Saturday, 20 December 2008

Windfarms - for or against?

We went for a walk at Rye harbour yesterday, and of course passed new local landmark - the wind farm. I actually find them quite attractive, and this was the first time I'd seen them since they became operational. I'd expected them all to be turning together (a bit like synchronised swimming!) but in fact they each move independently, as if to a different drum.

There was a huge outcry in the local paper when the windfarm was first suggested, and this continued throughout the construction. Obviously the traffic must have been a nightmare: these things are HUGE. Yet to claim they are a blot on the landscape seems wrong, in my opinion. this is not an unspoilt "natural" landscape by any means. Others feared for the birds (this is a nature reserve with many water birds) but surely they are big enough for even the daftest of birds to notice and avoid?
What do you think?

Friday, 19 December 2008

My first attempt at painting on glass...

wasn't what you might call an overwhelming success!

I've often admired the lovely work for sale on Etsy and wondered about having a go, then a few weeks ago I found a kit in a charity shop. Vase, pattern to trace, gold outline and two "colouring in" paints were provided, even a brush - how hard could it be?

The answer, as I'm sure you've guessed, is VERY HARD INDEED!

For a start, the paper pattern I was supposed to trace was flat. The vase, unsurprisingly, is NOT flat. Trying to squeeze my fingers through the neck of the vase to position and reposition the pattern must have been quite entertaining in itself!

Then for the outline. I didn't think that would be too tricky, I'm an experienced cake icer and it's a similar technique...but again - my cakes are FLAT.

So what about colouring in? That's GOT to be easy, surely?

The trouble with colouring in is that the paint is supposed to flood into area surrounded by the outline. Guess what happens if there's a tiny gap in the outline which you haven't noticed?

I enjoyed my experiment with a new craft - enough so that I hunted down some plain tealight holders for another go - but don't expect to see painted glass in my shops any time soon!

I've admired the work of

Lewesia Glass for a long time - even more so now I realise how difficult the craft is! - and recommend her shop most highly!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Timing...I've just discovered it matters!

Yesterday there was a Christmas fair at my local farm shop, and they agreed to offer my Christmas knits for sale (Woohoo!)

Guess who went back to pick up the leftovers AFTER the shop shut?


So sorry potential online buyers - my Etsy Christmas section is depleted, and my Folksy shop is shut until I can find out what I've still got available!

*Another useful lesson learnt!*

Friday, 5 December 2008

Thank you for voting

Phew! I got a little carried away celebrating last night - I'm so excited to have won the Folksy Angels competition.

As promised, I drew a winner from the list of commenting voters:

...and the winner is littleworm! Many thanks to all (I'll be contacting the rest of you with a runner-up offer) and Littleworm your earrings will be in the post as soon as you've sent me your address.

Meanwhile, I shall continue to sip champagne and bask in winning glory :-)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

and the winner is....


Folksy and the wemake gang have been up all night counting, but it has just been confirmed on the
Folksy blog.

Thank you so much to all my lovely voters...all 92 of you!

I have been celebrating just a tiny bit, so I'll have to get back to you about the blog prize....

In the meantime, can I encourage anyone within shouting distance of London on Saturday to go and do their handmade Christmas shopping at WeMake London

when: SATURDAY 6th DECEMBER 2008, 11am- 5pm
where: The American Church,
79a Tottenham Court Road,
Nearest tube: Goodge Street
More details on the WeMakeLondon blog

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

How my windchime came to life...

Of course, this should have been properly blogged before yesterday - but hey, I'm not quite perfect :-)

Follow my pics and descriptions here

then - pretty please -

vote for niftyknits

Voting ends Wednesday midnight, UK time, don't forget to leave a comment telling me you've voted, then you'll be in the draw for my knitted holly earrings.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

oh my - how could I leave it so long?

I'm ashamed to see how long it's been.

Never mind, now that I'm back...who'd like to help me win a competition? I'm touting for votes in the Folksy Angels competition. The brief was to make a decoration using recycled materials, I made a windchime from last year's used Christmas cards, a tangle of gift ribbon and a couple of straws and pipecleaners.

to vote for niftyknits go
and then post a comment telling me you've voted. I will give a pair of my new holly earrings to 1 of you, randomly selected.

If I win the competition - I will give each and every one of you who vote and leave a comment a discount coupon for one of my stores. :-) Don't forget to let me know how to find you.

Monday, 25 August 2008

just a quickie - the best email ever!

I've started knitting Morris Dancers, customising to particular teams (who tend to have rather unusual names).

I had the best request yesterday:

"Could you reserve a Loose Woman for me? I'd like a blonde."

Prize for the best response!!

Friday, 22 August 2008

Free photo editing software

We like free!

I've just heard of this site through Etsy forums, they give away a different piece of software every day - today's (21 hours left) is betterjpeg. Hopefully I will get better pics of my knits in future!

I can't wait to see what's on offer tomorrow!

I've been featured in a blog! Raven, of DirtyPrettyThings was in NaughtyKnits's latest treasury, and has kindly featured my shops in her blog.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Look at my new banner!

The wonderful pennydogaccessories made me a new banner for my shop, and it's just occurred to me that I can put it up here too! Isn't it pretty? The photo, of course, shows the merest fraction of my yarn stash...and I naughtily bought 4 more balls today.

Well, they were calling to me.

And two of them were on special offer.

And then I bought some fabric to make a tablecover for the craft fair.

That'll be the craft fair that hasn't yet acknowledged whether I've got a table!!!!

ETSY ... wossat?

Poor blog, it's been neglected lately. Is it just me, or do all bloggers find it difficult to think of anything interesting to write about?

I've just been browsing Etsy forums, and have finally discovered what Etsy means - if you're as curious as I was, here's what Rokali said...

click here!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

And the winner is...


Thanks to everyone who entered, your stories broght a smile to my face. Littleworm won for being even more evil as a mom than me!

I will place a reserved sign over your dinosaur littleworm - let me know if you've changed your mind since entering.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

What's your story? ***PRIZE***

As I was walking back from buying a paper this morning, an old man called out "You're cheerful, what's up? Won the lottery?"

It got me thinking - a year ago, he would probably have said "Cheer up, it might not happen" ... life has certainly improved for me this year.

So...what's that got to do with winning a prize? you're thinking, come on, get to the point!

Although I'm relieved to have left the stresses of teaching behind me, I really miss the children, so my competition is to leave me a funny child-centred story. Please don't switch off if you're not a parent - I'm fairly certain you were all children once!! The prize will be $10 to spend in either of my shops, and a condition of winning is that along with your funny story you say what you will chose to spend your $10 on, and why. I will choose the story that makes me fall off my chair :-D

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


I've just been introduced to a new toy by it is, have a go!


Mine shows a distinct obsession with my son's band A Scandal in Bohemia, unless I'm much mistaken!

The great label sew-in has started!

No - not the back to school name tags (argh, seewing teensy tapes into sports socks) :-)

I've just received my parcel of specially designed labels to sew onto my knits from BellaMental
She was very patient with me, I had so many questions!! Now the great label retro-fit has started - so if you have a few spare hours, I've made a cake and put the kettle on!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


just a quickie!

I was thinking of rearranging the sections in my etsy shop, when I noticed that my halloween section had 3 items..each at $6... eeek! 666, the mark of the beast! I must find something else to list in there, and quick!

Friday, 1 August 2008

So what's new in niftyworld?

Well - the big thing was going to Brighton Wednesday for my son's gig at the Komedia. His band A Scandal in Bohemia were (of course) brilliant - but I'm his mum so naturally biased. The audience seemed to agree with me!
You can buy his CD online at
I was manning (womaning?) the merch stand at the gig cos the girl who was supposed to do it was unwell, which meant I got to meet two other bands - Junkboy and birdengine, check them out on myspace.

Which reminds me - apparently I signed up for myspace AGES ago and forgot all about it. must have been knittin ;-)

at the moment I'm busy trying to persuade it not to set me up on dates.

meanwhile - going back to the gig - I've been trying to remember which band I last saw live.

I've narrowed it down to three.

That's cos I've only ever seen three bands (well, I went to boarding school in the depths of the Dorset countryside, not that many bands played in Bournemouth in the early 70s!)

So - it was either Jethro Tull (Thick as a Brick), Emerson Lake and Palmer, or Yes.

Almost as good as Scandal :-)

Monday, 28 July 2008

oooh I am etsy seller of the week!

sounds good, doesn't it?

mmmmm, seller of the week!

Sadly not of all of etsy, but in Rightasrain's blog

check it out!

More news today - my son opened his etsy shop to sell his band's CD, due out this week.

Friday, 25 July 2008

kids and tests

One of the reasons I've just left teaching is the (to my mind) ridiculous number of tests our primary kids have to endure. In my county, they still have to sit the 11+ to determine whether they are suitable for grammar schools.

I just had a look at a sample question...

(27 [53] 19) (23 [59] 29) (15 [ ] 34)

Find the missing number.

if it takes you as long as it did me, pity those poor 10 year olds in September :-(

(answers supplied by email!)

However often you measure a bean plant, it won't grow any quicker.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Up the Lone Piners!

I've been working on my old website the last few days - I'm beginning to think I never want to see html ever again!

It's based on the children's books by Malcolm Saville - sort of countrified Famous Five - but maybe worth a look for the photos of the British countryside even if you don't know the books. I've had holidays in the three of the settings now, and try to find the locations of the stories.

As I said to my son just now, when I was a teen it was a toss-up as to whether I would marry David Morton (Lone Pine club leader) or Aragorn from LotR.


Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Is there no end to this woman's obsession...

with treasuries? LOL I keep being in the right place at the right time. It finally dawned on me I can show the alternates as well on here:

You might notice I've taken the somewhat frowned upon option of including one of my own items - the little white scottie dog - I'll wait and see if I get complaints! Frankly I dont see why I shouldn't, after all the other inclusions are all getting a bit of free promoting?

Monday, 21 July 2008

Another day...

another treasury (I must have had withdrawal pangs!) I like the message in the first picture - What will YOU do with the day?

What I did...was clear out my personal belongings from my classroom. That's it now. No going back when my sick leave runs out. I am now an ex-teacher. Part of me (hell, most of me) wants to feel sad, but I need to look at this as a new beginning.

Sunset followed by sunrise.

What will I do next?

Sunday, 20 July 2008

I'm back - what have I missed?

woohoo - home to my own bed, a "proper" cup of tea (Devon water tasted funny!) 57 emails and an etsy sale.
So what was the first thing I did? Yep, curated a treasury! LOL

Friday, 11 July 2008

Holiday time :-)

I'm off for a week in a cottage in Devon, by the sea, tomorrow. Dilemma - how much knitting/crochet can I take without seriously annoying DH? We'll be out walking most days, and eating out most evenings - but that still leaves a lot of time when I could be crafting!

What do YOU do, dear reader?

In the end I've decided to take a couple (well, ok, 3) balls of yarn, crochet hook(s) and a pattern for a hat. I'm not very experienced at following crochet patterns yet so I thought it'd be a good opportunity. After all, I won't be able to give up and move on to something else.

And then I thought I might as well take some knitting needles so I can make some flowers while I'm at it.

Stuffing? Think I might be pushing my luck LOL

Have a good week folks - it's going to be bad enough being without my computer, I can't be expected to go cold turkey on crafting as well.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

I need stuffing!

Today was going to be the day I went to my supplier to get new stuffings as I seem to have been knitting/crocheting to excess lately. The good new is that I phoned first because it is really pouring with rain and I didn't want a wasted trip.

"No, we don't do the big bags of fibre filling any more!"

That's not good. It was really good value - I don't want to be buying small bags on a weekly basis :-(

"No we don't sell the granules for juggling balls any more - there's no demand for them"

That's REALLY not good. It took me forever to find somewhere to buy them. I've looked on ebay (postage is huge - they're heavy. That's the point!) and I've tried every craft shop for miles around. Doesn't it make you mad when they say there's no demand? Hello - I'm here. I just demanded. Don't I count?

So- better start thinking of things to make that don't need stuffing :-(

Tw hours later, I've searched online, I've rang around - finally I decide to phone my original source again and ask them to give me the details of the supplier they used to get it from, maybe I can go direct? After a cross-purposes chat of some length (turns out I spoke to the village idiot earlier) they DO have what I want, they just thought I meant something else.

Hello Greengrocer, can I have some carrots?
No, we don't stock apples.

Argh! Still can't get it today though, she has to take it home to weigh.

Presumably on the kitchen scales.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

the footie goal RIP

Remember the goal I bought to stop nextdoor's kid smashing my fence? Somehow I think I'm going to have to think of a new plan!

On another subject - it's suddenly dawned on me I've started listing for Christmas and yet hadn't put up any of my Halloween stuff. duh! One witchy later...we're up and running!

Monday, 7 July 2008

new shop!

Last Christmas I sold a lot of slightly risque knits over on "that" online auction site - so thought they'll probably sell on etsy too. I don't want to upset anyone, so I've opened a new shop specially for the naughty-but-nice stuff. I must say I'm amazed at how much more quickly the views are going up!!!

Having had a look around the "mature" etsy shops, mine actually aren't that naughty anyway!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Fame at last!

I was interviewed by Sallers today...strangely, you can now find out more about me from her blog than in my own :-)

Friday, 4 July 2008

*** 4th July Sale ***

All items in my shop come post free today to celebrate my friends over the pond's holiday :-) Sale extended throughout the weekend!

I was blind...yet now I can see!

Ever had one of those days? You go upstairs, then just stand there because you can't remember why you went up there?

You look everywhere for your glasses, then find them on your head?

Make tea, leave it to get cold?

Ask a question on a forum thread, but fail to notice the answer on the previous page?

Thanks to MyMy, my blindness has been cured! I now have google alerts, so every time some wonderful person mentions NiftyKnits in their blog (yes, even if it IS me) I will find out about it so I can send choklit. (Ok, that last bit's a lie - but I will send gratitude :-D)

I've also discovered another very talented Etsian - check out MyMy's shop (I think it was the "girls with glasses rock harder" button that cured me!)


Thursday, 3 July 2008

Can I speak to the manager, please?

Yep, today was the day.

I'd made my appointment, I'd had loads of advice from lovely etsians , I'd packed (and repacked!) my selection from my inventory (with the rest in the car just in case) and I was wearing my crochet spiral earrings.

Sadly the farm shop manager said that although they did carry quite a few crafts, it just didn't sell - but I was very welcome to set up a stall when they have their next open day (when there are always loads of families)

So - no massive order for knitted oast houses and piglets, but a real confidence boost. I know now that I CAN approach shops with confidence. The lovely girl serving in the shop even remembered one of my items pictured on the business card I left last week (which confirms my card "works") and was very impressed with the item when I showed it to her "in the flesh".

Yay me :-D

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Bold as brass?

I went to a real life auction last week and bid on a mixed lot of brass. I particularly wanted the chestnut roaster as we have an open fire and had to improvise with a frying pan last year when my son bought chestnuts!

I'm gradually working out what to do with the other items, some will go to ebay but others are destined to be upcycled.

So far I have a few pots of flowers which used to be ashtrays!

I have 5 or 6 similar mystery items. They clearly are a set, and have a wrong and right side. They look as if they're intended to have something threaded through them (right hand pic) yet they also have a place to attach a "something" on the right side (left hand pic)
Anyone know what they are? They're around 3" in diameter, and around an inch deep, rising to a point. At the moment I see them as miniature hanging baskets!
Just realised I forgot to mention what I paid...£5!!! ($10)

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Another morning, another prize...

Have I mentioned I love those Etsy competitions?

This morning a package came from , a fantastic selection of vintage knitting and crochet patterns to add to my collection. I always find them fascinating, they're a real glimpse of life in the past, and a reminder that there's very little new under the sun. I've already spotted a very nice little shrug, which people are telling us is brand new fashion!
To win the prize I had to tell a silly story...if you want to read the entries, go and have a look at

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

I've won AGAIN!!!

I love those Etsy promotions!

The postman brought me a package this morning from Sara at Sara'sTextureCrafts.

I'd won first prize in her blog competition!
My entry had commented on her felt scene earrings, which I love. They have a real feel of the ocean about them. Anyway - back to my prize!! Here it is: a lovely felted embellished heart filled with lavender - gorgeous and very calming. Thanks Sara! I've got those earrings in my sights....

Monday, 23 June 2008


Goodness what a day! I can't imagine how the actual stallholders kept going all day, the euphoria of meeting minikezz and buying from Birchtree

was almost too much for me...
Roll on the next wemake!

Saturday, 21 June 2008

piggy tails...

You know those farm animals I was making? (ok, so that means you're NOT a loyal reader if you don't...go back and look at the pic LOL)

Well, the piggy tails got me thinking

and then I thought of the lovely yarn my son and DiL gave me for my birthday...

and here is the result...

I really like the result - anyone at Wemake the same time as me tomorrow will be able to recognise me by it!!

Friday, 20 June 2008

Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

Who else can sing along to the Python folk's wonderful Spam song?

*bloody vikings*

Well, today's spam is slightly different. I was wondering what to blog about and checked my work email whilst pondering...problem solved. btw...I haven't deleted my name for privacy, I was simply addressed as "Dear Mr" (and I always thought I was a girly!)

Dear Mr

I have the honour to request from your valuable personality.
In fact I come from the Ivory Coast (Abidjan) and I appoint HUBERSON I gained a very good foundation in the field of football through the center of high-level training IMPERIAL FOOTBALL CLUB with whom I have evolved over six years. I am now looking for someone who can help me and with whom I would like to take new steps, discover new horizons.
I am but preferably versatile defender and attacker (No. 5 & 11).
I am a fairly complete player, and you would have the opportunity to discover all my athletic qualities. I am ready to give the best of myself and put all my skills at your disposal if you give me the opportunity. By informing you that I am somewhat put you in touch with my training centre for further information.
My performances:
Field of view games
Masters Ball
Good edge speed
You can write me.


Please accept the spirit of my highest consideration and hope to meet with you.


Noted: I am a very good player and available for the evolution of your team thank you.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Create an Inexpensive Photography Lightbox - wikiHow

My task for Friday is to create a lightbox - and this is how I'm going to do it.

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Good jewelry and close-up photography requires good lighting. However, being able to light a piece properly to show the true color and beauty of it can be difficult. A light box is a great solution. It provides light diffusion and a uniform background against which to place your piece. They can be expensive though. There is a solution, costing as little as $2 (or free if you already have all the materials), using a cardboard box, poster board and some tissue paper. This light box can be used with any light source, and even outdoors.


  1. Choose a box appropriate for the size of the objects you will photograph. You may find that you need to make boxes in various sizes.
  2. Secure the bottom of the box with packing tape. Use more packing tape to secure the bottom flaps inside. This will keep them out of the way.
  3. Lay the box on its side, with the opening facing you.
  4. Mark lines about 1 inch (2.54 cm) inside each edge of the box on each side and on the top. A standard 12" (30 cm) ruler makes the perfect straight edge and is the right width.
  5. Using the box cutter, carefully cut along the lines you drew. You can use the ruler as a straight edge to guide your cut. It is not necessary to get the cuts absolutely straight. Notice that the flaps on the front of the box have been left on for now to add stability and make it easier to cut. You may find that taping the front flaps shut makes it easier to cut.
  6. Cut the front flaps off with a box cutter.
  7. Cut a section of tissue paper large enough to fit over each of the openings you cut. Then tape it to the outside of the box using cellophane tape. Start with one layer of tissue paper. After completing the box and making some test shots, you may find that you need additional layers of tissue paper to achieve the right lighting.
  8. Use your box cutter and scissors to remove any stray pieces of cardboard from the front edge of the box.
  9. Cut a piece of matte white poster board to fit the inside of your box. The piece should be in the shape of a rectangle, with the width being the same as a side of the box, but the length being twice as long.
  10. Insert the poster board into the box, curving it up towards the top of the box. Curve it gently; don't crease it. Trim it if necessary. This will create an infinite, edgeless look for the background of your shots.
  11. Cut matte black poster board in sections large enough to cover the tissue paper areas. This will allow you to block light from certain directions when taking photographs.
  12. Add your lighting. Photo lights, flashes, and even standard desk lamps can be placed on either side or above the box to produce the desired lighting effect.
  13. Take some test shots as you go to see how well your tissue paper filters and diffuses the light. Add layers of tissue paper as needed. This photo was taken in the example light box, and is not retouched (other than cropping). Now go start taking great photos!


  • Make sure to use matte and not glossy poster board. Glossy poster board can reflect the light and cause glare.
  • Try other colors of poster board and even fabric to achieve the desired effect.
  • You may find that removing the bottom of the box makes it easier to just drop the light box over your subject.
  • If you take shots straight down from above, cut the bottom of the box like the sides and top, and cover with tissue paper. Then set the box open side down and cut a lens sized hole in what is now the top of the box. That way you can lay out your subject on a piece of white matte cardboard, then drop the box over it, and shoot the photograph through the hole.
  • If your camera has one, learn how to use its "custom white balance" (WB) feature--this can make all the difference when shooting items in this fashion.


  • Be careful with the box cutter. It's hard to take photos without fingers! Always cut away from yourself and from your hands.
  • Make sure lights don't start a fire!

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box (size will depend on what you are shooting)
  • 2-4 sheets of white tissue paper
  • 1 piece of matte white poster board
  • 1 piece of matte black poster board
  • Scotch tape
  • Packing tape
  • 12" (30 cm) ruler
  • pencil or pen
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Create an Inexpensive Photography Lightbox. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Farm shop time?

I'm still working on being brave enough to go to the local organic farm (just down the lane from me) and ask them for space to sell my toys. They have diversified into butchery and sell their own meat, sausages (which are absolutely scrummy) and even make cheese, and do have a few other complementary items for sale such as local honey.

So...I've been building a stock of farm-compatible knits. I didn't want to be in the position of them saying yes, and me replying "Ok, I'll just go and knit something!"

So - pigs, cows, sheep, dogs, cats ... and for the non-Kent-dwellers, those little cylindrical things are Oast houses.

Some of the animals featured in the photos of my scarecrow (listed yesterday) cos it seemed apt! Maybe I'll ask if they'd like one of him.

Now I just have to work out what to go for - consignment or wholesale?
There was a really useful thread on Etsy about this dilemma, lots of great info especially from CricketsCreations.

So many helpful folk on Etsy, aren't there? I thought it would be a good idea to put a different range in the farmshop (if indeed they'll take anything at all!) then there won't be a pricing issue. I can pop a card in with each toy so people can check out my other stuff if they want to.

*fingers crossed!*

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The postman has cometh!

I finally gave in and bought keepsakekatie's lovely meadow bracelet a few days ago. I'd been admiring it for AGES and she wasn't helping by using it as her avatar!

When I discovered that she was offering a prize to her 20th customer I was, of course, completely sunk and the purchase was made. It came today and is absolutely gorgeous. I won't demean it with one of my own photos - look at it here.

Beautiful, isn't it? Katie also sent me a goodybag with another bracelet, a ring and a pair of earrings, and some lovely tiny heart beads. I wonder what she'll offer for her 50th sale? ;-)

I love ETSY!!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Blog list

I've added the beginnings of a blog list today. I often read people's blogs when they link to them on the forums, but then never remember where they were! Perhaps this'll help me to be more systematic. Please send me a link if you think yours would be of interest to me :-)

Saturday, 14 June 2008

YaY! My prize has arrived!

I'm a great fan of competitions, and always enter the ones I find on Etsy's Promotions threads. The lovely BecharmedStudio ran one recently see entries here and I was the lucky winner! I've put the pendant on an adaptable silver plated chain so that I can wear it any length I choose. It also looks great on a ribbon *choices choices*. The silver puss is set on a coloured glass background, and looks lovely with the light on it.

Actually, I don't know why I'm encouraging you all to enter competitions - I'm reducing my chances of winning! If you're quick you can catch my Cat treasury in honour of my prize and my ex-cat, Tom.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Big bird...

No, not the yellow one on Sesame Street!

We like feeding the birds - but I must admit when I saw this one from my window I really hoped she did NOT try to land on the bird table!
We've often heard peacocks in the area, and had previously seen a male displaying from a garage roof, but hadn't seen his albino wife before.
Daft, but I hadn't realised they flew...though I suppose she could have climbed?
And no...I am NOT going to knit one!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

I've won!

Yes, I'm the proud winner of an Etsy promotion. I selected this week's featured items in The Woody Nook, I'm so excited! I can't wait to receive my prize :-)

I'm really pleased to have my selection chosen, because I do feel they show off Woody Nook's range (and I specially love the colours in that Renaissance Necklace)

Looking back at just over a month of Etsy-ness, I'm quite staggered at how many new (to me) crafts I've learnt about. I've discovered an entirely new genre of Jewelry (well, unknown to me):Steampunk (see earlier blogs), a shop specialising in making wondrous things from sweet wrappers Candy Calamity
a seller making funky jewelry from teeny tiny light bulbs (or so it seems to me!)
Strawberry Anarchy and the most fantastic not-artificial-at-all french beaded flowers from Forever Flowers.

I wonder I've got time to knit!

Friday, 6 June 2008

A window closes, a new door opens...

A good friend quoted that to me yesterday when I told her I'd resigned my teaching post. I've been off sick for ages and thought I was about to go back...but no. The moment I went through the door, the stress returned and I started shaking.

So - where's that door?

I'm hoping that my knitting will open a few doors.

Here's one:
I was thrilled (and scared stiff!) to be asked for wholesale prices recently by a store in the USA, and this has made me determined to approach some local shops.

You may remember a previous blog where I said a local paper were going to feature me? Well, I put that on hold because I didn't think it would go down too well with my day job employer...but I don't have a day job now, so I will get back in touch with the paper.

And of course - the wonderful ETSY

I was just checking out the ETSY forums and read Spiffing Jewelry's blog , a very funny story about a random person in an internet cafe (read her blog to find out more!)

This reminded me of my sinful past knitting certain TV inspired toys ;-) and one day finding one when googling - OMG that's MINE I shrieked. (You were probably wondering what you'd heard?)

So here it is!

Monday, 2 June 2008

More steampunk :-D

With all the excitement of my birthday pics I forgot to tell you about my pressies!
Number one son and his lovely girlfriend added to my yarn stash with some fine rainbow yarn, not sure what I'm ging to do with it yet but it crochets well. They also scoured etsy for a new steampunk necklace YAY!
Isn't it cute? I love dragonflies, so dragonfly + steampunk is awesome.

Number two son is a musician, so he compiled me a cd of lots of favourites including a track by his band
A Scandal in Bohemia which we listened to all the way home from Brighton.

My baby girl is studying for her uni finals, so her pressie will wait until she's finished (Yay, another birthday!)

And Mr Nifty bought me a huge box of Thorntons Continental - we've finally found a box of chockies with minimal nuts - I'm not allergic, I just don't like them, so usually everyone else gets to eat most of my chockies.
Not fair :-(

Update on my young footballing neighbour...still no banging on the fence. Best £7 ever spent!

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Birthday in Brighton :-)

My two sons both live in lovely Brighton so we drove down on Thursday to have a birthday lunch on Friday. We stayed once more at Hudsons who do a great full English brekkie!
Then off to wander North Laine and a trip to the bead shop before lunch with OH, my boys and DiL.
We saw some great street art - though I suppose some would call it graffiti.

We went on the Galloping Horses after lunch, that was always my favourite ride when I was a child. Very tame for this generation, of course, so the boys kept doing bareback riding tricks - not to the amusement of the bored fairground guy.

We had another mission - to find a copy of the current Komedia(local venue) programme - my middle son's band A Scandal in Bohemia is on the front cover!

*proud mum glow*

Wednesday, 28 May 2008


My new earrings came yesterday WOOHOO!

I showed the photo of my steampunk necklace on which the wonderful MadArtJewelry made, but of course the moment I put it on I realised I needed earrings.

And here they are! It's my birthday on Friday so we're going to Brighton where my sons live so that they can take me out to lunch (though I expect we'll be taking them, LOL) so I will be packing only clothes that go with my steampunk bling.

I had to ask what steampunk was when first I found the necklace, so
here's what wiki has to say

Monday, 26 May 2008


There I was, minding my own business on the forums..when I just had to buy some earrings (you know the feeling!)

So - I bought these:
from Polyclarific (lots of bargains there, have a look)

which immediately started me thinking "I could knit those!"

So I did ...

took ages, each square is knitted double size, folded corner to corner, sewn together, then all the squares sewn together.

Must be an easier way (yes - wait for the ones you bought to arrive from Australia!)

So I knitted circles - again, doubled, sewn together. Didn't like them sewn in a pile

so I've "rainbowed" them...

and they've evolved to this...-------------->

Hopefully I can remember I'm supposed to be knitting for my shop this time, but I do like bright colours!

Friday, 23 May 2008

nosy neighbour - that's me!

Did I mention how much the football banging on MY fence irritates me? Well, deciding it was my problem, not the next door kid's, today I bought him a goal - only a cheap one, from Woolies - and I've just been round to give it to his dad and explain.

Sooooooooooo embarrassing, I'm shaking! But if it works, and he stops the incessant pounding on the fence, it will be the best £7 I've ever spent.

update - well, the quiet didn't last long LOL after all he's only 5 but...the goal is now in pride of place next to his OTHER neighbour's fence - so my cunning plan DID work!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Why do some parents...

take their kids to totally inappropriate places? We went to our local auction house today and bought a table to go under yesterday's shelves, in the hope that I leave the dining table clear. Fat chance! Annoyingly we paid more than we could have done last month, when two tables went unsold at £5...but I didn't know I wanted a table then.

To get back to the title - both last month and this month (and I suspect, every month) there has been a posh-looking young woman with a child of about 2. She's obviously not short of cash - last month she bought a garden seat at £150 and an art deco thing at over £200 - yet instead of getting a sitter she brings her poor child to the auction where he frets and yells and cries because he's bored stiff. It doesn't exactly enhance the experience for the rest of us, either.

You're probably all thinking I'm a miserable old child-hater, but I'm not (honest!) I just don't understand this modern thing of taking small kids everywhere. She can't possibly think the child will enjoy going to an auction ("Look at the nice antique, darling")

OK - rant over. And tomorrow I pick up my table woohoo!

Monday, 19 May 2008

I have shelves!

Nice Mr Nifty (or should that be Mr Knit?) has put up some shelves so I can stick my knitted stuff somewhere tidier in the hope of impressing the journalist when he comes to do the piece on me. Need to find something better than that grey scarf the brooches are on though, looks a bit naff. Just remembered there's a stash of Easter and Christmas knits in the wardrobe...wonder if he'd mind getting the drill out again?

Amazed how much is there - and yet not that much now that it is tidy. Back to the knitting...

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Time to get serious...

This morning's task was to get to grips with a business card.

We started with this --->

but I decided it didn't make me seem any different to the little old lady at the wool shp who will knit you a cardi if you ask nicely.

Back to the drawing board!

Eventually we progressed (via several versions) to
this, which I'm quite happy with.

It looks a lot sharper in real life!

Now all I've got to do is find people to give them to.

I also spent some time looking up niftyknits on google, yahoo etc.

I found the person who had already grabbed niftyknits as a blog, and also someone on myspace who has unfortunate titles to some of her pictures. Would now be a good time to point out that neither of them is me?

I've started advertising on oodle, but I'm not sure what sort of audience they get. My DiL is off to Scotland soon (with a bunch of my cards) so I'm expecting lots of Scots visitors to the site!

We'll see...

new listing shortly, Pussy in boots -

she's got a belly button piercing ;-)

Friday, 16 May 2008

eeeeeeeewwwwwww :-(

I was just looking out of the window, wondering what the large bird on the nutfeeder was....

when I realised....

not a bird at all!


Quiz for today!

I just did a quiz ;-) What kind of knitting needles are you?


I am plastic. Futuristic, milky, and silky, I am willing to go where no crafter has gone before. I can do just about anything, with strength agility, and pretty colors to boot! While I am good at slipping and sliding out of sticky situations, I remember to stay where and when I am needed. I don't overdo it on star gazing when there's earthbound knitting to be done!

What sort of knitting needles are you?

Thursday, 15 May 2008

I'm on the front page of our local rag :-)

Sadly, the online version doesn't show the photo of myself and husband pointing inanely at litter.

Here's hoping the reporter comes back to do a piece about etsy next week. What shall I knit him as a bribe? and will I get paid for them using my photo from previous blog? Somehow I don't think so!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Tempus fugit...

Well it certainly does! (For those who don't know, tempus fugit means time flies, and it's the name of this piece by MadArtjewelry)

I've been eagerly awaiting my first piece of steam punk jewellery - I'd never heard of such a thing before finding this on etsy. I ummed and aahed for a week, I'm quite sure I pushed up madartjewelery's views by at least 100 all by myself.

Then today it came! We'd been on our way out of the house but came back in for me to attack my parcel.

Then I had to change my top. Three times LOL - finally I felt I set it off sufficiently! Anyone who knows me will tell you I NEVER make this much fuss about clothes or jewellery, so it really must be an ace piece.
And now - back to the knitting.....

Monday, 12 May 2008

I'm going to be famous!

Great excitement here today, I met with a local journalist!

This was because a few weeks ago I got fed up with moaning about litter and decided to do something about it. We took a bin bag with us on our regular walk and picked up no less than 5 kilos before we gave up.

There were: 19 plastic bottles, 3 glass bottles, 1 drinking glass, 22 cans, a hubcap, a clipboard, a 5L container of antifreeze and...these we had to leave behind...a microwave, 2 tyres and a rubber carmat.

Today, we took the reporter to photograph the microwave and I collected the car mat and some more rubbish. Amusingly the 2 tyres had bred, and there are now 3.

But - the real excitement is that I mentioned my etsy store, and he said he'd come back and do a story on me maybe next week! I will be knitting my nifty little heart out till then!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Today is the first day...

of trying to blog. Now all I have to do is think of something to write about!