Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Steampunk - I love it!

My son just sent me a BBC newsclip about a Steampunk Exhibition which looks great fun! I suspect my overseas readers won't be able to see it, so here's a different Exhibition from youtube:

One of the first things I ever bought from Etsy was this gorgeous steampunk necklace from MadArtJewelry

- I'd never heard of steampunk before I spotted it! I'm quite hooked now, and as a lifelong SciFi fan it's entirely appropriate.

Having had my interest stirred by the vid, I had a wander around the net to find some more examples to share with you...

I love the way the beetle is nestled into this brooch from tinyminds , it's entirely believable that he is operating the mechanism somehow.

Leather features often in steampunk: here's a cuff from steamstress.folksy

Insects are another common theme, but never in a "common" way: This fabulous beetle is by CatherinetteRings.etsy

I'm saving this to last because it is one of the most bizarre items I've ever seen!
Maurice from tinyminds.etsy

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Want a new online shop? Join me on Zibbet!

The short version is: basic shop is free, yes free! You can list up to 25 items with no listing fees and no final value fees.

Sign up here:

Or (like me) you can splash out $7 per month and pay no other fees EVER, listing as much as you want. There are gazillions of features, I've barely scratched the surface so far. Here's my spanking new shop

There is also a way to get a FREE premium account...

Free? I want free!... Zibbet operate a referral program. For each Premium seller you recruit, they will dock $1 from your monthly fee. so as it's $7 right now, that's just 7 sellers to recruit!

Sign up here: and quote PREMIUMDISCOUNT to get your $7 deal (it's going up to $8 after 10a.m. Wednesday)

Monday, 29 March 2010

I will never complain that knitting is hard to photograph again...

Ok, probably I will still complain. But stationary knits are a lot better-behaved than mobiles. As the name suggests, they're not very good at keeping still!

The beautiful caged bead keep them "centred" without the need for therapy.

You're going to have to take my word about them being "glow in the dark".

I did *try* to take photos of them in the dark - but either the flash did its thing (which destroyed the dark) or it didn't - in which case I couldn't see which way to point the camera.

By now, my intelligent readers (that's ALL of you) will have realised this mobile is not knitted. It's a Glowbile (please imagine I've inserted the little trademark symbol here) by

This particular glowbile is for my son's birthday. Jamie assures me his birthsign is Aries, so the stone used is Jasper which makes it a bit more personal. It's great quality and an absolute bargain (you know how tight a grip I keep on those purse strings!) so why not pop along to Jamie's shop and nab one for yourself? He needs to earn his keep as I'm hoping he'll be joining us at the Hoodeners Horse for our next local twitter lunch to buy me a pint!

Oh - and if anyone has a secret direct line to twitterHQ, can you ask them to mend his follow button?

Sunday, 28 March 2010

My frog spawn is hatching!

There is probably a square yard of spawn, with little gangs of tiny taddies in between. Click on the pics to enlarge. Not the easiest of things to snap, but can you see their teeny tiny gills?

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Virtual friends...

Long ago (or so it seems) I had the most interesting commission, a very special meerkat indeed.

My new virtual friend was kind enough to share my work on her website Eco Enchantments, and finally I've got around to returning the compliment!

We found we had shared interests: we're both in Kent, both enjoy the outdoors. Viv's book is sited in the local area and I discovered I'd blogged about the wind farm which she talks about here.

There is so much to enjoy in Viv's website, especially if you are a fan of faerie. Have fun exploring!

Friday, 26 March 2010

My daughter jumped out of a plane!

Yes, she really did. She did a charity sky dive last weekend to raise money for a Rose Road playscheme for children with special needs. The jump had been planned for February, but after they arrived and had the requisite training the weather became too poor.

She particularly liked the hat :-)

For someone who doesn't like heights she looks remarkably cheerful!

Oh good grief.

I was obviously nervous on her behalf but it wasn't until I saw the photos that I suddenly realised it hadn't occurred to me she'd actually be higher than the clouds!

Thanks goodness - they remembered the chute!

She even had a go at "steering"!

Such a long way down...

Terra Firma! Finally I get to be a relieved and very proud parent :-D

Well done Sarah! She raised over £400, more details on her JustGiving page.

You may notice from the comments Haptree just reminded me I forgot the obligatory meerkat pic!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

This is Michele

from and

Favourite colour?

Favourite smell?
The sea

Favourite place

Favourite way to spend your time?
Apart from spending time with my two lovely sons, I can’t single out any one of these….creating new jewellery designs, visiting my local vintage clothes shop, scouring charity and junk shops, pottering about in my garden and allotment and coming up with new decorating schemes for the house.

Favourite item in your shop of all time?

Wow, that’s a really tough one! Almost every bridal commission that I finish is my favourite item at the time……. If I were to look back, I could probably pick out a few of my bridal favourites…

If I had to pick favorites from my current items for sale, it would probably be these:

Silver & diamante hair vine – converts to choker

One of my latest statement necklaces

Blue Spring Cuff – one of a new collection of seasonal themed pieces

Favourite shop that isn’t yours?

Another really tough question as there are so many…. I absolutely love Amanda Mercer’s shop! I have bought a couple of her ceramic buttons! If I had to fault her shop at all, I’d say that the photos don’t do her work justice!

I love the shop because she has a real identity; I love the way she effortlessly blends textile with ceramic. Her work is gorgeous, unmistakably hers… so pretty, fragile and feminine!

What has been the most useful lesson you’ve learnt so far that you’d like to pass on to our readers?

Promotion …. which I am gradually getting better at! (I’m a bit of a tecchie dinosaur really).

I never go anywhere without wearing a piece of my jewellery or carrying my business cards so that I don’t miss an opportunity of a direct sale.

I try to be listed with as many free online directories as I can.

I always have plenty of cards/flyers to give away at exhibitions and craft fairs.

I have been selling online for the past 10 years, starting off with my own website and an ebay shop. I joined etsy about 3 years ago, but I have to say that I haven’t really paid enough attention to it, which is reflected in poor sales!

I joined Folksy at the beginning of this year and am now totally addicted! I haven’t notched up many sales yet….. but I’m optimistic! I have a new range of vintage inspired statement pieces in the pipeline, so watch this space!

Thanks Michelle! Find more of Misha's lovely work here:
Nest and Nettle facebook

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Compare the meerkats...

One of the surprising results of being on the Harry HIll show (seriously? you didn't know? click! ) was being commissioned to knit presenterkats, mini meerkats of the presenters of ITV Meridian News: Fred Dinenage, Simon Parkin and Sangeeta Bhabra.

UK folk of my age will remember Fred Dinenage from "How!" and Simon Parkin from children's TV ...but they'd never been seen like this before!

Just before the advert break: We've been stitched up!

It wasn't too hard out work out who was who...Sangeeta has her legs elegantly crossed, but I'm not sure what Simon's done to his. They need to go on my training course: "Standing a niftyknits meerkat in the tripod pose"

Simon had help with the weather forecast:

I'd seen Sangeeta wearing the colours I chose previously, but how sweet of her to dress to match!

They even waved Goodbye at the end of the show!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

This is... Girls Like Trucks

Favourite color?


Favourite smell?

Clean clothes right out of the dryer

Favourite place?

Anywhere that is peaceful, outdoors and sunny.

Favourite sound?

Ocean waves- sunny helps here, too :)

Favourite way to spend your time?

Curled up on the couch with a warm blanket and a great book.

Favourite item in your shop of all time?

One of my newest- robot ponytail holders!


I just adore this quirky new fabric I just got from Japan. The robots make me smile every time I see them.

Favourite shop that isn't yours?



Erica's homemade vanilla marshmallows are absolutely amazing! Her hot chocolate is great, too.

What has been the most useful lesson you’ve learnt so far that you’d like to pass on to our readers?

Make what you love and make yourself visible!

Nifty couldn't agree more - thank you! Here are the all-important links:

facebook fan page

Monday, 22 March 2010

whoooooo did I see at the BBC?

After the filming of the Harry Hill show we went for a wander around the BBC building...look who we spotted!

Meerkat Harry Hill wasn't a bit scared of Davros.

The BBC building is circular and very confusing. We thought we'd found the way out, but in fact the door led to an inner courtyard. A very happy accident, because we found ....

...the Tardis! Sadly David Tennant was nowhere to be found, but I thought it was time Mr Nifty got centre stage for a change. xxx

Sunday, 21 March 2010

K Factor...the after party!

First of all - a big big thank you to everyone who voted for my Meerkat in Harry Hill's TV Burp K Factor competition!

He reached the final 5 out of an amazing 10,000 entries, but the public vote went to Peter the duck, knitted from one of Jean Greenhowe's lovely patterns and now all over ebay like a rash!

(No disrespect intended to Andy, the guy who knitted Peter as his entry, the ebay clones are by other knitters.)

If you watched the shows, you're probably wondering why the pattern shows wings. Andy's explanation was that he was in a rush to send his photo in and hadn't yet finished knitting. When he was later asked to send in the real thing...he had to take the wings off again!

Peter's lack of wings gave rise to much of the humour, with him not being able to answer knitted Simon Cowell's phone call and later plummeting off the cliff.

We met Steve Benham, also known as the bloke who plays Heather on Harry Hill's TV Burp (That really is what he calls his facebook page, I'm not being cheeky!)

Here you can see Bessie the dog modeling her coat, with her knitter/owner and Winston Stimson. Winston was knitted as a replica WW2 toy when his young owner was reenacting the evacuation at school - one of my favourite topics when I was a teacher.

Of course my experience would not have been complete without the fan photo - me, Harry Hill Meerkat, and the real Harry Hill. As you can see he'd changed out of his trademark big-collared shirt for the party!

Thanks once more: to Harry Hill for thinking up the perfect competition, and to all of you out there in the virtual world. I know I've been spamming you all for votes, and I truly appreciate your support. There is more yet to tell about my K Factor experience, but this is it for today!

Replica knitted Harry Hill meerkats available from my Etsy and Folksy stores.