Thursday, March 31

can you imagine what i would do if i could do all i can?

sun tzu

this, for me, echoes in william morris' motto: si je puis (if i can)

Wednesday, March 30

Tuesday, March 29

deuchny walk

so, a bright, sunny day a couple of weeks ago saw us head for the hills! m went cycling and i went for a more leisurely explore/photography walk/bird watch. we've lived here for about five years now and the hill we've been calling kinnoull hill is actually called deuchny hill - thanks to the new signage, we've now got it sorted!

beautiful snowdrops with a very rare blue sky background

our hard winter with lots of snow, ice and winds has really taken it's toll on the trees around us, with so many having falling. the foresters had been working really hard to remove the fallen trunks and, sad as it is to see so many fallen trees, they did leave behind some really funky shaped tree trunks

some mossy/lichen/mushroomy type growth on a tree, i just loved the green-ness of the colour!

a perfect day out, back to the van for a cuppa and a spot of birdwatching! with a piece of bark i found on the ground, just right for a wee project i have in mind.

Monday, March 28

meet a maker

being the inquisitive little feltmaker that i am, i thought it might be interesting to hear about other maker's stories. if you would like to be featured, please leave me a comment and i'll get in touch with some questions for you.

so, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and lets meet aileen of aileen clarke crafts ...

Please introduce yourself …
Hi, my name is Aileen. I live in Scotland with my husband and two children and I run my Aileen Clarke Crafts business from our wee cottage in rural Fife.

How would you describe your work / style?
I make a wide range of textile art and crafts using a mixture of fused fabric techniques and traditional felting methods. My work is vibrant and textural and seems to make people happy.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Nature is always a wonderful source of inspiration. There are so many colours and textures to be found in even the tiniest of green spaces. I love colour and texture and often get inspired by the materials I use. I combine natural fibres, fabrics and yarns with unusual elements to get interesting effects and often I get inspiration as I work. I love the creative process.

Do you sell your work? If so, what helped you decide to start selling your work?
Since I left college in the 90's I have always made and sold a variety of crafts either through shops or at Craft Fairs. It was always a bit sporadic though and I would often find that I had spent as much as I'd made at fairs. Then I started making my cards and I knew they were different from all the paper crafted cards that were out there and I felt confident enough to approach a lovely little shop specialising in handmade goods. I knew the owner and was delighted that he liked them so much. They all sold really quickly and so I made more and started approaching more shops. I soon had about 6 shops selling my cards and I was asked did I make bigger pieces. I said I had thought about it and when we moved house and I found I had more room to work I branched out into making framed textile pieces then I began to dabble with jewellery ideas, then I got into felting as well as the fused fabric and I bought an embellisher machine and that's when the jewellery started in earnest and I felt I had a good variety of items to go back to selling at fairs.

Where can I buy your work?
You can buy online at or

You can also visit my website to see a list of stockists here in Scotland.

Do you have a website or blog address?, I decided to use my blog as my main website as it is more interactive than static pages and is easy to keep up to date.
How did you learn your craft? How long have you been creating?
I'm self taught as a fibre/textile artist. I went to art college in the early 90's in the hope of studying ceramics but the course changed to 3D design that year so I ended up learning a bit about a jewellery making as well as about design in general. I didn't learn much about ceramics though and was disappointed with the course. I'm not a fan of designing everything on paper, I prefer to get stuck in with the materials and let the ideas flow that way. I have always been a very creative person but I feel I have finally found what I love doing in working with fibre and textile. I was a florist for many years and used to save any snippets or off cuts of organza ribbon that would have ended up in the bin. After a visit to the Creative Stitches and Hobby Crafts fair at the SECC five years ago, I was inspired as to what I could do with these bits of ribbon and started making cards and everything else has stemmed from there. When I got the internet at home four years ago that opened my mind to so many creative possibilities. I was able to have a go at many things with materials I already had or could get hold of easily and cheaply. My best friend taught me how to make felt then I taught myself how to needle felt. My husbands Granny gave me her old sewing machine and I invested in an Embellisher machine and that has really taken my work in new directions.

Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?
Hand dying with natural dyes. That really appeals to me.

Anything exciting planned for 2011 you’d like to share?
I am taking part in the Open Studios North Fife event on the 6th, 7th & 8th of May.

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be …
A freelance Wedding Florist.

I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for …
The Internet! The net has been a great source of inspiration and feedback for me. Sites like Flickr and my Facebook fanpage are just wonderful for keeping in touch with the creative community. People are very generous with their enthusiasm and that helps a lot when you are working in quite an isolated environment. As much as I enjoy a full creative day on my own, I am a people person. I don’t really go in for chat rooms and only occasionally post in a forum. It’s more that I enjoy sharing new ideas with people and I enjoy seeing what everyone else is making too.
Describe your perfect day.
A sunny day on the west coast of Scotland or Ireland with my family, a picnic, a body board and some big waves.

What do you do to relax?
I like to read and I love being by the sea although a nice river or loch will do.

Marmite … love it or hate it?
Love it. But it has to be with butter on crispy toast. I don't like it melted in.

What’s your weakness?
Guiness! Lol. I only really drink it when I’m in Ireland which is only once a year but if I’m out at a folk club or something I can’t resist a Guiness. It has to be a pint too.

How do you keep motivated?
I find new materials a great motivation or an order from a stockist or customer.
What do you wish you’d known when you first started out?
I used to under price my work at craft fairs but once I started selling through shops, I now sell my work at fairs for the same prices as it sells for in the shops and I find that I do better.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Make the most of information available online. Most of the questions you want an answer to will have been asked before so use Google to your advantage. Be realistic in your pricing too. Try and find a nice little outlet for your work that will give you good terms and a good idea of what your work will sell for. Stay positive and always try to keep your work fresh. When I look back on what I was making four years ago I can hardly believe how my work has moved on. Look for new ways to improve all the time : )

thanks for taking the time to chat aileen and for some really great advice too! looking forward to popping out to see you for the open studios event in may :)

Sunday, March 27

british summer time starts here!

the clocks have moved forward ... it's officially summer!

Friday, March 25

a woolly appeal

i enjoyed my first experience of working with raw wool at a recent workshop so much that i'd like to try some more and i'd also love to learn the techniques needed to hand process raw fleece to spin my own yarn and also to felt with.

but ... i'm having trouble locating larger amounts of raw fleece.

i would love to be able to try out fleece from local sheep as i think it would tie in nicely with my plan to be able to dye hand processed fleece with dye plants from our garden.

so, i guess my question is ... do you have, or know anyone who has, any fleece from (ideally) perthshire sheep they wish to get off their hands over the spring and summer?

i'd be willing to pay or swap some feltmaking workshops or handmade felt goodies by way of exchange.

Thursday, March 24

a work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.

oscar wilde

Wednesday, March 23

Tuesday, March 22


day 1
not much to report, other than a delicious earthy mushroomy smell from the box. trying to resist the temptation to keep checking for mushrooms every five minutes!

Monday, March 21

meet a maker

being the inquisitive little feltmaker that i am, i thought it might be interesting to hear about other maker's stories. if you would like to be featured, please leave me a comment and i'll get in touch with some questions for you.

so, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and lets meet angela barrow ...

Please introduce yourself
… aargh - hate this - Angela, feltmaker, mother, wife and general dogsbody.

How would you describe your work / style?
I get very bored if I have to repeat the same thing so I'm always trying something new but I can say that I do love colour and texture in everything I do.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Definitely nature, sometimes the colour of a flower, sometimes the texture of bark. I like details to be blown up until you can no longer tell what the original was. Oh, and I also like stylised art - art nouveau, folk art, 1950s, celtic artwork and artists like Gaudi.

What helped you decide to start selling your work?
I don't want to conquer the world but I do want and need my art to pay for itself and some bills. I'm not very good at going out and selling it though so this tends to be my weak point.

Where can I buy your work?
At Cakewalk -, a handmade and vintage shop and Weaverbird Workshop -, both in Ilkley but stocking different work and on my website -, where you can also find my blog.

How did you learn your craft and how long have you been creating?
Gosh - I started creating at my Grandma's knee at a very early age. Gran taught me to knit, crochet and sew but feltmaking I discovered about ten years ago and haven't looked back since. I took a city and guilds course and have done lots of practice - I find feltmaking utterly addictive.

Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?
Lots - I'd like to be better at photography (especially black & white), basketry, wood carving, copper beating (looking for a course if anyone knows of one) and I'd like to learn more about geology. I may need a time machine to manage all these.

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be … nuts.

I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for … My extremely supportive husband who puts up with mess everywhere, builds my website, takes my photos and copes with me.

Describe your perfect day.
Cold, sunny, a walk on a beach, lunch in a cafe and the rest of the day crafting. TV, wine and crafting in the evening followed by a good book and a cuddle with a warm husband.

What do you do to relax?
Craft and gardening plus walks when I can convince my teenager she won't die from a little exercise.

Marmite … love it or hate it?
Sorry - I'm a vegemite girl.

What animal would you be, and why?
A tiger, they're majestic, beautiful and deadly plus of course they gets to sleep lots.

Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries?
I have submitted images for a couple of books but they haven't been accepted. My work has been featured in Felt Matters, the magazine of the International Feltmakers Association plus I've been in Art trails and the Bradford Open competition. I'm currently exhibiting in a group exhibition at Manningham Mills in Bradford.

Has your work won any prizes/competitions?
Sadly not but I live in hope.

What’s your weakness?
I can't resist chocolate, walking on the grass when told not to and touching when asked not to.

How do you keep motivated?
I'm addicted so motivation never seems to be a problem. Stopping me seems to be harder and I absolutely have to take crafts on holiday with me or I don't know what to do with myself.

Anything exciting planned for 2010 you’d like to share?
I'm starting to make all my own work in British wools. Britain has a wide variety of sheep breeds and we don't use enough of them. I love the different finishes and textures they can give you and want to share that with others.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Have a go, what's the worst that can happen? Have a little faith in yourself and you'll be surprised at what you achieve.

thanks for taking the time to chat angela and for a really interesting interview. i totally understand where you're coming from with the compulsion to walk right all over the grass when there's signs telling you not to ... and the ones that tell you not to touch are always on the most touchable of things!

Saturday, March 19

a roman day out

a bit of nicer weather (before the snow came back recently!) encouraged us to go out roman hunting the other day! in an archaeology type way, no violent past-times here!

we really do live in a fantastic part of the country, so much to see and do and learn.

so, we headed off to look at roman forts along the gask ridge and here's what we saw ...

lovely straight roman roads to walk along!

muir o'fauld watch-tower

another lovely path leading to ardunie watch-tower

then on to kirkhill

with lots of lovely foresty stuff along the way

this looked like an archway into a secret world (well, to me anyway, perhaps i'd had too much fresh air at this point!)

lovely, lovely, soft willow

and more time to stop and stare at mushrooms

in amongst all this we also managed some bird-watching and saw yellowhammer for the first time! along with: starling; fieldfare; rooks and jackdaws and chaffinches a-plenty all avoiding the buzzards circling overhead.

after lots of fun and fresh air we headed home to a fantastically warming, tasty tea of leek and potato gratin (with added quorn, what a lovely day :)

Friday, March 18

promoting british wool and the farmers who produce it

the organisers are delighted to invite you to take part in a brand new show being hosted in:

hall 2 at the yorkshire event centre
on the great yorkshire showground in harrogate

on sat 3rd and sun 4th of september 2011
(set up day will be on fri 2nd sep)

for details of stand prices and other information please contact
june onigbanjo promotions
box 3,
19 rooley lane,
west yorkshire,
hx6 1jg.
tel: 07790 391142

the aim for this exciting new venture is to raise the profile of british wool and the many related products produced from british sheep.

we know there are lots of talented and creative people hand crafting beautiful objects from british wool, which haven’t travelled half way round the world to get here!

if you are a craft worker who uses british wool to spin, weave, knit, crochet, cross stitch, embroider, hand dye, make felt or any other textile process, or if you are involved in the making of lanolin soap, ewe’s milk cheese or ice cream the organisers would love to hear from you.

Thursday, March 17

begin to be now what you will be hereafter.

william james

Wednesday, March 16

Tuesday, March 15


so, if the recipe says medium oatmeal, and all you have in the cupboard when the notion to bake oatcakes comes upon you, is pinhead oatmeal, that'll do?

right ... ?

won't it ... ?

apparently the answer is no!

i've had this recipe for a while and only just got round to making it, it worked okay-ish with the pinhead oatmeal but i think i'll get some medium oatmeal in for the next time.

> ingredients
225g medium oatmeal, plus extra for dusting
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter
150ml water

you can also add herbs/pepper/spices/25g cranberries/25g nuts for added flavour or texture

> method
1. heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
2. put the oatmeal, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and mix well.
3. if you are adding anything for flavour, add this now.
4. heat the butter and water in a small pan until the butter melts.
5. make a well in the centre of the oatmeal mix, pour in the liquid and use a palette knife to bring everything together. the mix will seem quite wet at this stage but the oatmeal will gradually absorb the liquid to form a soft dough.
6. lightly dust your work surface with some of the spare oatmeal.
7. tip out the dough and roll out to about 5mm thick.
8. use a cookie cutter to stamp out the oatcakes.
9. brush any excess oatmeal off the surface and transfer the oatcakes to a baking tray.
10. bake for about 20 minutes, turning the oatcakes over every five mins or so. when cooked they should be crisp and lightly golden.

Monday, March 14

meet a maker

being the inquisitive little feltmaker that i am, i thought it might be interesting to hear about other maker's stories. if you would like to be featured, please leave me a comment and i'll get in touch with some questions for you.

so, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and lets meet charlotte from charlotte hupfield ceramics ...

Please introduce yourself …
Hello! My name is Charlotte Hupfield. I am a Ceramic Designer/Maker, living and making my work in Northamptonshire, UK. My passion is clay! I have a beautiful cat named Molly, I have a huge soft spot for anything earthy, natural & organic, I enjoy going for walks in the woods, I love to sit out in the garden on a summer evening chatting with a glass of wine, sunshine makes me smile. My favourite foods are pizza, roast chicken & marshmallows (although not all together!), and I love trying tasty new recipes.

How would you describe your work / style?
I sell a range of unique handmade ceramic items including vases, bowls, sculptural vessels, clocks, sets of coasters, wall plaques, letter racks, hanging decorations and accessories. I’m always coming up with new items and designs. Each item is an individual one-off so no two pieces are ever the same. My main source of inspiration comes from the natural world and I hope this shines through in the style of my work.Who, or what, inspires you?
I’m inspired by everything natural - especially close up surfaces such as tree bark, rocks, and plants. I like to photograph these types of things whilst out walking, I’ve always got my camera with me! Whilst concealed amongst these natural surroundings in the landscape, I feel relaxed and at home. I find it amazing to see the changes in rocks and coves caused by weathering and erosion from the sea, bumpy and colourful linear patterns found within fields and hills, and the surfaces in nature where no two marks are ever the same – it is this particular aspect that my ceramics connects to.

Do you sell your work? If so, what helped you decide to start selling your work?
I started selling my work towards the end of my degree where I specialised in a BA (Hons) in Surface Decoration, 2008. It was part of one of my modules at university to get my work out there into some sort of venue, and I decided to approach a local gallery about displaying a selection of my work. They ended up selling a few pieces in a short amount of time which was such a great feeling, and this made me want to start selling my work everywhere I could.

Where can I buy your work?
My work can be purchased from various online shops including;
My direct online store:
Swanky Maison:
Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous:
Made by Hands of Britain:
Wow Thank You:

My work is also available at different galleries and outlets (see the Stockists page on my website), and at various craft fairs and events I am attending throughout the year (see Events page on my website).Do you have a website or blog address?
My website is and my blog is I love my blog and enjoy reading others, it's great way of networking with other like-minded people and sharing thoughts, tips, ideas and experiences.

How did you learn your craft and how long have you been creating?
It all started with my fascination with clay at school, which led me to develop my creative skills at college where I completed various A-Levels including 3D Design, Fine Art and Art & Design. This broad range of artistic skills and knowledge got me straight into university where I studied a BA (Hons) in Surface Decoration. I have always found surfaces, patterns, textures and colours the most visually appealing. Throughout this 3 year course I specialised in ceramics and focused on developing my own style of work. I have now been continuing to make and develop my work from my workshop in my garden for the past 2 years.Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?
I always enjoyed textiles in college, and would love to be skilled on a sewing machine.

Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries?
My large organic structures which were part of my degree show pieces of work were featured in the Ceramic Review magazine, and I have also been featured in the Creative Connections magazine. My work has been displayed in various different exhibitions.

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be …
Probably dreaming about doing it :)

I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for …
My mum and my boyfriend for all of their appreciated support.

Describe your perfect day.
Preparing loads of delicious food and inviting my friends & family over for a relaxing day in the sunshine, and then discovering my e-mail inbox was full of orders and sales!Describe your proudest moment.
When I passed my driving test about 6 years ago, I was convinced I'd failed!

What do you do to relax?
I like to sit out in the garden with my feet up on a warm day. I also enjoy snuggling up on the sofa with a good film.

Marmite … love it or hate it?
Hate it :)

What animal would you be, and why?
Probably a cat. My cat Molly is so laid back and doesn't have a care in the world. Oh, and she gets to sleep when she wants, for as long as she wants!What’s your weakness?
There's not a day that goes by where I can't resist checking my e-mails, reading blogs, and reading the Folksy forums.

How do you keep motivated?
Listening to music while I'm working keeps me motivated, I somehow manage to get lots done. If I’m ever feeling stuck for inspiration (which does happen from time to time), I dig out a book I own called Sources of Inspiration by Carolyn Genders and have a good flick through it. This book guarantees to get the creative juices flowing again!

What do you wish you’d known when you first started out?
That my 'to do' list would always be about 10 pages long, so that I could prepare myself to be more organised!What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Don't let things that get in your way put you off. Follow your dreams and keep at it, no matter if other people think what you're doing isn't right. It is a lot of hard work, and can take up a lot of your time, but it is important to take breaks away from things every now and then! Learn to take really good photographs of your work to show off its high standards, and most of all enjoy it all.

thanks for taking the time to chat charlotte, glad to know i'm not the only one with a 10 page to-do list! don't know about you, but i seem to add three more to-do's for every one i manage to tick off :)

Saturday, March 12

the wonderful world of macro

now that i've discovered the macro feature on the camera, i'm finding that i've got a slightly different view of everything!

maybe it's just me, but look at this ...

i love the iridescence of the surface, the repeating looping pattern, and the colour of the blue!

(maybe i need to get out more ... ?)

Friday, March 11

lots more kits

i've spent most of the past six weeks making new stock for the lovely shops in crieff and york that sell my fatcat felt range.

i seem to be drowning in felt balls and felt beads at the moment so i was glad to get a break and get these kits finished.

my kits have been quite popular and i really like the idea that they will introduce feltmaking to new folk and inspire lots more creativity.

if you have bought one of my kits in the past, i'd love to see what you've made.

Thursday, March 10

weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.

a. a. milne

(i shall try to remember this the next time i'm weeding!)

Wednesday, March 9

Tuesday, March 8

happy pancake day!

> ingredients
120g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs
210ml milk
90ml water
1 tbsp vegetable oil

> method
1. put the flour and salt into a bowl and mix together.
2. make a well in the flour/salt and crack in the two eggs.
3. in a separate bowl, mix together the milk and water.
4. beat the eggs into the flour with a wooden spoon.
5. gradually beat in the milk and water mix to get a smooth liquid, with a creamy consistency.
6. stir in the oil and leave to stand for 30 mins before cooking.
7. add a little oil to a hot frying pan
8. pour in some of the pancake mix, how much depends on how thick you like your pancakes!
9. cook until set and then flip to finish cooking the other side.
10. serve with your favourite filling (lemon and sugar for me).
11. eat while cooking the next one!

not much in the way of a pic for this one, too busy making and eating, making and eating, just an empty plate to show how tasty they were - bliss :)

garden planning

we've had such a long winter compared to our usual - snow from mid november through to the end of january, and then another dump of snow just when we were enjoying the sight of the grass again. followed by weeks of ice and frost, sigh!

as the ground was too hard to dig and i couldn't see the plants to prune them, i consoled myself with sorting through our seed packets and reading books, while planning and making lists.

finally it looks like spring is arriving, we've had a few sunny, but still chilly, days so we might at last be able to get out and start digging in the garden again. time to get tidying, ready for sowing and planting.

each year we plant a little more than last year and try something new, and this year i'm really looking forward to getting some plants in that will give us lovely flowers in the summer before they get harvested for the dye pot in the autumn :)

Monday, March 7

meet a maker

being the inquisitive little feltmaker that i am, i thought it might be interesting to hear about other maker's stories. if you would like to be featured, please leave me a comment and i'll get in touch with some questions for you.

so, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and lets meet heather from nifty knits ...

Please introduce yourself …
Hello – my “real” name is Heather, but I’m more likely to answer to Nifty ;-D I live in the countryside in Kent, UK with my husband.

How would you describe your work / style?
Quirky, humorous and definitely “off the wall”. Being featured by proves that! I’m in the Regretsy book, released in April 2010.

I wasn’t entirely pleased when I first discovered I’d been featured on Regretsy but the resulting sales convinced me it was good!Who, or what, inspires you?
Nature…and TV! The meerkats started after watching Meerkat Manor. I said to myself “I could knit one of them” and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sometimes it’s just looking through my yarn stash and a particular colour calls out to be knitted with.

Do you sell your work? If so, what helped you decide to start selling your work?
I started selling on ebay years ago but they don’t really appreciate handmade over there. My son’s girlfriend suggested another venue, and I was off! At first, like many, I thought of it as a self-funding hobby, but demand increased and showed me it was time to think of it as a business. I’m fulltime now, knit knit knit all day :)Where can I buy your work?
My primary shop now is at You can find my full range of knits there, Zibbet is a fabulous site which is growing quickly and responds to the needs of the sellers.

Do you have a website or blog address?
All my links can be found on my website

How did you learn your craft?
I first learnt to knit as a child, I remember knitting clothes for my dolls! Later I knitted for my children, but it wasn’t until maybe 5 or 6 years ago that Niftyknits became my passion.

Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries?
I have a (relatively!) bulging media ringbinder, I’ve been featured in:
Popular Crafts, Yarnforward and Period Living magazines, and of course Harry Hill’s TV show “the K factor”.Has your work won any prizes/competitions?
I won the Christmas 2008 Folksy competition, which was brilliant, I won a whole year of free listings. I was also joint second in Folksy’s “Make the News” competition in 2009 – I’ve even been interviewed by radio shows several times!

2010 was the best yet though. Harry Hill’s TV competition, “The K Factor” attracted ten THOUSAND entries – and my Harry Hill Meerkat was one of five finalists!

Meridian News commissioned me to “meerkat” their presenters as a result, which was fun.

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be …

I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for …
My husband. He sorts out my website, goes to the post office for me, and doesn’t mind me knitting all day long! He’s my number one fan!Any funny stories you’d like to share?
There are too many to mention. I often knit commissions, and the email conversations back and forth with my buyers would be hysterical to an outsider, discussing where a meerkat’s beard should be, or whether a female meerkat should have a bust!

Describe your perfect day.
Tea in bed followed by full English breakfast, finish off last night’s commission and post it, network online briefly, go out walking by the sea (which would conveniently have moved nearby!) and then have lunch at the pub. Home to knit some more.

What do you do to relax?
Walk in the countryside, read in the bath.Marmite … love it or hate it?
I’m the exception to the rule, I quite like marmite sometimes, not always though.

What’s your weakness?
Posh crisps!

How do you keep motivated?
Not really an issue, I love knitting, there are always loads of new designs buzzing around my head.

What do you wish you’d known when you first started out?
I wish I’d known right from the start that you can’t just fill your shop with lovely things and the buyers will find you.What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Promote promote promote! Ask for advice and follow it if it makes sense. There is no point starting forum threads asking why your stuff isn’t selling and then sulking if people tell you your photos aren’t good enough. We’ve all been there. Price properly. Your time is valuable, and handmade deserves respect! New sellers often don’t seem to realise that they need to take their materials, time and fees (both venue and paypal fees) into account when setting prices. My husband created a fees calculator for me which is available as a free download from my website:

What question did you hope to be asked but didn’t?
Have you got a newsletter?

What would your answer have been?
***Please sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know about new Meerkats and special offers***

thanks for taking the time to chat heather and sharing your great pics, your meerkats always bring a smile to my face :)

Saturday, March 5


so the healthy eating regimen has finally kicked in, now all i need to do is find time to fit in some exercise and i might start to shift my winter layers (extra pounds unfortunately, not clothing!).

i love home-made hummus, and it feels especially healthy when i have it with rice cakes, seriously tasty.

and if i feel like i can spare a few more calories, i top it with grated cheese - yum!

i lost the recipe yonks ago so each time i make it, it tastes slightly different but here's a rough outline.

> ingredients
a 400g can of chickpeas
two cloves of garlic
juice from one lemon
100ml tahini
25ml olive oil

and you can add paprika to taste if you wish.

> method
1. drain the chickpeas.
2. pop all ingredients in the blender and blitz.
3. taste and add more garlic/olive oil/tahini/paprika if needed.

ta-daa! now you need never eat store bought hummus again :)

Friday, March 4

a lovely commission

i always love to get a commission, it feels like a compliment that someone likes what i make enough to ask me to create something especially for them. and it's always lovely to make something that you know will be loved and appreciated.

it's an added bonus when a commission encourages me to make a piece i normally wouldn't have thought of, so when i was asked to make seat pads for a lady via mandy at an cnoc, i was a little apprehensive but couldn't wait to make a start.

thankfully the customer liked the sample so much, she ordered two for herself and a further four to give to her sister! happily, the sample also found a good home, on the chair i usually take when i'm at a market.

here's the end result ...
and a little close-up because i've discovered the macro function, and i can't get enough macro shots of felt!