Ta-Daaahhhh!

And there it is!!

A two page spread about me and fellow Craft Candy member Lucia Kempsey (Im the one on the right of the page, posing by my heart wreath)! We found out yesterday that it was going to be in todays paper instead of yesterday and would accomodate two pages instead of one, so that was very exciting and a grand bit of publicity for us and the group.

Needless to say I couldn’t wait to read it! Jo talked to Lucia about making Christmas presents, and featured some of her homemade gifts, including her really excellent idea of recipie jars, which she creates by adding ingredients to a Kilner jar with the instructions for the recipie on a hand crafted label! I love that idea and might give it a whirl myself! Lucia makes wonderful things using thrifted jumpers such as the teddy in the picture, as well as corsages, brooches, badges and bags.
You can find out much more about Lucia by clicking the Craft Candy link in the sidebar and looking in the members section 🙂

For my part of the interview, Jo talked about how my Mum and Gran had been a big influence in all areas of art and craft and how my Mum had finally been able to teach me how to use a sewing machine when I received one last Christmas. She wrote about all the decorations that were in our home, the ribbon wreaths, gingerbread men and snowmen tree decs, festive bunting and my thrifty ideas for wrapping gifts using recycled brown paper, coloured twine and strips of handmade fibre papers. Its been a really good experience and I hope the article will inspire some of the readers to go Handmade this Christmas themselves!

I remember one of the questions that she asked me was about my supplies and the cost – now Im quite lucky in that Ive already got quite a stash, and she did mention in the article that I like old clothes from charity shops – well its a good place to start isnt it? You can sometimes come across the most vile blouse with the most exquisite vintage buttons imagineable on it for just a couple of pounds, or a skirt with the nicest pattern on it thats just ripe for a makeover (ie: textile picture, lavender hearts…)

So Handmade doesn’t have to cost a fortune, thrifting is a Good Thing, but Im also quite happy to splurge now and again in John Lewis, or on this fabulous website I found today: www.saintsandpinners.co.uk

And splurged I did 😀

There has been a dusting of snow on the hills here today, and the temperatures are very low – time to get the crochet out and a nice mug of G&B’s hot chocolate.

Thanks for all your fabulous comments on the last post, I thought about it afterwards and realised its probably terribly British to be quite modest and afraid to sound shouty and loud about achievements – however, you were all right, and I do feel very chuffed!!

Keep warm, chat again soon!

Love Julia x

A Crafty Christmas Interview

All of a sudden it seemed, Thursday morning dawned, and as I opened my eyes I was forced into sudden conciousness as I realised I still had much to do before Jo, the reporter from The Star (Sheffield’s city newspaper) arrived to do the interview later that afternoon.

You probably know by now that even despite my best intentions of planning and preparing well ahead of schedule, I always at the last minute (for some ludicrously unknown reason) decide to bestow extra tasks upon myself and therefore turn into a human whirlwind in order to complete said tasks.

But this is good. It means I feel very confident about what Im doing, and on that day in particular I wanted Jo to come and have lots to look at and talk about.

I finished the heart wreath that very same morning, in the midst of some decorative wrapping and other sewing projects. I must say, I was quite pleased how it turned out, it being the first one Id ever made.

I decided to hang it amidst my Festive Crochet Bunting on the chimney breast…


…and then, it was time to get the house ready! Plumping cushions, putting some Christmassy music on the stereo, some orange and frankinsence oils in the burner, displaying the WIP Big Blanket on the sofa (if you look carefully you can just see the new garden squares Im edging the bigger squares with around the sides) laying out presents, hanging home made decorations on the tree…phew!! Im worn out just remembering all of it!! 😀

Anyway, Jo turned up around 4pm, and the afternoon was already nestling in early twilight by then, so she arrived to twinkly tree lights and flickering church candles.

I showed her all my hand made goodies, including this holly embroidered candle decoration, and a ribbon wreath I made (after being inspired by the images on Joharos blog recently). You can just see a corner of it by the candle there…

I got the coffee on and we settled down for a chat, she asked me where I drew inspiration from, whether it was it cost effective or not to make your own stuff and how long I had been crafting things.
The photographer turned up after a while, and I had to look busy with some work (another ribbon wreath) while he took some pictures. I must admit, it was a bit strange, although lots of fun being asked to pose with my work around the lounge!

So! The article is due to be in this Thursday’s edition of the paper, centrespread no less!!! – although she did hint that it may be the week after if it wasn’t this week as one of their reporters was just back from Afghanistan and they were running a feature on that throughout the week. I will be keeping a look out as I will want to bag a copy as soon as I can to see what the article is like!

Now Im about ready to put my feet up and relax a while, but the little one has Christmas parties to attend, and the Christmas shopping needs finishing, presents need wrapping…so onward we go!

Sending you all love, thanks to you all for your smashing comments on the last post too, I felt that I was rather excited, and then became alarmed that the post may have sounded a bit showy-offy…I do hope it didnt, it was really just pure excitement at rather scrumptious stuff happening all at once, so forgive me if I did sound like I was blowing a bit loudly on my own trumpet!! 😀

With love, mince pies and mulled wine to you,
See you soon

Julia xxx

*edited to update the day the feature will be in the paper, not Wednesday as previously thought but Thursday for anyone who is local and fancies a read! 🙂

No Rest for the Wicked!

Hello!

Well, better late than never, a post about the Candy Cane fair!! Oh it was such a fabulous day, and despite still not being 100% I enjoyed every minute of it and met lots of lovely people and sold quite alot of stuff! During the day, I had a good wander to see what the other stall holders were selling and came away with some delicious goodies; a hand felted heart decoration, a new pin cushion and some splendid Christmas cards!

I also had a rush of creative inspiration whilst the lunchtime lull was happening and jotted down alot of ideas for the spring fair which I hope to be able to take part in next March, from the design and theme of my stall, to the items I hope to be able to make between now and then for it.

Like I said, no rest for the wicked.

No sooner had I got home and unpacked all of my stock etc, heaved a huge sigh of relief that I could now relax and put my feet up til Christmas without having to make anything else, did I get an email from a fellow Craft Candy soul…(now you will see what I mean by the title of this post):

To cut a long story short, Im going to be interviewed by a lady from our city newspaper this thursday; she is coming to our home with a photographer to take pictures of my stuff and to write an article about homemade Christmas!!! Woot Woot!!! Very, very, VERY exciting to say the least, but much to be done before that – Im quite a thorough person, even though alot of my planning and gathering takes place very last minute, but I want there to be lots of lovely things for her to see and chat about. She also mentioned that they may run a tutorial on how to make something Christmassy at home for the readers – Im beyond jolly about this, Im jumpy-up-an-down excited at the thought of it all!!

Annnnnnnnnnnnnd…if that wasnt all, I found out today that Not Mass Produced have put my Father Christmas card image on their home page, advertising Fab Christmas Gift Ideas for 2009!!!

Well, another reason to be very, very jumpy-up-and-down excited indeed!!! 😀

Im afraid this is a short post, and also one which is short on pictures – but alas I am too busy to photograph anything at the moment, up to my eyes in threads and textiles and the like – not to mention mad Christmas shopping sprees and tree decorating experiences with a two year old!!

I will be back again in a few days, to update you all about the interview 🙂

Til then, I send you fragments of peace, warmed Winter Pimms with apple juice, and lots of love –

Oh, and by the way – thank you to everyone who sent me such thoughtful get well messages, that really was very nice of you!

See you soon,

J x