Craft Fair

Well I’ve finally done it. I’ve been toying with the idea of having a stall at a craft fair, but have held back because I didn’t know if I could manage it.

Firstly, I suffer from an anxiety disorder that makes it very difficult for me to cope in crowds of people. Secondly, I don’t always have a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities, which is why for years I have made things and given them away. It is only in the last few months that I have been persuaded by my family and friends to sell my crafts, something I still feel uncomfortable doing. Like numerous people who lack confidence in themselves, I tell myself if I give things away they’re gifts and people would be too polite tell me if they think they are rubbish.  Human beings can be complex and strange creatures.


So, I am stepping onto a completely new road, without a map or clear vision as to where I am going. I have no idea where it will lead to but I am taking those first tiny steps with a sense of adventure and I must admit, trepidation as I start off  in a completely new direction.

I have been telling myself for weeks, it doesn’t matter if all this comes to nothing; I am thoroughly enjoying making and creating and if nobody wants what I make, there are plenty of charities that would be able to use them.  So, whatever happens  there will be no losers but plenty of winners.

I  am cheating a little though.  I don’t feel confident enough to take part in the actual fair so I have delegated the selling role to members of my family who are quite enthusiastic about my new venture.

For  this to be a positive experience, I have been thinking seriously about what the outcome of having a stall might be.

  • All of my things will sell like hotcakes, but then I’d have nothing left and I will have to start building up my little stock again
  • some of my things sell, so I’d have enough to do another fair  in a month or so
  • selling something would give me some idea of what people want to buy
  • Or
  • I don’t sell anything, because it’s not good and nobody wants it

It can be very difficult to switch off the negativity  and see the good in what I am doing  but I am trying and whatever happens at the fair, I’m sure it will be a good experience for us all.


Busy books

Finished a few more busy books this weekend.

A tiny town with vehicles and garage.  A pocket on the back to store vehicles.
Materials: cotton fabric, felt,
Promotes: hand/eye coordination, imaginative play, colour recognition, language and social development.


A fastening book, shapes with buttons and
corresponding shadows. Has a pocket on the back to store shapes when not in use.
Materials: cotton fabric, felt, buttons.
Promotes: colour and shape recognition and matching, fine motor skills, language development.

Fishing book.
A little fisherman sitting in his boat catching numbered fish with his magnetic fishing rod. The boat is fastened with Velcro which can be stored behind the waves with the fish.
Materials: cotton fabric, felt, wooden dowelling, wooden bead, Velcro, foam, metal paper clips, knitted fabric, ribbon, metal magnet
Promotes: hand/eye coordination, fine motor skills, colour recognition, language development, imaginative play,

A puzzle book.
Four different 4 piece puzzles. The puzzle pieces are stored in two small pockets on one side of the book. The opposite page has a grid where the puzzles can be pieced back together. The puzzle pieces show a circle, square, triangle and star shape
Material, felt, cotton fabric, satin ribbon, colour recognition, shape development, thinking skills.


It’s been a busy week and after a very long lie- in this morning, a very quiet day. A couple of days ago , I started cutting and sewing together a patchwork quilt. It’s going to be a predominately teal coloured king size quilt that someone has ordered.


I love this colour so it’s a joy for me to work on. I don’t know the name of the patchwork design that I’m doing.  I saw it on the internet one day, loved it, and copied it. This will be the third quilt I’ve made in this pattern so it should be easy peasey as my granny used to say. Unfortunately, I have the worst memory in the world so I’ll be consulting my little notebook to remind me what to do. I write down everything I make because I don’t have patterns, I make things  as I need them. I keep a written record of the materials I use for when I want to make another and a photographic record to help my memory along. It’s an aid-memoirs that has never let me down yet.



It’s half term, and we’ve had two of our grandson staying with us while their mum is working. They’ve been busy all week. They’ve had some time playing on the iPad and laptop, like lots of children these days, but spent even more time just playing. They’ve had cars and building equipment scattered far and wide across our rooms and crafty bits littering the table and floor. My dining room table and the chair by the French doors became a castle and a robber’s hideout and the dining rooms chairs turned into get away cars. A couple of sets of ear plugs would have been a good idea at times.

This morning we needed to refill the cupboards, young boys have voracious appetites, so a trip to the supermarket was on the cards.  Fourteen year old lads and grocery shopping are usually worlds apart, so I was pleasantly surprised when what started out as a chore for my grandson Cam, quickly changed into a pleasure.

On telling my grandson I needed his help with a little math to compare prices of products, Cam took charge of my trolley and consequently my shopping. He revelled in advising his granddad which products were cheaper and more tasty, and even suggested a few different recipes for the chicken we bought. At the till he proved to be a whizz at emptying the trolley then packing the bags as the food whipped through the scanner. The assistant was very impressed with Cam’s skills and also commented on how well behaved and polite he and his little brother were.

Back home the groceries magically disappeared as the two boys dashed from cupboard to cupboard, then before I knew it the bags were empty and replaced in the boot of the car ready for the next trip to the supermarket.

I had a day off from ‘playing’ with our grandsons today, so it was down to Granddad to keep them amused. They spent a good couple of hours quietly making masks while I put my feet up with a cup of coffee after lunch.

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Bags of Fun

Plastic or Paper? Or something more substantial?

We all need to do our bit to recycle and protect the resources we have and I have seen huge changes to the way we have used bags over the years. When I was first married shopping bags were a permanent fixture on the arm of every housewife out doing the family shopping. Paper bags were reserved for goods that needed containment, sprouts, peas etc: these bags were then flattened out and stored to be used again around the house. Brown bags in particular were great for cleaning scorched irons and excellent pressing immaculate creases on men’s trousers.

When plastic carrier bags were introduced there were rumbles of outrage that members of the public were paying for the privilege of advertising for businesses. So often people turned the bags inside out to hide the shop’s name, until plastic carrier bags were provided for free, then the voices went very quiet.

How times have changed. We now live in a society that embraces advertising in any form from t-shirts to trainers and bags to bracelets. Some brand names are so popular and so sought after that they can cost ridiculous amounts of money. Several times I have seen people come out of Llidl and transfer their goods from the shop’s carrier bags into Marks and Spencer’s carrier bags, such is the snobbery surrounding modern-day shopping bags.

But we can not carry on producing the high volumes of plastic bags the way we have  been, they are slow if not impossible to destroy and use up our resources. They can be a danger to our wildlife and our young children.

Personally, I try to make as many changes as I can to protect our resources for future generations. I am often amused when I hear ideas for recycling that are exactly the same things my parents and grandparents did every day of their lives.

The tote bags I make have a variety of uses but what makes them a bit different from mass-produced bags is the fact that some of the bags I make started out as something else. I’ve used some cushion covers, that were more suited to being used to carry every day bits and pieces. Nearly all of the bags I make are lined, have triple sewn seams for durability and strength, fully washable and should last for many, many years.

This beautiful bag has been hand stitched in an orangey red colour on a loose weave fabric. The cross stitch was sewn using embroidery floss.  The back of the bag is calico and the lining is A strong cotton fabric.  All seams are triple sewn for strength and durability.

Cost:  £12 plus p&p

Tote bag

Busy Books

If you have read my previous posts you will understand why I prefer to call these BUSY BOOKS rather than quiet books. I’d much rather a child was learning from the books I make than to be used to keep a child quiet.
What do you think? I would love to hear you thoughts and comments on the subject. Which do you prefer?

Busy Button Book

This book has eight different shapes, heart, teddy, cat, dog, duck, flower, fish and butterfly, with a corresponding shape sewn on the page to match each one. They are paired together with different sized buttons. There is pocket with Velcro fastening on the back of the book where the shapes can stored be when not being used.
Promotes, hand /eye coordination, fine motor skills, matching, colour recognition, shape recognition and language development.

Materials: cotton fabric, felt, buttons, Velcro.
Cost: £5 plus p&p

Humpty Dumpty

This is a old favourite nursery rhyme that I have sung numerous times to my children and grandchildren. He’s very colourful and bright and helps develop:
Langauge, colour recognition, counting and number recognition, hand/eye coordination, promotes fine motor skills. Oh and don’t forget imaginative play and fun.
Materials: cotton fabric, felt, plastic beads, ribbons.
Cost £10 plus P&p



More Busy Books

The next book is a Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Promotes language development, counting to five, number recognition, colour recognition, the life cycle of a caterpillar, healthy eating, hand/eye coordination, threading.
Materials: cotton fabric, felt, ribbons, plastic beads, foam, wadding, shoe lace.
Cost £10 plus p&p

The Hungry Caterpilar Busy Book.  Activities include counting, threading,imaginative play, colour matching, story telling.

The Hungry Caterpilar Busy Book. Activities include counting, threading,imaginative play, colour matching, story telling.