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Sunday, 16 September 2012


Hello everyone

I didn't begin my main post on Saturday as I normally do - only managed to produce the title.  We had one of our regular big family get-together's at my cousin's house in Kent.  We all grew up together, so share lots of childhood and other memories.  The weather was great and as always, the time went far too quickly.  One of my cousin's, Maralyn Wimble, has been approached to hold an exhibition of her work - she is a very creative and imaginative artist and when I have more details about the event I will post them on here.  If you are in or around the area her exhibition is being held, I really do recommend you visit.

The Cycle tour is scheduled to hit Guildford today - my sympathies go out to the riders as Guildford High Street is paved in cobbles!  As it is the end of the race, perhaps the juddering feeling will not be too horrible for them. 

16 September is Celebrating Womanhood Day.  the main part of my post today is focusing on women, and the fabulous contribution we make to the world of handmade, as well as my normal craft and chatty stuff.

My post is not about a specific woman but about all of us involved in the world of handmade. Starting a business is very hard work, starting a business that is about handmade work is even harder.  Not only do we have to deal with the legalities of setting up the business, but we have a mammoth (ongoing) task of persuading and convincing the public that handmade is to be valued, it has been designed and created with care, imagination and expertise and will no doubt last much longer than something that can be bought on the high street.  Handmade today no longer means the knitted tea-cosy or the knitted crinoline doll covering the spare toilet roll.  However, the majority of the public still perceives handmade this way and subsequently undervalues our efforts and we must keep plugging away at changing their minds.  Do we give up?  No, of course not.  Why?  Because we are proud of our work, we believe in what we do and know that not everyone sees us as women who frequent craft fairs lurking behind tables with piles of knitted tea-cosies in front of us.  But, the added bonus here is that as we are women we don't believe in giving in, it's not in our nature.

To all those women who have been thinking about developing their skill into a business, go for it.  It is hard work and initially there will be more tears than smiles, but it is worth it.  When you make your first sale, get your first thank you, your first positive feedback you will know it is the best decision you have ever made and your smile will be bigger than you can imagine.  Good luck, we are not behind you, we are alongside you.

I hope you have been able to read this week's guest blog post?  Madeleine of the Craftsite blogged about cards and her post includes some great tips and beautiful pictures of her work.  Her cards are really lovely - thank you Madeleine for being a guest blogger again, I really enjoyed your post.

This leads me nicely into the World Card Making Day which is on 6 October 2012.  Last year I set up a competition for this event, but it was so close to the actual date that very little time was available for people to take part.  This time around, I am hoping there will be sufficient time for lots of you card-makers to join in.  I am planning on getting a sponsor (or even sponsors ) for this event as I feel it would be so nice to recognise the winning card (or cards) with a gift, so watch this space for news on this as it becomes available.  The theme this year is floral - absolutely anything to do with flowers.  It could be something made of flowers, flowers you have photographed, painted or decoupage - anything really as long as it is floral and it is a card.  Your photographs need to be with me by Wednesday, 3 October please and I will ask the sponsor (or sponsors) to vote for the top three. I do hope you will join in - I have featured some fabulous cards in my guest blog posts and do hope you guest bloggers will take part in this competition.

This also leads me into news about a new magazine (and website).  Have you heard of Make & Craft?  A magazine for the craft community that is edited by the dedicated crafter/craft supporter, Katherine Jewitt.  As the website says: Make & Craft magazine is an inspiring environment featuring contemporary tutorials and projects using a wide variety of supplies and techniques, as well as, reviving traditional crafts worth cherishing.  Make & Craft magazine also brings you  the latest trends, up-to-date products, craft books and supplies, new techniques, sneak peeks behind the scenes of Artists and Crafters, the best online sites, news round ups, a diary of craft events and a whole host of competitions and giveaways.  I recommend you check it out and see all of the goodies available both in the magazine and on the website.

Life is hectic at the moment (it's that tough time of year for crafters isn't it?) as I am rushing towards events that I need to have plenty of stock for.  My first one is on Saturday (details to the right of this post) and I am slightly panicking as my stock is low.  I keep making excuses telling myself that my main ones are in November, so there is plenty of time - however, it would be very wrong to not pay the same attention to my first one this week.  I have discovered that I always have excellent reasons for not doing something!  Perhaps I should write a blog post just using the list of excuses I have invented.  

Around, over, alongside and in between kitten fostering, I have been working on Orders of Service - I am pleased with how they look and very near to finishing them.  Next?  The table plan.  Here is a photograph of the Order of Service - names, etc removed, but I hope you like it.  The ribbon has not been fixed to the card yet, but that's the next job.  The original brief was for the main card to be pearlised cream, but was recently changed to the dark purple used for some of the trims on the invitations - I wasn't too sure at first, but think it is a striking colour combination.

Some time ago I mentioned the weird and wonderful search terms that have led people to my blog - I haven't added any for a while, but couldn't resist including these today (again, no change made to the grammar or spelling):

crafts with bricks
my oh my apple pie and country craft
posh crafts for christmas

Aren't they wonderful?

That's me finished for today - back to work now.  Do get in touch if you would like to be a guest blogger or if you want to join in the Card Making competition.  Everyone is welcome and if you are not a card-maker, why not give it a try - you could discover a new talent or an addition to your business.  I will be back on Wednesday and don't forget to come back on Friday to read my guest blogger's post.

Last but not least, some up-to-date pics of Ash and Micro.  They are growing very quickly and should be very soon be off to their new home.



  1. Oh the joys of B & G and the wedding stationery, love the look of the sample very striking.

    Ash and Micro are so sweet and look a real handful.

    Hope you get more work done this week, except Tuesday morning testing the coffee all in the name of research of course.

  2. Wow, Jill! That is a lot to say! I must admit that I love your talking about crafting in a way that is respectful and you speak to something my sisters and I (fellow artists) have always felt... when we go to a craft fair, we prefer to see things that people have invented in a new way. The toilet cover dolls are kinda done. Try new things! Don't just make something that you have seen somewhere before. But, then again, everyone has their unique preferences. I just happen to agree with yours! lol..

  3. Thank you for participating in the Celebrating Womanhood event! I'm not a crafter, so I'm can't say for sure, but I don't think crafters in the US face the same prejudices. I rarely have the extra money to buy hand-crafted items (or any items, really), but I do appreciate that they cost more because more time and care went into making them.

  4. Good post. The little card is pretty and the cats are soo cute, it's a wonder you can part with them! I often wonder what search brings people to my blog, once it was a porn site!! Bet they got a shock!

  5. Lovely post today, Jill. Thanks for letting us know about 'Celebrating Womanhood'. I have also linked up.

    The kittens are gorgeous - hope you some work done this week x.

  6. Fantastic post! As a dedicated cat lady, I particularly love the beautiful cat pics!

  7. Hello Gill, Your get together sounds lovely and always enjoyable to mix and be inspired by other artists. Congratulations to your cousin Maralyn! Your piece on ‘Celebrating Womanhood’ is also very inspiring. Thank you for your lovely piece about Make and Craft. Your order of services look lovely. Good luck in stocking up and for Saturday. I’ll spread the word about the card making competition. Thank you, Katharine

  8. I just started getting interested in DIY crafts again, now that I've had some time, so it was really great to read your blog. Thanks for sharing! :3

  9. The wedding stationery has turned out beautifully. I really like the orange ribbon and the purple looks striking. Thanks for your wonderful pep talk on crafting. The kittens are gorgeous, so cuddly. Have a lovely week.
    Ali x

  10. Thank you for adding your thoughts to the Celebrating Womanhood blog event. I love handcrafted items and the love that went into creating them. I recently attended an Amish auction where the handmade quilts went for as much as $1700. But I suspect if one were to figure the hourly rate to create such a work of art, that would seem reasonable.

  11. I love this and yes, those projects by women are wonderful.


Thank you for your comment - it is always lovely to have feedback and I hope you enjoyed my post.