Wednesday, 11 May 2011


... Again not really anything to do with handmade loveliness but hey I thought I'd share it with you any way :)

We spent Easter weekend up in Edinburgh. I love it up there, we try and go once a year, it's one of my favourite places.

Still feeling shattered from The Full Monty we knew we didn't want to do too much. A little bit of sight seeing a few drinks, maybe a hint of shopping and some yummy meals. A chilled weekend was what we needed.

The weather in April was amazing so we left on the Saturday morning dressed for summer, flip flops, sunnies the lot. Erm big mistake!! As soon as we hit the border of Scotland the dark clouds rolled in and the heavens opened. We arrived in Edinburgh around lunch time and it was bloody freezing. Using the car as a changing room (we couldn't check in to the hotel until 3pm) we layered up and swapped the flip flops for boots and went and found somewhere for lunch.

That night we ate at Mother India. Now I never used to like Indian food and it's one thing I'm not very experiemental with, but this place is amazing. Indian food but tapas style. They recommend you order 3 to 4 dishes between 2 people. The small portions are perfect for someone like me who wants to try something new without being over faced. If you are ever in Edinburgh I'd 100% recommend it, but be sure to book we went at 6.30pm and it was really busy.

Drinks in Whistle Binkies anyone?

Luckily the Sunday saw better weather, beautiful sunshine. The park running parallel to Princes Street was packed with people catching the rays! We spent the morning chilling out. We took a stroll through the park, did a little bit of shopping then went for lunch at the Elephant Cafe, the birth place of Harry Potter.

Our friends work at the Castle so we went for a stroll round there as well as doing the Whisky Experience. The other half is a bit of a whisky fan so it had to be done really. They have the largest collection of whisky, hundreds of different bottles, floor to ceiling, wall to wall. It's worth a visit just to see that!

Whisky tasting...

Monday saw our last day in the city. We must go for longer next time. Any way a trip to Edinburgh is not complete (for me the chocoholic) with out a trip to Chocolate Soup, and with it being Easter weekend it just had to happen.
 It's the most delicious hot chocolate made with melted shots of chocolate yummy :) I had a double chocolate supreme and although I did feel a little sick afterwards it was worth it. Lots of chocolate, lots of cream topped with mint aero...

Warning, if you are on a diet DON'T go near this place!!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Full Monty...

... So another reason I've been completely rubbish with blogging is that last month I was on stage in 'The Full Monty'!

This is us waiting to go on through the auditorium

Ok so nothing at all to do with handmade things but it's one of my hobbies that I absolutely love. Being on stage is amazing. Such a buzz.

I've been performing on stage since the age of 9, I was in a Gang Show and since then never looked back. I've been in pantomimes, various youth productions such as Oliver, The Wizard of Oz and Bugsy and now I'm in an adult society.

If I wasn't in a theatre group I'd probably never have met Simon, so who knows where I'd be now!

Us on our wedding day July 2009
We met back in 2000 during youth theatre rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz.

We normally do quite traditional musicals, Oklahoma, Guys & Dolls etc but this year we went for something a bit different. The Full Monty!

This was us a few years ago during Guys & Dolls

Rehearsals kicked off last November. Every Monday & Thursday night we'd head out then the week before it's every night for rehearsals. Then show week a full 6 night run, Monday to Saturday. It's so tiring but the buzz just keeps you going.

I've been in many shows but I can honestly say this one was one of the best. The whole cast were amazing and everyone just had such a good time...

... and yes for those who were wondering they really did do the Full Monty ;)

Friday, 6 May 2011

A Felted Wedding...

A lot of my work is based on commissions. I tend to do mainly wedding jewellery/accessories, working closely with my clients to create the perfect piece for them.
 I normally get to meet my customers and talk face to face with them about what they want from their jewellery. This way I get know them as a person as well as what they are asking for.

At the beginning of the year I posted an item in my Folksy shop titled 'Commission Work'.

Within a couple of days of listing I recieved and email asking if I could help a couple with their wedding accessories. "Of course", I said.
 This was the first commission I'd done over email instead of face to face meetings so I was a little scared about getting started incase I had the wrong idea of what the couple wanted.

On my to do list was:
A wrist corsage for the bride
Button holes for both the female & male wedding party
A table decoration
Hair clip
Necklace & earring set

The couple liked both my organza work and felt work and asked if I could incorporate the two.
 I started off by creating a few sample pieces, taking photos and sending them across for them to look at. Once we all agreed on the right style I set off to work.
 Here's what I came up with...

Wrist Corsage

Close up of table decoration...
The couple sent me LED's and other computer components for me to include in all the pieces.
 Button Holes

I had a fab time creating these pieces. I love a good challenge.

If you are interested in me creating a special piece for you feel free to get in touch.

Oh my...

... I've been rubbish! Can't believe I've not posted since March.

I suppose I have been quite busy when I think back to what I've been up to since then...

Blog posts to come:

A Felted Wedding
The Full Monty
Royal Wedding
Shop Updates

I'll post this afternoon about my challenging but fun felted wedding order...

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Tea, Cakes & Crochet Hooks...

... Well today was Handmade By's first workshop. 'Learn to Crochet' with Lynne Rowe.

It went down a storm!

All the places were filled.

Lynne provided everyone with a ball of yarn (there were all the colours of the rainbow to choose from) and a crochet hook. They learnt all the basic techniques whilst having a good natter and a brew.

It was great fun. They all went away chatting about where they were going to get their yarns from!
Keep your eyes peeled for more 'Learn to Crochet' dates.

The next event at Handmade By... will be Crafty Sew & Sews on Tuesday 12th April, 10.30am - 1pm.
 This is a chance for all you crafters out their to get together for a natter and slice of cake whilst getting on with some work. It doesn't matter whether you are a beginner or an expert at what you do. Hey you never know you might learn new skills off one another! Make sure you bring your own materials with you as for this one they are not included.
It's £3 for the session & you can drink all the tea and coffee you want, there's even cakes and biscuits too!
Booking advisable as there are only 8 places, well 6 now as two have already been taken!

I hope to see you there. x

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Check this out...

... Last year one of my friends asked me to make her a bouquet and accessories for her wedding.
 Having never done a bouquet before I was a little nervous but well up for the challenge.

The theme was black, white and purple...
 Using organza, feathers, beads, buttons, lots of wire and ribbon here are the results...

Here's a close up of the brides bouquet, I added some blue lace (something blue) and the bride gave me an old brooch to be included.

As well as the brides bouquet I also did a best womens bouquet (they didn't have a bridesmaid)

Dress accessory

Hair accessory

Cake Topper

I was pretty pleased with the results!

Anyway I guess the real reason for this post is...
 Yesterday I had a text off the bride which read 'You're famous, check out Off Beat Bride.' So off I went and there on the website was Donna and Kev's wedding! Even more exciting was the fact that I go a little mention at the bottom with a link to my Folksy shop.

Chuffed to bits I was!

If anyone is interested in my work, remember commissions are more than welcome and I'm always up for a challenge!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Learn to Crochet...

... There is just over a week to go before Handmade By's first workshop.

Lynne from Lynne's Pattern Parlour is coming along to teach crochet.
Crochet is the new knitting – it’s height of fashion at the moment. It’s on the high street, it’s in fashion magazines; it’s everywhere.
Lynne crochet's the most amazing things. Her designs are regularly published in Let’s Get Crafting Knit and Crochet editions and in other UK and American craft publications.

At the workshop she will be teaching the basic skills needed to get you started, so it's a brilliant opportunity for anyone who wants to learn a new skill in 2011.

What will you learn? You will learn how to hold the crochet hook and yarn, basic crochet stitches, changing colour, simple increasing and decreasing, crochet in a spiral. Handouts will be provided.

Where is it: Handmade By, 28 Lawton Street Congleton (above Cloud 9 Hairdressers). Thursday 31st. March 10am – 12.30pm

How much will it cost: Initial workshops will cost just £8. This includes tea/coffee and biscuits or cake and yarn. Crochet hooks will also be available to use on the day free of charge.

How do I book: Bookings can be made by calling into “Handmade By”, 28 Lawton Street, Congleton. Payment will be needed in advance to secure your place. Parking is available on Lawton Street Car Park (parking fees apply). There is limited parking space outside the shop, but this is limited to 1hr.

You can find out more about Lynne on her blog.
We hope to see you there!