30 July 2013

Short & Sweet

Hi Guys.....

Today's blog is, as the title suggests - short & sweet......

Hubby, Buster & I are off on our jollies on Saturday so I won't be around for a week or so. I'm not altogether sure what access I'll get to WiFi when I'm away - I'm sure there'll be some 'free' spots around but I don't think we'll be able to access it from where we're staying. Anyway - as ever my mobile will be on hand to snap some pics & I'll post if I can.....

http://www.fbmholidays.co.uk/cottage-details/h196
Looks pretty doesn't it... We're just hoping that the weather will be kind to us.
Fingers crossed everyone...!!!


My Etsy shop is now up & running. Pop over & have a peep - I'd love to know what you think.
On my facebook page I've been opening a 'Christmas 2013' album & listing some goodies left from last year & my newer items made this week.


I must say 'Thank You' to Julie Murphy, owner of the gorgeous Giftswithheart who snapped up the Jingle Bells Christmas gift tag decoration almost as soon as I posted it..... xx

Here's some more of this weeks makes...

Holly & red - 9 flag bunting

Red/green/cream stars - 9 flag bunting




Well that's all folks....
I'll see you when I get back from Tenby.
Enjoy yourselves, whatever your doing.....

Jo

xxXXxx

26 July 2013

Ta-Dah.....

The stitched picture is completed & I'm really happy with how it's turned out. 
My customer is very pleased too...




Yesterday my computer was playing up - I had planned on starting my Etsy shop but everything had slowed down to a snails pace & I couldn't do a thing. Instead I decided to get on with a job that was long overdue... cleaning up my craft room. My craft room is the small spare or box room in the house. My youngest used to have it as his room until he was about 14 but as he started hitting 6ft we had to find an alternative for him.
Anyway - it's my little space now and is affectionately known as 
Crafty Gifts & Cards HQ.
I really went to town - I threw out loads, sorted out what I was keeping & what was going into a sale, packed up my stall stuff as I'm not doing any more fairs til October & generally tidied up. There is still the wool boxes to look through but I want to get some new storage sorted for that before I start. 
This morning I was able to sort out my memo board & hang the pictures I bought several months ago.


Do you like them? 
Good old B&M stores.
The tidy up also allowed me to drag out my Christmas storage box with all my supplies to create some decorations etc.... I do need to get some Christmas fabric though. I do - honest.... tehehe.


Crafty Gifts & Cards is having a "Make Me an Offer" SALE. It's an attempt to clear the decks and I'm willing to accept any reasonable offers on the gifts displayed on there. There are cushions, cushion covers, ladies & gents glasses cases, purses & many other things too. 
There are discounts available for mulit-buys too so why not have a visit... 


A big 'Thank You' to Chrissy who made this fab birthday card for our son Matt. He's a History teacher & has just bought himself a big TV for his room. I mentioned this to Chrissy & this is what she came up with...

Brilliant.
Matt's birthday isn't til the 31st so shhhh - no telling...!!!


Well that's it for today my lovelies...
Enjoy the weekend.

Jo

xxXXxx

24 July 2013

A stitch in time.....

I've started a new order this week for a lovely lady called Joanne. She contacted me after seeing my stitched piece for Gemma over on My Shabby Chic Workshop. Gemma wanted a framed picture to put on her stall & between us we came up with this...
My Shabby Chic Workshop
Joanne wanted a stitched picture which included her house name & her cats Mia & Edith. 
The design was soon agreed & here's a photo of progress so far. 


 Flowers, cats & butterflies to be stitched over the next few days.
 I love making these pictures - it's so much fun creating something that's so personal to the customer...
 Watch this space or on Facebook for updates...


I bought some 'Binca' the other day - that's 6 count fabric (6 stitches to the inch) which means anything stitched on it will grow very quickly. I'm looking for a design to try out on it. 

6 count Binca

I'm thinking something pretty like an initial..... 
Maybe something like this fab free project at The Making Spot
Wouldn't that look fab in a frame or on a cushion?


Christmas is about to start here at CG&Cs HQ. I'll be deciding on what I'm making based on my best sellers from last year plus some bunting & my new twine decorations - hearts & stars.

Traditional reds
Natural twine
... or any of these colours subject to availablity...


 Here's a selection of gifts & decorations I made last year.... 

Christmas 2012
These have all been sold but if there's anything you are interested in, please get in touch. I'd be only too happy to re-create any of the above.

Enjoy your day whatever you're up to....
Jo

xxXXxx

20 July 2013

Summer....


The countdown to end of term is finally complete......
From now til September I'll be crafting away to my hearts content.
Plans for the holidays include a BIG sort out in my little craft room. It's way overdue for a good tidy up & I need to be strong & throw things out.... *scary..!!
I'm trying to work on a costings book for all my yarn - a record of what I've got & a breakdown of price by weight so I can be quicker at working out the price of any piece of crochet work. 
I've made a start & try to add in 5 - 10 balls every few days - it's a mammoth  task. I have yarn everywhere... hehe.
 A 'must do' is sort out my tax return. *very scary..!!!  
I don't need to have it in yet but I had a go at filling it in the other week - after the basics I felt totally out of my depth. I'm going to call into the local HMRC drop in centre for some guidance & advice. 
Along with that I'm thinking of changing the business name - nothing too drastic though. 
I might drop the '& Cards' at the end and become just ....
Crafty Gifts
or Crafty Gifts by Jo
or Jo's Crafty Gifts. 
As you can see - I'm still not certain on a new title just yet. 
I may just leave well alone...lol.

Any thoughts you guys?


 
 
Last week we had a very successful 'Super Learners Activity Week' at school. 
As usual - I was involved in the craft activities & I was so pleased that my felt key rings were again something the pupils enjoyed making. 
It's so cool to see lots of their designs being toted about on keys & bags... 
Some pupils even said they would love to have craft lessons to be able to try different projects. 
Maybe I'll look into that....

 
  
Crafty Gifts & Cards is booked in for three autumn/Xmas fairs now - all in the Neath area. I'm still waiting to hear from the people who approached me at the last fair I attended but I suspect it's too early for the school as they are not working over the summer. 
I'm still formulating my plans for house party style events & thinking of ideas, contacting other local crafters etc... I'm looking to do the first one for Xmas & see how that goes. 

In the meantime I have an order for a stitched picture from Joanne who saw the one I made for Gemma over on My Shabby Chic Workshop.  Joanne's will be the same except she wants her house name stitched into it plus two cats. Looking forward to starting it very soon.

Gemma's Stitched Picture

At last..... I can reveal the 'secret project' I've been hinting at over the last few weeks. It involved two workmates: Sharon wanted me to make a bag for Helen as a gift from her year 10 pupils. Not any old bag though - it had to be a Wonder Woman bag...!!! 
After much discussion me & Sharon had a plan - designs were agreed & the bag was made - here it is.....

Wonder Woman Tote Bag
I'm pleased to say Helen was delighted with it.


Enjoy the weekend Bloggettes....

Take care..
Jo

xxXXxx


14 July 2013

~ Decisions, decisions ~

Here at Crafty Gifts & Cards there's been a lot of thinking & general decision making going on.
Oo-er Mrs...!!!
I was at St. David's Church in Neath yesterday & I knew that how the day went would be the turning point for the fate/fair end of the business. There seems to be a lull in the amount of craft fair footfall at the moment. Ask around at any such event and all the stall holders will tell you the same story; it hasn't been good for a long time. 
Every one of us has a theory - it's too hot/wet/cold, it's not being advertised enough, the location isn't right, there is a clashing event nearby, the recession... & the list goes on. I feel badly for the organisers who put in such a lot of hard work & for us stallholders too - it is soul destroying to sit there for 5 hours or more & still sell very little. 
For instance - yesterday I sold two 'Make it yourself' kits, 1 button brooch & 1 crochet pattern. I had lots of complimentary comments but not many were willing to be parted from their cash.

On a brighter note - I was approached by two ladies who asked if I'd be interested in some Autumn/Christmas fairs. The first is in October & the lady is sending me contact detail for the organisers but she attends & says she will recommend me - how kind. It's not far from CG&Cs HQ so that's a plus point too. The second is in a school in Neath - a Christmas fate, dates to be confirmed.  This lady is one of the organisers of school events & had just helped arrange a successful Summer Fate the week before.
With all this information in mind I've sadly decided that Spring & Summer fairs are a waste of money & will only do Autumn & Christmas events from now on.
 
 
And now for some lovely facebook pages for you to drool over......
I met these lovlies at the fair yesterday & they are well worth a mention.
Drop by, 'LIKE' & tell them Jo sent you...



That's all for today folks...
Hope you are all enjoying the lovely weather 
 
Jo
xxXXxx

10 July 2013

Almost forgot.....

I almost forgot to mention......
Crafty Gifts & Cards will be at St David's Church, Neath 
on Saturday 13th July. 
If you are in the area please call in & support handmade



I've requested some friends to have my blog sent by email. I've been doing what I think I should do by adding the email addresses in my settings but you know me folks, I'm never sure if I've done something properly on here...!!!
Please can you comment if you are recieving this by email or not....
Thank you
xxXXxx

CG&C2013



Crafting at school....

Many of you who know me through facebook often hear me mention 'the day job'. That's what I do for a living cos heaven knows - I'd never put food on the table with crafting...!!!
My day job is a Learning Support Assistant in a local secondary school. 
I enjoy my job & it also enables me to be free at weekends & school holidays when I can craft to my hearts content.  Of course word has got around that I'm a bit 'crafty' so now & again I get asked to do a craft based lesson. Today was one such day & it went really well.

I organised three, 1 hour lessons for Activities Day. 
"How to make felt keyrings/bag charms". 
I even had some of the staff wanting to make them too.
Here are my two examples from today...


Well done students & staff.


Jo
CG&C2013

6 July 2013

Hello again...

I'm back again today -I've been putting some fancy touches to this blog & trying to make it look pretty. Not sure if I've succeeded as I do get confused with all the different styles & how to get certain effects. I do something once & then I can't remember how I did it.... Doh..!! 
I follow some lovely blogs & one of the prettiest belongs to Susan over at Mary Jane's Tearoom. It's a visual delight & I'd love my blog to evolve into something as gorgeous hers one day.

Technologically challenged - that's me. Give me a crochet pattern any day - lol.
 
Next Saturday (13th July) I'll be in Neath at St. David's Church. This is my first time at this event & I'm trying not to get too excited about this venue. I seem to jinx myself when I get my hopes up about a new venue - or even a regular one it seems...!!! 
Anyway, if you live in the area or are calling to the town - please drop in & say 'Hello'.
I may be following Emma over at Sweet William & start steering away from the craft fairs. As Emma rightly points out - people simply can't afford to buy handmade - especially in this area which has been hard hit by the recession. Sad I know cos I really enjoy the fairs, meeting other crafters, chatting to the customers & organisers. It's a great day out.
I'll still do the Christmas fairs as they are always great - loving the seasonal Christmassy feeling and the anticipation of gifts & goodies.....




I had my hook out last week to make this super pretty Summer Flowers Crochet Bunting ordered by Caroline for her daughter's bedroom. I've got order for another to do at the end of July. 
I'm really pleased with how it turned out - it wold look good in pastels too.
If anyone is interested in ordering a Summer Flower Bunting 
you can contact me at Crafty Gifts & Cards on facebook or leave me a message by using the "Contact Crafty Gifts & Cards" on the right hand side of my blog.
A 2 metre, 10 flower bunting costs £12.50 plus postage but I can make any length/amount of flowers needed - contact me for details....
CG&C2013


 That's all for today folks......

Don't forget to drop by again soon for more makes & Crafty Gifts & Cards news.











5 July 2013

Welcome

Hi to everyone & welcome to Crafty Gifts & Cards very 1st blog...

You can also find me on facebook ...

I'll be showing my own projects & also those of my crafty friends - with thier permission of course...!!!
Plus there'll be lots of crafty ideas & tutorials so watch this space.