Friday, 29 January 2010


It's been a few days since I last posted and well, it's just been one of those weeks. The most exciting thing that's has happened is that I sold my first purse! Within 12 hours of putting it up for sale! It was a care bears one so I'll definitely be ordering more of that fabric. I think 80's cartoons are going to be a favourite.

I had another meeting with the business start up lady, which was good, she's helping me with grants and the like, but also brought flooding back the pain in the buttski that is paperwork. Business plans, invoices, receipts, tax... it should all calm down once I'm up and running, but at the moment it's 60% paperwork and 30% sewing. Not why I wanted to do this.

Also Ruby's been poorly this week, so I've not had my usual dedicated sewing time. Poor little Rubes. The lack of sleep for the both of us isn't helping either.

Moan, moan, rant, rant.

I do have five more large purses ready for poppers though and about 15 more cut out ready to sew. Same with the small purses and wallets. I think I'm going to have to fit in something for myself this week to lift my creative spirits. Hmm, mesthinks Lola needs a camping makeover...

Sunday, 24 January 2010


My purses are done ready for Folksy. So are my wallets. And Badges. I am though apparently the worst photographer in the universe.

I've tried three different camera's one of which now only shows a black screen. I've built my own photographic light box. I've bought daylight lamps. Still my pictures look dreadful.

Dear God.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Hello Real World

The snow has nearly all gone and this is good. I can leave my house again. I can go to places where there are more than eight people at a time. I can buy things I need like poppers and buttons. I have had lots of lovely visitors over the snowy period though, including Nat and Sarah to Craft Night last Tuesday, where we made flower bracelet pin cushions. Here's me demonstrating their glorious usefulness:

I've been desperately trying to get stuff done to put on Folksy tomorrow, but after making a few purses, I realised that after adding the interfacing, they are about half a centimetre too small. Not a big deal you'd think, but now they don't fit a phone in. Grr. So, I will now be selling both large and small purses! The large ones turned out really well and are the kind of purses that could hold a years worth of receipts, you mobile and a still have room for a lip balm, and although I'm really happy with, them they'e pushed me behind schedule.

I managed to finish sewing all the Folksy teaser stuff today, but they still need poppers, buttons/badges and photographing, so tonight will be dedicated to that. My pal Alex is coming for tea so she will be roped in. Poor Alex.

Even though I was behind schedule, I got really bored of cutting out. I'm trying to get everything cut out ready to sew next week. So to give myself a little breather, I made this for the Rubester:

That's my hand for size comparison. It's just like Mummy's, but you know, with Buzz Lightyear!

Monday, 18 January 2010


As you know, my Folksy page is up and running, but with nothing on it. This isn't me just being lazy, honest! My business cards are in the process of being made, and I wanted the site on it, and to get the address I had to open the shop, and Viola! One empty sparrowarms shop.

My plan was to to my craft fair (March 13Th Northgate Arena, Chester peeps) and then put all the stock I bring back straight on. But I'm getting antsy. It's sitting there, all pretty and empty. Maybe I should put couple of things on, just to see how things go...

So I've decided by the end of this week to put on three wallets, three purses and three phone/MPP3 cases as well as a handful of badges. Just to test the waters. I've set to work on my first batch of wallets, they're all done except for the poppers, which I ran out of. It's a bit frustrating not to have them completely finished, but they're looking pretty darn cool.

I was going to do all the wallets with the crazy fabric on the outside but then a friend of mine said she knew someone who'd always wanted what looked like a normal wallet but had crazy lining, so I found this lovely linen type black cotton and whipped a few up. There's ones with Batman, Spongebob and Cowboy linings. The Cowboy one is definitely my fave. What man doesn't have an inner Cowboy?

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Photo Glory, Here I Cometh!

After all the terrible photo's I've been taking lately, and with so much lovely stuff to photograph, I finally got my buttski in gear and made my light box. I turned this:

Into this!

I need a brighter lights and a big sheet of white card, but check out theses babies:

So much better don't you think? I used my phone to take the pics, I think a new camera is in order. Or I need to learn how to use my current one. Which is the cheaper option I suppose.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Snow, snow, glorious snow. Erm, No. But a new bag...

I tried for an hour to get my van out today, without success. Papa Jones had to practically push me back to my parking space. It wasn't fun. I have though had a day to myself today, so I've done a bit of sewing for myself (with a sparrowarms edge of course), which I haven't done a lot of recently.

I wanted to make a neutral coloured handbag that I could display some of my badges on and that was also big enough to hold all the stuff I cart around with me. I've had this gorgeous brown, stripey fabric for ages, probably about 6 months, but had been saving it for a pair of trousers. I was sure there was enough for both, but I usually severely underestimate the amount of fabric I need and end up with a piece big enough to make a fairy pillow.

The answer? Make the trousers first!

They're lovely and baggy, perfect for Sunday dinner greediness. You can't really tell how pretty the fabric is from my awful pictures, but I did have loads so I whipped up my bag too.

It's reversible, and I used a Salisbury's carrier bag for the pattern, making the straps longer so I can put it over my shoulder. It worked out really well, but I think I'll make the straps narrower next time.

I'm thinking of writing a tutorial on how to make this, it was really easy. Would anyone be interested?

Thursday, 14 January 2010

The Finals are Finalised!

I've now completed all the patterns for each item I'm making for the craft fair:

Wallet (the top picture for some reason, will only upload sideways. Hmm.)


Phone/Mp3 case (with fabric badge!)

Toiletries bag (with PVC, wipe clean lining)

Toiletries purse (PVC lined again, I use mine for wet wipes)

Also, lots of badges! I've been cutting out my fabric scraps, ready for a major badgeathon this evening. I also really need to do something about my photography...

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Brain Like a Seive

I also forgot about a certain Mr Gareth Price, Accountant Extraordinaire. He's been setting me on the right road to businessville, so this post, Mr Price, is just for you. I hope you like fabric badges.

And they told me fabric wouldn't work.

How could I forget the Green?

I would have been kicking myself if I hadn't told you about the hugely talented Mr Ross Green, who has kindly taken on the task of doing all my graphics. And I'm a difficult customer, he won't mind telling you, but he has come up with some beautiful stuff.

Thanks again Mr Green, keep it coming!


So, I'm still snowed in, but that's not stopping my get my craft on. I've 20 purses and 17 wallets cut out ready for sewing and have added another string to the sparrowarms bow: badges!

I had an idea about making badges out of my scraps of fabric, did a bit of googling and OH MY. My creative excitement went a bit overboard. What if I photocopy the fabric? Then I can make loads? What if I make comic book badges? Or use children's books? The one draw back is that badge making machines are really, really, really expensive. So with very little oil in my heating tank, I bought one anyway (ahem).

I have a plan though, honest. To make up some of the cost I'm going to try and make badges for bands and the like. I'm not making any money on them, but if i can at least recoup some of the outlandish outlay, I'll be happy. I'm also going to take the device to the craft fairs with me so people can make their own!

I'm feeling good about it.

And I already have my first customer! A big thank you to Kev Tunnah of Search for kwan and also to Nat, my official badge advisor, without whom, I wouldn't have a nice, pink, Pffft badge.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

This snow is LAME. Sewing though, is GOOD. Even without interfacing.

I think I have the final purse design. Its made without interfacing, so is a bit floppy, but all the pieces are there.

What do you think?

I also gave in and ordered a pile of stuff from the Abakhan website. Here's hoping they can at least get to me, otherwise I'm borrowing next doors' sledge and strapping it to the chickens.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


Today we are snowed in. This is bad, for two reasons. One: Myself and the Rubester don't have high cabin fever thresholds. Two: I am out of iron on interfacing. That may not sound like a trip to Disasterville, but pretty much all my current projects need it. A new and interesting development is that my attic sewing room is FREEZING. I had to stop about 5 times yesterday whilst sewing on a popper to warm my hand up by sitting on it. Rubbish.

Anyhoo, I did manage to get a couple of purse prototypes done:

I like the general style and shape of both these, but i think they need another card pocket and maybe something along the top flap to brighten it up. A nice ribbon or big button or something. Hmm. The blue one was going to be my test wallet, but Ruby half-inched it within seconds. She approves at least.

Notice the difference in the colour of the pics? I was using natural light and the colours of the purses threw the white balance right off. I really need some help with photography...

Also, which do you think is better, the straight on closed pic or the diagonal closed pic?

Can't face the cold of the sewing room today. Have spent a productive couple of hours researching craft fairs and chatting to Ross Green of Greenflare about some graphics stuff. Very talented fellow. Think I'm going to have to relocate the sewing room to the bedroom, for the sake of my fingertips.