Friday, 6 November 2009

Cottage Industry

Little Red Riding Hood Illustration
I have been very busy again this week. Something registered in the far off reaches of my creative mind a couple of days ago, that things needed to be made and stock needed to be replenished for the Craft Candy 'Candy Cane Christmas Fair' which is fast approaching...seems I have done it again, left it all 'til the last moment, and whilst you may think that 3 or 4 weeks is ample time to make and do, then I have to tell you that for me it is sailing far too close to the edge. I like to make crocheted things, sewn things as well as printy/arty things and these all take time, and time is what I generally have not got oodles of, due to the fact that as a Mummy, I spend most of my time entertaining the Little Daughter with baking, play dates, library trips and the like.

Not that Im complaining, I love her to bits and that side of my life is what makes my creative life so enriched.

So it seems my dining room is being turned into a small production room where Christmas cards are printed, boxes of cards are put together, pictures are painted or stitched and sewn and finally, when my bottom can no longer endure the hard wooden chairs I retreat to the living room and the comfort of the squishy sofa to dig out the crochet bag and create little one-off decorations....want a peep? Of course you do!

This little fellow is quite jolly, with his festive hat and scarf, finished with a wooden bead and a hanging cord (which I think you can just make out by my fore finger) - he's the only one though - my theme this year is to create completely unique decorations so once they have gone there are no more! It means its alot of fun too, coming up with lots of individual designs and hopefully, my lovely customers, should they be tempted to purchase, will be going home with not only a cute little handmade dec, but a warm fuzzy feeling that theirs is the only one in the world!! :)

Inspired by a post on Attic24 lately, I decided to make a little bird to add to my decoration stash. I have a thing for birds (I love drawing them with fat little bodies), and last night using a circular crocheted template (you can see Lucy's pattern for more info) I came up with this little chap. His eyes are made with sequins and swarovski crystals which should capture the glow of the fairy lights and twinkle beautifully! He hangs from a crocheted cord that has been adorned with two colourful wooden beads.

So, all this takes place as the nights draw in and the rain hammers on the windows which makes me feel jolly glad to be tucked up indoors with my art and crafts. But its not all work, oh no!! Not that I actually feel that it is work you understand, anything that I make or paint is the nicest thing to be doing and very rarely a chore - but you know what I mean in that sometimes we have to tool down and get outdoors!
Last night was Bonfire Night (officially) and there were plenty of us who gathered for the annual spectacular in my Mum's village. Fortunately, across the road from the field where the bonfire and fireworks are held is a nice little country pub with a great area for viewing not only that display, but many more all over the rest of Sheffield and beyond to the east! We stood clasping our warming beverages, gasping in delight as posies of glittering light exploded against a dark sky - it never ceases to amaze the child in me and this year was especially nice as our Little girl, who is now 2 was absolutely enraptured with it all and didn't cry not once, not even when the very Loud and Spluttery fireworks went off - no, she applauded and shreiked with delight! Fabulous child :)
Bonfire night wouldn't be the same without special tasty things to eat now would it? I made a batch of flapjack, adding a handful of roughly chopped brazil nuts and about 100g of milk chocolate chunks, squashing it gently into the top of the flapjack mixture. Its very nice.
Flapjack, to me, is one of those flavours of autumn - like bangers and mash, roast onions, tart tatin...I love those syrupy, smoky, dense flavours that seem to appear in seasonal recipies at this time of year. It makes me feel decidedly cosy!!

Well, I had better press on! I have the house to myself this afternoon as the Little One is being entertained by Nannie and Grandad and I have not a moment to waste!! Another decoration is beckoning and there is much to do before I feel satisfied with my stash!

I hope you all have cheerful weekends, for us its a trip to a village Christmas Fair - yes, I know its early but you never know what lovely things you might find at these places and I love being able to give someone special a gorgeous handmade something.

See you again soon,

Love J xxx


  1. Keep reminding me about the Candy Cane fair and I'll be there!!! xxxxx

  2. Hello my lovely!
    Flapjack one of my favourites,especially when it is all gooey & syrupy,oohh my & choci pieces & nuts.Scrummy!!
    Have fun at the christmas fair,hope you find lots of special goodies. xx

  3. Julia, the snowman and birdie are so lovely, hope you sell loads and loads!

  4. Gosh you have been busy and with a two year old! I often think we should have a vintage craft fair up here, like the one they have in chipping Norton, I bet there would be quite a lot of us...what do you think?

  5. Julia, your posts are a joy to read and absorb. Your upbeat tone really lifts my heart. I love your one off creations and I bet your little girl doesn't want you to sell them! Wishing you loads of success with your upcoming craft event and have a lovely weekend. x

  6. The flapjack sounds and looks delicious. It's good to take a favourite recipe and do things to make it different. Loved your little bird too... the good thing about doing 'one-offs' is that you don't get bored doing the same thing, the same design, over and over again do you, which is why when I designed my own greetings cards, no two were ever alike.

  7. This fair sounds wonderful and I love all your goodies ... lovely handmade Christmas decorations are the absolute best!
    Good luck with the fair and hope you were able to get lots done while the little one was with her grandparents.

    Jacky xox

  8. Hello Julia

    What a lovely, scrummy post on so many fronts. I love your Christmas creations, your little red riding hood illustration is so adorable and your snowman too. I love the look of your flapjack, you are making me drool ......

    I hope you get everything done in plenty of time without too much stress. I love the sound of your little routines with your daughter, it's so delightful

    I enjoyed my visit here today
    Love and best wishes

  9. love flapjacks, one of the things I can back well

    love your creations

    nice blog, enjoyed my visit ;-)


  10. Hi Julia, thanks for visiting my blog, as it has enabled me to find yours, and what a scrummy blog you have! Totally inspiring! Beautiful art and gorgeous crochet. I am just learning crochet, have wanted to do it for years, so pleased I have started, although somewhat naff, but practice will hopefully improve me! I too saw the Attic24 'how to' with the crochet bird and would love to give it a go sometime! I have a deep affection for Poppy Treffry, and buy bits and pieces when funds allow! I have yet to get her book but looks like a good one! Have a lovely day! xxxxx

  11. Little Red Riding Hood is so cute! I hope she can stop by at my place -- I've got goodies for Grandma :)

  12. Hello Julie,Thankyou for visiting my blog.It means I can now enjoy yours,and all your wonderful creations.
    Will be popping in again soon!



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