed is done. (I have altered the rules slightly to make it easier for you)
Have a good day, don't know when I will next post as I have a big fair at the weekend, so I may be sewing and packaging stuff!
Vanessa x

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

The big 100!

I didn't mean to keep you hanging on with the next post, just that I have been very slack of recent weeks with both housework and Just Original, the only thing that has triumphed in my absence is my cooking skills. Jamie is still doing very well in my house the menu's are so simple. So with this still in mind I am going to do my bit for 'Pass it On'.
To enter my giveaway all you need to do is pass on Jamie's recipe for 'Mackerel Pate' that I blogged about last week. You just need to put the recipe on your blog, and if your really good try making it. Then come back and leave me a comment saying that the deed is done. So come on all you lurkers and you regulars do your bit.
I don't know as yet what the giveaway will be but it will be worthy of the work you will put in.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Jamie Olivers Food Movement! Pass it on!

What with the town of Rotherham being only 10 miles from where I live I been amazed by the antics that Jamie Oliver has been up to. Love him or hate him you have got to give him credit for his goo intentions and effort and passion that goes into every thing he does. So with this in mind my Mum went out and bought his book, Jamies Ministry of Food (£9.79 @ Tesco's). I pinched it the other day and had a look through and I have to say for a lass that hates cooking but loves baking there are a fair few recipes that I am going to try. They are pretty simple, no faffy ingredients and I have to say after today's efforts they taste 'Bloody Lovely'. So in Jamie's words 'Pass it on', so here goes.

Smoked Mackerel Pate

4 Smoked Mackerel Fillets taken off the skin and mashed
4 Finely chopped Spring Onions
1/2 the rind of a Lemon
1/2 the juice of a Lemon
1 small container of Philidelphia
2 tablespoons of Horseradish
Black Pepper

Basically just mush it all up together and serve on warm ciabatta or crusty bread.

It tastes really great even little dear loved it, a great weekend lunch recipe!

I then made some Pork Kebabs with a sage, onion and lemon dressing again easy to make and lush to taste!

After all the cooking in the house today I went into my work room with little dear in tow and started to get inspired by the Christmas bug! I had a play around with my button stash and made some little brooches and then had a go at making a little fat robin!

With regards to the to do list not a one thing done! Oh well there's always tomorrow.
One more post until the biggest giveaway on blogland this year, only joking! but please come back.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Home Sweet Home

As you can see the hills were a live with the sound of music!
Well the weekend just flew by and luckily the weather held out for us, so some walking was done. I have to say it was nice to get home as little dear spent her nights there on a blew up bed at the side of me and god does she snore & wriggle!
Well now back to reality and the epic list continues & grows from last week, so here goes:-
  1. Finish off my accounts, they need to be with HMCE by the 1st November.
  2. Start thinking about my next newsletter.
  3. Cut out the 4 custom ordered cushions.
  4. Send out magazine swap items, Campervan/Magazine
  5. Cut out 10 childs aprons.
  6. 4 bibs started & finished.
  7. The epic 'Lavender Bag' assault continues.

I will keep you posted on how things are throughout the week, what am I talking about week its Thursday tomorrow!

I have also opened a Folksy shop today, I would love your views on the whole Esty/Folksy thing.

Just realised I am 2 posts away from the big 100, so check back soon, as if I have not got enough to do I will do a 'Giveaway'.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Update 3!

Sorry no photo's!

Yesterday was not as productive as planned as I was so tired that I went to sleep for an hour in the afternoon! But got done Package for potential wholesale customer and 5 weekend set bags.

Any way must dash as I am going away!

Have a good weekend, catch up Tuesday!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Update 3!

Weekend gift tags cut out and labels stuck inside them.

Yesterdays Eco totes now photographed.

I have not achieved a great deal today as I have been at work and the took little dear to dancing. Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive as little dear is at Pre-school in the morning and then off to nursery in the afternoon. But I do have some chores to do in preparation for our weekend away.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Update 2!

Gift set ideas for Christmas all 10 made up.

Teacher gift idea made, I hate it but it's one thing of my list

Baby bib finishes (not on the list).
I also managed to finish the 10 eco bags, but I did not photo them, but I will take photo's tomorrow. In between my day job and taking my daughter to ballet!
I also did something great today as I spent 2 hours teaching a friend how to use her sewing machine, we managed to sew a lavender heart which she thought was amazing. It was a really strange as I am not the greatest machinist at all but I used to be a Training Manager so it was a blast from the past for me in terms of covering the basics, how to explain things and how not to plough in and just take over. We are going to make a cushion cover on our next lesson!
Catch up tomorrow.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Day one!

Photo quality not great but they always say proofs in the pudding!
20 recipe books cut, folded and stitched together!

20 baking set bags done, labels made and sewn onto hearts!

Also cut out 4 bibs cut (additional)
1hr of gardening
1/2 hour of ironing
I forgot to mention as I had a momentary lapse, I am going away on Friday morning so the pressure is real on!
See you tomorrow

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Busy week ahead!

This is a photo taken a couple of Saturdays ago at Clumber Park. Little dear absolutely loves paddling through this ford. The funny thing was that as we were sat in the car eating our picnic about 10 cyclist attempted to go through the ford and fell off on the green sludge!

Well I have had a busy week and next week seems to continue the theme. But my high light this week was booking tickets to the Country Living fair in London. Me & my sister are going down for a nosey to see if it is a viable option for next year for Just Original.

I have lots to do this week so to make sure I am achieving things I am going to blog every evening this week with my done list, but I am going to write down my definitely must do list and anything I do extra to this is a real bonus.

  1. Finish off 'Campervan Swap' items.
  2. Make up 10 Eco bags.DONE
  3. Cut out 4 cushions for an order.
  4. Make up 20 recipe books for baking sets. (All ready printed, need cutting & sewing)-DONE
  5. Put together a package for a potential wholesale customer.DONE
  6. Make up 10 'Weekend' set netting bags.DONE
  7. Cut out labels for weekend sets.DONE
  8. Start making up gift sets. DONE
  9. Cut out 10 cushions.
  10. Cut out 10 child's aprons.
  11. Make up 10 baking set bags. DONE
  12. Lavender bags & more lavender bags.
  13. Try out some new gift ideas for Teachers Christmas gifts. DONE

As you can see lots to do, so I will let you know how I get on tomorrow with pictures as proof.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Faith is restored!

After my recent run of bad luck with Craft fairs I have to say my faith has been restored this weekend with a great fair. It was great for many reasons, this obvious one been that people actually bought my stuff, but they bought a wide variety of my stock and people were so nice. I have subsequently had a few enquires and really feel I may get some more orders from it.

The show itself was Southwell Ploughing Match and to be honest it was more like a County show there was so much going on and it was well organised and very well attended. So I will be doing it again next year.

I also want to say a big thank you to you guys your comments on my last post were great. I am going to the CL fair in November to have a nosey at what to expect and then I will make the decision in the New Year. I may need the help again from you lot for advice from some of you who have done the fair before, but also I might need some of your wares to sell when I am there as the general impression I got from your comments were that I needed lots of stock.

Anyway I have lots to do as I have run low on a lot of stock but luckily I have no fairs until November. I also have lots of swaps to do, me been foolish thought it would be a great pick me up and now I am scratching my head and pulling my hair out!

So hello to my swap partners out there, Lucy from Lucy Locket, Natalie from Roseberry Crafts & Lisa from Bon Souvenir over in the States.

Sorry there are no photo's having problems down loading them at the moment!

Monday, 15 September 2008


I had yet another flop of a fair on Saturday, luckily I only paid £10 for the pitch so I did not have to make a lot to cover the cost, which thank god I did! Yet again the lack of advertising let it down.

I came back from the fair a little deflated even though I had managed to achieve a lot whilst there in terms of making plans, and re-doing all my price tags. I just though to myself why bother! So I have made a promise to myself in that if all my fairs are a little disappointing this year I am going to bite the bullet and do 'The Country Living Fair' next year. I am looking at doing the Scottish one I think but I am not quite sure yet, so if any of you have any advice, tips on attending the CL fairs as an exhibitor they would be gratefully appreciated.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Overwhelming success!

Birthday boy & girl!
Entertainment what fun!

Look at the control she has over them!
I have to say the birthday party was fantastic if I do say so myself everyone including birthday boy & girl enjoyed themselves. The entertainment was absolutely fantastic the kids & adults thought she was brilliant. We judged the food correctly so no waste and I provided bruschetta for the adults as I am over run with tomato's.
I have to say the day was made easier by the fact that me & my friend went to set up the party at 11.30 by 1.05 we were all done and the party did not start until 2.0.clock, so we decided to start and finish a bottle of wine (naughty Mummy's) we were very responsible though.

Thursday, 4 September 2008


At last I have managed to iron out a few issue's with my new website and I have taken it off the 'under construction' mode. Please go and have a look and tell me what you think. There are a few things that still need completing but I was desperate to get it live as I had done the show last weekend so I knew people would want to look at it.
I am now going to turn my attention to little dears party on Saturday, luckily we combine the party with my friends little boys who is 4 on Tuesday and who is little dears best friend. So this cuts down on the workload and more importantly the cost of the thing, I think you can go slightly overboard with things to do with kids parties but we are both really happy with what we have arranged and what it has cost. I will post some photo's on Sunday if I am not too partied out!!!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Birthday Girl & Back to school, Yipee!

It was little dear's birthday yesterday she was 4! When asked what she would like to do her birthday she asked if she could go horse riding like on the beach at Filey! We booked her in at a local riding school for a private lesson, £18.50 for 1/2 hour. I have to say she loved it and she did as she was told which is very unusual. She loved it that much we booked her in for another lesson and have put her on the waiting list for group lessons which thank god are a little cheaper.

She had lots of nice things, clothes, books, bags, toys and money towards riding stuff if she likes it in another month or so.
School beckons tomorrow, I know reading around blogland that all of you are sad that the holidays are over, but I am relived they are over. I can now start focusing on getting things ready for upcoming fairs particularly the number around Christmas time. Talking of fairs I did one over the weekend near Nottingham, I have to say that it was not all that I was hoping for, very quiet and wet. To be honest I think the clientele was wrong for my stuff (that's not suppose to sound snobbish).
Will catch up soon
Vanessa x

Thursday, 28 August 2008

I'm still here!

Sorry I have not around much lately what with the summer holidays, and getting prepared for a show I am doing this weekend, I have been a bit slack with blogging. I have been checking up with you lot, so I know all the gossip in your world but I have not been providing any of my own.

Well what have I been up to, I have redesigned my Website which should be going live in the next few days, I have got to iron out a few hitches there. I have been doing bits of sewing for a fair I have this weekend at Richard Herrod Playing field in Nottingham.

I have also been sorting out all my produce, potato's, tomato and spring onions, I have to say they were and are lovely. I have also made my first lot of jam, I have to say it was a success but it did test me at times.

Catch up soon.

Vanessa x

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Freedom (to sew)!

After my difficult week last week (which according you lot is quite normal, gives me some kind of comfort), I made the decision to put my little dear into a local nursery every Thursday afternoon. The idea behind this was to give me a bit of regular free time to do what I want to do, and also to stop hubbo getting ear ache. Today was her 1st day and she loved it thank god. This meant I did what I wanted to do, after doing a few chores a got down to some sewing. The houses below were finished off, they are going to be used by my sister as part of her PR strategy that she is planning for her wedding stationary business. The pencil roll was a new thing for me and I have to say I am really chuffed with it, I think I may give it to my niece for part of her birthday present, if little dear gives the OK.

I also managed to get some Lavender hearts done for a show I have at the end of the month!
Anyway must go as 'The Good Life' is on and I really love it.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

No one said it was going to be this hard!

I don't know if it it just a holiday thing, but this little cutie pie has turned into a monster since we have come back from holiday. I know there is not the normal routine around her at the moment as we are in the middle of school holidays but oh my god!

  • She's stroppy.
  • She's showing off!
  • She's tired in the day as she is not going to bed until 9.30, even though I am doing the normal routine an she is in bed for 7.30.
  • She almost a little hyper active at times.
  • She's wanting 100% of my attention.
  • She's not listening, I am forever counting to 5 to get things done.
  • She's got to have the last word.
  • She's been getting up to mischief and destroying her bedroom.

Things are a little weird around her at moment in the fact that her daddy is working a lot at the moment but he is coming home every night but not until after she is gone to bed. This has happened before as hubbo works for himself. But she seems to be really missing him. Things have got that bad around her I have arranged for her to start at a nursery school every Thursday afternoon starting tomorrow. Both Grandparents have gone off the radar at the moment in terms of offering to have her, I am sure if I asked they would but I won't. I even went to meet an old friend on Monday for a few hours and little dear was that bad, she said " What's happened to her". I was not upset with my friend saying it I was upset by what she had said, because it was so true.

I'm not asking for miracle cures or anything here I just wanted to get it off my chest as its a big thing in my life at the moment.

Thanks for listening!

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Splashing out!

Some of my purchases from my holiday. 3 FQ for £3, a pink storage jar from Tesco's, 4 old cotton reels from a fab antiques shop in Aberfeldy for £1, a fab book from the same shop for a £1. 3 beautiful cards. A gorgeous spinning top in the shape of a chicken. The black thing is a old wooden stamp in the shape of a chicken, it's great, from the same antique shop. A beautiful piece of Poole pottery bought for £3 from the same antiques shop in Aberfeldy.
A new letter rack for my studio/office when it's complete!!!

A super cute cup & saucer bought for little dear from the same antiques shop for £6, a little expensive but worth it!

Isn't this bird gorgeous, I bought this from a local shop before I went on holiday, it goes really well with my colour scheme in my front room!

I received some book tokens for my birthday so I ordered 2 new books this one and another, they are both great but in very different ways.

I bought this stash from a local charity shop for £4.50, the main set has Sweet Peas on them they are gorgeous. I have big plans for them!!

The rain has finally arrived here today (thank goodness) I know some will be cringing at that thought but it is a pleasant change and it means I don't have to water tonight!
Have a great weekend.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

What you get for a £1 these days!

You get to play in a shop!

Catch up on some sewing!

Do a bit of ironing!

Put on a puppet show!

Catch some fish!
Do some drawing!

We spent a rainy afternoon at 'The Beatrix Potter Exhibition' at Birnam Arts centre near Dunkeld.
We love Beatrix Potter in this house so as soon as we saw the brown signs we followed them. We did not know quite what to expect but we were most surprised. We were the only people in there, so I got to play as well. The exhibition was great as we got to play with everything and they had put some real thought into it. The shop had an old fashioned till and weighing scales, pretend food, carrier bags. There was even a dressing up section where you could get dressed up as Peter Rabbit, Jeremy Fisher or Mrs Tiggy Winkles. Little dear did not fancy that but it did not spoil it.
We had the most fab afternoon and all for the bargain price of £1 per adult.
I will show you my purchases next time (well you always keep folk wanting more!)

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Were back!

Well we have been home 5 days now and believe me it feels like an eternity! We have been to beautiful Perthshire in Scotland. It has just reaffirmed mine & hubbo's decision to move up there. I am not talking immediately as funds and plans will not allow that, but we are making plans. We have choose a suitable area, we have I think decided on how we are going to make a living up there, depending on what type of home we pick. I have checked out the train timetable and found some nice cheap fairs from our local station up to Dunkeld with just one change for the bargain price of £25. The journey will take a while but what can you expect for that price. But it does mean its affordable for folk to visit. We visited family graves in the most beautiful grave yard ever.
We had our picture taken on a bridge that my great great great grandad built. Here I am with my Mum, little dear & sister.

This is hubbo and little dear contemplating where the best fishing spot is. I did not realise until now that they were both in pink stripey tops. Little dear finds it so funny that her Dad wears pink.
I also met 2 fellow bloggers whilst up there, firstly Karen from Time for Tea & Cakes came and cooked me & my family the most gorgeous meal and she tidied away afterwards. I then went to visit Lisa from Primrose Hill Interiors who has recently opened a wonderful studio at her home. Both girls were fab and again confirmed my feelings about moving up to Scotland.
Any way I will be back soon with pictures of some of my purchases, and also how I spent £1 and had the most amazing time.
Take a look on Northern Belles blog for news on a get together with the chance of making some cash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!