Sunday, March 29, 2009


Progress continues on the plans for the 'do'. I had a meeting last week with the local charity B.A.S.H who are supporting the event and they have now given me a copy of their logo which needs to go on the advertising material- after that?-all systems go. I will add the logo to the sign-up forms which should make them ready next week. I have been thinking more about creative ways to promote the event and have contacted the local Adult Education marketing department. I have offered to display their September prospectus at the event in return for them displaying posters advertising the 'do' at all their centre across Kent, which is nice!
I have also been thinking about goodie bags. Lots of people have kindly expressed an interest in this event who cannot actually make it in person, well I plan to make up 60 goodie bags to give out at the event and if anyone would like to send cards, products, fliers, anything really, in any number, I would ensure they were shared out across the bags. It would be a good way to get your name into the minds of people who are already hand-made fans. If you are interested, please leave a comment with your e-mail and I'll be in touch.
On the subject of giveaways I am having a little one on my own personal blog so pop over if you'd like a chance to win the hair ties!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Karen Ruane

I am so chuffed to tell you that Karen has decided to make the mammoth journey down the country to Kent to come to the 'do'. I checked back recently and when I discovered blogs Karens' was the first I added to my favourites. I hope you enjoy getting a good look at her work as much as I have.

1. If you were a cake, what kind of cake would you be? Probably a plain sponge cake, despite my 'frigid' unapproachable exterior I am very soft with a head full of pretty, pleasant thoughts. For instance, there was a question once on family something you find in the woods...Much to the amusement of my family I instinctively shouted out 'teddy bears'....see what I mean!

2. What will you be doing at the 'makey do'? First I will be panicking at meeting new people, then I will be panicking that no one will buy any of my stuff, then I will most likely lose something, I always lose things. Then I will be trying to be very restrained in not buying everyone elses stuff because I am always overwhelmed at how lovely other peoples work is. I am hoping to be too busy to actually do any making on the day and I want to have fun.

3. Fish and chips or curry? Neither...sorry!! Don't like fish and chips or curry but I do love Chinese food, char sui, prawns etc

4. Where else can your wares usualy be found? I am always available by e-mail (details on my blog) if anyone wants to buy or you can pop along to my etsy shop.

5. Do you usually hang out in Sandwich or are you a visitor? I have never been to Kent in my life so this will be my first time. It is quite a long way from Lancashire!!

6. Who is your all time Hero? I have thousands...all the women throughout time who have struggled to raise healthy, happy children.

7. Who first got you started on your crafty journey? As a child people were always making things, my mum, my grandmother's. I began to knit and crochet aged about 12 but was put off sewing for years by my experience of needlework classes at Grammar School where the only thing we were allowed to make was a navy blue gingham pinny for domestic science, how I hated that pinny. In fact I am suprised it never gave me a life long aversion to gingham! When I had my own children I constantly made things for them and it all progressed from there I suppose.

8. What colour draws you most? To wear it is black all the way. I always look like I am on my way to a funeral or a wake. White is my favourite colour to work with though. As most of my work evolves from a maternal perspective white signifies for me the purity of the relationship between a mother and her child.

9. Where do you go for inspiration? Quite simply, inside my head.

10. Do you dunk? Always!!
Thanks Karen. I have got a sign up form which wil be ready this week so I will e-mail to all those who have expressed an interview in having a table. Please let me know if you would like one too!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Well hello there Neroli, fancy telling us all a bit more about yourself?

1) If you were a cake, what kind of cake would you be?

I’d be a massive chocolate fudge cake. Large, gloopy, chocolate-y, creamy, sensual – a total indulgence.

2) What will you be doing at “A Makey ‘do’”?

I’ll be beadweaving while sitting behind my stall, which will be filled with gorgeous (but very reasonably priced) necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Every hour for a nominal cost of 50p to cover materials, show attendees will be able to join me in making a delicate beadwoven floral mobile phone or bag charm.

3) Fish and Chips or Curry?

Oh, definitely fish and chips for me! I’m originally from the North-East of England – Sunderland – where they make the best fish and chips in the world. Crisp, golden batter, flaky white fish, fluffy chips covered with salt and vinegar. My mouth’s watering just thinking about it.

4) Where else can your wares usually be found?

My website is full of photos of my jewellery, and it also includes links to my shops on Etsy, Folksy and Coriandr. The web address is . Visitors to the Bead and Button magazine website will be able to download a free pattern of one of my bracelet designs to make (if they register with the website), and another of my bracelet designs will be in the April 2009 issue of “Bead” magazine – available from this weekend, I think. My blog, which I update weekly, contains details of what I’ve currently got on the go. I’m doing about three largish bead projects at the moment, switching between them when I get a bit bored. My blog can be found at

5) Do you usually hang out in Sandwich, or are you a visitor?

I’ve only been to Sandwich once – last Summer on a day trip with my husband and two daughters – but I really loved the place! You’re so lucky to be able to live there all the time. We had a great day walking up and down the quaint little streets and walking round the town moat, stopping to look in the shops and the fancy took us. We also had an excellent tea in a little tea shop just round the corner, but I can’t remember its name. I’ll be visiting Sandwich again before the Makey Do – one of the things I do when I’m not crafting is walking, and I’m currently walking the Saxon Shore Way. This is a long-distance walk of some 160 miles from Gravesend in Kent to Hastings in Sussex, following the line of the ancient Kent/Sussex shore as it was in 300AD. Over the last two years I have covered the distance from Gravesend to Pluck’s Gutter (what a great name!) and the very next section I do, when I resume the walk this April, will take me from Pluck’s Gutter into Sandwich. I’ll wave hello to the Guildhall as I go past.

6) Who is your all-time hero?

There are a number of people who have inspired me over the years, and the person at the top of the “all time high” varies from time to time. At the moment it’s a man called James Partridge. At the age of 18, just before he went to Oxford University, James was badly burned in a car accident, which left him disfigured. But he didn’t let that stop him. He took his degree, and went to work in the NHS. He moved to the Channel Islands and took up farming, and wrote a book about his experience, called “Changing Faces”. It was such an impressive book that he was asked to set up a charity (which is also called Changing Faces), and his charity now helps other people with disfigurements. If you want to find out more about James and Changing Faces, take a look at

7) Who got you started on your crafty journey?

My Grandma. When I was five she helped me to make a rag-doll out of one of my Grandad’s old socks. The doll was called Celandine, and from there I went on to embroidery, knitting and, of course, beading.

8) What colour draws you most?

Green and purple. And red, brown and gold. And blue, and grey, and black. And sometimes pink. But it’s most it’s green and purple.

9) Where do you go for inspiration?

Anywhere and everywhere. I get inspiration from the city streets on a sunny day, the countryside in winter, the way the light shines through a window, the shape of the clouds in the sky, flowers growing in my garden, book jackets in the library, the colour combination of clothes that friends and colleagues wear, and I’m particularly interested in vintage jewellery and jewellery from other cultures.

10) Do you dunk?

AArrgghh, no! Dunking is an invention of the Prince of Darkness. Biscuits are meant to be eaten dry, which is why they have to be baked in the oven until they’re all crispy!
Why thank you Neroli, we shall have to agree to disagree on the whole dunking issue. Your beading looks gorgeous, and so lovely that people will have chance to have a go. See you there with sparkley dangley bits on.....but with no soggy dropped off biscuit crumbs down your front-that will be me!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fabric Nation-tell us more!

Well hello there Fabric Nation, do please tell us all more about you.....
1) If you were a cake, what kind of cake would you be?

A Tunnocks teacake! I love the red and silver shiny wrappers and bright and cheerful retro packaging. I have heard there is even a Tunnocks teashop next to the factory in Uddington with all sorts of fantastic Tunnocks packaging creations in the window. It’s my ambition to visit this place! Have a peek here and you’ll see why…

2) What will you be doing at “A Makey ‘do’”?

I will be doing a few things at the Makey ‘do. In the morning I’ll be having a pic ‘n’ mix brooch making party. I will bring a vast selection of crochet flowers, buttons and trims so that people can mix and match their fave colours and make a brooch just how they want it! In the afternoon bunting making will take over. I will have a whole stack of gingham for people to make their own customised bunting. I’ll be bringing templates, stamps, fabric paint and trimmings galore to decorate and adorn pre-made bunting ready to be threaded onto tape. Visitors will be able to sew and stick on letters, flowers, or anything else that takes their fancy. I will also be selling little ‘Makey ‘do’ kits to take away, including my bunting anklets!

3) Fish and Chips or Curry?

Mmm, curry. I don’t eat fish and although I am partial to chips and mushy peas I live near some of the finest curry purveyors in the city, if not the country! Can’t beat a beetroot dosa or Jai Krishna special jeera aloo!

4) Where else can your wares usually be found?

I have online shops on folksy ( and etsy ( I will also be at the Handm@de Craft Fairs in Cambridge, Winchester and Oxford ( and a few others. My shops and blog ( usually have details of any fairs I’m planning to attend. I mainly work with vintage fabrics which are recycled into my collection of cats, dogs and other strays from the 1950s and 60s. I have always loved vintage prints, particularly barkcloth fabrics of the 1950s and 60s and began using these to make clothes which I sold on my stall as a teenager (no dull Saturday job for me!). I am very pleased to say the stall bug has gripped me again and I’m looking forward to doing more stalls before the year is out and meeting more amazing designer makers.

5) Do you usually hang out in Sandwich, or are you a visitor?

I am a visitor, and very much looking forward to it. I love taking day trips to new and undiscovered towns and villages around the UK. My perfect day is arriving at a new place and exploring all the charity shops! Sandwich looks really pretty, so I’m really looking forward to visiting.

6) Who is your all-time hero?

It has to be John Peel. The discovery of his show and all the wonderful music he championed in my teenage years was a turning point for me. I love music, and his show opened up a whole world to me of fab music, but also literature and art as I obsessively explored to origins of the reference to books, films and artists that post-punk popsters littered their songs with.

7) Who got you started on your crafty journey?

My family always made things, from little flowery dresses my mum made for me, my nan’s knitted creations and my aunty’s lovely needlework. We always darned, mended and fixed things too. As a teenager without much money living far from any fancy boutiques, the only way to make an entrance was to make your clothes yourself, so many a brightly printed curtain ended up as a skirt, top or dress. So my friends inspired me in this respect too as well as the whole DIY ethos of just getting on and making stuff in your kitchen and front room with what ever you had. I also love vintage kid’s craft books. I have many of my own still including a very dog eared copy of the Puffin ‘Something to Do’ book which was my favourite book as a child.

8) What colour draws you most?

Colours in general draw me, especially lovely and surprising combinations, I like the mix of pink and green, brown and sky blue or orange and turquoise. I love the quality of colour used in old printed ephemera, especially paperbacks, board games, magazines and packaging from the 1950s. I could gaze at these for hours!

9) Where do you go for inspiration?

I cannot walk past a charity shop without looking inside and get lots of pleasure and inspiration from my charity shop finds from the 1950s and 60s including dressers, fabric, games, buttons, china and scraps of printed ephemera. I love the Opie packaging collections and the collections at the Geffrye Museum and Bethnal Green Museum of childhood.

10) Do you dunk?

fraid so! A Tunnocks wafer and cup of earl grey tea.

Thanks so much, will be lovely to see you on the big day-bunting anklets and all!